Feb 1st. January Ins and Outs at Elland Road – Official website. Neil Warnock firmly believes he has emerged from the January transfer window with a “much tighter” squad after a month that has seen the club involved in 22 separate pieces of business. During the month there has been four new permanent arrivals, three from Premier League clubs, two loans in, and new contract offers accepted by highly-rated young players Sam Byram and Dominic Poleon. Heading out, Luciano Becchio has joined Norwich City on a permanent deal while four senior players have moved out in loan deals until the end of the season. In addition, Zac Thompson has extended his stay at Bury until the end of the season while five young professionals have been loaned out in a bid to gain match experience. “I’m delighted with the players we have brought in,” said the boss. “I believe we have the better of the deal with Luciano and I was delighted when Stephen Warnock decided to throw his lot in with us and come here on deadline day. “Eleven players have gone out as well, some of them young lads and some players who wouldn’t necessarily have been involved anyway so we have a much tighter squad now.”
The club’s January business in full is detailed below…
Players in
Michael Tonge – Stoke City
Ryan Hall – Southend United
Steve Morison – Norwich City
Stephen Warnock – Aston Villa
Mohamadou Habibou (loan) – SV Zulte Wagerem
Ross Barkley (loan) – Everton

 

New contracts
Sam Byram
Dominic Poleon
Players out
Luciano Becchio – Norwich City
Paul Connolly (loan) – Preston
Danny Pugh (loan) – Sheffield Wednesday
Patrick Kisnorbo (loan) – Ipswich Town
Paul Rachubka (loan) – Accrington Stanley
Zac Thompson (loan) – Bury
Nathan Turner (Youth Loan) – Chester
Lewis Turner (Youth Loan) – Chester
Ross Killock (Youth Loan) – Alfreton
Alex Cairns (Youth Loan) – Stalybridge Celtic
Charlie Taylor (Foreign Loan) – Inverness
In addition to the above, Ramon Nunez, Robbie Rogers and Andy Gray also left the club after mutual termination of their contracts

 

Feb 1st 2013. “Clearing up myths of deadline day. United boss Neil Warnock has moved to clear up some of the speculation which surrounded potential player moves during the January transfer window. The boss confirmed that the club made “a substantial bid” for the services of Birmingham wide man Chris Burke, spoke with West Brom winger JeromeThomas on deadline day, and dismissed suggestions of firm interest in Peterborough’s George Boyd. The club were heavily linked with Birmingham winger Burke during the 48 hours leading up to the transfer window closing, but the boss says City’s valuation of a player who is out of contract at the end of the season was simply too high. “We did make a substantial offer for Chris,” he confirmed. “I believe that both us and Forest offered the same amount, but I thought that Birmingham’s valuation was very high for a player who is out of contract at the end of the season. “They also sold Jack Butland to Stoke as well on Thursday which meant they were in a slightly different position as well. “I spoke with Jerome Thomas on deadline day as well. He’s gone to Blackburn and fair play to him. They’ve paid a good fee for him and he’s on good Premier League wages there. He’s probably on more than he was at West Brom. “I had said that I was looking to bring a wide man in, and we’ll have a look when the loan market re-opens and see where we are and what we need.” GFH had a balancing act to do, in whether to support the manager half heartedly, whole heartedly or not at all. Have they struck the right chord with a manager who will not be here in the summer ? Time will tell. Personally, I think we missed a good opportunity with Burke, and an even better one with Boyd. The Morison/McCormack partnership should work well, as long as Colin doesn’t hoof the ball up at every chance for the pacy Morison. Stephen Warnock will be a decent left back at this level, and in a position we have spent years trying to fill. It’s ironic he arrives when our back four looks as good as it has all season. Maybe White will be tried on the left wing but in truth he has struggled all season on the wing. A classy winger could make all the difference, but I guess Colin will wait until the loan window opens next week to see who is available.

 

Boyd class act but went to Hull and not Forest and certainly not Leeds

Jan 31st. 11PM.  Championship deadline day. So who is going where? In real terms (excludingperipheral players) Leeds brought in three players and lost one,Luciano Becchio.  In have come Steve Morison, Stephen Warnock and  Mouhamadou Habib Habibou. Some of the moves in the Championship as follows :George Boyd (class act) has moved from P’boro (although at time of writing he has failed his medical on eyesight grounds ) to Forest for just £500K. I would have liked his silky skills and for once I agree with Ferguson : “The best player I have ever managed”. Colin doesn’t do silky skills.  He was free to walk in the Summer. The seemingly always injured Kieran Dyer has moved to M’bro from QPR where he will share a Physio room with Jon Woodgate. Kevin Phillips looks to be reunited with Ian Holloway at C Palace (from Blackpool) but the Tangerines will be delighted that Tom Ince didn’t complete his “dream move” to Liverpool . Paul Robinson turned down a move to WHU from Blackburn but DJ Campbell joined the Ewood Park club along with ex Leeds loanee Jerome Thomas.Jack Butland has left Birmingham for Stoke City in a £4M deal rising to £5M. John Stones has left Barnsley for £3M to join Everton whilst throw in expert Rory Delap has joined Barnsley on loan until the end of the season from Stoke City. Notts Forest failed with a bid of £500K for(a player I think would have suited Leeds) Chris Burke of Birmingham City. We didn’t get our winger which I think we need. Morison is proven at this level, Warnock should be fine and Habib should offer a dash of excitement if he can adapt from Belgian football. I’ like to get Barkley on loan from Eveon for the rest of the season. That said, the emergency loan window reopens in a week. No more excuses from Colin. He has had lon enough now and this is his team. Will he deliver promotion ?

 

Leeds finally signed Habibou

Jan 31st 21:33The serial tweeter joins the WhitesThe club have completed the signing of African striker Mouhamadou Habib Habibou on loan until the end of the season, subject to international clearance being received. The Central African Republic international will join from Belgian side SV Zulte Waregem, where he has scored 20 goals in 57 league  appearances, initially on loan with a view to a permanent deal in the summer. United boss Neil Warnock said: “He’s a player we’ve had across for a few days and we liked what we saw. “We had the opportunity to take him on loan and that gives us a chance to have a longer look at him. “We think he could be an exciting prospect.” Habibou said: “I’m very happy to be here. I know about the background of the club and the expectations around the club, and I’m happy to sign and start playing.” The 25-year-old started his career in France with Paris St Germain, but after failing to breakthrough there he moved to Belgium and joined R Charleroi S.C. He has also had loan spells with AFC Tubize and Steaua Bucuresti. I was reading this guy’s tweets from last week and watching him on Youtube. What a character. He’s a sklilful, languid gangly style decent in the air but prefers to play centre forward than out wide.

 

Warnock arrived from the Villa

Jan 31st 19:45. Stephen Warnock on signing for Leeds. New signing Stephen Warnock says the ambition of the club and the feeling of being wanted was what drew him to Leeds United, despite interest from the Premier League. The former Aston Villa defender completed his move to United on Thursday evening and signed a two-and-a-half year deal with the club after moving up from the Midlands. “I wasn’t needed at Villa, we’d had a couple of calls of interest and Villa said I was free to speak to clubs,” explained Stephen.“Leeds offered me a contract and at first it was a shorter term contract, but I was on my way to West Ham earlier in the week and Leeds came back in and really made me feel wanted. “There were a couple of clubs interested, but when you see the size of Leeds and the magnitude of the club there’s only one choice, and once I’d spoken to the manager I knew I wanted to come.”Obviously I’ve not been playing at Villa, and when you have a manager who wants you to play and has confidence in you it’s nice to hear.” Stephen was the second signing of transfer deadline day, joining striker Steve Morison in the new boy ranks at the club. “I haven’t come here to be a Championship player and I’m sure Steve Morison is the same,” said Stephen. “I played against him last year, he’s a very powerful player and I’m sure he’s the sort Leeds fans will like to see. “When you look at the position at the moment, a couple of wins throws you into the promotion chase. “The new signings will hopefully lift the squad a little bit because that usually happens. Leeds is a huge club and we want to take it back to the Premier League.”It’s a strong squad here. You look back at the QPR and Sheffield United teams the manager assembled. They were tough teams who knew how to win games, and they were hard to play against.”Stephen has been allocated squad number 15 and could come straight into the reckoning for Saturday’s Elland Road clash with league leaders Cardiff City. “I’m fit and ready to go,” he added. “It’ll be up to the manager whether he wants to play me or wait, but I’m fit and ready.”

 

Oiur new left back to add to Driury who was to be the best left back in the division

Sat 31st of January 18:30 The club have completed the signing of Stephen Warnock from Aston VillaThe 31-year-old joins us on apermanent basis from the Premier League club after the terms of the deal were finalised on Thursday evening. The experienced defender completed his medical at Thorp Arch and will meet his new team-mates for the first time on Friday. United boss Neil Warnock said: “I’m absolutely delighted again. Stephen has the experience I think we need in that position. “He is a former international who, for whatever reason, has been allowed to leave Aston Villa. “He’s a player I’ve tried to sign a few times before and I’m pleased he turned down West Ham to come here.” Stephen arrives at the club having made over 200 Premier League appearances during spells with Liverpool Blackburn, and Aston Villa. Born in Ormskirk, Stephen started his career at Liverpool and cost Blackburn £1.5m in January 2007. He joined Villa two years later and made 104 appearances for the club. This term he spent almost three months on loan at Bolton, where he made 15 appearances. Paul Lambert didn’t fancy him at all despite Villa’s extraordinary defensive record. Some craic if Lambert was to succeed Warnock at Leeds.

 

Morison arrived for Luciano plus £200K to Leeds

Jan 31st. 4PM. New Leeds number 9 eye a Premiership return.Striker Steve Morison is firmly focused on making a swift return to the Premier League with Leeds United. The 29-year-old signed a three-and-a-half year contract today (Jan 31) after an exchange deal was agreed with Norwich City that saw Luciano Becchio heading to Carrow Road. And the Welsh international admits he jumped at the chance to move north when he learnt of the proposed deal. “I got a phone call to say Norwich had agreed a swap for me and Luciano Becchio, and it didn’t take long to make my mind up,” Morison told the club website.  “I’m pretty happy. There were lots of rumours going around, but I’ve been out injured and was concentrating on getting fit. This has all happened quickly in the end, but when Leeds come in for you and you see the place it’s a no-brainer. “I’ve played at Leeds a few times. I even managed to score on one of those occasions and it’s a fantastic place to be with all the history. When I was at Millwall games against Leeds were always big, and it’ll be nice to play in front of that crowd every week.” Morison, who netted nine Premier League goals last term, says he wouldn’t have made the step down to the Championship just for anyone. “I don’t think Leeds are a million miles away from the Premiership, and the club is geared up for the Premier League,” he said. “The goal is to get to the Premier League and I wouldn’t have gone to a club that I didn’t think could fulfil for that. Of course there’s pressure on, and the gaffer wants to win promotion, but I think I’m very grounded, and I want to be back playing in the Premier League. “I’ve come here to play football and score goals. Fingers crossed I can replicate my form from last season. It’s a tough league and there’s a lot of tough defenders. “The fans are going to want to see goals and that’s what I’m hoping to give them. Hopefully I can use my unpredictability to my advantage. “I’ve spent a lot of time watching football this year and hopefully I can take my frustration out on the pitch soon.” A thigh injury will rule Morison out of Saturday’s game against Cardiff, but he is hoping his debut will only be a further week away. “This weekend might be a bit soon,” he added. “I haven’t done much over the last month. Hopefully the week after when we’ve got four games in 10 days I should be back.” For 7 mins of his goals link this in your browser : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPshLggANDA

 

Morison signs on

Thurs 31st. 12:20 Morison signs on.Leeds have signed Steve Morison from Norwich City in a swap (for Becchio) plus cash (to Leeds) deal. The 29 year old Welsh International has signed a three and a half year deal at Elland Road. He cost Norwich £2.8M in June 2011 from Millwall. He has made 27 appearances this season for Norwich and previously scored goals in 95 appearances for Millwall. Colin had this to say : “I am absolutely delighted that we have been able to bring Steve in. Even before Luciano put his transfer request in, we had enquired about Steve – he was at the top of my list in January to bring in, and I can’t tell you how delighted I am. Steve meets all the requirements of the the sriker we have been looking to bring in. For me he is a player who has everything. He can score goals from anywhere – whether it’s 25 yards or a tap in, he has pace and all the attributes you want. He knows that I have been after him for a long time and he took five seconds to make up his mind. He is a different player to Becks but he gives us lots of options”. Becchio heads the other way after spending four and a half seasons with the club. Many of us in the Louth branch witnessed his first game in the Whites colours, away to Shels. He made 221 appearances and scored 86 goals. We wish him well and welcome Steve Morison to our club. Meanwhile Becchio has signed a three and half year deal with Norwich City @ 12:30. Morison asked for the number 9 shirt. I like my strikers confident. He is injured for the Cardiff clash (thigh strain) so start scoring v P’boro. I just hope this isn’t long ball to Morison every pass.

 

Our top scorer departs for ….Norwich – where else ?

Thursday 31 January 2013 11:50 Becchio passes medical.Leeds Unitedstriker Luciano Becchio has passed a medical at Norwich City and is expected to complete his move to the Canaries in the next few hours. Becchio handed in a transfer request at Leeds last week after talks over a new deal for the Argentinian faltered. Press Association Sport understands the 29-year-old, who has scored 19 goals for Leeds this season, successfully underwent a medical at the Norfolk club this morning and will sign for Chris Hughton’s side this afternoon. MeanwhileRoss Kilock has extended his loan at Alfreton andt Alex Cairns has extended his stay Stalybridg and Paul Rachubka will stay at Accrington Stanley until the end of the season.

 

Jn 31st. Deadline day (as Sky pumps it up). Well, today is the day thatLeeds fans for the past number of years anticipated in trepidation, as they peaked out at the TV from under the sofa, hoping against hope that none of our crown jewells would be leaving Elland Road. Along came GFH who promised things would be different. So far little has changed.  Colin has toned down our hopes in recent days from “I can’t wait until the January transfer window opens until we get some quality in” to “I’ll be glad when the window is out of the way really. We’ll know what we have got in terms of squad and we can get back to the football”. Football’s worst kept secret seems to be the changing of the guard at Norwich between much loved Luciano Beccchio and Steve “bang on the walls of Elland Road”Morrison. No doubt Colin will try and convince us that “he is a player I have tried to sign several times”, which doesn’t say a lot really, because at some point or other he has tried to sign almost every player in the football league. Chris Hughton was very open last night about the possible arrival of Becchio : “The clubs are speaking at the moment so it is one I hope we will be able to do, so that will give us a freshness. “He is a player that is in good form at the moment and a player that is scoring goals, so I hope it is a deal that can be done.” We will be looking closely for this quality winger we have been promised and we’ll be forensically examining the net money that GFH really spent during this window. Peter Lorimer in his “piece” in the YEP says it’s a good piece of business. Well that’s alright then if Judas approved it. One last thing. Becchio is allegedly on £15K a week (our highest paid player)and Morison is allegedly on £14K at Nowrich (after turning down £20K a week at Blackburn Rvs). Does this mean that unproven Morrison will be our highest paid player ? How is that for dressing room harmony ?

Thursday 31st of January.(early morn) Becchio and Morison swap deal latest -By Phil Hay Neil Warnock admitted he was looking forward to the end of the transfer window as Luciano Becchio closed in on a move to Norwich City which should bring Steve Morison to Elland Road before tonight’s deadline. Becchio travelled to Norwich for talks yesterday after a late approach from the Premier League club put them at the front of the queue for United’s top scorer and offered Leeds the chance to sign Morison as his replacement. United opened negotiations with Morison last night having set up a transfer which will see Norwich swap the former Millwall forward and a cash payment for 19-goal Becchio. Morison is also believed to have undertaken a medical at Thorp Arch. He was on United’s radar from the earliest stages of the January window and Leeds enquired about the 29-year-old prior to their game against Bristol City on January 19 but Becchio’s recent transfer request and Norwich’s last-minute move for the Argentinian advanced the signing rapidly. Morison’s own switch to Norwich from Millwall in 2011 brought him limited success, with the forward featuring regularly this season and last but failing to tie down a starting place under either current City manager Chris Hughton or ex-boss Paul Lambert.The acquisition of Morison is likely to be one of at least two signings completed by Warnock today, with a deal to secure Aston Villa left-back Stephen Warnock on an 18-month contract still on the cards. A winger was also among United’s list of requirements for January and the cash pulled in by Becchio’s departure could help to finance an addition prior to tonight’s 11pm deadline. Warnock refused to comment on his efforts in the transfer market but said he was looking forward to turning his attention to Saturday’s clash with Championship leaders Cardiff City with new signings in place. “I’ll be glad when the window’s out the way,” Warnock said. “We’ll know what we’ve got in terms of the squad and we can get back to the football. “Everyone knows what I think about the transfer window and it’s such a difficult time for managers. But we’ve got a big game coming up on Saturday and it’ll be nice to get our business done and focus on that.” Becchio’s move to Norwich would bring to an end a four-and-a-half year career with Leeds. The former Barcelona reserve – an unheralded signing from Spanish lower-league side Merida UD in 2008 – has made more than 200 appearances for the club and scored 86 times, ranking him among the top 10 league goalscorers in United’s history. But he submitted a transfer request seven days ago in the wake of unsuccessful contract talks with Leeds. His existing deal was due to expire in June 2014. Warnock, who left Becchio out of Leeds’s FA Cup clash with Spurs on Sunday, confirmed at the weekend that he would allow Becchio to move on if Leeds found a replacement, saying: “If we don’t sign a replacement then he can’t go anywhere. But if we do then he’s quite welcome to go because you only want players who want to be here.”

Jan 31st. Jon Newsome on why Morison could be good for Leeds. Former Leeds United and Norwich City defender Jon Newsome last night insisted that a possible swap deal involving Luciano Becchio and Steve Morison was “good business in the circumstances” – but warned that Morison would have “plenty to prove” as Becchio’s replacement at Elland Road. Newsome claimed an agreement that takes Becchio to Norwich and brings Morison in the opposite direction could“suit the needs of both sides” with City searching for new strikers and Leeds ready to grant the transfer request submitted by Becchio last week. Becchio attempted to force his exit from Elland Road after attracting multiple bids from foreign clubs amid contract negotiations between him and Leeds. United offered the 29-year-old a three-and-a-half year deal but were unable to meet the wage demands of their leading scorer. The transfer request and Becchio’s subsequent omission from Sunday’s FA Cup win over Tottenham Hotspur appeared to make his departure inevitable before the end of the January window, which closes at 11pm tonight, but manager Neil Warnock admitted over the weekend that the 19-goal forward would not be sold until a replacement had put pen to paper. Norwich’s interest in Becchio and their willingness to off-load Morison – the former Millwall striker who moved to Carrow Road in 2011 in a £2.5m deal – gave United an attractive option to explore. The Yorkshire club were already monitoring Morison having made tentative enquiries about him earlier in the month. Newsome, who himself made the move from Leeds to Norwich in 1994, told the YEP: “Becchio’s been fabulous for Leeds but he obviously wants to go. It’s late in the window and most people regard Morison as a decent player in the Championship. It looks like good business in the circumstances. “If you were being negative you’d say it’s one out, one in and Leeds aren’t improving in terms of numbers and quality. But the worst-case scenario is that Becchio goes and no-one comes in. There are far worse strikers out there than Morison. “In saying that, he’d go to Leeds with quite a lot to prove. He’d be replacing someone who’s done the business for nigh-on five years so he’d need to do a pretty good job there. But I’m sure he’d think he’s capable of that.” Norwich’s proposal is understood to involve Morison and a cash payment in return for Becchio, who United value at around £3m, and their approach for the Argentinian came despite the backdrop of a long-running fight to sign Gary Hooper. The Premier League side have failed with repeated offers for the talented Celtic striker but could return with another improved bid in the hours before tonight’s deadline. They have signed Sporting Kansas City’s Kei Kamara, subject to immigration clearance. Like Leeds, additional goalscorers appear to be the priority for Norwich, and Morison has found himself expendable, despite playing in 19 of their league fixtures this season. Blackburn Rovers made an approach for him in the early stages of January but were reluctant to meet his wage demands of £20,000 a week. United are familiar with Morison having faced the Wales international in the Championship during his successful period at Millwall. The 29-year-old averaged closed to a goal every two league games during two seasons at the New Den but has never succeeded in earning regular starts at Norwich. He has scored only twice this term. Newsome said: “There was a question mark about whether Morison could play in the Premier League when he went to Norwich and the question mark’s still there. “But in his defence he’s never really had a run of games – the sort of long run of starts that builds up your confidence. Every striker needs that and Fernando Torres is the best example of what happens when confidence deserts you. He’s had a nightmare at Chelsea. “From what I’ve seen of Morison, he’s a handful, he’s good in the air but he can use the ball too. You need to be able to play at Norwich. He’s a good all-rounder and a good striker, much like Becchio. You never really get like-for-like swaps but those two are pretty close. “There’ll be a bit of pressure on Morison’s shoulders if he does go to Leeds because the comparison will always be there. That’s what happens when good players leave. But that’s not to say he couldn’t handle the pressure or that he might not do what Leeds need him to do. It’s a challenge.”Becchio looked destined for Turkey at the start of the week after one Süper Lig club bid three times for him but Leeds rejected every one of those offers and have not received a foreign bid which matched their valuation. An approach from China has also gone no further. His mooted departure to Norwich is more politically sensitive, however, on the grounds of the trickle of players from Leeds to Carrow Road in the past two years. What began with Bradley Johnson in 2011 and continued with Jonathan Howson and Robert Snodgrass should continue today with another high-profile departure to Norwich. “I can understand why people in Leeds would be frustrated by that,” Newsome said, “but you’re talking about a Premier League club buying from a Championship club. Personally I think it’s coincidence that so many Leeds players fit with what Norwich want.“Norwich get a bad press in terms of being out on a limb but I had the best spell of my career there, with no disrespect to Leeds. It’s a great club, a welcoming club, and the thing that sticks out for me is the memory of how many players from Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield and so on went there and settled easily. It’s a lovely part of the world. If you’re honest, Norwich as a club are in a good place. They’re an attractive option and to say that no-one wants to go there is a misconception. At the moment, you’d be tempted.”

 

Morison in his Millwall days

Jan 30thLions try to snare Morison on the cheap. MILLWALL have had an enquiry for former striker Steve Morison rebuffed by Norwich City, who have offered the 29-year-old to Leeds as part of a deal for Luciano Becchio. A source in Norfolk has confirmed toNewsAtDen that the Lions made an approach earlier this week with a view to a loan move, but the Canaries are using Morison as bait to land Becchio. That player-plus-cash switch is now edging closer to completion, meaning Kenny Jackett’s hopes of re-signing the Wales international are fading fast ahead of Thursday’s transfer deadline. However, Jackett had reservations about the deal after learning that Morison has a hamstring niggle and was set to wait until the loan window opened next month before stepping up his interest. Morison, who has scored ten goals in 53 appearances for Norwich since his £2.1million-transfrer to Carrow Road in June 2011, was understood to be keen on the idea of returning to The Den. But Canaries boss Chris Hughton would rather offload the frontman’s £14,000-a-week wages on a permanent basis if it aids his persuit of Becchio, who has demanded to leave Elland Road. Jackett has admitted making enquiries for various strikers this week so Morison’s unavailability will not come as a major blow and he is still hopeful of adding to his squad before the window shuts. Asked after Millwall’s 2-0 defeat to Barnsley whether he was planning to make any further signings, Jackett said: “Yeah, possibly. We’re looking to strengthen if we can.” Are Leeds doing this on the cheap again ?

 

Weds 30th of January. City game switched. The 5th round FA Cup tie at Man City has unsurprisingly been chosen for live coverage. It will now take place on Sunday, Feb 17th with a 2PM kick off. ESPN will cover the game.

 

Morison and Holt

Becchio on his way

Weds 30th of January. More links than an old bicycle chain. The latestpiece of news surrounds a swop deal involving Luciano Becchiogoing to Elland Road and Steve Morison, the surplus to requirements City striker coming the other way. Unbelievably, for a player who is older than Becchio and not as good, Leeds are supposed to cough up circa £1M as well as the Argentinian becomes the make weight in the deal. Nuts to that idea I say. Morrison, strong, powerful and quick but with little skill was a late starter in the game  but has been fancied by Colin for quite a while now. There have been little or no links with a winger so far, with Chris Burke of Birmingham City available for circa £750K. Notts Forest have already had a bid of £500K knocked back. Perhaps Jerome Thomas with WBA not having extended his contract may make him available also. It is exptected that Warnock of Villa will complete his move from Villa today or tomorrow, and Habib Habibou, the most famous Central African tweeter may be signing up too. After all Shaun Harvey“has been working his socks off” although I think he may have one of those phones that isn’t allowed ring out.

