It’s been a busy weekend of football round here with plenty of talking points so Chris Holt has a look at things we may have learned in the past few days...
Wednesday and United fans miss each other so much
This is probably more something we’ve learned over the past couple of weeks rather than just this weekend, but it was confirmed at Oakwell on Saturday. United’s trip slightly north had brought a buzz back to the supporters after a disappointing previous weekend in watching their side lose to Crewe. Blades fans were up for it, they were loud and proud and passionate right from the start (more of that later) treating it like a proper derby. Except many of them had spent time on social media in the run up, talking about how this WASN’T really a proper derby and that Barnsley were a little too far beneath them for it to be regarded as a rivalry. Like it mattered more to Barnsley’s fans. It was akin to Wednesdayites ahead of the trip to Rotherham. Many claimed they didn’t really care, but you will have seen the reaction to the late winner at the New York Stadium to prove that was nonsense. South Yorkshire derbies do have an edge to them, but they aren’t quite the same for the two Sheffield clubs though and the fact that United and Wednesday fans had got so pumped up by the end of their respective games showed how much they miss their real derby. They’re almost pining after each other now. Here’s hoping they’ll meet again next season.
Sergiu Bus could be the poacher Owls have prayed for
All season long Wednesday have been lacking a certain type of player; a six yard box striker - bustling and aggressive and willing to wreak havoc and find a pocket of space. Stuart Gray’s side put a lot more balls into the box than people probably realise but there’s seldom anyone there to feed off the scraps, pick up a loose ball and bundle it in. Romanian Sergiu Bus may be the one to fill that gap. His goal on Saturday, the first time he’s found the net since arriving from CSKA Sofia, against Huddersfield wasn’t pretty but it was the kind that has been missing. Time will tell if he will indeed provide the answer but it’ll be interesting to see how things pan out between now and the end of the season.
Supporters make all the difference
I’ve absolutely no doubt that the positivity that streamed from the away support at Oakwell on Saturday helped eek out an impressive performance from Sheffield United. The previous week against Crewe at Bramall Lane it was the complete opposite with supporters’ negativity (and they’d a right to feel that way at times) oozing onto the pitch, causing players who’d looked comfortable earlier in the game to appear as though they couldn’t pass a ball five yards. Blades boss Nigel Clough and all the players will want the same kind of backing they did at Barnsley for the remaining games in the push for promotion. They’ll tell you the results are more likely be similar too if that’s the case.
Chesterfield deserve more credit than anyone’s given them
Imagine losing your best player, then his short term replacement, and yet still managing to find yourself in the hunt for promotion and all this after many people had made you candidates for relegation. Chesterfield have sneaked in there while everyone was talking up Barnsley and their new boss Lee Johnson and suddenly the Spireites are genuine contenders to make the play offs. It’s already an unbeliveable achievement to be where they are having sold Eoin Doyle to Cardiff, brought Caolan Lavery in on loan and then having him taken away too by parent club Sheffield Wednesday. But there’s fight in Paul Cook’s team and plenty of class too. To come from behind as they did against Yeovil showed both those attributes. If they hold on to a top six spot, few would argue against Cook being League One manager of the year,
Football can still be fun
Sometimes, not least at this time of year regarded as ‘the business end’, whatever that means, it’s easy to forget that most of us go to football to enjoy ourselves. We are there to be entertained, to socialise and feel the emotion of a match, amongst friends. And so when things are getting a little serious, it’s nice to see and hear genuine moments of humour in the stands. Even Doncaster Rovers fans, despite losing 3-0 ,should really have at least raised the slightest of grins when watching and listening to Bradford City supporters chanting about a fan eating a pie, then asking if he’s got sauce, having some condiments delivered, then singing about that. If none of this makes sense, click the link below.