Our YEP Jury look ahead to Leeds United’s home clash with Charlton tomorrow.
The last home game of the season has arrived and it couldn’t be a better one. Charlton are already relegated and we are finishing the season strongly and playing some good football so, hopefully, we can score a few goals.
Jordan Botaka has earned the chance to start after his impressive performance at Hull last week. It’s really frustrating watching Botaka, as he has all the ability in the world to beat players – something we have been missing all year – but the manager wouldn’t give him a run of games. He needs a good last couple of games then a full pre-season with us will do him good and he’ll be in the manager’s thoughts leading into next season.
Stuart Dallas has really impressed me this season. He understands the club. His work ethic is remarkable and he has received a lot of undeserved criticism from some of our fans this season. Since the turn of the year, he has scored a few goals, something that we all know he has in his game after his impressive tally for Brentford last season.
He took his goal brilliantly against Hull last week, on his weaker foot. Dallas is going to be vital for us next season in our promotion charge.
It’ll be really interesting whether we can keep hold of Liam Bridcutt on a permanent deal. He has been exceptional for us and the team looks lost when he doesn’t play. He collects the ball from deep and drives us forward, very rarely making the wrong decision. His form has been great and it wouldn’t be too surprising if he wins Player of the Season.
Charlton are there for the taking. Their players want the season to end, they are playing with no confidence. If we come out and score an early goal, then they will crumble and we could give them a good hiding.
Hopefully Lee Erwin gets another start. He wasn’t brilliant last week but he’s getting more comfortable at this level and needs games heading into next season. If he grabs a goal, it will boost his confidence massively. I am confident he can be a good striker for us in the future.
Our fans should turn out in numbers for the last game. It hasn’t been a great season, but at the start, we would have taken a top-10 finish – and it looks like it’s going to happen.
Prediction: Leeds United 3 Charlton Athletic 0.
Where’s the season gone? The months have run fast since the first drawn home game with Burnley, two coaches and the usual off-field dramas.
Charlton Athletic are the last visitors of the 2015/16 season to Leeds 11 tomorrow, relegated and with a more Maverick owner than we have. I know a Charlton fan and he says the Leeds ‘situation’ is not half as bad as his club has faced this season and he fears for its future.
Steve Evans has an excellent chance of keeping the job he really wants with the side now safe and playing good football. His position must be clarified before the summer break. I, for one, think he deserves a full season to get us at least to be challenging for the top six.
My opinion has changed because of results achieved under his tenure. It’s been shown that only Simon Grayson has a bigger win percentage than Evans.
Saturday gives the head coach an opportunity to play Peacock-Farrell, Lewie Coyle, Jordan Botaka and maybe even Kalvin Phillips and I hope he does.
Jack McKay, who has been impressive at under-21 level, may get a place on the bench – and a few minutes on the pitch if Leeds are comfortable.
I’m very hopefulof a Leeds win to send the fans away happy.
Prediction: Leeds United 3 Charlton Athletic 1.
Charlton arrive at Elland Road knowing they will be in League One next season and in poor form that has seen them win just one in their last seven.
Like Leeds, the majority of their fans have been waging a campaign to oust their owner, the Belgian Roland Duchatelet. Dark days for the Addicks.
It may be the last time the majority of Leeds fans see Steve Evans in charge as rumours persist that Massimo Cellino will once again spin his roulette wheel in the hope of chancing upon a miracle coach whilst many Leeds fans think Evans is the best we have had for years and possibly the only man who can succeed under Cellino.
I expect Evans to have his side pumped up for his potentially final home game.
Prediction: Leeds United 4 Charlton Athletic 1.
When United visited The Valley in December the goalless draw brought a long Charlton losing streak to an end. Given Charlton’s subsequent relegation to League One, it represents two of the many points that were carelessly dropped across our own season.
Charlton’s campaign has been marked by protests even more vociferous and wide ranging than those seen at Elland Road and, in the mind of the neutral, this game will be the battle of the dysfunctional clubs with controversial owners.
Perhaps we should be grateful that we at least kept our Championship status but, with another big crowd due tomorrow, and thinking back to the expectant roar that greeted the teams at our first home game against Burnley, it feels like the embers of yet another wasted year.
Prediction: Leeds United 2 Charlton Athletic 0.
Another final home game of the season has come around. In the past these used to be sad affairs for me, the end of another enjoyable season of watching the Whites. However the last couple of years they have simply been a blessed relief, ending another wasted year.
This season should have been so different. In the summer it looked as if we were ready to have a real go at promotion. A proper structure was in place and we looked to be set to be a real football club again. The strips even looked magnificent. By September the owner had blinked and we were heading for another year of chaos.
We could look back 12 months and we are in pretty much the same position as we are now. We have a head coach who has done an okay job not knowing if his contract will be renewed, a host of young players who we may not be able to hold on to. And Giuseppe Bellusci is having a tantrum and refusing to play.
It could be worse. We could be Charlton. They are looking forward to life in League One again, a club being ruined by an owner who does not seem to care that his tenure is hurting the supporters and the club they love. There for the grace of God go we.
The football is a sideshow on the last day when there is nothing to play for. I’m looking forward to the post match beers and reflections on better days in the past. Leeds will win, but it’s just three meaningless points in another wasted season.
Prediction Leeds United 3 Charlton Athletic 0.
On the back of three wins and a battling draw at play-off bound Hull City, United bring down the curtain at LS11 tomorrow against already relegated Charlton Athletic. The Whites could still finish as high as eighth and as low as 15th, showing just how competitive and unpredictable The Championship remains. With the exception of the injured Gaetano Berardi it should be a similar starting line-up to the one which opened against The Tigers, against a team who we should have easily beaten at The Valley and only managed to get a point against. I’m fully expecting us to sign off from Elland Road with a win in what I feel is increasingly likely to be, (but shouldn’t be), Steve Evans’ last game in charge at LS11.
Prediction: Leeds United 3 Charlton Athletic 1.