One part joy, two parts relief.
Well done, boys!
It’s tomorrow, and here’s the match report, featuring some sporting words from Preston manager Alan Irvine:
I can’t speak for previous play-offs and it wasn’t down to luck this time in any case.
Sheffield United were better than us in both games and deserved to go through overall.
Compare and contrast that with Didier Drogba…
Written on my Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1 after one of the most nerve-wracking 45 minutes of my football-watching life.
Today’s the day.
At 1315 BST, Sheffield United will kick off their game at Crystal Palace and about several miles away, Reading will kick off against Birmingham City. Between them, the results of these two games will determine who will be promoted into the Premiership.
This might not have a huge impact on your day, but it is already having a huge effect on mine. I can’t eat anything (apart from bagels for breakfast and a satsuma), I can’t drink anything (although, if I’m fair, I have managed a couple of cups of coffee) and I can’t sleep. But that’s because I have a teething daughter.
A touch of spice is added by the fact that the manager of Crystal Palace is a lifelong Sheffield United fan and therefore wants Palace to win (as it’s his job) and United to win (because of his emotional ties).
And before anyone says – “Well, how about a draw, then?”, that won’t be good enough for United.
So – all to play for and it is thus, I sing the Oath of Allegiance:
You fill up my senses…
Like a gallon of Magnet.
Like a packet of Woodbines.
Like a good pinch of snuff.
Like a night out in Sheffield.
Like a greasy chip butty.
Like Sheffield United.
Come fill me again.
And now I must go, because my daughter is hitting herself repeatedly over the head with an orange plastic cricket bat. That’s the influence of the IPL.
…fifteen, sixteen, seventeen, eigh… oh, hello!
I was just counting my chickens before they’ve hatched.
In other news, following a nail-bitingly tight 1-0 win at Reading, my beloved Sheffield United now occupy second spot in the Championship. That’s an automatic promotion place, which means that they’ll be back up where they belong in the Premiership next season. Bring it on!
Good Friday passed without too much incident. There was some muffin making and some kalahari kreef braai’ing.
Yum. Seriously Yum.
Tomorrow brings with it the chance to go and see the UEFA Champions League Trophy on display at the V&A Waterfront, which won’t be busy in the middle of the school holidays. It’s fine – I can cope with a few thousand screaming children.
Or rather, Roundabouts and Swings
Said he “the job’s the very spit of what it always were,
“It’s bread and bacon mostly when the dog don’t catch a hare,
“But looking at it broad, and while it ain’t no merchant kings,
“What’s lost upon the roundabouts, we pulls up on the swings.”
Roundabouts and Swings by Patrick Chalmers
Poetry on 6000 miles…hoodathunkitt? But I always wondered where that expression came from.
After my minirant regarding the injustices of football and the backward mindedness of the FA, Karma (which I really don’t believe in) was happened – or whatever Karma does – yesterday as my beloved Blades scored an offside goal and a really soft penalty to win 2-1 in a crunch match against Birmingham City.
I now expect to find similar rants all over the web from Birmingham City fans. Or at least I would if any of them could write. I guess that’s a bit of an ask when you’ve only mastered the basic vowel sounds.
And even those, incorrectly.
It’s hard to remember – especially in something as emotive as football – that things do tend to even themselves out. Thus, Birmingham’s “bad luck” will probably be passed onto whoever they play next and so on and so forth.
Of course, humans being what they are these days, with the general “glass half-empty” approach to life, will never believe that they are getting anything but a raw deal, especially us bloggers, desperately narcissistic, craving attention and sympathy like some sort of Münchausen Syndrome victims. Twitter just concentrates the effect.
You know who you are.
And if you’re thinking “maybe he means me,” then I probably don’t, but you’re obviously heading that way.
More happy “Joy of Rusk” style posts, please. With smiles and stuff.
Which, I accept, this one isn’t.
Ooh ,the irony.
…but when your team goes out of the FA Cup because of this:
GOAL Hull City 1-0 Sheffield United
It’s an unbelievably controversial goal and the Blades will be furious about that one. A cross from the Hull right is for some reason headed against the underside of his own crossbar by Kyle Naughton and the ball bounces down on to the line and away. The whole ball isn’t over, though, so it shouldn’t count. Poor decision from the assistant referee to award it.
and then this:
Sheffield United’s Billy Sharp is booked for diving in the Hull box – but replays show his right foot was kicked away from him by Kamil Zayatte. Should have been a penalty. More poor officiating.
All of which leads to this:
Referee Peter Walton has apologised for his performance in the Blades’ 2-1 FA Cup defeat at Hull on Thursday.
“The officials have to live with their mistakes but, to be fair to Peter, he rang and admitted he made major errors and that’s big of him,” said [United Manager] Kevin Blackwell.
…it makes me wonder why football can’t institute the kind of technology which has worked so well in cricket and rugby, both of which I’ve been watching over the past couple of days and neither of which has been ruined by a 30 second delay while a decision is referred “upstairs”.
And it makes me bloody annoyed as well, obviously.
The fact that someone then chose to replay the “goal” on the big screen at the stadium was amusing though:
Naughton’s 24th-minute goal was controversially shown on the big screen inside the stadium, meaning the crowd were aware that the goal should not have stood, but referee Walton was unable to act. Controversial incidents cannot be shown on big screens under Premier League and Football League rules, but in FA competitions it is usually left to agreement between the clubs.
Hull boss Phil Brown admitted that controversially showing a replay of the incident inside the ground “could have started a riot”.
Yeah, but deep down, I reckon Hull boss Phil Brown isn’t all that bothered, really.