Head of Content Keith Ingham spoke to his best friend John Powell about his boyhood club, Liverpool FC.
JP, we've been good friends for a great number of years and have watched a few games together; World Cup, Euros, Champions League but nothing beats Liverpool vs Leeds. A rivalry that goes back to the late sixties. How long have you followed the Red Men?
I first caught the bug when I was 7 in the 1978/9 season. I can thank my uncle for my love of Liverpool who was an avid fan. He did however insist that my father take me to my first game though, away to Coventry City, not the greatest game 0-0 but I have seen many better since.
You've had some of the greatest players in the game (apart from Leeds) grace the cherry red of Liverpool FC. I know it would be hard to put them in order but try and give me your top ten from your time as a supporter?
Top ten players, this is a really good question and one I would probably change my mind on myself a lot, but at this moment I am thinking of:
(Not necessarily in order after the top 2)
Kenny Dalglish - King Kenny, a top player who inspired the team to greatness but also a man who ran himself into the ground supporting the victims of Hillsborough
Steve Gerrard - a man who carried or at least elevated us for much of his career, responsible for so many great moments. Deserved to be in a better team so many times.
Robbie Fowler - sublime natural finisher in his prime
Alan Hansen - calm, composed and comfortable on the ball
Luis Suarez - probably the most gifted footballer I saw in the red in the last few years. Even with his obvious flaws and short time with us still makes the list
Jamie Carragher - developed into a great centre back, not the best footballer we've ever had but Liverpool through and through
John Barnes - at times dazzling, creating chances from nothing, beating men at will
Ian Rush - a true goal machine, his goals took us to so many trophies
Graeme Souness - a hard midfield general, whilst Kenny was scoring and creating the goals Souness was dominating the game. Not a great manager but a colossus of a player.
Xabi Alonso - the best passer of a ball I have seen in the shirt
You must also have seen some superb games involving the teams, any that come to mind?
I remember a lot of great games but I'm going to stick to the ones I attended so that rules out the miracle of Istanbul.
Liverpool 4 Borussia Dortmund 3 - this game had everything, late goals, coming back from the dead (twice), Klopp lifting the crowd, belief from the players and it all happened the day before the final Hillsborough Memorial Service - a fitting tribute
Liverpool 3 West Ham 3 - in fairness we weren't great for much of this game but it gets in for the drama and elation of that last minute Gerrard strike
Liverpool 4 Real Madrid 0 - ok it wasn't a great Real Madrid side but to thoroughly beat a team of that level in a competitive match was amazing (Made even better by the 4-1 away win at Old Trafford a few days later).
Your club seem very calm behind the scenes, Leeds on the other hand have been in chaos since their relegation from the Premier League. Have you an opinion on Massimo Cellino?
I feel for Leeds and where they are now, having come through the Hicks and Gillette era that almost broke us. The sooner Cellino can be replaced by a more stable influence the better, the constant managerial sackings, court cases and clashes with the league all serve as a distraction to add to this he now also seems to be growing disinterested too.
A club of your size and history needs to get back in to the top flight and quite simply you need an owner and chairman who will provide the stability, ambition and money to do it. The one thing I can tell you is that when you find them, things go turn around.
Would top four be your ultimate goal or do you see the EFL Cup as a good distraction with a chance of a Wembley visit at the end of it?
The ambition of any Liverpool fan is always the league title. The fan in me loves a cup final and a trophy but the pragmatist in me says we need top 4 and the Champions League to kick on a level with both the money and prestige that helps bring in the players we are targeting. So right now to further the Klopp revolution top 4 is what I would choose.
Today I said goodbye to one of the most important men in my fifty six years, I'd like to pay tribute to all the friends and my family for their help during this heartbreaking of times.
Goodnight, God Bless Dad, Sleep well and Rest easy.
Every article I write is now a tribute to him.
Garry Monk's look ahead to the Newcastle United game on Sunday:
Hernandez out with a hamstring injury he picked up at Norwich, he was substituted very late in the game, O'Kane and Dallas should be available for selection, Newcastle are the best team in the Championship but Leeds won't concentrate on stopping them and will "think about ourselves", not worried that his squad won't cope with the 'full house', has a lot of respect for Benitez and the Spaniard was good to him when he was first appointed as Swansea's manager, remembered it was hard to concentrate on playing the first game after Gary Speed's death, its five years since the Welshman passed away, on Benitez winning the MOTM "He deserves it, simple as that".
Leeds 37 wins
Newcastle 38 wins
Last five meetings
Newcastle 2 Leeds 0
League Cup 3rd Round 2013
Newcastle 1 Leeds 0 2004 PLeague
Leeds 2 Newcastle 2 2003 PLeague
Leeds 0 Newcastle 3 2003 PLeague
Newcastle 0 Leeds 2 2002 PLeague
Leeds return to Championship action with a game against Championship leaders Newcastle United at Elland Road.
The Geordies are most people's favourites to be promoted as champions. They arrive in fine form with five straight wins, Rafa Benitez has galvanised his expensive line up to live up to their favourites tag.
