We All Love Leeds writer from over the pond Þorleifur Ananíasson takes a look at Lees United's current squad and evaluates who we have and what we need.
Recently Massimo Cellino told us the club only had 22 first team players, but I count 38. The 38 players include a list of full time professionals and two loan players. Of course these players are not all ready for the first team, but I think this is a strong group.
The transfer window will be open in January and with 3 top signings coming in I believe we should be strong enough to reach the play offs at least. Top players cost a lot of money and to get them we may have to sacrifice some of our current players.
We now have 3 out and out wingers which I think is a bit of a luxury, so if Will Buckley doesn't set the place alight I would send him back to Sunderland in January. I would do the same with the other loan player Tom Adeyemi, who I actually think will not be a future Leeds United star. However, I would try to get his team mate from Cardiff City, the Icelandic captain Aron Einar Gunnarsson. He's a sensibly aged midfield general and a real fighter with the longest throw ins in the league. He is Joey Barton, just with an actual brain. We must also sign a strong and experienced center half and a good goal scorer.
Finally, we must conclude the Sam Byram situation, hopefully by him signing a new contract. If not, then getting as much money for him in January as possible, 6-8 m pounds should not be to much if the big guns really want him.
Other players to follow the loan players out in January? Souleymane Doukara, Tommaso Bianchi and Casper Sloth can all go and would command transfer fees and should clear up a good amount of wage space. I also think it would clear the air a little to get rid of these players. The team could then take a big step forward towards promotion to the Premier League, that I honestly believe is just around the corner.
And for the latest problem, after reserve keeper Ross Turnbull broke his ankle in a training fixture, I would urge Leeds to sign Southend keeper and future prospect Daniel Bentley.
Tom Adeyemi - Cardiff City - Season-long loan/option to buy
Will Buckley - Sunderland - 93 day loan
Contract Expiry Dates
Lee Erwin (Bury on loan)
SKY BET CHAMPIONSHIP | Venue: Elland Road | Date: Saturday, 17 October | Kick-off: 15:00 BST| Coverage: Listen on BBC local radio, BBC Radio 5 Live, highlights on channel 5 at 9pm.
Leeds United and Brighton and Hove Albion meet at Elland Road this weekend with Leeds head coach Uwe Rosler having an almost fully fit squad to pick from.
Lewis Cook, Stuart Dallas and Jordan Botaka are all back at Elland Road unscathed after being away on international duty.
Gaetano Berardi is back in training after limping out of the defeat to Birmingham City last time out and he is available.
Midfielder Tommaso Bianchi is closing in on a return having missed the season so far with a knee injury.
Leeds will be without reserve goalkeeper Ross Turnbull after he broke an ankle last week. Young American goalkeeper Charlie Horton is expected to be named amongst the substitutes.
Brighton look set to be without Kazenga Lua Lua once again. The winger recently returned to training following injury but manager Chris Hughton isn`t ready to risk him.
Jamie Murphy is once again missing for Brighton as he serves the second of a three-match suspension.
Last 5 home games for Leeds:
8/8/15: Burnley [D, 1-1]
22/8/15: Sheffield Wednesday [D, 1-1]
12/9/15: Brentford [D, 1-1]
15/9/15: Ipswich [L 0-1] 3/10/15: Birmingham [L 0-2]
Last 5 away games for Brighton:
18/8/15: Huddersfield [D 1-1]
25/8/15: Walsall [L 2-1]
29/8/15: Ipswich [W 2-3]
19/9/15: Wolves [D 0-0]
26/9/15: Bolton [D 2-2]
Last 5 Meetings:
27/4/13: Leeds 1-2 Brighton
3/8/13: Leeds 2-1 Brighton
11/2/14: Brighton 1-0 Leeds
19/8/14: Leeds 0-2 Brighton
24/2/15: Brighton 2-0 Leeds
Referee: Darren Deadman
Assistants: Stuart Eagland and Mark Jones
Fourth Official: Geoff Eltringham
By Russ Vernon
Editor-in-Chief Ryan Ingham chats with new Leeds United academy signing Ronaldo Vieira Nan in what will be a regular feature with the player as he continues his progress at Leeds United.
Since appearing for Leeds United in a friendly a little over 4 months ago, Ronaldo Vieira Nan has gone on to secure a permanent deal at Leeds United, something that deserves a hell of a lot of praise.
The Guinea-Bissau born midfielder left Portugal in 2011 and moved with his family to the UK in search of a career in the English game.. He later joined the i2i Football Academy in York and has now gone on to secure a two year scholarship at the Leeds United academy.
Ronaldo is said to be a central midfielder with an abundance of pace, strength, power and has great awareness on the ball.
