Leeds 2 United 1 - report and podcast

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lakedistblade

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I think there could be much more going on behind the scenes within the squad affecting what had previously appeared to be great team spirit. Players like Norwood and stevens look depressed from the moment they are on the pitch. Some of the fire in players like Baldock and Fleck has gone out. Lundstram a public shame for the club. Look at the interactions ( almost nil) as they trudge out of the tunnel. Feckingbottom has reverted to calling them low quality ( which got wilder released) after one game, not going to get them going the extra mile. He can’t motivate or reorganise them and I fear for the rest of the season. You always felt that this team would find a bit of form, go down fighting but horrendously it looks like going the opposite way. New manager pronto please - and get the dead wood dropped.
 
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Chilttheblade

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I think there could be much more going on behind the scenes within the squad affecting what had previously appeared to be great team spirit. Players like Norwood and stevens look depressed from the moment they are on the pitch. Some of the fire in players like Baldock and Fleck has gone out. Lundstram a public shame for the club. Look at the interactions ( almost nil) as they trudge out of the tunnel. Feckingbottom has reverted to calling them low quality ( which got wilder released) after one game, not going to get them going the extra mile. He can’t motivate or reorganise them and I fear for the rest of the season. You always felt that this team would find a bit of form, go down fighting but horrendously it looks like going the opposite way. New manager pronto please - and get the dead wood dropped.
Agreed no reason to keep him if he's going to be a poor man's Wilder.
Please no more dour Yorkshireman types.Football is suppose to be fun !
 

Blade59

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We stayed in the game but only thanks to Ramsdale and Leeds failing to take their chances. In all honesty if we had lost by 5 or 6 it would not have been harsh. I think some players put in a bit of effort but Leeds were superior to us in every aspect of the game. They also outworked us which unfortunately is becoming a common theme in many games. Every time they got the ball they knew immediately what they were going to do with it. We were the exact opposite almost appearing surprised we had possession usually ending up giving the ball back or passing back to Ramsdale. Hard to find any positives at the moment. Depressingly it looks as if this is the recipe for the remaining games with the same failed players and tactics continuing. Honestly Lundstrum and Stevens first names on the team sheet every week sums it all up.
 

Bergen Blade

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Our goal was good. Stevens intercepted a Leeds pass and gave it to Norwood who passed it forwards. In doing so we got past 8 Leeds players!
A few of them got back, but Leeds never had time to really reorganise before we'd had an effort on goal. More of this please!

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McBurnie 2/10 – Strong contender with Lundstram for our worst player. I am sure we will hear the usual guff of he had no service or we do not play to his strengths. I think those same people need to actually state what he does offer? He is so slow it is untrue. He has no mobility at all and his touch is quite poor (comes off him a lot and after some promise in this regard he has got far worse). The ball never sticks and his passing is poor. He cannot run and does not get behind. He actually not that great in the air and never wins the important one or get on anything in the oppositions box. He fouls a lot and is clumsy and dirty to the point of being cynical. He tried to kick two players in the lead up to the goal but was not quick enough to even get near the Leeds players. He had made a few unnecessary and pathetic fouls before this too. He did have a hand in the goal with a shot I suppose but failed to get on the end of a good McGoldrick cross and then tried a ridiculous chip 2nd half. Came off finally and we then started to have a few efforts at least. He has not improved since we signed him at all and despite 6 goals last season; I do not see a player in there at all. Those thinking he will come good are basing it on form 3 seasons ago for a different team. He is a player that if spent as much time in the gym or training ground as he did on twitter or watching MMA maybe might improve. Was a bit of a cult figure around Xmas time. Now you replace a letter in that word maybe! Harsh but he really is not contributing anything. We spent 17 million pounds on him. That is eye popping. If someone offered me a million now, I’d snatch their hands off. We need pace, movements, skill, goal threat, link play, work ethic. It is honestly like playing with a man less when he starts.
Too harsh? Too generous!
THE WORST signing in my 60 years as a Blade.
Clear after coming the other Christmas time he was useless. As you say WHAT does he offer? It is like playing with 10 men which is why are results are shite when he plays.
If I can spot it after 3 months, say he should go out on loan to Championship this season to try and recoup some value for this season (not Robinson) and actually predict we will be relegated (along with Fulham and West Brom) before the season starts if he is playing
WHY can none of the staff see it let alone the cretin fans who see him as our main striker next season????
If you (not you Deadbat) are criticizing the midfield please explain how you can create for him!
The only way I can see is to beat the entire defence and give him a side foot if he's slobbed up close enough to be there.
Which is what Dyer and Routledge did in his one 'good' season, with pace down the wings.
Not many teams have players THAT good at this top level.
 

cooperblade

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Thought both were shockers.

