Blades 2 Man Utd 3 - report / podcast

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Deadbat

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The sheer humiliation of the 20-21 Premier League season continues for fans of the Blades as another game brings another predictable defeat. 12 defeats in 13 games tells its own story and already United look doomed to relegation and one of the worst seasons in history unless something miraculous happens. The agony continued on Thursday night in an empty Bramall Lane as they were once again beaten despite leading and an improved start to the game. United have had the worst league start to a season in the top flight since 1898 have won fewer points after their first 13 games of a league season than any other team in English top-flight history (one). A good start and a fighting end bookended the in between where Man Utd controlled large spells of the game. David McGoldrick’s two goals in the end were not enough as strikes from Rashford (x2) and Martial saw Man Utd carry on their impressive away form.



Manager Chris Wilder shuffled his pack again and this week it was McGoldrick and Burke back up top. The latter had not even been on the bench Sunday. Back came Jack Robinson, who also had been out of favour, with Jagielka and Sharp having been brought back were dropped again. There was no place in the squad for Max Lowe or John Lundstram with Oli McBurnie injured. Rhian Brewster was still not given an opportunity to start. The visitors started with Dean Henderson in goal against his former loan side and Telles, Matic and Martial all were recalled. They had a very attacking line up with Fernandes, Pogba, Greenwood, Martial and Rashford all starting.



Despite such a terrible start to the season, the Blades came out and began well. Stevens was involved down the left and put a cross in that led to a corner. United crowded their former keeper but it was cleared away. However, on 5 minutes Henderson was picking the ball out of his net after an absolute howler. He played a one two with Maguire but the goalkeeper took way too long on the ball and Burke did brilliantly to rob him and managed to turn, swivel and find MCGOLDRICK who fired home. A perfect start for the beleaguered Blades and a nightmare for the returning Henderson.



The joy of leading was tempered somewhat when Berge pulled up running down the right and clearly had twanged his hamstring. He tried to stand up and hobble on sometime after but could not continue and Jagielka came on after Osborn had initially been readied. Basham went into midfield in a surprise change.



Man Utd had not been in the game that much but a ball over the top saw the pace they had shown in full flow and Martial was in but Ramsdale kicked the ball out.



The Blades then had a golden chance to double the lead. Basham showed superb skill to lob it over Matic and then Burke fed Fleck but the midfielder shot someway wide when well placed. It really needed to be on target.



Rashford then showed his movement yet again as he got through but clipped over as the flag went up. It would have been tight if he had scored. Burke’s work ethic was good as he charged Lindelof down summing up a very good first quarter of the game with the home side pressing and harrying and showing better quality on the ball.



However, on 25 minutes the leveller came. It was a really routine ball over the top from Lindelof and caught the Blades out with Jagielka not playing offside or going with his man and RASHFORD took a superb steadying touch and smashed home giving Ramsdale little chance. A rather basic goal but well taken and came out of nothing really in a game the home side had been very good.



This blow rocked the Blades and as in the game last season, Man Utd then threatened to take the game away with more movement and pace. Martial had an effort but shot straight at the keeper and then Rashford was nearly in again with a high line and offside trap not really working. Basham was nearly in on the end of a McGoldrick cross but the striker than lost the ball and the visitors nearly countered again. After a good crisp and largely mistake free start, Jagielka then made another error and Egan had to get back to deny Martial as he drew his foot back.



Man Utd now had control of the game and were controlling possession and tempo. The second goal came when Pogba clipped a ball in and Egan was caught square this time and MARTIAL was in. Ramsdale came out but did not get there and the striker toed it away from him and then tapped home. It was another incredibly soft goal to concede straight through the middle with no pressure on the ball through and the strikers running through unopposed.



Soon after and Rashford was in and Ramsdale had to make a smart save with his feet. This could have put the game away. After a difficult spell, McGoldrick did come inside smartly and slalomed into the penalty area but the angle was tight and Henderson saved at his near post.



Another decent move saw patient build up and Burke’s shot after the interchange saw him in but Henderson saved at his near post. The corner was telegraphed badly by Fleck. The Blades kept having a go and another good McGoldrick run was punctuated by a disappointing shot miles over the bar. Soon after the half time whistle came. The home side had been much better in this game, being competitive, having chances and although much of the attacking quality came from Manchester United, the Blades were firmly in the game and at least had laid more than a glove on their more illustrious opponents. They will just have been disappointed to lose two really sloppy goals.



The first chance came to the away side as they won a free kick. Telles free kick was headed wide by Martial. Rashford then embarrassed Jagielka with a nutmeg and ran through feeding Greenwood but Egan blocked the shot. The home side had struggled to get into the game at all so far after the break.



The third goal came after Man Utd tore the Blades apart. Pogba showed superb skill to get away from his man and Fernandes flicked it on to Greenwood. The youngster sprinted away and Jagielka could not even foul him and the ball found RASHFORD who was in on goal and hit it towards goal. Ramsdale made an awful mess of it as he bundled in under his body.



United tried to respond with a corner but it was cleared and quickly back up the other end and Man Utd had a corner of their own. The delivery was hit to the edge of the box but Fernandes smashed wide on one that had been worked on the training ground.



Jagielka had experienced a torrid night but did intercept one ball through to stop another dangerous break. The Blades kept plugging away but every time Man Utd broke you feared the worst. Wan Bissaka and Fernandes nearly linked with a one two.



The Blades won another corner after a McGoldrick run and Fleck’s inswinger was helped over from Henderson for another corner. Mousset came on for Jagielka with the substitute being subbed which is always an embarrassing experience but the veteran had not had a great night. Basham went back into the defence and McGoldrick seemed to drop deeper.



The game entered the hour mark and was fairly open but you always worried that the quality of the front players were polar opposites in terms of ability to create and finish chances. Greenwood came through after Mousset was tackled by Wan Bissaka but the youngster hit a shot straight at Ramsdale.



The next period saw Man Utd knocking it about and the Blades could not really get any foothold back into the game at all. The improved first half seemed a long way away now.



Egan smashed into Fernandes leading to a booking and the free kick but the kick from Rashford looking for the hat trick hit the wall. Another free kick came in soon after and Ampadu had to clear for a corner which Matic fired wide. Brewster replaced Burke and Mata came on for Greenwood.



Man Utd had been in total control this half with the Blades yet to find an effort on goal and another really poor second half fade out in evidence after a better start to the game.



It was nearly four as more lovely skill from Fernandes saw the ball go to the far post and Ramsdale was not able to get there or hold the follow up and the Blades scrambled it clear with Egan getting a block in.



