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Not the most inspiring team news to arrive to, Duberry in a side with 2 midfielders playing upfront - one of them only seventeen. Thank God then for West Ham - they gifted us a much needed win when we were in freefall earlier in the season and today were sufficiently inept that our makeshift team (it would have looked a weak reserve team a few months back) managed to battle a deserved win.
Not normally a believer in sacking managers but how Roeder survives managing a team that has enough talent to leave 2 players we'd have killed for today on the bench (Sinclair and Defoe) and still play that badly on a regular basis I don't know.
Thankfully Freddie Kanoute provided us with some top comedy. A bit of a argy-bargy with Johnson in front of the dug-outs but then as Leeds attack through Milner, Kanoute starts chasing Seth across the other end of the pitch. Catching him and throwing a punch about 40 yards later. About the same time our attack flounders and 2 West Ham players run down the left with the ball while all our defenders are trying to stop a fight in the centre circle. Just as it looks like they might score the ref realises something else is going on and stops play and consults with his linesman before sending Kanoute off.
Thought Milner and Bakke battled well upfront whilst never really looking the part as strikers. Lots of balls lost as a defender nipped in front of a forward not used to playing with his back to goal and often no-one in the box when we did have an attacking situation. Having said that Bakke was probably our best player and although we rarely looked like scoring he held the ball up well at times and played a few neat flicks into the path of Kelly or Milner. Milner showed some nice touches and worked hard but didn't really manage to seriously worry the defence.
Apart from the goal a deflected shot from Johnson's RIGHT foot that I thought James should have saved, the closest we came to scoring was when one of the Hammers defenders actually tried to lob James. We were clearly the best side first half, West Ham came into it a bit more second, hit the post and forced a fabulous save from Robbo, before a header flashed past in the dying seconds between Matteo and Bakke being carried off. An equaliser would have been an injustice though.
Bowyer had a crap game, got booked for dissent and Juliet Bravo made himself an instant hero by twatting it against the weasel whilst he was lying on the floor. West Ham's vaunted attack of Kanoute and Di Canio was so ineffective that even Dubes looked comfortable. Not too many Sack the Board chants, most songs were of the support the lads variety - bizarrely we only really remembered how to support our team when they've become mediocre.
Not a bad all round performance given the patched up nature of the team. Like Rich W I thought Okon and Johnson had their best game in a Leeds shirt. Okon was tackling everything that moved and was distributing the ball with a little more flair and imagination than previously. Johnson's attraction, in our current state, is that he is a ball-player, he's no Macallister, but he moves it around well and always looks for the forward ball. I'm glad we couldn't offload him Mr Ridsdale because it means 1 more footballer at the club for a little while. His goal might have taken a flick off their defender but fair play to him for having a go.
The other real bright spot for me was Raul (how excited was I when I read we'd signed Raul from Madrid - ah well) But he was steady, took his positions well, didn't shirk tackles, and used the ball very well - he always looked comfortable. Give it a couple of games and he promises to link up well with Wilcox/Kewell going forward.
Bakke and Milner upfront had the making of a disaster, but to be fair they did pretty well - and it was all down to hard work on both their parts. Bakke displayed pretty good control, used his height well - he had a run of about 3 headers in the first 20 mins - one of which should have been on target. And Milner ran his socks off and was unlucky on a couple of occassions as he wriggled his way into the their box.
Kelly and Wilcox again played upto recent standards and didn't let anybody down. Good tracking back, decent distribution and crossing. Kelly nearly got on the end of a great move, but he saw the penalty spot and got a bit frightened.
WHam are hopeless and will go down. I don't know how they are so clueless going forward, with Paolo/Kanoute - thanks for the cheap laugh you big lumox - Cole, Sinclair and Dafoe. Cole was invisible for 85 minutes but for the other 5 he made three chances that ripped us apart. He was unlucky to be on the losing team. I bet H and Smuith would love to be on the end of some of his passing.
Shame about further injuries, but the spirit was good.
Support the team and sack the board - indeed.
This was a fantastic performance and all things considered I think it was the best of the season. The following players had in my opinion their best games in a Leeds shirt :- Okon, Bakke , Johnson and Duberry.
We didn't create much but we battled our bollox off. You just had to admire the team spirit. Bakke and Milner up front did a great job. Bakke first.
