David Watkins gives his thoughts on the ‘blip’ that saw Birmingham City beat Leeds 2-1 yesterday. As always a measured view from the author of many published books about the club. Check out his publications on Amazon, very good reads.
Thank You David.
For the first time this season I found myself putting a post on Twitter about the criticism of certain players after the Birmingham City.
Bailey Peacock-Farrell and Samu Siaz were mentioned as well as others, what I said was “To all LUFC fans, take a breath, look at the Championship table, remember the earlier performances, and take the defeat on the chin. The players will be as ‘gutted’ as the fans were but without doubt they will go again on Friday when they travel to Sheffield Wednesday.”
Heidi Haigh on meeting fans from far and wide and reviews the first Championship defeat of the season.
Thank you Heidi, her new book is on sale on Amazon. It is called ‘The Sleeping Giant Awakens: Leeds United 2016/17’ a superb book well worth a read.
Micky P Kerr: Bielsa Rhapsody
The funniest thing I’ve heard in years. Have a watch here;
Leeds United under 23’s fall to their first defeat, Bolton beat them 2-0 at the University of Bolton Stadium. Leeds included Jamal Blackman, Tom Pearce and Lewis Baker in the starting eleven.
Liam Cooper gave a positive response to the first defeat of the season, he was quoted in the YEP saying “We’ll be back in to put it right, we’ll have a tough week (of training) and we’ve got a massive game on Friday night. In this league, one thing you don’t want to do is to be getting beat twice on the bounce so we’ll be looking to put it right. We love these games, as do the fans, and they’ll be with us. It’ll be a hard week of training to put right the things that we didn’t get right (against Birmingham). We’re looking forward to it.”
Next seven fixtures
Sheffield Wednesday v Leeds: Sky
Hull City v Leeds: Sky(red button)
Leeds v Brentford: Sky
Blackburn v Leeds: Not on Sky!
Leeds v Ipswich: Sky(red button)
Leeds v Notts Forrest: Sky
Wigan v Leeds: Sky
West Brom v Leeds: Sky
manu 2 Derby County 2 (Derby win 8-7 on penalties) 🤣 Burton Albion 2 Burnley 1
Ex-Leeds keeper Carson saves, Derby celebrate.
On this day in 2000 Leeds demolished Besiktas 6-0 in a Champions League Group game at Elland Road.
The goals were scored by Bowyer(2), Viduka, Matteo, Bakke, Huckerby.
Watch the highlights by clicking on the YouTube link below.
Marcelo Bielsa pre Sheffield Wednesday: Team will be the same as Birmingham, on injuries: Roofe near full fitness but won’t be ready for Sheffield, Hernandez and Berardi still a few weeks away. Bamford and Brown no date for return, Shaughnessy also a few weeks away from fitness but Shackleton is training with the first team.
On Sheffield: “I couldn’t tell you. I think it’s a team that has many possibilities tactically. The differences are not linked to their defence only, also have different possibilities for attacking midfielders and strikers.”
Reaction in training after the Birmingham result: “You don’t react in the same way after a win than after a loss. After the game we lost, we asked some questions together. We built our conclusions together. We have had so far two training session where each player can express himself.The conclusions are positive ones and I have a lot of hope for Friday’s game. I don’t know if I answered your question.”
On why Phillips has been withdrawn twice when losing: “I decided to substitute Kalvin. This does not draw the portrait of Kalv, it draws my own. If you deeply analyse the decision I took you will say I corrected a mistake I made. For me, it’s a very difficult situation for two reasons. The last thing I want is to hurt a player as noble as Phillips because he’s very generous. I can’t make the same mistake again. If I think the game is not well designed and I don’t take a solution, I make a double mistake because the first mistake is I made a mistake and I wouldn’t dare to correct the mistake. I take the decisions I think are the best ones.”
