The Game's Gone Crazier

For all the latest on the exploits of Uncle Festa, Godfather Cellino, Friar Brian, Old Big Gob, GianFredo Zola, Butterfingers Green, 'Arry the Albatross, The Grand Puppet Master, Il Duce Di Canio, Timmy Sherwood and a cast of thousands!

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Opportunity knocks for Leeds courtesy of fixtures for Watford, QPR, Leicester, Derby, Burnley, Nottingham Forest and Blackpool

The home fixture against Yeovil presents Leeds with a great opportunity to get right back into the promotion mix. True the Glovers surprised everybody with an impressive 3-1 win over Nottingham Forest last weekend, but with the fixture list presenting difficult games for Burnley, Leicester, QPR, Derby, Watford, Nottingham Forest and  Blackpool, there's every chance that the once mighty Whites could be at least tapping on the promotion door come 5pm on Saturday.

The key for Leeds is the pairing of so many of the contenders in games against each other. The fixture between QPR and Derby is particularly fascinating given McLaren has recently switched from the Hula Hoops to the Rams. Some gRRRs are already questioning whether it was McLaren or Redknapp who orchestrated the early season push for the top, and should Derby win this one, the voices of dissent will grow. Redknapp had the audacity after the Wigan game to claim that the Latics had the bigger squad, seemingly forgetting that he has bought Phillips and Austin for big money, welcomed back Barton, and brought in a host of other players on permanent deals or loans. QPR should be romping to the Prem with their squad, but instead remain alarmingly goal shy, with the last two games failing to produce a single goal in the opposition's net. Best result for Leeds? A 0-0 draw.

The Watford v Leicester game is another six pointer, and should the Hornets lose this one, questions will surely be asked about Zola. Again, here is a manager blessed with an outstanding squad when judged against rivals in this division, and yet Watford have gone backwards since last season. Leicester, meanwhile, are on a roll and tails will be up after that epic victory over Fulham. Best result for Leeds would probably be a Watford defeat as it could mark a phase of soul searching at Vicarage Road with the up to now popular Zola beginning to come under the microscope.

Then Forest entertain Blackpool and any result would probably suit Leeds in this game, given the realistic target at this stage is a play off place. If Leeds beat Yeovil, they will be closer to one or both irrespective of the final result.

And, of course, Burnley's claret was knocked over by West Ham on Tuesday, meaning that they will travel to Millwall a little less confident. And I fancy Lomas's Lions to tear them apart.

The table doesn't look great at the moment, but come 5pm on Saturday, Leeds should be on the shoulder of the play off pack. And then, who knows, the Leeds United Feel Good Factor Sleeper Express to the Premiership, Europe, Infinity and Beyond could really pick up steam!

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Have West Ham just done QPR, Leeds, Leicester & co a massive favour?

Well until last night, Burnley were looking pretty damn undefeatable and were threatening to run away with the division, putting together a run reminiscent of Reading's two seasons back. But then along came West Ham and urinated in the Claret, and there is now every chance that the Burnley bubble will prematurely burst.

Those who try to suggest that West Ham were fortunate to win the game are missing the point. This was very much a second string West Ham side, made up of kids and reserves for the most part. Ruddock, Potts and Chambers are only just out of nappies and can only eat well mashed up solids, so it is no wonder Burnley had a few chances over the course of the game, but even with against a kindergarten defence, the mighty pairing of Ings and Vokes couldn't muster a goal between them.

And in the second half, following the introduction of Collison and Downing, followed by Nolan, West Ham totally bossed the game.

So, Burnley have suddenly been reminded what defeat tastes like, and with Treacy dismissed for taking out Collison as the Welshman steadied himself to knock the ball into an unguarded net, the Clarets are already carrying a hang over into the next match. And that match, at Millwall, now takes on huge significance because a second defeat on the trot would send alarm bells ringing around Turf Moor.

Burnley fans will argue that the Cup is an irrelevance but confidence is a brittle thing, and West Ham may have just snapped Burnley's last night. Which would be great news for all the Championship clubs currently trailing in the Clarets' wake.

An example for QPR, Leeds and the remainder of the Championship

So Burnley are running away with the Championship. Interesting. And according to Leeds and QPR fans who respond to this blog, West Ham are heading for the drop. Interesting again. Well, on the basis of last night's game, there's not much point in any side winning promotion from this season's Championship then because the gulf to the Prem is patently huge!

West Ham took to the field just 48 hours after playing Swansea. A combination of reserves and kids were selected. The management had precious little time to prepare, with a journey from Swansea to London and London to Burnley involved in completing the back to back fixtures. The West Ham team included Potts, Chambers and Ruddock, three young kids. There were nine changes from the starting 11 against Swansea and both Diame and Tomkins, the two retained, were substituted to save their legs. And West Ham utterly dominated the second 45 minutes.

It's true that two penalties were required but both penalties were conceded to prevent goals being scored, and the referee was kind to the Clarets when producing only one red card. In the twenty minutes building to the first goal, poor Burnley could not get the ball, chasing shadows to such an extent that you would think West Ham's stiffs were Barcelona. So how the hell are Burnley top of the division?

From a West Ham perspective, it was all very pleasing. The three kids look good and may well have a future. Maiga didn't look out of his depth - perhaps THIS is his level. Collison and Downing combined well when brought on. Adrain looked our best understudy keeper for a few seasons now. And there's the consolation that if we were to go down, even selling the major wage earners, we should storm the Championship!

