Round 1: Tuesday 15 September 1998
Leeds United 1 - 0 CS Maritimo
(Half-time: 0 - 0)
Referee: A Sars (France)
|« Everton||Aston Villa »|
|Leeds||Martyn, Hiden, Molenaar, Radebe, Harte, Hopkin (Sharpe 76), Bowyer, Haaland (Ribeiro 67), Wijnhard (Lilley 61), Hasselbaink||Robinson, Granville, Halle, Wetherall|
|CS Maritimo||Vanderstraeten, Viana, Sergio, Dantas, Soares, Sousa, Silva, Antonio, Duveau (Moreira 55), Lopes (Cruz 67), Bunbury||Bach, Jokanovic, Fernandez, Vasco|
|Yellow Cards||Red Cards|
|CS Maritimo||Antonio, Silva|
|Shirt numbers of goalscorers||?||?|
|Nick Allen||vs Maritimo|
|John Lee||The new attacking George Graham|
|Raffe||Yet more on last night, my view|
|Mike Sewell||Gloom, doom and despondency|
|The Guardian||Hasselbaink in smash-and-grab raid|
|The Electronic Telegraph||Hasselbaink breaks through|
|Express Sport||Hasselbaink is right on time|
|Yorkshire Evening Post||United home in on win|
For the first 10 minutes it was very hurried, rushed, and not pretty to look at. Maritimo were first to the ball, and harder in the tackle, but once they got the ball they didn't seem to have much idea what to with it. We were slow to get going, but the chances eventually began to come. Hiden haring down the wing onto a good flick from Jimmy, hit a low first time cross, Hoppy left it - here we find out what Hopkin is good at, not touching the ball - and as it ran behind Clyde, he flicked it up, did a complete 360 on the penalty spot, and hit a low shot which the keeper somehow spooned around the post with his feet.
Two minutes later a deep cross from the same side by Hopkin, was meet an the volley by Harry, and it flew wide - this was one of Harry's two contributions to the game. Then a corner on the right, hit to the back post, nodded back across the face of goal, Jimmy comes steaqming in on it, two defenders block and push him to the ground - a certain penalty. Not given.
That was our first half purple patch. It lasted about 10 minutes. From then on it was a lot of huff and puff. Harry kept coming in from the left, so Bowyer, Harte, and others had no out let up the left, and players were continually forced to check back inside, into the crowded part of the field. And the ball was lost.
Molenaar continued to prove what I was arguing before, that his distribution alone is not a good enough reason for his inclusion. If the ball isn't played short through the middle or the wings, then it is left to Molenaar to bring it out of defence, and play it long. He has two passes: The flighted chip down the middle for Jimmy/Clyde to battle for; or the driven cross field ball for Harry to battle for. Neither is clever if done repeatedly, but its not even that that is the problem, he's not that accurate, only 1 ball in 5 gives the receiver any chance. That is not good distribution. It is giving away possession. All this does is highlight our need for a play maker in the middle.
Defensively he was solid, but under little pressure.
Harte had a weird game. Starting like a steam train, then after 20 minutes he completely lost the plot. Come the second half he was OK again.
Lucas was majestic.
Bruno came on with about twenty minutes to go, for Hopkin I think, and immediately showed that the game is considerably easier if you pass to your own men. Lilley came on for Clyde, to little effect. Ans Sharpe came on for the last 10, and had a good shot saved at the death.
Hopkin saw one good effort hit the post, just before he went off.
The goal, was from a free kick "earned" by Jimmy, 20 yards out, low and hard into the bottom corner. Well taken but a better keeper would have had it.
Their goal scoring tactic seemed to be based on the notion that Nige is dodgy when faced with a barrage of weak shots from 35 yards out. I don't remember them getting into our box once. They never threatened.
I feel confident in our ability to defend this lead, even extend it in Madeira.
MARTYN -6- nothing to do
HIDEN -6- some good support play
HARTE -5- in and out
MOLENAAR -6- see above
RADEBE -8- as ever
HAALAND -3- completely anonymous
BOWYER -8- the outstanding midfield player
HOPKIN -4- better than Alfie.
