Aidy White returned to the starting line-up for Leeds United with Shane Lowry out injured. Lowry was joined on the injury table by captain Richard Naylor who was replaced by Leigh Bromby at centre-back. Elsewhere there were no changes from the side that drew against Huddersfield.

The draw to Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield could only be seen as a good result at the time, given that we’d trailed to our promotion chasing neighbours and often fail miserably in such derbys. However, Southampton’s 5-0 demolition job on them shortly afterwards had set alarm bells ringing. The Saints, undeterred by their ten point handicap had bought well in January, determined to push on for a play-off spot and there’ll be very few betting against them. Leeds meanwhile did very little and have struggled to find the kind of flair and confidence Southampton have shown ever since.

Personal feelings aside, the lack of ambition the move for a 37-year-old journeyman striker shows sums up the kind of failure post-Christmas has been for the Whites. The implementation of the January transfer window has turned the game almost completely on it’s head. What you do before that date matters little if everyone else improves and you can’t keep up with the pace thereafter. Leeds, for me, failed big time in January and it’s going to be a much tougher slog to the end of the season than it perhaps should have been.

There’s no denying Leeds United were the better team yesterday. Brentford did very little to surprise anyone other than retain possession quite well. Unfortunately for any Brentford fans reading this, that was more a reflection of Leeds not bothering to close down as often as they should more than it was any Brazilian-style ball control on your part. The players were showing complacency once again and expecting the result to just come for them, rather than making any real effort to pressure Brentford into submission.

Leeds, quite simply, could destroy Brentford if they applied the same kind of effort they did against Huddersfield, but it was non-existant. The fact of the matter is, that when the players see Huddersfield on the fixture list they’ll likely take note of the date. Brentford however, is simply a name there to make the numbers up for most of the players, and it showed in the level of effort exerted.

Leading up to Brentford’s goal, all the real chances had gone to Leeds. We probably should have led with ease, but failed to take advantage of our opportunites. There was no real urgency from Leeds as the game seemed to be a bit of a precession. No one expected anything less than three points and it just seemed to be a matter of time until we turned one of our chances into a goal.

Then, the “unthinkable” happened (I use the term loosely, as there’s very little left that could happen to Leeds that would shock anyone). Brentford got a chance and buried it to leave Leeds United behind and looking at each other with total confusion, mystified as to how this kept happening on home soil.

If falling behind did anything, it gave the team a sense of urgency they’d lacked prior. Leeds United got the equaliser courtesy of Jermaine Beckford, but there’s no escaping how poor a result this is. Teams like Brentford don’t come to Elland Road expecting anything. More often than not, it’s damage limitation, but Leeds are just giving away points at the minute through complacency, inconsistency and a lack of determination and fight against these “lesser” teams. It’s starting to feel as though we need to go 1-0 down before everyone can be bothered playing football.

So, it’s all doom and gloom then?

Pretty much, yeah. There’s absolutely no positives I can take from this performance. The fans booing at full-time – however wrong that may be – sums up the kind of second rate, half arsed effort this was. My major concern is a quote from Simon Grayson afterwards who seemed to think it was a good performance. I aren’t saying it was a bad one, and we did dominate, but I’d hardly be praising anyone when they’ve just scraped a draw at home to Brentford.

You look at the list of fixtures still to come, keeping in mind Leeds’ tendancy to blow things at the last hurdle and you can’t help but worry about the final couple of months. Defiantely optimistic, I’m trying to assure myself that we’ll come good against the better teams, but there’s no escaping the fact we’ve blown a substancial lead and as the run of poor form continues, we’re getting very few answers.

  • Grumpy Older Man

    WGWW….

    • Craig

      ?

  • SuperAcresLeeds

    People will not like this but Grayson Out in my view.He lost the plot ages ago and doesn’t appear to have the answers.His signings are poor and our lack of ambition is there for all to see.Yesterday was so predictable and pretty much deja vu with the Brighton game.We need to go a goal behind before we show any real urgency.However, we get the equalizer and then retreat into our shells again.It’s poor and unacceptable and pointless burying our heads in the sand any longer because we all know where this is likely to end if we don’t get auto.

