Post-Brentford shooting practice clearly paid off last night as Leeds thrashed Tranmere away by four goals to one. The game wasn’t quite as one-sided as the scoreline suggests and this was a more confident Ttanmere team than early in the season, spurred on by their recent victory over Southampton.

The major difference between the Tranmere and Brentford match wasn’t the quality of opposition. If anything, Tranmere probably caused more of a threat than Brentford did, who simply came to Elland Road and parked the bus. The change from Saturday was quite simply what Leeds did with all the chances they created.

On Saturday Leeds squandered a ridiculous amount of chances. Brentford got a goal totally against the run of play and Leeds were left chasing the game. At that point the scoreline read 0-1, but it could quite easily have been 4-1 if Leeds had been a little more clinical infront of goal and showed more urgency to get ahead.

It was clear early on that there would be no such problems tonight as Leeds set out to right the wrongs of Brentford and get their promotion campaign back on track. Robert Snodgrass opened the scoring after just nine minutes and Beckford doubled the lead just seven minutes later from the spot.

Leeds had the momentum and looked confident once more, but Tranmere had other ideas and pulled one back just three minutes later after Leeds failed to clear their lines. Less than 20 minutes gone and already 2-1.

When confidence is so slow and everything is going against you, conceeding a goal at that stage could have led to a ten men behind the ball approach from a lot of teams, but Leeds pressed on and restored their two goal advantage ten minutes before the break. Luciano Becchio the scorer with a diving header from Jermaine Beckford’s cross.

The final goal of the game came midway through the second half sealing the three points for Leeds United courtesy of Jermaine Beckford. The confidence levels had clearly and visibly risen by this point, so much so that Beckford finished off Tranmere with a cheeky well-taken lob.

The ups

“Thankyou for your fantastic support” - The fans, as always, were brilliant.

Shooting practice – I know I’m stating the obvious a bit here, but getting four goals in one game is some achievement when you look back and consider the amount of chances we’ve squandered over the last few weeks.

Beckford - Gets a lot of stick whenever things are going badly. Tends to be the one singled out for the criticism of every fan up and down the country, so perhaps he should take all the praise when we win? Two goals and an assist, not a bad shift in my book.

The substitutions – Still can’t see what Paul Dickov’s bringing to the party, but the introduction of Max Gradel and Tresor Kandol late on was much more positive than we’ve seen in recent weeks.

The downs

Their goal – All that really sticks in mind is their goal which came after several amateurish attempts to clear the ball from Leeds. A bit of panic in the box, the ball flew around wildly and eventually someone stabbed it across the line. Poor, but we can afford the odd mistake when we’re scoring fluently. On another week, that goal would have probably cost us points.

  • just seen the goals and liked the look of hunger in the eyes…
    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xciobl_tranmere-1-v-4-leeds_sport

    • Colin

      that video’s been taken down :(

  • Choppers

    I cant heap enough praise on Beckford and Howson last night, magical performance from both.

    It comes as no surprise that Beckfords best performance comes under the watchful eye of Moyes, but Beckford needs to play like that every week. He looked Premiership class last night for me.

    I think the goal we conceded was bad. For a player to have two swipes at a ball in the box, just goes to show how much time he had. I was sat behind the goal and when it went in I expected to go in 2-2, but our heads simply didnt drop and it was good to see.

    We had a midfield again, something we have been missing since the Man U game.

    We need to push on now and get that momentum back up and running. A result down south and happy days.

    My one negative comment is simply McSheffrey. I thought he had a reasonable game on sat but he was once again misplacing the passes, getting caught in possession but one thing he did do was track back, which was good to see.

    Roll on Southampton.

    • Tim

      McSheffrey also won the penalty for Beckford remember.

      I think he’ll come good over the last few weeks of the season and will prove to be a very astute move by Grayson.

