Game 11: Saturday 18 October 1997
Leeds United 4 - 1 Newcastle United
(Half-time: 3 - 0)
Referee: D Elleray (Harrow)
|« Stoke City
|Martyn, Halle, Wetherall, Radebe, Robertson, Kelly, Hopkin (Bowyer 87), Haaland, Ribeiro, Wallace, Kewell
|Lilley, Harte, Molenaar, Beeney
|Given, Watson, Peacock, Howey, Beresford, Barton, Batty, Lee, Ketsbaia (Tomasson 53), Barnes (Gillespie 53), Rush
|Hamilton, Albert, Srnicek
|Ribeiro 30, Kewell 38, Beresford 43 og, Wetherall 47
|Ribeiro, Radebe, Wallace, Wetherall
|Shirt numbers of goalscorers
|10, 19, 3, 6
|Voice of Football
|It's Official - We're Pretty Good!
|Relief, disbelief and joy
|Dalglish's defensive heirlooms tarnished
|Graham takes plaudits as Leeds leave Dalglish lost for words
|The Sunday Times
|Rampant Leeds find goal touch
|The Electronic Telegraph
|Goals flow as Leeds enjoy role reversal
|Links to Reports on the net
|Soccernet match report
|Carlingnet match report
Our best performance for a year or more. We actually played as a team. Players got forward to help in attack, players got back to defend. When a pass was made, the player would move into space. So easy. so effective.
Super Rod (this boy must play in WC98) scared the living daylights out of Peacock & Howey. Haaland snuffed out Barnes, Hopkin matched Batty for energy. Halle & Kelly (ace crosser of ball all of a sudden) linked down the right, Bruno, Robertson & Kewell linked down the left. Radebe dominated defence and Martyn leaned against the goalpost and soaked up the warm sun for an hour and a half.
It has to be said that Newcastle were total garbage - the worst team I've seen for years. Dalglish might well blame his players, but with Rush leading their attack, and a defence packed with donkeys they were always in trouble. Substituting Ketsabaia was astonishing. Their only effective player bar Batty. Mind you, I suppose they were missing Shearer, Ganglepuss, Pistone & Pearce.
Ellery made the most astonishing decision since Tinkler by NOT sending an already booked Wallace off for kicking Barton off the ball. (The silence which fell over the ground for a few minutes after this was bizarre in the extreme - I think everyone was equally stunned). Mind you, how he failed to notice the clash of refs kit with Toon strip was weird too. Even after Rob Lee passed to the linesman, it took Elleray a while before he switched to a bright blue Leeds sweatshirt. A crap ref.
And three cheers for Caspain for repeating last match's flop of a half time entertainment program, with the addition of an attempt to have the match abandoned and send asthsma levels soaring by setting off a smokebomb at halftime. (And well done for the original idea of parachustists landing on the pitch - a real novel treat). Twats.
Martyn - 3 (plonker - should have
Halle - 7
Robertson - 9 (relatively speaking)
Radebe - 7
Weatherall - 7
Kelly - 8
Hopkins - 8
Haaland - 6 (not good enough)
Bruno - 7
Kewell - 7
Wallace - 10
Chants: "David Elleray is a Leeds fan", "Are you Sunderland in Disguise?", "You're not very good", the aforementioned spoof on their favourite, "Ian Rush, Ian Rush....." "Where were you in 92?"
Surreal moment: at 2-0 noticing that our goals had been scored by Bruno and Harry, know what I mean?
Odd moment: Seeing Batty talk to Elleray moments before the latter should have given Wallace a second yellow (or even a straight red) for a wild kick at an opponent. Then realising that, the Leeds fan having also talked to the linesman, Wallace was staying on. I _thought_ Batty was trying to help an old team-mate. Minutes later he lunged at Wallace in a way that should have got him a second yellow, but he stayed on too. The first Wallace card for not retreating. Batty's for a vicious foul on the admirable Robertson.
One bad moment: Martyn's walkabout.
All round: Excellent performance. In the last three games we have begun to move off the ball and find team-mates with passes. There is still room for improvement, but I was actually impressed with our game on the ground. I do wonder whether the change of personnel working with the first team is in any way responsible for the fact that in the last two home games the first XI have played in a way that begins to mimick the flowing youth football of last season. Kewell no longer looks out of place.
All played well, the crowd responded magnificently. Kewell is a better forward than Jimmy on this form. Kelly was at his best. We have tremendous pace going forward. Nobody looked poor, though some went to sleep after the 4th goal. Lucas didn't have one of his best games, but still looked great. I would reckon he's worth a chorus of "You'll never beat Radebe".
As to the opposition. We made them look very poor. Steve Howey and Watson were all over the place. Lee was never really in it. Barnes and Rush looked too old. I will, however, pay tribute to their fans - they stood to hate ManU, few of them left early (despite many "Time to go, time to go" exhortations) and they stayed remarkably noisy under the circumstances. Were they clapping our team or their's at the end? Now, where will I find a geordie today?
A grand day out.
This was awesome. This felt so fucking good.
