Leeds United fell to their first defeat last night in a horrendous home loss to Preston North End.
The Whites were knocked out of cup by a side who has struggled to gain any form this season. Why did we lose? Our team wasn’t good enough.
New head coach Marcelo Bielsa has made it clear than there is only Plan A and he has continued to use the same squad when possible during the star of the season to reinforce his agenda; only seeing glimpses of his squad when making substitutions to relieve tired legs.
When these players come in like Bamford, Baker, Roberts, Shackleton and Harrison; you can see that the ‘Bielsa Ball’ is still in effect and that the players are able to adapt to those tactics.
However, in Tuesdays loss they were not. Eight changes were made to the team that dominated Norwich and the likes of Roberts, Pearce, Dallas et al were given the chance to impress. Long story short; they didn’t.
Defensive frailties remain and a lack of other options on the wing or some dynamism that doesn’t include the likes of Saiz, Alioski and Hernandez loom over the club more than the stench of Peter Ridsdale, who showed his horrid face at the ground yesterday.
Deadline day is soon approaching and if Leeds are to continuing with the form they have set the league alight with; the club should reconsider making moves before the wait for January causes a giant detriment to the team.
A defensive backup is needed should the likes of Jansson, Berardi or Cooper be injured or suspended. Yes, Ayling and Phillips can okay there, but they’re needed heavily in their own respective positions for the style we play and Shaughnessy showed that he’s got a lot of learning to do to challenge for a spot.
Along with an improvement in defence; Leeds should look towards at stacking player who can slot into the Saiz livewire show when called upon.
The Championship is a long and congested fixture list and if we want to keep getting the same productivity from the Spaniard; he needs someone to share the work.
A player talented enough to play central or on either wing would allow Leeds to use the likes of Alioski, Harrison and Hernandez to fill that void or take the place himself.
Football is a squad game and if Leeds want to continue pressing teams to death; they better make sure they have enough bodies come September 1st.
By Ryan Ingham
James Vickers gives his thought’s on the Carabao Cup time with Preston North End and his support of PNE.
What’s your favourite moment as a Preston North End fan? Season, game or anything other occasion.
Personally for me it will always be the 4-0 victory at Wembley in the League one play off final. We had been brilliant all season but then in true North End fashion we failed to beat Colchester away on the final day of the season which meant it was another dip into the lottery that is the play offs (Getting all the clichés in). Famously we had had 9 Play-off campaigns and failed to win a single one of them, so most Preston fans feared the worst.
The play offs started off well with an easy two game victory over Chesterfield with old Leeds favourite, Jermaine Beckford taking centre stage, after that it was on to Wembley. To be honest I couldn’t have planned it any better in my head. 4-0 Win, Beckford hat trick, and 3-0 up at half time! It’ll take a hell of a lot to rival that day… unless of course we can get promoted to the Premier League.
Heidi Haigh on meeting family, some fans disrespecting Billy’s statue with their discarded chips, a full Elland Road and the 2-0 win over Rotherham United
Thank you Heidi. Looking forward to your book coming out.
Quite clearly Radrizzani aimed ‘big’ when looking to replace Paul Heckingbottom: "Conte was on the list) and with him, we would have been certain of promotion to the Premier League," Radrizzani told La Gazzetta dello Sport report ESPN. "I would even have offered him €20 million. Then I interviewed (Claudio) Ranieri who was attracted by our interest, but declined as he was waiting for a call from a top-flight club. I even spoke to(Roberto) Martinez, but Belgium were an obstacle.”
“At the end of May, I spoke with our director of football(Victor)Orta and he said Bielsa would be ideal, but that it would be impossible (to get him). Those words just motivated me even more and we negotiated for a few days then reached an agreement at £3m, which he shares with his staff, and a one year plus one year option as duration. We finished negotiations after ten hours of conversation in Buenos Aires, he(Bielsa)studied 20 of our games and already knew all the players, including the youngsters. It seemed impossible to get him here, but he's our top player. We are a Premier League club, and even more so with him."
Thanks to the YEP.
An interesting piece in Eastern Daily Press about the colour scheme in the away dressing room at Carrow Road.
Be interesting if effects Leeds in their clash on Saturday.
Marcelo Bielsa: Swansea City pre game presser: Pontus Jansson misses the game because of a back injury done in training yesterday. Bielsa hopes he will be available for the weekend’s clash with Norwich City. Dallas and Forshaw still a few weeks away from being considered. Praised Gaetano Berardi: "In the games I watched(last season)he played more as a full back than a centre back. Obviously he can play on both side, as centre back I have been satisfied with his performance."
Bielsa on the current form: “I don't think it was fast,” he said, in response to a question about how rapidly his side had acclimatised to his methods. In football six weeks is a long time, the challenges are above transmitting the style. The challenge is to try and be faithful to this style for a long period. But it’s always important to have good results, especially at the beginning of the season when you need to build confidence. That’s the period when you simulate the style. When you win, it’s always easier to accept the idea of a style of play.”
