Leeds managed to escape with a point from a pretty drab encounter at Vicarage Road as Robert Snodgrass equalised from the spot with the last kick of the game.

Shortly before that, Alex McCarthy marked his final game in a Leeds United shirt by tipping a Watford penalty onto the post.

Watford had taken the lead through a Michael Kightly goal midway through the first half, and were undoubtedly the better team overall.

The Whites lacked presence going forward and made no real effort to play the ball around on the deck throughout the course of the 90 minutes.

However, Watford weren’t much better. The two sides share equal credit for a game in which the ball seemed to spend more time in the air than it did on the ground.

From a Leeds United standpoint, the most concerning thing was the inability to create anything particularly threatening. For me, Luciano Becchio, Patrick Kisnorbo and Lloyd Sam stood out as the biggest disappointments today, but they were only the worst of an almost exclusively bad bunch.

Simon Grayson had started 4-4-2 and tried to switch things around, but that didn’t make much of a difference. I’m sure some will look to the formation as reason for a disappointing display, but the formation was trivial in this instance – the performance just wasn’t good enough.

That said, we somehow snatched a point and Watford fans will be more disappointed than we are. Sometimes the performance matters more than the result and it’d have probably been easier to accept a 1-0 loss in which we played well, than a 1-1 draw where we played poorly.

But at the end of the season the points are all that matter, and today we added another one to that tally. A tough Christmas schedule lays ahead and we need to see an improvement on this display if we’re to come out on top (metaphorically speaking).

  • TwiggsterMOT

    @ScratchingShed1 Wot? No video footage? ;)

    • ScratchingShed1

      @TwiggsterMOT I add link to that when it becomes available

  • grahamjroberts

    @ScratchingShed1 o thought paddy played well today

    • ScratchingShed1

      @grahamjroberts Responsible for the goal and the penalty, but aside from that… lol

      • grahamjroberts

        @ScratchingShed1 he was nt responsible fir goal. Lees out of position. Thought pen was by bad header fm fback

        • ScratchingShed1

          @grahamjroberts Absolutely nothing to do with Lees, it was Paddy who held off and allowed him to shoot.

        • grahamjroberts

          @ScratchingShed1 lees came out of centre bavk before never cleared.. Agre paddy backed off. Where was midfield tracker?

        • ScratchingShed1

          @grahamjroberts There’s no point passing blame, Paddy failed to tackle – that’s his job. There were other factors in the build-up, but…

        • ScratchingShed1

          @grahamjroberts …the player who scored was allowed to do so by Paddy. A little black and white, I know, but that’s how it is.

        • grahamjroberts

          @ScratchingShed1 you seen it yet on tv.i have nt..just shocking team performance

        • ScratchingShed1

          @grahamjroberts I was at the game, and have just watched “high”lights now. Was a dreadful game, almost sleep inducing.

        • grahamjroberts

          @ScratchingShed1 too cold for that!! Leeds fans surprisingly mute

  • Paul South Wales

    Easier to accept a 1-0 loss with a good performance? Disagree there, I would take a poor performance away from home with a point any day. I agree it was a lack lustre display though, listened to it on LUTV, and it was one of those games in which we don’t seem to turn up. Anyway, a points a point as you say. We need strengthening in January, and the extent of which will give an idea to the seriousness of Grayson/Bate’s intentions of returning to the promised land

    • TSS

      @Paul South Wales I’m not so sure. When you lose and should have won, there’s a sense of being robbed – you can justify it and aren’t too concerned. When you’ve played crap and snatched something from the game, you still have cause for concern.

  • Gryff

    Eddie Gray was asked his star player of the match and he said “Patrick Kisnorbo even though he was to blame for the game and the penalty – which probably shows how good the rest of the team were.”

    • TSS

      @Gryff He was pretty commanding leading the line, and had it not been for the goal and penalty that were both his fault, he probably would be taking the plaudits – but how can you overlook the games two major incidents?

      It’s like saying Hitler was OK aside from the mass murder thing.

      • Gryff

        @TSS Well – a strong leader… (!)

        I know what you mean! That said this comes on the back of RITGK’s article on him maybe being a weak link in the team – he’s got weaknesses like we saw today, but he’s also generally a very good defender.

        Sometimes fans get on a player’s back too much. Naylor was a prime example and although he’s not great, he’s not done too badly at Donny.

        Sounded an absolutely dire match on the radio…

        • TSS

          @Gryff I like Kis, and think he does get a lot of undeserved stick, but the facts are there for all to see – he held off allowing the player to score opening goal, then gave penalty away.

        • number1inyorkshire

          @TSS@Gryff based on that grayson should slag him off in public and send him off on loan to salt mine utd in the siberian leagues

    • Irving08

      @Gryff

      Lees and O’Dea were beginning to look like the best central defensive pairing we’ve had for the past three years; they each miss a game and without kicking a ball together they cease to be so. It just does not make sense – and is, in fact, nonsense. Picking Kisnorbo, when everyone knows his legs have completely gone, making him vulnerable both on the ground and in the air, is either an act of blind faith or just weak management – and to boot he’s now been made captain and thus difficult to drop. Again if the management had the strength to to trust the evidence, there’s only one person they’d have as captain – and that’s Snoddy (our one ‘senior’ undroppable player) – but then wingers don’t make captains, do they gaffer….

