Kicking off the Alternative View's busy schedule over the next week or so with a double helping of the away fans views of the games, there is no doubt that there has been a little bad blood between the Royals and Leeds this season, with the twitter war continually raging ever since the game at Elland Road.
To be fair there aren’t many teams that I dislike, well apart from the #Fakehoops, but Leeds are up there. Personally it harks back to the Warnock era and the
game war, at the Mad Stad when Leeds seemed to be on a one team mission to wipe our whole squad out and ruin Jem’s career.
Anyway back to football, and the contrast between the Leeds and the Blackburn fans is stark. At one end you would think that Leeds are already promoted, and the other is Blackburn who are clutching at survival. On the pitch, it was pretty much the same. Leeds coming in on a good run that had included some impressive results, and what looked to be solidifying their place in the play-offs (well up to Tuesday night anyway!), whereas Blackburn have been enduring a tortuous season. Their management issues are well documented, and a good advert why foreign ownership needs to be regulated tighter.
We saw in the build-up the mind games from Reading, with Yann in particular coming out and saying Leeds are a one man team, this could have bitten him back, but after scoring a screaming strike we will let him off. He continued his good run into the Blackburn game, scoring two bullet headers. If ever a player is on fire at the moment it’s our favourite Frenchman.
Anyway onto the social scene.
Now what I could find and use on the #lufc twitter stream was somewhat limited, but the gist of it was that Cooper isn’t a fans favourite, Stam is hated due to his Man Utd links and everyone hates them (probably something in that), and that they are a "big" club...
But we won...
Thought today's game reflected the 2 managers. Monk open honest and sometimes niave. Stam schooled by Fergie, mean, dirty tricks, sly #LUFC— Christopher Fisk (@chrisifisk) April 1, 2017
JFK, Moon landings, Leeds its a conspiracy I tell you!
@PhilHayYEP FA has spy's at every #lufc game they are just waiting for stuff like this missed/not booked by the ref they FL don't want us up #lufc— tim mollitt (@sparkytim999) April 1, 2017
Reading may have won today, but deep down everyone of their players is dying to be at a club like #lufc let's be honest...— Conor (@conor_crossley) April 1, 2017
Bit like an Alfa Romeo, looks pretty then chokes
Bit embarrassing losing to Reading - the Nissan Almera of the Championship. Dull, uninspiring and liked by old people #lufc— Ziggy (@Buzzard_Stubble) April 1, 2017
Usually correct on a 1-0 win....
Yann Kermorgants goal the difference in today's game. Not a great performance by #lufc .— All Things Leeds (@AllThingsLeeds1) April 1, 2017
Not really a blinder, eh...
Liam Cooper having a blinder #lufc @adzng5 @WACCOE pic.twitter.com/daqmKZce8A— Mike Thomas (@t7mke) April 1, 2017
Danny Williams for Reading looks like a decent player, pulling the strings. We can't get anywhere near 'em. #LUFC— Nick Weston (@nickweston87) April 1, 2017
Some things the game doesn't need
Scummy Leeds fans throwing objects ar Al-Habsi #lufc pic.twitter.com/mruStupe6a— Thom Cakebread (@fourstarthom) April 1, 2017
Not everyone hates you, Santa loves you...
A #lufc player could get stabbed by a Reading player and Don Goodman would still question why he was stood there.#skysports #realee— Ethical Perv (@ethicalperv) April 1, 2017
Being the late game on a Saturday and playing a "big club" has it’s advantages in the media world, as we did get a mention in most of the nationals.
Starting with the Mail Online, they cover the games mostly in interviews with the managers, concentrating on bottle throwing and the stamp. Stam says we had to dig deep and questioned the injury time, whereas Gary Monk said they deserved the draw and that they made five or six mistakes.
The Guardian take a different route with most of the article about Kermorgant and his three statements, first being he’s retiring, second that Leeds are a one man team... and then his goal! They also go onto to say that our Plan A works well and got us the win.
Over at Inside Futbol, and they carry an interview with Noel Whelan who calls us average and that Leeds shouldn’t be getting beat by a "Reading kind of team" ah well we did beat you though! As Leeds main (only) strike force is a Kiwi, obviously he is picked up by the The Dominion Post, who also focus on Kermorgants comments in the media.
The Daily Star also give us a mention, they once again focus on Kermorant calling it an unstoppable shot, the bottle throwing and the fact that we were a little wasteful. As the match was on TV, we get 3m27s courtesy of Sky Sports and it’s worth watching purely for Kermorgants strike. They give us a good write up and again mention the wasteful word.
The BBC like us this week for a refreshing change, and they reckon we had a deserved lead, and thought of a spirited comeback from Leeds!
You have to feel sorry for Rovers, and the apathy was clear on twitter
Stating the obvious
Some knowledgable sorts telling us "the next 4 games will shape our season". Bloody hell, we only have 6 games to play in total #rovers— Russell Prescott (@RussPr) April 5, 2017
Dedication for you, 3rd bottom and still commitment
ETA in Blackburn: 3am. Looking forward to work #rovers— Russell Prescott (@RussPr) April 4, 2017
They're not wrong!
Blackburn really giving this a go. If they get one back, things could get very nervy #ReadingFC #BRFC— Tom Crocker (@TomJCrocker) April 4, 2017
Those were the days!
When things looked a bit different #NFFC #BRFC pic.twitter.com/triICLDRWS— Matt Pickering (@TheMP2017) April 4, 2017
God help you!
In Akpan we trust. #BRFC— Matt McDonough (@mattmadon) April 4, 2017
Yeah, after the multitude of coverage after the Leeds game, we are back to normal with being largely ignored.
The BBC report can be nicely summed up by the following; dominant first half, sloppy second half, and Kermorgant! They write that he scored two textbook headers and followed up his good form with a solid display against Rovers.
Sky Sports are back to the normal minimal video coverage, with this week being 2m43s of coverage. Now think about this, Leeds – 1 goal 3m27s and Blackburn 4 goals and 2m43s... Makes you think sometimes how they work it all out. On the match itself, yes it’s all about a certain Frenchman, but they say we were good and that there was a frantic end to the game.
Down at GetReading and Jonathan Low reports that ultimately it was a comfortable win for the Royals and that our play-off charge is continuing to gain momentum.
The Daily Mail give the best report of the game and if you are picking one to read, then use this one. The general viewpoint is the same, however they do mention our automatic promotion hopes, and I can’t help but think that’s a little far fetched!
So that’s the action and reaction from the games against Leeds and Blackburn. We are on a good mini run and victories against two play-off rivals and a relegation haunted Rovers side, have changed the landscape of the play-off race. Whereas before the Sheffield Wednesday game, we were looking nervously at Fulham, we now have a buffer. But we can’t rest. We need this team to kick on and we have two tricky away games coming up at Norwich and Aston Villa, but given the tenacious spirit in this team and a certain Frenchman in the form of his life we can look forward with optimism.
The critics of Kermorgant, said earlier this year that he was too old, didn’t score enough goals and we needed a new striker. Now I wish we had a cloning machine, he is scoring for fun, at set pieces he is incredible and his effort and work rate for a 35 year old is awesome. For me he is the player of the season, as it’s his all round play that catches the eye, never mind the 13 goals he has added this year.
We said at the start of the season that a play-off final would be a fantasy. Well guys that fantasy is getting closer every game!
I’m back next week with another double helping and hopefully reporting on six more precious points.