On the team’s they’ve played and Swansea: “This competition has different kinds of difficulties, you have to face each difficulty. The first game we played was against a team (Stoke) who are similar to Swansea, but we played at home. The second game was against a team (Derby) who belong to the top six. The third game was against a team (Rotherham) who were promoted from League One but all of the games were difficult and demanding. I imagine the same for this game.”
Marching Out Together, Leeds United’s LGBT+ fan group has just celebrated its first birthday.
We have recently been proudly celebrating the group’s many achievements - including having a permanent home for our large flag inside Elland Road, which visibly shows the club celebrates inclusivity and diversity amongst its fans.
We are proud to be Leeds United fans, and proud the club has shown it wants to welcome everyone to Elland Road and wants to play its part in challenging homophobia in football.
Leeds United continue to clean house as their squad is whittled down to Beilsa’s ‘main group’.
The club have seen no less than 13 players depart the club over the summer months with the last two being Laurens DeBock and Yosuke Ideguchi.
One familiar discussion has been the transition of the team from last summers acquisitions, with a large amount being cleared out from the club. The two recent departures falling perfectly into that category.
Leeds have focussed on true quality this summer instead of the quantity of additions last summer. With the signings of Lewis Baker, Patrick Bamford and Barry Douglas; this current Leeds crop are bossing a 1st place spot in the Championship.
Ideguchi, who had a poor loan spell with Cultural Leonesa last season has joined German Second Division side Greuther Firth on a season long loan with a view to a permanent deal that could recoup the £500k fee Leeds paid for him back in January.
Whereas Laurens De Bock has temporarily signed for Belgian Superleague side KV Oostende for the season in hopes a good season could win him a place in the ‘favoured group’ come next season. A reality that does not seem likely worth the emergence of Tom Pearce and current star Barry Douglas.
The recent moves show that Director Victor Orta has learned from his mistakes in the transfer market but with Leeds still having these players on long deals at the club be a financial burden for years to come?
Hopefully, the club understands the importance of investing in the right type of players and under Bielsa’s guidance can find a happy medium between less cheap and more cheerful talents.
By Ryan Ingham
Ahead of tonight’s clash against Swansea in the Championship, Head of Content Keith Ingham spoke with Swans fan Kara Thomas about all the goings on at the Liberty Stadium.
How long have you supported Swansea?
I’ve been supporting the Swans since I was young, I got my first season ticket in the 05/06 season when the Liberty Stadium first opened.
What’s your favourite moment as a Swansea fan? Season, game or anything other occasion.
My favourite season was probably the year we were managed by Michael Laudrup and won the cup and got to play in Europe.
Tell us about a player that you were proud
to have on the back of a shirt, if you didn’t is there one you wished you would have?
There’s been a few over the years but my all time favourite will always be Michu. In his first season for us he was amazing, it’s just a shame that he never recovered from injury.
What’s your most memorable match playing Leeds?
Since I’ve supported the Swans we haven’t faced Leeds often, however my granddad’s favourite game that he likes to tell me about is the 5-1 meeting in 1981 where Bob Latchford scored a hattrick.
Are you happy with your dealings in this summer’s transfer market?
After being relegated it’s been tough with the losses of players, and although we as fans haven’t been happy with the business we’ve done this summer the team that we do have has worked well together so far. Hopefully we can fix our thin squad issue with some loans
before that window closes.
What’s your realistic aim for the season?
I’d just be happy to have a comfortable season, after having a couple of tough seasons at the top it would be best for us to focus on rebuilding.
Who in your mind is going to be promoted this season?
Leeds, Stoke and Derby
Can you name your three for relegation this year?
Rotherham, Bolton, Reading
Who’s your danger man?
Our danger man is Oli McBurnie. He played in the Championship on loan last season and proved that he can score goals in this league so I think he’ll have a good season with us.
Can you tell us about a rising star in the youth ranks?
Conor Roberts and Joe Rodon and two players from our youth that have recently being starting in our first team. Rodon made his debut last weekend and was put into the Championship team of the week, so I think they both have good careers ahead of them.
Prediction and scorers for the game?
It’ll be a tough match Leeds have started really well and are looking great so far, however since we’re home I think we’ll just about scrape a 2-1 win.
We’d like to thank Kara for taking the time to answer questions and wish her best for the season.
