Fulham 1 United 0 - match report and pod

All advertisments are hidden for logged in members, why not log in/register?

Deadbat

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2009
Messages
4,588
Reaction score
19,468






----



If it was not already, then surely Sheffield United’s impending relegation from the Premier League was all but confirmed after a second loss in a week in the capital. Defeat at Craven Cottage to fellow strugglers, Fulham, surely is the death knell in any faint hopes the Blades had of an unlikely survival. With West Brom picking up another unlikely point with 10 men at Burnley, United are well and truly adrift now and surely now the only question is if they can avoid finishing rock bottom? Even manager Chris Wilder has admitted that their race is now done. United also lost another centre back in another injury blow as Chris Basham’s run of 63 games started in the Premier League is now set to come to an end as he pulled his hamstring early in the second half.



United have now not won in the league at Craven Cottage since 1985 and indeed this was the only victory in over 50 years by the river despite a cup win in more recent times. United have not won a weekend game all season in the league and now have only won twice in London in nearly 40 years.



Tonight, Ademola Lookman’s strike after another poor defensive moment was the difference. United arguably could have had a late penalty but in truth it was a pitiful attacking performance from the visitors and they did not so enough to get anything from a wretched game of football. The home side were not great but showed enough to win the game and at least tried to attack their opponents and showed some intent from the off.



United’s squad was injury hit with with long term absentees O’Connell and Berge joined by Egan (broken toe) but there were a number of other changes too. There was a surprise return for John Fleck who had thought to be out for a period longer. Wilder brought back veteran Phil Jagielka into the side and Kean Bryan also started. George Baldock returned in place of the unfortunate Jayden Bogle. Norwood was dropped and Wilder opted to start with Basham in midfield with Lundstram and Fleck. Sharp and Oli McBurnie started up top with no place either for David McGoldrick. Zak Brunt was on the bench. Lys Mousset was once again not included with Wilder pencilling him in for a match behind closed doors early next week in an attempt to build his fitness up.



Fulham were without key men too with Mitrovic (COVID-19) and Cairney (injury) both missing. Loanee Maja began up top supported by Lookman and Cavaleiro. One-time United target Antonee Robinson started at left back. Zambo Anguissa and Loftus Cheek began in midfield alongside Harrison Reed.





The game started with the Blades wearing their green third strip but the newly formed defence sitting very deep and conceded an early corner through Lundstram. Basham won a free kick at the other end but Lundstram wasted this knocking it straight into the keeper’s hands. Aina then skinned Fleck and was away and Fulham had numbers but Loftus Cheek chose to pass and the ball was blocked out for a corner. Ramsdale had to flick over doing his best Billy Casper impersonation as he swung on the bar to help it over. A third corner was won but eventually cleared.



Stevens hopeful ball saw Fulham concede an unnecessary corner from Aina but the ball over would not sit down for Sharp and was cleared. Fulham were looking the more composed in the middle of the field and on a few occasions, they ran away from Blades players and were controlling possession. They had not created anything until Anguissa fired a long way wide but soon after they had the first shot on target as Lookman’s effort was held by Ramsdale.



Loftus Cheek then fired over as Fulham looked the more likely side to take the lead albeit in a poor game of few clear-cut chances. Ampadu did will to break up another attack but Sharp then gave it away under no pressure at all. This theme continued with Lundstram twice doing the same.



Wilder saw United not have any real foothold in the game and opted to change it on 20 minutes as Basham went back into defence and Ampadu into midfield. This change did not really change proceedings and McBurnie taking a whack on the head was one of the only real moments of note. Fortunately, the Blades did not need to use the new concussion protocol to make a change and he was ok to carry on.



Loftus Cheek was upended as he ran away from two Blades players but Bryan and Stevens held the home side up. Lundstram’s lazy play carried on after this foul when he tossed away possession and then Bryan and Jagielka did the same. Basham did well to clear before Cavaleiro came down the right and had a cross shot saved by Ramsdale. The same man then got further into United territory but blasted over with a decent chance.



United had barely had an attack and when they won a free kick, Fleck just floated it aimlessly behind. Fulham came again but even though they had dominated possession and at least tried to attack, they had not really looked like scoring either. United could not keep the ball though or get up the pitch with the front two not holding it and the rest of the team sloppy in everything they did. The Blades had barely kept the ball for more than two passes all game.



Reed’s shot was at Ramsdale as Fleck did not close down his opponent before the United keeper had to help over another cross as Aina’s ball in got a deflection. Just before Anguissa was given a yellow card for going through McBurnie in a clumsy challenge. The half ended with United not having one touch in the Fulham box which summed up the lack of adventure.



The second half began with Cavaleiro having another effort but it was weak and easy for Ramsdale as the game carried on in the same way as the first half ended. Incredibly another injury came when Basham pulled up and it seemed to be a hamstring pull. United had now lost all three centre backs to injury and most out for the imminent future. Norwood came on for Basham and Ampadu had to go back to the defensive area again in another midfield reshuffle.



Norwood’s first act was to hit a free kick into his first man in a rare chance but at the other end Loftus Cheek beat Jagielka and shot past Ramsdale but Baldock cleared off the line. This was the best chance of the game so far. Anguissa then blazed over as Fulham continued to dominate the game.



A rare moment of quality saw Norwood put a great cross in but Sharp poked over as the flag went up. It was a decent chance and the replays showed it would have been tight if he had scored. At least United had an attack and got the ball into the box.



The game ticked over the hour mark but soon after Fulham took the lead. Anderson hit the long all over the top and LOOKMAN was able to get onto it and he brushed off the challenge of Ampadu too easily. The ball ricocheted off the United defender but he had to do better and as the ball dropped the Fulham man smashed it through Ramsdale from close range and into the net.



United tried to respond and finally McBurnie and Sharp linked and the latter fed Stevens but his shot was weak and too close to Areola who saved with his legs. United won a corner soon after and the ball to the back post was headed down into the ground Bryan but as it bounced up Fulham cleared at the far post.



