Leeds v Middlesbrough Match Officials Warned “Watch Out for Ayala” – by Rob Atkinson

Boro’s Ayala – a box of dirty tricks

As if tonight’s top of the table Championship summit clash between Leeds United and Middlesbrough wasn’t sufficiently loaded with potential flashpoints, one above all others had the potential to affect both the result and the disciplinary responsibilities of the match officials at Elland Road.

With a full house expected and the electronic eyes of the Sky TV cameras ever on the lookout for controversy as well as action, the atmosphere will be edgy and intense right from the start. Both clubs have playing staff previously on the books of their opponents, and there is a long-standing rivalry between the Kings of Yorkshire and the club best known for being Yorkshire rejects.

One potential source of strife and controversy stands out above most others though, with the likely presence in the Boro side of Daniel Ayala, a man with recent form in this fixture. Last season, with Leeds two goals to the good, Mr. Ayala blatantly wrestled Luke Ayling to the floor in the United box, an action somehow missed by match officials. Understandably outraged, Ayling sprang up to remonstrate, and in the subsequent kerfuffle, Ayala, with a look of saucer-eyed innocence on his face, contrived to have his team awarded an unlikely penalty.

Not all match officials, of course, are as visually challenged as the assistant referee on that occasion appeared to be. We must give him the benefit of the doubt, after all, and assume that it was his eyesight to blame, and not the presence of the Middlesbrough away support just behind him. But Ayala’s initial assault on Ayling was crude and obvious, and it’s reasonable to say that the incident was not one in which justice was served. Fortunately, Leeds hung on deservedly to win the game 2-1.

Mr. Ayala is still up to his nasty little tricks though, and still managing somehow to be blatant about it, and yet escape the notice of the men with the whistle and the flags. The recent Boro v West Brom game was a case in point, with Ayala clearly offending and completely getting away with it. How he does this is a mystery; we can only hope that forewarned is forearmed, and that – if Ayala does play this evening – the nastier parts of his game are spotted by the officials.

Here’s hoping for a good game and a fair outcome. MOT.

8 responses to “Leeds v Middlesbrough Match Officials Warned “Watch Out for Ayala” – by Rob Atkinson

  1. Life is LUFC

    It’s unrepeatable what I would like to do with this apology for a football player. As a rule I do not wish ill will on anyone but I hope this apology gets banned for life from life. He just makes me so angry.


  2. king sniffer

    Couldn’t agree more Rob. Discussing this with some friends this morning. A despicable individual if ever there was one. What gets me though is how does he get away with it. He should have been off last season before that incident occurred anyway. The only explanation I can think of is there must be some Mob connections somewhere! Hope he gets his comeuppance tonight.


  3. Expect more of the same if Tiny Pulos’s ‘big, physical, route one’ side hope to get anything over Bielsa’s Leeds.


  4. I didn’t mind Pulis or his old style of football but his comments regarding middlesboro being the better team and deserving the win are strange. Their only threat (in more ways than one) came from a defender,the 1950s throwback Ayala and that says a lot about their approach. They won’t go up playing like that.


  5. king sniffer

    Just another thing Rob. Couldn’t believe it on Friday to see they signed George Saville and Danny Batth; two players that we were supposedly interested in. Mind you, I suppose there have been very few players that we have not been interested in according to the press. So, that is along with Aiden Flint, Mo Besic and Jordan Hugill. Then to stump it all read today that we were after Albert Adomah, along with guess who, and he had actually chosen Boro over us and was on his way to the ground when it fell through. So, why I ask myself, have all these players chosen Boro over us? It’s not the history, the fan base, the potential, certainly not the manager or the charm of the city! Only one thing remains then; it can only be the money! Rather pissed myself off with this train of thought and needed to share it! MOT without certain of the above who could have helped. Of course, it could all be down to the wisdom of the Mighty B, and my ramblings could be over nowt!


    • At the moment, whenever I see something a bit perturbing, like this, I close my eyes, grit my teeth and repeat over and over to myself, “In Bielsa we trust…”


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