Disappointing return for Kasper

Kasper Schmeichel returned from injury for a match he’ll quickly want to forget as he was beaten four times by a rampant Cardiff City side.

The first half was pretty even, but Cardiff always looked to have the edge going forward and it was Jay Bothroyd who opened the scoring on 22 minutes, capitalising on a mix-up between Kasper Schmeichel and Alex Bruce to slot home with ease.

The Cardiff City goalscorer should have been sent off shortly afterwards when his dangerous challenge on Luciano Becchio was missed by the referee. As Becchio limped away, the Leeds fans were left to bemoan another bad refereeing decision.

The half-time break was a welcomed one with Leeds seemingly out of ideas already. It was also close to freezing at Elland Road and the opportunity to warm-up in the stand with a hot beverage would prove to be the highlight of a poor evening.

Jonny Howson was the exception to the rule tonight in the Leeds United side, trying everything to get the Leeds United team moving. When Lee Naylor took too long on the ball, it was Jonny Howson who quickly dispossessed him and sent the ball forward for Davide Somma. Somma however was having a bit of a mare, and his poor control allowed Cardiff to regain possession and counter-attack quickly to devastating effect as Michael Chopra (who appeared offside) made it 2-0 to the Welsh side.

Somma’s error would prove to be his final one as Simon Grayson brought him off for Ramon Nunez to make his Leeds United début.

Within a minute of the change the game was over though as Jay Bothroyd added insult to injury by scoring his second. Nunez had found Snoddy out wide, but the Scotsman took too long on the ball and was dispossessed with ease by Cardiff. The Welsh side once again countered quickly with a good move that ended when Bothroyd beat Schmeichel (again!). All this, and we’d only played ten minutes of the second half.

Lee Naylor rounded off the victory for Cardiff with an excellent strike from the edge of the area which Kasper Schmeichel made no effort to save. It was a largely irrelevant goal I suppose, but by now (the 60th minute) it seemed as though some players were waving the white flag.

With the damage already done, the last half hour was spent watching the seconds tick away as Cardiff relaxed with victory already secured whilst Leeds struggled to add some credibility to the scoreline. Luciano Becchio did find the back of the net, but was about a yard offside and that was as close as Leeds went all game.

Ramon Nunez made a pretty good debut, but with the game already over before his introduction, he had no real pressure on him so it’s hard to get a good read of his ability.

The inquest

The finger pointing begins again I guess?

Schmeichel was a real let-down tonight, as was Davide Somma who had a real off-game. The rest of the team were more out-classed than they were poor as the gulf between spending for these two sides was clear to see.

That’s the long and short of it really. Cardiff are quite simply a much better team at the moment and Leeds were out-classed in every area of the pitch. Jay Bothroyd should have been sent off and that would have undoubtedly changed the game, but the best team won so there’s no real point in bemoaning our luck.

A lot of criticism has been aimed at Simon Grayson this week and there was growing unrest around the ground. It’s hardly surprising either when you consider that Leeds have lost four of their last five games, conceding fifteen goals in the process! The fact remains however, that we’re a newly promoted team that has spent very little money strengthening the squad, so poor results are an inevitability.

That said, if there’s one chairman you can rely on for a knee-jerk reaction, it’s Ken Bates who goes through managers more often than Manchester United do replica kits. With Gordon Strachan recently relieved of his duties at Middlesbrough, I wouldn’t be surprised if Ken was already putting some feelers out.

What did concern me was the approach to the game the two sides had. Big spending Cardiff force the opposition to leave men back at all times by leaving Craig Bellamy and Michael Chopra up front even when they are defending. This allows for lightning quick counter attacks, that Leeds simply couldn’t deal with. Leeds meanwhile always look a little nervous to commit people forward which is a worrying trait at home – even if it is an understandable one given our defensive record this season.

On and on…

80 Responses

  1. Clarkeonenil

    Put the following randem words into a sentance: depth chickens, out, roost, lack, when, come, ability, to, limited, of (x2) , meets, investment, home, managerial, and, his….

  2. White to the core

    Yep Graysons promotion wonders show their true class again. I guess at least we will have a league one squad ready for action in league one next season. Same old mistakes , same end result whoever is in larrys defensive fantastic 4. He really has a good eye for a defender. Lets hope Old grey beard has that axe sharpened ready for the chop sooner rather than later. Else its hello league one ,and that doesnt bear thinking about.

    • TSS

      @White to the core

      You don’t think you may be blowing things out of proportion a little bit? That game was the equivalent of Blackpool v Man City.

    • stotty

      This is more or less the same group of players who lost narrowly to Liverpool, beat Manu and bought Spurs back for a replay last season so I for one will accept NO excuses. What is the difference – BECKFORD going and he was magnificent as captain in his last match at the end of last season and his goals kept us going.
      Something is not right between the coaching staff, manager and players of which we have too many.
      Bates is having lunch with Howard Wilkinson in early November and I will not change my mind about Grayson since after after last Christmas.

  3. kev

    Chopras goal was off side,I thought the ref had a shite game not quite as bad as Somma though who was realy bad tonight,very frustrating night,totally outclassed realy but least he’ll drop Bruce now for Saturday and bring back Naylor thats worked so far for Grayson but unfortunatly nobody else,has Mr Grayson taken us as far as he can,or am i being unfair ??

