On the road with the Keighley Whites.
Today it's an 'away day' with a superb bunch of supporters.
Sheffield Wednesday v Leeds
Team: Green, Ayling, Bartley, Cooper(c),Taylor, Mowatt, Bridcutt, Vieira, Sacko, Antonsson, Wood.
A superb performance by Leeds and a very much deserved win, stand put performances by the back five to keep a clean sheet and Liam Bridcutt in midfield adding much needed 'metal' in that department, especially noticeable when Ronaldo Vieira received a bloody harsh yellow card, even when he'd won the ball.
He spoke to him and calmed him down, speaking volumes for his experience and in my view leadership, also Hadi Sacko who ripped the left back to pieces, every time he had the ball he was direct and such fantastic pace. He gave Antonsson the easiest goal the Swedish striker will score all season with a superb bit of link up play with Ayling near the penalty area.
All credit though to all involved with the team performance.
Onwards and hopefully Upwards and a great day out!
Men of the Match: Bartley and Cooper, rocks at the back.
Garry Monk: "We had a game plan and we followed it, attacked them down the flanks because going through the centre of midfield wouldn't have worked". About talk about his future beforehand was 'outside nonsense."
Small steps going forward, start of a journey, he ended by saying "My focus is my team. That's all I care about. I don't focus on outside nonsense. It means nothing to me. That'll always be the way."
Carlos Carvalhal: "I don't like excuses but the balance of this team is not 100 per cent. Our team didn't play at the level we usually play." He added that the impetus was to get the first goal, when Leeds got it they went for the second.
Andrew Butterwick (Travels of a Leeds fan) gives his thoughts on the excellent win at Hillsborough.
A very happy man too.
Many Thanks @MOTForever
Some positive words on social media for the promising youngster Ronaldo Vieira about his performance yesterday at Sheffield Wednesday, most said he gave the midfield balance. Myself I thought he had a decent game, only blemish was a very harsh booking for a challenge when he actually won the ball off the player.
Ahead of Saturday's clash at the County Groung, Keith Ingham spoke to Garry Housley about all things Forest.
How long have you followed Forest?
I have followed Forest for about 38 years. My first ever game was against wolves in 1978 and I have been a season ticket holder for 20 years. I'm also an away member too.
What was the main reason you decided they were your team?
I was born in Nottinghamshire and my grandad was from Nottingham and was born on the meadows which is just across the other side of the trent from the City Ground.
He first took me when I was 7 and thats where it all started (my dad is a derby county season ticket holder, but thankfully i didnt choose the dark side! lol)
We've both had Brian Clough as manager (we did for 44 days anyway) Your opinion of the man, was it him or his partnership with Peter Taylor?
Clough was the best thing to ever happen to Nottingham Forest. He was a brilliant man manager and thankfully your loss was our gain along with several trophies notably the 2 European cups (that could have been leeds lol)
One thing for sure he couldn't have done what he did without Peter Taylor and when their friendship broke down I don't think he was ever the same man although he still went on to win a few more trophies on his own after.
Stand out players during your time as a fan? Name as many as you like.
Stuart Pearce, Stan Collymoore, John Robertson, Trevor francis, John McGovern (the whole of the 79 and 80 european team really) Nigel Jepson, Nigel Clough, Lee Camp, Britt Assombalongoa, Michael Antonio to name a few.
We've both got 'questionable owners'. Your opinion on both Fawaz and Cellino?
Fawaz- There is no doubting his heart is in the right place and he has ploughed over a £100mill of his money into the club and he has a genuine love for all things Brian Clough.
But the off-field running of the club has been a shambles really. With court orders, bills not paid on time etc to name a few, numerous managers, damaging the name of the club; we are currently in the process of a potential takeover of the club by the owner of Olympiakos and although not official.
Marinakis seems to have been calling the shots with appointment of new manager Phillipe Montanier and the DOF pereira. Hopefully that will go through allowing Fawaz to just become a fan. But we shall see, nothing ever runs smoothly at our to clubs!
Cellino- Looking from the outside in, the man has ruined your club and some of his decisions re hiring and firing of your managers has been ludicrous, ie hockerday. Now the rumours surfacing that monk could be on borrowed time! It's a shame because your supporters who support the club all over the country do not deserve all that cellino brings to leeds - as you say and I 100% agree -TIME TO GO MASSIMO.
Do you have any memorable games with Leeds?
Got to be our 7-3 win over you a few years back under Steve Cotterill. I don't think I will ever witness a game like that ever again!