KEWELL -4- the same as Hopkin
HASSELBAINK -6- good goal, little else
WIJNHARD -5- effort, little else.
LILLEY -5- Clydes replacement
BRUNO -6- back in the fold, and with some imagination at last.
SHARPE -4- too little time.
Crowd 38033 - with some locked out I believe - even made some noise sometimes.
The twat with the mike at half time has graduated to the twat with the mike pre kick off as well - Announcing the players like they do at boxing "Ji-mmmeee Floyyyd Hasselbaaaaaaaaaink". Kill this man.
'Attacking' in the football sense would mean to me their goalie having loads to do, lots of shots at goal etc, NOT lots of possession, lots of sideways movement and an absolute inability to progress in the last third of the pitch. OK, a bit harsh again, but if GG can say that was an attacking display, then I think I'm well within scope to say it was a load of pants! A game against a team who, suprise suprise, came to defend, meant we'd have to be creative, work openings, and finish well. If we take away dead-ball situations, then I think we worked 3 major openings (and the ones featuring Kewells volley and Clydes shot saved by the goalie's foot were excellent). Jimmys goal, the old curler low into the corner routine that you'd think everyone had seen by now and have a man on the post for, was excellent, although he was absolutely crap apart from that, and Harte's blocked free-kick (same move as against Southampton for the stattos - 4 men around the ball, lots of deliberate dithering and pointing, quick prod to Haaland, left foot curler) were the other major attacking highlights. The rest of the time the team seemed to have 8 Ray Wilkins playing. And there were some abject performances too! Jimmy was pitiful - didn't look interested, has worse ball control than Palmer(and that is no exaggeration either!), and I'd have subbed him! Kewell - well, he played OK in the first half, but again drifted right out of the game. Defensively Cool Hand Luke was outstanding, especially against Bunburry (sp?), who was Palmeresque in his use of long arms to keep everyone at bay, and almost Palmeresque in technique too - maybe not quite as bad!
The BEST thing about the night was Maritimo's attacking strategy though - aside from 2 instances in the 2nd half, every single time they got into our half they had a shot. Now when I say shot, I mean grubbers from 40 yds, tricklers, balls blasted over the top, and a fair selection of crots (shot/cross amalgams) too. They even tok an indirect free kick and blazed it straight into the Kop. Not since school days have I seen a team so intent on shooting at any possible moment, and it provided some of the real entertainment last night! The crowd of 38033 shocked me to be honest - shows what a realistic ticket price can do, although naturally this will not affect the clubs pricing policy one bit!!! Crowd was quiet in the main, although less cynical than the normal occupants - 4 lads in front of me were practising formation dope-smoking, which was quite wierd, and the effect wasn't lost even second-hand!
Martyn 7 (did well not to p*ss himself laughing at those 'shots')
Molenaar 6 - some good passes and some dreadful ones - I'd hoped we'd seen the last of the Gary Speed ball - long diagonal hoof to the left wing, but it's now Kewells turn to be on the end of a really s*ite tactic
Radebe 9 - blemish-free display, and some crunching tackles
Harte 7 - did OK (shock horror). Couple of crap corners late on though!
Hopkins 7 - compared with Haalland looks like Maradone going forward. Good shot against post, and did some good stuff, alongside, very naturally, some woeful passing
Bowyer 7 - steady game, ran a lot as usual, but midfield too cluttered for Lee to do much. Key player in the incredible no of 1,2s we attempted, most of which were tripe!
Kewell 5 - not gelling in the left wing role/left wing back. Strategy needs rethinking!
Hasselbaink 4 - aside from the goal, and maybe that's all GG wants from him, he was pathetic. First touch truly hopeless, and lost us loads of possession!
Clyde 7 - undeservedly subbed.
Bruno 6+ - some good tackles, but didn't rally get into the game
Sharpe 5 - useless fop or gifted midfielder? - the jury's still out!
All in all it was probably enough to win the tie, but we should crucify teams like that! Note - David Batty would not have helped the cause last night!
