By Mark Rasdall
When I was just a little boy Peter Lorimer scored a late goal for Leeds United against Chelsea in the FA Cup which was disallowed. I was seven years' old and I have never forgotten it. To my young, developing mind, the injustice of that day was beyond reason.
Kenneth Wolstenholme still voices in my mind the disbelief I felt and even after 45 years it still hurts, as does, similarly, Barry Davies's assurance that 'Leeds will go mad and they have every right to...' after that Jeff Astle goal in 1971.
In the same year - 1967 - Celtic won the European Cup. Three years' later LUFC lost to them in the semi-final of the European Cup. I actually admired Jimmy Johnstone and the rest and, though it was upsetting, the devastation wasn't nearly so bad as it was after the FA Cup defeat - again to Chelsea. Whereas Celtic were simply a great team to be admired in the same way as Don Revie admired Real Madrid - and put us in white shirts as a result - Chelsea were just intent on stopping us playing. They were lauded for their silky skills and we were simultaneously hated for our dogged determination. Journalistic license of course: what real football fan could not admire the skills of Bremner and Giles or deplore the building site intent of 'Chopper?'
That 1970 final at Wembley still haunts me - especially Gary Sprake's late mistake - but I do also remember Eddie Gray absolutely tormenting David Webb throughout the game. No surprise then that Ron Harris committed a terrible tackle early on against Eddie in the Old Trafford replay which effectively put him out of the game. The violence that followed is history of course but I still wake up in the middle of the night willing Webb's winner to go over the bar. The record books show that it didn't, of course, and we got nothing. Surely the epitomy of injustice that year? The Chelsea goalkeeper - Peter Bonetti - then let us down in Mexico that summer as well: England 2 West Germany 3 still upsets me to this day...
So, Chelsea have a special place in my heart - dark clouds on previously sunny days - and whatever happens in the Capital Cup tie at Elland Road tonight I don't think the heartbreak of those young years as a Leeds United supporter will ever be truly forgotten. But I am older and wiser now and more devoted to our club than ever. Good days may well be on the horizon once more and maybe one day we'll truly move beyond the shadows and head into the warmth of knowing that white is the colour and football really is the game.
By K. G. Bailey
I dont believe any other club has its own supporters have a go at each other for attending or not attending games as much as Leeds United fans.
I can understand the fans frustration that attend every game such as vs Ipswich at home where its hardly packed & then see that people have "come out of the woodwork" for the game vs Chelsea.
The reality is, right or wrong, people that dont go regularly or at all will attend a one off game vs Chelsea in favor of going to a league game vs Watford at home. But that is their choice.
The "real fans" debate has been happening well before this game.
I personally dont see how attending every game makes you a bigger fan than someone who cant make every game. There are many circumstances that allow/dont allow people to get to every game.
If you have the disposable income from your job/benefits that allows you to get to every game then great. If your parents have the means to pay for your season ticket, again, fair enough. What I dont like seeing is people who have tickets paid for them by their parents give people who work for their money stick for not going. Or people who still live with their parents past the age of being a teenager that more than likely dont pay rent give working people with rent/mortgages stick. That isnt right to me in my opinion.
My girlfriend said to me she's a true fan of (another nameless club) which she is, and she had season tickets for years & wasnt a part timer, but she was living at home when she was earning her money thus not much outgoings. We now live together with our daughter and well, no more season tickets for you Mrs! In a perfect world all fans would love to pack out Elland Road each week, but life & other commitments gets in the way of that.
Theres also the distance factor, one of our very own writer's Kim lives in Denmark but he's an avid Leeds fan, I wouldnt question his commitment just because he doesnt fly over each week. Some say "you should support your local team". Anybody who's a sports fan knows you get a gut feeling when you support your club, the location of the team doesn't matter, you just know when they win your delighted & when they lose you feel like going into hiding. You just love the club. Also going by this theory I would have supported 4 or 5 teams by now!
I was living elsewhere before i moved up North and to go to each home game it would have cost me £113 in travel £40 hotel as the last train to where I lived was cut early. There's also food & drink on the day too, this all before the match ticket cost! Plus I've never not worked and have been living independent since I was 17 years old. So I've been paying grown up stuff for quite sometime. My circumstances are just one of many factors that others can probably add to.
Moral of it all is we're all Leeds United fans & that is it!
P.S. I'm not going to the Chelsea game, I'll be attending league games again post Christmas & hopefully a League Cup Semi Final game if the boys can do it tomorrow!
