Sheffield United

Bramall Lane


6pm, Tuesday 12th January’21

Live on Sky Sports



Tuesday night sees Steve Bruce and his weary charges visit South Yorkshire in what can only be described as a season defining fixture. For next up, it’s winless Sheffield United at Bramall Lane. 


That the Blades could be described as suffering a ‘difficult second season’ is the understatement of the year. Having impressed everyone during ‘19/‘20 in their first top flight campaign for twelve years, they’ve hit the buffers big style since we reconvened last September. 


When we kick off, they’ll be rock bottom, with just two draws to their name.  Most fans/pundits have already written them off, but is some help on the way? 


Ray Parker Jr, in his 80’s classic ‘Ghostbusters’ soundtrack repeatedly asked ‘who ya gonna call?’ This was directed at anyone who may be suffering supernatural interference in their lives. Had Ray been instead posing the question to struggling Premiership managers, I’m guessing the resounding answer would be ‘Newcastle United!’ 

I can’t be the only Mag feeling discomfort at this fixture? We’ve often been a ‘port in a storm’ and our mainly listless recent displays, coupled with a lack of goal threat make you wonder if we can actually win a game anywhere. 


Once more, I’ll leave the proper analysis (on the two sides) to the ‘Special’ lads, but surely there is one thing we can all agree on from a tactics/personnel perspective? Joelinton. I can only assume that our manager is being leant on to play the Brazilian. If he’s not, the question must be why on earth are you still starting him? 


Andy Carroll is worth next to nowt due to age/injuries, but he showed him how it’s done at the Emirates.  


I’ve watched a lot of football over many years. Ok, I’m just a punter, but I’d like to think I can form a decent opinion of a player after circa 1.5 seasons. Joe ain’t a striker. He shows very little of the attributes that AC showcased on Saturday evening. He’s slow, his passing is often awry and hold up play virtually non existent. So, what is he? Honestly, I don’t know. Perhaps, someone with decent Bundesliga knowledge can give us a clue?  What I do know is, in this current United line up his inclusion is like playing with ten men and if Bruce wants out of the clarts, I’d suggest a change.  Sharpish. 

As I write, we’re still waiting to hear if Wilson is ok, having been taken out of the squad in London.  As we’re (forcibly) pathetically reliant on the lad, any time on the sidelines could be disastrous. 


Without him, we’d have the choice of a presumably knackered AC, a disinterested Gayle or the £40M man up top. Gulp.


One bright spot from the Cup exit, was the debut of young Elliot Anderson. Having read a fair bit about the kid and seen some recent u23 goals I was keen to see him in the flesh.  He instantly looked at home. Desperate to get on the ball, mobile and unfazed by the illustrious opposition. Don’t send him out on loan, eh Steve. Surely, he should be playing some part on Tuesday evening? 


Prediction poser. 

I’m all but certain the result will be 1-0, 0-0 or 0-1. But, which one? The Blades require snookers, but will see this fixture as a decent chance of finally attaining a three point haul. The Magpies? Well, I guess that’s down to the fella in the dug out. He should be setting us up to win it. But, will he? The second half performance against Arsenal gives me some hope. We were higher up the pitch, and had Callum been on the field instead of Joe, I reckon we’d now be in the hat for the 4th Round. 


I could make a decent case for all three of the potential outcomes mentioned above, but I’m gonna plump for the middle one. 0-0. ‘Citing times…… 


Nick Clark