This is the Leeds United Louth Branch website edited by Gerry Cunningham – Always Leeds always loyal. 

We will be taking in the Blackpool game on November 8th as our Club trip, travelling over most probably on Friday morning, Nov 7th and back on Saturday night (one night stay). Please let me know by Monday September 1st if you are interested in travelling. All flights will be booked by this date. Scroll down for the latest news.


Hockbadday Cellinoglasses



So far 17 first team players have GONE:  (G) Ashdown,  Kenny,  Pugh, Drury, Zaliukas, Peltier, Lees, Turner twins, (M) Stewart, Ariyibi, Green, Lenighan, Brown (F) McCormack, Diouf, Varney. Replacements In 15 plus 4 others considered from LUFC system (G) Silvestri, Taylor (D) Bernardi, Liam Cooper, Giuseppe Bellusci,  Dario del Fabro Kilcock  (M) Bianchi, Benedicic, Casper Sloth, Adryan, Cooke, Dawson  (F) Doukara. Morison, Nicky Ajose, Billy Sharp, Mirco Antenucci, Brian Montenegro. These are the eleven arrivals plus The Hock : (oh The Hock is gone !)



Kurtic turned down Leeds for Fiorentina


Smith was this his last goal for Leeds ?

Mon Sept 1st. Brian Montenegro’s season-long loan to Leeds United from Nacional confirmed. #lufc


Montenegro was a disaster with West Ham, but can he be fruitful in the Championship with LUFC

Mon September 1st. Kurtic turns down United for FiorentinaSassuolo midfielder Jasmin Kurtic claims he turned down a move to Leeds United in favour of joining Fiorentina on loan. The 25-year-old, who signed from Palermo in 2013, is reported to have been a long-term target for Fiorentina but Leeds were also said to be keen on securing his services. Kurtic, a Slovenia international, spent the second half of last season on loan at Serie A rivals Torino and has now moved to Florence with a view to a permanent deal. “Leeds United really wanted me but I couldn’t say no to Fiorentina,” he told Ekipa 24. “I know it will be hard to get in the first 11 but I’m ready to work hard. I cannot hide my joy after signing with Fiorentina.” Sassuolo sporting director Nereo Bonato told “Until a few hours ago we were waiting for a practical move by Fiorentina, who have always shown an interest but never made the decisive step. “Now he has arrived. We came to an agreement, we do not have the exact figures yet but there we are.” Leeds have already added 14 new faces to their squad this summer, including eight from Italian football

Mon Sept 1st. Smith to Fulham ? Leeds United are in talks with Fulham over a deal to sell striker Matt Smith, the YEP understands. Fulham have approached United about the 25-year-old forward just two weeks after Smith signed a new three-year contract at Elland Road. Smith committed his future to Leeds on the back of a bid for him from Millwall but Leeds have signed a number of new strikers and Smith has started only one league game this season. A source has told the YEP that the likelihood of Smith moving to Craven Cottage is “50-50” following discussions this morning. A transfer to London would reunite Smith with ex-Leeds captain Ross McCormack who joined Fulham in a £10.75m deal in July.

Monday Sep 1st New coach to be named within 24 hours – Phil Hay YP Leeds United could decide on a new head coach in the next 24 hours after a weekend of intense activity at Elland Road. Owner Massimo Cellino has spent the past two days considering candidates for the job and is looking to appoint a replacement for David Hockaday before he travels to the USA this week. The Italian, who is understood to have a clear first-choice in mind, has spoken to former West Bromwich Albion coach Steve Clarke, and yesterday afternoon saw a run of bets on Preston North End boss Simon Grayson returning to a club he managed between 2009 and 2012. It is understood that United have been made aware of Grayson’s interest in the vacancy but Cellino is in touch with other options and is thought to prefer a specific alternative to the 44-year-old. rayson, who began his playing career at Leeds, took charge of 169 competitive matches as United’s manager and ended the club’s three-year stay in League One with automatic promotion in 2010. He has been in charge of Preston since February of last year and took the Lancashire side to the League One play-offs last season. Clarke, in contrast, is out of work after being sacked as West Brom’s head coach in December. Contact with him was made within hours of Cellino dismissing Hockaday on Thursday after just 70 days in the job. Clarke was said to have been receptive to United’s initial approach but sources close to him are indicating he is unlikely to rush into accepting the post at Elland Road. The former Chelsea and Liverpool assistant is likely to be a leading candidate for the job at Fulham if Fulham decide to end Felix McGath’s troubled reign at Craven Cottage. Ex-Brighton head coach Oscar Garcia, meanwhile, is being viewed as a viable possibility after he quit his post as Maccabi Tel Aviv coach last week due to the political instability in Israel. Garcia took Brighton to the Championship play-offs in May but left the Amex Stadium in the wake of Albion’s failure to win promotion amid suggestions that he was unhappy with the budget on offer to him. Hockaday’s sacking left United academy manager Neil Redfearn in control of the first-team squad for Saturday’s clash with Bolton, a game which Leeds won 1-0, but the former Barnsley striker is highly unlikely to be offered the full-time post. In a message to Leeds’ supporters on Saturday, Cellino admitted to a “mistake” in naming little-known Hockaday as head coach in June but warned that his replacement might not be a “big name”. “I will select a head coach that I believe can help the club and the supporters must realise that it may not be a ‘big name’,” Cellino said.It will be a coach who I believe is best-placed to succeed at Leeds United. I may make other mistakes but if I do, I will be big enough to own up to them like I have with David and Junior (Lewis, Hockaday’s assistant).” Cellino, who lived in Miami before he bought Leeds and moved to Yorkshire this summer, is due to fly to America for a short period after the FIFA transfer window closes at 11pm tonight.


Oscar Garcia (the smart money may just be on him right now) He is a foreign coach, knows the Championship and is available, plus understands Italian

Óscar García Junyent (born 26 April 1973), simply known as Óscar, is a Spanish retired footballer. As a player he was a versatile offensive option, able to play as an attacking midfielder or a second striker. He played most of his 14-year professional career with Barcelona, with relative impact, appearing for four other clubs. Currently he’s unemployed, after resigning from Israeli club Maccabi Tel Aviv F.C..[1] In La Liga Óscar amassed totals of 169 games and 31 goals over the course of 12 seasons, also representing Espanyol (four seasons), Albacete, Lleida and Valencia (one apiece Playing career[edit]

Born in Sabadell, Barcelona, Catalonia, Óscar made his professional debut with FC Barcelona, his local team. Between 1992 and 1994 he played in five La Liga matches for Barça who were champions each year and, after a loan at fellow top division Albacete Balompié, he returned and was often used (with good results) in a variety of offensive roles: during the 1995–96 season he scored 10 league goals, the most in the squad, even though he only started 11 of his 28 appearances;[2] Barcelona came out empty in silverware, however. With his role gradually diminishing, Óscar joined Valencia CF for one season, finishing off with Barça neighbours RCD Espanyol (teaming up again with brother Roger, for three seasons) and UE Lleida and retiring in June 2005 at the age of 32. On 7 January 2001, whilst playing for the second club against CD Numancia, he was taken to hospital after swallowing his tongue;[3] in the following summer, he nearly signed for West Ham United, but an eventual deal fell through after a one week’s trial and he returned to Espanyol,[4] with whom he never scored more than one goal per season, during four years. For Spain, Óscar appeared for the nation at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, netting twice for the eventual quarterfinalists.

Coaching career[edit]

In late 2009 Óscar joined former Barcelona coach Johan Cruyff‘s coaching staff in the Catalonia national team, as the Dutch had just been appointed.[5] On 22 May 2012 he had his first head coach appointment, signing a two-year contract with Israeli team Maccabi Tel Aviv FC.[6] Exactly one year later, after leading the club to the national championship after a ten-year drought,[7] he resigned from his post, citing personal reasons.[8] On 26 June 2013, Óscar was unveiled as the new head coach of Football League Championship club Brighton & Hove Albion.[9] His first win came on 17 August, 1–0 at Birmingham City.[10] On 12 May 2014, following Brighton’s play off semi-final defeat to Derby County, García’s offer of resignation was accepted by the club’s board. The Seagulls had finished sixth in the league table.[11]

On June 2nd 2014 he signed a two year contract with Maccabi Tel Aviv FC, but left the club[12] on August 26th due to the political tension.

Honours Player[edit] Club[edit]

Barcelona UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup: 1996–97

UEFA Super Cup: 1992, 1997

La Liga: 1992–93, 1993–94, 1997–98, 1998–99

Copa del Rey: 1996–97, 1997–98

Supercopa de España: 1992, 1996

Valencia Supercopa de España: 1999


Spain U-21 UEFA European Under-21 Championship: Runner-up 1996;[13] Third-place 1994

Manager[edit] Maccabi Tel Aviv Israeli Premier League: 2012–13


Del Fabro a central defender at 19 looks to be one for the future and joins on a season long loan from Cagliari

Sunday Aug 31st. 2014. Del Fabro becomes signing number 14 Leeds United can now confirm the loan signing of Dario Del Fabro from Cagliari, subject to international clearance. The 19-year-old defender will join United for the 2014/15 season and the move includes the option to make the signing permanent should the spell be successful. Del Fabro is a centre-back that has plenty of international experience at youth level, following appearances for the Italian Under-15s Juventus FC v Cagliari Calcio - TIM Cup through to being a current Under-19. The defender also scored his first international goal in 2013. The promising young defender is United’s 14th signing of the summer. Who is is Dario Del Fabro ? (Born 24 March 1995) (aged 19 and is a central defender) is an Italian footballer who plays for English Championship club Leeds United on loan from Serie A side Cagliari. He plays as central defender. He is a current Italy under-19s international. Born in Alghero. Del Fabro started his career at Cagliari after being spotted by the head of the academy Gianfranco Matteoli. He made his debut in the Coppa Italia on 5 November 2012 against Delfino Pescara 1936. He played the full 90 minutes. He made his Serie A league debut on 21 December 2012 against Juventus. He came on for Marco Sau in the 67th minute. On 3 August 2014, Del Fabro joined Serie B side Pescara on a season-long loan. The move was later terminated so that he could join Leeds United instead.[1] On 31 August, he signed for former Cagliari owner Massimo Cellino at Leeds United on a season-long loan with the option of a permanent move.[2] In 2010, Del Fabro was capped by Italy under-16s where he captained the side, before graduating in 2011 to Italy under-17, and then on to Italy under-18s in 2012. In 2013, Del Fabro made his debut for Italy under-19s and scored his first goal in the Azzuri shirt. He is 6 Feet 0 Inches 2012– Cagliari 6 (0)

Sun 31st of Aug. Grayson in the frame – Football League World  Simon Grayson is the new bookmakers favourite to be the new Leeds United manager. Grayson is the favourite for the Leeds job. The 44-year-old currently manages Sky Bet League One side Preston North End, however he has now emerged as the favourite to land the top job at Leeds United.. Leeds’ Italian owner Massimo Cellino sacked Dave Hockaday last week, after only six games in charge of the Yorkshire club. Cellino is now on the hunt for a new manager to take the helm at Elland Road, and Grayson is among others touted for the job.Former West Bromwich Albion manager Steve Clarke is interested in the job, as reported on Football League World yesterday. I would love it to be the case but I can’t see it happening. Phil Hay tweeted that he is very interested in returning to Elland Road but is well down in Cellino’s list, and that’s the only list that counts. Hay also tweeted that “Clarke and Cellino have spoken but it’s not clear if Clarke is his first choice. Lot’s going on in the background”. “One person not to discount is Oscar Garcia (formerly Brighton) who Cellino is said to be keen on but is said to be in talks with Watford”.

Sat Aug 30th. Del Fabro next for Whites after Adryan arrival Leeds United have tonight confirmed the signing of Brazilian midfielder Adryan – and are now on the verge of adding Italian defender Dario Del Fabro to their squad. Adryan’s season-long loan from Flamengo was announced shortly after today’s 1-0 win over Bolton and a deal to bring Del Fabro to Leeds looks set to be finalised tomorrow afternoon. Del Fabro, 19, is an Italian Under-19 international who has been at Cagliari – the club formerly owned by United president Massimo Cellino – for the past two seasons. Leeds appear have reached an agreement to take the young centre-back on loan for the rest of the 2014-15 term, and the transfer will give the Elland Road club an option to sign him on a permanent basis next summer. United are also in the process of putting the finishing touches to the transfer of forward Brian Montenegro from Nacional in Paraguay and expect to confirm his arrival on loan before the FIFA transfer window closes at 11pm on Monday night. Adryan, meanwhile, has become Leeds’ 13th summer signing after a patient pursuit of the Brazil Under-20 international. The 20-year-old was six months into an 18-month loan at Cagliari but Cellino convinced Cagliari to send him back to Flamengo early and allow Adryan to come to England. Adryan is awaiting international clearance but will be available to make his Leeds debut when United travel to Birmingham City after the international break. Like all of the loan deals agreed by Cellino this summer, United have the right to buy Adryan for a fee of around £3m at the end of the season.


Adryan has been arguably our most talked about deal of the summer. The number “10” is highly thought of by Cellino. Let’s hope he is the player who provides the ammunition to our front two

Sat Aug 30th. United confirm signing of Brazilian starlet Adryan United can now confirm the loan signing of Adryan Oliveira Tavares from Brazilian side Flemengo, subject to international clearance. The deal to bring Adryan to Elland Road also includes the option to make his move permanent should he have a successful loan spell with the club. The 20-year-old is a current Brazil Under-20 international and has been involved in the national set-up since Under-15 level. The young attacking midfielder came through the youth ranks at Flemengo in Rio de Janeiro and debuted for their senior side in July 2012. In January of this year the promising young Brazilian joined Cagliari on an 18-month loan deal. But a thigh injury limited his appearances at the Italian side. Adryan’s time at Cagliari has now been cut short and the 20-year-old will become United’s 13th signing of the summer. Due to the timing of his arrival at Elland Road Adryan was not be available to play in the club’s Sky Bet Championship match with Bolton on Saturday.

leeds stephen warnock celebrates hIs goal

Warnock celebrates the winner


Antennuci ran his socks off up front with Billy Sharp


Lewis Cook was the outstanding player outfield for Leeds proving the the old maxim if you are good enough you are old enough. This kid is something special and Redfearn was right to throw him in.

Sat Aug 30th. UNITED 1 (Warnock 17), BOLTON 0. United: Silvestri, Wootton, Pearce, Bellusci, Warnock (C Taylor 55), Cook, Mowatt, Bianchi, Sloth (Benedicic 78), Sharp, Antenucci. Subs. S Taylor, Cooper, Dawson, Tonge, Smith. Booked: Wootton, Pearce (Leeds). Att: 21,901 Report LUFC website Following the departure of David Hockaday on Thursday it was Neil Redfearn that was in caretaker charge of the United first team on Saturday for the visit of Bolton Wanderers. Redfearn made a number of changes to his side and gave Alex Mowatt his first appearance of the season. Also, Lewis Cook was named from the start and there was home debuts for Giuseppe Bellusci and Mirco Antenucci. And, Danish international Casper Sloth made his United debut. United started the game well and played the more adventurous football. There was very little in the way of chances during the opening 10 minutes but United were playing bright and penetrating football. The midfield foursome of Tommaso Bianchi, Mowatt, Cook and Sloth controlled the game during the opening quarter-hour. But, against the run of play in the 12th minute, the away side had the meaningful opportunity of the match. Joe Mason was played through on goal with a killer through-ball but Marco Silvestri made a great save and tipped his strike onto his crossbar. Following Mason’s effort United regained control of the game and were rewarded in the 17th minute when Stephen Warnock struck. The full-back was played through high up the pitch and his low drive beat Adam Bogdan and sweetly nestled in the back of the net. United’s opener was just rewards for a bright start to the match and after the goal the away side didn’t really caused United’s back line too many problems. With five minutes of the half remaining the game sparked into life with a flurry of opportunities. Cook, who had an outstanding first 45 minutes, pulled the strings for United’s attack on 40 minutes when Mowatt collected the ball on the edge of the box but his strike was just too high. Then, once again against the run of play, Mason showed pace and determination to break forward, but his shot was straight into the grateful hands of Silvestri. The former Cardiff City striker had a further chance but the interval but Silvestri once again thwarted the forward. Billy Sharp also threatened before the break when he showed great movement to open up the space to shoot but his effort went over the crossbar. Both sides came out unchanged from half-time and Bolton were the first to threaten early on in the second half as Craig Davies was unable to find the target. United were then forced into their first change of the afternoon on 55 minutes as the goalscorer, Warnock, limped off to be replaced by Charlie Taylor after coming off worse in a strong challenge with Hayden White. Bolton continued to press in search of an equaliser and Silvestri was forced into action once again as he kept out Jay Spearing’s strike from range before thwarting Mason on the rebound. United were having to defend in numbers to stem the tide as Dougie Freedman urged his men forward, but Cook’s pin-point ball over the top for Sharp almost created an opening, only for Sharp’s slightly heavy touch to take the ball into Bodgan’s arms. Redfearn’s side were standing firm as Silvestri was once again alert to keep out Lee Chung-yong’s 20-yard strike before the following corner was scrambled clear. United were still looking a threat on the break and they almost caught Bolton out with a swift counter-attack, only for Bianchi’s low cross to be cut out inside the area. Mason then fired over from range before Silvestri was equal to a Neil Danns free-kick. United debutant Sloth left the field to a standing ovation as he made way for Zan Benedicic with 12 minutes remaining, while Jermaine Beckford also received a similar reception from the Elland Road crowd as he replaced Davies for the visitors. A tense final 10 minutes remained and both sides took turn to have efforts on goal. Beckford, who had saluted the home fans just moments earlier, lashed a strike wide after skipping past two United defenders, while Antenucci’s movement was continuing to cause Bolton problems and his curling effort just evaded Bodgan’s far post. Five minutes of stoppage time were added on and a frantic finale ensued as Bolton threw everyone forward in search of a dramatic late equaliser. Former Liverpool midfielder Jay Spearing fired wide from outside the box before Silvestri clutched onto a searching Liam Feeney cross. Bolton’s golden opportunity to leave West Yorkshire with a point fell to Beckford inside the area but, yet again, Silvestri was on hand to preserve his clean sheet with a superb reflex save to keep out the striker’s downward header before pouncing on the loose ball. A final attack saw Bolton send Bogdan forward for a free-kick but the United defence held tight to secure a much-needed three points ahead the international break. Neil Redfearn talking to Eddie Gray after the game “I thought Lewis Cook was the best player on the pitch by a mile (bar the goalkeeper). He has a half a yard of pace also which takes him past players. He is such a level headed kid too. We had energy up front. It don’t half make a difference.(Re the top job) I’ve not really put it in my head. I said I’d look after it for him. These kids are just the tip of the iceberg I’m a servant of the club. I remember you (Eddie Gray) putting young lads out, John Sheridan and the like,  and players like that. If they’re good enough they’re old enough”. Dougie Freedman : We’re scratching our heads as to how we didn’t win the game. “They’ve had one moment and one mistake has cost us a goal. “We rallied and gave it a real good go after that. The statistics will show you that we were the better side and created a number of opportunities, but unfortunately we couldn’t get the goal. “Our finishing in the final third should have been better today. “We saw Leeds throwing everything into defending their goal, and I feel that was maybe the difference today. “We’ve been very close in games and have been playing well. “Today’s game shows you that if we stop making mistakes at the back, we’ve got a group of players going forward that will create enough to win games. “After the international break, we’ve now got to be looking to win two or three games on the bounce. “I understand the frustration and I’m frustrated too. But, I see enough out there to know that we’ll soon turn the corner.”


He promises “no big names” but he is under huge pressure to deliver the right appointment after making a balls of the last one. Steve Clarke would be the popular choice but when did Cellino ever crave popularity ?

Cellino : “Don’t expect big name boss” Leeds president Massimo Cellino has told the club’s fans not to expect a “big name” replacement for sacked head coach David Hockaday. Cellino fired Hockaday and his assistant Junior Lewis on Thursday following Leeds’ Capital One Cup exit at the hands of local rivals Bradford. The 58-year-old Italian has confirmed he gave the pair a stay of execution as he initially wanted to sack them after last weekend’s defeat at Watford. Academy manager Neil Redfearn will take charge for Saturday’s home game against Bolton. “The decision I made had to be the best one for Leeds United and recent performances and results meant I had no option but to change things,” Cellino said in a written statement. “As I said in the club’s media statement on Thursday evening I made the wrong decision last week to retain the services of the head coach and his assistant.”It is true that I seriously thought about ending their contracts after the defeat at Watford but I wanted to be fair and give them one more chance. After the cup game at Bradford I knew that I had to act and I did. “We have to face our mistakes when we make them and I have done that. “I want what is best for Leeds United and while I’m at the club I will always do my best. “I will also select a new head coach that I believe can help the club and the supporters must realise it may not be a ‘big name’. “It will be a coach who I believe is best placed to succeed at Leeds United. “I may make other mistakes but if I do I will be big enough to own up to them like I have with David and Junior. “But I promise that I will always have Leeds United at heart and will do my very best to make the club successful no matter how long it takes. “We have to realise though that it will be a hard job to get the club back to where we want it to be, but together we will do that. “Now, let us join together and support the team and Neil Redfearn.” Cellino, known in Italy as the “manager eater”, sacked 36 coaches during his 20-year spell as Cagliari owner. He attempted to sack former Leeds manager Brian McDermott during his takeover process at Elland Road in January before the pair parted company at the end of May. Hockaday, 56, a shock appointment by the Italian on June 19 and who listed Forest Green as his only previous managerial experience, lost four of his six games in charge of Leeds. Former West Brom manager Steve Clarke is understood to be interested in succeeding Hockaday. The 51-year-old former Chelsea and Liverpool defender is keen to get back into management after being sacked by West Brom in December last year


Steve Clarke would be an excellent choice and the right choice – but let him manage and coach

Sat 30th of August. Coach Clarke is interested in Leeds United job Steve Clarke is interested in becoming Leeds United’s next head coach, the YEP understands. The former West Bromwich Albion boss – a leading candidate to replace David Hockaday – is emerging as an increasingly attractive option for Massimo Cellino as the United owner looks to appoint Hockaday’s replacement before the end of the international break. Clarke and Leeds are believed to have had initial dialogue since Hockaday’s sacking on Thursday and the 51-year-old is looking for a return to coaching nine months after leaving his job at the Hawthorns. He was considered for the manager’s post at Crystal Palace last week – a job which eventually went to ex-Leeds boss Neil Warnock – but sources close to Clarke say he is open to the idea of working in the Championship and operating alongside Cellino. The former Liverpool and Chelsea assistant would come at a far higher cost than Hockaday and would insist on the appointment of Kevin Keen as his number two having used Keen as part of his backroom team during 18 months in charge of West Brom. Cellino has indicated that he wants another British coach – or a coach who has worked at a high level of the English game – to take over at Elland Road, despite the failure of his experiment with Hockaday. The Italian plucked Hockaday from obscurity in June, naming him as Brian McDermott’s successor a week before the start of pre-season, but Hockaday survived for just 70 days and six competitive games before losing his job after Wednesday’s League Cup defeat to Bradford City. Neil Redfearn, United’s academy manager, has been given caretaker charge of the first-team squad for the third time in two-and-a-half years but he is not thought to be in the running for the permanent post. Leeds have a two-week break after today’s clash with Bolton Wanderers and Cellino will push to finalise the selection of a new head coach before their Championship season resumes away at Birmingham City on September 13. In an outspoken attack on Cellino, former United midfielder Johnny Giles warned on Thursday that the club would struggle to attract proven coaches due to the 58-year-old’s influence and methods. Speaking to Irish radio station Newstalk, Giles said: “I don’t think anybody would be a good choice. This fella (Cellino) is a headbanger. “I think he only employed that coach (Hockaday) so he was a frontman – so he could pick the team and bring the players in that he wanted. I think Hockaday had no say in it whatsoever and anybody that goes to Leeds would be mad to take the job. “I’d say that any of the managers who are worth their salt wouldn’t touch that job. What the fella should do is make himself manager and do the job because that’s what he’s trying to do anyway.” Cellino is due to travel to the USA for a few days after the summer transfer window closes on Monday night. Leeds are in the process of tying up the signings of Flamengo midfielder Adryan and Nacional striker Brian Montenegro, both of whom are set to join United on season-long loans with a view to permanent moves next summer.

Sat 30th of August Cellino would have Hock back one day Leeds owner Massimo Cellino insists he would like to have sacked boss Dave Hockaday back at Elland Road one day. The former Forest Green boss was the shock choice to replace Brian McDermott in the Leeds hot-seat in the summer.However the 56-year-old lasted just six games in charge of the Championship club, departing after the 2-1 League Cup defeat by West Yorkshire rivals Bradford on Wednesday. “In the future, when I have a stronger team, I would like him to come back to Leeds.” Cellino, who had intended to sack Hockaday after the 4-1 defeat by Watford the game before but gave him a stay of execution, told The Sun: “I felt sorry for him and had to give him tranquillity. “After the game on Wednesday, I found him in real trouble. It was hell for him. He was under big pressure. I had to do something. “He is a very nice man – probably too nice. “In the future, when I have a stronger team, I would like him to come back to Leeds.” He admitted the environment was not right at Elland Road for Hockaday at present, adding: “I don’t think it was a fair chance for Hockaday. “He needed an environment that was ready to protect him. The team isn’t strong enough, the whole culture isn’t right. “It’s easier to coach Real Madrid than Leeds at the moment.”

Sat August 30th. A raft ofchanges but same old Leeds United – Phil Hay. Chief football writer Phil Hay looks at five key things we’ve learned about Leeds United in the first month of the new skybet championship season. English football won’t change Cellino. He says he needs to learn about the game in this country – and also the players – but the Cagliari mindset is ingrained in Cellino. Five months at Leeds United have made no difference to his traits or his methods. In Sardinia they recognise him as the same man who ran Cagliari for 22 years: the tub-thumping, the unpredictability, the outright dominance of everything. Cellino proved on Thursday that his penchant for sacking coaches is neither mythical nor exaggerated. The top job at Elland Road will always be precarious while he pays the salary. His preferences can be matched with those seen at Cagliari too – an inexpensive coach who knows his place and holds no great profile; signings taken from Italy and South America, two markets United sporting director Nicola Salerno knows well. The transfers themselves have a familiar feel. In Italy, Cellino developed a habit of signing players on loan while negotiating the terms of a permanent move further down the line. Adryan joined Cagliari on those terms in January. Whether it makes complicated deals possible or simply delays full payment until a later date, Cellino likes that arrangement. In England he merely needs to avoid breaching the Football League’s rules on loans. Beyond his business practices, he has shown himself to be outspoken in a way which makes Ken Bates look like a diplomat. Cellino’s experience of life in the English media bubble hasn’t deterred him from confessing to a plan to sack David Hockaday before it came to pass, or from singling out individual players for “s**t mistakes” and “f*** ups”. He will criticise tactics and he will influence the football. He’ll do what he wants when he wants. At an executive-free club, there is no-one to keep him in line except Cellino himself. “I have to control my ego,” he said on Sunday. If you like his style, you’ll enjoy much more of it. If you don’t, it’s best to accept that Cellino is set in his ways – and hope that those ways work. With no public support, David Hockaday was always doomed. Managers usually meet their end after a loss of patience on the terraces. The crowd did not chase Simon Grayson out of Leeds but when his time came he went without protest. Neil Warnock’s star dipped after seven or eight months, at which point abuse of him became rife. And Brian McDermott got the silent treatment – a swathe of supporters who declined to butcher him but were nonetheless disillusioned with so much that happened last season. However harsh their dismissals were, all three were flavour-of-the-month of a while. With Hockaday, the vitriol towards him was almost unprecedented in terms of the time it took to spew out. There were chants against him at Watford last Saturday and again at Bradford on Wednesday. He lost the hardcore before he even started. Coaching Leeds is difficult enough when the going is good. The job is worse than impossible when a head coach is abandoned after three leagues games. You felt for Hockaday, you really did, but the combination of laboured performances and an awkward atmosphere posed a very stark question – how could it ever work? Even Dennis Wise got a few weeks of peace. A lack of pace is United’s biggest weakness. Players with exceptional skill stand out in the Championship but one thing that separates a strong side from a weak side is pace at the front end of a team. Watford have it and so do Brighton. Even Millwall got a bit of change out of Martyn Woolford and Magaye Gueye. The phrase ‘one-paced’ has been used to describe Leeds this season and it’s a fair analysis of the line-ups fielded by Hockaday. There was no issue with their effort or their fitness and there is no need for Leeds to have the best 11 players in the league, but pace creates a threat and pace gives you width. As ex-professionals say, possession is one thing. Positive possession is another. Cellino loves a striker. Twelve signings so far in this window and 14 if Adryan and the geographically-named Brian Montenegro (real name Brian Guillermo Montenegro Martinez) join Leeds before 11pm on Monday. The breakdown of the transfers is as follows: two goalkeepers, three defenders, four midfielders and five forwards. The spread of goals at Leeds was poor last season and the sale of Ross McCormack threatened to make it worse but United have packed their forward line like no other area of their team. Added to a squad that already contained Steve Morison, Matt Smith, Noel Hunt and Dominic Poleon, the club have no fewer than nine forwards available – and 10 when Lewis Walters returns from knee surgery. Time for a few of them to go. The Championship is going to be as ridiculous as ever. Fulham bottom. All perfect records gone after three games. The first managerial sacking on the opening weekend and Nottingham Forest top of the league despite a bit of in-fighting. Chelsea are 7/5 to win the Premier League. No club in the Championship are shorter than 13/2 for the title. You really can’t make it up.


Former Baggies boss appeals to United owner Cellino but not before he tries to offer the job to former Leeds coach Gibbs

For now, the plan at Elland Road is to go British again. The failure of David Hockaday’s time as Leeds United head coach has not dissuaded Massimo Cellino from looking for a domestic replacement – or not yet, anyway

Cellino is understood to like Steve Clarke and thinks the former West Bromwich Albion manager would tick a lot of boxes. He would also command a far bigger salary, be less subservient than Hockaday and look for Kevin Keen to work as his assistant too. But in considering Clarke, United’s owner is in the right ballpark.

He also admires Gianfranco Zola and is said to see the Italian as something close to the perfect option. Zola is not British but all of his experience as a coach was gained in the English leagues. He played for Cellino at Cagliari and was an integral member of the squad who won promotion to Serie A in 2004 but their relationship broke down some time ago and Zola’s agent made it clear during the summer that a job at Leeds – and employment under Cellino – was not for him.

There are options aplenty for Cellino and the hunt for Hockaday’s successor is an open field in which most bets are off. The process is likely to pick up next week once the club enter the first international break of the season. It would help Leeds if their search for a new head coach was targeted and orderly; but to judge by a remarkable occurrence last weekend, you have to wonder.

In the hours after United’s defeat at Watford, Hockaday was as good as sacked – even though Cellino later changed his mind and delayed the dismissal for another five days.

On Saturday night, the YEP understands that Cellino phoned Nigel Gibbs, of all people, to ask him to take up the job as head coach full-time.

Gibbs, left, was assistant manager at Leeds from April 2013 onwards and someone Cellino rated. Last month Gibbs resigned from his job and began legal proceedings against the club, claiming constructive dismissal after a summer in which he was effectively left without a specified role.

In a statement issued shortly after his departure, Gibbs said: “I have terminated my employment with Leeds United in response to the way I have been treated by the club, which amounts to a breach of contract. “I have put the matter in the hands of my legal advisors and in those circumstances it is inappropriate for me to make any further comment.”

Cellino, right, responded by saying that Gibbs wanted to the leave Elland Road but had asked for too much money to settle his contract. He also accused Gibbs of refusing to work for Hockaday. Despite the conflict, the two men spoke at length on Saturday but Gibbs appears to have rejected the invitation to return. Cellino then decided to sit tight and leave Hockaday in charge for one more game, away to Bradford City. Gibbs was unavailable for comment and the legal case between him and Leeds continues.

Friday August 29th. Now, Massimo, the Hock is gone so time for you learn from your mistake I’m not going to say I told you so, but the dogs in the street knew that Dave Hockaday was going to be a disaster for Leeds United.  I wrote back on May 30th : ” Surely Cellino is taking the piss here. No way can he be serious re these press leaks about Dave Hockaday and the Leeds job ” Sadly he was serious.  Unfortunately Massimo Cellino gave him no chance either with his drip feed of signings, some of which will never be good enough to adorn the shirt of Leeds United. The only good thing is that Cellino has acted now. He knows he fucked up, and there is two weeks now to get the right candidate in to manage our club, not his club but our club. If he wants to sign the players, Johnny Giles is correct, let him coach the team and manage it himself. He knows fuck all about Championship football and if he proceeds down this route Leeds United will be in League One next season. Unless the correct candidate is chosen, let manage the team and have a huge input into the players he wants to arrive into the football club Leeds United are going absolutely nowhere except down the tubes. We all know that Tony Pullis if backed would get us out of this division in a heartbeat. We equally all know that Tony Pullis would never work for Cellino in a million years. So who in their right minds would or will ? The Hockaday experiment has failed miserably.  If Cellino hasn’t learned that by now he is no better than GFH or Bates, just a hands on control freak version of the two combined in one. Who we buy in the next few days but ultimately who we choose as coach/manager will determine where this football club is going. If it’s another yes man Elland Road will be getting crowds of 10,000 before Christmas, and witnessing League One football next year. So Massimo, pull in your ego and let the new manager manage and you can do everything else ! Comprende ? Ciao.

Hockaday PC

Was it really only 70 days ago that the melon was appointed ?

Friday August 29th. Leeds United: David Hockaday the wrong ‘watermelon’ – Adam Pope Friday, 20 June, 2014: “Coaches are like watermelons, you only know how good it is when you open it,” is what Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino said to me at his press conference for the unveiling of David Hockaday as Brian McDermott’s successor as manager. He then added: “Sometimes I haven’t fired a coach because I wanted to protect my choice. That is the more dangerous thing.” Well at least he kept his word. Less than three months later, and after 70 days in charge – 26 longer than Leeds’ most famous short-lived boss Brian Clough – the former Forest Green Rovers boss has gone. Doomed from the start The appointment of Hockaday was definitely one of the biggest shocks I’ve seen in football. The great mystery is how he got the job in the first place. He was immediately bookmakers’ favourite when McDermott left Elland Road, so somebody, somewhere, knew something. But the circumstances have never been properly revealed. Any time either Cellino or Hockaday were asked, there was an opaque explanation about calls from an Italian arranging a meeting in London, pepper pots and a five-hour chat. We’ll probably never know more. In the eyes of the Leeds supporters, from the start Hockaday was ‘David who?’ It got worse when they saw him as the man who’d failed to get Forest Green promoted from the Conference, despite a big budget. They saw him as having no credentials whatsoever, a lapdog to Cellino, whom he consistently referred to as ‘The President’. It must be said that he has strong coaching credentials. Having spoken with former Leeds defender Clarke Carlisle, who worked with him at Watford, Hockaday is highly thought of from his time bringing young players through at Vicarage Road, most notably Manchester United winger Ashley Young. But with large sections of the Leeds support he had no chance. His appointment was going to be the greatest gamble that paid off, or the experiment that was doomed from the start – it was the latter. Leeds’ pre-season training camp took place in the Italian mountains near Santa Cristina, where the players were training three times a day, very hard, and seemingly enjoying it. I saw the record 16-0 win against FC Gheirdeina, who were basically a pub team. One thing defender Tom Lees, who’s since left, said to me was that there was annoyance at the organization of what the players saw as a totally pointless game. Dave Hockaday’s results at Leeds




Championship Millwall 2-0 Leeds Sat, 9 Aug
League Cup – first round Leeds 2-1 Accrington Tue, 12 Aug
Championship Leeds 1-0 Middlesbrough Sat, 16 Aug
Championship Leeds 0-2 Brighton Tue, 19 Aug
Championship Watford 4-1 Leeds Sat, 23 Aug
League Cup – second round Bradford 2-1 Leeds Wed, 27 Aug

Aside from that, what I saw was the beginnings of a squad bonding really well and responding to the new staff. There was no division, there really wasn’t, and that surprised me. You had a former England player in Stephen Warnock praising the fact he was doing totally new things in training, and even players recently brought in by McDermott weren’t grumbling. A stay of execution

There was already an element of trepidation before the first game of the season at Millwall as there was no expectation that Leeds would win, more that they could get steamrollered like they were a few times last year. They fought but lacked any pace or penetration. I think it was quite soul destroying for a lot of fans because they realised they were facing a long, hard season. The next week will have given Hockaday some hope. In terms of the support, beating Accrington Stanley covered up nothing. No one thought it was going to be a benchmark, in fact there were worrying signs in the last 10 minutes as Leeds held on to win. They then played a much-fancied Middlesbrough who ended last season really well. They were better than Leeds for long periods and had a goal wrongly disallowed, but then came the killer – hope in the form of Billy Sharp’s winner.


Cellino smiling the day he appointed The Hock


What the sane Leeds fans thought of the appointment – Cellino is a Moonman

Massimo Cellino said he spoke to 20 candidates, and David Hockaday was “the only one I liked” . Even though in reality, they looked a long way off Boro, Sharp and Liam Cooper had made encouraging debuts, and Hockaday’s team did all the things he’d bang on about in a cliched fashion: put in a shift, hard work, pressing and pride in the shirt. ut in a matter of days that hope had gone. Brighton passed Leeds off the park to win easily, then any supporter goodwill was gone when Sharp was substituted in the 4-1 defeat at Watford to chants of ‘you don’t know what you’re doing’. Those two wins were ancient history, all they’d done was drag out the inevitable. Cellino’s u-turn over sacking Hockaday following that loss was a further stay of execution but Wednesday’s League Cup defeat at Bradford was the final straw. Cellino had four managers at Cagliari in 2005-6: Attilio Tesser, Daniele Arrigoni, Davide Ballardini and Nedo Sonetti Thursday, 28 August, 2014: “The results since the start of the season have meant we needed to act,” said Cellino. “After losing at Bradford I realised my decision to keep David at the club following the defeat at Watford was wrong and I had to change my mind on the coach’s position.” ‘The manager eater’ – that was what Cellino was nicknamed during his 22 years in control of Italian club Cagliari, during which time he went through 36 managers. And he never tried to hide that. He’d said he’d need to break open his watermelon to see if it was any good. Quite honestly, although I don’t think he gave this particular fruit long enough to ripen, when he appointed Hockaday, sadly I think the Italian was at the wrong market stall.

Friday August 29th. Jeff Stelling says relegation back to League One is a possibility as  Whites are a ‘shambles’ and need a manager who knows Massimo Cellino Leeds chairman Massimo Cellino has sacked David Hockaday after just six games The Leeds job was impossible for David Hockaday to turn down – but also an impossible job to do.I think we are all aware that he had no control over transfers, with Massimo Cellino and the Sporting Director, Nicola Salerno, deciding who should be playing and who shouldn’t. For all intents and purposes that makes the manager’s role redundant – except for being the one who takes the flak and speaks to the media when things go wrong. “It is now hard to see him getting back into management at any reasonable level.” It was no sort of job for Hockaday and I feel really sorry for him, firstly because I’m not sure anyone could have done better under the circumstances, but also because it is now hard to see him getting back into management at any reasonable level. I also feel sorry for Leeds fans who, even if they were slightly suspicious of Cellino and his record of sacking managers at Italian side Cagliari, generally saw him as a saviour when he took over. I think they thought that anything was better than the hell of a mess the club was in before he arrived but it hasn’t turned out that way. Cellino might be passionate about football and he might be passionate about Leeds but that doesn’t mean he is always right – and he certainly hasn’t been so far. On the field, it is a total shambles with unknown player after unknown player coming into the club – I defy Leeds fans to say they have heard of them because I certainly haven’t – and it looks like it is going to be a terrible, terrible season. Leeds were dumped put of the Capital One Cup by neighbours Bradford on Wednesday night. Let’s not kid ourselves, Leeds are in a relegation fight. They are fortunate that there are troubled clubs like Blackpool at the foot of the Championship and I am not going to predict them to go down at this stage because it’s ridiculous to make calls like that in August, but I do fear that they will be back at the third level of English football and that would be awful. I know that Leeds, as a club, divides opinion but whenever I’ve been to Elland Road it’s been loud, passionate and a fantastic place to watch football and it would be a real shame if they were to drop into League One again. Goodness know who will take the manager’s job at Leeds but it has to be someone who knows Cellino and how he works so there’s not a chance in a million years that someone like Tony Pulis, who is very much his own man, will end up there. Pulis is someone who has called the shots at whichever club he has been at and he won’t go anywhere where that control is taken from him, so any Leeds supporters who are thinking of an appointment like that are dreaming.


As sure as night follows day Hock was always going to be sacked after a few games, it was just a matter of how many. A decent man but completely out of his depth and Cellino owes it to every Leeds fan to find the best possible replacement and stay out of team affairs, but that’s probably not going to happen


Junior and Dave will go and find new Diamonds elsewhere

Friday Aug 29th 2014 Hockaday sacked – the Leeds experiment doomed from the outset – Phil hay YP Seventy days of David Hockaday and still the same question posed on day one: what on earth was that about? Cheap? Hardly relevant when Leeds United are paying off their head coach after six competitive games. A yes-man? Likewise. Massimo Cellino might have some rationale for placing a club he calls “the biggest in England” in the hands of a man who made journalists grateful for Wikipedia but the appointment goes down a gross error of judgement; abbaglio, as the Italians say. A downbeat Cellino came to realise that as he tried to get a few hours sleep on Saturday night. a few short text messages, he talked of Hockaday’s “limits” and conceded that a few weeks of competitive football had exposed the 56-year-old’s shortcomings. If anyone around Cellino has the courage, they will tell him that it was always fated to end badly for Hockaday. As one staff member said after United’s thrashing at Watford: “Night follows day after all.” The only surprise was that Cellino gave him Wednesday’s League Cup tie at Bradford. Cellino will remind any critical voices that Hockaday was not his first choice. Eamonn Dolan, the academy manager at Reading, held the Italian’s favour after Brian McDermott left Leeds in May and would have taken the job ahead of Hockaday had Cellino been willing to pay £500,000 in compensation. But Hockaday was Cellino’s pick nonetheless. The pair spoke initially in a hotel in London, a five-hour conversation which earned Hockaday the job, and Cellino gravitated towards him after deciding that Dolan was too expensive. Precisely how Hockaday came to Cellino’s attention has never been explained – a number of sources claim he was recommended by Pino Pagliara, the Italian agent who has been around Elland Road for many months – but Cellino made the decision freely. There were other candidates and other avenues to follow. “I don’t know him but I think he’s a good coach,” Cellino said in June, somewhat confusingly. “Everyone starts from somewhere.” Hockaday took the same attitude. Reserved, cautious but quietly confident, he had it in his head that he could make a go of coaching United, unruffled by public bemusement at his appointment and resistant to attacks on his apparent lack of qualifications. If it was fair to ask on June 19 why no other Football League club had ever given him such responsibility, it is even more pertinent to ask again now. Forty years in the professional game did not prepare him for 10 weeks in a goldfish bowl with Leeds and Cellino. When I first spoke to Hockaday – a tense conversation far back when he made a surprising appearance at the top of the betting for McDermott’s replacement – it was tempting to tell him to think long and hard about what he would be getting himself into here. More respected coaches have been lost to car crashes at Leeds but it was and is illogical to say that the prior failure of experienced managers justified the employment of a complete unknown. That two Championship title-winners in McDermott and Neil Warnock found the job beyond them was perhaps a reason for bypassing Malky Mackay but in his previous role, Hockaday had failed to pull up trees at Forest Green Rovers. The first result his name brought up on Google was a video of the club’s supporters abusing him. His assistant, Junior Lewis, came from a coaching role at Hendon – in rung seven of the English pyramid. “Junior gives me everything I need in an assistant 10 times over,” Hockaday said without explaining what that really meant. You wondered if what he actually needed was a second in command who could guide him and cover his back; like Gary McAllister looked for in Sammy Lee when he sought his own assistant at Elland Road in 2008. In all it was a plot with a guaranteed ending. And yet Hockaday should not go without sympathy. He worked himself hard and he did his best to be affable in the face of the elephant in the room, the lingering question of when he would be sacked. Even this morning, he took training as normal. He shook hands with everyone before each press conference, diffused tension with jokes and answered questions without being unreasonably awkward. He earned money from this job and has a profile like never before, but to what end? The optimist in him might see the experience as a leg-up. Even last weekend, as word of Cellino’s anger began to spread, he looked like a man who was merely happy to be in the job. But from a different angle, the whole event has been painfully humiliating. Back in June, Cellino classed Hockaday as a coach who commanded nothing like McDermott’s £750,000 salary and would essentially do his bidding; not be bullied or hopelessly manipulated but tolerate the way Leeds operate. The transfer business this summer was driven by Cellino, a fact which Hockaday did not make much effort to deny. When Hockaday suggested Nile Ranger and Nigel Reo-Coker as potential signings, the names were dismissed out of hand. When he tried to wade in over the fall-out with Ross McCormack, Cellino famously told him to “shut the f*** up.” McDermott found media reports of outbursts like that impossible to live with. Hockaday dutifully sucked them up. Cellino felt that if he built a good squad, the coach in Hockaday could not fail to get something out of it. It should occur to the Italian that whatever the failings of his first head coach, the club were slow in pulling the squad together. But nothing in Hockaday’s football was groundbreaking or new. He talked about having the “best work ethic in the Championship” which sounded like a throwback to the 1980s. Most players in the division work with the guidance and potential embarrassment of Prozone and its equivalents. A coach whose squad don’t pull a leg is dislodging the bar at a very low height. “The stats show that we’ve outworked every team in our games so far,” Hockaday said after Saturday’s defeat at Watford. Perhaps. They also showed three points from 12 and a low league position. Cellino was not alone in doubting whether Hockaday could bring the results under control and his decision to resist sacking him last weekend was no vote of confidence. Cellino’s trust in Hockaday began to crack towards the end of pre-season. Leeds were comfortable in their final friendly at home to Dundee United but their owner called Hockaday in the next day to complain about his formation and tactics. Cellino was everywhere during the defeat to Millwall on August 9 and at half-time of last week’s loss to Brighton, he attempted to call Hockaday to vent about a pitiful first 45 minutes. Either Hockaday’s phone wasn’t to hand or he chose not to answer it. He leaves Elland Road with Leeds’ 21st in the table and in need of some magic. The upshot of this inexplicable experiment is that Cellino will almost certainly go continental when he picks his next head coach. He might say that he tried the British route with Hockaday – a fairly incredible suggestion – and revert to someone who speaks his language, literally and metaphorically. Never in all their 70 days was there a sense of Hockaday and Cellino being truly on the same wavelength. It felt more like a forced marriage in which Cellino ruled and Hockaday did his best. Towards the end of Tuesday’s defeat to Brighton, a lone voice from the West Stand turned on Hockaday and shouted “this job’s too big for you.” Indeed it was. Who now has the feet to fill the shoes?


