Clean sheet denied by officials

A record all-seater attendance at Carrow Road reminded the travelling Leeds United fans that this was another team who hated us for no particular reason. We didn’t have to wait long for a touching rendition of ‘we all hate Leeds scum’ alongside other popular favourites such as ‘you dirty northern b**tards*’ and ‘dirty Leeds’.

Quite why a team from Norfolk with no geographical significance to Leeds and no real history against us holds this much contempt for the Whites, is anyones guess? But the hostility Leeds receive in places such as Norwich always boosts the atmosphere and this was no exception as the two sets of fans exchanged pleasantries throughout.

The match was just as frantically contested too and it started at a rapid pace with both teams attacking from the off. For Leeds, Bradley Johnson did nothing to boost his market value as he miscued wildly from range, whilst Jonny Howson also saw his shot drift away from goal.

When an advancing Luciano Becchio was hacked down on the edge of the area, the referee played advantage and as our Argentinian hit-man pulled himself up, Max Gradel fired low from the edge of the area, beating a poor Norwich keeper to give Leeds United the lead. 1-0.

Leeds gradually took control of the game with Max Gradel looking impressive and the midfield dominating the contest. Midway through the second half however, Norwich were on the attack with Grant Holt. Alex Bruce put in a clumsy challenge on the Norwich forward, giving the home side a free-kick and injuring himself in the process.

Whilst the Norwich fans made their feelings towards Bruce clear, Chris Martin lined up a free-kick which was saved by Kasper Schmeichel.

From there until half time it was almost entirely Leeds. Gradel twice had shots saved by the keeper, whilst Jonny Howson attempted to take on the entire defence and walk it into the net and Becchio saw his glancing header go wide.

At half-time, Leeds had been by far the better team. Failure to capitalise further on such dominance must have been a big talking point for Simon Grayson, whilst Paul Lambert will have been trying to figure out how to stop Gradel wondering by his full-back without breaking a sweat.

Norwich improved in the second half and went close when Chris Martin hit the woodwork and Grant Holt was denied by Kasper Schmeichel. As Norwich pushed, Leeds tried to capitalise on the counter-attack but the final delivery continually evaded Snodgrass and Gradel.

Despite Norwich’s improvements, Schmeichel was at his best and never looked like being beaten so Norwich cleverly took him out of the equation by throwing him to the floor from a corner as Barnett headed the equaliser. 1-1

It was the cherry on top of all our recent injustices. Twice we’d contested the referee’s decisions not to punish players for viciously assaulting Luciano Becchio, and twice we’d been quoted FIFA rules that claim the FA ‘can’t re-referee games.’ Clearly this only applies to Leeds United however, as Norwich had just had a red card successfully overturned on Grant Holt – is that not re-refereeing?

I don’t wish to sound bitter and vindictive, but I am, so that’s how it comes across.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not blaming Norwich here. I’m complaining about the dreadful standard of refereeing we’re subjected to week after week. Norwich fans should be able to sympathise to an extent as they had Holt sent off last week – a decision which undoubtedly changed the game.

Leeds meanwhile saw Hull and Cardiff get away with blatant red card decisions, which the referee clearly missed on both occasions. Yet, when we appeal to the FA we’re told the referee saw the incidents and felt an elbow to the face, and a potentially career ending lunge were both fair challenges?

And yet again, the referee and the other officials cost Leeds as they failed to spot a push on Kasper Schmeichel that left him sat down as Norwich City denied us of two points. Admittedly, I missed the shove as I was watching the flight of the ball, but as a spectator, that’s what I pay to watch! The referee and linesman are paid individuals that are supposed to be watching the players – especially from a corner when there is always shoving going on! They have no excuse whatsoever.

Anyway, back on level terms and Leeds tried to get back in front but the final ball continued to escaped us and Norwich sensed an opportunity to rub salt into the wounds. Hoolahan – who had come on a sub just after the hour mark – was a particular nuisance to us but despite chances for both sides, the game remained level and Leeds were left to bemoan another poor display from the officials.

Overall, it was an excellent match. Real end-to-end stuff with the emphasis on attack and free-flowing football. Leeds really should have killed it off in the first half and rendered poor decisions from the officials irrelevant but they failed to do so and it ultimately cost us two points.

