In the Press

Leeds United news here, transfer rumours, club affairs, players, fans, etc.
Specific match discussions should go in the category below.

Re: In the Press

Postby SCOTTISH LEEDS » 03 Sep 2019, 11:47

Jon Howe's usual LeedsLive column:-

Football can be a cruel game, and in Leeds United's case it can be downright malicious. Or at least it feels that way.

Saturday’s 90th-minute defeat at home to Swansea City came with last season’s tri-fold Elland Road calamities against Derby County, Wigan Athletic and Sheffield United still horribly fresh in our memories. And while we may take some comfort from getting this season’s trauma out of the way before the end of August, there’s no guarantee that we won’t encounter this kind of wholesale injustice again.

In truth, compared to the way Leeds battered Sheffield United with no reward, Swansea’s win at Elland Road was not so much smash and grab, more taking candy from a baby. It was too easy. Swansea didn’t need to act out a masterful gameplan, just wait until a misfiring Leeds had run out of ideas. A 0-0 draw felt hugely unsatisfactory, but a defeat was unthinkable. Until it happened. And with any defeat in such circumstances, a feeling that you are regressing to childhood is hard to temper.

Having controlled possession and dominated with chances, Leeds lost the game to a scuffed shot that somehow eluded half the team in its path. Seeing the ball ripple the net brought out the toddler in everyone. It wasn’t fair. It was a snapshot of something so fundamentally wrong that it was difficult to compute. It was like watching a top-heavy ice cream topple from our undeveloped hands, out of our pram and on to the unforgiving gravel path below. We can stare at it for a few seconds wondering if it is real, or just something we have imagined as our worst nightmare. We had everything we wanted in our grasp, but there it was now, plain as day, and staring us in the face. Almost mockingly.

The ball in our net in the 90th minute was an upturned ice cream, and we wanted to wail. We had been wholly wronged. It seemed like somehow we would be able to turn back time and replay the incident with the right outcome, because surely life wasn’t like this? We wanted our mum. We were isolated and defenceless, but mums can make everything better. But instead of our mums we had the referee, and he awarded a goal and pointed to the centre circle for a restart, like a hateful seagull swooping down to scoop up our Vanilla 99 and fly away to devour it, probably even dropping half of it in the sea just to rub in the profound absence of fair play and common decency.

Here, we were awarded a mere four minutes of injury time, as if that would change anything. This wasn’t Leeds United’s day and it was very clear. Every cross was floaty and without conviction, every run was mistimed, every connection was misdirected. But where your mum could buy you a new ice cream to replace the old one and, in an instant, make everything better in the world, football fans get no such reprieve, just the joy of watching gleeful away fans disbelieving their luck, and then the slow trudge into town and the post-mortem and the long wait to put this result behind us.

There is no new ice cream for us, no mechanism for instant exoneration from the pain of what has just unfolded before us.
Amongst the fervent gnashing of teeth after Saturday’s crushing final whistle was the undeniable notion that Leeds had been the masters of their own downfall. And while you couldn’t say it was a bad performance, the fact that the standout players were the likes of Stuart Dallas, both centre halves and Kalvin Phillips, tells its own story. Leeds were ponderous and indecisive where it mattered and having heard stories and watched videos of how scintillating Leeds have been on the road in recent weeks, the fact that the massed congregation are fed only scraps at Elland Road only fuelled the paranoia and the sense that we were somehow being discriminated against by the universe.

Being honest, there was not much wrong with how Leeds played, but when it is continually only the finishing touch that is missing, it is hard to point to anything that can improve it. You can’t coach composure, but you can help people make better decisions. Some weeks it will work, some it won’t, but where Leeds perhaps have an advantage this season is that they have quality on the bench that can add that finishing touch, ignoring for a moment the two half chances Eddie Nketiah was unable to put away.

The overriding outcome from Saturday’s first defeat of the season, was that now may be the time to give Helder Costa and Nketiah more game time. As a reaction to such a shattering defeat, that is understandable, but Marcelo Bielsa is not known for such emotional retorts. In his own mind, nothing from Saturday’s game will have dissuaded him from the line of thinking he has developed over the summer, and throughout last season. But Costa’s substitute cameo certainly suggested that he is the creative spark that can lift Leeds when Pablo has days like Saturday, and when Leeds are searching desperately for inspiration from somewhere. And ultimately, it is up to Costa to maintain a position in the front and centre of Bielsa’s thoughts.

Right now, the elephant in the room is Leeds United’s home form, and in truth, nobody really has the strength to absorb many more kidney punches like Saturday’s, even if the Swansea defeat was way too early to be deemed significant in any way. Leeds will find form at home, and Helder Costa will find a place in this side, and Leeds will start to finish off the half chances that come their way. Because it is a long season and many things will change.

Football works in cycles, and in a campaign as arduous and relentless as the one English football serves up, you know your time will come. While Leeds suffered the body blow of a 90th-minute defeat on Saturday, we know we will be replenished ourselves by a fully undeserved late winner at some point this season. Preferably at Millwall. So we might have to wait for that ice cream, and we might really want it now, but when it comes we know it will taste much sweeter, because of the one we dropped.
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Re: In the Press

Postby SCOTTISH LEEDS » 04 Sep 2019, 09:54

What has happened to the Hockaday squad:-

https://www.leeds-live.co.uk/sport/leed ... s-16858240

Interesting reading.
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Re: In the Press

Postby Leonickroberts » 04 Sep 2019, 11:59

SCOTTISH LEEDS wrote:What has happened to the Hockaday squad:-

https://www.leeds-live.co.uk/sport/leed ... s-16858240

Interesting reading.


