Leeds United and the Strange Case of the Migrating Millwall Injury – by Rob Atkinson

There are many who will say that the match between Leeds United and Millwall at Elland Road on Saturday was a strange affair – bordering on the bizarre. How right they would be, for the game’s pivotal incident saw a phenomenon surely unprecedented in the history of sports injuries and physiotherapy.


Ref! I think he’s broken my left leg!!

With Leeds a goal behind and playing poorly, there was some frustration building for the home side, so when United skipper Liam Cooper sailed into a fearsome-looking tackle on George Saville in midfield – and with the Whites’ recent record of red cards – you feared the worst. Sure enough, the Millwall player collapsed in a stricken heap, clutching his left leg in evident agony. To the momentary relief of the crowd, the referee reached for his yellow card as he walked over – and this is when things took a turn for the surreal.

On the touchline, there was outrage from the Millwall contingent, who clearly expected Cooper to be dismissed – a stance reinforced on the field by former United flop Steve Morison. As the pressure mounted on the referee, the Millwall physio worked urgently to save the life of Saville – evidently a hero to the Millwall fans who sang this name throughout – and the medical situation started to appear grave, with the injury mysteriously migrating from the left leg caught by Cooper’s challenge, to the right leg now being treated intensively by the physio. Left leg or right, the player was clearly mortally wounded, something that may have influenced the ref almost as much as Morison screaming at him.


Never mind which bloody leg, keep howling with pain son – or it might only be a yellow… 

Fortunately for the expiring Saville, salvation was at hand. From being on the point of passing away, brave George was hauled back from the brink by the sight of the red card being brandished at the Leeds skipper, and promptly hopped back up onto his feet, fully restored to health and vigour. It is understood that the novel technique of healing a fatal left leg injury by treating the right leg may now be adopted as standard practice, due to the spectacular results effected by the expertise of the Millwall medical staff.

All better now

Well done, lad – the ref’s sent him off. Up you get, now

The spontaneous recovery must have come as a deep relief to the travelling Millwall faithful who, judging by their continual songs about Turks and knives, had clearly anticipated the possibility that Saville would require surgery from an Eastern European doctor. Such a miraculous restoration to health for their brave lad was due reward for these fine supporters of Football’s Family Club of the Year 2017 – an accolade surely just as well deserved as Man U’s “Greatest Club in the World”.

How we shall all look forward to next season, and a continuation of this friendly rivalry – if Millwall stay up, that is…



24 responses to “Leeds United and the Strange Case of the Migrating Millwall Injury – by Rob Atkinson

  1. Well said Rob. What I find so sad from a hard core of our following is the vicious, foul mouthed insults directed at some of our players. Had we won we would be singing praises from the rafters for the second half performance. Fans who were screaming for Lasogga to be shipped off home last week are now hailing him with superlatives.
    We have problems, yes, and constructive criticism is one thing but the kind of language coming from the terraces from our own fans worries me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lasogga is clearly the business, all he needs is fitness and confidence. The fitness is up to the lad himself, but as supporters, the Leeds crowd has a responsibility to bolster his confidence.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The player Saville simulated to get Cooper sent off. Same thing last week with the Ipswich player. Deliberately put his head in and the fell over. No video of why Samuel Saiz spat but I bet he was provoked.
    Teams have twigged they can rough Leeds up and the ref won’t do anything. They can easily get Leeds players sent off. The number of Leeds players injured by rough/dangerous play by the opposition is a long one. Someone should look at how the young centre forward Ebukan? managed to get a broken foot twice in a row. Did the opposition deliberately exploit a weakness? Also, do opposition teams have reporting software that highlights critical events in Leeds or other teams defeats?


  3. Jesus Wept!

    Are the FA not able to take post-match action on this very obvious simulation? Normally they cannot get involved if the ref has clearly made a decision +/or taken action when he witnesses an incident, but on this occasion, he acted ONLY (and incorrectly) on the tackle, not the resultant simulation. Similarly, Morison should be up on at least 2 charges of crowd incitement, although, sadly, it appears the officials witnessed these incidents & chose (incorrectly) not to act.


    • A problem with punishing simulation is that the offence is one of deception. Like Fraud, the prosecution should start at the time of discovery, which like other Frauds and as in this case was after the event.

      The game’s rules now state that “attempts to deceive the referee by feigning injury or pretending to have been fouled (simulation)”, must be sanctioned as unsporting behaviour which is misconduct punishable by a yellow card.[2] The rule changes are in response to an increasing trend of diving and simulation.


      • There has been at least one case recently of a player sanctioned retrospectively for “successfully deceiving the match officials”.


      • Steve Harris

        Haha what a bunch of cry babies you’ve all become…. most of you have forgotten you have a statue outside of one of the toughest ever players to play at the top level… throw in Lorimer and Jordan plus a few others since…. and you’re complaining about something that happens all over the country every week. It was reckless, they even thought the decision was right on the tv that night.
        Let’s face it, we’re a club that has fuck all money, buys championship rejects no other championship club wants. Still have a less than a million transfer fee record from the 80’s and we’ve done the double over you. Morison hated playing for you loves playing for us. Live with it.


      • When a comment starts with “haha”, you can generally chalk up one rattled troglodyte. But you’re right, we have to live with the fact of Millwall, just as we have to live with UKIP, the flu, rising damp, Tories and other contemporary blights.