TSS man of the match

Max Gradel was the stand out man, but he was brilliant and infuriating in equal measures, often taking too long on the ball and not shooting quickly enough when presented with an opening. George McCartney continues to impress whilst Kasper Schmeichel was back to his old self and truly deserved a clean sheet. Overall, the officials had the biggest impact on the game so maybe they should get it?

  • Lowfields

    We seem to have steadied the ship a little in terms of shape and defense, and fifth spot is fantastic, but there is still a worrying recourse to long-ball tactics that has dogged us all season – particularly when we’re under a little bit of pressure.

    Is that Grayson’s default style? Is it simply Plan B? Is it a lack of confidence in our ability to play our way out of trouble against decent Championship opposition? We have the talent to get the ball down and play, which will only improve if Nunez and McCormack get some game time, but it seems it’s our panic button this season.

    I hope the Bristol City game, and the first half here, proved we really can play teams off the park at this level.

  • Clarkeonenil

    Something went wrong in the half time team talk, the difference between our performance first and second halfs was sysmic. I can only conclude Grayson told the team to stop passing and running with the ball! I couldn’t fault any of the team first half and I thought the front 6 (including Johnson) were immense.

    Norwich are a good side so I’m restrained in my disappontment we didn’t win the game in the first half, however if we play like we did and fail to beat lesser teams then questions of the manager may be asked.

    Oh and yes the constant apeing of the clubs rubbish on referee’s decisions does sound bitter (and a touch dull after 5 games). Yes yesterdays gave us nothing in the last 30 minutes but in the end the only thing that cost us the 3 points was the change in approach after half time.

    • Craig

      @Clarkeonenil

      I think it was Lambert’s team talk and his substitutions that dictated the second half reversal. I watched the game amongst the home fans and they were very nervous throughout the first half since Norwich really did seem very flat. I’m sure Grayson said “more of the same lads” at HT whereas Norwich came out looking like a different team and once Hoolahan came on I was wondering whether we’d go home with nothing.

      Norwich are a very good side and once they began playing like the home team we had to adapt accordingly. The only criticism I could level at Grayson was not bringing the substitutes on earlier. Gradel’s second half showing was a shadow of his efforts in the first, and 30 minutes of Lloyd Sam and McCormack may have reminded the Norwich midfield that they also had defensive duties to think about.

  • Lowfields

    @clarkeonenil

    I actually like Johnson. Every team needs a water carrier, and if he could be persuaded to tuck in, work his balls off and not get ideas above his station (too late for that, I guess), he could be a very useful combative midfielder – and certainly better than Amdy Faye has been so far in that role.

    Without Johnson, and with Faye not impressing, our only other central midfield possibles are Howson, Kilkenny, Nunez and Clayton (when back from loan) – and that looks decidedly lightweight.

    I still think that mythical holding midfielder has to be our top priority in January. And, no, Alan Smith is not the answer….

  • Mike

    Oh! Dear Michael, editors are supposed to be able to spell, or maybe you didn’t mean Seismic :-)

  • Colin

    @TSS

    “Quite why a team from Norfolk with no geographical significance to Leeds and no real history against us holds this much contempt for the Whites, is anyones guess?”

    Answer: JEALOUSY

    Leeds United come to town and fill their minuscule 26,000 seater stadium and provide these carrot crunchers with their highest ever attendance. Leeds took the full away allowance, and Norwich fans turned up in their droves in the hope that they could beat Leeds United. They wanted to be there so that they could say “I was there when we beat Leeds United” – why would they say that? Because they know that Leeds United are a massive club. And that they are not, and never will be on a par with the institution that is LUFC.

    Paul Lambert would sell his own body parts to be in Simon Grayson’s shoes.

  • Irving08

    Clarkeonenil – excellent post. When (or if) Johnson goes, without an adequate replacement, there is a real chance that we will proceed to go backwards. My fear Is that SG will take Edward Gray’s advice and revert to 4-4-2 and we will go backwsrds just that bit quicker. So here’s hoping either (a) that Johnson change his mind, or (b) that SG tells Bates that one young and fit Bradly Johnons is worth all your ageing and semi-fit Naylors, Fayes, Bromby’s and whoever rolled into one, or (c) that SG has a ready made replacement in mind – and also that it is NOT Alan Smith.

