Aston Villa v Leeds United 23rd October 2020 at Villa Park

I had originally put this down as a home game in my diary by mistake and even though I had changed it, I was still convinced we were playing at home. I wouldn’t have thought that if I’d been going to the game though! When I heard that Villa had a 100% record so far this season, I really hoped we could be the ones to beat them.

The team: Meslier, Ayling (Captain), Alioski, Struijk, Bamford, Rodrigo, Dallas, Costa, Harrison, Klich and Koch. Subs: Shackleton for Struijk (21), Hernandez for Rodrigo (79) and Raphinha for Costa (83). Subs not used: Casilla, Roberts, Davis and Poveda. Leeds won the game 3-0 with a hat-trick from Bamford (55, 67 and 74). Attendance: Zero, behind closed doors. Referee: P. Tierney.

Leeds started the game well with first Bamford’s header going narrowly wide and Alioski’s shot saved by the Villa keeper. Villa had a chance before Struijk ended up with an early booking after a foul on Grealish. After he made a second tackle on Grealish which saw normal service resume from Grealish in diving and cheating, trying to get Struijk sent off, Bielsa made a tactical decision to bring Shackleton on. Nurturing the young lad was a good move and to ensure we kept 11 men on the pitch too. Grealish could actually be a good footballer if he took a leaf out of our players books, by staying on his feet and cutting out the cheating. Because of this, I cannot stand him as a player, give me our honest players any day. The change made a difference to the way we had been playing and put us more on the back foot for a while. It looked like Villa were going to take the lead when Grealish beat Meslier but Ayling made a goal line clearance to keep us in the game. Bamford had a shot blocked and Rodrigo’s shot went over the crossbar before VAR was brought in to check whether Villa should have a penalty, but this went in our favour. Leeds best chance of the game came just before half time after a great run from Harrison saw him cross the ball into the middle, but Bamford’s shot went wide. It was nice to see us finish the half strongly.

Leeds started the second half well too with Harrison on another great run down the left, bringing a save out of their keeper. Leeds were lucky not to be punished when Grealish went on a run and Meslier made a great save to prevent Villa taking the lead. As Villa piled on the pressure, I started to get the jitters and thought we may have to change things when Meslier made another save to keep them out. Bielsa decided otherwise and he was right, because another run from Harrison down the wing saw him cross the ball to Rodrigo. His shot was parried by the keeper and Bamford got to the rebound first and slammed the ball into the net to put us into the lead. After a challenge with Mings, Bamford went down in the penalty area hurt. Although VAR concluded it was no penalty, Mings should have had a second yellow for man handling Bamford, grabbing his shirt and dragging him off the floor. Oh, dear Mings, what a shame, you got Bamford that mad that he scored two more cracking goals to get a hat trick!  His second was a cracking shot from the edge of the box after a great pass from Klich. Klich himself had a shot saved by the keeper before Bamford completed his hat trick with a third sublime goal. Rodrigo sent the ball out to Costa on the wing, who passed to Shackleton in the penalty area. His ball came back for Costa to pass to Bamford with four defenders around him and he switched feet and sent a fantastic shot into the top left of the goal to give us a great score line away from home! That was it, game over although Villa did have one shot that whistled over the crossbar but Meslier had it covered. Hernandez had a great chance to get a fourth in the closing stages of the game only to put the ball over the top of the goal.

That was a great win for Leeds and I also feel that Bamford and Rodrigo will have a great partnership. With Bamford not on his own at the front, that will put more pressure on the opposition. The three points sees Leeds beat Villa on their doorstep to stop their record start to the season and their unbeaten run. Although the rest of the teams have still to play this weekend, it was still nice seeing us in third place in the Premier League with 10 points. As I’ve said before, aim for the top Leeds and you never know what happens! LUFC – Marching on Together!

Leeds United v Wolves 19th October 2020

Another game that fans can’t attend after the planned reduced crowds ended up on the back burner. Sadly, there seems to be no sign of a light at the end of that tunnel at this moment. My thoughts go out to the friends and families of some of our Leeds United supporters who have died recently. Being together to help others through hard times is sorely missed.

After the recent International games saw some of our players return early, it looks like precautionary measures were in place. At this moment in time, I would happily give up the international games and let us concentrate on league games instead although I am sure there are many fans who would disagree with me!

Leeds have just celebrated their 101st birthday this week. Having seen a video appear on my timeline of me taking a penalty against Lucas the Kop Cat, at last year’s Birmingham centenary game, I couldn’t help but laugh. It was a case of mind your heads as the ball whizzed past some heads into the East Stand, oh dear.

