Guest writer Andrew Butterwick takes a look at Leeds United's Championship clash against MK Dons.
After Tuesday's hugely disappointing performance against Ipswich it was with no little apprehension that I pointed the car southwards for the trip to Milton Keynes for the latest instalment of Leeds United's championship campaign. There was plenty to discuss during the 3 hour journey. When will the mad Italian implode now Adam Pearson has left the club? Will Flapper Silvestri keep his place in goal? Will Botaka get his chance to show his You Tube skills? Yes there was plenty to keep the Happy Chocker, Quiet One and yours truly occupied as we hurtled down the M1.
Whilst Milton Keynes Dons have an army of critics for the way they stole Wimbledon's football club it's difficult not to admire their fantastic stadium. Admittedly the plush padded seats are rendered redundant when over 6,000 Leeds fans roll into town but everything else is top notch at Stadium MK.
Rosler had changed the team from Tuesday but probably not in the way most fans expected. Wootton came in for Berardi at right back and Byram and Mowatt returned to a 3 man midfield at the expense of Adeyemi and Antenucci. It's fair to say that there weren't many fans within my earshot who had anything complimentary to say about the Wootton selection although Berardi has been exposed by pacy wingers in the last two games. Why not start Byram there was the consensus view? Botaka made it onto the bench and Silvestri kept his place.
Warm late summer sunshine greeted the kick off as Leeds went in search of a performance and result to banish the memory of the midweek defeat to Ipswich. The away team opened brightly with both Mowatt and Taylor firing in shots at the MK goal within the first 5 minutes but that early joy was short lived as MK soon found their rythym and copious amounts of space in midfield to hurt Leeds. Baker, Hall, Murphy and Carruthers all had shots at the Leeds goal before the 20 minute mark was reached. The Dons midfield were simply passing straight through the Leeds midfield with virtually no resistance. The home side's dominance even managed to quieten the Leeds hordes packed behind Silvestri's goal as that all too familiar feeling of witnessing another less than pleasing performance from Leeds in front of a big away following unfolded in front of my eyes. Then just when it seemed inevitable that the Dons would take the lead Leeds woke up.
Russ Vernon takes a look at today's away fixture against MK Dons.
SKY BET CHAMPIONSHIP | Venue: stadium:mk | Date: Saturday, 19 September | Kick-off: 15:00 BST| Coverage: Listen on BBC local radio, highlights on Channel 5 at 9pm.
MK Dons trio Ben Reeves, Joe Walsh and Mark Randall are all still receiving treatment and will be assessed ahead of the game.
While, Cody Cropper, Darren Potter and Dale Jennings remain on the sidelines through injury for Karl Robinson's men.
Leeds United head coach Uwe Rosler could make changes to his side for the trip to MK Dons after seeing his side lose for the first time this season in midweek.
Recent signing Jordan Botaka could come into the eighteen-man squad. Botaka hasn`t featured since arriving from Dutch side Excelsior last month but an impressive display for the development squad on Monday could see him given his chance by Rosler.
Tommaso Bianchi remains the only definite absentee through injury.
Last 5 home games for MK Dons:
11/8/15: Leyton Orient [W, 2-1]- Capital One Cup
15/8/15: Preston [L, 0-1]
18/8/15: Bolton [W, 1-0]
25/8/15: Cardiff [W, 2-1 aet]- Capital One Cup
29/8/15: Birmingham City [L, 0-2]
Last 5 away games for Leeds:
25/4/15: Sheffield Wednesday [W, 1-2]
13/8/15: Doncaster [D, 1-1 aet, L, Pens: 4-2]- Capital One Cup
16/8/15: Reading [D, 0-0]
19/8/15: Bristol City [D, 2-2]
29/8/15: Derby County [W, 1-2]
Last 5 meetings:
20/12/08: MK Dons 3-1 Leeds
28/3/09: Leeds 2-0 MK Dons
26/9/09: MK Dons 0-1 Leeds
24/4/10: Leeds 4-1 MK Dons
Referee: David Webb
Assistants: Ronald Ganfield and Richard Hulme
Fourth Official: Gavin Ward
*** Please Note Leeds have only faced MK Dons 4 times and Saturday's clash is the 5th meeting between the 2 sides.
By Russ Vernon
We All Love Leeds would like to happily announce our new feature designed to keep you readers in the know about certain people within both Leeds United and Leeds Ladies. The feature is a question based interview with certain players, media personalities and other people who Leeds fans will definitely have heard of.
