Some positivity at last at Leeds United!

G monk




Now that part of Garry Monk’s backroom staff have arrived I am allowing myself to feel positive about the situation at Leeds. Pep Clotet is extremely highly rated, he even runs a football tactics blog, Guillem Balague had this to say on the appointment

If Leeds announce Pre season this week or next, I will enjoy the rest of the euros and then start thinking about who Leeds need to sign. It would be nice if Leeds would surprise us with a Charlie Taylor or Lewis Cook contract, or maybe both. Looking at it logically, even if we know they’re leaving in a year, getting them into a new contract allows us to command a larger fee than if we sell them now or in January. We definitely can’t allow them to go for free.




Garry Monk just has this aura about him, until we lose 4-0 to Burton at Elland Road I will remain in awe of him, if Cellino keeps himself to himself or something else happens ownership wise, I genuinely think it could be special this year. I mean it’s obvious I’m very much ahead of myself, but it’s better than being depressed like we usually are by October. I think the Euros have made me love football again, Leeds genuinely made me hate it at times last year. I’ve read up on Monk and his assistant and it definitely sounds good for football this season, like Monk said in his press conference, there’s no point having 800 passes if you’re not going to score. We need direct play, especially at Elland Road, possession football isn’t Leeds, two tricky wingers attacking at pace and putting balls in to Chris Wood, that’s what we need. I’m hopeful Monk can improve our defending too, considering he’s a CB himself, Pep is probably not going to be spoke about much, but I think he could be vital to our success.

Let me know your thoughts on Leeds’ summer so far, are you happy or disappointed? Thanks for reading!

Leeds’ season may be over but who’s going to go the distance in the Playoffs?

Chuba Akpom of Hull City heads for goal during the Sky Bet Championship match at Elland Road, Leeds
Picture by Graham Crowther/Focus Images Ltd +44 7763 140036
05/12/2015

No surprise to any of you that Leeds’ season was over in January, but the Playoffs are still a point of interest for Leeds. There’s a few ways of looking at it, do we want the best team to go up so that the league is easier next season or do we want to get rid of a boring team like Hull so we don’t have to play them again next season? Last year I’d have said Derby because they always beat us but this season all that changed, I wouldn’t mind them bottling it again.

The two play-off semi-finals are Hull City v Derby County and Brighton & Hove Albion v Sheffield Wednesday. Personally I think Derby will be victorious in the first game and Sheffield Wednesday in the second tie. The team that just misses out on automatic promotion usually fails in the play-offs and Sheffield Wednesday have a very good team. I haven’t been too impressed with Hull this season, yeah they’ve finished in the play-offs but I don’t think they’re as good as the league table suggests. You can find the odds for these results or your own selections at William Hill English Championship betting site.

So if the final was to be Derby v Sheffield Wednesday I’m sure that’d be a difficult choice for Leeds fans, I don’t hate Wednesday as much as a lot of Leeds fans seem to do so I’d rather we had Yorkshire represented in the Premier League than Derby. Next year Leeds surely have to go for the play-offs? If we don’t then the attendances will just get lower and lower and we’ll end up as a similar sort of club to Ipswich and nobody wants that.

Leeds’ most recent play-off games were all pretty entertaining, who can forget Becchio scoring against Millwall at Elland Road, with one of the loudest celebrations in recent years, only to see us lose… Johnny Howson scoring a last minute goal at Carlisle to take us to Wembley, only to see us lose the final… Beating Preston 2-0 away to go to Cardiff, only to lose… Yeah all of these stories have bad endings, that’s Leeds for you. So watching play-off games as a Leeds fan when Leeds aren’t involved, it’s refreshing, it’s interesting, like Preston winning last year with Beckford and Grayson? That was a great time. So who do you think will win the Championship play-offs? Let us know!

Always an eventful fixture, we take a look back on Leeds United v Huddersfield Town

Leeds go into next weekends West Yorkshire against Huddersfield Town at Elland Road following on from 3 impressive victories on the bounce, today we take a look back at 5 previous encounters between the two teams.

ALEX MOWATT SCORING LEEDS THIRD

ALEX MOWATT SCORING LEEDS THIRD




The last meeting

Huddersfield Town 0 – 3 Leeds United

John Smiths Stadium

Sky Bet Championship

7th November 2015

Goals: Antenucci 45+5, Wood 45+7, Mowatt 54.

Line up

Silvestri, Wootton, Cooper, Bellusci, Berardi, Dallas, Murphy, Cook, Mowatt, Antenucci, Wood.

Subs.

