I was on BBC Radio Leeds this morning before heading to work. I was asked how many points I would give Heckingbottom out of 10 since he has been here. Maybe I surprised myself and did him a disservice, but I said none although I did say he could have a point after our recent win! I wanted the team to go out and fight tonight as it was a last chance saloon for many fans.
After a full on day at work I felt like I had a thick head and was looking forward to taking my mind off things as I headed to Elland Road with my daughter Dani and granddaughter Hannah. After arriving just after 7.00 pm having had a good run there, we called in the Peacock first. A girl from Ireland was attending her first game here today and also Peter from Australia was attending his first ever Leeds game at Elland Road. After seeing our defeat and the way we lost at Boro, I was hoping for better things. A big thank you to Peter for buying my second book Once a Leeds fan, always a Leeds fan and as always, thank you for the support which is appreciated.
The team was Bailey Peacock-Farrell (playing his first game for a couple of years), Berardi, Jansson, Cooper, Anita, Forshaw, Sacko, Saiz, Lasogga, Dallas and Phillips. Subs were Pennington for Cooper (went off injured 36), Hernandez for Sacko (46) and Ekuban for Lasogga (73). Attendance was 26,434 with approximately 1,250 Wolves fans. Leeds lost the game 3-0.
All we want as Leeds fans is to see the team giving 100% and take pride in wearing a Leeds United shirt. After the diabolical display at Boro we didn’t start the game very well at all despite having the first attack of the game and their goalie made a save. After approximately 15 minutes we started fighting for the ball and looked up for it. We got a corner and then wasted it with a silly short one that ended up with us losing the ball. A weak link was down the left hand side as Wolves attacked the Kop end with Anita and Sacko not combining well at all. Anita was either out of position and beaten time after time and Sacko at one time was stood in the middle of the pitch leaving their man on his own on the wing in front of the East Stand. By the time he had woken up, their player had the ball in acres of space and set up another Wolves attack. We had Peacock-Farrell to thank for not being at least three goals down in the first 20 minutes! We were at sixes and sevens all over the pitch and I’ve no idea who was supposed to be marking who, as wave after wave of Wolves attacks showed them in loads of space, time after time. We weren’t closing them down at all and it was no surprise that they scored taking the lead. The Leeds fans had been trying to up the tempo once again, getting behind the team but then everyone had the stuffing knocked out of them when Wolves took the lead. With Peacock-Farrell denying them a second goal I was hopeful we would be able to get something out of the game. Lots were hoping for an upset against the top of the table team but that took a dive when they got their second goal just before half time. After a great save from Peacock-Farrell they were first to the rebound scoring their second goal of the game. My only disappointment was just before they scored the South Stand kept hold of the ball and wouldn’t let it come back into play. Now if we were a few goals to the good, that may be an opportune time to waste a bit of time, but sadly for us by the time we got the ball back into play we were a second goal down as Wolves went straight down to the Kop end and scored!
At the start of the second half I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to go back up and watch the game, although I knew that I would as I always stay until the bitter end! Hernandez came on for Sacko and although the team tried we were really out of our depth and showed what a gulf there was between the two teams. We had a shot from Lasogga on target and a couple of other chances but apart from that we were very poor. When Wolves got a third when they lobbed Peacock-Farrell when he came out of his area that was it game over once again. Although that was a mistake from our young goalie, he was actually my man of the match as he pulled off some great saves, despite being let down from the players in front of him. What more can I say as we ended with another 3-0 defeat. I told Hannah that being a Leeds United fan is character building because it teaches you how to be a good loser! I don’t know about the good part but it is something we as Leeds fans have had to get used to over the years. At the moment things are as bad as I’ve seen them for a long time after such high hopes at the start of the season. There seems to be a lot that is wrong in the background and although I can’t pinpoint anything with proof, a lot of fans have turned on the role Orta has in the club. Even listening to Heckingbottom on BBC Radio Leeds after the game he said that things are different at our club. What I will say is that I don’t think we are fit enough! I’ve no idea what the goal keeping coach has been doing where Wiedwald was concerned, as things never improved over the season. As for the free kick specialist, I cannot for the life of me see any improvements on that score either!
Where do we go from here? With season ticket renewals out at the moment, I know I will renew ours although I am waiting for the paper copies to arrive. I do think the club have made a big mistake bringing them out so early and also the fact that any season ticket holders who bought the half ones at Christmas or one for the first time, have not been looked at the same as us long term season ticket holders. In the past if you bought a season ticket at the higher rate as a new holder once renewals came about they got the same price as us. Sadly this will definitely affect fans renewing plus also the very poor displays of late will impact greatly on these I feel.
Onto Reading on Saturday, it is once again a case of going through the motions as a Leeds United fan, enjoying the day out with our fans and trying to forget the 90 minutes in between. It is a coping mechanism that works for me as I forget how bad we are once I’ve slept on things. Will we get a win anytime soon, who knows, but as we slip down the table to 13th my aspirations of top two for this season are well and truly gone. See you Saturday – 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 2016-2017