Our YEP Jury have their say on Leeds United’s home clash with Hull City
Our season is in disarray and however much I complain about the sluggish midfield, the error prone defence and the toothless attack, there’s only one man to blame.
When Massimo Cellino took the helm of Leeds United it had not been run with the traditional priorities of a football club for a very long time so when a fiery, Italian man with a love of the game walked in, a rash of hope broke out in our beleaguered support.
They say it’s the hope that kills you and it certainly seems to have killed our season. It was a hope against the better judgement of those who saw last season first hand: Hockaday and Milanic, players refusing to play and the disgraceful treatment of Neil Redfearn and Steve Thompson.
Nevertheless, Adam Pearson brought a sense of calm to proceedings, Uwe Rosler showed professionalism and we even made some good signings. It’s absolutely no coincidence that all that has unravelled since Pearson left the club for personal reasons.
I wouldn’t bet against those personal reasons being the feeling of helplessness that we all experience every time we set foot inside a stadium.
I wonder too whether the players suffer from the same malaise.
You walk into work every day and see your perpetually new boss, the manager, forced into a tracksuit and a contrived job title and it must floor your motivation before you even start.
Then you look to your colleagues and see Sam Byram, punished for his talent through agonising and needlessly public contract negotiations and frozen out of his position at right-back in favour of an average centre half. Then those who refused to play at Charlton last year are picking up starts every week despite mediocre performances and being totally disengaged from the fan base. It’s no surprise that the players aren’t playing, they’ve even starred in a bizarre calendar – a must have stocking filler for absolutely no-one this Christmas.
But enough about the players, it’s in the stands where the hurt is most felt. Cellino’s promise to sell to the fans was broken like all the rest (buying Elland Road, promotion in two years, I won’t sack the manager).
He’s had to U-turn on an idea to limit our amazing away support, we’ve got a pie tax in the South Stand and yesterday there were reports he’s put the whole squad up for sale.
I always try to make a positive prediction but against this backdrop it would be foolish. United will most likely lose tomorrow and, if we do, remember who is to blame.
Prediction: Leeds United 0 Hull City 2.
After last weekend’s defeat to QPR I said what I had to so I’ll not go on but, suffice to say, Leeds United in its entirety is a complete mess from top to bottom and I have grave fears not only for this season but the future of this once mighty football club.
I’ve even offered fans to make their feelings plain through my blog page so I can email them and the club’s owner with their views.
Tomorrow brings the visit of Steve Bruce’s high-flying Hull City. He has assembled a good squad that is very capable of making one of the top two positions their own come May.
As for Leeds, it has to be seen if Cellino continues to change the head coach after less than encouraging performances by the team under the stewardship of Steve Evans.
I’ve already said on numerous occasions this was a poor appointment and very little has happened to change my mind, the situation involving Sam Byram tells its own story. He may finally get a chance after another woeful performance by Scott Wootton at QPR but he wasn’t the only one that failed to put in a shift worthy of 3,000 plus fans making the journey to London.
I’m sorry if my preview is less than inspiring but nothing happening around the club gives me reason to be optimistic.
Prediction: Leeds United 1 Hull City 3.
One of my fondest memories watching Leeds United is the 4-3 win over Hull City in the 1989-90 promotion season, and unfortunately nostalgia is all that remains for supporters of this once great club.
Almost 26 years on from the club making its way back to the top flight, ending the dark period that was the 1980’s, the faithful fans are being dragged by an owner through a time where there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel.
We are being asked to fork out ridiculous sums of money to watch substandard football. The players lack the passion and desire that the fans demand, and even the young starlets seem to be aware that their footballing futures would be better served away from Elland Road.
Once again off-the-field matters have dominated the week, with the long-suffering supporters and those that are most vocal in their criticism of the owner being punished by the ridiculous “pie tax” which will no doubt cause chaos in the stands tomorrow.
The actual games are becoming mere sideshows in the soap opera that Leeds United has become and the club are in danger of slipping back into the footballing backwaters. The relegation worries will deepen with another home defeat, leaving us all clinging to our memories of when we were a force and not a laughing stock.
Prediction: Leeds United 0 Hull City 3.
Hull are going to be a very tough team to play against. They will keep hold of the ball well so we need to get on top early. Botaka has got to start, we’re lacking so much creativity at the moment and he’s the only player who seems to frighten the opposition.
Prediction: Leeds United 1 Hull City 0.
A little over three years ago, Hull City came to Elland Road and won 3-2 on their way to promotion to the Premier League.
Luciano Becchio and Andy Gray scored our goals and Sam Byram was playing right midfield. The big question on everyone’s lips now is: “Will Sam be recalled for the game tomorrow?”
We are crying out for change of some kind as we are slipping back into the mire having had a brief flirtation with progress against Cardiff City and Huddersfield Town.
I’d like to see us go Gung-ho and throw Jordan Botaka in there too. A reminder of days gone by would be an appearance by Rob Snodgrass for Hull.
Prediction: Leeds United 2 Hull City 3.
Despite their midweek hammering at Manchester City the Tigers are flying high in the league and pose a serious threat against a Whites outfit who are in dire need of a home win. There has to be an improvement from QPR but I’m still expecting a defeat.
Prediction: Leeds United 1 Hull City 3.