it was a line that was always going to prick up the ears on this particular sports writer.
“They can’t be up and down like a fiddler’s elbow every week.”
Spoken by Sheffield United manager Danny Wilson, and referring to the mood of the players after either a win or a loss, I had to suppress a wry smile when he said it.
It’s like when someone shouts your name down the street. Everyone called ‘John’ or ‘Sarah’ or whatever the person has shouted will automatically look around even if they don’t recognise the voice.
Anyway, enough of the reason for why I thought this quote was interesting and more about why it is important for the Blades.
It comes down to three things - leadership, patience and priorities.
In Danny Wilson and a number of people within his squad and coaching setup United aren’t short of leaders.
As a player Wilson was someone you’d want beside you. There’s no argument that he had the respect of his fellow professionals and, perhaps grudgingly, opposition fans.
Now an experienced manager he exudes the same kind of aura. He’s had his successes. He’s had his failures. But what he has retained is the feeling that he is a safe pair of hands.
You trust him. And, I imagine, he cuts an impressive figure when he’s called upon to help persuade a player to join the club let alone youngster wishing to become part of the club’s successful Academy.
But Wilson’s not the only one. Chris Morgan put his head round the media room door yesterday and you’re immediately reminded what an imposing figure he is.
Chiselled out of granite, Morgan could one day go on to be a successful manager in his own right but while his knee is rehabilitating from a serious injury he’s providing an invaluable service in mentoring the younger players in the squad.
And then you look down the spine of the team.
Steve Simonsen, Neill Collins, Nick Montgomery, Stephen Quinn and Richard Cresswell are all respected characters and proven professionals.
Look around the United dressing room and you’re not short of inspiration.
With experience comes patience. Wilson’s line about a fiddler’s elbow sums up exactly what he doesn’t want his team to be like.
The League One season is a marathon 46 matches.
Seriously, who can say, hand on heart, that the point at Tranmere Rovers was some way better than the point at Leyton Orient.
Results come and go. Turning points and momentum are figments of people’s imagination that end as soon as the referee blows the whistle for the next game.
And that brings me on to my final thought. Priorities.
The only priority for Sheffield United this season is promotion. Wilson admits that they’re on target for where he wanted them to be at this stage.
Every point gained is one nearer to that goal. As we’ve seen over the last month a lot can change.
On current form it’s not just the fiddler’s elbow going up.