Thursday, 16 April 2009
Leeds United v Tranmere Rovers preview
This week marks the 20th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster. Those of us who are old enough to remember that fateful day will also remember exactly where they were when they heard the stunning news that 96 football fans had gone to a cup semi final never to return home. For me I was playing at Pontefract and can distinctly remember the eerie silence that descended on the dressing room as the enormity of the situation sunk in. As they did then all true fans thoughts and sympathy are with the families of the unlucky fans who were crushed to death on the Leppings Lane terrace on that sunny afternoon in Sheffield.
The player of the year awards took place at Leeds in mid week with Jeramine Beckford picking up the main award whilst young Mr Delph scooped another three awards to add to his already bulging trophy cabinet at home. Seems odd to me though that the player of the year is decided before the end of the season? Snoddy's progress this season was recognised as he pushed the prolific goal machine all the way for the main prize reflecting his undisputed position as find of the season.
The results over the Easter weekend mean that the battle for play off places and the 2nd automatic spot is as tight as ever. Whilst we still have a mathematical chance of pinching 2nd spot after Millwall bullied the Posh out of 3 points on Monday night I am now resigned to the fact that our most likely route out of the division will be through the dreaded play offs. Clearly we can secure our play off spot by beating Tranmere but it won't be easy. They will be relishing the chance to not only cement their promotion ambitions but also put a hold on our play off confirmation.
The wily Ronnie Moore will send his troops out into the Elland Road cauldron knowing that not only did the pretend scousers prevail at Prenton Park earlier in the season but they also triumphed at the Theatre of Frustration last time round with his son Ian Moore helping himself to goals against his former employers. So whilst I am confident that Leeds will have bagged the priceless 3 points come 5pm Saturday it will not be without much biting off nails, not that I've any left, from yours truly.
Robbo should return in place of the suspended Delph to start against his boyhood heroes. Looking back his scoring record against his home town team is excellent so I might just have to have a little flutter on the Pukka Pieman grabbing the first goal. Beckford is not certain to play but with Larry sending mixed messages out of Thorp Arch this week we shall only really know when the team sheets are announced before the game. It's interesting to look at the team sheet for the match in December at Tranmere.................none of the defence that day, Lucas, Richardson, Rui, Telfer and Sheehan will be starting on Saturday and that one fact is why we are where we are........... oh and a certain Mr Grayson pulling the strings at the helm!
One thing is for sure on Saturday as we attempt to win our tenth game on the bounce at ER we are guaranteed another afternoon of ups and downs on the emotional rollercoaster you ride when you support the mighty whites............and guess what? I can't wait.