October 23 2011 at 11:22 AM No score for this post
Deadbat (no login)
The Blades’ stop start league form continued with a disappointing performance and result in east London. It was a dreadful game of football but after a red card was issued to Charlie Daniels; the Blades then nosed in front with a late goal from Chris Porter. The points seemed to be in the bag but in the 6th minute of stoppage time another mistake from goalkeeper Steve Simonsen saw Orient grab an equaliser with almost the last kick of the game as the same problems defensively reared their ugly head once again.
The Blades started with an unchanged side from the team that won at Preston but Lee Williamson remaining on the bench despite his two goal heroics in the week. Michael Doyle was back in the 16 with Richard Cresswell dropping out of the entire match day squad. United began on top but could not fashion any chances until Maguire shot wide after a Lowton free kick. Orient had offered little until Daniels header was touched over by Simonsen and then Lisbie nodded wide under pressure. The game has been really scrappy and newcomers Phillips and Clarke were not getting into the game as the ball was being given away regularly by both teams. Porter had shot saved fairly comfortably from Butcher and then Phillips hit a free kick wide. Mooney had a decent chance but fluffed his lines when he ought to have got an effort on goal before the same man had a chance in a scramble following a home corner. United were not getting many chances at all and it was a poor performance with perhaps the home side shading it so far but just before the break Clarke headed wide from a deep cross. The half time whistle came and United knew they that they would have to improve to get a goal and to get the three points.
The Blades did start the second half a little more positive and a rare move of good passing saw the ball transferred to Phillips but his cross was poor. McDonald was also wasteful in possession on a couple of occasions and United could make little headway in terms of clear chances. Wilson had seen enough and made a change with Evans coming on for Clarke. Orient had a spell of possession and forced successive corners. From the second Forbes should have done much better with a good chance and then Cox fired over. United had a half chance when Porter headed wide at the back post but another change came when Williamson came on for the disappointing Phillips. Not long after he had come on he was tackled unfairly by Daniels. It seemed an innocuous sort of challenge and most fans inside the ground were stunned when he produced a red card but after seeing it again it is clear that the Orient player left the ground and had both feet up as he tackled Williamson. Doyle came on for Williamson who could not continue. Montgomery was booked as the game started to boil over and the referee was drawing the ire of the home fans for some of his decisions.
United finally awoke buoyed by having the extra man and started to get bodies forward and Evans fired wide before a move of good football finally saw a chance but Porter was blocked. With 6 minutes left the Blades went in front as Quinn crossed from the left, Evans completely miskicked but after McDonald prodded forward the ball deflected into the path of PORTER who poked home. Orient appealed for offside in vain as United celebrated the vital breakthrough. United now had to hang onto what they had and Orient began to knock high balls into the box. Simonsen came and took a cross and United headed and kicked clear as the game entered the additional 5 minutes of added on time allotted to be played. United had a chance to seal matters when Porter was clear but he made a mess of it and got neither a shot nor cross away. Orient had a chance but headed wide when they maybe should have scored and it seemed United had done enough. The game was now into the 6th minute of stoppage time but the referee played on. United needed to just keep the ball or clear it deep into the Orient half but Montgomery gave it away and then Maguire brought down an O’s player and they had a final chance. The young centre back was booked before the free kick. The ball came over and seemed harmless enough but Collins lost the header and the keeper Simonsen came and errored for the third time in a week. His weak punch fell barely a yard in front of him and down into the ground. It fell invitingly for LISBIE who was on hand to drill the ball home past a number of players in and around the line. It was another awful goal to concede that emanated from poor decisions from two outfield players but was largely down to another goalkeeping howler. After the goal there was an incident near the Blades dugout where a fan allegedly confronted some of the Blades players and staff but as this went on the referee called a halt to proceedings almost straight after the kick off and some 7 minutes into stoppage time!
United – We were really poor today. I would even use the word; awful. Against a poor side it has to be said we looked just as bad and the game was one that actually deserved no goals! Neither team looked like scoring and neither team played any football. Maybe they had more chances and if they could shoot/head straight we may have even lost. They definitely deserved a point and despite having ten we did nothing to really up it late on. The goals were scrappy with poor defending from both teams. I think United have really regressed in recent weeks and the results and performances have proved this (Preston apart). We aren’t passing it very well anymore, are creating fewer chances (again Preston apart) and are shipping stupid goals. We seem to lack cohesion, leadership and any semblance of what kind of plan/approach we are playing. There seems to be little understanding between players and in short the confidence seems rock bottom and players cannot wait to get rid of the ball. Some of the touches, control and passing today was dire. Yes they had a packed midfield but we have players that should be far better than they are showing at the moment. We barely created a chance all game and barely played a move of note all game. It was dire to watch and no better than anything we saw last season under messrs Speed or Adams. We continue to make mistakes and the main spine of the team from the keeper up to the strikers is not good enough. Collins and Maguire make mistakes every week and the goalkeeper now is a total liability. We have to make changes in these key positions and now otherwise we will slip into mid table and the season will peter out. I cannot see how he can keep playing these 3 players when they are costing us week in, week out.