  4. White to the core

    No. Im gutted. Ive watched all but 3 of this years games and we are awful. Most of the games we have won we have not played well in. You know tss 8 years ago a toon buddy of mine told me leeds wont go down, they are to bigger team etc. Fact is we are no better than the worse teams in this league and will quickly become relegation fodder. Mark my words. Grayson is not the man i would trust in a survival situation. This years form and performances have been poor at best ,sackless at worst. Its Graysons men, he is the coach of these great players he has burdened us with. Sadly the mostly poor players are dragging the performances of the 3-4 decent ones we have down to their level. We need change. If Larry cant effect a change in our performances then he must go.

  5. David N.I.

    First time on site this year but can’t leave it any longer. Was over for the match on Tuesday and I thought that was bad [only for the change by Sky was going to Cardiff as well] cursed Sky at the time but what a fortune Sky saved me. On that showing I won’t waste any more money this season travelling over. We are shocking and Larry can’t complain as this is his team and the team are shit. We are a League one team playing in the Championship. Others are thinking it but i’ll say it Larry has to go before its too late. No clue, no idea, I watched and studied but still have no idea what the system or formation was against Leicester. Pappa Smurf still won’t spend. Faye is like a lost donkey, Snodgrass is just not at it and I feel we are a team of Naylor’s. The fear is we go back to the wilderness we came from. Not marching on together just marking time.

  6. Colin

    I have to defend Simon Grayson and here’s why – All talk and no trousers from the ‘get SG out’ brigade.

    If Grayson is so bad (and I’m not saying I’m Grayson’s biggest fan), name me 3 people Ken Bates could put on a list as potential managers of Leeds United, that:

    1) could do a better job than Grayson
    2) Leeds could afford
    3) Leeds could genuinely attract
    4) is available (ie. not tied up to another club)

    Because I can’t think of a single person.

    • White to the core

      I only need name one. Gus poyet. Job done. Its only a matter of time.

      • TSS

        @White to the core

        After Ken Bates’ rant about Poyet betraying him and being unwelcome at Elland Road? I sincerely doubt that’s a possibility.

    • Mike

      1. anybody
      2. Most
      3. Anybody we could afford
      4. The list is long, and Larry was tied up remember?

    • stotty

      Sorry, but the queue would snake down Elland Road and not just from those out of work!!

  7. Chappers

    No need to panic just yet, but it is rather annoying when Grayson says in interviews that fans need to be realistic with expectations for Leeds league position at the moment due to being a newly promoted side. But why? Norwich and Millwall are doing just fine, and certainly aren’t conceeding 4, 5, 6 goals a game.

    You have to begin to worry a little when the manager is starting to make excuses that just don’t wash.

  8. David N.I.

    I honestly believe there are managers in the league below who could do a better job than Larry. My thought always was that Gus Poyet should have been given a chance.
    Forget about the managers who would come to Leeds. I don’t think the problem is attracting a top manager to Leeds but how many would work under Pappa Smurf.

  9. saltburnwhite

    Im gonna throw this one out there and say David O’Leary? unfinshed business and maybe would want to prove a few people wrong , i.e not being able to manage without funds , also you have to hand it to him , he did bring through the youth , which grayson doesnt seem to have a clue about ! i do like grayson but , i think maybe the dressing room has gone? and i know O’Leary may not be popular but it wasnt entirely his fault , i mean which manager apart from wenger wouldnt spend their budget?

  10. mightywhite

    heres a question for everyone regarding the defence… we started the season with collins and naylor = conceding goals….grayson then changes to bruce and collins = still conceding goals graysons answer to this is put back in naylor to which guess waht yes we still concede goals wats graysons answer to this???? bring back bruce for naylor???!!!! now to me and this is no coincidance is that the only player not to be taken out of the equation is collins he is the weak link in the defence and untill grayson realises this we will still concede goals….bromby has gotta come in to the team for me at centre half and until kisnorbo is fit play him with naylor.

    how can ericcson go to leicester who couldnt stop conceding and couldnt score within a week realise wat there weak areas were?? wat did he do?? brought in 2 quality centre halves ON LOAN!! and brought in vassell. yes grayson is no ericcson BUT every single leeds fan has could point out our weaknesses before the season even started and we are all been proven right why can grayson STILL?? not see this??????

    for me grayson has gotta go theres a few names out there available and some not me for one would like to see poyet come in and if bates decided to finally get the right man the 3 managers who would work wonders would be pardew….oneill or curbishley maybe a little unrealistic but untill we get someone of this quality then im afraid well end up either stuck in this division for a very long time or get relegated back to league one and this would be unthinkable!!

  11. saltburnwhite

    If not o’leary theres a few id try …….
    Lucas radebe wants to coach at leeds , why not chuck him in as manager?
    gus poyet
    alan curbishley
    roy hodgson -when hes sacked
    gary megson
    Not strachan i know he was a legend but he really is a shit manager

  12. saltburnwhite

    O’NEILL is a good call, would he drop down though? i know he was all ready to sign up as o’learys replacement until ridsdale got the chop , so maybe some pull for him there…….i do feel sorry for grayson if he goes though …..bless him

  13. mightywhite

    curbishley…deffo and maybe its the challenge he would relish
    poyet….worth a go
    strachen…100% no no shit manager would take us down with this side
    radabe….would have him in as a number 2 let him learn his trade maybe with poyet would soften the ex chelsea blow lol
    hodgeson….think theres more chance of us signing torres lol

  14. Colin

    Poyet = Bates has publicly said that he would never work with him again after the way he walked out and left Leeds to become Juande Ramos’ no.2. And i’m with Bates, sod him and Wise if they want to jump ship for another better club – because those moves worked well didn’t they?

