An early goal from Chris Martin left Leeds United with everything to do at Selhurst Park as a well-organised and efficient looking Crystal Palace side dominated proceedings.

There were few signs of Leeds United taking anything from this fixture save for a little flurry midway through the half, but when the referee sent off the impressive Sean Scannell for a second bookable offence, The Whites were gifted an undeserved lifeline.

Two soft yellow cards equalled one ridiculous sending off, but in an era where the Football Association and FIFA and trying desperately to make the game a non-contact sport, I doubt it shocked many.

The problem is that you can find a “by the book” reason to pull a card out for every tackle nowadays, so the referee will have no problem justifying his decision. Yet shortly after the red card, Zac Thompson escaped punishment for a much dodgier looking foul and it’s these inconsistencies that drive football fans to total despair. Even though it worked in our favour, I don’t want to see that anymore than the Palace fans did. It detracts from the game we all love and is a growing problem that Vincent Kompany quite eloquently summed up on his Facebook page this week. But anyway, I digress…

Second half, man advantage and Leeds United had cause for optimism. Anyone expecting a stroll to victory however, clearly hasn’t seen the Dougie Freedman era Crystal Palace. More importantly, they probably haven’t seen Leeds United play against ten men which is always a painful sight to behold.

The Whites were predictably impatient, lacking the calm and collective approach it takes to break down a defence fighting to cling on to a lead. Long shots, ridiculously over-complicated passes and poor control was the order of the day and for all the possession, Julian Speroni had little trouble keeping Leeds out.

Despite all this, Leeds managed to find an equaliser. Robert Snodgrass made his return from the bench minus one appendix and swept home a ball from Ross McCormack to level the scores. Leeds still weren’t convincing anyone, but with 30 minutes left to play you had to fancy our chances.

Unfortunately, the goal did nothing to change things. With the crowd demanding all-out-attack, the lads desperately tried to oblige and in doing so, made things far too easy for Palace. At this point, a more confident side would have played patient football, retaining possession and passing the ball around to drag Palace players out of position. The opposition will tire, someone will find a little too much space and that’s when you strike – that’s how you play against ten men.

Leeds chose a different approach. Lacking patience and aimlessly shooting from range, Crystal Palace found it far too easy to defend their lines and forge breakaway attacks that meant Leeds had to drag players back and start over. Even defending for their lives, Palace looked the more self-assured of the two sides because Leeds weren’t making the extra man count.

Our knack for scoring injury time goals couldn’t save us and the final score of 1-1 reflected only the referees performance. There’s no denying the fact Crystal Palace were the better team, even with ten men they never looked particularly overawed.

So the inevitable moaning that will follow is justified, but you have to balance all the negativity out by taking a step back and looking at the opposition you’re up against. Under Dougie Freedman, Palace have been incredible. League Cup Semi-Finalists (maybe more?) will be the big story of their season, but they’ve been no pushovers in the league either. Their home record is solid, they have more clean sheets than anyone and they play with plenty of confidence. It’s a truly remarkable transformation that Freedman has engineered at Selhurst Park and we should be happy with a point really. You don’t get an easy game at Palace anymore, times have changed.

That said, a more confident and composed Leeds United side probably would have won this, if only because of the man advantage. We’ve not been quite right since Jonny Howson was ruled out through injury and Simon Grayson’s squad needs January reinforcements to give the fans and players a boost. We’re just about holding on in there at the moment and a couple of fresh faces should be enough to put us in the play-off picture come May.

This isn’t about “lacking passion” and no one “has lost the dressing room”. Such reactionary nonsense is easy to throw around when fans feel they should have got more, but the reality is, we’re halfway through the season, missing a couple of key players, lacking fitness/form in others and need some fresh blood to mix things up.

Contrary to popular belief, Leeds United do not have the largest squad in this division. Reading do. Leeds meanwhile rank 16th in order of squad size and injuries, form and fitness are costing us. The simple fact is, Crystal Palace are in better shape than we are at present so let’s at least try to keep the doom and gloom to a minimum and offer some respect to a strong opposition whose 11 clean sheets this season stand testament to the strength of their defence.

On and on…

  • Tyler75

    A tad harsh TSS – agreed that we certainly don’t look convincing but I’ve seen us play much worse (Watford away springs immediately to mind) today we were much more patient, eschewing the long ball and looking to get crosses in from the flanks. If it wasn’t for two or three outstanding stops from Speroni we would have won – 18 attempts at goal tells its own story. Even with 11 Palace packed men behind the ball and looked to play on the break and were very difficult to break down. Becchio was awful (even the ‘Berbatov’ song has stopped) and its soul destroying watching him lumber around. Forsell again looked much livlier and more mobile. Aidy was strangely subdued but Thompson had another solid game against difficult opponents and Lees was excellent again. Although Brown had probably his best game in a Leeds shirt, we sorely lack creativity in the middle of the park and if the Delph story is correct, he’ll make a big difference.

    • TSS

      @Tyler75 Agree on Becchio. Can understand why we’re sticking with him, but it’s just not working and we’re going to have to drop him soon if he carries on like this.

      More patient, maybe. But I didn’t think we used the width well enough – Snoddy especially. It feels like you’re going back and forth at times, but you need to play the ball across your attacking line repeatedly to drag players out of position – like Arsenal do and Man City. The 18 shots for me, shows the sum total of our desperation. Yes, Speroni made a couple of good saves, but for the most part, he was watching long range efforts sail hopelessly wide. If we’d had that little extra confidence to pick our moments better, we’d have won this.

      I’m not disheartened however. We need reinforcements, the squad is suffering from a loss of form and confidence, some fitness issues and a couple of injuries. It’s not the biggest squad in the first place (as mentioned above) so January is important. The American kid, Fabian Delph and a couple more additions and we’ll still be in the running.

