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    Cold Shower Time

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    bartmart
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    Cold Shower Time

    Post by bartmart on Tue Jan 05, 2010 9:38 am

    I am not sure if the new board or new members see this forum as a place to discuss Leeds United issues, and as someone who for financial and personal reasons now only cherry picks half a dozen matches per year to attend, I am not sure if I am the right person to initiate Leeds United discussions, but things seem a bit dead on here again after the rush of new members (with the honourable exception of soup dragon), which in my opinion is a shame because although Waccoe has its place, it is a good example of more not equalling better.

    I am sure if we could get around one hundred regular users on here posting about Leeds United related matters, we would get better, more informative, reasoned and rational debates on here, so hear goes.

    I like most Leeds fans I am quite happy that we won at Old Trafford, my memory is a bit hazy but I definitely remember seeing Leeds lose to Manchester United in an FA Cup semi final at Hillsbrough, and I seem to recall attending a couple of cup matches against them in the same season when we were drawn against them in both the FA and League Cup, and we lost all of these (not sure if one went to a replay), so it is nice to win one at last, but I would now like to pour a couple of buckets of cold water on all our celebrations.

    The Counties of West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester have similar populations (around 2 to 2.5 million people), in 1974 when we won the equivalent of the Premier League Manchester United got relegated into what is now the Championship.

    Thirty six years on, Manchester United have won umpteen league titles, FA cups, league cups, European cups, have average attendances of 70, 000 +. We have won one league title, are in league 1 (division 3) and are averaging 24, 000 +. Yes I enjoyed it, but I will not really be happy until as a club and a City, Leeds United has as many honours and supporters as Manchester United do.

    I was glad to hear reports that there was not a deal of Munich songs being sung at Old Trafford, but still get a bit dismayed when otherwise rational, intelligent, middle aged men refer to their supporters as ‘scum’. They are just football supporters like we are, I am sure if we met most of them we would have far more in common with each other than non footballing supporting people.

    I am getting worried that we are now getting carried away with the victory at Old Trafford and the up and coming game against Spurs, and loosing focus on what really matters, i.e. up and coming league one games and the transfer window.

    With regard to January’s up and coming league games, both Norwich and Charlton appear to have some pretty easy games (on paper), and will both now probably play at least one game apiece more than us in January. I know this will leave us with games in hand, but January could be squeaky bum time as the lead is reduced to three or even zero points.

    With regard to the transfer window, I find this one the most challenging ones for quite a few years, as we have a side that is probably good enough to get promoted automatically, but I would like to see the 3 signings that would turn us in to a team that will definitely get promoted automatically, which is not going to be easy.

    I don’t really think it is possible to attract any other goalkeeper or defender to a league one club that would improve our defence, I think for league one this is probably as good as it gets.

    I am not convinced the same can be said about our midfield or attack.

    We still mostly play with three central midfield players and only one ‘winger’, Snodgrass, who for all his attributes is not the quickest player in the world, which does at times leave us short of the pace that is often required to break down teams that just come and sit back and defend.

    We have got Gradel who comes on and occasionally White which injects some pace, but I am not convinced that either of these two are the one ‘wide player’ who Simon Grayson would pick in a starting eleven.

    I don’t believe we have got the commanding midfield player who can run games in this division, and I still have nightmares about Beckford leaving or getting injured, as we have then lost both our pace and only regular goal scorer.

    In my opinion the challenge this transfer window is to buy the three players, Pacy Winger, Commanding Central Midfield player, Target Man striker (but goal scorer) who would change us from a probable to a definite promotion team.

    I can’t really think who would fit the bill, who we could afford, and who would be prepared to come.

    Since watching league 1 football the most commanding central midfield player I have seen was George Boyd from Peterborough, but I don’t think he would drop down a league.

    I can’t recall being impressed with anyone else’s wingers, but as a striker Hooper from Scunthorpe looked quite good, again I don’t think he would drop down a league.

    If anyone else wants to throw a few names in please feel free, it is not difficult really, all we have to do is find is a league one or two midfield player as good as George Boyd, find a league one or two winger who can do what Gradel does for twenty minutes for ninety minutes, and find a Bechio type league one or two target man centre forward, who can score as many goals as Beckford !