The team: Meslier, Struijk, Koch, Ayling, Dallas, Costa, Harrison, Klich, Phillips, Rodrigo and Bamford. Subs: Poveda for Costa (71), Hernandez for Struijk (75) and Raphinha for Harrison (82). Subs not used: Casilla, Alioski, Shackleton and Roberts. Attendance: Zero, behind closed doors. Leeds lost the game 1-0. Referee: David Coote.

After hearing that Cooper had to pull out of the game after a recurrence of the groin injury which possibly was aggravated in the international game too, Struijk ended up starting the game. Leeds had plenty of possession in the first half and were playing some good attacking football. With one of their players on the floor after Phillip’s hand caught him in the face, to me it looked tame. I was shouting at their player to get up and stop making a meal of it. I then saw the blood on his finger and thought okay maybe he has got a reason to stay down after all. After a good move, Bamford headed the ball into the net, but I knew it wasn’t going to be allowed for offside. Go on Patrick we’ll have a hat trick from you instead was my cry. Just before half time Wolves looked as if they were going to score but Meslier made a vital save as we went into the break on equal terms.

After having most of the possession in the first half, Wolves came out of the starting blocks with a point to prove. Leeds were being put under pressure and scored what looked to be a good goal from the edge of the area. As I was saying damn, VAR made the decision that they had been offside in the build up to the goal and it was disallowed luckily for us. Ayling and Phillips were booked. I thought that we should be looking to change our game but then thought that Bielsa will do that when he is ready. Hopefully, it is a case of letting Wolves have their 10 minutes and we will get back on top.

By the time we did make a change we were a goal down due to an own goal by Phillips. This was due to Wolves getting a couple of slices of luck with first Struijk slipping but he managed to get back in position, then their player keeping hold of the ball which ended up with them scoring. Costa made way for Poveda and then Hernandez came on for Struijk who was injured earlier. It meant we had to reshuffle at the back as Leeds tried to get back into the game. Raphinha came on for Harrison and Leeds had been unlucky not to score just before that when Hernandez’s shot was deflected over the bar. Another good chance slipped us by, but the final ball bounced over our player. After Koch fouled their player the latter was lucky not to get a red card after kicking out and catching Koch as he tried to get out of the way. The longer the game went on, I just knew that we weren’t going to equalise. We deserved at least a point but need to move on to Friday’s game and make amends. LUFC – Marching on Together!

Leeds United v Manchester City 3rd October 2020 at Elland Road

Today was always going to be a tough game with Bielsa coming up against his disciple Pep Guardiola. Having had a hectic week and as usual only concentrating on Leeds United, I kept seeing before the game today, that we were going to get hammered. As usual, I said we need to play to our strengths, keep fighting and never giving up and we could finish the game strongly with a win. Whatever happens we would not be hammered in my opinion.

The team: Meslier, Cooper, Dallas, Koch, Phillips, Bamford, Costa, Roberts, Klich, Alioski and Bamford. Subs: Poveda for Alioski (45), Rodrigo for Roberts (56) and Davis for Klich (77). Leeds drew the game 1-1 with Rodrigo equalising for Leeds (59) after city had taken a 17th minute lead through Sterling. Subs not used: Caprile, Shackleton, Struijk and Llorente. Attendance: zero, behind closed doors.  Referee: Mike Dean.

 With heavy rain before the game from storm Alex, it showed no signs of abating, so the pitch was very heavy although it looked in great shape. The first 20 minutes saw Leeds under the cosh from city and it looked like they had scored from a free kick with Meslier beaten only for our luck to be hold with the ball hitting the post and back into play before going wide for a corner. Leeds were unable to get much play going, had to defend most of the time and it felt like we were in awe of them. They had quite a few chances before we had an attack and Alioski got into a great position, but his header went over the top. With Dallas stopping a shot on the line to keep us level, we succumbed a few minutes later when city took the lead. When I said to my other half that we would be able to play now as that had taken the pressure off us again as per Liverpool, he pulled a face at me. I said to him that it would, and I was proved to be right. Although city still had a lot of the game, Leeds started to make inroads with attacks on their goal firstly, Bamford had a shot that went wide and then with Dallas through their keeper made the save to keep him out. After another city chance, Leeds nearly got an equaliser just before the break when Ayling pounced on a defensive mistake but was denied by a great stop by their keeper. The signs were there that Leeds were starting to get into the game as we went into the break a goal down.

