Heidi Haigh, a couple of days after doing a radio show with Kevin Markey and other’s on the anniversary of Billy Bremner’s sad passing, she set off very early, on a cold morning, dressed for the seasonal weather. Her thoughts on the three points gained after the 3-1 win at QPR.
Thank you Heidi, another superb blog. Remember to look out for Heidi’s new book, out now!
Leeds United have agreed to sign Japan international midfielder Yosuke Ideguchi from Gamba Osaka. He will join in January for a deal worth £500k, including add-ons. He will be loaned out abroad for the remainder of this season to help with his international clearance, he is seen as an addition for the next season.
Pontus Jansson has been nominated for Sportsman of the Year at the 2018 Leeds Sports Awards. Vote now! bit.ly/2B6tpmy
Kemar Roofe was included in the EFL Team of the week for his display in the 3-1 win at QPR.
Last word on the win over QPR by David Watkins, his take on the game and the goalkeeping situation at the club.
Thank you David, a thought provoking blog.
A little more on our new addition Yosuke Ideguchi by Alan Gibson, the chief editor of JSoccer Magazine.
He says of the Japanese international; “A mean streak’s unusual in Japan and something that’s too often lacking, he’s also a destroyer and someone who can also go on, create something and score goals. He forced his way into Gamba’s (his previous club)midfield – they play with two defensive midfielders usually – even though the incumbent players were both Japan internationals (Endo and Konno). Playing alongside them has been good for his development.
“Sadly for the J-League and for Gamba it was almost guaranteed that he’d go overseas in January, so many Japanese players play in the Bundesliga, but for me he’s one of the few coming through that would enjoy the challenge of England, he’s hard enough to take what’s dished out there.”
Ideguchi scored the goal that made sure of the Japanese national team’s place in next summer’s World Cup in Russia.
He sounds a very good prospect, just a shame we will have to wait until August to see him in a white shirt playing competitively. Let’s all hope that the next signing will be seen a lot more sooner than the first one of the January transfer window.
Leeds United are the most watched side outside of the Premier League, so far this season. Leeds televised matches on Sky Sports have attracted a combined audience of 3.2 million, according to figures taken from the Broadcasters Audience Research Board (BARB). We’re not famous anymore!
Pierre-Michel Lasogga returns to training and may well be available for this weekend’s game with Norwich City at Elland Road.
Happy Birthday Peter Lorimer, 71 years old today. The ‘lash’ has recently suffered ill health and we send our best to the Leeds United legend.
Marcus Antonsson on his loan move at Blackburn Rovers, his change of position and goal scoring return to form: “I’m realistic and I understand that I moved further away (from a Sweden call-up) when I was in a tough spell, if I continue to score and show good form, I know I have a style of play like many in the national team.
Having changed position and playing on the wing at Rovers he said; “This role out wide is new to me, but the more I play there the more comfortable I feel. I feel there’s more to come even after five goals and one assist last month. The goals are important for my confidence, that’s how it grows for me. When I score goals I feel better with the ball and make better decisions on the pitch. This role out wide is new to me, but the more I play there the more comfortable I feel.
“I feel there’s more to come even after five goals and one assist last month. The goals are important for my confidence. That’s how it grows for me. When I score goals I feel better with the ball and make better decisions on the pitch. I’ve got a lot of confidence from the coach (Mowbray) and that was what happened in Kalmar. I feel I have the level in me but I also felt that in the Championship, the confidence to play every week is so important.”
His loan spell may be extended past January and he could become a permanent ‘Rover’ if the two clubs can agree a fee, he has another year of his contract left at Leeds.
It may be though that after a successful season away from Leeds, he may be given the opportunity to re-start his career in Leeds 11.
Ayr United have scored 73 goals this season, seventy three! Cheers to Graeme Miller for the
We’ve met before
Leeds 3 Norwich C. 3 Champ Apr 17
Leeds 2 Norwich C. 2 Lge Cup Oct 16
(Leeds won 3-2 on penalties)
Leeds 0 Norwich C. 2 Champ Apr 15
Leeds 2 Norwich C. 2 Champ Feb 11
Leeds 2 Norwich C. 1 Div 1 Oct 09
Leeds vs Norwich City Preview
When Norwich City last visited Elland Road, it was after Leeds’ season had nose dived with defeats to Wolverhampton and Burton Albion. It was a ‘dead rubber’ but the match proved to be a mini classic, Norwich went three up, before Chris Wood looked to have got Leeds a lifeline in first half injury time. Two more goals followed and only inches denied Kyle Bartley a winner.
Earlier in the season, Leeds had beat them 3-2 on penalties, after the League Cup tie had ended 2-2 after extra time.
This term Norwich have had a ‘up and down’ season, they sit in the lower part of the Championship, but on their day they can beat the best the league has to offer. Howson and Johnson have gone to pastures new, but there is enough within the squad to make the home fans lower reaches twitch.
Leeds’ Head Coach must decide if to keep faith with the team that finished the second half of the game with QPR impressively, Cibicki, the forgotten man impressing after coming on for Caleb Ekuban. Kemar Roofe took full advantage and bagged a hat-trick. He looks likely to keep his position, despite the return to fitness of Pierre-Michel Lasogga. The German may be fit enough to occupy a place on the substitutes bench. Stuart Dallas remains a doubt after his injury in international duty for Northern Ireland.
If Leeds can start well and carry it through the entire ninety minutes they may well be very near to a top six place. Leeds 3-1.
