Crew Alexandra 3 Sheffield United 0 The Alexandra Stadium Attendance 5,437 Away Blades 1,298
A great following witnessed a disgraceful performance from The Blades and one that lands us deep in the brown smelly stuff, I don't care how many games we have in hand, with performances like this we will be making trips to the likes of AFC Wimbledon, Newport County and Mansfield next season. Despite Nigel Clough's reactions after the game slating the players I think Clough is as much to blame as the players, awful substitutions and arrogance in the transfer window from our gaffer has lead to us being in a very challenging fight for survival. To the match first and the team looked weak, they looked lacklustre and they didn't show any character. In hard conditions Crewe (who are noted for playing some nice football) knuckled down and adapted their approach, they didn't let the pitch or weather affect them. The returning Paynter failed to make any sort of impact, he looked a million miles away from his previous two appearances, Baxter couldn't get himself into the game, the midfield were missing in action with the exception of Scougall but his efforts were in vein as he couldn't get his team mates assistance, nor could he do everything himself. Harry Maguire and Brayford gave it there all but with Colins and Hill had awful games and the workload became to much for John and Harry. Long made a few clangers but also made some good saves to save a cricket score being on the cards, whilst he should have done better for the third goal the blame cant be put at Georges feet for this game. Scougall tried from range twice early on but both times saw his shots blocked, Crewe quickly took control back over the game and began testing the Blades defence. On the thirty seven minute mark Arsenal loanee Chucks Aneke made Coady look foolish by out muscling him and holding him of the ball, Collins recognised the threat and that no one was going to deal with it, but before he could make a challenge Aneke had already curled it into the back of the net. A foolish obstruction from Hill lead to us conceding a free kick and as it was played in the defence could only clear it to the edge of the box where Aneke again
pounced and hit hard into the back of the net. In the second half a weak penalty appeal was turned down as Scougall was challenged by Mark Ellis before tripping over Garratt in the Crewe goal. Clough then made the mind boggling decision to take off both of his wingers and replace them with a left back and a central midfielder, proving this squad has no where near enough depth and that his statements in the transfer window were beyond farcical. Porter replaced Paynter and despite Chris showing determination and a fire that is rarely seen from him his lack of ability again let him down, but fair play to the striker he showed some guts unlike most of his team mates. Crewe never let us back into the game and in stoppage time George Long made and absolute hash of Inmans shot leaving Moore to slice the ball into the net, three nil and the end of the game, Crewe deserving all three points. This squad has no where near enough depth, we are four to five players short, Cloughs refusal to approach permanent signings and instead rely on loans screams ignorance and his comments that this squad is big enough and good enough makes me believe he suffers from delusion. With the exception of Maguire, Brayford, Scougall and Porter non of the players who featured today deserve their glamour tie away at Craven Cottage, and unless there is a drastic change that trap door will burst open from underneath us and the fall will cripple us. Perhaps Nigel's idea to send the youth team to Fulham is not a bad idea.