Tag Archives: Steve Morison

Prolific Morison Condemns Wednesday to Cup Final Defeat as Leeds Rule – by Rob Atkinson

Steve Morison - prolific

Steve Morison – prolific

Poor Sheffield Wednesday. And, make no mistake, they were poor. Insipid in build-up, impotent in front of goal – in the end, Leeds United could and perhaps should have won by more. But it would be churlish to criticise a team that comes from a goal down at half-time in a derby match – especially against opponents who traditionally regards every game against Leeds as their cup final. This is even more the case when you consider United’s recent off-the-field troubles – although, let’s face it, trouble’s as near to normality as the Whites ever get.

It’s two in a row now for United striker Steve Morison, who kept his cool to score the winner after his initial shot had been saved by Kieran Westwood in the home goal. Earlier in the second half, young Charlie Taylor had popped up in the right place at the right time to slot the equaliser home after a free kick on the edge of the area had the ball pinging about near goal. All this after the sub-par Wendies had gone in at half time leading through a disputed penalty. United manager Neil Redfearn was frank enough afterwards to admit he thought the ref had called it right. Easy to be magnanimous in victory, you might say – but in reality, so few ever are. Credit to Redders.

That two in two accolade for Morison loses a little of its lustre when you reflect that it could equally be interpreted as two goals in two years. But the big striker has played his part when given the chance this season, in a team that has struggled more often than not. You get the feeling with Morison that, in a team that plays to his strengths at this level, he’d still be a real handful. If he’s still in the white shirt next time around, we might just see much more in the way of fireworks from a much-maligned but still dangerous striker.

As for Wednesday – sadly for their fans (but comically for the rest of us), they’ve let down those supporters who turned up in numbers today for the match that means more to them than any other Championship fixture. In the end, it was just shy of 4,000 cock-a-hoop away supporters out of a crowd of over 28,000 who left Hillsborough raucously satisfied as the glum Wendies trooped sadly home.

It would take a lot to erase the memory of last season’s bitter Hillsborough experience, but Leeds made a start on that process of redemption with this much-improved performance. It’s always good to put South Yorkshire upstarts in their place and, as things stand right now, it may be that Leeds are destined to hammer home the final nail in Rotherham‘s Championship coffin next time out. If that proves to be the case, then Yorkshire’s least civilised quarter will have provided an upbeat end to what in truth has been another dismal season for Leeds.

For the moment, the glum look on the faces of those depressed Wendy fans at their Cup Final defeat is enough to bring a smile for even the most depressed United fan – together with some sort of hope for better things next season. Well, that’s what Massimo Cellino is promising us, and he’s bound to be sincere. Anyone remember the promises he made last season…?

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Leeds United Beat Nottingham Forest on Away Goals – by Rob Atkinson

Yorkshire mourns the death of a Notts heroine

South Yorkshire mourns the death of a Notts heroine

A “largely forgettable” meeting of the two sub-Premier League giants saw the scoreline remain blank, with Leeds United‘s 1-1 draw at Notts Forest earlier in the season enough for the Whites to claim the honours on away goals.

Largely forgettable may well be right, but there will be a few Leeds fans waking from nightmares for a few weeks yet, hoping against hope that Steve Morison‘s horribly wayward strike was simply an awful dream that they will be able to forget. Sadly, it was all too true and all too symptomatic of the shot-shy striker’s current – ahem – “lean spell”.

A point is not going to be of much help to Forest, with their comically optimistic hopes of a late charge for the play-offs. For Leeds, it makes little difference to what is now a dead rubber of a season. It is to be hoped that Redders will take the opportunity to blood as many of his promising young prospects as possible between now and the time that this campaign peters out.

Young Kalvin Phillips did, after all, figure in his first elite squad, wearing 40 and drinking in the experience of a first team bench spot. We will hope to see more of him over the next couple of months or so.

