With the closure of the loan transfer market came Simon Grayson’s last throw of the dice for our promotion dreams. With injuries to key players Jermaine Beckford and Patrick Kisnorbo, Larry had one final chance to get things right to save Leeds United’s promotions dreams, and most probably his job.

However much I like Larry, the one thing he has to do this season is secure promotion. An incredible start meant it was ours to lose, and of course, we’re doing our best to make sure things aren’t easy. If he fails at the final hurdle, no matter how close he comes, it simply isn’t close enough. Tough as that may be, he’s in charge of one of the countries biggest clubs and with such a big job, comes big expectations.

The first area Larry addressed was the most obvious one. When Kis went off injured against Millwall, our defence fell to pieces. With Rui still injured, a replacement seemed the best way forward and for that, he turned to Preston North End and their out-of-favour centre-back Neill Collins.

Already, an unhappy and disillusioned Leeds United faithful have been quick to criticise this move due to his lack of success at Preston. I must admit, I have my own reservations too, but if you take a closer look at his history, you’ll see he’s been quite successful elsewhere; most notably, Wolves.

This could be an absolutely disastrous signing, as many of Simon Grayson’s loan signings have been. It’s a signing forged in desperation and adversity, so it’d be no major shock if Collins wasn’t the answer to our prayers. However, I’m feeling quite optimistic about his arrival. He’s a player with an established career at a higher level, desperate to prove his worth and undoubtedly looking to secure a future away from Preston. Only time will tell, but he’s definitely got a lot to play for so shouldn’t need much motivation.

Sticking with the defence, Shane Lowry returns from Aston Villa to fill the troublesome left-back vacancy that has been a constant weakness since Ben Parker was sidelined through injury.

I’ll probably take heavy criticism for this, but I was actually quite impressed with Lowry. He didn’t make the brightest of starts admittedly, but before he returned to Villa injured, he looked like he’d started to gel with the rest of the team and was certainly more successful than Andrew Hughes. Won’t be the most celebrated of signings, but he’s here to fill a void and it was a necessary move on Grayson’s part.

Finally we come to Sanchez Watt who joins us on loan from Arsenal. The Gunners are expecting great things from this youngster who Wenger brought in as a 15-year-old. When it comes to youngsters, no one has a better eye than Arsene Wenger so the young winger may be the one to watch as our season draws to a close.

Coming from Arsenal, he may be just what we need in that he’ll be familiar with passing the ball on the floor (something the rest of the team have clearly forgotten). Watt is also said to have electrifying pace and likes to run at players. Just the attacking threat we needed on the wing then?

A few months ago, the above three signings would have had my mouth watering, but after such incredible flops as Cardiff’s Capaldi, seeing will most definitely be believing as far as I’m concerned. It’s a shame the depth of the squad wasn’t used more when it should have been as a team of Leeds United’s size really shouldn’t have to resort to desperate last minute loan deals.

Going in the other direction is Liam Darville to Rotherham United and Andy Robinson leaves for Tranmere. I guess it was only a matter of time with Robbo, but his move highlights the kind of players we have available to us that have gone unused since Simon Grayson’s arrival. If the loan signings pay-off and we get automatic promotion then you can’t really question Larry’s judgement. However, if the season ends with Leeds United still in League One, the departure of Andy Robinson and David Prutton will be brought under intense scrutiny.  

So, the dice are rolled, jobs are on the line and tens of thousands of supporters expect. No pressure.

  • Choppers

    my knees are knocking! Teeth Clattering! Nails bitten!

    I suspect Watt will be coming off the bench, much like Gradel used to. A good propsect to bring on Gradel and Watt to run at full backs in the last 10-15 mins of a game. Just hope were not 2-0 down when they come on!

  • AndrewM

    HELP!!!! This season’s turned from a dream to a nightmare, and I can’t seem to wake up out of it.

