Elland Road - Evening MatchManchester United may be mocked for their “Fergie time” exploits, but all the best teams fight to the very end. You see it every year in the early rounds of the FA Cup, lesser teams matching the giants until the closing stages of the match when stamina and quality really start to tell.

Without all the late goals they’ve benefited from, it’s hard to imagine Manchester United would have been as successful as they have. But that’s so often what separates Champions and also-rans, the “fine lines” Neil Warnock regularly blamed for Leeds United’s failings this season.

Leeds United’s 2012/13 campaign stands testament to the old footballing cliché – “it’s a game of two halves.” Not only have The Whites scored twice as many goals in the second half of games (36) as they have in the first half (18), they’ve also conceded 45 of their 61 goals in the second half – that’s 74%.

What’s made the 2012/13 season particularly excruciating (aside from the hoofball) is the amount of goals we’ve conceded in the final minutes of games. Leeds United have dropped 5 points in injury time alone, and the stats are worse still for the final 15 minutes of games;

Date Score at 75 minutes Score at full time Points at 75 Points at FT
06/04/13 Charlton 1-0 Leeds United Charlton 2-1 Leeds United 0 0
01/04/13 Leeds United 1-1 Derby County Leeds United 1-2 Derby County 1 0
30/03/13 Ipswich Town 3-0 Leeds United Ipswich Town 3-0 Leeds United 0 0
16/03/13 Leeds United 1-1 Huddersfield Town Leeds United 1-2 Huddersfield Town 1 0
12/03/13 Leeds United 1-1 Peterborough Leeds United 1-1 Peterborough 1 1
09/03/13 Crystal Palace 1-2 Leeds United Crystal Palace 2-2 Leeds United 3 1
05/03/13 Leicester City 0-1 Leeds United Leicester City 1-1 Leeds United 3 1
02/03/13 Leeds United 1-0 Millwall Leeds United 1-0 Millwall 3 3
23/02/13 Blackburn Rovers 0-0 Leeds United Blackburn Rovers 0-0 Leeds United 1 1
20/02/13 Leeds United 2-0 Blackpool Leeds United 2-0 Blackpool 3 3
12/02/13 Middlesbrough 0-0 Leeds United Middlesbrough 1-0 Leeds United 1 0
09/02/13 Wolves 1-1 Leeds United Wolves 2-2 Leeds United 1 1
02/02/13 Leeds United 0-1 Cardiff City Leeds United 0-1 Cardiff City 0 0
19/01/13 Leeds United 1-0 Bristol City Leeds United 1-0 Bristol City 3 3
12/01/13 Barnsley 2-0 Leeds United Barnsley 2-0 Leeds United 0 0
01/01/13 Leeds United 1-0 Bolton Leeds United 1-0 Bolton 3 3
29/12/12 Hull City 2-0 Leeds United Hull City 2-0 Leeds United 0 0
26/12/12 Nottingham Forest 4-1 Leeds United Nottingham Forest 4-2 Leeds United 0 0
22/12/12 Leeds United 2-1 Middlesbrough Leeds United 2-1 Middlesbrough 3 3
15/12/12 Leeds United 2-0 Ipswich Town Leeds United 2-0 Ipswich Town 3 3
08/12/12 Derby County 2-1 Leeds United Derby County 3-1 Leeds United 0 0
01/12/12 Huddersfield Town 2-3 Leeds United Huddersfield Town 2-4 Leeds United 3 3
27/11/12 Leeds United 1-0 Leicester City Leeds United 1-0 Leicester City 3 3
24/11/12 Leeds United 1-0 Crystal Palace Leeds United 2-1 Crystal Palace 3 3
18/11/12 Millwall 0-0 Leeds United Millwall 1-0 Leeds United 1 0
10/11/12 Leeds United 0-2 Watford Leeds United 1-6 Watford 0 0
06/11/12 Burnley 0-0 Leeds United Burnley 1-0 Leeds United 1 0
02/11/12 Brighton 2-2 Leeds United Brighton 2-2 Leeds United 1 1
27/10/12 Leeds United 0-0 Birmingham City Leeds United 0-1 Birmingham City 1 0
23/10/12 Leeds United 1-1 Charlton Leeds United 1-1 Charlton 1 1
19/10/12 Sheffield Wednesday 1-1 Leeds United Sheffield Wednesday 1-1 Leeds United 1 1
06/10/12 Leeds United 1-0 Barnsley Leeds United 1-0 Barnsley 3 3
02/10/12 Bolton 1-2 Leeds United Bolton 2-2 Leeds United 3 1
29/09/12 Bristol City 1-1 Leeds United Bristol City 2-3 Leeds United 1 3
22/09/12 Leeds United 2-1 Nottingham Forest Leeds United 2-1 Nottingham Forest 3 3
18/09/12 Leeds United 1-2 Hull City Leeds United 2-3 Hull City 0 0
15/09/12 Cardiff City 2-0 Leeds United Cardiff City 2-1 Leeds United 0 0
01/09/12 Leeds United 3-2 Blackburn Rovers Leeds United 3-3 Blackburn Rovers 3 1
25/08/12 Peterborough 1-2 Leeds United Peterborough 1-2 Leeds United 3 3
21/08/12 Blackpool 0-1 Leeds United Blackpool 2-1 Leeds United 3 0
18/08/12 Leeds United 1-0 Wolves Leeds United 1-0 Wolves 3 3
67 52

