On the 'Antiques Roadshow' on BBC TV there was one trophy that is always close to my heart, the FA Cup won by Leeds and held aloft by Billy Bremner in 1972.
It was valued at "over a million pounds" and was the most expensive single item ever to be valued on the programme. Many will remember that day and maybe it will be the only time a Leeds player will lift it, but what a player that did!
Gordon McQueen, ex-Leeds and manu centre half was less than complementary about the fortunes of both his ex-club and the Scottish national team. McQueen said; "Let’s be honest about this, Scotland and Leeds are not in good shape and added about his former team. They don’t have any assets on or off the field in not owning their stadium, their training ground, or even their car park."
Bitter and twisted or just bloody honest, you decide.
Liam Cooper was very pleased to be in the Scottish squad for the game with Denmark on Tuesday evening, he said; “It’s been really good to be a part of it all and now I’m really hoping I can get my first cap. I’ve done well to get the call-up, but it doesn’t stop there. Now I’ve got to go and prove myself that I can play at this level."
Liam Bridcutt commented that his move to Leeds has contributed to his call up into the Scottish squad alongside Liam Cooper, the midfielder who was been a key player in the three game winning run said; "It's been good that I've had a run of games at Leeds and it's shown I'm back to full fitness and ready to go if needed."
Stuart Dallas came on in the second half of Northern Ireland's one nil win over Slovenia at Windsor Park
James Milner captains England for the first time against Holland tonight, although the player left Leeds in 2004 it is still a. honour for the city of Leeds. Ex-Leeds academy player Danny Rose kept his place in the side after a good performance in Berlin.
Milner follows other Leeds players who have been captain's of their countries including Billy Bremner, Gordon Strachan and Lucas Radabe
Liam Cooper and Liam Bridcutt had to be content with a place on the substitutes bench for their game against Denmark.
Lewis Cook played the full ninety minutes for England under 19s in their 2-0 win over hosts Spain, the victory takes the 'Lions' through to July's finals in Germany.
Lewis was delighted and Tweeted "Buzzing with the win against Spain, qualified for the euros! 😝 ⚽️ "
Mirco Antenucci has been nominated for the PFA player of the month for March for his recent form and four goals in as many games for Leeds. You can vote for him by going to www.skysports.com/pfafanvote
International round up:
James Milner's first captaincy didn't go to plan as England lost 2-1 at Wembley to Holland, only the second time the national side has lost since the World Cup. Milner was also substituted after eighty minutes.
For Scotland, Liam Bridcutt came on as a substitute and was lucky not to be sent off for a challenge on a Denmark player, Liam Cooper was a unused substitute as Scotland beat Denmark 1-0 at Hampden Park.
Remember this from the campaign before the season started, I've added my new thoughts
Distant Memories, Not much Ambition, What choice?
Noel Whelan had a note of caution for the players hoping to 'coast' through to the end of the season. “Leeds have got to show a performance to prove that the players deserve to play in that shirt and then there’s the professionalism and the money they are getting paid."
He then added; "Coming to the end of the season they are playing for their pride and they are playing to see if they can fit in next season at Leeds United."
Not one to ever 'mince' his words is the ex-Leeds United striker, now Radio Leeds pundit and YEP columnist.
Leeds midfielder Liam Bridcutt, a second half substitute for Scotland last night versus Denmark, was criticised in the Danish media by their Head Coach Age Hareide, stating; "It was a red card challenge on Sviatchencko, I don't think it had evil intentions but was overzealous. The boy needs a talking to and I hope Gordon does."
Watching it this morning, he would possibly have seen red if it hadn't been a friendly international.
Rob Atkinson's excellent article suggested that giving Liam Cooper the number 17 jersey for his first time in the Scotland squad may have been a little dig by Strachan at a certain Italian who owns the club. His affection for the club is well known.
