As suspected, the supposed end to the Beckford saga was a false dawn as Simon Grayson has suggested Beckford has already signed a pre-contract with Everton where he’ll leave for at the end of the season.

Whilst the Beckford news is hardly a shock, Sky Sports are reporting something a little more interesting alongside it. They’re claiming that Leeds United have agreed a deal with Southend United to bring in Lee Barnard for one of those “undisclosed fees” our Kenneth is so keen on.

The second part is great news if true. Barnard is a more than capable striker who should add a new dimension to the Leeds front line. Anyone who saw Becchio miss a header from six-yards at the end of yesterdays game and Mike Grella prove largely uneffecient throughout would have been left under no illusions that Leeds need to strengthen the front line. Kudos to Simon for realising that.

Lee Barnard is 25 years old and has had a bit of an uneventful career before joining Southend in 2008. Since then, the forward has made 73 league appearences for the club, scoring 35 goals in the process. Coincidentally, Barnard started his career at this weekends opponents Tottenham. He spent six years under contract at White Hart Lane moving around on loan to various clubs, but never made it in Spurs’ first team.

As for Beckford, although I aren’t even slightly surprised I am disappointed. The team is clearly unsettled at the minute which has brought with it some dismal performances and a poor run of form and I can’t see how this will help matters. I have no doubts this is why he pulled himself off the transfer list and would bet money he’s getting a nice signing on fee for his troubles. It’s simply a waiting game for him now and I can’t help but question how much desire he’ll have to play for the Whites in the meantime. This is probably why Grayson is looking to bring Barnard in now.

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  • Grumpy Older Man

    *sigh* Becchio had 7 minutes last night, Beckford missed a bagfull. As discussed before any criticism of Becchio needs to wait until be has a strike partner who doesn’t expect him to work for 2!

    Barnard is not too bad, if occasionally moody, he is more a Vokes style player than a scatter-gun Beckford.

    • TSS

      Oh, don’t get me wrong, I aren’t defending Becks, he was poor too, but Becchio has missed a few chances he should have scored lately (as he always has) and doesn’t provide a decent enough amount of goals, nor will he ever.

      • Craig

        If I was Becchio I reckon I’d be miffed by the present state of affairs. As Grumpy Older man says, Becchio works tirelessly for 2 and then sees Beckford cop a huge signing on fee whilst remaining ‘committed’ to Leeds United. I say drop Beckford for the next game (especially since it is Spurs on TV) and allow Becchio to forge a partnership with a striker who cares.

      • Side Before Self

        I’ve got to disagree with you about Becchio. He’s a selfless striker who works his socks of for the team and especially beckford. He scored 19 goals last season which is pretty decent for a guy who’s main job is to do the donkey work for beckford. Remember beckford only scored 20 goals in his first league 1 season and he was seen as prolific. Also while were talking about stats, two seasons ago kandol and becks up front, kandol 11 goals, becks 20. Last season becchio 19 goals, becks 34. The extra 14 becks scored were helped in no small part by the hard work of becchio.

        If we really are signing Barnard I’d play him with becchio because I don’t know how many goals becks will score working with a striker as greedy as he is. Don’t get me wrong that’s not an insult, I want my main striker to be ball hungry and greedy but that only works well if you have a selfless strike partner.

        • Tony Currie’s Curler

          Remember Becchio is still coming back from an injury and he’s yet to find his feet again. A few more games and he’ll be back to his best.

  • James Morris

    Hopefully people from Everton were at the game last night and saw the 4 sitters he missed.

  • Leo

    I can´t understand why Leeds Utd. don´t take the money for Beckford if it is coming from Newcastle or Everton. It make no sense to my let Beckford go for free but pay money to Southend for Barnard. Belive me Beckford will be of no use to Leeds Utd. till the end of season in is the bad apple in the Leeds Utd. pack.

  • Choppers

    I dont want to jump on any anti-Beckford band wagon, i thought last night when he was clean through and rather than putting his laces through the ball he tried to chip the keeper….kind of sums him up really.

    When TSS was discussing which players he would want to see instead of Beckford, I must admit Barnard was the one I was hoping we would not sign.

