It’s been a long summer of new faces, reflection and World Cup disappointment for Leeds United fans, but it’s finally over and time for a new season of ups and downs to begin!

For myself, this will be the first time I’ve stepped foot inside Elland Road since that incredible day in May when we came back from a goal down, with ten men, to overcome Bristol Rovers and make our long awaited return to the Championship! To say I’m excited would be the biggest of all understatements!

Last night I was like a child on Christmas Eve, restless at the prospect of a new season with endless possible outcomes. A little over nine months and 46 games could be all that stands between Leeds United and a return to the FA Premier League. But even if we don’t realise our ultimate goal this season, there’s plenty to look forward to with a lot of old faces to catch up with and a whole host of Yorkshire derbies to keep us on the edge of our seats.

The dawn of a new season is a time of unparalleled possibilities. Everyone starts on the same points, with the same number of games between themselves and promotion or relegation. It’s an exciting nine and a half months to come – one that will be filled with ‘ups and downs,’ with scandal and controversy, celebration and commiseration, hope and glory, expectation and defeat.

Most importantly of all, it’ll be filled with thousands of Leeds United fans touring up and down the country to sing their hearts out for the lads! “Let’s go f***ing mental” Leeds!

Marching on together!

  • White to the core

    Fingers and just about everything else crossed, lets hope theres more ups than downs. Whatever one thing we all know and have in common our love of all things Leeds. We may not always agree on everything but we’ve learned that following our beloved club is never easy. We always seem to get more than our fair share of kicks, but thats all part of the magic of following our great club. So heres to a season chasing our dream of premiership footy. See you at Elland Road in strong voice Marching on Together! God im excited :o)

  • yorkwhite

    The hairs have been standing up on the back of my neck since seven o’clock this morning. I remember driving away from ER after the Bristol game and singing my head off to the Leeds songs on Minster FM. The line that kept coming to me was, and we’ve had our ups and downs. I think I’ll sing it again today when I’m on the A64 it may be a lucky omen. Come on you whites MOT.

  • Loki

    2-0 Leeds.

  • White to the core

    Becchio to score and show that Everton got the number two striker from Elland Rd, and we kept the best.

  • Clive

    I totally agree! it will be like when the yanks bought the wrong
    London bridge! , I think Becchio and Leeds will better without Beckford.

  • EYLeeds

    I know that we’ve not spent much money but I think we’ve done pretty well in the transfer market and head into this season with good reason to be excited. 21 years since we won the old division 2 and what a season that was!
    We should be good enough to be in play off contention in January and hopefully the cheque book will come out and let us kick on.
    Thought Ken Bates interview made interesting reading (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1300970/Leeds-United-chairman-Ken-Bates-trademark-blast.html).
    If we make it to the Premiership following his ‘sound business principles’ we will be one of the strongest clubs in there.

  • Paul South Wales

    Jay Simspson will be the ideal replacement for Beckford if we get him

    • Matt BB

      wages the problem i read.

  • Matt BB

    i cant attend today.. v unhappy, but up soon. fingers crossed for the team but i know we can wallop derby.

  • les irwin

    cant,t wait east family stand 4 of us .no real expectations other than to avoid going down so no probs there ,because i have no expectations hopefully i can enjoy the season for first time since 2001

  • Tim Campbell

    It is an interesting thought that this might be the season for becchio to flourish with beckford gone, There is no doubt about it that he was the feeder to beckford and not the one being fed. I would love to know one statistic – the amount of games both beckford and becchio played and the ratio of shots on goal for each

  • Anthony Lewis

    I can’t wait for the new season! I am quite positive about it actually and think we can finish higher than midtable. I think this season is about getting used to the championship and consolidating before a big push next year but i can see us doing quite well and beating derby first up! We are Leeds! MOT!

  • White to the core

    Becchio has scored, but our defence is all at sea every time they counter attack. Never a penalty.

  • Tim Wilsom

    45 mins in the defense is awful, slow and scared to tackle, first we do it’s a penalty by a winger giving cover. Showing some promise further up field but that defense.

    • Colin

      @leedsusa
      i’m with you – Sam shouldn’t have to run from left midfield to have to come and put in a last ditch tackle. One of the central defenders should have made the challenge, but they were nowhere.

      I can’t really say anything negative about Connolly or Bessone, but the central defenders were truly awful and as you say – they were scared.

  • White to the core

    The defence especially Collins were pedestrian. Johnson every time he got sight of goal took a shot and forgot he had team mates. Clayton although not on long has got a poor first touch. Sanchez watt looked lively and caused problems. Becchio chased every lost cause and not surprisingly was fed crumbs by our midfield, but still scored. Schmeical was outstanding, we should have lost 5-1! Of the permanent signings only Schmeical looked good enough and Watt the loanee. Doesnt bode well im afraid. We need to spend on a decent strike partner for Becchio and a decent central defender! No change there then. Lastly how does Larry expect Grella to have any impact with only 3mins to go. Instead he kept bringing on midfielders. Strange!

