Disappointment at Huddersfield – Can Marius Zaliukas Steady the Ship for Leeds? – by Rob Atkinson


New Boy Marius Zaliukas

New Boy Marius Zaliukas

Another derby day defeat, another three goals conceded, this time against a team shorn of their top scorer due to suspension.  There were some crumbs of comfort: Matt Smith scored again, and could prove to be a handful for Championship defences as the season goes on.  Dexter Blackstock came on from the bench for his United debut, and he scored too, which is a great way to start with a new club.  We probably should have had a penalty, we scored one of their goals for them – and last but not least, we’ve signed an international central defender who captained Hearts to a Scottish Cup win.

Marius Zaliukas has been without a club since the summer, but played for his country only last week.  He was wanted by ‘Arry at QPR and nobody has had anything worse to say about the lad than that he’s got a bit of a temper on him.  At 29, he’s in his prime as a defender, and we’ve got him initially till the end of the season.  Yay.

It’s looking likely that Marius will have an active role to play at Elland Road sooner rather than later.  Our defence didn’t look exactly comfortable at times in the second half against Birmingham, even though we recorded a clean sheet in a 4-0 win.  Three at the back, if that’s how we’re to continue, will demand a decent pool of centre backs to allow for inconveniences such as suspensions and injuries.  It seems that Messrs Pearce and Lees were culpable in at least two of the three we let in from our chip-on-the-shoulder bearing neighbours down the road, so maybe an injection of international know-how and experience is just what the doctor ordered.

From all accounts, the boy might be a tiny bit aggressive, but again that’s more virtue than vice down Elland Road way.  Since the days of Norman the Great – in fact tracing our illustrious club’s history back as far as Wilf Copping – we’ve always appreciated a lad who understands the tactical subtleties of “getting stuck in” and “getting rid”. Marius Zaliukas sounds like he might be just our cup of Yorkshire Tea and it goes without saying that we wish him well.

If we can get the defence sorted out, and if we can convert a few more of the chances that we again created in reasonably great number today, maybe things can still look up in time for this season to mean something.  Well, anyway, that’s the positive spin on another disappointing day for Leeds United Football Club and its devoted army of fans.

It’s Yeovil next, and they beat Forest today.  Bring it on.

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13 responses to “Disappointment at Huddersfield – Can Marius Zaliukas Steady the Ship for Leeds? – by Rob Atkinson

  1. Philip Allen

    Good point about the Birmingham game.Not too many have said about the chances created by Brum in the second half, it could have been 6-4. I agree that this guy might be the answer to the defence but I´d like to see a 4-4-2 with Peltier at right back and Byram on the right wing.A question? Of our six strikers/forwards-Who would you play?

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    • I’d be tempted to go for a combination of McCormack off a big man, but what do I know? They’re all in and out of form week by week. There’s quite a few permutations for BMcD to scratch his head over that’s for sure.

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  2. Well the Birmingham game looks like it was a fluke and the Yeovil game won’t be the pushover we expected it to be after the way Forest were disposed of yesterday. I still have nagging doubts about BM. How any right minded manager can still have Brown and Varney in the squad is beyond me and beyond a joke. Neither player can come on and change a game,(certainly not to our advantage anyway). It takes BM the time it takes an oil tanker to turn before he remedys problems. I for one don’t think it’s enough that BM and GFH keep saying the right things and playing to the gallery/kop.

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  3. by luck warnock ended up with lees &peltier at cb, with byram & white fbs that was our best bf for sometime,now it’s a mess. up front smith &mccormack must be given a run.i hope we don’t getto the stage where every time we loose 4 players get changed..looks like another bad move coming up, white going out on loan that just leaves warnock as only left back,if he gets injured ,we are full circle with the worst of neil warnock( peltier at lb )

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  4. Byram has already said he prefers full back………….playing him on the wing is yesterdays news. Peltier is pacey and a good CB so lets try him instead of Lees or Peirce

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    • McDermott seems to have to learn truths we already knew the hard way for some reason….eventually he will play Peltier at CB and Diouf in midfeild ????? How much of the season will be gone before he finally realises the best elements of a poor squad ?? place your bets please

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  5. Odds are we have lost White for good; I think this is a waste – and yes, a loss too. 3-5-2/5-3-2 will not work with Warnock at left back. I am surprised that BM seems to think it will. Or does he share our previous Manager’s view that Peltier is a better left back than White and can therefore play there if Warnock is injured ?

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  6. AllWhiteNow

    Systems, shmystems, I’m just sick of losing these Yorkshire derby games. Its been going on too long and its an indicator of what has to change in players heads and in their approach to these games. The fact is as Rob has since pointed out that we don’t really care about our neighbours in the County but they sure as hell care about beating us. And they do – too often. We have to rise and confront this fact. I don’t think we will be promotion material until we get ourselves up for games that are Cup Finals for our opponents. These games matter and we have to start winning them.

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  7. Changing the system seems to have fooled a poor brum side for the first half of one game ,, I wondered if it would continue to work and as you say rob , town had thier leading goal scorer out and they still got 3 …. Obviously the element of supprise wasn’t there , lets hope this new centre half can help the system

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  8. the annoying thing is we have the players if all the right ones got picked. austin was dynamic last week ,but for every other game he looks a pub player.’varney,pearce,wootton,warnock hunt norris,tonge all poor but white( at lb) diouf poleon peltier are quality

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    • Largely agree, though I would retain Pearce. I don’t understand BM making Austin captain. I will wager now that we will never gain promotion with him in the side even.

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  9. I think that we are stuffed in every position!

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  10. totally agree i thought i was the only one seeing austin as rubbish

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