Our first '10 questions with...' will be none other than the new academy product that everyone is talking about Tom Pearce.
Pearce is an energetic defender turned winger that has been lighting up the academy this season and could well be the next academy star to emerge from the academy and challenge a first team role sooner than later.
The 17-year old has already started the season in terrific form, with goals against Millwall fc for the development squad and two goals against Bolton for the under 18's.
Who is the best player you have played with?
Best player I have played with is Lewis Cook.
Who is your best mate at the club?
All the lads get along really well at Leeds United, I've known Mike Taylor the longest as we were at Everton together and since joining Leeds I probably spend most time with Jack Vann.
How did you get into football?
My dad played football with me from a very young age, I was playing for a local team when I joined Everton aged 5. Growing up I always played football whenever I could and took a football with me to most places.
What's your favourite position?
Favourite position is anywhere down the left, or on the right wing.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
In 5 years time I hope to be playing in the first team at Leeds United.
Which player did you idolise growing up?
I idolised Lionel Messi, his skill and goal scoring ability is unbelievable.
Favourite game you have seen?
My favourite game I've watched is probably Liverpool vs arsenal when they drew 4-4,
Any hobbies other than football?
My hobbies other than football would have to be playing golf and spending time with my family. In my spare time I like to play golf with a few of the lads.
My favourite film would be casino royal
And finally red or brown sauce?
It's got to be red sauce.
Interviewed By Ryan Pinnick
We All Love Leeds would like to thank Tom for taking the time to answer some of our questions and hope to see his involvement at Lufc carry on for years to come. If you would also like to keep an eye on the academy star, follow him on both Twitter and Instagram, his username is: tompearce98.
We hope you enjoyed a snippet of our new debut feature and hope to see you again soon with a brand new '10 questions with...' you never know it could be a Leeds great or a cult hero.
We All Love Leeds writer Keir Taylor takes a look at what could have been happening behind closed doors at Elland Road, his theory for what role Pearson took on at the club and why his exit was so speedy.
Following the home defeat to Ipswich last night, it was announced that Pearson has left Leeds United.
When Adam Pearson joined Leeds United a mere four months ago, the rumours were that he was there to find a buyer if Massimo Cellino was banned on a permanent basis. However, as Pearson took a more hands on control of the club, it seemed that we finally had a bit of stability – excluding his announcement at the press conference.
In said press conference, Pearson claimed that he had given Neil Redfearn a contract to stay. He may have done, but he didn’t specify what the clauses were, if there ever was any – long story short, Redfearn left on his own accord. I believe he didn’t want to leave – I think he was pushed rather than jumped, but that’s my opinion. Now, on to Lucy Ward. She’s Redfearn’s other half and was suspended for taking ‘too much’ time off – according to the rumours. Cellino now faces the courts over her suspension.
Not long after these, we started to spend real money on real players. Most notably, Chris Wood. So, you could say that things were on the up, couldn’t you? I’d of said so. This signing was completed not long after Uwe Rosler signed a deal at Leeds United to become the head coach. Could be that the coach was now actually picking the signings.
Guest writer Andrew Butterwick takes a look at Leeds United's Championship clash against Ipswich Town.
After battling with the gridlock on the M1 and M62 I arrived at Elland Road just in time for the clash with Mick McCarthy's Tractor Boys. Rolser had listened to the clamour from the fans and media to stick with the 4-4-2 formation that rescued a point against Brentford on Saturday and so Mowatt and Byram warmed the bench allowing Antenucci and Murphy to start the game. There was still no place for Botaka on the bench. Ipswich were fresh from their 5.1 thumping at Reading on Friday a game which their gruff Yorkshire manager had described as bonkers but how would they respond tonight?
21,000 fans had made it to the Theatre of Hope as the game kicked off in late summer sunshine. Leeds started brightly and spent the first 10 minutes camped in the Ipswich half without really threatening Gerken in the visitor's goal. Bamba arrived 2 seconds too late to tackle the speedy Fraser and earned an early yellow card as the diminutive winger was sent sprawling as he pushed the ball past the tall Leeds captain. Cook, who was playing on the left wing, had a typical surging run into box before tumbling to the ground in front of the baying South Stand but referee Mr Adcock waved play on. At times the ball was pinging about like a demented pinball with quality play at an absolute minimum. Antenucci did raise the expectation levels as he drove across the box but his shot was deflected safely into Gerken's arms as the game settled into a scrappy stalemate.
