By Andy Gregory
Name: Mike Courtney
Tell us a bit about yourself: I am married with 3 children and live in the South West of Ireland in County Cork. I recently ran my first ever Full Marathon and I’m a regular Blogger with We All Love Leeds.
How long have you supported Leeds? I have been a Leeds supporter since 1970 when I was 4yrs old so I have seen a lot of ups and downs in that time from the Revie era through the dark days of the 80’s, Wilkos Army, O’Leary’s babies and the collapse. But still a fan and always will be no matter what. In the words of Coldplay's Chris Martin “No body said it’d be easy”.
What is your favourite memory? I have many; The 1st day I saw Elland Road in October 86 standing in the Kop when Billy’s army beat Pompey in the season we got to the cup semi final and Playoff Final against Charlton. Winning the League in 92, beating Man U in the cup at Old Trafford in 2010 and Promotion that year to mention but a few.
Favourite player past and present?
My favourite Revie era player was Sniffer Clarke, oh how we could do with his goals now. Of the present set up it has to be Sam Byram, what a season he is having I hope we can hold on to him.
If you could bring one player from any era back to the club, who would it be and why? Can I bring back 2; Bremner and Giles in midfield. Passion, precision, never say die attitude and ability to control games, exactly whats missing from our team right now.
Best goal scored by a Leeds player?
Eddie Gray’s goal against Burnley in the early 70’s when he slalomed round about 6 or 7 Burnley defenders before smashing the ball to the net. He scored a fantastic chip that day also. Honourable mention to Yeboah’s strikes against Liverpool and Wimbledon and Beckford’s winner against Man U for sheer ecstasy.
What would you say are the proudest and worse moments in Leeds’ history?
Proudest moment was winning the League in 74 and the 29 game unbeaten run at the start of that season. Also the way the team responded to the 15 point deduction under Wise and getting to the top of League one by Boxing day was some achievement. Our Solitary FA Cup Win in 72 (my earliest memory) is also up there. The worst moments were The Paris Riots after being robbed by Bayern Munich and ref in 75, Bowyergate and relegation from the Premier League.
How would you sum up this season?
The season started brightly with hope that Warnock could lead us to the Promised Land. The takeover saga did not help matters but when GFH came in and we were still in touching distance of the top 6 I honestly thought this would be our year. The sale of Becchio and the board's failure to buy the players needed (pace out wide and creativity in the middle) has seen us fall rapidly down the table with relegation a distinct possibility. A win on Saturday against Wednesday is a must. The cup runs were the only positives. Warnock should have gone earlier in my opinion and we need a manager that can restore the passion and fight to the team. The Championship this season has been particularly poor with no outstanding team and 70 points would have got us a playoff spot. We had the bones of the squad to achieve that and keeping our top scorer and investing in the right players would have got us there.
Which player has impressed you most this season?
Has to be Sam Byram. First full season as a pro and without a doubt our player of the season. I fear we will
lose him to a premier League team though.
Which player have you been least impressed with?
Michael Brown and Luke Varney, though Varney has improved a bit over the last few weeks but he couldn’t have got any worse.
Which player’s would you keep beyond this season?
Lees, Byram, Peltier, Austin, White, Green and McCormack for sure. Add a few of the younger players and a bit of pace and creativity and we have the makings of a good squad. Need a 20 goal a season goal poacher also.
Who would you like to take over the manager’s job at Leeds and why?
Tough question because it all depends who is willing to take on the task. O’Neill, O’Leary, McDermott, Coyle and Allardyce are names that are being mentioned. O’Leary would be great because he loves the club and would give youth a chance
and get us playing fast incisive football like we did in his previous reign. Whoever gets it needs backing from the board and patience from the fans.
What is your view on Neil Warnock’s time at Leeds?
He didn’t move us forward in any way and the style of football played was poor to say the least so it was a complete and utter failure for me.
Do you think we’ll pick up the points we need in the games remaining?
I really hope we do starting with Wednesday and Burnley, two vital home games. If we don’t pick up at least 4 points we will be in serious trouble.
Score prediction for the Sheffield Wednesday and Burnley games? Ever the optimist 2-1 against Wednesday and 2-0 v Burnley
What team would you put out against Sheffield Wednesday?
We have injuries and suspensions so our options are limited. Ashdown, Byram, Warnock, Pearce, Peltier (If fit and if not it looks like Austin will fill in there) Green, Norris Dawson, Diouf , McCormack and White.
Anything else you would like to add?
Its been a difficult time to be a Leeds Supporter but now is the time for us to get behind the team, get the points required to survive and get the right man in with backing from GFH to buy the players to get us promoted next season. Keep the faith; Leeds will be back where we belong sooner rather then later. MOT Leeds Leeds Leeds
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