Crocodile Tears from Lineker and Stelling Won’t Fool Leeds Fans – by Rob Atkinson

Gary "Wingnut" Lineker

Gary “Wingnut” Lineker

What have Gary Lineker and Jeff Stelling got in common? Well, they’re both engaging chaps who front popular football programmes on the telly; they have both developed a “style” – for want of a better word – designed to endear them to the less demanding fans out there – and, most recently, they have both taken out an onion and wept tears of breathtaking falseness over what they sincerely hope is the impending demise of Leeds United.

Lineker is the latest incarnation of Match of the Day man, presiding over the ongoing popularity of a football highlights programme with fifty years of variable quality behind it. It was under his stewardship that one of the programme’s less glorious deeds was perpetrated when, in the wake of S’ralex’s long-overdue retirement from the Theatre of Hollow Myths, the programme put together a montage of managerial greats, with the Purple-Nosed One at the head of the parade, natch. This item was notable to real students of the game for its studied failure to even mention the name of the greatest club manager of all, Sir Don Revie. It was a tawdry attempt to reinvent history and appeal in the most insidious and deceitful fashion to the vast army of the programme’s viewers out there who “all hate Leeds” – but couldn’t tell you why, beyond a mumbled “….well, me Dad hated ’em, like…” Complaints to the BBC elicited nothing more than that cowardly corporation’s usual bland, patronising stonewall response – and Lineker did nothing other than essay his well-practised boyish grin, which apparently has middle-aged women the nation over suddenly needing a change of undies.

Now Lineker’s Twitter account states that he “genuinely feels for Leeds fans”. He clearly feels the need to qualify his sincerity by use of that word “genuinely” – that’s a sign of someone talking about someone or something on which they’d normally waste no finer feelings. But Gary feels “the heart has been torn out of the club”, hence his crocodile tears. Well, we’ll wait until the next time Match of the Day needs to revisit the managerial greats issue, thanks, and see if you’ve actually learned anything – no breath will be held.

Stelling: Countdown to hypocrisy

Stelling: Countdown to hypocrisy

Jeff Stelling is a sort of semi-comic front man for Sky’s Soccer Saturday programme, where one of his chief delights is to let a few seconds of tension build up for Leeds fans out there in TV land, before delivering a hammer blow with news of another goal against us – all with that trademark smug smirk on his gob. Now he, too, has chosen to sob publicly about his anguish over the Leeds situation. Jeff clearly thinks no small beans of himself – part of his counterfeit yet tear-stained lament includes the telling phrase “On the field, it is a total shambles with unknown player after unknown player coming into the club – I defy Leeds fans to say they have heard of them because I certainly haven’t – and it looks like it is going to be a terrible, terrible season”. Overlooking for a moment the fierce hope detectable in those last few words, it’s amusing to see that Stelling is so sure that, if he’s never heard of a player, then no Leeds fan can possibly have heard of him either. That’s some ego, for a Hartlepool fan. Unbelievable, Jeff! If he were to cast his mind back, Stelling might possibly reflect on who, exactly, had heard of Patrick Vieira before he signed for Arsenal – or Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink (Leeds), Eric Cantona (Sheffield Wendies on trial), and so on and so forth. Mr Stelling should, perhaps, wind his neck in a little and admit the possibility that he is not the fount of all football wisdom – except, maybe, when compared to Paul “I fink he’s only got free goals all season, Jeff” Merson. The Sky front-man’s expert opinion is that Leeds are doomed to relegation this season. Wishful thinking, Jeff?

When times are hard and you’re not all that popular to begin with, then you should expect wolves in sheep’s clothing, people who will smile and smile and be villains, well-meaning types who will sidle around behind as if to pat you on the back, before slipping a knife between your ribs. Leeds United and Leeds fans should be familiar from past experience with all of these unsavoury types, and their crocodile tears and weasel words should not fool us now. Just wait for better times to roll around, and the soft sawder and treacly syrup of ersatz sympathy will disappear like a ghost at cock-crow – it’ll be all open nastiness and overt bitching again. And do you know? I actually prefer it that way, so please bring it on.

We’re Leeds United, we hate to be pitied and we love to be hated. Your hate is what makes us stronger, after all – so please forget all the bovine ordure Gary and Jeff – let’s get back to normal eh? As soon as you like, there’s good chaps.

