FA Carling Premiership
Game 16: Saturday 05 December 1998
Leeds United 4 - 0 West Ham United
(Half-time: 1 - 0)
Referee: J D Winter (Stockton-on-Tees)
|« Manchester United||Coventry City »|
|Leeds||Robinson, Haaland, Harte, Radebe, Woodgate, Molenaar, Bowyer, Hopkin, Kewell (Wijnhard 82), Smith (McPhail 85), Hasselbaink||Wetherall, Halle, Santos|
|West Ham United||Hislop, Pearce, Margas, Ruddock, Sinclair, Lampard, Lomas, Lazaridis (Moncur 56), Keller, Wright, Hartson||Breacker, Potts, Boylan, Forrest|
|Leeds||Bowyer 8, 61, Molenaar 68, Hasselbaink 79|
|West Ham United|
|Yellow Cards||Red Cards|
|Leeds||Haaland, Hopkin, Hasselbaink|
|West Ham United||Moncur||Ruddock|
|Leeds||West Ham United|
|Shirt numbers of goalscorers||?||?|
|John Lee||The harder they come, the harder they fall|
|Claire Warwick||Oh Joy, oh rapture|
|Damian Walsh||WHU match report|
|The Guardian||Rampant Leeds expose West Ham's pretensions|
|The Electronic Telegraph||Bowyer double bursts bubbles|
|The Times||Youth rises in response to O'Leary's call|
|The Sunday Times||Leeds are irresistible|
|Express Sport||Leeds dish out a hammering|
|The Independent on Sunday||Bowyer at fore to burst bubble|
|Yorkshire Evening Post||United shooting to the top|
|Soccernet||Soccernet match report|
|Carlingnet||Carlingnet match report|
But you'd expect the odd gripe from me, although even I'll struggle a bit. So, well I thought Jimmy had his best game for us this year by a mile, and clearly whatever it is that O'Leary is doing (saw that O'leary went off at the end with him arm around the shoulder) is working. Jimmy also had a couple of brilliant runs, one of which he actually passed at the end of for Bowyer to score his second, although those runs being against Margas means he wasn't up against much - I think my Mum could outpace him! And f*ck me, there were even 2 occasions when Jimmy didn't need a 2nd or 3rd touch when trying to hold the ball up. However, he's still moaning. When he scored he'd been fouled (and yes, it was a foul) and he was stood there like a jessy as Smith brought the ball down, only to suddenly get his mad up and thrash it in! I wish he'd do that more often, and compete physically, rather than whinge and wimp out of challenges. On a number of occasions there were 50-50s with balls in the air that Jimmy choose to nance about at 5 yards off the defender waiting for a mistake. I'd like to see him get stuck in! What was nice talking of getting stuck in was seeing Smith knock Ruddock around, and seeing how much Ruddock didn't like it. Aye, he can dish it out but can he f*ck take it! I thought Smith might actually get sent off cos he undoubtedly helped introduce that niggle factor which culminated in Hopkin lashing out at Moncur, although I didn't see what Moncur did. Luckily neither did the ref (who was f***ing excellent - hur hur!) and he booked the pair of them. Hopkin was also on a short fuse and in the battle of the plug-uglies (him v Lomas) he definitely won out! I also thought it was funny after Big Bob scored, then seeing Jimmy lecturing Harte for not finding him goal-hanging at the back-post with his cross, as opposed to providing the cross from which we scored. Seems like Harte is the only one who Hasselbaink dare have a moan at?
I couldn't work West Ham out - Hartson had had flu all week and looked worse than useless, their midfield was pants, and their sole tactic seemed to be to kick lumps out of Kewell. I was glad Harry went off cos he was on for a broken leg the way things were shaping up!
And on a positive note before my scores, our yoof were looking good before this game, and clearly there are a few of them who ARE going to make the grade. That is the big plus at the moment, because clearly Woodgate and Bowyer are going to be international class, Robinson looks excellent, and Smith, whilst it's always possible that he'll suffer the Butterworth/Forester fate, also looks like he's got something extra. Christ, 2 games running I went home happy, and all without any beer as I was so hammered from the night before!
Robinson 8 - had everything covered and made one good flying save
Radebe 8+ - one gob-smackingly brilliant tackle against Sinclair stood out a mile. He also had an attempt at goal which he sliced horribly, as I jovially directed him "to get back in defence where he belongs!"
Molenaar 7+ - out of position for Wrights attempt but otherwise solid enough, and swung a mighty drumstick to score the 3rd
Harte 7 - didn't have much to do, but did it OK for once
Daft Alfi 7 - kicked the s*ite out of their no 7, and only skillful dodging by several Hammers enabled Alfi to make it into the 2nd half until his obligatory booking. Did make some good surging runs too, although didn't get the ball
Hopkin 8 - outfought Lomas and got away with a punch
Bowyer 9 + - best game for us yet. Liked his interview too "the number of chances we created was scary!"
Smith 8 - involved in 2 of the goals and a right spiteful little handful
Hasselbaink 8 - yep, he played well, and if he can start clattering the odd defender to get booked rather than whingeing and getting booked, which he did again on Satdi, then maybe, just maybe????
Kewell 8+ - starting to look a dangerous player in each match, and has refound his touch by being given a free-er role.
O'Leary/Gray - 10 - thank God for Tottingham, cos without that s*ithole of a club we'd have probably seen McPhail, Smith and Woodgate all in the premiership for other clubs!
