Monday, 28 January 2013

Leeds United 2 - 1 Tottenham Hotspur

Snow once again covered a lot of the UK last week and the atmosphere towards the club was just as frosty, as Leeds United's top scorer, Luciano Becchio handed in a transfer request.

It was revealed at the pre Spurs press conference however, that the club had in fact offered him a 'Premiership Contract' - a three and a half year deal that would see him, in all probability, end his career at Leeds United, it seems however, that he will leave the club this week, after the non-negotiable offer had not been accepted by Luciano.

As the snow began to thaw on Saturday, the news that Sam Byram had signed an extension to his contract that would see him at Leeds United until June 2016 brought some much needed positivity. 19 year old Byram was linked with Premier League sides after impressing in almost every game he's played this season.

There has certainly been an 'anything is possible' attitude when it's come to the cup since Bradford City made it to Wembley in the Carling Cup earlier on this week after beating Aston Villa over two legs.

Tottenham currently sit 4th place in the Premier League, boasting players such as Gareth Bale, Scott Parker and ex Leeds United player Aaron Lennon to name but a few, with Andre Villas Boas as manager. I was excited about the game, but it felt like there was little to no pressure on us to win, which then, gives us the advantage of going out there and enjoying the occasion.

As expected, changes were made to the side that played against Bristol City last week, with Ashdown once again being brought into the starting 11 in place of Paddy Kenny. There was no change to the back four but midfield saw Green and Varney returning. Becchio wasn't included in the squad at all and apparently wasn't in attendance at the game whatsoever.

Tottenham had a couple of chances in the first 10 minutes of the game to open the scoring, and on the 12th minute Clint Dempsey had a free header inside the area from Huddlestone's corner but his effort was too high and sailed over the bar.

The game soon swung in our favour though and it was a somewhat unlikely candidate who scored a fantastic goal on the 15th minute of play. A cheeky flick on to Luke Varney from El Hadji-Diouf showed what Varney is capable of as he not only showed his pace to run, unchallenged by the Tottenham defence, down the left hand side of the pitch, but his finishing ability, a brilliant goal and a good start for us.

Spurs were trying to find a way back into the game, and though they were having some good chances, the league difference between the two sides was in no way obvious.

Just after the half hour mark, Tottenham were beginning to find their feet, Aaron Lennon cut inside Byram but his shot on goal was not his best and was saved comfortably by Ashdown.

We almost doubled our lead on the 38th minute, a fantastic ball from Michael Brown to Ross McCormack was controlled beautifully but McCormack, under pressure couldn't produce a goal scoring shot. A minute later, the travelling fans were outraged when the referee failed to spot what they thought was a back pass involving Tom Lees.

Some fantastic teamwork on the stroke of half time saw Varney pass to McCormack who had a fantastic chance to score, however, Brad Friedel came to the rescue and managed to save the shot with his feet.

The half time whistle blew and the teams left the field of play a rapturous applause for what was a good, solid, first half performance.

We began the second half brightly, and our hard work was rewarded on the 50th minute, El Hadji-Diouf sent a fantastic ball over the top to a waiting Ross McCormack who outwitted Steven Caulker and eventually scored a fantastic goal in the top corner and the roof came off Elland Road as the fans celebrated once again.

On the 54th minute though, a great run down the right hand side by Aaron Lennon gave him the opportunity to cross the ball into a waiting Clint Dempsey who sliced his shot wide from 6 yards out. Four minutes later, Dempsey wasn't so careless however as he got his head on a cross from Gareth Bale and made the score 2 - 1. Straight after the goal, Villas Boas changed his side, taking off, Huddlestone and Sigurdsson for Mousa Dembele and Jonathan Obika. AVB also brought on Kyle Naughton on the 66th minute in place of Kyle Walker.

Ross McCormack was making himself a nuisance and almost scored his second of the day on the 68th minute but the Tottenham defenders managed to clear the danger.

As the game drew to a close, we began trying to hold the ball up, hoping to hold on to the one goal lead but Spurs began to surge forward. Obika had a chance though on the 90th minute however it was too high.

In the dying seconds of added time (4 mins), Michael Brown gave away a free kick in a potentially dangerous position when he brought down Scott Parker. This was the last chance for Spurs, Brad Friedel came up to help his team force a replay. This wasn't to be however and had referee Friend not brought an end to the game just before Rodolph Austin shot long range into an empty Spurs net, the game would have ended 3 - 1.

