WHAT A RIDE the Argentian born coach has given the fans of Leeds United, and indeed the Championship this season.
After years of dodgy owners, ordinary managers and little success since they lost their Premiership place 15 or so years ago, he was brought joy, and some sadness to the hearts of Whites fans. Sell out stadiums, adventurous football and thrills and spills... BUT it all ended on Wednesday evening at Elland Road. Top of the league for a majority of the season they crumbled at the end including a loss at home to lowley Wigan Athletic.
I have been a big critic of their disciplinary record and and many injuries that might be due to overtraining..I just don't know. After taking the lead against visiting Derby County, to go up 2-0 on aggregate it all fell apart and the errors of former Real Madrid goalkeeper Kiko Casilla, responsible for the first goal of the Rams fightback, and a bundle of nerves afterwards to help Derby go on to Wembley 4-2, and 4-3 on aggregate.
Frank Lampard will face Aston Villa at Wembley for the £100 million plus prize. Their volatile assistant is John Terry. The day after 9/11 in 2001 had grounded transatlantic flights and postponed Chelsea's home tie with Levski Sofia at Stamford Bridge, the two Chelasea mates plus Jody Morrris and Eider Gudjohnsen went out on a 5 hour drinking binge near their club training ground, close to Heatrow. A bunch of pubs and then the Post House Heathrow Hotel where in front of American tourists who could not fly home they stripped, drank, urinated and chanted and then did the same at the Air Bowl alley next door.
They were all fined two weeks wages by their club. Terry went on to bbetter things will Terry is still part hooligan.
Anyway one of them will rejoin the EPL for next season. Bielsa may walk, he doesn't stay around lng. He as been to Wembley coaching Argentina against England in a 0-0 draw. The 63 year old has also coaching Chile, plus Velez Sarsfield, Athletic Bilbao, Espanyol, Marseille, Lazio and Lille. The £200,000 Spygate fine imposed on United, he paid himself. .It's 33 years since a Championship team that won the away match first failed to win the tie.
United lack an out and out striker and Patrick Bamford has failed miserably. Suspended for 2 matches including the away leg for simulation, he got booked AGAIN on Wednesday for the same thing. Who will take him...PLEASE? All home seats were drapped with WE ARE LEEDS scarves and outside the many souvenir stalls were selling Wembley Bound scarves outside.
Referee Anthony Taylor had a difficult job in the middle, whether to issue cards or just stern warnings. 7 cards at Pride Park and 11 at Elland Road. You could sense that a red card was coming. Gaetano Berardi was the first to walk after 78 minutes and County's Scott Malone was off in injury time.
I could go on....and on.. but United have lost in 5 play offs. Who will we see on the pitch and on the bench next season is anybodies guess !!!