“Couldn’t really have got much of a tougher game to start with but we beat them with ease last season so a win for us isn’t out of the question. “
“Sheffield played a shocker last season and can’t be as bad again. “
“Probably the toughest start we could have.Loft,Morris,& Cody are doubts.I would be happy to start with a point.”
“ I am wary of the Adkins factor and also Billy Sharp for Sheff Utd. But we’ve made some decent additions as well, so I will go for a 1-1.
I see they’re bringing close to 2000 down, always like to see a big away contingent so should be a good atmosphere. “
“Will be a big test for sure, but a great game to have first up. Beat them relatively comfortably last season despite leaving it late, but I’d probably take a draw if offered now. “
“Basically sold out their initial allocation of 1400. They’ve requested an additional 500, which is the maximum they will receive (1900).
Seen a few good comments from their fans about the decent price of a ticket (£15) which is good.
Not sure if the demand would be there from them to take even more than that but i’d imagine it probably would be for first game of season where they have high hopes of promotion this year. Surprised we don’t just give them as much as they want though and move the 100 Townenders into the corner / Gordon Road as usual.
The extra money would no doubt be much appreciated if we got an extra 500 in on top of the 1900.
If they sell out the full 1900, i’d urge scally to consider sending another batch up or making 1000 tickets on sale on the day or something.
Should be a good atmosphere anyway! “
“Let’s hope we p!ss on their bonfire then! “
“Nigel Adkins is really talking up their form this season.
Unlike us they have been banging goals in for fun in the friendlies so really hope we can knock the grin off his face next Saturday.
Bring it on! “
“Sheff Utd will feel under a lot of pressure this season as arguably the only ‘big’ club in Lge 1; last year they didn’t react well when things started to go against them in the game; the more fans they bring (and I agree we should offer more tickets) the more they will feel it; they won’t fancy coming here first up; expect a few yellow cards; and if we can be solid at the back I think we’ll win as they fold up late in the game
1-0 with a penalty (but no idea who will take it!!) “
“I’ve tipped them to win the league this year. I think every year they’re favourites but ultimately end up not quite being good enough. I reckon this year they will finally get it together though. I’m working on the principle that the money they can throw at it is bound to do the job eventually, particularly when comparing against the funds that other clubs in the league will be able to afford this year.”
“roll on Saturday 3 points in the bag”
“Would be great to turn them over but I feel a draw is probably the best we will get. Just remember how their gracious fans refer to us as “That pub team”. “
“I’m not feeling particularly optimistic and have been psyched out by my XXXXXXty Sheff U supporting mate who refers to us as The Dog & Duck! “
“2-0 Gills with Sheffield diving, cheating and time wasting at 0-0 only to totally panic and implode when we score with 10 minutes to go. Oh hang on, that was last season
This season ……
“We’ll play extremely well for a 2-2 draw against the future champions.”
“0-1 as it looks as though at best McDonald will be half fit.
Still very optimistic for the season as a whole. This is probably our toughest home match and it will be good to get it out of the way. “
“I would 100% take a bore draw right now. “
“One apiece. We’re stage struck and concede early. They think they’re going to boss it but don’t quite. We get a penalty with five minutes to go. Cue Blades outrage”
“Sheff United to finish play offs at best. I know they’ve signed Sharp, Sammon and Woolford but for me none of these will be among the top scorers in LG1 this year. Baxters suspended which is also a bonus.”
“A score draw, the Blades being outraged that they couldn’t beat “trash like Gillingham”.”
“I would love to put one over on them for no bigger reason than their fans being such obnoxious XXXXXXs.
They really, really think this league is beneath them. “
“We tend to make the big boys pay when they don’t show us respect but Adkins is no mug and they seem to finally justify the promotion favourite tag.”
“ this one we’ll nick as Sheff complacent and looked mentally fragile last season when challenged. Expect several yellow cards “
“3-1 defeat. A Che Adams hat trick for the Blades acting as a decent consolation given I’ve got him for the top goal scorer in L1 at 50/1.”
“ Sheff Utd fan-“I honestly think we’ll smash Gillingham three or four nil and be top from day 1 right through to May.” “
“To be fair, most of the Blades thought he was barmy, several referred to our form in the second half of last season, and two had us down as this year’s surprise package “
“They are probably even higher than milwall’s budget, and able to offer players huge amounts. I for one would be really XXXXXXed off if we had budget twice the size of a team and we weren’t beating them regularly. “
“To be fair to this Sheffield team, last season they were a total bunch of pussys and spent most of the game rolling around on the floor
I expect Adkins team to be more positive. “
“Does anyone recall being on the coach that had its windows smashed travelling through Sheffield City centre on the way back from the Sabella inflicted 4-0 defeat in our first match with Utd back in 1979!