  • Jonny

    Agree with the post TSS. Think Collins may do well with his higher level experience, and I’d certainly be happier with him in the team at CB than Lubo. Only time will tell though. I also (probably unpopularly) agree that Lowry did ok in his initial spell. Granted he started relatively poorly, but he was improving, and has looked as assured as we have had at left back all season with the abscence of Parker. Better bringing back Lowry than signing a new loan full-back who will have to take time to gel as he did.
    And not sure about Watt especially considering the other relatively unused options we have. However maybe his pace, passing, and youthful exuberence are what the team need going forward? Certainly the Arsenal philsophy of ‘playing’ football can be no bad thing for a team that has resorted to hoof ball in a clear sign of anxiety and desperation in recent weeks.

    Personally for Norwich, I really hope we get an early goal. I fear if they score first then we will just fall apart due to the fragile confidence the team has at the minute.

    Either way changes are needed and I hope the loan signings and maybe the start of Kilkenny and others will be just the trick!

    Anyway, looking forward to the long trip to Norwich (although maybe I shouldn’t be if Mon is anything to go by)! MOT

  • Andrew P

    You Watt, You Watt, You Watt, You Watt!?!?!?

  • Mark R

    Well written TSS.

    What’s done is done , and there comes a point when we have to move on and make the best of things.

    Collins and Lowry I’m sure will make a positive difference.

    The remainder of the players need to pick themselves up and play with the confidence of professionals and stand tall.

    We have enough options on midfield & attack . SG I believe will turn the corner with the blend of the team and the tactics.

    Away from home , as potential underdogs in the forthcoming match vs. Norwich …it really could work our favour.

    Stand Tall everyone …WE ARE LEEDS !

    MOT

  • 1jjc

    I hope its not the case, but the Collins loan deal sounds like another very ordinary player, from another very ordinary club, and he can’t even get a game there ! Sp, could this be a case of another unwanted “reject” being palmed off on Leeds United ?……… Surely we could have “splashed the cash” ( there is lots of it in some bank somewhere ) for the few crucial games remaining to pay the wages of a more proven quality defender.

    • TheReaper08

      The lad was getting games at Preston and was doing alright, it was only when Fergie junior took over that he dropped down the ranks. How many times have we seen that happen before ? After all do you think we should say the same about Kisnorbo ? Or that Colchester and Tranmere will say the same about Prutts and Robinson ?

      The fact remains that our shaky defence lost the only good thing about it on Monday night and SG ahs moved quickly to try and fix this.

      Personally I hope the lad does well and gives no change to Holt and co. come Saturday.

    • Craig

      Proven quality defenders are going to be the first names on the teamsheet of their current clubs.

  • timm

    I agree with you regarding Lowry, he wasn’t spectacular but he didn’t do too much wrong either. Regarding Watt being familiar with passing the ball on the floor, so was Mcsheffrey before he came here & when he made his comment after his first game about the ball being up in the air & joking about wondering if he’d done the right thing many on here had a real go at him. If no one gives it to Watt he’ll look awful (much like Gradel recently). These players need the ball to their feet or in front of them to shine. I honestly couldn’t even see Wayne Rooney shining in our team with the stuff we’ve been playing recently. As soon as Casper kicks it long it immediately becomes percentage football & with the size of our forward line it’s not even 50/50. If we do that at Norwich we’ll get spanked. Here’s hoping for midfield dropping deep to pick it up from the keeper & then some nice neat passing ON THE DECK!

    • Adrian Denham

      1jjc–wake up to reality.PNE are an ordinary Div 2 club.We are a very ordinary Div 3 club.The problem with a lot of our fans [and i have been one since 1966!]is that they are living on past glories, and hold onto the idea that we are a ”big club”.Wake up, cross yer fingers and give mr collins a chance.

  • timm

    Oh & regarding Collins, good luck to the lad, he looks like he’s got a bit of steel about him & that’s just what we need. I’m not interested in reports of him being a bit dodgy etc.. He start’s here with a clean slate.

  • Mikelufc

    Yeah clean slate for the lad, he can only improve what larry has turned into a very dismal team.
    There could be a guiness record in the making here Leeds United winning (or losing) with a team comprised entirely of borrowings while the contracted players watch on…. you have o laugh or you would break down weeping.

