Low Growls Not Barking Mad

Posted by on Dec 27, 2020 in Blog | 0 comments

After multiple replays of Sean Dyche and his low growls after that game, it sounded like Boxing Day deja vu, following the over indulgence of turkey, pigs in blankets and roasties, oh and half a packet of after eight mints. In this years’ Christmas Battle of Man v Food, my stomach will testify that food definitely won. Although I have to say that my tummy rumblings were less biased than Sean Dyche’s interview today.

Is it just me, or does anyone else see Preston the bulldog from Aardman’s “A Close Shave” everytime Sean opens his mouth? Both the normal version and the terminator one, just to clarify.

Today’s game wasn’t pretty to watch, especially that second half, or rather the last 20 minutes of the second half. Mind you, the first half wasn’t that much to look at either, until someone finally told the cameraman on the West Stand touchline near the dug outs that his lens needed cleaning. It was nearly the end of the first half before it looked slightly better than “The Big Match” re runs on ITV4.

It’s amazing how now that we are forced to watch our games on the telly due to bloody bat flu, you realise just how crap the TV coverage actually is. Unbelievably, even though I have had 3 hours in the pub before the game normally, I manage to see more of the game than the 8 strategically placed  cameras can capture during a TV broadcast. Admittedly, I tend to watch what is actually going on the pitch according to where the ball is, rather than obsessively focusing my attention on the dugouts, 30 seconds of a man chewing gum is 29 seconds too much. You’d think with all this goal line technology and split second replays, that 89 minutes of a 90 minute game would actually be following the play (VAR decisions notwithstanding). Even if the ball goes out for a throw in or a corner, what is to stop the continuity man just showing the few seconds build up which resulted in said free kick etc. Plus, when there is a corner, why they don’t do the wide angle shot so you can watch the run ins from outside the box, is beyond me. Like I said in an earlier post, it makes you think that the people choosing the camera angles aren’t actually football fans. Maybe there is an a ulterior motive, like sponsorship deals for chewing gum or toothpaste brands? Who knows, but it is really annoying.

Not as annoying as Jamie “dey do do dat doh don’t dey doh” Carragher. Once again, the commentary team of Andy and Dan excelled themselves today. All they have to do is provide ball by ball commentary on what’s going on the pitch. Like the inimitable Roy Walker on Catchphrase – “say what you see”. It’s not really that difficult is it? I’m pretty sure that in front of them some number cruncher minion will have prepped all the stats needed for them for that game, so that when nothing is happening, they can spout some figures to make themselves look a bit clever. But no, short of the commentary team being made up of people without a grudge or at least being able to be impartial for 90 minutes, you’d be better off getting one of those guys who does the commentary on horse racing doing it. At least they can make it sound a bit exciting and you know they’ll only give you the actual facts. That Peter O Sullivan, now he knew a thing or two about sports commentary.

They can leave all the bias and the “in depth game analysis” to the three clowns sat around that tiny table in the studio. What is the point of that tiny coffee table anyway? It’s way too low to put your pint on (or tea mug if you’re feeling delicate). You can’t even rest your feet on it. They’d be better off with a Dickie Davis style of hip high desk, to hide those hideous hipster trousers and non shiny shoes. With all the money they make, you’d think they could afford to pay someone to clean their shoes at least and press their trousers.

I understand, the way that Leeds United play under Bielsa’s tutelage is, basically, the SAME every game. But it’s not boring is it? Even when we are losing, it’s still exciting to watch. We are the epitome of “hitting on the break” as much as we are the personification of being “caught on the break”. I am pretty sure that there are plenty of stats to reel off about how many miles (not kilometres now we are out – down with decimalisation!) Kalvin has covered on the pitch or how many Premier League teams Bamford can be classed as playing for ( does coming on for 39 minutes really count as a Burnley career?) to use as a filler when someone goes down in a tackle.

I know, it may be unfair for me to criticise them as I have never been in their shoes, but I am stuck having to watch and listen to them and not really doing this by choice. I’d MUCH rather be watching it live at the game, but I can’t. At least they are being paid to do it. Having said that, if SkyTVisf**kings**t want to pay me to sit and watch Leeds United and provide the commentary, as long as I can have a drinkie or two, I’m pretty sure that I would do as good as, if not a better job of it, than the current lot.

I would certainly tell old Sean that he needs to be a far gracious loser, and that on the day, despite us having no proper centre halves and a keeper who looks like he is 12, the team pulled together, did the job and kept them at bay. Which is no mean feat for a newly promoted Championship team.

Sean – just sum up the game (thanks to googleimages for the picture)

Sean – did you deserve a point? (thanks to googleimages for picture)

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Christmas 2020 – sums up the year really

Posted by on Dec 20, 2020 in Blog | 0 comments

So, just switched off SkyTVisf**kings**t for Christmas 2020, and that game just about sums up this year, doesn’t it?

Full of promise at the start, quickly descended into a complete farce, a bit of hope halfway through and then utter carnage, and despite continuing to battle to the end, beaten into submission. That was the summary of 2020 – now back to the game ….. oh no need. Ditto.