Since joining up with Leeds United, I've had the opportunity to speak with Ronaldo about his move to the Leeds. I've also spoken about his time at the i2i Football Academy, which is one of the top private academies to take on players that need the opportunity to shine and gave them a new lease of life within football.
Welcome to Leeds United and what a joy it is to have a prospect like you at Lufc; are you happy to be here?
Yeah I am very happy right now to be at a club of this magnitude, I can't ask for better.
I'm sure you've said goodbye to a lot of good coaches at the I2i academy, has your time there helped your progress?
Yeah absolutely. I thanked my coaches Mike Morton and Simon Collins for giving me and my brother a chance to represent i2i, it has helped me a lot to develop my skills and become a better footballer.
Our latest 10 questions with includes none other than former Lufc player Andy Couzens, who spent 4 years at Elland Road in his footballing career.
1, Who was instrumental in getting you first into football when signing for Leeds United?
The first person was my dad really and my granddad, who came to most of the games.
I played when I was a junior but unfortunately he never did see me play for for the first team.
2, Who was your first football idol as a child?
First hero has to be Gazza and also Leeds wise Mel Sterland (zico)
3, The person you most looked up to whilst at the club, favourite Leeds player?
Has to Gordon Strachan, we called him skip as did everyone else and if we see him now we still call him skip. Mel too, because that was the position i played.
4, Biggest regret after leaving?
Not scoring at Elland Road.
5, Most memorable game you've played in and one you've watched?
Most memorable game I played in was my debut for Leeds against Coventry along with my first game with the England u21 side and singing the national anthem.
6, Funniest thing you've seen in a game you were playing in?
It was a reserve game and Phil Masinga did a run across the line and just kept on running down the tunnel and he was that desperate for the toilet!!!
7, Do you have another sport you excelled at as a youngster?
I played all sports as a youngster, but badminton was my sport and got told if I gave football up and played badminton I would of played for England!! Obviously I didn't and I made the right choice on that one. I got to no.3 ranked player in England so I wasn't that bad!!!
8, Player in the current squad you think will go on to international level and gain a full cap for his country?
Lewis Cook simple, great player.
9, Have you ever played against a player and been 'star struck' that you were on the same pitch as him?
No you only think that after you have finished. I think that's pretty cool that I played with and against some great players like Viera, Beckham, Strachan, Yeboah, Garry Mac and Gary Speed.
10, Where you think Leeds United will finish in the 2015/16 season?
.I think a good season would to be in the the top half of the league this year and if we get a bit of run going you never know!!!
Guest writer from over the pond Þorleifur Ananíasson takes a look at the clubs recent struggles on the pitch and points out what could be going wrong and what needs to happen to sort this issue out.
What is wrong with Leeds United this season? I was almost sure we would get a home win against Birmingham last Saturday, but it ended in a 2-0 win for Birmingham. I honestly believe Leeds have a stronger squad than last season, but there is something missing regarding the teams spirit and fight that existed under Neil Redfearn last season.
That said, the trouble really started at the end of last season with Steve Thompson getting sacked for no reason, the strike of the Italian players which ended with the sacking of Redfearn and the appointment of Uwe Rosler. So after 10 league games we are in the bottom half of the Championship even after buying 9 new players and keeping all our best players from last season.
The new players have cost the club a lot of money but most of them have not stood up to expectation. The biggest signing is Chris Wood for £3m who has yet to set the place alight and the same can be said of Sol Bamba, the captain that have not played as well as his loan spell last season. A lack of width was obvious last season but this was changed when three wingers have been brought in, including Stuart Dallas, Jordan Botaka and the loan player Will Buckley. Dallas and Botaka seems a good signings and hopefully Buckley will too although he suffered a disappointing first game.
The two keepers Ross Turnbull and youngster Charlie Horton like striker Lee Erwin look good signings but have struggled to pick up any game time, Then there is the loan player from Cardiff City, Tom Adeyemi who I think has not stood up to expectation and is not the answer for a defensive midfielder. Making it obvious that only the wingers have began to prove themselves in the early months of the season.
Last and maybe the most important is the new manager Uwe Rosler. He is just beginning this new job and I think he started well. But recently I have not been so impressed with him. I believe maybe he is to strict regarding tactics. One up front needs a top striker that I don´t believe Chris Wood is. I for one think 4-4-2 would be much better for the players at the club and my starting 11 would be:
Silvestri: Byram, Bamba, Cooper, Taylor: Botaka, Cook, Mowatt, Dallas: Wood, Antenucci/Murphy , with Cook as the midfield general.
I also believe Rosler should be more aggressive on his players than saying they learn from the mistakes they make. If that was the case they would have learned so much now that they would never lose a game.
Let´s hope the team start to perform after the international break and set their sights on the top six that I think the fans and owner should expect from the players.