  • Roger the Dodger

    Lets not get too carried away here, we had a good result against colchester as well what we need to do is carry this result forward and produce a good run
    There are a lot of positives in this game though its the first time we’ve scored 4 since stockport and first time weve won by 3 goals since brighton
    and jermaine beckford has started scoring again, i still want to see contribution from him in every game though, his cross for becchio was great
    dont know what perked him up, maybe moyes or maybe the stick hes been having but lets hope it continues

    11 games to go, 6 wins or equivalent and id expect us to get promoted but we have some tough games, its going down to the wire boys

  • Keep This Shed White

    Told ya!

    (And your new appraisal of Saturday’s match was mch more accurate and objective.)

    • TSS

      I haven’t changed my appraisal on Saturdays game. I never said we weren’t the better team, we just lacked urgency and for all the chances, it never felt like we’d score.

  • paull

    If we’re still five points above that line after the Norwich game I think I’ll order the shandy. Come on you whites.

    • Matt bb

      The pressure can ease away from home, and hopefully southampton will feel it on saturday, again well done to the lads, when beckford and becchio are both on a goal spree it doesnt matter how dodgy the defence are, stick the saints now, remember the good old days!

      • Raph

        Fantasic result, feeling alot more comfortable about Saturday now that BOTH our strikers are scoring again. It seems that just maybe its taking shape again…at the right time (won’t speak too soon as they are fighting relegation), but overall play is so much better than few weeks ago. All this rubbish with Gerrard giving the “V” to that ref, this is Jermaine doing it to the doubters :) Come on boys, do it together

    • TheReaper08

      Just as I am not prepared to commit suicide when things are not good nor am I going to declare Summer at my first sight of a swallow.

      Great win last night against a team we should be despatching without any real trouble. If we can keep that up, get draws where perhaps defeat was a possibility and wins where draws were likely then perhaps we can all crack open the bubbly real soon.

      Like others have stated I am delighted for Beckford, the amount of flack he receives when he is just one goal behind the top scorer in our league having played a game less is at best ludicrous.

      • Chareose

        yes but what concerns me is that we are so reliant on a few players scoring our goals….. thats not healthy and is it our style of player or the type of players we have ???

        • timm

          Surely,relying on strikers to score goals is the norm? It certainly doesn’t seem to be doing Norwich any harm with Hoolihan,Martin & Holt banging them in, or Southampton with Lambert & recent signing Barnard.Look at Scum with Rooney! I really don’t understand why anyone would be worried because the majority of our goals are coming from our strikers? Last time i looked, all our goals conceded had been let in by our keeper too! It’s horses for courses.

          • TheReaper08

            The problem is that all the sides you mention have one midfielder that has scored 10+ goals in there side. We have Bradley johnson who has scored 7 and the rest are even lower which isn’t good enough. Oh and not to pick holes but Wes hoolihan is a winger.

          • timm

            Hoolihan was a winger in previous seasons but he plays just behind the front 2 this season at Norwich. I think it would be fair to assume Johnson would be on over 10 if he hadn’t got his injury (& he hasn’t been the same player since).For me the 2 players who i’d expect more goals from are Kilkenny & Becchio. I like Becchio & he gives everything but he’s had a lean time in front of goal this season.

          • TheReaper08

            Johnson has been available all season apart from late November early December. Becchio missed to whole months featuring only once in the league in October and November.

            Johnson’s last goal was October since then he has featured 21 times in all comps with no goals, not safe to assume anything I would say.

            In general the midfield don’t get enough goals and this is highlighted when Beckford doesn’t net for a while and performances are bad.This subsequently leads topeople getting on Beckfords back which isn’t really fair or looking at the bigger picture.

            Whether players like Hoolihan or Lallana are wingers or attacking midfielders they are certainly not strikers but they have scored double figure league goals.

          • timm

            I don’t think i implied that Johnson was out for a long time? I said that he hasn’t been the same since his injury. Surely you’d have to agree with that? I also didn’t say that Becchio has played every game this season,but even when you take into account the fact that he missed 2 months it doesn’t alter the fact that he’s had a lean time in front of goal. I couldn’t agree more with you that we’re not scoring enough goals from all areas. I’d like to see our centre halves getting 5 or 6 a season from corners but it just doesn’t happen. Regarding the people who get on Beckfords back, it’ll never change, it’s just like the people calling for Graysons head last week, we have some of the most fickle supporters in the country at this club. I remember fans around me screaming abuse at Lee Chapman in the season we won the league & 2 lads near me hurling abuse at Dickov before he’d even kicked the ball last week!

