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Monday, 15 August 2011

Premiership Ego Leaves Leeds Pointless

I honestly can't remember a football match that has angered me more. Stood in disbelief at the realisation that the final 30 minutes would be nothing short of 'pointless', in every sense of the word...

Referee Anthony Taylor obviously left home on Saturday morning (from Manchester, it's worth pointing out) with the bewildered notion that the anticipated 25,000 plus crowd due at Elland Road, had handed over ever-increasing sums of money just to see him... As an amateur referee myself, I was instructed from day one that refereeing a game isn't about being a Hitler-like dictator, punishing everything and everyone that deviates from my perception of the law, but more about managing the game and it's participants. I've no idea where Mr Taylor received his training but that direction was obviously not part of it. 

From as early as the eight minute he was dishing out needless cautions; Max Gradel and 'Boro full back McMahon slid into a 50-50 challenge and both reacted angrily to the other's perceived over-zealousness. A scene familiar with anybody who has ever watched a football match before. Instead of attributing it to a product of the atmosphere or heightened adrenaline, he set the ball rolling on the worst refereeing performance I have ever had the displeasure to witness. 

Gradel was dismissed before the half hour for a misjudged tackle, again on McMahon. The tackle itself was possibly worth the caution that Taylor couldn't brandish quick enough, but it was more mistimed than malicious and few would have complained if he had administered a 'last warning' and moved on as most referees would have done. Unfortunately Anthony Taylor is not 'most referees'. If that wasn't bad enough, he then predictably evened things up by dismissing McMahon, for what was nothing more than a slight obstruction. Awarding the freekick and then buckling under pressure as the crowd made him aware of the situation. He was roundly booed off the field at half time by both sets of supporters, amidst mild bemusement at his latest clanger.

Unfortunately for Leeds, the worst was yet to come. With the game delicately poised, and presumably not enough spotlight on the referee. Mr Taylor awarded Leeds a free kick on half way, after adjudging that Emnes had take a dive over Jonny Howson's leg. It was difficult to argue with his decision, he was no more than ten yards from the incident and confidently pointed  in Leeds' favour, whilst reaching for his yellow card. What happened next is why football referees are amongst the most despised figures in sport... After waiting a minute or so for Emnes to get to his feet, he brandishes the yellow card at Howson, swiftly followed by a third red of a match that had been devoid of a single 'bad' challenge... Meanwhile the crowd look on in disbelief and confusion. Middlesbrough then take their free kick and go on to win a match that was a 'no contest' from that point forward.

It turns out that the referee allowed himself to be over-ruled by the fourth official over Jonny Howson's sending off. A fourth official that was standing a good 40 yards further away from the incident than he was... The crowd were supposed to guess this small detail. It capped a dreadful performance from Taylor, who has now dismissed 5 players in his last 2 trips to LS11. Snodgrass was dismissed for obstruction against Sheffield United last season before The Blades' Jamie Ward received his marching orders for 'almost' fouling Neil Kilkenney.

It seems the 'Premiership Referee' tag turns officials into celebrity-style egomaniacs when they arrive at Football League grounds. It's a cliché but the referee really did cost Leeds United the game on Saturday and with it poured many thousands of hard earned pounds down the drain.

On the face of it, a one-nil reverse to a distinctly average Middlesbrough side is very disappointing. Add to that the fact that we're currently pointless and in the relegation zone, it's nothing short of a disaster!

Having said that, anybody who was in attendance on Saturday would have a hard time making a case for a 'Boro victory before Leeds were reduced to nine men. Such was The Whites' dominance, it wasn't until Gradel was dismissed that the Teesiders managed a shot on target. Even with ten men United looked the more likely to break the deadlock. Indeed, it wasn't until Howson departed proceedings that Leeds lost their foothold in the game and had to resort to a damage limitation exercise.

To their credit, United kept going to the 95th minute and were only one lucky break away from an equaliser. Although it is worth noting that a better team than Middlesbrough would have no doubt put our depleted ranks to the sword and left us on the wrong end of a 'thumping'. As it was, 'Boro struggled to keep possession, wasted chances and misplaced countless passes, despite the extra space the two dismissals had afforded them.