"Cant we all just get along" - Rodney King
By Keith Ingham
Leeds made two changes from the side beaten so disappointingly at Derby. Jerome Thomas and El Hadji Diouf replacing Ryan Hall and Ross McCormack. Diouf
fresh from committing himself to the club until the end of 2013/14 season and he was the 'puppet master' as Leeds best moments came through him.
The home side dominated the first period but the final ball was just not right and neither sides created clear cut chances. Leeds though won a corner and from it, Tom Lees headed it on and the ball fell invitingly for Jerome Thomas, to flick the ball in the net from near the goal line, his first in his new colours. Norris had an effort cleared off the line and before the break Becchio headed over when it looked easier to score. Leeds really needed another as Ipswich's Edwards had an effort well saved by Paddy Kenny.
The narrow lead was tested in the second half when Ipswich upped their efforts after a less than energetic first half, but their efforts came to nothing and Luciano Becchio tested the Town keeper soon after. Leeds weren't to be denied a second when after a good move, Jerome Thomas provided a great cross for Paul Green to finish with some style. Three goals in five games is a good return from the midfielder. Ipswich now had to attack and both Martin and substitute Chopra were denied by the Leeds
Leeds finished the stronger and made it three wins out of four played since the takeover. The win was the 1500th in the clubs history, 999 at Elland Road. Whoever Chelsea put out, the XI Leeds players selected will definitely give the Champions League winners a game. Bring it on !
Men of the Match: El Hadji Diouf first half, dominated play. Sam Byram second half, important challenge when a Town player was through and kept getting forward when able.
Leeds weren't brilliant, a great first half but were nervy second half with the second goal easing the fans fears of an Ipswich comeback. Only 19,000 in the ground, very worrying but maybe three games and
Christmas around the corner was the reason. Lets hope the fans return soon.
Fans 7/10: Bit quiet early on
On On On
By Steve Jennings
I have no major feelings towards or against Ipswich Town. I remember a good, young team from the late seventies managed by the late, great Bobby Robson nearly winning the title and I used to go out with a girl who supported them avidly, but other than that they are just another team. But I was really looking forward to seeing Leeds United play them in my first trip to Elland Road for this current season.
I boarded the Plymouth Whites bus at 8am at junction 26 of the M5 for the 255 miles trip to the Football capital of the world. A fairly easy journey was only hampered by an accident at the M1 and M42 junction delaying us by 30 minutes or so. But just before 1pm we were in the car park. An enjoyable couple of pints of fizzy apple juice and a bite to eat in The Dragon first and then I took my seat in the ground at 2.30pm.
My first thought was "is this a 3pm kick-off?" The ground was empty! And I mean empty! The next 30 minutes or so saw the ground fill to some degree but the game started with a half full stadium. I spoke to a few fans sat around me and the general consensus was that many of their mates had stayed away and had simply found other things to do when Leeds are at home. Their home game habit was broken. Some offered the view that Chelsea and/or Middlesbrough were more attractive a proposition than Ipswich and that three games in eight days was a tough financial burden. Others said that some will not return until Ken Bates has gone totally. Whatever the case this is a matter of priority for the new owners should their proposed takeover happen next Friday. Clever marketing and PR needed methinks.
Team news was dominated by the omission of Ross McCormack which was hardly a surprise to those of us with a presence on Twitter and had read his ramblings the night before. The game started brightly enough and, at times, Leeds looked to pass the ball but at other times resorted to hit and hope Football. Ipswich, for their part, looked controlled and organised if a little short of real quality but with DJ Campbell up top they should threaten Leeds? And throughout the game they were a handful even if Campbell was largely invisible and dragged off in the second half.
First chance for Leeds fell to El Hadji Diouf who stumbled on a loose ball but couldn't squeeze past Town goalkeeper Henderson. But it was Diouf's corner that started the scoring. Jerome Thomas clearly looks to run with the ball and excites the Leeds crowd when the ball comes his way, so it was fitting he opened United's account flicking Tom Lees header past Henderson in the 19th minute. Leeds did not have things all their own way and were grateful to Paddy Kenny for making a good save to keep the lead intact. This lead should have doubled later in the first half when Luciano Becchio had an easy chance to head Leeds two-up from an excellent Sam Byram cross but put it over. I would say Leeds were fortunate to go in with a lead at the interval.