A pretty fascinating reminder of exactly how far we've come over the past few years, cheers for sharing SL.

The thought of Bellusci's failed bicycle kick clearances, Adryan's salmon-dive, Michael Tonge being our best option out wide, and our perpetual faith that Tommaso Bianchi would turn out to be creative engine genuinely gives me the chills. And I still can't for the life of me remember who on earth Chris Dawson was.
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Re: In the Press

Postby Another Northern Soul » 04 Sep 2019, 12:07

Leonickroberts wrote:
SCOTTISH LEEDS wrote:What has happened to the Hockaday squad:-

https://www.leeds-live.co.uk/sport/leed ... s-16858240

Interesting reading.


A pretty fascinating reminder of exactly how far we've come over the past few years, cheers for sharing SL.

The thought of Bellusci's failed bicycle kick clearances, Adryan's salmon-dive, Michael Tonge being our best option out wide, and our perpetual faith that Tommaso Bianchi would turn out to be creative engine genuinely gives me the chills. And I still can't for the life of me remember who on earth Chris Dawson was.


Chris Dawson was highly regarded for quite a while but failed to make the grade in the first team. I think he was too 'slight' and not particularly dynamic which made him an also-ran but I could well be wrong. TBF to Bianchi, he got injured quite early on, I think he showed a bit of promise but needed to be fitter and tougher to have any effect on midfield. I really disliked Bellusci, made worse by the fact he was witnessed at ER at a match (he wasn't playing in) erm powdering his nose near the East Stand boxes :lol:
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Re: In the Press

Postby SCOTTISH LEEDS » 04 Sep 2019, 12:52

Jermaine Beckford speaks about that goal at Old Trafford:-

https://www.leeds-live.co.uk/sport/leed ... d-16862407
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Re: In the Press

Postby SiMamu » 04 Sep 2019, 13:36

SCOTTISH LEEDS wrote:What has happened to the Hockaday squad:-

https://www.leeds-live.co.uk/sport/leed ... s-16858240

Interesting reading.

The pedant in me wants to point out they forgot a few players.

The Italians brought in were strange. All of them had some promise. Silvestri was probably the best shot stopper we've had these past few years, but he struggled with everything else required of a goalkeeper (particularly in England). Bellusci had footballing promise, but was, quite simply, a moron. If Bielsa disliked Jansson's attitude, I can only imagine what he would have thought of Bellusci. Bianchi was good on the ball and at recycling possession, but he did not have the fitness of intensity for the Championship. Doukara was another with promise and a questionable attitude, definitely had his moments though. Antenucci was supremely talented but maybe didn't yet suit the way the Championship was at that point. He was, maybe, a few years early before the Championship went up a level in the technical ability required. Berardi was obviously an enigma. The weakest technically, out of the outfield players, but he made up for it with his attitude and application, which is definitely why he has endured.

Worst part about the group was the general lack of professionalism, like smoking before games, and the power they had, with a direct line to Cellino.
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Re: In the Press

Postby Leonickroberts » 04 Sep 2019, 13:44

Another Northern Soul wrote:
Leonickroberts wrote:
SCOTTISH LEEDS wrote:What has happened to the Hockaday squad:-

https://www.leeds-live.co.uk/sport/leed ... s-16858240

Interesting reading.


A pretty fascinating reminder of exactly how far we've come over the past few years, cheers for sharing SL.

The thought of Bellusci's failed bicycle kick clearances, Adryan's salmon-dive, Michael Tonge being our best option out wide, and our perpetual faith that Tommaso Bianchi would turn out to be creative engine genuinely gives me the chills. And I still can't for the life of me remember who on earth Chris Dawson was.


Chris Dawson was highly regarded for quite a while but failed to make the grade in the first team. I think he was too 'slight' and not particularly dynamic which made him an also-ran but I could well be wrong. TBF to Bianchi, he got injured quite early on, I think he showed a bit of promise but needed to be fitter and tougher to have any effect on midfield. I really disliked Bellusci, made worse by the fact he was witnessed at ER at a match (he wasn't playing in) erm powdering his nose near the East Stand boxes :lol:


Bloody 'ell, it's hard to think of anything less professional than this. :D
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Re: In the Press

Postby Daz5 » 04 Sep 2019, 15:18

The Duke was probley the best of the bunch ,, that Goal at Nottingham !! wow
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Re: In the Press

Postby Sniffer » 04 Sep 2019, 18:56

I liked Chris Dawson. He was deemed too short by many, if I remember correctly, but he was very creative. He might have worked playing Bielsaball but back then we were playing bollocksball.
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Re: In the Press

Postby superfox » 10 Sep 2019, 12:09

https://www.skysports.com/football/news ... e-and-more

Interesting analysis from Andy Hinchcliffe regarding Leeds.
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