Round 4: Tuesday 11 November 1997
Leeds United 2 - 3 Reading
(Half-time: 1 - 1)
Referee: G P Barber (Pyrford)
|« Derby County||West Ham United »|
|Leeds||Martyn, Robertson, Haaland (Molenaar 75), Radebe, Wetherall, Wallace, Hasselbaink (Lilley 75), Ribeiro, Bowyer, Hopkin, Maybury||Halle|
|Reading||Hammond, Bernal, Swales, Caskey (Hodges 89), McPherson, Primus, Parkinson, Asaba, Morley, Houghton, Williams||Lambert, Booty|
|Leeds||Wetherall 16, Bowyer 54|
|Reading||Asaba 9, Williams 66, Morley 85|
|Yellow Cards||Red Cards|
|Shirt numbers of goalscorers||6, 11||?|
|Claire||Reading (come back soon H!)|
|John Lee||Let there be no doubt about the power of the pie!|
|The Swinnow Latvian||Reading and Laughing|
|The Times||Morley leads Reading to famous win|
|The Electronic Telegraph||Reading approach rewarded by Morley|
|Links to Reports on the net|
|Soccernet||Soccernet match report|
1. GG _did_ actually want us to win. I wondered if it was because he didn't really care, but then again the piece in the official www site suggests that he was spitting tacks at the crap performance, and threatening changes. (see 5 below)
2. It was a player problem. In several ways. I reckon that, as somebody said, players in general are not the brightest, and they do talk to their mates at other clubs. Now certain 'big' clubs, that like it or not, the players themselves clearly admire have made it clear that they can't be arsed with the CCC. Thus I reckon the Leeds players (arrogant I grant you) attitude was 'we're a big premiership outfit, my mates at Scum say ccc's shite, so it's shite and I can't be arsed'. Now you or I can pick several obvious holes in this reasoning, but remember we are talking about the average footballer here. Which leads me to...
3. It woz the atmosphere wot lost it. Also as somebody said the players clearly get wound up by the crowd, and there wasn't one. Hardly our fault considering the ridiculous prices. Moley please note, (adopts patronising tone as to small and stupid child) how do we get a crowd next time? We make seats cheap, we even give the buggers away to some local schools. Loads of goodwill, possible new fans, and sales of stuff like pies, drinks programmes etc
4. The Gary and Harry show The bottom line is we miss these lads a lot. Kelly's pace and energy on the wings and his ability to tackle and cross are great and improving all the time. He takes a lot of pressure off the defence wherever he plays. It sounds like Bowyer couldn't do the same to protect a young fullback, who is no Kelly yet, but may turn into one. Harry, well what do I need to say? Running, shooting, scoring, holding the ball up, positional sense, first touch, tireless work-rate all amazing qualities, but perhaps the thing that we most missed yesterday was mentioned in the article from the Aussie paper which someone posted the URL to the other day. One of the coaches that taught Harry is a(n even younger) lad said that as well as all this he has an indefinable quality that allows him to step up a gear when things are going badly, which not only helps his performance but the team's morale, as it were leading by example. This is a rare and priceless quality which you just cannot coach, and it was very apparent against the Newcs. He was shite in the first 20 then suddenly almost visibly thought 'bugger this I'd better sort myself out' and lo, he could. Most can't, viz last night.
5. The night of the long studs GG seems to be promising changes. I wonder if he is thinking about bringing in some more kids. There is constant mention of McPhail on the www page, in the way that there was of Kewell just before he got a game. He is left sided though, so perhaps not. We have several young centre backs coming on Rev mentioned Woodgate, who impressed me hugely, even when defending against cynical old centre forwards against Stoke in the reserves last season, what about Shepherd? Harte a go at LB and finally let Robertson have a rest in the reserves. He needs to lean how to tackle, and soon. It's a shame Harry is away, as he's be my choice to try him there, but then again, I guess he can only play in one position at a time:-) Could he even be considering using a young striker like Hackworth or Matthews up front instead of the obviously unimpressive Jimmy?
