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Sheffield United on the slide

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Paul Fletcher | 21:02 UK time, Saturday, 19 February 2011

Selhurst Park

Crystal Palace forward Darren Ambrose probably ought to give Sheffield a wide berth given the damage he has inflicted upon its football teams.

Last season, his crucial strike at Hillsborough on the final day of the campaign sent Sheffield Wednesday tumbling into League One and ensured Crystal Palace's Championship survival.

On Saturday, his stunning 25-yard volley illuminated the gloom at Selhurst Park and gave the Eagles a 1-0 precious victory over relegation rivals Sheffield United. It was Ambrose's first goal in 10 games and it was worthy of winning any encounter, let alone a tense and error-strewn contest between two struggling teams.

"You cannot legislate for a wonder goal like that," said Blades boss Micky Adams as he picked the bones out of yet another defeat.

The significance of the victory cannot be under-estimated. The Eagles remain fourth from bottom in the Championship table but they now have a five-point advantage over the Blades, who remain 22nd.

It was Palace's second victory since Dougie Freedman was permanently installed as manager on 11 January and also continued a fine run of form at Selhurst Park. The Eagles have not conceded at home in more than 12 hours and are unbeaten in nine fixtures at their own ground.

Darren Ambrose celebrates his crucial goal for Crystal Palace against Sheffield United last season

Darren has developed a knack for scoring against Sheffield clubs - photo: Getty.

"It gives everybody around the building a lot of confidence," said Freedman. "We are starting to turn slender games our way and although there is a long way to go there is a little bit of light there now."

Form on the road remains a problem, with just one league win away from Selhurst Park all season, but I sense that Freedman, who succeeded George Burley as manager, feels his team have turned a corner.

The same cannot be said of Blades boss Adams, who is still waiting for his first victory since taking over at Bramall Lane at the turn of the year. That figure is now 10 games and counting, with five defeats and five draws so far in all competitions.

"There has been plenty of media coverage about it but it is just another stat," said a beleaguered Adams on Saturday. "I cannot deny that the wait for a win [since I took charge] goes on but I am not worried about me, just the team."

The statistics make for uncomfortable reading. The Blades have not won since they defeated Swansea 1-0 on 18 December and have scored just 28 league goals this season. Equally worrying United have not worked out how to keep clean sheets and have conceded at least once in their last six fixtures.

Adams is a lifelong Blades supporter who started his career as a trainee at Bramall Lane. When he took over at the club he understandably described it as a dream move for him but so far it has been a nightmare.

Sheffield United Micky Adams

Adams has drafted in Dave Bassett to help him at Bramall Lane - photo: Getty.

He left a promotion campaign at League Two club Port Vale to become United's third manager of the campaign after Kevin Blackwell, who lasted three games, and Gary Speed, who jumped ship to take over as boss of Wales after four distinctly mediocre months in charge.

Very quickly Adams realised that he needed some help and last week brought in former Blades boss Dave Bassett in a consultancy role.

"He's back because there's not enough hours in the day for me," said Adams. "I've found the club bigger than I thought.

"When you're manager at Port Vale you probably get three calls a day and one of those is from the wife asking me what time I'm coming home for my tea."

Adams is an experienced manager who has been in charge of Fulham, Swansea, Brentford, Brighton (twice), Leicester and Coventry in addition to Vale and the Blades. He has won promotion with Fulham, Brighton and Leicester. If I was a supporter of United I would be concerned that the man responsible with saving them had so badly misjudged the task he had undertaken. Others might argue that he should be praised for recognising that he had a problem and moving quickly to solve it.

There are crumbs of comfort for the club's supporters. The Blades have 14 games left, plenty of time to bridge the gap separating them from safety. The club finished eighth last season and numerous quality players remain. The likes of Nyron Nosworthy, Stephen Quinn, Daniel Bogdanovic and Richard Cresswell are more than capable of thriving in the Championship.