    Simple !
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    LUSCBRADFORD
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    Re: Cold Shower Time

    Post by LUSCBRADFORD on Tue Jan 05, 2010 7:40 pm

    Good post, but with regards to purchases in this transfer window I don`t think there will be any. We need to try and offload the "deadwood" first.After that any signings need to be for the future(i.e Championship class players) and despite Caspers heroics on Sunday we still need a goalie.The one thing I will say is that in Simon Grayson we could have a manager who may become equal to Don,Simon makes very few tactical errors,he uses the loan system excellently to assess players and he seems to have a good relationship with Kenneth,all of which gives me confidence about Leeds getting back to where the Club and more importantly the FANS belong.
    With regards to Sunday what a great day and what Fantastic support.The fans did Leeds proud and the failure of a very few idiots who tried to start "that" song and the performance on the pitch made me very proud to be a Leeds fan.
    The last decade was horrendous but I feel that this decade will see the re-emergence of LUFC.

    bartmart
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    Re: Cold Shower Time

    Post by bartmart on Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:32 pm

    Thanks for the feedback, interesting to see that Capaldi has gone back now that just leaves Martin and Gradel on emergency loans, so some of the deadwood (seems a harsh term) has already returned.

    I would have thought that Sheehan, Huntington, Robinson, possibly Prutton and Showumni would be leaving this window as well, which would probably leave us the following ‘First Team’ squad.

    Goalkeepers

    Higgs
    Ankergren
    The Martins.

    Fullbacks

    Crow
    Parker

    Centre halfs

    Kisnorbo
    Marques
    Naylor
    Michalik
    Bromby

    Wingers

    Snodgrass
    Gradel

    Central Midfield

    Johnson
    Kilkenny
    Howson
    Doyle

    Strikers

    Beckford
    Becchio
    Kandol
    Gradel

    Utility Players

    Hughes
    White

    Which given the fact that some of the central defenders can play at full back, some of the central midfield players can play out wide and the versatility of Hughes and White, would seem to me a big enough squad and a squad of a quality that would be hard to better in this transfer window, but football as we all saw Sunday is always full of surprises, so it will be interesting to see if there are any incomings.

    I have heard Grayson state on the radio that he would not be surprised to add one or two new faces in the window. I have also heard Grayson state that he is looking for players to get us out of this league and not necessarily players for the championship, but today he has been quoted as saying that the sale of Beckford may allow him to buy two or three players for this and next year.

    My own personal opinion is if we do sell Beckford, I would like to see two strikers come in (Hooper and Sharp) in the hope that the two goal scorers between them could score the fifteen to twenty goals that Beckford will probably score if he remains, fit, motivated and at Leeds.

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    Re: Cold Shower Time

    Post by Billyisgod on Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:56 am

    you only have to look at that list to realise just how strong our squad is, we have cover (good decent cover) just about all over the pitch and infact maybe Tommy has a point about losing some of the deadwood. i dont think he means bad players, i think he means players that dont improve the squad list above them and you would struggle to find them right now.

    i believe this seasons success is much more about balance, larry has slowly manipulated our squad in such a manner it has given us balance in each and every position, we can suffer injuries and suspensions and still have cover, whats more we have further cover offering other options from the bench too.

    Larry has done a brilliant job in cementing the mindset of the squad too and he's done that by allowing the players the freedom to express themselves were needed by ensuring they have confidence in their team mates, one plays badly the others cover up, one plays well and two or three more get carried on the confidence ride.

    exceiting times and trust me we'll muller spurs Wink
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    Re: Cold Shower Time

    Post by soupdragon on Wed Jan 06, 2010 11:52 am

    Great thread and many valid points
    I believe the main reason but not the only reason for our success so far this season is down to the strength in depth Larry has developed over time
    You know that whoever plays we won't be left wanting
    The cup competitions also give the entire squad a shot a starting games, with all the benefits that can provide....motivation, match fit, understanding etc

