Barry Douglas will miss the rest of Leeds United’s season after the club confirmed that the left-back has ruptured a knee ligament. Douglas damaged a medial ligament in Saturday’s 3-2 win over Millwall and has been sidelined for up to 12 weeks, taking his recovery period beyond the end of the Championship term.
He Tweeted later: “Not how I wanted my season to end but unfortunately for me that’s sometimes football, thanks for all the messages of support I really appreciate them and will use them to help me come back stronger 🙏🏼💙”
Bugger! Is there a week when Marcelo has had a full squad to pick from? Believe it or not he hasn’t had one this season so far.
Leeds United's injury list in full and how many games have been missed under Marcelo Bielsa following Barry Douglas blow
Thanks to the YEP.
Pablo Hernandez named in the EFL Team of the week. 👏🏻
Premier League Cup semi-final draw:
Leeds United v Newcastle United Swansea City v Everton/Blackburn Rovers.
The tie will be be played between the 30th of April and the 10th of May. Leeds have already played Newcastle twice this season, they fell to a 2-0 defeat away from home before winning the reverse fixture 3-1 against Newcastle.
Leeds are ranked second in the Championship behind Aston Villa in the attendance figures.
Villa have a average of 35,283 whilst Leeds’ is 33,738.
Villa’s highest attendance is 41,411 compared to Leeds’ 37,004.
Fulham are relegated from the Premier League after their 4-1 defeat at Watford. The London club spent over 100 million pounds in the summer but find themselves back in the Championship after only one season in the top flight.
Bolton are facing the closure of their stadium for the next two games in the latest blow to the crisis-hit club. The University of Bolton Stadium has been deemed unsafe by the Safety Advisory Group (SAG), which issued the Championship outfit with a prohibition notice. Stewards and safety officers are refusing to work until they are paid.
Bolton’s players have been on strike for the last two days in protest at the failure of the club to pay them and other staff on time last month. Now Saturday’s relegation six-pointer against fellow strugglers Ipswich and promotion chasing Middlesbrough's visit next Tuesday night are both in jeopardy.
If Leeds win another game this season it will be their highest wins total in the second tier of English football since the introduction of three points for a win. The club has only past seventy points on five occasions and Bielsa will pass this mark(hopefully)in the next seven games. They have seventy six points currently after last week’s enthralling 3-2 win over Millwall.
The best so far:
1989-90, Howard Wilkinson – P46 W24 D13 L9
Points 85. (Promoted; Champions)
For as long as Leeds have meandered in the EFL/Division 2 Howard Wilkinson’s players have been the team to emulate and the team to eclipse.
Eighty-five points won his squad the title, on goal difference ahead of Sheffield United, and Wilkinson’s side – in keeping with the man himself – were a model of consistency.
Only nine defeats all season (four of those before New Year’s Day) and a telling unbeaten run of 15 games after losing heavily at Newcastle United(5-2) on the first weekend, enough to settle a tight, three-horse race involving Newcastle and Sheffield United.
It is hard to believe that Leeds will not win another game in their last seven games so will pass Wilko’s team win total(Bielsa’s team has 23 wins so far). With Norwich City already on 81 points the team that wins this year’s Championship trophy will probably surpass that 1989/90 title winning points total.
The other seventy plus total seasons:
Kevin Blackwell 2005/06
Pld 46 W21 D15 L10 Pts 78 (5th)
Gary Monk 2016/17
Pld 46 W22 D9 L15 Pts 75 (7th)
Simon Grayson 2011/12
Pld 46 W19 D15 L12 Pts 72 (7th)
Pablo Hernandez was voted second in a poll by the football publication Four Four Two to find the top fifty one EFL players. The mercurial, magical Spaniard said: “This has been really positive. All around the club, there’s this excitement to end 15 years away from the Premier League. It feels so close. This city(Leeds)deserves a Premier League team. It’d be the best achievement of my career if we go up.”
He added about being picked as one of the best players in the EFL: “Honestly, it gives me so much pride and joy. Of course. I’d change any of these individual awards it it meant Leeds go up, but it’s lovely for supporters from other clubs to recognise your worth in this way, especially at my age!”
Pablo not good enough for the EFL team of the year but fans of all EFL clubs seem not to agree.
Pontus Jansson(12th) and Kemar Roofe(9th) were also included in the top fifty one players list.
The winner was Norwich City’s Teemu Pukki.
This month’s issue also has eight page article by the YEP’s Phil Hay on ‘A Year with Bielsa’, it’s excellent and definitely worth reading. Issue 299 is James Brown’s first issue as Editor, he is a massive fan of the club so expect a few more Leeds related stories. Hopefully a promotion ‘special’ too!
The referee for the game with Birmingham City is Mike Dean. He surpassed 100 red cards in the Premier League when he sent off Ashley Young of manu in the game with Wolves last night. Wanderers won the game 2-1.
“I’ve made mistakes.” Victor Orta said in an interview with Sky Bet. Phil Hay of the YEP gives you the key points of the intriguing interview.
Thanks to Phil Hay and the YEP.
