Garry Monk's looks ahead to the last game of the 2016/17 season at Wigan Athletic and his future: Leeds will be without Pontus Jansson who is suspended, Liam Bridcutt and Marco Silvestri are out injured, indicated how important it is to win the last game of the season, squad is focused on the game, if Leeds win the points total (77) would, under usual circumstances be enough to qualify for the playoffs, Leeds are a massive club, this season has shown how big they could be, will speak to Andrea Radrizzani after the game with Wigan.
In regards to his future, Monk said; "I’ve heard a lot of rumours this week but nothing’s been decided yet. I’m still to speak to the club but I’ve had contact from Mr Radrizzani. He wants to sit after the game and discuss all the issues, I’m looking forward to talking to him. There’s a lot of things to talk about and a lot of things that need putting in place. I know what my views are on what the squad needs. Until we sit and discuss that and the club’s views on how to do it, it (Radrizzani’s thinking) won’t be clear. I know from working with this squad every day."
"I’ve got a clear understanding. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it here, getting my teeth into the job and trying to make it work and I think we have, now it’s a case of everyone being smart and understanding the best opportunity to build going forward. Next season’s a big season, you've seen how competitive the league is and it’s only going to get more competitive. The club have to be ready to do the right thing and make sure next season is one where we can fight."
This day in history; Leeds are Promoted as Champions of Division Two after a 1-0 win over AFC Bournemouth, Lee Chapman with the winning goal.
We've met before
Wigan 0 Leeds 1 Champ March 15
Wigan 1 Leeds 0 Champ April 14
Wigan 1 Leeds 1 FA Cup 3rd Round Jan 06
Wigan 3 Leeds 0 Champ Feb 05
Wigan 0 Leeds 2 FA Cup 6th Round March 1987
I've said elsewhere that 'my season' ended on the referees whistle at the end of the Wolverhampton Wanderers game at Elland Road, it hurt and still does that other teams and not us will play in the playoffs next Saturday and Sunday, good luck to them but you won't see me watching the games.
My earlier blog gave a few reasons why I thought we weren't going to be in there but now we need to finish off our Championship campaign with a little style, if possible.
Wigan Athletic are relegated to League One already and remember not so long ago (2013) they lifted the FA Cup after beating Manchester City with a last minute goal. The same season they were relegated from the Premiership. Now they face the ignominy of relegation along with Rotherham United and it has to be seen if their players have anything left in the tank.
Pontus Jansson and captain Liam Bridcutt sit out the final game due to suspension and injury. Many of the eighteen on duty may or not return to their parent clubs after their loan spells end, it is hoped at least Kyle Bartley is on Andrea Radrizzani's summer shopping list, but a lot will depend on whether Swansea are relegated from the Premiership.
'Dead rubber' games usually don't provide much entertainment, I hope this game is different as the Leeds fans especially deserve a win to end their travels with, they are the best fans in the world in my opinion.
On this day, forty five years ago Leeds United won the 1972 Centenary FA Cup at Wembley, the 1-0 win over Arsenal is still regarded as one of the greatest days the club has had and still the only time the famous trophy has been won by Leeds.
The cup final win came after two previous attempts in 1965 and 1970, after a replay ended in defeat. I was twelve years old and I still remember Allan Clarke's headed goal and Mick Jones being helped up the Wembley stairs by Norman Hunter to collect his medal.
A superb day.
Allan Clarke's celebrates his winning goal.
Wigan Athletic v Leeds
Team News: Two changes, Lewie Coyle comes in at right back, Luke Ayling moves to centre back. Charlie Taylor refused to travel with the squad to Wigan.
Team: Green, Coyle, Ayling Bartley(c), Berardi, O'Kane, Vieira, Roofe, Hernandez, Dallas, Wood
Leeds' season ended at Wigan, a 1-1 draw with Chris Wood scoring his 30th goal of the campaign and becomes the 6th Leeds player to score 30 goals in a season - Tom Jennings, John Charles, Peter Lorimer, Lee Chapman and Jermaine Beckford.
