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Sunday, 5 November 2017

Brentford v Leeds Utd 4th November 2017

The skies were grey and the rain was depressingly persistent as I made my way to Doncaster station for the train to London and another away day following the mighty whites. The weather matched the mood though as suddenly Brentford away looks like a gargantuan challenge after our recent run of abysmal form. What would TC do to arrest the slump? Will we ever come from behind again and win? Can we keep a clean sheet something that was a given at the start of the season. Yes there was plenty to muse over as the train  headed south ready for the tea time kick off in West London. For once my uber optimism was in short supply but my spirits were lifted by the bizarre sight of a woman on the train wearing a cat suit stroking a cat in a designer bag on her knee all the way to London! There was lot's of sniggering when I innocently mentioned she must love her pussy.

Griffin Park is famous for having a pub on each corner of the ground so we squeezed into one of them to watch the afternoon results come in and debate the team changes made by TC. Cooper, Berardi and Phillips returned after suspension. Lasogga retained his place up top despite some disappointing recent performances. The results elsewhere had gone well for us all we had to do now was get a result against Brentford and we we would be back in the top 6. Mmmmm.

The match started with smoke from premature bonfires drifting over the ground as the home side went straight for the Leeds jugular. Yennaris, Watkins and Jozefzoon all went near prompted by the impressive Ryan Woods in midfield. Leeds looked shell shocked and struggled to cope with the fluid Brentford attacks. This wasn't looking good but also had an all too familiar pattern to our recent games with missed tackles and a lack of tight marking by the men in white there for all to see. On 16 minutes Leeds escaped their own half and showed that given half a chance they could be dangerous as Alioski finished off a good move with a shot that tested the Bees goalie. A minute later Saiz snaffled up a ball in midfield and headed goal wards but his choice to slide Alioski in with a pass rather than shooting was the wrong one.

Brentford were looking the more composed and dangerous team but just when we seemed to have somehow weathered the storm disaster struck. A hopeful cross to the back post was dropped under no pressure for Lonergan and Maupay had the easiest header he'll have in his life to put the home side in front. A schoolboy error you'd expect on a Sunday morning not in the Championship. The goal inspired the home team and Leeds were under immense pressure that quite frankly they couldn't cope with. Woods was running riot in midfield and the Brentford front runners were destroying the Leeds back line. This could end up embarrassing I thought. How have we gone from top of the league to a team resembling a pack of ultra sensitive dogs cowering under the table on Bonfire night in a few short weeks is beyond me?

Lasogga had a chance to lift the gloom as he latched onto a long ball from Lonergan but his lob over the goalie had all the subtlety of an Elephant trying to enter a library unnoticed. The attempt sailed into the home fans easily clearing the bar. Things got worse for Leeds just before half time as Jansson brought down Maupay in the penalty area for a blatant penalty. Thankfully Watkins modelled his spot kick on Lasogga's effort at the other end and hit the ball over the bar much to the delight of the travelling fans. The half finished with O'Kane and Watkins having a session of handbags that earned them both a yellow card. Leeds were as poor as I've seen them in that half. TC had to do something. The solutions from the Urinal Philosophers were brutal "Lasogga is a f****** waste of space" growled one fan........."I'd substitute the lot of em" another thought whilst another aimed his anger at Cooper "He's League 1 standard at best" he thought of the Leeds captain.

TC did make changes and drastic ones at that. Waste of space Lasogga came off with Roofe going up front with Hernandez replacing O'Kane in a bold attacking move. Phillips and Vieira dropped into central midfield with Alioski, Saiz and Hernandez spread wide in front of them. This could be interesting!

The changes made an immediate difference. It was now Leeds who were on the ascendancy. Berardi got to the bye line and floated a lovely cross to the back post where Alioski just couldn't get high enough to keep his header down. This was better. Hernandez was like a slippery Eel on the wing and Roofe was running intelligently off the shoulders of the defenders and suddenly we looked like we could retrieve the game. Roofe saw a header saved by Bentley in the home goal but just to remind Leeds that they still carried a threat Watkins fired a rocket shot that hit the bar at the other end. The pressure was mounting on Brentford though. Vieira had two terrific goal bound shots blocked as the desperate away fans tried to suck the ball into the net. Then on 67 minutes the kind Footballing gods smiled on Leeds. A cross into the Brentford box was spilled by Bentley in the Brentford goals and Alioski reacted the quickest to head the ball home and send the travelling fans wild. 1.1. We could win this now.

Leeds surged forward with no thought about defending. Roofe and Saiz went close to snatching an unlikely lead as the revised personnel up front were running Brentford ragged. Leeds were back! Well they were until the 80th minute when TC made what 99.9999% of the fans behind the goal thought was an unbelievable substitution. He could have brought Dallas on for the tiring Alioski, he could have brought Pennington on to hold what we had but I can only think there must have been some mis-communication on the bench because Jay Roy Grot came onto replace Alioski and Roofe moved out to the wing??? Nobody in their right mind would make that substitution. Had Brentford somehow switched the numbers on the display board and sent Grot on themselves? Had TC been eating magic mushrooms at half time? There was no logical explanation. Alioski dejectedly sloped off and Grot came on with the dangerous Roofe now anaemic out on the wing.

The momentum not surprisingly swung back to the home side and 5 minutes later Barbet fired a free kick past Lonergan from way out.  FFS another mistake and another goal conceded. Ayling should have equalised in added time but missed an easy header. Ryan Woods finished off a hugely impressive display from him with a 3rd Brentford goal deep into added time. Game over. 3.1 Brentford.

To say the Leeds fans were seething as they made their way back up the road to the tube was a massive understatement. Such a disappointing defeat now confirms we are in deep trouble. The margins of success and failure in the Championship are wafer thin but we seem to be on the wrong side of them in each match of late. We were awful in the first half and looked disorganised. Once the substitutes were made at half time we looked the better side but all of that was undone when Grot came on. He is a million miles away from Championship quality at the moment. I still can't figure what the plan was with that move. Roofe was causing problems to their back four. Why change it?

The journey home was a long one with the train detouring through Lincolnshire to avoid the engineering works on the East Coast main line. Plenty of time to digest another reverse. Plenty of time to worry how we pull ourselves out of this abysmal run of form or lack of it. Forthcoming fixtures against Boro, Wolves and Barnsley away hardly give any comfort. These are dark days on Planet Leeds once again. Will TC still be here after the international break? Time will tell. Bring on the Boro!

Can't wait.



Unknown said...

Good morning Andrew it's hard bean a Leeds fan but reading your report let's me now it's not just me the suffers when we get turned over and it's a true and honest report as always
Thank you

Leeds watcher since 65 said...

As usual I watched on Sky and your report was my feelings exactly, I didn't know you had got inside my head, on a serious note I am now worried this looks like a decline that will be difficult to reverse, yes mistakes cost us two goals and a penalty, yes we squandered several good chances but your point about Grot is spot on, it was ridiculous, parties does not want another manager sacked but it needs sorting out and quickly otherwise we will down at the bottom fighting relegation.

Matt said...

That spill will live in my nightmares forever. And I was in the home end!

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