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Friday, 14 December 2012

Leeds back in Europe as they await the European Champions.

News that Leeds have been selected to host the start of the 2014 Tour de France will have surprised a lot of people and even those who are severely geographically challenged will have an inkling that Leeds is not exactly within the borders of our garlic loving cousins from across the channel.  Credit to the "Welcome to Yorkshire" team though for pulling off quite a coup in bringing the prestigious first stage to the hallowed streets of Leeds.  It will bring a massive boost to the local economy especially analytical laboratories. It should also be a testing start for the riders of the world's most famous cycle race.  I mean have you ever tried to get out of the infamous Leeds loop at the first attempt.  It's impossible!

So at least we are now guaranteed a route into Europe for Leeds in 2014 but hopefully we will take another more orthodox step towards that goal when we play the Chelski aristocrats in Wednesday's League Cup Quarter Final.  Our faint chances of success did go up a notch this week though as the West London Blues and current Champions League champions progressed to the wonderfully named Club World Final in Japan after seeing off the mighty Mexican team Monterrey.................isn't that a cheese you get on a Big Mac?  They now play Brazilian side Corinthians in the final on Sunday.  The South American team have a very British name after being inspired by the original London based Corinthians amateur team of the late 1800's and early 1900's. With a bit of luck Chelski will win the much sort after Club World tournament and celebrate long and hard in the land of the rising sun and meaningless football tourney leaving them little time to prepare for a proper cup tie at the Theatre of Hope on Wednesday.  Hope springs eternal especially after Phil Parkinson's Bantams caused a major up set by dumping Wenger's stuttering Arse team out of the same competition on Tuesday night. A Semi Final against the Curry kings would be "interesting" that's if we can dismiss Roman's wealthy mercenaries first.

Before that we have the small matter of a championship game against the rejuvenated Tractor boys.  The charismatic, articulate, son of Barnsley, Mick McCarthy has turned Ipswich's fortunes round in recent weeks and they head for Elland Road seeking their 4th successive win after gaining the unexpected scalps of Forest, Bolton and high flying Millwall in their last three outings. A few short weeks ago we were eyeing this fixture as one that even we might be able to get three points from but how quickly form and confidence changes in the Championship.  Leeds went from a team that looked like they couldn't even buy a shot on goal never mind a win a match to one who then won three consecutive victories against Palace, Leicester and the delicious local delicacy Puppydog Pies.  At the same time Mick's broad Yorkshire dialect was inspirational in reversing a 6.0 loss to Leicester and directing the Blues on their mini run of success.  I think the match is too close to call although news that Diouf has put pen to paper on a new long term deal for the whites should just give Neil Warnock's men the edge.  The crystal ball says 2.1 to Leeds.

Finally I noted with little surprise that rumours have surfaced of last minute snags in the deal for GFH to buy Leeds United.  Allegations of a certain Monaco resident wanting to up the asking price at the last minute as the deadline of 21st Dec for completion of the deal looms have surfaced.  Surely Cuddly Ken wouldn't stoop that low would he?  One thing for sure his programme notes will be full of bull and bluster on the matter.  A case of Deja Vu on Planet Leeds on the week that it was announced that France's major sporting event would start in Leeds in 2014.  Some how appropriate don't you think?

Not so long ago I was fearful we weren't going to get another point before Xmas then we went and got 9 points in a week.  Would it be greedy to ask Santa Claus for an early present in the form of another three wins from this week coming?  Well if you don't ask you don't get.  C'mon Leeeeeeeeeeds.

Can't wait.


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