FA Carling Premiership
Leeds United 0 - 4 Arsenal
(Half-time: 0 - 1)
|« Aston Villa||Galatasaray »|
|Leeds United||Martyn, Kelly, Woodgate, Haaland, Harte, Bakke, Bowyer, McPhail, Kewell, Smith, Bridges (Wilcox HT)||Hopkin, Duberry, Huckerby, Robinson|
|Arsenal||Seaman, Dixon, Adams, Keown, Silvinho, Parlour, Vieira, Petit (Winterburn 82), Ljungberg, Bergkamp (Kanu 67), Henry (Overmars 74)||Malz, Manninger|
|Arsenal||Henry 21, Keown 70, Kanu 82, Overmars 90|
|Yellow Cards||Red Cards|
|Leeds United||Bowyer 76||Harte 44|
|Arsenal||Silvinho 9, Bergkamp 26, Vieira 31, Petit 48|
|Shirt numbers of goalscorers||?||?|
|Nick Allen||vs Arsenal|
|Jabba||Keeping up with Bradford|
|Kev Lewis||Arse Game|
|Alick Stott||Leeds V Arsenal - Match Report of our latest capitulation|
|The Guardian||Leeds lose Harte and grip|
|The Electronic Telegraph||Leeds woe deepened by Arsenal|
|The Times||Arsenal show ailing Leeds no mercy|
|Express Sport||Leeds slide is crying shame|
|The Independent||Gunners power past limp Leeds|
|Yorkshire Evening Post||Old masters hand out a lesson|
|BBC||Leeds lose again|
|Soccernet||Gunners blitz floors weary Leeds|
|Carlingnet||Leeds United 0 - 4 Arsenal|
Troubled times my friends, troubled times. The thing with troubled times is that they tend to sort the wheat from the chaff - the supporters who piss off when the going gets tough (and I don't give a monkeys how much you've paid, presumably you've paid to cheer on your team. It's not a one way relationship, you don't just lap up the good times when they entertain you, your part of the bargain is to do your best to lift them when all else is failing - the great nights at ER that we all remember don't just happen - Stuttgart, Roma, home vs Derby a couple of years ago happen because the crowd believed and the team responded). Not only was the ground emptying with obscene haste - if good support lifts the team, how do you think an exodus affects them? - but half the mob who stayed in there did nothing but slag off the players that they were wanking off over, 3 months ago. They have not become bad players overnight - and we are not, as some tosser behind us said, unbelieveably, "candidates for relagtion next year" for fucks sake get behind the team.
Prime case - Yeah alright Smith is a limited, but decent young player - he's not the finished article yet - maybe he will be, maybe not - but I defy anyone in the league (nevermind any of his critics) to make anything of the kind of "passes" this lad was on the receiving end of yesterday - the service from Harte and Wilcox was a disgrace, Wilcox was firing balls into the lad's chest from 10 yards away that awould have been decent 45 yard balls.
Harte as one of the more experienced players out there should be ashamed of himself - the team's at home to Arsenal 0-1 down, we're on a 5 game losing streak, we've all the off the pitch stuff, and this idiot thinks that he has licence to kick out in retaliation - putting himself in the position for the ref, rightly or wrongly to send him off. If he'd have been in a team I was playing in he'd got such a bollocking at half time.
As for the game - we matched them until the first goal and then head's went down. We need an early goal to settle us - we lose all heart when we go behind - if only Smith's effort had gone in, although I think Harry bottled the one on one - Ever since Bowyer's vs Man. U we have missed a sitter a game, that's a lot of points, and a lot of confidence.
After Harte left then it was a hiding to nothing - why take Bridges off?
Every one of their goals came from bad defending - Harte should have prevented the cross and where was Woody for Henry's - Alfi was "marking" Keown and yet he had 2 stabs at it - nobody tackled Silvester, and Kanu was unmarked - Woody fell over and let Overmars in - and it could have been more - thank god for Nige
And we were leaderless out there - we fell apart cos there was no leader, no spine - Adams wouldn't have allowed his team to crumble like that.