    Curbishley and Megson are dull and probably expensive.

    O’Neill left Villa as he couldn’t get any more money out of Randy Learner. Well he wouldn’t enjoy the peanuts he’d get at Leeds.

    But David O’Leary No’Leeds – hmmm – he probably would do it. He’d probably be cheap and he does have unfinished business with Leeds. I quite liked him, though a lot of Leeds fans detested him.

    Either way I think SG is still the long term option, but DOL does have some appeal for me. But maybe I’m mad and a little overtired – it is after midnight.

    • Colin

      If Leeds ever did get rid of SG, then maybe we could get DOL in for a few games to see how he does before we sign him permanently – a sort of ‘Leeds United on Trial’ if you like :)

  15. Dje

    You’ve got to take the positives from what was always likely to be defeat in the first place.

    ~ The lad’s heads didn’t drop even though we were 4-0 down after the hour and they started to play olé football.

    ~ The crowd mostly took the defeat in their stride. Of those who were there at the end, only a reliable portion booed – which is starting to become the norm.

    ~ Nunez and Clayton got a run out. So that quietens some distractors.

    ~ No one got stretchered off or red carded.

    ~ We are away for the next game, so to form we should get a result.


    I still wouldn’t rule out The Poyet – despite the convincing argument listed above.

    • White to the core

      Re your last comment, spot on. As for o’leary he worked well with eddie gray and we played great football. Certainly a lot more entertaining that the dross we have grown accustomed to this past year.

  16. leedslad

    I can not believe all this crap !! …. I am not Grayson’s biggest fan, but he can only deliver in line with the resources he is given,….. and this equates to virtually NO TRANSFER FUND FROM BATES !!!!!!
    Grayson has had to assemble a team of free transfer “rejects” who could not even get a game at the “lesser” clubs they came from.
    SUPPORTERS MUST ASK QUESTIONS OF BATES, like where ( and to whom ) does our money go ? Grayson can not be satisfied with the kitty he has for team building, but if he publicly condemns this, how long will it be before Bates removes him from his dream job of managing Leeds United !
    Investment is urgently needed for better quality players, including two central defenders, a midfield play maker, and a hard tackling midfielder who also must have the ability to play some football also.

    • Caffrey C

      I agree Leedslad – total over reaction on the fans part which is because it is too close to the end of the game.

      We have one problem at this club BATES, until he leaves the club every discussion about Larry is focusing on the ‘effect’ and not the ’cause’ of the problem.

  17. Duval

    Poor result last night but what did we really expect? Chopra cost £5 million so by my reckoning his right foot cost more than our entire squad! Grayson has had no money and had to sift thru all the crap no one else wanted. Leicester signed Curtis Davis on loan who villa paid £12 million for so there’s no way papa smurf would pay them wages. As for David o’leary have you lot been in the peacock too long? Let’s get behind the team and try and get some points in next few games, on and on!

  18. trueyorxman

    Colin, ‘Sod Poyet’ ‘his move (away from Leeds) worked out well’!! I think you’ll find his Brighton team 6pts clear at the top of League 1 & if both teams keep their respective managers for the next 12 months it’ll be interesting to see where we are both at. He didn’t ‘jump ship’, he moved to better himself. Everyone realised at the time Poyet was the man, not Wise, who made us a half decent side 3 years ago. To be fair to Grayson though this club is now going nowhere with Bates in charge.

  19. mads baden jensen

    What a humuliation last night. I decided to watch the game at The Bowler in Paris. First blow was that I was told by the barman that the big screen and all other screens at the bar except one would shaow Napoli-Milan. When complaining I was told it was a lower league game so …..I could have punched that guy all the way out on the street.
    Then the game! I have to admit that we do not have the players for this league. Not even the chosen few I would have expected to have the skills lived up to my humble expectations. Grayson is obviously frustrated and has no clue of how to turn this sinking ship into safe waters. The villain here in my eyes is Bates. No ambitions on behalf of the club. A pure business man. The same old story when he was at Chelsea.
    What has happened to this proud club with such a great history? Why can’t we like Cardiff and other inferior clubs get it right? I am puzzled.

  20. kev

    these next 4 games are vital for Grayson,i think scunthorpe is winable,but look at the football last night,cardiff passed it around little one two’s,fullbacks involved pace, movement then us,long ball to Becchio for a headown to Somma who was lost and you lot want to keep Grayson he is out of his depth !

  21. les irwin

    there are some fantastic posts on here today and we could all agree with parts of most of em or disagree
    fact is
    we were the home side here and at 1 point the stats said possesion 74%–26%to cardiff .at any point did we look like scoring NO we didnt not at all
    is our squad any better than last season NO .there is an argument that we are missing ,paddy ,parker and paynter ,but we are assuming they will be able to step up to this level .don’t het me wrong iam sure they can but are there any guaruntees ,they have only really played in league 1 asside from paddy and he was sold by a champ side ????? then what if they get injured again ?? we have players who have played in championship .bessone ,connelly ,collins ,bruce,naylor ,bromby,killkenny,faye,to name a few and some of those have played in prem .

    we showed no ambition this season with anything we did, other than to build a conference centre for the world cup (which we won’t get anyway ) and for which we are paying £3 to get in
    why are we putting up with this now ,are the people who used to stand and shout outside the directors box getting old ,what happened to the get rid of bates campaign .we need to smell the colombian (coffee) and realise that at the moment staying in this division will be a struggle and we might not make it we have a squad made up of frees and and in football terms coffin dodgers there is no quality not any and some of our players who we thought would step up cant and never will .howson ,johnson ,to name but 2 these are young players and if they can’t step up now never will ,we have no pace and our 2 strikers last night are poor and out of their depth
    i have a few questions if any one knows
    how much have we payed for our entire squad ?
    how much would it cost in real terms for a take over at leeds ?
    who doe we think we could sell player wise to make money to sign players ?