    • Colin

      @White to the core
      Re Grella – 100% agree – If you need to score a goal – don’t leave it to the last few minutes to bring him on. With 20 mins left you might as well lose 4-1 rather than not bring your striker on and try for the draw.

  • Colin

    Can someone please please tell me 1) How Naylor gets a place in the squad and 2) How on earth is he captain.

    Naylor cannot defend –

    2 attackers running at Naylor and one other defender – he has to make a decision and go for one of the Derby players. No, he runs towards his own goal twisting his head round to see what’s going on.

    Hulse on the right wing going nowhere with his back to Leeds goal and no other Derby players attacking. Naylor goes straight into the back of him and takes him out, getting nowhere near the ball and gets a Yellow card.

    He doesn’t talk to the defence let alone the rest of the team. Connolly was talking all the time, pointing where he wanted his team mates. Naylor did nothing.

    And I haven’t even mentioned his complete lack of pace.

    Alex Bruce, may just have become a very important player for Leeds – but he should come in for Naylor and not Collins.

    Okay – Naylor moan over.

    Reasons to be cheerful: It would have been 4-1 without Schmeichel – he was excellent. Howson looked really intelligent and did a really good job. Becchio did his job, but he really lacked any support. I thought Bessone didn’t embarrass himself either.

    But:
    Kilkenny was really poor, Watt and Sam didn’t look particularly strong. AGAIN: Grella came on far too late!!

    • TheReaper08

      @colin In answer to your excellent questions :

      1) Absolutley no idea
      2) Absolutely no idea

      And also why play 5 in midfield and then let the clowns at the back smash the ball forward ?

      • Colin

        @TheReaper08

        yes yes you’re 100% right – in the first half it was all pass to Naylor (who can’t do long passes) and get him to pass it to Watt (who isn’t great at crossing into the box)

        It was a completely different tactic to the way that Leeds have played all pre-season – which was keep it on the deck and pass within the midfield.

        Grrrr. I could sort of understand it if that is what he plans to do if Snodgrass is wide right, but he’s not fit for a month!!

        I can’t knock Naylor for doing that because he was obviously told to do it by SG.

        SG sets up 5 in midfield but forgets to tell anyone to mark Kris Commons (very good player at this level). Howson was obviously told to mark Savage in the first half. So that left Kilkenny who was told to be a holding midfielder, which he isn’t.

        Bad tactics by Grayson for this game I think.

        Derby are okay and I could sort of understand the result if it was at Pride Park, but if we go to Forest and play the same way, we could really be on the end of a hiding.

      • timm

        That’s exactly it Reaper. You just can’t pack 5 players into the midfield & then have Naylor constantly hoofing it over all of them in the general direction of our lone striker. Too much L1 football was played & there were huge mistakes in midfield & defence. We were nieive, we didn’t look sharp & alert & we lost our shape. Kilkenny needs to have the balls to play a 30 yard pass to switch play away from crowded areas instead of playing 5 yard lay-offs to marked players. Bruce needs to replace Naylor next week. Only positive is the key players we’re missing.

  • Colin

    And how much did that game show how much we miss Beckford?. He would have terrified Derby’s defence. Now it’s getting extremely obvious we really do need a Beckford replacement and hopefully the Jay Simpson rumours are true. He might just be that player.

    • TheReaper08

      @colin I agree, all I keep reading lately is how we won’t miss him, how much better we will be etc. etc. and all because in some peoples eyes he didn’t put in a full shift (and they can’t bring themselves to acknowledge his goals)

      Some people even said they wanted to ban all talk of a Beckford replacement.

  • Graham Hugill

    Schmeichel – superb
    Connolly – gave the ball away at every opportunity
    Centre backs – absolutely no pace whatsoever – worrying
    Centre mid – really badly lacks a strong holding player – the gaps were everywhere today – Kris Commons wandered around unmarked for the whole game
    Wingers – looked promising but after the first half hour just didn’t get enough of the ball

  • Tim Wilsom

    Agreed, and to add to the Naylor point, after seeing Connolly and Shmeichel screaming I started paying close attention to Nayls, quiet as a pussycat. The armband needs to be passed on, to who…not sure. Shmeichal was pretty damn good , his quick distiribution of the ball could be a weapon on the counter if everyone gets on board. Disappointed but there were some positives.