Phillips should gave gone back then.

Today, Baldock left the floor. Both feet off the turf with studs showing. Caught him round the ankle. Looked a clear red to me.

Not sure how VAR did not get involved today?

Maybe they feel sorry for us now?
No idea whether it's true or not but on the TV coverage (after the game from memory), they said VAR looked at it and decided it wasn't a red.

They didn't say whether they reviewed Alioski smashing Bogle in the face. Don't think it was deliberate but it was reckless and dangerous.
 

cooperblade

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Our goal was good. Stevens intercepted a Leeds pass and gave it to Norwood who passed it forwards. In doing so we got past 8 Leeds players!
A few of them got back, but Leeds never had time to really reorganise before we'd had an effort on goal. More of this please!

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Leeds sometimes defend a bit like an U9s team (which is probably why they've had so many hammerings off the top sides). They often all sprint to the ball like when McBurnie was shooting, 5 or 6 defenders all went to close him down leaving Osborn and Lundstram completely free. Ayling trying to protect the goal by standing in the back of the net was more like U7 than U9 🙂
 

ChrisDysonHT

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Ratings:



Ramsdale 8/10 – Made a few good saves first half from long rangers you would expect and then no chance on the goal before he made a superb save from Harrison. He was constantly busy and left exposed again. The own goal came at him quick and he had little time to react. Then made a few more saves including a superb stop from Bamford. He is ridiculously busy every week. Close range, long range, set plays – he has to bail us out time after time. Gone from being one of the weak links early season to our best player since Xmas and now one of the few who comes out of this car crash of a season with any credit. He is given no protection at all and if it was not for him, we would have lost 4 or 5 again today and would most weeks.



Bogle 5/10 – Seems more interested attacking wise than when he is defending. Going forward he won a corner first half and then second half had another attack and shot blocked but defensively he is quite suspect. He does not react quick enough and players get in front of him or react to crosses. He is not actually that physical for a big bloke and gets overpowered quite a bit although weirdly did try and ‘ride’ a Leeds player in the first half to the hilarity of McCoist. Went off with concussion when he took an errant elbow. Another that did well when he came in but has dropped off a bit in recent weeks.



Osborn 7/10 – Along with McGoldrick, Ampadu and Ramsdale the only ones who can take much credit really. He worked hard and although his touch is poor at times (he seems to knock it one way and his body runs the other!) and physically he gets outmatched, he does keep running and puts more effort in than most. Pleased he got his goal and took his chance well. Defensively struggled at times as they had overloads but this was maybe more about those in front of him or around him than his poor play.



Baldock 3.5/10 – Not the best day. Started with a bad foul and then sat off quite a bit when they had shots. He was beaten easily on the build up for the goal and then lucky for me not to be sent off (at least booked). He got concussed (his own fault for the clumsy foul) and then struggled onwards but then had to go off. Not sure he is ever going to be a centre back – he lacks the physicality and not sure he is switched on enough for movement.



Stevens 4/10 – Another wretched error that led to a goal. Sums up his last 12 months really. He just will not use his right foot and his hesitancy to do this saw him lose it and they were away. He did some ok things 30-45 with a few decent link ups and runs forward and involved in a few of the rare attacks we had. Second half again he made poor touches or decisions which led to them getting the ball or creating overloads down that side. He is not really a centre back but form wise not sure what he is. One that had a huge question mark over him and you would think Norrington Davies had a big opportunity to get that shirt come August time. A big summer for him fitness and mentality wise.



Jagielka 5/10 – Did ok first half but we were always at full stretch and at times Bamford’s movement caused us problems as he came short. The whole defence was just pulled apart and gaps were opening up everywhere really. He tried to keep going but it was hard with them running at us and having so many men extra. Then scored an own goal (we seem to have scored a lot this season and that is three straight!). They said he had little choice but surely you always have a choice? You have an option not to kick it into your own net. Surely you can sort your feet and body out quicker. Maybe I am being harsh but it does annoy me when a player scores an own goal and they trot that lazy phrase out about them not having an option! A player that is doing his best but sadly quite out of his depth against quicker and more agile players.



Norwood 2.5/10 – Another non-descript performance. Loads will go in on Lundstram and I will to but at least he got involved (not in a good way I hasten to add!). Norwood’s sole contribution today seemed to be chipped balls to no one in particular (did a few of these) and awful set plays, one overhit, one to the keeper and one to the near post. He was subbed after this and shook his head. Not sure why as our midfield had been overrun as they are every week, out muscled and out skilled. We never had the ball in this area. Maybe his only frustration is that Lundstram did not go first! It could have been anyone of 7 or 8 to come off though.



