Leeds United player ratings v Ipswich

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1. Marco Silvestri – First up and the hardest one for me to give a definite score against. The Ipswich goal if we are being critical you shouldn’t be getting beat at your near post, especially if you get a hand to it. Later on from that he effectively wins us the game with a great penalty save. Marco is up for player of the month for February, I don’t know how likely it is for a keeper to win it but his performance live on sky v Boro should help.
Match Rating 8

Leeds the Line – evaluating our strikers

So yet another winter transfer window has come and gone just over halfway through the season and Leeds have scored 30 goals in the league level with Brighton (21st) and five teams with less goals (Blackpool 22 (24th), Millwall 26 (22nd), Charlton 25 (18th) , Wigan 26 (23rd) & Sheff W 21 (10th) All teams are around the bottom apart from Wednesday who bar Middlesbrough have the best Goals Against record and level with Derby County. Both teams looking like they will be shoe ins for the promotion race. Goals win you games, Leeds United need to score more goals so far this season we have scored 1.07 goals per game and conceded 1.39 leaving a difference of 0.32 per game. That got me thinking how do we score more goals. We seem to have the style and way of playing set up for us to do well, from here on it’s about personnel. For me we have a good range of strikers that offer different things and apart from the new lad Cani who I can only go by what has been said about him it will come down to who we pick on the day vs the opponent, playing strengths against weaknesses. Ideally we need to score more and concede less. What are the strengths of what we have and where are these goals going to come from should we get out of the relegation battle.

5 key positives against Bournemouth

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After an amazing comeback to win 3-1 away against Bournemouth the last time we played them, and given the recent form of both teams, I for one would have been happy with a draw last night.

We started off impressively, driving into the opponents box time after time. But the goal just wasn’t coming. Until Austin found Murphy with a bit of space, a couple of touches to set himself and the top corner was found. 1-0 with an impressive strike. That’s how it remained, despite a missed Bournemouth penalty.

Here are my 5 key positives from the game, including some other fan views at the end.

Leeds interested in Brazilian Midfielder

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Amidst the ownership crisis and the eventual win at Elland Road last night, the transfer scene has once again lit up at Leeds United.

With the capture of Sol Bamba all but confirmed, it has recently become known that Leeds are interested in Brazilian Midfielder, Renan Garcia.

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Phil Hay of the Yorkshire Evening Post broke the news this morning when he tweeted – “Hearing that Leeds are also looking at Renan Garcia, ex-Sampdoria midfielder.”

Garcia, 28, is an ex-Sampdoria midfielder, who has featured around 50 times for both Sampdoria and Al Nasr since 2012, scoring a couple of goals.

Garcia joined Al Nasr in 2014, for a fee of just over a £1million.

He is primarily a defensive central midfielder, but due to being left-footed, he can also play out wide on the left if needed.

In total, he has featured 149 times in his career, scoring twelve goals. Most of these appearances took place in the Primeira Liga in Portugal.

Leeds All Over interview Together Leeds

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As a fan, my main wish in regards to Leeds United is some stability and success. I am not totally fussed at where this comes from, so I thought it was only fair to give Together Leeds a chance. I was lucky enough to be given this opportunity, especially giving this is my first attempt at an interview. Now, before conducting this interview, I had stayed away from all of the ‘twitter politics’ and what not, so my mind was fully open and ready to learn.

The interviewee is Dylan Thwaites of Together Leeds, and I, Rhys, was the one asking him the questions that I, as a fan, wanted answering.

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Rhys: Hi Dylan, thank you for agreeing to an interview, especially considering how busy you are at the moment. To start off then, Together Leeds has always brought forward the need for better transparency at Leeds United. So, with that in mind, what is your role within Together Leeds?

Dylan: Hello. I’m Dylan Thwaites and I’m leading the group until the end of January.

Rhys:  Great, now would you mind mentioning some of the others that are currently involved and define the roles they play?

Dylan: Everybody is volunteering their time and helping when they have particular expertise – so for example, people like Adrian Teakdesk and Paul and Danny from LUST have got great experience on fan ownership models. We are using this knowledge to create a set up that will work in our unique circumstances.