  • les irwin

    thought kaspers saves and distribution were fantastic
    never looked like we were gonna score in second half for me
    thought his subs were poor bradders being in my opinion our worst player
    should have gone 4-4-2 with maybe sam or grella going in with becchio
    connelly did ok bessone not so really
    collins was solid to be fair
    that team is not good enough to play 4-3-3 every week
    i would have beckford back tomorrow not because of his attitude not because of his passing not because of his tackleing not even cos he played for the full 90 mins BUT BECAUSE OF HIS OF HIS GOALS we will never again have someone so prolific because hopefully we will not be playing in the lower leagues but he will be missed and as yet he has nowhere near being replaced

    • Tim Wilsom

      I actually went online to check the line up at half time, didn’t know Bessone was playing

  • Tim Wilsom

    Oh and Savage commented they battered us, Kasper kept them out several times, but lets not forget we hit the bar twice and had one cleared off the line. We also had a lot of the possession. Not quite a battering from where I was sitting

  • les irwin

    i believe they were the better side slightly a draw would have been a fair result though but it wasn’t a battering but there was some big holes in our 4-3-3 at times im not that much of a believer in stats apart from the one that says we lost 1-2 its not doom and gloom but hopefully we will learn from it the buzz word is CONSOLIDATION

  • White to the core

    Or lets spend some of the 4million Bates tells us is safe in the bank. See daily mail interview. Was sad to see so many empty seats at Elland Rd. All in all kasper aside. More downs than ups today im afraid. I so wish i could say i was surprised i really do. Was so excited in the build up to the match, and desperately tried to be optimistic.

  • Bill Fox

    Schmeichel the stand out, Watt decent. Naylor not up to the job for me (and plenty of others on here by the looks of it) and Collins just about okay but needs a quicker partner.

    Thought Becchio was class and hard working for the first 45.

    Let’s not hit the panic button yet and it was no battering for sure, but we can’t say we deserved much today.

  • Hugh Fox

    Schmeichel a brilliant performance. Sam was v poor and watt didnt impress me either. Killa bossed the midfield and johnson was good. Looked great attacking bt poor defending. i dont expect anything at forest

    • timm

      Can’t agree. Johnson was knackered after 30 mins & Kilkenny took the easy option too many times. KIlkenny’s problem is that he hasn’t got the balls to step up & risk losing posession but he lays into players like Howson for having a go. We still need that holding creative midfielder,based on this performance, it’s not Kilkenny.

  • Chareose

    And there we have it….. Bates boasting about being prudent in football spending and then against Derby we see the result of that on the pitch…… To be fair Grayson has performed miricles to get the players he has with ZERO cash but we actually need to buy decent permenent players….. (dripping sarcasm)

    For me Watt and Sam looked a threat, some nice touches from Kilkenny and howson. Bechio supurb and Schmeichal….. well he looked a different class once he settled down. The defence is at best average but the REAL problem was the lack of chasing, challanging and general preassure from the leeds midfeild. We dont need a “tackling midfeilder”………. we need the WHOLE midfeild to preassure the opposition !!! Thats down to the manager to sort out!

    Also PLEASE PLEASE get rid of Johnson….. on the big occaisions he falls to bits and cant hit a barn door….its embarressing and wasteful of leeds chances. He should play in defence because hes so good at clearing the fecking ball in to row X

    • timm

      It’s exactly the same as last season, they ran through our defence like a hot knife through butter. What gets me is the way we chase players down & then just shadow them instead of getting a foot in. As i said earlier though, the one big positive is the players who we’ll have back in a few weeks. It’s a big problem for SG though as he can’t just get half a team of loanees to cover the first month, but on the other hand we could do with a couple of results. Let’s not get carried away though, i always said i’d take mid-table this season. Teams certainly have to adapt to playing in this league.

  • Matt BB

    the shape and tactics were the issue. no cover for the defence wity a three man midfield and full backs too advanced. derby werent brilliant but just more used to one another. we had nothng on the bench ro change things round.. grella.. come on… should have given robinson a run out. all in all disappointing. snoddy and gradel will give width but theyre a month away.

  • Mark R

    Disappointing after the pre season build up.

    Schmeichal was outstanding – our goalkeeper was our best player – that says something.

    The team as a whole were not set up defensively. Our central defence was exposed time after time, & their decision making at key points was poor. However the defensive set up of the midfield was ineffective.

    When Howson lost the ball in midfield for Derby to breakaway for their 1st goal, we had no defensive midfield cover. We had also been warned on 2 previous occassions of Derby’s attacking threat in the same area of the pitch.

    No leader to direct, & defensively the midfield & back four poor – which comes down to tactics .

    Good point by Colin & Reaper as to why play a ‘5’ man midfield & have Naylor & Kasper at times, bypass them with long balls. I saw Killa take the ball from defence twice. Other than that our ‘young’ midfield didn’t show for the ball. Movement was ponderous – which points to nerves
    & inexperience. I think we need an old head in midfield, and a recognised defensive midfielder.

