This article also appears in Shoot – The Voice of Football
Events at the City Ground, Nottingham appear to have borne in on Leeds United manager Garry Monk that conceding goals can have an adverse effect on a team’s results. This may not be exactly shocking to many in the game, but Monk – a defender in his playing days – seemed resentful if not outraged in his post-match reaction that the mere act of politely letting the ball enter your own net has the unfortunate outcome of failing to win games. “If not for the goals we conceded we would have won the game, definitely,” lamented our leader after the 3-1 defeat to Nottingham Forest.
It’s difficult to argue with that summary, as we did after all manage to score a goal through young Kal Phillips‘ well-taken free-kick from all of thirty yards. But, sadly, Forest got three – and that’s the way of the world and the rules of the game. We may even have to consider tightening up in defence if we want to avoid harsh realities like the other team rudely presuming to score against us. Only then will we prevail – as we did against Sheffield Wednesday, who had the good taste to somehow avoid notching against our porous back line.
I’m being a little disingenuous, of course. I have no doubt at all that, in reality, Garry Monk is all too aware of the defensive problems we have. Those problems were still evident during two clean-sheet displays at Sheffield and then at Luton Town in midweek – but at least we had new boy Pontus Jansson at Kenilworth Road, tall, commanding and looking as though he would make a good fist of heading away a cruise missile if he had to. Reverting to a central partnership of Bartley and Cooper was a brave call, to put it kindly, after such a convincing display from the Swedish international and, in retrospect, it might not have been the wisest of decisions with a team that reacts like a rabbit caught in the headlights when facing a corner.
If Leeds United need to address defensive frailties, than perhaps their still-new manager could think about trying to sound a little less defensive after defeat. It doesn’t go down too well among the Twitterati, as was clear from the reaction of virtual Leeds fans yesterday, some of whom felt that Monk’s comments had left us open to ridicule. On the other hand, we have to remember that the circumstances prevailing at Leeds United mean any Whites manager is working under more than the usual amount of pressure – and maybe this is what manifested itself in Garry’s post-match interview.
Either way, improvement is essential and soon. It’s perhaps fortunate that we now have an international break in which to regroup and reorganise – though I do recall using similar phrases at this time of the season over the past few years. Hopefully, this time, the desired improvement will occur. It should, because this squad has a lot going for it. That situation might improve again, should talk of further recruitment materialise into something firmer before the transfer window closes this coming week.
Next up, after Mike Bassett’s England have taken and departed centre stage, it’s our old friends with the chip on their shoulders from Huddersfield Town. They’re currently perched incongruously atop the Championship, and it’s our clear duty to put a stop to such nonsense and set about redressing the balance. Huddersfield haven’t finished ahead of Leeds United for well over half a century – and that is one record that certainly should be maintained at the end of this season. In fact – by some distance – that is the very least we Leeds fans expect and demand.
Training ground regime should clearly focus on defence … that and shooting practice for Wood.
Surely by now our goalkeeping coach should have drilled into our keepers how to come and claim a cross, command your 6yard box and generally boss the area.
And surely the defence should be sufficiently grilled on their roles when defending.
If so … We are inept and if not why not?
ThinLizzy, You would have though that a keeper with Greens pedigree would know all about coming for crosses and commanding his area, he shouldn’t need any extra training, but he’s no better than Nuryev Silvestri. Personally I think Green has gone at the game, Monk could do worse than give Turnbull a crack at it, could he be any worse ?
Your dead right. Green has never done it, and is too set in his ways to change. Silvestri in his first season, was just as bad, but last season, he improved, he sometimes punched when he could have caught, but at least he came. A keeper has an arms length advantage over outfield playersand MUST take responsibility for ALL aria crosses in the six yard box if not the total area.
I find it quite refreshing in an age of media blandness that Monk should be prone to the odd daft comment. Sgt Wilko would come out with 3 per week,so hopefully its a good omen,(his first full season in charge started with a calamity too). I also Couldn’t give a monkeys chuff where Huddersfield or any other supposed rival finishes either. I just want Leeds in the Premier league next season and bollocks to any petty rivalries.
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Determined to be different as ever Mick. But beware of too glibly dismissing “petty rivalries”. Football would be bland indeed without them.
Not a determination to be different Rob,more a will to see the beautiful game return to its working class roots and for the working class to stick together during times of great stress and hardship. There are far more worthier targets for our ire and hatred at the moment. Have you seen the leaked documents from George Soros, open society foundation for instance? Just because I don’t agree with you doesn’t mean I’m deliberately contrary or “mad”.
Getting to the Premier League probably isn’t a shortcut back to working class roots Mick. Rather the opposite, I’m afraid. I’m in a quandary: I want to see the club I love progress, but I fear for what it might become when it finally does take the step up.
