Seldom do Leeds United fans enjoy a Christmas of content, yet 2012 has been quite spectacular for a number of reasons. Firstly, the parasitical cantankerous being that is Kenneth Bates has finally been relieved of his authority of Leeds United. Even better than that, his successors David Haigh, Salem Patel & associates seem to genuinely understand the fans needs. Twitter friendly, fanzine friendly, and most importantly fan friendly they have stormed on to the scene after the longest take over in history to outline a prosperous future for Leeds United and the fans. The fog that surrounded the Elland Road club was envied even by the that of the Trent over the City Ground. Now however we have seen two Leeds United fans realise Leeds is not just a business, but a football club too and I for one was a very happy Leeds United fan on Christmas morning.

So onwards to the game, awaking at 6:30am on my camp bed handily set up by family in my west Yorkshire abode it seemed destine to be one of the good away days, a promised trip to the famous ‘Hooters bar’ before seeing Leeds storm the Forest, a happy hunting ground in previous years. Memories of the Gary Speed induced 4-0 victory of last season still lingered in the back of my mind.

Nottingham came into view around 10a.m, Leeds fans could be seen gallivanting down the motorway past us as we swept into the Midlands City, I could almost taste the chicken wings, the Coors light, and the three points on my lips. Leeds has rarely given its fans an opportunity to be so content with life, but Neil Warnock and his men had seemingly being resolute in defence, strong in midfield, and the resurgence or a certain Argentinian had coincided with Leeds becoming the top team in the league form table. Millwall looked so long ago.

After a copious amount of alcohol in England’s only Hooters bar we followed the buzzing Leeds fans into the famous City Ground, as we crossed the Trent River it was easy to see why bloggers had warned of a postponement, with the river brimming up to its banks. As always the Leeds fans were energetic and up for the inevitable battle of the fans. Kick off approached and ‘Mull of Kintyre’ was hijacked handily by the 3,400 travelling whites.

Surprising to most, the line up for Leeds had excluded our captain, who was surely injured, and welcomed back our Jamaican hit-man Rudolph Austin and Michael Brown, a surprise choice for captain who replaced the outgoing Michael Tonge. optimism could be felt in the stands, and as we kicked off to the chorus of ‘Marching on Together’ it was Leeds who started the stronger, playing solid football, showing real grit and character and showing the Sky cameras just why our recent form has been deserved. It was through the ever persistent danger of Jerome Thomas that Leeds found the lead, his cross found El-Hadji Diouf who in turn caused enough mayhem in the box to allow Paul Green to stab the ball home, Leeds led and Kenny (who had received much stick prior to the goal) joined in the jubilation by goading the home support.

For much of the first half Leeds controlled the play, the fans vociferous as ever, made sure the world knew who Leeds United were. However as the half dragged on play slowed, the forest fans got back into the game and in turn so did their players. Andy Reid defied all biological logic by producing pacey runs and expertly placed crosses to cause disruption to the Leeds back four. On the half hour mark Paddy was forced into his first real action of the game, dropping nicely to tip away an Elliot Ward flick. Leeds were however beginning to allow Forest to dominate and referee Tony Bates was blind sighted not to award Nottingham a penalty for a blatant handball in the Leeds box. This did however allow the Leeds faithful to mock chants of ‘HANDBALL’ for around 10 minutes before the man in black did point to the spot for a Tom Lees foul on the trickster Billy Sharp. The loanee slipped the ball past the Leeds number one on the stroke of half time, harsh, but the game was far from over.

The second half started in the same vain as the first, Leeds controlling large parts, but Forest had found their feet and with the class seen in the likes of Blackstock, (a reported Leeds target) Sharp, Reid and Cowen the danger was never far away. The breakthrough came on 55 minutes, Sharp again latching on to a through ball before casually waltzing past Kenny to slip home a goal. The beginning of an alarming Leeds meltdown. Two minutes later a poor crossed ball found its way into the net via an Austin own goal, panic and lack of match practice can be blamed, but Leeds and the fans looked dead and buried. ‘Ross McCormack’ chants came from the crowd, a change was needed. It did not come, Blackstock scored moments later, a towering header punishing Leeds again, only moments after a replica goal had been disallowed for offside. 4-1 and game over. Leeds had collapsed quicker than a deck of cards.

Changes finally did happen for Leeds, Pearce coming on and stabilising the back for and Davide Somma once more seeing an outing in a Leeds United shirt. The ship was steadied and Leeds began once more to dominate the middle of the park, but rarely was Lee Camp tested. The fans of forest enjoyed the majority of the off field chanting, yet Leeds weren’t done yet. As 80 minutes approached the substitution Leeds had waited for happened and Ross McCormack finally got some playing time, the Leeds fans took control of the field again ‘We all love Leeds’ frequenting around the stands. The eleven however could not break through and Forest stayed absolute. The 91st minute did see a consolation goal courtesy of Somma, which can only serve as a confidence boost but all in all, poor defending cost Leeds dear. 4-2 and another away day to forget.

Hull is next on the agenda, an unenviable task for a tired Leeds side, but if promotion is the aim then beating our rivals is key. Marching on Together, see you Saturday!

Follow me on twitter @adamgeary1 for LUFC updates and general comical comments.

