Game 1: Saturday 9 August 1997
Leeds United 1 - 1 Arsenal
(Half-time: 1 - 1)
Referee: D J Gallagher (Banbury)
|Sheffield Wednesday »
|Martyn, Kelly, Robertson, Radebe, Wetherall, Wallace, Hasselbaink, Ribeiro (Kewell 82), Bowyer, Hopkin (Haaland 83), Halle
|Lilley, Molenaar, Beeney
|Seaman, Winterburn, Vieira (Platt 63), Bould, Wright, Bergkamp, Overmars (Hughes 75), Parlour, Petit, Grimandi, Garde
|Anelka, Marshall, Lukic
|Garde, Grimandi, Vieira, Petit
|Shirt numbers of goalscorers
|Voice of Football
|I'll Go t'Foot of Our Stairs!
|Kev Lewis - King of Tonga
|Musings on a hot weekend
|Another match view...
|Keep it the same
|North East View
|Graham's money goes on Arsenal
|Hasselbaink makes his mark
|The Sunday Times
|Graham flatters his former club with rare generosity
|The Electronic Telegraph
|Old story for Leeds' new faces
|Links to Reports on the net
|Soccernet match report
|Carlingnet match report
RIPPED OFF - An outrageous UKP 2 for a programme (that's an inexplicable 18.7125% rise).
AGHAST - I arrived just as a Tina Turner lookalike was crooning her last from a makeshift stage - the pre-match entertainment we all crave for (not).
EMBARRASSED - seeing Ellie jumping around as "we will rock you" pounded through a new PA system in a Gladiators style attempt to infuse some "new" atmosphere as the biggest football shirt in the world (surprise, surprise - it's the new away shirt!) covered a third of the pitch.
CONFUSED - finding that Rocky shite had been replaced by....."Get your hands on" by Reef (eh?). Besides being utter crap and totally inappropriate, I can't see why it would be "popular with all Leeds fans" - unless it was attempted as some sick joke at Carlton's expense! Who chose this? There's a telephone number to phone in the programme to let the club know what you think of the choice of record - I think it might fax em instead.
DOWNHEARTED - As Ray Parlour cruised past Dave Roberton in the opening minute like he wasn't there.
BUT THEN A MIRACLE HAPPENED!
Leeds started playing football. Yes, the ball was passed around, and we started to try & score. The crowd sang and soon there was actually cause for optimism. The new boys look like money well spent - JF Hasselbaink looked a handful (although he could teach Klinnsmann a thing or two about diving), Ribeiro showed loads of promise, Hopkins & Robertson were OK. Apart from that, it was the team Wilko built, playing as if the cunning old fox was standing there urging them forward. Happy days are here again???
We played well and deserved a draw. There were chances at both ends.
SCORES ON THE DOORS
Martyn - 8
Kelly - 8 (after 4 years he's finally learned to cross!)
Robertson - 7 (not Dorigo sadly)
Halle - 6
Weatherall - 8 (needs to cut out the aimless hoofing)
Radebe - 9 (just goes from strength to strength)
Bowyer - 6 (very quiet)
Hopkins - 7
Ribeiro - 8 (passes intelligently and can beat a man)
Wallace - 8 (back to his best & never fell over once)
JF Hasselbaink - 8 (walloped his goal in magnificently. Doesn't look as good as Yeboah when he first came, but he'll do!)
Subs - Kewell & Haaland - only on for 15mins.
Other points worth mentioning - The most useless, wasteful corner "routine" I've ever seen, Wright's goal looked special, it was bloody hot. Hopkin was captain. I love Lucas Radebe. Can't wait till two weeks time!!! Only Bowyer got booked. Seaman's ridiculous new hair-do, the Arse fans applauding our FA Youth Cup heroes.
The programme (I'll scan it later) mentioned that the new chairman is "un-paid" which was encouraging (although brown paper bags stuffed full of cash may just count as "a christmas present for the wife").
He said many Leeds fans may be disappointed by the players GG has bought, but it's better than wasting money on so-called "star players". So it's official - the club did lie when they raised prices for a non-existant "star spangled shopping list"!