“Cellino is a headbanger and should manage the club himself” – Johnny Giles

Fri Aug 29th. Giles – “Cellino is a headbanger and should manage the club himself” Leeds great Johnny Giles has told club owner Massimo Cellino to put himself in charge of the team after the man known as the ‘manager eater’ struck again. Cellino sacked David Hockaday after six games in charge of Leeds on Thursday, the third time in seven months he has fired a manager after twice getting rid of Brian McDermott earlier in the year. The 57-year-old earned his unflattering nickname during a 20-year spell in charge of Cagliari which saw him see off 36 bosses, and he appears set to continue in that vein in England. Having plucked Hockaday from obscurity – he admitted himself he was “Mr Nobody” – Cellino has now run out of patience with the ex-Forest Green man and sent him packing after two wins out of six. Despite giving him a two-year deal on June 19 Cellino conceded he did not know if Hockaday would be any good, and has since accused him of needing “babysitting” and in one interview told him to “shut the f*** up”. Having changed his mind on his decision to sack him on Sunday, he did the deed on Thursday in the wake of a cup loss to Bradford and Giles – who made more than 350 appearances for Leeds as part of Don Revie’s highly successful side – says enough is enough. “I don’t think anybody would be a good choice,” he told Irish radio station News Talk. I think this fella is a headbanger, that owner; I think he only employed that coach so that he could pick the team, bring the players in that he wants.”No manager worth his salt will touch that job. This fella should make himself manager and pick the team himself. He employed this lad from nowhere, paying him buttons apparently.”

Thursday August 28th. Who next for the Elland Road hotseat ?Massimo Cellino has given up on his experiment with David Hockaday, sacking the former Forest Green coach after 70 days in charge. It is not a reign to rival Brian Clough’s ‘damned’ spell at the club, but the 56-year-old has been in charge for the same amount of games as Clough. Cellino is known as the ‘coach killer’ in Italy and now has to look for a third Leeds boss since taking over the club in February. Here, Press Association Sport’s Wayne Gardiner looks at some possible candidates.

Gianluca Festa

Former Middlesbrough defender Festa is a long-time friend of Cellino and was the man who caused the president’s initial rift with ex-boss Brian McDermott. Cellino wanted Festa to sit in the dugout alongside McDermott and, when McDermott was sacked for 24 hours in February, Festa was asked to pick a team to face Huddersfield. Not much has been seen of him since but he will be linked and, having overseen McDermott’s training sessions, knows a lot of the players.

Gary McAllister

A former Leeds captain and manager, McAllister was rumoured to be interested in the job when Hockaday got it in June. Asked about McAllister at Hockaday’s unveiling, Cellino reacted with surprise when told the Scot was actually available and not working for a club as he thought. Was at Leeds’ loss to Brighton on Tuesday and would be a popular appointment.

Neil Redfearn

Redfearn is a lifelong Leeds fan who has earned favourable reviews in charge of the club’s academy and has been their go-to man when it comes to caretaker managers over recent years. Has expressed his desire to stay away from the top job but Cellino is a big supporter of the former Barnsley captain and may make it hard for him to say no.


Says it all – Cellino

Rolando Maran

Italian coach who initially impressed at Catania before being sacked last season. Leeds have a number of ex-Catania players on their books and 51-year-old Maran is already being linked with the job in Italy.

Ivo Pulga

Appointed by Cellino as a little-known coach at Cagliari – to the derision Hockaday’s appointment was greeted with – before swapping jobs with assistant David Lopez. Was then sacked but called back as head coach when Cellino removed Lopez, only to be fired again. Has a long history with Cellino and is likely to be mentioned.


The Hock is gone

Thursday 28th of August Hockaday sacked by Leeds after 70 days in charge LEEDS UNITED have tonight sacked head coach Dave Hockaday after a poor start to the Championship season. Club president and owner Massimo Cellino revealed on Sunday night that he was going to sack the man he appointed in the summer to succeed Brian McDermott following a dismal 4-1 defeat to Watford at Viarage Road on Saturday. ut 56-year-old Hockaday was granted a reprieve, albeit temporary. Cellino’s change of heart didn’t last long, with Wednesday night’s 2-1 Capital One Cup defeat to local rivals Bradford City proving the final straw for the beleagured coach, whose appointment proved a puzzle to many of the club’s suppporters, many believeing him to be out of his depth. Hockaday took training on Thursday morning and was then told to leave the club. His only previous managerial role had been in the Conference with Forest Green Rovers, was a shock appointment by the club on June 19. Handed a two-year deal, the former Hull City full-back’s arrival at Elland Road went down badly with United supporters who had been expecting any successor to McDermott to have a proven track record of doing well in the Championship. For Cellino, though, Hockaday represented someone who could fit into a new managerial structure that would see him and sporting director Nicola Salerno recruit players and leave the club’s head coach to train the squad. The Leeds owner, who in his time at the helm of Serie A side Cagliari sacked more than 30 managers in 22 years, made it clear at Hockaday’s unveiling that the new man’s duties would largely be confined to the training ground and dugout. Since then, United have made 11 signings with the vast majority having come from abroad. Just Liam Cooper, Billy Sharp, Nicky Ajose and Stuart Taylor have been recruited from the English game and only Sharp of that quartet started at Vicarage Road. A 12th signing is on the way, too, with agreement today reached over a £600,000 deal to sign Aarhus midfielder Casper Sloth. nited sit fourth-bottom in the Championship with three points from four games. Hockaday’s reign matches Brian Clough in terms of being the shortest in games in charge in United’s history – overseeing just six. Clough famously lasted just 44 days at Leeds. Jock Stein was also manager for 44 days in 1978, when Leeds played 10 league games. Former Brighton manager Oscar Garcia – who quit the Seagulls at the end of last season – has been installed as the early favourite to succeed Hockaday, currently listed at 6-4 by William Hill. Others ‘in the frame’ include Gianluca Festa (8-1) – the man who Cellino tried to bring in last year to ‘assist’ then manager McDermott. Former Sunderland and Swindon boss Palo di Canio is listed at 12-1, with former manager David O’Leary – who led the club to the Champions League semi-finals in 2001 – further out at 40-1. Never should have been appointed. Cellino would want to get his act together with appointing his replacement having made a balls of appointing Hockaday in the first place and making a mockery of Leeds United 

Cellinosmile MillwallLeedsThurs 28th of August. Club statement Leeds United can confirm that David Hockaday’s contract with the club has been terminated with immediate effect. David’s assistant Junior Lewis, who arrived with Hockaday on June 19, will also leave his position at the club. Club president Massimo Cellino said: I’d like to thank David for his efforts over the last two and a half months but the results since the start of the season have meant we needed to act and make this decision. “After the defeat at Bradford I realised that my decision to keep David at the club following the defeat at Watford was wrong and I had to change my mind on the coaches position. “As a club we will now begin our search for a new head coach.” Neil Redfearn will take charge of the first team until a permanent replacement is appointed

Thurs 28th of Aug Leeds United: Whites close in on Adryan and Montenegro Leeds United are closing in on deals to sign Brazilian midfielder Adryan and Paraguayan forward Brian Montenegro. Adryan and his agent are set to arrive in England in the next 24 hours ahead of a loan move from Flamengo and Montenegro is also headed for Leeds after talks between United and his club Nacional. Leeds have been chasing Adryan for several weeks and have reached a deal which will see Flamengo cancel his existing loan at Cagliari and send him to Elland Road. The 20-year-old’s deal in Sardinia was due to run for 18 months but United owner Massimo Cellino has negotiated his release from Cagliari and is poised to take Adryan on a temporary basis until the end of this season. The deal with Flamengo also includes a clause allowing Leeds to sign the Brazil Under-20 international – a player Cellino describes as a “natural number 10” – for a fee of around £3m next summer. Montenegro is also expected to join United on loan with a view to a permanent move. The 21-year-old, who can play as a striker or a winger, is known in England for a short and unsuccessful spell at West Ham United during the 2011-12 season. He played for Libertad in Paraguay last season and joined Nacional – one of the country’s top-flight clubs – only last month. He is due to come to England today. The completion of both deals would take United’s tally of summer signings to 14.

Thursday Aug 27th. Adryan and his agent due to arrive in England in the next 24 hours to seal his loan move to Leeds from Flamengo. #lufc

Thursday Aug 27th. Hockaday vows to fight on David Hockaday vowed to fight on in his job as Leeds United head coach and said he would take training as planned today after a League Cup defeat at Bradford City heaped more pressure on his shoulders. Hockaday blamed discipline and bad luck for a second-round loss at Valley Parade but quickly turned his attention to Saturday’s clash with Bolton Wanderers amid mounting doubts about his future at Elland Road. United owner Massimo Cellino dramatically abandoned a plan to sack Hockaday over the weekend but Leeds were beaten 2-1 by Bradford last night after losing Luke Murphy to a first-half red card. Hockaday’s side snatched an unlikely advantage through Matt Smith eight minutes from time but quick replies from Billy Knott and James Hanson gave Bradford their first victory over United at Valley Parade since 1932. Cellino was present at the game but left the ground shortly after Hanson’s close-range header secured Bradford’s win. Hockaday voiced his disappointment at City’s late fightback but said: “My emotion is one of determination. I’m not a quitter, I’m a fighter. “I just feel that for myself and my team things aren’t going our way. In the dressing room they’re devastated – and yet they’re all saying ‘we’ll turn this around.’ “We’re looking at Bolton on Saturday and we’ll be in (for training) today. We’re getting some bad press at the moment, some of it self-inflicted, but anyone looking at those white shirts knows we’ve put a shift in.” Asked if he was confident of being in charge for the Bolton game, Hockaday – whose side are 21st in the Championship – said: “I’m in (today) and we’ll be recovering. That’s my job and that’s what I’ll be doing. “I’ve got a job to do and I’ll keep on doing it. “The players are behind me as can be seen. But the sooner we win a game, move on and start getting momentum, the better.” Hockaday described Murphy’s dismissal for two yellow cards – incurred by rash tackles on eight and 30 minutes – as “totally out of character”  My players didn’t let me down,” he said. “One player did something totally out of character and gave us a mountain to climb. But as the game went on we got stronger and stronger and when we got the goal, I thought we were getting our just desserts.”

Thurs 28th of Aug The Hock’s misery continues as Bradford humiliate Leeds – The Scratching Shed Leeds’ early season humiliation continued last night as The Whites were dumped out of the League Cup by neigbours Bradford City. Once again the game swung on a careless red card, Leeds’ fourth in six games and already twice what we received last season. Some may argue that David Hockaday has therefore been unlucky, but when you’re picking up red cards with such alarming regularity, you have to stop cursing your luck and start creating your own. Luke Murphy, our latest red card recipient, could have no arguments with the referees decision for both the yellow cards he received were a result of stupid challenges, neither of which were necessary. Whether it’s badly disciplined players, a formation the players are so uncomfortable in they’re making silly errors trying to fill the gaps or something else entirely, only Sam Byram’s was questionable, the rest were fully deserved and can’t be written off as bad luck. What’s really frustrating is Luke Murphy shouldn’t have been on the pitch in the first place. In the opening games of this campaign he’s probably been our most disappointing player, yet his selection is seemingly guaranteed under David Hockaday. Surely this was a chance to try something different? A League Cup tie against minnows like Bradford City is the perfect opportunity to rotate the squad and give some youngsters a go, perhaps play that 18-year-old attacking midfielder we signed from Milan then hid in a broom cupboard? Or maybe the homegrown youngsters our future allegedly hinges on? We could even bring Alex Mowatt (who is fully fit, in case you’re wondering) in from the cold. Instead, Leeds went with a hugely experienced squad including the likes of Michael Tonge and David Norris, along with regulars such as Luke Murphy, Jason Pearce and Billy Sharp, players who’ve a long season ahead and should surely be rested on such occasions? It’s a line-up that makes no sense when you have players like Dominic Poleon and Lewis Cook desperately trying to make an impression and deserving of the opportunity ahead of journeymen like Tonge and Norris who have no future at the club. Had The Hock heeded calls to play the youth and a few more of the 12 players we’ve signed this summer, I could sit here and accept his excuses – it does take new players time to gel, inexperienced players will make mistakes. But only Bianchi was new to Leeds’ midfield, only Cooper new in defence. This wasn’t a squad who met yesterday. Before the dismissal, there were some encouraging signs for Leeds. One/two touch passing moves, (albeit, against League One opposition) were good to see and we were controlling the fixture fairly comfortably – as you’d expect given how experienced the squad was. The trouble is, it wasn’t particularly exciting to watch because we weren’t creating anything noteworthy. Matt Smith headed a few chances high and wide and that was about it really. We don’t stretch teams well enough and create the gaps Billy Sharp would be deadly in, it’s all very narrow, predictable and fairly easy to defend against – and this was a League One defence, not a top six Championship defence. It’s not like we don’t have the players to address this either, all we have to do is return to the 4-5-1/4-3-3 formation we always look more threatening playing and have two from Ajose, Poleon and Antenucci playing alongside Sharp. Instead we persist with the God-awful diamond system. With ten men, Bradford took control of the tie and a goal looked inevitable but it was to be Leeds who struck first, Matt Smith finally hitting the target to head home a good cross from David Norris. Only 8 minutes left on the clock, it looked to be snatch and grab stuff from Leeds. Even with ten men, you’d expect an experienced Championship side to contain a League One side without too much trouble. Unless you’re Leeds United of course, then you know better by now. It took the hosts just 3 minutes to equalise with a great 20-yard strike from Knott. The chance came from a corner headed clear and if I was going to be picky, there’s a case for the defence to be rushing out quicker after clearing their lines, which could have resulted in more bodies in his way, but there wasn’t much time to react in fairness and it was an excellent strike. Bradford’s winner was a good goal too, Hanson using a well-paced cross to score a powerful header, but Liam Cooper allowed Hanson to get in front of him making things much easier. Crowd trouble followed which led to a hefty nine minutes of added time, but it wasn’t enough for Leeds to level things. A disappointing result, but few will be surprised after the disastrous start we’ve made to the season. On and on…

Weds 26th of . BRADFORD 2 (Knott 85, Hanson 86), UNITED 1 (Smith 82). CC United: Taylor, Wootton, Pearce, Cooper, Warnock, Tonge, Murphy, Bianchi, Norris (Poleon 89), Smith, Sharp. Subs. Silvestri, C Taylor, Cook, Antenucci, Ajose, Benedicic. Referee: G Scott. Booked: Murphy, Cooper (United). Sent off: Murphy (United). Att: 18,750. Report from Daily Mail Under-fire Leeds boss Dave Hockaday saw his problems deepen in a feisty West Yorkshire derby as Bradford came from behind to steal a late victory. Ten-man Leeds seized a surprise lead when Matt Smith headed home eight minutes from time but a quick-fire double from Billy Knott and James Hanson turned the tie on its head in the closing stages. United were beaten 4-1 at Watford on Saturday with Giuseppe Bellusci and Sam Byram sent off, triggering speculation that owner Massimo Cellino was set to axe Hockaday just five games into his tenure. Hero: Bradford City forward James Hanso nis congratulated after scoring his side’s late second goal. He survived to lead his team into the League Cup Second Round tie at Valley Parade but by half-time he had seen another of his players given their marching orders, Luke Murphy lucky to escape red for a wild challenge early on before picking up a second yellow for an equally ludicrous lunge. But Bradford – beaten finalists in this competition two seasons ago – failed to make them pay and the game entered extra-time with the score at 1-1 after 90 minutes. Bradford had not beaten their rivals since 1986 – a run spanning 14 games – but they were bookmakers’ favourites given the turmoil at Elland Road. Indeed, just eight league places separate Championship Leeds and their promotion-chasing hosts in the division below. And the Bantams’ favouritism was strengthened further when Hockaday’s team selection included 10 Englishmen – a surprise given the bulk of his 12 summer signings have come from abroad – with David Norris, the forgotten man of Elland Road, coming in for his first appearance in over a year. Leeds should have been reduced in number inside six minutes when Murphy, having overran the ball, lunged knee-high on Gary Liddle. Referee Graham Scott, perhaps in a bid to temper emotion, opted to show yellow. It would have been rough on Bradford, then, had Murphy’s involvement led to the opening goal just moments later, his penalty-box burst presenting a chance for Stephen Warnock who lashed just inches wide. At the other end Alan Sheehan served a free-kick to the far post and Aaron Mclean should have scored when stooping to head the wrong side of the upright from just six yards. Matt Smith did find the target with a header of his own for Leeds but the towering frontman failed to direct his effort beyond goalkeeper Ben Williams. Murphy’s night was eventually brought to a close following another reckless slide on James Meredith, home fans arguing his dismissal had come 25 minutes too late. In fairness, they had a point. The home side soon sought advantage of their extra man and, when Mclean’s cross was returned at pace into the six-yard area by Liddle, it was the desperate boot of defender Liam Cooper which kept the game goalless. Bradford midfielder Jason Kennedy then smashed into the side-netting from a narrow angle with Hockaday and his side in desperate need of the half-time whistle. Kennedy, though, should have broken the deadlock within minutes of the restart after the break when he somehow Bradfordcontrived to stab wide from point-blank range after Meredith had swept a delicious ball into the danger zone from the left. City boss Phil Parkinson then confronted Leeds striker Billy Sharp on the touchline – before being pulled away – as tempers threatened to boil over. But Billy Clarke had the chance to ease City’s tension when he broke clear on goal midway through the half only to be denied by Stuart Taylor as the netminder read the midfielder’s intention, spreading his frame to block a cheeky chip. Clarke was proving the best bet for a breakthrough and he again wriggled clear only for the recovering Jason Pearce to hack his low stab from the goal-line. It was frenetic stuff and Billy Knott then drew a save from Taylor with a low fizzer from distance before the late drama. United have played four league games now and two Carling Cup tes. We have won two and lost four and have had four players sent off. Not the coaches fault ? Well it sure as hell isn’t mine. Not good enough by a long shot. Luke Murphy for a start has done feck all since he has arrived from Crewe for 1M and it’s time to move him on. There is obviously a lack of discipline in the side that needs to be addressed, irrespective of what Hockaday says about a “work in progress”. Leeds could do worse things than signs Bradford’s left back, Meredith, a tasty defender and attacking full back, plus he speaks English, would be cheap and probably wouldn’t have to move house.

Tues 26th of August.Leeds decide not to appeal Byram seding off Leeds United can confirm that the club have reluctantly taken the decision not to appeal against the red card issued to Sam Byram at Watford on Saturday August 23. This decision has been taken on the basis that the footage of the incident is inconclusive, and in order to overturn the decision then the club has to display in accordance with the rules of the Football Association that this was a wrong decision. If the appeal is lost then the FA has the power to increase the suspension. Sam Byram has commented: “I am very upset, disappointed and frustrated that we cannot pursue an appeal but I understand the reasons why and I want to do what is best for the club. I would like to be very clear on something though, contrary to media reports over the weekend I absolutely did not headbutt the Watford player and I believe, like the club do it was a very harsh sending off decision. “I have never been sent off in my career, never ever been involved in any violent conduct and I am hugely disappointed that this will now be on my disciplinary record but we have to move on from it.” The United defender will now miss the next three matches; Bradford City away in the Capital One Cup on Wednesday, Bolton Wanderers at home on Saturday and Birmingham City on Saturday September 13.

Tues 26th of Aug Sheff United look for Pearce LEEDS UNITED captain Jason Pearce has been linked with a move to Yorkshire rivals Sheffield United – whose manager Nigel Clough has confirmed his interest in the defender. The Blades are keen to boost their defensive ranks following the departure of Harry Maguire to Hull City, with Pearce figuring high on Clough’s wish-list. Clough admits that financing any prospective deal for Pearce would represent a considerable outlay for the League One club, but he is not ruling out the prospect of a successful move for the 26-year-old. That said, it remains to be seen whether Leeds – who yesterday completed the expected signing of Danish international midfielder Casper Sloth for an undisclosed six-figure sum from AGF Aarhus – would entertain the prospect of doing any business regarding the former Portsmouth man, an ever-present this term and one of the club’s more consistent players during the 2013-14 campaign. Clough, who has also not ruled out trying to persuade Hull to loan back Maguire to Bramall Lane – with any prospective deal likely to hinge on the Tigers’ involvement in Europe – said: “We have looked at him (Pearce) certainly, yes. But I think he will be a bit beyond us with his contract at Leeds. “Being a Championship player and what they’d want for him might be a bit beyond us. But yes, we’d like Jason Pearce. “It is going be difficult to tempt a club to let somebody go who is currently in the first team. But we are trying to do that, if necessary.” Dave Hockaday at his Bradford City press conference said Pearce is “categorically not for sale”.
Tues Aug 26th. Leeds look for Argie winger Leeds United look set to continue their raid on recently relegated Italian side Catania as Massimo Cellino sets his sights on Argentinian winger, Lucas Castro. Having already brought Souleymane Doukara and Giuseppe Bellusci from the former Serie A side, Massimo Cellino clearly sees an opportunity to capitalise on their relegation in his quest to bolster Leeds United’s squad. His latest target, who has been linked by Gazetta dello Sport journalist Emanuele Giulianelli, scored 7 times in 64 appearances for Catania and fills a position Leeds United have lacked quality in since the departures of Robert Snodgrass and Max Gradel. Giulianelli also provided an update on the pending Adryan deal, claiming it should be resolved by the weekend and Leeds plan to take the Brazilian midfielder on a season-long loan with a £4m purchase option at the end of the season. Mon 25th of August Sloth becomes signing number 12 The club can now confirm the signing of Denmark international Casper Sloth on a three-year contract, CasperSloth3subject to international clearance. The creative midfielder arrives from Danish First Division side AGF Aarhus for an undisclosed fee. The 22-year-old has spent all of his senior career at the former Superliga side and has made over 130 appearances for the Danish club. Casper has plenty of international experience and has been involved with the Danish national side since Under-17 level. He has also made eight appearances for the senior’s and was part of the Denmark team that narrowly missed out to England in March of this year at Wembley. Casper Sloth will wear the number 33 shirt at United. The fee is thought to be 600K.
Mon 25th of August The Scratching Shed Leeds: Saturday’s Capitulation means Hock’s A Dead Man Walking The mangiallenatori chewed up and spat out his first manager at Leeds United early doors and is masticating furiously with his second, unbelievable scenes at Elland Road. McDermott never had a chance having been appointed by the witless, clueless GFH crew and Hock getting the job based on anonymous tip off after a lengthy meeting in a hotel during which you can bet your bottom dollar Massimo did the vast majority of the talking had as much chance of success as a Doncaster virgin remaining intact on a Magaluf weekender. McDermott was somebody else’s mistake, Hock is 100% self inflicted. Cellino has done so much right at Leeds, from buying the club out of the evil clutches of the sand jockeys to bringing in a dozen new recruits, a good looking mix of experience and potential to giving our own talented youth a chance. Appointing Hock and Junior was a brain fart of hurricane proportions, akin to appointing me after a successful spell with my lad’s under 14s 5-a-side. Come to think it my scintillating blend of defensive solidity, imaginative midfield and predatory strikers playing a high tempo pass and move with explosive finishing would not only be more attractive to watch but also deliver success and results. The current squad plus boy wonder aka Cellino’s lovechild Adryan & Sloth who despite his name is a promising Danish midfielder and a couple more with an injection of crucial width and pace roared on by the army of fans, even with meddling micro manager Massimo minus the deadwood is a massive opportunity for a proper coach. After Saturday’s capitulation at Watford, the world held it’s breath as the Sheriff’s finger twitched over the trigger waiting for the bullet to be fired. There is no doubt Cellino is hurting and the fact that his experimental pluck from obscurity based on no more than a tip off and one meeting allied to a scattergun recruitment policy has delivered a set of unacceptable results. He is absolutely committed to making Leeds United a success and seeing them once again eat at the top table. The Cellino regime expenditure so far is huge in our recent history, including an inflated purchase price, the full package has since been renegotiated, payment of a lot of existing and historical debt, court cases and an estimated £10 million in new contracts plus transfer and loan fees as well as contract pay offs. The playing squad turnaround has been massive, 17 out, a dozen in with more to come and an expected splurge of activity including contract terminations before the transfer window closes at the end of the month. In an epic outpouring of pure, unadulterated, honest emotion featuring the biggest climb down since the latest descent of Everest, Massimo said he had decided to sack Hockaday on Saturday and was ready to do so until he spoke to him on Sunday evening. “If I fire the coach I should fire myself because I haven’t signed enough good players. How can that be his fault.” Cellino says he’ll wait until the squad is finished before judging Hockaday. “Maybe he’s not a good coach but I can’t say yet.” The cynics or perhaps realists or maybe just plain speculators all think that the stay of execution for Hock is merely waiting for Cellino’s next choice to become available, the rumoured names are already flying around. Hock is a dead man walking, the already anti fans have had enough and are in a state of shock that he wasn’t a goner on Saturday, once a coach loses the fans, even the ones who were prepared to give him a chance, he has more chance platting fog than winning them round. Knowing the president and his crazy ways, don’t be surprised if, in a bid to avoid any more controversy, he appoint Malky Mackay with Big Ron Atkinson as director of football. Cellino is certain to be at the eye of a storm of frantic activity this week in a huge effort to finalise the squad, he hates being embarrassed, his ego will not contemplate failure and he bought Leeds United, a football institution, to succeed. He has made one balls up of epic proportions, he must sort it out sooner rather than later, finish the squad but most important of all put them under the control of a proper coach and stop feeding a gourmet menu of players to a medieval peasant.
Sunday 24th of August Phil Hay tweet sums it all up Events at LUFC this weekend have been ludicrous and anyone who thinks otherwise needs help. Typical of this club but not befitting of it
Monday 25th of Aug Whites have got to improve and it has to be quick – Eddie Gray I’VE got to say that the first half at Watford on Saturday was the best I’ve seen Leeds play this season. But like anything else, you’ve got to take control of the game and if you’re on top you’ve got to assert your superiority. We never did that and Watford are always a danger going forward because they’ve got players that can hurt you. They’ve got good pace and Forestieri and Deeney can go by people and that’s the one thing about our side just now – we don’t have anybody who can really open the game up. We don’t have anybody who can run by defenders and open it up for strikers and we don’t have midfield players that can run by people with the ball so that’s a problem. I think David Hockaday is doing the best that he can with the players we’ve got at the football club at the present time. And I think anybody that is in charge at a football club has got to get a chance to prove themselves. I don’t know David that well but I’ve spoken to him and I think he’s trying to do the best with the players he’s got like everybody else would. But what we’ve got to do is we’ve got to improve so that we can compete as we don’t want to be stuck down the bottom of the table. The situation just now is that the new owner has come in and he’s trying to change things round. He’s working hard to get players in and it’s not going to happen overnight. I think everybody has got to be given a chance to prove themselves and until the owner decides it’s different we’ve all got to back the new coach. Everybody wants instant success but it doesn’t just come like that. But in saying that it was very disappointing at Watford and disappointing against Brighton as well. It’s a huge game coming up for us against Bradford City on Wednesday in the League Cup. And it wouldn’t be a shock if they beat us. Why would it be a shock? It’s not a shock any more and we’ve got to realise the position we’re in at the present time. I still think we can go there and win the game and I still think we’ve got the players to win the game. Obviously everyone has their own ideas on what personnel should play in the side and it may be a chance for some of the younger boys to come in. But in terms of our midfield I think we’ve got to have a different balance. At the moment I think we have got four players in the middle of the park who are all central midfield players. Nobody can get the ball out wide and go by anybody so I think you’ve got to look at that but we’ve had this problem before though. Brian McDermott tried to look at this problem and brought in Jimmy Kebe and Cameron Stewart but that never worked. But you’ve got to have somebody who can stay out wide and play the midfield role in a wide area – someone who can go forward and go by people. We’ve got four midfield players just now who are all the same. Would someone like Jose Mourinho do any better if he was in charge at Leeds? No I don’t think so. He might have more motivation but you don’t know and you can never say because it’s a bit different managing in the Premier League and the Champions League to the Championship. When you’re talking about Champions League football it’s a bit different and what you’ve got to remember is that even if Mourinho was playing the same midfield system he’s got four real quality players there. avid Hockaday doesn’t have that at his disposal. That’s the difference. After Bradford, we welcome Bolton to Elland Road for our next league game on Saturday and, despite the league positions, I wouldn’t say it’s a relegation battle. What our fans have got to remember is that a team has just come down from the Premiership and spent £11m on Ross McCormack and they’ve not won a game. It can change very quickly but the only thing I would say is that we have got to improve and we’ve got to improve quickly.
Sun 24th of May. The Hock survives.- LUFC webite In response to recent media speculation the club would like to confirm that David Hockaday remains the head coach of Leeds United Football Club. The club will make no further comment on this matter. If I was Hockaday I still  wouldn’t go and put down any large deposits on a house in Yorkshire.


“Why should I blame the coach? The squad isn’t finished and that is my fault. Signings players has been harder than I thought so if I fire anyone, I should fire myself ” This story has more to run


The Hock survives the axe……for now (he must have done some convincing to Cellino) Bradford City and Bolton suddenly become two cup finals for Hockaday

Sunday 24th of August Hockaday to continue as boss – Phil HayYP  Leeds United head coach David Hockaday received a dramatic stay of execution tonight as owner Massimo Cellino abandoned a plan to sack him and said: “I’m to blame.” In an astonishing turnaround, Cellino confirmed that Hockaday would remain in his job until the the Italian had “a fair chance to judge him” – just 24 hours after a 4-1 defeat at Watford placed Hockaday’s future in serious doubt. Senior officials around Cellino were told to prepare for Hockaday’s dismissal in the aftermath of a result at Vicarage Road which left Leeds a point above the Championship’s relegation places. United were expected to announce the 56-year-old’s departure today, just 66 days after naming him as head coach, but Cellino backtracked suddenly after talks with Hockaday around 6pm. Speaking to the YEP, the Cellino said the defeat at Watford had come down to a “s*** mistake” by new signing Giuseppe Bellusci, a 58th-minute blunder which led to the defender’s dismissal and gifted Watford a penalty with the game level at 1-1. Cellino also admitted that a summer in which 11 players have arrived at Leeds had been “harder than I thought” and claimed the dismissal of Hockaday would have punished the head coach for United’s failure to complete their squad before the start of the season. “Yes, at Watford I decided to sack him,” Cellino said. “I said ‘he’s finished.’ I wasn’t happy. I was ashamed of the performance and it (sacking Hockaday) was what I wanted to do. “But in my life I’ve learned that with your decisions, take 24 hours. Why should I blame the coach? The squad isn’t finished and that is my fault. Signings players has been harder than I thought so if I fire anyone, I should fire myself or else I’m a coward. I have to control my ego. “This coach, he might not be a good coach, but sacking him now is not fair. I cannot say if he is good or not. When the squad is finished, I’ll see what he does then. But for now you blame me for the results. I blame myself because the fault is mine.” Hockaday faced chants against him from an away crowd of 2,100 at Vicarage Road and Cellino’s initial plan to sack him after only five competitive games in charge appeared to reflect the mood of a large section of the travelling support. But Hockaday defended himself and the performance of his team afterwards, saying Bellusci’s red card – shown for a trip on Fernando Forestieri inside United’s box – had dictated the course of an otherwise even match. Troy Deeney converted the resulting penalty and further goals from Forestieri and Daniel Pudil sealed Watford’s win. Leeds were reduced to nine men in injury-time when Sam Byram was dismissed for an alleged headbutt on Pudil, a decision which United could appeal today. Bellusci, 24, joined Leeds on loan from Catania a fortnight ago but Leeds paid more than £1.5m to make the move permanent last week, a deal agreed before Bellusci made his first-team debut. Cellino said: “Bellusci is a good defender and what he did yesterday was a s*** mistake. We lost because of his mistake. I see that now. I didn’t see it yesterday. “If he didn’t f*** up and we win the game, would I be firing the coach? No. So it’s wrong to blame the coach for the results. We are missing four or five players still. We are not good enough. I am the president so I should only sack myself, not Hockaday. “I want to do everything too fast – I want 15 new players, I want to be in the Premier League, I don’t want the old coach, I want a new one. I want to build Rome in 12 hours but it doesn’t happen. If another coach comes in and we have the same problems, we are back in the s***. So I’ll wait.”Leeds are close to their 12th signing of the summer after agreeing the terms of a three-year deal with Aarhus midfielder Casper Sloth on Friday evening. The Elland Road club will pay around £600,000 to complete the deal. Flamengo midfielder Adryan – currently on loan at Cagliari – remains a target and discussions aimed at cancelling his deal in Sardinia and bringing him to Elland Road will continue in the days ahead.
Sunday 24th of August Hockaday on the bink after Leeds collapse The decision was Massimo Cellino’s in the beginning and he has it to make again: to stick with this experiment and the head coach he plucked from nowhere or to back away from the choice he made and take a different view. No doubt the dilemma was in his head as he drove home from Leeds United’s defeat to Watford. It is cruel that questions about David Hockaday are rife and legitimate after four league games but this is football and this is Cellino; hard, reactive, unforgiving. The Italian stuck his neck out when he introduced Leeds to an unknown coach whose last job earned him a wage in the Conference, and it stood to reason that in the midst of scepticism Cellino’s own faith would be tested eventually. A 4-1 loss at Vicarage Road yesterday, tainted further by the collateral damage of two red cards, did exactly that. There are several ways to outline United’s current position but one of them is this: lose to Bolton Wanderers on Saturday and the club will spend the season’s first international break inside the Championship’s bottom three. These are early days but critical ones, days in which direction is usually set. “I strongly believe that with the players I’ve got I’m doing a good job,” Hockaday said he broached the subject of his future at full-time. “I see lot of green shoots.” He might think so but opinion around him differs. Sources close to Cellino said he “went crazy” at the end of Watford’s win, despite the result owing much to a red card in the second half, and promised that Hockaday would be gone. More criticism poured from the away end, during and after the match. Hockaday claimed to have heard none of it, saying: “This isn’t me being deaf or dumb but as a coach I totally focus in on the game. I genuinely don’t hear anything. “You can tell me what was said and that’s fine. People are welcome to their views. All I know is that the fans were excellent in general.” Impatience and ire on social media is one thing but dissent from those paying to be present is a bigger, more unavoidable worry. United’s away support were the last to abandon Brian McDermott, long after Twitter sided against him, but Hockaday is alone after five competitive games. He can call for restraint and he can ask for time but thousands of minds are already made up. Thousands made up their minds when Cellino appointed him in June. His only means of ingratiating himself was through results of a standard above what even Cellino demanded this season. They have not materialised and after four Championship fixtures, Leeds lie 21st with three points – above three beleaguered clubs in Fulham, Blackpool and Bolton. Cellino conceded last week that Hockaday is working without a complete squad but his head coach is struggling to make the best of it. Watford have problems of their own, or so it is said, but Leeds are a club who provide respite for the Championship’s divided and unhappy lot. Vicarage Road is awash with talks of infighting and arguments between their coach, Beppe Sannino, and certain players in his squad, and they played with reticence until the dismissal of Giuseppe Bellusci invited them to massacre Leeds. But the massacre came all the same. Bellusci was 58 minutes into an orderly debut and the game level at 1-1 when he attempted to float the ball out of defence and paid for a flashy pass by slicing it horribly into the path of Fernando Forestieri. Bellusci chased the striker and clipped his heels 12 yards from goal, incurring a red card and conceding a penalty. Troy Deeney took it and dispatched a shot low to the right of goalkeeper Marco Silvestri. It went wrong for us in whatever minute the penalty was awarded,” Hockaday said. “The momentum swings. You’re a goal down and a man down. “I’ve spoken (to Bellusci) about it in no uncertain terms and he’s apologised to the team, for what it’s worth. It’s something I can’t legislate for. We’re trying to turn a big ship round here and moments like that don’t help. “Up until then I thought we looked very comfortable. We were passing the ball well. Watford were getting animated and agitated on their bench and I thought we’d come here and done a very good job.” His assessment was not entirely wrong. Watford scored in the 20th minute when Deeney and Gianni Munari worked a corner to Forestieri who drove a shot against Silvestri’s arms and then nodded the rebound into the net but Leeds avoided a capitulation and equalised 12 minutes later. Mirco Antenucci, their new signing from Ternana, played Billy Sharp into space on the right wing and Sharp’s fierce cross caught the leg of Gabriel Tamas before flying past Heurelho Gomes. Leeds’ midfield – the same diamond midfield tormented by Brighton last Tuesday – found encouragement in that and began to flood Watford’s. Sannino’s team became static and passive, detached from Deeney and Forestieri up front. United’s ability to disrupt is their best weapon under Hockaday, as it was against Middlesbrough, but their chances were few; four efforts in all over 90 minutes at Vicarage Road. When Bellusci went, the heads did too. Deeney put away his penalty and Hockaday moved to replace Billy Sharp with centre-back Liam Cooper. The withdrawal of a likely goalscorer prompted audible cries of “you don’t know what you’re doing.” Forestieri made the change irrelevant five minutes later when he danced through several half-hearted tackles and screwed the ball past Silvestri off the inside of a post. The away end responded by telling Hockaday he’d be sacked in the morning. “Bringing Billy Sharp off was tactical,” Hockaday said. He’s put in a few shifts for us and Antenucci had fresher legs. We tried to contain it but at 3-1, the game’s gone.” Sadly for Hockaday, it wasn’t over. In injury-time Daniel Pudil beat Silvestri with a free-kick from 30 yards which required no more finesse than a thrash of his left boot. Pudil milked the crowd as a snooker tick-shot specialist might. Then, as the seconds ticked down, he and Sam Byram squared up off the ball and referee James Linington sent Byram off. A headbutt was blamed but even the officials seemed a little unsure. “The linesman said he saw something,” Hockaday said. I’d like something a bit more specific than that.” A three-match suspension will be Byram’s punishment unless Leeds choose to back up his angry protests with an appeal. All the signs say he will return from it with a different coach in charge. “That’s out of my hands,” Hockaday replied when asked how much time he thought he had left. Of that there has never been any doubt.
Sat 23rd The Hock gone ? Leeds United head coach Dave Hockaday is set to be sacked, Yorkshire Evening Post’s Phil Hay Reports. United won one of the TheHock1opening four league games of the new campaign and are currently sitting in 21st place of the Sky Bet Championship table following this afternoon’s 4-1 defeat to Watford. Hockaday, appointed by club owner/president Massimo Cellino on 19th June 2014 was the former Forest Green Rovers manager and was sacked after almost taking them down from the Conference. The 4-1 defeat appears to have angred Cellino and during/after the game fans vented their fustration by chanting for Hockaday to be sacked by the Italian owner and this evening it appears Cellino has listened to the fans. United’s next game is against Bradford City on Wednesday Evening in the Capital One Cup 2nd Round and people’s thoughts is if Hockaday does get sacked, who will Cellino have in charge of the game on Wednesday? Hay later tweeted : “Back in the office. Radio silence from Cellino and really, it’s his opinion that counts. But everyone I’ve spoken to thinks Hockaday is gone” Nobody likes to see a decent man lose his job. The best analogy I can think of is that we are trying to get to the moon, but on board the Rocket we have a monkey instead of a top astronaut. Let’s lose the monkey now . 


Red card for Bellusci

Sat 23rd.Watford 4-1 Leeds United: Silverstri; Byram, Bellusci, Pearce, Warnock; Austin; Tonge (Poleon 75), Murphy, Bianchi; Antenucci (Smith 81), Sharp (Cooper 62). Not used: S Taylor, Wootton, Cook, Norris. Bookings: Tozser for a foul on Sharp (42); Angella for a foul on Murphy (47); Bellusci sent off for a foul on Forestieri – denying a clear goalscoring opportunity (56); Byram for a foul on Pudil (85); Austin for a foul on Tozser (90); Byram sent off for violent conduct (90). Attendance: 15,674 (1,975 away). There was no evidence of the issues that dogged Watford’s build-up to the game as the Hornets rose to second in the fledgling Championship table after thumping nine-man Leeds United 4-1 at Vicarage Road. Head coach Beppe Sannino had come into the game with big questions over his future at Vicarage Road but he demonstrated his authority by dropping Lloyd Dyer following his controversial goal celebration at Rotherham United. There were no such public shows of displeasure this afternoon as Watford took advantage of their opponents being reduced to ten men in the second half, with the excellent Fernando Forestieri leading the way. The Hornets had taken the lead in the 21st minute when Forestieri headed in the rebound after his initial effort had been saved after the striker had worked hard to create an opening following an over-struck corner. But Leeds, who did not have an effort on-target in the first half, were able to get back on terms before the break when Gabriel Tamas sliced a Billy Sharp cross into his own net. However, the game swung in Watford’s favour 11 minutes after the restart when Giuseppe Bellusci was sent off for bringing down Forestieri in the penalty area and Troy Deeney made no mistake from 12 yards. The game was effectively ended as a contest in the 66th minute when Forestieri scored a superb third, jinking his way across the penalty area and avoiding several attempted challenges on the way before finding the bottom corner to net his second. That looked to be the end of the scoring until injury-time when Daniel Tozser fired home his first Hornets goal from a 30-yard free-kick before Leeds’ afternoon got even worse when Sam Byram was shown a straight red card for an elbow on Daniel Pudil. Sannino made four changes to the starting XI which beat United on Tuesday night but it was who the head coach left out that provided the big talking points. Dyer was omitted completely following his very public outburst after scoring the Hornets’ opener in Yorkshire and, for the second game running, Lewis McGugan was not involved in the match-day 18. The changes that were made saw Pudil, Almen Abdi and Tozer return while Forestieri was preferred to Matej Vydra, who was on the bench after sustaining a dead leg in the 2-0 win. Keith Andrews, Ikechi Anya and Diego Fabbrini also dropped down to among the substitutes as Sannino reverted back to a more recognised 3-5-2 formation. Former Hornets coach Dave Hockaday made two changes to the team that were beaten 2-0 at home by Brighton & Hove Albion last time out, giving debuts to new Italian signings Bellusci and Mirco Antenucci. Matt Smith and Liam Cooper made way and were on the bench. Watford created a couple of promising opportunities in the opening minutes. First, an Abdi corner from the right was punched off the head of Gabriele Angella by Marco Silvestri, before the Italian keeper got to a Deeney through ball as Forestieri sought to get on the end of it on the edge of the six-yard box. Forestieri also had a shot blocked soon after following some encouraging build-up play down the Watford left. There was further cause for optimism in the 13th minute when Forestieri worked back to the centre circle to help win back possession as Antenucci tried to create an attacking opportunity, Tozser struck a 30-yard pass up to Deeney on the edge of the penalty area and the striker brought the ball down before trying to tee up Abdi but he was hustled out of getting a strike on goal. Rodolph Austin had Leeds’ first effort soon after but he dragged a 20-yard shot wide, but in the 21st minute Watford made the breakthrough. A Tozer corner from the right initially appeared to be over-hit but Forestieri chased after what could have been a lost cause close to the left touchline before stepping away from a challenge and rolling the ball inside to Deeney. He back-heeled it into the area, Gianni Munari helped it on and Forestieri saw his initial right-footed shot saved by Silvestri but kept his eye on the ball to nod the rebound home and make it 1-0. The right side of the Leeds defence was proving a useful attacking channel for the Hornets and in the 30th minute, after another build-up down that side of the pitch, Forestieri came inside before chancing his arm with a right-footed shot from 25 yards but Silvestri was comfortably behind it. Leeds were back on terms two minutes later though, in fortuitous circumstances. There shouldn’t have been too much danger when Sharp played in a low cross from the right but the ball sliced off the outstretched leg of Tamas and there was nothing Hurelho Gomes could do about it. aving been pegged back, Watford spurned a great opportunity to retake the lead in the 36th minute when Abdi’s corner from the right picked out a totally unmarked Tommie Hoban, but the defender was unable to get over his header and put a clear opening over the top from no more than five yards out. The Hornets had another opening when Pudil capitalised on a lapse from Byram to open up a counter-attacking opportunity. But instead of trying to work the ball inside to the supporting Abdi and Forestieri, he carried on alone and his angled shot was dealt with by Silvestri. Tozser became the first player to be booked in the 42nd minute for a foul on Sharp, before a superb pass from Forestieri almost succeeded in putting Munari in on goal as the two sides went into half-time all-square. Forestieri, who had been the pick of the Watford players in the opening period, had another effort 35 seconds after the restart, curling a right-footed shot narrowly wide from the edge of the area after a Juan Carlos Paredes cross had been nodded down by Deeney. But Leeds went close to a second soon after as Jason Pearce headed a free-kick narrowly over after Gabriele Angella had been booked for a foul on Luke Murphy. The Hornets were presented with a free-kick in a great position in the 54th minute when Deeney was taken out by Stephen Warnock on the edge of the 18-yard box centrally. But Tozser got his set piece all wrong and it flew harmlessly into the Rookery. Sannino made his first change moments later, bringing on Anya for Paredes, before the complexion of the game changed entirely in the 56th minute. A mix-up in the Leeds defence allowed Forestieri the chance to latch onto the ball on the left side of the penalty area, only for him to be taken down from behind Bellusci. Referee James Linington had no hesitation in pointing to the penalty spot, the inevitable red card for the Leeds defender quickly followed, and Deeney did what was required from 12 yards to score his 11th goal in his last 11 appearances at Vicarage Road and make it 2-1. There was no surprise that Hockaday decided to make a change but it brought howls of ‘you don’t know what you’re doing’ from the visiting faithful when Sharp was replaced by Cooper in the 62nd minute. eeds were up against it and there task was made even harder four minutes later when the excellent Forestieri scored a memorable third. Munari got things rolling with a driving run from central midfield and the striker picked up the ball on the left edge of the area and jinked across the area, evading several challenges, before hitting a shot back in the direction he came and watched as it cannoned into the net off the far post. Forestieri’s fine afternoon’s work was ended in the 75th minute when he made way for Odion Ighalo, but not before he had come close to completing his hat-trick by hitting a left-footed shot narrowly wide from 18 yards. Leeds made their second change at the same time with Dominic Poleon replacing Michael Tonge. Munari went close to getting on the scoresheet as he headed narrowly over before both teams played their final hand; Smith replacing Antenucci while Andrews came on for Abdi. That looked like it would be that – apart from Leeds picking up a couple of late yellow cards – until the game entered injury time when the Hornets were awarded a free-kick 30 yards out and Tozser took aim before firing a daisy-cutter into the far corner. Leeds’ misery was further compounded when Byram left Pudil on the floor after an apparent elbow and after consulting with his linesman, Linington showed his second red card of the afternoon.  United take 3 points from their first 12 available and are in 19th position. Sometimes being a Leeds fan is like watching Jurassic Park every Saturday and cheering for the goat. . I’m sorry Hock. It doesn’t matter who we sign, because you are not capable of getting the best out of these players. Stop feeding caviar to the pig. I can’t keep my powder dry any longer. It’s time for a proper coach/manager.