Rhys: So, it is to my understanding that the second Together Leeds meeting is to take place later this month, the 24th to be exact. For those not attending, in person or via skype, how will they be able to access what was discussed during the meeting?

Dylan: We will be recording the event and distributing it shortly afterwards. We will also make all of the resource documents available so people can scrutinise what we’ve done and what we propose at leisure.

Rhys: Now, this meeting is in regards to Together Leeds, so it would be important to mention here that Together Leeds has recently become a separate entity to the Farnan-Verity group. Who initiated this idea and what were the reasoning’s behind it?

Dylan: Just before Christmas, we had a meeting of 15 Leeds fans, most of whom had never met before. We came to the firm conclusion that fan ownership of at least part of Leeds United was essential if we were to rescue it from the horror of the last 12 years. However starting a single issue fan group from scratch is daunting and a slow process. We know how quickly things can change at Elland Road, so as Mike Farnan was in the room, I asked him to gift us the Together Leeds brand and its following. He agreed and consequently he has re-branded his consortium as Farnan-Verity Group. The Together Leeds branding gave us immediate profile and about 5000 interested followers, and put us at least 3 months ahead of where we would have been.

Rhys: Despite this separation, and without going in to too much detail, Mike Farnan was the centre of a twitter frenzy recently in regards to the wording of one or two tweets in particular. In order for Together Leeds to prosper, fans from all spectrum’s need to feel wanted, and that night many lost some confidence in Together Leeds. After that incident, how will Together Leeds come back to ensure fans know that this idea is open to everyone?

Dylan: Mike is just 1/15th of the founders of Together Leeds, so his personal comments can hardly be said to represent Together Leeds. Though I personally think he was misconstrued, it’s not a battle for Together Leeds, Mike is well capable of defending himself.

Dylan: Together Leeds is as inclusive as it is possible to be. We are a single issue group so we aren’t a threat to any other fan group, we have both pro and anti Cellino supporters and as the demand for the online broadcast of the meeting shows, we have massive support from people outside Yorkshire.

Rhys: Now, onto your aims then, initially Together Leeds is looking to purchase the 25% of the club that is not currently owned by Eleonora Sport Ltd. If this was to become a successful bid, what are the next steps Together Leeds would be looking to take?

Dylan: If Massimo Cellino remains at the club we will work with him to free up the investment he has promised.

Dylan: If Cellino leaves, we will seek a bigger stake and work with other rich Leeds fans, including Farnan-Verity Group to let Leeds fans control the whole of Leeds United.

Rhys: One of the more important questions then, if the purchase of the 25% were successful, how much of an influence would Together Leeds and/or the Farnan-Verity group hold?

Dylan: A 25% stake delivers considerable minority rights, not least having two fans (elected by our shareholders) sat on the Board. This will give the fans a voice that has been ignored for too long and help Leeds United to act in the long term with a view to passing this great club on through the generations.

Rhys: From what I last read, talks with GFH were yet to begin, but it was planned that discussions would have started before the second Together Leeds meeting. Is this still the case? Furthermore, it is of course early days, however, have there been any discussions within Together Leeds regarding a deadline of when an initial bid may be placed?

Dylan: Shortly after meeting 2 (M2) the founding 15 will all resign and be replaced by a smaller Executive team. We concluded that in these circumstances it would be premature and a little unprofessional to open talks and then disappear. The Executive team will decide the speed and nature of the contact with GFH. It would be wrong of us to bind them to specific timescales.

Rhys: With this Executive team running Together Leeds, their aim is to get fan representation on the board at the club. There has been talk of a ‘fair system’ in order to achieve this. What are the latest discussions that have taken place regarding this step?

Dylan: This will be explained at M2, but the principle must be that no individual or organisation can hijack the structure and impose their own candidates without broad consent.

Rhys: Fantastic. However, one of the biggest concerns people have over fan representation is the apparent divide currently between fans, so how would Together Leeds ensure that the views and opinions of the most, if not all, Leeds fans have a voice?

Dylan: In this kind of system as many voices as possible will be heard, leading to the more popular decisions being made. Which is a significant improvement on the current system where no fan voice is heard.