Meanwhile, getting the seasonal better of the rather too cocky Nottingham Forest – the laughably nicknamed “Tricky Trees” – can at least raise a smile, even if we are depending on an away goals rule that is merely theoretical in league competition. But it’ll do to wind up those sensitive souls from the guilt-ridden Notts coalfields, so we’ll go with it here.

See you next season, Twiglets…

Nostradamus Apologises to Leeds Fans for “Bad Day at the Office”   –   by Rob Atkinson

Nostradamus in happier days

Nostradamus in happier days

The post-match press conference for Brighton & Hove Albion‘s 2-0 victory over an “off the pace” Leeds United was enlivened by the unexpected and unscheduled appearance, from beyond the grave, of Nostradamus.

The 16th century French prophet, whose ancient prediction that Steve Morison would score in a Leeds win against Brighton had received some publicity this week, appeared out of thin air, looking slightly sheepish, but otherwise in pretty good form for a man dead these many years. This was, in fact, the first interview Nostradamus has granted since his death in 1566, and he was keen to emphasise that things had changed for him in the almost five centuries since then.

Speaking before the Brighton and Leeds coaches gave their post-match reaction, Nostradamus got straight to the point. “Yeah, man – I know I’m gonna get hammered for that Morison thing. It was a bad day at the office, a real bitch of a day, really. But you gotta remember that quatrain was written something over 450 years ago, well before League football had even started. You gotta cut me some slack, man. None of us is perfect, not even Don.”

So, now that he’s broken his 449 year silence, will he be maintaining an interest in the game?

“Hell, yeah man – I’m not that dead! I’m a big football fan and I have been since the 1870s. There’s quite a few of us up there, and we have some pretty lively discussions, let me tell you. I’m an Arsenal fan myself, big French influence there, which is pretty freakin’ cool.”

We can expect more predictions, then? Nostradamus was slightly more cautious on that score. 

“Weeeell – it’s not impossible, let’s put it like that. It’s difficult to know how to go about it after all this time. You may have noticed, I’ve kinda left the mediaeval French vibe behind – too inaccessible, man. Since I’ve been up there, I’ve had the chance to talk to people like Warhol, Lennon, Oscar Wilde – he’s quite the Brighton fan, actually, so he’ll be tickled pink tonight.”

Many Leeds fans in the football afterlife fraternity?

“For sure. A lot of the real individual types, the movers and the shakers, they tend to be Leeds. They’re proud to be different and not to take the easy path. So, you’ve got the likes of Thomas More and a lot of those mediaeval martyr guys. Then there’s Lord Nelson – NOT a Pompey fan as you’d think. Einstein, he’s Leeds, there’s Archimedes, Galileo, guys like that. There’s even – well let’s just say someone who was really big a coupla millennia back. He asked me not to mention his name, though, reckons he’d get crucified in the press. And General George Custer, he’s a massive fan – but then he always did tend to be up against it and he certainly fancied the odds against him.”

Any Man U fans? There’s a lot of speculation over who they have following them…

“Nope, you never see any of them. I don’t wanna be too specific, but those guys ended up, y’know, elsewhere.” 

So is Nostradamus at all embarrassed at the failure of his Steve Morison prediction?

“Noooooo, not really. As I said, it was a long time ago. I don’t even do the old-style quatrains any more, couldn’t tell you myself what they mean these days. It may even be that the Life, Leeds United, the Universe & Everything guy misinterpreted it. I am sorry if I raised the fans’ hopes though. That really sucks, and you can believe me when I say I regret it. All I can tell you as of now is that Morison will score, and sooner rather than later. Just, y’know, watch this space, man.”

At this point the coaching staff from the two clubs came into the Press room and Nostradamus felt it was time to go. With a cheery wink and a very passable Leeds salute, he promptly de-materialised – having agreed to deliver our best wishes to the LUFC faction in the great beyond.

Leeds next game is another tricky one, at home to Watford. At this stage, no predictions are available – from this world or the next.

Nostradamus is 511.

