Time to stick up for someone you believe in at Sheffield United - Alan Biggs
Not when everybody is back-slapping them. That’s easy.
Sheffield United’s start to the season in general, and last Sunday’s result in particular, sorts the genuine from the fickle in respect of support for Paul Heckingbottom.
Granted, he can’t afford more results like that horrendous 8-0 defeat to Newcastle United last Sunday.
But in football you can’t be a winner all the time? Hasn’t he earned some fortitude and understanding?
Did anyone expect him to lead the Blades to the play-offs when he took over in November, 2021?
Did anyone expect him to achieve automatic promotion last season?
You can’t have those peaks without some of the troughs Hecky and the Blades are going through right now.
The knee-jerk nature of the game is a disease, an incurable affliction.
Sometimes, with all of us, everything that can go wrong does go wrong. As happened with United against Newcastle.
It’s just not like them to make so many mistakes, to cave in to a calamitous defeat.
But how many times has it happened on Hecky’s watch? His job is to make it a ludicrous one-off.
Sometimes people behave as though they’ve never had one of those days.
From the mood after the initial sacking speculation being one of total support for Heckingbottom, quite rightly, we move on into uncertain ground.
No-one is defending what happened against Newcastle. It can’t be repeated. But really, is anyone turning tail on one ridiculously untypical 90 minutes?
It’s the age we live in but it’s still possible to step back for commonsense and more considered judgment.
Thankfully, the Blades hierarchy has done just that. For now.
There is no guarantee that support will last and in football it is rarely unconditional.
All we can ask, for now, is that Sheffield United start playing like Sheffield United again. Hecky more than deserves the chance to make that happen.