Tag Archives: Espana

Euro Goners Real Madrid Admit They Didn’t Live Up to Famous Leeds All White Strip – by Rob Atkinson

Real Madrid – making a mockery of Leeds United’s iconic all-white strip

Real Madrid were left ruefully reflecting upon their shock Champions League exit tonight, and were forced to admit: their performance fell way short of the standards expected of any team seeking to emulate football legends Leeds United.

It’s well-known in football circles that the Madrid kit is modelled on the famous and dazzling all-white of Don Revie’s all-conquering Leeds United side who dominated the world game in the sixties and seventies. Leeds followed up on establishing themselves as the finest club side some fine judges had ever seen, by becoming the last ever Football League Champions in 1992. Their 27 year unbroken record as English champions is unlikely ever to be equalled, never mind broken.

Naturally, the Leeds record has attracted envious attention abroad as well as at home, with the result that plucky little Real Madrid adopted the legendary LUFC all-White in an attempt to emerge from the shadow of Catalan masters Barcelona. The move appeared to have paid off to some extent, with Real managing to win several trophies down the years, prompting some over-enthusiastic pundits to mention them in the same breath as Revie’s or even Howard Wilkinson’s immortal Whites. Madrid even adopted a similar nickname – los Blancos translates as “the Whites” in Spanish, and some have interpreted this as a cheeky assertion by Madrid that they are somehow comparable to the Elland Road virtuosos.

However, all of that bravado came crashing down tonight, with Madrid falling at home to Dutch outfit Ajax of Amsterdam. Real had actually led 2-1 after the first leg in Holland, but a 4-1 reverse tonight at the Bernabeu put paid to this season’s hopes of matching Mighty Leeds. A Madrid spokesman said afterwards, “It’s bad enough losing so heavily at home, and the late red card too. But losing while wearing the all-white which is the symbol of Leeds has just made us look silly. We may possibly wear pink in future, it’s something we have to think about”.

Meanwhile, in Leeds, former Real keeper Kiko Casilla admitted that his old club had scored a PR own-goal. “Yes, it was embarrassing”, said the ex-Madrid man. “It did look as if Real were playing with ideas above their station, it was all a bit presumptuous. It’s made me glad that I seized my chance when the opportunity arose to better myself by moving to Elland Road”.

The triumph of Ajax is being hailed in Holland as a sign that they themselves might one day emulate Leeds. “Ajax were superb”, crowed one fan. “We played with vim and vigour. Who says we can’t be a second Leeds? But we wouldn’t turn out in the famous LUFC all-white. That’s just bloody rude”.

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When Leeds Star Saiz Rediscovers His Mojo, He’ll Make Opponents Suffer – by Rob Atkinson

Samu Saiz – desperate to score for United

It’s becoming quite common knowledge that Samu Saiz, Leeds United’s mercurial, twinkle-toed Spanish playmaker, has not scored a league goal for upwards of far too long. It’s a barren run that seems to be affecting his confidence, however much he contributes to the team overall. You get the feeling he’s desperate to score, and this could be bringing an element of “trying too hard” into his game. But that overall contribution is still significant; take for example his brilliant ball into the box to fashion United’s goal at Blackburn.

Saiz has scored this season, though, and the goal I have in mind – against Bolton in the Carabao Cup – summed up the strengths of the man. He received the ball inside the opposition area, brought it under instant control, used his quick feet to find a yard of space, and finished neatly past a helpless Wanderers keeper.

That’s the real Saiz, the one we haven’t seen enough of since his ban for spitting at Newport last January. There are signs, though, that he has rediscovered his form and technical touch; add confidence to that, and you have a formidable player.

There does seem, however, to be an increasing groundswell of impatience and disapproval among the usual suspects that constitute the lower end of the Leeds Twitter following. It hardly needs saying that this sort of thing is exactly the opposite of what is needed. As I’ve said many times before, the supporters’ job is to support – their sketchily-informed criticism is not required. The club employs expensive talent for that.

Stick by Saiz, and just wait for his mojo and therefore his confidence to return. When those attributes are rediscovered, our Samu will lead opponents a merry dance, while providing us with the kind of spectacle and memories that should define and adorn a promotion-challenging season. Give the lad your trust and backing, and he’ll repay you tenfold. Maybe even starting with tonight, against Ipswich Town.

Just wait and see.

Feliz Cumpleaños a Ti, Luciano Becchio. Por Favor, Vuelve a Leeds Utd! – by Rob Atkinson

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Wishing you a Happy Return

As any fule kno, the title means Happy Birthday to you, Luciano – please come back to Leeds United. The birthday wishes are standard; Becchio is 30 today which is a watershed in anyone’s life – and all the more so for a professional footballer, for whom the thirties are old-man, retirement territory.

Naturally, any article which even hints at the possible return of our former hero and regular goalscorer will be pounced upon by those who love to be seen pouring scorn on any such common sense.  Loads of goals, total commitment, rapport with the crowd and unstinting bravery amid the flying boots of a crowded opposition penalty area – these are things that some people simply hate and can’t abide the thought of.  The hostility which ensues whenever anybody suggests that Becchio could still be a Leeds United asset has to be seen to be believed.  There are some angry and immature people out there, and I expect I shall receive some abusive feedback from a few of them.  Who knows, I may even allow the odd one through?

The fact is of course that a Luciano type player is exactly what we need to increase the options for how our team might be set up and deployed.  If El Hombre himself were to arrive as a returning prodigal son, with a quality winger in tow – perhaps the French Ligue 1 might be a good place to look – then so much the better.  It seems obvious to me that we would carry much more of a threat over the course of a game with such a significant augmentation of the options, both in the starting line-up and on the bench.  At our level, with the aspirations we have, you can’t have too many decent Championship players.  Becchio may not have made the grade, quite, at top level – though he’s hardly been given a chance – but in the second tier, he’s proven quality.  What’s more, he would be absolutely champing at the bit.  Post 30 years old, he will hear the clock ticking – and he will wish to make his mark while he can.  Familiar surroundings at Elland Road would most likely bring out the best of Becchio.

Happy 30th birthday, Luci’.  Here’s hoping we see you back to your best in the famous white shirt again soon.  Now bring on those scornful dismissive comments, do your worst.  But please – let me hear from those of you who know what you’re talking about too…