Middlesbrough vs Leeds – can I bear to watch?

small-football.jpgOh to be a Leeds supporter! It’s funny, one of my friends said the other day that he now knows what it feels like to be a Leeds supporter (he’s a Manchester United supporter), but in all honesty its not funny at all. Leeds really need to start putting together a decent run if they are going to get into the play-offs this season.

Things were looking up a couple of weeks ago after the 5-1 drubbing of Huddersfield and 2-1 win over Yeovil after being behind, but this went back to normal last week with a poor display against Brighton. We all know that Leeds are capable of beating any team in the league, but their inconsistency is a real problem.

We play Middlesbrough in the early kick off today, which I’ll be watching (through my hands probably) and anything less than a win could prove to be a massive problem for getting into the play-offs.

Leeds actually have a good recent record against Middlesbrough in Teesside and have won three out of the last four meetings, although they have not kept a clean sheet in their last 10 games. Hopefully that will change as Jack Butland is expected to make his debut for the club after joining on loan from Stoke this week; Cameron Stewart is also available after missing last week’s defeat to Brighton.

I’m predicting a Leeds win, obviously, but will be watching with baited breathe.

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What the F**k is going on at Leeds?

small-football.jpgIt’s never a dull moment at Leeds, to be honest most Leeds fan now except nothing ever goes smoothly nor how the fans want it to go. And as ever confusion is covering the club like a big dark cloud. That being said we had a storming game on Saturday thank god. My Friday splutter over my cupper when a nice little headline popped up on my phone, stating McDermott had been sacked. For me that seemed out of the blue, yes we had been having a bad run, but nothing we can’t come back from and notably not that bad that a manager should be sacked, considering what he has to work with.

I like Brian, he seems a good manager and by all accounts the team do too, including McCormack who stayed at the club, despite interest for him during the transfer window because of his respect for the manager who he wanted to continue working with. No doubt it was rather shocking news for him on Friday perhaps that was what spurned his hat-trick against Huddersfield? And two great goals from Kebe and Mowatt. Saturday’s game was under the watchful eye of Assistant manager Nigel Gibbs who had taken over after the so called departure of McDermott.

The game showed us how much support McDermott has at the club, probably one of our favourite managers in a long time. Elland Road fans chanting their support for McDermott throughout, apparently. I wish I had gone to that game now, once these problems settle down, I think I will get a season ticket well depending on the outcome. The problems at the end of last week seem to stem from Massimo Cellino who ‘unofficially’ is the new majority owner of Leeds. Cellino has a bit of a reputation, on Friday he tried to mix it up a bit at the club, from the BBC:

  • Tried to put compatriot Gianluca Festa on the Leeds bench for Tuesday’s game against Ipswich.
  • Sacked Brian McDermott on Friday because the popular manager had “done everything to get fired”.
  • Pleaded with McDermott to return on Saturday.

Apparently he has completed a deal to buy 75% of Leeds on Friday lunchtime pending an answer from the Football League on whether he is a “fit and proper person” to own the club. Going by information in the internet, I’m not 100% sure he is someone we want buying our club, there seems to be a lot of similarities to Bates, from the arrogance and bullish behaviour. He has quite a reputation at Cagliari Calcio the ‘other’ club he owns. Apparently he is one of the most colourful, controversial and charismatic owners in Italian football.

However the Championship, is not like Italian leagues. We play proper British style football, we don’t have the same humungous investment and we are fighters. Could he help us get into the Premier League, possibly, with plenty of cash (doesn’t seem on the table though) however sacking one of the best managers we have had in a while doesn’t bode well. As a club we need to stay out of the habit of rash sackings which we have seen in recent years.

That being said, this morning, McDermott has reported for duty at the training ground as normal, with the club issuing a statement stating, Brian McDermott ‘remains’ as manager they said: “The club would like to make it clear that Brian McDermott remains our first-team manager. He has not been dismissed from his post as has been suggested. We look forward to him continuing in his role with us in taking Leeds forward.”

Revelling on the win on Saturday, Gibbs said: “The team was prepared by Brian. It’s his team, his performance and his victory. It’s been unusual to say the least.”

It was a good win and long may it continue and we can put the sorry state of affairs behind us. Leeds really need stability we had it for a while, but like anything at the moment it does not last. On the plus side, this weekend I was wife free which meant there was plenty of time for me to spend doing what I wanted to do without nagging. Which included; getting a fish and chips for lunch, takeaway for tea, drinking as early as I wanted and playing video games and watching man stuff on TV.

Leeds Utd Logo Res Hippy

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New bedroom furniture and no peace

So after I broke our wardrobe last year and we got a nice new shiny one from SlideWardrobes.co.uk the wife decided we now need a new bed, bedside cabinets and chest of draws. As you can guess this is going to cost me and on top of the new dining room furniture she wants. Honestly I don’t know why she always wants to buy everything at the same time. She gets these ideas in her head and that’s it.

The thing is all this furniture will probably arrive at the same time, be all flat packed with crap instructions all for me to put together, whilst the wife stands there and tells me I’m doing it wrong but doesn’t help me. I think I may just hire a handy man to do it, would be easier and save me the hassle, because I really can’t be arsed. Next thing I know though is that she will want the bloody rooms repainting. She normally does this just after all new furniture is put in.

