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A Rejuvenated Leeds? - 19/11/2003

A Rejuvenated Leeds?
He's not had any luck
   James McFadden
   Darren Fletcher
   Peter Reid
   Leeds United
   Scottish Football Association
   Football Association of Wales
   Koninklijke Nederlandse Voetbalbond

A rejuvenated Leeds?


Leeds on Saturday is a big game, I’d have preferred to face them without Eddie Gray in charge, but that’s football. How many times does a new manager come in and performances on the pitch improve? If there’s one guy to get the Leeds players motivated, then it’s Eddie – he’s got club pedigree but most importantly he’s got the respect of the players. It’ll be interesting to see how Mark Viduka responds, when the going gets tough he hasn’t got the best of track records – but now he’s got a fresh start and if he fancies it – he’s a player.

I have sympathy with Peter Reid, he saved them last season and this is how he’s repaid. In taking action against Viduka he was effectively cutting his noe to spite his face, but really did he have any choice? To ignore Viduka’s behaviour would have meant losing the rest of the players.

We all know about Leeds’ finances, but if they find money for a new manager it’ll be even more frustrating for Reidy, if any funds are available they should have been made available prior to Reidy leaving the club - he wasn’t that far away from turning them around. 

Bolton’s 0-0 draw with Southampton was disappointing – two points dropped as opposed to one won (in my opinion). Both sides were pretty poor on the day and although their forward line of Beattie and Phillip’s looked good on paper, they didn’t really cause us any problems.

The recent friendly against Sao Paulo was a bit of a strange one, the fact that Sam was away in Dubai summed up the importance of the game. 

We’re now looking to the weekend’s game in Yorkshire and I really don’t know how it’ll go. Time will tell.



Scotland the Brave


I was up at Hampden on Saturday and have to say that the atmosphere was fantastic – possibly the best there’s been since the England play-off. The future now looks so much better than 12 to 18 months ago. Vogts has had to throw a few youngsters into the team and it’s paid off. James McFadden plays without any fear, Fletcher should develop into a decent player, and Pearson, presently at Motherwell has potential and is being watched by Celtic.

It’ll be tough tonight, irrespective of the talk about team disharmony, the Dutch have quality individuals all over the park. One flash of brilliance could be enough to turn the tie. I’m hoping that we can keep them out for the first 20 to 30 minutes, we’ll then have a chance as they may get frustrated and make mistakes.

Looking at the game, and the Welsh tie against Russia, they’re very, very tight. The respective games are just club European fixtures and playing with focus and patience will be the key. I’d fancied making the trip across to Holland but with one thing and another I can’t make it. I’ll be glued to the box though and all I’ll say is that we’re in with a chance!

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