Silvestri had already given his defenders severe indigestion with his dithering in coming for balls and his over enthusiastic throw outs to fellow players who were already marked when in the 30th minute he conspired to produce a masterclass in Rachubkaesque goalkeeping. First a harmless ball into the box should have been claimed by Silvestri but Cooper had to concede a corner as he waited in vain for the frozen Italian to come and catch the ball. Then from the corner he came and flapped at the cross with all the effectiveness of a Penguin trying to fly, allowing the ball to fall nicely at the back post to an Ipswich player who returned the ball back across the goal to Tommy Smith who gleefully headed the ball into the empty net. Stunning! Silvestri was left with has arms stretched out wide in protest at some imaginary culprit who had caused him to act like a Sunday League keeper who was still pissed from the night before. 1.0 Ipswich.
As unlikely as the goal was it destabilised Leeds and inspired the Tractor Boys. Fraser continued to torment Barardi on the left flank as McCarthy's men cruised to half time with their vital one goal lead. I spent the interval trying to understand how just two games ago we were raving about a Leeds performance at Derby that was as far away from what I had witnessed in the first 45 minutes as is possible. Maybe McCarthy's right and all football in the Championship is bonkers?
No substitutions were made at the break. Ipswich were now happy to hold what they had but they were still more positive than a struggling home side. Silvestri was called upon to deal with decent shots from Maitland-Niles, Fraser and McGoldrick whilst he continued to kick and throw the ball out with suicidal intentions. This was becoming the latest in a long line of Tuesday night horror shows at Elland Road. On the hour mark Byram replaced Dallas who had failed to repeat Saturday's form. Cook showed glimpses of his talent with a couple of runs but it wasn't until Mowatt replaced Adeyemi and he moved to a more central position that Leeds started to show some attacking ambition.
With just 10 minutes left Leeds started to build up a small head of steam but it all seemed a bit too little too late. Wood had struggled all night against the Ipswich centre backs and Antenucci had been periphery to most of the action. Then with 6 minutes left a Cook inspired Leeds move sliced the visitor's defence wide open leaving Byram hurtling into the box with just Gerken to beat. Just as he was about to shoot he was felled from behind......PENALTY shouted 20,500 Leeds fans in unison at what was the most stonewall, nailed on, obvious penalty I have ever seen in my long life. Jubilation soon turned to incredulation as the referee was stood pointing the other way awarding a free kick to Ipswich and a yellow card to Byram! WTF. On what planet was the ref on? Even the referee in the 1973 Cup Winners Cup final would have had to have given this one. Unbelievable. The crowd was incensed as memories of a decision by Ray Tinkler came flooding back to my gnarled brain.
The final minutes of the game gave hope of an equaliser against a background of booing and worse towards the ref. He finally blew his whistle to signal an end to Leeds' unbeaten run and a truly horrible game. All the post match talk was about the penalty but that masked a woeful display by Leeds in a match devoid of quality. Berardi struggled all game against Fraser, Silvestri had a mare and only Cook and Cooper can really sleep easy after that performance.
News that Adam Pearson had left the club just added to the huge disappointment as I drove home. Football can be very, very frustrating at times......especially following the mighty whites. MK Dons away anyone?
By Andrew Butterwick
This article is taken from Andrew's very popular blog 'Travels of a Leeds fan' which you can find at leedsfan.blogspot.co.uk
Head of Content Keith Ingham says his final farewells to the outgoing Executive Director, in a charming anecdote about your favourite childhood Mr Men.
It started like all good romances do, with a slightly nervous and some might say worrying first date. The flowers and chocolate were obviously absent but the sentiments were there in abundance. One of the participants even went for a cigarette to calm his fragile nerves. Mr Happy and Mr Angry were very happy to be together.
As the romance blossomed one brought onboard people he trusted and even did a little 'business' when the other one was away on his hols. There was happiness in the air, people said this was a romance that could last and grow stronger, but there were many that knew leopards rarely change their spots.
The dates carried on and both were happy that the people kicking the round thing were doing it quite well and the fans watching them were on the whole very happy too. It seemed so perfect, maybe too perfect.
Then their was a 'rumoured' tension between Mr Angry and the man running the team but it didn't affect the romance between the two, love was all around as they say as August ended.
But as in most love stories on the whole it has ended, Mr Happy decided that life might be a little happier away from the place they'd made a home as things had started to go wrong with the people who kicked the round thing. One even let the ball over his head and it went in between the white sticks and into the net off a blue shirted mans head. Mr Angry was dismayed he'd lost his love and told Mr Happy he could return whenever he wanted to, but as we as we all know love sometimes doesn't last forever.
