Tues Dec 29th Leeds 2 (Bamba 42, Wood 71), DERBY 2 (Hendrick 13, Ince 78) United team: Silvestri, Wootton, Bamba, Cooper, Taylor, Byram (Phillips 88), Adeyemi (Cook 63), Bridcutt, Murphy, Dallas, Wood (Doukara 75). Subs: Peacock-Farrell, Coyle, Bellusci, Antenucci.Referee: Mark Heywood. Booked: Byram, Bridcutt, Murphy (United), Hendrick, Christie (Derby) Att: 23,027 (1,472 Derby) Report from Official website The midweek visit of Derby County, United’s final fixture of 2015, saw head coach Steve Evans make two changes from the previous weekend’s 1-1 draw at Nottingham Forest, with captain Sol Bamba returning to defence in place of Giuseppe Bellusci and Tom Adeyemi replacing Lewis Cook in midfield. United saw plenty of the ball inside the early stages but the opening 10 minutes passed without incident as the only effort on goal came through a speculative Sam Byram strike which sailed well over the crossbar as the winger lost his footing. The deadlock was broken on the 13th-minute mark in favour of the visitors, though, as Jeff Hendrick worked his way into the area before lofting the ball over Marco Silvestri from close-range. Leeds looked to mount a quick response and soon threatened an equaliser through Adeyemi, who was on target in the reverse fixture earlier in the season, but the midfielder’s towering header from Byram’s cross flew over Lee Grant’s bar. Jacob Butterfield saw a strike blocked at the opposite end, but United were starting to press in search of an equaliser and Adeyemi turned another header over from another Byram cross. United did manage find an equaliser just three minutes before the break through the unlikely source of Bamba, the defender turning home his first of the season from close-range after Derby failed to deal with a free-kick from deep which was returned goalwards by Stuart Dallas. Openings at both ends were created in three minutes of first-half stoppage time, with Johnny Russell curling over the bar for the visitors after picking up a short corner on the edge of the area, before Chris Wood drove forward before seeing his strike blocked as the sides went in level at the break. United did manage find an equaliser just three minutes before the break through the unlikely source of Bamba, the defender turning home his first of the season from close-range after Derby failed to deal with a free-kick from deep which was returned goalwards by Stuart Dallas. Openings at both ends were created in three minutes of first-half stoppage time, with Johnny Russell curling over the bar for the visitors after picking up a short corner on the edge of the area, before Chris Wood drove forward before seeing his strike blocked as the sides went in level at the break. The teams unchanged re-emerged from the interval and it was Derby who started the second period the brighter of the two, former United midfielder Bradley Johnson smashing over from the edge of the area after Silvestri had pushed Hendrick’s cross into his path. Clear-cut chances were at a premium, though, and Dallas let fly from range but saw his well-hit strike gathered comfortably by Grant. Both managers were prompted into changes just after the hour mark, with Derby replacing Darren Bent with Chris Martin in attack, while United introduced Lewis Cook in place of Adeyemi. Then, inside the 71st minute, Elland Road was brought to its feet as United took the lead for the first time in the game as Wood nodded home an inch-perfect Byram cross from the right in front of the jubilant Kop. Derby also made a change, bringing Tom Ince on in place of Weimann, and it soon paid dividends as the former Blackpool and Hull City winger fired an equaliser into the bottom corner within minutes of entering the pitch to pull his side level. A frantic closing 10 minutes followed, with both sides searching for a late winner. Hendrick had an effort deflected over the bar for Derby after turning inside the area, while Luke Murphy forced Grant to push his 20-yard free-kick behind as it looked to creep into the bottom corner. There proved to be no way through, though, and United ended 2015 by extending their unbeaten run to six games after a thrilling draw.

Tues 29th of Dec Stand off with Sky. After refusing to allow Sky cameras in to broadcast the match v Derby, Cornman finally relented on Tuesday evening when the following statement was released :

Tues 29th of Dec LUFC statement re live games Leeds United have reluctantly allowed Sky cameras into Elland Road to broadcast tonight’s fixture against Derby County.Leeds United have noted that the majority of press reports on the matter have quite rightly appreciated that the club’s issues with the Football League relate in part to the entirely disproportionate number of times Sky have selected the club for live transmission. It is not just the number of times the club has been selected, but the fact the adjoining fixtures are also then disrupted which adversely affects the players, the club’s logistical arrangements and the fans’ arrangements. It is clear to the club that its key supporters, the Season Ticket holders, have also had enough of this constant alteration, often at short notice, to the fixture list to accommodate Sky. Leeds United were required to play Wolverhampton Wanderers on Thursday December 17 followed by Preston North End at home on Sunday December 20, followed by Nottingham Forest on Sunday evening and then Derby County tonight . Recent good results have been achieved despite the alterations to the fixture list, but at great cost to the players’ fitness and a substantial injury list .The festive plans of supporters have also been entirely ruined by Sky’s live TV selections. The league, despite the club having challenged them through the appropriate legal routes, continue to try and alter our schedule by insisting fixtures are changed to suit Sky, including Brighton & Hove Albion away from a Saturday to a Monday in February. Given Sky are to show 92 live games this season, a fair allocation would be four home games per club – so the selection by Sky is clearly unfair and the league are allowing this . The Football League regulations are supposed to be there to protect the integrity of the sporting competition, not to be used as a stick to beat the club on behalf of Sky. Leeds United Season Ticket holders have had enough of these fixture changes, the players and staff have had enough, and Leeds United Football Club has had enough . It is to be noted that the League threaten a disrepute charge against the club. It is the League who are bringing their own competition into disrepute by unfairly prejudicing Leeds (and certain other clubs) by allowing Sky to unfairly disrupt Leeds United for their own commercial purposes.