In a perverse way, it might be that the team spirit that was so absent against Southampton has just been born, the remaining Leeds players gave everything and curiously defended better with nine men that we have done in the last 18 months with a full quota of players. Andy Lonergan and Adam Clayton being the stand out performances... here's hoping!

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Monday, 1 August 2011

Championship Preview: Everybody wants Shane Long!

Last week I was asked to answer some questions, and give my opinion on the upcoming season by the editor of a football blog named GEORGE WEAH'S COUSIN. A Southampton supporting blog. I'm not sure if the editor is actually a relative of the former World player of the Year though...

I was glad to oblige. I answered the questions as honestly as I could, although I will admit that yesterday's result and performance has changed my mind slightly.

The editor of the blog has just published my answers, and the answers of supporters from the other 22 Championship clubs. Most believe that West Ham and Leicester will fight it out at the summit and many can't wait to play Leeds (we're not famous anymore!) However, the most striking result is that Shane Long would be the the ideal signing for the majority of the participants, myself included.

Feel free to comment on the blog and disagree with myself and the other team's fans in all 3 parts at;

The Hull fan's view of Elland Road is classic!

Monday, 18 July 2011

Football’s Coming Home…


When Baddiel, Skinner and The Lightening seeds sat down to record their now iconic anthem, I’m sure they had much grander spectacles in mind than a non-competitive, Rochdale versus Leeds United fixture  on a wet Tuesday night in mid July…

Whatever they had in mind, their track captured the imagination and propelled the National team to their last decent tournament campaign, and whilst tomorrow night is a far more modest occasion, the lyrics still ring true with one member of The White Army.leeds dale

Growing up in Rochdale supporting Leeds United is not the easiest route for a child to take, totally surrounded by the red and blue of the regions most accomplished teams, it wasn’t until I was 10 that I saw a Leeds shirt in public away from Elland Road, on a weekend camping trip to Harrogate. Teased at School to the point that I feigned illness after Leeds collapsed at home to Manchester United in the League Cup circa 1991, only to be told by my mother that “It’s only a game…”. When, later that season Leeds beat Manchester United to the First Division title to become Champions of England, my smugness was short lived as I quickly realised that there was still far more of them than me…

Against the back drop of would be Scum fans, already fluent in the garbage that is synonymous with every idiot who “can’t get tickets”, I stood their in the minority, sporting my Leeds kit at every opportunity. It wasn’t long after this that I realised that their was another minority amongst the now Sky Sports fuelled, Old Trafford propaganda machine… Rochdale fans! Despite the many Premiership clubs in the North West (Oldham included at this point) there was still some people loyal to their home town club, a  club for whom success was just something that happened to other teams, yet here they where – DALE ‘TIL I DIE.

rochdale It was from this that my affinity with Rochdale was born (and the free tickets the school used to hand out). I’d watch ‘The Dale’ from the Sandy Lane End whilst struggling to get overly excited or emotional about proceedings. Looking around I longed for the day that I could be in the away end and show Spotland a real atmosphere. Countless years and cup draws have gone by and a fixture at Spotland has remained elusive. The closest we got was the weekend of the play-off disaster at Wembley against Doncaster, I stayed the night in London to watch Rochdale the day after. Had ‘Dale’ managed a win against Stockport that day, then Rochdale versus Leeds United would have been a league fixture – unthinkable at the point that this story began.

So here we are; Rochdale versus Leeds United, albeit a pre-season friendly. We may not get the atmosphere that I had hoped for all those years ago but United took nearly 800 fans to Falkirk last Tuesday evening and just shy of 2,000 to Motherwell over the weekend so 30 miles or so isn’t that far.

A Leeds defeat, even at this level of competition would be difficult to live down so let’s hope we perform… either way Football is indeed, coming home (For me at least…)

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Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Dirty Leeds Verdict – Bradley Johnson


As Leeds/Bradford’s Air Traffic Control Officer’s breathed a collective sigh of relief last week, at the news that Bradley Johnson has rejected the club’s latest offer of a contract extension, it seems The White Army’s opinion is a little more split.