I thought United were unlucky not to take something from Saturday's match. It was a disappointing game, particularly in the second half, but the Blades did create several promising positions. Neill Collins should have headed them in front after just three minutes, while Nathaniel Clyne cleared off his line from Cresswell and Palace skipper Paddy McCarthy almost headed into his own net as he tried to clear a dangerous cross.

"I was pleased with the performance," added Adams. "For long periods we pinned Palace back but things are just not dropping for us and that is the way our luck is at the moment. We just have to keep going."

The problem is that the longer the wait goes on for United, the more confidence will drain away from the squad and the greater the pressure will increase on Adams.

"I have never been as long without a win and that is becoming a challenge in itself," admitted the Blades boss.

There has already been speculation that his position is under threat and Tuesday's match against second-from-bottom Scunthorpe is now a huge encounter. The Iron defeated Nottingham Forest last week and drew with Derby on Saturday to move just one point behind the Blades as well as having two games in hand over their relegation rivals.

"The big games are coming thick and fast now and we know the importance of Tuesday," said Adams.

Fulham were almost bottom of League Two when Adams took over at Craven Cottage in March 1996 and Coventry were in the Championship drop zone when he was appointed manager of the Sky Blues in January 2005. Both teams avoided relegation.

"I have taken over at clubs in worse positions that we are," said Adams. "Don't write us off yet, we are not finished yet."

But without question, United need to start winning soon if they are to halt their slide towards the third tier of English football for the first time since 1988.

You can follow me throughout the season at



  • Comment number 1.

    I heard rumours that Adams job is already in jeapordy - that is ridiculous, what happened to giving managers time ?

    Sacking your manager is not always the way to go, Take a look at this article

  • Comment number 2.

    I cannot believe what I have seen this season. With Britton and Bogdanovic brought in, I honestly thought we would be mounting another play-off challenge; instead, it has gone from one disaster to the next. The damage was done this afternoon and I cannot see ourselves escaping now. Adams has done a poor job, albeit not helped one bit by a poor squad and a reluctant board. The Steel City Derby looks set to be resumed in League 1.

  • Comment number 3.

    "Fulham were bottom of League Two when Adams took over at Craven Cottage in March 1996"

    Correction Paul, they were second from bottom when he took over. I believe only the complete ineptitude of Torquay that season stopped them from ever being in real danger of jumping out of the football league (although even if they did, they would have been saved by Stevenage's ground.)

    The problem with the Blades is that I just don't see where the goals are going to come from. 1 goal in open play from 8 games I think it is. Its just not good enough. You need to start scoring goals in the division to haul yourself out of trouble. Maybe things would be different if they had Darius Henderson this season.

  • Comment number 4.

    Aafy_Aardvark - I have tweaked that. I was thrown a wrong turn by Adams himself, who seemed to think his team were bottom when he took charge. Hmm.

    I guess it could all change fairly quickly for the Blades once they start winning. The big question is - how much longer before that win comes? Tuesday's match against Scunthorpe is an absolutely huge contest.

    I would be interested to know whether Blades supporters think their team will stay up?

  • Comment number 5.

    I only realised this the other day but it does the root of our demise this season is the sacking of Kevin Blackwell. Two league games in and we got a point at Cardiff (which now stands as a very good result) but a thrashing vs QPR (but look where they are).

    As a season ticket holder I have seen numerous players not throwing their weight. All Cresswell seems to do is run and Ward was way out of his depth at Championship level. Yeates isnt good enough and Simonsen is the worst keeper at the Lane I have ever seen. His command of the penalty area is dreadful.

    As for the tactics employed by Speed, he says its "4-3-3", but we all know ts 4-5-1. When you are in the championship, 4-5-1, is a no-no. Evans has been by far our best player this season and hopefully he can carry on that form with either Boggy, Bent or Vokes up alongside with him.