Tues 29th of January. Vital Leeds – Habib Habibou in Leeds talks. SV Zulte Waregem club communication officer Cedric Tack says striker Habib Habibou has held talks with Leeds United. Habibou has been strongly linked with a move to Elland Road during the January transfer window and Tack confirmed that the player had spent time with Leeds.“Leeds started their interest in Habib at the start of January,” Tack told BBC Radio Leeds. “Habib left our training session in Marbella on January 6th to do some tests and talk with Leeds. “At this stage we have not received an official offer from the club, but we know there are some clubs interested in Habib and we have heard through the grapevine that Leeds are one of them.  “I believe the player has talked with Leeds as well as other clubs in England but so far we have had no official offer.”The 25-year-old striker has netted 6 times in 14 appearances this season for Zulte Waregem in the Belgium Pro-League, included a hat trick against Lierse in September. Habibou came through the ranks at French side Paris St Germain before returning to his native Belgium, joining Charleroi. He had loan spells with Belgium side A.F.C Tubize as well as Romanian side Steaua Bucharest before signing for Zulte Waregem in 2010. Habibou is also believed to have had a trial with Premier League side Queens Park Rangers. If you want to see  Habib Habibou in action just paste the following from Youtbe in your browser :http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-n366pmY8dw

Warnock deal to Hammers offLeeds United are inadvanced talks over the proposed signing of left-back Stephen Warnock from Aston Villa. United and Villa appear close to reaching a deal which will allow Warnock to take up an 18-month contract at Elland Road. An agreement has not yet been finalised but Villa are expected to sanction a free transfer in return for a switch which removes Warnock’s £40,000-a-week salary from their wage bill. Wolverhampton Wanderers and West Ham United have also attempted to sign the defender but West Ham manager Sam Allardyce appeared to admit defeat today. Allardyce, who is thought to have offered Warnock a six-month deal, said: “[A transfer] was a goer yesterday but another club in the Championship have made him a more long-term offer and he’s decided to take it.” This on the face of it appears to be a strange one. We now have three left backs (okay Drury is injured for a few months) with White and now Warnock, who will not be cheap regarding wages although there was no fee involved. I would have thought all of our efforts and resources would be centred around attacking players. Still, two and a half days to go, I suppose.Tues Jan 29thNunez released and Paddy to stay at Ipswich. Ramon Nunez has agreed to have his Leeds contract terminated. Nunez has not played for the club since April and was not given a squad number at the start of the season. The Honduran midfielder’s deal has been scrapped by mutual consent, and he is now free to find another club. Nunez made 25 appearances in two-and-a-half years with Leeds following a 2010 move from Deportivo Olimpia.meanwhile. Paddy Kisnorbo has been allowed to stay on loan at Ipswich unil the end of the season when he becomes a free agent.

Habibou – The Duck linked with Leeds

Jan 28th. So who is coming ? United are expected to receive between £2.5M and £3.5M for Luciano Becchio. On the face of it probably not bad money for a 29 year old. But when one considers he has scored the winning goal in most of our games this season, one can see why the fans are so frustrated. GFH have yet to make a signing of note and a trophy arrival was hoped for,and not another trophy departure. We all knew Max wasn’t coming back, at least not until we get to the Premiership, whenever that is. He is on £20K per week and would probably cost £4M. Becchio is on £15K a week and it’s widely believed he was offered a three and a half year contract on £17K a week. Dexter Blackstock has committed his future to Forest but if GFH were serious about promotion they should go after £5M rated Charlie Austin. He is quick, skilful, prolific and will only increase in value. Habib Habibou from  Waregem in the Belgian league could be an option. Is he another Tony Yeboah  ? Hardly, but the Central African striker may bring something different to this Leeds side and again could be a statement of intent. He certainly tweeted often enough his desire to play for Leeds. We are still chasing Warnock of Villa who is on £40K a week. They haven’t a pot to pi** in and would gladly release him on loan for the rest of the season to the highest bidder. Would United not be better of utilising those funds for better attacking options ? Paddy McCourt of Celtic and Derry City fame has also been touted. He certainly has the ability but the consistency is something he has struggled with. The perennial links with Colin’s ex players sees him linked with Latvian defender Gorkss, and this may be closer to the truth. Will GFH let a manager who won’t be around in June spend some of the Becchio money or do they have any money of their own ? Patel was meeting with Warnock and Harvey this morning and“will be in Leeds all week”. United performed admirably yesterday, and White, Byram, Peltier (centre) and Lees are the best quartet in defence we have had all season. It’s time to kick on to the the next level and add some real quality. Watford won’t be caught and may do a Reading . Leeds need to find consistency and to do that some special talent is needed. It’s time to step up the plate for GFH and for Warnock, both of whom have been found wanting far too much lately.

 

bring back Max

Jan 28th The Scratching Shed – No Mad Max Sequel For Leeds UnitedMax Gradel has moved to end speculation linking him with a return to Elland Road by telling the BBC’s John Bennett he wants to remain in the French top flight. The 24-year-old winger is currently away on international duty at the African Cup of Nations, but told Bennett he was aware of the rumours. Gradel scored 24 times in 73 appearances for The Whites and admitted he still has a lot of the love for the club. However, the Ivory Coast star said he was enjoying life in France and hoped to one day play in the UEFA Champions League. Elsewhere, Luciano Becchio looks to be edging ever closer to the Elland Road exit door with clubs from Turkey and China rumoured to be leading the chase. Leeds are believed to be looking for a fee somewhere in the region of £2.5m. Pity but I never believed it for a minute that (a) Leeds would buy him and (b)  pay his wages.

 

Jan 28thLeeds target Reading defender Sky Sports understands Leeds are lining up a move for Readingdefender Kaspars Gorkss. Gorkss has found himself out of favour at Reading in recent weeks and has not featured for Brian McDermott’s men since the Premier League defeat to Arsenalhttp:/static.lingospot.com/spot/image/spacer.gifin December. The 31-year-old is thought to be interested in a move away from Reading in search of regular first-team football. The news has alerted a number of clubs to Gorkss’ possible availability before the close of the transfer window. Leeds are thought to be in the market for a new defender after seeing Alan Tate return to Swansea following a loan spell at Elland Road. Leeds boss Neil Warnockhttp:/static.lingospot.com/spot/image/spacer.gif is a big fan of Gorkss having worked with him during his time in charge of Queens Park Rangershttp:/static.lingospot.com/spot/image/spacer.gif and he is thought to be considering a move to be reunited with the Latvian stopper. Seems to be the right age for a Colin signing, and of course the customary “I’ve had him before and I know him and he knows me” routine.

Mon Jan 28thBecchio set for Turkey ? – Phil Hay Luciano Becchio looks set to depart for Turkey before the end of the transfer window after Leeds United left him out of their brilliant FA Cup win over Tottenham Hotspur. The club’s leading scorer did not attend Elland Road for the fourth-round tie and he is understood to be pressing Leeds to bow to repeated approaches from the Turkish Premier League. United have rejected three bids from an unnamed club in Turkey while also turning down an offer from a side in China but Becchio’s departure in the final days of January seems inevitable after his omission from the clash with Spurs. The 29-year-old forward submitted a transfer request last week after turning down a new three-and-a-half year contract and learning of foreign interest in him. Leeds offered to improve the wage of their highest earner but claimed Becchio was asking for a salary “beyond a level we could support”.His agent, Horacio Rossi, responded to that claim over the weekend by saying the improvement in Becchio’s current wage – believed to be worth around £15,000 a week – was “insufficient” and accused Leeds of a lack of effort in negotiations. United do not plan to increase their offer to him and Becchio is believed to favour the option of an immediate move to Turkey with his career at Elland Road seemingly at an end. Manager Neil Warnock said: “We’ve had a few offers from abroad and one or two enquiries from England without an offer so I’d imagine that the next three or four days will be busy. “We’ve not agreed a fee with anyone yet. I saw what his agent put out and it was a bit naughty saying that we’ve not made enough effort. That’s rubbish. “He’s already our top earner and we’ve offered him a three-and-a-half year deal on more money so let’s put that to bed. We’ve offered him a cracking contract. “If we don’t sign a replacement then he can’t go anywhere whether he likes it or not. But if we do then he’s quite welcome to go because you only want players who want to be here.” Warnock was due to meet with club chief executive Shaun Harvey and director Salem Patel – an employee of Leeds owner GFH Capital – today to discuss Becchio’s situation and their own transfer targets with the January deadline set for 11pm on Thursday. Asked if he now expected Becchio to leave, Warnock said: “I don’t honestly know. “I don’t think I’ll know until Thursday night. The only thing I’d say is that if he’s going to Turkey or China or wherever, that will take a little more organising. “Salem’s here all week and we’re getting together today. I still want two or three players in.” The likelihood of Becchio’s sale has increased the urgency for new arrivals at Elland Road, and Warnock was expected to resume his attempt to sign Aston Villa left-back Stephen Warnock on loan today. But the mood around Leeds was lifted by a stunning win over Spurs who fell to goals from Luke Varney and Ross McCormack. Varney’s early strike was the catalyst for the dramatic victory and proved a timely response to the stream of criticism aimed at him since his move from Portsmouth in July last year. The winger stepped in to replace Becchio in United’s starting line-up and he took his first chance with a calm finish after an error by Tottenham full-back Kyle Naughton. Warnock said: “He does get a little bit of stick from the crowd and to play him instead of Becchio was a difficult one. But when he scores like that, it helps a manager in his decisions.”He added: “We had a few problems a few weeks ago with a bit of dissent around the place but that was a good match to report on. “We’ve had negative press on some of our results yet we’ve won six on the trot at home. “But in Leeds the glass is always half empty. It’s never half full. That might be a Yorkshire trait.”

27th of Jan. 5th Round tie at City. Leeds will have a money spinning tie at Man City as a reward for their efforts v Spurs.

Varney goal

Leeds celebrate

27 Jan 2013.  UNITED VICTORIOUS AGAINST SPURSLEEDS 2 (Varney 15, McCormack 50), TOTTENHAM 1 (Dempsey 58), Leeds:Ashdown, Byram, Peltier, Lees, White, Green, Brown, Austin, Varney, Diouf (Pearce 90), McCormack (Somma 90). Subs: Kenny, Hall, Dawson, Norris, Tonge., Att: 29, 943Report from Official website. United manager Neil Warnock started with the team that won the third round replay at Birmingham while Tottenham included former United youngster Aaron Lennon in their starting line-up., The visitors arrived as one of the in-form sides in the Premier League and they started the game on the front foot, looking to put Leeds under early pressure., But Elland Road was celebrating inside 15 minutes when United broke quickly and Luke Varney came racing in from the left flank before delivering a terrific curling finish past Brad Friedel. It was a great goal by Varney and gave United the early advantage in the contest., Tottenham were able to make little headway as they looked for a response, Gareth Bale and Lennon switching wings early on as they struggled to get into the game. When Bale did find some space, United defended well to clear the danger., The visitors enjoyed the better of the possession during the first half, but they failed to create any meaningful chances against a Leeds side who were dogged and resilient., Indeed, right on the stroke of half-time Ross McCormack was denied by some quick thinking from Brad Friedel., United also started the second half brightly and after Sam Byram forced an early corner, Varney was only denied by a great defensive tackle., But it was 2-0 on 50 minutes when El-Hadji Diouf lifted a ball over the top for Ross McCormack to run on to, and the Scot shaped before delivering a superbly placed finish to double the advantage., The visitors got themselves a foot back in the game on 58 minutes, though, when Clint Dempsey found space to head home a cross after great work by Bale., McCormack almost worked his way through to create an opening for a third goal, and when the Scot made a nuisance of himself again, the visitors managed to clear their lines., Tottenham were having some defending to do, Paul Green got in behind them, but his cross was cleared, and when McCormack escaped clear, Friedel again did well by standing firm., At the other end, Tom Lees did well to cut out one Tottenham effort before a Mousa Dembele foul on Michael Brown inside the Leeds box eased one spell of pressure. Sam Byram was next to make a good block as Dempsey shaped to shoot., As the clock started to tick down United looked to close the game out by holding the ball up in the corners., Tottenham had a great chance in the 90th minute when Jon Obika latched on to a long ball forward, but he was denied by some superb defending., United were dogged under late pressure from the visitors, but a great team effort was rewarded with yet another impressive victory against Premier League opponents. Neil Warnock to LUTV : It was a great atmosphere and a good advert for the FA Cup. We knew that with Ross up front we had to play more football and we did. This was for the 1500 fans who came down to Birmingham and pushed us on to win that day.  They really drove us on.  I picked the side early in week whether Becks was fit or not. This was the side. I said to them all today “I know you will give me 100%”(Re form in the Championship)  “You just can’t play well every week in Championship. We  have won  6 on trot at home. You can’t do any better than that. I thought the tactics today were spot on. Greeny and Michael Brown were fantastic today except that tackle at the end . I could have crucified him. We knew without Becchio we’d need Varney for his aerial power. He’s been getting stick from the crowd at home and sometimes it’s easier to leave him out, but he was terrific at Birmingham and again at home today.  It was a team performance. You couldn’t pick out anyone today. I know Aidy and Sam got caught up with passes inside them, but you are talking about some of the the best players in the world. We limited Aaaron and Bale. We played ever so well. We created some good chances ourselves today. Re  Luciano – “I don’t know if he will be here. I know his people have put out something about the financial aspect. He is our top paid player and we offered him substantial more. He has been great for us this season but I don’t think he has done well in last four games. And for that I’ve got stick, and we’ve all taken stick. The Barnsley game was probably the worst of my career. I’ve had 1250 games in my career but that’s for the ones who gave me stick and ironic clapping”Re promotion  “We have got to give it a good shot irrespective of what we bring in on Thursday.” Super win. It just goes to show what we can do when we play football and don’t radically change the line up every week. Peltier, Lees, White and Byram look to have pace and ability in the back four. Now crack on and get some decent signings in before Thursday. Either Warnock learns from this or  he goes back to the same old mistakes. We’ll enjoy the win but we won’t get carried away.

Sun 27th.  Becchio agent hits out at new owners. The agent of Leeds United striker Luciano Becchio says the new owners have not done enough to try and keep the player at Elland Road. Horacio Rossi has been speaking at the end of a week when Becchio handed in a transfer request at Elland Road. Becchio is been chased by a number of clubs both home and abroad and Leeds tried to negotiate a new deal with the striker, who has just eighteen month remaining on his current deal at the club. Rossi says that Leeds approached Becchio about a new deal with Europa League clubs interested in taking the 19 goal leading goalscorer this season, but he says the deal Leeds put on the table was insufficient. Speaking to the Press Association Sport, Horacio Rossi said, ‘Luciano is on a spectacular run of form at the moment and for that reason Leeds came to us at the moment that Europa League clubs declared their interest in Luciano. ‘As the club had declared that they would not accept any offer in this transfer window, I proposed to them the idea of extending Luciano’s contract with Leeds until 2017 so that Luciano could end his career at the club. ‘But for a new contract, there has to be an improvement. The offer that they made to us was insufficient. We respect the club’s efforts, but it isn’t enough. ‘Leeds is like a home for Luciano. He feels respect and love for the club’s fans. He has the best intentions of staying. He was willing to give up a lot of money to stay at Leeds.’ Leeds have already admitted that they have turned down a couple of offers from foreign clubs for the Argentinian, who has netted 86 times for the club since joining in the summer of 2008. Leeds have said that the striker will not be going anywhere in this transfer window though unless a club come up with an offer that they deem acceptable. The 29-year-old was a late starter in the professional game and Rossi says that Becchio is trying to look after his long-term future. ‘Luciano has to think about his family. He has three children. He has to look for security for them. He is 29 years old, not 25. He is only a footballer once.’Leeds say that Luciano is the most expensive player in their squad. They said on their website that he is the player who earns most but I don’t know if this is true. It doesn’t seem right to me. I don’t know what Diouf, or McCormack earn, ‘continued Rossi. The news of Becchio`s transfer request comes as a blow to Leeds supporters, who thought they could finally look to the future under new owners GFH Capital, who took control of the club in December. Leeds fans were hopeful that with new owners in place it would finally see the club pushing for promotion and bringing in players rather than selling off the crown jewels. Fans have been left disappointing since the clubs promotion from League One in 2010, with the clubs best players all sold. Jermaine Beckford, Bradley Johnson, Kasper Schmeichel, Max Gradel, Jonny Howson, Robert Snodgrass and Adam Clayton have all left Elland Road and Rossi feels that the new owners have not done enough to try and hold onto Becchio. “It is my opinion that the new administration of Leeds United has not put in enough effort in their attempts to retain Luciano.” It is the first real test for the new owners, who did appease the fans slightly on Saturday when it was announced that youngster Sam Byram had agreed a new deal with Leeds, keeping him at Elland Road until the summer of 2016.Sat Jan 27thSam signs up. Highly-rated full-back Sam Byram has signed a contract that will keep him at Leeds United until 2016. The 19-year-old, who has played 35 games for Leeds this season, has been linked with a move away from the club during the January transfer window, with both Evertonhttp:/static.lingospot.com/spot/image/spacer.gif and Liverpoolhttp:/static.lingospot.com/spot/image/spacer.gif rumoured to be interested. Byram only made his first-team debut this season – in the 4-0 Capital One Cup win over Shrewsbury – but has quickly established himself as a key member of Neil Warnock’s side. He has also demonstrated his versatility by operating in roles in both defence and midfield. A statement on the Leeds website said: “The contract is a reward for his contribution in the first team this season.”

Sat Jan 26th  Same old story as Becchio follows route to Elland Road exit door – By Phil Hay On the face of it a sliver of doubt remains. Luciano Becchio will only be sold if Leeds United receive an acceptable offer before January ends. Back in the real world we await the inevitable. This is a player whose attitude and commitment has been openly questioned by his manager. He was revealed on Thursday as the club’s highest earner, unwilling to accept a better wage and anxious to leave for financial gain. Justly or unjustly, Becchio has been smeared. What alternative is there now? United’s statement about him – or the “above-named player” as they referred to their longest-serving professional – drew the usual sigh. Maybe he is, as David O’Leary once said of Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, a greedy son of a bitch. Or perhaps Neil Kilkenny was closer to the mark. At some stage in the cycle of regular sales, the defence of excessive wage demands loses credibility. And lost credibility it has. Who knows what Becchio wants or how much the club are willing to pay him. Opposite sides of negotiations invariably give different answers, even off the record. The blame always lies elsewhere. That is football and this is Leeds – only ever a stone’s throw away from the next crisis. It would be fine if Becchio was leaving because investment in United’s squad had rendered him expendable or worth more in hard cash. But the club are about to flog their only source of goals. There is nothing in the way of resources behind him. And even if they choose to keep him, the damage to Becchio’s ego is done. The peculiarity of this situation is that Leeds have been complicit in generating speculation. Rumours about previous players were the responsibility of other people – journalists, agents, wind-up merchants. With Becchio, there was no suggestion of bids to come until Mick Jones, United’s assistant, admitted that offers were inevitable. There was no debate about his attitude until Neil Warnock singled him out after United’s defeat at Barnsley. Becchio was hopeless at Oakwell. Name an outfield player who wasn’t. He is also the first valued asset since Fabian Delph to make for the door with more than 12 months on his contract. Make no mistake, the Argentinian will be sold if a high enough bid is submitted before Friday. United’s statement made that clear. This in the window when Warnock claimed that with him as manager and GFH Capital as owner “no key players will leave – unless we want them to.” The cynical among you will ask whether the striker’s exit is what Leeds are looking for. You might question whether the contract offered to Becchio was competitive. It is not hard to find people – agents, players and managers – who accuse United of maintaining too tight a wage structure. When GFH Capital bought the club, we looked for a different way. But with five days to go there is nothing to positively distinguish this transfer window from the rest. In explaining their rejection of Becchio’s demands – “beyond a level we could support” – Leeds rolled out the Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations recently embraced by English football. It is hard to know what to make of that. On one hand, it shows shallow expectation of United advancing quickly to a position where greater income affords a higher wage bill, otherwise known as the Premier League. On the other, it makes you wonder what Becchio was asking for. According to United’s accounts, their wage bill in the last financial year amounted to 41.4 per cent of their turnover. They spent almost as much on administrative costs as they did on squad salaries. So no great problem there or not in relation to FFP. It might, of course, be a subtle acknowledgment that income at Elland Road is falling and pressure to pay the bills has increased. But that is a different argument altogether. And how does all this tally with their interest in Max Gradel? The YEP’s story about Gradel on Thursday was seen by many as a plant, designed to soften the blow of Becchio’s transfer request, but the tip-off did not come from Leeds. The club were unaware that the story was due to run. Three sources confirmed that United have explored the possibility of signing their ex-player of the year, bizarre though it now sounds. Gradel earns more at St Etienne than Becchio earns at Leeds. He would cost as much as United can expect to raise by selling Becchio. He is also the sort of player on whose service Becchio previously thrived. The dots barely join up. As for Becchio, his season has been a contradiction. He has farmed goals like the best of them without truly shining. The supply to him is undeniably erratic but when Leeds have been poor, he has been poor. You could say it hardly matters in the face of 19 goals but that is contrary to the criticism thrown at Warnock for the style of football leading to six straight home wins. Football is not simply a game of results. Where Becchio is concerned, there are certain forwards out there as talented as him and some have more strings to their bow.  But the legacy of previous transfer windows is that no-one in Leeds has any faith in United’s ability to find them or sign them. And if GFH Capital believes that the reaction to Becchio’s transfer request has been any different, it is only fooling itself.

Jan 26th. 2013. Leeds’s targets remain same despite Becchio – YEP NEIL WARNOCK insists Leeds United’s on-going attempts to strengthen in the transfer market will not be disrupted by Luciano Becchio’s shock transfer request. The Elland Road club host Tottenham Hotspur tomorrow in one of the ties of the FA Cup fourth round. With a crowd of around 30,000 expected and the game to be shown live on ESPN, the focus should be 100 per cent on the football. However, Becchio’s shock request to leave and the revelation that Leeds have turned down three offers from abroad means supporters are concerned about what may happen between now and the closing of the transfer window at 11pm on Thursday. Warnock was working hard to bring in new faces before learning Becchio was intent on leaving and is adamant the current uncertainty surrounding the 19-goal Argentinian will not deflect United from trying to complete those deals. “Nothing changes in that respect, as our targets are the same with or without him,” said the Leeds manager when asked by the Yorkshire Post what difference, if any, the recent turn of events involving Becchio had made. “There won’t be anyone in until after the Spurs game as the deadline has passed for the Cup. But we are working very hard towards 11pm on Thursday night. By then, we will know. I can’t say any more than that.”United have been linked with moves for Aston Villa left-back Stephen Warnock and former Leeds player of the year Max Gradel during the last 48 hours. However, when asked at yesterday’s media conference about possible targets, the Leeds manager replied: “You are always going to get speculation.“I have just got to wait until we have actually got someone in the building and then announce it. If I said yes or no (to Gradel or Warnock) then I’d be doing that all morning with different names. “The transfer window is something I can only talk about up to today, but it goes for 31 days. “That is just as well because it seems to be the last day which is the most interesting one of the lot. I expect there’ll be a lot of activity late on.”As revealed in yesterday’s Yorkshire Post, China is a possible destination for Becchio with a couple of Super League clubs understood to be very interested in the striker. A third bid came in for the Argentinian yesterday, but was again rejected by Leeds. Whether an acceptable offer materialises before the transfer deadline remains to be seen, but Warnock is experienced enough to recognise that Becchio may still have a part to play this season, starting with tomorrow’s Cup tie. Asked whether he felt the club’s top scorer would be mentally right to face Spurs, the United manager said: “With the experience I have had, I will know more over the next 24 hours as to whether Luciano is able to play.“But I thought we did brilliant at Birmingham (when Becchio did not play), if I am honest.”On the future of Leeds’s longest serving player, Warnock added: “We offered a three-and-a-half year contract that is the best we have offered anyone since I 
arrived. That is all you can do as a club.“I have had a chat with him and what I said remains private. Luciano was a late starter in football and he has been told figures that he will get from abroad. Those figures could give him security for life. I’d imagine that’s how he’s looking at it.“But come Thursday night and if we have not accepted an offer, he gets on with it. What I will say is that if he stays after the deadline then I hope that I get more out of him. He has not played very well lately, but I understand that. I had never had a problem before Christmas. “He even tells me how much he is enjoying it. He’s got more goals in half a season than he gets in an entire season usually.“Luciano appreciates what I have done for him this season so I don’t have any problem with him. Once the deadline has gone, whatever has been going on will be put to bed until the summer.“He won’t be going anywhere on loan so the next five or six days will answer all those questions.” The Becchio saga aside, this weekend promises to be an exciting one in Leeds thanks to the visit of a side who Warnock rates even higher than Chelsea, who just last month overturned a 1-0 half-time deficit to triumph 5-1 at 
Elland Road in the Capital One Cup quarter-finals. He said: “I didn’t really enjoy the second half against Chelsea, although in the first half we were superb. Spurs, at the moment, are a better side than Chelsea. “They are more fluent and far more solid, but we have got to give them a game. I don’t want us to sit back and get beaten. I want us to have a go at them.“It won’t be easy, though, as Spurs really are an excellent team. When you see them get 61 per cent of the ball against Manchester United (in last Sunday’s 1-1 draw at White Hart Lane), you realise what you are up against.“I didn’t see a weakness in them last weekend. They are playing with freedom and they are relaxing now that (manager) Andre Villas-Boas has got his feet under the table. I think they’ll be pushing the top two soon.“If you look at their team from 1 to 11, they have everything that I look for in a team: pace, power, strength and entertainers.”He added: “Tottenham have always been a glamorous club and this is a glamorous team. It whets the appetite.”

