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Friday, 17 September 2010

Donny expectant...........who will stand up to the plate?

In the short time since the X rated horror show at Oakwell there's understandably been more than the usual amount of debate and self flagellation on Planet Leeds.  Solutions to the problem of losing one match in the full glare and exposure of a local derby at our whippet loving cousins down the M1 have ranged from sacking Lord Larry through to dropping all 11 of the team who started on Tuesday.  The radio phone ins were alive with bristling, frustrated Leeds fans and the odd gloating Barsnley fan who thought all their Xmas's had come at once. Thing is, bad as it was, and it was's only one game in a long, long season and thankfully Lord Larry has sufficient time to rectify the problem.  The big question is what will he do?

The defensive frailties, which start in midfield, have been present all season.  Certainly Kasper has heroically stemmed the tide in the initial games and his presence was sorely missed against Barnsley.  Could he make a surprise return tonight?  Don't rule it out.  It is the back four that presents the biggest headache.  Bessone just isn't good enough on the evidence of the opening games.  His horrendous indecision that gave the ball away for the first goal on Tuesday was symptomatic of his lack of confidence, skill and general understanding of what's needed at left back. I would be amazed if he is doing anything other than sat on the bench or even on his sofa at home when the game kicks off tonight.  Next to him Collins and Naylor have both struggled in different areas of defending.  Neither of them is a leader which  I think is a big part of the problem at the back especially the lack of talking and direction at the heart of the defence.................that and stupid mistakes like the inexplicable own goals they have scored this season.  Connolly at right back hasn't been outstanding but the fact that he's not looked as out of sorts as his defensive colleagues should be enough for him to retain his place.  If Lord Larry is bold he may just bring in Bromby, Bruce and Aidey White to bolster the defence.  I don't think William Hill will be taking many bets that it's the same back four as Tuesday though!

Elsewhere the possible introduction of Paynter, Snoddy, Faye, Nunez and McCormack to the starting line up will introduce severe competition for places. The prospect of having Snoddy back in the team will be a comfort to more than his adoring female fans in the crowd tonight.  Davide Somma must have done enough to start as he was the only Leeds player to come off the pitch with any credit at Oakwell.  Add that to his impressive games against Millwall and Leicester and I expect the Ginola lookalike to be strutting his stuff from the off at the Keepmoat.

For the fans who have tickets for the game and those who will watch on TV the publication of the teamsheet will be the first indication of Leeds' chance to topple the ever so slightly cocky Doncaster team.  Their chairman, the horrible John Ryan, has intimated this week he wants to attract fans who "pretend" to support Leeds but live in Doncaster to change allegiance and follow the Dons!  Is he completely mad?  How can he think anybody "pretends" to follow Leeds.  Does he think we actually enjoy having our emotions catapulted up and down like a demented breakdancer each week?  Does he think we enjoy paying top dollar for what is most of the time average fare?  No we "pretend" to be Leeds fans because we are Leeds fans and we love the pride, the passion, the history and the bloody mindedness of following the greatest team in the world no matter where they play or how badly they play.  Maybe if he really believes he can persuade fans to change allegiance he should have a wander into the away end this evening and try and give away a few Donny season tickets?  If he does I suspect the stupid "permasmirk" will be wiped off his face for good!

Finally in a small town in Switzerland there will a domestic incident this evening as Mrs Leedslass and her Donny supporting spouse cross swords for the first time since "that" game at Wembley.  Mmmmm I do hope Mrs LL makes him pay with an unmovable grin across her face all weekend when we take revenge for that Wembley defeat?
Can't wait.

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