The Blades finally had a shot when Fleck hit a shot from range but it was comfortable for Henderson who had been largely unemployed. Man Utd were back on the attack with Martial picking out Mata whose shot was straight at Ramsdale but another swift counter saw the Blades unable to deal with the movement.



Van de Beek was on for Fernandes as Man Utd were turning their attentions to tougher tests at the weekend. The Blades nearly got picked off again as they broke but Rashford was not spotted and Van de Beek took the wrong choice.



Brewster did well and Maguire stuck a hand out and it was a good spot by the referee to give the free kick. The set play presented an unlikely opportunity to get back into the game but Brewster’s effort hit the wall and after it was recycled the chance that came was through an Egan looping header that went well over.



Baldock was penalised for a push when the assistant was right next to it and played on. The same man nearly got in after Basham threatened to play him in but Telles got his foot in. Suddenly, a lifeline came when McGOLDRICK got his second goal. It came after the corner came in and Lindelof seemed to head it off the striker and it went in rather fortunately. Henderson seemed to stay on his line in the melee in a difficult night for him on his return.



The game had less than 5 minutes to play and suddenly the game was in the balance and Robinson had the chance for a long throw but it was cleared and Martial bought a foul on half way. The same man came off for McTominay as the game entered the additional stoppage time of four minutes time.



United had a chance when Brewster knocked down and Mousset flashed a shot in but Henderson pushed away with the unlikely leveller close! The game became frantic for a period and the Blades sensed something might happen. Tensions became frayed on the touchline and on the field with Robinson and Pogba both cautioned for pushing each other. Mousset was penalised and after the free kick the final whistle went.
 

Deadbat

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United – It was better and we definitely showed lots of better things. We did well for 20-25 mins and scored and if Fleck scores the second then maybe it might be different. I felt we were really good to start, got a good goal and pressed and harried and played some good stuff. We looked much more like us of old ad I also thought we got in their faces but looked dangerous too. Really pleased with the opening to the game and it was was good on and off the ball but then as soon as they scored you felt that was it. It was like they turned on a switch and boom we were in trouble a bit like the games last year when they did that in both fixtures.



They then kept coming at us in waves and you worried they might score every time they attacked. Not sure the Jags sub was right. Bash in midfield fair enough but Jags struggled badly v Man Utd twice last year. I think maybe Ampadu with his pace or even Osborn with his energy in midfield. The whole back line down the middle and Jagielka especially struggled for the middle part of the game from minute 20 to 80 where they had several chances. It was just a routine ball through and the pace/movement was too much for all the defenders. I am not sure Ampadu protected them much either and it was too easy. They were too quick, sharp and skilled. Individual skill at times picked us off and they were in with a counter. Still for all that the goals we let in were poor. A straight ball with no pressure and Jags neither coming or going. Same on the second and Egan getting caught and the keeper dithering. Then the third they just broke and we did not tackle or stop the break. Ramsdale also was really poor.



I did worry they might score every time they attacked for periods of the game as we looked so susceptible to runners and gaps opened up everywhere but we hung in the game for spells but the third killed it. After this it became a bit like the other games. We made changes but it was all a bit sorry in terms of our body language and they just strolled it and you felt it was just a case of if we could keep it down but then after a few chances for them we suddenly got a late lifeline and they then panicked a bit and we had another chance. It was the sort of game with a crowd, you’d wager we would have got another at the Kop end. We finished the game strongly which we have not done all season really and on another day could have nicked, albeit undeserved a point.



Odd one to dissect as I came away feeling much better. Sure we lost and were second best for long spells. Records are being set and we are now almost certainly going down even with half the season to go but I saw some of the old United back. A bit of swagger and freedom. Now the season is pretty much done for we can play with more freedom I feel but maybe each loss and the players will tighten up more but now we need to just have a go at teams and we did that for some of tonight. I though early part of the 2nd half we did not offer much and gave it away and sat off but at least we did look a threat tonight and attacking wise scored two goals. Still, we did not have control of the football anywhere near enough and the defence is so easy to get through. I also have concerns about the protection in front and behind (Ampadu or Norwood and the keeper) with non of the personnel doing enough at the moment with 5/10’s at best being served up. Attacking wise there were chinks today but we cannot be giving 3 goals away every week. We somehow need to tighten up. Teams are scoring such soft goals against us. Yes, Man Utd are good but not sure they had to work that hard to score tonight.



Another defeat but at least we saw some positives and I for one enjoyed a game of football tonight for spells and I have not said that for a long time.



Ratings:



Ramsdale 5/10 – I have been defending him a lot but his confidence must be rock bottom – much like the team. However, he is making mistakes most weeks and goals are going in routinely. Today he was ok early on and came out quickly once but the first goal flashed past him and then he was slow on the second – like the Chelsea goal he just needs to be quicker and get there. He made one good save but the third is embarrassing. It goes straight through him. He made a few standard saves but he worries me. I would not be averse to taking him out now. Whether it be Verrips or Foderingham – it does not matter – they deserve a chance – I know they are probably worse but it just might be the break Ramsdale needs long term. At the moment he looks beleaguered. I hope he will come again but after two seasons of goals flying in weekly he needs taking out of the firing line. Not sure he has been as bad as some have made out but he has not had a good start to his Blades career and at the moment looks a lot of money for what he is, a keeper that does not command and shots go into his net all too often when he makes himself very small.



Baldock 7/10 – Showed same level of commitment he always does with usual squaring up to players and tenacious tackling but felt he struggled defensively today and they got into gaps and he was not tight enough. We did not see much of him attacking wise after the first spell. Kept plugging away but he was faced with better players who picked him and others off with movement/one twos. He did finish the game with some attacking verve and some good runs.



Stevens 6/10 – Thought he was better than he has been and started the game well being well forward and got into better areas. He still takes too long to do things and dithers and lacks the quickness of mind he showed last season. Defensively, he was ok but they did find gaps too all over the back line.



Basham 6.5/10 – Started in defence, went too midfield and then ended up back in defence. A few good moments to start the game defensively and then showed one great run to lead to the Fleck chance after great skill. He had an ok first half and put himself about but felt as they got control they managed to pass round him easily with quicker and more nimble players and he was a bit anonymous until the changes when we saw more of him attacking wise, from when he went back to defence and his ball led to the corner for the goal.



Robinson 5.5/10 – So we go back to him after trying multiple others here. He does not totally fill me with confidence as is quite slow and lacks mobility. Felt all three central defenders really struggled with the pace and movement – they are top players but felt physically they lost out too much to slighter players. He was given chance to take his long throws but did not really land it when he had the opportunity.



