Sheffield United Fan Column: Blades have shown they possess more than one method of beating good teams

We’ve seen two contrasting games this week.

Thursday, 14th February 2019, 4:10 pm
Updated Thursday, 14th February 2019, 4:17 pm
Jack O'Connell of Sheffield Utd: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

After Villa Chris Wilder had the right idea, shrugging his shoulders at such an unpredictable turn of events, preferring instead to concentrate on what he called “the bigger picture”.

It was just one of those weird things that happens now and again in football. Yes, the best players were all wearing yellow, and if that continues (well, plus wearing red and white sometimes) then we won’t go far wrong.

Jack O'Connell of Sheffield Utd: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

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Then against Middlesbrough, shorn of the suspended Chris Basham and Jack O’Connell with a hamstring strain (he is human after all) and losing George Baldock to injury in the first half, a different type of performance was needed.

Boro were physically too strong in the first half. I said at half time we needed Gary Madine on, and that was what tipped the game in our favour. United showed they can adapt and possess more than one method of beating good teams.

Meanwhile, I once got Gordon Banks’ autograph after a United v Stoke reserve match in 1973.

I used to stand outside the players’ entrance specifically for this purpose, and Banks was by any measure the most famous name in my book. Apart from only having one eye, he looked fit as a fiddle.

I didn’t know then he was from Sheffield, and the 1966 World Cup was before I knew football existed.

But I remember being distraught when food poisoning kept him out of the 1970 World Cup quarter final against West Germany, when we lost 3-2 in injury time after being 2-0 up.

We’d have won with him in goal.

“Pele! (pause) What a save! (pause) Gooor-don Banks!” David Coleman’s commentary was minimalist in the extreme, but it summed the moment up perfectly said everything it needed to about the best footballer ever to come from Sheffield.