Game 15: Sunday 23 November 1997
Leeds United 3 - 1 West Ham United
(Half-time: 0 - 0)
Referee: G R Ashby (Worcester)
|Martyn, Kelly, Wetherall, Radebe, Robertson, Halle, Bowyer, Haaland, Ribeiro, Hasselbaink, Wallace
|Lilley, Harte, Maybury, Molenaar, Robinson
|West Ham United
|Miklosko, Breacker, Potts, Pearce, Unsworth, Impey, Lomas, Lampard, Berkovic (Moncur 84), Hartson, Abou (Dowie 87)
|Rowland, Paulo Alves, Forrest
|Hasselbaink 76, 90, Haaland 88
|West Ham United
|West Ham United
|West Ham United
|Shirt numbers of goalscorers
|9, 4, 9
|vs West Ham
|Chicken Pie Fever - John Lee
|West Ham game
|Hammers win - Adie T
|Leeds beat language barrier
|Hasselbaink leads the late escape
|The Electronic Telegraph
|Familiar pattern is taking shape at Leeds
|Links to Reports on the net
|Soccernet match report
|Carlingnet match report
A strange game in which little happened for the first 60-5 minutes, and then it went mad. It was very dull, little skill, little endeavour etc. The main points of interest up to the Hammers goal being:
Hartson was giving Wetherall his first seriously bad day at the office - well in the air - for a long while, he beat him to everything.
We continued to thump the long ball up to Jimmy and Rodders, because it had been so successful on Tuesday.
Halle had decided to return to those long cherished days of twin full-backs, ie he was as shite as Robertson.
Nige pulled off one stunning reflex save after Gunnar had tried to belly one over the line from an innocuous knock-down that Nige had covered in the first place.
Lucas was superb.
I'll repeat that because there was only one reason we didn't go 2 or 3 down by half-time - Lucas was superb.
Their goal was a Hartson flick-on and a good low finish from Lampard from the edge of the box.
Ours 1: a free-kick left hand top corner of the box, one of tose little tap and stop affairs - that I usually despair of - and a low hard, swerving thump from Jimmy into the bottom corner. Boy was he happy, an attempted sommersault - not quite up to Asprilla's standard yet, followed by Ian Wright style chest sticking out. Jolly good goal old chap.At this point I turned round and told the guy who'd slagging Jimmy off all game, saying we should sign Deano back, to fuck off.
2: Bruno corner from the right with 2 mins left, Alfie rises and heads home.
3: Robertson runs down the left, and for the first time in 90 mins passes to a man in a white shirt, Jimmy heads downwards and home, keeper nowhere. Guy behind me smiles sheepishly.
Another victory for the battling spirit of GG's team, it wasn't a classic, and we didn't look good for long stretches of the game - but we got three points, and we're fourth in the league.
MARTYN -7- little to do except keep
Halle off the score sheet, but did it well.
KELLY -7- v. good game. restored a balance to the side. had a funny feeling that he wasn't 100% fit, his usal zip of pace seemed to be missing.
HALLE -3- crap. out of position. joined attacks, received the ball, turned round and passed it back.
ROBERTSON -2- worse than Halle, only redeeming feature was his cross for the 3rd goal. constantly being bailed out by Lucas and Bruno.
WETHERALL -6- given a rough ride by Hartson, but he kept going and epitomised the spirit - stand-in captain.
RADEBE -10- MOTM.What can you say. If he ever scores he'll get 11 out of 10.
HAALAND -6- contributed little except the goal.
BOWYER-6- steady in the middle, got stuck in without ever really shining.
RIBEIRO -7- pick of the midfield. good distribution, good covering for the shitescot. whenever we start to play well Bruno's usually involved, coincidence ? I think not.
WALLACE -7- huffed and puffed, under some appalling service. might have had a penalty. held onto the ball once or twice a bit too long.
JIMMY -8- same as Rod for 75 mins then he scored... Shows what he can do given reasonable service. Did anyone think he was going to pass the ball when he was on a hat-trick and 40 yards out with only 3 defenders between him and the goal ? No neither did I.
I thought we missed Hopkin's industry in the middle.
Anyway this preceeded by Portishead in Brid on sat. night - top weekend.
Second half started slowly, but eventually we started pressurising them a bit more, but bugger me they then went and scored! Then Wallace did a triple salco when going over a stretched out leg in the box. At the time I thought it was a blatant dive, but on telly I thought it looked like he'd caught, albeit only slightly, his back leg. Wallaces 'oh s*it I've stepped on a land-mine' routine was pitiful though, so maybe the ref disallowed it for that. Whatever, Jimmy's brilliant low curling free-kick from 26 yards-ish was a peach, and from then on I thought we'd win! Alfe's soft header from a corner and then, unbelievably, a positive contribution from that crap-hat Robertson, a lovely curling cross met by Jimmy again.