MARTYN - kept the score down from the too embarrasing levels it
might have reached.
KELLY - Chuffing hopeless - couldn't keep the ball in play
HARTE - disgraceful, pretty useless when he was on
HAALAND - huffed + puffed to little effect
WOODGATE - still out of his depth against the very best - defensive organisation was probably his job, and he's 19.
BOWYER - out wide, out of the game
BAKKE - gave it his all, but only in flashes was he in command
McPHAIL - anonymous
KEWELL - one thrilling run aside, nothing
BRIDGES - very unlucky to be brought off
SMITH - a trier, but needed that goal more than just about anyone on the team
WILCOX - a logical step, but some of his passing was rubbish, and his defending non existant
Crowd - I've said my bit
A thoroughly depressing afternoon in the armchair.
A few thoughts.
We were on top for the 1st 15 minutes, and Kewell should never have passed responsibility to Smith. I don't blame him, Harry should have buried it himself.
Harte was a bit stupid, but didn't deserve to be sent off, that changed the game.
I thought Leeds started the 2nd half well, considering we were a player short. McPhail, Bakke and Bowyer ran themselves into the ground. The next significant point was Bakke's miss. You have to make the best of the few chances you get in that situation, and it was a real chance.
I agree with Rob, that losing a goal at a corner was shame. It finished the game, and was nothing to do with being cught short of players. To be fair Leeds still tried to play football afterwards when damage limitation might have been wiser.
Arse's last 2 goals were purely because Leeds tried to get something from the game, but with the full backs having to help the over-worked midfield, the centre-backs were often stretched.
The most worrying thing is that nobody looks capable of scoring, and we seem to have lost that knack of putting away an early chance to give us a start.
Martyn 7. Some Good saves
Kelly 6. Got forward well in the 1st half
Woodgate 6 Started OK, but never got the measure of Henry.
Haaland 6. Reasonable game apart from an awful header leading to Arse's 1st goal.
Harte 4. Unfortunate to get sent off, but shouldn't have given the linesman the opportunity.
Bowyer. 7 Great work rate, good skill.
Bakke. 8 Dominated midfield for the first half hour, and still have as good as he got for the rest of the game.
McPhail. 7 Has played worse than that.
Kewell 7 The only forward who really looked dangerous.
Smith 5. Poor Game
Bridges 6. Ok in build-up play, but all his best work is 40 yards or more from goal.
Wilcox 6. Had to play full back and get forward. Did OK.
Thursday's game becomes more important now. Can't see why DOL didn't take Bowyer and Kewell off at 2-0. Hopkin and Huckerby would have been glad of the game, and it couln't have turned out any worse.
With our goal difference we could have taken another 2 players off, lost 10-0 and it wouldn't have made any difference to our league hopes.
The minutes silence was impeccably observed. Tears flooded down my cheeks.
Arsenal players handed floral tributes to Leeds.
Leeds handed Arsenal 3 points.
1st half Martyn Kelly Woody Alfie ImpetuousDickHead Bowyer Bakke McFrail Kewell Bridges Smith 2nd half (10 men) Martyn Kelly Woody Alfie Wilcox Bowyer Bakke McFrail Smith Kewell
In a word - shite. We were outclassed. Arsenal are a very very good side. My prediction before the game was if McFrail and Bakke were up against Vierra and "My Little Pony" Petitt then we'd have no chance what-so-ever.
I backed Arsenal at 6/5 (amongst others) which paid for this years season ticket quite nicely. Thanks.
First 15 minutes Leeds were the better team. Kewell went on an amazing 50 yard run beating everyone in his path twice . One-on-one with Seaman, in a similar position to his Wimbledon goal, Harry squared to McFrail who blazed over. That was our game over.
Arsenal hit the post shortly after - only a finger tip save from Martyn denying them. Arsenal turned the screw and ran us raggeded down the left as Kewell had no idea what to do in his 'unfamiliar' left midfield role.
It's easier to ponce about up front blaming poor service rather than running back, tackling and marking the opposition.
In a swift break down our left, Arsenal pinged the ball into the middle for the sprightly Henry to sweep effortlessly home.