          • Craig

            We have what we have and we’ll have to make it work until the end of the season. I do recall that the way Johnson began the season it felt like we had an extra striker and am sure that it was his injury that set him back.

  • Ian McShane

    I think we may now of turned the proverbial corner,M.O.T.!

  • Arniemar

    Anyone read the comments from the Tranmere manager Les Parry? Talk about sour grapes..Failed to give Leeds any credit at all when his team were well and truly put to the sword.

    Hopefully last night will shut up the anti-Beckford brigade for the time at being at least. Can’t see Dickov firing us to promotion somehow.

  • ardswhite

    Cant please all the people all the time, great win last night against a team on a high after saturdays victory over the free scoring saints.
    I bow down to the messiah, he stated we would come good some were skeptical about formations and subs recently (rightly so) but Larry kept the faith and the team delivered
    The team have not been playing well since the scum game (everyone could see that) so chances are not being created, that’s beckford’s fault for not scoring goals. Last night the team played well chances were created he scored two had an assist, what happens hes showboating because moyes and supposed everton scouts are there,the guy just cant win.
    Not since mark viduka has a leeds player scored twenty plus goals in a season and still we mock.
    Just keep scoring jermaine and get us promoted and i will wish you well, i hope you stay but would you want to with such fickle fans. Whatever happens you deserve your pay rise were ever you may be.
    On an On

    • Chareose

      I agree mate, the guy cant do anything right. I also think he will move on in the summer and you cant really blame him.

  • Colin

    I want to re-post an item I put on the last blog as I’m concerned that supporting Leeds is making some of our fellow bloggers, a little depressed.

    Reaper, read on. I hope this cheers you up!! :)

    Just looking at the stats and if you look at Leeds’ position then you wouldn’t bet against auto promotion.

    We have 11 games left – let’s say we score 1 point away and 3 at home. That would get us 21 points.

    Okay, we may have some slip ups, but i’ve put Leeds down as getting 1 point against both Yeovil and Gillingham. I’d expect us to get more than 2 points from those 2 games, so that should cover us if we have any shocks.

    Let’s forget Norwich and concentrate on Charlton – our nearest rivals.
    They would have to get 26 points from 11 games to finish on equal points. They are -10 on goal diff, so would really need to get 27 points. And when I was putting the Leeds points together I counted Charlton as getting 3 points against us. If Leeds could keep a clean sheet against Charlton, then they would need 29 points from a possible 33 points.

    If Colchester won their game in hand, then they’d need 27 from 33 as well and Millwall would need 31 from 33.

    Fair enough, Leeds might not get 21 points from a possible 33, but I really can’t see Charlton getting 27 from 33 either.

    If you’re a betting man you wouldn’t put any money on Leeds not getting promoted.

    For example, if Leeds got a win against Southampton, then Charlton would need 29 from 33 by my reckoning and that’s just not going to happen.

    Bookies have made us 2/5 to get promoted. So you have to put down £5 to win £2.

    • TheReaper08

      I am quite cheery Colin don’t worry about that but I like to live my life in balance, as mentioned previously I neither choose to go overboard after a good result or tie myself to the railway tracks if we lose.

      I merely deal in facts which unfortunately isn’t always the case with some.

    • Craig

      There is no doubt that automatic promotion is ours to lose now. Five points ahead with a significantly better goal average at this stage in the season is a significant cushion. It basically boils down to psychology here on in – OK, we are nervously looking down at teams below us like a kid up a tree with a dog snarling below but Charlton et al are the dog, frustrated in knowing that no matter how much energy he expends the kid needs to slip for him to get his teeth sunk in. The longer it goes on the more desperate the dog gets and that is when mistakes are made – OK the analogy has broken down now but it was good whilst it worked!

      Where’s Mike? Is he in the wings waiting for our next slip up? I’m surprised Simon the Leicester fan didn’t goad him into some kind of reply.