Adeyemi -> Wootton

Bamba -> Cooper

Botaka -> Dallas

Unused.

Erwin, Buckley, Phillips, Horton.

Going into the our previous meeting against Huddersfield earlier in the season, Leeds came into the game following a victory against Cardiff City with the game being remembered for Alex Mowatt’s thunderous winner. The game was a poor first half which saw a long stoppage following an injury to Liam Cooper after our captain clashed heads with team mate Scott Wootton. During the 8 minutes stoppage time Leeds United sprang into life with goals from Mirco Antenucci and Chris Wood sending Leeds into a 2-0 first half lead. The second half, and the third goal, is the reason this game will be remembered after Alex Mowatt scored his second stunner inside 4 days as he unleashed a left foot rocket into the top corner to send Leeds on their way to the fourth successive West Yorkshire derby victory.

What have we learnt in a week with 9 points for Leeds United?

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Well. Leeds have won 3 games in a week for the first time since February 2015 and our next two games are Huddersfield and Rotherham, could we win 5 in a row? I certainly hope so.




1) Leeds are breaking records – Leeds hadn’t won at Cardiff for 32 years and hadn’t won at Blackburn for something like 12 years, to do them both in a week is some feat. I didn’t expect anything going into the Cardiff game, especially not 2 goals and a clean sheet. It’s a shame we always seem to leave it too late in the season to mount any sort of play-off challenge.

Leeds United v Blackburn Rovers player ratings + report

Bamba

Leeds made it an impressive 3 wins from 3 on Saturday with an impressive win against a Blackburn team who were in good form.

Leeds took the lead through Sol Bamba who crashed home Alex Mowatt’s corner after finding himself free inside the box. United made it two in the second half with Mirco Antenucci finishing sublimely following a quick counterattack from a Blackburn free kick. Rovers gave themselves hope with Simeon Jackson finishing late on, United managed to hold on the result and played out a long added time period to earn themselves their third win in seven days.




Despite the first half not being an instant classic, Rovers had keeper Jason Steele to thank after an excellent save from Mowatt’s free kick. Tony Watt had a chance for Blackburn, but his header drifted wide and Rovers best chance of the half fell to Danny Graham who saw his shot saved by Silvestri.

The second half saw Blackburn have spells of pressure but in reality they didn’t create much and in the end, I feel Leeds were worthy of another win.

Credit where it’s due, the reaction from the players has been excellent since that night in Brighton. I wouldn’t have called this an excellent technical performance but it was very solid and convincing away performance where all the players put in a shift, and no one played poorly. I feel I have to single out a mention Alex Mowatt who was excellent and looks like he’s picking some form up following on from his performance against Cardiff. Onto Huddersfield at Elland Road on Saturday.




Silvestri 7, Berardi 7, Bamba 7, Bellusci 7, Taylor 7, Bridcutt 7, Diagouraga 7, Cook 7, Mowatt 8, Doukara 6, Antenucci 8.

Subs: Dallas 6, Wood and Murphy. (Don’t feel it’s fair marking these two as they didn’t have chance to do much.)

Man of the Match: Alex Mowatt

An Interview with Michael Duberry

Michael Duberry

Michael Duberry was talking at a Play With A Legend Event, and if you’ve ever dreamt of playing football with your childhood hero, Well, now you can! Play with a Legend (https://t.co/eO2DKRBHsH), brings together football fans and their idols for a memorable football game and a post match pint where you can hear tales from the dressing room. It’s perfect for a stag, birthday, corporate or charity event and with over 80 former professionals involved, there’s sure to be someone you’d like to play alongside.“

Who was the first one to give you the nickname Dubes?

“The first time I was a schoolboy at Chelsea and someone said Dubes. There is no real story to it, that’s it.”

You won the League Cup, Cup Winners’ Cup and the Super Cup. Which of the finals was most memorable?

“The Super Cup. The League Cup, I was ill. I had a bad stomach all day. The Cup Winners’ Cup I had Bell’s Palsy — which is like a mini stroke — so I had to keep holding my mouth. I had it in the build up for two months. The physio came back to say there was nothing wrong with me, so winning the Super Cup and beating Monaco in the final. But for all reasons the League Cup was my first ever win, and being a North London boy driving past Wembley every day.

“The whole build up back in the day and going to Wembley was special. Then walking up the steps and actually winning something.”

Best ever XI you played with?

“Nigel Martin as goalkeeper. Right back, Gary Kelly. A good mate of mine as well. Centre halves: Rio and Marcel. My left back would be between Ian Harte and Graeme Le Saux. In midfield I would go David Batty, the most underrated player ever. The hardest player ever.

