This Diary is dedicated to my Mum who sadly passed on 15 of February 2019. She supported me throughout my life and I use this to Thank her.
Martin O’Neil is widely tipped to take over at the ‘Shrubs’(Forest).
Leeds United versus Norwich City sells out in an hour and a half after the tickets went on sale to members at 9.00am. Incredible support, but a few fans getting up to ten tickets caused many fans to miss out. Something the club may need to look at for future home games.
‘Izzy’ Brown netted twice for Leeds United under 23’s, Kalvin Phillips also played in the game to maintain his match sharpness during his time out through suspension. Leeds beat Crewe Alexandra 2-0, the win kept them top of their league.
David Wagner has departed his role as Head Coach of Huddersfield Town by mutual consent. The 47-year-old leaves Town after detailed discussions with the Board of Directors, with both parties agreeing this is the correct move for the future of the Club.
Leeds are rumoured to be interested in Swansea City’s Daniel James. The 21 year old winger is surplus to requirements at the Welsh club and is open to a move away from the Liberty Stadium.
Jack Clarke named in the sky bet EFL Team of the week.
Top in the Championship, Under 23’s and Under 18’s.
As expected Martin O’Neil takes over as manager of the ‘shrubs’
Leeds United are the favourites for promotion from the Championship with all the bookies.
1⃣ Leeds United (2/7)
2⃣ Sheffield United (8/11)
3⃣ Norwich City (10/11)
4⃣ West Brom (6/4)
The EFL has joined the Football Association in launching an investigation into the ‘Spygate’ controversy involving Leeds United and Derby County.
Full EFL Statement:
“The EFL has today written to Leeds United requesting their observations in regard to an incident that took place in the vicinity of Derby County’s training ground on Thursday, January 10.”
“It follows a complaint from Derby County who allege that an individual, acting under the instruction of Leeds United, sought to observe a private training session the day before the two clubs were due to meet in the Sky Bet Championship.
“The EFL has now determined that it is appropriate to consider this matter in the context of a number of EFL regulations whilst also noting that the alleged actions appear to contravene the club’s charter that all EFL clubs agreed to in summer 2018.
“The decision to progress this matter to a formal investigation comes as a result of the club’s manager, Marcelo Bielsa, admitting to instructing an individual to undertake the acts being complained of in a television interview broadcast on Sky Sports on Friday, January 11.
“The Football Association has also confirmed they are considering the same matter in line with its own rules and the EFL will work with its FA counterparts to ensure that any potential action taken does not prejudice those investigations being undertaken.”
Leeds’ fixture against WBA at Elland Road has been chosen for live SkySports coverage.
The fixture will now be played on Friday 1 March with a 7.45pm kick-off. Another fixture change 🤬
Tonight I lost an amazing Mum who I’ll miss forever 😢
Leeds are rumoured to be interested in wingers Daniel James of Swansea City and Bristol City’s Callum O’Dowda. Fee likely to be in excess of three million for either player.
Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa tells media “I watched them all”. Every word of Bielsa amazing and informative press conference.
Thanks to the YEP.
Absolutely astonishing the planning the Argentinian and his team go into planning for games.
Leeds United Statement:
“Leeds United will be making changes to the way home match tickets are sold from the Bolton Wanderers dated 23rd of February 2019 until the end of the season. Demand for tickets at home matches has been significant this season and after tickets for our game with Norwich City sold out to Members and Season Ticket Holders in less than two hours, the club have decided to make amendments to the sales pattern, in line with point 8 of our Membership terms and conditions detailed below:
8. Membership does not guarantee home tickets. Members have a priority booking period for home games. For high profile home fixtures, tickets may be sold in the following order of priority; Platinum and Gold Members followed by Silver Members. The number of tickets available to purchase may be restricted.
From the Bolton Wanderers match onwards, tickets will go on sale to Platinum Members, Gold Members and Season Ticket Holders on a first come first served basis, then to Silver Members (subject to availability). If any tickets remain, tickets will then be released for general sale.
In order to try and give more fans the opportunity to purchase tickets, the maximum number of tickets available to purchase will be reduced from nine to four. This means that Members can purchase four tickets and Season Ticket Holders will be able to purchase an extra three tickets in addition to their Season Ticket.
Ticket sale dates for forthcoming games will be announced in due course.”
Leeds United are delighted to announce the signing of Real Madrid goalkeeper Kiko Casilla. The experienced 32-year-old has signed a four-and-a-half year deal at Elland Road, running until the summer of 2023.
