Waiting for the great forward leap

Last updated : 11 December 2002 By Terrace Talk
Overall we have reasons to be optimistic - or to put it another way you even the most manic depressive united fan (‘my car won’t start – resign Laws!’) surely wouldn’t write the season off yet.

Everyone seems to be in agreement that we aim to stay roughly where we are throughout December. We have some tricky games between now and the New Year and whilst it would obviously be nice to win every one 5-0 realistically we’re not going to do that. If we can bring in the new year in a play-off place (and still in the FA Cup as a bonus) then we will be in a position to do something this season. Once we start getting players back from injury – Beagrie, Jackson even Kell - then why shouldn’t it be our year? I hear Kell is back in (light) training, perhaps he could aim to be back in the starting line-up for the home match against Hull in February.

The Swansea game was notable for a return visit by Steve Baines, 38 games for us in the early 80’s and now a referee. The age old arguement about having ex professionals as refs crops up on Five Live and elsewhere now and then and most people seem unaware that Baines is the real article.

Anyone who thinks ex players as refs is the answer to anything really should be forced to watch Baines in action.

He was lamentable in the Swansea game albeit in an even-handed and unbiased way. Another point people forget about former players is that they’re usually knackered and Baines is the only ref I’ve ever seen go off injured. That was a few years ago and since then I seem to remember he’s also not started a game due to injury. Anyway this is his last season so good luck to him – all the more time on the sunbed I presume.

I note things aren’t exactly going well over at Elland Road. Terry Venables was interviewed on Radio Leeds the other day and they asked him how someone who had managed the England team could take over a club with one of the most expensive squads in the division and still achieve so little. In response he rightly pointed out that they should really be putting the question directly to Peter Taylor.

As you may be aware I haven’t been able to submit a column for a couple of weeks due to pressures of work and the hassles surrounding getting broadband installed (the guy actually managed to break our TV installing it).

There’s no such thing as a free dinner and “Free Installation” turned out to be a bit of a double-edged sword too. Anyway thanks to those of you who e-mailed to enquire when the next delivery of wit and wisdom was due (well Mr D Eyre of London anyway).

‘Normal’ service is now resumed.