by Bob Lethaby

It seems remarkably poignant that on a day when the nation remembers the great fallen of umpteen, often pointless wars of the 20th  Century, I am talking about a coward.

On my way home from a tedious stalemate at the Madjeski Stadium yesterday I was feeling quite depressed about Reading’s Premiership campaign that appears to be meandering down the road to oblivion, a season when we will only be remembered for the chaos that ensued against Arsenal in the whatever it’s called cup. Then news began to filter through about Leeds losing at home to Watford, a likable club who always seem to be staving off “investors” whose only intention is to strip them of the few quid they have left floating around. Not only did Leeds lose, they lost 6-1, a result that immediately transformed my mind-set as I imagined the expression emanating from the face of the perennially detestable Neil Warnock.

Unlike fans of Chelsea and Manchester United, I have never had an issue with Leeds; they have traditionally been a bigger club than Reading so no rivalry has ever really existed; however, my disdain towards Warnock knows no boundaries, as I have witnessed the brutality of his teams at Sheffield United, QPR and now Leeds. These have not been teams who play a high tempo physical game to counteract their limitations, these have been teams where it could be suggested that Warnock sends players out to maim opposition players. He knows no other way and that is why Warnock’s Premiership stints at management have been brief. He is an imposter.

At Reading, I have witnessed with my own eyes, Warnock mimicking instructions to players to stamp on opponents when he was with Sheffield United and then during a chilling encounter at the Madjeski last season, he clearly sent his Leeds players to carry out violent assaults on Reading players that eventually led to them being reduced to nine men and Jem Karacan being taken to hospital with a broken ankle courtesy of a hideous Warnock inspired challenge by Danny Pugh who remarkably, stayed on the pitch. It should have been seven men really as Warnock’s love child Michael Brown spent the afternoon stamping on players like a mad man trying to put out fires. Brown’s cretin-like behaviour epitomises Warnock. Thankfully, justice was done as Reading eventually ran out 2-0 winners courtesy of two late Adam Le Fondre goals.

However, what really made my mind up about Warnock in this encounter was his treatment of Leeds United youngster Zac Thompson, sent off for a two footed challenge after just 10 minutes. It was a challenge that came from the dressing room; it was a Warnock challenge that Thompson was forced to make under strict instruction from his bully boy boss. As the young player left the field with boo’s and derision raining down on him, Warnock had the audacity to stop him in his tracks and publicly admonish him for being sent off; with Warnock there is no boundaries to his cowardice. This is what he said after the game: ‘I thought the kid (Thompson) was a bit unlucky, but he had his opportunity and he’s blown it.” Why has he blown it Neil? Because he got caught by the referee carrying out YOUR instructions?

Yesterday, the BBC director general resigned over the scandal surrounding Jimmy Savile and it seems like ‘Auntie’ is in perennial free fall. Another scandal that I would like to add to the list is the Neil Warnock one. For some reason all these prats who work as pundits think that Warnock is a “character” and good for the game and I suppose it could be argued that as a pantomime villain, he is. However, Warnock is more than that, he is a spiteful coward who excels in shifting the blame when he is pinned to the wall, bullying young players in to cowardly actions and not caring a jot if it restricts their next step up the precarious ladder of professional football.

The one consolation that comes with Warnock is that he really hates Reading Football Club and that is because Reading Football Club nearly always beat his teams; it’s hilarious.

Yesterday it was Watford’s turn. Well done lads.