Whites fail to capitalise against Palace Tim Hodge April 25, 2011 Match reviews 88 Comments Leeds started with the same side as Friday but lacked any semblance of spark or imagination from the first minute to the last as they went down 1-0 to lowly Crystal Palace. It’s really hard to pick out positives for a game which was so important but for which Leeds, save for the 6000 travelling supporters, so spectacularly failed to turn up. Palace struck within the first eighty seconds. A Neil Danns shot took a heavy deflection off Andy O’Brien, sending the ball past Kasper Schmeichel. It was a disastrous start and for the rest of the first half Leeds rarely looked like fighting their way back into the game. It was a scrappy first forty-five minutes with bookings for both sides and a lack of any real footballing class. The story was one that has been repeated a number of times this season; lumped long balls to a lone striker and poor delivery into the box even from gifted set pieces. Predictably shaky defending added to the growing sense of unease surrounding the Whites. It almost came to a head when Schmeichel’s clearance hit Naylor, the ball fell to Steffen Iversen and all hell broke loose. Schmeichel followed the ball out creating chaos in defence. Leeds narrowly escaped as Palace were unable to capitalise. The second half started with the introduction of Sanchez Watt and Neil Kilkenny, forcing a reshuffle. Paul Connolly and the disappointing Jake Livermore made way with Eric Lichaj reverting to right back and Bradley Johnson dropping to left back. Watt played wide left with Robert Snodgrass wide right, leaving Gradel to float up front with Billy Paynter. Leeds dominated the possession in the second half but there weren’t any chances to really write home about. Max Gradel had a low driven strike saved comfortably by the goalkeeper while Davide Somma, coming on to replace Paynter, could have scored with his first touch but his effort was weak. As the game wore on and Palace continued to restrict us to half chances the mood became desperate. The home side were defending with ten men behind the ball while Leeds were happy to throw Andy O’Brien into the mix up front. As the minutes ticked by though, a result looked less and less likely. Deep into stoppage time, after goal-scorer Danns had been sent off for a second yellow, even Schmeichel went forward for a free-kick. It came to nothing and the referee blew the whistle to effectively end our play-off hopes. This will do nothing but add fuel to the fire that the Grayson-out brigade has waiting for the manager. We may have two games left but it’s time to think about building onwards and upwards for a promotion push next season. We need to tie down the players that are good enough to get us up and replace the ones that aren’t. Loved them diamond floodlights Yeah sack Grayson then what?I’m sure o’neil is chomping at the bit lol, Benitez is only in merseyside so it don’t look too obvious Grass ain’t always greener lads number1inyorkshire in this case it is ,grayson is out of his depth sadly he needs to admit it, because he is a leeds fan he will eventually take us back down if he stays with the same tactics as this season . JM-Leeds Can’t say that this hasn’t been coming for weeks. Leeds not getting promoted is a blessing in disguise. In my opinion the teams that have been most consistent week in, week out deserve to get promoted. For me, QPR, Norwich, and Cardiff (I hope I am wrong about Cardiff). My only concern is that when the dust settles, we let all the players go who are out of contract and all the ‘lesser’ premiership teams start sniffing around our prized assets such as Snodgrass, Gradel and Becchio. We have to get rid of some dead wood which simply isn’t good enough for this league and it is so obvious. Grayson got it wrong again today and I personally think he should have started with the team that finished against Reading. Tim Wilsom I’d settle for straw cause we’re in mud right now Dje I’m not interested in Grayson, only Leeds United. At the end of the season the powers that be have to look long and hard at where we are, where we are going, what resources we have at our disposal and conclude whether Grayson is the man to take us forward, or if other people are out there – and available! – to come in and do a better job. It’s that simple. For Grayson’s defense, you have to say that those calling for him to go are so-far suggesting other names to come in as manager, and there is a big difference between that and calling for ‘anyone but Grayson’. When the calls of the latter come about then that is when it is really time for him to go. Until then: ~ weigh up the pros and cons. ~ don’t be reactionary to a disappointing end to an otherwise good season. ~ don’t be complacent and simply state ‘In Grayson We Trust’, nor that any doubters are not ‘proper fans’. Tyler75 Just got back from the game. Can’t understand why SG started the game with the same formation as against Reading; as my mate pointed out – Palace aren’t Reading and we showed them too much respect. They got an early goal (from yet another defensive error) then had something to hang on to – putting 10 men behind the ball and inviting us to break them down, which we didn’t remotely look like doing. Watt and Killa made a difference second half and had we started with them it might have made a difference. Most of the regulars (Howson, Bradley, Snods,Max) look completely shot and that the end of the season can’t come too soon for them. However this being Leeds we’ll probably stuff Burnley on Saturday only to miss out on the final day of the season – which would probably be just as well as on present form we wouldn’t get past either Norwich or Cardiff over two legs. Craig There is no doubt that Grayson likes to stick to his favourite 11 no matter what and there are definitely good arguments for doing that if a team is playing well. On the other hand, if players are looking tired it is mystifying why Simon doesn’t reshuffle to capitalise on fresh legs and new ideas. Bazzz May this be the last time that Billy Paynter wears a Leeds shirt. No pace, an inability to make it much over a few inches off the ground, the first touch of a baby elephant and despite being solidly built is constantly bullied off the ball by defenders. I’m aware that he received no service today but he looks like the love child of Frank Strandli and Ken Demange. We kohSamuiWhites On Xmas day we were 2nd in the league and in a great position to push on and claim automatic promotion.Everyone apart from grayson could see our midfield/defensive problems and he did nothing.I,m completely sick to death of his tired out excuses.Was surprised by his comments last week about players being naive,Mr Kettle meet Mr Pot. henryv I did not think we would win today, which is the most disappointing aspect of the day. We arrived as losers and left as losers!! Having been on the slide for months, the manager and chairman should kick each other up the arse for 25 minutes!!! Norwich do not have a better squad (on paper) than us and look at them. Millwall certainly do not have a better squad than us, and they have just passed us. I was really looking forward to the Burnley game as ‘the big decider’, but barring a miracle (which will not come as we are playing crap) we can kiss this season goodbye. Next