Sloth agreeing terms with Leeds

Sat 23rd of Aug Sloth terms agreed Leeds United are on the verge of signing Casper Sloth after agreeing the terms of a three-year contract with the Danish midfielder. Sloth is poised to complete a move from Aarhus for a fee of around £600,000. The 22-year-old and his agent travelled to Leeds for talks yesterday and United are preparing to make him their 12th signing of a busy summer. Sloth, a Denmark international, in in the last year of his deal at Aarhus and has been linked with a move away from his homeland throughout the summer. French club Evian hold a long-standing interest in Sloth but Leeds agreed a fee with Aarhus earlier this week and finalised personal terms with the youngster last night. Sloth has amassed more than 100 appearances for Aarhus and he made his debut for the club in Denmark’s Superliga as a 17-year-old. The club were relegated last season, however, and Aarhus are ready to sell him with Sloth less than 12 months away from the end of his contract. Sloth is one of two midfielders who Leeds are known to have been pursuing. Separate talks aimed at bringing 20-year-old Brazilian Adryan to Elland Road will continue next week, with United attempting to persuade Flamengo to cut short his loan at Cagliari and send him to England. A series of tweets from Adryan yesterday appeared to stress his commitment to Cagliari but he is not involved with their first team at present and could depart Sardinia next week. United, meanwhile, look likely to avoid a late bid from Sunderland for talented right-back Sam Byram after Sunderland manager Gus Poyet hinted that Leeds’ asking price had ended his interest. Southampton failed recently with an offer in over £4m for Byram and quickly moved onto other targets, and Poyet – the former Leeds assistant – said: He’s a player we like and I’ve known him for a long time. “Like young English players, sometimes they are a little bit too expensive.”
Sat Aug 23rd. Hockaday needs to etsablish some roots at Leeds – Phil Hay The end of the press conference after Leeds United’s defeat to Brighton on Tuesday was more revealing than the press conference itself. “We’re still alive,” David Hockaday said as he left his seat and prepared to leave the room. Managers and coaches are prone to speaking like that but usually in March when death is creeping or the play-offs lie at arm’s length. Still alive after three games. It’s almost a contradiction in terms. On Tuesday the comment was quite appropriate. Hockaday let his guard down. It isn’t customary for a coach as new to the job as him to be talking so defensively, and Sami Hyypia did nothing to betray Brighton’s laboured start to the season, but Hockaday felt the need to shield himself. And so did many of us. For all the holes in his credibility, he’s not a naive man. He knows what’s going on around him and can sense that the balance of support is weighted against him. His throwaway comment on Tuesday was an unwitting appeal for all and sundry – supporters, the press, perhaps the club – to stay with him, and it left you thinking about the unfairness of it all: a coach steadfastly backing himself while the majority around him wait for him to fail. Leeds as a club are prone to mood swings, something Hockaday says is accentuated by the sheer number of supporters they have. That might be true but only in context. United have a bigger following than many English clubs but size isn’t the issue. The issue is the extent to which that following has been abused, misled and taught to distrust. The consequence is that a coach who feels a softening of attitudes towards him on Saturday can expect to be back in the dog-house and listening to cat-calls by the middle of next week. It would have helped on Tuesday had Leeds or Hockaday done anything to extend the truce established by their win over Middlesbrough. There might be a day when Elland Road accepts a 70-30 per cent split of possession in favour of the opposition but none of us will be alive to see it. When Hockaday speaks about the “new philosophy” he is implementing, he makes it sound like the innovative, forward-thinking approach that Leeds have been missing for years. But on Tuesday, Hyypia’s tactics looked like football from 2014. United were lost somewhere else and eventually reliant on the intense, overbearing effort that never quite worked for Brian McDermott or Neil Warnock. Hyypia managed Bayer Leverkusen before he wound up at Brighton so it stands to reason that the German model has influenced him – back-to-front interplay with goalkeeper David Stockdale as a poor man’s Manuel Neuer. Swansea City were the pioneers of this ideal in the Championship a few years ago; rigid in their style but good enough to pull it off. Brendan Rodgers reinvented Dorus De Vries – a keeper without the ball, the equivalent of an outfield player with it – but took care not to neglect his defence. They went up in 2011, as ready for the Premier League as any club promoted since. Rodgers achieved that in the space of a season so the benefit of time was not really his. What is pertinent, aside from Rodgers’ undisputed talent, is the steady and organised club he inherited at Swansea. Hyypia has his goals at Brighton but Albion have spent the summer flogging their most expensive players and his team is no more finished that Hockaday’s. Every club in the division is “work in progress” but some are starting, others are continuing and a few are finishing off. Where Leeds are concerned they suffered last season from an inferior midfield. The transfer window shuts a week on Monday and at this point the additions to that are of their squad stop at an 18-year-old from AC Milan who apparently isn’t match fit. Massimo Cellino’s view of the situation at Elland Road is that United’s team isn’t complete. He is more inclined to talk about the players than Hockaday. There is no sense of him pointing the finger at his coach and he argues still that Hockaday will do what he needs him to do, provided he has the resources. It is, on reflection, what an owner should be saying two months after making his choice of head coach. But the niggle with Cellino is his track record. If anyone in the Championship is going to think again quickly, it’s probably him. And so you have a uneasy combination – an owner who reacts impulsively and a coach who needs strong, unequivocal support from the top. Cellino may have more conviction about Hockaday’s ability than he is given credit for but on the outside, nobody feels it. Hockaday is experiencing what Diego Lopez had at Cagliari last season – a situation where each and every defeat brought questions about how long he had left. Lopez was never able to establish any roots. To wish the same fate on Hockaday would be nonsensical and counter-intuitive; as the man in the seat, it is in the club’s interest for his appointment to work. But on Tuesday is was apparent that this season won’t settle down until the head coach does too. Hockaday calls football a results business. Isn’t it just.
Sat Aug 23rd. Bates and Cellino to settle out of court SACKED from his position as honorary Leeds United president 13 months ago, Ken Bates is due to have his day in court in October. The case, if it goes that far, stands to cost someone a small fortune. Leeds took action against Bates over a range of disputed costs, the largest a private jet contract negotiated by the 82-year-old to fly him to games from Monaco. Bates was dismissed for gross misconduct but denied any wrongdoing and filed a counter-claim for wrongful dismissal. His position carried an annual salary of £250,000 – money Bates agreed to waive provided his three-year tenure as president did not end other than for a permitted reason.” The dispute was between Bates and Gulf Finance House, United’s former owner and the Bahraini bank who bought Leeds from him in 2012. Like most of GFH’s legacies, the court case fell into the lap of Massimo Cellino, when he replaced the bank as majority shareholder in April of this year. A feature of Bates’ time as Leeds chairman was a heavy outlay on court cases. Shaun Harvey, the club’s chief executive for as long as Bates ran United, once said they were costing “a fortune”. But there is expectation that Cellino and Bates will settle amicably and out of court after three meetings between the pair this week. Harvey – now CEO of Football League, the governing body which tried to block Cellino’s takeover – attended at least one of them, for reasons unknown. In an interview with his new radio venture, Radio Yorkshire, Bates said that in the dispute between myself and Leeds United, we’re having very constructive discussions and I believe they’ll be resolved sooner rather than later.”The interesting aspect of an agreement will be the part that the rights for live radio ommentary of United’s games plays in it, if any. BBC Radio Leeds is in the second year of the three-year deal it negotiated with GFH in 2013 but the corporation does not bid for exclusive rights. As a public broadcaster, it leaves the door open to other stations to commentate in tandem. Yorkshire Radio, the now defunct station which Bates established in 2006, commentated exclusively on Leeds’ fixtures for five years from the start of the 2008-09 season. The station folded in the summer of 2013 but Bates launched Radio Yorkshire this year, basing the station directly opposite Elland Road. Several sources claim that if Bates and Cellino shake hands, commentary rights will pass between them. Watch this space.
Friday 22nd of August. Leeds chase more signings United have already made 11 signings this summer but are still to make serious alterations to their midfield, and the club’s interest in Sloth comes as talks about another potential recruit – 20-year-old Brazilian Adryan – continue in the background. Leeds owner Massimo Cellino is attempting to sign Adryan for the second time having taken him on loan from Flamengo while he was in charge of Italian side Cagliari last season. Adryan’s loan at Cagliari is due to run for 18 months but United have been exploring the possibility of an agreement which sees Flamengo recall him early and then send him onto Elland Road. Discussions have been active for more than a week but they look likely to run beyond Saturday’s clash at Watford and into the final days of the FIFA transfer window. Head coach David Hockaday is anticipating further arrivals, saying: We’ve got numbers here but when you look at actual strength and depth in terms of the Championship, we need more quality. If you look at the bench of the teams we’ve played and the seasoned Championship players they’ve got, I still feel we’re lacking. “Ideally you’re looking for a squad of 20 to 22 senior players – combative, competitive players. I don’t think we’ve got that yet, and I know we haven’t got that yet. Not the ones we want.” Striker Mirco Antenucci became Leeds’ latest new signing last night, joining from Ternana for an undisclosed fee. The 30-year-old has accepted a two-year deal and is waiting for international clearance to give him the chance of a debut at Vicarage Road on Saturday. Antenucci captained Ternana last season and scored 19 times, keeping the club clear of relegation, and his move came a day after Leeds confirmed that Souleymane Doukara would be absent for a month with ruptured ankle ligaments. He’s a very good goalscorer, very powerful and explosive with good link-up play,” Hockaday said.He had a great goalscoring record last season and he’s somebody we’ve been trying to get to the club for a long time. It’s great news. “It’s most opportune that he’s come at this time because obviously Souley is going to be missing for four weeks. The timing couldn’t be better. Giuseppe Bellusci, the Italian centre-back who joined Leeds from Catania last week, is still waiting for his first appearance after an unexpected delay in securing international clearance from Italy. The necessary paperwork took seven days to arrive – a wait blamed on an Italian bank holiday last Friday – but Leeds are confident that Antenucci will be involved at Watford. “I’m hoping that he’ll be registered and he’ll be in the frame to play,” Hockaday said. Aug 22th. United chase Danish International midfielder Leeds United are to begin talks with Casper Sloth today after agreeing a fee for the Aarhus midfielder. United will speak with the 22-year-old’s agent later this afternoon following a successful round of negotiations with Aarhus yesterday. Sloth is out of contract next summer and is poised for a move to England after several years in the Danish top flight. Sources in Denmark say Leeds have agreed to pay around £600,000 for a player who is also interesting French club Evian. Sloth has been capped at various youth levels by Denmark and he became a full international in 2012. He made his debut for Aarhus in Denmark’s Superliga as a 17-year-old and his appearances for the club number well over 100. Aarhus were relegated from the top flight last season. Sloth is in line to become United’s 12th signing following the arrival of striker Mirco Antenucci from Ternana earlier this week.


One the face of it £600K for a Danish International looks good value. Time will tell. Leeds face competition from Evian for his signature.

Who is Casper Sloth ?  Casper Bisgaard Sloth (born 26 March 1992 in Aarhus) is an extremely highly rated Danish professional footballer, who currently plays for the Danish First Division side Aarhus Gymnastikforening (AGF). He is a technically skilled and creative midfielder, with vision and ability to both up the tempo and hold on to the ball.[1] He has played five games for the Denmark national football team icluding the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Sloth made his AGF senior debut in the Danish Superliga championship on December 7, 2009, aged 17. The game was a 1–1 draw with Esbjerg fB at AGF’s NRGi Park stadium.[2] On May 1, 2010 he opened his scoring account for AGF with two goals in a 4–1 win against Silkeborg IF.[3] In October 2012 he was voted Superliga Player of the Month.[4] Sloth has also played more than 30 games for various Danish youth selections, including eight games for the Denmark national under-21 football team.[5] On November 14, 2012, he made his debut for the senior Danish national team in a friendly game in Istanbul against Turkey. Sloth played the first half in a game which ended 1–1, and was hailed as one of Denmark’s best players of the game.[6Career 2009 AGF 134 Apps (10 Gls) 2 Full Caps and 12 U 21 Denmark
Friday 22nd of August . Evans astonished Agard chose Bristol over Leeds STEVE EVANS has professed his deep surprise at Kieran Agard’s decision to reject interest from a ‘worldwide name’ in Leeds United to drop down a division and join Bristol City. The Londoner completed his move from Rotherham United to the Robins yesterday after the west country outfit agreed an undisclosed fee with the Millers, believed to be close to £1m. The switch comes after Agard and his representatives could not agree personal terms with Leeds late last week, with the Whites unwilling to raise their offer to meet his wage requirements. Evans also claimed that, despite concerted attempts by Millers to persuade Agard to agree a new deal, they were facing a losing battle after the club’s promotion to the Championship, with the striker and his camp soon 
expressing a desire to leave. On Agard rebuffing Leeds to head to Bristol, the Millers chief said: “I am surprised. I am not surprised we gave him permission to talk to Bristol City because they agreed to match the valuation served by Tony Stewart. “But, wow – you turn down Leeds United and drop a league and go to Bristol City. That is no disrespect to Bristol City, but I am surprised. “Bristol City is a wonderful club with a fantastic owner, great supporters and are a big club for League One. I just find it surprising you would turn down a household, worldwide name in Leeds United and go to Bristol City. “You can go to the wildest place in Africa and when someone says Leeds, people know Leeds United, don’t they?” He added:To be fair to Rotherham United, Kieran’s representatives made it clear from the day after Wembley that under no circumstances would they entertain him staying here. “If that has been the case and I believe Paul Douglas’s attempts to get Kieran to extend his contract have been three and four months long, obviously you have to release the value on that player and that is what we have done.”
Fri 22nd. Bellusci becomes a permanent transfer instead of a loan. Leeds have confirmed that Giuseppe Bellusci’s move to Leeds is now permanent. He has Signed a four-year deal.
Thursday 21st of August Manner of defeat a puzzle after morale booster againt Boro – Lorimer Saturday’s win over Middlesbrough was a massive boost for morale at Leeds United and a pretty timely shot in the arm. I expected the confidence to flow after that result so why the team reverted to such negative tactics against Brighton I’ll never know. Brighton have a certain style about them – a style that emerged way back when Gus Poyet became their manager – and it’s not difficult to work out. They play from the back, they walk the ball out of defence and even their goalkeeper acts as an 11th outfield player at times. Against those tactics, it’s imperative that you push up and put man-for-man pressure on them around their own box. You can’t afford to let them stroll about and dominate possession – as sadly we found to our cost. Frankly, our players have got to be far more motivated than they were on Tuesday night. Our tactics seemed to be all about containing Brighton and that’s a very negative attitude when the team are coming off the back of a good win over Boro. The first half reminded me a lot of the first half at Millwall on the first day of the season. This isn’t the long and short of our problems but I think it’s a point worth making again – in the squad at the moment, we don’t have a proper captain. We don’t have a leader who’ll get hold of the players on a night like Tuesday and read the riot act to everyone and anyone. We pulled in a good crowd for a midweek match and the supporters got at the players a bit but the reason for the dissent was probably because it looked like the players were letting Brighton have their way. Brighton were all over us and it felt like Leeds were allowing it to happen. It’s imperative in those situations that big characters step forward and say ‘enough’s enough’. That responsibility falls to the coach too and obviously the tactics are down to David Hockaday but you could feel the buck being passed in the first 45 minutes. No-one wanted to get the bull by the horns and address the fact that we were all over the place.Criticism of the performance is clearly valid but even so, it’s important to remember that we’re very much a work in progress. I still expect more signings will come in before the transfer window shuts and the crucial thing now is that those signings target the areas of the team that need strengthening most. It’s plain to see that we need a better, stronger and more creative midfield. For so much of Tuesday, I wasn’t sure what our midfielders were supposed to be doing. They didn’t get forward to support the front two and they weren’t able to stop Brighton passing the ball through them. I heard Matt Smith take a bit of stick from the fans but in fairness to him, what was he supposed to do? We were playing angled balls from the halfway line and he’s got no chance of making anything of them. What he needs is players getting to the byline, swinging the ball in and inviting him to attack it. If you watched Smith last season, you’ll know how dangerous he is in those circumstances. On Tuesday he didn’t have a single chance to go at. Width is an issue for us and always will be with a diamond midfield. I agree with Hockaday to a point – you can have width in your team without any out-and-out wingers but only if you have a system which is well-practised and properly established. It sounded like Brighton experienced a few problems through the summer but their coach, Sami Hyypia, is clearly setting his mind on how they’re going to play. They looked very familiar with his tactics. What frustrates me is that we really allowed them a get-out-of-jail free card. They were under a bit of pressure after two defeats and we should have been all over them from the start. It was a chance to build on the Middlesbrough win, and even four points from those two games would have been a bonus. But we were second-best against Brighton and deserved nothing from the match. We go to Watford on Saturday now and the reality is this – play the same way at Vicarage Road and we’ll risk taking a heavy beating. If I’ve learnt one thing about the Championship over the years it’s that you get nowhere by trying to restrict or contain teams. You need to impose your own game on the opposition and make them dance to your tune. In that respect, Tuesday was a lesson for Hockaday and his players. They should know now that performances like that will be punished every time. It’s a dent to the confidence but I’ll look for a big response at Watford. I don’t often agree with Lorimer, but I think he is spot on.


Zac Benedicic stil “not match fit” according to The Hock which is both disappointing and worrying

Thurs Aug 21st. Benedicic still not match fit David Hockaday says a lack of match fitness is behind Zan Benedicic’s absence from Leeds United’s league games. Hockaday revealed that Benedicic was still to put himself in serious contention for a starting place after leaving the Slovenia international out of Tuesday’s defeat to Brighton. Benedicic was missing from United’s 18-man squad for the second time in four days having failed to merit inclusion in their 1-0 win over Middlesbrough on Saturday. The 18-year-old – signed on a season-long loan from AC Milan at the start of this month – was an unnamed substitute at Millwall on the first day of the season and came off the bench for his debut in Leeds’ League Cup win over Accrington Stanley last week. But asked about Benedicic’s lack of regular involvement, Hockaday said: “It’s about him getting match sharp. “He’d been with Milan in America (for the club’s pre-season tour) but he hadn’t played any games. He came to us, he trained with us and then we played him against Accrington Stanley but it was very obvious in that game that he lacked match fitness.”Leeds fielded Benedicic in a behind-closed-doors friendly against Rotherham United yesterday, giving the youngster a chance to hone his fitness ahead of this weekend’s trip to Watford. Hockaday’s midfield came in for criticism after Brighton overran Leeds at Elland Road and Benedicic – an attacking midfielder who has been with AC Milan since 2011 but never played for their first team – is an option available to United’s head coach in the aftermath of a poor loss. “We’ll see where he is,” Hockaday said. “There are one or two other players who need match practice too.” United suffered from a chronic lack of possession in the first half of Tuesday’s defeat and fell behind to a fifth-minute goal from Joao Teixeira, a young Spaniard on loan at Brighton from Liverpool. Kazenga LuaLua’s 84th-minute free-kick confirmed Leeds’ second loss of the Championship season. Hockaday bemoaned United’s performance before half-time but denied that his midfield was suffering from fundamental weaknesses, saying: “In most of our games I’d say that’s not the case. “In the first half on Tuesday I’d say yes (there was a problem) but in the second half we moved the ball around very well. “We were at sixes and sevens but we got the players focused at half-time and got the game-plan sorted out. We had one great move and one great chance, and we had to put that away. If that goes in – a chance in the six-yard box – then we’re dominant because they couldn’t get out of their half.” Hockaday conceded that his team were being hampered by a lack of pace and width but played down the idea of targeting out-and-out wingers in the remaining days of the transfer window. “Brighton didn’t have any wingers but they had lots of width,” Hockaday said. “It isn’t about that. People go on about this winger thing but in football you need people with pace. “I honestly think that the days of the winger who just stands out on the touchline, gets the ball and dribbles have gone. You can’t do that now. Everybody has to be involved. The game’s more tactical. “But I take the point that we need more pace and quality and we’ve been saying that since day one. After the Middlesbrough game, I didn’t change my tune – it was still a work in progress and we know where we are. “We’ll look at the Brighton performance again but this league is relentless. We’ve got a game on Saturday, then Wednesday and Saturday again. We’ve got to pick ourselves up because no-one’s going to feel sorry for us.”


New striker at Elland Road

Weds Aug 20th. Italian striker signs two year deal. Leeds United have tonight sealed the signing of Mirco Antenucci, landing the striker on a two-year deal from Italian club Ternana. The 29-year-old Italian netted 19 times in 40 appearances last season. Antenucci put pen to paper after a day of talks at Elland Road and is now awaiting international clearance ahead of United’s game at Watford this weekend. Leeds paid an undisclosed fee to make the former Torino forward their antenuccisisigns11th signing of the summer, strengthening an attacking line weakened by the loss of Souleymane Doukara to injury. Writing on Twitter, Antenucci said: “Proud to be part of this club. Hope to give you a lot of satisfaction.”United have been monitoring Antenucci for the past fortnight and stepped up their interest in him after a £850,000 bid for Rotherham United forward Kieran Agard collapsed. Agard failed to agree personal terms during negotiations with Leeds last Friday and is now set to join Bristol City in League One. Antenucci is well travelled in the Italian divisions and has played for Catania, Venezia and a number of lower league sides during a lengthy career. Leeds, meanwhile, are continuing to press for a deal to sign Adryan, the 20-year-old Brazilian midfielder on loan at Cagliari from Flamengo. Negotiations over Adryan’s signature look likely to run into next week but United owner Massimo Cellino remains hopeful of securing a player who he described as a “natural number 10.”


Antenucci has been very prolific over the years in Serie B – There is a 20 minute you tube clip on him scoring regularly with left and right foot – should be a good addition

Who is Mirko Antenucci ?  Mirko Antenucci (born 8 September 1984) is an Italian footballer and striker currently playing for Ternana Calcio in the Italian Serie B. He is the current captain. He also reprented his country at semi proffesional level playing for Italy U-21 C1. Antenucci began his professional career in 2002, with Serie C1 club, Giulianova Calcio, where in two seasons with the club, the young striker managed to make 35 appearances, before spending the 2004–05 season on loan at Serie C2 side, A.C. Ancona. During his loan spell with the club, Antenucci scored twice in 27 league appearances, before returning to Giulianova Calcio in the summer of 2005. In his second tenure with the Teramo based club, Antenucci scored 12 goals in 57 league matches, over the course of two seasons. In July 2007, he was signed by Serie A side, Calcio Catania,[1] and was loaned to S.S.C. Venezia ahead of the 2007–08 Serie C1 campaign. He made 27 league appearances that season, scoring six goals. On 1 July 2008, Antenucci returned to Catania and entered into the first team squad. He made four substitute appearances under, then coach, Walter Zenga in the first half of the 2008–09 Serie A season. On 5 January 2009, Mirco Antenucci was sent out on loan to Serie B club Pisa Calcio, to gain experience and playing time. During his six-month spell with the Serie B club, Antenucci scored just one goal in 20 league appearances, and the club failed to avoid relegation and also bankrupted. He returned to Catania on 30 June 2009. On 19 August 2009, Catania opted to send Antenucci on another loan deal to Ascoli,[2] where he joined fellow Catania loanees Marcello Gazzola and Vito Falconieri. Following his transfer to Ascoli, he thrived, earning a regular starting role, and going on to make 40 appearances in the league, scoring an impressive 24 goals. He only missed two league matches: the first round of the season and once due to suspension.[3] He returned to Catania ahead of the 2010–11 Serie A season. Antenucci did make 14 league appearances for Catania that season, although most of them were off the substitute’s bench. After just one goal, Antenucci was sent out on a co-ownership agreement. On 23 January 2011, it was announced that he joined Torino in a co-ownership deal. In his first 6-month spell with the club, Antenucci scored 6 goals in 19 appearances, before turning in an additional 10 goals in 40 league appearances the following season. His efforts helped guide the club to a second place finish in the 2011–12 Serie B standings with promotion to Serie A.[4] On 21 June 2012, Calcio Catania out-bided Torino in a blind auction for the player’s co-ownership, and so the 28-year old returned to Sicily ahead of the 2012–13 Serie A season. After making a substitute appearance in matchday one of the season on 26 August 2012, the player was sent out on loan to Spezia Calcio of the Italian Serie B, on yet another season-long loan deal, and finished the season with six goals in 33 league matches. Antenucci was sold in a co-ownership deal and loaned to Serie B side Ternana Calcio on 20 July 2013. where he was also named captain of the team. He scored his first goal in the first round against the Carpi, a penalty kick. The following game he scored against the Citadella with a goal in a 2-2 draw. Antenucci also scored on the fifth, sixth and ninth day respectively against Siena, Brescia and Lanciano. After one win in nine games, Ternana Calcio found themselves in the relegation zone. He scored a brace during a resounding 5-0 against the Novara and the next week, repeated the feat with another brace against Crotone. In the first half of the season, Antenucci had scored nine goals in 21 games. In the second round, the Terni technical changes, passing the leadership in the hands of Attilio Tesser. Antenucci begins with a bang, the second round, scoring six goals in eleven games, whcih helped Ternana to remain undefeated for twelve games. On 5 April 2013, he missed his second penalty of the season (the first against Latina) against Cesena, the defeat saw Ternana’s undefeated spell of 12 games. He returned to goal scoring form on the 36th day, in a 3-3 draw against Modena and repeated his goal scoring form in subsequent games against Bari and Padova. His goal against Spezia in a 2-2 draw on 22 March 2014, where he controlled a ball on his chest before striking a bicycle kick,[5] was awarded by The News Strip as Goal of The year. Sky Sports Italia voted the goal second place behind Paul Pogba‘s strike for Juventus against Napoli. After scoring 19 goals in 40 Serie B appearances for the rossoverde, he finished the fifth top scorer in Serie B for the 2013–14 season helping Ternana Calcio avoid relegation with a 16 place finish. His contract was redeemed by the Umbrian club upon the conclusion of the co-owenrship agreeement on 20 June 2014, for an undisclosed fee.[6] It was reported on 17th August 2014 that Leeds United had agreed personal terms with Antenucci ahead of a permanent move. In 2002, Antenucci represented Italy U-20 C1 before then representing Italy U-21 C1 Italy Lega Pro in 2003. In 2005, Antenucci won gold representing Italy, in the 2005 Summer Universiade in Turkey. With Italy winning the Gold medal beating Japan in the Summer Universiade Men’s Football final. Honours : Club Serie B Runner-up (Promotion) 2011–12 season : Torino Individual Serie B Top Goal Scorer (Runner-up) 2009–10: 24 goals. Career : 2002–2007Giulianova (2 Apps (13 Goals) 2004–2005 →Ancona (loan) 26 Apps (2 Goals) 2007–2011 Catania 18 Apps (1 Goal) 2007–2008 → Venezia (loan) 27 (6) 2009 → Pisa (loan) 20 (1) 2009–2010 → Ascoli (loan) 40 (24) 2011–2012 Torino 60 (16 Goals) 2012–2014 Catania 1 (0 Goals) 2012–2013 → Spezia (loan) 33 Apps (6 Goals) 2013 Ternana loan 40 Apps (19 Goals) . Weds 20th. Adryan would have to “work hard” to make it. talkSPORT’s South American football expert Tim Vickery believes Leeds target Adryan Tavares, who was once labelled the ‘new Zico’, could be a success at Elland Road – but only if knuckles down to rebuild his reputation. The 20-year-old attacking midfielder is currently on loan at Serie A outfit Cagliari from Brazilian side Flamengo, but the Whites have been linked with a move for the Brazil Under-20 international. And Vickery is cautious about how the creative star would fare in the hustle and bustle of the Championship. “Flamengo are the club that produced Zico and every young playmaker who’s come along since has had this new ‘Zico’ tag,” he told Hawksbee and Jacobs. Adryan has been playing for Flamengo since the age of 17 and with huge expectations and he never lived up to them. He was very much a dreamboat, it all came a little bit too soon, but that’s not to write him off totally. “He’s been with Cagliari and I don’t think he did a great deal with Cagliari. But there is some talent there and he strikes the ball very well. “I think the Championship from a physical point of view might give him a test, although he’s quite well built. The big thing that will be tested, if this move comes off, is his attitude. “How does he cope with the fact that three or four years ago he was being talked about as a wonderkid and he’s now outside the top flight, albeit if he goes to Leeds it is a club that has size and tradition. “How do you cope with that? Does he have the strength of character to dig himself back into the top ranks or does he settle for mediocrity?”
Weds Aug 20th. The Scratching Shed – Enough of this charade, hiring The Hock was mental Try as you may to be patient and give him a fair crack of the whip, in the back of every Leeds United fans’ mind is the nagging fear David Hockaday is drowning at Elland Road. However much the perpetually optimistic try to rewrite history and dismiss his failure at Forest Green Rovers by pointing to some ultimately trivial differences between his respective job titles, David Hockaday had never been appointed by a Football League club because David Hockaday failed when he got the chance to prove himself. His job, like the job of every manager (or ‘head coach’) is to pick a starting XI and set tactics to overcome the opposition and it’s the result of those decisions which should determine how far you go in this game. At Forest Green Rovers, managing one of the most well-funded clubs in the Conference, he almost led them to relegation. Twice. On one occasion only avoiding it on a technicality. And it doesn’t matter how much you want to paint over that fact and try to put a positive spin on his CV, the Forest Green Rovers part is his most relevant experience. No other club of Leeds United’s size is hiring a manager who was a perfectly good coach but ran a much smaller club into the ground when given the chance to step-up because that would be mental. Hiring David Hockaday was mental. I don’t blame David Hockaday for one second though. He hasn’t lied his way into the job or pretended to be something he’s not, Cellino got hold of his CV, spent a couple of hours with him moving salt shakers around a table and decided he’s the man for the job. Somehow failing to recognise that when it comes to football, we all talk a good game – because that’s the easy part! Producing a good game is where it gets tricky and in that respect, Hockaday was already known to be lacking. So if you want to play blame games, it starts and ends with Cellino for he’s the one who bought a Ferrari and gave the keys to Maureen Rees. What Leeds United have always needed is a Lewis Hamilton, albeit a much cheaper one. A Daniel Ricciardo if you will, someone whose ambition and self-confidence is matched by a proven record at lower levels and is deserving of the step-up. Someone who the press and fans won’t immediately raise doubts about due to his total failure elsewhere. Because however much some of you want to try to minimise that failure, it’s highly relevant, will be brought up constantly and does effect the players. We’ve seen professional footballers lose confidence in experienced and successful managers quickly enough, but it’s a hell of a lot quicker when the players already have their doubts, the system isn’t working, we’re getting embarrassed on home soil by Brighton and the person leading them can’t point to previous successes to offer reassurance. Hand-on-heart I’ve tried to give The Hock a fair chance, you need only look at how positive I was trying to be following the lucky win at the weekend, but he hasn’t made it easy with embarrassing displays against Millwall and Brighton and a very fortunate win against Middlesbrough who were running us off the park until a perfectly good goal was disallowed and they let their heads drop. Why are any of us continuing with this charade when we know Hockaday has zero chance of lasting the season and is going to be replaced soon enough anyway? My mate brought his young lad last night, who despite being about 40 years The Hock’s junior and having no experience (unless you count the Football Manager game), still managed to call the problems we’d have the second he saw the line-up – no width and a weak midfield too easy to dominate and overrun. Little smartarse though he may be, he didn’t nail the prediction because he’s the next Jose Mourinho, he’s simply seen a few Leeds games and could spot the glaringly obvious flaws in The Hock’s masterplan – as could every other fan inside Elland Road. And that begs the question, why couldn’t David Hockaday? I didn’t print any of the 50 plus comments, 90% of which were negative toward The Hock. Equally if there is an article supporting The Hock in The Sabotage Times I will post it. After two defeats and a win there is a feeling growing that he needs a performance and a result  at Watford or the situation may become difficult for him.


Doukara whose running off the ball was missed against Brighton is out for four weeks with ligament damage

August 20th. Doukara sidelined for a month Leeds United striker Souleymane Doukara will miss a month of the season with ruptured ankle ligaments – but the club are hopeful that the Frenchman can avoid surgery. Doukara is likely to be out for a minimum of four weeks after suffering an injury in Saturday’s 1-0 win over Middlesbrough. The 22-year-old – one of United’s 10 summer signings – was hurt by a late tackle from Boro left-back George Friend shortly before half-time. Leeds substituted him early in the second half and Doukara was seen wearing a protective boot during Tuesday’s 2-0 defeat to Brighton. ead coach David Hockaday said: “He’s ruptured his ankle ligaments. It was a really bad tackle and he’s going to be out for weeks. “It’s a blow because we need more pace and Souley gives us pace and the power. We missed him (against Brighton). It’ll be X number of weeks for him, not just one or two. How many will depend on how it settles down but I’d think three or four weeks minimum.”He doesn’t need an operation, he’ll get an injection which will tighten everything up and hopefully speed up the healing process.”

Weds August 20th. The Sabotage Times Leeds: Stop Feeding Caviar To A Pig, Get Hock Out Nowby Paul Sherman – Trouble is: who’d want to work for such a mercurial boss? – Leeds: Stop Feeding Caviar To A Pig, Get Hock Out Now In a private box high in the East Stand at Elland Road after the match/debacle last night, Massimo Cellino and his inner sanctum very likely had a discussion, actually it was probably more of a presidential diatribe. Cellino bought Leeds United to succeed, to take the club back to the promised land of the Premiership where it belongs, he will not abide failure and craves success like an alchy does booze. Massimo has a huge desire, passion and ego, he asked Sky not to show the Boro game because his creation wan’t ready, he wants to show the world his creation, in all it’s glory, shiny and new and attractive. If he reacts again in a similar way to post Millwall, expect the squad to grow fast with urgent need for trimming than the end of Movember. He said at the beginning of the season that he would have a good idea of what’s what after three games, well here we are and we’ve seen crap, lucky & crap and in the first and third games the lack of fight was frightening. What is the point of buying all these new, shiny, potentially exciting, technically adept players then sending out a team containing too many of the failed journeymen bought by those football dinosaurs Warnock & McDermott? More crucially why feed caviar to a pig by giving Hock & Junior access to this feast of talent? Our leader made a mistake, he has to admit it now, get rid and move on. I wavered a little, even considered that Hock might be a masterstroke appointment, I admit the lads are fitter than in previous seasons but right now realise that I was right first time and for all Hock’s hackneyed bulls*** about “putting a shift in”, teams will not get an easy ride against us, we will work harder than anyone else. Hock and Junior are out of their depth, they must go now – it’s time to crack on. More… Leeds: Cellino May Be An Evil Genius, But He’s OUR Evil Genius It’s simply not true, we rolled over far too easy against both Millwall & Brighton and beat Boro with a mixture of luck and sheer passion, driven by the crowd, sentiment and the bare chested Billy Sharp. The big question is: which coach in his right mind will come to Leeds and work for our mercurial master? We fans demand a credible manager to get out of this division, we demand good football but most of all we demand that the lads who pull on the shirt play with pride in it. The attempted midfield diamond last night had one major flaw, it left a gaping hole the likes of which hadn’t been seen since Jordan last gave birth, right down the middle of the pitch. The turgid threesome of Austin, who can’t pass, Tonge, who can but has the engine of a 1963 Morris Minor and the legs of a 63 year old Tiller girl and Murphy who is the biggest waste of £1M since that chav lottery winner went on a spending spree, do not have the mobility, nous or apparent interest in playing what is now known as a false diamond, it certainly should not be for ever! Paddy Kenny left this week by mutual consent, in other words, Massimo made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. Mr. President needs to do the same with the rest of the contracted carthorses, Hunt, Morison, Norris, Warnock [I know, he was man of the match on Saturday, but back to disinterested dogs hit last night], Wootton & White [as soon as he is fit]. Assuming the Antonucci & Adryan deals are consummated successfully, the squad looks the strongest for years with the ability to play different formations, I quite fancy a new variation which would get our three best defenders on the pitch at the same time and hopefully stop the easy concessions. 5-3-2. Defensive solidity, width & pace offered by wing backs. Press hard, pass & move, it can’t be that difficult for a squad brimming with talent. Just get a proper coach in Massimo, please, now, for us but most importantly for you. : Paul 11:51 am, 20-Aug-2014 Some Comments DAVID HOCKADAY has to go now. He has no idea, and we have some great players. Henryv 12:32 pm, 20-Aug-2014 The Hock may go? We do not have any great players. We have some that are ok in this league, but we are still buying on the cheap, thinking more about the money than the player. If we had brought in 3 top players, instead of 10 unknowns, we may have made some progress. We have a batch of young midfield players – we might as well play them. Can it be any worse than last nights midfield?? Fj 1:18 pm, 20-Aug-2014 I think he’ll go once we lose three on the trot. There are a dozen decent managers who are made for Leeds but I doubt they would even apply. Celliono doesn’t WANT a top line name, because he wouldn’t be able to dictate to them. The fact he used a fcking agent’s recommendation is staggering…talk about gullible and I bet the agent got a kickback. Whitetillidie 1:56 pm, 20-Aug-2014 I agree with some of your comments such as the old guard still being around, especially Austin BUT do you seriously think a big named coach could get anything more out of these guys at the moment. For starters he has new players who have to bed in, get to know his best side, formation etc. Our two centre backs have played 2 games together!! We still have new faces coming into the squad and I for one am not going to judge the coaching team until we have played ten games at the very least. Against Brighton AND Middlesbrough we played some great football in the second halves. Yes I know we have witnessed a lack of conviction for the other periods BUT you can see the kind of philosophy Hockaday is trying to instil in this team. Will it work? Who knows BUT he needs to be given a chance and time for his first team to gel. I have been as down heartened as any other Leeds fan over the years but I for the first time in a decade have hope of great things and that will only come with stability and an owner like Cellino who has our great club in his heart and not just a way of making a quick buck. MOT Mr orange 2:09 pm, 20-Aug-2014 can anyone explian to me why it was when our keeper had the ball and was about to take a dead ball kick all our players ran over to the right side of the pitch ??!! they bunched together like a cub football team and it was from this “tactic” that the young brighton loanee found himself in acers of space on thier right hand side to have a free run on our keeper and score , then at 1-0 down Leeds were never coming back against any team that can pass a ball ; this “tactic” was repeated all night and if this is a eg of comedy daves grand plan then off ya pop is what I say. yorxman 3:03 pm, 20-Aug-2014 Just look at the difference in stature between the 2 coaches last night, worlds apart! Since the promotion of 2010 our midfield has disintegrated so much so that we simply get over run in every game whoever the opposition. Austin will never be good enough but the fans love him cos he puts a ‘Batty’ type tackle in every now & again…wake up people that will not get us anywhere! Tyler75 4:55 pm, 20-Aug-2014 Dear Massimo I applaud your root and branch restructure of our troubled club. I appluad your commitment and significant activity in the transfer market. I applaud your passion. Please admit that your gamble to prove everybody else wrong by appointing The Hock has failed – we need to move on. He wasn’t good enough at Forest Green Rovers and doesn’rt even come close to competent at LUFC – by all mean get in a ‘coach’ that you can work with rather than a British style ‘Manager’ but please make it someone who understands tactics and can coach and get the respect of the players you’ve assembled. It might be wirth giving Gary Macalister call. Grazi and Forza Leeds.
Weds 20th of August. We all love Leeds After the euphoria of Billy Sharp’s late, late winner on Saturday there was the unusual whiff of optimism in the air as we parked the car and headed down Elland Road for our clash with Brighton. The Happy Chocker, Quiet One and Brother Chris were in good form as we debated the possible team and how we can take advantage of a Seagulls team who had lost their first two games and were yet to score a single goal. Add to that their fans disenchantment with the current management and everything was set for an all too rare successful Tuesday night championship game in LS11! Then we entered the ground. Mr Hockaday had made two changes to Saturday’s team with Smith replacing the injured Doukara and Tonge demoting Ajose to the bench. New signing Bellusci was on the bench along with Norris. Brighton were supposedly low in confidence and struggling to adjust to their new manager Sammy Hyypia’s tactics. Well all I can say is I’d hate to play them when they’re on top form because right from the first minute they dazzled Leeds with simple effective one touch pass and move football that was very easy on the eye. Within 5 minutes Teixiera opened the scoring after Warnock committed himself in the centre circle and lost the ball leaving acres of space down the left flank which the Seagulls quickly exploited to give Silvestri little chance in the Leeds goal. The boisterous home crowd were stunned into relative silence as the crashing thud of a harsh reality check could be heard all around the ground. Brighton absolutely dominated the first half leaving Leeds embarrassingly chasing shadows for the vast majority of the half as the visitors made the most of the wide Elland Road pitch. Time and again the ball was switched from wing to wing with ease as bewildered Leeds seemingly had no answer to this style of play. Worse still they stuck doggedly to a tight narrow diamond formation which in effect give Brighton carte blanche to run the show without breaking sweat. “This could get really messy” I mused as the natives got more and more restless as the game headed for half time. Brighton finished the half with a sublime move that left Calderon with a free header on goal that he thankfully put wide. Remarkably the score was only 1.0 at half time after Brighton had enjoyed what seemed to be 98% possession with most of our 2% taken up when we were taking throw ins. Our best chance was when Austin nearly charged down Stockdale’s clearance in the Brighton goal. Not good to watch. Safe to say none of the verdicts of the Urinal philosophers were repeatable even in my broad minded blog. Hockaday had to change something and he did. Smith was sacrificed up front to allow Ajose to give the Leeds midfield some much needed width. After keeping Brighton waiting before the start of the 2nd half Leeds hit the ground running straight away as they strung numerous passes together on their first attack culminating in Rudy Austin doing a step over and a dummy as he strode through the Brighton midfield with ease. This fired the crowd up and all of a sudden there was a chance we could drag our selves back into the game. Now it was Leeds who were using the flanks to attack. Byram was now bombing forward causing trouble for the Seagulls defence. Austin was the playmaker as he pinged 40 yard passes to each flank. Chances were few and far between though. Ajose cut inside and blazed over before Tonge missed the one and only golden chance Leeds created after Byram had got to the bye line and pulled the ball back to the midfielder who screwed his shot wide from 7 yards with the goal gaping in front of him. Leeds mustered a bit of a last hurrah with Poleon on for Sharp and Cook on for Murphy but they left themselves horribly exposed at the back. Ince exploited the space to hit the post when he really should have scored before Lua Lua ended the agony with a firm free kick under the Leeds wall and into the net. 2.0 Brighton and game over. Overall a very poor showing from Leeds against a Brighton side who oozed confidence and class when they had the ball and fully deserved their victory. Leeds are definitely still work in progress. Murphy and Tonge struggled along with Bianchi in midfield but Austin gave probably his best display in a Leeds shirt…..or was he just average amongst some poor performances? Tactically Leeds got it very wrong in the first half and although they rectified it at half time it was too little too late. One shot on target all night from Leeds at home tells it’s own story. Onwards to Watford on Saturday. Will there be more new arrivals by then? I do hope so. Cant wait. Forza Leeds


Brighton celebrate their opener

Tuesday 19th of August. Leeds 0, Brighton 2 (Teixeira 5, Lua Lua 84). United: Silvestri, Byram, Pearce, Cooper, Warnock, Austin, Tonge, Bianchi, Murphy (Cook 80), Smith (Ajose 46), Sharp (Poleon 80). Subs. S Taylor, Bellusci, Wootton, Norris. Referee: J Adcock. Booked: Austin, Murphy, Pearce (Leeds), Holla (Brighton). Att: 21429. Report from YP ONE step forward and a quick step back as is so often the Elland Road way. The euphoria of Billy Sharp’s debut against Middlesbrough blew itself out last night as Brighton dragged Leeds United down to earth. The club know better than to leave the ground for long but their head coach, David Hockaday, will wonder how the buzz created by his team on Saturday was lost so comprehensively four days later. The journey from appreciation to booing inside Elland Road was nothing if not quick. There was disquiet at half-time after Brighton waltzed around the pitch unhindered and again at the end of the match as an attempt to redeem those 45 minutes came to nothing. An early goal from Joao Teixeira, a loanee from Liverpool, separated the teams for most of the match but the disparity in dominance and technical proficiency was far wider. Albion had problems before yesterday, or so it was said. Their visit to Leeds was an easy way to get their season going. Teixeira struck with the first chance of the game, beating Marco Silvestri from a tight angle, and Leeds were denied a shot on target for well over an hour as Brighton spread the ball around the field and challenged United to do the same. The balance of the game swung eventually and Brighton were compelled to dig in but other teams have had harder appearances at Elland Road. Middlesbrough for one. Michael Tonge saw the only chance of note for Leeds, albeit one which should have earned the club a point, and Kazenga LuaLua killed the game by converting a free-kick six minutes from time. There is something afoot in Brighton and unhappy noises emanated from the south coast over the weekend. The summer that followed their appearance in the play-offs has been an odd period in which the club achieved little more than the sale of their better players, the most recent Will Buckley to Sunderland for £2.5m. Two defeats in as many games brought Albion to Elland Road in a chastened mood and without a point to their name. The pressure before kick-off was unexpectedly weighted in United’s favour, despite a fixture list which promised them trouble, but Brighton found solace in Leeds and quickly rediscovered their touch. United’s late win over Boro bought Hockaday some grace, increasing the swell of people who seem willing to reserve judgement of him, but yesterday’s result was limp retreat. Hockaday tweaked his team before kick-off, using Matt Smith to fill the gap up front left by Souleymane Doukara – a player who arrived at the ground with a protective boot on his injured ankle – and Tonge also came into the team, a fair decision in response to his influence in the closing minutes of the victory against Boro.As the days pass, Hockaday is finding himself with more and more to work with. Another striker could sign this afternoon if Leeds successfully conclude negotiations with Ternana’s Mirco Antenucci, and the chase of Brazilian midfielder Adryan goes on. On the evidence of last night and two previous league games, the midfield is where most attention is needed before the transfer window shut and where United’s deficiencies lie. Brighton’s possession in the first half ran to 70 per cent. The game did not reach the fifth minute before Hockaday’s team were asked a question they failed to answer. Brighton broke from midfield after Stephen Warnock committed himself to a sliding tackle near the halfway line and Teixeira ghosted in behind Liam Cooper before driving the ball across Silvestri and into the far corner of the net. The tension in United’s football was palpable and the lack of width painful as Brighton ran the contest. Adam Chicksen lashed a volley over the crossbar with enough space on the edge of the box to do better, and David Stockdale – the Albion – was alone in his box for the first 20 minutes as Leeds’ midfield struggled with their ball retention and gave Brighton free rein. The possession Albion saw did not amount to much, even though Leeds looked at certain junctures like they were waiting for Sami Hyypia’s players to cut them open again. Kemy Agustien scuffed an effort wide without worrying Silvestri and the match was almost half-an-hour old by the time Luke Murphy tried to test Stockdale with a shot which struck a defender. Tonge’s 20-yard effort soon after came no closer to forcing an equaliser. The rest of the half followed a familiar pattern as Brighton hogged the ball without finding a route to Silvestri. Chicksen became Albion’s regular outlet, appearing unmarked on the left wing so often that even the crowd began pointing the problem out. Billy Sharp was belatedly used to offer some resistance as Leeds limped to the interval. Smith was sacrificed at half-time – an unlucky victim in the circumstances – and Nicky Ajose took his place. With a different system, Leeds worked their way into the match and left Brighton to look for chances on the counter, and the opportunity that Hockaday hoped for came in the 69th minute. Sam Byram created it by producing a trademark sprint towards the visitors’ byline and cutting the ball back to Tonge who bundled it against Calderon on the Albion goalline. Stockdale was nowhere but other defenders were waiting to see off the danger as Sharp grimaced. Brighton substitute Rohan Ince did the same 10 minutes from time after he galloped onto Craig Mackail-Smith’s through ball and shook Silvestri’s right-hand post but the cost to Albion was not high. Soon after, Jason Pearce conceded a foul on the edge of his box and LuaLua drilled the free-kick under the wall and into an unguarded net. Game over, as it seemed to be from the outset.   The Hock speaking to LUTV : They caught us cold. They played brave. They were brave on the ball. We weren’t. In the second half we had a great chance and didn’t put it away. It could have been a different game then. I was as diasppointed in the second as I was in the first. We never relly had that cutting edge. We didnt get the ball in the box, and when we did, we never put that chance away. Strange performance in many ways. First half not good enough. Second half, we didn’t have the quality to punish them. I had to change it at half time. We are having a game behind closed doors tomorrow and I’ll make my mind up for Saturday on one or two things. We need to get another two or three players in. Other than that we didnt really pose them any problems. Overall disappotinig. We are a work in progress”. United were given a footballing lesson from the first minute. In truth 5-0 would have been a fairer reflection and The Hock struggled tactically to match Sammy Hypia’s side. Brighton were a wounded animal having lost their opening two games. They were mobile, offensive and bright on the ball. Leeds were lack lustre and blunt in attack and our midfield couldn’t cope with their incisive attacks. More players will arrive during the week bringing better quality, but if you play Matt Smith and Billy Sharp up front you have to get crosses into the box and Leeds starved the duo of service. Doukara’s running was no doubt missed, but we will be missing players from time to time. We lacked guile and penetration. No width was on show again tonight, and a decent winger must be a priority. How long are we singing that tune ? Obviously Adryan could provide the skill and mindset we need to break teams down. If Saturday was a step forward, tonight was a real wake up call. Plenty of work to be done, and another stern test for us at Vicarage road on Saturday.