In short, it was one of those games that you're supposed to win when playing badly if you want to be in with a chance of winning something. As we did, then who knows, but there are some major problems still. Up front, Hasselbaink and Wallace again looked totally lightweight and ineffective, until the last 10 that is. Jimmy was whingeing at everything, and considering how crap he'd looked till the free-kick (and he nearly got another identical one too but Unsworth cleared it) it can only be a matter of time before someone chins him! Wallace was poor too, ran around a lot, but he's simply not good enough. Who knows, we may even win something with just those two, but I somehow doubt it. We desperately need a mobile strong front-man, but Gods knows who? Midfield was also a problem - once a team comes to snuff us out, our lack of skill means that there's endless opportunity for practising your Ray Wilkins impression, i.e. sideways passing, but no-one has the vision to open things up! At the back we looked relatively solid, apart, of course, from at left back, where Robertson had his usual inept game! Personally, I'm not terribly happy that we have to wait till the 89th minute for his first positive contribution to the game, the cross for Jimmy to score. A section of the Kop were actually chanting Robertson out, and everytime the ball went near him there was a very audible groan.
On the superstition front, both me and Trace had a chicken pie and I think the late goal-fest reflected that.
Nice to see Nif on the bus on the way back to town, despite the fact that the Middle East based Larder was shivering like he was in his 2nd week of heroine withdrawal! Bit nippy wasn't it?
Martyn ( did we have a goalie - did
we need one?) 6
Weatherall 5 (2nd best against Hartson most of the day)
Radebe 8 man of the match by a mile!
Bowyer 5 - reverted to headless chicken mode
Ribiero 7 skillful, and competitive, but can't do it on his own GG!
Match reports are covered by the listers really being at SOTG, but some comments must be passed on from the armchair:
Boring game. At least the first hour or so. I started to think that it'll end a 0-0 draw. (Even worse when WH scored ...), and waited to see Lilley brought on. People saying: "Gee, substitutes have to be crap...." (as they were not brought on despite the lousy performance out on the field). Kept on wondering why we played all that long balls, won't work anyway. Why not try to fly down the wings? Well, I'm not GG.
Points from my TV view:
Martyn - Except from Halle's interest in his own goal, Englands no. 1 had nothing to do. He had a brilliant save on Halle's attempt, though. - 8
Halle - Got his shirt thorn up first half. Is that why he had a bad chested back-pass? Seem to tackle allright, but his long balls has the wrong address on it every time. Far out of his way on the WH goal. Back-passes every time when he don't send a long ball to the opposite. This is stopping every sign of a counter attack. Reserves next. - 2
Wetherall - Captain of the crew. Was challenged more than usual in the air. Was tried sold a year ago, he said "no", and fought his way back into the team. The kind of player we want in Leeds, the spirit, the passion .... Wethers is my MOM. - 9
Radebe - Great player - good game as always. We'll no doubt miss him when he's off to do his national duty. - 9
Robertson - I had commented on him all game, a mate that likes him (saw him live against Arsenal), laughed at me when he crossed for Jimmy to set in the 3rd goal. But in my view he did f**k all but that cross. Reserves next. - 2
Kelly - Good to have him back! Working a lot, still looked like he has more to give. - 7
Haaland - Didn't even notice him on the pitch. Was he there? Nice goal, though! Earns his points due to that. Tip for GG: Halle out - Haaland right back, leave room in the midfield for a .... eh ...MIDFIELDER! - 6
Bowyer - Was always there - in my view the arrow is pointing upwards, still he has some way to go to reach his previous hights. He's young though, and a future Leeds man - 6
Bruno - He's surprising me, and I mean it positive only. Good game. Defending well, attacking well. - 7
Wallace - Should have had a penalty at 0-0 (if the ref. meant not - he should have been booked for the theatric performance. In my view, TV pictures in slow motion clearly show that his leg is moved when he is tackled, i.e. his leg is touched. He fells over due to this.) Has his best season for ages, but could have played the ball earlier in some occasions - too much solo. - 7
Jimmy - Seems to me as a bit lazy, but have to forgive him when he score to goals. Though, I feel that he should act a bit more as a "team player". At the end of the day, footy is a sport for a team, not individuals. Jimmy could make himself better, a star if you want, if he started to make his team-mates better. - 7
I think that Kewell was missed, at least I did miss him. And Hopkin.
Small list meet before leaving for the game in Si Harts car (ta Si) and for once got to the game before kickoff.
First half was crap they were pants and we were worse, they almost went ahead when we tried to score for them, good save from Nigel. Is it GG's me plan to go behind in games as we can't force the pace until then.