Lundstram 1/10 – I give him 1 for a few runs forward and a couple of surges second half where he got a few free kicks. That is it. The rest of his game was a masterclass in adjectivity. He got booked early for a clumsy foul where he lost his man and could not be bothered to run back. He then continued to lose his runners and amble around as they overrun us. Several times they broke and he did not even bother trying to get back. Second half he had a highlight reel that will take some topping. He gave it away three times in about three minutes leading to clear chances for them. He hit several awful set plays that did not even beat the first man (barely got to his knee let alone head of the defender). He wafted his leg at several high balls and then tried a stupid back heel. His reaction to all of these errors was to either stand there or just amble back as several Leeds player haired past him. He could not have looked more disinterested. Weirdly he had one or two sprints forward amongst this – maybe to get his stats up as we said on the pod! What we are gaining by playing him I do not know. If fans were there he would not be playing as the reaction would be horrific. I still fail to see what the point of him being involved is. Play Ndiaye. Play Ampadu (and he won’t be here either so that is probably as bad!). Anything but him. At times today I thought he was doing things badly on purpose – I thought surely he cannot be that bad? One of the worst displays from a Blade this season and there has been some shockers.



Fleck 4/10 – Not sure he was much better than the other two as the theme of our horrific midfield displays both individually and collectively continued. How unfit and unathletic they are is incredible? It’s like they are doing nothing in the week. Other teams just run away from them and are stronger too. That is before you get onto the skill levels where others can actually dribble, pass, shoot and get forward as well as protecting the defence. Our three do nothing most games but stand there. Fleck to be fair did set up the goal (assist to an assist to an assist!) in some way and had a few other ok runs but most of the time it was hot potato stuff. His set plays were crap too expect one decent one headed away. He is the one of the three I hold some hope can come good but the body of work over the last 12 months is not a good sign with around half a dozen decent to good games and maybe 30 poor to average ones. He needs to get fit and come back with a better attitude. He is another that just looks not arsed at all. I used to love him as a player but now he does not run with the ball, does not get away from people (just gets brushed off) and defensively he is a liability who just fouls when they run past him. He is another where there is a big question mark over his Blades career sadly as there is with Norwood, Stevens and a few others. Many thinking automatically he will come good as we drop a level, I am not so sure. The trajectory of these players is showing downward the same way it pointed so upward for a few years. All are 30ish too so not sure they will have the potential to hugely improve. He has a big summer too if he wants to be a regular in hopefully a side pushing top 6 or go the same way as the likes of Duffy and Coutts with the former mostly a sub at Fleetwood and the latter now at mid table League 2 Salford. Those two showed (albeit the latter with an injury) how quickly you can drop off. Hope he can find a new resurgence but has a huge few months in terms of fitness. Does he want to get serious about his career again? We will see.



McGoldrick 6.5/10 – Once again a contender for our best outfield player. He got on it early and had a shot wide and the only player looking to create and come off to make things happen. Linked with Stevens for the McBurnie half chance and then involved in the goal. Had another shot second half and was trying to find space. As the game went on his threat and contribution somewhat disappeared as the game became scrappy and stretched and we threw other strikers up top and he had to drop more and the game did not really operate much in midfield. Although a comment on him just picking the ball up when he fell over? What was he doing?!



McBurnie 2/10 – Strong contender with Lundstram for our worst player. I am sure we will hear the usual guff of he had no service or we do not play to his strengths. I think those same people need to actually state what he does offer? He is so slow it is untrue. He has no mobility at all and his touch is quite poor (comes off him a lot and after some promise in this regard he has got far worse). The ball never sticks and his passing is poor. He cannot run and does not get behind. He actually not that great in the air and never wins the important one or get on anything in the oppositions box. He fouls a lot and is clumsy and dirty to the point of being cynical. He tried to kick two players in the lead up to the goal but was not quick enough to even get near the Leeds players. He had made a few unnecessary and pathetic fouls before this too. He did have a hand in the goal with a shot I suppose but failed to get on the end of a good McGoldrick cross and then tried a ridiculous chip 2nd half. Came off finally and we then started to have a few efforts at least. He has not improved since we signed him at all and despite 6 goals last season; I do not see a player in there at all. Those thinking he will come good are basing it on form 3 seasons ago for a different team. He is a player that if spent as much time in the gym or training ground as he did on twitter or watching MMA maybe might improve. Was a bit of a cult figure around Xmas time. Now you replace a letter in that word maybe! Harsh but he really is not contributing anything. We spent 17 million pounds on him. That is eye popping. If someone offered me a million now, I’d snatch their hands off. We need pace, movements, skill, goal threat, link play, work ethic. It is honestly like playing with a man less when he starts. That again may be seem like I am going in on him but another like Fleck, Stevens, Norwood that has played maybe 2 or 3 good games from 30 off this season. That is not good enough. If we performed like these did with the lack of application and lack of contribution we would be sacked in our jobs.





