Zigic 2nd goal

Zigic again

The Zigic show

Tuesday Jan 31st. Leeds 1-4  Birmingham. 01 Lonergan, 22 Lees, 28 White, 29 Thompson, 48 O’Dea YC, 15 Clayton, 17 Townsend, 25 Delph, 10 Becchio, 23 Snodgrass, 44 McCormack. Unused Substitutes :24 Taylor, 04 Bruce, 08 Brown, 16 Pugh, 20 Nunez Ref: DeanAtt: 19,628.  The early evening talk surrounded the possible withdrawal of Robert Snodgrass as Blackburn were allegedly making a late bid. Grayson called for the crowd to get behind his team and they certainly did as United came out of the traps on fire. Becchio missed two easy chances but McCormack fired Leeds deservedly ahead. Birmingham equalised against the run of play through Zigic and that’s how it finished in the first half. United should have been ahead. When Leeds don’t score, they lose. The second half was the Zigic show as every ball that came into the box United couldn’t defend. This is a guy who scored only 4 goals before tonight all season. And we haven’t been able to defend since Adam was a lad. The transfer window has come and gone and we paid out peanuts, £500K for Danny Pugh, a couple of Spurs Reserves and the decent Fabian Delph. Our club is dying. Maybe Grayson should go, and maybe he shouldn’t go. You could probably give either argument a decent airing.  But, the problem is and always will be Bates and until he goes there will be no Leeds United. YEP report : Nikola Zigic scored all four goals at Elland Road as Birmingham cranked up the pressure on their promotion rivals with a sixth straight win. The beanpole Serbian striker cancelled out Ross McCormack’s 19th-minute opener with a first-half header and struck three times in seven minutes in the second period as Chris Hughton’s rampant Blues ran riot. Zigic headed home his fourth in the 68th minute and was forced off after landing awkwardly, but the damage was done as Birmingham extended their unbeaten run to 10 matches. Luciano Becchio and defender Aidan White returned for Leeds, but there was no place in the squad for deadline day loan signing Adam Smith, from Tottenham, while another recent recruit, USA international Robbie Rogers, was not included. Birmingham, beaten only once since exiting the Europa League in December, made three changes, with goalkeeper Boaz Myhill, midfielder Keith Fahey and Zigic recalled. Leeds twice threatened to take the lead in only the second minute when Becchio’s goalbound header and then McCormack’s shot were both blocked on the goalline.Becchio then wasted another golden chance to give Leeds a flying start, sidefooting wide with just keeper Boaz Myhill to beat after being played through by McCormack. But McCormack gave the Elland Road crowd a huge lift in the 19th minute when skipping too easily past Blues defender Curtis Davies and arrowing a left-footed shot into the bottom corner. Leeds’ hard work was undone by a soft equaliser in the 31st minute. Wade Elliott was afforded too much space to cross from the left and Zigic slipped his marker to steer home an easy header. Becchio was denied a spectacular goal from 30 yards only by Myhill’s acrobatics in the 57th minute. But just as Leeds began to force the issue Zigic blasted Birmingham into a 61st-minute lead. Chris Burke raced on to a crossfield pass and turned left-back White inside out before cutting the ball back for Zigic to fire high into the net. Three minutes later the Serb headed home his hat-trick. Morgaro Gomis crossed from the left after another swift passing move and Zigic was free to regally head home the visitors’ third goal. Elliott forced Andy Lonergan into a fine save with a header as the Blues smelt blood and from the resulting corner Zigic rose highest to power home his fourth and all but seal another win for Hughton’s rampant side. Zigic fell awkwardly and left the field to tumultuous applause from the travelling Blues fans. The phone in afterwards all to a man were having a go at Bates and Eddie Gray defended saying that money was spent on Connolly, Bromby, Bruce, and others who can’t get in the team. The following sums it up for me. Peterboro United, a side that are lucky to get 8,000 paying punters in at London Road offered £1.9M to Crawley Town for two players. The bid was rejected but the ambition was evident. Here’s what Larry had to say : “We started the game ever so well. We talked all week about getting a positive start. Luciano should have had a hat-trick (interjection by Eddie Gray).  We worked them and pressed them and Zigic got four opportunites and he scored them all. We didn’t deal with the threat.  We have all young boys. They were playing against men tonight. You could see the difference in the mentality and physique.(Re experienced ball winning centre half query by Eddie Gray) We’ve tried to do those deals. We are fully aware we have a young team but we are trying to fill an expectancy level of this football club. Our players will learn from this. We got to work hard in the playing pitch. We are trying to bring players and the emergency loan opens next week and maybe one or two like Bruce, Bromby and O’Brie can come back in. Eddie Gray asks :Is the budget strong enough ? It’s going to be lower than a lot of other clubs. We have got to make the best of it. Re Window were you disappointed – Eddie Gray again ? We’ve tried to bring in players and earmarked players but obviously we would have looked and tried to have gotten experienced players in. Bruce, Bromby and  OB can come back but we’ve been unfortunate. This team has taken 7 points from the last 9 but there was a big gulf in experience and quality. We’ve got a game against Bristol City and that’s a game that we can win. For 60 minutes we played as good as we have all season. Stats show we have had twice as many crosses but we conceded 4 and they were strong in their box. The young lads have given their all, but they are 18, 19 and 20 year olds but we do need experience. We have worked hard but the difference in the box was determined by a guy who is on £50 grand  a week. All the goals were due to  inexperience. Tom should have been closer, Aidy could have stopped a cross, but these lads have given their all. We have to pick ourselves up and we’ll keep working on the training ground. Look at the West Ham result tonight. They’ve gotten beat 5-1at Ipswich and they have bought half of the country today”. –Louth men send me in your comments and as always I’ll post them all. But remember I don’t pick the team.


Tues Jan 31st 2012. O’Brien back. Andy O’Brien is to resume training this week with Leeds United and will be available for selection the club has announced. The Whites brought disciplinary action against the player following his refusal to play against Burnley on November 19 last year. It was announced at that time that the player’s future would be determined after a full investigation. The investigation has led to a fuller understanding of the issues that the player has faced since the start of the season, which has seen him seek specialist medical treatment at the Sporting Chance Clinic for depression. It is felt he is now ready to recommence training and the club will facilitate any further treatment that is required. The club said: “We were exceptionally disappointed when Andy refused to play before the Burnley game and felt let down. It is now apparent that there were a number of issues that he was dealing with at that time which affected him in a way we could not imagine and he was not in a right state of mind to make such decisions. On this basis we believe he deserves a second chance and we will do everything we can to assist him.” The club would appeal to its fans to support the player on his road back to first team action. Nobody likes to see anyone suffer from depression, but Bates after crucifying the player in his programme notes last week will now claim him as a new signing. Meanwhile Blue Square Bet Premier side Barrow AFC have signed Leeds United goalkeeper Alex Cairns on a one-month youth loan. The 19-year-old has made one first-team substitute appearance for Leeds this season. He will provide competition for Bluebirds keeper Shaun Pearson, while Danny Hurst recovers from a head injury. Meanwhile, Joe Jackson’s youth loan stay at Barrow has been extended until the end of the season.

Tuesday Jan 31st. No Wilson but Smith arrives (not Alan). The deal to bring Mark Wilson to Leeds has fallen through and the player appears to be bound for Bristol City. Leeds United have completed the signing of Tottenham Hotspur defender Adam Smith ahead of the transfer deadline. The 20-year-old right-back has joined Leeds on loan until the end of the season, with a view to a permanent deal. Smith spent the first half of this term on loan at MK Dons but he was recalled from the League One club yesterday with another opportunity in the pipeline. Leeds are once again being linked with Coventry City midfielder Sammy Clingan, with cash-strapped Coventry ready to listen to offers for their captain, and the Elland Road club are looking to extend Fabian Delph’s loan from Aston Villa until the end of the Championship campaign. Larry : “Adam is an Englan U21 international with a bright future and he is a great addition for us”. For one so young he has a fair few games behind him : 3 games for Wycombe Wands, 16 for Torquay United, and 17 for MK Dons. Hopefully it’s bye bye Connolly.

Monday Jan 20th 2012. Wilson to arrive from Celts. Celtic’s Mark Wilson is poised to sign a loan deal with Leeds United until the end of the season – according to reports in Scotland. The 27-year-old right-back was signed from Dundee United five years ago by Gordon Strachan for £500,000, but has been plagued by injury throughout his Hoops career. He played for the Hoops in a behind-closed doors friendly with Leeds last week. Whilst I’m unhappy regarding United’s continued practice of cheap loan signings, I’m surprised that Celtic let Wilson go. He’s a decent bright full, a lot better than Connolly (which doesn’t say much) and recently scored the only goal in Celtic’s 1-0 win v Rangers.

Monday January 20th 2012. Larry on Smudger. Leeds United manager Simon Grayson has said he will be monitoring the progress of Alan Smith during his loan spell with MK Dons. The former United captain linked up with the League One side this weekend on loan from Newcastle United amid the ever-present speculation that he could be set to return to the Whites. Grayson told the club website: Alan Smith’s lack of match activity was the reason Leeds United failed to make a move for the striker ahead of his loan switch to Milton Keynes Dons, according to manager Simon Grayson. The 31-year-old was wanted by the Elland Road club last summer but agreement could not be reached with Newcastle United over a move that would have involved the Premier League club paying a significant percentage of his £60,000-per-week wage. Since then, Smith has managed just five minutes of first-team action in two appearances from the bench for Alan Pardew’s side and was earlier this month made available for transfer. MK Dons subsequently made a move for Smith over the weekend and the former England international is in line to make his debut in tonight’s League One game with Sheffield Wednesday. Leeds manager Grayson said: “There was a lot of speculation about Alan over the summer. He was a player that we thought about many times but, purely from a football point of view, we had to ask if it was worth doing. “Alan has not played many games so it would be difficult to bring him back. Put that against the financial aspect and it would have been a big gamble.” MK Dons’ capture of Smith is seen as something of a coup, not least because the League One outfit will only contribute £2,500 of Smith’s weekly wages during his loan stay at stadium:mk until the end of the season. Asked if such a deal would not have made Smith a gamble worth taking, Grayson replied: “Believe me, we would not have got Alan Smith for £2,500 per week. I think you could add an extra nought on the end.  “I saw the MK Dons manager (Karl Robinson) on Saturday and he was buzzing to have someone of Alan’s calibre. But, in terms of ourselves, it didn’t get far enough to think about that. “Our first target in midfield was getting Fabian (Delph) back. We didn’t discuss (Smith) to that length. We discussed it more in the summer.” Smith will be out of contract in the summer and Grayson has not ruled out a future move for a striker who made 172 appearances for his hometown club before leaving to join Manchester United in 2004. Grayson, whose own side take on Birmingham City tonight, said: “The best thing he can do is go out and get games. He wasn’t someone we went back in for but it is also something we will keep an eye on over the next few weeks and months.”Sheffield Wednesday manager Gary Megson says Smith is a player he has always admired but never been able to afford. “He’s had a fantastic career and I remember being asked, when I was manager at West Bromwich Albion, if there was one player in the country I could sign who would it be? I said him (Alan Smith) because I thought he was a fantastic player and I really like his drive and desire. “He was at Leeds and a great player. But I could never afford him,” Megson added. “Now he’s gone to MK Dons and he will be joining a good squad of players.”Wednesday striker Gary Madine revealed that Smith had been one of his favourite players when growing up as a teenager in the North East. He owns one of the striker’s Newcastle United shirts which he had asked for after a Championship game with Coventry City three years ago. “I am a big fan of his but he’s playing in League One against us now so he’s no different to the rest of us,” said Madine, who spent three months on loan at Coventry from Carlisle United in the 2009-2010 season. “I asked for his shirt when I played against him at Coventry and I have still got it,” he added. “He’s a good player and his work rate is second to none. He runs around, puts himself about, and has a good first touch.” Madine is set for a recall tonight as the Owls look to move nine points clear of MK Dons, who are currently fifth in League One. A victory would also lift the Owls back into second spot in the table above Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield Town and Sheffield United.

Mr and Mrs Gary Speed

Monday Jan 30th. Gary Speed inquest. Former Leeds United star Gary Speed sent a text to his wife days before he died in which he “talked in terms of taking his life”, an inquest heard today. But the coroner ruled there was no evidence to suggest he intended to take his own life. In a narrative verdict, Cheshire coroner Nicholas Rheinberg gave the cause of death as hanging but said “the evidence does not sufficiently determine whether this was intentional or accidental”. Mr Rheinberg said Speed may have “nodded off” while sitting with a rope around his neck on the stairs in his garage. The inquest at Warrington Coroner’s Court heard that Speed texted his wife days before his death and “talked in terms of taking his life”. The couple also “had words” on the night before he was found dead after they had been to a dinner party at a friend’s house. Speed, who played for Sheffield United, Everton, Newcastle, Leeds and Bolton, was found hanged at his Cheshire home on November 27 last year by his wife Louise. Mrs Speed told the inquest her husband had talked in terms of taking his life in the text exchange days earlier but that he “dismissed it”, saying that he was “excited” about the future with his wife and two sons. Mrs Speed said the text referred to their “ups and downs” but went on about “how important the boys were” and about “moving forward”. “We walked in the house and we had an exchange of words about something and nothing,” Mrs Speed said. She said she suggested she go for drive but her husband blocked the door and told her she “wasn’t going anywhere”. “I went upstairs and lay on the bed for probably about five or ten minutes,” she said. “Then I decided to go for a drive, to clear my mind (and for) space to think.” Questioned further by Mr Rheinberg, she said she only drove to the “top of the road” before she stopped to ring her husband’s mobile phone. After getting no reply, she returned to the house and tried, unsuccessfully, to ring him again. “I decided to keep the car running and stay there until I could get into the house,” she explained. After getting some sleep in the vehicle she told the hearing she woke up at about 6am and went to the outside bathroom. She said she noticed some shed keys missing which were usually stored there and went to the shed to see if Gary was there, before moving to the garage. Blinking away tears she said: “I went to the window and there I saw him.” She nodded as Mr Rheinberg asked: “Could you see Gary on the stairs?” He continued: “Was it apparent that Gary was hanging?” “Yes,” Mrs Speed told him. She said she then woke the children to open up the house and called the emergency services. On their advice, she cut her husband to the ground as paramedics were sent to the scene. The sportsman was hanging from a bannister with a piece of television aerial, the court has heard. Mrs Speed confirmed there was no note or message left by her husband before his death. In a statement read out after the inquest, Mr Speed’s family said the day of his death was the “worst day of our lives” but his memory “shines brightly in our thoughts”. Earlier Mr Rheinberg told the hearing the couple had clearly been going through a “difficult time”. Mr Speed was appointed as manager of the Welsh team in December 2010 and Mr Rheinberg said: “It’s clear that with the appointment as manager came responsibilities.” He said Mrs Speed “talked in terms of some stresses, including some stresses within their relationship, partly brought about by forced absences, and clearly the couple were going through something of a difficult time. “But nothing that couldn’t be sorted out.” He said “nothing abnormal” had happened in the days leading up to Mr Speed’s death. He appeared on BBC1’s Football Focus programme and met up with his friend and former Newcastle United teammate Alan Shearer, who was in Salford recording Match of the Day, before going home to Huntington Hall, Chester. He and his wife then went to a dinner party where at one point Mr Speed was pushed into a swimming pool. Mr Rheinberg said he joined in “with gusto”. Asked if the Wales job was forcing him to spend more time away from his family, Mrs Speed said: “I think he was spending more hours there than he thought he would do initially.” Mr Rheinberg then asked if it was difficult for both of them “spending long periods apart?” Mrs Speed responded: “Yes.” Mr Rheinberg asked if this had “put some degree of stress” on their relationship. She responded: “I would say so, yes.”Mrs Speed said they had been “working through” their “ups and downs”. The inquest heard that investigators believed Mr Speed had been sitting on the stairs in his garage with the ligature around his neck. Mr Rheinberg said: “It seems likely that Mr Speed was sitting for some time with a ligature around his neck. “It may have been that this was some sort of dramatic gesture, not normally in Mr Speed’s character, but nonetheless, a possibility.” Mr Rheinberg said it was a “possibility” he was sat there for some time and he “nodded off to sleep” with the cable around his neck. Carol Speed spoke movingly in her statement about her son’s successful footballing career. She said he “loved his sons completely” but described him as a “man of few words”. Speaking about the back injury which led to his move from playing to coaching, she said: “The feeling I got was that he felt it was the right thing to do.”And on his appointment as Wales manager, Mrs Speed said: “Gary said there was no greater honour than to manage his country in the game he loved.” Mrs Speed and her husband Roger had urged their son to use a driver for the long drive from their Chester home to Cardiff, where the Welsh FA is based. But he told her the drive was “his thinking time”, she told the court. “He had a job and he was striving to make changes. “Although Gary enjoyed his job he did not enjoy the high profile nature of it. “Gary always said he was not a celebrity.”She said her son’s death left herself and her husband in “complete shock”. “Looking back, Gary was always a glass-half-empty person, certainly no optimist,” her statement added. Detective Inspector Peter Lawless, who led the investigation for Cheshire Police, told the coroner there were no suspicious circumstances. He said there was no evidence of forced entry into the garage or evidence of second party involvement. Speed was hanging from the banister of the garage staircase, the officer said. GARY Speed’s family today said his death was one of the darkest days of their lives but said they had sought solace in the support offered from family and friends. In a statement released after the inquest into his death, they also thanked the Football Association of Wales for supporting the family after the death, and have arranged a memorial match against Costa Rica in his honour.Here is the family statement in full: “Gary’s death and the manner of it, made Sunday 27th November 2011 the worst day of our lives. Throughout the nine weeks since, there have been some very dark moments, which we have all had to find our own different ways to endure. “Now, we have to adapt to the future without a husband, a father, a brother and a son; but Gary’s memory shines brightly in our thoughts and we will forever remember the wonderful times we shared with him and the deep love and affection he offered so freely within our close knit family. “Thankfully, out of tragedy some good often emerges, and we feel blessed to have such true friends who are helping each of us come to terms with the circumstances of our bereavement. “Gary’s funeral was an occasion of great sadness and grief for everyone concerned but it was also a day where we were able to say farewell to him in our own personal and private way. “At this time we wish to reiterate our deep appreciation for the very generous and clearly sincere accolades paid to Gary and his memory by the public and all forms of the media. We remain especially grateful for the sympathetic way that the media has respected the family’s privacy. “The help and encouragement we have received from so many special individuals and organisations leading up to today’s inquest has been truly breathtaking and we must recognise publicly some of those concerned. “The thoughtful way we have been treated by the Cheshire constabulary, which has been represented here today by Detective Inspector Peter Lawless. The considerate way today’s hearing has been conducted by HM Coroner Mr Nicholas Rheinberg. “The practical help given in abundance by Melissa Chappell, whose support and friendship has been so much more to us than simply Gary’s professional agent. “The invaluable life-line provided by the League Managers Association which has been there for us throughout. “We are immensely thankful to all of you and greatly appreciate what you have done for us. “Finally, our thanks go to the FA of Wales which has arranged the Gary Speed Memorial Match against Costa Rica at the Cardiff City Stadium on Wednesday 29th February. This will give everyone whose lives were touched and enriched by Gary’s achievements the opportunity to attend, celebrate his life and pay their final respects. We look forward to seeing you there.”

Sunday Jan 29th. Championship transfer round up. Whilst Leeds are chasing around in the bargain buckets for loan signings, Southampton and West Ham United are fighting it out over Jelavic of Glasgow Rangers. Offers of £4M have been rejected by Rangers from both sides. West Ham are currently trying to nab Carlos Tevez on loan. The Hammers are reported to have had a bid of £4m turned down for Robert Snodgrass. Southampton are reported to be close to agreeing the loan deal for £2.75M centre half Danny Collins from Stoke City. M’bro who impressed today at Sunderland (and are probably the biggest physically of any Championship sides) have already nabbed the giant striker, Lukas Jutkiewicz from Coventry City for £1.5M during this window. Notts Forest turned down an approach from Birmingham City for striker, Lewis McGugan. Blackpool have signed Nouha Dicko, a 19 year old French striker on loan from Wigan for the rest of the season. Meanwhile, Wembley bound Cardiff City are set to reject a £3M offer for their talisman, Peter Whttingham. As most Championship sides are in action on Tuesday, Monday will be pivotal in deciding how strong teams may be for the rest of the campaign.

Smudger to MK Dons shock

Sunday 29th of January 2012. Smudger joins MK Dons. Alan Smith has joined MK Dons on loan from Newcastle for the rest of the season. The 31-year-old former Leeds and Manchester United midfielder has made just two substitute appearances for the Magpies this season and has now joined the promotion-chasing npower League One club. Newcastle confirmed in a statement that Smith would be available to make his debut when the Dons face Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday night. The loan arrangement also contains a provision for Smith to play for the Dons in the play-offs. They are currently fifth in the League One table. Back in August I would have loved to have seen Smudger back at Leeds. That ship has now sailed I’m afraid. We can’t afford to wait for him to get fit, and secondly it would be another sideshow which would detract from the off field problems we are currently enduring. MK Dons are said to be paying circa £2K of his £60K a week wages, a far cry from what was suggested by our chairman back in the Summer. 


Sat Jan 28th 2012. Leeds United target Enar Jaager is back home in Estonia awaiting developments regarding his future – after his dream move to SPL giants Rangers hit the buffers. The right-back, capped 84 times by his country, had been tipped to sign for the Gers following an impressive recent trial with boss Ally McCoist keen to offer him a deal. But the parlous financial situation at Ibrox has ensured McCoist’s hopes of landing the free agent are in jeopardy, unless he can shift some players off the wage bill. Jaager’s move to Rangers could yet be resurrected, with McCoist desperate to sign him as cover for crocked duo Steven Whittaker and Kirk Broadfoot. But developments have alerted United, who are interested in the 27-year-old, who recently left Norwegian club Aalesunds. Confirming he hadn’t given up hope of signing Jaager, who played in a behind-closed doors game for the Gers earlier this week and attended Saturday’s game with Aberdeen, Gers boss McCoist said: “Enar is away back to Estonia and we are very hopeful we can put a package together there and make him an offer. He’s a player who has certainly impressed.”  Hopefully he’ll do better for Leeds than he did for Estonia v Irelnd (0-4 if my memory serves me right).