36 responses to “Crocodile Tears from Lineker and Stelling Won’t Fool Leeds Fans – by Rob Atkinson

  1. Where were all these sympathisers when that twat bates was running the club?


    • Its all part of this “old boys network”, the same thing that gets mackays racism dismissed as banter by the LMA. If cellino was British there wouldnt be all this fuss. I remember Barry hearn being a director / manager at leyton orient and the media types thinking that was great.


  2. I read what Stelling said and I am totally in agreement with you, I am just glad you have pointed it out. Stelling on his Saturday afternoon program also needed a change of underwear when Leeds conceded a goal, who is he trying to fool.

    Good article.


  3. When the going gets tough the tough get going! This is when we are at out best giving the rest of the world the finger. Cellino made a mistake and took action. Plenty of good players are arriving and he loves the club. I am sure he will get it right next time so he is good enough for me.
    We don’t need pity, we are Leeds and proud of it. Onwards and upwards MOT The rest of the football world can f##k off.


    • ´Plenty of good players´ – Which ones are you talking about? Plenty of players yes, but quality im not sure. They are all near on nobodys from mainly Serie B. Im not usually pessimistic but i cant help think these new players that have no experience of the Championship will not be able to settle in the English game. Really hope im wrong! MOT


  4. You seem to spend an inordinate amount of time glued to Murdoch’s channel.


    • Not sure why you say that, unless you’re bereft of other ideas but feel the need to make some noise. I got the Stelling quotes off the internet, as it goes.


  5. andy lawrence

    Well said Rob, I’ve been a Leeds fan for 40 years, I don’t think things are any worse today than at certain times in the past, the 80s for instance were pretty bad with that long line of ex leeds greats, Clarke, Bremner and Gray. The 3 years in the 3rd division recently were the worse for me though. I don’t like Leeds United to be hated… and I think O’leary’s ‘babes’ in the early 2000s proved that we can be the neutral’s favourites when we play good exciting football. But I certainly don’t like all this false pity from the media pundits for this once great club. (love the Merson impression) Cheers.


  6. well said rob , getting pity from a max headroom/ David dickinson cross the last thing we need ,, back to the back stabbing Jeff , its what we know , and love MOT


  7. Bitesyerlegs74

    Where u been then? Its boring when ur not knockin articles out


  8. Ricardo Grimanez

    Yes completely and utterly shameful how the media do the level best to de construct our club and then offer morale support. Lets take a look at the so called evaluative and non biased commentary on Sky from Don Goodman on Weds night. This was a horrendous one sided view and lacked any balance or equality with Gems like “that should have been a definite red” despite the ref being 10 feet away with a clear view, for Murphy’s first challenge. Plus a catalogue of many other what i found derogatory and inflammatory comments from an ex Bradford player. This is not your opportunity to offer negatives about the club and how you think it is run or should be run. We remain one of the best supported clubs in the UK despite your efforts, and for those of us who are not apathetic and actually care about the game see through your obvious attempts to influence popular opinion about our football club. You should take a good look at yourselves and how far removed you have become from real football fans. Youre a joke and considered media ponces by the real football fans and we do not accept the pasteurised carefully orchestrate tripe you trot out every week.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I was beginning to think you’d been banned Rob, but no! You’re back with a bang and spot on as usual.
    Looking forward to tomorrow, thankfully I’ve missed Hockaday’s reign and I’m hoping to see a blend of youth and some new players on my first pilgrimage of this season.
    MOT come on you whites.


  10. Glad to have you back Rob .

    As they say on Star Wars if you’re not with us then you’re our enemy.

    Don’t buy into all this doom and gloom. Yes, we are all frustrated but Cellino said he had a 2 year plan and we are only a few days into it!

    We have also seen more investment into the club than in the last 10 years.

    It’s gonna be a rollercoaster ride season but that’s why the fans need to keep together and stick it up the rest. MOT


  11. Good read that Rob and spot on!



  12. I’ll answer that one for you Rob,@Bitesyerlegs,Rob has had personal family problems,which he shared with us on an earlier blog if you care to look back on.He hopes to be back with us in his own time.Hope that answers your question.


  13. sniffershorts

    Fanny Smelling is just a cock Rob, easy life and continuous vitriol crap spouting from his mouth, we can all speculate you knob! , I knew you would be having something to say, as soon as I read that crap myself, he just winds me up, god knows why I ever watch sky sports, being down sarf I have to put up with it, him and all the other Sky bandits, opinions opinions we don’t want your stinking opinions Gringo….. don’t leave it so long again Rob, we need you to fire us up.


