Disappointment, anger, shame, embarrassment – these are feelings I’ve left many a Leeds United match feeling. It’s usually caused by the 11 men on the pitch however, rarely by one of the so called “twelfth men” I stand shoulder-to-shoulder with up in the stands.
Unfortunately, last night will be remembered for one thing and one thing only; the despicable actions of one Leeds United “fan” who – for no reason whatsoever – viciously assaulted the Sheffield Wednesday keeper, Chris Kirkland.
One man’s actions mean we start today under attack from the world of football, and quite rightly so. For far too long the fans of this club have been playing the victim card, excusing acts of mindless thuggery on the actions and chants of the opposition supporters.
Last night is the perfect example. Leeds United fans won’t condone the assault on Kirkland, but they’ll go to great lengths to explain how it wasn’t our fault. Take a quick glance at the reactions left by Leeds United fans around the internet, I guarantee the vast majority will explain how the assault on Kirkland was wrong, but (and there’s always a ‘but’) the Sheffield Wednesday fans started it with their tasteless chanting (neglecting to mention that Leeds fans were equally guilty of that).
An unfair media bias, the FA hate us, opposition fans provoking us… all the world is out to get Leeds United.
If I was to personify the Leeds United fanbase, we’d be a stroppy teenager suffering from extreme paranoia. Think Harry Enfield’s Kevin crossed with one of those American nutters who decorates his house in tinfoil to stop “them” getting inside his head. “Everyone’s out to get me, it’s not fair!”
As insignificant as it now seems, I thought the match itself was quite enjoyable. It had all the ingredients of a classic derby match – tough tackles, inexplicable fouls, endless controversy, a superb goal from Michael Tonge and some dreadful refereeing that had both sides fuming.
If it wasn’t for the aforementioned idiot, the headlines today would no doubt be dominated by Luciano Becchio who used the old Argentinian “hand of God” to pull off a save of Nigel Martyn quality inside our own six yard box. There was other highly dramatic moments too, like when Paddy Kenny fluffed a long-range short and was fortuitously saved by the crossbar, but let’s face it, all of this is trivial. I’d be wasting my energy attempting to steer the conversation towards the game itself.
Sadly, the only thing anyone will be talking about for the foreseeable is the cowardly actions of a worthless parasite who used Leeds United to satisfy his childish need for attention. Enjoy your 15 minutes of fame Mr Parasite, I’m sure you’re a hero to the 1980′s football thugs whose approval you so desperately seek. Nothing commands respect like sneak-attacking an innocent victim before running away into a crowd and hiding!