Whilst browsing Twitter over the last 10 days or so you’d think Lord Mawhinney had deducted Leeds some more points, such was the outcry after Bradley “One average game in Ten” Johnson decided he wasn’t accepting the club’s offer of a new deal.

Now immediately fans will point to our infamously tight-fisted owner as to the reason that Leeds don’t compete enough financially to keep one of our young players, but presumably the club wouldn’t break the wage structure for him. Bradley played a leading role last season (I would argue more out of necessity as opposed to his performances meriting) so it’s a safe bet that Simon Grayson regards him as a first team player. Therefore, the club can’t possibly have offered him a reserve team wage or the wage of a fringe player working his way up the ladder. One can only assume that Bradley wanted to be one of the top earners (if not the top earner) at the club.

For those that complain about our lack of spending, please feel free to justify how a player who has seldom done anything on a football pitch that I’d feel was beyond me, can command a wage higher than that of Becchio, Gradel, Snodgrass or even Howson….

For what it’s worth, my opinion hasn’t changed since I first wrote on the subject back in November;

Leeds held to ransom by most deluded ‘star’ in club’s history.

Lets approach one of the craziest stories released by Leeds United’s press officer in recent memory; MIDFIELDER TRANSFER LISTED appeared on NewsNow this afternoon, the initial fear of what, or whom the article could be referring to quickly subsided upon clicking the headline. Thankfully, Robert Snodgrass, Max Gradel and Neil Kilkenny are all staying put and even Andy Hughes will remain at Elland Road… I can hear you thinking, “well who else is there!?!”

It turns out Bradley Johnson has rejected the club’s final offer of a 3 year contract.

Firstly, I’d have to question Simon Grayson’s thinking in offering Johnson another contract, never mind a 3 year deal!  For me, Bradley Johnson will always epitomise the ‘average’ players that have passed through the door at Thorp Arch since our decline to League One. He is by far the most infuriating player I have ever seen play, he obviously has some talent but it is totally undermined by his lack of vision, awareness and terrible decision making. I was hoping he would leave in the Summer on a free, so any sort of transfer fee would be a bonus!

Quite what goes through the head of some players is a mystery. Perhaps his agent has pointed to the amount of games he has started this season and that his wage should reflect that of an important first team member… he has obviously forgotten the game at Boundary Park a couple of years ago when Bradley turned in the worst performance of any professional footballer I have witnessed. Can anybody think of anything Johnson has done this season that would look out of place in an amateur game at your local park? Even his decent finish and steady game against Hull was undone by a comical own goal due to lack of concentration.

Out of the whole squad, I can’t think of a player who I would be less upset or concerned about leaving.

I’m sure he’ll find his rightful place back in League One again before long…

It has now come to light that Mr Johnson is off to Norwich City to play Premiership football next season (no, seriously). Presumably Paul Lambert saw his goal against Arsenal and the expiry date on his contract and took a gamble. For any Canaries reading this, you are getting a player who is very athletic but with zero pace, has good aerial ability and rarely gets injured but all that is totally undermined by a lack of vision and composure…

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Wednesday, 13 April 2011

That familiar sinking feeling…


This week marks the 99th anniversary of R.M.S. Titanic’s maiden Trans-Atlantic voyage. It’s a familiar story, the grandest feat of human engineering laid to rest at the bottom of the ocean, due in most part to over confidence and complacency. “Titanic was unsinkable” or so the designers and engineers believed, not because they were intellectually inferior to modern day engineers, but because they believed that they had solved the problem of losing vessels to icebergs by constructing water-tight compartments below the water line, at the front of the ship. Thus, any breach of the hull could be contained and crucially keep the ship afloat.

As it turns out, the engineers and designers had made the crucial error of only constructing the water tight sections in the front third of the liner, any glancing collision down the side would prove fatal… Other  reported design errors with Titanic were that the ship was too large and too powerful, with too small a rudder and that the steel used on the hull of the ship was brittle and poorly manufactured. Not to mention a crew that were ill prepared and a Captain who’s mind was set on his retirement once the ship docked (Well done to those that already have Ken Bates in mind).