Bielsa started to change things at the start of the second half by bringing on Poveda to replace Alioski. Straight away Poveda ran down the wing putting city under pressure and lifting the Leeds players (and supporters no doubt). I like his attitude a great deal and he has a lot of skill for a recent newcomer to our team. When Rodrigo came on to replace Roberts, he added a bit more steel into the team and within two minutes came close to equalising as Leeds counterattacked with his deflected shot going over the crossbar resulting in a corner. When the corner came into the middle of the goal area, the keeper didn’t clear the ball which landed at Rodrigo’s feet for him to hit the ball into the net to equalise. My screams of joy didn’t go down well with my hubby’s hearing, so I had to tone it down a bit oops. With Phillips having a shot saved and Cooper’s header hitting the post, it was Rodrigo’s turn to come close when their keeper made a fantastic save to tip the ball onto the post to stop us taking the lead. City started to get back into the game after a substitution and with only Meslier to beat it looked like they were going to take the lead again. Meslier stood firm and eventually was able to grab the ball from his feet to prevent it. As the minutes counted down to the final whistle, I decided I wasn’t going to cross my fingers until the end of the game. I was going to be positive as I kicked every ball with the team, willed them on every attack and fought for every ball. It was end to end for a lot of the game as first city had a chance to win the game and then Bamford with a last chance for us, saw it saved once again by their keeper as the final whistle blew.

That was a great result for us today and as always, I am proud of the Leeds United team and proud to be a Leeds United supporter. Although we could have snatched a win at the death, a draw was a good result and today, also shows that we can play against the best with players costing millions more than ours. One thing I have noticed from playing in the Premier League is the standard of refereeing. Although I still don’t agree with every decision they make, there has been a better flow of the game rather than stop start for every challenge made. Admittedly they haven’t refereed a game in front aof a crowd as yet, but hopefully that will still be maintained when they do.

As I cannot be there in person to take photos of our fans as normal, if any of my blog followers would like to share photos of them watching the televised games that would be great. I may have to choose a selection if there are many, but would need to know the name of the group sending them so they can be acknowledged. Also if they are included in my blog there is a possibility they would be included in my 2021 book.

I am sure there are many more fans like myself who can’t wait to get back to the games and will be up for attending in person sooner rather than later. If you want volunteers Leeds, then please do not hesitate to ask me! Hope to see you all soon, LUFC – Marching on Together!

 

Leeds United season 2020-2021 – United are back in the Premier League – September games Liverpool A, Hull City and Fulham H and Sheffield United A

Hi everyone welcome back to the Follow Me and Leeds United blog for this season and I look forward to catching up with you in due course. Whilst it’s not the same with us not being allowed at games with our fans, I thought it important to still share my blogs and keep my spirits up.

Liverpool v Leeds United 12th September 2020 at Anfield

With the season finishing only seven weeks ago for Leeds United, the season started in earnest today with our first game back in the Premier League after a 16-year absence. Sadly, once again this was to be behind closed doors due to the Coronavirus Covid 19 Pandemic that still affects our lives. As a fan, not being there was gutting, and I can’t wait for us to get back to going to games with our fantastic fans as I’ve missed you!

It’s been a busy week for me on the media front again, first when I was asked to interview Leif Davis one of our youngsters at the Dakota Hotel in Leeds, then appear on BBC Look North on Friday. The latter was outside Billy’s statue and involved Phil Beeton of the Leeds United Supporters Club, young fan Josh, Adam Pope, Noel Whelan and I giving a pre-game preview. The next day I appeared on Radio 5 Live at 8.15am alongside a West Bromwich Albion (WBA) and Fulham fan. Fulham had already been beaten yesterday and WBA were due to play on Sunday. Interestingly, I was the only one aiming for the top and when challenged to give a position, my stance was the following. Aim for the top, then you have the Champions League places below and then other places after that. Aim for just above the relegation places and all you have is relegation…….

The team: Illan Meslier, Pascal Struijk, Robin Koch (making his debut from FC Freiburg), Luke Ayling, Stuart Dallas, Helder Costa, Pablo Hernandez, Jack Harrison, Kalvin Phillips, Mateusz Klich and Patrick Bamford. Subs: Tyler Roberts for Hernandez (62), Rodrigo Moreno Machado (making his debut from Valencia CF) for Patrick Bamford (62) and Jamie Shackleton for Mateusz Klich (81). Subs not used: Kiko Casilla, Ian Poveda and Oliver Casey.

Leeds lost the game 4-3 (Liverpool were awarded two penalties one in the 3rd minute and one in the 88th minute). Harrison (12), Bamford (30) and Klich (66) were the Leeds scorers. Attendance: zero, behind closed doors. Referee: M. Oliver.

With Cooper having pulled out with an injury received in the Internationals that took place this week, that was a blow to not be able to lead the team out at Anfield on our first game back. I feel having the Internationals timing for the two weeks prior to the start of the new season was very badly timed, although admittedly, it was due to the Pandemic. With the injury to Cooper, it meant that our new signing Koch made his debut alongside Struijk. With Koch himself only returning from International duty with Germany, there wasn’t much time to familiarise himself with the way we play the game.

