Friday, 5 April 2013

Hughes is seen as danger man in Leeds

Andy Hughes is seen as Charlton's danger man by the Yorkshire Post: 'You know what you get with Hughes - hard, uncompromising performances.' The Post reckons that it all depends on whether the Leeds midfield can do better against the Charlton midfield than Brighton did. And that is a very open question.

Unlike the Drinking During the Game blog, I do not see Leeds as there for the taking. Former Palace manager Neil Warnock would have done us a greater favour by waiting for the curse of Charlton to take effect. The gobby Cornish smallholder is not as good a manager as many people like to think and Leeds have not propsered under his stewardship, albeit that there have been many off the pitch problems.

As for Neil Redfearn, there is no pressure on him as it has been made clear that he is not in the running for the job.

Some people don't like Leeds because of the way they played in the 1980s, but for me that is outweighed by their recent troubles. First, the directors wrecked the club by betting the farm in a chase for glory. Then there was cuddly Ken Bates. Admittedly, he did steady the ship, but one suspects that the Monaco resident has walked away from the deal with enough to afford more than one night at the casino. Then, along came GFH capital, initially hailed as the saviours from the Gulf. But it seems that they didn't have as many readies as they pretended, and have either been trying to sell the club or bits of it, depending whether you believe the Bahrain or Dubai arms of the organisation. They have managed to sell a 10 per cent share to another obscure entity from then Gulf which doesn't appear to have that much money either.

Peter Lorimer argues that fans' expectations are too high at Leeds: Lorimer. However, expectations are generally too high in modern football: I think that Yeovil fans who believe their team really belongs in the Championship don't know what it takes.

One could argue that Leeds fans are more justified than many in dreaming of being in the Premier League. Not only is there the club's history, but Leeds is a 'northern light', an island of prosperity (relatively speaking) and an eventual destination for the High Speed Train if it is ever built. The city has completely eclipsed Bradford where a giant hole in the city centre which was supposed to be a shopping centre serves as mute testimony to the city's decline.

Anyway I think I have written enough positive things about Leeds (a) to keep my new role as consultant to the Yorkshire Agriculture Society and (b) satisfy a Leeds supporting friend from Guernsey for whom the exciting season of the Green Lions has compensated for a disappointing one at Elland Road. (He doesn't get to see many matches of either as he lives in Sweden, commuting to work in Copenhagen, as many people do - it's cheaper to live in Malmo).

As for the game, I hope we don't see a repeat of the 1-6 home defeat to Leeds in the Premiership when the Covered End did the conga. However, Hamer seems to be surer in his touch so I don't think it will be a high scoring game. Although I got the correct points total for March (seven) on CAFC Picks, I am no good at predicting results. I am hoping we might at least get a point, but if I was a betting man I would put my money on 1-2. But I'm not, so don't waste your own money.

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