Leeds United: Some credit where it is due for Warnock

The problem with writing things on the internet is that there will forever be a permanent record of what it is I’ve said. Obviously I’m known for disliking Neil Warnock, and I don’t want to dismiss anything I’ve already said about him, because I was commenting on what I already knew, but the last few games have given a semblance of hope that he’s not as awful as I previously thought he was.

Credit where it is due: we’ve performed better in the last few games, especially away from home where our weaknesses were obvious. We’ve still not won since the Huddersfield game away, but we look closer to doing so – in fact, if it wasn’t for the inability to defend a lead for the last 15 minutes of a game (and this is where we concede the majority of our goals these days), we’d be in the play-off places. The game against Palace was described by Howson is Now-man Eamonn Dalton as a classic ‘Home vs. Away’ tie. Palace were always going to be the better team, but we matched them to the extent that should be expected, and there can be no qualms about that.

There is a slight problem: why didn’t we play like this for the first half of the season, when we sometimes seemed on the cusp of a relegation battle? Okay, he makes the excuse that Becchio hampered this sort of play, but look at the team of 2010/11, where Becchio did not hamper forward thinking, progressive play, but in fact was the focal point of it, allowing Gradel, Snodgrass and Howson to do what it was they did best and thereby provide a great season of football. Becchio himself will probably tell you that he’d have preferred crosses to the aimless punts up field that he had to craft into something.

You also have to ask why we’ve taken to conceding such late goals over and over. The reality is we’ve named an unchanged side for 5 games in a row. This is, in itself, not a problem. However, over those 5 games, substitutes have only played a combined total of 46 minutes of football, meaning that, on a basic level, each player has averaged 445 minutes out of a possible 450. That is preposterous, and explains why we’re so open to late goals – the players are simply tired and can’t handle it.

So credit where it’s due Neil, we’ve been football that is more pleasing on the eye. Two questions: why didn’t we start doing this earlier in the season, given you haven’t, so far, offered a logical explanation as to why we did not, and why are you so opposed to substitutes? We’ve been in winning positions or exploitable ones over and over and you’ve ignored the options on the bench. Decent set of results, could have achieved much better.

Follow Amitai Winehouse on Twitter (@awinehouse1).

Leeds United: ‘Lasher’ Lorimer claims Robbie Rogers timed coming out for own benefit

At a Lorimer’s Bar event tonight, Peter Lorimer has claimed that Robbie Rogers timed his coming out to coincide with the launch of a new clothing line. Lorimer’s comments, also suggesting a belief that Rogers had been advised to do so, have been met with outrage from Leeds fans across Twitter.

The news was initially broken by attendee @lozziej, who said that Lorimer was “claiming Robbie Rogers came out as gay to get publicity for his new clothing line”. This has been confirmed further by other tweets from others in attendance.

Lorimer, an ex-Leeds legend and current holder of the goalscoring record at Elland Road, has been criticised significantly over the last few years by Leeds fans due to his association with the unpopular Ken Bates regime. A director at the club during Bates’s spell in charge, Lorimer has done little to ingratiate himself to those who used to love him, agreeing with the ex-Chelsea chief’s policies in-spite of criticism. He also famously encouraged Simon Grayson to sell now-Norwich player Luciano Becchio before criticising the ex-Leeds boss after the manager was sacked.

Here is a selection of responses from Leeds fans on Twitter:

“@Ken_Demange: Is it really acceptable for Lorimer to slur Robbie Rogers, claiming his ‘coming out’ was for publicity purposes?”

“@JamesLUFC: “Lorimer at it again. What a knob.”

“@ClaireHeeley: Lorimer…wanker”.

Follow Amitai Winehouse on Twitter (@awinehouse1).

Manchester United: Cuneyt Cakin wasn’t wrong to send off Nani

Roy Keane was castigated from certain spheres last night on the back of his comments regarding Nani’s sending off. In fact, Keane had every right to say what he said, despite his litany of problems with discipline over the years (and I’m certainly not forgiving him for that). For those who won’t accept his view because of his problems, I’ve never gone out onto a pitch to purposefully injure another professional footballer (being neither a butcher nor a professional footballer), so I’m allowed to say it – it certainly wasn’t ‘wrong’ to send Nani off yesterday.

Remember the reaction to Nigel De Jong’s tackle in the 2010 World Cup final? A kick to the chest was criticised from all segments, but last night’s tackle wasn’t. There’s been a number of excuses, such as Nani not realising there was a player behind him, to it being considered a genuine attempt to get the ball. But you’d have to argue that any number of sendings off a season are not ‘intentional’ – it would be ridiculous to suggest the intent of Ryan Shawcross was to break Aaron Ramsey’s leg, but it is the consequence that matters in refereeing, not the intention, except where moments of violence are concerned (obviously if someone intends to punch someone but misses it is still a huge incident).

The reality is that Luis Nani kicked his opponent in the chest, planting his studs square on his upper body. We send people off for studs on a leg, never mind higher up, so surely the punishment should be the same? It is similarly punished in Europe as a general rule, so Nani should not have been surprised. A logical man would not go around taking risks like Nani did yesterday.

As an aside, ITV’s reaction was pathetic and symbolised much of what is wrong with modern football coverage – there’s an inherent bias afforded to certain teams. Analysis should be taken without emotion, and it wasn’t done so, which is awful as it affects public opinion incorrectly. It was not a travesty like they tried to suggest. It was a decision that could have been either a yellow or a red, and Cuneyt Cakir pulled out a red. Simple as.

Follow Amitai Winehouse on Twitter (@awinehouse1).