At this point you may be thinking why a Leeds United blog is describing the short comings of a century-old ocean liner, let me explain;

Having wasted an entire evening (and early morning) watching Leeds United at Pride Park yesterday, I’m struggling to grasp what the thinking was behind the majority of decisions that resulted in The Whites squandering a lead and almost a Play-off place in the space of 4 minutes.

Surely when you take the lead in a very tight away fixture against a team fighting for their lives, the obvious thing to do is steady the ship and consolidate your position for the next 10 or 15 minutes, ensure people are doing their jobs and not allow any situations to spiral out of control…

Unfortunately, the current Leeds squad has no leader, nobody to take charge, and nobody to make sure the aforementioned plans are put into action. This isn’t a slight on our current captain. Jonny Howson has performed above all expectations this season but you’re either a leader of men or you’re not; Jonny is not! A Roy Keane type figure wouldn’t have allowed last night’s debacle to unfold, Jake Livermore would have been strangled near to death for continually conceding possession long before he passed to a Derby man on the edge of his own area and gifted them the equaliser. Bradley Johnson would have been told in no uncertain terms that blazing the ball, first time from 18 yards into the visiting support, isn’t the required action when you’ve got space, time and players in support whilst chasing a game in injury time. Similarly Paul Connolly would have received a mouthful for shirking his responsibility to cross the ball in the 96th minute, instead he chose to pass to Max Gradel who was surrounded by two Derby players. Come to think of it, the serial clown that is Robbie Savage would probably have had something to say about most of those ridiculous situations. As it is, similar to R.M.S. Titanic, Leeds are without a capable crew and without a sufficient rudder.

Statistically we have the most potent strike force in the division, an embarrassment of riches at this level and without doubt some of the best individuals the NPower Championship has to offer. Yet, all that grandeur and façade is undermined by a brittle and incapable defensive line, a soft underbelly, and  like Titanic a poorly constructed foundation that all the splendour and awe-inspiring riches are built upon. It doesn’t take a mathematician to figure out such a basic equation… Simon Grayson has plugged leaking holes, bailed out unwanted bilge and waded through the treacherous water of the loan market for over 2 years now, but has never got around to building the water-tight bulkheads above E-Deck, if you will. Every Leeds fan (and opposition manager) knows we have a dreadful back line, yet we loan a further two young midfielders and send an experienced International out to fight a relegation battle elsewhere… a crazy decision. Almost as crazy as finding yourself a goal down, 4 minutes after taking the lead and then respond by substituting your top goalscorer, and main aerial threat, before launching long, high passes at his replacement. You can’t blame Davide Somma, an aerial battle with 2 huge centre halves isn’t his game and why Grayson resorted to Andy O’Brien as makeshift targetman, meanwhile Becchio soaked his feet on the bench.

Fortunately Leeds have a little longer to stem the tide than those poor souls in 1912. However, without addressing the serious issues that have plagued us all season, and most of last, it’s likely to all end in disaster…

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Monday, 11 April 2011

Petition to hand Lucas the 'Key to Leeds’


Amidst all the fall-out, sour grapes and verbal mud-slinging that followed last week’s victory over Nottingham Forest, I stumbled across this very nice idea to honour our former captain.

Loadsof has drawn up a petition to make Lucas Radebe a ‘freeman’ of the city of Leeds.

I’m sure every Leeds United fan would welcome ‘The Chief’ as a Freeman of Leeds so please sign the petition by following the link below;


Lucas logo


Monday, 4 April 2011

Leeds, Forest, Danny Mills, Small man syndrome and the BBC


With the prolonged lack of activity on this blog you might think I’d have more to write about but following the inexplicable fall out from the weekend’s game against Forest I have more than enough issues to forward my opinion on…

Firstly lets start with Leeds United; Having had two whole weeks to ponder the disastrous performance at Bramall Lane most would be forgiven for thinking that the same United eleven would have started this game with something to prove and set about a team who are evidently low on confidence from the first whistle. However, as is common with the current Leeds squad, they ease themselves into a match and only start to play when the situation dictates that they have no other alternative, conceding the opening goal usually does the trick!