Jan 26th.Leeds giving trial to French defender. Leeds United are giving a trial to SC Bastia defender Francois Marque according to theFrench clubs website. Marque has reportedly been training with Leeds for the past week and he was due to play in the development squad game against Birmingham City at the start of last week, a game that was postponed due to the snow that swept the country. Bastia say that Leeds boss Neil Warnock is taking a further look at the player this week and he wants to see him in action before making a decision on the central defender. After a slow start to his professional career, playing in the lower leagues of French and Swiss football, Marque made the breakthrough with top Swiss side FC Basel when he signed for them in 2007. In his first season with the club, he helped them complete the double, winning the league and cup. The following season he appeared in five of their six Champions League group games and he helped them record a famous 1-1 draw at Barcelona. After three years at Basel, he joined newly promoted French Ligue 1 side FC Grenoble and he helped them finish 13th in his first season with the club. The 29-year-old joined the SC Bastia in 2011 and he helped them win the Ligue 2 title last season. This season he has featured just six times and he has played just once since being sent off against Stade Brest in November.

Jan 25thTaylor joins Inverness. Charlie Taylor has joined Inverness on loan for the rest of the season.

Friday January 25th. Pugh joins Owls on loan. Leeds United utility man Danny Pugh has joined Sheffield Wednesday on loan. The 30-year-old, who has made 94 appearances for the club in two spells, was made available for transfer by Neil Warnock last summer and has only featured six times this term. Pugh has now joined the Owls in a loan deal until the end of the season.

Friday Jan 25th. Pressure builds on new owners to deliver after Becchio blow – By Phil Hay. Leeds United’s new owners are under increasing pressure to deliver in the transfer market after Luciano Becchio moved to force his way out of Elland Road before the end of the January window. Becchio brought weeks of speculation about his future to a head yesterday (Jan 24) by submitting a transfer request in response to two official bids for him and a round of unsuccessful contract talks with Leeds. The Argentinian, 29, is the subject of interest from at least one Chinese club and despite rejecting both offers for Becchio, Leeds cleared the way for his departure by admitting that they would allow him to leave if an “acceptable offer” arrived at Elland Road ahead of next week’s transfer deadline. The likelihood of United selling their top scorer has left GFH Capital, the Dubai-based firm which bought Leeds from Ken Bates last month, facing a wave of concern about their immediate plans for the club. Bates’ long spell in charge at Elland Road was tainted by a spate of high-profile sales from within United’s squad and the threat of Becchio’s exit comes less than five weeks after GFH Capital completed its 100 per cent buy-out. Officials from the company, three of whom are now directors of Leeds, have made no comment about Becchio’s situation or their plans for any money raised through a transfer but in a statement, United said: “(Becchio), who has been the subject of two bids from foreign clubs during the January transfer window, has handed in a transfer request as financially he believes his best interests are served by a move away from Leeds United. “Both bids have been rejected and the player will only be allowed to leave in the event that an acceptable offer is received. “The club have sought to agree the terms of a new contract with the player, who is already the highest earner, but the requested terms were beyond a level that we could support, particularly in view of the regulations relating to Financial Fair Play that will be effective in coming seasons. “It is disappointing that this situation has occurred when he is under contract until June 30, 2014.”Becchio, who is believed to earn in the region of £15,000 a week, has been a mainstay in United’s team for four-and-half years and he has 18 months remaining on his existing deal. Sources close to him indicated earlier this month that he wanted to remain at Elland Road beyond the end of January but Becchio’s representatives were unavailable for comment last night. The former Barcelona reserve has established widespread popularity among United’s supporters and has led an inconsistent Championship season for the Whites with 19 goals, one short of his highest-ever tally in a single English campaign. Wigan Athletic and Hull City have both been linked with the forward but a lucrative transfer to China has emerged as a serious option for him. Leeds are believed to be holding out for a sum well in excess of £2million. Former United striker Mick Jones told the YEP: “To be fair to the lad, if it wasn’t for his goals then Leeds would be way down the league. “He’s got 19 this season and they’d have to be replaced. “I think it’s only fair to the supporters and the club that any money coming in goes straight back into the team. “Personally, I wouldn’t let him go until I had someone signed and sealed to replace him. It’ll be a worry if he goes before another striker is signed.” Doubt about Becchio, who is still expected to be considered for Sunday’s FA Cup tie against Tottenham Hotspur, has grown steadily on the back of a recent admission by United assistant manager Mick Jones that bids for him were likely and comments from boss Neil Warnock which appeared to question the striker’s focus. Asked last weekend whether Becchio was committed to United, Warnock said: “I’ve had a chat with him as far as I can but when players nod their head and say ‘yes gaffer’, you don’t know if they mean it or if they’ll go outside and ring their agent.”Confirmation of Becchio’s transfer request turned public attention on GFH Capital’s plans for the remainder of January, a month of few signings to date. Leeds have recruited only one new player – Everton’s Ross Barkley – while committing to permanent deals for ex-loanees Ryan Hall from Southend United and Stoke City’s Michael Tonge. The club have examined the possibility of bringing former player of the year Max Gradel back to Elland Road from French club St Etienne but it is far from clear whether they have the cash needed to fund his transfer. Their interest in Aston Villa left-back Stephen Warnock is also dependent on Leeds meeting a sufficient portion of Warnock’s £40,000-a-week wages, with Championship rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers also interested in taking defender on loan.

Friday 25th of January. Dawson looking forward to Leeds game.Michael Dawson has admitted that Tottenham Hotspur will have to be at the top of their game when they face Leeds united in the FA Cup on Sunday. Spurs travel to Elland Road as the overwhelming favourites in the fourth round tie but Dawson believes that their opponents have the quality to hurt Andre Villas-Boas’s side. “Leeds is a great place to play football and I’m sure Elland Road will be rocking again on Sunday,” the centre back told the club’s official website. “Neil Warnock always gets his teams right up for matches, it will be a sell-out, the fans will be right behind them and the atmosphere will be brilliant. We have to be ready, and I’m sure we will be. “Leeds have some top players, they are doing well in the Championship and this is a one-off game. If we’re not at the races, we’ll come unstuck. We have to be professional, do the job and try to get through to the next round.” Meanwhile, Spurs assistant manager,  Steffan Freund has spoken of his surprise at Leeds demise : “Yes of course I’m surprised,” said Freund, who also played against Leeds for Spurs in the FA Cup 14 years ago. “During my time here as a player we always had difficult games at Elland Road. “They were a really strong team, they finished in the semi-finals of the Champions League and they are not in the Premier League at the moment. “That’s why it’s a surprise for me, but still they have a very strong squad. They beat Southampton and Everton in the League Cup this season. “They’ve got nine wins and three defeats at home. It will be a difficult game for us.” Given how much the competition means to Spurs, it seems unlikely they will rest a large chunk of their first team, however. “We take it seriously,” the German said. “The FA Cup is one of the biggest cups in the world and we do that for every game. “The FA Cup is massive for Tottenham Hotspur. We’ve won it eight times and we’d like to do it again.”

Thursday 24th of January. Tate – Loan over because of money situation. Former Leeds United loan defender Alan Tate says he had to return to Swansea because of the money situation at Elland Road. Tate was due to return to parent club Swansea City after Leeds game with Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday and Leeds boss Neil Warnock says he allowed him to return to Swansea, as a defender was not his priority in the January transfer window. Swansea boss Michael Laudrup said over the festive period that he expected Tate to remain with Leeds for the rest of the season but Leeds only extended the loan into a second month after his initial loan ran out on January 2nd. Worryingly for Leeds fans, Tate says it was because of the money situation at Elland Road, which meant he could not remain with the club. Speaking on Talksport, Tate said, “My contract was not technically over until Sunday, but for different reasons I have returned to Swansea. “I was enjoying my time up there, things went well but with the money situation up there, I couldn`t stay longer.” His statement is more alarming by the fact that the club have just been taken over by GFH Capital and fans were finally hoping for an influx of players, with cash available to Leeds boss Neil Warnock, rather than seeing the star players leave Elland Road. It already looks like a case of déjà vu with leading goalscorer Luciano Becchio handing in a transfer request at the club today after Leeds could not match the players wage demands. Since Leeds promotion to the championship in 2010, the fans have seen high profile players Jermaine Beckford, Bradley Johnson, Max Gradel, Kasper Schmeichel, Jonny Howson and Robert Snodgrass all leave the club. If what Tate is saying is true, we must have genuine worries about GFH’s ability to fund our club to the level that expect. Hopefully it’s just sour grapes on his behalf because he didn’t do enough to warrant a longer loan term at Leeds.

Thursday Jan 24th Tate – Chinese interest in Becchio Former Leeds United loan defender Alan Tate says there has been interest from China for Leeds want away striker Luciano Becchio. Becchio has handed in a transfer request at Elland Road today and the club admitted in a statement that they had turned down bids from two separate foreign clubs. Tate, who returned to Swansea City this week, ending his loan at Elland Road, says he knows there was interest from China as well as Premier League side Wigan Athletic. Speaking on Talksport, Tate said, “I knew it was coming. Being in the dressing room, you hear things.”I got on well with Becchio and I know he had interest from China and from Wigan. “It is now up to him what he wants to do. He has been a very good player for Leeds and had five great years with them. “He deserves his chance in the Premier League. I hope he doesn`t leave Leeds to go to China if he has the chance to play in the Premier League.”Leeds also stated that they were unwilling to sell Becchio unless a bid reached their valuation of the player who has netted 19 times this season. Becchio, who arrived at Leeds in the summer of 2008, as just eighteen months remaining on his current deal at Elland Road.

Thurs Jan 24thHuddersfield Town sack manager GraysonThe 43-year-old guided the club to promotion last season, ending an 11-year stint in League One, but failure to win any of the previous 12 games has seen him dismissed. Grayson guided the team to promotion from League One via the play-offs last season, ending an 11-year stint in England’s third tier for the Terriers. In a statement released on the club’s official website, chairman Dean Hoyle said that fear of relegation prompted the dismissal:“We brought Simon in with the immediate aim to lead the club to promotion and he did that at the first attempt. It is an achievement for which we are grateful. “We knew the transition to Championship football would be difficult and our targets for this season have been realistic, with retention of our status the priority. “However, having worked so hard to get back into the second tier we have to do everything we can to consolidate that position. After exceeding all our expectations in the early part of the season, our results and performances as a team and from individual players have tailed off alarmingly. “Worsening displays have accompanied a run of just six points and no wins from the last 12 league games, including some very heavy defeats, culminating at Watford last Saturday. “We will not rush to make a new appointment. In the interim academy manager Mark Lillis and senior professional development coach Steve Eyre will take control of the team, starting with Saturday’s FA Cup fourth round game at home to Leicester City.”

Thursday January 24th. Becchio set to follow the well worn path of Beckford, Howson and Snodgrass etc etc etc.  I was just thinking to myself that Leeds suggesting Max Gradel may return may be a smoke screen to hide the prospect of Luciano Becchio, our top scorer leaving in this window. After all our assistant manager said it often enough.  And…..surprise, surprise Leeds announce that the player has handed in a transfer request as Leeds announce he “has been the subject of two foreighn bids” already. “Both bids have been rejected and the player will only be allowed to leave in the event that an acceptable offer is received”. In other words he is going asap but we will holde out for a couple of quid extra. “The club has sought to agree terms with the player who is already the highest earner but the requested terms were far beyond the level that we could support, particularly in view of the regulations relating to Financial Fair Play that will be effective in coming seasons. It is disappointing that this has occurred when he is under contract until June 2014”. It didn’t stop Leicester nabbing Chris Wood and paying him £25Ka week  and guess what,  he is finding the net every week. And surprise, surprise, “the player believes that his best interest is served by moving away from Leeds”, just like Jony Howson, Robert Snodgrass, Jermaine Beckford….Players who have 20 goals scored by January in a side that creates very few chances are worth their weight in gold. Leeds never seem to learn. Whilst it is understandable to a point that United need to cash in. Why have they not brought in a suitable replacement already ? If we think 18,000 is a low crowd at Elland Road, watch that sink lower and lower as frustration boils over with (a) the standard of austerity  football we have to pay and watch and (b) the lack of ambition so far evident from the new owners. If ever there was a  time Leeds fans needed a lift, it’s now. Instead we get kicked in the balls again. Not good ! Regarding Becchio, he is 29 and wants to play at the highest level in his last big pay day. He obviously believe that won’t be at Leeds and who can blame him. Phil Hay insists that news of approach did not come from Leeds sources and he stands by it. Can we realistically believe that Leeds would pay big money and top his £20K weekly wage ?

Thursday January 24th. Max Gradel back in the frame at Leeds By Phil Hay. MAX GRADEL is back on Leeds United’s radar after the Elland Road club made the first move towards recapturing their one-time player of the year. It is understood that an enquiry about Gradel’s availability was made in the past week amid on-going attempts by manager Neil Warnock to strengthen his squad before the end of January. A deal to sign the popular winger – voted Leeds’ best performer in 2011 – is likely to be complex with Gradel under contract at St Etienne until 2015 and the French club reluctant to sell him in this transfer window, but the 25-year-old has spoken previously of the attraction of returning to English football. Gradel was a product of Leicester City’s academy and turned professional at the Walkers Stadium before moving to Leeds for a fee of around £200,000 in January 2010. He featured prominently in the squad which won promotion from League One in 2011 but was sold to St Etienne for close to £2million later that year with United unable to agree an extension to his contract. He left Leeds with a record of 25 goals in 84 games. Speaking last month after rumours of a move back to Elland Road first materialised, Gradel said: “I have a contract here (at St Etienne) until June 2015, I’ve settled well and I’m enjoying my football. But I’m a lover of English football and its atmosphere. I’m 25 years old and I know my love affair with English football is not finished yet so you never know. “At the moment my French club is doing well so I am happy here but things happen quickly in football.”Gradel is currently present at the African Cup of Nations with the Ivory Coast’s national squad but his involvement in the tournament in South Africa has not stopped Leeds from exploring the possibility of signing him. His salary in France could prove prohibitive, however, with the winger thought to be earning more than £20,000 a week – a wage above that of any player in the Elland Road squad. United’s new owner, GFH Capital, is still to demonstrate the full extent of its financial clout following its buy-out of Leeds shortly before Christmas. But manager Neil Warnock admitted yesterday that he was prioritising the recruitment of attacking players with the January window set to close in a week’s time, and former United loanee Jerome Thomas appeared to open the door to another approach from Leeds by revealing that West Brom are yet to approach him for negotiations about a new deal. Thomas, who played six times for Leeds during a brief loan at the club in November and December, returned to The Hawthorns at the start of this month with the intention of winning an extension to a deal which expires in the summer, but the former Arsenal trainee said: “We’ve had no discussions with the manager or hierarchy. “Is this a window to force a new contract? My performances should do that but I’d have thought my performances over the last few seasons would have done that anyway.”Albion were widely expected to retain Thomas this month regardless of his contractual situation after seeing their squad weakened by the loss of Zoltan Gera to a serious knee injury
Jan 24th. Leeds keen on former England international defender.Leeds United are being linked with a move for out of favour Aston Villa full back Stephen Warnock. The former England international left back has spent the first half of this season on loan at championship side Bolton Wanderers, where he made 15 appearances and reports in The Guardian newspaper suggest that Leeds as well as Wolverhampton Wanderers have enquired about taking him on loan. Bolton are keen on Warnock returning to the Reebok and Premier League sides Fulham and West Ham United are also reported as being interested in signing the 31-year-old, who is yet to feature for Villa boss Paul Lambert since the managers arrival in the summer. Leeds boss Neil Warnock may want to add competition at left back with Adam Drury recently ruled out for two months with an ankle injury. Captain Lee Peltier has played most of this season in the position but he has recently moved into the centre of defence allowing Aidan White to return to the side at left back. The January transfer window closes one week today and Leeds boss Neil Warnock still desperate to add to his squad with midfielder Ross Barkley the only new face so far brought into the club on loan from Everton

Weds 23rd of Jan. The right backing is key to Whites success – Phil Hay. The financial disparity between Leeds United and the clubs who were once their peers is never more pronounced than when one or other of England’s cup competitions produces a tie like Sunday’s. Neil Warnock’s record signing at Elland Road – defender Lee Peltier – cost somewhere in the region of £800,000. There are players in the Premier League who earn as much in a month and some at Tottenham Hotspur who are not far behind; a different league in more ways than one. But even in the Championship the playing field is less than level. Chris Waddle, the former Spurs winger and a player who cost almost £5million at a time when that figure meant something, looks at Leeds and sees a club whose spending power opens few doors. Promotion matters more to Leeds than progression in the FA Cup this weekend but Waddle does not speak like a man who would put his house on either possibility. The prevailing view of United’s situation is that they have much to do both in terms of rectifying the Championship table and exploiting a transfer window which in 23 days has shown little sign of taking off. The vital month, as Warnock once called it, is fast becoming a vital week with next Thursday’s deadline drawing close. “I see a lot of Championship football through watching Sheffield Wednesday,” Waddle said. “It’s a very unpredictable league and only Cardiff City are running away with it. Everybody else is much of a muchness. “Neil Warnock knows that better than anybody, having got out the division with Sheffield United and QPR. He always brings in players who other clubs might not want to take a chance on but he gets the best out of them. “The big picture, though, is that some clubs are paying a lot more money for players than Leeds can. Whether you get promoted is often down to the right finances and the right backing. When teams like Southampton and Norwich went up, people looked at them and wondered how. But they were paying decent wages. “Leeds are a big club and obviously things have gone the wrong way for them. They’re determined to get back to the promise land but it’s frustrating for the club and the fans because you can only do what you’re allowed to do financially.” Investment in the squad at Elland Road has been a sore point for several years. In recent weeks, the attention of disgruntled supporters has focused more keenly on Warnock and his players, despite the run of six straight home wins which is keeping Leeds in sight of the Championship’s last play-off position. In all, United have suffered only four defeats at home this season and one of those against Chelsea in the Capital One Cup. The fact that Sunday’s FA Cup fourth-round tie is bringing Spurs to Leeds offers more chance of an upset than it might have done had United been sent to White Hart Lane. Their most recent away victory under Warnock came on December 1; their last before that on September 29. The upshot of that contrast has been a consistent position beneath the Championship’s top six. The fear that another season might be slipping away boiled over at Barnsley 10 days ago as Warnock faced calls from United’s supporters for him to be sacked. His squad dampened the mutinous mood by grinding out a 1-0 win over Bristol City on Saturday. “It’s strange for the fans to be getting on the manager’s back after such good home form,” Waddle said.“Often the frustration of indifferent away form can boil over. Teams are winning at home and moving up a couple of places then the following week they go away from home, lose a game and drop back down two or three places. “I empathise. It’s always baffled me. A pitch is the same size, home or away.  “Pitches are so good these days there’s no difference in standards. I don’t understand it.Warnock was critical of the pitch at Elland Road after United’s win over Bolton Wanderers on New Year’s Day but it might not disappoint him if Tottenham are forced to cope with a rough and uneven surface. There are few squads more suited to slick, flowing football than Andre Villas-Boas’ – Waddle called them “one of the best counter-attacking teams on the continent” – and the Spurs manager is not renowned for fielding heavily weakened line-ups in meaningful cup games.  “The early stages of his tenure at White Hart Lane have restored a reputation savaged during his short time at Chelsea. “He’s got Spurs playing the Tottenham way,” Waddle said.“He’s got them playing in that certain attacking way. Spurs have got a good thing going at the minute.“I don’t judge him (Villas-Boas) on his time at Chelsea. I judge him on the very good job he did at Porto and what he’s doing now at Tottenham. It was a brave decision to appoint him but he’s fully merited it. “For me, they’re only one or two players away from being a top side and going from strength to strength, and if you ask Villas Boas then he’ll be taking (Sunday’s tie) seriously. He’s never really rested players in any cup games and he’ll be desperate to have some success on his CV. “We’re in for a cracking tie and Tottenham would be a big scalp for Leeds. They’ve already beaten Southampton and Everton in the League Cup. All right, Chelsea gave them a good going over, but why not? “You know for definite that Neil Warnock will have his team up for the game. He always does. But if Tottenham perform to the best of their abilities then Leeds will have to play very well to get something out of them.” ESPN will air live and exclusive coverage of Leeds’ FA Cup clash against Spurs on Sunday from 11am. ESPN is also searching for fans’ all-time favourite FA Cup moments at espn.co.uk/facuppoll

Weds 23rd of January. Lambert to Leeds. He hasn’t lost his job yet…..(unfortunately), but Aston Villa boss, Paul Lambert must be treading on egg shells right now. GFH have a great opportunity to at last show some leadership and approach his agent about taking over at Leeds, should he be surplus to requirements at Villa. Even if they persist with “High ball Warnock” for the rest of the season, every dog in the street is aware that he won’t be at Elland Road next season and nor does he deserve to be. Back to back promotions on a shoe string budget and playing good football at the same time will make sure the ex Celt won’t be out of work long should he receive the axe.

Weds Jan 23rd. Thomas uncertain over future. West Brom winger Jerome Thomas has still had no discussions with the club over his future even though his current contract runs out this summer. Thomas has regained a first team spot in recent games after returning from a loan spell at Leeds designed to gain him match fitness after a series of injury niggles. The 29-year-old is unsure what the Baggies “have in mind” but believes Albion should know already what he is capable of via his performances in recent seasons. Thomas said: “I did exactly what I was asked to do by the staff here, which was to go out on loan, get fit and perform well. “I did that, helped Leeds up the table and I’ve come back ready to battle for my place in the team. “But as for the future, we’ve had no discussions with the manager or hierarchy. “Is this a window to force a new contract? My performances should do that but I’d have thought my performances over the last few seasons would have done that anyway. “I’m not sure what the club have in mind. I’m just working as hard as I can and aiming to push Albion back up the table.” Former England Under-21 international Thomas is in his fourth season at the Hawthorns and Zoltan Gera’s long-term knee ligament injury has provided an opening to regain his first team spot

Tues Jan 23rd. Vital Leeds – LUFC Warnock – Priorities lie in attacking players Leeds United boss Neil Warnock says he allowed defender Alan Tate return to Swansea City as attacking options are his main priority in what is left of the January transfer window. Tate returned to Swansea on Tuesday, one week before his loan spell was due to end and Warnock says he has enough cover in defence and his priorities lie in bringing in attacking options to the squad. Speaking in the Yorkshire Evening Post , Warnock said, “He`s been a really big help for us, especially in the games after we first signed him, but I need to think about sorting out the attacking end of the squad before looking at anything else. “That`s where my priorities lie and I felt it was important to have those players in place before adding to the defence. I don`t think we`re short of good defenders.” Is he for real ? A decent left back and a quick centre half woudl’t go amiss. Tate made eleven appearances for Leeds after joining on loan towards the end of November. His initial loan ended at the beginning of January but Leeds were quick to take it into a second month and Swansea boss Michael Laudrup indicated at the time that he expected Tate to spend the rest of the season at Elland Road. Tate was left out of the squad for the FA Cup replay at Birmingham City last midweek after a poor team performance at Barnsley, as well as fellow centre back Jason Pearce. Tom Lees and Lee Peltier played in the centre of defence at Birmingham and impressed enough to retain their places for the weekend`s game with Bristol City, when they once again impressed as the Leeds defence kept a clean sheet in a 1-0 win. With Tate unlikely to feature in the FA Cup tie with Tottenham Hotspur this weekend, Leeds took the decision to allow him to return to the Liberty Stadium early, allowing Warnock to concentrate on bringing in the attacking options he craves. Leeds continue to be linked with a number of attacking options. Strikers Habib Habibou, Arune Dindane, Steve Morison, Kevin Doyle, Nakhi Wells and Dexter Blackstock are all being strongly linked with a move to Elland Road.

