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

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