This mini spell at least saw some intent from United but more give aways from Lundstram and then Baldock saw Aina have a shot tipped over from Ramsdale. Anguissa then screwed badly wide before McGoldrick came on for Lundstram.



With 15 minutes to go Stevens played Sharp in but his shot was saved and the offside flag was up anyway for a clearer award this time. Baldock then chopped down Lookman and was booked for the high challenge that left the winger in some distress.



Bogle was then introduced for Jagileka as United went to 4 at the back and the newcomer operating on the right-hand side of midfield but Fulham nearly got in as McGoldrick had to get his toe in to stop Reed inside the box.



The game was entering the final few minutes and United had a chance as the ball dropped and Bogle and Areola converged on it. It seemed the United player got a touch but maybe the keeper did also as both players clattered into each other. VAR were happy it was more a coming together although replays seemed to suggest the Blades man may have got the touch first before he was smashed; albeit he went into the keeper too.



Both players needed a fair bit of treatment leading to 7 minutes of stoppage time but Lemina had the best chance as his shot was blocked from Bryan with the Blades trying to commit men forward. A final opportunity saw another poor Stevens cross into the man and the final whistle went signalling new life for Fulham in the battle to stay up but almost consigning United to certain relegation.









United – A depressing watch once again and another dreadful performance and result. Once again, another stupid and soft goal. Another tepid and timid approach too where we barely had an attack for an hour and did not even get in the opposition box until after they scored really (maybe the Sharp chance apart but technically was offside). We had 5 minutes of a 90-minute game (with the Stevens chance, Sharp another offside – this time legit and the Bryan header). That was it. The first half we saw on top of Ramsdale and looked terrified to even have an attack, keep the ball, make 2 or 3 passes. We just got it and kicked it away and the few times we had it in the middle of the field we lost it with Lundstram, Fleck and Basham terrible on the ball and off it chasing better technical players who were quicker and more athletic. Fulham were quite ordinary but still much better and more likely to score. They did not have lots of chances but they had many more than us and Ramsdale was at least employed. Their lad may as well have been sat on a boat on the Thames first half dangling his rod over (not a euphemism) night fishing. It was not even like we played on the break. We did not have a touch in their box. We did not even break. We just sat in and tried to play for a 0-0. It was pathetic.



I thought second half we may have a go but other than the one Norwood ball, nothing really happened and we had a few let offs with Ramsdale saves and the Baldock clearance off the line. It was inevitable they would get a chance as we defended so deep and did not even try to break out and have passes of play or get up the field. The front two were poor but had little to no service and we may as well have had no strikers and got some more bodies in midfield (if we had any). The goal was another soft one and bad mistake and then we had a bit of a go and Stevens has to do better – chance was as good as Lookman’s and a few other moments but they had as many chances and not sure we really pinned them back. Yes, the penalty in my opinion could and should have been given but that is clutching as we really deserved nothing. As I say we were playing Fulham. We had injuries but these were to defenders – other than Berge – we had every other midfielder/forward available but did not even try or look really like creating much at all. We had no belied we could score a goal or at least make a contest of it. If I was a neutral watching that I would have said these (us) are useless and deserve to go down. Many may say due to the lack of confidence and way we have lost games we had to play like that but I do not agree. We did not play like that at Man Utd or even Liverpool but for much of the season home and away we have played like that. West Ham last week, Palace, Burnley, Southampton I could go on? The formation is not seeing us get up the pitch or have enough of the ball and giving us chances. He cannot bring any other players in or change personnel much so surely he had to change the things he can do but he carries on stubbornly for some bizarre reason. His team selection was just bizarre. McGoldrick and Bogle been our best two players and best attackers since Xmas so he drops them both but keeps the woefully performing Stevens and Lundstram in the side and bring back McBurnie?



I love Wilder but at the moment I am not sure the teams he picks, the approach, the instructions he is giving the players or the confidence/belief they have in getting results is going to get us more than a defeat every week. I think too much will be once again made of the thin margins (you can say the Lookman v Stevens chance as an example or the penalty) but I am looking at how we played over the course of the game and how little football, skill, excitement or anything we showed. It was depressing to watch. I am noy buying the small margins and the ‘if we don’t make the mistake we draw’. We needed to win the game! We had to win! If Fulham do not score there, they would have scored from another chance as they were so deep into our half and penning us back in possession if not tons of chances. We always make a mistake. Every bloody week and we cannot score or look like scoring.



Sorry to be so frank and as Wilder has now admitted. We are down. Our own banging his badge manager has admitted we are gone. So effectively we have nothing left to play for apart from pride but we are not even showing that. I thought we might have a bit of a go a few weeks ago but now seem as bad as ever.



We picked up another injury and yes this is unfortunate to lose three centre backs but even long before this we had not even tried to win the game. Now we may aswell get Bash, Egan and O’Connell fit for next season. Do not risk Fleck if any issues – he did not look right either. I would bin Lundstram off now. No point playing him if he is not going to be here. We may as well play a few kids now. Some may say it could harm them and we may get some drubbings but as long as we only play off one and rotate them then I would rather see some enthusiasm and legs. We look dead on our feet. I also would rather us go and lose say 6 or 7-2 now rather than this lame 1 or 2-0 defeats where we are in the game but we are not. It is boring and depressing to watch us play and we have gone from being one of the most exciting Blades sides in my life (if not the most exciting) to one of the dullest and predictable.



We still have 13 games left. THIRTEEN. It is going to be painful viewing folks! We now have to watch Bryan, Jags and Ampadu against Mane, Sane and Firminho next week and a fired up Liverpool who have lost 4 straight league games and will be like a wounded animal. Throw in Klopp who will want to humiliate Wilder too! Cannot wait. This season cannot end quick enough.



Sorry to be so negative but struggling to say anything else but be honest. All those saying we are not the worst team in the league and not close to one of the worst teams in Premier League history need to accept we are both of those things. The table, results and performances tell us the facts sadly.
 

