Tuesday, 12 May 2009
Leeds United v Millwall Play Off semi final preview
So after 46 league matches, 9 cup matches, 1 play off match, 6500 miles and £3500 (don't tell the present Mrs MOT!) spent following every competitive game the mighty whites have played this season it all comes down to our 2nd leg play off clash with Millwall at Elland Road.
Will this be the last game of the season or will it be the springboard for a Wembley triumph? One thing for sure a packed ER will be no place for the faint hearted come kick off time as Millwall attempt to repel a Leeds team seeking their 12th straight win at Fortress Leeds. I suppose when you look at it like that I shouldn't be nervous but I am. On present form we should win but the first 20 minutes are so crucial.................if Leeds are out of the blocks and on the front foot they will fire up an already expectant crowd and build pressure on a Millwall team not used to crowds of 10k never mind nearly 40k.............but if it's it tight and the crowd get restless then the big crowd could work against Leeds.
One person who will be pleased to be playing in front of his home crowd will be Jermaine Beckford. He appeared understandably uncomfortable with the stick he was getting from the intimidating Millwall crowd on Saturday and struggled with the physical attention he got from Zak Whitbread. He will be a different animal on his home turf though and I think he will be the hero come 10pm a thought shared by Tresor Kandol on Facebook after Saturday's game Tresor is pleased for his old mate neil "harry" harris but believes his mate Jermaine will have the last laugh!!!
Much has been made in the press of the "crowd trouble" at the match on Saturday. Now the crowd invasion after their goal was understandable but as previously commented the knobhead who had a go at Casper was way out of order and deserves to be banned for his infantile actions.........................but to read some of the reports you'd think there'd been a riot between the two sets of fans whereas in truth there were virtually no incidents, a fact commented on by one of the policemen escorting us on the tube after the match as he said we were the best behaved set of fans they'd had at the Wall this season! It's no surprise that comment didn't find its way onto the back pages!
So on Thursday the atmosphere will be electric, the tension unbearable and the prize for the winners massive. Despite all the nerves and worries about the result I have every faith in Larry coming up with the goods when it matters and leading us out of this division I expect him to set up Leeds to go out and play Millwall off the park, something they are quite capable of, instead of the overly cautious "lets play in their half" tactics he employed on Saturday. If they do then the roof will be blown off Elland road and the season should extend by 1 more game at the home of English Football. ............if not it will be a long long summer!