    Then again I dont have the pleasure of watching Barnard week in week out as I am sure LUFC scouts have been and they must have seen enough in him.

    …..Nervous times ahead I feel

    • Leeds through & through

      cant say i rate barnard very high either, doesnt settle me at all or make me feel any better by bringing him in, like said above he is more of a vokes player and although he has a decent goal scoring record at southend i dont think he will have the same effect at elland road, i guess it just a wait and see on what he brings to the team now if this goes through. shame about beckford cant be good for the team knowing your top goalscorer is leaving at the end of the season and really has no reason to put it in week in week out anymore.

  • jesmondwhite

    Would be a fantastic signing if true. Barnard’s hit rate is close to 1 goal for every 2 chances. Last night showed how bare the Leeds cupboard is looking: very little cover up front or in the middle. Can only assume Prutts and Robbo’s non-appearance mean they’re being shipped out. Not panicking yet, but we need signings like Barnard to stop the wheels from falling off…

  • tim the white

    This saga isn’t done yet. JB might still go to the likes of Everton in the next 10 days. If they want him why wait and JB can now say it wasn’t me guv because I withdrew my transfer request. Barnard would be OK providing we get Gradel as well to give a bit of zip on the front line. Personally I would have preferred Billy Sharp.

    • jesmondwhite

      think you may be right. Wouldnt be surprised if JB ships out this month…

      • Leeds through & through

        i wouldnt either and id of preffered us to sign gary hooper class striker

  • Grumpy Older Man
  • Harry

    Leo, I doubt Everton offered any money as they are trying to replace Saha who is of contract at the end of the season so are probably happy to wait.

    Barnard is not a bad option as a direct replacement for Beckford. He has decent pace and gave us a few problems when we played them at Roots Hall earlier in the season forcing some good saves from Higgs. And as I’ve said all along we are going to need 2 strikers ready for the CCC and I don’t think Barnard is a bad first option. Whilst I don’t want to get into the realms of slagging Beckford off I can guarantee that he has needed a lot more chances to score his 16 goals than Barnard has needed to score 15 in a struggling Southend side.

    • Leeds through & through

      good point maybe with the likes of snoddy n kilkenny n johnson giving him the service he can double that at leeds, never looked at it that way, like i said its all about seeing what he brings if he comes that is with southampton making an official bid

  • Grumpy Older Man
    • Harry

      This is the sort of quality journalism you’ve got to love. The article is all about a calf injury whilst the comment under the picture states that he picked up a knee injury. Is it any wonder we don’t believe a word most journalists write.

  • MikeLufc

    It seems to m that Simon has royally fucked things up over Beckford.
    We need to rescue the situation before we get into the state of depending on others failings.
    Norwich and Charlton are not going to fail, not like we are doing, it is clear Beckford is the rotten apple now and he should be dropped completely.
    We need to spen and the best scorer in this division is Lambert and he should be our target and why not go the whole hog and get Barnard too.
    The cost of them pales into insignificance compared to losing out again.

    • Leo

      You will have the cost of them covered by letting Beckford go. The last offer from Newcastle for him was 1.75m and if Everton want him they must at least offer the same.

      • Craig

        They won’t have to offer us anything if Beckford joins Everton at the end of the season.

    • macadamia_man

      With the benefit of hindsight . . . tee hee . . .

  • Harry

    Southampton’s bid for Barnard sums up what has been wrong with our whole transfer window so far. Whilst we have lost Gradel (at the moment) and struggled to hang on to our top scorer, the team with the highest scorer in the league are looking to go out and strengthen by bidding for one of the other top scorers in the league. Shows either a lack of ambition on our part or an arrogant belief that promotion is in the bag.

    I think a bid for Barnard is a no brainer. Everything suggests he will score goals in this league and even if he doesn’t work out longer term he will be worth a lot more under contract than we would have to pay for him now with only a few months left on his contract. So it’s either goals or a profit – like I said it’s a no brainer.