    Up front we have lost speed. Becchio worked like a trojan but needs a partner, even if it is someone playing just behind him in ‘the hole’. Grella had no time at all to make an impact – which was ridiculous. I rate Watt & Sam, but the balance of midield is on the side of inexperience & youth & it showed.

    SG’s tactics were wrong. I think a more cautious approach 1st half, getting players comfortable on the ball – passing & possession , used to the occassion, would have given us a platform in the second half to take a few chances.

    Disappointing but plenty of time to get it right.

    MOT

  • les irwin

    howson should be our captain i have said it b 4 and will again our best form was last season when hew as in charge ,i’m not one for digging into players but i honestly think brad johnson must be playing for his future he was poor last season and will be this of all the players to be sub’d it should have been him
    naylor will not paly if he carries on like that once kisnorbo is back and if collins plays like he did yesterday he was ok and can only get better our second worst player was bessone .the lad clayton when he came on i thought looked pretty good in the short time i think he could be alright if we can keep him

    just my funny moment of the day was when 1 wag in the crowd sang ” kasper ,kasper your dad is a c–t ” that made everyone chuckle

    • Chareose

      Number1 in yorkshire….. haha yes how hilarious calling our goal keepers dad a “Cxxt”…. Tee bloody hee….. You shouldnt encourage deranged behaviour from interbreds mate you should kick their heads in for bringing the club into disrepute and for insulting our best player !

      • les irwin

        kicking their heads in clareose now its those people who have kicked peoples heads in who have brought our club into disrepute for years ,it was banter from someone who was actually in a box and had probably spent about £ 20.000 for the privelidge, chances of our best player on the day hearing it about NIL .its better than all those who booed our own palyers off last season
        im sure i might be wrong had something to do with his MANU connections .it was no worse than the various manu and other songs we sing as a whole
        neither did i slap him on the back and say how funny it was .just funny though that around another 1500-2000 people in the FAMILY stand laughed and thought it was funny too and neither did anyone question the bad language .i dont need lessons on how to behave at football ive been quite succsesful at going for around 30 years and never got into any bother either watching leeds or england cheers

        • TheReaper08

          @number1inyorkshire If I had been in the vicinity with my little un he woudl have paid £2000 for a smack on the nose.

          And if 1500-2000 people in the FAMILY stand found that funny then to a penny they are all halfwits.

          • les irwin

            i will take your money all day if your smacking people for swearing in the family i will do it for a £1000 because at the end of 90 mins i would be rich
            there are kids in other parts of the ground including the kop do we stop swearing there too, there should be no difference anywhere in the ground if its kids the reason to not swear ,the ground must be full of half wits .i take my kids to football knowing full well that there is likely to be swearing and if i minded i wouldnt take em .

  • Matt BB

    @chareose you’ll always get that guff from certain sections…. disappointing

    • les irwin

      read above thanx

    • TheReaper08

      @mattbb I agree, doesn’t make it right though. Like me I am sure you also feel it’s about time people started behaving like adults.

      • Matt BB

        @Therepaer08 @number1inyorkshire I read Peter Schmeicel was in the crowd! watching his lad turn out for Leeds, I’d have loved to see him tap one of that crew on the shoulder and ask them with all of his 6ft 4 frame behind him “What am I again?”

        • TheReaper08

          @mattbb I think we both know the big boy that said and those brave soldiers that chuckled would soon disappear !

  • Max

    Re Saturday – difficult to know where to start.

    Schmeichel’s performance was very encouraging. I like Sam, I thought Watt didn’t do so well on the other wing, though that may be because he was in front of Connolly, who I thought was terrible. Also, he’s just rejoined a squad which has changed a fair bit since last season.

    As for the others … it was an unusual game as you don’t often see a team getting hit by bursts down the middle from deep midfield, so much as on the wing. Had Leeds had a defensive midfield player in front of Naylor and Collins they’d have faired a lot better. Picking from the three midfielders, Johnson would be the one I would drop.

    I’ve seen criticism of the defence but the big issue for me was that the midfield completely failed its defensive duties. Jury’s out on Bessone for me (Sam shouldn’t have to be making sliding tackles in the penalty area), but Connolly looks really poor.

    Hard though he works, Becchio is not the kind of striker who produces something out of nothing, and it was concerning how often he was caught out at offside. But I don’t think we have a better alternative right now (I can’t see Grella lasting the season at Leeds on this basis – he’s not an impact substitute, and he’s not a first choice, even when one of the strikers is injured). As for Clayton, it looked to me like he hadn’t ever trained with these players, which is probably correct (and it felt a bit daft to throw him on).

