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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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