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ricardo

Ricardo's report v Sheff Utd

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It was bright and a bit windy as we travelled down to CR today for what is starting to look like a series of "must win" games. Buendia was preferred to Cantwell and it was nice to see Vrancic finally given a start. We also had a minutes applause for former manager Ron Saunders who died earlier this week. I wonder how many of our present stars would get on trying to run up St James hill with someone on their back. Ron was certainly a hard man.

From the start it was end to end with the Blades flashing a cross that went right across our penalty area then at the other end Pukkii bursting away but unable to complete the pass to McLean who was making a strong run down the centre. City were looking very bright and inventive with Emi mostly pulling the strings but Vrancic also showed up with some neat and accurate passing.

United defenders looked big and strong and City had to work hard once they got up to the penalty area. Pukki almost got in a couple of times but was crowded out and there were shouts for a pen when Buendia was clipped in the box. It looked marginal to me and didn't go to VAR and it was a similar result when Hernandez appeared to get a nudge from behind. Henderson was called upon for a simple take from a McLean cross but in truth real chances were as rae as hens teeth.

There had been little from the Blades  other than a couple of wild shots from distance and two easy catches for Krul from innocuous crosses and it was obvious that the game needed a goal. Just before the half hour we got one when Pukki earned a corner with a good close down. The cross wasn't cleared properly and may have struck  a hand before dropping kindly to Alex Tetty who struck a sweetly hit low shot into the corner from about fifteen yards to give City a precious lead.

It might have quickly been two as City combined nicely again only for Pukki to get his shot blocked. Emi began to buzz like his old self and several half chances came and went as the home side turned the screw. There were several corners but City were always second best with the visitors big defenders generally winning the high balls. The sky darkened and it began to rain very hard but with half time approaching, another lovely move found Vrancic twenty-five yards out striking a ball towards Henderson's left hand post. The Sheff keeper did extremely well to get down and push it away.

The whistle was greeted with deserved applause for what had been almost a perfect half for the home side. City had looked dangerous going forward and had been littled trouble at the back and it seemed another forty-five minutes of the same would be enough for the three points.

I suppose we should have expected United to up the pace which they did right from the off. McGoldrick got into a dangerous position down the left but his cross went over everybody. You felt City just had to be sensible to see out the early pressure but it wasn't to be. Godfrey had time to clear it long as City tried to play the ball out but gave away a throw from which Baldock cut to the byeline before deliverin a cross that Stevens head strongly into the corner without any real challenge.

You could feel City deflate like a pin pricked balloon and within three minites it got worse as the visitors upped the pressure and Baldock had time and space to turn and rifle a shot across Krul from about twelve yards. I have said it time and again this season, you have to be better than that to get anything in this league. Now we were playing into the visitors hands and with their very uncompromising defence it wasn't going to be easy. In fact McGoldrick had two good chances to kill it completely which he thankfully wasted.

Then we had the usual VAR farce. United flashed a ball into the net but the flag had already gone up for offside and everybody had stopped. Why oh why did we have to wait three minutes for VAR to check it. Farke withdrew Hernandez and Byrom for Cantwell and Lewis but didn't really look like getting back to the standard of the first forty five in that Henderson was rarely troubled.

With about a quarter hour left McClean was hacked down by Basham and we thought there might be a gleam of light when the ref flashed a red card. Unfortunately VAR decided to get involved again and it was reduced to a yellow. I initially though VAR would be a good thing but its being used so ineptly that it is destroying the game as a spectacle. Any lingering hope of salvaging something from the wreck was extinguished when Henderson made a fine save from Cantwell in the closing minutes. It was a terrific move with Buendia and Pukki setting him up but it was just about the only chance we had in the entire forty five.

Six minutes were added but it might as well have been sixty. The vistors have a very solid defence and for all our eye catching fancy stuff we don't have a rock to build and they do. Sheffield United will survive but we won't.

They tried but they aren't good enough. Buendia, Pukki and Vrancic the pick, the rest were very so so.

Edited by ricardo
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It’s sad that Sheff Utd, the team that couldn’t keep pace with us last season, now look a much more Premier League outfit than we do. It’s the difference between spending a bit of cash on some signings to improve the squad, and spending next to nothing and accepting relegation from the first game onwards.

Thanks for the report Ricardo, depressing as it was.

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My son had it spot on, as we walked out he said "The difference is that Sheffield United are what I call a proper football team"

It can't be all flashy stuff, if you are weak on the other side of the game you will get punished against the big boys and that is exactly what is happening.

