Forget the Premier League, the start of the 2013-14 season starts tonight – at Bramall Lane where Sheffield United host Nott’s County live on the box and this time United ought to make it third time lucky.
For three seasons now Sheffield United have squandered in the third tier of English football, a Division which no Blades fan wants to be in. It would be unfair and naive of me to make any suggestions that Sheffield United don’t deserve to be in this league but I do full support the notion that both Sheffield sides have the ground capacity and fan base as well as the hunger to be amongst the top 20 clubs in this Country, all be it if the first teams don’t match the quality and strength of the elite.
However the Blades can consider themselves ‘unlucky?’ in the past two years since their fall from grace. Two years ago they were piped to the post in the automatic steaks (by Wednesday) and had to suffer another play-off heart-ache as well as again last season, though our disappointment at Yeovil came as no big shock.
Tonight marks the 125 year history of the Football League and Sheffield United is part of these celebrations, even if the club itself isn’t quite as old – it is still an honour to be privileged with this.
Last season United had a great defence, keeping 21 clean sheets in the process, but managed just 56 goals scored and with Nick Blackman (who had been sold in January) registering as top scorer with 14 goals in all competitions it’s clear to see why United failed in their plight yet again.
During the summer, the club have appointed former Everton and Rangers defender David Weir as manager and since his appointment as been ruthless and tactical in his approach as well as giving a good account of himself with the Blades faithful following. He acquired six new signings with striker Lyle Taylor, a £250,000 purchase from Falkirk looking to be the star buy.
Firepower in attack needs to be bolstered and with new faces in those positions I am sure that he has done the right thing in acquiring the players he has with the budget he has to cope with.
I haven’t been a huge fan of Chris Porter during his two seasons with United, but under Weir he has had a sharp pre-season which has delivered three goals. United haven’t lost a friendly match for two years now which naturally proves that these sorts of games don’t determine how you fair in the league stakes but United (and Porter) have come on good and looked unbeatable, Wolves will naturally be favourites for the title but as proved in the past these sorts of teams, like United don’t fare well in their first season in the third tier and other teams could take advantage of that.
Regardless of how united finish in the league, come May I am sure that we will enjoy good times under David Weir! UTB.