West Ham should be interesting for a number of reasons, but as somebody else said if we beat them, then I'd rather have it this way round.
Low key Adelphi, with only John Brauns and his Mum and me and Trace there - at least Mike Sewell had not drained the Grolsch stocks prior to my arrival anyway! Down to the game with John (cheers for the lift) & Erica (who's brilliant - how many Mums go to matches these days! Ace when she tells the Swinnow Latvian off!).
Anyway, the game. Like a reserve game without the atmosphere - 15,089 officially - with almost no regulars. Their first goal was due to a collision after that great big fanny Robertson had titted about poking his toe-end in instead of actually tackling properly - he ended up trying to avoid Weatherall coming in at full tilt, ball rebounding to their forwrad who slotted it in. I stood up and gave Robertson some constructive criticism - you're crap, get of the pitch, and don't come back etc. Why oh why didn't he listen??
We were playing to about 40 per cent effeciency. Midfield strangely non-competitive against a team who were pretty average. Haaland very quiet, Hopkin playing behind the front 2 which in fact was just Wallace, with Hasselbaink wide on the right, with the ball being pumped long a la Deano tactic of yesteryear. Pretty and effective it wasn't! Only player anywhere near full capacity was Bruno Ribiero - a class act amongst the surrounding mediocrity. Goal came from a cross to Weatherall at the far post - header looped over their goalie, who was only a couple of inches bigger than Wallace. Smallest goalie I've seen for yonks. At 1-1 I, and definitely the players thought, SORTED! Then some complete arse sat just behind me really upset me, when he started calling their defenders wogs! You can imagine my reaction. I asked him if he realised that we actually had some coloured players, what they'd think of hearing him come out with such s*ite, if he knew that he could be chucked out for saying what he was saying, what did he think his 8-10 year old lad who was with him thought of him etc. In short I embarrased the f*** out of him as everyone listened - peach! Oh, and I also said that if he uttered another f***ing word I'd have him chucked out! Funny how his behaviour changed! What a complete moron anyway - all that stopped me taking it further was that I genuinely thought he was mentally retarded, and so felt a bit sorry for him. Anyway, that REALLY spoilt my night, regardless of what was to come! Anyway, some God hit the bar and Ribiero had an excellent chance but blazed it over - that ended the half.
2nd half, and what a class goal from Bowyer. Flicked a ball that was behind him over his head with his heel, pushed it forward with his thigh on the run (very deliberately too, not Wallace like), then hit a low grubber from the edge of the box on the run which gave the goalie no chance. If he'd have missed I'd have complained that he should have taken it further, but it was a class strike. Game trolling along, us creating little, they got a bit more of a grip. Midfield still out of sorts, although Hasselbaink moved more into middle. Big hole - guess where - yep where the great Robertsini, the unequalled dissapearing act should have been, and it's 2-2. Sadly their winner came from Maybury, who had a much more solid game this time, getting turned, but the Reading forward had 3 defenders around him but no challenge, disgraceful, especially Molenaar (on for Haaland with Radebe pushed into midfield) just standing there like a dozy bollix! So, could Lilley (the other sub for a VERY subdued Hasselbaink) do anything - could he f***! A Second Division footballer in every way!
In summary - we were poor, very poor, as if the players thought their reputation would be enough. They were average, but did enough. Whilst we had a few chances, their pygmy goalie had little to do and they almost deserved the win just cos of our attitude, which I thought was poor. If the first team can't motivate themselves for games like this (and Ribiero, Bowyer and Maybury apart they didn't) then why not play the Juniors who really would have something to prove?
Martyn 6 - couldn't do 'owt about the goals
Maybury 6 - better game, crisp tackling, caught out once or twice though
Robertson 0 - a steaming heap of slowily shuffling horses*ite, with the positional sense of an ironing board, the tackling ability of a slug and the physical presence of a curly-wurly. Complete and utter wank!
