2011-12: Where other people think we’ll finish TSS August 4, 2011 Leeds United 48 Comments Talksport presenter Adrian Durham was yesterday spouting his usual nonsense and declared that Leeds United would be relegated this season because we’ve lost Kasper Schmeichel, Bradley Johnson and Neil Kilkenny. Here at The Scratching Shed, I’m predicting a play-off finish for The Whites but how does that compare with what the objective types think? Jonathan Liew – The Guardian The Guardian’s Jonathan Liew has written his predictions for all the teams in the Championship and has Leeds United 11th with the following explanation; Certainly good enough to make the play-offs at least, but Leeds’s problem will be in stringing a run of results together. Grayson has been unhappy with the team’s performances during pre-season, and in such a strong league, a slow start could prove fatal to their promotion chances. @AndrewHaigh – The Sun I contacted The Sun journalist and Leeds United fan for his prediction via Twitter and he appears to be playing it safe with a conservative 10th place finish on 63 points (very specific!) Christian Brown – The Football Front Chris points to the loss of Killa, Johnson and Schmeichel to justify a prediction of 13th place for The Whites. What is going on at Leeds? First they lose both holding midfielders Bradley Johnson and Neil Kilkenny on frees, then they force their goalkeeper out before bringing in a sub standard replacement in comparison to Schmeichel, and then to top it off, 2 of their best strikers get injured (Becchio and Somma)! With Premier League eyes keenly fixed on both Max Gradel and Robert Snodgrass, if Leeds aren’t careful, they could be back where they came from. Losing Schmeichel is a monumental blow, as he won the club so many points on his own last. New keeper, Longeran will not do the same. Systemlays The betting site Systemlays is another predicting a season of mediocrity for The Whites with an 11th placed finish. I am surrounded by Leeds fans at the moment and they are not a happy bunch. After making an excellent return to the Championship last year and just missing out on what looked like a certain play off place, they seem determined to go backwards rather than forwards. Could be a turbulent season once again up at Elland Road. Sky Sports Another tough year of disappointment for The Whites according to Sky Sports who are predicting an 11th placed finish for Simon Grayson’s side. It should be noted that they did predict we’d finish 19th last season! Grayson is doubly determined to steer Leeds towards another promotion challenge after narrowly missing out on the play-offs last season. But competition in the second tier is getting ever stronger and following a summer of limited rebuilding a top-six finish might be beyond them. Ollie Holt – Daily Mirror The Chief sports writer of the Daily Mirror reckons Leeds United have what it takes to secure a play-off spot this season; I’m going to go for West Ham and Burnley to be promoted automatically from Championship. Forest, Blackpool, Leeds and Brighton for playoffs Michael Owen – Professional bench warmer No mention of Leeds United in Michael Owen’s Championship predictions; I’m going for Leicester as Champions with Forest going up with them. Play Off teams being West Ham, Ipswich, Burnley, Blackpool. Other predictions I’ve contacted a few other people for their predictions and will continue to update as they come in. If you know of any we’ve missed from the national rags or other sites, please post a link below and we’ll add them in. Mr603 Christian Brown's obviously either a moron, or has no idea who our players from last season are: "They lose both holding midfielders Bradley Johnson and Neil Kilkenny on frees" So that'd be box-to-box retard Bradley Johnson and deep-lying powderpuff Neil Kilkenny? Who we've replaced with tackling nutcase Brown, grafter Clayton and exotic foreigner Nunez? Yeah, forgive me if I don't shit myself about the upcoming season too much. TSS I'm with you mate. Don't think he's ever seen Killa's "deep-lying" skills. Did he ever tackle anybody while he was with us? Rikton Christain brown have word with yourself muppett !!!, Tss and Mr603 couldnt agree more box to box retard is nail on the head in my mind, though one thing i have noticed is that after watching all leeds games last seen on LUFC archive( Yes i have too much time on my hands i know lol) Bradders did win pretty much every header that he went up for, further up the park that is, and nobody else really did bar becchio, so how that will effect us i don't know. And Kilkenny was a lightweight could'nt tackle but could pass sometimes when he wasn't whingeing at everyone. Glad that pre-maddona has left. Mark my words Nunez and Clayton will step up this year. MOT Dje 'Pre-Maradona' would have been even funnier, but 'pre-Madonna' will do. [Yes I' am a twat] Bowden Or