Frustrating day at Elland Road for Leeds and Charlton TSS October 3, 2009 Match reviews 15 Comments Before todays game Leeds knew that a win over the Addicks would move them six points clear at the top of League One, but the Elland Road faithful had to endure a disappointing and frustrating 90 minutes as the match remained goal-less throughout. The best chance came in the first half when Bradley Johnson’s shot forced an impressive full-stretch save from the Charlton keeper. Leeds had looked the better side early on, passing and moving well and closing down quickly. As the game went on though, Charlton began to get more of the action. The real change in the match seemed to come when Lucciano Becchio went off injured in the first half. He was replaced by Enoch Showunmi who had an absolute mare of a game and should have been taken off just as quickly. His passing seldom reached it’s destination, his first touch was weak and clumsy and his performance as a whole will be something he’ll want to forget. It wasn’t just Showunmi though whose passes continually went astray. The team as a whole struggled to keep possession as the game went on, which seemed to make the players more and more frustrated and ultimately resulted in them shooting from forty yards rather than working an opening. Casper Ankergren did little to help matters either. His goal-kicks remain truly hopeless, with a couple going straight into touch for an opposition throw. The ones that didn’t weren’t much better and rarely reached a player in white. He also remains a worry whenever the ball is crossed into the box. If he moves, he chooses to punch rather than catch which rarely relieves the danger, but even worse is when he doesn’t move at all and the defence are left to try and scramble away a ball that should have been taken care of with ease. Overall, a cold, frustrating and disappointing day at Elland Road was had by all. The 31,000+ crowd were quiet considering their numbers and despite the Kop’s best efforts to get songs going, they rarely carried around the stadium. Despite failing to capitalise on the “six-point” fixture today, other results have once again gone our way and we remain top of League One. We’ve actually extended our lead over the play-off places after Bristol Rovers were battered 5-1 away to Norwich. Simon Grayson had the following to say after the game; “Over the course of the game a draw was the right result. “The conditions made it very hard for both teams. With the wind swirling about so much it made it hard for players to judge passes and things like that. “I think it was always going to be a tight game because neither side wanted to lose the game and the players didn’t want to make mistakes. “To keep a clean sheet against a team like Charlton is very pleasing too.” I can’t disagree with anything he’s said, but he’s defintely concentrating on the positives. I suspect the players will be hearing a lot more negatives than the above. The wind conditions were poor, but they were poor for both teams and on home soil, I’d have expected a win. TSS man of the match Absolutely unquestionably Patrick Kisnorbo for me. Had he not been on the field today, I suspect we’d have lost the title of ‘last undefeated team in England’. So far this season we’ve conceeded just five goals and a lot of the credit for that has to go to him. Ross Leeds were poor today and for me the one thing I cannot undertsand is why Grayson keeps moving other players out of position to accomodate Neil Kilkenny. Kilkenny is simply awful a central midfielder who doesnt make a tackle all game, it’s no surpirse that we have dropped points since his re-appearance. Grayson has split up doyle and howson who have formed a very successful and stable partnership to accomodate Kilkenny, why he doesnt just stick robinson or prutton on the right instead I don’t know. Naylor is also lucky to get straight back in the side, He was unconvincing against Carlisle and again today with both bromby and kisnorbo getting dragged across to cover for his lack of pace / fitness. the weather didn’t help today but don’t let it disguise a poor performance, Leeds really need to hope Higgs, parker, and snodgrass come back from injury quickly as these last two games show whilst Leeds have a strong squad, the squad players cannot fit into the system well. TSS Hi Ross, Have to agree with the points made. Naylor doesn’t look 100% and I know he’s our captain and we’re having a bit of a crisis in defence, but he hasn’t deserved his place at all so far. For me, Rui and Kis have been the best central partnership I’ve seen in a while. I know some will be eager to jump to his defence and point out we’ve only conceeded once in the two games he’s played, but it seems to have effected the whole team. Agree with the point raised about