Agony for Leeds but Ecstasy for Sky’s Jeff Stelling as Fulham Snatch Late Draw – by Rob Atkinson

Stelling celebrates

“And there’s bad news for Leeds United, ring out the bells, rejoice!!”

We all know that Leeds United aren’t exactly the pin-up golden boys for various shallow media types and embittered ex-footballers turned pundits. It comes as no surprise, therefore, when every now and then some be-suited eejit just can’t help himself, and goes into an ecstasy of raucous celebration when some misfortune befalls the mighty Whites. It happened again, last night on Sky TV’s soccer special – Fulham scored a last-gasp equaliser against a dogged but tiring Leeds, and the world’s most famous monkey-hanger, Jeff Stelling, almost literally exploded with joy.

It was actually quite worrying on an empathetic level, once you got past the bleak realisation that two points were drifting away from Leeds at the very last minute. Poor Jeff looked to be on the point of apoplexy, his face swelling almost to bursting point and veins throbbing in his temples. His eyes were those of a man on the edge of Hartlepudlian hysteria – you’d have feared for the life of any simian in the vicinity had Mr. Stelling a convenient length of noosed hempen rope handy. From his demeanour, you might have thought that Hartlepool United had just clinched the Champions League by battering Bayern Munich – and all of this because Leeds conceding a late leveller completely robbed a so-called professional of any poise and impartiality. It’s a rum old world.

Of course, Sky Sports as an entity has form for this kind of thing. Seasoned watchers of their rolling scoreline programme on a Saturday afternoon or weekday evening will be aware of familiar signs allowing them some prior awareness of what’s going on in Leeds United games. It works like this: once you know who is watching the Whites in action, you listen for that voice. An exultant yelp in the background while Jeff is waffling on about Man U means the Whites have conceded; a despairing punctured gasp of dismay signals a Leeds goal. I’ve seen it happen any number of times.

Getting past my possibly paranoid take on Stelling & Co, it also has to be said that Leeds United were at least partially the authors of their own misfortune last night. Once again, as in times past, they allowed a situation to develop that bore more than a passing resemblance to the siege of the Alamo, in attempting to defend a one goal lead for nigh on ninety minutes. The occasional chance to put the game to bed was spurned, for the rest it was all about facing a huge majority of possession for Fulham, while retreating deeper and deeper into defence. As the finish line came into sight, Leeds were down to ten men after a fairly soft sending-off for Kalvin Phillips, who then took an inordinate amount of time to leave the field of play. And, naturally, it was in the extra minutes added on for that sluggish exit from the arena, when Fulham at last beat Rob Green with one of the worldy strikes we seem to concede far too often.

At the end of the day, Brian, it was a good point gained at a difficult venue against worthy opponents – though it did rather feel more like two dropped. But these things happen, and not just to Leeds. We all suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous misfortune from time to time, after all. It’s just that – when it does happen to Leeds – I’d rather not have my nose rubbed in it by some joke of a TV presenter who can’t maintain his thin veneer of professionalism due to an all-too-typical hatred of Leeds United. That really does grind my gears.

Even Stelling himself appeared to realise he might have gone too far, once the red mist cleared and his face reduced to a more normal size. “The Leeds fans won’t thank me for that,” he quavered accurately. Well, you got that right, didn’t you. Shriek with joy as a battling team sees two vital promotion points disappear, to the frustration of their legions of supporters everywhere? It’s more than just a little unprofessional, that – it’s unbelievable, Jeff.

24 responses to “Agony for Leeds but Ecstasy for Sky’s Jeff Stelling as Fulham Snatch Late Draw – by Rob Atkinson

  1. Quite right Rob. Was totally shocked at his reaction. Did he not think any Leeds fans would be watching on a Tuesday night?? Perhaps he thought we were all there at Fulham….And when they sent Tony ‘I hate Leeds even more than Don Goodman’ Gale there, I suspected they were hoping for a resounding Fulham win to capture the super-gloat that our Mr Gale always greets Leeds defeats with. A joke..


  2. Dirty leeds

    I think,when leeds fans are singing sky tv is fucking shite,the bigwigs must have had a word in jeffs shell like,to celebrate any goal or decision to go against us,like has you say hartlepool have won the champions league..unbelievable rob


  3. lord leon jefferson

    jeff was bang out of order my 10 year old son said why does this man want leeds to loose so badly ???.I don’t like him dad .


