Our fans’ panel look ahead to Leeds United’s derby clash with Sheffield Wednesday
We have to look at the next nine games as preparation for next season; sorting out who’s worth keeping and who isn’t. Reent evidence suggests there’ll be plenty on the second list!
As always, the Owls will be fired up for our penultimate Yorkshire derby of the season but they, like Leeds, are in a poor run of form. Wednesday have won just one game in 13 and have won only three away from home all season but they still sit above Leeds, albeit on goal difference, in the 10-game form table.
In the actual table, Wednesday sit uncomfortably in 18th only eight points above relegation. That will be another encouragement for them as they know another couple of wins will make them safe. For Leeds, we really need a win to give us something to cheer now that it looks all but mathematically certain we will be fighting another Championship campaign next season.
I fully expected Leeds to beat Reading, but despite coming close it didn’t quite happen. I’m sure we’ll have too much for a poor Wednesday side, though.
Prediction: Leeds United 3 Sheffield Wednesday 1.
To prove his theory on gravity, Galileo famously dragged his two balls to a high place. Similarly, I too am atop a tall tower to shout across the rooftops: Let us ring the bells, let us lift our hearts for Leeds are going to win this weekend!
Whereas the father of renaissance physics told us that bodies of varying mass fall to earth at the same rate, I disagree. Leeds are a more massive club than Wednesday yet the Sheffield club hurtle downwards more rapidly than even their Yorkshire rivals can manage. Inexplicably, earlier in the season, the Owls pushed Carlos Carvalho from a great height only for him to drop straight into the Premier League, where it turns out he can defy gravity. The Hillsborough club truly dropped a right clanger there.
Yes, it’s a derby. Sure, form goes out the window like a ruined stockbroker, but this is as close to a bolt-on-win as Leeds get. Well, apart form Bolton.
Let us be uplifted. A second win in 2018. Joy unbound, my friends. Look upwards. Not too far, but upwards.
Prediction: Leeds United 3 Sheffield Wednesday 0.
Leeds United’s season has spluttered to a halt. Last week at Reading was a very typical display showing, yet again, how we are just not good enough to compete at the top end of the Championship.
Our players seem completely debilitated by the criticism that has come their way and Paul Heckingbottom seems almost as helpless as Thomas Christiansen was to stop the rot.
Victor Orta has been identified as the fall guy by the majority of our fans and, while recruitment is an easy target based on our performances and results, there have also been a lot of positives from the same players at other points this season. A Yorkshire derby against struggling Sheffield Wednesday in an irritated and impatient atmosphere at Elland Road tomorrow is not really the environment to bounce back.
And, when we need to win every game for the rest of the season to have any prayer of salvaging anything, that’s not good news.
Prediction: Leeds United 0 Sheffield Wednesday 2.
The thoughts of all Leeds United and Yorkshire CC fans go to the family and friends of BBC Radio Leeds commentator Dave Callaghan who passed away on Monday.
A superb broadcaster, he will be missed by all he knew and those who listened to him. RIP ‘Cally’.
The owner made it clear he’s given up on this season in an interview on TalkSport on Tuesday and puts the blame squarely on the players who have disappointed since Christmas.
The saying ‘a bad workman blames his tools’ comes to mind and in this case I think it’s very true. I’m afraid that Andrea Radrizzani has to take a good portion of the blame for the failure this season now has become.
I’ve asked before where the club goes from here, marooned in mid table and with nine games for the under-performing players to show that they are worth their – in some cases – extended contracts. Paul Heckingbottom also must show he has the credentials and coaching skills to take the club forward, his honeymoon is well and truly over.
Sheffield Wednesday, like ourselves, have disappointed their fans. Plenty of money was thrown at their previous coach but even after Carlos Carvalhal’s dismissal their fortunes haven’t significantly improved and they sit just outside the relegation places.
Like Paul Heckingbottom, new coach Jos Luhukay hasn’t had the best of starts in his new job and will need to guarantee at least a mid-table finish to continue into the next season. It’s a Yorkshire Derby and Leeds will be seeking revenge for their defeat at Hillsborough earlier in the season.
The Owls won 3-0 with goals from Gary Hooper (2) and Kieran Lee. With both teams struggling for form it may be the odd goal in three that secures the points. Just hoping it’s Leeds who claim the win.
Prediction: Leeds United 2 Sheffield Wednesday 1.
As the season starts to fizzle out we meet another underachiever in Sheffield Wednesday. The boo boys were calling for the head of Carlos Carvalhal before Christmas.
They got their wish and the Portuguese manager surprisingly resurfaced at Swansea City. He seems to have done a pretty good job in South Wales and is steering the Swans away from the drop.
Carvalhal’s replacement, Jos Luhukay, has done very little to show that he is a worthy successor, much less an improvement as Wednesday huff and puff and still find themselves with a fight on their hands to ensure safety.
Just like Reading last week, Wednesday need a result. In terms of morale, so do the Whites.
Paul Heckingbottom’s faith in Bailey Peacock-Farrell is looking totally justified and you wonder whether it is time to give Tom Pearce a run at left-back.
There are other questions which won’t be answered this season but this is one that could be.
Prediction: Leeds United 3 Sheffield Wednesday 1.