  • Gryff

    @mikelufc I was just thinking that! (Not that i’m on to talk!)

    Didn’t see the game as I don’t live in Norwich anymore and didn’t want to go back there. We sounded like we were doing okay in the first half (when I had to leave the radio). Not sure what happened with Casper? The FL Show’s 30 seconds or so couldn’t even stump up a replay…

  • les irwin

    we can’t and dont play for 90+mins ever even at 4-1 up against preston our games are never over unless we are more than 1 goal in front in the 85th min there are those who say keepers get too much protection didn;t see the infringement on kasper but i will take your word on it tss ,but that doesn’t hide the fact we were in front and stopped playing in the 2nd half we are not ruthless enough when we are in front it has cost us so many times since we were relegated from prem .the 28 points we have now if we repeat that in the second half of the season will just keep us up based on the last 3 seasons only ,we have to get 3 points from winning positions ,preston ,hull norwich and 1or 2 others might come back to haunt us in may .that said i would have taken a point at 5 to 3 but at 5 to 5 iwas disapointed on the whole though we are improving

  • saltburnwhite

    Yes Alan smith would be the PERFECT replacement for johnson/faye , he would also be better for us in that position than he has been at any other club because he has some making up to do with the fans , the city and the club …he would try 200% if possible ………..absoloutly ideal and exactly the signing that could ignite our revival to the premiership this season!
    also not getting games at newcastle?

    • stotty

      You must be joking. He is on £65000 per week! Anyway, he is not good enough now to play for Newcastle and when we are promoted at the end of the season he would not be good enough for Leeds either. By his own admission he has slowed up a lot since that injury in a red shirt.
      I can’t quite remeber him offering to play for less money to help his home town club in his excitement to play for scum and he won’t do now.
      We need to move on and just remember we saw the best of him while he was here.

  • Chris

    @Irving08 I’m pretty sure if SG lets BJ go he’ll have someone better lined up to come in (wouldn’t be that difficult would it?!). The doom merchants looked at the squad early in the summer and enjoyed filling the net with stories of how we’d be starting the season with barely enough player to fill the bench. Of course, SG has since establish a squad with greater quality and with as much depth as any in the league.
    BJ is not the only player looking for pastures new and ER is a pretty appealing pasture!

  • Benjamin Newsome

    Such a shame, atleast we got a point though ey, better than none.
    So Smith, I don’t actually know much about how he plays now and how he’s doing, anyone know?

  • Colin

    @salburnwhite
    I don’t care if Alan Smith is the next Pele. Alan Smith is on £60,000 a week at Newcastle. He is not coming back to Leeds.

  • Mike

    @saltburnwhite
    I agree. A.Smith would do a job, he has unfinished business.

    • Colin

      @mikelufc
      are you mental? There is absolutely zero chance that Smith will come back. And I’m an Alan Smith fan.
      What could make Smith leave Premier League Newcastle to join Championship Leeds, when he’s getting £60,000 a week?

      He isn’t even the player he once was at Leeds – he’s not a striker anymore and he’s not a good enough midfielder to make it into the Newcastle team.

      Let’s just say that Bates somehow finds the £3m a year wages for Smith (he can’t), then where do you play him??

  • Colin

    @TSS i made a comment earlier that’s awaiting moderation – i don’t think there was anything nasty in it. Okay to get it released?

    • Colin

      I did call Norwich fans carrot crunchers but surely that’s not a bad thing is it?

  • saltburnwhite

    @ colin you would play him in the batty role , midfield general . like i said earlier , he probably doesnt exell in this position for other clubs , but because he would be coming back to his roots and possibly to a cauldron of hate and indescision regarding his return , he would try his damndest to get this club promoted and also he would want to make it up to the fans by taking a huge pay cut and coming back and hopefully being instrumental in getting his and our club back where it belongs.
    He isnt going to get anywhere near the england squad
    he isnt getting games at newcastle
    he has more than enough money to take a pay cut
    he wants to be able to return to his city without wearing a disguise every time
    he wants everybody to know he loves leeds united
    what an ideal time from his point of view to return
    he played in the championship with newcastle …so why not leeds?
    im sure he would come back for 15-20k a week ….as a luxury on a 2 year contract…..everyones a winner?!

    • Colin

      @saltburnwhite
      If Alan Smith can’t get into a newly promoted Champ to PL team, then why should Leeds take him on if they are wanting to get promoted?