maybe even 'prima donna' as in 'first lady'… Bowden By the way, I concur with you. I wouldn't have minded Johnson staying, but really glad to see the back of Kilkenny. He was a lightweight, no tackling, gobshite! Matthew At least we dont have to worry about losing to Bristol City this season, with Mr I like to stand around pointing/running my mouth Kilkenny in the midfield position along side Mr I'm over rated and should of retired David James, its a sure thing for us. mikelufc Didn't we have grafter clayton and mr exotica nunez last season then? Is BJ not playing in the prem now? I suppose you also think Lambert is a dickhead too. The problem is not the players but the management of them. carl y on earth johnson is in the prem i dont know tbh and kill kenny is shite he is a puff cant tackle, also nunez should have been given a chance last year and didn't and clayton is now a completely different player Hosty Will be nice to see what the mirror say this year, last year they had us in 9th but had donny in 8th. Andy Flynn They’ve probably hacked Bates voicemail to find it full of voicemails from agents and other Chairmam laughing at his latest offer… In fairness, I don’t want is paying loads od money for mediocre players so not too bothered. I’m pleased with starting 11 except strikers, but worry about the quality in the squad… Rob I'm not unhappy with Kilkenny and johnson leaving. I think we can do much better than those 2 in midfield. Johnson does have a good engine but not much quality and Kilkenny has very little pace and mobility. Schmeichel will not be a huge loss. He is a good keeper with great potential but was definitely not the finished article, like some would have you believe. I think our starting 11 will be much stronger than last season with most of the good players still at Leeds. With Kisnorbo returning to partner O'Brien I think we have a reliable pair of centre-backs and should conceed less. The midfield should improve with a player that can actually tackle, Michael Brown, and a very exciting attacking player, Ramon Nunez. The only cause for concearn is the double blow of injury to Becchio and Somma but I think McCormack is the best all-round forward we have and will step up if required. I predict another fight for play-offs and hopefully will have a happy ending this time around. Paul Snowdon We'll finish in the top 3 for definite and go up either automatically or through the play offs. The Happy Hippy far out man pass the joint to me next mikelufc does your habit cost a lot paul? Dje I agree we'll be there or there about this season like last. My only disappointment is that we haven't gone that extra mile (recognised left-back? cover for when Brown gets suspended?) to give us genuine hope for automatic promotion rather than thinking playoffs should be in our grasp. Far too conservative for me. Gluegun still got a month to go with the transfer window, i think the squad will be alright come september Simon Why do so many idiots keep spouting rubbish about Schmeichel based on what they've seen on T.V? "Journalists" my arse. Josh L FourFourTwo Magazine have us down as a 7th place finish yet again! Colin I have to admit, I will have a little wry smile on my face when all the plaudits start coming in for Schmeichel, and Sven for a "great piece of business at £1.5m." That'll serve Grayson and Bates right for kicking Kasper out on his arse. Slarty Bart Farst Hmmm, did you see any of our games last season? kev colin, are u a relation of schmeicel,or maybe his agent your always bigging him up ?? Colin Ha ha! Nope, I'm a fan of hard working and committed players with a good image that adds to the good name and brand of Leeds United. Usual shit, just another name – Beckford/Bradley Johnson/Kasper Schmeichel (delete as appropriate) is overrated/a money grabber/not committed to the club. And that BS is pushed by the LUFC Propaganda machine and lots of people buy it. I don't and neither does Sven or Paul Lambert. Ken reckons losing Kasper is no big loss. We'll see soon enough how he gets on at Leicester, but you'll have to excuse me for now if I don't side with Ken and stand by Sven on this one. TSS If you can explain away the majority as hooked on Bates' propaganda, how do you explain me? I'm still Beckford's biggest fan and would welcome him back without hesitation and I genuinely wanted Bradley Johnson to be retained as I felt he improved massively last season and would only improve. Yet, I didn't rate Kasper Schmeichel. If I – Bates' biggest critic – was victim of the propaganda, surely I'd hate the other two as well? The fact of the matter is, I was questioning Kasper's worth midway through last season long before his sale was ever an issue. I feel he was massively overrated, needs more time to develop and has been carried by his name. Good shot-stopper, poor at everything else. Brian T If Leeds are going to do well