Egan 5.5/10 – Thought it was a struggle but kept plugging away but his lack of pace showed up badly again and the 2nd he loses his man. He always seems at full stretch where as last season he was more composed. He did not seem to have hold of the line and a few came out or one came out and the other stayed back. They broke through us time after time sometimes running at us, others with a straight ball. With better finishing and a kinder offside flag (few were tight) they may have had even more chances on goal. I thought the game was decided with their front three and to some extent midfield behind just being much better quality and athletes than our lads. I am not sure I see loads of clubs queing up for him as he lacks the pace and athleticism top clubs look for and in a two I think he would struggle more at this level.



Ampadu 5.5/10 – Not convinced me at all yet. Does some good bits but a lot of nothingness. He won one early tackle and broke things up but then after that not sure I saw him as he was chasing Fernandes, Pogba etc all over the field and could only muster token fouls at times. He did not really protect the defence at all. Quite undisciplined too as I watched him go well away from the areas where he needed to shield the defence and he lacks discipline to do that role. Still not sure what he is or whether he will make a top player. I see a decent athlete with pace and ok on the ball but nothing special in anything really. Technically I have been surprised how ordinary he is. I am not sure him, Berge or Norwood or the answer here. We need a Hoiberg destroyer type or someone who can properly sit and break up/enforce. He is too lightweight I feel and lacks quality on the ball. I would play him left centre back and leave him there for a spell.



Fleck 6/10 – More like his old self but still only average. Like Stevens – not fantastic- but improved and he was at least busy and involved. Some mixed set plays but a few decent ones too. Had a few shots on goal that were not great but at least got into areas we had seen before. I do think he panics when in good positions this year which is odd as he did so well in such areas last season. The one he missed was well off target and not even close. He did definitely show some signs of life today. Still was far inferior to Pogba, Fernandes etc but he looked more up for it and did some decent things amongst chasing shadows for long spells too!



Berge NA – Only had a few touches and then pulled up. You expect he will be out for 2-3 weeks at least now and we can see if we are better without him in the team.



Burke 7/10 – He did ok and certainly started the game well. He made the goal with great closing down and determination and then involved in the Fleck chance and a few other moments. He was always energetic and never gave the defenders a minute. I will say he fades badly and after the break not sure he pressed much at all and you could see why he went off. Always seems mad when he comes off but he has to do it for longer than 20 -25 minutes in games and sustain the level of intensity for longer if he wants to play longer.



McGoldrick 7.5/10 – Our best player and our man of the match. He was not outstanding but showed flashes and the class of old we saw from him in seasons past. He glided around and got into those pockets and was instrumental in things we did early on. He showed his class on the ball and although at times gave it away in bad areas, he did make things happen and scored two goals – the first being in the right area and the second a bit lucky. He had a few other chances and I felt even when he came deep he got on the ball and looked like he wanted to make things happen.





Subs –



Jagieika 3/10 – Had a bit of a nightmare and easily our worst player. He errored early and they nearly got in, then messed up on the goal and then made another mistake when Egan had to bail him out. Got skinned for pace and skill (nutmeg) and just looked like a player that for this level sadly is done with his legs and mind having gone against better athletes and players. Felt sorry for him as looking at him think he knew. I love the guy and he has been a fantastic servant for us but he should have been allowed to retire or coach if he wanted to, last summer but why we a) gave him a new contract and b) are playing him against world class strikers – only Wilder can answer that. To have for large parts of the game him and Jack Robinson versus Martial, Greenwood and Rashford is a total mismatch for pace and ability.



Brewster – Looked lively in the brief spell he came on. Won a free kick and hit it against the wall and then set up Mousset for the late chance. Needs more game time now I think as we need to see him develop.



Mousset – Not as involved as above and first chance he had it, he lost it but did have a few positive moments going forward too and nearly got a late leveller of course.





Manager Wilder 6/10 – Gets a higher mark for the level of commitment shown from the start and the overall performance which deserved nothing but was much better in the grand scheme of things. We saw some life from this bedraggled group and for 20 minutes I though this is us! Then they scored and for 2/3’s of the game we were second best and chasing better players but we did not cave in and had a late go. There was definitely more commitment and we played better football when we had it. We are still a soft touch through the middle with awful goals conceded and they looked like scoring more. We in contract have to work so hard to get our chances but then they have faster and better technical players. Loses marks for the sub. I felt it was the wrong move and gave these better and quicker strikers the edge. Jags was never going to be able to keep up – the fact he took him off but too late summed it up. No issues with the subs late on to give us a spark and they did up top. His scattergun approach to teams continues with players coming in and out of the squad regularly. He is still under a lot of pressure and the run of defeats, the worst start ever to a top division in history and seeing Bilic go, means he will know he is running out of time to get a result of any sort before the questions (at least not from us maybe as Blades fans) but maybe internally in the boardroom and externally, media wise, will increase.





Man Utd – Been very up and down this season and skirted around the mid table either just above or just below with some poor results mixed with a few decent ones. They seem to lack leadership on and off the pitch and even though there is talent there of course but not sure they are anywhere nearer to competing for the title than a few years ago despite spending a lot of money over the past few seasons. Solsjkaer I do not believe will be here long term and may even be gone before the end of the season. They made a big thing of making the Champions League and withing a few months they are out of that already quite meekly.



Pogba wants out, Maguire has been off form for long periods of the season and even the strikers have been patchy. They have signed a few but non are regulars. They rely a lot on Fernandez who is a fantastic player and Rashford to create things and score goals. Had so many penalties to help their cause. They have some fantastic attacking players. Rashford is a joy to watch and what a super human being too.



I think they are quite boring to watch despite this although they are better away no doubt. They had all their quick attackers in and knew this would cause problems for us. They even gave Henderson a game. It was like a kids game where you let someone play his former team! Still he did pretty rubbish till the late save. They are a better away side than home side and can counter on teams as the run of wins shows.



Opponent Man of the Match – Pogba and Fernandes showed some class at times with sublime touches and Martial always does well against us but Rashford was superb. He was a threat all game and could have had even more than two. Some great runs, dribbles and pieces of skill. Almost unplayable at times.



Opponent Weak link – Henderson made a good save but made an almighty error too. I thought Lindelof was rubbish throughout and never seemed in control of anything and very clumsy. I used to rate him but not sure at all. They lack pace at the back badly.



Referee/Officials/VAR – Michael Oliver. Easy game to ref. Not sure he got much wrong really. Egan and Jagielka both got booked for crude fouls. Henderson was booked and I am not even sure what that was for? Pogba and Robinson had a pushing match at the end. Nice to see us show some fight, whether it be Wilder having a pop, Robinson above or Baldock earlier. Let’s not go down without a fight.