I can't speak highly enough of the team work we showed for this win. We covered nearly every blade of grass in order to succeed in this game and in the end the better team won.

McCormack showed why he should always be played upfront, and not as a winger in my opinion, he was fantastic and his Man of The Match was well deserved. The Diouf and McCormack partnership was one of the most energetic I've seen in our team for a while they complement each other's style of play very well. Diouf had one of the best games I've seen him have in a Leeds shirt, creating so many chances and setting up both goals, the only thing he did to tarnish his performance was the yellow card he received for time wasting. I was also skeptical when I saw Luke Varney was starting, as was probably 99% of Elland Road but in fairness to him, he really stepped up and proved us all wrong and his goal was brilliant.

The centre back pairing of Lees and Peltier has made such a difference and I'm hoping we don't go changing that around, they both worked so well together and were solid.

Byram is a different class, I can't express how happy I am we've managed to tie him down until 2016, such amazing news for such a brilliant young prospect.

We have drawn Manchester City in the next round of the FA Cup at the Etihad to be played on the weekend of the 16th/17th February.

Also, sorry for the lack of photos this week, The sun prevented me from getting any!!

MOT xx <3 xx

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Luciano Becchio - Transfer Request

Luciano Becchio has handed in a transfer request to leave Leeds United (read full official statement here: )

The 29 year old Argentine striker is currently the longest serving Leeds United player and has 19 goals in all competitions this season. He signed on under Gary McAllister in the summer of 2008 from Merida UD and has made 190 appearances to date.

This news shouldn't have come as a shock after the past couple of weeks, but nothing feels right about this at all.

A matter of weeks ago, before this whole Warnock/Becchio saga began, Becchio did an interview with the official match day program, one of his first in his time here, in the interview, he explained how Leeds felt like home to him, he expressed how happy he was and said "I want to stay here for a very long time".

Now, certainly for the past three weeks, Warnock has been receiving criticism for his questionable tactics, the teams he's been picking and the players he was playing out of position. Instead of owning up and accepting some responsibility for what has been some of the worst football I've ever witnessed, he piled the blame onto his top scorer, Luciano Becchio.
He pretty much put the blame on Becchio the loss at Barnsley, saying he's had his head turned by agents, probably to stop us talking about how terrible the game was.

When Becchio went missing for the Birmingham match due to illness - Warnock stated we got the ball down more in the second half due to Becchio not being in the squad.

Put yourself in the shoes (or football boots) of Becchio for a minute....If you were getting publicly shot down, you had scored 19 goals so far this season and you had the opportunity to go elsewhere for more money, would you take it, of course you would!! I don't blame him one bit for handing a transfer request in and I think that's what's hard to swallow.

Should an offer come in for Becchio, we find ourselves in another situation, his replacement....Do we stick with what we have or do we spend the last few days of the January transfer window digging for a new Striker, with clubs knowing we need one and probably raising their prices?!
I'm not holding my breath for replacements though, seen as we still haven't replaced, Gradel, Howson, Beckford or Snodgrass to name but a few.

In reality it feels like the players can't see the ambition needed to get this club back to the Premier League and right now, neither can I. It feels like nothing has changed at all.

I know we all have our opinions but personally, I will be absolutely gutted to see Becchio leave.

MOT xx <3 xx

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Leeds United 1 - 0 Bristol City

Another week full of rumours and speculation that we were about to sell our top striker, Luciano Becchio, another week full of wondering just what the hell Warnock is doing with this team, but, at least we won against Birmingham City midweek....Though, for me, and I hate to sound negative here, it was a case of papering over the cracks.

Two days of snow had threatened to call off matches all over the country, but credit to the groundsman and the staff at Leeds United for making sure our match got underway without a hitch.

Bristol City are currently fighting for their Championship status under new manager Sean O'Driscoll who was sacked by Nottingham Forest on Boxing Day, just hours after winning the match against us 4 - 2.

There were no surprises in the fact that Warnock changed the starting 11 from the side that won against Birmingham midweek, Becchio was back in the squad after recovering from his illness which stopped him travelling with the rest of the squad to St Andrews, Barkley and Kenny also returned. Aiden White came in at left back in place of Adam Drury who could be out for a couple of months after he suffered an ankle injury on Tuesday night.

