It's a damned sell-out
WELL, I'll be damned! Leeds United are in town.The club that have been thrust into the spotlight with the recent release of the film - “The Damned United” - have attracted a sell-out crowd for this afternoon's League One showdown at the Weston Homes Community Stadium.
The Damned United in sell-out fixture
By Carl Marston
WELL, I'll be damned! Leeds United are in town.
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The club that have been thrust into the spotlight with the recent release of the film - “The Damned United” - have attracted a sell-out crowd for this afternoon's League One showdown at the Weston Homes Community Stadium.
“The Damned United” concentrated on Brian Clough's ill-fated 44 days as the manager of Leeds, in succession to Don Revie, who had left to become the England manager.
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Clough was unhappy with Leeds' over-aggressive tactics, as personified by the likes of Norman Hunter, Johnny Giles and Billy Bremner, even though they had just won the league.
It prompted him to utter the famous words: “Chuck out all your medals and all your caps and all your pots and all your pans into the biggest dustbin you can find, because you've never won any of them fairly.”
The current-day Leeds team certainly won't be worrying about their style of play. They just want to clamber out of the third tier of the Football League, which is a depressing place to be for such a proud club.
They weren't lacking in “aggression” when the U's went to Elland Road in December. In fact, a hot-headed David Prutton was sent off for two bookable offences, which was to prove costly because Mark Yeates scored the winner from the ensuing free-kick following his red card.
Leeds certainly have their share of robust, no-nonsense players, not least ex-Ipswich Town stalwart Richard Naylor, who is set to marshal the Leeds defence against the U's.
Naylor originally arrived on loan at Elland Road in January, but made the move permanent a month later. He is the club's vice-captain.
Leeds-born Naylor should partner Sam Sodje in the heart of defence, following Sodje's recent loan switch from Reading.
The biggest danger is likely to come from in-form striker Jermaine Beckford, who recently became the first Leeds player to score more than 30 goals in a season since 1991.
Beckford celebrated the first league hat-trick of his career against Yeovil last month, and also bagged a brace in last weekend's important 2-0 home win over promotion rivals MK Dons. He currently has 31 goals in all competitions.
Three years before Clough's brief tenure at Elland Road, Leeds suffered the ignominy of bowing out of the FA Cup at the hands of the Fourth Division U's at Layer Road.
Hard men like Hunter, Giles and Jack Charlton were in the Leeds team that day (February 13, 1971), when Ray Crawford scored a brace in an infamous 3-2 win.
Revie's Leeds United were “damned” that day. Paul Lambert's men will be out to repeat the dose this afternoon.