In the Press

Leeds United news here, transfer rumours, club affairs, players, fans, etc.
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Re: In the Press

Postby SCOTTISH LEEDS » 05 Aug 2019, 21:31

Jon Howe talks to Daniel Chapman about his book on Leeds 100 years:-

https://www.leeds-live.co.uk/sport/leed ... g-16703115
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Re: In the Press

Postby Davycc » 07 Aug 2019, 09:54

This is what makes you champions, you never give in, never ever give in..
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Re: In the Press

Postby rigger » 07 Aug 2019, 12:17

That article is full of praise but it's one bloody game.
Let's keep our feet on the ground.
We all know what happened last season ..
If you thought that post was good, you should check out my interesting and constantly surprising blog: http://paulridgeblog.com/
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Re: In the Press

Postby whiteinfrance » 07 Aug 2019, 17:16

rigger wrote:That article is full of praise but it's one bloody game.
Let's keep our feet on the ground.
We all know what happened last season ..


Language Timothy! You'll have the mods after you :lol:
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Re: In the Press

Postby whitedancer » 07 Aug 2019, 17:41

Wow 1 game against a moderate side that lost there best 2 defenders , a keeper they brought from Brentford who's a bit dodgy. ( not has bad as how's through) . If we had ripped apart say, Cardiff, wba, Fulham, then yer go for it, also Bristols large ground plays into our system, let's see what happens when we go to the tight little grounds like Brentford and QPR.
Very very early days.
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Re: In the Press

Postby SCOTTISH LEEDS » 09 Aug 2019, 09:39

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Re: In the Press

Postby SCOTTISH LEEDS » 19 Aug 2019, 13:13

Jon Howe's latest LeedsLive article:-

We’ve known for many years that there is no keeping Leeds United out of the media spotlight. Some fans love the attention, good or bad, others would rather we kept a low profile. Rival fans might continue in blissful denial, but love them or loathe them – and it seems there really is no in between - Leeds United are always making news, and it is news that people want to hear, read and watch.

When you are running a football club like Leeds United, you can’t always control how you are portrayed. Quite apart from the disobedient nature of football matches themselves, you are at the mercy of an industry with more preconceptions about your club than perhaps anyone else. For that reason, you could question the wisdom of wanting to expose yourself further by way of a six-part documentary series on one of the biggest media platforms going. But then, when you can control the narrative and guide the levels of exposure, why wouldn’t you?

The Amazon Prime documentary series ‘Take Us Home’ is a rare opportunity for Leeds United to tell their own story, or at least their own side of it. Because lord knows, everyone has seen how this goes. Personally, I could have happily avoided reliving this trauma forever, or at least a few more months, but there is logic in lancing the boil while it is still fresh, and in some ways, drawing a line under last season as soon as possible and allowing us to move on.

In truth, this is far from a warts and all documentary, compelling though it is. Leeds are careful not to fully expose themselves, instead they teasingly lift a trouser leg and allow us a glimpse of flesh. I would like to have seen more fly-on-the-wall footage, I would like to have seen more of the murderball-style training sessions, I would like to have seen more of Bielsa's fabled methods and I’d liked to have seen more of the many characters we have in the team.

But then you have to retain an element of mystery. They say you should never meet your heroes, and perhaps seeing too much of the inner workings of Leeds United would uncover elements that we would rather not see. The club has to keep something hidden, and the series is no less fascinating for it.

While not revealing too much, there are two particularly absorbing passages; namely the Dan James saga, where the frustration, confusion and deceit is laid bare and secondly, Andrea Radrizzani’s reaction to Marcelo Bielsa’s post-Spygate press conference. Radrizzani casually admits that – irrespective of its merits - he wouldn’t have made the infamous ‘we do analysis too’ presentation to the world’s media, but rather to the Football League behind closed doors. It may have avoided the subsequent £200,000 fine, and he might be right. However, there was no anger or incredulity; perhaps explaining the respect and seniority that Bielsa enjoys, and perhaps explaining why the head coach also paid the fine himself.

