I started the idea of “The View From” back in United’s first season in League One. With the clubs continual failure to escape from the third tier I became quite familiar with forums and message boards for clubs such as Oldham, Walsall and Gillingham. Traits of clubs soon emerged and by the time of our eventual promotion I knew what to expect from each set of fans.
The championship offered a chance for me to get an impression of a whole new set of fans. Some things surprised me, other’s not so much. Here I present my findings and offer my own personal awards.
Most Arrogant Fans
Wednesday are banned from this category as it would be unfair on the others but just for a laugh here were their views just before the first derby:
“Never been so confident ahead of a derby , lets be right there now saying there the favourites because Paul Couts ( who ? ) Billy Sharpe and Leon Clark might be fit , now fucking forgive me but I hardly thing our back four are losing any sleep worrying about that , apparently they play attractive football ! I would be more worried If the usual bunch of cloggers turned up we will batter them no problem”
“if billys not fit that means they could be depending on Leon Clarke.
panic over then……. “
“They honestly think we’re bricking it over Coutts and Fleck? In fact they probably think we’re bricking it over their entire team. Of course they can win on Sunday, it’s like any match in the championship, you have to be at it to pick up points but I genuinely believe the experience we have will give us the edge on the day and in Wallace and Fletcher in particular we have players who generally perform in the games that matter the most.”
“I think that ‘pashun’ could overspill and if the ref is on it I can see them being reduced to 10 men in the first half. I believe we have too much for them in particularly in terms of movement of the ball. If Hooper is on form I can see us smashing them 4-0 or 4-1. “
“The way CC, Lees & SWFC have conducted themselves before the game is absolutely fantastic, calm, composed with a clear message. They all seem very focussed. They know how much it means to all of us, and are not been dragged into a war of words with the tin pot brigade at the other side of the city. We haven’t look rattled at all, with the mind games & sideswipes from Wilder and the rest of their brigade. This is the reason I think we will win, our players have to much class, quality & experience, and know the end goal. Wilder IMO will be riling up there players all week, as a do or die sort of game, to the point were I think they will lose focus, discipline and overall the game as they won’t be able to compete with quality. Lets not forget CC has managed in some big derbies before like Besitkas, Sporting. He is keeping his cool, unlike Wilder whose lack of experience in big sell out games is starting to get to him, to me he is like a rabbit in the headlights trying to please the fans at every twist and turn, but forgetting the real goal at the end of the day . my god I hope we wipe the floor with them, just to shut the, up “
With Wednesday out of the equation the award goes to BRENTFORD who on the first day delivered us these gems:
“Sheffield U will not handle the step up in class from L1 and the boys know how important it is to get early points like Huddersfield did last season – here’s hoping anyway!”
“I feel that Brentford have too much quality in their squad for the Blades to match them, and Wilder needs to evolve his side from League One winners to Championship competitors if he is to challenge the Bees on the opening day of the season.”
“Sheff utd won’t know what hit them – bees will be 3 up by halftime”
“I think they’ll get hammered. I doubt too many Clubs will be able to cope with our passing, pressing and movement this season.
As ever our own downfalls will be caused by silly, preventable and sloppy mistakes at the back and not by anything the opposition will do. With that caveat in place and assuming we play to our potential, Sheffield are in for a nasty welcome to the Championship.”
“Sheff Utd have clearly been on an excellent run, but I do think the top half of the Championship is a way away from the top half of League One”.
Even in the return fixture when United were above them in the table their fans has little respect for The Blades
“We’re a much better side and they’re on the slide. “
“I think we’ll be bang up for this one and they’re no great shakes”
United ended up finishing on the same points and The Bees as took 4 points off them.
Most Respectful Fans
United outplayed The Rams on both their meetings this season but that isn’t always enough to gain praise from rival fans. The phrases “They were crap but we were worse” or “They were there for the taking” are often seen after a good performance from The Blades. Derby though took their defeat at The Lane with genuine grace:
“A team with over paid and over rated players v a team that works hard and is probably under rated.”
“Same old same old,another season same problem cant do the basics against organised teams”
“ players on half the derby wages wanting the ball and win more”
“Sheff Utd: Workman like. Team performance. Determination. Desire.”
We play a half decent side and get beat. Simple. No cutting edge in front of goal. We have for a couple of seasons now.”
