By K.G. Bailey
Fans opinions on Luciano differ.
This past summer he was one player where a few people said to raise funds, before Snodgrass left "sell Becchio"
My own personal opinion on Becchio is that hes underrated for a lot of things people dont take notice of right now.
Hes not the quickest, but in the box he is a threat. Outside the box he will draw defenders to him, win 9 out of 10 flick ons, hold the ball up & hes pretty good at drawing fouls (legit or otherwise.)
What has probably made people doubt him is there isnt a Beckford to run on to those flick ons, not the Dioufy type player who is an all round good player, but the poacher type of player who is always looking for the goals. Beckfords, Defoes, Billy Sharps etc.
So some of the time it looks like hes flicking it on to nobody when that isnt the case. He just isnt playing with that kind of striker. Rossco could be that striker but hes playing more the attacking midfielder role these days.
Hopefully when Somma is back & when the potential investment comes in January, Neil Warnock can get the Maynard, Mackail-Smith type of striker he is looking for & then you will see just exactly what Becchio does for the team.
To end, its also worth noting that Becchio, even with all the goals hes scored, hasnt believed his own hype and thought he has a right to play in the Premier League unlike some players that we have had depart in recent years. He has remained loyal to Leeds United which in this day and age should be applauded.
By Keith Ingham
After a successful weekend, Leeds turn their attention to the Capital One Cup third round tie with Everton.
The 'Toffee's come to Elland Road on the back of a 3-0 win at Swansea and if reports are correct they are in a fine run of form. I watched them on Sky last Monday and was very impressed by what I saw, they look fast and have players all over the field who look confident on the ball.
Quite strong at the back and quick up front they look like a team that could challenge the top four teams this season. David (Golum) Moyes has made this team hard to beat and Leeds, even with a fully fit eleven would usually find it hard to beat them but this is a cup tie and our previous battles with Premiership teams have brought some fantastic performances from the 'Whites'.
Neil Warnock has said that he will not risk players with injuries so starts could be forthcoming for Andy Gray, Danny Pugh, Paddy Kisnorbo and Zac Thompson.
I'm hoping that whoever starts will give it their best and give the visitors a good battle and you never know a surprise could well happen tonight.
On On On
By Nigel Flanagan
Having spent the last 20 years living in Liverpool I feel in a privileged position, one that allows me to shed some light on this famous old club. Famous for sure, a history to be proud of and support that matches all but a few - but troubled by the presence of the other club.
I think on the whole we Leeds fans like Everton. Not flashy (like some) not over successful (like some) and certainly not a prawn sandwich club. But they are a bitter crowd, to their core. The idea of the `friendly` derby is a myth and despite recent genuine warming because of the Hillsborough disaster, there are a number of recent reasons why it is so. It is a Cold War and Everton are very much the Soviet Union.
Everton are the older club and played at Anfield before Liverpool FC. They left and Liverpool became a new club. The 1985 Heysel disaster led to a ban on all European competition for English clubs. The Champions who never got to play in the European Cup that year? Everton. Do they blame Liverpool? Completely. There are numerous games and cup matches that add to the hatred. Emlyn Hughes is universally hated. Which is where we start to overlap, as most Leeds fans remember his claims that Don Revie was a cheat and Leeds bribed their way to trophies.
I remember Leeds fans at Goodison in the 90/91 season, 3 -0 up at half time and Neville Southall sitting down in his goal mouth whilst we are singing `There`s gonna be a diet` at him. I also remember losing 2 - 0 when Everton only had 10 men. I remember that little twerp Harry Kewell miss-hitting a cross into the Everton net and then sliding on his knees as though he had meant it. What a game at 4 -4. I remember watching Peter Ridsdale coming out to the Leeds fans at half time to try and stop them singing abuse at Brian Kidd who had just replaced our beloved Eddie Gray as O`Leary`s number 2. A 0 – 0 draw that also had the most sustained abuse I ever heard as Dom Matteo was howled at because he used to play for the others. I fully anticipate that Neville will get the same treatment from us.
I also remember the 1985 FA Cup 3rd round game, the first ever televised life on the BBC. For 20 minutes our little team of John Sheridan, Scott Sellars, Terry Phelan, Andy Richie, Dennis Irwin and a 38 year old Peter Lorimer looked like we were doing marvellously well against one of the top clubs. Until Kevin Sheedy got a free kick. By the end a 2 -0 defeat was honourable enough for us.
Bobby Collins left Everton for Leeds and really launched Don Revie`s new team. Nigel Martyn joined Leeds instead of Everton because he was left waiting in the Everton lounge for an hour with his kids. Ian Snodin left Leeds to join Everton and we bought an entirely new team with the money. Gary Speed wanted to play for Everton before he retired because they were his team. Alan Ball played for Everton but didn`t take the move to Leeds because he thought he would win more with Everton. He truly was a football genius. Beckford? We`d have him back. In 1973 they tried to lure Don Revie away from Leeds but couldn`t afford him. Although he did go talk to them ….