    • Dje

      If it was as easy as getting in XI loanees to gain promotion, you’d have to wonder why every team doesn’t do it each and every season.

  • Keith

    I was really hoping Larry would bring in a strong centre-midfielder. We have lots of midfield players,its true, but none who seem to be calm under pressure, get the tackles in when needed and generally break up opposition play – Jonny Douglas anyone? A few have been tried there but the Howson/Doyle partnership has been conspicuous by its absence for me lately. Bradley Johnson hasn’t worked out there yet, maybe he needs a run of games in his favoured position, but time isn’t on our side anymore.

    • Colin

      Too late to get a quality strong centre midfielder in now I think but that’s exactly what we need – someone of the Batty, Ince, Roy Keane mould.

      Not only would that give confidence to the defence but that would do so much to improve Howson and Snodgrass’ game.

      If we could find the next hard as nails CM (look for someone young) then that would free up so much of Howson/Snodgrass’ game and they’d be able to concentrate on what they do best – crossing, passing and scoring.

      However, I can’t think of any inspiring young midfield powerhouse – anyone else know of someone who’d be good for this position?

      • Dje

        That’s odd, I was just thinking about whatever happened to Simon Walton. He certainly had the (in-)disciplinary record for the role.

        I think he was another one whose career took a nose dive after leaving us.

      • TheReaper08

        This might or might not be popular but considering there finacial position I would have taken Derry back from Palace until the end of the year. Best mates a Palace fan and they love him.

        I also remember the Reading match a couple of seasons ago when he danced into the area and scored, said it was all due to the beans on toast he had eaten that morning or something.

        • Dje

          On all accounts Derry and Prutton were the comedians in the changing rooms too – always great for morale.

        • Matt

          Actaully it was a freekick he scored ;)

        • timm

          Yep, a great player for us & he was genuinely gutted to leave. I’d have him back tomorrow.

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  • Mikelufc

    lighten up a little dje

    • Dje

      May be next season.

    • Dje

      Ah, just spotted that you might have thought I was being serious in my reply to your comment about a Loan XI. No, it was more rhetorically aimed into the ether in the hope that Grayson might one day see the light about the limitations of the ‘Cult of the Loanee’.

      Finger’s crossed that the new boys: U. Watt, L.S. Lowry, and Phil Collins all kick it back in my face and each bag a brace against Norwich [I’m more one for tempting fate to piss on me than rubbing lucky charms or wearing the same pair of gadgy pants week-in-week-out through superstition].

  • Mark R

    Gentlemen ,
    My team options vs. Norwich.
    Based on what I’ve read about injuries , players coming back from injury etc.
    Whatever team SG picks , we HAVE TO STOP CONCEDING soft goals.

    We could have more chance of a clean sheet by playing 2 defensive midfielders , with forward midfield breaking and supporting a lone striker. If this is the case I’d play speedy Gradal in a midfield berth to break quickly and support Beckford if fully fit , which appears to be touch and go.
    However if Grella is fit I’d play him instead of Gradal.
    Question is can SG ensure Gradal is disciplined enough to maintain the team shape being in midfield.

    Option 1

    1.Casper ( Prefer Higgs if fit )

    RB :Crowe
    CB :Collins
    CB :Naylor
    LB :Lowry

    Def.midfield. : Hughes
    Def Midfield : Doyle

    Left Midfield : Gradal ( Grella here if fit )
    Centre Midfield : Kilkenny or Howson
    Right Midfield : Snodgrass

    Striker : Beckford ( If fit )

    Option 2 : Standard 4-4-2
    I think we’ll go this way if Beckford & Grella still not fit to play whole match .
    They’ll be on the bench with Rui who I also don’t think is fully fit .
    Bromby or Crowe …I’d play Crowe , Bromby on the bench perhaps instead of unfit Rui.

    Doyle or Hughes at defensive midfield? I’d play Hughes as he is a physical player and he is familiar with the stadium , pitch , crowd and some of their players as he was there prior to Leeds. He won’t be intimidated.

    Also start with experienced McSheffrey .

    Watt on bench but with clear option to bring him on in second half up front with Bechio – a fast player – similar physique to Becks – could be a good foil for Bechio.

