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Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Coventry City v Leeds Utd 14th Feb 2012

The Football League authorities like to present an interesting challenge to us football fans from time to time.  Scheduling a full programme of games on Valentine's day is one of their more difficult challenges.  So with a suitably romantic present and card deposited with Mrs MOT together a promise of an even more romantic dinner for two on Friday I was able to escape without hemorrhaging too many of my well stored Brownie points bound for Coventry and the latest game in Leeds' rollercoaster season.  After all going to all that trouble plus a 400 mile round trip and getting home at silly o'clock would be worth it just to see the mighty whites put the same effort into securing three points against relegation doomed Coventry wouldn't it?

News that the Happy Chocker had managed to slice a significant part of his leg off at work meant he was in Pontefract Infirmary having that stitched back up instead of travelling to the Ricoh Arena. The lengths some people will go just to avoid the stresses of watching Leeds!  So I was on my Jack Jones for this trip which left plenty of time to worry about the forthcoming game.  With no sign of a new manager on the horizon Neil Redfearn was still in charge and as expected he stuck with the same starting line up that succumbed to Brighton at the weekend.  Andy O'Brien returned on the bench.

As ever the travelling support was impressive as nearly 3,500 die hard Leeds fans filled the away end with the vast majority of the male fans already in the proverbial doghouse before a ball had been kicked.  The vast majority of Cov fans had decided to come disguised as light blue seats as the harsh reality of watching a poor team struggle in the relegation zone hit home.  The game kicked off with the Leeds fans in full voice.

The opening exchanges were scrappy to say the least.  Cov pressed Leeds hard who in turn seemed to lack the confidence to let the ball do the work and the game soon turned into a hectic, frantic clash of two teams with lots of endeavour but precious little skill.  Gary McSheffrey played the role of pantomime villian very well drawing boos from the Leeds fans whenever he touched the ball. "you're too shit to play for Leeds" was the frank assessment of the Coventry's player's time at Leeds by the away hordes.   That sadly ignored the well known Football law that  states that anyone who was shite whenever they pulled on your team's shirt is guaranteed to return and bite you on the bum whenever they pull on a different coloured one.  Mr McSheffrey was about to prove that law in emphatic style.

Twenty minutes had gone when the lively Nimely bundled his way past Danny Pugh and Aidey White on the edge of the box, Mr Linesman flagged for a foul, but then waited for him to get into the box before correctly giving a penalty as Pugh clumsily brought him down.  Of course Mr McSheff stepped up and converted the penalty before taunting the baying Leeds fans with words to the effect "I'm not so shit now am I"  Well he is. It's just that we're shittier!  Leeds couldn't grumble at going behind because quite frankly we were awful playing with no apparent plan or direction.  The ball was pinging about from one side to another like a hyper active pin table.  Although less than half an hour had gone I was already getting the feeling that some of iconic failures of recent years were about to be surpassed, Hereford, Blackpool, Preston, Barnsley came to mind mixed with an image of Capt Birdseye's programme notes declaring that " we don't need to rush into finding a new manager, Neil Redfearn had done a good job at Bristol (against 9 men) and we will give him three games to see what he can do"  My blood pressure was starting to rise uncontrollably.

Then suddenly we were level.  Aidey White went on a forward run and bounced off at least three players before the ball popped out to Ross Mac in the box who stroked it home with all the coolness of a player who's one of the leading scorers in the Championship. Surely we will now take charge?   Err well perhaps not as Coventry finished the half the stronger with the tall Clive Platt once again showing how we suffer from lack of height in the team.

The 2nd half was an embarrassment.  Leeds played in fits and starts whilst Coventry gradually took control. Delph went off injured to be replaced by Michael Brown.  All of a sudden he looked like a world beater because he'd made two or three decent passes.  That's how bad we were.  If we were playing a team who had a decent finisher we would have been 3 or 4 goals down before the hour mark but the game swung from one end to another as both teams pushed for the winner.  Any forlorn hope that Leeds could pinch the three points diminished as each chance went a begging.  White finished tamely with only the goalie to beat followed by Ross Mac blazing over from teh edge of the box.  By now I was in furious mode.  Leeds were inept and showing absolutely no passion or any sign of skill.  We all knew the ending way before Coventry got their 2nd penalty on 90 minutes as we'd been hanging onto to the point unconvincingly for the last twenty minutes.........this is against a team that languishes, deservedly on this evidence, in the bottom two of the league.  McSheffrey tucked away his 2nd goal to send the home fans away in ecstasy and the Leeds fans in desperation.

We were dreadful from number 1 to number 11.  There's only one Simon Grayson sang the away fans....but they were his players?  Redfearn maybe a good youth team coach but looks like a rabbit in the head lights at this level.  I mean who would take of our leading goal scorer off when we are supposed to be pushing for a winner?  Well Mr Redfearn did............I know it's not his fault but FFS even Ethel the tea lady wouldn't have done that.  So I made the long trek home feeling utterly cheated by Leeds United, the club I love.  I talked about the club drifting in the Bermuda triangle of Championship obscurity last week.  On this evidence they have sunk without trace.  Where do we go from here?  The club have become a laughing stock and are a disgrace to their loyal fans.  This was the worst performance I have seen Leeds give for a very long time and that is saying something, worse than Hereford away even.

Doncaster at home on Saturday and I am filled with dread.  A week that started with hopes of 9 points will probably end with none.  These are very dark days at Leeds United and I for one think things are going to get a lot worse before they get better.  I'm just glad we've already got enough points to keep us up.  The management of the club are a disgrace.
I fear the worst.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

No "Can't wait"? Shiiiiiiit you are down, mate!

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