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[Archived] GAME THREAD–Leeds United v Blackburn Rovers (away)12/13

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Update to Add Pub Info

Pubs - Leeds is a funny one. Last time we were there for a league game, it was a sunny day and we were welcome in The Peacock (right opposite the ground) which was proceeded by a town centre pub crawl, but it isn't always that friendly. Definitely give The Scarborough (Scabby) Hotel (Taps) and Prince of Wales (both as you come out of the station), Becketts Bank (a big Wetherspoons) and Northern Money a very wide berth, although when we had a pre-season at Leeds a few years ago, we didn't face any problems in them (although we were guests of Leeds fans that day).

Personally, if you're looking for something near the ground I recommend The Dry Salters.In town you're spoilt for choice, personally I'm keen on the run on back-alley-boozers on the main pedestrian area (The Pack Horse, The Ship, The Angel), the last one being Sam Smith's so it's dirt cheap. For real ale fans Leeds has some excellent choices, my favourite is Mr Foleys though North Bar is worth a look (though it aint cheap). Leeds Brewary also have a number of Brewary pubs that a worth a look.

Personally, I think I'll be starting the day at Mr Foleys are working my way to the Dry Salters. - Glenn


“The Damned United”...

For Vratti

Although I have always loved football, having lived for many years in a small town with a football club whose main aims were to keep solvent and remain in Division Three, Leeds United did not have cause to cross my radar until I moved north and became an ardent follower of Blackburn Rovers – when of course Leeds were in the Premiership together with Rovers. At that time I attended few away games, and in fact did not venture to Elland Road until we played Leeds in a friendly a couple of years ago and was most impressed by their imaginative use of scaffolding to access the disabled area.

I had of course heard that Leeds were a ‘big’ club, indeed they are the only Football League Team in the city of Leeds which is apparently considered to be the largest ‘one-club’ city and it is allegedly one of the top ten supported clubs in England. Given that the population of Leeds is somewhere in the region of 700,000 one would assume no shortage of fans (although the popularity of Rugby League in the area has perhaps swallowed a number of would-be supporters), and in comparison to Rovers supporters Leeds United have a vast potential fanbase.

I have always loved Theatre in all its forms, and having been involved in both professional and amateur theatre it was only in later years that I realised that the links between football and the performing arts are closer than I thought. Each club has a story to tell of success and failure and the story of Leeds itself is full of drama. I have tried to illustrate a little of that story but as this is a preview and not a book much of it cannot be told here.

Leeds United AFC was formed in 1919 following the demise of Leeds City FC in disgrace following alleged financial irregularities for which they were expelled from the Football League. Leeds United were voted into the Midland League on 31 October 1919 taking the place of Leeds City Reserves. Originally belonging to Bentley’s Brewery, the Holbeck Rugby Club first played on Elland Road, later renting and then selling it to Leeds City FC. Elland Road was purchased by Yorkshire Amateurs who made way for the new team, who have played there ever since. Leeds United AFC was elected to the Football League on 31st May 1920.

Leeds United have won many honours and many legendary players and managers have passed through their doors. They were regarded as one of the best teams in Europe in the late 1990s and played in the UEFA Champions League.

One of my favourite films is “The Damned United” – not least because of the inclusion of two great actors, Michael Sheen and Timothy Spall. The film tells the story of the legendary Don Revie leaving the club to be replaced by Brian Clough who was not an admirer of his style of play and immediately upset the players by telling them that that their cherished medals were won by ‘cheating’ – this opinion having been formed by the club having during Revie’s tenure obtained the label of ‘Dirty Leeds’. Clough lasted 44 days as Manager. Obviously much of the film is fiction but it reinforces my stance that football and the theatre have much in common.

Throughout their history Leeds United had remained in the top two Divisions until the 2004/2005 season. Success in the Champions League by reaching the semi-finals in 2000 and 2001 led to loans being taken out against the expected share of TV rights and sponsorship from UEFA qualification and progress in the cup. Unfortunately Leeds did not qualify the following season, their expected fourth place being taken by Newcastle United, and enough income was not available to repay the loans. A succession of Managers ensued and key players were sold and eventually the stadium and training ground were sold in the autumn of 2004 following relegation.