    The 4-5-1 system did work well in the Wolves friendly, but in that case we had Gradel available, and were probably playing an unfit Wolves team. The way it’s structured, though, it really requires the attacking midfielders to be capable of beating two players to create a chance – Howson and Sam were doing this with their running; arguably Kilkenny can do it through the accuracy of his passing (it requires the striker to time his runs a bit better though); Watt was maybe beating one (and trying to beat players by using the overlapping full back wasn’t working) and Johnson, well I’m not sure what Johnson thought he was doing.

    Personally, given our injury list and assuming no more players available, I’d switch out Johnson for Bruce, maybe White for Watt (keeping back Watt as an impact sub) and anyone for Connolly (the choices being Bromby, mainly useful for his long throw, Hughes or Crowe, so it doesn’t feel great; Bruce is meant to be a RB too but I feel he’s needed elsewhere). Hulse also looked like an attractive purchase (noted his unwillingness to celebrate the goal) after yesterday, if he’s still available.

    We were running with injuries to 3 players who would probably be first choice (Paynter, Snodgrass and Kisnorbo) and one further suspended (Gradel), plus Parker and Somma unavailable. So the squad should improve by the end of the month, but it feels like the first few games could be quite rough.

    • Mark R

      Good post Max. See mine above.
      Defensively as a unit we weren’t effective.
      Agree possible solution is with Bruce.

      MOT

    • timm

      Good point re Hulse Max. He has a lot to offer, genuine quality & pace. Becchio was caught offside way too many times & it’s just not acceptable at this level. Derby’s shape when we had the ball was just superb & ours just disintegrated. Even the multi-ball system was giving them the edge due to their sharpness compared to ours. A tenacious midfield ball winner has to be SGs priority now, we just don’t have anyone in the squad who can break up play in the middle. It’ll be interesting to see whether Forest keep trying the over the top free kick which Derby were doing yesterday? Surely as a result of seeing it work so well for Wolves last week. I expect Bruce to play on Tuesday & again on saturday at Naylors expense?

      • timm

        I meant on Sunday!!

  • Dje

    Personally I want entertainment from football not moral lessons, and would have had a snigger at the Schmeichal remark if I heard it (as probably Schmeichal Snr and Jnr would have done too had they heard it).

    I appreciate folk not wanting their kids to hear swear words and that’s were the Family Stand comes into play as a ‘cleaner language’ zone. Without recourse to KGB style policing, the language filter will never be completely effective though.

    • TheReaper08

      @djedjedje I go to be entertained as well and If it hadn’t been in around the family stand I wouldn’t have even replied.

      As it happens I don’t think it’s clever or funny to use that kind of language to one of your own players, particularly with regard to their parentage. That said humour like that will always appeal to a certain level of intellect.

      • Dje

        @TheReaper08

        I initially read the half-baked Schmeichel joke in a different way, Reaper…

        To be honest, with the threat of always living in the shadow of your famous dad, the best thing for Kasper is to be NOT compared to his dad for his goalkeeping skills. Which is tricky because we want him in our team for those ‘keeping skills!

        So you can do this by either saying “You’re not actually as good as you’re dad, Kasper – but that’s OK cos he was really good afterall” – which is a bit of a kicking. Or go with “You’re dad was s**t so you’re much better, Kasper”. But as we all know Schmeichel Snr was anything but s**t, so to differentiate between father and son you have to take a different non-performance angle.

        Essentially the low-wit shouting out “Kasper, Kasper, you’re dad’s a c**t” is saying (to me) that after your first 90 minutes at Elland Road, “Kasper you’re one of us!! [Even if you’re dad was one of them]”

        Besides, I’m sure Schmeichel was well aware that he knew he’d personally had an excellent game – and one that wasn’t lost on the fans in Elland Road at the time (post-match the amount of ‘the only positive was Schmeichel’ in this thread only bolsters this). So there’s a difference in intention between when having a bad match and someone shouting out between the jeers you’re dad’s a c**t and having a great match and someone shouting it out between the cheering accolades.

        Anyway, too many words spent on something that’d make me only chuckle.

      • Colin

        @TheReapero8 @djedjedje @mattbb
        Reaper, Matt – you can’t expect to take swearing out of a football match. I wouldn’t knowingly swear in front of anyone’s kids but 5.15 in the evening so people will have had a few beers, first game of the season, 27,000 at the game, people will get carried away.

        Football players can take it – don’t worry about that. Do you remember what Alan Smith got every single game from away fans?

        Go to the pub – you get swearing. Turn on the TV – you get swearing. Walk down the street – you get swearing. And some of the ‘kids’ are the worst offenders.

        The British language is full of swearing – it’s much more common here than abroad. That’s just the way it is. Always been that way and always will be.

        I don’t condone it at all but my sympathies are probably with the majority at a football match who either say it or don’t mind it. If you’re offended then I’d say stay away rather than trying to change others.

