The YEP jury have their say ahead of Leeds United’s clash with Birmingham City at St Andrews.
Well it’s the last away day of the year and the only thing I’ve enjoyed is spending time amongst some of the best mates and the loyal Leeds fans I have met over the season, I have them to thank for keeping me sane.
It is easy to reflect on all the bad over the last few months because it really has been unpleasant but with only two games to go I want to look forward to, hopefully, a period of stability
Will this be the last away game as Leeds manager for Brian McDermott? It is fair to say that there is a division among fans. I can see both sides. One is that he hasn’t had a fair crack of the whip, the other suggests that although he hasn’t had a fair go at being manager, he has brought in Luke Murphy and Scott Wootton for transfer fees, as well as Noel Hunt on a free transfer, and also brought in Jimmy Kebe and Cameron Stewart, the last on a permanent basis in the summer. Murphy has been inconsistent and the other three haven’t done anything to suggest that they deserve to wear the badge.
Whoever is manager they need to bring players in who will wear the badge with pride and not take this club for a payday. We have had too many players come in who will never be good enough to play for Leeds yet get a two/three year deal and security of a decent pay packet.
If you were to ask me who I would take forward next season purely on what I have seen this year in a squad of 25, I would say maybe six. Ross McCormack is a certainty, Jason Pearce too is a player who I think has been our only decent defender that has played regularly. Sam Byram would be on my list as long as he can get himself fit. Alex Mowatt would be in my squad, as would Luke Murphy, because I think they both have massive potential. I would keep Matt Smith because, although he isn’t a starter in a decent squad, he is a player who gives you another option and 10 goals this season is a great return for a first season at this level.
The jury is out on Tom Lees. If he can get back to the player he was when he first broke into the team then we have a very good centre-half, but he isn’t the same.
Onto tomorrow’s game. As last week showed, there were two poor teams and one flash of brilliance and this one could be 1-0 or 3-3; both are poor defensively. I just hope the lads haven’t got holidays in their heads because we fans pay a lot of money and have seen a lot of rubbish this year so we could do with some last-minute encouragement.
Prediction: Birmingham City 0 Leeds United 1.
The final miles will be travelled by Leeds United’s faithful supporters tomorrow as the Whites play their final away fixture of the season at St Andrews against Birmingham City.
Once again the best away following in the Football League will travel more in hope than expectation. The superb support they will give to the side is the only constant in a hugely disappointing season.
Team selection appears to be done at random at the moment and with absolutely nothing left to play for, who knows who Brian McDermott will pick tomorrow, much less what formation he will send them out in.
Birmingham are fighting for their Championship lives and must be delighted that the fixture list has handed them this opportunity to save themselves. Ironically, it was against Lee Clark’s side that Leeds produced probably their best display of the season when they handed the Blues a 4-0 drubbing in the reverse fixture.
A repeat performance is highly unlikely.
Prediction: Birmingham City 2 Leeds United 0.
Lee Clark’s Birmingham City await United in their penultimate game of the season. The Blues are in serious relegation trouble, which is something that we should be looking to exploit, however who knows which Whites team will turn up on Saturday?
Prediction: Birmingham City 2 Leeds United 2.
We travel to relegation-threatened Birmingham tomorrow for our final away game of the season and for manager Lee Clark this is a must-win match.
The Blues have a horrendous home record where they have not won at St Andrews in 16 home games and you have to go back to 1982 for our last victory there in a league match.
Nothing to play for now so win, lose or draw our away fans will be enjoying themselves with some wearing fancy dress which has become tradition in recent seasons
Finally, I was disappointed that David Moyes got sacked, I thought he was doing an excellent job!
Prediction: Birmingham City 0 Leeds United 1.
Brian McDermott’s team is a disgrace. He’s not a bad manager but he is not what is needed to take this club from mid-table Championship to the Premier League and should be sacked. Who’ll win at bottom-of-the-table Birmingham City is up to who wants it the most.
prediction: Birmingham City 1, Leeds United 1.
After more than a year in the role and with only two games of the season remaining, it seems Brian McDermott is continuing to play formation bingo when it comes to selecting his starting XI.
After Monday’s ‘diamond’ formation failed, it’s anyone’s guess what we will go with against relegation-threatened Birmingham.
I just hope we don’t hand Birmingham their first home league win in over six months on a plate by starting with Noel Hunt and Rodolph Austin again. We have had some dreadful players at Leeds in the last decade and those two are certainly up there with the worst of them.
prediction: Birmingham City 1 Leeds United 2.