“Paul Coutts ran the show, rejected him about 4 seasons ago. Going backwards.”
“Schooled by Coutts and Freeman, nice one Derby”
“Coutts named MOM ran the midfield against ours that cost us around 8 million… that’s gonna take me some time to get over”
The praise for The Blades was even greater after the 1-1 draw at Pride Park on New Years Day:
“Sheffield United looked like a good side. Based on today, I’d say they’re still a good bet to finish in the top six and I’m not really sure why or how their form has dropped off and they’ve lost to some of the teams they have. For us, we looked tired. That’s not an excuse, there’s no reason why we should have been any more tired than Sheffield United. Their style is a game we could have thrived under and not many teams come to PP and play the way they did, but for whatever reason it just didn’t work today. In wider context, it’s a very good point. We could easily have lost that. They scored from probably their only clear chance of the game but they always looked capable of creating something every time they came forward”
“Sheffield United were fantastic at times, best side I’ve watched home and away this season”
“Fair play to Sheffield United, come to a tough place, should’ve got the win and the fans were in full voice throughout the 90 minutes.”
“Sheff Utd did better than I expected. They either played out of their skins or they have had some real bad results lately.”
“Credit where it’s due. Sheffield United are a good teambeen the better team in both games against us this season. Like how they use the 3-5-2 to attack rather than sit back” “Didn’t deserve a point at all, they were a lot better than us all over the pitch.” “Sometimes certain teams just have the measure of you and the Blades are one of those teams against us right now. So, all things being considered I don’t think that’s a bad point. We weren’t good and to my mind they looked the better team.”
“Sheff Utd plays well I thought; pinned us back with power and strength and I’ve not seen our centre halves get less success in the air all season, although with the amount of set pieces they had I thought they coped well.”
“Sheff Utd looked good today tbf, had a lot more energy. Deserved to lose so a point is good”
“They were the better side. Impressed with them”
“Sheff U are a good side and we’ve managed two lucky points against them”
“Another great point gained against a good side in this division”
“they were a very good side and this will probably be looked back as a point won. We’ve come away with something after being outplayed completely”
Millwall’s reputation goes before them and there is a section of their online community who live up to their infamous stereotype but most of the fans I have come across have seemed thoroughly decent and often hilarious. They are always good for a quote or two as proved by their musings this season:
“A to Z of Sheffield United
A is for Abdullah bin Musa’ed bin Abdulaziz Al Saud – son of Prince Musa’ed bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and his mother is Princess Fatima bint Hashim bin Turki bik Alngers of Turkish descent. No, he is not one of the local taxi drivers made good, he is a rich paper merchant and 50% owner.
B is for Blades. This used to be Sheffield Wednesday’s nickname, until Wednesday moved to Owlerton & became the ‘Owls’. And in true northern style, the men from Bramall Lane nicked it the moment it was left unattended.
C is for Chengdu Wuniu, a Chinese team the Blades bought in 2006 to find talent. It obviously worked well!
D is for Diego, as in Maradona. In 1978, the United manager Harry Haslam watched the 17-year-old Maradona in action on a scouting trip to Argentina and was so impressed he immediately arranged a £200,000 deal. But the transfer fell through when the Second Division club failed to stump up extra cash on top of the fee. The biggest ‘the one that got away’ ever?
E is for equal. The record between Millwall and Sheffield United is 22 wins each & 8 draws.
F is for founded in 1889, four years after the Lions.
G is for Greasy Chip Butty song – sung to the tune of “Annie’s Song”, it celebrates Sheffield culture – such as getting fat and smoking & drinking yourself to death.
H is for Harry. One of United’s most famous recent sides is the one under Dave ‘Harry’ Basset, which kicked and rushed their way to promotion to the old First Division from the Third in 1990 and enjoyed 4 seasons of top flight football – their longest run in the last 40 years.
I is for Ifill, the Blades taking the tricky winger from us after our relegation.
J is for John Smiths Bitter – the only drink they serve in Sheffield.
K is for kit, United have played in red and white stripes for most of their history in contrast to Wednesday’s blue and white
.L is for for Lipsham. Millwall’s first-ever manager made his name as a winger for Sheffield United, where he won an FA Cup Final medal. Did a great job in building a very decent Millwall team between 1911 and the start of the first world war.
