The rest of the Championship continued as normal today as Leeds United and Cardiff City await their televised encounter on Monday night. The results of the teams that did play means Leeds United drop six places from 10th to 16th.

One of TSS’ regular commentators pointed out that the only consistent thing in the Championship is the inconsistency, and Leicester City reaffirmed that theory by going down 2-0 to Swansea who subsequently moved up to third place. On the evidence of Tuesday nights mauling at Elland Road, Sven’s Leicester looked braced for a table-climbing run but their desperate need for a decent striker looks to have cost them some valuable points.

The biggest surprise of the day was probably at Vicarage Road, where Watford lost 2-0 to struggling Scunthorpe United, who seem to be finally finding some form. Another shock came at Burnley where the clash of the recently relegated resulted in a resounding 4-0 away victory for Reading.

The departure of Gordon Strachan did little to help Middlesbrough, as they lost 1-0 away to Norwich City. Meanwhile it’s bad news for most of Yorkshire as Barnsley lost 3-0 to Coventry and Hull lost 2-1 at home to Portsmouth.

We also have a Yorkshire derby under way at the Keepmoat where Doncaster Rovers lead Sheffield United by two goals to nil. All that, leaves Leeds in 16th followed by Barnsley, Sheffield United and Hull with Doncaster Rovers the only Yorkshire team currently in the top half of the table.

Leeds do however, remain just four points adrift of the play-off places with a game in hand on the rest of the league. Unfortunately, that game is on Monday against Cardiff, who currently sit second in the Championship and could go level on points with QPR should they win at Elland Road. They’d need to win by twelve goals to nil to go top, but I wouldn’t rule anything out with the Preston disaster fresh in the minds of Leeds United fans!

  • Paul South Wales

    I think we’ll give Cardiff a good game on Monday, and I expect wholesale changes in defence, and perhaps one or two in midfield. Cardiff are very similar to us in that their defence is shocking but they can score for fun, so there’ll be a few goals to see. I went out last night and the general consensus from some hardcore city fans is that it’s going to be a draw. I would probably agree 2-2, but you never know we may nick it. I don’t know why but think we’ll give a good account of ourselves come Monday. MOT

  • saltburnwhite

    There is a very capable defender still available on a free and unattached , with the defensive problems we have surely hes worth a punt , he would bring organisation and leading qualities to the team , he was captain of watford and knows the division inside out his name is JAY DEMERIT centre back for U.S.A
    surely even at £10,000 a week hes worth a go and is the same sort of quality as paddy ……wikipedia him im sure hes still available , what do you think?

    • Tim Campbell

      I liked the idea of DeMerit at the start of the season and I sure as heck like the idea a lot more right now, after our recent displays. The only reason I can see as why he has’nt joined yet is wages, after all Christmas is around the corner and Uncle Scrooge probably needs a fresh lick of paint on his yacht

  • Tim Campbell

    TSS I don’t want to rub ya up the wrong way about talkin about the dreaded ‘N’ word, but I think we will finally see Nunez get a run out on monday, if not at the start, then at some stage during the match. Maybe I’m an old romantic but would’nt it be nice if he scored the winner in the 89th minute

    • TSS

      Hi Tim,

      It’s not that I have a problem with Nunez playing, I just don’t see how the fans can call for him to be introduced when they’ve never seen him play? You have to trust the managers better judgement in these situations, because that’s what he’s paid for.

      • chelpa

        where do u get off on telling everyone they havent seen nunez play, we all have tv sets and watched the world cup i saw him play 270 mins in world cup and he looked decent, besides when your midfield is struggling as much as it has why the heck not try an untested (international) player, cant see him been as bad as some have been, seriously tss you will be eating your words if he comes on and gets us a winner against cardiff! mot.

        • Dje

          Well, he only played 172 minutes at the World Cup, but it is a minor point no doubt…

  • henry vincent lewis

    We are 6 points off the bottom 3 in the league so we need to halt the slide.
    Simon was using the old politicians trick of going to an extreme to hide the real facts:-
    He said that our fans expected the team to be 10 points clear at this stage.
    I have not spoken to any fan who has suggested that.
    Is there any one on this forum who expected we would be 10 points clear?
    It is not our recent defeats but the manner of them that concerns us.
    The debacles against Barnsley, Preston & Leicester set the alarm bells ringing.
    We really need a win and a solid performance on Monday.
    I would love to see Nunez, as we are looking for a hero right now.
    Who will try to catch Bellamy if he plays?

