Twelve months undefeated at home, but Wycombe Wanderers make their point TSS January 9, 2010 Match reviews 7 Comments In a fixture that should have resulted in another three points to the league leaders, Leeds United failed to show the class they did at Old Trafford last Sunday and dropped two points to struggling Wycombe, and in truth, we were lucky to get anything. Before we delve into what was an extremely poor display from the Whites, the big news of the day was that Jermaine Beckford was named in the starting line-up. Despite an expected move to Newcastle due for completion anytime, Grayson risked unsettling the crowd by naming the wantaway striker alongside Lucciano Becchio. I have to admit, I really wasn’t expecting to see Becks at Elland Road today and this would suggest the move to Newcastle isn’t as far along as was originally believed. Credit has to be given to both the Leeds United fans and Jermaine Beckford. The Leeds fans responded positively and gave Jermaine their support throughout, with choruses of his name being sang also. Jermaine responded in an appreciative manner by clapping the crowd and worked hard all afternoon. Had the rest of the team played as well as he did, I have no doubts we’d be reflecting on a much better scoreline. Of course, there was the odd disgruntled fan who was vocally annoyed at Jermaine, but no one can really blame them given the manner in which his transfer wishes have been carried out by both himself and his agent. The majority though realised he was still in a Leeds shirt and while ever that remains the case, they had to give him their support for the benefit of the team as a whole. As for the game, well, those that did drag themselves through the ice and snow and made the journey to Elland Road probably wished they’d stayed in bed as this was one of the worst performances I’ve seen at home in a long time. How we got anything from this game is anyones guess. Jonny Howson opened the scoring early on with a shot from range and it looked like it’d be as easy as expected for Leeds United. From there on in though, things just never went to plan. The team didn’t settle, there was a lack of concentration in the passing and no one made much of an effort to close the opposition down when in possession. By the time we reached the break, Wycombe had struck the woodwork and seen an effort scrambled off the line by Neil Kilkenny. It was easy to forget we were in front, despite having a couple of chances ourselves, most notably a Bradley Johnson header that he felt had crossed the line. At half-time we were confident Simon Grayson would whip his under-performing team into shape and the Whites would return stronger, looking to put this match to bed. For the first few minutes, that appeared to be the case, but Wycombe refused to surrender and started to get the better of Leeds once more. Casper had, had one of his busiest shifts of the season, but managed to keep Leeds in front. It wasn’t going to last though. Pittman got the better of Richard Naylor and fired low and hard into the bottom right hand corner to give the Wycombe fans a rare moment of celebration in an otherwise forgettable season so far. Simon Grayson reacted as expected and brough Max Gradel on in place of Robert Snodgrass. With 25 minutes to go, we were all expecting a late moment of brilliance from the youngster, but he simply never got the chance as Wycombe pushed a hapless Leeds United and went for the kill. The final whistle was a welcomed one and it honestly felt like a point gained rather than two lost, such was the level of performance from Leeds. Regardless of how poor Leeds were, Wycombe should be given credit for having the balls to come to Elland Road and attack. They’re on an absolutely dismal run at the minute and find themselves in the relegation zone. Today however, they proved they’re not relegated yet and with a couple of strong signings in January, they could well surprise everyone and escape the drop. On the way to the match today we were chatting about the reverse fixture earlier in the season where Leeds won 1-0. As memory serves, Leeds United were pretty poor that day too and Wycombe ran the show in the first half. Leeds just had that little bit too much class for Wycombe though and a second half goal gave Leeds a win they really didn’t deserve. But even with that fixture in mind, I didn’t think we’d struggle again today. We’ve come a long way since our second gear performances early this season and this should have been a procession. A poor result and a poor display from pretty much everyone. No one ever got going, the passing was dire, the closing down was often non-existant and Wycombe really should have beaten us. That said, this is probably why we’re top of the league. Both games against Wycombe this season we’ve come away with results we didn’t deserve, but that’s often the case with the league leaders. The trick to winning the league is consistency and grinding results out that others would lose. Twelve months undefeated at Elland Road for Simon Grayson’s Leeds United and this poor showing should only be seen as a minor stumbling block. We’ll come back stronger, with or without Becks. In Grayson we trust. Chant of the day: “Are you Rooney in disguise?” From the Leeds fans as Wycombe’s striker missed. TSS men of the match: All the groundstaff that worked