Ahead of tonight’s clash with Aston Villa Keith Ingham spoke with the gangliest bowler you’ve ever seen and Villa Fan Chris Herbert.
Chris, a quick reminder how long you’ve followed ‘The Villa’ and why you picked them as your team?
Followed them all my life and the first game I saw was away at Bradford City which Villa won 4-2. I chose them due to my grandad & dad.
Favourite recent era or one from the history books?
I would say the football they played under Martin O'neill was the best I've ever seen at Villa Park. Good cup runs and 4 consecutive 6th placed finishes on the bounce.
Favourite ever player or players?
Past Players: Dwight Yorke, Olof Mellberg, Ashley Young,
Current Players: Kodjia, Terry, Grealish
Steve Bruce hasn’t always been a fans favourite because of his City links, do you think he’s done a good job thus far?
Poor season last year, but a lot of injuries didn’t help the cause. This season has been a lot better, just inconsistent. Beat top of the league Wolves comfortable 4-1, the don’t win any of them next 3 against QPR, Bolton and Hull (no disrespect to any of them, but should have been 9 points there).
Robert Snodgrass has been tearing defences up this season. Signing of the season or could you mention another?
Keeping Sam Johnstone on loan again for the season, plus the signing of John Terry rank amongst the signings of the season, but the Snodgrass signing is most definitely up there as well. Hopefully Villa can keep hold of them all.
Player who typifies your team?
Player you’ve seen come through this season you rate highly?
Jack Grealish. Had a lot of potential in recent years but never lived upto it. Although he has had a few niggling injuries this season, he has clearly shown what he can do.
Top two to go up from the Championship, one to go up via the Playoffs?
Wolves, Fulham up automatically, and I've got to say Villa for playoffs haven’t i?!
Three for the drop this season?
Burton, Sunderland, Bolton
Prediction and Scorers for Fridays televised match?
Heart says 3-1 Villa. Grealish, Hourihane and Grabban. Head says 1-1. Grealish
We’d like to wish Chris the best of luck as the Villains continue their promotion push. At least one team in this conversation can have a good go!
By Keith Ingham
This week’s blog is dedicated to two of our own. You are always with us.
We remember you today and every day. God Bless Chris and Kevin.
Twitter post by Amy Kelly:
“18 years ago today, two of our own went to watch #lufc play away from home in the UEFA Cup, only they never made it home to their families.
“No one ever deserves to not return home safely from a football match.
Forever with us.
RIP Chris & Kev 💛💙”
Paul Heckingbottom on Sunderland: “We know they have good players in the side. They find themselves near the bottom of the league but on their day they are a really dangerous team. We're expecting to take the same approach as the Bolton and Fulham games and we want the three points.”
“They're down there because they've not produced as often as they can. But the approach we had the other night(at Fulham)is what we want going forward. A no fear approach and to express yourselves. The players have to believe."
On injuries: O’Kane(groin), Pennington(calf strain),Adam Forshaw (calf),Liam Cooper (torn thigh muscle),Andy Lonergan (stiff neck),Laurens De Bock (hamstring), Luke Ayling (ankle),Conor Shaughnessy (ankle) and Tyler Roberts (shin) are definitely out, but striker Roofe has now returned to training having missed the last six weeks with a calf injury picked in the 2-2 draw at Derby County on February 21. Heckingbottom said “We had him back last week but it was a bit too soon to involve him so Sunday he started and it was too soon to involve him Tuesday and we wanted to make sure we got as much work into him as possible.”
“What we hoped was initially a three-week injury, ended up rumbling on into five or six so it’s important to build him up to make sure he can have an impact when he gets on the pitch.”
There’s a lot of lessons from Leeds United’s draw at home to relegation threatened Sunderland.
However, instead of adding questions to the drawing board it seems that the club have focused on what pawns can be addd to the chess board.
Reports suggest that Leeds had their eyes set on a possible summer addition during their game with the Black Cats.