As for QPR, Leeds and co - God help them if they do get up! Because, like Burnley, they will then find out what the Premiership is really about!

Saturday, 26 October 2013

"How I F***Ings blew it at QPR" - New Chapter Added to Redknapp's Autobiography!

Instead of appearing on the One Show and endless other promo events for his latest "Nice little earner", perhaps 'Arry should have spent more time at the training ground, preparing his charges for the top of the table clash with little old Burnley, the club he stole Charlie Austin from.

But then who needs Austin when you have a guy called Ings?

Poor 'Arry was so talked out that he couldn't even make it to the post match press conference, passing the buck to Kevin Bond instead; who then came up with the classic line, "It was always going to be a tight game and one goal was probably going to be enough" - which is an interesting observation given Burnley scored twice!

So the Hula Hoops are down to third and will be in dire, dire trouble if they do not win promotion given the ludicrous wage bill the club is carrying.

Financial Fair Play anybody?

Leeds United's Yo-Yo Club Status Confirmed

Maybe I am mixing my metaphors after reading Friar Brian's post match comments. Maybe instead of a Yo-Yo club, Leeds should be hailed as a Two Step club, or as the Bald Controller says, "One step forwards, one step back."

Regardless, just like last season, Leeds are establishing a pattern of climbing to eighth one week, before slipping back to tenth the next. Win your home game and lose the away fixture that follows, and you bob up and down like a cork in a swell, and don't actually go anywhere.

After all the excitement generated by that tonking of Birmingham, the Leeds United faithful climbed aboard the Feel Good Factor Sleeper Express to Huddersfield, the Premiership, Europe, Infinity and Beyond fully expecting a repeat of last year's triumph over the once mighty Terriers - only to end up swallowing yet another dose of bitter reality. For all McDermott's positivity, this Leeds team is no better than the one left behind by Old Big Gob Warnock.

Still, the serial killer came off the sub's bench, just as I predicted, and scored Leeds' second goal - exactly as I predicted. Sadly, I didn't reckon on Huddersfield netting three times.

So it's back to the drawing board. Can Leeds play three at the back away from home? Maybe not. Will McDermott give it another go for the next home match? Probably. But formations are largely irrelevant if the squad isn't good enough, and the evidence suggests that this lot are no better than a mid table outfit.

Still, looking on the bright side, if results go right, Leeds could Yo-Yo back up to eighth next week!

Leeds set to park serial killer on the bench at Huddersfield.

Who needs the Yorkshire Ripper when you have Dexter? And who needs Dexter when you have just slaughtered Birmingham?

Surely Friar Brian will not upset his Merry Men by changing a winning team against Huddersfield. Dexter has been brought in to add a cutting edge to the side, but everything clicked perfectly last game out, so his introduction against Huddersfield from the start seems like an unnecessary risk. If it aint broken, don't fix it!

So surely Dexter will be on the bench at kick off, though should Leeds be goalless after 70 minutes, it's a fair bet that the Forest reject will be introduced. And if it's 1-1 with 10 minutes to go, I back McDermott to twist and go for the winner.

My prediction? 2-1 to Leeds with Dexter scoring five minutes before the end!

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Leeds United Go Lithuanian!

The imminent arrival of Marius Zaliukas reminds me of a trip I made to his homeland a few years back. Travelling around the heavily forested nation, I was stopped for speeding twice in the space of an hour. The first time was probably a fair cop - it was a country road and I came face to face with a speed camera after cruising around a gently curving bend in my rental car. After pleading innocence, I was obliged to donate the equivalent of £20 in Lita to the local police benevolence fund.

An hour later, it was a completely different story. I was stopped on a motorway with Lithuanian drivers bombing past me in the outside lane. When I was told that I had been filmed driving at 100 kilometres per hour, I replied that as I was on a motorway with a 100km per hour speed limit, I couldn't understand why I had been stopped. The Lithuanian policemen smiled and replied: "Yes on most motorways that is the case, but on this stretch of motorway, it is 80km per hour." He then proceeded to ask for £1,000 as a fine, which we negotiated down to another £20!

As I was getting out of the car, the copper asked why I was in Lithuania, and when I replied "For a holiday" he raised an eyebrow and said: "On holiday? In Lithuania? You should have gone to Hawaii instead!"

Well now the tables are turned! I hope a copper stops Zaliukas and, after giving him a ticket for speeding asks, "What exactly brings you to Leeds?" And when the Lithuanian replies "To play football", I trust the copper will reply, "Play football? In Leeds? You should have gone to QPR instead!"

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Has Holloway left Crystal Palace to take over at Manchester United?

How bloody absurd. Crystal Palace should have promised Holloway a ten year deal for taking them to the Premiership, but instead they have let the guy go!

How much will Palace make this season? And then there's the little matter of the parachute payments which will give the Eagles every chance of flying straight back up again following relegation. Palace should have knighted the guy!

Let's face it, relegation was always going to be odds on so Olly faced an impossible task from the off. No defence in the world would have prevented Fulham's first two goals on Monday so he can hardly be blamed for that result can he?

One thing's for sure, Holloway won't be out of work for too long. In fact, if Moyes can't turn things around at Man Utd...

