On this day: In 2000 Leeds beat the mighty Lazio 1-0 in Rome, Alan Smith with the goal.
Leeds’ former centre forward Lee Chapman celebrates his 58th birthday today. The striker was integral in the Promotion winning side in the 1989/90 and the Division One Championship side of 1991/92.
He scored 80 goals in 172 appearances for Leeds United. Oh, what I’d do for a striker like either of these this season!
Matt Smith on his time at Leeds: “I had aspirations of staying at Leeds and that was pretty obvious on the basis I’d signed a three-year contract a couple of weeks earlier. One minute you’re wanted, the next you’re not but for no apparent reason.
“The whole thing was weird, it took ages, literally months, to get that contract agreed. I signed it and then three days later I got a call to say the club wanted to sell me, with no real explanation. It’s a blow to your confidence, I was thinking about kicking on, about building on my goals, and that message was the last thing I expected. It was late in the window and it was hard getting my head around it.
“I wasn’t the finished article or anything close but I felt I’d done well, to say it was my first season in the Championship, but it really doesn’t taint the time I had at Leeds. It was character-building and that year set me up to play in the Championship, that relationship doesn’t feel tainted.”
A cracking night watching these elder statesmen of the rock world.
Twenty years since the sad passing of Leeds legend Billy Bremner. In this blog I pay my own respects to the great man.
Marcus Antonsson has won the PFA player of the month for November, having scored three goals in four games for Blackburn Rovers. The striker is on a season long loan at the Lancashire club.
Leeds United's Pablo Hernandez, Pierre-Michel Lasogga (leg), Eunan O'Kane (hip) & Stuart Dallas (foot) will all face fitness tests ahead of Saturday's trip to QPR. Of the quartet only Hernandez (hamstring) featured in the 1-1 draw with Aston Villa last Friday. Source: Adam Pope, BBC Radio Leeds.
Leeds United’s FA Cup third round tie at Newport County has been moved for television coverage. It will now have a 12.00pm on the 7th of January 2018. The game will be covered by BBC Wales.
We’ve met before
QPR 3 Leeds 0 Champ Aug 2016
QPR 1 Leeds 0 Champ Nov 2015
QPR 1 Leeds 1 Champ Mar 2014
QPR 1 Leeds 2 Champ May 2011
QPR 2 Leeds 2 Champ Aug 2006
Leeds vs QPR Preview
Leeds travel to London to face QPR on Saturday. The Londoners have not had the best of season’s and sit at the lower end of the Championship table, but any side that is managed by Ian Holloway will always be up for a ‘battle’.
Like most games that pit top ten teams against teams that are lower than them, the result is never a forgone conclusion.
Thomas Christiansen’s men seem to have turned the corner, with seven points from four games and as well their performances have improved too.
The defence that looked porous, looks stronger and the midfield is made up of players that can conjure up something out of nothing. If we just had a proven goalscorer, the garden would look extremely rosy. We haven’t, so Caleb Ekuban or one of the other strikers will continue up front and provide endeavour but not many goals. Not a criticism just a plain fact!
It is not known yet whether injured Stuart Dallas or Pierre-Michel Lasogga will be fit for the game, so I don’t foresee many, if any changes to the team that played, especially in the first half so well against Aston Villa. The major doubt is Pablo Hernandez, but Christiansen remains hopeful that the Spaniard will be fit to play.
Leeds’ record in West London isn’t that good, with only one win in the five recent games played. It’s a winnable game but Leeds to be wary of the ‘R’s’, anybody can beat anybody in the Championship, apart from Wolverhampton! I foresee a tight game with a narrow win for Leeds. 2-1 the scoreline.
Thomas Christiansen on the injury situation: “They (Lasogga and Dallas) are still out, with Stuey I didn’t want to run any risk and Pierre still needs more time. I believe that in one week to 10 days I will have Pierre back and the same with Stuey. Pablo could have played, but he thinks a extra few days will benefit the player. “He will be with the team again when we come back.” Not sure what that means TBH. Eunan O’Kane is fit and will travel to London with the squad.
On the game with QPR: “We are building confidence.... we will go there believing we can take the 3 points.”
On the recent upturn in form (seven points out of twelve) “They(the players)have showed they are good enough to be in the top six.”
