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McFrail - he's almost a bigger liability when he starts to tackle than when he simply watches - slower than Bryan Robson in his last year! And exactly how many times can one man give the ball away in a game?? Utter rubbish!
Smiffy - look, he got booked for walking past a player who threw his arm in the air like he'd been hit in the guts - what could Smith do about that, apart from never go near any of their players. Who was the referee - David Blunkett?? Whilst accepting that Smiffy likes a bit of rough and tumble, the main problem isn't him, it's the cheats who dive, feign injury and whinge, not to mention the utterly gullible, naive refs, who are the major problem. For all of you pious know-alls who keep whingeing on about keeping his temper etc etc, I'll make the offer that you come out with me for 2 hours, and I'll treat you the same way and let's see how you react. Of course you'll argue that he should do better, but lets pack it in with the holier than thou crap, because I certainly couldn't resist at least the verbal assualts on the afore-mentioned cheats. Those Malaga players must have some bruised knees and elbows today, given how often they hit the deck. Pathetic!
0-0 - well, we could have done with a goal, but never looked like getting one. The home leg won't be a push-over, and if they score we've got a problem. Thought Woodgate did well last night in a team that looked to be trying at least - a pleasant change. It wasn't great to watch, but 100% better than Tottingham :-)
well stroke my thighs and call me debbie mcgee.
mcphail with a 2 footed studs up lunge on a malaga player?! now that's more like it. on a whole, we weren't so bad. only, i'm not sure it was due to us making an improvement. dare i say, we should have won it in the first half? but that's been one of the main issues this season hasn't it. i was sat watching it with my old man. he's not seen them play for a while. not this season anyway. and come the 70 minute mark, even he commented on the fact that we'd slowed down, weren't pushing like in the first half, looked like we'd lost interest and would settle for nil nil. because of this we handed them the advantage and towards the end they could have sneaked it.
well for fecks sake. we could and should have put this one to bed before half time. they were worse than west ham. just what the hell happens to us in the second half? fitness? commitment? dunno.
one thing is for sure though; we currently play better in europe than in the premiership.
an improvement ?? i don't think so. just the same, only against slow and poor opposition.
robbo - 7/10 (in position when it counted and solid as usual but not really tested)
kelly - 6/10 (better than last time i saw him, but the opposition tonight weren't much of a threat)
dubbery 6/10 (fast, but there's a world of difference in vision between him and woodgate)
woodgate 9/10 (the dogs)
harte 7/10 (still slow but linked up with wilcox better than kewell. this is probably down to wilcox tracking back more. would still prefer to replace harte and play kewell on the wing though)
bowyer 6/10 (ran around and seemed to make effort but still nothing like a year ago. the sooner we replace him, the better)
bakke 6/10 (erm, ok. was it the TV coverage, or is he almost invisible? spotted their early free kick well but i for one didn't really notice him that much. i think mcphail had more presence)
mcphail 6/10 (seen as it's normally 4, this actually is an improvement. fell over a lot but also much more commited and harder in tackle than norm. again this could be to do with the malaga bunch looking like a bunch of jessies whenever they made contact with another player)
wilcox 7/10 (whilst harte is left back, it would be criminal to play wilcox anywhere other than left wing and nobody else in his place)
kewell 6/10 (linked up well with smith but to me he still doesn't look like a centre forward or a striker. please mr.ridsdale, can we keep bridges and fowler?)
smith 9/10 (on some occasions, especially late on, he was the only one chasing for the ball and running around, whilst the others just stood there and watched. someone before said make him captain. i agree. it would be taking a risk what with his temperament but right now, the manager should be showing the way by asking the others to following smith's example regarding; energy, fitness, enthusiasm and commitment)
Copy from Football Unlimited of 29/11/2002.
Leeds could not quite deliver the victory that might have helped to convince supporters that Terry Venables did not leave his managerial skills here in Spain, to which he was returning for his first competitive match since his halcyon days at Barcelona.
Coping with the competing egos and boardroom shenanigans at the Nou Camp must now seem like a doddle to Venables, who has been under pressure from the day he took over from David O'Leary at Elland Road. Only Brian Clough, who lasted only 44 days, had a shorter honeymoon at Leeds.
So Venables will be satisfied with a goalless draw, once rich currency on foreign soil in Europe but now considered as disappointing as a handful of loose change. Still, unless his players suffer another dose of home nerves in a fortnight's time it should pave the way to a place in the last 16 of the Uefa Cup.