leeds celebrate

Antenucci jumps on top of goalscorer Byram’s back

Mon De 28th FOREST 1 (Oliveira 17), UNITED 1 (Byram 80) United team: Silvestri, Wootton, Bellusci, Cooper, Taylor, Byram (Coyle 90+2), Cook (Doukara 62), Bridcutt, Murphy, Dallas (Antenucci 77), Wood. Subs: Peacock-Farrell, Bamba, Adeyemi, Sloth. Referee: James Linington Booked: Mendes, Lansbury, Osborn (Forest), Byram, Bellusci (United) Att: 27,551 (1,890 United) The post-Christmas trip to Nottingham Forest saw United head coach Steve Evans name an unchanged starting line-up from the team that saw off Preston North End in a 1-0 win at Elland Road a week earlier. The only changes came on the substitutes’ bench, where midfielders Tom Adeyemi and Casper Sloth were recalled into the squad. Adeyemi returned from a virus which saw him sidelined for the visit of Preston, while Sloth’s involvement came as a reward for an impressive display in the Under-21s at the start of the week. Leeds made a lively start at the City Ground, attacking from the off, and Lewis Cook was asking questions of the Forest defence just 30 seconds into the game with a surging run and cutback which Forest managed to clear as Stuart Dallas lost his footing inside the area. Dallas then fired wide with a dipping effort from 20 yards out as United dominated the early possession stakes without testing goalkeeper Dorus De Vries in the Forest net. Chris Wood looked to turn a Dallas corner towards goal but the Forest defence managed to clear their lines before going on to break the deadlock at the opposite end after 17 minutes with their first sniff of goal. Nelson Castro Oliveira was the man on the scoresheet, capitalising on a mix-up in the United defence following a long ball over the top to slot into an empty net with the simplest of finishes. Leeds looked to respond, with Murphy slamming a first-time effort against a red shirt after the ball had rolled into his path on the edge of the area, before Oliveira led Forest’s pursuit of a second as he dragged wide from a tight angle 20 yards from goal. United’s most likely source of danger appeared to be coming through Charlie Taylor’s runs down the left, and the full-back delivered a series of inviting crosses into the box – the best of which was headed over by Chris Wood just after the half-hour mark. The closing stages of the first half saw Forest press forward, with Chris O’Grady twice denied in front of goal on the stroke of half-time, before the second period began in a similar manner as the hosts started on the front foot and won a dangerous-looking free-kick which Oliveira hammered over from 18 yards out. Following his goalscoring display at Wolves 10 days earlier, Sam Byram was the target for most United deliveries into the box and the 22-year-old saw a couple of towering headers bounce wide before the biggest chance for Leeds fell to Wood on 54 minutes. The striker raced onto a long ball over the top with De Vries caught in two minds whether to rush off his line or to stay put, but Wood hammered a first-time effort high and wide in a moment which summed up what was becoming an increasingly frustrating evening for United. Murphy needed to be alert at the opposite end to clear O’Grady’s goalbound header off the line from a Forest corner, before Evans was prompted into his first change of the game just after the hour mark, introducing Souleymane Doukara for Cook in an attack-minded move. But Forest, who had also brought on fresh legs in the shape of Jamie Ward and Robert Tesche, were still looking the more dangerous of the two as Ward stung the finger-tips of Silvestri with a powerful effort from the edge of the area. Leeds always remained in the contest, though, and were able to grab an equaliser with 10 minutes remaining on the clock through the in-form Byram, who made it three goals from as many matches with a precise finish into the bottom corner after being found just outside the box. Both sides then had chances to snatch all three points in a frantic finale, with substitute Mirco Antenucci turning a Scott Wootton cutback wide of the far post before Forest substitute Oliver Burke slammed the post at the opposite end, but there proved to be no further way through as United made it five unbeaten. Excellent display. We deserved more but need to be more clinical in front of goal (especially Wood). Evans reacion : “If you’d have said before the Wolves game that we’d beat Wolves, Preston and get a point at the City Ground, I’d have taken it,”. “But on reflection of the game, we made a cardinal sin and a half for the goal. You have to deal with that. “We got them in at half-time and I said ‘forget the scoreline, just go and play the way we play and try and move it a little bit quicker’. “All bar the final ball in the last third, I’m absolutely delighted that we’ve come here and we’ve dominated and got an equaliser – a great goal from Sam after great play. “Then we missed a couple of chances that you would hope on most days we would score. “I know Forest fans will be going in the car saying they’ll take that point! They’ve been on a terrific run of form. I’ve watched games where they’ve been by far the dominant side. ButSEvansvForest today they’ve had the reverse of that. “I think in the final third we must do a lot with the quality of the pass. Passing from the midfield was quite exceptional. But in the final third, that needs to be much better. That’s areas to work on. “This team has gone from normally being completely outplayed in the Championship to outplaying teams a lot of the time. But we’ve got a lot work to do if we want to get on and catch teams (at the top).” Evans admitted his side need to be more ruthless in front of goal, but the head coach did defend striker Chris Wood for his display as the lone centre-forward for the majority of the match. “We need goals,” Evans said. “The quality of the play has been great and we’ve got everyone working so hard in the team. “Chris Wood is going through a barren spell in terms of the chances we’re creating, but he’s not dropping an inch in his effort and determination to work for the team. He’s covered every blade of grass. “You feel for him, but I’m the type of manager that will stick by him”.

Sat Dec 26th Three is the magic transfer number LEEDS UNITED have identified three key targets that the club hope to sign in the January transfer window with boss Steve Evans revealing: “if that ends up being four then super.” The improving Whites travel to Nottingham Forest tomorrow having hauled themselves to within five points of the Championship’s play-offs after picking up 16 points from their last possible 24. Evans now hopes United can keep themselves within striking of the top six between now and January to encourage chairman Massimo Cellino to spend the required funds needed to push Leeds even further up the Championship table.

The Glaswegian says the club have picked out a trio of particular targets, though the Scot is hopeful Leeds could sign as many as four players in the new year.Norwich City striker Kyle Lafferty was confirmed to be on the head coach’s radar during the emergency loan window but the Northern Ireland international stayed with the Canaries with boss Alex Neil saying the club would look at the forward’s options again in January. Evans said: “We first and foremost have to be in the position where we encourage the owner enough to spend some money whether that be on salary or whether that be on transfer fees or whatever. “But we have probably earmarked three players that we would like to bring in and if that ends up being four then super. “If it ends up being two then I’ll not be that disappointed but we’d say three would be the figure. “We are not talking about losing players that are instrumental here in the team, we are talking about adding to what we think is already a talented group.”

Giuseppe Bellusci.