TV Coverage – Amazon Prime. They seem to have a lot of the same rent-an-annoying pundit/guest as the others and much like the managerial merry go round with the likes of Allardyce, Pulis etc we have Sherwood, Dublin etc popping up on this channel too.



Today they found the impartial Michael Owen and Paul Scholes. Loved the latter as a player and the former in his early days but what a dreary duo! Can they not find new, innovative or interesting people to discuss things. I did not mind the commentators for the game though and at least Jon Champion and Ally McCoist were not condescending and were ok and light hearted.



As an aside, interesting to see the 5 subs thing has been voted out again. 10 teams for and 10 against so not all the managers like Klopp said! I do wonder if there is such a split and 10 want 3 and 10 want 5 then maybe they should just meet in the middle and have 4!
 

dc_blade

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Odd one to dissect as I came away feeling much better.

Me too. Some big problems still but along with Leeds, Liverpool, and WBA tonight is one of the only performances to have been close to acceptable.

As good as Man Utd were going forward they also let us have the ball for spells and we had them rattled at the end. We got the ball down and passed it and--surprise surprise--looked much better as a result. In the end, you have to ask if the crazy decision to bring Jags on plus the horrible error by Ramsdale has cost us a point or more.

I think we also learned that almost any strike partnership is better than Sharp & McBurnie and that Didzy on song is our best player by a distance. Him plus one of Mousset, Burke, or Brewster is the way forward.

You're a little too harsh on Robinson and Ampadu, for me. The former is technically. very very limited but still our best defensive option at LCB until JOC is back or we get someone else in. I thought Ampadu grew into the game and did some good stuff on the ball.
 

Bladesthorpe

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Agree with most of that, surprised you didn't mention the awful throw from Steven's straight to Pogba that led to their 3rd goal. Definitely need to replace Ramsdale and give one of the others a chance now.
 

Champagneblade

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United – It was better and we definitely showed lots of better things. We did well for 20-25 mins and scored and if Fleck scores the second then maybe it might be different. I felt we were really good to start, got a good goal and pressed and harried and played some good stuff. We looked much more like us of old ad I also thought we got in their faces but looked dangerous too. Really pleased with the opening to the game and it was was good on and off the ball but then as soon as they scored you felt that was it. It was like they turned on a switch and boom we were in trouble a bit like the games last year when they did that in both fixtures.



They then kept coming at us in waves and you worried they might score every time they attacked. Not sure the Jags sub was right. Bash in midfield fair enough but Jags struggled badly v Man Utd twice last year. I think maybe Ampadu with his pace or even Osborn with his energy in midfield. The whole back line down the middle and Jagielka especially struggled for the middle part of the game from minute 20 to 80 where they had several chances. It was just a routine ball through and the pace/movement was too much for all the defenders. I am not sure Ampadu protected them much either and it was too easy. They were too quick, sharp and skilled. Individual skill at times picked us off and they were in with a counter. Still for all that the goals we let in were poor. A straight ball with no pressure and Jags neither coming or going. Same on the second and Egan getting caught and the keeper dithering. Then the third they just broke and we did not tackle or stop the break. Ramsdale also was really poor.



I did worry they might score every time they attacked for periods of the game as we looked so susceptible to runners and gaps opened up everywhere but we hung in the game for spells but the third killed it. After this it became a bit like the other games. We made changes but it was all a bit sorry in terms of our body language and they just strolled it and you felt it was just a case of if we could keep it down but then after a few chances for them we suddenly got a late lifeline and they then panicked a bit and we had another chance. It was the sort of game with a crowd, you’d wager we would have got another at the Kop end. We finished the game strongly which we have not done all season really and on another day could have nicked, albeit undeserved a point.



Odd one to dissect as I came away feeling much better. Sure we lost and were second best for long spells. Records are being set and we are now almost certainly going down even with half the season to go but I saw some of the old United back. A bit of swagger and freedom. Now the season is pretty much done for we can play with more freedom I feel but maybe each loss and the players will tighten up more but now we need to just have a go at teams and we did that for some of tonight. I though early part of the 2nd half we did not offer much and gave it away and sat off but at least we did look a threat tonight and attacking wise scored two goals. Still, we did not have control of the football anywhere near enough and the defence is so easy to get through. I also have concerns about the protection in front and behind (Ampadu or Norwood and the keeper) with non of the personnel doing enough at the moment with 5/10’s at best being served up. Attacking wise there were chinks today but we cannot be giving 3 goals away every week. We somehow need to tighten up. Teams are scoring such soft goals against us. Yes, Man Utd are good but not sure they had to work that hard to score tonight.



Another defeat but at least we saw some positives and I for one enjoyed a game of football tonight for spells and I have not said that for a long time.



Ratings:



Ramsdale 5/10 – I have been defending him a lot but his confidence must be rock bottom – much like the team. However, he is making mistakes most weeks and goals are going in routinely. Today he was ok early on and came out quickly once but the first goal flashed past him and then he was slow on the second – like the Chelsea goal he just needs to be quicker and get there. He made one good save but the third is embarrassing. It goes straight through him. He made a few standard saves but he worries me. I would not be averse to taking him out now. Whether it be Verrips or Foderingham – it does not matter – they deserve a chance – I know they are probably worse but it just might be the break Ramsdale needs long term. At the moment he looks beleaguered. I hope he will come again but after two seasons of goals flying in weekly he needs taking out of the firing line. Not sure he has been as bad as some have made out but he has not had a good start to his Blades career and at the moment looks a lot of money for what he is, a keeper that does not command and shots go into his net all too often when he makes himself very small.



Baldock 7/10 – Showed same level of commitment he always does with usual squaring up to players and tenacious tackling but felt he struggled defensively today and they got into gaps and he was not tight enough. We did not see much of him attacking wise after the first spell. Kept plugging away but he was faced with better players who picked him and others off with movement/one twos. He did finish the game with some attacking verve and some good runs.



Stevens 6/10 – Thought he was better than he has been and started the game well being well forward and got into better areas. He still takes too long to do things and dithers and lacks the quickness of mind he showed last season. Defensively, he was ok but they did find gaps too all over the back line.



Basham 6.5/10 – Started in defence, went too midfield and then ended up back in defence. A few good moments to start the game defensively and then showed one great run to lead to the Fleck chance after great skill. He had an ok first half and put himself about but felt as they got control they managed to pass round him easily with quicker and more nimble players and he was a bit anonymous until the changes when we saw more of him attacking wise, from when he went back to defence and his ball led to the corner for the goal.



