Saturday, 28 November 2009
FA Cup, Poppies & a visit to the dentist.
It's the FA Cup on a wet and unwelcoming November weekend and the mighty whites are playing a team from the higher reaches of the Conference who are situated on the snaking A14 road that connects the M1 with the wilds of the Fens..............and it's live on ITV. Sounds familiar? Of course it does as last year we were nervously making our way down to Histon to be humiliated live on ITV. The only thing worse than Leeds' efforts that day was the ITV coverage of the game. Has anyone got a cloth to wipe the camera?
This time our opponents are the Poppies of Kettering who have a long and successful non league history. They count Kevin Blackwell and Carl Shutt amongst their former players whilst Tommy Lawton, Ron Atkinson & the comical Paul Gasgoigne have all managed the Northants team at one time or another. They currently lie 4th in the Blue Square Premier and are the ultimate potential banana skin for our heroes. I suppose the difference between this year and last is that when we set off down the A1 for our Sunday lunchtime clash with Histon it was rather like visiting the dentist for a check up when you know full well you've got a couple of teeth that need filling...............whereas this year our teeth are trouble free and whiter than Jordan's false gnashers all due to the care and craft of our master Dentist Lord Grayson.
Elland Road has been a flurry of activity this week with the closure of the loan window sparking lots of comings and goings. Arriving at LS11 we have Tony Capaldi from Cardiff, Hogan Ephriam from QPR and back up goalie David Martin from Liverpool. Davide Somma has moved down the M1 to Chesterfield, Sheehan joined his ex colleagues Douglas and Lucas at Swindon and young Milne has gone out to Darlo. Once again Lord Grayson hasn't let the grass grow under his feet in moving to cover potential weak areas in the team as injuries bite into our large squad.
There will be upwards of 2000 Leeds fans at the game on Sunday with the vast majority stood on the open terracing....................maybe I should have kept the bin liner from last week! Becchio and Crowe will return to the squad with Capaldi likely to be thrown straight into the team at the expense of injured Andy Hughes. Sam Vokes and Ephriam can't play due to restrictions on their loan agreements so I'd expect big Enoch or Tresor to feature at sometime with a possible start for Grella?
Anyhow I am confident that we can negotiate this tricky tie and safely deposit our ball in the velvet bag for the 3rd round draw, which is held straight after our game. Inevitably there will be talk and dreams of who we might get in the next round but I for one will stick with that old football adage "take one game at a time" that is until we emerge smiling from the dentist with no filings or extractions! Then I might just dream........................
Until then does anybody know where you can get a decent Sunday lunch in Kettering?
"In Grayson we trust"