    Howson .. well he could replace Kilkenny – whoever’s showed desire and positive attitude in training would get my vote.

    1.Casper ( Prefer Higgs if fit )
    RB :Crowe
    CB :Collins
    CB :Naylor
    LB :Lowry

    Def.midfield. : Hughes

    Left Midfield : Bradley J.
    Centre Midfield : Kilkenny or Howson
    Right Midfield : Snodgrass

    Strikers : Bechio & McSheffrey.

    MOT

  • Timmo

    Won’t be listening tomorrow, goin fishin instead. Maybe that’s all that’s needed.

    • TheReaper08

      Strange because I am doing something similar, don’t get to as many games as I would like due to being geographically challenged (I also don’t cherry pick big games, I go to what I can when I can).

      I remember at the start of the season I had just taken up golf and when I finished the scores were just starting to roll in, remember a lot of either straight wins for us or last minute goals in our favour.

      Anyway the long and the short of it is I am playing golf this Saturday so fingers crossed.

      • TSS

        Talk about clutching at straws and superstition! Ahh well, guess there’s nothing much left untried. Not overly enthusiastic about the trip tomorrow morning personally. Nervous in at anticipation at the minute.

        • TheReaper08

          Oh I couldn’t agree more but I am superstitious and like everyone else on here I would do almost anything to see us go up.

          My problem is what to do if we win, do I carry on ? Golf costs a fair bit and I am crap at it.

  • Timmo

    It takes a lot of balls to play golf badly ;)

    • Colin

      Nice :)

  • Matt bb

    Good luck against norwich, i’m staying positive, and also will have my phone switched off, last time that was the case was tranmere.

  • tim the white

    We may just squeak through against Norwich if they have a bad day and cwe raise our game beyond recent performances, but they could slaughter us if they get an early goal. I have been waiting fir Norwich to trip up for weeks but it just hasn’t happened. Generally I hate loan players and we have had a team of them this season. They affect morale with the contracted players. Everything was going along fine at the start of the season and then LOAN PLAYERS!! You have to ask yourself about pre season preparation if we have needed to bring in so many.
    Judging by Ken Bates comments on Sky Sports, I suspect a lose tomorrow will finish Grayson off.

    • Dje

      I read somewhere today that there’s speculation about Paul Lambert filling the Celtic vacancy. I doubt it will come to much – although I do rate Lambert – but it would be nice to see a bit of uncertainty coming out of media speculation rocking someone else’s boat for a change.

      I reckon we’ll get a point tomorrow; form usually falls by the way side when it is a six-pointer clash. Lady luck may throw in two more too?!

      • timm

        He’d be mad to take Celtic job, he’d be better off waiting for a big job! Up the Gers!! (We Are The People)

    • Colin

      Good point – i didn’t think of that but you’re right Ken’s comments were very harsh if we lost tomorrow.

      I still can’t see SG going. But if it did happen, then with only a few games to go, you know who Ken would turn to don’t you??

      Need’s a man to fill in for a short space of time. Someone with experience. Someone who knows Leeds and someone who is available.

      All I’m saying is that you’d only have to rip the S off the SG on the tracksuit and replace it with an E.

      • Dje

        Obviously Bates felt there wasn’t quite enough pressure on Grayson already!

        Elliott Gould?

  • mikelufc

    Lambert has stated quite categorically that he is very happy at Norwich and not interested in Celtic but it all depends what they offer him, it is football after all.

    • timm

      They’ll offer him a balaclava & they’ll paint a mural of a revolver on his house for free!

  • Roger

    we’ve been Sussed out by other teams larry need to look at changein our style of play ie formation One things for sure we will know by 6pm tommrow

  • Matt bb

    I sense tension between grayson and bates from bates’ diatribe. He reckons we have other players on our books, and ‘others’ around that (kis’s) position need to raise their game, yet he sanctioned three loans this week? I suspect ken’s meanness has got the better of him, and he expects results. This is massively disrespectful to both grayson and his players and puts them under massive pressure. It’s often said a ceo sets the tone for a business, for me this shows ken is a massive problem.