Tues Jan 22nd. Farewell to Tate. Leeds United Loanee Alan Tate has returned to Swansea City. The 30-year-old’s loan spell was due to come to an end at the weekend and he has now returned to South Wales. Tate spent two months on loan with the club and made 11 appearances. “We can’t thank Alan enough for his help over the past month, and thanks also to Swansea for allowing him to come here,” Warnock told the club website. “He has returned to Swansea now and we wish him all the best.” He started off okay but teams quickly caught on to the fact that he was as slow as a wet Monday and milk turned quicker than him.

Tues 22nd of January. Kilkenny – Leeds “not so intimading now”.Australia international Kilkenny made over 140 appearances for Leeds during a three-and-a-half year stint at the club, which included promotion from npower League One under previous boss Simon Grayson in 2010. Kilkenny, who signed for the Robins after turning down a new deal at Leeds in June 2011, said: “Obviously I remember that when I was here we used to get 30,000 most weeks and now they say it was 18,000. “I don’t know what’s gone on over the year and a half I’ve been away, but it’s disappointing for the club because they’ve got great fans and it’s a great club. “It’s not so intimidating because the crowd is half what is used to be, players come to Leeds because it’s a massive club. “(I got a) nice reception, last year I got a nice one, hopefully they remember what I did for the club, they helped me, people know I love this club.” When asked if he thought Leeds could make the play-offs, the 27-year-old replied: “I don’t know, they could push on, they need to, the fans demand success. “(Under Grayson) we had a good team and balance to the team, it was great to play here and in front of the fans, 30,000 most weeks. “It can get daunting when results aren’t gong too well, you need to have big balls and take it, that’s what we did and that’s why we succeeded. “In my last season we finished two points off the play-offs, it was a massive disappointment. We will see if Leeds can beat that because they didn’t last year.” Hard to argue with any of that.

Jan 22nd. Leeds look to close deal with former Pompey striker – YEP Leeds United are closing in on a deal to sign former Portsmouth striker Aruna Dindane – who is understood to be in Yorkshire today to meet with club officials. The 32-year-old frontman is a free agent after recently leaving Qatar-based Al-Sailiya Sport Club following a six-month spell with United set to hand him a contract for the rest of the season. Dindane, capped 67 times by Ivory Coast, has been playing in the Middle East for the past three seasons, but has been keen to make a return to England – following a successful loan spell at Fratton Park in 2009-10 after joining from French side Lens. Dindane struck 10 goals for Pompey – including a top-flight hat-trick against Wigan Athletic in October 2009 – but failed to earn a permanent deal following the cash-strapped club’s relegation from the top-flight. Shortly after, Dindane headed to Qatar, but after a two-and-a-half-year spell with three separate clubs, he has expressed an interest in heading back to the UK. The forward revealed a desire to return to the Premier League only last month, with West Brom, Swansea City and Southampton tentatively linked to the much-travelled player. The player also confirmed interest from clubs in France, Portugal and Turkey. But Whites boss Neil Warnock, keen to bolster his forward ranks and with ongoing uncertainty regarding the future of top-scorer Luciano Becchio, appears to have won the race for his services. Meanwhile, Warnock’s hopes of signing another forward in Norwich City striker Steve Morison are on hold, with the Welsh international currently on the injured list with a minor tear in his thigh. Morison’s Carrow Road future is uncertain with Canaries boss Chris Houghton keen on supplementing his forward line, having been linked with moves for Swansea City’s Danny Graham and Celtic’s Gary Hooper. Leeds and Blackburn Rovers are believed to be monitoring developments with Morison, who is set to return to action in the next week or two.Jan 22nd.Who is Dindane ? Aruna Dindane (born 26 November 1980) is an Ivorian footballer who plays for Al-Sailiya Sport Club in the Qatar Stars League.[1] Born in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, Dindane transferred from Ivorian club ASEC Mimosas to RSC Anderlecht in summer 2000 and helped the team to win the Belgian First Division Championship in 2001 and 2004, as well a Supercup in 2000 and 2001. In 2003, Dindane won both the Ebony Shoe as best player of African origin in the Belgian League and the Golden Shoe as the best player in the Belgian League. In November 2004, he was given a Swan D’Or Award for a spell of back-to-back hat-tricks. In June 2005, Dindane signed for French Ligue 1 club Lens. In August 2009, he joined Premier League team Portsmouth on a one-year loan deal, with the option to sign him at the end of his loan spell. He scored his first goal for Portsmouth in a 3–1 League Cup win over Carlisle on 22 September 2009.[2] and his first Premier League goal as part of a hat-trick in the 4–0 win over Wigan Athletic on 31 October.[3] On 5 December 2009, he scored against Burnley with a header after missing a penalty earlier in the game. On 9 February 2010, Dindane scored a 95th minute equaliser in the 1–1 draw with Sunderland at Fratton Park. On 21 March 2010, it was revealed he was left out of Portsmouth’s match squad the previous day as if he played one more game the club would have to pay a £4 million fee to his parent club Lens.[4] With Portsmouth in administration, they could not afford to pay this fee, and so he was dropped. However, he subsequently played in the FA Cup Semi Final against Tottenham Hotspur on 11 April 2010,[5] and Portsmouth were aiming to negotiate terms with Lens that allow him to play in the FA Cup Final and the remaining Premier League games without incurring the £4 million fee. On 4 April 2010 it was revealed that Blackburn Rovers were preparing to bid for the £2.5 million striker in time for the 2010–11 season and the player underwent and passed a medical at the club only for the transfer talk to cool due to financial disagreements between Blackburn Rovers and Aruna’s club RC Lens. On 30 April 2010, Dindane reiterated his desire to stay in English football after the loan to Portsmouth had ended.[6] However on 24 May 2010, Dindane agreed a three-year deal with Lekhwiya of Qatar. In January 2012 Dindane agreed to join Qatari club Al-Gharafa. After a short spell at Al-Gharafa, he signed a one-year deal with Al-Sailiya Sport Club on 27 May 2012. International career : Dindane made his debut for Côte d’Ivoire on 9 April 2000 against Rwanda. He participated in the 2006 FIFA World Cup, where he scored twice in a memorable comeback to win 3–2 in their last group match against Serbia and Montenegro.[7] However, the team failed to reach the second round due to previous defeats against Argentina and the Netherlands.[8][9] Dindane represented his country at the 2006 African Cup of Nations, but left the tournament on 22 January 2006 following the death of one of his twin daughters.[10] He was also selected in the Ivorian squad for the 2008 African Cup of Nations in Ghana. He currently has 67 international caps for his country.[11] After Dindane’s successful season in England for Portsmouth, where he scored 10 goals in 24 appearances,[12] he was called up to the Ivorian squad for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Dindane was a starter in their first two group games, against Portugal and Brazil. Honours : /wiki/Ivory_Coast /wiki/Ivory_CoastASEC Mimosas Côte d’Ivoire Premier Division: 2000 /wiki/Belgium /wiki/BelgiumR.S.C. Anderlecht Belgian First Division: 2000–01, 2003–04  Belgian Supercup: 2000, 2001  /wiki/France /wiki/FranceRC Lens UEFA Intertoto Cup: 2007  Ligue 2: 2009  Individual : Topscorer of Côte d’Ivoire Premier Division: 1999  Belgian Ebony Shoe: 2003  Belgian Golden Shoe: 2003  - Looks to me like another cut price option who is past his best at age 32.  No doubt we’ll hear the usual nuggets from Warnock : “I’ve tried to sign him several times before” and “he is just what we need”. Is this a replacement for Luciano Becchio ? I hope not. Just now the only Ivorian I want to see at Elland Road is Max Gradel or I’ll even settle for Didier Drogba.

Jan 22nd. Development Squad to play Cork. Leeds United will play a friendly in Cork on February 7th as part of the Irish sides build up to their new season. The game against Cork City will take place on Thursday February 7th (7.45pm). Leeds taking a development squad side over to Ireland for the friendly with the first team in action on the Saturday at Wolverhampton Wanderers. The development squad usually consists of members of the youth side, first and second year professionals as well as senior players who are not featuring in the first team squad. Despite the game only being a development squad side, it is sure to create much interest with Leeds having a huge following across the Irish Sea. Leeds have been regular visitors to Ireland during pre-season over the years but it will be the first time that they have visited the Emerald Isle since the summer of 2009 when they played Glentoran and Shelbourne

Mon Jan 21st 2013. Leeds must step things up for top six finish – Eddie Gray Saturday’s win against Bristol City wasn’t a great performance though I thought we deserved to win. But Bristol weren’t great and were probably the worst team I’ve seen at Elland Road this season. So although we beat them, it doesn’t necessarily mean everything is okay again though we have got a great home record results-wise. Neil Warnock might disagree but a lot of the home performances haven’t been great and we’ve scraped by, but wins are the important thing. And over the years Neil’s teams seem to have a knack of doing that. That might work in our favour but there has got to be a big improvement in the performances if we’re going to get in the top six. From what I have seen so far, the group of players Neil has got now wouldn’t be good enough to get in the top six. Unless they are going to show something that we have not seen before. Nobody likes criticism in football – managers, coaches and players, but you have got to live with it. And the performances so far haven’t been good enough to get in the top six. It’s as simple as that and unless the players can improve drastically then we have got to get people in who can get us in that top six. I don’t think there’s any doubt about that – unless the players currently at the football club step up to the mark. I’ve seen them perform very well at Huddersfield and in the second half against Birmingham away but that is it. And at no stage in the game against Bristol City did I feel comfortable. Before the game, I thought we would have won comfortably and I was disappointed we did not. Funnily enough, our best two players were Tom Lees and Sam Byram. That tells you everything. As for all this talk about Luciano Becchio, I think Luciano is doing well and you’re not looking for your top scorer to leave the club. He has scored 19 goals for us this season and that’s a lot of goals. But I think the plus for us on Saturday was that Ross McCormack scored in consecutive games. We know that Ross is a good goalscorer and I feel he has got to play up front – not in a left-sided position. The one pleasing thing for me from Saturday’s game with City was that Neil stuck with the same back four that finished the game at Birmingham. There was a bit of pace there. I thought Tom Lees and Lee Peltier did very well and Peltier’s best games for the club have been at centre-back. I know Neil bought him as a right back but a lot of the games he has played have been as a left-back which I think has unsettled the boy. however, he has played very well at centre-back for us this season. As for Neil, everybody knows he has a great track record of getting clubs promoted that he manages. But it’s still got to happen here and there hasn’t been much improvement from last season. the club has got to support Neil, but the manager has said himself that he needs new players. he has brought a lot of players to the football club and I don’t think a lot of those have really performed to the standard that Neil expected them to. next we have Tottenham coming to Elland Road on Sunday in the fourth round of the FA Cup and I think they will come heavy-handed. Tottenham just now are a football club who need to win a trophy and I think that they will play their big guns at Elland Road in the Cup match next weekend. It’s been proved in the cup that we can match sides but when Southampton came they made eight or nine changes and when Everton came they made five or six. Clubs can’t afford to do that – no clubs – and Tottenham cannot afford to do that against us next Sunday. But it will be a very difficult game if Tottenham bring all the big guns up with them and play what they consider their best XI. It will be a tough game but I’m very much looking forward to it and cup football is very funny. You can never tell what’s going to happen – just look at Bradford City.

Mon Jan 21st. Warnock eyeing new arrivals. Michael Tonge has signed a permanent deal at Elland Road and fellow midfielder Ross Barkley recently joined on a month-long loan from Everton, while Warnock has been working towards bringing in at least two more permanent new signings during the January window. Warnock, an outspoken critic of the transfer window system, said: “I gave (chief executive) Shaun (Harvey) the targets last week and I’ve spoken to him a couple of times since, talking about progression. No doubt we’ll try and push these on if we can. “You get so many agents phoning you. Quite frankly, some of the recommendations are farcical. The number of times I think ‘why have you rung me about that player?’ It’s ridiculous. “They either think that you haven’t got a clue about football or you haven’t got a clue about players. It never ceases to amaze me.” Warnock, yet to receive any offers for 19-goal striker Luciano Becchio following recent reports linking him with both Wigan and Hull, added: “I don’t want to give any speculation. “We’re trying to get the targets and we’ll have to see. The January window’s a nightmare so you just don’t know what’s around the corner.”

Habibou looking to join Leeds from Belgian football

Morison lonked

Jan 19th. Sources from “Mumblings from a Moron” are syggesting that deal is immenent for Waragem’s African striker, Habib Habibouwho tweeted “Dioufy scored. Good job Bro” after the brum cup game and again “Good ambience today with 1-0 win. I’m happy”after the Bristol city result. Lastly and more decisively “Habib Habibou from 7 to 9″. he wears number seven at Waragem but Leeds number nine shirt is vacant. Waragem are allegedly looking for a replacement before the player moves on. Other reports in Sunday’s papers have Leeds linked with a move for ex Millwall and current Wales striker, Steve Morison who moved to Norwich for nearly £3M last summer. He is 29 and at that kind of money a permanent deal looks unlikely.

Jan 19th. Leeds 1 Bristol City 0: McCormack header ensures toughintroduction for O’Driscoll Kenny, Byram, Lees, Peltier, White, Diouf, Brown, Austin, Barkley (Green 81), McCormack (Tonge 89), Becchio. Subs Not Used: Ashdown, Pearce, Varney, Norris, Somma. Goals: McCormack 67 Report from Daily Mail. Sean O’Driscoll’s first game in charge of the npower Championship’s bottom club ended in defeat as Ross McCormack’s second-half header helped Leeds do the double over Bristol City for the third season running. O’Driscoll took over at Ashton Gate this week, less than a month after his acrimonious departure from Nottingham Forest, and for 65 minutes watched his new charges hold their own against a Leeds side who were barracked by their own fans for an anaemic performance in front of goal. McCormack’s second strike of the week changed the mood, though, putting Leeds on their way to a sixth successive home league win, a statistic that goes against the sarcastic cheers that have started to accompany every shot they have at goal. They remain in touching distance of the promotion hopefuls, however, and manager Neil Warnock will now look to new owners GFH Capital to provide him with what he needs to try and close the gap. For O’Driscoll, this was his second encounter with Leeds in just 24 days. He engineered a 4-2 win for Nottingham Forest on Boxing Day and was sacked in the wake of it, and his new team started as though they were keen to rack up a big score too. Former Leeds midfielder Neil Kilkenny caused havoc in United’s box with a chipped free-kick and Liam Fontaine looked to have got in on goal until Sam Byram scrambled the ball away. Leeds settled down after that, McCormack putting a free-kick wide, but the Robins were the slicker team, playing in a manner which belied their position. With Kilkenny pinpoint in his distribution they were able to get at Leeds and had Cole Skuse had better accuracy when shooting from the edge of the box they would have gone ahead. Leeds’ first open-play effort, a 37th-minute shot over from El-Hadji Diouf brought about a sarcastic standing ovation from the home crowd, although they nearly had something genuine to bemoan as half-time approached, with Ryan Taylor denied by Paddy Kenny from 10 yards. It took some brilliance from Kenny to keep his side in it immediately after half-time too, throwing himself to his left at the last second as Sam Byram sliced Richard Foster’s cross toward his own goal. After that it was a cocktail of errant crosses and ambitious long-range efforts from both sides, Paul Anderson going closest for the visitors, before Leeds carved a decent chance and with it a goal. Loan midfielder Ross Barkley had been their biggest spark all afternoon and when he stood up a 65th-minute cross, McCormack made sure he got above Foster to plant a header past Tom Heaton. There had been little to shout about before the goal and the game quickly reverted back to type, with neither side doing little to prove that the goal was  anything other than a one-off moment of excellence.

Diouf in thinking mode

Jan 19th.  Whites must be wary of wielding the axe By Phil Hay
Neil Warnock’s marriage with Leeds United was the end result of a total loss of confidence in Simon Grayson. The club did not sack Grayson because they wanted Warnock; they sacked him because they no longer trusted his management. Their pursuit of Warnock began two weeks later. Football is like that: the man of the job one day, a busted flush the next. Nigel Adkins read the script yesterday. In an interview published in today’s YEP, Richard Naylor – Leeds’ ex-captain and their Under-18s coach – untied the elephant in the room by asking why so many people flock towards management when that line of employment is so exacting and ruthless. Where is the appeal in standing on the touchline at Barnsley with chants of ‘time to go’ ringing in your ears? Here is the irony of Warnock’s treatment last Saturday. He was, by a rough estimation, the most popular and credible appointment since United’s demotion from the Premiership. Yet no manager since Kevin Blackwell has seen that level of mutiny on a Saturday afternoon. Dennis Wise had his battles and support for Grayson and Gary McAllister ran desperately low by the time they were sacked but it no way did it feel like their P45s were issued at the crowd’s behest. They simply ran out of lives. Warnock’s insistence that an overwhelming number of supporters still support him – the“hardcore fans” as he put it on Thursday – was much like Ken Bates’ regular claim that those who opposed his methods of club ownership made up the minority. Who can say for sure? You judge by what you hear on the ground and the mood in Leeds is restless. Sometimes it feels like the mood in Leeds is always restless. You worry on occasions that 10 years of pent-up frustration is itself a barrier to progress; a hindrance that can only be cured by the one thing which inflames it – the promise of an end to United’s mediocrity. Warnock’s job at Elland Road was always seen as a 15-month experiment, both by him and the people who employed him. Either it worked out this season or it didn’t work out. Warnock made no effort to pretend otherwise. He talked of retiring this summer at the age of 64, and his contract included a clause allowing him to extricate himself from Leeds last May. There were times when many in the press expected him to activate it, so fraught were the early days of the transfer window. But that caveat and get-out-clause notwithstanding, it was barely suggested that Warnock might fail. It did not occur to anyone that he would face calls for his dismissal less than a year after taking up the post. Too experienced, too wise. Too capable a manager to face outright animosity so early on. But here we are with the season on edge. Warnock would blame several factors for the tension around him: the takeover not least and the summer transfer window most of all. He got many of the players he wanted to sign but not enough to feel that his squad was complete. In Robert Snodgrass, he lost the one existing squad member he desperately wanted to keep. It was a woeful prelude to the season ahead but the criticism of Warnock at Oakwell implied that the summer no longer passes as an excuse. The crowd have taken to judging players and performances on their own merit and they are finding fault with both. As the man at the top, they are finding fault with Warnock too, picking holes in his team selections and deriding his tactics. It is not fair to say that the season has gone nowhere but it is hard to know if it is going anywhere. Ambiguity breeds contempt when 27 games are down already. The calls for Warnock’s head were nonetheless impulsive. Much like last season, you do not get the feeling of promotion in your bones but it is not an impossibility. Moreover, it is far too late in the day to rearrange the furniture. The transfer window shuts in less than a fortnight and nothing in the past two weeks has spoken of surplus cash swilling around Elland Road. This so far is a January window like many seen under the previous regime. What chance, really, of United rolling out the big guns now? If January is a difficult time to sign players then it is a worse time to change managers. The events of 12 months ago tell you that. It is risible, still, to read the statement issued after Grayson’s sacking and see the club justify his dismissal as a means of bridging the gap to the play-offs. Leeds weren’t good enough after 28 games. Unsurprisingly, they weren’t good enough after 46 games either. It tends to be the way. Warnock’s opinion of Grayson’s squad was low when he inherited it and the improvement was negligible. So too was the scope to alter it. And that it the point. This, at present, is Warnock’s squad, built by him to suit his own philosophy. If anyone is going to do anything with it, it stands to reason that it will be him. The die for this season was cast long ago and Warnock should be left to roll it, even if promotion depends on him rolling a six. Consider the alternative. GFH Capital, four weeks on from its buy-out and with no discernible experience of managerial recruitment, cuts Warnock loose and looks for a replacement. In the interests of making something of this season an appointment is needed instantly. Yesterday if possible. Strike from the list anyone whose employment would involve complex negotiations with their existing club or compensation beyond what Leeds can afford. Overlook anyone who has options to consider or prefers to bide his time. In other words, get who you can or fall back on a caretaker while possibilities present themselves. All in all, it worked brilliantly last year. There is a bigger picture here and a more relevant consideration for GFH Capital – the matter of what happens when this season ends. If Leeds are promoted, it would take a cold heart to deny Warnock an extension to his contract. If they aren’t, it is hard to believe that he or the club would push too hard for a renewal of that deal. So what then and who then? Which individual fits GFH Capital’s long-term vision? That is what United’s owners should be asking themselves as Warnock soldiers on. Responses : “warnock time to go now. he was my first choice for the leeds job but it has not worked out.Bad signings and poor tatics.the football is rubbish and the crowds have dropped so low the club is selling tickets cheaper now ,but it will be too late to win the fans back soon. warnock out,nigel atkins in”.Response : Is it true that Warnock has moved to the upper tier of the East Stand so he can be closer to the play? Response : Leave Warnock where he is till end of season, changing him now will do no good other than protect those at the top with no money to spend. Season is finished other than providing somewhere to go if bored on Saturday afternoons.Response : fantastic peace Mr Hayes. i think NW is the man for the job, i really do feel for him, he is a very good manager and i believe he will take us to the prem.. my gripe is with Got Financial Headaches ( GFH ) where`s the the money for new blood where? they said that they paid £53 million give or take and, they boasted paid CASH. To me thats like buying the sports car of your dreams and then not being able to afford the annual service! show us your money GFH. Response Sorry Phil. Warnock will do nothing for Leeds. Adkins could but, as per usual, the chance to do something decisive for the club will come and go. Adkins has demonstrated that he can get a side into the Premiership by playing positive, attractive football. Warnock’s tactics, which might have served him well in the past, are obsolete. The game now is about pace and movement. Leeds don’t do either.  Response In my opinion our season is over now, looking at our next 10 fixtures we haven’t got a chance, we have   Cardiff,wolves,Middlesbrough,Peterborough,Blackpool,Blackburn millwall etc. The above fixtures are touch & go with our current squad. The club are not signing anybody & who knows why? Is it because they themselves know that even signing players now would not make a difference as far as the tough fixture list goes. Or is it because they have no money?why would bates sell to a company with no financial muscle it would be a waste if time & he might as well of stayed in control, or is it that he knew he was selling to someone with no money in order to get back at the fans. Can’t see us getting no more than 6 points out of the above fixtures which would mean game over for our playoff hopes.Response : Good article, but it’s really not looking at the real question. We can all see the situation with warlock, the lack of real money, the purchase of large competitive (if a bit slow) players to try and compete but not necessarily play much football when they have the ball. What leeds fans want to know is what is GFHs game plan back to the PL? Where is the money, the commitment and the engagement with the fans? It seems the situation with GFH and chairman Bates is either, 1 The same outlook as Bates on his own 2 GFH have zero idea and money. 3 Bates is still very much in control, maybe he has some acquaintances who owns Thorpe arch and/or elland road It up to the media to keep asking the right questions and report back the answers or just as importantly any refusal to answer. Response : Reading your comments has prompted me to respond for the first time. This season is near over for us and what is needed by the new owners is to look to the future and plan NOW. Adkins is now available and is DM so where you get your idea about who is available at the moment I do not know. Do you read other papers? Do you watch sports news? Form your comments it is obvious you don’t. It is time to think long term and to begin to develop and build for next season. A fresh outlook and better tactics from someone who also has new ideas and better man management is needed. GFH seem to not have the finances that is why they are probably touting Becchio to other clubs. We constantly get freebies and loans and hardly ever actually buy a player. This is true Bates philosophy. I feel the GFH have been conned to buy the club for supposedly 52 Mil and still pay rent for ER and TA is ridiculous. Bates I am sure would not sell unless he said until the end of this season and the became President. I think he tried the same trick at Chelsea. We need a clean break from Bates, Harvey and Warnock et al. There a plenty of good managers looking for work out there if you have the nouse to look. GFH leaving in to Bates to run the club for this season will not move us forward. He has NO interest in club just in making money (as always). Response : . time to write some sense. we have a big name in football history but we are not a big club at this time, unless we have multi millions to spend then we are not going to get a proven prem manager, because they will cost a fortune and want a fortune to spend, so forget it. wether we have warnock or anybody else, we dont know for sure if they are the right man, until they have had a couple of seasons, its just a gamble on any manager. nobody knows what the tactics are, however, ive played enough to know that we are short in midfield, if midfielders are not making themselves available for defenders to pass too, then defenders have no other option but to play the ball long, we are desp short of a play maker to come and take the ball and run the show. finally, if anyone really thinks a player is not just in it for the money, then they are from cloud cuckoo land, they wiil play where they choose and we should not just pay what they ask, the players used to call ridsdale ‘father xmas’, wonder why. everybody should get real, we are not entitled to anything just because we are leeds united. MOT