He also said that the first person he phoned when he took over the job was Ray Fell, and he promises the fan's voices will be heard (he did add that they wouldn't necessarily do anything about points they raised though) and he intends to hold some dinners for the fans to air their views - and no doubt it'll be a UKP30 a head job for the privilige!
We deserved a draw and I think both teams would be happy with it, we played the stronger in the 2nd half, with arse mainly limited to breaks. Ribeiro looked very promising too.
Good atmosphere - helped by plentiful supply of arse fans
Lots of list shirts :) especially in the adelphi
8/9 pints of tet's at the adelphi
My arsenal mate going silent when they scored and even quieter when we did :)
It was, er, entertaining!
25 quid for MNES ticket (i could buy an ant farm and see more)
badly burning my face in the sun sitting outside the adelphi for 2.5 hours
No pasties left at half time, had to make do with a cyber-burger
Walking from the Adelphi to ER in the blistering heat
Gav asking me about the Edinboro tournoi when I can't make it 8'(
Falling asleep watching match of the day at night
I'm lucky enough to have a good mate with access to an executive box in the MNES, and on Friday he confirmed that he had arranged things for us to take up two of the tickets for it. This was not only my first ever experience of corporate entertainment, it was my first time at a match somewhere other than the West Stand (cue lots of derision from hardened Kop season-ticket holders) ! I'm more of an away fan really.
Anyway, the on-pitch action was GOOD - especially given the searing heat. Radebe and Ribeiro shone, as did Hopkin once he settled down; the only slight disappointment on the day was Robertson. All the rest put in a creditable display. We played 4-4-2 with Halle at right back and Kelly on the right of midfield. The referee was crap, with Arsenal seeming to get all the decisions. Imagine my surprise when I found out later that they had picked up four bookings. Wright's goal had been foreshadowed by a break the previous minute in which he shot low and hard, but Martyn got down well enough; the second time he got out wider on the left and had the space to loft it over Nige. I can't remember which, if any, defender was to blame. Gooners chants included "What's it like to see a goal ?" as well as the traditional "1-0..." and "Boring boring Arsenal". Seven minutes later it was our turn to have a go with a rousing "You're not singing any more"; Wallace had nodded on a through ball into Jimmy's path as he raced away from two defenders, and he coolly fired past Seaman. Both before and after the interval there were quite a few scuffles, the Arsenal players generally appearing to be petulant and a bit indisciplined.
We looked better in the second half as Hopkin and Bowyer got on top and Kelly was more involved. (Jimmy had a goal disallowed for offside at one point, not referred to on MOTD or in the Sunday Times.) For the last fifteen minutes things got very tense indeed as both teams tried to snatch it; they threatened with a Bergkamp free kick which he mis-hit, we charged down the other end and got a corner, which set up Weatherall for a tricky header which he unfortunately put over.
The off-pitch action centred around the next box, where Eddie Gray, John Charles, Bobby Collins, Billy Bremner and Allan Clarke where all sitting. At half time we were stood near Eddie in the bar and he was telling his friends / corporate hosts / whatever about the trip to Dublin for the TV tribute to "Gilesie" - apparently they had a very late night.
Oh yeah, from the sublime to the colossaly ridiculous; I saw Carlton Palmer in the gents at half time too.
Arse looked promising at the start, when Parlour went around Robertson, and Overmars looked ******* quick on the other side.
Wright's goal was brilliant. Jimmy's reply was ace too.
In the second half Hopkin & Bowyer took control of midfield, for a while, but lost it when Hopkin went off.
The Princess thought the Adolphi was great, and wants to go to the Scouse game.
Martyn 7 - Usual competent display,
Kept kicking the ball to Ribiero's head ??
Halle 7 - Composed at right-back. Troubled by Overmars at times, but anyone would be.
Wetherall 8 - Great game, against 2 forwards who you would expect him to be not so comfortable against. 2,3 great tackles, won everything in the air.
Radebe 8 - Got left by Wright on their goal otherwise brilliant.