Crowd - some excellent chants - who could forget the poignant "You can stick George Graham up your arse!" or "We're Leeds, and we take the p*ss" as we passed the ball around. Christ, I even chanted Oh Jimmy Jimmy missen!!!! Sadly, no-one picked up on my retake on Sally (Gracie Fields was it) as I blurted out "Saggy, Sagggeeee, you know your face is saggeee!".. Still, it raised a chuckle!
What a game it was on Saturday though. Vintage stuff, as Voice says the best since the Championship but actually much more stylish and technically adept. Actually the last time I saw a team play like that was Da Yoof under Uncle Eddie or last Year's reserves under Uncle Eddie. I leave you to come to the obvious conclusion that follows from this, remembering that both those sides romped away with their respective leagues.
As usual from me no match report but some observations, mostly of a comedy nature. I must admit I agree with whoever it was says that we as in Row W) were a little nervous at HT. Only 1-0 up and it should have been 4. Lets face it how many times have we seen a Leeds side blow it from there by not taking chances? So actually it wasn't that daft to be worried. But thankfully of course we were dead wrong.
The crowd was in fine voice I especially enjoyed the already reported 'You can stick yer George Graham up yer arse....SIDEWAYS!', but also the fine bit of pure playground humour as the ref decided whether to send of Ruddock after a terrible scything tackle on poor old Harry 'Just because you're losing!' . Then there were all the 'oles' for the wonderful strings of passes towards the end of the game. Here credit must be given to the 'ammers who wittily did the same when by some oversight their midfield managed to string together a pass or two. Paul Cadds' mates in the Imperial afterwards told us that by this stage they had convinced themselves that when a goal went in it was in fact they who had scored, so they were remarkably cheerful by the end. (Don;t you just love those chirpy cockernees?)
A great moment when, late in the game, Lucas decided to get in on the action and ran with the ball to within about 30 yards to their goal. At this stage the nosebleed was obviously troubling him, so he passed to Jimmy, who clearly decided that comedy was more inviting than another goal passed it back to Lucas, who came up with a predictably terrible shot, but was warmly cheered anyway.
Finally on MOTD dear Jonny Woodgate saying what a nice bunch of players there were at Leeds, both the young ones and the 'elderly pros' . I bet one of the old codgers will whoop him up in the air in training and remind him what he said just as he hits the ground!
All this, and the Grauniad report still somehow contrives to be mean spirited and knocking. So I am still living in the real world after all!
My first match at Elland Rd since Leicester in April 1990 (that McAllister's good, we ought to sign him....) - Monaco mentions aren't welcome!
What a match to come back for; the best passing since '85, the best spirit since '92 and the most assurance since the Don was in charge. In fact this was the best I've seen Leeds play since 1974 (though at an average of 2/3 games a season, mostly through the "dark days" wadya expect?)..... The team is going to start finding the target, then we'll really embarrass somebody soon.
Enjoyed the Adelphi, I'd go back just for the architecture let alone the fact that everyone offers you drink ;)))) And I had my first decent fish and chips for nearly ten years.
So, some scores....
Robertson 9 Always alert, knew when to leave alone and was able to pull off a spectacular save after some 80 minutes of boredom. He kicks well (and was always an option for a back pass).
Molenaar 8 Played a free role very intelligently, never dithered, made sure the ball was his when he committed. The expression on his face when he scored was worth the admission alone (just a figure of speech you understand... TWENTY QUID for the Kop!!!!)
Radebe 9 Confidence sky high, and rightly so. Still makes his obligatory mistake a game but WH were just giving up whenever the ball went anywhere near him
Woodgate 8 Did West Ham have any forwards playing? I never saw anyone...
It has to be said that all the defenders probably owe a few points each to the midfield who were all magnificent.
Bowyer 9 should have had four, outstanding in all areas of the pitch - And he's going to get better!
Hopkins 8 wasn't at all out of place, worked hard and passed well.
Daft Alfie 6 Played well, but he's not really in the same class as the others. Deprived of a certain goal when Wijnhard lunged in front of him on a mission to prove himself.
Harte 6.5 depended on Kewell to do his defending for him just a bit too much. He did cause WH problems going forward and he did work hard off the ball, always being available for a easy pass.
Kewell 8 Spent most of the first half too far back and too far away from
Jimmy & Smith. WH were scared to death of him though and he was always dangerous with the ball at his feet.
Hasselbaink 9 & MOTM awesome forward play, never had less than 2 defenders on him, rarely unable to shrug them off. Improved first touch, hardly whinged (even had his legs whipped away on the edge of the box and didn't say a word) The ref shook his hand when he scored - I've never seen that before.
Smith 5 played well enough but didn't really contribute as much as the others. Age and experience will tell, he has got to learn to occupy the space that Jimmy makes rather than hanging back.The five marks he didn't get are all potential.
Winjhard 3 trys far too hard
McPhail ? Wasn't on long enough
The scoreline does Leeds no favours. They ran a woeful West Ham
ragged and could have scored eight or nine. Bowyer - who scored twice
- and Hopkin provided the impetus for victory. Who needs David Batty?
This performance made a mockery of the Hammers' pretensions to be
remotely considered title challengers.
West Ham haven't won a league game here since 1978 and Leeds,
having allowed just three goals by any visitors this season at home,
hardly presented a generous prospect for Harry Redknapp's side to
continue their successful first half of the season.
The scoreline does Leeds no favours. They ran a woeful West Ham ragged and could have scored eight or nine. Bowyer - who scored twice - and Hopkin provided the impetus for victory. Who needs David Batty? This performance made a mockery of the Hammers' pretensions to be remotely considered title challengers.
West Ham haven't won a league game here since 1978 and Leeds, having allowed just three goals by any visitors this season at home, hardly presented a generous prospect for Harry Redknapp's side to continue their successful first half of the season.
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