  • Ron_Galea

    I’m not surprised we were flat today given the emotion attached to the two games last week. We played two cup finals for Gary Speed and clearly couldn’t lift today. I am thrilled with the point, because we have thrown away 3pts in a similar fashion many times in the past and perhaps lady luck is with us this year. I am a little miffed that McCormack is coming off the bench considering the season he’s had. Importantly, West Ham got thumped and Southampton drew also.

  • Matthew

    Not sure if people agree but

    McCarthy > Lonergan

    Want promotion? SIgn and keep McCarthy in goal.

    • Captaincrash

      Tight call, for me just Loners.

      • Matthew

        @Captaincrash

        Just feels like every game McCarthy plays he proves he is nothing but an excellent goalkeeper, he makes a few minor mistakes but is class. I feel more comfortable with him in goal than Lonergan.

        • Gryff

          @Captaincrash McCarthy is a bit like Paddy for me except a lot younger. He goes through a match doing great, then he makes a mistake.

          I think he’s made 2-3 mistakes since coming here and he’s largely got away with them. He’s a youngster so that’ll hopefully drop out of his game over the next couple of years but if him and Lonners were the same age I’d have Lonners every time.

          That said, him and Lonners aren’t the same age…

        • Irving08

          @Gryff@Captaincrash

          You flatter Kisnorbo.

  • number1inyorkshire

    thats as good as a win for me ,what was paddy up to there ,great save but for me the taker made it easy .you didn,t have to guess which way he was going ,was it a pen for us or was it a case off the ref averaging it out for me it was “just”.

    was it me or should we have been in front before than ..

    Watched the southampton game “so what you ask”

    well i will tell you !!

    their keeper southamptons that is had a horror show from start to finish and it cost them the game ,3 points .

    Nigel adkins stood by him in post match stuff said we would bring him through it etc etc and he will get stronger for it blah blah blah .

    now there may well in a few days pictures appear on youtube etc of him being taken up the ass by everyone from the manager to the tea lady but in public he was not vilified by his manager .

    mr grayson v mr rachubka was completely different but this was how it should have been done !!

  • Dje

    Good result (great result from the perspective of 90mins+4). Complaints.

    I just cant see the logic of playing well with 4-5-1 and then opting for 4-4-2 on the road. Sam and Snodgrass are wasted in 4-4-2 and Becchio is ineffectual, bizarrely. All it does is invite us to play our part in the hoofball and head-tennis that Watford were up for. Play 4-5-1 and you open up that extra midfield player as a passing option from the defender’s point of view, you open up the chance of the overlap and to get the ball down on the deck down the wings, it also either allows us to pressurize their defender on the ball (when going 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3) or gives them room to tempt them to play it into midfield rather than hoof it forward (4-5-1). Quite simply, variations of 4-5-1 gives you so many options to usurp your opponents desire to dictate the kind of play that 4-4-2 simply does not. Three seasons on and we are still as naive against these kinds of opposition and how they want to dictate as we were when Millwall put us out of the playoffs in 2009. Grayson, will you never learn.

    As to yesterdays line-up, wouldn’t White have made more sense on the left wing? You know, where he has suddenly looked like a bit of class in the last couple of games, and our ONLY player with pace. Sure, Pugh is filling in for Brown in the middle, but personally O’Dea looked steady enough at left-back to play that role (and was considerably the stronger link in our O’Brien-led backline).

    Finally, Nunez. The LUFC site has him down as one of our very few midfielders, but if he can’t get a spot on the bench when Howson and Brown have just been injured then I really can’t see when on earth he ever will. Then again, alla McCormack, score too many goals, prove too effective, and you are likely to be nobbled out of the starting squad as the manager tinkers with the way we play. Snodgrass beware!!

    • Tyler75

      @Dje Totally agree, we had no width at all until Varynen came on and White moved wide left. That’s as poor as we have been away from home since Soton. That said Watford are pretty poor themselves and we had enough chances in the first half to be at least 2 up – had McCormack been on from the start my guess is we probably would have been. Becchio looked well off the pace yesterday. As for the Lonegran v McCarthy debate – no contest. Alex is a fine young ‘keeper but as he’s young he’s prone to errors and his kicking was shocking yesterday. Lonners is a much more consistent ‘keeper.

    • Gryff

      @Dje I just found myself thinking about having put Pugh into the midfield to play another pretty defensive couple in the centre of the pitch. You’re right we were overcome by poor teams in the last few seasons.

      Usually I reckon it’s simply because tactically our central midfield doesn’t work against physical opposition in a 4-4-2? Possibly an individual could be blamed, but we’ve been through 7-8 centre mids since Wise, and we’ve had the same problem all that time?

    • Irving08

      @Dje

      Yes, there are managers who make mistakes, but learn from them and prosper; there are managers who do not learn from their mistakes and arfe soon fogotten men; and their are managers (perhaps the majority) who learn from some of their mistakes, but not others, which they go on to repeat, often the mistakes changing places: these are the managers who circulate between the clubs. Yesterday’s team selection alone suggests that SG falls into the third category. If some or many fans will excuse his reverting to 4-4-2, absent Howson (personally I don’t), then his preference for Kisnorbo over O’Dea, can only be described as quixotic (and he makes him captain to boot !), while his beginning with Sam on the left again, further suggests that SG lacks the mental strength to trust the evidence of his own eyes….