‘Faint heart never won a Capital One Cup semi final’ as the old saying goes and rarely have those words been more applicable than they will be at Bramall Lane this evening.
The air will be full of chip buttys and gallons of Magnet, the noise will roll down from the home stands, the fans will dance if there’s snow; they will be no respecters of reputations nor battles won on the soft smooth carpets of the upper deck, they will gladly chew up and swallow the glove and body warmer wearing meek and weak. Sheffield United may be in League One but they’re no Peterborough, Fleetwood or Bradford (!). Like the Owls of Wednesday they carry a bigger aura and reputation, theirs though is not tarnished by Hillsborough and mismanagement, but instead by slow decline and underachievement punctuated by fleeting glimpses of glory, of which this is one.
Two divisions down they may be but, if you’ll pardon the pun, we saw last week that there is steel in this side. The manager has always been a boy to many such was the influence of his father, but we can see now that he’s a man. Let none of our millionaires be mistaken, they’re in for a battle.
Sod all that. Let’s do ’em.
Our players aren’t mice, they’re men who’ve played in some of the biggest club games that England, Europe and South America have to offer. World Cups? Yeah, played in them. European finals? Yeah, played in them. Champions League. Yep. North. London. Derbies. Oh yes.
Proper games. We’ve done all those and more and will do them again and given the option of playing a side that are dishonest to their fans (play every week like they do in the cups and they wouldn’t be 9th in their division) in front of five thousand of our own supporters, with a one-goal lead? We’ll take that thanks. Pochettino knows why we have only a narrow advantage from WHL, he knows now how to make the best use of our most potent weapons: Kane won’t be kept away from the danger areas tonight, Eriksen won’t be forced to the periphery. Lamela is back. Fazio is back. Mason is fitter and everyone has been rested. On paper and at the bookies, a place in the final is ours to lose but Saturday will have shaken out any complacency. Chelsea await the winners, we always beat Chelsea at Wembley (in finals).
“Follow your spirit…For Harry Kane, Mike England and St Ambouli! (Sorry) Come On You Spurs!!”
Ahem. Mike Dean is the referee.
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