Thursday, 14 February 2013


Clueless….It’s not just a 1995 film starring Alicia Silverstone, it’s the word that springs to mind whenever I watch a Leeds United side play game of football under the management of Neil Warnock.

I’ve made no secret just lately of just how disappointed I am with the way we are playing and what a mediocre season this has been thus far.

The thing about us Leeds United fans is, we have high expectations of our club and we are quite hard to please, we know what we want and where we want to be and that isn’t what we are currently getting.

The 'football' we are playing under Warnock is un-inspiring and pre-historic and I used the term 'football' loosely as it is mostly hoofball.

Here is a comment made last week by the Wolves manager, Dean Saunders after we were denied a win in added time at the Molineux:

"The football we faced today is the easiest to defend against. They just played for long throws, corners, free kicks." - Does this not say it all?

One of Neil Warnock's biggest problem is accepting that he is wrong, the game has evolved and he hasn't evolved with it. He blames everyone but himself, he can't take any responsibility whatsoever, he's blamed Becchio, the referee, Byram and against Boro' he seemed to pin the blame solely on McCormack, yes, he should have scored, but that was in the first half and should have been something that was brought up at half time and built upon, I refuse to believe one missed chance on the 28th minute is the reason Boro' won....

Here's a few quotes from Warnock himself:

"You can't miss chances like we did and expect to win a game," he said. "We had a couple of great chances and you just have to put them away.

No, we didn't have just a couple we had seven shots off target and four on. We had plenty of opportunities but lets not just focus on the goals we didn't score, our set pieces have been terrible, we haven't been able to put decent crosses in to strikers, at times our players will tend to go for goal on their own, without looking for better options, they take too many touches and end up losing the ball far too easily. We need to start doing the simple things right.

"We have to go for wins, not draws." Just what exactly does this mean....?! Have we not been going for wins?! This to me is up there with one of the most stupid things he's ever said while he's been here along with this: "You can only do your best as a manager and I think we’ve had a good season" - He thinks we've had a good season....I'm trying to work out still whether he means that or he's taking the mick.

In response to being asked about most of the 2000+ travelling fans singing 'Warnock make a change' and 'Time to go', he said:

"I can understand their frustrations," he said. "They've been through a lot with this club, and it's a massive, massive football club. Their expectations are high, and they get frustrated. They're perfectly entitled to do that."

Yes we have been through a lot, a hell of a lot but the fact is, we were here before Neil Warnock and we'll be here after, whenever that may be but I sincerely hope that is sooner rather than later.

He's just completely in denial about how bad his tactics and his style of play really is.

MOT xx <3 xx

Middlesbrough 1 - 0 Leeds United

There was a mixture of excitement and nerves as we set off to Middlesbrough, we knew this game was probably the most important of the season. The league as it stands is so tight that if we won, we were right back in the race for the Play Off's, lose however and we could potentially be dragged into the bottom half of the table and accept that this meant that our hopes of getting into the top 6 would be dashed.

Middlesbrough hadn't won in their previous five games, however they were occupying a Play Off position and should they have any ambitions of staying there, they were going to have to win.

Neil Warnock named an unchanged side from the team that drew against Wolves at the weekend. El-Hadji Diouf, Rodolph Austin and Michael Tonge all returned to the bench.

The first half was positive in the way that we were creating chances to score and some good ones at that, however, frustratingly, we didn't manage to put any of those chances away.
Easily the best chance of the game came in the 27th minute when Ross McCormack found himself one on one with Jonathan Woodgate as the Boro' keeper was caught off guard. With pretty much an open net, it looked for all the world McCormack would open the scoring, however, it was straight at Woodgate and he managed to make a clearance.
Paddy Kenny made a fantastic save in the last minute of the first half to deny Mustapha Carayol when he found himself through on goal.

