The Scratching Shed is delighted to welcome Journalism and Media student Zak Lewis who is here to share his thoughts on Leeds United’s recent troubles. 

I must admit, I along with what seems like every other Leeds fan this summer, have been underwhelmed and disappointed with our summer acquisitions. Bringing four players in, two goalkeepers, a 34 year old defensive midfielder and a centre back on loan who hasn’t had many ringing endorsements, isn’t going to spark the fan’s imaginations after what was on the whole, a good progressive season.

As last season concluded there was an air of optimism amongst the Leeds faithful, even after our disappointing end of season collapse that seems to be a Leeds staple nowadays. The supporters believed that we would invest and I shared that thought. We knew we wouldn’t be spending ridiculous amounts of money, and we didn’t want to. The last thing we needed was another Ridsdale situation, but we did expect a reasonable amount of cash being spent. After all we are one of only two Championship clubs in the black according to ‘good old’ Ken.

It started well being linked with players like; Jack Cork, Kieran Westwood and even Leeds old boys Lee Bowyer, Jonathan Woodgate and serial ‘Badge Kisser’ Alan Smith. The general consensus amongst the fans was that most, if not all of them would improve our team. Then we were shocked with the news that Leeds had accepted an offer from Leicester City for Kasper Schmeichel. This was when the optimism started to drift away. Our targets started to slip out of our grasp. Westwood went to Sunderland, we ended up with Rachubka, Bowyer cited family reasons and snubbed Leeds for Ipswich and we end up with Brown who hasn’t played in six months. Whilst our optimism that we may sign Eric Lichaj with some of the Kasper Schmeichel money or at the very least on loan, seems more unlikely with the arrival of Darren O’Dea who has already been dubbed Darren “O’Dear” by many of the fans.

Even with all these problems, a part of me still believed we could get something out of the Saints game. Maybe Michael Brown is what we missed last season I told myself, maybe Andy Lonergan will be better than Kasper and maybe just maybe Kisnorbo could still be as good and shore up our defence. Unfortunately my optimism diminished within ten minutes when O’Brien failed to close down the opposition once again and Lonergan failed to save a shot, which to be honest he should have done better with. The rest of the game wasn’t any better either. Leeds looked lethargic and disinterested, our defence looked worse for most parts and our midfield was non-existent for large parts of the game, whilst Grayson looked worried and bemused as to how bad we were. This isn’t taking anything from Southampton, to their credit they looked good, but part of me wondered whether that was because we looked so bad.

However there were a few shining lights. Clayton looked good, he got stuck in and had a few tidy touches, Lonergan made some good saves and improved as the match wore on and at least we scored which prevented us from being bottom of the league on the opening day. But we need to improve tenfold if we’re going to have any chance of mounting a serious promotion challenge this season. The latest rumour of us signing Ryan Bertrand on loan for the rest of the season sounds promising and I for one would be happy if it happened. But I am still holding out hope for the return of Lichaj and hopefully another defensive midfielder to back up Brown who just gave away fouls left right and centre.

Either way keep the faith and keep singing your hearts out for the lads, because getting on their backs this early isn’t going to help matters.

MOT, Zak Lewis.