Pathetic Lorimer

Mr and Mrs Chairman

Friday January 27th. You are pathetic Lorimer.  I’ve seen Peter Lorimer far too much over the past few years to have even an ounce of respect for the man. As player from the Revie era he was a legend and that can be undisputable. As a man he cuts a poor imitation of an Eddie Gray or an Allan Clarke. Gray and Clarke are independent thinkers who don’t toe the party line. Lorimer has become a puppet for Ken Bates, incapable of questioning anything that his master says. In the Pavillion before last Saturday’s match against Ipswich Town, most present felt that he was trying to defend the indefensible in claiming the club had to sell Jonny. “I’m one of you, I don’t want to see Leeds in the Championship”, he uttered. The boos and jeering rang out. Peter you will never be one of us, and you will cut a lonely figure when Bates is gone. Take your thirty pieces of silver as a token director and from the ridiculous “Leeds  on the Road” propaganda  nights in your hole of a pub. Bates  is 80 now and he won’t be around forever, but no doubt that you will attach yourself to the new consortium if and when it happens just like the fly on shite that you are now.  The following is his piece on Friday from the Yorkshire Evening Post, followed by what I believe is an outstanding rant, by someone well informed, by the name of Lebowski. Make your own minds up. By Peter Lorimer YEP – Published on Friday 27 January 2012 14:50. I do think the Ipswich Town game could be a massive turning point in our season as we got a few breaks when we needed them and that should give the players the confidence that has been lacking a little bit at home. I know some fans were unhappy on Saturday, but at the end of the day we’re all Leeds fans and want the club to be successful and we’ve all got to get behind the team. I was speaking to a couple of the players on Monday night at Lorimer’s Bar and they are aware of an ‘atmosphere’ among the crowd. I don’t think that should be happening in matches; we all want the team to win and we can do our part by cheering them on. Leeds are a great crowd and I fully understand that fans are desperate to get back in the ‘big league’, especially after sampling the cup games against the Manchester Uniteds and Arsenals relatively recently. Those were special games and we all want to get back to the Premier League. I know the expectations of the fans – and that they want it now – but there are plenty of other teams in this league who want it as well. Look at the money some teams have chucked at it. And how many of them are actually doing well? Ipswich are a case in point, and Leicester City. Spending loads of money doesn’t guarantee you anything. I would say to the fans we are making progress all the time. What will get us promotion is if we all stay together and get behind the team and the team responds. The transfer window closes on Tuesday night and it’s always a hard time because everyone’s out there looking for quality players and there are not all that many available at this stage of the season. I know people are working all the hours they can to try and get things sorted out and hopefully we’ll come up with something before the window closes. In terms of dealing with the Premiership clubs, it’s not always straightforward as a lot of them are concerned about their position as well. They don’t want to be leaving themselves short. We’ve obviously got Fabian Delph and Robbie Rogers in already, and I’m sure we’ll be looking to add more before the deadline. Saturday was a very vital win in terms of keeping us in the ball game as regards the play-offs and so is the game on Tuesday night against Birmingham City.They are another of the clubs who are up there challenging for the play-offs and it’s another rival we have the chance to do something against. During the run-in, if you like, you need to beat the teams around you, especially at home. If we beat Birmingham, we’ll have a good chance to go into the top six on Tuesday and it’s there for us. Looking at this league, you’re not surprised by any result really. For instance, Leicester went down to Southampton and won the other night and it wasn’t a massive shock as there’s such a lack of consistency. When you hear the results on a Saturday, there are always a few surprises. Many teams are much of a muchness and all sides are capable of beating anyone on their given day. Reply by Lebowski. Peter, some questions for you as a member of the board…1.  Do you agree with the way LUFC is being run at the moment ? 2. Do you think ticket prices are fair ? 3. Do you think that casual attendees, lads and Dads have to pay full whack if they want to watch a match at Elland Road ? Thats how I first came to watch you in a Leeds shirt, I doubt that would ever have happened under current circumstances. 4. Do you think that it is fair that members have to pay £40 just for the priviledge of being able to purchase tickets ? 5. Do you think it was a good move to ban the BBC from Elland Road ? 6. Do you think it is a good idea to cut down on your catchment by taking all radio broadcasting in house and losing £700,000 per year for the right to do this, whilst turning down income from prospective broadcasters ? 7. Do you want your club (I’m assuming LUFC are your club) to continue to be run by someone who threatened to destroy it unless he gained financially ? 8. Do you agree that the fans inside Elland Road are policed by cheap hired bouncers who relish confrontation ? 9. Do you like the fact that our chief executive once referred to Leeds as ‘White S***e’ ? 10.  Do you like the fact that we were repeatedly lied to that we were selling Fabien Delph in order to re-purchase Thorp Arch ? 10. Do you like having a chairman who  for 7 years has spoken of investors and has not managed to attract any at all in all of that time ? ( Think about how long that is, My lad was 17 years old, he’s now 24 !! We are still waiting) 11. Do you like the fact that throughout West Yorkshire, young kids do not see Leeds United gear in shops to even give them a chance of choosing us over Manchester United or Chelsea ? 12.  Do you like the fact that our money is being spent on serial court cases and legal fees to satisfy our litigious cantankerous 80 year old chairman ? 13.  Do you like the fact that many members of the Supporters club, who were the lifeblood of the club, never missing a game , have been given pariah status by a chairman who countenances no dissenting voices? 14.  Do you think it is right that I have a season ticket renewal sitting on my table asking me to pay up front SEVEN months before the start of the next season, with no clue as to what I will be paying for ? 15. Do you like the fact that we, as fans have to pay prices equating to a champions league side , yet our club serially sell their talented players for peanuts and we continue to turn up and watch mediocrity? 16. Do you like the way that the club fails to negotiate new contracts with our talent and allow the situation to reach the stage where we are over a barrel ? 17. Do you like the fact that, since our relegation in 2004 we have have over SIXTY loan players representing us ? 18. Do you like the fact that our matchday programme is the most expensive in Britain ? Our club is rotten from the top down. If you, or anyone else, can’t see that after 7 years of this s**t, then you never will. 19. And you say we are making progress ? Don’t be daft lad. No doubt there will be someone else along in a moment to defend the indefensible. Lebowski. Absolutely tremendous piece and I can’t find fault in any of it.

Friday Jan 27th 2012. White turns down new contract offer. Aidy White may be the next locally born youngster to leave United. His contract is up in six months and the player obviously watching what has happened to Jonny Howson has decided to waive a new contract offer. When will we ever learn ?

Thursday Jan 26th 2012. Latest News. Apologies, this will be brief because I am travelling currently. Our honest chairman, Kenneth Bates has claimed that Leicester recently offered former hero, Jermaine Beckford on loan to  Leeds. If they did, we should have bitten their hands off, but I presume half of his £20K weekly wage put off Ken or Larry or both. Mind you Ken also claimed that Leeds had the fourth highest budget in the Championship. Bullshit. Ben Parker has completed his loan move to Carlisle United. Leeds have allegedly turned down a £4M offer from West Ham for our best player, Robert Snodgrass. Leeds are chasing the Estonia right full (the guy who played in the 0-4 defeat to Ireland) and are trying to gazzump Glasgow Rangers who have as much money as a D4 land developer. Five days to go before the transfer window closes. Don’t hold your breath.

Weds Jan 25th 2012. Bates weekly phone call to Yorkshire Radio. Bates on money in and money out. “Our wage bill at £9.5 million is one of the highest in the championship. It is not the highest because you have teams like Middlesbrough, West Ham and Birmingham who are still running down their Premiership wage bills and wage contracts because they were foolish enough not to include a relegation clause in the players contract, which is now becoming general practice. “At £9.5 million we are pushing the boat out and I have explained before how the money is spent, whether it is spent on transfers or wages, it doesn`t matter, it is still spent and that is up to the manager to decide. “I thought it is worthwhile pointing out, the wage bill at the moment is going to be £11.75 million instead of £9.5, that is 23% over budget.’ Fans have often questioned where the money from the sales of players has gone with most players coming in on free transfers, loans or undisclosed fees. “People ask where the transfer money as gone, Schmeichel`s money went on Lonergan and Pugh and with the 5% levy, agents fees, yes the agents fees, that about evens itself out. “The Max Gradel money, which we got from St Etienne. Well first of all we have only had half of it anyway. Secondly, Leicester City including a 17.5% sell on, so we do not get as much out of it as you might think and as we are being paid in euros, because they are a European club. The pound has strengthened against the euro, so as when we did the deal, it was about 1.10 euros to the pound and it is now about 1.20 euros to the pound, so we have probably lost about 7% of the total value. “That money is still there and that money is in the pot and when it is spent it will be spent wisely,” continued the Leeds chairman. Bates on Jonny Howson leaving - “Jonny Howson is 24 in May and his contract ends in June, that means he leaves on a Bosman at the end of the summer because his contract ends in June. We would be entitled to no compensation whatsoever. Nothing for the 14 years we spent nurturing him, training him up, bringing him up and promoting him. “Furthermore, he hurt his leg against Millwall when he fell awkwardly and he has been out action ever since and he will be expected to be back either sometime next month or even March. We were astonished when Norwich came in and offered us, which after a bit of bartering end up at about £2 million, and to take the offer was a no-brainer. “We have been working on Jonny for over 14 months, trying to persuade him to sign a contract and he steadfastly refused to do so, saying he wanted to keep his options open, because he wanted to play in the Premiership and of course we couldn`t guarantee promotion nor can any other club. “It was a bit idiot situation, where the club captain wouldn`t commit himself to the club, but as usual the matter was left to the manager because we had a precedent with Beckford. The question was, do we take the money for him now or say no and with a bit of luck, we get six weeks out of him, maybe eight games and then he leaves for free. “It was left to the manager to make the final decision; he consulted his backroom staff and said take the money. Now we have that fighting fund in the pot to reinvest, which it will be invested in players. “However, we are not going to invest the money for the sake of buying players. There is no point in doing that and we intend to buy players who will commit their future to Leeds United and have the ability to improve on our present squad, to strengthen the squad and not just make up the numbers.” “The fans naturally get frustrated and start shouting and bawling and nothing has happened. Bates on Snodgrass and Clayton Neither Snodgrass nor Clayton are out of contract at the end of the season, they are both happy and playing well. “Snoddy`s return after his appendix operation is nothing short of miraculous and he has more than contributed to the team since his return. “Adam Clayton, it said that his contract had stalled or something. I expect the agent has put that out. His contract has not stalled and in any case, his contract runs until 2013, so there is no immediate hurry. These negotiations are better outside the transfer windows, first of all there is more time and it enables people to concentrate their mind.” The only players we want are the ones that are going to make an immeasurable improvement to Leeds United. “The funds are there but they are not going to be spent willy-nilly. Fans will have to be patient; I know it is very frustrating, one of the biggest problems causing the frustration is the rumours and speculation that are printed on the websites, Facebook, Sky Sports, Sky Sports News and newspapers.” And if you believe all of that the following is also true : JFK wasn’t shot in Dallas, it was really at the Square in Dundalk, Leeds new signing will be the Easter Bunny and the last seven years were really only a nightmare, we are still in the Premiership. 

Sean Cunningham and Ben Parker in Leeds City centre

Weds Jan 25th 2012. Ben Parker moves on and conspiracy theories fly. Leeds United defender Ben Parker looks set to join League One set Carlisle United according to reports. Parker admitted himself recently that he would probably be looking for a loan deal to improve his match fitness after a nightmare two and a half seasons, where he has undergone seven operations. The left back has recently returned to training and has building in fitness in behind closed doors friendlies, including 60 minutes against Celtic on Tuesday afternoon. Parker has made just one appearance so far this season in the first week of the season when he started against Bradford City in the Carling Cup. His injuries limited him to just eight appearances in the previous two seasons, four appearances in both 2009/10 and 2010/1. There were all sorts of conspiracy theories flying around that Parker was banished to Carlisle for not towing the party line in the Pavillion before the came. Pure bull. I chatted with the lad in Leeds and I was also present in the Pavillion on Saturday. He said he was desperate to go out on loan to get his fitness levels up and any rumours to the contrary are just that, rumours. Hopefully he can get back to the player that he promised to be after two horrendous years of injuries. (pic of Ben Parker with Sean Cunningham – and the pizza wasn’t mine)

Tues Jan 24th 2012. Larry to spend his dosh. Yorkshire Radio –  Simon Grayson says he intends to spend his transfer budget during the January transfer window. The transfer window closes a week today and Grayson intends to spend the cash that is available to him as he hopes to lead Leeds back into the Premier League this season. Speaking on Yorkshire Radio, Grayson said, “We have got a budget to spend and we will spend it. “A large part of the time the chairman has always backed me on the things we need to do. “We have a wage structure that we will not go over and the business is running in a positive manner and if I am given X amount of money I will go and spend it, there is no point in keeping it in the bank.” Leeds have so far brought in four players during January. Danny Pugh has completed a permanent deal after spending three months on loan at Elland Road. American international Robbie Rogers is set to sign a 18 month contract once international clearance and a visa are completed this week. Andros Townsend (Tottenham Hotspur) and Fabian Delph (Aston Villa) have both signed loan deals with the club. Grayson admits the signing of Delph on a month`s loan has not come cheap although he is trying to sign the former Leeds midfielder for the remainder of the season. “Any money that comes into the pot we get to utilise. Fabian Delph does not come cheap, whether it is for a month, 93 days or hopefully until the end of the season, which is what we are trying to do. “You spend the money in any way that you can, there may be deals that we do which will involve transfer fees or there might be other deals that are going to be loan deals but are the same quality as Fabian. There is a pot to spend and I will make sure that I spend it all,” continued Grayson. Leeds are also looking to move on players before the transfer window closes. So far just youngster Will Hatfield and club captain Jonny Howson have departed the club during January. A number of other players have been linked with a move, with defender Alex Bruce the latest, having been linked with a move to American MLS side LA Galaxy. Do I detect a chink in the relationship between Larry and Pappa Smurf. The chairman backs me ” a large part of the time”. If I am given “X” amount of money I will go and spend it. It strikes me that he doesn’t or didn’t know what money he had to spend. It looks like he knows now and he is going to spend it. Let’s hope he spends it a lot wiser than he has in the past. More Gradels and Lichajs and less Paynters, McSheffreys and Bannans


Tues Jan 24th 2012. Lonergan is new captain. Leeds United goalkeeper Andy Lonergan says it is the biggest honour of his career to be handed the captains armband. Lonergan has taken over the captaincy in recent weeks following injuries to regular captain Jonny Howson and stand in captain Patrick Kisnorbo. The 28 year old is delighted to have be handed the role following the injury to Kisnorbo in the game with Burnley at the start of the year. Speaking on Yorkshire Radio, Lonergan said, “To come here and to be made captain in such a short space of time. It is a great privilege and probably the best honour of my career. “A captain`s role is not as big as you might think. You should have eleven leaders on the pitch. It is a good role for me and I like to think I lead by example. “The Barcelona keeper is captain, Real Madrid keeper is captain and Reina is the captain at Liverpool. “I don`t know why people will moan about it, the keeper is the most vocal player on the pitch.” Leeds have taken seven points from a possible nine since Lonergan took over the captaincy. With club captain Jonny Howson completing his move to Norwich City and Kisnorbo out for the remainder of the season, Lonergan looks set to remain club captain for the foreseeable future. Personally I think it would have been better to give the armband to Snoddie for three reasons : 1. He would revel in the role and not unlike Beckford did for his last game against Bristol Rvs. 2. It would help settle the player and 3. send a message to the fans that Leeds are serious about keeping their best players. Lonergan was our worst performer on Saturday and dropped the head after causing the first goal. Unlike an outfield player the goalkeeper can’t influence the side from his location. That’s just my view. 

Jony Howson

Leeds through and through

celebration time


The wrong yellow shirt he is holding

Tuesday Jan 24th 2012. So long Jonny, it’s been fun ! Jonny Howson is no longer a Leeds United player. The 23-year-old finally completed his three and a half year deal on Tuesday afternoon to join the Canaries in a reported £2m switch from Championship outfit Leeds United. It was Elland Road where Howson rose through the ranks as a youngster before making 227 appearances and becoming captain as United followed City up from League One. But with Howson out of contract in the summer, the call of Premier League football eventually persuaded the Leeds starlet to leave his home town club. “Decision-wise, this is the biggest decision I’ve had to make in my life,” said Howson, City’s first capture of the January transfer window. “There’s so many things I’ve had to look at and think about. I found out on Tuesday morning about the bid and spoke to the gaffer (Simon Grayson), and it’s been a mad week. Decision-wise it’s been so tough. “The reason is Premier League. I am going to a very good club with good support, but at the same time I know I’m leaving a club I’ve loved from being such a young boy. That’s not going to change. The hardest thing was leaving somewhere I’ve been from six or seven years of age, and it’s been hard. “It’s been a massive part of my life, but this is a great chance for me. This is the sort of chance that doesn’t come around that often and it’s a chance I feel I have to take while it’s there. “I can understand why the club has sold me now because it’s better to get something now than at the end of the season. I’m going to a great club, they are flying high, doing ever so well, and they have a great team that we’ve been close to here over the past couple of seasons, and they have a great manager as well. Howson has been sidelined with a knee injury since facing Millwall at the start of December, but passed a “stringent” medical and could return as early as next month if all goes well. The Leeds captain will now join ex-Leeds colleague Bradley Johnson, who made the same move south as a free agent in the summer. And Howson admits sharing a few words with Johnson helped him make his decision. “He only had positive things to say about the club and the area,” said Howson. “He’s enjoyed it since he came down here and it sometimes helps a little bit. I know Bradley from my days at Leeds and just to have someone else to speak to and ask different things. “It’s my first move and it is all new to me, but it makes it that little bit easier when there is someone down here I’ve spent time with before. I’ve known Bradley for a few years through his time at Leeds and the things he tells me, I know I can believe them.” Howson’s first goal as a professional came in Leeds’ 2007 defeat at Carrow Road – and the midfielder hopes for more of the same, once he earns a place in Paul Lambert’s squad. “It’s always been a good atmosphere,” he added. “The first time I played here I was fortunate enough to score my very first professional goal, so I already hold good memories here. Hopefully I’ve got more to come.” Howson’s move is set to be ratified by the Premier League over the coming days.


Tuesday Jan 24th 2012. Transfer News/Gossip. Source Coventry Telegraph. LEEDS UNITED are considering bolstering their midfield with a January move for Coventry City captain Sammy Clingan, according to national reports. The Times reports that Simon Grayson is keen to make a new approach for the Sky Blues’ playmaker after missing out on the Northern Ireland star in the summer. Clingan is out of contract at the Ricoh Arena and appears unlikely to sign a new deal. Grayson is keen to add more depth to his midfield options with Jonny Howson’s move to Norwich City edging closer. The Elland Road boss has drafted Aston Villa star Fabian Delph but admits he’s still looking to sign more players before the transfer window closes at the end of the month. He told the Yorkshire Post: “We are not too far away with a couple of deals but things can change quickly. Injury concerns at another club can put you back but if one or two of our targets aren’t available then we move on to other ones. “Hopefully, they will be signings who excite people. There is no point bringing in to make up the numbers. “We need players who can affect the team. That is why it can be hard to conclude these deals quickly.” Sky Sports sources understand that LA Galaxy are in talks with Leeds over the availability of Alex Bruce. The defender is out of favour at Elland Road, making only one appearance for the Whites this season. He was sent on loan to Huddersfield where he made three starts before being recalled by Leeds boss Simon Grayson to provide cover for Tom Lees. English born BruceDescription: http:/static.lingospot.com/spot/image/spacer.gif switched international allegiance in 2011 from the Republic of IrelandDescription: http:/static.lingospot.com/spot/image/spacer.gif to Northern IrelandDescription: http:/static.lingospot.com/spot/image/spacer.gif but a lack of first-team opportunities mean he has yet to force his way into the international squad. This is a strange one. David Beckham, Robbie Keane and Alex Bruce ? Leicester Mercury. Ipswich Town manager Paul Jewell has given up on signing Leicester City defender Sean St Ledger, but Leeds have been linked with a move for midfielder Richie Wellens. Jewell believed he had landed transfer-listed centre-back St Ledger only for City boss Nigel Pearson to block the move because of the departure of Sol Bamba to the African Cup of Nations. Jewell had hoped to revive the deal and he may have thought it was a possibility if Pearson succeeded in signing Wes Morgan from Nottingham Forest. However, Forest have rejected two bids from City for their 27-year-old and Jewell is now doubtful St Ledger’s move will happen. “He’s in their team now so, certainly for the time being, I can’t see that happening,” he said. Meanwhile, there were reports yesterday that Leeds were preparing a bid to sign Wellens. Manager Simon Grayson is looking for a replacement for Norwich City-bound captain Jonny Howson. However, it is unlikely City would consider a deal until Pearson is able to bolster his depleted squad. Having had a plethora of central midfielders, City now look short in that department because Andy King, Matt Oakley, Frank Moussa and Michael Johnson are sidelined while Gelson Fernandes’s loan has been cancelled and Japan international Yuki Abe has left the club on compassionate grounds. Abe had his contract cancelled by mutual consent and has returned to Japan to spend more time with his young family. Pearson is out to strengthen his squad and, after making striker Nathan Delfouneso his second signing yesterday, he has been linked with several targets, including Ward and Pearse at Portsmouth. Wellens is 31 and had a great game v United last September at Elland Road for Leicester and three years back at Wembley for Doncaster. Then again Billy Paynter scored three screamers against United for Swindon and hasn’t hit a barn door since. WEllens fits the Grayson category, ie he’s had him at Blackpool and with six months to go on his contract he should be cheap.

Mon 23rd of Jan 2012. Delph wants to stay. Fabian Delph is hoping to stay with Leeds for the remainder of the season after joining on loan from Aston Villa. Delph made his second debut for the Whites in Saturday’s 3-1 victory over Ipswich Town. The 22-year-old’s initial deal is due to expire on 25th February, although Leeds want to retain Delph for the remainder of the season. The Bradford-born midfielder also wants to stay at Elland Road until the summer and do his best to help Leeds win promotion. “That would be an absolute dream for me I get the nod to stay till the end of the season. If that happens, I’d be delighted,” said Delph. “These things don’t come around quickly, you’ve got to build. Hopefully if we can keep going and the fans can stick behind us then we might end up in the Premier League. “That’s the sprit that we’ve got, the fans were all very vocal today and we just pushed on and kept going. We’ve got a never-say-die attitude, that’s what came across (against Ipswich) and we just carried on going. “I would like to be playing football and if I can play here I’ll be delighted, because this is my home club and this is where I’ve always been happiest.”

Snods celebrates

Mon 23rd of Jan 2012. Grayson says Snodd’s not for sale. YEP- Simon Grayson today denied claims that the Leeds United winger Robert Snodgrass has withdrawn from contract negotiations. United’s manager attempted to quell fears of an imminent problem following a report that the 24-year-old had walked away from discussions aimed at extending his deal. Grayson rejected suggestions that efforts to tie the wide man down had stalled due to a breakdown in the relationship between Snodgrass and Leeds, but Grayson revealed that talks have been on hold for a number of months with the agreement of both parties. Snodgrass, who scored Leeds’ first goal in Saturday’s 3-1 win over Ipswich Town, signed a four-year contract in 2009 and is 18 months away from the end of that deal. The Scotland international is arguably the most valuable and influential player in the squad at Elland Road and the claim that negotiations had collapsed sparked talk of another high-profile departure from the club. United courted intense controversy last week by agreeing to sell captain and leading appearance-maker Jonathan Howson to Norwich City, six months before the end of his deal at Elland Road, but Grayson stood by his claim that no other major asset would leave the club before the end of January. Norwich submitted a bid of around £3m for Snodgrass last summer – an offer which Leeds refused – and the winger turned down the offer of a new contract from United soon after, leading to what Grayson claimed was an amicable and temporary suspension of negotiations. Grayson said: “His contract talks have not got going since the summer. We turned down a bid from Norwich and both parties agreed then that we would leave it until it suits us both. It’s not as if we’ve got round the table in the last 10 days and things have stalled. “There’ve been no negotiations for four to five months and that was agreed in the summer. He still has 18 months on his contract so we’re in a good position. We’d like to keep him longer, which is why we offered a new contract, and when you turn down a fee from another club it’s courtesy to offer a new deal. “We didn’t have to do that in the summer and that’s why we’ve left it. Whoever’s come up with the story saying talks have broken down is talking rubbish.” Snodgrass has been United’s outstanding player this season, scoring 10 league goals, but it is widely expected that he, like Howson, will seek a move to the Premier League if Leeds fail to win promotion. Asked if he expected the club to reopen talks with Snodgrass in future, Grayson said: “We’d like to keep all our good players and we’ll try to do that. The rest of this season will probably determine how easy that will be. “Players want to play in the Premier League and I want to manage in the Premier League. If the club gets there then there’ll be no problem keeping them.”  Grayson on new arrivals : “We now have a week or so. Signing Fabian was a positive move as there had been a bit of negativity round the place during the week. “It gave everyone a lift. Hopefully, we can bring in another few players and then people will see we’re being positive. “We’re not too far away with a couple of deals but things can change quickly. Injury concerns at another club can put you back but if one or two of our targets aren’t available then we move on to other ones.” Grayson added: “Let’s not forget, though, that we have some good players here. Sometimes it’s about keeping hold of players that other clubs are allegedly interested in. They won’t be going anywhere.”

Sun 23rd 2012. Ken’s programme notes v Ipswich Town. (to be updated)  He really is some piece of work. The  team  : “After a slow start this season we got into our stride, looked comfortably in the play-offs, but had a lousy Christmas once again and fell out of the top six. We have 20 games and 60 points to go and 11 of these 20 are at home. However, we need everybody at Thorp Arch to take a good look in the mirror and ask themselves – what can I do differently, whether it’s training, fitness, tactics or discipline – to go that extra mile and deliver that little improvement to achieve the results that Leeds United and the fans deserve. To say nothing of the huge bonuses and hopefully new contracts, that the Premier League will deliver to them”. We have one of the largest squads in the Championship, which will be helpful in March and April when we have no less than 13 games in 8 weeks, The numbers will be a cushion against suspension, injuries and loss of form”. Backing the manager with funds. ” In Leeds case we have bought Danny Pugh, obtained the loan of Andros Townsend, extended Maik Taylor’s contract and are in contract negotiations with a few players at the club. “Where’s the money gone ?” is the latest chane from the vociferous few. Well, I’ll tell them. Simon Grayson’s player budget was £9.5M for the year. As I write we have so far committed £11.722M, over budget by nearly 23%. It’s a bad business practice but a demonstration how e have backed the manager and continue to do so.”  His East Stand. “With the exception of the museum, that completes the rebuilding, refurbishment, and improvements of Elland Road with approximately £20M having been spent on the clapped out, decaying stadium that I inherited”.  

Jim Keating : “I agree until we start spending money we will struggle to get promotion this year. I’m not surprised Howson was sold to Norwich. He would probably have gone in the Summer for nothing anyway. We seem to play better away from home for some reason”. Thanks for that Jim.

