On Saturday 23rd August, Leeds fans made the trip down south to London, filled with optimism, excitement and a sense of pride in their team built up over a season of commanding performances. Sat next to them were the unlucky brothers who, unlike their counterparts, spent the journey cursing their preference for Elland Road over Headlingley, for football over rugby league.

As the two separated and we piled into Vicarage Road, the importance of the fixture to the club, and especially the manager, became clear – we were tense, and angry chants were only a hoof away.

The game started fairly evenly, and for the first time in many matches the United midfield seemed able to at least compete with Watford in the middle. Build up was sluggish and Watford threatened, but we had avoided an early goal. As seems to be the theme with this season so far however, just as nerves were eased and positivity began to fill the stands, Watford were ahead. Forestieri stole a march on a slow-to-react defence and Silvestri could only palm his shot straight back at him to head into the net.

Hockaday cajoled and yelled, and United’s best period of the match followed. Austin started to turn on the ball and look forward, debutant Antenucci was a useful link, and even Warnock started to get into forward areas. We passed it, a tactic so simple yet so elusive so far this season, and we earned our break as Watford’s Tamas turned it into the back of his own net. At half time, we were good value for being level.

Many of us skipped the half time pie to have a chant at Chris Kamara, handily located next to the away end. Chants of ‘he’s Leeds, and he knows he is’ produced smiles and applause from the Sky man, and before we knew it the second half was off.

And that’s when it all went wrong. Ten minutes into a cagey second half, Guiseppe ‘the Warrior’ Bellusci miscontrolled a simple ball and was left chasing worryingly back to goal. Everyone in the ground knew what was coming – Forestieri was through, Bellusci stuck his leg out in a fashion that would make Michael Brown beam with pride, and he was off. Deeney converted and Leeds were staring down the barrel. Again.

The importance of a win for Hockaday became all the more clear just as the points started to slip away from him. Forestieri had been a menace all afternoon, and so it was no surprise when he rounded four LUFC defenders with a couple of neat touches and slotted it past Silvestri for the third. The fans, who had previously clapped Bellusci off despite his error, turned their attention to The Hock. ‘This job’s too big for you’ was sung in unison by the travelling support who were furthered angered by the removal of Sharp for Cooper.

The pre-match dissatisfaction with The Hock was now a unified and vitriolic hatred. The team were embarrassing us and he was deemed to shoulder the blame. A well-worked fourth from a free kick confirmed the impending loss, but there was still time for more frustration. An off the ball incident between Byram and Watford’s Pudil left Leeds to finish the game with 9, a scenario exaggerated so theatrically by the Watford man that everyone associated with Leeds was foaming with anger. Except the Hock. He had bigger problems on his mind, including what Cellino would make of this latest disappointment. The final whistle was met with a chorus of boos and anti-Hock chants – surely he was a man on borrowed time.

Thanks to the diligent work of Phil Hay, we now know that Hockaday will get another week despite Cellino’s Mafia-style proclamations on Saturday that he’s ‘finished’. One chant more than any other sticks in the mind from Saturday however and it is one that the Hock would do well to address with urgency – ‘we’re shit, and we’re sick of it’.

Many thanks to Tom (@LUFC_Calypso) for providing this weeks match report. 

On Saturday 23rd August, Leeds fans made the trip down south to London, filled with optimism, excitement and a sense of pride in their team built up over a season of commanding performances. Sat next to them were the unlucky brothers who, unlike their counterparts, spent the journey cursing their preference for Elland Road over Headlingley, for football over rugby league. As the two separated and we piled into Vicarage Road, the importance of the fixture to the club, and especially the manager, became clear - we were tense, and angry chants were only a hoof away. The game started fairly evenly, and for the first time in many matches the United midfield seemed able to at least compete with Watford in the middle. Build up was sluggish and Watford threatened, but we had avoided an early goal. As seems to be the theme with this season so far however, just as nerves were eased and positivity began to fill the stands, Watford were ahead. Forestieri stole a march on a slow-to-react defence and Silvestri could only palm his shot straight back at him to head into the net. Hockaday cajoled and yelled, and United's best period of the match followed. Austin started to turn on the ball and look forward, debutant Antenucci was a useful link, and even Warnock started to get into forward areas. We passed it, a tactic so simple yet so elusive so far this season, and we earned our break as Watford's Tamas turned it into the back of his own net. At half time, we were good value for being level. Many of us skipped the half time pie to have a chant at Chris Kamara, handily located next to the away end. Chants of 'he's Leeds, and he knows he is' produced smiles and applause from the Sky man, and before we knew it the second half was off. And that's when it all went wrong. Ten minutes into a cagey second half, Guiseppe 'the Warrior' Bellusci miscontrolled a simple ball and was left chasing worryingly back to goal. Everyone in the ground knew what was coming - Forestieri was through, Bellusci stuck his leg out in a fashion that would make Michael Brown beam with pride, and he was off. Deeney converted and Leeds were staring down the barrel. Again. The importance of a win for Hockaday became all the more clear just as the points started to slip away from him. Forestieri had been a menace all afternoon, and so it was no surprise when he rounded four LUFC defenders with a couple of neat touches and slotted it past Silvestri for the third. The fans, who had previously clapped Bellusci off despite his error, turned their attention to The Hock. 'This job's too big for you' was sung in unison by the travelling support who were furthered angered by the removal of Sharp for Cooper. The pre-match dissatisfaction with The Hock was now a unified and vitriolic hatred. The team…

Watford 4-1 Leeds United

Marco Silvestri
Sam Byram
Jason Pearce
Giuseppe Bellusci
Stephen Warnock
Rodolph Austin
Michael Tonge
Luke Murphy
Tomasso Bianchi
Mirco Antenucci
Billy Sharp

Awful

User Rating: 1.33 ( 11 votes)
41
  • henrymouni

    The atmosphere at Thorpe must be terrible, after the latest Cellino ‘about turn’.
    I don’t know if he has done The Hock any favours keeping him at the club.
    The players know he is on borrowed time, and it must be difficult for him to motivate the squad.