17 Responses

  1. igiveup

    I have said it elsewhere already, its time to for our new owners to show their hand firstly by getting rid of Warnock (he is tactically inept) and replacing him with RDM who in return maybe able to tempt Fat Frank up North to do for Leeds what Strachan did in 89/90. Pipe dream maybe but thats all we had through the 80s until Wilko turned up. Regarding the Hull game Diouf/Becchio/Austin/Brown need dropping to the bench to be replaced by Somma/McCormack/White/Norris, get some movement & pace added to the side

    • djedjedje

      It is a pipe dream. You can’t expect the new owners who already have said they won’t be spending ‘crazy money’ – which hardly makes them charlatans or incompetent – to be able to tempt the current Champions League winner’s manager to opt for a step down to a league level he has already proved himself capable of mastering and to join a squad that is in need of major investment to make it a bookies favourite for promotion. Same applies for Fat Frank. More realistic would be to wait to see if Lambert gets the chop in the next couple of weeks and then move.

  2. NottsWhite

    Absolute mistake to start with Brown (past it) and Austin (not fit) in the central midfield. Norris was MOM in the Middlesborough game (IMO). Earlier in the season Forest lost at Elland Road through a poor midfield selection, it seems that NW has returned the favour.

    • Ron

      Totally agree. Brown is a thug and a liability. McCormack comes back from injury and is hardly used despite carrying the side pre-injury. Austin strolls straight back in??? I actually think he is rotating the squad to save tired legs, yet all that is doing is highlighting that outside of the forward line, we simply don’t have the quality and depth to compete. Our for and against tells you this despite our table position.

      • Irving08

        I don’t think White or Pearce have tired legs: they made an impact when they came on against Middlesborough.

  3. Matthew

    Very depressing game, easy to put your head in your heads in despair when the 4th goal went it. Painful to watch.

    Hope we bounce back against Hull, we only need 40 points from 66 possible points to get the required 75 points for a playoff spot. At this moment in time I would happily accept a draw, it’d be an improvement over the previous game, and improvements over previous results are what we need.

    • djedjedje

      It’s one of those leagues though isn’t it – where we can win as easily as we lose, and not dependent necessarily on the opposition. Hull are currently struggling to score goals despite playing good stuff, so we may end up with another Middlesbrough result.

      • Matthew

        I hope so. A result against Hull would do wonders for morale. Not to mention games against Hull are fairly entertaining. Granted we haven’t had the best of luck lately against them.

        Meant to say head in your hands in my comment, unsure what happened there lol

  4. colet

    you must have been watching a diff game to me, we looked ok in first 20 mins because they were so BAD then god knows what happened, they were there for the taking if we pushed forward and scored a second….game over. We are very average….fact, when do we take control of games and run the opposition ragged, what on earth does warnock tell them at half time because we always come out second best, i agree with comment below about his tactics, we get overrun in midfield all the time, when teams run at us we back off, when we do get to grips we then play hoofball over the top when their central defenders are 7 foot tall.

    Bringing in tate and thomas lifted the players, yes for a short time, are they the answer…no tate has a fat arse like Gregan with no pace! Thomas…jury out at mo!

    At least warnock got his men in ie Varney Peltier, Drury who hardly plays, hall who he let go years ago…well done mr warnock quality!! Then plays them out of position!

    I’m getting a little fed up of losing the way we do and conceding loads of goals …AGAIN.

  5. igiveup

    @dje I admitted it was a pipe dream in my comments but Fat Frank is a footballer first, rather than a money chaser and surely the new owners could ask him if he fancies the opportunity to do what Strachan did back then. He has seen first hand the atmosphere at ER when there is a full house. With him in the team you’d be guaranteed 30k+ every game (so the money starts rolling in from all directions) and would be a big statement to the rest of the footballing world

    • djedjedje

      I know igiveup, I was just confirming that your pipedream was a pipedream! I’ve no problem with the logic and ambition of Lampard at Leeds but why choose Leeds in the Championship next season (as is likely) when he can play for a Cardiff or Palace or Leicester in the Premiership for as higher attendance than we’ll average next season? I agree it isn’t all about wages, but you just know that one new Premiership or parachute-payment pumped relegation team will offer him c.£50,000 a week whereas we could only go as high as c.£20,000 a week even with the backing of GHFC. That’s a hell of a commitment to turn that money down (and to ask your family to move north for the first time in your career).

  6. saltburnwhite

    The reason warnock has had success is because of Keith curle , this is the conclusion i
    have come to …. curle organises the defense and warnock the attack , without keith curle next to him we have no chance of going up …..curle is manager of notts county and they have conceded 24 goals this season to leeds’ 40 goals conceded

    curle is what peter taylor was to old big head !

    Heres hoping keith gets the old heave ho eh !

  7. Geordie Leeds

    NW team selection poor against Forest, I don’t think he knows his best starting eleven … he needs to keep a starting consistent 11. Many posts stating not convinced about Thomas and Brown needs to go, I agree with them. I know complacency can creep in with some footballers if they believe they will make starting line up week in week out but surely there is the positive effect with a group of players who start regularly together, understand each others game better, play as a unit. This transfer window is Warnocks and new owners chance to show how intent they are on taking us back to Prem.

  8. Iriving08

    What or rather which tired side ? Warnock has ample pairs of fresh legs at his disposal. The defeat at Forest was down solely to him. As for your comments on our new ‘owners’, cringeworthy is the epithet that comes to mind.

    • TimPM

      So when we go from about 5 in 6 wins, to a couple of losses we’re calling for his head? Get real.


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