After that, we are left to ‘enjoy’ the games and the hideous rollercoaster of last season. The tension is somewhat lost by Adam Pope’s valiant attempts to recreate the drama with an overdubbed commentary, presumably because the producers couldn’t secure the rights to use the BBC or Sky’s actual recordings. But of course the most chilling episode doesn’t need any commentary.

The most captivating segment of the six episodes is actually the very last one, incongruous though that sounds. Before Derby’s Jack Marriot has even dispatched the final blow in the 85th minute of the play-off semi-final second leg, the commentary has given way to the melancholy strains of Shadowlark’s stripped back version of ‘Marching On Together’, because we all know what is coming. There is no need to build up the theatre. It is a passage that is perfectly lingering and respectful, and it captures every sense of the loss in a uniform blanket of quiet, discreet and personal mourning.

Leeds-band and post-punk pioneers Gang of Four provide the perfect hook in the opening titles of each episode with their 1978 debut single ‘Damaged Goods’. You couldn’t portray Leeds United any better, and the series is bookended by another Leeds band. Shadowlark’s interpretation of the Leeds United anthem is discomforting and surreal and final.

Marcelo Bielsa’s words afterwards are a rare insight into his personal affection for Leeds United, and it is a shame we have had to wait until now to hear them. In the shuddering aftermath of the Derby defeat, they would have provided much comfort. But the ending does allow us to fast-forward to now with a sense of clarity, cohesion and confidence.

What we see in the documentary is in many ways what we are seeing in Leeds United at the start of their centenary season. In truth, football clubs expose themselves every week. Every time a team plays it is a portrayal of where that club is on the cycle of life. Manchester City are a representation on the pitch of where their club is off it. Likewise so are Bolton Wanderers. Many a time Leeds United have reflected the chaos and upheaval behind the scenes with dishevelled and unpredictable performances.

Now, perhaps, that is more evident than ever. Leeds United are slick and professional and are winning games whilst offering a glimpse that there is much more to come. That seems to be in the mould of the health of the club in general.

Bielsa is clearly allowing the players from last season to redeem themselves before introducing anything new. And these players sit top of the table – after the 2-0 win at Wigan Athletic - without quite hitting the heights of last season yet, and Patrick Bamford is scoring scruffy goals from two yards out. It isn’t as if Leeds have only just realised that you don’t have to walk the ball in with a decorative pattern of 15 passes involving every player in the team, but it is the only thing so far that we haven’t seen before. And that it comes in the wake of our communal reliving of the horrors of last season, somehow feels poignant.

We are scarred from last season, we are damaged goods, but it is business as usual at Leeds United, and we have seen enough to know that we love our club now more than ever. The documentary ensured that there is just enough intrigue remaining, and likewise, on the pitch we still have the likes of Eddie Nketiah and Helder Costa to look forward to, like a bonus feature we weren’t expecting.

Leeds United didn’t need to make a documentary to tell us how amazing the club is and how damaged it is; if you know, you know and if you don’t, does it matter? But the fact that they have feels more like a present to ourselves, an indulgence we richly deserve and an enjoyable stab at making the most of what was actually quite horrible. Only Leeds United would do that. Damaged goods, but always audacious, challenging and endlessly fascinating. Stay tuned.
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Re: In the Press

Postby SCOTTISH LEEDS » 23 Aug 2019, 12:53

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Re: In the Press

Postby SCOTTISH LEEDS » 26 Aug 2019, 21:34

Jon Howe's latest LeedsLive article:-

Someone once said football was one-third ability and two-thirds mentality. It might have been Bill Shankly, or César Menotti, or it might have been the bloke who sits in front of me at Elland Road. The point is, it’s probably right. And that’s not just coming from someone who’s watched a lot of footballers with not much ability and seemingly not much up top either.

Of course the best players have got a delicious abundance of both qualities, but their ability comes into prominence because of the decisions they make. In the wake of Leeds United’s 3-0 win at Stoke City on Saturday, a lot has been said about ‘mentality’, and the game itself was a coherent portrayal of how it can impact upon teams in both a positive and a negative way.