What Bielsa thinks of the Championship after nine games: “It’s a beautiful competition. Football starts with the fans and with the stadiums. Football is also about the passion the fans feel about it and then you have the game, the beauty of the game, the spectacle you offer to the fans. Here in England the passion is on a high level and the spectacle, the beauty is sometimes good, sometimes bad as in all leagues around the world.”
Ezgjan Alioski on ‘Derby’ games and how the players felt after the Birmingham defeat: “I enjoy all games. It’s a derby. We go for victory, it’s Sheffield and next it’s Hull. We are a big team and they are scared. Not easy for us to play against the teams we will play. Nice for the supporters down there, we want to show a good performance. Each player was frustrated. Good when each player thinks it’s bad we lose. We know what was wrong and we know the mistakes we made. The players know which mistakes we made in the game.”
A rumour has surfaced that Liverpool will not offer James Milner a contract when his present one runs out next summer and the ex Leeds midfielder is considering rejoining his hometown club if they are promoted this season. He’s always said he’d like to finish his playing career at the club he joined as a youngster.
Jos Luhukay: “"Last season and this season, the team (Leeds) had quality and a good mix. They are very strong in the transition. It is a team who are good and balanced and it will be a very hard game.”
"We have our home game with the fans behind us. We must enjoy the game, hopefully with a good result and have a nice weekend. All the philosophies are before the game, let me speak after the game and give you a 100 per cent answer. The number one in the league come to us and for us it is the challenge to come in a positive direction. In the past six Championship games, we have won four, drawn one and lost one and are trying our best. Our home form has been very strong."
We’ve met before
Sheff Wed. 3 Leeds 0 Oct 2017
Sheffield Wed. 0 Leeds 2 Aug 2016
Sheffield Wed 2 Leeds 0 Jan 2016
Sheffield Wed. 1 Leeds 2 Apr 2015
Sheffield Wed. 6 Leeds 0 Jan 2014
All Championship games.
Marcelo Bielsa may be tempted to start Stuart Dallas after he impressed when coming on for Kalvin Phillips, Adam Forshaw, now fit is also pushing for a starting place. Kemar Roofe, Pablo Hernandez and Gaetano Berardi will definitely miss the game through injury.
Hillsborough has some good memories for Leeds fans but also has been the venue that a few heavy defeats have happened, last season ‘The Owls’ did the double over their West Yorkshire rivals. Leeds, backed by a sold out away end will be hoping to carry on their impressive away form and get a positive result.
Sheffield beat Aston Villa at Villa Park last weekend and deserved the victory, Leeds will hopefully put the first defeat behind them with a better performance than last time out. A draw wouldn’t be a bad result for Leeds. 2-2.
Ex Leeds defender Tom Lees on his former club: "They have showed enough this season to show they have enough quality and are a good enough side to be involved at the top end of the season for most of the season. But you never know, it is a lot easier to play when you are on that roll of winning games and the momentum seems to take care of itself.”
"I think everybody in the Championship will be pretty impressed with how they have started. The thing that has probably caught everyone's eye is that they have probably got the same players, but seem to be playing in a totally different way and a lot of those players are outperforming what they have done in the past. They have set the pace at the moment, but it is a good challenge for us.”
Sheffield Wednesday v Leeds
Team News: Leeds unchanged for the fourth game. Jack Clarke replaces Ryan Edmundson on the bench.
Team: Peacock-Farrell, Ayling, Douglas, Cooper(c), Jansson, Phillips, Klich, Alioski, Siaz, Harrison, Roberts.
On another day, Leeds would have travelled back to West Yorkshire with three well earned points, but this is the Championship and although Leeds registered the most shots on goal in a Championship game this season all they returned with was one point that kept them top of the League.
To be brutally honest I was disappointed after the referee blew his whistle for full time, a first and second half where Leeds had the lion’s share of possession but they couldn’t force home the winning goal their performance warranted. Football is like that, you don’t take your chances means you don’t win games.
After Birmingham the fans wanted to see a reaction and they got it, Leeds should have been at least two goals up before Reach scored one of the goals of the season to give Wednesday the lead at the break, Douglas and Phillips must still be wondering why they didn’t burst the net with the chances they had.
