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Late Doors

Fulham home and things in general.

Just like Blackburn away. 90 % of the work done but the crucial 10% missing. Riddled with irony, all the things we have missed in the last decade, energy, youth, passing, commitment, intelligence and composure we have plenty of. But the width, physical presence and any pace have vanished.

It's easy to see what we are trying to do and easy to see there is a longer term more holistic strategy at work but fucking hell it's a gamble particularly when immediate short term problems like relegation are at stake.

There are a few routes upwards out of this division polarised by the Swansea way or the Stoke way with various levels in between. Long term top level success demands the Swansea way and  i hope we are still capable of justifying such an expectation. If we are then we have to fundamentally change our approach and football mentality.

The Fulham game epitomised just where we are at. We aren't used to short passing, even when we were good it was power, percentages, pace and balls into the box. When we went behind we got the ball wide quickly and charged down the wings. The immense expectation of the crowd to do the same bears down on the players now like a smothering fire blanket. You can feel the mass groan when a short forward Mowatt pass gets intercepted or a short ball bounces of Doukara's foot or Adryan fails to release at the precise right moment or a tight 1-2 flick doesn't come off The pressure on these young midfielders is enormous and they have to have gonads of steel with nerves to match if we are to stay with this type of game. We the crowd have to be patient, the whole culture and dynamic of our game needs to change and it won't successfully happen in a season.

But, It's a big gamble, we are in real danger of going down while we change. The long term plan gets lost in the heat of battle. No natural winger forces one of the front two to drift wide leaving us light in the box. While we have fullbacks charging down the wing we leave ourselves exposed at the back. We either cover and not get midfielders on the edge of or into the box or risk the counter attack.

Dawson is the future and Rudy our past. Putting Dawson on to replace Adryan was another brave decision based on our long term aims. On one hand it's to be applauded but in the context of the battle, the points at stake during this 90 minutes, it was madness. If Dawson grows to be the top class player we hope he does and leads our midfield once again into battle at Stamford Bridge or even Rome and he cites the bravery and  confidence Redfearn had in him as being responsible for it we  can say what a genius Redfearn was. If we go down and never come back, well i don't like to even contemplate it. Yet those are the stakes represented in that one substitution.

It's never that simple though is it. We need to break out of this numbing inertia that has dogged us for over ten years now.  we have to radically change everything. I can see it happening but it's very early stages. Just keep the fuck up this year, keep our young talent, keep our vision and keep our nerve.
fartcatcher

Cheers LD. I said I'd settle for 21st this season and nothing has changed.

Redders has a real challenge building a team from players, many of whom were 'gifted' to him, rather than being his own choice.

I was lucky enough to see 'Udders' at home, and went away from that match believing we were promotion contenders. I might have been a bit premature.

Maybe that was a fluke, but it shows the potential is there. The whole team (except Berardi) played well.

Whatever type of football you are going to play, you need a strong spine to the team (Clough's philosophy I think). A goalie, CB, central midfielder and a striker that you can rely on. Not necessarily to perform outstandingly every game. Just to be there and be dependable. If you have that, then you can afford to let Adryan piddle around and Doukara have a twenty minute snooze.

That's what I think we're lacking at the moment. More so than last season.
smiling badger

A huge slice of luck every now and then would help but thats not our thing 'luck' is it.
I think that as you have said, LD that the crowd having too higher expectations and groaning at any given moment does fuck all to the confidence of the players and what with some of them being so young is not a good thing.
Would like to think that we have got it in us to be able to beat the drop but, well, we are Leeds!

Nice one and thanks for the report , LD.
Dock

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/30478833
leb

Good write up and bang on, though I haven't noticed the crowd being impatient... Frustrated yes.

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