season will be harder for us unless we invest heavily (dream on) in the squad. At least I don’t have to listen to Simon’s after game interviews for much longer this season. See you at the Burnley game!! Mightywhite Well the problem is that our defence is poor the midfield is lightweight and lacks pace and the stand out players for us (howson,becchio,snodgrass,gradel) are all knsckered because Grayson refuses to rotate them and they have nothing left in the tank!!! No coincidence that this has happened 2 seasons on the bounce!! I’m not saying sack Grayson but his tactics have to change we’ve played a formation all season to supposedly stop us leaking goals but did we….??? NO so why not play somma and becchio upfront?? We didn’t even have enough central mf to play the formation for god sake!! There are some good managers out there so would it be bad to try get one of them… Oneill…allerdyce?? Tyler75 SG needs some help on the coaching side (particularly defensively) and having an inspirational figure in the support set-up would make a big difference. One name immediately springs to mind…Lucas Radebe. Actually we’ve been that bad defensively he would have done a job for us on the pitch this season ! On the point made about Billy Paynter, I think he will be a close season casualty but to be fair to him, he’s always been asked to play as a lone striker – he ‘s never been played as part of a front-two, which is what he’s all about. kev we’ve had a good and productive season to a certain degree,but you have to ask yourself has Grayson got the knowledge and ability to take a massive club like leeds to that next level,there has been no youth come through to the first team since grayson arrived,some of his signings have been woeful,Painter,McCartney,Collins,bruce,I don’t think we’ll make the playoffs CJ To say I’m bitterly disappointed is a massive understatement!! How can a season of such promise be destroyed in few weeks? Grayson must take most of the blame. His inability to sort the obvious defensive problems was always going to come home to roost before long. After 44 league games he still didn’t know what his best side was. Why he persisted with the completely useless Billy Paynter is anybody’s guess? Paynter has to be the worst signing since Michael Ricketts!! I’ll be glad when season is over. Supporting Leeds, especially away from home over the last month or so has been traumatic!! At moment its hard to pick out positives from the season. All I can think about is the wasted opportunity. trueyorxman Post Xmas last 2 seasons: a total of 14 wins in 45 (& very likely 47) league matches stretching back to Jan 2010, poor by anyones standards. We (the supporters) have recognised the problems with this squad for the last 18 months & its getting f**king monotonous talking about it. Time for some fresh ideas from somewhere, ideally Poyet but why not O’Neill, he’s been out of the game for a while Conor Bradley Hi TSS, do you think Bradley Johnson could be the solution to our left back problem? I think he’s a great defensive midfielder and just like Marc Tierney at Norwich (midfielder by trade), do you think he would do a good job? I think Lichaj is a fantastic young full back but he can’t play on the left side. number1inyorkshire i don’t know about Johnson conor as he is pretty much got 2 games left for leeds ,as bates has basically told him to F off ..so i feel know is the answer it will be Parker or bessone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! number1inyorkshire NO IS THE answer not (know ) WTF number1inyorkshire its time for a change if not the manager then the backroom staff .its time for grayson to get rid of snodin and the rest and get someone in who knows this league ,what the F–k does Gwynne Williams do ?????. we can say what we want about bates and grayson but as long as bates is here ,so will grayson be because grayson is his bitch . bates has publicly said he wants someone to invest this is because bates is not interested in football why can’t we get that ,he never was at Chelsea .he wants the investor to buy players whilst he buys a hotel from the profits. here lies the problem BATES NEEDS TO BE OUT he is taking our money to build executive boxes at elland road and will not buy players watch our stars!!! disappear over the summer .enjoy the burnley game it will be the last we see of many of them . we will not be in this position again for 3-5 years if we are lucky qpr have been 15 years in the making , Swansea .reading ,Cardiff and those coming down are 3-4 years ahead of us in development terms so we will not be going up next season . The only thing i look forward to next season is that bates is a year older and we all know what that means . Bates and the uncertainty around ownership etc etc etc are holding back the club .who would work with him ——- NO ONE . Its easy to blame bates and grayson the reason its easy is because they are to blame bates for not providing money and grayson for all footballing matters .its time for them both to go POYET FOR ME Will23 Enough to say that SG has been found out and is an also-ran manager, not the one to see us return to the Premiership/Europe. The team is playing like it has not got the faintest idea who is making runs for them when they are on the ball. This is probably due to the number of loanees among other factors. The loanee strategy has probably helped destroy the team spirit and any semblance of the gains from last season’s promotion in terms of momentum have been well and truly buried six feet underground in stark contrast to Millwall or Norwich. And yet THIS was THE season for SG to take HIS team forward. But the shambles that 2011 is rapidly becoming only leads to one conclusion – SG has had his chance and has blown it. Short termism is rife, but the Championship is a division where the margins between play-offs and relegation are paper thin – see Preston & the Blades for good examples. We cannot therefore afford to have a long term strategy with a dud of a manager. And results AND performances have shown that we are a relegation team being built in earnest for 2012. And if SG is going to place on loan/on the bench, all his summer buys, why should Ken Bates give him any money to spend? If SG himself has no confidence in what he is buying then why should the man holding the purse strings? Taxi for Grayson. trueyorxman @Will23: Taxis are ‘double-time’ on a Bank Holiday, Bates aint gonna pay that is he the f**king tight arse!! Tyler75 Conor – Bradley looked much better at left-back in the second half today than he did in midfield in the first. Lichaj has improved game on game and was our best player today. We should definitely try sign him up for next season; preferably permanently if not, a season-long loan. As for Poyet, he’s done a fantastic job with Brighton, playing a Barca-like short-passing, possession game and all with virtually no money; however he’s got a brand new stadium to move to next season, he’s built a team in his own image and he’s got job the Chairman’s full backing – would he give all that up to come back to Leeds if there was a vacancy, considering he knows bates well and what he’s like to work for ? CJ FOR SALE – 1 ticket to QPR’s promotion party. I’ll also throw in a ticket for the now completely pointless sold out home game against Burnley. Any reasonable offers