“Ruud Gullit. He was a ball player that was strong, so he would be in my midfield. Gus Poyet also gets in, he was good friends with Maradona so would tell us Maradona stories, so that was good.

“Up top, Mark Hughes would be my centre-forward. Old school approach, always battering centre-halves and even though he was good on the pitch.”

“My left midfielder would be Harry Kewell because on his day at Leeds he was unplayable. Strong, fast, skillful.

“In behind Sparky, you’d have to play Gianfranco Zola.”

What was David Batty like?

“When I was in Leeds I met a few naughty boys, but they told me that David Batty was the hardest kid in the school — hard as nails. He was the best player – a dream for a centre half to have in front of you. He’d get the ball and nothing bothered him.

Why are Leeds not in the Premier League? There must be something fundamentally wrong.

“I think it’s a few things. A normal club comes down but could go back up, but there’s stability issues underneath it. Leeds — when they were up there — their financial instability had a huge impact. The only other club I’d say, that have been through similar is QPR and that was close to being a bit silly financially. And Leeds have never recovered, so the Leeds you see now is because of that.

You must wonder why Leeds have not attracted a sugar daddy, though. You would have thought that would be the biggest opportunity…

“Yeah, I think everyone who isn’t associated with Leeds will think ‘why hasn’t someone come along and thought oh, I’d like a piece of that’ but you know what? All these people with money that buy clubs want to buy a club in the Premier League. They don’t want to buy a club in the Championship because that’s a gamble, they want to buy a club that is in the Premier League. They wouldn’t even want to buy Aston Villa now because they’re going to be a Championship club. They buy it for the advertising, don’t they? The audience is that much smaller compared to the Premier League, so Leeds won’t attract anyone unless they get to the Premier League. They get to the Premier League, even on a shoe-string budget, someone will buy them. It’s sad but that’s how it is.”

Whose fault was it that Leeds fell from grace?

“At the time they were signing players and we were like ‘we don’t know anything about that.’ And then we get told the club was £60m in debt. What can you say? We as players obviously had no control over that. I remember the time when we had this big meeting and every professional at the club was there — young and old — and we had the PFA come down. They said ‘the club wants you to defer some money to help the club.’ We were all sitting down saying everyone, except the young lads, earning over a certain amount of wages will agree to defer a week’s wages and that’s fair enough.’

We told the PFA to go to the club with that and they came back saying ‘you lot are greedy, you should defer 60% of your wages and we’re saying ‘what do you mean?’

“They were just gambling, thinking we’re going to be in the Champions League every year, so we’re going to spend this. And we didn’t so it just went bust really. It’s a shame really, but would you swap it for the memories that everyone had? It’s that sort of thing but for the club it’s a shame.”

The effect on the whole City was massive. Not being in the Premier League, the night-time economy was really affected. You’d go out and there was no-one in town.

“It did change. It was a shame. It was one win away from a legacy. If we had won something — which was close — but you’re up against teams with experience. That’s football.”

Who was the biggest animal?

“Drinking wise we used to have an A Team. We got the idea from Mark Hughes because at Manchester United there used to be an A Team and B Team. It was a drinking school, so at Leeds we took it on. The A Team drinking school was me, Rio, Dom, Robbie Keane, Gary Kelly, Steve McPhail, Seth Johnson. They were like the main ones.

Did you live in Leeds with the other boys?

“Yeah, I loved Leeds. When I first moved I was in Woodlesford. They put you in Allerton Hotel, and I thought ‘quality, straight down the M1 from home’ so I found somewhere near there. Then I moved into town, above Park Road. I loved Leeds.”

But if you all drank a lot there did you worry about people seeing you getting drunk when you have to train and play games?

“It was not everyday. We used to go out Tuesday, say if you had Wednesday off, and you’re sitting in an Italian restaurant around the corner from the training ground. You sit there and everyone is thinking… then there’s that little nod, we got a bottle of wine and would then go into town. And then, on a Saturday we would go to The Living Room into their VIP room.

Which was your favourite away ground that you loved going to as a player?

“I always liked White Hart Lane. It was a nice ground, being a North London boy and Highbury too as it had an old school fill.”

Who was the least favourite manager you played under?

“Kevin Blackwell when I was at Leeds.”

and what a great note to end on, he was my least favourite Leeds manager until Steve Evans rocked up! Many thanks to Play with a Legend (https://t.co/eO2DKRBHsH) for the interview and also to Michael Duberry for being a good sport.