By Þorleifur Ananíasson
Brendan Devereux takes a look at the latest fixture in which Leeds LAdies lost 4-0 to Birmingham & West Midlands.
Leeds Ladies got their FAWPL Plate campaign underway with a trip to Birmingham & West Midlands. Leeds made a couple of changes from the 2-2 draw with Chester-Le-Street with Bridie Hannon returning from an eye injury in defence, Rachel Stuart earning her first start & goalkeeper Stacy Haytack making her first team debut. It was Leeds who made the brighter start & went closets to scoring when Birmingham failed to deal with a corner the ball fell to Demi Pringle with her back to goal she hooked the ball over her head & her effort went just over.
Soon after Rachel Ackroyd had 2 chances one saved by the keeper & the other just over the bar before the referee took centre stage. On the 22nd minute Birmingham went on the offensive & as the ball came into the box where Haytack & Sophie Thompson were both taken out with neither ref or his assistant calling the foul the ball was left to Gemma Mooney to tap the ball into the empty net while both Leeds players were down injured. Just 5 minutes later with Leeds still reeling from the first goal Birmingham managed to double their lead from a corner when Pritchard bundled the ball home for 2-0.
On the 38th minute the officiating came into question once more while Demi Pringle was on the ball everyone at the ground except the officials saw her quite clearly have her hair pulled & also appeared to be elbowed in the face. While Demi was off the field receiving treatment Birmingham took advantage of not only the extra player but Sophie Thompson was still struggling after the challenge on the first goal. Birmingham hit Leeds with a quick counter attack & Nathalie Courtney sent Brum into the break 3-0 up.
As is the Leeds motto this season they came out second half determined to keep fighting & 6 minutes in almost had a goal back when Bridie Hannon headed just wide from a corner. On the 58th minute the tie was put to rest when Annie Pritchard scored from another corner with a bullet header to make it 4-0. Unlike their male counterparts down at Elland Road Leeds refused to let their heads drop with skipper Emma Bentley playing through the pain after a late tackle left her limping. Leeds still managed to carve out chances with player of the match Caitlin Gunnell linking up well with Landricombe to carve out chances for Ackroyd, Jepson & Pringle.
The game finished 4-0 in a very tough game & the result didn’t do the Leeds performance any justice & neither did the performance from the man in the middle. Leeds focus now switches to The FA Cup next week with a trip to Morecambe & you would imagine without a few senior players who picked up knocks this week. Now is the chance for some of the squad players to come in & make a name for themselves& show no matter what Leeds Ladies will always KEEP FIGHTING.
By Brendan Devereux
We All Love Leeds' latest 10 questions with includes none other than the new chairman of the Leeds United Supporters Trust Michael Green.
With your appointment, do you believe that the Trust can once again become the voice for all Leeds United fans?
I don’t think the Trust has ever been the voice of all Leeds fans, but it has punched above its weight. Thanks to Gary Cooper’s leadership, LUST led the charge in the latter months of the Bates regime, something that opened the ethos and principals of the Trust to a wider audience. Because of that history, the Trust now keeps its analytical approach to developments active. Personally, I believe in a “let 1,000 flowers bloom” approach to supporters’ groups - which is why we welcome the infectiousness of Leeds Fans UTD. I am also committed to garnering as much unity as it is possible to do, but that unity has to be for progress.
In your own words, what is your vision for the Trust and Leeds United?
To articulate the aspirations and concerns of the support, to be an alternative honest voice in a sea of hype and spin, to promote the values and potential of the supporter ownership of football clubs, and to reinvigorate its presence in the Leeds United community of support.
We will treat each Leeds United development on its merits. So if Leeds United is a progressive, fan-engaging, medium-term planning, stable club that looks to develop the footballing side over the next year, we will give credit where it’s due. However if it’s a by-word for short-termism, unstable in ownership and finance, public relations car-crash with talent being lost to other clubs then we will be vocal in our approach. I suspect we will see a mixed bag but always hope for the former.
As a fan, are you happy that you can now use your voice not only for the Trust but for all Leeds United fans as you push for you vision to be a reality?
We all come as fans with our perspective, personality and skills as board members. I have seen some suggestions that all fans representatives should become as auto-bot as many politicians are, I don’t agree one dot with that: you get Michael Green and the other board members warts and all. The Trust is what it is, a volunteer-led manifestation of real Leeds United supporters. The Trust and the Trust movement has ethos and principles and those will be mine and all board members guiding lights. The board and I intend to show principled consistent leadership where needed, if that is also popular across the spectrum of the support that is something to cherish.
What is your opinion on the current Leeds United setup?