It didn't take long for the home fans' frustrations to surface after a very dull first quarter of an hour. Ross Barkley took a shot on the 15th minute that required keeper, Heaton to make a save. This was met with actual cheers from what was a good chance and ironic cheers and chants of "Shot on target, we're on the pitch" and "Let's go f*cking mental".
The game didn't get much better, I could hear people around me talking about what happened on Emmerdale last week, full blown conversation about it, in the middle of a match, I remember thinking, 'is this game really that bad, you're talking about Emmerdale'....Sadly, it was.

Bristol City were playing some good passing football at times, we were being matched by another side at the latter end of the table, they had their chances to go in front too, Liam Kelly saw his shot go over the bar on the 35th minute of play.

Apart from a shot from Diouf that went over the bar and a Ross McCormack chance that Heaton managed to deal with, we didn't have much of anything to cheer about but just before half time Ross Barkley sent a cross into the box, McCormack was there and his shot was straight at the keeper who spilled the ball, Becchio attempted to chase it down but finally, Heaton scooped it up.

The referee brought a close to a very un-entertaining first half and as the players walked into the dressing rooms, they were met with a chorus of boo's from frustrated fans.

The temperature was dropping inside Elland Road and so were the patience levels, we needed a lift second half.

It seemed like nothing had changed though and on the 46th minute, Liam Kelly had the best chance of the game from 30 yards out but it missed just right of the target.

We did start to perk up a bit though and Ross Barkley shot from just outside the area which was just wide. We finally managed to open the scoring though on the 67th minute, Ross McCormack managed to head home what was a fantastic cross from Barkley.

Rodolph Austin was next to have a go but his shot just missed left of the goal on the 75th minute, The Robins weren't finished though and two minutes later Steven Davies' shot went wide.

Warnock brought on Paul Green for Ross Barkley and minutes later, Michael Tonge came on for Ross McCormack.

Three minutes of time was added to the game and Bristol City were lucky to finish it with 11 men on the pitch as Wes Burns brought down Sam Bryam in what looked an awful challenge, the Elland Road crowd were bemused when the card given was only yellow, it looked much, much worse and could only hope Sam wasn't injured, after receiving treatment though, Bryam was back on the pitch and playing on, we all breathed a sigh of relief.

The ref brought an end to what was a dull game, but 3 points all the same.

I know I'm going to sound negative, again, and I'm sorry but if that had been anyone better than Bristol City, we could have found ourself's on the end of another beating. Though we did improve in the second half, we didn't suddenly become good enough to win the league, I was happy for the win, don't get me wrong, but I was happy for the team, not for Warnock.

As most of you will know, I'm not exactly his biggest fan, and I just can't see that changing. There was more criticism yesterday for Luciano Becchio, who, by his standards, didn't have his best games, granted, but the amount of negative comments Warnock seems to be throwing his way at any possible opportunity and the fact that he's just seemed to make a situation out of nothing, it just doesn't add up to me!? Warnock's comments after the game at Birmingham regarding Becchio were also puzzling, pretty much saying that Becchio being on the pitch was the reason for the long ball, and because he wasn't there, they could get the ball down....So, let me get this straight, Becchio is picking the team and the tactics is he?! Ohhhh, silly me, I thought he was just a striker and that was YOUR job....I have it all wrong this football malarky, I feel an idiot. Anybody can see what he is trying to do here, and I'm not being funny, but I'd rather have Becchio at my club than Warnock.

In response to the criticism Warnock has recently received from the fans losing faith in his managerial skills, he said "For me, the glass should be half full, not half empty." - "We knew it would be hard work because they have a new manager and are fighting for their lives. We got a grip at half-time and were a lot more positive in the second half" - "Tom Lees and Lee Peltier were fabulous at the back for us. Unfortunately, you can't please everyone, even when you have won six in a row in the league at home" - "They'd rather we played like Real Madrid and lose". In regards to signings, he says that Shaun Harvey is working hard and will be on the phones all day on Monday and we still have two or three irons in the fire....Let's face it, we've all heard that before.

The attendance from yesterday was only 18,156, I'd expect that to go down even more if we don't start improving and certainly if we lose Luciano Becchio.

I hate being so negative about the club I love but something has got to give here, we NEED to improve, end of.

MOT xx <3 xx

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Warnock....What's the score?!