  22. Matt BB

    how sad is this, but i found myself waking up early as i was so absolutely fuming about leeds united.

    I wasnt able to watch anything but the highlights of the game.. but the goals we literally gave away were a humiliation to anyone attached to the club. How many more pointless comments from the group of players who are letting us down?

    The problem at Leeds is that we’ve tried to get away with a largely league one team in the championship playing league one football. That puts us in the mould of a millwall or a scunthorpe, in summary we will have a long and disappointing season at best and at worst be involved in a relegatin scrap.

    There are names that select themselves at Leeds.. cant do wiothout Howson, Johnson, Becchio, Somma… connollys our best right back, and Neill Collins… time for a massive re-appraisal actually.

    I really would in that position be speaking to the managers of liverpool, newcastle, west ham, man united and getting some decent loans arranged, starting with two central defenders, a right back, two holding mids, and a striker.

    the latter suggestion might come as a surprise but our stats say it all. Our shots for the most part this season are off target, Cardiff’s for the majority were on target.

    for me we need to play schmeicel as a given in goal – when hes fit. But if hes not play Alnwick who is a superb goal keeper.

    None of our current back four is good enough,(need loans there) Parker gets a pass as he hasnt played yet as does kisnorbo – but why hark after a player who we most likely wont see this season? Get cover..

    In midfield, Snodgrass and Kilkenny and probably mccormack on the other wing, but with a loan needed here for a controlling central midfielder. Up front we have Sahcnez Watt for me plus another loan striker, and has anyone else felt miffed that mcsheffrey seems to be the sort of striker for coventry that we wanted last season.

    In short we need a championship quality squad.

    • les irwin

      league 1 players matt you are right and no doubt league 1 wages as they say, pay monkey nuts the only things that eat em are well ,monkeys that team that started last night would really struggle in league 1 ,they did laterly last season .god how we miss beckford for his pace and goals

  23. White to the core

    The sooner that sackless git grayson is gone the better. Whether grayson had money or not he brought in too many sub standard players telling us they were better than what we had. Then keeping faith with players who struggled in league one and are knee deep in shit in the championship. He is totally out of his depth. And i for one am not prepared to watch this great club be dragged back down into league one by this tactless burk just cos he got us promoted. He has reached the peak of his ability and hasnt got the know how or guts to win a relegation battle. This is what happens when your aspirations are survival or consolidation. Yes bates must give more cash ,but i wouldnt trust grayson (god in some mindless goons eyes) with my petty cash let alone millions. Grayson is in last chance saloon and many others on here are starting to see how inept, out of his depth and poor tacticly he is. So you in the IGWT Brigade enjoy it while it lasts because i can already hear the axe being sharpened. Oh yeah we have the other relegation fodder coming in next few weeks. Our results against similarly placed teams this season have been smashing so far have’nt they? NOT! MOT without Grayson in whom only the sadly misguided trust

  24. Tim Campbell

    I dont think we should be discussing potential new managers until Larry is gone. I’ve never been totally convinced with many of the decisions he has made, but yes the question has to asked….if he had been given a reasonable amount of backing in the transfer market at the beginning of the season would things be any different now? This is all guess work, the only true fact we know is that Kenneth Bates Esquire did not back him adequately financially. Looking at that match last night FINALLY confirmed our team is of insufficient quality to remain in this division

  25. Old Billy White

    I thought last night was better than the Leicester performance, until the disasterous first goal. Then we looked lost until 4-0 down and started to play a bit. It appears we have turned E.R. into a fortress for away teams, may be away from home we can be tighter and play on the break. At least realism should have dawned on everyone, this will be a long hard season but if the team can show enough fight we can stay up.

  26. les irwin

    tss as the architect of the site tell us your views not so much on bates but ,our squad ,and grayson and his replacement when bates sacks him

    • Mike

      He cant do that No. 1
      One eyed is the term I believe.Nothing is Graysons fault.
      Cant see that most clubs are not spending but are able to hold up their heads.

  27. Matt BB

    I think its wrong to start talking about throwing out the manager i think Bates needs to do some managuing himself, ie get grayson some decent coaching support – i’ve said it before but I would love to see George Graham back at leeds in a coaching role, he’d sort out our lack of organisation, Bates also needs to support his manager in terms of getting some of the deadwood off our books, and allowing him some freedom in the transfer market. We’ve all said it but it looks like the majority of the players we brought in werent good enough, the others arent getting a game (Sam, Bessone, Watt, Mccormack, Clayton, Nunez, Gradel) so why sign them. you’d have to admit overall the list above has some decent quality in it but where i do criticse grayson is his persistence with johnson, howson, naylor, becchio. Anyhow I’ve said enough stuff to do, and so does grayson.

  28. Ollie G

    I was surprised to see Kasper hoofing the ball at every opportunity throughout the entire game, usually Snodin and Grayson shout and shout at our keeper to play it along the ground. We kept pumping long balls into the box over and over again, and Faye looked as though he was playing just behind the front two instead of in-front of the back four!

    I was worried we would lose by more than four before the game so I’ll take the 4-0, time for the players to get a little confidence and momentum away from home before we take on Hull.