Apart from a Morrison header that was cleared off the line, I thought Middlesbrough came out the better side in the second half and were strong and attacked with purpose.
The way we were playing meant any optimism that any fan was feeling was slowly fading, the dreaded long ball was becoming more frequent that it had been in the first half.
Middlesbrough were making changes to freshen up their game, this was something we could also have done with.
Again, we had our chances to score but the problems were either that we couldn't control the ball or that we'd shot on goal rather than looking up to see who around was in a better position to shoot.
Chants of 'Warnock, make a change' were being sung from the travelling faithful, Warnock responded with what was, in my eyes, a sarcastic clap, this didn't go down well and the mood soon soured. Just minutes later, Boro' managed to score, Curtis Main headed past Paddy Kenny on the 82nd minute.
Then, 1 - 0 down and with 6 minutes to go, Warnock decided to look to the bench, bringing on, Diouf and Austin for Green and Norris.

Middlesbrough's goal scorer, Main, was sent off after a second bookable offence. Warnock also utilised his subs for the last time bringing on Habib Habibou for Michael Brown.

Habibou's first involvement in the game was a header on target, saved superbly by Steele.

Time was not on our side however and the referee blew for full time, another loss, another less than average performance, another disappointing journey home.

MOT xx <3 xx

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Wolverhampton 2 - 2 Leeds United

No matter how bad the result or the performance in previous games, the excitement for an away day is still there and since the last away match was all the way back on the 15th January, I woke up feeling like a kid at Christmas!!

Though last week we had played some better football, we'd still not managed to win and hopes of reaching the Play Off's this season are slowly slipping away.

There were new faces in the starting 11, Steve Morison and Stephen Warnock both making their debuts for Leeds United, while El-Hadi Diouf and Rodolph Austin were left out of the squad, replaced by Paul Green and David Norris.

The opening minutes of the game looked promising for us and we had chances to open the scoring, Ross McCormack saw his shot go wide of the goal on the 5th minute.

It wasn't long though before Wolves had their opening shot of the game, Kevin Doyle missed to the right of the target on the 6th minute.

The home side were celebrating on the 20th minute when Ebanks-Blake put the ball past Paddy Kenny but their celebrations were cut short when they realised that the goal wouldn't stand as the linesman had his flag up for offside.

As half time came both sides had been quite even, we'd both had our chances to score. We looked to have the edge, and had been having the better opportunities but we hadn't put them away. Wolves didn't look much at the back but looked like they could catch us on the break. All in all, we had improved slightly on previous performances but whether it was going to be enough to get that elusive away win was another question.

Jamie O'Hara had the first opportunity to score in the second half for Wolves as he headed the ball towards the goal but it was just off target.

The home side were 1 - 0 up though, on the 54th minute after Stephen Ward delivered a cross which Lee Peltier placed in the back of his own net.

Just over 10 minutes later, a fantastic pass to Luke Varney from Ross McCormack, gave Varney the space to shoot and score a brilliant goal in the top right hand corner.

Wolves responded almost immediately and Paul Green was in the right place at the right time to make a clearance off the line when it looked for all the world Berra's header was going to put Wolverhampton in the lead.

77 minutes in and Sam Byram was brought down inside the area by Bakary Sako and the referee, East, pointed straight to the penalty spot.
Ross McCormack, who had been sent home from the Scotland Squad after feeling 'flu like symptoms' midweek, stepped up to the mark and showed no signs of illness as he put Leeds in front for the first time in the game.

This lead was ours to lose now though and it was going to be a tense end to the match.

The referee added 4 minutes of injury time.

In the 2nd minute of added time, Wolves were awarded a corner after Paddy Kenny appeared to push the ball out of play from a shot that was going well wide. Jamie O'Hara took the corner and it was Danny Batth that managed to score the equaliser.

As the full time whistle blew, and we made our way back up the hill to our coaches, frustration was the only thing I felt. It wasn't a point gained for me, it was two lost against another team at the latter end of the table.

Another away match on Tuesday night away to 6th placed Middlesbrough.

The Play Off's currently seem a million miles away, though mathematically still possible, I don't think we have the edge to make it. I hope I'm proved wrong.

MOT xx <3 xx