Weatherall 5 - they scored with a header and after the collision with The Liability - average really although he did try a bit
Radebe 5 - see above
Haaland 5 - not really in it
Hopkin 5 - ditto
Bowyer 6 and a bit - tried hard in parts, good goal.
Ribiero 7 - bit of class and opened things up - on a different day would have had 2
Wallace 4 - poor, no presence, poise or class. Ran around a lot.
Hasselbaink 4 - poor, not interested, no presence. Ran around not much!
Molenaar 2 - slow dump truck. Will sometimes get in the way of someone, but is simply too slow even against Readin. Sell!
Lilley 2 - Carl Shutt without the skill! I cannot believe Celtic are interested in him, unless it's Farsley Celtic?
First of all - it was one of the most enjoyable matches I've been to for a long time (and my mum agrees)!
OK - sounds strange, but it's true. The match went pretty much as others have described, but there's no reason to get down-hearted. The Leeds goals were good, and they had 15 shots on goal, compared to Reading's 8 (For the scum game we had 8 and they had 4). Defensively, we had holes, Robertson is positionally woeful, and I really believe he doesn't know how to tackle. Also, I could not believe that Hasselbaink would not try. He really was a lazy bastard.
Anyway, the first Reading goal was a bit of a fluke. The well publicised collision between Weatherall and Robertson occured after Weatherall had ran across to cut out the ball. He gave it a welly that should have sent it to the upper tier of the east stand, except it hit Robertson somewhere soft, bounced tamely to the Reading forward, Weatherall's momentum carried him into Robertson, and Reading scored.
The second Reading goal was also a bit fluky, although Leeds' defensive marking was poor. After Reading crossed, a Leeds defender headed the ball onwards to the other wing, and the ball landed exactly on the Reading forward's head for an immediate (admittedly accurate) lobbing header, leaving Martyn no chance.
Reading's third goal was good, but three defenders should have done better.
Most of the entertainment came from a group of 10 or so supporters around us, who were seasoned forty-somethings who had supported Leeds all their lives. After a half-hearted round of "We are Leeds", a young, not very intelligent, young man nearby turned to us, and accused us of being part-timers who did not want to motivate the side. This brought huge amounts of mirth, and led these guys to sing all the old Revie era songs. Strangely, the young man did not know the words.
The banter continued throughout the game. Highlights include:-
After a few songs, singing "Young man, young man, give us a song.....", but he didn't.
A WATCOE in the second half the lasted a good 5 minutes although people kept looking back at us strangely.... It ended with the only guy who was doing the COE bit losing his voice, and it became "WATC..(silence)..WATC..(silence)....".
Singing "We shall not, we shall not be moved,........ just like a team that's gonna win the Coca Cola Cup, we shall not be moved". The young man joined in enthusiastically, not realising we were laughing at the scanning of the "..Coca Cola Cup.. bit". I think it was it this point we ceased to care very deeply about the competition.
Singing "We're not singing, we're not singing, we're not singing anymore" after Reading equalised. This was truly surreal!
One of the guys saying - "I don't care if Leeds win, I only spend two thousand a year watching them...."
Can't remember too much more, but I know we laughed a lot!
Anyway, I fully support Claire's idea about using these matches to give free tickets to schoolkids, and having sensible pricing. It would cost very little to steward the upper east stand and it would really add to the atmosphere. Also, Leeds players who don't try (and I'm sure video evidence can be used to prove it) should be heavily fined.
See you all in the Adelphi on Sunday....
PS. I am pleased to announce that beers from Aldaris, Latvia's leading brewery, can now be delivered to your home, ANYWHERE IN THE UK! Email me for prices and further information.
Jon Abbott (firstname.lastname@example.org). Last modified $Date: 2003/07/20 11:09:23 $.