considered! number1inyorkshire no point me offering my play off final guaranteed ticket number then or those of my 3 sons ???? ste-1919 are you serious about selling your ticket for QPR away CJ ? bcos ill buy it trueyorxman Didn’t QPR start the party today, f**kin muppets! Brought back memories of Leicester at home back in ’90 Rodge We are not good enough we let a stupid amount of goals in We blow hot and cold on the pitch.Sometimes we don’t even turn up reading played for the draw. We need experienced players we need a top defence . I still think SG is right man for the job if he ball it up next season let him go. captaincrash A crap ending to a largely positive season. Let’s keep a perspective and go again in August. A few will go for sure, some to ‘bigger’ things. A few will come in, hopefully across the back. Dje What I would like to know, although clearly never will, is how much of the dressing room Grayson still has on his side – and I mean really on his side rather than just seeing him as a nice bloke. The ineffectualness of our recent performances adds doubt – especially from the likes of Snodgrass who seems like he has been unsettled by Premiership transfer speculation, and of course those increasingly marginalized players: McCormack, Bruce, Bromby, McCartney, Watt, Somma and Livermore who doesn’t look like he wants to be here in the first place. Sure, many of these aren’t key players and many are loanees, but unhappy players in the squad only spread any mistrust and doubt. Perhaps most importantly is the extent that the key players – Howson, Snodgrass, Gradel, Schmeichal and Becchio – are still convinced by Grayson and believe he (and Bates) still have it within to strengthen the squad over the summer and show leadership to take us beyond where we have got to this season and promoted in the next. Without this you could see anyone of them being happy to leave this summer or have their agent engineer a move (Schmeichal and Gradel perhaps more than the other three). Once they have gone you have to question whether we will be successful in replacing them. How much money would be re-invested? With Bates at the helm, only some at best. And will they be good enough replacements when they arrive? I’m not convinced by Grayson’s transfers to-date and at best I’d say we might only match or improve upon every other one of these players if they left. In which case we would be looking at a weaker squad and 1st XI. If this were so, then surely it has to be asked whether a different manager would hold better pulling power or convey more believe to keep such players at Leeds beyond the end of the summer. Such decisions are beyond us of course. Colin Dje – 100% spot on. JM-Leeds Give Grayson one more season… We need better players and plenty of them. Let’s be totally honest with ourselves, we would have taken where we are now at the beginning of the season so it is a bonus we are still in the league. Bates needs to splash the cash. We need 8-10 players to strengthen areas such as midfield. There are quite a few out of contract in the summer and they will go I think. Johnson, Higgs, Kilkenny, Kisnorbo, Bromby, Paynter, Bessone, Grella, can all go for me. (first 4 are out of contract). As much as I would like to keep Johnson, he won’t sign a new deal because he thinks Premiership teams will sign him. I can’t see Kisnorbo getting back to what he was? I wonder if Bates will actually spend any money or the will all be ‘undisclosed’ fees… Lol.. Colin Only one player played like he wanted to sort this mess out – Bradley Johnson. What does that say? Grayson has lost the dressing room. Grayson has 2 games left. Either he turns the team into one that wants to play for him, or he goes. Grayson: win the next two or you’ve had it. SG has lost this and I’m fed up with him now after his last post match comments. When the slide happened, it was: 2 weeks ago: We’re in it for 2nd place. 1 week ago: We can make 6th spot it’s down to us. Today: Even if we don’t make the playoffs we’ve done well this season. No Simon, we haven’t. We were 2nd in December, and you’re responsible for a team that’s now 9th and probably 11th if we get beat by Burnley. At no point has SG said it was his fault. Fair enough. Who’s fault is it? Jonny Howson’s? Robert Snodgrass’? Go on Simon, tell me who’s to blame. because you haven’t so far. And tell me why you think Billy Paynter is any good, because I’m a football fan and from what I can tell he’s completely shit and you continue to play him over better players. captaincrash You have a point re Billy Paynter I have to agree! CJ Only person Johnson is playing for is HIMSELF!! He’s almost a free agent & is eyeing a move to a Premier League club. Colin CJ – if I was Johnson, I’d take ant PL team I could that would offer me more than the £5,500 a week bullshit Leeds offered. henryv I cannot believe any Premiership team would want Bradley. He is not good enough. He tries hard but “trying can be very trying”. Loki Time for Gus to come back – I’m fed up with SG, lack of ambition, lack of mental strength, lack of understanding, lack of ownership, lack of responsibility. At the moment the team or the staff or the owners do not deserve the fans they have, something has to change. Leedsdownunder End of the day if bates invests the millions into the squad then we will go up, if we have the cash get Martin o’neil give him plenty of cash to spend and the premiership here we come! Simple! Loved them diamond floodlights Can’t believe what I’m reading on here people offering their tickets out for last games , sack grayson, bates to die soon etc , hang ye heads someone is gonna get diagnosed tomorrow , it’s a game you win some you lose some , we all care we all want to win but we can’t all the time so get on with it accept it , been Leeds all my life 44 year old don’t go every game never have never would but I love lufc if we was a conference team would go just the same ,have we not all seen these lufc disasters many times over the years does it matter? It’s all part of been Leeds and most fans at other clubs will tell us similar tales as ours it’s part of been a footie fan It sucks it hurts it makes you angry but it also makes us elated gets ye pissed and out with ye mates makes the hairs on the back of arse stand on end or is it the neck anyroad we would get mullered in the prem I could see plenty of 5 or 6 nills on the horizon thanks but no thanks Season not over yet lads rule nowt out and yes cj I will take your qpr ticket because I am Leeds and the thought of win lose or draw success or failure never enters my head when deciding on a fixture to attend other factors outside football do that Bradley Lomas Okay, i know everyone is allowed to have their own opinions and you can say what you like, but my god, some people on here talk out of their backsides! So we’ve had a bad run, everyone goes into bad form, but calling for Grayson’s head is madness! Yes i understand we were 2nd and were flying, and yes our defence is made of butter, but are you forgetting, this is the same bloke who got us there in the first place?! I don’t think there is anyone supporting Leeds who wouldn’t of said take mid table this season, let alone promotion pushers! I’ll be honest, i thought we’d struggle, but no, we haven’t. Yes change is needed but certainly not managerial wise, because i for one