 

Can Steve Morison Really Score Tonight, Vindicating Nostradamus? – by Rob Atkinson

Nostradamus - not the actual bit that says Morison will notch on Tuesday

Nostradamus – not the actual bit that says Morison will notch at Brighton tonight

An ancient verse of the mediaeval soothsayer Michel de Nostredame, better known in modern times as Nostradamus, has startlingly been interpreted as a firm prediction that Leeds United’s Steve Morison will score a goal for the club away at Brighton & Hove Albion tonight.

The nailed-on prediction will come as good news for hard-working striker Steve, who has not notched for Leeds for almost two years now – despite enjoying an extended run in the team lately. Morison himself has always remained confident in his ability and has stated in the past that it’s just a matter of time before one of those half-chances goes in. “I’ve been busting a gut, ploughing a lone furrow up front in the best interests of the team,” insisted the formerly prolific marksman, “and the Boss keeps telling me I’m doing my job, and that’s good enough for me. It’s a shame about the goals though – so I’m really glad to hear I’m guaranteed to score at Brighton. If selected, obviously.”

The verse in question – technically known as a quatrain – is reproduced below. As can plainly be understood, the ancient prophet has seen in the stars at least one goal for Steve at Brighton, together with a Leeds United victory.

“Northern wind will cause the siege to be raised / Nearby the path of the hollowed mountains / Two great beasts, one will oppose and one assail / Drinking by force the waters of the Chalice triumphant.”

The mention of “hollowed mountains” nearby – a transparent reference to the Channel Tunnel – gives away the precise location. The two great beasts are, of course, Sol Bamba and Morison himself – one a defender (opposing) and one a striker (assailing). “Drinking by force the waters”, etc …. well, I’ve told you enough already. Got to leave you something to work out for yourselves.

Leeds manager Neil “Redders” Redfearn is delighted to see his faith in Morison paying off. “Well, y’know, it’s a vindication of, y’know, the 4-3-2-1 system in’tit, which has served us well since we, y’know, ditched that bleedin’ diamond,” said the United coach, fluently. “And, y’know, Steve’s been doing great, really, just great. But, y’know, it’s good to know for sure, like, that he’s getting a goal tonight cos, y’know, if the boy Nostradamus has been that clear about it, y’know, we’ve got to be a bit optimistic, like. It’ll, like, y’know, give Steve a fillip and, y’know, boost the lad’s confidence a bit, and that has to be good for, y’know, Leeds United.”

Brighton, for their part, are not convinced about the authenticity of this supposed ancient prophecy. “We’ll be keeping an eye on Morison, certainly,” confirmed a club insider, “but we’ve made no special plans. Goals are coming from elsewhere in this Leeds team and we can’t afford to create more space for them by doubling up on Morison just because of some mouldy old verse. Besides which, we’ve seen another quatrain from the National Library, and that clearly states the one you’ve got is bollocks.”

Life, Leeds United, the Universe & Everything, however, is utterly convinced by the prediction and is prepared publicly to endorse it. Steve Morison will score at Brighton tonight – count on it. Even put money on it, if you like*. Some blog readers have already declared their solemn intent to “lump on”. So you can take our word for it. Steve to score. Definitely.

* Life, Leeds United, the Universe & Everything can accept no responsibility for money lost in wagers, bets, flutters, accas or wild-eyed punts. Sorry.

Millwall Seek Away Win Hat-Trick in Elland Road Six Pointer – by Rob Atkinson

3-0 .... in OUR cup final??

3-0 …. in OUR cup final??

Had it not been for Millwall’s last two performances away from home, when they have recorded successive 1-0 wins at Notts Forest and at Birmingham, Leeds United might by now be breathing easy – and thinking more of the Championship top half than that worryingly close relegation battle.

The truth of the matter is, it’s only Millwall of the bottom three clubs that are close enough really to worry the Whites, and that’s only because of those six points extorted out of their last two road trips. If they were to complete a hat-trick of away wins in LS11, it would be more than unacceptably embarrassing – it would put our whole season right back into the melting pot, just when we need to be stretching away from the unseemly brawl at the bottom.

