Head of Content Keith Ingham returns with his weekly dose of 'Diary of a Leeds fan' in which he talks about all things Leeds and adds a dash of football news.
The return of the Championship brings bumper crowds and a few surprises, Newcastle beaten at Fulham on Friday nightwas the the biggest, ex Leeds striker Matt Smith getting the first half stoppage winner. On Saturday Burton lost a seven goal thriller at Nottingham Forest.
QPR v Leeds
Leeds team: Green, Berardi, Bartley, Bamba (c), Taylor, Diagouraga, Vieira, Roofe, Grimes, Dallas, Wood
You know when you've waited for something like a birthday present/Christmas gift and when you play with it something breaks? Well watching Leeds getting beat that easily at QPR was a little like that.
Spineless in defence and little to offer in the final third. Not the best start Monk will have wanted the mad Italian to witness. Leeds will HAVE to improve and fast if this season isn't to be another disappointing one.
Final score: QPR 3 Leeds 0
Monk's reaction was that Leeds were poor in the first half but improved after the half time break. He said they (squad) would learn from the game. Bloody hope so!
As usual, the excellent Andrew Butterwick did his 'Travels' blog and has kindly let me use it again.
Many Thanks to Andrew
Even after a horrendous result it's always good to read @FollowMeAndLUFC match and day out review of it. Please use link to read;
Thanks again to @FollowMeAndLUFC
Still no end to the continued pursuit of Liam Bridcutt, hearing he's locked in a cupboard in the Stadium of Shite.
Very interesting advertisements seen in two West Yorkshire railway stations, Bradford Foster Square and Keighley, nice to know the press office is being used for advertising and not Cellino's mad rants.
Gary Monk's look ahead to the Fleetwood Town game.
Berardi and Silvestri both out, no return date given. Hernandez has international clearance so could be considered for Fleetwood, he thought Leeds were 'apprehensive' on Sunday in the first half and suffered for it.
Understood the fans reaction but reiterated that they (team) will get better. Knew Rosler from his Southampton playing days but never spoke to him about the Leeds HC job, dressing room knew that they'ed let themselves and the fans down.
Other football news, John Stones made Barnsley a fair bit of money when he joined Man.City, there was a sell on clause when he joined Everton. That team in Salford bought Pogba, ridiculous fee for an average player.
A thriller in the EFL Cup at Rotherham's New York Stadium with Morecambe edging it 5-4 after extra time. Birmingham City our opponents on Saturday lost 1-0 at home to Oxford United.
All eight Yorkshire teams lost their games in tonight's cup ties.
Match Day EFL Cup
Fleetwood Town v Leeds
Team: Green, Coyle, Bartley, Cooper, Taylor, Phillips, Vieira, Roofe, Hernandez, Sacko, Wood.
After going behind, Leeds forced the game into extra time when substitute Marcus Antonsson scored a superb last minute equaliser. Antonsson was also involved in the penalty incident that gave Leeds the lead in the first half of the extra thirty minutes. Chris Wood dispatching the awarded penalty.
Fleetwood did not give in and equalised with less than ten minutes left of the second period of extra time. They nearly won it but for a desperate goal line clearance.
In the penalty shoot out the first nine penalties were superbly taken but Fleetwood's fifth was missed by Jonsson, Leeds won it 5-4. Phew!
A excellent debut by Pablo Hernandez and a fine substitute performances by Alex Mowatt and Marcus Antonsson who's appearances from the bench turned the game in Leeds' favour.
A spirited, if far from perfect performance by the men in blue and yellow.
Man of the Match: Hernandez; superb!
Garry Monk: "It was a fantastic game, a real ding-dong battle. I thought we deserved to win in the end.
He added; "It was a proper cup tie in difficult conditions. The young players showed great courage tonight and kept going."
Uwe Rosler: "I was very pleased with my players tonight, they were fantastic for me. There were a lot of positives."
Gary Monk's look ahead to Birmingham City; "We stuck at it last night and got our rewards at the end, typical cup tie but we deserved it" he added that the players will get better and praised the squads attitude.
Really looking forward to the Birmingham City game, "It will be special, we need to make Elland Road a fortress".
Always planned to give Liam Cooper a fourty five minute run out vs Fleetwood and still awaiting results of Berardi's scan.
Wouldn't be drawn on on transfers but added; "We're looking at our options and working behind the scenes".
A very positive Mr Monk.
As rumoured after the Fleetwood game, Luke Ayling has signed from Bristol City. The 24-year old is predominantly a right back but can also play as a centre back.