January 21st 2012. Leeds United 3-1 Ipswich . 01 Lonergan, 16 Pugh, 22 Lees, 29 Thompson, 48 O’Dea, 15 Clayton, 17 Townsend (White 58) 25 Delph, 18 Forssell (Becchio 58 YC) 23 Snodgrass, 44 McCormack. Unuse Subs : 24 Taylor, 04 Bruce, 08 Brown. Ref: Geoff EltrighamAtt: 22,84. It was always going to be a tense occasion. The first game since the controversial sale of home grown captain, Jonny Howson. In the Pavillion before the match Peter Lorimer and John McClelland (two employees of Ken Bates’ Leeds United) tried in vain to spin what a great deal it was for Leeds United and Jonny Howson. A packed Pavillion was in no mood for twisting of the facts and the booing, heckling and shouting up at the stage was unavoidable. Lorimer threatened to stop the performance and Ben Parker was the squad player who had to face the music and add to the spin created mostly by Lorimer, a player who had three testimonials all organised by the forgotten Leeds United Supporters Club. Parker in fairness received rapturous applause when he said “if I’m being honest, it shouldn’t have come to this and the contract should have been sorted sooner”. It was on the to the game, were seven Louth branch members were present. Larry surprisingly elected to drop Aidy White to the bench and Danny Pugh played left back. Snodgrass was recalled to the starting eleven (after his appendix operation) and played on the right wing, with Andros Townsend occupying the left flank. Forssell started alongside McCormack as Leeds went with a 4-4-2. Fabian Delph, settled into the holding role in midfield with Clayton allowed to get forward. Jewell did his homework well, by placing pacey winger, Carlos Edwards as a right full back to thwart the attacking prowess of Townsend. The conditions were difficult as a gale force wind blew into the Revie end the whole game. The Tractor Boys won the toss, and foolishly I felt, elected to play against the wind in the first half meaning Leeds attacked the Kop.  United started poorly, with “Bates Out” shouts echoing around the crowd were they all but stopped around the West Stand. Up front for Ipswich, the big  Emmanuel-Thomas was causing the Leeds defence problems by holding the ball up and bringing Lee Martin into the game. Leeds didn’t need a midfield in the first half as every ball was played too long, and McCormack and Forssell (neither very good in the air) were getting little quality service. Time and time again balls were over played and into the hands of McCarthy, Leeds former on loan keeper. Leeds only real effort on goal fell to Townsend when he found himself unmarked three yards from goal. He elected to take the strike early and totally miss-hit shot. Lonergan made a fine save when Martin found himself one on one with the keeper. On 35 minutes Ipswich took a short corner and Drury’s strike didn’t look like it would cause Lonergan any difficulty but he misjudged the ball and it went through his hands tamely for a gift of a goal. The “Bates out” shouts reverberated around the goal, as the 200 to 300 Ipswich fans in the West Stand taunted the Leeds fans. Right on half time Emmanuel-Thomas from all of 35 years fired a ferocious drive that dipped at the last moment and hit the corner of the upright between post and bar with Lonergan well beaten. United began the second half on the front foot with much more pass and movement. It was Ipswich’s turn to play the ball too long, and in the 49th minute Scotland nearly got in but Lonergan was alert to the threat. Snodgrass on the right wing started to cause Ipswich problems as Delph and Clayton began to control the midfield. The referee was over fussy and continued to stop play. McCarthy was lucky numerous times with his kick outs that were continually taken from outside the area. On the hour mark Grayson (who surprisingly was very motionless on the sideline) withdrew Townsend for White and Forssell for Becchio. This lifted the crowd. White moved into the left wing position but kept swopping with Snodgrass which seemed to unsettle the Tractor Boys. So often for Leeds the final ball was misplaced. Ipswich played deeper and deeper and were taking longer and longer with throw ins and kick outs, but Becchio was winning headers against Sonko and the on rushing midfielders were causing Town problems that they did not have in the first half.  White was getting past Eswards with ease and  whisked in a super low cross which Snodgrass was within inches of converting. The Ipswich Town keeper was having trouble dealing with high crosses and on 67 minutes, he fumbled one which White perhaps should have converted.  I watched McCarhy have a poor game in a Leeds shirt v Barnsley and when another ball over the top caused the Tractor Boys trouble, Sonko failed to see McCarthy race out of goal as his header was saved by McCarthy yards outside the box. It was a clear red card offence. Scotland was withdrawn and Lee-Barrett came on as substitute keeper. Snodgrass wasted the free from 20 yards, but he  made it 1-1 after a mix up in the Town defence. It was all Leeds. “We all love Leeds but hate Ken Bates” was ringing around the ground. Lee Barrett made a decent save from O’Dea who was pushing further forward after the withdrawal of Scotland. On 81 minutes Clayton played a decent ball forward. It seemed to hold up in the wind. The keeper hesitated and McCormack touched the ball past him to walk it into the net. The game was all but over. Choppra and Bullard came on but neither got a kick. Lee Barret made a decent save at the feet of Becchio on 90 minutes but a minute later, it was all over as Becchio won a header and slid home from a wide angle. Some may say that the 3-1 score line  flattered Leeds. I don’t share that view. All four goals were scored against the wind in difficult conditions, and United all but dominated the second half, but not always with quality. Ipswich are a poor side and on another day a better side would not have collapsed so easily. How Paul Jewell can keep his job after the money he has spent and the big names and salaries he has brought in, I don’t know. To those who say Leeds were lucky to play against 10 men, I say two things. McCarthy stopped a certain goal and had to go. Back in August Leeds were 1-0 up and dominating against Ipswich at Portman Road when White was wrongly sent off. There was little sympathy for United that day. The three points will be welcomed, but we still need two to three players in as soon as possible. In summary, O’Dea and Lees are probably our best two centre halves. Thompson and Pugh did little wrong as full backs. Clayton and Delph did much better in the second half. Delph is decent in the air and can beat players, plus stick his foot in. Townsend struggled and Snodgrass improved as the game went on especially after Becchio’s introduction. Forssell and McCormack foraged away but had little ball to play with. Larry cut a lonely figure on the touchline and there were cross words exchanged  between Lonergan and Snoddin after the game. We are a small team. We need bigger players, and players with pace, but most of all we lack an experienced leader. We are one point off the play offs and the right investment with the right players chosen could make a hell of a difference to our current side. I hold out little hope certainly of the former and some also have doubts regarding the latter. Simon Grayson   “We were poor in the first half – there is no getting away from that. “We went behind to a soft goal but the sending-off changed the game. You could sense the anxiety of our players until our first goal went in. They were a different animal after that and showed their character. The players found an extra yard and were sharper. They were better to second balls and looked like scoring more. “The game just mirrored a bit of what happened down at Portman Road where we dominated the first half, the sending off changed the shape of the game and they went on and won the game when they probably didn`t deserve too based on the first half performance. This was very much the case. We are obviously delighted to have won the game. We were fortunate with a couple of things, but on the positive side we’ve taken seven points out of nine. “It still doesn’t detract away from what we know we need to do better. We’re not daft enough as a staff to realise that as well and we will be working hard on the training pitch and while the window’s open working hard to recruit players. We’ve brought Fab (Delph) in and he did okay – he will get better with games. He gave us a little bit extra that we’ve been missing. It’s been a frustrating week with Jonny about to leave, but it happens at a football club and we’ve got to dust ourselves down. It’s all about what can happen in the future and my glass is always half-full. We’ve taken seven points in the last three games, which is a real good start to the new year, and we look forward to the game against Birmingham when we hope to get another victory to make it back to back home wins.” Paul Jewell said: “We were in control of the game until… Well I don`t what the goalkeepers (Alex McCarthy and Arran Lee-Barrett) were doing. “You had to be here and see it to believe it really. “For 70 minutes, or whatever it was, we`ve restricted Leeds to very few chances and then one long ball and our goalkeeper (McCarthy) decides to handle outside the box. “With 10 men we`re always going to be up against it, but to then give the goals away in the fashion that we did was just calamitous. ‘I know I`ve said it so many times this season but today was just another level. If you look at the red card it`s a clearance that`s got to be dealt with, the first goal is an error from Sonks, the second goal is a long ball the keeper (Lee-Barrett) should collect, while the third we allow to just bounce on the edge of our box. “That`s why we are where we are isn`t it?” He added: “Having said that I thought Tommy (Smith) did well and as a team we didn`t look in danger for 70 minutes. Leeds were getting frustrated, we passed the ball better than them, we created more opportunities and looked in control of the match. We were dictating the tempo of the game, but the gifts we give to them. They just haven`t had to work hard for their goals at all. It`s the same old story. As a manager there are certain things you can affect, but there are certain things that have happened to today that are just bad, bad decisions. I`ll always take responsibility because I pick the team, but when people see the goals on TV they will scratch their head. It wasn`t even as if we were coming under severe pressure, it was just one long ball that our centre-half is going to deal with and for some reason Alex just decided to charge out.  It`s just a catalogue of errors.” This was what he said back in August after the Ipswich v Leeds after his side was fortunate to defeat the Whites : “Let us be honest, Leeds are a good team and outplayed us first half,” said Jewell. We got a couple of decisions that went our way and a deflected goal. “Thank Christ for that, sometimes you have to just take the victory.. “Larry (Grayson) seems to think it might have been a nudge but a nudge ain’t a foul. One’s 6ft 3in (Jay Emmanuel-Thomas), the other kid (White) is 5ft 7in. He lives just around the corner from me in Leeds actually, he’s a friend of my kids, a lovely kid as well. “I was more interested in trying to get a penalty rather than getting the lad sent off. Once he’s last man and brings him down though he had to go. “Their penalty appeal looked a penalty to me though I have to say, I didn’t have a great view but it looked a penalty to me even though Carlos claims it was 50/50. “They’ll feel a bit hard done, but last week we had three or four decisions which went against us and today we’ve had a couple that went our way and a deflection. “We know it’s not all rosy in the garden and we’ve got a bit of work to do but I think tonight is not a night to analyse. It’s a night just to think ‘phew, thank Christ for that’. “If it says in the paper that we were lucky we won’t care! Paul, Glen Hoddle would call it karma. 

Thursday 18th of January 2012. Check out “Why lie Kenny ? song on you-tube – Fantastic !!!!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DAPBWJehBfk  -You said things would have to change – You’ve gone too far Kenny it’s deranged – I know that your wrong – We’ve known all along – You said that you’d keep us safe – League One football was a huge disgrace – I know that your wrong – We’ve known all along – You said the sale of Delph would bring us Thorp Arch wealth – We didn’t want to hear you lie – Why lie Kenny ? Why lie Kenny ? Why lie Kenny ? Why lie Kenny ? – There seems to be no rush for a promotion rush – Why lie Kenny ? Why lie Kenny ? Why lie Kenny ? Why lie Kenny ?-  Absolutely ace ! Check it out

Thurs 18th of Jan 2012. By Dominic Matteo YEP Published on Thursday 19 January 2012 12:58. I’m not shocked by the news that Leeds United are selling Jonathan Howson to Norwich City. Reading between the lines, you could see this coming a mile off. He was into the last seven months of his contract and clearly wanted to play in the Premier League next season. It was pretty clear too that he doubted whether he’d get Premier League football at Elland Road next season. As soon as someone stepped in with a bid, it went without saying that Leeds would consider it. Deep down I thought Howson would leave when his deal ended in the summer but it’s no surprise at all to see Leeds cashing in on him now. They’ve done it before and I’m not the only person who believes it will happen again in the future. The question at times like this is always ‘who’s next?’ The issue with Howson isn’t really the effect his sale will have on Leeds United’s season. He’s injured at the moment and wasn’t going to be fit until March. If Leeds don’t win promotion – and at the moment that’s hardly a given – then it won’t be because they chose to take Norwich’s offer midway through the transfer window. But the sale of Howson is disappointing on so many levels. No matter what you thought of him as a player (and for the record I’ve always rated him) you can’t deny that he’s the sort of lad Leeds should be building their squad around – homegrown, talented and squeaky clean. He’s as good an ambassador as the club could ask for, and the maturity he’s shown by captaining Leeds at the age of 23 is outstanding. It is frustrates me, as I’m sure it frustrates the supporters, to see Leeds struggle time and again to hold on to players of Howson’s ability and reputation. It worries me too to hear the club say that he’s moving on because he doesn’t think they can meet his ambition quickly enough. That’s a pretty worrying message and something Leeds should think about. You have to ask whether other high-profile players will now take the same attitude. To see things from Howson’s point of view, the attraction of Norwich is obvious. They’re a Premier League club with an impressive, emerging manager who will pay him a far bigger wage than he’s earning at Leeds. Knowing what I do about Howson, it’ll be the level of football rather than the money which appeals to him most. I’ve made the point before that Bradley Johnson’s success in the Premier League this season is an eye-opener for every professional in the divisions below. I thought a lot of Johnson in his time at Elland Road but I’d be lying if I said he was outstanding in the Championship. Howson is a more naturally gifted footballer and if Johnson can make a go of the top flight then I’d fully expect Howson to do the same. And in reality, what prospect is there of Leeds being in the Premier League next season? Or the year after for that matter? They’re 11th at the moment and they’re going to need a storming second half of the season to make sure that a play-off place is tied down in April. Howson’s a local lad with Leeds United in his blood but I’ve no doubt that if he genuinely felt that the club were heading for the top flight in the near future, he’d have signed on the dotted line a while ago. There’s no point in pretending that Leeds should be able to compete financially with a club who have the benefit of Premier League income. In a straight fight, Norwich can beat any offer from Elland Road hands down. But I don’t believe that this is down to hard cash, on Howson’s part anyway. For him, this seems to be about his career. He’s basically saying that Leeds don’t offer the immediate prospects he’s looking for. It’s a sad admission from a lad whose ties to Elland Road are stronger than most – and sad to think that Norwich are better placed to give him what he wants. If I was a player at Thorp Arch today, I’d feel absolutely gutted. The squad are losing their club captain and an influential player (albeit one who’s injured at the moment). I can’t imagine any of Howson’s team-mates think Leeds will be better off without him next season. Howson scores goals and he creates them. He’s a 100 per-cent performer and a match-winner on his day. The fact that he’s appeared so many times over the years and so much under Simon Grayson tells you how big an asset he is. Yet again, Grayson is losing someone he must have been desperate to keep. He’ll understand why Howson’s being sold, and the reported fee of £2million is not bad money, but it’s difficult to see the positives in this. It might be slightly better if we hadn’t been here before but Leeds have a track record of losing good players – Johnson, Jermaine Beckford, Max Gradel and Neil Kilkenny for example. As I said earlier, you can only wonder who’s next. We’ve seen speculation about Ross McCormack and Adam Clayton this week and reports linking Luciano Becchio to other clubs. Opposition managers will be looking at the sale of Howson and thinking deals with Leeds are possible as long as the price is right. My honest fear is that there’s more of this to come. If a decent offer comes in for Snodgrass, can the club honestly say that they won’t listen to it or accept it? We’ve heard in the past that players aren’t for sale but circumstances keep dictating that decent assets are sold or leave the club on free transfers. It’s hard to build a settled, successful side while rival clubs pick away at your squad. All in all, this hasn’t been an enjoyable season so far. I can feel apathy and disillusionment among the supporters and selling someone like Howson won’t help. Don’t get me wrong, it’s probably the right decision in the circumstances and it’s better than losing him on a free in the summer but you really feel that it shouldn’t have come to this. A club like Leeds must be able to convince a prospect like Howson that they’re going onwards and upwards at a rate of knots. It’s vital now that the money raised is invested in the team. It’s also vital that Leeds get to the end of the transfer window with the rest of their top players intact. I’ve got a horrible feeling that Howson might not be the last to leave this month – or the last to attract a bid. And if lads like Snodgrass don’t go now then what chance of them being here in August if Leeds aren’t promoted? Assuming he signs, Howson will be excited by this move. He’s right to be excited. But he’ll be disappointed too – disappointed that he’s gone as far as he feels he can with Leeds. Some will criticise him for turning his back on his hometown club. Personally I think he’s making a hard decision and getting it right. Soon he’ll be a Premier League footballer and no-one at Elland Road can guarantee him that.

Thurs. 18th of Jan 2012. By Gary Walker Yorkshire Evening Post. So it’s official – Leeds United are now, first and Incidentally, before Howard Wilkinson’s £3m spending spree finally ended United’s previous eight-year absence from the former Division One attendances at Elland Road had ebbed away to the low teens. If you take away hope and ambition from your fans, what’s left? foremost, a selling club. The decision to accept an offer, believed to be around £2m from Norwich City, for club captain Jonny Howson merely confirmed what many fans have suspected, and feared, for a number of years now. I don’t expect the Elland Road heirarchy to understand it but to supporters, cashing in on your club’s playing figurehead – even one with just a few months left to run on his contract – reeks of a lack of ambition. And when you’re asking supporters to part with hundreds, of pounds of hard-earned cash in these difficult times the very least they expect of their football club is a show of ambition. The owner and chairman Ken Bates continues to insist that Leeds United will be a big club again but as far as match-going fans are concerned it is a big club, will always be a big club and one which needs to be in the top-flight. They grasp the fact there’s no God-given right to Premier League status and they know, from long and bitter experience, that splashing the cash is no guarantee of success, but they expect to return to English football’s top table sooner rather than later. What makes yesterday’s decision worse is the fact that Howson, aside from having his best years ahead of him, is a local lad, a product of the club’s academy who is proud to wear the famous white kit. In short, the 23-year-old is all the things that should ensure he has a long-term future with Leeds and, in turn, perfect for the club’s marketing men and women to cash in on – the United fan on the pitch. While many other clubs are absolutely desperate to retain and promote, or in some cases find, their local identity, from the outside looking in it seems that Leeds United are as much concerned to turn it into cash. Judging by the outcry – emails began flooding in to the Yorkshire Evening Post sports desk just after 9am yesterday after the news broke – many of United’s long-suffering supporters feel this is a sale too far. The club will, quite rightly, argue that Howson was showing no signs of agreeing, never mind signing, a new contract but, unlike the hordes who follow United home and away, the powers that be don’t seem to be asking why? Not enough money on the table? Not enough ambition in the boardroom? Not enough quality on the pitch?  You could speculate forever really but my guess is Howson, an England Under-21 international, expected – like most fans – the club to set their stall out to ensure that last season’s play-off near miss was turned into a determined charge for promotion in 2011-12. Yes, he wants to play in the Premiership but which professional footballer wouldn’t? And I suspect the lad from Morley would have preferred – like his manager Simon Grayson – to do that with Leeds. The club’s inability to agree new deals with players is an ongoing and maybe even a worsening problem with the likes of Jermaine Beckford, Bradley Johnson, Neil Kilkenny, Max Gradel and now Howson all departing because United were unwilling, or unable, to meet their demands and retain their services. Where Mr Bates sees sustainable, fans see tight; where he sees profitable, supporters see a lack of investment in the playing squad and when he talks of trying to find investors, fans now switch off. He’s coming up to seven years in charge and no white knight has ridden over the horizon waving bundles of cash in the club’s direction despite lots and lots of talking about it. Talk, as the old adage goes, is cheap. And what good are expensive ground improvements while the team shows very few signs of real progress this term? any supporters who contact the YEP still point to what they saw as a catastrophic failure during last January’s transfer window when the club failed to capitalise on second place in the Championship table at Christmas by making a couple of quality permanent signings to enable Grayson’s charges to kick on. Fast forward to last summer and Gradel, United’s player of the year the season before, was sold on the final day of the August transfer window and no adequate replacement was brought in. That, as far as fans are concerned at least, confirmed that Grayson was going to have to compete for promotion – against rivals like West Ham and Leicester who were throwing money at new signings – with one arm tied behind his back. Is United’s budget big enough or could more money be hived off to help Grayson bolster his squad the YEP’s chief football writer Phil Hay asked the chairman last August, as anti-Bates protests threatened to take hold. “Our wage bill is one of the highest in the league,” he replied. “I’d estimate that it’s in the upper levels of the top six and only lower than two or three clubs – West Ham for example. “But I’m told that Leicester City, for all their billions, have imposed a wage cap, and their owners have said that they simply won’t spend more than ‘x’. “FIFA are implementing rules on financial fair play and clubs are starting to realise that they have to live within their means. We already do that and it’s how any successful club should operate. It’s a proper financial system which is starting to catch on. “At the moment we’re spending as much (on players) as we can afford. If we spend any more and lose money then who covers that?” No Leeds fan wants to see a return to the dark, desperate days of League One, but if your existing playing assets go and you don’t add to the squad, can you really expect any team, or any organisation for that matter, to progress? Little wonder that many United fans are losing faith and see the sales of talisman Robert Snodgrass, Aidy White, another local lad who has so far turned down a new contract, popular midfielder Adam Clayton and leading scorer Ross McCormack as almost inevitable this summer. The loss of Howson – days before the expiry of a season-ticket renewal offer from the club – looks like another own goal and will surely only deepen the unease that already exists between the slowly dwindling number of fans and Mr Bates.

Thursday 18th of January. Chatrooms re Jonny leaving. It’s fair to say that there is fire coming off the texts from the blogs blaming bates for ruining our club and some also slamming Larry for being complicit in what is happening. Here’s just a flavour of the better ones : “Found this comment on another site and it makes the most sense from all the madness that is going on. I Thought i would share it with you all, take it as you will. Where we as supporters can take umbrage is with the clubs stance on contracts, its a worrying trend that has developed in allowing players contracts to run down,players obviously see it as a lack of ambition by the club. there has to be a fine balance on what we offer as contracts in the first place, look at the example of barn door billy whos happy to sit around and do nothing because hes obviously not good enough to make the team,this is not new remember andy robinson,so nothings been learned on that score has it,as things stand at present 3 weeks into the window we have not been able to offload ANY deadwood we have, once again a worrying trend… People may say bates is a good business man and support him, and lets face it he is, for ken bates !! certainly not for the benefit of leeds united and its loyal fan base who are being bled dry with extortinate ticket prices and false promises to feather the bates nest.. then lets look at the fabian delph situation, and the appearance of a season ticket scam, lorimer lets slip ??? that the deals as good as done, only for us to find out later that the club havent even been in touch, interesting ploy at season ticket renewal time,? and lets look at that time, some six months before we even have a idea of which division we will be playing in, seems a cynical exploitation of the supporters to the benefit of only one person bates !..can we honestly see money flowing back into the club in the form of significant transfers ,i think not !! the future looks bleak to say the least, any potential investers will be put off by the devious self interests that bates operates,it would i think be virtually impossible to unravel the bates empire to actually see what your getting for your money, Would you own the club ? the ground ? thorp arch ? who would know, dealing with bates is i imagine like dealing with the KGB, totally clouded and more smoke and mirrors than a fairground.!! I dont think getting rid of grayson is the answer, hes done ok but there are major question marks against him, and i personally think hes taken us as far as he can, BUT its the regime in general and grayson is part of it,following the bates line like a little puppy wanting to impress its owner, the ONLY way forward in my opinion is a complete overhaul of the club from top to bottom, but it AINT going to happen, bates will go when he wants,if he expires then mrs bates will no doubt take the reins,in the meantime our once great club,continues to talk a good talk (remember the “when we want someone we get them” quote )whilst overseeing the demise into obscurity. this particular time in leeds uniteds history sums up all the frustrations of being a leeds united supporter, we have lost our way as a football club and become the plaything of bates building company plc++++++++++++Somerset, to answer you question yes…there are still good managers that would relish the chance of managing Leeds. Let’s remember that we have the best supporters in the world. To be honest, I believe there are also managers out there who could motivate the current squad better than our nodding dog regardless of a transfer budget. Bates will continue to do nothing while Grayson supports him and therefore let’s sort out one problem at a time. As MPMLEEDS has said there are many many managers with smaller budgets than Grayson getting far better results. I bet Ian Hollloway and Blackpool paid a fraction of our current wage bill to get out of the Championship. If we protest against Grayson the mood will change and we’ll force a response..it can’t get any worse and if you listen to Grayson he’s improving the squad for the long term…he’s compeleted deluded. I wouldn’t give him a tenner to buy a round of drinks let alone a couple of million to spend on players ++++++++++All this nonsense that is being written about Howson being sold makes the mind boggle. He has wanted to go for the past year, that is why he would not sign an extention to his contract. The only thing that has surprised me is that it was done when he was injured. I am no great fan of Bates, but I would not waste my time bawling for Bates Out, he will leave in his own good time. I do believe he should be more open with the fans, the people that really own the club, because without them Leeds United are nothing. Supporting the team is what is required now. I have lost faith in Grayson, I thought when we got into the Championship, he had done a good job. But thinking back and analyzing the season we were in fact lucky, gaining automatic promotion in the last game of the season, if we had gone into the playoffs? Then our first season in the Championship we set off at a fast pace, only to fall away alarmingly, and again this season which is as winable as last year we are dithering, and it must be down to the manager and his staff. Would any manager worth his salt let the chance that we had slip so badly. That is why sadly I believe Grayson with his personal problems is not the man to finish the job and get Leeds United back to the Premiership. I have supported the team all my life and will continue to do so. Still I hope that a couple of good results in the next days will give the team the impetus to make that push for the playoffs at least ++++++++++David Wilson, it’s a fair point but can you see anyone wanting to become the next manager of LUFC when Bates is in charge. All this business about the quality of signed players and selling players is based on one thing only and that is no investment from other parties and that is again is because of Bates. We can not say we are a big club any more, it is clear the fans are not going anymore and that includes me, as I don’t do to home games and after 40 years of ups and downs will shortly stop going to away games. The facts are Bates is a business man of a ‘big’ club with-out any money or investors and as long as that stay that way we will remain a ‘has been’ club. I picked up my ticket from Coventry yesterday and got back home in Somerset and my wife asked me about the Howson situation and my first thoughts were – he’s only human – and I would do the same. Then she asked me why do I still go a watch and then it hit me – why do I do it? Coventry will now be my last game until Bates is out of the way and we have a team worth watching. The first Divsion days were better than this.