The second half was drifting the same way until the scored. Hartson won a header for the umteenth time and Lampard Jr ran on and finished well, we then didn't look like we were going to score until we got a free-kick 20 yards out and set up one of those Tip-Stop-Shoot moves that never work, unless the Hammers keeper is out of position and Jimmy scores. The game then looked like petering out towards a draw, they were happy with a point and made a couple of subsitutions to waste time. We then won another corner which Bruno swung over onto Alfies head 2-1, couple of minutes later Robertson had his one good moment of his season and planted a cross onto Jimmys head for a 3rd, we then still almost had time to get a 4th but Jimmy was greedy rather than passing.
Nigel-Not a lot to do, food save
first half, no real hope with goal 6
Halle-Poor at worst average at best seemed off the pace of the game is he fit yet 6
Robertson-What more can be said, a complete liability, good cross though 4.5
Radebe-CLASS CLASS ETC we would be lost without him, lets hope for bad weather when he's missing in Feb 8
Wetherall-Average difficult game for him as Hartson is a handful 6
Kelly-Again average, chased hard but not fully fit? 6
Halland-Worked hard and took his goal well 7
Bruno-Buy of the season IMO works very hard every game and is creative who needs Sharpe 7
Bowyer-Quiet at times though worked well at others steady 6
Wallace-Worst game for a while no service but didn't seem to go looking for the ball as much 6
Jimmy-Like Wallace for the most part, took his goals very well, as a top class striker should 7.5
Crowd class again.
Halle - 6.
Some positive distribution - some awful long balls. I've seen him play a lot better, I've seen him play worse.
Wetherall - 7.
Always a threat for corners and solid and well positioned in defence throughout.
Radebe - 9. MOTM (for me)
Superb as ever. Great tackling but also great distribution. We'll really miss him when he's on international duty. One of the best central defenders in Europe.
Robertson - 5.
Poor. Appalling distribution - rarely passed to a white shirt, often caught in possession. A couple of decent crosses, especially for the third goal - I was sat very close to him when he crossed and for that moment he was suddenly determined and confident - maybe borne out of frustration at his own performance (?). After the goal he gestured to the crowd as if to say that he could do it after all - I hope he's right.
Kelly - 7.
Industrious but predictable. Caused their defence problems all afternoon but always goes wide, never cuts in.
Haaland - 7.
Solid, seemed to keep Berkowic quiet, and then scored when his markee (Berkovic) was substituted. Good goal celbration - right in front of me.
Bowyer - 6.
He can play so much better. He seems to believe his own hype and he's always trying to run before he can walk. I think he'll become a great player when he remembers the basics.
Ribeiro - 9.
Just the kind of attacking midfielder we want. Hard working, positive, effective. Could he be a Beckham-style left wing back?
Wallace - 6.
As ever, he worked hard, but looked out of his depth against the six-man defence.
Jimmy - 7.
Caused problems for their defence all afternoon but was not much more than that until the goals. Great free kick, great goal celebration.
West Ham - 5.
They should never have even had a sniff of the points.
Crowd (us) - 5.
Very quiet, it was quite spooky. Livened up later. Maybe it was the weather. Hats off to the ball gathering chap in the beret.
Crowd (them) - 7.
Made more noise than us, got very cocky when they went one-nil up and had a long drive home (I met a few at Leicester Forest Services on the M1 - they didn't seem too happy).
Stewards - 10.
I was with a friend, a non-Gods fan, who was mightily impressed with the standard of the stewarding. All were very polite and jolly. They moved out of your way so you could still see and showed respect to the fact that you'd paid to get in. I was very proud.
Weather - 1.
Damp and freezing.
Today's papers; The Express - leads
from a backpage headline about more pyrotechnics expected from
Jimmy. Full match review puts Jimmy as MOTM.
The Times - front page spread of Times 2 (Sports) is the only paper that thinks we played 3-5-2 - all others think we played 4-4-2. They pay tribute to the fitness of the team.
Daily Torygraph - review squeezed in next to full page splash of Sc*m beating Wimbledon. Full review of Iran-Australia game.
Daily Mail - Review leads saying GG will not be fooled by the victory, there's still plenty of improving to be done.
All reviews say pretty much the same, based around GG's post-match comments - "ahead of schedule", "improving to be done" etc. and all say boring for 70 mins, cracking last 20.
For a long time at Elland Road yesterday Lent seemed to have come early. As a footballing feast the game between the Uniteds of Leeds and West Ham offered only hard rations.
Nevertheless George Graham's Leeds eventually continued their upward surge in the Premiership by scoring three times in the last 15 minutes after Frank Lampard had given West Ham the lead just past the hour. Until their opening goal Leeds did not achieve one shot on target.
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