Trip to Turf Moor
Following our quite frankly disgraceful performance against Bolton and disturbing hour against Reading which were both at Elland Road, most were left wondering why they had paid their money to visit the leagues second placed team last weekend. The fact that we are still the best supported Away team in the whole of England confirms just how determined we are as fans. Through adversity and confusion we still made sure that our confidence drained team had a vocal support to push them on as best we could. They say the 12th man is vital for a team, for Leeds United fans it feels like pushing a lorry full of washing machines up a steep hill with the aid of a pallet truck. I’m not quite sure who or whom each analogy relates to, but I think most fans of Leeds understand what I mean.
It drives me full of frustration when I see a side like Burnley who has been in the Premier League recently. They will barring a complete slip up be there again next season. The reason of frustration is not just the envy, it’s coupled by the town and surroundings that house the team. Burnley is just a strange place, the grey clouds seem to have attached themselves to the town and the fans are just horrible. It sounds bitter, but I am so pleased that I am not connected to this club. Being a Leeds United fan is much more than being in the Premier League, we actually have so much more going for us despite the unreal plight and situation we find ourselves in. Where Elland Road has been modernized throughout these troubled years, Turf Moor is a dated snapshot of the past. I think the chair I was sat in formed part of the original ground, not that I sat in it mind you.
The game was full of missed opportunities that seem to follow us around. Top scorer Ross McCormack scored a deft header that really should’ve put us 2-0 clear heading into the break. Instead we saw his goal cancelled out by Burnleys first attack that resulted in an own goal steered past Jack Butland. This was all that happened for them, their fans rightly pleased to be level in a half we outplayed them in.
The second half saw us try and play some patient football. But as soon as we couldn’t clear the ball and were punished for this, we kept trying to hit long balls up to the attack. This became repetitive and disheartening and Burnley saw the match out. Brian McDermott looked rightly frustrated as he trudged off whilst Sean Dyche looked chuffed to pieces.
The journey back gave me time to reflect and I think it’s clear to see that the current team are trying their hardest. It’s the confusion and unknowns going on in the background that are causing the greatest concerns. We now find ourselves in 15th position but we are a long way clear of the bottom three. It’s also worth remembering that there are far worse teams than us in this league.
Meeting Andy Hughes on the way back to my car made me question a true hero. He is someone in modern day Leeds United history who understood what it meant to play for the club. It’s clear and sometimes easy to forget that not everybody is of the same mould. Andy Hughes is a very good example of a modern day player who realized how important and lucky he was to represent Leeds United. Andy thank you for making that time to say hi and pose for a photo.
For the rest of us we dream of beating Millwall this Saturday and hope that Cellino can get past this guilty verdict of Tax Evasion. It’s never dull at Elland Road!