Yeboah is streets ahead. Only Gary McAllister is in the same galaxy, albeit travelling at a considerably lesser speed

FAN'S EYE VIEW No 117 Tony Yeboah
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The Independent Online
The times they are a changing at Elland Road. No more chants about Munich, no more monkey noises at opposing black players and no more toe pokes from three yards, either on or off the pitch.

Leeds have a new hero and he is cut from different cloth. Not in any Revie or Wilkinson mould, Tony "The Predator" Yeboah is fit to grace any side, plays to no pattern other than his own, and has achieved a cult following greater than that of Eric the now Red during his all-too brief stay.

Yeboah is streets ahead of almost everything else in a white shirt. How can this magician work off balls from workaday professionals like Nigel Worthington, Paul Beesley or David White? Only Gary McAllister is in the same galaxy, albeit travelling at a considerably lesser speed.

And we got him for only pounds 3.4m. That's more than good business, although it will take a few more Yeboahs to rid the bitter taste of losing Cantona for pounds 1m to Manchester United, handing them two titles.

Since Leeds came of age in the early 1960s, they have prided themselves on hard men, players who could grind out a 0-0 draw. Stoppers they were euphemistically called in Revie's day, but the football world outside Leeds described Hunter, Giles, Bremner, Reaney and Charlton in less fanciful terms. Eddie Gray, Peter Lorimer and Allan Clarke? OK, but the heart of the team was that defence and that midfield, directed by Don Revie.

In that tradition the 1992 championship side, Cantona apart, wanted for flair. While the other United turned sides inside out with the likes of Sharpe, Giggs and Hughes, Leeds relied on crossing and heading to get their points. But Mel Sterland and Lee Chapman's exploits hardly pointed to future Euro glories - and so it proved.

When the good times came around again, there was something disconcertingly Revie-like about Wilkinson. He was thorough, stressed fitness and you could see him handing out dossiers on opposing players on Tuesday nights. Realistic in defeat and humble in victory, dour appeared to be his middle name. But appearances deceive and, as Leeds' championship campaign floundered in the spring of 1992, Wilkinson swooped for the Frenchman. The title was duly won.

In January this year, smarting from Brian Deane's lack of confidence and goals, and Leeds' lack of success, Wilko struck lucky again, snapping up Yeboah from Eintracht Frankfurt before others had realised he was available. And then in August came the news everyone was waiting for - he was staying.

Cue goals from another planet. He nearly broke the net against West Ham on the opening day, won goal of the month with his strike against Liverpool, scored a hat-trick in Europe against Monaco, and added a domestic treble at Wimbledon including a strike from heaven conjured from nothing. At home he hit the net with a similarly spectacular strike for the adoring Elland Road faithful against Sheffield Wednesday for his 23rd goal in 28 games.

Leeds fans no longer cheer their team on to the field; they acclaim a new god - and at the end of the game the 10 others race for the tunnel while the Ghanaian takes his bow.

There is no such thing as a one-man team, we were told at school. Do you want to bet?

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