  29. Brien Collins

    @whitetothecore. We are all sick to death with your infantile rantings. Thank god you are not my boss. Yes Larry has made a couple of mistakes and he knows it. He is Leeds through to the bone, not a pretensious whiney wanker like you. Simon is a great manager and deserves our respect for what he has done with limited resources and a tight fisted chairman. You on the other hand should give your season ticket to someone who genuinely supports Simon and our great team. And i know TSS AND THE REST OF US GENUINE LEEDS FANS ON HERE WHO DO SHOW OUR LADS AND MANAGER THE SUPPORT THEY DESERVE WEEK IN WEEK OUT WHATEVER DIVISION WILL JOIN ME IN SAYING TO YOU F**K OFF BACK AND GET ON THE SCUMCHESTER WEBSITE WHERE YOUR PATHETIC VIEWS BELONG. MOT

    • Mike

      Bloody hell!
      So you can speak for all can you?
      Is a man not entitled to an opinion without verbal abuse?

    • les irwin

      point is he is entitled to his rantings and you don’t speak for me for 1 ,30+years tell me that this team is every bit as bad as the team that got us releegated from prem now some say that it is not graysons fault he had no money to spend and i would agree but he has spent wages now 2-3 quality wages would have been better than the 6-7 useless ones alright injuries haven’t helped either .mccormack and paynter are a big loss but bates would say and i agree that grayson got the players he asked for .white is not the only one saying those things but eventually there will be more

  30. Mark R

    Shocking form no matter how it is spun by SG – ‘mistakes cost us again, it’s no time to rant, etc etc’.
    Grayson – get angry, and put some passion into the team !

    @TSS – sorry bud, it wasn’t the equivlent of Blackpool vs.Man City. It was an organised, tactically aware, faster team vs. a poorly organised, tactically deficient team, with it’s fastest players on the bench. I like SG, but as Howson said yesterday, SG makes the decisions on team selection & tactics – and the responsibility is with him and his staff.

    Sure – KB hasn’t invested as we would have liked, but I wonder if that is in part down to SG’s mild manner, and not his case forcefully enough for money to be spent ?

    Again central defence was without leadership & weak.
    Midfield – defensively inept and created very little. Faye was often surging forward when surely his first reponsibility was covering the defence. Johnny ‘The Crab’ Howson often slowed play down to pass sideways or backwards, Bradley all energy & no end product, Snodgrass returning from injury – little impact.

    Somma & Becchio isolated, no service , and Somma went looking for the ball on the flanks – out of position.

    Without Watt & Sam we had no speed or creativity from midfield, and no service to the front two.

    After Cardiff’s 2nd I felt belief left our players.

    The reaction of our players left me stunned when Becchio was lucky to escape without a broken leg, when Boothroyd went over the top – where was the passion to stand up for a fellow team mate ??

    Says to me that our team are playing more as individuals and less as a team – where is the spirit ? the fight ?

    It’s going to be tough to turn this around and I think SG has until Xmas to do so.

    He needs to be more pragmatic and ruthless. Bring in 2 experienced central defenders now and 2 experienced midfielders.

    Tacitcally he needs to relook at things as what he and his team are doing is not producing performances nor results.

    Scunthorpe & Coventry will be tough matches and not conceding is a priority.

    4 defeats in the last 5 games , conceding 15 goals !

    Shocking & disappointing.


  31. Gryff

    As @Tim Campbell and @mattbb say: it’s a little silly to be talking about ousting Grayson. We could be entering into a nose-dive and if we learned anything from Blackwell it’s that preventative measures should be taken rather than waiting for us to be so far adrift before taking action. BUT, we’re not even in danger of relegation yet and if we went on to lose the next 3 of 5, we’d still have about 2/3’s of a season to make up a handful of points with a team that could put a great string on results on after January.

    In terms of the match, I’m not Grayson’s biggest fan by any stretch of the imagination, but I was amazed at our performance in the first half. This team (or a variant of it) has played above it’s level four times against Premiership teams under Grayson and in the first half the game was pretty much 50-50. We lacked any ideas in the final third when we came up against a well-organised defence, but at times we did show we’re capable of passing quickly and decisively.

    Overall, though, we ended up showing what we’re about in the second half. The problem with the team in my own opinion is that certain players aren’t good enough to be a mid-table player (that’s where silly mistakes come from: not knowing what to do 100% of the time). Faye was again extremely refreshing to me. His passing from a slow build-up was thrice Howson’s despite the latter being very promising when running at the opposition and going forward on breaks. More than actual ability, I think Faye shows some of the players in our team up because he knows what he needs to do, while others seem to have the ability but don’t know how to play at a higher standard than L1. For anybody with the match taped on Sky like me, go back and watch the match from a TV camera and you’ll notice much more how professional we looked when Faye was involved in the build-up.

    I’d blame Collins as much as Bruce for the first goal. But either way it wasn’t as bad as some of Naylor’s howlers this season. Collins was the taller and could have gotten to the ball before it bounced, but Bruce should have been able to handle it himself. The ball touched Bruce’s foot by accident taking it under Kasper but that’s not a silly mistake, just an unfortunate one. It was a comedy of errors but more like Howson & Snodgrass getting caught on the ball (which seems to, literally, happen every match) than Naylor’s ducking headed efforts or completely missing the ball!