Ayling was a teammate of Kyle Bartley as an Arsenal youngster. His fee unsurprisingly is undisclosed and he will go straight into the squad for Saturday.
Luke Ayling will wear the number two shirt and is Garry Monk's eighth signing.
Liam Bridcutt finally agrees to cut his ties with Sunderland, still the details of his contract with Leeds will have to be agreed.
By Keith Ingham
Ahead of Saturday's home clash with Birminigham City, we speak to Blues fan Gabriel, who has supported the club for over 12 years.
How long have followed Birmingham City?
03/04 was my first full season, though I'd gone to the odd game before then without much enthusiasm! That year I was given the season ticket of somebody else who would be living abroad and we finished 10th in the Premier League, that was when I really got into it. Alas it's been pretty much downhill since then!
Who was your favourite ever Birmingham City player?
Not everyone will agree, but Damien Johnson. Other players might have made greater impacts in shorter periods of time, but for loyalty, commitment and a never say die attitude, it's DJ for me.
Do you have any memories of past clashes?
The first time I saw Blues play Leeds we beat you 4-1 the year you went down. Your lot scored early through Mark Viduka (who I believe also missed an open goal before then) but we won it through braces from Bryan Hughes and Mikael Forssell, who I believe played for you briefly.
Hughes was on a hat-trick when we got a pen, but Steve Bruce was a spoil-sport and insisted Forse took it!
Any present Leeds player you'd love to have in your squad this season?
I like the look of Charlie Taylor, he seems to have a decent engine. It's a player most Blues fans would want, with our left-back Jonathan Grounds often criticized, at times harshly in my view. In any case, Taylor would cost a bit too much for our budget!
Thoughts on the manager and owners of the club?
I think Garry Monk is a good manager, but I don't think any manager will succeed at Leeds while Massimo Cellino is in charge.
He doesn't show enough trust in the managers he appoints and trust is a vital commodity at any level of football. I think you're a very well-supported club and the way you've been run over the last two decades has been dreadful.
Your hopes for 2016/17?
Top half, a cup run and the introduction of some young players. Right-back Josh Cogley, winger Viv Soloman-Otabor and striker Jack Storer have all done well in pre-season. They could benefit from the absence of an obvious alternative pick in their respective positions.
Your tip for the Champions, runners up and the Playoff places?
Newcastle for the title. Brighton for 2nd place as they will have Skalak and Knockaert from the start.
I think Sheffield Wednesday, Aston Villa and Cardiff will make the play-offs, along with Huddersfield. The Terriers improved after David Wagner took over last year and despite a low budget, I feel they have the energy in the team to perform above the sum of their parts.
First managerial casualty in the Championship?
Phillipe Montanier. Fawaz Al-Hasawi has very little patience with the managers he appoints and I see this season being disastrous for Forest.
Top scorer in the Championship?
Jordan Ayew. I thought he was one of Villa's better players last year. He can finish and has a bit of pace about him too.
Score and scorers of the game vs Leeds?
1-1. Kemar Roofe has been in good form in pre-season and I like his pace so I'll say him for your lot. It's hard to say at this moment we've got anyone you'd fancy to score... maybe a Michael Morrison header. Good luck to Leeds this season.
We'd like to thank Gabriel for taking the time to answer our questions and wish him the best of luck for the season, after Saturday.
By Keith Ingham
Ahead of Sunday's season opener away to Queens Park Rangers, Head of Content Keith Ingham spoke to David, a QPR fan that does a podcast about his beloved club.
First of all, how long have you been a Hoops fan?
It’ll be 30 years later this month.
What's your opinion on JFH?
A breath of fresh air. Calm, measured, methodical and wants to get it right through having a good, fit, organised team rather than throwing money at the problem. He has impressed so far.
Your opinions on the amount of money spent by Championship clubs this summer?
This is a natural consequence and drip-down effect from the injection of money the Premier League has seen. In previous years, the amounts of money that have been spent in the championship has mattered little.
It's all been about having a good, strong coach and what you do with the money rather than how much you have. I am not convinced this year is going to be any different - for example, I fancy Norwich, who have spent modestly, to do well whilst Villa, who have got the chequebook out, still look like a car crash in slow motion. We’ll see if I’m right.
How do you think the two clubs compare (Leeds and QPR) in relation to who owns them?
Well one club is owned by a controversial, self-promoting, erratic foreign businessman who has made a series of bad decisions for his club…and the other club is Leeds. There are a lot of similarities in how they go about their business although I think the difference is that Tony Fernandes is a decent enough bloke who has the club’s best interests at heart.
