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Leeds United vs Manchester United; Debrief

Wednesday 21st September 2011
I can still remember the days when the games between Leeds and Manchester United were exciting and fiercely contested. Although the fortunes of both clubs have gone in different directions, my last memory of the rivalry is the F.A Cup game on January 3rd. We were two divisions below the Red Devils and although were fortunate to emerge victorious, we matched them in terms of effort and desire. For many lower league teams being pitted against larger opposition, effort and desire is all you can ask for as a spectator. Sometimes, these characteristics alone are enough to secure the win on the day.

For these reasons, I was genuinely gutted with the performance that Leeds produced in Tuesday's Carling Cup tie. Even with Man United fielding a seriously weakened side, I didn't expect anything in terms of a positive result. However, what I did hope for was a performance where each of the Leeds players gave their all and really tried to make United work. After all, it might be a while before the two sides meet again.

From the first whistle to the last, we lacked anything that indicated we genuinely wanted to win. Effort and desire were at an all time low and from the moment that Michael Owen slotted the Reds 1-0 up, we gave up. Retention of the ball was shocking and the common defensive frailties were exposed yet again by opponents that are far more punishing than the likes of Bristol City and Crystal Palace.

I'm not stupid. I understand that, regardless of Ferguson's squad selection, any Manchester United team is a strong one but I would have liked us to just give a little bit more on what was a huge day for the fans. With league form patchy at best, a good performance could have easily instilled a bit of confidence going into a huge game at Brighton on Friday night. The Seagulls are far less intimidating on paper than our rivals from across the Pennines. However they are are one of the league's high fliers and will go into the game full of confidence. A similar performance from Leeds will surely see us slip to another league defeat.

Despite the lack of investment in the club, work rate is something that cannot be bought. Its something that the players have to do for each other. At the moment, none of the team could say they are genuinely giving their all for their team mates. This has to change if this campaign is going to be anywhere near successful.
Josh Fisk

Total articles: 13

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