Nottingham Forest's serial killer fits the Leeds bill perfectly

So Friar Brian is closing in fast on Nottingham Forest's Dexter Blackstock and he looks the perfect fit for Leeds United. With Reg Varney knocking them in at a rate of  a goal every 4 games, Complete Hunt scoring at a similar rate, and McRoss mcnetting them in a mcsimilar mcvein, Dexter could join  a tried and tested club as he scores his league goals once every 3.88 games. And a number of those goals were bagged in a division down from the Championship of course.

But then beggars can't be choosers. News has broken of a loan to the club from a financing outfit which has a certain David Haigh as a director - and if that doesn't sound like a dodgy Master Bates like deal, I don't know what does. And Dexter Blackstock is at least proven in the division, although he is proven not good enough for promotion contenders Nottingham Forest.

Can Dexter slay opposition defenders and fire Leeds to promotion? He's got to be better than nobody so he is surely worth a gamble.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Are Leeds United bullying Ryan Hall?

I expressed my disgust yesterday, when it was suggested that Hall had been suspended for his innocuous comments after being dropped by Sheffield United. That was bad enough.

Now it appears that he may have been suspended for a comment he didn't make himself! Now this is Big Brother gone mad!

According to the Yapping Post, the talented young winger has fallen foul of the Arab sensors because he re-tweeted a comment from a supporter (Carl Smith) who wrote, "“Ryan Hall comes on and sets up a goal from a decent cross. Something we’ve been missing all season so wake up McDermott.”

Bloody hell, so now people are being taken to task based on the opinion of others! Whilst there is criticism of McDermott here, the Twatter is about how good Hall is, so it should come as no surprise that he chose to share it with his followers. Why wouldn't you when a fan sings your praises?

It looks like victimisation to me. McDermott clearly doesn't rate the lad and the suspension is both heavy handed and designed to intimidate the boy, maybe even trying to force him out of the club.

The PFA should get involved immediately and the local MP should be making statements about how UK residents enjoy freedom of speech, unlike the people of Bahrain where GFH Capital are based.

If we can't quote what other people are saying about us, then God help us!

Monday, 21 October 2013

Hall Falls Foul of Leeds United's Sheffield United Loving Big Brother

So yet another player has fallen foul of the Twitter Police. Young Ryan Hall has apparently been suspended by the club pending an investigation into a disciplinary issue. And the poor lad's crime? He stuck two fingers up to his temporary employers Shafting United by saying on Twitter that he would still collect his wages, irrespective of being dropped.

How bloody absurd! Who amongst us isn't happy to take money for nothing? When the bad weather cuts in and it is impossible to get into work, who doesn't lie under the duvet and think, "Bloody marvellous, I'm being paid for this!"? And it's better still if you end up having sex on your employer's time!

So if this really is young Hall's only crime, then Leeds are being ludicrously heavy handed. There is a right to Free Speech in this country which the Arab owners perhaps do not fully understand, and whilst all the players are bound by contracts which, no doubt, have clauses inserted about bringing the club into disrepute, no contract of employment should be allowed to remove basic human rights. If I were Hall, and I would fight any penalty all the way through to the Court of Human Rights!

Dear God, the lad was taking the piss out of Sheffield United, and Leeds fans should be delighted with that!

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Manchester United's Moyes Misunderstands Ferguson Fear Factor

Poor David Moyes, since his appointment at Manchester United he has got almost everything wrong. His latest cock up concerns the loss of the "Fear Factor" at Old Trafford since Ferguson's departure.

According to the former Everton man "the fear comes from the team on the pitch", not the manager, which suggests he really hasn't been paying attention for the last twenty odd years. It's not the intimidation of opposition players that is the issue, it is the terror of underperforming that Ferguson instilled in his own charges, and the fear of incurring his wrath that he induced in the match officials.

When Ferguson lost it with his players they sat up and listened - or received a flying boot in the face or a one way ticket out of the club if they didn't. And they listened with good reason, because Ferguson had established his credentials - he was the only man bigger than Manchester United. Who would dare to take on a man who kicked out Beckham and who kept temperaments like Keane's, Cantona's, Rooney's and Ronaldo's, for the most part, in check?

However, in the case of Moyes, there is no respect for the very simple reason that the guy is not a winner. Sure he did a good job at Everton, but Ferguson did a much better job at Aberdeen because he won trophies whilst getting a lesser club to punch above its weight - and the Manchester United superstars know it.

And then, of course, there are the referees who no longer fear demotion for upsetting the ferocious Scot. Gone are the days of an extra six minutes to facilitate a winner. Suddenly, Manchester United have to win games purely on merit!

4-0! Are Leeds about to do a Reading?

Well not many people saw that one coming! OK, Jack predicted a 2-1 win but the bookies wouldn't have taken a lot of money on Leeds to score 4 goals. Loan signings? Who needs loan signings when you can rip Birmingham apart and win so comfortably?

I had the misfortune to be at the Madjeski Stadium two years back to see Reading begin their charge to the title under McDermott. Going into the game with West Ham, Reading's form had been at best indifferent, and the Reading fans I spoke to pre kick off were pessimistic in the extreme, despite our dreadful record against the Royals. And on paper their team looked decidedly average with the ineffectual Church leading the line.

Ninety minutes later, things looked somewhat different. West Ham had two players sent off - O'Brien and Collison - and Reading ran out 3-0 winners. And from that moment, Reading never looked back, going on an amazing run that tore up all the record books and saw them storm to the title.