      • chiark

        @TSS@Tyler75 Exactly half of the 18 shots were before the sending off. So, whilst I wont disagree the width was badly used (when the entire bank of away fans is pointing at a player wide open on the side with his arms held aloft, yet the player with the ball turns and plays it back inside…) I do think they were being patient. And the goal was practically walked into the net.

  • Matthew

    I’ve gone from hopelessly optimistic to pretty much gloomy after today, it pretty much says it all when we needed Palace down to ten men to actually get a goal back, and of course we were unable to take advantage of the 1 man advantage and score a few goals like what most teams do in that situation, see Southampton and Birminghams games today, both playing against teams who lost 1 man or more and took advantage.

    By the way, Becchio and Ross don’t work together upfront, play one or the other, preferably Ross with someone else, bring back Keogh! Okay you get some retards saying Keogh doesn’t score many goals blah blah he sucks blah blah, but he’s a non selfish player who creates the chances and is pretty deadly, AND works with Ross, get the damn chequebook out Bates.

  • morleywhite

    Billy sharp as turned Leicester down he would be ideal for leeds and maybe he would be interested in stayin in yorkshire?

    for me Lijhaj Delph Sharp and Kilgallon would be perfect signings for leeds they would all be in the starting 11.maybe abit tricky getting Kilgallon but worth a shot.

    • Dje

      @morleywhite Sharp is already on £10,000+ a week at Doncaster, and just been offered substantially more to stay with them. Weird as it sounds, we can’t compete with Doncaster’s wages (especially when we’d need to dosh out c.£2m for him (that’s the equivalent of an extra £12,850 per week on a three year contract). Aint going to happen.

      • TSS

        @Dje@morleywhite Dje’s right, there’s no chance of us signing Sharp. Bates seems to think £12k p/w is a Premier League wage, yet that’s what Doncaster Rovers can pay. Go figure.

        • Colin

          @TSS@Dje@morleywhite We paid £12,000 a week for Billy Paynter. Get him off the wage bill and yes we can afford it.

        • TSS

          @Dje@morleywhite We tried for Sharp once before – he rejected us. You can’t reject Leeds United twice I’m afraid, not under this regime.

          PS. Paynter’s alleged £12k a week is BS. Where has that myth come from? WACCOE? If this didn’t suit your argument you’d be questioning that, but it’s accepted fact by the masses because it does. Very convenient.

        • Tyler75

          @TSS@Dje@morleywhite You can imagine the conversation with Swindon:

          ‘How much for Charlie Austin”

          “£1m plus add-ons”

          “Have you got anything cheaper”

          “We’ve got a used Billy Paynter – yours for free and a sell-on clause guranteeing that we won’t get him back ”

          ” Ok we’ll take him”

        • Gryff

          @TSS@Dje@morleywhite I thought you were a man of the masses, TSS?! :-)

        • TSS

          @Gryff@Dje@morleywhite Who told you that? I’m just baffled by some of the supporting evidence people use to attack our team and management for the following reasons;

          – The accounts show a distinctly average wage budget for this league

          – We’ve spent less than any other team

          – We’re still within reach of our season goal.

          – Most fans predicted mid-table due to the the first two points at the beginning of the season, yet are now attacking the team and manager because that’s the reality.

          – We’ve ended up with half our squad because Bates and Harvey failed to secure the A list targets – Brown over Andrews/Clingan, Paynter over Lambert/Sharp

          – We’re plagued by injury, fitness and form issues and lack the depth to deal with that. That’s down to investment too.

          And the most frustrating part of all is the cheap football nonsense people throw around as an excuse to sack the manager – “lack of passion”, “lost the dressing room”, “picks favourites”, “tactically inept” etc… None of which is actually supported by evidence. I remember the days when we had discussion featuring at least SOME facts however few and far between they may have been.

        • Gryff

          @TSS@Dje@morleywhite Your “day’s work at ‘ mill” article after Speedo’s death!

        • Gryff

          @TSS@Dje@morleywhite I agree with you on the actual points, for all that.

          Though it’s very easy to get frustrated when a big club with reasonably good players seems to stagnate below where it should be.

        • Gryff

          @TSS@Dje@morleywhite I agree with you on the actual points, BTW.

          Though it’s very easy to get frustrated when a big club with reasonably good players seems to stagnate below where it should be.

        • TSS

          @Gryff@Dje@morleywhite But are we stagnating? Not according to the predictions of the very same fans at the beginning of the season we’re not.

        • TSS

          @Gryff@Dje@morleywhite But we’re achieving exactly what the same fans that are moaning expected us to. Why is everyone so surprised by this? We haven’t spent any cash and our wage budget is ridiculously low for a club of this size. This is the result.

        • Gryff

          @TSS@Dje@morleywhite because we’ve shown we’re better than this.

          Anybody can go (for example) to Emirates and hope for a “respectable scoreline” or maybe a draw. But if they then come close to a draw or a win, then they’ll be disappointed not to have taken what’s almost in their grasp.

          We have shown time and time again how good we can be. When we match teams like West Ham early on, and then struggle against teams like Watford, 10-man Palace, Peterborough, it’s bound to frustrate people – whatever their earlier predictions?

        • TSS

          @Gryff@Dje@morleywhite Of course we’ve played better. That’s what average teams do – ups and downs. If these players were better than that they’d be in the Prem, but their inconsistency holds them back.

          We simply don’t have the depth to deal with it all, that’s the biggest problem.

