Leeds United: Touchline ban won’t be a problem for United at Derby – Ritchie

Garry Monk gets sent to the stands at Bristol City.
Garry Monk gets sent to the stands at Bristol City.
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GARRY MONK will watch Leeds United’s game at Derby County from the stands this afternoon after receiving a one-match touchline ban following his sending off in the recent game at Bristol City – and while I never had one myself in my days as a manager and do not really know how it can impact, it surely should not affect things that much.

I thought I was going to get one once at Barnsley when I was sent to the stands in one particular game. But it was not mentioned in the referee’s report, so I never heard any more about that one.

I know that you can still get messages down to the touchline if you are banned and you are allowed in the dressing room at half-time. Maybe if it was a three-match ban, it might impact a little bit. But in this case, I think Leeds will ride it out and be fine.

Obviously, for the hosts, Steve McClaren has returned to Derby this week which was a bit of a surprise.

They say ‘never go back’, but that is a cliche!

It is a little bit of a strange one. By all accounts, the chairman there has his own way of working, with the drones watching training if we are led to believe by some reports. I hope they were not near the flight path to the airport!

But the chairman and Steve obviously know each other well and must have kept things amicable even after he left for Newcastle.

And as always when a new manager comes in, it is a fillip to players.

It could backfire a bit on Leeds today, but do not forget, they are on a great run and come into the game on the back of a hard-fought win over Barnsley and hopefully they can keep it going.

Looking at the Championship, people have spoken over the years about Leeds struggling to find their way in the division. But you look at it now and there are plenty of other big clubs; massive clubs having difficulties.

There are so many, you cannot believe it with the histories that some of them have got in the game.

You look at Derby and Aston Villa and others who have played in Europe in years gone by. It is amazing really, a lot of big teams are having a lot of struggles at the minute.

Villa are a massive club and have been through some turmoil, having just got rid of Roberto di Matteo who had only been there for a short while.

That said, I am not one for looking at league tables this early in a season really. For me, it is a passing thing and as a manager, you just look at the games that you have coming up, I think.

I had no idea what Garry does in terms of whether he sets his team’s targets and goals over weeks and months.

As for players, they don’t really think about that and I don’t think I ever did when I played.

Onto England, and I have got to say that they looked terrible against Slovenia in their World Cup qualifier the other night.

They looked devoid of ideas going forward as to what they were doing and I don’t think they put in a cross until Andros Townsend came on and we struggled to get two shots on goal.

There is no doubt about it. Slovenia deserved to win and Joe Hart was fantastic in goal.

As to why England are struggling so much, I just don’t know. I can’t get my head around it all.

As a player back in the day, playing for England was just the biggest honour you could have. I only made it to under-21 level and not the senior team, but they were such proud moments for me.

I don’t know if it means so much to the players any more. Surely, it must? It should be the top of the tree for every player.

Maybe we should just try and have an English intensity, rather than all this 4-2-3-1. Slovenia worked so hard and every time England had the ball, a blue shirt was pressurising them and we just had no time on the ball.

Why can’t we play like that and do to other teams what they do to us? We have some talented players, but must channel what we have got as we are never going to be Spain.