    • Colin

      But surely all Bates is saying is the same as what we’ve been saying all week?

      Of course Bates expects results and so do we! We were 8 points ahead with a game in hand. Now we’re 8 points behind. I can’t blame him for his comments on this one.

      • Matt bb

        Dont disagree, but it’s appropriate to slate your manager to his face, and the players, not publicly show your lack of faith, thats out of order.

        • Colin

          He kept it between himself and the manager with MacAllister and that didn’t work. I think he’s trying a different tack now.

          I’ve never heard any managers moan about Bates being their chairman. I think Ken has done as much for SG as any chairman could.

          Look it’s all a trick anyway. He ain’t going to sack Grayson. He simply can’t afford to sack him and then pay for another manager. For me it’s the only way he can seriously spook the players into thinking ‘bloody hell, if we don’t play well he’s going to sack the manager and then have a real go at us, so we better give it our all.’

          It’s become pretty obvious that the dressing room is split, but this is a call to arms from Bates to put that behind them and play, if not for Grayson, then for Leeds United.

          Pro SG:
          Beckford (SG got him off the transfer list at the beginning of the season when Bates listed him)
          Naylor (brought in and immediately made captain)
          Higgs (only manager interested in him was SG and put him straight into first team)
          + all the loanees

          Anti SG:
          Howson (Gary Mac loved him, made him captain. SG dropped him from captaincy and starting 11)
          Ankergren (established No.1 for Leeds. Higgs comes in from CHELTENHAM TOWN!! and gets the No.1 GK spot straight away!)
          Kilkenny (must wonder what he has to do to get a game)
          Snodgrass (ultimate professional but we all know that he was indebted to Gary Mac for bringing him to Leeds)
          + add onto the haters Robinson and Delph was no fan either.

          There are some others of course as well, but the previous lot are the ones with the biggest opinions in my view.

          • Dje

            I’m not one for turning out for the reserve games, but I’d love to see how it went between a ProSG XI and an Anti-SG XI for the ‘Grayson Cup’.

            [Great summary, by the way]

          • Matt bb

            Still think i would hate to have bates as my gaffer.. He adds the wrong sort of pressure, i like the pros and cons list for sg, for me pro’s… Signed kisnorbo and higgs, our two best players. Made snodgrass consistent, outfoxed fergie, made us all love leeds even more! cons… Vokes, capaldi, trundle, dickov, some really silly signings. Failing to replace beckford, making howson worse.. Selling delph and not spending the money on a successor.. Well i blame bates for that, come on ken a 1m fee would have got us a blooming star at this level.

          • Colin

            On Higgs – i agree he is good when he’s fit, but i think there was a reason we got him – he’s injury prone. Personally, I think Casper has been excellent – forget the last game, he’s made some great saves that have secured us points and he showed his skill against Man utd and Spurs. I wouldn’t put Higgs back in.

            I reckon if Gary Mac was still around, Delph would have been too. Gary seemed to be moulding him just like he was as a player and could give him the skills. I don’t think the current staff are ‘developers’.

            £1m would have got us nothing. I really do think that the money is there but it’s wasted if you spend it in League 1. If we get to CCC, then we could get (and need!) some serious quality at a reasonable price.

            Here’s hoping!

          • Craig

            You are assuming that every player carries grudges following professional decisions made by his manager. Every manager has to make tough decisions every day of the working week and players go through the whole of their careers knowing that they will only be picked if they are at the top of their game.

            To state as fact that a manager managing his squad inevitably produces a divided dressing room is surely fanciful?

        • Craig

          I’m really not sure I see Bates’ comments as adding pressure on Grayson. He was talking about “we” all the way through and this doesn’t look like an attempt to distance him from Grayson.

          • Craig

            “…to distance himself from Grayson.”

  • Hotshotlorimer

    I don’t care where you want him, defensice midfield, left or right full back or anywhere else – Hughes must not play. He’s a presistent and dangerous liability. His positioning is embarrassing, he can’t read the game and is slow off the markthe mark. Worse in defence but he wouldn’t offer useful cover as a DM either.

