Date: 11th January 2009 at 3:22pm
Written by: yellow belly

Just back from the game, and as predicted it was ANOTHER miserable, miserable, away defeat.

We trudged up to the ground from Midland Station in sub-zero temperatures, but as we entered the ground I was pleased to see another massive turn-out from the City faithful – I reckon over 1000 of us braved the biting cold in Yorkshire.

As is often the case we didn’t start too badly. Some handy football and a fairly solid looking central defence now Grounds has re-joined us. But of course we gradually let Sheffield in as they started to run at us.

We seemed unable to to cut out crosses, due mainly to the ineptitude of the full backs Bertrand and Semi. On 19 minutes Semi made no effort at all to cut out a cross and Sheffield United duly scored in front of us from the far post.

That didn’t bring much of a response from us although on the half hour the brilliant Lupoli hit the bar, and again the same old problems reared their head when time after time we brought unnecessary pressure on ourselves with our inability to keep the ball or pass it accurately.
Despite being penned back at the start of the second half we were a bit better than the first. Croft ran and ran for the team and Donk and Grounds looked ok at the back, but Sheffield could have had a second at any time if their finishing had not been so wasteful.

Sibierski went off with a nasty looking injury and was replaced by Bell. Oddly we looked a bit better with Bell on and with five in midfield we had lots of possession and the chances came. Lupoli fired just wide, and later rose brilliantly to head on a cross which we all thought was going in. Even Donk nearly scored but Kenny got down before it sneaked in the corner of the goal.

But the result was as predicted, and at the end an angry away support shouted for Roeder to be sacked. It was a mighty cold and depressing walk back to the station for the train home.

Of the team I thought Donk and Grounds looked solid, but Bertrand and Semi were woeful. Semi especially looked like he didn’t want to play for the club.

The midfield is still a joke. Fozzy should not be on the pitch, let alone be captain. Clingan ran round in circles not knowing who to pass to. Hoolahan did not play too badly, but passing and keeping possession let him down. Croft ran his socks off for the cause for 90 minutes, but as I have said before he is a bit lightweight. Up front Sibs was ineffectual but Lupoli was brilliant and on a luckier day could have had a hat-trick.

My final observations:
– Roeder changed his tactics by standing there motionless with his hands in his pockets instead of with his arms folded.
– I saw a chink of light with our last 10 minutes. IF ONLY we could put that amount of determination and effort in 90 minutes, then we would be ok.
– Best chants of the day; ‘This is embar-assing’ and ‘Roeder for England’.
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