The ‘Warrior’ seems to have turned things around. Personally he looks one tackle away from a Red card or a penalty

Sat Dec 26th Bellusci breaks into Evans’ first choice eleven STEVE EVANS has heaped praise on centre-back Giuseppe Bellusci for resurrecting his career at Leeds United to become part of the head coach’s current first choice XI. Bellusci’s long-term Leeds prospects looked particularly bleak following September’s 3-0 loss at Middlesbrough in which the Italian endured a nightmare performance capped by a 32nd-minute own goal. But the 26-year-old has capitalised on two enforced absences for captain Sol Bamba – through suspension followed by injury – to now becoming a first-choice pick alongside Liam Cooper at the heart of United’s defence. The duo kept their second clean sheet from their last three games with Sunday’s 1-0 victory at home to Preston with Evans now likely to keep the partnership intact for tomorrow’s Sky Bet Championship trip to Nottingham Forest. Evans reasoned: Bellusci is a boy that when we came in the door everyone wanted to criticise, everyone. “I don’t think he had too many friends in the world outside his front door. “I had a real good chat with him about what it would take to get in the team and stay in the team, be disciplined and how to conduct himself and how to be part of everything. “He’s embraced every bit of that and I’m absolutely delighted for Pepe. “He’s a good lad. “Everyone has really taken to the Bellusci that we have seen in the last couple of months and his form has been great.”


Deano celebrates Leeds 3rd goal

Thurs 24th of Dec. Leeds 3-1 Man United Dec 24th 1995 Twenty years ago today (Christmas Eve 1995) United gave Man United a lesson at Elland Road. Goals From Gary McAllister (pen), Tony Yeboah and Brian Deane made sure the points stayed in Yorkshire in an epic Sky live encounter. Ah the good old days !

Weds Dec 23rd Don Howe passes away - Former Leeds coach, Don Howe  (Coach at Leeds during Jimmy Armfield’s reign) has sadly passed away. RIP Don

Sun Dec 20th Leeds 1 (Browne og 46), PRESTON 0 United team: Silvestri, Wootton, Bellusci, Cooper, Taylor, Byram, Bridcutt, Murphy (Doukara 64), Cook, Dallas (Phillips 90+4), Wood (Antenucci 82). Subs: Peacock-Farrell, Coyle, Bamba, Mowatt. Referee: Gavin Ward Booked: Byram (United) , Gallagher, Cunningham, Clarke, Reach (Preston)Sent off: Pickford (Preston) Att: 22,641 (894 Preston) Report from LUFC. United’s final game before Christmas came in the shape of a visit from Simon Grayson’s Preston North End, and head coach Steve Evans made just the one change from the 3-2 victory at Wolves three days earlier, replacing Tom Adeyemi with Luke Murphy in midfield. The visitors had the afternoon’s first sight of goal after just two minutes, Paul Gallagher forcing Marco Silvestri into a sharp save down to his right to palm away a goalbound free-kick, before United soon threatened at the opposite end through Bridcutt’s speculative half-volley which flew high and wide. Grayson’s men had made a lively start to proceedings, though, and would have taken an early lead had it not been for the heroics of Silvestri in the United goal. The Italian was quick off his line to deny Will Keane with a superb block after the striker had escaped the offside trap to go through on goal, before Silvestri was at full stretch to turn behind Joe Garner’s ferocious effort from the edge of the area. United soon started to assert some authority on the game \l “, and Chris Wood passed up the best of their early opportunities after being slotted through by Bridcutt, only for Pickford to smother the striker’s attempt. Wood then volleyed over from inside the area after cushioning a Stuart Dallas corner on his chest, before the New Zealand international was involved in the first half’s biggest talking point. Chasing Scott Wootton’s clearance over the top, Wood looked to nod the ball beyond the onrushing Pickford, but the Preston goalkeeper was adjudged to have handled the ball with his block outside the area and was subsequently shown a straight red card just 30 minutes into the game. 17-year-old stopper Matt Hudson was introduced in place of midfielder John Welsh for his Preston debut, and the youngster watched on rooted to the spot on as Giuseppe Bellusci floated the resulting free-kick agonisingly over the bar. Leeds looked to up the pressure with their one-man advantage and Byram had the best of the chances with a rising half-volley in the closing stages of the first half after being found inside the area, but the teams went in goalless at the break. That changed within 30 seconds of the restart, though, as the deadlock was broken in United’s favour as Preston defender Alan Browne headed a dangerous-looking Dallas cross into his own net in front of the Kop. Charlie Taylor then curled a free-kick over the bar as United chased a second, before Murphy dragged a low strike wide from 20 yards out after cutting inside of his marker. Preston started to get back into the game as United took their foot off the gas somewhat, with Adam Reach threatening with a low effort which rolled wide from the edge of the area before Evans was prompted into his first change of the afternoon, replacing Murphy with Souleymane Doukara. Gallagher then saw his effort cannon back off Giuseppe Bellusci, before Silvestri was called upon to tip Kilkenny’s long-range strike over the bar after seeing it late. Silvestri was able to comfortably hold a back-post header from Marnick Vermijl after the full-back had been picked out by Adam Reach’s deep cross, before the United goalkeeper’s finest moment of another impressive outing came with two minutes remaining on the clock. Reach’s cross found Kilkenny arriving inside the area to power a header towards goal, but Silvestri pulled off a superb reflex save to divert it over the bar with his fingertips. But that proved to be Preston’s big chance to take something from the game as Leeds defended well in the closing stages to make it back-to-back Championship victories. Steve Evans : “It was a massive win for us and we highlighted that to the players.””We don’t take credit for the performance in the second half. In the last half hour we looked particularly tired. “But we got back from Wolverhampton on the team coach at nearly three in the morning after Thursday’s game. “That’s always going to be factor if you’re unable to rest and recover properly, so I’ll excuse them today for looking tired in the last 10 minutes because we are one of the fittest teams in the Championship.” Evans now aims to give the supporters a “chance to dream” going into the second half of the season after pulling his side away from the relegation zone. “It was always going to be a big task when we came in. “The president really feared that we were going to get sucked in to the bottom end of the table. “I made some big statements, which I tend to do in management, and said that it was just never going to happen. “My opportunity here is to bounce the team into the top half of the table, push them towards the play-offs and give the Leeds United family – the supporters – a chance to dream and a chance to believe. “We want them to believe we can achieve something special – that’s what they deserve. “We spoke about giving ourselves a chance over the Christmas period to get in a position where the chairman will have the opportunity to help us and want to strengthen. “We don’t want to waste the money that Leeds United have, we want to use it wisely if we’re adding to the group. But when we’re thinking about adding to the group, these guys are terrifically well and we’ve got two or three of them on the bench now who are able to play their part. We’ve got them sharper and fitter. “We’ve got a real spirit, not only on the pitch but the supporters might have got frustrated on another day at Elland Road. “They’ve seen their team giving their all, like they did at Molineux. They helped us over the line, so thanks to every one of them.” Tremendous win for the Whites. Poor performance but it was all about the win today. Simon Grayson received a great reception from United fans and why not. No manager has finished above his 7th position since he departed so premarurely. We are 11 points above relegation and now 5 points off the play offs. What a crazy league, competitive yes, but not loaded with any especially brilliant sides. Who knows what could happen if Cornman backed Evans in January ? I thing he has earned that chance thus far.

