Those of you who know me well, know of my admiration of the great Brian De Palma. One of my favourite films is the epic, The Untouchables. Not just for the cinematography of the sweeping Chicago skyline. Nor for the attention to detail of the costumery by Giorgio Armani. Not even for that fantastic Oscar winning performance by Sean Connery and his perfect delivery of that tremendous Irish accent. No, it has to be for the classic one liners. One of my favourite ones (see the picture below) is – “never stop fighting til the fight is over” Eliot Ness to Capone in the final courtroom scene. Never stop until it is done.
And that is what happened today, and at Villa on Sunday. Never stop until it is over.
I have just been watching the Red Button version of our game on SkyTVis f**kings**t. When Roofe makes it 2-2 he runs straight back to the centre circle, shouting for everyone else to restart the game. When Roofe scores the winner, Bielsa can be seen on the touchline screaming for everyone to get back to the centre circle, for ANOTHER goal. None of this sitting back on your laurels business. None of the wild celebrating thinking you have won the game (like Blackburn – ha ha ha ha ha). No. Back to business. Back to scoring another goal.
If Blackburn hadn’t spent so long wasting time in vain doing their inglorious celebrations, who knows? There may not have been so much injury time, and we may not have been able to score the winner.
So you’d think everyone would be happy following the last two games. The last two games where EVERY man played til the end, fighting for that win. Two of the most exciting games of football this Christmas. Two games where we turned it around, clawing back to victory from certain defeat. Two games when we were foiled by the ref and the linesmen at every turn. Everything against us (including the post and the crossbar). Against all odds, we won. We are unbeaten in 7, 7 wins in a row since the minor blip at West Brom.
22 year old Bailey Peacock Farrell had kept 3 clean sheets against Reading (including THAT penalty save), T’Blades and Bolton. He is still learning his trade. Alioski is still only in his second season playing in this league, battling not only a different style of football, but also being played in different positions on the pitch, sometimes covering as a left back. Between them, they probably make the same number of mistakes as Hernandez and Jansson do. Unlike Pablo and Pontus however, BPF and Alioski get mercilessly boo-ed when they do something wrong. Leeds fans just don’t ever learn. Look at what all the constant booing and aggro did to Roofe when he first came to the Club. It knocked his confidence to rock bottom. It’s only thanks to Bielsa and sheer persistence that Roofe is what he is today, our top goal scorer. 5 goals in 4 games. According to BBC website he has scored 13 goals this season. It’s not even 2019 yet and he spent a month out injured.
At 1-2 down today, people were leaving in their droves. The day trippers who haven’t been to a Leeds game in ages sloping off, muttering “same old sh*te again”, you just couldn’t hold out could you? And, in the words of the great Jim Bowen, let’s look at what you could have won.. 2 goals in injury time, yet another turnaround. So the question is.. why would you? If you have paid your money and saved up all those brownie points all year from your missus and the kids, so you can go watch Leeds for one game, why leave before the end? The mind boggles.
The criticism wasn’t just from them though. Even as we were walking away from the ground, all you could hear was, “we need a decent keeper and a proper forward”. Eh? What game were you watching? We are top of the league. We have a massive goal difference. 7 wins on the trot. Jeez, what would they be saying if we were midtable and only two goals to the good? They’d be wanting two goalies, two forwards and a whole midfield. I shudder to think what people would be saying if we were bottom of the league, battling relegation. There would be some sort of apoplectic crisis going on every week, liken to some mushroom cloud nuclear explosion, wanting to clear out the whole team…
Hang about that was the end of last season wasn’t it? Good job we didn’t sell all our players in June then, eh??
Even if we bought Messi, I still wouldn’t play him in this team. We are a unit. Not just a team of 11. We are a squad of 18. A gang of 25+. A side of 50+ including the youth and academy. This is our future. If things aren’t going well on the pitch, Bielsa will change it. Or at least threaten to change it by making Lewis Baker stand on the touchline! We do not need mercenary journeymen like we did in the days of Colin. We need to invest in what we have got. We are already the envy of most of the league, and indeed the Premiership. Constant whingeing about needing to bring more in is beyond ridiculous.
No one else could have done what we did today in the last 10 minutes of that game. Even Norwich, the crown princes of the 95+ minutes goals, could not do what we did today AND against Villa on Sunday (with one day less recovery time thanks to SkyTVisf**kings**t). I wouldn’t drop any of them. You don’t fix what isn’t broken. Yes, Cooper is out, as is Beradi and Bamford, and Izzy Brown has yet to kick a ball in anger. But I wouldn’t sideline any of our team, not whilst they can fight back like they did these last two games. Bielsa knows that he can make each player compete for their spot. He is willing to change the team at the time if he thinks it is necessary. He subbed Kalvin a few times and look at the lad now. One of the best players we have on the pitch, and still playing out of position. Talk about a utility player. We have been beset with injuries all season long, but we are top of the league. In the face of adversity ( and time wasting cheating teams and ridiculous reffing decisions), we are prevailing.
Keep the faith. Never, never stop fighting til the fighting is done. We rest when the fight is over. On On On