    Another point is that you just have to listen to Adams' interviews to know that he is out of his depth. His first interview, "I am a firefighter, a streetfighter even". What kind of manager says that? When he brought Bassett in (beware of you job Micky) he says "You dont know what its like managing a club like Sheffield United. You only got three phone calls a day at Vale and one of them was from the wife". Yeah, very professional Micky.

    Overall, as a blades fan, non-existent tactics, poor manager and some of the players not wanting it enough, all leads to relegation. The question is, will Micky be given a chance to bring us back up?

  • Comment number 6.

    Good article.

    I was at the game too (Blades fan) and it left me feeling pretty demoralised. In the first half we dominated possession yet we just failed to create any sort of clear cut chance, or even look like it. The clearance off the line came from a hopeful cross into the box and I will admit that Palace were lucky on that occasion, but beyond that we offered nothing. The second half just disintegrated into a poor affair, it was destined for a draw really until a moment of magic from Ambrose won it for them. Even with 4 strikers on the pitch we did not look like creating a chance, which says a lot.

    I went home from the match really thinking for the first time that we'll get relegated. We have Chris Morgan to come back who I think will help out the defence & provide a bit of leadership, Montgomery's bite around midfield will be missed too. But that's it.

    Until we sort out our attacking options we will continue to fail to score goals, and that's the real worry when it comes to relegation. As of right now it seems we've missed the boat with regards to that and I'm pretty worried. I saw us linked to Marlon Harewood the other day, I'd even take him right now.

  • Comment number 7.

    Well this is why we are in trouble:

    McCabe's 7 deadly sins:

    1. Not giving Warnock financial backing in PL season.

    2. Ridding Warnock

    3. Appointing Robson

    4. Not accepting Blackwell's resignation after Wembley.

    5. Sacking Blackwell after QPR loss.

    6. Appointing Speed

    7. Appointing Adams [so far].

    Oh dear.

  • Comment number 8.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 9.

    I wonder if the fans of both Sheffield clubs take time out to reflect on their gloating at Leeds United during their fall from grace whilst merrily voting for the 15 point deduction.

    What goes around comes around.....

  • Comment number 10.

    Tuesday night is a massive, massive game for the club and Adams. Lose it and what little confidence the squad have will evaporate and the trap door will seem that much closer. I would also suggest that the board would look very close at replacing Adams, if only to give the new manager enough games to turn things around.

    The other potential banana skin is that Scunthorpe (having seen two good recent results) may have the confidence to take the game to a fragile United and in so doing could take all three points. Home advantage could also work in Scunthorpe's favour. it's a shame this game is not on the TV as it could be a cracker for the neutral supporter.

  • Comment number 11.

    @ The Desert Ferret - How did the supporters of the Sheffield clubs get to vote on the 15 point deduction?

    I know I was not asked to vote. You really need to get over the points deduction, it is history.

  • Comment number 12.

    There was a hint of steel (sorry) and bullishness about Micky Adams as he discussed his club's situation after their defeat on Saturday. He certainly has not given up.

    I reckon there are two relegation slots left. I honestly cannot see Preston climbing out of trouble (like Adams, their boss Phil Brown is also on a lengthy wait for his first win). A week or so ago I didn't hold out much hope for Scunthorpe but they are back in with a good shout now.

    The big question for me is who else can be dragged into the scrap. Palace are now five clear and thus far from out of it. Bristol City are not safe (6 clear), Boro and Derby are seven above the bottom three, while Donny are eight clear and currently on an awful run of form.

  • Comment number 13.

    If we are never going to win there is no point in even thinking about anything other than League One.

    Although a good article Paul, I find it astonishing that you don't even meantion the part McCabe has played in leading us to this.

  • Comment number 14.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 15.

    Maybe the problem is the fact Adams is an AWFUL manager, 9 clubs and 10 jobs as a manager in less than 15 years. That alone makes its own point. Sheff U were doomed to failure the second he was appointed.

  • Comment number 16.

