Monk’s Anger Should Ensure Feisty Leeds Display at Liverpool – by Rob Atkinson


odemwingie

Odemwingie: Who, Ref? Me, Ref?

Rotherham United 1, Leeds United 2

Garry Monk was naturally pleased with three vital points at the expense of a fired-up Rotherham United side – but he was clearly not a happy bunny after the final whistle, and you could see why. Leeds United, two up at half time and facing a depleted home side, after a senseless act of thuggery by Millers madman Peter Odemwingie brought him a well-deserved red card, should have been able to engage cruise control and ease to a comfortable three or four goal win. Instead, they allowed the complacency they’d been warned against during half time to creep into their play – and they came within one skied close-range finish of dropping two precious Championship points.

Such are the wrinkles Monk is doing his best to iron out of this Leeds United squad, and you have to say that there has been obvious progress within what he continually refers to as a young group. It’s live and learn as much as sink or swim in second-tier league football and, if the group can learn something from such a laissez-faire second-half display and still get away with a victory, then it’s been a good day after all. The record books will show that goals from Chris Wood and Souleymane Doukara were enough to see Rotherham off, despite Richard Wood’s late effort which only just beat an acrobatic Rob Green. At the end of the day, Brian, it’s all about results.

Still, Monk’s post-match demeanour left nobody in any doubt that the paint had just been blistered off the away team dressing room walls; the young group had been treated to a savage analysis of their shortcomings that, we can but hope, will lead to rather more focus over the next few games. That focus will be sorely needed for the stern tests that lie in wait for United; first at Anfield in the EFL Cup quarter-final, and then rather more importantly in massive league games against Aston Villa and high-flying Brighton and Reading outfits. If Leeds can emerge from that little lot with an honourable exit from the Cup and six or seven more league points safely banked – well, there won’t be too many glum faces around Elland Road.

If Garry Monk really is the real deal at this level – and there seems no valid reason so far to doubt that – then he will be adept at the art of dealing with matters in-house and by the judicious use of both stick and carrot as the occasion demands. All great managers, together with those aspiring to greatness, have had the common sense to know that sometimes an arm needs to go around the demoralised shoulder – and other times a boot needs applying to the relevant backsides. Young teams will wax and wane, it’s part of the process of becoming battle-hardened and consistently effective. Today, some of Leeds United’s players were found wanting – and got away with it. But it must not happen again.

On Tuesday night at Anfield, there will be nowhere to hide – and the eleven men in United shirts must have the message of what is expected ringing loudly in their ears. Whatever kind of side Liverpool put out, a display of the sort we suffered through in the second half at Rotherham will leave us needing an abacus to keep the Reds score, and headache pills for afterwards. The important thing today was the win and the three points – but if we were to gain the bonus of improved displays over the important games coming up from whatever bollocking was delivered in the dressing room – then today will have been doubly productive.

There are testing times ahead but, as the ancient scholar said, it’s a case of “per ardua ad astra” – through hardship, we can reach the stars. It would take a stellar performance at Anfield to survive another stage of the EFL Cup, and league points will be hard to come by over the next few league games; still, with the right proportions of carrot and stick from our bright young manager, you just never know.

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20 responses to “Monk’s Anger Should Ensure Feisty Leeds Display at Liverpool – by Rob Atkinson

  1. Three positives:
    We could have lost that game last season and crumpled.
    In this division three points is three points and we have been unlucky in some narrow defeats this term.
    Finally there was never a better time for a strong managerial reminder with what is coming up. As you say, if we can get a decent haul from the next three league games two of which are live and not be embarrassed at Anfield then we could pass the 40 points by the season half way after Preston on Boxing Day. If we do that and sign a quality forward in January then a push for automatic promotion could be on the cards.
    When this train starts rolling it will be difficult to stop. Let’s face it, we have been waiting on the platform for ten miserable years so we all deserve an exciting ride!

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  2. We should have went for their throat in the first half instead of knocking it around our own half. Everyone is a Jonjo Shelvey now,trying to drop the ball on a 5p coin from 2 miles away. Those cross field passes to Taylor in the first half were an embarrassment,intercepted every time. I’m still concerned about Green,that offside goal by odemwingie flew right underneath him and Green didn’t know it was offside. Hopefully Monk will stay with Marco in the cup on Tuesday although I cant see Wood scoring against anyone half decent nevermind Liverpool. Credit to Rotherham apart from that loony they battled bravely and contributed to an exciting second half. Hope they stay up.

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  3. Sniffershorts

    We could all see for ourselves the sublime passing of the first half and some simple direct football, we should of capilatised over two key injuries and a man off , however a striker off. We then reverted to a long ball game which I thought we had dropped personally I don’t think we were complacent in the common sense of cruising …. But agree with Monk we are not good enough to play at less than 100%.