      When Smith left Leeds, he was a promising talent and England international (albeit infrequently). Since then, he got worse, and after his leg break, that was it – he was never the player he was that we once knew.

      Alan Smith was a legend at Leeds, because he was a very very good young player who loved the club. And for all he loves the club, he isn’t any good any more, he’s 30 and past his best.

      And he isn’t David Batty. Not even close. I’m Smudger’s biggest fan, but we can’t keep looking back. With regret, he’s lost everything that made him great at Leeds.

  • paul n.ireland

    reading some of these comments i think we leeds supporters have to be more realistic i think we have had a good season apart from preston ,barnsley and cardiff . i think leeds r right in putting johnson on the list hes not much of a player anyway . we need to sign a couple of players in the window / midfield is were we need them as long as we can keep o,brien and mccartney. if the season was to finish now all leeds supporters would be over the moon ,a chance to get into the prem.

  • Peter

    Re Hull, Cardiff don’t forget that Boyd’s lunge at Watt’s shin also went unpunnished although it appears to have ruined Watts season.

  • Mike

    Carrot crunchers??
    Mustard munchers more like.
    Does this mean the post has to be moderated :-)

  • TheReaper08

    I think it’s a wonderful idea to get someone back who would be overpaid, offers no creativity, get’s way too many bookings/sendings off and can’t score goals, a genius idea.

    And why ? All because he is from Leeds and supports the club and would put in the effort (incidentally it’s not posssible to physically give more than 100% whoever you are).

    • Colin

      Reaper, you give it 110% on every post

      • TheReaper08

        @colin If only mate, if only…..

        More like 75% ;)

  • Mike

    @Colin
    “@mikelufc
    are you mental? ”

    You are not the first person to pose that question.

  • Colin

    Re. Bradley Johnson – this is how it will go – it’s an inside job – When Becchio re-signs, which is why they put out the Johnson, don’t mess with us and our wage demands, because it’s Becchio’s agent that is playing hard to get. Then I bet you £10 that Johnson will sign a week later.

    Johnson has never had a go at the club, he has never said anything negative towards Leeds United. I always thought there was something fishy about Leeds coming out publicly about Johnson.

    Bradley’s got his contract, but he’s agreed with Leeds to play hard ball, so that convinces Becchio’s agent to come down on his offer. Bradley Johnson will be a Leeds player on a new contract next season. Whether Becchio will, is another matter.

  • Mike

    You have missed your way Colin, you should have been a thriller writer and reaps…..
    both of you wrong on all counts.
    Smithy will do wonders for this club, unless larry thinks he is a left back, which is entirely possible.

    • TheReaper08

      @mikelufc With his ever declining ability it wouldn’t surprise me if Smith himself thought he was left back. Apparently once upon a time he was a striker don’t you know….

  • Saltburnwhite

    @reaper the percentage thing was a figure of speech!?
    It’s extremely intelligent of you to pick up on how literal it wasn’t meant to be .. I’ll be very careful how I word my future posts .. If only to prevent smartarses from responding.
    Also smith can tackle can play box to box and can add an awful lot to this current Leeds side.. Or are you saying having Alan smith in this Leeds side would in no way shape or form improve it?

    • TheReaper08

      @saltburnwhite I am not a smartarse as you will have noted from my spelling of possible and numerous other mistakes I make. What does get my goat though is when dumbarses(?) clearly can’t see a player in terminal decline that offers next to nothing and glorify him because he is a fan.

      He might be able to run box to box but play, never. He might be able to tackle, but he tackles so badly and always has. Bloke is a liability.

      A player who should be at his pomp who get’s asked to play in midfield is a sure sign of the beginning of the end, particularly when that player does no particular midfield skill well. It is a also a sign of a players ability that at a time when they should be excelling (late 20’s) they find themselves moving backwards thorough the positions. Excellent strikers/midfielders will often play towards the back at the very end of there career to prolong it but not at there peak.

  • KNick

    Off topic slightly, but in my opinion the most important thing we need to sort out is either the continued loan or permanent signings of O’Brien and McCartney. Never mind Smithy, which is totally unrealistic simply because of his wages, these two have added the stability we needed and stopped the panic defending ( for the most part, i know it’s Leeds we never do anything the easy way ). Losing O’Brien in particular would be a big problem for us right now. Just wish Grayson had concentrated on sorting out the defence in the closed season, better late than never i guess.

