Wilkinson ignores a luxury called Brolin
Aston Villa 3 Leeds United 0
Monday 05 February 1996
Aston Villa 3 Leeds United 0
It took some dragging out of him but finally Howard Wilkinson revealed the truth about Tomas Brolin, whose absence from a heavily depleted Leeds side was a mystery unexplained until long after the last baffled Leeds supporter had set off back to Yorkshire.
"I've come here with nine first-team players unavailable," the Leeds manager said, "and from the 15 who were I've had to pick a team which I think will be most effective here. I felt the team would do better at Aston Villa without him."
But there was more to it than simply dropping a player in poor form. "Before we played Liverpool," Wilkinson confessed, "Tomas was concerned about the amount of defending he might have to do and expressed an opinion that he might not be good at it.
"He wondered if I might reconsider his selection. So that is what I did on this occasion. He took it very well. In fact, he thought it was an eminently sensible decision."
It was quite an admission; and one which sets more question marks against his recent judgement, in the marketplace at any rate. Having sold Noel Whelan and David White, both of whom scored on Saturday, Wilkinson is left with a pounds 4.5m international revealed now as a luxury player, over whom the likes of Alan Maybury, making his debut here at the age of 17, and the two 20-year-olds, Rob Bowman and Andy Couzens, are preferred.
For his part, Brolin said: "When you are out for almost a year, as I was, you need time. I need also time to get used to the Premiership - maybe more time than I thought I would need. It is hard, fast football and there are no easy games. I have the option to go at the end of the season but I still want to do well and succeed in England."
Villa, who rested Tommy Johnson and Ugo Ehiogu, chalked off at least as many misses as hits. Dwight Yorke, having scored twice in 23 minutes, failed narrowly to complete a first-half hat-trick and Savo Milosevic, another costly foreign import under the microscope, wasted two good openings after the break.
Yorke's goals raised his total to 51 in a Villa shirt, enhancing his reputation as a talisman in the way Ian Rush once was for Liverpool. Yorke has scored in 45 senior Villa games, of which they have lost only one.
The exception, by coincidence, was against Leeds in 1991. There was never a chance of that result being duplicated, especially after Alan Wright, set up by Yorke, popped up with Villa's third.
Goals: Yorke (11) 1-0; Yorke (23) 2-0; Wright (62) 3-0.
Aston Villa (5-3-2): Bosnich; Charles, Southgate, McGrath, Staunton, Wright; Taylor, Draper, Townsend (Farrelly, 86); Yorke, Milosevic. Substitutes not used: Carr, Oakes (gk).
Leeds United (5-3-2): Beeney; Couzens, Palmer, Pemberton (Worthington, 24), Bowman, Dorigo; McAllister, Maybury (Tinkler, h-t), Speed; Deane, Wallace. Substitute not used: Gray.
Referee: R Hart (Darlington).
Bookings: Leeds: Worthington, Deane.
Man of the match: Yorke.
Latest in Sport
Manchester United vs Chelsea: Louis van Gaal - I could have axed Ryan Giggs and I could have sacked Jose Mourinho, too!
Manchester United vs Chelsea: Radamel Falcao a doubt for Premier League clash
Real Madrid vs Barcelona player ratings: Luis Suarez rated on his debut
Gus Poyet future: Sunderland manager on brink after Arsenal pile misery on top of 8-0 defeat
Manchester United vs Chelsea analysis: Simplest errors at the back are leaving United very vulnerable, writes Danny Higginbotham
- 1 Stem cells that can kill cancer have been engineered by scientists
- 2 Ricky Gervais and Dame Judi Dench back campaign to stop Thailand dog meat trade
- 3 Russell Brand says he will 'probably' give up acting to focus on his revolution
- 4 Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
- 5 Queen's first tweet: Reply telling Her Majesty to 'f*** off' broadcast on BBC News
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Tony Blair 'says Ed Miliband will lose 2015 general election'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Putin: The US is to blame for almost all the world's major conflicts
Attacks on 'Ukip Calypso' show how skewed people’s priorities are
£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...
£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...
£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...
£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...