    We’re in a very vulnerable position with the brilliiant Kis out and Rui (next best) too but despite that I’d still drop Hughes pronto and put a pin in the ‘phone book. We may not have great DM but of the midfielders we have there are certainly better options than Hughes.

    Anyway, here’s to thrashing Norwich 4-0 regardless. I even live in norwich these days!

  • Colin

    Has anyone heard if Beckford is going to play?

    If he is then I’m seriously interested in putting good money on a Leeds win at 14/5!!

  • Matt bb

    Grayson never rushes back beckford, but i have a feeling he will.. I also think higgs will be in goal, ankergren is a brilliant keeper but outrageously inconsistent and prone to errors, like lukic.

  • ash

    I can see us falling in 2 the playoffs after monday nites shite performance watt and collins seem decent signings just hope they pay off and get us promoted andy robinson on the other hand I liked him n cudnt c y he cudnt get a start, I would drop howson 2day he is not strong enough I would play killa n Doyle wid Snods and gradel I think we need 2 sharpen up millwall lookd a lot faster than us hope we win this afternoon otherwise we fall 11 points behide norwich

    • timm

      Sorry Ash mate but i think you’re a bit too down with the kids for me! I don’t understand all that text lingo! (OMG, LOL!) C U L8R!

  • Mikelufc

    Ash, if you write proper English instead of text talk it is much easier to read.

  • Colin

    Level with Millwall now. Bradley Johnson is clueless. What was Grayson doing bringing him on instead of Gradel??

    We were 20 points clear of Millwall at the beginning of January. If we get beat by Swindon in the next game, we’re in serious trouble.

  • ash

    Well the results didn’t go for us, far as I am concerned graysons time is up 20 points clear of millwall in january we was now we are level, not good enough doesn’t matter if we have so much of the ball today it doesn’t win you matches, swindon next week and we could be 4th if we lose,

  • ash

    Not good enough have all the play in the world but u are never gona win if you can not score in january 20 points CLEAR of millwall now we are level and a goal sepearating us, am so worried about are football club playoffs are calling once again I think simon has lost the plot doesn’t no his best team, and the players don’t want it, SHITE this squad we ave got should be walking the league, is that bettter now you can read it

  • Mikelufc

    Much better Ash
    I thought the lads tried hard today ,just not lucky,
    Norwich and Lambert looked a bit desperate, still a bit confused withe the starting 11
    not to mention to choice and timing of substitutes.

    • Colin

      It was a lot better than Millwall, but it’s still very weak. No real shots on target and Norwich got one good chance and took it. The guy just traveled half of the pitch untroubled. I’m trying to think from memory, but I think our LB was out of place but Johnson was there. He should have either stuck to him or worst case, taken him out and got a yellow card. He did neither he went to the penalty area and left him on his own. He whips in the cross and bang, the goal.

      I’m really annoyed that Casper was dropped. Okay, he has made mistakes, but he’s been brilliant and saved Leeds’ bacon on so many occasions. Either way SG has screwed up because Casper’s contract expires at the end of this season and he ain’t going to sign a new contract now that Higgs has firmly been made SG’s no. 1. So you have to ask whether SG really rated Casper and if not then he should have brought in another keeper at the beginning of the season and flogged Casper – now we’ll get nothing.

      If we do get promoted then we’re going to have to sign another keeper and that’s going to cost unless we go with Higgs as No.1 and Martin as no. 2, which is a big gamble, because I’m not convinced by Higgs.

      SG has made his bed now. I tell you this, if Leeds get beat by Swindon, then we drop out of 2nd and our goal difference advantage has gone. That means for me that he needs to beat Yeovil to keep us 3rd or possibly back to 2nd, because if we lose then we’ll probably be 5th.

      If we do get beat by Swindon and Yeovil then SG’s had it. Bates will bring someone in.