  • Lowfields

    Sorry, but Alan Smith would be a horrible signing. He was never more than our third-best striker when he was at his peak – he reached double figures just once in six seasons – and now we’re claiming that, 10 years later, he could solve our central midfield problems? Too expensive, too slow, too lacking in the positional guile to make a real difference in front of the back four.

    I also read from some fans that we should get Ian Harte back… Can we start planning for 2012 and not hoping for a Valencia re-match?

    • TheReaper08

      @Lowfields Spot on, nice to read something based on fact and not sentiment.

      Apparently Tony Dorigo and Tony Yeboah are available….

      • Lowfields

        I just think us Leeds fans revel in the past way too much… Wilko’s approach in 1988 was spot. Stop talking about Revie and start building a side that could achieve new glories… He won us the league without ever seeking spiritual help from a smiley badge or reintroducing a sock tag. Grayson would be well advised to follow his example.

        I love our history. I’m proud of the club’s achievements. But I support a living, breathing team, not a collection of DVDs.

      • Chareose

        Good idea Reaps…. Tony Yeboah can be Bradley Johnsons shot trainer……

        Seriously though….. the tone of peoples threads regarding Bradley Johnson seem to have changed dramaticly over the last 48 hours….. one minute hes being slagged off to high heaven and the next hes a footballing god and we cant do without him……people need to make up their minds….

        For me its always been the same = hes shit

  • Matt BB

    With his declining input to Newcastle and their likely search for a replacement to me it seems inevitable insofar as Grayson likes players who are fans, that Smith will end up back here.

    By this stage of his career he would reasonably accpet that he is not able to command £60k a week, and would not doubt settle for the £15k a week we would probably pay him, plus a massive bonus if we got promoted.

    I agree however, keeping Mccartney and o’brien is vital if we are to stay in shape.

  • Gryff

    I always thought Smith was overvalued and essentially useless when playing in our Champions League team. That said, if we could somehow find the wages (and we probably couldn’t) then to say he wouldn’t improve a team that currently utilises Faye, Kilkenny & Bradley Johnson is a bit odd to say the least. Smith wasn’t the great player people made out when he was at Leeds, he essentially failed at Scum… But Ferguson was right to turn him into a midfielder and he seems to do well there. The fact that he was thought good enough to captain the team when it blitzed the Championship last season suggests he is definitely good enough to help a team to the Championship crown.

    That said, we’ve many other options. We could have signed Darell Russel after he left Norwich (he would have been an improvement on our current lot), we could have signed Eustace, and we could have signed Montgomery. Each seemed as though it was close enough that we could have signed them if we were focused on them, but with one they wanted too much money and with the other, the current club (who were themselves not financial giants) were willing to offer him more. If we want to replace Bradley Johnson we could do it easily. We almost did in the pre-season and if Grayson had known Becchio/Somma/Sam/Gradel/Snodgrass were going to be so good and our centre-mids (as a whole) so poor, I imagine we would have.

    • Chareose

      i have some reservations about Smiths decline but two things ;

      1) I felt his treatment by Leeds fans after leaving Elland Road was a disgrace and born of ignorance. The club wanted to sell him and he waved the transfer fee in favour of Leeds. And how many footballers would turn down Man U for the sake of Fan loyalty in that situation ? Youd be insane….

      2) Whilst like many i have reservations about the decline of his career, he is a leeds boy through and through, as was David Batty…..maybe its bias but i like to think that these guys performances and passion would go up a few notchs when they play for Leeds…sooooo if he was going cheap and didnt want a huge wage packet id give him a punt…..

  • Matt BB

    Smith is a good all round player, he’d give 100% to the cause, and to be quite frank I’m a little surprised at all the negativity surrounding him. He is a good passer of the ball, effective when tackling, and has a good degree of experience, of course not forgetting that he was a regular in the newcastle squad that got promoted last season.

    Bear in mond that at the moment Newcastle arent even entertaining letting him go, he must be doing something right,

    • Lowfields

      My negativity stems from the fact that we need to look forward and start finding players around which we can build a team for the next four or five years. Smith does not represent our future, simply an expensive piece of homegrown nostalgia.