Chris Wood hits number 30
Photo courtesy of David Watkins.
A little bit of a 'non event', because Wigan were relegated and Leeds' chances of the playoffs ended the week before after the 3-3 draw with Norwich City, it will be interesting who lines up in August because many of the loanees are expected to return to their clubs now the season has ended, my one wish is that Kyle Bartley will be signed on a permanent deal in the summer.
The fans made it plain who they want to see leading Leeds from the sidelines next season with the constant singing of Garry Monk's name throughout the game, we shall see if the owners, Cellino hasn't gone yet, can come up with a deal (contract and transfer budget) that is attractive enough for the Head Coach to commit himself to carry on the exceptional job he has done this season.
The only sour note was the news that Charlie Taylor refused to put his kit on for the game, he was picked to play but 'advised' not to play by probably his agent. I'm not the only one that found that scandalous a local lad treats the club that gave him his opportunity and to it's fans so shabbily, we love this club, it's a shame that those some who are lucky enough to wear the shirt don't share our affections for it.
He joins the list that will leave on not the best terms.
On Charlie Taylor; "There's no sugar-coating this - Charlie refused to play the game. I think he's been terribly advised... I think he's been poorly advised all season. To refuse to play the game, for me as a manager and for the club, that's unacceptable, I've got a lot of time for Charlie, as we all have at the club. He's not very experienced in these situations, and you need proper guidance, and people around you who can help you do things right. He'll learn from this but, as a manager and a club, you cannot have a player refusing to play. The club will have a strong stance on this, I'm sure."
On his future and the season: Garry Monk expects Andrea Radrizzani to complete a full buy-out of Leeds United and revealed that he and the club’s co-owner have already held initial talks amid the uncertainty over Monk’s future as head coach.
The Leeds Head Coach has reached the end of his initial 12-month contract after Leeds finished their Championship season with a 1-1 draw at Wigan Athletic and he is poised for “in depth” discussions about his job and a planned change of ownership at Elland Road after speaking with Radrizzani on Saturday. Radrizzani is close to a deal to buy out fellow co-owner Massimo Cellino and secure 100 per cent control of United and Monk described an agreement between them as “imminent” after Radrizzani outlined his intentions during a brief meeting at Thorp Arch.
Yesterday’s game at Wigan, which saw Leeds finish seventh in the Championship, was dominated by chants from the away end calling for the club to extend the contract of Garry Monk had accepted when he became head coach last June but his willingness to remain in charge after a season in which United slipped one place below the play-offs remained dependent on his vision “aligning” with that of Radrizzani and Leeds. Monk said: “I had an initial talk with him at the training ground (on Saturday); just a general chat about this season, the general idea of the takeover and the timeframe for that.
“We’re due now to really talk in the days and weeks ahead, to get into the detail and the depth of how that’s going to work, how that takeover will be set up, the structure of the club and for me to know in detail about that.
"With the experience I’ve had this year of understanding Leeds, getting my teeth into the club and understanding what’s needed to go forward – I’ve got a very clear idea about how to go to the next stage, which is a promotion campaign from the very start. These talks will help to see if the club are aligned with myself in terms of what I need to go forward.
“There’s going to be good open dialogue. Mr Radrizzani’s good on communication and I’m looking forward to those chats, I’ve got the experience of a year at Leeds so it’ll be about seeing if their views are aligned with mine and seeing what their vision is.”
Graham Barrow: "It was a decent way to finish the season, and we had chances at the end to have won it.We had to dig in a few times in that second half, because Leeds are a good side - one of the better sides we've played. I'm impressed with what Garry's done there, so fair play to him, but it was one of those games that we could have won."
Andrew Butterwick's last 'Travel's of a Leeds fan' of the 2016/17 season
Thank you Andrew for all your fantastic contributions, throughout the season.