They have a very good team. Quick and robust, efficient and energetic with a tendency to become disorganised on substitutions. They have players that the rich clubs would buy. The squad is too thin for them to compete for the Championship - although they have been able to press into the top 6. I imagine they will rest players against us, but doubt that they realise what an animal we now have in the middle of the park in Rudi Austin.
Their fans travel in numbers and they have an old fashioned working class air about them, which is impressive in that they are there for the game and none of the other Sky type distractions. No inflatables, no embarrassing Poznans, no painted faces, just football supporters.
The only problems are that Z Cars theme and the nickname `The Toffees`. Davy Moyles coined the phrase `The Peoples Club`. They should stick with that.
By Andy Gregory
Saturday 22nd September 2012
Elland Road, Att: 24,292
Leeds 2 - 1 Forest
Becchio 14' Blackstock 59'
Team: Kenny, Lees, Peltier, Pearce, Drury, Byram, Austin, Tonge, Poleon, Diouf, Becchio
Subs: Ashdown, Kisnorbo, Brown, Payne, White (on for Poleon 66), Varney (on for Peltier 66),
Gray (on for Becchio 90)
We went into this game on the back of two defeats and were up against a Forest side unbeaten in the league this season. I for one was expecting an extremely tough game against them with our squad struggling with injurys, and before kick off would have been happy with a point.
Thankfully Warnock and the lads had different ideas and came out fighting from the start. There were a few changes from the Hull game, with Drury starting in place of White and Poleon making his first start for the club in place of Varney.
Paddy Kenny had a very good game for us and is proving to be one of Warnock’s best signings. He could have done better with Forest’s goal, but he kept us in the game with some excellent saves, particularly towards the end of the game when they were pushing for an equaliser. 7
Tom Lees moved over to right back for this game. In all honesty it wasn’t his best display, he wasn't as commanding as he has been this season and looked shaky at the beginning of the game. Still put in a decent enough shift in the end though. 6
Lee Peltier switched places with Lees and took a more central role, he and Pearce were strong in the centre and it was a big improvement on the last game. Another solid display from our captain, he rarely looked troubled until injury forced him off the pitch in the second half. 7
Jason Pearce had another good game, you know what you’re going to get from him.. He always gives 100%, he won everything aerially and put in a good shift. 7
Adam Drury came back into the team and never really put a foot wrong, a steady outing for the experienced left back. 6
Sam Byram started the game on the right of midfield and never stopped running, he always wanted the ball and was constantly causing the Forest defence problems. He moved back into defence after Peltier went off and stuck to his task well. 7
Michael Tonge worked hard in the middle, got stuck in and had a good game. 6
Rodolph Austin was once again fantastic for us today. He controlled the midfield, getting forward to help out in attacks and tracking back well to support our defence when he was needed. Fast becoming one of our most consistent and important players. 8
Dominic Poleon made his first start for the club, he looked lively and took his goal well. He was caught out a few times, but that is to be expected from someone so young. A good debut and hopefully a lot more to come from the youngster. 7
El Hadji Diouf played just behind Becchio again in the absence of McCormack. For me he was the best player on the pitch. He was at the centre of every good move we made, set up the first goal and his vision and movement were fantastic. His best game for us so far. 9
Becchio had a great game, worked hard and was a handful for the oppostion. He took his goal well, had a big part in the second and could have made it three just before half time. 7 in 7 now for him now, he is certainly getting back to his best and is a hugely important player for us. We desperately need him to maintain this form. 8
Luke Varney came on for the injured Peltier and didn’t really have any influence on the game. 4
Aidy White came on for Poleon and worked hard to get the ball forward using his pace, he also kept possession well with Austin and Diouf towards the end of the game. 6
Andy Gray came on late on for Becchio and didn’t have enough time to make an impact on the game.
It was a fantastic three points considering our injury problems and Forest’s record. The team battled hard and proved a few people wrong, you just can’t write Leeds off. Hopefully we can build on this now with games coming thick and fast. Next up Everton and it remains to be seen whether Warnock will play a strong team and go for it or rest a few ahead of some important league games.
Neil Warnock post match:
"We had no man of the match because it was a fabulous team performance."
“Every one of them worked their socks off. I was proud of them, especially when you consider that Forest had players worth about four or five million quid on the bench.
“It was an exciting game and you just couldn’t take your eyes away from it for a second.
“We’ve played some tough games so far and done well with the thin squad we’ve got.”
On Becchio: “It was a late decision to play him.
“Luciano is a tough cookie. He knew we were desperate for him to play, so he didn’t do much yesterday.