Jan 18th 2012. Who is Ken Bates ? Posted by Lucifer and up to the time he left Chelsea. I have not met Ken Bates so it is difficult to say what I think of him. Based on stories in the media, he appears to be a brash, aggressive egotist who delights in breaking every rule he can get away with in order to put two fingers up at ‘the establishment’. I, kinda, admire him for this. Coming from a disadvantaged background, he is a bit like a ‘working class hero’ in the Joe Lampton, ‘Room at the Top’, character mould. I can imagine sitting in a pub with Ken and talking football but, as a person, I do not think he is someone I would ever trust… I have compiled a potted history of Ken, prior to Leeds (below), so you can draw your own conclusions.  Ken Bates was born in Ealing, London on 4th December 1941. Two months later his mother died. Abandoned by his father, he was cared for in a council flat by grandparents. He grew up supporting Queens Park Rangers and aspired to be a football player but was unsuccessful. In his late teens, he worked with his father in a haulage and quarry business near Manchester.  In 1963, aged 22, Ken married Theresa, the daughter of a wealthy Irish squire (and he bought his first Bentley). The quarry prospered by supplying ready-mix concrete to the ever-expanding construction industry and soon Ken was running the company. On 28th January 1965, Ken launched ‘Howarth’, a construction and property development company based in Burnley, on the Manchester Stock Exchange. Also in 1965, he becomes chair of Oldham Athletic. A member of Oldham’s board resigned saying, “Bates believes in a committee of two, with one absent” In 1966, Ken began a building project in the British Virgin Islands. It involves the reclamation of several acres of land on a small island called Anegada. The British Foreign Office supported the project. However, in 1967 Howarth was in trouble. At a shareholders meeting, Ken said, “We have put the worst of the troubles behind us. I am not getting out.” In July 1968, some of the bankers who helped Ken finance the British Virgin Islands project refuse to work with him, citing his “appalling manners”. At the time, Ken admitted to the Financial Times that he earned his money by “breaking the rules”. Ken, his wife, and their 5 children moved to the British Virgin Islands. Ken resigned as a Director of Howarth and as Chairman of Oldham Athletic. Vice-Chairman, Harry Massey said, “Bates was too ambitious, too quickly. His pace was too fast.” On the 24th July 1969, Howarth revealed debts of £1.8 million and called in the Receiver. In 1969, one year in to the British Virgin Islands’ project, locals complained of Ken’s’ “vulgar behaviour”, especially to local female politicians. A town was flooded, allegedly as a direct result of the land reclamation, and locals threatened violence against Ken for his “cavalier attitude”. In 1970, concerned about Ken’s continued presence in the area and the level of civil unrest, the British Government intervened. Kan said he wanted $10million to go “or I’ll get mean”. On the 21st April 1974, Ken accepted $5.8 million from the British Government to leave. During this time, Ken met John Papi, a Kuwaiti, employed by Stoy Ayward as an insolvency expert. Acting on advice from Papi, Ken took over ‘Kemp Directories’ for £1 (earning him over £1 million) and ‘Owen Press’, also for £1. Meanwhile, in Dublin, Ken opened his own bank – the ‘Irish Trust Bank’, focused on small savers in Ireland. It attracts 1,400 customers in its first year of operation – customers included George Best and Bobby Charlton.  In 1971, Ken’s bank advanced a large sum to ‘International Trust Group’, which also, curiously, owned 20 per cent of the bank. Then, on the 17th April 1972, following concerns from the Irish Central Bank, Ken resigned as a director to be replaced by Freddie Pye (a former wrestler, scrap merchant and Chairman of Stockport County).’Pye Metals’ immediately secured a loan of £200,000 from the bank. By 1975, Irish Trust Bank was in difficulties. The Irish Central Bank cited ‘too many loans, not repaid, to anonymous offshore entities as the cause of the difficulties’. Ken, even though he was not officially a shareholder or director, fought a court action to revoke the bank’s license. On the 23rd March 1976, Ken and two other men (described as “heavies”) walked into the bank’s premises and seized documents. Despite an ‘arrest warrant’ being served on Ken and him being ordered by a judge to return the papers, his application to close the Irish Trust Bank was, nevertheless, granted. Across Ireland, many small savers faced the loss of life their savings. However, this was during an election year. The Irish Government intervened and promised to repay all the lost savings in full. A subsequent investigation could not prove that “any loan was made directly to Bates or any company Bates was directly associated with”. There were however some remarkable coincidences. Ken emerged from the 70s with about £5 million – much of it accumulated following the advice of John Papi. Ken grew his hair long and moved to Australia. In November 1981, Ken resurfaced in London and met with John Papi again, who informed him that he could buy Chelsea Football Club for £1. Interestingly, when submitting his ownership of this and at least one other company, Ken gave an incorrect date-of-birth. Without sufficient cash, Ken made a massive mistake and did not buy a second company, which owned the stadium and surrounding land. This went to Marler, a property development company that gave the club notice to leave the stadium in 1989. The 80s were not great times for either Ken or Chelsea. Fighting for control of the ground and Chelsea’s problem with a hooligan element dominated Ken’s life. In response to the hooligan problem Ken applied for permission to erect an electric fence, an application rejected by the local council .However, in 1991, Ken and Chelsea had a bit of luck when Marler became insolvent. The freehold went to The Royal Bank of Scotland who granted Ken a 20-year lease and an ‘Option to Buy’. In 1992, Chelsea announced further losses and a widening deficit. It was unable to pay many creditors, including a £1.75 million unsecured loan with The Royal Bank of Scotland. Technically, Chelsea was playing football while insolvent, an infringement of FA regulations. John Papi noticed a mistake in the players’ contracts issued by the FA. – The contracts were in the name of ‘Chelsea Football Club’ rather than the ‘Chelsea Football and Athletic Club’. Papi created two new companies: Chelsea Village Ltd and CFAC Ltd. In June 1992, Papi (and Ken?) transferred £620,000 to Chelsea Village Ltd, leaving Chelsea Football and Athletic Club with debts of £418,000. Maybanks (Chelsea’s printers), unaware of these transactions issued a formal winding-up order for Chelsea Football and Athletic Club. On 14th August 1992, Ken and Papi transferred the assets of Chelsea Football and Athletic Club to the new legal entity, CFAC Ltd.  Chelsea Football and Athletic Club was then renamed CFAC Ltd to protect the ‘Chelsea Football Club’ name. They transferred all assets belonging to Chelsea Football and Athletic Club to Chelsea Village Ltd. Then they placed Chelsea Football and Athletic Club in receivership. Papi also transferred Chelsea’s player assets, worth £7M, and season ticket sales from Chelsea Football and Athletic Club to Chelsea Village Ltd (whose shareholders were anonymous offshore trusts). These transactions were criticised by accountants Touche Ross as “unlawful”. In May 1993, with Chelsea Village Ltd being the largest creditor of Chelsea Football and Athletic Club, Papi became the official receiver. He announced that Chelsea Football and Athletic Club had “no option but to cease trading.” Creditors were outraged that the liquidator had favoured Ken and in late 1993, at the request of the creditors, the Football Association investigated him. However, Ken won a High Court judgment to cease the investigation, although he had to guarantee to repay creditors. In 1994, John Papi’s had his license withdrawn and, four years later, he was jailed for cheating the Inland Revenue. Ken’s marriage to Theresa, his heiress wife, collapsed after he was discovered having an affair with a model called Pam. In the meantime, Ken appointed Glenn Hoddle as Chelsea manager and the once mediocre Premiership club began ascending the table. Hoddle’s Chelsea reached the FA Cup final in 1994 and further success followed under Ruud Gullit and Gianluca Vialli. Chelsea won the FA Cup in 1997 and 2000 and the European Cup Winners’ Cup in1998 and reached the semi-finals the following year. The sudden sackings of Gullit in 1998 and Vialli in 2000 showed Ken’s ruthlessness .Ken, the Chelsea chair, though, was struggling to tame the club’s debts, believed to be in the region of £80M. From nowhere came one of the richest men in the world – Roman Abramovich. His takeover of Chelsea secured the club’s long-term future. Without him, many believe Chelsea may well have been in the same position as Leeds United.Ken received a reported £17M for his original £1 investment. http://www.lufcloaded.com/general-lufcloaded-forum/869-ken-bates-chairman-leeds-united-football-club-3.html (Source: Tom Bower, author of ‘Broken Dreams: Vanity, Greed and the Souring of British Football’) And the rest is history being repeated.

Fans disgusted with Howson sale

Howson post his 2 goals at Carlisle in play offs

Weds 18th of Jan. Liar Liar Liar (Updated). We’ve seen it all before. The fire sales. The living the dream. Woodgate, Bowyer and even Smith, a local boy come good, all had to be sold off. We didn’t like it but we understood that we would have to take the pain. There were the excessive wages paid to below average Premiership players. £7M spent on Seth Johnson on wages of £42,000 per week when he would have happily settled for £15 grand a week. £4M on Michael Duberry,  £12M on a half crocked Robbie Fowler, £7M on Darren Huckerby. The list goes on. We had something tangible to show for it. It wasn’t worth it but we had the great nights against Anderlecht, Lazio, Barcelona, Valencia and co to whet our appetite and linger on as memories. Later we had local nuggets, like James Milner and Aaron Lennon fresh off the Thorp Arch production line, players who weren’t quite the finished article but match winners with that something special to make it at the highest level of the game. Leeds got £3M for Milner. He was sold by Newcastle to Villa for £12M and a further £18M by Villa to Man City with £8M worth of Steven Ireland going the other way. No sell on clause. Aaron Lennon was sold to Spurs for £1M in 2005 and Spurs have already turned down bids of £17M for him. That was the old regime. What would they know about sell on clauses ? Krasner and Professor McKenzie were amateurs in the cut throat business of professional football in England. How thankful we were  seven years ago when the greatest wily old rogue of them all stepped out of the shadows to save our football club, Kenneth Bates. The genius who bought Chelsea for £1 and sold it for £17M was going to resurrect Leeds United, one of the biggest sides in world football, and he was up for one final challenge. Initially we had to take more pain. Match tickets had to go up. Season tickets had to go up (now the fourth highest in England)  and by the way you guys in the Supporters Clubs can piss off also, even if you were formed in 1919.  Members clubs were formed at the tune of £45 per person. Leeds fans had to take more medicine to pacify our creditors, to pay back the debt and financial restructuring of Elland Road and Thorp Arch. Lovable Dennis Wise was appointed after Blackwell and duly managed to take Leeds into the third tier of English time for the first and hopefully only time. Of course Ken being Ken managed to piss off almost every Football league side in the three divisions and his fast track into receivership only managed to get Leeds docked 15 points before the season started. Two clubs voted for us, Leicester and Peterboro. Would you go to Milan Manderic and Barry Fry for a reference ?  Crafty Ken succeeded in getting £4M for Taiwo, Woods and Rose who were poached from his beloved Chelsea and another £500K for Luke Garbutt who chose to further his fledgling career with Everton instead of Leeds United. This was to get Leeds trading “in the black”.  McAllister failed at the Play-Off final and succeeded in losing to Histon in the FA Cup. Step forward Simon Grayson who had developed a decent reputation at Blackpool. There were great days (and wealthy koffer matches) notably Man United at Old Trafford, Arsenal and Spurs away in the cups until we limped across the line versus Bristol Rovers to gain promotion to the Championship. The cup matches at Old Trafford, Arsenal and Spurs away were thought to have earned Leeds £8M. Yet, still the austerity continued that would make Michael Noonan look like Father Christmas, unlike the old buzzard living in Monaco. Delph was allowed leave Leeds for £6M and a 28 year old Michael Dolye was employed from Coventry as his on loan replacement. Beckford was followed out the door by Johnson and Kilkenny, all deriding the offers of improved contracts as insulting . Freebie Paynter came in to replace Beckford. United finished a creditable 7th back in the Championship but many of Grayson’s rag tag bunch of freebies and loanees struggled to make the difference and Grayson struggled in matches tactically. The fans waited with anticipation for a pre-season of top notch arrivals to help make a concerted push in the 2011/12 season for promotion and  back to the promised land of the Premiership. After all, Ken enjoyed proclaiming how profitable the club had become with it’s 17 different forms of revenue all producing nicely for him.  Schmeichel was forced out the door for £1.1M and on deadline day in August, United’s player of the year and top scorer Mad Maxie Gradel was sold to St Etienne because he “refused to sign a new contract” for £2.2M. Of course the player denied that any offer of a new contract was ever made. That was two years in a row that Leeds sold their highest goal scorer. Bates called the fans who protested as “morons” who failed to see the bigger picture of £7M worth of executive boxes in a half full East stand with a museum thrown in for good measure. More freebies and loanees were drafted in like Nunez, O’Dea, Forssell, Varynen, Lonergan, Rachubka and Keogh (to name but a few) and expected to keep Leeds in the top six. For a while all was rosy in the garden as McCormack scored with everything he touched whilst Snodgrass, Clayton, Lees, White  and Howson produced the goods to keep United as a constant top six side. Suddenly the inspirational Lonergan broke a finger and Grayson went to his second stopper (the third choice keeper from Blackpool) to continue the good work. The back four did what they did best, concede goals but the goals up the other end started to dry up. United failed to beat Coventry and Blackpool put five past Leeds at home. Howson got injured, Larry struggled with his tactics and Snodgrass was hospitalised. United went into free fall and plunged to 11th after defeats to  Barnsley (twice) Reading and Derby. Many fans called for Larry’s head but Bates gave him the dreaded vote of confidence whilst chastising him over a poor Christmas.  Bates waxed lyrically :  if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen’.” “We have 17 cost/profit centres and everything is okay. We have 220 full-time staff, 700-800 part-time staff and I think we also employ half the police in West Yorkshire – or that is what it looks like when I see the bill coming in. “We do our budgets. I add up all the income, deduct all the expenditure, use it as a credit balance, take off a sum for contingencies and then say to the manager, ‘That’s how much we have to spend, wages and transfers”. Except the maths doesn’t add up and it never has. Leeds were linked all week with a move for former hero, Fabian Delph to rescue our season from Aston Villla, all the time hoping that Delph would arrived before Jonny Howson left. Even for Leeds fans so adept at losing our better players, this was a massive bolt out of the blue. Howson, the player every Leeds fan could identify with. A lad who would be in the Revie stand, watching,  if he wasn’t a player. A lad who had said just two short months ago :It’s a dream come true just playing for the club, never mind captaining them,( And on the subject of contract talks, he added): “I’m sure they’ll be finalised and I’ll sign soon”. Leeds issued the usual tripe about not being prepared to lose a player in May for nothing, but really were more annoyed that it leaked out before Delph had arrived. I often disagree with Greg over Larry and his complicity in the whole thing, and we have our own opinions, but like Jonny Howson we are Leeds through and through just like all the other Louth SC members. Jonny was one of us. More than Smudger and Woody and Gary Kelly, Jonny was one of us. In 2008 when we travelled to Carlisle 1-0 down in the play-off semi final, it was Jonny who scored the two goals to get us to Wembley. In May 2009, 1-0 down at home to Bristol Rvs in the final game of the season, it was Jonny that came off the bench and scored that priceless equaliser. The lad would walk on broken glass to play for Leeds United and I accept that he wanted to play in the Premiership…..but he wanted it to be in a Leeds jersey. He has been driven out of Leeds. Howson has two sporting loves in life…..playing for Leeds United and fishing. Bates has thrown him into the river. I can live with Kilkenny, Schmeichel, Johnson and Gradel (Very reluctantly) leaving but not  Jonny Howson. Now for the sad thing. Will the money be reinvested in our playing squad ? I believe that at least eight clubs in the Championship and probably ten have a bigger budgets than Leeds United. There will be no money from the Gradel, Schmeichel, Howson, and Kebbe deals, at least no tangible money. Budgets include wages and fees for players leaving and coming. So far £500K has gone out (Pugh) and possibly £6M is on its way in. Leeds United are only “disappointed” because the news leaked re Howson leaving before Delph arrived on loan to soften the blow with supporters. I suspected something was up last night when there was no Tuesday night show on LUTV. I’m disappointed and disgusted  (but not surprised) for a variety of reasons. Disappointed – because Howson is a genuine footballer who loves Leeds United and is/was my favourite player. This is a player who could easily make the step up to the Premiership and I wish him well. Secondly if I hadn’t Sean coming with me on Friday to the Ipswich game, I certainly would have stayed at home. Sickened and annoyed because this will have a huge impact on morale in the dressing room when the locally born Leeds captain is allowed leave over a few grand per week. White, Clayton, Snodgrass, Lees, McCormack etc will rightly question their future allegiance to Leeds with Snodgrass in particular who will be looking at the remaining 13 days of the window before moving to Stoke, Norwich, QPR, Wigan or wherever. For Jesus sake we’ve got a lucky bag bunch of castoffs from TNS, South Africa Meltdowns, and Yanks trying to fill Jonny’s shoes and Max Gradel’s also. Whatever you think of Grayson, and I can understand many people wanting him to go also. Do you really think it would be any better if Grayson resigned and Bates employed someone else under the same constraints and regime (and willing to work for football’s biggest tyrant) to manage Leeds United ? Remember we’ve had Eddie Gray, Kevin Blackwell, Dennis Wise, Gary McAllister and Larry – not a great track record is it ?  Will I stop going to Leeds ? No and neither will probably the majority of   members reading this. But then again neither of us would be surprised if at 9PM on Tuesday 31st of January, Sky Sports show pictures of Robert Snodgrass walking through the gates of the Britannia proclaimed as Stoke’s (or some other PL’s) new signing. Until Bates goes there will be no future for Leeds United. No ambition ! No pride in the club ! Seven years of misery is enough for any fan and it’s Bates who churns around the pit of my stomach with a stench of putrid bile that is the attention of my fury. Having thought about it over the past few hours, I do think that this will be a bigger problem for Ken Bates than he can possibly have imagined. He may languish in his tax exile in Monte Carlo for a number of weeks and criticise all and sundry through his propaganda £4 programme notes, but his footfall to Elland Road will suffer and I suspect a relatively tolerant crowd to him thus far will turn and it will get nasty, especially if results continue to deteriorate. Is he the man we want to chair our football club with his foul mouthed rants and Father Jack like behaviour ? He has turned Leeds United into a comic feeder club, ambitionless, and has fed off our glorious name, whilst throwing a few crumbs to the masses….crumbs of reject nomadic trialists. Anything will do as long he can make a fast buck But wouldn’t it be nice if the quietly spoken ex Leeds captain was to be the one who had the last laugh. Best of luck Jonny, I’m sure you’ll do well for the Canaries, and no doubt Delia will be easier and nicer to work for than Kenneth Bates.” Sickened and Disgusted but will still be Leeds when that 80 year old vulture is gone”. Gerard Cunningham Dundalk.

Weds 18th of Jan. YEP. Wigan Athletic are the latest club to be linked with Leeds United’s leading scorer, Ross McCormack. The 12-goal striker is rumoured to have attended Monday night’s Premier League match between Wigan and Manchester City and the DW Stadium, prompting speculation that Latics boss Roberto Martinez is lining up a bid for him. McCormack, a Scotland international with 18 months remaining on his deal at Elland Road, has already been linked with Wolves this season. Grayson has not commented on McCormack

Weds 18th of Jan. Lancashire News. According to reports Bolton Wanderers are interested in Leeds United midfielder Adam Clayton. The Sun claims Wanderers boss Owen Coyle is set to bid £2 million for the playmaker.Coyle is expected to push for the ex-Manchester City player after the breakdown of talks over a new Elland Road deal. However, he is expected to face competition from Stoke City, Fulham and neighbours Wigan Athletic.

Weds 8th 2012. Louth Branch reaction that I can print -”I usually wouldn’t rant too much but it has now come to the stage where you have to question what direction our football club is going in. My morning ritual of checking the Leeds news has now ruined my day and probably the rest of my week. The news of Howson’s departure for around 2m has taken me by total surprise. I stand to be corrected but did our captain not always say that he wanted to help lead Leeds back to the PL? Larry had said at the start of the transfer window that he was going to strengthen the squad by taking in quality players. He also mentioned that he may be letting a few fringe players go. This in my opinion has not happened at all, we are still carrying all the dead wood and now we have lost arguably one of our best players over the last few seasons. Its very hard to see any positives at the moment. There are more players been linked with a move away from Elland Road than there are coming in ie Clayton, Bechio and McCormack etc. The facts are we need to invest and we need to do it now. We have to get someone to replace Howson. This may be Delph with Grayson supposed to be holding talks with Villa but that will only be a temporary solution. I agree with Paul Martin, Gradel still hasn’t been replaced and we are lacking up front. These issues must be addressed if we are going to make progress. At the end of the day we are still only 3 point outside the play off places and we can hopefully start to pick up a few points. We have the experience of the last few seasons and we need to use that to help us push on and get promotion. I am going to the Brighton game in early February and I hope to see our beloved Whites stride to get back to were we belong! Trying hard to keep the faith, Antoin Watters -Cooley. “Two month’s ago he said this “It’s a dream come true just playing for the club, never mind captaining them,back in November. And on the subject of contract talks, he added: “I’m sure they’ll be finalised and I’ll sign soon. And now we are meant to believe he wants to play premier league football ASAP. More Bullshit from Bates and very very ably backed up by his puppet Larry. We all know Bates and we are stuck with him,but Larry has choices. He can leave with what little stock he has left in protest or he can re-balance his player budget by getting rid of Brown, Varynin (the Finn) and offer Johnny a premier league contract where he can play with Leeds next year or Larry can go along with Bates and accept the situation and ensure the message goes out to Team and Fans that he does not see us in the Premier league next year. This Bullshit policy I expect from Bates, but yet again I have to accept it from a compliant Larry also, and this annoys me more. Glad I am not going over this week because I would be up for what I would be saying to Larry !!! Rant over, and its good just to get it off the chest !! Greg Tipping (a little edited) “Not going up this year either. Thanks Master Bates”. Gerry Kirk. “We’re down to a selling club and that’s all. Padna Lane, Dunleer. Sick ! Paddy Kettle. “We’re going nowhere”. Liam Quinn Dundalk.  “A disgrace. W****s !” Steven Quigley Carrick. “It’s a joke !” Terry McQuaid Monaghan. “How many clubs chasing promotion would agree to sell their captain with 4 months of the season remaining ? Yes Delph would be a great pick up on loan but the recent run has shown we need depth to the squad”. Allan Quigley, Cellbridge Numerous more but not postable as we have no money to fight the libel bills. Thanks for the contributions, all of which are heartfelt and sincere.