Kilkenny too. Doyle and Howson have formed an excellent partnership. They’ve fought for every ball, passed well and created chances between them. As I said above, the weather is irrelevant. Both teams had to play in it and at home I expect a lot better from Leeds. How bad was Showunmi though!? musiclover After Kisnorbo I thought Richardson and Sodje were the best players on the park today. Bromby is clearly not a wing back and for me would probably be fifth choice for one of the centre back spots. The real worry is the lack of service to Beckford in he absence of Delph (permanent) and Snodgrass (surely not fit to travel with the Tartan army) resulting in a mini goal drought. Frustrating that whilst we scored plenty last season we also shipped in goals by the bucket until Grayson brought in Naylor. This year we have the tightest defence in the league but our strikers are struggling to find the net. Let’s hope Showumni nets six in the JPT and morphs into the next Brian Deane eh? TSS I don’t think Showunmi should ever be allowed to wear a Leeds shirt again. He was embarrassingly bad. Paul South Wales I’ve only just got in (on the road for 7 1/2 hours in total). Gutted with a draw, this was my first match of the season and i think Leeds started very brightly, closing Charlton down and getting at them from the off. It was in this period that we needed to score, and after we didn’t we let Charlton gain confidence a little. Beckford had an off day, Bechio (not a fan of) fell over a lot, and what Showumni was up to is anybody’s guess (amusing though). I think Kandol should have been given a run out. Johnson started well, but lost all composure when switched in the second half. Too many passes went astray today, and a lot of these were nothing to do with the weather, although why we hoofed so much in those conditions is beyond me. Overall neither side created much in the way of chances (us probably the most) and we need to improve vastly. We still don’t seem to be the complete team and need more creation from midfeild. I suppose a draw isn’t too bad against our main rivals in this league but after such a long journey i hoped for a lot more. MOT Paul South Wales Oh and i just remembered this was the first time i’ve ever seen home fans fighting with other home fans whilst queueing outside entrance 1/2, very strange. TSS Never saw or heard about that. Can’t say I’m shocked by it though. You know how much alcohol gets consumed before kick-off! Gez Paul, You must have been queuing for the West Stand at the same time as me as I also saw that minor punch up. It was farcical that it took 40 minutes to get in. Leeds were very poor today. Beckford was missing. There was no consistency on passing. I’m not sure Becchio was injured or just embarrased – he was terrible. Kandol must be completely p*ssed off to be behind Showunmi and Grella looked behind the game when he came on. I thought Naylor looked pretty good and he saved us a couple of times. I’m loving the lads with the bandaged heads – Kisnorbo style. Today was very poor but we are actually better off than we were before kick off – we are going up as Champions. MOT xx LEE S WALES first of all i think robert snodgrass has had a good season, but if he is not fit enough to play for LEEDS he is not fit enough to go traveling with scotland for a friendley,lets be honest as much as we hate ALEX FURGUSON AND MAN UTD could you see him releasing the likes of giggs and rooney if they were not fit enough to play for there club on a saturday,simon grayson should refuse to let him go and get him on treatmant table and ready for the next game for his club instead of country,also i think kandol should be given a chance , Grumpy Older Man I have long come to the conclusion that when some fand start a criticism campaign against a player it matters not what they do on the pitch the same words/idiocies will accrue…first this season it was Howson, then Snodgrass then Becchio, all who have just got on with putting in performances that impress outsiders like the Football League paper analyists…now after Higgs’ injury the victim is Ankergan, and thus it is above despite his clean sheet and conceding 1 goal in 3 games this season. So, just for the record what does it say on page 29 of this weels FL paper? “Ankergran 7″…(and Mr can do no wrong Beckord?.6). Obviously this might have been distoted by the reporter noticing the vital double save Casper made that clearly TSS missed… We have two decent goalies, Higgs does all the English style kicking and catching high balls, Casper is a supreme shot-stopper and reaction goalie, I see no point criticising either. TSS Morning GOM, first off I sometimes suspect you just like to disagree with the general consensus. Everyone in the stadium could see how truly woeful Casper Ankergren is yesterday