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Too many players playing out of position + too many players not good enough = relegation.
Its not just that we lost but it's the way we lost that counts. We were awful. No leadership on the pitch or off. No idea how to change it - mind you watching our substitutions the phrase "rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic" sprung to mind. With the honourable exception of Smith who at least looked a) Premiership quality and b) prepared to fight for it, the team were a sorry collection of misfits, past-its, journeymen and kids all of whom seem to have given up. I was disgusted by this performance. Passes rarely reached feet - frequently spooning off into touch while under no pressure, Ian Harte! - the marking and "tackling" was halfhearted at best.
Portsmouth are a struggling ordinary lower end of the table team and our aggregate against them this year is 2-8.
Listening to 606 on Saturday night I heard a city fan saying that he was confident that P'mouth would win at Leeds because its something like 14 months since Leeds have won a game without Viduka playing. He was right.
Frankly I don't know where to start. Each time we play badly I think Christ I've never seen Leeds this bad and then bugger me if we don't plumb even lower depths a few games later.
The defence is hardly worthy of the name. Kelly might survive in the first division - his passion for the club is undoubted but he can't hack the game at the top level. Harte - there was a time when he was worth his place in the team but that was long, long ago in a distant land. Yes the Kop did cheer when Pennant stepped up for a free kick near the end.
Caldwell and Duberry - I said to a mate that they looked like Laurel & Hardy and that just about sums it up - f***ing awful - worse that Ashurst & Ormsby - worse that Greenhoff and Burns - in fact only really equalled by Roque Jr and Camara (and that wasn't really Camara's fault). They don't mark. They don't track runners. Sometimes they win headers and tackles. They don't read the game. They are too slow to think and too slow to act - like a pair of dinosaurs. And then they bicker - looking for anyone to blame and not taking the responsibility themselves. They hide during games. Pair of bottleless f***ing gimps not worthy of the shirt on their backs.
The first P'mouth goal - ball out to Stone on their right - where was Harte? Milner tracked back - didn't get close enough and the ball was crossed to the back post - where Duberry allowed Quashie to jump over him and head down into the bottom corner. Duberry's first reaction is to turn around looking for someone (Kelly probably) to bollock them for no call - bullshit. It was your ball Duberry and you didn't deal with it. This is eight minutes into the game and because we've been in their half for the first 7 minutes we have no defensive shape or cover to stop a fairly basic attack from fairly ordinary players.
Basic stuff. And doesn't it make me angry?
Radebe and Matteo are crocked - they can't play in midfield. Matteo was injured after 25 minutes or so when he stopped jumping or running. The idea that our response to the problems was to bring on Barmby and McPhail is just laughable. I suppose there is some merit in the argument that Barmby is a better bet than some of the other clowns out there - but its all relative isn't it? I can still see that blaze over the bar from 7 yards out at the back post when the ball fell to him on his own. Our best hope? Then we are truly f***ed.
Pennant got the ball about 4 times yesterday - what is he expected to achieve with that level of service. Milner is running on empty - with any decent club this kid would have played 15-20 games this season and looked lively in them, as it is he looks dead on feet - and he's on the wrong wing.
Smith - tries doesn't he? Get's seven shades kicked out of him every week - bloody Rennie went over to have serious words with him as he once again allowed himself to be hacked to the ground by one of Portsmouth bohemoth CHalfs - Never mind Alan you'll look England material again once you have some half decent players around you. He seemed genuinely upset at the final whistle.
Johnson - I was quite encouraged by him - he's fast and willing to work. He lost his bearings a couple of times coming into the box - probably nerves - but he could be OK. Lennon also caused a couple of problems with his speed down the wing when P'mouth were panicking in the last 10 minutes.
I think we would have won this if Viduka had been playing. Difficult isn't it because Rennie never booked any of the P'mouth players for kicking the ball away as they did time and again.
Best comment after the game - a mate who goes home & away saying "I'm going to get pissed for the next 3 games then I least I won't have to watch that lot sober again" - quite.
I can't see that we're going to get 3 more points than Citeh in the next few games - I'm not even sure that we want to. Maybe it would be best to sink as low as we can go and then recover cos I sure as hell don't want to witness another season like these last 2.
Copy from Football Unlimited of 26/04/2004.
The misery is almost over. Leeds United still cling to the possibility of preserving their Premiership status, but even faint hope is cruel. Relegation is becoming a reality.
It could effectively be confirmed next weekend, with Yorkshire's top-flight representatives condemned as much by a painful lack of self-belief as a crippling goal difference. The club is a tortured shadow of its former self, haunted by the heady days of the Champions League semi-finals. Portsmouth's second away win in the league this season, plundered ruthlessly and deservedly here, virtually performed a kindness.
The incentive was clear yesterday, though the shortcomings were damning. Had Leeds won they would have drawn level with stumbling Manchester City, potentially leaving Tottenham Hotspur and Everton still fretting above. Instead their surrender was meek until a frantic finale when the visitors were gripped by their own attack of the jitters.