Looking at the current league table, there are pesky little Millwall, neck and neck with Brighton as they compete for the honour of not being that third relegated club. As it stands, Blackpool look dead, while Wigan are on the floor and seem to be breathing their last. Those two are a full ten and eight points respectively behind our friends from Bermondsey.

If Millwall had done the decent thing, and had rolled over at Forest and Brum, they would now be making up a neat little relegation trio with the two Lancastrian dead men walking – all of them clustered cosily together on the gallows, all nicely two points apart from each other; and the nearest to us would be a distant eleven points away. Then again, if my auntie had balls she’d be my uncle, wouldn’t she – but Birmingham had been doing so well until lately, and Forest have just slapped Wigan 3-0. Surely, it was not unreasonable to expect Millwall to lose those two. But no, they ignorantly got two unlikely wins, so what should be a comfortable gulf between us is instead a dicey-looking 5 points – though we do have four other clubs between us, as insulation if you like.

All of this means one thing: Leeds must beat Millwall at Elland Road on Saturday. For once, it is nearly as much our cup final as it is for those envious docklands pariahs with their scummy, inbred fans. Not that the away support will be anything to worry about – a few dozen cold and shivering die-hards are expected to negotiate the security curtain in order to attend. That’s all plucky Millwall bring these days. Not that they’re scared, of course.

So the away support won’t add much to the atmosphere, and it’ll be down to the White army to back their heroes or have the game played in a sterile vacuum. Either way, no slip-ups can be tolerated. The last home performance, as well as the showing of that appalling ref, must be forgotten. We have to draw on the positives of the Reading game (and Huddersfield – yes, we’re on an away hat-trick too) and we have to win. Simple as that. Easier said than done, of course. Millwall will fight like the dockland rats they are.

But the prize for Leeds is enticing – an eight point cushion from that dreaded trapdoor. If we were to lose – horror of horrors – it could be down to as little as two points, and that’s when bums start to squeak. Besides which – I don’t want my email inbox clogged with triumphal if illiterate outpourings from my fans down Millwall way. It’d be irksome in the extreme.

One change at least will be enforced on Leeds as Tommaso Bianchi awaits an operation to repair a cruciate ligament injury. It’s never particularly edifying, trawling through the musings of some of the Leeds United Twatterati, but much of the output in the wake of Reading was horrifyingly unimpressive, as several morons so far forgot themselves as to actually celebrate a United player’s serious injury. That’s simply unacceptable; some people need to take a serious look at themselves.

In another area of the team, Redders is backing “unlucky” Steve Morison to end his goal drought and, really, the law of averages if nothing else would seem to be in favour of the coach having a point. The striker’s hard work and application, the way he has led the line, means that his value to the team can be measured other than in terms of goal output (thankfully). But he’s also struck the woodwork on a couple of occasions and has been denied by some decent goalkeeping too. So there has been a bit of bad luck dogging him – and there’d be no better time to bag a couple than against one of his old employers on Saturday.

Life, Leeds United, the Universe & Everything was feeling quite confident after a spot-on prediction for the Huddersfield game. That breezy smugness evaporated after we caught a cold against Brentford, when a 3-1 victory had been politely requested. We kept schtum for Reading, and got our reward. But this is a must win game, so I’m going to direct the jury to find for the home team, to the optimistic tune of 3-0. That would do very nicely indeed, and would also – I suspect – keep my email inbox troglodyte-free for the foreseeable future.

The nil part of the prediction is inspired by the massively reassuring presence of a certain Sol Bamba in the back line. That’s asking for trouble, I know. As for the three goals predicted for Leeds – well, you never know. Luke Murphy seems to have developed a knack for scoring and creating during his recent renaissance. We do have some potential going forward, again partly due to the increased sense of security at the back. So, a solid display against Millwall, plenty of endeavour and hard work, and maybe the odd flash of inspiration too.

And if Mr. Morison could come up with a brace or a hat-trick then, let’s face it, we’d all be extremely happy. Apart, perhaps, from those who’d been looking forward to another good old whinge on Twitter. And who gives a toss what they think?