The YEP jury have their say ahead of Leeds United’s clash with Leicester City at Elland Road.
It is difficult to know where to start when talking about Leeds United at the moment.
There is an air of confusion which surrounds the club from top to bottom. The “takeover” which seems to have been running for the last 18 months shows no signs of ending, with the word “imminent” seeming to have a completely different meaning to those in charge of communication at the club.
On the pitch the team who had looked competent in putting together a run which had seen them move into the promotion picture have mutated into the inept outfit who have surrendered in humiliating fashion in consecutive weeks.
This is in part due to a tactical conundrum faced by manager Brian McDermott, who seems stuck between loyalty to a system and players which have served him well in recent weeks, and also a desire to introduce a little more width in attacking areas. At Rochdale it was apparent that the team had run out of ideas, at Hillsborough on Saturday it seemed as if they had also run out of spirit.
In the stands there is also an air of agitation as the crowd seem to be splitting into pro and anti McDermott factions. There are those who appreciate that in part he has had his hands tied, left with the detritus of the previous regime. It is hard to argue against this when you look at the talent allowed to leave the club compared to that at the managers disposal.
There are those who feel that the manager has not recruited wisely, wasted the money he has had on players who are struggling to make an impact. They also see a man who has perhaps run out of ideas and does not know which way to turn now when Plan A fails to work.
January was seen as a pivotal month for the future of the club. So far any slight chinks of light have been doused by the doom and gloom of three consecutive defeats. It does not bode well for the remainder of the season.
The opposite of confusion is clarity and this is what Leeds United need more than anything to move the club out of this fog of bewilderment.
The ownership issue needs to be concluded and a medium to long term plan put in place. That type of forward-thinking has been the backbone of the two most successful periods in our history under our two best managers. Don Revie and Howard Wilkinson would have struggled to succeed in such a turbulent atmosphere.
prediction: Who knows? Let’s just support the team.
On Saturday Leeds face table topping Leicester City in a noon Sky TV game after two of the most miserable games in the club’s recent history.
Much has been said of why the team has performed so badly in the last two weeks but it is hoped that the squad ‘talk’ on Sunday has had the effect needed to improve both performances and results.
Leicester are in fine form and look to be one of the favourites to claim one of the automatic promotions places and in David Nugent they have a player who has delivered the goals to get them to where they are.
I think Brian McDermott will revert to a basic 4-4-2 and this is who I would play: Kenny in goal, a back four of Byram, Zaliukas, Pearce and Warnock. A centre midfield of Brown and Murphy – I’m giving the youngster the benefit of doubt – with new signings Kebe and Stewart on the wings and Luke Varney alongside Ross McCormack up front.
The head says the form team of the Championship could claim the three points but Leeds have something to prove and I’m sure they can win.
prediction: Leeds United 2 Leicester City 1.
Leicester are strong in all departments and a point would be a good result, but it would be just like United for us to pull it out against the best team in the league. I hate backing against us so I’ll stick to us winning by a one goal margin but my head says we will be lucky to pick anything up.
Prediction: Leeds United 2 Leicester City 1.
After last Saturday’s humiliating defeat, we welcome table-topping Leicester City to Elland Road for an early kick-off.
The Foxes and new signing Kevin Phillips arrive in excellent form and serious improvements are needed if we are to get anything from this game.
The formation is clearly not working, so when McDermott said he was going ‘back to basics’ I think we’ll see a traditional 4-4-2 and hopefully after a full week’s training, Stewart and Kebe will make an impact. The fans deserve better and it’s about time the players start showing fight, determination, desire and 100 per cent effort in every 90 minutes of football.
RIP Bobby Collins.
prediction: Leeds United 1 Leicester City 2.
Passion, pride, commitment and desire are minimum requirements from fans who are feeling really short changed. If nothing else the team owes a performance to the memory of Bobby Collins who sadly passed away this week. I hope and expect better.
prediction: Leeds United 1 Leicester City 2.
Only Ross McCormack and Paddy Kenny can be sure of their places tomorrow after last week’s humiliation.
Rodolph Austin heads the queue of players who must be dropped, closely followed by Lee Peliter. After that, it comes down to who has managed to convince Brian McDermott in their “back to basics” training session that they have actually retained some of their footballing ability.
With Leicester flying high, the odds are massively in favour of a fifth successive defeat.
I fear the worst but it’s time we regained some pride and I’ll be delighted if we can grind out a draw and put an end to this losing run.
prediction: Leeds United 1 Leicester City 1.