        • TSS

          @Gryff@Dje@morleywhite It’s not though Colin. He didn’t fail to negotiate contracts and he didn’t fail to sign his targets. That’s Harvey, Bates and the £7m wasted on the East Stand

        • number1inyorkshire

          @Tyler75@TSS@Dje@morleywhite poor old billy paynter he is not the 1st player we have made shit .

        • dess

          @TSS @Gryff @Dje @morleywhite

        • TSS

          @Gryff@Dje@morleywhite Colin – you really need to distinguish between what Simon Grayson can and can’t do.

          – He can’t renegotiate the contracts of our star players – that’s Harvey

          – He can’t convince the likes of Keith Andrews to come to ER – that’s Harvey

          What this actually leaves Grayson with the ability to do is name of list of targets. As Harvey fails, and Bates goes into another rant about greed on Yorkshire Radio, slagging off every player that dared to reject us, this list becomes ever smaller until we’re left with absolute dross that will play for peanuts. Then Harvey can succeed.

  • Colin

    I SO want Grayson to lead us to the Premier League, but it’s highly unlikely isn’t it?

    11th now. Can’t beat 10 men. No Grayson in the post match interview due to a poorly knee – so Snodin comes out and tells us that Leeds were ‘in control.’ Really? What match was that then? Grayson’s so poorly that the after match reporter at Yorkshire Radio can’t walk to him and hold a microphone to his face? Maybe he didn’t want to talk? Maybe it’s a bunch of cronies sticking together, spouting the same bullshit that we don’t buy? Leeds were awful. We had one good player – Snodgrass and he was rushed back from his appendix operation.

    We had a makeshift League 1/Champ team last season and it’s better than this squad. Despite your claim that Leeds have a small squad compared to others, that’s firstly irrelevant and secondly just not true. It doesn’t take into account the Academy, who are also being paid wages, and the same Academy that got Grayson some of his best players – Howson, White, Zac Thompson, Lees and Gary MacAllister got Snodgrass. Where are Grayson’s great signings?

    Under his own watch, Grayson LOST Bradley Johnson, Kilkenny, Schmeichel, Gradel.

    He got Lonergan, Rachubka, Forsell, Varynen, Brown, Keogh, Pugh, O’Dea, Maik Taylor – all shite apart from Lonergan. 1 good. 8 bad.

    And don’t blame Bates. He didn’t sign them. Grayson did. With Ken’s money.

    Rachubka, Forsell, Varynen, Brown, Pugh, Maik Taylor are all on permanent and lucrative contracts.

    This squad is shocking and lets’s not go on about quantity like that makes a difference, it doesn’t, quality makes a difference. We have little quality. The quality we do have came from the Academy. The ‘quantity’ came from Grayson.

    This team is worse than last season’s ‘let’s just stay up and fight relegation’ team. The debate on Grayson’s managerial qualities is still open.

    I’m sick of this. And I’m sick of Leeds being shit.

    • TSS

      On the contrary Colin, we’re naming quite a few academy players in our confirmed squad listings – most teams don’t.

      • Colin

        @TSS A quick look on Wikipedia tells you that we have 57 players on contracts.

        • TSS

          Reading have 50 in their first/reserve team. Leeds are included every age group in that.

          These facts aren’t inaccurate. Teams name a squad at the beginning of the season – look it up. Or choose to go off Wikipedia, your choice.

        • Dje

          @TSS Sounds more like an American Football team. ‘The Leeds Peacocks’? Nah, a bit too dandy.

        • Dje

          Sounds more like an American Football team. ‘The Leeds Peacocks’? Nah, a bit too dandy.

        • Colin

          @TSS I’ll go off Wikipedia, just because that lists the players that are registered to the club and therefore getting a wage. of course a lot are youth players, but even so, THEY ARE on contracts and that is where the money goes.

          Leeds United have (give or take a little Wiki license) 57 players on their books. That is not a small squad. TSS – that squad list that you refer to – how many players and did it include Zac Thompson? My numbers do.

        • TSS

          Yes, our NAMED squad does include Zac Thompson, along with the Turner twins and plenty of others. The point is that Reading and the rest of the teams have youth teams too, but clubs don’t count them in their named squad. That’s why Wiki is pointless. That, and a lot of the youth players will be on token sums – £200 a week(ish). Roughly the same as the guys in the Elland Road shop – shall we include them too?

        • TSS

          It’s what they named for the billionth time. The fact Leeds haven’t got the biggest squad doesn’t change regardless.

        • Gryff

          @TSS I want you two in a podcast together…

        • number1inyorkshire

          @TSS looking at the matchday magazine for the Reading game the squad list at the back show leeds had 28 players listed for the game while reading had 26 ,of our 28 3 were loans including 1 from reading ,

          So lets base our squad on the people who are likely to get a game its no bigger really than anyone elses but no smaller either .

          all the others have to get a wage clearly but most will be on scholarships etc which is nothing ,

          the size of our wage for the 1st team is average ,i guess ,but if you recalculate the amount and take out the quality i would be sure we are paying over the odds for most of the players .

          for the benefit of the premier league i think the squad is the 25 you can name the rest are not officially squad ??

        • TSS

          @number1inyorkshire The accounts for the club prove our wage bill is distinctly average. Most teams pay better than we do.

        • number1inyorkshire

          @TSS there is average and average .if more teams pay more than us its not average its average or in fact below average..

          I am not disputing the figures Iam asking if there are average wages and we pay them why are we still not getting players .

          seems your meaning of average is crap my meaning of average is we are paying the same as others .which if we are paying the same as others whats the problem .good glad we sorted that out then ..

          we are paying below average ,which is why we are not getting players ..time for a lie down

    • Tyler75

      Part of the problem is that we’re not ‘shit’ – look at Millwall and Forest for a closer definition of what ‘shit’ looks like – what we are though is desperately and frustratingly average. Frustrating because the majority of this league is also very average and 3 or 4 quality signings would get us into the play-offs. While its a fair point about some of Grayson’s signings (although disagree about Pugh) he also found Gradel, Somma , Clayton and Thompson and bought McCormack.