Was a bit cat and mouse for the first 25 mins. without too much happening - Ketsbaia looked about their best bet for a breakthrough. Then it was almost a if our midfield and forwards clicked up another gear. Suddenly we were winning every tackle, getting every 50/50 ball, we chased and harried them off the park. They never got chance to settle, and this was the difference, their defence fell to pieces. Peacock farted around with the ball on the edge of the box, Kewell robbed him headed towards goal, lashed in a shot and Given saved well.
From then on everything happened down the left wing, Rod was superb, their lumbering defenders crapped themselves when he got the ball. Bruno was flying into tackles, winning it, and then beating a man or two before sending out a defence splitting pass. Even Robertson was getting in on the act.
First goal, Rod hares down the line, cuts into the box along the dead ball line and pulls it back for the sliding Bruno to stab home at the near post.
2nd ; Another move down the left involving Bruno and Rod, the ball ends up at Harry's feet, he finishes with what looked like a deflection, to help it over the line.
3rd ; a free kick after Bruno had been chopped out on the left, floated over everybody, it bobbles around a bit, Hopkin hits a feeble shot in off a defender.
All in the space of 11 mins.
Half time - up in the bar scum are 0-2 down and people are smiling at each other, shaking their heads, singing "Boring Boring Leeds". Smile smile smile
2nd half, long ball pumped into the corner just in front of me Kop/West Stand, Rod chases and catches, Peacock comes across again, Rod is backing him up into the area, he is shitting bricks, Rod jinks one way then the other, Peacock just gets a foot in, corner. Kelly swings it in, Wetherall far post 4-0.
From then on its a singing dancing geordie baiting festival on the Kop.
Leeds slackened off a little and they scored from their only effort on goal. Gillespie a header from 18-20 yds over Big Nige who was busy charging out of his goal - no idea why- perhaps he'd forgotten what the ball looked like, he hadn't seen it since the warm up... who knows.
Batty -easily their best player, and the only one with the balls for the fight- and Rod got tangled up, some said that Batty elbowed Rod, I couldn't see that, but Rod clearly kicked Batts up in the air and should have been off - and if Batty elbowed him then he should have walked too. But Ellery was hoist on the petard of his own stupidity, he had booked Rod 2 mins. earlier for not being 10 yds at a free kick, when Batty clearly put the ball down and kicked it straight at Rod, who had no chance of getting out of the way. So now Ellery really wants to book the pair of them for this incident, and can't because it'll result in the Leeds player getting sent off. Ellery was shit, booking several Leeds players, for stuff that N'castle were getting away with time and again. He also turned out wearing a shirt, that clashed with the N'castle kit, and had to change into a LeedsUtd sweat shirt, which was greeted with the Kop singing "The referee's a Leeds fan" - Oh the irony, especially in this case.
What was good about this performance. The defence was never troubled. - Rush completely anonymous, but hey we're used to that - Leeds played with spirit, tackled hard, got about them etc etc, but the best thing was that having won the ball we didn't give it away again cheaply, and we used it well. The ball was played into feet - hallelujah - our front players could turn and run at their defence, and there was plenty of support coming from midfield. The middle 4 of Hopkin, Haaland, Kelly, and Riberio each had their best individual games of the season, and as a unit were superb. They effectively defended from the half way line forward. The only surprise from Dogleash was that he didn't send Gillespie on earlier - he came on after the 4th goal in an effort to shore up the left wing, this was so obvious that we couldn't believe he waited so long.
The papers may concentrate on how unutterably shit the N'castle defence was, well to a certain extent its true, but the point was we made them that bad with our hustling and our ball play-but of course they don't want to credit us with that.
MARTYN -7- What was he thinking
HALLE -7- Steady, gave some support going forward
ROBERTSON -6- better going forward, still happy to let Bruno and Lucas do his defending
WETHERALL -8- superb, and a goal
RADEBE -8- it is now only going to be worth reporting when this man has a bad game, because I've run out of superlatives.
HAALAND -8- very good holding defensive performance, very little got past him.
KELLY -8- stunning atttacking wing play, great crosses, some good covering at the back
HOPKIN -8- I wasn't convinced at first, but he has grown in stature, and now commands the middle of the park, also made some very good runs to support the attack
RIBERIO -9- outstanding, absolutely outstanding. When did Leeds last have such a brave hard tackling midfielder, who can shoot from anywhere, score, and land the ball on a sixpence over any range of passing. Johnny Giles thats when
WALLACE -9- dynamite. He is on fire.
KEWELL -8- not a forward, but doing a brilliant impression
all -in -all a damn fine game.
I'm ashamed that I ever doubted my judgement about Rush, but when he left for Newcastle and reportedly received a standing ovation on his debut, you start wondering, "Hmmmm .... perhaps his abysmal scoring record for us was from very poor service from midfield and a slight lack of confidence...". Like fuck it was! The bloke is past it, and I almost felt sorry for the poor bugger as Lucas ate him for breakfast and spat out the bones (until I remembered how much he's getting paid). I think that he touched the ball at most twice all game - and one of those was at the kick off.
