Ross McCormack scored twice in a six goal thriller at Brighton’s new Amex Stadium to become the first Leeds United player in over fifty years to score in six consecutive league games.

Not wishing to tempt fate here, but only three players have scored in more consecutive league games than Ross McCormack now for The Whites. They are Tom Jennings who scored 16 goals in 7 games during the 1926/27 season, Charlie Keetley who scored 10 times in 7 games during the 1929/30 season and the current record holder, Billy Furness, who scored in eight consecutive games during the 1931/32 season.

Massive thanks to Joe Mewis for providing us with those stats.

While Ross McCormack will quite deservedly grab the headlines, it was unsung hero Andy Keogh who opened the scoring with his first for the club on 18 minutes following an impressive passage of play from The Whites. 0-1

It was all looking a little too easy for Leeds when Ross McCormack added the second just six minutes later with a fine strike into the bottom right hand corner. 0-2

It was a pretty dominant first half away from home, with the defence functioning well and giving us few moments of panic, whilst the attack proved to be just as capable of scoring goals as we have been for the last couple of seasons.

It looked as though Leeds had finally learnt how to deal with these quick, short-passing sides, similar to Doncaster Rovers and Norwich City, where we so often come undone and seem to be chasing shadows. Brighton were given very little time to find their rhythm, and Leeds looked capable of going on and adding more to the tally.

But football is a game of two halves as the old cliché goes, and true to form, the second half was absolutely nothing like the first.

Within two minutes of the restart, Mackall-Smith managed to find a gap between two of our defenders, who he left for dead with a quick turn before slotting Brighton’s first beyond Andy Lonergan. 1-2

Leeds looked to reawaken at that point, but an undeniable penalty on 60 minutes dealt another blow to the fragile confidence of our defence. Barnes duly converted and the momentum to go on and win the game was now with the home side. 2-2

It looked like Brighton would be celebrating a famous comeback when Mackall-Smith capitalised on more poor defending from Leeds to fire Brighton into the lead with just over five minutes left to play. 3-2

But for all their faults, Leeds are rarely accused of giving up before the final whistle and that mentality paid off once more as Jonny Howson cut a ball back from the touchline to gift Ross McCormack an equaliser in injury time. 3-3 FT

On and on and on and on…

To lead a game 2-0 and then find yourself celebrating a last minute equaliser is a strange feeling, but we were playing a side who had it not been for McCormack’s second goal would now be top of the Championship.

It’s frustrating that we didn’t collect all three points, and our tendency to switch-off in defence winds us all up, but if you’d have offered me a point as I made the long journey down to the Amex, I’d have snatched your hand off.

It’s a strange world of conflicting opinion is football; one man’s “excellently worked goal” is another man’s “shoddy defending” and that was highlighted quite brilliantly in the post-match interviews as both managers grumbled about the concentration levels of their team in defence.

Three more goals conceded naturally means fans are playing the blame game. Few of our fans will be praising Mackall-Smith for two excellently taken goals, but will instead be complaining about our defence and demanding we get rid of players we were praising only a few weeks ago.

Case in point, Tom Lees and Aidy White. The overwhelming opinion before the last couple of games was that our young full-backs were the best thing since sliced bread. We were willing to accept the odd mistake and would practice patience as they were “blooded” and prepared for lengthy careers at the club.

That patience was roughly 180 minutes long by my calculations, as I’m already seeing forum posts and tweets calling for them to be shipped off to the pub leagues.

Then there’s Darren O’Dea, who follows Andy O’Brien in going from a “steady, assured central defender” to a total liability – again, this took about 180 minutes of football.

Jonny Howson and Robert Snodgrass meanwhile have caught Mark Viduka Syndrome, which is a rare disorder in which certain fans are unable to see any positives in their performance, and instead concentrate solely on a couple of mistakes. They pick out the couple of mistakes that every player has, in every match, and use them to justify their opinion that said players have become “lazy and disinterested”.

Of course, some fans have realised the hypocrisy of blaming players they previously praised and decided instead to aim their gloom and doom at the head of Simon Grayson who is no longer the best manager since Howard Wilkinson, but has instead become the new Kevin Blackwell.

And all this, because we lost to the Premier League Champions and drew away to a high-flying Brighton side who will no doubt finish the season in the top six.

The truth is, things aren’t ideal at Elland Road. We missed a couple of quality signings that only good money would have brought, but we know this and have to work with what we have.

The defence is a lot more capable than fans give it credit for, we’ve seen brief examples of this throughout the first few games, but the overwhelming amount of pressure and scrutiny we’re putting them under isn’t helping matters. It’s difficult to perform and gel when you can feel the aura of expected failure all around you. The sighs and sarcastic cheers are only making matters worse I’m afraid.

