There are times when you just have to man up and present the truth as you see it.
So following on from that standpoint I’ll declare that anything other than a draw on Saturday would have been a travesty of justice for either side if I’m strictly honest, which I always try to be even if it sometimes hurts.
Of all people, Ian Holloway said on the Quest EFL show it was the best Championship match he had seen all season and a fantastic advert for the League. I agree with you Olly, for once!
After a sublime build-up (15-odd passes?) with Marco Stiepermann the pivot, Onel Hernandez cut in from the left to finish through Dean Henderson and we were on our way. Possibly our goal of the season in terms of artistic interpretation.
However, the Sheffield United penalty came at the worst possible time for us and despite Tim Krul’s antics it was despatched with consummate ease by my least favourite chubby Yorkshireman, one Billy Sharp.
In real time from behind the Barclay goal it looked a slightly harsh award but having seen the replays Emi Buendia can have no complaints. Quite why he chose to take out Enda Stevens in that blatant and unrequired fashion I don’t know.
Top marks for the fist pumps Tim – we in the Barclay tried to shout the ball out of the net.
Teemu Pukki did his stuff when he swept the ball beyond Henderson with a fine chip across his body that Phil Mickelson would have been proud of but back came the Blades and substitute Mark Duffy’s deep cross was headed home by aforementioned chubby chops Sharp, who conned Christoph Zimmermann with a classic run in, check and find himself unmarked routine.
After that, it could have been anyone’s game. City and United went at it toe-to-toe. Maybe we just shaded the final 15 minutes, but there was to be no late winner this time round.
Quite why Daniel Farke waited until 88 minutes to introduce Jordan Rhodes and Todd Cantwell I know not. Also, he was for once very animated in his technical area – aka a lump of grass with a white line drawn around it – although he didn’t appear there at all for the first half an hour.
From my viewpoint, you hear nothing and can only judge from body language, but our Head Coach looked one frustrated geezer at times.
Farke said before the game that the Blades are pretty much unique in the way they play, and I certainly concur with that. Particularly when their centre-backs go marauding forward and if they have someone free on either flank, they find that player very quickly and directly.
But that result was no disaster. Had we have conceded late on I would have been gutted but we didn’t and that is really important, especially as it leaves Sheffield no closer to us than before.
Now comes the crunch in the late kick-off at Elland Road on Saturday.
Having seen that magnificent save from their Real Madrid acquisition Casilla against Rotherham maybe they really do feel they are Los Blancos of the North. It’s up to us to dispel any such thoughts and our chance to do this comes soon.
And we all know what follows the weekend after- a tangle with the alcohol-free Binners. Ha! I know a few of them trashed some lights and stuff last time out but to persecute their decent fans for the antics of four idiots does seem a bit OTT.
I could advise them where to get a few down their necks in the city early on a Sunday but as they’re Ipswich I shan’t bother – maybe some of them have already done their own research anyway!
While I remember to ask, I’ve got a question for you Mr Sharp. What was that bizarre celebration of putting a dirty old sock over your hand and pretending to use it as a glove puppet all about?
Was it a tribute to our very own Puppet Man (he of Gentlemens’ Walk, Yarmouth and YouTube fame)? Or was it a bizarre way of saying “shut up” to the City supporters akin to your second celebration?
I think we should be told.
Finally, I had this link lined up before the match, presuming Chris Wilder would be his usual charming self.
Actually, he behaved with dignity throughout but as he turned his kitmen into interior designers in the away dressing room early doors I’m going to offer it anyway.
It’s by an under-rated late 1970s-early 1980s pop-punk-rockabilly band called Tenpole Tudor, and is called Go Wilder. The second line of the chorus is jump and shout. Enjoy.
Mind the gap because it’s now 36 pts. Poor old Paul.