It capped a poor day we ended up near Rotherham getting our Coach Windows fixed.
I still recall a fat Sheffield hooligan throwing something at our Coach window that day,can I mention a notorious Sheffield road sign as well!
At least we beat them 4-2 in the home fixture and I am sure Sheffields two goals that day were own goals,one was definitely scored by Peter Shaw!
Also I remember the Steve Bruce inspired 3-0 home victory against Utd and Jason Lillis’s goal in a 2-1 victory when I thought he was going to run around Gillingham town centre in celebration!”
“Time to move on, can’t fault his attitude though. No puns please, I won’t take the bait.”
“He really needs to find a club that will play him and he can settle at. Good luck Conor.”
“I love the effort, the physicality, the fitness, the determination…but how he ever got a contract as a professional footballer is beyond me. Could he make centre half? Good bye and good luck. “
“Not really a surprise, amazed that the blades have taken him given he flopped at Ipswich and Rotherham but maybe a drop down a league will help. “
“Sammon is an athlete who can play a bit, and has made a career through having a fantastic attitude.
I wish him all the best – he’d be suited at a club who play percentage balls for him to chase down.”
“Such a team player…best of luck to him. “
This move is make or break for him really needs to make an impression an do well. To save his career I’d say league one is his level should be looking to get double figures, will be interesting to see if him and sharp r first choice could work well. “
“Good news for all involved. We get him out of our hair, he gets game time and a chance to resurrect his career while Sheffield United get an internationally capped striker with Premier League experience.
He might be absolutely dire but I hope he does well and earns himself a deal at the end of the season. Would never begrudge the guy a career just as long as he’s not on our books”
“he may not have the best end product but his work ethic would surely create something for our midfielders to score some! “
“He’s a top fella, down to earth and when I spoke to him he really liked derby and even though the stick he gets he still tries his hardest, he isn’t the greatest but no need for any stick, good luck to him! “
“Some fans are too hard on him. Yes he isn’t great but he’s a professional. He still puts in a shift whenever asked upon him and I expect he’s fully aware that he’s become more of a ‘laughing stock’ at the club yet still gives his all.I think he’d score a few at a lower level, maybe League One. He was doing alright in Scotland before he came here, so perhaps he could return there. Rangers maybe? Anyway good luck to him.”
“He’s just need games time and don’t think he’d get that much here this season coming up anyway, he’s a honest pro who try his best for the team so good luck Sammo “
“I personally think he’s just not at this standard ! Lower league 1 maybe even league 2 he might do well , his determination and desire might see him through”
“Just a loan? Damn.”
“With the right type of players up front with him, he could be an asset. Does a lot of unselfish work, and I would have thought he could do a job for a newly promoted team to the Championship, or any team that struggled last year and has mid-table as a target for the coming season. Will not score many goals, we all know that, but by creating space and tying up one central defender he does give nippy players opportunities to exploit. I hope he settles and does well.”
“ Even without Clough they are taking our rejects”
“Good move for him, though I’m not sure their fans are likely to cut him much slack if he doesn’t suddenly start banging them in. “
“Good luck Sammo, just not good enough. Not his fault though. “
“Sammo and Sharp to tear League One. SCENES. “
“Decent move for him to be fair. I was thinking League One but not as high as Sheffield United.”
“good luck to him, at best it’s about 2 divisions higher than he should be, at worst, it’s still the wrong sport. “
“Sammon can well work in a team that uses him correctly, he gets into promising positions and is an exemplary hard worker. Hope he does well at his new club and that the coaching staff there have him practicing finishing. We Derby fans won’t forget him anytime soon, he certainly is a special one. i have been too hard on him in the past, i would much rather have the likes of him a player that tries his best always than some lazy arsed star in his own mind type. Good luck to him.”
“Good luck to him. Can’t fault his character, just his finishing. “
“best of luck to him, never lacked effort, sadly that’s not enough for where we want to be, can’t say he’ll score a hatful for them but he’ll roll his sleeves up and put a shift in.”
“Good luck to the fella. Got too much stick to be fair. Massively guilty of it myself. Took my Clough anger out on him. Not his fault a poor manager paid crazy money for a poor player.”
