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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?
Can't wait.
"In Grayson we trust"


Unknown said...

Just a Quick line to give my views of our potential banana skin tie at Kettering, yes it was on live out here. We must go to the Jan sales for the following
a) Goalkeeper- to cover for higgs or be first choice.
b)Midfield-we need a general in there to dictate games.
c)Striker-Still cant make my mind up about Beckford, one thing i am certain about is i am fed up of watching him moaning all the time, and as i am lead to beleive you have also played football at a decent standard, players who keep moaning and groaning start to get on your preverbial TITS, and can cause unrest in the camp. Howson is a good 100% honest player, but not a skipper--he is too nice a guy. Personally i think we have to be careful in the Jan sales we dont loose Snoddy, people have to be looking at him, he put another good shift in yesterday.
Lastly top admiration for the faithful, shit weather, shit ground, top class support, i am LEEDS and seeing the support you give definetly make me proud of it.

Regards Qatar Whites
P.S. Just been text with the cup draw, dont know if i am happy or sad, have to think about it and revert.

Andrew Butterwick said...

Qatar White,
Thanks for the comments. You make some interesting points. Snoddy had a hell of a lot of possession yesterday and caused Kettering problems every time he got the ball......his final delivery is not always on the button though. If he improves that aspect of his game he will be a top class player IMO. Kilkenny has done well in the centre of midfield since he's been given a chance and I think he will blossom there. The problem (let's not forget we are top of the league) is the balance in midfield. When we play with 3 centre mid fielders as we did yesterday it always looks a bit lopsided and restricts the options out wide. Interesting that Kettering kept their wide men wide and caused Crowe no little problem. Beckford is an a enigma. Frustrates the hell out of you for most of the game but still is in the right place at the right time to score plenty of goals. His achilles heal is his lack of ability with his back to goal, ie holding the ball up and first touch. that's why he plays better when Becchio is on the pitch and plays that role well. That's why I don't think he will go further than the championship? His goals are vital in getting us out of this league though IMO. Your right Howson is not skipper material but he was standing in for Bam Bam. His late run was fantastic and nearly won the game. the dilemma is he is competing for one of the centre mid berths with Doyle and Kilkenny.
As for playing the Salford Yanks, if we beat Kettering, bring it on.

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