That game was on the tenth of December, and Reading were in mid table at the time, so today's result is a month and half ahead of McDermott's Reading blueprint. Of course, one result does not make a season, and Leeds need to put a run together now, but suddenly things look a whole lot better. And unlike West Ham after the 3-0 thumping of Spurs, Leeds do not have to face Manchester City in their next game.

Huddersfield, Yeovil, Charlton and Middlesbrough are all in the bottom half of the table so it is perfectly conceivable that Leeds could now win five on the bounce. And if that happens the Leeds United Feel Good Factor Sleeper Express to the Premiership, Europe, Infinity and Beyond would be just like the Reading Runaway Train! And McDermott will be telling his charges precisely that!

Byram was back, Murphy was back, Wootton was back and Smith and Mowatt started. This was McDermott's team; the ghost of Warnock was slayed when the team sheet was posted on the dressing room door. And that must be the secret. The old nags must be sent out to pasture and the McDermott stamp must be firmly impressed upon the team.

It's only one result, but one result is sometimes all that is needed to change the thinking from negative to positive. So the train currently standing on Platform 8 could yet be heading for the Premiership!

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Leeds can take heart after Watford lose and Nottingham Forest draw

Ok, Burnley won making it six out of six, and Leicester won too. And Blackpool's victory wasn't the best result, though it meant Wigan lost. Reading's emphatic win was a nuisance it is true. But there are two automatic promotion places and 4 play off places up for grabs, so Watford's defeat was great news - though it meant Derby won again - and Forest's concession of two home points was just what the doctor ordered too. And QPR failed to win, conceding two goals in the process.

So, although Leeds have slipped down to fifteenth, a victory tomorrow could see them right back in the mix, just 5 points behind sixth placed Reading. In fact, three points could see Leeds climb to the heady heights of eighth. So if Derby can believe, why shouldn't Leeds if sitting just one place and one point below the Wally with the Brolly's Rams?

All that stands is their way is Birmingham City and Birmingham City aren't exactly Manchester City are they? Opportunity knocks for McDermott's team tomorrow, and if they don't open the door, then all hopes of a promotion push will be as good as dead. It's time for Friar Brian's Merry Men to stand tall and deliver!

No news is bad news at Leeds United

Birmingham have extended Jessie Lingard's loan, Derby have taken Tottenham's Simon Dawkins on loan, Nottingham Forest have extended Billy Davies's contract and Leeds United have...well the Board and management at Leeds United have sat on their hands and done precisely nothing. Never mind a Murray, you can't Hurry a McDermott it seems.

How good is young Dawkins? I have no idea, but he has to be better than nobody, and the fact that he is on the books of Spurs suggests that he can kick a football. Based on the last game before the international break, which team is most in need of a new player or two, Derby or Leeds? So why is it Derby that have recruited first exactly?

Friar Brian initially insisted that he wasn't a fan of loan signings, but after the Derby game indicated that he would "step up the search" for somebody to bring in. But so far that search seems to have drawn a complete blank, unless Leeds are going to call a dramatic press conference today to unveil young pup Keane or old dog Keane or Zaha or whoever.

And on the subject of inactivity, what exactly has happened to the new investment that Chairman Noruddychance said was "close" some time ago now? It's in the pipeline, presumably, just like all the oil money that Leeds fans expected to pump through when the Arabs initially declared an interest in buying the club.

Leeds fans themselves seem to understand better the urgent need to bolster the team and it will serve the club right if they are as slow to get their money out of their wallets as the club are to spend theirs. When you can see the Seventies on YouTube free of charge, who wants to pay to watch a club big on history but devoid of ambition exactly?

Friday, 18 October 2013

Will Tottenham be in crisis if they lose to Aston Villa

On the surface, it's a bloody silly question given Spurs currently sit sixth in the table, just three points off top spot. But that defeat to West Ham has suddenly put everything in to perspective.

It's not so long ago that Wenger was the manager under pressure and AVB was being hailed as the best thing since, well since Oneday Ramos. Bale had gone, but results wise, you wouldn't have noticed; and with 13 points from six games, Spurs were on course to finish the season with  82 points which would give them an outside chance of winning the title.

The trouble is, the fixture list had been kind and results in the Prem have not been great when you take into account the opposition: one goal wins over Palace, Swansea and Cardiff are nothing to write home about; the 2-0 victory over Norwich was no better than par; the draw at home to Chelsea was two points lost for both teams; and the defeat against Arsenal was a reality check. And then came West Ham!

Look at the respective goal differences of the clubs in the top 6 and Spurs are well adrift, with a positive credit of just one. And given the money spent on attacking players, the scoring return so far this season has been nothing short of pathetic.

Questions are already being asked. Is Soldado up to the job? Will Lamela hang around? Is Chamli anything special? Paulinho apart, young Townsend has been the star so far so it is looking as if the Bale money may have been invested poorly.

Of course, nerves will be settled should Spurs win emphatically at Villa Park; but should they lose, and slip to mid table, the mutterings will start and that word "crisis" will begin to loom large. AVB was found wanting at Chelsea and, maybe, just maybe, he is not as good as Levy thought. A top four finish should be the minimum expectation this season and even with Man Utd behind them, Spurs are already two places shy of that target.

Should there be another Claret and Blue humiliation for the Cockyfools this weekend, things could get very heated inside White Hart Lane!

Is Burnley's Dyche making Watford look stupid?

Compare the resources and the squads of the two clubs and there should be no contest. Watford have benefited hugely from the Pozzo takeover, mopping up surplus Udinese players and finding the means to pay them, irrespective of the impending Financial Fair Play rules. Quite what happens if Watford don't achieve promotion before the penalties cut in is another matter; but for now, every wasp in the garden is a hornet.