After the shambles that was Barnsley away on Saturday – We are on the road again today, away at St Andrews for the FA Cup 3rd Round Replay against Birmingham City, minus Girl In The Gelderd!! My 2012/13 100% attendance record goes out of the window!! I can’t lie, even though we have been poor, I’ll be lost tonight, knowing we are playing and I’m not there!!

I’ve been toying with the idea of writing about my disappointment with Neil Warnock all day, however, I read an article on the Yorkshire Evening Post website ( and it made my mind up for me.

I did mention in my match report from the weekend ( that I was sick of Warnock’s style of play and I was questioning whether I actually wanted him in charge anymore. At this point, I would like to make you all aware, I have never been one to go through a bad patch and call for a managers head, I’m not like that, especially at this crucial time of the season but the things Neil has said in the past few days has wound me up no end and after reading what everyone has got to say on Twitter, I know I am not alone.

Warnock’s current contract with the club ends in the summer, so long term, we still don’t know his intentions….Would you financially back a manager that might leave once the season is over taking into consideration he usually buys his ex-players?!

Warnock stated in his interview after the game that he thought he was doing, and I quote a “Great job” – Is this honestly what he thinks?! Does he honestly believe he is doing a great job here?! Because I don’t really know where to start with this, instead I will bullet point just why exactly I beg to differ.

· He doesn’t know his best starting 11
· He continues to play people out of position
· His tactics and substitutions can be, at times, quite frankly puzzling
· He can’t accept when he is wrong, instead he will make excuses (e.g. referee)
· He’s bringing some of our best players down to his mind numbingly boring style of football, sorry hoofball and then blames them when we don’t win
· He looks like he might have lost the dressing room, the players looked as puzzled as we did on Saturday
· He has lost respect of the majority of the Leeds fans and he is still in denial about how ‘well’ he is supposedly doing here.

After the match on Saturday Warnock was quoted saying that striker Luciano Becchio “Wasn’t himself” he also said “It’s that time of year when agents put a lot of things in people’s minds and managers have to deal with it and see what happens” - We’ve all heard this many times before with the players that have gone on to leave the club.
Neil said only last week, he would have the ‘final say’ on whether any bids for any of our players would be accepted.
He has since spoke further about the future of Becchio and has said “I have had a word with Beccs. But it is difficult (as a player) when agents are in your ear all the time. All through the transfer window, it’s going to be a nightmare.” As I read the article further I could hardly believe what I was reading….
(Read the full Yorkshire Evening Post interview here:
“One or two of the lads were accused of not trying. But when you look at the three lads in midfield who were overrun, when you look at (Michael) Tonge, (David) Norris and Rudy (Austin) and the metres they covered on ProZone, they covered as much as anybody.
“It was just that their decisions were so poor on Saturday. But the options they had up front were so limited. They had very little to aim at.
“The players were disappointed and we have had a meeting. It is difficult for us; you really need your strikers to be on fire for everything to gel for us.
“You look at the (good) performances we have had this season and usually the forwards have been on top of their game. And then everyone else has responded to that.”

Here, as you can see, he doesn’t blame himself, or his tactics, or the long ball, no, in fact, quite the opposite, he criticises the strike force for not being able to do anything with the long ball when actually, for the first 10 minutes of the 2nd half, when the ball was on the floor we were significantly better….

Is it any wonder players are starting to question their positions in the club and whether they want to stay long term when we look to have given up playing football and they seem to be getting the blame?!

I do know though, it is difficult getting rid of a manager at this time of the season and not everyone wants him gone, but as you can probably tell, I am getting quite fed up with it all and the sale of Becchio would just top it all off for me.

If you are travelling to Birmingham tonight have a good time and a safe journey.

MOT xx <3 xx

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Barnsley 2 - 0 Leeds United

After the announcement of Ross Barkley joining us on an initial one month loan on Friday, and the permanent signing of Michael Tonge earlier in the week, I was pleased we seemed to be sorting the places that we were lacking quality in and when I woke up on Saturday morning, I felt strangely optimistic. I have no idea why....I've never once seen a Leeds United side win at Oakwell, in fact, we haven't won there since 1997 and as of late, our performances have been nothing short of awful so the optimism confused me but I was glad the faith was there.

Barnsley were going into this game rock bottom of the League Table with David Flitcroft as acting manager after the sacking of Keith Hill just before the turn of the year. In the past week Terry Butcher and Sean O'Driscoll have both turned down the chance to take the reigns at Oakwell.