        • timm

          I personally think the Family stand should be the one area of the ground that is totally free of bad language. Im not comfortable when i see young kids around where i sit (North East corner) as i know they’re going to hear bad language. Fans have every right to expect to be able to take their young kids to a match & sit in a Family stand that is exactly that. I’ve been no angel in my time as an adult Leeds fan, but only in the presence of like minded fans. I would never use bad language in the Family stand & any parents who take their kids in there & do that really should know better. The clue’s in the name…. FAMILY Stand!

          • TheReaper08

            @timm Although unlike the family stand I think if you choose to sit in another area then you have to take your chance with the behaviour/language.

        • TheReaper08

          @colin My actual original point wasn’t intended to be about swearing I just found it ridiculous to condone that sort of behaviour in the family stand. My original intention was to highlight the chant to Kasper as being pathetic.

          I have played football up to semi-pro level 18 years, I know what oppositon fans can say and know what banter goes on in the dressing room. I would expect better from my own fans and to sit there and laugh/join in is moronic.

          • Colin

            @TheReapero8

            Just want to point out I’m with you 100% but we have to be careful to be holier than though.

            Re own fans – Moronic, yes, agreed. So what did you do when 5,000+ fans were having a go at Beckford?

            We know what went on with Beckford. And we’re both massive Beckford fans. But it’s a war you’re never going to win.

            Are you going to have a go at the moronic fans? No.
            Are you going to stop supporting Leeds? No.

            If you want to support a nice club, then try Southend United. If you want to support Leeds then you have to take the rough with the smooth.

            We’re UNITED. Leeds United. We have to stick together. Because we get enough grief from other fans and clubs.

            Fact is, we have some aggressive fans. Sir Alex Ferguson said that Elland Road is “the most intimidating venue in Europe.”

            That shouldn’t change – we’re just not a very nice football club – that’s Leeds United.

  • Dje

    My two pence on the formation.

    I wonder if we would work better as a 5-4-1 formation (5-4-1 when defending / 3-1-5-1 when attacking) with a speedy centre back at the heart of the defense. When we push forward we could release the full backs down the wings and maintain three at the back as clearly the two we played couldn’t cope.

    I’d suggest that when Kisnorbo comes back and we feel more confident with the heart of defense then play Bruce in a dual role of being a central defender when they’re attacking, and push him up to defensive midfielder when we are pushing forward – so that the back two then have initial cover to stop the kind of break that Commons and Green inflicted on us yesterday. Just a (desperate) thought.

  • Colin

    @djedjedje
    I don’t think if you throw more (of our) players into defence it will make them any better. I think the problem is quality and style of play.

    I think the reason the defence worked so well with Kisnorbo is because he’s an up and at em’ type defender – a bit like John Terry – who isn’t a great defender but because he goes for the key challenges on the key men, it takes pressure off the others and allows them to relax and play their game. Put Naylor under pressure and he can’t deal with it.
    My only concern with Kisnorbo is that we had a similar thing with Rui Marques – he was brilliant for a while, then got injured, came back and was never the same player.

    Can you imagine if we had David Batty and Kris Commons and Green tried to make those runs? Sure, they would have made the first run, but they wouldn’t make another.

    Clough looked like he was standing on the roof beams just watching what Leeds were doing and telling his assistant what tactical changes he had to make every time Leeds tried to change something.

    SG stood there like a pudding in a tracksuit, just watching as Commons and Green made breaking run after run after run.

    • Dje

      @colin

      I agree it isn’t an ideal solution – but it was trying to work around the problems we have with our current squad (with the exception of a pacy central defender). I’m not convinced as yet by Bessone and Connolly, especially not Bessone who looks to have a bit of the Capaldi about him.

      Yes, Clough beat Grayson in all departments, but I’m not that surprised really. What was frustrating about Grayson was that in his post-match comments he bemoans that due to injuries and suspensions we didn’t have many attacking substitutions – White and Grella – to turn to, but then leaves Robinson out of the squad?! I can appreciate that Robinson doesn’t figure in his long term plans, but not using a player on your books and fit to go when you are desperate of bodies smacks of stubbornness verging on incompetence.

      – Fingers crossed that Kisnorbo doesn’t do a Marques!

  • les irwin

    ahh well half wit it is then its time people lived in the real world most of your kids will learn more in their playground, what do you lot do, put your fingers in their ears when the kop start swearing as for the family stand its right next to the away fans what are you gonna get
    hello old boy thanx for beating us 2-1, i never said i liked swearing and never condoned it, but neither will i make an apology for laughing at it and like i said i bet noone who laughed will either .i will bet anybody as much as they have kasper and his dad will chuckle at it was banter at a footy match, what next a swear box, get a grip
    colin i like your last sentence and do remember i go to the footy with my 21 year old son and my 16 year old son and my 14 year old son iv’e got the t shirt when it comes to kids and if that had been in a restaraunt or park i would have put him on his ass but at a footy match it wasd harmless ,funny banter

    • TheReaper08

      @number1inyorkshire I live in the real world but I choose not to behave like a sheep, the whole everyone’s at so that’s ok then attitude is poor. Only the other day I had a word with a group in a hotel because some turds were subjecting them to unnecessary language and I could see they were offended.

