THE SHARP BLADE: Sheffield United - where did it all go wrong?

The fat lady might not yet be singing, but she’s in her dressing room doing her vocal exercises.

It will take a miracle now to save the Blades from the almost certain fate of relegation to League One.

The 2-1 defeat at home to Middlesborough on Saturday was yet another bitter body blow to our chances of survival.

As relegation becomes more of a startling reality, many Unitedites are asking: “Where did it all go wrong?”

On this date four years ago we were reeling from a 2-1 home defeat to another club from the North East, Newcastle.

It was a defeat that left us third from bottom in the Premier League, in the relegation zone merely on goal difference, not a full seven points adrift as we are now.

But for me, the rot had begun to set in even before this.

In my opinion the first big mistake which set off the chain reaction of events which has led to our now perilous position came from the board in January 2007.

The mistake being that Neil Warnock was not provided with adequate funds to strengthen the squad during that transfer window.

At the end of January 2007 we were a full seven points clear of the drop zone, and this may have lulled some at the club into a false sense of security.

Many blame the Premier League for not docking West Ham points over the Tevez affair for our relagtion. Others point the finger at Warnock’s tactics, particularly away from home. But the fact of the matter is, had the club brought in one or two real Premier League quality signings we would have got that extra point needed to stay up.

It is speculated that relegation from the Premier League has cost the Blades £200 million in lost revenues. This statistic makes the decision not to splash out £5-10 million in that transfer window look all the more short sighted.

But we can’t rewrite the past, we now have six games left to try and save our season.

Some have said that his Saturday’s game with relegaton rivals Preston could be the make or break point, but our need is so pressing now that if we fail to get three points at home to Cardiff on Tuesday night, then a win at Deepdale at this weekend might prove a case of too little too late.

So lets make the Lane a cauldron tomorow night and get behind the boys, a win tomorrow ngiht, and if other results go our way, then we could be within almost touching distance of safety once again.


The Sharp Blade