Game 23: Saturday 17 January 1998
Leeds United 1 - 2 Sheffield Wednesday
(Half-time: 0 - 0)
Referee: M J Bodenham (East Looe)
|Grimsby Town »
|Beeney, Maybury (Halle 46), Robertson, Wetherall, Molenaar (Wallace 46), Kelly, Radebe, Hopkin, Kewell, Ribeiro (Lilley 88), Hasselbaink
|Pressman,Pressman, Atherton, Nolan, Pembridge, Newsome, Walker, Booth, Di Canio (Humphreys, 79), Hyde (Magilton, 87), Rudi, Alexandersson (Whittingham, 68)
|Pembridge og 63
|Newsome 51, Booth 83
|Shirt numbers of goalscorers
|Wednesday on Saturday
|Poor Leeds punished
|Graham has still to live up to golden era
|The Sunday Times
|Wednesday break Graham's fortress
|The Electronic Telegraph
|Booth finds a healthy position
|Links to Reports on the net
|Soccernet match report
|Carlingnet match report
Firstly the game was crap. The atmospohere was worse. How I long for the time when oppossing teams were met by a rousing chorus of "Who the F**king hell are you?".
We were outsung or outplayed (Sheff Wed brought their horrible band!), for the vast majority of the match. The worst thing about this poor terrace performance is that this feeling of slothfullness is being mirrored on the pitch.
Sheff Wed were and are a poor team. Their excuse of a defence seemed to offer us detailed maps of how to score against them. Their very slow (my mum can now beat Des Walker) flat back four pushed so far up that they were begging Leeds to use the pace of JFloydH. We obliged a couple of times only for Kevin Pressman to ruin our fun.
What seemed to piss us all off, was that after being stopped only by good goalkeeping we changed the way were playing and stopped looking for JFH to use his pace. To add to the misery, our midfield and defence started to play the ball to anything that wasn't in a white shirt, with the woeful woeful woeful Robertson (how long can this lump of turd continue playing for Leeds?), thinking that the family stand were a more effective threat to the southern bastards than kewell, Ribero or JFH.
This total lack of finding a Leeds player was compounded by Mark Beeney's drop kicks. Five consecutive times kicking the ball into touch. To be fair to Beeney he acknowledged his faults and had kept us in the game with a fine early save in the third minute from Clubfoot Newsome.
As the game got worse the drumming from the Sheff Wed fans became a Chinese water torcher. The match seemed to pale into a nothing as both teams lacked any purposefulness. Then just as people were going off to grab their half time cupper. We again realised the pace of JFH was a threat as he turned Walker inside out and was unlucky not to break the deadlock with powerful low shot that hit Pressman's foot.
One funny note was watching Di Cannio having the shit knocked out of him by Molenaar and the ref totally ignoring every assault.
Two substitutions and Robertsons still on th pitch.
Molenaar for Wallace and Halle for Maybury. Not much happened until Sheff Wed took a quick free kick that resulted in a shot that Beeney couldn't hold on to, and up popping Old Clubfoot Newsome to push the ball home. This goal was woeful defending. We weren't alert to the quick free kick, we failed to close down the shot and no one was near the scorer, unmarked all six foot three of him on the far post. Whether Martin would have faired better with the original shot is open to question? I'm in the kop and it's like watching subbuteo players when there's action in the south stand. ( Anyone near the scene?).
The goal sparked Leeds into action and we started moving off the ball and cutting through the Wednesday midfield. No real chances fell our way but we all felt optimistic. The optisim was justified as Harry "The Jewell" Kewell rounded Newsome on the left hand touchline and and hammered in such a powerfully low cross, Pembridge could only guide the ball into his own net. Surely now three points were ours.
Well no! Harry did break through, but probably shot a yard too early and the ball flashed past the post. JFH again saw daylight in the box but manged to hit the the top of the Kop roof. JFH is a lot happier on his right foot!
And then real depression! A crappy attack by Wednesday turns into a goal as Booth who is off the pitch runs onto a long cross to hammer home totally unmarked on the far post. Abismal defending!
Lilley came on for two minutes and had one half chance.
Severe depression! And Wallace can F**k right off now if he doesn't want to play for us.
Any road Toby was well impressed thought you looked a decent set of chaps, and is considering leaving his car at home every now and then to catch the train over for some games. I print him off some of the best bits of this list so he knows some of the names and was very keen to meet "The Voice", and was too awed by the presence on Da Rev to step forward... (although after the game he reckoned that you couldn't have had any pies that morning)... and when he saw the Euronet Vid that evening (Oh yes he'd paid for the full Lards experience)... he was well impressed to have met Ade Thomo, when he saw the rounding of the keeper, and the finish... he just laughed when he saw me...
Oh Yeah the game...
Well we were fairly shit, they were fairly shit, and they won. We started like a very fast coal fired locomotive, Jimmy, Harry,and Hopkin all racing through and seeing similar chances well saved by Pressman, in the first 10 min. Beeney made a good reflex save at our end . For that first 20 min Jimmy looked like a world beater, he was every where, and very unlucky not to score. Must have been told to make the place his with Rod being dropped. The game settled down, the only other action being another chance for Jimmy just before half time, which Fatarse did well to get his foot to.