  • Colin

    Badge kissing – is it just me or in the last game, when Beckford scored his goals, he kissed both his gloves.

    He wears those woolly black gloves which have the Leeds badge on them. I think you can get them from Leeds’ online store.

    He’s looking very happy in his Leeds shirt at the moment. Has he been promised an early Christmas present from Uncle Ken if Leeds get promoted to the CCC?? It won’t be a large present, more like a small envelope with the words NEW CONTRACT OFFER written on it.

    I certainly hope so!! And if there are envelopes flying around then I hope that Snodders, Kisnorbo and Howson get a similar one too. Though, McSheffrey may get one that says RETURN TO SENDER. :)

    • timm

      Not sure if we could match Everton though Colin? I hear he’s currently on 7k a week here & Newcastle were offering 18K. I reckon he’d get at least 25k a week at Everton & he probably wouldn’t even be one of their highest earners on that money. I doubt we’d pay more than 20k if we were promoted but Bates should weigh up how much it would cost to replace him before he makes him an offer. Our biggest problem is that we can’t offer him Premiership football & you can’t blame the lad if he wants to have a crack at it.

      • Colin

        £25k a week on a 3 year contract = £3.9m

        50% tax means he takes just under £2m for 3 years work.

        It is tempting, but if I was Jermaine I’d ask myself this question – would Everton be able to provide such well crafted Italian Macron gloves? – I very much doubt it :)

        • timm

          He’d need them as well Colin because i reckon he’d spend quite a bit of time on his arse warming the bench! He also has to add in 3 years of cab fares to Goodison because his Audi Q7 wouldn’t last 2 minutes in Liverpool! Maybe we have got a chance of keeping him after all?

    • Craig

      Probably just keeping his hands warm.

  • Matt bb

    A club doing well in the championship carries more prestige than some no hopers bumping along the bottom of the premier. When the bottom falls out of the finances in football, and it is not immune from the recession, expect many chairmen and players to re evaluate their priorities, my opinion, beckford remains if we get promotion.

    • timm

      Not sure that’ll happen to Everton as they’re a well run club but i totally agree regarding football finances. I’d rather be in the CCC & debt free than in the premiership & £100 million in debt anyday. I’d rather watch CCC than premier too.

    • Craig

      IMO you are dreaming. Firstly there is no way Everton are going to fall to the status of ‘no hopers’ before the summer when Beckford will make his decision. Secondly, some chairmen may be realists but there is no way players, hardly renowned for their intelligence and ‘advised’ by their payday fixated agents are going to adjust to reality anytime soon.

  • Matt bb

    Thats assuming its everton we’re talking about, i really cant see them wanting him now!

  • Simon

    Liecester fan and Tranmere season ticket holder (Long story!) coming in peace!

    Looking at the team sheets last night it became clear that Leeds had better players in almost every position last night and it showed.

    The comments about the strength of squad applied last year in the last days of Gary Macs reign and Tranmere won comfortably on the day, the difference this year is the manager has got you playing as a team, and the side taken as a whole was almost unrecongnisable form last year.

    If I had to have a whinge I would have to say that several of your players went to ground too easily last night, which wasn’t great to see as frankly, they didn’t need to! Is Snodgrass always a whiner?

    Not too disapponted at Tranmere losing to Leeds to be honest, it’s matches against their fellow strugglers that will decide their fate. And Simon Grayson will always be a hero to Leicester supporters!

    Good luck for the rest of the season!

    Simon

  • TSS

    Hi Simon.

    No Snoddy’s usually the one that picks himself up, shrugs it off and carries on, but I know what you mean about last night and as you say, it wasn’t just him.

    I think it’s probably the bad(ish) run of form we’ve been on that’s led to them playing in such a way. Nothings really been going for us so everything’s started to be seen as an injustice by the players. I guess they’re bad losers, but why they were doing it when we were ahead is anyones guess.

    I don’t think it was a major theme of the game, luckily. It wasn’t as bad as some of the Premier League games you see anyway, but it’s not something we’ve ever really been guilty of at Leeds and not something I’d want to see more of.

    Best of luck for the rest of the season too.