      Potentially we’ve lost Becchio and Kandol for most of the remaining games, leaving us Beckford, Grella and Dickov up front. If Beckford doesn’t hit form then I can’t see us getting goals. Getting worried now :(

      • Colin

        And you’re spot on with the substitutes – a bit of pace could have made the difference – so why not bring on Gradel. And if you’ve signed an Arsenal youngster who’s reknown for his pace, then bring him on. But SG couldn’t because he didn’t put him on the bench.

        • Mikelufc

          I am not sAying much more at the moment as I am fed up, had a bottle and a half of wine
          but my thoughts are unchanged . Dear Larry is clueless, Leeds United is too big for him.
          He has the same hopes and aspirations as we do.

          • benleeds

            Grayson shouldn’t go! end of! i agree with the fact that since january it is unexcuseable where we are now, but surely bringing in a new manager this late would disrupt the team. All this talk of grayson losing the dressing room is a load of rubbish too, i know 2 young leeds players, 1 of which who has featured a fair bit for leeds this season and according to him all the players respect and love graysons coaching style. The players need t stop looking too far ahead, they need to go into every game like its a cup final and with a bit of luck of other resuts and a win against swindon and yeovil we could have be back on track. Have Faith!

  • Jonny

    colin, you’re a bloody idiot! if you are not convinced by higgs and backing Ankergren then you clearly have no clue about football and not been to see leeds play this season!

    • Mikelufc

      Johnnyboy, be nice, Colin has his opinion as do we all.
      If you don’t agree with it that’s ok, but dont be rude lad.
      The facts are there to see.
      Not sure why Higgs came up but don’t also see why he is any more to blame
      than anybody else. Nobody was awake at a crucial moment except Stevens,is thAt
      how you spell his name?

    • Colin

      Jonny – I’m not saying that Higgs isn’t good. When he’s played for Leeds he has been good. But he’s never played during the tough times. I think we got him for a reason – I think he’s got injury problems and I’m unsure if he can see out a full season. We got him from Cheltenham Town, currently 22nd in the 4th division. If he was that good then someone else would have got him long before us.

      Casper was Wise and MacAllister’s first choice keeper. We had him on loan originally and he was one of the few players that stayed with the club despite being not having a contract during the administration period where we couldn’t buy players.

      Every keeper makes mistakes and there are more players this season that have made more mistakes than him but get picked week in week out.

      People remember the goals put past Casper, but don’t remember that he kept us in the game against Man Utd and Tottenham for example. He pulled off so many great saves during the -15 period to help us get points.

      I’m not saying that Higgs isn’t good, but he’s not been in the tough games. He’s always played when Leeds have been flying high and I judge a keeper when the going gets tough and he helps to salvage a point or a win. Casper has done that.

      Higgs was a 4th division player. If you reckon he can hack it in the CCC then I disagree with you. If he could, then a CCC team would have snapped him up rather than 3rd division Leeds.

      Leeds are in the thick of it now, so we will get to see just how good he is. This is his first time in goal for Leeds during a bad period – let’s see how he does.

      Casper’s pulled out some match saving saves during this season and now Higgs needs to do the same.

      I’m a Leeds fan that defends good players when they get stick from the boo boys. I defended Beckford, Howson, Becchio when they were getting stick because they always play for their shirt. And for me, Casper’s in that mould too. He’s never ever not tried his utmost for Leeds.

      • Jonny

        apologies colin… frustration at getting beat when we didnt deserve to got the better of me (as well as a few pints) and an annoyingly long trip. Didn’t mean to be rude. However I still think Higgs brings much more composure to the back four. Ankergren has done well this season and is a decent shop stopper, but does not organise or give defence any faith. Unfortunately at a time where confidence is low we need a keeper that can do that. Higgs is that man.

      • Craig

        I think the difference between Casper + Higgs is their distribution. No one doubts Casper’s saving ability but various posters over recent weeks have bemoaned Casper’s wasteful long ball tactics. Yesterday we played a sprightly passing game for the first 60 minutes and that is because the ball was passed from the defence and through midfield rather than over the top.

  • Mikelufc

    Agree fully with that and I also remember play offs when he was the only player who turned up
    and following admin he stayed loyal and waited for us t get sorted without
    a contract as did the shitted on David Pritton, Casper is not perfet but
    he is Leeds and has always turned up when needed.