Tues Jan 15th 2013. FA Cup 3rd round replay. Birmingham City 1-2 Leeds  United  Report By Leon Wobschall YEP Leeds United:Ashdown; Byram, Lees, Peltier, Drury (White 10); Green, Brown, Austin, Brown, Varney; Diouf (Pearce 90), McCormack. Unused substitutes: Kenny, Tate, Norris, Somma, Hall.TWO second-half goals in the space of six minutes from Ross McCormack and El-Hadji Diouf applied some relieving medicine to Leeds United’s travel sickness – and some respite for under-fire manager Neil Warnock. Just when United’s ailments on the road were in danger of turning into a full-blown epidemic with a fifth straight loss, the visitors dug deep to somehow chisel out a victory which has booked a televised fourth-round encounter with Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday week. It also started to erase memories of Saturday’s shocking weekend loss at Barnsley which had followed earlier poor defeats at Hull City, Nottingham Forest and Derby County. The drama in the final 20 minutes – which saw the Blues livid at Diouf’s match-winning penalty for handball, an offence they were adamant occurred just outside the box – was as unexpected as it was welcome. The main talking point up until then for the visiting fans who braved the cold to attend was the absence of 19-goal forward Luciano Becchio. Pre-match talk in the Blues’ camp centred on teenage goalkeeper Jack Butland being omitted to avoid picking up a costly injury, with the financially-stricken Midlands club preparing to cash in on him to ease their strife. While his non-appearance was confirmed, the pressing issue for the United diehards concerned Becchio with Warnock admitting to a quandary over whether to start his top-scorer after speaking about him being distracted by transfer rumours following the abysmal defeat to Oakwell. Not only did the Argentinian not start, he was not even on the bench, with illness being given as the reason for his non-involvement at St Andrews. All told, it was a vastly-changed United line-up, with captain Lee Peltier switched to centre-half, and Rudolph Austin, Sam Byram and Diouf the only other players who started against the Reds. One of the replacements at the back, Adam Drury, saw his evening last just nine minutes, his luckless streak continuing as he suffered what looked like an ankle injury, Aidy White coming on in his place. There was precious little to warm up the meagre crowd early on, with a low strike from Wade Elliott which flew wide being the nearest either side came to scoring on a pockmarked, bobbly surface. United’s 1,547 travelling contingent in the away end saw a header from the recalled Luke Varney from Diouf’s corner just after the half-hour mark cause momentary alarm in the six-yard box before Blues hacked clear. Soon after at the other end, Jamie Ashdown dealt comfortably with Marlon King’s low shot. After some tame sparring, Blues conjured a breakthrough out of nothing in a rare moment of quality on 36 minutes. A carefully-manufactured move saw King pick out Nathan Redmond, the youngster just beating the offside trap before racing clear down the right and delivering a cross which was coolly stroked home at the far post by Elliott, who had netted a cracker in the first encounter at Elland Road. Straightaway, United spurned a golden chance to level with the unmarked Varney guiding a header wastefully off target after a fine cross from Diouf. That was as close as United went to scoring in the first half, the gallows humour in the away end reflecting an offering which lacked inspiration and intent. The improvement was slight, but was nonetheless there on the restart, with Austin’s low shot spilled needlessly by Butland’s replacement Colin Doyle, but no away player was there to follow up. The Blues – whose second-half charges have been a feature of many of their games at St Andrews – seemed content to hold on to what they had. United were grafting, but with insufficient guile to trouble the Blues’ back four until managing a decisive moment on 70 minutes. A raid down the left unhinged the hosts with clever work from Diouf setting up McCormack, who evaded the home defence adroitly before steering the ball into the far corner past Doyle. Six minutes later, United took the lead in controversial fashion after ex-Whites loanee Paul Robinson was penalised for handball on the edge of the area, with Andy Woolmer pointing to the spot after a long consultation with linesman Barry Holderness. Diouf kept his cool amid the protests, chipping the ball past Doyle in effortless fashion. Moments after coming on, substitute Peter Lovenkrands almost drew Blues level with his first touch with a low shot which was parried by Ashdown. Blues threw on Nikola Zigic – whose four-goal haul finished off Simon Grayson’s Elland Road tenure last January – in the final 10 minutes. White was alert and cleared Zigic’s towering header off the line as the hosts sought an equaliser.Ashdown then denied Lovenkrands, with Blues’ last chance seeing Curtis Davies head over. Speaking on Yorkshire Radio, Warnock, “These types of results are the best ones in your career when everyone is writing you off. “We quite rightly got a lot of stick on Saturday. 5,000 Leeds fans told us what they thought. “I thought we were a bit apprehensive in the first half and I think a lot of it was down to Saturday. Saturday was a massive blow because we were battered by Barnsley. “We fought back well after going behind. We came back in the second half and I cannot fault the player`s character. It was nice to play some football, get a result and get a tie against Spurs and the fans showed their appreciation at the end.”

Tues Jan 15th. Connolly and Rogers move on Leeds have released Robbie Rogers and Paul Connolly has moved to Preston on loan for the rest of the season.

Jan 15th 2013. Warnock under fire – YEP. UNDER-FIRE Leeds United manager Neil Warnock has acknowledged he is facing a six-week spell which could decide his future at Elland Road. Warnock received plenty of criticism from furious Whites supporters in Saturday’s abysmal derby defeat at lowly Barnsley as the club’s travel sickness continued with a fourth straight away loss. Despite United’s latest setback on their travels, Warnock wants to be judged at the end of the season, although he is wise enough to appreciate the importance of the coming weeks to both the club’s hopes of success and, potentially, his own future. He said:“The end of the season is the time to judge. Okay, if it falls away in the next six or seven weeks, then it is a different ball game, but my intentions are to get into those play-offs.”Warnock’s attention switches to cup business at St Andrews tonight in a third-round replay; the United chief missed the first game on January 5 due to illness. Warnock has revealed he has spoken to top-scorer Luciano Becchio after expressing fears after Saturday’s derby that his below-par display at Oakwell was due to him being distracted by speculation regarding his own future. He has yet to decide whether the 19-goal top-scorer will lead the line tonight. On Becchio, whose current deal expires in the summer of 2014, he added: “I have had a word with Beccs. But it is difficult when agents are in your ear all the time. All through the transfer window, it is going to be a nightmare.“But he has got to get his mind on things. He is under contract, but it is hard when players get figures pushed at them. I will have to see how he is before the game.”Warnock held an inquest into Saturday’s shambolic Oakwell display yesterday when he met with players and wants his side to deliver some payback this evening by booking a mouth-watering televised fourth-round home assignment with Spurs on January 27. He said: “We have to move on to the next game now. It’s a big one at Birmingham, and we have to re-group and there’s an incentive at the end of it.“The fans who travel to Birmingham in horrible weather will be doing so because they want to see us play Spurs.”

Mon January 14th 2013. Desperate Oakwell show was even worse than last season – Eddie Gray YEPWe just cannot seem to beat Barnsley at Oakwell – and I thought our performance on Saturday was even worse than last season when we lost 4-1 there. When you looked at the record they had before Saturday, I was pretty confident of picking the three points up – I think everyone was. But on the day, we got a chasing.We were never in the game at all and it was very, very poor. It was as disappointing as we have performed this season, especially against a side who had won just one of their last 15 games in the league and had not picked up three points at home in the league since September 1. It was a great opportunity for us to get into the top six. But we got what we deserved, there’s no doubt about it. Apart from a few flashes from Ross Barkley, it was just one-way traffic. Their lads up front were powerful and gave us a torrid time and we made Marlon Harewood look like a world-beater. They also dominated midfield and controlled us at the back. Our fans were not happy at the final whistle and you could understand why. They will have known it was a great chance to beat a Barnsley side who have turned us over a few times. Don’t forget Barnsley had no full-time manager going into the game, were bottom of the league and had just lost their top striker in Craig Davies to Bolton Wanderers. It should have been in all our favour, but on the day, it was far from it and the complete opposite. It was probably the worst performance of the season for me, especially taking into consideration who we were playing and the position that Barnsley were. But on the day, we looked like the team at the bottom of the league and it was a big blow for us. Neil Warnock took some criticism from fans and you have got to be big enough to take it. As a manager, you have to hold your hands up as say: ‘You are right. It wasn’t good enough.’I have been in that position myself and you have to think: ‘There’s no excuse at all.’ We just never performed and the players, managers and coaches will know that. They now have to quickly get it right or else our season will peter out. I have said it several times, but performances do catch up with you and although we have got a fair few results this season, they have not really been matched by performances.
Even if we’d say scraped a 1-0 there yesterday, I would have said: ‘If we are going to get promoted, we simply have to play better than that.’ I was looking at the Barnsley and Bristol City games as being a great opportunity to pick up six points and push for the top six and now we are down to 11th. Looking at the game, we never started well and when you start in that mode, it is very, very hard to pick things up and the game just continued in the same vein. Thankfully, Paddy Kenny made a couple of saves and the woodwork saved us. At half-time, while we could have been three or four goals down, we should have been thinking: ‘Right, we’re still in the game here.’ But nothing much changed in the second half and they continued to dominate and Barnsley got what they deserved. They put us to the sword. While we played really poorly, you have to say they played well and their supporters will have gone to work this morning gloating. Credit to Barnsley on the day. It was a definite penalty for their opener; I thought they could have had one in the first half as well. The general consensus from everyone at the game, even the diehard Leeds fans, was that they deserved it and the 2-0 scoreline flattered us.
I know Neil was critical of Luciano Becchio after the game. But looking at the game, he simply had no opportunities as they dominated. You can criticise your centre-forward all you want, but they need to get the service. The one player who did okay was young Ross Barkley on his debut – he was probably the best outfield player we had. He will have been pretty surprised how the game went though; he will have been expecting a nicer debut. Neil was critical of the decision not to send off Stephen Dawson in the first half and it was not a particularly good challenge. But things like that happen in football and it didn’t strike me straightaway as being a red-card challenge. For me, my main concern would not have been that challenge, but how badly we played as on the day, we just weren’t good enough. Focus now turns to the FA Cup tie at Birmingham, who almost got three big points at Huddersfield on Saturday, only to be denied late on. It’s a big game for us after Saturday and let’s face it, there’s a lovely carrot at the end of it if we get through, which is an attractive home tie with Tottenham Hotspur on the television. Hopefully, we get the Barnsley performance out of our system at the first attempt and get a good result.

Warnock still thinks he is doing a great job

The Don

Larry – largely unbacked by Bates financially

O’Leary – Bluffer to the Core

Great football to watch but defensively all at sea

Wise – hasn’t been seen in management since

Got to the Chmapionship play off final but fell apart the next season

Sun 13th of January 2013. Right in the Gary Kellys – The stats that damn Warnock. “I think I’m doing a great job if I’m honest…” The words spoken by Neil Warnock in the wake of Leeds United’s sorry performance at Barnsley not only caused mass incredulity amongst Whites’ followers, but also prompted me to look into Warnock’s record as Leeds Manager. Now I think we’ll all agree that the word “great” can only comfortably be applied to the likes of Don Revie and Howard Wilkinson when we are talking about Leeds Managers. So taking Warnock out of that bracket, just how do his stats stack up against the likes of Kevin Blackwell, Dennis Wise and Gary McAllister? The answer, as you’ll see, is not well. Since taking charge against Portsmouth in February 2012, Neil Warnockhas Managed Leeds United for 47 games. Of those 47 games, Leeds have won 18, drawn 10 and lost 19. That gives Neil Warnock a win ratio of 38%. Bear in mind also that these stats include cup games, so take out this seasons Carling Cup successes and things would look even worse… I think a fair comparison for circumstances would be with Gary McAllister. Macca was in charge for 50 games, lasting just under a year in the job. He was derided for the 5 match losing run that ended his reign, culminating in defeat at Histon Macca’s win ratio? 50%. Looking at other Managers from Leeds United’s recent history doesn’t do Warnock any favours either. Simon Grayson had a win ratio of 50% too. Dennis Wise won 44% of his games in charge. You have to go back to Kevin Blackwell, Peter Reid and Terry Venables before you start to find comparable records to our current Manager.Blackwell matched Warnock’s record of 38% (well he did used to be his assistant manager, he must have learned a few things !), whilst Peter Reid has the worst record of modern times, only managing a 27% ratio. Venables also matches Warnock and Blackwell, not a good omen for Leeds Managers with a 38% win ratio!Look further back, and the European nights that the O’Leary reign brought us showed a 50% win ratio. George Graham just pipped the magic 38%, managing 39% instead. I’ve not checked, but I bet there were a lot of 0-0 draws in there…Howard Wilkinson, surprisingly, only had a win ratio of 43%, just 2% better than Billy Bremner at 41%. The great Don Revie had a 53% win ratio. Now I’m not suggesting Warnock should be hitting those heights, but as the stats above show, from the last 20 years or so, there is only one Leeds United Manager with a worse record of winning games than him. Warnock will probably blame the takeover uncertainty, the “dead wood” he was left with from the previous Manager, and various referees for his poor record. Yet look at some of the names above. Kevin Blackwell took over a team that had just been relegated from the Premier League (famously with only him and Gary Kelly left). Dennis Wise was in charge when we came out of administration with -15 points and about half a team just weeks before the season started. Yet both of these Managers, who most supporters would probably class as failures, have at least the same, if not better, records than our current Boss. The last thing I’ll look at is the amount of time previous Managers were given. I think the comparison with Gary McAllister is a fair one. Macca had roughly 11 months in charge, almost exactly where Warnock sits right now. We played far more attractive football under Macca, and won more games. Kevin Blackwell lasted just over 2 years, and Simon Grayson just over 3. Blackwell took us to a play-off final, and Grayson got us promoted. They were the last 3 Managers to be sacked by Leeds United. Whichever way you dress it up, Neil Warnock is not“doing a great job”. Not by any stretch of the imagination. Should he be allowed to continue? Managers with better records were not, and that’s not even taking into consideration his planned retirement at the end of this season. GFH have a decision to make, and it’s one that needs to be made soon. Either back Warnock with cash right now, or replace him. One thing is for sure, when only Peter Reid has a worse win ratio than you in recent Leeds United history, you might want to save the self publicising sound. Win Records for Leeds managers in last 20 years – Don Revie 53%, Simon Grayson 50%, Gary McAllister50%, David O’Leary 50%, Denis Wise 44%, Howard Wilkinson43%, Billy Bremner 41%,George Graham 39%, Kevin Blackwell 38%, Neil Warnock38%. Peter Reid 27%.

Sun 13th. Of January 2013.  Lash for cash Lorimer “wrote” this article for the YEP on Thursday, 10th of January. The idiot who told Simon Grayson that he “should sell Luciano Becchio” got it arse ways again. This is what he had to day : “Time to repair the Oakwell horror – By Peter Lorimer. Leeds United’s supporters are owed a performance and a result at Barnsley on Saturday.I’ve watched hundreds of the club’s matches over many years and I’m quite prepared to say that last season’s display at Oakwell was the worst I’ve ever seen from a Leeds team. We’re a proud club and the way we folded down there was appalling – an embarrassment for all of us. The team showed no fight, no spirit, no quality and no desire to save face. I can’t remember being so angry and I can only guess how it felt to those fans who paid to make the trip.It’s one of the few occasions when I’ve seen a side booed off at half-time and booed off again at the final whistle. Normally when you’re in the dressing room after a bad first half, you hear the noise around you and you realise that a reaction is needed. Sometimes it’s too late to avert a defeat but it’s never too late to restore a bit of pride. The one thing you never do is throw in the towel. A couple of supporters said to me recently that our defeat to Hull City last month was our worst since Barnsley away. I can’t deny that Leeds were outclassed by Hull, but to me it bore no resemblance to the 4-1 loss at Oakwell………..So when we return to Oakwell for the first time since that horrible day in 2011, the least we’ll be looking for is honest endeavour and I know we’ll get it. But to look at the Championship table, the game is much bigger than that. It’s a huge opportunity against a side who are bottom of the Championship table. Barnsley can’t buy a league win at the moment and they’ve got a massive fight on their hands to stay in the division. Guess what, Lash, yesterday  we were booed off at half time and booed off at the end also. Those present said the performance was “Worse than the previous visits to Oakwell” if that were humanly possible. Write that down next Thursday, you parasite. He goes on to say the following : I’m not for one moment suggesting that they’ll be a walkover but these are moments when ambitious teams have to take advantage. The same is true of our home game against Bristol City on January 19. You don’t turn up expecting to win these fixtures but you turn up and play in a way which earns you the win – high-tempo, dominant football which puts an already under-pressure side under even more. If we take six points from these two games then I honestly believe we’ll be set up for the rest of the season. We’d almost certainly be in the top six and that would motivate everyone at Leeds – the players, the management and the crowd. You’d feel the buzz around the place increase dramatically and for the first time in a long time you’d have that pleasing thought at the back of your mind – a top-six finish is genuinely in our hands. We have no more a chance of finishing in the top six under Warnock than the man on the moon. So when Warnock does vacate the premises, piss off with him you parasite.

Sun Jan 13th 2013. The Scratching Shed. I couldn’t put this any better myself so read on …A heartfelt letter posted on the Leeds United forum WACCOE last night struck so many of the right chords with me, I decided to republish it here. Many thanks to WACCOE user Lebowski for allowing us to do so. I have recently reached the age of 51, I have been watching Leeds United for well over 40 of those years, I am young at heart, fit for my age. However, standing there at Oakwell today with almost 5,000 fellow sufferers watching that pathetic display made me feel every minute of my age. During the time I have watched Leeds I have been extremely lucky to see them win the FA cup at Wembley, be the Champions of England on more than one occasion and buccaneer their way through numerous European campaigns. I was there when we lost to Sunderland in ’73 (My home town at the time, hard to survive that as a LUFC fan) I was there when we lost to Valencia to a Mendietta inspired team, there when we were relegated at West Brom, there when we were relegated at Bolton, there when we went down to the third division at home against Ipswich… the point is, I have seen both Great and Dark days as a Leeds fan and learned to live with both, I have learned to roll with the punches. I have had a season ticket at Elland Road since 1989, before that you just paid your money into the Kop and turned up every week, no season ticket required. I have loved this football club sometimes to the detriment of my career and health. Away game midweek ? **** it I’m going , I’ll catch up on the sleep later. No train back ? **** it I’ll sleep on the station. Whatever it took I would justify it to myself and still go, distance, time, cost, no object. My childhood memories are of me and my late Father enjoying wonderful times watching a wonderful football team. Billy Bremner my hero. I don’t regret a minute of it. And you know what ? I am absolutely one of a huge amount of people who could say exactly the same thing. That is what is so great about our club, people love to knock us, but they would love to be like us and have what we have. But they never will. How many football clubs could command a following like ours ? After so many kicks in the balls ? After so many false dawns ? After so many disappointments ? After so many insults from within and without ? Very, very few. Leeds United truly are one of the few sleeping giants left in world football, our potential has remained untapped due only to a lack of people with integrity, vision and ambition at the top. Leeds United could be one of the major players in Europe, and no I am not deluded, its a fact. When Neil Warnock was appointed manager of our club I was convinced that such an appointment was a step in the right direction , if only because I believed that investment in the team must surely follow. My logic being that why on earth was he going to come otherwise ? Lets face it, it hasn’t worked out, I sympathise with the fact that Neil wasn’t backed like he was led to believe he would be, unfair in anyones book. I listened when Neil said that, at the back end of last season when we were cannon fodder to the mediocre, we weren’t his side, when we got to next season we would see his side, a team to be proud of, never again would we be there for the taking like that rabble, oh No! So, once again this summer the venerable Shaun Harvey presided over yet another disastrous transfer window (we have yet to experience any other type with Shaun in the mix. Lets not mention contract renewals either) you had to sympathise with Neil again, it looked like he had been led up the the garden path, only to meet the ghostly apparition of cigar smoking Jimmy Saville brandishing a big jar of Vaseline. Jingle Jangle. Players like White and McCormack, who he had publicly deemed surplus to requirements, were suddenly talked up as key players in the Warnock Leeds United. Sympathy existed in abundance for Neil, until he stated that he was quite happy with what he had… this was his team. Then we lost 6-1 at home to the mighty Watford and we needed reinforcements, he couldn’t wait for January to arrive, we’d see a new Leeds United, you wait and see. Neil, its January, You have provided a team lacking in pace, power, youth, vibrance, determination, ability, charisma or, not to put too fine a point on it, any form of organisation or a plan. Your selection of Lee Peltier, amongst others, first as a footballer and secondly as a captain has been a cataclysmic error which you have stubbornly compounded by persevering with him. Mine is no knee jerk reaction, YOUR Leeds United has been routinely outplayed by almost every opponent in a division which is generally accepted to be, a poor level of football. Whilst your assistant is touting our best players to the highest bidder you are deflecting attention from yourself by blaming referees and telling us that Becchio’s head is being turned. Neil, its supposed to be your job to unturn it, you and your assistants. Instead we get negativity and double talk, Snake Oil !! The performance today was unacceptable. Just like last season at Barnsley, at least Simon Grayson had the good grace to admit it. When you were walking off the pitch today, no, you didn’t imagine it, those boos were for you. It takes a spectacular failure to turn these fans against you and you have achieved it. From this little corner of Garforth the message is… Neil, thanks, but it is time to go. To Mr Patel and Mr Haigh our club needs a top calibre manager who is capable of a root and branch assessment of our club, someone with a long term plan, which incorporates a vibrant academy and a strong scouting system , not just relying on Ken Bates mate Mr Williams. GFHC, forget this season, plan for the future, starting today. MOT.