Thurs Dec 17th WOLVES 2 (Afobe 10, Graham 81), UNITED 3 (Byram 44, 60, Dallas 51) United: Silvestri, Wootton, Bellusci, Cooper, Taylor, Byram, Cook, Adeyemi (Doukara 30), Bridcutt, Dallas (Mowatt 85), Wood. Subs: Peacock-Farrell, Coyle, Bamba, Murphy, Antenucci. Referee: S Attwell Booked: Bellusci (United) Att: 19,592

The televised midweek trip to Molineux saw United head coach Steve Evans make just the one change from the previous weekend’s draw at Charlton, recalling Sam Byram to the starting line-up in place of Alex Mowatt. Sol Bamba returned from injury to occupy a place on the substitutes’ bench alongside Academy graduate Lewie Coyle, who stepped up for his first senior involvement. United couldn’t have come any closer to taking an early lead with their first meaningful attack of the evening after just seven minutes, Stuart Dallas latching onto Chris Wood’s knockdown to rattle the far post with a thumping, dipping volley which left Carl Ikeme rooted to the spot. But that proved to be as good as it got in the early stages for Evans’ side, as Wolves threatened an opener through Afobe’s low effort which dragged across the face of Marco Silvestri’s goal, before the striker managed to find the net on the 10th-minute mark with a calm finish after latching onto a long ball over the top. The opening goal signalled a spell of dominance from the hosts, who forced the Leeds defence to hold firm as they attacked in numbers with a flurry of deliveries into the area. Winger Jordan Graham was giving those in White shirts plenty to think about with his mazy runs down the left, but it was Afobe who was Wolves’ focal point as he fired inches wide on the turn from inside the area as the hosts chased a second. The half-hour mark saw Evans make his first change of the night, replacing midfielder Tom Adeyemi with Souleymane Doukara as United shifted formation to line up with two strikers. Wolves continued to press, though, and Graham forced Silvestri into a sharp, low save down to his left after creating space to shoot on the edge of the area. Despite the hosts’ abundance of attacks, the change appeared to be working for Leeds who were ending the first half increasingly strongly. Wood was just unable to bring Doukara’s cross down inside the area, before Byram surged into the box to see his low strike blocked from a tight angle. Byram was able to equalise on the stroke of half-time, though, with his first competitive goal of the season after being found by Wood. The 22-year-old took the striker’s pass in his stride to slot calmly beyond the onrushing Ikeme to delight the travelling hordes. It meant the sides went in level at the break before an unchanged United made a rapid start to the second half as Doukara unselfishly threaded Wood into the area, only for the striker to be smothered by Ikeme who was quick off his line. But Evans’ men soon took the lead – a deserved reward for a good spell of pressure on the Wolves goal. Dallas, invited to stride forward down the right, exchanged passes with Doukara before rifling a low drive beyond Ikeme at his near post for the Northern Ireland winger’s first goal for the club. It was soon becoming one-way traffic as the home crowd grew restless, and Ikeme was twice on hand to deny Wood from giving United a two-goal advantage – first clawing away his close-range header before using his feet to block the striker from picking out the bottom corner. Leeds continued to press, though, and soon found a third of the evening as Byram powered home a back-post header after rising to meet Charlie Taylor’s cross for his second of the night. United looked to be good value for the two-goal lead and a comfortable 10-minute passage of play followed before Wolves went in search of a way back into the contest. Substitute Adam Le Fondre met a floated free-kick inside the area but his tame header was comfortably held by Silvestri, before fellow substitute Nathan Byrne was able to pull one back with a cushioned volley from Graham’s deep cross. But it proved to be the game’s final meaningful piece of goalmouth action as Leeds saw the closing stages out to make it three games unbeaten. Steve Evans : “I thought we could come here and produce a performance, but I never thought that with 35 minutes on the clock – we were awful up until that point. “I knew then that we had to change the system, I had to be brave and strong. “We changed it and the boys deserve plenty of credit, every one of them gave it everything they had. “A little bit more quality would have seen us go 5-1 up in the second half. “But, typical Leeds, we let one in and we were hanging on for the last 10 minutes. But it would have been a travesty if they’d scored.” Asked about the first-half change which saw Doukara introduced, Evans said: “I think substitutions are there to be used, whether that’s after 5, 10, 75 or 80 minutes. “I spoke to Souley a few weeks ago and told him I’d give him an opportunity if he worked hard and got himself a little bit fitter, which he has done. “He got a hat-trick in a behind-closed-doors game on Monday and he looked very good against the Wolves defenders tonight. “I think he was surprised when he got the early shout to come on, but he was up there for Man of the Match.” Evans also hailed the display of Byram, who returned to the starting line-up after finding himself as a peripheral figure in recent weeks to net his first career brace. “The second goal was almost identical to his goal at Fulham last year when he arrived at the back post,” said Evans. “For the first one, he came in off the lines and linked up with Chris Wood, which is what we’d been working on, and he tucked it away nicely. “I’m delighted for the kid and the owner is delighted for him. When I texted him the team news earlier this afternoon, he replied saying ‘I hope he gets two goals and I hope he gets Man of the Match’.” Byram’s contract situation remains an issue, though, with the youngster’s current deal due to expire at the end of the summer. But Evans is hopeful of finding a resolution. “He has to want to stay, that’s the important bit,” the head coach said. “I love him to bits, he’s got the qualities of a really good kid. “I’m an optimist and hopefully we can get something done for him to stay. But it’s a board matter and that’s to do with the owner.”  A scintillating away performance from Leeds who were clinical (Wood aside). The seem to save their best performances for on the road. A job well done and our first win in the West Midlands for over 30 years.

