Arriving in Barnsley revoked memories of much seen footage of miners strikes from the 70′s and 80′s, Thatcher’s Britain left unchanged, the land that time forgot, an industrial town still tainted with the old industrial way, forgotten by Governments old and new. In basic terms, Barnsley is not the most elegant area of England.
The beers and optimism however were flowing. Drinking in a hangar type building that was reminiscent of the American evacuation centres after the New Orleans floods was a bizarre situation that most Leeds fans discussed over a pint. The Metrodome, as it is called, were surely thankful for a pleasant pre-match drinking atmosphere that the travelling army composed. Chatting to many fans it was clear that only victory would befit this game, Barnsley were rock bottom, managerless, and hadn’t won at home since September 1st 2012. “We will give them a good hiding” spoke one regular traveller.
So onward to Oakwell, walking down past the terraced social housing that Barnsley has in abundance. The line up included Ross Barkley who signed this week, and Micheal Tonge another new addition. The midfield looked quite strong, Tonge back to distribute across the park and Barkley’s pace would add to the holding Austin and playmaker Norris. The game kicked off in the normal manner Leeds are accustom to, the hoofball tactic employed from the off, the midfield that looked so strong played out of the game by their own team mates.
The first half was was largely forgettable for Leeds, Barnsley carved out the only chances, with Marlon Harewood a constant nuisance upfront hitting the post and going close on a few occasions, the ever present Perkins dominated the middle of the park for the Tykes, raising his game once more against Leeds to make a mockery of our central midfield. Barnsley were dominant all half, the Leeds fans were dissident whilst still being as supportive as possible despite the awful performance. Half time approached and Barnsley asserted their domination once more, Kenny making some good saves to keep Leeds in the game. Most would have believed it to be Leeds bottom, not Barnsley. On the half time whistle a rare occurrence erupted, the fans booed the players from the pitch, not half heartedly, but full blooded booing, aimed at Warnock and the players, a first half summed up by the chants of the fans.
Warnock clearly knew his errors, taking off El-Hadji Diouf and David Norris for Ross McCormack and Paul Green. The second half started much better for Leeds, it is worth giving credit to Ross Barkley as his performance was one of the only bright sparks on a dreary day for Leeds, his eccentricity lighting up the Leeds midfield and posing a constant problem for Barnsley to deal with, on 57 minutes he almost gave Leeds an undeserved lead, smashing a shot past Steele only to see it thunder against the underside of the crossbar and away. Leeds were coming back into the game, and it was sods law that on 62 minuted Sam Byram needlessly took down Chris Dagnall in the box. The referee rightly pointed to the spot and Dagnall took his chance to send the Tykes ahead, it was, in fairness deserved.
Much like the games against Forest, Hull and Derby, it was only a matter of time before Leeds conceded again, to concede one for Leeds means almost definitely a second will follow within moments. Panic ensues and Leeds fall apart, it was not a surprise then when Dagnall slotted the ball home two minutes after the penalty to effectively end the game as a contest. The Leeds faithful were furious, and rightly so. Nothing more was created, barely a shot, not one on target. Dismal is an understatement. For the first time ever, the fans chanted ‘Warnock, time to go’ I for one did not participate at first, but the more I think about it, the more I sympathise, and agree with the MAJORITY, not the minority that Colin believes have lost trust, of supporters. The man is deluded, nothing in the game changed, Peltier was once more completely useless at left back, the criticism of him in this position is harsh, even a blind, deaf and dumb chimpanzee could see this.
So the game ended 2-0. Another away defeat at Barnsley. I remember a similar experience last year, the Anti-Grayson movement was in full force then after the horrendous 4-1 loss. But this was worse, Barnsley were 3 points in the bag before kick off. Any team aspiring to promotion cannot afford to lose to these teams, yet we did, and the Leeds fans were venomous in their response. Loud ‘Warnock out’ chants ensued, only Byram, Barkley, McCormack and Becchio cheered off. Peltier received a volley of abuse, and Warnock received a spine tingling amount of insult from a beaten set of fans. The message of the many was simple, a new start is needed.
I never mention managers, and as my co-writer mentioned in his article yesterday, It isn’t a position I take lightly. But I will echo his words, we have played a brand of football that is not fit for the team we have. The midfield would be marvellous, as we have seen against Huddersfield and Crystal Palace, if they got the ball. Neil Warnock is a very successful manager, no one can dispute that, but he has seemingly run out of ideas. He lacks the ability to change a game the majority of time, players are being played out of position at the risk of all the team, Peltier has proved an uninspiring choice of Captain for the fans, and now he seems to be falling out with fans’ favourite Becchio. It is easy to pick faults with managers, much easier than praising them, as my friend said to me yesterday, but the whole situation seems a bit of a joke to the man. He is playing the wrong type of football, we have ridden our luck too often. For me, he needs to change, or we need to change him.
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