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The worrying thing for me is against the 8 other teams in the bottom half we have won 1, drawn 1 and lost 6. These are the teams we should be getting points against. The gap to 17th place is only 4 points. I am not sure where we are likely to pick up another point in Dec with Leicester and Villa away and Wolves and Spurs at home. I am still optimistic while the gap is still small, but it doesn't look good going into the transfer window if we are adrift at the bottom with Watford.

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20 minutes ago, Canary Wundaboy said:

It’s sad that Sheff Utd, the team that couldn’t keep pace with us last season, now look a much more Premier League outfit than we do. It’s the difference between spending a bit of cash on some signings to improve the squad, and spending next to nothing and accepting relegation from the first game onwards.

Thanks for the report Ricardo, depressing as it was.

Our style of play was always going to be more difficult in the prem.

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Anyway, cheers Ricardo. Both goals were down your end, what happened for the second goal? How did Baldock end up with so much space?

VAR NEEDS TAKING OUT OF OUR GAME. for those actually attending football it's an absolute disgrace 

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1 minute ago, hogesar said:

Our style of play was always going to be more difficult in the prem.

I was hoping it would suit us if only we could strengthen at the back. Unfortunately it never happened and the injuries killed any hope.

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2 minutes ago, hogesar said:

Anyway, cheers Ricardo. Both goals were down your end, what happened for the second goal? How did Baldock end up with so much space?

VAR NEEDS TAKING OUT OF OUR GAME. for those actually attending football it's an absolute disgrace 

Ball watching

Edited by ricardo

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I think it was more than ball watching Ricardo. Simple ball control from Vranic would have sorted. And as I put on the match thread, their first goal came about 30 seconds after we had a free on the half way line and chose to play it backwards and Krul had to try and clear etc and it got awful after that.

A free kick or set piece is just that. Put the ball in the corner if you are scared the opposition might break on us but don't waste opportunities of pressuring their defence.

VAR was correct in all the decisions but as you say, has not cleared up any controversy and just spoils the game and is not needed.

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44 minutes ago, ricardo said:

My son had it spot on, as we walked out he said "The difference is that Sheffield United are what I call a proper football team"

It can't be all flashy stuff, if you are weak on the other side of the game you will get punished against the big boys and that is exactly what is happening.

I'm not sure I'd agree on the word 'proper', as I'd say teams who focus on technical skill would be a 'proper football team', but I certainly agree with the definition. Sheffield United just wanted it more today.

 

27 minutes ago, hogesar said:

Anyway, cheers Ricardo. Both goals were down your end, what happened for the second goal? How did Baldock end up with so much space?

It looked to me (not at the game but a beneficiary of several replays) that Vrancic wasn't tight enough and allowed him to turn far too easily. Baldock had his back to goal and Vrancic had him covered, but then allowed him to turn and get in a relatively unchallenged strike.

Edited by Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing Tube Man

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20 minutes ago, keelansgrandad said:

I think it was more than ball watching Ricardo. Simple ball control from Vranic would have sorted. And as I put on the match thread, their first goal came about 30 seconds after we had a free on the half way line and chose to play it backwards and Krul had to try and clear etc and it got awful after that.

A free kick or set piece is just that. Put the ball in the corner if you are scared the opposition might break on us but don't waste opportunities of pressuring their defence.

VAR was correct in all the decisions but as you say, has not cleared up any controversy and just spoils the game and is not needed.

That's the difference between being at the game and watching it at home. From where I sat I struggled to see how overuling that red was correct. The ref saw the challenge and deemed it a red card. He later gave a yellow card after VAR. Being as he still gave a yellow it's beyond me how the difference was clear and obvious?

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5 minutes ago, nutty nigel said:

That's the difference between being at the game and watching it at home. From where I sat I struggled to see how overuling that red was correct. The ref saw the challenge and deemed it a red card. He later gave a yellow card after VAR. Being as he still gave a yellow it's beyond me how the difference was clear and obvious?

I agree, I don't think the game should be being ref'd from 150 miles away. This is not the way I expected VAR to be used. If it isn't changed it will kill the game.

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Yes VAR is proving atrocious in practice, you never know if any key moment in the game is going to stick.

 

i thought VAR was billed as overturning clear errors, but often these decisions can be looked at both ways and debated endlessly, and VAR is just substituting one debatable call for another after 3 minutes delay. And today’s was definitely an example of that.