Burnley, on the other hand, are the archetypical "homely" club - smallish gates, smallish ground, smallish club, smallish squad, smallish ambition. It is true that the club has "history" but as I keep telling Leeds fans, history counts for nothing.

So the fact that Dyche has taken Burnley to the top of the division must surely be a cause for some embarrassment down Vicarage Road. The man axed to pave the way for Zola's appointment has done a brilliant job, assembling a decent bunch of players and motivating them to play out of their proverbial skins so far this season.

It makes you wonder what might have happened had Pozzo followed Tammy Wynette's advice and stood by his man. True Dyche does not look the part and does not sound the part either, and probably wouldn't have been able to make himself understood in any conversation that may have taken place with the new owner, but on the evidence of what he has done since joining Burnley, he may well have won promotion with Watford last season.

Personally I expect Burnley to burn out as injuries and tiredness take their toll over a 46 game league season, but Dyche deserves all the accolades for what he has achieved so far this season, with the Clarets sitting above QPR despite losing their best player to the Hula Hoops in the summer. And Zola meanwhile? Well he is doing no better than par by even the most generous assessment of his performance.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Leeds simply must beat Birmingham

It is only mid October but, even this early, the game at home to Birmingham is a must win match. In truth, automatic promotion is already an impossible dream, with a gap of 9 points to the club in third and 12 to the top two. Okay, Burnley may burn out, but your money would then be on either Leicester or Nottingham Forest to join QPR in the top two; and that's before you factor in Watford, Reading and maybe Wigan, once Europe is out of the way.

But the playoffs remain a possibility. Blackpool are average, the younger Ince apart, and Burnley will probably finish closer to eighth in the table than first. So there are still two places to fight for.

Some will argue that it is foolish to make predictions so early in the season but I'm happy to be taken to task if QPR, Forest, Leicester and Watford don't fill four of the top 6 places. So who are the contenders for the other two places?

The Wally with the Brolly may take Derby on a run; Blackpool have points in the bank; Burnley have more; Reading are more than decent by Championship standards; player by player, Blackburn should be strong enough for the top six; with Europe out of the way, you would expect some sort of Wigan charge; and Ipswich have as good a chance as Leeds.

But if Leeds are going to compete, that 6 point gap to sixth place can't grow any wider. The away form isn't great, so the home games simply have to be won, especially against teams that sit even lower than Leeds in the table.

The trouble is, Birmingham aren't as bad as their league position suggests, and even if Leeds dominate possession, there is no guarantee that goals will be scored. The failure to recruit over the international break  has simply focused everybody's minds - even the Yapping Post - on the lack of creativity in the team.

Unfortunately, the Birmingham game is televised so Elland Road is likely to be half empty again. Yorkshiremen aren't going to forgo the KFC Family Bucket for a game that can be watched on the box. And come Sunday afternoon, the gap to sixth and to the top two could be still wider, making the game seem somewhat irrelevant.

McDermott needed to make a loan signing to get the fans on board and, of course, he may yet do so. But so far it is the same old talk of "frustration" and now of "hurt". A win on Sunday could be the perfect balm, but a draw or defeat would pour acid into the already festering wound.

My prediction? 1-1.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Poland robbed by absence of Leeds centre back

So England have done it, qualifying for the World Cup in Brazil with a nail biting victory over Poland. No matter that the clown Szczesny played like Jan Tomaszewski, England were too strong going forward and were water tight at the back. Even Joe Hart couldn't throw this one away!

Polish fans with long enough memories will be rueing the failure of Woy Hodgson to select a Leeds man at the heart of the defence. If only, if only, there was a Norman Hunter to stand on the ball on the touch line, thereby allowing Poland to break away and score.

Mind you, the Poles can't blame Woy. Who in the present Leeds squad could get anywhere near an England team? Well actually that's unfair, half a dozen probably qualify for the Vets team!

Meanwhile, Woy has achieved what the so called "great" Don Revie couldn't achieve. He has guided the England team through to the finals of a major international tournament.

And a decent looking team is suddenly emerging. Whisper it quietly, but if Hart can recover his form, we might do rather well. Assuming Gerrard isn't tempted into a jewellery heist of course!

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Could Robbie Keane be heading back to Leeds?

With the North American Major League Soccer drawing to its October close, Robbie Keane will be kicking his heels for a few months, not knowing what to do with himself. His Premiership days are now well behind him - as his brief loan spell at West Ham proved - but he would still be a lively prospect in the Championship.

His 33 goals in 52 games since his switch to the States prove that he still knows where the net is, and at 33 he would still be regarded as a young chicken in this Neil Warnock recruited squad.

Of course a loan fee and high wage demands may put the mockers on any possible deal, but if GFH Capital have any serious intent whatsoever, this should not be allowed to stand in the way of bringing in the Irishman. Leeds are desperate for somebody who knows where the back of the net is, and Keane has unfinished business at Elland Road.

It may be a long shot, but maybe, just maybe, all those rumours about Leeds signing young Keane are as wide of the mark as a Complete Hunt shot on goal - maybe instead of the young pup Keane, Friar Brian is looking to bring in the old dog namesake instead!

Saturday, 12 October 2013

David Weir to sue West Ham after Sheffield United sacking?