Robinson 5.5/10 – So we go back to him after trying multiple others here. He does not totally fill me with confidence as is quite slow and lacks mobility. Felt all three central defenders really struggled with the pace and movement – they are top players but felt physically they lost out too much to slighter players. He was given chance to take his long throws but did not really land it when he had the opportunity.



Egan 5.5/10 – Thought it was a struggle but kept plugging away but his lack of pace showed up badly again and the 2nd he loses his man. He always seems at full stretch where as last season he was more composed. He did not seem to have hold of the line and a few came out or one came out and the other stayed back. They broke through us time after time sometimes running at us, others with a straight ball. With better finishing and a kinder offside flag (few were tight) they may have had even more chances on goal. I thought the game was decided with their front three and to some extent midfield behind just being much better quality and athletes than our lads. I am not sure I see loads of clubs queing up for him as he lacks the pace and athleticism top clubs look for and in a two I think he would struggle more at this level.



Ampadu 5.5/10 – Not convinced me at all yet. Does some good bits but a lot of nothingness. He won one early tackle and broke things up but then after that not sure I saw him as he was chasing Fernandes, Pogba etc all over the field and could only muster token fouls at times. He did not really protect the defence at all. Quite undisciplined too as I watched him go well away from the areas where he needed to shield the defence and he lacks discipline to do that role. Still not sure what he is or whether he will make a top player. I see a decent athlete with pace and ok on the ball but nothing special in anything really. Technically I have been surprised how ordinary he is. I am not sure him, Berge or Norwood or the answer here. We need a Hoiberg destroyer type or someone who can properly sit and break up/enforce. He is too lightweight I feel and lacks quality on the ball. I would play him left centre back and leave him there for a spell.



Fleck 6/10 – More like his old self but still only average. Like Stevens – not fantastic- but improved and he was at least busy and involved. Some mixed set plays but a few decent ones too. Had a few shots on goal that were not great but at least got into areas we had seen before. I do think he panics when in good positions this year which is odd as he did so well in such areas last season. The one he missed was well off target and not even close. He did definitely show some signs of life today. Still was far inferior to Pogba, Fernandes etc but he looked more up for it and did some decent things amongst chasing shadows for long spells too!



Berge NA – Only had a few touches and then pulled up. You expect he will be out for 2-3 weeks at least now and we can see if we are better without him in the team.



Burke 7/10 – He did ok and certainly started the game well. He made the goal with great closing down and determination and then involved in the Fleck chance and a few other moments. He was always energetic and never gave the defenders a minute. I will say he fades badly and after the break not sure he pressed much at all and you could see why he went off. Always seems mad when he comes off but he has to do it for longer than 20 -25 minutes in games and sustain the level of intensity for longer if he wants to play longer.



McGoldrick 7.5/10 – Our best player and our man of the match. He was not outstanding but showed flashes and the class of old we saw from him in seasons past. He glided around and got into those pockets and was instrumental in things we did early on. He showed his class on the ball and although at times gave it away in bad areas, he did make things happen and scored two goals – the first being in the right area and the second a bit lucky. He had a few other chances and I felt even when he came deep he got on the ball and looked like he wanted to make things happen.





Subs –



Jagieika 3/10 – Had a bit of a nightmare and easily our worst player. He errored early and they nearly got in, then messed up on the goal and then made another mistake when Egan had to bail him out. Got skinned for pace and skill (nutmeg) and just looked like a player that for this level sadly is done with his legs and mind having gone against better athletes and players. Felt sorry for him as looking at him think he knew. I love the guy and he has been a fantastic servant for us but he should have been allowed to retire or coach if he wanted to, last summer but why we a) gave him a new contract and b) are playing him against world class strikers – only Wilder can answer that. To have for large parts of the game him and Jack Robinson versus Martial, Greenwood and Rashford is a total mismatch for pace and ability.



Brewster – Looked lively in the brief spell he came on. Won a free kick and hit it against the wall and then set up Mousset for the late chance. Needs more game time now I think as we need to see him develop.



Mousset – Not as involved as above and first chance he had it, he lost it but did have a few positive moments going forward too and nearly got a late leveller of course.





Manager Wilder 6/10 – Gets a higher mark for the level of commitment shown from the start and the overall performance which deserved nothing but was much better in the grand scheme of things. We saw some life from this bedraggled group and for 20 minutes I though this is us! Then they scored and for 2/3’s of the game we were second best and chasing better players but we did not cave in and had a late go. There was definitely more commitment and we played better football when we had it. We are still a soft touch through the middle with awful goals conceded and they looked like scoring more. We in contract have to work so hard to get our chances but then they have faster and better technical players. Loses marks for the sub. I felt it was the wrong move and gave these better and quicker strikers the edge. Jags was never going to be able to keep up – the fact he took him off but too late summed it up. No issues with the subs late on to give us a spark and they did up top. His scattergun approach to teams continues with players coming in and out of the squad regularly. He is still under a lot of pressure and the run of defeats, the worst start ever to a top division in history and seeing Bilic go, means he will know he is running out of time to get a result of any sort before the questions (at least not from us maybe as Blades fans) but maybe internally in the boardroom and externally, media wise, will increase.





Man Utd – Been very up and down this season and skirted around the mid table either just above or just below with some poor results mixed with a few decent ones. They seem to lack leadership on and off the pitch and even though there is talent there of course but not sure they are anywhere nearer to competing for the title than a few years ago despite spending a lot of money over the past few seasons. Solsjkaer I do not believe will be here long term and may even be gone before the end of the season. They made a big thing of making the Champions League and withing a few months they are out of that already quite meekly.



Pogba wants out, Maguire has been off form for long periods of the season and even the strikers have been patchy. They have signed a few but non are regulars. They rely a lot on Fernandez who is a fantastic player and Rashford to create things and score goals. Had so many penalties to help their cause. They have some fantastic attacking players. Rashford is a joy to watch and what a super human being too.



I think they are quite boring to watch despite this although they are better away no doubt. They had all their quick attackers in and knew this would cause problems for us. They even gave Henderson a game. It was like a kids game where you let someone play his former team! Still he did pretty rubbish till the late save. They are a better away side than home side and can counter on teams as the run of wins shows.



Opponent Man of the Match – Pogba and Fernandes showed some class at times with sublime touches and Martial always does well against us but Rashford was superb. He was a threat all game and could have had even more than two. Some great runs, dribbles and pieces of skill. Almost unplayable at times.