admire what Graysons done, and i want him around for a lot longer, ’cause there isn’t much better around! CJ Offering my ticket for sale was a bit of a joke. That said, if you’d been to the away games at Swansea, Sheff U, Millwall, Derby & Crystal Palace then you might understand our frustrations!!? Facts are, a few weeks ago w had automatic promotion in our sights, now we have nothing!! Fans are rightfully upset. I like Grayson but the problems that have destroyed our season have been there all season. Grayson has been powerless to stop the rot. Tactically, he hasn’t a clue. His team selections have been baffling aswell. Why he continually picks Billy Paynter is a mystery!? He has to be oue worst player for years!! Loved them diamond floodlights I know cj , we say stuff cos we are passionate lufc fans more passionate than most , respect to you and all who do the miles I have done a fair few and will continue to do so when able, you might witness a great day yet mate and I hope you do , either way at the end of the day we are Leeds ! Loved them diamond floodlights And agree with your points cj but it always ends up like that doesn’t it? It’s not just us it’s football I’m as f@£&ed off as anyone but we have all seen it before and will see it again , do you remember the goalie at Carlisle few years back glass think his name was last kick of last game kept em up ……. You never know! tedbaker I confess – I’m the owner! As for the players, I’ve sacked the lot of them, sent SG to coaching school and locked Bates in the tower. Now then. The guy with the three sons can manage us till the end of the season. His kids get to sit in on the bench. We’re going to turn out the youth team for both games. Is ok? AltrinchamAndrew Even after sleeping off the trip to Palace yesterday still feel the same; 1) like Simon Grayson but 2) relegation form again since Xmas 3) team cannot defend whoever Simon puts in so it’s the setting up of the team , the tactics of the management team that’s to blame; cannot blame all the players. 4) bates hasn’t invested but to be fair have Forest or millwall above us??? Ideally we need an Investor as Bates hasn’t the money we need to start buying better players so what we need now is an experienced manager who understands the setting up of a team. Every summer I wait for the Investor ” White knight” who would invest in the team not just the bricks and mortar; crucial time in our history now. Mr Bates I doubt won’t hang around too long on making changes but again will it be an “easyjet” manager whomcomes in to manage on a shoestring?? Finally well done to all real Leeds fans at Palace yesterday: we had 6000 there Burnley Took a few weeks ago 313 !!!! Keep the faith 3) henryv Thank you all the optimists. I do not want Simon to go as he has done well to get us this far. Martin O’Neill or Sam Allardice would want big transfer money and a big salary for themselves. They won’t get either from Uncle Ken. If Simon were sacked we would get another unproven manager who works cheap. Simon must have learnt a lot this season and deserves another go. I hold no hope for the play offs because we are playing so badly. It does not look like Lucciano will play, unless Simon takes a big chance with him with only 2 games to go. We have had our rant and quite rightly so. The team should be hanging their heads in shame. Most will be shipped out (Ken has warned them!) at the end of the season. “The sun will come out tomorrow, bet your bottom dollar………” The only constant is/are the fans. Dje I always respect your opinion, Henryv, and your optimism and long-termism is refreshing, but I’d love you to tell me what Grayson has learnt this season (or from last season). Only I hear it all the time from people about him being a young manager who is still learning, but never see much evidence for it. If that was the case you’d expect us to have been stuffed comprehensibly at the start of the season, be in the bottom half of the table at New Year, but then suddenly blossom late on after ‘learning’ hard lessons about this league and our squad, and be holding our own or beating playoff and automatic promotion placed teams, perhaps even talk of a late run for the playoffs ourselves! and most importantly: good grounds for thinking that we will be bigger and better next season on the back of what we have learnt from a new league and a new challenge. However, we have been the opposite this season: we started OK and found we could hold our own and that the league wasn’t much harder than League One had been, and rose to 2nd on Christmas Day, but then got found out and have been looking like a relegation form team, low of confidence and clueless ever since. So all we have learnt is that we aren’t as good as we, and others, thought we were, and we are powerless to stop a loss of form and confidence. I’m yet to see any evidence that Grayson can take any team higher than he has with us already (for which I give thanks), and that he can stop a team in a death-spiral of form and loss of faith. The last time this happened was at the second half of last season when we tried our hardest not to get promoted. If we are being honest then we were gifted promotion last season by others falling at the hurdle, and the promotion and the summer couldn’t come as a quick enough relief for us all. Matt BB what an utter disgrace, whether we were ready for the premier league or not, yo u dont urn those opportunities down, put tactics, ability, the manager aside. Its the passion and will to win that just doesnt seem to be there, perhaps some players know they’ll be out on their ear if they get promoted. There are players of course worth keeping, but for me the worst thing we did was not capitalise on our position in January, and actually invest in the squad, we seem to be stuck in a cycle of borrowing players in January, and gtting in as many frees as possible in the summer. Look at Norwich – smaller crowds than leeds, not fabulously wealthy backers, and yet they could invest in Michael Nelson, Simeon Jackson, Wes Hoolahan, Grant Holt. Not investing in the squad means less competition, and says to the current squad that the club inst going places. john wilson Based on the results of the last 20 games Leeds would be 13th in the table – midtable mediocrity. We would probably be near the relagation zone if it was based on the last 5 or 6 games. The momentum is heading in the wrong direction and what’s to stop it contnuing into next season. Wise and McAllister all over again. Once a team has been rumbled the second half of the season is always worse than the first half – and that’s what has happened here. The other teams know that the way to score against Leeds is to play the ball over the top of the defence and watch the defenders and goalie panic or leave it for each other. Flat footed and immobile is how I would describe our defence. If the coaching staff know this they don’t show any sign of being able to organise the defence to combat it. Grayson has had plenty of money to spend on wages and has attracted 3 or 4 Premier League players. With the exception of Lichaj Simon and/or his coaching staff are either not very good judges of a player and/or they doesn’t know how to motivate them, and/or they don’t have the tactical ability to get them to play to their strengths. Does anyone seriously think the defensive