The second half started and I had to count how many Leeds players were on the field. Ipswich seemed to have 2-3 more players as every loose ball went to one of their players with another unmarked in support. For 20 minutes or so Town dominated and an equaliser looked ominous. But United's defence held out even if there seemed to be moments of panic rather than collected defence. Leeds needed a
second to calm nerves and this came in the 68th when a bright move prompted by a Bradley Orr mistake saw Diouf play in Thomas whose clever side-foot cross was put away calmly by Paul Green. Game over? No, this is Leeds United we are talking about.
More hit-and-hope Football from Leeds and we hung on for our lives. Ipswich should have scored twice at least and I recall one glaring miss from Chopra, who normally enjoys playing and scoring against Leeds. But hang on we did and there was obvious relief at the final whistle.
Still a win is a win and a clean sheet is always welcome. 12 points out of 15 cannot be sniffed at.
Kenny (7) - solid performance. 2-3 good saves kept us in it at times and he appears calm when his defence start flapping in front of him. Best Leeds 'keeper since Sullivan, and maybe Robinson.
Byram (8.5) - man of the match for me. Still young and prone to a few mistakes and bad choices but a precious talent whose rise has surprised several of us. Involved in most of Leeds better attacks and he will get better.
Peltier (5) - I feel for Pelts. He clearly is no left sided player and he is a victim of young Sam's faster than expected development. Signed to play right back and made captain the manger clearly feels he must play him regardless so is obviously finding room for him at left back despite having Drury and White who can play there. I will not single him out for stick (marching on together and all that) but you cannot ignore 2-3 of his mistakes nearly lead to a Town goal. Warnock has to be big and admit Pelts is right back or nothing. Captain or not.
Lees (7.5) - very calm performance and getting better. Made some great headers and useful interventions and seems happy with the experienced Tate next to him. A future Leeds captain I think.
Tate (7) - calm and assured even when we had to batten down the hatches a bit. Leads the back well and I would sign him personally.
Thomas (8) - if he cared what I thought he may question not being made man of the match. He scored one and helped with the other and looked lively throughout. Clever flicks and turns are what he is about and Leeds fans have missed this in recent seasons. I would sign him but doubt he will come here full time being honest. Played well.
Green (6), Norris (6.5) and Tonge (5) - this was the area of worry for me. At times all three demonstrated some crisp passing and worked hard together. At other times they went missing, were slow to react, became very narrow in the middle with passes going astray and they got beaten up and out-thought by their Ipswich counterparts. Don't get me wrong they tried hard (well, Tongey seemed unbothered at times!) but there was a lack of leadership here. Yes we are missing the hustle and bustle of Rudy but I do think a leader is needed in the middle.
Diouf (7) - some clever play from the Hadj man who was always trying to get things started. He holds it well even if he tried to hold it for too long at times and inadvertently gave the ball back to Town. I would sign him to a longer deal! Oh, we already have! That's alright then.
Becchio (6.5) - divides the crowd. Tries hard but did he win a header under pressure? Maybe, but I can't think of one. Look, he is the third highest scorer in the division and deserves praise for that but I would like to see him put under some pressure with a new quality signing. But even if GFH did sanction a move for Mackail-Smith or similar would we have the creative play to make chances or we pump the ball up to him as we do with Becc's?
Subs: Varney, Brown and McCormack - not very long to assess their input. Ross looked bright but I can't remember anything from the other two other than a ridiculous pass from Browny that went to Town and put us under needless pressure with a few minutes to go.
Summary: a good win and three points. Poor atmosphere in the ground but I am sure the players will enjoy the full house versus Chelsea on Wednesday. I am seeing Paul Weller and Miles Kane in London on the same night (booked before the game was confirmed) but will follow with interest on Twitter.
Marching on together!
By Russ Vernon
The Draw for the FA Youth Cup 4th Round Proper has seen Leeds United Under 18s Drawn against Burton Albion at home. The tie is one of 16 ties which have been scheduled to be played by 19 January 2013. The Draw in full is:
Crystal Palace or Port Vale v Everton
Norwich City v Millwall
Oxford United or Barnsley v Stevenage
Reading v Bolton Wanderers
Derby County v Ipswich Town
West Ham United v Cheltenham Town or Tottenham Hotspur
Stoke City v Huddersfield Town
Arsenal v Fulham or Middlesbrough
Manchester City v Burnley
Bradford City or Histon v Liverpool
Charlton Athletic v Chelsea
Northampton Town v Hull City or Swansea City
Birmingham City v Coventry City or Bristol Rovers
Leicester City v Peterborough United or Aston Villa
Leeds United v Burton Albion
Nottingham Forest v Rochdale or Crewe Alexandra
By Russ Vernon
Leeds United tonight Announced on the official club website that El Hadji Diouf has signed a new 18-month contract at Elland Road.