Which player? Lynden Gooch. Leeds are said to be very interested in the players ability and could potentially see him as a partner and eventual successor to the ageing Pablo Hernandez.
The 22-year old midfielder was a lynchpin in Sunderland’s attack at Elland Road and is clearly blessed with skill and pace akin (if not on the same level at this moment) to Leeds’ marvel Hernandez.
Gooch, who made his debut for Sunderland in August ‘15 has only featured 31 times for the wearside club but has now found his feet as the club struggle against relegation.
The young midfielder had an interesting start in English football, having originally signed for Sunderland at the age of 10, Gooch did not become a fully fledged player until his 16th Birthday. Instead he chose to travel to Sunderland and train during his summer holidays while staying at the Santa Cruz Breakers - a developmental squad in California.
Now a first team necessity, it is highly unlikely Sunderland will be able to keep the live-wire when there relegation is sealed in the coming weeks and Leeds are said to be ready to make a move.
A market value between £800k and £1.2mil means the player is a cut price option that adds strength in depth without breaking the bank, something Leeds will be very happy with.
Should Gooch be a Leeds player? Have your say in the comments below.
By Ryan Ingham
Although not everyone’s cup of tea, Víctor Orta has experienced a marmite season in his first season at Elland Road.
The DoF has been made the scapegoat for Leeds’ summer additions and has been the man for Radrizzani to discuss any football related issue this season.
Although some signings have shined this season including Saiz and somewhat Lasogga (he did start the season very well). Orta has been just as accountable for the lack of enthusiasm towards Felix Weidwald and somewhat Caleb Ekuban and Jay Roy Grot.
Orta’s time at Leeds could now set to be up with reports suggesting that the Spaniard is a target for Deportivo La Coruna, who want him to head their scouting and recruitment division.
With talks dating back to early March, it seems Orta is willing to entertain the idea of returning to Spain, where we worked under Spaniard Monchi at Sevilla from 2006 to 2013. His experience at working with Zenit, Elche and Boro seem to be an enticing prospect for the fallen Spanish giants.
A move away from Orta’s Transfer dictatorship could see some power returned to head coach Paul Heckingbottom when it comes to recruitment. A more English standard of recruitment means that the gaps that needs to be filled with the correct players may bare some valued fruit for next season.
However, the loss of Orta could somewhat frustrate Leeds Owner Andrea Radrizanni, who will lose one of his most trusted advisers during his reign at Leeds United.
Is Orta leaving a plus or minus for Leeds? Have your say in the comments below.
By Ryan Ingham
Leeds United could be set to reach down into League One for an exceptional signing this summer.
The report comes from Kickoff, who state that Leeds are interested in bringing midfielder Jon Nolan into the midfield fold for the next season.
Leeds, who have seen a giant rotation throughout the season switching between the youth of Ronaldo Vieira and Kalvin Phillips along with the experience of Eunan O’Kane and new signing Adam Forshaw.
Although Forshaw has become a key figure in the Whites midfield, O’Kane has left much to be desired and the two youngsters in some part have seen gaps in playing time due to indecisive management. There’s no doubt both Phillips and Vieira are stars for the future, but if they are to grow they need to be more consistent.
Nolan however has shown great strengths and ability during his time at Shrewsbury and looks set for a move up the leagues even if Town can’t break into the top spots currently occupied by Blackburn and Wigan.
Nolan has been a key figure for the promotion chasers picking up five goals and nine assists during this campaign, which has brought forward interested parties including Norwich City, Ipswich Town and Sheffield United, who are known for bringing through talented football league players and making them Championship stars.
If Leeds are to pursue their interest in Nolan, a departure could happen for the unliked O’Kane, who has struggled to win over any fans appreciation since the season started.
Is Nolan the battle hardened midfielder Leeds need? Or should they be looking at someone more established? Have your say in the comments below.
By Ryan Ingham
Leeds United may have a lesson to learn on targeting the right players for the Championship, but it doesn’t seem to be happening just yet.
