Well, 11 games in and when the 22 mins and 30 seconds shows on the clock against Rotherham on Saturday 17th October and we’ll officially be a quarter of the way into the 2014/15 Championship season; that means that there will be 75% more of Cellino’s ‘Rivoluzione Gloriosa‘ to go before the season ends. After a dodgy start in the opening throes of the Hock-a-days, Neil Redfearn brought respectability and points in a 4 match unbeaten run leading to a return of 10 points from a possible 12; coming up to the end of the first week of the international break Leeds sit in 14th place with 15 points.

 Comparison of start of Championship seasons 2013/14 and 2014/15

2013 Champ comparison

Hockaday’s 4 match league reign only brought a return of 0.75 PPG which was actually lower than the PPG total that Yeovil (0.80 PPG) were relegated with last season. Neil Redefearn’s brief hold of the Championship reins brought about a 2.50 PPG return and this 4 game spurt put Leeds as the top ‘form’ side in the league between the 28th of August and the 21st September. The Darko Milanic era has returned a score of 0.50 PPG but it is early doors yet. We aren’t Watford; we don’t need 4 managers in the first 2 months of the season.

So what has the season told us so far…?

Marco Silvestri is class

Marco Silvestri – we’ve signed a class shot stopper in this guy. As a quick snapshot of his statistics, Marco Silvestri is the #4 ranked goalkeeper overall in the Championship when looking at the category of ‘saves’ (31) and #3 ranked considering ‘diving saves’ (20). On a per game basis, Silvestri concedes 1.18 goals, makes 2.38 saves per goal conceded and makes 2.82 saves overall per game.

Giuseppe Bellusci is a frustrated centre forward

Giuseppe Bellusci is Leeds’ joint top scorer this season, currently on 2 goals; neither of these goals has had an element of luck or ‘fluke’ about them. The first was a 30 yard screaming free kick and the second a cushioned, side-footed passed effort through a sea of legs into the bottom corner of the goal. Added to his goals was his rampaging run upfield against Huddersfield and the sublime lob of Alex Smithies which came back from the bar leaving Mirko Antenucci to smash in the rebound. He does, however, have a hot-headed tendency and he has collected 5 cards (3 for bad tackles and 2 for ‘chat’) so far in 11 games; 1 straight red and 4 yellows – leaving him 1 away from a ban. He has made 11 tackles so far this season (1.4 per game) and has only been dribbled past the one time. Furthermore, it appears that Bellusci has given the centre of defence a little more consistency. Giving his game shirt to the disabled fan he hit with a ball during the warm up warmed the hearts of many and showed there was a softer side to the many nicknamed ‘The Warrior’.

Tommaso Bianchi is a one-man tackling machine

The football website WhoScored?com has Tommaso Bianchi ranked #1 for number of tackles made (45 in total, 4.5 per game); this includes monumental efforts vs Huddersfield (7 tackles) and Sheffield Wednesday (14 tackles) – against Sheffield Wednesday this was more remarkable as they only made 21 tackles as a team.  WhoScored also have Bianchi as the #5 ranked player for overall average passes per game (62.7 passes – 86.1% accuracy), #3 ranked player for ‘away from home’ average passes per game (66 passes – 87.1% accuracy) and #3 ranked player (10 or more games) for ‘accurate short passes’ per game (51 passes)

Souleymane Doukara appears to be an immovable object

Soulemayne Doukara and Rodolph Austin look like they were chiselled from the same block of teak; the majority of the time neither can be shifted from the ball. Doukara has had 10 shots (5 outside the box, 5 inside the box) and, for a forward, a high number of short passes per 90 minutes (23) and with impressive pass accuracy (75%). The ‘appears to be an immovable object’ is deceptive as he does get dispossessed just over 3 times per game (3.3 times) and he displays 2 unsuccessful touches (where he loses possession) per game.

Mirko Antennuci is quick, very quick

The title is true but he does get caught offside a lot (1.5 times per game); in his defence he does have good facial hair. Mirko Antenucci’s pace is undeniable, he is not your archetypical ‘English striker’, he does get caught offside a lot but he also gets off a lot of shots (18 – 13 inside area and 5 outside the area) with 50% shot accuracy. This is a welcoming aspect to his game and came at a time when the only way Leeds could buy shots was in a bar.

Stephen Warnock is our most consistent defender but Cellino doesn’t like him

Rumour goes that Warnock missed a tackle in a game and that Cellino called the dugout insisting that he, Warnock, be instantly substituted. Thing is, rumours are like farts – both smell and mainly consist of hot air. Stephen Warnock then celebrated his only goal this season against Bolton by imitating a call on a mobile, allegedly a direct reference to Cellino’s call – MC was not happy. Warnock has appeared in 9 games this season and has 21 tackles (2.3 per game), 33 interceptions (3.7 per game), 32 clearances (3.6 per game) – however Leeds’ Mr Consistent has been resigned to the bench for the last two games as a result of his spat with Don Cellino.

Rodolph Austin isn’t as bad as a lot paint him to be

Ridiculed for allegedly wayward passes and sky-high shots by some Leeds fans, Rudy Austin has emerged showing that he isn’t that bad to be fair. In a poor midfield last season, Austin still emerged topping some defensive categories in the Championship – however this could be due to the fact that last season Leeds’ midfield was swamped  and over-run. Austin is currently the second highest tackler on the Leeds team (29 – 2.9 per game) after Tommaso Bianchi but he is also showing improvement with his passing accuracy (82%) and he has created 7 chances this season (1 assist and 6 key passes for shooting chances). Yes, he’ll still hit some balls up into the higher reaches of the stand, yes some of his passes will need a Sat Nav to find the ball but he’s not as bad as some people reckon.

Well, it’s been an eventful opening to the 2014/15 season, what with the Hockaday appointment etc, and it could get even more tasty with the Football League and Mr Shaun ‘I really didn’t know that Captain Birdseye Bates owned Leeds United all the time’ Harvey threatening to haul El Don Cellino before their gathered bretheren on charges of not being a “fit and proper person”. If that’s the logic they apply, there’ll be a queue behind him then.

That’s another can of worms for later in the year though…