As I sit and write this report from today's game, I sit and wonder how on earth Leeds United have got anything from today's match. A point would have been lucky, but to beat Ipswich and by 3-1 beggers belief. Most reading this will be disgusted and say a win is a win, but its becoming clearer and clearer, something is very wrong at Leeds United and needs resolving. Some fans will claim it is a never say die attitude, but what about the 11 v 11 contest - Leeds didn't cause Ipswich any problems and if our old pal McCarthy didn't get sent off then who knows what the scoreline would have been. After the dismissal Ipswich's defence simply gifted Leeds the win with some shocking errors from Ibrahima Sonko.
For the first time in a few months, I arrived at Elland Road to the chorus of "Bates Out" - with the Leeds faithful disgusted at the sale of captain Jonny Howson. Finally taking my seat in the Kop, just in time to find out Aidy White had been dropped to the bench for Danny Pugh...the reason behind that decision is still puzzling me now. Fabian Delph who returned to the club on loan on Friday was back in the centre of midfield alongside Adam Clayton. Mikael Forssell was given his first start with Luciano Becchio being dropped to the bench.
The game started with neither side able to settle and play some football. As per usual Darren O'Dea was pinging his pointless long balls to nobody and Fabian Delph was out of the game for the early parts with the ball evading him. United threatened from the odd set-piece and the odd through ball to Ross McCormack was a problem for the Ipswich defence. Leeds continued to do what they've done all season - stop pressuring the opposition and watch them play. A few minutes later it almost cost them - Andy Lonergan had to rush out of his goal to deny Lee Martin.
Lonergan was at fault however on 35 minutes when Adam Drury's shot from a corner found its way into the back of the net. Jay Emmanuel-Thomas then went close just before half-time when his long range shot clipped the upright. At half-time most conversations were about the state of the club and how Mr Bates just has to leave. Season ticket holders for decades have had enough, they refuse to give any more money to a man they believe is killing the club.
Grayson clearly didn't say much at the halfway point to give the players any confidence they could change the result. As the second half started there was no passion, no drive and no effort to do anything. One man was trying his best - Robert Snodgrass once again running up and down the wing trying to carve something out of nothing. On the hour mark Grayson replaced Andros Townsend with Aidy White and Becchio was thrown on up top in place of Forssell.
It was around the 65th minute mark that Alex McCarthy started his mission to help Leeds win. Firstly he dropped a catch which almost give Aidy White a chance to score. Then his next five or six kicks ended up in the dugout much to the frustration of his manager Paul Jewell. Finally his private mission was complete - when he was sent off for handling the ball outside the box. Young Arran Lee-Barrett was the man to replace McCarthy and one of his first tasks was to pick the ball out of the net. Snodgrass was gifted a chance when Sonko passed him the ball for him to slot the ball home and it was 1-1.
Barrett's confidence was knocked and he made a mistake to allow Leeds to take the lead. McCormack chased down a loose ball and Barrett dilly dallied and McCormack got a big enough touch to send the ball into the empty net. At 2-1 my bet was a winner which pleased me no end, but my bet slip was soon thrown to the floor when Luciano Becchio made it 3-1 with minutes to go. Becchio chased another lost cause and managed to tuck the ball past Barrett to give Leeds a very dubious and undeserved three points.
The win sees Leeds go 9th and one point behind the play-offs...how we've done that is beyond me. I've reported on every game at home this season and constantly said how bad the atmosphere has been- today beat that by a country mile. Some fans weren't even watching when Ipswich scored...they were too busy chatting away without a care in the world about the football. They've paid in advance and therefore turn up, only to be disappointed further by the terrible performances on the pitch.
Aidy White was dropped today, he has been a revelation at the back this season and was dropped for Danny Pugh who was woeful...and that is me being kind. Andros Townsend is a different player from that MOM performance against Burnley. Fabian Delph put his foot in but looked a little rusty and hopefully we will see more from him as his loan comes to an end. Mikael Forssell was terrible up top and shouldn't start against Birmingham, fair enough Becchio has been poor but Forssell's performance doesn't warrant a starting place.
For the first time during Grayson's spell I have started to question him. Watching him today was hard - he looked a lost man with hands in pockets not really barking any orders. When they were given his merry men of Snodin and co gave the tactics while the ball was out of play. I want him to succeed so badly...but there is no passion from the team until late on, when usually the other team makes mistakes. Its ten days until the window shuts, expect plenty of rumours once more. One excuse the club can't use is that they have a game to distract them, the next time we play it's against Birmingham on the deadline. The squad we have at present will not get us promoted in fact I very much doubt we will finish the top half with the performances at the moment.
It's depressing being a Leeds fan at present and I don't see it getting any better.