The table shows that over the course of this season, Leeds United have lost a sum total of 15 points in the final 15 minutes of games (17 points dropped, 2 points gained) – that’s enough points to put us in 4th place, above Crystal Palace with a 7 point cushion over teams chasing a play-off finish.

Equally damning is how few points we’ve gained in the final 15 minutes of games. Only once this season have Leeds United improved their points haul in the final 15 minutes of a match, and that result came way back in September against Bristol City.

If the hallmark of every good side is an ability to fight to the very end and claim late points, Leeds United are the exact opposite of that. Perhaps we should petition the FA to shorten football matches?

  • RITGK

    Some good research. Good job!

  • would be interesting to see graysons stats from 75-90

    • would tell a different story. We were the late goal specialists under Grayson

  • Ludlow Leeds

    At face value this is extremely revealing. Lack of concentration, lack of fitness, lack of spirit? No doubt NW would blame the referee, Tom Lees or Becchio. But it’s just another damning statistic of his truly awful regime.

  • henrymouni

    Perhaps we should petition the FA to shorten football matches?

    15 minutes each way would be enough for our boys TSS!

    Sorry Sepp, I thought of it first!

  • Seem to remember we used to score a lot of late goals under Grayson. Despite all Warnock’s ‘make players run through walls’ reputation, was the team fitter when he was manager?

  • mrbigwheels

    Excellent information, good hard work, very informative, Well done.

    From this and taking on board the FA are going to do FA with your latter suggestion.
    I would be most interested to read and comment on your next article entitled,

    LUFC going nowhere, five games to play, slightly in the SH1 and results non existent.

    I want to know what the panel think should be done and done now. I thank you.

  • Matt

    Someone want to send this to the next manager?

  • markman

    good work
    could you also work out the average age of our back 4
    until warnock turned up we must have had one
    of the youngest/most inexperienced.?

  • JDC

    Well done TSS … fascinating but not surprising in my opinion. Perhaps one of the factors for a tiring team was NW’s reluctance to make substitutions until very late on in games when most supporters were calling for changes to be made after 60/75 minutes.

  • NottsWhite

    Probably linked with these stats was NW negative tactics of trying to shut the game down with circa 15 to 20 minutes left (far too early). Unfortunately what NW did not realise is that as a team we are shite at defending which invariably costs us points as we invited pressure onto our back four compounded with our ageing midfield not having the legs to protect the defence.

  • My mate (Ipswich fan) says this happened to them a lot last season, and his theory is that it was their aging team which simply couldn’t hack the full 90 mins. Sound a lot like Warnock’s policy of dinosaurs/no subs.

    • TSS

      Age of some players and Warnock’s aversion to subs was definitely a factor, but so too was the lack of game-changing individuals.

      When I did pre-season predictions for The Guardian – http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/football-league-blog/2012/aug/10/championship-2012-13-season-preview-bloggers – I based my 12th place prediction on a lack of game-changers. Players like Max Gradel will turn 1 into 3 points and 0 into 1 so many times throughout the course of a season, we were always going to struggle without them

      • David Brown

        It’s simple really. Add some fitness plus Gradel and the current team works.

  • Matthew

    We’re not 4th because year after year we’re selling our best players, nothing more or less. And at the rate we’re going, if GFH don’t invest in the summer(Assuming we avoid relegation this season), we’re looking at relegation the next season.

    This squad, except a few players is not good enough to last in the Championship.

    We don’t deserve this shit.