    • Dje

      It’s truly desperate days when the keeper gets the blame in a team that is struggling to put a shot on target against the opposition’s keeper.

      Casper’s definitely good enough for the standard of this league, so he’s good enough for Leeds.

      Aside from his unquestioning commitment to the club, his misses has one year left on her degree at Leeds University. So why a simple extension of his contract for another year wasn’t sorted out in January is an utter sham. Just like in any company, if you treat people like shit it always comes back to haunt you.

      • timm

        What’s his Mrs got to do with it? Grayson doesn’t rate Casper & never has done, so i doubt he’s going to throw £250,000 ish at him for another year just to help his Mrs out.

        • Ross

          Casper is undoubtedly a good shot stopper, but the pro-casper posters fail to mention his kicking, catching and command of his area, is the worst of any keeper in this league. It is fairly clear a player isn’t up to the grade when the kop gives him ironic cheers for doing the basics. Please note I’m not advocating that as I believe it only adds to his nervousness.

        • Dje

          Only the obvious: there’s two parts that lead to a player signing a contract extension. One, is he wanted anymore? Two, does he want to be with the club anymore?

          The guy’s Danish, he’s over here, in Yorkshire, because he’s signed with Leeds. His wife has done two years of her course and has a year left to go – therefore, for the sake of his family, he’d prefer to be here, in Leeds, with Leeds United, for an extra year. So the player actually wants a contract; if he didn’t then he’d rightly walk away from the club in the Summer. There’s a big difference between having a player wanting a contract and one who doesn’t. [I’d be delighted to hear that Beckford’s misses has just started some tin-pot three year course at Leeds Metropolitan]

          As to whether Grayson rates Ankergren or not then obviously that is the other half of the equation as to whether Ankergren gets a contract or not.

          You could argue the pros and cons over whether we want Ankergren after this season, but whoever you bring-in is going to cost the same-ish. I’d question how many ‘better’ keepers would be willing to drop down the divisions to play for Leeds. Being a so-say ‘big club’ is no substitute for the wages you have to pay to bring them here. Having a keeper, of standard (IMHO), already being here and done well enough and wanting to be here in the future is not something that should be taken for granted. “We’ll get a new, better guy in next season” costs more, possibly, than we’ll be able to afford.

  • Mikelufc

    So Larry doesn’t rate Casper Timm??
    He didn’t rate Prutton either or Andy Johnson or a number of others who were good players and are doing well with their new clubs.
    And arent the players that he does rate doing really well for us?
    He apparently doesn’t rate loyalty either, wantaway beckford rates really well with our clueless manager who for sure will be a jobseeker after May.

    • timm

      Mikelufc, you seem to be thinking that i agree with Grayson? I don’t. If you look at many key games recently(especially the play off final)Casper’s been brilliant & shown bottle. I’m also a huge Prutton fan & i’d have him in the team anyday. Im just highlighting the fact that Grayson obviously doesn’t fancy him. It’s like when Wise came in & got rid of Sullivan,he just didn’t like him & as a result Donny got themselves a bloody good keeper. I for one don’t want to see Casper leave. Regarding Andy Johnson, he’s never played for Leeds! But if you meant Robinson? It’s obviously the same again & if he doesn’t fancy him then he’s got no chance. If you did mean Robbo, im afraid i can’t agree that he’s doing well with his new club! Regarding Beckford, why would he not pick him? he’s our top scorer by a mile. I don’t care if he’s a knobhead or if he’s going at the end of the season, we’ve got more chance of scoring with him in the team & football’s all about results, not loyalty.

  • Mikelufc

    I meant Bradley Robinson! And I haven’t had a drink yet.
    I do think loyalty is important but of course points are everything,
    In the case of prutts we had a player who wanted to play for
    Leeds and had a lot to offer, for that reason alone Ithink Larry has to
    go, his personal likes and dism
    likes could be costing the club.
    Apparently prutts was universally popular in the dressing room.

  • Mikelufc

    Looks like TSS is waiting with bated breath like the rest of us……………..