Monday 14th of December. I’ve been asked to put this up. Please support if you can . My name is Ian Bendelow, I am a journalist and author and I was hoping you might be able to help., I have a book out this month called Bendelow and Kidd’s Dictionary of Football;  it is essentially a light-hearted analysis of the sayings, expressions and cliches used within the game by pundits, players, managers and fans. I was wondering if you would be willing to send a link round your members (or indeed anyone who you think might like it!) to tell them it’s available? No problem if not as I know I’m asking a favour, but hopefully it might solve some Christmas present conundrums! http://www.amazon.com/Bendelow-Kidds-Dictionary-Football-Ian/dp/1910773123/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1449006157&sr=8-1&keywords=bendelow+and+kidd Or: http://www.bookdepository.com/Bendelow-and-Kidds-Dictionary-of-Football-Jamie-Kidd-Ian-Bendelow/9781910773123

Being a book about football in general, it features all the clubs in the English and Scottish leagues, but there’s many references to Leeds. You can see a sample of the text on the Amazon link too. We’re also on Twitter: https://twitter.com/BendelowandKidd

All the best,


Sat 13th of December Charlton 0-0 Leeds United team: Silvestri, Wootton (Berardi 48, Byram 90+3)), Bellusci, Cooper, Taylor, Dallas, Cook, Adeyemi, Bridcutt, Mowatt (Botaka 63), Wood. Subs: Peacock-Farrell, Murphy, Doukara, Antenucci. Referee: Andy Davies. Booked: Cousins, Reza (Charlton), Wootton, Mowatt, Bridcutt, Bellusci, Cook (United) Att: 15,867 (3,129 United). Report from official website

Charlton Athletic v Leeds United, SkyBet Championship

Adeyemi should have wrapped up all the points but missed badly

United made the trip to Charlton looking to make it back-to-back Championship victories, and head coach Steve Evans named an unchanged starting line-up from the previous weekend’s 2-1 win over Hull City. The only change came among the substitutes, as Gaetano Berardi returned from suspension to occupy a place on the bench. It was the hosts who made the brighter start at the Valley, with Reza Ghoochannejhad coming inches away from opening the scoring on the 10th-minute mark after being slotted into the area by Ricardo Vaz Te, only to see his low effort roll just wide of the far post. Ghoochannej had then fired over from 25 yards out after being found in space, before Ademola Lookman forced Marco Silvestri into his first save of the afternoon following a swift Charlton break from a United corner. Silvestri was equal to the Addicks’ joint-top goalscorer’s low drive, getting down sharply to his right to beat it away with two strong hands, before Stephen Henderson was called upon for the first time at the opposite end to clutch Alex Mowatt’s goal-bound free-kick. Chris Wood then saw his deflected first-time effort loop over Henderson’s crossbar just after the half-hour mark, but a largely uneventful passage of play followed until the first half approached two minutes of added time. Lewis Cook aimed to pick out the bottom corner with a curling attempt from 20 yards out, only to see it bounce wide of the far post on the 43rd minute, before Johann Gudmundsson smashed over from range for the hosts after being invited forward by the United defence. Silvestri then comfortably clutched a low strike from Ghoochannejhad, while Mowatt volleyed over the Charlton bar in an end-to-end finale to an otherwise forgettable opening 45 minutes. The second half continued at a similar tempo, with Charlton making a lively start but with little in the way of goalmouth opportunities. Evans was prompted into his first change of the afternoon just three minutes after the restart, replacing Scott Wootton, who was walking a tight rope after an early yellow card, with the returning Berardi at right back. Silvestri leapt across his line to smother a low attempt from Addicks captain Johnnie Jackson, before United – now attacking towards the vociferous 3,129 travelling fans – had carved their first openings of the second period. Stuart Dallas was at the heart of it, first hitting a low cross which was just out of reach of Lewis Cook at the back post, before forcing Henderson into a near-post block to turn behind his low strike after working himself into space inside the area. The resulting corner saw Charlie Taylor blaze a first-time effort over the bar after being picked out unmarked, before Silvestri was called into his finest save of the afternoon so far to somehow claw away Ricardo Vaz Te’s attempt which looked destined for the bottom corner. Leeds, with Jordan Botaka now on in place of Mowatt, started to put their hosts under a spell of sustained pressure as Tom Adeyemi drilled Cook’s cut-back wide before Cook’s effort cannoned back off the unassuming Wood inside the area after fine work from Dallas. The biggest chance came with 10 minutes remaining on the clock. Wood found Botaka inside the area, who in turn played in Adeyemi to loft the ball over the onrushing Henderson and agonisingly clip the outside of the post. Berardi then smashed well over the bar after Henderson had fumbled a cross into his path under pressure from Wood, but that proved to be the right-back’s final involvement as he was forced off on a stretcher during four minutes of injury time to be replaced by Sam Byram.There was no late drama, though, as referee Andy Davies’ full-time whistle ensured the spoils would be shared.

Steve Evans said: “I thought it was a game of two halves, but I don’t think Charlton had any dominance at any stage. “There was nothing in the game in the first half until it developed into a bit of a midfield battle and I was frustrated, but the second half was much better. “Charlton have lost games here this season – Ipswich came and won 3-0. I watched the full re-run of that but they never got the hiding they got in the second half today. “It was an absolute annihilation, but they held on and got the same return as what we did.” Evans named an unchanged starting line-up at the Valley from the previous weekend’s home victory over Hull City, with Chris Wood leading the line again as the lone striker in a 4-5-1 formation. Jordan Botaka was introduced in the closing stages as United pushed for an opening, but Evans felt his side were in such control that he didn’t want to risk changing that by introducing a second striker and subsequently changing the shape. “I had Mirco Antenucci warming up for about 25 minutes – the fans will have seen that – but we had so much dominance,” “I know there’s the argument saying ‘put the striker on and he might get the goal’, but we’d have had to have changed shape and that might have changed the flow of the game when we were so far in control. “I said to the players that they could be so proud of the second half. I thought the second half today was much better than the first half against Hull. “The only difference was the only thing that matters in football – we scored twice against Hull. “We couldn’t find the net today, but we had blocks on the line, we hit the woodwork, big Chris blocked Cookie’s shot and we had all sorts of chances. “But I was really thrilled with some of the one and two-touch in the final third. It was what we’ve been working on Monday to Friday and as the head coach you can take some glee in that.”