problems are just the result of individual player failings. They are the result of poor management and coaching. Leeds played really well against Reading and one of the reasons was because Snodgrass and Gradel had been told to track back and help the defence. It was the best that Leeds had played for 3 months – but why hadn’t this organisation been present in the previous 20 games? The Championship will be a stronger division next year and, unfortunately, Grayson does not have the ability to change Leeds fortunes. Nice guy, committed to Leeds but not up to the job. The question is – will Bates wait to see Grayson repeat his failed player signings and give him 6 – 8 games at the beginning of next season, before sacking him or, will he do what he should do and sack him in time for a new manager and fresh start for next season steve underwood Well all doom on here today ok grayson has got things wrong but who dosent,its ok to say sack him and get oneil but he wont come here with little money to spend,so ok we cant buy prem players so lets maybe look to league one for some young hungry players next season lees could be the answer in defence clayton nunez could do a job next season i dont think there will be a massive clearout of our good players i also think kisnorbo might get a year contract,so ok its been disapointing end to the season but lets not hang grayson just yet,and to the people saying looking forwerd to a another year older for ken bates that is just sick trueyorxman Something needs to happen over the summer to kickstart this great club again. The team has been flat since Xmas & the ‘atmosphere’ at Elland Road has all but disappeared. We need a ‘Summer of 89′ moment (no not all go out raving & get E’d up!!)), where we made 7 signings (Vinny, Zico etc) in as many weeks to bring a buzz back to the club Old Billy White Agree with Steve Underwood about Lees, Clayton, Nunez. Let’s try to build the club not just scrape by with loan players who if we do well be off back to their parent club, leaving us to start from scratch. It will take longer but at least it would give us a firm foundation to build on. Hopefully introduce some youth, and get a settled squad. A back 4 and goal keeper who work together, week in week out and build the understanding required. Sign player who want to be at ER and give them a chance. We’ve been down for a long time I want to go up prepared, and stay up. I don’t think our fans would look at one season struggling in the top flight, in the same way as Blackpool and Burnley have recently, as a adventure. Let’s see what the summer brings. MOT. colet We’ve had defensive probs all season, surely thats just plain incompetance by the manager and his staff. Promotion attack amd a relegation defense, we can’t perform in local derby’s can’t perform when we are under pressure and when not under pressure….when the hell can we perform!? For gods sake 1 point off barnsley and 8 goals conceded!!, that’s just to pick out 1 example. i’m sick of seeing teams out play us out pass us and out muscle us… and that’s just at home. I am a fan of grayson, but i’m getting a little fed up of the excuses. Dje “Football is about nothing, nothing, if it isn’t about … something.” Lol ~ it does sound like one of our post-match interviews. Dje Whoop! Sorry colet, I replied to the wrong post. Matt BB Well if we’re still in the championship next season, and thats looking increasingly likely then we will no doubt see more of Lees, White, and possibly Nunez, with the likes of Gradel, Johnson and Kilkenny heading out, and indeed a final farewell to Naylor, Bessone, Kisnorbo and some of our rather ordinary loanees. When we’re in a position like this its not recent games that haunt me, its the 5-2 at Barnsley, the 6-4 at home vs Preston, the 0-4 at home to Cardiff that upsets me, games we should have won, or even the 3-3 at portsmouth give yourself 9> points for those games and we’d be home free, but that suicidal tendency is always there. I think our most important signing in the summer will be a new assistant manager. Grayson is a young guy, has done some good stuff for us, but there is no quality in the backroom. I’d love to see George Graham back as Graysons number 2. I think anyone waiting for Martin O’Neill will be sorely disappointed, he managed on a shoestring at Leicester yeard ago, but those years are long since gone, and hes more likely to turn up at West Ham, Blackburn or Everton. henryv Hi Dje! I don’t feel too optimistic. I suppose I am accepting our situation and hope, rather than believe, that we will get stronger. We (the fans) all knew that once the goals dried up we would be in BIG BIG trouble. To be fair to Simon he has been limited by Ken’s non-existant war chest. His choice of freebees and loanees has not been good, however! Anyway, as other managers have been suggested, this is the man for me:- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngOIXdF538A Dje “Football is about nothing, nothing, if it isn’t about … something.” Lol ~ it does sound like one of our post-match interviews. Old Billy White An earlier point about the management team not being able to target good players, is a fair one to some degree. However I think it’s a bit of a lack of confidence. We seem more intent on quantity than quality, I think this has resulted in the squad being much the same with few people standing out, and therefore while giving the manager choices it is also more difficult to have an obvious best 11. Leading to the revolving door defence policy. Arnie I’m fed up of Grayson’s excuses and also mightily peed off with this idea that we’d have taken a mid-table finish at the start of the season and look at where we’ve come from etc, etc. You only have to look at Norwich to explode that argument. The fact is we had a great chance to go up and we’ve blown it. It’s worrying also that this poor run of form mirrors exactly what we saw last season. Lets get some ambition into this club now and spend some money on decent players in the summer to have a decent crack at it because WE ARE LEEDS UNITED and the fans deserve more than this. As a caller to Yorkshire Radio said yesterday, time for Ken Bates and our ghost owners to invest or get out. Grayson has his flaws – to go 4-5-1 at Palace when we needed a win was ludicrous especially with Billy Paynter up front (who reminds me of Eric Strandli – anyone recall him?!). It’s frustrating when we have such a large squad yet so many players on the fringes get the cold shoulder. Why sign players like McCormack if not to play them?? Meanwhile, the likes of Andy O’Brien (not good enough), Johnny Howson (aka the invisible man – too much of a luxury at this level) and Paynter (out of his depth) regularly get games. Grayson hasn’t solved our defensive woes all season and all we hear is the same line trotted out from him match after match (making too many mistakes, we’re an attacking team and we are bound to concede goals, etc). He also criminally failed to replace Michael Doyle by signing a midfielder ball winner, which has also been one of our undoings this year. One of the worrying things also is that unlike other teams (like Norwich) we don’t seem be building a spine to the team – something we can rely on in years to come. Our keeper has made some fine saves this year, but he’s too flashy for me and is prone to