By Andy Gregory
Name: Steven Barras
Tell us a bit about yourself:
I’m a 26 year-old native of Skegness, moved to Derbyshire in 2006 and haven’t looked back since. I live about an hour from Elland Road and five minutes from the M1 so getting to the games is easy. Purchased my first ever season ticket this season.
How long have you supported Leeds?
My mum would have told you that I was born supporting Leeds but my earliest memories are of the 1991/1992 title winning season, I was 6 at the time.
What is your favourite memory?
My favourite memory has got to be the first time I set foot in Elland Road. We were still in the Premiership and the place was packed, thinking about it puts me in mind of when the fair rolls into town, I was that excited!
We were playing Norwich City, before they stole our best players, and we were unfortunately trounced 4-0, I think it was 1996. I remember looking at the clock with only a few minutes left, 4-0 down and I thought “We can still do this, come on Leeds”. Forgive me, I was 10 years old at the time.
Favourite player past and present?
Obviously I never saw the greats of the 60’s and 70’s so my favourite player from the past is Lee Chapman. When he came back on loan in 1996 I was so happy. I literally cried when he got sent off on his second debut. My mum was watching the match with me and she said “You can’t send him off for that! That’s how he jumps!” I must have repeated that sentence 50 times at school a few days later.
I haven’t really got a favourite player at the moment, it was Jonny Howson. Any of the players that have come through the academy always grab my attention, nothing like an academy lad doing well at Leeds.
If you could bring back any player from any era who would it be and why?
I almost put Alan Smith in the question above until I saw this question. He is a typical Leeds player. Not the most skilful but always gave 100% to the cause. Leeds through and through. I would even forgive his misdemeanour and I think I was one of the few who actually wanted him back at Leeds when his Newcastle contract ran out.
Best goal scored by a Leeds player?
This has got to be Tony Yeboah’s goal against Liverpool, no doubt.
How would you sum up our season so far?
In a word, disappointing. When the news filtered through that we were getting new owners I was dreaming of watching the lads in white lifting the league trophy in May but it meandered on and on and on. I think it has ruined our season and our position shows you how it has unsettled the squad.
Which player has impressed you most this season?
Sam Byram without a doubt. An academy graduate thrown into the mix at pre-season to make up the numbers and he has held his own and made the right back position his own. His goal against Oxford was sublime, from the Kop it looked like he had fluffed his lines, I was doing the face-palm thing when I heard the roar from the crowd.
Which player have you been least impressed with this season?
Luke Varney. He came with such a good (not great) reputation and he has failed to deliver. I think he has had two good games, vs Southampton and vs Spurs and he still managed to make the miss of the century against Southampton. Good goal vs Spurs though. I hope he carries this form on from now.
How would you describe our current team?
I think our team is good, promotion material with a couple of good signings in the summer to accompany the new faces. My only concern is that we seem a tad narrow but that’s Warnock’s selection policy and tactics rather than the players. I think we have one of the most talented midfields in the league, why are we bypassing them? The last two games not with standing of course.
Are you happy with our transfer dealings yesterday?
Fifty/Fifty really, I’m happy with the Morison/Becchio deal, thought Warnock did well with that but I didn’t see the point of bringing in Stephen Warnock when we have Adam Drury and Aidan White, the latter putting in a great shift vs Spurs. Mouhamadou Habib Habibou (I’ve had great fun saying that name today!) was, I believe, on QPR’s shortlist and second only to Loic Remy so I have high hopes for him despite Neil saying that he has brought him in as back-up. Could’ve done with a winger though.
What are your thoughts on GHFC?
I’ve said from the beginning that I would reserve judgement on them until the end of August. Let them get there feet under the table, see what the clubs about. I’m also waiting to see who they replace Neil Warnock with. Paulo di Canio or Gus Poyet please.
Where do you think we will finish this season?
I’m hoping for a good run from here on in but I just don’t see us catching the pack. 7th.
What is your view on Neil Warnock’s time at Leeds so far?
He was the right man for the job this time last year but I think his time is up. Dodgy line-ups and tactics have been his undoing, I’ve said above that he bypasses a good midfield and that’s not very pretty to watch and his insistence on playing Lee Peltier at left back has been mystifying at best, hopefully that has ended now with some good performances in the centre. I think he will stay until the end of the season, no point in changing manager now but after May he should enjoy his retirement in Cornwall.
Which game are you most looking forward to this season?
I was looking forward to Simon Grayson’s home coming with Huddersfield but that’s not going to happen now considering he’s been sacked so now it will have to be the Derby game at Elland Road, my missus is a Derby season ticket holder along with her mum and we travel to the Leeds/Derby games together, needless to say I have been very quiet in the car on the way back from the past few meetings, eight I think!
Score prediction for the Cardiff and Wolves games?
I think our home form will continue tomorrow and we will win 2-0, Rossco getting our goals. Wolves will be a little difficult and I think we will do well to get a draw, head says 1-1, heart says 2-0 win for Leeds.
Which team would you put out against Cardiff?
Byram, Lees, Peltier, White.
Green, Diouf, Barkley.
Anything else you would like to add?
Yeah, the transfer window has ended now, GFHC have delivered somewhat what we expected and, as I’ve said, there would be no point in sacking Warnock now, lets get behind the lads from now until the end of the season and make that old cliché our own. We are the twelfth man. Marching on Together.
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