The club was later sold to Ken Bates for £10million. After finishing the 2004/5 season in mid-table, Leeds United made the play-offs in the following year. However the club remained in the relegation zone for most of the season of 2006/7 and entered administration on 4th May 2007 attracting a 10-point deduction officially relegating the club to the third tier of English Football. Yet again Leeds were forced to start from scratch and rebuild virtually a new squad. Although the CVA was due to end in July, the HM Revenue & Customs challenged the CVA, the club was put up for sale, and once again Ken Bates purchased the club. It was touch and go but the league accepted this under the “exceptional circumstances rule” however a 15 point deduction for not following league rules on clubs entering administration was made. HM Customs and Revenue withdrew their challenge in August.

Under the continuing management of Dennis Wise and Gus Poyet Leeds reached a play off place at the start of 2008 but did not make promotion to The Championship until 2010 under the guidance of former Rovers and Leeds player Simon Grayson. Grayson’s tenure ended in February 2012 when Neil Warnock was appointed.

There has been recent dissent between the Leeds United Supporters’ Trust and Board Members due to the fans’ perception of lack of investment in players. Allegedly the fans were called ‘morons’ by Ken Bates and LUST put out a request for a takeover from Ken Bates. Although it was reported that a takeover was expected this has not happened as yet.

Ellend Road was said by Sir Alex Ferguson to have one of the most intimidating atmospheres in European Football. Leeds fans are extremely passionate and generally speaking not overly popular with fans of other clubs.

On a pleasant Saturday afternoon at home in t’Brook on 26th April 2003 I sat down to watch a televised match of Leeds United versus Blackburn Rovers. I was furious to see one of my favourite Rovers players, Vratislav Gresco, scythed down by a certain Danny Mills of Leeds. Following recovery from the injury sustained Vratti was never the same and eventually left Rovers for FC Nuremberg. I have never forgiven Mr Mills, or Leeds United. Rovers won this match by three goals (scored by David Dunn, Andy Cole and Andy Todd)to two (Viduka and Alan Smith ) and Paul Robinson in the Leeds Goal.

Common Ground

Players – David Batty, Jason Wilcox, Dominic Matteo, Duncan MacKenzie, Billy McInlayl, Jim Begin, Michael Gray, Craig Hignett, Kevin Hird, Simon Grayson, Paul Dickov, Jonathan Douglas, our current goalkeeper Paul Robinson and the one and only El-Hadji Diouf who will probably want to prove a point to our management.

Managers – Brian Kidd.

Match Stats (Head to Head) can be found at http://www.leedsunit...ers/index.shtml

Of Rovers -Rovers have started their tenure in the Chamionship with a draw and two wins, currently they are third in the table on seven points - and the lowest home gates since the reconstruction of the ground almost twenty years ago. The poor results of the current management resulting in the predicted (by the majority of fans since the flirt with relegation 2010/11 and even before by some) relegation and poor passionless football have forced many to re-think their allegiance and they believe that non-attendance is the way to show their disapproval. Many may sadly never return. Many also believe that Blackburn Rovers will sink into League 1 by the end of the season if things do not change.

Of Leeds - Leeds have started this season with two wins and a loss – a win of 1-0 against Wolves at home attended by 23,745, a loss against Blackpool of 2-1 and a win against Peterborough away of 1-2. They currently sit sixth in the table with six points. Of their players, McCormack and Becchio look particularly threatening.

Prediction: We have signed several new players in the close season but with the two of the possibly most influential members sidelined with injuries we are not yet fielding a settled side. Leeds United are likely to be our most difficult opponents to date. Neil Warnock is moulding them into an influential team who are likely to provide Rovers with a good test. It is not expected that Colin Kazim-Richards will be back for this match.

I will go for a score draw – 1-1.

I have asked two friends, Kevin and Jerry, Leeds fans, some questions and hope to post their replies in the next few days.

And here they are:

1. How long have you been a Leeds United Fan and what attracted you to follow the team?

Kevin: 43 years. Original glory supporter.

Jerry: 1965 - 65 Cup Final and the white shirt stood out.

2. There have been many legendary players and managers at Leeds United, Who is your greatest Legend?

This was unanimous.

Kevin: Player - Billy Bremner

Manager - Don Revie

Jerry: Player - Billy Bremner

Manager - Don Revie

What do you think they brought to the club?

... Success!

3. Since Don Revie's time, Leeds have had a reputation as a 'Dirty' Team. What is your take on this?

Kevin: Don't mind the 'Dirty Leeds' tag, most fans revel in it!

Jerry: True!

4. Current Manager Neil Warnock is quite a feisty character. Do you think he was a good choice and why?

Kevin: Not my choice as manager but is a proven 'promotion' manager.