Maguire and Lowton are 2 promising players but lets get real these are not even in the same category as Jagielka, Naughton, Walker etc and for all the hype about them they are not even good enough at this level yet. Sad to say that of two local lads but they need to show they can be consistent and defend at this level otherwise they will not be playing any higher. Wilson’s new signings (at least permanent) McDonald and Porter continue to disappoint when they should stand out at this level. Experienced players like Montgomery and Collins also do not even stand out against so called lesser players. The loanees in recent weeks have been our best players (although maybe not today) and when they go back where does that leave us? Everyone can blame Simonsen and rightly so but once again take away this mistake did we deserve to win the game; are we doing enough to create chances and score goals. No on all counts. The Simonsen bashing will go on and I was furious yesterday with him but a lot of the talk over this masks a lot of the other concerns we have outfield and in general play. Orient deserved a point and until the sending off we did not look in any kind of control and only then did we up the tempo.
We need changes to personnel, how we play and more than anything how we defend. The current players are showing they cannot do this. We may still be in the playoffs and maybe we would have took 5 points from the 3 games this week but I can see us going down the league rather than up it if we continue to play like we are doing. MK Dons will be tough on Tuesday and then we will see if we can create and break down teams like Exeter at home. Monday or Tuesday we have to sign a keeper. If they cannot; I would play Long. I am concerned if he makes a mistake it could destroy him being so young but he cannot do much worse at the moment and the crowd would be right behind him. We cannot go on with Simonsen any further now and his United career should be coming to a close. Sadly with another season on his contract after this one I do not see how we can move him on.
Leyton Orient – They had a good season last year being on the verge of the playoffs and also having a great draw against Arsenal in the FA Cup. I expected them to be around mid table but they had a bad start to the season and were rock bottom. Unfortunately for us they have picked up in recent weeks and had some excellent results; such as the win at Scunthorpe a few weeks ago. They play a strange 4-1-4-1 formation but do pack the midfield and we struggled to get any kind of ball or fluency. This suited them as they of course on paper have poorer players. They did not pass it particularly well and some of their attempts on goal were pitiful (as was ours). Simonsen made a few regulation saves. They maybe shaded the attempts on goal and chances. There was no players that really stood out but they were organised and hard working and will do enough to probably stay in this division. I have seen quite a few worse teams than them this season. Lisbie is a player who has and should score a lot at this level and I always felt if anyone would score it would be him. He took it well but it was put on a plate for him.
Simonsen 4/10 – At fault for goals against Wednesday and also Preston (first); he admittedly made some good saves by all accounts in the week; I wanted a positive, commanding performance. For the most part he was untroubled and what he did he did well today and even had taken a few crosses. He made a few standard saves in the game and would have been a comfortable 7/10 if it had not been for the mistake but once again he made a bad mistake that cost us 2 points. Yes others played poorly and to completely blame him for us losing 4 points and 5 goals this week is harsh but is unfortunately right. If he does his job we win the game. I made my frustrations with him clear with anyone who would listen at the end (apologies for those stood near me!) but we have to act now. He has to be replaced this week. I would also have to look at our goalkeeping coach as he is not doing his job (have we even got one anymore- I know it was Paul Crichton last year?). He should be telling Simonsen when to come/when not to and also improving him at crosses but he is getting worse! Maybe he just ignores him and does what he wants!
Lowton 6/10 – Another player whose standard of earlier in the season have badly slipped. He does not keep to his man and loses his position too easily. I am still to be convinced he is a right back and has been better when he has played centre back and even in midfield I think. He needs to do the simple things; like stop the cross and get tight to his man. Sadly he seems more interested in bombing forward than this and leaves gaps behind him when he bounds up the wing. Is Parrino injured as it does seem odd why he was resigned if he is not going to play at all?
