Leeds United

Opposition: Leeds United Football Club

Facts: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leeds_United_F.C

Unknown fact – The club was formed in 1904 and played at Elland Road, managed by pre-war legend Herbert Chapman at one stage. During the First World War, however, the club came under fire for illegal payments to players and they were expelled from the Football League with the new United side forming in the Midland League.

Venue – Elland Road

Date / Time: Wednesday 16th December @6pm – Prime Video

Games against “Dirty” Leeds evoke so many mint memories for Toon fans. If you’ve never run the gauntlet with a 90 mile trip down the A1 then you’ve never lived. The young readers amongst us will scarecly recall our last money league visit to Elland Road (17 years ago) but I used to “love it if we beat them.” Again, for the younger generation, this was where King Kev lost his shit – Here’s the memorable video for your delectation – https://youtu.be/mk87a7r0V60

Personally, I’ve never seen us lose at Leeds, and I’ve done a good few trips to their gaff over the years. If you’ve read Castle Farm Mag’s review in the Xmas edition of True Faith, the 4-3 win there, in the snow, with a late Nobby winner will get your juices flowing.  

It’s always a great trip to Leeds. Two similar sized clubs with huge fan bases and passion to burn. Personally, I was well chuffed when they finally got back to the greed league at the end of last season. I much prefer the traditional clubs to the “nouveaux riche” representing the creme de la creme of the PL. Mind, that’s not to say I didn’t mirth at their decade and a half of languishing with the tat in the championship and Pontins League 2.

In Bielsa, they’ve got a manager with real pedigree, and even though he sits on that stupid bloody bucket, imitating “Our Wullie” I have to admit that I quite like him. Not sure that Frank Lampard feels as I do after “hedgegate” a couple of years ago mind, but at least he admitted to spying on his opposition openly. 

At the start of the season, I thought that they’d win some games but lose a shit load due to their “naive” gung ho style of play, but they’ve surprised me a bit. Early doors, they were scoring plenty and conceding as many, but they seem to have settled down. They aren’t on the best of form, having lost 3 of their last five, with their solitary win coming at Goodison Park a couple of weeks ago, proving they’re nee mugs at this level.

In Patrick Bamford, they have a canny striker with 8 goals in all competitions so far, and bags every 127 minutes, which is pretty impressive. He misses shit loads of chances though, so let’s hope that continues on Wednesday!

The Argie squatter has made some decent acquisitions over the summer, spending a whopping £104M. Rodrigo has come in up front (£27m from Valencia) Llorente (£18m from Sociedad,) Raphinha (£16m from Rennes,) Helda Costa (£16m from Wolves) and Koch (£11m from Freiburg) their main money buys. Add their 11 year old looking keeper Meslier to that, and I reckon they’ve done some decent business.

So what of our plague ridden Mags? Back to back wins over Palace and the Baggies have us sat fairly comfortably in mid table. A mate of mine messaged me after the West Brom win asking how the frig we manage to win games playing like that? – My answer was that I don’t have a Scooby Doo – Picture the scene – Go one up on 20 seconds, at home to pretty much the worst team in the Premier League – What happens next? Make like a circus and go for the juggler! – Nope, we let them play and at 1-1 into the last 10 minutes we really didn’t look like bagging the 3 points. Enter Dwight Gayle, who hasn’t kicked a ball in anger since the end of the last campaign to score a bullet header and grab a scarcely deserved win. We did look out on our feet mind, and for once, I’m gonna give Sir Steve some credit for his attack minded changes. That Murphy cross and Gayle finish reminded me of Gillespie feeding Les all those years ago.

Ok, so it’s prediction time…. As Nick predicted us to win 2-1 last time out, I’m feeling under pressure to get this right, and he’s told me I’m not allowed to get splinters in me arse. Right, I don’t think we’ll be able to cope with the pace of Leeds, but it’ll be a tight one, so I’m going for a 2-1 reverse. 

Prove me wrong you black and white beauties.

Xmas quiz question – answers to @peekeekay – Who was the last toon player to score a premier league goal at Elland Road? – No clues but the fun fact is that all the scorers that day went on to play for the Mags.

Have a mint Christmas and New Year TF stalwarts and Howay the Lads… If the twitteratti rumours are to be believed, better times could be around the corner.