Also the recent game during Stuart Pearce's reign where we drew 1-1 but should have won 3-1 as Matty Frystt had 2 perfectly good goal dissallowed! (Debatable)
The 1st game after Gary Speed's passing when you played at the CG you beat us 4 nil that night and you scored around the 11th minute and started singing Speed's name at same time that was a surreal moment.
Player or players you think can excel against Leeds and this season?
Britt Assombalonga and Oliver Burke are the two main players that you will need to watch out for.
Also our new signing from Benfica; hilderberto pereria, he has all the tricks in the book, and Pajtimi Kasami who scored that wonder goal against Palace for Fulham a couple of seasons ago.
Hopefully he can produce a thunderbolt against you a bit like guedioura did against you in the 7-3 win!
Where you think you'll end up in May? Below or higher than Leeds?
I would hope that we could push for a top 6 finish this season if we can keep scoring like we have and cut out conceding too many goals. Realistically, I would think that will probably be a top ten finish. I think we will finish just above Leeds this season, if you can keep Monk you should be ok, but if MC wields the axe again I fear there could be trouble ahead for you guys.
Top two and four playoff teams?
Newcastle and Norwich
Brighton,Sheff weds, Forest and Leeds (lol)
Three relegation candidates?
Rotherham, Burton and Blackburn
What is your prediction and scorers for Saturday's game?
4-3 to Forest
Scorers - Assombalonga, burke, lam and Cash
Antonsson x 2 and Wood for Leeds
We'd like to thank Gary for taking the time to complete our interview and wish him the best of luck for this season. We both know that a Premier League return for both Leeds and Forest would be a joy to behold.
By Keith Ingham
Ahead of tomorrow's Football League Cup clash away at Luton, Keith Ingham spoke to mad-hatter and friend Paul Clark about all things Luton Town.
How long have you been a Luton fan?
Lifelong Hatters fan, this is my 45th year of attending and 42nd season ticket.
What is your favourite moment/player of all time?
That has to be Steve Foster and what a day at Wembley when he lifted the Littlewood's Cup in '88 after defeating Arsenal 3-2.
How are you finding League Two since your promotion?
Many good teams in League 2. It's not too much different from non-league to be honest. Obviously easier to get out of with four going up, hopefully one of those being us this season under a good manager in Nathan Jones.
Any memories of games against Lufc?
Many memories of Luton vs Leeds encounters. My first being a 1-1 draw at Elland Road, Butlin for Luton and Clark replying for Leeds. Incidentally being Clough's last game in charge of Leeds if my memory serves me correctly.
I actually stood on the Elland Road end that day with my dad, mum and sister and still to this day remember having my bobble hat nicked walking out the ground at FT lol.
Other memories include a 2-0 win at Leeds in a midweek League Cup game in the 88/89 season and a very hostile atmosphere where we we quickly ushered out of Leeds on the final whisk as the natives weren't too happy with the result!
Probably the best one has to be the 5-1 thrashing we gave you at our place in the Championship in 2006. It's not very often we score 5 or more but to do it against a big club like Leeds is something special, although I've been to many more games between us two I'll leave the rest alone as you probably beat us on those occasions! Lol.
Your opinion on how both are clubs are run at this moment in time?
Our club is now run better than it has ever been run as we have a fan owned club now, not people who have robbed the club like in previous years. I don't know how Leeds is run at this moment in time but I think maybe a bit similar to ours with a bad chairman/board members.
Hopes and aspirations for this coming season?
Obviously we hope we can get promotion and looking at the league and the squad we have a top three finish it's quite possible, not forgetting our planning application for the new ground.
Any player that we need to watch out for?
The twelfth man has always been a good player on a Tuesday night cup tie down at the Kenny under lights over the years.failing that we work as a team so watch out for the other 11!!!
In your opinion, who will win promotion from League Two this year?
In no particular order Plymouth, Luton and Portsmouth for promotion. Being a Luton fan I'd like to steer clear of playoffs, we don't get on very well,lol.
Same question, but for the Championship?
Newcastle, Villa and Leeds.
Score and scorers for tomorrow's game?
Luton 1 Leeds 1 (Marriott) Luton to win on pens.
We'd like to thank Paul for answering all our questions and wish him luck for the season. Let's hope Tuesday's game is as fiery as some of the fixtures Paul previously mentioned, but this time Leeds come out on top.
By Keith Ingham
It's been a while but there are things in life you really need to do, one of these is travel away to support your team.
Last season I didn't do it but this season I was determined to get 'one under the belt' early. So a trip to Sheffield with the Keighley Whites was just the job.
