poleonLeeds faced strong resistance from League Two Chesterfield Town last night as they came from behind to set up a second round derby clash with Doncaster Rovers in the League Cup.

The Whites made seven changes from Saturday’s starting XI against Brighton and the result spoke volumes about the quality of depth McDermott has to work with.

Make no mistake, Chesterfield are a good side who try to play attractive and attacking football. They deserve a lot of credit for their performance last night, as do their fans who turned up in good numbers (around 2,300 of them in total) and made plenty of noise.

But the manner in which a League Two side totally outplayed us at times was nonetheless concerning from a Leeds United point of view.

That Chesterfield only managed the one goal was more down to luck than good defending. Jason Pearce cleared an attempt off the line, Paddy Kenny was called into action more times than you’d expect playing a team which should be so much weaker than Leeds and Chesterfield really should have had a penalty following a foul which looked to be well inside the box, but was given as a free-kick.

You can’t hold the defence totally responsible for the amount of chances Chesterfield managed to create though, you have to take into consideration how easily Michael Brown, David Norris and the rest of Leeds’ midfield were having it passed around them. A stark contrast from the impressive Leeds United midfield on Saturday, I’m afraid.

Michael Brown redeemed himself somewhat with a superbly struck equaliser from outside the box, a goal reminiscent of his younger days at Sheffield United. Back when he was still the right side of 30. The rest of his performance gave away his true age though, he lacks the pace to dominate a position like centre-midfield, was passed around like a statue and is unable to cover ground quickly when caught out-of-position – which happens a lot.

That’s why you have to have some sympathy for an undeniably poor defence. Because such an ineffective midfield piles the pressure on Pearce and Lees.

Elsewhere, I can’t help but wonder how many more times we’ll see Aidy White in a Leeds United shirt. He’s a player I have a great deal of sympathy for because a series of Leeds United managers have Danny Pugh’d him with all the position-switching. But even allowing for his poor command of the positions he’s played in, you can’t escape the fact that his passing is atrocious.

Matt Smith is another player who failed to impress, missing chances I’d have expected any other striker to score – or at least hit the target – from. He’s new and you feel he’ll improve once he’s had chance to settle, but last night he looked poor against a League Two defence. There’s no sugar-coating that.

The one shining light of the performance was Dominic Poleon. A striker with a decent amount of pace who can torment defences and provides a near constant threat for Leeds, the kid looks to have a great future ahead of him. His goal last night was a well-struck effort from the edge of the area, followed up by dance moves which would make Peter Crouch look on in envy – a sort of coming together of the chicken dance and the robot. Inspired stuff.

There’s no disguising how poor the performance was from Leeds, but the truth is, it made for quite an entertaining match. It’s a little concerning that a match between a League Two side and Leeds United was so fiercely competitive, but we pay to be entertained, and considering how cheap the tickets were last night, I’d say we got value for money if nothing else.

Noel Hunt described the result as being analogous to sleeping with an ugly girl. It might not have been pretty, but we got the result we were looking for. Hard to argue with such profound wisdom… On and on…


37 Responses

  1. Irving08

    Aidy White’s passing is sometimes atrocious; but it is also sometimes good. Somehow his bad passes get noticed more than those of other players: I suspect it’s because his pace gets him more noticed too. Whenever he has been up against a top class winger playing in his proper, left back, position, over the past two seasons, he has played uniformly well. The problem for Aidy is that he is sacrificed to cover for deficiencies or insecurities elsewhere in the side. In my view, we will pay a price for this, whenever the present incumbent of the left back postion comes up against a half decent winger this season. I suspect Aidy will go the way of Bradley Johnson, underappreciated, poorly deployed, yet
    prove to be a good player for another, and possibly better, team.

    • Chareose

      Irv, you could be right but the truth is, hes not consistently shown enough to be viewed as a first team player, what i mean is we cant blame BMC if he sells him. Its a calculated decision based on what White has given to the side which is not enough !

      • Irving08

        The evidence does not support you on consistency, when Aidy has been played in his proper position at left back, as he was by SG in the first half of the 2011-12 season, his average performance in a wretched defence was around the 7 mark. And, yes, I would blame BM if he sold him, on the basis of pre-season performances and one cup game – in which, incidentally, he got the same marks from Phil Hay in the YEP as the majority of players – playing at the head of a system to which he is not yet, and may never be well suited. It would be folly to sell Aidy White, while retaining the services of two over-the-hill left backs in Drury and Warnock – neither of whom has the pace or powers of recovery to cope with the best wide players in this Division. As it happens, I sense from his remarks, that BM likes Aidy and is in no hurry to ditch him. His passing can be improved – and will be when he learns to slow down a little – but the same goes for a number of other players in the squad, notably Mr Austin.

