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 Aaron » 06 Dec 2019, 09:34

rigger wrote:I wouldn't Aaron. I think we may be liable for copyright infringement.
Thank you for offering though as I was curious about the site. How good is it? Isn't it mainly EPL though?

I admitedly haven't used it much. There's only five championship teams covered out of all of the Football League, but, all Prem teams are covered.
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Re: In the Press

Postby rigger » 06 Dec 2019, 14:42

From today's Guardian :
Marcelo Bielsa has history on mind as he plots to end Leeds’ top-flight exile
At the end of a week in which Don Revie’s iconic team received the freedom of the city, Leeds travel to Huddersfield on Saturday with a cautious optimism promotion can be secured
Marcelo Bielsa’s side are unbeaten in eight Championship games, having won the past five, and are second in the table. Photograph: Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images

hat do Winston Churchill, Nelson Mandela and Don Revie’s famously formidable Leeds United team of the 1960s and 1970s have in common? The answer, potentially a fiendish pub quiz contender, is that all three have been recipients of the freedom of the city, with surviving members of Revie’s squad receiving this rare civic honour as recently as Wednesday.

As a suited and booted Norman Hunter, Johnny Giles, Allan Clarke, Peter Lorimer, Eddie Gray et al gathered to mark an arguably overdue occasion, Revie’s latest successor was plotting the conclusion of another achingly long wait. Marcelo Bielsa does not really do social formality – the 64-year-old Argentinian attended the club’s recent black tie, 100-year anniversary celebrations in tracksuit and trainers – but he does have an acute appreciation of Elland Road history and knows it is high time Leeds ended a Premier League exile now in its 16th season.

They travel to struggling Huddersfield on Saturday lunchtime unbeaten in eight Championship games and having won the past five yet remain two points behind the leaders, West Brom, and only five ahead of third-placed Fulham.

If the scars of last spring’s late promotion stumble remain raw, there is cautious optimism it will be different this time. Even so, tricky challenges loom, most immediately at Huddersfield where Bielsa must replace the suspended Kalvin Phillips. Not only does the team’s all-important quasi-sweeper customarily fill the anchoring role between midfield and defence, but Phillips segues seamlessly into the backline when the full-backs advance as Leeds overload opposition rearguards by switching from 4-1-4-1 to a fluid 3-3-1-3.

“It seems like Bielsa’s players are operated by remote control,” says Huddersfield’s manager, Danny Cowley. “You only get to that place with very good coaching.” His brother and assistant, Nicky Cowley, is equally admiring. “Bielsa manages to get his team all playing with one brain,” he enthuses.

Ben White almost certainly possesses the necessary intelligence to deputise for Phillips. The 22-year-old Brighton loanee has excelled at centre-half, confounding those who suspected Bielsa had erred in offloading the influential, if sometimes slightly rebellious, Pontus Jansson to Brentford last summer.

White’s blend of technical assurance, passing vision – his accuracy ranks in the top 20 of Championship outfield players – and crisply incisive tackling has not only tightened the defence but left him under near-constant surveillance from Liverpool. Jürgen Klopp will doubtless be intrigued to see how White fares in a new position.

A somewhat bigger impending hurdle for Bielsa is the strong possibility that Kiko Casilla, the team’s £35,000-a-week former Real Madrid goalkeeper, clean sheet specialist and seemingly near indispensable sweeper-keeper, will be banned for between six and 12 games should he be found guilty of racially abusing the Charlton forward Jonathan Leko. Casilla has denied the Football Association’s charge stemming from an incident in September and his case is due to be heard by an independent FA commission before Christmas.

Considering his deputy is Illan Meslier, an untried 19-year-old French keeper on loan from Ligue Two side Lorient, Bielsa may require temporary cover next month. The worry is that identifying on-budget candidates possessing the intricate footwork and high-accuracy short passing synonymous with Casilla – and the side’s build-from-the-back credo – could be easier said than done for the club’s algorithm-juggling director of football, Victor Orta.

Angus Kinnear, the Leeds managing director, although fully endorsing the FA’s laudable zero-tolerance racism stance, questions the credibility of the ruling body’s justice system. “We fully support such a serious allegation – which Kiko vehemently denies – being subjected to full investigation and disciplinary process,” he says. “Our only concern is that the burden of proof for an FA hearing is ‘not beyond all reasonable doubt’ – the court standard – but ‘on the balance of probability’. We believe that, in cases of this seriousness, the higher standard of proof is more appropriate; one man’s reputation is at stake.”