PS anyone else think the crap French linesman had escaped from his belltower at Notre Dame. Did he still have a coathanger in his shirt???
I was screaming for Harte to back off and praying that Jimmy was insisting enough to take it. Just had a gut feeling he'd score, and he did!
Having said that, we do lack inventiveness when it comes to dead ball situations. We're absolutely crap at corners and our freekick routine (tap, stop and shoot) would also have been well sussed out by now, so needs changing. Ok, that was maybe a bit negative, one should possibly focus on our seeming inability to create on the field... Now, where did we hear that?? As reported, apart from that purple patch in the first half rounded up by Clyde's and Harry's chances, a couple of good moves in the second half & the goal there was absolutely nothing to remember from this game.
KOT posed the question which was the better team, the one that started or the one that finished? That's a tricky one, but I'd have to go with the one that finished. Only for the reason that it raised the level of "creativeness" which seemed to be a positive influence also to Jimmy which eventually resulted in the freekick. The thing that would have turned that argument around is that had we scored early on in the game (which with a bit more luck we would have) it would have taken a lot of pressure off, and definitely would have forced Maritimo to open up to try get that away goal. Should have resulted in things coming a bit easier. One doesn't need to stress what a goal means etc. So, on the evidence of the starting line up, midfield in particular I can say I was neither thrilled or surprised, nor pissed off with the way we were playing. We just looked as we averagely do nowadays...
And there was an 8 man "brick wall" (and a to their full cleverly playing potential as well) to brake down and how near it was they nearly snatched the draw. As the game progressed however or disprogressed rather... GG just had to change things around. Should have done this way earlier, before the break - we just weren't able to cut it anywhere and particuarly not in midfield (Leebowya the exception. Seems to be back to his true self this saason!).
"Stop gaps" (as I think I'll call them from now on) Hopkin and Haaland were just awful.
I lost track of the times I shouted for Hopkin to move down his flank and make himself available, he was the right side midfielder so he must take that responsibility. Alfie doesn't make himself available anywhere... Apart from that they both look really daft when being picked out to receive a pass... they seem to lack so much in confidence they just panick. Result - good moves come to a halt and passes go straying... GET RID!
After the injection of Bruno in mid-midfield to partner a tiring Lee we started looking more creative. Apart from thinking what to do with the ball and passing it to one of ours, he put himself about well. I have to critisise GG for not playing him from the start. Also I'm in the camp of believers who want to give Harry a few more games. Agreed, he's looked crap so far in the season (and who's told him he can run at people every bleedin' time he's in posession of the ball?) and has been the underperformer of the team, but I think it's clear he's missed Bruno's company (BTW OzPete - did it totally pass you by Bruno has been out injured?) Hopefully he'll pick his game up. As it is now he keeps drifting inside all the time thinking he must be the one creating space for a left side winger by bringing the opposition inside...
He doesn't use his left wing half as much as he did last season. There's something in there as well as far as fitness goes I can't figure out, one has to concede he looks slow this season... One tactical thing I have to question on Harry's behalf though is why he was moved to the right wing after Sharpe came on... Looked even more lost in that position obviously! Hey, even Halle does a better right wing job than Harry (!).
Sharpe... looks totally unfit. On a couple of occasions after just coming on, he really made an ass of himself. He just isn't up to speed yet. Hopefully he will improve - but as the Rev said, the jury is still out. Nice looking chip towards the end though - which was brillantly saved by their keeper.
To round it up - well... more evident than ever, we're just not good enough as a team (and squad) at breaking down teams coming to defend. We're lacking far too much in creativity. This must be a team effort, and god knows there's got to be some practice in key areas of our game - mainly talking of movement off the ball (someting that was practically non existant yesterday) and for christs sake some eagerness on the ball - they're professional footballers and should know to want the ball, not hide from it!!! If not rectified before saturday, we could be in for a thumping.
Alright, that was the first match report I've written for well over a year. PHEW!! Looking forward to the days of automated computering. Having to type is really backwards isn't it? Along with the written word should soon be a thing of the past!
