Leeds United may have a lesson to learn on targeting the right players for the Championship, but it doesn’t seem to be happening just yet.
The club have seen a multitude of additions join the club for the youth ranks and look set to continue this trend as they turn their focus to young English talent.
The January signings of Ryan Edmundson and Sam Dalby have given the club a taste for English prospects and next on the list could be Ben Wilmot.
The young centre back has been a sensation for League Two side Stevenage and his stardom is only rising with top tier Premiership sides now interested in signing him.
Enquiries by Tottenham and Manchester City are said to be interested in the defender, with Watford also ready to meet his £1.5million valuation and a deal said to be in negotiation.
However, according to HITC, Leeds could also be in with a shout when it comes to the young 18-year old.
With the club severely short of central defenders and the opportunity to blood in a young English talent straight away, a summer move could be very likely.
What’s your opinion? Should Leeds continue their youth recruitment or focus on bringing in top talent to help their promotion push next season? Have your say in the comments below.
By Ryan Ingham
Ahead of tomorrow’s game with Preston, Keith Ingham spoke with Dan Wilson, a Preston fan who’s enjoying a good season.
How long have you supported Preston North End?
Favourite ever player or players for Preston?
Graham Alexander and David nugent
Most memorable era or season as a Preston fan?
2014/15 we finally won a playoff final! And it was 4-0 (the highest ever playoff final win, what a way to do it!)
Jermaine Beckford: Opinion on the ex Leeds striker?
Excellent in League One he scored a Hattrick at Wembley. Couldn’t hack the championship his attitude was poor.
Alex Neil has done a superb job this season, is he the man to continue to take the club forward even if you are unsuccessful in gaining a playoff place this season?
100% yes! He has built a young side on top of what Grayson did. He plays a high press game which causes opposition problems, we are better this season than we have for a long time!
Do you think it’s a good Championship or pretty average this season?
Competitive through it really.
Top two for promotion and the winner of the playoff final at Wembley?
Villa to win the playoffs
Three to go down from the Championship?
Prediction and Scorers for Tuesdays match?
Pne 2-1 Leeds
Maguire and barkhuizen for us, saiz for Leeds
We’d like to thank Dan for answering or questions and wish him the best of luck next season.
By Keith Ingham
Ahead of Saturday’s match, Keith Ingham spoke with Ryan Bestford once again and discussed what has been a tough season for the Black Cats.
Can you point to a few things why this season has been so disappointing?
The lack of investment that's got us in the position we are in. Also we have a fear of playing at home we tend to do well away from home because the crowd aren't on our backs when playing away.
Have you resigned yourself to seeing the team in Division One next season?
Yes I have, you spend a million pound in a Transfer Window you are always in danger of getting relegated
Do you blame the owners?
Yes I do, but I feel sorry for Chris Coleman because he hasn't had the money to buy new players.
Has the appointment of Chris Coleman made any significant difference to how the team has played since Simon Grayson was sacked?
A little bit,
Any players you think deserve credit for not giving up despite the poor season?
George Honeyman he's got passion and he's want to do well also wants to learn
A good player you think deserves criticism?
Jason Steele, he's is hopeless. He's doesn't commend his box very well.
A youngster or youngsters you feel could continue to improve next season?
Joel Asoro and Josh Maja. The young lads Asoro, Maja have a bright future ahead them self.
Do you think Wolves, Cardiff City or Fulham will be the two to go up, one to go up from the playoffs?
Wolverhampton Wanderers, Cardiff City to go up automatically also Fulham to go up through the plays offs
Three to go down from the Championship?
Barnsley, Sunderland and Burton Albion
Any Leeds player that has impressed you this season?
Pierre-Michel Lasogga also Alioski too.
Prediction and Scorers for Saturday’s Match?
Leeds United 1-2 Sunderland
Leeds United goalscorer will be Alioski
Sunderland goal scorers will be Mcgeady, Fletcher
Ha'way the lads
We’d like to thank Ryan for coming back and completing our interview and wish the best of luck for the remainder of a tough season.
By Keith Ingham
Bailey Peacock-Farrell makes his debut for Northern Ireland under 21’s against Iceland under 21’s. Pretty impressive debut too as he kept a ‘clean sheet’ in the draw.
Liam Cooper and Stuart Dallas work the telephone’s at the club as the deadline for reapplying for season ticket approaches.
Pontus Jansson captain’s Sweden against Romania, unfortunately for Pontus the Romanians won the friendly international 1-0.
Pierre-Michel Lasogga repeats his earlier article that he’d like to be a Premiership footballer, I’d like to be a millionaire but I work at JS! Can’t see the German striker being at Leeds after his loan period expires at the end of this season.