I only have so much sympathy for that, the road to hell is paved with good intentions and all that, but we are seeing small signs that he has learned his lessons.
Can you name a particular game vs Leeds that sticks out in your memory?
This will be a game I am sure has been airbrushed out of Leeds fans' memories - the year you won the title in 1992, we gave you an absolute pasting at our place 4-1!
Gary Speed put you one up but Les Ferdinand got a couple and it was a real turn-up at the time as it was only a few weeks before the end of the season. Must also give a special mention to Roy Wegerle’s superb solo goal at Elland Road in 1990 - well worth a look on youtube if you’ve not seen it.
Who is your favourite player past?
Andy Sinton - a really good, old fashioned winger who could get the ball in with either foot. You would never have heard of Les Ferdinand without him and his assists.
Who is your favourite player in current squad?
Tjaron Chery. Really good Dutch midfielder who should be playing at a higher level than the championship.
Who are your Champions, runners up and four playoff teams?
Three teams you think will be relegated from the Championship?
What's your prediction, score and scorers for Sunday's match?
Despite what you have read, Rob Green left QPR on merit as he was our third best keeper last season. So you can bet anything he will save a penalty and play a blinder on Sunday!
I’ll go for a 1-1 all draw - Roofe and Polter the scorers.
We'd like to thank David for taking the time to answer our questions and wish him the best of luck for the season, after Sunday.
Don't forget to visit @QPRpod on Twitter for a pre/post match podcast about the game, it's sure to be better than listening to Don Goodman!
By Keith Ingham
And we are back!
After misery in France ensued, proper football will return this evening as Newcastle get us started on another Championship season.
Once again the powers that be (Sky) has decided that Leeds will play their football on a Sunday, we can expect a lot of fixture changes this season as Sky's favourite football club to cover.
We've had a lot of changes at the helm at Leeds United this summer, we've had people join the boardroom and another Head Coach has taken the poison chalice away from Steve Evans. Garry Monk and Pep Clotet are experienced managers and extremely good options for this level of football.
Seven arrivals have joined Monk at Leeds, the exciting signings of Roofe and Antonsson being the main headlines. However, we cannot forget the mix of experience and talent that has also joined in the likes of Bartley, Grimes, Hernandez, Sacko and Rob Green.
We lost Lewis Cook, who will be a big miss not only on the pitch, but also in the dressing room come Sunday. Another example of poor attitude from the boardroom allowing Lewis to leave for bigger money at Bournemouth. Also on their way out were Antenucci, Sloth, Bianchi and everyone's favourite w***** Bellusci.
(The 'w' word isn't warrior)
The fans, including myself, are hopeful of a good season and their seems to be a lot of happiness with the signings the club have made, including the head coach.
Leeds and Garry Monk will face their biggest challenge come Sunday live on Sky when they face off with Queens Park Rangers.
Many fans will once again be exciting to see former striker and a few fans' hero Jimmy Floyd Hasslebank once again facing off against Leeds.
Monk is still to find his first XI and the game on Sunday could see a few surprises as he finds a nice balance between attack minded players and a lack of defensive reinforcements.
I'd be happy to start the season with a point away from home, but I'd be overjoyed with 3 points.
Leeds United 1
By Keith Ingham
Well it's nearly time, transfers completed, new shirts purchased and we're ready for the 24 teams in the Championship to start the nine months of tribulation. Frustration is about to set in for some and happiness for the others.
It will be interesting how many of the managers and Head Coaches remain in their jobs come May, especially our own club!
Here are my tips for 2016/17, including who will win and who could surprise a few.
Over thirty million quid spent and still rising, Rafa in charge and guaranteed fifty thousand most home games and sold out when travelling away. I expect them to be Promoted as Champions by April.
Additions like Dwight Gayle, Mo Diame, Grant Hanley and Matt Ritchie will all bring quality and Championship experience to a squad that already included some fantastic players.
The 'seesaw' club will bounce back at the first attempt, ex-Leeds midfielder Jonny Howson is someone who I expect to excel and Sergi Canos will frighten a few defences to death as will Steven Naismith.
Alex Neil has already proved he can lead the club to promotion and having not lost many of his key players, they'll be a force to be reckoned with this season.
The Seagulls will continue their impressive performance of 2015/16 in which played really well until falling at the last hurdle at home to Sheffield Wednesday. Managed by one of the best managers at this level Chris Hughton and with key players like Knockaert, this will be a season that they will try to keep their nerve.