Back on the training ground, Bielsa’s bar is famously high but there have been times – see Athletic Bilbao and Marseille – when his teams have apparently burnt out. The way in which Leeds pass at breakneck pace while, courtesy of kaleidoscopic positional inter-changing, pressing opponents and space is wonderful but the sheer intensity involved is undeniably draining.

“You come off the training pitch properly tired,” says the former Leeds forward Kemar Roofe, now with Anderlecht, as he recalls routinely rehearsing five separate formations and full-blooded 11 v 11 training games. “You’re empty, you can’t do extra finishing practice. But I learned the body can do so much more than you believe.”

If the daily regimen is unrelenting – players face daily weigh-ins, skin-fold tests and strict diets – it is undeniably a meritocracy with Bielsa selecting XIs on what his eyes tell him rather than price tag, reputation or favours. This means the Arsenal loanee striker Eddie Nketiah has not been involved as much as his parent club would like and, despite Bielsa wanting to retain him, he may be recalled next month.

Newcastle’s Dwight Gayle seems an obvious replacement but would cost £15m, challenging in the era of financial fair play rules. Although Liverpool are considering loaning their promising young forward Rhian Brewster, who is also interesting Borussia Dortmund, they want game-time guarantees that Bielsa declines to grant.

Compromise is not a word that features in the Leeds manager’s extensive vocabulary but his preferred sole striker, Patrick Bamford, requires support so some sort of diplomatic new year attacking accommodation may need reaching if promotion is to be secured. Then the campaign for Bielsa to be granted the freedom of the city can properly begin.
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Marcelo Bielsa's assistant

Postby TheCoachesVoice » 23 Jun 2020, 10:16

"I thought I knew about football when I started working with Marcelo Bielsa. But it took just two weeks alongside him to realise that there was a new world beyond, in which I could develop and learn."

Hi all. We've published an exclusive long read with Marcelo Bielsa's long-term assistant, Javier Torrente, and wanted to share it with you here in the hope you'd enjoy it as much as the rest of our readers. We've plenty of other Leeds United-related content, including another long read with David O'Leary, about the 2000/01 season, to come.


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The Bielsista: ... -torrente/
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Re: Marcelo Bielsa's assistant

Postby Davycc » 23 Jun 2020, 10:53

Hi Welcome to the forum. Just a small point, it's always nice to introduce yourself to the members first, especially if you visit to promote something, you're more likely going to get a better response. On this occasion we'll let the thread run and I'm sure you're blog will get a few visitors from here. I'd hate to hear nothing more until your next piece is published.
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Re: In the Press

Postby SCOTTISH LEEDS » 29 Jun 2020, 12:09

This is a Fulham fans thoughts on Saturdays game:-

Fulham hadn’t lost a Championship meeting against Leeds United since March 2015, drawing 5 and winning 2. With good omens on our side in that respect, we were anticipating a spirited reaction after falling short of the mark against Brentford, but we were eventually force fed the usual tripe as Marcelo Bielsa’s table-toppers proved our spinelessness on Sky Sports.

I’ll ignore those saying “it definitely wasn’t a 3-0 game”, because it was, unmistakably, a stone walled 3-0 loss. The Bees exposed faults and Leeds drove a whacking great wedge through our chances of gracing the automatics. Even if we do miraculously make the cut, we won’t be deserved of it.

This isn’t a sullen, pouting smear session, it’s fact. Fulham is nowhere near ready for a return to the Premier League, not with Scott Parker in charge. We’ve still wounds to lick after the last time we were defaced in the top-flight and now we’ve got to come to terms with another incriminating loss at the mercy of a side that are genuine candidates. I’ll take a few tears now instead of a torrential outburst next year, when we’re completely out of our depth and hung by the boxer shorts. I love our club, but enough is enough.
Writing Off Promotion

From back to front, top to bottom along with all the detrimental bits in between, Fulham are not ready for promotion and we aren’t even worthy of a place in the Play-Offs at this rate. What we saw, again, was an adverse performance from the Whites but now I’m not even surprised, our abject approach has become an expectation, and we’ve only been back in business a fortnight. Clinging onto the ropes, still bruised from the weekend before, Leeds landed a substantial blow to Fulham’s faltering fight for distinction.

Picture it and be realistic, if we were to return to the big-time next term, surrounded by the tactical cream of the professional platform, we would be lured into the beast’s lair and mauled, senselessly. We’ve players that are pathetically despondent, a so-called manager that doesn’t have or understand the concept of a surefire strategic system and we’ve been mugged of our ambition, decency and dignity. I must stress, this isn’t an instant knee-jerk reaction, we’ve been markedly average since the start of the campaign and I’ve next to no confidence in the camp.