The second half at least brought a Leeds goal, Mateusz Klich curling a beauty around Lees and Dawson to level matters, but try as hard as they could Leeds couldn’t force a winner, Roberts denied late in the game by a last ditch block by a Wednesday defender.
Klich levels for Leeds
A good game, but hopefully against Hull City on Tuesday the chances created will be turned into goals.
Man of the Match: Mateusz Klich, superb goal and immense in midfield throughout the game.
Marcelo Bielsa: “We played well defensively and offensively. We had many chances to score but we could score only one and this explains the final result. Usually we need four chances to score a goal and today we needed 15 chances. Results are results and you have to take into account who deserved to win in the analysis.”
“We had possession and when we had the ball we could hurt the opponent and I repeat, the analysis of the performance leads to very positive conclusions."
Jos Luhukay: “Today we played a very good first half. There were chances from both sides, an unbelievable tempo and from both sides always a very fast transition to create chances. We scored a brilliant goal from Adam Reach, which you don't see every game.”
“In the second half I must say Leeds were the better team. They played with high pressure, high tempo…and had chances to score a second goal but we showed unbelievable defending to clear the dangerous situations. We saw today why Leeds stay as number one in the league."
David Watkins reviews the draw at Hillsborough and laments that it was a game Leeds should have won.
Thank you David.
Plenty of positives on Social Media, a better display(than against Birmingham) and some good performances. Mateusz Klich getting ‘boatloads’ of praise for his goal and all round display in midfield. Only criticism was that with better finishing Leeds would have won the game by at least a couple of goals.
West Brom beat Preston 3-2 at Deepdale so go top of the Championship, Middlesborough draw 1-1 with our next opponents Hull City so drop to third.
On this day in 1992: One of the most incredible games I’ve ever witnessed at Elland Road. Leeds were 3-0 down from the first leg but an astonishing second leg saw them win 4-1 but lost the tie on away goals. Stuttgart played an ineligible player during the game so the match went to a third game which was played at the Camp Nou,Barcelona. Carl Shutt scored the winner in the 2-1 win.
Leeds legend Gary Speed celebrates one of the goals.
Pablo Hernandez took time out to support Europe in their Ryder Cup battle with the USA. Sergio Garcia is thought to be a Leeds United fan and hopes in the near future to attend a game at Elland Road. Pablo said in an interview in the YEP: “He wants to come and he follows Leeds. He watches some games in America, I think because I’m here. I’m sure in the future he’ll come to a game. He loves football, he plays it well.”
The Spanish midfielder is married to Garcia’s sister Mar and is currently out of action due to a hamstring strain. Europe won the Ryder Cup 17 and a half to 10 and a half and regain the trophy.
Heidi Haigh on a quick turnaround, a Sky Sports appearance, speaking to a Spurs supporting steward and the draw with Sheffield Wednesday.
Thank you Heidi
In a week when Leeds lost their place at the top of the Championship to WBA it's worth remembering that we’re in the top two on merit and in the recent games the squad has been without key players, but those who have played have maintained their effort and commitment to the cause.
Bielsa’s presser ahead of the Hull City clash;
On recent results: "Sometimes you do the right thing and you don't get the result. Sometimes you do the wrong thing and you get the result. If you don't do the right thing, you can't assume you will get the right result in the long term."
"There's a routine of exercises we do for finishing, with 14 different ways to finish an action. We see all the kind of goals you can score in football. It's a very short exercise. In 10 or 15 minutes we do all the different situations. We repeat this exercise many times"
Bielsa on fielding unchanged line-ups: "When a team wins regularly, no-one is tired. We use rotations more for the performance than tiredness."
Bielsa on the threat posed by Hull: "We all know the game we're going to play will be more difficult than the table indicates. The game we lost, we lost it against a team (Birmingham) who were not from the upper part of the table."
On to Hull on Tuesday!!
By Keith Ingham
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