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33 minutes ago, Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing Tube Man said:

I'm not sure I'd agree on the word 'proper', as I'd say teams who focus on technical skill would be a 'proper football team', but I certainly agree with the definition. Sheffield United just wanted it more today.

 

It looked to me (not at the game but a beneficiary of several replays) that Vrancic wasn't tight enough and allowed him to turn far too easily. Baldock had his back to goal and Vrancic had him covered, but then allowed him to turn and get in a relatively unchallenged strike.

Only saw the last half hour so can't really comment on Vrancic overall, but if that is true it's why I'm concerned about his suitability for the PL - in fact he sort of typifies our problem. Skillful & classy but simply lacking the grit & determination when it comes to the physical stuff. He's not very quick either.

 

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That's the difference between being at the game and watching it at home. From where I sat I struggled to see how overuling that red was correct. The ref saw the challenge and deemed it a red card. He later gave a yellow card after VAR. Being as he still gave a yellow it's beyond me how the difference was clear and obvious?

I don't like it anymore than you do. I was against it from the start. But so many said it was necessary. They tried two extra officials in Europe and that was/is a waste of time and money.

What was marvellous about football was it was so simple. Hardly any rules. The Laws were fit for purpose. You didn't need to know the game to appreciate what was going on. I liked controversy. It is adrenalin producing and great for debate.

And like I said to Lakey, football is emotional (that is why I am still upset about today). To clinically decide someones toe was ahead just turns the game into an arcade game. But it will remain so that managers who jumped into the hot seat before it cools from the previous **** sat on it ca nsay their job is at risk because of a referee's decision. Well I have news. It is now down to someone in a studio who is so detached from the game.

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11 minutes ago, ricardo said:

I agree, I don't think the game should be being ref'd from 150 miles away. This is not the way I expected VAR to be used. If it isn't changed it will kill the game.

I think the atmosphere is being drained out. One week it’s one rule, the next it’s another. Our first game against Liverpool as soon as the flag went up the whistle blew. Lino’s were then told don’t put your flag up unless certain. Now The Video Assistant to Relegate smaller clubs says you put your flag up and let players carry on. With the Newcastle goal we were told play to the whistle and it counted as no whistle. Today it seems Hooper blew his whistle yet they still went to VAR. The onfield ref today decided something was aggressive ( no contact needed ) 150 miles away it was minimal contact. They were probably both correct, but in other sports it sticks with the onfield decision. Hooper was next to it so surely the only person that could instinctively understand the aggression. It is destroying our beloved game, it is no longer possible to celebrate a goal with the same enthusiasm and celebrating 4 minute later just isn’t the same. 

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Just now, keelansgrandad said:

That's the difference between being at the game and watching it at home. From where I sat I struggled to see how overuling that red was correct. The ref saw the challenge and deemed it a red card. He later gave a yellow card after VAR. Being as he still gave a yellow it's beyond me how the difference was clear and obvious?

I don't like it anymore than you do. I was against it from the start. But so many said it was necessary. They tried two extra officials in Europe and that was/is a waste of time and money.

What was marvellous about football was it was so simple. Hardly any rules. The Laws were fit for purpose. You didn't need to know the game to appreciate what was going on. I liked controversy. It is adrenalin producing and great for debate.

And like I said to Lakey, football is emotional (that is why I am still upset about today). To clinically decide someones toe was ahead just turns the game into an arcade game. But it will remain so that managers who jumped into the hot seat before it cools from the previous **** sat on it ca nsay their job is at risk because of a referee's decision. Well I have news. It is now down to someone in a studio who is so detached from the game.

I agree Pops.

But for the life of me I can't see why that red card was changed to a yellow. The ref didn't watch it again so he must still think it was a red. Someone else thought it was yellow. That's how football is. Six people go to Carrow Road and see six different games. Opinions are different. 

So now we have an opinion of someone 150 miles away over ruling an opinion of the ref 10 yards away. There is no way of using technology to determine what happened. No lines on the pitch or graphs to show offside. Even if the replay showed the player got the ball it means nothing if the ref deemed the tackle dangerous. So it's just opinion and that cannot be a clear and obvious mistake.

VAR has today cost our DS boys and girls £14 

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But for the life of me I can't see why that red card was changed to a yellow.

I think it has become so much a matter of opinion that it doesn't mean anything anymore. Technically, the referee is told that red card decisions are reviewed. So he gave a red card knowing the faceless ones in a laboratory somewhere would look at it. And because they had twelve views of ten angles at it at frame by frame speed, they decided that it wasn't a sending off offence.