Yes, the players and manager have work to do, but so too do the fans. We have to show a bit of faith in Simon Grayson and the players, grant them the patience we previously promised and hope they can pull off the unthinkable in what you have to admit, is extremely difficult circumstances.

Anyway, rant over. Hard to believe we’ve taken seven points from the last three league games, isn’t it? On and on…

  • http://gigsinparis.com/ Gigs in Paris

    All good points. I think it’s also very worth noticing that we’re yet to play a side lower than 13th in the league and I don’t think anyone can doubt we would have taken points from both Middlesboro’ and Ipswich had it not been for bad luck and sending offs. 

    So from a tricky opening to the season, with a great deal of expectation and no big name signings – the squad only have the opening day defeat to Southampton to be ashamed of. And that’s because we didn’t turn up – not many will come away from there with anything this season.

    Easy to be negative when you don’t look at the facts… 10 from the next 15 available, which we should get, and everyone’s tune will change.

    • Trebor

      We played Bristol City who are in the relegation zone.

  • Anonymous

    well what can you say that hasnt been said above? perhaps that the problems of the last 18 months have just rumbled on and on and albeit we are no longer in league one, we are not progressing. No problems scoring, but midfield are dreadfully disorganised, and cant track back, and the defence get punished for lapses in conctration. For me it is vital Grayson listens to one of the key rules of management, and asks for help or guidance. Its clear to me that Williams, SNodin & Co are not adding value, and I would love to see George Graham or Sean O’Driscoll on our coaching staff sooner rather than later, Plus I’d like to see Lees at Centre back with Kisnorbo, Pugh at left back and until we get another loanee we should play a right back at right back – Connolly. BTW Logging in on this new comments system is dreadful, only able to do it via home, not during my appointed work breaks… in the office.

    • Anonymous

      yes until connolly plays shit then it willbe chants of ” graysons an idiot, why did he pick him ?”

  • DubaiWhite

    Rumors flying around suggesting Grayson has resigned? Anyone know if there is any truth in it?

    • http://www.thescratchingshed.com TSS

      Doesn’t that rumour go round every month? I suspect it originated on a forum, or one of those ridiculous rumour sites that let’s anyone add their own. 

      Could be wrong, but I’m not buying it.

      • DubaiWhite

        How right you are sir extra points if you guess which one!? Just a couple of mates asking it’s true. I try not to believe these things and I don’t usually read bastard forums!

        • http://www.thescratchingshed.com TSS

          Just seen it now on WACCOE with all the regulars taking the piss. The majority on there are as cynical as the rest of us, but it does seem to attract too many of the “a close source at the club who I can’t reveal because he’ll get in trouble tells me” type people. Honestly can’t understand what they get out of posting such nonsense. Probably the same people who create fake Twitter accounts pretending to be footballers.

          I won’t believe it until I read Ken Bates slagging him off on the OS.

    • sxwhite

      ffs
      you have just added to it.If there was any truth in it it wouldnt be a rumour and would be posted as fact.If you hear something dont post about it just research for facts or wait

  • Sveifors

    patience, what. SG has had my support in nearly a long time, but he is not capable of fixing our defensive problem.I have no more patience. It is not so that only money can give you a decent defence, no you get quite a long way with decent players and a good organized team. Last season most teams in Championship had better defense than Leeds. Don’t tell me this is because all them had more resources tha Leeds.We are far from organizedt. You can look at every deadball, corner. Complete disorder, chaos and not an inch of organized team. Ballwatching and uncertain players who don’t know who marks who, or which one shall go for the ball. This was also clear to see in the first 45 against Brighton.

    Get help in defensive coaching, SG. Maybe someone who can come from the outside a see the obvious they can not see from the inside.

    • http://www.thescratchingshed.com TSS

      Leeds fans would moan if we won every game 1-0 or drew 0-0 – it happened during the George Graham days.

      The fact is, Grayson has improved our position year on year. We’re still accumulating points, whilst providing entertainment that almost justifies the extortionate ticket prices. Had we drawn 0-0, no one would have complained. Does it really matter how we get the points, so long as we do?

    • Ron Galea

      Spot on Sveifors. Everyone one of us wish Grayson well as he is one of us and got us promoted from League 1. No one can take that away from him. However, our defensive frailties are a running joke now and if Grayson doesn’t step down, we can at least sack our defensive coach. Grayson even admitted at the end of the match that no matter who he puts as his back 4 they still seem to leak goals. Sorry SG, you assembled this team and the balance is just not there. I’d like to see a new manager at Leeds.

