Yes, we didn’t really get out of second gear & Leeds were poor but this was an important result for us. The return of the Eust, & now The Beard, has added some much needed experience, solidity & resilience to the side. We dominated the game, Dirty never had a single shot on goal & we probably merited winning by more than the 2 goals.
It was great to see Bucko back in central defence, in place of the pedestrian, error prone Shotton. Never put a foot wrong defensively, was sensible in his distribution & scored a cracking goal. From a set piece!
The Eust was a revelation as far as I was concerned. He gave the side a much more solid look, put in some great tackles, actually knocked the ball around pretty sweetly & had a couple of excellent forward runs.. Add to that his calm authority & experience & you have someone who is massively important to this football team. Accepted, he can’t do 360° Marseille turns like Mascarell but you can’t have everything. Oh, by the way, why wasn’t Antenucci sent off for shoving his face (& beard) at him?
Will revelled in his licence to roam forward & also had a very good game, despite often being surrounded by 3-4 Dirty players. Did some brilliant work in the box for that first goal.
What about Jordan Ibe? That was probably the best I’ve seen him play for us. Leeds just didn’t know how to cope with him when he took them on, which he did time & time again. Kept going right up until he was substituted too.
Christie & Fozzy also had good games & looked positive & confident throughout, another element to “The Eust Effect”, I think. Christie in particular made some dangerous forward runs & clipped in some quality crosses. His attacking ability is light years ahead of what Andre Wisdom gave us last season.
Hmmm.. Chris Martin. He had one of those games where his hold up play & passing didn’t quite come off. His contribution was therefore limited to falling over a lot, including one Adryan-style dying fly impression. Never mind. Will he soon have Darren Bent to spur him on. I hope so! It’s all journalistic speculation, as Arthur Cox used to say.
A last few words on the crowd. 31,000 + is a massive gate for a televised game on a freezing cold Tuesday night. The Leeds fans played their part as usual, with a succession of jolly chants (not sure who this Don Revie character is they kept referring to?) Our fans were a bit subdued to be honest, not for the first time this season. I tend to think we’re all just a bit apprehensive about winning games & getting in that top two. Anyway, I go to football matches to watch football, not to sing. Or bounce.
So, next for the Rams will be a chance to give some squad players a run out against Southport. And then a massive game against Ipswich. We’ll need Bucko & The Eust in top form for that one.
Come on you Rams!