Date:Sunday March 11 2007
Six 'White Hot' Questions Following Those Three Points.
1. What was with the Jonny Wilkinson impressions? I refer to the largely fruitless practice of hoofing the ball up high to a titchy Jemal Johnson for much of the match. A few increasingly hoarse voices were rasping 'on the floor, on the f**** floor!!!' to no avail. The harsh reality is we're probably not skilled enough to play sustained, flowing on the floor football at the moment. And in fairness it does seem to be a Leeds United disease. I remember the good ol' days when we had Smudger up front (yeah I know that traitor boo hiss etc lets not go there) and he wasn't the tallest guy in the world and they'd hoof the ball up to him. But you'd think with relegation and yet another on the horizon we'd learnt our lesson on that score. Keep it neat keep it simple. We've not got that many tall guys bar Cresswell and never have done anyone would think we're imagining playing we're a bunch of Michael Johnsons. Ho hum.
On the subject of basic football, there were more than a few moments when I wondered if this was Sunday league rather than the Championship with a distinct lack of confidently completed passes but again, much of this is down to confidence. When the chips are down, everything goes out of the window for many basement sides and invention makes way for headless chicken play at times.
2. How on earth did Cresswell not score a hatrick? That old chestnut named confidence, that's why not. There's no doubt the crossbar was a little unforgiving at times but at hopefully the goal will breed confidence, not just for injury-plagued Cressy but through the team as a whole. A classier side would have made us pay for such profligacy in front of goal, however, It also has to be said that goal Luton conceded was as soft as Lurpak butter - even Douglas the Lurpak mascot would've melted with laughter seeing how poor that shot was. But who cares, a shot in the arm, a streak of luck, a glimmer of hope....whatever you saw it as,, 27,000 die hards at the ground were just glad to see the net bulge in the right end for a change!
3. Will Wolves want their talented young cub back? Jemal Johnson was a breath of fresh air. Lively, committed, he went for every ball, whether it was several feet in the air or bobbling from one nervous Luton player to another, he chased it willingly. He's the hungry, promising, striker we've been crying out for, let's just hope this performance isn't a flash in the pan. The finished product wasn't quite there but no one could complain since he was at the heart of many of the smarter moves engineered in the first few minutes of the game, setting the tone for much of the match - a more assured, promising and largely positive Leeds United on the whole. And for that we must thank the new boy. His tender 21 years showed towards the end as he looked shattered on leaving the pitch but how many players just lately have looked like they'd given everything and anything in their locker for the cause?
4. Anyone like to plead the case for the defence? Don't panic don't panic!!! the mantra from the classic Dad's Army seemed to fall on deaf ears as some nervy and unconfident defending took hold in the last twenty minutes or so, it's just a good job Ankergren saved their bacon with the (what seemed like life saving) penalty save - my heart was in my mouth and my hands were gripped firmly on the edge of the seat - if I had had chance I would've wrapped my hands round a few defenders and told them to get a grip too!! Whenever a few Luton bodies rushed forward, suddenly wary of the tick tock of the clock, Leeds jumped out of their skins as if they were a bunch of bloodthirsty Orcs from Lord of the Rings. Build on the clean sheet today and put the frighteners on them not on yourselves is the message!
5. Is it a Whites tradition to make their fans nervous for the dying moments of games? The headaches I got from banging my head against the next seat, in frustration, at chance after chance going begging were nothing compared to the lack of nails and morbid fear of sprouting grey hairs at the tender age of 23, such was the madness that ensured a tight finish. I refer to Kishishev almost blowing away all the memories of a decent debut against Wednesday in a single moment of idiocy when he looked to have taken out Barnett. Thanks to Dean Morgan the closet Sunday League player, for the weak shot and Ankergren for ensuring the embarrassing effort didn't bulge the net!
The officials obviously were enjoying the drama so much so they announced baffling four minutes of added torture. Where did that come from? People just don't like us do they? Some people enjoy seeing us all suffer....
6. Last but not least.. Why can't we win when everyone else loses? Tough luck I suppose.. we've been picking up bore draws and losing games that could've been counted on as 'win or bust' games, ie the pathetic defeat at home against Wednesday being just one of those. There's been a growing sense of could've, might've should've and more than a sprinkling of 'why can Healy score and play regularly for Ireland but only make the bench or chug along unhappily on the wing for Leeds??' We can only rely on ourselves to get ourselves out of the mess. We've brought our not so friendly local rivals Barnsley closer to the dogfight and proved that (to quote a line from a Kaiser Chiefs song 'Oh my god I can't believe it....' we can actually score and play promising football at times!
There's no doubting we're still in serious trouble but at least the hang man's noose has been loosened a little and the fat lady hasn't quite warmed up yet, but she's definitely floating round the building like a ghostly grim-reaper style apparition. Come on Leeds!!!
Many thanks go to Georgina Petty!
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Date:Sunday March 11 2007
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