Leeds suffered their second defeat in a row at the hands of Carlisle United as the JPT brought an unwelcomed distraction to Elland Road. Whilst many are delighted to have knocked Manchester United out of the FA Cup and would love a trip to Wembley in the JPT, the cup runs are clearly coming at a price to Leeds United and the slump in form can only be attributed to an Old Trafford hangover added to the continued uncertainty around the future of Jermaine Beckford with Everton amongst the latest rumours.

There’s an argument that could suggest this weeks cup games give us the chance to get our poor run out of the way before getting back to League One action next week, and if that’s the case then so be it, but this was a third consecutive poor display from the Whites who look jaded and seem to be lacking in ideas at times.

It’s like watching the Leeds United side pre-Simon Grayson with us failing miserably at defending set-plays, lacking organisation in defence and fight across the pitch and failing to put away the chances that fall for us. Whilst there was a noticable improvement on Saturday’s display and Leeds were perhaps a little unlucky to lose, this still wasn’t good enough from the league leaders.

The lack of fight is what worries me the most. Complacency has definitely crept in and despite the January transfer window being open, no one seems to be fighting for the right to wear the shirt as much as they should be. To be beaten at Elland Road is bad enough, but to be beaten by a side struggling like Carlisle are and for them to control the game in large parts like they did is quite frankly embarrassing. 

I aren’t going to go through the match blow by blow, because there are so few positives to take from it. To say I’m disheartened would be an understatement, but I rest assured in the belief that Simon Grayson can turn this round. Up next is another distraction as we head to White Hart Lane in the FA Cup. I hope Simon Grayson rests the first team for this one and fields the reserves because I honestly couldn’t care less about winning it. The league is all that matters.

After the Spurs distraction, we head to Swindon back in League One. The entire teams focus should be on this game and this game alone, Tottenham is quite simply irrelevant. This form can’t continue or Charlton and Norwich will make us pay. The team need to understand that the important thing is escaping League One and forget their moment in the spotlight.

Final score: Leeds United 1-2 Carlisle United

A more in-depth match report can be found here at Travels of a Leeds fan

  • Grumpy Older Man

    From the T&A, clear who was wasteful….cause and effect, cause and effect:

    Jermaine Beckford missed a hatful of chances just days after coming off the transfer list as Leeds lost the first leg of their Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Northern Area semi-final to a Graham Kavanagh-inspired Carlisle. Just four days before their FA Cup fourth-round tie at Tottenham, Leeds lacked the cutting edge they will need if they are to cause another upset after knocking out Manchester United. And Jermaine Beckford, the goal hero at Old Trafford, was the biggest culprit.

    Manager Simon Grayson demoted the out-of-touch Luciano Becchio to the bench and promoted American striker Mike Grella to partner Beckford, who came off the transfer list at the weekend. Leigh Bromby moved into central defence in place of Patrick Kisnorbo, Jason Crowe came in at right back and Jonny Howson replaced Michael Doyle in midfield. As expected, Carlisle included former Leeds men Ian Harte and Tom Taiwo.

    Beckford should have opened the scoring after only six minutes but from Bradley Johnson’s pass, and with only keeper Lenny Pidgeley to beat, he fired wide of the left post. However, Carlisle went close three times in a four-minute spell, with the Leeds defence rocking. Matty Robson’s driven cross was met by Kevan Hurst who seemed certain to score but Andrew Hughes cleared off the line. Adam Clayton had a powerful drive deflected just wide and when Robson’s angled shot was parried at full stretch by Casper Ankergren, Leigh Bromby completed the goalmouth clearance.