Maybe it’s far too soon for us to seriously consider our future in the top-flight – I personally believe we need at least another year in the second division to really establish our identity once more, because we’re nothing more than a faceless nonentity in the present day, waiting for another hard lesson to come our way. Two games in after Covid-19 halted proceedings and I can’t identify improvements or rectifications, all I recognise is passive, unassertive subservience. There’s still a lot of football to play and numerous obstacles to navigate, but in the space of 180 minutes, we’ve been stripped of our dignity and robbed of our credibility as a significant contender.

Penetration Beats Possession

Bielsa, as we know, is regarded as one of the game’s most demanding, innovative masterminds. Revered for his hard-hitting, energetic philosophy, Leeds are without question the Championship’s fittest outfit and it really showed against Parker’s deficient collective. Where Fulham laboured in vain to pass the hosts off the pitch with innocuous sequences across the lower regions of the park, Leeds cancelled out any semblance of an even top of the table clash with devastatingly incisive counter attacks. Penetration, for that matter, definitely beats possession, hands down.

We’ve been found out. Brentford compounded our weakness in retreat and so did Leeds, it was an almost carbon copy assault on our creaky back four. The 5 goals we’ve hopelessly conceded since resuming the season have arisen along our left, with Joe Bryan being the weak link. Parker wants Bryan to push on and support our offensive line, I get that, but it leaves us wide open for a pasting once we lose custody of the ball. Bryan is an awful defender at best, but with no cover on the left, we’re our own worst enemy. We openly invite pressure with our predictability, we’re not fortified or equipped to stamp out the slightest inkling of trouble and Saturday highlights just how vulnerable we are.

At one point, Fulham held 65% possession but for what? We’re not well drilled or efficient, we’re terrified of losing the ball because when we do, we’re oblivious and pregnable. Leeds presented a faultless tutorial on the break and they weren’t even that impressive, at all. They were slack on the ball, irrational in constricting possession, but they still made a conclusive mockery of our inferior tendencies in every department. Let’s not forget, we have pace, we have power, we have ingenuity, we have vision but as for a cutting edge? A sharpness to our offensive procedure? Impotent, is how I’d put it, a floppy, languid disappointment. “Bielsa ball” isn’t necessarily attractive, but it’s progressive. Parker’s programme is engaging for the best part of 30 seconds, then the thick top layer of concealer rubs off to unveil its hideously tired complexion. All talk, no trousers, mutton dressed as lamb, we’ve been catfished.
Harrison Versus Harry

Deployed at the base of our midfield as a supposedly solid double pivot, it soon became clear that only half of that partnership was up to the requisite standard. To my left, we have a sturdy, robust, durable competitor in Harrison Reed and to my right, we have a petulant, temperamental, volatile numbskull in Harry Arter. Who’s your money on? On paper, idealistically, Reed and Arter should be dynamic Championship duo but for that to work effectively, the work load has to be shared equally – it wasn’t.

Reed was a bright spark centrally, busting a gut to disrupt Leeds on the parameter of our 18-yard box and initiating controlled (albeit futile) spells on the ball. The 25-year-old was outstanding, a majestic enforcer within a grossly mediocre outfit, straying from the task at hand was an absurdity. Arter, in stark contrast, chased shadows that weren’t even there and was a defective hindrance to our already outfought game plan, as per. One’s a Southampton loanee, turfed out of St. Mary’s to gain vital experience and the other’s presumed to be a versed Premier League contender, masquerading as a fully-fledged Republic of Ireland international. The gulf in quality between the two is simply staggering.

In all fairness, though, Reed and Arter did begin proceedings positively, but as soon as Arter basically dished up an assist for Leeds’ 9th-minute opener, his head virtually exploded. One error set the tone for the remainder of his afternoon alongside Reed, who remained calm and composed throughout. Which of the two is meant to lead by example? Reed, who’s still learning his trade or Arter, who’s experience at this level should shine through bleak mistakes. Parker must be copping off with his brother-in-law, I can’t see any other reason why he’d start the sulky 30-year-old otherwise. If Arter starts against Queens Park Rangers on Tuesday, I’ll be chucking limbs at drywall.

Aleksandar Mitrovic rocked up to Elland Road with a fresh trim, a bonce plucked directly from Tom Cairney’s stylist, but his slick new look didn’t do him any favours, let’s be honest. Mitro’ hasn’t found his shooting boots and his frustration boiled over in the early stages, after maliciously elbowing Ben White in the chops. Fortunately for the spiteful Serbian, Tony Harrington didn’t see the incident as it happened, but he could face retrospective action, and that’s exactly what he deserves. Steve McClaren evidently detests the hot-headed striker – perhaps he tapped the Mrs – but he’s spot on about his vicious inclination.