      • Anonymous

        i agree the defence is a problem but considering all the circumstances calling for graysons head is idiotic……..hes had zero financial backing, hes a leeds fan and certainly interms of attacking play hes agood manager. Who do you think would replace him anyway ?  Whos going to come to a club with protesting fans, zero ambition and no transfer kitty ???!!!!!!  Would they be as good and committed as grayson ??? unlikely !

        • Anonymous

          i dont think grayson needs kicking out, i think he needs help, he has a good deal right with his side, he needs an organiser though to work with him, as said George Graham fits that description for me, i wouldnt mind a few 1-0 games.

  • irving08

    Sorry, but I can’t agree on our defensive capabilities. They are (for whatever reason) awful and with Johnson’s departure possibly worse even than last season – at least he gave us some aerial power. M’Smith’s turns were no more than one expects from a forward at this level. I haven’t seen enough of O’Dea to judge him properly, but Bromby, Kisnorbo and O’Brien are just not good enough defenders for an attacking team like ours. (Bruce is probably the only central defender who can tackle properly anyway.) Lees is playing out of position – leaving only White as someone who unreservedly merits his current slot (which may not be his best, but he is better at it than any of the other defenders are at theirs). The issue demands quickly a fresh pair of eyes at the managerial level. Poyet (sadly) showed SG up rather in his response to the 3-3 draw…..           

  • Anonymous

    Have to say, on his day Mackall-Smith is a class act in this division: scored two and won the penalty for their other goal. I thought we played well too, and against a good tidy team that’ll be there or thereabouts come the end of the season. Biggest positive was the never say die spirit and the clear delight amongst the squad when we got our third. I think team morale s still high and that’s worth a hell of lot with the finicky nature of fans in regards to Bates and the leaving of Gradel. 

    Am I the only one to be surprised why we didn’t bring Becchio on earlier and pound their box with crosses – you know, the things Ankergren was famous for being shit at dealing with when he was with us?! I think we managed two crosses in the entirety of the second half. 

  • Anonymous

    i feel we have been patient enough with the defence its getting the players down now ,Ross mccormack on sky said  ,we have to score 3 to get a draw translated that means i am doing my bit, the defense is not doing its …
    this is not a new thing its gone on since grayson took over he can not sort it as far as i am aware he has brought all those defenders in ………..

    we are 8 games in or 9  and we are getting back to the old putting up with it .”we have to be patient and the defence is more capable than we give it credit for ”

    i,ve mentioned the patience now the case for the defence
    at no point even at 2 nil did i feel confident we were going to win that game .AIDY WHITE grayson has said before is not a left back  he is  a left mid  ,Danny Pugh however can play left back he should have swapped them   ,,
    Connolly love or loathe him is a right back and he is better than lees in that position FACT .lees is a centre so if he is good enough to play there right back he should be dropping someone to play him at centre ,this is graysons problem he picks them
      my team would be
                                                   LONEGRAN
                      CONNOLLY     LEES            ODEA    PUGH
               
                  SNODGRASS    HOWSON     CLAYTON  WHITE

                                MCCORMACK    KEOGH/BECCHIO
    it can not go on conceding all those goals grayson knows it but can he do anything about it i suggest not it needs an in input of fresh ideas new coaching staff 

    • Anonymous

      Got to agree No1 – Lees is showing huge promise and about time he was tried in his natural position – only change I would make is Howson to right-side midfield and Varynen as a proper holding centre-back. Although Snods put in a shift on Friday, he’s been adding little to the team this season and a spell on the bench will remind him of that fact. If he responds in the right way, making an impact off the bench, all well and good, if he doesn’t…..then we could do with the funds in the Jan transfer 
      window.     

  • Mr Leeds

    Saints (1st), Middlesbrough (2nd), West Ham (4th), Ipswich (13th), Brighton (5th).

    Those are the five teams we’ve dropped points against this season and their current positions.  All were away games apart from M’Brough and had we finished the game with 11-men, I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t be on that list, the same goes for Ipswich.

    So taking those two out of the equation, we’ve dropped points against two teams that have forgotten how to lose while they’re still in their promotion form and a team who had arguably the best squad in the division when we played them.

    For all the moaning and groaning our fans our making, we’re sat in 10th place and we’re only a win away from a play-off place.

    We are 2nd in the goals conceded table, 3rd in the goals scored table and 5th in the form table.  This is after losing our player of the year from last season amongst other regular first teamers while bedding in an entirely new back-four.