The club has been run by Stephen 'Bunter' Pickles and his wife Janine since 2008 and offers travel to home and away games regularly. Fantastic supporters who go the extra yard to make sure fans get to games they want to.
It was a very early start, 6:15am! and off I toddled to the Three Horses public house where we meet, pay our dues (ticket and travel) and off we travelled to Bradford for a pre match at the Bradford Central Division club, home to the Bradford branch of the Leeds United supporters club.
A superb performance by the men in white shirts, dominated large portions of the game and kept the first 'clean sheet' of the season.
Stand out performances by the back five and in midfield Liam Bridcutt instructing Vieira throughout the game with 'wings on his heels' Hadi Sacko giving their full back nightmares with his pace.
Up front Chris Wood battled with Tom Lees and won on points, getting the decisive second goal after Marcus Antonsson got the opener after more 'trickery' from Sacko and he ran his 'socks off' for the cause.
After the game taking the 'rise' out of the Wednesday fans just added to the pleasure of the 2-0 win, with the song "Monday, Tuesday, who the f*** are Wednesday."
Meeting Gary Edwards (Paint it White) twice was an added bonus as were the many other fans I met today. Superb people who follow the team the length and breadth of England.
A good sing, song on the way home just added to the superb day following the mighty Leeds United.
Yes we moan and groan at things that have happened so far this season and it's not been the best, but when it's good, it's bloody brilliantly!
By Keith Ingham
Leeds United v Birmingham City
Team: Green, Ayling (debut), Bartley, Bamba, Taylor, Sacko, Vieira, Hernandez, Mowatt, Antonnson, Wood.
Retiring Chairman of the Leeds United supporters club honoured by the club for his service. He led out the teams.
Back to back Championship defeats for Leeds as Birmingham City punished yet again poor defending, City went in front after fifteen minutes following a break away. Leeds levelled just before the half hour mark through Sacko and were the dominant side with Mowatt pulling the strings in midfield. The second half was totally forgettable and City again punished non-excusable defending when Morrison got the winner on fifty five minutes.
Keith Ingham spoke to friend and Wendies fan Lee Siddons ahead of Leeds' crucial 12:30 kick off tomorrow.
How long have you followed the blue and white stripes?
Followed Weds since the 78/79 season when we had the marathon 3rd round FA cup tie against Arsenal. Not being a Sheffield born lad (although all my family are from Sheffield) up to that point in my life i'd (hate to admit it!) been a glory supporter following Liverpool. It was the five matches against Arsenal (us then of Div 3 and Arsenal Div1) that made me recognise my roots and hence start following the Owls.
Who is the best player you've seen play for the 'Owls'?
Best player - probably between Chris Waddle and Paolo di Canio, Although Hirsty deserves an honorable mention!
What was the first game you watched vs Leeds?
First game v Leeds - really cant remember this but most memorable obviously for me is the 6-0 hammering we gave you in jan 2014 wiping
out 22 years of hurt from the 6-1 you gave us!
Who are the key members of your squad in 2016/17?
Key members of the squad - ask me 5 days ago i would've said Forestierii but with his future uncertain now i would say Westwood in
the sticks (best keeper outside of the Premier League imo), Tom Lees, Fletcher in his first season with us & if not Fessi then Almen Abdi for the creative influence.
Your hopes for this season, would the Playoffs be enough to satisfy your new owners?
Hopes- obviously to go one step further than last year but I must say I think the division looks harder this season. Think the owners are
wanting the same as they said they were wanting promotion within three years and this is the 3rd season (granted the first was only part way through when he bought the club).
Who are your Champions, Runners up and Playoff places?
Runners Up - Us
Playoffs - Newcastle, Brighton,Bristol City & QPR
Who are your three favourites for Relegation?
Relegation - Burton, Rotherham & Preston
We know the rivalry between the clubs, is it 'banter' or hatred?
Banter - the only hatred we have is for the Blades.
Player in the Championship you'd love in your line up?
Don't know who i'd like from the Championship but do feel we need another strong central defender with pace to cover if Lees/Loovens are injured (which in loovens place is quite regular).
What's your prediction for Saturday's game?
Score - 2-0 Weds with Fletcher and Abdi scoring.
We'd like to thank Lee for answering our questions and wish him luck for the owls mid-table finish this season!
By Keith Ingham
This morning Leeds finally secured a deal to take Liam Bridcutt on a two-year deal from Sunderland.
His contract was agreed to be terminated by both parties and a fee agreed to pay up the remaining twelve months.
I must be honest, Bridcutt was one of the few positives to come out of the previous season, strong in the tackle and vocal on the pitch.
