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Ernest Needham - Alfred Gibson & William Pickford

Author: Isaque Argolo | Creation Date: 2021-01-30 05:16:33


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There are few footballers better worth watching than the little man who for so many years has acted as captain of the Sheffield United team, and who incidentally has had so much to do with the building up of its fortunes.
Talks about how he had a very strong preference for playing left-half rather than centre-half but that he learnt a lot under the tutelage of Scotsman Willy Hendry, the Blades captain before Needham.
There is one thing that has made Ernest Needham stand out of the common run of halves: he is neither a constructive nor a defensive half-back alone; he is both at once. One moment you will see him falling back to the defence of his own goal, or checking the speedy rush of his wing; the next, and almost before the possibility of a speedy change has dawned, he is up with his own forwards, feeding them to a nicety, and always making the most of every opening. Where he gets his pace from is a mystery. He never seems to be racing, yet he must be moving at racing post; he never seems to be exhausted yet in a big game he is practically doing three men's work. And therein lies another attribute which he claims for himself. It has often been urged that he is too prone to wander from his proper place. His answer to that is the number of times that he has contrived to save his goal by falling well back to the relief of his backs.
It is not easy to accurately sum up his usefulness. He is a fine shot, taking the ball in any position, always getting plenty of pace on it ... he dribbles like a forward, keeping the ball wonderfully close, and yet never at a loss for a pass when the time comes.
Will be remembered for years, in Sheffield at any events, as the finest left half-back that English football has known.
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