Newcastle were indeed poor, but then we didn't allow them to be anything else, as we comprehensively outplayed them in every area of the pitch: we defended with what is now becoming satisfying solidity and assurance (apart from Martyn's gormless Grobelaar impression on the hour), we were stronger, quicker _and_ more creative in midfield, and the incandescent Wallace gave Peacock, Howey and Watson nightmares every time he had the ball, thanks to his electric pace, superb close control and agility. The first goal summed up White-hot Rod's game: he received the ball outside the Newcastle area and immediately ran at one of their lumbering back three, using his speed and skill to get to the left-hand byline where he picked out the unmarked Ribeiro with a perfect left-footed cutback for an easy goal.
Even when the Geordies got one back the team kept their composure and shape, avoiding any temptation to defend too deeply and invite any further pressure (as we had done against the Scum).
It really was a heartening _team_ performance, with several of our players vying for the Man Of The Match award. In fact, I think it it's too close to call, so I'll split it between Lucas, Hopkin and Wallace and rename the prize to Backbone Of The Match.
The only downsides to the afternoon were Martyn's brainstorm (I'll put that one down to loss of concentration through boredom and possibly sunstroke - it was a bloody glorious sunny day), Elleray's predictable booking frenzy (Suspension City, here we come) and Robertson's continued reluctance to tackle anyone.
I tell you, with a result and performance like this a man starts thinking crazy thoughts like "Europe", "silverware" and "is it merely coincidental that the team's form has improved since Lord Eddie was promoted?"
Nigel B. (looking _up_ the table for a change)
P.S. Lord Eddie's reserves are currently top of the Pontin's League.
P.P.S. Young McPhail sometimes trains with the first team. I sense an appearance coming on soon.
P.P.P.S. Our hammering of Newcastle didn't stop BT running the Kenny Dalglish advert on Sunday evening: Random Quote, "Yeah, I thought it was our best performance of the season". Hur hur hur.
P.P.P.S. Parachutists out! In fact please junk all the bloody pre-match and half-time razamatazz. It makes you bloody hanker for the glory days of a ropy marching band.
What can I say? A 4-1 victory over Newcastle is a truly fantastic result. This is indeed the same team which beat Newcastle 3-2 with the exception of Asprilla. Unfortunately the papers i.e. yesterdays Independent and Times, put it down to the fact that Newcastle were almost on a strike or something, and no emphasis at all on the fact that GG did a good tactical job - OK simple really but effective, nullify Batty and let Rod run where he wants to.
I couldn't believe my eyes at the scoreline of 3-0 at half time, and i'd only just sat on my seat when Wetherall thumped in the 4th before my eyes ( I was in the NE Lower stand). Even my die-hard Scumchester girlfriend (at her 2nd Leeds game, and who's not been to a Scum game, obviously she should join some supporters club in Croydon) was gobsmacked at how Newcastle folded and were utterly pathetic, especially Rush.
The home fans were superb, i've never heard them in louder voice (i've only made two other pilgrimages up to Elland Road), so I can't speak, although i'm sure it's mental when Scum arrive for their defeat. A Mexican wave broke out, 'are you Sunderland in Disguise?', and although I didn't pick up on this one: 'CAR-toon Army, CAR-toon Army'. Great Stuff! To cap it all, the half-time 'entertainment' whereby someone takes penalties into a much covered goal, i.e. hit the ball thru a tarpaulin thingy over the goals thru one of three holes, was a success in that one guy scored, and won himeself a... .... Fiat Cinquecento. This was after we could see the goals due to the smoke flare thingy going off, and guiding in the sky divers.
I still think that the team is at least short of another striker, and definitley short of an attacking midfielder, but that's my personal whinge. I'll not review the game as my literary prowess doesn't extend that far, although i'll attempt player ratings.
Martyn - 6 Should have stayed on his
line for Gillespie's goal
Halle -7 Played superb.
Weatherall - 8 Great goal
Radebe - 9 Get this man a new & improved contract
Robertson - 6.5 Very good going forward, marking is a bit dodgy though
Kelly - 10 Not being biased, but was my MoM. Never hoofed the ball once.
Hopkin - 6 Quiet enough, but effective
Haaland - 6.5 Better than I thought he was
Riberio - 7.5 Well done George, a good skillful player here
Rodney -9 Didn't fall down once, ran like blue-f***, and very lucky not to be sent off, shouldn't have been booked before hand by the ref. A man on fire.
Kewell - 7.5 Did well also, quite skillful too with a few nice turns here and there. Last time I saw him he was playing left back in the match away (4-0 defeat) to Chelsea a few seasons ago, obviously he's in his proper position now.
A few needless bookings which may prove costly in the coming weeks, and the big test now is whether, they can take the Dons this weekend.
There was a familiar menace to the character emerging from the Elland Road press room, and Kenny Dalglish recognised it immediately. Still a little angry and shocked, the Newcastle manager was nevertheless surprisingly mellow about the rubbish he had just watched, but as he pressed the flesh of the menacing one he must have thought: " We needed you today."
Kenny Burns, as a player, embodied everything that Newcastle lacked on Saturday. Resolute, fierce, accomplished, these three adjectives describe him but not Newcastle's performance. Flimsy, vague and unacceptable are more fitting for that.
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