So, another one bites the dust, as yet another Shafting United manager is shown the door because West Ham United signed Carlos Tevez on an illegal Third Party Agreement.

Poor David Weir did everything he could to pull the Blunted Blades out of the relegation zone of the old Third Division, but no matter what players he selected, and no matter what formations he employed, the shadow of Carlos Tevez proved too much.

As one Sheffield United fan complained: "It is as if Tevez is in the starting eleven of every team we face. How else can you explain the way we keep losing to crap teams? I mean, the guy is a genius and wins games on his own, so is it any surprise that even with ten donkeys in the team, opponents in the third tier of English football keep defeating us?"

Weir has not yet commented on how Tevez cost him his job, but Old Big Gob Warnock will no doubt be on the blower soon, recommending legal action. Colin knows Tevez cost him his job and knows that Sheffield United would presently be playing Champions League football if not for West Ham's underhand cheating and the Premier League's failure to take appropriate action because of the way they favour London clubs and because they love Trevor Brooking.

Leeds United Keen To Become Manchester United's Nursery Club

With news breaking that Friar Brian is exploring the possibility of bringing in young Scum striker Will Keane, just a month or so after signing young Scum reject Wootton, the tantalising possibility of Leeds United becoming Manchester United's unofficial nursery club is emerging.

Of course, for this arrangement to work, the Manchester giants would need to be convinced that their young kids would start games - and former Everton boss Moyes will remember how the Yorkshire club couldn't find a starting berth for England international Ross Barkley last season - and would also need to be satisfied that Leeds will remain at the right level to develop their promising talent - which is, of course, the Championship.

The mid table position that Leeds presently occupy is, therefore, ideal. With Leeds seemingly going nowhere, Moyes can send his kids across the Pennines to play in games virtually devoid of pressure in half full stadiums. If they develop, Moyes can bring them back and ease them in to the first team; and if they fail to train on, like Wootton, he can offload them to the off Whites.

Despite the supposed rivalry between the teams, this would, in fact, continue a long standing, but unspoken, relationship, as Leeds have been a feeder club of Manchester United ever since 1978 when Jordan and McQueen made the step up to the Lancashire giants; and this arrangement, of course, was cemented when Cantona was allowed to make the same move, thereby opening the door for the Mancs to dominate the English game for the next two decades and more.

Leeds fans might be a little uncomfortable with the idea but if it provides them with the opportunity of seeing Premiership players in the once famous white shirts, they really shouldn't complain.

Just imagine how wonderful it would be, in future years, to watch an England team featuring Manchester United's Keane, and Everton's Barkley and say, "I saw those guys play at Elland Road in a Leeds shirt." And when Keane fires home the goal that wins the Mancs the Champions League, Leeds fans can share the glory, drinking a toast with the guys in red and white scarves whilst proudly announcing, "It was his time at Elland Road that made him the player he is today!"

And better still, there is the possibility that if Keane turns out to be a dud, Leeds might be allowed to buy him for a million or so pounds.

It's the perfect win win situation!

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Somma Hope For Leeds

Good to see that Davide Somma is closing in on fitness. I'm sure I don't need to say that I am not a Leeds fan, but that doesn't mean I can't feel empathy for a talented footballer whose career has been blighted by injury - unless his name is Keiron Dyer of course!

I haven't seen a lot of Somma, but on the few occasions that I saw him play on the box, he always impressed me. And I was impressed too by Leeds United's decision to let him train on, giving him the hope of a return if he could prove his fitness.

Of course, it would be a huge kick in the teeth for the guy if Friar Brian were now to turn around and tell him to do one, but given the club's desperate need for inspiration, surely Somma will be given a chance to prove himself. And there may just be a fairy story in the making!

So, here's hoping Davide gets a ticket to ride on the Leeds United Feel Good Factor Sleeper Express to the Premiership, Europe, Infinity and Beyond, even if, as seems likely, he is on a pay as you play deal.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Sunderland steal Poyet from under Leeds United's nose

Well that's it then. Even if Leeds throw Friar Brian off the Leeds United Feel Good Factor Sleeper Express to the Premiership, Europe, Infinity and Beyond, they have missed out on the man who they should have appointed, because Gorgeous Gus has moved to Blunderland.

However, all is not lost. Should McDermott be sacked, or choose to walk, Leeds could always appoint the man that Poyet has replaced - Il Duce Di Canio!

The Italian fascist may prefer black shirts to white, but I'm sure he would approve of the club's Ultras - albeit, he would probably frown upon LUST's recent girly response to the nasty singing of the Millwall mongrels. 

All in all, Di Canio could be the perfect antidote for the Nice Guy Brian era, offering a straight arm salute instead of the consoling hug. And you never know, Il Duce might even be able to get the Leeds United Feel Good Factor Sleeper Express to the Premiership, Europe, Infinity and Beyond to run on time!

Monday, 7 October 2013

Leeds United's McDermotts are in this together!

He's losing it! Nineteen games in and Friar Brian isn't just losing matches and points, he's losing his marbles! How else do you explain his sudden assumption of the 'Royal We'?

Listen to him! Apparently, it is "19 games since WE came here" and Leeds had only won one away game in 21 "before WE came" and he gives assurances that "We are not distancing ourselves from the players". This is all very odd. But it gets stranger still when, in the same breath,  Split Personality Brian says, "We had a long conversation afterwards".

