Leeds’ First Defeat a Timely Reminder for Owners GFH Capital


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The first defeat of any season is always a bitter pill to swallow, and when that defeat ends a decent unbeaten run which had created a bit of a feelgood factor and some useful confidence, then the taste is all the sourer still. There can be little doubt that QPR deservedly edged the game at Elland Road – they came north with a game plan as they had done to Bolton’s Reebok Stadium, and they went away having done the job. Rangers had been rather unlucky to see Joey Barton’s first half goal disallowed for a clearly inappropriate offside flag, just as in the end they enjoyed some good luck when Rudy Austin’s fulminating howitzer hit the angle and bounced to safety. It was a game of fine margins, as reflected by the scoreline.

As depressing as a home defeat is, however, there can be long-term benefit if the lessons of that defeat are learned and acted upon. This match was under the Sky TV microscope, but it is an open secret that the Leeds United squad is defined more by the gaps in it than by the several excellent players it boasts for this level of football. Another striker is still needed, at least one winger is still needed. At the moment, there is a lot right with any team that Brian McDermott puts out, but the vital missing ingredients are making it very difficult for that team to be as effective as it needs to be in the attacking third of the field. Impotence in attack has its consequences further back; there is more pressure on ball retention in midfield because the options up front are not what they should be.

Brian McDermott is a downy bird, and he knows what is needed. It is the growing urgency of that need which, with the end of the transfer window looming ever closer, is giving cause for concern if not alarm. From the outside, we just have to take it on trust that work is going on behind the scenes to secure the additional players which are clearly needed in order to give Leeds a chance of sustaining some sort of competitiveness this season. If not, then it could just be a long and depressing struggle, despite the best efforts of a manager who has said all the right things and has also done so much that is right since coming to the club – as indeed have the new owners GFH-C.

Monday could be a very significant day in this season for Leeds United, and maybe even in their history as a whole. Getting the ingredients right is that important when you’re looking for the recipe for success. The QPR game has demonstrated very clearly for us just where the areas of need are – if we don’t secure some decent wide options, then surely we’ll be placing too much reliance on the likes of Diouf, who showed in his cameo performance that he’s currently far and away the best we have where quality service from the wing is concerned. After Diouf we have Ryan Hall, who still seems to be struggling to make a real impression at this level.

As is often said in too many American TV shows of a dubious standard: “OK. You got 48 hours”. That’s about the size of it for Leeds United right now, and the clock is running down. Tick tock.

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11 responses to “Leeds’ First Defeat a Timely Reminder for Owners GFH Capital

  1. “Another striker is still needed, at least one winger is still needed. At the moment, there is a lot right with any team that Brian McDermott puts out, but the vital missing ingredients are making it very difficult for that team to be as effective as it needs to be in the attacking third of the field. ”

    Absolutely! this is exactly what I’ve been saying. everything here i endorse and agree 100% we need a striker who is capable of scoring 25 plus goals and a Creative midfielders who runs at players and can play on the wing..Ideally,we need a Right and Left back who can play a Gary Kelly role without having the need of using a fourth midfielder for the same position gaining an Advantage ..we long for a Harry Kewell don’t we?
    chris from wales

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  2. Bianchiboy1960

    A good honest reflection …. You can see the work ethic changing under McDermott and yesterday QPR showed us their class …. We had periods of good passing possession but lack of going forward , other than forays by Ross and later with young poleon . We did revert at times to the long ball and lack of confidence in passing ball to keeper. That said Diouf was used too later his classy easy use of the ball silky smooth could have been effected far earlier in the half. Yes a striker along side Ross is all to evident and some width and speed on the flanks. I think we are missing the true ability of poleon his turn of speed could be put to better use on the flank. More off we need a new play maker a good striker for Ross to feed and feed off. He with ball at foot a complete dynamo has such foresight and speed , you see his utter frustration when it doesn’t come off, thank god he re signed , he wears the colours with pride. Under Brian all the players are giving more warnock had a great game. Sky walker murphy will be far more complete than howson. Pearce is blood and guts. Peltier is a grafter never gives up. Scott wotton and Matty smith work in progress, not forgetting the general Rudi do or die again a Leeds legend in the making. What we lack is the confidence in the last quarter to run more at defences, all players have the ability and should go for , Pearce is a fine example not the greatest player , but hard as nails , given the chance he gets in with his head , another proud wearer of the colours , watch his reaction after the game he loves us. We were ok yesterday we are work in practise , we are way in front of last seasons hoof ball, just need a few fillers let us hope one or two come in. If not Brian will mix it up and we move on , we won’t win every game I’d like it if we did, when the window opens he will be back in, patience we will come the don didn’t build in a season.