Sat Jan 12thTime to go for Neil Warnock? – The Scratching Shed. “What the —- is going on?” asked 4,700 Leeds United fans as another lacklustre display saw The Whites succumb to a 2-0 defeat away to bottom of the Championship, Barnsley.While the result was slightly less embarrassing than previous trips to Oakwell, the performance wasn’t. “The worst game I’ve seen in 30 years following this club home and away, Warnock has completely lost the plot” commented one regular as he made his way to the exit with 10 minutes left on the clock. No doubt a knee-jerk response to the dismal performance we’d just witnessed, but his reaction was nonetheless justified. Moaning fans are commonplace in football, it doesn’t matter how good a team has it there’ll always be someone objecting to something. But the complaints and criticisms of Neil Warnock’s management style have spread in recent weeks to what seems like a clear of majority of supporters demanding a change in management. While the number of people calling for Warnock’s head rises, the complaints remain constant; Hoofball – Never has a team been less suited to the direct approach Warnock plays. A midfield featuring the likes of Paul Green, David Norris, Sam Byram, Michael Tonge and now Ross Barkley are completely bypassed by hoofed clearances from defence, clearances which more often than not return possession to the opposition. Players played out of position – Let’s be honest here, Lee Peltier is no more a left-back than I am an astronaut, and why on earth is Ross McCormack not utilised as the outstanding Championship centre-forward he clearly is? The contract situation – The uncertainty surrounding Neil Warnock’s future must surely be an issue for players? For all they know, Neil Warnock could walk away at the end of the season and be replaced by a new manager who doesn’t consider them to be part of his plans. Especially those Warnock has brought with him from previous clubs. Strongest XI – Half a dozen changes per match has fans totally confused as to who our strongest starting XI is, but more worrying is that Neil Warnock doesn’t seem to have any idea either. Far worse than the commonly cited criticisms listed above however, is that Neil Warnock seems oblivious to the fact we have problems. There’s always someone else to blame, whether it be individual players (not Michael Brown though) or the referee (who was apparently at fault for Leeds not turning up today), there’s never once been an acknowledgement that the manager himself got it wrong. And he has got it wrong. Many times. Today for example he got the half-time team talk very wrong. I don’t know what he said but when Leeds United’s players exited the field to a chorus of boos from the travelling support, it shouldn’t have been difficult to inspire a better second half performance. In the five years this site has existed and all the time I’ve supported this club, not once have I called for the manager’s head. But I don’t see a way out of this for Warnock. The performances have been poor all season and the same problems persist, there has been no improvement whatsoever – if anything, things have got worse. Today was the worst performance of the season, but it’s beat off some strong competition for that “honour”. But the reasons Warnock must go now aren’t limited to the poor performances we’ve witnessed this season, GFH have to consider the longer term future of this club. Why give money to a manager whose commitment doesn’t extend beyond the next five months? Why give him money to recruit players our next manager might not consider part of his plans? It’s wasteful, it doesn’t make any sense. Not when you consider our only hope of reaching the play-offs is a miracle of biblical proportions. The sensible thing to do here is replace the manager and start building for a serious push with someone committed to Leeds United. I can’t beging to tell you how much I agree with all of this.

Jan 12thWarnock under fire – YEP. UNDER-FIRE Leeds United boss Neil Warnock mounted a defiant defence of his Elland Road tenure after receiving a volley of criticism from disgruntled travelling fans after the Whites’ slumped to a 2-0 loss at Barnsley. Warnock was left with the chants of ‘Warnock, time to go’ ringing in his ears from the furious near 5,000-strong visiting contingent after United became the first side to lose at Oakwell in the league since September 1. It was United’s fourth away reverse in a row – and fourth successive poor performance with supporters making their feelings known in no uncertain terms at the end. Leeds have lost 5-2, 4-1 and 2-0 on their last three visits to Barnsley – albeit two of them under Simon Grayson – and ensured another day to well and truly forget at Oakwell. Warnock tried to placate fans by bringing a laptop to his post-match press conference and showing an incident he thought should have earned Barnsley’s Stephen Dawson a red card – a foul on Ross McCormack – but did admit his men were not up to the job. “We were very poor in the first half and if I had have been one of the 5,000, I might have said what they were,” Warnock conceded.“I thought we had some great chances at the start of the second half and then there was a horrendous tackle from (Stephen) Dawson. How that’s not a red card I don’t know.” Warnock fought back against the crowd’s claims he should go, however, insisting he was doing the best he could.  He added: “You can’t blame the fans… they pay their money. “But I think I’m doing a great job if I’m honest and with one or two additions that I’ve got lined up… I understand their disappointment, but we know we need to strengthen.” Warnock also issued a warning note to Leeds’ fans about the future of 19-goal striker Luciano Becchio. His assistant, Mick Jones, last week said he expected bids to arrive for the Argentinean and Warnock said: “His head wasn’t right and that’s why the transfer window is such a nightmare for managers. I’ll be having a word with him.”

Jan 12th Right in the Gary Kellys. With chants of “Warnock, time to go” ringing round the Leeds end, and Eddie Gray using the phrase “about as bad as it gets” (and that was only at half time!), it can only be our customary defeat at Oakwell. Whilst the cries will almost inevitably be for GFH to splash the cash before the end of January, perhaps we should be looking at our Manager instead. Lets get this straight, we’ve just been out fought, and out thought, by Barnsley. A team who are bottom of the league, and currently without a Manager. Leeds fans would be within their rights to question a performance of this ineptitude against one of the top sides in the division, but against the bottom? The team selection for this game, and lets face it, a lot of games recently, was all wrong. Why, why, why are we persisting with Lee Peltier at left back? The only possible reason I can offer is that having made him captain, Warnock feels he has to pick him. Byram is a better right back than him, so he crowbars him in at left back, and pretty much ignores Adam Drury, who, lets not forget, was actually playing regularly at left back in the Premier League last season! Moving inside, how can Warnock justify leaving Tom Lees on the bench? He’s a better defender than either Pearce or Tate. Give me a couple of weeks training and I’d probably be a better defender than Tate…In midfield, I have no idea what’s happened to Rodolph Austin. Indestructible earlier in the season, he now seems incapable of finding a white shirt. Whether over used, or brought back too early, we seem to have broken him. David Norris seems to fall into the bracket of having one decent game followed by five poor games. A bit like Jonny Howson used to be, just without the goals, skill, or Leeds roots. Michael Tonge and Paul Green are slightly better, they seem to at least have one decent game in three. I’m not even going to mention Luke Varney or Aidy White, neither of them should be anywhere near a Leeds United shirt. Up front is the only area I feel any sympathy for the players. Becchio is having a fantastic season, and McCormack, with the right service, is a quality player. Diouf has shown his quality in his time with us, but is also capable of going missing. Throw all this together, and what have you got? A back four that, for all the talk of improving a defence that leaked goals alarmingly under Grayson, really hasn’t improved. Playing players out of position, and picking loan players who are going through the motions is clearly not the answer. Paddy Kisnorbo may not be the player he was, but he would wear his heart on his sleeve, and would at least rally the back four! A midfield that might put in a half decent performance for one game out of every three. The only chink of light in that area is Ross Barkley, and he could foreseeably be gone in 4 weeks. There’s no skill, no width and no pace. If you’re missing that, hard work MIGHT get you out of trouble, at the moment we don’t even have that. The forwards, as I touched on before, have my sympathy. Lionel Messi would struggle to score if he played in front of our midfield.  So where do we go from here? It seems inconceivable that GFH will let Warnock throw millions around at this point. Salem Patel spoke of the difficulty in doing business in January when the takeover was completed. If GFH are looking towards the summer to invest in the team, is it time to look at the Managers position long term? Neil Warnock has not committed to anything beyond the end of the season, so should GFH be looking at hitting him with an ultimatum? Commit beyond the end of this season, and we will make funds available. If not, a parting of the ways now might make more sense. It would give a prospective new Manager the rest of this season to assess where things are going wrong, and rebuild for another crack next season. If we go down that route though it HAS to be a long term appointment, a young a Manager with fresh ideas and a different footballing philosophy. We cannot afford another short term fix, or we will be having the same  POSTS.MICHAEL SEREDYCZ :” Warnock HAS TO GO,BUYING OLD MEN,WE’LL GO NOWHERE,BYE BYE NEIL. If the performances continue to be as that bad the owners would have no option. NW will never pull this round. This team plays without heart or direction and is worse than we were 12 months ago”. Ciaran muldoonShame . Having heard all the transfer roumors and with the takeover I booked my flight from Ireland to see the bristol city game . Thinking I’d see the new mega bucks team with perhaps gradel and. Beckford back Or at least wood from WBA . How silly of me .  On paper our players are probably better than last year, but they cannot play ‘hoofball’. Just now, we have sunk from terrible to dreadful. Although we are 11th we are the worst ‘football’ team in the league. Marlon Harewood played like Messi, against our defence. I would play Drury or White at left back, with Tom Lees and Lee Peltier in the middle and Sam at right back”. Mike. “Neil Warnock has under-estimated the requirements – he has made his job all the more harder with last seasons capitualtion and his comment ‘ you won’t see a team of mine play like that again’(NF 3.7) (let me tell you Neil sitting in the Kop every week I am seeing worse)- Lets face it on paper this team is where we expected it to be, however its reasonable to expect value for money and thats not being had)- I am not a manager but v Hull the other week, everyone new as soon as the team was announced that we would lose (no strikers and 5 defenders and you expect to get points) -that was bad enough but today shows that the plot has been lost with no sign of improvement – We now have the chance to get rid while there is the possibility of a playoff place – I wanted Warnock in myself but clearly its one job too many for him, this is Leeds United Football club what the f*** is going on. GFH – Who runs this club -why is BATES still in the programme, if its GFH’s club – why are the BBC still banned from press conferences. GFH – try something differant – apologise to the Season Ticket Holders for the absolute drivel we have been watching….. gives 50% off next seasons ticket – bring in a dad and a lad ticket for £15 a family of four for £25 – why is it so difficult – the one thing any manager any player and in fact the 11400 fans v Birmingham want to see is a full Elland Road….. should that not be the starting point…….. get the fans back onside…… get rid of BATES and lets start again – No one in their right mind would spend £30 on a ticket to watch what is currently been served up. GFH – Its appreciated that you can not resolve everything in a month – but its time to dangle the carrot before you lose the fans – A generation of potentially new and young Leeds supporters have just about been lost in the last 8 years. GFH – Again this is Leeds United Football club – you took on the commitment and now its time to show what you can do. BATES OUT – WARNOCK OUT – GORDON STRACHEN AND EDDIE GREY IN – PRICES DOWN -FANS BACK”. Waltherwhite. 5000 fans at the game let Warnock know how they feel, every phone comment on YR was the same, every comment on waccoe are all saying you’ve lost the fans. Time to do the right thing you said if you lost the fans you’d go..you have your answer…Maniac. “Bring back Mc Allister and give him a decent budget. We need to get back to playing football. “what is a team, it is a group of people who have the skill, confidence and know how, who work together to achieve an objective. I am not going to go into that shit about the sum greater than the parts and management speak – But, are Bates, Harvey, Haigh, Patel, Warnock and Jones a team. Warnock had proved himself before, so where is it all going wrong?? David Haigh, it is time for the management of the club to take this on board. Do you have a decent team, do you work together, can you achieve your objectives. On this evidence the answer is NO, so what are you going to do about it??”andy smith. “totally agree we need somebody who plays football and give them a decent length contract and the backing to take this club forward just look at swansea norwich and wigan”.Ian Wylie.”The worrying thing for me is that Warnock is now trotting out the same rubbish in post match interviews that Grayson and Blackwell used to spout. Tonight he reckoned we started the second half well, and that a Barnsley player should have been sent off for a challenge on McCormack in the build up to their penalty. He then deflected attention from himself by claiming Becchio’s head wasn’t in the game. As others have said, he promised we would never see a performance like the Forest debacle again. Having been there that night, I actually think some of this seasons performances have been worse! louthwhite (yes this is me) ” More excuses from Warnock today. The referee again was at fault. Mind you according to the world Neil lives in, we should have won a few weeks ago at Forest also. Our side has gone backwards since Simon Grayson was sacked. The seven goals conceded at Elland Road at home to Forest last season was “not my team”, quoted Neil. Guess what, the 6-1 hammering at home to Watford was “his team”. He sidestepped questions after the game like Messi because he was too uposet to talk about the match as a result of of Rudy Austin’s injury. Fair enough we’ll move on. Neil said “I’m the only man for this job, if I’m honest”. Wrong ! He is like a dinasour and our long ball tactics are more dangerous to piegons in the area than the opposing goal. Sixteen players have arrived under Neil Warnock and this team under his guidance has absolutely no chance of promotion. He can’t be trusted with any more transfer money to add to the arrivals of Hall, Tonge, left back Peltier, Varney etc etc., Sack him now or better still let him walk because he said he would stay until he lost the fans’ support. I believe he has lost it. Personally, I’d love to see Paul Lambert get the Leeds job, but Villa are still hanging on to him. Failing that, give the job to Sean O’Driscoll for th rest of the season. He knows the division, the football would be better to watch and he would arguably get more out of the current crop of players. GFH, do the right thinb and act now”Right in the Gary Kelly’s. It’s rather like a wall of noise looking at the comments above, not a one asking for patience for Warnock.. The goodwill seems to have evaporated fast. ANd its hard to argue against some of the comments above. Directly comparing 2 of your own players (White & Peltier) seems bizarre, then basically suggesting Becchio is being tapped up – and yet he played him? Well not good. Its been a while since we put in a shift as a unit, and Warnock has some serious questions to answer. Can he turn the ship round – or is it about to crash into an iceberg.” .Right in the Gary Kelly’s @Gordon “Yes GFH do have it all to do, no wonder Bates wanted to sell! but there is surely something positive inasmuch as we do have some quality players in our team now? If only they’d actually play – and yes i suppose the buck there stops with the gaffer – Come on Neil – show us youve still got it mate!” Right in the Gary Kelly’. @Jack “as much as I liked Grayson we need to go to the `next’ level if and when we see Warnock go. We need someone like a 2nd division version of Roy Hodgson, with an eye for a bargain, and who likes playing football – on the park! Grayson was good but he kind of had a blind spot – defence – remember!!” Right in the Gary Kelly’s @Maniac – McAllister?“Remember Histon! Though I do agree we need to see some football played as opposed to our current NFL approach of trying to find the wide receiver with long balls from the quarterback (sorry but thats what it looks like)”Peckers “Absolutely spot on report. Our season is over now – so time to start planning now for next season – without Warnock and without Peltier”. KHAN. “Bring in Joe Jordan to the club now – we need his experience and his knowledge of Leeds. Ideally he should come in as a backroom staff member but the way things are going a the moment I for one wouldn’t mind giving him the managers job – he couldn’t do any worse then NW. WARNOCK OUT BEFORE IT GETS ANY WORSE”. Gordon Pinder”GFH, must act Now! Crowds falling, season tickets due soon. Style of play shocking. We leak goals for fun. NW said if crowd are not with me I will GO. Bye Bye then!” Jack “Bring back Simon Grayson, I mean we played our best football since our pl days under him and he has the best win rate since revie! All he needs is backing and time, look at Huddersfield, a midfield full of young talent, young hungry strikers and some reasonable defenders! Give that man some time and money and he’ll build a top rate team”. 

Jan 12th. Barnsley 2-0 Leeds. 01 Kenny, 02 Peltier, 05 Pearce, 15 Tate, 08 Austin, 18 Tonge , 19 Norris (McCormack – 46′ ) 20 Barkley, 25 Byram, 10 Becchio (YC)  21 Diouf (Green – 51′ ) Unused Subs : 12 Ashdown, 04 Lees, 11 Varney, 14 White, 28 Somma . BBC Report.  A second-half brace from striker Chris Dagnall saw managerless Barnsleyshock promotion hopefuls Leeds at Oakwell. A dominant performance from the relegation-threatened hosts was rewarded as Dagnall scored a penalty after he was fouled by Sam Byram. Dagnall continued to torment the young Leeds full-back and Byram was at fault again as the 26-year-old burst past him to fire a low shot past Paddy Kenny. Chants of “Time to go!” were aimed at boss Neil Warnock by angry Leeds fans. BothTerry Butcher and Sean O’Driscoll had turned the vacant Barnsley job down in the last seven days, but this result saw caretaker boss David Flitcroft claim his second successive win. The Tykes began sharply and tested visiting goalkeeper Kenny with a deflected strike from Jim O’Brien within two minutes. This was followed by a penalty shout from Stephen Dawson when he appeared to be fouled by Leeds striker Luciano Becchio. Barnsley continued to pile on the pressure, with Harewood then striking the foot of Kenny’s right-hand post as he cut inside from the left. The start of the second half saw a brief improvement for Leeds as Barkley dragged a 25-yard shot wide, before the Everton loanee then hit the crossbar with a powerful drive from six yards. The momentum soon swung back in Barnsley’s way, however, thanks to Dagnall’s deserved double. The result sees Barnsley move off the foot of the table, while Leeds slip five points behind the final play-off spot. Barnsley caretaker manager David Flitcroft, talking about his future: “I have found out a lot about myself in the last 10 days, it could change the way I look at myself for the rest of my career as when you lead a group and they are all playing for you, it’s different. “If I get sacked, I get sacked, but I’ve been taught well and you don’t walk out on people. I told them [the players] at half-time I was excited about it [the [performance] as we overran and dominated Leeds. “I wanted to spend some time with the players and celebrate with them after the game, especially someone like Chris Dagnall. I worked with him at Rochdale where he got 24 in a season for us and I picked some music and put the goals to it and showed him before kick-off.” Neil Warnock to LUTV : “I was disappointed. We had 5000 fans here today but we weren’t at races. I thought we made good start to second half. Controversial incidents cost us dearly. It’s a red card for Dawson, and they play on get a penalty. In fairness they had a lot of ball in the first half. The refs, they are just not consistent. It’s not a game today for a young ref . They should have been out of sight in first half and we owed it to back lads who kept us in it. If one of the opportunities  had gone in for us in the second half. Sam had a rash challenge. They took the second goal and we caught caught at the  back.  Luciano Becchio , his mind’s not on the game at the moment. I’ll have to have a word with him about that. (What about Lee Pletier at Left back ?) Lee Peltier at left back.  Drury is in his sick bed. Aidy isn’t better than Peltier and I’m happier to have him if I’m honest . (re transfers) ) We have given them targets and we need to get them over the line and hopefully we can get them  over the line. I understand the fans direct frustration.  I’d have joined them if I’d paid good money.  The pen disappointed me. We have no time to dwell on it. It’s down  Birmingham to get into next round”.

Sat  Jan12th 2012. Leeds and QPR chase Habibou.  Waregem striker Habib Habibou is being linked with Queens Park Rangers and Leeds, and he admits to being in talks with an English club. Sky Sports revealed on Friday that the 25-year-old frontman has spent time training with each club, and caught the eye at Loftus Road and at Elland Road. Habibou is eager to test himself in England, and at the highest possible level. The African ace is keeping his cards close to his chest when it comes to where he might end up, but concedes that a deal could soon be put in place. No move is expected to be made during the January transfer window, but a pre-contract agreement is likely to be put in place. “I am talking with a club in England but nothing is decided yet,” said Habibou. “I am still open to discussion. “I would love to play in England and my first choice is to move to England.”

Sat Oct 12th. Every players has a price – Hay YEP. The point of the buy-out clause in Lionel Messi’s contract was to put him beyond the spending power of every club on the planet. Then Anzhi Makhachkala met the asking price of £205million and Barcelona discovered the universal truth that someone, somewhere is always willing to pay. As Leeds United’s assistant manager conceded last weekend there are teams in the market who would take Luciano Becchio and Sam Byram at the right price. In the case of Byram there are teams who would take him now if Leeds named the fee. Mick Jones risked starting the auction by discussing their saleability so freely but it is better to be honest than delusional. “If you’ve got good players, everyone else wants them,” he said. Don’t United know it. Only one thing is more concerning than the suggestion that Leeds might be compelled to sell their more valuable assets – the unequivocal promise that they will not. Jermaine Beckford is a unique figure in the post-administration years at Elland Road is so far as the club had a glaring opportunity to sell him and chose to leave the money alone. No other player in that period was retained at all costs; not Fabian Delph, Jonathan Howson, Max Gradel or Robert Snodgrass. In at least three of those examples, the players were as enthusiastic about leaving Leeds as the club were to see them go but that collections of names represents a litany of talent sold. The legacy is a recurring theme during each and every transfer window: the pensive wait to see who will be next. In the event that the list increases this month, we know where Jones’ money lies. His manager, Neil Warnock, seems altogether less concerned. He claims to have been promised two things by the representatives of United’s new owner, GFH Capital: firstly, that there is no need to sell players or balance the club’s books and secondly, that the decision on which bids to accept and which to ignore will be left to him. It would do little for the popularity of GFH Capital if the firm was twisting Warnock’s arm at the first opportunity but guarantees of that nature are not cast-iron. As the sale of Snodgrass demonstrated, not-for-sale signs come with a caveat – an admission that certain offers are too good to refuse and players who want to be sold generally are. Under new ownership, the retention of Becchio and Byram this month should depend less on money than it does on the contentment and attitude of those two players. The majority of United’s supporters know the game and understand the philosophy of the transfer market. They realise that players come and go and they appreciate the disparity of financial incentives in the Championship and the Premier League. After almost 10 years in the Football League, most can see that the voices telling professionals to sit tight and win promotion at Elland Road are asking them to close their eyes to the past decade. Under the previous regime at Elland Road, Leeds were no more likely to gatecrash the Premier League than the average Championship club. Howson and Snodgrass in particular reached that conclusion themselves. It is not the sale of players per se which has caused so much gnashing of teeth at Elland Road. Football as it is, it stands to reason that Leeds should by vulnerable to offers from clubs with more money than them. The irritation has been United’s failure to make much of the money earned from outgoing transfers or to adequately fill the wholes they created. Many of the departures felt like collateral damage amid a lack of ambition. That trend extends far beyond 2007, back to the transfers of Jonathan Woodgate and Rio Ferdinand, but between Delph, Howson, Gradel and Snodgrass, Leeds pulled in more than £10million in cash. They were never replaced by permanent, like-for-like signings and in three of the last five financial years, transfer fees were needed to avert annual financial losses at Elland Road. This might be an era of prudence but clubs on United’s scale are pushing their luck by asking supporters to accept a steady balance sheet as a good exchange for high-calibre footballers. Promotion from League One not withstanding, United’s evolution on the pitch has been painfully slow since 2007. The effect can be seen in Elland Road’s stands every fortnight. Outgoing transfers have held Leeds back, largely because of the club’s response to them. GFH Capital must have enough knowledge of football to accept that no player is priceless.There are some who you would rather not sell and the thought of this Leeds team without Becchio and Byram induces a shudder but the transfer market is what it is; an arena where the richest thrive and bully the rest. It is cheap to criticise Leeds for the talent they lost but fair to take issue with the way in which that talent was replaced. Everyone concedes that from time to time, clubs will give in and take the money. The bone of contention is what they do with that cash. It would be far better for Leeds if short shrift was given to any approaches for Becchio or Byram. It would be wholly unforgivable if either player moved on without a contingency plan in place.

Sat 12th of Jan. Snodin hails Everton young gun – YEP. Former Leeds United captain Ian Snodin claimed the club had landed an “exceptional talent” after signing England Under-21 international Ross Barkley on a month’s loan from Everton. Barkley has joined Leeds on an initial deal until February 12 and Snodin, the ex-United and Everton midfielder, said manager Neil Warnock was in possession of the leading light among Everton’s teenage prospects. Nineteen-year-old Barkley, who completed a loan at Sheffield Wednesday earlier this season and played against Leeds during the infamous derby between the clubs on October 19, has represented England at every youth-team level and Snodin tipped him to win a full cap before the age of 21. The midfielder went straight into United’s squad for today’s clash at Barnsley and his arrival took United’s January deals to four following the signing of Ryan Hall and Michael Tonge and the extension of Alan Tate’s loan from Swansea City. Snodin, who works in sports management and retains close ties to Goodison Park, told the YEP: “This lad is an exceptional talent. “He’s as good a prospect as Everton have got, without a shadow of a doubt. “I’ve know him since he was 15 and I was at Everton’s training ground yesterday morning so I got a chance to speak to him before he went to Leeds. I told him he was joining a fabulous club and I told him to make the most of it .In all honestly, I’m a bit surprised that he’s not played more for Everton this season but when you’ve got (Leon) Osman and (Marouane) Fellaini in front of you, there’s not a lot you can do.“He’ll be a big hit at Leeds and he’s so good that I expect him to play for England before he’s 21. I can’t say much more than that.Warnock said: “He had four other clubs after him so I’m delighted he’s come to us.”