occasional mistakes. No-one rates LUFC’s current centrebacks and Kisnorbo is possibly finished and too injury prone to rely on. In centre midfield we have two players (Johnson and Kilkenny) who are out of contract and likely to move in the summer. Howson can’t fill that gap and there’s no-one else on the books that will. Up front Becchio has done well this year, but needs support and a decent back-up when he’s injured. The youth development line has all but dried up (is that Grayson’s fault?) and you only have to contrast the situation at Leeds with the likes of Middlesbrough where they have promising youngsters coming out of their ears. However Grayson’s not all to blame. He’s had to work largely with too many free buys and loanees. Not the recipe for a promotion winning side. When you’re delving in this side of the market by its very nature you are taking a gamble on some players (Bessone? Vokes? Livermore?) Loans also have no stake in the future of the club so best not to chock your team full of them. There is a theory doing the rounds that Bates and his cohorts ain’t too fussed about going up because of the awkward questions they may face about ownership. They’d also have to properly stick their hands in their pockets in terms of transfer fees, wages, etc. So why bother? Lets stay where we are and continue to make money out of the fans with little outlay. I sincerely hope we make a proper go of it next season and give Grayson some proper money to spend. If we’re nowhere at Christmas – he’s on his way (and Poyet to replace him isn’t a bad shout. However my fear is this lack of investment at the club will continue and Grayson will be the scapegoat. There’s a fine line between getting promoted and having momentum and stagnating and going backwards. Which is where we might be heading if we hang around in this league for too long. number1inyorkshire we have fallen out of the playoffs due to managerial incompetence what else can it be when we shipped 70 yes 70 goals .Every home game coming out its the same talk from all the leeds fans on the phone ins on the way home on the radio ,number 1 topic the lack of the basic ability to defend ,me ,you and everyone else and his dog can see the problem ,as Eddie Gray says every match “well Simon was a defender “why can,t he . NAYLOR ,COLLINS ,BRUCE ,BROMBY ,OBRIEN BESSONE,CONNELLY ,JOHNSON ,PARKER LICHAJ have all played across our back four the only one from 8 i would keep is lichaj and maybe Connolly. we also need some one in the backroom who offers something to grayson who has been there, snoddin offers nothing other than a rook with opposing mangers . WE HAVE VERY LITTLE QUALITY ,AND THE BIT WE HAVE WILL BE GONE IN THE CLOSE SEASON . Herbman Well i, like everybody else, is absolutely fed up with the teams and managers performance. I had my worries about SG last season, but thought give him one more season. He has shown he cannot deal in the transfer window (Collins, Sam, Paynter, McCormack, Bessone), cannot motivate players (this close to promotion and still th eplayers are not motivated) and has taken us as far as he can. His comments about our season are a laugh, when we reached 50 points he said we were safe whereas everyone else was gunning for the PL. No buys in January, whilst everybody else strenghtened. With 2 more losses we will be mid table, whereas we could have won the league with some shrewd buys and a competent manager. There are no leaders on the park, no inspiration on or off of it. So in a few days time, KB will either sack SG, or if not thenwas KB not willing to provide any cash at all this season?? How about Gus Poyet for new manager, did greta under Wise, excellent at Brighton!! Mark I have reluctantly accepted the fact that Leeds are simply not good enough for a return to the Premiership this season. QPR, Norwich Swansea and Cardiff are all well ahead of us and deserve to be pushing for promotion. After a positive start to the season Leeds have flattered to deceive on far to many occasions. You cant have the fourth worst defensive record in the division and complain about luck or individual mistakes, as a team we have fallen short. There is inevitably much debate on why we have fallen short. I really don’t but the “we would have been happy to consolidate this season” stuff, envious glances in the direction of Norwich in particular show why. A well run club, shrewd signings, positive management, reasonable defensive record etc. I dont have an inside track on either clubs finances however i dont believe their “budget” for 2010/11 would have been much different to ours. The facts are that when Norwich have needed a result this season they have got one, when we have needed one we have looked like relegation fodder. As a Leeds fan I have much to thank Simon Grayson for. Promotion back to the Championship (just) was essential for the club to progress and Grayson will always have that on his CV to boast about. Unfortunately i think that is about as far as he is likely to take the club. Just as players have a level, so do managers and i think League 1/Championship football is his level. Over the past few months Grayson has started to remind me of Blackwell at the end of his spell at Leeds. Excuse, after excuse for why we weren’t getting results, constant promises that the juggernaut that is Leeds would roll again soon etc etc etc we all know what happened next. I have posted a few times on the need for Leeds to completely rebuild in the summer. Its not a knee jerk reaction, it is the reality facing the club with some many players either out of contract or only at Leeds on loan. The players Leeds will have left at the club post season is not awe inspiring at all. Many of the players Leeds will have left under contract have not been part of Graysons first team plans this season, not particularly reassuring to think that we could be relying on them as first team regulars next season. The exodus of players will free up a hefty chunk of the wage bill to reinvest, unfortunately Grason has a poor track record on all transfer activity and I have no faith he will invest the money Leeds do have to spend wisely. Its quite a simple equation really, either the players he has brought into the club have not been good enough, illustrating his judgement at this level is suspect, or his management of the players at his disposal has not been good enough illustrating his ability at this level is suspect. Whatever angle i look at Leeds season from I genuinely believe that Grayson has fallen short when he was needed most. I know its harsh, but whats more important, the future direction and strategy of our club or being fair to Simon and his mates on the coaching staff. Its a big summer coming up for Leeds United. I think back to our time under Kevin Blackwell and the play off final defeat to Watford. It would have been a big decision to sack blackwell having reached the playoff final however it would have been the right decision. Unfortunately we stuck with him over the summer, filled the club up with even more 30 something duffers and ended up relegated (deservedly so). I suspect we will stick with Grayson next season, if so we will get what we deserve and i don’t think it will be something any Leeds fan will have cause to celebrate. Dje 100% agree. Mark R Good post Mark Mark R Along with around 6000 magnificent Leeds fans, I baked in the heat of the battle for promotion at Selhurst park yesterday – only to leave incredibley disappointed. Lacklustre, laboured, no imagination, wrong formation & tactics, a lack of belief in the team, some players dead on their feet, the man on the ball had very few options,..etc etc. The inconsistency and decline in our performances since Christmas is very worrying and everyone’s post on TSS has contributed to the current state of affairs. For me the essence of it all is – 1.Are the players fit enough after a similar capitulation post Christmas last season? We turn defence into attack at snails speed. 