Robertson 6 - Dodgy start, looked better when playing 10 yards deeper.
Kelly - 7 Solid in right midfield.
Hopkin -7 Plyed holding role, gradually had more influence as the game went on.
Bowyer -6 Quiet for him, but got into it more i 2nd half.
Ribiero -7 Skilfull, reasonably quick, good vision and competes well. No right foot whatsoever. Sharpe will have to go some to get back in.
Wallace 7, Good game, sharp & quick.
Jimmy 8, Good goal, looks good, no left foot at all. Doesn't look 6ft tall, more like 5'9.
Overall the team had balance, flair, defence looked strong. The strike force looked short of height. We more than matched the Arse team (which was a bit weakened I suppose).
Nice place, and nice to put some faces to the names - but wasn't it hot in there? I drank a stupid amount of Tet's and expected to have to spend the whole match visiting porcelain heaven, but it all seems to have evaporated in the heat. Perhaps that's why my new away shirt smells so bad today...
Promissing stuff I thought. Certainly more entertaining than many over the last few years anyway. Still don't reckon much to Robertson though.
Oh, and top marks to DRB's mate Guy, who's lone singing in the 1st half went down a treat even from a distance in the NE corner - top man.
Best laugh - the half time attempts of Johnny Tannoy to get the crowd to join in with his inane stand up / sit down if you're in the Kop / Row I / seat whatever bollocks - all to win a poxy meal somewhere in Leeds. Glad to see *nobody* in the ground took any notice whatsoever (and equally glad that the Pavlovian attempts to lead us along with Queen's 'We will rock you' were summarily ignored too - this sort of American shit must stop!)
Very encouraging - seemed 'up for it' throughout, although like everyone else he'd wilted in the heat by the end. Especially good to see the Arse defence panicking in the second half and pulling him down / getting booked left right and centre. They could recognise a threat when they saw it. Now if only someone could teach Wallace about the offside rule...
One downside to Jimmy's performance was the previously unmentioned fact that he is *very* one-footed. The man has no left peg at all, and this caused him to miss at least two opportunities to get through on goal in the first half when a left footed player (e.g. Yeboah, he whispers) would have done better.
Oh , and what happened to the Undertone's "Jimmy, Jimmy" then eh? (and I'm with Voice et al on the Reef front - surely they could come up with something more suitable than that?)
A very nice Norwegian bloke in the 'delphi on Saturday, told us this:
Fat Frank Strandli, on returning home after his spell in Leeds, was asked by some journo about the nightlife etc. in the city. Frank told him, amongst other things, that all he drank there was a drink called "Pint", and in fact that's all anybody drinks there. Marvellous.
Scores on the doors:-
Bowyer 7 1/2
Wallace 7 1/2
I thought Bruno was outstanding - looking menacing and intelligent going forward, but still tackling back well. Bowwyer looked more composed than last season, and ahppy to actually have a midfielder alongside him, though his shhoting is still pisspoor. Hopkin was alright, but looks sfhort of full fitness. Interesting Kelly experiment, and his crossing was a revelation.
The down side of the Kelly move forward was that Halle looked distinctly naff. Far too slow to cope with pacy wingers, and predictable on the ball. Robertson had dodgy first 20 minutes but got better and better, and unlike Dorigo didn't start hobbling as soon as it got tiring.
I thought Wetherall had a blinder. I don't care if people say he hoofs it too much, it makes a change to have centre-backs who don't mess around and get muscled out of possession. And he's a God in the air. Radebe got done by Wright a couple of times, but doesn't everyone, and he did manage not to get booked for a superb foul on the edge of the box. Personally, I'd stick with these 2 and make Lucas captain.
Jimmy looked promising. Some cracking fouls - he'll get sent off at some stage. Barging Arse defender into photographers for no apparent reason right in front of Arse fans was particularly welcome. Beauty of a goal. First time since Yeboah arrived that when a Leeds striker runs clear you actuaolly think he'll score it.