Leeds will be without Pablo Hernandez with a hamstring but Stuart Dallas and Eunan O'Kane should be available for selection. Leeds apart from maybe one or two changes should be as was against Norwich, centre back pairing of Pontus Jansson and captain Kyle Bartley will be in for a tough afternoon with Dwight Gayle hoping to add to his goal tally.
A full house awaits a cracker!
A dream result would be a win, a draw, even at home would be seen as another step in the right direction.
Prediction: Leeds 2 Newcastle 2
Leeds United vs Newcastle United
Ahead of tomorrow's full house at Elland Road, I had time to speak to the Anonymous Newcastle Fan about all things Toon and what he expects to happen tomorrow and the rest of the season.
How long have you been a toon fan?
Hi, I've been a Newcastle fan all my life and I attended my first game against Watford in 1978. My first away game was in the League Cup coincidently against Leeds in 1982 in a 1-0 win only to be beaten 4-1 at home and a 4-2 aggregate defeat.
Who has been your favourite player? This season and in the past.
This season my favourite player has to be Matt Ritchie who has been superb for us having turned down West Ham United to come and play for us.
My very first hero was a guy who is well known to Leeds fans as Imre Varadi and was devastated when he was sold to Sheffield Wed but we got a chap called Peter Beardsley with the cash and look how he turned out. My overall hero would have to be Kevin Keegan over Alan Shearer simply because he came to Newcastle as an international Superstar dropping down a division to play for us and the two years he was a player here transformed the club and the city. A true legend in my eyes.
Best and worst time you've had as a supporter?
I've has some very bad times as a supporter. The late 70's early 80's were bad simply because we were in decline with very little money until We managed to sign Keegan which was a master stroke. The best has to be the arrival off KK as manager taking us from the brink of 3rd tier football to just missing out on the Premier League title. The football was superb and the city walked with a swagger. Great times.
Any memorable games against Leeds that you remember?
Leeds has always been a fixture I look for. I was brought up at a time when Leeds United were one of the best teams in England. When we played you in the early 80's the away support by both clubs was massive and with Sunderland being in the division above Leeds was the next best thing. I'll always remember the first game of the 82/83 season when we won 1-0 at Elland Road and the 4-3 win there under Bobby Robson was superb football by both sides. The history and tradition of both clubs are huge and because both city's have just one club it means everyone wants their club to do well. You
We both have owners that leave a lot to be desired, at the moment both are leaving their Head Coach / Manager to do their jobs. How does this help the men in charge?
I'm not a great lover of the DofF or transfer committee to be honest. Benitez wouldn't take the job unless he was playing by his own rules. Mike Ashley had no choice but to accept as he was in last chance saloon. Gary Monk did a decent job at Swansea under difficult circumstances and should be given the chance to manage his way without interference and I can see he's making a difference already. Leeds are a massive club with real potential. Monk can be a real success but he needs backing whether that's with Cellino or not time will tell.
Would you still want Ashley out?
The Mike Ashley out campaign hasn't gone away but I'd say it's dormant. He's make some horrendous mistakes but his situation isn't redeemable. We now nearly experienced 10 years of Ashley and it hasn't been good. By appointing and giving control to Benitez it's given the club and the city a manager of honesty and integrity who commands respect and up until now has delivered which can only help Mike Ashley.
Apart from Newcastle, who else do you think will go up? Automatically and four teams you think will challenge for the four Playoff places?
Newcastle and Brighton are looking good but il never say it's a certainty. Norwich and Huddersfield will be there or thereabouts and I'd then be looking at Reading and Leeds. It's a hard league with so many twists and turns and I'm sure there could well be a late runner like Sheffield Wednesday to be in there.
Three to go down this season from the Championship?
Rotherham United look doomed. Blackburn are a club in turmoil and I'm sure both Newcastle and Leeds fans sympathise with their supporters on their current position under Venkys. After that it's any one from Cardiff, Wigan, Notts Forest, Wolves or Burton. Wigan and Cardiff are sinking like stones. Vincent Tan anyone?
Players you think will occupy the much improved Leeds defence on Sunday and your stand out player or players so far?
Pontus Jansson has been superb for you lot this season and there's a few admiring glances coming his way and quite rightly so. Kyle Bartley and Luke Ayling are from the Arsenal youth set up like our very own Isaac Hayden so it's obvious they have a good footballing pedigree. Charlie Taylor is a young footballer who is a rare commodity in English football being a natural left back who can get up and down the wings and in Rob Green you have an experienced player who can guide the younger players much like Steve Harper did for us.
Rafa is very hard to second guess his teams change every week and it's horses for courses and keeping the team fresh. Matt Ritchie and Jonjo Shelvey will be dangerous for us and both Gayle and Mitrovic have been on fire for us this season and I can see this game being a great contest.
Any player you'd put on Rafa's shopping list in January to boost your squad?