  • David Brown

    This supports what I’ve been saying all year: we aren’t fit enough. There’s something you’ve missed in your article above, something else that’s common to successful clubs. They have reserve teams. In my view our current squad is much better than our last, full of the sort of players clubs actually have in their squads when they get promoted. If anyone actually goes through the squads assembled by Revie and Wilkinson they’ll see what I mean.

    Our problem has been with fitness, not crappy, 30+ players (most of them are younger than 30 anyway.) Name a player who as been crap in every single game. Anyone? No, didn’t think so. Brown has played well, Varney, Norris. Peltiier is fine in a position he can play in. Austin and Pearce were being raved about when they joined by the same people who moan about them now. Both got injured and came back. Diouf got a virus and came back. Probably every player has picked up a minor injury at some point.

    Of course it would also have been nice if we hadn’t played hoofball all season, but as Palace and QPR fans have said here, Warnock does this but usually does well. The stats reveal the tactics to be irrelevant to 4th place in this division. Most of his signings have been good – I can only think of Robinson, Dwyer, Webber and maybe Hall who weren’t good enough, and if you sign about 20 players on a budget there will be some who don’t work out.

    Re the comment from Phil Benson, I think the team was fitter under Grayson until his last year.

    Warnock should have known better than to get involved with a club in the state we were in when he joined. I suppose he was tempted. But I don’t think any manager would have done better.

    One last thing. Play kids, yeah, play all the kids, don’t sign anyone, or just sign Beckford, he’s scored millions of goals in the Championship. A team of Cairns; Byram, Killick (kid on loan to a non-league side), Lees, Taylor; Dawson, Thompson, White; Beckford, Becchio (until he left, and he did want to) and Poleon would have done much better, wouldn’t it? And that’s what Revie did, etc, etc. In my view losing Brown and Norris and signing 2 wingers would be enough – if we were fit.

    And as for a new manager, young managers are cheap, and often crap. Coyle is a non-entity, Hughes is a hugely talented manager – talented at job interviews, that is. Poyet, who said that Wise did almost everything, doesn’t have much of a record either. Naylor, who some say is Leeds through and through (why?), also has no record (yeah, yeah, good with kids, give it a rest). O’Neill is past it according to Sunderland fans. McDermott is the only one who might do. I’m sure he’d be rubbish in the Premiership but he might get us there. The one I’d like is Dalglish, scrapped for turning a club round, working well within budget, winning a cup, chasing Europe and being a bit boring. Get him in, and reassess him when we finish 8th in the Premiership in 2 years time. We might just be lucky with O’Leary, too. He didn’t cope well with the pressure last time, but even our club couldn’t be that bad again – could it?

    Our real problem is the number of clubs with parachute money. They will attract the best managers. If McDermott really wants it, bite his hands off…

    • Matthew

      We need more than 2 wingers. Just over half of the starting eleven isn’t good enough to mount a serious promotion push.

      And fitness is irrelevant if the technical ability isn’t there. The Leeds United XI that won league 1, and beat scum would knock at least 4-5 goals past this Leeds side.

      I’m being critical because it’s true, and the ability of the squad reflects where we are in the league.

    • markman

      Dalglish,you must be joking just look at the players he paid far too much for.

      • David Brown

        I can’t think of any, with one famous exception. And he might come good. Doesn’t matter though, we won’t approach anyone like that. We may as well wish for Hiddink or Mourinho.

    • David Brown

      “Dwyer”. Christ. I mean Drury of course. Now there is a useless piece of knackered old crap.

  • Tare

    Fair enough and as I will always say it; numbers do not lie.

    But focus in to the right side then and get this Chairman/Manager and Club vision in order.

    Tare

  • yorxman

    As things stand we’ll do well to finish 4th…from the bottom!! Saturdays game is massive

  • mark

    there are some really thick articles on here. We haven’t had a good enough team all season to finish anywhere near fourth, we will be lucky to finish in the league

    • TSS

      Have you even read the article? The point is that we’ve dropped an extraordinary amount of points in the last 15 minutes of games.

      • Matthew

        How many of those games did we honestly deserve to win, and how many of those games did we have much in the way of control in?

        Not many. Conceding when you’ve been the worse team isn’t exactly unique only to us.

        • TSS

          Whether we deserved to win them or not, we were in that position at the 75 minute mark. That’s the point. We didn’t fluke being ahead or level at that stage in a game all season, no more than us going behind soon after was bad luck.