Williams 7/10 – Thought he was one of our better players and quite liked what I have seen from him thus far. He gets up and down the flank, gets forward and defends fairly well although did give his man too much time on occasions. He is better than Jean Francois definitely and commits few errors. It would be good if we could maybe sign him full time.
Maguire 6/10 – Struggled in recent weeks and is making mistakes most games as he did again today with a needless foul and booking that gave them the free kick they scored from. Also all at sea when the first header came towards him and Simonsen. He continues to look flashy and good on the ball but his basic defending has to be said has been quite poor this season. Did miss a good chance at the other end too. I think he should be given a rest personally as it is a lot to ask an 18 year old to keep playing every week.
Collins 6/10 – Had a steadyish game but like the above made a mistake when he did not win the key header right at the death when they headed it goalwards before the Simonsen punch. Cannot remember any real errors on the ball but he does commit daft fouls to put us under pressure and did this again quite a bit today. Today he headed it away/cleared it and did what he had to until the crucial one where we just needed one header and he lost the challenge.
Phillips 6/10 – Thought he was up and down. Did a few nice things and looked positive early on. However, he did not get on the ball enough and got little service. His end product was quite wasteful when he did get on the ball and at times he needed to be more direct instead of coming back inside as often happened. Some promise but I expected more after Tuesday and they got tight on him. Not surprised he was taken off.
Montgomery 6/10 – A game that you would think would suit him as there was little football, the ball was just bouncing around and never seemed to stay with one team for more than 2 passes and he did win a lot of tackles/break up a lot of play. However his passing was mixed again and the giveaway of possession late on led to them breaking and getting a free kick to score.
McDonald 4/10 – Thought he was totally ineffective and seemed to shy away from physical contact/challenges but his so called strength passing was awful too and I felt he just was not in the game at all. Another player who looked good when the season first started but in recent times he has been ineffective and has not really contributed that much. You can see why he has been around a bit for a player of his age and that he is going down the divisions. He has ability but is woefully inconsistent and is one of the weakest 6 foot+ players I have seen and although a different position reminds me of Andy Gray our former striker in that regard.
Quinn 5/10 – Thought he was poor today. He did not get on the ball enough and was not influential enough. He does not seem to showing the same standards of early season in recent weeks and teams have realised a lot of our play does go through him and are getting much tighter onto him. I expect him to be more involved though than he was today and the game seemed to just bypass him.
Clarke 5/10 – By all reports I read he was very good at Preston but today he was not in the game that much. He had a few half chances and showed a few neat touches but nothing clear cut in terms of shots on goal or chances made like in the week. Not helped by much or any service but I hardly noticed him after the first 20 minutes or so and forgot he was playing for a long period of the game until they took him off. He did not really link with Porter at all and overall I was quite disappointed with him and was not surprised when he was taken off.
Porter 6/10 – Sadly he was one of our better players today and he was still pretty ordinary-poor. He did put himself about and worked a bit harder today even if he does not win many headers nor offer much in terms of running off the ball. He snuffed out a goal but he made a bad decision at the end when he had a great chance to seal it when through but neither crossed nor shot and kind of just fell over.
Williamson – Came on and got injured in the challenge for the red card and went off not long after. Shame as his form in recent weeks has been better and I hope he is not out for long.
Evans – Was brought on at the end and put himself about and contributed in the melee when we scored our goal.
Doyle – Brought on for Williamson. Was guilty of giving the ball away twice in the last 5 minutes when we needed to keep the football.
Officials – Oliver Langford is not a name I have come across I must admit. The game had little to note in terms of bad challenges or incidents that merited much involvement from any of the officials until the sending off. I did not have a clear view of the tackle but after seeing it this morning it was a bad tackles and whenever you leave the floor with both feet you are in trouble. I don’t think he had much option although Williamson went in quite strong aswell. After this he seemed to infuriate the home fans with most things he did but at the end if he had not played the extra time then the game would have been over.
Ground/Crowd/Atmosphere – My first visit to Brisbane Road or the Matchroom stadium or whatever they call it these days?! Not in the most salubrious part of London although we enjoyed a nice walk around the Olympic venues/area pre match as the capital gears up for the event. A large shopping centre near Stratford station and various pubs/eateries are emerging all the time it seems. We had a nice drink pre game in a pub near the ground which was full of Blades fans and were greeted by the GCB song on the jukebox as we entered! The ground itself was unremarkable enough. It was a bit better than I thought and has a few newish stands. For a league one side it is not a bad ground and better than some of the others at this level in terms of the size of a couple of the stands. It was strange to be at the side of the pitch as they gave us half of this stand but it made a change rather than being behind a goal and despite a few pillars the view we had was fairly decent as we were right at the back. Despite the abject game United’s following were very loud and we took well over 1,000 fans (maybe closer to 1,500 or is that pushing it?).