On Saturday though it wasn’t until the second half that Leeds worked out that playing against 10 men is usually an indication to spread the play and utilise our excellent wingers, presumably Simon Grayson pointed this master tactic out at half time, as prior to this Leigh Bromby and Andy O’Brien were seemingly partaking in their own school yard competition of who can kick the ball the furthest!

After this revelation, there was only ever going to be one winner. Most seemed convinced that the 4-1 scoreline  flattered Leeds but had Max Gradel located his shooting boots 30 minutes earlier then it could have been six or seven…

Forest for their part played some decent stuff but I commented during the game that if Leeds got one then The Reds would likely implode. Having had the majority of the opening play they were dictating the game, without really impressing. Although only Leigh Bromby’s shins prevented them from taking the lead and that little intervention resulted in the game’s biggest talking point – Max Gradel cleared the loose ball down the line to George McCartney, as the ball bounced in front of the Leeds man Chris Cohen launched himself into a heavy challenge, taking the ball but sending McCartney sprawling. The challenge sparked uproar on the home bench and in the stands, indeed even the opposing members of staff were involved in an altercation on the touchline.

Television replays show that Cohen took the ball and that both players went into the challenge ‘committed’. The rights and wrongs of the decision will roll on and on (well ‘til Thursday at least). As a fellow referee, I can certainly see why Halsey sent Cohen off, in real time, from all angles, other than that from behind the Forest man it looks like a shocking challenge. Unfortunately neither official or Simon Grayson had the luxury of that ‘perfect’ angle. From my view point, granted 70 yards away in The Revie Stand it looked horrendous. One thing I would say is that if you throw yourself into a challenge at that velocity and with your whole body off the floor then you leave yourself open to the interpretation of the officials regardless of how ‘clean’ the challenge may have been, for that reason you could say that the dismissal was warranted and I’d be very surprised if it was overturned (Despite Steve Claridge’s excellent case for the defence)

Speaking of Mr Claridge I’m can see why he was in the BBC studio on Saturday, as a regular pundit for The Football League show he obviously watches his fair share of lower league action. On the other hand, his fellow studio guest has clearly watched very little. Danny Mills’ summary of the game was seemingly a catalogue of pot-shots at Leeds United, culminating in the ridiculous statement that “Leeds have been decidedly average for two seasons”. Quite how he comes to this conclusion is a mystery, sure when compared to the exploits of Barcelona or even Manchester United then yes, Leeds have been average, maybe even below average! But to tag a team that has just won promotion from the division that it found itself in and then in the following season be in without a shout of a second promotion (not to mention our goal scoring record – just short of 2 goals/game) is just plain stupidity. Quite what Danny Mills’ problem is, is anybody’s guess. However, he can rest soundly tonight having gotten all that off his chest. He can also be safe in the knowledge that despite their average performances, the current Leeds squad have achieved far more in the white shirt than Mr Mills ever did…

Whilst on the subject of hateful little Ba****ds, that brings me on nicely to the subject of Billy Davies. If any psychologist doubted the reality of ‘Small man syndrome’ they need only spend a few hours with this little c**t. Three games against this man’s teams have ended in unparalleled fall-out. His now legendary ‘Job Done” claim whilst manager of Preston resulted in petty, futile claims of vandalism directed at the Leeds staff and fans following his sides defeat in the Play-off semi-final. After the return fixture at The City Ground earlier this season he claimed Leeds were overly-physical and cynical, yet declined to comment on Chris Gunter’s blatant stamp on Sanchez Watt. His post match interview on Saturday intimated that Simon Grayson was responsible for getting Chris Cohen sent off… nothing to do with his teams cynical, petulant approach to a match that they were in control of for the opening half hour. You’d think he learn his lesson, From pissing about on the sidelines trying to provoke the Elland Road crowd just prior to his team losing a man and with it, all hope of three points, to subliminal attacks on fellow professionals. In his head he must imagine that the whole world is laughing at him, persecuting him for his own feelings of inadequacy as is common with small man syndrome.