The 31-year-old, who initially joined the club on a non-contract basis in the summer before signing a deal until January but has now agreed a new deal that will keep
him at Elland Road until the end of next season.
The former Liverpool, Bolton & Doncaster striker has made 24 appearances this season, he made his debut against Shrewsbury Town in the Capital One Cup and has scored 5 times the last coming in the 2-2 draw at Brighton at the beginning of November.
United manager Neil Warnock is delighted that Diouf has agreed to stay on a longer-term basis he told the clubs website:
“We’re delighted he’s agreed everything and hopefully he’ll enjoy the next 18 months with us, obviously it’s a massive boost for everyone to know we’re going to have him around, and this is what we’ve wanted to do. He’s a match-winning player, and there aren’t many of them around. He’s a player who can change a game and I’m delighted we’ve been able to keep him. He’s also fitted in really well, and he’s been great with the lads.”
By Mark Rasdall
In the spring of 1975 I travelled to France by coach with a group of other school children. It was billed as a 'French Exchange' but we felt like the prisoners, deep in the muddy darkness of Saint Maritime and the town of Aumale - our final destination. To keep us going we sang songs - as you do - but I was the only LUFC Fan so Marching on Together sounded a bit unitary and, well, hollow. Seasons in the Sun had been a huge hit for Terry Jacks the previous season and everyone was happy to adapt that in a truly on on on kind of way.
I mention this because Leeds United had just lost an FA Cup marathon against Ipswich Town which lasted over seven hours and ran to three replays (the nation hadn't generally encountered penalty shoot-out failure at that stage). Clive Woods, the Ipswich winger, scored a quite brilliant winner that night at Leicester City's old Filbert Street ground: a curling shot that flew into the top right-hand corner of our goal proving Gordon McQueen's observation quite wrong after he had previously announced on Radio 2 that our defence looked to be impregnable.
So, I was a bit sad (not sure how to translate understatement into French!) but quickly recovered with my French pen-friend, as we watched on television as Leeds beat Barcelona 2.1 in front of 50,000 at Elland Road in the first leg of the European Cup semi-final. I was ecstatic again but it was his turn to be sad as Saint Etienne could only draw 0.0 at home against that German team that eventually 'won' the trophy. The ups and downs of football eh!
I mention all of this because the thought of Ipswich Town always takes me back to those mid 'Seventies days where we had won the Cup three years earlier and they would do so three years later. We may have been on the down cycle after Don Revie left, despite Jimmy Armfield's best efforts (apart from in the European Cup final itself) and this would be the last year of our all-time greatest team, but Bobby Robson had Ipswich very much on the up. Don and Bobby - great managers both.
Sadly both have departed and our teams have been through hard times since then. I see and have seen Ipswich (like Cardiff, Millwall and Derby) as a bogey team away with two lucky wins against us at Portman Road in the last two seasons but am not confident about our success at Elland Road tomorrow either. If anything, Ipswich are among the most obstinate of opposition teams and have locked us out at critical times - with 2007 the most memorable, scoring two minutes from time to effectively seal our relegation to League One.
I do feel more confident about our team generally and not just because of the funding/ January window. But we will have to start much better than we did at Pride Park last Saturday because otherwise, as in 1975, the joy won't last 'because the b******s ran too fast'.
By Keith Ingham
After the three game unbeaten run ended last Saturday, Leeds will hope to start another with a better performance against a much improved Ipswich Town.
Since Mick McCarthy arrived, the previously under performing Suffolk side have three straight wins as they travel to Elland Road with renewed confidence. They have a costly assembled squad with QPR loanee DJ Campbell getting the goals and Emmanuel Thomas providing the spark in midfield.
With options around Neil Warnock has a tough choice to make, whether to drop his captain Lee Peltier, who although playing left back is not in the best of form. Whether the manager persists playing him in the role or plays him in the position most natural is to be seen, he's definitely not a left back in my opinion and a few others have commented after his recent performances.
Three games in a week will test the squad and I can't see many changes apart from the one I've
mentioned. Personally I'd like to see Adam Drury given a run in the side as he has not been given much of a chance by the manager. Jerome Thomas is ready after missing last week through injury.
One thing certain an 'up and at them' is really needed from the beginning, as last week it was a slow start that gave Derby the upper hand last Saturday. Another close game before a certain London side arrives but I'm going for a Leeds win.
Leeds 2 Ipswich 1 - Becchio and Thomas with the goals for Leeds
On On On