Opponent Weak link – Henderson made a good save but made an almighty error too. I thought Lindelof was rubbish throughout and never seemed in control of anything and very clumsy. I used to rate him but not sure at all. They lack pace at the back badly.



Referee/Officials/VAR – Michael Oliver. Easy game to ref. Not sure he got much wrong really. Egan and Jagielka both got booked for crude fouls. Henderson was booked and I am not even sure what that was for? Pogba and Robinson had a pushing match at the end. Nice to see us show some fight, whether it be Wilder having a pop, Robinson above or Baldock earlier. Let’s not go down without a fight.



TV Coverage – Amazon Prime. They seem to have a lot of the same rent-an-annoying pundit/guest as the others and much like the managerial merry go round with the likes of Allardyce, Pulis etc we have Sherwood, Dublin etc popping up on this channel too.



Today they found the impartial Michael Owen and Paul Scholes. Loved the latter as a player and the former in his early days but what a dreary duo! Can they not find new, innovative or interesting people to discuss things. I did not mind the commentators for the game though and at least Jon Champion and Ally McCoist were not condescending and were ok and light hearted.



As an aside, interesting to see the 5 subs thing has been voted out again. 10 teams for and 10 against so not all the managers like Klopp said! I do wonder if there is such a split and 10 want 3 and 10 want 5 then maybe they should just meet in the middle and have 4!
On the subs, if it is only for this season why not let the teams opt for them game by game?

Team A (prefers 5) v Team B (prefers 3) = 3 subs
Team A (prefers 3) v Team B (prefers 3) = 3 subs
Team A (prefers 5) v Team B (prefers 5) = 5 subs

No advantage to a smaller club in one off games but when those in favour play each other they have the option.

You might even get small club v small club games opting for 5 but they simply don't want to give the bigger club a perceived advantage.
 
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Pretty much agree. No more Jags or McBurnie thanks. Fleck was worth 4 at best. Didsy and Burke played well. Ramsdale is as confidence inspring as George Long. Give Verrips a go. UTB
 

blademan31

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Cheers Deadbat. I always look forward to your reports, I use them as final closure before attentions turn to the next game! Keep up the good work.
 

Webding

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Agree with most of that, surprised you didn't mention the awful throw from Steven's straight to Pogba that led to their 3rd goal. Definitely need to replace Ramsdale and give one of the others a chance now.
If it helps, I mentioned it four times in the podcast, including once in the wrong place. Thought we were gearing up for a long throw... but then they gave it Stevens, who gave it them.
 

bakeblade

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United – It was better and we definitely showed lots of better things. We did well for 20-25 mins and scored and if Fleck scores the second then maybe it might be different. I felt we were really good to start, got a good goal and pressed and harried and played some good stuff. We looked much more like us of old ad I also thought we got in their faces but looked dangerous too. Really pleased with the opening to the game and it was was good on and off the ball but then as soon as they scored you felt that was it. It was like they turned on a switch and boom we were in trouble a bit like the games last year when they did that in both fixtures.



They then kept coming at us in waves and you worried they might score every time they attacked. Not sure the Jags sub was right. Bash in midfield fair enough but Jags struggled badly v Man Utd twice last year. I think maybe Ampadu with his pace or even Osborn with his energy in midfield. The whole back line down the middle and Jagielka especially struggled for the middle part of the game from minute 20 to 80 where they had several chances. It was just a routine ball through and the pace/movement was too much for all the defenders. I am not sure Ampadu protected them much either and it was too easy. They were too quick, sharp and skilled. Individual skill at times picked us off and they were in with a counter. Still for all that the goals we let in were poor. A straight ball with no pressure and Jags neither coming or going. Same on the second and Egan getting caught and the keeper dithering. Then the third they just broke and we did not tackle or stop the break. Ramsdale also was really poor.



I did worry they might score every time they attacked for periods of the game as we looked so susceptible to runners and gaps opened up everywhere but we hung in the game for spells but the third killed it. After this it became a bit like the other games. We made changes but it was all a bit sorry in terms of our body language and they just strolled it and you felt it was just a case of if we could keep it down but then after a few chances for them we suddenly got a late lifeline and they then panicked a bit and we had another chance. It was the sort of game with a crowd, you’d wager we would have got another at the Kop end. We finished the game strongly which we have not done all season really and on another day could have nicked, albeit undeserved a point.



Odd one to dissect as I came away feeling much better. Sure we lost and were second best for long spells. Records are being set and we are now almost certainly going down even with half the season to go but I saw some of the old United back. A bit of swagger and freedom. Now the season is pretty much done for we can play with more freedom I feel but maybe each loss and the players will tighten up more but now we need to just have a go at teams and we did that for some of tonight. I though early part of the 2nd half we did not offer much and gave it away and sat off but at least we did look a threat tonight and attacking wise scored two goals. Still, we did not have control of the football anywhere near enough and the defence is so easy to get through. I also have concerns about the protection in front and behind (Ampadu or Norwood and the keeper) with non of the personnel doing enough at the moment with 5/10’s at best being served up. Attacking wise there were chinks today but we cannot be giving 3 goals away every week. We somehow need to tighten up. Teams are scoring such soft goals against us. Yes, Man Utd are good but not sure they had to work that hard to score tonight.



Another defeat but at least we saw some positives and I for one enjoyed a game of football tonight for spells and I have not said that for a long time.



Ratings:



Ramsdale 5/10 – I have been defending him a lot but his confidence must be rock bottom – much like the team. However, he is making mistakes most weeks and goals are going in routinely. Today he was ok early on and came out quickly once but the first goal flashed past him and then he was slow on the second – like the Chelsea goal he just needs to be quicker and get there. He made one good save but the third is embarrassing. It goes straight through him. He made a few standard saves but he worries me. I would not be averse to taking him out now. Whether it be Verrips or Foderingham – it does not matter – they deserve a chance – I know they are probably worse but it just might be the break Ramsdale needs long term. At the moment he looks beleaguered. I hope he will come again but after two seasons of goals flying in weekly he needs taking out of the firing line. Not sure he has been as bad as some have made out but he has not had a good start to his Blades career and at the moment looks a lot of money for what he is, a keeper that does not command and shots go into his net all too often when he makes himself very small.



Baldock 7/10 – Showed same level of commitment he always does with usual squaring up to players and tenacious tackling but felt he struggled defensively today and they got into gaps and he was not tight enough. We did not see much of him attacking wise after the first spell. Kept plugging away but he was faced with better players who picked him and others off with movement/one twos. He did finish the game with some attacking verve and some good runs.