Dec 10th Cellino cleared in Italian court A court ruling in Italy has cleared Leeds United chairman Massimo Cellino of alleged tax evasion during his time as owner of Cagliari. The case related to the transfers of former Cagliari players\l ” Edgar Alvarez and Joe Bizera in 2007. A new government ruling which was introduced last October means the alleged offences are no longer punishable by law and Mr Cellino has been acquitted by the court.

Sat 6th of Dec Leeds (Wood 30, Adeyemi), HULL 1 (Elmohamady 51) United team: Silvestri, Wootton, Bellusci, Cooper, Taylor, Dallas (Murphy 80), Adeyemi, Cook, Bridcutt, Mowatt (Byram 73), Wood (Doukara 90+2). Subs: Peacock-Farrell, Botaka, Erwin, Antenucci. Referee: Chris Kavanagh Booked: Cook, Adeyemi, Silvestri (United) Attendance: 24,962 (2,591 Hull) The visit of Hull City saw United head coach Steve Evans make just the one change from the previous weekend’s defeat at QPR, replacing Mirco Antenucci with Tom Adeyemi in a slight shift in formation at Elland Road. On-loan midfielder Liam Bridcutt maintained his place in the starting line-up to make his home debut, while captain Sol Bamba remained sidelined with a fractured toe. Hull were the first to threaten during a lively start to proceedings, with former United defender Alex Bruce forcing Marco Silvestri to beat away his half-volley after a third-minute corner had found its way into his path at the back post. Stuart Dallas then had United’s first effort on goal on the 11th-minute mark, latching onto Chris Wood’s knockdown before unleashing a swerving strike well wide of Allan McGregor’s far post. McGregor comfortably held a speculative free-kick from Giuseppe Bellusci moments later, but clear-cut chances were at a premium during the early exchanges. Hull were forced into an early chance as Bruce pulled up with injury – Curtis Davies replacing him in defence – but Leeds were growing into the game and Adeyemi was slotted through on goal by Lewis Cook on 25 minutes, only for McGregor to smother his effort from a tight angle. The visitors threatened at the opposite end as Tom Huddlestone’s low strike glanced the side-netting after a corner was cleared into his path, before Leeds broke the deadlock on the half-hour mark. A flowing move down the right saw Cook thread Dallas into space, allowing the winger to pick out an inch-perfect cross for Wood to sweep beyond McGregor in front of the South Stand for his seventh goal of the season. And the lead could have been doubled just four minutes later as Alex Mowatt stole the ball from the toes of Harry Maguire on the edge of the area before rattling the crossbar with McGregor rooted to the spot. But a second United goal was to come on the stroke of half-time, Adeyemi slamming the ball home from inside the area after Cook’s volley was pushed into his path by LEEDS V HULL CITY  5-12-2015McGregor following a corner. It gave Evans’ side a deserved two-goal lead going into the break on the back of a strong first-half showing against the promotion hopefuls. The two sides re-emerged from the interval unchanged and Hull looked to mount a response during a lively start to the second half from Steve Bruce’s side. And they managed to find a way back into the game within just six minutes of the restart, Ahmed Elmohamady turning home a left-wing cross from close-range to reduce the deficit. Hull were forcing United to defend deep and Silvestri was called upon to hold Jake Livermore’s effort from range and to claw away Mohamed Diame’s curling attempt from the edge of the area with a superb, one-handed save. The United keeper then palmed away a low strike from Sam Clucas at his near-post, before both teams took turns to introduce fresh legs. Hull were first, replacing Maguire with Chuba Akpom, while United brought Sam Byram on for Mowatt with just over 20 minutes remaining. Hull soon introduced former United winger Robert Snodgrass and the visitors continued to press, with Elmohamady towering a back-post header inches away from Silvestri’s post. Akpom then passed up a golden opportunity as the game entered added time, heading wide from little more than six yards out after being found unmarked by Snodgrass, but United held firm in the closing minutes to see out a much-needed win. Steve Evans reaction :” We needed to win,” People were doubting people in the dressing room, doubting all of us. “We needed to produce a performance. We’ve sent people home disappointed on the last couple of Saturdays, but I thought our supporters today were fantastic in helping us over the line. “It’s going to take us a little while as a management team to put our stamp on the style of performances that we need. “But we’ve worked on it all week – high intensity, closing down – and I thought we carried that out with extreme excellence in the first half. “Going into half-time, we knew with the quality they’ve got that they were going to have a reaction. I thought we started the second half quite sloppy. “We had two or three opportunities to step onto the front foot, put the ball in the channels and squeeze the game up the pitch and force Hull to do something. “I think we almost contributed to our own downfall with two sloppy clearances in the build-up to the goal. “I thought their goal was a foul – I thought he was all over Charlie Taylor, although maybe he could have been a bit stronger there. “But I can’t ask any more from players who are running on empty until the 91st minute against a team who are definitely going to challenge for promotion.” Evans was also full of praise for the performance of Wood, who started as a lone striker and netted his seventh goal of the season to open the scoring on the half-hour mark. The head coach said: “We’ve worked really hard since the beginning of the week on getting the ball into the big man, getting it into his feet and getting runners off him. “He gave two very good central defenders a difficult afternoon. “When you have somebody like Chris Wood, who the football club paid a lot of money for, that was the type of performance everyone wants from him. “If anyone looks back at the opening goal today, it was a great run by Cook, a great weighted pass from Dallas and big Chris arrived there to slide it in. “When you work on that type of move and that type of cohesion in the box on the training ground during the week and it works for you, it makes you proud.” Steve Bruce Hull City : “That first 45 minutes was as bad as I’ve seen from us since I came here,”. “You can’t turn out on a blustery day and do the basics as badly as we did.” “I don’t give a monkey’s what names are on the shirts, but the next time we play I will have a team that shows the right attitude. “In the second half we were excellent, but in the first we were pathetic and got what we deserved. “If we are going to challenge [for promotion] we have to make sure we do better than that.” Huge performance. The soap opera that is Leeds United needed that performance but more so the result.