      • mark

        We concede goals because we can’t keep posession. All the teams who are in the top six play posession football, not hoofball. The problem is the style of play and lack of pace, not ‘passion’

        • TSS

          Who said it was passion? I agree the style of play hasn’t helped, I think the age/mobility of some players and fitness are issues too. But more than anything, I think Warnock failed to sign a Snoddy and Gradel replacement.

    • Marko

      Theres a really thick person reading them who seems to have missed the point

  • yorkshiremen

    Depressing

  • Kernow

    Good piece – I used to be proud of our never say die attitude but there is something very wrong in the dressing room (and with the ability of as captain to motivate on the field) when the team leaks like this in the last 1/6th of the game.

    • David Brown

      It’s stamina more than motivation, but you do wonder about Peltier as captain. Maybe Green would be better. Or Diouf.

  • Makes no difference, its all ifs and butts.. We are very lucky most teams have been inconsistant in this league, otherwise we would be bottom. We were lucky to win/draw a few games this season.. We have been nothing short of awful the entire season..And the true fact is, league positions tell no lies..We are where we deserve to be..

  • PompeyWhite

    21 goals conceded in the last 15 mins of games- costing us 15 points. This to me says theyre not fit enough………and a bunch of wankers who are not fit to wear the shirt

    • Matthew

      Why are you so focused on the last 15 minutes? What about the 75 minutes beforehand? Why aren’t we scoring enough goals to give ourselves a cushion, why aren’t we controling games instead of surviving? There’s an easy answer. We’re not good enough.

      What do you think the likely outcome would be when a decent team is battering us? They huffed and they puffed and they blew our cardboard house down.

      • TSS

        Football matches are rarely won by more than the odd goal, expecting a team to be 2 or 3 goals up by the 75 minute mark is dreaming the impossible dream, the simple fact is, at the 75 minute stage we’re often in a higher point scoring position than we are at full time. An inability to kill games off or see them out has been incredibly costly this season.

        What’s more worrying is that we seem incapable of winning games or pulling goals back at this stage. We took a lot of points in the closing stages of games under SG, we’ve never been able to do that under NW.

        Whether it’s fitness, a lack of depth, Warnock’s aversion to making subs, a lack of quality or something else entirely is open to debate. One of the biggest factors – for me – is that we lack game-changing individuals like Snoddy and Gradel, the amount of points they grabbed us over the course of a season shouldn’t be underestimated. I guess in that sense, I kinda agree with Warnock – we’re only 2-3 players short of being serious challengers.

        • Matthew

          We’re not really a high scoring team anymore, granted we’re not conceding as many goals but when we need a goal badly, we’re incapable of producing. Other teams of quality in this division don’t seem to have much in the way of a problem of scoring a few goals every other game.

          I personally see our predicament as a result of losing almost all the quality in the squad. And not replacing with players of equal value, as you’ve said we have no game changing players, no one to really bring off the bench that would be threatening, we’re making subs really to just replace players that are tiring, or injured players, we’re not bringing on quality to bang in a few goals or keep us in games.

          As for the 2-3 players short thing, do you honestly believe that? Look at the Charlton starting eleven, would you honestly change just 2 players from that side? Of our best players I would personally say only 4-5 would be capable of playing at a high enough standard in a side pushing for a top 2 spot. This side needs a hell of a lot of work doing to it and any manager we do get will need the funds to make the changes.

          Our midfield kinda sucks. We don’t have a Becchio type player anymore(You know a carthorse that will bang the goals in when we need), we don’t have much in the way of creativity in the midfield, nor do we have much in the way of wingers.

          What’s costing us games is simply the lack of quality/depth in the side.

          Also, wouldn’t you agree that many of the games we’ve either lost of drawn could of been won if we were the team scoring the most goals in said games, we’ve lost games against average/bad teams because we’ve simply been the team scoring less goals. Had Becchio still been here, we wouldn’t of been instantly great overnight but we would of been slightly higher in the table.

          • mrbigwheels

            Have either of you any comments of how to improve the chances of scoring some points in the last five games, within the highlighted restrictions in the squad?. Something has to be available surely.

            1 We’ve one point in the last five,
            2 We’ve three points in the last seven.

            I wouldn’t trust us winning at home and Redfearn doesn’t seem to want it.

