LUFC A trip to Rochdale - No ticket and no belief
Yesterday I made the trek to Rochdale. A near 200-mile trip and without a ticket. At 2.30pm and just leaving a boozer in Bury, I was still unsure whether I had a ticket or not.
At 2.50pm, I was outside Spotland and exchanging cash for a ticket. I am still not sure why I travelled. I go to almost every away game but my mate had a computer glitch and couldn't get me a ticket for the game. I must mention him. He travels from High Wycombe and I cannot remember the last time he missed an away game but he has certainly done every league and cup game away in the past few seasons. He, like me, travels with the Thames Valley Whites and a coach breakdown just outside Washington earlier this season meant he didn't get home from Newcastle until 5pm on the Wednesday.
Back to what I was saying, I don't know why I travelled; I was never confident and expected a cup upset all along. I did my own article on the eve of the game saying how much I was dreading the game. Like many, my mind casts back to some depressing defeats in the cup over the years. Oxford (more than once), Scunthorpe, Mansfield, Hereford and Histon all spring to mind. It isn't as if it is a modern thing. Even the great Revie team had its problems in the cup. Colchester and the final to Sunderland two of his lowest days has the Leeds boss.
So there I was ticket in hand and going in to watch the game. I stood and watched the first half and with us seconds away from the half time whistle I was just in the middle of texting a friend. 'This has got 1-0 Rochdale written all over it,' when bang 1-0. We were the better side for the first half hour of the second half but in the final fifteen minutes, they could have easily added another three or four.
I do try not to get upset with Leeds, like many, I have been there seen it and done it over the years. What I have never accepted is a complete lack of effort and that was evident on Saturday. Professional footballers, thousands of pounds a week all with an inability to pass to a teammate five yards away.
We left Rochdale and we headed straight back to Bury. We all needed a beer before starting the long trek back down to the South of England.
I eventually arrived back home at 11pm and the main talking point was the pick-up time for the game with Sheffield Wednesday next Saturday, a game that I could stay at home, save myself around £80 and watch in comfort. Instead, I will be up at 5am getting myself sorted.
As much as they do depress me at times, it must be a January thing because this time last year I was just getting over the dire performance at Hull City and the debacle at Barnsley was just around the corner, I still go and watch.
I kept myself entertained on the way home reading some of the comments on the social network. 'McDermott must go,` cried some, 'You should never boo players,` said others.
I believe anyone who goes deserve to do as they please. If they want to boo then boo, if you want to get behind the team no matter how bad they are playing, than that is up to you. There is no right or wrong, like me, you pay your hard-earned cash to go and watch 'Leeds United.` It is the club, not the players. Players come and go but what does not change is the support. We have stuck with them through thick, thin and thinner. I have been watching Leeds 37-years and in that time, I can say there have been seven or eight seasons that I can be pleased about, not many where supporters of other clubs, especially in the Yorkshire region like to call us glory-hunters!
I have seen good times and I will be honest, I have seen a lot worse than this over the years but what I dream of is a return to days when we ruled England, a day when we were competing and beating the best teams in Europe. Elland Road rocking and packed to the rafters as we all left feeling proud and pleased of what we had just seen.
Will it ever happen, I am not sure but I will be getting up at 5am next Saturday confident that we will put on a performance worthy of the name Leeds United.
I will continue to dream but what I do think of is the words to our anthem, one we sing loud and proud wherever we are.
We've been through it all together,
And we've had our ups and downs (UPS AND DOWNS!)
We're gonna stay with you forever,
at least until the world stops going round