By Keith Ingham
Against Rotherham: LWLWW
At Home vs Rotherham: DDLWW
Leeds: BPF, Ayling, Berardi, Cooper, Douglas, Phillips, Klich, Hernandez, Saiz, Alioski, Roofe Subs: Blackman, Jansson, Shackleton, Pearce, Baker, Harrison, Bamford
Rotherham: Rodak, Vyner, Ragget, Wood, Mattock, Taylor, Ajayi, Vaulks, Palmer, Williams, Smith Subs: Bilboe, Roberton, Manning, Newell, Ball, Proctor, Vassell
Leeds United continued their bright start to the season with their fourth consecutive win, beating a resilient Rotherham United side 2-0.
The Whites had to find an extra gear in order to get all three points, as Rotherham shut out the middle of the park, giving Leeds very little space for their attacking quartet to play their new style under new Head Coach Marcela Bielsa.
The game started with Leeds on top and continued throughout the 90 minutes and in similar style to their two league wins against Stoke and Derby, nearly grabbed an early goal. Ayling was able to find Saiz in the box and his delicate flick to Roofe almost resulted in the on-fire forward grabbing another goal to add to his tally.
However, it was Rotherham who nearly drew first blood when Liam Cooper misplaced a pass to defensive partner Gatano Berardi and Michael Smith only had the keeper to beat from less than six yards out. Bailey Peacock-Farrel showing brilliant reactions to deny the towering forward.
Rotherham then had another opportunity when the post denied the Leeds stoppers’ blushes having been caught off his line with a Jon Taylor strike from more than 25 yards out.
Mateusz Klich nearly added to his current tally of two goals with an audacious curling effort that only just glided over the crossbar. It was then Berardi’s turn to send the crowd into raptures with an effort that would have been the goal of the season from more than 30 yards out but Rodak was there to push his ball out for a corner.
Just after the restart, Leeds got the goal they deserved when the ball bounced around the box from a corner before Kemar Roofe’s header was turned in by a sprawling Luke Ayling. The referee originally blowing for a free kick before changing his mind and sending the full back into raptures in front of the Kop.
Kemar Roofe continued his unimaginable form with his fourth of the season after Leeds worked the ball outside of the defence like a prime Barcelona before Alioski sending Roofe through on goal from a tight angle, from there the striker showed why he’s keeping £7million man Patrick Bamford out of the staring 11 with a beautifully curved finish.
Derby County vs Leeds
Team News: One change on the bench, Shackleton replaces Dallas on the bench.
Team: Peacock-Farrell, Ayling, Douglas, Cooper(c), Berardi, Phillips, Klich, Alioski, Siaz, Hernandez, Roofe.
A dominant first half was rewarded by two goals by Klich and Roofe, both scoring their second goals of the season. The reply from Derby will be one that Peacock-Farrell might not want to look at again, but he’s a young keeper learning his trade and didn’t have much to do thanks to the barrier that Ayling, Cooper(superb again), Berardi and Douglas put in front of him.
The midfield again worked so hard with Klich, Phillips, Siaz, Alioski and Hernandez like an army of worker bees buzzing around their opponents legs, the desire to win nearly every ball made me so happy, this team’s wants to win and puts their bodies on the line to do so. Up front Kemar Roofe was proving a real handful for Keogh and the other Derby defenders
In the second half Leeds controlled the majority of the game and put another two goals past the hapless Scott Carson, Roofe and Alioski rubbing salt in open Derby wounds. It’s a very long time since I’ve seen anything like this by a Leeds team, the controversial away shirt even is starting to grow on me too!
Klich, Roofe(2), Alioski celebrate their goals.
Well played lads, another well fancied team unceremoniously dumped on it's rear end by a rampant Leeds United team.
All the team, including debutant Jamie Shackleton deserve the MOTM award and Roofe🔥, Klich and Siaz were 9 out of tens.
Marcelo Bielsa: “Our team was very focused and combative, Kemar(Roofe)scored two goals, and that's always enough. We had six weeks in pre-season and that's enough time to create a rhythm.The Championship is very long and it's not right to make conclusions now."
“What is more important to me is being able to repeat this type of performance. To be enthusiastic, you need more time than just two games. If you see the rankings after 23 games or after 46 games, you will see differences that invite you to think that any premature analysis is not good. What happened in the games so far don't mark anything definite. It's too early to draw conclusions, in each game we will have to prove ourselves again.”
Frank Lampard: “We were well and truly beaten by a very good team. There were no surprises for us. We expected energy, and movement on and off the ball but we didn't match them. We turned away from trying to play football very early in the game. We were beaten all ends up and it's good lessons for us all."
Social Media’s mood over the performance was pretty much summed up by a tweet “Not bothering with PornHub tonight going to watch @LUFC instead!” Notable mentions for the midfield five and Kemar Roofe. It was the highest victory over Derby since Leeds won 5-0 back in 1998.
David Watkins steps into Andrew Butterwick’s ‘shoes’ to review the game at Pride Park. We would like to Thank Andrew for his brilliant blogs but sadly he’s not continuing this season.
Thank you DW.
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