Weds 19th of Aug 2014. Antenucci to sign on Wednesday- Phil Hay Mirco Antenucci should become a Leeds United player in the next 24 hours, according to the striker’s representatives. Antenucci is scheduled to fly to England tomorrow morning and put the finishing touches to his transfer from Ternana, his agents have told the YEP. The 30-year-old forward has been strongly linked with United for the past week and his camp are confident that a permanent move to Leeds is on the verge of completion. Antenucci, who is co-owned by Ternana and Serie A club Catania, has had a long career in the Italian leagues and captained Ternana in Serie B last season but he is set to become the latest Italy-based player to switch to Elland Road. A representative of Antenucci’s claimed the forward will sign tomorrow”, describing the transfer as “almost done”. United’s tally of new players has already run into double figures this summer but owner Massimo Cellino appears intent on securing further signings before the FIFA window closes a week on Monday. The 58-year-old is in talks with Flamengo over a possible deal for Adryan, a 20-year-old Brazilian midfielder who is currently on loan at Cagliari. Adryan joined Cagliari on an 18-month contract last season – a transfer arranged while Cellino owned the Sardinian club – and Cagliari are believed to have an option to sign him permanently for a fee of around £5m. But Leeds are speaking with Flamengo, Cagliari and Adryan’s agent in an effort to secure an agreement which sees him recalled by Flamengo and then transferred to Elland Road. Cellino has described negotiations for Adryan as “difficult” but told the YEP that the Brazil Under-20 international was a “natural number 10.”
Tues 18th Smith signs 3 year contract LEEDS UNITED have been handed a further boost with striker Matt Smith having penned a new three-year deal with the club. The former Oldham frontman, whose existing contract was due to expire at the end of the 2014-15 season, has been locked in talks with the club for the past few weeks, with an agreement having now been reached.Smith’s signature has added to a growing feel-good factor at Elland Road following last week’s captures of Billy Sharp and Liam Cooper. United remain in the market for several other signings, with a deal for striker Mirco Antenucci reportedly close and Brazilian midfielder Adyran also talking with the club about a move from owner Massimo Cellino’s former side Cagliari. On signing his new deal, Smith – who hit 13 goals last term and had been linked with Millwall earlier this summer – said: “It is a huge honour and a privilege for me to represent the football club. To extend my future here is brilliant and I’m over the moon. “I’m very happy and I’m delighted that it has happened.”
Mon 18th of August. Kenny leaves Leeds by mutual consent  Paddy Kenny has left Leeds by mutual consent. The goalkeeper made 70 appearances for the club having been signed by the boss who called him “the best keeper in the Premiership”, Neil Warnock. The 36-year-old, who had a year left on his deal at Elland Road, was not given a squad number ahead of the 2014-15 campaign, with his days at the club having effectively been numbered for the past few months. Kenny did not accompany Leeds on their pre-season tour of northern Italy earlier this summer, with some reports suggesting that owner Massimo Cellino was unhappy with his weight – although representatives close to the player scotched any suggestion he was unfit and out of condition. Other reports said that Cellino’s aversion to the number 17 – Kenny’s birthdate is May 17 – was also a factor in the desire to part company with the keeper, although the club denied the rumours. Cellino and Kenny’s representatives had been in contact ahead of the season in a bid to resolve the future of the former QPR and Sheffield United custodian, who has now reached a compromise agreement with Leeds and has now left the club. Head coach David Hockaday said: “By the time I got here (in June), the decision had been made. Paddy has been very professional about it, to be fair to him. “He wasn’t taken away to Italy, although he had been ill a couple of days previously. But he has conducted himself really, really well. “I genuinely wish him well. I think he’s a good keeper and good lad. The club have obviously come to a compromise deal with him and I genuinely wish him well. “I am sure he will go somewhere and go well.”  
Mon Aug 18th. The Hock’s press conference for Brighton game At his press conference The Hock believes Byram will be here for ‘at least another season.’ On Byram, ” In my opinion, this is the best place for him. He is looking more of a complete player.’ Leeds will be looking to loan some young players out including Cairns once window closes. He admitted Leeds were after players to challenge the first XI, not squad players. ‘Been close to a number of deals, more than people aware of.’ He said ‘Smith is a big part of my plans’ and said , “to his knowledge, Smith has signed a new deal, ‘certainly offered it.’
MonAug 18th. Hard graft is making United a decent side – Eddie Gray I thought Leeds did well on Saturday as they worked hard and ’Boro’ are a decent side. They are well fancied but we stuck at it and showed a lot of resilience. There were some good performances and it was nice to see Billy Sharp score as he’ll be the man that people will be looking to take over from Ross McCormack. What he did on his first game for the club will give him a huge lift. He’s an experienced player, he’s fit and he scores goals – he’s got the goods. It was a bad mistake by the goalkeeper for the goal but Billy followed it up very well to stick it in the back of the net and that’s what he’s there to do. I also thought the boy Liam Cooper played well at centre-back. He looked composed on the ball and he looks as if he will get better and better. All in all, it was a good performance. You don’t get carried away and David Hockaday said after the game about the hard work they had put in and you could tell the hard work they put in as a few of the players were going down near the end with cramp. They had to work hard to keep with a good Middlesbrough side because they are a good passing side. And we were probably a little bit fortunate, well, very fortunate with their disallowed goal because it was a goal. Stephen Warnock put his head down and Albert Adomah’s feet weren’t even that high! You’ve got to say we were a bit lucky there and that was a turning point in the game I felt. I felt that aggravated ’Boro’, they weren’t too happy with the decision and they seemed to lose it a bit after that. We got a bit stronger and in the second half we battled and battled and we got our reward near the end of the game. It was a great time to score because when you score a goal that late on it’s very unlikely that a team is going to come back at you. I think that’s why the fans were so happy when Billy scored, because they thought that’s us winning the game. It was a great crowd to say the game was on the box and having two home games in a week. And the fans will now be looking forward to tomorrow night’s game against a Brighton side that have lost a couple of their best players that have moved on. They have just lost to Birmingham and it’s an opportunity for us to pick up another three points at home. You’ve got to look at the positives after Saturday and there were a lot of positives. But we’re too early to start talking about the play-offs! There’s a lot of new players at the football club but definitely on Saturday it was encouraging and that’s all you can say. I think it will give the fans a lot of optimism for the future and after the game the fans were delighted with the effort the players put in. That’s all they ask and they got their reward. In terms of what else we need, I’d still like to see somebody brought in out wide – somebody who can play out on the flank, who can go by people and who can get balls into the box. But other than that they look quite solid. You looked at the side before the kick-off on Saturday and we looked strong. It looked like a strong side. In this league, if you’re strong and you work hard then you’ve got a chance and hopefully Saturday was a sign of things to come. We need to make it difficult for sides to play at Elland Road and if we make ourselves difficult to beat there then you never know what can happen. There’s teams in this league that we can beat and there’s not much difference between a lot of sides in the Championship. It will be as competitive as ever and you look at the Fulham team but they’ve not had a good start. You can never tell and they’ve come down from the Premier League which is probably a bit of a shock to them. There’s a lot of sides in the league that are finding their feet in it and I think it will be as competitive as last year. We obviously go to Watford on Saturday and that will be a tough game but Saturday was a tough game and the signs were good for us. And I was delighted for David Hockaday. It was his first home league game at Elland Road and he got three points against a decent side. You can’t ask for any more than that.
Sunday Aug 17th 2014. Strikers United are in the market for another striker and are being heavily linked with Adryan or Mirko Antenucci. Adrian is young at 20, and plays in the number 10 role behind the strikers, or at the head of the diamond as a very attacking midfielder. He is more of a replacement for the Viviani Antenuccitransfer that fell through than a partner for Billy Sharp or Doukara. It’s not in my view an either or situation. The Brazilian was brought to Cagliari by Cellino and is very much the unfinished article with undoubted huge potential. At ten years his senior, Mirco Antenucci (pic’d left) is an out an out goal scorer at Serie B level in Italy. There is a 20 minute cameo of him on You tube and he can certainly finish with his left foot or right foot. He has never been able to cut it in Serie A. Leeds would have to stump up €1.5M Euro to tempt him into the Championship, not an inordinate sum. To me he is more of of an alternative to Kieran Agard of Rotherham than Adryan of Cagliari. Let’s hope he doesn’t keep the Sheriff waiting, and this type of player is a top priority for Leeds as is a striker, but we need a Viviani type player, a playmaker if you like. It does beg the question ? Dominic Poleon, Matt Smith, Noel Hunt and Steve Morison are all trailing Doukara and Billy Sharp. Millwall are keen on Matt Smith who Leeds are in contract talks with. In Hockaday’s system, without a winger the 6 foot 5 inch Smith doesn’t fit. The Hock seems to like Poleon as an impact sub but Poleon wants first team football and may be keen to go out on loan. Massimo Cellino is an excellent negotiator. He earned a remarkable £11M on Ross McCormack but something tells me that moving Steve Morison and Noel Hunt on may prove a greater challenge to the wily Italian than negotiating with Fulham unless he subsidises their moves heavily.
Sun Aug 17th. Weekend Tweets : Simon Austin has tweeted : MC has got back to me on Adryan. Just says “it’s very difficult”. Read into that what you will. #lufc. Emanuele Giulianelli : Nothing true about an interest from Leeds for Valmir Berisha. Phil Hay : Nigel Clough said he was offered Noel Hunt (at Sheff United) but had no interest.
Sunday 17th of August. Cagliari clear Adryan for Leeds – Football Italia Cagliari appear to have given the all-clear for Adryan to join Leeds United. The 19-year-old Brazilian is a creative midfielder who can sit behind the strikers and only joined Cagliari in January from Flamengo. Over the last few weeks there were reports Leeds had approached the club for Adryan, but were told to wait until Coach Zdenek Zeman had evaluated him in pre-season training. As Adryan wasn’t even called up for Saturday’s 4-0 defeat to Celta Vigo, the Gazzetta dello Sport are confident he’ll be given the green light to go.

Adryan 20 year old brought to Europe by the Sheriff


Adryan – Will he be signing for Leeds United ?

Who is Adryan ? Adryan Oliveira Tavares, or simply Adryan (born August 10, 1994 in Rio de Janeiro), is a Brazilian footballer who plays for Cagliari on loan from Flamengo as a attacking midfield playmaker. He has also represented Brazil U-20. Adryan has always been treated as a player with ability and potential.[1] In his still short career, Adryan has collected caps for many different categories of the Brazilian national teams such as U-15, U-16 and U-17. Champion for Flamengo at youth level in 2010, the midfielder was selected, at that time aged 16, to play in the 2011 Copa São Paulo de Futebol Júnior (which allowed players under 18 years of age), was one of the top players in the tournament and finished as champion. After the good campaign in the Copa São Paulo de Futebol Júnior coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo gave him a chance to train in the pre-season preparation with the professional team. He debuted in a friendly match against Londrina at Estádio do Café on February 9, 2011. He spent little time training with the professional team as he was selected to play with the Brazil U-17 team in the 2011 South American Under-17 Football Championship, being champion. A few months later he was again selected to play in the Brazil U-17 team, but this at a higher level in the 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup. During the competition he was linked with Manchester United.[2][3][4] On July 1, 2012, Adryan played his first game for the Brazilian Série A, against Atlético Goianiense, and he scored in the 3–2 Flamengo victory.[5] On January 22, 2014, it was announced that he would go on loan to Cagliari Calcio on a one and a half season loan.[6] He played as Cagliari’s no. 32.[7] He made his debut for Cagliari Calcio on 1 February in Serie A against Fiorentina. For the 2014–15 season Adryan has been given the no. 10 shirt by Cagliari Calcio.Adryan was a key player for Brazil U-17 team in the 2011 South American Under-17 Football Championship victorious campaign. He played eight matches and scored three goals in the tournament and finished as champion.[8] The young player has been called up by coach Émerson Ávila alongside Lucas Piazón as the biggest stars of Brazil U-17 team in the 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup.[9][10] On June 23, 2011 Adryan scored the winning goal against Australia U-17 with a fine free-kick.[11][12] On June 26, 2011 he scored the equalizer in the 90th minute to level Brazil U-17 with Côte d’Ivoire U-17.[13] In 2012, he was included in the list of the 101 best players born after 1991 compiled by Don Balón. In his homeland, Adryan is nicknamed herdeiro de Zico meaning ‘heir of Zico‘ and il nuovo Zico (the new Zico).[14] Career : 2011 Flamengo 37 Apps (2 Gls) 2014 Cagiari loan (0 Goals).


30 year old Antenucci is a proven goal scorer in Serie B – Could he hack it in the Championship ?



Antenucci to Leeds ?

Sunday Aug 17th Antenucci close to Leeds move – Gazzetta dello Sport have reported that Leeds have made progress in the deal to bring Mirko Antenucci to Elland Road. The Italian player is happy with the personal terms being offered to him by Leeds so all that needs to be agreed is the transfer fee for him. Antenuci is co owned with Serie B sides Catania and Ternana and the two clubs are looking for a fee of around €1.5m for the player to join Leeds. It has been claimed that in the next few days Leeds hope to hold talks to discuss the transfer fee for the forward. It looks like the club are continuing their recruitment policy in bringing in players from Italian football and Antenucci could be the next one to arrive although there are reports they are also interested in Lazio defender Diego Novaretti. The West Yorkshire side have already brought in Marco Silvestri, Tommaso Bianchi and Gaetano Berardi on permanent deals and they have also taken Catania forward Souleymane Doukara on a season’s loan with an option to buy. They have also been linked with a number of other players from Italy but some deals haven’t yet materialised. Since the arrival of the new owner Massimo Cellino the club have adopted a policy in looking for players from his own country Saturday August 16th. A week is a long time in football It’s been an interesting week. Massimo Cellino as we know has a few bob. Massimo Cellino as we know is a passionate man. Massimo Cellino as we know is a stubborn man. Massimo Cellino as we know is passionate about his football. Massimo Cellino as we know is passionate about Leeds United. Massimo Cellino as we now know is knowledgable about his football. Massimo Cellino (most definitely after the Millwal game) realised he was not as knowledgable about English Championship football as he thought he was. What was always in doubt was if he would put his money were his mouth was and spend money on this team and give the coach (the man he anointed) a chance to succeed. Previous regimes didn’t. I wrote last week : “We were horrendous against Millwall. It’s a big difference taking on Millwall at the new Den compared to Dundee United in a Mickey Mouse friendly at Elland Road. This game went exactly the way I expected it would and in truth a five or six margin between the sides wouldn’t have flattered the London side, and Millwall are no earth shakers. Fail to prepare. Prepare to fail. I know I sound like a broken record. Hockaday is out of his depth but put the man to blame for this defeat is an Cellino0IHockatMwalltalian by the name of Massimo Cellino. Ross McCormack has not been replaced and no effort has been made to replace the Championship’s top scorer. Unforgivable ! The Viviani and Sorensen transfer/non transfer saga sums up our entire summer preparations for the Championship. Cellino has done everything on the cheap since he overpaid the Arab’s for Leeds United. His ego ended the last two transfers when he no doubt tried to be clever by changing the deals at the eleventh hour. So far he has delivered nothing on the pitch for Hockaday’. etc etc etc etc etc etc. It’s been a good week for Leeds United. It’s been a good week for Dave Hockaday. It’s been a good week for the fans of Leeds United. Why ? The Sheriff of Leeds United has reversed some of his previous decisions and at last spent a few bob on Leeds United on decent players. Just like buses. We wait for ages and then three come along. Three decisive additions all of whom he had previously castigated as being “too expenseive” (Liam Cooper) too spoiled and greedy” re wages ( Bellusci) and “too old at 28” (Sharp) were added to the squad. The Hock has been knocked on this forum but he deserves more of a chance. His influence on the Billy Sharp signing should not be underestimated. Ajose, one of Hock’s signings doesn’t look to be good enough to be in the team but at 150K the coach can be forgiven a punt here and there. I won’t say I’m not disappointed we haven’t signed Kieran Agard from Rotheram. I really think he would have been a terrific player for us, but Cellino’s new found haste in the transfer market may speed up the arrival of an altertenative. United still lack a playmaker and deep down Cellino will be hurting that Viviani is not in this Leeds side. Luke Murphy has still not shown enough for the one millon we spent on him. We have had a decent result agasinst Boro. It could have gone the other way, especially if Adopmah’s goal had stood. We certainly won’t get carried away. But Hockaday has to be admired for being so resolute. He has shown no litlle back bone. Lewis Cook came on for his home league debut and didn’t look out of depth. We still need width badly, a striker, a playmaker and a defender but slowly but surely it seems to be coming together on and off the pitch. I’ll leave the last word with the The Hock : “I want to prove the president right in appointing me”


New boy Billy shows of his six pack – definitely no fat boy from Sheffield – but no more yellows Billy


Fair play to Warnock playing for his future – He was excellent against Boro

Saturday 16th of August 2018. Leeds United 1 (Sharp 88) M’bro 0 United: Silvestri, Byram, Cooper, Pearce, Warnock, Murphy, Austin (Cook 86), Bianchi, Ajose (Poleon 75), Sharp, Doukara (Tonge 53). Subs. S Taylor, C Taylor, Wootton, Smith. Referee: S Attwell. Booked: Sharp (Leeds), Ayala, Leadbitter, Friend (Boro). Report from LUFc Official website Att: 24,484. Report from LUFC website. There were three league debuts for United’s first home Sky Bet Championship match of the season. Tommaso Bianchi was making his first league appearance and new signings Billy Sharp and Liam Cooper came in from the start after signing for the club on the previous Wednesday. The atmosphere inside Elland Road was electric at kick off and United had a great chance to go a goal ahead within two minutes. Debutant Sharp was played through on goal and only the quick thinking of Tomas Mejias, who came off his line, prevented the striker having an early attempt. The rebound was latched onto by Nicky Ajose but his effort was cleared off the line. Apart from Sharp’s early chance the opening 25 minutes of the game were very even. Both had their moments on the ball but it was Middlesbrough that looked the more dangerous going forward with Kike causing a threat up top. On 25 minutes the away side had the ball in the back of the net when Albert Adomah connected with a bicycle kick. Referee Stuart Attwell disallowed the goal for a foul in the build-up. Just moments later Middlesbrough went close when Daniel Ayala connected with a corner but the defender’s header went wide. The Middlesbrough chances kicked United into life and went on to create a number of chances. First Bianchi tried his luck from distance and forced a good save from Mejias. Sam Byram also got forward well and was found on the edge of the box by Luke Murphy, but the defender’s shot went wide after great control set up a shooting attempt. The noise levels rose inside the stadium as United looked more aggressive and lively going forward. There were further chances for both sides before the break but it was Middlesbrough that went closest. In added time good build-up from the away side led to Adomah being free in the box but a great goal-saving challenge from Stephen Warnock prevented the winger from getting a shot on goal. United started the second half brightly and caused the away side problems at the back. Two corners in quick succession kept the pressure on Middlesbrough but the keeper was rarely called into action. There was very little in the way of goalscoring opportunities in the opening 20 minutes of the second period. The away looked to have created an opening in the 69th minute when Kike was played through but a great covering tackle from Warnock prevented the Spaniard having a shot on goal. With 10 minutes of the game remaining Sharp had two good chances in front of goal. The best of the two was a header from a corner but the striker could only turn it wide of the post. Minutes later the striker closed down a poor backpass but the Boro keeper just beat him to the ball. But in the 88th minute Sharp was the Elland Road hero when the Middlesbrough keeper soilled a shot and the striker was there to smash the ball home and give his new side a 1-0 win. The Hock : It took a goal poacher to sneak the win for us. “To come away with a clean sheet and the three points, I cannot ask for anymore. “It was a great team performance for a young inexperienced team.” Hockaday on how he’s coping with the job: I’ve been in football for 40 years. Pressure’s my middle name.” Hockaday on Sharp: That’s Boromanagerwhat he does. I’m delighted for him but we should be proud of every player tonight.” Boro manager Karanka : “Today we are disappointed because we lost the game. I told them at the beginning that (Billy) Sharp is a goalscorer and the only chance he had he scored. “For that reason we need to improve. I think this game could be good for us to wake up, because one week ago everyone was thinking about promotion. For me and my players this is a ‘welcome to the Championship’ again.” “I can’t understand at the moment why the goal is not on the score”. “I can understand Albert (Adomah) had his foot high but if he should have whistled in the first second, not five or six seconds later when the linesman was running back to the middle. “I didn’t like today’s performance, we played in their style and we didn’t keep the ball. I tried to do it by putting Adam Clayton on the pitch and Luke Williams at the end of the game but we didn’t get to play in our style. “It was difficult (for Mejias) but in the same way I don’t like to say one player is better than the other, I don’t like to talk about one individual mistake.” United rode their luck especially after the first twenty minutes. Boro will complain they had a goal chalked off for nothing (re Adomah’s bicycyle kick finish). They say over a season these things even themselves out. We’ll see. The Hock said his side will never be found wanting for efforf and sweat, and Leeds most definitely finished the stronger, perhaps many benefiting fron his Itallian training camp in pre-season. The Hock has taken stick on many forums including this one, but will receive plauidts when deserved, and United were together as a team from the word go. I thought his substitutions were brave, correct and most importantly effective. The former Forest Green tactician against the former Real Madrid assistant manger tactician. Surely only one winner today ? Leeds most certainly are not the finished article, but the team, the club, and we the fans needed that win today…and it was sweet for everyone including Cellino, The Hock, the fans and Billy Sharp that “the fat boy from Sheffield” pounced on Boro’s weak link (their keeper) to bury the winner in the 88th minute. We won’t get carried away but we’ll enjoy our three points today. Very good recovery from the Millwall performance on and off the park. Sat Aug 8th. Millwall sparked urgent week of transfer business – Phil Hay YP They say that Massimo Cellino was everywhere at Millwall – on the touchline before kick-off, in the tunnel at half-time and back down there at the end of the game. He is hopeless at sitting on his hands, which is pretty much what Leeds United did the last time their season began with such a dig in the ribs. Under-resourced and under-prepared: Millwall on Saturday was 2011 revisited. If you were at Southampton on the first day of that feeble season, you’ll remember it being worse. Even Simon Grayson described a 3-1 defeat as shameful. The team was inadequate and the thinking confused – Darren O’Dea signed quickly from Celtic and played at left-back, Ross McCormack used alone and invisibly up front. The game ended with an impromptu protest against Ken Bates. So what did the club do? Allowed the transfer window to close with barely another signing and sold Max Gradel on the day that it closed. O’Dea was one of five new players on top of Michael Brown, Andy Lonergan, Paul Rachubka and Andy Keogh. Chief executive Shaun Harvey said the window was “ugly” and waded into a damage-limitation exercise involving Mikael Forssell, Mika Vayrynen and Danny Pugh. All the kings horses and all the kings men. Cellino won’t know that story and won’t have seen the bad blood it produced but it is true to say that Leeds’ post-Southampton were depressingly ordinary but not in jeopardy. They had Snodgrass, Becchio, Clayton and Howson for half the season. Relegation didn’t come into it. What Cellino saw at Millwall was a shell of a team losing comprehensively to a Championship club who are not, for all Ian Holloway’s protestations, a big player in the division. This suddenly became a critical week for Leeds – the last week before the transfer window descended into the usual bunfight leading up to deadline day. In Italy they see Cellino as an owner who refuses to suffer humiliation gladly and has a low pain threshold when it comes to humiliation itself. One Italian football writer said the reason Cellino ate through so many coaches at Cagliari was not because he enjoyed the role of executioner but because he struggled to tolerate anyone who was vaguely letting him down. Cagliari was his club and the success or failure of his club reflected on him before anyone. He had a profile to think about and a reputation, employed for a short time the vice president of the Italian Football League. Most of the transfers to Elland Road this week have ticked along nicely, devoid of the politics which ruined others and dragged down talks with Kieran Agard yesterday, but that is not to say Leeds planned to act so urgently before Millwall gave them a shock and a shake. Cellino was selling Leeds short with the squad as it was and the performance at The Den convinced him of that. It is a sharp change of philosophy for United to spot those deficiencies and act on them. In previous transfer windows, the club were prone to dressing their squad in the emperor’s new clothes; refusing to see how little was there despite the evidence around them. Business has been hasty, as business in August usually is, and Leeds have taken gambles alongside safer buys like Billy Sharp. Liam Cooper at £600,000 is a big leap and the club’s failed bid for Agard – more expensive again – was an offer for a goalscorer who has never seen the Championship before. But they are young, on a recent upward curve and within a certain budget. They are signings a club can only gamble on if they are willing to pay for them first. Agard was judged fairly or unfairly as a risk too far.The telling aspect of the deals with Sharp, Cooper and Giuseppe Bellusci was that they all required a degree of backtracking or re-analysis. Bellusci’s opportunity to come to Leeds blew up last month after a disagreement over wages. Cellino called him “spoiled” and told him to stay in Italy. Sharp was seen as too old by the Italian – a debatable opinion at 28 – and Cooper was considered too expensive at anything over half-a-million pounds. This time last week there were other avenues to explore. You could call the about-turns weakness or panic on Cellino’s part. You could equally call them pragmatic. Leeds decided to bid again for Cooper within hours of talks with Frederik Sorensen collapsing. Bellusci was on a plane from Rome by noon on Tuesday and signed that night. Pride swallowed, deals done and the squad reinforced for a head coach in David Hockaday who is now engaged in a fairer test of his talent. In refusing to cover any cracks, Millwall was a tipping point – and very much the right result.

Friday 15th of August Whites prepare for Boro without Bellusci United face Middlesbrough on Saturday (12.15pm) but they will be without full-back Gaetano Berardi who will be serving the first of his three match suspension. The full-back was sent off in the final minutes of United’s 2-1 Capital One Cup win on Tuesday night and will now miss Middlesbrough and Brighton at home, as well as Watford away. A likely absentee for United is striker Steve Morison, who continues to suffer with a calf injury that kept him out of the opening day defeat to Millwall. United made three signings this week and Billy Sharp and Liam Cooper could be in line to make their debuts on Saturday in front of the Sky cameras. But, Giuseppe Bellusci will have to wait as international clearance has not been granted due to a bank holiday in Italy on Friday. If I wanted to name them on Saturday then they are fit to play, they are ready to go,” David Hockday said of Billy Sharp and Liam Cooper. “They all trained on Thursday and Friday and we are assessing their fitness levels and we’ll make the decision.”

Friday 15th. of August. Whites look to other options. Leeds United will look to other attacking transfer targets next week after pulling the plug on a bid to sign Rotherham United forward Kieran Agard.United’s interest in Agard ended abruptly yesterday lunchtime as the club rejected his wage demands during a brief meeting at Elland Road. Leeds agreed a fee well in excess of £500,000 for Agard late on Thursday night and believed a deal was in place with the 24-year-old ahead of face-to-face discussions yesterday. But Agard’s switch from Rotherham fell apart in less than an hour as Leeds refused to meet the salary requested by him. A source close to the deal told the YEP that the club were also annoyed by Agard’s failure to attend the meeting on time. Leeds had hoped to confirm his transfer before noon, allowing him to play against Middlesbrough this afternoon. Leeds owner Massimo Cellino accused Agard of having a “bad attitude” but the player’s agent, Lee Payne of Full Contact, said United’s offer of personal terms had been unacceptable. Payne told the YEP: “We just haven’t been able to agree personal terms. “Leeds were hopeful of getting him signed in time to play (against Middlesbrough) but they were keeping their offer within a budget and we couldn’t agree to it.” Agard scored 26 times last season and Leeds were ready to pay Rotherham close to £1m for him, despite the former Everton trainee having only a year left on his contract. Leeds will turn elsewhere for another addition in Agard’s position and are being credited with a serious interest in Mirko Antenucci, an Italian striker who plays for Cellino’s old club Cagliari. Antenucci, 30, spent last season in Serie B with Ternana and has previously played for Torino and Catania. But the likely arrival of another forward will not force Matt Smith out of Elland Road. Smith is set to be handed a new contract by Leeds after meeting with the club for talks on Thursday. Smith, whose existing deal expires next summer, has been the subject of recent speculation following a bid for him from Millwall but he is expected to receive the offer a new deal next week, potentially ending doubts about his future. Friday Aug 15th. Smith to get new deal. Leeds United are to offer striker Matt Smith a new contract, the YEP understands. The 25-year-old forward will be given the chance to extend his deal at Elland Road in a move which should end Millwall’s pursuit of his signature. Smith and his agent met with United officials yesterday and was told that the club have no plans to sell him. Millwall were preparing a fresh bid for Smith after failing with an initial offer last month and looked poised to increase their valuation had yesterday’s talks between Smith and Leeds come to nothing. Smith’s existing contract expires next summer. The 6’5″ striker joined Leeds on a two-year deal from Oldham in 2013 and scored 13 goals for Leeds last season, but he reached the start of the new Championship term without any formal negotiations about improved terms. Friday Aug 15th. Agard move collapses Leeds United’s bid for Kieran Agard dramatically collapsed today after the club and the winger failed to agree personal terms. Agard travelled to Leeds for talks this morning after Rotherham United accepted a bid last night but the move has fallen through. The 24-year-old’s agent, Lee Payne of Full Contact, said discussions broke down with Leeds unwilling to raise their offer to Agard above a set level. Payne told the YEP: “We just haven’t been able to agree personal terms.” Leeds were hopeful of getting him signed in time to play (against Middlesbrough) tomorrow but they were keeping their offer within a budget and we couldn’t agree to it.United owner Massimo Cellino also confirmed that the deal was off and accused Agard of having a “bad attitude.” Agard appeared to be on the verge of becoming United’s 11th summer signing today having missed training with Rotherham to meet with officials at Elland Road. Leeds targeted Agard at the start of this week having scouted him regularly last season and Rotherham were open to the idea of selling him after he entered the final year of his contract and rejected the offer of an extension. Very disappointed. I thought he would have been a great addition and offered us something completely didfferent up front. Agard I suppose joins Sorensen and Viviani all of whom were ‘too greedy’ or had a “bad attitude” according to our chairman. Fri Aug 15th. Sharp always had a soft spot for United – Hay YP Meant to be? Billy Sharp thinks so. His allegiance as a supporter is to Sheffield United but part of him always fancied Leeds. And Leeds United have long fancied him. His transfer to Elland Road on Wednesday was set up and completed in a couple of days but the courtship between Sharp and Leeds ran for many years. Each transfer window brought talk of a move, going back to 2009. This week, however, was the first time he got close enough to sign his name. “There’s been speculation about Leeds before and I’ve been excited about it a few times,” he said. “But it never really happened. It never got to the stage where I had the chance to decide. “Everyone knows I’m a Sheffield United fan and Sheffield United are supposed to hate Leeds United, but for some reason there’s been a soft spot in my heart for Leeds. I always wanted to play for the club – and I’m not just saying that because I’m sat here now.” Signed from Southampton, Sharp is United’s poacher and goalscorer; he is to Leeds what he has been to many clubs in his career – Scunthorpe, Doncaster Rovers, Nottingham Forest and others. When he met the Leeds’ owner, Massimo Cellino, this week, Sharp was told to hurry up and score goals.” There has been urgency in Cellino’s behaviour ever since a defeat at Millwall last Saturday asked uncomfortable questions of the squad at Elland Road. Sharp felt “overwhelmed” by the positivity surrounding his move from St Mary’s. It must be nice to feel wanted after two seasons in which Southampton sent him out on loan repeatedly and gave him no real chance. Promotion to the Premier League in 2012 was a satisfying moment for the 28-year-old but neither Mauricio Pochettino nor Ronald Koeman, Southampton’s new manager, made him feel welcome or at home. This is a clean and necessary break. “I got promoted at Southampton, which was a dream, but it faded away after that,” Sharp said. I never got a chance. If I’d got a chance and not done it then I’d have held my hands up but there’s still part of me that thinks I can do it at that level. “The last two years haven’t been unhappy as such because I’ve been at Reading, at Forest and I’ve been back to Doncaster so I have been playing football. It’s just been frustrating to go from one club to another and then another. I’ve signed here for two years now so I know where I’m going to be. I’ll not have my missus on my back saying ‘where are we going to be next week?’ “But seriously, it means I can get my head down. I’m going to have spells when I’m not scoring goals but I’ll still know where I am and through the good and the bad I can concentrate on my football and concentrate on Leeds United. “This (28) is an age where you’re supposed to be in your prime but the last two years have been frustrating. I have played football – just not as much as I would have liked.” Sharp is the self-style ‘fat lad from Sheffield’ – the moniker his uses on his Twitter account. My dad said I killed myself by putting that,” he joked. “I’ll need to take my shirt off to show it’s not true.” But all kidding aside, his reputation is sound. Sharp was deadly at Scunthorpe – form which, no doubt, persuaded Nigel Adkins to take him to Southampton several years later – and has never drawn a blank at any of the clubs he has played for. Doncaster paid £1.1m to sign him in 2010 and Southampton put up £1.8m two years later. Leeds did not stump up a traditional fee for Sharp but they agreed to compensate the final year of his contract at St Mary’s, equating to an up-front cost of more than £500,000. When Sharp accepted a two-year deal on Wednesday, he did so while another new recruit – defender Liam Cooper – was finalising his own move from Chesterfield. It gave the striker the chance to get to know a new team-mate before he’d even signed his contract. “It’s nice to sign on with someone else,” Sharp said.It meant there was at least one familiar face here. But I know Paddy (Kenny) and Michael Tonge and at the last few clubs I went to I honestly didn’t know anybody. So it’s fine. The first day is over and that’s always the hardest one.” Next up after his first training session yesterday is a debut at home to Middlesbrough tomorrow, United’s first home game of the Championship season. Sharp has joined a club who, as yet, are not quite sure where they stand: under new ownership, adapting to Cellino’s eccentricity, beaten badly by Millwall on the first day of the season and awash with new players. Sharp was signing number nine, and Cooper number 10. ead coach David Hockaday quizzed him about his fitness yesterday and was assured by Sharp that he was in shape and ready to play. I told the gaffer I’ve been training and playing through the summer and I’ve not missed a session,” Sharp said. I’ve had a bit of game time (in pre-season) and that’s obviously not as competitive as tomorrow but I’m ready.” You feel like he’s been waiting for this, and for longer than anyone knows. Thurs 14th. Agard bid accepted ? 9:30PM Sean Taylor at the Press Office has tweeted that Rotherham have accepted a bid from Leeds United. Earlier Rotherham United boss Steve Evans has said that Leeds United have expressed an interest in Kieran Agard but have yet to bid for the striker. Evans also Agard4admitted that the millers have already turned down a bid from League One side Bristol City for the former Arsenal academy player and there are a number of other clubs interested in Agard, who scored 26 goals for Rotherham last season. Speaking to BBC Radio Sheffield on Thursday morning, Evans said, “There are clubs interested in Kieran. There have been bids but as yet, none have met my satisfaction. “The chairman has made it clear that Steve Evans will decide whether a bid is to be accepted and at this moment in time, no-one has put an offer in to me that I have been able to discuss with the chief executive and recommend to our chairman that he be sold. “Leeds United have expressed an interest but I don`t think they have made a formal bid. Bristol City have had a bid turned down but they are not alone.” The 24-year-old turned down the offer of a new deal with Rotherham this summer and he is now in the final year of his contract. Thurs 14th of Aug. “I’m ready for business at Leeds” – Billy Sharp. BILLY Sharp declared himself ready for an immediate Leeds United debut as the dust settled on his move to Elland Road. United’s new signing wants a starting place against Middlesbrough on Saturday, saying: “If I get a run in the team, I can get the goals” Leeds signed Sharp from Southampton on Wednesday and head coach David Hockaday is set to cut him loose at the first opportunity after assessing his fitness in training on Thursday. The striker was on the fringes of Southampton’s first team throughout pre-season and has not started a competitive game since April but United are under pressure to respond after their opening game of the Championship term ended in 2-0 defeat at Millwall last weekend. Leeds followed up that defeat by bringing three new players to Elland Road, including 28-year-old Sharp on a two-year deal, and the forward intends to make a quick impact. “I told the gaffer I’ve been training and playing through the summer and I’ve not missed a session,” Sharp said. “I’ve had a bit of game time and that’s obviously not as competitive as tomorrow but I’m ready. “If I get a run in the team, I can get the goals and help the squad be successful. “The opportunity to be part of this club and make it successful is a lure to everyone. I wanted to be part of the jigsaw.” Sharp is the most recognisable of United’s summer signings and arguably the most high-profile. His arrival and that of centre-backs Giuseppe Bellusci and Liam Cooper – transfers completed in the space of 24 hours – lifted Leeds after a bad afternoon in Bermondsey last weekend, and Hockaday is confident of making amends against a Middlesbrough side who he described as “the in-form team of the Championship.” Boro finished last season strongly under Aitor Karanka and beat Birmingham CIty on the first day of the new term. But Hockaday said: “I totally believe that when we get it right, we’ll be a match for most teams.”


Sheriff – “Hurry up and score goals”

Thurs 14th of Aug New Arrivals and their squad numbers Giuseppi Bellusci will wear the number ‘5’ shirt. Liam Cooper has the number ’32’ shirt, and Billy Sharp will wear the number ‘8’ shirt. Sharp tweeted :My new chapter in my career is with Leeds United, can’t wait to get started hopefully it’s an enjoyable and successful journey”. Sharp said that when he met Cellino, he told him : “hurry up and score goals”. Hockaday said all three players are in contention for the Boro game on Saturday. Speaking to LUTV, Hockaday said, “There will be one or two more additions. When they come in, I am still not sure. “We have already shown a lot of patience and we want to get players in at the right price and we don`t want to pay over the odds. “Regarding players going out, there will come a time when we will reach saturation point and one or two people might have to leave.”   


Liam Cooper and Billy Sharp in their first United training session

Thurs 14th of August.Why Leeds Fans Should Be Swimming In A Sea Of Positivity – The Scratching Shed At last, after all the pain of the last decade and after the disaster of last season, the slow arousal that turned into a flaccid non event of the Bates era and the gross incompetence and mismanagement and mismanagement of GFH, Leeds fans, at last, have an owner who puts his money where his mouth is. Massimo Cellino, the self appointed Sheriff of Beeston and his close knit posse have sorted the finances at the club, putting it on a sound financial footing and along with his deputy, Nicola Salerno, attracted an array of fine, mainly young, hungry talent to bolster a squad fat with old journeymen collected in the Warnock & McDermott eras. He may not have the Qatari gazillions or Roman’s billions, the Yanks at Liverpools’ polished sporting heritage and he hasn’t demonstrated the spending with reckless abandon of Tony F at QPR. Cellino is a man with a plan, we have a boss with charisma, passion & a drive to get Leeds United to the Premiership. He took a long hard look at the organisation from top to bottom and went through the set up like a wrecking ball. The miserablists this morning sit in shocked silence on their sofas, they said he wouldn’t spend after selling McCormack and would keep the cash. Let me yell you something, won’t spend, you say, 10 new players have joined the family, 10 lots of transfers, contracts, loan fees and the promise of more to come, the miserablists can go to hell my friends. Massimo Cellino is cool, ultra cool, from his Italian tailoring and leather jackets to his nasal twang, borne from too many smokes and possibly the odd toke over the years. He will talk to everyone, always with wit & charm, calls the ladies darling and many of the male journalists have developed man crushes already. It doesn’t matter if its a formal press conference or a sleeve tug in the street, he’s always got time, the press who cover Leeds have found nirvana, as Cellino talks there is a rat a tat tat of quotable quotes and more metaphors than a metaphor factory.