Deadbat

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2009
Messages
4,588
Reaction score
19,468
Ratings:



Ramsdale 6.5/10 – Fine really and one of the few who comes out with any credit again. Sure some will pick the bones out of the goal but I am not blaming him. No saves that were outstanding but carried on his form of being more competent. He helped a few awkward crosses over and saved a few regulation ones. The defence was so deep it put pressure on him I felt. Second half again made a few routine saves and a few decent ones but ones you would expect. The goal it was point blank range. It is hard as some will say it went through him but as a keeper myself, I know they are hard as you either move your feet and get a foot to it or it goes in. Sometimes they are harder than ones further to your side. With the power I am not sure I can blame him. Another game he was left badly exposed again and too much to do.



Baldock 4.5/10 – Brought back in for Bogle which I was surprised about. Looked a bit rusty and a few times his touch got away from him or was not tight enough. Sloppy with the passes and did not get forward. When he did one bad cross. Second half he offered little again attacking wise and defensively he was again not close enough. He did make the good clearance off the line which was the best thing he did all night. A few odd touches such as the weird back flick and then he scythed down Lookman. Could have been across to stop him being one on one with Ampadu – not sure but it did seem off him being just ran at with no cover? He has had a stop start season form and injury wise since beginning one of our better players and not even sure he is first choice anymore. I’d probably play him and Bogle somehow – one of them can do a better job in midfield than the current incumbents.



Stevens 4/10 – He has been in poor form but he did better in the sense there were no glaring errors. Not sure he was tight enough to his man again and just felt he was not sure with his tackling/pressing or his ball play. When he had it, he just tossed it forward aimlessly. He at least stood up to the winger a few times and stopped clear chances but they did have some joy down his side. He then had the really good chance but it was a bad finish and not close to scoring. After this they got in a few times down this side between him and Bryan where we could have cleared it but dithered. Once he came inside nicely and came forward and just booted it to the centre half under no pressure. At the end had a crossing opportunity and hit the first man.



Basham 5/10 – Started in midfield and looked all over the place as they ran through us and he was losing the ball when he had it or it was bouncing off him. He maybe can give us energy there but he lacks quality and not sure he can affect games at the higher level like maybe he did in the league below. He was put back to defence and looked better with a few headers away. Then he seemed to pull his hamstring meaning we have lost the whole central defence. The goal ironically came down this side where Ampadu came across to fill in.



Bryan 6/10 – Did alright with some bits of defending but a few times he also left his man too much space or took a poor touch. Did not get forward really at all. Defensively though he might have been the best of the three in terms of no massive mistakes on the ball or clear marking errors. Had the headed chance which he headed down which I thought was right and maybe a bit unlucky but then maybe he should go for goal – if it bounced a bit higher Jags might score or bounces a bit lower and another player gets on it? He will now have to play a fair bit with the injuries. I am not ashamed to say he had not done as badly as I thought he would but he is still a long way off Premier League level.



Jagielka 5.5/10 – Steady enough first half defensively with a few blocks/tackles even though his passing and distribution was really poor often lumping it or giving it away. He did make a few blocks but I felt they just ran through us too easily. Loftus Cheek and then Cavaleiro came through him. The chance Baldock cleared off the line was an example as the players just went through him. He tries hard but due to his lack of pace we have to sit so deep as we did all game today. The defence was almost on top of Ramsdale.



Lundstram 1.5/10 – Thought he was absolutely woeful. Gave a corner away and then just kept giving it away constantly. Looked sluggish as he ran back giving away silly fouls and he found a white shirt more than a green one. He looked so far off the pace and carried on from last week. He just looked disinterested for long spells and did not even want to run back and tackle/chase/harry. On the ball he continued to just give it away often under no pressure. Amazed he lasted as long as he did really.



Ampadu 5/10 – Thought he was our best player first half in that he started more determined to come onto the ball and also was able to use it better than most. He had a few good runs forward and showed for it more than the rest. He then ended up in midfield and it was hard for him to see the ball as much. He did not really get on it and they ran off us in this area and not sure it necessarily improved things – we did not get any worse, it just carried on the same with us having no ball and them running round/past us. He then had to move again and cannot be great moving positions – this time to right hand sided centre back. He then made the mistake for the goal – maybe it was a bit unlucky but he had to be stronger and ultimately, he has to clear it or tackle the man. After this he got a bit ragged and finished the game poorly with some silly fouls and give away as we got a bit desperate. I get criticised for marking him down a bit for errors (someone said I can’t take off a few marks or penalise them twice for errors but really big mistakes that cost goals will lose you marks in match ratings). I actually thought he did ok today but two successive weeks he has cost us goals and he has cost us a number this season.



Fleck 3/10 – Surprise he started and wondered how fit/healthy he was as he looked really slow and sluggish all game. He never got on it and players ran through him too easily as we never got a foothold of the ball at all. Lundstram will get all the pelters tonight but he was not much better as the midfield barely had a kick until after the goal. We then had a bit of a spell but it was like 5 minutes. Never probed or dribble or combined with others. He gave it away a lot and defensively he was so slow to react or get back often trying sly little trips instead of holding his ground. His corners/set plays were shocking hitting the first man a lot.



McBurnie 3/10 – Not in the game really as we never got up the field. Not sure him and Sharp had any of the ball at all. He went down injured with a blow and then seemed to revert to trying to ‘do’ the Fulham player back and got in a running battle. Not sure he really linked or was even a nuisance and the front two were too far apart. They came deep but even then did not get into it. I know he had little service and no he was feeding off scraps but I still expect more. Maybe it is the formation or way we play but still I expect him to chase, run, win a header or battle. After 18 months I have still not worked out what kind of player he is at all. I do not see him improving in the time he has been with us. If Swansea came up I would be seeing if they would take him back even if we have to do a Ramsdale type transfer (where we don’t pay final installments?) or they pay us say half the money? I have heard people say him and Brewster excite them for next season but I have seen nothing that makes me think like that. That is being honest. I’d rather see Sharp, McGoldrick or Burke (even though that may seem short term). That is how little him and Brewster have done this season. The other three have all done far more.



