Blogs & Opinion


Peter Beagrie:

Most Popular Posts:

Recent Comments:

Gary Bennett on Reading crashers

"Leeds have thrown away too many games this season with our dodgy defence conceding too many soft goals.Scoring goals has not been a problem and i think the play offs are still there to ... " View all comments

Sheffield United: Peter Beagrie looks at Nigel Clough's appointment

Peter Beagrie - Peter Beagrie Posted 30th October 2013 view comments

Sheffield United might be in League One but they are still a massive club.

On one hand that brings pressure, but on the other, it brings a tremendous fanbase and what looks like decent resources, so you'd like to think new Blades boss Nigel Clough can breathe life into one of England's sleeping giants.

Clough: won his first game as United boss

Clough: won his first game as United boss

Clough - who sees this as a brilliant opportunity so soon after leaving Derby - was the first choice on many people's lips and he certainly fits the criteria that the United hierarchy were looking for following his work at Pride Park.

David Weir tried to change the footballing philosophy at Bramall Lane whilst blooding the youngsters and Nigel will do the same, but he also has the added benefit of experience of being in this situation before.

Nigel will also encourage all of his players to go out and express themselves but he will be putting extra pressure and responsibility on the older heads.

Peter Beagrie
Quotes of the week

CLOUGH'S DERBY RECORD

Games: 233
Wins: 78
Draws: 54
Losses:101
Win percentage: 33.62

He took over a Derby side crying out for stability and proceeded to give it to them, something that he is proud of and something that the board at County and his replacement at Pride Park, Steve McClaren, acknowledged and applauded.

Gelling

There are already positives for Nigel at his new side.

The additions to the squad have helped; the team is gelling a bit more; and drawing with Crawley after going 1-0 down - when their goal was created by Florent Cuvelier and Febian Brandy and finished by Marlon King - was a big, confidence-boosting result.

A spirited defeat to Coventry, a win over Port Vale, a draw with Peterborough and a victory over Crewe in Clough's first game in charge have followed and United are also doing what they weren't doing at the start of the season - scoring goals.

However, with recent strikes coming from midfielder Michael Doyle and defenders Neill Collins and Harry Maguire, Nigel needs to address his forward line.

He must work out if he can pair King and Lyle Taylor, if he can play Brandy in a wide position and where to fit in Jamie Murphy and Ryan Flynn, but the options in the final third have certainly improved.

Nigel will also encourage all of his players to go out and express themselves but he will be putting extra pressure and responsibility on the older heads, telling them: 'Look, in this group you have a pivotal part to play'.

Willy-nilly

If United finish this season in mid-table or above, everybody will breathe a sigh of relief.

They should do that because they have the financial clout and the ability to boost their squad with new signings if Nigel thinks he needs them, although they won't throw money around willy-nilly.

A play-off place looks unlikely as they have probably given teams like Wolves, Peterborough, Brentford and Preston - who either have a group of players that have played together for a long time or replaced outgoing players with ones of equal quality - too much of a head start.

However, having taken seven points from nine to move within 10 points of the top six, I wouldn't rule out their hopes of making the play-offs, especially if they can take nine or 10 points from their next four games against Shrewsbury, Gillingham, Bristol City and Walsall.

Next season must be the priority, though, and they need to ensure they are fighting for at least a play-off place in 2014/15.

Implemented

I would also like to pay tribute to outgoing manager Weir and the Blades fans.

Everyone was willing Weir to succeed but I think the right decision was made to let him go because how long can you leave it when you are down at the bottom?

United had only won one game under David's tutelage, way back on the opening day of the season, so something had to give.

That said, David implemented a lot of things at United that will bear fruit and he should still carve out a good managerial career in the long term, as let's not forget that this was a man who was in contention for the Everton manager's job over the summer.

As for the United faithful, they are extremely loyal.

They turn up in the their numbers every week and show tremendous passion, whether they are cheering or booing, and after seeing their club be perennial bridesmaids in the play-offs, I hope there is light at the end of the tunnel for them.

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Martin Tyler

Tyler's stats and facts

Which letter surname gets the most goals? Who has made the most passes? Martin has the stats......

Guillem Balague

Balague: Real lack logic

Guillem Balague says Real Madrid’s poor football judgement has left them weaker than last season....

Alan Smith

Smith - Welbeck exit sad for United

Alan Smith says many Man Utd fans will be upset to see Danny Welbeck move to Arsenal....

Latest News RSS feeds

Live transfer updates

Aston Villa seal Tom Cleverley loan, Cesar Azpilicueta signs new Chelsea deal and Wayne Rooney welcomes Radamel Falcao.

Stones handed England start

John Stones has been named in England’s starting line-up for Wednesday night’s friendly against Norway.

Yorke: United spree could win title

Radamel Falcao can fire Manchester United to the Premier League title this season, says Dwight Yorke.

Rooney salutes Falcao arrival

England captain Wayne Rooney claims Manchester United have made a statement of intent by bringing in Radamel Falcao.

Cleverley joins Villa on loan

Tom Cleverley has joined Aston Villa on a season-long loan from Manchester United, both clubs have confirmed.

Features

Free Transfer XI: The pick of the players still available following the closure of the transfer window

Free Transfer XI: The pick of the players still available following the closure of the transfer window

Still not had your transfer fix? There are still players out there looking to find a new club this summer...

The Science of Scouting: Abroad

The Science of Scouting: Abroad

The globalisation of football is an opportunity for clubs savvy enough to identify talent from abroad. However, with players being expected to adapt to a new country, the risks are increased in line with the reward.