      • TSS

        @Tyler75 When ever Grayson has had money to spend, he’s spent well (Lonergan, Gradel, McCormack). Freebies will always be hit and miss, but that’s the situation we’re currently in.

        • Dje

          @TSS@Tyler75 Yes, but he also paid fees for Collins and Bruce too…

        • Tyler75

          @Dje@TSS I’ll give you Collins but I don’t see what Bruce has done wrong; by Championship standards he’s a decent defender and has suffered by never being able to form a regular partnership. O’Dea is solid enough but Bruce/Lees would give us extra pace and passing ability.

        • TSS

          @Dje@Tyler75 Recouped every penny on Collins, and that was a safe enough back-up plan. Can’t really dispute that signing. As for Bruce, I still think his time may come…

        • Dje

          @TSS@Tyler75 Spent £650k (have we spent more on a player ever under Grayson or the last three years?!) on a player who looked to be no fix and sold him to a club where he can find his level, ie. a league below the one we bought him for. I’m not saying Grayson wasted money on Collins, only that he used it on a player who offered us little and we were lucky and glad to recuperate the money for. If we really do insist on Harvey at fault for all transfers then to his credit he ended up with a score draw on that one. At least it was a result.

          Bruce? Considering how long we have had him I find it unjustifiable to defend him as one day coming good. I don’t deny it is possible, just have no justification for it. He was no better or worse than the other defenders who had a bad season for us last year. Remember too that Grayson has loaned him out to Huddersfield with a full transfer in mind, so he didn’t/doesn’t have that much faith in him.

        • TSS

          @Dje@Tyler75 Wasn’t McCormack circa £1m? That Collins figure isn’t accurate I don’t think. Sure initial fee was £250k with clauses.

        • TSS

          @Dje@Tyler75 Apparently McCormack was £350k. That dropped a lot from initial reports.

        • Dje

          @TSS@Tyler75 To be honest we don’t reveal many figures (unless they are our big sellers). At the time I remember reasonable sources – Skysports, BBC etc – quoting £650k for Collins (largely because I thought, that’s a lot!). The McCormack one was £700k on my radar. But as you say, clauses may impact upon these (of which Collins wouldn’t have had time to cash in on many!).

        • Gryff

          @Dje@TSS@Tyler75 Yeah that was an issue with Schmeichel, too. It was initially reported about 800k(?) then upped to £1mil(?) I remember one even said 1.2mil, and a few weeks later a national site (rather than Leeds site) reported 250k.

          So uncle Ken told us the Gradel fee to show us he wasn’t a monster really…

        • Dje

          @Gryff I imagine Bates took one of those lottery-winner photoshoots with the Gradel cheque from St Etienne – probably even insisted on it being printed on a jumbo plank of card too. Tis what he lives for.

        • number1inyorkshire

          @TSS@Tyler75 what about collins .

          I do not think you can seperate it out to buys ,loans , freebies they are 1 and as a whole taking all things into consideration his performances in bringing players in has been very much below average ,all the players we all name as the quality howson and co he didn’t bring ,so its not right to say his buys have been good and his loans haven’t .for me 3 of his best players have been loans ,and technically if a freebie signs its the same as paying for 1

        • Irving08

          @TSS@Tyler75

          McCormack ? – he bought him with no apparent thought of how he would fit in with the 4-5-1 formation he favours or at any rate the one which made best use of the talent on our books (Howson). So Macca sat out a season. Can that really be called a good use of limited transfer funds ? And even supposing that freebies are a ‘bit hit and miss’, no one forced SG to go down this route:as one poster said, there must be more than one Snodgrass out there. Overall I feel that SG’s judgement of a player is shaped too much by the validation of others; he needs to

          be more his own man or to find a Peter Taylor-type figure (I mean Cloughie’s).

        • TSS

          @number1inyorkshire@Tyler75 We’ve landed these players because Bates and Harvey have failed to negotiate for the better players though. That’s the ultimate problem.

          Instead of Keith Andrews or Sammy Clingan, we got Michael Brown.

          Instead of Rickie Lambert or Billy Sharp, we got Billy Paynter.

          Grayson picks the players he wants and then the club fail to secure them. That’s why we end up with dross. His hands are tied.

    • Dje

      Can’t believe you missed Paynter off that list, Colin. Too charitable.

      [Me’s wondering why we haven’t signed anyone yet is because Bates’ is still tottering up whether to stick or twist with Grayson. One American lad who probably won’t get a visa and one loanee, hardly going to be a burden on any incoming manager. Just saying]

      • TSS

        @Dje Can’t see why he would. Would cost him money to terminate Grayson’s contract and no other manager would have any more success with no funds available. He’s going to have to find a transfer budget to tempt the likes of Warnock – not going to happen.

        • Dje

          @TSS You are working on the assumption that Bates is sympathetic to Grayson shoulder a Mission Impossible (albeit one of his own making through a lack of investment). Deluded autocrats tend to believe their own delusions, not other’s resolutions.

          Prior to the Burnley match we playing like a team in crisis. Bates was vocal that Grayson should have us higher up in the league. Since then we have dropped places. For his job, Grayson got lucky in injury time against Burnley: but for the life of me I can’t think why mad Bates would be any happier with his manager since we have, in his eyes, headed further in the wrong direction in the league.

          Burnley was better football, but Bates is after results. Aside from two injury time points against Burnley, we’d have 3 points out of the last 18 (and this from our easier fixtures than the one’s we end on). Yes, we may know a rationale for it – injuries, under-investment etc – but we are out of form, and Bates isn’t interested in rationale.