More…5 Things Leeds Need To Know About New Signing Liam Cooper 4 Big Reasons Leeds United Will Rise Again… The Sheriff shoots from the lip and makes decisions, some appear to be bonkers, like appointing Hock & Junior as a coaching team, however, Leeds United are playing a passing style of football, the squad is fit and players are making positive noises, we are get to be convinced fully by the gruesome twosome but time and results will tell. Truth be known, the coach is merely a pawn in the President’s game, interchangeable and replaceable, the key is that the business is strong and the squad capable of competing. An abject performance at Millwall on the opening day of the season appears to have stung Cellino into action, or maybe it was the plan all along, who knows with Massimo. It culminating in the most exciting day of transfer action in eons yesterday when we signed the Warrior, centre half Giuseppe Bellusci, a bit of a nutter so he will fit in great here, highly rated central defender Liam Cooper and striker Billy Sharp who the club had been having an on off affair with for years. Social media was in meltdown with unbridled joy. he 10 signings, which are mooted to soon become a dynamic dozen if the links with the prolific Agard from Rotherham and striker Mirko Antonucci, are a mix of British & Italian lads. The giant Stuart Taylor was signed as goalkeeping understudy to the highly rated, athletic Marco Silvestri. Defender Gaetano Berardi has already endeared himself to the fans by being sent off for a waist high kung fu challenge in the victory against Accrington. Zan Benedicic is a wonder kid creative midfielder signed from Milan, young with massive potential, Tommaso Bianchi, already dubbed Tommy White is a cultured midfielder with a fine range of passing and good technical ability. Nicky Ajose is a pacy forward who had a troubled time at Peterborough and has a point to prove. Souleymane Doukara is a powerful, fast beast of a forward who scored a couple of cracking goals on Tuesday night. All of a sudden we have a squad with options, with Jason Pearce there is a possibility to play three at the back with wings backs. Sam Byram is mooted to want to stay and can operate the right with young Charlie Taylor or old Warnock on the left. Hock has integrated the likes of Cook, Dawson & Walters from the academy and Mowatt is getting back to full fitness. There are bound to be some casualties as the remaining dead wood is swept away, there are certainly a few who fans want to get rid off, Cellino will decide who he wants to ship out or pay off. What is certain is that we now have a charismatic, upfront owner who wears his heart on his sleeve, has a plan and is not scared to make decisions. He will do the job we all crave and get the club back into the Premiership, without the encumbrance of a ghost bank from the Middle East who will hopefully be ousted, at least marginalised. Cellino will put the swagger back into Leeds United, the “we are back” into Leeds. On his watch we will get back where we belong. Responses : @SporcoLeeds 10:16 am, 14-Aug-2014. A crowd of 13,407 on a Tuesday night against Accrington Stanley after a loss at the weekend amply demonstrates the support Cellino can expect to generate with success, the fans are unbelievably supportive and desperate for success. Tony Currie 10:51 am, 14-Aug-2014. We lost to Millwall convincingly and defeated Acc Stanley 2-1, and brought in three players, so forgive me if I’m not jumping from the rooftops with excitement just yet. It’s an improvement on where we were, even though these guys should have been in weeks ago. Has Cellino lost his stubborn streak and realised that Serie B is a lot weaker than the Championship ? Possibly. Has he realised that he may haave sold the Hock short with no tools for the job ? Possibly. The three additions all look good players, and Sharp hopefully will be the ‘fox in the box’ that we don’t possess. If we add Agard, I think that will be an even better addition with his pace and finishing albeit at a lower level. 17 players have been released and 10 so far have walked in through the gates of LS11. That at last is getting somewhere. If Cellino can get rid of Morison, Hunt, Norris and Warnock and add Agard, a left back, a decent wide player and a creative midfielder I think our squad would be much the better for it. The frustration many of us felt with Cellino was with the way he dealt with people, Viviani/Sorensen on/off saga, Elland Road buy back with McCormack money, Thorp Arch sale etc, negativity re possible Sam Byram sale. Credit where it’s due. It’s been a good week for the ‘Sheriff’. Let’s hope it’s the start of better things to come. Results and performnces against M’boro and Brighton will give an indication of where we are as a team. Tim 11:09 am, 14-Aug-2014. Don’t forget he also covets Adryan! The players that didn’t come might have been trouble makers. If they start moving the goal posts at the point of signing then Cellino won’t have it. He gets players who really want to play for Leeds, first and foremost. Even though live I am hoping for a great crowd on Saturday as we need to get behind the team for lift off. Boro have also been re-building the continental way so it will be like a cup tie derby match. sniffersshorts 11:21 am, 14-Aug-2014. well done sir, we need to be optimistic not negative, fed up of the bile and spitting of some of our supporters, who think we deserve the cream, the cream is earned. most of what we read is whipped up by the press, and most of the press want to see us fall, the sniggering bandits on sky, and now our own eating our very flesh. for frickin sake wake up, we were the poor man of the north for too long it will take time, maybe next season we can push on, rather this a buying club again, but punching within our weight not over it, or we will be in it again. keep fighting MOT.Notlaw 11:59 am, 14-Aug-2014 .I am right with you Sniffershorts, for me your bang on the money. I never thought for one minute we would win at Millwall as we had a team battered by GFH and knocked about by The “Sheriff” and led by an unknown man and boy emmerging from the Forrest.We need a man like the “Sheriff “to reorganise what has been a shambolic business, with fake personal assets dressed up as players. As for the man and boy from the sheriffs forest well only time will tell. However if the Sheriff does hang him then its better to have a replacement than stick to failure. Roll on Boro on Saturday, do I think we will win, no, but one more step forward. Richard III 12:27 pm, 14-Aug-2014 .great cluster of new signings in last few days, particulary Sharp who has seemed destined to play for Leeds for years now but is still young enough and good enough to get the goals. Hope we don’t sideline Smithy who did a great job last year and still feel very strongly that we should retain Byram at all costs (unlike most of the YEP ” if he wants to go” brigade. Weve got to wave goodbye to the dreadful days of selling our star man and build teams round them to make sure they would never want to leave LUFC. Notfamousanymore 12:27 pm, 14-Aug-2014 Very pleased – we needed this after what looked like a mess with Viviani and Sorensen. Bring in a bit more oomph in midfield, and ship out Kenny, Hunt, Norris and maybe Warnock, and this will look like a decent squad.

Weds 13th of Aug United close in on Agard. No deal agreed yet but Leeds are actively pursuing Kieran Agard now of Rotheram. Kieran Agard rejected the offer of a new deal with Rotherham. The 24-year-old, who joined the Millers from Yeovil in 2012, has been heavily linked with an exit from the South Yorkshire side and Championship rivals Leeds are reported to be among his admirers. United are said to have watched the forward on a number of occasions during the past Agard Agard2 Agard3season, while owner and president Massimo Cellino was pictured in attendance for Rotherham’s Play-off semi-final win over Preston North End. Millwall are also reported to have been keeping tabs on Agard’s situation as they look to boost their attacking options, having also made an approach for Leeds striker Matt Smith. The former Arsenal and Everton trainee ended the League One campaign as the division’s joint-third top scorer as his 21 goals helped the Millers secure a place in the second tier.Agard’s agent, Lee Payne of Full Contact, told Sky Sports: “We can confirm that Kieran has rejected Rotherham’s offer of a contract extension.” Agard is contracted to the Millers for another 12 months after the club exercised an option to extend his deal which was due to expire this summer. Phil hay had tweeted that Leeds and Rotherham and talked about a deal over the weekend. The Millers realize that the player will be free to walk at the end of the season for nothing. He scored an impressive 21 league goals in 46 appearances for Rotheram last season. I like this guy. He is quick, raw, unpredictable and scores goals.
Who is Kieran Agard  ?  Kieran Ricardo Agard (born 10 October 1989) is an English footballer who plays for Rotherham United as a forward or a winger. Born in London, of Jamaican,[2] Vincentian and Dominican[3] descent, Agard started in the Arsenal Academy before moving to Everton in the 2005–06 season.[4] He played for the club’s under-18 team, before moving into the reserve team, becoming the reserve team player of the year in 2008–09.[4] His first team debut came in a 4–0 away win at Hull City in a League Cup match in September 2009.[5] He made his Premier League debut against Chelsea, coming on as a substitute for Louis Saha in stoppage time.[6] At the end of the 2010–11 season, he was released by Everton along with goalkeeper Iain Turner and Hope Akpan after their contracts with the club expired.[7] On 6 January 2011, he joined Peterborough United on loan until the end of the 2010–11 season,[8] but after playing just once, in the FA Cup,[9] a change of management left Agard surplus to requirements and the loan was cut short. In 31 January 2011 Agard joined Scottish Premier League club Kilmarnock, also on loan.[10] and made his debut in the Scottish Premier League as Kilmarnock lose to Hibernian 2–1 on 12 February 2011[11] before scoring his first goal in Scotland against Hearts in a 2–2 draw on 30 April 2011.[12] Agard, following his release from Everton, signed a one-year deal with Yeovil Town on 22 June 2011.[13] The club’s management was first alerted to Agard’s availability after asking fans to suggest signings on Twitter, to which Agard became known as football’s first ‘twansfer’.[14] He scored his first two goals for the Glovers in a 3–2 defeat to Sheffield Wednesday on 17 September 2011.[15] He then went on to score against Bury and Leyton Orient, also winning two penalties for his team. He also scored a winner against Wycombe Wanderers, but was sent off against Colchester United a week later.[16] His next goal was in the 3 – 2 win over Chesterfield at Huish Park.[17] He finished the season with 29 appearances in the league, and 6 goals. On 8 May 2012, Agard was released from Yeovil Town after just one year at the club.[18] After being released by Yeovil Town, it was revealed that Rotherham were interested in Agard. They were initially unable to agree terms with the player, but he eventually featured in a pre-season match against Doncaster Rovers as part of a trial. On 27 July an agreement was reached for Agard to sign for Rotherham.[19] Agard scored his first goal for the club on 27 October, in a 1–0 win against Plymouth Argyle.[20] In December, he scored in successive games against AFC Wimbledon and Port Vale.[21][22] In April 2013, Agard scored in three successive wins against Fleetwood Town, Bradford City and Plymouth Argyle,[23][24][25] contributing greatly to the clubs’ automatic promotion to League One later that month.[26] He scored his first goal of the 2013–14 season on 17 August, in a 2–1 win against Crawley Town,[27] before scoring in successive wins against Notts County and Sheffield United.[28][29] Agard scored his first ever cup goal on 8 October, in a 3–0 victory away to York City in the Football League Trophy.[30] On 18 April, he scored a hat-trick against Wolverhampton Wanderers in a 6-4 defeat.[31] During May 2014, Agard won the League 1 player of the month award for April, after a run of scoring 5 goals in 6 games.[32]During the 2013/14 season, Agard scored 26 goals in all competitions, with Agard finishing the 3rd top scorer in League 1 behind Sam Baldock and Britt Assombalonga with 21 of his 26 goals coming in League 1, his goals helped Rotherham reach the League 1 playoff final. Agard played in the final, and after a 2-2 draw, Rotherham earned promotion after beating Leyton Orient 4-3 on penalties (with Agard scoring Rotherham’s first penalty) to earn a second successive promotion.[33] On 9 August 2014, Agard started for Rotherham in there opening fixture of The Championship season in a 1-0 defeat against Derby County.[34] Born in England, Agard is also eligible to play for Jamaica,[35] Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Dominica[36] due to his heritage. Honours : Rotherham United League One Playoff Final Winners: 2013–14 (Promoted) League Two: promotion 2012–13 (Runners Up) League One Player Of The Month: April 2014
Weds 13th of Aug Leeds have been drawn away to Bradford City in the next round of the Carling Cup
Weds 13th of Aug Cooper signs three year contract with Leeds.  The club can confirm the signing of Chesterfield defender Liam Cooper for an undisclosed fee on a three-year contract. United and Chesterfield agreed a fee for the central defender on Tuesday but the formalities of the deal were completed on Wednesday evening. In late July United had two bids for the defender rejected by Chesterfield but a revived bid on Tuesday was accepted. The Yorkshire born defender came through the Academy ranks at Hull City and he made his first team debut for the Tigers in 2008. During his time at Hull City the defender spent loan spells at Carlisle United, Huddersfield Town and Chesterfield. After a successful loan spell the 22-year-old signed on a permanent basis at Chesterfield and made over 50 appearances last season. Last season Liam helped Chesterfield win the League Two title and was named in the PFA Team of the Year. United and Chesterfield met each other in a pre-season friendly this summer where Liam was a solid presence on the field during the 2-2 draw. United head coach David Hockaday said: “Liam has lots of potential as a defender. He has a great left foot and bringing him to the club is great business.”
Weds 13th of August. Sharp signs in. The club can now confirm that Southampton striker Billy Sharp has completed his move to United. The 28-year-old has signed a two-year contract with the club and has signed for an undisclosed fee. The Sheffield born forward spent his youth career at Sheffield United and


Adam Clayton who goes to Boro for a hefty fee

SharpLufcRotherham but with first team appearances limited he made the move to Scunthorpe United. Following an impressive goalscoring rate at Scunthorpe the striker made the move back to Sheffield United, where he remained until he moved to Doncaster Rovers in 2009, initially on loan. In 2012 Sharp left Doncaster and moved to the South Coast to join Southampton for a fee reported as over one million pounds. During his time at Southampton the striker has made loan moves to Championship clubs including Nottingham Forest, Reading and Doncaster Rovers. The striker knows the Championship well after spending the majority of his career playing in the second tier of English football and adds experience to United’s squad. United head coach David Hockaday said: “Billy is a prolific goalscorer and is tried and tested at Championship level. He was desperate to come here and play for us. I’m delighted to welcome Billy to the club.”  Speaking to LUTV, Sharp said, “I am delighted, it is a great place to play football and I cannot wait to get started. The striker himself added : I am buzzing I am here, hopefully I can get off to a good start and get the fans on my side. “The big thing for me about football is to get the fans on my side because they are the ones who support the club. Hopefully get a few early goals, get them on my side, get into a rhythm and have a good relationship with them. “I am at a great club now, I want to be successful after a frustrating two-years, I am 28-year-old and I want to kick on and start scoring more goals again.”  Sharp knows his way around the championship having scored 73 of his 146 career goals in the second tier of English football and he has made a knack of scoring against Leeds during his career having scored four goals in his five encounters against the whites, including one for Doncaster in his last visit to Elland Road in March.

Weds 13 August. Clayton to Boro Third time lucky Adam Clayton was today due to take a medical and sign for Boro to end a week-long transfer saga. The Huddersfield man – a long term target for Aitor Karanka – spent last night at Rockliffe after the on-off deal was salvaged following a weekend of mounting confusion. And with a fee agreed long ago and personal terms already in place, Boro chiefs were confident it WILL finally go through when the medical results come through. That will also allow Jacob Butterfield to move the other way for a fee believed to be worth an initial £750,0000. It’s been a trying week for Boro chiefs as they tried to steer a complex deal through a series of twists and turns. A fee was agreed – an initial £1.5m rising to a potential £2m – 10 days ago and Clayton was due to sign last Tuesday pending a medical – but that never took place. Huddersfield blocked the move until they got a replacement. They asked to speak to Butterfield who agreed a switch to Town last Friday and the deal was back on. But that evening Clayton failed to show for his medical for a second time amid stories that Brighton had entered the race, leaving both clubs furious and Butterfield in limbo. Huddersfield blew the Seagulls’ hopes out of the water with a terse statement saying they had only accepted one bid – from Boro – and were not prepared to bend on that. It is believed officials at both clubs have spent the weekend getting the double deal back on track. It is understood that Karanka personally intervened and phoned Clayton to reiterate he wanted him – but also set a deadline before he moved on. The deal has showed Boro’s determination to land the coach’s targets after the signing of Tomas Meijas, Kike Garcia, Emilio Nsue, Damia Abella, James Husband and the return of Kenneth Omeruo for a second spell. But Boro haven’t finished and are still working on other targets with moves for two more long term loanees from Chelsea close to completion. Leeds have a sell on clause and will get 100K to 150K.
Tommaso Bianchi Interview with  Emanuele Giulianelli Born in Tuscany at Piombino, right in front of the Elba island, Tommaso Bianchi is 25 years old. I’ve interviewed him, hoping to have asked the things that Leeds fans would like to ask him. How are your first days at Leeds going? “Fine. I’ve inserted myself immediately well in the new team. Only the lifestyle is a bit different compared with Italy, but it’s all right”. How was born the idea of coming to play in England? “Immediately after last season ended, my agent advanced me this option because Cellino had taken Leeds and told me they wanted me. I wanted to try this experience, in a different football with wonderful stadiums, great organisation. It will be an experience that will enrich me as a player and as a man”. How would you rate the English Championship compared with Italian Serie B? “It’s too soon to answer this question, because I haven’t already played a Championship match. Judging from trainings, friendly matches and Cup, I can say that here there is less tactical organization than in Italy. But here there is more running, more physical approach and I can say that players are a little better than the ones who play in Serie B”. What do ou think about the coach, mister Hockaday? As you know, lots of Leeds fans were astonished by this Cellino’s choice.I know it. It’s not the first time that Cellino makes a choice like this: for example he took Allegri for Cagliari when he came from Serie C and we know which kind of career he made. We must have confidence in him because he is a nice person, above all he consider and treats every player in the same way, at the same level, and it’s not easy to find a trainer who behaves in this way in Italy. He likes to play with the ball on the ground, he likes the technical aspects of the game and our trainings are full of these elements. And I like all of this”. What’s the team target in this season? And yours? “This is a long championship, very hard. I have learned to think just match after match, without giving to our team a purpose, especially at the beginning. We want to become a top team for this league in one or two seasons to win the Championship. I want to improve myself: after 200 matches in Serie B I felt I needed something different to enhance my football. And Leeds is the right place to do it, to have more intensity in my way of playing”. It’s really strange that in Serie A none thought to a midfielder like you. “Maybe I haven’t had the right chance. I went very very close to become a Serie A player two times, with Chievo and Sassuolo, but injuries stopped me. That’s my only sorrow: not having showed that I am a midfielder that deserves to play in Serie A. No matter, I will get the chance to play in Premier League with Leeds, that is a championship even more important!”
Weds 12th of August Whites line up three transfers – Hay YP. Leeds United will look to finalise the signing of Chesterfield centre-back Liam Cooper today after Giuseppe Bellusci completed a season-long loan deal from Catania last night. And the club are in talks to take striker Billy Sharp from Southampton after making a number of moves in the transfer market in the wake of Saturday’s defeat at Millwall. Cooper is to undergo a medical and discuss personal terms in the next 24


Blly Sharp about to sign from the Saints


Leeds eventually get Liam Cooper from Chesterfield


Hard man Bellusci signs from Catania on loan

hours following a third and successful offer from Leeds for the 22-year-old defender. United pulled out of negotiations for Cooper two weeks ago after Chesterfield refused to accept a bid of £475,000 but the collapse of talks with Juventus centre-back Frederik Sorensen last Friday convinced Leeds to renew their interest. The Elland Road side are understood to have increased their valuation of Cooper to around £600,000 up front, paying an initial fee which could rise to £800,000 depending on future bonus payments. Leeds first approached Cooper after the centre-back – a former Hull City player who has made more than 70 appearances for Chesterfield – played against them in a friendly at the Proact Stadium on July 26. But owner Massimo Cellino promptly switched his attention to Sorensen, persuading Juventus to release the ×Dane on a season-long loan with a view to a permanent move next summer. A disagreement with Sorensen’s agent, however, saw United withdraw their interest in him less than 24 hours before Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to Millwall, their first game of the Championship season. A disappointing performance at The Den and the rapidly-approaching transfer deadline brought a quick reaction, with United also returning to another former target in Bellusci. Cellino targeted the Catania centre-back earlier in the summer but lost patience with him after the two sides failed to agree personal terms. Fresh discussions, however, cleared the way for Bellusci to join Leeds on a year-long loan, with United also securing an option to sign him permanently next summer. Bellusci’s management firm issued a photograph of him signing his deal before last night’s League Cup first-round tie at home to Accrington Stanley and he was involved in the warm-up, despite not signing in time to play. Leeds, meanwhile, are understood to have held initial talks with Sharp’s representatives amid an on-going search for a reliable striker after the £11m sale of Ross McCormack to Fulham last month.

Tuesday 11th of August. Phil Hay has tweeted that Billy Sharp from Southamptom is to have a medical at Leeds tomorrow. “The deal has moved very quickly”. That’s three medicals in Leeds tomorrow. Speaking to LUTV, Hockaday said, “There are medicals to be had and then we will have three new additions tomorrow (Wednesday). “We need to be more competitive. We have seen them in training but they have to sign on the dotted line because 24-hours is a long time in football. “We will see how the medicals go and we will see who signs.”  Hockaday didn`t confirm whether Giuseppe Bellusci, who was announced as a new signing by the club on Tuesday evening, was one of the three players. Leeds have agreed a deal with Chesterfield for defender Liam Cooper whilst there are also reports that Leeds have also agreed a deal with Southampton to bring striker Billy Sharp to Elland Road.

The Hock gets his first competitive home win behind him

Tuesday 11th of August. Bellusci and Cooper about to join Leeds – LUFC Official website. The club can now confirm that Giuseppe Bellusci has signed a one-year loan deal from Catania, subject to international clearance. The 24 year-old central defender adds competition to United’s defence, with Jason Pearce and Scott Wootton the only senior centre-backs at the club. The completed deal comes on the back of United agreeing a fee with Chesterfield for defender Liam Cooper, who will undergo a medical on Wednesday.

Doukara scores a decent brace on his competitive home debut

Tuesday 11th of August. Leeds United 2 (Doukara 20, 37), ACCRINGTON 1 (Gray 84). United: S Taylor, Berardi, Wootton, Pearce, C Taylor, Tonge, Cook (Benedicic 65), Bianchi, Ajose (Hunt 64), Smith, Doukara (Poleon 80). Subs. Silvestri, Byram, Killock, Austin. . Referee: R Clark. Booked: Doukara, Tonge, Pearce (United), Winnard, Hunt (Accrington). Sent Off: Berardi (United). Att: 13, 407 (Accrington 288) Report from Official LUF website Following defeat at Millwall the previous Saturday United’s head coach David Hockaday made a number of changes to his side for the visit of Accrington Stanley in the Capital One Cup. There was first starts for United for Stuart Taylor, Lewis Cook, Gaetano Berardi and Tommaso Bianchi and striker Matt Smith also went into the starting line-up after being a substitute at Millwall. United enjoyed the better of the early proceedings without really threatening the Accrington goal. Although United enjoyed the lions share of possession it was the away side that had the first meaningful attempt on goal when Piero Mingoia struck from distance. The shot provided no problems from Taylor who saved comfortably. United were rewarded for their opening 20 minutes of play when Souleymane Doukara put his side ahead. The striker, who had been lively from the start, DoukaravAcccontrolled the ball on the edge of the box, turned and struck for goal. The forward’s sweet strike beat Luke Simpson and nestled into the back of the net, Berardi provided the assist. Following Doukara’s opener United looked comfortable in possession and it wasn’t long before the striker got his and United’s second of the evening. Cook picked up the ball in the centre of the park and moved forward with purpose. The United youngster played a perfect through ball for Doukara who played the ball through the defender’s legs and stroked the ball past Simpson on 37 minutes, the keeper had no chance. United went on to finish the half with very little coming from the away side and were worthy leaders at half time. United wasted little time in going for goal in the second with Smith going close in the opening minute. The tall striker used his strength to make room for him to get on the end of a cross and he volleyed the ball just over the crossbar. The away side had a good chance to pull a goal back minutes later but half time substitute Rob Atkinson could only guide his headed attempt over Taylor’s bar. Moments later Smith went close again after great LEEDS UTD V ACCRINGTON STANLEY 12/8/2104work from Charlie Taylor on the left-hand side of the pitch. The full-back turned his defender and swung a cross into the box but Smith’s header went over the bar. After the hour-mark David Hockaday made two substitions, one of which was the introduction of Zan Benedicic who made his United debut. Following the introduction of Benedicic United continued to look in control of the ball without really making a mark on the away goal. With 10 minutes remaining Doukara made a move to get his hat-trick. He had the option of passing to Noel Hunt, who was possibly in a better position, but the striker went for goal. The forward unleashed a powerful attempt that was just inches away from hitting the mark. Moments later Dominic Poleon replaced the two goal man who came off to a standing ovation from the United supporters. The closing moments of the game were made uncomfortable when Accrington pulled a goal back through James Gray. The goal came out of nothing when the away number nine struck for goal following a good cut-back. United tried to clear the strike but an attempted clearance was unsuccessful and the ball ended up crossing the line. Before the 90 minutes was up Berardi was shown a straight red card but United managed to survive five minutes of added time and Doukara’s double in the first half secured passage into the second round of the Capital One Cup. The Hock re Doukara : ‘He didn’t do himself justice on Saturday at Millwall, he was a rabbit in the headlights,’ Hockaday said.‘But he looked impressive tonight. The thing about him is he’s got potential and my definition of potential is that you haven’t done anything yet.’ When Berardi departed for his reckless tackle, silence enveloped Elland Road but Leeds ran down the clock to ensure Hockaday’s first win since replacing Brian McDermott at the helm. ‘I am happy we are in the next round, that’s what this was all about and we have achieved it,’ Hockaday added. ‘In the first half we showed glimpses of our potential but the second half was a reality check that we are a work in progress.’
Tues 11th. Bellusci back on Leeds radar Leeds are reported to be back in for Giuseppi Bellusci, who wears the number 14 shirt for Catania in Italy and plays centre back. He was booked five times and sent off twice last season in 20 games as Catania were relegated to Serie B. They had been interested in him earlier in the summer before moving their interest to Sorensen. Here is his career details : Giuseppe Bellusci 21 August 1989 (age 24) Born Trebisacce, Italy Height1.85 m (6 ft 1 in) 2006–2009 Ascoli 35 Apps (1) Gl 2009–To date Catania 99 apps (0) Gls. U 21 Italy6 Caps.Giuseppe ‘Peppe’ Bellusci (born 21 August 1989) is an Italian footballer who plays as a defender for Serie A club Calcio Catania. He is a former Italy U-21 international. ellusci was given the nickname the warrior by the fans of Catania. He is also noted for an alleged romance with electronic musician Clare Boucher – better known at Grimes. Although widely reported at the time, Grimes has since denied this speculation as rumour, with the song Oblivion Belluscireported to be about the experience of how the gossip mongering affected her. After spending his youth career within the junior ranks at Ascoli Calcio, Bellusci began to earn call-ups to the club’s first team in 2006. He made his debut in Serie A with Ascoli at the age of just 17, in the 2006–07 season. Bellusci made 3 appearances that season for his club, but Ascoli failed to avoid relegation. Bellusci returned to the youth squad, and made just 2 Serie B appearances the following season. In 2008, he was officially promoted to the senior squad and since then, Bellusci had made over 40 appearances for the club and began to attract interest from several big clubs in Italy. On 25 June 2009 it was confirmed that Bellusci had signed a contract with Sicily‘s Serie A team Calcio Catania. In part exchange, Catania gave Ascoli 50% of the contracts of both striker, Vito Falconieri and wing back, Marcello Gazzola. In his first season with Catania, Bellusci made 11 first team appearances, also earning one red card. Bellusci played for the club’s junior squad as well during his first season, helping them to the semi-finals of the youth tournament. The defender helped his club to, two impressive campaigns, which included two 13th place finishes in the table and a record points total in the Serie A for the club, in three consecutive seasons. Following the sale of Matías Silvestre to Sicilian rivals, US Citta di Palermo in August 2011, Bellusci was promoted to the club’s starting XI, alongside Nicolás Spolli and Nicola Legrottaglie, by then coach Vincenzo Montella. He has since remained a key member of the first team under Rolando Maran during the 2012-13 Serie A season and is part of a record-breaking Catania outfit that had picked up 56 points from 38 Serie A matches. This performance saw the club also break its record number of home victories in a single season, its record number of victories overall in a single top flight campaign, as well as its record points total in Serie A for the fifth consecutive season During the 2013/14 season, Bellusci’s Calcio Catania were relegated to Serie B after finishing 3rd bottom. On 25 March 2009 he made his debut with the Italy U-21 squad in a friendly match against Austria.[1] Bellusci played with future Italy internationals such as Mario Balotelli and Andrea Ranocchia during his time with Italy U-21‘s.[2]
Sunday 10th of August. Koeman wants Byram Leeds have rejected a £4.5m bid from Southampton for Sam Byram Ronald Koeman is seeking a replacement for Calum Chambers Saints are also interested in Florian Gardos, Wes Morgan and Marcos Rojo Leeds move for Juventus defender Frederik Sorensen has collapsed. Meanwhile, Leeds United’s proposed loan for Frederik Sorensen has collapsed. Leeds owner Massimo Cellino claimed the signing was sealed on Wednesday afternoon, saying Leeds would pay a loan fee of around £400,000 and a further £3m in 12 months’ time, but problems developed after talks with Sorensen’s agent on Thursday. The Juventus defender is now poised to join Verona.


Former Dundalk player Shaun Williams rifles home Millwall’s second – You don’t have to go to just Italy to sign decent players


Beavers opener v Leeds

Sunday 10th of August. Millwall should act as a blueprint for Leeds – The Telegraph Millwall defeated Leeds with the togetherness that the Yorkshire club have needed since owner Massimo Cellino’s arrival.There is a fresh positivity about what Millwall are doing on the pitch, but off it the story is all too familiar. Whereas the talking point ought to have been the Lions’ impressive start to the season as they defeated Leeds United 2-0 at the Den, instead, an incensed Ian Holloway found himself condemning a significant section of the Millwall support for taunting opposition supporters with songs related to Leeds-born former broadcaster Jimmy Savile, and the stabbing of Leeds supporters ahead of their fixture with Galatasaray in 2000. Ian is a manager who sees his role as engaging with the whole aspect of the club and is taking responsibility for engaging with the fans on a personal level at events such as this week’s fans’ forum,” said a club spokesperson. We are hopeful of doing great things on the pitch this season and want to be vying at the top end of the Championship, but unfortunately, we realise that the perception of the club takes a long time to change despite all the excellent work going on here.” Among the 2,000-strong Leeds following, who Holloway said “behaved impeccably,” was a surprise face – Nile Ranger. The controversial former Newcastle striker is rumoured to be under consideration for a contract by owner Massimo Cellino. The Sardinian is himself rarely far from the action and kept a close eye on his new head coach Dave Hockaday in the dressing room and the dugout both before and after Leeds’ abject showing in south-east London. Cellino, who has said he wants to get Leeds “ready to face the Premier League,” described his new club’s current status as “a big mess” and those who saw them soundly beaten by Holloway’s rejuvenated Millwall would not disagree. Holloway said he has “come here for the long-term” words a Cellino manager never dare utter – and his side took just eight minutes to plot their course to three points when Mark Beevers swept Lee Martin’s cross past a statuesque Leeds defence to score only his second goal for the Lions. “I don’t get many like that to be fair,” said Beevers. I think the boys played really well. The sky’s the limit. We’ve got the players in the squad to go all the way (to the Premier League).” Leeds are also fancied for the drop by the bookmakers and it was no surprise when Shaun Williams doubled their advantage in the closing minutes from the penalty spot after Lewis Cook had tripped Lee Gregory. Holloway has stamped his own idiosyncratic mark on his squad over the summer, including setting up a players’ union and blasting out Michael Jackson tracks alongside the training pitch. “It’s more for the older generation,” said Beevers of the union. Anything you need you can go to them and they can go to the manager.” It is hard to imagine such a democratic structure under Cellino’s watch. Shaun Williams the scorer of the second goal played for a little club called Dundalk a few seasons back, so maybe out illustrious chairman should be looking for nuggets closer to home rather than ice cream land.

Sat Aug 9th. Holloway slams “obscene” chants Ian Holloway slams ‘obscene’ Millwall fans for Jimmy Savile chants during victory over Leeds Manager hits out at section of his own supporters for disrespectful chanting during opening day victory at the New Den . Millwall manager Ian Holloway declared himself “bursting with pride” following an opening day victory over Leeds, but described his supporters chants related to Jimmy Savile directed at Leeds United fans as “obscene”. “I didn’t like the banter to be honest. I don’t think that’s respectful. How many times do we as human beings turn a blind eye to things? It’s not right is it? It ain’t Hollowayfunny is it? “Let’s stop and think about what he’s done. I like to say what I think is right,” added an extraordinarily animated Holloway. They’re a great club,” he said of Leeds. They’ve got so many fans. If I had a chance, I’d have a beer with one or two of them if I could. “We’ve respected them,” said Holloway of his club’s treatment of the Leeds following. We haven’t herded them in a service station outside of London. We can deal with it, the West Yorkshire Police obviously can’t,” he added referring to the travel arrangements when Millwall most recently visited Elland Road. Leeds boss Dave Hockaday will sit down for a drink on Sunday and discuss the game with Massimo Cellino but the Italian is not a man known for his patience. The controversial Leeds owner has sacked 36 managers in 22 years, a statistic which won’t have passed Hockaday by. Cellino was in the Leeds dugout both before and after the game in case he needed reminding. Hockaday rejected the description of himself as Leeds ‘manager’ and claimed the ex-Cagliari owner was merely there to ask questions and further his interest in the English game. “All I know is that I’m the head coach and we need to strengthen and we need to improve,” he said, somewhat evasively. “We’ve wanted to change the philosophy of the club and get the players feeling more comfortable on the ball. We lacked an intensity, we lacked a purpose,” added Hockaday.


Cellino an the dealmaker Salerno pictured at The New Den yesterday – The problem is the only deals they seem to make are for our best players leaving Elland Road


Our three secret weapons – The Hock – Morison and The Sheriff – Jesus the Championship must be shi###### themselves

Sat 9th of August Millwall 2-0 Leeds United: Silvestri, Byram, Pearce, Wootton, Warnock, Austin, Murphy, Tonge, Ajose (Poleon 80), Hunt (Smith 57), Doukara (Cook 64). Subs (not used): S Taylor, Killock, Berardi, Benedicic. Report from Yorkshire Post – Leeds United’s opening game of the season ended in defeat as an early strike from Mark Beevers and a late Shaun Williams penalty gave Millwall victory at The Den. Beevers produced the opening goal on eight minutes to give Millwall control which they rarely relinquished, and Williams sealed the result after Lewis Cook commited a late foul inside his own box. Leeds saw few chances on a frustrating afternoon and were left to rue Noel Hunt’s failure to find the net with Millwall’s net exposed early in the second half. Head coach David Hockaday’s intended line-up was disrupted at short notice by an injury to Steve Morison, the former Millwall striker who has returned to favour at Elland Road this summer. Morison would have started against his old club but his absence made room for Hunt in a team which also included debutants Nicky Ajose and Souleymane Doukara up front. Goalkeeper Marco Silvestri made his first competitive appearance but was left to fish the ball out of his net after only eight minutes as Leeds started in disappointing fashion. Beevers appeared unmarked towards the back of Silvestri’s box as Lee Martin lofted a short corner goalwards, and Beevers’ sweeping finish flew past United’s Italian keeper without giving him a chance. Beevers could have scored again soon afterward when he headed Martyn Woolford’s corner wide from close range and Leeds took until the 41st minute to create their first opening. Luke Murphy pounced on a mistake in midfield, advanced on David Forde’s goal but dragged a poor finish beyond the far post. Silvestri then denied Alan Dunne by plucking his header from the air after Carlos Edwards dinked a free-kick into the box, and the sound of the half-time whistle gave Leeds a welcome chance to reorganise. Hockaday’s sid should have been level a minute into the second period when Ajosi took advantage of confusion between Forde and Beevers and crossed to Hunt who shot against Dunne on the goalline. Silvestri was then called upon to keep Millwalls’ lead down 60 seconds later, diving to parry a rising effort from Martyn Woolford. Ricardo Fuller sliced the rebound high over the crossbar. The Jamaican striker went closer with a diving header which fizzed past Silvestri’s goal and Millwall saw a strong penalty claim waved away when Murphy tangled with Woolford a yard inside United’s area. Hockaday threw on Matt Smith and Cook in a bid to snatch something from the match and Smith threatened with a downward header from Sam Byram’s delivery, but Forde’s sharp, one-handed save from substitute Dominic Poleon protected Beevers’ early goal. And Williams made no mistake from the spot three minutes from time, beating Silvestri after Cook took out Lee Gregory with a mistimed challenge. It’s a big difference taking on Millwall at the new Den compared to Dundee United in a Mickey Mouse friendly at Elland Road. This game went exactly the way I expected it would and in truth a five or six margin between the sides wouldn’t have flattered the London side, and Millwall are no earth shakers. Fail to prepare. Prepare to fail.  I know I sound like a broken record. Hockaday is out of his depth but put the man to blame for this defeat is an Italian by the name of Massimo Cellino. Ross McCormack has not been replaced and no effort has been made to replace the Championship’s top scorer. Unforgivable ! The Viviani and Sorensen transfer/non transfer saga sums up our entire summer preparations for the Championship. Cellino has done everything on the cheap since he overpaid the Arab’s for Leeds United. His ego ended the last two transfers when he no doubt tried to be clever by changing the deals at the eleventh hour. So far he has delivered nothing on the pitch for Hockaday. Bianchi looks decent. The jury is out on Silvestri. Doukara won’t score goals but he will cause a little chaos as an impact sub. Berardi doesn’t look good enough and Benedicic we haven’t seen yet. We have a very poor squad. Tom Lees was sold (released) without a replacement in tow. Unforgivable ! At this point in time we have a bottom six team. I don’t blame The Hock. The man is reported to be on £80K a year, the same salary paid to an average civil servant. Forest Green Rovers best was offered the job of his dreams. Just like Steve Staunton he is out of his depth in performing it. Only for in The Hock’s case his chairman will use him as a scape goat and cast him aside like a packet of used condoms when it all turns nasty, which it will, unless some real quality arrivals come through the doors at LS11 quickly. And I don’t see this happen any thime soon under this bluffer. If I hear any more talk abut his two year plan for promotion, I’ll scream. Why waste the first year ? This is not Italy. This is the Championship. Now wake up Massimo. Count to 17. Wear a purple jumper. Back the Hock or sack the Hock. I’ll leave you with a quote from our illustrious chairman : Hunt has the skills,”  “He’s a good guy. Morison is a character – a bullet – but a bloody good player with skills also. If he wants, if he really wants, he can be a big player here. This is not mathematics. It’s football. And football is strange. Hunt, he never scored last year but maybe this year he will make 35 goals. You never know.”  Absolute bullshit from our chairman. Spend some money and I mean £8M or so  (on top of the £15M you promised) or piss off back to Italy on your taxed up yacht !!!! How the fans reacted : (JOSH)First weekend of the new season and Leeds have already put me in an awful mood #PubsCalling. (Alastair Woods @Ali_woods18 Follow ) Embarrassing Leeds. (Craig Curran @cuzdog23): What is happening at leeds utd here its like football manager how has this nugget been allowed to get hold of this club #embarrassing. (Kevin Kelly @Kev92Kelly) The Leeds disaster begins with loss at Millwall today. Hockaday will be loads of fun. (Connor Mennell @connor_mennell)Predictable, poor defeat for Leeds, no surprise to anyone, I just expect it now #lufc(Tyrone @LUFCFOREVER1998 FT: Millwall 2-0 Leeds, poor performance! Cellino needs to open up his wallet Ryan @LeedsUtdRyan Nothing changes with Leeds playing poor #lufc #motKitt B. @SetaKong 2-0 Not a good start Leeds, there’s so many better teams than Millwall this season…..MW @MattyWillans So frustrating being a Leeds fan, there’s so many more better teams in the league than Millwall and we couldn’t even get in the game #LUFC.


Our biggest remaining asset suddenly looks very vulnerable to another fire sale from Cellino

Sat  Aug 8th. Saints bid 5M for Byram. Southampton have had a £5 million bid for right-back Sam Byram rejected by Leeds United, Goal understands. The 20-year-old has already cemented his place in the Championship club’s first team and was set to be included in England’s Under-20 World Cup squad last summer before being forced to pull out with a hip injury. Sunderland have also submitted an offer for Byram but Leeds are holding out for a fee in the region of £10m. Southampton manager Ronald Koeman is keen to strengthen his defensive options ahead of his side’s opening Premier League fixture against Liverpool on August 17 and views Byram as a viable competitor to Nathaniel Clyne for the right-back spot. Leeds sold their former captain Ross McCormack to Fulham in an £11m deal earlier this summer but have signed six new players, including Gaetano Berardi, who is competing with Byram for a place at right-back. If we sell Sam Byram on the back of Tom Lees and Ross McCormack we might as well lock up Elland Road and all go home. Byram is our future. But with Cellino, so far he has not put a cent or a penny back into players coming in. Friday August 8th. Sorensen deal collapses as Cellino  blames agent – YP  Leeds United’s attempt to sign Juventus defender Frederik Sorensen collapsed last night as a fall-out between the club and the player’s agent prompted Leeds to abandon the move. United pulled out of talks late yesterday evening after 48 hours of fraught negotiations with Sorensen’s representative failed to force the transfer through. Leeds had lined up a deal to to take the Danish centre-back on a year-long loan from Juventus and negotiated the option to sign him permanently next summer. United owner Massimo Cellino claimed the signing was sealed on Wednesday afternoon, saying Leeds would pay a loan fee of around £400,000 and a further £3m in 12 months’ time, but problems developed after another round of talks between the Elland Road club and Sorensen’s agent on Thursday. Sorensen was absent from United’s final training sessions ahead of the first game of the new season at Millwall today and did not make the trip to London with the rest of the club’s squad yesterday afternoon but both sides remained hopeful of reaching a deal prior to the weekend. The failure of last-minute discussions, however, came as a significant set-back to Leeds and left Cellino in urgent need of a new central defenders with the Championship term already upon him. Leeds, who have already failed with approaches for Chesterfield’s Liam Cooper and Catania defender Giuseppe Bellusci, are entering the campaign with only two senior centre-backs – Jason Pearce and Scott Wootton – with young professional Ross Killock in reserve. The collapse of Sorensen’s move occurred less than a week after a proposed deal for Roma’s Federico Viviani fell through in similar fashion. Viviani spent a fortnight in negotiations with Leeds and Cellino again announced that the deal had gone through before later conceding defeat in his attempt to bring the 22-year-old midfielder to Elland Road. United’s tally of summer signings stands at seven with the ×FIFA transfer window due to close at 1pm on September 1. We are becoming a laughing stock. Twice now in a matter of weeks Cellino has announced that we have signed players and they have not become deals. What the f##k is going on in these negotiations ? It’s not like we have no money. The alleged £15M for players plus the McCormack money. What’s the point in buying back Elland Road if we have no feckin team to play on it !

Friday August 8th. Bianchi misses opener. Tommaso Bianchi will unexpectedly miss the first game of the new Championship season after it emerged today that the Leeds United midfielder is suspended for tomorrow’s match at Millwall. Bianchi is carrying a ban incurred during the final stages of last season’s Serie B campaign and will play no part at The Den. The 25-year-old picked up two yellow cards in the Serie B play-offs and the cautions – received in separate matches – were enough to land him with a one-game suspension, a penalty which transfers between national associations. Bianchi, who was on loan at Modena at the time, moved to Leeds from Sassuolo in July, joining Leeds on a four-year deal. The former Italy Under-21 international would almost certainly have started at Millwall but will watch instead from the sidelines ahead of his return to contention for Tuesday’s League Cup tie against Accrington Stanley. Friday 7th of Augiust. Byram bids turned down – Sunderland Echo.  SUNDERLAND have seen a bid turned down for Leeds full-back Sam Byram, according to reports todayThe Daily Star claims that both Sunderland and Southampton have seen offers of around £4million rejected for Byram, who has attracted intense interest from the Premier League over the last couple of seasons. Leeds are keen to keep hold of Byram, 20, who still has another two years to run on his contract at Elland Road. But Sunderland boss Gus Poyet is eager for further defensive recruits before the end of the transfer window, while Southampton are also desperate for new full-backs after selling Luke Shaw to Manchester United and Callum Chambers to Arsenal.

Friday August 8th. Leeds still in a mess – Cellino The Guardian Maverick owner Massimo Cellino admits Leeds United are still a big mess. If Cellino and Hockaday pull something off it would go down as one of the more remarkable stories in recent memory. In truth, though, nobody knows quite what to expect. Another season dawns at Leeds United. Another season that promises to, somehow, be more absurd than the last, an unfortunate trend that has blighted the Championship club ever since they fell out of the Premier League 10 years ago. David Haigh, who was pulling the strings at Elland Road this time last year, has been in a Dubai jail for three months, accused of fraud by the club’s previous owners and current minority shareholders. He has been replaced by an Italian entrepreneur who has previous criminal convictions and whose first managerial appointment is an unknown coach who last worked in the Conference with Forest Green Rovers. Massimo Cellino is the latest protagonist in a saga that takes centre stage again at Millwall on Saturday and has divided opinion within supporters who thought they had seen it all. How wrong they were. Cellino, who bought Leeds in April from Gulf Finance House Capital despite opposition from the Football League, is a maverick of the highest order. He sacked Brian McDermott before re-appointing him last season, he was referred to by the new coach – Dave Hockaday – as “the president” about 20 times in his opening press conference, and only last weekend climbed into his office at Elland Road through a window after being locked out. When his deal to buy Leeds was confirmed, he invited journalists to his lawyers’ office in London, regaling the assembled crowd with outlandish tales of pot-washing in 1970s England and sincerely inviting a reporter to play with his rock band in Sardinia. eneath the jokes, the headline fodder, the superstitions and devilish charm, there is another side to Cellino. It is a ruthless side. He said that the Leeds workforce was bloated and, true to his word, swiftly made wide-ranging job cuts. Around 70 staff were laid off in a matter of weeks – others saw the writing on the wall and walked. Benito Carbone, appointed to work with the club’s academy a few months ago, has already left – citing “family reasons”. The former Cagliari owner known as the King of Corn has a temper and those who bear the brunt of it are often sent packing or waste no time in doing the packing themselves.The question is, though, can Cellino fulfil his promise to take Leeds back to the Premier League within two seasons? His tone has already changed somewhat on that front – perhaps at the realisation of the mess he inherited – and there is little way to gauge how they will fare. For all Cellino’s foibles, he is undoubtedly passionate about rejuvenating a club that in recent years has been bereft of optimism. The Italian revealed to the Guardian last week that the wheels are in motion to re-purchase Elland Road, something he wants to do by November when the price would rise, and is seemingly on a one-man mission to drag Leeds back to the top-flight while rebuilding the club from its foundations upwards. This is a big mess. It’s going to be a big war – the biggest war is inside, not outside,” says Cellino. “I haven’t even started building this club yet. The results and the team are the smaller problems at this club. Believe me. I have to get this club ready to face the Premier League. At the moment it’s not ready to face the Championship. Last year we started late because one of our players was stuck in traffic – he didn’t live in Leeds. . You must be bloody joking. We need a professional mentality.”The sad truth is that, without Cellino, Leeds were heading into the abyss yet again. FHC’s reign was unravelling in spectacular fashion as debts spiralled, with the Italian overturning a ruling by the league and securing the club for £35m, a price that included the debt. GFHC remain 25% shareholders but have recently agreed to convert £11m of the debt into equity, a move that, according to the investment bank, “should be seen as a recapitalisation of the club to put it on a firmer financial footing”. Cellino, meanwhile, is due to pay GFHC the remaining £6m of his initial purchase agreement by December. On the pitch the worry is goals, given Ross McCormack’s £11m move to Fulham, which, according to Cellino, will go a big way to securing the deal to buy back the stadium. McCormack was comfortably the Championship’s top scorer with 29 goals last year, but Leeds have so far signed untested foreign players rather than replacing the Scot with a proven striker. Tom Lees, the young former England Under-21 defender, was also allowed to leave for Sheffield Wednesday on a free transfer. Alongside his sporting director, Nicola Salerno, Cellino has bought players known to him from Italy, such as the goalkeeper Marco Silvestri, the midfielder Tommaso Bianchi and the defender Gaetano Berardi. There have also been the loan arrivals of the young Milan midfielder Zan Benedicic and the striker Souleymane Doukara from Catania. This week the club also signed Nicky Ajose from Peterborough. Asked whether he would be picking the team rather than Hockaday, Cellino says:How can you think something like that? If I did that why would I need to pay the coach? I hope to give my advice, that’s my duty. I need to know what’s going on and follow his work but it’s not because I decide. I’ve never called a coach asking who is going to play tomorrow – I don’t care. “I can change manager like underwear if needs be. Everyone has said Hockaday is not the right coach for Leeds, but I think he is. It’s not the choice of the journalists or the supporter s. If I have made the wrong choice I have to face it. A lot of presidents don’t fire the coach because they are ashamed that they made the wrong choice.” Leeds will hope that his choice proves wise, as they wait with baited breath ahead of what could be another turbulent year. If Cellino and Hockaday pull something off it would go down as one of the more remarkable stories in recent memory. In truth, though, nobody knows quite what to expect. “No-one is going to die,” says Cellino. If the team is not strong now, it will get stronger. I promise. We don’t have time to lose”.

