United We Stand? Will first impressions count? James D August 18, 2010 Leeds United 20 Comments LLoyd Sam wins a header against Forest. This second instalment of ‘United We Stand’ takes a look at our new signings. A whopping three games in, we’re all forming opinions on these players… but do we agree? One thing is for certain – Leeds fans aren’t afraid to rush in where angels fear to tread, as only @svendleeds on twitter has so far noted that ‘it’s far too early to claim judgements on new signings of #lufc – surely the team has to settle first.’ A sensible point Svend, but as we have seen with the transfer rumours this week, where is the fun without wild conjecture and speculation? This week’s opinions sandwich an interesting performance on Sunday against Forest, but did this change anyone’s opinions? Did we see something new, or something worrying? Let’s find out… Glen on the Facebook group sums up many people’s views saying that ‘Schmeichel & Sam look good aquasitions (sic)’. Lloyd Sam certainly seems to be our favourite outfield signing so far, even before his well taken equaliser against Clough’s old team. Keith on Facebook was a rare dissenting voice from the Lloyd Sam love-in, saying that ‘Sam and Watt jury out but played well v Lincoln’. The voice of reason perhaps, although I wonder if he feels the same after Sunday. And here he is, on Monday, Keith on Lloyd Sam ‘offering width’! Definitely the voice of reason – good old Yorkshire pragmatism from this fan! @Lt_A_Nighthawk on twitter felt that Sam was showing ‘glimpses of what he’s capable of’. More enthusiastically, Kevin feels ‘Schmeichel, Sam and Watt’ are ‘awesome’ which is exactly the kind of judgment we’re looking for after 270 minutes of the new season. One new signing who is generally not impressing so far is our young Mancunian loanee Adam Clayton, who has had about 15 minutes so far and failed to do anything good whatsoever. He has either ‘looked dodgy’ or ‘not shown much yet’. I think I would be with our friend @svendleeds in saying it is a little too soon to judge this player. Kasper Schmeichel. We all love him, don’t we? With his excellent positioning, reflex stops and enormous… boot up field? Actually, not. On the BBC 606 forum a thoughtful contributor named ‘matterinprobe’ feels that our new Danish stopper wants to be the centre of attention too much, and is ‘shouting and screaming and flapping, and running to the halfway line and back etc etc’. He then goes on to call for Shane Higgs to be reinstated. This is akin to saying that Higgs and Schmeichel both seem too calm when a cross comes in, and we should re-sign the previous Casper, hero of Old Trafford. Unsurprisingly, ‘matterinprobe’ is a lone voice crying out in the wilderness. Responses on that forum ranged from him being called a donut, which is harsh on donuts, and more measured contributors such as ‘belfast12white’ who pointed out that the ‘keeper isn’t the problem ‘the full back line is’. By this, I am assuming he means the entire back line, not a line of full backs – although we will come to this later! Back to our Great Dane – @svendleeds feels he is a key man already. Ron on Facebook feels he ‘looks the business’ and David states that he and Lloyd Sam have been ‘brilliant’. Interestingly, Sanchez Watt has attracted relatively little comment. What comments I have received on him have been unilaterally positive, being described as a ‘game changer’ amongst a few other things. Maybe we will have to wait till he bangs in a couple of goals before the fans become effusive in their praise? However, our young gunner Watt did garner praise for his reaction to Gunter’s (did I spell that right?) stamp – and deservedly so. Now then. This has all been very friendly so far. Not now. Onto the defensive signings. The consensus was that there has been a steady defensive improvement over the course of our two league game and a training session against Lincoln City. There seems to be a lot of confidence in a player who has had 24 teams in his 25 years, Alex Bruce, based mostly on his ability to stand up and occasionally head the ball against an awful Imps side. @Lt_A_Nighthawk feels he will be ‘OK when he gets in the side to replace Nayls’, something many of us expected to see on Sunday at the City Ground. Jonathon felt that ‘Collins is still poor… much prefer to see Bruce and Naylor in the centre of defence until Paddy’s return’. As far as centre backs go, it does appear that only the absent Aussie has the support of the majority of fans. Fede Bessone, who some feel was only signed to give Luciano Becchio a fellow Argie at the club, has certainly grabbed a lot of attention since signing. Unfortunately, it hasn’t all been for positive reasons. Jonathan feels ‘Bessone looks like the worst signing so far’, perhaps because he appears scared of heading the ball? Also on Facebook, Domenico was more measured, feeling that time would tell on our defensive acquisitions. After the defiant performance on Sunday, however, faint praise began to trickle in Bessone’s direction, with Jonathon noting that ‘Bessone has gone up in my ratings, he actually showed the winger on the outside of him against Forest and didn’t get the wrong side of the winger at any time, much improved.’ There were, of course, many more comments made, on twitter, Facebook, and this esteemed site – but it’s impossible to fit you all in. Make sure you keep your comments coming, through all the different media, and feel free to add your thoughts and feelings in the comments section below. Millwall next – who’ll be the hero after that, and who the villain? What formation will we stick with? Will we all agree? Probably not, but we will enjoy the friendly discussion surrounding it all. MOT. Matt BB for me best signing is Schmeicel who is clearly premiership class and with a few years on the clock to go. Other than this I am pretty underwhelmed by Bessone who seems to be a left winger more than a left back, and even then not a particularly good one. Connolly seems solid and you’d hope that from a former captain of derby county and plymouth, other than this Paynter as yet to be seen, Sam looks a good acquisition and is more an out and out winger than forward it appears. I was one of the Watt camp and was pleased when we signed him, I think he’s improving with each game. Bruce, like paynter we havent seen enough of and must be wondering why he came here! Clayton again not seen sufficient playing time of him to make a comment. I think most of us