this season SG is going to have to do something about the poor form that they have in the new year. They just got away with it when they got promoted from league one but it cost them a place in the premiership last season. Its essential that the squad has some depth and quality if they're going to succeed this time round. Tyler75 'Losing Schmeichel is a monumental blow, as he won the club so many points on his own last'. Really ? I thought it was our strikers & midfield banging in goals like confetti to mitigate for appalling defensive lapses that kept us in the mix for promotion – to be fair Kasper did get us a nice juicy replay aginst Arsenal with that wonder save at the Emirates – but who am I to argue with such an obvious football genius such as Christian Brown. Leicester and West Ham automatic, with us as one of 7 or 8 teams battling for the 4 play off slots. Mike I am made up Kilkenny went – too light weight and part of the reason we let goals in – but managed to avoid the accusing fingers as he was tucked away in midfield. Your right he never made a tackle and I think the longest pass was about 8 yards. It was nice to see a few 20 yarders from midfield against Newcastle – we looked like a team and they seemed a lot more imaginative in the middle of the park (I know it was a friendly and Newcastle were shit but trying to be positive) I think we are stronger than last year and have more options – parker,…. ady white easy to forget about them but personally both would go in my first 11- I just know Nunez is going to have a great season. The problem is that other teams are stronger as well – leeds could be 11th but I dont think many points will seperate 1st to 11th this season -they will all take points of each other. if we are within 6 points on boxing day I tip us to see it through this time and not fall away. Heart 1st…. Brain 5th Henryv I feel optimistic, as I do every year. Part of the uncertainty is because, unlike other clubs, our squad has still to be completed. Another 2 or 3 good pros will change things for the better I think. Can't wait!!! mikelufc So you think there are 2-3 good pro's available for free and want minimum wages then! Clive Sanderson Schmeichel being sold for up to 1.5 million was great business for Leeds as Schmeichel made far too many errors. He may look like his dad but he's got a long way to go before he's anywhere near as good. Our midfield looks a lot better than last season and our defence is several times better with Kisnorbo and a better goalkeeper at the back. Apparently O'Dea is a very good defender (on a season long lone from Celtic) but I've never seen him. I'm looking forward to seeing Nunez play. He look like a real Premiership quality player. All in all we're in a much better position than last year, but there again, I think it will be even harder than last season with more quality teams in the 2nd tier. mikelufc So selling Kasper was great business? for who? Has the lolly been reinvested in the squad? NO! so how do you rate that as good business? Colin Clive – If I follow your thinking, Schmeichel is a bad goalkeeper because he makes too many "errors" and let in 70 goals. Do you really think that Lonergan made any less "errors" than Schmeichel? I do know one thing – Lonergan let in 79 goals. TSS Kasper did it in a much better team though. Lonergan had a team of absolute nobodies in front of him. Colin Ladies and Gentlemen, let me introduce Richard Naylor & Alex Bruce They're hardly Vidic and John Terry. TSS Oh yeah, the same Naylor who played how many games last season? As for Bruce, he did OK but needed guidance from the more experienced CB and the goalkeeper. Matthew I Agree TSS, Naylor was way past his prime, though he did us a service in his time here, he wasn't what we needed going forward in this league. Same with Bruce, though Bruce arguably is a decent player, he tends to play either really well, or really bad, we cant afford to have inconsistant performances. Barry Brown they may have predicted we would finish 19th last season, but bearing in mind that before obrien, mccartney etc came in we probably would have the way we started shipping goals then they were certainly a lot more realistic than the leeds fans who were saying we would get automatic promotion because 'we are leeds and a big club' this season has echoes of blackwells last in charge when he was giving no money or wage budget and we ended up getting relegated to league 1. so for once in my life im praying because all the transfer activity and talk from elland road, bates and grayson fills me with no confidence. i predict a mid table finish same as last season if we get lucky, but with our goal scorers out we might be lower Gluegun I've got a rope if you want it? rwhites And I will kick the chair away backseat pete "Losing Schmeichel is a monumental blow, as he won the club so many points on his own last. New