Rhys: If, say, a successful purchase is not made by Together Leeds, would there still be a push for fan representation on the board at Leeds, or any other attempt to work with those currently in control of the club?

Dylan: The manifestos for the General Election may well contain demands for fan representation to be forced on football clubs. A scenario where fans bring funding is surely more beneficial to an owner than fans being imposed. I think any Leeds fan owner, I include MC in this category, would be pleased to have fan representation.

Rhys: Finally, we know that a second meeting has been planned for this month. Are there any other dates Together Leeds have marked in the calendar as ones to remember?

Dylan: If we are successful Together Leeds will have a very short lifespan, it doesn’t need to exist once we have set up fan ownership. I sincerely hope we don’t make our 22nd December anniversary.

End of Interview

 

I will conducting a follow-up interview to this one in due course, please do not hesitate to contact either me or @TogetherLeeds if you have any further questions.

Massimo Cellino Disqualified

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After Massimo Cellino’s appeal regarding his disqualification of ownership was heard last Friday, it was announced that the decision would be revealed in the next coming week.

cellino_1906352aToday, at 12:06pm, Phil Hay of the Yorkshire Evening Post tweeted – “BREAKING: Massimo Cellino’s appeal against disqualification as owner of Leeds United has been rejected.”

This decision now means that Cellino is effectively disqualified from acting as a ‘relevant’ person at Leeds United. This disqualification will last until Cellino’s conviction is spent, with the date of return being reported as the 10th April 2015.

Cellino was given a two-day period in which to resign if his appeal was to fail, meaning this will have to be done by Wednesday of this week.

Phil Hay later went on to explain that Leeds will be looking to appeal via either FA rule K (which allows an impartial person to make a decision) or through the courts.

The Football League have said they “will provide any assistance requested as by Leeds United to help minimise as far as possible the effect on the club.”

Doubts will now begin to surround Cellino’s ownership of Leeds United, as this current case regarding ‘Nellie’ was considered one of the easiest that he will be facing within the coming months/years.

Leeds are also currently facing a misconduct charge over the failure to submit Italian Court documents sooner. This will be dealt with ‘in due course’.

5 key positives against Birmingham

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Birmingham City travelled to Elland Road yesterday, to face Leeds for the second time of the season, following a 1-1 draw at home.

The game started positively for Birmingham, with Donaldson winning a penalty in the opening minutes. Caddis converted.

It took a late equaliser from Luke Murphy to grab a point from the game, despite numerous chances for the home side and a couple of penalty shouts themselves. It finished 1-1.

Here are my 5 key positives from the game, with fan thoughts at the end.

Redfearn in high spirits ahead of the Birmingham game – but will United be unchanged?

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A draw away at Bolton last time out should be seen as a good point picked up on the road, but with the position we’re in we should be fighting tooth and nail to win these sort of games; you could say we had enough chances to win yet could have so easily lost it. I was bemused with the decision to drop Mirco Antenucci to the bench and call up Steve Morison to the starting XI. He’s our top scorer and his runs behind the Bolton defence would’ve given us another dimension and them something different to think about. As it was Redfearn only made one substitution in the 86th minute, bringing on Alex Mowatt.

That’s all in the past now and we’ve got to look ahead to the Birmingham game where we are desperate for 3 points, something we haven’t achieved since the end of November last year. I’m worried about relegation but a result on Saturday could put a 5 point gap between us and Millwall – the team currently sitting 22nd, one place and two points behind us. Redfearn said in his pre-match interview that he has “no favourites” in terms of playing personnel and that the current XI have got to “keep their shirts”. He also said that the 4-2-3-1 system we have recently adopted has given the squad “spirit and renewed confidence”.

Here is the team that I think Neil Redfearn will pick for the game on Saturday.

How have the future of Leeds performed?

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Leeds United are known for many things, one of the more positive factors is our academy. We typically see a new hero emerge every season, Alex Mowatt last season, Sam Byram the year before and now Lewis Cook has arrived on the scene. When you throw Charlie Taylor and Chris Dawson into the mix, there’s a good number of academy prospects in the squad. But how have they fared this season?

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