Saturday, 29 September 2012

Away Days; Bristol City

Most, if not all teenagers heading off to university tomorrow will have been spending their final Saturday with their family. Some might have gone for a nice meal or two, maybe visited grandparents or aunties and uncles, saying their final goodbyes potentially before the Christmas break. I was determined to also spend my last day at home with my family and it just so happened that my last day fell on the same day as Bristol City away. A family day I would have, but it certainly wasn't ever going to be anywhere near home.

The fact we went to Wales excited me, so here's a Welsh road sign.
A standard away day in my house-hold begins by setting off an hour later than planned and we did not disappoint today. With the excitement of the game all I could think about, I'd forgot about the length of the journey ahead and with my trusty iPhone car charger not being so trusty, I had to spend a large amount of the journey listening to Sarah Cox's show on Radio 1. I find her extremely irritating and it was therefore a huge relief to arrive at our stopping place; sunny Chepstow on the Welsh border. Most picturesque villages have a down-fall and Chepstow's is being within 25 miles of Bristol; well within the danger zone with Leeds United visiting. An army of fans clad in blue and white had piled into the local Wetherspoon's and were doing an excellent job of pissing off the locals by treating them to many renditions of "Marching On Together". Another regular feature of a standard away day is the friendly faces and, an hour early, I was greeted by the familiar drunken faces of both Matty Powell (@mrplufc) and Dan Lambert (@DanLambert_). Happy to see them I was; happy to see them flirt with my Mum I wasn't. Dan's lines of "you look young enough to be his sister" don't wash with Jane however as she's heard them all before. Credit to the man, he shook off his disappointment and moved swiftly onto his next target. God help her.

After a quick ham and cheese toastie we left Wales, crossing the Severn Bridge towards Bristol and were greeted by traffic. Lots of traffic. As if we weren't in a big enough rush already. We finally arrived, parked barely legally and power-walked the short distance to the ground. I'd never been to Ashton Gate before but didn't have time to stop and take in its "beauty" as I was more concerned at missing kick off. I missed kick off anyway; it took me five minutes to convince the bored looking security guard that I wasn't carrying anything illegal.

The Severn Bridge in all its glory.

My away game record isn't great; that's putting it kindly, we never win when I make the journey and the first half as expected went un-noticed. It was fairly even, there was a lot of "hoof-ball" and there certainly wasn't anything to write home about. Our position in the corner behind the corner-flag was a good one, but we had unfortunately located ourselves near a group of rowdy, okay pissed, teens. They seemed to be the world's biggest Paddy Kenny fans, throwing themselves into an X-Factor winning rendition of "Paddy Kenny's having a party.." every time he touched the ball. Thankfully, the Leeds stopper was fairly quiet in an opening period that saw little in terms of chances for either side. The head-line moment was a serious injury to Bristol City full-back George Elokobi who we later found out had fractured and dislocated his ankle after a serious fall. The reaction of the home fans was clear enough to me that it was extremely serious and I was impressed that both sets of supporters clapped the fallen giant off the field.

Thankfully, the ring-leader of X Factor's "pissed-up teens" was defeated at half-time; the pool of sick left on the floor representative of his afternoon's work. I'm not a fan of investigating people's vomit but less alcohol and more food would have been worthwhile advice to the poor lad.

On April 28th, on this very blog, I stated that the potential signing of El-Hadji Diouf could have been the cleverest signing of the summer. I'm rarely correct, maybe this time I was, but even I have been surprised at just how much of a positive impact the "sewer rat" has had. And it was Diouf, Leeds' matador that opened the scoring, kick-starting an exciting second half by putting the away side into the lead. Young Sam Byram was excellent down the right, getting to the by-line and instead of drilling a hopeful cross into the box as most would have, the mature 19 year old picked out Diouf who fired it into the far bottom corner. I couldn't believe it, I had my away goal and celebrated with as much surprise as delight. The goal had come after Rodolph Austin twice came close with two headers, one saved well by Heaton and one re-bounding back off the crossbar. I felt we deserved to go 1-0 ahead but in typical Leeds fashion, the lead didn't last long.

In true cutting-edge journalistic fashion, I missed the home side's equaliser. At least I had a valid reason; I was punching the inflatable beach ball. You read that correctly; the beach ball floating round the away end had finally come to me and I gave it a true Paddy Kenny-like punch. As I watched to see where it landed, the home fans erupted. At first I thought they were being appreciative of my punch but sadly not, Albert Adomah had levelled the game at 1-1.

