Doukara’s Screamer for Leeds Utd is an Instant Man Flu Cure – by Rob Atkinson


The Douk celebrates a breakthrough in medical science

Leeds United 2, Nottingham Forest 0

I’ve had such a crap week, laid low with the terrifying complaint known as man flu. It’s a dread disease, enough to strike palsied horror into any male and, by the same token, it seems to reduce any woman to tears of scornful mirth as they make irrelevant comparisons with labour pains and other such gynaecological trivia. So there’s plenty of lonely misery for the hapless bloke thus afflicted, and precious little sympathy from the distaff side. Fine, we know it’s a hard life – and normally we just have to suffer in silence and see it through. Happily, though, it now appears that there may be a cure.

I base this upon my own symptomatology in a short study this evening just gone. At 7pm, I was helpless on my sofa, having missed out on refereeing duties for the local walking football lads, condemned to remain confined to barracks when I had the chance to be at Elland Road for the Forest game, and with every likelihood of being forced to cancel a trip to the Big Smoke (courtesy of that nice Mr. Branson and his tenner return ticket promotion). I was not a happy bunny; I was instead a sad, sick and sorry boy.

Just under three hours later, though, I felt as though I could run a half marathon through several brick walls. To say I felt like a new man would be a hopeless understatement. Charged with energy and glowing with health, I’d left my sniffles, snot and headaches far behind me, along with the leaden limbs and aching joints that have made this week such a nightmare. It was a hearty dose of Twitter video therapy that had done the trick and reinvigorated me – all it had taken to effect a cure was the view, from several angles, of the most stonking thunderbolt of a strike, courtesy of Souleymane Doukara, that Elland Road has seen in many a blue moon. Each different viewpoint gave me a boost, every aspect of the goal was a curative draught that restored and rejuvenated. The boom of boot on ball, the trajectory of the volley past a startled Forest keeper, the delighted roar of the crowd – all combined to provide a treat for all the senses and, lo – I was cured. A miracle!

Doukara’s goal was special; to me, that is a matter of medical fact. No word of a lie, I really do feel enlivened and repaired – even the wife’s stopped laughing at me (she’s also seen The Goal – “Did he really mean that?” she enquired). I expect it’s something to do with adrenaline or endorphins or some such malarkey – but I prefer to believe that it was the sheer aesthetic beauty of the Duke’s sublime strike that raised me off my bed of pain. I’ve seen comparable goals in the past, but I’ve usually been there in person, and I’ve never before been feeling quite so crap as I was last evening. So, when Tony Yeboah scored against Liverpool, or when Gary Mac knocked in a couple of fulminating volleys, also against the Reds – or even when Sol Bamba belted home a cracker some little while back, I could appreciate all these goals, not least because they were all at the Kop End. I wouldn’t say that Doukara’s goal was necessarily the best of this prize bunch – that much is arguable. But its remarkable effect on my waning health is not up for debate, so it’s in a category of its own as far as I’m concerned, for that reason alone.

Being a collector of data, I’d love to know if any other man flu sufferers experienced such a miracle after 73 minutes of the Forest game? We could perhaps add to the fund of mankind’s medical knowledge, who knows. I’m just happy that the Duke managed to belt home such a beauty, and not just for my own selfish reasons of feeling less bloody awful. It also finished off Notts Forest, hardly my favourite opponents. And I know for a fact that I shall never, ever get tired of watching those many angles of that ripsnorter of a goal. Everything about it is beautiful, the way Doukara ran around the falling ball onto his right foot, the way he caught it right on the sweet spot and sent it arrowing into the far, top corner, the keeper’s futile dive, which had barely started before the ball was rippling the back of his net…

The default effect of Leeds United upon my health is, generally speaking, at best neutral – and more usually slightly negative. Often and often down the years, I’ve emerged from Elland Road or whatever away dump we’ve graced with our presence, feeling deflated, depressed, physically sick, body all achin’ and racked with pain – that sort of thing. Even victories have usually been won at the cost of nails bitten down to elbows and veins throbbing in my temples. Last night was different, and it was all down to that one cathartic, sublime, unforgettable moment. So thank you, Mr. Doukara – and my long-suffering better half sends her thanks too.

For the record, I’d also appreciated Chris Wood‘s achievement, just after half-time, of hitting the twenty mark in all competitions for this season, and here we are only in January. That gave me a little glow of satisfaction too, though I was still feeling horribly poorly and I thought I’d have to live with the tension as United ground out another 1-0 win. Doukara’s volley changed all that, it’s given me a proper fillip and probably earned me a good healthy night’s sleep before tomorrow’s capital adventure.

And for all of that – and for the three points at the expense of the Twiglets – I am, believe you me, most profoundly grateful.

14 responses to “Doukara’s Screamer for Leeds Utd is an Instant Man Flu Cure – by Rob Atkinson

  1. You know what rob ,, I like many more were relived that he was on the bench last night,, I struggle with doukara , he’s either very good or very bad (like against barnsley ) but boy am I glad he came off the bench last night,, a goal to remember mate


  2. Philip of Spain.

    All this adrenaline fuelled excitement is making me ill,not the other way round Rob.A twenty goal striker on 20,thunderbolts from subs,third in the table,money for incoming,my god where’s the Fennings Fever Cure.!!!!!


  3. I sat with Barnsley fans and they were all raving about how good Doukara was…….very happy for him last night. Hats off to James Beattie for getting both our front men scoring because like me, I am sure the whole fanbase would have happily sold them last Summer.


  4. David Smith

    Interesting listening to Adam Pope’s Doukara post match interview…where Doukara credits his change in form to the positive atmosphere at the club & feeling appreciated by the management team. This is not rocket science (although arguably that volley would have reached the stratosphere had it not been restrained by the net!). Securing Garry Monk on a lengthy contract is paramount. MOT with a definite skip in my step this morning !!


  5. I could do loads of “Anglo Saxon” expletives but so that I just might get printed how about…………….”Wow”!! That was some goal. Bedknobs & Broomsticks featuring the True Blues v The Dirty Yellows and that ball would have hit the net and re-bounded all the way back and over the head of a very surprised hippopotamous (in a tutu of course) in goal at the other end. Fuckin’ corker……oh sorry Rob, I said it!!!! Ps, had PMS as well!!!!


  6. Man flu into the cuvkoo’s net – yes, I know I’m torturing the title of a good book but Brisn Clough was a cuckoo at Leeds and that goal from Doukara was pay back. As regards a miracle cure for winter ills, I think you may be on to something. Today I feel great, after fighting off recurring ‘man flu’ (well, successive colds) for most of January. Amazing!


    • Glad it’s not just me. I seem to be hooked on watching that goal. Starting to think it might even edge Yeboah’s against Liverpool (but I thought his Wimbledon effort was better anyway).


  7. My roller coaster ride started in 1969. The ups and downs, the highs and lows were emotional nightmares. My daughter, now 45 would sit in front of the teleprinter waiting for the result. This decided whether my wife should bother making me any tea when a got home. I never would have thought I could ride such a rollercoaster again in my 70s but boy am I loving this one. I’m back in my 20s. It doesn’t matter Rob who’s goal is better, they are all the elixer of life, a joy to behold and savour. Last year I contented myself watching fabulous trips down memory lane on You Tube, what a difference a season can make.
    GM and the lads have breathed life once again into this great club and a wonderful sense of anticipation and belief we have not experienced for a long, long time. A new generation is born MOT


  8. What a way to comeback from a poor show at oakwell. That’s THE goal of season surely?!


  9. Interesting thoughhts


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