Two weeks ago, on Wednesday 13th August to be exact, Sheffield United were hosting, their ‘local’ rivals Mansfield Town in a dour Capital One cup game. How totally uninteresting.
Until that is, the Radio Sheffield commentary team mentioned that the winners of the tie would play West Ham United in the next round With 80 minutes of the tie gone, and finely balanced at one apiece, I was screaming at the radio, “COME ON SHEFF UNITED!” Then on 86 minutes, it happened. That magnificent, former Livingstone strikeR, Marc McNulty popped up to notch the winner.
I was ecstatic, like a vulture circling its prey! Payback time!
As you all know, due to Carlos Tevez playing all on his own in the 2006/2007 season, Sheffield United were relegated on the final day of the season.
All the fault of Carlos Tevez apparently. Nothing at all to do with dreadful defending against Wigan on the final day. Nothing at all to do with the previous 37 games where they failed to win enough points to stay up. Nothing at all to do with a certain Mr Warnock who was indeed in charge on that final day.
It was, in fact, Mr. Warnock (what a success he’s been since) who also blamed Sir Alex Ferguson for his team’s relegation: “I was disappointed with the Manchester United team that allowed Carlos Tevez United to win,” I believe he said.
On March 16th 2009, after the then Sheffield United Chairman Kevin McCabe dragged us to every court in the universe, we were found to be in breach of Premier League rules and were then subsequently ordered to pay Sheffield United £25,000,000. Ouch.
What a warm feeling I get when I se just how well our club’s money was invested. And it was also on that day that I realised that I now had a new rivalry with another club. You know them, the club you love to see lose.
So Sam, I’m throwing down the gauntlet to you. You need to realise just how much we need to defeat this Sheffield United team on Tuesday night. It’s your big chance to drum up some appeal to a now maligned trophy.
If you make the right team selection – play our strongest team – let your public see and hear your positive prior to kick off. Then you just might see a decent attendance.
This is our first real opportunity to finally exorcise “Tevez-gate.” A decent home crowd that needs to be loud and proud, and our strongest team that needs to go for the jugular and score the goals that we should be scoring.
So come on West Ham fans, management, players et al, let us unite and send the greasy chip butties back from whence they came.
A VIEW FROM THE EAST, KEVIN PAUL