At the beginning of February, Forest were everybody’s favourites for promotion, after 1 defeat in 10 games they were the proverbial dark horse and were seemingly going to sail to promotion. Unfortunately Billy mistook the plaudits of the football world as an attack on his small demeanour so he opened his mouth again… Davies claimed that his team weren’t ready for automatic promotion just yet… Forest have won just one of their 12 matches since… we are indeed all laughing at you Billy.

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Friday, 21 January 2011

Good luck Hughesy…


Very few words are needed for Andy Hughes, I think these two pictures say it all about the passion ‘Hughesy’ had for football and Leeds United in particular. 

 Promotion Day

Goal v Millwall














Good luck, hope you come back to Elland Road sometime so we can show our appreciation… (You have to get on Twitter now…)

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Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Arsenal replay will help Leeds achieve ultimate goal

After winning at Old Trafford last year, many Leeds fans could be excused for being on top of the world. 4 months later, and that world nearly came crashing down, as a woeful run of form saw a seemingly formidable League 1 lead thrown away, with promotion having to be gained on the last day of the season.

12 months on, and the Mighty Whites are at it again in the FA Cup. Only seconds away from another shock victory at one of the 'Big Four', Leeds had to settle for a replay. Robert Snodgrass sent 9,000 travelling fans mad as he put away a 55th minute penalty.

Robert Snodgrass puts Leeds 1-0 up at the Emirates Stadium.

Relentless pressure from Arsenal eventually caught up with Leeds, and saw them concede a dubious penalty just as injury time commenced. Fabregas duly dispatched his spot-kick, and a replay at Elland Road tomorrow beckons.

A 1-1 draw with Wycombe a week after beating the scum 1-0 started a horrible run of just 3 wins in 12 league games, but unlike last year, Leeds managed to put 3 more points on the board after their 3rd round outing. A 4-0 win on Saturday against lowly Scunthorpe kept Leeds well in the hunt for an automatic promotion spot.

Davide Somma slots home Leeds' fourth against Scunthorpe.

Grayson and his backroom staff will have learnt from last year's experience, as well as the players who were part of the promotion-winning squad.

A repeat sequence would be a disaster, given how well the squad has adapted to life in the Championship, but under a more experienced Grayson & co, Leeds United's ultimate aim of promotion to the Premiership can only get stronger.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Leeds United players & Twitter; How close is too close?!?


Having been writing on this site now for almost a year it has become apparent that there is a large Leeds United community out there on the World Wide Web. Regular ‘surfers’ (what happened to that term?!?) will be familiar with the likes of  The Scratching Shed & ClarkeOneNil as the most frequent posters of supporter opinion on all things Leeds United. I’m sure the people who write on those respective sites have inspired the several other Leeds United blogs to spring up and join the growing online presence of Leeds United. (Several of these sights can be found in our links section)

These blogs make for interesting reading, a welcome alternative to the predictable, regurgitated headlines that arise on the National and International news websites. It goes without saying that individual opinion is very much at the forefront of every post and usually the product of a rollercoaster of emotion that seems almost inevitable with The Whites recently, and herein lies the problem…

We are very fortunate to reside in a state in which freedom of speech is regarded as a given right, and the advent of amateur journalism that ‘blogging’ encourages is testament to that stance. However, following our recent match against Portsmouth in which Andy O’Brien was bizarrely credited with two own goals, the second following an almost comical mix-up with Kasper Schmeichel that cost us two valuable points could easily have made for a very difficult situation…

Having been in attendance at the Pompey match, and endured the mixture of emotions that throwing away a two goal lead for the second time in three days would bring, I could easily have leapt onto this site and vented my anger at another capitulation. In theory I could have wrote a post from within the stadium on my phone, with emotions red raw. It would have been very easy to lambast Messrs O’Brien and Schmeichel and if I had felt it necessary, wrote exactly what I thought of them… after all, that's the beauty of the blogging medium.

As it happened, I felt nothing negative towards the two lads, aside from the fact I would have been a lot happier had they not combined to snatch a draw from the jaws of victory, but that’s football.