    • TSS

      Yeah, those comments made his job untenable IMO, if he did command any respect in the first place – which is hard to imagine with players wondering how he got LUFC job after failing in Conference – Cellino has done some serious damage to it.

      • Conceived-a-White

        Agree with everything you say about the Hock. BUT our effing overpaid players have to shoulder some responsibility for their dreadful performances. Where’s their pride? Who actually plays for the shirt week in and week out? Pearce you could argue – but he’s just not good enough imo. Bambi on ice – remember that bit in the disney film?!!

    • JDC

      Cellino certainly hasn’t done the fans, or the club any favours by keeping him.

  • Chareose

    Personally I think its because we have no replacements readily available and they need time to get someone in……….We will see in the next game if the players care a jot about their head coach

    • TSS

      We have 33 (THIRTY THREE!) first team players.

      • Chareose

        Yeah its too many
        Some of the kids need to out on loan, Dawson especially needs some experience. For me Poleon will never make it with Leeds though….. Id get rid of Poleon, Hunt, Norris but id keep Morrison until we get hold of a decent winger as he looked like he could do a job there during pre-season

        • Chareose

          Or keep White and let Morrison go ??? I think Whites looked a lot improved in recent times

          • JDC

            I’d prefer to keep Aidy White over Steve Morison, and maybe even give him a shot at LB, or LWB. Agree with releasing, selling Hunt, Norris, Morison plus the sending out on loan of Zac Thompson, Dom Poleon with a view to permanent moves.

          • Chareose

            Thing is mate we say that but Morrison is a proven goal scorer, he scored twice in two games for leeds playing on the wing and out field players who grab goals and add width are in short supply for Leeds at the moment. For me in all honesty If Morrison was fit id have him straight in the first team

          • Thommohawk

            Steve Morrison, Matt Smith – both players who cause problems and given a run of games will score goals and set them up yet neither are playing at the moment ? Granted Morrison been injured but yeah….

            I’m liking the look of our youngsters though Poleon, Dawson, Cook they all look like they can play a bit especially together. Never seen him play really but apparently Charlie Taylor is every bit as good at left back as Sam Byram is at right back…..and of course we know Mowatt can spray a pass.

            I’d be tempted this year to go with the youth as often as possible as the season wears on. Because they seem to offer quality and other things we lack in key areas as it stands.

    • Chareose

      by the way I was talking about Hockaday on my original comment

  • Thinking DH was only a temporary stop gap between managers anyway till Cellino really starts to get things going at the club. Could Hockaday be moved on to be running the academy as he’s got previous experience? Also thinking there’s quite a few players on borrowed time too.

    • Thommohawk

      That’s a fair point actually, never thought of that. But with the way things are right now if Hockaday is going anywhere there’s only 1 way it’s going down and that isn’t exactly conducive to bringing someone back in to the fold.

  • Thommohawk

    I must be the only one wondering where all of the sudden hate has come from, look we haven’t had the best of starts but we have mostly the remnants of last season’s team with a squad full of players who need time to gel together and until that happens results were always going to be patchy at best….

    Regarding Hockaday, I wouldn’t have hired him in the first place, I don’t know what Cellino’s thought process was…but the guy has had 4 games in charge (4 games!) with a squad and team that needs to gel and settle, getting rid of him now would be the worst thing that could happen right now – unless the players don’t like him then FFS keep him and go with him!

    At least give him til Christmas and give him a fair chance if you hired him, and give the influx of new players time to gel. I promise you in a couple of months or so with or without Hockaday with these new signings we will look a totally different team than the one now that apparently can’t score in a brothel or open up the morning post and that’s not speaking of a defence that couldn’t keep an innocent man out of prison right now….they all need time.

    We’re getting the investment. Great! Now let’s all have some sense and give it time…. The only way Hockaday should be going now is if the players think him and his staff are clowns and nobodies. Which if that’s the case his replacement should be someone who’s name commands respect at this level.

    • henrymouni

      The players have no right to disrespect The Hock.
      They are the ones who have let the club and themselves down.
      Usually when a new manager/coach comes to a club he can choose his own players in the transfer market.
      If he fails at least it is partly his own doing.
      The Hock has had to work with players who have already got two respected managers sacked, and do not seem to bothered about The Hock either.
      Because of our crap pre-season and the late arrival of so many players,
      he is being judged on the ‘old guard’ in the main, and who could turn them into good footballers???
      While I think we were all aghast at his appointment, I feel a lot of sympathy with his task, and the shabby treatment he has received from Massimo.
      The European way is not working for us, just now.
      We are a joke in the media, and Massimo’s latest about turn just adds fuel to the fire.
      Our answer should be a push for promotion, so we can get some pride back.
      I am strangely optimistic with the arrival of Casper Sloth, but it will take time for the new players to get up to speed with fitness and the Championship.
      The Hock?
      Back him or sack him Massimo!!
      Whatever you do, treat him with respect!!!!