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  3. We need more than two players. We’ve got an awful squad including our selection of strikers. Midfield isn’t good enough except for Austin who has been very good so far. We need a class act in the middle, McCormack again yesterday lacked quality. Need a taraabt type player and a gradel, with a big hitter up top. Id go for vaz te

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  4. Okay. Only the start of the season. But, nine months down the line and this could turn out to have been a 6-pointer. So perhaps it’s worth taking a close look at how those 6 critical points came to be lost. Step forward Paddy Kenny. Now,it has to be said that, overall, the Custodian had a decent enough match. But, unless my eyes deceived me, his fumbling of Barton’s cross led directly to tthe QPR goal. And I’m pretty sure that there’ve been a number of other occasions when, amidst the hurly-burly of goalmouth action, I’ve noticed Kenny clutching the ball only to then spill it.. So time, perhaps, to give “Iron Hands” a break and Ashdown a chance to show us what he can do?

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  5. Very good article and spot on. BM knows that he is three of four players away from having a team that can challenge for top two spot, but I don’t thing that it is going to happen for us this year. I really can’t see GFH spending much more or they would have done it by now. I also agree with Snowjoke that Kenny spills too many catches. He really should have collected that ball. Everything was evident against QPR. We are 4-6 million short of a truly competitive team.

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  6. GeoffCakes

    I know BM has said he’s not a fan of the loan market unless its with a view to a permanent move, but if nothing happens for us tomorrow that’s always an option so no need to panic yet. I Think the strikers we have are fine and would be more prosperous if we can add those wingers to the squad to get more service into the box.

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  7. Agree 100%. If we are to challenge for the play-offs we need pace and more creativity from the midfield and the wings plus an experienced, prolific striker. One without the other is simply not enough. We are, Ross apart, generally impotent up front. Kenny has his moments but he is prone to errors and his distribution is poor.

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  8. Common Sense

    The centre and right has always been sound. Problems are always on the left. Unlikely that will ever change. Expensive solutions then cause more damage than good, and leave us lumbered with financial consequences for a long time…. Most bald men are often Tories at heart – and they tend come up with solutions under tough conditions. Having patience during these difficult times for us, is what is required for now. All will come good in the end.

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  9. Common Sense

    On a serious note, this article has got it spot on. Although the patience bit is most definitely applicable for us. GFH have a final opportunity tomorrow to make McDermott job until January far easier than it is going to be without ay additions to the team.

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  10. Some interrestingl comments here and, if they’re anything to go by, optimism and confidence in McD seem to have survived Saturday’s reversal undented. That would be good.

    I’ve never gone along with the bad-result-before-the-international break theory. Far better for the Manager to have to the players’ unbroken attention on the training pitch. to instill and embed his ideas, develop and cement the key partnerships that require instinctive action and reaction come the heat of battle on matchday, etc,

    Turning to Bolton, I’d be tempted to:-
    (a) Give Ashdown a start (but only if 100% fit), dropping Kenny to the bench;
    (b) Retain the central defensive pairing of earce and Wootton, which looks our best option, by a country mile, at present..
    (c) Start young Poleon as an out and out winger and freedom to attack eeither flank and Smiith purely because of his aerial threat; and
    (d) Put Alex Mowatt on the bench but with the firm intention to get him on the pitch. If you’re good enough, you;re old enough and the sooner your day comes, the better.

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  11. … Plus Sam, of course. Somewhere, anywhere (I’d stand down any one of the rest to get him on the park). But again, only if absolutely A1 ready

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