          • henrymouni

            Now you are asking Mr B!
            No Tom Lees for the next game.
            Peltier injured.
            That will mean Sam and Pearce in the middle and Green maybe our ‘best’ midfielder, at right back.
            At least Brown is suspended!
            Young Dawson was injured for the last game, so he may not play again.
            Tonge is poor just now but will probably play.
            I would try Polean, at some stage, in attack, as he has a goal in him.
            I would play Aidy wide right, and get him to stay there and not wander!!
            AND run at the full back to spread their defence.
            Douify wide right, and hope he livens up a bit!
            Our main goal threats have to be Ross, Morison & Polean, with Varney as an outside bet.
            There is not a lot to bring on from the bench apart from Polean, if he does not start.
            We are really in the mire.
            I had to laugh when Redders said, after the game that he thought we were the team playing the football!! LOL
            He thought we deserved more! AAaagh!

          • mrbigwheels

            Thanks for your comment Henri.

            All ifs and buts then from our illustrious squad.
            A total miss-mash of a situation to be in.
            The rub o’ the green may come along.

            Living on hope was never my style…. unlike some.
            My opinion of LUCK is when you wake up for another day in this world.

            March on Together Henri.

          • henrymouni

            “Living on hope was never my style…. unlike some.”

            You and I have been criticised for being ‘negative’ about our squad and our prospects.

            We were called ‘cup half empty’ people.

            It is funny how quiet they have gone!

            It is amazing the dream world some people live in.

            People can highlight last minute goals etc, but the truth is we have a poor under performing squad who cannot pass the ball, and appear to have no game plan.

            The ‘cup half full brigade’ really believed we could make the play-offs, ignoring the fact that we have one of the worst squads in our league.

            We had a lot of undeserved wins, and were outplayed in nearly every game.

            Bates and his mouthpieces still run our club and it shows.

            Our new kit for next year:-

          • TSS

            “granted we’re not conceding as many goals”

            Yes we are. Grayson’s average goals per game conceded was better than Warnock’s.

          • we’re conceding more. Warnock’s tenure has been a complete failure, he’s done nothing but take us backwards. Sold our only remaining decent players in Snodgrass and Becchio and replaced them with tripe that can’t be bothered.

  • Andy

    How many points have we picked up since Becchio left and where would we be without his goals this season …frightning to think!!!!!

  • angoldthorpe

    interesting here no-one mentions Dennis Wise… him and Gus used to get us attacking like mad men in the last 15 minutes as we made up the 15 point deduction…

    • David Brown

      Wise did a good job but was a/ a first class cnut and b/ from Chelsea, so is always forgotten while the rubbish that followed him – McAllister of ‘oh I’ll just drop 20 points or so while I get the team playing pretty passball’ fame – is seriously suggested as a candidate. I’ve got no doubt that Wise’s methods would work, even with the current players (plus 2 wingers). I’m not convinced about Poyet,

  • marty66

    Warnocks reign at Leeds has to be the worst in living memory, I’ve never seen such a crap squad before and its not all because of money. Disastrous year no excuses………

  • grego

    I’m a little confused what Scum and Fergie Time have to do with Leeds United conceding in the final minutes of games. Fergie Time is added time at the end of ninety minutes. It’s usually time that is added until Scum get the win or a draw and it more often than not comes from the Old Toilet from weak referee’s.

    I do get what the article is saying and I do agree with the point. I don’t agree with the way in which the point has been driven home though. It’s not only a false example but it basically celebrates the ‘stamina’ of Scum which is a little insulting.

    How many of the conceded United goals actually came in added time?

  • Notfamousanymore

    this is really good research, and very insightful. As per comment below, this is an astonishing indictment of Warnock’s tactics and coaching.

    Coupled with our inability to score in the first half, it’s small wonder we are in a death spiral. Goodness knows if we have any kind of analytical capability in the club any more; I wonder if there is any way to share this with the coaching staff. One assumes they know this stuff, but as they say, at the risk of sounding like David Brent (or Brendan Rogers) ‘assume’ makes an ‘ass’ out of ‘u’ and ‘me’.

  • mrbigwheels

    It’s as plain as night will follow day from your stats TSS, the chances of accumulating 56 points are entirely a matter of spinning a coin to survive in the Championship.We will need 4 if Blackburn win this weekend and perhaps 2 more to be safe, now Sheffield Wednesday are above us.

    For heavens sake it’s taken us seven games to amass 3 points.
    If we don’t win on saturday… we are on the edge.. a shameful position.
    As Notfamousanymore says…. to ‘assume’ makes an ‘ass’ out of ‘u’ and ‘me’.