Heidi Haigh on a very early start, remembering two sadly passed fans and a thumping good away victory at Norwich City
Thank you Heidi
Impressive weekend for Leeds. Luke Ayling, Barry Douglas and Pablo Hernandez named in the WhoScored.com Championship team of the week. Well done lads. Pablo Hernandez was also included in the sky bet EFL Team of the Week.
With Leeds unbeaten and top of the Championship the Phil Hay looks at darker days under the tenure of David Hockaday, who’s seventy day stay ended this week with a League Cup defeat at Bradford City.
Thanks to the YEP and Phil Hay.
After some superb performances in the Leeds midfield Mateusz Klich has been recalled to the Poland international squad for the forthcoming games with Italy and Ireland.
This man really gets being ‘Leeds’
manu 0 Spurs 3 (Kane, Moura(2)
Alex Neil on Marcelo Bielsa: “He’s highly regarded across the world and if you look at Leeds’ start he’s obviously had a big impact since he’s gone in, he told the Lancashire Evening Post. It’s like anything else when a coach goes in there’s a change in style and they do get a reaction. I’ll be interested to see how it pans out over the season but I saw Leeds live against Stoke and thought they were excellent. He’s done a good job and it will be a tough test for us.”
Leeds v Preston North End
Carabao Cup 2nd Round.
Team News: Nine changes for Leeds, only Jansson and Phillips keep their places from the victory over Norwich City.
Team: Blackman, Dallas(c), Shaughnessy, Jansson, Pearce, Phillips, Baker, Harrison, Shackleton, Roberts, Bamford.
No cup of joy for Leeds in this particular competition, they were beaten 2-0 by an organised and time wasting ten man Preston North End team. Behind after less than a minute when Shaughnessy was adjudged to have fouled Moult in the area, Johnson sent Blackman the wrong way to make it 1-0. From then on until added time in the half, Leeds pressed forward but their crosses into the box usually found a Preston head.
When one actually found a white shirt a Preston leg kicked it off the line, Barker’s mazy run and shot in first half injury time doubled the visitors lead.
The second half Leeds introduced Samu Siaz and Mateusz Klich for Connor Shaughnessy and Jamie Shackleton to try and get back into the game. You can’t criticise the effort of the players on duty but so many balls flew over Bamford it became monotonous.
Preston’s Ledson was shown a red card for a terrible challenge on Lewis Baker that left the midfielder needing treatment. Alioski was introduced for the strangely ineffective Tyler Roberts who looked well off the pace of the game but even he struggled to get passed a yellow and green shirt.
Ledson’s terrible challenge on Baker.
Preston to be honest deserved the win, not the best display the 18,000 plus crowd had seen this season.
Leeds MOTM: Kalvin Phillips, in midfield and at centre back never let anybody down.
Marcelo Bielsa: “It's painful to be out of a competition, I would have liked to continue in this cup. Football is performance but it’s also about what you deserve. Sometimes we only evaluate what you get and we don’t evaluate what you deserve. My conclusion is that we didn’t play well but I think the result shouldn't have been a loss for us. Usually when we have three offensive actions we score one goal. Today we had 12 and we didn't score any. The proportions between offensive actions and efficiency was not good. The opponent had four offensive actions and scored twice.”
“We didn't connect crosses with a man in the box. When we were 11 versus 11 it was hard for us to build from the back and create dangerous actions. We could have avoided the goals we conceded. We had a lot of possession and we played 11 versus 10 for a long time but we didn't reflect this superiority with clear offensive actions.”
Alex Neil: “If you look at how young we were, Josh Earl is 19, Jordan Storey is 20, Ben Davies the skipper is 23, Darnell Fisher 24, Josh Harrop 22, Brandon Barker 21, and then we bring on Lukas Nmecha who is 19. It was a team full of young kids and I thought they worked their socks off.
“We started really well and took the lead and then we were up against it when we got a man sent off.”
“Ryan was a bit naive in his tackle and from that point we had to find a way to dig in. The second goal was a great counter attack and a bit of individual quality which Brandon is capable of and that set the platform for us to go and win the game. I’ve seen Leeds live twice and they’ve been excellent on both occasions.They’ve been blowing teams away.”
David Watkins gives his thoughts on the first defeat for Marcelo Bielsa side
Thank you David, a tough night at the office.
Caleb Ekuban joins Turkish side Trabzonspor for a season long loan, they have also the option to purchase the striker at the end of the loan period. We wish him all the best, just a shame the effort he put into his appearances wasn’t rewarded with a few more goals for Leeds.
Tyler Roberts has been called up for the Wales squad and Pontus Jansson have been called up for Sweden.
Marcelo Bielsa pre Middlesborough: On Liam Cooper and injuries: “Liam Cooper has a possibility to play on Friday, if he comes back it will be a plus for the team. He is our captain, he is a courageous and important player. If he can't play we have other options with similar qualities." Tom Pearce has a slight knock, Shackleton may be out for a while with ankle injury. Adam Forshaw could be back after the international break.
Loan players coming into the club: "I can’t give you a positive answer and I can’t give you a negative one. It’s a possibility that if we get a new player it’s because they will be a plus for the team but if nobody comes we have enough players."
On the Cup defeat to Preston: "I am never angry at the players, I understand, I analyse, I try to help, I try to give solutions and I try to give value to the performance of the team. "When I lose I’m sad and when I win I feel happy," the 63-year-old continued. "In the game of yesterday (Tuesday)we had three groups of players. Young players, very young players.
Experienced players and players who are getting involved with the first team. One thing that this loss produces is we lose a space in a competition, we lose the possibility to use this competition for the new players and we also lose the possibility to give experience to the young players.”
"We have many resources, training sessions each week, the under-23 competition. The needs we have when you have an injured player, a suspended player or a player who is not playing that well so I think we’ll have opportunities for these players."