Subs –



Ampadu 7/10 – Thought he did ok actually and maybe our best defender and only played 45 minutes or so. Looked a cut above much of the rest. He made a few good blocks (one he made the initial error but recovered) and then he also got up the field well too and was able to go on some runs. He like Ramsdale has improved since Xmas (still made tons of mistakes that have directly led to goals) but has been alright I suppose and one of the better outfield players recent games – not saying much. Least he has some pace and can run which most of the other dead weights can’t. Probably counting down the days till he can get back to a proper training ground and be with better player – of course he will sent on loan to another club – maybe the Championship next season but not sure I have seen enough to want him back. He would probably do ok at the lower level but think he has had his chance here and even with his improvements not sure he has done enough to warrant a return.



Burke – Came on up top and then went to right wing back and then back up front. Did more than McBurnie in the time he was on in that at least he won a few headers, flicks and had one shot not far wide. Not sure he is the answer and those who defended Robinson will point to the two goals he scored today (don’t have an issue with the trade off as not sure Robinson will ever be more than a mid table Champ player) will argue we came off worse. I am not sure about that. I just don’t think either are good enough. I expect Burke to be a sub next season and come on when we are seeing games out or playing on the break or to try and get behind but not sure he will be involved that much. Another I would be glad if another club would take him. The fact he seemingly has a new club every season sums up how bad he is.



Brewster – Gave it away down the left and they nearly broke but then some neat touches and had the great shot that was just wide. Really not sure why he is not playing. I have seen McBurnie for nigh on two years and I know he is not good enough at this level. This lad may not be either but give him a run of games and try and get his confidence up for next season at least. I see no reason whatsoever why he is not playing. I thought Heckingbottom would come in and play him and drop likes of Lundstram but is doing exactly the same as Wilder. Odd.



Egan – Good to see him back. Instantly at full stretch as they nearly broke and got in. Had a few clearances and headers but only played limited minutes. Hopefully will start and we may be a bit more solid defensively. Mind you we were no better when he did play but he does improve us! Next game we may have him, Basham and Berge all back possibly?







Manager Heckingbottom 4/10 – He has spoken well in press conferences and there has been no bluster. He has been quite forthright and honest with questions asked. Today we set up the same and he will not try and change the tactics which is odd. Why he keeps starting out of form players like Stevens, Lundstram and McBurnie I am not sure? Brewster and Lowe at least surely deserve a chance? Lundstram I have no idea why he is playing. None whatsoever. It makes no sense. Rather the young lad have a go. We have nothing to lose surely? We are down and getting mullered most weeks (if not score line) so give him/them a chance. Today we started slowly (after 2 weeks off) and they swarmed all over us. They should have been 3 or 4 up at half time and we were lucky to be level. Second half they scored again and could have had a lot more. We had a few late chances but overall, we were well beaten and out run and out skilled all game. They were better than us tactically and simply picked us off and ran through. They knew they could overpower us and so it proved. Only a poor final ball, finishing and Ramsdale stopped this being like Leicester really but at least we did have a few late efforts in this one. A draw would have been daylight robbery though. He has played three and lost three and save for a decent 2nd half at Chelsea, we have looked exactly the same side lacking confidence, ability, goals and cohesion. We don’t look a team in any shape, way or form. If they were not listening to Wilder then they are equally not listening to this guy but then that is too simplistic and probably wrong. These players are simply not good enough and not formation change, tweaks to personnel would make any difference really. Sure, the likes of Lundstram and McBurnie are rubbish but would incoming players change things in terms of results. I am not sure they would – just be nice to see something different and build for next season. I am not sure he is making a strong case for the job though!



Of course, it would be remiss of me not to praise Prestridge, Ward and Allen, the outgoing three for the work they did. It seems a matter of time before Knill departs to me reading between the lines and it is just a case of sorting out the severance really. I do not envisage any situation where a new manager would not bring in his own staff so it maybe that Heckingbottom goes back to the u23’s at the end of the season. Maybe Tindall stays for a period though – I am not sure?