After 4 Arsenal players had been booked, Ian Harte evened up things by retaliating to Bergkamp's nudge. Linesman spotted it and the red card was shown. Slightly harsh and Bergkamp ran the Elland Road gauntlet for his sins.
Kewell made the most of a challenge by Dixon and then Bakke took it upon himself, unsuccessfully, to maim somebody in red. Half time saw the anonymous Bridges replaced by Wilcox and the pack was reshuffled.
2nd half - again Leeds started strongly and considering they were a man down certainly gave Arsenal a few (not many) things to consider - such as :-
Arsenal scored a scrappy goal from a corner slightly against the run of play. Ugly f*ck face Keown smashing home a rebound from his own header.
After that they tore us apart and super subs Kanu and Overmars completed the rout.
Half the ground disappeared but my fellow Kopites sang "We're Leeds and we're proud of it" for the final 5 minutes.
Martyn 5 One great save. Could have possibly done better for 2 of the goals. Kelly 5 Out of his depth. Harte 4 Drowned Alfie 7 Battled away like only Alfie can. He looked distraught at the final whistle. Woody 5 Suffered from Rod Wallace disease - on his arse too much. Taught a lesson. Bowyer 5 Wasted out wide. For fucks sake O'Leary are you blind !? Bakke 8 Gave it his best. Showed some great skill and determination McFrail 1 Lost in the midfield Land of The Giants. Better off selling raffle tickets. Bridges 3 He's lost the plot. Confidence has drained away. Touch has deserted him. Kewell 3 One amazing run that would have been goal of the season Had he not passed it to McF*ckingTwig. Smith 1 Won a header in the first half. Subs ---- Wilcox 7 Had to cover the whole of the left side 2nd half and did so very well. How can O'Leary drop him so much ? Not used - Hopkin( why not ?), Micky 'Pubes' Dubes , Robbo, Hucks (thank fuck).
Sheer quality. Epitomised by Silvinhio - a man not always first choice but caught the eye with some excellent defending and some swift and composed attacking play.
Hartey - that's how a left back should play ! Not fucking prancing about waiting for the next free-kick to fuck up.
All refs are shite when you lose, and this fat c*nt was shite.
Beaten by a better team, beaten by a better squad, beaten by a tactically better manager.
How many times must we play Arsenal, get totally pissed on in midfield and still have no possible plan to counteract it ?
Vierra was gracious enough to allow McFrail out of his pocket at the end of the game so Stephen could go home and spend his wages on some pipe cleaners to have a fair fight with.
Kelly and Harte are not top-3-in-the-league standard full backs. However there is nobody half-decent in the squad to replace them.
Bakke will make it. McFrail will not.
Woodgate has the talent but needs time and help.
Kewell will do a Jimmy and leave. Bridges will be stronger and wiser next season.
Does any f*cker coach our forwards ? What is the gameplan ? Just run about a bit and hope their defence is shite enough to hand you something on a plate ? Watch Man U play - they know exactly what to do.
Smith needs a season of reserve team football. He went straight from the juniors to the 1st team and needs to learn about the real world in the second team. He may make it. I doubt it.
Alfie is a god. Try him at right back, right midfield, anywhere ! He has more grit and commitment than anyone else in the team. He cares about Leeds.
We need 6 new players. 2 strikers, 2 full backs and 2 midfielders.
Sell Mills, Huckerby, Molenaar, Hiden, Harte and if you really want to be harsh then...Kelly,Duberry,Hopkin,Smith
Leeds United's season continues to dwindle sadly away. Arsenal, full of class one moment but slipshod the next, removed David O'Leary's team from the top three in the Premiership for the first time since mid-September as Elland Road mourned its dead and supporters left early in droves.
Arsenal are now third and finding sufficiently good form to reach the Champions League, or at least its qualifying stage, next season. But for a series of missed chances yesterday they would have won by an even wider margin.
It was always going to be a poignant afternoon for Leeds, playing their first home game since the murder of two supporters in Istanbul on the eve of their Uefa Cup semi-final first leg against Galatasaray.
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