Thursday August 7th. Sorensen not a Leeds layer yet. “Sorensen to my knowledge hasn’t signed” said The Hock at todays press conference and when pressed would he arrvive he said ; “I don’t know”. Phil Hay tweeted this :  “Deal is not dead but it remains to be seen if they can iron out the issues and get it done tomorrow”. He further tweeted : Cellino said yesterday that Sorensen was agreed and in place. Looks like we might have another Viviani here.” This will be a big blow to Cellino’s credibility if this deal doesn”t get across the lines especially so close to the Viviani deal collapsing. Thursday August 7th. Carbone hopes to return to Leeds Benito Carbone hopes to return to his old job in charge of Leeds United’s Under-21 squad after he has dealt with a family illness. Carbone left the club this week with owner Massimo Cellino criticising the ex-Aston Villa forward for returning to Italy “without permission”. “I’d love to come back to Leeds,” Carbone, 42, told BBC Sport. “My dream is to be coach of the Under-21s again, because I feel those players are my team. But it’s not my decision.” Carbone, who also played for neighbours Bradford, joined United in a consultancy role in May and took over their Under-21 team in July. He says he is keen to work with Cellino again, despite the Leeds owner claiming this week that Carbone made a mistake when he missed an Under-21 game, against Glenavon on 30 July, by returning to Italy to see his sick mother without permission. “If I did one thing wrong, it was that I did not call the president because he was not in England. He was on holiday,” Carbone explained. “But three people knew I was going back to Italy because my mother was sick. I asked for permission from [academy boss] Neil Redfearn, from [sporting director] Nicola Salerno and from [first-team manager] David Hockaday. “I talked with David and he said that family is the most important thing, so I had to go. If I had not been given permission, I would never have gone, because I am professional. “And the game I missed was not an Under-21 game. Eight players from the first-team squad started the game, and only two from the Under-21s.”

Thurs Aug 7th. Phil Hay’s Championship Prediction The YEP’s chief Leeds United reporter Phil Hay makes his predictions ahead of the Championship season. Do you agree?  Champions: Fulham. Got themselves in a shocking tangle last season but have thrown money at their squad, including £10.75m at Ross McCormack. Felix Magath, below, has been round the block at a very high level and with a clean slate, the job at Fulham should not be a problem for him. Runners-Up: Wigan Athletic. Progressed like a train under Uwe Rosler and would have gone up in second place in May had Owen Coyle not wasted the first half of Wigan’s season. Strong in most positions and have made an interesting investment in Spanish striker Oriol Riera. Play-Offs: Derby County, Cardiff City, Watford and Middlesbrough. Steve McClaren’s formula is working at Derby and his squad remains intact. Cardiff City are also in good enough shape, despite their relegation, and Watford opened the door by bringing Matej Vydra back to Vicarage Road and arranging one of their crafty deals for Juan Carlos Paredes, an Ecuador international. Middlesbrough’s season depends on the fixed strategy of Aitor Karanka paying off – but he did some effective groundwork last season. Relegation: Blackpool, Rotherham United, Birmingham City. Blackpool are signing their own death warrant and Birmingham City almost did likewise last season. Their last-minute escape from relegation in May was a sensational moment but symptomatic of the shambles the club had become. Criticism of Lee Clark was also very audible. As for Rotherham, they will either surprise or fall flat. You never can say with someone like Steve Evans in charge. Leeds United:

13th. There are too many variables in United’s squad – foreign imports, young academy players, others who came up short last season – to predict too much but the bottom half of the Championship is a mish-mash of clubs with limited potential. Avoid an especially bad start and mid-table should not be asking the earth Thursday August 7th Outspoken owner wants humility Leeds’ owner says he won’t boast about the future – but he does want to get to the Champions League. Phil Hay reports. Three games. Or three league games. That short window – ending on August 19 – is all Massimo Cellino thinks it will take for him to know if a squad built with foreign pieces is tailor-made for England’s second division. His knowledge of the English game is limited and his understanding of the Championship must be similarly patchy but the start of the new season should show the division in all its forms: the rumble in the jungle of Millwall away, a match against a Middlesbrough side whose coach prides himself on continental football and a visit from a Brighton team whose consistency and defensive record took them to the play-offs in May. A month before that, when Cellino bought Leeds United, he promised promotion by the summer of 2016. “In 2015-16, if we don’t go into the Premier League then you can tell me I’ve failed,” he said, a few days after completing his takeover. You can see in him now, the tentative hope that 2015 might give Leeds what they’ve craved for 10 years but most of those thoughts he keeps to himself. And his mood fluctuates. Last Saturday’s friendly win over Dundee United frustrated and annoyed him, lacking the structure and style he wanted. His head coach, David Hockaday, was summoned for a meeting the following day. We are not there yet, not good enough,” Cellino said. “Promotion – I will know for sure after the first three games if we can do it. Ask me then. But at the moment, I think not.” The 58-year-old talks over and over about teaching United “humility”. He says itp***es me off” to remember the way in which Leeds’ previous owner, Gulf Finance House, made noises about promotion, stability and future growth at the same time as the club lost millions of pounds and built up a debt which Cellino agreed to service. Leeds finished 15th in the Championship last season; badly bruised and very grateful for the mass of points accumulated before Christmas. “The season is coming fast,” Cellino said, but I want to sell humility here. I don’t want to sell bulls**t to the people. It’s too easy to do that. “I’m working here, trying to do my mmbest, and it’s better to think it will take us three years to get to the Premier League and then perhaps find ourselves there after one. If I say ‘we go up next year’, we could end up in League One. “In football, all you do is work day-by-day. First we think about staying in the Championship because to get to 80 points you must get to 50 first. Last year we bulls*****d the people – always saying ‘Premier League, Premier League, Premier League’ – but if I hadn’t come here this club would have gone bankrupt.” Elland Road was that sort of battleground in April; the scene of unpaid wages, winding-up petitions and bitter internal disputes. Cellino imposed himself by implementing a mass of changes, some of them ruthless, some highly unpopular but all designed to rearrange the club in his image. Ken Bates, the former Leeds owner, once said: ‘The Romans didn’t build a great empire by organising meetings. They did it by killing anyone who got in their way.’ In four months at Elland Road, Cellino has taken few prisoners. The appointment of Hockaday as United’s head coach is the ×best example of his singular approach. It is a long time since the employment of an English boss by a prominent Championship club required such heavy use of Wikipedia. As Brian McDermott’s replacement, Hockaday was a peculiar, leftfield choice – out of work since his sacking by Forest Green Rovers and in no way an obvious candidate. The same could be said of several of the signings made by Leeds during a summer in which Cellino has openly dictated the club’s transfer policy. United’s first recruit, goalkeeper Stuart Taylor, was as conventional a signing as Championship sides make but most since then have been obscure footballers with comparative traits: relatively young, taken from Italy and seen by Cellino as assets with significant future value. Cellino says his strategy has the Champions League in mind, as wildly ambitious as that sounds. His plan is that Leeds will reach the Premier League with the calibre of squad needed to thrive and progress quickly. In his view, players like goalkeeper Marco Silvestri, signed for four years from Chievo, should make the transition without difficulty. “When Leeds go to the Premier League, we’ll go there because we want to, not because we must get there to pay debts and wages,” Cellino said. “If it takes one year, good, if it takes two years…(shrugs shoulders). But when we get there we want to go to the Champions League too. That’s why we have to buy good players for the future. The players we’re signing are going to be top players. “I started with the goalkeeper (Silvestri) and 100 per cent, we have a top goalkeeper – the best goalkeeper we have had at Leeds, I’m telling you.” The big loss this summer was Ross McCormack, sold to Fulham for £11m. United’s owner resented the way in which that transfer materialised but did not allow his criticism of McCormack to lower his opinion of striker who scored 29 goals last season and did more than anyone to keep relegation at arm’s length. For additions forwards, he looked to the transfer market while also looking closer to home. He extended his hand to Noel Hunt, who failed to score once during his first season with United, and also promised to use Steve Morison, who spent last term on loan at Millwall. “Hunt has the skills,” Cellino said. He’s a good guy. Morison is a character – a bullet – but a bloody good player with skills also. If he wants, if he really wants, he can be a big player here. This is not mathematics. It’s football. And football is strange. Hunt, he never scored last year but maybe this year he will make 35 goals. You never know.” That is true of Leeds all over. In this of all seasons, the potential of United’s squad, their suitability for the Championship and Hockaday’s ability to hold it all together is a matter of opinion. Even Cellino is waiting for the season to start before deciding his own level of optimism. “For now, humility,” he said. “When I came here I was worrying that the club was going down. The club was talking s**t, not paying debts but saying ‘we’re going to the Premier League.’ We were going to League One! So let’s start by keeping it in the Championship. Humility. “When I hear people say ‘I’m 85 years old and I saw us beat Manchester United’ I’m not interested. I want to see us play Manchester United now, to beat them three to nothing. That’s my dream.”

Thursday August 7th. Hockaday did homework before accepting job – YP Leeds United coach David Hockaday says he and his players will ‘sweat and bleed’ for the white shirt. Phil Hay reports. It would be wrong to describe David Hockaday as maligned or misunderstood. Overlooked is closer to the mark. He says himself that people are oblivious to his 40-or-so years in football, a fact which says something about Hockaday’s ability to make the world notice him. His predecessor at Leeds United, Brian McDermott, used to admit to a chronic image problem. He would joke about his need for greater charisma or suave, Mourinho-like features. But behind the self-deprecation, McDermott had a reputation: promotion on his CV and the stamp of the Premier League. When it came to image, there was no problem at all. Hockaday’s appointment as head coach at Elland Road was more of a PR minefield. United’s owner, Massimo Cellino, said the 56-year-old sold himself during a five-hour meeting at a hotel in London, talking football, football, football. Regardless, others looked at Hockaday and saw a man who, when typed into Google, brought up first a video of Forest Green Rovers’ supporters calling for him to be sacked. Forest Green was Hockaday’s last job but the Conference club are not the sum of his record. I spent the last four years there,” he says, but that’s four years out of 40 I’ve had in the game. It’s important for me to point that out. “If you’re looking at the whole picture, you’ve got to factor in my time coaching in the Premier League, and the Championship and Leagues One and Two. I’m not a big name, I accept that, but I know I can coach and it doesn’t really matter if you come from Planet Zog – produce a good, winning team and people will have you.” In Leeds, they will. But producing a good, winning team at Leeds United has been a miracle too far for several managers. McDermott spoke many times about his Championship win-ratio at Reading – 50 per cent or thereabouts – but will be less inclined in future to dig up his statistics at Elland Road. Neil Warnock’s “record eighth promotion” was also a whimsical notion, never once on the cards. Warnock managed Leeds in the vicious current of Gulf Finance House’s buy-out of Ken Bates, and McDermott lost control during Cellino’s complicated buy-out of United. In his favour, Hockaday has clear water in front of him and an owner who already seems to be bedding in for years. He was, without question, Cellino’s choice, as surprising as that choice proved to be. Hockaday’s appointment in June was a return to employment eight months after he and Forest Green parted company in diplomatic fashion and by mutual consent. “When I left Forest Green I was desperate to get back into the Football League,” he says. “In six months I must have watched over 100 games at every level. “I was blessed to be invited into a lot of clubs, and a lot of clubs in the Championship. I went to watch training and I was allowed to put on one or two little sessions. I talked to people, kept my hand in. It was a crash course of learning. “Mainly, you learn about things you could have done better in previous roles but you also pick up new techniques, new practices. “Because of that, I’m well aware of who plays where in the Championship and how other clubs and managers work. I’m not a novice and I haven’t come into this job blind. “It’s true that I’m not a name, that people might not really know who I am or what my background is, but I feel I’m qualified to give it a good go.”The question from the outset was one of authority: how much would Hockaday have? It is not a secret – or even unfair to assume – that Cellino has dictated United’s transfers this summer but Hockaday says he was consulted on all of those made from abroad. “Look, they weren’t lads I was familiar with,” he says, “but the way it works is I look at the positions where we need strengthening, the president will often suggest a name and say ‘go and do your homework on him.’ I do that and we see what we think. “It’s not like I’m having players dumped on me. We both have our say and take a view but obviously he has the final say because he’s paying the money and signing the contracts.” Hockaday is adamant too that tactics, formations and the nuts and bolts of coaching have been left to him entirely. It was a point Hockaday made firmly on the day of his unveiling – that he would pick the team and do what managers traditionally do. “I manage the team and pick the team,” he says. The other things, I leave to the president. “He’s welcome to it. He’s an expert negotiator of contracts and I’m most certainly not so I wouldn’t ever expect to have a say in that.” The players who have been at Thorp Arch this summer and who travelled to Italy for a two-week tour say pre-season has been more physical than any other they can remember. The Italian programme included up to three sessions a day and ice baths in a river. Nonetheless, Hockaday admits that Leeds were “playing catch-up” when they returned to England having destroyed a local amateur team and seeing a more credible friendly against a Romanian Premier League club cancelled at short notice. Italy came at a good time,” he says. It came literally four days after he was appointed. “There were a lot of downcast faces here after a summer of bad ×news, or perceived bad ×news, so we got away and into a bubble. We needed that. It was like breaking away from everything. “I’d done my homework so I knew what I was coming into and if I’m being honest, it’s better here than I thought it might be. “Financially the club seems to have sorted itself out very quickly and wherever I’ve gone the fans have been good with me. They really have. “I understand that people have misgivings and doubts, and that’s fine. This is a big club and the supporters want to know that it’s in the right hands. Quite right. I need to earn their respect. “I said that on day one but I can only see one way to earn their respect and that’s through the football and results. I can’t affect what people think of me now, I can’t change that. But I can do my job and do it well, and turn this into a footballing team.” Knowing the Championship, as Hockaday says he does, is half of the battle. The other half – the more complex half – is the creation of a team at Elland Road who sit comfortably within it. The club finished 15th last season and were no better than that. Cellino feared that they’d be relegated when he first began pushing his takeover in January. Hockaday says the flamboyant Italian has asked only for “visible progress” this season. “He wants to see a philosophy here, the green shoots of recovery. Promotion in Cellino’s mind is set for 2016. We’ll sweat and bleed for the white shirt,” Hockaday says. As a starting point, I can absolutely guarantee honest performances.”In Leeds they say that supporters will settle for that but honesty is no long-term substitute for tangible achievements, and honest failure is wearing thin. PR is no substitute for ability either. McDermott talked about image problems but football is not a beauty contest; it’s game where the ×best players and managers compare medals. What honours Hockaday holds are largely hidden beneath a bush. He was promoted five times as a player and has coached at the likes of Southampton, Watford, Leicester City and MK Dons. Watford gave him the experience of coaching in the Premier League. Hockaday is credited in part with driving the creation of academies in England but he is still a man who can arrive at a pre-season friendly against Guiseley, only to be told by the waiting steward that the car park is full and he’d be better off round the corner. And yet, he has a quiet confidence about him. He doesn’t accept that his appointment is the gamble so many perceive it to be. He doesn’t accept either that scepticism of him will complicate the season ahead. You control the controllable,” he says. Certain things you can’t control so you don’t try. “I can’t talk people who are sceptical about me into believing in me overnight. Words can be quite empty but coaching, winning games – that I can do.”

Aug 7th. Cellino hints at more arrivals LEEDS UNITED president Massimo Cellino hinted at the arrival of another striker and centre-back before the end of the transfer window after putting the finishing touches to Frederik Sorensen’s loan from Juventus.Cellino declared Sorensen’s season-long move complete yesterday, putting the Danish defender in line for an immediate debut at Millwall on Saturday, but United’s owner said further transfers were planned on top of eight agreed already. Leeds and Juventus are still to officially confirm Sorensen’s switch but he is understood to be joining for a loan fee of around £400,000. United have also negotiated an option to take him on a permanent basis next summer, a deal which would cost them close to £3m. The 22-year-old is a well-regarded prospect in Italy and looks likely to go straight into David Hockaday’s starting line-up for the first game of the new Championship season this weekend. Sorensen’s deal came on the back of the £150,000 signing of forward Nicky Ajose from Peterborough United but Cellino said: I still think we need more. Another central defender maybe and a forward, a goalscorer. “We need to be sure that we have enough goals in the team. We can’t be without them. “Sorensen too, he’ll be a big player for us but we still want others. We will work on that until the month ends. We have time left.” Leeds are interested in Guingamp striker Mustapha Yatabare, a Mali international who scored 11 goals in France’s top division last season and 23 in Ligue 2 the season before, but have not submitted an official bid for him. The Elland Road club have until 11pm on September 1 – the end of FIFA’s transfer window – to tie up permanent signings and long-term loans, and their summer recruits will run into double figures if another two players arrive before the window shuts. Leeds were briefly involved in a fight to sign young Liverpool midfielder Conor Coady at the start of this week but did not reach an agreement with the Premier League club.Coady, 21, underwent a medical with Huddersfield Town yesterday and has moved to the John Smith’s Stadium in a £500,000 switch from Anfield. He spent last season on loan at Sheffield United.

August 6th. Gibbs sues for constructive dismissal. Leeds United are heading for a legal battle with former assistant manager Nigel Gibbs after the 48-year-old quit Elland Road in protest at his “treatment by the club.” Gibbs is preparing to sue Leeds for breach of contract and constructive dismissal following his sudden departure from the coaching staff. The former Watford player – United’s assistant throughout Brian McDermott’s reign as manager – is understood to have left Leeds last Monday after a summer in which he became a peripheral presence at Thorp Arch. Gibbs remained in employment after McDermott and Leeds parted company on May 30 but his role was largely undefined once David Hockaday took charge of the first team as head coach and named Junior Lewis as his assistant. Leeds did not take Gibbs on their summer tour of Italy and he spent much of pre-season observing training sessions at Thorp Arch. He and club owner Massimo Cellino previously discussed the possibility of severing his contract but failed to reach an agreement. Gibbs declined to comment on the precise circumstances leading up to his departure but in a statement issued to the YEP, he said: “I have terminated my employment with Leeds United in response to the way I have been treated by the club, which amounts to a breach of contract. “I have put the matter in the hands of my legal advisors and in those circumstances it is inappropriate for me to make any further comment.” Cellino confirmed that Gibbs had left the club but said the ex-Reading assistant had “wanted a deal” and “asked for too much money.” He wanted a deal to close the relationship but he asked for too much money,” Cellino said. He wanted to go after Brian (McDermott) left. “He wasn’t working and he didn’t do what we told him to do. He just watched training and when we told him to do something else, he left. “When the summer started I asked him to help David Hockaday as his assistant, to work with him. He said he didn’t want to work for Hockaday.” Gibbs and Hockaday were formerly colleagues on the coaching staff at Watford before Gibbs’ controversial exit from Vicarage Road in 2005.

Weds Aug 8th. Who is the Iceman ?Full name Frederik Hillesborg Sørensen Date of birth 14 April 1992 (age 22) Place of birth Copenhagen, Denmark Height 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)[1] Playing position Centre Back / Right Back.Frederik Hillesborg Sørensen (born 14 April 1992) is a Danish professional footballer[2] who currently plays for Leeds United on loan from Serie A side Juventus. He plays as a Centre Back but can also play as a Right Back. He is a former Denmark U21 international. He is nicknamed Ice Man and Lake (the literal meaning of the abbreviation of his surname )[3] Born in Copenhagen, Sørensen began playing football with hometown clubs Roskilde KFUM and FC Roskilde before joining Lyngby in 2007. After breaking into the first team, he was awarded with a contract until 2013.[4]Sørensen officially signed for Juventus on 27 August 2010[4] after a trial with the Turin-based club in July of the same year..[5] He was originally included as a member of the Juventus Primavera team for the 2010–11 season, however he was called into the first team midway through the 2010–11 Serie A season by then-Juventus coach, Luigi Delneri. After injuries to Leandro Rinaudo and Zdeněk Grygera that would rule them out for several months, Sørensen was called up to the first team for the first time against Bologna on 23 October 2010,[6] and again against Milan.[7] In the next league match, on 7 November 2010, due to the unavailability of center backs Giorgio Chiellini and Nicola Legrottaglie, Sørensen made his first start alongside Leonardo Bonucci in the centre of defense. In that match, The Old Lady defeated Cesena 3–1. In the next match, right back Marco Motta was suspended and Sørensen replaced him against A.S. Roma. From that match onwards Sørensen continued to feature for the club at right back, and even managed to maintain a starting position for much of the second half of the season ahead of Motta and the Czech international, Grygera. On the long awaited Derby D’Italia between Juventus F.C and F.C. Internazionale Milano he notably played the full ninety minutes and silenced Samuel Eto’o in an astounding performance, in which he also made the assist for the only goal of the game. On 10 May 2011, Sørensen had signed an additional 4-year contract with Juventus. During the 2011–12 Serie A season, Sørensen found little space in the Juventus first–team under new head coach, Antonio Conte. He was thus sold on a co-ownership deal to fellow Serie A club, Bologna during the winter transfer market in order to gain regular first–team playing time. On 17 January 2012, he was officially sent to Bologna in a co-ownership deal for €2.5 million.[8] Despite making just 3 league appearances for his new club during the remainder of the 2011-12 Serie A campaign, the young defender became an integral part of his club’s first team throughout the 2012-13 Serie A season, after they had renewed the co-ownership agreement with Juventus.[9] On 20 June 2013, his co-ownership deal with parent club Juventus was renewed once again, and Bologna continued to hold his registration for the 2013–14 Serie A campaign that had ultimately ended in relegation for the Emilia-Romagna–based club after they had finished 19th in the Serie A standings. On 20 June 2014, Sørensen was re–signed on a permanent basis by Juventus after the club announced that an agreement had been reached for the outright purchase of the Danish defender.[10]On 5 August 2014 Sørensen signed for Leeds United on an initial 12 month loan, with the option to buy at the end of that period. Sørensen has been capped 4 times for the Danish U17 team, twice against ×Portugal,[11][12] and twice against Greece.[13] He also played once for the U18 team in an unofficial friendly (against Bavaria) and against Romania U18 as an unused sub.[14] He was a part of the Danish squad for the UEFAEuropean Under-21 Football Championship, but he did not play in any of the three games in the group phase due to injury, where Denmark were knocked out. Summary – 2007 to 2010 – Lyngby Denmar. 2010 – 2012 Juventos 17 apps 0 Gols. 2012 – 2014 Bologna 42 apps (2 Gls).


Sorensen looks potentially like Cellino’s most expensive signing for Leeds

Weds 6th. Sorensen at last signs in. Leeds have confirmed the signing of Sorenson from Juventos on loan for one season for circa £500K with a buy out clause of £3.5M. Weds August 6th. Leeds looking to sign Coady on loan from Liverpoool United have been linked with a move for Liverpool’s 21 year old Defender or defensive midfielder, Conor Coady who was on loan with Sheffield United last season. He made 35 appearances with the Blades and scored 5 goals for the League One side. Huddersfield look to have jumped ahead of Leeds and the player is undergoing a medical at the McAlpine.

Weds Aug 6th. Who is Conor Coady ? Conor David Coady (born 25 February 1993) is an English footballer who plays for Premier League club Liverpool, as either a defensive midfielder or centre back. Born in Liverpool, he has spent a season on loan at Sheffield United and has also represented England at youth level, from the England U16s through to the England U20s. Coady was born in Liverpool and grew up supporting his hometown club of the same name. Coady is a product of the Liverpool Youth Academy after joining the club in 2005. During the 2010–11 season, Coady was on the fringes of the first team, making the subs bench twice but failed to make a first team appearance.[3][4] Coady played every Reserve League and NextGen Series match during the 2011–12 season, scoring five goals. Despite being named in the senior squad list and being called up to the senior squad occasionally from 2009, he did not make his senior début until 8 November 2012 in a UEFA Europa League group stage match against Anzhi Makhachkala.[5] After Andre Wisdom‘s promotion as a full-time senior squad member, Conor Coady was installed as full-time captain of the Under-21 squad and on 12 May 2013 he made his Premier League début in a 1–3 win against Fulham. Coady agreed a six-month loan deal with League One side Sheffield United on 22 July 2013,[6] later revealing that he had turned down the chance to go on Liverpool’s pre-season tour of ×Australia and the Far East in order to join up with his new club.[7] Coady made his debut for the Blades in the opening fixture of the following season, coming on as a second half substitute in a 2–1 home victory over Notts County,[8] and made his first start for the club in the following game, a League Cup first round defeat to League Two side Burton Albion.[9] Coady scored his first senior goal in a 1–1 draw at Leyton Orient on 30 November 2013.[10] Having been in and out of the side during the first half of the season, Coady began to cement a regular first-team place over the Christmas period, prompting United to extend his loan spell during the January transfer window,[11] and once more in February to extend his stay until the end of the season.[12] Coady played regularly for the Blades for the remainder of the season and returned to Anfield having played 50 games and scored six goals.[13 Coady has represented England at Under-16 right through to Under-20 level where he is currently playing. He has been capped 17 times for the England national under-17 football team. He played and captained the England team at the 2010 UEFA European Under-17 Football Championship in Liechtenstein where him and his England colleagues won the tournament, and became the first England team to win an international tournament in 17 years.[14] He was then part of the 2012 UEFA European Under-19 Football Championship in Estonia[15] in which England got as far as the semi-finals where they were knocked out by Greece.[16] He was named captain of the England under-20 team by manager Peter Taylor for the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup.[17] He made his debut for the side on 16 June, in a 3–0 win in a warm-up game against Uruguay.[18] On 23 June, he scored in the opening group-stage game against Iraq Weds 6th. Leeds have confirmed the signing of Sorenson from Juventos on loan for one season for circa £500K with a buy out clause of £3.5M.
Weds Aug 6th. Interview with Cellino IB Times. Leeds United manager David Hockaday is facing immediate pressure over his position at Elland Road from owner Massimo Cellino just days before the start of the new Championship season. Hockaday was installed as the surprise replacement for Brian McDermott in June, having previously only managed Forest Green Rovers in the football conference. Cellino arrived at Leeds with an infamous reputation for sacking managers after going through 36 bosses during his 22 years in charge of Cagliari. The 58 year old removed McDermott as manager just weeks into his official reign in west Yorkshire – having initially being blocked from completing his takeover of Leeds by The Football League – and is already pressuring Hockaday having demanded promotion back to the Premier League this term. In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, when asked about Hockaday, Cellino replied: “OK, but needs some babysitting”. “The whole culture of this club needed to change and it’s still not right,” he added. “We need passion, hard work and commitment from everyone, from the cleaners to the players. At the moment I don’t see that.” Ahead of the new campaign and following a 17th place finish in the Championship last season, the summer has been one of significant upheaval at Leeds with 24 players coming and going including captain Ross McCormack and influential defender Tom Lees. Paddy Kenny is expected to become the latest high-profile exit from The Whites after being left-off the club’s squad number list for the new season after enraging Cellino having returned to pre-season training overweight. “Kenny turned up for pre-season training 20lbs overweight,” Cellino said.Can you believe this? We offered him money to go. He said yes and then no. “So I sent Kenny a letter, telling him he has to move from Manchester to Leeds and train six times a week, for three hours a day.” Cellino’s no-nonsense approach has already seen close confidant Benito Carbone leave the club just four months after being appointed in a consultancy capacity before assisting Neil Redfearn as an Under-21 coach. When Carbone first arrived in Leeds I told him we are guests in this country and we have to respect these people, Cellino said. I put Carbone in charge of the academy, with Neil Redfearn as his boss. Carbone didn’t like that Neil was his boss. “He went to Italy without permission, to see his sick mother, and wasn’t in Ireland when the under-21s had a game there. He gave them the chance to –––– him, he made a mistake. Who is going to be the next to make a mistake?” Along with the appointment of a new manager, among Cellino’s priorities upon becoming Leeds owner was to streamline the club’s finances which saw them hamstrung by significant operating costs. Though the club have made seven ×news signings, big earners including El Hadji Diouf, Michael Brown and McCormack have all left Leeds to leave them in a far healthier financial position. “When I came into this club it had an income of about £30m a year and costs of £42 million – crazy,” he added. “It had lost more than £100  million in 12 years. Now we will only make losses of £3 to £4 million a year and I can sustain that for 100 years, believe me. “I have already applied to buy back Elland Road and we will do that by November. In time I will build a new training ground near the stadium. I don’t need to kiss the a— of anyone, I am driving this bus.”
Tues Aug 5th. Peterboro Fans react to Ajose signing for Leeds : Ian @SuperPosh7 Follow Ajose has gone to Leeds? There is a God…… #pufc#lufc 3:50 PM – 5 Aug 2014 Vital Peterborough @VitalPosh Follow Nicky Ajose has completed his transfer to @LUFC. Definitely a strange one but ×best wishes to Nicky on his future at Elland Road #posh#pufc Connor @McEwen1171 Follow Leeds went in for Assombalonga and came out with Ajose. Top work Barry #pufc#lufc Prior ⚽️ @Poshboy97 Follow Nicky Ajose’s gone Leeds and all the ×best to him. Although his career highlight for Posh was getting injured within five minutes Mark – Am i the only posh fan that rated ajose and thinks £150K is way short of his value if thats true????? 1:33 PM – 5 Aug 2014 Peterborough, United Kingdom ChazClareFollow Nicky Ajose has signed for Leeds for about £150k. Good work from Posh getting anything near that for him if true Matt Evetts @Matt_Evetts Follow If the Ajose to Leeds rumours are actually real, I’ll probably be rolling on the floor laughing for the next few days #pufc 2:05 PM – 5 Aug 2014 Tues Aug 5th. Who is Nicky Ajose ? Nicholas Olushola “Nicky” Ajose (born 7 October 1991) is a professional footballer who plays as a forward or as a Winger for Leeds United. Nicholas Olushola Ajose[1] Date of birth 7 October 1991 (age 22) Place of birth Bury, England Height 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in) Playing position Forward / Winger. He began his career with Manchester United, but never made an appearance in the first-team and spent much of the 2010–11 season on loan to Bury. He joined Peterborough United in July 2011, but spent time on loan with Scunthorpe United, Chesterfield, Crawley Town and Swindon Town, as well as another six months with Bury, before joining Leeds in August 2014. Ajose played for England at under-16 and under-17 level. Also eligible to play for Nigeria, he was called up to Nigeria U20‘s for the 2009 African Youth Championship. Born in Bury, Ajose made his way through Manchester United‘s youth squads, having joined the club in 1999.[2] He was awarded with his first professional contract by the club in the summer of 2009.[3]Bury (loan)[edit] On 24 September 2010, Ajose joined his home-town club, Bury, on a one-month loan deal,[4] he made his debut the following day as an 80th-minute substitute in a 2–0 away win over Cheltenham Town.[5] His first goal for Bury came on his fifth appearance, a 3–0 home win over Accrington Stanley on 9 October.[6] Seven days later he netted in a 4–3 away victory over Torquay United.[7] His loan was later extended until 3 January 2011.[8] Ajose then scored goals in a 3–1 away wins over Aldershot Town on 30 October,[9] and Burton Albion on 19 November.[10] Ajose netted twice in a 5–0 away win over Lincoln City on 23 November.[11] On 5 January 2011, Bury announced that they had agreed at a meeting with Sir Alex Ferguson that Ajose would remain at Bury on loan until 30 June 2011.[12] He returned to Manchester United for treatment in February after damaging his knee.[13] Five weeks later he rejoined Bury to commence the rest of his loan spell.[14] Ajose scored his first goal of 2011 in a 4–2 away victory over Macclesfield Town on 1 February.[15] He scored twice in a 3–0 victory over Oxford United on 2 April,[16] before netting another brace in a 4–2 away win over Northampton Town the following week.[17] Ajose was a pivotal part of the Bury side which secured the League Two runners up spot in 2010/2011After failing to make it into the Manchester United first-team, Ajose joined Peterborough United – managed by Darren Ferguson, son of Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson – on 5 July 2011. Peterborough paid an undisclosed fee for the striker, thought to be around £300,000 who signed a four-year contract with the club.[18] After a short loan spell with Scunthorpe United he signed on loan with Chesterfield for the remainder of the season, scoring his first goal against his former club, Bury.[19] Next a loan spell with former manager Richie Barker‘s Crawley Town came with 18 appearances and nine goals, Ajose scored the goal that knocked Championship side Bolton Wanderers out of the Football League Cup. In January 2013, Ajose returned to Peterborough, before again signing for his home-town team, Bury, on loan for the rest of the season on 23 January. On 2 February, Ajose scored his first goal back at Bury with a headed effort in their 2–0 over Doncaster Rovers at Gigg Lane.[20] On 30 August 2013, Ajose signed for Swindon Town on loan until 1 January 2014.[21] He scored 10 goals in 21 games for Swindon Town in all competitions. After impressing during his 6 month loan spell at Swindon Town, Ajose returned to Peterborough United in January 2014, he scored 7 goals for Peterborough United in 22 league appearances, helping them reach the League 1 playoffs, Ajose started both playoff semi final legs, however Peterborough United were knocked out by Leyton Orient, in total Ajose scored a combined 17 goals in all competitions during the 2013/14 season with 13 of those goals coming in League 1. On 15 May 2014, Ajose was transfer listed by Peterborough United in line with the club process of transfer listing all players who enter into the last year of their contracts.[22] Leeds United[edit] On 5 August 2014, Ajose signed a three-year contract with Leeds United, who paid Peterborough an undisclosed fee.[23] Ajose has been capped by England U16 four times & once by England U17.[24] He is also eligible to play for Nigeria and was called up by Nigeria U20‘s for the 2009 African Youth Championship.[25]


Ajose signs up

Career Summary : 2009–2011 Manchester United 0 (0) 2010–2011 → Bury (loan) 28 (13) 2011–2014 Peterborough United 24 (7) 2011 → Scunthorpe United (loan) 7 (0) 2012 → Chesterfield (loan) 12 (1) 2012 → Crawley Town (loan) 19 (2) 2013 → Bury (loan) 19 (4) 2013–2014 → Swindon Town (loan) 16 (6).

Tuesday August 5th. Ajose signs from Posh. United have completed their seventh signing of the summer as Nicky Ajose signs from Peterborough United for an undisclosed fee. The 22-year-old forward has signed a three-year contract with United and will be available for selection on Saturday when the Sky Bet Championship season kicks off at Millwall. The former Manchester United youngster has over 100 Football League appearances to his name and has scored over 30 goals. During his time at Peterborough the young striker enjoyed loan spells at Scunthorpe, Chesterfield, Crawley, Bury and most recently at Swindon. On his return to ‘The Posh’ from Swindon the forward netted five goals during January of this year and won the League One Player of the Month award. Nicky also has international caps on his CV from when he played for England’s Under-16s and Under-17s. The striker is also eligible for Nigeria. United head coach David Hockaday said: Nicky was involved with a very good group of players in the Manchester United Academy and he was one of the high flyers in that group. “He can play up front in a number roles and he is very talented. He is a super professional and is an ideal addition to our squad”.

Football - UEFA Youth League - Chelsea v AC Milan - Tuesday 25th February - Cobham - London

Benedicic now a Leeds player

Tues Aug 5th. Benedicic signing signals final push for players – Hay YP. The signing of Zan Benedicic from AC Milan began the final push for new players at Leeds United. The club’s midfield is largely shored up – even after the collapse of talks with Federico Viviani – and all thoughts have turned to the centre of their defence and the strength and depth of their attacking line. Benedicic finalised his loan yesterday evening, breaking a spell of 16 days without a signing at Elland Road, but a flurry of other transfers were in the offing as the Slovenian midfielder signed up. The club are working against a clock which will mark the end of the summer on Friday and sound the bell for the new season in little more than 72 hours’ time. United wanted Viviani, a young playmaker at Roma, on a year-long loan and are looking at alternative options in that position but the priority for owner Massimo Cellino and head coach David Hockaday is the acquisition of at least one central defender and a striker good enough to score 15 goals or more this season. Leeds are on the verge of signing Nicky Ajose, a 22-year-old who came through Manchester United’s academy but has spent most of his professional career in the lower leagues. Peterborough United signed him in 2011, paying Manchester United a six-figure sum, but he was held back by injuries from the outset and his three years at London Road have passed in a spate of loans to Scunthorpe United, Chesterfield, Crawley Town, Bury and Swindon Town. Ajose scored 17 times last season, however, and aided Peterborough’s run to the League One play-offs but was notable by his absence from their team photo this week. If he passes a medical today, the forward will take up a contract which ties him to United for the whole of this season. Leeds have been monitoring other strikers in the meantime and are understood to have been offered Mustapha Yatabare, a Mali international who plays for Guingamp in France and has shown an eye for goal in the French leagues. The 28-year-old top-scored with 23 efforts when Guingamp won promotion from Ligue 2 in 2012-13 and claimed 11 in Ligue 1 last season. A deal is a long way from completion and Yatabare would most likely command a seven-figure transfer fee. A high price has also been placed on Andy Delort, another France-based forward who Leeds have been heavily linked with. Delort claims to have struck a deal with a side in England but French journalists believe he is destined to join either Charlton Athletic or Brentford. Cellino told the YEP last week that he had no interest in Delort, saying rumours of firm bids from United were “someone playing games.” Leeds’ approach for Juventus defender Frederik Sorensen was more genuine and more serious and the 22-year-old centre-back was due at Elland Road this afternoon to finalise his move. Sorensen emerged as a realistic target in the early part of last week, before Leeds and Chesterfield engaged in rapid and unsuccessful negotiations over a proposed deal for Liam Cooper, and Juventus are willing to allow the Dane to come to Yorkshire on loan for a year with a view to a permanent deal next summer. Similar agreements have already been reached with Benedicic and Souleymane Doukara – the French striker brought in from Catania last month – and the plan with Viviani was to include a clause in his contract giving Leeds the right to buy him in 12 months’ time. Cellino said: “I never take players just on loan. If you do it that way, all you are doing is training somebody else’s player for them. The player gets better, then he goes back and we get nothing. “If someone comes on loan we must be able to buy them later. Otherwise it’s no good for us. I want players to be here, growing.”  Sorensen, who has appeared in Serie A for Juventus and Bologna, is said to be costing a loan fee of around £300,000 and his arrival would strengthen Leeds in an area of their squad which has been waiting for improvement throughout the summer. United were confident of completing the signing of centre-back Giuseppe Bellusci from Catania a month ago but failed to agree personal terms with him, and their interest in Cooper faded rapidly after Chesterfield refused to accept an offer of £475,000 last week. They were made aware of Mark Hudson’s availability but have not attempted to sign the experienced Cardiff City defender. But Juventus are coached by Massimiliano Allegri, a man who Cellino knows well and who coached Cagliari for two years while Cellino ran the Serie A club. Productive discussions moved the deal for Sorensen forward over the weekend The single frustration for Cellino in the past week has been the failure to drag Viviani’s transfer over the line. His loan from Roma was in the offing for the best part of a fortnight but differences between United and his advisors led both sides to give up on talks last week. Speaking on Sunday, Cellino said: He is a good player, a talented player, but I cannot sign someone like that. All last week it was demands about this, demands about that, asking for more and more so eventually I said ‘enough’.” Viviani’s representatives accused Leeds of failing to deliver the paperwork they needed to complete his transfer, claiming they had not received a copy of the contract agreed with United at the beginning of last week. But with Viviani on the verge of joining Serie B side Latina – returning to a club who he helped take to the brink of promotion last season – his agent, Giovanni Ferro, issued a more cordial statement, telling the YEP: “I thank the president (Cellino) for the opportunity and for his fine words in favour of Federico. Once again it proves Cellino is a connoisseur of football. “However, we have not played any games. Federico has made a choice. He wishes to complete the work and reach Serie A with Latina. We thank Cellino and (Nicola) Salerno and hope Leeds United win the Championship.”

Tues Aug 4th. Tweets. Phil Hay – Federico Viviani’s move to Latina from Roma is being completed tonight. Just in case we thought there was any way back. #lufcEmanuele Giulianelli tweets : Adryan has taken shirt number 10 at Cagliari. Very difficult they sell him. #Leeds #Lufc plus -Tomorrow Sorensen will probably become a Leeds play – plus – little update from Nicola Salerno: “Delort will arrive?” “No”. Tues Aug 4th. We are on the right track – The Hock. Work Ethic: Coach David Hockaday has been pleased with the way the players have ‘bought into’ the squad’s new way of working. Leon Wobschall reports. IT IS not how you start, but how you finish. Sentiments that usually apply in terms of the success or failure of a league campaign. But also ones that can also carry weight in regards to pre-season. Sparring before the real stuff, yes, but for Whites fans who attended Leeds United’s only friendly on home soil against Dundee United on Saturday, it was about finding a reason or two to believe seven days from a new league season. David Hockaday will be savvy enough to appreciate that many United fans were not exactly enamoured with his appointment. The only way he can win them over is by tangible results and performances on the pitch and in that regard, the 2-0 win over their weekend visitors was a step in the right direction. A double-whammy of a loss and low-key display, in his first home game in the United dug-out and cynics who scoffed at Hockaday’s appointment would have been provided with further fuel. While he has plenty to do to win over the doubters, he helped his cause on Saturday. The 56-year-old was not jumping through hoops after the game, but there was a justifiable degree of satisfaction from what he witnessed, with the team and work ethic he has been banging on about consistently since being appointed as head coach in clear evidence. Plenty of graft and hunting down of the ball when not in possession was a noticeable trait embodied in the likes of Steve Morison, whose chase back in the first half to make a clearance in front of the Kop was evidence of just what Hockaday has been drumming into his charges at Thorp Arch. It was proof of what Hockaday’s side’s are all about with some sort of a base to build from with the head coach able to claim that incremental progress has been made over the past month, with plenty more to do, mind. Hockaday said: “We are getting better. Day one, it was a horror show and day two, not so much. We’re at a stage where now when we are training, if a team has not got the ball, they have got to work damned hard to get the ball back. “We have come a long way, but have a long way to go and are by no means the finished article. We have a lot of work to do, but that is what we are here for. “This is a team game. Every game, we play as a team and work as a team. We are going to get better with our decision-making and passing. “But if we go out and put in an honest shift every game, we will be hard to play against. With the quality I also believe the players have and if we get better and keep improving, then we might just surprise a few people. “I believe that the players have got more quality than even they believe and we are getting better and better. There’s loads still to work on, but we will put in an honest shift and showed that as a team in tracking back and working hard and tackling on Saturday. All the essentials that a good team needs.” Marco Silvestri, Tommaso Bianchi, Souleymane Doukara and Gaetano Berardi all made their home bows and as first dates go, it could definitely be constituted as a success. Big names they may not be, but all fitted into the team fabric and dovetailed well enough with their new colleagues to provide hope. Alongside a work ethic, the three outfield players also displayed vestiges of quality and given time and increased familiarity with their team-mates, that will only improve, according to Hockaday. He said: “We have not bought in any big-name players yet – and whether that will happen or not, I don’t know. “But I think the Leeds fans recognise what is happening, what we are trying to do and the way we are trying to do it. “The Leeds fans are knowledgeable and know what is going on and what we have got. We have not gone and got some big-name players and are working with what we have got. “But what we have got is not a negative. We have some good players and they are getting better and better. There are a lot of reasons to be optimistic. “What we have to do is earn respect; nobody gives you it. All of the players must show their qualities, be brave on the ball and impose their personality on the game. If we do that, the fans will have you. “If you make a mistake and it’s an honest mistake and you try and run back and tackle, then any fans will support you. “At the moment, we are looking reasonably strong. But I want us to be really strong and incredibly competitive. We will keep on endeavouring to do that until such time as we feel we are. But we will never be there!” “I believe in these players probably more than they do at the moment. If you saw them last year, they played a certain way. Now we are saying, get it down and be brave on the ball. “They showed some great combination play on Saturday and when you do that, you get the ball into the forwards from a midfield area rather than defensively. Then you can start picking your passes. “We got Doukara more involved and he was a handful. He is big, strong and getting quicker all the time. That worked really well on Saturday.” Analysing pre-season in the round, he added: “Given that we didn’t have any friendlies when I came, I have got to be happy to a degree. It could have been better if we had got at least one more game in to give us that little bit more edge, but I have got to be pleased. “Everybody out there has put a claim in for the shirt. I write the team names down, but I don’t actually ‘pick’ the team as their form in training as well as in games does. “I think people have to appreciate that just as someone might have had a great game on Saturday, they may look really flat and be carrying something in the week and then that is not good enough. You cannot just switch it on and off. “We will have a look in the week and go as strong as we can for Millwall.”