          He’s told Grayson get us promoted this season or you’re out. We aint looking good for promotion so Bates may well jump first and fire him sooner than later. The press today is already thinking Warnock is lined-up. And considering Bates clearly holds his ‘moron’ patrons of this club in such low-regards he wont hesitate to ostracise our opinion against him even more by making Grayson a scapegoat.

        • Dje

          @TSS +++

          As to money and/or Warnock. Well, Grayson was employed for his proven record of getting Blackpool out of League One with no transfer kitty used. He has accomplished that. Anything else has been a ‘let’s see if he can do the same trick twice’. Can he? Doesn’t look like it. The guy needs money for that. Has he ever got a team promoted to the Premiership with money spent? Daft question, he’s never got a team that high. So why risk any money on him rather than a tried and tested past-master of it like Warnock? That’s football rationale. It’s a c**t. Grayson’s only commiseration is the moral high-ground and a pay off (which would only be a tad more than him getting sacked in the summer for failing to take us up).

          For all we know there’s a million pound bids lined-up for either Clayton, White, Snodgrass, Howson or McCormack. Any future manager – let’s call him Warnock for convenience sake – would be told that they would get that money to re-invest and not be to blame for the departure of the corresponding family favourite player to a Premiership club. It happens in football all the time. Said manager may well be saying behind the scenes that that is OK, as I’ve had words with my old pal Montgomery and he is up for coming to Leeds if I’m there. Tapped up Sharp too, and he’ll even take a paycut, Doncaster will settle for £1.2m. Bargain.

          The proviso questions it because of Bates’s lack of investment in Leeds. But as I said before, that venn diagram shows a lack of investment in Grayson and Leeds. Without Grayson, a new manager in the venn diagram may see a bit of cash spilt out of the tight c**t’s pocket at last.

  • morleywhite

    By the way TSS what Did Lorimer actually say about Fab Delph?

    • TSS

      @morleywhite That Villa want to send him out on loan, Leeds is his preferred choice and they’re close to reaching an agreement.

  • morleywhite

    What on yorkshire radio or something?

    • TSS

      @morleywhite No, it was at one of those Leeds United On The Road events. Was a bit unsure of it’s authenticity at first, but so many fans in attendance were tweeting it was clearly accurate. Sky Sports News further confirmed it when they picked up on it this morning.

  • morleywhite

    Delph would be perfect sat next to clayton in midfield with Jonny howson pushing on in front of them,Be just what we need a creative midfield player who also gets in there and tackles,would be nice to see both Fab and Jermaine back at Elland road.

  • Captaincrash

    Be a very good addition indeed, could play at front of a midefield three or alongside Clayton. Pacey, would score at this level and can tackle. Lets hope.

  • morleywhite

    Somma could be key when he returrs aswel the lad defo knows how to finish.he could be a big plus for us,be like a new signing.

    • TSS

      @morleywhite I don’t think we’ll see a fully fit Somma this season unfortunately. Will take him a while to recover sharpness after lengthy injury, so not holding my breath.

  • TSS

    @Dje Paynter is on his way out according to what club have said recently.

    Putting his total wages over a three year contract together for shock factor is pretty low. Especially when those wages are based on absolutely no evidence. The £12k nonsense is a myth.

  • TSS

    @Dje And let’s not forget we ended up with Paynter because THE CLUB (not Grayson) failed to secure the signature of numerous other strikers including Lambert and Sharp. Pay pennies, get peanuts. Absolutely no way on earth we agreed to pay an unproven League One striker £12k a week – total fallacy.

  • Colin

    @TSS@Dje So what is the real wage then? Alex Bruce is on £16k. Billy’s on £12k which makes sense if you think that he was signed as Beckford’s replacement and he was on a free, so we didn’t have to pay a fee for him, hence the wages. I’ll maintain that the £12k rumours are true, unless you prove otherwise. Why did Bradley Johnson want ‘parity’ in his pay negotiations? He wasn’t having a go at Jonny or Snoddy or Kilkenny, he was having a go at Billy.

  • Colin

    @TSS@Dje I genuienly believe that Grayson thought that Billy would be better than Beckford (Grayson agreed to transfer list Beckford at the start of the season) and lead us to the Premier League.

  • TSS

    @Dje Why is Alex Bruce on £16k? My God, where are these figures coming from?

    I not in a position to comment on individual wages, but I don’t make them up and use it as evidence to support an opinion. All I know, is that Leeds’ wage bill is incredibly average for this division (supported by accounts of all clubs) and I’m speculating that would not be the case if we were paying fringe players such sums of money.

    It’s fan nonsense used to support a ridiculous agenda, which LUFC fans don’t mind inventing in the absence of actual evidence.

  • TSS

    @Dje We could have kept Beckford for that, never mind Killa and BJ. It’s absolute nonsense.

  • number1inyorkshire

    plenty of teams win with 10 men ,Blackburn today being 1 ,that said we do not seem to be making strides ,alright we might not be going backwards either but the premier league is getting further away at the min and in the real world it is points dropped today ..

    we have 2 games at home now in the next 10 days ,it will be interesting to see the gate sizes for each 1 ,the thought of getting beat again by an improving ipswich and a top 6 brum doesn’t inspire me to go out particularly on a cold tuesday night ,not being the fortress anymore i am sure is one of the reasons why home attendances are down ,

    we could win both games easily but just as easily in fact more easily we could get beat blackpool style again .

    just why are we so inconsistent ,injuries ,management ,changing personnel in general or ,are we just not good enough ,if thats the case would it be better to say now we are not and get players in for next season rather than loans etc now make sure we do not go down but have a plan to get some quality in for next season ,.

    of course we might loose some ,white ,snodders ,howson ,but we might anyway even if we go up .

    its now time to decide before kneejerk buying ends up making us a worse team than we are now

    • TSS

      @number1inyorkshire Most of what we’ll bring in now will be loans I suspect. We’re in a strong enough position to take a play-off spot, and the reason we’re so inconsistent is because we don’t have the depth – we need to start getting that at some point.