Goodbye Mr Happy and thank you for all you've done.
By Keith Ingham
Russ Vernon takes a look at tonight's home game for Leeds United against Ipswich Town.
SKY BET CHAMPIONSHIP | Venue: Elland Road | Date: Tuesday, 15 September | Kick-off: 19:45 BST| Coverage: Listen on BBC local radio.
Leeds United head coach Uwe Rosler will assess midfielder Alex Mowatt before deciding on his line-up to face Ipswich. The young midfielder had been struggling with an unspecified injury ahead of Saturday's home draw against Brentford and was withdrawn at half-time, with goalscorer Mirco Antenucci replacing him.
New recruit Jordan Botaka played the full 90 minutes for the Under-21s fixture against Bristol City today so may not be included, but assistant head coach Rob Kelly stated he may still feature.
Rosler has no new injury concerns as midfielder Tommaso Bianchi remains absent following knee surgery.
Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy must decide whether or not to change his team after Friday's 5-1 defeat at Reading.
McCarthy confirmed that Freddie Sears has a tight hamstring and will be looked at ahead of the game and he remains the only injury worry. He also confirmed that Dean Gerken will remain be in goal against Leeds.
Daryl Murphy is now fully fit and could start at Elland Road after returning from injury as a substitute at Reading.
Last 5 home games for Leeds:
14/4/15: Norwich [L, 0-2]
2/5/15: Rotherham [D, 0-0]
8/8/15: Burnley [D, 1-1]
22/8/15: Sheffield Wednesday [D, 1-1]
12/9/15: Brentford [D, 1-1]
Last 5 away games for Ipswich:
2/5/15: Blackburn Rovers [L, 3-2]
16/5/15: Norwich [L, 3-1]
8/8/15: Brentford [D, 2-2]
22/8/15: Preston [W, 1-2]
11/9/15: Reading [L 5-1]
Last 5 Meetings:
30/3/13: Ipswich 3-0 Leeds
24/8/13: Ipswich 1-2 Leeds
28/1/14: Leeds 1-1 Ipswich
6/12/14: Ipswich 4-1 Leeds
4/3/15: Leeds 2-1 Ipswich
Referee: James Adcock
Assistants: Matthew Dicicco and James Wilson
Fourth Official: Tony Harrington
By Russ Vernon
Editor-in-Chief Ryan Ingham chats with Gary Cooper about his role with Leeds Ladies and how they are settling since leaving the shackles of Leeds United behind.
The Phoenix is a majestic. powerful and fierce creature that is fully independent and you wouldn't want to turn your back on, much like the club it now symbolises in the Leeds Ladies FC.
Under a new name and a new leadership, the phoenix has definitely soared since their re-brand and currently find themselves top of the Fa Women's Premier League North Division One, having won four of their past five opening fixtures.
After such a successful start to the season, We All Love Leeds caught up with club Chairman Gary Cooper and got to know more about the clubs current situation.
Coming back from an impressive 4-2 away win against Morecambe, you must be overjoyed with the teams performance so far this season?
Yes very pleased, we conceded early from two set pieces and made it very hard work for ourselves. Such is the strength of spirit amongst the girls they don't let setbacks prevent them from competing and the flowing passing game we have come to expect from all Leeds Ladies teams came good and actually we dominated with quality possession and four goals, deserved winners.
With 4 wins out of 5 and top of the league, surely you must fancy promotion this season?
Last season we set ourselves the target of finishing second bottom with smiles on our faces and the girls enjoying playing football again. After two hard final seasons as Leeds United Ladies, we achieved so much more than that. So this season and a full year ahead of schedule our target is to win the title and gain promotion, that simple. If we can do that ahead of the 3 year plan we had in place to do it and keep those smiles on faces i will be one very happy and very proud chairman.
You can tell Emma Bentley is a born leader and has shown that since the reformation of the club, in comparison which captain of Lufc is she most like?
I wouldn't want to compare Bentz to any former LUFC captain for a very good reason, she is quite simply unique. It would be like trying to compare Billy Bremner to anyone else, you couldn't do it. When the girls found themselves dumped by LUFC last season, Bentz was the first to commit her faith and her belief in us as a committee and her team mates as a squad and she led from the front by example putting side before self at every twist turn and hurdle. She remained an inspirational constant throughout the first season and has earned the right to be considered unique in my eyes. I dont have the words to do justice to her talent, her passion, her pride and her commitment, it is second to none and i couldn't think more highly of her if i had Jack's beanstalk to climb and shout about her.