Blades 0 Leicester 1 - belated reportFebruary 2 2011 at 9:33 PM
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|Deadbat (no login)|
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I am afraid due to work/being away for a few days have been late with any kind of report analysis and most of the thoughts on the game have probably been discussed. I will just describe main events of the match rather than just do a full report and then do my player ratings:
I felt we played pretty well for the most part and should have won the game rather comfortably but went behind again and could not pull the ball in the net again despite another improved performance and effort. I could not criticise the team last night but unfortunately we are having no luck whatsoever, referees seem to be giving everything against us and other teams are getting goals and then grinding out wins.
We conceded a sloppy but also very good goal (but I would say that it easily could have gone into the back of the Kop) and were chasing the game again and that is one of the main problems all season. We simply cannot get in front. However, we hit back well and had numerous efforts on goal with Montgomery’s superb long range effort saved by Weale spectacularly. We had a few other half chances with Evans looking dangerous and then Williamson getting forced out with a half chance. Overall, it was all United but the ball just did not break for us or nor we could create a real clear cut chance. Mattock then went off with a serious injury but just before half time Williamson hit the bar from a free kick with a great effort that looked in all ends up with the keeper well beaten. United then had a strong appeal for a penalty for handball but once again we did not get the decision. Lowry then poked a low shot just wide via a deflection.
United continued to be the better side after the break but Bent blazed over when he really ought to have scored from close range. Williamson then should have done better after linking with Bent to get a good chance in the box but his touch was too heavy. We had more appeals for handball in the box on Bamba and continued to make all the running. Indeed a number of decisions went against United with some bizarre officiating that slowed the game down and frustrated the home side but suited the visitors who were happy to defend what they had. Lowry should have done better when he headed over from an unmarked position from a corner and United made changes with Bogdanovic and Yeates coming on for the tiring Bent and Doyle. However, whilst United had been on top this half they had not created many clear cut chances until the final 10 minutes when they had quite a few. Parrino maybe should have scored with a header but he put it in the only place where it could be stopped with Oakley heading off the line. Parrino then had a spectacular effort from the edge of the box that Weale brilliantly saved. It was not to be United’s night and it was Leicester who had maybe the only other clear chance aside from their goal, when Vassell was off target at the death.
Leicester – Thought they were poor. They scored a good goal through King who has scored a number of goals from midfield this season and we should have tracked him (what would it be like for us to have a midfielder that actually scores goals!). They got their goal and seemed content to defend but the Blades had more possession, more chances and won more tackles all over the field. They will not have a more fortunate win all season but they chucked bodies in the way, got their share of luck and held on. The keeper Weale was outstanding as was the two centre halves, Bamba and Mee (thought he was excellent and seemed to be everywhere – very Jagielka in his covering). Naughton was so-so but seems to have regressed a bit and did not have the explosive pace/forward running I remembered. He would have been better staying at United for another season or so. It seems Walker has bypassed him as a talent and will probably go on and be Spurs right back next year and be in the England squad. Not sure whether Naughton will make it at the top level although he has the ability/pace and desire to be a mid-lower level Premiership player I am sure. Yakubu and Vassell offered little and United defended well with the midfield denying the ball into them. Dyer had a few decent runs but we held him in check fairly well. I felt Wellens and Abe saw little of the ball as we controlled things in the middle, especially first half. Wellens got on the ball more in the second half and showed some of his passing range but I cannot recall any clear chances of note and they were content to just defend.
United – It was another improved performance and like Norwich we deserved something, and ought to have won this game; where as a draw was probably a fair result in the Canaries game. We did everything but score and whilst bad luck and the referee did not help we really ought to have scored from some of the chances we had and need to be more ruthless. At the moment we cannot just keep lamenting bad luck and saying things will come good. We have to put the ball in the net and stop giving teams starts. We are now in the bottom three and I cannot see where the next win is coming from. We are in an awful run of form and despite improvements in effort and commitment we are continuing to lose. Adams has got the team back to basics but it is a results business and he has had an awful start really. I know that sounds harsh but things have got worse since he came in at least from a results perspective than they were under Speed/Carver. At least under them we picked up the odd win but at the moment we are not even doing that. It is odd as the performances on the whole have picked up but that will not matter one jot if we go down. With the bad luck, injuries and everything seemingly going against use you kind of have a feeling in your bones that we are going to go down and it is hard to see us going on a run of 5 or 6 unbeaten between now and the end of the season. What worries me is the bottom 4 or 5 are getting marooned too and thus it only takes one of those teams to go on a run like that and we have probably had it. I actually can see any of the other 3 doing that more than us as the moment and I am a fearful Palace will go on a run. We need to keep plugging away and hope things turn but at the moment the players are in a losing mentality and it is hard to get out of it.