would agree though that we havent really lived up to the hype we all expected. There has been no Beckford replacement, and we all in our heart of hearts knew that would be the case with that tight old git in charge, we need to reinforce midifeld and defence yet further still, as Kisnorbo wont be around until October and even then he wont be match fit. SO a mixed bag from my perspective but I’m afraid not good enough for anything other than consolidation. trueyorxman Is Bessone any better than Sheehan, I’ve yet to see it if he is? I played left back for many a year & would have felt embarrassed to have let Gunter get that cross in for Forests goal on Sunday. Also I notice Sam Sodje has joined Pompey on trial today, why were’nt we in for him? Apart from Kis he’s the best centre half to have played under Grayson at Leeds timm I can only assume it’s personal towards Sheehan from SG? I always thought he looked really comfortable, but his discipline let him down a bit. I’ve not been impressed by Bessone so far but he was part of a very tight defence last season so he can’t have turned useless overnight. I saw him a bit on tv last season & he looked really good (especially v Newcastle). But definately off the pace so far this season. trueyorxman Also, I know he’s done us a favour but why the hell did Arsene Wenger not take a gamble on Schmeichel (ON A FREE!!). If the lad turns out to be only half as good as his dad (the scummer!) he’d still be better than the 2 clowns the Gunners possess at the mo’ Dje Such a dizzying array of disparate internet voices being cited – next time can we have a cast list? Mike Brilliant! TSS @trueyorxman We’ll see him to them cheap. £10m should cover it. James D @djedjedje sure you can have a cast list – voice an opinion and you can be in it! TSS @djedjedje has never been shy of an opinion or two! One of our top all-time commentators Dje @TSS I’m flattered with such kind words … or possibly just deceived?! ———— @jdlufc I’m usually very good at using a lot of words to say very little, but as to the verdict on the new signings after three games? I’m probably one of the dullards who go for “too early to tell”. So best put me down as a non-speaking cameo appearance. timm 15! Then we can buy Shay Given & pay his wages for a year! les irwin sheehan is a better player than bessone but bessone is a better person he doesnt influence the younger players to go out on a friday night before a a game .Paker will play there once he is fit, the 2 stand outs of the new lot are sam and schmeichel easily of the rest we haven’t seen paynter and the others are no better than what we had although coliins and bruce look like they could be good together ,my grandmother would be better than naylor she is definately quicker . we will be alright this season but we will not set the world alight with the players we have bought 14-15 th for me Dylan I actually don’t think that any of the new recruits have done badly. Lloyd Sam and Sanchez Watt seem to be settling in already. Connolly and Bessone seem competent enough and I thought that Bessone in particular was much improved at Forest. Dylan Oh yeah! Obviously Schmeichel is shit hot. I was a little worried about him during pre-season but he’s looking more like his dad each match. His dad may have been scum but he was – let’s face it – shit hot. AltrinchamAndrew Far too early to make firm impressions BUT; 1) Scheimecel ; Premiership class; best goalie we’ve had for 20 years! Also stars in Coronation street. 2) Bessone; awful start but now improving. 3) Watt; raw potential with class and getting better. 4) Collins; how many times can a CB just kick it into the stand? 5) Lloyd; him and gradel will cause panic in defences. 6) Paynter; top drawer as he signed an autograph for my 7 year old in the car park; said he’ll be back in 2 weeks. 7) Connolly; neither overwhelmed or underwhelmed at present. 8)Bruce; good start; play him instead of Naylor Useless fact of the day; name the team who has 2 sons of Man Utd players now playing for them…. yes us!!! With our injuries and suspensions, if we’re mid table after 5 matches it will be a great start!! l l l leeds http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henri_Lansbury On 18th August 2010, Lansbury was close to sealing a loan transfer to Leeds United, but ultimately the move collapsed, with the player claiming “I’d have no hope of getting in the team ahead of Neil Kilkenny and anyway, Uncle Ken wouldn’t agree to part-fund my wages”. Lansbury went on to state that he simply couldn’t face a future in which he didn’t get to play for Leeds, and as a result, is considering retiring from professional football. Colin I think it’s really tough to make judgement on Leeds right now. We’ve got an awful run of games, in so much as they’re either versus big name teams or fellow Yorkshire rivals. It’s not until December where we can forget about rivalries and concentrate on stabilising. I think Dec/Jan/Feb will need to come before we truly know where we are in the Championship pecking order. IMHO, it’s a really tough run of games at the start but there are some really great opportunities in 2011 to pick up 3 points on a regular basis. Craig @colin Ah, but you know us – we’ll pick up points against the fancied teams and hit a bad patch just as the weaker fixtures are upon us. It has happened for the last two years and possibly longer. Bill Fox All I think we can take so far is that we have found an excellent keeper and that Watt/Sam are giving us real pace. Too early on other newcomers and enough said re Naylor already by many. Adrian Akers Sam and Watt look like they have real potential to me. Watt is very eager to impress and needs to just have a look around him a bit more… Becchio doesn’t look sharp yet… hopefully as the season progresses… I feel he has a hat-trick in him somewhere this season… Schmeichel needs to calm down a bit and sometimes allow us to build from the back… Personally get a bit p*@ssed off with so many lost long balls, and that seems to happen from all over the park. Connolly is going to be class and when Mad Max Gradel is back, then him and Sam will be a real handful. There’s definitely goals in this side, but we need to be disciplined. It’s too early to say but I don’t expect us to be in the bottom third come the end of the season. The Championship is a real mixed bag…. If Elland Road can become a fortress and Leeds can win their home games then we will be there or thereabouts come the end of the season.