  • Roger the Dodger

    How the hell can you criticise becchio when he came on for 10 minutes. barnard has done nothing in his career and will not improve. what has he done at championship level. yeah exactly

    if we really want to be competing in the championship then lee barnard isnt going to be the answer. but im afraid that once again our lack of spending will be our downfall and promotion will probablly pass us by

    • TSS

      I can criticise Becchio because he’s a striker that doesn’t score enough goals. My point is (as it’s always been) that without Beckford we have no 20 a year goalscorer. We should have the same kind of ambitions as Southampton and Charlton and look to not only have one, but to add a second too.

      The reason Beckford gets so much stick is because he’s relied on too heavily. When he hits a bad patch, there’s no other striker capable of delivering the goods. All our options are in him, which is a ludicrous position to be in as leaders. He’s untouchable and can’t be dropped as it stands too, which in itself isn’t ideal.

      • Tony Currie’s Curler

        How many did Becchio score last year?

  • Beckford can’t go soon enough for me…he’s basically crap. Look at his ‘performance’ last night…a joke, an embarrasment, in fact a complete w@<*$r! He needs what?….6/8 chances to score 1? He has never performed when it matters (Doncaster at Wembley, Millwall in the Play Offs etc) apart from when he scored against Man U; which funnily enough was at a time when he had put himself firmly on the market looking for a 'big move', and even then his first touch was shite. If you want to play for a club and are committed to it then you don't ask for a transfer. We do not need him…bollocks to the goals he has got…any half decent striker can score in Division 1; it's only a few steps up from pub football, and really that is what Beckford is a 'half decent striker'. Get real on Beckford…he wants to go….so do not buy all this bollocks about him finishing the job he started; getting Leeds out of Division 1. What we need is a striker for the level we are at…ie one like we had in Lee Chapman when we were in the old 2nd Division – someone who actually doesn't just get goals but also GETS STUCK IN….Beckford does not do the latter…look at his work rate and his lack of ability…he cannot win headers, does not tackle, never wins 50 50s, rarely tracks back and spends more time on the ground pretending he is injured as a weak attempt to hide his shortcomings – in essence he thinks he is significantly better than he is and consequently bigger than the club…that is why he asked for a transfer.

    For me Grayson and Uncle Ken should boot his arse out NOW and at least get us some money in. They NOW need to get us a proven tough tackling, in your face goalscoring striker who WANTS TO PLAY FOR LEEDS UNITED and consequently is FOCUSED so we can arrest this slump we have now hit….a slump for me all because things have become unsettled owing to 'Big Time Charlie Beckford.'

    Good riddance I say.

    Mark Warburton, Saddleworth, Oldham

    • Harry

      Unfortunately it doesn’t look like there’s any money to take now. If he wants to go to Everton and they are happy to wait until the end of the season then he will go for free at the end of the season. I think Grayson has cocked this one up, history suggests that it is a mistake to try and hang on to players that want to go, and Beckford clearly wanted to go. As soon as he put in a transfer request we should have negotiated the best possible deal from Newcastle, let him go, and set about finding the best available replacement.

      • Leo

        But is it to late to deal with Newcastle?

      • Roger the Dodger

        no one has tried to hang on to him, they just havent been offered enough money.

        we should not be bothered about 1 player like this, if we had bought barnard or whoever after the transfer request went in, we could take beckford off in games like that last night. saying that he was better than grella who needs to go out on loan if he is to develop.

        • Harry

          I agree re Grella although I think it’s a tough call to play with Beckford, as we know he expects everyone else to work to create his chances and rarely returns the compliment. I think a few games with Becchio would do Grella the world of good – and Saturday is the perfect opportunity, why give Beckford the big stage at WHL when he clearly doesn’t deserve it. Hopefully that’s why Becchio was rested last night, so he is fresh to partner Grella up front on Saturday.

    • West Stand Rebel

      Mark you saddo are you a disgruntled scum fan in disguise coming from Oldham? Who put Beckford on the transfer list? I think you’ll find that was Uncle Ken in the first place when he refused to give him an improved contract. If I were Beckford I’d screw everything I could out of Leeds particularly at the age of 26 and the way he is being treated by some of the so called fans. There isn’t a team in the third division who wouldn’t welcome his services and goal scoring record.