One of the features of English football post-post-Heysel return is the length of time it has taken for ideas to catch up with the standards of continental European football. Last night (as Adie remarked at the time) a number of our players showed just how inexperienced they were at that type of football. Yet to their credit they didn't regress to humping long balls forward too much - though I agree with John Lee that the 'Speed' ball to the left winger was overused. We tried to play the ball on the deck and occasionally it looked really very good, even against a team that kept at least six behind the ball at all times. We could easily have scored more had Wijnhardt done better, had Kewell's volley gone in, had we got the penalty shout at the back post, had the one that hit the post gone in, had the keeper not saved well from Sharpe.
Reading the List today I wonder whether it isn't even truer of the fans than of the players that we have much to learn about what is a decent result in Euro terms. A clean sheet at home is paramount. We did that, and Martyn was only seriously troubled once or twice. We produced our first home victory in Europe since Stuttgart. We were patient and got the goal we deserved. We will, I hope, learn from the experience and go on to do better in the next round. Indeed, we may need to. But the way we played was the right one.
There were blemishes - Harte's distribution deserted him for the middle third of the match. However, one ball down the line in the second half was a peach. Molenaar did an impression of a British CB when he had the ball at his feet. Too many players wanted too many touches (notably Hoppo) when the passes should have been played earlier. Too many passes were underhit and intercepted. At times the movement was poor. We miss Kelly down the right extremely badly. Hoppo, Bowyer, Haaland is too samey in midfield; Bowyer is the best of them, and Ribeiro has the better touch for Europe. Kewell has to learn fast how to cope with being double-teamed. Clyde needs very much to go to Uncle Eddie for the sort of remedial work that transformed Jimmy last Autumn. His inability to do anything with the ball once he'd held it up let us down last night.
Second Leg: if they are fit, Martyn; Kelly, Harte; Hiden, Molenaar, Radebe; Bowyer, Ribeiro (who's been injured according to the programme), Haaland; Kewell, Jimmy. With Harry playing the role he did at Derby last season. Let's see what they can do against massed defence and whether we can score on the break as they push on.
An efficient performance, signs of footballing intelligence, and glimpses of passing and movement. And a 1-0 scoreline. I'm happy enough with that.
Martyn - did what little he had to do very well;
Hiden - ok at the back, only one good moment each half going forward;
Harte - 60 good minutes, 30 poorer ones, but improving;
Lucas - a total hero, best player on the field. We may stay in this competition until he misses a game;
Molenaar - Defensively ok, not as good on the ball as I'd have hoped;
Hopkin - not too bad but lacks real quality and confidence;
Bowyer - grew as the game progressed and used the ball fairly well, still too many misplaced passes;
Haaland - one superb surge into their area, faded away badly;
Kewell - big arse, he's reminding me of Speed in more ways than one; better than of late;
Clyde - out of his depth;
Jimmy - good run for the free kick, good goal; got nothing from the ref until then.
Lilley - oh dear, oh dear oh dear. We'd have been better pushing Kewell up
and bringing Sharpe on sooner;
Sharpe - deserves a longer run on the left;
Ribeiro - livened up our midfield as we had run out of ideas.
Overall, could be better, could be much worse - 3-2 or 0-1 for example.
Mike, seeking the Gav Burnage award for resolute cheerfulness in the face of List pessimism.
Just when it appeared that Leeds United's patience had finally been
exhausted and hopes of a breakthrough had expired, Jimmy Floyd
Hasselbaink finally found a way through the mesh-like Maritimo defence
Only six minutes remained of a match that Leeds had controlled with
imaginative, intelligent football when Hasselbaink carefully
side-footed in following an 18-yard free-kick which the substitute Lee
Sharpe had touched on.
Just when it appeared that Leeds United's patience had finally been exhausted and hopes of a breakthrough had expired, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink finally found a way through the mesh-like Maritimo defence last night.
Only six minutes remained of a match that Leeds had controlled with imaginative, intelligent football when Hasselbaink carefully side-footed in following an 18-yard free-kick which the substitute Lee Sharpe had touched on.
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