The game set off at a cracking pace which was understandable, but Leeds were dealt an early blow when the referee blew for a penalty after the ball hit Koch on the hand. After VAR made a quick decision to confirm this, afterwards it was said that according to the new rules it shouldn’t have been awarded as the ball deflected off his foot. A very harsh decision to put Leeds on the backfoot.

The IFAB rules state: It is not an offence if the ball touches a player’s hand/arm

  • directly from the player’s own head or body (including the foot)

 

I felt by Liverpool scoring the early goal, this would at least take the pressure off Leeds and they could go out and play football. As it was, we took the game to Liverpool. There was a lot of end-to-end football and it was a great advert for the game, and it showed what Bielsa has brought to Leeds United. Costa got the ball into the net only to see the goal ruled out for offside. That only spurred Leeds on more as they attacked once more towards the kop end with Phillips sending a great ball onto the wing for Harrison. He made it look so easy as he cut inside two men and unleashed a shot into the goal to equalise with a great goal and our first in the Premier League this season. Liverpool regained the lead from a corner when it looked like Koch had lost his man, but replays showed he had been blocked and the goal shouldn’t have stood. Liverpool were picked up later for the same foul. Once again though, Leeds came back and after a Bamford chance crept away from him when he tried to go around the keeper, I said to learn from that and he should have hit it first time. A short while later the same opportunity arose after a poor clearance and this time Bamford made no mistake for Leeds to equalise for the second time on the day.  Meslier made a fantastic save after the ball rebounded off Struijk before once again, Liverpool regained the lead for us to go in 3-2 down at half time.

At the start of the second half we sat back as Liverpool put us under a lot of pressure before Leeds had a further goal disallowed for offside. After Klich pointed for Costa to place the ball where he wanted it, he sent a great shot into the net for Leeds to equalise for a third time. With the action being fast and furious, you hardly had time to draw breath as the end of the game drew near. When a Liverpool goal was chalked off for being offside, I hoped we could see the game out for a draw. Sadly, they were given a second penalty to win the game after a foul by Rodrigo in the box. Leeds deserved something out of the game as they had played really well in an entertaining game. Although we hadn’t got the deserved point, the team had shown the Premier League what they have been missing with some fantastic football on show. It had the desired effect to have everyone talking about us which grated on many opposition fans’ nerves though. Oh dear, what a shame!

It was a baptism of fire today but with Cooper out through injury, we had two centre backs who hadn’t played together apart from the last three days. In reality, Liverpool needed two penalties to win us on the day so be proud of the way we played and next time, they won’t be so lucky! LUFC – Marching on Together!

Leeds United v Hull City Carabao Cup on 16th September 2020 at Elland Road

Leeds made many changes to the team today and although I know it gives the fringe and young players a chance of a game, I felt there were more changes than normal. It’s a shame that we don’t try to progress in this cup competition especially when there is a chance to compete in Europe again. With this being the first game back at Elland Road that we weren’t allowed to attend, this also hit hard, and I hated having to watch it on tv which was soul destroying. With there being no sound behind the commentary too, it was horrible to watch. From a Leeds fan’s perspective, that also included the way we were playing.

Team: Kiko Casilla (captain), Charlie Cresswell, Barry Douglas, Leif Davis, Oliver Casey, Mateusz Bogusz, Tyler Roberts, Ian Poveda, Ezgjan Alioski (Gjanni), Rodrigo Moreno Machado and Jamie Shackleton. Subs: Pascal Struijk for Casey (45) and Robbie Gotts for Bogusz (78). Subs not used: Illan Meslier, Patrick Bamford, Jack Harrison, Kalvin Phillips and Alfie McCalmont. The score after 90 minutes was 1-1 with Alioski equalising in 90+3. Leeds lost the game 9-8 on penalties. Attendance: zero, behind closed doors. Referee: David Webb.

With ex-Leeds players Mallik Wilks and Lewie Coyle (captain for the game) in the Hull side, it was no surprise to see Wilks score within five minutes with a deflected shot. I’m sure he felt he’d a point to prove.  Hull were doing all the early attacking, putting Leeds under pressure and after our first corner, they counterattacked with Wilks once again with a deflected shot, coming close to scoring a second. The nearest Leeds came to scoring was in the closing minutes of the half when Alioski’s shot went over the bar.

The second half saw Struijk come on to replace Casey, but it was at least 20 minutes before Hull had a couple of more chances to score with Casilla being called into action to save one. With Hull having most of the game they should have put it to bed with four minutes to go. Their player had only Casilla to beat but he rose to the challenge and stopped him. With that Leeds had a shot from Gotts saved which was our first shot on target during the game. With injury time ticking away I just knew Leeds were going to score to take the game to penalties and it was Alioski who smashed the ball home to equalise.

