By Keith Ingham
After another humiliating performance in which Reading stormed to a four nil lead, I felt so let down by the players I look up to and support with my hard earned money. The talk before of a 'reaction' from the hammering we got from Bolton Wanderers only four days ago. True to his word Brian McDermott rang the changes with Zaliukas, Byram, Pugh, Mowatt and Pearce coming in. The crowd were hoping that the changes would inspire the team to better things, but after a less than inspiring first period of the first half when the round thing seemed to be avoided by anybody in a 'Regal' shirt. Worse was to come a disastrous mix up between Pearce and Butland saw McCleary stroll away with the ball and with the goal at his mercy, he didn't miss. 1-0 and to be honest everybody around me just looked in amazement at such folly. Surely highly paid professional footballers should be able to do the basics of the game, things didn't improve and a walk down to the urinals nearly made me leave the place I love, but I'm a Leeds fan and I hoped that a half time pep talk by the manager would make a difference and they would come out to right the wrongs of in my opinion a terrible first half.
How bloody wrong could be! Within minutes I was staring into the depths as Reading stormed to two, three then four goals up. I'm not mentioning the scorers but the shockingly easy way they scored them broke my heart and I found myself looking out on the green grass of Elland Road, remembering better times and much better players that have worn the shirts of my beloved team. Many will and maybe rightly say that I should not look back but when your faced with the current 'dross' that currently wears it now, I will argue that what I did was right for me. The 'Kop' took no prisoners with "we're shit and we're sick of it" and followed it by "your not fit to wear the shirt" I looked out for a warrior who could lift a team with no shape, passion and very little pride. We brought on Matt Smith, who despite his goals ratio seems on the outside of the managers plans. Within minutes he scored and when Rudy Austin finally got a beauty on target after many during the season that had gone everywhere but the goal. Maybe the fight back was on and a few chances flashed across the Reading box but unfortunately none when in. A draw would have been a unlikely result after conceding four goals previously and Reading became another team to leave the Theatre of Hope with all three points, leaving Leeds where there recent performances say they should be- in Championship nowhere land.
I've seen it all through tears, smiles and good friends I've made since the first day I stepped through the gates of Elland Road. I walked away a little damaged but not broken, managers and players will always come and go but I cannot believe that hours spent in the training ground can produce performances like Rochdale, Sheffield, Bolton and now Reading. Something rotten lurks behind the scenes and it's too bloody easy to blame the mismanagement of the club for years. We face the prospect of again possibly sliding into Administration and then the battle to even stay in the Championship and I'm afraid I see not many players with the 'bottle' to cope with the demands that would bring. If results are the measure of a manager there is no other option than to remove the current manager even at this late stage of another disappointing season. It's as simple as that!
I'm still Leeds and I will be until I die but I'm sick to the back teeth of the situation the club finds itself in at the present moment. Don Revie called on the services of a local gypsy to rid the club of a curse that he thought was on the club after coming second in many competitions. Maybe we should invite one of her relatives to try and rid it of the current miss management of this once great club. I won't stay away but tonight just a little bit of the respect I have for the players died tonight
On On On.