Leeds vs Derby: Inside rivalry sparked by Clough, Revie, Bielsa, Lampard, Spygate, playoffs and Oasis

When you ask Leeds and Derby fans who their biggest rivals are, the two clubs will barely come into each others’ thinking.

Leeds fans will point to their long-standing dislike of cross-Pennine foes Manchester United . Derby fans will struggle to hide their contempt for East Midlands enemies Nottingham Forest.

The Yorkshire side may even acknowledge local hostilities with the Sheffield clubs before the Rams, while Derby are no fans of Leicester .

But the rivalry between these two famous old clubs is one that has been bubbling under the surface for half a century.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s – the two sides were competing against each other for the top honours in the game.

Leeds won the league in 1969 and 1974, while Derby were crowned champions in 1972 – just ahead of the Whites.



Clough during his time at Derby

At the centre of the rivalry between the two sides were a pair of iconic managers in Brian Clough and Don Revie.

Clough made no secret of his dislike for his opposite number, a feud which was immortalised in film in the 2009 movie The Damned United which focused on Clough’s ill-fated 44-day reign at the helm of Leeds following Revie’s departure to take the England job in 1974.

Clough had savaged Revie and his players regularly in the press before his appointment at Elland Road – and didn’t stop once he walked through the door.

“You lot may all be internationals, and have won all the domestic honours there are to win under Don Revie,” he told his Leeds squad after upon meeting them.

“But as far as I’m concerned, the first thing you can do for me is chuck all your medals and all your caps and all your pots and all your pans into the biggest f***ing dustbin you can find.

“Because you’ve never won any of them fairly. You’ve done it all by cheating.”



Brian Clough leads Leeds out in the 1974 Charity Shield

It’s hardly a surprise things didn’t go entirely to plan.

Fast forward 30 years to 2004 and Leeds are relegated from the top flight to join Derby in the second tier.

Neither side have managed to make it back to the Premier League since, with the exception of one solitary, dismal campaign for Derby in 2007-8.

That has seen regular battles between the pair – and the rivalry reared its head in a big way last season.

Police were called to Derby’s training ground in January after a member of Marcelo Bielsa’s staff was seen acting suspiciously.

Bielsa would then later admit to sending a ‘spy’ to watch Derby’s sessions before their clash – as he had with other Championship sides over the course of the season.

Leeds won the game 2-0, and Lampard was furious, attracting the ire of Leeds fans with his views on the episode prior to kick-off.



Lampard made no secret of his unhappiness over the ‘Spygate’ saga

“On a sportsman’s level it’s bad,” he said. “If we are going to talk about culturally and say I did it somewhere else and it’s fine, I don’t believe that. It’s disrupted our build-up to the game.

“People will say I am making an excuse, but I will speak like this after the game whether we win, lose or draw.

“We had somebody the day before our first game against them which we lost 4-1. Leeds can beat you 4-1 because they are a fantastic team but they had someone in the bushes that day.

“The man was asked to leave but it wasn’t followed up like it has been this time.

“The training stopped because the police came on the training ground, then it went away.

“We were training on team tactics, team shape, personnel, how we are going to press, how we will work off the ball, the fact Harry Wilson wasn’t training would become evident, so the person who is watching will see all of that.

“If somebody wants to say that is not relevant, then if tactics aren’t relevant that means Pep Guardiola, Mauricio Pochettino, Jurgen Klopp, all the great managers, are just lucky.



Lampard celebrates Derby’s playoff win at Leeds in May

“If preparation and tactics are not part of the game and quite sacred that you can work on them in your own training ground then I think they must be lucky managers.

“I don’t care if it’s cultural. If possibilities come up to travel later in my career then when I travel to that country I will find out what the etiquette is in that country and I will abide by it, which I think is a good thing to do in life, not just football.

“I don’t think we need to [make a complaint] because he’s admitted it. It’s up to the league to see how they deal with.”

Leeds fans lapped up what they perceived to be moaning from the Derby boss, and thus a chant was born to the tune of Oasis hit Stop Crying Your Heart Out. “Stop crying Frank Lampard.”

The rivalry went up another notch still when Leeds missed out on automatic promotion and played against Derby in the playoffs.

Despite winning the first leg 1-0 at Pride Park, their third victory over Derby over the course of the season, Leeds lost the return fixture 4-2 and Derby went on to the final.



Derby players mimic binoculars after beating Leeds

Lampard insisted Spygate was not a motivational factor for the win, but the celebrations from him and his players suggested it was very much in the forefront of their minds.

Derby stars ran up to the away end making binoculars gestures around their eyes, while Lampard sung and danced to the Oasis hit that had been used to ridicule him in the dressing room.

Lampard has since left to take the Chelsea job, but much of the feeling from both sides remains as they get ready for the first meeting this term.

Leeds are flying – they have won five of their opening seven matches and are sitting pretty at the top of the league as they look to finally seal a return to the promised land.

Derby are finding it much more difficult having picked up just one Championship win under the stewardship of Phillip Cocu following his arrival in the summer.

But as his predecessor will attest – there would be no better place for Cocu to kickstart his Derby career – and the Rams’ season – than Elland Road.

source.



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