Leeds were marching on together then along came Wycombe to stop them

10 January 2010 08:27
The fat man buying the 'Scumbusters 1 Scum 0' T-shirt outside Elland Road caught the mood by flattering himself: 'Got extra large?' he asked.

Fortunately for him they had all shapes and sizes. 'Theatre of Screams' was one, 'Shrek II' with Wayne Rooney as a befuddled Shrek was another.

Six days on from Old Trafford, it was clear everyone connected to Leeds United had been busy being happy. The roads were cleared of snow to allow in 24,000 begging a question of other clubs' weather attitude and the pre-match match being screened on the club's TVs was, funnily enough, Manchester United 0 Leeds 1.

We've scored: fans revel in their defeat of the other United

In the club shop, Elvis was belting out Viva Las Vegas over £5 Leeds egg-cups, while in the match programme chairman Ken Bates referred to 'our old adversaries Stretford United'.

Bates went on to reveal that former Chelsea star Paul Elliott calls him 'Honky' it was who made the FA Cup fourth-round draw that takes Leeds to Tottenham and added of the third round: 'The important aspect of our defeat of Man United was that it was watched on TV in Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Russia, Ukraine, Scandinavia and Eastern Europe.

 Leeds 1 Wycombe 1: Cup hero Beckford brought back down to earthFurious Grayson tells Beckford to focus on Leeds - not NewcastleLeeds' FA Cup hero Beckford submits transfer request to force Newcastle dealLeeds United chairman Ken Bates is shooting for the stars again  'Further afield it went to Asia, Africa, the Middle East, South America, North America and Australia. The whole world saw our win and internationally the world knows that Leeds are on their way back.'

Then they were outplayed by Wycombe Wanderers.

It turns out Bates is correct. Leeds are on their way back, but they are not back yet. Superficially Old Trafford and the League One table suggest that Leeds' future is acquiring a rosy glow.

But the lead over second-placed Norwich is now six points, though Leeds have a game in hand and have yet to go to Carrow Road. Charlton, third, have also to be visited as do Huddersfield, Swindon and Southampton, all enjoying prosperous seasons.

The second half of the season may not be as straightforward as the first. Then there is Jermaine Beckford.

Marching On Together? Beckford made himself part of Leeds United history eight days ago, but privately he had informed Leeds he had another interpretation of history in mind. Four years and 74 goals after arriving from Wealdstone, Beckford wants out, with Newcastle leading the chase.

There was no backlash on Saturday.

Hero to zero: Leeds fans reminded wantaway striker Beckford where his bread is buttered at Elland Road

Manager Simon Grayson named Beckford in the team and when his name was read out there was a smattering of boos, but no wailing. There was even a song sung in honour of Beckford's FA Cup winner.

Part of this reaction stems from Leeds fans' knowledge of Beckford as a miss-and-hit striker who has started only one Championship game in his career.

If the club can get £2million for the 26-year-old five months before his contract expires and invest it in a forward who will help push them to promotion, then supporterswill settle for that.

'Who the **** are Newcastle?' chanted the Kop at one stage and the irritation is with their northern rivals as much as the player. Higher up the food chain, Wolves and Bolton are said to be monitoring the situation.

Newcastle are confident that Beckford will be on his way to St James' Park. Leeds go to Exeter City on Saturday, so one way or another Beckford should be at a park named after St James.

Asked whether it felt like a done deal between Beckford and Newcastle, Grayson replied: 'There's no agreement between us and Newcastle, I can tell you that.

'But people do things that they're not supposed to do. I'd be naive to think representatives of players do not speak to other football clubs, that Jermaine's agent isn't speaking to other clubs.

'But we'll dictate whether he stays or goes. He can stay at least until the end of the season, he's under contract until then.

United message: the provocative 'Scumbuster' T-shirts to celebrate Leeds' memorable Old Trafford Cup win

'You can only walk out on a football club when your contract ends or if you're given permission by the club. Until someone meets our valuation, then he'll be our player.'

Beckford did little in this game, but he did not get injured. Leeds, unbeaten at home in the league since this day last year, took a fourth-minute lead when Wycombe goalkeeper Scott Shearer dived under Jonny Howson's shot.

  It felt like the beginning of a thrashing. We would be able to eulogise Leeds as the vanguard of an overdue Yorkshire revival.

But no. Wycombe's long-under-rated Tom Doherty took over.

Jon Paul Pittman, plucked from non-league like Beckford, hit a post. So did Scott Davies. Leeds keeper Casper Ankergren made a smart save from Stuart Beavon.

Eventually, in the 64th minute, Pittman fired in a low equaliser. Second-bottom Wycombe remain second-bottom. Leeds remain top. And pretty content.

 Leeds 1 Wycombe 1: Cup hero Beckford brought back down to earthFurious Grayson tells Beckford to focus on Leeds - not NewcastleLeeds' FA Cup hero Beckford submits transfer request to force Newcastle dealLeeds United chairman Ken Bates is shooting for the stars again


Source: Daily_Mail