YEP Leeds United Jury: ‘Dreadful day’ ... ‘spineless’ ... ‘shockingly poor’

Tempers flare between the two sides resulting in Leeds United's Samuel Saiz (no. 21) being sent off during the Emirates FA Cup third-round match at Rodney Parade. PIC: David Davies/PA Wire
Tempers flare between the two sides resulting in Leeds United's Samuel Saiz (no. 21) being sent off during the Emirates FA Cup third-round match at Rodney Parade. PIC: David Davies/PA Wire
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The Yorkshire Evening Post fans’ jury rarely pulls its punches and today’s verdict is no different after Leeds United’s shock FA Cup exit at Newport County.

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Padraig Amond, of Newport County, is muscled out by Leeds United man of the match Gaetano Berardi. PIC: James Hardisty

Padraig Amond, of Newport County, is muscled out by Leeds United man of the match Gaetano Berardi. PIC: James Hardisty

Gary Newbould

It gives me absolutely no pleasure to say I was the only member of the panel not to predict a Whites FA Cup victory.

Too many fruitless trips to South Wales and far too many recent FA Cup humiliations have left far too many wounds for me to start making optimistic predictions. On nine minutes the loyal United hordes received a belated Christmas present as captain-for-the-day Gaetano Berardi scored his first-ever competitive goal in football with a fantastic long-range effort.

Understandably he celebrated with the ecstatic Whites’ supporters. The fact that referee Mike Dean then decided to book him said more about the “frequently under pressure” official’s lack of understanding of the game than anything else.

Leeds United's Samuel Saiz makes his way to the dressing room after being red-carded. PIC: David Davies/PA Wire

Leeds United's Samuel Saiz makes his way to the dressing room after being red-carded. PIC: David Davies/PA Wire

The second half continued with chances at a premium and United looked like they would see the time home until 14 minutes from time when Shaughnessy unfortunately put through his own goal. A drama turned into an irretrievable crisis when the home side scored a minute from the end.

A familiar feeling for Leeds fans then in both South Wales and the FA Cup.

Just to compound United’s misery Samuel Saiz was sent off in the final minute.

As ever, you learn more from defeats than victory. Personally I’d send Lasogga (and his significant wages) back to Hamburg as soon as possible and re-invest in a young, fast and above all, committed striker.

Man of the match: Gaetano Berardi.

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Mike Gill

The faithful few fans who were lucky enough to get a ticket can tell their descendant Leeds Unites supporters that they were there when Gaetano Berardi scored his first goal for Leeds United.

Other than a much-improved performance from Mateusz Klich there was not much else to be happy about. Thomas Christiansen didn’t field a weak side for, on paper, they should have been strong enough to win. In reality, they were woeful.

A strangely quiet away end became so bored in the second half that they set up a wonderful banter with the rest of the United fans who were positioned at right angles to them.

The boredom changed to anguish when Conor Shaughnessy turned a tricky cross into his own net and on 89 minutes, Shawn McCoulsky dumped Leeds out of the cup. Christiansen will also regret bringing Samuel Saiz on.

The Spaniard’s only contribution was to receive a red card for ‘clearing his throat’.

A striker and a left-back to come in this month please, Mr Radrizzani!

Man of the match: Gaetano Berardi.

Matthew Evans

A dreadful day and another spineless cup performance from a United side that could have done so much better had it wanted to.

We looked like a soft League Two side for much of this FA Cup third-round game at Newport County – a side we have already beaten this season – and, even when we were 1-0 up and heading for the fourth round of the world-famous competition, it barely looked a convincing performance and certainly not deserving of a place in the next round.

Very few players came out of the game with any credit, least of all Samu Saiz whose decision to spit at an opponent could liklely result in a lengthy and justified ban for him if he’s found guilty of this off-the-ball offence.

And that would be a hammer blow to our chances of picking up points in the tricky run ahead of us.

The sight of Gaetano Berardi’s face as he peeled away towards the Leeds end in celebration of his goal was a bonus but not enough to dull the pain of another cup humiliation.

Man of the match: Gaetano Berardi.

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David Watkins

Not a great day for Leeds, or for the thousand fans who got up at silly o’clock to travel to South Wales on a bitterly cold morning.

Had we hung on to the early one-goal lead to the end I guess we’d have shrugged and moved on, but we didn’t, and that inevitably brings an inquest as to what went wrong. We were told last season’s fiasco at Sutton would never be repeated.

This Leeds XI was stronger than that one but the performance was just as abject and by the final whistle we all had to accept that Newport deserved to win, having played the better football and to a plan that appeared way more cunning than ours. They had two wide men head and shoulders above ours and the ease with which they got the ball into our area was a lesson we need to learn.

The next problem is, that having rested the first XI, the expectation is now that we can go to Ipswich, deliver a great performance and bring back three points even without Samu Saiz. If we fail, then the pressure mounts and it all starts to look horribly like last season.

Man of the match: The Newport County squad.

Keith Ingham

Leeds fell at the third round again, and the 2-1 defeat to Newport County was yet again deserved, as the opponents wanted to win the game more than their illustrious (in name only!) visitors.

Thomas Christiansen changed nearly the complete team, giving players an opportunity to impress both coach and fans. They did neither!

History will show that a late winner separated the teams but the difference in league positions goes nowhere near showing the gulf in wanting to win a game.

There are players within Christiansen’s first team – Grot, Lasogga, Sacko – who are simply not good enough and I’m sick and tired of the coach and fans saying that they are. This squad isn’t good enough to complete what the owner and coach says it can. The reality check came again against a team that with Leeds’ resources they should beat with ease.

I love the FA Cup but again it seen yet another fixture that doesn’t matter. Try telling that to the fans who got up so early to travel to the game. I sat with an honest group of opposition fans and their joy at beating my team was to be seen to be believed. Their joy and pride in their team progressing to the next round belittled my disappointment in the team I support.

There are ramifications in this defeat. Below the first XI, the squad is shockingly poor and not worthy of a shirt the fans support and it is time for these players to be released or demoted.

And investment is desperately needed to replace them; they just aren’t up to playing for the club I love so much.

Man of the Match: Gaetano Berardi.

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