Olly writes his latest piece following last night’s defeat away at Boro.
Well, I’m not sure what’s going on at the moment with our team. I know that I wanted to scratch the red button option off my Sky remote last night to make the pain stop!
I thought CW might have made changes from Saturday’s first eleven, but he stuck with the same team that didn’t show any creativity at home during our defeat to Swansea.
I’m a bit confused as to whether we paid four pence or four million pounds for Egan, he looks out of his depth and not at all a big contributor to the back three. It wasn’t just him though, Lundstram was still showing his skills off as a League One player, and although the front two weren’t getting any service from the midfield again, Leon looked like he’s secured his contract and just seems to amble about the pitch now. Stevens was making some howlers, he seems to have lost his ability to cross the ball as well.
I couldn’t believe my eyes when the first two goals went in from set piece plays and wanted to get a spoon and scoop my eyes out when I saw the third roll in! Where was the passion that we had last season? Where was the creativity and the attacking football? Perhaps all these were left on the team bus in the luggage compartment, which is probably the best place for a few of our players at the moment.
Again we saw the defence humping the ball long upfield for the forwards to try and get onto, perhaps they know that our midfield is absolutely shocking at the moment and daren’t pass to them. The commentator said that JOC wasn’t making many forward runs last night, and that was probably because the defence was so bad and the midfield seemed to just sit back and defend (poorly I might add!). Again, Duffy came on too late. I don’t want to keep banging a drum, but when he was introduced there was a bit of a spark to the team and we seemed to push Boro back to their own box. Woodburn has a little bit of flair, nothing like Brooks had, but I’m sure that will come in time. Fleck seemed to be frustrated in the second half, he looked like he was playing out of position. Our closing down and sense of urgency wasn’t there, bad passes, slip-ups and lack of concentration were all present last night.
I’m not sure why we stuck to the same line-up, and in my opinion, as much as Stearman isn’t my first choice of defender, I think we’d be better off with Stearman in for Egan (until Egan has either gelled with the team or learnt how to defend), Duffy should come in for Lundstram (who should be sold or stuck out on loan), and I think Sharp should start. Evans isn’t making an effort either over the last two games, so maybe start Leonard.
The only guys that stood out and appeared to be making an effort, in my opinion, were Baldock, Fleck, Henderson, JAC, and McGoldrick. The latter was running around a lot, a bit like pre-signing contract Leon, and although he’s not netted yet, at least he was making an effort. I don’t think that spending money is the answer, as we’ve managed in the past without overspending for decent talent.
Anyway, I’m sure Boro will have to go out to the shops today to buy more teacups as I’m sure CW will have flung them all over the changing room last night. I can’t understand it at the moment. CW is one of the best managers around, but there’s something not quite right at the moment, whether it’s the behind the scenes issues or he’s not getting the right reaction from the players.
A good point from last night was the noise our fans were making, even being 3-0 down. They are a credit to the club and always behind the team, no matter how pants we appeared to be last night. Well done guys!
QPR away on Saturday and I’m hoping that the system and first choice players will have been sorted out by the time kick-off comes round.
Anyway, fingers crossed for a result on Saturday.
Olly Longden (Royal Fleet Auxiliary)
Sheffield United MOD/Armed Forces Supporters Branch