Leeds United Message Board
Clearly, Larry has an ongoing problem with Leeds shipping goals; it was the same last season. “Players lose concentration and make basic errors, which lead to soft goals” is the oft-repeated (by Larry) explanation; and it is true – but why?
For a Championship side, Leeds has a huge complement of defensive players, ranging from experienced old stager's to talented tyros; it is the largest section of our squad, yet our greatest weakness.
Larry chopping and changing personnel, making the defence unsettled, is, possibly, one explanation. Larry’s tactics is another. For example, in the first 45 minutes of the Brighton game, Larry’s tactics were spot on. Leeds pinned the Seagulls in their own half and dominated. In the second, Leeds tried to defend a lead (the pressure on Larry to record a clean sheet probably affected his thinking) and pulled everyone, including the strikers, into our own half, allowing Brighton back into the game. It was only Johnny Howson bursting forward, presumably, contrary to Larry’s instructions, which enabled McCormack to score in the 93rd minute.
Larry is a decent manager who is under pressure. Had Leeds started the season with the players Larry wanted, with time to train, I do not think Leeds would be in its present predicament of not knowing its best team, or the manager feeling he has to change tactics to, mistakenly, secure a clean sheet.
That pressure affects Larry is worrying, but no more so than it would affect anyone experiencing adverse criticism.
Because of Leeds ‘ugly’ (and ineffective) transfer dealings, Larry has to patch up a ragged side from game to game. Bates is responsible for the threadbare fabric of the Leeds team. Implying that it is Larry’s failing, as he did in his last Yorkshire Radio interview, is nothing more than a ploy to divert criticism from his stewardship.
The writing is on the wall, for sure, but the moving hand that writes inscribes the legend: ‘BATES, GO TO JAIL’!
The writing is definitely on the wall now for Larry with Bates latest YR interview basically said defence needs sorting it's up to Larry to do it and it's not acceptable, we have one of the worst records in the league, and there is no room for more signings (ie get shot of some first).
Connolly is our only specialist RB. Last term he put in reliable performances until he was replaced by Lijah!
I just cannot understand why SG uses players out of position or persists in using player who are not performing. Mental, indeed!
Awarding the captain's armband to a player currently on loan is (ahem) 'left field' thinking but who else, at present, could take on the role - Becchio or Connolly?
Becchio is a leader but to ask him to focus on chivvying the defence would distract him from his primary job as a striker. Connolly is a lad few in the team would care to argue with but his authority is undermined by not being a regular in the starting XI. Clayton is an alternative but giving him the armband would be an affront to Howson and sow the seeds of discontent within the squad.
Pugh is new and, therefore, not involved in team politics. As a Premiership player he commands respect. As an ex-Leeds player he knows the club. He certainly has opinions about how Leeds should perform... but I am not sure he is the 'shouter' Leeds needs as a captain.
Personally, I just hope Paddy returns to match fitness and picks up his pace; he is still my first choice for leader.
Without an effective captain on the park, I fear Leeds will continue to fall apart under pressure.
What really irritates is Leeds' inability to sort the team out in pre-season!
Good looking line-up there... mental to think that at the start of the season, we ALL put Snoddy, Howson and even Nunez in our starting XI. But whereas WE can see the sense in making changes based on form and results, SG does not seem to be able to do so. I think that the back four looks strong as selected by Andy, and that is the lineup I have been advocating for a while... I still find it a real shame that Bruce and Sam will never get a decent run, and in the future neither will Connolly IMO. Also, having 5 subs limits freedom on the bench... surely Michael Brown does have a role to play, but if he had been playing it then Mika V would never have been signed...
Well thought through Andy!
Potentially a good line up and definitely worth a try, even though I would worry about Connolly.
Trouble is I doubt if Larry would give it a go as it would leave out too many of his favourites.
Totally agree with the team selection Andy including the subs. The midfield has the look of solidarity with the big Finn sitting tight and thus allowing Aidy and Adam to supply and link up with the attack. Interesting combination up front. My thoughts would be to give a semi free role to RM to tuck in behind AK and LB. I think that both AK and LB and or MF would create havoc with any current defence in our division. I would not argue against Pugh being given the role as captain other than the fact that at present he is on loan until January and I understand that a fee has already been agreed to sign him permanenty. Sources say that he missed the deadline to sign and thus has to wait till the window opens again in the new year. Lets hope we dont lose him again! The fee apparently was in the region of £500K. Hope KB honours the agreement as you never know whats in his devious mind as the thought of loosing £500K might be too much for him to suffer!!.
Thanks, Tom - ?
Larry made a rod for his own back when he appointed Johnny ‘Vice Captain’. No doubt, he did it with good intentions – at the time Johnny was on fire, playing free in a 4-5-1 formation, scoring; and, as you say, it was a popular choice because he is a Leeds lad. Richard Naylor was the captain and I suspect Larry thought that Johnny would progress under Nayls’ tutelage to become a future captain. When Nayls crocked, Larry had Johnny as default captain. He could not then take the armband from him without, potentially, losing a valuable player.
If Johnny were honest with himself, he would agree that he is not the team’s natural leader, at this time. The way out of this predicament may be to bench Johnny for a couple of matches so he can see how a natural leader on the park operates. For me, this would be Kisnorbo. However, therein lays the problem: on his present form, I would not pick Paddy to play. So, if Johnny and Paddy are not in the team, who will be captain?
ATM, my team selection would be:
Connolly, Lees, O’Dea, Pugh;
Clayton, Vayrynen, White;
Keogh, Becchio, McCormack;
Subs, Snodgrass/Forssell, Howson, Sam/Nunez, Bruce/Kisnorbo, Rachubka.
The only player I can see the captain’s armband going to, without it affecting his ability to play, is Pugh.
What are your thoughts?
It is hard to change or drop the captain, but as most fans can see he is not a leader, I'm not one of these Howson out brigades, the lad has scored alot of important goals for us, he just does not seem to fit into the midfield well and goes missing on far too many occasions, his best position IMO is just behind the striker or playing a free role, but you need a resilient midfield if your going to play that formation. Yes Larry's hands are to an extent tied and one would love to know the pot he has to play with. He is the one who brought the defenders in so he has to take some responsibility and so hence more bad results he will end up unemployed sooner or later.
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