Poor Relations, Rich Reward
Kenny's in no man's land.. the ball falls to Watson.. ohhhh, exquisite! Steve Watson sends Wednesday into raptures! Lovely: I'll be replaying that video again and again, for quite some time to come. I was pretty confident I'd have a happy weekend, but I didn't want to shout it from the rooftops, that's not quite my style. Other folks have a different way of going about things, however.
''Only just over a week to go, beginning to look forward to the day. 5500 Blades in the West Stand (shame SY Police dont let us have the corner as well) plastic inflatable pigs, red & white balloons everywhere, every song in the book being sung especially 'No Pig Fans in Town' Remember Tongs top corner free kick, Akinbadbuys goal, try to forget last seasons gutless performance. Beatts is fit again, Billy will run em ragged, you'll never beat the Killa! COME ON YOU RED & WHITE WIZAAAAARRRRDS''
''I'm really really confident today and i think we will hammer them. it will be difficult to start with but with beats and sharp up front, howard, speed, and quinn in the heart of the midfield and the best deffence in the division we should romp this today. im going for 4-1 blades (beats hatrick and sharp in front of a packed leppings lane end) PAYBACK TIME YOU POOR RELATION PIGS!!!''
''Head-To-Head: Wednesday wins: 38 United wins: 44 Draws: 38 Read and weep little piggies, the biggest and better team in Sheffield have the better head to head over the years. How many years since you last did the double of us? Over 90, soon to be 100. Enjoy the match.''
Believe me, I enjoyed it. I really did.
Because we'd had it in the neck all week on this very web site from the naysayers and the non-believers. We'd had both platitudes and smirking self-confidence from the United manager on Football Heaven. We'd had claptrap disguised as journalism in one of the nation's biggest newspapers. So it was perfectly set up for it all to come crashing down round the Blades ears, and so it proved.
My heart sank when Kilgallon was sent off. I'm not going to trot out the old 'it would have been much better to beat a full team' line here. No, my heart sank because I knew that when we won, it would be all down to the referee: all Mike Dean's fault that the Blades lost, the handy excuse for Blades everywhere would be that the man in black has done the business for Wednesday.
But to use that excuse denigrates the Owls energy, effort, commitment and desire. It puts aside the perfectly pitched psychological battle won once again by the redoubtable Brian Laws (who really has got the hang of these occasions now). It conveniently ignores the fact Kenny was moving and off his line before the penalty was taken to illegally keep the deficit to one goal. It denies that the match-winning moment was a delightful touch of genuine class.
I grant you, the Blades are well off, well run and well supported. I'll give you that. Unlike the Owls, they have a chairman. They have a star centre forward possibly worth more than the Owls entire squad (ok, he was marked into anonymity on Sunday by an eighteen year old, but he's worth a few bob). They have a manager who tries to talk the talk AND walk the walk, which must be a great relief to United after the previous incumbent (note to Kevin Blackwell: you should wear a suit, you're the boss, not one of the lads).
Yep, they're well off, well run, well supported and... well beaten. The Blades a better team? Not on that showing.
Not until they can wrest control of the Sheffield derby from the gleeful grasp of Brian Laws and his blue and white wizards.