Sharp 3.5/10 – His mark is low but not sure how I can give him anything when he barely touched the ball save the two offside chances (one was and one wasn’t and he missed both) As above really and I felt he needed too still do more and battle a bit. The odd times he had it he gave it away and first half we had nothing up top as bad as the passing was into them. Second half had a half chance when he was possibly offside (given as off but may have been tight) and should have done better. He at least got in a few times with half chances but did miss both his chances. Decent assist to Stevens that should have led to a goal. Him and McBurnie as a partnership may have been ok for a few games last season but it does not work for me. Not a game for him and think Burke and/or McGoldrick give us more away from home when we do not have the ball.





Subs –



Norwood 4.5/10 – Came on and hit his man on the first free kick and this led to them breaking and nearly scoring. Then a great ball to Sharp soon after which showed his quality and was maybe the only real moment of quality (Sharp ball) we showed all game and I think would have counted if he scored. After this he was not really able to influence the game but did see more of it than the other two midfielders even though many will criticise him and h



McGoldrick – Not sure he got into the game much at all. Tried to link and find some space but the game was scrappy at this stage. Least we saw a few moments where he kept the ball – which was more than the other strikers. Not sure why he did not start the game. He has been our best striker and outfield player (along with Bash) so it is a strange move.



Burke – Showed more in 15 minutes than most of the rest did in 80. He looked lively and at least drove forward and nearly won a penalty and should have if the officials do the job they are paid to do. Why he was not starting whether it be midfield or right wing back I am not sure?







Manager Wilder 2/10 – His team selection was poor – he left out our best two players over the last few months and tried Basham in midfield. None of these things worked and he changed it back after 20 minutes. We had no attacking threat and could not hold the ball in midfield or attack and sat so deep.



Thought tactically and approach it was incredibly negative. I get we had players missing but these were defenders by and large. We did not try and win the game or score goals. We sat on top of Ramsdale, tried to play for a 0-0 and it was pathetic I felt. We did not have a touch in their half first half. We were playing Fulham – 3rd bottom – Fulham – not Man City or Liverpool! It was an approach that deserved nothing and got nothing and the sort of attitude to games that sees us where we are. He will talk about fine margins and the penalties but we deserved nothing from the game. Fulham were not great but Parker at least had them trying to score a goal and attacking. They could at least string a few passes together.



He admitted post game we are down and it is sad to see that we have now essentially given up – not in terms of being relegated but the way we approach games and the run in. He says we want to go out of the front door but tonight once again as at West Ham we slinked out of the back door and nobody even noticed us. Really sad to see. I felt he had found his fight and mo jo a month ago but now 3 or 4 games later and we look the same pitiful group that has no belief in each other, their manager or anything we are trying to do. We look like a side of losers that had no idea how to win football games. I do not see with his approach at the moment (yes, we have injuries but we played like this in many other games too) we will get more than a few more points at best and that is being kind. He got all the kudos for being an innovative manager but sadly he is now becoming stubborn and not able to try different things tactically or approach wise and his star has nose-dived spectacularly and now last season seems a long way away. Never have I seen a manager lose so many games and keep playing essentially the same tactics and formation. It is incredible.



I love the guy and want him to stay and he deserves the summer and next season to build again but if he persists with the same formation then he needs to change about half a dozen of the side as they do not have the energy/legs to make it work. We used to be a high pressing, energy side whose strength was off the ball as well as on it. Now we look a tired side that looks exhausted that does not have the belief it can win the races, tackles, header (the things he used to say is a given). He will need to shake things up. Some of our players confidence and trajectory wise may not be able to come back from this and we need an influx of 5 or 6 players who won’t be tainted by this losing state.



Fulham – I thought earlier in the season that they would just do what they did last time when they came up, spent a lot and struggled. This time they did stick with more of whom brought them up but still added likes of Loftus Cheek, Lookman, Blades targets Robinson and Kongolo and recently Maja. Defensively they looked horrible and were shipping soft goals but gradually they have settled on a more fixed line up at the back and certainly performance wise they gradually improved. It is only recently the results started to turn around but maybe it seemed too late. The teams above such as Newcastle, Burnley, Brighton etc all picked up the odd win here and there to keep a decent margin. However, after drawing with West Ham and then beating Everton, they then drew with Burnley. They still seemed a fair way behind but now they are snapping at Newcastle’s heels and they will be very nervous in the North East.



I am not sure I rate Parker that highly. He had essentially a Premier League wage bill and budget in the Championship and the side that went up last time I thought was better. However, this time weirdly maybe some of the players/club have learnt from that and are making a better fist of it. So maybe he deserves some credit but I would like to see Wilder with his budget and wage bill.



I am still not sure they are great defensively, even if they have tightened up here but do have some runners and legs in midfield that we do not. I like the lad Reed for instance. I also think in Lookman, Cavaleiro, Loftus Cheek etc they have some flair and players who can create. Mitrovic has actually not got going this season and it has been stop start and Reid has probably contributed more, albeit in a different kind of role. Mitrovic has been out recently with COVID-19 also. They do seem to find and exploit the foreign market quite well but then of course spend more on wages. They have more wealthy owners and even though a smaller club, London is a big attraction.



I still think the teams above will have enough to fend off any improvements they have made and they will still go down. I think Newcastle may do just enough to see them off. I might be wrong. I expect with the wealth they have they will retain most of the squad too which is a worry in terms of competition with us and they certainly seem better suited to come back than us or WBA you would think. They have done it before after all. We will see.



Tonight, they were not fantastic but the three point were all that mattered. They were the better side and 1 or 2-0 was about right. Maybe got away with the spot kick but then we had one go for us in the home game that could have gone either way. They had more of the ball, created more chances and looked more like scoring all game. They did not have much to worry about defensively. Not sure they were fantastic but throughout the game the few bits of quality came from them. Lookman scored a well taken goal and they saw out the game.



Opponent Man of the Match – Lookman. Caused us problems in the game at the Lane and the same tonight. Forceful runner and tricky and makes things happen. Loftus Cheek is another that has things our players do not – namely a midfielder who is strong, can run and can dribble. They just seemed to have better athletes and more skilled players who could create things and they are one of the poorer teams in the leagues.