Sorensen to become a Leeds player

Tues Aug 4th.  Sorensen and Jose to arrive – Hay YP. Leeds United are on the verge of two more signings today with Juventus centre-back Frederik Sorensen and Peterborough United forward Nicky Ajose poised to join the club. Sorensen is expected to finalise the terms of a season-long loan from Turin today and Ajose will also take up a contract with Leeds after undergoing a medical. United have been pushing to take Sorensen from Juventus for the past week and talks between the clubs appear to have reached a successful conclusion. The Danish defender is understood to have flown to England with the intention of joining Leeds before the Championship season begins at Millwall on Saturday. The 22-year-old has been with Juventus since 2010 and spent two years with Bologna before returning to the reigning Serie A champions this season. The deal between Leeds and Juventus is likely to include a clause giving United the option to sign him permanently in a year’s time. Leeds, who landed Zan Benedicic from AC Milan yesterday, are now working to finalise an agreement with Ajose, the former Manchester United trainee. Ajose, also 22, has spent the past three years with Peterborough but is heading out of London Road and did not appear in Peterborough’s team photo ahead of the new campaign. His spell with the League One club was affected by injuries and saw him move on loan several times but he scored 17 goals for Peterborough and Swindon Town last season

Tues Aug 4th. LUFC confirm signing of Benedicic on loan from AC Milan – Official website. United can confirm the signing of Zan Benedicic from AC Milan on a season-long loan with the option to buy, subject to international clearance.The 18-year-old attacking midfielder is a current Slovenian Under-21 international and at the start of the summer he was part of AC Milan’s pre-season tour of America. The youngster’s international career has also seen him play for Slovenia’s Under-17 and Under-18s. The midfielder is yet to make a competitive senior outing for the Italian giants but he played a major part of AC Milan’s Under-19 campaign last season, making over 30 appearances. Benedicic is United’s sixth signing of the summer and follows Marco Silvestri, Tommaso Bianchi, Gaetano Berardi and Souleymane Doukara joining the club from the continent. United head coach David Hockaday: “Zan is a versatile, strong and technical midfield player. He has massive potential and comes highly recommended by AC Milan.”

Mon Aug 3rd. Whites target Juventon defender Sorenseon. Leeds United are in advanced talks with Juventus about the signing of Denmark defender Frederik SorensenUnited want to take Sorensen on loan from Turin before the Championship season starts on Saturday, securing an experienced partner for captain and centre-back Jason Pearce. The Elland Road club are short of central defenders after allowing Tom Lees to join Sheffield Wednesday and failing with a £475,000 bid for Chesterfield youngster Liam Cooper. But they are hopeful of finalising a deal for Sorensen, a 22-year-old who has been capped at various youth levels by Denmark. Sorensen joined Juventus in 2010 but spent the past two seasons at Bologna as part of a co-ownership deal agreed between the two Italian sides. United, who are on the verge of sealing the signing of midfielder Zan Benedicic on loan from AC Milan, want to secure an option to buy Sorensen next summer. Juventus are coached by Massimiliano Allegri who previously managed Cagliari while United owner Massimo Cellino was in charge of the Sardinian club.

Sun Aug 3rd. Links from The Credible Emanuele Giulianelli Blog Adryan Oliveira Tavares, known as Adryan, can be a new target for Leeds after Federico Viviani chosed to join Italian side of Latina. The Brazilian midfielder, grown up at Flamengo, now at Cagliari is very talented and can play even in attacking role. Nicola Salerno, Leeds director, declared to me: We are going to buy. Our intention is to take players in every position: defense, midfield, attack”.When I wrote about Sorensen I meant Frederick, Danish central back from Juventus”.

Sun Aug 3rd. Delort going to Leeds ? The 72 Weblink Leeds United have agreed terms with French striker Andy Delort according to Made In Foot. Delort, 22, who plays for Tours in Ligue 2 has reportedly agreed terms with Leeds over a move to Elland Road and only thing is left is for both clubs to agree a fee. Leeds are looking for a replacement for Ross McCormack who joined Fulham earlier this transfer window for £11,000,000 and the Elland Road club have only so far signed striker Souleymane Doukara and there are questions over their strike force’s capability to score the required goals this season. Delort would be a significant improvement, having scored 24 goals in only 36 games for Tours last season in Ligue 2 and is young enough to progress and may be seen as a positive addition. Delort is also been a reported target of Leeds’ Championship rivals Charlton and Brentford.The Whites play Millwall at The New Den on Saturday in which will be headcoach Dave Hockaday’s first competitive game in charge since replacing Brian McDermott who was relieved of his duties in May. According to Phil Hay, Cellino has denied this link. The player is allegedly Atletico Madrid bound.

Sun Aug 3rd. Leeds keen on Sorensen. Leeds United are reportedly on the cusp of signing Frederik Sorensen from Juventus, according to the English translation of journalist Gianluca Di Marzio’s website. The Yorkshire club are apparently close to securing Sorensen on loan, with Massimo Cellino near to completing the deal. The defender is apparently keen on a move to England, with the Championship side beating Verona and Genoa to the Danish defender. Sorensen spent last season with Bologna as part of a co-ownership agreement with the club. Juventus seem likely to bring Daniele Rugani back to fill the hole left by Sorensen. The addition of the 22-year-old would be a boon for Leeds, who lost stalwart defender Tom Lees to Sheffield Wednesday last week. Sorensen has played 59 games in Serie A over the course of his young career. The 6 foot 4 defender is regarded as a hot prospect, although he has found himself unable to break into Juventus’s first team during their recent success, which has seen them win Serie A three years on the bounce. Sun Aug 3rd Offer made for Elland Rd ? Massimo Cellino, the Leeds United owner, has said that an offer to repurchase Elland Road has been made using money raised from the sale of Ross McCormack and other funds. Leeds sold their stadium in 2004 for £8m during the club’s financial crisis and the Italian entrepreneur vowed in February, before his takeover had been confirmed, to buy it back immediately. The former Cagliari owner has not yet fulfilled that promise and has since claimed that he wants to secure a deal by November. The ground is owned by the businessman Jacob Adler but the club have the option to buy back Elland Road for a set fee by 2029, when their 25-year lease ends. McCormack was signed by Leeds’s fellow Championship club Fulham for £11m in July, providing a large chunk of the £16m fee Cellino believes is required to repurchase the stadium. “The money from McCormack cannot be wasted,” Cellino said. We sent a letter yesterday. My accountant sent a letter because we want our stadium back. I hope it will be done soon. Before November 100%, because in November the rent will be raised. “We have to pay. I have to buy the stadium, then I have to fix a lot of other things. It’s our house and our home, we don’t want to be guests in our home. I knew that to buy the stadium back we needed £16m.”I want the stadium, we need to concentrate our energy on the club. It’s not agreed, we have the option to buy it and, if we try after November, it will cost more.” The deeds to Elland Road are owned by Teak Commercial Limited, a firm based in the British Virgin Islands, and neither of the past two Leeds owners – Gulf Finance House or Ken Bates – repurchased the ground. Leeds are paying £1.4m in annual rent at the stadium but that sum rises by a small percentage every year. Leeds kick off their Championship campaign against Millwall on Saturday, their first season under new manager David Hockaday, whose appointment was met with disillusionment by the majority of supporters in June. Looks like an old story respun by The Daily Mail.

Sunday August 3rd. Viviani about to join the mighty Latina instead of Leeds. Roma midfielder Federico Viviani is set to join Latina on loan after his proposed move to Leeds United collapsed. A bizarre transfer saga involving Vivani and Leeds appears to be at an end with Massimo Cellino claiming today that the 22-year-old will not be signing for United. The club have been discussing a season-long loan with Viviani for the past fortnight and reached an agreement with him at the start of this week. Cellino told the YEP on Monday that Viviani would join Leeds on a temporary basis with a view to a permanent deal, just 48 hours after claiming that the deal was off. Viviani spent three days in England discussing the terms of his contract but flew back to Rome last weekend with an agreement still to be reached. An angry Cellino said Viviani was “out” but quickly relented, and further talks on Monday appeared to have brought the move to a conclusion. But Viviani’s camp looked again at the possibility of signing for Latina – the Serie B club where the Italy Under-21 international played last season – after failing to receive the paperwork they needed to sign off his switch to Leeds. Cellino accused Viviani of making lots of demands”, saying: He is not coming. He is a good player, a talented player, but I cannot sign someone like that. “All last week it was demands about this, demands about that, asking for more and more so eventually I said ‘enough’. The Italian’s comments are at odds with view of Viviani’s agent, Giovanni Ferro, who said last week that United had failed to provide him with all the necessary documentation, including the player’s contract. “We think we can’t wait so much time to have the contract,” Ferro said. “Federico is really considering (playing) again for Latina.” Viviani will hold talks with Latina tomorrow and is now expected to rejoin the club on loan. The collapse of that deal ends a frustrating week in which Leeds tried and failed to sign centre-back Liam Cooper from Chesterfield. United, however, are on the verge of securing AC Milan midfielder Zan Benedicic on a season-long move. If the transfer goes through, Leeds will have the option to take the Slovenian on a permanent basis next summer. Asked what his next move would be, Cellino said: “We need more players, definitely more players. The squad is not strong enough yet.” United’s new Championship term begins at Millwall in just six days time. The club completed their pre-season schedule yesterday with a 2-0 win at home over Dundee United. “We need more players. The squad is not strong enough”.  Tell us something we don’t know. But our beloved chairman doesn’t want to pay players their market value but he pisses off on holiday before the season starts when we need players in and contracts agreed. Talk is cheap. Walk the walk Massimo. Sunday 3rd of August. Carbone gone Benito Carbone has left Leeds United just two-months into his role as a technical advisor. Carbone was in charge of the development squad as well as working in a consultant position dealing with technical and football operations. Reports surfaced on Friday that Carbone had left the club and owner Massimo Cellino confirmed today that the former Aston Villa, Bradford City, Middlesbrough and Sheffield Wednesday midfielder had left the club for family reasons. Speaking in the Yorkshire Evening Post, Cellino said, “Benito has gone. He has gone for family reasons. A family member (of his) is ill.” Former head of development Neil Redfearn looks like he will return to his old role with Richard Naylor and Leigh Bromby, who worked with the under 16 and under 18 squads last season, leaving the club this summer. It was well known for some time now that relations between Cellino and Carbone were at an all time low. There was always going to be one just one winner here. /carbobenny10BENITO CARBONE @carbobenny10 · 3h Good luck to all of you for the new season , I’m sure Leeds back in premier soon .. Good luck to my team I never forget them . /carbobenny10BENITO CARBONE @carbobenny10 · 3h  To my boys , they all are fantastic boys , and professional footballer.. One day I will back in England again , I hope soon. Thanks a lot /carbobenny10BENITO CARBONE @carbobenny10 · 3h  I want to say thank you to the president to give me chance to be coach in Leeds, to all Leeds united fans to support me, to my staff.. /carbobenny10BENITO CARBONE @carbobenny10 · 3h  Is very hard for me to leave Leeds united,is very hard for me to live my boys (under 21)but I must back in my home for family problem.


The keeper and the captain


Luke Murphy v Dundee United

Sat Aug 2nd. One week to go to the curtain raiser – Where are we ? GC Well the pre-season is over as United finished up with a 2-0 victory over Dundee United. Having watched all of the games now my assessment is still forming in my head. One can’t but admire Hockaday for grasping the nettle and whether he is up to the job or not time and games will dictate that more than any commentator’s opinions. He is trying to employ a passing game, but there has to be a finished product to the passing. In goal Silvestri looks to be capable, but his lack of experience over a campaign will be the telling factor if it was right to send Kenny to Coventry. At left back Warnock looks to be getting the nod over Charlie Taylor. Warnock wasn’t good enough last season and more miles on the clock will deteriorate him rather than improve him. Berardi filled in occasonally at left back but he is right footed and surely there to add competition to Sam Byram, who looks to be getting back to his ×best. That could be a real plus for HockadayI haven’t been impressed with Beardi thus far, but in fairness to him, his appearances have been cameo roles and his fitness levels are poor. In central defence, Leeds have limited choices due to their own fault. Tom Lees has gone and his replacement was deemed too expensive as our snail like pace and astuteness or stubborness (depending on what fence you sit on regarding Cellino) at recruiting players continues. Wootondoesn’t seem capable of hitting a barn door with a pass but occupies that position alongside Pearce, our new captain, who in fairness had a decent season last time out. In front of the defence sits Rudy Austin who continues to dive into tackles and pass to row Z in the East stand. The impressive Bianchi to date occupies wide right but when he sits in the hole in front of the defence looks a better player, whose passing is accurate. At some stage, The Hock will have to make a decision between Bianchi or Austin, and the Italian looks a better player. Leeds don’t play wingers so the diamond four in midfield are pivotal. Luke Murphyand ×Michael Tonge seem the preferred choice in the centre with the former chosen to get into the box with his early runs. He had a poor game against Dundee United but has the potential to improve. Tonge has a lot of miles on the clock but the passing game suits his style. If Vivianiever does decide to swap Yorkshire for Italy, he looks to be the player to lose out. Matt Smith has the number 9 shirt, but a diamond formation counts on the full backs to provide the width. Crosses from the byline just don’t happen, and it looks like he may suffer with Morisonand Doukara more mobile and probably going to start against Millwall at the New Den. Morison, the poster boy for the boo boys needs a quick start to his Leeds career second time around. Is he up to it ? Not in my view. Two goals (albeit tap ins) in his last two games will give him confidence. In this new formation he plays behind the main striker more out on the left wing, and then links up with Doukara. Doukara has done well in the last couple of games. He is strong and pacy and leads the line well. Will he score enough goals ? I doubt it. His unselfish runs take central defenders out and leave gaps for the striker in the hole and the forward running midfielders. He could however be a foil for a top class goalscorer, which we don’t possess. They cost money at every level and so far unwisely in my view Cellino has chosen not to spend it. Utimately a striker will be judged on his goals, and I really don’t see many coming out of this team. We lack real pace, width and genuine quality. Up front, in the middle, left side, central defence and left back. Millwall defeated Real Mallorca yesterday. We defeated Dundee United. I doubt we will hold too many fears for their opener. This is how I see Hockaday fielding his team until better reinforcements arrive.                                                                                                                          Silvestri  Byram Pearce Wooton Warnock Austin Bianchi Murphy Tonge Morison Doukara                                                                                                                                 

Sat Aug 2nd. The Hock enthused by “positive display” HEAD COACH David Hockaday says Leeds United could take plenty of positives from the 2-0 home victory over Dundee United – as his side rounded off their pre-season programme in encouraging fashion. An early tap-in by Steve Morison and a late second from sub Dominic Poleon secured a deserved victory, as United carried on from their much-improved midweek victory at Swindon Town with another good showing against their Scottish visitors in front of a crowd of 10,115. Hockaday, leading operations from the home dug-out in his first match in charge at Elland Road, said: “There were plenty of positives today. I have promised the fans that every player who pulls on the Leeds shirt – whether it be white, gold or navy blue, whatever it is – will put in a shift and honest performance. I know that is the bare minimum Leeds United fans will expect. But I believe that the players have more quality than even they maybe believe. “I believe in the players and we are getting better. “Although we have loads to work on still. But we showed we are a honest team today with all the tracking back we did and tackling back. All the bare essentials that a good team needs.” Meanwhile, Hockaday confirmed that Aidy White is facing up to eight weeks out of action with a scan revealing that he suffered a fracture of his foot in the 2-2 draw at Chesterfield last weekend. Alex Mowatt, who picked up a thigh niggle in midweek, should return to training next week, Hockaday said, with United picking up no fresh injuries in the win over Dundee United. Leeds kick off their Championship programme at Millwall next Saturday.


Bianchi looks to be a  shrewd acquisition


Dom Poleon slides home United’s second

Saturday August 2nd. Leeds 2 (Morison 3, Poleon 86), DUNDEE UNITED 0. Report from Official LUFC website United: Silvestri, Byram (C Taylor 74), Pearce, Wootton, Warnock (Berardi 46), Murphy (Cook 63), Austin (Hunt 46), Tonge (Dawson 63), Bianchi, Morison (Poleon 63), Doukara (Smith 79). Subs. S Taylor. Referee: Andy Madeley. Att: 10, 150 (1,104 United final preparations for the new season saw Dundee United visit Elland Road, the game was the first meeting between the two sides. There were Elland Road debuts for Marco Silvestri, Tommaso Bianchi and Souleymane Doukara. United striker Noel Hunt, who had recovered from injury, was named with the substitutes for the tie with the Scottish Premier League side. United started the game brightly and were in front within three minutes of the referee’s first whistle. Great build-up play from United’s midfield, namely Michael Tonge whose break into the box led to him crossing for Steve Morison who placed the ball into the back of the net. Following the opening goal United remained on top and in the 11th minute Rudy Austin tried his luck from distance after a good passing move opened up the space for a strike on goal. Austin’s shot was met by Radoslaw Cierzniak who palmed the ball over his crossbar. United dominated the opening half-an-hour and had two further chances to double the lead. Firstly Bianchi struck a sweet shot goalwards but it was just too high and it rebounded back of the crossbar. Then Jason Pearce saw a header from a corner cleared off the line from a corner. Just after the 30 minute mark the SPL side had their first meanungful attempt on target but Silvestri saved Stuart Armstrong’s shot comfortably. It wasn’t long though before United got back on top in the half and Tonge went close to scoring when he struck from just outside the box, it took a good save from Cierzniak to keep the midfielder out. Doukara imprssed throughout the opening half and it was his skill and technique that almost doubled United’s lead before the break. He worked his way into the box and set-up Bianchi but the Italian was pressured and the chance was gone. United fully deserved their lead at the break. The visitors enjoyed the better of the opening minutes of the second half and had their best chance of the game prior to the hour mark. A Dundee forward broke through into the United penalty area but his strike went wide and into the side netting. Just after the hour mark there was a proud moment for the Leeds United Academy when Chris Dawson, Lewis Cook and Dominic Poleon all entered the field of play. This was Cook’s first senior appearance at Elland Road. All three Academy graduates got themselves on the ball and were creating openings and spaces in Dundee United’s half of the field. With 15 minutes of the game remaining Dawson broke forward and had Poleon in support. The midfielder played the pass to find the United striker but it was cut out by the away sides back-line. United were looking comfortable at the clock counted down but with 5 minnutes of the game remaining a poor back-pass gifted the away side a chance on goal. Luckily for United Silvestri was quick off his line and saved the shot that came his way. Then just moments later United went on the attack through Poleon. The United striker was through on goal with only the keeper to beat in the 86th minute, he remained calm and took the ball round the keeper and slotted the ball home to give United the 2-0 victory.


Chris Dawson features in The Hock’s plans this season and his hat-trick against Glenavan will have done him no harm

August 1st. Doorway opended for “lost midfielder” David Hockaday believes midfielder Chris Dawson will begin fulfilling his potential with Leeds United this season, claiming the youngster has been “lost in the system” at Elland Road. United’s head coach is promising Dawson an active role in his squad and says several of the club’s academy players should prepare for first-team appearances in the next nine months Dawson, 19, is a Wales Under-21 international who was once considered to be the most talented prospect among the youth-team squad at Leeds. He made his debut in a 2-1 loss to Derby County in April 2013, the last game of Neil Warnock’s reign as manager, but had his progress halted by shoulder surgery a few weeks later. The attacking midfielder was not involved with the first-team squad at any stage of last season and watched as midfielder Alex Mowatt and striker Lewis Walters advanced in front of him. But Dawson, who scored a hat-trick in a 3-0 friendly win at Glenavon on Wednesday night, is one of the young prospects who Hockaday intends to use this season, and United boss said: He’s good enough. “I knew of him two years ago but when I came here I was wondering if he was still about. He is and I’m delighted about that. “He’s got lost in the system a bit, like a lot of young players do, but he’s going to be given an opportunity like all of the young players to stake his claim for a shirt. “He’s a good footballer and that sort of player needs a passing formula to fly. I’d like to think that the way I want my team to play and the new philosophy we’ve got at Leeds will suit him. I’m expecting players like him to flourish.” Mowatt also played in the match at Glenavon, completing 90 minutes on his first senior appearance of the summer. The talented 19-year-old injured a knee on the penultimate weekend of last season but is close to full fitness after undergoing treatment throughout the close season. Both he and Dawson will face a fight for position in United’s midfield this term with numerous options likely to be available to Hockaday. Leeds signed Tommaso Bianchi from Sassuolo last month and have been working on deals for Roma playmaker Federico Viviani and AC Milan’s 18-year-old Slovenian Zan Benedicic, an attacking midfielder. The club already had Luke Murphy, Rodolph Austin and Michael Tonge on their books, all of whom have been in the thick of Hockaday’s pre-season schedule, and 17-year-old Lewis Cook is the latest player to emerge from the academy at Thorp Arch. Hockaday has used a diamond midfield in most of Leeds’ friendlies and he said: If we want play a diamond then we need four midfielders in the team and a few options on the bench so a lot of lads will have a chance. “Dawson’s in my thoughts and Mowatt’s in my thoughts, along with the others.” Hockaday, meanwhile, conceded that the addition of centre-backs to his pool of players was a priority after the departure of Tom Lees to Sheffield Wednesday. Lees’ move to Hillsborough on Thursday left United with only two experienced central defenders – Jason Pearce and Scott Wootton – and the club appear to have given up on a bid for Liam Cooper after Chesterfield rejected a £475,000 offer for the 22-year-old. We’ve got two centre-backs, two senior centre-backs, so that’s obviously somewhere we need to strengthen,” Hockaday said. We’ve got options and we’re exploring them,” added the United coach. Sat Aug 2nd United look to strengthen but Viviani deal looks dead.  Leeds United first team coach Dave Hockaday says he is still looking to strengthen before the season starts with the centre of defence high on the list.Leeds have only two experienced centre backs currently at the club following the sale of Tom Lees to Sheffield Wednesday in midweek and Hockaday says they are still working hard to bring in players. Speaking to LUTV, Hockaday said, We will strengthen the defence and we are working hard.  “We will get in the players we need as soon as possible but sometimes you have to be patient and there will be additions. “The president is back on Saturday and we have a number of targets, so we will sit down, along with the sporting director Nicola Salerno, and hopefully we will get nearer to making the additions we feel are necessary.”  Leeds owner Massimo Cellino has claimed that he expects the deal to go ahead, despite pulling out of it at one stage, and he is hoping to hold further discussions on Monday.There is, however, a chance that Viviani will have turned his attention elsewhere by then, with a return to Latina – a club he spent time on loan at last season – being seriously considered. Viviani’s representative Giovanni Ferro told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “We think we can’t wait so much time to have the contract. “Federico is really considering (playing) again for Latina.”  The deal to bring in young AC Milan midfielder Zan Benedicic to the club looks to be complete with the player expected to arrive on a season long loan next week but a deal to bring in Federico Viviani from Roma looks to have ended after Leeds failed to send the relevant paperwork to Italy to sign the player. 

Friday Aug 1st. Massimo – Mad man or magician? from The Scratching Shed Foreword: At no point in my history of supporting Leeds United have I ever discarded a player, manager or owner without first evaluating who they are, what they’re doing, what they want to achieve and how they want to achieve it. This is the exact same with Massimo Cellino, I have been slated left right and centre for merely questioning his characteristics, business prowess and even his criminal past. I do not hate Cellino, I do not love Cellino, I am simply sat looking on from afar (London, Clapham to be precise) trying to get my head around the events of the past three months. In this article I will detail some of my thoughts and try to allow you to see that it is completely acceptable to question somebody who owns a valuable asset in our lives (LUFC). This should not draw divisions between fans but instead allow us all to understand both sides of the argument and yes, draw conclusions, but not cause internal battles that destabilised the club under the Bates Era. We’re stronger together, marching on TOGETHER. Remember that.Hockaday and Cellino Transfers – Right, first and foremost, Massimo is a difficult man to read on the transfer front, some of his policies are erm, questionable to say the least. Let’s however start with the positives. Ross McCormack’s sale for £10.75m (Leeds received around £9.137m from the transfer after Cardiff’s sell on fee) was simply a masterstroke. He got double the market value price for a player, taking aside captaincy and a very, very good season, who has definitely found his level in the Championship. The savings of around £800k in wages per annum will have been a nice touch too. This alongside with the release of much of Colin’s deadwood has been a ginormous relieving of pressure on Leeds United’s precarious financial predicament as it was pre MC. Happy days for Leeds and for Massimo, a much needed clear out of players happened and to be honest, no one can seriously complain about the efficiency of such. Now, the negatives. Massimo has put ALL trust in a certain Nicola Salerno. This is okay, we’ve seen scouts and directors of football come and go, like I say, I will not disregard him. It is however laughable that many Leeds United fans (as unknowing as I) have taken it upon themselves to suggest this man is the oracle of all footballing knowledge in Italy and is the scout behind many of the greats in the game, this is a lie. He is not. Salerno has a reasonable reputation of bringing in some average to good young players, this all seems great, but when you actually begin to look at the finite details you realise we have major issues. Berardi for example, why make a right back a priority signing when Byram has and still is our first choice RB? Silvestri seems a sensible buy, but then there is Bianchi and Doukara, seemingly fitting the bill but both Serie B players (as are Silvestri and Bianchi in fairness) and the latter on a loan deal. These signings will not go down in Leeds’ history as heroes, they’re squad players at best (I would love to be proven wrong). Cellino promises “5 or 6 new players” yet we snail our way to getting the signatures of the likes of Viviani and Benedicic. Why? Cellino is too busy sunning himself up in Miami, that’s why. Now understandably his life is in the process of change, he is moving home and setting up camp in England, but let’s be brutally honest here. We are 8 days away from the first game of the campaign and we stand undoubtedly weaker as a team that were nearly relegated last season, we have lost our top scorer, we have only two recognised centre backs after losing the long standing Lees and seem incapable of being able to get any players signatures on a Leeds United contract. Cellino should be 110% committed to working hard to get the players in now. Right now. Cellino suggests we have a kitty of “£15 million” to play with this summer. Again, fabricated figures to excite the fans, would a club with £15m be balking at £475k for Liam Cooper or targeting unproven Serie B players? Or how about even trying to get any kind of proven or experienced striker in? We haven’t got £15m to spend and if we spend more than £5m I will post a viral video of me wearing a scum shirt for a week at work. Cellino is, in a nutshell, lying to fans about the money we have available and the money we will spend. In a game of poker, he’d be out at the first hand. You don’t reveal amounts received or budgets to play with unless you really want to play into the sellers hands… Questionable business tactics.Cellinoanddmaker Stadium – “I will go to the bank and buy back the stadium tomorrow” Cellino lied. Simple as that. Massimo promised something he could not deliver, even worse, he promised something none of us expected him to promise? “You cannot be a guest in your own house” good thesis, now sort it out. Cellino has given November as a date on the stadium buy back… we will wait, we will see, but please don’t hold your breath because I fear MC is again promising things he will not deliver. If he does use the McCormack money then that is brilliant and I will be a very happy gentleman, but on the basis of his previous ER promises I cannot see a buyout materialising until we return (if ever) to the Premier League. Cost cutting – This is a tough one. I agree wholeheartedly with Massimo that the club was way too unhealthy, employed too many staff and was running at way too much of an unsustainable loss. This does not however constitute the severity of the cuts that Leeds and the staff have been subject to. Just as research, I rang the club a couple of days ago to mock a quote for a wedding. I was passed to three different departments and on the phone for over 90 minutes, this may appear sad (it really is) but there are no chiefs left, only people with no real business know how. I rang the ticket office, 25 minutes I waited until lunch was over, this is too long, and this IS costing Leeds business. The website is now also seemingly faulting all the time, the ticket site and areas as you will notice are extremely unresponsive. All this is very worrying, it’s like we’re running buses on Boxing Day, we exist, but the service is skeletal. Thorp Arch is another tricky subject, it’s costly and too far away, point well taken. Where though and when though will we move? Let’s concentrate on buying back ER, getting a team together, then sort out the training ground. Too much too soon, Massimo. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. There is a reason we take new signings to TA to sign… it is world class. Leeds are like a fat pub man with a page 3 model, (TA) we’re punching. Cost cutting is never bad, but where, how much and how quickly is imperative in ensuring that business can continue and Leeds as a business can still function. At the minute we’re struggling. If Massimo stops shouting his mouth off and starts to realise that a cult of personality means he is only out to be shot down we’d be better off. I haven’t mentioned his appointment of Hockaday because, as I mention, I will reserve my judgement until the games are underway and real, competitive results are in. Here is the summary though…

  • Leeds have a weaker squad than last season. • The manager needs to prove himself at this level • We need to see Elland Road bought back or shut up about. • We need a striker, defender and winger immediately. • We need experience in the squad. • We need to ensure we have a functioning business. • Massimo needs to stop promising what he cannot deliver (or deliver it).

Marching on together, lads. Friday Aug 1st. Squad numbers announced. The club can now confirm the squad numbers for the 2014/15 season. With a number of players leaving in the summer some of the vacant numbers have been taken by current squad members, such as Sam Byram will now wear the number 2 shirt for the coming seasonSquasnos. In addition to Byram changing numbers, Matt Smith will be the club’s number 9 next season and Rudy Austin will now wear number 4 that was vacated by Tom Lees. New signing Marco Silvestri will wear the number 1, Tommaso Bianchi will be number 14, Gaetano Berardi will wear 12 and Souleymane Doukara will have 29 on the back of his shirt. Full Squad List: 1. Marco Silvestri 2. Sam Byram 3. Stephen Warnock 4. Rodolph Austin 6. Jason Pearce 7. Luke Murphy 9. Matt Smith 10. Noel Hunt 11. Aidan White 12. Gaetano Berardi 13. Stuart Taylor 14. Tommaso Bianchi 15. Scott Wootton 18. Michael Tonge 19. Steve Morison 20. David Norris 21. Charlie Taylor 22. Zac Thompson 23. Lewis Cook 24. Chris Dawson 25. Ross Killock 26. Dominic Poleon 27. Alex Mowatt 28. Lewis Walters 29. Souleymane Doukara 30. Alex Cairns. No shirt for Paddy Kenny and Hunt gets 10, Morison gets 19 and surprisingly Warnock gets 3.

Friday Aug 1st. Central defence a priority for Hockday. I’ve done my homework on the player [Cooper], he looks a good player, a good prospect, but every player has his price, they want too much for him, so we’ve walked away from it,” said Hockaday. Jason Pearce and Scott Wootton are currently the only central defenders in Hockaday’s squad. However, the former Forest Green Rovers manager believes pre-season performances have been encouraging.I believe we HockatERhave progressed in every game. Our work ethic has always been there, but the fitness levels are getting better, so we are able to work harder,” he said. “We’re playing as a team, that’s apparent, and the boys are getting more and more comfortable with the ball. “There are lots of areas we need to improve, but I feel we’re making strides forward every day.” Hockaday promised younger players, including 19-year-old Chris Dawson, who scored a hat-trick in the friendly against Glenavon, would get their chance to impress this season. “Chris is good enough, I knew of him two years ago, he’s got a little bit lost in the system, like a lot of young players do, but now he’s going to be given an opportunity, like all the young players,” he added. Dawson may find himself competing against AC Milan attacking midfielder Zan Benedicic, whose season-long loan from the Serie A club is likely to be confirmed next week. Well maybe (a) it would have been a better idea to sell Tom Lees after we had a replacement lined up or (b) agreed more money for Tom Lees than the fee it cost for Cooper coming in. But if you think you hav a problem in central defence is it not glaringly obvious that we have a bigger hole at centre forward ?


Viviania “pissed off” with delays at Leeds end and may stay one more year on loan in Italy

Friday Aug 1st Deal delay threatens Viviani move – Hay YP. Federico Viviani’s agent revealed today that the midfielder is re-examining the option of joining Italian club Latina amid growing frustration over the delay in finalising his move to Leeds United. Giovanni Ferro said talks with Latina – a club where Viviani played on loan last season – had been scheduled for Monday after Leeds failed to provide the paperwork needed to seal his transfer to Elland Road. Viviani and Leeds reached an agreement over the terms of a season-long loan from Roma at the start of this week but the 22-year-old’s camp – all of whom are back in Italy having travelled to England for talks – claim they are yet to receive documents allowing them to sign off the deal. United owner Massimo Cellino stated on Monday that he and Viviani had resolved the issues which led Cellino to call the move off last Saturday, saying the Italy Under-21 international would join Leeds as originally planned. Cellino has been abroad for the past fortnight, however, and Viviani’s representatives are in the dark about United’s intentions having expected the contract and other paperwork to be sent to them immediately after Monday’s negotiations. A confused situation could yet be resolved with Cellino due back in England today and still expecting Viviani to sign for Leeds. Ferro, who confirmed that agreements were in place with both Leeds and Roma, told the YEP: We think we can’t wait so much time to have the contract. Federico is really considering (playing) again for Latina.” Viviani spent the second half of last season on loan at Latina, an Italian Serie B side who finished third in the league. Latina have been pursuing him again this summer but Viviani planned to take up Leeds’ offer and came to England on July 22, the day of United’s 2-0 friendly defeat to Mansfield Town. Three days of talks followed but Viviani returned to Rome later that week with an agreement still be reached. A frustrated Cellino said Viviani was “out” but went back on that threat after further talks on Monday. The latest twist comes just a week before the start of United’s Championship season. Alongside the chase of Viviani, the club are attempting to finalise a loan deal for Zan Benedicic, the 18-year-old Slovenian midfielder who plays for AC Milan. It is taking a ridiculous amount of time to get these deals sorted. If Cellino wants him that badly and rates him that highly it should have been done weeks ago and the lad settled in Leeds. As it stands the player will only become unsettled and may yet join Latina. It’s strange when players are leaving Leeds, they just go. That is why the article below in The Scratching Shed appears so close to the mark.
Frday August 1st. Judge urge police and Leeds to reach deal over costs.  WEST Yorkshire Police look set to hand back more money to Leeds United for wrongfully-levied matchday policing charges after a new ruling by a High Court judge. United are seeking more than £2.5 million from the force after a court ruled in 2012 that charging for ‘special policing services’ provided by officers outside their Elland Road ground was “in part unlawful”. Leeds had objected to being forced to contribute to policing costs for land around the ground that is neither club-owned nor controlled for three seasons. So far the force has paid £1,238,817, which is said to represent the total loss including interest, but Leeds United say they are entitled to a further £844,017 plus interest. The dispute centres on the different methodologies being used to work out how much should be re-imbursed by West Yorkshire Police. A High Court judge, Sir David Eady, was asked to determine how much of the £2.5 million that United say they have overpaid should be refunded by the West Yorkshire force. In a ruling released today, Judge Eady said the police methodology intended to “identify the element of all relevant match-day policing operations in respect of which a charge was unlawfully made”, but said the club described it as vague and lacking in transparency”. He said: It was on the basis of this methodology that WYP repaid the rebate it thought due and claims now that no more is owed.“As a matter of principle, however, it cannot be appropriate for the court to quantify loss on the basis of assumptions made by one of the parties and without having available a method to check the validity of those assumptions.” Judge Eady said both of the rival methodologies had drawbacks, but that he preferred an approach which takes established fact as the starting point, making due adjustment for changing circumstances, and minimises the need for assumption or speculation”.  He added: “The attraction of the LUFC method is that it proceeds on the bas is of the charges made for the 2008-9 season, when the actual cost of policing within the stadium can be established with some confidence.” He concluded:When this exercise is carried out, it should be possible to identify within a reasonable margin of error the likely cost of policing within the stadium for each of the later seasons. “Consequently, one can infer the amounts by which those notional ‘stadium costs’ were exceeded in the invoices rendered. “I have not been able to produce an exact calculation of the loss, but I hope that I have resolved the key issues of principle and that this will enable a final figure to be reached between the parties. There will be liberty to apply.” During a previous hearing, the force accused the club of changing its case in a bid for a rebate for policing which it had previously accepted it should pay for. John Beggs QC said the club had always agreed it was liable to contribute to policing in areas that it owned, leased or controlled”. But it had now “moved the goalposts” and contested charges for policing some areas of private land close to the ground. In the appeal case last year, the club successfully argued that hundreds of officers involved in crowd control around the stadium were only doing their public duty.
Friday Aug 1st. No time for transfer games – The Scratching Shed Wednesday saw Tom Lees leave Elland Road for Hillsborough and while this wasn’t the greatest of disappointments after what had been a pretty poor 2013/14 for the Thorp Arch academy graduate, it did leave Leeds United’s already weak defence looking in desperate need of reinforcement.For a few hours, that need looked like it would be addressed by highly-rated Chesterfield centre-back Liam Cooper for whom Leeds United immediately placed an offer. After the first was deemed to be below Chesterfield’s valuation of their star youngster, another bid was made by Leeds and was again rejected.It’s unclear as to what the difference between Leeds United’s offer and Chesterfield’s valuation is, but after the second bid was rejected The Whites took the unusual step of issuing a statement via Twitter announcing that their interest in the player had ended and they wouldn’t be increasing their bid.The tweet has been interpreted by many as a negotiating tactic designed to unsettle the player and try to force through a transfer at something closer to Leeds United’s valuation than Chesterfield’s and if that is indeed the case (and it works), it stops looking like the work of a stroppy child who didn’t win and has taken his ball home, but instead, a clever piece of PR that’s saved the club money.The only trouble with such tactics is they delay progress and Leeds United don’t have a great deal of time remaining to assemble the squad for this campaign. Our inexperienced manager is already facing criticism following some poor pre-season results and he desperately needs the reinforcements. His cause isn’t being helped by the club’s failure to get players in quickly so he can work with them before the season gets underway and start formulating a game-plan for what is likely to be a team consisting of mostly new arrivals who’ve no experience playing together or in the English Championship.While this may sound like the ramblings of a fan frustrated by the slow pace the transfer window invariably moves at, a fact belied by the flashy 24/7 Sky Sports News coverage which makes us believe everything is going to happen in the very next minute (or just after the adverts), my concern is that we’re going to waste the first half dozen games blooding players and by the time we find any sort of rhythm and understanding, we’ll already be playing catch-up and face an uphill battle. Before you know it, another season has been lost to a poor transfer window and we’re counting the minutes until August all over again. If we’ve identified a target good enough to improve our defence and the statement from the club was a bluff, can we really afford to be wasting time playing such games? Even if that’s not the case and we’ve genuinely been put off by the price-tag Chesterfield have placed on Cooper and won’t be returning to the negotiating table, we have to make haste in finding someone else because the transfer of Tom Lees starts to look very short-sighted with so little cover in defence and no signing lined up to replace him. We have just one friendly and eight days to get our squad in place before the new season kicks off at Millwall and at this moment in time, I don’t see a squad stronger than the one we ended last season with – and Jose Mourinho couldn’t have done much with that so it hardly seems fair to expect better from David Hockaday! That said, if we can land Hall and push through the other stalled deals for Viviani and Benedicic, we may still be missing a couple of important players – the “icing on the cake” if you will – but at least we’d have in place a new core we can build around because adding a bit of flair from a solitary winger or a striker doesn’t fundamentally change the make-up of a squad, but when we’re still waiting to sign another half dozen first team players at this stage of the summer, we’re cutting things a little too close to the wire. Excellent piece

Friday August 1st. Leeds United the original MG, 14-15 preview 2: managers, coaches and scouts, subtitled “we will always have Swindon Town U21’s away Dave”. – Lee Chapman’s sofa. As the rest of football see’s it. Sandwiched between owners and players in most football clubs are managers/coaches and scouts, but we are no normal football club. What should we do about Dave? Do we fester on the absurdity of his appointment? Maybe sit back and await the inevitable Cellino trigger-happy moment? Perhaps we should discover reserves of tolerance not seen at Elland Road since the 1970’s and root for the man to be here for 15 years or should we be more realistic than that and concern ourselves with the calibre of his successor? Frankly none of the above truly apply with Dave Hockaday (although the first and fourth suggestions are the most realistic), no the appropriate emotion is of pity, with added hope he is put out of his misery soon. The record from Forest Green Rovers is there for all to see, managing a club with money to burn for 4 seasons and yet somehow conjuring up two reasons of relegation fear and two of mid-table mediocrity, ending with 4 months hounded out for stubbornness (which of course at Leeds is Cellino’s job these days). We need not speculate for more than a nano-second as to what stimulated Massimo to give Hockaday and sidekick Lewis jobs, they were cheap and pliable. Whilst the former just gives the players more excuses to look down their noses at “Comedy Dave” it is the latter than will do for him in the end. Nothing is more lethal to a coach in football than to be known as the conduit of the owner. What might be accepted in the lower reaches of SerieA is unacceptable in England all the way down to Conference North. It is bad enough that you don’t influence the squad you have to pick from but to be also out-ranked on tactics and team selection is something else. Obviously some of the support will cling to the notion that Hockaday is in control of football matters, ignoring the clear public statements from Cellino stating otherwise “I am the manager”. The best way to show the balance of power is to compare the respective influences of signings, those we can suggest Hockaday had impute in and those he clearly hasn’t. Starting with the latter and including the two loans awaiting final clearance, we have Silvestre, Berardi, Bianchi, Doukara, Viviani and Benedicic all of which I can guarantee Hockaday had never heard of before June 19th. Now for the list of players he had an influence on, just Taylor a goalie with years of bench sitting experience! 1 signing out of 7 hardly suggests the hand of Hock is shaping the squad and frankly even if the other 4-5 players Cellino has witted on about over the last week arrive the number of those likely to be British could be counted on the finger tip of a finger. Salerno isn’t on a contract just to talk Cellino out of impulsive decisions, he is there to mould the squad in Massimo’s vision. What does it say when we play a L1 team on the Saturday and by Monday we have bid £400k for their centre-back based on what Salerno thinks? It says Hockaday is irrelevant even for English League based players. The same lack of influence on outgoings is clear. Forget McCormack, it is the Zaliukas and the Kenny’s of this world that indicate just how minion Hockaday is in the scheme of things. Whilst the former leaving hardly caused a ripple maybe, just maybe, the Hock would have seen what Ally McCoist sees in him for the forthcoming season. The Paddy Kenny situation really pushes home the point. Our goalkeeping options as we speak are a young Italian keeper with 3 league games behind him last season, an experienced English keeper who has played 4 games in 5 seasons (and less than 100 in 15 seasons) and a kid whose only league game was the second half of the infamous Blackpool debacle! Now Halifax’s finest curry-house brawler is not everyone’s cup of tea, with his inability to come for crosses but any coach worth his salt would want to take a football view on Kenny not have his hands tied by Cellino having an attitude! Lees going on a free, bet that isn’t a footballing decision. Some might suggest that this pre-season Hockaday has shown a willingness to test the kids, with Killock, Cook, Walters, Taylor C and Dawson all seeing some action. Well in the real world Redfearn would have influenced that, Hockaday gets credit for at least giving it a go. What happens when Carbone, Cellino’s houseguest, suggests that a member of his development squad is ready remains to be seen but my suspicion is if Benito says “put this lad in the first team squad” he goes in the first team squad. Of course Hockaday and sidekick are not the only coaches and scouts on the books. In no particular order we have Salerno, Dowling, Carbone, Redfearn, Gibbs, Sullivan and various related bit-part staff. Again the lack of genuine influence here puts Hockaday’s limited ability under more pressure. Maybe he liked Naylor and understood what he contributed to the set-up back at Thorp Arch, well that was taken out of his hands. The truth here is Dave and Junior are isolated, sandwiched between the Italian boardroom and the remains of previous proper managers (even the rubbish ones). No matter how intelligently you try and understand the “owner-manager” structure enforced on Elland Road this summer everyone will place responsibility at the door of the “head-coach” before they look at “the President”. So what am I expecting off Hockaday this season? Well two seemingly conflicting things. If Cellino M and Cellino E’s public statements are anything to go on we have employed another Kevin Blackwell for the next couple of seasons. However in reality when by October we are in the bottom 5 then we can expect the Cagliari experience to kick in and Dave can take his unique brand of laughs to some other club. Who then succeeds Hockaday will be interesting, alas it won’t be anyone who can tell Cellino to butt out of football issues. I do not see the point of any manager/head-coach employed under present circumstances being either cheered and supported or booed and sackings asked for. For as long as the job is to implement Cellino’s erratic will it matters only at the margins who the person is. We won’t be going up under this megalomania run system and relegation can be avoided at least for one season. Having said that I would if I was in control remove Hockaday immediately for one simple reason. The task of giving even the most deluded (or cynical) Leeds supporter belief in a return to the promised land of the Premier League is part of the job, if the vast majority of the thinking support don’t even believe you could get us out of Conference North then you might as well go and let Cellino line up the next 5 occupants of the role over the next 2 seasons. Still all Leeds United “managers/head-coach” practitioners go into the history books, Hockaday has pre-season wins against an Italian pub team, a West Leeds suburb and Swindon Town U21’s to fall back on. It is to be hoped for the sake of his place in history he adds at least 1 League win and the scalp of mighty Accrington Stanley to that record before the inevitable accrues. As an after-thought I add this: on occasions over the last 12 seasons I have found myself leaving grounds after victories but feeling rotten. Inevitability this feeling is caused by a realisation that the incumbent of what we used to call a “manager” would be getting benefit for the win despite, as in the cases of Blackwell and Warnock, them contributing nothing to the cause other than filling our squad with dross. With Hockaday, no matter how limited his tenure, I do not intend to allow this syndrome to fester, wins will be embraced and enjoyed, mainly because I’m not expecting too many this season (under any manager/head-coach) and see no point in wasting those precious moments. MG. Excellent article.

