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Sheffield United Fans Verdict: Fleck Collapse Overshadows Poor Defeat

Harry rounds up the reaction of the Loyal Royals from the mid-week loss to the Blades.

PA Images via Getty Images

As you may or may not know, I wrote the match report for Tuesday night’s game. It felt wrong writing about the football then, and it stills feels wrong now.

I want to start by saying that only one message came from the game on Tuesday. Spoiler alert: it wasn't that Pauno’s tactics were awful, it wasn’t that Tom Holmes should’ve started nor was it the desperate lack of cohesion the team seemed to show.

It was the fact that, at the end of the day, football is just a game (no matter how much I constantly repeat the famous Bill Shankly saying), and a lot of things are a lot more important.

Thankfully, John Fleck was discharged from hospital on Wednesday after leaving the stadium conscious. It could’ve been a lot worse, and we all still hope that it isn’t something that rules him out long term.

That was the obviously the the big talking point to come from the game, but there were elements of the football that the Reading fans weren't all that happy with too...

John Fleck

It’s a moment that’s been largely talked about since it happened, and understandably so. Like I said previous, it’s events like this that just bring you back down the earth and put everything into perspective.

It was a scary moment, and I wasn’t even in the ground. I can only begin to imagine how Fleck’s team mates, friends and family felt in that moment. There was an outcry of horror, shock and, most importantly, support for Fleck from the fans after the game...

Tom Holmes

From a footballing perspective, Tom Holmes was again a talking point among the Reading faithful. Although, this time the fans weren't praising his performance, rather they were questioning why he wasn't in the team.

I think 99% of the fans agreed on the fact that Holmes should not have been dropped. I agree with that sentiment, but I am not surprised that he did find himself on the bench.

Holmes deserves to feel more than disgruntled with the fact he didn’t start on Tuesday, but he’d do a good job to be more disgruntled than the fans...

Questionable tactics

If the fans were annoyed before the game having seen Holmes on the bench, boy were they annoyed when Pauno’s, shall we say, questionable tactics revealed themselves.

I’ve been thinking about it all day and I still don’t know what the game plan was or what Pauno was trying to achieve. It was all very, very confusing.

And it meant we couldn’t get any kind of foothold in the game. The ‘Plan B’ wasn't all that great either when it happened. The fans were quite annoyed...


The less said about the football, the better. It was a very, very poor night. Nowhere near good enough from the players on the pitch or the staff in the dugout.

The worst bit is that United weren’t even that good, they didn’t need to be to beat us. They probably couldn’t believe how easy we made it.

Our inconsistency will kill us if we don’t sort it out soon. Especially with us now only just hovering above the drop zone.

Lastly, and most importantly, really great news to hear John Fleck is out of hospital and back home. Hopefully he can make a full recovery.