Tuesday, 11 November 2008
Derby v Leeds Utd Carling Cup 4th Round preview
For fans of a certain age the fixture Derby v Leeds has history and brings back memories of two of the footballing titans of the early seventies going at each other hammer and tong on the grassless Baseball Ground. This was a time when titles were decided on the training ground and pitch on a Saturday afternoon and not by the size of the pockets of the clubs benefactor. It was also a time when referees were ...............well a bit more tolerant of the defenders art in trying to kick seven bells out of any attacker who dared to try anything that could be construed as fancy. Of course Leeds had some of the best defenders of the time, Hunter, Charlton, Cherry, Madeley etc all of whom bought into the more robust approach to their job. Enter one cocky, mouthy, barrel chested (No not Robbo) forward who just loved winding opponents up, Franny Lee, and you have the ingredients for one of the iconic matches of the 70's. So for a warm up for this evenings game I thought I take another trip down memory lane and watch the infamous confrontation between Norman "bites yer legs" Hunter and Franny Lee, whose diving antics inside the box made Ronaldo look like a saint.
There was no love lost off the field either as that rather reserved manager of the Rams, Mr Clough, never lost an opportunity to deride the achievements of the mighty whites and in doing so irking the great Don Revie. This came to a head when Revie left for England and the Leeds board made the most naive and ill thought through decision, (that is until we sold Cantana to the scum), in appointing the opinionated Clough to pick up Revie's mantle at Leeds having spent the previous 5 years slagging the Leeds players off. So sit back on watch the two late lamented managers go head to head, just as Lee and Hunter had done on the pitch.
Onto tonight's match and the 3000 fans heading for the soulless Pride Park do so in the knowledge that we are the underdogs for a Cup game against a team that up to Saturday's reverse at the hands of Reading were going well in the Championship. Beckford and Killkenny should be back in contention for starting places after Friday's stuttering draw against the Cobblers. I have said since round 1 that we can go a long way in this cup and with Manure, Arsenal and others potentially waiting in the quarter final I anticipate massive effort tonight with a Leeds prevailing 2.1.
Tonight is the start of a testing period of mid week matches for us supporters as we have three straight away treks down the M1 with all the logistical problems that brings............it would help if the powers that be could confirm the date of the Northampton replay....... but we would be sitting pretty if we reach the last trek, Cobblers in the league, unbeaten.
So at 4.30pm the Happy Chocker and I will be hurtling down the M1 full of hope, memories and that tingle of anticipation that makes it all worth while.