    Decent article.

    Our season has been an absolute disaster, going from bad to worse. Getting rid of Blackwell was the start of our problems, and 4 managers in a season is ridiculous. We have no choice - we must stick with Adams now, and hope he turns it around and we get lucky. If not, he must have a chance to get his own squad together, and build in League One.

    Relegation could be financially crippling for us though. I fear for the future of our Club.

  • Comment number 17.

    Replacing decent Championship players with journeymen loans is bound to have it's toll...that and changing managers every quarter...

  • Comment number 18.

    I remember what Micky Adams did to the Swans, manager for 3 games, all losses and then he resigned.

    So I don't feel any sympathy towards him in the slightest.

    As For Sheffield Utd, they still have enough quality to escape, but they do need to start winning soon.

  • Comment number 19.

    Where did the 25 million they took off West Ham go?

  • Comment number 20.

    Great blog Paul. As a blades fan currently I'm looking for all the positives I can get at the moment and as your article discusses our current plight rather than just reporting on another bad result(!), it's very welcome.

    Fingers crossed for Tuesday. Having seen us play (badly) all season I'm not holding out much hope. We're not third bottom because of anything other than being the third worst team in the Championship (or second worst even). But you never know, football is a funny old game as the say!

    One last point, whilst the management are currently saying "don't point the finger until the end of the season", we supporters cannot help but wonder where it has all gone wrong. After all, the team we currently have isn't that different from the one the beat Ipswich 3-0 on the last day of the season. Thoughts?

  • Comment number 21.

    I think if we do get relagated this season everyone from the Chairman, to the chief executive, the manager(s) and playing staff ought to be ashamed of themselves. On paper there is no reason why, dare I say it, a club of this size and on such relatively sound financial standing should be anywhere near going down.

    For me it started by giving Blackwell all summer to prepare for the new season, then sacking him after two games. This, combined with little to no investment in the team, the executives/board focusing far too much on 'off-field' activites and raising sponsorship money and two subsequent managers being out of their depth and not realising quicker just how poor and low on confidence the team are.

    I try to be ever the optimist but cannot see where the next goal, let alone win, will come from. UTB

  • Comment number 22.

    "15. At 3:02pm on 20 Feb 2011, chris neville wrote:
    Maybe the problem is the fact Adams is an AWFUL manager, 9 clubs and 10 jobs as a manager in less than 15 years. That alone makes its own point. Sheff U were doomed to failure the second he was appointed."

    Spot on, I couldn't have put it better myself. Football confounds me with the way that consistent, proven failures continue to be rewarded with further employment. See also: Iain Dowie; Bryan Robson; Chris Hutchings; Avram Grant; and there are many more. Most chairmen haven't got a clue what they're doing.

  • Comment number 23.

    I hear the rumours about Adams being given the bullit after tuesdays game. Its probably the worst thing that can happen to us. Who do we bring in or is berty bassett going to lead the team through the final games.
    The problem at the lane has been there for several years, the board need take their share of the dimise of the club. Yes, the board have put their hands in their pockets, but their appointment of Robson, must haunt them. Robson didn't have a clue. They also allowed Blackwell to spend £3m on Ched Evans . What a payback! They were the ones who gave us the dream of European football a few years ago? but allowed Blackwell to remain longer than he should.

    During an away trip to Doncaster last season, we were completely played of the park, murdered 1-0 at half time, we pull back in the 89 minute and draw the game 1-1. Blackwell made the excuse that his players didn't even know each others name. Eh, what do loan players do in training? obviously train with their own team and turn up on a saturday for the blades. That was the time for Blackwell to be removed from his position. They froze. The writing was on the wall as we stuttered through to a respectable position in the league. But yet again, they fumbled around then appointed the easy option. Speed was well like at the lane, but was the wrong choice. The performances didn't change and we just stumble from one crisis to another. The board must take the blame.