  14. Good to hear from you again Rob, and you’re dead right. We’re all taking some stick at the moment because everybody likes to kick Leeds when they’re down. But as Alf Garnett said “The lion may be sleeping, but if you pull it’s tail, eventually it bites your head off”


  15. As it goes Johnny Giles, one of my all time favourites, can butt out as well if he has nothing constructive to say


  16. Hi Rob nice to see you back. You’re spot on as usual we don’t need or want anyone’s false pity. We have thousands and thousands of our own family for that and because of that this club will never die , whatever happens. The position we find ourselves in at the moment could and should have been avoided. I feel a little sorry for Hockaday as he has been treated poorly . You cannot blame him for taking the job . Anybody would have to be a lunatic not to want the chance to run this club. He must have thought all his christmases had come together. The fact is as most of us thought at the time , he should never have been appointed it was too big an ask for a inexperienced boss but playing devils advocate was he given enough time ? No . Good coach he maybe but its a different ball game being in charge. Cellino may be mad but he’s no mug . He’s already been big enough to say he’s made a mistake. What he needs to do now is rectify it by employing a manager/coach who knows how this league works and how to get out of it and back him to the hilt. Hockaday didn’t . Forest Green to Leeds ? as Manager/coach ? . I’m sorry but in my opinion Cellino needs to swallow some pride and install a Manager . No self respecting boss would be a puppet to an owner . We need an Holloway , a Lambert not necessarily them but someone in that mould but they won’t be walked over and would they be willing to work with him ? . I know very little about most of the players being brought in but I am sure Cellino having been a relatively successful owner for many years at Cagliari considering their size he and solerno will know who to buy from their league’s . He needs to employ someone who has the tactical awareness and what are the best assets these players have and what positions they play and for godsake play them in that bleeding position and more importantly be able to motivate them . Only then will we be able to move forward. Whoever the next boss is will have my backing as usual but please Massimo go for quality . You can buy brand new tools to fix a car but if you don’t have a good mechanic , you’ll never fix it properly…. MOT……


  17. Like everyone else outside Leeds they have no idea whats going on at the club, just a very limited interpretation and as you say a quiet hope that Leeds will indeed struggle.

    Like others I was hoping we would prove them and the bookies wrong but between the circumstances (sendings off, new players trying to gel and too many transfers left too late) and ofcourse Hockadays strange tactics, formations and team selections have contributed to the start of our season being as bad as (the rest ) had hoped

    Personally speaking I think Cellino has made mistakes, the lateness of his transfers, the lack of prioritizing certain key positions earlier in the summer and ofcourse employing hockaday

    However I certainly don’t feel cellino is ripping the heart out the club….far from it. Here we have an owner who does really care and wants us to be successful for the first time in decades

    I think that he does have good taste in players but some of those “players” have refused to come to Leeds either because of wages, hockaday or our division

    Rather than slagging him off we should support cellino and gentley push in the right direction where management is concerned.

    Despite what people say we arnt that far off….he just needs to show a bit more respect to his next coach and let them have a say in player signings then it should work.


  18. Rob,
    Yet another spot on article, but have you read the latest in the paper today? Kim Jong-un being a big fan of the devon n cornwall lot?
    So much so he’s made the Korean Tv show their matches!
    that shud be worth a comment, can’t think of a spin offhand
    Keep up the superb work


  19. Rob,
    add to previous………….better dead than RED


  20. jamesnotfred

    I thrive off derision. I find it comical. It makes me laugh. Deep down the derisors know, we’ll be back. It’s our nature. Three titles, three different decades. That’s what irritates them and it makes it all the more enjoyable. Bring on the future.


  21. lol, enjoyable read that Rob. I think its time to batten down the hatches as Leeds are an easy target at the minute. On the footballing front the US against the world mentality can get you so far if the players all buy into it. My worry- after reading the article I won’t use the phrase- My genuine Concern- is about Big Mass. I thought that he had a decent track record of running clubs. He obviously has a sound business brain, but appointing a manager that was previously relativly unheard of and putting that much faith in him and then sacking him after only a few games would have me bloody worried to say the least. He should never have taken this type of gamble with the club in my opinion because now he’s looking stupid from the get go. The next appointment needs to be fully supported by the fans otherwise who will buy into his philosophy for the club. What happens in the next few weeks will be absolutely crucial for the club in every sense of the word. He MUST get it right. What the Hell is going on down there? very worrying from a Leeds perspective. It reminds me of NUFC just before Keegan came back to Manage in 92- if we’d have got that wrong we were heading for the old third division no question about that. This next appointment could determine the future for the club for the next ten years or even longer it’s that important in my opinion. NUFC