The full interview.
Band of ‘Leeds’ Brothers.
A Leeds legends X1 will take on a John Sheridan X1 in a benefit game for former United captain Brendan Ormsby, who sadly suffered a stroke shortly before Christmas 2013
The star-studded fixture will take place at Throstle Nest, the home of Farsley AFC on Sunday April 19 with a 1pm kick-off. Tickets are priced at just £5 and can be purchased online.
A host of familiar faces, including United head coach Neil Redfearn, Gary McAllister, Gary Kelly, Nigel Martyn, John McLelland and Simon Grayson, will be in action to support Brendan and his charities.
The game will also be officiated by 2010 World Cup final referee Howard Webb and Premier League referee Martin Atkinson, and there will be a special guest appearance from boxer Josh Warrington, just a week after his huge title fight at Leeds' First Direct Arena.
Tottenham first goal in their new ground was scored by Song Heung-min. Spurs beat Crystal Palace 2-0 with Eriksen scoring the second. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to visit the new ground when an NFL game is played there next season and when Leeds travel there next season, fingers and everything else crossed.
The new Spurs ground in all it's official opening night glory.
Leeds reveal £4.3 million pound loss in Andrea Radrizzani’s first year of tenure.
Thanks to the YEP
The accounts also show that: “The company (Leeds United) entered into a lease agreement for the stadium until June 2032 with an entity which has control over the stadium. There was an initial rent-free period of 33 months.”
The timeframe means that Leeds will continue to use Elland Road without landlord costs until at least 2020.
Marcelo Bielsa pre Birmingham City press conference. Who’s fit, who’s out and who is BACK! and looks ahead to the game with Birmingham City: “Birmingham, after they beat us at Elland Road, started a good long period where they showed a high level. They have good strikers, good wingers and they are very compact and solid in defence.”
“In the first game I didn’t feel all these skills, but after our game, they showed these skills in a long period. The fact they beat us is not the only reason for respecting them, we respect them a lot because of what they have done all season.”
With Barry Douglas ruled out through injury, Bielsa did have some positive news on Kemar Roofe ahead of Saturday’s trip.
He said: “Roofe is healthy. He couldn't play with the Under-23s because there was no game this week, but he will be with the squad.” Kiko Casilla is also available after serving his one match ban, ‘Izzy’ Brown had a small injury that kept him out of the squad for recent games, he is now fit and is “one of the options I now have”
On the threat of West Bromwich Albion making a late assault on the top three: “In football, to imagine what’s going to happen is very difficult, one of the best things about football is how unpredictable it is. To make a hypothesis or to imagine the future is not easy and it’s not convenient either because you have a lot of room for mistakes.”
“I have in mind all the mathematical options that can happen. We cannot say something won’t happen when from a mathematical point of view, it can.”
Remembering two of our own
Garry Monk on the game with Leeds: “You always have to be good defensively against any team, but especially against a team of the quality of Leeds, but we proved that in the first game where they didn't have a meaningful shot on goal until the 85th minute, when they actually scored their goal.”
“That just shows how well we did defensively against them and how disciplined and focused we were. We need to be the same in terms of attitude and competitiveness in this game."
“It's a fantastic, huge club - that type of club needs to be in the Premier League, this season seems to be the season Andrea(Radrizzani)and the players themselves have decided is the season.”
"The nucleus was there, they had a good foundation of players, they have now spent and invested in what I feel are very good players and given themselves the best chance of it. They are in a fantastic position to do it. “
We’ve met before
Birmingham 1-0 Leeds Dec 2017
Birmingham 1-3 Leeds March 17
Birmingham 1-2 Leeds April 16
Birmingham 1-1 Leeds Sept 14
Birmingham 1-3 Leeds April 14
The weekend brings a trip to the Midlands. Birmingham City’s St Andrews ground, the club have now a fight to stay in the Championship after being deducted nine points for breaking EFL financial rules.
They are managed by Garry Monk who still isn’t in the best favour with Leeds fans, due to the way he left the club. Despite their position they have enough within their squad to worry Bielsa’s Boys. The ex Leeds HC has already stated the importance of every point City need to win to be sure of survival. Birmingham won the game 2-1 at Elland Road earlier in the season.
The big question is whether Marcelo Bielsa will change a ‘winning team’ with the return to fitness of fourteen goal striker Kemar Roofe. Personally I think it’s not his goals Leeds have missed, it's his movement around the area that gives other players opportunities to score, I think he may have to settle for a place on the bench. Kiko Casilla could be recalled after serving his one match ban. Unfortunately Barry Douglas will sit out the rest of the campaign due to knee injury.
Leeds at Birmingham, Sheffield United at Preston. Two massive games that will have a huge bearing who is favourite to claim an automatic promotion place. The fixtures are reversed next week as Leeds travel to Preston and Sheffield go to Birmingham.
City are at the wrong end of the table, they know they need the win and Gary Monk will have his team ‘up’ for the game. That saying Leeds need the win or at least a share of the spoils, so it could be a tight game with the odd goal winning it. Leeds 2-1.