“Holy smoke, SU fans stating there new strike partnership is the new SAS “
“We wish you well Connor. We hope that you do a good job there. We know that you are a hard worker. “
“Connor could be a very good player for Sheffield United.”
“Sammon is a team player always gave 100 per cent for the Rams,i can understand his need for regular game time and wish him well”
“Price is about right. Was hoping we’d get Murphy the other way. Decent left winger.”
“He must be on big bucks for us to let him go so cheaply “
“According to rumours, he earns around 14k per week. “
“I’ll never know why we signed him. If he’d been Italian he’d have been hammered on social media. I have him down as divisive as well but that’s just me. “
“ To be fair about it mate, most Leeds fans thought he was a great signing for us when we got him. Just because it hasn’t turned out so, shouldn’t deflect from the standard of player of some of them we acquired last season. Sharp, along with Adryan looked great on paper, but as we all know, even some very top players like Falcao for instance, sometimes don’t produce the goods, for some unexplained reason. I think he needs to go though. “
“In fairness to Sharp he scored 5 goals last season and Morison only scored 2. I think if he had more chances he could have hit double figures.I would keep him!”
“Me too. I think hed benefit greatly running off wood up front. “
“Given that he had been failing elsewhere, his best years were in all probability behind him. “
“Cant say im that bothered about sharp leaving … i think i always wanted him to do well and be a great signing for us but never looked close to happening.”
“Would rather see Morison go than Sharp..but 500k is a decent fee imo.”
“If it’s just one to go I’d sooner it be Sharp.”
“league one and with wingers he will be banging them in”
“Both would do a job at L1..especially Sharp.
How ever..I don’t really want us to be helping out the rapist lovers..that whole club disgusts me after the Ched Evans affair.
In fact feck em..I would sooner see them rot in L1 for a good few more seasons..and then hopefully get relegated and eventually go to the conference.”
“sharp, not impressed one trick pony. “
“Why’re we even considering selling Sharp? OK, last season didn’t work out. Another season at least IMO & if it doesn’t work fair enough “
“Be a shame if Sharp leaves for Sheff Utd. Decent squad player to have but he obviously wants first-team football.”
“We really need to keep Billy Sharp”
“Would rather see Doukara leave Leeds than Billy Sharp “
“personally like sharp as a player “
“We dont need Sharp. not saying hes bad but i think 500 k is a good deal for a 29 year old who doesnt score much and is on big wages “
“Absolute banter when sell Sharp to SUFC and don’t get Murphy in the deal “
“Don’t see the point in selling Sharp if we don’t get Murphy”
“Will be gutted to lose billy sharp BUT gaining jamie murphy from what i hear and ive seen will be so worth it natural left winger. “
“I’ll be proper gutted if we sell Billy Sharp. He is a super talent, just needs time to fire for us”
“I like Sharp but he’s a 442 striker and little else. Reckon he’ll do well at Blunts “
“I for one wish him well “
“I wouldnt mind it being a loan with a view to a possible permanent, just in case he rediscovers his goal scoring form and starts belting them in “
“BillySharp is a predator in the box,he never really got a run of games in the side to build any sort of confidence or momentum.
that was solely because the type of player he was didnt fit into our only workable system.
Personally i never truly think stats tell the full picture and can be grossly missleading at times, i rate Billy Sharp and i think given game time and a strike partner he will grab you bag full of goals.
One stat worth note his leeds career hasnt even taken off, majority of his apperances came off the bench, id be interested in seing his stats like shots per goal against the very wasteful antenucci in my opinion. “
“Scored 11 goals in the last two seasons
Hasn’t scored 15+ goals in a season since the 2010-11 season
His most prolific period for goals was ten years ago when playing for League One club Scunthorpe United
Sharp did win two games for us last season v Boro’ (h) & Huddersfield (a)
A striker on a downhill spiral i suspect “
“He averages around 14-15 goals per championship season made more impressive the fact most of his goals and games where when from his time at Doncaster and they were struggling to survive. I admit Billy Sharp had a disappointing season last season but he is without doubt the second best striker at the club maybe even the best“
“He is the typical journeymen striker that have had the occasional reasonable season but never been quite good enough to move up to the next level.“
“Sharp is an average Champs player imo, never going to be the star but will get a few goals. Should be a good signing for league 1 “
“I wanted/want Sharp to do well at Leeds, but I think he is on the downward slope. Yes he’s been good in the Championship over his career, but the last couple of seasons haven’t been very good compared to his previous form. “
“League One about right for him”
“Sharp has always been a complimentary striker rather than a main striker. He is a 15 goal a season striker in a team where the main striker will get 20+. As a main striker he has never really done it. He is also the sort who will score 6 in 5 matches then go 20 without a goal Happy to see him leave”
“Best deal for both clubs and player.