“I told him to take his missus shopping because we couldn’t risk him getting injured.”
By Keith Ingham
On Saturday the masses were treated to an official statement from Uncle Ken, all around the ground his melodic voice could be heard in the ground. He said that if we all leave him alone by January we will have 'funds' to hopefully fill Neil Warnock’s war chest and get what we needed in July.
I hate to say that a few of the things he said made a little sense (yes I should be flogged publicly!), but not to disappoint he then slagged off the 'idiots' LUST and told a well respected local journalist Phil Hay to 'concentrate on football'.
I'm guessing this week’s YEP was a little too aggressive. In it Phil has said that this takeover farce should end in one way or another plus ex Leeds player Dom Matteo said what a lot of fans have been saying in the pubs and clubs around West Yorkshire or further afield.
This week may be pivotal in the future of our beloved club, so lets keep our fingers crossed that the smart suits in the East Stand at the weekend actually put a figure to Ken that he at last can say yes to.
We can at least hope for that.
On On On
By Keith Ingham
When Neil Warnock was appointed it was generally said that if ever a manager could instil a good teamwork ethic it was him. Saturday for me proved it, with injuries crippling the small squad he still was positive and the team showed it too.
Before the game there was a message from Ken Bates reassuring the doubters (me included) that positive moves were being made to secure investment into the club, time will tell but at least something was said officially from the club.
Leeds included Dominic Poloen and Sam Byram from the start and Lee Peltier moved into the centre. The home side started well and after a couple of near misses Luciano Becchio finished well from a Diouf cross. We then improved the score line when Poloen scored after a mix up in the Forest box, it was a great start against the previous unbeaten visitors.
After conceding eight goals in the previous games the defence looked more solid but still gave Forest a few chances before the half time whistle sounded. The second half brought more chances for both sides and a rare mistake from Paddy Kenny gifted Forest a goal from Blackstock but the keeper redeemed himself with a brilliant save later on to deny them a equaliser. Peltier was forced off with an ankle injury on the 66th minute, Pearce seemed to have the same injury but managed to carry on.
A great win and the 7-3 defeat from last year can now be forgotten. All of the team deserve the Man of the Match award but special mention for Diouf who played his best game for Leeds. The supporters also played their part in the second half when the team needed some encouragement 8/10
On On On
By Rab Laverty
I last wrote a couple of weeks ago after the game v Blackburn.
Even though we had managed to snatch a draw from the current league leaders, we should have won the game when going 3-2 up with a handful of minutes left, things weren’t too bad considering we had been 2 down and being honest when it comes to that stage we would all gratefully take a point. However the feeling was disappointment as once again, as in the past few seasons, we seem to have the uncanny knack of being unable to hold onto a lead and to be able to close a game out maybe it’s a lack of real experience in the team that contributes towards this but I am really mystified by it all.
Another couple of really bad habits we have are equally concerning to me.
We have a complete inability to put together 2 or 3 victories in a row this has been evident for the last few seasons, I could probably realistically go to my local bookies after a victory and get my life savings on the opposition for our next game and live happily ever after. The successfully promoted teams like Southampton, Reading, Swansea all put together long winning and undefeated runs and this is the habit we need to develop asap. Being realistic a 3 or 4 game winning run, which we should be capable of, would probably take us to the summit as all the other teams are taking points off each other so please, please let’s get a run going and give all us long suffering fans something to smile about.
Another point which causes me concern is the fact that we seem to be once again developing the basic inability to defend. We are always looking likely to concede a goal and each time our opposition goes up the pitch my heart is in my mouth. Our players may not be getting megabucks but they are damned well paid compared to the average guy on the street and if you or I was shit at our job we would in all likelihood get the boot so it’s about time these players started to justify their wages and remember it’s Leeds United they are playing for not some Sunday league team.
Now to my next pet hate, Captain birdseye aka Ken Bates. Once again we have this old coffin dodger telling us that we all should be happy with our lot, plenty of money being spent, investment being made etc, etc. Add to this the fact that we all are apparently morons and that makes me one unhappy bunny. This clown needs to f*%k off back to Monaco and let someone with a genuine interest in our beloved club, take over. We need investment big time if we want to get back to the promised land of the premier league and this clown will just not do it for us. He has always hated us and no amount of shit from him will convince me that this particular leopard has changed his spots so Ken the message from us to you is please leave now before you further damage our once mighty club.
I have written this just before the game v Forest and I can only hope that we have got 3 points from them or I fear that we will already be too far off the pace in our promotion quest, it may seem early in the season but being realistic if we lose today then with our next 2 games away from home, what is the chances of us being in the promotion mix at Christmas never mind May. My early season optimism may be rapidly evaporating already and we now need this much vaunted “investment” with great urgency to stop this season turning into another Bates sponsored nightmare.
MARCHING ON TOGETHER.