Once again DEM BLADES rose to the top like the delicious frothy head of a
craft beer real ale. The victory leaves the Brewers floating around in the sedimentary depths of the craft beer that is La Liga. Out of respect for the man of the hour – the man of every hour – I’ve adjusted my structure for this week to include my Man of the Match at the beginning.
Man on the Match
When he isn’t on the field of play (Ipswich) and when he is on it (every other match), Paul Coutts p.b.u.h is the perennial man of the match for all seasons.
Burton Albion are the craft beer of football. To look at them from a distant, you might think they are the indie-brew product of people who are passionate about their craft. Then you quickly realise upon sampling their wares that the people behind the scenes don’t know what they are doing.
You’d be sensible to presume that these people are probably twenty-five and think it’s sick to drop a pack of CurlyWurlies and nine hundred cardamom pods into the fermenting concoction. Or they are twenty-six and think that the best Session IPA is made by watering down a good IPA until tastes like the saccharine, diluted urine of a dog on a diet…and then serving it with an orange wedge.
But the man behind the curtain is not twenty-five nor indeed twenty-six, instead, the chief brewer is Nigel Clough. And boy, have I not missed those tactics! The constant squad rotation, the lack of any attacking intent or threat, the Cloughie favourites who get a game even though they are shite, John Brayford injured. The list is endless.
In my pre-match analysis, I wrote that I hope that #Cloughoutis trending, which now has come to pass. I’d like to officially retract those comments as it would be a shame not to face the same anaemic tactics at Bramall Lane.
DEM 90 MINUTES
In the first half, DEM BLADES demonstrated why they are top of the league. Neat, sharp, short passing. Fleck, Sharp, Coutts passing. It was excellent. MacFadzean pushed Sharp over in the penalty box, which prevented the striker from striking and conceded a penalty in the process. Sharp smashed it into the top-left (keepers right) of the onion-bag for 0-1.
Out of nowhere, Laura Palmer picked up the ball for Burton and hoofed it towards goal and it flew in. Talk about luck. But the equaliser was akin to the divisive yeast extract spread between two slices of triangular-cut bread and, by that, I mean they were pointy ergo, Sharp. DEM BLADES’ striker latched onto the end of a good through-ball by Carter-Vickers and he slotted home for 2-1.
Then Paul Coutts was injured, which killed any latent enjoyment of the rest of the match. But the show must go on. Chris Wilder has not built a one-man team and despite all of this occurring in the Pirelli stadium, I’m sure you’ll agree that
the wheels won’t come off, DEM BLADES won’t tyre…there’s no need for a revolution. Coutts’ replacement looked a tad nervy, but say what you want about John Lundstram, he was literally twice the player of his opposite number, Matt Lund.
In the second half, the Brewers drooped. There were ten minutes when their performance was raised by what I can only assume was Neggy Nige’s own herbal remedy out of the condom machine and into the fryer – if this occurred at all it didn’t change the outcome. In fact, DEM BLADES would score a third. John Fleck curled an excellent early ball through to Leon Clarke whose improvised downward header ended the game at 1-3. An excellent result despite the horrible consequences.
DEM BLADES got the three points, but we didn’t take the same enjoyment out of victory as we normally would. In a bizarre way, it’s a feeling that we should pay heed to. Thanks to Chris Wilder, Paul Coutts and the rest of the player and the fans, DEM BLADES are a united force and it’s taken a long time for this cohesion to be so apparent. It’s shit that Coutts was injured, but it’s fantastic to see the fans hurting for the players and vice versa. More than ever was the case under Nigel Clough.
A note from our sponsors…me: