By Keith Ingham
As soon as I heard that we were playing the mighty Rochdale at their place, a slow chill descended on my person. Surely we could beat a team two Divisions below us, even though word was that they were particularly good at home and until they lost to Scunthorpe who were above them on a good run of results. We had been playing rubbish with a captain in name only, he was leading by example by playing the worst I've seen of the Jamaican. Being at work omitted me from the thirty five mile journey across the Pennine's, so I am typing this from reports and some followers who were at the game on Twitter. I may not be have been there but I pay regularly through the turnstiles at Leeds whenever I can and I have a opinion so I'm giving it.
The first thing that the manager got wrong was the line up and the formation they played. This tie was the perfect for him to give certain players an afternoon off, I'm not saying it's not a serious competition, it is but the previous three or even four games players looked knackered and the results backed up the fact it was a tired first eleven. If he had given the likes of Tonge, Brown, Varney and Poleon a full ninety or even seventy minutes they would have benefited from a first team outing and the excuse that he was treating it as a important game holds no water, as it's clear his players out on the field of play didn't because of the shameful performances they made thousands of Leeds fans there endure.
A question came up that has he, as a manager lost the players after his comments pre transfer window, when he said he'd got the best he could out of the current squad and new recruits were desperately needed for the club to a) keep in touch with the top six and b) to move the club forward with the financial backing of the still to be confirmed new board. Myself if my boss said that he was bringing in a better shelf stacker but I was being 'moved' because I'm not on a massive thousands of pounds contract I'd do as I'm told, but maybe a few thought 'sod it' and the effort they put in decreased. For a lot of players in this squad Leeds will be there last big pay salary and daft as it seems this could be true. The drop in form certainly came after the manager was asked about new players coming in.
The situation involving El Hadji Diouf may have also affected team morale as he gathers up his air miles as I mentioned in a earlier blog. I'm sure there is something that has turned Leeds into a team with no confidence and playing without a leader amongst them, it's a sad state of affairs.
Whether it's getting back to basics and moving away from a formation that every team knows we are playing and the ability to change things when they are needed, the manager has to do something and quick to quell the growing unrest amongst the Leeds faithful. I have the upmost respect for Brian McDermott and the way he came to the fans when he knew what reception he was going to get. The public berating of the players and manager was surprising but in my opinion fully deserved.
Mr Haigh back the manager and I'm sure he will deliver a team to be proud of but also I'm asking Mr McDermott to listen to people who have Leeds' best interests at heart and I'm sure that once again 'Marching on Together' will be echoed around the Theatre of Hope and on the field we'll have a team to be really proud of that give us all we ask 100% every game not when they feel like it.
On On On