I cannot see anything but a defeat at Ipswich and then we have 2 home games. If we fail to get a win from the next 3 then the writing is really on the wall I feel. That sounds very pessimistic but I honestly am very concerned at the moment and additions like Doyle and Collins are not going to take us forward I am afraid. These 2 signings are very poor and if this is the best Adams can do then I am concerned. I would rather us have taken 2 or 3 hungry, fast lower league players. These 2 are plodders that will try hard but we really need an injection of pace and lack of fear at the moment to scare defenders and would have liked us to have signed 2 wingers to address this major weakness in our side. Defences can defend so deep and know we have no option but to play the long/diagonal ball and try and feed off scraps as we do not have the footballers to play through teams or the pace to get behind them.
Simonsen 7/10 – Had very little to do but seemed a bit caught out by the goal as good a lob/shot as it was and seemed slow to react. Maybe I am being harsh but it does seem balls fly past him in comparison to Weale who made some wonder saves.
Parrino 6/10 – Still not sure about him. He is good on the ball, fairly composed and gets forward and has efforts on goal when he does support the attack as shown last night. However, at times he gets in poor positions defensively and does give his winger too much time and seems to lack pace as show when Dyer left him for dead and he fetched him down. I do feel that the pace of the English game might still be too much for him but he is someone who with proper coaching and development might be a decent player. Unfortunately he is learning on the job in a relegation battle.
Mattock 3/10 – Thought he was having an utter nightmare up to the injury. He took a few poor corners, lost the ball two or three times defensively and his overall touch and contribution was really poor. The injury looked a nasty one and I was very disappointed with the reaction of the Leicester fans. Yes, he may have mouthed off after he left and become a bit billy big time and the incident in the nightclub obviously had an effect but to continue barracking him when he had a serious injury was poor. Another one we won’t see again in a Blades shirt probably. He did not exactly shine in the few games I saw but still it is another body gone.
Ertl 7/10 – Thought he had a really steady game. Faced with a few lively forwards in Yakubu, Vassell etc and handled them well. Defended sensibly and with minimum fuss. He has had games like this season but then has followed them with a mare. He could be a Nicky Marker/Bob Booker type if he just showed some consistency.
Lowry 7/10 – I quite like him. He is not the biggest and is not exactly a ‘footballer’ but has given us a bit more toughness and we are not quite as much of an easy touch as we were before. He is a bit Morgan like and heads/kicks anything near him. Might not be pretty but we have needed that. He worries me he may get sent off soon but at least now we are winning balls that come into our box and he has been a big part of that.
Williamson 5/10 – I thought he had a poor game. He is not a winger and I was disappointed he was played wide right initially. He struggled to get into the game and his touch was off all game. It just did not happen for him last night. His set plays were mixed and when he got into decent positions his touch was off and this led to chances going awry. The one in the second half was a classic example. He needs to play in the centre of midfield where he can be more involved and get forward into the box more.
Cresswell 3/10 – Another anonymous performance where he contributed nothing to the game I felt. He is so slow and lethargic and seems to be treading water at this level. I am not doubting he tries but when he is not a goal threat (which he isn’t at the moment) he does not really link with others and seems to just ample up and down the wing without really doing anything at all. Mystified why he keeps playing but then Yeates/Ward/Quinn are the only viable options and they have been about as bad so it is hard to know who Adams picks on the flanks!
Doyle 5/10 – My first impressions of him were not that great. He did not seem much of a ball player but also I did not see him win many tackles and Montgomery seemed to be doing his job as well as his own. Hopefully he can bed in and be an asset but did not seem to offer anything different to what we already have. We need creativity, players who can make goals and also goals. Not sure whether he provides any of that.
Montgomery 7/10 – I thought he played really well in the first half although he seemed to be the closest man to King when United switched off at the throw. I counted his passes and he was successful in around 10/11 out of 14/15 passes in the first half. Some of his balls were long/diagonal to feet and not just simple balls either. He also had the great effort on goal and I felt helped us impose ourselves on the game even though we were behind. Like the Norwich game I did think he faded a bit after the game and did not win as many tackles or use the ball quite as well. However, I stand by what I have said previously in that he is not the problem; it is who plays alongside him.
Bent 5.5/10 – Did not think he was as good as against Norwich. He did not link with Evans as much and did not hold ball up as well. Did a few decent things but tired again and we need someone who can play for 90 minutes and contribute to the end. Wasted a golden chance in the second half when he blazed the ball over from close range when he needed a bit of composure.
Evans 7.5/10 – Thought he was very good again. Something definitely seems to have clicked and a lot of it derives from the fact that he is putting a real shift in. The crowd now recognise this and the hard work/effort is being matched by him showing more strength against other defenders and looking much more of a goal threat. Thought he caused the Leicester defenders problems all night although I cannot recall any clear chances he had which was the only real disappointment.