I like Billy but he is never going to play many games.”
“A quality striker walking out of the door simply because of the lack of foresight to provide him with pacey wingers, to provide low hard crosses into the box for him to feed off, when the opposition fumble a clearance.
Instead he was having to feed off scraps from high long balls which is an alien part of his game or boxed out wide into corners. The crowd then loses patience with him and he is benched and then struggles for game time, as we employ ridiculous diamond systems which lead to us finishing 15th in the league.”
“Shame he didn’t get the service he needed cos he would have got us 15-20 goals no problem.
Good luck Billy lad.”
“Watching a striker of his quality play on his own up front did him and Redfearn no favours in the end. He was never going to run 40 yards and bang one in. Why Redfearn persevered with that tactic is a mystery.”
“Woolford was an ‘ok player’ good luck to him.”
“I liked Woolford, was good for a decent cross when needed and chipped in with his share of the goals..”
“At best he is nothing more than average.”
“Never rated him. He’s better off up there with his fellow degenerate northerners”
“Did not usually let the team down, but never got the pulses racing did he? “
“He had his moments, just not enough of them.”
“Think it’s fair to say that we got far more out of Woolford than anyone ever expected us to.”
“He was an honest player so credit where credit is due, never sulked when out of the team. The goals he scored last game of the season before last against Bournemouth and away to Fulham will be remembered. Good luck to him. One of the nice guys in football.”
“He is a useful asset to any league 1 team and will score over 10 a season.. Good luck to him never sulked even when Leeds move fell through”
“To be fair he probably played under the two worst managers in our time barring Spackman, and two seasons our worst teams.
Like others have said honest pro and will do well in lge 1.”
“we should have kept woolford”
“Great Appointment for them”
“He was promised lots with us but it never materilised”
“He’s back! Since Nigel left Reading he’s only had Twitter as an outlet for his relentless optimism. Set phasers to ‘motivational'”
“Nigel Adkins will be getting the Sheff U job. Sliding down the divisions isn’t he, Brendan Rodgers will be next one on that downward spiral.”
“I fully expected open entertaining football under Adkins where we would concede a lot, but score more (lots of 3-2s, 4-3s, etc) but that plan falls down when you don’t have a decent forward line. or the ability to organise a defence”
“Adkins doesn’t matter – other than the work he did in blooding some of the youth we’re still bringing through now.”
“my highlight of last season was when Adkins got sacked. Absolutely serious.”
“SERIOUSLY? Last season we were fighting to make the POs …and this season we were fighting against relegation. Fact is Adkins got us to 7th last season – this season when he left we were 17th”
“Adkins gets slammed here but at least He took Southampton from League 1 to The Prem.”
“Adkins deserved to be sacked”
“LOL at all you divs who thought Adkins was the problem 😆 😆 “
“With Adkins we would still have failed just as miserably & ended up about 18-20th & not got to a cup final so meh.”
“Even Adkins was better able to motivate than Clarke is”
“When Adkins was in charge his failures were put down to the players and now Clarke’s in charge it’s the manager.”
“Adkins had a better record than Clarke”
“Constant formation changes was one of Adkins biggest problems”
“Adkins knew what he was getting into when he joined. It turned out that at best he hadn’t been told the full truth and at worst he had been deliberately misled.”
“We seem to play a lot less long balls than we did under McDermott and Adkins”
“Had a Southampton fan telling me we shouldn’t have sacked Adkins and that Clarke would fail because he’s an assistant manager, not a manager.
He completed ignored me telling him performances under Adkins had been steadily declining, which cumulated in the 6-1 defeat while Adkins has shown promising signs, although it being painfully clear we lack a decent goal-scorer.”
“I thought Adkins was a good move (until I heard his press conferences!) But I saw absolutely no sign of defensive improvements”
“Clarke was brought in because apparently Adkins was the problem and the squad were better than they’d showed. Except results are worse under him.”
“Adkins seemed to lose the plot once a lot of the injured “first teamers” came back into the side.”
“Adkins was about as far away from “the perfect fit” as you can get. He gave up on the young players that he had been using at the start of the season as soon as more experienced players came back from injury “
“Adkins was given about 20 months & did actually get a bit of money albeit not a lot”
“That team was Adkins team who left us in deep trouble never should of came to manager reading FC”
“The league campaign was truly dreadful under Adkins this season – we were conceding the most pathetic, spineless goals week in, week out. In addition, the players looked miserable, they didn’t know what to do, and the post match interviews got more insane / erratic by the week. I’d also add his backroom team were dreadful – Crosby does not inspire any confidence whatsoever.”