The equaliser settled the home side down and they started to play a lot better. Our end was slightly more subdued and for a few minutes it was hard to see us scoring again; we did have the ball in the net from Tom Lees but it was disallowed for...well I don't know. This time I wasn't punching a beach ball, I actually saw what happened and thought the referee made a mistake in disallowing the goal. As it turned out, we were gifted the lead after a mistake by Robins captain Liam Fontaine. A hopeful ball from Becchio wasn't dealt with and fan-favourite Diouf was on hand to slot the ball under Heaton to restore Leeds' lead. I found myself hugging the friendly man in the row behind me and all of a sudden we were joined by a third man; a three-way hug with strangers is a standard away day ritual.

Two minutes later, it got even better. Michael Tonge has looked like a steady loan signing since his arrival, but on 83 minutes he rolled back the years. He rolled back the years so much that he did something he's never done before. Cutting in from his un-natural position on the left wing, the Stoke loanee unleashed an unstoppable drive into the top right corner of Heaton's goal. The 1,800 Leeds fans were sent into delirium. I couldn't believe it; I was so happy I could have cried.

Somehow Bristol City found a way back into the game through an own goal. It's unclear who actually scored it; the announcer seemed to mention Sam Byram's name, Sky Sports said it was Austin's. Must of had too many rizlas. We didn't care; after a six long minutes, the whistle blew and Leeds recorded their third win in a week. I was delighted.

I felt so proud clapping the lads off one last time before Christmas. Lee Peltier is and will remain my favourite player out of the current squad but its hard not to love El Hadji Diouf. Kissing the badge may have been a step too far for a man who's had more clubs than red-cards (surprising, given his track record) but it still delighted the travelling faithful. If you score twice and kiss the badge, it doesn't matter who you are, you will be loved. Who would have thought the city of Leeds would be worshipping the likes of Neil Warnock and El Hadji Diouf. But so far this season, mixing two hated men with a hated club is working an absolute dream.

Long may it continue.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

I Ran Out Of Superlatives To Describe The Performance In This Headline

Anyone who goes to the football with their family will know that Mum's describe the beautiful game fairly simplistically. Sometimes their insight is so simple that it's frustrating, but occasionally they produce something straight-forward that sums up the situation perfectly. And whilst I sat toiling over how to analyse the game for this very blog my own Mum came up with a line that summarised the game perfectly; "they don't half fight these days". Well done Jane, I'm proud of you.

Neither of them look this pretty after tonight.
She was right. When both centre halves leave the field with bandaged heads, you could have a pretty good guess that they'd been involved in a struggle. That doesn't even cover the half of it; as much as it's cliched, Jason Pearce genuinely looked as if he had gone nine rounds with Mike Tyson. If he had, I'm fairly sure he would have lost. But instead, he and centre-half partner Tom Lees took on the likes of Fellaini, Pienaar and Jelavic. And they won.

They were both outstanding. But if I backed any member of the Leeds team to take on Mike Tyson and win, it'd be Rodolph Austin. Tonight the Jamaican finally produced a performance that I've been crying out for. The game-plan seemed obvious; mark Fellaini out of the game and it was executed so beautifully by Austin that it was hard to tell which of the two would be taking on Southampton this upcoming Saturday. The Leeds man won every header, every tackle and left Fellaini as a passenger for much, if not all of the game.

It was undoubted that a good start was imperative if Leeds were to have any chance. I'd call taking the lead after four minutes a pretty good start. So far this season, Aidy White has performed very "un-Aidy White like", showing none of the pace and urgency that we have come to love. His defensive abilities have always been questionable, as has his final delivery, but after four minutes against Everton the Republic of Ireland Under-21 produced a moment of pure magic. Picking up the ball mid-way inside the Everton half, his turn of pace saw him breeze straight through the heart of Everton's defence before he curled a majestic strike into the far corner. It was, as mentioned earlier, extremely "un-Aidy White like", but this time, for all the right reasons.