The fortunate thing about the football is that there is hope, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Once we get our defenders back, and hopefully Coops isn’t hurt too badly, we will throw everything (again – like we always do) at Burnley, and come away with three points. 2020 is also coming to an end and good riddance I say.

There’s no doubt at all that this has been the most calamitous year in a long, long time.

Two weeks ago, we played Chelski. Or should I say, Chelski decided to turn up to a game and actually properly participate in it, unlike their previous game against Spurs which was as dull as ditchwater. Yes, we lost but we had been forced to start with Llorente, as our stand in centre back (as Koch had got injured, and is now out til the Spring), and we were no match in the box against the giants in Fat Frank’s team. We then played the ‘Appy ‘Ammers and again, gave away pointless free kicks and corners, and again lost. Both games were on the telly and both drew a massive audience and subsequent newspaper column inches.

There is no doubt at all that Leeds United have cemented themselves as THE team that the TV companies want to have in their schedule. The football we play under Bielsa is attractive, and played in the spirit of the game that it should be. Having put myself through the commentary of Martin Tyler and Gary Neville today on SkyTVis f**kings**t, which is heaps better than the Amazon rubbish against the Geordies the other night by the way despite Jermaine’s moonlighting, it was almost embarrassing to hear them gushing over us. It was like listening in to a discussion between Dave Rowson and Paul Beaumont over Nigella Lawson. In fact Leeds United are probably the football equivalent of Nigella Lawson at this moment in time.

When Leeds are on the telly, you can almost see these commentators drooling down their microphones on the gantry over our passing play. Even the BBC are forced into it. And even though we lost today, the flattery from Tyler and Neville was evident and rightly so. Our football is THE most entertaining football currently available. Every game pre match there is talk about how they think Bielsa is going to play, but there doesn’t need to be. Regardless of who we are playing, Bielsa is just going to play exactly the same. One of the funniest moments was before the West Ham game, when in the press conference, the gaggle of reporters were trying to make a big deal of who might or might not be playing, so Bielsa just came out with the team line-up. Excellent. Giving them all the respect that they deserve – none whatsoever.

Lately though, there does seem to me that there is a worrying pattern forming. Chelski, Spurs, Citeh and Scum today just don’t seem to be bothering to turn up properly in certain games. Only then to turn up the heat when they are playing us. I know that for years and years, it has always been the pretence that we are the opposition’s Cup Final, but this season, it genuinely feels that way. As a seasoned conspiracy theorist, it does seem that when teams play against us, they are up-ing their game and playing much better football.

Is this because of the open style we play which makes other teams seem better? Before today, Scum had only scored three times at home, today they were 2-0 up within two minutes. Yes, I am sure that because our play is attack, attack, attack, we do leave ourselves open and have been of late (because of injuries and no Ben White!) been punished on the break. The fluidity of our play against the likes of Newcastle the other night, was breathtaking but then, like it was today, when the opposition are just as fast as we are, begrudgingly, the Scum goals were taken well.

Like Tyler said today, Leeds play the style of football that was played in the 1950s, when it was common place to score 6 to 8 goals a game. It was end to end stuff and there was no place for “clever game management” aka feigning injury and diving, because the game was played how it should be. However, playing the game how it should be played, may not win us the league. It will give the PL the breath of fresh air that the staleness of the last decade has needed. It will boost the TV figures, not that they need much, seeing as we will be in lockdown til the end of the season now, but it might spur on a generation of young footballers to do the right thing and stop the future Grealishes and Livarpool employees from getting anymore silly ideas.

For our first season back in top flight football, we haven’t done too badly really. We are midtable but it’s not even Christmas yet. The injuries are a concern, but we will have to wait and see. It was interesting how he took Kalvin and Klich off today, apparently because they are on 4 yellows already, and he didn’t want the team to suffer from any suspensions until the reset button in the New Year. Tactics? Hmmm.

The one thing that annoyed me today was that they kept harking on about Bielsa’s philosophy. It’s not really a philosophy is it? It’s just playing the game how it’s meant to be played. The game has changed so much since we were last in the Premier League. Not just with VAR and the rule changes, even the  pitches don’t seem like a proper grass surface anymore, they look like someone has gone over them in green felt tip pen. The players may be super fit, nutritionally balanced dietically fed, non smoking, non alcoholic, computer controlled hermetically insulated playing machines, but this makes them prone to hissy fits. Including headbutting, pushing and shoving, handbag throwing merchants, added to that all the hair pulling, eye gouging, biting and name calling spectacles that were not uncommon at 1am in the taxi queues outside Flares in the old days. They maybe be human, but not as we know it, Jim.

Anyway, Merry Christmas folks, enjoy it as much as you can in these uncertain times. We might get lucky and be able to watch a live game at ER before the end of the season. Whatever happens, it has certainly been an interesting and enjoyable start to our first season back in top flight football. The results might not have gone our way, but the football we are watching is fantastic and long may it continue to be as entertaining as it has been. Roll on the next 20 points, 7 more wins will see me happy before the end of the season.

For the benefit of those who don’t know what this is. This is port – how it should be served

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