tirelessly to ensure this game went ahead whilst many others were postponed due to the white stuff. Unfortunately, the only other game that went ahead was at Norwich who won 3-1, closing the gap on us to six. Maybe we should have dumped the snow we cleared on their ground? Just a thought… Best moment: Cheering Jermaine on was good to see. Regardless of our feelings towards the transfer saga, he’s done well for Leeds and will always be remembered for knocking scum out of the cup. Worst moment: The Leeds fans booing at full time. I aren’t saying I disagree with the boo’s, because to be honest I was so cold and annoyed at the lack of effort exerted, I joined in, but never nice to see fans booing their own team. Hopefully the lads will understand the performance was below par and look to respond v Exeter next week. James Morris I was at the game today also and I did actually think Beckford would start the game. Credit where credit is due he put in a shift but didn’t get the service from the midfield. There was an instance where he lost possession in the game and he must have run back 50 yards to get the ball back. All in all a very poor perfomance from Leeds today and I would be expecting a reaction from the next league game. Norwich are storming up the league and if we keep dropping points they will catch us in no time. One thing that I did notice today that when the team do the hugs before kick off, is that a few hugged Beckford for a little longer. Possibly a good bye ? Who knows ?… TSS Yeah, noticed the hugs too which was a little saddening. I’d agree that it was a goodbye and every game he plays now could well be his last. Also agree that Beckford put in a shift in an otherwise dismal display. Kis and Casper did well too and had to or else we would have undoubtedly been defeated. The midfield was just appalling at times. Exeter can’t come soon enough. Here’s hoping for a response! James Morris It is a bit sad at home though when our centre half and keeper are our best players. The midfield was non existant at times and they seemed to be sitting far too deep in front of the back four. It seemed whenever the ball was headed clear, it fell to their midfield which was frustrating. We were out battled today. We lacked shape and width. We were overplaying most of the time and in all honesty we could still be playing now and we wouldn’t have scored. Hopefully, we will sign someone next week to replace Becks. Ideally Hooper or Sharp if Mr Bates will open his cheque book. TSS Agree on possible replacements, both would do well. What worries me is the lack of options though, even when we do replace Becks. We’re too reliant on one striker and when Becchio has a bad day, like he did today, we have no options. Becchio is usually a good target man, but he won nothing in the air today, but who did we have to replace him? Grella? Far too lightweight. Tres is an option, but seems out of favour. We need rid of the deadwood – i.e. Showumni and Kandol if Grayson isn’t going to play him – and some real strength in instead. I’d hope to see two capable strikers brought in by the end of January who bring different talents to the party. Pingback: Highlights: Leeds United 1-1 Wycombe Wanderers() Russell Cox From a Wycombe fans perspective I really enjoyed the day out. Apart from one thing – the abysmal stewarding. Never have I seen such a bunch of nasty minded little Hitlers in all my life – threatening to chuck people out when they sang “stand up if you love Wycombe” – they must have manhandled and dragged around 20 people down to the concourse to “have a word” They were so quick off the mark – you could stand up to let someone through and they would be on your case before you had even had the chance to sit down. The home fans of course stood for the whole game and rightly so, when questioned on this fans were again threatened with ejection and spoken to in an agressive tone. This was completely at odds with the Leeds fans who were most friendly before and after – I lost count of the amount of fans I shook hands with at the end. As for the game, Waddock our manager got his tactics spot on and we should have won fairly easily. Enjoyed joining in with Stand Up if you hate Man U and having other banter with the home support. I wish you the best of luck for the rest of the season, your long suffering fans will be celebrating promotion no doubt – unless you play like you did today of course!! TSS Hi Russell, thanks for your comments and glad you enjoyed the day. The Elland Road stewarding can be a joke some days. Sit anywhere except the Kop (North/Revie stand) at Elland Road and they do your head in. Think they’ve given up with us in the Kop as every feeble attempt they’ve made to get us to sit down has been greeted with chants of ‘Stand up, and sing for Leeds.’ Proper jobsworths though some of them! Hope the stewarding didn’t detract too much from the occasion anyway. You were more than worthy of a point and unlucky not to win. Leeds were just tragic today, it was an awful display from us. Also, it’s good to see opposition fans recognising how friendly the Leeds faithful is. We have a reputation for being a bit unwelcoming, but that’s only to idiots like Millwall, Scum etc… I’ve enjoyed a lot of good banter with the opposition over the years and long may it continue. Best of luck for the rest of the season.