Happy Birthday to two centre forwards. Pierre-Michel Lasogga is 26 today, Division One (1973/74) Championship winner Joe Jordan is 66. The former striker scored 7 goals in 25 games during that title winning season. He made 135 league appearances for Leeds, scoring 39 goals before moving to Salford in 1978.
Thomas Christiansen on injuries; “From last week we will have several players back and Pablo will be back. He’s perfect, totally. Hadi was sick last weekend but he will be back and Grot is also back.” Lasogga and Dallas still out, Lasogga expect to return before Dallas. Ekuban to have further tests and is expected to be out for ‘some games’ but injury is not as bad as the previous injury that kept him sidelined.
On training and the Norwich game: “We have had a good week of training and ideas we have planned for playing this game against Norwich.
“It has been good to train at Elland Road, I think it is important for the players to know the environment and where they need to perform on a match-day. It has been positive for us, we have taken many good results after training at the ground, we have done it at other teams before and I believe it is a good thing. Over the festive period we need to take it one game at a time and of course try to add three points after each one and it is our aim to do that, but we know it will be tough.
“There are many games and no rest and this is why we will need all of the squad during this time, we will be going for maximum points in our next two home games, which for sure would help us get closer to our final target for the season. We will finish the first half of the season with these two home games and afterwards we have the whole second half to go again.We cannot underestimate any team, especially in this league, everyone will be a tough opponent and Saturday will be no different. Norwich have quality players in their squad, they took a good result against Sheffield Wednesday last week and will come here very confident.”
Lots of positives at the club, after the disappointing results, things look on the up.
It’s amazing what a few wins can do for the players and supporters A little mention of the gesture the the club made to the young season ticket holders, they all received a Christmas card and a gift. Many of the parents of these young supporters have commented that it was a fantastic idea and I totally agree. Well done Andrea and co.
Leeds v Norwich City
Team News: One change, Pavel Cibicki replaces Caleb Ekuban.
Team: Wiedwald, Ayling, Jansson, Cooper(c), Berardi, Phillips, Vieira, Alioski, Siaz, Cibicki, Roofe.
There are games throughout the season that the result is far more important than the performance, this was one of those. Leeds’ 1-0 victory over Norwich kept them in seventh place, but only one point from sixth placed Sheffield United who lost to Preston.
Thomas Christiansen made one change to the team that beat QPR, Cibicki replacing the injured Ekuban. Pablo Hernandez replaced Cameron Borthwick-Jackson on the bench.
Throughout a pretty uninspiring first half Leeds struggled to get the upper hand against a ‘dogged’ Norwich City rearguard, the best chance fell to Kalvin Phillips who was so unlucky when his effort tested the upright. Leeds went in front just before the break, Pontus Jansson headed Cibick’s free kick past Gunn, via the upright.
Norwich could have levelled straight after the break, Pritchard forcing a superb save from the Leeds’ number one Wiedwald. Leeds had opportunities from distance, Siaz and Phillips just missing the target. Norwich’s best player Pritchard was proving a nuisance and almost levelled with less than twenty minutes to play, luckily for Leeds his shot hit the crossbar. The match as a contest should have been ended by Samuel Siaz, the midfielder was gifted a glorious chance to double the lead, Hanley poor back pass was seized upon by the Spaniard, unfortunately his effort bounced off a post and was cleared.
Notable performances, Pontus Jansson, his second goal in the last two home games. Liam Cooper and Pavel Cibicki also deserve credit for their contributions.
Pontus celebrates the win.
Four wins out of six is impressive and a clean sheet is always welcome. Funny thing is that during the poor run, at times they probably played better than today but lost, that’s football for you!
Men of the Match: Pontus Jansson and Liam Cooper, defended stoically.
Thomas Christiansen: “I’m proud of the whole team and the performance produced was good. We played a good game, we were strong in defence and had opportunities to close the game, especially in the second half. I believe we could have started the game better, but as time went on we did well and managed to get the goal before half time.We wanted to record back to back victories as it is a long time since we have done that, the players did very well and deserved to take all three points.”
He added; “It was great to get the win at home, against a very difficult opponent, who came here to take at least a point, so overall I am very satisfied.”
Christiansen also made a point of praising the 30k crowd; “To see so many fans just before Christmas was great, I know it is a difficult time at this stage of the year. Supporters spend a lot of money on Christmas presents, but I hope that this victory was our Christmas present to them.”
Daniel Farke: “On this level you have to score out of the situations we created, when you face an opposition who want to be in the play-offs, you have to get the (opening) goal. We gave away too many set pieces in the first half, it made it not easy with so many free kicks and corners in our penalty box and they scored from one. It’s frustrating going home without a point. It’s hard to accept. “
Social Media agreed that it wasn’t the best performance in this period of better results. The defence, with goal scorer Pontus Jansson and Liam Cooper mentioned for their efforts in keeping out Norwich, Wiedwald still splits opinion, great shot stopper but his ability in commanding his area still troubles fans.
That saying, yesterday was his eighth clean sheet of the season. Pavel Cibicki earned many good comments with the ball that found Pontus’ nut and his overall play.
The most obnoxious pieces on SM were directed at young Grot, he was ‘booed’ when he came on in the latter stages of the game as a substitute for Siaz yesterday, which is never nice to hear, especially at home and as he’s only a teenager. Can’t these people get off his back, he’s no Messi but give the lad your backing or shut the .... up!!
David Watkins steps up to review the win over Norwich, not the easiest game on the eye, but still a very important three points and leaves Leeds in a great position to mount a top six push.
By Keith Ingham