Wouldn't it have been great to be a fly on the wall during that conversation? It probably went something like this:

Friar Brian: Well we made a bit of a mess of that again didn't we?
Father Brian: We? Less of the we if you don't mind. You cocked it up, you and the players.
Friar Brian: But we are all in this together.
Father Brian: That's all very well for you to say but who gets the sack if we don't get this right?
Friar Brian: But we have to stay positive. We have to stay together. We have to remember the team ethic.
Father Brian: You can believe in all that bollocks if you like, all I know is that we have to get some results before those bastard fans turn on us.
Friar Brian: We have the players here to succeed.
Father Brian: We need to bring players in on loan.
Friar Brian: We have to understand the financial position of the owners, those jolly nice Arabs.
Father Brian: Do you know anything about Sharia Law?
Friar Brian: Let's not forget what we did at Reading.
Father Brian: When will you stop going on about Reading? Reading counts for nothing now! And the bastards sacked us at Reading too!
Friar Brian: But if we keep smiling, remain positive, show faith in the players...
Father Brian: Screw that.We should have taken that job in Ireland. Hang on, can we apply now or has the position already been filled?

It’s 19 games since we came here
It’s 19 games since we came here

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Leeds slide continues as Wigan defeat Blackburn

Oh dear, another day, another place lower in the table.

Leeds are now one position lower in the Championship than West Ham are in the Premiership, and that doesn't bode too well for all those Whites fans who have marked the Hammers  down as certainties for relegation. In fact, it has been quite a sobering weekend for some, what with Leeds folding 3-1 at Pride Park, 24 hours before West Ham hammered Tottenham 3-0 at White Hart Lane.

Wigan's victory over Blackburn means that the Latics are now level on points with Friar Brian's merry men, with two games in hand. The gap to the top two is already a massive 12 points, and 6th placed Blackpool have a 6 point buffer over McDermott's side. If Nooruddychance rated promoted a "harsh" target last week, he must regard it as bloody impossible now!

Of course, West Ham are not out of the woods yet - far from it - but the world looks a darn site better tonight than it did yesterday.

Tell me, when was the last time Leeds scored three goals in a league game? And when was the last time Leeds scored in the Premiership?

Millwall fan vindicates Leeds United Supporters Trust

So, following on from Millwall fans singing nasty songs in last Saturday's home hammering of lustreless Leeds, the prospects of punishment of the South London mongrels have increased hugely after Bournemouth defender Steve Cook was hit by a coin when celebrating his goal.

Of course, this sort of behaviour is all so typical when Millwall play and, whilst Leeds fans have had their dark days, you could never imagine a coin being thrown at an opposition player.

Let's face it, Yorkshire folk don't chuck money around willy-nilly at the best of times, and should a coin be thrown now, Friar Brian would surely catch it in mid flight, as it seems the only way he will get cash to sign new players under GFH Capital!

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Leeds Robbed at Derby by Referee Eltringham

Well that's just not on is it? The Leeds United Sleeper Feel Good Factor Express to the Premiership, Infinity and Beyond pulled into Derby today, with fans looking forward to ramming the Wally's brolly up his arse before firing the opening mechanism, and instead are making the return trip nursing a deep sense of grievance, cheated out of three points by referee Eltringham.

And the referee's crime? He allowed Derby to keep 11 players on the pitch for the full 90 minutes, which pretty much destroyed any chance Friar Brian's merry men had of picking up a victory. Because, ignoring that narrow win over 10 man Bournemouth, Leeds have now lost seven games out of eight when playing against 11 men.

Meanwhile, the travelling fans were given a glimpse of what being a "big team" in the Championship means. Whilst Leeds are struggling to get gates over 20,000, mid table Derby attracted 26,204 today.

Complete Hunt was goalless again today and withdrawn by his best mate McDermott an hour into the match, new signing Murphy was left parked on the substitute's bench, Wootton didn't even make the first 17 and Smith came on and again didn't score. Chairman Nooruddychance will be wondering why, exactly, Friar Brian was so keen to spend the Arab Bank Built on Sand's meagre resources on players who don't even get 90 minutes playing time.

Still, Leeds fans can now tuck into their KFC Family Buckets for the next two weeks without shelling out to watch this mediocre dross. And a few might well ask why they should bother buying a ticket for the next home game given the Chairman has already dismissed the club's promotion chances.

Bloody hell, things were better under Master Bates and Old Big Gob Warnock!

Poor Hunt Hurtfully Hounded by Hateful Leeds Fans

Poor old Complete Hunt. It's been a hard three months it seems, living apart from his wife, having to go back to a plush hotel room, getting used to the new grass on a new training pitch and a new dressing room in a new stadium and, on top of that, having to cope with the foul abuse directed at him by Leeds fans.

And, of course, we have to sympathise with him. As workers in the National Health Service learn that they will not enjoy a 1% pay rise next year in return for saving lives and suffering face to face abuse from drunken louts in A&E Departments, our hearts go out to a guy earning as much in a week as some NHS staff earn in a year. Dear me, the poor sod has even been forced wide in search of the ball because of the poor supply into the box! It's tough being Complete Hunt, really tough.

The point I'm trying to make is that pressure is what we make it. We all have stress in our lives, we all have to make sacrifices and adjustments. Hunt explains that his house move was delayed a month, forcing him to stay in a hotel longer than planned. He should try being a nurse, unable to afford to buy a home and forced to live in a grotty bedsit.

