Reading caused another ‘chink’ in Thomas Christainsen’s armour on Saturday by winning 1-0 at Elland Road.
Apart from Andy Lonergan these players were the ones that set off at speed earlier in the season, so what’s gone wrong?
You first must make a look at the line up against Reading, experienced at the back, pretty much, apart from the ‘tired’ Alioski, the same players in midfield who have played the majority of games so far. With one up top and Siaz just behind him. Why then did it not work then?
First, you didn’t see anybody apart from Lonergan shout or gesticulate to another player. We need leaders out there and on Saturday that was clearly not there.
Thomas Christainsen’s Post Match comments did little to appease the annoyance of the defeat. I’d and more fans around me yesterday would have been more happy if he’d been stronger with his words.
Like over thirty plus thousand saw it, a team that started the season incredibly well now playing as if there is something not right within the dressing room. It’s never nice to hear boos at the end of a game but the performance warranted a lot of criticism.
It’s clear that teams have ‘found us out’ and realise if you close Leeds down and stop them getting it out wide you stop the creatively.
Plans B and C are needed, maybe three at the back with Dallas or Alioski on the left, Ayling on the right with Ronaldo Vieira and Vernon Anita an option as the midfield anchor man.
Up front Kemar Roofe did quite well as a front runner and scored goals, play him alongside either Grot or Lasogga. Little has been seen of Pawel Cibicki so why not give him a few games.
The squad has options and it’s time for Christainsen to get the best out of what he has at his disposal. Three bad performances and results don’t ruin a season but a win is definitely needed to appease rumbles.
It's not a ‘knee jerk’ reaction that is needed, but displays like yesterday have to stop or another season in nowhere land beckons.
Over to you Thomas.
By Keith Ingham
Andrew Butterwick’s views on another disappointing display, this time at Hillsborough.
Thank you Andrew.
Eunan O’Kane apologised for the mistake that gifted Wednesday a third goal yesterday and the team’s performance, he tweeted; "A really bad performance today. I can only apologise for the extremely poor decision that gifted them the 3rd goal. #MOT”
Pontus Jansson withdraws from the Swedish squad due to the injury (upper arm) that forced him to be substituted against Sheffield Wednesday.
Eunan O’Kane called up to the Republic of Ireland squad for the games against Moldova and Wales.
Heidi Haigh tries to understand why Leeds have turned from ‘ravers’ to ‘rable’.
Thank you Heidi, apologies for missing the Ipswich game.
Leeds United go into Saturdays match with a near full strength squad, including a fully fit defensive outfit.
This means that Thomas Christiansen must decide which is his preferred centre back partnership along with the harder decision on who plays at full back for the Whites.
Centre back trio Matthew Pennington, Pontus Jansson and Liam Cooper are all in contention for Saturday's game at home to Reading and have all put in good shifts during this season.
If Christiansen is to stick with his original pair then it is highly likely that it will be Jansson and Cooper who will take the field at Elland Road, with the pair being the preferred and only option during Pennington's spell out injured.
In that time Leeds were unbeaten and boated 5 clean sheets and the club seemed to be solid at the back along with potent upfront.
The next headache is the abundance of options for Leeds in the full back position.
With Luke Ayling being the preferred option at right back following his September Player of the Month award from the club, this leaves Christiansen three options for the left back position.
The trio of Gaetano Berardi, Vurnon Anita and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson are all vying for a starting position at the club and all have compelling arguments.
It's fair to say that Leeds United have needed this international break more than most clubs in the English leagues.
The club came into the break having been beaten by two clubs in the space of a week with two dismal performances against Cardiff City and Sheffield Wednesday.
Thomas Christiansen and co will have been working hard in preparing the team to restart their playoff challenge come this Saturdays game and it could be the perfect way to revamp the squads mojo.
The Whites take on a struggling Reading who are devoid of all confidence this season and although this is a game where fans may worry, the team this season seems more effective not only at home, but against teams who are under pressure.
The Royals currently sit in 20th place only one point from the relegation zone and having not picked up three points since the 26th August against fellow strugglers Birmingham.
Leeds will now look to pounce on their opposition and with the only admittance to the side being Caleb Ekuban who is still recovering from an operation.
A fully fit squad means Christiansen has had time to pick from a multitude of both attacking and defensive options and will go out on Saturday confident of the team he has picked.
Leeds need a win to restart their assault on the Championship table and with tough games against Bristol City and Sheffield United coming up, this will be their best opportunity.
What's your opinion? Should Leeds be winning this game easily? Is this a game that can restart their season? Have your say in the comments below!
By Ryan Ingham
Yesterday Leeds confirmed that young starlet Bailey Peacock-Farrell has departed the club on a short loan.
The young stopper has joined Vanarama North League side York City on a 28 day loan deal and is expected to start for the the Minstermen in their clash against Leamington on Saturday.
Highly regarded in the Leeds setup Peacock-Farrell is currently not in the first team picture due to the summer signings of Felix Wiedwald and Andy Lonergan and the club see his move to York as the perfect opportunity for the youngster to develop.
Leeds have also made the recent signing of young Polish keeper Kamil Miazek who will take BPF's place in the Leeds United Development squad alongside Will Huffer.
Peacock-Farrell will look to join fellow loan stars Tyler Denton and Lewie Coyle in impressing the clubs scouts while on loan spells with a view to breaking into the first team picture.
