Ever wonder why some people call them dirty Leeds?
PUBLISHED: 09:15 28 October 2016 | UPDATED: 12:25 28 October 2016
I only ever played at Elland Road twice and even though I didn’t lose there it was quite an intimidating place to play.
Especially so as when I played there they were in the Premier League or the old First Division and the place was jam-packed with an unbelievable atmosphere.
However, the one thing that stands out in my mind is the first time I walked into the away dressing room.
It wasn’t plush like some of the other away dressing rooms I’d been in. It was actually like something out of the 70s.
There was no ceiling to it, just pipes and wires going everywhere. It wasn’t carpeted – it just had cold tiles, which were made worse as the whole place was soaking wet as if one of the pipes that was above our heads had burst.
There was nowhere to sit down without getting wet and nowhere to put your clothes when getting changed as there were no hangers or anything to put them on.
But the worst thing was it was freezing cold as Leeds had not put the heating on, which they did on purpose, apparently, to make the place so unwelcome to any visitors. To be fair, we didn’t expect the red carpet, but we did expect a bit better hospitality than this.
I’ve spoken to quite a few ex-Leeds lads over the years and they’ve told me that the club told one of its employees to go into the changing room with a hose pipe about 30 minutes before the away team got there and spray cold water all over the place to make things as awkward as they could. It’s something that had started in the early 70s when Leeds were one of the best sides in the country and as they had quite a lot of success back then they thought they’d carry on with the tradition.
Elland Road was, of course, where City were on Tuesday and I think it’s fair to say it’s not been the best 10 days for the team: giving away a two-goal advantage at Craven Cottage then losing at home for the first time to Preston last Saturday while not scoring for only the second time at home this season – and then the loss up at Elland Road on Tuesday in the EFL Cup.
I really do think the club missed a great chance to reach the last eight by losing to Garry Monk’s side, with Alex Neil fielding his second string, so to speak, with just Robbie Brady and Alex Tettey keeping their places from the defeat last weekend.
I look at that Norwich starting XI and it’s got more than enough to beat Leeds, but once again the same failings that we’ve seen too often when Norwich have been on their travels this season raised their ugly heads and sent just short of 2,000 Norwich fans back down to Norfolk frustrated, disappointed and some quite angry I’m sure.
The team is doing a lot right – they are putting themselves in such good positions, but then are letting themselves down with sloppy, amateurish defending to let teams back in to games.
The question I’ve been asking myself over recent weeks is, are the players fit enough? Because that’s something that causes your concentration levels to drop when you get tired.
Was all the physical tough endurance work done in that six-week pre-season period that you need in a gruelling 46-plus league and cup games season?
I hate questioning players’ fitness as I’d hate it if someone ever questioned mine.
Mind you, I think quite a few Norwich fans did in my first season with the club – and rightly so when I turned up about a stone overweight. I bet they thought they’d signed a prop forward and not a centre forward!
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