Weds 18th of Jan 2012. The following is taken from “The Square Ball” transcript of Ken Bates interview with Yorkshire Radio. Taken from Yorkshire Radio’s interview with Leeds United owner Ken Bates today…‘Mr Chairman’ speaks to Ben Fry about everything other than the £2million bid accepted by Leeds United for captain Jonny Howson. Palace, Snoddy, trialists, Robbie Rogers, Fabian Delph, transfers, his seven-year anniversary at the club, Ipswich and season ticket renewal forms…Ben Fry: Chairman, first up, a point on the road at Palace. I suppose if you were offered that beforehand, I would have been a good result. Ken Bates: Erm, I’m not sure. I think we’d say ‘no, we need to win these games rather than draw them’. A point’s a point. I suppose you could argue that in 2012 it has been 4 points out of six but against 10 men we should have beaten them. That’s disappointing. Nevertheless, we’re keeping up with the pack although we are still outside the play-off places, albeit by one point (TSB-three points, Mr Chairman). BF: On the day Robert Snodgrass returned to the side and returned to goal scoring form after only two weeks out. He has made a remarkable recovery. Credit to him and credit to the medical staff. KB: Er, yeah. Although of course I had my appendix out a few years ago now. Not in my youth. But the technology is quite amazing because normally, they used to cut you open and take the organ, which is necessary in the way our bodies work. But he had it with keyhole so he was in and out within a day. so the only thing we were worrying about was that if he made any sudden stretches or turns it could damage the tissues so he had to be very careful about that. It’s fantastic. We knew he’d be back for the Ipswich game. Crystal Palace was very much touch and go. So he touched and went for go. BF: He seems to be the man finding the back of the net at the moment. A bit of a reliance on him for his goals. KB: Well, yes, but we don’t give a damn who scores goals as long as we score them. It’s nice to spread them around a bit. BF: Now yesterday there was a behind closed doors game at Elland Road against Newcastle, giving some trialists a run-out. A 2-0 win with Mikael Forssell on the scoresheet and a trialist scoring. Important that the team keep playing football, even when it is a bit frosty at Thorp Arch. KB: Well I think it was very frosty at Thorp Arch because originally they were going to play the previous evening and we had to get the undersoil heating on at Elland Road from midday for the game yesterday. But all credit to the ground staff for performing but if you remember, last season Elland Road was the only place where we never had to postpone a match out of all the clubs in Yorkshire. So obviously we haven’t got a bad ground and we’ve got very good staff. It was important the game was played because players need to play games. They can do simulation warm-ups and that kind of stuff as much as you like but there’s nothing like playing matches so it’s very important for those who did play and of course it gave us a chance to look at three trialists, one of whom looks promising. BF: One of the players who featured in the game was Robbie Rogers, who has signed with the club subject to a work permit. Another speedy winger to add a bit more width.  KB: Well we’re always going to welcome those. Robbie is a full American international. I think he is one short of the required number to qualify automatically for a work permit because it’s very important that we get him. Simon will be at the tribunal hearing our application for a work permit. BF: Now there’s plenty of speculation as the January transfer window continues about players coming in as the club. Even talk of a possible loan return for Fabian Delph. KB: Well, there’s lots of discussions going on about players both in and out. If I commented on every bit of speculation there is we’d have this conversation for five hours instead of, mercifully, this 15 minute interview. We are talking to a number of clubs about permanent deals as well as on loan but we’d rather announce what we have done rather than what we are going to do. (Edit added after interview) BF: Now this morning a story was put on LeedsUnited.com confirming that the club have accepted an offer for Jonny Howson from Norwich with the player having just six months left on his contract and stated a desire to play in the Premier League at the earliest possible opportunity. Discussions continue over personal terms and Norwich. Now I know you’re not going to comment on the Jonny Howson story at the moment but there are other stories in the media this week, linking players with moves away from Elland Road. Are these stories an unwanted distraction at this stage? (end of edit) KB: Well yes of course it is. I mean we can’t stop speculation. A lot of the problems you have these days are agents who leak stories to the press, for two reasons; obviously to stimulate interest in their players and to try to see if there’s more than one club that are going to be interested in a player i.e get an auction going on terms. We’re making a note of those agents and also making a note not to deal with them in the future, unless absolutely necessary because if you can’t trust them, you can’t do business with them. But we are active behind the scenes. We’ve already signed Danny Pugh, we’ve already extended Maik Taylor’s contract, we’ve signed young Townsend from Tottenham so that’s three. We’ve agreed terms with one of our young players and we’ll announce that as soon as it’s signed… he’s signed rather. There are other discussions going on but as usual, we talk about what we have done, not what we are going to do. BF: Now this week you’ve been at the club seven years. The song talks about ups and downs. How has the experience been for you? KB: Yes, Ben. It’s been seven years hard labour and I’m totally innocent. BF: We’ll move on to the game at the weekend against Ipswich. Two important home games coming up. Ipswich are a side you don’t want to underestimate but they have been on a terrible run and are struggling all season. KB: Yes, they actually thought they were going to be among the front runners but something has gone terribly wrong there but they are a force to be reckoned with. Of course we are now into our last 20 games of the season; 11 of which are at home and only 9 away. It’s important that we do beat Ipswich and keep our 2012 league unbeaten run going. We do of course have a bit of an injury crisis at the moment at the club but that’s why we have 29 professionals. Probably one of the largest squads in the Championship. So Simon and his merry men have just got to get on with it and win the games. BF: And still 13 days to go on the season ticket freeze. How are renewals going at the moment? KB: Well, the online has been open for some time of course but most people like to renew in person or by post. It’s coming along quite well. Application forms only landed on people’s doorsteps this week. The initial response has been quite promising. We expect it to go up on Saturday because as Mandy in the box office yesterday was saying a lot of people like to hand their ticket applications in personally because they don’t trust the mail as much as they used to, especially if there’s cash involved. We’re quite happy with the response to date and of course, the fact that we have frozen the prices until January 31st is an incentive for people to get them in early and take advantage of the two forms of interest free credit which means it’s one of those rare cases of have your cake and eat it scenarios.

Weds 18th of Jan 2012. Jonny’s on his way  (YEP) Leeds United captain Jonny Howson looks to become Norwich City’s first signing of the January transfer window after a fee was agreed for the midfielder. Howson, a former England Under-21 international, is now set to thrash out personal terms with the Norfolk club, who will in turn seek assurances over the player’s fitness as the midfielder has been out since December with a knee injury. The Whites were reluctant sellers of their captain, but felt given the 23-year-old’s current deal was set to expire in the summer, they had to allow the move to happen, with a reported £2 million fee. “The player only has six months of his current contract remaining and has expressed a desire to play Premier League football at the earliest opportunity,” said Leeds United in a statement. “The club has been in discussions with the player about a new contract at Elland Road for more than 12 months, but he has been steadfast in his position that he would like the opportunity to play Premier League football. “On that basis Jonny hasn’t felt in a position to commit himself to Leeds United at this moment in time. “The player would be able to leave on a free transfer at the end of his current contract. “While accepting the offer on Tuesday the player has still to agree terms with Norwich and we are disappointed the matter has become public at this stage.” Norwich moved for former Leeds midfielder Bradley Johnson in the summer when he was a free agent after rejecting the offer of a new deal and allowing his contract to run down. As with the signing of Johnson, 24, the transfer will be something of a gamble for Norwich manager Paul Lambert – who has masterminded back-to-back promotions from League One after taking over at Carrow Road. Many of the current squad have come up through the divisions with the Canaries, while summer additions Steve Morison, Anthony Pilkington and Elliott Bennett have all made a successful transition into the top flight. Lambert, however, admitted he was unsure how many more times he could tap hungry talent from down the pyramid as he looked to keep Norwich in the Premier League following an impressive first half of the season which has left them ninth. Goalkeeper John Ruddy believes the current group have already shown they have what it takes to last the distance. “Over the Christmas period we had a couple of games, but we used the squad very well,” Ruddy said in the Eastern Daily Press. “It gave players a chance who had not played very much this season, they came in and did an unbelievable job. “We have got more than enough in the squad, but if the gaffer needs to add to it he will. “We will welcome them with open arms and they can help us stay in the league as well.”


Weds 18th of Jan. 2012 Can you believe it ! Our captain and life long Leeds fan, Jonny Howson has been sold for 30 pieces of silver (£2M) to a club a fraction in size of LUFC.

Weds 18th of Jan 2012. YEP re Delph. Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish is to hold talks with Simon Grayson over a deal for Fabian Delph as the midfielder inches closer to a return to Leeds United. McLeish confirmed that Grayson and Villa coach Kevin MacDonald have discussed Delph’s situation, and he plans to contact United’s manager directly after deciding to release the England Under-21 international on loan. Leeds are vying with West Ham United for the 22-year-old’s services, and an agreement with United would take Delph back to the club where he started his career and built his reputation as one of the country’s most talented prospects. McLeish said: “Simon did try to call me but I’ve not spoken to him yet, I think he’s spoken to Kevin so I’ll get back in touch with him.” Delph has played 11 times for Villa this season but he has slipped down the selection order in the past month. McLeish left him on the bench for Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Everton. The ex-Rangers boss is ready to grant Delph’s request for regular football by releasing him on a temporary basis, and Grayson has made his interest known as he works to strengthen United’s midfield. Grayson said: “He’s a good player who knows about Leeds United and has been here before. “I won’t be drawn on whether we’re definitely going to do it or not but he’s a player along with a lot of others who would fit the bill. “But there are many obstacles in front of us – he has to be available and we have to be able to afford to do the deal because Premier League players earn a huge amount of money.”Delph made his name at Elland Road, playing 54 times for Leeds and winning the Football League’s Young Player of the Year award before a £6m transfer to Villa in August 2009. But he suffered a serious cruciate ligament injury the following year and has struggled to establish himself as a first-team regular under McLeish. McLeish said: “He started seven or eight in a row for us at the start of the season but we’ve been looking for somebody to give us eight out of 10 performances every week.  “Some of the lads have given some good performances but not quite got to the peak of their powers, and Delph admits that. “It may be that we look to try and get him playing regularly for a wee while.” McLeish, meanwhile, left the door open to a deal between Leeds and Eric Lichaj but warned that any transfer involving the right-back would include a recall clause. Lichaj – a loanee at Elland Road last season – is among United’s targets after recovering from hip surgery, and he stepped up his fitness with an outing for Villa’s reserves against Wolverhampton Wanderers yesterday. McLeish said: “We’d consider letting Eric go on loan as well. We’ll think about that one but we’ll probably look for call-back rather than letting him go out until the end of the season”.

Tues 17th of Jan 2012. Taken from “The Gorey Guardian ” – I liked this one. A TALENTED young sportsman with very close Wexford connections had one of the best views of all in the Emirates Stadium on Monday of last week when Thierry Henry marked his return to Arsenal with a fairytale winning goal in the FA Cup clash with Leeds United. However, Aidan White wasn’t celebrating the Frenchman’s sublime first touch and wonder strike after coming off the bench as he was a key defender on the losing team! Indeed, White showed he is no man to respect a reputation in the dying stages of the game when he robbed Henry with a forceful tackle close to the corner flag, with the referee waving for an advantage as he raced away while the goal scorer made a lunge at his heels. This young man with the full name of Aidan Peter White was named after his grandfather, Peter Kevin White of Hantoon Road in Wexford town, and his father, Peter Paul White of King Street. And while Euro 2012 might come a little too soon for him, he is making steady progress and really impressed on his full debut with the Republic of Ireland Under-21 team last September. ‘I’d expect him to go far in the game,’ Ireland’s team manager, Noel King, said. After appearing in a friendly against Austria in the Showgrounds, Sligo, in August, White returned to the same venue for the qualifier clash against Hungary the following month. And he marked his third visit to the north-west venue on November 14 by scoring a goal in the victory over Liechtenstein. White has two main priorities at present – to continue his role in Leeds’ bid for promotion from the Championship, and to ensure that Ireland’s name appears in the draw for the Under-21 European championships which are due to be held in Israel next year. ‘When it comes to international football, qualifying for Israel is the main thing for me,’ he confirmed on the official Leeds United website. ‘I’ll be eligible if we get there and I’d love to go to a tournament like that. It’s an experience I’ve never had before. ‘You never know what else could happen and that (Euro 2012) is something I can’t really control, or not completely anyway. I’ll work hard with Leeds and work hard with the Under-21s but who knows if that will be enough? I don’t even know if I’ve got the slightest chance.’ In the space of four months this season, White almost doubled his total appearances for Leeds, starting all but three of their league fixtures up to the end of November. One of his clubmates described him as ‘one of the hottest prospects in the Championship’, and Noel King called him a ‘revelation’, having selected White for the first time in August not long after learning about his eligibility as a result of his Wexford roots. The defender had represented England Under-19s in his formative years but was delighted to take King up on his offer.White’s contract with United ends next summer and the club are understood to be keen to extend his deal. After two years without much game-time at Elland Road, he has given Simon Grayson a solution to the problem of how to fill the left side of the defence. The Republic, in contrast, are using White predominantly as a winger and occasionally on the right flank. ‘It was an opportunity I wanted to take,’ White said. ‘I wanted to play international football and I hadn’t played or been involved with England for a little while. There was no real decision to make. ‘I’ve got strong Irish roots and I’ve still got family over there, so playing for the Republic is something I’m proud of. You obviously have to consider what it all means but it wasn’t like I was going to play for a country I’ve got no ties to or no affinity with.’ As well as his Wexford town links, Aidan is a distant relation of Cassagh native Brian White who refereed three All-ireland Senior football championship finals and is currently based in Clonmel. Aidan’s late grandfather and Brian’s late father were first cousins. Aidan was born on October 10, 1991, and made his debut for Leeds United as a 16-year-old against Crystal Palace in the Carling Cup in August, 2008. A product of the club’s Academy system, he made his league debut at Carlisle the following month. Up to May, 2010, he had made 24 senior appearances under Gary McAllister and Simon Grayson. He was loaned to Oldham Athletic last season and featured in another 24 league games, scoring four goals. So far this season he has made 26 appearances with the Leeds United first team

Delph – On his way back

Tues Jan 17th. Larry re Delph and speculation. Fabian DelphDescription: http:/static.lingospot.com/spot/image/spacer.gif is a good player who knows about Leeds UnitedDescription: http:/static.lingospot.com/spot/image/spacer.gif because he has been here before,” he told the club’s official website. “His name is being bandied around as if he is available for loan. You’re not going to draw me on whether we will do it or not, but he’s a player, along with others, that would fit the bill. “He fits the bill because he knows what this club is about and what it means to play here, but we’re working towards one or two deals and I will refuse to name them.” The Elland Road boss knows it is difficult to do business in January, but has reiterated the club are working hard behind the scenes on bringing in fresh faces. “It’s always difficult at this time of year, but we’re working extremely hard to achieve what we want to do,” he continued. “We’ve been linked with a lot of players over the past few days and weeks and we are looking to strengthen, but what you have to do is bring in someone who will make you better. “There is no point in bringing in players who are going to sit on the bench and be around the squad – you want players who can come into the first team straight away. “That’s what we have to work at and if it means hanging on a few more days or a week I will do that.” A number of players have been linked with the Leeds exit door and Grayson is hoping to move on players who are not part of his long-term plans. “We’re looking to do things in that direction as well,” he continued. “There’s been enquiries and clubs will be like us in considering ‘can they take so-and-so?’ “It changes from day to day. Teams might be looking for something one day then a completely different position the next depending on circumstances. “We’ve got some who we wouldn’t stand in their way, but anyone leaving the club will be on our terms and no one else’s.” Larry, less of the Bates bullshit and just get him signed up so we can at least see some flair for the rest of the season. If he doesn’t come you will have made some rod for your own back.

Tuesday Jan 17th. 2012. Double doubt over Villa duo. Leeds United’s hopes of a successful double loan swoop to sign Fabian Delph and Eric Lichaj appear unlikely – with the latter expected to remain at Aston Villa this transfer window. United are keen to reinvigorate their Championship play-off drive, having targetted ex-Elland Road midfielder Delph this month, with former loan defender Lichaj, who spent a productive stint at United in the second half of last term, another thought to be high on their January shopping list. Villa have opened the door for Delph to move out on loan in this window, but USA international Lichaj is set to stay put at Villa Park after only recently returning to training after being out for four months following a hip operation. Lichaj is regarded as the main cover for current regular right-back Alan Hutton and with the Scottish international’s recent form having been inconsistent over the past few months, the 23-year-old could be handed his opportunity at first-team level by boss Alex McLeish in the near future. The Villa chief has shown no hesitation in handing extended opportunities to several of Lichaj’s former Academy colleagues already this term, with the likes of Chris Herd and Ciaran Clark sampling some invaluable first-team experience and several others part of the match day squad. But despite being tipped to make Lichaj available for loan after his spell on the sidelines since September, McLeish is expected to hold onto Lichaj for the time being and take an opportunity to have a look at the Illnois-born full-back. Lichaj has featured just once under McLeish – finding the net in Villa’s 2-0 Carling Cup win over Hereford United in August – shortly before going under the knife for surgery. Meanwhile, it’s understood that Villa haven’t yet received official contact from United regarding Delph, who left West Yorkshire in a £6m move in, according to sources in the West Midlands – although a firming up of their position is likely this week. Delph signed a new four-year deal tying him to Villa until 2015 last March, but if United were able to stump up enough of his five-figure wages and the appropriate recall clause was inserted into the deal, that Villa would seemingly be happy for him to return to his former club. Bates and Grayson deserve a double kick up the arse if they can’t bring Delph back to Elland Road for the balance of the season !

Tuesday January 17th. Friendly game at Thorp Arch.  Mikael Forssell and South African trialist, Mattie Pattison scored in a behind closed doors friendly against a Newcastle X1 this afternoon. Craig Jones a trialist from TNS also featured as well as American, Robbie Rogers. Other to get game time were Connolly, Bruce, Sam, Parker and Maik Taylor in nets.

Tuesday Jan 17th. Another trialist. Leeds United are currently running the rule over South African midfielder and former Newcastle United and Norwich City player Matty Pattison, who is on trial at the club. The 25-year-old, who has won two caps for Bafana Bafana, is on the books of Mamelodi Sundowns and had also been linked with a move to Russia. United have also offered a trial to winger Craig Jones, 24, who plays for Welsh Premier League title-chasers outfit TNS. The Norwich fans’ blogs were far from complimentary about the South African’s talents. This is the quote from the CarrowRoad.net : “One of Glenn Roeder’s few purchases is looking for away back into English football, after leaving City and heading back home to South Africa. Perhaps more famous for turning up for training in his underwear (Allegedly). Of course we are referring to the wonderful Matty Pattison. He is currently having a trial with Leeds Utd. The 25-year-old, who has won two caps for Bafana Bafana, is on the books of Mamelodi Sundowns and had also been linked with a move to Russia. Have Leeds stooped that low”. 

Mon Jan 16th 2012. Excellent article from the superb Sabotage Times. If you made a list of the dozen or so things that are wrong with Leeds United at the moment, on the pitch that is, a good 75% of those would be solved by the signing of one player by the name of Fabian Delph. He won’t solve everything, I am aware that he might not be match fit and he may have lost some of the magic he once had through a series of debilitating injuries. I am also aware that loaning players is a well-trodden path as far as Leeds are concerned, with a pretty sparse success rate. For every Dougie Freedman, there are a couple of Liam Dickinson’s and a pig-pen full of Gary McSheffrey’s. Numerous have been the occasions where a loan signing of some stature has spectacularly flattered to deceive. Huffing uncomfortably around the pitch, bearing the weight of rustiness and a sudden projection into the Elland Road limelight, big names have failed to produce and brief excitement has dimmed into a hollow glow of disappointment, resentment and sometimes, in Lee Trundle’s case, ridicule. The arrival of Fabian Delph, if it happens, and surely it must, seems different in every way; almost a no-lose scenario. Even if Delph is only a quarter of the player he was in 2009, anyone who saw him perform at that time would relish the opportunity to have him in a White shirt again. It is hard to explain, but he’s ‘Leeds’, and he knows he is. Furthermore, it’s the ‘Leeds’ that Leeds so patently need right now. At Crystal Palace on Saturday Leeds once again lacked the vital ingredients that promotion-seeking sides need, ie. the quality to make the most of a promising opportunity and get results from difficult games. Sounds simple, but it is something Leeds have lacked in the Championship, even last season, which was viewed as largely successful. When we can string three passes together we lack invention and spark; no ideas, nobody thinking, nobody really wanting to make that difference. For the second league game running we played a large portion of the game against ten men, but this time we couldn’t rely on an own-goal or a calamitous goalkeeping error to grant us three unlikely points. Leeds need inspiration, we need stimulus, we need to get Elland Road buzzing again, we need a local hero, we need swagger, we need arrogant disrespect and barefaced effrontery. Throughout 2011/12 Leeds have lacked bite in midfield, we have lacked leadership, we have lacked pace throughout the side, we have lacked anybody in the team that is good in the air, we have lacked distribution from defence. We have lacked a ‘blood on your boots’ desire to get on the end of crosses, at times we have lacked passion, we have lacked midfielders who are comfortable in possession, we have lacked players with vision, mobility and intelligence, and we have lacked someone truly inspirational to take a game by the scruff of the neck. We have seen good things very occasionally, but our current position of eleventh is a true and honest one. The loss of Jonny Howson at the beginning of December has been more critical than most people would like to admit. In simple terms we have won only one of the seven games since, and that with outrageous good fortune. Howson may not be the inspirational captain he is billed as, but he does have quality, he does have ideas and he is capable of influencing tight games, as is the returning Snodgrass. We have missed Howson recently, and anyone who can’t see that is blinded by an irrational mis-trust in Simon Grayson’s apparent favouritism of him. That said, Howson alone is not the answer.Fabian Delph ticks almost all the boxes of the things we lack, he did three years ago and he surely must do now. He certainly ticks as many as you can rightfully expect from one player. The brash 19 year old who burst onto the scene under Gary McAllister in 2008/09 was as refreshing a sight as I can remember seeing as a Leeds fan, akin to the early Harry Kewell performances amid the suffocating dirge of watching George Graham’s Leeds in 1997. In League One, Delph shone like a diamond in an ocean of steaming excrement. I remember his energy, his almost serene relationship with the ball, his elegant running, his step-overs and flicks that weren’t flash but purely natural, his desire to win a tackle, his impudence in leaving Robbie Savage flat on his arse during his loan spell with Brighton, and I remember his goals. Two long range pearlers against Crewe and Walsall, a forty yard lob into an empty net at Stockport, and a length-of-the-pitch run and finish of outrageous quality and composure at Brighton. It is hard to see Delph not having some kind of positive effect, so the club has to seize the opportunity and do what is so undeniably right. Delph’s bullish character was just the right side of over-confident, because he had it, that one thing that is so rare to find in a footballer; ‘it’, an intangible ability to excite, engage and uplift. He had the mobility and athleticism, the charge, focus and desire to run the game at number 11 setting, a Steven Gerrard that we knew did not belong in League One. His sale was inevitable and accepted once our Play-Off failure of 2009 had sunk in, for fans used to the Lennon’s and Milner’s vacating for a rightful higher plane, this was just another all-to-brief flirtation with the previous exhilarating existence we continue to hanker for. The fact that we have to loan him rather than love him as our own, is simply an indictment of the times. This is our lot right now, we might as well make the most of it and it would be foolish to pass on this opportunity simply because it is a loan. Sage observers say ‘never go back’, but just to try and re-create that thrilling surge of excitement again is worth taking the risk, our season is dependent on the seismic shift in expectation this would create, otherwise five months of dispirited chagrin awaits. Leeds need inspiration, we need stimulus, we need to get Elland Road buzzing again, we need a local hero, we need swagger, we need arrogant disrespect and barefaced effrontery. All our heroes had it, we need another. I couldn’t agree more and it’s a lot better than being linked with a kid from TNS of the Welsh League. As Jeff Stelling famously said using his son’s quote after the minnows took the lead : “They’ll be dancing in the streets of TNS tonight”.

Mon Jan 16th. Trotters on a raid. According to reports Bolton Wanderers are ready to swoop on Leeds United. The Sunday Mirror claims Wanderers boss Owen Coyle has his eye on two players at Elland Road. It is understood he is interested in Adam Clayton and Tom Lees who were watched during the 1-0 FA Cup defeat at Arsenal last Monday. Defender Lees, would be an ideal long-term replacement for Gary Cahill, while 23-year-old Clayton would augment Coyle’s depleted midfield. I don’t really see this one happening.

Mon Jan 16th 2012. Compo due to Ken for Kid. Leeds United are in line to receive a cash windfall after ex-youth-team player Elliot Kebbie put pen to paper on a deal with Atletico Madrid. The 17-year-old has sealed a transfer to the La Liga club seven months after walking away from the offer of a scholarship at United’s Thorp Arch academy.  The move was finalised on Friday but Leeds retained Kebbie’s registration and the right to compensation upon his exit from Thorp Arch. And there is nothing like a cash till with a ring of £500k to keep our chairman happy.

Delph on way back ?

Monday Jan 16th. It would be Fab to get Fab back. Leeds United will attempt to seal the loan signing of Fabian Delph this week after moving to offer their ex-midfielder a sensational return to Elland Road. United are one of several clubs fighting for Delph’s services after Aston Villa confirmed that the 22-year-old is free to leave the club on a temporary basis. Villa manager Alex McLeish does not see Delph as part of his immediate plans and the England Under-21 international is close to rejoining Leeds two-and-a-half years after quitting the club to sign for Villa in a £6million deal. United boss Simon Grayson faces stiff competition from Championship rivals West Ham United but he will push for a deal after seeing Leeds drop two more points in a 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace on Saturday. Delph is one of the most outstanding talents produced by Leeds’ academy in recent years, and he made 54 senior appearances for the club after earning his debut at the age of 17. His exceptional form earned him an England Under-21 cap and the Football League’s prestigious Young Player of the Year award for the 2008-09 season, and Leeds sold him to Villa days before the start of the following term. But Delph’s development in Birmingham has been hampered by a series of fitness problems, the worst a cruciate knee ligament injury suffered in 2010. Martin O’Neill, the manager who signed Delph, parted company with Villa while Delph was on the sidelines, and Gerard Houllier’s short tenure was followed by McLeish’s appointment earlier this year. Delph has made 11 appearances for Villa this season but last played on December 18, and McLeish is ready to send him out on loan, saying: “I know Fabian would like regular first-team football.” United also have their eye on another Villa player, right-back Eric Lichaj, but the signing of Delph would be a major coup with Leeds three points and five places beneath the Championship’s play off position. I have to say a fit Fabian Delph would be a superb player to secure. not only is he skilful and quick but he knows how to put the boot in and that would give the whole Elland Road crowd a huge lift and perhaps take some  of the pressure off Robert Snodgrass.

Andrews linked with move to Leeds

Monday Jan 16th 2012. Lancashire News. According to reports Leeds United are chasing Blackburn Rovers midfielder Keith Andrews. The Yorkshire Post claims Leeds boss Simon Grayson is eyeing the Rovers who has recently been with Ipswich Town. It is understood that Grayson tried to sign him last summer but lost out to Ipswich. His loan spell at Portman Road has now come to an end and it is believed that Andrews does not see his future at Ewood Park. It seems unlikely that United will nab Andrews. The player is seeking a Premiership move and his current boss wants him to fight for a first team place. The longer in January he leaves it the more his demands will diminish because he needs to be playing regularly to keep his slot in the Irish midfield in Euro 2012.