      • NottsWhite

        Irving08, I am a regular visitor to the site and find your comments considered and logical however I cannot agree with your view of Aidy White. Yes, he is a player who has never held a regular position but whose fault is that ? I would argue that White is a jack of all trades master of none. In the games I watched him at left back I always thought he was a liability Granted he has pace but doesn’t know how to use it, however list that against his poor positional sense, poor passing (sometimes I get the impression he thinks the ball is a bomb such is his urgency to get rid) his lack of courage in tackles and taking players on in advanced positions. If this player had been purchased by messers Grayson, Warnock or McDermott there would be a lot more people suggesting that he was a waste of money.

      • Irivng08

        Thanks Notts White. The debate about Aidy will no doubt continue. My reluctance to highlight weaknesses in his game may be coloured by the way young talent was discarded in the 1980s. I am encouraged in my faith in AW’s abilities by the support of Eddie Gray and the fact that he was recruited by our most successful talent spotter of recent times, Gary Mac.

    • TSS

      You’re probably right mate. The passes Aidy got wrong Wednesday night stood out because they were always at breakaway moments, the ones that you need to be getting right 100% of the time.

      But he does the same in defence, putting in a good tackle then carelessly giving the ball back to the opposition. Such sloppiness will always be picked up because it costs games.

      • Irving08

        I agree, Aidy he can be a bit careless. But players that appear to take great care with their passing such as Tom Lees also give the ball away to the opposition, even if it results from a hoof upfield. Aidy seems to be a bright lad, with an easy-going nature. For me one measure of BM’s managerial ability will be an improvement in AW’s game. I think he will show more patience with him than Billy did with Dennis Irwin in the 1980s.

  2. Kevin Scorah

    Interesting stat on the BBC website…Leeds have never lost in the first round of this competition and Chesterfield have now been beaten at the first hurdle for the past 7 seasons.

    • spellz

      It is both interesting and ironic considering we had a football miracle given the strength of their performance on Tuesday.

  3. Matthew

    Make no mistake, though that wasn’t a full strength Leeds side on the pitch against Chesterfield, we very easily could of lost that game. We were walking on thin ice and could of easily of fallen in. I think if Chesterfield bring the same determination and passion to the league they will very easily be promoted. They played better than a few Championship level teams even. If they had been drawn against a lesser team like Millwall, or the Wendies, or Huddersfield or Donny, they likely would of won.

  4. spellz

    We have been pretty fortunate to have come away from our first two games with 100% make no mistake and also a lot of credit to Chesterfield for the way they brang the game to us, it will be alot harder and a bigger test when we play the foxes on Saturday but I am sure our players would have learned something or even a lot from this game.

    • ozziewhite

      lol, I’m no pedant when it comes to spelling or grammar….but “brang”?

      • spellz

        Well that shows you are, I write fast and don’t always check.
        After all I am not thinking once my post is completed I am giving it to the teacher to be marked down on, go and bother someone else after analysis of their post, knob.

  5. dave221982

    I just think BM got caught out, Chesterfield are a decent side now but played like a premier league team. Leeds fielded a squad that BM thought would get through and they did JUST!, we played 7 players different to Saturday and with Chesterfield playing so well we struggled. If we had played the same team as Saturday it probably would of been a different story but BM was never going to do that! Anyway we are through so it’s not really an issue now he picked his weakened team it did the job happy days.

  6. henrymouni

    I think the result was similar to a pretty girl sleeping with Noel Hunt.

  7. Fiona

    Hate the title of the article. Cheap sexist comment that doesn’t seem to represent your general views about homophobia, racism etc. Sexism is the same. I don’t care it was ‘someone else’s quote’, it should have been binned and not used.

    • henrymouni

      Very fair comment Fiona.
      I am sure Mr Hunt will be embarrassed by it.
      Some footballers live in an arrogant world of their own.

      • Irving08

        I fear the comment could be extended to the game itself Henri.