We wish Bailey the best of luck during his time in York and hope to see him challenging for a spot with the club as soon as he's back.
By Ryan Ingham
The Leeds United Big Match Subscription Service for the 2017/18 season!
He has not missed a LUFC programme in near on 32 years!
Michael Hewitt's Programmes service work on an account basis. To start an account send £20 or credit/debit card details plus a batch of self-addressed sticky labels. You can pick-up your Subs at one of the regular fairs in Leeds/London, or have them posted.
To meet Mike in action here's his available times;
Elland Road Programme Fair
Sunday 29th October
Billy's Bar, Elland Road
10:30am - 13:30pm
To get in touch;
MICHAEL HEWITT PROGRAMMES
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Feeling a little queasy after the weekends result? We don't blame you.
Leeds again registered a defeat away from home to make it three on the bounce as they crumbled at Hillsborough to a 3-0 defeat.
It seems like Thomas Christiansen and his club aren't travelling very well at the moment, and no amount of sickness pills or imodium would have been able to stop the s*** we saw on Sunday.
Having compared Leeds' home performances to that of the Wednesday defeat, its apparent that Leeds aren't changing their style when playing away from home.
In turn, they are treating the match as if it is a home game and thus continue to hold back and wait for a strong counter attacking option. This can't work away from home and it seems that clubs are starting to suss out Leeds' plan.
If Leeds are to revitalise their away form and start picking up points, Christiansen and co needs to start looking at how the club can win early goals before applying a more sustained and controlled approach.
If you haven't got the lead, why would you be sitting back in the first place? Games away from your home ground are vital in pushing for promotion and without really giving it a go, Leeds will be left in the lurch once again this season.
The club also needs to look at their formation away from home. Although the 4-2-3-1 is admirable, teams are allowed the swarm the midfield of two and win back possession early, something Leeds do perfectly at home themselves.
If they are to succeed then a 4-4-2 or even a 4-3-3 could be the perfect way to take the game to their opponents away from home whilst still utilising the squad that's available to them.
Whatever happens, something needs to change and now. Whether it be a tweak in tactics or formation the club need to make a statement when it comes to Bristol City away on 21st October.
By Ryan Ingham
David Watkins reports on the ‘Close Encounter’ at Elland Road between Leeds and Ipswich Town
Thank you David
Social Media’s reaction to the ‘nervy’ win over Ipswich was still very positive, lots of congratulations to new Dad Pierre-Michel and his dedication for insisting on playing on Saturday, despite his new arrival and Eunan O’Kane for a superb afternoon’s efforts. Kalvin Phillips also praised for his display and a well taken goal. A few wondered why Pontus was absent from the side, Christainsen said later it was a precaution due to the Cardiff game on Tuesday.
Leeds captain Liam Cooper’s excellent form has been rewarded by a call up by the Scotland squad, Stuart Dallas also called up for the Northern Ireland squad.
Thomas Christainsen on new Father Lasogga: “They’ve been very intense days for him. I have to say he’s a very professional player because the normal thing is to communicate when you become a dad, to the players. He didn’t say that for a whole day. I didn’t know. He didn’t want to take the attention away from anyone and I’m pleased for that, he’s been flying to Germany and back to Leeds in short time. It was nice for him and we’ll wait to see how he is for the game tomorrow.”
The player’s reaction: "I don't talk too much about my private situation.”
On playing for Leeds: “I am so happy that I can help the team with my goals and also my assists and my work on the pitch. I love to play every game, I love to play for this club. I think it is very important for a striker to come to a new club and to score goals.”
Christainsen looks forward to ‘locking horns’ with ex Leeds manager and now Cardiff manager Neil(Colin)Warnock on Tuesday: “All games have pressure but of course, the home game against Ipswich was important to make sure we go to Cardiff in the best condition. Confidence is also important and the three points but Cardiff will be a different game, another tough game against a strong and physical team, another top team. We need two good results now to maintain our position.”
He thinks Cardiff are a “top team” and expects a “tough and physical” game.
Warnock on the game with Leeds and his time at the club: “They’ll bring a full contingent(fans)and they’ve done brilliantly, probably better than Wolves had because they’ve not spent quite the same money, Leeds have done well and it’s great to see because it’s a fabulous club. I really enjoyed myself there but it was difficult circumstances, it was the wrong place at the wrong time – and the wrong chairman!”
Last time we met
Cardiff City 0 Leeds 2 Championship Sept 2016
Leeds 0 Cardiff 2 Champ Feb 2017
Leeds travel to Wales to play the team that are their nearest but not dearest rivals at the moment, both teams sit at the top of the Championship with twenty points each from nine Championship games, Leeds are top virtue of a better goal difference of six.
Both teams have had a superb start to the season so the game at The Cardiff City Stadium will have the eyes of thousands focussed on it, ‘Colin’ will no doubt have his team very focussed and I expect Sol Bamba will be very keen to put one over his old club.
Thomas Christiansen must decide if to recall Pontus Jansson or stick with the Shaughnessy / Cooper combination in centre of defence, Stuart Dallas may be preferred to Pablo Hernandez on the left hand side of the midfield front three.
Leeds should steel themselves for a early onslaught but if they can get through it a draw wouldn’t be a bad result. 1–1.
Cardiff City vs Leeds United
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