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Monday, 17 February 2014

Did Draw Time Cost Forest?


 
The timing of the FA Cup provided the impetus for United to shock Forest, or so the theory goes at least. Nigel Clough has certainly cited the fact the draw was made during the game as a motivational factor in his teams come back. now that’s hindsight of course, it's very possible the very same result might have occurred regardless of that potential fixture being known, as the Blades potentially have a game against city rivals Wednesday to play.

And I certainly saw it said at half time, by some that comments along the lines of "That’s Nigel's half time team talk written then" as everyone saw the potential carrot being dangled, and how that was the method of motivation rather than the metaphorical stick instead.

The questions start to arise of is this ethically correct to do the draw whilst a game is in play? I sit next to a Sheffield United fan at work, and he said to me as much as to say there's no way the draw should be allowed during the game, he went as far as to suggest whilst any games are in play, that between the first match and replays is when it should be made. That’s as maybe, but that forgets this new era when games on cup weekend are dragged out of over 4 days some times. The draw has to be made some time.

And in the same way it was boost for United had the drawer been a bland one could that have been a hindrance? A tame away day to Hull or something could have been a turn off. In the same way our fans at 1-0 (me included) were discussing potential dreams of a semi-final, and Wembley trips, was because we'd seen the draw was relatively kind.

It's all swings and roundabouts of course. You can't prove that it had influence on the result, that’s always impossible to say, but it was used a rallying cry for United. But to be fair, the number of league places between us, the winning position we had, this should all have been academic. Losing a game from that position against same level opposition would hurt; to a team toiling against relegation a division below is criminal.

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