Kozluk 5/10 – Came on and was not that much better than Mattock. Got skinned twice and was booked for the second one and easily could have booked for the first one. Kept appealing for offside continually when he was often the man keeping them onside! His main contribution seemed to be taking long throws in the last third which whilst an asset should not be a reason to play someone but with limited numbers then needs must I suppose although difficult to know why Lowton is not given another run (I know he had a bad game at Burnley) and he seems to be out of the picture.
Yeates – Utterly appalling cameo. Took a contender for worst corner kick of the season when he punted a ball straight behind and then hit another aimless cross. Crowd got on his back and seemed to lose all interest after this. Not happening for him at all.
Bogdanovic – Came on and tried to offer an attacking threat but was noticeable how easy it was for him to be knocked off the ball. Not sure whether he is ever going to be a major influence and as I envisaged at the start of the season he is becoming no more than a bit part player.
Officials – Yes I thought we had a decent appeal for a penalty but it is the way things are going at the moment. The referee, Mr Webb, was incredibly fussy and was quite quick to make us take throws and free kicks further back but when blatant time wasting took place or crude fouls; he barely blinked an eyelid. Kozluk and Parrino were rightly booked for clear fouls on breakaways but quite a few Leicester players committed similarly cynical fouls. Total inconsistency was the biggest annoyance. An example was when Kozluk was blatantly shoved over (ok he made a meal of it but then Evans barely leant on a player and a free kick was given. He just did not seem to know what he was doing and whilst United fans rightly had a gripe they did not the decisions I felt he was pretty bad both ways.
Re: Blades 0 Leicester 1 - belated reportNo score for this post
|February 2 2011, 9:57 PM |
Thanks Deadbat for another good report.I understand from the latest news from The Star that Micky can now go in search of loan players to ease our relegation fears.Lets hope that whoever he brings in ,for he surely will,that they have the quality and experience to guide us to safety.
Re: Blades 0 Leicester 1 - belated reportNo score for this post
|February 2 2011, 10:03 PM |
Thanks for the report DB.
This is the first game I've listened to this year, mainly due to the timing of the games and work.
Would you be up for replacing the dreadful commentator that we had to endure on the BladesPlayer?
I was impressed by the team effort actually and if we can keep it up I,m sure that we won't go down. As long as we score goals that is.
Leicester 2 Blades 5No score for this post
|February 4 2011, 5:15 PM |
Remember that one--not so long ago. Booker continually winning 50/50 balls. Deano and Agana scoring goals. And now look at us! How are Leicester paying the wages? they have some big names in their team and big wages, including one of our Kyles.
Where has it gone wrong? Why have we no money? We have good crowds, we sell players and obtained millions for the 2 Kyles, Killa, Beats, Tonge--even Judas. And then the West Ham money currently mortgaged with Santander. We do not pay out big wages.....so where is the money going?
Re: Leicester 2 Blades 5No score for this post
|February 4 2011, 7:41 PM |
How could one forget such a momentous game,seeing the match and the excitement at the end when Harry was lifted up and carried round the pitch.
As for the income stream there is only one person who can answer that question.
I suspect we have spent to much money under Robson and also in off the pitch activities and developing our world wide image.
Do not forget we were going to be a top ten premiership team, doing it the Blades way.
Re: Leicester 2 Blades 5No score for this post
|February 5 2011, 11:30 AM |
Sad to say this Kent,but I cannot help sharing your sense of cynicism.I somehow think a few others will feel the same.
Re: Leicester 2 Blades 5No score for this post
|February 5 2011, 2:19 PM |
It is just so frustrating Grantham.
I am not having a direct pop at McCabe as he has been a good chairman for the club but he is human and has made mistakes.
Unfortunately they seem to have been on the pitch with the management selections and constant sale of players.Sometimes one has to spend or retain to protect one's investment, but it his money so he can do with it as he likes.
I will always maintain that our downfall was the appointment of Robson with the release of finance for him but the majority of us knew that he was the wrong choice,having to be bailed at Middlesborough by Venables.
I can see why perhaps Robson came in as being ex England captain known the world over he would be the ideal person to add to our desire of being a world wide brand.A good eye for a player but unable to manage or motivate players.
Around this time the economic decline started,first with property prices being depressed and the rest is history.Our chairman was into property,so one can understand to a certain extent his reasoning,but just to keep selling off the main assets is imho foolhardy as if we drop a division, and it could happen McCabe's investment in the club will also decline.
Just my slant on things,but I suppose creeping years does not help my frustrations.
Lets hope that first win comes today.