      My point wasn’t actually the swearing, my point is if you think calling your best player’s dad a c**t is in your opinion a great way of welcoming a new star player and making them feel part of the Leeds ‘family’ ?

      I just find it ironic that the same people that laugh (not necessarliy you) and find this joke acceptable are they same people that would welcome ex Man Utd player Alan Smith back.

      • timm

        Great point re Smithy Reaper. Re Schmeichel sr & Savage (he was also singled out for some personal abuse), I’d be willing to bet that both of them would be willing to turn up at Elland Rd free of charge to play in a testimonial if asked, & i’d stand up & clap the pair of them. They’re both top professionals. The argument that kids are ‘only going to hear it in the playground anyway’ is weak & pathetic. What next? Should we be taking our kids to ‘swearing parties’ so they can all learn bad language? I have a 4 year old son & i’ve had to speak to groups of kids twice recently (both times in Mcdonalds!) about swearing in front of my boy. Youngsters should be able to hang onto their innocence as long as possible

        • TheReaper08

          @timm Who know’s what’s next mate. Fair play to you for the McDonalds incidents. By the sound of it I fully intend to bring my kid up the same way as you,

          Good to see you back on here at bit more timm, and not just beacuse you agreed with me ;)

        • les irwin

          your talking about mcdonalds not a football match i would have said something at macc d’s as im sure so would everyone else its context as for welcoming smith back if he played for manu ,wouldnt make any difference to me i have said before i’ve nothing against em until we play em i want to beat em, they have been fantastic for years and have had some of the best players in english football sadly that doesnt include smithy who i don’t want to come back cos he is shit and to be fair never was good enough ,as for robbie savage he thrives on that don’t know if you were at the game but savage came onto the pitch before the game after the hand shake and walked over to the leeds fans pretended to exercise bent over and showed his backside went over to the west stand and did the same .in hotels .mc donalds park etc then tell louts to shut up and you will have me back you all the way i own a pub and the first thing i did was take the pool table out because i didn’t want the baseball cap briggade but at footy especially at leeds your gonna get swearing not sheep not malicious not yobs even but adult banter now its not necessarily right but its life if you dont like it tell the CHAIRMAN I’M SURE he’ll tell you to F OFF

          • timm

            Believe me number1inyorkshire, i swear just like everyone else around me at Elland Rd, but i don’t sit in the Family stand. It’s simple, if you want your young kids to hear bad language, take them in the South stand, Kop, or North East corner where i sit. Maybe even the West Stand.Anyone taking young kids in these areas has no right to complain about bad language. But is it too much to ask to keep the Family stand exactly that? A stand where you can take your young family? Regarding Savage, he’s a character & he’s also a top player & i’d have him in our midfield tomorrow. At the end of the day he’s a thoroughly decent bloke & there aren’t enough characters in sport these days. If someone was singing about my wife being a slag, i think the least i’d do would be to stick my arse in the air at them! Regarding Smithy, i totally agree, he’s shite & goes further back down the pitch every year as he gets slower & worse. Why would we give him 30k a week when he’s no better than what we already have? Rob Hulse & an old head in midfield are what’s needed in my opinion?

  • Graham Hugill

    I’m hoping that the loan signing of Clayton is a good sign. To me it says that Grayson knows he has a problem in the Holding MF position – otherwise why bother signing a player on a months loan (its not as if we currently have injuries in this position).

    Clayton therefore is to fill the position whilst the permanent signing is finalised (hence just the month). His signing also says to me that Grayson doesn’t see Bruce as the answer in that position – which personally I am pleased about. Holding midfield is a specialist position and lets face it Bruce is a centre back.

    Difficut to say who we should sign in this position – there isn’t exactly a glut of quality holding midfielders available. Considering our average age I think I’d prefer an experienced head but then again I was quite impressed with Frimpong of Arsenal in the Emirates Cup. There are also a number of shouts for Smith to return but I am not so sure – however one way or another we need to fill the gap, and soon.

    • les irwin

      timm thats a different ball game i agree .the family stand should be in 1 of the corners away from that hustle and bustle of the game and it should be free from swearing .adult behaviour smoking etc .and quite frankly people who are not with kids of which there are plenty in the family stand supposed to be every adult has a kid with them i would prefer it to be north east corner and only for families to be let in there, who are family members i have to say i pay for the privelidge of sitting in the family area with my FAMILY .sadly where it is you do get that element which i don’t condone in fact there are lots of leeds fans at E R that get on my nerves but its right next to the away fans .but to say it was anything other than banter is wrong and the people who laughed are louts and sheep and all that its wrong too .i think it was more of a we like you kasper than any thing else

      cheers timm M O T

  • Craig

    It may be a bit late to join the post-match discussion but I have only just seen it via i-player (I was at Machu Picchu when the live match was on).

