Cardiff 3rd February 2018 at Elland Road   

Yesterday saw a big gathering of Leeds United Supporters who came together to say goodbye to Eric Carlile. With fans arriving from Norway, East Anglia and Wellingborough and many others, it showed how well respected Eric was for his service of over 50 years to the Leeds United Supporters Club and to our members. With standing room only and people not able to get into the crematorium he got the sendoff he deserved. The amount of fans who first met in the seventies and were there, shows what an incredible fan base Leeds United as a club have. The camaraderie shown yesterday will never be beaten in my opinion. Eric also got a 50th minute applause at the game today by the whole stadium and a big thank you to everyone for showing him the respect he deserved. The game also started with another round of applause showing respect to Jimmy Armfield and had WACCOE ringing out around the stands; thanks for the memories as someone who was in Paris that night and we will always be Champions of Europe. RIP Eric and Jimmy.

It had been snowing all morning and I wasn’t looking forward to the cold but luckily none of it was sticking to the ground. It was a good job because we got as far as Hipperholme when I asked Dani if she’d got her season ticket only for her to realise she hadn’t! She’s definitely her mother’s daughter as I’d done the same a few seasons ago when I’d left our Rochdale tickets at home. At least now with us both doing it and having to go back home I can’t be given any stick now!

I’d got my positive head on today as everyone was writing us off and said we’d win. Even the magpies came out in twos and fives so we thought we were onto a winner!! How wrong could we be sadly? I am feeling very downbeat at the moment and will try and put everything into words but where we go from here I really don’t know. For those shouting for TC to go, I really feel it won’t make a difference whoever is here. I want stability and want continuity to go into next season but I also realise that my aspirations of going up automatically have gone plus possibly even making the playoffs. Although there are still many points to play for I can also see what many fans are saying in that, are we going to get any more at all? My quandary is that I so want my way to work but without a crystal ball to see into the future, sadly only time will tell what will happen next. I do feel this will be the last 30,000 + crowd too for this season as I know as well as many walking out before the end, some fans left at half time.  I always stay to the bitter end ever since in the early seventies when I missed a cracking goal by Peter Lorimer plus I like to see things in person to make my judgements. It feels like I did that with a heavy heart today though.

The team today was Wiedwald, Jansson, Pennington, Berardi, De Bock. Forshaw, Vieira, Hernandez, Alioski, Lasogga and Roofe. Subs were Dallas for Jansson (who was carried off on a stretcher) (30), Sacko for Lasogga (73) and Grot for Vieira (86). Leeds lost the game 4-1 with an own goal from Bamba. Attendance was 30,534 with 624 Cardiff fans.

With Neil Warnock and Sol Bamba back against us, I really hoped we could put one over them after getting beaten when we played in Cardiff. The trouble was it was Cardiff who came to bully us off the park and when the ref played on after their first foul on us, he set the tone for the whole game. With them getting the first free kicks they went from strength to strength and within minutes they had the ball in the back of our net in front of the Kop. To be honest it all looked so easy as my heart sank. I thought come on Leeds as we tried an immediate response with a fantastic shot from Lasogga that brought out a great save from their keeper. We also had another great chance with a scramble in their penalty area, which saw them get the rub of the green when Lasogga hit the crossbar and we couldn’t put the ball into the net. After another attack Jansson was left in a heap at the other end of the pitch as Cardiff won another free kick nearer our penalty area. Apparently it was a foul from Bamba that ended with him getting stretchered off. As Dallas came on to replace him I said at least we still had 11 men on the pitch. I should have kept my big gob shut because the ref who showed his real favourable credentials to Cardiff, gave Berardi his marching orders for a second bookable offence. What really gets to me is the fact that some of the Cardiff players did foul after foul and didn’t get booked yet we got the early bookings once again. All I want is a level playing field which unfortunately once again we did not get. Cardiff had already scored a second goal and then just before half time put their third in to give us a mammoth task for the second half.

Talk at half time wasn’t happy but we all thought if they sack TC we will still be in the same boat unfortunately. Knowing it was always going to take time didn’t help either. Could we have another second half comeback? Plus we played better with 10 men so we might as well start with a man down!! (I don’t mean it really). As I was going back up into the stand Soggy from Halifax stopped to talk to me so I was late getting back to my seat and the second half had started, not that I missed anything. My granddaughter followed me a few minutes afterwards and as she went past my seat I lost my balance and nearly went backwards into the row behind me. Luckily for me I managed to right myself but jarred my back in the process!

The 50th minute applause for Eric got to Bamba as he put the ball into our net to pull us a goal back. That was when I got hope that we could do something this half. We did look better as a team in the second half although Roofe looked so far out of it at times it was painful to see. My daughter also wanted to go and pull his socks up as he wears them at half-mast for some reason. We were trying and were at least attacking, but then Christiansen made his second sub where he took off Lasogga and brought on Sacko. I said the only thing I thought of he was looking at both Roofe and Sacko being fast (which he did say on BBC Radio Leeds after the game) but sadly all this substitution did was take the sting out of the game. With Lasogga being the only one who looked likely to score, many fans took their displeasure out on TC by singing “you don’t know what you’re doing”. All that happened was Cardiff got their fourth goal of the game and we were outplayed, outfought and a shadow of the team we saw at the start of the season. What with suspensions, injuries etc our team depth looks terrible so I can understand how lots of fans are reacting to this further defeat. I take each game as it comes and my coping mechanism is forgetting how bad things really are after sleeping on it. That saying today feels completely different and will take more time I feel to see things more positively.

We have an early kick off at Sheffield United to look forward to next week; that’s if we even have a team we can play, as I’ve lost count of who will be available and who won’t!  Hands up those fans on the terraces who want to bring their football boots with, as you may just get a game lol!! See you there, LUFC – Marching on Together.

My end of game comments