He enjoyed a very good loan spell and it was accepted that a deal would be sorted as soon as the season ended. It didn't materialise basically because Leeds wanted him on the 'cheap' and Sunderland wanted a fee plus his twenty six thousand pound wage off their bill, Leeds weren't prepared to pay both.
I am of course old enough to remember the great midfielders that have graced the grass in LS11. My favourite Billy Bremner, probably the best player ever to wear the white of Leeds. There was also Collins, Giles, Lorimer, Gray of the old guard and Batty, Strachan, McAllister, Speed, Jones and Haaland in the eighties and nineties. Dacourt, Bowyer, K#%#ell in the naughties and there are many more.
I'm not saying Liam Bridcutt will emulate those above but he does have that element about him that he would not get pushed around and is willing put his body on the line for the cause, something sadly missing from certain players in this season so far.
We (eventually) wanted him and he feels wanted by us, to me that's a good way to start off with. I'm still surprised that another club didn't come in whilst Leeds 'fannied' about, but their loss is hopefully our gain.
A future captain? I'm pretty sure that if Bamba is absent from the team Liam Bridcutt will be on a very short list to replace him.
Welcome back and good luck Liam, you've been missed.
By Keith Ingham
We spoke to Andrew Beck, an American Fulham fan who has followed the club for nearly 10 years.
How long have you been a Fulham fan?
I started following Fulham in 2007. I was aware of them before, due to all the Americans that were there. But after the 2006 World Cup I started following them much more closer. Things really took off when I started getting Fox Soccer in HD so I could see all the games. At the same time, their Europa League run was going on, and I was hooked.
Who are your key players at the club now and favourites from your time as a supporter?
It's really hard to know who is going to be the key player this year. So much of the team is new. There is a new formation and style of play. It may take a while to figure out which pieces are most important. If I had to guess though, I think Tom Cairney maybe the most important piece.
My favorite players over the years have been varied. I loved Clint Dempsey, but soured on him by the way he left (and now I get to live through it all again with my home town team in Seattle). I loved Brian McBride, but didn't really get to see much of him at his peak. Dimitar Berbatov was a joy to watch, but could also be way too frustrating. My favorite player of all time though was Moussa Dembele (the first one). I loved watching him at Fulham. He left in a good way and I still enjoy watching him at Spurs.
What are your thoughts on both your owner and manager?
I'm all in on Slavisa Jokanovic. I think he's finally the right guy for the team. I think there is a lot of consternation at Shahid Khan. Part of that is simply that he's an American, that's always an easy thing to criticize. He also bought the team when it was a shell of the peak teams of the late 2000's. I do think he has finally put people in charge who have a plan. It just took a little longer than I would have liked.
Ross McCormack: Is he worth the £25million that clubs have spent on him in two transfers?
Ross McCormack is the best player in the Championship. The only problem is that you have to build your team around him. Since he's asked for a transfer over the last three windows, Fulham trying to build around him wasn't smart. He was fun to watch, but I think the team will be better after spending that transfer fee over multiple players.
What are your hopes and fears for Fulham in the 2016/17 season?
My hope is that everything breaks right, Fulham challenge for a playoff spot and somehow get hot enough to win and get promoted. My fear is Slavisa gets frustrated by not getting what he wants and resigns. Fulham panic in the winter, the team falls apart, and they get relegated. My guess is somewhere in the middle. They will probably finish in the top 10, just outside the playoff spots.
Any player at Leeds you'd be happy to wear the white and black?
I don't know if it says more about your squad, or more about my knowledge of it, but looking at your roster, there wasn't really anyone that jumped out at me.
Who are your Champions, Runners up and four Playoff teams?
Champion - Newcastle.
Runner Up - Derby County.
Playoff Teams - Norwich, Sheffield Wednesday, Ipswich and Cardiff.
Who are your three relegated teams?
Relegated - Burton Albion, Rotherham and Aston Villa.
Will the 'Leicester factor' happen again in the Premiership?
I think Leicester was a once in a long time sort of thing. With United and Chelsea recovering, Spurs getting a new stadium, Klopp at Liverpool, Pep at City, and West Ham moving to a bigger venue; I think it will be very hard for anyone to jump up.
Leicester caught lightening in a bottle with a bunch of teams having off years and understanding how to use the new TV money better than anyone. I doubt that happens again.
Tomorrows match; what's the score and who will bag the goals?
I think the game probably ends 1-1. I'll go with a Sone Aluko goal for Fulham.
We'd like to thank Andrew for taking the time to answer our questions and wish him luck for the season.
By Keith Ingham
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