    I think this team is a mix of players completely inexperienced at breaking down high quality teams (read: Howson, Snodgrass, Somma, Johnson) and players who haven’t had time to settle to Grayson’s style (read: Nunez, Somma, possibly Bessone). Nunez looked alright today but as @TSS said it wasn’t easy to judge his performance given the circumstances. Yet when Nunez passed it looked like quick-tempo buildup for a conventional winger. When Gradel or Snodgrass got the ball they had to stop, cut back inside, and try an inswinging cross. This works well for a defensive team on the counter-attack, but it allowed Cardiff to organise and their wing-backs to cover ground they’d often lost and not be punished. In such a situation we needed passes through the middle as passing to the wings simply left us blunt, and the wingers ended up isolated from the strikers & central mids. Equally, I think players like Howson need to stop looking for killer-balls every time, and just play a quick pass elsewhere. If there isn’t a good chance to break someone down, pass it and pass it again and you’ve got an entirely new set of positions. Instead, he always looks for the perfect pass and in almost every match now he’s getting caught with the ball. It’s actually something I think we got away with last year but we’re suffering with now, and something quite easy to remedy with our existing players.

  32. White to the core

    Yes lets wait til we are 10 points adrift and only 10 games to turn things around, rather than acting now and being decisive and saving our season. In grayson we trust, thats like trusting a 3 fingered epileptic with your priceless Ming vase. Only going to end in tears!

  33. Matt BB

    I’ve never said get rid of grayson, i said we need to support him with a new coach, and some loans.

    • Mike

      When will that change?
      Didn’t Larry pick the coach like he picked everything else?
      More loans you say!!!!

    • Gryff

      @mattbb I think @White to the core misread my post where I said we shouldn’t wait until we’re too far adrift, but that with the team we have and the amount of matches left there’s no reason to even consider ousting Grayson until January short of him losing literally every match.

  34. Mark R

    Very interesting posts today.

    Plus side : SG is a LUFC man at heart, young, had some excellent resulst vs. Spurs & Man Utd.Won promotion from Lge 1.

    Downside for me: In any industry – a team reflects it’s Manager – if prepared and selected by that Manager. SG come across as a decent , amiable bloke whose learning his trade match by match, & making mistakes in the process.

    Ditto the team. ‘Amiable’ , not really threatening, no intimidating players on the pitch, no big characters to encourage colleagues when the games not going our way. The SG mantra after every defeat is that the team are time and again making mistakes – well sort it out SG- either on the training pitch or bring in players to replace those who are regular offenders.

    And Howson as Captain ? Can’t see that one at all. I thought a Captain rallyed the troops in times of adversity on the pitch, and trys to encourage a reaction.

    As Eddie Gray said on LUTV, it was disappointing to see Leics impose their game on us at Elland Road, and us forced into changes 30 mins in to adapt to them !

    If we cannot impose our game on opponents at home, then the writing’s on the wall.

    We’re now entering a critical time for SG and I really hope he delivers. One thing is, I don’t think he is confident in handling big characters and that’s a weak point, because that’s exactly what we need in midfield & defence.

    It’s going to be a long winter.


  35. pete

    Time for something radical…


    Connolly – Bromby – Bruce – Parker

    Clayton – Faye

    Snodgrass – McCormack – Gradel


    How could it possibly be any worse than last night? Clayton looked impressive for me, not afraid of a tackle but looked to have the ability to at least find a man wearing the same colour shirt.

    • Gryff

      How about really radical? Drop the inside-forwards and play proper wingers given it doesn’t even work for Cappello!

  36. steve underwood

    Not a bad side ive been saying for a while we should play 2 holing players would not play somma as lone striker he cant hold the ball up would play becchio.I think nunez for gradel then we might just stand a chance.If not maybe we should try lubo he cant be any worse,a lot of people have made a point that we keep swapping bruce for nayler then swap back,well maybe its collins that needs dropping,as for us not having any money i blame 2018 world cup bid bates is obssessed with getting the ground and the media centre ready that there is no money left for grayson,would a change in manager change anything not sure no matter how bad we play grayson wont pick certain players ie crow robinson who must be better than johnson bromby,on last night i dont think kasper was ready he looked rusty for me it looks like grayson is starting to panic

  37. Matt BB

    i agree with your comments re clayton, if he is good enough for man city he is good enough for the championship – same for watt – so i dont think the above is radical enough.

  38. steve underwood

    Ive got a feeling that grayson may have a problem with watt he too him of after 30 mins last week not in the squad against cardif dont be suprised to see him going back to arsenal sometime soon maybe they hace a defender we can swap him with

  39. Tim Campbell

    Do you know I never thought I’d get to see the Grand Canyon in my lifetime; but I saw it last night between our defence and midfield lol

  40. Mark R

    @ Pete

    I think that’s the right direction Pete. Two holding midfielders to protect our back four & playing one up front with attacking midfielders breaking in support. That’s where we need the creativity & speed.

    I think Sam’s also an option alongside Snodgrass & McCormack.

    Up front I’d probabley go with you on this and play Somma.


  41. Max.

    Well, firstly the fundamental problem, when you compare the squads (or that of QPR, where the star player is one Shaun Derry) is Bates’ attitude to squad building, which is basically a supermarket sweep round the local branch of Lidl, with a particular focus on the free offers. Cardiff have been round Waitrose (albeit with someone else’s wallet).

    Apart from this and as to last night – I thought we did OK up to the first goal. As to the goal itself – Collins (I think this is said earlier) is level with Bruce and not backing off when the ball comes in, so is better placed to cover Bothroyd (he’s not marking anyone else) but makes no effort to get to the ball and (though he probably can’t expect what subsequently happened) doesn’t cover behind Schmeichel either. Otherwise, I thought it was unlucky.