      Teams do win with 10 men, even us. But it’s not a foregone conclusion, especially away from home against a side with one of the league’s strongest defences. A draw away to Palace is a solid result. That’s all that matters.

      • number1inyorkshire

        @TSS what if though we get to the play off final and actually win it .with loans when they go back we are in a position of having to start again at a higher level with a new lot of players .

        in prem you can have 25 plus the kids ,we will need based on our squad to buy 18 players to get that depth ,now the problem is that prem teams will not loan us players then and old tight wad will not pay much more in the wages department .so are we better doing now before we go up ??..

        A draw today was a good result do not get me wrong, we wouldn’t have drawn had they not had a sending off .

        But in general i would guess that most teams with a man off loose and i bet the hierarchy at leeds think playing 10 men its points dropped .

        • TSS

          @number1inyorkshire That’s a problem we’ll have to face regardless. When/if we do make it back to the Prem, half the squad will be surplus to requirements, that’s the same for every team that gets promoted. Cross that bridge when we come to it I suppose.

        • number1inyorkshire

          @TSS Norwich ,Swansea didn’t spend so much did they all right QPR did .it seems that teams are not spending massively to stay up when they get there but getting quality in to keep them up before they get there ,that swansea team was started by Martinez then the chap who was portugese then rogers ,it was 5 years in the making or more ,they were one of the best sides i saw outside of the prem when they came to us ,so they had the players in before they went up with no need to bring in loads and start again ,, we should do that ,now i would welcome that if it was progress i am sure others would .moving forward slowly is better than a big jump then a massive fall backwards

        • TSS

          @number1inyorkshire Norwich invested well every year. A very well run football club that deserve the success. They fight to keep hold of key players and rarely lose them, which would have got Leeds promoted by now had we done the same.

    • Matthew

      Personally I think the reason why we didn’t win today was more down to Crystal Palace hanging on and playing with the desire not to lose, we couldn’t break them down, they hung on, and we were lucky to get the point.

      Would love to see an lufc performance showing passion/desire to get the win someday, still hanging on with hope there.

      We really do miss Gradel, we never did replace him, and that is what we’re missing in this team, that and Howson, we do worse when Howson isn’t playing.

      Love or hate Howson, we need him.

  • Gryff

    As bizarre as it sounds with our numbers, I think we really lack a big forward. Becchio links up play reasonably well, but he’s out of sorts and Forssell really doesn’t offer much more. Our only alternatives then are the likes of McCormack and Somma when fit – neither are big lads. We need somebody like Cole of Piquoene for West Ham, or Rickie Lambert for Saints. Someone who can get in positions and score and also use strength to put off the defence. We don’t have that – Becchio tries, but he’s inconsistent on both counts.

    • number1inyorkshire

      @Gryff IF a bid comes in for becchio right now i would take it and i would guess leeds would he is out of sorts ,is the lad, and right now he is not offering anything to the team he plays in.. I think it was TSS who said heading the ball forward to noone is not a skill my lad is 6.4 and would do that all day for half his wages , if anything he is holding mccormack back ..

      • TSS

        @number1inyorkshire@Gryff Yeah, I have been pretty critical of Luci lately. He’s well out-of-form, perhaps lacking fitness? Just looks cumbersome and immobile. He’s better than what we’ve seen recently, but I’ve always felt we could do better regardless of that.

        The problem is our 4-5-1 preference. Only Becchio fits it.

  • Colin

    @TSS@Dje The £16k figure came via TheSquareBall podcast – a Yorkshire Radio employee ‘leaked’ the info on Leeds’ highest paid player – he said it was Bruce on £16k. Have a go at TheSquareBall, not me. And yes, it amazed me too, but I believe it.

  • TSS

    @Dje I’m pretty sure TSB would concede that’s not the most credible source of information. Why would a YR employee even be privy to such information? I’m not “having a go” at anyone, I genuinely cannot understand why no one has found reason to question these accepted “truths”. If I wrote an article based on such a tenuous link claiming it to be fact, I’d get (quite rightly) slaughtered.

  • Dje

    @TSS I’m not guilty of shock value, I never mentioned how much Bruce or Paynter were on – only Sharp. I don’t think Paynter will play again for us either – and if he does then we have gone seriously wrong in the next two weeks of transfer options. That said, only today Grayson was not ruling out playing Paynter is needs be. Bet that spurred a few groans.

    “Asked if Paynter would be made available for another move this month, Grayson said: ‘That’s what Billy wants and it might be that it suits us both for him to go out on loan or get a move away. But for as long as he’s contracted to us then we can utilise him if we need to.'”

    http://www.clubcall.com/leeds-united/paynter-open-to-offers-1366884.html?

  • lar

    keep the doom and gloom to a minimum you say,well its 7 seasons and we are basically in the same position,same players,same managers walking through the club since the glorious hands of ken bates saved our club.whats there to be cheerful about,no elland road,no thorp arch,no idea who or what is pulling our club through the mire,the constant lies from behind the scenes,donkeys bought the talent sold,the rants and ravings of a chairman calling the heart and soul of leeds united morans.to days game is a constant reminder of a long shadow that has being haunting leeds united for 7 seasons.we are going no where with such men at the helm.as a leeds united for 42 years its a constant tear listening to that ill wind blow at elland road….call it as it is…11 clean sheets…what a pathetic excuse to throw down….come the end of the day,open your eyes and take a good look the rebuilding of leeds united…..leeeeeeeeeeeeeeddddddssss.