    Blackwells tactics were totally useless, we have never had any type of play maker, he missed the middle of the park and hit high balls to the front men, hoped it dropped to a red jersey, then you may get a chance.

    Now we all understand that the economics play a big part in the survival of football but we focused mainly on loan players.I think we had 32 loan players last year (someone can correct please). Were is the real economics in this?. Are the bulk off QPR, Cardiff, Leeds and Forest teams loanees, no they are not and they are challenging, but we did and still do.

    The question of injuries plays a big part in our need for loanees, but no one questions our training methods. At the beginning of last season we were being told that we had the biggest squad in the championship, where did they all disappear too. If we belive what Billy Davis says, he has the smallest squad, but they are second in the league. Don't they have suspensions and injuries. Real question need asking.

    Adams maybe out of his depth, but the board need to look closely at them selves and question what they have done. But would someone like to count how many goals we have scored this season where we have completely outplayed the opponents and how many were scrappy. Things haven't changed simple because the whole team needs gutting. We need to focus on that for next year.

    I forcasted at the beginning of the season that the blades would be relegated, however the thought of Wednesday, Chesterfield and Rotherham seems mouthwarming.

    Unfortunately 3rd tier football will not meet the expectations of a dwindling support, not just for the blades but football in general.

  • Comment number 24.

    United have been poor all season, have struggled to defend and have been even worse going forward. Right now the team has no identity and have made signings who haven't changed anything. I see relegation as the only ending to the season.

    Five points to catch up on a screen looks like a lot but when the team hasn't won for about 12 games the gap seems even greater.

  • Comment number 25.

    Feel sorry for the United fans, but McCabe is getting what he deserves. His actions in the Tevez affair were shameful, the sooner he gets out of football the better for everyone.

  • Comment number 26.

    Were is the real economics in this?. Are the bulk off QPR, Cardiff, Leeds and Forest teams loanees, no they are not and they are challenging, but we did and still do.

    just to point out cardiff have 5 loan players. craig bellamy, aaron ramsey (2 who could walk into any premier league side nevermind championship) jay emmanuel thomas whos pushing on the door of the arsenal first team and koumas and olofinjana. 5 players who should be too good for this league. thats why they are getting so far. what other championship club can take a player on loan whos been paid £80,000 by man city? no one is the answer. loans dont work though just a short term solution.

  • Comment number 27.

    A lot of people here dont seem to have much time for Micky, however as a vale supporter i can honestly say that he was the best thing to happen to us in a long time. It seemed daft to throw away a decent promotion chance with us, something he could add to his CV (which could probably do with boosting), all for a chance with his boyhood club whcih was always going to be a struggle. Hard to feel sorry for him really....

  • Comment number 28.

    Give Micky time.........

    As a Port Vale fan I know of his ability. In his first season, loses turned into draws, the following season draws into wins. I do feel for all you blades fans but I would question the players desire, not the manager after 2 months. I appreciate league 2 is not the same as the championship but once the players start playing for Micky it will turn around very quickly, I'm sure of

    Stick with Micky, as he is a life long fan you can guarrantee he wont desert you or give it less than his all

  • Comment number 29.

    We desperately miss Chris Morgan, I cannot wait for him to return, however, it may be too late by then!

    When I look at Adams' signings to date I’m not particularly impressed; Doyle looks awful, I’ve seen him a couple of times since he signed and I can’t remember him touching the ball. What scares me most of all is that he’s a permanent signing. Marcus Bent, when was the last time he scored a goal? He’s passed it! Collins looks dodgy. I do think Vokes & Riise could be good signings, but the rest of the squad are so poor, I went to the Reading last week and the only player with heart & passion was Williamson.

