Tag Archives: medical

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.

Injured

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.

Treated

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…

 

 

Leeds Fan Opinion: Chelsea’s Slump Down To Fitness Problems   –   by Rob Atkinson

Mourinho: who’s a silly boy, then?

Chelsea, the runaway winners of the English Premier League just a few short months ago, have made an uncharacteristically poor start to the defence of their Title. Despite taking a two goal lead on the opening day against Swansea, the champions were pegged back and had to settle for a point in a 2-2 draw. Then, in the season’s first “Elite” game when they faced Manchester’s finest at the Etihad, the Blues really set in as Roman’s Pensioners subsided to a 0-3 hammering, putting them a sizeable five points behind the leaders with only two rounds of league competition played.

As a Leeds United fan, I could normally be expected to do no more than snigger quietly at the misfortunes of such an old rival. The enmity between the Whites and the Blues stretches clear back to the 60s, when Don Revie‘s Super Leeds were the very acme of gritty northern professionalism, whilst Chelsea represented the Soft South, all rag trade moguls and Z-list luvvies, a hymn to the effete spinelessness of the namby-pamby, over-pampered mummy’s boys of West London. Only the fearsome “Chopper” Harris and the skin-headed, thuggish primates of The Shed made Chelsea worth hating. For the rest, they were mainly there for the media to adore, and for us oop ‘ere in Yorkshire to have a good laugh at.

So why should I, a Leeds fan and proud of it, spend my valuable time pointing out the problems at Chelsea? And what makes me think that I can second-guess Jose Mourinho, coach extraordinaire, sex-symbol to the militant blue rinse brigade and a veritable legend in his own mind?

Well, silly as it might seem, Jose has been and gone and dropped the Portuguese equivalent of a right, proper clanger so far this season and, such being the nature of the man, he’s not going to see the error of his ways unless someone’s prepared to slap him (metaphorically) about the face with the irrefutable evidence of it. The mistake that Jose has made is fundamental, and it’s set fair to reduce the champions’ nascent season to rubble. Not that this would necessarily be a bad thing – but I would like to see the Blues back to something like their normal, imperious form by the time they’re called upon to demolish Manchester’s lesser club. So, there is method in my madness, as you can see. 

Mourinho’s tragic error is in the all-important area of fitness. If a football club is deficient in this respect, then all else falls into ruin. Fitness is to a football club what greed is to a bank or to a multinational corporation – neither entity can function without that one vital quality which is the mainspring of their entire operation.

Last season, fitness was not a problem for Chelsea FC. It was a quality clearly obvious even to the most unobservant eye; it leapt out of the TV screen every time a Chelsea player got a knock or went down injured. Fitness underpinned all of Chelsea’s endeavours, protecting them against injury and the effects of gruelling competition. Wherever the Blues played, there too was this unmistakable quality of fitness – as embodied by surely the fittest occupant of a Chelsea bench-coat it’s ever been my pleasure to behold.

Doctor, my heart...

Doctor, my heart…

Take a demure bow, Eva Carneiro, Chelsea club doctor and, beyond doubt, the most acceptable face of Chelsea there has ever, ever been. And yet the arrogant and deeply silly Jose (my wife will kill me for this) has found it necessary to remove her as a delectable match-day presence, thereby denying Chelsea’s valuable, thoroughbred playing staff the benefits of her inestimable professional expertise and – far more seriously – the rest of us the privilege of simpering helplessly over her international-class cuteness and beauty. It’s a sad loss to the game as a whole, to Chelsea in particular and to everyone out here in TV land who simply longs for a Blues player to get hurt, just for the chance of another glimpse of that exquisite pocket Venus of an MD.

In depriving Chelsea of any further manifestations of Eva, Jose Mourinho has reduced their overall fitness levels by at least 95% (on the empirical sexism scale) and – it seems clear – has demoralised and depressed, into the bargain, a playing staff that carried all before them only last season. And what clearer indication could there be that a clanger has indeed been dropped, than the occurrence of two simultaneous injuries during the City match – on Eva’s very first enforced night off? Honestly, I ask you. Those lads were clearly pining for her.

So if Mourinho wishes his club to emerge from this deep early slump, he should order forthwith a large slice of humble pie for himself, a large bouquet of flowers and a case of Adega de Borba Premium 2011 for the gorgeous Eva – and then he should do the only decent thing, admitting that even The Special One can get things spectacularly wrong, and humbly begging Dr. Carneiro to return, pretty please.

Jose - she's behind you...

