64 minutes: OK, stop distracting me with your interesting emails. Pereira hits the bar with a free-kick and now Willian (lovely Willian) is receiving treatment after colliding with hoardings when he was trying to squeeze in a cross as the ball went out of play near the byline. Was staying
Oh hi, Mark (Hopper). More love for Clinton Morrison:
Another vote for Clinton Morrison. There is just so much love for the game. I’m sure she’s great company too. During the Forest We Man You game, John Murray revealed that he had stayed at a Nottingham hotel earlier in the evening and was really put out that Murray had not come over to his house for dinner.
Someone started a petition to Janus, Morrison in.
60 minutes: Ironic Fulham are cheering as some Leeds fans think Somerville has got an instant equaliser. Unfortunately for the away team, the shot clipped the side netting.
Target Fulham 1-0 Leeds (Wilson 58)
Yes! Work! That’s a really great finish from Harry Wilson, a lovely left-footed strike from under the bar. Antoine Robinson did so with a driving run and cross from the left. Come on Leeds, what do you have now?
I was hoping someone would chime in on this, thanks Dan Osborne:
RE: ‘Probable’ occurrence of a handled back pass earlier in the game. I think it should be like cricket, if there was no appeal from the other team (which was not the case in this case) nothing would have happened. No appeal, no deal. How?
I like this. One of my fixing VAR principles is that the managers should have a challenge flag as they do in cricket/NFL where you could keep it up if you were correct. Dugout adds an element of skill to the decisions.
53 minutes: Back in the game, Harrison swings in a dangerous looking free-kick but is offside. This game is so classic.
I may have ignited the LaRoe pile-on here. Samuel Dodgson says:
Totally with you on the nadir of football commentary, being Lauro at the World Cup. Not only dull, pessimistic and unenthusiastic but also futile. I recall a game where he described the Japanese manager as “looking like he was trying to sell some chairs”.
Really informative comment…
In the interest of fairness:
48 minutes: Jack Harrison playing? Who knew. For the first time in the game he goes down the left side and lays a delightful ball running towards Somerville. Leno reaches out to bite it and does so but almost spills it before he can recover.
Let’s hope that the second half is better than the first, we are starting again.
It seems that Alan Greene just can’t win either way. This is from Tom Stratford:
My all-time favorite example of a commentator perhaps overselling on the grounds that they had broadcast rights was Alan Greene speaking into his 5Live mic:
“There are some games that take a while to get excited about. But not today… Next up is Charlton v Middlesbrough.”
With apologies to the fans of the teams involved.
I’m guessing this was when both teams were in the top flight, so 2006-ish? Darren Bent firing at them from all over and Mark Viduka working his magic for Boro? I’m getting excited at the thought of Chris Perry controlling things behind him.
A complimentary email from Mark Hooper (they’re always welcome):
I agree with you on not talking about the matches too much – sure, be honest, but witness Alan Greene who revels in telling the listener how awful every match is (along with his own sense of superiority) , which has gotten me countless plays on the radio. The Guardian MBM approach is far more amusing.
First of all, thank you. The real king of turn-off talking at a major tournament was Mark Lawrenson. I’ve never ruded someone so pathetic to pay to watch the World Cup.
If I may, I’d like to pay some praise to Clinton Morrison here. If Clinton were doing color on 5Live, I’d listen to the most mundane fixture, she clearly loves it.
Half Time: Fulham 0-0 Leeds
A kind whistle.
45 minutes: Leeds tried to make a break but the ball hit Roca and was thrown out of play halfway through. The added two minutes seems unnecessary, get these boys back in the dressing room and come out again with a slightly better plan on how to score goals.
Justin Kavanagh emails (this is definitely cool):
I think every time I’ve seen him play, we’ve seen Willian’s first bad first touch. He is overjoyed to see that as he ages, he will be forgiven for this awkward mistake.
I was thinking in the first half how impressive Willian looked. Incredible comeback after his disastrous spell at Arsenal and an even more troubling comeback in Brazil.
39 minutes: In keeping with the Premier League’s self-appointed status, Weston McKennie was booked and Pereira fired a fine shot from distance. Not doing much for my logic.
Andy Flintoff Email from Andy (not him):
I wish more commentators and pundits would point out how bad football is, especially in the top division. Maybe then it will stop being promoted as ‘the best league in the world’ (when it clearly isn’t much of the time).
Not sure I agree with that. Commentators should try to elevate a broadcast, not bring it down. Besides, can you be ‘the best league in the world’ some times and not others? For me you are either you are or you are not. Most of the time, I would say, the Premier League is the best league in the world to watch and so is the belt until it isn’t.
28 minutes: Jermaine Jenas is doing a really good job making this game a great watch on BT. ‘Distinctive lack of quality’ is the stuff of PR dreams.