    • Caffrey C

      This comment is about as constructive as a Football League management meeting chaired by that idiot ‘Mawhinney’.

      Leeds will either a) get auto promotion b) success in the play-offs or c) failure in the play-offs.

      We shouldn’t get anything more than a), but b) would mean more money and c) may actually mean Bates gets bored and leaves.

      Here is a question – what would you prefer a) Promotion and Bates stays or b) no promotion and Bates leaves. Let’s get a vote started.

      • Craig

        “shouldn’t get anything more than a)” – what more could we get in a season when we are out of all the cups?

  • John

    18 points dropped on Norwich since Christmas is nothing short of relegation quality football. It is simply not good enough and will be resolved by Bates if things do not improve. Anything short of promotion and Grayson will be out along with several players, and right now even a play off spot is looking doubtful.

  • Peter Surrey

    If Simon thinks “we played well” then reluctantly I feel I must agree with SuperAcrest. There was no passion, no urgency, we were disjointed and for a team seeking promotion, totally inadequate.

    Our dealings in the transfer window were lamentable. According to some Mcthingy had his best game yesterday,(????), he flatters to deceive and as for Beckford?

    Yes Mcthingy laid back the ball for Beckford to score a tap in, but both contributed little else. The worthwhile attacks from the left were usually when White was involved and late on to see MCthingy pirouette to get the ball onto his left foot when in a good position in the box, laughable. Perhaps more importantly he lends nothing to midfield.

    As for Beckford he had 4 good chances and missed, no shunned them all. Throughout the game he concentrated on avoiding any physical involvement presumably to avoid injury which might affect his summer payout.

    Simon stubbornly continues to play both presumably to justify his decision to keep one and acquire the other, with the result that team cohesion and spirit has been lacking over the last couple of months.

  • ardswhite

    Good Morning was eagerly awaiting your post last night but i assume the performance persuaded you to sleep on it not really sure what is going on but would agree that the players think they just have to pull on the shirt to get a result. Was over at the brighton game (i am from Northern Ireland usually attend about 4-5 matches per season)and thought i was terribly unlucky to witness the worst Leeds performance this season, (other posters might not agree)constantly hoofing the ball to beckford and by-passing the five man midfield (only you spotted that i couldn’t tell) no quality no desire no energy surely we are better than this or have we been deluding ourselves for the first half of the season.The messiah is no more, i have followed this blog with great interest because you guys are at the game,and you are my eyes and ears so when some of you have started to question Simon grayson’s judgement i thought i would wait and see for myself. No one in midfield benefited from the hoof football that leeds were playing but howson and johnson were the only two players that threatened ( i was in the south stand) and low and behold early into the second half who came of WTF and nothing really changed, The penalty that that never was the lad feel over but it sort of summed leeds performance, if you don’t put the effort in you get punished we didn’t deserve it but nonetheless we were behind. The effort and desire finally appeared as with your post above and we got our reward. So i find myself like i few others (reading some reports of substitutions yesterday) questioning Simon’s judgement mcsheffrey is a lightweight who has brought nothing to the team, by the time he finds his feet we may be in the play offs, aidy white shines once again but is once again subbed, grela dropped off the bench for dickov its not looking good, i really hope we can pull out the big performances which at the minute seems unlikely. Hope Simon is going to prove me wrong because all his substitutions at the start of the season worked now nothing is working,is this leeds just being leeds and making this ten times harder than it should be certainly feels like it. Onwards and upwards
    PS just watched motd anyone see vokes two misses against the scum two open nets premiership my arse (didn’t Simon bring him in on loan!)

    • TSS

      Friends birthday last night so I was straight out for that after the match finished. Drowned my sorrows a fair bit and vented to anyone who would listen, but yeah, probably best that i left it til today as I was fuming yesterday. (Not overly impressed today mind) On and on.