keeper, Longeran will not do the same." Excuse me, but if Leeds were the Championships top scorers last year and yet still didn't get promoted what does that tell you? Not all can be attributed to Kasper, but I will always remember his last appearance for Leeds. He was 100% at fault for QPR's goal. Forget Andy Lonergan, I'm looking at Paddy and Any O'Brien to shore up last years short comings! Matthew Speaking of that goal in the final season, I cant of been the only one wanting to scream WTF??? in the stadium, such a rookie mistake made there. Rob Long Wow that's a gloomy outlook from the journos, on the plus side stick some money on the lads – I've seen odds at 21-1 to go up which is surely worth sticking a few quid on! I agree with the general comments about the "dynamic midfield duo" of Johnson and Killa – Johnson was starting to show some consistency but he wasn't the key to the team, he just ran up and down a lot – he's replaceable to say the least. Killa was struggling to hold down a position and I think would have been keeping the bench warm if he was still at the club. I've been calling for us to sign an experienced "Midfield General" for a few years, he doesn't need to have the legs just needs to be able to pass, tackle and generally boss the midfield as ours is young and in-experienced. On another note, Grayson clearly likes Clayton and Nunez or else he wouldn't have signed them in the first place!, they came in on loans/trials so we had a good look at them and must have seen soemthing. I'm not 100% convinced the defense if where it should be. I think we're weak at both right and left back (although Connelly was starting to show signs) and would have liked to see a new option on both sides brought in. As for Lonergan I think he's a good enough shot stopper for the championship and his experience behind the defence will set him apart from Schmeichel who often got himself into bad situations forcing miracle saves. I'm hoping the experienced head will help us solidify. Tim Campbell We'll defno make play-offs this year with Paddy back to ruffle a few opposing forwards. The balance between defence and attack should be interesting with the acquisition of brown, plus the likelihood of ramon nunez getting a good run in the first team this year. According to the Sun newspaper this morning Larry has thrown £1.2M at the blunts for duo Montgomery and Quinn Whiter than Daz If we do not get promotion this year our quality players Becchio, Snodders, Mad Max, Kissy will not be at the club next year which will leave us fighting relegation and not promotion. I believe the starting 11 is not bad but I believe 2 full backs better than we have now are needed and we need more competition in the middle of the park. We have the ability to murder some teams but look light weight against some physical sides we need players to step in for these types of games. Injuries and suspensions will be our bigest worry as our competition for places is not great unless you look at the wings with the obvious 2 + Nunez White Sam and Mendy. Prediction 10th without the signings mentioned, 4th with Cheers normangunston no real insight there aside from Andrew Haigh who is a fan and knows the club well. While I would've loved Leicester's transfer budget, think the relaxing of expectations may help our cause. As a club we're at our best when the world's against us. Hopefully it sparks a feeling of togetherness in our squad. Matthew Leicesters transfer budget is strange, I mean he clearly has the money but hes picking random players from crap teams, and random players from midtable sides. He hasnt really gone after top class talent, though I'm probably the only one not afraid of Leicester this season, I do believe we have a good chance of winning/drawing against them, they have hardly got what I would call an A team. Ignoring the fact Leicester are our bogey team. mojoluafc Obviously i want us to go up but seem inclined to think around 8th with our top strikers out. A good start for confidence will be needed, the last thing is not so much a relegation battle but to be in the teens and start playing panic/scrappy football. Dave I’m getting sick of people ripping Leicester to go up. I honestly think they are a disaster waiting to happen. Sven has signed way too many players, and with such an unsettled squad it will take time for them to get it together. Also, add to that the fact that the majority of his signings are decidedly average and the man himself does not have a clue. Also, their defence was worse than ours last year, and if we are to believe Grayson, in that kasper’s inability to organise his defence was our main defensive downfall, then Sven is setting himself and Leicester up for an almighty (and expensive) fall. Anyway, back to us. Heart says top three, head says tenth. Having said that, I wouldn’t be surprised to finish anywhere from 2nd to 16th.