Opponent Weak link – The lad Anguissa was in a running battle with McBurnie and picked up a silly booking and then had a few wild shots and was quite selfish. No one was that bad really. They were all 6’s to 7’s/10 compared to 3’s-5’s/10 for our team’s. Most won their individual battles and they did enough to win the game and now have a real fighting chance.



Referee/Officials – Martin Atkinson. A booking either side. I felt we tried to foul and trip them quite a bit but were too slow to even do that! Fleck and Lundstram wafting legs as player ran past was infuriating. VAR looked at McBurnie’s and Baldock’s challenges longer than they did the penalty. I have to say I thought it was a spot kick. Bogle seemed to get a touch first and the goalie kicked him as he went down. Yes, he clatters him but surely whoever gets the ball first is crucial? It did not seem to be looked at for very long. We did not deserve anything and we have had a fair few penalty this season but I thought that seemed quite clear to me? Wilder and the players seemed to agree. It was all a bit desperate and too little, too late though.







Coverage – Sky Sports. Same old rhetoric about us being almost doomed and it is going to be hard. At least now they can just say we are down and not throwing various stats about how bad we are (although I have above at the start of the report too! We also are one single defeat away (14 – need 15) from the most in Premier League history! I was annoyed by the stupid camera angle as it was too close to the pitch and we could not see if it went out and also the white advertisements behind the goal meant we could not see the ball or where it was at times – it was like an inverse sight screen in cricket! Was it just me who found this difficult! Maybe I am getting grouchy over everything. I did not even listen to Souness and co at half time or the end. I could not be bothered. I have started watching Championship games now as this is of more interest to us than the top flight – I actually was pleased a few of the top teams lost than realised we are not even in the division and no guarantees that we will be near the top! How pathetic is that!
 

robbiez666

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 18, 2009
Messages
8,443
Reaction score
10,008
Ratings:



Ramsdale 6.5/10 – Fine really and one of the few who comes out with any credit again. Sure some will pick the bones out of the goal but I am not blaming him. No saves that were outstanding but carried on his form of being more competent. He helped a few awkward crosses over and saved a few regulation ones. The defence was so deep it put pressure on him I felt. Second half again made a few routine saves and a few decent ones but ones you would expect. The goal it was point blank range. It is hard as some will say it went through him but as a keeper myself, I know they are hard as you either move your feet and get a foot to it or it goes in. Sometimes they are harder than ones further to your side. With the power I am not sure I can blame him. Another game he was left badly exposed again and too much to do.



Baldock 4.5/10 – Brought back in for Bogle which I was surprised about. Looked a bit rusty and a few times his touch got away from him or was not tight enough. Sloppy with the passes and did not get forward. When he did one bad cross. Second half he offered little again attacking wise and defensively he was again not close enough. He did make the good clearance off the line which was the best thing he did all night. A few odd touches such as the weird back flick and then he scythed down Lookman. Could have been across to stop him being one on one with Ampadu – not sure but it did seem off him being just ran at with no cover? He has had a stop start season form and injury wise since beginning one of our better players and not even sure he is first choice anymore. I’d probably play him and Bogle somehow – one of them can do a better job in midfield than the current incumbents.



Stevens 4/10 – He has been in poor form but he did better in the sense there were no glaring errors. Not sure he was tight enough to his man again and just felt he was not sure with his tackling/pressing or his ball play. When he had it, he just tossed it forward aimlessly. He at least stood up to the winger a few times and stopped clear chances but they did have some joy down his side. He then had the really good chance but it was a bad finish and not close to scoring. After this they got in a few times down this side between him and Bryan where we could have cleared it but dithered. Once he came inside nicely and came forward and just booted it to the centre half under no pressure. At the end had a crossing opportunity and hit the first man.



Basham 5/10 – Started in midfield and looked all over the place as they ran through us and he was losing the ball when he had it or it was bouncing off him. He maybe can give us energy there but he lacks quality and not sure he can affect games at the higher level like maybe he did in the league below. He was put back to defence and looked better with a few headers away. Then he seemed to pull his hamstring meaning we have lost the whole central defence. The goal ironically came down this side where Ampadu came across to fill in.



Bryan 6/10 – Did alright with some bits of defending but a few times he also left his man too much space or took a poor touch. Did not get forward really at all. Defensively though he might have been the best of the three in terms of no massive mistakes on the ball or clear marking errors. Had the headed chance which he headed down which I thought was right and maybe a bit unlucky but then maybe he should go for goal – if it bounced a bit higher Jags might score or bounces a bit lower and another player gets on it? He will now have to play a fair bit with the injuries. I am not ashamed to say he had not done as badly as I thought he would but he is still a long way off Premier League level.



Jagielka 5.5/10 – Steady enough first half defensively with a few blocks/tackles even though his passing and distribution was really poor often lumping it or giving it away. He did make a few blocks but I felt they just ran through us too easily. Loftus Cheek and then Cavaleiro came through him. The chance Baldock cleared off the line was an example as the players just went through him. He tries hard but due to his lack of pace we have to sit so deep as we did all game today. The defence was almost on top of Ramsdale.



Lundstram 1.5/10 – Thought he was absolutely woeful. Gave a corner away and then just kept giving it away constantly. Looked sluggish as he ran back giving away silly fouls and he found a white shirt more than a green one. He looked so far off the pace and carried on from last week. He just looked disinterested for long spells and did not even want to run back and tackle/chase/harry. On the ball he continued to just give it away often under no pressure. Amazed he lasted as long as he did really.



Ampadu 5/10 – Thought he was our best player first half in that he started more determined to come onto the ball and also was able to use it better than most. He had a few good runs forward and showed for it more than the rest. He then ended up in midfield and it was hard for him to see the ball as much. He did not really get on it and they ran off us in this area and not sure it necessarily improved things – we did not get any worse, it just carried on the same with us having no ball and them running round/past us. He then had to move again and cannot be great moving positions – this time to right hand sided centre back. He then made the mistake for the goal – maybe it was a bit unlucky but he had to be stronger and ultimately, he has to clear it or tackle the man. After this he got a bit ragged and finished the game poorly with some silly fouls and give away as we got a bit desperate. I get criticised for marking him down a bit for errors (someone said I can’t take off a few marks or penalise them twice for errors but really big mistakes that cost goals will lose you marks in match ratings). I actually thought he did ok today but two successive weeks he has cost us goals and he has cost us a number this season.