  • Paul South Wales

    We don’t score early enough in games, and haven’t for months and months. Opposition teams then get a bit of luck, score and we’re chasing the game while they shut up shop on us. We’re just lucky we did so well before Christmas. I like Grayson and still think he’ll take us up automatically, but if we were mid table and went on a run like this he’d be gone. Sheffield United were in our position a few seasons back when we were in the CCC and i thought we’d catch them when we came to winthin about four points of them, but they got back on track and went on to secure promotion, and that’s what we must do starting tuesday, if not it’s the play-offs and in our current form we’d blow it again. As for promotion and Bates, yes any day!!

  • mikelufc

    Like I said and got drowned out by the IGWT brigade, deluded fools.
    Our best chance now lies with Bates although I hate to say it.
    Get rid because any chance of promotion disappears with every game but who the hell is available who can stop the rot is a mystery.

    To answer a previous post, PROMOTION and BATES is far better than another seasonin this division and he goes.

    We are being humiliated by Larry’s incompetence.
    Yes! He is incompetent as a manager, plays only his favourites, what was wrong with putting Kandol and Grella up front and getting rid of his pet beckford.

    Now we have to spend the money saved by not buying in January in paying off Larry and buying a proper manager. Round and round we go.

    • TheReaper08

      It’s as much a question for the deluded fools as you put it mikelufc as it is for some moron who sit’s behind his p.c playing championship manager and shouting sack the manager. There are no guarantee’s in life.

      I remember a couple of seasons ago most fans would have driven Kandol to a new club, made no effort, can’t control etc. etc. and now he is your saviour along with an unproven player.

      And to think you had the audacity to call other people deluded.

    • Craig

      Sack the manager, Sack the manager, Polly wants a peanut…

  • Henry V

    Morning boys.
    Well, here we are again.
    We can still do it, but we must sort the forwards.
    Stats:

    Brentford 8 shots & 6 on target.
    Leeds 24 shots & 9 on target.

    We are told that sides come to Elland Road and park their bus in front of there goal.
    They must do the same a Norwich & Charlton!!
    Simon is trying to sound positive notes but ‘points win prizes’.
    The booing is a natural reaction from fans who get behind the team from the off,
    but are badly let down!!
    To applaud a bad performance would be silly.
    Ok 1. Shooting practice!!
    2. Shooting practice!!
    3. Putting centers into the box!!
    4. ditto.
    Johnson or Gradel on the left wing.
    I would prefer promotion and Mr Bates staying!

    Henry.

    • Craig

      I haven’t been able to get to a match for a while so this is a genuine question – is it time Grayson dropped Beckford?

      Are teams stifling him, seeing him as our main threat?
      Is he (as was suggested above) playing shy to avoid injury?
      Has the thought of an imminent payday taken the hunger from his game?

      I suppose it is a tough choice to drop a potentially prolific goalscorer since he’d look really stupid if it took time for a new partnership to gel.

  • Matt bb

    Something seriously wrong here, 24 shots on goal and we draw 1-1.. It should have been 4-1 with those stats, beckford becchio and mcsheffrey need to stay behind after class and do some extra training or spend some time with experienced strikers, dickov? To build their technique. The dickov thing was a little sarcastic actually i meant perhaps someone like alan shearer, ian rush… £20k well spent for a couple of weeks coaching, food for thought.

  • TheReaper08

    Firstly to get rid of SG at this stage of the season would be totally counter productive. It’s too late, would be far too unsettling and who do you get ? No one of any worth is available to manage at our level so we would be embroiled in trying to steal someone else’s.

    We need to take our chances, I have to say I am not surprised to see the knife sharpened for Beckford this morning. I think those that are doing so are actually inadvertently hitting the nail on the head of our actual problem. We are far to reliant on one person to get goals. No other player in our team is in double figures for the season, that’s fact and that’s poor. Our second striker has 9 and our top goalscoring midfielder is Bradley Johnson with 7, that is garbage. To put it into context Howson has 3 league goals, not good enough.

    Three of our rivals have midfielders with 11 goals so far and that’s not to mention the output from all of there strikers.