With Leeds taking penalties first with Rodrigo getting his first goal for Leeds with the first one. Alioski’s penalty bounced back off the post so missed, but Roberts, Poveda and Douglas scored, and it was 4-4 before sudden death due to Coyle missing his penalty. Struijk, Davis, Gotts and Casilla were successful with their penalties but when Shackleton missed, Hull scored the deciding penalty to take them through on the night. With a bad game from our point of view at least it livened up at the end.

With Mark Jackson set to take over as coach of the under 23s, hopefully the way of everyone playing the same way will take on a new lease of life. Back to league action on Saturday with our first home Premier League game, it will be a different game altogether. LUFC – Marching on Together!

Leeds United v Fulham 19th September 2020 at Elland Road

Having been contacted prior to the game by someone from Cable+ the equivalent to SKY TV in France, I signposted them to the Whistlestop and Millennium Square in Leeds. They were wanting to meet some of the fans and hear them out after what was hoped to be our first win this season. Hopefully, they met plenty!

The team: Meslier, Liam Cooper (back from injury and captaining Leeds for his first game in the Premier League), Dallas, Koch, Rodrigo (making his Premier League start due to Hernandez being injured in the pre-game warm up), Bamford, Costa, Harrison, Klich, Phillips and Ayling. Subs: Roberts for Rodrigo (45) and Alioski for Bamford (70). Leeds won the game 4-3 with goals from Costa (5 and 57), Klich (penalty 41) and Bamford (50). Attendance: zero, behind closed doors. Referee: K. Friend.

Leeds took an early lead when we scored from a corner. Phillips sent the ball into the middle, which was headed on to Costa all on his own at the back post where he smashed the ball into the net via the underside of the crossbar. After a chance from Fulham, Leeds came close again when the keeper made a save from Koch after another corner. Leeds were dealt a blow when another penalty was awarded against us after a challenge from Koch. To me he had already pulled out of the challenge and was unlucky to slightly connect with their player. Fulham scored from it to equalise with Meslier unlucky not to save it when he went the right way. That wasn’t the end of the drama in the first half though as Bamford was pushed in the back to prevent a scoring chance and Leeds were awarded a penalty. Klich duly put the penalty away and Leeds went into the break leading 2-1 after Meslier kept Fulham out with a save.

In the second half Leeds went further ahead after a great pass from Klich to Bamford, saw him put the ball into the net in front of the Kop. After another attack Bamford on the left wing towards the Kop, sent a great pass across the penalty area and Costa hit an unstoppable shot into the net. It was great to see Leeds scoring goals as the Fulham defence just seemed to stop and watch Costa again in space get the ball. At times we had not been strong enough in midfield for me, with Roberts being bundled off the ball giving Fulham some hope. Suddenly they were able to get back into the game when they got past Phillips and with their player already past Dallas, went on to score. They got a further goal from a cross into the middle as Meslier looked to be blinded by the sun and went back onto his line as their player rose above Cooper to head into the goal. The comfortable end to the game that was anticipated was suddenly under pressure especially when Fulham hit another shot that I think was covered by Meslier but hit the post and went wide. Bielsa then changed things by bringing Alioski on and he was unlucky not to score but was denied by the keeper who also kept out the rebound from Roberts. With Meslier saving a shot from Fulham, we were able to see the game out to get our first win and three points of the season.

Another entertaining game with plenty of goals, and despite many having worries about conceding seven goals already, we have to remember three of those were penalties. We will be fine as we continue to play together and will go from strength to strength. Once again, the plaudits are for the way we are playing and Bielsa will continue to play the way we do. Our best form of defence is attack Leeds which shows when we keep the ball away from the opposition. Minimising playing across the back which I know needs to be done at times and for instance, when all we needed to do was turn and take the attack back up the field, we see the ball hit a long way back to Meslier, we won’t go far wrong. Please get us back to games soon. LUFC – Marching on Together!

Sheffield United v Leeds United 27th September 2020 at Bramall Lane

25th September we heard the sad news that another player from my early days of following Leeds, Peter Hampton, had died whilst on holiday in Cyprus with his family after his recent retirement. I remember him as one of the Leeds United youngsters but then it was a shock to realise, he was only slightly older than I am now. My thoughts are with his family at this time.

Leeds have still been busy in the transfer market having signed another defender Diego Llorente from Real Sociedad, who is a Spanish international player and will play with number 14 on his back.

The team: Meslier, Koch, Phillips, Ayling, Dallas, Cooper (his 200th game), Costa, Roberts, Bamford, Klich and Harrison. Subs: Rodrigo for Roberts (45), Poveda for Costa (65) and Alioski for Rodrigo (90+1). Subs not used: Elia Caprile, Shackleton, Davis and Struijk. Leeds won the game 1-0 with a goal by Bamford (88). Attendance: zero, behind closed doors.  Referee: Paul Tierney.