      Look who we have tried in the last year in his position none of whom have worked. Volks/Becchio/Kandol/Showunmi/Trundle. Some run round like headless chickens others were just hopeless and none of them have scored many goals.

      • ‘West Stand Rebel’…interesting remarks…Bates no doubt put Beckford on the list because he wanted more than he’s worth and more than the club will pay/can afford…that’s how you keep businesses going by keeping the costs in check.

        Re Volks, Showunmi and Trundle…they were never going to work as basically they are either inexperienced/still learning their trade or crap…that’s what you get at this level. Jury still out for me on Becchio as an out and out striker and Kandol has not had that many opportunities.

        Re your initial comment if you want to meet and ask me to my face just let me know. I’ll be more than happy to give you a smack in the mouth.

        • Leeds through & through

          yes thats a great idea to smack another leeds fan in the mouth because he had his view on a site were every1 has there own opinion, that meaks complete sense

          • check your grammer and spelling thicko

          • Leeds through & through

            ermm before you tell people how to spell and try correct them you might want to learn how to spell grammar, what a fool you just made of your self

      • timm

        Sorry mate but you can’t go around calling people scum fans & then complaining when they threaten to smack you in the mouth! There are Leeds fans all over the world. Like you say, this site is all about opinions, so why are you calling this lad a scum fan just because he has a different opinion to you? Saddleworth used to be in Yorkshire & people there still fly the white rose flag, & anyway, if he was a scum fan he’d live in London! Do you go up to the Stockport whites every match & accuse them of being scum bastards too? Or is it just people who don’t share your opinion?

        • West Stand Rebel

          If you read carefully timm you will note that I merely posed the question as to this guys allegencies. Rarely have I seen such an attack on one of our players by one of our own fans. The words “joke, crap, embarrasment, pub player etc ” are used as well as some deleted expletives. I leave others to make their minds up as to the threats of violence should I ask about his support to his face.

    • macadamia_man

      tee hee again . . .

  • White, Yellow and Blue

    You have to have a bit of sympathy with the players. Personally I have found it hard to get really motivated since playing Man Utd. It’s what’s missing at Elland Road – big matches (even if we lose). Just not the same playing Exeter, Wycombe or Carlisle – with no disrespect to all those clubs’ fans.

    Barnard, Hooper, Sharp, it probably doesn’t matter that much because we’ve got a manager good enough to make the team exploit the best of the abilities of whoever we sign. Until they play for us, their performances are just speculation. I also think we should be pursuing other quality players like Carl Dickinson (the left back) not just strikers. We still have gaps in our quality and we’re not broke anymore.

    Perhaps the incentive that Bates needs is to realize that the fans I mix with really, really want out of this league. I for one am not going to pay nearly £500 to watch players that come to kick lumps out of anything in a white shirt next season, I’m thoroughly bored of it. I don’t feel disloyal, I’ve supported this club through the last ten seasons’ decline with hard cash and I’d like to see some of it invested back in the team please. Start building us a team now that has the depth to compete week in, week out in the CCC next year or I’m cutting off your pocket money Mr Bates!

    Am I alone in thinking this way?

    • Roger the Dodger

      one game against man u and no motivation?? wasnt tonight a chance to get to wembley to win a trophy. probably the highlight of most of our teams careers, paint trophy or not. if you cant get motivated for that get a new job

      • White, Yellow and Blue

        I agree. They should be motivated because it’s what they get paid to do. I went to the Wembley and Cardiff po’s but the JPT doesn’t have the same appeal somehow. Maybe it’s cos it’s played in March? Guess I just don’t like bad weather and crap chairmen.

  • As a footnote on who we should get in I reckon LEE HUGHES from Notts County..He would fit in very nicely…puts himself about and bangs in the goals.

    Sincerely hope Beckford’s gone by weekend.