Monday January 16th 2012. Snods on appendix op. Leeds United winger Robert Snodgrass has revealed he was in ‘agony’ before undergoing an operation to remove his appendix. The Scotland international missed Leeds’ games against Barnsley,Description: http:/static.lingospot.com/spot/image/spacer.gif BurnleyDescription: http:/static.lingospot.com/spot/image/spacer.gif and ArsenalDescription: http:/static.lingospot.com/spot/image/spacer.gif after suffering severe stabbing pain in his stomach. SnodgrassDescription: http:/static.lingospot.com/spot/image/spacer.gif came off the bench in Saturday’s draw at Crystal PalaceDescription: http:/static.lingospot.com/spot/image/spacer.gif and played a key role in Simon Grayson’s side claiming a point after slotting home the equaliser. The 24-year-old knew his health comes first and foremost and he did fear he could miss over a month of action and not the two weeks he to come back quickly.”

Saints chase Celtic’s Hooper

Sun January 15th 2012. What’s the news re our competitors ? Southampton have had two bids turned down for 17 goal Gary Hooper. The second bid is thought to have been in the £6M range. Neil Lennon has had this to say : ‘Gary is happy here. He has good feet and is a good finisher. ‘Southampton have been in for him but I don’t want to sell any of my top players. It would have to be top dollar for guys such as Gary, Ki Sung-Yeung, Beram Kayal, Emilio Izaguirre and James Forrest. ‘But if I had to put a price on Gary’s head then it would be £35million. Even if we did receive a knock-out price for Gary, would we be able to replace him. Trust me, goalscorers of his calibre are not easy to find. ‘We’re top of the league and that brings its own pressure. But I hope we can keep all our good players. ‘I don’t want to see Gary, Kris Commons or Joe Ledley leave the club.’ It just shows the level of ambition the Saints have compared to  Loanee United who have taken more players on trial than the Old Bailey. Meanwhile Reading’s Brian McDermott has raided the League of Ireland again after securing the services of 20 year old striker Karl Sheppard who was out of contract at Shamrock Rovers. He has already had huge success with LOI players such as Doyle and Long. There are other nuggets to be had like Lafferty (a superb left back at Derry City) and Mark Griffin at Dundalk.

Sunday Jan 16th 2012. Latest links. The usually unreliable Tribal Football has Leeds linked with a move for Neil Warnock to replace Larry. Warnock has won a record six promotions, more than any other manager. QPR fans are still dancing in the streest after his departure. The fire fighter seemingly has an similar record for bringing sides back down. The perennial Leeds born Nick Montgomery is linked with a move (again) from Sheff United. Lichaj and Delph have been linked with a double move to Leeds from Villa, but there could be some truth in Lichaj who is coming back to fitness after a lengthy period out. He needs games though, and United need somebody at right full now.

Sat Jan 15th 2012. C Palace 1-1 Leeds United. Report from BBC. 01 Lonergan, 22 Lees, 28 White (Snodgrass 56) 29 Thompson, 48 O’Dea, 08 Brown15 Clayton, 16 Pugh, 17 Townsend, 10 Becchio (Forssell 79) 44 McCormack – Unused Subs : 24 Taylor, 04 Bruce, 20 Nunez.  Substitute Robert Snodgrass rescued a point for Leeds as a close-range finish on his return from injury pegged back 10-man Crystal Palace. Chris Martin gave the Eagles an early lead as he cut in and fired into the bottom corner of Andy Lonergan’s goal. But Sean Scannell got a second yellow card for a clumsy challenge on Danny Pugh to leave the hosts a man down. Snodgrass tucked away Ross McCormack’s pass before Julian Speroni’s save denied Mikael Forssell a Leeds winner. Snodgrass was a surprise inclusion in the Leeds squad after having surgery on his appendix just two weeks ago and the Scotland international justified his place on the bench by netting the equaliser within seven minutes of his introduction. Palace were victorious in the first leg of the Carling Cup semi-final against Cardiff on Tuesday night but they have been inconsistent in the Championship of late. They began the stronger of the two sides, with Martin finding the net after just six minutes. Leeds responded well, with Pugh blasting Adam Clayton’s corner over the bar from six yards, before Speroni was called upon to save well from Clayton and Tom Lees to preserve Palace’s lead. Scannell had already been cautioned for a foul on Andros Townsend when he clattered into Pugh to earn his marching orders on the stroke of half-time. Leeds pressed forward after the break and McCormack and Lees both went close before Snodgrass levelled. The visitors could have departed Selhurst Park with all three points as Snodgrass, Pugh and Clayton threatened from distance before Speroni blocked Forssell from close range. What the managers/Coaches thought : Dougie Freedman hailed his Crystal Palace players after they drew 1-1 with Leeds despite playing the majority of the match with 10 men. Sean Scannell was sent off in the first half for collecting two yellow cards by referee David Coote after Chris Martin had given the Eagles a sixth minute lead. But despite having the extra man, the Whites struggled to overcome a resilient Palace side until substitute Robert Snodgrass drew them level in the 63rd minute. Palace manager Freedman said: “A manager is always going to be disappointed with any sending off. The way it came about was also disappointing. “I felt the decision was made too quickly and looking back, (it was) probably not a sending off. “But the referee has to make these decisions in real time and the game is quick today. I think that’s why the few seconds after the referee blows the whistle, is very crucial to them. “It is unfortunate but we don’t look for excuses. We got on with it and got a good point. “We played well in the first half and controlled the majority of the match and we had a deserved lead at half-time. “Unfortunately, the goal set us back because we had to adjust mentally and physically because when you are down to 10 men, they could havegone on and won the game. “But we had great energy levels and I am happy with that point. Leeds assistant manager Glyn Snodin had no complaints despite failing to make their extra man advantage count. He added: “We thought we did well. We tried to get the ball out wide and make the extra man count. “We got the goal in the second half and thought we could push on and go and win the game. “But Palace are good on the break, even with 10 men, and when Wilfried [Zaha] came on. “They came out in the first half and put us on the back foot. They had a few early shots and then went 1-0 up after six minutes, like they did last season, so it was a good point for us. “They started the second half well, but they also had men behind the ball and sometimes it is hard to break them down. “We had the game plan – to make sure we kept on getting the ball wide and not to go central and hopefully we would get the result.” Before the game I would have happily taken a point but against ten men we were disappointing. Townsend was wasteful with plenty of the ball and I just don’t know what has happened Luciano Becchio. He seems a shadow of the player we had last season. We are down to 11th whilst teams around us all did well. Better players are needed but the ones occupying their positions must do better.

Kewell goes home “to give something back”. Harry Kewell was officially unveiled as Melbourne Victory’s newest signing today and he says he is ready for the challenge. The 32-year old former Leeds United, Liverpool and Galatasary star said : I’m up for the challenge. “You’re not going to get nothing from me but professionalism and showing everyone how to play football.”

Thurs Jan 12th. One going and one wanting to come. Will Hatfield has agreed to the mutual termination of his contract at Leeds, allowing him to start looking for a new club. The Whites announced on Thursday that the youngster has left Elland Road after accepting that his career would be better served elsewhere. The 20-year-old is a product of Leeds’ academy system and was tipped for a bright future as he made his way through the youth ranks. Having made the step up into the reserve side, he captained the second string to title success in 2010. The first-team door remained locked, though, and he was unable to make that breakthrough. He was able to take in senior action during a loan spell at York last season, before going on to spend time with Accrington this term. Hatfield is now hoping to find a new employer as quickly as possible, allowing him to enjoy a productive second half to the 2011/12 campaign. Leeds United’s bid to sign USA international Robbie Rogers will be decided in the next fortnight, with manager Simon Grayson pushing to blood him at the earliest opportunity. The 24-year-old, who has made more than 100 appearances MLS side Columbus Crew, had been on trial with the Whites. Simon Grayson, told the club’s official website: “He’s been playing in the MLS where he has done well, he wants to continue his career in Europe, and we believe he will make an impact here. “As soon as the work permit business is complete he will be an immediate part of our plans and have an opportunity with the first team”.  See Robbie Rogers goal for USA v Mexico – the first of Klinsmann era. Two decent fee, I’ll give him that and certainly some attitude. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZBLKrzseiA    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0crhc-5ous

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZBLKrzseiA a

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcVFxoRQ0QM&feature=related     (Interview)

Thursday Jan 12th. O’Dea wants to stay at Leeds. Darren O’Dea wants to join Leeds on a permanent basis, preferably before the end of the transfer window. The Dubliner is on a season-long loan from Celtic and would be happy to formalise the agreement if all parties could agree. “If something could be done in January, it certainly would appeal to me to move,” O’Dea told the Irish Independent. “I’m at the stage of my life, and career, where I need to settle. “I have been on loan three times now – this my third year in a row – and with a wife and kid, I want to get a permanent base. You want to get a home, not a house that you rent. Staying with Leeds is certainly attractive because they, like Celtic, are a massive club. Hopefully something will happen, if not now then in the summer.” O’Dea, who has also enjoyed loan spells at Ipswich and Reading in the last three years, was handed his first international cap by Giovanni Trapattoni in 2009. O’Dea probably played his best game in a Leeds shirt against Arsenal. Both Leeds and O’Dea are the pick of the centre halves we have, and O’Dea knows that he must keep playing if he wants to go to Poland. Leeds still need a decent central defender. It will be interesting to see what happens regarding Alex Bruce and Andy O’Brien.

Weds Jan 11th 2012. Extract from the weekly chairman’s rant from South Africa. Thanks to The Square Ball for the following extract. I listened to his rant as I do each week and words just don’t convey how much Bates has his head up his arse and the sheer contempt he has for anyone who doesn’t share his views. I know Grayson gets stick and rightly so in many circumstances but I think I would eat my own liver rather than work for this lying, deceitful excuse for a human being.  If you are at Elland Road on match day, The Square Ball is really good value @ £2 and probably the best fanzine out there.  Taken from Yorkshire Radio’s interview with Leeds United owner Ken Bates today…‘Mr Chairman’ speaks to Ben Fry from somewhere in Southern Africa where he watched the Arsenal match on Monday (I assume he got lost on the way to the Emirates). He tells Ben his thoughts on the team’s performance and ESPN’s performance. There’s also his thoughts on Snoddy’s return, the transfer window, season ticket renewals, the East Stand, the Palace game and he reveals the squad’s travel arrangements for the week ahead. Ben Fry: Chairman, a battling display at the Emirates. You must be quite proud of how the team performed on Monday night. Ken Bates: Yes, I thought they did very well indeed. It was just the fact they had grit and determination but the fact that they fought for every ball, put their bodies in the way. I think it’s significant that our goalkeeper, Lonergan, didn’t have a save to make in the first half. I know Arsenal had plenty of territorial possession but that’s no good if you don’t put it away. I must say, I was pleasantly surprised. I was asked in my hotel because there are a lot of English people down here, a lot of them Arsenal fans and that sort of thing and I actually said, well, thinking of all our injuries, I was thinking it won’t be a surprise if we lost by more than three goals. In the event, we nearly snatched a draw. We had five youngsters in the team and I just thought it was tremendous. BF: You mentioned the youngsters, particularly in the back line I’m thinking of Zac Thompson, Aidy White, Tom Lees and Darren O’Dea who is no veteran himself. I thought they performed particularly well. They were heroic, particularly the pace Arsenal had. KB: They did and Clayton and Pugh were outstanding I thought. They certainly weren’t disgraced. If I only had one criticism, I thought that when we fell back towards the end, we should have kept two players up front because whenever the defence got the ball out, it came straight back again. There’s no one to get the ball. Then of course we did attack towards the end and we could have nicked a draw or even a win but we didn’t. It was a great night. I thought everybody played well and good luck to all of them. The only criticism I will make is ESPN. I watched the game live out here in South Africa and I thought the filming was absolutely appalling. I spent more time looking at David Beckham, Thierry Henry sitting on his seat, Thierry Henry sitting talking to the man next door to him, Thierry Henry standing up, Thierry Henry sitting down, Thierry Henry running up and down the touchline and Thierry Henry coming on the pitch and then watching Thierry Henry standing there when the ball was on the goal line at the other end and so it went on. There were constant replays and interruptions so you didn’t see the full flow at all. And I don’t know who ESPN employed to do it, but I thought they were a bunch of amateurs and they have a lot to learn from Sky, BBC and ITV. BF: And you touched on Mr Henry. In the end the script was written I suppose. It was a headline makers dream in the end wasn’t it? KB: Oh yes it was. In fact the commentary put on by the South Africans here was all about Henry. In fact, Susannah said at one time “are Leeds playing tonight? I haven’t heard them mentioned once.” So we weren’t until the 44th minute. This was food for thought. BF: Now when I spoke to you about the game last week and talked about the chances of a replay you said you wanted to focus on the Championship and get on with the task in hand. I suppose that’s now what lays in front of Leeds? KB: Someone made a crack about “Oh Ken Bates will be looking for a replay to get another wad of money”. Seems my reputation is spreading even to South Africa. But in fact no, we wanted to get it out of the way and I wouldn’t have minded nicking a win like we did against Manchester United but it was not to be. We are one point behind the play-offs, we have 21 games left. If we played every game the way we played against Arsenal and maybe up the field a bit more, we will get promotion. BF: No obviously to aid that Championship challenge, Robert Snodgrass is going to be a key man. And some great news, he’s back training. Could he be touch and go for Palace? KB: Well I don’t know, I’m not the medical man but he had keyhole surgery on his appendix. We were chatting to hum before he came away and he was feeling very good in himself. He just has to be careful he doesn’t strain or tear any little tissues around the wound otherwise it puts him back another month. So they’re not going to take any risks with him. Hopefully he’ll be back for Palace. He’ll definitely be there for Ipswich. BF: We’re in January so I’ve got to ask you the question; how are things progressing behind the scenes with transfers? KB: Well they are progressing behind the scenes. I think a lot of clubs weren’t too busy before the third round of the FA Cup but now I think clubs will be reassessing their squads. There was one player (Jason Puncheon) who agreed to join us in August. We were waiting at 7.30pm on deadline day, waiting for him to come up and sign the papers… sign the papers by fax. And I’m sat here watching Sky Sports News and I see him walking into another club’s ground at 11pm at night to sign for them. It hasn’t worked out and now I’ve had the club back on the phone yesterday asking whether we would like to take him this time. I said “No, you can stick him up your jumper.” The way he behaved towards Leeds United in August is not the kind of person we want at Elland Road. So it’s the usual thing. Everyone is circling around like vultures or asking questions. We had one player we thought was leaving this week. He was leaving on the contingent that his new club were getting rid of another player. Their deal fell through so our deal fell through. It’s very frustrating but there’s nothing you can do about it. I keep telling all the fans, you have to get the player to want to come, the selling or loaning club wanting to sell or loan and being reasonable in doing so. That is where there will be a bit of bluff and poker over the next couple of weeks. Also, we’ve got a big squad. Some of them don’t figure in Simon’s plans so we’ll move them on as well. Otherwise we’ll need the Town Hall as the dressing room and Roundhay Park as the training ground. BF: So as the work continues then. Let’s move it back to club matters then and season ticket renewals are underway. I know they’re available online at the moment. How are they going? KB: They’re coming on well. The paper renewals are out by post and they have all been dispatched we’ve noticed that has accelerated the numbers already so we’re quite pleased with that. I think the special offer off freezing prices until the end of January is definitely an incentive and the letters I’ve been getting from the fans appreciate that fact. BF: And of course, I suppose, all the options available at this time. The 0% finance with Zebra or the Mastercard, make it an attractive option the moment.  KB: Well it does indeed. We get our money up front, which all football clubs want. Fans get the benefit of the early discount yet they don’t have to pay early. So it’s a win-win situation all-round. BF: And whilst I’m sat looking at the East Stand, work’s already underway today. How’s the stand progressing? is there any final date for when it’ll be finished? KB: Well apart from the museum, where quite a bit of work needs to be done yet because of structural work because it was a late add on to the original scheme, it’s virtually finished now. We expect for the Ipswich game that the main entrance will be open and all the lifts will be working so the exec members will at last will be entering a fully clear exec area. Once again, compliments to the Caddicks for the work they have done. I know they’re a bit behind but the weather has been absolutely appalling as people know. Not just the rain but the gales. That really has held us back because you have to be so careful up in those cranes and mini hoists in high winds and the guys have done a marvellous job working around it. Getting, doing, switching their plans and their programme around to accommodate that fact. They’ve done a great job. BF: On the playing side, it’s back to the capital to face Palace. Do you hope they are going to be distracted by the fact they have got one foot in Wembley with that 1-0 win against Cardiff last night? KB: Well again, I watched it last night. It was certainly no quarter asked or given. So and er, a lot of people being knocked about so and they have got a virus at the moment so long may their bad fortune continue at least until Sunday afternoon. But they’re a good team. Dougie Freedman has done a good job there. And it’s interesting reading up about Crystal Palace and Cardiff City, and all those people who say spend, spend, spend. Malky Mackay took over Cardiff City in the summer. He had just 10 players. He spent just £100,000 (TSB – Not true. Joe Mason £250k, Kenny Miller £870k, Ben Turner £750k = £1.87m, plus Gunnarson, Earnshaw & Cowie who’ll be on decent wages & big signing-on fees). They’re third in the league and still got one foot in the League Cup semi-final. So it makes you ask if money is the solution or just the route of all evil. BF: And talking of the Palace trip, the away fans have already taken 3,300 tickets. An extra 1,300 are being made available. It’s a magnificent effort after being down in London on Monday night with that level of support. KB: It is indeed. And our exec away club is sold out for this away fixture (TSB-the rest of his answer was edited out by Yorkshire Radio) BF: And whilst being a lot of travelling for the fans, a lot of travelling for Simon and his squad.  KB: What we’re trying to do is ease the strain on the players because otherwise they get travel weary. It’s the equivalent of jet lag. We kept them down after the Arsenal game in the hotel that night so they had a proper night’s sleep. They did a warm down in London and came back yesterday at midday. But then they have got to get down to Palace again, so we’re flying them down on the Friday so there’s only an hour’s flight and they’ll be in their hotel in good time on Friday night then they’re coming back afterwards, which means the jet lag aspect of the two trips will be minimised. So the players should be as fresh as they can possibly be and as I said before, if they put on the kind of performance they did against Arsenal then we’ll be back in business. 21 games to go. 63 points to play for”. Gobshite !

Weds Jan 11th. Kris Boyd linked. According to reports Leeds, Reading and Wigan Athletic are interested in former Rangers striker Kris Boyd. The Daily Star claims Latics boss Roberto Martinez is eyeing the Scotland marksman. However, it is understood that the Spaniard will face competition from Leeds United and Reading. The forward is a free agent after terminating his contract at Turkish side Eskisehirspor and is also attracting interest from clubs in the US, Qatar and China. This looks to be another strange one. The SPL’s most prolific ever goal scorer has lead a  nomadic existence since leaving Ibrox and hasn’t been a success anywhere. Is he any better or offer us anything different than Becchio, McCormack or Forssell and is he one to beat a couple of players with pace and rattle one into the top corner ? No I don’t think so.

Robbie Rogers

Weds Jan 11th 2012. Buck Rogers flies in. Leeds United have signed 24 year old American International Robbie Rogers subject to the player receiving a work permit. Rogers becomes Grayson’s second signing and also the second winger through the doors at Thorp Arch this January transfer window. Capped eighteen times for the USA, winger Rogers was with the squad at the Emirates on Monday night to get a feel for the squad after being on trial at Thorp Arch. Leeds boss Simon Grayson told the club’s official site: “He has been playing in the MLS where he has done well, he wants to continue his career in Europe, and we believe he will make an impact here. As soon as the work permit business is complete he will be an immediate part of our plans and have an opportunity with the first team”. Since 2007, Rogers has been plying his trade at Columbus Crew in the MLS, making over a 100 appearances for them and scoring eight goals in the process. The wing-man has also notched two goals in his International career and will now compete with Robert Snodgrass, Andros Townsend, Lloyd Sam and Ramon Nunez for two places on United’s wing. The manager and chairman promised us the players that come in will be challenging for the  first team .Without any disrespect to anyone, I’m sure Robbie Rogers is a decent lad, but is he a battling midfielder, a striker, a centre half or a right full ? We seem to be heavy in wingers already but what do I know?

Tuesday January 10th 2012. Runners and movers in the Championship.  Whilst former Leeds loanee, Alex McCarthy was joining Ipswich Town for three months, big spending Ipswich were also bringing in Sean St Ledger from Leicester City. Leeds boss Simon Grayson  welcomed back Robert Snodgrass for the weekend’s trip to Crystal Palace and has not ruled out making a couple of new signings in time for them to play too. Snodgrass is close to a return after having his appendix removed last month, but the Leeds manager feels he needs a couple of players to help the club push for promotion. Grayson believes his side are capable of a promotion push with some added firepower and said: “There is a lot of work still to be done, but we have made contact with clubs and representatives so hopefully something can be down very quickly. “We know we need players because it is a long season and we need to supplement what we’ve already got.” Meanwhile, Jason Puncheon (remember him, he’s the guy Leeds though was coming to Elland Road in the August window, only to join QPR) is thought to be joining Blackpool from parent club, Southampton in a £750K deal. Nick Barmby has retired from playing to concentrate on cementing a Play-off spot as manager of Hull City. Leeds target, Sammy Clingan, has made a return to Coventry City reserves after fracturing a tow in early December. Will United return with an offer for the N Ireland international ?

Tuesday January 10th. Ten things Ken Bates has said in the past week :Re Grayson getting the sack : 1. “His record over the last three years is in the first year we got to the play off semi-final, the second year he got us promotion and in the third year we finished seventh. “He is the manager. Don’t start putting pressure on him. “Don’t forget they (supporters) were talking of sacking (Sir Alex) Ferguson when he lost 6-1 (to Manchester City) earlier in the season. Then, they were talking of sacking Wenger. Who else are you going to sack?”2. Being Chairman :  “If you are chairman, you have to live with pressure. If you win on Saturday, it’s, ‘Yeah, we’re going to win the league’. But if we lose, it’s ‘We’re getting relegated’ and they shout ‘sack the board’. “When they chant your name and cheer, thanks very much. But (remember to) take it with a pinch of salt. And when you get the reverse, take it with a pinch of salt and get on with it. As Harry S Truman once said: ‘if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen’.”3. The Leeds Business plan.  “We have 17 cost/profit centres and everything is okay. We have 220 full-time staff, 700-800 part-time staff and I think we also employ half the police in West Yorkshire – or that is what it looks like when I see the bill coming in. “We do our budgets. I add up all the income, deduct all the expenditure, use it as a credit balance, take off a sum for contingencies and then say to the manager, ‘That’s how much we have to spend, wages and transfer fees’. And one still can’t get a breakfast in Billy’s Bar on match day. 4. The fans who disagree with his plan : “The people with intellect respect what we are doing to the club. “The mob, which is a very small number, wants results. I can understand that”. It looks like we are all lacking in the same intelligence as our illustrious chairman.  5. Taking his wife’s advice.  “We were at a wedding reception in Monaco, and this guy comes up to me, going ‘grrrrrrr, how can you be Leeds United? You’re Chelsea’. Susannah, the really brilliant woman that she is [and rather patient wife], says to him: ‘Can I ask you a question?’ ‘Yeah, what is it?’ ‘Are you married?’‘Yeah.’ ‘How many kids do you have?’ ‘Four.’ ‘So when Nos two, three and four came along, did you stop loving No 1?’ ‘Oh, —- off,’ he said and disappeared into the night.’’ A metaphor that is about as relevant as Cantona’s quote re trawlers and seagulls. 6. Taking his son’s advice : “I remember my son saying to me 20 years ago: ‘Daddy, you must remember most people lead boring lives, retire and then die.’ The only thing around them is pub and club. I remember the old saying of ‘when Coventry City lose never buy a Triumph built on a Monday’. It wouldn’t have been made properly”. 7. His brilliant football career.  “I played for Arsenal juniors in the days when you weren’t allowed to have youth teams, so they got round it by adopting teams. “I was fantastic! I wasn’t the most skilful of players but they didn’t call me ‘Killer’ Bates for nothing. It wasn’t my fault I got there late but I got the ball. “I was born with a club foot, had seven operations, and even now my right foot is two inches shorter than my left. So I didn’t do too badly.” 7. Not being loved : If we lose, it’s ‘we’re getting relegated’. When they chant your name and cheer, thanks very much, take it with a pinch of salt. And when you get the reverse, take it with a pinch of salt.  As Christine Keeler said: ‘the —- stops here’.” 8. Liverpool and Suarez. “If Liverpool want the FA to respect them, they have to respect the FA. I don’t think the Liverpool performance was one of their greatest moments. “I’m not sure Mr Shankly would have approved. Get on with it”. 9. Fielding weakened teams in the FA Cup “The FA Cup is the prestigious competition of English football and should be respected as such by the participants. For clubs who do not respect the FA Cup, there are a number of sanctions the FA could do. Fine them. Deduct points. The ultimate sanction would be not to nominate them for Europe. “Don’t forget: every club that plays in Europe is nominated by the FA. Normally it’s a rubber-stamp job but it doesn’t have to be. The FA are too weak, though”. 10. Players being capped for England. “The awarding of caps is a disgrace. The cap is a privilege, an honour, not on a par with the Victoria Cross but up with a DSO. When Eriksson was manager, I proposed to the International Committee that caps should only be awarded for competitive matches to players who play at least 45 minutes of the game. “The International Committee said: ‘We will leave it to the manager’. But of course he was as weak as dishwater. Eriksson was just a transient employee. Such an important decision should have been made by the FA. It wasn’t. They chickened out.” Yes folks that our “well respected” football chairman. Doesn’t it make you proud to be a Leeds fan…..Not!