    • TSS

      Can’t dispute any of that. The amount of investment we’ve seen in this squad is directly linked to the quality of players we have, and the problems we’re currently experiencing from lack of depth.

      I totally agree the chairman should be held accountable. Too often people react in a knee-jerk fashion and fail to account for any of that though, and the players and manager instead become targets. It’s not their fault our cash is being plowed into a pointless extension to the East Stand.

      MOT

    • Ron_Galea

      @lar Amen. I’m hiding the razor blades and belts until February as I would like to see what business we do in this window. The bottom line is this: if Bates does not sanction one or two quality signings, the only response we have is to stop going to ER.

      • Chareose

        @Ron_Galea@lar

        im not so sure about that know…….i figure if we boycott elland road we just make things worse for the club… personally i think we need to be lobbying the government on the grounds that Bates is not a fit and proper owner

        • Ron_Galea

          @Chareose Unfortunately in life, things often have to get worse before they get better. Just look at the global economy for proof. I’m sorry, but this division is wide open and we were here last year. I can’t stand for inaction this year. We have injuries that give further credence to adding players and they must be better than what we’ve got. Unfortunately the government has too much on its plate to lynch Bates.

  • Newthornley

    We need Gus Poyet as the new manager.

    • Matthew

      @Newthornley

      No thanks, of all the managers available I would go for Neil Warnock or Billy Davies personally, but as others have mentioned, we may as well let Grayson stick it out till the end of the season and see where we end up, sacking him now won’t change things, granted I too would like a new manager but I don’t think it’l improve the teams form.

      I can honestly say that the guy is trying, he isn’t just rolling over, he’s swapping and changing things to make things work, unlike some managers who will stubbornly stick with the same team, he however needs to drop Becchio.

      • Chareose

        @Newthornley

        PLease not warnock……the blokes a pillock and a big mouth, cant stand him

        • Chareose

          Matt all hes ever done is slag leeds off and to be perfectly honest im not sure hes even that good. He got QPR promoted with a shit load of cash behind him. Grayson has faults but hes far better than Warnock and hes not an asshole

        • Matthew

          @Chareose

          At the end of the day, it’s just business, every manager has said stuff about any club really because they either feel hard done by, or simply are too into their job, Warnock is no different, almost every manager out there will say stuff to keep their job too, doesn’t mean they mean every word, granted he’s no saint but he’s what we need to sort this team out, we need a guy that can give the team the hairdryer treatment for non performances and isn’t afraid to drop non performers, and has the balls to be outspoken, and of course he’s a decent manager, at least in my opinion.

          I would be delighted to hear his thoughts if he were manager about the way we’ve been playing, the man has a mouth. That’s a good thing.

        • Matthew

          @Chareose

          I mean god forbid. fans want clarity, not excuses, a manager that can say what the fans are seeing will go down well with the Leeds fanbase.

  • number1inyorkshire

    @TSS@Dje so then if our wages are average for the league ,which means everyone is roughly paying the same why are we slagging bates off for not paying enough and secondly why are we not attracting the players in .

    if it is a level playing field and we are paying the going rate where are the players ..

  • dess

    Tss do you have any criticism of our manager or is he on an untouchable pedestal as it seems reading your words?

    • Matthew

      @dess

      Actually if you came here more often, you’d see that TSS acknowledges that Grayson isn’t perfect.

      • dess

        @dess I come here often enough to know that Grayson is god and Bates is the devil

  • mattbb1

    so now were 11th…. and heading for a season of mediocrity. Which we should expect with a mediocre squad, including only 2 prem quality players, Howson & Snodgrass. One of thems injured… i dont like the knee jerk stuff i read sometimes after a performance like this `sack the manager’ is trotted out just way too often, hes not blameless, but he doesnt have the resources. He’d need to spend a good few months clearing the decks – at a loss, and then buying replacements, and i can think of a period in the football calendar that facilitates that. Personally I’d write this season off and start that process now, focus on cheaper younger players and start blooding them now. But our chairman isnt all about patience or strategy as i worte in my critique of his business accumen, he is a short termist and plays the blame game, only when we get a leader with vision, not necessarily money – because the leeds business generates that – will we succeed.

    • Matthew

      @mattbb1

      Don’t forget the, we’re still 3 points off the playoffs fact lol. Ignoring the fact our next 2 games are against teams that can pretty much take us apart in our current form.

    • Chareose

      @mattbb1

      agree, bottom line is lack of resources……..both the youth system and playing staff need a lot more investment. Until that happens we wont get promoted.

      Currently Grayson is gambling on Loanees to kick start our season but I just dont think they will be enough. They are less committed as loans and Delph would be coming to regain fitness so could actually be a step back…….

      Also as someone mentioned about Norwhich, they invested every year and kept what they had, thus their momentum continued……… thats the way to do it. Instead we have gone backward because our clubs ownership lack that forsight, we sell our best players and i think without promotion we will lose more this summer.

    • Gryff

      @mattbb1 I know what you mean, but I think we’re being a tad harsh when talking about Prem quality players. Norwich showed essentially a League One squad can make it in the Prem with some additions; Blackpool showed a relatively new-to-Champship team can, and then won’t necessarily be world beaters when they come down.

      When we look at the Leeds squad, ideally sure only Lonners, Howson & Snoddy would immediately be in a prem team for me. But we’re not looking at who’ll get us a safe-mid-table we’re looking at who can get us a safe lower-table finish; we can plug the gaps and improve once we’re established:

      Lonners could hold his own at Prem level.