    I know we all want to win every game and no one is happy when we drop points, but I don’t know where all the doom and gloom is coming from.  We all knew we wouldn’t win the league before it had started but for the squad we have and the teams we’ve played, I think we’ve done pretty well.

    Given the form of the teams we’re playing next month, we could well come away with 15-18 points.

    Let’s get behind the team again and give the teams an Elland Road atmosphere like we gave the scum for the first 10-15 mins and they won’t know what’s hit them.

    If this is a team still gelling together then I think the rest of the season looks promising but only if we give them the support and time they need.

    MOT

    • Shakamoto 4U

      You fail to mention 2 things – we should have been beaten by Bristol City and Crystal Palace. They were unlucky. Leeds were lucky.

      And that would have thrown your stats 6 points out and put Leeds in the relegation zone.

      • Mr Leeds

        If the scum played badly against two teams in the Premiership and won both games, would they be lucky or would it be “a sign of champions”?

        We had a goalkeeper keeping opposition strikers at bay and players scoring goals in both of those games.  You make it sound like you want the players to apologise for winning.

        I was at the Bristol City game and at times, it felt like Lonergan, Clayton, Snoddy and McCormack were the only players on the pitch wearing white but if we play the rest of the season with only 4 players turning up and win every game, I know we’d all take it. 

  • bremnersbarmyarmy

    Im afraid Grayson and co have taken this club as far as they are going to. He needs to go. He has had 3 years to sort out our sieve of a defence and the problems remain. Bring in Martin 0 Neil. Grayson should do the decent thing and quit. Pronto!!

  • Shakamoto 4U

    I would like to say that I thought that Howson was back to his best, bossing the midfield, making last ditch tackles and setting up a goal. And Snodgrass showed his quality also. 

    To all those posters asking for them to be put to the bench after the previous match, do you still think so now?

    I’d love to have an argument with EastStandUpper on dropping Howson. You slated him. You want to slate him now or would you like to shut your face?

    Aidy White deserves mention for an awesome performance as well.

  • bremnersbarmyarmy

    Ron Gaylea- I agree there is no room for sentimentality. Grayson nice guy ,one of us that he may be aint going to take us any further. Some obviously have not seen how poor our defence has been for past 3 years. Leeds belong in premiership and need a manager who gets the whole team playing as a cohesive unit. Grayson must go, SIMPLES!!

  • oldschoolbaby

    Very simple really.  Lees and White are above criticism.  Stepping into a defensive unit that is struggling, and very much feeling the pressure, is not easy.  O`Dea, I feel, is coming good.  What Leeds have needed for a long time is an assured CB with leadership ability.  The 4 CBs officially on the payroll don`t, for various reasons, fit the bill.  In fairness to SG I suppose their weaknesses were known when they were brought in  but they were available and the coaches hoped they would grow in a White shirt ( literally in the cases of the vertically challenged )

    Ironically, Brighton had exactly what we neeed in teenage form.  Dunk was outstanding.  That`s the problem though, what we need is a precious commodity and the kid was linked with everyone in the weekend press.

    Whilst this, admittedly difficult, issue is resolved the defence need protection.  Which is why, in my book, Brown has been such a disaappointment.  Howson is sacrificing himself trying to do a job at the back, it`s not his natural game, and he`s getting crucified for it.

  • Notts White

    Bromby was at fault for all 3 goals however it was clear to see that we were getting overrun in the midfield in the second half. What struck me the most was the difference in the two managers – Poyet was full of energy, continually directing his team while Grayson was looking lost biting his nails

  • Petter Andre Johansson

    Why is it that The Chief is not in charge of our defense? Perhaps SG is afraid of him “taking over”? He’s sais several times that he’d love to come back to us. I have no idea why he is’nt onboard with us already….

  • Soho White

    Didn’t see the game on Friday as on holiday, but seems to me that if there was enough spirit and effort to grab the equaliser, there is a big positive from the game.   As has been said, many teams will struggle to get a point from Brighton at home and ours is in the bag.   Of course the defence is a cause for concern – there does seem a remarkable syndrome of half decent players coming in, impressing and then losing form.   Bruce and O’B the two obvious cases in point.   This does point the finger at whoever is coaching the defence.

    As for Larry’s position, I continue to believe he is a good manager.  I saw a brilliant, organised and spirited 10 man performance from his Blackpool side at Palace 2 years ago, and think he has done well under the ridiculous restraints placed on him by our idiot chairman.   Clearly, he is not that happy at the moment, but when people call for his head, they have to think who is out there that could do better.   I still rue the day that Martin O’Neill saw through Ridsdale, and the only other name out there I’d be interested in is Alan Curbishley, but he shows little sign of wanting to go back into management.