  • Arniemar

    I think we need more pace and zip up front and not sure Barnard will do the trick for us. That said he’s apparently out of contract at the end of the season so no doubt it’s another cheap deal for Uncle Ken and his scoring record isn’t bad.
    I was pleased initially that Becks is staying until the end of the season, but if it’s true that he has signed a pre-contract with Everton can his mind be truly on the job at Leeds?
    Maybe we would have been better taking the money and running.
    In his defence I agree that he misses his fair share of chances, but that’s because he always puts himself in a position to score. Yes maybe his touch isn’t always great, but I have no doubt he will get goals at a higher level. Andy Cole anyone?
    Leeds need another striker to provide competition up front and a couple of new midfielders wouldn’t go amiss since – Snodgrass apart – I feel our current midfield is a bit too similar. The club would also be foolish not to opt to sign Max Gradel given some of his displays. I reckon about half-a-million with add-ons would do the trick, but again its down to whether Bates will stump up the money. I believe Simon Grayson has only paid one proper transfer fee for a player during his entire tenure, the rest being loans or effectively frees.

  • timm

    I can’t believe all these comments about Beckford! When he almost pissed off to Newcastle everyone was saying if he gets his head down & see’s out his contract then he’ll go with our best wishes, now he’s decided to do that everyone’s saying he should go now! Forget about Everton,you can’t blame him for a club showing interest in him. I believe he’ll give everything now to get us up, if he starts not giving a toss David Moyes will soon lose interest. Our problem is he needs a strike partner. I love Becchio but he’s not a striker, he’s a battler who can win things in the air behind the front two. Look at Norwich with Chris Martin & Grant Holt, that’s what we need & i’d be happy to see Barnard at the side of Beckford.

    • macadamia_man

      Good post showing rational thought and a longer memory than shallower fans. A month. If the rest of the team are indeed so easily destablised by the rumoured loss of one player, they should be moved on sharpish. Now if you tell me they got over-cautious because the pitch was crap and the Spurs game up next . . .

  • buster leeds fan

    i agree with mikelufc,lambert is the striker we should be trying to sign otherwise this is the outcome i foresee.bates will not spend money meaning norwich will win the league,charlton second and leeds losing in play offs again which all adds up to us losing another good manager to a team with ambition. anyone else agree?

    • Harry

      Southampton only signed Lambert in the summer for 800k and are well backed by an extremely wealthy investor so I’d say there is absolutely no chance they will sell for the kind of money we would offer (Although worth noting that Lambert would probably also have been available to us at that price in the summer when this saga first started if we were not so obsessed with the idea that Beckford is the only player capable of getting us 25 goals in this league)

  • David N.I.

    Buster you are right, i’ll say again pappa smurf charging Premier League prices getting Premier League crowds & paying League one wages, win win he’s happy where we are. There is a big difference in thinking your are a good team and actually being a good team & thats what Leeds think. Leeds seem to forget every match bar a few teams, it’s their FA Cup final every time we play them we must play at the standard of the Man U match. Also I fear Spurs more than M.U. to turn us over big time, sad to say but the sooner we are out of the cup the better. Nothing but nothing matters more than going up. Put your hand in your pocket Ken & not just to Masterbates.

    • buster leeds fan

      well said david.the problem with bates is that hes more interested in doing with leeds what he done at chelsea with this village bollox so he can line his own pockets instead of investing in the team.sorry to say but while hes at the helm with his pockets sewn up our once great team will never get back to the promised land.

  • Choppers

    I think Beckford will get us another 15 goals this season. I think we should get Barnard now and play him with Beckford. They are totally different players and may work well together.

    Barnard is more like a Fox in the box as opposed to playing off the shoulder of the last man

  • Grumpy Older Man
    • TSS

      Didn’t realise anyone had claimed he’d already signed. My understanding was that a fee had been agreed, but I figured there would be a bit more to it yet. Still, he’s cheap, which Bates will love and an obvious replacement for when Becks goes.

      • Harry

        Probably means a deal is not that close as it would be pointless to deny something in the morning and then potentially have to announce it in the afternoon. Looks like us, Millwall and Soton have enquired and either been told nothings doing or quoted a ridiculous price.