2.The use of the squad has been limited to say the least – which either points to the squad being weak or SG & staff not being strong enough in team selection. 2.If we can beat Man Utd, draw with Spurs & Arsenal with essentially the same core team – all motivated – then how can we perform so badly against lesser opposition ? SG got the strategy right then – so what changes in the league? Motivation appears weak & the players application appears weak against lesser opponents. The only sure way to correct this is a strong spine in the team with strong leaders on the pitch.We’v enever had that strong spine this season. 3.How can Millwall on a lesser budget out perform us ? There’s talk of changing our backroom staff etc, but can anyone name Millwalls backroom staff ? I can’t and I’m loathe to say it but fair play to Kenny Jackett for building a strong team on the training pitch with good organisation & a fighting team spirit. I bet their facilities are nothing like the ‘Premier League trappings’ at Thorpe Arch – the player’s are pampered and so the team’s gone soft. No mental toughness. 4.We’ve all seen the problems all season with conceding goals – and the capitulations vs. Preston, Portsmouth, Cardiff etc. have been scandelously poor. Yet nothing changed. Is SG too close to the players – probabley. A worrying lack of ideas and imagination on how to change the team’s performance for the better. 5.Our scouting network for new players is highly suspect.Unused players such as McCormack – who was brought in at significant expense – and had Championship experience – just wasn’t used ?? Nunez, Clayton out on loan with others. Collins should never have been signed after last season, and McCartney ? Ultimately I think we had a good enough squad to have achieved a comfortable top 6 finish and perhaps more. Even the loanees Lichaij & Bannan & Watt were quality additions.With a little imagination – better training,organisation,strategy & motivation we could have achieved more. Two games left – pride to play for , and if Nunez can help Scunny beat Nottm F. and our players stand up to be counted and actually win 2 games…well you never know. MOT lads. steve underwood I think some people need to get there head out of the clouds,do we really want to spend millions again look were that got us in the past,you only have to look at hull and leicester they spent millions and they are below us as for transfers well bessone was in championship team of the season last year so he must have something mcormack not really had a run in the side but i think he could come good.The players that are out of contract johnson killa etc wont be missed watt has been a big dissapointment no chance with arsenal,paynter cant play lone striker lets team him with becchio,one thing grayson has to sort is a good holding player suprised he did not try bruce there he can pass tackle run think he has played there before try him last 2 games.has for poyet not sure he would leave brighton just because we are called leeds united does not mean we have a right to go up or get any players or manager that we want Will23 I have to say the comments on this post are all very well considered and certainly based on judgement of the facts and not knee-jerk Waccoe-esque juvenile delinquent statements. This is a credit to everyone of us who wants the best for our club. I did fully expect to see a surge in support for the manager, but that such level of support is absent across 66 posts, bar two or three, is a testament to the strength of disappointment in the way our season has crashed and burned. But the atmosphere also reflects a deep sense of foreboding for next season. I really do think we are a relegation team in waiting if SG is allowed more money to invest in new players. He has been unable to spend wisely this past year, so what makes anyone think he can find the secret of formula of success this summer in the market? What is most disappointing of all is the fact that with the momentum of promotion last year, the foundation was in place on which to build a better team, but his has been well and truly lost. The dressing room gone. No trust is left in Grayson. He is not learning. I fear however that a 17th place at Xmas will be the only trigger for Bates. By then another million pound in wages/fees will have been wasted. It’s time for a change of manager and backroom staff. Now. Taxi 4 Grayson (but not at bank holiday rates!) steve underwood So grayson is hopeless then so in the 2 and a half seasons he has been here he has took us from going nowhere in league 1 to the play offs then got us promotion set the team up to beat man u draw at arsenal and finnish in the top 10 in the championship on our first season back after 3 in league 1 with little money,yes he has made some bad buys but so has alex ferguson,lets get behind the team just for once Dje And if the team isn’t behind Grayson any longer? Mark R The pattern has been the same the last 2 seasons. 1.Get ourselves in a good position come Christmas. early January. 2.Early January Perform well in the FA Cup vs. Premier League opposition. 3.Don’t recruit significantly in the January transfer window. 4.Watch the performances fall away March April. Once fine, twice is a pattern – the signs were there and it should have been avoidable. Mental toughness, organisation, & imagination required. MOT Mightywhite & ……… What does this mean?? Mark R Mightywhite, For me it means the spotlight is on why the management have taken the same path. Could it be something as basic as the players being fit enough for the second half of the season allied to a none use of the whole squad ? There were lessons to be learnt last season – but it’s questionable as to whether they have. MOT James Great posts again, of a very mature nature I suppose. Not like, as Will23 said, juvenile statements like you see on WACCOE and on facebook etc. Mark and Mark R, great post’s too. Totally agree number1inyorkshire i would like to place on record .do not under estimate how much we will miss KILLKENNY .he moans ,he whinges ,he doesn’t score and some of his passes are awful and his tackling is dubious ,but when it goes right 80%of the time he does the right thing and he sees plenty of the ball ,he is an unsung hero and i have to say i have changed my mind about him I WAS WRONG and in any peoples mind still are . Rodge Still pissed off about the crysal palace match Loved them diamond floodlights I’m still pissed off at becchio’s miss v Watford that would have sealed the points inexcusable food and drink that’s his frigging job! henryv Luciano is one of the very few bright lights in our squad this season. Without his goals we would be fighting against relegation. Think of all the