Dec 6th Byram rejects new contract offer Sam Byram has rejected Leeds United’s latest offer of a new contract, the YEP understands.In a move which looks set to spell the end of the defender’s time at Elland Road, Byram turned down a deal which would have extended his existing contract until the summer of 2017. Byram’s existing deal ends next summer and Leeds are not expected to return to him with a fresh offer. The 22-year-old’s future was thrown into doubt 12 months ago when United owner Massimo Cellino asked him to take a cut to his £12,000-a-week wage in return for a lengthy extension. Byram rejected that offer and further talks in August failed to find a solution but Leeds went back to him earlier this week with a proposal which matched his current salary. Byram’s resistance to it is likely to see United invite offers for him in the forthcoming January transfer window. The club will be entitled to compensation if he leaves at the end of this season, however, due to Byram’s age. Everton and Sunderland are both believed to have taken an interest in him. Amid the doubt about his future, the right-back has been in and out of United’s team and head coach Steve Evans admitted last weekend that Byram’s contractual situation was part of the reason for his omission from the starting line-up.The former academy player is the leading appearance-maker in the squad at Elland Road and has played 134 times for the club. He broke through from United’s youth-team ranks in 2012 and went onto win their player-of-the-year award at the end of his first campaign as a professional. And who can blame him !

Weds 2nd of Dec The Byram situation is of Cellino’s own making – Hay There is something about Sam Byram which skews Leeds United’s judgement. His talent, mostly. It was Byram’s talent which led the club to play him until his body gave way in his first season as a professional. It was Byram’s talent which convinced Gulf Finance House to ratchet up his wage after six months in the team. GFH reflected public opinion by improving Byram’s contract quickly. West Brom and Cardiff were sniffing around him and the teenager was halfway towards United’s player-of-the-year award. The bank simply went over the top by smacking his salary into the ballpark of £12,000 a week. Too much too soon for a player who might later merit another extension or ask the the club for a pay rise.It is not clear if Byram wanted a pay rise last Christmas. All that is known is that the defender was asked to take a pay cut. That trick might work with Luke Murphy, who at 26 won’t see another deal like the one GFH gave him, but not with someone of Byram’s stock. Massimo Cellino misplayed his hand. He gave a poor impression of how highly he valued the full-back. And in the end he ordered Byram’s agent out of a meeting at Elland Road. Were Leeds a balanced, joined-up club then the matter of Byram’s contract could be seen in a sober context. He has not played well this season. And at no stage has he played as well – or been as fit – as he was in his stellar first year. If United are wary of inflating his wage further then it is their prerogative to say that £12,000 is a respectable Championship wage and arguably a very good one on the basis of Byram’s form. They might take the view that GFH left little in the way of wriggle room. Every player has a going rate, regardless of academy roots. As with so many things, the frustration is with the process: the clumsy way in which the club have managed to drive a wedge between themselves and a promising right-back; a likeable youngster who could not pick a fight if he tried. Byram won’t have asked for this – the attention, the public criticism from Cellino, the debate over his place in the team – and he won’t be naive enough to think that it is doing him any good. Byram could leave next summer and pick up a chunky wage elsewhere. Or, like Aidan White, he could find that the cost of compensation owed to Leeds reduces his options and limits his opportunities on the back of a mediocre season. Players at the age of 22 don’t like to see time go by. The gulf and enmity between Byram’s camp and Cellino makes an agreement over a new contract highly unlikely. It is to Steve Evans’ credit that he found a way of persuading the two sides to speak again but depressing still that it took a new head coach, six weeks in the job, to manufacture a bridge that Leeds had failed to build. It is possible that by now Byram has resolved to leave; resolved to follow Tom Lees in looking for a fresh start and a clean slate. Maybe money is part of it. But from the starting point of a short, sharp and bitter meeting last year – followed by brief efforts by Adam Pearson to relight the fire in August – Cellino’s attempts to find a solution look deeply inadequate. And in that spirit, so too is the right side of United’s defence. Scott Wootton bears the brunt of his performances but Wootton is a centre-back. Pushed out wide into the most political and contentious position in the side, he’s another unwitting victim in a long line at Elland Road. When Gaetano Berardi is fit or eligible, Byram’s absence avoids focus and is justified by Berardi’s form. But on days like Saturday, when Wootton’s distribution and attacking limitations were exposed by QPR, the subject becomes very live. Evans says he is free to play Byram if he wishes; that Byram’s involvement or lack of it is as much about football as it is about his contract. But Uwe Rosler was very clear that speculation about Byram was bothering the 22-year-old in the first month of the season. Evans evidently feels that the contractual dispute is a big enough issue for him to get involved. So even if Byram’s deal is not directly responsible for his absence in the team, it is having that impact in its own way. His personal environment is rotten and counter-productive and Leeds are suffering because of it. They are not so blessed with good players that they can afford to let one fester. But they are almost beyond the point of allowing Byram to play himself into form. This is not, as Steve Evans put it, about Byram being “the saviour of Leeds United.” It has never been said that Byram is a player who Leeds can build their team around; only that in better form, he is a player who Leeds should want to build with. Byram is not so good that he gets to name his price but he is good enough, professional enough and popular enough to deserve the courtesy of contract talks which give peace a chance. Cellino’s approach last December was akin to admitting defeat before a ball was kicked. Those heavy-handed tactics seem ever more peculiar.