    Second goal was plainly offside, though the defence didn’t put their arms up for it and were sauntering around. I was reminded yesterday of watching George Graham’s Leeds, and, well that would not have happened. We need a defensive coach and if Lucas is available then I can’t understand why he’s not there already.

    Equally, for all the commentators were crediting Becchio with riding through the kick from Bothroyd – in Graham’s team (or O’Leary’s) he’d have gone to ground and rolled around a bit. I saw Leeds-West Ham when the latter team had 3 players sent off, and it was like watching the stadium scenes from Gladiator. If the opposing side is going to hack at you, the best way to deal with it is to get the ref to punish them (not that this ref was up to much, he was effectively playing as Cardiff’s twelfth man for much of the game), not try to make them feel small through exerting strong moral superiority.

    On the rest of the team: Johnson frequently wanders out of position and into forward central midfield, removing cover from the latest person unfortunate enough to be picked at left back (I thought McCartney did OK in the circumstances). Faye is improving but for a holding midfielder of allegedly EPL quality he is easily bundled off the ball. Also, when passed the ball in an attacking position (and despite having created the space) he doesn’t seem to know what to do with it.

    I thought other than that (other than the 4-0 loss!) the team did OK, but overall is still too weak to compete at this level, and Collins and Johnson in particular are liabilities.

    Nunez, for all the “where is he” looks like another decent-ish attacking midfielder/winger, very similar to Gradel. When Nunez and Gradel were both on, we looked OK except we were missing a striker.

    Oh and one last thing. Clayton showed how much he respects the shirt by running over at the end of the game and trading his with Bellamy. After a 4-0 loss! Should be ashamed of himself.

    • Matt BB

      @Max they were in the same team.. that’ll be why. I dont think hes a glory hunter, he used to play for a good team.. i used to support a good team. Ho Hum.

  42. Tim Campbell

    As our team found out yet again to their cost last night, you don’t get very long in this division to put your foot on the ball. I think many of the goals we have conceded so far this year have come about from being caught whilst being in possesion

    • Gryff

      @Tim Campbell I agree entirely here. We don’t pass it about quickly enough to break down the opposition, either.

      For me the inside-forwards thing doesn’t work when the buildup play from Howson is coming at a snail’s pace allowing their whole defence to form up. It works on the counter attack, but we seemed to be camping 40 yards out of their box most of the time and they were the ones counter-attacking…

  43. love leeds

    Max. comment too funny.Leeds went to Lidl for player shopping and Cardiff went to Waitrose.

    Grayson talked about sticking together at this low point which is true, but that also means not chopping and changing your back four all the time. I think he should now keep this back four for at least the next 10 games for 2 reason. 1 because then the defence will understand/read each other better including the keeper so mistakes like last night dont happen and 2 naylor,bruce and collins their is little difference in quality btwn each other.So unless someone lik kisnobo comes along just going to have to keep this back four.

  44. Nasty Jim

    We were ok in the 1st half apart from that daft goal.
    2nd half was shite,ref was shite,we was shite and cardiff got what they deserved.Same old problems which we had last year but this is the championship and not league 1 and you get punished in the championship.If better players arent brought in sooner rather than later its going to be a relegation battle….i just cant bear the thought of going back to the shite of league 1.

  45. White to the core

    Radebe did want the coaching post old grey beard was going to give him. Grayson said he didnt need Radebe in his 1st team coaching staff as the team was adequately covered. It was suggested afterwards that maybe Lucas could work with the academy lads. It was widely reported august time. I would suggest grayson again got it wrong. As has been said he cant deal with big characters, let alone an elland rd legend. He’d have felt threatened. The axe has commenced its official countdown.

    • Gryff

      I was outraged at Grayson’s actions tbh. Radebe has been through more than any one man deserves with his wife dying, the South African FA screwing him over, heart trouble and now Grayson adding to it!

      Radders is a qualified coach and just as intelligent as Grayson any day of the week. During the international break Grayson seemed mesmerized that he’d seen the behind-the-scenes of a nameless international team. Guess what, Larry? Radders was involved in that sort of thing every year, and he was in the backroom at a Champions League club for a decade.

  46. Matt BB

    even the most stubborn of managers – in all walks of life – knows when they need help, and when it isnt abundantly clear – their manager needs to hand it to them on a plate.

    This is where Bates needs to do his management bit.. Grayson is a young manager so Bates needs to expect that he’ll need to help him out sometimes as a businessman of 258 Years, with a little more experience.

    Radebe being appointed, with no managerial or coaching experience to me would have been a waste of time, so I agree with him not getting the role, but offer me a George Graham or a Stan Ternent and I’m sure that Grayson would think differently.

    I dont think there is a countdown to the Axe – who else would we bring in? Bates clearly doesnt care about getting promoted. If he did he would have brought in some top quality players, so why would he be disappointed with a mid, lower mid table finish?

  47. steve underwood

    One thing thats got me thinking wat does grayson say to the team at half time,at the moment after half time the team just falls apart nearly every game this season has seen us just gift goals

  48. Paul South Wales

    He should be given a few more games at the very least. We have enough decent midfielders to give anyone a go, I like the idea of the 2 holding MF’s and two quick wide men. It’s the defence that needs a few premier league loanees ala Sven. It doesn’t need too much more, but it think Grayson should be and will given until Christmas at the very least! MOT

  49. Max.

    Re Lucas Radebe: Lucas was a world class centre back while at the club, and directly developed the careers of Woodgate, Ferdinand and Matteo alongside him (go back and re-watch the games, compare the games where they played with Lucas and without). He also is I think training as a coach.