Anyway at least I get some peace this weekend, she is off out for the day shopping with the girls, then out for tea and drinks as well so the whole of Saturday I can spend in peace. I can also watch some football, drink beer and play my Xbox, without the wife, tutting at me. Last night I was out with my mate at the footy, we watched Leeds play Ipswich, luckily we got a draw and didn’t lose like we have been doing recently. So it wasn’t horrendous going to the game, especially as it was bloody freezing.

small-football.jpgMy mates off again at the weekend to watch the Huddersfield game, I really should get my season ticket again, I stopped during Bates’s tyrannal reign, however now he’s gone, I have no excuse. Although their recent form put me off, it’s a bit depressing driving home after a loss, at least at home I can ignore updates or switch over the odd times they are on Sky. I know I could always walk out but then that would just be a waste of money, however it would make getting home quicker!

I was quite happy when we were in the playoffs, one step closer to the Premier League. But then I got thinking, we would probably struggle to stay up, we wouldn’t have much chance of getting back to our previous levels of dominance. We just don’t have the cash. Looking at the PL now the top teams, Man City, Arsenal and Chelsea all have recently spent big, Citeh to extortionate levels.

Manure lost Fergusson and their lower levels of spending have become apparent. I also think If Liverpool didn’t have Suarez, they would still be struggling, luckily he will be staying put there for a while, but they really need more investment in good players. (Carroll anyone). Obviously Manure have some expensive players, but the team is going through a transitional period, they will have to invest more to keep up in the top. Not that I hope they do, but it lays bare the state of the PL now.

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Another Defeat at Home

small-football.jpgI fell asleep on Saturday afternoon, in my chair after a rather yummy pub lunch, whilst asleep I dreamt Leeds had won their game against Leicester. It felt really real, so much so I nearly text my mate saying good result. But then the final score became a bit foggy to me. I then decided to check the result, only to see that we had lost. Annoying to say the least, especially as we lost the game in the 87th minute.

I hate it when dreams feel real, to be fair though, going on Leeds’s performance recently a win would be a dream! Reading back on the action it did seem that we created chance, but didn’t follow any of the through, which seems to be our form at the moment. We have now lost our past five games in all competitions, conceding 13 goals in the run, what makes it worse we haven’t won for more than seven games and out of that only scored 3 goals. As you can imagine our GD is pants, down to 0.

Leicester are top of the league with 57 points 22 ahead of us with a GD of 20. We have no chance of making that up now and to be fair I think it will be a challenge to even get into the playoffs. Reading are in 6th with 41 points and a GD 9, so we would have to win every game, hope everyone else above has poor form and pigs fly over Elland Road.

On the plus side today it seems Manure canny win either, losing at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea. To be fair, considering their poor form it was inevitable. Manure like us have a poor GD theirs is 9, when you look at the likes of Citeh who have 38 GD and are second in the league to Arsenal by one point Manure are failing. Not sure what will happen to Moyes, how long will he be given? The transfer window should tell.

On other news my Sky+ is filling up, great new TV to enjoy. New TV show Mob City is on and NCIS and NCIS Los Angeles is back on. Criminal Minds started again and this week I have set up to record The Following. Also Boardwalk Empire should be coming to an explosive ending. And we have a date for the latest season of Game of Thrones starts 7th April. Plus just a general look seem like there are a number of cool new shows starting, who needs to leave the house!

 

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I don’t want to talk about it

small-football.jpgSaturday wasn’t a good day, Leeds continued their shit streak which has seen us without a win for the last 5 games and knocked out of the FA cup by League 2 Rochdale. I didn’t think it could get much worse before the Saturday game against Sheffield Wednesday who were much further down the table than us. But it did, 2-0 down before the second half, it got worse with Matt Smith being sent off for a challenge against Johnston. After that it was plain embarrassing as Sheffield Wednesday kept a clean sheet and we went down 6 goals and a whole lot of pride. To be fair, it’s about right, we get a taste of the play off zone and go tits up. I would be surprised if we get back up after this, Leeds are not very good at coming back strong after bad spells.

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Moyes Keeps Hold and AVB Loses his Grip

AVB 2So it’s been a tough week for some in the Premier league, on Monday Andre Villas Boas lost his job as Tottenham managers, because 6th in the league isn’t good enough before Christmas and finish just outside of champions league last season thanks to Chelsea . To be fair though he wasn’t creative with his buying over the summer. Tottenham would have known Bale was going and should have sorted out a decent replacement. Even before the Bale sale was complete, they spent around £100m and still didn’t have anything amazing to show for it.

Moyes 2

If I thought any manager would go this week, I would have hedged some bets on Moyes at Manure however securing a win at the weekend saw him staying. That being said I have a feeling Manure won’t be in a hurry to get rid, they do keep on managers whilst they aren’t doing too great, giving them time. That’s what they did in the early days of Fergusons career. However now its not as favourable as fans and managers expect instant results and don’t really have time to see a team grow. But that’s how the Premier League is now and to a certain extent the Championship.

AVB 1

Moyes 1

We have been lucky with our manager, Brian McDermott seems to have settled in well and brought the team together. We didn’t make any massive changes over the summer and luckily kept McCormack after rumours we would sell to Middlesbrough (I mean really) which I think has given us strength along with a good goal scorer in the form of Smith who has been on form.

 

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