Read the full article on http://roblufc.org/2016/03/30/scotland-coach-strachan-in-sly-dig-at-leeds-owner-cellino-by-rob-atkinson/
Micro Antenucci who's contract is up for renewal at the seasons end gave the impression that he would like to extend his stay in England. Leeds' top scorer said; "It's a choice I would do without question and an experience (playing for Leeds) I would recommend to my colleagues. I'm glad of this adventure and do not exclude to stay here."
The Italian was expected to move back to his native Italy for family reasons, his wife presented him with his second child earlier in the year and was said to be keen to move away from Leeds.
I suppose in the end it will be down to the amount of money he is offered and the length of contract. Personally I hope he stays.
Spent the evening at the West Yorkshire Playhouse watching 'The Damned United'. Superbly acted and with passion, the story of Brian Clough's forty four days at Leeds United and his time at a Midlands club. Really enjoyed it with my pal from work Jonathan Barrett.
Clough's story is both painful and poignant but also triumphant and astounding in terms of the heights he reached. Those of us who return to Elland Road year after year, can perhaps take this from Clough's story: that however and tortuous the present, the future may still hold glorious success ; a great club for a great city with a uncompromising ambition and a fantastic future.
We live in hope. MOT.
Many Thanks to James Brining, Artistic Director of West Yorkshire Playhouse for this passage.
Fifteen years ago today, David 'Rocky' Rocastle passed away through illness.
A skilful midfielder who joined from Arsenal in 1992 for two million pounds but only stayed for a season when he went to Manchester City for the same price. He played twenty five times for Leeds United and scored two goals.
He was only thirty three years old when he died.
It seems that Paul Hart is to depart Leeds United to spend more time with his family or so the rumour is. Maybe another member of staff that finds it impossible to work with a certain Italian owner.
This seems to confirm the rumour:
Understand that Leeds and academy director Paul Hart have agreed that he will leave the club next week.
Steve Evans presser
No comment about Paul Hart, full squad apart from Turnbull, nearly all back from international duty, except Carayol, due back Friday morning, Evans said little more about his own future: "You guys have enough O-levels and A-levels not to ask the same question every time you see me", decision is Cellino's if he stays or go but winning matches helps! Last game unacceptable but three games before very acceptable, if league was from day one of his tenure, Leeds would be tenth, Wood WILL start versus Rotherham and dropping Cook was 'the wrong decision'.
Upbeat as ever was Mr Evans.
BREAKING: Leeds United striker Souleymane Doukara banned for eight matches for violent conduct in last month's game against Fulham. He was charged with biting Fernando Amorebieta in the second half of the game between the sides. Doukara had denied the charge, he was also fined £5,000 pounds and warned about his future conduct.
Leeds' reaction was thus: "Suffice to say, however, the club is disappointed with the outcome and the length of the ban given to Souleymane Doukara."
The news about Doukara surprised and disappointed me and how it was kept 'under wraps' is even more shocking. This club has had enough 'muck' thrown at it without players dragging it through the thick and brown stuff.
Myself I consider what Doukara did was shameful and he can consider himself very lucky he still has a job, there is no place for biting in everyday life never mind on the football field.
Doukara has let himself, his family, his teammates and the supporters of the club down. He should get no second chances and should be heavily fined by the club, if they don't it sets a dangerous precedent.
Bolton 1 Leeds 2 in an under 21s game at The County Ground in Leyland. Leeds goal scorers were Lee Erwin and Jake Skelton.
Leeds academy player Luke Parkin decided yesterday that his future lay away from Thorpe Arch, he signed a one year deal last year but has been told another contract will not be forthcoming. The youngster is a regular in the under 21s and was expected to progress to the first team.
We wish the youngster all the best for the future.
It seems that April did start with a 'fool', Souleymane Doukara seems to have lost quite a few fans and Ryan Ingham's article issues the striker a few words of advice. See link: http://www.weallloveleeds.co.uk/latest/doukaras-season-bites-the-dust
Still no official word about if the player will get a club fine or even the ultimate sanction of the sack. They are waiting until the full judgement in writing is delivered from the FL.