On the back of a good win, who should Leeds start against Blackburn?

lufcp

After beating Cardiff away for the first time in over 32 years with a clean sheet to match, Leeds travel to Blackburn in good spirits. The fans always turn out at Blackburn so lets hope the team does too! God knows why it’s an early kick-off despite not being on Sky. What should be the team for the game on Saturday? This is what I’d go with.




GK – Marco Silvestri – As Evans said, Peacock-Farrell will get his chance when we’re safe but after the Cardiff game there’s no chance you could drop Silvestri, it was his best performance of the season. I’m just not sure if the things he needs to improve on, can be taught. Surely he’d have improved at catching the ball and kicking it by now? It’s just a mess waiting to happen sometimes.

Leeds United v Cardiff City player ratings

Souleymane+Doukara+Brentford+v+Leeds+United+4WeCBJGslU7l

So, did anyone actually expect that? Leeds went to Cardiff having not won there in 32 years and left with a 2-0 victory. For the record, we drop Scott Wootton and suddenly we win 2 games, coincidence? There was one stand-out performer for me and that was…




GK – Marco Silvestri – 10 – I am by no means his biggest fan but he had an unbelievable game last night and the win is probably owed to him. Cardiff had 10 shots on target and I’d say the majority of them needed a quality save to keep them out and Silvestri was more than up to the task. I saw comments from Cardiff fans saying he looked like Neuer, that’s literally how good he was. Consistency is what we need from him now.

Leeds put in good performance on night that had much bigger meaning – Match Report

Lboro

Title-chasing Middlesbrough came to Elland Road in the hope to attain
the much-needed three points in an attempt to leap-frog Hull City.

The home side haven’t been in the goals at Elland Road recently,
scoring just four goals in their last five.

With the signing of striker Jordan Rhodes from Blackburn for a modest
£9m, you could say that the away side were going in to the game with
high hopes.




Boro went in to the game instantly on the back foot, as United looked
to get off the mark almost instantly. Perhaps the best chance from
this period of pressure came from Dallas, who’s header just looped
over the goal, leaving no stress for Konstantopoulos

Boro tried to reply by adding on the pressure, but the ball was
cleared off the line by Giuseppe Bellusci after a scramble of sorts in
the box. Not long after this chance, United’s Teesside rivals had a
goal disallowed for offside after the £9m signing Jordan Rhodes
thought he had bagged his 12th of the season.

Three minutes in to the second half, Elland Road played tribute to
former BBC Teesside radio presenter Ali Brownlee, who recently passed
away, age just 56.

As the second half went on, both sides were looking for a much-needed
goal to break the deadlock.

Chances were going by for the two sides, as Jordan Rhodes headed wide,
and not for the first time this game. Doukara also nearly getting on
the score sheet with a downwards header, although was denied by one of
the saves of the season by Konstantopolous.

As the game reached it’s ending point, both sides were trying to force
a mistake, and mistakes were made. Boro went down to 10-men as Ben
Gibson’s late tackle on Lee Erwin forced the referee’s hand and he
showed him his second yellow of the game.

The game ended at a goalless draw. Leeds may feel discontent & unlucky
with a draw, what with the chances they created being more than enough
to grab a goal, but Boro defended valiantly, and also wasted their
fair share of opportunities to gain the lead.

After the game, Evans said that his side were “fortunate” that Rhodes
missed his late chance, although a 1-0 win to Middlesbrough would’ve
been a “big injustice”. “Aitor Karanka will feel very lucky”, he
added.

The game was somewhat over-shadowed by prior events.

Before the game, projections were shown on the East Stand in protest
of Massimo Cellino’s tenure at Leeds United.

Evans was asked to comment on the issue, but said it wasn’t his place
to, “get involved.” Although, he went on to add that, “supporters are
the life blood of any club.”

There’s no doubt that Massimo Cellino will see the projections,
regardless of geographical location.

The images went viral on social media. Reaching the BBC & the biggest
magazine for sport in France, L’Equipe.

A good effort on the pitch by the players, and an even better effort
off the pitch by the fans to get their voices heard.

In their next game, United face Premier League opposition away from
home in the form of Watford, as United look to extend their cup run.

Evans mentioned that Chris Wood may have a chance at starting, but is
still a major doubt.

The next league game for Leeds United will be Fulham at home next
Tuesday for an evening kick off. Leeds would be looking to close out
another prolific striker as former whites skipper, and now Fulham
leading goalscorer, Ross McCormack returns to Elland Road.

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