There were stewards waiting for us as we entered the ground, checking bags etc, one of them asked me if he could check mine, I obliged of course, he then asked me if I had any glass bottles in there, I replied, "Yes, and fireworks and knives" I laughed....He didn't.

Paddy Kenny was back in the team after being sidelined for the FA Cup game against Birmingham the week before, and it was all change in other parts of the pitch too, Byram, Peltier, Barkley, Austin, Tonge and Diouf all started for Leeds United.

Barnsley held a minutes applause before the game kicked off to pay respects to Soldier, Richard Walker who was killed while on duty in Afghanistan earlier this week. Both sets of fans and players, stood and applauded and chants of 'Yorkshire' rang around Oakwell in what was a fitting tribute.

The game didn't begin well at all, Jim O'Brien went very close to scoring in the first minute but his shot was saved by Kenny, Tate had to react in orderer to block another shot by O'Brien seconds later.

Luciano Becchio saw his headed effort go right of the target on the 6th minute of play. Just a minute later though and O'Brien had another shot on goal, this time however it was too high.

Barnsley were having the better of the chances, on the 12th minute of play Paddy Kenny saved a shot from Stephen Dawson and Marlon Harewood's shot came back off of the post. At this point, we could have been forgiven for thinking, this was going to be another one of those days, we looked up against it and with every shot Barnsley had, the fans were getting more and more frustrated.

Micheal Tonge had a chance on the 26th minute but, again, it was wide of the goal.

Lee Peltier and Jim O'Brien were involved in a tackle just after the half hour mark which saw O'Brien stay down, injured. He looked in agony and the paramedics soon stretchered him off the pitch, both sets of fans applauded him, he acknowledged the Leeds fans and clapped as he went down the tunnel to receive treatment. He was replaced by Jacob Mellis.

Chris Dagnall's shot on the 40th minute was wide right of the goal mouth.

When half time came, we couldn't help but wonder how on earth it was 0 - 0, a chorus of boo's met Warnock and the players as they walked off into the dressing room. We'd not had a shot on target but Barnsley were really making Paddy Kenny work.

Warnock made two substitutions at half time bringing on Ross McCormack for El-Hadji Diouf and Paul Green for David Norris. This seemed to give us a boost in the opening 10 minutes or so and we began to play football, not hoofball. Ross Barkley tried his luck from outside the penalty area on the 48th minute but it was off target. Barkley almost scored again when strong strike of his, hit the crossbar.

It wasn't long until we went resorted back to the long ball though and 62 minutes in, Sam Byram bought down Chris Dagnall inside the box, it was a stonewall penalty and Dagnall made it 1 - 0. The way we were playing, this felt like they'd just scored their 8th, they were full of confidence and had the wind in their sails. 3 Minutes later and Dagnall doubled Barnsley's lead. Immediately the vast majority of travelling fans began to call for Warnock's head. We looked clueless and Barnsley were making us look amateur.

Both Barkley and McCormack had chances to score before the end of the game but they were off target. So 2 - 0 it finished. Becchio was first off the pitch, he looked up and clapped, we clapped back, McCormack & Barkley also got a good reaction from the crowd....However....Warnock didn't, he was met with 4,800 angry Leeds United fans. Chants of 'time to go' - 'we're sh*t and we're sick of it' and 'what the f*ck is going on' along with loud booing and 'we want our money back'.

I left this match feeling like I've never felt at any Leeds United game I've ever been to in my life. Like I'd just been kicked in the stomach, but I was angry with it. It wasn't the fact that we lost, no, in fairness, we always lose at Oakwell, but this, this was different. We all know we've not been playing good football of late, even when we've won it's been scrappy and we've not played well.

We all got back on the coach and waited to see what Neil Warnock had to say about this....First of all, he blamed the referee, saying Dawson should have been sent off for a tackle he made on Ross McCormack, he went as far as to take a replay into his interviews with the press to prove his point.
He then went on to say that Luciano Becchio's head wasn't in the game, apparently he's had his head turned by agents and he'll be having words with him later.

I don't even know where to begin with this, there was no talk of the way he's playing people out of position, his negative tactics and there was no virus to blame it on this week either. Don't get me wrong here, the players aren't faultless but, I personally think it's time to look beyond this now, I think it's time to look at the manager and the coaching staff.