Fleck 3/10 – Surprise he started and wondered how fit/healthy he was as he looked really slow and sluggish all game. He never got on it and players ran through him too easily as we never got a foothold of the ball at all. Lundstram will get all the pelters tonight but he was not much better as the midfield barely had a kick until after the goal. We then had a bit of a spell but it was like 5 minutes. Never probed or dribble or combined with others. He gave it away a lot and defensively he was so slow to react or get back often trying sly little trips instead of holding his ground. His corners/set plays were shocking hitting the first man a lot.



McBurnie 3/10 – Not in the game really as we never got up the field. Not sure him and Sharp had any of the ball at all. He went down injured with a blow and then seemed to revert to trying to ‘do’ the Fulham player back and got in a running battle. Not sure he really linked or was even a nuisance and the front two were too far apart. They came deep but even then did not get into it. I know he had little service and no he was feeding off scraps but I still expect more. Maybe it is the formation or way we play but still I expect him to chase, run, win a header or battle. After 18 months I have still not worked out what kind of player he is at all. I do not see him improving in the time he has been with us. If Swansea came up I would be seeing if they would take him back even if we have to do a Ramsdale type transfer (where we don’t pay final installments?) or they pay us say half the money? I have heard people say him and Brewster excite them for next season but I have seen nothing that makes me think like that. That is being honest. I’d rather see Sharp, McGoldrick or Burke (even though that may seem short term). That is how little him and Brewster have done this season. The other three have all done far more.



Sharp 3.5/10 – His mark is low but not sure how I can give him anything when he barely touched the ball save the two offside chances (one was and one wasn’t and he missed both) As above really and I felt he needed too still do more and battle a bit. The odd times he had it he gave it away and first half we had nothing up top as bad as the passing was into them. Second half had a half chance when he was possibly offside (given as off but may have been tight) and should have done better. He at least got in a few times with half chances but did miss both his chances. Decent assist to Stevens that should have led to a goal. Him and McBurnie as a partnership may have been ok for a few games last season but it does not work for me. Not a game for him and think Burke and/or McGoldrick give us more away from home when we do not have the ball.





Subs –



Norwood 4.5/10 – Came on and hit his man on the first free kick and this led to them breaking and nearly scoring. Then a great ball to Sharp soon after which showed his quality and was maybe the only real moment of quality (Sharp ball) we showed all game and I think would have counted if he scored. After this he was not really able to influence the game but did see more of it than the other two midfielders even though many will criticise him and h



McGoldrick – Not sure he got into the game much at all. Tried to link and find some space but the game was scrappy at this stage. Least we saw a few moments where he kept the ball – which was more than the other strikers. Not sure why he did not start the game. He has been our best striker and outfield player (along with Bash) so it is a strange move.



Burke – Showed more in 15 minutes than most of the rest did in 80. He looked lively and at least drove forward and nearly won a penalty and should have if the officials do the job they are paid to do. Why he was not starting whether it be midfield or right wing back I am not sure?







Manager Wilder 2/10 – His team selection was poor – he left out our best two players over the last few months and tried Basham in midfield. None of these things worked and he changed it back after 20 minutes. We had no attacking threat and could not hold the ball in midfield or attack and sat so deep.



Thought tactically and approach it was incredibly negative. I get we had players missing but these were defenders by and large. We did not try and win the game or score goals. We sat on top of Ramsdale, tried to play for a 0-0 and it was pathetic I felt. We did not have a touch in their half first half. We were playing Fulham – 3rd bottom – Fulham – not Man City or Liverpool! It was an approach that deserved nothing and got nothing and the sort of attitude to games that sees us where we are. He will talk about fine margins and the penalties but we deserved nothing from the game. Fulham were not great but Parker at least had them trying to score a goal and attacking. They could at least string a few passes together.



He admitted post game we are down and it is sad to see that we have now essentially given up – not in terms of being relegated but the way we approach games and the run in. He says we want to go out of the front door but tonight once again as at West Ham we slinked out of the back door and nobody even noticed us. Really sad to see. I felt he had found his fight and mo jo a month ago but now 3 or 4 games later and we look the same pitiful group that has no belief in each other, their manager or anything we are trying to do. We look like a side of losers that had no idea how to win football games. I do not see with his approach at the moment (yes, we have injuries but we played like this in many other games too) we will get more than a few more points at best and that is being kind. He got all the kudos for being an innovative manager but sadly he is now becoming stubborn and not able to try different things tactically or approach wise and his star has nose-dived spectacularly and now last season seems a long way away. Never have I seen a manager lose so many games and keep playing essentially the same tactics and formation. It is incredible.



I love the guy and want him to stay and he deserves the summer and next season to build again but if he persists with the same formation then he needs to change about half a dozen of the side as they do not have the energy/legs to make it work. We used to be a high pressing, energy side whose strength was off the ball as well as on it. Now we look a tired side that looks exhausted that does not have the belief it can win the races, tackles, header (the things he used to say is a given). He will need to shake things up. Some of our players confidence and trajectory wise may not be able to come back from this and we need an influx of 5 or 6 players who won’t be tainted by this losing state.



Fulham – I thought earlier in the season that they would just do what they did last time when they came up, spent a lot and struggled. This time they did stick with more of whom brought them up but still added likes of Loftus Cheek, Lookman, Blades targets Robinson and Kongolo and recently Maja. Defensively they looked horrible and were shipping soft goals but gradually they have settled on a more fixed line up at the back and certainly performance wise they gradually improved. It is only recently the results started to turn around but maybe it seemed too late. The teams above such as Newcastle, Burnley, Brighton etc all picked up the odd win here and there to keep a decent margin. However, after drawing with West Ham and then beating Everton, they then drew with Burnley. They still seemed a fair way behind but now they are snapping at Newcastle’s heels and they will be very nervous in the North East.