Monday January 9th 2012.Arsenal 1-0 Leeds. 01Lonergan , 22 Lees , 28 White, 29 Thompson, 48 O’Dea YC,07 Vayrynen Brown 60) 15 Clayton, 16 Pugh, 17 Townsend YC, 20 Nunez (Forssell 81) . 10 Becchio (McCormack 74) Unused Subs : 24 Taylor, 04 Bruce, 19 Parker, 08 Brown, 11 Sam. United went to the Emirates and put up a decent rear guard performance against a reshuffled Gunners team. All the talk afterwards was of Henry’s triumphant return when he netted the only goal of the game with just 12 minutes left on the clock. The fact that he was offside and kicked a Leeds players off the ball afterwards unfortunately would have ruined a good story. Most of the Leeds team emerged with great credit, although Nunez offered nothing on the wing and McCormack really should have equalized when he came on. Did United want a replay ? Most definitely yes, but fixtures clogging up with a limited panel would not be in out long term best interest. Palace are up next and they play in the CC Semi-Final tonight with many players suffering from a virus. Let’s hope they don’t recover by Saturday in what has been a very poor hunting ground for Leeds United down through the years. With Parker and Bruce both on the bench, Simon Grayson looks to be getting some defenders back from injury. See Matin  Keown get rap on head from Leeds shooting before the game. http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/mediamonkeyblog/2012/jan/10/keown-kod-emirates

Mon Jan 9th. An Arsenal viewpoint on Leeds in the FA Cup. Jesus, and I thought some of our supporters were negative. This is taken from Arsenal “The Truth” fan blog. Tonight Arsenal play Leeds in the FA Cup third round. I’m still undecided as to whether to watch it. What time is Eastenders on?Wenger is taking a big risk by dropping Van Persie and not even putting him on the bench, because statistics show that without Van Persie Arsenal hardly ever beat anyone. Van Persie has failed to score in 14 of the games he has played this season, and Arsenal have only won 2 of those games. That’s why Arsenal have been labelled – by some – as a one-man team. Without Van Persie, Arsenal would be worse than mid-table fodder, they’d be in perpetual crisis and Wenger’s job would surely be on the line. Tonight, Arsenal can at least call on 34-year-old Thierry Henry to come off the bench, and perhaps that’s a good enough reason to watch the game – out of curiosity. We might need him as well. I don’t have a problem with Henry rejoining Arsenal, and I also reckon that he will quickly become more than a sub and Wenger will become reliant on him. 34 is not THAT old for a player of his technique and intelligence, and Henry can doubtless do a better job than Walcott, Gervinho or any of the other mugs Wenger calls attacking midfielders these days. At the end of the day, however, Henry is just another sticking plaster solution like Lehmann and Campbell before him, so you have to ask why Wenger is always putting Arsenal in that position. Could Leeds beat Arsenal and cause an upset? It’s feasible. They almost did last season when Fabregas had to save Arsenal with a late penalty. Arsenal have degraded more since then.  Meanwhile, there are rumours afoot that Wenger will bring another striker in this month, Chelsea’s Salomon Kalou. His contract expires in the summer so Arsenal might only have to pay £3m. Wenger has long-admired the player, which is why I give the story credence. Kalou is a typical Wenger signing. Dirt cheap, quick, technical, but an average finisher with 36 goals in five years for Chelsea – about the same as Bendtner. Kalou would be just more of the same; he couldn’t play up front to replace Van Persie and Wenger has his pecking order, so Kalou would just suck another £60k off the wage bill while rotating with Gervinho, Walcott, Arshavin, Oxlade-Chamberlain, etc. He’d also be off to the ACN with Ivory Coast every other year. The only way the move is logical is if Arshavin is also dumped this month.

Mon Jan 9th 2012. The winners of tonight’s tie play against Aston Villa at Villa Park in round 4 and will take place on the weekend of the 27th and 28th of January.

Monday Jan 9th 2012. Paul Martin – Carrickmacross –  Louth Branch Post - Hopefully 2012 will be a better year for our beloved Leeds and Happy New Year to everyone.  We had a desperate run of form after my last post, depressing to say the least. I’m delighted that we got Townsend. As I said before, we needed to replace Mad Max. Now that we are short  on centre halves with Paddy, Bromby and Bruce out injured, we need to bring in a good replacement to play along with young Tommy Lees who in my opinion is going to be a class act having seen him in the flesh. Also I believe Connolly’s played his last game for the club. Hopefully ZacThompson could be the answer at right back. He showed up well against Burnley and showed plenty of potential in reserve games that I had seen on LUTV last season. We need to strengthen up midfield. There is a young guy with St Mirren called Kenny McLean with bags of potential and he is  a good passer of the ball.  I would like it if we could sign him. Hopefully Snoddy will be  back soon and that we don’t lose him for the whole of this month. Looking at us in the last few games up front, we don’t look dangerous when we have the ball. We have nobody that can take the defenders on in front of goal with ball at feet and stick it in the net. A Beckford type player, how about him back on loan? I still believe if we strengthen all of the above areas with a little bit of experience and quality we could finish in the top four. The next few weeks in January are vital for that to happen. When the window closes I will come back with a prediction of where I think we will finish. I’m heading over to the Ipswich game on Saturday week and  hopefully we will have a few players in by then and get three points as well. Thanks for that well thought out post, Paul. Please keep them coming.

Sat Jan 7th 2012. Arsenal v Leeds preview. Thierry Henry is likely to feature for Arsenal after re-signing, with Robin Van Persie expected to be rested and Gervinho on Africa Cup of Nations duty. The Gunners are struggling for fit defenders and will also be without the suspended Johan Djourou. Leeds defender Paddy Kisnorbo has been ruled out for the season with a knee injury, with Tom Lees and Alex Bruce also doubtful for Simon Grayson’s side. Leeds were knocked out by Arsenal last season in a third-round replay. After taking the lead, the Yorkshire side were denied by a last-minute Cesc Fabrigas penalty at the Emirates, and the Gunners ran out 3-1 winners in the replay at Elland Road. Leeds’s hopes of an upset this campaign are hampered by a long injury list which includes the influential Robert Snodgrass and captain Jonny Howson. But Arsenal have injury worries of their own, especially at the back, where Thomas Vermaelen, Bacary Sagna, Carl Jenkinson and Andre Santos remain unavailable. However, the home side will be buoyed by the presence of record goalscorer Henry, and manager Arsene Wenger will also be able to call on striker Marouane Chamakh, after he delayed his departure to join up with the Morocco squad. The Cup history – 1949/50 Arsenal 1-0 Leeds – 1971/72 Leeds 1-0 Arsenal FA Cup final – 1982/83 Arsenal 1-1 Leeds – 1982/83 Leeds 1-1 Arsenal aet – 1982/83 Arsenal 2-1 Leeds – 1990/91 Arsenal 0-0 Leeds – 1990/91 Leeds 1-1 Arsenal aet – 1990/91 Arsenal 0-0 Leeds aet – 1990/91 Leeds 1-2 Arsenal – 1992/93 Arsenal 2-2 Leeds – 1992/93 Leeds 2-3 Arsenal aet – 1996/97 Arsenal 0-1 Leeds – 2003/04 Leeds 1-4 Arsenal – 2010/11 Arsenal 1-1 Leeds – 2010/11 Leeds 1-3 Arsenal. Betting as follows : 3/10 Arsenal (Draw9/2) Leeds United 8/1. Leeds win HT and FT 22/1. 1st goal Becchio or McCormack 1st goal 11/1 each.

Paul Martin Louth SC (bear in mind this was Dec 31st) Looking at our squad at the start of the season with the lack of decent transfers, injuries and the sale of Max Grade I suppose I would have taken 6th at Xmas. We played some good football early on in the season without getting the results our play deserved, but this last few games we are playing like S***e. We really miss Max on the wing. Our team lacks pace and we need to try and solve this problem in January. In my opinion two decent defenders is a must, a creative midfielder to cover for Jonny Howson. also. I think we should look at our striker department . We never replaced Beckford. The strikers we have at present don’t score enough. Who we get in January is anybody’s guess with uncle Ken in charge probably a few loans and a few freebies, maybe he will surprise us. Has Ken helped or hindered our club ? I would be 50/50 on this one, the club is in a good financial position at present but the old hot chestnut for us supporters is he won’t spend money on players or wages, I would like to see us spend a bit more on some quality not quantity. Money doesn’t always buy success as Leicester and a few others have found out. Where we finish at the end of the season depends on what players come in January. My guess would be 4th. I think West Ham and Middlesboro will get automatic with Southampton 3rd. Thanks for the comments Paul.

Bates gives Larry the Chairman’s curse. Leeds United chairman Ken Bates insists that he has no plan to sack manager Simon Grayson. The Whites have been struggling of late, losing three games on the trot before grabbing a late 2-1 home win against Burnley in a Championship fixture on Monday. That victory has placed Leeds in eighth place in the table on 38 points from 25 matches, just a point off the final play-off slot. Grayson, who has been the Leeds manager since 2008, has come under pressure with suggestions rife that he could be axed by Bates, but the club’s chief has now refuted those rumours. “I knew you would bring that up,” Bates told The Yorkshire Post when asked about his confidence in Grayson. “He is now probably the longest-serving manager in the Football League. “His record over the last three years is in the first year we got to the play-off semi-final, the second year he got us promotion and in the third year we finished seventh. “This year, despite the fact we have had our blip early, we are one point off the play-offs. We are also ravaged by injuries. “He is the manager. Don’t start putting pressure on him. “Don’t forget they (supporters) were talking of sacking (Sir Alex) Ferguson when he lost 6-1 (to Manchester City) earlier in the season. Then, they were talking of sacking Wenger. Who else are you going to sack?”  Bates added: “If you are chairman, you have to live with pressure. If you win on Saturday, it’s, ‘Yeah, we’re going to win the league’. But if we lose, it’s ‘We’re getting relegated’ and they shout ‘sack the board’. “When they chant your name and cheer, thanks very much. But (remember to) take it with a pinch of salt. And when you get the reverse, take it with a pinch of salt and get on with it. “As Harry S Truman once said: ‘if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen’.” Bates also remained coy on any signing during the January transfer window and stated that Grayson will have the final say on which players to sell and buy. “With our manager, the reason why Leeds are successful financially is that we do our budgets,” he explained. “We have 17 cost/profit centres and everything is okay. We have 220 full-time staff, 700-800 part-time staff and I think we also employ half the police in West Yorkshire – or that is what it looks like when I see the bill coming in. “We do our budgets. I add up all the income, deduct all the expenditure, use it as a credit balance, take off a sum for contingencies and then say to the manager, ‘That’s how much we have to spend, wages and transfer fees’. “I then say to him, ‘If you sell any players that money comes into the pot. If you spot any players that money comes out of the pot. You are the manager, you will stand or fall by your decisions, therefore they are your decisions’.”

Friday Jan 6th 2012. Taylor to cover for rest of season. Maik Taylor has signed on for the rest of the season as cover for Andy Lonergan

Friday Jan 6th 2012. Snods on way back. Robert Snodgrass has given United a huge boost by returning to full training next week. The Scotland international is bidding to make his comeback against Crystal Palace in eight days’ time – just a fortnight after undergoing emergency surgery to remove his appendix. Snodgrass was taken ill ahead of last weekend’s defeat to Barnsley and looked likely to miss most of the five fixtures awaiting Leeds in January. Grayson will not include him in his squad for Monday night’s FA Cup third-round tie against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium but Snodgrass’ swift return would ease the growing injury list troubling his manager. “He’s coming on but obviously the operation will rule him out of Arsenal,” Grayson said. “We’re hopeful that he might be back training in the middle of next week with the possibility of being involved in the Crystal Palace game but that will be on doctor’s orders depending on how the injury’s cleared up.” Grayson, who revealed yesterday that defender Patrick Kisnorbo will miss the rest of the Championship campaign with knee ligament damage, has seen the squad at Elland Road depleted by a series of injuries stretching back to pre-season. Club captain Jonathan Howson is likely to be missing until March with a knee problem sustained in last month’s 2-0 win over Millwall, and striker Davide Somma has not played this term after injuring cruciate ligaments in July. But Snodgrass looks set to make a prompt return, and Grayson said: “It’s nice to have your best players available. “When you look at who we’ve had out recently, it’s not been easy – Snodgrass and Howson are two of our best players and Somma’s not kicked a ball all season. “We’ve had that to deal with but one or two bodies in (new signings) and one or two bodies back would be good.” Winger Andros Townsend – signed by Leeds on a half-season loan from Tottenham Hotspur last week – has been given permission by his parent club to play in Monday’s tie against Arsenal.

Thursday Jan 5th  2012. Paddy out for season. Leeds United defender Paddy Kisnorbo is set to miss the rest of the season after suffering a knee injury during Monday’s clash with Burnley. The Australian fell awkwardly during the opening 20 minutes of the game and was immediately withdrawn from the action. It’s the second blow to hit Paddy in less than two years after an Achilles injury sidelined him for 14 months, from March 2010. United manager Simon Grayson told the club website: “We’ve had the unfortunate news that Paddy has suffered ligament damage and has been ruled out for the rest of the season. “It’s a big blow for the club, but more so for Paddy after the long-term injury he has just recovered from.” I don’t think he’s good enough for Leeds United in the Championship but it would take a heart of stone not to feel for a player who has been through an injury hell. He may have played his last game for Leeds.

Weds 4th of Jan 2012. Bates weekly rant on YR from sunny tax free Monte Carlo. Bates says that anyone that arrives at the club in January must be good enough to help Leeds towards promotion and also be ready to go straight into the side. Speaking on Yorkshire Radio : Bates said in an undisguised dig at Grayson : “Whomever we sign in January, whether it is purchase or loan, we have got to get it right because they are going to take us through to the end of the season” Bates feels this will give them time to assess the market before adding to the squad. “It is a fortnight until our next league game, so it means we can think carefully and not rush in,” continued Bates. The Leeds chairman stated recently that players would have to leave to free up some wages. Re Promotion.  “Hopefully  the right players can get us in the play offs and hopefully win us promotion. “We want players who have been playing regularly, we don`t want to sign them and then take a month to get them fit because they haven`t been playing any matches”. With Leeds in cup action at Arsenal next Monday, they are now without a league game until January 14th when they travel to Crystal Palace. Bates feels this will give them time to assess the market before adding to the squad. “It is a fortnight until our next league game, so it means we can think carefully and not rush in,” continued Bates. The Leeds chairman stated recently that players would have to leave to free up some wages. Andy Keogh and Alex McCarthy have both left Elland Road this week after coming to the end of their loans at the club, whilst Paul Rachubka has extended his loan at Tranmere Rovers for a further month having moved to Prenton Park on loan in November. Bates says the clubs around them have failed to take advantage of their poor form.  Bates said, “We have been extraordinarily lucky during our bad spell. “All the clubs around us have had similar bad spells. Southampton looked impregnable and they are only nine points ahead of us. Same with West Ham, they have had a rocky spell. Middlesbrough have been sweeping up the table and they have had a couple of bad results. I think they have picked up one point from their last six.”  The championship does continue to be as wide open as ever. The top two sides Southampton and West Ham both won just one of their three games over the festive period. Of the other four sides currently in the top six, who all played three games over the festive period, Cardiff picked up seven points, Reading six and Middlesbrough four, whilst Hull failed to pick up a single point. With that in mind, Bates is hoping Leeds have turned a corner with the win over Burnley having not lost too much ground on those above them in the table. “What has happened, the sides below us have caught up a bit but the fact of the matter is, we are one point behind sixth place and fifth for that matter. “If we have got this lapse out of the way, the players are geared up, the injuries coming back, we are looking good,” continued Bates. Re Max Gradel going there is an ironic spin from Bates. “Nobody has replaced Max Gradel. We need something different but Snodgrass has been flat  lately and now we know why. Townsend is in and he has given us that something different”. Priming Leeds fans for no early arrivals. “There will be panic buying at the beginning but at the end the good players will be available. We simply can’t afford the premiership wages that some of the players are on. We were offered somebody last week who was on £35,000 pounds a week and the club said they would make a contribution. We said how about £30,000 pounds contribution? We had a good laugh about it and that’s the end of that. But then sometimes what happens is we agree a deal with the club but then some of the agents look for extra payments for their player and that’s the end of that. There are some players that feel they are worth more than they are. We have 29 senior players. It’s 27 players now with McCarthy and Keogh gone back. Most senior clubs gave 23. You try and keep them happy which is difficult. It breeds discontent and spreads through the dressing room like a virus. Re Danny Pugh’s two and a half year deal.  Pugh is versatile and industrious. He’s a good lad and he has done a good job for us. Danny Pugh’s deal with Stoke was done months ago. Blackwell sold him for £50,000 pounds but it cost us a lot more than that to get him back. I wonder why Blackwell let him go and then again he let Keogh go also.”People ask where does the money go ? It goes in players, wages or transfer fees or both”. This is from the man who presided over sales of Delph, Gradel, Schmeichel, Taiwo, Woods and Garbutt whilst putting sweet FA back into the club in transfer funds.

Weds Jan 4th. Lack of cover at back for Arsenal ? Leeds are battling a defensive injury crisis ahead of their FA Cup third-round trip to Arsenal. Patrick Kisnorbo was forced off in the first half of Monday’s 2-1 victory over Burnley having sustained a knee injury while Alex Bruce completed the latter stages of the Championship encounter with a hamstring problem. United were already missing fellow defenders Leigh Bromby (calf) and Tom Lees (concussion), not ideal preparation for next Monday’s cup clash at the Emirates which could see the return of Gunners legend Thierry Henry on a short-term loan deal. Also, Andy O’Brien refuses to play.  “We were down to the bare bones on Monday (against Burnley),” manager Simon Grayson told the club’s official website. “Alex came back into the team and got a hamstring injury, Paddy got an injury, Leigh’s injured and Tom was injured. “We’ll have to wait and see where we are with Paddy and Alex over the next few days. We’ll speak with the doctor about Tom and see if he can join in training at the end of the week. “It’s an area we might have to look to strengthen. We tried to bring a couple in before the Burnley game and it didn’t quite happen. The priority now is the Crystal Palace game (Saturday, January 14), if it happens before Arsenal it’s a bonus but it’s not massively important for us in terms of new faces.”

Weds Jan 4th. Townsend gunning for Arsenal.  Latest signing Andros Townsend says he could not turn down the opportunity to join Leeds United this week. Townsend has signed a loan deal from Tottenham Hotspur, keeping him at Elland Road for the remainder of the season. The youngster turned down the opportunity of a move to a number of other clubs in favour of joining Leeds. Speaking on Yorkshire Radio, Townsend said, “There were a few options, but Leeds United is a massive club and I couldn`t turn it down. “I`ve played here before and the fans are amazing so it was a no-brainer to come here really. “Townsend made an instant impact on his Leeds debut on Monday against Burnley. He was a constant threat to the Burnley rear-guard and he put in a man of the match performance as he helped Leeds secure their first win in five games. Arsenal have given Leeds clearance to allow Townsend to play in the FA Cup. The game will see him come up against his parent clubs North London rivals Arsenal and Townsend says he can become a very popular man around White Hart Lane if he can help Leeds spring a surprise. Speaking on Yorkshire Radio, Townsend said, “I can really make myself a hero at Spurs. “I`m looking forward to it and I will be trying my hardest to put one over on them.” 

Weds Jan 4th. Memorial game for Gary Speed. Wales have announced that they will play Costa Rica in a memorial game for former manager and Leeds United midfielder Gary Speed, who died in November. The game will take place at the Cardiff City stadium on Wednesday February 29th and will be their first international since his death. 42-year-old Speed was the current Wales manager when he was found dead at his home on November 27th. The game against Costa Rica has been arranged after Speed made his international debut for Wales against the Central American side in 1990, before going on to represent his country on 85 occasions. Speed, a product of the Leeds United youth set up, was part of the side that won the Second Division title in 1990 and the League Championship two years later. He was part of one of the finest quartets ever to play across the Leeds midfield, alongside David Batty, Gordon Strachan and Gary McAllister. Speed went on to play 312 times for Leeds, scoring 57 times in an eight-year spell at Elland Road. Tickets for the game are priced at £10 for adults and £5 for juniors and senior citizens. They will go on sale on January 11th and are available from the Cardiff City ticket office.

Weds Jan 4th. Bruce finally gets his chance and grabs it. Forgotten man Alex Bruce intends to grasp his shock Leeds United lifeline with both hands after being brought in from the cold at Elland Road. Bruce, pictured left, was handed his first start for the Whites in over 10 months in Monday’s massive 2-1 Championship home victory over Burnley after being recalled early from a loan spell at Huddersfield Town. The defender, aiming to shrug off a hamstring niggle in time for Monday’s blue-riband FA Cup clash at Arsenal, has set his sights on re-establishing himself in the first-team line-up after acknowledging his days at the club looked numbered earlier this season. Bruce said: “If someone had asked me three or four months ago if I’d be playing again I’d have had to say I don’t know because things were looking bleak for me.  “Getting back playing for Leeds is something I’m proud to do and hopefully my future will be carrying on playing here. “Since I played my last game, against Swansea, it’s been the most frustrating time of my career without a shadow of a doubt. “I’ve had some low days and to get back out there on the pitch in front of the magnificent supporters that we’ve got was very pleasing. Thankfully, we got the right result as well.” On his hopes of resurrecting his Whites career Bruce, who is out of contract this summer, added: “That’s what I want to do. “I nicked my hamstring towards the end but hopefully it’s not too serious and I want to stay on the scene and kick on now. I’m proud to wear the shirt and if I can kick-start my career here, I’ll be delighted.” After some truly dark days in the old calendar year, if anyone was entitled to enjoy his night on Monday and toast the new year, it was Alex Bruce. Expect his famous father to have raised a glass or two as well. In first-team exile since Leeds United’s comprehensive dismantling at the hands of a free-flowing Swansea City side at the Liberty Stadium on February 26, the 27-year-old defender had seen his Elland Road career slip off the radar in spectacular fashion in 2011, a year the Bruce footballing family won’t look back at with any particular fondness. Bruce Snr was relieved of his duties as Sunderland boss on December 1 – the first Premiership manager to lose his job this season – and both father-and-son likely to have resembled bears with sore heads in the first half of the 2011-12 campaign. A loan move to neighbours Huddersfield Town did hand Bruce Jnr – totally frozen out of the first-team picture at Leeds – a lifeline of sorts in late November, but not a preferred scenario of regular Championship football at United. Yet an unlikely road to redemption at LS11 arrived amid the debris of United’s Boxing Day loss at Derby County, with a head injury to Tom Lees prompting a recall for Bruce, who found himself on the bench for the New Years’ Eve clash at Barnsley. A desperate Oakwell showing by his team-mates cleared a first-team path for the Bank Holiday Monday home clash with Burnley and while the dramatic late events led to ecstatic scenes among most of the 27,000-plus Elland Road crowd, Bruce’s ‘old man’ was also jumping up and down at the family home – in support of his son. Bruce, who fitted in seamlessly at the back against the Clarets and turned in a composed display at both right-back and centre-back, said: “It was good to play and be able to enjoy my night again. It had been a long time in coming. “It’s a new year and a new start for me. It’s been so frustrating sitting on the sidelines of course. But, hopefully, with it being a new year, I can play my part in the games coming up. “My dad’s a Leeds United supporter now and he’s following me because he’s out of work at the minute and he’s delighted we won. I believe he had the radio on for the game (on Monday) and was jumping up and down when we scored! “The dressing room emotion was relief. Everyone felt the pain after the Barnsley game. Playing in a big derby game and to get a bad result, and the manner we got beat, I don’t think anyone was happy.”It’s a toss up as to whether Saturday’s X-rated Oakwell showing or the disastrous home display against Blackpool in early November represented United’s on-pitch nadir in 2011. But while both were undeniably dismal days to forget, Bruce has had cause to rue months upon months of footballing penance, with his low points not exactly limited to a couple of crazy episodes. An established professional approaching his peak age as a defender in his late twenties, being on the sidelines has hurt him deeply, with the frustration borne not just by himself, but his family as well. And while his father had enough on his plate in terms of troubles on Wearside in the second half of 2011, his extolling of the virtues of patience to his lad have ultimately proved wise and having got his foot in the first-team door again Bruce is determined to make up for lost time. Bruce, reflecting on a fraught 2011, said: “It’s the worst time as a footballer, when you don’t play and you are training on your own on a Saturday morning and the lads are getting ready for an away or a home game. “There’s nothing worse than being out of the picture; it’s the worst possible time you can have. There have been days when I’ve gone home and ‘kicked the cat’ and took it out on my missus and my family. “It doesn’t matter who your dad is. When you go through a time like I did, it’s tough for any footballer. They will all tell you the same; they are only happy when they are playing. “Now I’m back involved and hopefully those days are gone and I can stay in there and be around and about it for the rest of the season.” He added: “Last season, when I was in the team before the Swansea game, we were fourth and I’d not played a game since (until Burnley). “But I’ve always had faith in my own ability from where we were when I was in the team and I always clung to it. If I can keep playing, I’ll keep the faith as it is and see what happens. “I don’t think you can be surprised with anything in football, to be honest. You’ve got to expect the unexpected all the time and things change very quickly. “That’s the one thing my dad did tell me throughout the past months and he’s right. You never know what’s around the corner.”The only downer for Bruce on a potentially milestone Monday was a slight hamstring niggle he picked up late in the game, potentially threatening his participation in next Monday’s glamorous FA Cup third-round assignment at Premiership big guns Arsenal. Having performed with aplomb in north London in the same fixture last January, Bruce is desperate to feature again 12 months on, although he is the first to accept that the bread-and-butter for United remains very much Championship business with cup considerations a distraction, if a nice one. Bruce said: “I’d love to play. When we went to the Emirates last year, it was a fantastic occasion and it’s a game the supporters, players and everyone will look forward to, but the main focus for us is the league. “We’ll be trying to do as well as we can, but the main focus is the league form. “We’ve got a good squad in there. Although we’ve had some dodgy results recently, we’ve some good players at this club and good ones who didn’t play (against Burnley). “We’ve got to stick together and I’m sure if we do that we’ll be there or thereabouts at the end of the season.” I have to say if there is one player at Leeds who deserved a chance it’s certainly Alex Bruce. From the outside it looks like he received a real raw deal and made the fall guy for universal defensive frailties. It’s hard to believe he hasn’t been considered since the Swansea 3-0 defeat last season when few Leeds players if any left with plaudits. Kisnorbo, O’Brien, Connolly, and O’Dea have all had defensive horror shows in recent months but Bruce was still left out in the cold. We aren’t privy to what happens on the training ground or behind closed doors but it feels like Bruce has never had a fair shake. It would be harsh luck if injury was to deny him a return to the Emirates on Monday night after doing so well there last season, but failing that hopefully he will be in contention for Palace the following week.