  • Comment number 30.

    i think that it going to be very tough to stay up as in the biggest game of the season where sheffield utd couldn't lose and we lost and when 5pts behind palace and 1pt ahead of scunthorpe and they have 2 game in hand . and if blades lose on tuesday to scunthorpe its game over

    but i also think Sheffield United have massively missed the leadership of in my opinion the captain Sheffield United have had in Chris Morgan.also Sheffield United need to stop relying on loans to make up 1/2 of the since Sheffield United have been relegated from premiership Sheffield United have a different starting 11 every season so no continuey which is bad

    Adams is the right man to lead us out of League 1 and to get rid of the deadwood and bring thru the youth and stop relying on loans

  • Comment number 31.

    A good read that Paul.
    Not an expert on Sheffield United but I think now is the time to hold your nerve and back your boss, not a great time to change a manager.
    I agree with others who have commented on managers who have repeatedly failed, still getting decent jobs... Note Megson now at Wednesday.
    Good luck.

  • Comment number 32.

    I see McCabe gets a lot of stick from the fans on various boards now. I saw nothing but praise for the man when he persistently pursued West Ham for compensation and demonised the whole club and it's fans as 'cheats' for the actions of 1 man in particular. Where's the 25million that was won going? To pay off one of McCabe's debts - every penny of it! Hasn't done your team or reputation any good at all.

    I also didn't like the Blade fans gloating at Leeds' demise and Wednesday's relegation last year. There seems to be a massive amount of reasonable Sheffield United fan input now. Where were you reasonable lot when your darker peers were around kicking clubs while they were down, eh?

  • Comment number 33.

    Didn't Bryan Robson get sacked after Shef Utd played Scunthorpe???

    I agree with the rest - It certainly is game over for Sheffield when they lose to Scunthorpe!

  • Comment number 34.

    think your all missing the point surely its carlos tevez fault

  • Comment number 35.

    I'm a Brighton fan. Micky is a legend down here for his first stint as manager. He won us the league but it was based on his packing the team with good players from his previous jobs at Fulham and Brentford, and we got Bobby Zamora as an unknown from Bristol Rovers. Bobby scored all the goals and off we went up the leagues. He left us before the 2nd promotion but the bones of the team stuck around and we were ok.
    When he came back as manager he didnt have the fallback option of bringing in the good players from his old team. We ended up with terrible loans and an awful team. He simply couldnt turn it around and was sacked before we got relegated.
    Pains me to say it, but he is a bit of a one trick pony.

  • Comment number 36.

    micky adams is no mug, he'll get united fit and organized but it takes time, if he gets the boot then you're as good as down.people forget that the players at his disposal are not of his choosing, it's obvious that the contracted players with the help of a few loanees are struggling so don't put a season and a half of others poor judgment down to the one man who wasn't at the club when the downward spiral started.

  • Comment number 37.

    Although as an owl I have no time for United, the current state of football in Sheffield is a major reason for concern. This city breathes (sadly no longer breeds) football and deserves at least one club in the top flight. Unfortunately both clubs have been mishandled by chairmen/boards in the past ten or so years.

    Even with the dire run of form the Owls are in at the moment I can see the club recovering under the guidance of Mandaric but United are a different proposition, McCabe took a step back, but no new money has come in. The debts are (allegedly) crippling the ability to finance the squad appropriately and basically it all seems a bit too familiar. (Although: what has happened to parachute payments AND Tevez money? a lot of shady stuff there one feels)

    Ideally both clubs will turn it round, I would love the Steel city derbies to be in the Premier League within the next five years, but I fear that might not happen...

  • Comment number 38.

    Though I thought United played the better football I think Palace had the two 'better' misses - from Vaughan and Ambrose. Masses of sympathy for United fans, crikey we are not out of it! I think, in general, Palace fans had more patience with Burley than the board ... survival as a football club was after all an achievement for us! Then again rumour has it that personal conduct was the reason for his dismissal ... who'd be a manager. Good luck Mr. Adams.

  • Comment number 39.

    If McCabe is still in charge then I'm betting he will find someone to blame for relegation. Another chunky compo claim looms for someone ...