I have absolutely no idea why we continue with playing the long ball up to Becchio when we know full well that doesn't work. I am sick to death of it now, I don't pay good money to see the ball in the air and the fact is, we play better when it is on the floor!!

The way Warnock spoke about Becchio caused a stir too. It sounds like we are about to lose not only our top scorer, but the current longest serving player in the club. This makes me feel sick. I thought times had changed?! I'm not going to lie, I will be devastated if he leaves.

We didn't have one shot on target. We didn't have one corner. We never stood a chance and again at 2 - 0 down with plenty of time left, we looked to concede ourselves to defeat, how much more of this can we take!?

Birmingham next up in the FA Cup Round 3 Replay at St Andrews.

Be sure to comment below and let me know your thoughts.

MOT xx <3 xx

Thursday, 10 January 2013

First Signing of the January Transfer window

Michael Tonge became Leeds United's first signing of the Transfer Window today.

The 29 year old midfielder signed a 2 and a half year deal with the Whites from Stoke City after his recent loan spell at Elland Road ended.

Glad to see him back in fairness, midfield hasn't looked the same since he left.

Transfer speculation has been rife, as ever, in the past couple of weeks, one of the main names being mentioned was Dexter Blackstock from Nottingham Forest, however, Alex McLeish rubbished claims that Leeds United had put a £750,000 bid in for the 26 year old striker saying "In terms of players going out, we have not had any interest" (

Warnock has also come out today to try and allay fans' fears that Sam Byram and Luciano Becchio were on their way out of the club. In an interview with the Yorkshire Evening Post, Warnock said: “We’re focused on players coming in, not players going out, I can’t stop speculation and I’m seeing plenty of it but the new owners have been very clear with me – nobody will be going from here unless I say so." (View the full article here:

We need to build for this club to be successful and though we are all very impatient I think we need to relax a little. As Leeds fans go, I'm as big as they come and I know how hard it is to trust anyone that would have come into this club, due to the way it has been run in the past, but for me, GFH-Capital have a clean slate. we need to understand things take time, Rome wasn't built in a day, things are already changing for the better. The clubs that have built in this league are the ones that have been the most successful, we wouldn't like them to spend silly money on players that weren't worth it, we've been there before and look where it got us.

Warnock had said he's enquired about 7/8 players but the clubs wouldn't let them go. January is a hard time to do business, clubs are always reluctant to sell even players that they don't use on a regular basis at this time of year, one example is that players get injured/tired and you'll need someone to come on, in place of those, with little disruption to the side and still play good football, like I said just one example of why January is a tough time for transfers.

We have to be patient and keep supporting the team....We're Leeds aren't we?! ;o)

Looking forward to a trip to Oakwell on Saturday, come on Leeds :o)

MOT xx <3 xx

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Leeds United 1 - 1 Birmingham City

For a lot of us this week, it was back to work, back to normality, which is always depressing to be fair, so for me, Saturday couldn't come quick enough.

News came through on Thursday that some of the squad & Neil Warnock had come down with a virus that is currently going around the training camp. Mick Jones came in to manage the team in place of Warnock for the FA Cup 3rd Round tie at Elland Road against Birmingham City.

As expected, there were quite a few changes to the squad, Jamie Ashdown started in favour of Paddy Kenny, Lees, Drury, Hall, Brown and White were also handed starts.

The team came out to a very quiet Elland Road, there was pretty much nobody around me which felt strange.

On the 13th minute, we were awarded a free kick after Curtis Davies fouled Luciano Becchio. Ross McCormack took the free kick and sent a great ball into the area, Jason Pearce got his head on the ball but was eventually denied by the post.

Norris also had a chance to open the scoring on the 19th minute but Birmingham keeper, Doyle made a brilliant save. Ryan Hall took the subsequent corner but Doyle managed to catch it.

The game hadn't been entertaining so far as such, but it had been slightly better than Bolton with us having the better of the chances, however we were letting Birmingham into the game and on the 30th minute, Gomis missed just left of the goal.
Two minutes later Wade Elliot managed to score a fantastic goal from outside the area for Birmingham, right into the top corner, Ashdown had very little chance of getting to it.

Just before half time, Ross McCormack missed just to the left of the target to try and even the score.

The ref brought the half to an end.

Sam Byram and El-Hadji Diouf were both brought on after half time, in place of Ryan Hall and Aiden White.
Apparently Warnock called Mick Jones at half time and told him to make these changes.