I am not sure I rate Parker that highly. He had essentially a Premier League wage bill and budget in the Championship and the side that went up last time I thought was better. However, this time weirdly maybe some of the players/club have learnt from that and are making a better fist of it. So maybe he deserves some credit but I would like to see Wilder with his budget and wage bill.



I am still not sure they are great defensively, even if they have tightened up here but do have some runners and legs in midfield that we do not. I like the lad Reed for instance. I also think in Lookman, Cavaleiro, Loftus Cheek etc they have some flair and players who can create. Mitrovic has actually not got going this season and it has been stop start and Reid has probably contributed more, albeit in a different kind of role. Mitrovic has been out recently with COVID-19 also. They do seem to find and exploit the foreign market quite well but then of course spend more on wages. They have more wealthy owners and even though a smaller club, London is a big attraction.



I still think the teams above will have enough to fend off any improvements they have made and they will still go down. I think Newcastle may do just enough to see them off. I might be wrong. I expect with the wealth they have they will retain most of the squad too which is a worry in terms of competition with us and they certainly seem better suited to come back than us or WBA you would think. They have done it before after all. We will see.



Tonight, they were not fantastic but the three point were all that mattered. They were the better side and 1 or 2-0 was about right. Maybe got away with the spot kick but then we had one go for us in the home game that could have gone either way. They had more of the ball, created more chances and looked more like scoring all game. They did not have much to worry about defensively. Not sure they were fantastic but throughout the game the few bits of quality came from them. Lookman scored a well taken goal and they saw out the game.



Opponent Man of the Match – Lookman. Caused us problems in the game at the Lane and the same tonight. Forceful runner and tricky and makes things happen. Loftus Cheek is another that has things our players do not – namely a midfielder who is strong, can run and can dribble. They just seemed to have better athletes and more skilled players who could create things and they are one of the poorer teams in the leagues.



Opponent Weak link – The lad Anguissa was in a running battle with McBurnie and picked up a silly booking and then had a few wild shots and was quite selfish. No one was that bad really. They were all 6’s to 7’s/10 compared to 3’s-5’s/10 for our team’s. Most won their individual battles and they did enough to win the game and now have a real fighting chance.



Referee/Officials – Martin Atkinson. A booking either side. I felt we tried to foul and trip them quite a bit but were too slow to even do that! Fleck and Lundstram wafting legs as player ran past was infuriating. VAR looked at McBurnie’s and Baldock’s challenges longer than they did the penalty. I have to say I thought it was a spot kick. Bogle seemed to get a touch first and the goalie kicked him as he went down. Yes, he clatters him but surely whoever gets the ball first is crucial? It did not seem to be looked at for very long. We did not deserve anything and we have had a fair few penalty this season but I thought that seemed quite clear to me? Wilder and the players seemed to agree. It was all a bit desperate and too little, too late though.







Coverage – Sky Sports. Same old rhetoric about us being almost doomed and it is going to be hard. At least now they can just say we are down and not throwing various stats about how bad we are (although I have above at the start of the report too! We also are one single defeat away (14 – need 15) from the most in Premier League history! I was annoyed by the stupid camera angle as it was too close to the pitch and we could not see if it went out and also the white advertisements behind the goal meant we could not see the ball or where it was at times – it was like an inverse sight screen in cricket! Was it just me who found this difficult! Maybe I am getting grouchy over everything. I did not even listen to Souness and co at half time or the end. I could not be bothered. I have started watching Championship games now as this is of more interest to us than the top flight – I actually was pleased a few of the top teams lost than realised we are not even in the division and no guarantees that we will be near the top! How pathetic is that!
I won't be rude and point out you put Burke instead of Bogle. ;)

I had another look at their goal and for me Ramsdale's positioning isn't great. Would have been a great save regardless, but it nags a little.

View attachment 106104
 

Revolution

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 12, 2009
Messages
10,161
Reaction score
13,558
Rubbish performance from poor quality players overseen by a manager who is, unfortunately, yesterday’s man.

Cant believe I’ve got to watch crap performances like this another 13 times.
 
Joined
Mar 13, 2019
Messages
448
Reaction score
442
Still notice that premier players control the ball passed to them with ease. Their first touch is to team mate or away from danger. Our team does none of that, or rarely. They once could. But they seem to have lost confidence, ability or whatever. They are now not premier league standard. Sorry but truthful and hurtful.
 

Bergen Blade

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2009
Messages
5,777
Reaction score
11,449
Location
Bergen, Norway
I think Baldock came in for Bogle because of the threat of Lookman, plus to help deal with the general strength and athleticism of the Fulham players.

But Lookman roamed in centrally quite a bit and like at the Lane scored after beating our RCB.
 

Blade59

Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2013
Messages
222
Reaction score
293
Really angry with that performance. I was worried when I saw the team selection with the lack of pace and players who could keep the ball and so it proved. Not sure what the plan was supposed to be, assume lump it to McBurnie but we didn't even do that just gave the ball back to them every time we had it. I got the impression the players couldn't understand the tactics or selection either and looked completely demotivated. This one is totally on Wilder and if this is how he sets up against the 3rd worst side in the league under pressure to get a result against us I am dreading the remaining games. It is going to be painful to watch. To be honest if I was the Prince I would have to calm down before I did anything rash because that was taking the piss last night and were it anyone else you could not blame him for sacking him it was that unacceptable. The interview was poor after also, no responsibility taken and focussing on the penalty (which was a penalty and a red card anywhere else on the pitch). If we had got the penalty and a point I think most fans reaction would still have been the same. I thought the manager and the team embarrassed the supporters last night.
 