      • henrymouni

        He has yet to find his feet Irv.
        I am not sure how fit he is just now, but I feel he will come good.
        Aidy is yet to be given a position to call his own.
        He prefers full back, and Eddie Gray says Aidy is better facing the play.
        BM should bring the best out of him, but the way things are shaping up, he will be coming on from the bench.
        He is third choice left full back, and BM keeps saying we have no wingers, so he does not see him out wide.

      • Irving08

        I have a hunch he will be first choice by the end of the season; I only hope it is with us. Thinking of buying a season this term; I have bad feelings about the money situation at Elland Road.

      • henrymouni

        It was interesting to see that our new chairman has just taken his shareholding from 3% to over 10%?
        Could be a good sign?
        I fell good about the season, and hope the board back BM all the way.
        It seems the delay in signing our new centre half is down to the selling club, who do not want to let him go.
        Bolton, I presume?

    • TSS

      Fair point, and I knew someone would bring that up. Noel actually said guy or girl in fairness to the lad.

      But I wouldn’t actually say it’s sexist. it’s certainly shallow, but it in no way discriminates against women.

      • henrymouni

        Does that mean he is bi-sexual?
        Not that there is anything wrong with that!

        Personally, whatever he does in his own time is his business!

      • lw

        Here’s a way for you to decide if something is sexist: replace the gender term with a race term. Is the sentence racist now? Then it’s sexist. If you’re a moderator, you should be able to figure that out!

      • TSS

        Erm, not really… By that logic “ugly girl” or “ugly guy” is equal to “paki,” which it clearly isn’t. No one is suggesting women are a lesser class of citizen, only that certain women are less attractive to the individual. Which they are! Beauty is entirely subjective, but there’s not a single person on the planet who doesn’t consider some people more attractive that others – it’s biological, we’re powerless in that respect.

        Would any of you complain if I described a woman as attractive? Of course you wouldn’t. But that’s no different to describing a woman as ugly. It’s my own, entirely subjective, view.

        The joke may be shallow, superficial and vulgar, but it in no way discriminates against women – which is the definition of sexism.

        This is what we were talking about the other day on the homophobia post, about how political correctness gets abused by people who think they should be protected from anything that offends them.

        One guy gave the example of lads mags and how politicians think they should be covered up because some people don’t like to look at what some lads consider to be attractive women, sprawled across the cover with barely any clothes on. I don’t like to look at the Daily Mail’s casually racist headlines, but no one is forcing them to seal their propaganda in plastic bags to save me getting worked up by their nonsense, nor would I expect them to. I understand people have different views

        Sexism gets abused just as much. Sexism occurs when men or women (usually women) are denied the rights of the opposite sex. It doesn’t occur when someone makes a joke you’re offended by, the suffragettes weren’t appealing for you to be protected from anything that may hurt your feelings. Nor does it occur when a woman is paid a ridiculous sum of money to flaunt half naked on the front of magazine.

        The widespread misuse of the terms homophobia, sexism and racism does more damage than people discriminating against homosexuals, women and minority races. You devalue the word to such an extent, people stop taking it seriously. “It’s political correctness gone mad” became the standard response as people used the terms to protect themselves from being offended, instead of using them to ensure equal rights for all.

        Watch any stand-up comic and 90% of jokes will be about white men, but the one joke they throw in about a woman will invariably offend someone and lead to calls of sexism. It’s an absolute nonsense. You have the right to be offended or find a joke in bad taste, but misusing the term sexism is only damaging a much greater cause, I’m afraid.

        Sorry for the long-winded response, but this kind of stuff really annoys me. I consider myself extremely liberal and the people moaning because they’ve been offended by something does more damage to liberal values than the opposition ever could, it’s the left-wings achilles heel. The lack of a strong liberal party in this country (and indeed, in America) is because people stopped taking us seriously when everyone started moaning incessantly every time they were offended by something. How can a liberal party ever get anything done when they’re too busy comforting Margaret, 35 from Essex, following the distress she suffered when Noel Hunt revealed he found some women more attractive than others?

      • henrymouni

        A young woman was taking golf lessons and had just started playing her first round of golf when she suffered a bee sting. Her pain was so intense that she decided to return to the clubhouse for medical assistance. The golf pro saw her heading back and said, “You are back early, what’s wrong?” “I was stung by a bee!” she said. “Where?” he asked. “Between the first and second hole.” she replied. He nodded and said, “Your stance is far too wide.”