In ownership terms, we await the next few months with a little concern. The continued presence of GFH on our board impresses no-one and with Massimo Cellino’s continued Italian legal issues, it’s hard to see where long-term stability is coming from, even more so now Adam Pearson’s cameo period of calm is over.
In financial terms we await the 14-15 financial results with interest. I suspect when they come in, they will be around half the 13-14 losses (partly covered by McCormack monies in), so there will be a sense of relief it isn’t the £25m loss seen previously. Whether that means we have turned the financial corner for the medium term sustainability required remains to be seen.
One aspect we need more reassurance on is the relationship between ownership and footballing decisions. It’s risky enough having few directors with English football experience,without having an unbalanced relationship between those whose coaching credentials are clear and those who say they “know football”.
Are you a fan of Uwe Rosler?
I’m very keen the club cuts out the short-termism, particularly with managers. It’s too early to say what he might achieve, he needs at least a three-season stint in my humble opinion to make us promotion contenders. In the nine league games he has had, he already surpasses a number of our last 12 managers in my estimation. The important thing is he is given the time to show his possible worth.
Who is your biggest Leeds United hero?
Allan Clarke was my boyhood hero and Luciano Becchio gets my vote for under-rated cult hero. Lucas Radabe is of course a saint, and Rod Wallace the vital glue from our 92 success. My biggest regret in a player we didn’t keep is Robbie Keane, the biggest wasted talent was Michael Bridges after his injury. The names Tony Arins and Steve Balcombe stick in the mind of fans like me of a certain age, but for different reasons.
What is your most memorable Leeds United match?
Manchester United 0 v 1 Leeds United, February 1981, in that away end as Flynn scores was about as good as it gets. Second Oxford 2 v 4 Leeds United in our promotion season, Southampton 3 v 4 Leeds United with the comeback runs them close and as for games at Elland Road, Leeds United 2 v 0 Manchester United in May 1980 is also a favourite memory of mine.
Favourite player this season?
Charlie Taylor is the man so far but Lewis Cook will still be the quality that shines out. Give Kalvin Philips more games and we might find he can be added to the Taylor/Mowatt/Cook/Bryan axis of academy talent at our disposal. Liam Cooper is under-rated by some and I find that puzzling.
Prediction come May?
Ninth, whether that mid-table comes stress free is yet to be determined.
Red or Brown Sauce?
We'd like to thank Michael for taking our questions and wish him the best in his new role as Lust Chairman, we at WALL will be there every step of the way hoping that you make a change at Leeds United.
By Ryan Ingham
Guest writer Andrew Butterwick gives us his latest Travels of a Leeds Fan after thehome defeat to Birmingham City this past Saturday.
After last week's shambolic show of defending at the Riverside it was not surprising that there was an air of apprehension amongst the hordes of mighty whites fans heading for Elland Road. Even though the visitors Birmingham had a strike force led by Clayton Donaldson nerves were taut as a drum. Still surely sloppy Guiseppe Bellusci wouldn't be starting would he? The Happy Chocker comforted me with a careless throw away comment "does Nikola Zigic still play for them" and instantly a rush of dark thoughts from my bulging archives of Leeds United horror shows came flooding back. I swiftly ordered another pint to numb my pre match fears as we discussed what changes Rosler might make to the team. Will Buckley start? Will Botaka keep his starting place? Has Wood shaken off his mysterious injury? Will sense return and Byram return to right back? As ever on Planet Leeds there wasn't a lack of hot topics to debate as we prepared for kick off.
In the event Rosler did give Buckley his debut and brought back Murphy, Wood and Cooper into the team that capitulated at Boro. Still no place for Byram. The game kicked off with Birmingham first into their stride on a pitch that had recovered well after last week's mauling by the Rugger buggers. Birmingham's speedy winger Gray had the first shot of the game as he danced into the box and fired wide of Silvestri's post. Birmingham's tactics soon became clear as they were more than happy sit deep and let Leeds have possession waiting to pounce on the counter attack. This allowed the home side lots of ball bit little if any penetration. Liam Cooper received a yellow card on twenty minutes for a perfectly good tackle on Cotterill who then hit the free kick into the wall. The only reward for oodles of possession in the opening half hour was a weak shot from Berardi that Brum's goalie Kuzczak easily fielded. This was not the tub thumping passionate performance Leeds fans yearn for at home.
Just after the half hour yet more disaster came Leeds way. The mighty Clayton Donaldson chased a through ball into the Leeds box where he clattered into Cooper and ricocheted the ball free to the right of the box. While the Leeds players appealed for a foul on Cooper Gray recovered the ball and hammered it into the net past Silvestri for the opening goal. 1.0 Birmingham. It did look like a foul on Cooper but once again the Leeds defence were made to look like an easy touch. Unfortunately that's because at this moment in time they are.