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Leeds United: What might Rutter make of Stanley FA Cup tie?

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Adam Pope, BBC Radio Leeds

So it’s a first visit for a senior Leeds United side to the Wham Stadium now we know that Accrington Stanley are Saturday’s FA Cup 4th Round opponents.

Wham! Or other Marvel comic onomatopoeias expressing the sound of a forcible impact, are an apt reminder of the last time the two sides met. It was Elland Road in the League Cup in August 2014 when the Whites gave new boss Dave Hockaday his first win with a 2-1 victory.

If the appointment of ‘The Hock’ by then owner Massimo Cellino summed up his off-the-cuff decision making and crazy reign, then it was mirrored by the antics of debutant defender Gaetano Berardi, whose Kung Fu kick a few minutes from time after the visitors had pulled a goal back saw him receive the first of seven red cards for the club and made for a nervy close to a tie that United had been cruising.

It was also the Switzerland international’s beginnings as a cult hero. “I have a little fire inside me” he once told me of his on-pitch antics in his polite, calm yet menacing demeanour off it!

Berra, described as “a little soldier” by former sporting director Nicola Salerno, was the loyal and dependent recruit who stayed while a raft of others left or simply failed. He is another who will be remembered for his role in helping the Whites to promotion despite injury spoiling the back end of his stay at the club where he did at least manage make two Premier League appearances before moving on.

The old Crown Ground in Lancashire could witness another United debutant with supporters hoping to have a first sight of record signing Georginio Rutter. I’m not expecting any martial arts from the France Under-21 international but there is every chance he will find out that this FA Cup tie could be more of a combat sport than he was anticipating.


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