Monday, 18 March 2013

Never a dull

Okay, so, I lied, the majority of the game on Saturday was dull. I decided dead against writing a full on report about it, mainly because I have said it all before and I feel like I’m repeating myself.
We painted it white and played like shite. That’s kind of what happened in a nutshell. (If by any chance you do want to read the match report, you can view it here: )

I guess you can say the Play Offs are a lot more un-realistic now, we’d pretty much have to win every game and hope those above us, all made a habit of losing. Though I feel if we were to bring a new manager in….Maybe we could turn it round, maybe it could still be done but we’d have to look at doing it before Ipswich.
There is nothing more Neil Warnock can do with this team, its not working and things will never change while he is in charge but if by any chance we did manage to bring someone in, I think I would still cling to the hope that we could potentially make the play offs, stranger things have happened!!

Overnight odds on Nigel Adkins becoming the new manager plummeted and he became 4/11 favourite to replace Neil Warnock. As it stands right now, Adkins is 11/8.
Adkins is in high demand though, and we’d have to fight off competition from Reading and Leicester if we were to employ Southampton’s former gaffer.
Adkins is my preferred choice, but he isn’t everyone’s and I have been reading on Twitter, people would rather have Brian McDermott who was sacked from Reading not long ago. Leave a comment below and let us know who you would like to see manage Leeds United and why.

Both Ross McCormack and Steve Morison were sidelined due to injuries at the weekend, those injuries mean they can’t play for either of their international teams this weekend either. Hopefully the break does them good.

Good luck to Tom Lees, Aiden White, Paul Green and Rodolph Austin who are all away on international duty this week too.

MOT xx <3 xx

Thursday, 14 March 2013


The one word that sums up Tuesday night's game against Peterborough and pretty much the whole of the season to date.

The squad remained unchanged for the 6th match in a row for the first time in 20 years.

Peterborough were really throwing everything but the kitchen sink at us in the first half, especially in the first 30 minutes of the game. We were very much on the back foot and were failing to deal with the attacking threat they were posing.
No sooner had I heard someone behind me say "A goal is coming for them isn't it?" did we concede one of the easiest goal this season. Dwight Gayle was first to react to a brilliant long ball from their keeper, Olejnik and Lee Peltier failed to stop the determined striker from shooting inside the area past Paddy Kenny to make it 0 - 1.
I thought this might wake us up slightly as we'd hardly been in the game, but The Posh were looking to double their lead and hit the crossbar not long after.
Tom Lee's was substituted due to injury after the goal and replaced by Jason Pearce.
We were lucky to only be one goal down at half time and to say we needed to see an improvement would have been an understatement. This wasn't the Leeds United I'd seen in the past few weeks, we looked to had taken a bit of a backwards step.

Warnock decided to make a change at the break, bringing El-Hadji Diouf on in place of Steve Morrison who, according to Warnock, had been playing through the pain barrier at Leicester and Crystal Palace. In fairness, he'd not really been in the game anyway so the decision to take him off was a good one, I felt, even though he had scored a brace in the second half against Palace.

There was more life in the home side in the second half though and a fantastic delivery from a corner taken by Stephen Warnock let Sam Byram equalise after he was given space at the back post to score on the 56th minute. This gave a somewhat fuller Elland Road than we've seen this season a lift and we really got behind the lads.

Both sides were hungry now and both trying to look for the winning goal & we thought we'd taken the lead with just under quarter of an hour remaining when Luke Varney had the ball in the back of the net but the linesman's flag was up and the goal didn't stand.

We were putting a lot more pressure on and we had so many more chances to win the game but we were failing to put them away.

The game ended and the points were shared, which was probably a fair result however both sides were presumably left wondering how there weren't more goals in the game.

We had twenty shots on goal, nine of which were on target, Peterborough weren't far behind with sixteen shots in total, they also had nine on target.
It sounds obvious but we really need to start putting these chances away.

Again, five points off of 6th place, we are left wondering....Could we?! Things would have looked a lot rosier had we'd have won, but when have Leeds United ever done anything the easy way?!

MOT xx <3 xx

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Can it be done....?

It's clear to see that performances have improved over the past couple of weeks and we have come on leaps and bounds, though annoyingly we have dropped points with the goals we've conceded late on. The question remains though, can we still make the Play Off's this season?

At the moment there is a constant battle between my head and my heart, my head says, write this season off, build on it and we'll go again next season. My heart, however says, we're not out of this yet, give it one more game and then decide, The problem is, I've been giving it one more game for weeks!! We've had some fantastic opportunities to get closer to the Play Off's as other teams around us have lost but this league is so unpredictable right now and the table is so tight!! I think we could yet see some late twists and turns in the latter stages of this season.

Tonight we are facing Peterborough United who are currently second from bottom and struggling for survival, however should they win tonight, they will climb out of the relegation places.
It's always a tricky time to play a team fighting to stay up but on the other hand, we still have something to play for too, does this have the makings of a great match? Hopefully!

Tonight is another game in the recently introduced Watch Leeds 4 Less scheme (more info here: ) Hope to see a relatively full Elland Road to cheer on the boys!