I had no preconceptions about how the game would go but once again I was adamant that Leeds should go out and play the best they can and still aim for the top, never giving up. Leeds nearly got off to a great start when Ayling’s great shot was saved by their keeper to prevent an early goal. Sheffield had a shot that went wide before a Bamford header at the other end went over the bar. I said that Bamford shouldn’t worry as he’ll do better next time. He did come closer with his next header so I said that it would be third time lucky for him. Meslier then made a fantastic save to prevent Sheffield going in front when the ball looked destined to be a goal. Dallas was the next to come close when their keeper made another save to prevent us taking the lead. The teams went into the break on even terms thanks to another save from Meslier. The whistle blew and for once I hadn’t even looked at the clock to see how long was left. Although it was quite tight between the two teams, the first half had passed quickly.

Rodrigo came on in place of Roberts for the second half and Leeds started off on the attack where Costa and Bamford both had shots saved. Meslier was called into action again and showing how competent he was with another save. He is coming on in leaps and bounds and I feel very comfortable with him in goal. When Dallas rounded the keeper after a great pass from Ayling, sadly there wasn’t enough power on the ball and their player cleared it off the line. Dallas produced a great pass that saw a header from Rodrigo go over the bar. I thought then that he would work well with Bamford who will learn how to direct his headers better. After some great work from Poveda, again their keeper made the save. Once Sheffield brought two subs on in McBurnie and Sharp with 16 minutes to go, Leeds began to have more room when attacking. As long as we kept them out, I knew we would keep fighting until the end so stood a chance of winning the game. A draw wouldn’t be a disgrace but obviously three points are better than one. Sheffield saw a chance go wide before Meslier dived at the feet of their player only to receive a bad challenge in his stomach despite their player trying to pull out of the challenge. With another attack after a great run from Harrison, his cross was met in the middle by Bamford to head the ball into the net to put Leeds into the lead with two minutes of normal time remaining.  That had me dancing about the room shouting get in, to Bamford and third time lucky with the header! Alioski was brought on for Rodrigo as Leeds saw out five minutes of injury time to take the win and three points. Well done lads that is just the tonic we needed. I can’t wait to get back to the grounds in person to support you on the terraces and it can’t come soon enough for me and I’m sure the same feelings are with thousands more Leeds United fans. With two home games coming next against Man City and Wolves, I am looking forward to Leeds getting stronger with more game time. LUFC – Marching on Together!

BBC Look North Leeds live pre-Liverpool – with Leeds fans Phil Beeton, Heidi Haigh and Josh

Leif Davis meets the fans / Part 1 Heidi Haigh / Autograph Sport

 

Marcelo Bielsa documentary by Danz Brazil

This documentary has now been released in Brazil, Canada, Spain and Italy they’ve had some great feedback.

Marcelo Bielsa by Danz Brazil

 

Interview with Leif Davis 9th September 2020

Thank you for inviting me to interview Leif Davis today and also chuffed to bits to receive a matchworn shirt from him.

 

Meet our Authors – Heidi Haigh – Leeds United JMD Media

My publisher has now got a Meet our Authors page for you to look at:

Heidi Haigh – Leeds United JMD Media

Premier League World – Leeds United aired on 26th August 2020

Thank you for the opportunity of taking part in this documentary, it makes great watching.

Championship Trophy photo 26th August 2020

When you get your photo taken with the Championship trophy. My daughter Danielle with the same trophy at 5 weeks old in 1992.

Leeds are going to the Premier League!

We’ve done it! After 16 years and in our centenary year, Leeds United have gained promotion to the Premier League as champions! What a euphoric end to the season which was cut short due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The season re-started in June with nine games left to play. With three clubs in the running for the two automatic places and our nerves shredded, we were promoted and crowned champions without playing, as other results went our way. We also ended up 10 points clear as we played the season out in style.

My new book is called Leeds are going to the Premier League! and is already with the publisher. As soon as I get the front cover photo released I will share it for those interested. The book is based on the 2019-20 season and based on my blog Follow Me and Leeds United where once again I have included photos of fans on our travels.

I’ve been in demand since the season stopped as I’ve been involved in two Marching on Together panels, an ITV Calendar tribute to Jack Charlton, documentaries on Marcelo Bielsa for Danz Brazil, France TV and a Premier League documentary. Premier League Productions are airing the documentary that I was filmed for recently today 26th August 2020. As it stands the transmission timings are as follows: Sky Sports PL – 7.30pm and BT Sport 1 – 9.15pm. Hope you can watch it too!