        • timm

          I wouldn’t be surprised to see Barnard signed up in next few days, we’ll be offering the highest wages so i think we should be favourites to get him. I would’ve loved to have seen them test the water with Southampton & Norwich re Lambert & Holt but like Harry said, Southampton now have a very wealthy owner & Norwich would never sell to us at this stage of the season. I fully expect 3 new faces before the end of the month but i suspect he’s working hard trying to offload Robinson (our highest paid player!)too.My guess woul be Barnard, Gradel & possibly Vasko if he impresses? I think Naylor’s suffering a dip in form too so i’d give Lubo or Brondby a go at side of Paddy

          • TheReaper08

            Saints would never sell us Lambert and nor would they need to. As mentioned they have a very wealthy owner and show no sign of signing up players for themselves.

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  • Colin

    I can’t believe all those who are saying that Beckford should go now just because he hasn’t scored in the last 3 games. I didn’t particularly see Grella doing too much last night and over the last 3 games, none of the usual scorers have stepped up to the plate and delivered. Remember that Leeda have conceded 5 goals in the last 3 games. Irrespective of what your strikers are doing, at the end of the day if you’re shipping 2 goals against the likes of Exeter, then it’s your defence you need to look at.

    The fact is that all the Beckford boo boys automatically assume that he will score and that it’s unacceptable if he doesn’t. You can’t just jump on his back if he fails to score. Yet all we get is “Beckford is crap”. You’ve become too reliant on Beckford. If Beckford goes off form, Leeds go off form. There’s a reason for that and that is Becks is completely core to Leeds’ success.

    Why not pick on the defence? That’s where the current problem is.

  • Arniemar

    Anyone know what the deal is with Andy Robinson? I mean Grayson clearly doesn’t like him – he could even’t get a place on the bench for JPT – so he’s obviously on his way out. But why? He has good delivery from set pieces, can go past a man and likes a tackle. Just what we need at the moment..

  • Matt bb

    Robinson will most likely be heading to tranmere if they can scratch together a loan fee. Too right, the problem is our defence not our strikers, if we had upheld our standards it’d have been two one nils and a nil nil! I’d welcome a new strike partner for beckford as all we need is real competition up front ro get beckford wound up, watch the big ego kick in! For me has to be billy sharp or david healy, they would be options in the division above.

  • Dje

    The positive spin (again) is that Everton have signed a pre-contract with Beckford. It’s a win-win situation for Everton – if Beckford continues to score goals (well, restarts scoring goals) then they’ve got the deal already in place, if there’s any doubt about his suitability then they have another four months to assess him, and if his form dips or they finally realise that he might not quite be as good as Saha then they can walkaway from the deal as it is only a pre-contract.

    I think Rubery has bollocked it up for Beckford though – as Newcastle won’t come back if they hear Grayson admitting that he has a pre-contract with Everton [“Would you like to match their wages Mr Ashley?” Fat chance]. And now Beckford has to play his bleeding heart out for a club that’ll be looking to replace him and and inclined to drop him. And, I reckon, Beckford always tends to tail off towards the end of the season.

    But that is the only positive spin I can muster.

  • Dje

    Has anyone any idea how much we would be required to spend to bring in Barnard? I can’t imagine Southend will rollover that easily for a few pennies – especially as the Leeds-Factor should add a hefty chunk to the transfer fee.

    • timm

      Somewhere around 200k is probably what Southend are wanting for Barnard. I just read what David Healy said about wanting to come back, if i was Grayson i’d be straight up the A1 to get him! He’d get us over the finish line no problem & he’d still be good for a year or 2 in the CCC

      • Colin

        I’m afraid the problem with Healy is wages – he’s a Premier League player and for Leeds to afford him, they’d need his parent club to pay at least 90% of the wages. No club is going to let a player go, just to get 10% off the wage bill.

        • Dje

          It depends on how desperate Healy is to get his career back on track.

          Sunderland paid £1.2m for him in 2008 and have played him barely a dozen times since. They’d be lucky to get 600k for him on those returns.

          Sure he’d have to take a pay cut, but I’d be surprised if this was 90% (which no one would take), maybe 50% (if we paid him what Beckford wanted)?

          • Colin

            I think he’d be an amazing aquisition, but I think Becks is on about £7,000 a week maybe??
            Healy must be on £25-30,000 I’d think??

            That said, Healy did say today that if there was one team that he would drop down to it would be Leeds.