Byram in action against another top teenager, Barkley

Fri Jan 11thCan LUFC bank on Barkley?: A Sheffield Wednesday Perspective from “Fear and Loathing at LS11”.  Ken DeMange• So what can we expect from the Leeds United new boy? Sheffield Wednesday fan Laura Jones, shares her thoughts on the latest addition to the Elland Road squad, based on his performances during a loan spell earlier in the season with the Owls…“He’s the new Paul Gascoigne”, a BBC commentator raved as Ross Barkley slotted home his second goal of the game against Ipswich Town for Sheffield Wednesday. Don’t let this mislead you Barkley isn’t going to turn up to Elland Road with a Family Bucket of KFC and a four pack for you all. The commentator was talking about his ease and confidence on the ball. However it did take him weeks to show his potential, certainly longer than his ‘initial’ month’s loan. The Everton loanee came to Hillsborough on an initial month-long deal and his contract was extended on a week-by-week basis because the Toffee’s were reluctant to let him sign for longer. Barkley is very highly regarded by David Moyes and his development is seen very much like that of Leon Osman, with the expectation is he’ll be playing Premier League football in the very near future. So what kind of player is Ross Barkley? He’s a creative midfielder who likes to play through the centre. He has decent pace and the ability to utilise a bit of feet trickery. For his age he has a striking natural style and looks graceful going forward. As a creative midfielder he also knows where the net is, depressingly more than some of our current strikers. There are also negatives – Barkley is also lightweight in the tackle and can be overcome by a slight breeze at times. He also disappears from matches. There can be long periods of games where you will wonder where he’s gone. To me he’s more Steve McManaman than Paul Gascoigne.The big problem for Sheffield Wednesday was that Dave Jones (yes I know he’s a swear word in your language but I have to use his name), modified the team to fit around the young midfielder. Regularly playing a 4-5-1 formation to cope with his roaming creativity meant that we were left without essential strikers from a traditional 4-4-2 formation. I understand that it was a condition of Barkley’s loan that he would be played if he was capable, which in the early days of his loan when he was yet to find his feet annoyed a lot of Wednesday fans as he had ousted another decent signing Rhys McCabe in order to accommodate him.Ross played 13 times for The Owls and scored four goals, the pinnacle of his Wednesday career being the 3-0 win over Ipswich Town. It was a very impressive performance but there has to be a caveat placed on this performance regarding Ipswich’s ineptitude at that time. The telling point is that Sheffield Wednesday have gained more points without Barkley in the team than with him. (13 games with Barkley 8 points, 13 games without Barkley 17 points) As a team in the relegation places he is a luxury The Owls could ill afford.Barkley was recalled to Everton after Phil Neville was ruled out due to knee surgery. Don’t expect to keep Ross at Leeds United, give him time to settle in and enjoy him whilst he’s with you and wish him luck for the future when he leaves. Whether he’s what you need right now only time will tell. 

Barkley on loan from Everton

Fri Jan 11thLeeds sign Everton teenager on one month loan. Everton teenager Ross Barkley hastravelled across the Pennines to join Championship club Leeds United. The midfielder will stay at Elland Road for one month in the hope of securing a run of first-team football. The 19-year-old has already had a loan spell atSheffield Wednesdayhttp:/static.lingospot.com/spot/image/spacer.gif this season, playing 13 times and scoring four goals. Barkley has made just two appearances for the Toffees this current campaign both as a second half substitute. Warnock insists Barkley, who he has wanted to bring to the Whites for some time, had options away from Elland Road. “I’m absolutely delighted to get Ross and I’d like to welcome him to the club,” Warnock told the club’s official website. “He had four other clubs after him so I’m delighted he’s come to us. “I’ve wanted to sign him for a long time now, I remember watching him when he played for Everton against QPR in the Premier League. “He’s got a great attitude and I have no doubt that he will end up a top player. The deal works well for both parties as he will gain experience here and he is a great addition to our squad.”  Barkley could make his Leeds debut in Saturday’s local derby against Barnsleyhttp:/static.lingospot.com/spot/image/spacer.gif at Oakwell.

Fri Jan 11th. Connolly and Pugh next to leave ? YEP. Leeds United have received approaches for Danny Pugh and Paul Connolly after ruling them surplus to requirements at Elland Road. The Championship club are looking to move Pugh and Connolly on this month with neither player featuring in the plans of manager Neil Warnock. Right-back Connolly has been on the transfer list at Elland Road since the end of last season and his only appearances this term came during a short loan at Portsmouth. Pugh, meanwhile, has played six times for United since August but last appeared on the bench in mid November. He was transfer-listed by Leeds toward the end of the summer transfer window but failed to attract any firm interest. The 30-year-old is 12 months into the two-and-a-half year deal he signed upon joining Leeds from Stoke City in a £500,000 move but United are ready to sanction the departure of one of their higher earners. Warnock said: “We’ve had one or two enquiries about Danny and he’s considering them. He’d like to stay in the Championship if he can. “We’ve also got one or two enquiries for Connolly and one or two of the younger lads as well.” Connolly is nearing the end of a three-year contract and has not been involved with United’s senior squad at any stage of this season. The list of available players at Leeds is unlikely to stop at Pugh and Connolly, with American winger Robbie Rogers also on the fringes of their plans after a recent loan at Stevenage Borough. Warnock, who allowed defender Patrick Kisnorbo to join Ipswich Town on a temporary basis last week, said: “If and when we sign players there might be others who’ll be available then but aren’t available at the moment.”

Fri Jan 9thWarnock and board forced to re-evaluate January transfer strategy. By Phil Hay. Neil Warnock and Leeds United’s board were re-evaluating their January transfer strategy today after reaching dead-ends with a spate of approaches for potential signings. Warnock was due to meet chief executive Shaun Harvey this afternoon to discuss the club’s next move following “seven or eight” unsuccessful enquiries for players on their list of targets. Leeds completed their second permanent signing of the January window yesterday when midfielder Michael Tonge moved to Elland Road from Stoke City on a two-and-a-half year deal but Warnock admitted to a feeling of urgency after failing to make more progress in the first 10 days of the month. Tonge’s arrival was widely expected on the back of his recent loan with Leeds, and a £150,000 deal for Ryan Hall – completed on January 1 – was initially agreed with Hall came to Yorkshire on a temporary basis from Southend United in October. Warnock has listed a new striker as one of his priorities this month, with Nottingham Forest’s Dexter Blackstock among the options initially identified, and he was promised financial support in the window by GFH Capital, the firm which bought United from chairman Ken Bates three weeks ago. But Warnock said: “I’ve already spoken about seven or eight players and quite honestly they’re not for sale, no matter agents telling me that they’re all available. “The agents are saying ‘he’s available, he’ll cost you this’ yet when I go and speak to the managers, none of them are available – seven or eight players on my list and not one of them’s available. The clubs won’t let any of them go. That shows you how difficult it’s going to be.“We’re having a meeting(today) specifically to go over one or two things. That’s the way forward. We’ve got to come up with people who are available or who we can get with a transfer fee. The meeting was planned a week ago and we’re trying to push on with our targets now and see if we can get some over the line. “I’ve spoken to Premier League managers and one in the Championship. Sometimes it’s like a domino effect. I had one who said they might consider the striker I was after but not until they got someone in to replace him. They weren’t doing very well on that front. “I’m waking up in the morning and thinking about it and last thing at night as well before I go to bed. The transfer window’s a nightmare for managers.”Asked if he felt that his dealings were in hand, Warnock said:“Not really. I’m not saying the players I spoke about were our number-one targets but they were on our list and we’ve crossed them off now.“You have agents ringing you all the time but you really have to go to the top and ask the managers. Because as I’ve found out already, the players who are supposed to be available aren’t available.” United’s deal with Tonge, however, came in time for the midfielder to return to their squad for tomorrow’s Yorkshire derby at Barnsley. Leeds have paid a nominal, undisclosed fee to Stoke City for a player who made 22 consecutive appearances after moving to Elland Road on an emergency loan in September. Warnock said: “He’s good on the ball and he gives us options down the left-hand side too. “From his performances I think people can see why I signed him in the first place and why I wanted to bring him back.”

Tonge signs on a pemanent basis from Stoke City – Personally I think we can do a lot better than him

Jan 10thTonge becomes permanent signing number two In January. Leeds United havecompleted the permanent signing of midfielder Michael Tonge from Stoke City for an undisclosed fee. The 29-year-old, who spent three months on loan at Elland Road at the end of last year, has signed a two-and-a-half year contract. Manager Neil Warnock, who was in charge of Tonge during their time together at Sheffield United, sees the experienced Mancunian as having a pivotal role to play during the second half of the season as Leeds look to mount a promotion challenge.“Tongey showed what an important member of the squad he is,”Warnock told the club’s official website. “I’m delighted we’ve been able to agree things with Stoke to bring him here permanently. “I think people saw Michael get better as time went on and you could see what he brought to the side.” Tonge made 22 appearances for Leeds between September and December and scored five goals, including stunning strikes at both Bristol City and Sheffield Wednesday. He made over 260 appearances for Sheffield United before a reported £2million fee took him to Stoke in the summer of 2008, but he struggled to establish himself as a first-team regular at the Britannia Stadium and had loan spells at Preston (twice), Derby and Barnsley before teaming back up with Warnock at Elland Road.

Jan 10th. I will stay if any players leave – Warnock- (YEP) Neil Warnock insisted today that he would be given final say on offers for any of Leeds United’s players as he responded to fears of imminent bids for Luciano Becchio and Sam Byram. Warnock said he had received no approaches for leading members of his squad since the start of the January transfer window and claimed consideration of inquiries was“entirely down to me” amid suggestions that clubs are ready to move in for two of United’s more valuable players. Leeds assistant manager Mick Jones admitted on Saturday that he was expecting intense interest in Becchio and Byram after Becchio claimed his 19th goal of the season and Byram came off the bench to help to force a 1-1 draw in a FA Cup third-round tie against Birmingham City. Both players are contracted beyond this season – Becchio’s deal runs until June 2014 and 19-year-old Byram signed an extended three-year contract in August – but their respective form has convinced Jones that offers will be made for the pair before January ends. Becchio’s strike rate of 19 goals in 29 appearances is likely to have caught the eye of teams at the lower end of the Premier League and England’s top division is presently awash with managers in the market for new right-backs.Several have sent scouts to monitor Byram’s performances in his first season as a professional but a prominent agent spoken to by the YEP said United’s high valuation of academy products was likely to dissuade certain clubs from targeting the teenager. Warnock admitted that speculation was “inevitable” but said Leeds’ new owners, GFH Capital, had promised to leave a decision on incoming offers to him. “We’re focused on players coming in, not players going out,” Warnock said. “I can’t stop speculation and I’m seeing plenty of it but the new owners have been very clear with me – nobody will be going from here unless I say so. They’ve given me complete control over that and the decision on any offers we get is entirely down to me. I know where I stand and we haven’t had any offers anyway.I said before the window opened that we need to build on what’s here and that’s the priority for me and the owners.” The takeover of United by GFH Capital went through 10 days before the start of the transfer window but the Dubai-based firm’s promise of funding for Warnock was tempered by a warning that it would not invest “crazy money” in the squad. The club’s dealings so far have been unspectacular, consisting of the £150,000 purchase of Ryan Hall – a deal arranged when the winger initially joined Leeds on loan from Southend United – and an extension of Alan Tate’s loan until the last weekend of January. Warnock said:“There’s plenty going on but I’m not prepared to say anything until we’ve got players through the door.“We’ve got lists for each position and it’s a case of going through your targets, seeing what’s possible and then trying to get deals over the line. It’s not as easy as saying ‘we want him so let’s get him’. A lot depends on other clubs as much as it does on us.“We’re in good form at the moment and we’re in pretty good shape so we don’t need to be rushing into signing players we don’t really want. But we do have work to do and we’re all getting on with it.”

No fairytale ending at Leeds for Andy Gray

Jan 9th Andy Gray moves top Bradford City. Striker Andy Gray hassigned an 18-month deal with Bradford City after agreeing to end his ill-fated second spell at Leeds United. Gray was released from the remainder of his one-year contract at Elland Road yesterday with his chances under manager Neil Warnock increasingly limited and no prospect of greater involvement in the second half of the season. The former Leeds trainee came back to the club on a free transfer in July, 14 years after ending his first stint at Elland Road, but he failed to establish himself as a prominent member of Warnock’s side. Gray made nine appearances as a substitute – his last in United’s 1-0 win over Bolton Wanderers on New Year’s Day – and a solitary start in the club’s League Cup tie against Oxford United in August. His departure seemed increasingly likely as January approached and he and Leeds settled his contract by mutual consent, allowing Gray to take up a deal at Bradford. Gray said: “I wish Leeds every success and I hope the club win promotion back to the Premier League.”Bradford were one of the teams who attempted to sign Gray in the summer after the 35-year-old parted company with Barnsley.But Gray underwent a trial at Thorp Arch and was reunited with Warnock, a coach who he worked with at Sheffield United, when he signed a 12-month deal. His free transfer to Bradford yesterday came less than 24 hours after City’s dramatic Capital One Cup semi-final first leg win over Aston Villa but Gray’s prior involvement in the competition this season will prevent him from featuring if the Valley Parade reach the final at Wembley. Warnock said: “Andy’s an excellent professional and we wish him well at Bradford.”

No return to Leeds for Thomas

July 9thThomas not coming back – YEP. Jerome Thomas admittedtoday that he had little expectation of returning to Leeds United after vowing to win a new contract at West Bromwich Albion before the end of the season. Thomas poured cold water on talk of another loan move to Elland Road as West Brom faced up to a growing shortage of players in his position. The Premier League club are set to ignore interest in their 29-year-old winger after ruling Zoltan Gera out for the rest of the season with a ruptured cruciate knee ligament, and Thomas said he wanted to remain at The Hawthorns and fight for an extended deal having finished 2012 on loan at Leeds. United signed the former Arsenal trainee on the last day of the emergency loan window and Thomas played six times, scoring once, before his loan expired after their 1-0 win over Bolton Wanderers on New Year’s Day. Thomas missed that game due to a virus but Leeds manager Neil Warnock hoped to bring him back to Elland Road during the January transfer window and named him as a key target in discussions with United’s new owners, GFH Capital. West Brom boss Steve Clarke, however, fielded Thomas in an FA Cup tie against Queens Park Rangers on Saturday – his first appearance of the season for Albion – and Clarke is increasingly reluctant to lose the winger after discovering the severity of Gera’s injury yesterday. Asked if he had hoped to renew his loan at Elland Road, Thomas, whose contract with Albion runs until the summer, said: “It was never an option to extend really. It was just a case of going out and getting some games. I’m fully focused on West Brom, 100 per cent. Whatever interest there is has to go through the right avenues before it comes to me but until I hear anything my focus is on West Brom. I’ve still got another six months on my contract and that’s a chance for me to help the club push on. I’m happy here, I’ve been happy playing here for a few years now and I have no plans to move on. Hopefully I can get something resolved.”Warnock credited Thomas and fellow loan signing Alan Tate, both of whom joined Leeds on November 22, as the inspiration behind United’s run of five wins from six league games prior to Christmas. Tate’s loan from Swansea City has been extended until the end of this month with a view to a deal which runs to the end of the season but Thomas appeared more resistant to the idea of another spell away from West Brom. “Maybe now this is my chance to show the gaffer and the management what I can do,” he said. Warnock initially cast doubt on the likelihood of Thomas’ return on New Year’s Day when he said: “We aren’t too far away but one or two other clubs are sniffing at him.” * Leeds, meanwhile, have extended midfielder Zac Thompson’s loan at League One club Bury until the end of the season. The 20-year-old has been at Gigg Lane on a temporary basis since the middle of October and has played 17 times for a side who are one place above the foot of their division. If he doesn’t want to play for Leeds forget about him. We can do better anyway. No left foot and goes missing in away games.

Jan 7th. Leeds under pressure over coveted Becchio and Byram – YEP. ASSISTANT manager Mick Jones has admitted Leeds United’s biggest fight during the January transfer window will be to hang on to in-demand pair Luciano Becchio and Sam Byram. A host of Premier League scouts have been at Elland Road in recent weeks with Everton and Liverpool both rating Byram very highly. Becchio, meanwhile, is on the radar of Wigan Athletic and Championship outfit Bolton Wanderers after netting 19 goals this term. The striker saved Leeds from exiting the FA Cup third round on Saturday by netting an equaliser in a 1-1 draw with visiting Birmingham City – the winners of the replay a week on Tuesday will host Premier League Tottenham Hotspur in round four. Jones, who along with Ronnie Jepson took control of Saturday’s draw in the absence of unwell manager Neil Warnock, said: “I am more worried about players leaving the club than players coming in. “With the quality players we have got, including Sam, a lot of pressure is being put on us to take these players away. “Luciano, at the moment, is hot property. Common-sense tells you that. I would be worried if certain clubs came in for him, in this country and out of this country. “If they come in, it is going to create a big problem for Leeds so we hope we can get Luciano sorted out and Sam sorted out. “I don’t think Sam will go, personally, because he’s better off with us at the moment. But I think there will be some pressure on us to sell him. Let’s just say that Manchester United come in for Sam Byram and offer £10m. He is going to go. You can’t stop him from joining Manchester United and you can’t turn down £10m. That’s a fact and you have got to live with the facts.” Asked if there had been bids for both Becchio and Byram this month, Jones replied: “I would say so. Let’s put it this way, if I was a Premier League manager I would be doing the same thing.” He added: “If you have got good players, everyone else wants them. But we have got to keep them, no doubt in my mind. And I think we will.” Byram, who has emerged as one of the Championship’s most promising talents this season, signed a new three-year contract in the summer. Becchio, meanwhile, has a little under 18 months remaining on his own deal. Jones added: “The fans love Luciano and if I was him, I would stay because of that.” With Leeds having last month been taken over by GFH Capital, supporters are eagerly awaiting news of incoming transfers with Forest pair Dexter Blackstock and Lewis McGugan both having been linked with a possible move. Jones added: “There are a lot of enquiries and phone calls going on. The only problem is that when Leeds United come on the phone, finances double or treble. “Despite his illness, Neil has not stopped. He has been on to me all the time about ringing this agent and ringing this club He has been non-stop and that will continue. We have got more than 20 days left in the window.“I think we need to add in three or four positions to make us better. We need a stronger squad and a better squad.”

Jan 7th 2012. Leeds 1- 1 Birmingham City. FA Cup 3rd Round. 12 Ashdown,03 Drury, 04 Lees, 05 Pearce, 15 Tate (YC) (Somma – 79′ ) 14 White (Diouf – 46′ ) 17 Brown, 19 Norris, 30 Hall (Byram – 46′ ) 10 Becchio 44 McCormack. Unused Subs : 01 Kenny, 02 Peltier, 11 Varney, 16 Pugh . Att. 11,447 Report – R Suthcliffe YEP NEIL WARNOCK’S spirits are unlikely to have been lifted by the news that Leeds United and Birmingham City face a replay after 90 entertaining minutes could not separate the two Championship clubs. With the United manager absent through illness, Birmingham went ahead through Wade Elliott in the first half but were then pegged back by Luciano Becchio on the hour. Both teams then had chances to win it but with no further goals scored, Leeds must travel to St Andrews for a replay on Tuesday, January 15. Neither Warnock nor Lee Clark are likely to be too pleased with an extra game being squeezed into an already packed schedule. But on the balance of play and chances created, a draw was a fair result. Trailing to Elliott’s stunning first half strike, Leeds drew level on the hour when Becchio finished with aplomb following good work on the edge of the penalty area by David Norris. Considering the Argentinian had missed what seemed a simpler chance just after half-time when through one-on-one with Blues goalkeeper Colin Doyle, the Argentinian’s tally were understandably tempered with a sense of relief. The equaliser left Birmingham to rue a couple of missed opportunities to double their advantage with Chris Burke curling a cross just wide of the post with Jamie Ashdown stranded and Nathan Redmond firing straight at the Leeds goalkeeper when through on goal. Redmond also shot inches wide with 20 minutes remaining after the United defence had helpfully opened up in front of him, while Burke squandered the final chance of the afternoon in front of a 11,447 crowd when dragging a shot wide. Leeds assistant coach Mick Jones said“Neil was in constant touch with us during the game. He made the decision to change the team at half-time and it worked. “We hadn’t created anything from wide positions. Becchio and Ross McCormack needed the ball in the box and they got it in the second half. “Luciano missed a good chance before he scored but he doesn’t freeze and went on to take his next chance so well.” Lee Clarke :  “Packwood has suffered a horrendous leg break,” said Birmingham manager Lee Clark. “It took the gloss off a fantastic performance. “Will’s young team-mates and friends are distraught, they were in tears.” Clark added: “I said, ‘Let’s try and win the game for Will.’ We couldn’t quite do it but I thought we deserved to do so. “We will give him as much care and support as possible and have him back fit and strong for next season. Absolutely delighted with the way we played,” said Clark. “We passed the ball really well, with a purpose. We defended great, our work off the ball was very good, we played at a high tempo. “Every player has given a terrific performance, some of the best of the season I would say. “With the chances we had and the situations we had, if we had won it by two or three goals it wouldn’t have been a freak result.” Leeds basically had a full strength side out against a 20th placed Birmingham City team full of kids and missing nine first team regulars. Every attack waltzed through our pedestrian central defence of Pearce and Tate. White and £150,000 Hall were that bad they were replaced at half time. The latter was afraid to take on Paul Robinson at any time on a one to one. Why are we trying to sign Tate who after two decent games  has made little difference since joining on loan from Swansea City ? It’s a younger, quicker central defender we need. This was an embarrassing performance when at times we were played off the park by a set of teenagers. Not good enough by a long shot ! It’s a good thing there was less than 12,000 people present to watch it. God help the winners in the next round v Spurs.

Friday January 4th. Here, the Yorkshire Post’s Fans Panel give their verdicts on the season so far of all the Yorkshire clubs accoring to one of their fans : Barnsley - Paul Gallagher. Verdict: I am certainly glad to see an end to 2012. It has not been very good, with the team performing dismally. I was a supporter of Keith Hill at the beginning of the season, but after more bad recruits, baffling team selections, an inability to fix our leaky defence, the offensive comments about our club and fans and the treatment of one or two of our valued players, I was happy when the Barnsley board finally ended his 18-month reign. Are Barnsley exceeding expectations or under-achieving? We are bottom of the table – enough said. Best player: David Perkins. Biggest disappointment: Mido. Has never looked close to being fit enough to play. A waste of a (top) wage. Best moment: 5-0 away win against Birmingham on Sky in September.  Lowest moment: Too many to choose from, but the derby game against Wednesday was one of the poorest in many years, along the way to our worst home record in 50 years. Where has this season gone right/wrong? We might not be bottom of the table had Hill recruited slightly fewer players, but with more Championship experience. What needs to be done in the January transfer window? We need an experienced management team the fans can unite behind. A centre forward and an experienced centre-half are also must-haves. Advice to manager: Good luck. You are going to need it. Key for remainder of the season: The board’s choice of management team. Where will your team finish? Fourth from bottom would do me.
Huddersfield - Jamie White. Verdict: It has been a bit of an up-and-down season so far, as we started excellently and actually occupied a top-two spot at one point. However, recent results have seen us slip down the table. To be on 30 points, though, at the halfway mark was pleasing as it meant we were well on our way to survival. Are Huddersfield exceeding expectations or under-achieving? So far, exceeding expectations. Best player: Adam Clayton. Very consistent in midfield and looks 10 times the quality of any midfielder we saw under previous manager Lee Clark. Biggest disappointment: Adam Hammill. Came with a lot of promise from Wolves, but has yet to hit the levels we expected from him. Best moment: Beating Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough. Lowest moment: 4-2 home defeat to Leeds. Poor choice of line-up and tactics meant that we were easily outplayed. Where has this season gone right/wrong? A very good start meant that we picked up the bulk of our points in the opening 10-15 games and sent us well on the way towards the magic 50-point mark. What needs to be done in the January transfer window? Send back the under-performing loan players like Hammill and Simon Church and ship out some of the dead wood. Plus, plug the holes in the team with a dominant centre-back and a regular goalscorer. Advice to manager: Sort out the team’s discipline. Key for remainder of the season: Getting out of this ‘rut’ and stringing a few good results together. Getting past 50 points is the priority. Where will Town finish? 14th.
Hull City - Gareth Richardson Verdict: I wasn’t expecting too much from this season and the first game of the season, when we beat Brighton, didn’t change that thinking. I got home and my Dad, who gave up his season pass after 30 years in the summer because he’d been bored by Nigel Pearson and Nick Barmby, asked what we’d played like and I replied, ‘No difference from the last two years with the same boring football’. But things have changed hugely since then and I have been really impressed with Steve Bruce, not just for the football but also how he doesn’t try to hide behind excuses after a defeat. Are Hull exceeding expectations or under-achieving? Definitely exceeding expectations. Best player: Everyone says Sone Aluko but I’m going to go for Stephen Quinn. He has brought energy to the midfield. Biggest disappointment: Nick Proschwitz. He hasn’t scored the goals and has hardly played. Best moment: The first half against Millwall when we were 4-0 up – it was the best 45 minutes I’ve seen from us. Lowest moment: Losing 2-0 to Middlesbrough at the Riverside or Burnley 1-0 at the KC. Where has this season gone right/wrong? The signing of Ahmed Elmohamady and Stephen Quinn in late August turned the season round. What needs to be done in the January transfer window? Keep our best players and let’s have another striker. Advice to manager: Keep doing what you are doing. Key for remainder of the season: Take our chances when on top in games. Where will your team finish? If we can take our chances, I believe the top two is definitely achievable.
Leeds United - Paul Taylor Verdict: We’re doing okay. We are within touching distance of the play-offs with a squad, by and large, that is pretty thin on quality, albeit in a poor quality but competitive division. We look one-paced but we have compensated, to some extent, with pure graft. The initial euphoria regarding the takeover has now been replaced with “wait and see” so, in terms of a proper assessment of where Leeds are at, it might be best to come back to me after the transfer window. Are Leeds exceeding expectations or under-achieving? Living up to them, nothing more or less. Best player: Luciano Becchio. You can’t argue with his goals tally, but Paddy Kenny, Sam Byram and Alan Tate have also been impressive. Biggest disappointment: Lee Peltier has not impressed and Ross McCormack is not fully fit. Best moment: The long overdue win at Huddersfield Town. Lowest moment: Conceding six at home to Watford. Where has this season gone right/wrong? We are still playing catch-up after failing to strengthen adequately in the summer. Oh, to have a couple of players of the quality of Robert Snodgrass or Max Gradel. Advice to manager: You have survived Ken Bates, the rest should be plain sailing. Key for remainder of the season: Keep Alan Tate and add three players to provide a “spine” of quality and/or speed. Where will your team finish? With a fair wind, sixth. But more likely eighth, ninth or 10th.
Middlesbrough - Graeme Bandeira Verdict: The team is doing exceedingly well and we are in a better position than last season, when we tailed off towards the final hurdle. I am yet to see a better footballing team. Are Boro exceeding expectations or under-achieving? Going to plan. Best player: Grant Leadbitter. Biggest disappointment: Marvin Emnes. Best moment: Beating Blackburn after a dismal showing at Blackpool. Lowest moment: Playing Leeds off the park last month but losing. Where has this season gone right/wrong? Tony Mowbray is doing a great job and will take us all the way to Premier League. What needs to be done in the January transfer window? Not much really. Advice to manager: Utilise Nicky Bailey more. Key for remainder of the season: It is vital that we get that crucial second goal, which so often decides games at any level. Where will your team finish? We are going up as champions.
Sheffield Wednesday - Karina Hercock Verdict: After a great start, everyone’s expectations were raised but then Dave Jones started changing the team a lot and we got frustrated. A mid-table finish would be a good first season back in the Championship. Are the Owls exceeding expectations or under-achieving? We are about where I thought we would be, consolidating in the Championship. Best player: Anthony Gardner. He has had his injuries, but as captain he has been a rock and helped out with the younger players. Biggest disappointment: Rodri. Best moment: Rhys McCabe scoring at Hillsborough against Charlton. Terrific volley in a 2-0 win and his first goal in professional football. Lowest moment: Losing 4-1 at home to Watford. Where has this season gone right/wrong? Jay Bothroyd got injured, which made us change the team around. And the recent arrival of experienced coach Stuart Gray has helped the side defensively. What needs to be done in the January transfer window? Like every team in the Championship, we need a striker. Advice to manager: Go for quality rather than quantity in the January transfer market.Key for remainder of the season: Anthony Gardner staying fit and building a strong partnership with Miguel Llera at the heart of Wednesday’s defence. Where will your team finish? 14th.