“Adkins may not have had a cluee how to coach a side defensively, but I’ve seen nothing to suggest Clarke has a clue offensively. “
“Good look Nigel”
“Congrats to Nige. Football is a better place with him back in it. Saints legend”
“I predicted a few weeks ago that Nigel would be the new Sheff Utd manager. Perfect fit and he belongs at a big club. Good look Nige”
“Nigel Adkins is the best managerial signing Sheff Utd could make. Saints fans didn’t agree with his sacking. He makes players believe in themselves, up their game and play attacking football on the floor.
“Not many Saints fans are keen on Clough after his disrespect of Koeman (well played btw – you were much better than us on the day…)
Nigel is an excellent manager who found himself victim of a ruthless chairman (although I’m not complaining now..) His enthusiasm is infectious, and he’s a thoroughly likeable guy. He’s done the business in League 1 on several occasions and proved himself capable of Championship management with Saints. Likes to play attractive football, so will give you some great spectacles (expect numerous 3-1 victories!)”
“As a Saints fan I have nothing but thanks for what Nigel did in helping us towards where we are now. If you appoint him I hope you treat him well because he will serve you well. Good luck – if it happens.”
“Looks like a great move for all concerned if it happens
I shall follow his progress with interest
Really nice guy and will always have my respect”
“I was just thinking about the effect that Nigel has had on us all as people. I’m not talking about the great things he achieved for our club, but has his outlook and ‘Adkinisms’ shaped us at all?
The first thing I have noticed is the aftermath of his removal. First there was disgust etc, but this soon went to a weird sense of trying to be positive – a true Nigel trait. We then went to the what is done is done phase and “draw a blue line under it”. The game against Everton could have been a terrible atmosphere, but there was a positive vibe – “together as one”. We cheered the team on against high flying Everton with a team that had 4 of the first team from our league 1 team (7 if you include subs) – “hard work beats talent, if talent doesn’t work hard”. Despite losing Nigel, we came away “with a smile on our face” and most of us are even warming to Nicola’s decision (though not the manner of execution). There is a feeling that “don’t get too high when we’re winning and don’t get too low when we’re losing”
I find that in everyday life I am more positive and often quote Adkins (my fav is “pressure makes diamonds” and the hard work quote). It seems his legacy may be more than getting us back to the top flight…..”
“Adkins had a positive effect on the fans (coupled with the teams performances, of course). He didn’t allow himself and us to get down when things went against us. Apart from his managerial skills, he also provided a human face to SFC.”
“Adkins is a beacon for clear-headed, positive yet rational thinking, and I believe he has been a good lesson to many of us both in football and in the outside world.”
“Nigel’s given us some great memories, some of which will warm my heart til the day I die. Not sure I’m going to turn in to him though; after all, Gordon Strachan didn’t turn me into wise cracking smart arse.”
“One thing we should all remember Nigel for is his positivity. Positivity in life is so important. There are always positive and negative people in life. I always like to surround myself with positive ones and try hard to effect the negative ones as much as possible. It even happens on the forums.. why do you think that some peopel get called “Happy Clappers”? It’s becasue we are positive. If someone says something negative, I always like to try and flip it to see a positive view. it can piss people off, but I much rather be with positive people than what I call “NegHeads”
Nigel could start a daily email quote, and I’d sign up immediately.
I actually do recieve a similar thing from a bloke called Richard Denny. If you like that sort of thing, google him and sign up. He sends you an email every day and they are positive. Just pretend it’s from Nigel and you’ll feel good.”
“I think to be honest our rapid rise up the leagues has had a bigger effect on our positive outlook than Adkins’ positivity.”
“The best thing about him was how hard working he was, and I think he will succeed anywhere with his attitude. He seemed like a great family man as well, I like that.”
“I think the lasting legacy, which might be unique to Nigel Adkins, throughout the leagues, is that he could get tired, cynical and jaded football supporters to lustily sing as one… There’s Only One Nigel Adkins, whether we were winning or losing. There was belief in the guy. And supporters don’t do that unless they mean it.
When he used to talk about our brilliant supporters, in post-match interviews, he always added that final nail by saying… we’re together as one..!
That kind of talk never falls on deaf ears. Oh dear, I’m getting a little emotional. Forgot how much I like the bloke.”
