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Well, I looked at the teamsheet to today and said immediately to my mate that we could only win this game if Kewell has a blinder and scores a goal out of nothing. That's sad , when you think we're up against Charlton one of the worse teams in the league. Kewell did exactly that and I thought for a second that we might be able to scrape an undeserved 1-0 victory. Not a bleeding hope in hell. We were terrible and for the 6th time in 8 home games we made an average team look like potential european place material.
Right , let's talk tactics. Our tactical genius started with a central midfield partnership of Mcphail and Bakke. He then lined up with a defence which included Kelly, Duberry and Harte. Can you see that team beating anyone in the top two leagues ? No !
First 20 minutes we battled well in particularly Bakke who was everywhere. Little quality but we did look ok. We then just ran out of steam and ideas and decided to try and hold on to the 1-0 and play like an away team on the break. This didn't work and it was only a matter of time before they equalised. The defence looked shaky all day with Duberry constantly out of position and Harte looking low on confidence and defensive ability. Ian Harte was really poor today, he lost most 50:50 balls and hardly won a thing in the air all day. Even Bowyer has started taking the free kicks so what the point in him being in the team ?
The midfield always looks better when Wilcox plays on the left. Unfortunately this is always countered by Mcphail who constantly lets the team down through his lack of pace. Today he was dreadful. He looked slower than ever before and how he lasted until 80 minutes God only knows cos we were looking at him just after half time and he could hardly run. Charlton completely bossed the midfield, they took over and poor Mcphail was left trailing time after time. If Venebles thinks he is the future then we have to get rid now. Ok, so maybe the injury situation dictates that he has to pick Mcphail and Bakke. Ok, but why not have ONE MIDFIELDER ON THE F***ING BENCH ! Outrageous. After a hard match on Thursday surely we knew that the midfield would struggle. Johnson played for the reserves, Okon travelled to Malaga, Milner has looked promising on the right and Mcmaster ,f*** knows what he must have done but he must fall into the Batty and Dacourt camp i.e Tel doesn't like him. Shocking tactics.
So we end up with a team containing 4 strikers and to be honest it nearly worked. It is no coincidence that in the last 10 minutes we looked the more dangerous. Mcphail had left and our tempo had gone up . Bridges hit the post and Wilcox completely bossed the the central midfield. He was outstanding. He played a ball late on with his RIGHT foot that Mcphail could only dream of. The Mcphail fans will point to the fact that he went off at 1-1 and we lost. Fair enough, and I will point out that we played our best up tempo football when he went off but more importantly it's another Mcphail start and another defeat. You know he went to Millwall last season which corresponded with them not winning a game until he returned. Don't worry folks though cos this is JUST A COINCEDENCE. He's great player. Let's face facts people he's not f***ing nearly good enough. He plays a slow game. Not for us (Whitkirk Wanderers could do with him though).
Bowyer - it's such a f***ing shame that he's had his best games in the centre but gets pushed out wide on the right to accommodate Bakke + Mcphail. No it's not a shame its f***ing criminal. Tel you are a joke.
Bakke - as I said first 20 minutes he came out and went hell for leather. He was actually doing a good job of making up for Mcphail but he ran out of steam and lost his way and by the end was just the same old Erik Bakke - s*** ! Oh, he did actually get a header on target. He's dangerous in the air you know ! How many goals in the last two years ?
Don't let anyone tell you that we were unlucky to lose this game. Robinon was the man of the match. He made save after save to deny Charlton. Their keeper had f*** all to do most of the afternoon. I think we had 4 shots on goal. 6 out of 8 games lost at home. Can you allow a manager to get away wih that ? Has this EVER happened in Leeds United history ? I doubt it.
Tel will probably laugh this off. "We were unlucky. I can see signs that things are happening. It's just our luck to hit the post and they go down the other end and score". It doesn't wash anymore Tel , it was awful. You wanted the crowd and you got them today. They got behind the team 100% What more excuses / s***e can he come up with ? Tel - you are a conman !
crowd - 35,000 , dwindling. Hopefully all the families will f*** off soon and we can have the Lowfields back.
In my eyes you deserve what you get. If you score more goals than the opposition you deserve to win, score less you deserve to lose, score the same you deserve to draw, football nowadays is full of managers and fans saying we deserved this we deserved that. If you have 100 shots on goal and don't score one and the opposition has one shot on goal and scores they deserve to win...end of story. The rules would have been changed otherwise, to allow the team that deserved to win to take the points.
The fact that Bridges hit the post and didn't score meant that on that occasion he wasn't quite good enough, then Parker waltzes past 4 Leeds players and scores means that he was good enough, nowt to do with luck or deserving/not deserving it.
For me yesterday Charlton were much the better team, regardless of the situation or predicament were are in, they come up to ER with the majority of their team made up of home-grown players and control the game in the way that they did says much. They were brighter, more inventive, played as a team, stuck to a game plan, and in Scott Parker, possessed a player that had more guile, inventiveness, control and awareness than the whole of our midfield put together (it won't be long before he's in the England squad), Wilcox ran his socks off , couldn't fault his work rate, but he remains at best a very ordinary p'ship player. And their front two looked comfortable together and for me always posed the heavier threat. For all his heart and effort I think Smith may be carrying to big a weight on his shoulders at the moment, still think he played well, just think he needs help up there.
All this and I still wouldn't even contemplate getting rid of the manger at this stage, it's a dangerous time, yes it could get worse, much worse but we have absolutely no guarantees that the new manager could turn things round, we have no guarantees that another manager would want to step into Tel's shoes right now. We have to see it out. It's a gamble I know but we have to give him until end of Jan at least.
On the park I'm till searching foe the answer, one thing for sure though, we need to start Bridges in the next game, he showed more in that last 10 minutes than the rest showed all game.
BTW: Due to us launching the management game yesterday I swapped my normal seat for an exec box in the ES, a box that normally accommodates 20, housed, just me, a mate and one Peter Lorimer, he sat outside with us for much of the game and when Kewell scored, I suggested he'd have been proud of that strike, when Parker scored he suggested to me that EG would have been even prouder of that strike. He also said that Charlton were worthy winners.
Copy from Football Unlimited of 02/12/2002.
This time there was no bitterness, no boos, no chants of "Venables out". Leeds United's sixth Premiership defeat in eight at Elland Road was met instead with stunned disbelief as Charlton Athletic wrenched victory with two goals in the final 10 minutes.
Perhaps the outpourings of hate against Venables have finally subsided, to be replaced by something equally unwelcome - bewilderment. Two days after the chairman Peter Ridsdale had demanded better at the annual meeting, Leeds, both team and fans alike, made a decent show of unity, only to get caught cold at the last.
Venables vowed in the programme that he will not "throw in the towel" but afterwards he expressed himself stunned, and looked it. "The players did well and the crowd were fantastic," he said. "But this was a big blow and the next month is very important."