  • White to the core

    Its all well and good saying trust in the managers judgement he knows better us. I would say on the evidence of the past 10 months TSS thats questionable at best!

    • TSS

      You mean those 10 months where he got us promoted on buttons, despite a stroppy striker creating endless speculation, endless injury problems and the spectre of Ken Bates looming over his shoulder 24/7? Those ten months? ;)

      • timm

        Spot on TSS! Also, what’s all this desperation about giving Nunez a game? None of us have got a clue what he’s all about! & as for henryv’s comment about us ‘needing a hero right now’, well i’d say Somma’s doing a pretty good job of it.

  • Bill Fox

    16th, but a win would mean 8th. Quite a difference to our mood come Tuesday morning then!

  • Tim Campbell

    In all fairness to larry I think hes been extremely loyal to a few players in particular. I think we all know who these are, and in all honesty I think we and he both know that they are not up to the challenge of this league. I detected a change in attitude from larry in his last interview; almost as if ‘ well I’ve stuck by you guys long enough, there will have to be some changes before things spiral out of control’. If this is indeed correct I can accept this explanation. Everyone deserves a chance to prove themselves, only thing is time has run out for certain individuals who must now step aside.

  • Bill Fox

    Agree Tim.

    He was loyal to the 11 who played at Boro and then Tuesday happened. The trouble is (as many have said) consistency. The defence was reasonable vs the Blunts and then Preston happened. He must try now the season is a quarter gone to identify who can and who cannot handle it in this league.

    • TSS

      @captaincrash

      If you were being entirely honest – If he had changed the team (and the result remained the same – which it would have because Leicester are a much better team) would you not be sat here now complaining that he didn’t stick with the winning formula?

      Damned if you do, damned if you don’t! What possesses people to take up management?

      • Tim Campbell

        The only real gripe I have with Grayson his undying loyalty to the 4-5-1 system. It just does’nt cut it with the players we have. Since he invested most of what ever money we had on strikers then we should have at least 2 of them up front. I agree that a change of manager would be folly especially since our beloved chairmans spectre still hangs over the club

  • Bill Fox

    TSS.

    Absolutely.

    And I fear Cardiff may be too good for any XI he sends out Monday.

    Would say tho’1 or 2 though have shown too often they cannot cut it in the Championship.

    • TSS

      Whilst I agree, I’m struggling to see where the better options are.

      Johnson wastes chance after chance when he plays and his passing can be wasteful, but he’s the only weight we have in midfield and soon as they drop him it’s noticeable.

      Howson is the only one that tries anything clever a lot of time and can change games, so dropping him is a big no for me.

      Conversely, Killa just takes the easy option – if we had four of him in midfield we’d never lose the ball but every match would end 0-0.

      Naylor has been dreadful, but Bruce had six put past him and looks lost.

      Defence there is little we can do ’til January. Midfield I think Larry did the right thing dropping Killa and moving Bradley into the centre. With Snoddy and Watt on the wings, that should be good enough on the attack. Defence is a different story, but I’ve already given up on the idea we should have one.

      0-4-2-4 formation for the next game;


      Chubby

      Snoddy – Killa – Bruce – Watt
      Johnson – Howson
      Becchio – Somma – McCormack – Paynter

      • Tim Campbell

        I know you’re taking the p**s mate, but there could be a scarey truth behind your logic. I always do the same when playin football manager – throw caution to the wind (hasten to add it rarely works lol)

  • Dje

    @TSS

    I know it was meant in jest, but I actually think Snodgrass and Watt would make much better fullbacks than we are currently playing.

    • TSS

      They aren’t full-backs – they’re wingers. I’ve not bothered with a defence (what’s the point?)

      Jonny and Bradders are playing infront of the midfield and behind the front two.

      Do we have to have a keeper? If not, I reckon I could slot Nunez in just to see how shit he turns out to be?

      • Tim Campbell

        Agggh TSS I’ll have to get you two guys together to sort out your problems – you on one side of the table and mr nunez on the other. C’mon lets agree to give the guy a chance. I will eat a big slice of humble pie if I’m wrong about him. Even better!! Let the discussion begin on a new post as to how others see this situation regarding our mutual ‘friend’.

  • Dje

    lol. Nunez is about 5 foot 2.