24 minutes: Aaronsen leads a charge upfield after winning the ball in his own half but receives no support from his teammates, forcing the American to go it alone. He’s out of the crowd but is putting off Fulham defenders, but Leeds need to do more to get on the front foot. The home side are keeping the visitors at arms length.
Twenty minutes: that was weird. Did Fulham just make a backpass? Ream knocked it back to Leno, the Fulham keeper took a touch and then picked the ball up. None of the Leeds players said anything and the referee didn’t seem to notice.
17 minutes: Roca forced Bernd Leno to make his first save with a free-kick from around 20 yards out. One where one would expect the keeper to stop it but still needed to save it.
13 minutes: Tim Ream challenges fellow American international Brendan Aaronsen. Probably worth a booking but the Fulham man gets away with a tick for blue on blue action.
11 minutes: There is nothing remotely that excites his traveling fans.
7 minutes: Oops, that’s something left over from Messlier. Another set piece, this time a free-kick on the right, swung in and Tosin Adarabioyo got his head on it. The Leeds keeper, who has been under the microscope for his form of late, leaps to his right and drives the ball out to the top corner. Sadly, this would not count towards the Frenchman’s statistics, although Adarabioyo was found to be offside.
6 minutes: Fulham win a few corners and take a slight last ditch effort from the Leeds back line to keep out a pullback from Harry Wilson as he gets to the byline. However, there is nothing to worry about for Meslier.
3 minutes: Nervous start from Fulham. Leeds tackled and forced the home side to punt possession at the back. Leeds’ situation is the minimum for a side to be ‘ready for it’, but it may be enough to have the opposition to play for a bit.
We are walking in the cottage.
teams out. Start coming next.
This time of year is peak Craven Cottage. I’m actually a little jealous of those guys on the field today. Get off the train at Putney Bridge, take a short walk on the Thames Path through Bishop’s Park with the sun in your face. To me, one of the best places to watch football in the country. your day.
Richard Hirst in email:
Glad you acknowledged Marco Silva’s achievement in ending Fulham’s legendary yo-yo situation; He should be one of the managers of the season. The little digression gave the big picture, but why isn’t Solomon starting, and if not now, when?
‘One Off’ Richard is doing a lot of heavy lifting here for me. For me Mikel Arteta, Roberto De Zerbi and Unai Emery are all working at a high level. For Manor Solomon, your guess is as good as mine. Given that Fulham are now safe, why not throw a little caution to the wind?
Gracia’s decision to keep Wilfred Gonto out of the team It’s bold considering the Italian’s popularity among fans. The Leeds head coach clearly wants to see more of the 19-year-old.
Fulham’s starting XI: Leno, Tete, Adarabioyo, Ream, Robinson, Reid, Palhinha, Wilson, Pereira, Willian, de Cordova-Reid.
sub: Rodak, Duffy, Kebano, Kearney, Solomon, Soares, Lukic, Vinicius, Diop.
One change for Fulham, Bobby DeCordova-Reid gets the nod ahead from Carlos Vinicius with James ineligible.
Leeds starting XI: Meslier, Christensen, Koch, Cooper, Wobber, McKennie, Roca, Harrison, Aaronson, Somerville, Rodrigo.
sub: Robles, Ayling, Firpo, Forshaw, Bamford, Struijk, Sinisterra, Rutter, Gunto.
Leeds make three changes. Junior Firpo, Pascal Struijk and Luis Sinisterra fell to the bench. Captain Liam Cooper, Max Weber and Cresencio Somerville come in. Bamford is only fit enough to make the bench.
If results don’t go in Leeds’ favor today they will be in the bottom three at 5pm. They have scored 11 goals in their last two games and Patrick Bamford, a player who offers something different to anyone else in the Leeds team, is not 100% fit and Ilan Meslier is under pressure for his place in goal. The various permutations of the starting XI turning to Javi Gracia may suggest a lack of clarity. In short, the sun is not shining on the Lilywhites of West Yorkshire at present.
Things are going great for the Lillywhites of west London. While a slump in form has ended all hope of European football next season, a win last week means they will at least be in the Premier League – a feat not overlooked given pre-season predictions of doom should go. Now, even with talisman Aleksandar Mitrovic serving a lengthy suspension, Marco Silva has found new ways to win. In the win at Everton, Daniel James – who I still believe actually plays week in, week out for Leeds – was the attacking focal point. With his parent club in the city, the Welshman missed the chance to support his performance at Goodison. The battle for Fulham now is the motivation to play so low on the line. Leeds will be hoping to find their hosts on the proverbial beach.
Fulham v Leeds are not marketers of the ‘best league in the world’TM‘ would ideally serve as one of the day’s games, but there’s more than enough here to make this fixture a nice little man-bush for the rest of Saturday’s football.