  4. George Saville isn’t the kind of player who “simulates” injury. Whilst unintentional, Liam Cooper’s challenge caught Saville across the front of both his shins from the side. Not Emergency Room stuff, but initially probably bloody painful as side on impact that glances across the shins tend to move the player’s shin pads out of the way and scrapes across the shin bone. Steve Morison should have been definitely booked for his deliberate bump into the back of Cooper enroute to his protesting to the referee, but Cooper mouthed off to the referee before and twice after receiving the red card, and I doubt any appeal will be warmly received or gain any traction. Even the Millwall manager said that while he agreed with red card for the challenge, he knows that Cooper isn’t the kind of player who would intentionally try to hurt another player as he has dignity and class about him. I have no idea what was going on between the coaching staff on the sideline. Thing is, the two clubs aren’t exactly on each others Christmas Card list, and there’s always going to be a lot of heated challenges. The only saving grace from watching Morison give it to the Leeds faithful, is his confession that when he was at Leeds he was pretty crap and played terrible in almost every game – and no wonder the fans through abuse his way.


  5. I don’t often defend referees. At normal speed where the referee was stood, all he sees is Cooper, foot off the floor with a braced leg who catches the player. The player makes the most of it and goes down as if his ankle has been ripped off.

    That’s what the ref sees. On the basis of that he makes the decision.

    I agree entirely the Millwall player should face retrospective action for feigning injury, it needs stamping out of football altogether.


  6. Philip of Spain

    The team,back room staff and supporters deserve each other,all that leaves a bad taste in football was on show from Millwall.Why do we expect anything else,its bred in them.Handed down like pie mash and liquor.


  7. Keith Johnson

    So true Rob,,,,,,


  8. Life is LUFC

    Personally I think that excuse for a human being going by the name of Morrison should be banned from football in any capacity for life…….and he still plays crap.
    As for the rest of your observations Rob I totally agree with you.
    OOOh I feel better for that.


  9. David Dean

    Humorous and correct, Rob – looked like he was giving him a yellow but he would have been very lucky, it was a reckless challenge, typical of Cooper. Norman bit yer legs but not desperate stupidity like that. He doesn’t seem to learn. What an incredible match though – I wish I would have been there and glad my son witnessed it in my absence. Horrible to lose again but I would have taken that result before the match – it is all about entertainment. Shoot me for having an opinion but that is why I follow Leeds United – it is not my religion or my addiction. Entertainment first and results second. I don’t mind a lot of poor games with good results but Saturday topped that any day of the week. The shocking first half made the thrill even better. I am proud of that team and Tommy. It was a fight back that tops all fight backs. I was at Elland Road over 50 years ago when Leeds were 2-0 down to Leicester with half an hour left. We won 3-2. Saturday was a better effort. To do what they did on Saturday with 10 men was incredible. That will live forever in our memories. A week in the sun and maybe another signing to add a bit more quality and we might get into the playoffs. MOT – I am proud of Tommy and that team and whatever happens Radz knows what he is doing.


  10. It is antics such as George Saville’s pathetic play acting to get Cooper sent off that has driven me away from football. The same goes for Morrison’s “outrage”. I used to go to games on a regular basis but not any more. As long as these sort of actions, dissent, diving etc. is prevalent in the game it is just not worth watching. A load of overpaid primma donnas who resort to cheating to win.

    The FA need to be draconian about it. Retrospective bans and huge fines for simulation. Fine any club who try and justify their cheats actions or who have multiple offenders. Turn it back into a proper game in this country and leave the cheating to the rest of the world if they don’t follow suit. The trouble is they don’t have the bottle to take on the clubs due to the money in the game.


    • Life is LUFC

      I agree with your 2nd para.


    • he shouldn’t feign injury but it was a poor tackle that got what it deserved Morison should have been booked as well , and every club behaves the same way now if you take a genuine whack then make the most of it , there will be some players also at most clubs that would just shrug it off , shame that it was a very good game between 2 teams who will both probably finish higher than where they are now , I hope so anyway


  11. B weller House of Fun

    lets see if this is put up


    • Well, as I’m banned from HoF (where I get plenty of referrals, ta, kerching) – and as you saw fit to have a pop at the Don – then you’re not going to get your crap passed for the site, are you?


  12. Rob. We had less harsh challenges and see a lot of red cards ourself this season. Onto the game we should of been 6-2 at half time. Second half u boys played really well and should be proud of your team. If being honest that probably our only injury goal all season. We played well all season away from home and so many teams and mangers said we deserve 3 points. We know we would win soon away from home and fancy our chance cause of your form. We really get stuck in and win most battles but in second u won the battle.


  13. Kevin Wilson

    I always enjoy reading your blogs Rob, humorous and correct mostly as they are ( here comes the BUT) Milwall got off to a flyer and should have been 2 up in the first 20 mins. We were rubbish and its no good whinging about players feigning injury, using all the tricks, teams ‘raising their game’ etc the question is why aren’t we doing the same? Why can’t our players use the same tactics and guile? Millwall did what they’re good at and battled and reaped the rewards of another players idiocy and the resulting struggle of ten men. Add poor and tired defending and that’s it. Why aren’t we able to learn the lessons? All the supporters I talk to know that the problem is a lack of experience and game management at this level and known that since the start of the season. Why are Orta and the General management just drawing that conclusion now?


Leave a Reply - Publication at Site owner's Discretion

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.