M is for missing. Bramall Lane was a three sided ground right up until the 1970s, because it hosted county cricket matches for Yorkshire CCC. It is the only ground to be home to the football league champions (United) and county cricket champions (Yorkshire) in the same year (1898).
N is for naughty. Sheffield United has a very active hooligan element still (Blades Business Crew), and has had many run-ins with Millwall’s own finest over the years. The BBC came unstuck recently in SE London, but at least they made the effort, unlike many (including Leeds).
O is for old. Not United related, but Sheffield is home to the oldest football club in the world – Sheffield FC, founded in 1857
.P is for Paul Peschisolido, former Blade married to lovely Karen Brady. Had to endure taunts of ‘You’re sh1t & your wife’s a slaaaaaag’ many a time at The Den.
Q is for queue, a famous feature of the Sheffield city landscape, especially in the 1980s outside Job Centres, and nowadays outside Greggs’
R is for roundabouts. There are a lot of them around Bramall Lane.
S is for Sheffield Wednesday. The original ‘Blades’ and also regulars at Bramall Lane. It was because Wednesday stopped using the ground that the landlords at Bramall Lane decided to start Sheffield United. United fans respect and thank Wednesday for that all the time.
T is for Tevez. Carlos Tevez scored the goals that helped keep West Ham up at the expense of Sheffield United, even though it was proven that his contract didn’t meet FA rules. Blades fans are very Zen about this now, accepting that fining a club a few million pounds, who cheated to stay in the multi-million pound PL, was completely just and fair.
U is for Unitedites – another nickname given to Sheffield United fans. No idea why!
V is for very wet. It rains in Sheffield at least once in every 24 hour period.
W is for West Ham United. Blades fans hate them nearly as much as us (see T). However, they’ve
not killed any Hammers yet, sadly.
X is for Xenodochy. Natives of Sheffield are very welcoming. It is almost impossible not to pull a northern tart in the Leadmill.
Y is for years. Sheffield United have not managed to win at The Den in just over 7 years
.Z is for zenith. Sadly, Sheffield United peaked early in their footballing career, their best years were between 1897 and 1902, when they were runners-up in the league twice, champions once; and FA Cup winners twice and runners-up once. “
“The Blades Business Crew’s top boy is Norris Ramsbottom . He led a crack unit of Sheffield’s finest into the back doubles of Bermondsey, but came unstuck – literally; his false leg fell off. Noz has always told people that he lost his leg in Afghanistan; but in fact it was in Gregg’s (so to speak). That’s because like most northerners, Nozza is addicted to a diet of sausage rolls and pasties. He lost his leg to diabetes and then to some young rascals on a SE London estate. Yet, the BBC are still the top firm in Yorkshire – unlike the famous Leeds United, they do at least forgo getting selfies with tourist at Borough Market to actually venture into Bermondsey
“Some of the Fixtures already leaked for next season. Millwall vs West Ham: Thursday morning 5am, Fiji National Stadium. Millwall vs Tottenham 2:45am Monday morning, North Korea Missile Testing Arena with Kim Jong Un in the studio”
“If Millwall gets promoted, I’m cancelling the kids’ season tickets. They can’t get a sniff of sporting glory at such a young age. It’ll ruin them. First they need to suffer decades of soul-crushing misery.”
Preston Fans also deserve a mention in this category for this comment alone:
“Lad stood in front of us today gave Clayton Donaldson stick for the whole game as he thought he was Nile Ranger. ‘When’s your next prison sentence Ranger?’ Unbelievable stuff ahaha “
There was serious beef with United and Norwich this season which stemmed from The Canaries time wasting antics in their 1-0 win at The Lane back in September. With United leading in the return tie at Carrow road the Blades fans sang”take your time Sheff Utd and follow the Norwich way” whilst after the full time whistle Chris Wilder ran to the away fans comically tapping his watch. This naturally didn’t make the Blades 2-1 victory any easier to swallow for the home side:
“Ref was a complete (unt. Sheff united are a bunch of poncey (unts.”
“Wilder is in the same bracket as Warnok and Pulis. “
“that Wilder is a fat horrible ***.”