But what if I had attacked them? Several professional footballers have angered me sufficiently over the last 12 months to prompt a post. Harry Kewell being the one that immediately springs to mind. As many of you will be aware, the posts on this site, and most blogs  are automatically transmitted through the various social networks. One of those networks being Twitter, the real time news site that has become the online home of celebrities and journalists. It won’t surprise you to learn that there are a few current Leeds United first team players on Twitter, namely; Sanchez Watt, Lloyd Sam, Andy O’Brien and Kasper Schmeichel.

Had I, or any other of the football related blogs decided that the draw with Portsmouth was the direct responsibility of Mr O’Brien and Mr Schmeichel, chances are the players would read exactly what had been written. And while they are professional footballers and are used to dealing with criticism from the national press, it’s a whole different story when a blogger has free rein to say what he or she likes, free from the libellous checking  pen of an editor. While I follow the tweets of the players myself and enjoyed Kasper Schmeichel’s video tweet of his and Alex Bruce’s coach trip to Reading (found here), I did find myself changing my mind over countering an Arsenal fan’s claim that Sanchez Watt ran the show at The Emirates and it was only he that kept us in the game… Whilst I didn’t agree with the comment, and probably even Sanchez Watt himself would agree that he struggled to affect the game as much as he’d have liked – I didn’t want him to read what I thought, a comment that would have inevitably have been ‘retweeted’ around the ‘Twitter Whites’ back to Sanchez, who as a young player needs all the confidence he can get.

So where do we go from here? I’m not naive enough to think that footballers never ventured online until the emergence of Twitter but now comments and supporter opinion are almost emailed to them. Ryan Babble discovered last week how the power of Twitter can land you in hot water when he posted an edited image of Howard Webb sporting a Manchester United shirt. If I remember correctly, Leeds United’s largest supporter forum, WACCOE was taken offline a few months ago to address a libellous comment from one of it’s members. How long will it be before a blog receives a formal letter from a solicitor??

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For those interested in following the Leeds players, you can find them here;

@kpschmeichel1     @lloyd_sam     @sanchezwatt     @AndyOBriens


Sunday, 9 January 2011

Proud to be (Dirty) Leeds!

Another New Year, and another performance to be proud of... this time Arsene Wenger's Arsenal were seconds from being dumped out of the F.A. Cup at the hands of The Mighty Whites.

Only a Francesc Fabregas penalty, seconds before the 90th minute mark spared The Gunners from a similar fate to that of our dear friends from over the hill just 12 months ago...

Watching on a large screen in a nearby pub, with an Arsenal fan in attendance was difficult to take, especially when ITV's cameraman panned over the 8,500 members of The White Army that had descended on North London. Having decided against the trip to The Emirates for several reasons; I could only look on in envy as our support embarrassed the muted home sections.

I'm sure the disappointment of the late setback was raw for those within the stadium, but 200 miles North, in a sleepy public house, with just a handful of people staring intently at an oversized screen, I was barely moved; I had already seen enough to be rightly proud of my team. Gone are the days when Leeds United evoke sneers and ridicule, gone are the days when poor results are laid at the feet of Publicity Pete... Simon Grayson (and whisper it... Ken Bates) have transformed Leeds United back into a force to be reckoned with, a far cry from the shivering wreck of a club that fell into League One in 2007.

For me, the late equaliser was almost welcome, an excuse to introduce the snood wearing, prima-donnas of The Premiership's top four to a 'real' football atmosphere - a 'winner takes all' night match at Elland Road!

Don't get me wrong, I'd rather we'd have held on, if just for all the pundits to purr over 'The magic of The F.A. Cup' and how Leeds United's Premiership return is just a matter of time etc. etc. Although with Newcastle's 'laugh-a-minute' encounter at Stevenage, quite how much coverage we'd have got is debatable...

Upon returning to the car, I reconciled the last minute disaster with the thought that I'd rather have that happen at The Emirates than have had to endure a vomit-inducing last minute equaliser from Potato Head at Old Trafford last year.

It is with that final thought that I invite you all to echo the chant at the final whistle yesterday - "WE'RE LEEDS AND WE'RE PROUD OF IT..."

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