That moment of quality represented Leeds' first half performance; one of real grit and determination but one which did show glimpses of brilliance. At times our football was as good as its been all season; the passing and movement not only matching our Premier League opposition, but exceeding it. At the back we looked solid and went into half-time with a fairly comfortable 1-0 lead; a lead that could have been 2-0 had goalkeeper Jan Mucha not kept out Jason Pearce's goal-bound header. Enter the big guns.

As expected, Moyes threw on Pienaar and Neville for the youngsters Gueye and Junior and immediately, more nerves kicked in. In one of my last pieces, I mentioned my fear of Pienaar's pace, fully expecting it to get the better of whichever full-back he had the joy of facing. But it didn't. Young Sam Byram was again excellent in dealing with everything Everton threw at him and on the other flank, Danny Pugh was also solid; those who follow me on Twitter will know I am Pugh's biggest critic and even I was fairly surprised at the quality of his performance.

Michael Brown defied his age for the ninety minutes, covering more yardage than potentially anyone on the pitch. And our pressing gained us a second goal; Danny Pugh's strike catching a deflection off of Austin on its way into the back of the net. Elland Road erupted once more and the atmosphere cranked up slightly as the home fans' delirium was met with the annoyance of Everton's travelling army.

The away side improved slightly, bringing on Nikica Jelavic in the hope of getting the better of the heroic Leeds defence. Goalkeeper Ashdown was on hand to parry away a long-distance drive and Victor Anichebe fired wide as Everton turned the screw. Despite the heroics, Leeds' habit of conceding soft goals again got the better of them as Everton pulled a goal back from a soft free kick, which allowed Sylvain Distin to score a looping header into the far corner. Once more, the final five minutes at Elland Road was to be a nervy one.

Despite a few balls into the box and a little bit of pressure, the four minutes of extra time passed with minimum of fuss and Leeds clung on to take an unlikely victory. Everton weren't at their best, but the quality of our performance cannot be denied. Neil Warnock's Leeds is a Leeds that we haven't seen for years; one that can win games purely on work-rate and one that can look bloody impressive when that work-rate is mixed with just a little bit of quality. The delight on the players' faces was a sight to behold and the crowd were still in full voice as El Hadji Diouf completely his weekly lonely parade around the pitch at the end.

Never write off Leeds United; this team could produce something special.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

The Battle of the Middle-East

My daily check of Twitter this morning threw up something different. Saturday mornings on Twitter usually consist of reading how "its illegal to be up this early on a Saturday", with some even blaming their parents, their dog and the next door neighbour cutting his grass for the early wake-up call. Sometimes I'm treated to tales of how somebody "enjoyed their lie-in" and in amongst all that excitement, is a bit of football talk. Well, a lot of football talk. The minority is fans of various clubs tweeting words of wisdom about their team's upcoming game, or maybe even kindly telling us they've set off to "insert club name here" away. But the overwhelming majority, is Leeds United talk.

Now normally, its quite depressing, particularly after a result and a performance like the one on Tuesday night. But one magical word reared its head for all the right reasons; takeover. At around 12pm, I read that an interview with Ken Bates was to be played on Yorkshire Radio around 1pm. One particular hint from Kirwin ensured that Leeds fans were drooling over their lunches at the possibility of what they were about to hear; an "investment update".

It turned out that Ken's "investment update" was a bloody exciting one, revealing that takeover talks were at an "advanced stage" and that four of the key members of the investors were in attendance at the game today. All I hoped for then, was a solid performance and that unbelievable Elland Road atmosphere that we all know and love.

It wasn't going to be easy though. Like us, Forest were linked with a take-over throughout the summer, with one key difference to the situation at Elland Road. The take-over actually happened, the Al-Hasawi family of Kuwait taking over the reigns and giving new manager Sean O'Driscoll some much needed spending money. The squad O'Driscoll has in front of him is an outstanding one and I counted a number of faces on their bench that would walk into Neil Warnock's first team. In my opinion, there were also faces on that bench that should have started for the visitors.

From the outset, Leeds looked impressive, with the mid-week defeat to Hull seemingly in the past. The late but successful fitness test of Luciano Becchio was critical; the in-form striker was always going to have to play an important role if the Whites were going to take the points. And he did. After Tom Lees went close through a header, it was Becchio who put Leeds 1-0 up. More outstanding work from the outstanding Diouf resulted in mayhem in the Forest box; the ball popping up to Becchio who volleyed home with aplomb from the edge of the six yard box. Close range it may have been, but the Argentinian made it look a lot easier than it actually was. Forest had had the ball in the back of the net a few minutes earlier but the goal was correctly ruled out for a foul on Paddy Kenny; potentially the only decision referee Andy D'Urso got right in a tough afternoon for the man in the middle.