“Another legacy is that he, with the help of Andy Crosby, has made good footballers even better, physically and more importantly, mentally. “
“Adkins actually did have a bit of an effect on me. To be honest, it’s because I initially thought he was kind of a loser with all his hokey sayings and positive management style.
He said the kinds of things where if I was at some kind of meeting with my boss and he said something like “Draw a blue line under it and move on” to motivate me I would roll my eyes. But it actually worked! So for the last year or so I’ve sort of been trying not to be such a cynical smart ass in my own life and actually try to live those Adkinisms with as much sincerity as I could muster. And I have to say, it somewhat worked for me as well. “
“I loved the guy and every time I saw him he made me smile and feel good.”
“He’s a smart cookie, our Nige.”
“Adkins is why they still have academy lads acting as boot boys at Saints…Gives the youngsters some humility and provides them with a direct link to the senior team.”
“Adkins is a great guy.”
“Although he was beginning to turn things round, it may have just reached the point where Adkins could take us no further. Not a reflection on him, but the team had heard it before and needed new ideas. “
“Adkins is a top man and still so popular with us Saints fans.”
“I say Adkins deserves a shot at a decent club. Could he have been successful in the Premier League with Saints? I think so. I find it interesting that some ‘journalists’ suggest that Ron is lucky to have inherited good players and a style of play from Pochettino. In fact Pochettino was the lucky one with what he inherited from Adkins. I’ll not deny that he improved us, but the style of play was essentially the same.
Adkins was playing the same way in Div One. Pressing all over the pitch with attacking full backs. I genuinely think he has been much copied without getting the credit.”
“Adkins’ style was to press intelligently, same as Koeman’s, but with players of lesser quality. This could be maintained almost throughout the match. What let Adkins down was the intelligence and quality of his squad, and possibly the quality of his coaching [that possibility can’t be ignored, the same with all coaches and coaching]. Koeman certainly has a stronger squad of players who are fitter, stronger, smarter and more skilful and can press when required for an entire match. He also has higher quality match winners at his disposal. Match winners take the strain off a team, as we all know.”
“Adkins is a man who simply loves football and can’t get enough knowledge on it. He seems to be soaking up information wherever he goes.”
“It’s a very popular choice for the supporters. Hope he gets them out of La Leagua One.”
“I can only ever wish NA the very best of luck. A good man!”
“A shame our club couldn’t find a position for him. Would love to have him back in some capacity.”
“We are forever in his debt for taking us back to the land of milk and honey, but he has moved on and as they say, don’t go back !!”
“His ability at our club was no fluke. He had done amazing things at Scunthorpe and he did ok at Reading at a time when they were on a downward trend. Really like the guy and has shown such dignity at all times. He will always be welcome at Saints. “
Nigel Adkins in charge of a team in League 1 who play in red and white stripes. It could be like 2010 all over again.
“He’s just a thoroughly decent, lovely bloke who has a genuine love for this club & a lot to offer as he knows pretty much every position in the backroom staff”
“Reading never looked the right option but he still has a fantastic CV overall.”
“Good luck to him”
“When the Adkins era arrived with the Wembley appearances plus three out of four seasons in the Championship, I really thought I’d died and gone to heaven. For me this had always been nothing more than a pipe dream.”
“Adkins did more in the short time he was with us than Laws had done in the previous 10”
“Nigel Adkins took us to glory ! Laws was the man that led us to our lowest league position in living memory !”
“The football we played under Adkins was magnificent”
“They will get promoted without a doubt.”
When Nigel Clough was sacked by Sheffield United he became the 7th permanent manager to exit the post at Bramall Lane since Neil Warnock parted company with the club in 2007. Here I look at the how things have panned out for the six managers that came before Clough and what they went on to achieve after leaving The Blades.