All in all it was a good day with a good drink, good laugh and good time overall until the match! This was dire but it seemed we had got the win and would round off the day until our number one intervened. He has basically ruined 2 consecutive weekends for me and many Blades. So thanks a lot Simonsen. A lot of money, time and effort getting to games ruined by your ineptitude. Be nice if he come out and said something and took some responsibility. I was also disappointed that Radio Sheffield did not question Wilson on the goalkeeping situation at the end of the game as that was the one thing that we need some answers on.
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Thanks for that report, We were originally going down for The W/End, but last minute commitments,stopped us. It is a weird season this doing The Time Warp @ all these old Venues to revisit. I Remember one time when Man Utd were @ Spurs & The Locals thought we were Man Utd Fans as we passed through their suburbs & were gonna brick our Coach ,stuck in traffic, Then when we Gave a " Sheffield United " chorus, they left our coach alone :-)
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Whilst I don't think Simonson is that great, I do think our team have played to such an extent that he has become an easy target. If defenders and holding midfielders are giving the ball away near goal, it is going to invite more shots on goal. I think a fair proportion of the problem sits here and not just at Simonson's feet.
I think one of the issue's is a lack of leadership on the pitch. Once again players seem to be hiding. I'd keep playing someone like Cresswell until Morgan is back. There are too few shouters in our side and heads seem to go down to easily by the sounds of things.
I wonder about McDonald and how we got him. We have seen many players come here and after a few good games revert to how they played elsewhere (which lead to them being out of favour and released).
Porter has chipped in with a few goals. He's perfectly capable of getting 20 this season. He looks no worse than Cresswell or Evans. I think the striker selection is all about individual preference. To be fair none of the forwards have made the case for being first choice yet.
Midfield is the issue. What has happened to McAllister, Tonne and Harriott. These were 2 many have high hopes for. Its worrying when they can not force themselves past Doyle for a place on the bench. If teams have figured how we play through Quinn, perhaps we should just drop him for a couple of games, do something different and then bring him back in. Why not give Flynn another shot here. We have plenty of choices for midfield currently. They are all fit (if not completely match fit) so freshen it up!
The only consolation is that there are a lot of poor sides in this division. I'm not saying we are that great but on our day we are a lot better than our recent form. There is still a lot of football to play.
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Having been at the game that is as accurate as any report that I have ever read.Thank you Deadbat.
Spot on and I agree totally with your viewpoints.
Very sad to see our Blades play so poor,yes we were really poor,playing with little basic footballing common sense,and I agree with the comments that we are lacking a true leader out on that pitch.
Morgan was that man,will he be able to get fit enough to return?
I have said all I am going to say on the goal keeping position,but virtually every Blade that I have spoken to at the game feels the same way.
I have to say however that there is so much wrong before the ball gets into the box,that Danny Wilson,now has a difficult task on his hands.
It is a long time since I saw us play so poorly and certainly far worse than the Wycombe game and I thought that was bad enough.
We are just giving points away.Someone posted that there are many poor teams in this division and I would agree, but all that confirms to me is that with the players we have,the cost of the squad as reported, then we should be doing much, much,better.
Promotion?,not as I see it at present.
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I'm not sure that there is one, Simmo is still a perfectly adequate keeper at this level, and we have always lacked goalkeepers that command the penalty area, I agree that he has not covered himself in glory on saturday, and last week, but I tend to agree that on satdi, he actually shouldn't have come for the ball at all as two centre halves should have adequately dealt with the ball in the area.
The key in all this is whether Morgs will ever be fit enough to take the pitch for us again, because the lack of regular updates from the official site suggests he's crocked for the rest of the season to me....therefore we lack leadership on the field.....In truth squad wise, we only have six players good enough for this level......Monty, Quinn, Simmo, Morgan, Evans and Williamson.......McDonald and Mcguire have the ability and should be encouraged to improve performances by a more experienced pro or manager.....
Couldnt help but think watching Paddy and Neil yesterday, then seeing where we were table wise, that Neil was not quite the scapegoat he was made out to be for the Premiership relegation. In fact, I will even go as far to say that we would be where Stoke are now, were we allowed to invest the money that Robson suddenly found the following season a year before.
So....does anyone know whether Morgs will ever return?
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