I’ve done radio interviews for BBC Radio Leeds, BBC Sports alongside a Liverpool fan and I’m sure I’ve missed some others out as I have been in constant demand.
 
I can’t wait to get back to Elland Road and also away games to meet up with our fans again. Hope to see you soon, LUFC – Marching on Together!
 

RIP Big Jack 10th July 2020 – including ITV Tribute Programme

I was honoured to be invited to pay my respects to Big Jack and his family by appearing on the ITV Tribute Programme. Hearing the news of his death caused lots of tears to flow as another of our legends leaves us to join Don Revie’s team in heaven. RIP and condolences to his family and friends.

ITV Tribute Programme

Photo courtesy Don Revie Tribute Evening – Leeds United Legends

Rest In Peace Trevor Cherry 29.4.2020

You were always my friend Carole’s hero hence why she made her banner, Power to yer boot Trevor. More sad news and so soon after losing Norman Hunter. Thoughts with your family and friends.

Change of topic – Photos from my early days of following Leeds at 11th April 2020

Additional photos added up to and including 15th July 2020. To take my mind off the challenging times due to coronavirus, I have started sharing some photos from my earlier days of following Leeds. Enjoy the memories.

Paris 1975 – European Cup Final

Barcelona 1975 – European Cup Semi-Final

Anderlecht 1975 – European Cup plus some photos from Luton on our way back

Zurich 1974 – European Cup

Pre-season friendlies

Amsterdam 1976

Eindhoven 1976

Odense 1977

Molenbeek 1977

************

Ipswich 1974

QPR 1974 – Champions – We Won the League!

Coventry 1974-75

Three Legs in the 70s

Rangers v Hearts 1976 at Hampden Park

Celtic 1976

Arsenal 6th December 1975

Wolverhampton Wanderers FA Cup 6th round 19.3.77

Burnley 27.9.75 & in Supporters Club/ Three Legs

Selby train and Shrewsbury lot

Norman Hunter RIP 17.4.20

Yorkshire Post photos

Salonika 1973

Ipswich 13/1/75

Wolves 1976

Scotland v Wales at Anfield 12.10.77

England v Scotland International 4.6.77

Scotland v England at Hampden Park 15th May 1976
Hampden Park – Scotland v Northern Ireland 1st June 1977
Leeds fans outside the pub in Wrexham, Wales v Scotland 28th May 1977

World Cup 1974 – Scotland v Brazil in Frankfurt on 18th June

Scotland v England at Hampden Park 18th May 1974 – first photo taken by the Glasgow Herald and Evening Times

Photos from my early days of following Leeds United

Trevor Cherry rest in peace 29.4.2020

Daily Express photos 1975

 
The Square Ball 1990-1991 season – issue no 5. Famous Leeds fans – Princess Diana!
Billy Bremner, Paul Reaney and Don Revie at The Irish Centre, Leeds
Big H banner made by Ian and Leslie Halmshaw together with a poem by them too.

Menwith Hill Supporters Club dinner

Hibernian away 24th October 1973

Wembley FA Cup Final 6th May 1972 sadly only one photo

Eindhoven 1976 pushing the car round Europe, saved by the Army Les, Marj, Jan and Paul

 
The Kop’s Night Out at The Queens Hall, Leeds
Peter Lorimer’s testimonial fundraising event 24th September 1977

Leeds United team performing Cinderella at the City Varieties

Croda International – Croday Canaries

Burnley A 27th September 1975

Wimbledon 25th January 1975 – The South Stand under construction

Ujpest Dozsa European Cup 1975

 

Leeds United v Huddersfield Town 7th March 2020 at Elland Road

I’d not been worried at all about today’s game until a lad started talking to me about it at work. Suddenly, my stomach churning started but I decided that my out of sight, out of mind method works best! Just concentrate on Leeds United, it works wonders. Having been ill all week which I’ve blamed on going to Hull, it meant I haven’t posted as much this week. As we headed to Elland Road earlier than usual, it was because I’d won a couple of corporate tickets for the game. It was going to be a change to my usual routine of heading to the Peacock as my hubby accompanied me into the Pavilion. The place was packed out with more tables than usual and I know for some fans, it is the only way they can get a ticket now Elland Road is sold out every game. We enjoyed a three-course meal, drinks (we stuck with water and soft drinks) and saw Jermaine Beckford, Tony Dorigo, John Hendrie, Steve Hodge and Neil Aspin. The latter remembered coming to the Selby branch of the Supporter’s Club do when he won player of the year which he said must have been 1985. Ian and his daughter Lucy from Stafford had got the other pair of tickets in our group who also enjoyed the great hospitality that had been put on. The staff were very helpful and there was a good atmosphere in there. There were fans who had travelled from Bulgaria, Thailand, Australia and later I met a Danish Leeds fan to name a few, which shows once again the great worldwide fanbase we have.