Stevens 6/10 – Thought he was better than he has been and started the game well being well forward and got into better areas. He still takes too long to do things and dithers and lacks the quickness of mind he showed last season. Defensively, he was ok but they did find gaps too all over the back line.



Basham 6.5/10 – Started in defence, went too midfield and then ended up back in defence. A few good moments to start the game defensively and then showed one great run to lead to the Fleck chance after great skill. He had an ok first half and put himself about but felt as they got control they managed to pass round him easily with quicker and more nimble players and he was a bit anonymous until the changes when we saw more of him attacking wise, from when he went back to defence and his ball led to the corner for the goal.



Robinson 5.5/10 – So we go back to him after trying multiple others here. He does not totally fill me with confidence as is quite slow and lacks mobility. Felt all three central defenders really struggled with the pace and movement – they are top players but felt physically they lost out too much to slighter players. He was given chance to take his long throws but did not really land it when he had the opportunity.



Egan 5.5/10 – Thought it was a struggle but kept plugging away but his lack of pace showed up badly again and the 2nd he loses his man. He always seems at full stretch where as last season he was more composed. He did not seem to have hold of the line and a few came out or one came out and the other stayed back. They broke through us time after time sometimes running at us, others with a straight ball. With better finishing and a kinder offside flag (few were tight) they may have had even more chances on goal. I thought the game was decided with their front three and to some extent midfield behind just being much better quality and athletes than our lads. I am not sure I see loads of clubs queing up for him as he lacks the pace and athleticism top clubs look for and in a two I think he would struggle more at this level.



Ampadu 5.5/10 – Not convinced me at all yet. Does some good bits but a lot of nothingness. He won one early tackle and broke things up but then after that not sure I saw him as he was chasing Fernandes, Pogba etc all over the field and could only muster token fouls at times. He did not really protect the defence at all. Quite undisciplined too as I watched him go well away from the areas where he needed to shield the defence and he lacks discipline to do that role. Still not sure what he is or whether he will make a top player. I see a decent athlete with pace and ok on the ball but nothing special in anything really. Technically I have been surprised how ordinary he is. I am not sure him, Berge or Norwood or the answer here. We need a Hoiberg destroyer type or someone who can properly sit and break up/enforce. He is too lightweight I feel and lacks quality on the ball. I would play him left centre back and leave him there for a spell.



Fleck 6/10 – More like his old self but still only average. Like Stevens – not fantastic- but improved and he was at least busy and involved. Some mixed set plays but a few decent ones too. Had a few shots on goal that were not great but at least got into areas we had seen before. I do think he panics when in good positions this year which is odd as he did so well in such areas last season. The one he missed was well off target and not even close. He did definitely show some signs of life today. Still was far inferior to Pogba, Fernandes etc but he looked more up for it and did some decent things amongst chasing shadows for long spells too!



Berge NA – Only had a few touches and then pulled up. You expect he will be out for 2-3 weeks at least now and we can see if we are better without him in the team.



Burke 7/10 – He did ok and certainly started the game well. He made the goal with great closing down and determination and then involved in the Fleck chance and a few other moments. He was always energetic and never gave the defenders a minute. I will say he fades badly and after the break not sure he pressed much at all and you could see why he went off. Always seems mad when he comes off but he has to do it for longer than 20 -25 minutes in games and sustain the level of intensity for longer if he wants to play longer.



McGoldrick 7.5/10 – Our best player and our man of the match. He was not outstanding but showed flashes and the class of old we saw from him in seasons past. He glided around and got into those pockets and was instrumental in things we did early on. He showed his class on the ball and although at times gave it away in bad areas, he did make things happen and scored two goals – the first being in the right area and the second a bit lucky. He had a few other chances and I felt even when he came deep he got on the ball and looked like he wanted to make things happen.





Subs –



Jagieika 3/10 – Had a bit of a nightmare and easily our worst player. He errored early and they nearly got in, then messed up on the goal and then made another mistake when Egan had to bail him out. Got skinned for pace and skill (nutmeg) and just looked like a player that for this level sadly is done with his legs and mind having gone against better athletes and players. Felt sorry for him as looking at him think he knew. I love the guy and he has been a fantastic servant for us but he should have been allowed to retire or coach if he wanted to, last summer but why we a) gave him a new contract and b) are playing him against world class strikers – only Wilder can answer that. To have for large parts of the game him and Jack Robinson versus Martial, Greenwood and Rashford is a total mismatch for pace and ability.



Brewster – Looked lively in the brief spell he came on. Won a free kick and hit it against the wall and then set up Mousset for the late chance. Needs more game time now I think as we need to see him develop.



Mousset – Not as involved as above and first chance he had it, he lost it but did have a few positive moments going forward too and nearly got a late leveller of course.





Manager Wilder 6/10 – Gets a higher mark for the level of commitment shown from the start and the overall performance which deserved nothing but was much better in the grand scheme of things. We saw some life from this bedraggled group and for 20 minutes I though this is us! Then they scored and for 2/3’s of the game we were second best and chasing better players but we did not cave in and had a late go. There was definitely more commitment and we played better football when we had it. We are still a soft touch through the middle with awful goals conceded and they looked like scoring more. We in contract have to work so hard to get our chances but then they have faster and better technical players. Loses marks for the sub. I felt it was the wrong move and gave these better and quicker strikers the edge. Jags was never going to be able to keep up – the fact he took him off but too late summed it up. No issues with the subs late on to give us a spark and they did up top. His scattergun approach to teams continues with players coming in and out of the squad regularly. He is still under a lot of pressure and the run of defeats, the worst start ever to a top division in history and seeing Bilic go, means he will know he is running out of time to get a result of any sort before the questions (at least not from us maybe as Blades fans) but maybe internally in the boardroom and externally, media wise, will increase.





Man Utd – Been very up and down this season and skirted around the mid table either just above or just below with some poor results mixed with a few decent ones. They seem to lack leadership on and off the pitch and even though there is talent there of course but not sure they are anywhere nearer to competing for the title than a few years ago despite spending a lot of money over the past few seasons. Solsjkaer I do not believe will be here long term and may even be gone before the end of the season. They made a big thing of making the Champions League and withing a few months they are out of that already quite meekly.



Pogba wants out, Maguire has been off form for long periods of the season and even the strikers have been patchy. They have signed a few but non are regulars. They rely a lot on Fernandez who is a fantastic player and Rashford to create things and score goals. Had so many penalties to help their cause. They have some fantastic attacking players. Rashford is a joy to watch and what a super human being too.