Liam Kitching is shown a straight red for a two-footed challenge on Robert Ramshaw and the referee gives him his marching orders. The youngster follows Alex Mowatt, (who was sent off at the weekend) in getting an early bath. Kitching is on loan at Harrogate Town.
Lewis Cook makes his debut at senior international level for England in the friendly with Italy as a second half substitute for Lingard.
His Grandfather can now go to the bookies to collect his 17k winnings, also a very proud moment for Lucy Ward and Neil Redfearn who were instrumental in Cook’s development at Leeds. England draw 1-1 with the Azzuri, Vardy with the England goal. Italy equalise thanks to a late penalty decision by the VAR system.
An air of expectancy surrounded Fulham as they looked to make it 18 games undefeated in a row.
A win would close the gap on promotion chasers Cardiff, who only picked up a draw against Sheffield United.
There was only one change to the starting XI from the team that won 2-0 on good Friday; Ryan Sessegnon coming back in to play on the left with Lucas Piazon dropping to the bench.
For the first half, Fulham were on top, Mitrovic firing wide after good work down the left, and Ayite hitting the post after more good work from the left back Matt Targett.
From the corner, after a follow up was just about dealt with by Peacock-Farrell , the Leeds keeper was forced into a good save from a Mitrovic header.
It was in the 33rd minute Fulham finally made the pressure tell, as Mitrovic won a header at the front post, which seemed to hit Kevin McDonald’s backside and roll in. The first league goal Fulham have scored from a corner since Boxing Day 2016!
The second half started off in similar vein, Sessegnon had the ball pulled back to him from the left, but Mitrovic couldn’t get out of the way, and Sessgnon again had the ball pulled back, but Peacock-Farrell was equal to it.
Then, in the 63rd minute Caleb Ekuban found a way through the Fulham defence, going 1-on-1 with keeper Bettinelli, who pulled off a great save. From that chance Fulham carried the ball to the right side of the box where Tom Cairney cut the ball back for Mitrovic to make it 2-0.
All out attack now, Leeds substitute Jay-Roy Grot somehow missed an open goal from about a yard out, and Pablo Hernandez came close from a dipping freekick. However, Fulham were able to hold onto a clean sheet and win 2-0.
After an 18th unbeaten game, Fulham travel to Hillsborough on Saturday looking to get their 19th and increase the pressure in Cardiff in second
By Harris Shaikh
Ahead of tonight’s clash with Fulham, Keith Ingham spoke with two Fulham fans from different eras about the club they love.
How long have you been a Fulham fan?
Neil Sturton: I’ve been a Fulham all my life (born in 1970). My dad is one of 5 boys and is the eldest so needless to say I have a lot of cousins and the split of teams is Fulham, Brentford or Chelsea. My dad is an identical twin and he and his twin brother who were born in 1943 always watched Fulham at Craven Cottage one week and the Chelsea at Stamford Bridge the other Saturday as Fulham and Chelsea never play at home on the same Saturday for obvious reasons. My dad and his twin brother were split between whether they were Fulham or Chelsea until 1957 when Chelsea sold Jimmy Greaves to Italy (either Inter or AC Milan) and that was their turning point!! They were so disappointed that they both decided that their allegiance was with Fulham and I can only thank Chelsea for making that decision otherwise I might have become a Chelsea fan and that thought makes me very nauseous!!!
Harris Shaikh: I’ve been following Fulham since I was 5, when I first started properly getting into football. As a 16, nearly 17 year old I make this my 12th year as a fan. As there was no family team, this became the viable option due to the closeness of both the training ground (which is closer) and Craven Cottage to my house. I am at the end of my fourth year as a season ticket holder.
What has been your favourite and worst era supporting the club?
Neil Sturton: As a Fulham fan it’s very difficult to name my favourite season but it’s a toss up between our 1982 season when Malcolm McDonald took Fulham from the old 3rd division to the 2nd division. I was 12 years old and our penultimate game that season was at home to Lincoln City. We were 3rd and Lincoln City were 4th. We needed one point to secure promotion and we drew the game 1-1 in front of 24,000 at Craven Cottage.
This might seem ridiculous to a Leeds United fan whose fan base was around 50,000+ but just bear in mind that I was used to crowds of 4 to 5 thousand!!! After this I was well and truly hooked. The other season that obviously stands out was Fulham’s return to the top league (Premier League as it’s now called) in 2001 under Jean Tigana and Mohammad Al Fayed’s £93M investment.
Harris Shaikh: My favourite era was the Roy hodgson. Years. From keeping us in the premier league one season, when we were mathematically relegated at Manchester City, being 2-0 down at half time, then securing our highest ever finish (7th) in the premier league the year after, and qualifying for the Europa league the season after. Obviously most fans know about our Europa league run the season after. Despite losing in the final, to most Fulham fans it felt like we’d won just being there. I will always be thankful to Roy for what he did for us.