Weds 2nd of Dec Will Leeds United interest Chinese investors? Supporters of Leeds United will be hoping their club remains attractive enough to overseas investors as business experts predict a flow of Chinese money into the UK game. Phil Hay reports. Where Leeds United are concerned, yesterday’s deal between Manchester City and Chinese investors was a demoralising example of wealth attracting wealth. The trade of a 13 per cent stake for £265m valued City as a club at £2bn. Massimo Cellino at Elland Road. Picture by Tony Johnson The comparisons with Leeds are stark. The sum invested in City is more than 10 times United’s annual turnover in the 2013-14 financial year. It is nine times the amount that Leeds Fans Utd estimated as the rough cost of a takeover when it began its recent short-lived attempt to buy out Massimo Cellino. But if Leeds are for sale, or likely to be sold by Cellino in the near future, the latest injection of cash at Eastlands suggests the appetite for throwing money at English football has not dried up. Business analysts believe yesterday’s announcement will be the start of a flow of Chinese money into the UK game. CMC (China Media Capital) Holdings, the firm which fronted the purchase of shares in City, represented “a consortium of high-profile Chinese institutional investors”, according to a statement issued by the Premier League club early yesterday morning. Three years ago, a group from China were reported to have taken control of a 15 per cent stake in Inter Milan. In the past 12 months, Chinese cash has been directed towards Atletico Madrid and Malaga in Spain, Sochaux in France, De Haag in Holland and Slavia Prague in the Czech Republic.In the Far East, they say that the trend has been driven by the country’s President, Xi Jinping, who is intent on establishing China as a serious footballing power. By 2025 the country wants to create a global sports industry worth close to £500bn. In future, it hopes to host the World Cup. Chris Brady, a professor at the University of Salford’s Centre for Sports Business, said further Chinese investment in England was highly likely after yesterday’s announcement. “The Chinese president is a football fanatic and he wants China to be a world power in 10 to 15 years,” Brady told the YEP. “There’s already been Chinese investment in Europe and the idea that China will carry on investing in European football – in clubs with investment potential – is right. I’d be absolutely confident about that. “An Everton, an Aston Villa, maybe a Leeds United – what we’re talking about are clubs with potential, clubs that are clearly under-achieving but have underlying support in big numbers. It’s all about growth potential.” Cellino’s intentions at present are typically unclear. United’s majority shareholder, who retains control of around 75 per cent of Leeds through Eleonora Sport Ltd, appeared to have resigned himself to selling the club in October but backtracked a fortnight ago. Cellino said he had received no serious offers and would not depart until the club were safe from relegation from the Championship. The eccentric Italian – owner at Elland Road since April, 2014 – made a brief offer to sell his shares “without profit” to Leeds Fans United (LFU) on October 20 before withdrawing that offer in a matter of days. LFU, a supporters’ group, believed his stake to be worth a minimum of £30m. Talks between Cellino and local businessman Steve Parkin, a lifelong fan who has tried and failed to acquire control of United at least three times, also reached a dead end quickly. In the meantime, Cellino is waiting for the Football League to confirm the date of his appeal against his latest ownership ban. Leeds are seen by many as English football’s last big investment opportunity; the one major club who have never tapped into the financial boom of the past decade. But they are not a club without issues. Their stadium and their training ground remain under private ownership, as they have since 2004. Cellino is said to have drastically improved the financial mess he inherited from Gulf Finance House but United are faced with a myriad of legal cases. Their squad are 17th in the Championship after losing at QPR on Saturday. Brady said: “What Manchester City offer is global investment potential. It’s very appealing. The City Football Group (CFG) have got Melbourne City and New York City, on top of Manchester City. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if we see a Shanghai City before long. “You could easily invest in a whole load of academies in China and make the most of the young boys over there, of which there are millions. “If you commit and do it properly, you can’t go far wrong – and China know they’ll benefit from the players who come through.”CMC chairman Ruigang Li, whose organisation spent six months negotiating with City, said he expected the tie-up “to benefit China’s football industry on multiple levels.” “City Football Group represents a differentiated, systematic approach to building a global platform for football know-how, player development, academy programmes and commercial partnerships,” Li said. “We and our consortium partner CITIC Capital also see this investment as a prime opportunity for furthering the contribution of China to the global football family.” haldoon Al Mubarak, chairman of CFG, said: “Football is the most loved, played and watched sport in the world and in China, the exponential growth pathway for the game is both unique and hugely exciting. “We have, therefore, worked hard to find the right partners and to create the right deal structure to leverage the incredible potential that exists in China, both for CFG and for football at large.” Brady claimed that City were “probably overvalued” at £2bn. “It shows how important this sort of deal is to Chinese football,” he said. There is widespread agreement that Manchester City’s owner, Sheikh Mansour, needs money from China far less than China needs its association with the Premier League leaders. Leeds have not been a top-flight club for 11-and-a-half years but their profile lingers. They have the highest away attendance in the Championship again this season. Their incessant appearances on Sky Sports are down to the fact that the satellite company can always bank on large audience figures whenever United are televised. Simon Chadwick, a professor at Coventry University and an expert in sports business and marketing, said: “There are different types of Chinese investors – state-owned enterprises and private equity groups. “The private equity groups aren’t necessarily looking for a high-profile club like Manchester City. “They might buy a club because they’ve been told to by the Chinese government or because it will earn them government favour and potentially access to lucrative contracts. “It’s all part of the plan to create a global sports industry in China. “I’ve been predicting (investment in an English club) for a while now. In the last 12 months, the Chinese have been investing in clubs all over Europe. “They don’t really have a track record of running football clubs yet so it would be premature to say if Chinese ownership was good or bad but I don’t think they’ll run clubs as vanity products. “They’ll run them in a rational way, with the business acumen that’s seen the huge economic growth in China over the past 20 years. “They’d want to try and build up a positive image here but there are plenty of poor Chinese investors out there. There’s an old saying about being careful what you wish for.”Leeds and working with whoever successfully negotiates a deal with Cellino, who revealed on Tuesday night that six potential buyers have contacted his representatives to express their interest in potentially buying Leeds. One name doing the rounds is Guiseley co-owner Steve Parkin, multi-millionaire owner of Clipper Logistics Group, who has previously bene linked with a buy-out of the club. Another is former Southampton chairman and Nicola Cortese, although a report in the Daily Mail earlier this week has suggested that the Swiss banker had no interest in purchasing the Elland Road club. One thing that Clarke is fully assured on is that LFU will not go away, with the group remaining in ‘cordial and friendly’ conversations with Cellino, while expressing a desire to work together with a third party to secure a minority stake, at the very least, in the club. Clarke said: “This group are not going to go away easily. “We are going about it in the right and proper manner and hopefully, in the not too distant future, it will be put in the proper hands with the fans having a say. “All I am interested in is the fans having some control in the club and if they can do that, I can die happy.” ARE YOU READING THIS LORIMER ????