      • Dje

        I think £200k is sadly our price range with Bates at the helm. Gradel was supposed to be up for £200k too. £400k for Barnard and Gradel sounds alright, but I’d prefer to go for a Sharp or a Hooper than Barnard.

        Healy would be an interesting signing. Admittedly the romance of bringing back a player we were obliged to sell for ready cash lets the heart dictate the brain somewhat (Kilgallon, Smith, Milner, Lennon etc can follow) here. I don’t think any team has ever really figured out exactly how to play Healy (expect Northern Ireland that is – but when you’re ‘The Talisman’ then the immeasurable world of the mystique sorts these things out for you) and to guarantee him getting the goals. Grayson might well be able to unlock such a secret – it really is beyond my limited football nous.

  • Jimbob

    TSS, just to add my voice to the defence of Becchio – I was right behind the goal last night, and for my money he put a superb header on the ball, forcing a great save from their keeper. I don’t want to sound picky, but I would hardly call it a ‘missed’ header!

    Undoubtedly, we need to strengthen the frontline – Gradel has shown himself to be a more-than-capable impact player, but what we really need is competition for places. Barnard on the cheap would be a fantastic signing, supplemented with a couple of new loan signings which seem to be Grayson’s forte!!

    • Colin

      Jimbob – I’m sorry but I have to disagree entirely. There’s no problem with Leeds’ firepower. Leeds have more than enough to get promotion this season.

      The problem is Leeds’ defending. Here’s the stats from the Exeter game:

      Possession: Exeter 61% Leeds United 39%
      Attempts on target: Exeter 2 Leeds United 3

      If Leeds are going to let the opposition have 60% of possession and concede every attempt on target the opposition put into our box, then there’s not much any striker can do.

      • TheReaper08

        I see where your going with this and to a point I agree,if you concede goal every chance you give up you are asking for trouble. Posession though is what leads to chances and posession is dictated by the midfield.

      • Harry

        Here’s another stat from last night 22 attempts (12 on target) – 1 goal.

        Still think there’s ‘no problem with Leeds firepower’ ?

        • Colin

          Fair enough. My stats were trying to show that Exeter only managed to get 2 on target but both went in. Which is poor defending.

          12 on target but only one goal just means that Carlisle defended well and that they would have gone in if it hadn’t been for a goalie, defender or post being in the right place at the right time.

          We’ve scored 46 goals in the league so far so there’s no need for panic. It’s just a case of Grayson pulling his finger out and getting them playing again. They’ve done it before and will do it again and there’s a favourable run of games coming up for Leeds in the league.

          We’ll be okay!

          • Dje

            Without wanting to get caught in the middle of this issue, literally, you could also say that our problem recently has been in midfield. You don’t concede 61% of possession through ineffectual strikers, nor do you through defenders losing possession (or else you’d expect considerably more shots on target than just two), so that only leaves the midfield players.

            I didn’t go to the Exeter game so I couldn’t really comment about individual players, tis only theoretical.

            Also, I listened to the match on the the radio and I could have sworn that they reckoned Ankergren made a couple of good saves. Surely they must have been on target too? Or else he was throwing himself about to save corners.

  • TheReaper08

    Not sure Healy is the solution, 30 years old and his league record is a goal roughly every 4 games.

    Add to that he will cost us a bit and his wages are too high. Mind you he does run around a lot and has a decent first touch so I guess most fans will be happy.

    • Dje

      If I remember correctly, when Healy was with us he increasingly got pushed out towards the wing and was expected to cut back-in and play through the inner channel. Rooney makes it look easy of course, but I don’t think it ever really suited Healy, and his goal tally suffered.

      The same could be said of Kewell, who increasingly looked ineffectual in our team under O’Leary’s indecisions about whther to play the beautiful passing game or to go for the high-tempo box to box approach. Both players scored some great and memorable goals, but their goal ratios for us are both poor by strikers’ standards.