The club have seen a multitude of additions join the club for the youth ranks and look set to continue this trend as they turn their focus to young English talent.
The January signings of Ryan Edmundson and Sam Dalby have given the club a taste for English prospects and next on the list could be Ben Wilmot.
The young centre back has been a sensation for League Two side Stevenage and his stardom is only rising with top tier Premiership sides now interested in signing him.
Enquiries by Tottenham and Manchester City are said to be interested in the defender, with Watford also ready to meet his £1.5million valuation and a deal said to be in negotiation.
However, according to HITC, Leeds could also be in with a shout when it comes to the young 18-year old.
With the club severely short of central defenders and the opportunity to blood in a young English talent straight away, a summer move could be very likely.
What’s your opinion? Should Leeds continue their youth recruitment or focus on bringing in top talent to help their promotion push next season? Have your say in the comments below.
By Ryan Ingham
Ahead of tomorrow’s game with Preston, Keith Ingham spoke with Dan Wilson, a Preston fan who’s enjoying a good season.
How long have you supported Preston North End?
Favourite ever player or players for Preston?
Graham Alexander and David nugent
Most memorable era or season as a Preston fan?
2014/15 we finally won a playoff final! And it was 4-0 (the highest ever playoff final win, what a way to do it!)
Jermaine Beckford: Opinion on the ex Leeds striker?
Excellent in League One he scored a Hattrick at Wembley. Couldn’t hack the championship his attitude was poor.
Alex Neil has done a superb job this season, is he the man to continue to take the club forward even if you are unsuccessful in gaining a playoff place this season?
100% yes! He has built a young side on top of what Grayson did. He plays a high press game which causes opposition problems, we are better this season than we have for a long time!
Do you think it’s a good Championship or pretty average this season?
Competitive through it really.
Top two for promotion and the winner of the playoff final at Wembley?
Villa to win the playoffs
Three to go down from the Championship?
Prediction and Scorers for Tuesdays match?
Pne 2-1 Leeds
Maguire and barkhuizen for us, saiz for Leeds
We’d like to thank Dan for answering or questions and wish him the best of luck next season.
By Keith Ingham
Ahead of Saturday’s match, Keith Ingham spoke with Ryan Bestford once again and discussed what has been a tough season for the Black Cats.
Can you point to a few things why this season has been so disappointing?
The lack of investment that's got us in the position we are in. Also we have a fear of playing at home we tend to do well away from home because the crowd aren't on our backs when playing away.
Have you resigned yourself to seeing the team in Division One next season?
Yes I have, you spend a million pound in a Transfer Window you are always in danger of getting relegated
Do you blame the owners?
Yes I do, but I feel sorry for Chris Coleman because he hasn't had the money to buy new players.
Has the appointment of Chris Coleman made any significant difference to how the team has played since Simon Grayson was sacked?
A little bit,
Any players you think deserve credit for not giving up despite the poor season?
George Honeyman he's got passion and he's want to do well also wants to learn
A good player you think deserves criticism?
Jason Steele, he's is hopeless. He's doesn't commend his box very well.
A youngster or youngsters you feel could continue to improve next season?
Joel Asoro and Josh Maja. The young lads Asoro, Maja have a bright future ahead them self.
Do you think Wolves, Cardiff City or Fulham will be the two to go up, one to go up from the playoffs?
Wolverhampton Wanderers, Cardiff City to go up automatically also Fulham to go up through the plays offs
Three to go down from the Championship?
Barnsley, Sunderland and Burton Albion
Any Leeds player that has impressed you this season?
Pierre-Michel Lasogga also Alioski too.
Prediction and Scorers for Saturday’s Match?
Leeds United 1-2 Sunderland
Leeds United goalscorer will be Alioski
Sunderland goal scorers will be Mcgeady, Fletcher
Ha'way the lads
We’d like to thank Ryan for coming back and completing our interview and wish the best of luck for the remainder of a tough season.
By Keith Ingham