      • lw

        Right, so if he’d said,”It’s like sleeping with a Paki (sic); it’s not pretty, but it
        gets the result we wanted”, you’d have quoted that and used it as the headline? Come on mate, pull the other one. It’s offensive, just hold your hand up to it!

        BTW Henry, that’s a cracker! :-)

      • TSS

        “Sleeping with a Paki” has entirely different connotations to “sleeping with an ugly girl”. One suggests an entire race as being beneath him, the other states that it’s like sleeping with a girl he finds unattractive. It doesn’t belittle all women. It doesn’t belittle any women. He’s just a heterosexual guy who finds some women more attractive than others – guess what. so do I. As does every person on the planet.

        TOTALLY different thing. Another example of people’s extremist reactions to things that aren’t actually sexist or racist, but they think could be, so overreact and throw terms about that aren’t the least bit relevant, totally devaluing terms in the process so that people get fed up of you all crying wolf and start to ignore real injustices when they happen.

        If I called a bloke a fat slob – like Ed Pickles for example – no one would have an issue with that. If I called a woman a fat slob – like Jo Brand – people would scream sexism. It’s not sexist at all, merely voicing my disgust at the way in which they choose to abuse their bodies. You’d get a load of misguided idiots preaching that “It’s OK for a man to be overweight, but when a woman is, you all judge…” but that’s simply not true. I judge all fat people as being too lazy to exercise properly. Sex has nothing to do with it.

      • henrymouni

        “I judge all fat people as being too lazy to exercise properly. Sex has nothing to do with it.”

        Sex might help TSS??

        “I can’t believe it’s not butter” is not the thing to say to an obese couple, who are showing you their new born baby!!

      • TSS

        SOME do. But 99% of the people claiming they have genetic problems are lazy fuckers who eat badly. I know plenty of them.

        But that’s irrelevant, my point is that I aren’t discriminating against fat people. None of their rights are infringed upon by me making a perfectly legitimate observation. They might be offended by my comments, but that’s their prerogative. As is leading a healthier lifestyle and losing some weight. It’s opinion, nothing more.

        Similarly, who Noel Hunt finds attractive is entirely subjective because beauty is entirely subjective. It’s his opinion. There’s no discrimination involved whatsoever and it’s certainly not sexist.

        If you want to be offended, fine, but don’t devalue the term sexism in the process. People running around calling sexism every time they’re offended is pathetic, learn to take offence to something and move on. Everyone is offended by things, that’s life.

        What’s worrying is the only people I can imagine taking offence to the comments Noel made are people with incredibly low self-esteem. If it hasn’t hit a nerve, there’s no reason to be offended. Unless people are just feigning offence because we live in a society where people think they should be offended whenever anyone dares to make a joke about anyone other than a white male.

        If we were talking about an ugly white guy here, no one would have batted an eyelid.

      • henrymouni

        As a fat, lazy, gay, West Indian man, I am not offended at all TSS!
        Add to that the fact that I support Leeds and….
        it is enough to make you weep!

        It does not make you a bad person!

      • TSS

        Good for you mate. So long as you’re happy, what others think shouldn’t make a blind bit of difference. Plenty of people think I’m a knob, I don’t lose any sleep over it. What’s the point getting worked up by other people’s subjective views? So long as they’re not actively harming or seeking to discriminate against people in the process, it makes no odds.

        Some of the people Noel Hunt finds attractive I may consider ugly. Abbey Clancy finds Peter Crouch attractive for Christ sake, it’s a wonderfully fucked up world we live in.

        Me personally, I think Peter Crouch looks like some kind of Frankenstein experiment gone wrong. Pretty sure Crouchy won’t be screaming sexism because someone described a man as ugly though. He’d be laughed at if he did because men can be called ugly without anyone raising an eyelid. Describe a woman as ugly though and idiots start throwing terms around they don’t understand the meaning of and everyone suddenly feels like they should be offended.

  8. markman

    the most impressive thing,apart the the ongoing improvement of dominic poleon
    was the size of the crowd.This time last year i doubt 10k would have turned out

  9. O

    Yeah agree with Fiona the title of this article is shocking, makes me ashamed to be a Leeds fan!

  10. Lynne Loves Leeds

    Geez. Just found this site, and then this is the first headline I see? Nasty. Keep the focus on the game, guys, not on Mr Hunt ‘s sad fantasies.


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