A Yorkshire Derby. The second game at Bramall Lane – four games into the new season, how does La Liga compare to Ligue 1?
TEAM – Barnsley FC NICKNAME– The Ticks
Teams like Barnsley are pretty poor and make La Liga seem like Ligue 1. They did have a chance or two though. Mark Hamill was dangerously fed down the right flank on a couple of occasions and even whilst eating on the go, the fat winger managed to trouble our defence. But it was their goalkeeper, Jay McEveley, who looked their strongest player.
Smart saves from Billy Sharp, Jack O’Connell and David Brooks, prevented DEM BLADES from putting the game to bed early. In many ways, pun intended, he Ticks all the boxes for a championship goalkeeper.
DEM AWAY FANS
La Liga certainly provides a more audible away contingent and the Barnsley fans had something to cheer about, for one, they were in Sheffield. For two, they can be very proud that their best player is on the way to the premiership, albeit with Huddersfield – something for the CV. For three, the clouds dispersed after ninety minutes so those fans returning to the walled city of Barnsley, by train, could enjoy the water features outside the station and fill up their bottles to take home to their thirsty children. As I’ve said before, it’s poor taste to take our running water for granted – it doesn’t exist everywhere.
DEM BLADES were dominant in the first half and Ched Evans FC was largely untroubled in the second. Jack O’Connell should’ve celebrated his first goal of the season when finding himself unmarked from a corner. Congratulations to David Brook’s who did celebrate his first goal, but failed to check if the ball had actually crossed the line.
The seminal moment occurred in the 75th minute with the return of a certain former player: what a moment it was too. In a mediation between club captain and Ched Evans, there was only one winner. The rich applause and adulation which Evans received were absolutely deserved even if it dampened Billy Sharp’s exit.
Sharpe scored and held onto the ball with more success than in previous matches. He’s also our captain and top goal scorer, only goal scorer. So what? Evan’s arrived and conquered. Introducing himself with a deft flick over the head of one defender and into the path of another was a thing of beauty and coaxed rapturous applause. Paired with his exceptional positioning, you can see precisely why Kevin McCabe told Chris Wilder to pretend he signed him in the first place. When Enda Steven’s carried the ball down the left, Ched expertly hovered within two yards of our full-back and then, receiving and making the pass with ease, returned the ball to an offside Stevens.
But you can only blame the players around him. The ball might not have stuck; he might’ve had the first touch of Steve Kabba; the pace of Craig Beattie and the footballing brain of Connor Sammon, but let’s raise him up, higher than our captain. Higher, even, than our manager. Ched, we salute you!
An increasing problem at Bramall Lane, let’s not underplay it either, is Gary Sinclair.
Do you work in an office? You know when you bump into a colleague that you only tangentially know? You’ve seen them at some spurious meeting before and, for some bizarre reason, they feel the need to call you by a nickname. That was probably G-SYNC.
We all know, of course, that Mark Duffy (Duff) and Billy Sharp (Bill) deeply appreciate his “Well done” as they leave the pitch. But G-SYNC, who you’ll notice doesn’t adopt his own moniker during games, needs to stop the Steve McLaren impression. Yes, ‘Stevie G,’ ‘JT,’ and ‘Wazza’ made him sound like a sycophantic, puppy-eyed member of England’s Brass Band, but he was at least their manager.
This has been going for some time, but it MUST stop. What ridiculous direction will he take us in? What happens when a player with no obvious nickname comes off?
Will it be, Chedmeister? Fleckster? Endaster?
If anyone else will join me, shoes-off, in the car park next weekend, to put this ridiculous state of affairs to bed, then DM me @DEM_BLADES #G-SYNCMUSTGO!!
In a toss up between Coutts, McEveley and Duffy; Coutts takes the soggy biscuit this week.