Most older fans may go back to the days of being 91st in the football league, but obviously being only 16 I wasn’t around for those.
Neil Sturton: The worst season for me as a Fulham fan might well surprise you all. It wasn’t the season Fulham got relegated to The Championship (2014) but it was Fulham’s first season in the Championship after 13 years as a Premier League club. The 2014-2015 season in the Championship very nearly saw Fulham do a “Portsmouth” and go down in consecutive seasons. Thankfully that never happened!!!
Harris Shaikh: My worst era has to be the first 3 seasons of our relatively new owner, Shahid Khan’s ownership. Being relegated from the premier league was bad enough, but having 2 seasons when we were nearly relegated again was agony. Luckily, from the start of last season we seem to have changed and recruited a lot better since then.
Who has been your all time favourite player?
Neil Sturton: My all time favourite Fulham players are Johnny Haynes (albeit before my time my dad has always said he was Fulham’s greatest player), Gordon Davies in the 80’s, Louis Saha when we went to the Prem and more recently it’s Tom Cairney. Fulham’s youngest ever captain and the best midfielder in this league.
Harris Shaikh: For me, my favourite all time player has to be Brede Hangeland. Having joined in the season previously mentioned when we stayed up under Roy, Brede was a key part of that whole era, plus continuing to play after that. He was given club captain after the departure of Danny Murphy to Blackburn, and still played for the fans. Since retiring he’s come back to the Cottage a few times and got great receptions each time.
Your stand out player this season and your opinion of Slavisa Jokanovic’s current coaching team?
Neil Sturton: I honestly think that Fulham’s manager, Slavisa Jokanovic, is the best manager Fulham have ever had. He’s such a great tactician and has got Fulham playing the best football I’ve seen for many years. When we bought Kevin McDonald from Wolves, Stefan Johanssen from Celtic and Tom Cairney most Fulham fans didn’t really know what he’d spent his money on. Not one Fulham fan thinks that now!! Jokanovic is an incredibly astute manager and has put together a team that has become in my opinion the best footballing team in this league.
Bolton Wanderers: DLDDW
Against Bolton: DDWWW
At Home vs Bolton: LLWLW
Leeds: Peacock-Farrel, Berardi, Pennington, Jansson, Dallas, O’Kane, Vieira Alioski, Hernandez, Lasogga, Ekuban, Subs: Lonergan, Anita, Pearce, Phillips, Cibicki, Saiz, Grot
Bolton: Alnwick, Flanaghan, Beevers, Burke, Osede, Taylor, Kirchoff, Vela, Buckley, Ameobi, Le Fondre Subs: Howard, Little, Karacan, Wilbraham, Morais, Wheater, Clough
Leeds United picked up their second win under Paul Heckingbottom at Elland Road on what turned out to be a very Good Friday for the Whites.
Goals from Caleb Ekuban and Pablo Hernandez gave leeds a two goal cushion as they took control of a game against a side fresh from a victory against promotion challengers Aston Villa.
Leeds started well and within a minute nearly too the lead after Caleb Ekuban sneaked past a defender and stole the ball from an errant pass back, his layoff to Alioski looked to give Leeds a guaranteed chance but the wingers curling effort was just wide. The second time the chance came round Leeds were not going to disappoint. Lasogga strayed out wide and fired a ball into Pablo Hernandez, without any control it fell to a perfectly placed Ekuban who was able to bury the ball in the far corner.
Ahead of today’s clash with Bolton Wanderers on a sellout Good Friday, I spoke with Reece Jones an aspiring sports analyst and a big Bolton fan.
How long have you been a Trotters fan?
I’ve supported Wanderers ever since I can remember. There’s a picture of my Dad and I at the first ever game at the (then) Reebok Stadium back in September 1997 when I was only three months old. He was determined to make me a Bolton fan and I followed suit. Growing up with the likes of Youri Djorkaeff, Jay-Jay Okocha and Nicolas Anelka at the football club, it was hard not to want to support them.
Can you name one of your most memorable moments?
Annoyingly, being a Wanderers fan, most memorable moments of recent years have been for the wrong reasons. However, promotion back The Championship last season was a good one. The whole season gave the players and the fans a bit of belief in the club again and restored the pride for some of the players. That being said, the most memorable moment for me was when Chung-Yong Lee scored a 90th minute winner against Birmingham City in the FA Cup Quarter Final to send us to Wembley. (We won’t go into what happened there)
Who has been one of your most influential players?
Only one man can be the answer to this, Kevin Davies. My childhood hero growing up, I even cried when he left the club. The way he left The Wanderers was so disappointing and Kev didn't deserve to be treated that way after giving everything for the side for the ten years he was with us. I wish his contract had have been renewed, and that for me was the start of the demise of the club. His leadership, passion and determination was something we haven't been able to replace since he left.
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