MOT xx <3 xx

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Leicester City 1 - 1 Leeds United

The win at the weekend painted a much more positive picture as we set off to Leicester on Tuesday evening, though we were all still quietly cautious about whether we could still make the Play Off's or not.

An unchanged side was named once again to face Leicester, who, before the game, sat in 5th position in the League Table.

In the opening stages of the game, we seemed to be on the back foot, Leicester looked the team most likley to score and were having the better chances.

On the 16th minute a mistake by Paul Green gave Chris Wood an opportunity to score, saved only by Paddy Kenny who reacted well.

Ex Leeds United keeper, Kasper Schmeichel, denied Sam Byram on the 22nd minute after a corner delivered by Ross McCormack.

Leicester responded a minute later, Harry Kane shot on target, Paddy Kenny was there again to make the save.

Paddy Kenny had already made some very good saves, but on the 35th minute Chris Wood struck a fierce shot that was dipping beneath Paddy Kenny’s crossbar before he managed to produce a wonderful stop to tip the ball over the bar.

In the last few seconds of the first half Knockaert took a free kick and it was Kenny to the rescue again as he pulled of another great save.

Paddy had very much kept us in the game thus far. Though Leicester did look the side most likely to score, when we broke down their midfield, we looked a threat and the game hadn't been without its chances for us.

Leicester had the opening chance of the second half when David Nugent's shot cleared the crossbar but it was the travelling fans who were celebrating on the 52nd minute after Sam Byram was in a great position to put away a delivery from a corner taken by Ross McCormack.

We switched it on and began to pressure Leicester, whose defence looked to be struggling. The goal was like a breath of fresh air and a newly confident Leeds United side looked hungry for a second goal, which almost came when Ross McCormack took a shot at goal on the 57th minute. The effort was saved though, by Schmeichel.

Leicester were by no means giving up though and were hitting us at any possible opportunity. Our defence was working hard to keep them out.

Agonisingly though, on the 93rd minute, after a flurry of chances and corners, Leicester City managed to equalise. A pretty much, free header from close range by Michael Keane saw the sides draw level.
Elation from the home fans and frustration from the travelling Leeds United faithful.

More three points lost than one point gained.

Though happy with our performance, I left the ground dejected somewhat, but I felt that goal was coming, there were just too many corners to defend!!

Though it might sound like it was all Leicester, I can assure you, this was the best I'd seen us play in quite some time. The only player I was disappointed with, was Morison.
Other than his goal the other week, I've not been impressed by the striker at all. He doesn't get up well enough for headers and hasn't impressed me in the area either.

Frustratingly what it all comes down to in the end, is, we have to start putting our chances away. We MUST go for that second goal. I can recall a moment in the match where instead of trying to cross the ball into the area, we chose to keep it in the corner, this is Okay on the 89th minute but this was no more than 70 minutes played. We can't do this, we have to go for that second goal. Defending a one goal lead is always risky no matter how good your defence is.

I gave my man of the match to Paddy Kenny. Though others deserved it just as much, he had a fantastic game and saved some absolute beauties. It was a shame we just couldn't keep a clean sheet.

Crystal Palace next up for The Whites, away at Selhurst Park & I won't be there!!!! First league match I've missed all season, absolutely gutted. Safe journey everyone, cheer on the boys for me!!

MOT xx <3 xx

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Leeds United 1 - 0 Millwall

A beautiful, sunny, (dare I say it) Spring morning, made the journey to Elland Road a pleasant one for an early kick off against Millwall.

Warnock opted against changing the team for the third game running and with games quickly running out, we knew we had to get three points to be anywhere near keeping the hope of a Play Off position alive.

Millwall opened the game with the better of the possession, Woolford hit the side of the net with his shot on the second minute. 10 minutes later, Millwall went even closer when James Henry hit the post with a shot he really should have scored.

This may have been the kick up the backside we needed to pressure them as they did look a little shaky at the back, Luke Varney's header on the 16th minute was well wide. Tonge's ambitious 25 yard effort 2 minutes later was also wide but at least we were looking more positive.

Just as the game was beginning to get a little scrappy, Shane Lowry brought down Sam Byram inside the area and there was no hesitation by referee Mike Jones who immediately pointed to the spot on the 26th minute.
Ross McCormack stepped up to take the penalty, he hit it low and probably not as hard as he'd have liked. David Forde saved and Millwall had been let off.

John Marquis had a shot on goal on the 35th minute, testing Paddy Kenny who made a great save. Ross McCormack responded and found himself in a great position in the area, his first touch was poor though and he shot straight at the Forde who scooped up the ball with ease.

The referee brought an end to the first half and both sides went in to the dressing rooms without a goal. The game hadn't been without it's chances though and I was left thinking I was none the wiser as to who was going to win. It could still go either way.

We started the second half much more positively than we had the first.

Ross McCormack had a go at goal on the 56th minute but it was too high and never pressured Forde.

Tonge was working hard and had two opportunities in as many minutes. Another effort of his from long range went well wide but David Forde was forced to save the second shot, though we were having the chances, we weren't yet scoring, we could only hope this wasn't going to come back and haunt us like we know it all so often can.