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    Re: Cold Shower Time

    Post by Billyisgod on Wed Jan 06, 2010 7:56 pm

    good point about the cups, the line ups to face carlisle home and away will probably vary a bit from the line ups to face wycombe and exeter but you allready know when the team comes out on the pitch you will feel totally confident that whoever is starting they can get the result, that and the players available from the bench will be match changers/winners Smile
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    Re: Cold Shower Time

    Post by soupdragon on Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:39 pm

    Absolutely...even with the injuries, the bench still gave you confidence

    I can't remember the last time we had such strength in depth
    I did worry when Higgs got injured but Ankergren has improved his game, so credit to him and the training staff for that

    I do think that Grayson will look at the keepers should we go up, I hope Higgs problem is something that can be sorted but if there is any doubt we are going to need another quality keeper
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    Re: Cold Shower Time

    Post by soupdragon on Wed Jan 06, 2010 9:15 pm

    I would also like to pick up on a fair comment by Bartmart about middle aged types like me referring to Man U fans as scum
    I was also very pleased that some of the old chants were consigned to history on sunday
    And while I do frequently refer to Man U fans as scum and their club as Scumchester it's a term of endearment
    My Man U supporting mates will be referred to as scum supporters to their faces and they know I'm teasing!
    You have to have respect for your rivals otherwise you belittle your achievements against them
    Man U have a great history and it's a credit to their proper supports that they still give us due respect
    Of cause there are those that spout complete bollix about all other teams other than their own, but I generally try to ignore the opinions of the deluded
    Many of my Man U supporting mates want us back in the Premiership and freely admit to missing the fixtures against us
    There are those who will take things too far at most clubs and the rest of us have to make sure that they remain a minority and tell them that some of their views and actions are unacceptable and not what we want associated with our club.
    I was not comfortable with some of the chants directed at Gerrard and in particular his wife at ER and didn't join in.
    We are a great family club and long amy it continue
    Let the players stick it to them
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    Re: Cold Shower Time

    Post by Deebo on Wed Jan 20, 2010 2:49 pm

    bartmart wrote:
    I am getting worried that we are now getting carried away with the victory at Old Trafford and the up and coming game against Spurs, and loosing focus on what really matters, i.e. up and coming league one games and the transfer window.

    With regard to January’s up and coming league games, both Norwich and Charlton appear to have some pretty easy games (on paper), and will both now probably play at least one game apiece more than us in January. I know this will leave us with games in hand, but January could be squeaky bum time as the lead is reduced to three or even zero points.

    Well, your prediction is coming true bartmart.

    I have felt that we would hit a bad patch, sooner or later, so I am not that surprised. But I do think some of the other players in the team like Prutton, Grella, Kandol and White have been under used, and should maybe have taken some of the strain off players like Beckford and co who seem to be playing every game, regardless of form. Beckford certainly seems like he could have done with a break, particularly with his ill-timed transfer request.

    But I remain positive, and think we will still turn it aorund and take the title. Charlton and Norwich will have a wobble soon as well, its just good we had a nice cushion going into January, so our wobble isn't as bad as it could have been.

    ON ON ON!
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    Re: Cold Shower Time

    Post by soupdragon on Wed Jan 20, 2010 6:26 pm

    Deebo wrote:
    bartmart wrote:
    I am getting worried that we are now getting carried away with the victory at Old Trafford and the up and coming game against Spurs, and loosing focus on what really matters, i.e. up and coming league one games and the transfer window.

    With regard to January’s up and coming league games, both Norwich and Charlton appear to have some pretty easy games (on paper), and will both now probably play at least one game apiece more than us in January. I know this will leave us with games in hand, but January could be squeaky bum time as the lead is reduced to three or even zero points.

    Well, your prediction is coming true bartmart.

    I have felt that we would hit a bad patch, sooner or later, so I am not that surprised. But I do think some of the other players in the team like Prutton, Grella, Kandol and White have been under used, and should maybe have taken some of the strain off players like Beckford and co who seem to be playing every game, regardless of form. Beckford certainly seems like he could have done with a break, particularly with his ill-timed transfer request.

    But I remain positive, and think we will still turn it aorund and take the title. Charlton and Norwich will have a wobble soon as well, its just good we had a nice cushion going into January, so our wobble isn't as bad as it could have been.