Casilla started his career at Real Madrid, before moving to Espanyol in 2007, from where he had loan stints at Cádiz CF and FC Cartagena.He went onto establish himself as Espanyol’s first choice goalkeeper and his performances led to a first international cap for Spain in November 2014. At the end of the 2014/15 La Liga campaign, Casilla was re-signed by Real Madrid, eight years after leaving for Espanyol.
Over the past three seasons, Casilla has made 43 appearances for Los Blancos in all competitions. He played games in each of Real’s UEFA Champions League successes in 2016, 2017 and 2018 and was also between the sticks for their UEFA Super Cup Final success in 2016.
On top of this, Real also won La Liga, the Supercopa de España, three FIFA Club World Cup’s and a second UEFA Super Cup during his second stint at the club. Casilla becomes Marcelo Bielsa’s first signing of the January transfer window and has been handed the number 33 shirt.
Kiko Casilla on why he moved to Leeds: “I’m really happy. I want to start a new challenge in English football and I’m really keen to start as soon as possible. Leeds United is a really historic club in England, with a massive fanbase that is perfect. My desire is to help put the club in its real place in the Premier League.”
Casilla played in Spain while United head coach Marcelo Bielsa managed Athletic Bilbao and revealed that he had canvassed players who worked under Bielsa before agreeing to make the move to Elland Road.
“I have a lot of information from when he worked in Spain, I watched the teams when he worked there and I talked with former players who worked with him. They told me amazing things. I’m really happy to work with him.
I want to try and help my team with my experience but always being natural and humble. I like keepers who stay calm. For me this is the best trait for a goalkeeper and this is important in my way of play.
We’ve met before.
Stoke City 3 Leeds 1 Dec 2006
Stoke City 0 Leeds 1 Dec 2005
Stoke City 0 Leeds 1 Jan 2005
Stoke City 1 Leeds 3 League Cup October 1997
Stoke City 2 Leeds 2 AET (Leeds won 5-4 on penalties) Zenith Data Systems Cup 3rd Round December 1989
Leeds looked so much better with Liam Cooper back in defence as they ran Derby into the Elland Road turf. ‘Izzy’ Brown featured and scored in the under 23’s 2-0 victory over Crewe, but is still a few weeks away from a possible first team game. Kiko Casilla should have signed in time for the Stoke game but Bielsa is expected to start the same eleven that performed so well against Derby.
Stoke parted company with Gary Rowett and installed Luton Town’s Nathan Jones as their new manager, his first Championship game ended in a 3-1 defeat at Brentford. It was followed by a 3-2 defeat by Shrewsbury Town in the third round of the FA Cup. Without doubt he’s had a ‘baptism of fire’ but will see the game with Leeds as a chance to get home fans behind him and his squad.
Leeds don’t have the best records at Stoke until recently, many remember the game when Leeds lost their unbeaten record in the 1973/74 season there and a couple of heavy defeats in the 80’s, but this Saturday they will hope for a positive result to carry on the superb work of last week. Leeds 3-1.
Stoke City vs Leeds
Team News: Leeds unchanged, Kiko Castilas on the bench. Stoke make four changes.
Team: Peacock-Farrrll, Ayling, Cooper(c), Alioski, Forshaw, Klich, Clarke, Hernandez, Harrison, Roofe.
The club match report for Leeds’ loss at the Britannia stadium.
Thanks to LeedsUnited.com
Luke Ayling can’t believe Butland saved his late header.
Leeds MOTM: Ezgjan Alioski, best player in a poor performance and got a late goal.
Leeds stay top but lead is down to one point after Norwich City beat Birmingham City 3-1 and go second. Swansea surprisingly beat Sheffield United at The Liberty Stadium.
Marcelo Bielsa: “Every time the team doesn't win I'm worried, it was a game that we could have won. That was reachable. We had the ball, we arrived easily in the last part of the pitch but in spite of this we couldn’t arrive in the box enough. If you have the ball and you can't arrive to the last part of the pitch, you can't have chances to score. We were calm and we weren’t afraid of the offensive aspects of the opponent but we didn't have a solution.”
On the Jansson sending off: “We can’t say we win or lose because of the referee. I could tell you that he was excessively severe or not but the referees don’t decide the final result of the game. We had all the doors open to win this game, even when we played 10 versus 11.”
Nathan Jones: “It's been well publicised Marcelo watched 26 Luton games and two Stoke games, so he's well drilled on what our usual formation is. So we thought we may have to give him a surprise because, if he's that well drilled on us, they've had plenty of time to work on it, so it'd be a difficult afternoon.”