Jose – she’s behind you…

And if, as I suspect, Mourinho finds it impossible to contemplate such an humiliating climbdown – even though he will know, deep down, that I am right – why, then, he should simply pack the good lady doctor off, with no hard feelings, to Elland Road – where she would be better appreciated by players, staff and especially by most of those fans possessing a Y chromosome. And most especially by this besotted fan, whose heart belongs to club and family, but who can yet raise considerably more than a cheer for the scrumptious Eva Carneiro.

Come to Leeds United, Eva, love. Sod Chelsea, they clearly don’t deserve you. Come to Elland Road, and make our injury stoppages a thing of beauty and a joy forever. Perhaps then I could go back to being utterly indifferent to the goings-on at Stamford Bridge – excepting always when I need the Blues to beat the even more loathsome reds, otherwise known in this parish as the Pride of Devon…

Making a Wish Come True for Young Leeds Fan and Cancer Fighter Joseph – by Rob Atkinson

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Making wishes come true

Sometimes the big, nasty world of professional football shows its usually-hidden, more human and caring side – just when you think it’s all about winning, money, egos, money, cheating and money.  Such a cynical attitude can sneak up on you unawares even if, like me, you’ve loved the game, and one club in particular, for the best part of forty years.  It’s difficult to avoid it, with all that you hear going on, and with the tantrums and spats of the great and the not-so-good.  But then something lovely happens, and you have a rethink.

ImageSuch an item cropped up today, in our local paper as it happens.  Because I’m happy to report that it’s the story of a very brave little lad, Joseph Carolan, who happens to be local to me and who has been battling away through the different phases of chemotherapy for the treatment of  Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia.  Joseph was diagnosed with the disease in May last year after a visit to the doctor with flu-like symptoms.  His treatment involved long hospital stays and, during these, he passed the time by keeping up with Leeds United’s games, becoming a staunch fan of the Elland Road club.

Joseph has had a rough time of it, enduring nine months of intensive chemotherapy – and he is now embarked upon a further two years of maintenance chemotherapy.  It’s a grueling process, especially for one so young.  Joseph has lost some of his mobility as a result of all this, and relies quite heavily on a wheelchair.  He hasn’t been able to attend school either, so he’s missed out quite heavily in a few different ways.

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Joseph and Sam Byram in the new Leeds United-themed bedroom

So what better to cheer up a young football fan than a bedroom makeover in the colours of his favourite team? Happily, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, in conjunction with Leeds United Football Club, were able to step in and help arrange just that – and what’s more they managed to go one step further and give young Joseph a really brilliant surprise.  For when it was time to unveil his new, Leeds-themed bedroom, none other than United midfielder Sam Byram turned up to do the honours.  Joseph was naturally delighted and the happy surprise was a real fillip for him as he continues to receive the treatment his condition makes necessary.  His proud dad, John, was equally thrilled at what had been arranged for the young Leeds fanatic.  “Meeting Sam and having his bedroom decorated with a Leeds theme has really boosted Joseph,” he said.  “The medication that he’s on can make him feel quite down, but this has really cheered him up.”

Leeds United’s talented young midfield star, Sam Byram, was delighted to be able to help make Joseph’s day when he saw his new bedroom.  Sam said: “It was great to visit Joseph and see his face light up when he showed me his room. The items that the club donated have made his bedroom like a shrine to Leeds United. It’s very easy to forget sometimes what joy football can bring to people, and it was great to be able to meet Joseph and see the smile on his face.”

Joseph, from Pontefract in West Yorkshire, had been feeling poorly for some time before his diagnosis, so he’s had quite a long spell of feeling not particularly brilliant.  His dad John again: “Due to his illness Joseph has unfortunately had to spend a lot of time in his bedroom so having it decorated to reflect his favourite team is really fantastic for him.”

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Good buddies: Joseph Carolan and Sam Byram

It was particularly heart-warming to hear that a local boy, so poorly for such a long time but now battling away to get back to some normality, should have been given such a welcome boost by his beloved Leeds United – and even more so that he should have had the chance to meet one of his heroes in person as well as having his United-style room.  The Make-A-Wish Foundation relies heavily on donations, and anyone who feels they would like to contribute can do so here.  All credit to everyone who’s been involved with creating such a wonderful surprise for young Joseph; Leeds United might well reflect that it was only because of long spells in hospital that Joseph really got into them!  But as we know, once the bug bites, it doesn’t let go – so hopefully Joseph will be a United fan for many years.  From the look of the happy photographs of this event, that seems more than probable.

All the best to young Joseph for a full recovery – and Marching On Together with Leeds United to promotion.