    ON ON ON!

    Agreed we were bound to have a blip in form at some point. Mind you I was glad to see a much better performance against Carlise Tuesday night!
    I don't think we can complain to much about Grayson's selection he's done better than we all expected so far.
    Kandol shot himself in the foot getting sent off just as he'd worked himself back into the reckoning and then had games off due to family issues.
    It will be good to get Gradel to at least the end of the season and I do expect a couple of others to come in.
    Charlton look the team most likely to wobble but Norwich are due one too.
    All I want now is a decent performance against Spurs on Saturday and back to winning ways next Tuesday at Swindon.

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    Re: Cold Shower Time

    Post by Jailhouse John on Wed Jan 20, 2010 10:17 pm

    Interesting thread this.

    By adding to it I suppose I will accused of jumping on an old JJ band wagon, namely one of perceived lack of investment at the ER playing set up.
    Given the additional and presumably unplanned cash influx of late (Cup, TV etc) then is disappointing to hear the manager still indicating that the loan market is his likely source of any new talent.

    It must obvious to regular attendees at ER that we are on many occassions fortunate to beat sides, largely due to their ineptness in front of goal at this level. Go on, be true to your self, just how many times have you said to yourself "Well we should be 2 or 3 down by now" and then we have picked up a couple at the death. Well that does not work all time and the last few results have shown that mediocre sides can find us out.

    A club with any REAL intent of moving forward would not be poncing about with monthly loans but would invest a few of its recent gains in young new talent that does abound at this level. I am fed of beating this drum and I know that it is not fashionable to criticise the bearded one but I will continue to beat it until either he (or I) go.


    Last edited by Jailhouse John on Thu Jan 21, 2010 9:58 pm; edited 1 time in total

    bartmart
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    Re: Cold Shower Time

    Post by bartmart on Thu Jan 21, 2010 5:10 am

    Thanks but for once I must admit I am not pleased to be correct. Crying or Very sad

    Amongst the more rational probably older and wiser Leeds fans there seems to be the following consensus: -

    Although we are the top of the league, apart from a couple of matches we have not really outclassed other teams, in fact to be honest we have on quite a few occasions been out passed and second best, but won matches on the back of a solid defence and Beckfords goals.

    We have lost one part of the solid defence (Higgs) and the defence has started to look a bit more vulnerable recently, and Beckfords goals have dried up slightly, which is probably why we have started to draw and lose a bit more recently.

    I am quite relieved that this dip in form has happened in the transfer window, as hopefully it will concentrate a few minds that seemed to be getting complacent. I was getting quite worried hearing Simon Grayson stating that he would not be too concerned if we did not get anyone in during the transfer window, as the squad were good enough to go up without any additions.

    I appreciate that sometimes a manager will say these things to bolster the confidence of his current playing staff, but if he was being genuine I am worried because I think we are a guaranteed ‘play off’ side, but I don’t think we are good enough side to ‘guarantee’ automatic promotion, perhaps I ought to qualify that statement.

    I think if our players were playing for any other L1 club other than Leeds United, they would be good a good enough squad to virtually ‘guarantee’ automatic promotion, but I don’t think the players can always cope with how much other teams raise their game when they play Leeds, and if as looks likely we end up in a tight three horse race for promotion, we could quite easily miss out because of this ‘cup final’ effect that is not there when Norwich and Charlton play.

    The simplest way to move to a team that could virtually ‘guarantee’ promotion would in my opinion be to spend some serious money on a central midfield ‘leader’, a couple of genuine fast wide men, and another striker who can score as often as Beckford.

    I am not convinced that it is Bates who is preventing this happening, for all we know it may be Grayson reluctance to spend money or our inability as a L1 club to attract the type of players who we need.

    In the absence of any purchases this window I will try to remain positive, but I think we may have to try formations like three central defenders with attacking fullbacks (Parker, White Crow), to give us some width, and/or three central midfield players (Johnson, Kilkenny, Howson), to prevent us from being overrun/out passed in midfield.

    Whatever happens knowing Leeds it will probably be squeaky bum time, and as usual never a dull moment.

    MOT.
    cheers

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