    The first comment I’d make is that although Becchio was caught offside a number of times in quick succession at least half of them were ruled ‘dubious’ by the replay and at least one was definitely onside.

    The second is to ask why Bradley Johnson is given freekicks. Johnson is our Frank Lampard minus the quality and free kicks should be given to someone with more brain than brawn.

    • TheReaper08

      @craig Never too late pal, how is it going over there ?

      I find Bradley Johnson something of an enigma, for me he was poor yesterday but in pre-season I am led to believe he did ok (anyone?). He has some talent but is far too inconsistent for my liking.

      • Colin

        @craig @TheReapero8
        I spoke to a friend of mine who is a Newcastle fan and he singled him out as a player who really gave it a go and had promising play. I wasn’t too sure myself but maybe I’m biased having seen Leeds so much, but he thought he was quality.

        • timm

          I do think he could be a great player. He’s the perfect build, he’s strong, he gets into good positions, wins headers & can score goals. But he’s so inconsistent it drives me mad! At his best we could build a team around him, but he could just as easily find himself dropped. Howson’s the same too, schoolboy error for their first goal & then top class for the equaliser. What i’d give for a signing on a par with when Wilko signed Strachan or Liverpool signed Mcallister!

      • Craig

        @TheReaper08

        Peru is an amazing country Reaper. We are visiting my brother-in-law who is delivering business advice and administering a microfinance scheme in some very poor communities.

        What I think Johnson lacks is basic intelligence. He’s a ‘if it isn’t working hit it harder’ type and doesn’t seem to have the guile to read a game and then change his style of play.

  • Bill Fox

    For me he is a ‘confidence player’ and can give 4/5 great performances (with goals too let’s be fair) but then can frustrate for a many games. For now he plays, if we do sign that ‘famous’ midfield dictator then ……

  • Colin

    606 – did anyone listen to the Radio 5 phone in with Mark Chapman and Robbie Savage?

    One chap from Scotland rang in (I think Celtic) who has a blind friend who is a Derby fan couldn’t get tickets despite trying and trying and trying. It took Savage to say that at the Derby vs Leeds game at Pride Park, he would organise 2 disabled tickets for him.

    Elland Road had many many empty seats (27,000 attendance) – that’s a disgrace. It makes us look stupid. Why couldn’t they get tickets. It’s a real shame and an embarrassment on the club. :(

    • les irwin

      there was plenty of empty seats in the derby end so i don’t think it was necessarily a leeds fault they didnt get tickets and they were on sale right upto 5 pm on friday

  • Max

    Re Johnson – I saw the game against Wolves and he was OK. I’m convinced Wolves were at the stage of their preparation where we were against Bury, so although it showed the 4-5-1 formation working (though the 1 didn’t score) it doesn’t necessarily say anything about the relative qualities of the teams.

    Johnson’s goal was a header, close in, onto the ground in front of him so it bounced under the keeper – I’m don’t know how deliberate it was; he looked a bit sheepish about it afterwards (but a goal’s a goal). I get the feeling he should have been developed as a striker but has somehow ended up in midfield. I’m not sure he has the tactical nous required for a central midfielder. I do think that, starting a game, and given our current squad limitations, Johnson/Sam might be better as a wing pair than Sam/Watt, but I might be being unfair to Watt after a single game when he probably wasn’t very fresh.

    Simpson, by the way, is apparently having a medical at Hull today. I think our strategy is to wait for the premiership to declare their 25 man squads and then try and catch some more breadcrumbs on loan.

  • Mark R

    Brad Johnson is a strong player, good stamina, and a fair header of the ball. Shooting is not composed.
    Passing is fair but nothing special.

    He can get from box to box but as the end product mroe often than not is a skyward shot, it defeats the object a bit and is frustrating.If he gets forward he wants to get into the box, not outside it and go for the simple tap ins.

    I think he’s got potential to be a decent midfielder – but needs to be more physical in this part of the field.
    Tackling, simple distribution, more discipline in his game. He can use his heading ability at set pieces.

    More coaching required pls SG.

    MOT

  • Matt BB

    i think johnson is always played out of position, he is an attacking midfielder who is played at full back, holding midfield, left wing.. he should probably be playing in support of the strikers, but the real problem is his inability to pass well, he is good whe n in possession but link up is atrocious, he would simply support the strikers by being a nuisance to the opposition defence.

    • TSS

      @mattbb

      His tendency to send the ball 50ft over the roof of the net a bit of an issue too!