except you. Since Casper’s return, the defence has looked shaky and we’ve been on the back foot for large portions of the games, often caused by his inability to clear the ball when given the chance. He is a great shot stopper but he was extremely lucky to keep a clean sheet yesterday. The only reason he did was Charlton’s failure to get an head to the balls that went flying across the face of goal – the balls that Casper should have dealt with! Please tell me your entire analysis isn’t based upon the joke that is the FL Paper? I didn’t miss any of the saves. I just saw the amount of problems he created that YOU clearly missed! Kisnorbo had more to do with the clean sheet than Casper did too and as for Beckford, he was indeed poor, but next to Showunmi it’s hard to critisise. Mighty white Same old Leeds fans nothing is ever good enough is, I been to every home game this season but missed yesterdays game due to the fact I’m not paying £32 for a consession ticket!! I think the biggest thing everyone seems to be forgettin is the fact we was playing a team who are 2nd in the league and probably the 2nd strongest side in the league, yes it’s nice to win but is a draw against this quality of team a bad result??? Would man u fans be complaining if they only got a draw at home against Chelsea I probably think not?! We are still unbeaten, top of the league so rather than criticize let’s carry on getting behind the lads and let’s go up as champs!!! TSS Sorry, but I refuse to pussy-foot around a below-par performance. Had we played well and the game ended 0-0, then fair enough, but we were poor yesterday as we were against Carlisle midweek. I’ve been to every game home and away this season, as I do every season. The amount of money I spend following Leeds United entitles me to my opinion, as it does yours and if the lads aren’t performing, then that’s what I’ll write. I fully believe I should be allowed into the changing rooms at half-time to give the lads a bollocking if they’ve been poor. (That’s a joke) I appreciate the fact that we are still undefeated and top of the league, but if we continue playing like we have in the last two games then it won’t be for much longer. Luckily, we have a bit of a break in play now (apart from the JPT of course) so that should help the team re-group and hopefully we’ll return stronger. On and on… Paul South Wales Get Carl Dickinson back from his Stoke nightmare (defence problem sorted) get that winger from Oldham and buy a good frontman – Team complete Yorkshrman It’s not often that I find myself agreeing with GOM (hi there!), but let’s get a bit of perspective on things ….. – We’re now the only unbeaten team in the country – Our “problem defence” has the best record in L1 (and has only conceded half as many goals as Charlton) in spite of the injuries we’ve had – We’ve got 3 points more than Leicester had at this time last season – We played poorly against the second-placed team in the League, but for all their pretty play, they didn’t look any more likely than us to win the game (and we probably had the better chances) Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t say that everything in the garden was rosy at the moment …. but over 46 games every team has poor patches; and in spite of not playing well recently, we’ve remained unbeaten and built a bit of a gap at the top. Unlike this time last year, when we played some wonderful attacking football – but couldn’t defend to save our lives …. As for the criticism of players, clearly paying fans have the right to “have a go”; but again, think some allowances have to be made. I think it’s particularly difficult for players who haven’t been playing regularly to just “slot in” as though they have – and the classic example for us is Johnson, who did nothing for a year or more when he got the odd game here and there, but having had a run in the side is now looking like a decent player. Naylor will take a little while to get back to full match fitness; but given that he’s missed all of pre-season and the first quarter of the season, I don’t think he’s done too badly. Which brings me to Ankergren. I don’t think anyone would deny that he has his faults; and Grayson clearly thinks so too, and has responded by bringing in Higgs. But with Higgs injured, Ankergren has come in and done what he’s always done – made some great stops, flapped at a few crosses, and kicked the ball out poorly. Why would anyone think he was going to suddenly have changed? What has changed is that he’s now the back-up rather than the first choice – and for all the criticism, he (and the rest of the defence) have conceded one goal in 2-and-a-half games, and that one certainly wasn’t his fault. Let’s see what happens after a couple of weeks’ rest before we write off this season completely ….!!