I think they are quite boring to watch despite this although they are better away no doubt. They had all their quick attackers in and knew this would cause problems for us. They even gave Henderson a game. It was like a kids game where you let someone play his former team! Still he did pretty rubbish till the late save. They are a better away side than home side and can counter on teams as the run of wins shows.



Opponent Man of the Match – Pogba and Fernandes showed some class at times with sublime touches and Martial always does well against us but Rashford was superb. He was a threat all game and could have had even more than two. Some great runs, dribbles and pieces of skill. Almost unplayable at times.



Opponent Weak link – Henderson made a good save but made an almighty error too. I thought Lindelof was rubbish throughout and never seemed in control of anything and very clumsy. I used to rate him but not sure at all. They lack pace at the back badly.



Referee/Officials/VAR – Michael Oliver. Easy game to ref. Not sure he got much wrong really. Egan and Jagielka both got booked for crude fouls. Henderson was booked and I am not even sure what that was for? Pogba and Robinson had a pushing match at the end. Nice to see us show some fight, whether it be Wilder having a pop, Robinson above or Baldock earlier. Let’s not go down without a fight.



TV Coverage – Amazon Prime. They seem to have a lot of the same rent-an-annoying pundit/guest as the others and much like the managerial merry go round with the likes of Allardyce, Pulis etc we have Sherwood, Dublin etc popping up on this channel too.



Today they found the impartial Michael Owen and Paul Scholes. Loved the latter as a player and the former in his early days but what a dreary duo! Can they not find new, innovative or interesting people to discuss things. I did not mind the commentators for the game though and at least Jon Champion and Ally McCoist were not condescending and were ok and light hearted.



As an aside, interesting to see the 5 subs thing has been voted out again. 10 teams for and 10 against so not all the managers like Klopp said! I do wonder if there is such a split and 10 want 3 and 10 want 5 then maybe they should just meet in the middle and have 4!
Ironically it would have helped us having more players on the bench, as presumably Lunny would have been there to bring on for Berge. Saying that if he was available, he should have been on the bench rather than Sharp. We were never going to bring on moose, Billy and Brewster.
 

Deaneandagana

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Thought you were generous with the mark for Ramsdale, his positional sense & overall ability to inspire defensive confidence is sadly lacking.

I suspect we may have seen the last of Berge, wouldn’t be surprised to see him leave in the JTW to finance other signings.
 

Bladesthorpe

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If it helps, I mentioned it four times in the podcast, including once in the wrong place. Thought we were gearing up for a long throw... but then they gave it Stevens, who gave it them.
Sorry mate didn't listen to the podcast.
 

Espania blade

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Good stuff DB.

Don't agree with everything you wrote this week, here goes

Didzy, MOM yes, but Baldock is a joy to watch, especially when he squares up to Pogba, I think he ran Didzy close for MOM tonight

Fleck is still no where near his best, personally i think he looks like he needs a new challenge, not sure who would take him.

Teams just seam to run through our midfield putting pressure on the defence, not sure who we have that could improve that really
so i guess we will soldier on.

Robinson is the best at LCB than anybody else we have tried, chopping and changing doesn't help with players trying to understand each others game.

Ramsdale! This is where i disagree with most on here, yes he should have saved their third, but Henderson made a howler at the other end and yet people think he is the "bees knees" goalkeepers always make mistakes and yes he needs to improve but he is still young and learning his craft, he will prove to be a good signing, and with a nightmare of a defence in front of him, we need to get of his back and find another whipping boy, one preferably playing for the opposition!!

Brewster and Moussett looked as though they had been working together on each others play and movement, we need to see more of them.

What was CW thinking, bringing on Jagielka!! a bad decision to bring on arguably the slowest player on our books against some of the fastest attacking players in the division.

Before i forget, Bash was a revelation in midfield with his little flicks and tricks, what a great all round player, pity he is the wrong side of thirty.

Improved performance but we were gifted the first goal thanks to Hendo' but still didn't look as though they could take a game by the scruff of the neck. having said that let's not forget that we were playing a team with fast creative players, way above what we could afford, we made a fist of it but i think the Brighton game will tell us more about if we have actually improved enough to make a last ditch effort to stay up - it's not over yet!!

UTB
 

Revolution

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Just listening to the pod. Charge of the Light Brigade written by one of the First World War Poets?

hang your heads in shame!

mind you, you had a better night than Ramsdale and Wilder, who between them lost us the game.
 

Webding

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Just listening to the pod. Charge of the Light Brigade written by one of the First World War Poets?

hang your heads in shame!

mind you, you had a better night than Ramsdale and Wilder, who between them lost us the game.
I know, awful. I was ridiculously tired last night. I knew it wasn’t either of the two he mentioned for some basic reason, but I could barely remember the match, let alone spot historical inaccuracies with war poetry timeframes.
 

I should coco

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From Pedant's Corner;

"Jags errored"

I thought you were a teacher. If so, I've no idea why Boris thinks the kids are better off in school.
 

Bergen Blade

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2nd half formations and stats vs Man Utd:

45-63 mins: 3-5-2

Possession 41-58
Pass success 72-87
Shots 0-4

Then Jags went off for Mousset who went up front with Burke. McGoldrick dropped to number 10.

63-78 mins: 3-4-1-2

Possession 34-66
Pass success 74-89
Shots 1-5

In the 73rd minute Brewster came on for Burke, but we didn't change the formation immediately. Man Utd put on Mata for Greenwood in the 74th minute.

Following Mata's shot in the 78th minute, we pushed Basham into midfield again and changed to a 4-1-2-1-2 diamond.

Man Utd took off Fernandes in the 80th minute.

79-94 minutes: 4-1-2-1-2 diamond

Possession 61-39
Pass success 86-72
Shots 4-0



These are facts.

Some opinions/thoughts:

It didn't do much for us to change to a 3-4-1-2. We dominated after changing to a midfield diamond. But this also coincided with Man Utd taking Fernandes off. From around the hour I agree with Deadbat that they looked to go into energy save mode, although they continued to dominate.


I see a lot of people are wanting us to start Brewster and Mousset with McGoldrick. I don't know if that will work well as a starting selection for us. It might, but I think we must be careful if thinking those ten minutes proves that this combination will be optimal for us. It improved things against an opposition that was leading 3-1 and (IMO) starting to think about their next fixture. Wilder will also have to take our defensive setup into consideration. Fans often ignore that bit.
 

Webding

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I think two up top with someone (Didzy ideally) in the hole should be our Plan B. Thursday proved there’s no reason that a slightly amended Plan A can’t work, with the two up top ideally being McGoldrick deep and a willing runner in front of him.
 

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