  • Comment number 40.

    as Vale FANS , Micky will do well , have him back at pv anyday, in sad way hope he gets sacked ( not really 0

  • Comment number 41.

    I have to say that I think the Blades will get relegated, I have said this before when Gary Speed was the manager. I was hoping that Mickey Adams would have got some better results to show for his efforts, but sadly no! I don't blame him, its the team, they are hopeless and that's all their is to it. To many of the players are past there sell by dates, Cresswell especially.

    The board have to hold their hands up, because they have offered little in the way of funds. So it will be back to Stell city derbies in League one next season.

  • Comment number 42.

    This United team is the poorest since the Billy McEwan era and they were relegated. The thing that strikes me is the lack of fight that we have been used to most of the time especially under Bassett and Warnock. Even if he can't get the team to play, if Adams could instil some battling qualities, then we'd have a better chance of survival. Sadly I think that will be beyond us especially as our defence is so weak particularly without the leadership of Morgan. Personally I think the club made a huge mistake in letting Neil Warnock go, a loyal man who is a blade through and through and is an excellent manager as shown by his record since.
    Another thing is the amount of players the club has let go over the last few years, I thought Bromby was a good defender and we let him go twice! How we could do with him now. Alan Quinn, Stead, Tonge, Hulse, even players like Cotterill. It was only a couple of seasons ago that Monty was on the fringes of the first team and on the transfer list, now he's injured and it's a catastrophe. - that's a sign of how little quality we have.
    What have we got now? I don't blame Micky Adams, like any manager, he needs time to mould a team into his team but with no money it's going to be really difficult for him.

  • Comment number 43.

    Don't worry about not winning just yet, you are due to play us (Derby) very soon and we are well known for our charitable offers, especially when it comes to teams on bad runs, or without a win in xx amount of games, or not scored in xx games. If I was a betting man I'd put money on Sheff Utd to beat us and maybe we'd swap places in another couple of weeks.

  • Comment number 44.

    Both Sheffield clubs will pay for penny pinching in their managerial appointments. With the West Ham/Tevez (not to mention Walker,Naughton) and Mandaric millions respectively there was no excuse for appointing these serial failures to positions of expectation. United especially being in the championship appointing someone who's failed at that level and the league below and who was in League 2. It's an absolute joke.

  • Comment number 45.

    Were is the real economics in this?. Are the bulk off QPR, Cardiff, Leeds and Forest teams loanees, no they are not and they are challenging, but we did and still do.

    just to point out cardiff have 5 loan players. craig bellamy, aaron ramsey (2 who could walk into any premier league side nevermind championship) jay emmanuel thomas whos pushing on the door of the arsenal first team and koumas and olofinjana. 5 players who should be too good for this league. thats why they are getting so far. what other championship club can take a player on loan whos been paid £80,000 by man city? no one is the answer. loans dont work though just a short term solution.

    My understanding that bellamy, is part funded by MC. However 5 players is slightly different from the troop that we have plus, if Cardiff don't get promotion this year, where will they be finacially. Have they not been close to administration this year.

    Last night was another away day woe. This is only something Sheff Utd can do. We have always shot ourselves in the foot.
    My third away day has once again produced another inept performance. There can be no excuses. It is evident that the threat of Div 1 next year doesn't bother the players. Last night wasn't Adams fault it was basic school boy errors.
    I have tickets for the Derby game, if we don't win that, then thats it for me. However they need the points, guess what we will give them to them. I feel sorry for the season ticket holders. I will be ripping up £25 every home game and throwing it in the don. I will get more pleasure from that. Or maybe I will give it to the wife, to buy something nice

  • Comment number 46.

    I do feel sorry for Sheffield United. At least Palace have had the kind of turbulent close season that can account for our poor showing so far.

    I am not sure what has gone on at Sheffield United (being a Palace fan) but there seriously needs to be some calmness around the place. Adams needs to be given a free hand and time to create his own team there.

