Day 427, part 2 – Welcome, Slaviša

Sheffield United’s new manager is Slaviša Jokanovic. (The c has an accent, but WordPress can’t cope with that. Bit racist.)

The 53 year old was born in Novi Sad in (then Yugoslavia, now) Serbia and… actually, the club have provided a handy infographic, so let’s let that do the talking.

Image

Both Watford and Fulham fans seem to think he’s the business, so it looks like promotion next season is basically a given*.

This guy was our number one target and, given the situation, I think the right man for the job. It’s a real positive step forward and great news that we’ve managed to get him in, and get him in early. Hashtag A New Beginning.

* i’m joking, obviously.

Day 423 – End of the season

Yep. The end of another weird, horrible, broken football season. And we all know that it didn’t go well.
More defeats than in any other campaign in our illustrious 132 year history, relegated long before today’s well-deserved victory over lowly, lucky Burnley. It’s interesting (and promising) to note that we put in a great performance and a decent win today in front of an actual crowd. That lockdown restriction has hurt us more than most.

But, with such a terrible start to the season, there was some weird degree of acceptance early on (this post was a huge hit with United fans), and suddenly, even the small positives became highlights and moments to remember. Like that first win over Newcastle, the hard-fought victory over Aston Villa, and – of course – the absolutely incredible, near unbelievable 2-1 away at Old Trafford.

I was quite emotional that evening. And it was a big win: the first ever Premier League win by a Yorkshire club at Old Trafford. At the 36th attempt, nogal. And ManU went on to put 9 past Southampton there the following week.

Oh yes, and the little fact that we weren’t the only Sheffield team to get relegated this season. Shame.

Much of the time, we didn’t play badly. Stuff just didn’t click: we lost just by a single goal on an incredible 17 occasions. But the Premier League is an unforgiving place, and so the Blades drop to the Championship, which means that I won’t get to watch them anywhere near as much next season. And that’s sad. But hopefully, the fans will be back at Beautiful Downtown Bramall Lane, and that will be the catalyst to get us straight back up.

Come fill me again…

Day 415 – Let’s do this

Have a become a bit soft in my old age or is it just a shifting of my thresholds because of my ongoing experience of differing geographically imposed conditions?

I’m down in Agulhas (alone) and it’s pretty miserable out. But it’s not that miserable. It’s wet and grey, but it’s not that wet and grey. (OK, it is that wet and grey right now.) And yet I found myself hiding inside (and even in bed) until hunger and a need for coffee dragged me out into the kitchen. There’s nothing wrong with staying in bed if you have no commitments elsewhere of course, but the outdoors is right there, and I feel like I should be in it. And this would be actually classed as ‘not too bad’ in my homeland and childhood. (Indeed, it would be described as ‘positively tropical’ in my early university years.) So is it that I’m just a bit soft now because I’m older, or is it just that I’m not used to it anymore?

And does it even matter?

I’m not daft: it’s absolutely pitching it down at the moment, and why would anyone – no matter their age or location – choose to go out in that? And in opening the front door to have a peek outside, there was a sign (quite literally) from above, as a scorpion fell from the door frame onto my head. We’re both ok. But I’m inside and much drier than him now.

But in the next window in the weather, I will get out and about: appropriately dressed for the conditions, obviously.

Meanwhile, it’s back to the cafetière and Mark Radcliffe on 6Music. Because why not?

Day 343 – Win

Day 3-4-3, although we were actually playing a 5-3-2.

Too little too late? Possibly. Probably, even. But the commitment and the sheer effort last night was a proper Sheffield United performance, not one of a team seemingly doomed to relegation.
Our defeating both Aston Villa and the best efforts of the officials and their laughable red cardism was wonderful to watch (if slightly stressful at the end).

You have to watch that DMG goal a couple of times. Once to see the inch-perfect cross-field ball, and then a second time to ignore the inch-perfect cross-field ball, and watch McGoldrick’s run once he had pinged the pass out to George Baldock.

What a goal. What a performance.
And a Sheffield Double as Wendy lost to relegation rivals Toytown in the last minute.

Dreamy.