Kenny Jacket changed his side on the 66th minute taking Benik Afobe and John Marquis off, replacing them with Nathan Tyson and ex Leeds United Loanee - Andy Keogh who received a good reception on his return to Elland Road. The two made an almost immediate impact as the visitors began to look a lot more sure up front.

Another penalty was awarded to The Whites on the 70th minute of play when Alan Dunne fouled Ross McCormack in the area. This time, January signing, Stephen Warnock grabbed the ball and took it to the spot, he took a run up and confidently hit the back of the net. 1 - 0.

Now, pace and Michael Tonge aren't usually used together in the same sentence but on the 73rd minute he ran like we've never seen him run before, his burst of pace was met with encouragement from the Leeds fans but his 'neck propelled' run did cause amusement, hashtag GoOnTongey, ha ha!!

In the closing stages of the game, Steven Warnock tackled James Henry, he was later stretchered off the field of play, he did return to the game though shortly after the stoppage.

Play was again stopped inside the five minutes of added time as Luke Varney was caught unintentionally by Warnock, it didn't look good for Varney as he writhed around in agony. After receiving treatment for a few minutes, he also left the field in a stretcher and was replaced by Jason Pearce.

The whistle blew for full time & an important 3 points was confirmed.

My man of the match as to be Stephen Warnock, worked so hard all match and took his penalty well.

Leicester City away at the King Power Stadium next match, midweek, lets hope we can get another 3 points, though they will be trying to get over a loss to Ipswich and trying to keep hold of their Play Off position.

MOT xx <3 xx

Friday, 1 March 2013

Support The Youth - Liverpool U18's 3 - 1 Leeds United U18's

Before yesterday, I'd been to Liverpool more times than I'd care to remember but I'd never visited Anfield. It had been on my list of grounds to do for a long time, so when the opportunity to support the U18's in the Youth Cup there, came along, it was a no brainier.

A chilly but sunny day in Liverpool made for a great day out but we were here for the football, so, we made our way to Anfield and parked in Stanley Park.

We were some of the first people there and were told by the stewards it was unreserved seating, so we picked out a nice little seat just behind the goal in the Kop, which is pretty unfamiliar territory for us Leeds Fans!!

It wasn't until just before kick off, when we heard the singing, that we realised, the Leeds fans had a little stand all of their own!! As You'll Never Walk Alone came over the tannoy, the travelling supporters were singing Marching On Together and were succeeding at drowning the home fans out.

The match kicked off and the Leeds fans were still singing at the top of their voices, chants of 'Your ground's too big for you' and 'You're supposed to be at home' were making the home fans laugh, but they had no comebacks, the Kop was very quiet indeed.

We controlled the first 20 minutes really, Corey Roper almost opened the scoring for us on the 18th minute but he failed to control the ball in the area.

22 minutes in and Lewis Walters looked disappointed to be replaced by Eoghan Stokes as he was attempting to play on after taking a knock a couple of minutes earlier, sadly, his night ended early but you have to admire his determination.

A minute later and Stokes put the ball in the back of the net but the referee spotted an infringement and the goal was not given.

At times the game was a tale of the two number 11's - Jordan Ibe for Liverpool and Chris Dawson for Leeds United. Dawson saw one of his shots go wide on the 25th minute but just four minutes later Ibe showed his blistering pace and made the score 1 - 0 to the home side.

Up until that point, we had somewhat been running the show but Liverpool looked deadly on the counter.

The goal looked to knock the stuffing out of the Leeds United youngsters, 39 minutes in, Ibe scored a brace after running nearly the full length of the pitch and finishing in style, 2 - 0.

Leeds were looking for a way back into the game in the second half and looked the more likely to score.

The travelling fans paid their respects to the 96 Liverpool supporters that went to Hillsborough and tragically never returned, 'stand up for the 96' and applause from both sets of fans echoed around the ground.

On the 61st minute Chris Dawson worked well to skip past the defenders in the area but his shot was well wide

Substitute Lewis Cook gave The Whites hope when he scored a great goal on the 71st minute bringing the deficit to one goal.

Ibe almost got his hat trick in the 74th minute but it was Jack Dunn who put the game out of Leeds United's reach in he dying minutes of the game.

I personally feel we were a lot better than the scoreline suggests. We have some very talented young players on our hands and they all worked very hard.

Liverpool also have a mass of talent in their squad, their counters were fantastic and their forwards never looked out of sorts.

I was impressed with pretty much everyone on the pitch and don't like singling players out but Smith Tiesse was marking fantastically in parts of the game. Alex Mowatt looks like exactly what you need in a captain and never stopped.
Goal scorer Lewis Cook looks very promising, his finish was calm and he took the goal well.
Chris Dawson looks deadly whenever he gets the ball, lots of pace and energy, unlucky not to score on quite a few occasions.

All in all, it was a great game, I thoroughly enjoyed it. The Leeds supporters were fantastic they impressed and entertained a lot of the Liverpool fans in the Kop.

Well done boys!! Three words....Support The Youth.

MOT xx <3 xx