    • Bloody spot on, Grem. My next blog was going to be called Massimo MUST Get It Right This Time – I may have to come up with a new title now, ya bugga! I heard a whisper that there’s a dialogue with Steve Clarke, that’d do for me. Any coach/manager worth his salt will be looking to establish clear and concrete terms of reference, just to give themselves any sort of a chance. For Massimo’s own good, I hope he will see the sense in agreeing to this and taking slightly more of a back seat on team and transfer affairs. Let’s face it, there’s plenty else for him to do around the world of Leeds United…


      • lOL- Great minds and all that Rob. I like Stevie Clarke a lot. He’s a superb NO.2 and acts as a buffer between the first team and manager- he has a great track record of no.2 at Newcastle under Sir Bobby and of course Chelsea under Mouriniho. My real concern with him is that is he able to make that ultimate leap to Manager, a the buck stops here NO.1? I have serious doubts about that- I see him more in the Brian Kidd/ Terry Macdermott mould and I think his track record would back this up. He did have a decent time at West Brom and was unfairly treated there no doubt about it. Just a feeling but havent Watford just had a decent Italian manger resign? would Massimo not want someone who understood him and his ways? I think he may go foreign even if its not this Wtford lad- it would make sense with the amount of Italian players coming in to the club? It needs to be right though as a bad signing now at the helm WOULD have serious repercussions for the clubs future- It’s make or break time I feel from the outside looking in- many similarities with my own club Newcastle and we were very lucky to get it right. Its Shit or Bust- over to you Massimo. NUFC


      • Great input as ever Grem – cheers!


  22. What the F**k do Gary Lineker of Jazzy Jeff know about Leeds Utd ? As you say, where were they when Bates was ripping the club apart ? Any criticism of the pornographers at the ‘appy ‘ammers ? Or Roman, ‘big mates with Putin’, Abramovich who goes through Managers like measles in a Siberian gulag – no, didn’t think so. Their hate makes us stronger. MOT


  23. Robskibeat

    Absolutely spot on again. Wish people would stop commenting on our still great club. Cellino will be a success, but it won’t happen overnight. He will sack everyone until it is achieved though and when it is, he will sack them anyway


  24. ugandanleedsfan

    Sorry to hear about your family problems and hope that all is on the mend.

    Cellino saved us from administration and has over the past few months put his money where his mouth is. That has caused a lot of consternation in the ranks of the meeja, sadly an institution that sees relevance in constantly appealing to prejudice, bogeyman-hunting and hypocritical ranting, as providing what the public wants and needs.

    Gary Lineker should publicly recall what it was that instinctively went through his mind when he chose to dive against Cameroon when the England were on the ropes in that crucial tie and remember that when he chooses to play the ‘saint’. I shall not even bother to delve into his inability to view skirts as clothing items as opposed to barriers for his serial proclivities.

    Let’s just enjoy the fact that we are at least utilising the transfer window in a manner, alien to us for the last bloody god knows how long, as it should be used, as a trading platform for players. Sadly this has pissed off many of those that were anticipating Leeds begging for mercy at the feet of a rapist’s progeny and his other dubious mates, for mercy and. Having to wait fingers crossed for their benevolence.

    Hockaday was dispatched after having been given the chance of a lifetime to prove himself. He failed, and was sacked. Professional football is all about grabbing the opportunity. Failure is not an option, success on the hand provides the opportunity to play again.

    Gary has chosen the easiest option, that of being a pundit. We are all not stupid and can see that he lacks the spine to show us how its done as opposed to telling us how it should be done. Prick!


  25. Typical pundits,the snobbery is unbelievable.So what we haven’t heard of them,don’t mean they can’t play.I can’t name one player who played for Costa Rica in the world cup but they shamed Englands prima donna’s.Alan(I never missed a chance)Shearer is just as guilty, always talking mega bucks and big name charlies,Here’s hoping Leeds can do a Costa Rica and really turn there shallow punditry upside down.Just imagine if Dave Hockaday’s appointment was a success with all these unknown players.It would of dwarved Alan Hansens “you can’t win owt with kids”.Wot a shame,but nodody’s died.


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