    So, I’m for giving Larry this season.   My guess is that we will be on the fringes of the playoffs, but probably not quite good enough to make them.  8th/9th or 10th.

  • Matt

    Funny how there are so many more comments after a televised game…

    Anyway. Bromby was at fault for all three goals. What does that mean? I thought he was looking good prior to that. O’Dea seems a lot more comfortable alongside him than alongside Paddy. Tough one.

    I find no fault with Howson or Snodgrass, both worked their socks off. Howson was absolutely back to his best.

    The White / Pugh combination is excellent. White can absolutely push on and know that Pugh will tuck in behind. This couldn’t be said for Nunez or even Gradel. Good signing. White burst into dangerous positions on multiple occasions.

    Happy with the point – let’s focus on the first half positives. Worst thing for me is I miss the next 5 games as I am away with work.

    • Notts White

      1st Goal – Bromby was the wrong side of Mackail-Smith, 2nd Goal – Bromby gave away the penalty with a rash challenge, 3rd Goal – Bromby ball watching to allow Mackail-Smith to run from behind him to score the goal.

      I do agree with Matt that Bromby had a good first half but he was at fault for the three goals 

    • Anonymous

      you are right matt ,there are ,but let me tell you from my own point of view  i went to every home game and away for 27 years( 60-70% of away games) including every away champions league games . i now go to all home games 31 years in all ..
      NOW that gives me no more of an opinion than anyone  else but it doesn’t give people  who cant or don’t go regularly any less of one either to be honest the thing that  has happened is that gates are getting lower including the manu game ..

      i agree now with a lets see til Christmas now lets hope we can sort it turn it around get behind the boys and manger because if we are struggling still then  the chairman will act now people have said we cant afford to go up because of post admin payments but we even less can afford to go down thats a factoid

  • Anonymous

    lees and white are above criticism if they were both playing where they should be cb/lees ,cm/white that would sort that ..
    football is a team game and as a team we are poor we need some more options in the coaching side aidy boothroyd for me would be a great addition instead of miller and snodin,
    WE are at an early stage in the long championship season but this needed sorting this was the same last season and the one before that and in fact going back to gregan and butler that far back this is old news ,the keeper is the best we have had since Robbo ,Clayton will be our player of the season if we can keep him ,but the rest have been poor aside from mccormack
    now its early but it is the talking point of football and noone will have any fear playing against leeds .
    it needs sorting clearly with the ones we have to be fair O’Brien has hardly played and when he did he wasn’t fit so he might be the one with odea 

  • Cpower04

    Great post TSS.  Let’s lay off their backs and get behind the lads and SG..

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think we are a million miles off being a very decent side. Not many teams will come away with points from The Amex or pass them off the park (as we did first half) and I doubt they will concede 3 goals in a game many times this season. Pugh/White looks a very solid and exciting combination. While I agree with all those saying Lees should be given a chance at CB – is Connolly really that bad a right-back ? (Please note this is not a rhetorical question). Defensively we would be a lot more secure with Varynen (who has done more in 2 cameo appearances than Brown has all season) as a proper holding midfielder, particularly away from home. Howson to move over to the right and Snods to drop to the bench until he recovers his form and/or has a chat with AA (not the road/car variety). 
    As an aside, I met up with some Brighton supporting mates after the game and they told me that the Leeds fans were by far the loudest fans that had visited the Amex and much louder than Liverpool !    

  • Leeds-at-sea

    Its so easy to blame our defence, but they were pummelled in the second half. The midfield did nothing to protect them, we lacked pace and aggression and every time we cleared the ball it came straight back again. It was a matter of time before the goals started going in.

    If I were Bromby and O’Dea I’d have been screaming at the lazy fuckers in front of them that switched off. We need to defend as a unit, not really on the back 4 once the ball is behind our midfield.

  • Matthew

    I called this game nothing more than a defensive clustereff, yes clustereff, no way to describe how badly the defense were in the second half, you could put on a few OAPs in CB, LB, RB positions and they’d concede less goals.

  • lufc79

    The defence is far too slow and will keep on getting found out until this gets sorted,i dont have a problem with us going forward as when we do i fell like we can score at a drop of a hat.SG made good subs friday night which in my mind makes a nice change as his tactics most of the time baff me,But after saying all that i dont think we are in bad shape.We might make the playoff’s and i for one will be happy with that…MOT.  

    ………………..LEEDS,LEEDS,LEEDS……………….

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