Well what a week it’s been as a Leeds United fan. Seeing the club launch a new crest that was underwhelming due to it being a Leeds salute, this went down with the fans like a lead balloon. Now don’t get me wrong I love the Leeds salute and it’s something I do all the time, but it is definitely not what I want to see on the club badge. By the time I’d finished work and been on Radio 5 live, a petition was doing the rounds that had nearly 70,000 signatures so I certainly wasn’t the only one who didn’t like it. In the time of my interview it had gone up by 1,000 names. Wow just wow, but when our support works together; we are a force to be reckoned with. I’m also glad to say that the club had a rethink due to the amount of fans against the badge and now it is in our hands, the fans to design the new one. I have seen some fantastic designs on the web and I have to give a mention to Jacko on WACCOE for the ones he has done as they are superb. I look forward to seeing what happens next.
With the funeral of Eric Carlile this week who was a great ambassador for the Leeds United Supporters Club and on the Board of the Club for a while, fans have asked for a 50th minute round of applause to take place at the Cardiff game in memory of him. I hope all Leeds United Supporters club members past and present plus everyone else, will give him the sendoff he deserves.
Another death took place last week too with Jimmy Armfield, our manager who took Leeds to the European Cup Final in Paris in 1975. Jimmy was a lovely person and he said if all fans were like us there would be no problems. We had played man u at Elland Road and their fans had left graffiti all around the ground, well there was no way that was staying! A group of us then borrowed cleaning materials from the grounds man and got rid of it all, so we were well thought of because of that gesture. We also helped Jimmy by getting a petition signed by fans and players of the club; he took this with him to appeal our four year ban from European football which was then reduced to two years. I spoke to Jimmy on the telephone when we last played Blackpool as I’d been asked to deliver a photo of him with his World Cup Winner’s medal. Dave Cocker the son of our old trainer Les Cocker had asked me to deliver this to him and I was happy to oblige. You were a gentleman Jimmy and we will always be Champions of Europe. I feel like part of my youth has gone this last couple of weeks with these deaths, but sadly that is a reality we cannot change.
Tonight saw us head to Hull for the rearranged game due to them still having an F A Cup game last Saturday. I actually had a chilled out weekend for a change as I knew I’d a busy week ahead. Having got up at 5.25 am this morning due to organising a big event at work and despite the early start, it made me feel good when everything went like clockwork. I also got a pat on the back for a new resource I created which received great feedback which was great. I was already falling asleep waiting for the coach to arrive and hoped I’d be wide awake for the game. I thought I’d get some sleep on the way across but we seemed to be there before you knew it. We arrived at 6.20 pm and found the turnstiles weren’t even open so as it was cold, we decided to stay on the coach for a while so I had 40 winks then.
We went into the ground around 7pm so I headed straight to the front of the stand to hang my flag up. It’s the first time for yonks that I was asked for my fire cert which was in my bag but said that’s the first time in ages I’ve been asked to show it. I had a chat to little Jack from the Worcestershire Whites (I hope I’ve got that right?) and whilst we were stood chatting Jansson took off his kick out racism t-shirt and threw it to Jack. He was chuffed to bits especially when he found out later that Jansson had signed it too; he then went back to find his dad further up the stand. I’d stayed at the front and one of the Leeds trainers (or the ball collector) came over and shouted to me. He asked me to go and find the lad with the t-shirt, as Pontus had left the orange bib inside it and wanted it back. I went and got it for him and as he came back to collect it, I tried throwing it to him but my throw was very poor and it landed on the floor in between the stand and the advertising hoardings. Luckily he got it back with some of the stewards helping him out. I was very disappointed at the end of the game though when Jansson came to throw his shirt into the crowd but went to the fans behind the goal instead. He could have let me have it for getting him his bib back lol!!
The team today was Wiedwald, De Bock, Berardi, Jansson, Shaughnessy, Alioski, Roofe, Lasogga, Hernandez, Vieira and our new signing Forshaw from Boro making his debut. Sadly we lost Shaughnessy to a serious injury very early on just as I was looking forward to seeing him play in his proper position at centre back. This gave Dallas his chance to get back into the side (5). Our other subs were Sacko for Alioski (86) and Cibicki replacing Roofe just before the end of the game (90). The game finished as a 0-0 Draw. Attendance was 17,237 with 2,097 Leeds fans.
Hull put us straight under attack and within a few minutes got the better of Shaughnessy who went down injured after he landed awkwardly and ended with him being stretchered off. Wiedwald was called into action making saves to keep us in the game. From my point of view this was his best game for us as he was also coming off his line and catching the ball a few times. One he did misjudge though when he ended up outside the area, but managed to redeem himself luckily for us. We were actually making Hull look good at times as our passing today was absolutely atrocious. I know we had to make a sub early on, but to say the team had just spent a week in Spain team bonding in the warmth; they looked as if they had never seen each other before! Hernandez and Vieira constantly gave the ball away which constantly put us under pressure. Hernandez did a terrible back pass that we were lucky to get away without conceding a goal. He put Wiedwald into an awkward situation but he managed to get the ball away with their player nearly on his toes. That was a dicey move that could have been prevented by remembering the best form of defence is attack. Roofe looked so lightweight tonight too and to be honest, it’s a good job Hull couldn’t put any of their chances away.
The second half started off more of the same but Leeds did start to get into the game more with some good attacks, but to be fair we didn’t put their goalie under too much pressure. The closest we came to scoring was a powerful shot from Lasogga that went past the post. Alioski had the best chance of the game for us when he got into a fantastic position, only to not connect with the ball and missed it. I thought he had played very well in this second half with some delightful footwork to get past the Hull players along the wing in front of us. A couple of blatant fouls on our players in the second half that the ref let go, made the lad next to me say that you can tell him what you like, but there was an agenda against Leeds United. When our player was literally rugby tackled and thrown to the ground and this was ignored, I can’t blame anyone for coming up with those thoughts. At least Hull were very bad at shooting too as they missed an absolute sitter in the second half but their attempt was probably the miss of the season.
It was a disappointing game and result but I took the positives from it. We didn’t lose, we got a point away from home, Wiewald had his best game for us, De Bock played well and I thought Forshaw had a good start to his Leeds United playing days. Wearing the same number 4 that my hero Billy Bremner wore, I’m hoping that Billy’s never say die attitude will rub off onto him.
Cardiff at home on Saturday is a must win game for us now so nothing but three points will do. See you then – LUFC – Marching on Together!
Heidi Haigh – A fanatical Leeds United supporter of over 50 years
Author of the following books:
Follow Me and Leeds United
Once a Leeds fan, Always a Leeds fan.
Co-author with Andrew Dalton of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of Leeds United
OUT NOW! The Sleeping Giant Awakens, Leeds United 2016-17