Bryan Robson could have had few complaints when he was sacked by the Blades in August 2010. His inability to get a United squad featuring the likes of James Beattie, Gary Cahill, Matt Killgallon and Gary Speed anywhere near the play-offs was a quite staggering failure. It seems unlikely that any other Chairman in England will take a punt on Robson again after his stint at Bramall Lane. He hasn’t managed in his home country since he was sacked at United and his only other managerial job was with the Thailand national team. Here he took over from Peter Reid and in his 2 years as manager Thailand dropped 15 places in the FIFA rankings. The drop was mainly due to Thailand’s failure to reach the Asian Cup for the first time in 23 years and their early exits in both the Southeast Asian Games and the Southeast Asian championship. Thailand had long dominated in these tournaments and these disappointing performances led to protests from fans which effectively forced Robson to resign in 2011. Robson hasn’t managed since and is now back at Manchester United in a ‘Global Ambassador”‘ role
The decision to sack Kevin Blackwell just three games into the new season is arguably the reason United find themselves in League One. After Blackwell left three managers took the reigns over the course of the season but were unable to prevent The Blades slipping into the third tier for the first time since 1988. Blackwell divided the fans at The Lane. On the one hand the football was terrible to watch but on the other he kept the Blades comfortably in the top half despite having almost all his best players sold. Even Blackwell’s harshest critics would concede that the timing of his sacking, after giving him a full pre-season to make his signings, was lunacy. After leaving United in 2010 Blackwell had to wait 2 years before he got back into management with Bury. Here he won just 13 games in 57 as the club were relegated to League Two before he was sacked after a 2-0 home defeat to Morecambe left The Shakers 4th from bottom in the basement division. Blackwell brought in 23 players during his short tenure but was unable to change the fortunes of the club. Since sacking Blackwell, Bury have progressed under the guidance of David Flitcroft and last season won automatic promotion back to League One . Blackwell is currently on the coaching staff of Barnet after leaving a similar role at Crystal Palace following the sacking of Neil Warnock.
Gary Speed was thrown in at the deep end with United. He took over a squad built by Kevin Blackwell to play in a direct manner and was asked to change the style of play whilst also getting results. In hindsight the fact he left United outside the relegation places when he took the Wales job in December 2010 was a remarkable achievement given what followed. Under Speeds Stewardship Wales were awarded the title of ‘Best Movers’ of the year by FIFA having gained more ranking points than any other nation in 2011. It was widely acknowledged that Speed was quickly improving a Wales side that had faltered under John Toshack. Tragically Speed never had the chance to carry on his good work. On 27th November 2011, Speed was found dead by his wife, apparently having committed suicide.
Although Micky Adams had taken Sheffield United down to their lowest position in over 20 years it was still quite a shock when he was fired at the end of the season. Many expected Adams to be given a full season to get in his own players and the chance to help United make a quick return to The Championship. That said his record was appalling. Just 4 wins in 24 gave him the lowest win percentage of any United manager (amazingly that record would soon be beaten) and the way he seemingly accepted Uniteds fate long before relegation was confirmed confused fans. After leaving the club he had supported all his life Adams returned to Port Vale, the club who United had poached Adams from less than a year earlier. Back at Vale Park Adams guided the club to a respectable 12th place in League Two. They would have finished higher but the club went into administration and suffered a 10 point deduction. With the club still unable to sign players due to administration and with a number of their better players leaving few expected Port Vale to be challenging at the right end of the table as the 2012/2013 season got under way. Surprisingly though The Valiants overcame the obstacles placed in their way and gained automatic promotion. Despite this many Vale fans were critical of Adams and the way the team almost blew their promotion hopes with a poor run of form towards the end of the campaign. Adams described certain sections of Vales support as “idiots who were waiting for things to go wrong”. In their first season back in League One Vale achieved a creditable 9th finish despite once again struggling financially and having to rely on young loan signings to see them through. The following season Adams and Port Vale got off to a decent start but 6 defeats in just 24 days mounted pressure on Adams and he resigned on 18th September 2014. On leaving Adams said “Certain sections of the fans will be happy but I’d like to think a lot would be disappointed. You don’t work at a place for five years without caring about a lot of the people involved. And I believe I am leaving the club in a stronger position than when I joined.”
Adams was out of work less than a month as Tranmere Rovers appointed him as manager in October. Tranmere were bottom of the league when Adams took over but an instant change in fortunes after he took the reigns saw the club move out of the relegation places. Unfortunately for Adams this was as good as it got for him at Prenton Park . After 4 defeats in a row in the months of March and April Adams left the club by mutual consent. By this point Tranmere were in the exact same position as when Adams took over. Bottom of the league and staring non league football in the face.