Thurs Jan 3rd. Paddy joins Mick for a month.  Paddy Kisnorbo has made a surprise loan move to Ipswich Town. He has signed for the rest of the month on loan at Portman Road from Leeds, and admits he may have signed for Ipswich Town on a previous occasion. Speaking to the Official Club Website, the Australian defender who will wear the number six shirt at Town admitted: “It’s great to be here and it’s great to have the opportunity to play some football again. “I haven’t been playing at Leeds and I’ve got the opportunity to come here now, so I just want to do well for the manager, the players and the fans. “It’s been well documented that I’ve had a couple of injuries during my time at Leeds and it’s been hard, but I’m fully fit now and ready to show what I can do”. Speaking this afternoon,Mick  McCarthy was in his usual upbeat manner: “The first thing I liked about him was he was available and eligible for the weekend! “I know him, I’ve seen him play at Leicester and I know he’s a good competitor, a good defender and good character around the place. He has been injured, but he’s trained every day and played in the Under-21 games – we’ve checked all that out with Leeds’ fitness coaches. “He’s another one who’s not been playing, but I’m delighted we’ve got him in because we only had Chambo and Tommy Smith at centre-backs.”Meanwhile back at Thorp Arch Neil Warnock has been struck down with the flu virus that swept the club before the Bolton match and several players are being asked to stay away for fear of infecting others. This may present an opportunity to fringe squad members for the Birmingam Cuty FA Cup match, which let’s be honest is not high up on our priorites right now.

History suggests we are not going to make the play offs

not stringing enough wins to make real impression on table

Blackstock out of contract in Summer

Boothroyd – always had that knack of scoring against us

Weds January 2ndAnother January transfer window so how are we doing ? Not so good as it happens. Half way through the season(Post Middlesbro win and before defeats to Forest and Hull and a win v Bolton)  after 23 games we averaged 1.52 points per game. If we maintain that average we’ll finish on 70 points and probably with a lowgoal difference. That total will by recent seasons achieve at best only an 8th placed finish and with it more heartache for already long suffering fans at LS11. Two season ago, Leeds finished seventh, three points off Notts Forest who tallied 75 points. It was argued successfully in hindsight  that Leeds lost their chance of play-off success in January of 2011 by not investing in the squad. In came Gonzales (on loan keeper) and Zac Thompson and out went Andy Hughes, Neil Collins (for £500k to Sheff Utd), Andy Robinson, Crowe, Hatfield and Bessone. Livermore and Bannon later came in on emergency loans but it was defensive cover that cost us, and Andy Hughes at left back is arguably better than anyone we’ve had there since his departure. United hit the buffers and Forest claimed the 6th spot, although Swansea in third position went up via the play-offs. Last season Leeds sold Jonny Howson to Norwich City and Ben Parker left for Carlisle. Fabian Delph came in on loan from Villa but it was no fairytale return as he got injured. Townsend came in on loan from Spurs and did well initially before falling out with Neil Warnock and moving to Birmingham, whilst Robbie Rogers and Adam Smith contributed basically nothing. Leeds realistically need to hit 76 points (because of their negative goal difference) to secure a play-off position. That means from our remaining 20 matches securing 1.9 points per game. If a team secures 1.9 points per game over 46 matches, more often than not that team will be promoted automatically. In essence United need to win around 12 of their last 20 games and add in two draws along the way. That is no easy task. Remember we have to go to Leicester, M’bro, C Palace, Birmingham and  Watford, and we have only three away wins to our credit.  When one considers that we had Howson and Gradel in our side in 2010/11 and were much more dynamic going forward, Leeds need to release the schackles and really go for it. Warnock will have to be at the top of his game in the transfer window. His 15 arrivals thus far does not inspire one with confidence. So who should Colin try and bring in ? United have been linked with Dexter Blackstock who has just six months of his contract left at the City ground. This player would giveus much needed pace up front and is a decent finisher, a perfect outlet for Warnock’s long ball tactics. Instead of prowling around after Clint Hill and Shaun Derry, Warnock could do worse than taking Jay Boothroyd on loan for the rest of the season from QPR. He has just returned from Sheff Weds and would take much of the work load off Luciano Becchio. In midfield Warnock should try and bag Jacob Butterfield whose loan deal at Bolton expires on January 5th. He is just 22 and has always caused us problems when he was with Barnsley and again yesterday with Bolton. Wes Hoolahan and Jonny Howson will keep him out of the Norwich line up. This is a player who sees a pass, can dribble and is always looking for the ball, unlike Norris, Austin and Green. If Warnock is unwilling to playAdam Drury (the player he described before the start of the season as the best left back in the Championship) at left back, we need one quickly, because Lee Peliter is no left back. A quick central defender is also needed because Lees, Pearce and Tate are all too slow, unless that is Peltier’s rightful position, although he was signed as a right back. It will be interesting to see how the new owners back Neil Warnock’s judgement. Will they tread down the road we know to our cost, that of the loan market or will they splash the cash on decent plateys with sell on value or the potential to improve Leeds United and become really good players ? Tactically Warnock has been really poor to date. How many times has he changed a game positively through subtitutions ? All the sides above us contain players who are comfortable on the ball .No side has lost more points this seeason from leading matches (15 points to date and  mostly with negative changes) Has it been a fact that some of the players signed were not his initial targets ? Are Tate,  Tonge and Jerome Thomas good enough ?  We certainly need a speedy, skilful winger, but WBA now seem to want a transfer fee for Thomas. Can we buy better ? Is he too injury prone ? We have two eminently winnable games coming up in the league after the Birmingham cup game, fixtures versus Bristol City and Barnsley. Who arrives in Beeston in January will have a great bearing on how our season turns out. It is unavoidable as a fact however that the manager will have to up his game, especially away from home if United are to hit those 76 points needed for the play off lottery.

Becchio again

Jan 1st 2013. Leeds 1-0 Bolton.  (Scorer Beccchio 65 Mins Pen) Team.01 Kenny, 02 Peltier, 05 Pearce, 15 Tate, 07 Green, 08 Austin, 19 Norris, 25 Byram  (YC), 10 Becchio, 21 Diouf (Gray – 90′ ) 44 McCormack. Unused Subs : 12 Ashdown, 03 Drury, 04 Lees, 17 Brown, 30 Hall, 28 Somma . Att – 22,386. Report from Sporting Life - Luciano Becchio returned to the Leeds side and immediately got back in the scoring groove as the Whites prevailed in a dire contest with Bolton. The Argentinian striker was rested for Saturday’s 2-0 loss at Hull in which Leeds failed to register a shot on target, but he showed his team-mates how it was done on his return as he scored his 18th goal of the season from the spot after 65 minutes. Bolton could stake a claim for an undeserved defeat – they had the best of a torrid first half during which they hit the post – but in the end Leeds just about edged it owing to their second-half improvements. Becchio’s goal after Tyrone Mears’ clumsy foul not only earned Neil Warnock’s men a fifth straight home win for the first time since 2009, it also booked him a spot in Leeds’ all-time top-10 leading goalscorers on 76. It means United remain in touching distance of the play-offs, but Warnock will surely still need new owners GFH Capital to give him the backing he has asked for if they are to mount a genuine push, as winning without playing well can only last for so long. With Rodolph Austin’s deflected 12th-minute free-kick skipping wide Leeds had already improved on their dismal display at Hull on Saturday where they did not register a shot, and even though the Jamaica midfielder was also off target with the next effort, they were at least showing some attacking intent. In spite of their chances, Leeds were well off the pace in the middle of the park and should have been behind in the 20th minute. Darren Pratley robbed Alan Tate of possession in the centre circle and he and Kevin Davies worked the ball to a clean-through Chris Eagles, but his shot clipped the post and went behind. The long strides of Pratley were giving Bolton the edge and after more good work from him Eagles should have done better from the edge of the box, before the tricky winger brought about the best moment of an awful half when he forced Paddy Kenny to tip his 35-yard shot around the post. The quality of play scarcely improved after the break, Eagles dribbling one wide and Marcus Alonso thumping over from distance, and even when a goal did arrive it was an ugly one. Leeds built an attack with Austin going down the right and, after his cross was not cleared, David Norris’ mishit pass rolled into McCormack who was ungainly bundled over by Mears, allowing Becchio to send Adam Bogdan the wrong way for the second time this season. All of a sudden there was some energy inside Elland Road and El-Hadji Diouf sent McCormack clear but he rushed his shot and found the stand, before Becchio headed a Diouf corner over. Bolton had to raise their own game and David N’gog shouted in vain for a penalty when he was tackled by Tate, but they had no way of getting a clear sight of Kenny’s goal and were left to rue Eagles’ first-half near miss. Neil Warnock to Eddie Gray post match : “Happy new year.  You could see the first half, we were too apprehensive, taking too many touches. We were nervous from spill over after Hull match.  I thought if we get in at 0-0 we will win game. In the second half we worked our socks off. I thought they were a great team on paper but you win nothing on paper. You forget what wages we are playing against. Apart from shot from Eagles which Paddy took as great save off  they didn’t create much. Once again the crowd were fabulous.  They kept us going. (Re Loans) Not really any news.  Shaun is working his socks off. He is talking to everybody trying to tie them all up.  Administrative wise we couldn’t do anything. There was no one on the offices of the FA. We got Alan Tate tied up until end of January which gives us some breathing space. Jerome Tomas was really poorly. Paddy Kenny could hardly walk in there with this virus. We lost Jerome and Luke Varney with this virus. and  Green and  McCormack and were all under the weather (Virus) In the circumstances I’m really proud of them . We are optimistic on at least one loanee being tied up before cup tie”. (probably Tonge) The win was obviously the most important thing today. But as Eddie Gray consistently says : “performances will always catch up with you” and despite the manager’s protestations re flu virus etc, we were shocking again today, especially in the first half. Norris, Austin and Green are all runners with no quality to pass a ball. Butterfield who came on late for Bolton and (on loan from Norwich and recovering from injury and many will remember him destroying us when playing for Barnsley) in his few minutes on the park showed the kind of player we are missing. Diouf has that class but needs a creative player around him. Neil Warnock needs to show something that he hasn’t portrayed thus far in his eleven months in charge : real astuteness in the transfer market. Three to four decent players are needed and not the type of work horse that he has has normally signed. GFH were none too pleased when the manager leaked that we couldn’t compete with Leicester in the transfer market. Wood (who scored two today on his debut v Huddersfield) arrived on a £15K per week deal for a £1.2M transfer. If we can’t create those kind of funds for a player one would have to have doubts regarding GFH’s financial prowess or perhaps they are unwilling to back a manager wholeheartedly who has six months left on his contract and are in a disappointing 6th place in the league. Well done to Louth member, Steven Quigley for finally seeing a Leeds win.  Speaking after the match, Bolton manager, Dougie Freedman believed his side were good value for at least a point, but believes a lack of cutting edge in the final third cost Bolton dear. “It was disappointing not to come away with the three points, as our performance merited the win,” Freedman told the club’s official website. “I thought it was a game of very few chances and a good number of those fell our way. Our energy levels were good but we just couldn’t fashion that all-important goal. “You’ve got to give credit to Leeds. They battled well and set themselves up to counter the threats we posed. I thought we were in control for the majority of the game, aside from a ten-minute period in which we conceded a needless penalty. “As a squad we have to understand what it takes to not only to win matches, but see them out. We are working with the players on this and as we go forward it is key we address this. “We have to ensure we play for the full game and not allow spells where the opposition are able to dictate the play. “Ultimately we are very disappointed not to have been able to build on the win over Birmingham.” Louth Branch Pete Sebine : “Awful game. I just wish we played players in their rightful positions. Eg Peltier at right back and Drury at left back, and push young Sam Byram on to  right wing and move Green into the centre of midfield. The centre backs played well but I get annoyed when we go one up and bring on defensive subs. We have got to be more positive. Overall I get very frustrated with our tactics…..not having a settled side and too negative”.

January 1st 2013. Transfer window will reveal financial reality – By Phil Hay YEP Another year and another profit for Leeds United. According to their latest financial results, the club made £317,000 in the 12 months before July, extending their record of profitability into a fifth consecutive year. Part of the appeal for GFH Capital, the firm which bought Leeds last month, was the fact that the business consistently makes money. Profits are a rarity among professional football clubs, in this country and abroad. But the company’s belief that United are constrained by cash-flow issues is borne out in the figures published last week. The club’s overall profit of £317,000 was registered despite an operating loss of more than £3.3m. The initial figure includes money earned through transfer fees and the latter does not. United made an operating profit of nearly £1m during the 2010-11 financial year, constituting a downward shift of £4m in the space of 12 months. The reasons for the weakening of their financial position were adequately outlined. Gate receipts in 2011-12 fell 10.6 per cent year-on-year – £1.3m in cash terms – and the club’s turnover dropped by more than £1.5m. In short, Leeds are pulling in less money than they were from sources unrelated to player sales. Their overall profit was intrinsically linked to fees earned through the transfers of Max Gradel and Jonathan Howson. Salem Patel, a board member at GFH Capital and one of United’s new directors, touched on that fact after the company finalised its takeover on December 21. “Looking at the business from a profitability aspect, the club is making money,” Patel said. “Not many clubs in the Championship can say that. But looking from a cash-flow perspective, which is something I feel a lot of fans don’t do, that is where you see an area of weakness.” The prompt release of United’s financial results, which revealed that the club’s parent company lost more than half-a-million pounds in the last financial year, underlined Patel’s argument. The following day he tweeted: “LUFC’s finances highlight why everyone needs to work together to make this club great again.” As Leeds and GFH Capital head into 2013, the strategy of United’s new owners appears to be two-pronged – to give the team a more magnetic appeal and to claw back the missing pounds.The key to the success of United’s squad, at least in the short term, is the transfer window which opened this morning. Leeds pre-empted January by agreeing a new contract with El-Hadji Diouf, doubling his £5,000-a-week wage and committing to the signing of winger Ryan Hall on a permanent basis from Southend United. Alan Tate is expected to remain with United beyond the end of his loan from Swansea City and attempts have been made to bring Stoke’s Michael Tonge back to Elland Road this week. Where Jerome Thomas is concerned, it is not yet clear whether West Bromwich Albion will play ball with the request to leave him in Yorkshire for the rest of the season. United manager Neil Warnock placed much importance on that spate of negotiations but it is the additional transfers sanctioned and financed by GFH Capital which will dictate the mood of the supporters who the Dubai-based company seek to impress. A new striker is top of Warnock’s wish-list but he revealed on Saturday that West Brom’s Chris Wood – destined for a £1.25m move to Leicester City – had strayed beyond his spending power. “I just can’t compete financially with Leicester,” said Warnock, an admission that the recent takeover of Leeds has not made him filthy rich. The message of successive defeats to Nottingham Forest and Hull City was that more than a new forward is needed. In what could yet be his last season as a manager, the January market is Warnock’s opportunity to bring promotion into view. It might also reveal exactly how much support GFH Capital is willing to give a manager whose contract expires at the end of this term. Warnock has won promotion seven times and would set a Football League record by winning an eighth. GFH Capital came to Leeds with a clear understanding of how much the club stand to earn by tapping into the ever-increasing pool of broadcast money in the Premier League – worth upwards of £60m to each top-flight team from next season – but Patel was at pains to stress that the company’s strategy was not dependent or based upon the prospect of Premier League income.“Any new owner or any existing owner of a football club that is in the Championship or in the divisions below has the dream to go into the Premier League,” Patel said. “Financially it’s the place to be. That is where we hope to take the club to.“But our business model is not predicated on the club being in the Premier League.”GFH Capital also seem fixated on the task of arresting the deteriorating relationship between the club and their fan base. One of the company’s first acts following the completion of its takeover was to create half-season tickets, beginning with United’s game at home to Bristol City on January 19. The cost of tickets for an adult ranges from £255 to £329 and the scheme is GFH Capital’s first response to a fall in gate receipts of 10 per cent. United’s average attendance is down again this season, standing at 21,398, though their income has been helped by five Capital One Cup ties at Elland Road, including their televised quarter-final against Chelsea. The crowd of 33,816 which turned out for that fixture was United’s highest for almost two years. More significant was the fact that GFH Capital’s takeover led to the biggest league crowd of the season against Middlesbrough 24 hours later, an increase of 6,000 in the space of eight days. This afternoon’s meeting with Bolton Wanderers and the visit of Bristol City will give some indication of whether the impact of the takeover was a one-off bounce but GFH Capital has spoken repeatedly about “re-engaging” with supporters and generating an inclusive atmosphere at Elland Road. Leeds rely heavily on the income generated by their large support to keep their accounts in good health. While United’s wage bill for players and management staff is almost £13m, it represents less than half of their turnover in percentage terms. Sheffield Wednesday, who announced an operating loss of £4.9m last week, pay £8.3m in salaries from a turnover a third as big. In gate receipts alone, Leeds earned more than Wednesday’s entire income during the 2011-12 financial year. “The fanbase is fantastic,” said club director David Haigh on the day of the takeover. “Not just in Leeds but around the world. that’s what makes the club so special.” It would seem that the club’s rank and file are at the centre of GFH Capital’s vision for a profitable future and a prosperous new year. That, at this club, is half the battle.

Mon Dec  31st 2012. Where to from here ? Even after some abysmal displays over Christmas, Leeds still find themselves just five points outside the play-offs. That said there is now a growing gulf in points between the first three sides, Cardiff City, Hull City and M’bro versus the rest. Cardiff’s lead on Leeds is unassailable…17 points and Hull and M’bro are 13 points and 12 points ahead of us respectively. Our very best case scenario presents like scraping into the play-offs because we are certainly no Reading, and Neil Warnock so far is no Brian McDermott.  Brighton are one point behind Leeds but have a game in hand and C Palace in 4th are some 9 points ahead. For me the season has been really disappointing thus far. If Neil Warnock is really truthful I think he would have to concede that he has under achieved at Elland Road both this season and last season. Things were to have been different when he got“his team together”. This is his team. He has made 15 additions : Jason Pearce, Paul Green, Adam Drury, Paddy Kenny, Andy Gray, Jamie Ashdown, Luke Varney, Rudy Austin, David Norris, Lee Peltier, El hadji Diouf, Michael Tonge, Ryan Hall, Alan Tate and Jerome Thomasand for me has had greater backing financially than Simon Grayson. Have we improved ? I believe we have gone backwards and the league was much more difficult last season. Last year we always had a goal in us home or away. Our problem was in defending.  How many of Warnock’s 15 arrivals have really proved to be good signings ? Pearce, Varney, Peltier and Norris have cost £2M between them and one could argue that only Norris (in parts) has been a hit. Our defence has already conceded more goals than last season despite almost a complete over haul. Average sides like Watford and Forest have put six and four goals past us relatively easily. Tom Lees and Sam Byram, players who came through the academy have been by far our best defenders. Norris, Brown, Green, and Austin are all similar players and for me Green has been the pick despite the inflated hype about Austin who is an extremely limited player. Tonge has done well but we need better if we are to progress. A quality passing midfielder is essential and we can do better than Michael Tonge. His shooting ability is fine and he has contributed five goals but we need a play maker who makes the team tick. Such players don’t come cheaply.  Diouf has been Warnock’s best acquisition without a shadow of a doubt, although in recent weeks games have caught up with the 31 year old. It’s too early to justify Tate but his lack of pace has already cost us dearly. Jerome Thomas has done okay in bit parts and Hall is clearly one for the future. Andy Gray and Jamie Ashdown have been cover buys with the former doing well when called upon and the latter surplus to requirements in January. Without Luciano Becchio who was already there before Warnock’s arrival where would we be ? January is now upon us and we have a manager who has a get out of jail card free in May. Can he be trusted with the GFH booty ? Two weeks ago he insisted that we were only lacking a striker if the loan players of Tonge, Thomas and Tate were retained. It is tactically one has to wonder about Neil Warnock with some very strange team selections and even stranger substitutions.  In my view we lack at least four first team starters. We lack pace and urgently need as follows : a quality left back as Peltier has clearly struggled there and he doesn’t seem to trust Adam Drury. A ball playing midfielder like Hughes of Derby County. A centre half with real pace. Pearce, Lees and certainly Tate are not quick enough. Another striker to take the work load off Becchio is also a priority. Warnock’s long ball tactics are a mystery certainly away from home. If one looks at the sides that are doing well in the Championship, they all have one thing in common. They can get the ball down and play and have that essential modern day ingredient…pace. Cardiff, Hull, M’bro, C Palace, Leicester and Watford all occupy the top six and all can play football. GFH clearly don’t have unlimited resources and it was disappointing to see us out bid by Leicester for Wood (on loan at Millwall when he scored against us) from WBA for just £1.5M. Not only does Warnock needs to hook the right players in January, but he needs to up his game plan by at least 40% for the second part of the season. The likes of Shaun Derry and Clint Hill (players we have been linked with) wouldn’t be any use to us. They are over the hill and anyone who watched QPR v Liverpool yesterday will confirm this. Our signings need to be on the money and our tactics need to be sharper. Failing that we will be staring into the abyss of another season in the Championship. This is Warnock’s team and it’s up to him to finally deliver. No more excuses please.