  • Timmo

    Still don’t get why a winning squad needs “freshening up”. You could send all the loanees back with a “thanks for coming in”, and use the Leeds players we already have, Kandol, Grella, Fat bastard. Undefeated ???? I’ll take 5 losses and 4 wins over 9 draws any day.

  • Raph

    Very dissapointing performances at mo. Mcsheffry does bugger all, massive waste! I wish jermaine would knuckle down and start taking more chances again, yes he misses more than he scorez but up till recently that was quite a good thing for the club as a whole, as we where creating so many chances. Giving simon the door now would be more disasterous than a defeat yesteeday. I agree with reaper it would be so unsettling with not enough time to settle down unlike when larry took ovr from mac

  • David N.I.

    I thought a blip was two bad matches or three at a push, but this has gone beyond a joke, our blip has been a quarter season. We are in trouble and are not on auto promotion form [not even in play off form] I don’t have an answer as to why we are so poor or at least nothing I can add to all that has already been said. This is the only place to vent our anger as LU fans [& we all are LU fans] My last thought for now is we can’t afford one more poor game, it has to be win them all from now to the end of the season.

  • Colin

    Here we go. We have a few bad results and the knives come out for Grayson and Beckford. For those saying Beckford’s useless, I say to them 25 goals so far for Leeds this year. A couple of months back people were saying Grayson was going to Bolton because he’s good enough to be a Prem manager.

    Fact is, Leeds are going through a bad run of form, but they’re nearly nearly there to being great. Just need a bit more luck and it’ll come good. We were playing really well 3 months ago and it’s only a matter of time before that comes back.

    Wins in the next 2 games against Tranmere and Southampton and everyone will be saying we’ll be champions.

    If you’re going through a bad patch but still getting more shots on target than the opposition and getting a point from games, then it’s not too bad.

    What did Leeds in the Brentford game was Hughes getting injured. He came off, the defence then fell apart and Brentford scored. Blame the defence by all means, but don’t blame Beckford for scoring a goal and securing us a point!

  • My two cents worth from down under.
    1. players have had their bond broken by the beckford leaving saga, plus the mgmt bringing in players whom the established players really did not want or need; (as in their mind they and their mates could get leeds through with Prutton and co in the squad)
    2. they need a feral night out on the piss to clear the air

    • Craig

      Great idea – hand Grayson all the material he needs to write his first book: “Leeds on Trial vol 2″!

    • Colin

      re. point 1 – you’re right!

      We need to get Enoch back right away!! :)

  • mikelufc

    Reaper, dont take things too seriously, what the hell is championship manager.
    Simons fuckups. (in my view)

    He should have got rid of Beckford at the beginning of the season and bought in a proven goal scorer like Lambert, when someone expresses a desire to leave he should be accommodated.

    He should have concentrated on the promotion push and rested key players during any cup match.

    He should have reinforced by buying in the january window.

    He should look at the in form players to pick and not the same same favourites.

    He should not get rid of Players like Prutton for personal reasons and refuse to use Kandol at times when he could change the games like Brentford.

    He should be instructing them to play football on the ground on the ground and not shed responsibility, lets face it any one of us can play that kind of football.
    He should start appreciating players like Aidy White.

    Rant over, sort it kenneth, kick larrys arse. NOW!.

    • TheReaper08

      Hi mikelufc, I never take things too seriously. I agree with a lot of the points you make now and have done previously but I can’t agree with you on sacking the manager.

      I much prefer your approach of Kenneth kicking Larry’s butt.

      • Craig

        If he can get his foot high enough!

  • Henry V

    Hey Mike!
    You seem to have cheered up a bit!
    I think we must keep the faith and not make matters even worse by turning on the manager.
    I agree it was the cups that did for us!
    It has happened many times before with teams so we should have been prepared for it.
    It is all in the mind now for the players.
    The more we pressure them the worse it will get.
    A good win will change everything!
    What we should have done, or not done, is irrelevant now!
    Only a couple of dozen games to go!
    We must keep our nerve!!!!

    Henry.

  • Keep This Shed White

    I’m late into this but must have been at a different game!

