Leicester A 5th March 2022
It’s been a very emotional week for me firstly, with the sacking of Marcelo Bielsa last weekend and secondly, the war in Ukraine. I’m still very upset with the way Bielsa was sacked by the club by leaking it to social media before an official announcement on Sunday. That was an appalling sense of judgement from the club which has also upset many more fans as well as me. I’ve included my interviews on ITV and Look North but don’t have a copy of my interview with BBC Radio Leeds early morning. In Ukraine, there have been harrowing accounts from Kharkiv where members of my brother’s family are, as the reality of the Russian invasion hits home. This has also brought distress back to my mum with horrible memories from her being in Berlin when the Russians arrived near the end of World War 2. By Thursday, the emotional stress hit me as the tears flowed, so today was needed to take my mind off things especially, as my brother’s family are trying to get out of Ukraine on what will be a dangerous and traumatic journey. I have shared a couple of videos from there on my blog for anyone interested.
For those asking about my husband, he finished his last chemotherapy session last week which hit him hard. After a further CT scan next week, we see the consultant again on 21st March where we will find out if the treatment has been successful. Fingers crossed it has been and he has an extension of life going forward. Thanks for your concern.
From what I have seen so far of Jesse Marsch the new manager, he talks the talk so I wanted to see if he could walk the walk. As always, I don’t make any pre-judgements but base mine on what I see on the pitch. After a stop in Loughborough with a few more coaches of Leeds fans, we came out of the pub to find out we had got a police escort to the game, arriving with 45 minutes to spare. Thanks to all those today for their kind thoughts, chats and having photos taken, which as always are greatly appreciated.
Team: Meslier, Ayling, Struijk, Dallas, Koch, Rodrigo, Raphinha, James, Klich, Harrison and Firpo.
Subs: Gelhardt for Rodrigo (63), Forshaw for Klich (69), Roberts for Harrison (76).
Subs not used: Klaesson, Shackleton, Bamford, Summerville, Cresswell, Greenwood.
Leeds lost the game 1-0.
Attendance: 32,236 with 3,000 Leeds fans.
Referee: David Coote.
Booked: Struijk, Forshaw.
With Leeds fans chanting for Marcelo Bielsa at the start of the game, Leeds changed ends to attack the goal to the right of them with first James having a shot pushed out then Harrison seeing his shot saved by their keeper Schmeichel’s feet. Meslier made a save as Leicester upped the tempo but although Leicester had lots of possession, they didn’t really do much with it. Firpo saw his powerful shot blocked before the whistle blew sending us in to the break on level terms.
At the start of the second half Rodrigo’s header from a corner was cleared off the line by their keeper but the best chance of the game saw Raphinha’s shot a few feet out, saved by their keeper once again. After starting off the second half well, I felt we could go on to win the game but dare not really think it in case I jeopardised things. As it was, Leicester got an attack going forward against the run of play, did a one two on the left-hand side of the pitch and stuck the ball into the net to take the lead. Once again despite having chances, we had been unable to get the ball into the net to give us the upper hand, but it was hard lines on Leeds. Having made changes with Gelhardt then Forshaw coming on, Marsch brought Roberts on who was fouled more or less straight away. When he returned to the action after treatment, some Leeds fans had a go at him for not going for a ball, but many of us had noted he was limping. Rather than Roberts going off injured leaving us with 10 men, he battled on but was just a passenger due to his injury. Hearing afterwards that it was his hamstring (will probably have to wait for confirmation of that), I couldn’t understand why he was left on the pitch? Despite trying, we didn’t come close to an equaliser after that. At the end of the game Gelhardt and Dallas both headed to thank the Leeds fans only to be called back to the middle of the pitch for Marsch to have a huddled team talk. I found that irritating as the first thing they should do is thank the Leeds fans still on the terraces, then he could have spoken to them as a group.
The positives today were that corners were better in that we beat the first man and we managed 19 shots, although only four were on target. The negatives for me were that at the start there didn’t seem to be a spark and although we got into the game and deserved a point, after the game I felt flat. Possibly that is because of outside influences around me at the moment though. With a Thursday game now facing us with the re-arranged Villa fixture, we have two home games in succession before the Friday fixture to Wolves. I look forward to catching up with some more Malta Whites at the home games as we search for those elusive points so see you there, LUFC – Marching on Together!