“We felt with the threats they've got and to give us the best chance to win the match we needed to be tactically right at it and I thought we were."
Two reviews of yesterday’s game at the Bet365 Stadium.
Russell Dutton(@RussellDutton) gives the ‘home’ verdict on Stoke 2-1 Leeds.
At 2 o’clock when the teams were announced I think if I’m anything to go by Stoke fans were surprised with a number of high profile omissions in Ince and Woods in particular. We didn’t even know the formation until kick off and maybe even Bielsa wasn’t prepared for what Nathan Jones has come up with today.
Anyway Stoke were fired up from the start and Leeds committed some silly early fouls drawing bookings which in the end would cost them dear. Afobe and Campbell were buzzing around causing problems.
Then in the 6th minute there was a wonderful moment of universal applause on all sides of the ground to honour the young Leeds fan who sadly died recently. A very emotional minute and it was lovely to see the Leeds fans applauding the Stoke fans for their respect after the minutes applause had stopped.
Tribute to Toby Nye.
Leeds were comfortable in possession in the first half but created little and both Joe Allen and Peter Etebo has efforts comfortably saved by the Leeds keeper. Both teams were working incredibly hard and chances were few and far between and at half time the 0-0 scoreline was a fair reflection.
Early in the second half Stoke got the breakthrough after some confusion in the Leeds defence and the ball fell to Sam Clucas in the penalty area who made no mistake with his left foot into the corner of the net across the keeper. The pace of the game was unrelenting and both sides had efforts Leeds in particular had plenty of strikes from outside the box but rarely troubled Butland.
The pattern of the game continued until one of those early yellow cards caught up with Leeds when Afobe and Jansson challenged for the ball in the left hand channel and Afobe won out was through on goal but was caught by Jansson. Afobe tried to stay on his feet but the keeper gathered the ball. Then the referee brought play back for the initial foul and produced a second yellow for the Leeds defender, Jansson protested but it looked fair enough.(I doubt many would away fans would agree!)
Leeds kept pressing even with ten men and in the 84th minute they must have had the feeling it wasn’t going to be their day when Luke Ayling met a corner and powered a header towards goal which Butland miraculously palmed away. That was a world class save without a doubt. A couple of minutes later the killer second goal arrived. McClean who had been brought on as a striker moved out to his more natural left wing position and teased the Leeds defender before putting in a pinpoint low cross and there was Joe Allen bursting into the box to get the decisive touch.
Leeds still kept plugging away and with the last kick of the match Alioski fired in left footed through a number of players and found the corner of the net. It was scant consolation as there was barely time for the restart before the final whistle blew.
Leeds came up against a long overdue Stoke performance that our fans have been expecting for most of this season but sadly it’s been lacking. As a result the old Bet365 atmosphere was alive and kicking. It can certainly be an intimidating place when that’s the case and the players responded .
It was interesting to see Afobe geeing up the crowd at 1-0 and at the end Nathan Jones was out onto the pitch celebrating with the home fans. It’s absolutely clear the new manager wants to create a bond between himself the players and the fans which is long overdue at Stoke. Results like this will do him no harm in that regard.
I doubt Leeds will have a harder away fixture between now and the end of the season but to their credit they never stopped trying even at 2-0 and down to ten men which all bodes well for the rest of the season.
David Watkins gives the reasons behind the defeat.
Thank you David. Right on the money!
Heidi Haigh on the sad loss of Toby Nye, #spygate, first aid training in her blog of the game at Stoke City
Thank you Heidi. A reminder that Heidi is the author of many books that are available on Amazon.
If your lucky enough to meet her at a game she might also have a copy of her latest book ‘Back to Reality. Leeds United 2017/18’ on her and if your nice she might sign it for you.
Not the best week at Leeds, true we got a great signing Kiko Castilas who will push BPF for the number one spot in the team and the trophy winning goalkeeper will be a asset in the months to come. The #spygate incident rumbled on with the news that certain teams that would benefit from a Leeds points deduction leading the way. What is wrong is that the news was announced before the Stoke game kicked off.
As for the performance at the Bet365 Stadium it was another that we dominated possession but mistakes at the back cost us once again. The ‘soft’ underbelly of the team is once again causing problems, only one win and four defeats tells it's own story. Up front we have to start taking the chances we are creating as once again Leeds had enough to win the game.
The return of Bamford could be vital, as the bench on Saturday didn’t offer much in the way of a player that could change matters on the field. Quality additions are still needed to come in if the club is to continue to keep in the top two.
By Keith Ingham