    We did play well and we got down the flanks from an early stage. McSheffry had his best game for us and tortured their full back. It was coming in from the other side too with Snoddy doing really well. Then they got a lucky break and a goal but we responded really well and might have won it if Lubo’s header which hit the inside of the post had bounced favourably. We’ve played much worse than that and won.

    Having said all that, I left the stadium angry at the substitutions. Lets look at them

    1. Hughes – Injured (in fact taken ill) so no criticism but this really disrupted the defence and had a bearing on their goal. Lubo added nothing except that header and kept hoofing the ball into the East Stand when he had options.
    2. Becchio – had been winning his share in the air but was replaced by a 37 year old midget who was surrounded by Brentford giants. A terrible swap when we had much better options with Kandol’s height and Gradel’s speed / skill. About the only thing Wise got right was putting on height at a late stage which is what this league needs.
    3. White. The fastest guy on the pitch was replaced by Johnson who is slower than a wet Monday morning. I heard later White was injured but I wonder how true that is.

    All of these subs had an adverse impact on our team and we lost all momentum at a time we were looking to kick on and win it. So for the first time I left the game wondering about Grayson’s decision making. It’s madness suggesting we change managers and he will not get every decision right, but most people around me couldn’t see the point of Dickov and was the main reason many were booing at the end (not me).

    Positives? I’ll say it again, we played well and created loads of chances. It was not like Walsall or Brighton so keep the faith! MOT.

    • superhoops

      Agree with all of this – I’m not hugely adverse to Dickov but Gradel, to me, is the proven impact player and should’ve got the nod.

      I wasn’t there, but from the highlights, we created so much, and McSheffrey has been lauded by the plaudits for his performance. Good to see him running over to celebrate with Jermaine as well after the goal – seems to be buying into what we’re about a bit more now.

      So much panic nonsense further up. Getting rid of Grayson??? The same people were on here about 5 weeks ago sh**ing it about him going to Burnley.

      • CEO

        Clearly there is a bit of a problem. Talk about a sinking feeling. After every match I am looking at the score lines in the hope that our closest contenders have been awful also. The 13 game run in looks a little tough and I reckon that if we are in the play-offs when the curtain falls we will be doing well.

        The upside is the play-offs will give us all another chance to re-live the frustration of last year and watch our dreams evaporate into dust – Leeds truly are underwhelming when the pressure is on -I don’t see Leeds getting back into the Championship for some years, and the Premiership really is an absolute pipe dream.

        The best thing about LUFC is the fan base, those 20,000 or so who turn up match after match hoping and praying for success, they are the true spirit of the City.

  • Matt bb

    It’s an easy mistake when you manage a team of people to focus on those failing, and ignore those doing well at their expense. For me our consistent performers are well spread, up front beckford, becchio, midfield snodgrass, and in defence kisnorbo, hughes, and probably naylor. Instead of organising the team around them, with the exception of kisnorbo they’ve all been pissed off one way or another, the hash of beckfords contract becchio being subbed every game.. Hughes drifting in and out of the game, snodgrass having no key role to do, or being exiled to the subs bench. I think grayson is an excellent manager but needs to understand the value of these players, instead of tinkering. This is not to mention kilkenny, again an unused substitute and our best central midfielder.. I havent earnt the right to manage the team, but just hope grayson realises how good his squad is and starts showing them he believes in them, oh and yes, becchio off…. Dickov on?? Surely to god everyone knew that was when gradel should have come on..

  • mikelufc

    I am nor seriously suggesting Larry should be sacked if only due to the clear lack of alternatives but…..
    Ken is a footballing man after all and will surely be aware of Larrys faults, and as I said earlier kick his arse into line, ask him what is the bloody idea of taking off our hardest working player and swapping him for Dickov?
    Was he just hoping for a miracle?
    If so that is not management.
    We all know that Gradel or Kandol could have changed things.
    In my opinion this favouritism shit is Larrys biggest fault.

  • Matt bb

    Not a mistake he will make again, surely?? He’ll probably start him next!