Money is no object to the South Yorkshire side and with the fantastic squad they already posses and the likely additions you'd be stupid not to put them in the top six. Good manager too.
With Will Hughes and Craig Bryson fit again it will be like having two new signings and strikers Chris Martin, Jonny Russell and Darren Bent should be amongst the goals.
New manager Nigel Pearson has been there and done it with Leicester City, his experience will be very important in the run-in.
It seems every year 'the tractor boys' flirt with the playoffs but generally fall short getting further. This time Mick McCarthy will hope they can go one step further and grab a top six place and progress. Daryl Murphy will be again a thorn in most defences sides
After so long outside the Premiership and with a maverick owner, maybe just maybe they have found the right coach and players to boost this once mighty and still fantastically supported team and challenge the teams above.
Still a little short in defence and if this is amended Leeds could just be a force that no-one is expecting. Roofe looks a great signing and will surely terrorise a few full backs as the season goes on.
New owners willing to throw money at their team. It has to be seen if new manager Walter Zenga can push Wolves nearer the top than the bottom. Worth putting a few quid on.
Rising home-grown talents Jordan Graham, Kourtney Hause and Dominic Iorfa will be major players this season for the club.
Look the best bet to go but had a encouraging run under Warnock that saved them last season
Looks like a return to Division One for City, Agard and Lee Tomlin may though get enough goals to save them. Still a tough ask to stay up.
Preston North End
If Beckford gets the goals he may save ex-Leeds manager Simon Grayson from the drop but it will be a difficult season for the Lancashire team
There you go, I might be right or wrong but let's hope it's a season to savour, especially if it's a good one for my team Leeds United.
By Keith Ingham
As in most loves of your life, happiness is a close confidant to disappointment and despair. My love of this football club seems to be the exact same for most of the last ten years anyway.
We do seem to build something good only for owners to knock it down like a 'Jenga' tower of bricks and this needs to change.
The talent allowed to walk away from Elland Road is scandalous. I've said it and I'll bloody say it again that allowing our top players has to stop if we are serious about putting this great club back amongst the 'big boys' and I'm not meaning Bournemouth.
Even if this summer the Cherries have spent £30million+ on players, that shows the money the Premiership generates between it's clubs.
The lack of anything major from Cellino has been a bonus. No transporter beaming of bullshit (clever Star Trek link) by the Italian has made Elland Road a more peaceful place. Cellino also seems to have made key appointments; Ben Mansford knows this league and in Gary Monk we have a very capable young Head Coach. If both are left alone things could really take off, but I remember saying the exact same things about Adam Pearson and Uwe Rosler at the start of last season!
This summer six players have been recruited from leagues outside the Championship. Bartley and Grimes came from Swansea in the Premiership, Roofe from Oxford Unuted, Sacko on loan from Sporting Lisbon, Hernandez from Al-Arabi and Antonsson from Sweden. Rob Green also signed on a free from QPR, our first opponents in the 2016/17 season.
Although some the players haven't played in this competitive league I've seen enough to impress me in the preseason games. Although people don't like goalkeepers as captain, I'd say Green is a contender for the armband this season.
We all know the failings of past few seasons has been the defence and unless this area is strengthened I see that we will have to score at least two goals a game to win them.
Bartley will hopefully add strength to the defensive line but both Bamba and Cooper have a mistake in them and after them your looking at youngsters for cover in a vital area of the team.
In Midfield, depending on the style of play Monk chooses, we need a leader to push on the players and if needed can put his foot on the ball. Bridcutt could be that player if we can finally agree terms with Sunderland and then hope that his wages are not out of the club's reach.
Nearly fifteen thousand fans showed their belief in the summer, many more got memberships too. The fans continued support should show the owners that if we believe, they show also some ambition too or are they wanting to repay the twenty five per cent season ticket money?
We aren't asking for stupid spending but the fact is if you don't invest the money from player sales the club will be stuck in this division forever.
I'm not a pessimist but I am a realist and this is my view. It may be wrong but only when March and April come around will my words either be found correct or otherwise but this club, our club, needs to move forward both on and off the pitch.
With the additions I've mentioned I'm confident that we can challenge for the top six and ruffle a few of the recently relegated Premiership teams feathers on the way.
Talk is cheap Mr Cellino, actions on the other hand cost a few quid.
"Show me the money" as a well know film said. If you do you still might deliver things you promised when you took over the club.
By Keith Ingham