Jerry: Yes - he'll get us back in the Prem.

5. How do you feel about the current squad?

Kevin: Current squad is in my opinion a little lightweight but have had some good additions in the summer.

Jerry: Seem to be settled.

6. Given that the recent expected takeover has not materialised, what do you think the future now holds for the club?

Kevin: Takeover talks are still ongoing. I think it will happen but too late for the transfer window.

7. Do you think Leeds United are now able to move forward after the recent turbulent years? What are your hopes for the season and is Leeds now ready to return to the Premiership or is there more to be done?

Kevin: Fan base is ready for Premiership football, the club I also believe is ready.

Jerry: Yes - Promotion.

8. Signings this summer - comments?

Kevin: Pearce, Austin, Kenny and new attain Peltier are all good additions.

Jerry: Diouf - unsure (maybe good for one season).

9. Which of your players should we fear?

Kevin: Austin (takes no prisoners)

Jerry: Becchio.

10. Are there any current Rovers players you think would benefit your team?

Kevin: Kazim Richards.

Jerry: Absolutely none (except Robinson).

11. Rovers are currently experiencing certain upheaval as the new owners come to terms with owning and running a football club. The Manager holds the worst record of any Rovers Manager and the fans are finding it all difficult to cope with. What if any, is your take on this? Stick or Twist?

Kevin: Don't like any fans from any team booing team, or manager, during game. If protests are needed should be done before or after game. I hate it when a certain section of Leeds fans start changing about Bates through the game.

Get behind the team.

Jerry: True - get rid of Kean and owners and start again.

12. Prediction?

Kevin: 2-1 Diouf last minute winner ;)

Jerry: 3-1 Leeds.

(Kevin reminded me that the greatest period for Leeds was the late 60s to mid 70s culminating in a European Cup Final against Bayern Munich and pointed out that Leeds are more widely known for the team of the 70s than the team from early 90s. Of course this is true but I had decided to focus on more recent times in particular the descent through the leagues and subsequent three seasons in League 1. I was interested to learn that during this turbulent time 25,000 fans continued to support the club both home and away)

Thank you, Kevin and Jerry.

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The KEANSCUM deck of cards comes tumbling down and it will be started by El Hadj Diouf, who will have a big say in this game.

Rovers luck cannot hold out, Bechio is the dangerman and I dont see the defence being able to cope with him. The intriguing face off is the EHD versus the Rovers defence. I just see the little scamp ramming the personal views of his good self down the throat of KEANSCUM and furthermore, I expect old El Hadj will have something to say in the media following the game if he is succesfull.

3-0 Leeds.


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Good Preview Roversmum, but how could you forget the one and only Scott Sellars, agree with 1864roverite that this is were our lack of tactics is exposed going for 2-0 Leeds (with Hadj Diouf knocking one in and going over to celebrate Yakubu style with Keanochio as a thanks for the support he gave him after that QPR match)

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Could prove to be a hard game, we've grinded out two great results with a bit of luck and quality to thank for it.

Away from home I think we may not be as fortunate as we have been. Leeds looked good against Wolves opening day but Wolves looked dreadful and it kind of polished Leeds' performance up a bit.

I think a 1-1 draw.

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Toughest test so far, Leeds could have a team of one legged players against Barca at Elland Road and would still give them a game, it's just a hard place to play

A point would be great here but I feel Leeds will edge it, Diouf with the winner

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Toughest test so far, Leeds could have a team of one legged players against Barca at Elland Road and would still give them a game, it's just a hard place to play

A point would be great here but I feel Leeds will edge it, Diouf with the winner

That's how I always remembered Elland Road as well...but I know they are inconsistent so I double checked and it turns out only Notts Forest lost more home games than them last season.....Leeds actually picked up more points away from home.

Although we have won there 8 times in 44 games.....and once in 9 Premier League games.....although that was in 2003.....3-2 to us, can't remember who scored all of our goals.....I think we scored a penalty and then either Yorke or Cole scored one of the others.

Neil Warnock has got them playing his style of football so expect plenty of headers that our centre backs will have to deal with.......these are the types of games I really miss Samba in........let's hope Dann continues his improved form and I'm sure Givet will be as solid as ever.....but I might have to stick a tenner on Diouf first goalscorer.

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I saw QPR beat the dingles under Warnock just before they got promoted and it ain't pretty. The poor standard of Championship winners just a couple of years ago gives us cause for hope. But.... Well I don't need to say it do I.

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