Remember how glorious it was? The way he’d bring the ball down and scuttle slowly towards our own goal, protecting it with his stocky frame. Sometimes he’d fall down and we’d laugh, or cry, or howl, because we knew him so well and we knew that was what he did. Then he’d go up the other end of the pitch after someone had done something for him and the ball would be in the net. That would be enough. He’d come over to us and spend a good minute celebrating. He’d do various arm movements, he’d slide, and towards the end, he’d kiss the badge. I don’t begrudge him it.
You know who I’m talking about, right? He’s joined Twitter this week, or more accurately, he joined up on the 25th of January. His first tweet (and only prior to this week)? “I love Leeds united!!!!”. I don’t think he was lying.
The problem I have these days, now that he’s gone, is there’s no one to love. His problems only highlighted his incredible ability in front of goal. He was the perfect striker for a Leeds fan. He wasn’t of my era, but the best comparison I can make to the Argentine is Chapman. He was built to run and put an effort in and that he did, as much as people would call him lazy. The ball would end up in the net, somehow, someway, no matter which extremity was used, and in combination with which body shape. He could make falling over look gracious, as long as the ball moved forward and the net ruffled.
Over the last few weeks we’ve put in ‘better’ performances, and created more opportunities for the replacement to put away, but he hasn’t. The question then arises, why? Why didn’t we play like this when he was here? He was never a detriment before, to the Gradels, the Howsons and the Snodgrasses, all of whom did the work behind him. We used to play brilliantly with him in the team. A ruiner of performances he was not.
Imagine where we’d be if he was playing now, converting the chances we can now actually create. Any Leeds fan who sits there and repeats the mantra that could often be found on the forums and Twitter that he wasn’t good enough needs to reassess. We had a goalscorer, we had a hero, you don’t find them easily. We don’t have him anymore.
I miss Luciano Becchio.
Follow Amitai Winehouse on Twitter (@awinehouse1).