When it happened, it was as unexpected as it was funny. Unexpected, because Derby had utterly dominated the play-off final at Wembley – even before QPR had Gary O’Neil sent off for a professional foul. And funny, because – well, because it was Derby, one of those daft little Midlands teams that gets all excited and wets itself every time it has a result against our beloved Whites. Derby had been on a long run of success against Leeds, and their fans grew cockier and more annoying with each one. Now, they were sat in their devastated rows at Wembley as Bobby Zamora pounced in the last minute to snatch their dream away. Some were open-mouthed with horror, some were angry, some were crying. One kid was actually having a tantrum directly into his mother’s bosom. It was richly comic and I enjoyed it very much.
So much for Derby – we’ll see them again next season when we’ll have two more chances to break a barren spell that’s gone on far too long against what used to be the ultimate rabbit team for Leeds United. For QPR, today’s somewhat fortunate result might just have saved their profligate skins, as dire fiscal consequences were threatened over their breaching of FFP limits. Even in the Premier League with all those Murdoch millions being flung in their direction, it may well be that the suits will be after them – with a view to clipping their financial wings to such an extent as to see them return quickly whence they came. We’ll have to wait and see on that one.
For Leeds United though, this play-off result means more than mere malicious amusement. It signifies that next season’s League line-up is almost complete; only one Championship spot remains to be filled. We’ve now said goodbye to Leicester, Burnley, QPR, Barnsley (arf), Doncaster (arf) and Yeovil. We will be hosting Cardiff (snigger), Norwich (snigger), Fulham, Wolves, Brentford and one of either Rotherham or Leyton Orient. Personally, I hope it’s Rotherham to complete the picture – for all I’ve had to say about smaller Yorkshire teams and their Cup Final chips on the shoulder. Having said good riddance to two such daft little clubs, it’d be churlish not to welcome one, just to redress the balance a little.
Some may feel that parts of this article are unfeeling and a little callous – taking pleasure in the discomfiture of others. And they’d be right – but I will temper the effect a little by saying I hold no ill-will against any professionals who tried, failed and are now suffering at Wembley Stadium, or on their miserable way home. I respect their efforts – and I felt for Keogh of Derby who was unlucky enough to have made the error that led to Zamora’s excellently-taken goal. Still – that’s football, but it’s not for a fan to glory in the pain of professionals (unless they play for or manage Man U).
My satisfaction is in the woe of rival fans who have, in their turn, taken immense satisfaction from the suffering of Leeds fans in our various crises. It’s the nature of football support, tit for tat. I make no apology for delighting in the sorrow of fans of Derby, Norwich, Doncaster, Cardiff – or any other clubs’ fans where they have had the cause and opportunity to crow at the troubles of my beloved Leeds United. As I’ve said before, it’s OK to hate rival fans. Positively healthy, in fact. You reap what you sow and – tragic though it all might appear to the more soft-hearted among us – tough.
Roll on next season then, when it all starts all over again – and this time next year we’ll either be celebrating or gritting our teeth – and doubtless we’ll be laughing at the fate of a few old rivals. It’s such a great game, football.
I felt exactly the same. I took great pleasure in seeing their disappointed heartbroken faces when Keogh set up Zamora for the late undeserved winning goal.
More pleasure than Hull last week even.
But it will be a shame that they won’t be back in the premier league attempting to better their lowest points record of 11 fine points.
Ouch! Rob hilarious as usual! The fast show are looking for script writers you should apply!! Sarcasm at its cutting best.
I’m not worthy mate but thanks!
Already making my “Please Santa” list for relegation next season.
Cardiff again (too much?), Rotherham with 7 points (I work in Rotherham) and Wednesday. Maybe ‘Wall. Or Norwich, or Forest. Oooh yummy – when does the new season start. Oh – and we’re going up as Champions
I’ll have a pint of what you’ve had 🙂
In reality, that’s 6 points we won’t be getting next season
Why so glum and pessimistic? Wait and see. I think next season will be extremely hard for poor old Derby.
I wanted Derby to go up, only because they are a bogey team to Leeds and they are another team, who always raise their game, in their twice a season Cup Finals against Leeds.
I agree with you about the Derby fans being arrogant people, who think that they are serious rivals to Leeds, which they are not.
Derby’s good run against Leeds, seems to go back to the start of Nigel Clough’s reign as Derby manager and I think that he used the Brian Clough sacking at Leeds as the only way of motivating his Derby team.
The Derby fans hatred towards Leeds also seems to have increased to a crazy level since that extremely poor, one sided Damned United film.
In the past, millions of rival fans have cruelly laughed at Leeds troubles and failures and because of that, I have no sympathy for Derby’s last minute defeat today.
Another great read as usual.
Nice to see the All Whites, Kings of Europe once again.
Perhaps some day, the Whites of Leeds United will have a deserved day out as well
cant help but agree with your sentiments Rob , but I just wish we had a team that played and competed well all over the park like Derby did . Most of their players are so much better than ours . I would love to see us have a team as good as Derby next season . But as you say mate , its great when other teams fans suffer when they delight in seeing us fail and have wet dreams about beating us lol By the way another anti Leeds article in The Daily Snail from Patrick Collins yesterday ho hum , boring . Keep em coming Rob
Hopefully MC will now get the British media and their relationship with Leeds after that ridiculously one eyed article in the daily heil and stop conducting his business through the press.
funny how they laid all the problems at the door of MC and no mention of Tory boys arrest or their fellow right wing nutter bates.
Very true that. But what else can you expect of a bogroll like the Heil??
Hi Rob. I’m a regular reader of your posts but this is the first time I have left a reply.
As a Leeds supporter of many years with irritating family circumstances your post resonated with me.
I was about 8 when my dad and grandad took my younger brother and me to see the family team Derby play Leeds at the baseball ground. The intention was to inaugurate us into the Derby fold.
However, when I watched Leeds they were mesmerising…and of course won. From then on they were my team.
As you can imagine, I have suffered greatly at the tongue of my brother down the years who has delighted in trying to torment me at every mishap and fall from grace my team have suffered.
A can provide first hand knowledge of the spreading down the years of the vitriol from older Derby fans so even today the Dirty Leeds tag prevails from the mouts of babes. It’s sad to say the least.
Still, I smile when it leaves his lips and relish such moments as yesterday. But I won’t rub his nose in it.
LEEDS SUPPORTERS ARE BIGGER THAN THAT AND THAT’S WHAT IRRITATES THEM.
Keep up the posts. I enjoy reading them.
Cliff…long suffering Leeds fan!
Have to say I was hoping derby would go up rob , simply because I think they pose a bigger threat next season ,, on a totally different subject I hear that joey barton is the “celebrity” guest on question time next week ?!! What’s the world coming to roberto ??
Barton?? Marginally less embarrassing than Nick Griffin, I’d have thought. Bloody hell. As for Derby – I think they’ll find it tough next season. Major hangover coming their way from yesterday’s shattering defeat. Hope so, anyway.