The article in the Yapping Post, in which Complete explains how tough it has been, will do little to help his cause because his critics will rightfully think, "Grow a pair!". There's only one way of stopping the criticism, and that's to start scoring goals. A real striker would have claimed the ball following that penalty award against Bournemouth and said, "This is mine!" but Complete was happy to allow McCormack to take the McResponsibility and, ironically, to McMiss.

In short, it's time for Complete Hunt to stop feeling sorry for himself and to start delivering. Leeds fans want a hero, they don't want a cry baby!

Friday, 4 October 2013

Has McDermott signed duds for Leeds?

There was a great deal of excitement when Friar Brian was appointed, and he still has a reservoir of good will to call upon - not least because he replaced Old Big Gob - but questions are beginning to be asked about his transfer dealings.

First off, his decision not to recruit loan signings ahead of the crucial Derby game, because of the imminent two week international break, seems like short termism of the very worst form. So what that two weeks' wages will be wasted, surely what matters is for any new recruits to be given time to "bed down" in the Leeds squad. You don't want to bring somebody in on a Thursday and pitch him into the starting 11 on the Saturday, so the break is actually a reason to sign now, rather than later. Unless money is absurdly tight.

Then there are the question marks over the players he has brought in. Murphy was dropped for the win over Bournemouth, and so was Wootton. Smith didn't start and Complete Hunt is still goalless - although to be fair, he did win the penalty against the Cherries.

With money tight, it had to be used wisely in the summer, and the evidence suggests that Friar Brian has frittered it rather than invested it. Maybe, just maybe, his signings could be justified by the "building for the future" argument, but does anybody really believe that messers Wootton, Murphy and Smith have a future in the Prem? It's stretching credibility if we are honest, isn't it?

So, the jury is out on Friar Brian and his band of merry men. Another reverse at Derby will increase the anxiety because Leeds won't have the advantage of an extra man too many times this season, and against eleven, the team has struggled of late.

McDermott was recruited to make a difference, but thus far, results have been no better than under Warnock and his recruits have done little to improve the squad. It is not the start Leeds fans were hoping for!

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Leeds United's Chairman Throws in the Towel!

So what's all that about then? With Leeds fans desperate to rub shoulders with the big boys again, Chairman Nooruddychance has poured cold water on their dreams of promotion this season, saying that "Promotion would be a very harsh target this season".

Quite why exactly is hard to understand. QPR apart, the teams in the top half of the table are much of a muchness. Sure Leeds lack firepower up front, but that apart, player for player, they are every bit as strong, or mediocre, as the likes of Leicester, Forest and company. As for Burnley, well despite the result at Elland Road, I would take Friar Brian's squad over the Clarets' squad every day of the week.

That's what doesn't make sense. Last season Leeds proved that, on their day, they can compete with the best - as the results against Tottenham and Everton showed - yet there is a crippling lack of ambition at Boardroom level, even when "new investment" is supposedly on the horizon.

Talk of "the long term" and about the "stability of the club" and the "harmony of the club" are all very well but Leeds fans do not want to hear Nooruddychance talking about "achieving promotion eventually" even when he hastily qualifies that with "in the near future".

If the Chairman is writing off the here and now, why should the fans pay good money to see games in the here and now exactly? And if the players read that their Chairman doesn't rate them as good enough to push for promotion, why should they strain every sinew to drag the club into the top six? If your boss expects mediocrity, then mediocrity is all you are going to give him!

The talk is ridiculously defeatist. Yes Leeds need a striker and a winger. Fine. Go out and get them! Tottenham's Kane might be a realistic target if Becchio is unavailable. What about Villa's Albrighton? Or Cardiff's Maynard? There are players out there with little or no prospect of playing Premiership football, and it is down to Leeds to gamble on them. They may fail, but they can't succeed in a Leeds shirt if they are not given the chance to wear one!

Talk of a medium and long term strategy is all very well, but some Leeds fans will not be on this planet in 12 months time, and after a lifetime supporting the club, they at least deserve to have hope that they might again see Leeds in the Prem. The gap to sixth place is just 5 points. Is it really so harsh to expect Leeds to close that gap and win through to the Prem via the end of season playoff lottery? It bloody well shouldn't be!

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Resurgent Leeds Throw Down Marker to Promotion Rivals

Well that was much more like it! The Leeds United Feel Good Factor Express to the Premiership, Europe, Infinity and Beyond is well and truly back on track after an epic victory over the Super Cherries.  And all credit is due to Friar Brian and his band of merry men.

After a string of spirit crushing defeats, who would have been surprised had McDermott's team arrived on the pitch with the hang dog look of condemned men? Even Brian, nice guy though he is, lost his rag after the Millwall game and expressed fears about the away day trippers disembarking from the Feel Good Factor Express and turning on the team.

But Friar Brian retained his faith and preached the good word to his flock on the long journey back from London. Do not despair! Have faith in your Lord! Do it for the Pilgrims!

And what a performance! Had not McCormack missed that McPenalty, Leeds would have scored three goals in a league game for the first time since...well there's a challenge for all you readers to find the answer to!

And what spirit to find a winner after Bournemouth stole that equaliser with so little of the game remaining! How many teams would have stood tall after that punch in the solar plexus?

And better still, Poleon scored the winner and young Mowatt was the star of the show!

There will be no looking back now! The Feel Good Factor Express is tooting its whistle, Friar Brian is offering benedictions all round, and the Chairman has promised cash for squad strengthening. And all that, on the back of beating 10 man Bournemouth by the odd goal in three!