He will have seen the speculation surrounding Blessin this week and it may be the club will try and get someone in to give the new manager some games to see the team and players in action before the summer and next season.
Can't argue with any of this
 

Freddie

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Leeds – I have to grudgingly give Leeds credit. They will end up finishing half way and have surprised many teams this year. Much like we did a season ago their energy, attacking and no fear football has drawn rave reviews. Sometimes I feel they have maybe had even more credit than us – maybe because of the size of Leeds and Bielsa’s reputation but even when they have got battered, they do seem to have had plaudits?! To be fair I quite like Biela. I think he is a good guy and actually find it very hard to dislike him – even if he has not learnt the language after 3 years or pretends, he has not! Still, they have done well and some of the players I was not sure would be able to cope at this level who seemed a bit journeyman, namely Bamford, Cooper, Ayling, Dallas etc have done really well and a bit like some of our lads the first season have complimented the other quality they have. I think they have some real pace and energy and I like Harrison in particular. Some of the new signings have also given them goals and creativity too.



It will be interesting to see where they go next and if the board will give him more money he needs as I think they may struggle more next season if they do not improve. The energy and enthusiasm is commendable but hard to keep going forever at the higher level as we found. I do not see anything like a drop off we had but they may be nearer the relegation spots than some of their fans might think if they do not invest more. I do admire their ability to press and run all day long. The intensity is something else and that comes from him of course. I expect they will and if they do add quality then I can see him being established here for a while. Interesting to see how long Biela stays around as he does not normally remain as long as he has done. Indeed, apart from Argentina and Chile (longer spells) he has never stayed with another club longer than 2 years and has been at Leeds for 3 seasons now.



A lot of Blades feel they get a lot more credit than we did and maybe that is right. They are a bigger club with a higher profile and richer history so maybe that is it. However, I would counter and say the way they attack and go for things and have all season is something we did not do (other than say a 2-month period mid Oct-mid Dec) last year. We were better defensively by a long way and they are weak here still. However, their fitness and energy and way they run through teams and better teams than us is to be applauded. Sure, this will leave them open but it is good to watch as much as Blades get irked by it. They have better technical players than we had/have too and you saw that today. Position wise not sure they will end up much higher but I would wager they will be around mid-table again at least next season if they make those improvements/adjustments.



Today we saw some of the defensive weaknesses they clearly exhibit but they also had lots of the ball, lots of chances and the way they broke often from our set plays and just ended up 5 v 3 or 4 v 2 was impressive. They get from one end to the other in ultra-quick speed and can break on teams due to the fitness. They also press well and harry to get the ball back. Not sure the football they play is scintillating but they do play some nice stuff. They should have won the game by a lot more than 2-1 today and ended up being a bit nervous at the end with the two late shots just wide that could have easily gone in. However, at the other end they really could have scored 7 or 8 goals really. They got through us at will.



Opponent Man of the Match – Dallas got it on Amazon but individually they won most battle outfield. The lad Raphinha was a threat all game. Phillips is everything our midfielders are not – mobile, can tackle and fit. I really like Harrison though and felt most good things came from him. Be interested to see if City take him back next season and give him some game time.



Opponent Weak link – I am not sure that Cooper, Ayling and Alioski long term are top level defenders. The first two have done well but longer term Bielsa will look to replace them I reckon and Alioski is not really a defender for me. We did not test them enough – other teams have made them pay. Ayling was probably the poorest player in that we got a few chances down this side. He was not awful but if I had to pick one it would be him. Bamford was quiet today but still looked miles more effective than McBurnie in comparison and at least his runs created space for others.



Referee/Officials – Graham Scott. Last time he reffed us he sent Egan off at Villa, I think? Today he was ok. The bookings for us were fair enough. I thought he should have booked Baldock and maybe on another day sent him off. Surprised VAR did not look at that? If he had been red carded not sure they would have overturned it. Was late, high and both feet off the ground. Amapdu got caught late too and no card and then a soft-ish one on Rodrigo for a pull back. Not really any major calls though – he rightly did not give pens for handball on Stevens or Ampadu’s tackle. The rest of the game they just were quicker and tackled harder and fairer. We often were cynical when they ran away and were rightly pulled up.







Coverage – I do like Amazon. Sometimes you are a bit behind depending on your platform/how you watch but I do love Jon Champion and McCoist in particular. Great chemistry and McCoist is light hearted but knows the game well. Both are fair and not full of cliches and are quite interesting. They make me laugh too from McCoist saying that used to be illegal when describing Bogle riding a man to Champion calling McGoldrick’s goals posh (against good teams) to listing railway stations on the Leeds to Sheffield line! They have good presenters and analysts too. They have covered it really well actually and deserve some credit.
I’ve given up watching us so thanks for your time and effort in confirming why. X
 

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