No midweek game, so hopefully the impressive forty five minutes played against Aston Villa can be extended to a full ninety against a struggling team. The situation involving Lasogga needs explaining, I’m not convinced a ‘illness’ has turned into a calf strain. In what I’ve seen of him I struggle to see him move that fast to get one! Remember Thomas, honesty is always the BEST policy.
Happy Birthday Billy Bremner
The Leeds United legend would have been seventy four today.
QPR v Leeds
Team News: One change, Kemar Roofe replaces Pablo Hernandez.
Team: Wiedwald, Ayling, Jansson, Cooper(c), Berardi, Phillips, Vieira, Alioski, Siaz, Roofe🔥Ekuban.
The first half was pretty forgettable, neither team did enough to warrant a opening goal. The most mentionable moment in it was when Caleb Ekuban was helped off the field due to injury, his replacement was the forgotten Pavel Cibicki.
A lot better fare was to follow in the second half, Leeds must have had a talking to because there was a lot more fluidity in their play and because of it they were rewarded with a goal, a neat move was ended by Alioski’s deep cross into the QPR six yard box, Kemar Roofe met it and the ball flashed past ex Huddersfield Town keeper Smithies, even better was to follow minutes later. Pavel Cibicki got to just outside the penalty area and delivered in a superb pass for Roofe to double his and his team’s tally.
Ninety minutes were nearly up when following a corner, a hopeful punt forward by Wszolek unbelievably bounced over Wiedwald into the net, the German keeper redeemed himself by blocking a certain equaliser minutes later and with time nearly up. Samuel Siaz broke forward, with Cibicki one side of him and Roofe the other, he decided that Roofe was the best option, the striker didn’t disappoint the Spaniard as he beat the hapless Smithies with a deflected shot to register his hat-trick. A superb second half by the team in black.
The centre half pairing of Pontus Jansson and Liam Cooper did well against Matt Smith, when one challenged the other looked after any afters, Vieira and Phillips, busy all game, Pavel Cibicki showed that even after so long on the sidelines he may have a lot to offer and Kemar Roofe I’ve said all season he should be given the central strikers role and today he literally was ‘on fire’.
A very good team display, especially in the second half. The win takes Leeds up to seventh, four points behind Sheffield United in sixth place.
Three and easy, Kemar’s three and with the prized match ball.
Thomas Christiansen: “In the first half we were not good but in the second we were better and it was important to score the first goal. The whole defensive line was much better. We've had five games now where we have defended better and believe we're stronger. They came under pressure and we defended well, because it was difficult with QPR's direct play with Smith up front. It was a tough test for the defence, we have had five very good performances and I'm very pleased with the team, the performance and of course the result."
Ian Holloway: ”We'll look at where we are and see if we can maybe freshen it up with people who haven't had to go through this, because it looks like they're getting down a little bit. We played very well in the first half and should have been ahead but unfortunately the goal we need to give the boys the confidence they deserve is eluding us. The lads have got to fight and fight hard, in life you have to keep on fighting and if you keep doing the right things you should get the right result in the end. Let's just get on with the next game and see how we go, we live to fight another day."
Andrew Butterwick enjoyed his trip to West London, Christmas jumper worn but Roofe with on fire, I doubt you needed it.
Many Thanks as usual Andrew.
A few negative comments on the goalkeeping situation at Leeds, a little harsh in my opinion because he (Wiedwald) redeemed himself by a vital stop right after it. The positives, Vieira and Phillips dominating midfield, especially in the second half, Pavel Cibicki, the first half substitute for Caleb Ekuban and Kemar Roofe, many agreeing with me that his best place is central, not on the left or right wing.
Most disagree with the Head Coach that minimal reinforcements are needed, many thinking a goalkeeper, left back and a Championship standard striker (not one on Victor Orta’s Christmas cards list!) are needed in the next transfer window at the bare minimum.
Kemar Roofe on his hat trick “Hopefully I’ve shown people that that’s my preferred position but obviously wherever I get put I’m going to give 100 per cent. It’s another hat-trick ball for my mantelpiece at home to look at every day but the main thing is the three points, I was happy with the one goal as long as we got the points.” Let’s hope TC agrees.
By Keith Ingham