  • White to the core

    10 months where we have mostly struggled. We were top last xmas and some way ahead. We just and only just crawled over the line. His tactics have often been odd, a lot like his team selections. The players he has chose to bring in ,Collins, Bessone, Bruce, Connelly, are at best inept. Certainly no better than the defensive options we had. All of us here are praying for the return of a fit Kisnorbo and Parker. Loyalty to players who are constantly under performing will only lose him his job. Grey beard the pirate expects a top six finish. It will only take another couple of losses and we could be bottom three. Staring at division 1 oblivion again. We have a couple of good midfielders and three good strikers, a good keeper and a couple of good defenders (injured). On the whole Graysons added nothing but to our wage bill. Like you im grateful to Larry getting us promoted ,but lets not look at promotion through rose tinted specs. We nearly threw it away. For gods sake lets not get relegated again. Sometimes in life we have to make tough decisions, and i cant see it being long before Master Bates does and installs Poyet as manager. I personally dont think Grayson has what it takes to take us any further and the last 10 months form have shown that. You look at games played since new years day. How many have we won? Lost? Relegation form im afraid and thats the cold facts. Loyalty wont take us into the premiership or your seasons consolidation for that matter im afraid TSS. Sorry bud

  • timm

    Let’s have Bromby back in. He’s better than Naylor & Bruce & he’s got the extra benefit of his long throws.

  • Max

    This may sound, um, unorthodox, but I’d think about putting Naylor in the defensive midfield position. His speed will be less of a liability there, he’d harden up the midfield and he’d be able to lead the team. He’s played other positions over the course of his career, having started as a striker. He’d probably have to be subbed after 60-70 mins for stamina (and would probably have picked up a booking by then anyhow) but the same applies to Faye, and I think Naylor is fitter than Faye.

    Rest of the midfield, for me, would be Sam, Howson and Snodgrass. The defence probably then picks itself, based on the names currently available, as McCartney/Bruce/Collins/Connolly – the weakest link in that lot is Collins.

    Up front Becchio and Somma.

    BTW Grella got his first goal for Carlisle today (in I think two games for them; they lost 4-3 in injury time).

  • henry vincent lewis

    A agree with Timm about Bromby.
    He needs a run in the team to build confidence, but he is not Simon’s favourite right now.
    Maybe Bruce should be our midfield holding player?
    Re: Nunez . I have never seen him play , apart from the youtube videos, but if he is on the bench, and we are playing crap, give him a go for 30 minutes.
    Becchio is my hero! Somma has done great and I hope he continues and does not fade.
    Lucciano gives everything every game!!

  • Gryff

    I just think, unfortunately, we’ve overestimated how much we rely on Beckford and hence have spent tonnes of our resources on the likes of Lloyd Sam, Ross McCormack, Billy Paynter, et al. Who were supposed to overload the forward lines with numbers rather than any individual brilliance. Truth is, Beckford missed five in every six chances and our midfield created so much last season most people could have scored a goal every couple of matches.

    Now, we have a woeful defence that has had 3-4 signings (Bessone didn’t pay off, Connoly did, Bruce was ‘depth’ and ‘competition’, Collins did alright in Div3 so naturally he could step up to the level at Div2; yet despite that logic he’s been OK most of the time).

    Just as importantly, our midfield is flawed. The same central midfield (minus Doyle) that utterly failed against Brentford, Exeter and an assortment of other no-hopers saw Grayson trust them for supposedly getting us promoted and only recently has Faye been given a chance. Nunez (while we don’t know how good he might be other than from run-outs against world class opposition this summer) stull hasn’t been.

    The reality is – and i’m not sure Grayson gets this – the central midfield and the defence last season almost threw promotion away for us. No matter how well they did earlier, they imploded and literally played to a standard for the rest of the season that would have seen Leeds relegated from Div3 if that had been our form all season. Now we have the same players who are capable of doing the same thing and after performing above all reasonable expectations we look like we’re beginning a freefall into a relegation battle.

    Sure we have no other options. But whose fault is that? When we were buying our umpteenth winger why didn’t we try a defender or two? Because ‘we only buy people if they’re available’ doesn’t cut it. A manager’s job is to improve the team as best he can and signing more wingers and forwards than we need just because they’re easier to get than defenders is utterly perplexing.

    • White to the core

      Spot on. Someone else living on planet reality.

  • Bill Fox

    Is a ‘rush goalie’ an option?