Half time the bar which was bad enough when it was ST holders only, was a free for all and completely impossible - just one more little perk for ST holders that falls by the wayside...
They scored 2, both of which were the result of non-existent back post marking, and no challenges being made to stop the guy making the cross. The first goal they tapped a short free kick on their left, someone took it on a couple of strides, and crossed it from the corner of our box at his leisure. Booth hooked a shot which Beeney parried straight to Newsome who scored from 5 yards - he was Lucas' man. Beeney should probably have held it. The second was a cross from the other side, Harry's man once Bruno had gone off, to the back post where Booth who had all the time in the world knocked it home well. He was Halle's man, and where was Halle ? Standing with 3 other Leeds defenders in the 6 yard box, marking no-one. A point Beeney made to one and all. Our goal was all down to Harry, a good run to the byline, clips it back across goal, for Pembridge to finish - just as well he did, cos none of our lot was anywhere near it.
Harry was unlucky with another effort after a strong run, and Jimmy spooned one from 10 yards.
Stangest thing was the tactics. 1st half the back four was Maybury, Wetherall, Molenaar, and Robertson, with Lucas in midfield. This was changed at half time to Halle, Wetherall, Lucas, Robertson, with Rod going on upfront.
To my mind neither Maybury or Molenaar had done any better or worse than anyone else up to that point, and we'd had more chances, than we did in the 2nd. Added to that Halle was godawful, his positioning, his passing and long throws straight to Pressman.
BEENEY -5- very much 2nd string
MAYBURY -6- tried / HALLE -3- should be tried under the trades descriptions act.
ROBERTSON -4- pointless existence
WETHERALL -6- on-going battle with Booth, who eventually had the last laugh
MOLENAAR -6- puzzled by his substitution - if he was right for the first half, then he was right for the 2nd.
RADEBE -6- not in his best position in the first half, and partly to blame for their first.
KELLY -6- headless chicken mode today.
HOPKIN -5- started well, faded badly - I'm not a big fan, but the team does seem to do better with him than without him.
BRUNO -5- few flashes, too few.
KEWELL -6- nothing first half, livened up in the 2nd, and unlucky not to score
JIMMY -7- MOTM - for uncharacteristic effort, running, and generally causing the most problems for their defence.
WALLACE -4- came on at half time, needn't have bothered.
LILLEY got 5 mins at the end.
We've lost the winning habit, and the self belief - we're the same set of players as in November, with all their limitations, but the confidence is gone.
Nick, wandering, wandering, in endless night - well at least I was when The Cock meet (Ooer) failed to happen.
PS anyone else think that Bergkamp is a dirty rotten cheat...
This was not of course helped by the quality of the footie. For a few minutes after we scored we did after all shut up the rustbelt rattlers. It was a hard match to comprehend really. We looked good early on and were carving open the Wednesday defense up the left channel. Jimmy had a couple of good shots well saved and Harry actually appeared to be awake and playing in the same team for once (though he still looked better in the second half, so the tea theory still stands). Then things gradually seemed to come unstuck. I remember thinking 'if we don't take one of these early chances we could be in trouble' and obviously it gradually began to occur to Wednesday that if they upped a gear then Leeds wouldn't go with them, and so it proved.
What annoyed and perplexed me was that despite the much vaunted team spirit they didn't really seem to be trying as hard as Wednesday (which is saying something when we are talking about a BFR side). We were second to second balls weak in the tackle, didn't run as hard or move as much. In short we just didn't really look up for it, with the honourable exception of the kids. Poor old Maybury was being given a hard time by Rudi, but kept coming back for more, and I agree that Halle was in fact a lot worse, and Harry seemed to be the only one who actually tried at all in the second half. In short they were unrecognisable from the side who battled and tried before Christmas.
1 Kelly is not a midfielder. We badly need a good right sided midfield player. This leaves us with one good right back (GK) and one promising young one (Maybury), but nothing decent as a left back. Davie has got worse again I am sad to say.
2. Lucas is not a midfielder. Play him in defense where he is badly needed. Then try Hopkin as holding midfield in the absence of Mad Alfie. I am not at all impressed by Hopkin as a creative player, but he can tackle and pass short.
3. Harry is not a striker (really). Though he can play there we looked instantly better with him on the left wing. He caused all sorts of problems and looked much more comfortable cutting in from wide.
So this leaves us with a very unbalanced team, about to lose our best defender and striker/winger, with no real creativity in midfield (I really hope McPhail is good and gets a go _soon_), and a dodgy looking defense minus Lucas.
I don't want to depress you folks, but mid table is looking likely and you might not want to take any bets on Europe just now!
Still look on the bright side, at least they transfer listed the plonker!
It is always nice to win a local derby, but this victory will be particularly sweet for Ron Atkinson's men. In an undistinguished game they had the beating of Leeds in midfield, and, in Petter Rudi, the outstanding player.
The paucity of Leeds' invention was exposed. They gifted a goal to their opponents and it is a commentary on their performance that it took an own goal to get them on the scoresheet.
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