Our YEP Jurors give their verdicts on United’s defeat to Wolves and the sacking of Darko Milanic
At half-time on Saturday afternoon the players left the field to a standing ovation after playing an in-form Wolverhampton Wanderers team off the park.
An hour after the final whistle coach Darko Milanic was fired. Welcome to the world of Leeds United and its long suffering supporters.
Steve Morison replaced the suspended Soulameyne Doukara and surprisingly there was no place for the Sam Byram. Adryan started his first home game in a Whites shirt alongside Alex Mowatt, Lewis Cook and Tomasso Bianchi in a midfield starting line-up whoose average age was only just above 20.
The game kicked off at a fast and furious pace, the visitors clearly showing the confidence from only two losses all season. However United gave as good as they got with some neat passing interchanges with youngsters Cook and Mowatt linking up particularly well and the Brazilian Adryan showing occasional sublime touches.
On 18 minutes the Whites took a deserved lead when Morison fed Mirco Antenucci, who shot in the corner of the net. Six minutes later and the home side’s advantage should have been doubled when Mowatt, just six yards out had the goal at his mercy, however his mis-hit shot was easily saved by the visitors’ keeper.
Half-time arrived with United more than deserving of their 1-0 lead and the almost 28,000 loyal hordes affording a standing ovation. What was then said by the respective managers during the interval, just like previously at Rotherham, certainly didn’t have the desired effect for those of a White persuasion and without doubt ultimately cost Milanic his job.
Prior to coming to LS11 the Slovenian had a reputation for negative, cautious football and he duly confirmed this as, after totally dominating an in-form side at home, the United coach unforgivably decided to try and hold on to a slender lead and duly surrendered possession, territory, confidence and ultimately the match, to the visitors.
Mowatt was replaced by the once again ineffective Luke Murphy just after the hour mark. When the equaliser came on 66 minutes it was certainly a lucky break for Wolvers, but if you retreat so far into your own half for so long then you run the risk of things like that happening.
United tried to come out of their shell after the set-back, but it was the visitors who gleaned all three points five minutes from time when Leon Clarke converted from close range to leave United in 18th place and Milanic not only without a win in his six games but ultimately without a job.
So the Slovenian has lasted 12 days less than Brian Clough, but I really don’t envisage a film being made of his tenure. I only hope Neil Redfearn is given sufficient time and support to turn this football club around.
Man of the match: Giuseppe Bellusci.
Darko Milanic was sacked after just six games in charge, the 2-1 defeat was enough for Massimo Cellino to remove the Slovakian coach.
With only 14 games played Leeds are to appoint another ‘coach’ (Neil Redfearn). The farce beggars belief and it is hoped the well-liked Redfearn is given time to rescue Leeds’ season. Leeds United made four changes – one positional – from the team that achieved a creditable draw at Carrow Road on Tuesday, Berardi replacing Byram, Warnock getting the left-back position, Lewis Cook replacing the injured Austin, and forgotten man Steve Morison replacing the suspended Doukara. Most fans believed that this was Morison’s last chance to prove his doubters wrong. His move from Millwall has been a poor move for both player and Leeds. Brian Montenegro made the bench after impressing in development games.
Leeds started brightly, went one up through Antenucci, after good work by Morison, and almost made it two through the inspired Morison.
Many said this is the best Leeds have played under the guidance of Milanic.
The impressive first half, however, was wasted – and not for the first time under Milanic. The news that followed the defeat was a surprise but nothing Cellino does any more should. It’s his way or the highway!
Man of the match: Steve Morison.
United looked the better side for an hour of Saturday’s game and then went to pieces as Wolves took the initiative and the three points.
It’s hard to put a finger on what went wrong but clearly Massimo Cellino felt it was the fault of Darko Milanic and promptly sacked him.
Leeds backed off in the second half despite the fans urging them forward and lost control of the midfield.
Alex Mowatt was rightly substituted but Luke Murphy fared no better. 18th in the league now and it still feels like there is a good team in there waiting to break out. We place our faith in Neil Redfearn once again.
Man of the match: Mirco Antenucci.
The ringmaster of the Leeds United circus cracked his whip once again on Saturday night to bring to an end the reign of Darko Milanic after just 32 days.
After a capitulation in the second half handed Wolves all three points, Cellino dismissed his latest appointment, citing the Slovenian’s negativity as the reason to bring an end to the latest embarrassing chapter at Elland Road.
The evidence which condemned Milanic is there for all to see, as Leeds undid a decent first-half performance that saw them lead through a Mirco Antenucci strike, with a pitiful display in the second half.
Devoid of ideas going forward and hampered by terrible substitutions, Leeds meekly retreated to the edge of their own 18-yard box and invited Wolves on. It was a plan destined to fail and a late Leon Clarke goal earned all three points for Wolves and sealed Milanic’s fate.
With Neil Redfearn set to be appointed as the fourth head coach in Cellino’s 10 months in charge, it is surely time for the Italian owner to step back and let the coach do his job, with no interference. Otherwise we will find ourselves in the same place again in six weeks’ time, with the spectre of relegation looming.
Man of the match: Lewis Cook
We didn’t deserve anything from the game on Saturday, after our performance in the second half.
We again started the half slow and it put Wolves on the front foot. We never recovered.
We played some decent football in the first half but I didn’t think we were worthy of going into the break a goal up. We rarely had the ball and our goal came on a counter attack. The front two linked up well early on and I don’t understand why Milanic changed the formation putting Morison on the right when we were causing them problems.
Another disappointing result and if we aren’t careful, the bottom three will catch us up.
Man of the match: Lewis Cook.
We should now know to expect the unexpected. Milanic has the title of second-shortest managerial reign at Leeds, and got what he deserved. He made things defensive when we can’t withstand pressure and his decision making has been terrible.
Man of the match: Lewis Cook.