Thank you for the support Tina, who had travelled from Scotland for the game, for buying my book Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United. Also, thanks to those of you who spoke to me about following my blogs too. As we headed into the game things didn’t quite go to plan. I was swapping places with my daughter Michelle as she was joining my hubby in the corporate seats whilst I was going in the Kop as usual with my daughter Danielle and granddaughter Laura. As I waited for the girls, my hubby was queuing to get into the stand only to come back out of the turnstile. The damn ticket wouldn’t work, and it turns out that his wasn’t the only ticket with an issue today. As it was close to kick off, we got him in on the other ticket to make sure that one worked, and Michelle went to get a new one printed. We got in just before the teams came out.

The team: Meslier, Ayling, Cooper, Berardi, White, Dallas, Harrison, Costa, Bamford, Hernandez and Klich. Subs: Roberts for Bamford (79), Shackleton for Klich (83) and Alioski for Harrison (90). Referee: O. Langford. Attendance: 36,514 with 2,647 Town fans who’d sold out their allocation making this the highest of the season. Leeds won the game 2-0 with goals from Luke Ayling (3) and Bamford (51).

With Phillips out injured, Berardi came back into the defence again with White taking Phillip’s role. Leeds got off to a thunderous start taking the lead in the third minute. Harrison crossed a wonderful ball from the left to Ayling, who met it with a superb volley that hit the underside of the crossbar before hitting the back of the net as Elland Road erupted. What a start, that is just what we needed to set the tone of the game. I’d say that was a great celebration from Ayling for his daughter’s third birthday today. Things evened out for a while as Town had a good chance but Meslier managed to save the ball when he sat on it. They had a couple of corners and had lots of players trying to put Meslier off and it was nice to end up with the free kick for a foul with one of them.

Before the game when scores were being predicted, nearly everyone said we would concede one goal, whereas I insisted we had to give them nothing. Our breaking out of defence into attack nearly brought us a second goal but Costa’s chance went wide, as did another couple of chances by Harrison and White.

We’d gone into the break in the lead and I said we needed to start the second half the same as we did the first. Well I wasn’t far wrong. Although their keeper had to be on his toes to keep out both Harrison and Bamford, we increased our lead six minutes after the restart. Leeds won a free kick to the left of the box which Hernandez took. Their keeper made a fantastic save from White, but Bamford made no mistake when the ball came to him and he stuck it into the net to lift the roof off Elland Road. I was pleased to see Bamford get the just rewards for his hard work of recent weeks. During the game we were guilty of some bad passing at times from Berardi and Hernandez which resulted in Town getting the upper hand, but overall, we managed to deal with them quite well. When Harrison hit a fantastic shot from the left of us, it hit the angle of the crossbar and post to the right of us and Hernandez’s shot was then blocked. Wow, that move so deserved a goal. Elland Road was bouncing as the noise erupted around the ground into fever pitch as Leeds played some fantastic passing football. This was brought to a halt when a Town player went down before going off injured. That was a real shame because it took the sting out of the game. Although Town hadn’t given up, when one shot rebounded off Meslier, our defence were there backing him up and got the ball to safety. When the linesman to our left went off injured and the fourth official came on instead, we were hoping that he’d be better with the offside rule. Wrong! The first thing he did was put the flag up for offside to a chorus of boos from the Leeds fans. I hadn’t been unduly worried about them scoring but knew we’d be heading into a lot of injury time. With the goal, all the subs and the ref injury, I was expecting at least seven minutes added on, so it was a nice surprise to see only five minutes on the clock. When their player went down in the penalty area under a challenge in front of the South Stand, my heart sank as I expected the ref to point to the penalty spot. It was a relief when he gave a goal kick, and someone said their player was booked for diving. The ref had been very busy with his bookings today with three Leeds and three Town in total going into the book.

Another win and another three points which is all I ask for. Well done Leeds United as you’ve sent a fan base home very happy! Don’t worry about those other teams around us, concentrate on us and play to our strengths. We can do this just ‘Keep Fighting’ and never give up. See you for that early start to Cardiff on Sunday, LUFC – Marching on Together!

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, Leeds United in the 1980s
  • The Sleeping Giant Awakens, Leeds United 2016-17
  • Back to Reality, Leeds United 2017-18
  • Out now: Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United

 Website: www.followmeandleedsunited.co.uk Twitter: @FollowMeAndLUFC Facebook: Follow Me and Leeds United: Instagram: Heidi Haigh – lufcheidi @followmeandleedsunited

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Hull City v Leeds United 29th February 2020 at the KCOM Stadium