January will be interesting for us as Rafa could well be looking for PL quality in case we go up. It's a gamble for both players coming in to drop in to the Championship as it is for the club buying them and increasing the wage bill. The squad we have now is to get us up and will be dismantled by Benitez if we go up. I'd expect Rafa to sign a few up and coming players and Charlie Taylor has been mentioned. We have also been linked with Steve Gerrard (we laughed too!) one interesting link is Fernando Torres whose contract is up and wants another crack in England before he finishes. I'll leave the signings to Rafa as his contacts and experience are huge.
Prediction and Scorers for tomorrow's match?
It's always a hard game at Elland Road and your fans will play a massive part. The ground can be a Bear Pit. Newcastle need yo be professional and do a job, play football and not the occasion. Interesting that if we go ahead we don't get beat but it could be a different game is we concede and have to chase the game. I'll go for a 2-1 win for us. All the very best to you for the rest of the season and look forward to seeing you at St James Park. Respect.
We'd like to thank Mr Anonymous for answering our questions and wish him and the Magpies the best of luck for the season, in which they are currently playing brilliantly.
Whatever the result tomorrow, this game will be one of the best to watch this November if not the season. The game is one of the biggest advertisements for football in England and I'm sure it'll be a massive spectacle. It's better than them pansy derbies you see in London.
By Ryan Ingham
Leeds v Burton Albion
Team news: One change, Pablo Hernandez returns after injury, Ronaldo Vieira drops unlucky to the bench.
Team: Green, Ayling, Bartley(c), Jansson, Taylor, Phillips, O'Kane, Sacko, Hernandez, Roofe, Wood.
Before the game, the 'fallen' were remembered. Poppy's were worn by the Leeds players as a mark of respect.
Leeds' incredible week ended with another home win, their seventh unbeaten and back to back Championship wins, against a very spirited Burton Albion side. It may have not been the best Leeds had played in the past seven days but some days you just need to get the three points and that's just what they did. The goals; the opener came when a superb ball from Hernandez found substitute 'Sully' Doukara and as he shaped to score he was flattened in the area, up stepped Chris Wood to blast his tenth goal of the season from the penalty spot.
With the game in injury time another substitute Alex Mowatt through himself twice to stop goal-bound shots causing concern and as the ball finally found it's way out of the Leeds penalty area, it found the boot of Wood, who despatched it to Doukara, again on a clear run into the box, again he was felled but instead of accepting a certain penalty he got to his feet and 'shuffled' the ball into the empty goal, 2-0, game over.
This season certainly has had it's moments, the lows against Birmingham and Huddersfield and the euphoria of the last seven days. I feel something special is starting to happen inside the Theatre of Eternal Hope, long may it continue !
Men of the Match: Luke Ayling and notable mentions for Kyle Bartley, who outshone his defensive partner Pontus Jansson and 'Sully' Doukara, maybe, just maybe the once forgotten striker has something to offer the team, on his last two outings it's something he's definitely shown.
This week I got the chance to speak to Norwich City fan Jacob Sharred, who was more than happy to sing about his favourite Canaries.
How long have you been a Norwich City fan?
I've been a Norwich fan basically all my.life. but more so since I quit playing as I had more time to start going to games home and away.
Who are your favourite players to wear the yellow/green shirt of Norwich City?
Favourite player ever in my lifetime has to be Grant Holt and Adam Drury. Holty because he was just a legend and Drury because he played left back like me.
Currently though it has to be Ivo Pinto, the way he treats the club and the fans with love. Not many footballers do that nowadays.
How did you feel about last Tuesdays fixture, amazing game or tough defeat?
Last Tuesday we were ahead but we were not playing well. In fairness I think we deserved to go out because of that.
You're on track for a second promotion to the Premier League in three years, how do you feel about the clubs performance?
Performances haven't been great, but up until the last few games we were still winning. It seems that teams have figured us out and know that we will be sloppy in all areas of the pitch. I feel when that changes, we will be a very difficult team to beat.
Norwich have benefited from many a signing from Leeds United including Howson, Johnson and Snodgrass. Is there any player you'd love to take from Leeds this season?
We currently have one solid centre back in Timm Klose, I have not watched much of Leeds but I've seen the videos of Pontus Jansson and he looks a quality player.
What's your opinion of Alex Neil?
I like Alex Neil. But if he fails to beat Leeds on Saturday I can't see him staying much longer. It's a shame but if we want to go up. We need to be winning most games. Not going 5 without a win.
Who will be your Champions, automatic and playoff places?
I think Newcastle will win the league. Then in second it'll be Brighton and Norwich, Wednesday, Huddersfield and Bristol.
Who do you think will be relegated?
I think Rotherham, Blackburn and Wigan will go down, Cardiff and Derby have new managers. Forest will probably get a new one soon and Burton are on a high. They'll stay up.
Prediction and scorers for Saturdays game?
I think it will be a very very tight game, looking at it on paper. You'd expect norwich to smash Leeds. With players like Brady, Hoolahan, Naismith and Klose, but we haven't been in great form. I think we will win. But it will be a very good game and it will be 1-0. I think Jerome will be the scorer.
We'd like to thank Jacob for taking the time to answer our questions and wish him the best for the season. We however are hoping for a repeat performance from last Tuesday in which we bossed them around the park.
By Ryan Ingham
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