Ross can't believe he still can't get a game up front. - Stu Forster
With another two points carelessly thrown away at Elland Road on Tuesday it looks like the season has come to a premature end. Stephen Clark is now praying that it is surely now the time to do the same to the reign of Neil Warnock.
As I write this, almost two hours after the final whistle, my blood is still boiling at the inept way that Leeds United tossed away their admittedly slim hopes of making the promotion play-offs. An opening 45 minutes which could quite fairly be described as pathetic was followed by another half of huffing and puffing backed by managerial ineptitude.
There was no surprise that Neil Warnock named an unchanged side for the sixth consecutive match, because quite frankly with a squad that has such a paucity of talent, the manager has little other choice. The only change to the match day 18 came on the bench where El-Hadji Diouf returned in place of Ryan Hall, an attacker with pace replaced by the pedestrian Senegal international.
Peterborough started the night in the bottom three and Leeds will have been confident before the kick off, particularly given the two hard fought points earned against Leicester and Crystal Palace on the road in the previous seven days. However in 2013, the two sides form was identical, making the three points far from the formality most people were expecting.
To say Leeds were abysmal in the opening 15 minutes was being exceptionally kind. By the time Dwight Gayle had put the Posh in front, he had already hit the crossbar as Leeds looked all over the place at the back, toothless and directionless in midfield and lacking any threat in attack.
Tom Lees was replaced by Jason Pearce, the England U21 international apparently picking up a knock, adding a whole new air of panic to the Leeds defence. In midfield David Norris was anonymous in terms of coherent possession, instead seemingly happy to just run away from the ball asif he was playing some form of dodgeball. He was safe in that respect with the passing of Paul Green and Michael Tonge, neither player looking capable of hitting anyone with a ball, so wayward were there attempts.
Future "legend" Steve Morison was missing in action whilst Luke Varney and Ross McCormack continued their ineffective wide roles. The three of them seem no clearer as to what their responsibilities are or how to work as a trio, six matches into their triumvirate.
Leeds did at least start to apply some pressure as the half wore on, but it was Peterborough who looked the most likely, bar a remarkable miss by Jason Pearce who headed wide with the goal gaping.
The second half saw a real rarity, a tactical substitution, with Diouf replacing the stauesque Morison. However even at full tilt, Diouf would struggle to outpace a geriatric sloth, so all the pace was taken out of the Whites attack. Surely to McCormack's frustration it appeared that Diouf and Varney would rotate the central role, the Scottish international left to plough a furrow out wide.
Leeds did pile on the pressure, Peterborough cracking when Sam Byram latched on to a Steven Warnock corner to force the ball in for the equaliser. It's a telling statistic that the goal and assist, and our two best players on the night, were provided by our fullbacks.
Despite Leeds being on top, clearcut chances were at a premium for the home side, and Peterborough were far more dangerous on the break, with Warnock Jr and Green both lucky to escape with yellow cards for fouls when Peterborough players were clean through.
With Leeds needing a goal to bring the three points required, it was surely time for Warnock to gamble by throwing on the unpredictability of Habib Habibou. However the usual lack of ambition was emphasized by the decision to swap headless chicken Norris with the brainless shooting of Rodolph Austin, a like for like substitution showing a complete lack of tactical acumen or will to win.
Leeds did get that one chance they needed to snatch the win, but once again it fell to a centre back and Pearce again headed wide as the clock ticked beyond the 90 minutes.
So just a point that begs the question what is the point of Warnock persisting in charge. He has spoken more than once of his desire to retire to Cornwall, and I am sure there would be plenty of volunteers to drive him there. With the last nine games now appearing meaningless, why not hand the reigns to Neil Redfern and Richard Naylor to guide the ship, with a few youthful crew members, to the end of the season and allow the board to identify then man to take Leeds United forward. Whoever it is needs time to identify fresh faces to bring in to improve our squad of generally incompetent has-beens assembled by quite possibly the most ineffective manager I have had the misfortune of seeing lead this great club.
Enough is enough, the season is dead and it's time to put us and Neil Warnock out of our misery and end this sham marriage. It has been a dismal 12 months and need be prolonged no more.