Monday, 28 May 2012
Sheffield United's play-off flop (again).
To be quite honest, I'm not sure where to start with this post. Saturday was a pretty horrendous day for every Sheffield United fan. On a personal level, there were various reasons why I wanted us to win the play-off final. After a death in the family the previous weekend, I desperately wanted a United win to put a smile back on my dear old Dad's face. I wanted us to win to shut up the other lot, and I wanted us to win so we could prove to everyone that we aren't the biggest bottlers in the football league. But of course, it wasn't to be.
The actual match itself was horrendous. Horrible, horrible football between two teams that were obviously terrified to lose. My man of the match would 100% be Steve Simonsen, and it sickens me that some people think that he's to blame for United's late penalty loss. If it weren't for Simmo's cracking saves throughout the 90 minutes, United would have lost the game 3 or 4-0. After saving the first two penalties, we should have had it in the bag; Simonsen should never have had to take that penalty, which unfortunately he missed. I understand some of the criticism Simonsen has received over the season, because he has made mistakes. But for some reason, a lot of Blades fans seem to focus on Simmo's mistakes and forget other players'. What about Cresswell's flying header into his own net against Oldham? Maguire's stupid tackle resulting in our second red of the match? Beattie's moronic sending-offs? Footballers may be well paid to have a job that they love, but too many fans forget that they are human beings, and criticising one player over and over again can cause serious mental damage.
I think we all know where United's season went wrong. After Ched Evans' controversial departure, the whole team just seemed to flop. There wasn't that passion and fire in their bellies that we'd seen throughout the rest of the season. I think we all know that if we hadn't lost Ched, we'd probably have gone up second. But anyway, there's no point in going into all that, because I'm sure Evans feels bad enough already.
I'm not sure what will happen over the summer and next season. Of course there are many players who I hope stay at Sheffield United, but I'm not counting on anything. We all know that players' loyalty to clubs rarely exists in modern football, which I think is a desperate shame. Many say we're unlucky, which goes without saying. But perhaps, for once, the coaching and backroom staff at Sheffield United need to forget about their unlucky tendencies and think about the flaws which need to be addressed.