If we’ve any hope, we have to keep our discipline in the face of adversity and if Mitro’ is to be slapped with a lengthy ban, we’re well and truly shafted. He hasn’t hit the target, he’s been stranded, shackled, but we are not in a position where we can go without his industry up top. We don’t have any other options that even come close to matching his presence. Aboubakar Kamara’s a handful, yes, but his recent absence is troubling. He’s seemingly vanished from Parker’s plans, and that doesn’t bode well for his standing in the club’s pecking order.

Mitro’ stung the palms of Illan Meslier, he nodded inches wide from a corner, but he isn’t firing on all cylinders. We count on the 25-year-old so heavily to change games, to be an inspirational spark and maybe that’s distracting him in front of the target. The burden of expectation, recognising he’s our main source of goals, that has to take its toll at some point, right? I’m sure that once he finds the back of the net again, a flurry will follow, but it’s a matter of when and indeed how. He isn’t getting the service he desires and he’s being systematically marked out of games, nullifying his deadly impact in promising zones. He’s a ticking time bomb and now, more than ever, he has to channel his energy for better, not worse.

Anyone Seen Cairney?

Returning to his formative stomping ground to face his boyhood club, Tom Cairney was a muted element at Elland Road, with very little effect on the game. Off the pace and held hostage by Kalvin Phillips’ midfield insurgents, TC fizzled out and showed no signs of recovering. This is all too familiar, we’ve encountered this before, Cairney’s devoid of confidence and we’re paying the price for it. Can’t be a good thing, can it? Our skipper, at the business end of the campaign where everything is there for the taking, is flatter than witch’s tit.

He toils through periods where his poise is rock bottom, a shadow of his potential self, and we rely on his creative flair, just as much as we depend on Mitro’s potency. When he’s running cold, so do the Whites. He couldn’t lodge a firm foothold on Saturday afternoon and he was caught out far too regularly. That isn’t our resident metronome out there, that’s an impostor, a pretender and if he, of all people, isn’t gunning for a last-gasp push for automatic promotion, who are we fooling?

He’s been here before in his career, he’s tasted bitter defeat and sweet success at this stage of the campaign but his mind is obviously elsewhere. ‘Aubs FC’ and all that, but I reckon fatherhood is definitely consuming his attention to detail at the office. After spending quality time with the nipper on a daily basis, going back to work must’ve really thrown his routine. Perhaps he doesn’t care that much anymore, could it be that he realises this season’s been particularly underwhelming, along with the rest of us? I’m praying that isn’t the case, but I haven’t been bowled over by his relentless work-rate and application, so I’m guessing he’s already admitted defeat.
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Re: In the Press

Postby rigger » 29 Jun 2020, 12:26

Good post that - thank you - and a fascinating insight into what it's like to be a Fulham fan.

Sounds a bit familiar, some of it, albeit with different names .. though lots of the same kind of moans.

During the match on Saturday, I was chatting with an old mate in Selby, my nephew in Hong Kong and an ex-colleague and Fulham fan in Bristol.
One is cynical and is old enough to know we could still blow; another is young and hopeful, certain that this is our year; the third is pretty much the bloke who wrote the above.

I think what was telling for me was that despite all that possession, they didn't put us to the sword.
It's almost like a reversal of the Cardiff game ..

It's a hellish thing to be a fan in the Championship : great division, mental football but oh so unpredictable and with a happy ending about one season in twenty.

... or should I say, sixteen ??
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Re: In the Press

Postby TheCoachesVoice » 29 Jun 2020, 14:15

“Dacourt overheard the Anderlecht manager saying our players were overrated – that was a huge motivation for the return match.”

Hi again, all,

As discussed, our long read with David O'Leary on the memorable 2000/01 season has gone live. We hope you enjoy. Young, Naive, and Fearless: ... ns-league/


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Re: In the Press

Postby NottinghamWhite » 01 Jul 2020, 13:49

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Re: In the Press

Postby Nic » 02 Jul 2020, 09:58

NottinghamWhite wrote:

Radrizzani cited Brighton as the model of sustainable growth that he is looking to achieve. “Over the next five years, we will continue to build a club and infrastructure capable of succeeding in the world’s most competitive league,” he said.

“As a model, I look at clubs like Brighton and the success they’ve achieved gradually on a sustainable budget. I want to take a similar approach.”

Prepare for moans if we go up and don't spend. TBH it is sensible. Whilst if we go up we hope we'll stay up, we need to be mindful of potentially coming back down in first couple of years, so it is a case consolidating and aiming for survival.
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Re: In the Press

Postby NottinghamWhite » 02 Jul 2020, 10:54

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