On Middlesborough: "It's difficult to make comparisons. When we played against Stoke or Swansea we had an opposition against us that was in the Premier League a few months ago, Its an important rival, it will be a difficult and tough game. But I don't want to put a classification between teams but for me the next game is always the most difficult one."
Pontus Jansson on Marcelo Bielsa training methods and Middlesborough: “Long days. He wants us to train exactly how we're going to play. You have to stay concentrated in every moment.”
Middlesborough: “It's a game between the first and second team in the table, they are a physical, strong and tall team. We are first in the table and we play really good football. It has been a different role for me also, it's lots of running even for me and I like the one-on-one situations. I enjoy the battles."
We’ve met before
Leeds 2 Middlesborough 1 Championship November 2017
Leeds 0 Middlesborough 0 Championship February 2016
Leeds 1 Middlesborough 0 Championship August 2014
Leeds 2 Middlesborough 1 Championship November 2013
Leeds 2 Middlesborough 1 Championship December 2012.
The top two in the Championship clash at Elland Road on Friday night in front of the Sky camera’s. A full house is expected as one of the most respected managers in the league comes up against one of it's newcomers.
Team News: Both teams are expected to return to their usual line ups after midweek cup games, Leeds hope to have Liam Cooper available for the clash, if so Bielsa may opt for a partnership of Cooper and Jansson, although Gaetano Berardi has done a superb job there since the start of the season. There is a possibility he may use all three as Bielsa’s previous teams have lined up with three centre backs.
Middlesborough have won four and drawn one game from their opening five Championship games and have spend big to endeavour to put behind their disappointment in losing in last year’s semi finals of the playoffs. Ex-Leeds midfielder Jonny Howson returns to the place he started his career and is a still a well liked player and usually gets a good reception from the Leeds faithful. Boro have a impressive squad and I think this is the biggest test, so far of Bielsa’s charges.
It could be a tight game with odd goal separating the teams. I’m hoping that Leeds can put behind them the disappointing display against Preston and win this important clash. Leeds 1-0.
Tony Pulis on Leeds and Bielsa: “Leeds have got a good squad and have invested well this season and they have had a good start," Pulis said during his pre-match press conference. He’s(Bielsa)a top coach who kPulisnows the game, knows what it’s all about. He’s been at some big clubs and he has the experience to handle the situation there and that’s what Leeds need, they need somebody with experience to ride the enthusiasm and potential there.”
Leeds United are pleased to announce the signing of Isaiah ‘Izzy’ Brown from Premier League side Chelsea on a season-long loan deal. The 21-year-old has been capped at various youth levels by England.
Brown started his career with West Bromwich Albion before moving to Stamford Bridge to join Chelsea, who he twice helped to win the FA Youth Cup. He has had a number of loan spells away from London, gaining first team experience at Vitesse Arnhem, Rotherham United, Huddersfield Town and Brighton & Hove Albion.
Joining Huddersfield on loan in January 2017, he helped the Terriers win promotion to the Premier League for the first time, making 18 league and play-off appearances, scoring four goals.
He joins Leeds after a period out injured but is well on the way back to fitness and could be considered for selection after the international break. ‘Izzy’ becomes the sixth player this summer to join Marcelo Bielsa’s squad.
Transfer Loan window closes today at 5.00pm.
Vurnon Anita leaves Leeds to join Willem 11 on loan for the rest of the season. He still has two years left on his contract but is expected to leave next summer. Eunan O’Kane joins Luton Town on loan until the 10th of January 2019.
Summer Six. Leeds United’s summer signings.
Leeds vs Boro
Team News: Captain Liam Cooper in for Pontus Jansson who drops to the bench, Pablo Hernandez out so Jack Harrison comes in.
Team: Peacock-Farrell, Ayling, Berardi, Cooper(c), Douglas, Phillips, Klich, Alioski, Siaz, Harrison, Roofe.
Our match report on the Boro game:
Marcelo Bielsa: “This game was an exam for us, making many efforts so we could balance the game and this will prepare us for new games with these features; we have experience of playing games like this.It was hard for us to avoid that they create actions of goals (chances) from set-pieces. We had four or five actions at goal in this game and our opponents also had the same through set-pieces and throw-ins. If they didn't have these, we'd be closer to a win. The result of today is a fair result and both teams could have won."
Tony Pulis: “You come here, you take a point but I thought we were fantastic in respect of our energy and the way they worked together it's just frightening, the effort and commitment they put in. I've just said to them that at times we could have passed the ball a little bit better but it's a big arena to come to, Friday night, full house, their crowd were up for it, but the least we deserved was a point."
David Watkins reviews the stalemate between the top two that was anything but stale.
Thank you David and it’s been a pretty good month for our team. Top of the Championship and unbeaten in the league too.
Social Media was full of praise for the determination that was on show yesterday night. Plaudits going to Peacock-Farrell, Berardi in defence, Phillips in the middle of the park and Jack Harrison on the left wing. Disappointed that we didn’t win but tempered that a draw was a fair result.
So the first month of the season has gone, Christmas cakes will soon be on the shelves of supermarkets and Leeds top the Championship. We’ve been here before, last season we topped the table for a day or so and looked where we ended up! This season I fear that it will be different, the players seem more focussed and together. The atmosphere in the ground yesterday had to be witnessed, I got goosebumps when “Marching on Together” rang around the ground during the game.
Caleb Ekuban picks up a debut goal as a late substitute against them c*** is brown and gold over in Turkey. Forever immortalised and starting on his point to prove.
Neil Harris looking aged to Millwalls howl clash with Leeds;
Millwall up next, as a former contributor Andrew Butterwick used to say in his blogs “Can’t wait!”
See you all after the international break.
By Keith Ingham