Youngster Dominic Poleon started tentatively and was having some trouble using his pace to any great effect against much bigger and more experienced defenders. However, any previous nerves were washed away on 26 minutes. After Luciano Becchio stalled on the edge of the area, the ball rolled out to Poleon who was on hand to fire Leeds into a 2-0 lead. Who needs Ross McCormack?

If you look really close, you can see breasts.
O'Driscoll sent on McGugan and Lansbury at half time and I suddenly felt a little more nervous. Both men have serious quality, especially McGugan from set-pieces, something that could have caused us problems with the referee awarding Forest a free-kick every time Jason Pearce won a header. The banter was also over; famous chubster Andy Reid one of the men to be taken off.

As expected, Forest hit back in the second half but Leeds looked comfortable until another soft goal. The softest we've conceded all season. A long throw from Halford caused chaos, Paddy Kenny came and got nowhere near it and Dexter Blackstock flicked his header into an un-guarded goal. Ten thousand people put their hands in their head. The other ten thousand put their hands to their mouths as finger nails were consumed once more.

But similarly to the Wolves game, Leeds dug down deep and clung on for an unlikely win. Some last-ditch headers combined with a lot of time-wasting ensured a return to winning ways for Warnock's Whites and an end to Nottingham Forest's unbeaten league campaign. 

Afterwards I checked Twitter; the Forest fans were bitter. That wasn't meant to rhyme. Honest. Some fantastic tweets claimed that Leeds had "cheated", "paid the referee" and "time-wasted". In fairness, the referee had a shocker, but was equally poor to both teams. It was silly to accuse Leeds of paying a referee could we afford him?

Aw cutie.

I certainly couldn't. After two accumulator successes on the trot, I frantically opened the Sky Sports Score Centre to reveal that this weekend's accumulator had gone tits-up. The bad luck was back. I also had on my weekly "Will Both Teams Score?" bet, where I carefully...okay randomly, select a few games where I hope both teams will score a goal. Today, I cleverly chose three of my seven games to be York City vs Cheltenham, Barnet vs Rotherham and Bristol Rovers vs Fleetwood...the only three goal-less draws in the whole of the football league. Smart.

I left Elland Road all proud to be a Leeds fan; a feeling that isn't rarely bettered on a Saturday afternoon. With Everton at home on Tuesday and my last game next weekend away at Bristol City, I'm looking forward to this week and aiming for three points and a penalty shoot-out. 

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Match Preview: Everton

I wrote this for an Everton fan who runs his own blog and asked me to write an article from a Leeds fan's perspective ahead of next Tuesday's game but thought I'd upload it to my own blog as well.

If I was writing this exactly a month ago, I’d be looking at an up-coming Carling Cup tie against Premier League Everton with optimism and positive feeling. An opening day win against Wolves, combining with a performance full of effort, desire and a little bit of quality ensured that I was looking at the upcoming season with belief that maybe, just maybe, Neil Warnock’s new-look Leeds could produce something special. What a difference a month makes.

On Tuesday, we recorded our first home defeat of the season against Hull, a lack-lustre and ragged performance doing little to raise the spirits of the attendees. Coming a week before the visit of Everton, this was hardly the greatest preparation and with Nottingham Forest on their way this Saturday, we could quite possibly be taking on an established Premier League side on the back of three defeats. I’m usually over harsh on my team, but the growing injury list seems to be the root cause for this down-turn in form.
Midfield battlers Paul Green and David Norris have been out for some weeks and will both miss the Everton game. They aren’t perhaps the key, exciting names that will win games alone but their work-rate is faultless and this is something that will be missed against a side who are far superior in terms of quality. Talisman Ross McCormack is also set for a lengthy spell on the side-lines after injuring his ankle in the 2-1 reverse against Cardiff City. These are the names that we need in order to match a side of Everton’s calibre, without them, we’re missing key figures in terms of both quality and work-rate.