Deadbat

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2009
Messages
4,588
Reaction score
19,468
Really angry with that performance. I was worried when I saw the team selection with the lack of pace and players who could keep the ball and so it proved. Not sure what the plan was supposed to be, assume lump it to McBurnie but we didn't even do that just gave the ball back to them every time we had it. I got the impression the players couldn't understand the tactics or selection either and looked completely demotivated. This one is totally on Wilder and if this is how he sets up against the 3rd worst side in the league under pressure to get a result against us I am dreading the remaining games. It is going to be painful to watch. To be honest if I was the Prince I would have to calm down before I did anything rash because that was taking the piss last night and were it anyone else you could not blame him for sacking him it was that unacceptable. The interview was poor after also, no responsibility taken and focussing on the penalty (which was a penalty and a red card anywhere else on the pitch). If we had got the penalty and a point I think most fans reaction would still have been the same. I thought the manager and the team embarrassed the supporters last night.

Spot on. Individually we were rubbish and made mistake after mistake with basic errors in control, passing etc but it was much more than that last night...the way we set up and approached the game in terms of selection, tactics, positioning of the players (how deep we were) and total lack of attacking intent or even trying to keep the ball is squarely in Wilder.

I love the guy but if we play similiar to that in the run in then the keep Wilder no matter what argument will start to fade.

I thought the performance was embarrassing last night. A game we had to win and we did not even try to win...in fact we did not even try to attack.
 

Roygbiv

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2014
Messages
9,274
Reaction score
73,741
Location
Sheffield
Great report and exactly how I saw it. Interesting you bring the losing so many games without changing the formation as I said literally the same thing last night as the game was going on. I'm not saying it would change anything as we simply just don't have the players but surely no team in history has lost as many games in a season without changing the formation once?
 

robbiez666

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 18, 2009
Messages
8,443
Reaction score
10,008
Great report and exactly how I saw it. Interesting you bring the losing so many games without changing the formation as I said literally the same thing last night as the game was going on. I'm not saying it would change anything as we simply just don't have the players but surely no team in history has lost as many games in a season without changing the formation once?

I believe we've lost 20 out of 25 and he publicly mocks fans who suggest the formation or system is the problem. Any other manager in the world with that record would be gone. My worry is that he's taken us as far as he can go. Top managers are prepared to learn and change. Not convinced he is.

We'll never be an established PL team with our current model of recruitment.
 

Chilttheblade

Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2020
Messages
199
Reaction score
187
I believe we've lost 20 out of 25 and he publicly mocks fans who suggest the formation or system is the problem. Any other manager in the world with that record would be gone. My worry is that he's taken us as far as he can go. Top managers are prepared to learn and change. Not convinced he is.

We'll never be an established PL team with our current model of recruitment.
Agree
All successful clubs change systems/players every 3/4 years ,sticking to the same one is risky no matter how successful it's been in the past.
Even Liverpool are finding that out and there are are many other examples
 

metalblade

Fuck VAR !!!
Joined
Sep 6, 2005
Messages
10,879
Reaction score
13,499
Location
Handsworth Sheffield
I'm still really depressed over last night's shit show.
The last time I witnessed such a pathetic cowardly display from a so called football team was Sheffield fucking Wednesday's last visit to the lane for their 0-0 victory and match worn shirt give away.
That was pathetic from Chris Wilder, for the first time since he arrived I am now starting to wonder if he is the man to take us to the next level. For all the talk of the Sheffield United way, front doors and leaving everything out on the pitch that performance fell far far short of what this club is about it was utterly embarrassing. I never thought I would see this club wave the white flag like they did yesterday, lacking pride, gutless words fail me :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:
 

Blade59

Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2013
Messages
222
Reaction score
293
That was pathetic from Chris Wilder, for the first time since he arrived I am now starting to wonder if he is the man to take us to the next level. For all the talk of the Sheffield United way, front doors and leaving everything out on the pitch that performance fell far far short of what this club is about it was utterly embarrassing. I never thought I would see this club wave the white flag like they did yesterday, lacking pride, gutless words fail me :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:
Don't think we are even going out by the back door. More like sneaking out of the upstairs window and shinning down the drainpipe
 

Kop sufferer

Silence is golden, duct tape is silver
Joined
Dec 15, 2018
Messages
409
Reaction score
523
Just looked on the official site where it's advertising match action from Fulham.
Anything more than a blank screen and they are proper taking the piss
 

andy m

Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2014
Messages
813
Reaction score
1,319
I have been critical of some of your reports Deadbat but that is spot on. The most spineless team selection and tactics in a match we had to win.
 

varkanoid

Active Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2019
Messages
1,638
Reaction score
1,496
Really angry with that performance.

I`m way past angry I sit there depressed when the ref blows whistle for kick off and the longer it stays 0-0 until the inevitable happens is a bonus. 64 minutes before we actually did anything constructive and start to actually be bothered. Thanks for the review Deadbat.
 

Large Mendonca

Fed up of this social media shite
Joined
Aug 14, 2009
Messages
5,276
Reaction score
7,482
Location
Sheffield
I can't even listen to any of Wilder's pre or post game talks anymore, dare I say it....(gulp)...he's starting to annoy me now with this stubbornness.
 

Espania blade

Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2016
Messages
400
Reaction score
387
Great report DB, when i saw the name "Burke" i thought i must have fell asleep and missed something :D

It's going to be a difficult time in the Championship whether Wilder stays or goes it will still be difficult in my opinion.
The summer is going to be a "good watch" though seeing who goes and who stays!
 

Deadbat

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2009
Messages
4,588
Reaction score
19,468
Great report DB, when i saw the name "Burke" i thought i must have fell asleep and missed something :D

It's going to be a difficult time in the Championship whether Wilder stays or goes it will still be difficult in my opinion.
The summer is going to be a "good watch" though seeing who goes and who stays!
Just checking people are paying attention!
 

blade too long

we go again
Joined
May 27, 2011
Messages
24,874
Reaction score
23,830
Location
cabo roig spain
as an ex ref I cant understand how 4 refs at the ground and 4 more in stockly park cant see this as a penalty
Bogle is wiped out recklessly
 

guancheblade

Active Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2014
Messages
1,251
Reaction score
1,243
Is there room within your scoring system to give negative marks? I feel that Lundstram rating is at least 4 or 5 marks too high.
 

All advertisments are hidden for logged in members, why not log in/register?

Top Bottom