Everything he did was good. His control was good, his passing was good, his flicks came off and he won loads in the air. I think the role actually suits him because he can run round and do bits here and there without the responsibility that a midfielder has to have. Performance like this will prove me wrong but it's only one performance in a poor season so far. Let's wait and see. I was actually gutted for him when he went off. He gave 110% - credit where credit is due. He was man of the match.
Milner - lively. Got muscled off the ball a few times but showed good touches and kept pulling the defenders all over the place. Never stopped trying and considering it was his first 90 minutes then I thought he was excellent.
Midfield - much better. We passed the ball around well, moved around well and really competed when we had to. Okon was superb. Batty like tackling , good distribution and actually running with purpose with the ball at times instead of instantly off loading it which is his usual game. I get the feeling that Okon is steadily (very steadily) improving game after game.
Johnson - good performance and a decent goal with his right foot. He moves the ball quickly and accurately and is always snapping at the opposition heels to get it back. I think he's going to get better and better.
Wilcox - same old Wilcox.100% effort , can't ask for more.
Kelly - another useful game.
Defence - Bravo. I thought from the off he looked like a good footballer. I just wanted him to do more. Second half we saw more and I think he is going to be a top player for the rest of the season if his foot is ok.
Duberry - gave their players too much time on the ball. If you look at Cole's shot , Duberry just backed off and let him shoot. Apart from that he won the ball more often than not and had a good game.
Robinson - good save first half.
Bowyer - he was truly awful and got a slating from the Leeds fans (not from me). He was the only player that acknowledged their fans at the end. West Ham are in a right state. Loads of talent on the pitch but they just don't play together.
So good spirit and good result..... so maybe that's why everyone was happy to go home and watch blind date. The protest was bigger than Tuesday but not by much. Everyone seems to have accepted it (I haven't). Fair enough, if that's what the fans want.
good all round performance. Team worked their socks off. Our makshift team did us proud.
Bakke and Milner were excellent up front. Johnson, Matteo,Okon and Wilcox also did very well.
New lad looked very neat and tidy. I expect we'll see great things from him in the next few weeks (if his ankle is OK)
Bowyer didn't get "too" much stick ;-).... and the crowd, as they have of late, gave the Leeds players brilliant backing
We wont win anything ever again and we are a mid-table side now - I dont care anymore...but today the players and crowd showed what a good team we can be with all the problems we have had.
I'm proud to be a Leeds fan
Copy from Football Unlimited of 10/02/2003.
Lee Bowyer's afternoon back in familiar surroundings ended in bitter anticlimax, lost amid the poisonous taunts of "scum" viciously spat from the stands. For West Ham, reality is just as demoralising this morning though they appear condemned to relatively uncharted territory.
After a decade blowing bubbles with the best, the Nationwide League, and with it the financial calamity of relegation, looms large at the Boleyn. Their gloom deepened by Saturday's defeat in west Yorkshire, visiting players were left clutching at straws. "At least West Brom scoring late on keeps the pack of four teams together," muttered David James, before seeing sense. "Ultimately, if we keep losing it doesn't matter what the rest do."
That much is depressingly clear. For all Bowyer's bright opening and Joe Cole's tireless effervescence in midfield, this was another dreadful afternoon for Glenn Roeder, standing cross-armed, exasperated and helpless on the touchline. There has been a solitary win in 17 Premiership games. Against patched-up opponents apparently distracted by their own malaise, they rarely threatened another.
Copy from Football Unlimited of 09/02/2003.
A scratch Leeds team held on to a solitary- goal lead to win a bad-tempered encounter. Frédéric Kanouté was sent off for throwing a punch while several Leeds defenders joined in a shabby skirmish in the second half. Lee Bowyer, on his first return here since joining the Hammers, was uniformly booed and jeered. It was a not very edifying afternoon.
Depleted by injuries, suspensions and transfers, Leeds had an unfamiliar look. Mark Viduka is suspended and Alan Smith and Harry Kewell are unwell and unfit respectively, so Terry Venables brought in 17-year-old James Milner for his first start and gave a debut to Spanish international Raul Bravo, who is on loan from Real Madrid.
West Ham, looking for their first away win in eight games, had midfielder Steve Lomas back from suspension and striker Kanouté back from a long-term injury. Rufus Brevett, the new signing from Fulham, came in at left-back. But there was no starting place for Don Hutchison.