    When Simon came from Blackpool, one of the conditions for his release was that he was not allowed to poach anyone from the team he had there. Assistant manager Glyn Snodin (a less successful former Leeds player) came from a coaching job at West Ham (actually he’d been let go after a year there, so no compensation fees!)

    Our current academy/reserve coach (Neil Thompson) spent the longest part of his career at Scarborough. He was manager at, successively, York (win rate 24.44%), Scarborough (22.22%) and Boston (31.32%).

    Neil Redfearn (manager, U18 team) had a somewhat better career, peaking with Barnsley at the top level, but his only extended management experience was 8 months at Scarborough (win rate 17.9%, 28 games in all).

    As another example, our goalkeeping coach’s career peaked with Chesterfield in Division 2, while at the same time Nigel Martyn has been GK coach at Bradford.

    This is the back room staff that has been supporting Grayson through the last year or so. When you consider our performance, it shouldn’t be much of a surprise. When you consider the boot room we could have, it’s criminal.

    • Gryff

      @Max. Wrote my reply on the Radders topic before reading this. You put it much more eloquently!

      Radebe is a thoroughly experienced professional whose level surpassed that of any of our backroom staff. Just because he hasn’t been a coach for a decade doesn’t mean he has nothing to bring to the club.

  50. White to the core

    Radebe has done his fifa coaching badge and where better to start his career than the club he served so loyally. He is a natural leader. When he talks people listen. Exactly the kinda person larry the lame needs on his coaching staff. I agree many of our ex players have gone elsewhere to coach. But maybe they didnt want to work under grey beard the financially inept chairman.

  51. Will S

    Despite the 4-0 reversal, I was actually not so disappointed. The result as as expected., a 4-0 defeat. We met expectations!

    The team, I thought, played a survival game in the first half, and struggled to hold the ball up in the final third and build from midfield.

    It was not quite desparate stuff from the Whites, but you could see that one team, sadly not us, were on the same wavelength, playing as a unit in defence and attack.

    Leeds stood still too often, gave limited options to team mates, were uninspired and too often struggled to control the ball and make it do the work. Consequently it looked like 12 against 11 for most of the game, especially in the second half when Leeds chased shadows. It was boys against men.

    A ray of hope was Nunez – his performance contrasted to the deadwieght of Snodgrass & Johnson and the off colour Somma.

    For me the key area to improve is midfield – we need to be more fluid and that will mean playing two speedy wingers and three in a central midfield, Faye sat in front of the back four. Up front, we need someone to hold the ball up, – could this be Paynter?

    Becchio & Somma were too easily bullied.

    SG needs to rethink the structure of the team – 4-4-2 is not working.

    He is paid to sort it out – he needs to act fast if he wants to avoid the P45.

  52. Matt BB

    I cant believe all these calls for radebe, we need someone with a track record, i think our situation is that poor.

    • TheReaper08

      @mattbb Great shout mate, let Radebe prove himself somewhere else and not test himself at quite a critical period for the club. If we must get better backroom staff then let them be proven and experienced.

      And just for the record a great many top class players made lousy coaches and managers, one does not necessarily prove the other.

  53. Mark R

    The issue of SG’s backroom staff – Snodin,Miller, Redfearn & Thompson – not having top flight careers as coaches is an interesting one.

    It could be argued that McCallister – top player was a poor coach with players at League 1 level. However Mouriniho – not a player , but top coach indicates that being a good coach is about man management and using the best of resources available & tactics, not forgeting the bedrock of paying attention to detail,as the great Don Revie did.

    SG’s staff operate under his guidelines, and as he’s directing things he’s ulitimately responsible.

    I think SG is :
    – Ok at the man management – though may be uncomfortable with big character players.
    – Is not really getting the best out of his resrouces
    – Tactics are questionable as they are not compensating for our evident wobbly defence & weak midfield .
    – Attention to detail – the jury’s out.

    There is a case in the modern game of having specialist coaches for different areas of the team, and I would seriously consider the help of anyone who offers – Radebe for sure.


  54. Gryff

    @mattbb nobody’s calling for Radebe as manager, just as a coach. As Max has highlighted, we have next to no competent experience in the backroom atm – which explains a lot.

  55. Matt BB

    i understand that, i mean we need to keep grayson as manager but back him up with experience.

    • Gryff

      @mattbb i’d agree with that. It would be a massive boost to have a nationally recognised coach rather than these no-hopers from Cheltenham, Scarborough, York, etc.

      But at the same time, on Bates’ budgets I think Radders is the closest thing to experience we could afford!

  56. Adam

    Lets not get too carried away with the results and performances. Im sure Grayson can turn it around and while performances have not been good enough in the slighest im sure he will turn it around. If we sack Grayson now a new manager will come in and there will be upheavel in the squad and we will be back at square one. As for the team gradel has to be given a start for me and what about nunez? I thaught he looked a decent player when he came on on Monday night, he looks like he could be a player to link up the mid and attack. hopefully bates will now notice the current squad is not good enough and will give Grayson the cash to turn it around, a couple of pacy defenders and a good strong midfield player, curtis davies would be my pick at the back, whether or not he’ll want to come is another matter and while he hasnt performed to his best at villa it was only a couple of seasons ago when afterr some top performances for WBA he was being touted as the next great england centre half.


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