Stoke manager Nathan Jones spoke about his team’s mentality both before and after the game, and to Leeds fans it was visibly fragile in a most familiar way. For many years we have seen Leeds teams put the effort in, but faced by the merest setback the whole façade has come crashing down and the mental chains have swiftly dragged players into a morass of befuddled mediocrity. So it was, Stoke bore that same look on Saturday, and for once, Leeds could watch on with surety, confidence and gluttonous contentment.

While Leeds had gradually wrestled hold of the game and found their happy place with the usual superiority of possession, it was the first goal three minutes before half-time that crushed the corruptible strength of Stoke’s eggshell resilience.

In that moment you could immediately identify the gift that Leeds United have been given in the form of Marcelo Bielsa, and of course what he has in turn given to the players, but you could also pinpoint what might just be the difference between last season and this. And that is a better mentality, or to be more precise, a better grasp on decision-making.

Bielsa’s focus on his players’ fitness is legendary, but the insane levels of physical capability are not just about lasting the pace, they are about lasting the pace and still being able to make the right decisions, being clinical when your body is heaving, your mind is racing and your central axis is on the wobble.

I dare say Bielsa has considered opening a lab and building a team of automatons, programmed to make the right decisions in the right circumstances, and presumably the required levels of fitness would be attainable and of course body fat ratios wouldn’t be an issue, but anyway, I digress. The joy Bielsa gets from football, however, is coaching rough diamonds and eliciting the right decisions from people at the right moments, the joy of human achievement if you like, the art of conditioning a being capable of a wide spectrum of thoughts and actions into doing exactly what you want them to. Again and Again.

Maybe we have come to expect these things from players like Pablo Hernandez, but when they come from players like Stuart Dallas, it is not hard to see how Bielsa would raise a glass to that at the end of the day, with an immense degree of satisfaction.

Leeds’ first goal was a devastating passage of play, but as much as it was cutting and calculated, it was decorative, glossy and enticing. So was it scripted or unscripted? Was it brutalist or baroque? Like any piece of art, it is how you want to interpret it. And it was art. From Warholism to Monet you could see in that first goal anything you wanted to, you could apply any perspective you have of life into what Leeds United offered up as a simple assemblage of passing and movement, and take great joy from it.

The seeds of that goal were planted over a year ago. We are now seeing the fruits and it is wonderful, but it is about familiarity and continuity and being programmed to do the right things and make the right decisions.

What makes Stuart Dallas start to make the run on goal when Adam Forshaw has the ball on the halfway line, seemingly meandering with little intent? That is when Dallas makes the run, and that is when the goal is scored, a decision to do something because it will make something else happen. This goal was sublime football, it was succulent, it was adorable, it was performance art, but it was also acted out with the devious cunning and the mechanical precision of a break-building snooker player thinking six shots ahead with clinical and exacting method.

Dallas starts to make the run when Forshaw has the ball because he is thinking three passes ahead. With a shuffle of chalk and with panache, delicacy, a bit of side spin and mixing ornamental flourish with cold-blooded finalism the ball went from Forshaw to Jack Harrison to Pablo to Dallas, across the flawless green baize, and it’s in the back of the net with every Stoke player aghast and astonished and involuntarily mumbling “snooker loopy nuts are we” under their cursed breath.

It could so easily have not happened. We could have been robbed of that moment, our lives empty and bereft, had Stuart Dallas not made that decision to run. And what prompted him to make that decision? Just like Helder Costa’s run at Salford City that triggered Jamie Shackleton’s pass for the opening goal. Was it superior fitness? Was it knowing the system better? Was it trusting the manager more? Or was it trusting his team-mates more?

In truth it is probably a combination of all these factors, but in essence it is the living and working example of what continuity can bring. And it is the marked difference between what Leeds have now and why Stoke City are struggling with the same problems under different managers and having made six first-team changes from the previous game.

Perhaps I should apologise for writing a thousand words to describe one goal, but context is everything. And that goal was everything. It won the game in an instant. It perfectly depicted Bielsa’s Leeds and it perfectly depicted the benefits of continuity, repetition, trust, being bold and making the right decisions. It is what we’ve never had, it is what we all wanted, and it’s happening right now before our very eyes.
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Re: In the Press

Postby SCOTTISH LEEDS » 29 Aug 2019, 11:34

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