Luciano Becchio had a great chance to equalise on the 48th minute but he hit the ball straight at the keeper, this had been our best chance all game.

Birmingham began to pile on some pressure and had plenty of chances to double their lead but on the 60th minute it was Luciano Becchio who got himself into a great position inside the area to score his 19th of the season in all competitions.

Shortly after the goal, Luciano Becchio and Will Packwood both got up to try and win the ball, Packwood landed funny on his leg and went down, play stopped immediately. You could tell by the players reactions, it was serious, Becchio especially was visibly upset. Mitch Hancox came on and replaced Packwood as the medical staff stretchered him away. Both sets of fans and players applauded the young American off.

Alan Tate made way for Davide Somma on the 79th minute as we were trying to get a winner but in fairness, in the latter end of the game, the chances were all Birmingham's.

Chris Foy brought the game to a close and it ended all square, one a piece.

The replay will be played at St Andrews on Tuesday 15th January and should we win, we will play Tottenham Hotspur at Elland Road on the 26th/27th January.

Another un-entertaining game to be honest, but, like I said, not as bad as Bolton. Our games are won and lost in midfield and half the time, we might as well not have one. Defending wise we allow teams too much space giving them too much time on the ball.

Same goes for creative midfield, we can get into some good positions, but then we stop, instead of going forward we just stand still, giving defenders a chance to get back and making us too predictable, and then we get closed down or pushed back and the ball goes back to the keeper. Very frustrating.

Happy that Becchio added a goal to his many others this season, really hoping we can keep hold of him, I sometimes don't know where we'd be without him.

We play Barnsley at Oakwell next which is never a happy hunting ground so lets hope we can see a good performance by our lads and bring home 3 points :-)

MOT xx <3 xx

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Leeds United 1 - 0 Bolton Wanderers

Happy New Year everyone!! Hope you had a brilliant time over Christmas and New Year (apart from the results), but here it is, 2013, we were really hoping we could kick start the year with 3 points, and to forget just how bad performances had been in previous games.

There looked to be a few sore heads inside a freezing cold Elland Road prior to kick off, I wasn’t one of those though, so I was able to laugh at the people that were hungover and cheer on the boys.

Warnock had again made changes to the side that lost at the KC Stadium bringing back, Diouf, Peltier, Austin and the clubs' top scorer, Luciano Becchio.

A foul on Luciano Becchio just outside the area was ignored by the referee on the first minute of play and the Argentine was involved in the games first effort on goal four minutes later though his shot was well over the bar.

A defensive error by Alan Tate on the 19th minute gave Bolton an opportunity to attack. Chris Eagles' effort from inside the area just clipping the post.

The rest of the half was very scrappy and uneventful and neither side had any kind of control over the game.
Frustratingly for us though Bolton looked beatable, we had to come out of the tunnel and make sure we didn't have one of those crazy 10 minute spells we'd seen in the previous two games.

The game didn't change much though in the second half but we were going forward a little more, Ross McCormack had a penalty shout turned down on the 58th minute.

Ross McCormack was brought down in the area on the 65th minute though by Tyrone Mears and the referee, Gibbs, was in no doubt this time and pointed straight to the spot.

Step forward Luciano Becchio who sent Bogdan the wrong way, scoring his 18th goal of the season so far.

That definitely made the game more watchable but we now had a lead to defend.
Rodolph Austin had an ambitious shot on goal from outside the area on the 69th minute, it was well over the bar though, never troubling Bogdan.

Becchio almost got his second minutes later after a corner came into the box from Diouf, Luciano's header though was too high, but at least we were having some better chances!!

The referee brought an end to, what wasn't a pretty match by anyone's standards, but an important 3 points all the same.

It was announced officially today that we have extended Alan Tate's loan for another month from his parent club, Swansea.
Jerome Thomas announced on his Twitter, he'd gone back to West Brom after his loan spell came to an end, he thanked fans for their support and said he'd enjoyed his time here.

Obviously there are a lot of rumours flying around at the moment but I'm one of the boring ones who will wait until it is official to believe it, we do need additions to the squad though, but as everyone knows, January is a difficult time to do business and according to Warnock, we've already missed out on a couple of players, it's still only the 2nd of January though!!

We currently sit in 8th position in the League, two points off the Play Offs.
3 points was what I really wanted to kick start 2013, lets hope for a successful year for us and make a real go of it for the second half of the season.

MOT xx <3 xx