Blades 1-0 Northampton

“beaten by negative tactics imposed by Page despite the bravery & determination of our defence to hold out for a point. No ambition on the pitch quickly transfers that mood to the supporters. We deserve better & so do the players.”

“To quote Insider from his summary last night on on our away performances this season all of which he has been present at “I’ve seen the fecking lot and it is dross, it is negative, it is unambitious, it is clueless.”
An accurate summation I think.”

“I feel for the 1650 Cobblers supporters who travelled to Sheffield in hope only to watch us park the bus once more.  It is dull negative football that produces a shock win occasionally (e.g. Oxford) but generally ends in defeat.  Page said that he watched Sheff Utd v Oldham (I assume on video) where they also had 10 men behind the ball only to concede late on. So, does this manager learn nothing?  This is happening time and time again. There is a sensible balance between attack & defence that has to be found when playing away from home but Page shows no ideas. What on earth was he doing bringing on Joe I. in the last 2 minutes?”

“Yes we defended (very well) but we were also a threat on the break and from set pieces. The 1650 who were there were not bored, were in very good voice and almost saw us snatch a point. Bigger teams than us will play exactly the same way at Brammal Lane.”

“How do you expect us to play at Sheffield United? Not one team in our league will go their and go toe to toe with them,but if you know better than 23 professional football managers…. “

“How about the words of Chris Wilder who praised the way we played and the way Rob Page set us up.
“We’re going to go for it here, we have to. We sometimes might get done on the counter and we nearly did today but Simon Moore’s made a fantastic save. “I think it would have been harsh on us to lose this game. Credit to Pagey and the opposition for setting up in the way he has done and making it really difficult for us and frustrating us.”

“ “Poor old Page lost by a narrow margin: cue the usual armchair suspects who rose up as one. Interesting enough the few comments from those at the game have actually contradicted these critics. By and large BoN comments are pretty spot on as the games turning point was their goalies save to thwart Taylor’s splendid free kick! IMO for the rest of the game we lost our shape with a series of poor clearances and nobody in Midfield/Forwards able to hold on to the ball. Potter showed his limitations as did Richards and Revell. Hoskins apart from a brief spell in the first 30 odd minutes did little to impress. I actually thought that Anderson did ok 1st half but went a bit awol 2nd. I thought by and large Page’s tactics were ok ; after all he was minutes away from an unlikely point. Smith hardly troubled and all the defence played well, very well in fact. They collectively deserved a point from this game. In the end our downfall was caused by poor passing out of defence which invited them to practically camp in our penalty area for the last 5/10 minutes. Suffice to say it was scored by a midfielder who rarely ever scores. JJOT was the pick of our midfield and showed “glimpses” of his power and authority in midfield. As for Taylor he had a good game 1st half – not so evident in the 2nd, but his superb free kick might well have saved us. Some of his passing was pretty good too, but a bit like Anderson he does tend to disappear at times. He was the only Cobbler’s player I can remember to have a meaningful shot on goal. Please Nyatanga and Zakuani do not head the ball straight back to the oppo as you did in the last 10min of the game apart from that you did fine.
Pages tactics – would have worked if those up front were more effective but they weren’t and that was that. As for his substitutions; no quality on the bench to remedy the deficiencies – Beautyman on for Rico was a negative as personally would not have even bothered! As for Joe I’ he should have been on sooner for Hoskins but imo lacks the necessary quality to effect the game; harsh I know. Apologies to his fan club!
Summary – guided by their Media outlets and by own friends at the game is that we played ok particularly defensively and might well have taken an unlikely point. Until Page remedies the midfield and forward failings we will continue to experience similar match outcomes. However just by looking at SU performance and how we contained them for so long perhaps we just need 2 or 3 reasonable and affordable L1 standard players; one in midfield and two up front.”

“While the two CBs clearances did often go straight to the opposition midfielders, both JJOT and Taylor were never there to pick up the second ball, not sure if that’s down to lack of mobility/speed or if the Sheff Utd midfielders were just better and more aware. It was incredibly frustrating though knowing that any sort of clearance was coming straight back at us within seconds.”

“Taylor’s one free kick aside, he was fecking dire again today. You omitted to mention his first half free kick which wouldn’t have troubled third leg when Bramall Lane was a county cricket ground, or worse, the corner that he took immediately after his “splendid” free kick which, if I recall correctly, bounced twice before it even reached the 6 yard box.  The reason we lost today IMHO was an inability to win 50/50 challenges or pick up second ball, compounded by an abject lack of running off of it: I don’t need to repeat those I mentioned before.”

“First half decent and competitive with some good attacks.
Second half non existent (free kick apart) as an attacking team”

“We had a few chances where we could have scored. And we certainly would not have forced their keeper into a tremendous save by not being in their half.
From the moment we sat back our fate was sealed. IMO you might as well give yourself a chance albeit small by taking the risk of pushing on a bit. I’m perfectly aware of the limitations of our forwards. But these are compounded by a total lack of vision and no attempt whatsoever to give them even the occasional opportunity.
The players are no more happy with the style of play, than a lot of the support.”

“Not many sides will limit Shffield utd. to one goal. We were unlucky to lose this, We defended very well. Still happy with our first season after promotion.”

“you have to take risks against sides like Sheffield Utd. Or you might as well forget the whole thing.”

“could have nicked it had Taylor’s free kick gone in, that’s was the only shot in anger by both teams until the winner. As radio Sheffield and a number of their fans said, that’s was their toughest home game all season.”

“Blades deserved the win in the end but did not look that good, there is certainly not a huge gap between us.”

“we were unlucky.We defended SO WELL. “

“We defended so well we lost.”

By Roy

2 thoughts on “View From Northampton”
  1. Good luck for the rest of the season. Your away support at our place was excellent. Northampton looked a solid all round team,but defending deep late in the game probably cost you a point. As for SUFC, we have played better and lost,but that’s football. A happy New Year to all Cobblers fans.

  2. I thought Northampton did well against the Blades, their defence was solid for a large part of the game and frustrated the home side. IMO, Northampton were the quickest to react to the loose ball and created some problems on the counter attack. Fortunately, we managed to up the level in the last ten minutes to snatch the win. Thought JJOT was your man of the match – he run his legs off. Keep the faith, you’re not far off a decent L1 team. A Blade

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