Type 1: HARD, SEPERATE NUGGETS (like nuts)
Type 1 on the Bristol Stool Chart is identifiable without inspection because it’s very hard to pass. No such trouble for DEM BLADES as I travelled to sunny Bristol for the final game of the 17-18 season.
This is the penultimate blog of the season and I must warn you, it’s a tad shitty.
Lee Johnstone is the loose stool of Championship managers. The Type Seven as it were. He’s woolly around the edges and frankly, much too soft. His reliance on technology cons the BIG TV commentariat – the Jake Humphreys and Dan Walkers of this world – they think him a moderniser. He makes for a great interview – perfectly bland. Did you see his iPad? Wow, he said a big word. Look at him swiping!!
He’s not a good manager.
After we lost 1-2 to Bristol earlier in the season I summarised the playing style adopted by Johnston’s Bristol as being ‘hoofball with technology.’ With the experience of watching Johnson’s team at close quarters for ninety-plus minutes, I can justify the following a posteriori qualification: Clueless hoofball with technology. Much better.
DEM 90 MINUTES
Last game of the season, last snack of the season: Lidl’s own Root Vegetable Crisps.
The front of the packet boasted that these were “Hand Cooked” treats, what did they think I expected, foot cooked? I let the marketing idiocy wash over me. These were discs of perfection; at every turn a new delight. Beetroot, tick. Parsnip, tick. Sweet potato, tick. If you were one of the lucky supporters sat around me, you too will have smelled the delightful aromas as I finished off the bag at record speed.
As soon as I had polished-off the dregs, an industrious John Fleck won the ball from a lethargic Bristol defender and in so doing, flicked it to Leon Clarke. Our top goalscorer took a couple of strides forwards and sent the ball into the back of the net from between twenty and twenty-five yards. A delightful crisp finish proceeding a delectable crisp start.
Once more, Fleck was the provider. The provider of jubilation. It was his clever cross from deep that found Billy Sharp unmarked. The fat-lad who hails from the Sheffield region thunderbastarded the ball into the roof of the Bristol net for nil two. Two beauties n’all.
Three, as they say, is the magic number. The third goal didn’t come from the head of the magic Jack O’Connell (although it would have been fitting, JoC deserves extra kudos for his ever-presence) but from the boot of the almost never-present (not his fault) Kieron Freeman.
A run down the left flank by Leon Clarke. A floated cross to the back post.
Remember those days when Freeman would always steal-in to nick a goal?
Well, they were well and truly reanimated when his perfect volley flew past Bristol’s goalkeeper, Frank Fielding. THE BEST OF THE LOT. Fielding, which I don’t imagine was the lads best cricketing attribute, looked shell-shocked. Lee Johnstone looked bemused.
Stooped over an iPad in stat-stasis. Was it working? Try giving it a whack on the top, that’ll fix it. All the facts poured out of the technology and into his mind. Like Rain Main but short. Too many stats. His poor brain was clogged and it was all he could do to sit quietly and look miserable.
The fact-fucked manager took his side in at half-time and what he did with all those stats, nobody knows.
There wasn’t much of an improvement by the Bristolians in the second half. In fact, Bristol’s shittiness was off the chat. Actually, no it was not. It was a Type Four; the classic. The steaming turd to beat all other steaming turds. Loglike. Snakelike. Steaming. But, as we are accustomed, there is always time for DEM BLADES to fuck it up.
For the majority of the game, Bristols talismaniac defender Aden Flint had failed to create so much as a spark of hope. All of that changed when he scored on sixty-minutes. DEM BLADES defence had conspired to not clear the ball from a corner. Flint headed it towards goal. Simon Moore dived down to his right (about half an hour too late). 1-3.
Despite Bristol’s horrible performance they managed to reduce the arrears to a single goal with fifteen minutes to play. Freekick. Edge of the area. Top right. Moore dived (only ten minutes late this time). Things looked to be getting a bit spicy. 2-3.
But the game was more a Korma than an arse-burning Fahl…
…Like the morning after a day of eating nothing but carbs, Bristol pushed and pushed but it was not forthcoming. An equaliser that is. The referee blew his whistle and that was that – season over. Hasn’t it gone quick, eh?
No quicker than any other season. Time flys when you’re having, err, fun.
Up until the other day, I thought Hugh Briss was a person. It isn’t. It’s a word that can be used to mean excessive pride or arrogance (I’ll have to apologise to him for getting that wrong all this time). There’s no hubris when it comes to Chris Wilder and DEM BLADES.
Or more appropriately, DEM BLADES and Chris Wilder. No amount of pride is excessive enough to describe the feelings of attachment between fans and manager, manager and fans. That was demonstrated throughout the game by loud, proud and over-excitable crescendos of songs sung too quickly. Too quickly, but never long enough.
That is our season really. Over-excitement but never underwhelming. In fact, I would say that our season has been well and truly whelming. For now, we have a great manager. Great (if a little quiet at Bramall Lane) fans. Some great characters in the squad. All we need is a couple of great players and a playoff shot isn’t out of the question next season…I’ll get me coat…
I intend to analyse the season fastidiously in Duecourse, which is a quiet little hotel on Anglesey. Until then, I leave you with my final man of the match of the season and a new post-game award…
From man of the match, to….
…and if that wasn’t an ouef then an egg is.