I would expect Neil Warnock to play a fairly strong team. The growing injury list ensures this may be his only option; at this rate the team will soon be picking itself. Despite the figures missing however, no Leeds United team will ever roll over and die and so Everton should expect a tough game. Our record on Tuesday nights is appalling but our recent record against Premier League opposition is surprisingly good. With the backing of a packed Elland Road, it could be a potentially tricky tie for the Toffees.

With a few key players out injured, our hopes rest potentially in three players. Centre-half Jason Pearce has been one of the stand-outs of the season so far, consistently out-performing his fellow defensive partners. Our defence is notorious for conceding soft goals however and the aerial prowess of stars such as Fellaini could give Pearce a stern test. It won’t be easy for the ex-Portsmouth captain but he does have the ability to cope at this level, even if he is missing the extra five inches that Fellaini’s hair gives him! Another man for Everton to watch is Jamaican Rodolph Austin, a long-term transfer target of Warnock’s. The dogged central midfielder is as hard as they come and will hopefully relish the task of coming up against such coveted opposition. Despite his continued best efforts, he is yet to completely dominate a game but hopefully his hard-tackling and wide passing range can gain us a valuable advantage in one of the most important areas of the pitch. 

How could I not complete a Leeds United “players to watch” without mentioning El-Hadji Diouf?
The controversial forward was one of the surprise signings of the season; having been branded as “worse than a sewer rat” by Warnock during Diouf’s time at Blackburn. Diouf certainly had a lot to do to win over the Elland Road faithful, but he impressed quickly and has rapidly turned into a fan favourite. At times this season he has been our only bright spark going forward and particularly with the loss of Ross McCormack, we could be counting on Diouf and potentially Luciano Becchio to provide that much needed attacking fire-power. His ability isn’t all you need to watch out for with Diouf; he is exactly the kind of player that could score twice before elbowing Phil Neville and spitting on Moyes on his way to an early bath.

If our opening day success was a good one, then Everton’s was an excellent one. So excellent that it was celebrated in Leeds. Beating Manchester United is an achievement for many in world football, but to look in control for the majority of the game is something that Everton were correctly praised for. I remember watching the game and being incredibly impressed with not only Man of the Match Fellaini, but with the centre-half pairing of Jagielka and Distin. I also watched them on Monday against Newcastle and was impressed; the final score-line of 2-2 being somewhat a travesty after a fine display from the home side.
The Toffees have always had quality and are led by one of the finest managers in English football; for this reason they have and will always be dangerous opposition. They’ve always looked extremely organised to me but in the last few years have perhaps missed an out and out goal-scorer. From what I’ve seen this season and last, they may have found one. Nikica Jelavic.

It’s impossible to tell how strong a side Moyes will pick but if Jelavic plays, he’ll cause us major problems. His height and his strength poses a threat for any defence, particularly one as famously poor as ours. He reminds me slightly of a smaller Nikola Zigic; for the effect that Zigic had at Elland Road last year, you just have to ask Simon Grayson, who lost his job after a 4-1 defeat. If height causes us a problem, pace causes us chaos. The likes of Osman and Pienaar will be relishing the opportunity to impress and will surely have a fairly simple evening as they torment the likes of the abysmal Luke Varney down the wings. Regardless of who Moyes selects, I think we face a tie of great difficulty.

The night promises to be an interesting one and I’m sure the game will be as exciting as people are hoping. It will be nice to welcome back Premier League opposition to Elland Road and hopefully we’ll see an atmosphere that fits with the historically all-Premier League fixture. Leeds and Everton are two of the “big clubs” in the history of English football and despite our spectacular fall from grace, I think both sets of fans would agree that this is the type of fixture that both clubs should be playing week-in, week-out. I’d rather visit Goodison Park than London Road and I’m sure Everton fans would rather visit Elland Road than the DW Stadium.

We also share one more thing in common; something that will create a truly blessed feeling. Both clubs were touched by the late, great Gary Speed and it is fitting that this tie comes just months after his tragic death. Regardless of the game and the score, for a few minutes the whole of Elland Road will be united by united affection for one man and, similarly to the joint efforts of Merseyside through the JFT96 campaign, it will be a truly special thing to take part in.
Prediction: Leeds United 0-2 Everton

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Home Defeat No. 1 - Hull City

After a battling start to the season at Elland Road culminating in taking four points from two tough openers, Leeds next welcomed one of the early pace-setters, Steve Bruce's Hull City. Once more, it was a home Tuesday night game to forget for Neil Warnock's Whites.