    Carlisle’s reward arrived in the 21st minute. Evan Horwood’s high cross from the left was headed down by Richard Keogh for Republic of Ireland international Graham Kavanagh to control with his chest before smacking home an unstoppable right-foot effort from ten yards. Beckford should have equalised in the 29th minute but could only send a gentle lob into the keeper’s hands and, after shooting against the far post nine minutes later, he fluffed yet another chance from a pass by Robert Snodgrass. Ankergren made two excellent first-half saves from Kavanagh and Clayton and Carlisle held a one-goal advantage at the break. Crowe, who had struggled defensively, got Leeds back on terms in the 56th minute, arriving at the far post to head home a cross from the left by Hughes and grab his first goal for the club. With Leeds much improved, Crowe almost scored again soon afterwards, volleying close with Hughes again the provider, but Carlisle’s lead was restored six minutes from time when Harte’s free-kick from the right saw substitute Joe Anyinsah head a soft goal from six yards.

  • Wilko

    Agree with all of this, especially the point about the cup. For most of the first half we looked like a team who was both tired and uninterested. The only positive was that we created a lot of chances, someone said previously that Beckford was a 1 in 5 striker. 0 in 8 on last nights showing

  • paul

    I think like most whites fans we were more interested in the charlton result last night, a short while ago it had three possible ways to go,stay 8-11 points clear of 3rd place, extend that lead to maybe 15 points or get caught by the chasing pack, guess what…. this is Leeds utd so what do we expect. I know what every leeds fan is thinking now….oh no not the play-offs!! Norwich had their blip at the start of the season, Leeds are having theirs now, lets hope Charlton have theirs soon….i’d take second place now thank you very much!!

  • jesmondwhite

    totally agree about Spurs being a distraction. I hope we field the second team, but the chances of that seem to be zero. One thing Dennis Wise got right was treating the cup comps as a side show. Norwich and Charlton must be laughing their heads off…

  • Matt bb

    One thing simon grayson does right, and well done for spotting the only thing dennis wise did right when he was in charge.., is to move on deadwood, there are a group of underperformers at the moment, some because they are tired, kisnorbo, doyle, howson, becchio, and some because they cant be relied in to maintain a good attitude. I suspect last nights performance would be enough to persuade bates to pay up for gradel, and one or two others, barnard and sharp for example. I would expect changes, most certainly.

  • andrew r

    We should have taken the money!!!!
    Playing someone who has allegedly signed up for another club and misses significantly more chances than he scores is not a good place to be….play someone who really wants to play.
    Also why are these players “tired”…..a couple of games of football a week and 2 or 3 hours (if that) training a week playing 3rd division football should not tire you out….get a grip!
    Still think we will go up but cannot afford to get sucked into the playoffs….you know how good we are with those!

    • Tony Currie’s Curler

      I don’t think tired is the right word, jaded would be more appropriate.

      They have played a lot of games and the high standard they’ve set themselves is next to impossible to maintain for a whole season without a dip in form at some point either individually or as a team. I few fresh faces around the place especially up front would be good at this point.

      My preferences would be Taylor from Oldham, Hooper from Scunthorpe and Barnard from Southend I think they’d be all attainable at a reasonable price and they all are capable of going with us to the next level.

      • TSS

        Jaded was the word I used, and to be fair to the players, it’s a falacy that they only train two hours a day.

        • andrew r

          …particularly as we have £5 million from Chelsea and £6 million from Delph in the bank of monaco

  • Harry

    Latest quote from Grayson “JPT tie finely balanced”.

    Not sure if he’s noticed but no one gives a f*ck about the JPT and with all these cup distractions it’s our position in the automatic promotion places that is now starting to appear finely balanced. Talk of being unlucky last night is not convincing on the back of a home draw with Wycombe and defeat at Exeter. We were ‘unlucky’ because we missed a hatful of chances – b*llox – we’re missing chances because players are underperforming and Grayson needs to do something about it and fast. Never mind about WHL, it’s 3 pts next Tues at Swindon that should be our priority.

    • jesmondwhite

      totally agree. this is now a test of grayson’s mettle…

  • Just a thought…i’m sat watching Aston Villa batter(…and be battered), there is one player notable by his absence, that is Delph!! He’d return and play his heart out for Leeds! Is it beyond the wit of any at Leeds United to obtain his services on loan!? Also if you think its bad losing to Carlisle in a mickey mouse cup try living here at the same time!

  • mark s

    Good to see Milner belt a penalty past shit face Robinson