Wallace was usual perpetual motion, and linked up quite well with Jimmy. If Wallace is to succeed, we do need to play the ball on the ground rather more, and Rod does need to shoot when he runs across the srea, not just charge on until he hits something.
Kewell came on and looked good, Haaland came on and looked plodding.
Arse fans were actually good laugh, and congrats to them for applauding our all-conquering youth team.
What the %=A3$" was that music they ran onto for?? Reef might sound good on TFI Friday, but not at ER. Just put Marching on Together on and stop messing around. Sad footy execs should stop tryting sadf gimmicks to create atmospheres, and realise the best way to create atmosphere is leave it to the fans, and not tell them off every time they swear, and not ban all possessions other than club merchandise from getting into the ground. Frankly that half-time "game" of trying to get everyone ion the stadium to sit down if they weren't in the winning seat just to win a poxy meal out was pitiful. What's wrong with a good penalty shoot-out??
Lilley looked crap just sat on the bench.
Looking forward to Weds on Weds and I foresee a 2-0 win.
Martyn - 7 - Didn't do _that_ much,
one great save, maybe could have saved for the goal.
Halle - 6 - A little slow down the flank.
Wetherall - 8 - Fantastic display, if his passing improved he'd be an England candidate.
Radebe - 9 - Best player on the pitch.
Robertson - 6 - Only redeeming feature was that this was a lot better than his performance against Forest and he did improve as the game went on.
Kelly - 7 - Chased all over the field made some good crosses.
Hopkin - 6 - Fairly insignificant, got better as the game wore on.
Bowyer - 6 - I'm worried that he and Hopkin are a little similar, went AWOL in the first half.
Rebiero - 7 - He was okay, not fantastic, what he did do though is show flashes of what he could do given a first team run, definitely one for the future. Sharpe, Gray, Laurent have got to fight for a first team place.
Wallace - 7 - Very promising display from this little known yougster, hang on _ROD_ Wallace? Was that really him? Still finds himself trying to do too much though and some crosses were suspect.
Jimmy - 7 - Looked sharp but as said previously he's very one footed and his crossings not his strong suit.
KOT was late blaming the kids, stop at the services on the M1, parking by the ground, taxi to the pub, taxi back. Then it happened the change from last year, they played football and even at times tried to attack and score more than one goal.
Trip was good thanks again to KOT, loved the pop quiz which has Vinny said made some of us show our age when anything dancey came on. It was one of those times when even the Rev may have helped.
Got to the pub and enjoyed a few tet's plus some food, as always met different people that i've mailed in the past, i might even get some names right unlike a GBBF vet. Also managed to avoid people telling me what happened in the last This Life BTW have just watched it at last
Attmosphere in the ground was good and has said the side played well more on that later though.
Got back to the car seen by Betty and Gav, who told me to lie to KOT to get him back to the Imperial, it worked so we had some more beer there then made our way home.
I thought that we started badly, Robertson skinned by Parlour of all people in the early minutes, after that although there is still a tendency to lump it there were also moments when the ball stayed on the grass for sometimes as many as 4 passes.
Wrights goal was well taken though we should have stopped him before he created the chance. Jimmy took ours well from what i could see.
Spotted a few Lards shirts including Tinmans near to the goal, speaking of Arse fans in the home end we had one 3rows in front of us who was anything but subtle when the scores though during the 'your not singing any more' we made him aware of the situation, following this the steward game me a nod, and at half time told me that they had spotted him though not when they scored.
Marytn-played a steady game, good
stop in the second half though a right dodgy kick later in the game
Halle-solid game without really shining 6.5
Robertson-Shocking start though pulled it round when he worked out where he was playing 7
Radebe-Class, still makes one bad error a game but got away with it, some good tackles which saved chances 8.5
Wetherall-As above is the best way to put it 8.5
Kelly-Some good runs and crosses, not sure about the corner thing that didn't work 7
Ribeiro-Looks a good buy at the price if he can handle the 'english' game, some good runs and he seems to want to battle more than another left midfielder we have 7.5
Hopkin-Skipper, battled well in the midfield and got forward when he could 7
Bowyer-As with Hopkin. Test is to see how his second year in p'ship goes 7
Jimmy-Battled well and scored, took the goal well and another shot was really moving, needs to work on left foot though 7.5
Wallace-Ran around a lot, set the goal up, cleared on off the line for them even though Seaman had it covered.