      Having said that, I’ve got a lot of time for Healy (considerably less so for Kewell), and if Healy was to kick-start his career (or end it on a high) then I’d like it to be for us. I think he could easily tap into the Graysonian line of the squad being in a unique and humbling position of being (potentially) the one to guide the mighty Leeds back to the Premiership. Beckford doesn’t seem to grasp what a chance this offers to a reputation that can stay at a club long after a player’s kicked a ball in anger – but Healy, and his pride for playing for Northern Ireland, is a different kettle of fish.

      Let’s face it, Healy has had a glittering international career in making Northern Ireland a proud footballing nation of continually coming close but yet failing to ever qualify for anything (oh, and for beating the English), but domestically he’s never been part of a team that’s won a trophy, never won promotion to anything. That’s a lot of running and huffing and puffing to putting nothing on your mantelpiece, to be left with only the faint sound of a long departed crowd still cheering you on now you’re in old age (or perhaps it’s just the deafness setting in).

      • TheReaper08

        Yes Beckford could risk staying at the club and maybe we could get back to the premier league during his career and maybe he could become a Leeds legend. Alternatively he could accept the offer of a PL club whilst still in his prime, treble his salary thus setting his family up for life, and maybe just maybe make something of himself at the top level whilst there is still time for an even bigger move.

        After all I still work for the company I joined when I left school, have turned down numerous better paid offers from other companies, isn’t that the same for everyone ?

        • Dje

          It wasn’t a critique of Beckford.

          I couldn’t blame him for wanting to taste football at a higher level, as living with the ‘what if I’d gone to Everton’ is far worse than ‘what if I stayed at Leeds’. But only just.

          I’ve no sympathy though for anyone who can’t set his family up on £350,000+ a year for the last three years, and £500,000+ offered in a new contract, no doubt for another three years at least. Besides, I’m sure the RAC would give him his old job back if he wanted it after retiring (may be after after a refresher session).

          Fundamentally I see Beckford as a bit of an ‘odd-bod’ in the modern English game, and I think it is why he gets so much stick from some of our fans – who find it hard to identify with him (at least in the footballer idiom).

          He’s never done the ‘normal’ route of career progression in the modern game in England. Yes he was in Chelsea’s youth squad until he was 19. But then they released him, just as many other young men have their ‘football dream’ ended thus. His professional football career should really have ended then – or perhaps reduced to supplementing his monthly income from working a ‘normal’ job with the RAC with match-win cash bonuses in the mid-echelons of the non-league pyramid system, or, at tops, a good monthly sum from teams yo-yo-ing between the Conference and League Two. He’d have done well not to have become the bore in the bar who’d always be going on about his youth days with Chelsea, perhaps a tad touchy with melancholy ‘what if’s’.

          But then he had a flash year at Wealdstone and one of our scouts – who certainly should be more credited than he’s been – gets him signed up with us and the rest is a rocky-on-off-Leeds-United-love-affair: written off too quickly, then excelled at Scunthorpe, brought back in to the fold and then back to back seasons as our top scorer.

          So just when you thought you knew which way he and his career was going, he managed to do a turnabout and bamboozle the hell out of you. Most people don’t like the ones they cant quite categorise into a nice easy pigeonhole, and I reckon our club has a fair share too. And just by presuming that he can’t do well above League One, as so many have said, I wouldn’t be surprised – but I couldn’t explain how – if he excelled at Everton and even get some other ‘odd-bods’ calling for him to be given a chance in the England squad (probably after England does utterly shite again at the World Cup). But the one thing that he’s never really had, and his position of being a striker – the lone(ly) frontman – doesn’t help, is real a sense of belonging to a club, a team, or it’s fans. Even his goal celebrations frequently look like victories over his own doubts about his abilities. That’s why it might not be the worse thing in the world for Beckford (perhaps more than Leeds United) if he did commit to the club and play a significant part in getting us back to the Premiership.

          Jesus man, to be a Leeds United legend! As great as …erm … Lee Chapman! You just can’t buy that kind of thing!

          • He is not a team man, and is very dangerous to have around a club as he creates emotional disturbances. Right now the risk of having him in our players midsts are too great. Set him free so we can be free.

  • mark s

    On a separate note, Good to see Milner belt a penalty past old shit face Robinson

    • Colin

      “old shit face Robinson” :)