Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Burnley 1 - 0 Leeds United

I get the feeling we really should have known that this match wasn't going to be all we'd hoped, it was Tuesday night after all. The wind and the rain had really picked up too as we set off to get to Turf Moor. Traffic on the motorway was bad for the first part of the journey, but thankfully soon cleared up and we were on our way.

We pulled over into a lay-by to wait for the Police to pick us up and escort us, like the vile animals that we are. We waited....And we waited....And waited some more....Time was knocking on.

It got to 7pm and I was getting agitated. 10 Past 7 and I'm looking out of the window and just what exactly we were waiting for, I wasn't sure, I don't think the Police were either.

Quarter past, the game kicked off in half an hour and we still had to actually get to the ground. We set off from the liaison point at just before half past 7. We were all pretty angry in fairness, and just hoped we'd get there for kick off. They'd held all the coaches in the same way, so when we got off the coach, just as the game kicked off at quarter to, there was a queue to get though the turnstiles. Perfect.

I got in and attempted to find my seat, which was up some stupid, un-necessarily large steps and RIGHT at the back of the stand so my view was terrible. OH, and just to add insult to injury there was a pole right in my view line so I couldn't see properly.

By this time, I was already fuming, I'd missed the first 5 minutes and I had a restricted view, all for the not so reasonable price of £30.

This makes it sound like the first time I've been to Turf Moor doesn't it, it's not, I think its probably the 6th but my view has never been this bad, or this expensive, and the Police have never made us late for a game either, so I was pretty riled up before I even got to see any of the game.

Anyway 9 minutes into the match and Shackell shot from outside the penalty area, but it missed the target, I'd only been watching the game like 3 mins by this point, but it already looked like we were on the back foot.

We were witnessing some very poor football but on the 28th minute, returning striker Luciano Becchio started some great play, he held up the ball well and passed to Diouf just outside the penalty area, Diouf ran forward with the ball but failed to score as he missed to the right of the goal.

Two minutes later and Burnley retaliated when Dean Marney almost scored, but his effort went wide.

Paddy Kenny showed his class on the 41st minute when Kieran Trippier had a shot on goal. Kenny came to the rescue a minute later too after Charlie Austin almost made it 1 - 0. Kenny pushed the ball wide and it went out for a corner.

The ref blew for half time and both sides went in without a goal.

It wasn't a very interesting half to say the least. There had been maybe one or two flashes of good play from us but no-where near enough.

Burnley were faster than us, and so much better on the counter and were exploiting our very weak midfield.

For an away match, the atmosphere in the away end was quiet, and that isn't like us at all. We all needed a pick up. As the teams entered the field though, we got behind the lads and sang 'We all love Leeds' at the top of our voices.

For some reason I felt a lot more confident about the second half, even though the first was pretty terrible.

As I am writing this, I'm realising that the note I wrote last night only says '47 great play by Becchio'....Wish I'd have written what he did ha ha!! Fail. Anyway back to what I do know!!

On the 50th minute, one of the Burnley midfielders left the ball behind and fell over, giving Austin a clear run to go forwards with the ball, he shot from outside the box and it never challenged keeper, Grant.

A minute later and Aiden White found himself in a wonderful position, just inside the box with players begging for the ball,  it looked promising, we all wanted him to pass the ball. He passed it....To a Burnley player.

There was more pressure on Paddy Kenny though and he was forced to make two saves on the 51st, one when the ball was crossed in by Trippier and the other from Ross Wallace after a free kick.

For the next 10 minutes or so, we actually began to play a lot better!!

In the 61st/62nd minute, Becchio worked the ball really well and passed to Diouf who was running forwards, Diouf passed to White who came VERY close to making it 1 - 0, Grant saved and it was out for a corner. Tonge stepped up to take the corner but it was cleared by Shackell.

Shackell cleared the ball once more on the 65th minute when a corner from Tonge came in from the left, out for another corner, this time, cleared by Trippier.

Rodolph Austin was the next to try his luck on goal from 25 yards out but to no avail as Grant saved.

Drury powered towards Kieran Trippier and tackled him to win the ball, play continued....Until, the Dingles decided to kick off about the fact that it wasn't a free kick. I actually thought, something might really be wrong with Trippier as he was rolling about and hitting the floor in agony, however after a couple of minutes he got up, and he was fine. Then, the ref decided to book Drury for the challenge and gave Burnley a free kick.

We began to soak up pressure again and on the 73rd minute, Marney took a shot. Followed by Charlie Austin on the 74th and another on the 76th by Martin Paterson, saved by Kenny.

Danny Pugh was brought on with 81 minutes played, in place of Drury.

A minute later and it was still anyone's game, just one goal could win it. Sadly, it wasn't ours, Charlie Austin got on the end of Trippier's cross to bag his 20th goal of the season so far.

Warnock decided to throw Varney up front with Becchio 5 minutes from time, bringing off White.

Jason Pearce tried to even the odds on the 88th minute but Lafferty cleared the ball away.

That was really the last chance we had, as the game came to a close and Burnley won the league....Oh....They didn't?! My bad....They ACTED like they'd won the league.

What can I say. We just aren't good enough are we.

I've heard people slagging off Becchio left right and centre for last night, and when it comes down to it, I think he was one of the best on the pitch!! Granted, that doesn't say much, and yes, he is still having a bad time, but a lot of our creative play came from him!!
I feel like I've got to stick up for him here, he's the easiest scapegoat in the team at the moment and a lot of the stick he is getting is unfair.
People saying, 'we played the long ball tonight because Becchio was on the pitch' or 'We played shit football because we played Becchio'....Well that's funny because we didn't play great on Friday night either and he wasn't on the pitch for three quarters of the match.
Look who Becchio used to play around, Beckford, Snodgrass, Howson, Gradel even Johnson, and NOW look who he plays around....We didn't exactly replace any of those players did we, so you wonder, who is really to blame here?! Also, 4-4-2....Don't play him upfront with Diouf!! I'm not slagging Diouf off, because he's been one of our best players in some of the matches this season, but I don't think its good for either of them playing up front, together!! Ross & Becchio, yes definitely!! Oh Ross....Please get fit soon ha ha!!

Paddy Kenny would have gotten my man of the match, he made some fantastic saves and in the first half especially, the game could have been two or three nil.

Aiden White....Didn't have his best game to say the least, he wasn't the only one by a long shot, but a couple of the chances he had that he didn't do well with, were probably harder to muck up.

Warnock's quotes seemed to reflect what we all thought "I don't know how Aidy missed that. I think the goalie must have been surprised when he hit it straight at him".

He also said "You can't miss chances like we have. We had a few words at half time and we were better in the second half, we dominated" - Warnock was also quoted saying that we were mugged....I think the 3000 supporters that travelled were bloody mugged, £30 for that.

I just don't think I will ever understand why we keep playing the long ball. If it's not worked in the previous games we've used it, WHY do we think, ah, might work this time eh....NO!! Just, bloody, NO!! Makes me want to bang their heads together. We have no width at all, midfield is terrible, but, without investment, what can we do?!

Watford at home on Saturday. I wonder if I'll still feel fed up of all this, or more positive!! Lets see.

MOT xx <3 xx

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