Come Saturday, the cobwebs of the two week international break need to be firmly dusted off as the ‘bread-and-butter’ of football returns to the Saturday lives of many up and down the United Kingdom. 18th placed Leeds travel down the M6 to 20th placed Birmingham’s St Andrews Ground in the early 12.15 kick off; a game being shown live on Sky Sports.

Both teams seem to have had a pretty indifferent, yet quite similar start to the season.

Table comparing headline figures of both teams

Goals Conc. Shots Shot Acc Chances Poss. Pass Acc. Avg Def*
Birmingham 4 9 52 37% 40 47% 67% 50
Leeds 3 8 36 34% 31 49% 79% 52

Avg Def* – average defensive actions per game

Birmingham are slightly ahead in the ‘figures race’ largely due to the indifferent, and at times woeful, performance of Leeds’ players in front of goal…when they find their way there. It has been suggested, in some quarters, that Cellino has insisted that the players should add the penalty area of all Championship grounds to their Sat Navs. It’s ‘shooting’ where Leeds fare the worst in the worst in the Championship this season with a grand total of 36 shots being attempted (20 inside/16 outside – accuracy of 34%) – good enough for a 24th ranked placing. Despite being placed as the lowest total shooting team in the Championship (with 36 shots), Leeds aren’t the lowest ranked team when it comes to shots/per goal (SpG); Leeds have a SpG score of 12 (Watford lead the Championship with a figure of 5.6 SpG) but Fulham (despite shelling £11 million on Ross McCormack) have a much lower SpG figure of 25.66 and Rotherham trail in with an SpG figure of 26.5.

What Leeds do trounce Birmingham in is the accuracy of their passing Leeds 79%/Birmingham 67%; with Leeds being ranked as the 7th and 8th best passing side when considering passing % and successful passes; Birmingham return 22nd and 21st rankings in the same categories. With the more youthful and creative midfield of Sloth, Bianchi, Cook and Mowatt, that did so well against Bolton, likely to be broken up with the possible inclusion of Brazilian Samba star Adryan (who impressed in the U21 game against Ipswich) what Leeds’ fans are hoping for is that exuberance of youth is mixed with a more surgical approach to passing that slices defences wide open .All of this means very little unless the Leeds’ midfield ‘step up to the plate’ and become more insightful in the final phase of passing to improve on their sum total of 31 chances created this season (30 ‘chances’ and 1 ‘assist’).

Whatever the manner of the Leeds performance, 3 points is simply a ‘must have’ in their charge away from the relegation dogfight and towards the gloriously sunnier climes of the top 6.

Dear Football God: goals and better passing please.

17 Responses

  1. Chareose

    What Birmingham don’t have is Youth Power
    Mowatt, Dawson, Adryan, Sloth, Cook, Silvestri, Taylor, Montengro, Byram, Benedicic, Del Fabro, Walters,
    Most clubs would kill to have cubs like that………. Eventually like Mount Vesuvius they will explode and opposition teams who thought Leeds “were in chaos?? ” “Well its what Gary Lineker and Gary Neville said”
    will be blown away………..

    • Ron

      They were likely referring to the c.12 deadshits in our squad whom you didn’t mention and must be shipped out. That or the small matter of Cellino’s tax evasion verdict…..

      I agree re. Our youth and let’s hope we play them and just as importantly; manage their exposure.

      Fook I’m glad football returns on Ssturday. MOT

      • Chareose

        Ron, I think with that many talented kids exposure wont be a problem, they will help each other and hopefully take turns to shine.
        Adryan will clearly feel pressure to perform at first but once things settle down, he will realise hes not alone……… For once we really do have a bright future and some of that is thanks to the PRO youth policy of Mr Cellino

      • Irving08

        I am with you most of the way,Chareose. But mindful of what happened in the early 1980s, when Eddie Gray was in charge, I agree with such as Old Schoolboy that we may still need an older head to support and guide the young talents on the field.

      • oldschoolbaby

        My convicton that we need such a figure is outmatched by my conviction that Cellino won`t deviate from his recruitment style and buy one.
        Personally, I think people get confused between natural leadership /courage and football captaincy. I would never consider Pearce for Captain as the deficiencies in his game need to be mitigated by his absolute concentration. It will be interesting to see whether he`s eclipsed by Cooper. If he is playing his presence, as he has natural leadership attributes, may well be a support to the youngsters.

    • Dr Zen

      Promising but not close to the real deal, same, no idea whether he’s actually any good, absolutely no idea what sort of player he is, very raw, decent, won’t make it, rubbish in his exposure to English football, overrated and coming off a pisspoor season, no idea whether he’s any good, no idea whether he’s any good, another youth player talked up without any real substance.

      You know, this doesn’t look a great deal different from the younger players at any Championship club. We all hope they all turn into superstars but we don’t actually have much reason to think they will.

      • Rebel White

        I can see your point Dr but I feel you’re being a bit too pessimistic. The squad we finished last season with was a dead cert to go down this year so a big change was a must. Cellino and co know their football – not knowing this league is their problem. However, with the sense of renewal in the club and with the backing and patience of the fans I feel (and that’s all it is for now!) that we’ll hold our own this year and drive on next year. By the way, Redfearn is the ideal guy to bring in the youths, he knows them inside out and them failing would be a bad reflection on him. Bringing them in while there was a bad atmosphere last year would probably have crushed most of them.

  2. stelufc

    think we will win. backs against the wall mentality, two fingers two shaun harvey and the other corrupt barstewards of the football league

    what gets me, apparently the FL have the power to kick out a director and stop them passing shares on to family.

    so if you had that power who would you kick out
    A, a bloke who didnt pay import duty on a yatch, is mostly popular with the clubs fans and in Harveys own words “brought financial stability and signed 15 players”
    or B, a convicted rapist who has asset stripped his club to the point where they only had 8 registered players and is hated by the fans

    no brainer, unless of course mr B’s son is on the board of THE CORRUPT FOOTBALL LEAGUE

    • Graham

      Seems ‘fit and proper person’ is open to interpretation.

      I think Cellino has brought a sense of direction and a firmer footing to Leeds on the whole. When GFH and Bates had their claws in it was akin to letting a pyromaniac stock take match boxes.

  3. Helen LUFC

    Chareose – are you the official cheer leader for LUFC now that Kop Kat has been given the boot? All you ever come out with on here and the YEP is a diatribe of drivel about how great the future looks and how we’re going to be playing football at the San Siro next year. Complete nonsense. Stop posting your positive comments and being totally unrealistic. All the players you mention below will be sold if a PL club thinks they’re good enough, Cook the first to go. Mithering on in the capacity of Cellino’s lap dog makes you sound like what Lorimer was to Ken Bates. Cherry blossom poisoning or a very dirty brown nose comes to mind when you pop up with your posts.


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