      DEF:

      Lees can learn to a Prem level (tho he’s not there yet)

      O’Dea has shown he can perform well in an underdog team (thinking Ireland keeping Russia out a few months ago – looked flawed, but relatively solid)

      White has the pace to make up for any frailties elsewhere

      MID:

      Howson, Snoddy absolutely Prem standard

      Clayton will be prem standard in a few years if he gets his head down

      Pugh has already played a bit of a role in a Prem club and not been found out

      FWD:

      McCormack has the potential, but it’s a big if.

      TBH it’s all about getting up there. Once we were there I’d say we’re only 2-3 defenders 2 midfielders and a good forward off staying up. And Leeds have the funds, we just spent it on Project Meccano this year.

      • TSS

        @Gryff@mattbb1 The thing often overlooked with Norwich is, they don’t tend to lose players. We’d be in a much stronger position had we kept Beckford, Gradel and Johnson. They steadily invested but also kept the key players together – we’ve done neither.

      • Chareose

        @Gryff@mattbb1

        Gryff, we are selling club !!! half those players you mentioned will be gone sooner or later and to be honest they dont seem to be playing like prem calibre players at the moment. Maybe because they are all discussing where they will go next (after all they will know just aswell as us that the club has ZERO ambition other than as a cash machine for Ken Bates property development programme)

      • Chareose

        @Gryff@mattbb1

        Gryff, we are selling club !!! half those players you mentioned will be gone sooner or later and to be honest they dont seem to be playing like prem calibre players at the moment. Maybe because they are all discussing where they will go next (after all they will know just aswell as us that the club has ZERO ambition other than as a cash machine for Ken Bates property development programme)

    • NorthEastLoiner

      @mattbb1 I tend to agree and much as I want us to be in the Premiership and challenging for Europe again we are still a long way short of being a team that deserves to be there. We aren’t keeping the good players and when we replace them we’re buying poorer players. The manager and his scouting system and the Chairman need to take their share of responsibility on this front. If by some stroke of luck we do go up then without major investment and a revolution in how we play it’ll be embarrassing, we’ll be straight back down and probably in an even worse position than we are now.

  • TSS

    @Dje Your “accurate stats” are backed up by the ever-reliable Leeds United grapevine and a Yorkshire Radio employee – and I can’t for the life of me understand how he’d know the players wages.

    Carlton Cole probably is on £60k a week. That’s what happens in the Prem. That no more proves Billy Paynter is on 12k a week than the bloke in the Peacock that started it all with his reliable source.

  • TSS

    @number1inyorkshire@Dje Average for the league puts us on a par with the lost causes of mid-table. Despite the highest turnover, we’re not paying enough to challenge for the bigger players. There’s the small manner of Ken Bates claiming we have the highest wage bill in world football too.

  • morleywhite

    According to todays papers we are back in for Nick montgomery from The Blunts.personally i think if we want to move on to the next level we need a better quality of player,id prefer Sammy Clingan or Keith Andrews before Monty although first choice would defo be young Fabian hes defo just what we need.who knows if we sneak up this season he may stay permanantly.miracles do happen ha ha.

    • Gryff

      @morleywhite I agree, we should be looking at top signings like Matthew Kilgallon etc. if we want to go up (a pity O’Niell’s playing him now). But I reckon Montgomery’s actually in that bracket?

      Plenty of lads are saying our last years midfield with Bradders & Kilkenny (& Gradel on wing) was better, and Simon wanted Monty when we had both of those and no sign of contract problems with our current lads. Monty might be playing in League One now, but he was also an important part of Blunts’ team for 10 years in the Championship and a year in the Premiership. Part of the reason he hasn’t left already is because he’s so important to them – he was their player of the season the year we were promoted.

      A good signing if we made it – better than Clingon I reckon.

  • Chareose

    @NorthEastLoiner

    The problem is Bates is out to feather his own pocket. He has a captive audience with Leeds fans being so passionate, hes still making mioney out of leeds even as a mediocre championship team….. no invester will come in because they wont want to be another Harding who invests all the money only for Bates to take the rewards because hes a sneaky bloodsucking bastard…..

    With leeds united he has a platform be self important and to mouth off……..

    At the end of the season we will lose another 3-4 players and face relegation next year……… how long before the fans start considering starting a new club ? As mentioned i dont think boycotting will work, it will damage the club. Ken will still make money. All we can do is lobby the goverment or hope for a knight in shining armor to come and buy us.

  • Ali Taylor

    At last, someone who speaks sense!

  • Ben Sowden

    Too right, I’m on a couple of Facebook pages and the opinions – and standard of written English come to that – tend to be laughably reactionary, hats off to all at TSS as usual.

  • Ben Rosamond

    Excellent post.

  • The Scratching Shed

    Cheers lads. MOT

  • mattbb1

    it all boils down to doing something different to set you apart from the pack, Leeds have one massive advantage – us – the certifiable fans. we love them. as long as we turn up then the current model isnt going to break. We need to clear the decks. out with Sam, Connolly, Brown, Becchio, Nunez, Kisnorbo and dont spend money – play kids, Gimpel, The Turners, Poleon. There’d still be plenty around them to make the machine work – youd have a very mediocre season like we are now indeed, but these players would get better. Increase in value, and be a cash cow for us, sell one a season – write off your commercial losses – some might call it genius… if you were a young player youd know youd get your shot at leeds, and wed then attract the best young players again, and rake it in. Are you reading Ken you unimaginative silly old sod? this is called strategy. If you wont do the dent thing and sell to someone who cares – why dont you try and do something that will make you vast amounts of money? we’d end up promoted – eventually, this way.