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Match Report: Leeds United 0-1 Reading (Leeds Fan's Perspective)

Sunday 18th December 2011
I've given up. Its taken a surprisingly short time but I've seen enough; Leeds United will not be playing Premiership football next season.

Judging by our home performances, it's impossible to see how we remain in the play-off places. Although we picked up points at Elland Road towards the start of the season, its genuinely impossible to think of a home game where we have played well. Away from home we have been superb but we can't keep relying on away performances to keep us where we are. Things have to change and quickly.

Fans of the teams towards the bottom end of the division may be wondering how Leeds fans can complain as we sit in a healthy Christmas position. I believe we can because the performances we have seen are deserving of a position six places from the bottom, rather than the top.

For me, the performance against Reading was the worst I've seen all season, possibly as bad as I've seen in recent years. From conceding a sloppy opening goal to never looking like responding, we received exactly what we deserved. It could have been more.

After just two minutes we fell behind. Andy Lonergan, returning from a fractured finger making a fatal misjudgment, allowing Simon Church to place a fine finish into the Leeds net. Elland Road fell silent; another home defeat was looking likely.

The starting eleven has been shaken up in recent weeks with the injury to captain Johnny Howson and the return of Luciano Becchio. Simon Grayson opted for a traditional 4-4-2 formation, with Michael Brown returning to the midfield alongside Adam Clayton. Brown has received a lot of criticism from fans since his summer move but put in his best performance in a Leeds shirt. In a team that lacked any passion, Brown was the only one looking as if he wanted to win the game.

We could have been 3-0 down by half time; Reading buoyed by the early goal were producing a solid away performance. Lonergan redeemed his earlier misjudgment by clawing away a McAnuff curler. The ball was still in and around the Leeds area though and Aidy White did magnificently in clearing it before the onrushing Robson-Kanu. Leeds' early attempts to pass the ball around on the floor were soon forgotten as we again resorted back to route one football.

However, we did fashion a fabulous chance just before half time. Talisman Robert Snodgrass delivered the ball from the right but the unmarked Ross McCormack could only head the ball into the arms of Federici.

The second half was exactly the same; Leeds enjoying a lot of possession but failing to make any chances. Again Reading looked probably the most likely to score, McAnuff slicing wide before Alex Pearce headed over a good chance. Andy Keogh's speculative shot was the closest the Whites faithful came to scoring a goal.

The defeat was Leeds' fourth at home this season and was another sign that we are running out of ideas. I refuse to jump on the "Grayson out" band-wagon, but it does seem that even he is struggling to know what to do. His tactics and substitutions in recent weeks have been questionable. Performances throughout the season have been inconsistent and far from adequate. We rely far too much on players such as Snodgrass; a few injuries and we could be in real trouble.

Somehow we remain sixth in the division. Its time to take a picture of that, as I don't think we'll be here for long.
Josh Fisk

Total articles: 13

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