Leeds’ last home game against Aston Villa has been picked for Sky TV coverage so will now kick off at 12.00pm on Sunday the 28th of April.
Their rivals will play their games the day before(27th) also on Sky.
Sheffield United v Ipswich Town 17.30
Norwich City v Blackburn Rovers 19.30
Because of the TV change the Player of the Year awards has also changed date until the 28th of April starting at 18.00.
Could be one hell of a party if Leeds clinch promotion against Villa.
Birmingham City v Leeds
Team News: Kiko Casilla returns in goal, Peacock-Farrell moves to the bench alongside Forshaw, Dallas, Berardi, Shackleton and fit again Kemar Roofe.
Team: Casilla, Ayling, Jansson, Cooper(c), Alioski, Phillips, Klich, Hernandez, Roberts, Harrison, Bamford.
Report: Birmingham City 1-0 Leeds United
Thanks to Leedsunited.com.
On the nineteenth minute the Leeds fans turned their backs on the game in a tribute to Kevin Speight and Chris Loftus. They sang “turn your backs for Kev and Chris” and were applauded by the home sections of the crowd.
This year marks the nineteenth year since their murder in 2000.
Man of the Match: Kiko Casilla, the only reason that their score remained at one.
Roberts feels the pain of another unexpected defeat.
Marcelo Bielsa: “We could have drawn the game, but we could have lost by more goals. We could have won the game too but in the moments when we took control we couldn’t make the most of our chances.”
“In attack we had a lot of time on the ball but we didn’t create a lot of chances and we didn’t take advantage of the chances we did create, so the performance of the team was not very positive. We could have drawn the game but we could have lost by more goals. We could have won the game too but in the moments when we took control we couldn’t make the most of our chances.”
“In attack we had a lot of time on the ball but we didn’t create a lot of chances and we didn’t take advantage of the chances we did create. So the performance of the team was not very positive. What we saw today was a performance from the team which has been repeated sometimes this season. We we’re playing against team who give us the ball and space but they scored and then they started to play a type of game which for us is hard to solve.”
“In the first half of the second half we created danger. We didn't score but we created chances. In the last 20 minutes we couldn’t create chances.”
Garry Monk: "It was very similar to the first game, we had to be very good defensively, organised and aggressive, but we had a much stronger performance offensively as well.”
“They’re a quality side and right up there fighting for promotion but we warrant the six points (against Leeds). Today we thoroughly deserved it and tactically we got it spot on.”
“For me it's between the three. Norwich won today and have a bit more of a cushion but this year the league's much tougher to call with everything. There's a lot of football to be played and we’ve got Sheffield United on Wednesday night. Our aim is to win that game, that's what we have to do. There are a lot of variables to go.”
Manchester City beat Brighton 1-0 to reach the FA Cup Final.
Two views of yesterday’s game at St Andrews. One Leeds, another from Mathew who did the ‘Interview with a rival’ article.
David Watkins laments a poor performance and when Pablo isn’t ‘on song’ we seem to struggle.
Thank you David.
Mathew Williams reflects on City’s first win in six.
Absolutely over the moon!! After 5 losses in a row, some what undeserved and unlucly, finally we get that no of luck and that solid 90 minute performance we were after. I thought Leeds played well in possession but your final ball was shocking today which surprised me.
We had no possession but again we worked so hard and really battled to get those vital 3 points. In all fairness, 1-0 was easy on Leeds as we had 2 or 3 other wonderful opportunities to kill the game off.
I thought your goalkeeper kept you in it, but our players, in particular maghoma, Adam's, Pederson and jukey were outstanding. Defensively for the first time in ages we were rock solid and looked very menacing on the break. There was a great atmosphere at the game and I thought the result was correct.
Overall a massive win for us, another few points closer to safety after our 9 point deduction. On to Sheffield United on Wednesday night! I'm sure you guys would take a familiar result!! I know I would haha.(we would too!)
Good luck for the rest of the season Leeds!
Thank you Matt.
Not the best day to look at the comments on social media, negatively seems to loom large following every defeat. Patrick Bamford the target for his inability to put away the chances he was given, Roofe most people’s choice to start against Preston.
In the ‘Battle of the W’s’ in the FA Cup semi final Watford beat Wolves 3-2 AET after being 2-0 down. Watford equalised with the last kick of normal time, Deeney scoring a penalty.
Heidi remembering Chris and Kev and others who have sadly passed away, nervous bus and her superb blog of the game with Birmingham City.
Thank you Heidi. My best to yourself and your husband.
Tough to take was Saturday’s defeat and Birmingham doing the ‘double’ over us. We didn’t perform to our best and this is a worrying theme that has happened in a few games this season. If your a serious promotion contender the teams like QPR and Birmingham(no disrespect intended)are teams you have to beat.
I truly believe that whoever gets the most points from the midweek games at Preston, Birmingham and Saturday(Leeds v Wednesday, Sheffield United v Millwall) will be the team that joins Norwich City in the Premier League.
Six games left, please don’t let us down boys!! Keep the Faith.
By Keith Ingham