      For the record, I was actually against resigning Batty in 1998 for the same reasons. His 78 league starts in 6 years, while the likes of Dacourt, Bowyer and Bakke were contributing much more, shows what you get when you sign a player turning 30.

      And wasn’t Batty also a supposed to be Leeds fan? You know, the guy who refused to take a pay cut when we were about to go bankrupt and convinced his teammates to do likewise….

    • TheReaper08

      @mattbb Newcastle aren’t bothering to play him though are they ? Dropped the moment they could get some quality into there midfield, and his contribution to there promotion cause ?

      9 yellows, 1 red and no goals.

      He is factually a very limited all round player.

      • Matt BB

        @thereaper08 smith was a key part of newcastles promotion push, so a set of his disciplinary stats in the prem isnt really disproving his merits as a player for us to consider in the championship. no goals? not too bothered if hes a holding midfielder.

        • TheReaper08

          @mattbb Jury is still out as to whether he was a key part or just a part of that promotion team. It is not without irony that his appearances were starting to tail off towards the end and that Newcastle found it so so easy to replace him.

          I also find it strange that having been such a pivotal and influential part of that team he appears to have been so readily and easily dropped this season.

          Good news though, he did make his way back into the starting line up last weekend. Bad news though as they got smashed 5-1 by Bolton !

          • Matt BB

            @thereaper08 Dont underplay his role in the championship campaign, while (as I’ve said) I’m quite ambivolent about the Smith Issue, credit where its due. And even though he may well not have been part of the core squad in the PL this season it doesnt mean he couldnt do a job at Championship standard. Surely its logical that not the entire squad playing in the championship would make the grade in the PL.

            We know all about that in respect of our own squad coming up short after promotion.

  • Matt BB

    I’m probably quite ambivolent in respect of Smith, however at just gone 30 he has a good 4-5 seasons in him, and would be a good senior pro to have round. We cant just rely on younger players to do that.

    Batty was a funny one though wasnt he, seemed to me like he probably liked playing football as much as you or I love driving to the office every day (so to speak) Saying all of that he did play a big part in stabilising our midfield prior to Dacourts arrival – then departure – and represented a step up from the likes of Hopkin and Ribeiro.

    In short I dont think it would be a bad thing for Smith to come back, but yes I draw the line at Harte, he was rubbish last time round, and I dont want to see us just recruiting ex-players. Bringing back mcphail, an ageing and injury prone woodgate, a bloated harry kewell, not really the answer.

  • Jacko

    Smithy is by far a better holding midfielder than anyone we currently have on our books. Plus he brings leadership and guidance to young players, ask James Milner and Lennon and is a great person to have around the squad who gets people motivated. By all accounts a few premierleague teams are monitoring his situation, so he can’t be that bad. You also have to remember Newcastles new holding midfielder Tiote looks world class! If Smithy was willing to come to Leeds and on the right money I think we would struggle to find a better player at this level. We have to get to the Premierleague first!

  • Tim Campbell

    We do appear a lot more solid at the back of late which I’m sure is in no small part due to our settled back four – Connolly. McCartney, O’Brien and Bruce. I really wonder if Grayson agrees that there is now no way back for Naylor. As for our midfield I would personally not play Johnson, but would give Nunez a chance to impress before his contract runs out in January. Our striking options are wide and varied – I’d also like to know how the trainnees are doing

  • les irwin

    smith was never a striker in real terms infact the only thing he had in common with one was he had a pair of football boots ,look he was alright but was never prolific .we don’t need nor want him back at leeds he ofers nothing to our team its time we stopped talking about him coming back i suspect he never will ,i quite frankly would rahter keep johnson

  • George

    I think i am right in saying that all Leeds fans love a player who gives 100% every game, like Becciho and Snodgrass. If Smith was to return he would give 100% every game but i believe his wages are well to high for us to be able to afford him.

  • Dje

    Elliot Kebbie anyone? Anyone? No? I’ve never heard of him either.

    According to that vile rag, the Daily Mail, Man Utd are about to pay £500,000 for him. So what you say? Well, apparently he is 17 and is on our books. Elliot Kebbie anyone?

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1332178/Manchester-City-eye-8m-Udinese-defender-Cristian-Zapata.html?