Haaland-only on for 10mins.
Best chant of the day, 'englands no'2 to Seaman' which left him laughing and shaking that mane of his before he pointed to Nigel
All in all a good day, which has forced me to get tickets for Weds and Liverpool, not sure about Palace yet.
All the usual good things about the start of the season - hope, expectataion, sweltering heat, good opposition, beer, Tina Turner impersonator, Ellie...
It was a good game, between 2 pretty good teams, who given time will get better - Arse will get much better I think - once the players and systems have settled down a bit. The bedrock of our performance was the triumverate at the back of Nigel, Lucas, and Wetherall. Big Dave had Dennis in his pocket all game - although I've since heard grumbling gooners going on about his unfair treatment of the little dutch boy, to which the answer is didn't you see Bould's repeated attempts to shag Jimmy . Lucas had Wright bottled up for 89 mins. but in that 1 min Wright made Lucas look a pillock twice and scored once - what does this prove, that Wright is class, well tell us something we didn't know. Martyn mopped up everything that got through, including one superb reflex save from Overmaars.
Playing Kelly at right midfield ahead of Halle at Rback was a mistake from both of their viewpoints. Kelly is not a midfield player. And Halle was up against a very fast international winger, surely Kelly would have been a better marker for Overmaars. Halle should just be grateful that arse saw fit not to give the winger the ball more than 3 times - cos he was murdering him every time he ran at him.
Hopkins was busy, strong, played some very good passes, and some bloody awful ones. With a bit more composure in the box he might have set up a winner, having beaten the Arse off-side trap twice in the 2nd half.
Wallace and Jimmy looked like the beginnings of a good partnership - don't laugh - they ran off each other well, made space, found each other with flicks and passes, and seemed to complement each others style. Jimmy likes the ball to his feet. He's not going to spend all afternoon doing salmon impressions, because he doesn't want to. He's got a good shot, shoots early, and if he makes the pass early then he's good at that too, once he gets his down and running he's greedy. But I like the look of him. He's also got more rabbit than a farmer with a large shotgun.
The only other one to mention is Riberio, who I was very impressed with. Plays the ball on the ground, drifts past 3/4 challenges with ease, is surprisingly quick, and will tackle like a tiger. On this showing I'd have him instead of Sharpe.
MARTYN 7; The excellence we've come
to expect, although I think he'll be unhappy about his positioning
for the goal.
HALLE 5; uncomfortable when under pressure
ROBERTSON 3; very unimpressed. Slow, bad positional sense. Average distribution. Happier going forward. But let's not condemn out of hand, its his first game here, maybe a real crowd frightens him.
RADEBE 7; superb, but at fault for the goal, more swooping defence saving tackles - and a header on target until Rod got in the way.
WETHERALL 8; as Lucas, without the mistake.
KELLY 5; ineffective, out of position.
BOWYER 6; usual stuff, a bit off the pace
HOPKIN 6; pretty solid debut
RIBERIO 7; very promising
WALLACE 7; dovetailed - what a great word- well with new super hero...
JIMMY 8; natural goalscorer, whinger. strong pacey and brave, and a good finisher, dives like a Kestrel on the hunt.
Saw a Lard shirt in the distance - might have been Adie T, with little round shades. Didn't go too close as that only seemed to encourage him to shout at me when we were playing in the tourni. Yes I had mine on too.
Good Crowd Good day really - all-in-all can't complain Arse are one of the tipped teams after all.
"Let's get ready for a season of high-scoring action," urged the Leeds pitch announcer, a prayer more than a wish given that George Graham's team managed just 28 goals in the Premiership last season, the lowest of any side in the four divisions.
But if you can't be optimistic at the start of a new season when can you be, even if Graham's enthusiasm was reserved for the club who sacked him?
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