Tuesday January 3rd. Pugh signs permanently and Townsend rejected Hammers deal. Danny Pugh has spoken of the sense of dressing-room relief following Leeds United’s priceless last-gasp victory over Burnley. The utility man, 29, insists Monday’s sweet triumph was massive for everyone connected with the club after a shambolic New Year’s Eve display at Barnsley, with the frowns of Oakwell replaced by smiles after the final whistle against the Clarets. Pugh, whose full-time transfer to United was completed yesterday for a fee believed to be in the region of £500,000, said: “It was a massive relief and everyone was buzzing in the dressing room. “We’d had a difficult few weeks and some bad results and we’d not played well enough and it was a result we needed. “The result was the main thing, but I thought the performance was better as well. “We didn’t create a lot, but played a lot better than we have been and I think we deserved a win. “I’m delighted for the gaffer and the staff. It’s the players who have to respond at the end of the day and it’s up to us to put it right and I think we did that. “The lads and staff and fans were gutted after Barnsley and everyone had to have a look at themselves. “The performance wasn’t good enough, we know that, and it was about how we reacted. “But Monday was just the start now and we can’t slip back again. We’ve got to push on and let Barnsley be the low point of the season. “We can now look forward to the Arsenal game. “We will be testing ourselves against some of the best players in the country – in the world maybe. “Thierry Henry or no Thierry Henry, they are a top team. “We’ve not really talked about it much yet, the Burnley game was the big one for us, but it’s going to be a good challenge that we can all look forward to.” On securing his long-term future at the club, he added: “I’m absolutely buzzing and delighted. It’s settled now and I’m looking to the future here at the club.” Meanwhile, West Ham boss Sam Allardyce has revealed that the Hammers tried – and failed – to hijack United’s move for 20-year-old winger Andros Townsend, inset above, on loan from Tottenham for the rest of the season. Allardyce, speaking after the Bank Holiday victory over Coventry, confirmed: “We did try to get Andros Townsend, but he ended up at Leeds rather than us.”

Tues Jan 3rd. One stays away longer and two go back. Alex McCarthy has returned to Reading. Andy Keogh no longer features in Leeds plans as returns to Wolves and Paul Rachubka has extended his loan spell with Tranmere Rvs.

Andros Townsend

Monday January 2nd. Leeds 2-1 Burnley. 01 Lonergan, 03 Kisnorbo (Sam 17) 04 Bruce, 28 White, 48 O’Dea, 15 Clayton, 16 Pugh, (YC) 17 Townsend 29 Thompson, 10 Becchio (Forssell 70)20 Nunez (McCormack 74) Unused Subs :21 McCarthy, 08 Brown. Ref: BrownAtt: 27,295. Ross McCormack may have done for Simon Grayson what Mark Robbins did for Alex Ferguson – save his job (at least for now). Grayson made five changes from the side that capitulated at Oakwell. He said after the match he would have made more changes had other players been available to him. Certainly Kisnorbo, O’Dea and Clayton were lucky to start. Grayson was forced to make another change after just 17 minutes when Kisnorbo limped off. Sam came on in his place. Thompson moved from midfield back to right full and Bruce moved into the centre of defence along side O’Dea.  Burnley should have gone ahead in the first ten minutes when Charlie Austin missed when one on one with Lonergan after a poor mistake by Kisnorbo. With less than 30 minutes gone, Trippier saw red after two consecutive bookable offences on the lively Townsend. Leeds finally got a break. United started to put pressure on Burnley with most of the good work coming from Townsend on his debut. The second half saw Leeds put pressure after pressure on the Clarets but so often the final pass or cross was poor. Leeds forced corner after corner but perhaps the closest they came was when O’Dea hit the crossbar. Thompson, Nunez and Townsend all went close also. Burnley were looking dangerous on the break, and with 21 minutes left on the clock Charlie Austin put the away side ahead with a fine finish after a poor clearance by O’Dea. Grayson reacted by surprisingly taking off Becchio for Forssell who hadn’t featured in weeks. Leeds couldn’t score so Burnley did them a favour with two minutes remaining when Easton deflected a Clayton corner into his own goal. By this stage Bruce was all but a passenger when his hamstring went. The atmosphere raised two notches when the fourth official held up the board for five additional minutes. The crowd roared Leeds forward and Thompson went close when a fizzing shot went just wide. Minutes later Sam also came near  when his drive went wide in the 94th minute. And the winner came in the 96th minute when the keeper failed to hold on to a Townsend strike and McCormack tapped home for his 11th goal of the season. Most of the 27,000 within Elland Road went crazy. McCormack notably didn’t run to the bench to celebrate. Instead he pointed to the number 44 on his back perhaps demonstrating that he felt he should have started. Simon Grayson after the match speaking to Yorkshire Radio : “Happy new year to you and all the supporters. Unbelievable day. We didn’t deserve to be at the end of a defeat today. Obviously with five minutes left today it looked like that would be the case. We peppered their goal .Our work rate was really good. They had one shot on goal. It’s a massive result. The players worked their socks off. We had a long meeting and we watched the DVD from the Barnsley game which wasn’t good viewing. We highlighted to the players what they had to do better. You could sense the nervousness in the first 15 minutes with the players.  We kept going right ‘til the end. Nobody likes to lose 4 on the trot. The players showed immense character. We had players who came into the team today and did  excellent. Young Zac Thompson and Andros Townsend were brilliant. Townsend gave us something different that we’ve not had for a long time. He’s a player who could run and beat players. Alex Bruce came in because it was a needs must and he did very well for us. We didn’t have the personnel to make all the changes we wanted. One or two who kept their places were fortunate. But we felt we had characters in there who showed that they could put in a performance for us.We tried to get one or two players in during the last 48 hours. Lee Bromby is out for two or three weeks with a calf injury, the doctor wouldn’t let Lees play, Paddy’s out  with his knee, and Alex has done his hamstring today so all are out for a while. We are down to the bare bones. Obviously we have got some money to try and do some business.Our priorities change every week. It’s important to get the right players in. I’m not going to put a figure on what we have to spend. Well try and spread the money wisely that we have available. Premiership players are on big wages. We are trying to get one or two out to pastures new.  It’s a strange division. Look at the results today. Barnsley and Southampton have gotten beat. We have lots to do on the training pitch and hopefully we’ll kick on from here. If we want to bring in the quality players, they are on big money whether that’s on loan or permanent deals. The players we are looking to bring in will be affecting the first team. Nobody likes the defeats we have had over the past few weeks, me more than anybody.The fans were fantastic. You could sense the atmosphere and we look forward to Arsenal which is a bonus for us until the bread and butter of Palace. People have to be patient. It might not be over the next few days that we bring in players because players won’t be allowed to play in the Arsenal game. It’s been an emotional roller coaster over the past few days but we’ll enjoy tonight. We don’t necessarily have to get new players in for the Arsenal game but we’ll be aiming to get one or two in for the Palace game.  We will enjoy tonight more than New Years Eve that’s for sure”.  Leeds got the breaks today. The effort was certainly better and Thompson, Townsend and Bruce were certainly deserving of their places. Simon Grayson will be aware that he certainly had Lady luck on his side in the two matches against a decent Burnley side this season.  Burnley are to Leeds what Leeds are to Barnsley – a major bogey team. The Clarets came into today’s fixture having won at Brighton, West Ham and Hull City in their last three away matches. Leeds haven’t become a great team over night but they dug out a vital win for Simon Grayson and more importantly …on home soil. The character that was missing in recent matches was certainly there to see, although the quality needed all over the park is missing. The win keeps Leeds one point off the play off places. Ken Bates may or may not have put his axe away for now. My gut feeling is that Bates will give Larry until the end of January to turn things around. The phone in after the match was mostly complimentary to the Leeds manager but there were still one or two dissenters suggesting that Grayson should still go. What would have happened had Leeds not won today ? Grayson has got to bring in the right players in January. His track record for doing so is very poor.  He may find it difficult moving a number of of players on. Bruce, Kisnorbo and Bromby all look to be out for the rest of the month and possibly two out of these three may have been moving on. O’Brien certainly will be leaving and the fact that Keogh didn’t make the 16 today means he will be going back to Wolves. Connolly again was dropped and Lichaj may be available on loan again. The spine of our team needs a major make over. Snodgrass should be back for the Palace game if not even the Arsenal match. Townsend and Snodgrass on either flank are big threats.  We need a centre half, a right back, a central midfield player and another forward……and we need to hold on to Snodgrass. There doesn’t seem to be good harmony in the dressing room and the way he changes teams from one game to the next certainly strikes more of panic than tactical astuteness. We have a large squad of players, many of whom are not good enough to wear the shirt. They are nearly all Simon Grayson’s signings. Many of these need to be shipped out. If he is allowed time he will have to bring in the right quality. The likes of Livermore, Lowry, McSheffrey, Faye, Bannan and more recently Brown, Rachubka and Varynen are simply not good enough. Grayson will know that he may be in last chance saloon during January 2012.

Sun Jan 1st 2011. Allan Quigley’s view. “Leeds are more or less where we could have expected them to be at the start of the season. The relative inactivity in the summer transfer market did not bode well and just after the halfway stage of the season we are woefully lacking in depth in all areas. Frustratingly on a number of occasions we looked set for a good run at the automatic places only to show an alarming lack of consistency. Replacing Schmeichel with Lonergan looked like a good piece of business but he hasn’t convinced indeed it was surprising to me that McCarthy wasn’t back in goal after the Reading game.We are very poor at full back. White is a decent attacking option but he has absolutely no positional sense defensively and while his pace gets him out of trouble his lack of physical strength also causes problems. Tom Lees looks like he could be one for the future and maybe a partnership with Kisnorbo can be solid. In the middle of the park we are well served by Clayton,Snoddie,Pugh and Howson (who would have thought we’d miss him that much) after that Sam can do a stint but Brown and Vayrynen offer nothing. Nunez can obviously play and has an eye for goal but doesn’t have the physicality for English football. Up front we are all of a sudden a mess and Grayson is chopping and changing without any real thought. McCormack started the season on fire and you could really see his confidence soar now nothing is going for him. Keogh works hard and causes defenders problems but his goalscoring ratio has always been atrocious and i won’t be crying if he heads elsewhere at the end of his loan spell.Becchio has been hindered by injury but for me he is our best option and should start. I’m concerned by Grayson and knowing Bates I feel the leash is very short at this stage.Some of the Chairmans public statements have really put him under pressure and the response from the players has been disappointing. Looking at the league table a playoff place is still very possible but anything better is an impossibility which is a disgrace for a club of our supposed stature,The lack of aggression and ambition shown by the Chairman in the summer transfer window really dictated the kind of start to the season we have had. I expect a host of loan signings from Premiership clubs in January i read Andros Townsend from Spurs was one option we were looking at but after Livermore and Bannon last season i won’t be holding high hopes.I can’t see Bates springing the for the apparent £3m asking price for Billy Sharp who would be a good partner for Becchio and again we still need fullbacks.Whatever happened to that Fraser Richardson fellow?Anyway after another tanking at Barnsley surely it can’t get any worse don’t we have Arsenal in the cup to look forward to”. Allan Quigley. Thanks for the comments Allan.

Larry and Fergie

Sunday January 1st. A new dawn brings a new player in but what of the ones before him. Andros Townsend isn’t exactly a prolific goal scorer but he looks to have more quality about him than some of our recent signings, whether loanees or actual buys. In real terms, I make him Simon Grayson’s 52nd signing. There is no doubt that Simon Grayson is scating on thin ice with Leeds United fans (and going by recent programmes notes and interviews) Ken Bates may be sharpening his well used axe. The hatred for Ken Bates may have saved Smon Grayson from more of a fan bashing. That said, I have noticed a considerable shift to the “Grayson Out” column after the St Stephen’s Day’s defeat at Derby and naturally more so after our meek and humiliating surrender to Barnsley. The Yorkshire Radio phone ins after each game has become an avenue for those unhappy fans to channel their displeasure with Grayson’s management and Bates stewardship of our club. I have always tried to be balanced in my view of Leeds United managers, particularly so with Grayson. We have been short on longevity in recent years. Grayson is our 6th longest serving manager. Not only has he to work for one of football’s least likeable chairman, but he must according to our chairman, win promotion this season. In Christmas 2011, Simon Grayson  reached his third anniversary as Leeds United manager. He steered United to the play offs in his first half season at the helm, and perhaps should have done better than lose to Millwall in the play off semi finals. It wasn’t his team and time was properly allowed to him. He recovered the following season to bring Leeds United back to the Championship at his second attempt. January 2010 saw Leeds, a third division side knock out the mighty Manchester United at Old Trafford in the FA Cup third round. Ferguson said that he “didn’t see that coming” and probably many Leeds United fans didn’t see it either. United were 11 points clear of Norwich City at Christmas but Leeds just about scraped across the line to 2nd place on that fateful last day at home to Bristol Rovers. The Leeds side that day showed character to come from behind with twenty minutes to go, and did it the hard way with just ten men on the park. I’ll come back to that word character in due course. Leeds were like spring chickens in their first year back in the Championship and at one stage were in second place. Having lost talisman, Jermaine Beckford on a free at the start of the season, many Leeds fans would have been happy with a top ten finish. In the end Leeds finished a creditable seventh, just three points off the play offs. However, it is the way United faded at the final hurdle that caused many Leeds fans to question if Simon Grayson was the right man to take us back to the Premiership. Was it faulty tactics ? Was it a dependence on too many untrustworthy loan players coming in ? Was Simon Grayson signing the right quality of player ? Was Bates giving him enough money to spend or was he making the most out of the resources he had to play with ? Simon Grayosn’s third full season at the helm was always going to be his toughest. He can argue convincingly that Leeds had always made progress in his previous two and a half seasons at the helm. A very shaky and confusing summer saw Schmeichel and Gradel (our best player) leave for around £3.5M. Leeds fans were disgruntled. There were no champagne signings and Leeds continually lost out to lesser clubs for better players. United started the campaign poorly, and were as low as 19th position at the end of August. However from October to the middle of December Leeds were always within play-off positions. There were decent displays at Forest and at Doncaster. United picked up fortunate wins at Peterboro and  Burnley and a lucky point at Watford. The confidence has gone and the frail midfield (without Howson and Snodgrass) and continually mistake driven defence has been picked apart.We lack pace. The goal scorers have stopped scoring whilst the defence is conceding more.  Simon Grayson has argued that we were in the play-off positions and sides like Leicester and Ipswich who have spent a lot of money would happily swop with Leeds. We are now in 9th and falling like a stone. Barnsley have taken six points off us again and the hammering at Oakwell was to a team that lacked character. It is Simon Grayson’s team. They are either not good enough or he has lost the dressing room. “One or two may have played their last game for Leeds” were his comments. I don’t like that talk and I didn’t like his claim that we played well at Derby and had no luck, despite everyone else arguing to contrary. Simon is becoming like the emperor with no clothes. I think it his time to go and afford someone else the opportunity to take over and bring their won players in January. I suspect if we lose or have a poor performance against Burnley on Tuesday, he will be out of a job. Unfortunately I have little faith in the boss he works for. Simon says there is little he can do “when players cross that white line”but it is his record in the transfer market which will ultimately be his Dunkirk. For the record these are his signings and my view of same. Apologies if I missed any. Blue is regarded as a hit signing. Green is regarded as limited signing between hit and miss. Purple is regarded as not enough games if any to warrant a mark and red is a complete miss.

2008-09 Richard Naylor – Originally on loan, Mike Grella – Joined originally on trial, Carl Dickinson – loan Lee Trundle – loan, Sam Sodje – loan, Liam Dickinson – loan, Darryl Flahavan – loan. 2009-10 Shane Higgs, Jason Crowe, Patrick Kisnorbo, Mike Doyle – Season long loan, Leigh Bromby, Davide Somma – Joined originally on trial, Max Gradel -Joined originally on loan, Sam Vokes – loan, David Martin – loan, Hogan Ephraim – loan, Tony Capaldi – loan, Shane Lowry – loan, Gary McSheffrey – loan, Neil Collins – Joined originally on loan, Sanchez Watt – loan (joined again for season long loan 2010-11) Paul Dickov – short-term deal. 2010-11 Kasper Schmeichel, Billy Paynter, Federico Bessone, Paul Connolly, Alex Bruce (no real chance allowed), Lloyd Sam Adam Clayton – Originally on loan, Ross McCormack, Jason Brown – loan, Amdy Faye -short-term deal, George McCartney – loan, Ramon Nunez – Joined originally on trial, Ben Alnwick loan – never played, Andy O’Brien – Originally on loan, Eric Lichaj – loan, David Gonzalez loan – never played Barry Bannan – loan, Jake Livermore – loan. 2011-12 Paul Rachubka, Michael Brown, Andy Lonergan, Alex McCarthy short term loan, Maik Traylor short term out of contract signing, Darren O’Dea (season long loan), Mikael Forssell (short term out of contract signing), Andy Keogh (loan signing), Danny Pugh (loan signing to complete £500L permanent move) Mika Varynen (out of contract)

I make that 51 players. One can argue that money was never available to buy quality at a higher price but what isn’t in doubt is the quantitive figure of successful acquisitions is quite low. Out of the 51 players acquired, 5 were ruled null and void, mainly goalkeepers who never played, so the real figure is 46. One can argue that 11 players had limited success, eg Kisnorbo a fine League One player but out of his depth in the Championship, where his lack of pace is badly exposed. Others like Pugh, Clayton etc maye prove to be  decent acquisitions but at this time the jury is out. 23 players were poor loan signings or poor contract signings. The balance were hits –  ie 11 players. That’s 24% and that may be the final nail in Simon Grayson’s coffin. He has assembled a big squad on half decent wages but has gone for quantity over quality. One can rightly argue that last year’s squad is of better quality then our current squad. Some like Andy O’Brien are clearly not happy. Has this affected the dressing room ?  It’s the lack of quality especially at the back and in central midfield that has become our Achilles heel. Can we or better still Bates afford him time in January to acquire good enough players to make the first team at Leeds United ? There’s also the slight problem of moving on players who clearly wont figure in Simon Grayson’s squad. That’s not an easy task. Here’s one final point. If we are to sack Grayson it is vital that we have somebody better lined up to take over. Leicester sacked Sven but but Pearson has yet to improve the Foxes league position. Who except an ex Chelsea player would work for Bates ? It’s going to be an interesting January in Yorkshire this year.

Sunday January 1st 2012. Grayson’s first or last arrival in January ? Leeds have completed the signing of Tottenham winger Andros Townsend on loan until the end of the season. The 20-year-old will go straight into manager Simon Grayson’s squad for Monday’s home clash with Burnley. Grayson told the club’s official website: “Andros is a quality young player with proven experience at this level and we’re delighted to be able to bring him to Leeds.” London-born Townsend, who joined the Tottenham academy as a nine-year-old, has represented England at Under-16, U17 and U19 level and has had previous loan spells at Yeovil, Orient, MK Dons, Ipswich, Watford and most recently at Millwall, for whom he made 11 appearances at the end of last season. Townsend has featured for Spurs six times in the Europa League this season and also against Stoke in the Carling Cup. Leeds teenager Charlie Taylor has joined City on a one-month loan after they decided not to offer a permanent deal to Jack Compton. The left-sided 18-year-old, who made his senior debut as a sub against the Bantams in the Carling Cup, comes straight into consideration for tomorrow’s clash with Rotherham. Phil Parkinson said: “I’ve watched Charlie a few times for Leeds reserves and he’s a good addition. (See some of his goals on Youtube)




Wilkapedia on Townsend. Townsend is a product of the Tottenham Hotspur academy, joined Spurs at the age of nine.[1] In March 2009, he went on loan to Yeovil Town [2] and made his football league debut against Milton Keynes Dons alongside fellow Spurs academy player Jonathan Obika.[3] He scored one goal in ten games to help save Yeovil from relegation.[4] Then in August 2009, he went on a month’s loan to Leyton Orient.[5] On 22 August he scored a wonder goal, having run 70 yards past three Yeovil players and side-stepping another before blasting past the goalkeeper.[6] At the end of August, Townsend’s loan at Orient was extended until 31 December, and he then returned to White Hart Lane.[7]On 14 January 2010, Townsend was signed on loan to the Milton Keynes Dons until the end of the season. Since then Townsend has been recalled by Tottenham due to injuries.[8] On 12 August 2010, Townsend signed on a season-long loan for Ipswich Town.[9] He made his debut for Ipswich against Burnley on 14 August, scoring his first goal with a header against Swansea on 4 December. The loan spell was ended weeks later when Harry Redknapp recalled Townsend for Spurs.[10]On 9 January 2011, Townsend made his Spurs debut, and marked his debut by scoring and being voted Man of the Match in a third round FA Cup tie at White Hart Lane against Charlton Athletic.[11]On 20 January 2011, Watford confirmed Townsend had joined them on loan until the end of the season.[12] On 22 January 2011, Townsend made his Watford debut away at Cardiff City. Watford terminated the loan on 23 February 2011 just one month into the season long loan.[13]On 7 March 2011, Townsend signed a loan deal to take him to Millwall until the end of the season.[14] He scored a crucial goal against Coventry City from 20 yards out, to equalise the game to 1–1. The game was later lost 2–1. In April, Townsend gained two assists in Millwall’s 3–2 victory over Leeds United, after the game he expressed he would be happy to stay at Millwall beyond his loan spell.[15] His form for Milwall resulted in an upturn of form for the side who narrowly missed out on the playoffs. In the 2011–12 season, Townsend was a regular in the Spurs first team for their UEFA Europa League campaign making six appearances for Spurs in Europe during the campaign. On 15 December 2011, Townsend scored his second goal for Spurs against Shamrock Rovers, curling in a shot from outside the box.[16] In December 2011, Townsend was linked with a loan move to rivals Queens Park Rangers.[17] On 23 December 2011, he signed a new five-year deal at Spurs taking him up until the end of the 2016 season.[18] [19]On 1 January 2012, Townsend joined Leeds United on loan until the end of the season.[20]Townsend has represented England at international level, he has played for England under 16s, England under 17s and England under 19s. Townsend played three times for the England Under-16′s between 2006 and 2007, making his debut in a 1–1 draw away with Wales Under-16′s on the 20 October 2006. His last appearance for the Under-16′s came in a 2–0 away loss to Germany Under-16 on 9 April 2007. Townsend made his Under-17 debut in a 6–0 win over Northern Ireland Under-17′s on 29 August 2007 scoring twice. He went on to make 6 appearances for the under-17′s between 2007 and 2008. His last appearance came in a 0–0 draw with Portugal Under-17′s on 5 February 2008