    George Burley was a case in point. Most of the Palace fans (I do say most, as some will disagree) were quite forgiving to him for the situation he inherited, but we did back him to turn it around. I do not know the reason why he was dismissed (personal issues or otherwise) but the fact remains that a new manager does not necessarily solve the problem.

    Both clubs are in the same predicament - struggling in the league, new managers and a raft of players not really thier choice. I see, sadly, both clubs being relegated at the end of the season, as I can see Scunthorpe getting out of it. Those games in hand will be a problem if they win them.

    Sheffield United had more possession than Palace but failed to do a lot with it. Problems up front (nothing new to us Palace fans) stymied thier chances and players like Bogdanovic are not the answer. He is a jobbing striker - does well for a while, then goes very quiet, then moves on! So, I dont see him being the answer, much as I do not see James Vaughan being the answer at Palace.

    I see both managers still in jobs but both clubs, will be in League One next season, unless major improvement happens. Adams has a fairly good CV, he has avoided relegation a few times in the past with clubs in not the best state, so he has all the qualities.

    Just give him time.

  • Comment number 47.

    However they need the points, guess what we will give them to them.

    These were my comments last week, and true to form we gave Derby three easy points. They have not won in 9 games! We had the chances to win two games, but in the end we couldn't salvage a point.

    At the end of the game, my little lad (8 years old, handed me his scarve, I said you'll get cold, put it back on, he said ' I am too embarrised'. However, he said 'there is one thing positive we don't live in Derby any more, I will not get ribbing from my class mates'

    This morning he went to school, he has football training. He has 3 Sheff Utd strips (latest one bought at christmas), 4 Celtic strips (I'm Scottish), 2 Besiktas strips (I lived in Turkey, plus the wife is Turkish, but she follows Galatasary (shame)) and 1 Barca outfit, so he has a few to choose from. However, the Sheff Utd strips have not seen fresh air this year. When I ask him why he doesn't wear them, he just replys, 'their losers'.

    I don't know if its a young thing, but he has no passion to go to the Lane.

    So how do teams like Sheff Utd entice the young generation back to football or are we just going to end up with Man U's and the likes. That is really the big question that both English and Scottish football are facing. I know as Scottish football is there, just ask Dundee, Livingstine and Gretna.

  • Comment number 48.

    The problems now faced for Sheffield United are now critical they are in dire straights and when you look at performances past and the fixtures ahead you can honestly struggle to see the next points we might pick up. Its easy to blame luck but luck is not an excuss for 12 games and counting loss 1 or 2 games maybe your lucks out then but were now in double figures and still winless in 2011 and its march!!

    I look at the club and wonder how we got in this mess, I think if you look over the course of the season you have to say the dismissal of kevin blackwell is now injustified ok we got thumped by QPR at the lane but now looking at there season who hasnt been thumped by QPR so the board over reacted and had no clear idea of the next phase, no disrespct to speed as a good person but manager im affraid he is not of a club that has clear promotion sights should not be led by a novice manager with absolute no experience except as number 2 and Adams is left with a problem side, who were underperforming from long before he arrived, has to turn around the fortunes granted he should really have made some impression by now maybe the team is already mentally relegated with a team of loanees who only care about match practice it must be hard to get some pride in the shirt you wear and poor from them and the signings pre season also add to the lack of impact altogether.

    It seems the board are more interested in investing in the sister clubs around the world than at bramall lane which gives us absolutely nothing financially beneficial or even players to add to our squad so really useful to us ...not ... At least Adams can say 'dont right us off yet' but I have followed the blades all my life and I truely dont see an ounce of desire to save us from the drop to league one week after week it is truely terrible leads thrown away and just the worst defending i've ever seen from our side all this combine to a doomed side.

  • Comment number 49.

    What I find amazing about all this is although Mr McCabe keeps telling us he knows exactly where it's gone wrong.
    He keeps making the same mistakes over and over again ?


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