  4. Hi Rob, yeah I watched those muppets on sky last night. Stelling is a totally unprofessional little dwarf who now believes in thinking he is the best presenter on tv. However as for the game it always feels like a loss when conceding so late on, if they had equalized after 10 mins we all would have punched the air at full time. Lets not forget they put 5 past david wankners Huddersfield earlier this season,if we win on Saturday v QPR and they go to Newcastle and lose that point will look even better.Now is about keeping 7th place at arms length and I do not care how we do it. We are not the prettiest team in this league but if we get to the play offs over 2 legs we will be no push overs.Finally back to SKY led to believe we took over 7000 fans to Fulham last night Stelling would have a w#nk over that amount if Hartlepool got that for a home game.RANT OVER onto QPR and 3 points. MOT


  5. Stephen Carter

    In my opinion it should be sacked is a horrible little man who the hell is he he is he’s not right in the head that’s my opinion


  6. Such bias in what should be objective commentary is unacceptable. I hope you have copied Sky into this article. After all the years you’d think we’d be used to the Leeds knockers but their gloating at our misfortunes still rankles… BTW Rob, ‘another good piece!


    • Why would sky care, they are all anti leeds. Thats why Pruts looks so guilty everytime he commentates on a leeds game


  7. Mike Durham

    Mr Stelling is living proof that Snow White and Dopey had sex!
    Glad to see you back Rob ….


  8. Stephen Carter

    Sky Sports . What are Sky doing when they’re pundits are bias towards Leeds United Jeff Sterling’s Commons last night was totally out of order it’s not the first time this has happened on Sky Sports it happened last season as well


  9. Well, I’ll be rooting for any team that plays Fulham from now until the season’s over. Pity really as I have fond memories of Craven Cottage in the 1950s. Bedford Jezzard – what a name !


  10. Rob SKYs best audience for a championship live game this season with over 1 million viewers was surprise surprise us v Newcastle!! we get under their skin and we are like a irritating scratch that will not go away. if you listen to any quality ex professional player and or current manager they all want us back in the prem. On a side note have you seen on youtube 2 videos by Lewis ut gaming the first is app 4 mins long and titled “Our season leeds united efl chamonship 2016/17 ultimate trailer, and the 2nd app 2 mins long “Do you want win? The last champions 25th anniversary Both top quality and makes your hair stand up on the back of your neck Proud to be a leeds man!! MOT .


  11. steve from down under

    Jeff can go and swivel on something very pointed I had a smile on my face when the Leeds fans were slagging off sky the other night what a tosser the man is


  12. Martyn Barrett

    why are Leeds fans so surprised to any pundits reactions. I have been a LUFC supporter for over 50 years living outside the UK and as soon as you mention you are a LEEDS supporter invariably the next comment is “Dirty Leeds”, we are hated with a vengeance unpresented which is why we can ignore these jokers and March on Together.


  13. David Dean

    Very good – I liked that last line – brilliant!
    But don’t forget without people like Jeff we wouldn’t be :
    🎶hated, called scum and called morons🎶


  14. s waterhouse

    it is ironic that sky can not do without leeds united and our visits to away grounds on any night of the week are full houses unlike most of the crap support in this division.


  15. i was at the game last night and didn’t see sky until this morning, Phillips did take a long time to leave the field but it didn’t cause any hold up to play as the Fulham casualty had to have his leg reattached and the use of an oxygen tent to aid his recovery after losing out to a sixty forty ball in Phillips favour, the huge Leeds support gave him a thunderous round of applause as he walked off not something they would do if he deserved it. As for Stellings reaction to their last second goal, well, totally unprofessional Imo.


  16. agree Rob
    but nothing we can do about it is there…………nothing we can do about that gimp Cairneys comments either……wish there was

    Ive been abused and threatened by complete strangers who arent old enough to have a clue why they are supposed to hate leeds and leeds fans but because its fashionable they do so. One of those was in portsmouth……………yeah portsmouth v leeds, loads of rivalry there.


  17. was a fan of stelling. not anymore,that reaction was unbelievable and unnecessary.
    nice to see your comments again Rob


  18. Personally I love it rob,, being a leeds fan and hated by all others (for no reason they know) is a badge of honour and a membership to a closed group of truly remarkable fans


    • I feel the same Mr O – it’s just that the disappointment of that late equaliser combined with Stelling’s over the top celebration was a BIT much for me.


  19. How can he be employed by sky , where is his professionalism, should be sacked. go back to hartlepool


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