It still leaves a bitter taste in this fans mouth, now Doukara is forever linked with Luis Suarez. Just a shame he's not a quarter of the player the other 'bitter' is!
After a few days of rumours, the club officially confirmed Paul Hart's departure to “allow more time to attend to personal matters.”
The club thanked Paul with this statement: “The club is extremely grateful to Paul for his fantastic service to the academy and fully respects the reasons behind his departure. He leaves with our best wishes for the future."
Leeds now start the work to replace a well liked and respected professional.
It seems that Steve Evans is looking forward very much to his return to Rotherham at the weekend, he said “If it was a book and you read about it in the first paragraph, you’d be looking forward to the rest of the book" and added "It’s a special day, arriving at the New York Stadium as an opposition manager will be fantastic for me, especially when I arrive on the Leeds United team coach."
Lets hope the players are as much 'up for it' as their coach is.
Mirco Antenucci missed out on the PFA Player of the month award for March, the striker was in the nominations for his performances through the month. Surprisingly the fans award went to Fernando Forestieri, despite him playing only two games and scoring one goal. They just don't like Leeds, or so it seems.
Well done though Mirco for getting nominated.
A walk down memory lane
92/93 away still makes me cringe, love 95/96 away. Favourite home 90/91 and 91/92. 1999/00 is so different and brings back some superb memories. Hated the 'green effort' in 1993 to 1996 (Third kit) but still bought it!
Many Thanks to LEEDS UTD MEMORIES on Twitter
Sounds about right!
Rotherham United v Leeds
Match Day :
The slimline Steve Evans made three changes to the team hammered by Huddersfield before the international break. Chris Wood starting his first game since January in place of Doukara and in Midfield Tougari Diagarga and Lewis Cook replaced Luke Murphy and Stuart Dallas, they both dropped to the bench.
Rotherham completed a Championship double over Leeds with a 2-1 victory in a eventful game, Derbyshire and Leeds keeper Silvestri were both sent off, the later giving Halford the opportunity to score from the spot in the dying minutes of the game. Frecklington giving Rotherham the lead in the first half, Luke Murphy, a substitute for Berardi equalised with a deflected shot before the penalty incident gave the home side and 'Colin' the points.
That's twice the elderly ex Leeds boss has beaten Leeds this season, his other was when he was caretaker at QPR. Another game Leeds had enough chances to win the game but failed to take them but nothing can explain Bellusci's terrible mistake in the build up to the penalty. He's a walking 'cock up' waiting to happen!
Man of the match : Lee Camp
Post game quotes:
Evans considered Leeds very unlucky to lose, didn't think they'd score in to last twenty five minutes, not good enough in the final third and defended his substitution of Cook, said the loss came down to a "cardinal sin" by Bellusci (attempting to clear with an overhead kick, rather than head away), not much comment on rumoured approaches by a other Championship team, no qualms with the sending off of Silvestri, Peacock-Farrell will make his debut on Tuesday v QPR, last quote on BPF: "As I sit here now it's either me or him and I don't fill as much of the goal as I used to! But he's ready."
Warnock said he thought Derbyshire's red card was harsh and will appeal. "Ref wasn't going to send him off until he saw the blood." He also said the three points were a bonus because they were down to ten men.
The 'art of defending !' Bellusci style
Quite a few low scoring marks from the excellent Leeds site Vital Leeds :
Highest score was Bridcutt with 6
Their summary of the game:
Looking at the stats after the game, 67% possession and 26 shots on goal, it looks like a good performance by Leeds but it was far from it. We lacked creativity and why play three defensive midfielders and have no width. Thankfully, Steve Evans changed things around in the second half and in my eyes, but not in many around me; he took off the two players in midfield who had been least effective.
We are a poor side against ten-men and have dropped so many points in the past few seasons when a team have had a player sent off. The game was ours for the taking but a stupid mistake cost us. I think Bellusci has been amongst our better players in the second half of the season but he is a liability.
Many Thanks to Vital Leeds for using their article.
By Keith Ingham