Leeds United AFC: Livermore…

There have been some strange goings on at Leeds United AFC over the years & the David Livermore saga was just one of them. At the beginning of the 2006/2007 season, Kevin Blackwell was forced to try pick up the pieces of the Play Off final “No Show” at Cardiff & money was at a premium. After pursuing many options to strengthen his squad, Blackwell finally managed to persuade today’s opponents Millwall to part with their captain. After a long medical, David Livermore moved North for a fee rumoured to be around £400,000 & the transfer left the player delighted, with Livermore telling the clubs website: “This is a huge club, this is where you want to be playing – at the right end of the division”

Sadly for everyone concerned, those words were anything but prophetic. After the sale of Hulse, Blackwell purchased Kevin Nicholls from Luton Town. Amazingly, this move prompted the club to accept an offer from Hull City for David Livermore, just 2 weeks after he had signed. The fee was “undisclosed”, but in a confusing situation, the Whites were rumoured to have made a loss on the transfers. The reason given for the sale was simply that with Nicholls & other new faces on board, Livermore’s chances of playing would now be limited. It was a bizarre start to the season & matters quickly began to go downhill. Nicholls was injured in his first training session & would seldom feature, before his spat with Dennis Wise…

In contrast, Livermore would go on to flourish at Hull, scoring 4 goals, with the ultimate twist to the tale seeing Hull City survive the drop to Division Three at our expense. It was there where we forged a “Huddersfieldesq” type rivalry with Millwall. As expected, in the week of the 11th Anniversary of Chris & Kevin’s murders, the home support was swelled to capacity with the inclusion of the South Bermondsey Galatasaray supporters club. Vocal & out in force, their provocation ensured they got a reaction, prompting a hate filled & hostile atmosphere well before kick off. Grayson was forced to shuffle his pack due to injury  & Connelly was reinstated , with Lichaj switched to left back. Loanee Jake Livermore – no relation to David – got a full debut…

After 3 defeats in 3 visits to the New Den, we hoped the tide would change, but as it turned out, too many of the Whites players once again left their heart for a battle in the dressing room. The first 20 minutes saw little on field action & though the home side forced a couple of early corners, neither side were on top & the expected home onslaught hadn’t materialised. We found it difficult to retain possession & other than a speculative Snoddy effort, we didn’t create anything of note until Gradel tried a spectacular overhead, which Forde tipped over for the cameras, knowing the flag was up. By this time, the players began to look rattled & every time they went to retrieve the ball from the home crowd, abuse hurled appeared to be unsettling them…

The home fans, who at that point were also doing a great job of refereeing the game, underlined their “Danny Dyer hardness” by throwing missiles onto the pitch. The atmosphere was becoming frenzied & a slip from O’Brien, sent Morrison clear. Only great covering play from Bromby spared his team mates blushes. The deadlock was to be broken on 23 minutes after the crowd awarded an innocuous looking freekick on the edge of the area. Up stepped Henry, who curled a beauty round the wall & past Kasper for 0-1. The Danes reaction suggested he was at fault. The South Bermondsey Galatasaray supporters club celebrated like they had won the cup & they had more to shout about 8 minutes later…

Our defensive Achilles Heel struck again, as Townsend’s corner found the totally unmarked Trotter, who poked home from two yards. As the New Den went into meltdown, we simply shook our collective heads at the now heartless showing in front of us. With the party going on around us, the Whites players began to lose their heads. Snoddy in particular was getting involved in everything other than football, picking up a booking in the process. Depression was setting in when Gradel fashioned a great chance out of nothing. After a brilliant run he pulled the ball back to Becchio, who seemed certain to score. Somehow, the covering defender got just enough on the ball to deflect it around for a corner…

With that chance missed, the Whites went back into our shell & chased the shadows of a side that simply showed more desire to win the ball. At half time, no-one could see a way back for the Whites, but Grayson made an instant change; throwing on Somma for the out of sorts Snoddy & his bit of pace gave us an outlet. We started much brighter & on 50 minutes, managed to nick a goal. Lichaj’s ball into the box was flicked on by Somma & Becchio was on hand to tap home for 1-2. The goal gave us renewed hope & it sparked a 10 minute period that saw the Whites finally start to look threatening. Our best chance fell to Gradel, who struck a superb shot from the edge of the area which Forde did well to keep out…

Sadly, that chance proved to be one of our last, as a few minutes later, it was pretty much game over. With a Millwall player down, play was waved on & Bromby was in the right place to block a goal bound shot from Henry. It appeared to hit his hand & whilst half the players stopped for a whistle that never came, Morrison latched onto the ball & lifted it over the onrushing Kasper for 1-3 to reawaken the crowd. From then on, it was all Millwall & they should have added to their lead. Grayson shuffled it around by throwing on Bannan for Connelly, but we were powerless to stop Henry & Harris missing 4 chances between them as the Whites simply surrendered…

McCormack was thrown on for Livermore with 8 minutes to go, but there was no way back. Whilst the home players played keep ball at every opportunity, so did the home support every time a ball went into the crowd. Amazingly, we did nick one back Lichaj’s long throw found the head of O’Brien & the ball looped into the net for 2-3. However, it was too little, too late & The South Bermondsey Galatasaray supporters club  “Cup Final” party was soon in full swing. Other results around us saw the Whites cling to 6th spot, with a 4 point cushion to our nearest challengers. However, given our current form, it’s anyone’s guess what that gap will be this time next week …

Whilst the off field antics of the home support proved to be a major talking point, it would be foolish to use it as an excuse for a 2nd consecutive away performance lacking the required desire & hunger to compete. Most would agree that this side has over achieved this season & should the side fail to make Play Off’s or even fail within them, the vast majority of the White Army would accept our fate – provided we go down battling. So, we are down to 6 games as we head into the dreaded Easter period, which has traditionally seen the Whites wobble. We need a shot of renewed hope & wiping the grin off Mr Savage’s face at Derby would be a step in the right direction…

Leeds United AFC…”Fly or Fall, it’s our call…” Keep Fighting…

YOUTUBE clip with thanks to PHILLUFCDENNISON…

Advertisements

Posted April 11, 2011 by keepfighting in leeds united, Uncategorized

%d bloggers like this: