New We All Love Leeds writer Þorleifur Ananíasson takes a look at the Byram contract situation from over the pond.
I am Leeds United. supporter in Iceland since the promotion season in 1964. I started support the club because all my friends supported Man.United., Arsenal or Liverpool and nothing did give me more pleasure then Leeds beating these big Clubs. Also playing in all white I thought was cool, they did have the talented player Albert Johanneson and I did like what their strong defense, quick wingers and some kind of arrogance under the excellent Don Revie. Simply, they made life uncomfortable for the big clubs.
The Don produced the golden team mostly from home grown players, Gary Sprake, Paul Reaney, Terry Cooper, Billy Bremner, Jackie Charlton, Norman Hunter, Peter Lorimer, Allan Clarke, Mick Jones, Johnny Giles, Eddie Gray and Paul Madeley. Only Clarke, Jones and Giles brought and in reserve Mick Bates, David Harvey, Terry Yorath, Frank Gray, Rod Belfitt, Terry Hibbitt and Jimmy Greenhoff etc. all home grown.The effect Don Revie had with this team on the Club and football in England was immense and when you think about Leeds United before and after Don, it is just like before and after Christ.
Since this days we have had our ups and downs but most of the ups are times we have been able to build a team around a group of our own home grown players like the David O'´Leary years.
Now we are maybe starting a new era after selling our best youngsters like Jonny Howson, Fabian Delph, Aaron Lennon and James Milner in recent years. As players like Cook, Mowatt, Phillips, Taylor and Byram plus many others are on their way to the first team.
And there we have the matter of Sam Byram that everyone is talking about this week. Out of contract after the season and unwilling to sign a new contract making Massimo Cellino angry and parading it in the papers. All this has taken a toll of Byram, maybe the best youngster in the team and he has lost his confidence and his place against Middlesbrough at the weekend. I would hate to loose him for small money in January or after the season. A player that Premiership Clubs were ready to offer 8-10 m pounds for not so long ago should not leave so easily.
I am sure his loss of form is mainly down to his agent, who has not been easy to communicate with and seams like a greedy man that is trying to get as much as he can for himself even at the cost of ruining the future of Byram.
Byram's love for the club and his teammates is weighting heavy on his shoulders and it's not that he thinks the club is too small for him, he just wants to stay with the club or at least leave on good terms.
The club have been calculating him leaving for a while with Scott Wootton and Geatano Berardi the other right backs at the club recently signing new contracts, Wootton to the end of 2017 season and Berardi to the end of 2018 season.
But the future of the right back position if Byram leaves is current captain of the u-21´s Lewie Coyle. He will take the place of substitute Wootton after next season and if all goes to plan he will then push Berardi out not later then at the end of the 2018 season.
Sam Byram has played out of position on the right flank to help out the team for the last few months. Now the club have signed 3 wingers, that place has been covered and there is no need for Byram to play there any more. I hope Uwe Rosler gives Byram a chance at right back his best position, the same position that Premier League clubs are ready to pay big money for.
Geatano Berardi is a decent right/left back but at his best Byram is twice that player. If he responds to his bad form Leeds United will have gained a top defender until January at least, and again in the after the transfer window if the impossible happens and Cellino decides to grow up and offer Sam a decent enough wage to stay on at Elland Road.
By Þorleifur Ananíasson
We All Love Leeds are proud to announce our latest 10 questions with includes none other than Leeds Ladies 'Captain Fantastic' Emma Bentley.
The talented midfielder has been a symbol of the resurgence for the Leeds Ladies and has stood by her side through thick and thin during this transition. Leeds Ladies Chairman Gary Cooper called Bentley an 'inspirational constant' during his interview for We All Love Leeds, something that does seem correct when you look at her displays and leadership qualities since the Phoenix first rose.
We talk with Emma about Leeds Ladies, a certain Marvel role and something about a coffee shop...
1. Given the option, how would you deal with a player like Diego Costa?
Hmm, is that something to do with Costa Coffee?
2, Do you think the separation from Leeds United has been a good thing for the Leeds Ladies?
I think it has been good as it has allowed us to grow our own wings and prove that we can be independent. Being forced to restructure hasn't been easy, but the team behind the scenes have put their heart and soul into making this club work. Of course we would love to have an association with Leeds United in a small way such as the name and the badge, but I feel that with continued support from our sponsors and adding to them new sponsors, fans and support that we can continue to go from strength to strength towards our ultimate goal, the Women's Super League.
3, Having fit the role so well in the past season or so, have Marvel contacted you about taking up the role of Captain Fantastic yet?
Haha, no not yet...
4, What is the most memorable game you've played in?
There have been a few games in my time that have been memorable: I've played on the pitch at Wembley and played in cup finals at championship grounds. But I think the game that sticks out most from recent times is our first game as Leeds Ladies vs Stockport. After everything we had been through that summer, to come from behind, for me to score a penalty and for us to win was just the most amazing feeling. To be able to go over and celebrate that at full time with our chairman, Gary, was a really special moment.
We All Love Leeds continues their fantastic partnership with Leeds Ladies with another match report from their latest fixture against Chester-Le-Street.
After recent blips in form Leeds were looking to get back to winning ways as they welcomed Chester-Le-Street to Garforth this past Sunday. With Bridie Hannon, Erin White and Shelbey Morris all picking up knocks in midweek, manager Lee was forced into a changed starting XI. Olivia Smart, Rachel Ackroyd & Sophie Thompson were all recalled to the team with Pringle and Gunnell keeping their places after impressing in the previous two games.
Leeds found themselves in all too familiar territory early on as in the 8th minute after some hesitation at the back Chester pounced to make it 1-0. Just 5 minutes later when a clearance from a throw in only fell as far as a CLS striker who noticed Wattam back pedalling deftly lobbed the ball in from 30 yards doubling the away side’s advantage.
Leeds were determined not to roll over and immediately went on the offensive. After some great build up play between Pringle, Doherty & Ackroyd the ball fell to Demi Pringle whose curling shot just whistled wide of the far post. In the 25th minute it was Pringle again causing all sorts of problems with her pace as she went past one player & cut back inside the area the defender kicked out & caught Pringles ankle & the ref had no choice but to point to the spot. Skipper Emma Bentley stepped up & calmly slotted the ball into the bottom right hand corner making it 2-1.Ten minutes later Leeds were back on level terms when Ackroyd latched onto a pinpoint 30 yard cross field ball to turn and shoot from 35 yards out, leaving the keeper rooted to the spot and send the sides into the break all square.
On the hour mark it was Georgia “Bob” Wattam to the rescue as CLS broke on the counter attack and Bob pulled off a great save to deny the opposition striker. Ten minutes Bentley crossed the ball in and a good chance fell to Pringle whose shot was saved the rebound fell to Starkie and the keeper bounced back up to make a great second save. With just 15 minutes left Supporter’s Club Player Of The Match Olivia “Deej” Smart played a beautiful through ball for Doherty and the crowd were all on their feet as the shot came in it beat the keeper but not the post and just went wide.
With six minutes of injury time neither side could find the elusive winning goal and went home with a point a piece. Leeds will now have time to regroup before the next league fixture on October 25th at home to fellow promotion chasers Chorley. In the meantime it’s a hat-trick of away cup fixtures starting in the FAWPL Plate next Sunday where they travel to Birmingham & West Midlands.
By Brendan Devereux
Guest writer Andrew Butterwick gives us his latest Travels of a Leeds Fan after the abysmal 3-0 loss against Boro on Sunday.
Sunday mornings are usually for relaxing and digesting the previous day's result good or bad whilst anticipating a mouth watering Sunday lunch but not this one. Thanks to Sky Sports Leeds we were heading bleary eyed up the A19 through the fog to Teeside for the lunchtime kick off at high flying Middlesbrough a trip that in recent years has been very productive for the men in white. Memories of Becchio's volley and Mowatt's early winner last year blanked out the fact that the Smoggies were looking for their 5th straight league win in their super charged start to their championship campaign. Somehow I thought that it was going to need a bit more than Rosler's plan of replaying you tube clips of the Leeds away support at MK Dons to the team to secure anything from this trip?
The early morning fog gave way to bright sunshine as we arrived on Teeside just in time to see the team news that surprisingly had 5 changes from the team that beat MK Dons. Out went Byram, Wooton, Murphy, Cooper and the injured Wood and in came Antenucci, Botaka, Berardi, Adeyemi and Bellusci. The excitement of seeing Botaka start was more than tempered by the baffling decision to replace Cooper with Bellusci? Why when Cooper had been playing so well? Soon the conspiracy theorists were smelling intervention by Cellino now that Pearson was out of the way.............as if!
The Riverside Stadium was nearly full and the atmosphere was just about at boiling point as the game kicked off. Leeds started with a promising attack that ended with a cynical foul on Dallas by Boro's Stuani a pattern that would repeat itself for most of the game. Boro regained the ball from the free kick and ventured up field where the afore mentioned Stuani turned Taylor inside out before delivering a decent cross into the box. Bellusci was in pole position to head the cross clear but in a moment of pure slapstick he slipped on his arse allowing the ball to drop to Nugent on the 6 yard box. He was never going to miss from there and he didn't. His celebration in front of the massed away fans drew the expected response from the disappointed Leeds support. 1.0 Boro and the home fans were bouncing with just two minutes on the board.
First game, goal and point of the season with a 1-1 draw against relegated Burnley at Elland Road. Mirco Antenucci wheels away after scoring, his goal was a thing of beauty just a shame the visitors equalised within minutes.
A forty five minutes young Lewis Cook will never forget, he got his first goal but then was sent off before half time. Leeds drew the game 1-1 but lost on penalties to go out in the first round of the Carling Cup. Leeds had never gone out of the competition so early before.
A hard fought 0-0 draw at Reading where both teams struggled to break each other's defence. Nearly seven thousand fans travelled to support the Head Coach and his team.
At Ashton Gate Leeds were 2-0 up through goals from a penalty from Mirco Antenucci and Chris Wood's first competitive goal but defensive lapses gifted the 'Robin's' two very late goals in the 2-2 draw. This should have been Leeds' first win of the season.
Keir Taylor takes a look at the current one sided so-called conflict between Massimo Cellino and Sam Byram and discusses if it's really a fair fight.
Well, well, well… Another dispute between owner and player. Where have we heard this before?
Let’s roll back to McCormack:
GFH sold the club to Massimo Cellino, he then made promises of new signings and our own ground. We all fell for it, we all thought he was a zillionaire, we all thought he knew what he was doing and most of all, we all trusted him.
McCormack was our star player, and definitely the best player we had in a while – so, in typical Leeds United fashion, he would be sold for pittance. Wrong(ish). Ross was sold to Fulham, but for £11m. However, I’m not interested in the transfer itself, I’m interested in the events before and after.
Cellino called McCormack a “fridge”. Not only was that weird, but it made sense. What he was getting at, was, how could he sell the best player and then say he’s advancing the squad? I agree, I fully agree. “You can’t aim for promotion then sell your captain”. But, nonetheless, he was sold. We were lied to, yet again.
Anyway, moving on the Byram.
Cellino was on Sky Sports News yesterday, claiming that he felt a “little hurt inside” when Byram turned down a new deal at Leeds United. However, he did leave out the reasons why. Sign a deal on an unfair wage cut? No chance. You have to remember, this is a job for Sam.
Let’s say this – you work for Tesco for £7.50 an hour. Despite the manager protesting his love for you, saying you’re a valuable member to the team of employees… he offers you a new wage of £5.00 an hour. But then, Asda offer you a job on £7.60. Would you take it? Of course you would. It’s not about being disloyal, it’s about having what’s fair. Why take a wage cut when you’re being unfairly treated as it is? You have nothing to compensate for someone else’s behaviour.
Not to mention the time Cellino banned Byram’s agent from Elland Road. Cellino claims it “hurts”, yet he bans someone from ER that is extremely important to contract talks. My heart bleeds for you, Massimo.
As for Luke Murphy taking a wage cut – fair play to him. That type of dedication is what this club needs. However, if you want to compare this to Byram’s contract, you’re wrong before you even explain yourself. Why? Because Murphy was out due to injury a lot, and was poor – but one of the highest paid players at the club. His wage should’ve been cut some time ago. You take what’s fair. The difference with Byram is, he plays every week and he isn’t a bad player. Pay your better players, better wages. It’s that simple.
What you will notice in this Byram confusion, that Byram hasn’t said anything – why? He isn’t allowed to. Simple as that. We know one side of the story, and that one side is milking the sympathy, also throwing all responsibility on to a player that has his mouth padlocked shut. As they say in The X-files, “the truth is out there”.
I’ll just explain what I mean now, instead of giving out examples…
How can WE turn on one of our own? It happened with Lucy Ward and Neil Redfearn, and it looks like it’s going to happen to Byram. How can we do that? We bang on about who is and isn’t ‘Leeds’, but when someone that is Leeds is just singled out, we don’t defend them? I cannot think of anything more disgusting as a way to be disloyal.
Byram isn’t disloyal, he hasn’t said a word – he’s done nothing but keep his head down and work hard. And the lesser part of the fan base have the nerve to talk about him being a trouble maker or selfish. Get a grip.
Byram is discussing a future for himself where he feels underpaid, and under-valued. He’s beyond right to think that – it’s nothing to do with greed on Sam’s part, it’s to do with fairness. If you want to look at greed, trouble making, selfish, lying – then look no further at Massimo Cellino. I cannot wait till he leaves this club, its staff and its players alone.
I wasn’t a big fan of Adam Pearson, but at least it was quiet when he was here. Massimo has been back for a week and there’s already been a lot of anger. I pray to every God that there is that the FL ban him, for the long term safety of my club and the players I love to see.
It happened with McCormack, it’s happening to Byram… Next, it could be Mowatt, Cook, Taylor & Phillips.
These are our players, who know what it’s like to be one of us – don’t let it happen to them. If we all lapped up every bit of nonsense that was given to us, Bates or GFH would probably still be here.
We’re so much smarter than that. We showed Bates that you can’t mess our club around without a reaction – and through social media, most of us took GFH down through spreading what they were doing to our club. Let’s do the same with Cellino – he cannot poison this club anymore with his lies and utter disregard for anyone except himself.
Proven liar, convicted criminal, fraudulent, abusive and he owns this club. Get this cancer out, whilst we can. We cannot be United whilst an owner is like this. This needs to stop.
If you disagree with me, then message me privately on Twitter (@_KeirTaylor), I’m not going to argue with someone in public over their conjecture and gut feeling. If you think this is an opinion, then you’re a lost cause – don’t bother. I’m not being arrogant, I’m being tired of people fighting for a man that is dividing our fan base without people using facts to back him.
I want my club back.
By Keir Taylor
Following his recent arrival form Dutch club Excelsior, Jordan Botaka has agreed to take our questions and is the second Leeds United player to appear on our new feature '10 questions with...'
The talented winger looks to be a fantastic prospect for the club, having showed off a glimmer of his tremendous skill already for the development squad. With many fans (including myself) urging Rosler to give the winger his chance in the first team squad, Botaka will hopefully be nearing his debut for the club in what could be an intense fixture at the Riverside this Sunday.
1, Why did you decide to join Leeds United?
Leeds is a very big club with a great history in the number 5 league of the world that's why my choice to play for Leeds was easy to make.
2, What are your favourite pair of boots?
3, What is your favourite position to play?
4, What is your most memorable moment as a footballer?
My first goal for my country DR Congo vs Cameroon
5, What is your favourite football shirt that you have ever seen?
France national team shirt 2012
6, Who is the most influential person in your life?
7, What player did you look up to when you were a child?
8, Favourite ground that you have played at?
9, Do you support any other sports team?
10, What position will Leeds finish in May?
We'd like to thank Jordan for taking the time to do this interview and his agent Jeroen for setting this up. All of us at We All Love Leeds hope to see Jordan shine for the mighty whites for years to come.
By Ryan Ingham
Continuing our fantastic partnership with the Leeds Ladies, We All Love Leeds are happy to announce that we will now be publishing match reports of every game of their season as the phoenix continues to rise.
Brendan Devereux takes a look at Leeds Ladies second league loss of the season at home to Stockport.
After an impressive comeback victory against Morecambe last week Leeds entertained Stockport at Garforth this past Sunday. Manager Gaz Lee made a few changes to the starting line up with Georgia Wattam returning in goal after injury, Emily Starkie in for the injured Vicky Fytche and Beth Smith replacing Rachel Ackroyd in attack.
The Stockport tactic was evident from kick off quite simply stop Leeds from playing, whether that be constantly appealing every little decision or by persistent fouling.
This was the story of the first half with the only chance of note falling to Beth Smith who beat the offside trap & just fired wide on 20 minutes. Stockport were definitely not shy of going hard into nearly every tackle and the crowd had their hearts in their mouths when skipper Emma Bentley went down under a crunching tackle and had to receive lengthy treatment on the sidelines.
As the teams came out for the second half, we saw a bit of a tactical switch with Beth Smith dropping into the midfield & Zoe Doherty pushed up front. Leeds seemed to have a bit more life in them after some early second half subs with Demi Pringle coming on for Shelbey Morris and Caitlin Gunnell making her debut, replacing Catherine Hammil. It was Stockport who struck first however when Hanifa Douglas pounced on some uncertain defending to fire the visitors into the lead.
This finally seemed to light a fire under Leeds with Doherty & Pringle both causing constant problems to the Stockport back line. On the 70th minute it was Pringle who after beating two players was scythed down inside the area winning Leeds a penalty, up stepped Captain Faithful, who coolly slotted the penalty home to level the score.
In the 89th minute Leeds thought they had won the game when Pringle burst through on goal with her shot beating the keeper only to bounce agonisingly off the post. With Leeds pushing for a winner they were vulnerable to a counter and into injury time that’s exactly what happened, with Leeds outnumbered at the back Grace Campbell fired past Wattam to give Stockport all three points.
It's back to the drawing board for Gaz & his team and with Hull away on Wednesday, there will be some hard work going in this week. Leeds haven’t got as far as they have in a year by sitting & licking their wounds though and I’m sure we will see that Keep Fighting spirit as Leeds look to get their title challenge back on track.
By Brendan Devereux