“Well played to Sheffield Utd. Deserved the win today. As for their fickle fans and absolutely pathetic manager… I really can’t believe how childish the manager is. Don’t know his name. Don’t really care. Should take a look at himself and grow up tbh. Clearly holding a grudge over a defeat for no reason. I’ve seen way worse time wasting than what we apparently did at theirr place. And theirr managers excuses for that loss were so laughable! ”
“Their fans love his passion and clear love of the club, which is understandable, but he is severing lacking in class in general. You can b
e passionate without being obnoxious – his comments after the last game were particularly grim”
“2nd win in ten ! Course he’s delighted , we saved his job”
“Bitter, bitter fans, they’re an embarrassment to their team, whom I actually thought played very well….they and the tosser Chris ‘the bus driver’ Wilder need to get over the bitterness and concentrate on your football. Banter it may be, but they celebrated like they’d won the league….and as for the over reaction from Chris Wilder & their subs warming down was embarrassing ”
Most Knowledgeable Fans
Well they did try to warn us about James Wilson…………
don’t think we saw him at his best. But maybe we actually did?”
“The bloke was useless”
“Such an average, overhyped player”
“I didn’t think he was good for us at all”
“he’s lazy and lacklustre and very weak”
“will never make a championship striker, weak, lazy and disinterested.”
“didn’t look interested at all”
“What a disappointment he was”
“James Wilson is terrible.”
Most Depressed Fans
Many clubs had worse seasons than the Suffolk outfit but I didn’t come across any set of fans with such a huge sense apathy. Most of the blame was laid squarely at the door of the now departed manager Mick McCarthy and this really came to the fore following our cup win at Portman Road:
“Another new record that Micks achieved is four home games and 0 goals. Mick OUT”
“Sadly that was typical Mick out there. Game turned into scrap, no quality on display but ultimately the result isn;t that bad. It’s utterly pointless, and certainly not a good result but it isn’t a bad result. We just bob further away in mid table, the second half was as boring as you can imagine and we were lucky to walk away with a point.”
“Yes we had a few out but Sheff Utd played virtually a reserve side and still we fail to muster even a single shot on target ? Not f**king One worthy of being called an effort on goal, I mean FFS, it’s the FA Cup and I know MM doesnt give a toss about it but 12,000 cared enough to turn up and that is what you all serve up you hopelsess pile of crap !!
“I don’t say this offensively but, does Mick McCarthy have brain diseases or is he just fully blind? Saying we played well without a shot on target is the worst thing you could possibly say. “
“You wonder if MM tries to wind the fans in every interview now.” “it’s like he had a psychotic break after Sheff U scored and was watching the great match in the sky, where we came back to win 5-1.
Everyone was happy, loud chants of “Super Mick!” could be heard reverberating round a packed Portman Road….
Then the final whistle went, he snapped out of it, and had to do an interview he wasn’t prepared for.”
“He is a narcissist in full blown denial, I mean to be happy with that you have be away with the fairies, on another plane of existance altogether.”
“McCarthy’s FA record is P-9 W-0 D-4 L-5 ”
“Mick will be delighted with holding Sheff Utd to a 1-0 loss. “Let me tell you,not many teams will achieve a 1-0 loss against that lot”
“What a complete and utter waste of time.”
The “We Didn’t Know You Cared So Much” Award
During United’s spell in League One this award was usually won by Oldham Athletic who seemed to have a bizarre grudge against United and inexplicably saw us as one of their main rivals. With no Oldham this season, Hull City gladly stepped into the breach. Following their 1-0 win at The KC Stadium many Blades fans will have been surprised to see how hated they were by followers of the of East Yorkshire side:
“If anyone says we haven’t under achieved they’re silly ****s. They’re a bag of **** .absolute ****ing dogger. And they’ve been in the play off places most of the season. GTF A little fat **** **** up front with a big fat **** **** alongside of him and they’re their two best players.
The rest are none entities.We completely dominated them. The only annoying thing was we stopped going after 65 minutes and decided to hold on.**** piggy ****s.”
“Started questioning my hatred of Sheffield Utd!Thank you very much for Keithy Edwards, Thank you very much, thank you very very very much… Thank you very much for Billy Whitehurst… etc… Thank you very much for Stephen Quinn… etc… Thank you very much for Wembley 2014… etc thank you very much for Harry Maguire… etc… Thank you very much for 3 points last night… etc.. can we play you every week?”
“The whistles seriously pissed the enemy ****s off. Get in.”
“Great 3 points , City 1 vermin 0 , up yours Wilder .”
“can’t stand them”
“I hate them”
“always good to get one over on the Blunts.”