Friday August 1st. Pearce new Leeds captain Jason Pearce will captain Leeds United against Dundee United tomorrow and is in line to lead the club into the new season, head coach David Hockaday confirmed last night. Centre-back Pearce is primed to take the armband at Elland Road, six months after former manager Brian McDermott narrowly overlooked him for the role. McDermott considered awarding the captaincy to Pearce after previous incumbent, Rodolph Austin, unexpectedly stepped aside in January. Ross McCormack was eventually named as Austin’s replacement but the Scotland international left Leeds for Fulham in an £11million deal last month and Pearce has been the leading candidate to succeed him throughout pre-season. The former Portsmouth defender, who joined United in a £500,000 in 2012, and has been a regular presence in the club’s defence for the past two seasons. He is also one of only two senior central defenders remaining at Elland Road after United allowed Tom Lees to complete a move to Sheffield Wednesday yesterday. Hockaday said: “At the moment the captain has been Jason Pearce and if I have the same bunch of players at the start of the season then it’s going to be Pearce. “He leads by example, he’s comfortable with the armband and nobody can say anything other than he gives 100 per cent.” Leeds are in the final throes of their preparation for the new Championship term and will contest their last friendly of the summer at home to Dundee United tomorrow afternoon. The match was the only home fixture scheduled by Leeds for pre-season and Hockaday admitted that he would have looked for a second game in front of the Elland Road crowd had his appointment at head coach come earlier than June 19. United’s squad trained at the stadium yesterday and are planning to hold regular sessions there in the coming weeks. Hockaday, who will be in charge of a home match for the first time this weekend, said: If I’d had more time (to organise games) then I’d have liked to have had two fixtures at home. As it was, I wanted the best British opposition I could get and Dundee United represent that. The more comfortable we feel at our own ground the better so we trained there yesterday, we’ll train there next Thursday and the Thursday after that. If I have my way, we’ll keep in training there until the groundsman kicks us off – just so we get used to the environment.” Dundee United finished fourth in the Scottish Premier League last season and are a club with an established reputation for producing homegrown players. The club sold midfielder Ryan Gauld to Sporting Lisbon in a high-profile deal worth around £3m this summer and recently concluded a deal with Hull City for left-back Andy Robertson. Another of their leading talents, centre-back John Souttar, will miss tomorrow’s match through injury. Hockaday said: “We’ll get good football and good play from them. It’ll be our toughest challenge to date.” Leeds will be without Aidan White, who is likely to be out for another three weeks with an ankle injury, while Noel Hunt is continuing to recover from a pulled hamstring. Striker Lewis Walters, meanwhile, is facing up to three months on the sidelines with surgery planned on his knee cartilage problem. We’re hoping he’ll be back in two or three months, rather than the eight or nine which was maybe the worst case scenario,” Hockaday said.  Jackie McNamara believes Elland Road and Leeds United will be the perfect way for Dundee United to round off their pre-season preparations. The Tangerines will head for Yorkshire today (Friday) and Jackie feels Saturday’s friendly will provide the ideal test for his players. “I’m lucky enough to have played there twice, once for Wolves and once in a testimonial when I was at Celtic,” he said. “It’s a great stadium and Leeds are a strong Championship team who’ll give us a good test. “Their fans will turn up in numbers and we should take a few — it’ll be good for the players to be playing in that kind of atmosphere.”
Thursday 31st of July. Chesterfield chairman counters Leeds claims Spireites chief executive Chris Turner says he is disappointed at claims made by Leeds United that the club’s valuation of Liam Cooper is too high. Leeds head coach Dave Hockaday insisted that they had ended their interest in Cooper after having two offers turned down, adding that Chesterfield “want too much” for the 22-year-old central defender. But Turner believes that the club’s asking price is fair for a player of Cooper’s ability and potential. He said: Liam is an outstanding young player who has blossomed under the guidance of Paul Cook and his coaching staff. “Young left-footed centre-backs with the ability Liam has are something of a rarity in the game and we quoted a fee that reflected that. We are not prepared to let one of our key players leave for a cut-price fee and I am disappointed to hear Dave Hockaday say that the fee we quoted was too high”
Thursday July 31st. Are things beginning o take shape at United – J Taylor E-Football While not a great deal has changed over the past week in terms of squad building, the mood seems to have improved significantly at Elland Road and it can’t all be down to a 2-1 win at Swindon Town. Sure, winning a football match does wonders for morale, and all the signs from that game point to a squad that’s beginning to understand each other, find some rhythm and become a ‘team’. But that’s what pre-season is all about isn’t it. And, without being disrespectful, it was Swindon not Real Madrid, and we needed a penalty to win; but nevertheless the win seems to have been just the tonic, especially for Dave Hockaday. New players have come in and unlike years gone by, these lads are not familiar names belonging to players with CV’s as long as an M62 traffic jam. They are complete mysteries, delivering both excitement and nervousness in equal measure. The fear of the unknown blended with the baseless assumption that former Italian U21’s must have something about them. It still remains to be seen of course, but they were never likely to turn up and set the place alight immediately. The reality was that they might show glimpses of ability such as a nice touch here and there, some clever movement or the odd piece of skill. Exactly the sort of things that Bianchi & Doukara displayed at Swindon, and the effect was immediate. All it takes is a glimpse of decent football and the fans can get excited; remembering what good football actually looks like from Leeds United, so starved of it were we for most of last season. We can also get excited that these players are young, fit and happy to be at Leeds; all ingredients that when combined with some actual ability make for a potent recipe for good times to come at Elland Road. In terms of who else is coming in, things have dragged on with Viviani, whom there is no doubt is a talent. Then there’s the growing story about AC Milan’s young hotshot Benedicic being on the verge of joining the ranks. Neither has quite made it over the line though. What these situations point to, including the more transparent negotiations for the young Chesterfield defender Cooper, is that Cellino isn’t an easy man to do business with; but in a good way. The back and forth suggests that Massimo will only accept things on his own terms, terms that are for the best of Leeds United.   The official Viviani story was that he did a U-turn after watching the poor display at Mansfield. However, the fact that his representatives were rather keen to carry on discussions after Cellino had publically said the deal was dead suggests it might not have been the case. Milan finally agreed to (after initially refusing) the loan of Benedicic, with the player going so far as to publicly state how excited he is to be joining Leeds and breaking into the first team, only for the deal to seemingly stall because (apparently) there is a disagreement as to whether an option to eventually sign the player is to be included in the deal. Again, this points to Cellino having a ‘my way or the highway’ attitude to player recruitment; something that is actually rather reassuring. Sense tells you that these deals will probably be done and that it’s all just posturing and financial chessboxing. It’s also encouraging in the sense that, if these players were not of significant value to their clubs then they wouldn’t care. They’d just loan them out and forget about it. We’re obviously talking about players that their parent clubs maintain an interest in. Assuming that either or both players do join Leeds United then suddenly we could be faced with something that hasn’t been seen at Elland Road for a good while. We could actually have a wealth of creative midfielders! Barring the rare glimpse of thrust from Luke Murphy, we were completely bereft of them last season and now could potentially have up to five (including the ‘back in from the cold’ starlet Chris Dawson)
 What about the other positions? Tom Lees has joined Sheffield Wednesday and most Leeds fans recognise it as the right move for both parties. But in turn this has further weakened the weakest part of the team. Surely this means that Cooper is expected to join us, but who else is lined up? We’re still crying out for a commanding centre-back to partner the capable Jason Pearce. Surely Salerno has something up his sleeve here? It’s far too obvious a problem for it to be missed. Then there’s the gaping hole where McCormack once was. Unless Dave Hockaday is planning to implement a Catalan style total-football whereby everyone is a striker, we still need someone to replace the 20+ goals that Ross brought. The Nile Ranger story has resurfaced again and this is hardly an exciting development. He scored the odd goal for the Magpies and looked decent enough at Championship level, but the last thing Leeds United need is another attention seeking bad-boy who cannot help but get his collar felt every few weeks for some sort of misdemeanour. Again, Salerno MUST have something up his sleeve here, but who could it be? There’s a chap called Robert Aquafresca that’s been mentioned, or ‘Robbie Freshwater’ if you take the Aston Villa approach of translation (Antonio Luna = Tony Moon). Or, more familiar for some, the available Danny Graham has been linked; a player with undoubted quality but with an unfortunate knack of being unable to score a goal when anyone’s watching. Could Elland Road be the place for him to re-discover how to hit the back of the net in front of a crowd? Is he the answer to what we need? Could be… Back to the broader point though and the mood of the club seems to be improving as the days roll on. Is it that fans are slowly warming to Dave Hockaday? Of course the proof is entirely in the pudding where this is concerned and it’s safe to say that the fate of the current coach rests entirely on the first five games of the season. Play well and get three points at Millwall and suddenly the support Hockaday will receive will be like a tidal wave, carrying him and the team along. But play badly and lose and it will instead feel like a hurricane at his door. The negative momentum of successive losses will make it very difficult for Cellino not to scratch his itchy trigger-finger and put the coach out of his increasing misery. Whatever happens though, Cellino needs to be applauded for his approach and the way he’s gone about business so far. The club feels stable and ubiquitous in its vision. We have money to spend (if we ever actually spend it) and we’re being heavily linked with talents from some of Europe’s top teams. When was the last time we could say that? Let’s hope that we continue to improve against Dundee and the well of positivity can only grow. The value of a win against Millwall to the club as a whole cannot be overestimated. Three points would be nice too. Replies – Poppa1951 No honey moon period for the Hock – the most positive fans are waiting for him to fail and the rest of us want him out now. He looks like Richard Dunne when he fought Mohammad Ali – completely out of his depth. Reply Anonymous Great artical, there is a greater sense of positivity around the place at the moment, the way Doukara and Bianchi played at Swindon means we should finish in the top half this season. The defensive issue though is a massive problem, need a Chris Fairclough type defender to steady, and calm the back four. Here’s hoping! MOT Reply Anonymous What about a Norwegian viking as centre-back to partner Jason Pearce? Brede Hangeland available on free transfer from Fulham. National team captain with lots of experience from Premiere League. Like to se a norseman playing for us again. Reply Anonymous Some decent points here but a lot of fiction also.However Cellino’s Leeds have so far this season beaten an amateur team 16-0, had a now show v Romanian 11, lost 2-0 badly to League Two Mansfield Town, and won with the aid of two penalties against a Swindon Town side whose average age was 20 years of age. We know little of most of the signings excpt for Youtube clips and Wilkipedia snippets. Watford tried the same recipe with more well known Italian players of higher profiles and higher costs and didn’t even make the play offs this year. Cellino is a good negotiator. He is also as stubborn as a mule. I have two problems with Cellino so far. 1. Hockaday. A man whose previous tenure in charge only served to lower Forest Green Rvs in the Conference year after year until he got the boot. His number one choice was Eamonn Dolan (again possibly a dubious choice) but he resfused to pay 500K compensation. What does that say about his most important appointment or employee ? Number 2. The 9M net we received for McCormack (after Cardiff got their cut) has still not had any dent put into it after all these weeks to replace a 28 league goal player. Hunt, Doukara, Smith, Poleon will not score that amount between them. There is just over one week to Championship kick off and we have no striker, another central defender gone and we are short of width and pace. All of a sudden Hockaday wants us to play a passing game even though a lot of his new arrivals have yet to arrive. Admirable but also naiive. Cellino has Hockaday as a fallguy. He does well and Cellino claims the plaudits. But if as is likely he fails Cellino will dismiss him as quick as he has dismissed so many others from Elland Road and blame the coach. I will be surprised if he is still there by Halloween, but Cellino is the man we should hold responsible if he fails to make it. T Currie. Anonymous 1 The amount of negativity still amongst fans makes me sick, it seems fans want everything to go wrong, and because of this wish it will probably go wrong. For me I am looking forward to seeing the likes of Doukara and Bianchi rip teams apart, bring on Millwall! Asim. Reply Anonymous T Currie, it was 2 penalties to draw with Chesterfield. One Pen and an outfield goal beat Swindon. One thing that is showing up is that Rudy seems to be a shit hot penalty taker so this part of McCormacks absence seems to be covered ! As for the 9 Mil from Mac, if you have read Cellino’s comments he has this put aside to buy Elland Road back in Nov. He also says there’s a 15 Mil budget to buy players. I think he will dip into it if he sees the need but at the end of the day,splashing around millions does not guarantee success. Cardiff sold Mac for 200 K. Bargains are there to be picked up and the owner is an astute guy who is passionate about our club. How long since we had one of those? Personally Im looking forward to the ride… China white Reply Anonymous T Currie – fiction or opinion? So many Leeds fans want Hockaday to fail and the team to fail just so they can say “i told you so” to each other. It’s pathetic and they are not real fans. Reply Anonymous On the contrary I want him to succeed. Regarding buying back ER, Cellino said that he would buy back Thorp Arch within four days of taking over the club…..not close it. So you can take a lot of what he says like a pinch of salt. The 15M budget is to buy players and also pay their wages. McCormack was not part of the plan to be sold, but like it or not we won something like two games last season without his goals. For a talent that big to be lost, you have to dig deep to replace him., and quickly. Regarding Doukara, I look forward to watching him but his goal scoring record is poor. With Catania 0 goals in 13 matches and when he dropped a division 6 in 20. Hardly Ross McCormack stats. Simon Grayson bought McCormack for circa 350K but it took him a few seasons to hit the ground running. We are already nearly 11 seasons outside the top division. I don’t doubt Cellino’s astuteness or his passion, although I would have reservations the way he treats people, e But stubbornness can outweigh both of these. At this point in time we look ill equipped to take on Millwall away let alone a Championship campaign without a serious influx of real talent. Players don’t simply get off the bus and gell as a team. It takes time and patience or good leadership and that is without having to learn a foreign language. Our whole pre-season has stuttered and started. We are very quick to sell players…but unbelievably slow to replace them, and Hockaday needs a quick start to the Championship to get everyone on side. This is not negativity but reality from what has happened to date. I genuinely hope he proves me wrong. T Currie Poppa1951 Tony Currie is spot on – could do with him in the team!

Tom Lees gone to Sheff Weds

Thursday 31st of July. “An absolute disgrace” Leeds fans react to Tom Leeds from HITC Sport. Leeds United fans have had a mixed reaction to Tom Lees‘ departure to Sheffield Wednesday today, but most feel they should have got more money for him. Tom Lees’ departure to Sheffield Wednesday has caused a mixed reaction from Leeds United supporters. The 23-year-old defender was confirmed as a Wednesday player today after he passed a medical this morning and Leeds fans seemed divided on the transfer. The main issue is not that he is leaving, but the fact that he is has been allowed to move away from Elland Road on a free transfer, with most Whites fans feeling that they could have got some money for the young defender. Lees has a good CV for a player of his age – with England youth caps and a large number of Championship appearances – and it comes as some surprise that he did not command a fee. Indeed, even Wednesday boss, Stuart Gray, appeared a little shocked that he had been able to pick up Lees for nothing. He said, when revealing that Lees was set to be announced today: “A contract is agreed and the terms have been agreed.” “We are getting a fantastic player on a free transfer and it is now just subject to a medical.” (It turns out that SW paid up the last two years of Lees contract at Leeds). Leeds do not particularly need the money after Ross McCormack’s move to Fulham earlier this summer landed them an £11 million windfall, but there is still a sense that the Owls have managed to get Lees below market value. The current market is notably inflated and many lower-division players have moved for big money this season and, whilst Lees was never likely to command too high a fee, it does seem a bit of anomoly when compared to the prices paid for some of his peers. In a good example of this fact, the man Leeds have lined up to replace their departing defender, Liam Cooper, is commanding a £1 million fee after only playing League Two football last season. Lees was, however, one of the club’s top earners and they will be grateful to get his contract off the wage bill – especially as he was unlikely to be a regular first-team starter in the upcoming campaign. It is because of this that the move has created mixed reviews, with some wanting more money for the 23-year-old and with others simply glad to see the back of a defender whose development has plateaued in recent seasons. The best tweets on Lees’ departure can be seen below. James Varley : Disappointing to see Lees go. I reckon he’ll flourish at #swfc. This one could come back to haunt #lufc. Chris Ryder Lees lasted so long at #lufc because of his academy connection. Anyone who watched at all last year cannot possibly say he was good enough. Colin@Cas77 For me, it’s ridiculous letting Tom Lees go to #SWFC Ever present for #lufc last 3 seasons. No transfer fee & no replacement. O.C.R Stop making excuses for Lees (Warnock killed his confidence). He was not good enough for a promotion-seeking club. #lufc. Al Fandango I’m a little gutted to lose Lees. Still young enough to learn with the right coaching. Good luck to him #LUFC David Wilkinson Not sure what to make of Tom Lees’ departure from #LUFC especially on a free. Think he has potential just needed a more settled environment David Caird Tom Lees will probably go on to be one of the best centre backs in league now, you watch… #lufc #mot #swfc Becky HMN Extremely disappointed at the ‘sale’ of Tom Lees. He may not have had the best of seasons, but he’s young and had a very bright future #lufc Jason Poutzand Selling Tom Lees for free is an absolute disgrace. #lufc Welsh White Fee or free who cares? Lees had potential, his confidence was destroyed by Warnock from which he never recovered. All the best smiler #lufc Thomas Wilson Can’t believe Lees is going on a free, surely worth a fee with 2 years left on his contract #lufc

July 31st. Right in the Gary Kellys – Replacements needed as Lees leaves Tom Lees is on his way out of Leeds United, a move which I’m sure many are meeting with indifference, some relieved and some confused. Once heralded as one of the most promising players at this club; Lees even got capped at Under-21 level in a major tournament which most people seem to forget, is just one step down from the full International squad. Everyone has their opinion on Lees and what has gone wrong in the last year and a bit but my honest opinion is he’s been no worse than the rest of our team at times. However, that is not shying away from the fact that Lees’ progression has stalled and stuttered over time so much so that a move away from Elland Road was always a possibility this summer. That’s not to say that it’s necessarily a good thing for the club but for Tom, you can help but feel it’s a chance for him to get his career back on track, as he indeed stated on his departure, saying it was ‘an honour’ to play for the club he has played for since he was eight and supported. Tom Lees’ Leeds career can be summed up by simply looking at the clubs fortunes, promising the first season but struggled from them onwards. Breaking through during our first season back in the Championship, Lees made a great impression, seemingly benefitting from his previous loan moves to Accrington and Bury, the latter where he tasted promotion success and was voted their player of the season. Whilst the Whites were hardly impressive defensively in the first season (or any season in fact) Lees stood out as a young developing defender who read the game well and won a lot of arial balls. As defenders came and went, Lees was still there. It would be interesting to count how many central defenders Lees has played with in his time at Leeds, my guess is it would be a fair few. All the best defences work in partnerships and this will have no doubt hampered Lees but I think the main reason why he has been let go is Jason Pearce’s much improved second season. Lees and Pearce were Brian McDermott’s first choice for the vast majority of last season giving them plenty of time to play together but despite this, the clean sheets still didn’t come and again we were on the end of some humiliating hammerings. Obviously these were not all Lees fault but with Pearce gaining more plaudits than critics, someone had to be held accountable, many had chosen Lees. Whether it was his at times dozy positioning or his aimless passing, Lees was beginning to cop some flak. The long balls are something which can be stemmed back to the Neil Warnock era. He outlined his plans in the opening days of his reign as United’s boss by saying “Becchio will not lose a header” so we all kind of knew his plans… Nonetheless, when Lees has the ball at his feet what did you want him to do with little or no movement in midfield? Pass the ball sideways to Pearce for him to then pass it him back? All our movement last season came from McCormack drifting into the channels which Lees often tried to find and obviously Matt Smith’s head, unfortunately though Lees isn’t John Terry, capable of passing out with both feet long or short. My humble opinion is he was criticised for passing it sideways then for going long, dammed if he did and dammed if he didn’t. Lees did pick up bad habits there is no getting away from that but he also must have suffered from a sharp lack of confidence, especially after that Ipswich game where Tom saw red and was then the target of an astonishing torrent of abuse from Warnock. What fee we received (if any) has not been confirmed but now with just over a week to go until the new season, Leeds not only need a new striker, they now need a defender. Whatever you think of Lees, selling a first team regular last season to another Championship club is a questionable move, especially when the man replacing him, Scott Wootton, barely had one good game last season. In fairness to both the player and club, they seemed to part on good terms but it still leaves Leeds desperately short in defence. Rather amusingly, Leeds then declared interest, bid and then ended their interest in Liam Cooper within 24 hours. There’s no question about it, we need new players and rather quickly. Some will point to an improved performance against Swindon; others will say these are games we should be winning! Whilst other teams are testing their squads out against Premier League and tough foreign opposition, Leeds have been struggling against the lower leagues but giving some Sunday league Italian team a kick around. The Dundee game will resemble an improvement but I wouldn’t say much, especially as a lot of the Scottish Premier League teams would certainly struggle to get out of the Championship. Finally, I’ll leave it with the thought that this summer, two of our longest serving players in McCormack and Lees have now left Elland Road, McCormack certainly citing changes around the club as a major reason for wanting to leave, perhaps Lees just wanted to go to a club in which he was wanted, something he wasn’t getting at Leeds. Nevertheless, with the transfer confirmed, Tom Lees moves on with our best wishes and hope that he makes every success out of his career. Daniel Howard
Thurs 31st of July Leeds thanks fans, Cellino and Hockaday. Tom Lees left Leeds United with a warm message for the club and owner Massimo Cellino after ending a 15-year stay at Elland Road by joining Sheffield Wednesday. Lees said his involvement with the team he supported as a youngster had been “an honour” and thanked Cellino and head coach David Hockaday for clearing the way for a move to Hillsborough. The England Under-21 international signed a three-year deal with Wednesday this morning, quitting Leeds after more than a decade at Elland Road. Lees first signed for United as an eight year old and progressed through their youth-team system before turning professional in 2009. He made 135 appearances in the club’s senior side and was the longest-serving player in the current squad at Elland Road. But his form dipped last season and with the centre-back unlikely to be used regularly this term, Leeds allowed him to depart for Sheffield. Lees had failed to feature in either of their recent friendlies against Chesterfield and Swindon Town. The 23-year-old told the YEP: “I’d just like to thank the president and the manager for the way they’ve dealt with me over the past few weeks, specifically in relation to this transfer. “I’ve been at the club since I was eight and it was an honour to wear the shirt of the club I supported as a boy. “However, I felt now was the right time to move on. I wish the club, the players and the fans all the best going forward.” United said they had received an undisclosed fee for Lees, though Sheffield Wednesday manager Stuart Gray claimed last night that the defender was moving to Hillsborough on a free transfer. Wednesday, however, have since confirmed that a fee was paid as part of the deal. The South Yorkshire club are understood to have met the cost of paying up the final two years of Lees’ contract at United. Hockaday admitted that Lees’ desire for a “fresh start” had become apparent during discussions between the pair, saying: “It was very obvious to him and to me that it was the right time for him to move on. “He feels like he needs a fresh start and his body language betrayed that to me at times. But he’s been good as gold and I genuinely wish him all the best.” United planned to sign Chesterfield’s Liam Cooper as Lees’ replacement but their interest stalled after Chesterfield rejected an offer of £475,000. Hockaday said: “Every player has his price and they want too much for him so we walked away from it. It’s dead.”
Thursday 31st of July .Latest updates. Leeds have been training at Elland Road today, and it looks like the dugouts have been switched back. Some papers are Dugoutsreporting that Nile Ranger has been offered a contract but Leeds have denied this and said it won’t be happening. Lewis Walters will going for a knee operation and is likely to be out for two to three months. Yet more evidence that we need a striker. With just over a week to go to kick off we haven’t replaced McCormack, are down another central defender and need someone who can cross a ball to Smith up front. That’s not counting the strength in depth so badly needed and including Benedicic and Viviani arriving what looks to be next week.
Thurs 31st of July Latest on Viviani and Benedicic. Paperwork seems to be holding up the Viviani transfer whilst Benedicic is supposed to go through next week if both Milan and Leeds can agree on the loan terms. Leeds want a buy out clause. The Italians don’t.
Thursday 21sy Lees signs for Owls Sheffield Wednesday have signed central defender Tom Lees from Leeds United for an undisclosed fee. The 23-year-old has penned a three-year contract at Hillsborough.  Lees is primarily a centre half who has also slotted into the right back berth when required. Warwick-born, Lees moved to Yorkshire as a youngster and makes the short hop from Elland Road to S6. He turned professional with the Whites in 2009 and gained vital loan experience initially with Accrington Stanley and then Bury. Lees scooped the Shakers’ Players’ Player of the Year award in their promotion-winning season of 2010/11 before returning to Leeds to become a first team regular. Having already earned international recognition with England at Under-16 level, Lees was called up to the Under-21s in 2012 under then-manager Stuart Pearce. Domestically, he has made a total of 207 senior appearances through his career so far. Lees said:We’ve been in talks and I’ve been hoping everything was OK and I’m delighted to have put pen to paper. “You never know with any deal until it’s signed, of course, and I couldn’t be happier.  “This is a massive football club steeped in top-flight history for most of its existence and I can’t wait to get started. “I’ve spoken to plenty of players who have played for Sheffield Wednesday and they can’t speak highly enough of the place. “Obviously, that has a big bearing on your decision and it’s great that so many people in the game speak so well of this club.”. At least now we have some comfort in the fact that Leeds have received an “Undisclosed fee” which is in contrary to what manager Stuart Gray had claimed. How much ? We don’t know.Hockaday on Lees: “He feels like he needs a fresh start and his body language betrayed that to me at times. But he’s been good as gold.”
Thursday 31st of July. Happy birthday to Sniffer. Allan Clarke is 68 today. Not one of our better managers, but our best ever finisher ! Legend !
Thursday 31st of July Lees to have medical at SW  Sheffield Wednesday manager Stuart Gray says only a medical stands between Leeds United defender Tom Lees making the move across Yorkshire. Lees was present at the Owls pre-season friendly against Newcastle United on Wednesday night after the player had agreed terms with the South Yorkshire club and Gray is hoping to announce his signing today. Speaking to Radio Sheffield, Stuart Gray said, “A contract is agreed and the terms have been agreed. “We are getting a fantastic player on a free transfer and it is now just subject to a medical. “He`s played a lot of games for Leeds; he`s a young man at 23, so I don`t think there will be a problem with the medical so we are hoping to announce it on Thursday.”  One would have expected Leeds would have attained a fee north of £1M for an England under 21 International. Even allowing for the savings on Lees wages United have tried to replace him for £500K Cooper. Purely on market value how can a 23 year old England U21 International be worth less than a 22 year old League One debutant ? Former Leeds player Andy Couzens tweeted as follows : “I guess he has waved all his money he would of been owed by Leeds he would be on good money so it equals it self out”. If Lees was on circa £14K per week with Leeds, his replacement will be surely be on a minimum of £10K per week, (depending on the quality) plus the fee it takes to bring the player in. There seems to be a movement of the old guard going on but one wouldn’t assume that Lees would not be one of the more difficult players to deal with in the dressing room, unless he himself saw no future at Leeds.  After all the Hock said he “was Leeds through and through”. It looks like the real winners here are Sheff Wds.
Weds July 30th. Glenavon 0 Leeds United 5  A Chris Dawson hat-trick helped Leeds United ease to victory over Glenavon at Mourneview Park on Wednesday night. The result, however was never an issue for the Lurgan Blues as this 125th anniversary game saw a packed house for the glamour game. The biggest cheer of the night came when Northern Ireland’s record goalscorer David Healy came on and the former Leeds striker went close to hitting the back of the net. The game, a sell-out, was enjoyed by both sets of fans and for Leeds their only game on Irish soil was to prove a beneficial trip. The visitors made a bright start with Matt Dawson having a shot brilliantly turned over the bar by James McGrath and Matt Smith was next on target with a firm header but again McGrath was behind HealyvLeeds. Glenavon broke well to carve out their own chances with Guy Bates getting clear and pulling the ball back for David Rainey was Killock did well to clear. It was no surprise Dawson would be the man to open the scoring, the striker drilled a shot hard and low into the far corner after an attempted clearance by Kilmartin fell into his path. Glenavon hit back with Mulvenna slipping the ball through to David Rainey but his angled shot flew inches wide. Northern Ireland legend David Healy came off the bench on 23 minutes to a rousing reception from both sets of fans and within minutes he almost grabbed a goal with a free kick that beat the wall but stuck in the keeper’s hands. With just two minutes gone in the second half Dawson added number two but Healy almost pulled a goal back with a snapshot from the edge of the box which was blocked. Just after the hour mark Dawson was given the chance to grab his hat-trick after Marshall brought down Smith and he made no mistake blasting the spot kick into the roof of the net. Leeds went on to add two more through Eoghan Stokes and Matt Stokes, but forget the final score, this was still a great night for Glenavon. Anton and Oisin Watters, Liz and Pat Quinn and Terry McQuiad represented the Louth Branch. Terry’s report : “Dawson a bit light weight. Poleon caused Glenavan a lot of trouble. Smith scored but missed three. Mowatt started well but then faded. Beradi played one half and done okay along with Charlie Taylor. Fat Boy was in goals. Nice ground “. Anton Watters: “Good win tonight. Dawson and Poleon very impressive. Beradi at right back also played well. Healy got man of match as expected. McDaid sent off in MC game v Mexico. Should have stayed in Lurgan”. The 34-year-old Healy showed he still posed a goal threat and almost capped a great night for the Lurgan Blues with a goal. However, the Northern Ireland international record goal scorer said his appearance in a Glenavon shirt was a one-off. He said: “I enjoyed the game, but it was a one-off. “I was only too pleased to help Glenavon and Gary Hamilton out for their anniversary game. “Gary has done a fantastic job and it was great to see a packed house for this very special game. It was nice for me too that it was against my former club where I really enjoyed my time at Elland Road.”
Weds 30th of July. United end interest in Cooper. Leeds United and Chesterfield are at an impasse over the proposed transfer of Liam Cooper to Elland Road after Chesterfield rejected an offer of almost £500,000. United claimed to have ended their interest in 22-year-old Cooper tonight with the two sides in stalemate and Chesterfield standing firm over their valuation of the defender. Leeds have had two bids turned down, the second worth £475,000, and Chesterfield’s board are believed to be holding out a fee of around £1m for the centre-back. United are unwilling to raise their offer further, saying in a statement: The club will not be progressing this matter further and any interest in the player has now ended.” Cooper, who played against Leeds in a friendly at the Proact Stadium last weekend, is understood to be pushing for a move and United’s failure to agree a price with Chesterfield could tempt him to submit a formal transfer request. The former Hull City centre-back was identified as a potential signing during Saturday’s 2-2 draw between the sides. He was recommended by Nicola Salerno, an advisor of Leeds owner Massimo Cellino. Cellino has been abroad for most of the past fortnight and was not present at the friendly but United opened negotiations with Chesterfield on the strength of Salerno’s appraisal. Cooper began his career at Hull and made a handful of appearances for the Humberside club before joining Chesterfield in January 2013. He was a fixture in the Chesterfield side who won the League Two title last season. But while Cooper’s switch to Leeds is in doubt, Tom Lees’ departure from Elland Road looks ever more likely with Sheffield Wednesday on the verge of signing the England Under-21 international. Lees has been on the books at United since the age of eight and has made more senior appearances for the club than any other member of the current squad but he is out of favour and ready to move on after two difficult seasons. He played no part in Saturday’s draw with Chesterfield or in Tuesday’s friendly at Swindon Town and was also omitted from the squad sent to Northern Ireland for a clash with Glenavon last night. The defender’s contract at Elland Road runs for another two years but Cellino is ready to sanction his exit and Lees held successful talks with Wednesday today. His partner appeared to confirm the transfer on Twitter, saying they were “excited to see what SWFC has in store”, and Lees was present at tonight’s friendly between Wednesday and Newcastle United. One can fairly argue that Tom Lees hasn’t moved on to the platform of a defender that his initial potential showed. In contrast one can also argue that Paul McGrath in his field day couldn’t have shored up our defence during the past couple of seasons. I have no doubt that Cellino will negotiate a deal for Cooper.
 Weds 30th ofJuly. I’ve Changed My Mind About Leeds United’s Hockaday says @sporcoleeds – Sabotage Tmes. I’ve Changed My Mind About Leeds United’s Hockaday says @sporcoleeds Like the majority of Leeds United fans, my reaction to the appointment of Hock & Junior was a toxic mix of surprise, dismay, venom and a large helping of outrage that our new, ambitious, charismatic Italian owner had employed a non-league coach. My LUFC related Tweets and articles since the appointment have been as critical and anti as any. My breakfast this morning is a humongous slice of humble pie, tinged with a strange feeling in the pit of my stomach that Hock may, indeed, have a plan and if he gets the full complement of muscle, pace and goals to execute it, he may succeed, against all the odds and most of our expectations. Humble pie is not usually on my menu, however, if Hock, who was employed to coach, not produce sound bites, that is Cellino’s job, works out I will be delighted to feast on it every day. My opinion could end up as the biggest backtracking since the Italian tanks in WW2 [with apologies to our Italian and related friends]. Most Leeds fans were astonished that an owner with the ambitions of our president would choose a virtual unknown and appeared to appoint him after one meeting that was likely to have been a Cellino diatribe rather than a meeting of minds. The look of horror on Massimo’s face when it was pointed out that Gary McAllister was actually not employed by a football club made it look like Hock was a mistake. The lack of any good reason to support the decision strengthened our resolve that Hock was the wrong man for the Mighty Whites who of course deserve a Jose or a Pep, not a Dave! On a whim last night I decided to take my lad to Swindon to see how bad it really is for us. Giving a debut to my beautiful “You can buy a b**** for one night but you don’t buy the love, my friend” t-shirt featuring the smoking outline of Cellino’s head we fought the traffic and arrived at the less than salubrious street next to the ground looking for parking. As we drove slowly down the road and half way through a three point turn a rotund, dirty looking, blonde with black roots, with large breasts best described as homely shot me a come hither look, crooked her finger and shouted “Would you like to park on my drive here my lovely” and proceeded to move her bins to enable us to get the car on. I reversed in, thanked her profusely and hoped the glint in her lazy eye didn’t mean she was expecting me to do anything with her back doors after being so accommodating with her front. The County Ground Swindon makes Elland Road look like The Emirates, the only glamorous part of the place being a badly painted picture of Glenn Hoddle and his magnificent thighs in a “through the ages” mural on the side of the main stand which looks like it was painted by the local primary school. We took our seat with another thousand or so Leeds United supporters, stood to greet the players and continued standing throughout a turgid first half memorable only for the virtually continuous singing of the full catalogue of songs including one for the Hock and what sounds like a brilliant one for Silvestri including a line about shagging. If anyone knows the full lyrics, please let me know. A tactical masterclass by our dynamic management duo after Morison’s non stellar performance as a wide man at Chesterfield was to put him there again. There were however green shoots of recovery and indications that the management had been working hard on the new system and that the players were beginning to adapt. The ole’s were at full volume as the Leeds United passes built up, short, precise, ineffective and mostly in our own half, the players are under strict instructions never to knock it longer than Junior’s neck and you can see Pearce & Wootton’s brains telling them “don’t lump it” every time they get the ball. The new coaches appear to have the ability to get their new charges going, to me there seemed to be a half time epiphany, either the players were promised a go on Nora as an incentive for an improved second half performance or Hock & Junior gave a Churchillian team talk and finally rammed the message home and the players listened and responded. Suddenly there was a new energy from back to front, illustrated by a lung bursting run by Doukara resulting in him being fouled as he entered the box, Rudy emphatically scoring the resulting penalty. Salerno’s buys so far look excellent, his reputation as a top class recruiter proven. Bianchi is neat and tidy, a proper footballer, Doukara looks direct and dangerous. We are desperate for an injection of pace, goals and quality but Leeds United are now a passing side, patient and hopefully hoofball is dead. There are a lot of exciting additions linked, Massimo says five more recruits, and we may well be pleasantly surprised come the Millwall game. It was evident that Hock & Junior are proper football men and have designed a system to play proper football, the squad requires some tough nuts, fantasy, rapidity and goals but the structure appears to be in place, maybe, just maybe the second half last night in inauspicious surroundings was the dawn of a new era. After so many years of pain, Leeds fans collectively poo pooed the appointment of Hock & Junior, maybe we were wrong to pre-judge, he may be the right man and Cellino may be a football genius after all. I haven’t but I’ll glady listen to anybody who tries to convince me otherwise and always print their opinions on this forum. Based on one game against less than half of Swindon’s first team whose the average age was just 20 I’ll need a lot more convincing. Oh and there is the small matter of most of our goals in the last two games coming via Rudy Austin and the penalty spot.
Weds 30th of July Lees to SW and Cooper to Leeds. Tom Lees is closing in on a move to Sheffield Wednesday with Leeds United looking to replace him with Chesterfield defender Liam Cooper. Leeds have been in talks with Chesterfield about signing Cooper since playing the League One side in a friendly last Saturday and they are believed to be willing to pay close to £500,000 for the 22-year-old. The former Hull City centre-back was identified as a potential signing during Saturday’s 2-2 draw by Nicola Salerno, an advisor of Leeds owner Massimo Cellino. Cellino has been abroad for most of the past fortnight and was not LiamCooperpresent at the Proact Stadium but United opened negotiations with Chesterfield on the strength of Salerno’s recommendation. Chesterfield chief executive Chris Turner confirmed that an offer from Leeds had been rejected, saying: “We’ve turned down an initial bid which was below our valuation of Liam and we now await a response from Leeds. “I’m not surprised that there has been interest in Liam because he’s a quality player.” The YEP understands that Leeds have returned with an improved bid of around £475,000 this afternoon. Cooper began his career at Hull and made a handful of appearances before joining Chesterfield in January 2013. He was a fixture in the Chesterfield side who won the League Two title last season. United are unlikely to go above the £500,000 mark but a deal for Cooper would hasten Lees’ departure from Elland Road after an approach from Sheffield Wednesday for the England Under-21 international. Lees has been on the books at United since the age of eight and has made more senior appearances for the club than any other member of the current squad but he is out of favour and increasingly keen to move on after two difficult seasons. He played no part in Saturday’s draw with Chesterfield or in last night’s friendly at Swindon Town and was also omitted from the squad sent to Northern Ireland for a clash with Glenavon this evening. The defender has two years left on the four-year deal he signed in 2012 but Cellino is understood to be ready to sanction his exit. Wednesday’s dealings in the transfer market have been complicated, however, by a delay in Azerbaijani businessman Hafiz Mammadov’s takeover at Hillsborough. It is thought that Lees has already penned a three year deal at Wednesday.

Friday Aug 1st. Massimo – Mad man or magician? from The Scratching Shed Foreword: At no point in my history of supporting Leeds United have I ever discarded a player, manager or owner without first evaluating who they are, what they’re doing, what they want to achieve and how they want to achieve it. This is the exact same with Massimo Cellino, I have been slated left right and centre for merely questioning his characteristics, business prowess and even his criminal past. I do not hate Cellino, I do not love Cellino, I am simply sat looking on from afar (London, Clapham to be precise) trying to get my head around the events of the past three months. In this article I will detail some of my thoughts and try to allow you to see that it is completely acceptable to question somebody who owns a valuable asset in our lives (LUFC). This should not draw divisions between fans but instead allow us all to understand both sides of the argument and yes, draw conclusions, but not cause internal battles that destabilised the club under the Bates Era. We’re stronger together, marching on TOGETHER. Remember that.Hockaday and Cellino Transfers – Right, first and foremost, Massimo is a difficult man to read on the transfer front, some of his policies are erm, questionable to say the least. Let’s however start with the positives. Ross McCormack’s sale for £10.75m (Leeds received around £9.137m from the transfer after Cardiff’s sell on fee) was simply a masterstroke. He got double the market value price for a player, taking aside captaincy and a very, very good season, who has definitely found his level in the Championship. The savings of around £800k in wages per annum will have been a nice touch too. This alongside with the release of much of Colin’s deadwood has been a ginormous relieving of pressure on Leeds United’s precarious financial predicament as it was pre MC. Happy days for Leeds and for Massimo, a much needed clear out of players happened and to be honest, no one can seriously complain about the efficiency of such. Now, the negatives. Massimo has put ALL trust in a certain Nicola Salerno. This is okay, we’ve seen scouts and directors of football come and go, like I say, I will not disregard him. It is however laughable that many Leeds United fans (as unknowing as I) have taken it upon themselves to suggest this man is the oracle of all footballing knowledge in Italy and is the scout behind many of the greats in the game, this is a lie. He is not. Salerno has a reasonable reputation of bringing in some average to good young players, this all seems great, but when you actually begin to look at the finite details you realise we have major issues. Berardi for example, why make a right back a priority signing when Byram has and still is our first choice RB? Silvestri seems a sensible buy, but then there is Bianchi and Doukara, seemingly fitting the bill but both Serie B players (as are Silvestri and Bianchi in fairness) and the latter on a loan deal. These signings will not go down in Leeds’ history as heroes, they’re squad players at best (I would love to be proven wrong). Cellino promises “5 or 6 new players” yet we snail our way to getting the signatures of the likes of Viviani and Benedicic. Why? Cellino is too busy sunning himself up in Miami, that’s why. Now understandably his life is in the process of change, he is moving home and setting up camp in England, but let’s be brutally honest here. We are 8 days away from the first game of the campaign and we stand undoubtedly weaker as a team that were nearly relegated last season, we have lost our top scorer, we have only two recognised centre backs after losing the long standing Lees and seem incapable of being able to get any players signatures on a Leeds United contract. Cellino should be 110% committed to working hard to get the players in now. Right now. Cellino suggests we have a kitty of “£15 million” to play with this summer. Again, fabricated figures to excite the fans, would a club with £15m be balking at £475k for Liam Cooper or targeting unproven Serie B players? Or how about even trying to get any kind of proven or experienced striker in? We haven’t got £15m to spend and if we spend more than £5m I will post a viral video of me wearing a scum shirt for a week at work. Cellino is, in a nutshell, lying to fans about the money we have available and the money we will spend. In a game of poker, he’d be out at the first hand. You don’t reveal amounts received or budgets to play with unless you really want to play into the sellers hands… Questionable business tactics.Cellinoanddmaker Stadium – “I will go to the bank and buy back the stadium tomorrow” Cellino lied. Simple as that. Massimo promised something he could not deliver, even worse, he promised something none of us expected him to promise? “You cannot be a guest in your own house” good thesis, now sort it out. Cellino has given November as a date on the stadium buy back… we will wait, we will see, but please don’t hold your breath because I fear MC is again promising things he will not deliver. If he does use the McCormack money then that is brilliant and I will be a very happy gentleman, but on the basis of his previous ER promises I cannot see a buyout materialising until we return (if ever) to the Premier League. Cost cutting – This is a tough one. I agree wholeheartedly with Massimo that the club was way too unhealthy, employed too many staff and was running at way too much of an unsustainable loss. This does not however constitute the severity of the cuts that Leeds and the staff have been subject to. Just as research, I rang the club a couple of days ago to mock a quote for a wedding. I was passed to three different departments and on the phone for over 90 minutes, this may appear sad (it really is) but there are no chiefs left, only people with no real business know how. I rang the ticket office, 25 minutes I waited until lunch was over, this is too long, and this IS costing Leeds business. The website is now also seemingly faulting all the time, the ticket site and areas as you will notice are extremely unresponsive. All this is very worrying, it’s like we’re running buses on Boxing Day, we exist, but the service is skeletal. Thorp Arch is another tricky subject, it’s costly and too far away, point well taken. Where though and when though will we move? Let’s concentrate on buying back ER, getting a team together, then sort out the training ground. Too much too soon, Massimo. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. There is a reason we take new signings to TA to sign… it is world class. Leeds are like a fat pub man with a page 3 model, (TA) we’re punching. Cost cutting is never bad, but where, how much and how quickly is imperative in ensuring that business can continue and Leeds as a business can still function. At the minute we’re struggling. If Massimo stops shouting his mouth off and starts to realise that a cult of personality means he is only out to be shot down we’d be better off. I haven’t mentioned his appointment of Hockaday because, as I mention, I will reserve my judgement until the games are underway and real, competitive results are in. Here is the summary though…

  • Leeds have a weaker squad than last season. • The manager needs to prove himself at this level • We need to see Elland Road bought back or shut up about. • We need a striker, defender and winger immediately. • We need experience in the squad. • We need to ensure we have a functioning business. • Massimo needs to stop promising what he cannot deliver (or deliver it).

Marching on together, lads. And the replies Phil

This is just a thinly disguised attempt to spread unjustified bad blood. Focus on the positives and you would have more credibility. At this stage we have brought in 5 new players, result. Work in progress but rebuilding takes time. There will be ups and downs especially in the early stages. The key is we are rebuilding and rebranding ourselves into a footballing side. Words are cheap, judge the man at the end of the season. That would be fair.
  • Agree with every word you’ve written. We need a whole lot less bullshit, a whole lot more action.
  • Over the past 2 weeks, It has gone worryingly quiet on the transfer front, as far as the much needed incoming players are concerned. Everybody appears to be either turning Leeds down or clubs feel insulted with Cellino’s valuation of players that Leeds are bidding for. I have got a horrible feeling that Cellino has no money to spend on new players and just keeps making the occasional token, under-priced bid, for a player, who’s club will instantly turn down such derogatory bids. The players that Leeds have let go, which also include the free transfer players, are in my view better than the unknown players that Cellino has signed this summer. The squad is now ridiculously threadbare and absolutely nothing at all has excited me about Hockaday or the five new players that Cellino has signed. In my view without 2 new central defenders, a central midfielder, 2 wingers and a striker, Leeds will be rooted to the relegation zone throughout August and Hockaday will be sacked and replaced with another unknown “puppet coach”, who will again take Leeds nowhere. Cellino is charging the long suffering fans, Premiership prices to watch League 1 players