    That aside we did exactly as Rotheram did to us as we to Newcastle the divide is clear to be seen, when we play 100% it is a delight to watch. We never stopped trying against the toon.

    However I think the lads in training last week had a plan , get a couple by half time and second half take it easier , even with 10 against 11 unless a key defender had been sent off doesn’t make much difference if you have ever played in that situation, I have and ten can beat 11. Had pope Pontus been playing they would never had got into the positions they did , most scares were set pieces and goal mouth scrambles but we in the end were resolute. So My point is Anfield and Liverpool it’s only two days away , my guess is as team they decided to take the foot of a little to save some gas for Tuesday . I can’t see Gary bringing in several changes as with other ties , we saw lots of positives with some players I am still having kittens with Green though , he is trying to be the bloody hero Instead of using common sense ….. Still this southern softy will be looking forward to a televised game Tuesday MOT

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    • i thought we were pretty average in the first half too…… in terms of sublime passing are you referring to our defenders passing it backwards for 20 minutes ?
      Our weakness is clearly central midfeild

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  4. There’s no excuse but I hate playing against 10 men rob ,, it looks good on paper but in reality it just seems to fire up the team of ten… They knew last night that the only player that would get the blame last night was the nutter with the elbow so it didn’t matter if it was 2-0 or 4-0 so just give it a go and that’s what they did ,, have to say though that Leeds look very jaded and lacking ideas since the international break and with some really tasty fixtures coming up I hope they wake up ASAP

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    • They’re gonna have to, Mr. O!

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    • I know what you mean about playing against 10 men, by the way – but I think that applies more when the 10 are leading or drawing and so can sit in their shape with one get-out ball, and invite the 11 men on. But when you’re 2 up against 10, there’s no excuse for not finding the space, passing them to death and running the legs off them. It was set up for Leeds and we totally failed to capitalise.

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      • Mr orange

        Absolutely rob , like I said , no excuses , Leeds reverted to a long ball game which is boring at the best of times but when you can’t actually pass the long ball it becomes embarrassing

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      • Second half was embarrassing – nearly as embarrassing as that boring git Birtles who’s nicking a living as one of Sky’s specialist Leeds slaggers.

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  5. David Dean

    They started off really well. In total control playing them off the park. 2-0 at half time should have been 4-0 at full time and they let them back in the game by just not being good enough, making poor choices with passing and wasting chances they had. It was mental and I feared they would eventually let a goal in and if they did that they would equalise. It was a miracle it wasn’t 2-2 at the end, the first time I can remember a win feeling like a defeat. They can improve though and they have good players to come back and Jan window might bring something if the looney is serious about playoffs. Those next 3 matches will tell us a lot more but I am very optimistic about staying in the top 10.

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  6. The problem is that Monk and all our best players including Taylor who along with Bartley were our stand out players v Rotherham finish with us in the summer….and in fact I assume the loanees deals are up BEFORE any playoffs ??
    Its a ridiculous situation that undoubtedly will not be helped by a possible takeover
    Yes and then theres that, will it still go ahead now we are embroiled in the latest paedophile scandle ???

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  7. Blah, blah, blah – sent in anonymously as usual by a lily-livered coward.

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    • On the subject of readers’ comments – those disagreeing or even aggressively critical DO get published. But ONLY where the critic or dissenter has the minerals to identify him or herself, as opposed to hiding behind a false email address as in the case of this spineless wally.

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  8. Hi rob, don’t think we’ve a snowballs chance in hell at anfeild but you never know. The game at Rotherham was a get through it game n Tuesday will bring the best out of the players and whatever in the cup we’ll have to dig deep to get 5/6 points from but remember there’ll 6 pointers even this early on on janson and bridcutt and Co back we could find ourselves far from our mid- table safety zone, either way the points keep coming and that really is all that REALLY matters mot

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  9. Was disappointed with Philips last night,, he gets the EFL young player of the month then shoots at every opportunity that comes his way when clearly either the shot wasn’t on or a player was in a much better position ,, bloody lift your head up son , run with the ball or better still look for players that are clearly unmarked in a 11 against 10 situation

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  10. Let’s hope so! While getting out of the Championship must be number one priority, nobody would want a capitulation at Anfield, and I hope the boys do their best for the travelling Leeds fans. I’ll be listening at work from about 6.30am with everything crossed as usual. On on on!

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  11. I’m quietly confident that we’ll do well tonight at Anfield and why shouldn’t we? A semi final v Newcastle and a chance for revenge. The mackems kept Liverpool at bay for 75 minutes on Saturday and they’re terrible,plus they didn’t have Pontus,Bartley,Taylor and Ayling at the back. We can do this

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  12. David Smith

    Yes totally agree Rob ….. a performance tonight win or lose that we can be proud of and then concentrate our efforts on Villa, Brighton & Reading. Love the ‘per ardua ad astra’ quote, will use that myself if I may!

    Like

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