diabolical goals we have let in!! Even Messi and Ronaldo miss easy chances. Think of all the terrible crosses, free kicks and corners! Bradley and Max’s wild shooting! Think of that dreadful clearance against palace, and another own goal! We have a long list of crap players in our squad, but Luciano is not one of them. If he had not got injured we may have qualified for the play-offs! Think of our form since Christmas, not one incident. john wilson Talking of injuries – Leeds have been more fortunate than many teams in the division this season in as much as hardly any key player has had a long spell on the sidelines. I’m not counting Kisnorbo because it was known that he would be missing and we needed to plan for his absence before the start of the season). Suspensions have not featured much either – So not even these excuses can be prayed in aid of an explanation of where its all gone wrong. Becchio is missed at the moment but his absence is not making the difference between qualifying or not for the playoffs. Interesting piece about Jermaine Pennant in a newspaper yesterday. He said Pulis insists that he and Etherington track back to support the defence (implication is that they would be out of the team if they didn’t perform and they both run further than any other players in the Stoke team. That’s one area where Leeds have been very weak for most of the season but there hasn’t been the luxury of even considering dropping players like Snodgrass and Gradel. You need superfit players to carry it off week in week out. A problem with too many Leeds players is that for everything they are individually good at the liabilities outweigh the strengths. Johnson can tackle but can he pass? Howson can run into good positions but can he pass and finish consistently and can he do anything more than trot back to help the defence?; O’Brien can head the ball but can he turn quickly enough to stop people breezing past him; Snodgrass can make brilliant runs but can he shoot or head the ball? Gradel can dribble but can/ does he want to link up with other players? – A manager and coaching staff should be exploiting the strengths, working on minimising the weaknesses and making a team. I don’t get the impression that the players work well as a team. Its all a bit fragile. Matt BB dont forget however that snodgrass, gradel, howson, becchio and johnson have a 3rd division pedigree, they arent pennant or etherington, and we are a championship team. We all know in our heart of hearts that a leap to the PL right now would be a disastrous one without serious investment in the squad, I just cant imagine how awful it would be to live through the 2003-4 season again, getting walloped 6-0 by Sunderland or Wigan. Having said all of that I am simply keeping my fingers crossed that we get our house in order and finish on two morale boosting wins, if that gets us in the play offs then brilliant, if no then it gives us more time to prepare for next season. Coming down we have most likely Wolves, Blackpool, and either Wigan or Blackburn, none of them particularly concern me and with the exception of Wolves they will come down ill prepared to live in the championship. I know there is a large amount of sour grapes in this email and I would have loved us to have gone up automatically but maybe its for the best that we consolidate. I would even go as far as to say that Grayson should consider blooding some of the youngsters in these last two games from the bench, Poleon, the Turner Brothers, and seeing what McCormackhas to offer as part of a 3 men attack, he has nothing to lose and everything to gain. Irving08 It is time for Bates to display the ruthlessness that he showed earlier in his career. Tell Simon that it is either him and all his backroom staff who are going or them alone. Since the club is ticking over financially, I suspect that KB will sit on his hands until such time as it is blindingly obvious that, for all his decency and commitment, Simon is not equipped to lead us into the Premier League: his signings, loan and otehrwise, alone would cause me to think very hard before giving him any money to spend. Matt BB when leeds play well, especially in attack the footballing is breathtaking to watch, and at Premier league standard, so there a very big chink of light there for simon grayson, at a very early stage of his coaching career. Said it before, will say it again, he needs an experienced coach with strong defensive qualities to build up that other side of his footballing education. The coaches whove done wellthis season, Brendan Rodgers, Paul Lambert have a great all round approach to play, neither have especially dogged defences, but they are not as one dimensional as we are. I dont think sacking grayson is the right thing to do, I think Kens most sensible investment is to give him a good no.2 there are some gret players in our squad – even in defence, its how theyre coached and developed that makes the difference. And credit where its due, Bradley Johnson should be offered an improved contract right now – ditto kilkenny, i have criticised them both but they are proving to be as integral as perennial teachers pet Jon Howson, thats poor man management and it must have had its effect. number1inyorkshire just been reading bates Yorkshire post interview ,Simon says “he only wants to bring quality into the team ” well aside from lichaj why hasn’t he .apparently its all about building for next season LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL ,laugh i nearly handed mi fags out !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Will23 Grayson is happy with his work apparently according to today’s YEP and does not fear the sack. Well, yes, by the measure of maintaining our status in the Championship, he has met the season’s objectives. He now says we need older players, as if age was somehow a significant factor in whether a team is successful or not. Every week he comes out with a different assessment of what the squad needs. This begs the question: if he knows of these factors of weaknesses now, why did he not seek to avoid their occurrence in the first place? The fact that he says: “maybe we need older heads” sounds like he is not too confident of what the answer to our rapid disintegration actually is. The answer is: a new manager. Taxi 4 Grayson. henryv When he says building for next year he means the hotel! Ken has taken our ‘failure’ very well! Too well? henryv I see Bannan has been recalled by Villa. Hardly surprising as he has not had too much game time with us!! Will23 HenryV Hope you enjoyed the wedding as I guess you were invited? Bannan is apparently too young for us based on Grayson’s YEP comment today! Chris H Interesting to read these comments. I’m actually an Arsenal fan for 35 years and if you read the Arsenal sites you will see lots of very angry comments about our manager. I agree with them. I am sick of Wenger and sick of what our club has become. I look at your great club and see a real football club, on their way back from the abyss, yet many commenters want Grayson out. Why? He is a proper Leeds man, he has taken you from a groundhog day in League 1 to the verge of the play offs. I watch every Leeds game on TV, and cheer more loudly when they score than when Arsenal do. Love your club, and I think Grayson will get you up next season. Come on Leeds!