    • Colin

      @djedjedje
      From similar newspaper reports Man Utd were going to get him a year ago for £1m. Now he’s half the price. Sounds like agent talk to me.

      If he’s any good then Leeds will resign him IMHO. We wouldn’t let him go if he was any good. If he gets poached on a free, then I could sort of understand it, but Bates accepting £500k from Man Utd – I can’t see him accepting it. He’d be all over the papers moaning about poachers taking our players if that was the case.

      If he’s a Leeds youth player then you could go to the tribunal for that and get more than £500k surely??

  • les irwin

    this is a perfect answer to what iv’e said all along .all this talk about THE ACADEMY needing to produce home talent .well if he is the wonderkid why aint he playing ,delph was so was milner the latter in the prem at that age .bates wants academy players so he can sell them on its all profit they cost nothing and sell for loads allright noone knows if they are really gonna make it but there are those who will take a punt and to be fair if its true ???? fergie rarely gets it wrong .,

    on another subject does any one know if the trilalist arrived last week or are they on the same plane as the argentinians (that never arrived )is bates waiting to get a plane full

  • Matt BB

    If poor Elliot Kebbie is an attacking midfielder his options will be aboput as limited as Aidan White’s, Will Hatfield’s or even the on loan sanchez watt!

    This is all about squad imbalance, it would be sensible for us to follow the south american model (thats a given!) where they actually sell then leaseback their best young players for a given period, namely they are effectively serving an apprenticeship at the feeder club and then get their graduation after so long to their new bigger club – or if they no longer meet requirements contract is terminated, and the feeder club doesnt lose their player. I think Venables referred to this some years ago.

    Look at players like Garbutt, Woods, Taiwo and even to some extent Danny Rose who have dropped off the radar since leaving ER where they would surely have got a game, only the players who actually get games under their belt and get sold appear to do well and that is no accident, players and their parents should think about that when agents come a calling from Chelsea, Man City and so on.

  • Mikelufc

    Seems like a clear win for the dumbarses who’s arguments win the case for Smithy :-)
    Certain smartarses dont appear to be able to distinguish between THERE and THEIR…..

    • TheReaper08

      @Mikelufc I see you have only managed to read what you want. Good to see old Smithy restrict Bolton to just 5 at the weekend, bloody good job he was defensive midfielder taht day or it might have been 12 !

      Like I said previously I am not here to point out spelling, punctuation, sentence construction or any other part of the English language. Just here to deal in FACT.

      • Matt BB

        spot on reaper, time he dropped down to the championship where he excelled last season.

        • TheReaper08

          @mattbb Well I did some research over night with a Toon season ticket holder. He advised whilst he had made a contribution last season it was only that, he didn’t excel by any stretch. He attributed the success way more to Kevin Nolan and Andy Carroll.

          I agree about him coming down to the Championship though, apparently Preston are desperate for any players they can get.

  • Colin

    LUFC statement on Kebbie just in:

    “Leeds can confirm that no bid has been received from Manchester United for Elliott Kebbie, despite reports in the national media, and nor would one be welcomed”

    – So stick that in your pipe and smoke it – they could have also added but actually didn’t.

    • Dje

      @colin

      I think I’d still like to hear Man Utd saying the same…

      My main surprise was actually that Elliot Kebbie exists at all as a Leeds United player. Had we got £1m or £500,000 for a player that I never knew we had would have felt a bit like Christmas come early to be honest.

      I try my hardest to monitor the progress of our youth teams and can’t ever, ever recall Kebbie being mentioned. Maybe he has just been injured for the last three seasons.

      I read somewhere (and utterly unqualified) that Kebbie was running the 100m in under 11 seconds when he was fifteen, and has been getting quicker since. Exaggeration or not, the lad is obviously built with whippet like pace – so I find it utterly bizarre that he’s never been mentioned by LUFC before. Or has there been a covert operation to keep him out of youth team reports to keep the big grooming clubs at bay? I could actually believe it.

      As mattbb said, it’d be nice to actually see the lad feature once in a while – in the reserve matches would be about right.

  • Matt BB

    well they need to make sure that if he is that good that they actually get him involved with the first team surely, thats probably one criticism I think Grayson cant avoid, we just arent doing that, and surely some are good enough?

  • les irwin

    aidy white has scored another for oldham tonight