Ha ha,we agree. If only we could all cancel our Sky subscriptions and screw Murdoch. I’m ashamed to say we have it and its not my doing. 900 channels of pure drivel and worse. Everything is wrong about football now and its not just me getting older,kids cant meet their heroes now unless a stray ball goes near the touchline during a warm up. I met all the Leeds greats who cheerfully signed my programmes for me and even had my photo taken with Allan Clarke. He was standing next to me with his arm on my shoulder too,not sitting in a 4×4 five yards away. A couple of years ago I watched Sam Byram running up the east stand to the boxes ignoring all the kids’cries for a photo or an autograph,w—er. Also,although we were the best footballing side of the 60s and 70s it wasn’t due to money and any one of six or seven teams could have won the league. Hopefully Leicester have set the precedent for the 21st century regarding intelligent scouting rather than obscene wealth. All gate receipts need to be shared equally to bring back equality,just like they were in the 70s. Rant over. Ha ha.
That, pal, was a GREAT rant 👍
Am I being defeatist? Or am I realistic in saying we should forget about promotion, just lets get a settled, balanced side that can lock the back door, and put the ball in the opponent’s net. How can you talk about playoffs or Premiere League when we look like a bunch of amateurs. It really hurts to say that but it’s a fact. We have some good talent, good potential but we just don’t have cohesion, we don’t have someone with a big mouth on the pitch to say it as he sees it and kick some life into the team. Monk has got to start selecting his best eleven and play them where they are most effective. Final word on Charlie Taylor. SELL HIM AND QUICK. he wants to go, and I’m sick of reading about it. Good luck to the lad but he’s a destraction and that is the last thing we need here.
I actually think that, creatively, we’re not far off. Some solidity is needed at the back, to create confidence further forward and provide a platform from which to launch attacks. Once we can play confident (i.e. not in sheer terror that we’re going top concede any second) attacking football, the end product will be there in terms of chances – and we do have the firepower to put a good few of those chances away.
Rob, it is good to read one of your Leeds posts again – I seem to have missed others from this term… “Any Whites manager is working under more than the usual amount of pressure” is the killer phrase. Cellino’s G Plan (basically, Plan A x7) of wholesale changes to gain short-term profit, results in Garry Monk’s Leeds having to use the first games of a difficult season (whilst still waiting for signings) to sort out issues that should have been addressed in pre-season. Commenting on anything to do with the actual football (whilst ignoring the hierophant in the room) must be difficult.
Couldn’t agree more (and, as a bonus, I now know what hierophant means) 😊👍
I have every confidence in Monk providing theres no interference from above. He seems methodical in his planning although his anti-hamstring injury plan soon went awry with Berardi crying off at qpr. I’m just concerned about whether the Cook and Taylor money will go back into the squad or whether some is being kept back by that crook to cover season ticket refunds in may. I wouldn’t put it past the slimeball. This Verboom transfer looks likely so fingers crossed he’s a good un,I hope he’s good at free-kicks with a name like that. Hernandez supplying Marcus and Kemar will be a potent force with plenty of pace and trickery. I’ve got a lot more hope for this season than I have had for previous campaigns.
I am totally astounded that not one report has portioned at least part of the blame for our lack of defending high crosses to the fact that Green abdicates all responsibility, by staying anchored to his goal line, not just for the goals, but for ALL crosses. If he doesn’t go for the cross, he avoids blame.
I warned, before the season started, that he was inept at commanding his area, his flap (2 yds out) emphasised that aginst QPR. The second goal against Forest, was in the air so long, he had ample time to have got there back and there again, but where was he ? On his line.
I commented that he was OK as a shot stopper, but not as good as Silvestri. I thought that his distribution would be better, but on the evidence of the games so far, it isn’t. He has been beaten twice at his near post, l would have backed Silvestri to save both, even though the QPR.one was extremely well struck, his reactions are so much quicker.
Last year, Silvestri improved coming for crosses, and getting braver, putting his body on the line. He is still well short of his goalkeeping peak, in age terms, where as Green is past his. At every club Green has left, the fans have been relieved that he was gone. Did you hear the QPR fans chanting, and much of their post match reviews commented that they were glad he was no longer their problem. Unfortunately he is ours.
Man marking at corners always gives the attacker the advantage.the defender has to watch the man and the ball, the attacker only the ball which he is usually attacking facing the goal with a running jump, whereas the defender is usually back peddling or running back towards his goal. The keeper has a distinct advantage. An arms length, and he is also jumping with a run. I can only find one goal to excuse him, the first against Forest, a firmly struck cross well short of the near post and flicked on. Very well executed for the incoming forward to meet. Would that we could do the same.
Of all of the other new transfers, only young Grimes has so far failed to show any promise, but the manager knew him from Swansea, so hopefully he will improve. Hernandez appears lightweight, but very creative, used in the correct position he could be good.
I work in Huddersfield and am growing tired of The Town carping about their lofty position at the top of the table. There’s a long way to go but I fully expect (nay, crave) us to finish higher than the dog botherers)