The debate still goes on at whether Danny Wilson was unlucky to be sacked when he was. With The Blades sitting in a play off spot with just a month of the season left some still say he should have been given the chance to see the job through. His supporters pointed to the fact that he had kept United in the promotion race despite his top goalscorer, Nick Blackman, being sold in January . Around the same time of Blackman’s departure he also lost 2nd top scorer Shaun Miller to injury for the duration of the season. Others though said United were merely plodding along and had no hope of succeeding in the upcoming play-offs with the way they were playing. It was a 2-0 home defeat by Crawley Town, the 13th time that season United had dropped points at home, that sealed Wilson’s fate. The team he left behind did little better under the guidance of caretaker manager Chris Morgan and The Blades lamely went out at the play-off semi final stage to Yeovil. After his sacking Wilson had to wait 8 months before he was offered the chance to get back into management with Championship club Barnsley. Wilson had enjoyed great success in his first spell at Oakwell and had taken the club into the top flight for the first and only time in their history. However his second spell with the Tykes was less enjoyable for Wilson. He failed to save Barnsley from relegation to the third tier and following a poor run of results that left the club just seven points above the drop zone in League One he was fired on the 12th February 2015. In a club statement the Barnsley board labelled their position as ‘unacceptable’. Wilson is now looking for his 9th managerial role
Most Blades were happy with the appointment of David Weir. After three journeymen managers who had achieved very little we now had a manager who was young and who had a fantastic playing pedigree. Even from the pre-season games it was clear that United’s style would all be about possession football. Young signings such as Febian Brandy, Connor Cody and Lyle Taylor came in and as the Blades kicked off the season there was a good sense of optimism around the place. The performance in the first game against Notts County was good and the way United kept the ball was lauded by the Blades faithful. Those who left the ground that night would never have believed they had just witnessed the only victory David Weir’s United side would achieve. Whilst United still tried to play in the calm and measured way the manager wanted, it was clear after just a month that David Weir was a man very much out of his depth. The blades not only failed to win a game in their next 12 but they actually seemed to be getting worse. After a JPT defeat at home to Hartlepool the Blades board, recently buoyed by Saudi investment, pulled the trigger. Although from the outside it may have looked like a rash decision after such a short time in charge it was the right thing to do as if United had left it longer they would have likely found themselves adrift at the foot of the table. Not many clubs were going to take a chance on Weir after his disaster at United and the next time we saw him in football was when new Brentford manager Mark Warbuton appointed him as assistant manager. Brentford went on to have one of the best 18 months in their entire history as they were promoted and then reached The Championship play offs before succumbing to Middlesborough. Perhaps even more surprising than the success the Bees had experienced was the announcement that Warbuton, and Weir, would be relived of their duties at the end of the 2014/2015 season. It remains to be seen whether Weir will follow the much in demand Warburton into his next job or try another crack at management himself but his time at Brentford will have done much for his status in coaching.
As you can see after leaving United the majority of the managers above didn’t find much success elsewhere. With the exception of Gary Speed and perhaps Micky Adams every manager United have employed since 2007 has so far failed to recover from being fired at The Lane. Were they just poor managers to begin with or is there something in the air at Bramall Lane???????
“I know plenty of Blades who wanted Clough gone but when will they give a manager the chance to build? More expense incurred now.”
Radio Sheffields Paul Walker
“Sheffield United will need to find someone special to succeed the sacked Nigel Clough, a principled manager in a sport low on principles.”
Daily Telegraph Journalist Henry Winter
“Good luck to @SUFC_tweets in their bid to replace Nigel Clough with Pep Guardiola and sign Messi, Ronaldo and Neymar. Jesus wept”
Daily Mirror writer Mike Walters
“Disgraceful treatment of Nigel Clough by Sheff Utd. Avoided relegation,great cup runs,play-off place.Sacked after getting them to 5th place. Clough has left 3 clubs in a better state than when he took over while balancing the books & handling tight budgets. Not a self-promoter.”
BBC reporter Pat Murphy
“Nigel clough sacked ?? what an earth has football come too , saves them from relegation , semi final fa cup, play offs this year !”
BBC Pundit Robbie Savage
“Harshly sacked, but some fans unhappy with style. Take cup runs away and he failed to reach No 1 target of promotion.”
Yorkshire Sports Journalist Richard Hercock
“Put it this way, I don’t think Nigel Clough’s reputation is unduly damaged today. Unlike #sufc’s. Should they consider a 1 year appointment?”
Sports Journalist Alan Biggs
“From bottom to 7th & cup semi in 2013-14. 5th & cup semi this season. Amazing 60+% win rate in 18 months. Thanks Nigel…..& good luck.In Nov 2013 we were in a HUGE dark deep hole, & NC dug us out. Let’s remember & thank him for that & cup runs rather than focus on 1 PO fail”
Former Blades Defender and Radio Sheffield pundit Kevin Gage
“Always last to find out but just heard Clough has gone from @SUFC_tweets if I’m honest I didn’t think the board would do it”
Former Blades Defender Matt Hill