Lloyd Sam

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.