Fresh from the back of the excitement of the Blackburn game and having missed the previous two away games due to work, I couldn't wait. However with star man Ross McCormack injured, I doubted our attacking credentials and fancied us to lose; so much so that I placed Hull City on an ambitious accumulator of away wins. I was also sat in the South stand for the first time since goals from David Healy and Jonathan Douglas sealed a 2-1 win against Coventry back in 2007.

Despite the negative feeling, there was certainly the belief that this new team could pick up a result. The starting eleven perhaps had a little less quality than the starting eleven against Blackburn, but hopefully still had the same work-rate and desire, which as we had already seen, can go along way.

For the first ten minutes, I was impressed. We played football, we looked threatening. And we went 1-0 up. El Hadji Diouf's trickery down the right was stopped illegally by Dudgeon and after consulting his assistant, referee Roger East pointed to the penalty spot. Hull protested furiously; I thought it was maybe a little soft, but no softer than the one awarded to Cardiff last Saturday. Becchio stepped up and scored. Good start.

We then went on to create chances. A combination of Ben Amos and the Hull centre halves prevented Diouf from firing Leeds two ahead, before Amos eventually gathered a strike from Jamaican Rodolph Austin. But that's where the excitement ended. From the moment Sam Byram lunged in on Abdoulaye Faye, the game changed. The tackle itself went unpunished; being a referee myself I thought it looked ominously close to being a "two-footed" tackle and was dangerous enough to warrant a red card. But what do I know? Fellow Leeds fans on Twitter after the game dismissed my opinions as "nonsense". If only we could see it again.

Hull grew slowly into the game, looking to have the pace and urgency that so often defeats any Leeds United side. They levelled through Sunderland loanee El-Mohamady who fired into the far corner after some more questionable Leeds defending. Five minutes later they were ahead, the dangerous El-Mohamady whipping in a cross allowing Faye to nod in an un-marked header. After that, everything went flat, the game drifted into stale-mate and the half time whistle provided a welcome break from what was another diabolical Leeds performance.

The Orange 3G on my phone was doing a good job of letting me down as I frantically scoured the Sky Sports Score Centre to see how my accumulator was doing. Despite Hull's efforts, my "away wins" bet was struggling, Hartlepool's ambitious odds of 4-1 reflecting their chance of winning; they were already 2-0 down and went on to lose 5-0. Smart bet Josh, smart bet. My home wins accumulator was looking more positive, with Blackburn's equaliser at home to Barnsley ensuring that a few were winning and a few were drawing going into the half time break.

Sadly, the football started again and continued in the same fashion; Hull looking lively, Leeds looking ragged. The introduction of Dom Poleon brightened things up slightly, the youngster making some promising runs and even forcing a simple save from Amos. But it was Hull that, as expected, scored again. Good work down the right saw El Mohamady (again) deliver from the right and (again), it was a Hull man who was un-marked at the back-post to finish. This time it was the impressive Koren who had the gift of scoring at Elland Road. With no performance and no atmosphere, I even found time to pick out certain friends in various stands. I was that bored.

The abysmal Luke Varney was jeered off and replaced by the equally abysmal Andy Gray. But it was the "no goals a season man" who lifted the crowd off their feet, nodding in a Diouf free-kick to rally the Leeds faithful again. Sadly it was all in vain and a wide Lee Peltier strike signalled the end of the game and the first home defeat this season. The first of many?

In truth, we were awful. Genuinely awful. But it would be harsh to take everything away from Hull. Determined and well-organised, their back three looked strong, with the impressive James Chester the stand-out. Going forward they always looked a threat. Jay Simpson impressed me the most with a number of skilful runs through the heart of our midfield and defence; that isn't particularly difficult mind. El Mohamady would probably have taken the man of the match award; a goal and two assists making him the jewel in Hull's crown.

I really like Robert Lewandowski.
My night was to improve as my best friend read out scores from Blackburn, Dortmund and Chesterfield. Three winners in the last six minutes from Nuno Gomes, Terrell Forbes and Robert Lewandowski combined with wins for Tranmere, PSG and Gillingham to provide a successful accumulator win. £26 is hardly life-changing...enough to buy Leeds a new striker maybe.