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the square ball week

the square ball week

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It was a game nobody would ever forget. A crunch game in the race for the Championship against a team at the foot of the league, it swung first one way and then the other, the title chance apparently slipping away as time ran out with the score locked at 2-2. With all possibilities for any more drama surely exhausted, the magical moment finally arrived: a last gasp winner in the unlikeliest of circumstances that condemned Manchester United to being also rans once more. Brian Gayle, even twenty years on, I will never forget you. Aguero’s goal for Man City this weekend wasn’t bad either, of course.

Would it make us bad people to direct you to http://sadunitedfans.tumblr.com? Probably. Do we care? Nah. It was brilliant, wasn’t it? Manchester must have been quite a town on Sunday night, but could it compete with Leeds city centre in April 1992? I doubt it somehow. Look out in that video for some very stern drinking at 0:45, swiftly followed by a girl in a car in a bra: no title win would be complete without one. The Evening Post have been looking back to that season this week, with interviews with Bill Fotherby, Mel Sterland and Chris Whyte, while in The Guardian Dave Simpson paid tribute to that down-to-earth side.

It’s worth reflecting that only fourteen seasons have gone by since Man City were relegated to the third division; it’s six since Leeds made that drop, and it’s fair to say City have demonstrated a tad more bouncebackability than we have. Bags and bags of Middle Eastern cash didn’t do their cause any harm, of course, and this week Ken Bates dropped some heavy hints about “a Saudi businessman who is a Leeds fan and wanted to invest in Leeds United.” It fell through, and Ken is only telling us this now because apparently it was the fans’ fault for protesting before the first game of the season and frightening the investor away. Our owner does have a bit of a credibility problem when it comes to stories like these, and it’s surprising these visiting dignataries passed unseen on a matchday that saw one of our biggest crowds of the season; but regardless, Leeds Will Make You Dance (confession: that’s me) suggests more supporter involvement, not less could help woo well-heeled worrywarts in future, a point also taken up by Dr John Beech of the Football Management blog in response to Peter Lorimer’s dismissive comments about fans on club boards.

It’s worth remembering, too, that fans were protesting before the Middlesbrough game because they thought the season’s poor showing in the transfer market last summer would leave us ill-equipped for promotion; our 14th place finish suggests they had a point. Hopefully it’s a lesson learned, and while, as The Scratching Shed points out, there seems to be some distance between the comments of chairman and manager this summer, Leeds are showing a bit more flex in the window this time around. Well, we signed that Jason Pearce, anyway. And that reported £500k is rumoured soon to be followed by £400k on Pearce’s mate Joel Ward, not to mention Greg Halford (also from Pompey), HMS Victory, HMS Warrior, and this idiot. Also on the radar are Paul Green from Derby and Clint Hill, QPR’s Player of the Year.

Elsewhere, the new Leedeetee blog has a brilliant look at Philomen Masinga’s time at Leeds, including a video of every goal he scored for us: yep, all eleven of ‘em. (If that video inspires a yearning for our hoop days, here’s a video we put together a while back of all Noel Whelan’s goals for Leeds, plus a noticeable assist-with-broken-finger against MUFC that got Wilko dancing.) Leedeetee’s article follows Waltzing Masinga up to the recent stories about hard times falling and forcing him to sell his possessions from his garage, but more happily includes some brilliant pie charts (the assists one is very good). In a recursive link to ourselves that just might break the website, we spotted via Wendy Denman’s LOL! round up of things to see and do that John Helm is hosting Paul Reaney, Eddie Gray, Johnny Giles, Norman Hunter and Peter Lorimer for a natter about Don Revie and all things Leeds at the Grand Theatre on Sunday night; and from the very tail end of the glory years, this site has some great pictures of Leeds fans on tour in Switzerland, Germany and Malta in 1979. Also brilliant is Fear and Loathing in LS11’s second installment in their summer torture diary, including the emotional whirlwind that is Tom Lees, and a look forward to the pre-season tour of the south-west that was confirmed this week. We’re wishing summer away, just wishing it away. The trip includes a game against Bodmin Town, and any Leeds fans intending to camp out afterwards should be on the look out for the famous Beast of Bodmin Moor. Fans of a nervous dispositon should bear in mind that we still haven’t sold Paul Rachubka yet, either. Be careful out there.


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