Now why do we have to look at things from an angle the ref doesn't see? No-one in the crowd, the ticket holders and supporters couldn't see for definite. My son was watching a stream a minute behind mine and phoned me excitedly only for me to tell him the player was staying on. That isn't sport. It is not life. It is pure analysis of a situation. I hate it. And that is why I couldn't give a monkey's about the EPL. It is for posers, plastics and pubescents (kids from London who support ManU etc).

Commentators constantly tell us the real football is played in the Championship and I agree.

 

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Today's ref has been deemed not good enough. Because another ref elsewhere had a different but unprovable opinion. 

I don't see how the decision could be yellow card. The only two options for clear and obvious were red or nothing.

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Thanks for the report ricardo. What concerns me is walking away from the ground the air of acceptance that we will probably go down could almost be touched and is hanging around like a bad smell.

We are competing in an F1 race driving a Ford Mondeo, we will finish to race but it will be last.

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5 minutes ago, TIL 1010 said:

Thanks for the report ricardo. What concerns me is walking away from the ground the air of acceptance that we will probably go down could almost be touched and is hanging around like a bad smell.

We are competing in an F1 race driving a Ford Mondeo, we will finish to race but it will be last.

To be fair the Mondeo only has a reliability rating of 67% so theres a chance we wont even finish the race..

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1 hour ago, hogesar said:

VAR NEEDS TAKING OUT OF OUR GAME. for those actually attending football it's an absolute disgrace 

Must admit I had high hopes for VAR this season but it has been a unmitigated diasaster and should be scrapped immediately (ideally or for sure at the end of the season).

Given that the underlying technology seems to work pretty well, I'm completely baffled as to how the Premier League has managed to produce such a total shambles, a shambles which is ruining the game for spectators.

IMO the only feasible option now is what they should have done years ago - use post-match video to impose yellow and red cards for offences that the ref missed/got wrong. Obviously this won't always stop simulation or cycnical fouls at source but if done properly it could provide some significant disincentives to the cheats and the cynical 'professionals'.

 

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32 minutes ago, TIL 1010 said:

Thanks for the report ricardo. What concerns me is walking away from the ground the air of acceptance that we will probably go down could almost be touched and is hanging around like a bad smell.

We are competing in an F1 race driving a Ford Mondeo, we will finish to race but it will be last.

I think most can see where we are going this season. I wear yellow and green glasses but it doesn't make me blind to our inadequacies. Enjoy the ride, we will never be billionaires but for us relegations and promotions are ten a penny.👍

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41 minutes ago, Creative Midfielder said:

Must admit I had high hopes for VAR this season but it has been a unmitigated diasaster and should be scrapped immediately (ideally or for sure at the end of the season).

Given that the underlying technology seems to work pretty well, I'm completely baffled as to how the Premier League has managed to produce such a total shambles, a shambles which is ruining the game for spectators.

IMO the only feasible option now is what they should have done years ago - use post-match video to impose yellow and red cards for offences that the ref missed/got wrong. Obviously this won't always stop simulation or cycnical fouls at source but if done properly it could provide some significant disincentives to the cheats and the cynical 'professionals'.

 

It's almost the officials don't actually want it to work ...

 

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I thought Sheffield United looked pretty average today and contrasting the game with last Sunday it was obvious their players didn't have the individual quality of Arsenal. That being said they were big, strong and very well organised which unfortunately are all the things we lack. I don't know how long they will last in the Premier League but I'm sure it'll be longer than us.

 

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3 hours ago, Canary Wundaboy said:

It’s sad that Sheff Utd, the team that couldn’t keep pace with us last season, now look a much more Premier League outfit than we do. It’s the difference between spending a bit of cash on some signings to improve the squad, and spending next to nothing and accepting relegation from the first game onwards.

Thanks for the report Ricardo, depressing as it was.

Also worth mentioning is we talk about our small investment in players this season, being the reason for our bad results, but isn't that the same for Sheffield United, and look how they play and how well they are doing!!!

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1 minute ago, Harry53 said:

Also worth mentioning is we talk about our small investment in players this season, being the reason for our bad results, but isn't that the same for Sheffield United, and look how they play and how well they are doing!!!

They spent something like £40 or £50 million I think? Mostly on forwards though. It's true the core of their defence and midfield is the same as last season. Last season they had a better defence than ours and we were unable to beat them, so all in all the result today wasn't that unexpected. Interestingly both starting lineups had only 3 changes from the 2-2 draw last season.

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