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Thursday, 29 October 2015

Leeds Utd 0:2 Blackburn Rovers. 29th Oct 2015

Thursday night at Elland Road could mean only one thing........Sky Sports Leeds were meddling with the kick off times again. Despite that and the murky West Yorkshire weather the die hard core of mighty whites fans had made it to LS11 to witness Steve Evans first game in charge at the Theatre of Diminishing Hope. Could our new coach inspire his team to a first victory in Beeston since March? That was the question on most fans minds as we debated his team selection. After all the latest news on Cellino's latest court case/ban/loony statement has lost any impact on most punch drunk Leeds fans. Most fans accept that he will spectacularly self combust at some stage and hopefully somebody with a smidgen of sense and football knowledge will then pick up the pieces. I'm not holding my breath though!

Steve Evans kept the same starting eleven that ground out the draw at Bolton for the game against Blackburn Rovers a team who have a worse away record than Leeds' home record! This should be interesting I mused with the Happy Chocker as we waited for kick off. 19,666 fans had defied the ridiculous kick off time in the hope of seeing Leeds kick start their season. Oh how they were going to be disappointed!

Blackburn kicked off and headed straight for the Leeds jugular as they attacked the soft Leeds under belly. A few crisp and well placed passes later and Conway found himself in acres of space inside the box to slot the ball home past Silvestri after just 18 f****** seconds. Not the start we were looking for and the way the Blackburn team sliced through the Leeds defence didn't bode well for the remaining 89 and a half minutes. Leeds hadn't even touched the ball. 1.0 Rovers. The depression didn't stop there. 4 minutes later Jordan Rhodes was allowed to turn with ease inside the box and double the Rovers lead. Memories of numerous horror nights at Elland Road started to stir in my sub conscious vault as flashes of Forest, Preston, Birmingham, Blackpool et al came flooding back. All this live on Sky! Brilliant.

The two early goals knocked the stuffing out of Leeds and Blackburn soon capitalised. For a team that can't win away they were looking pretty damned good to me. Lawrence wasted a glorious chance to add to the home team's misery when he blazed a good chance high and wide on 20 minutes. Leeds were in a daze and chasing shadows with no apparent game plan. They looked like a team that had been thrown together at the last moment and been told to go out and do your best. We were second to every ball and seemed to get muscled out of every single tackle. Cook did manage to get a shot on goal but it went straight at the goalie and just after the half hour Antenucci shinned a ball into the side netting. This was dire. Adeyemi and Murphy were lost in midfield. Wood couldn't win a header for love nor money up front whilst Antenucci was on the periphery for most of the half. Berardi battled as ever but overall this was as shambolic and embarrassing performance I'd seen from Leeds for a long time. Adeyemi did manage to hit the post near half time and Bamba talked himself into the referees book after disputing a decision. The only bright spot of the half was the poignant minutes applause for 17 year old Skye Thompson on 17 minutes. Half time Leeds 0:2 Blackburn.

Most Leeds fans were stunned by the sheer ineptness and lack of application by the men in white. I lost count of the number of misplaced passes and lost tackles in the first 45 minutes as the half disappeared in a haze of recurring snippets of horror. Leeds fans are resolute and dogged but this was testing even the most resolute me included.

Remarkably there were no substitutes by Leeds at half time but 5 minutes into the second period Botaka replaced Adeyemi allowing Cook to move to the centre of midfield. Botaka did give a flicker of hope to the home fans with a couple of promising runs but all came to nothing. Doukara replaced the woeful  Wood on 68 minutes. The Leeds performance had long since descended into farce though as the stoic South Stand kept the decibel levels high mostly with gallows humour chanting. such as "You're nothing special we lose every week" whilst also letting Sky TV know exactly what they thought of Thursday night football. For the record Blackburn wasted another chance to add to their tally whilst Botaka and Mowatt went closish for Leeds at the other end. The game ended 2.0 to Blackburn with chants of "Time to go Massimo" ringing round the fast emptying Theatre of Lost Despair.

What can I say other than this was in my opinion a shambolic, embarrassing display from Leeds bordering on the disgraceful. The team didn't appear to have game plan other than some aimless passing that more often than not ended up at the feet of a Blackburn player. They were too easily muscled off the ball and played with a distinct lack of direction. If these were the players that Steve Evans described as "buzzing" before the game then they soon lost their sting against a team struggling at the same end of the table as Leeds. The drive home was a quiet one other than the occupants of the car trying to remember a worse performance. We went through the entire back catalogue of Leeds disasters and came to the rather scary conclusion that this topped the lot.

At present the club is a shambles from top to bottom thanks not just to the current incumbent Cellino but with the help of a strong supporting cast over the last 12 years including Bates, GFH and Ridsdale. I really despair where we will end up with the lunatic Italian in charge. More dark days to come as we battle relegation back to the third tier of English Football. Such a sad, sad state of affairs for a once proud and dynamic club.

Cardiff are the next visitors to Elland Road. What could possibly go wrong?

Can't wait.



Blackpool White said...

What a superb summing up although I wasn't there tonight,as I've just about given up and home games mean missing half a day's pay. Fans have gone to amazing lengths to stick by the club since it dropped out of the PL,but at present its gone back to the level when the great Don Revie turned it around over 50 years ago. Unless the burdens holding it down at boardroom level- not all of Cellinos making mind- are eradicated from the club then this level is where we'll stay forever,where the Antenuccis and Doukaras offer little more than us making up the numbers. The return of Redfearn however with his Rotherham side gives the opportunity to show our appreciation of the man who should really be our manager.

Unknown said...

Bought a season ticket am I due a refund through some trades description act?

Anonymous said...

Many veteran Leeds fans refer to the 1980s as the 'dark period' following the relegation in 1982. Regular managerial changes and poor transfer policy created a very dismal atmosphere around ER. After the sacking of Eddie Gray and the loss/release of so many youngsters who went on to have good careers, Seaman, Phelan, Sheridan, Sellars, Irwin..... sping to mind. Times were certainly bad. It took 8 yeras to get back to the big time.

Today we have been out of the top flight for over 10 years, suffered releagation, some embarrassing cup exits, Histon anyone!,seen a managerial merry-go-roundd, a stream of mediocre players come and go and yet the fans still turn up week in week out.

I beleive we are now experiencing a worst period than the 1980s, the team look absolutely clueless. Last night's performance was dire and must rank as one of the worst in the past 50 years. Wood at £1m is hopeless, Bamba irresponsible in picking up a Yellow card meaning he will miss the Cardiff game......

It is difficult to see where the team/club go from here other than relegation. I was lucky enough to see the great Revie teams but thought post Revie I would never see another Leeds Utd Championship winning team, but Wilko and Strachan answered the call.

In today's situation could even a Wilko/Strachan type duo rescue what was a very proud football club? Ceryainly not with the mad Italian determined to control everything. Maybe the football authorities will do Leeds Utd a favour for once and force Cellino out!

Koolaboola said...

Leeds, Leeds, Leeds – Marching on to God knows where

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