On this day; 7 years ago today, Jermaine Beckford scored the winner as Leeds beat Bristol Rovers 2-1 to gain promotion to the Championship, I can still remember the hangover!
My season summary
A slow start, summed up by a 3-0 opening defeat to QPR and a 2-1 home defeat by Birmingham was improved on, Sheffield Wednesday and Cardiff beaten 2-0. Huddersfield and Forest beat them before Blackburn, Ipswich and Barnsley were beaten and before Christmas the belief was evident in the stands and especially against Derby County, a game that I keep watching because Leeds were that good.
We had a mean defence, an industrious, if ever-changing midfield, up front we had Chris Wood banging the ball past the opposition keeper at regular intervals.
Up to Christmas brought wins over Aston Villa, Reading and Brentford but a defeat to Brighton (2-0) when they were down to ten men following Kalvin Phillips' harsh sending off. Christmas / New Year brought wins over Preston and Rotherham and a creditable draw at Aston Villa.
Gone were the thoughts of mid-table finish or looking over our shoulders to make sure others weren't pushing us near the drop, a thing we'd become too familiar with over the last few years, it was great to be a Leeds fan again.
We were winning but not necessarily playing well Forest beaten 2-0, with a unforgettable goal from the 'Duke', then the biggest mistake of Garry Monk's tenure so far, sending a under strength Leeds team to Sutton, Leeds lost 1-0.
A late victory at Blackburn, curtesy of a last minute goal by new cult hero Pontus Jansson was followed by back to back defeats to Huddersfield and Cardiff. Bristol City, Sheffield Wednesday and Birmingham were beaten, only Ipswich Town claimed a point in that four-match period.
Fulham denied Leeds with a last minute injury time equaliser by ex trainee Tom Cairney QPR frustrated United before Brighton were well beaten 2-0 with Wood amongst the goal-scorers. The international break really came at the wrong time, or so it seemed, Reading beat Leeds 1-0 in a top six clash, then probably one of the results that cost Leeds the most, Brentford, a poor performance in London gifted the home side a 2-0 victory.
Leeds were back to winning ways with a victory over 'old boys' Grayson and Beckford (Preston), but that was the last victory of the campaign, even a last minute equaliser by Chris Wood at Newcastle wasn't enough to guarantee a playoff place. Wolverhampton (1-0) on Easter Monday put a severe dent in our hopes, Burton basically ended them.
The season has to be been seen as a major step forward off the field too, very little was heard from Italian owner Massimo Cellino, he was joined in the New Year by Andrea Radrizzani in a 50/50 agreement between the two. The latter is very keen to increase his stake in the club in the summer, rumours abound that it will be sooner than later when Radrizzani has complete control of Leeds United FC.
The little matter of securing the services of Garry Monk and his backroom staff will probably be the first thing on his agenda, or it should be!
My Awards for 2016/17
Player of the Season: Chris Wood
Man of the Season: Garry Monk
Young Player of the Season: Ronaldo Vieira
Best permanent signings: Rob Green and Luke Ayling
Best loan signing: Kyle Bartley
Worst loan signings: Matt Grimes and Mo Barrow
Best games at Elland Road: Derby County and Brighton
Best away games: Norwich, Preston and Aston Villa
Biggest disappointment: Missing out on the playoffs, one win after the last international break the reason.
Special award for Snake of the season: Charlie Taylor
See you all next season!
By Keith Ingham
Editors note: What a fantastic season, a little sour at the end but the feeling that we are a crisis club has been lifted.
The players are wearing the shirt with pride again and that's something to cherish. We have cult heroes like Berardi, Jansson, Ayling and Wood who are here for the long haul and fingers crossed we will soon add Bartley to that list.
It's been a pleasure to work both on the site and in the stands for the games and I'd like to thank every reader for the support you given us. The site would not be performing as well without your continued support.
We've got a lot planned for the summer so keep an eye out for some cracking articles.