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  • ANDRExu2 ANDRExu2 May 26, 2011 02:01 Flag

    Next season’s opponents

    Undoubtedly, last season was the best for any side to gain promotion. However, a clinical analysis of the sides we face next term presents no greater problems than those we faced in the past season.

    Southampton and Brighton are threats. Southampton could do well, but are not brilliant.

    Brighton has the manager (Poyet), yet how many Brighton players can you name – Murray? He is leaving.

    Locally

    Huddersfield, if promoted, could be difficult. Hull will certainly be a challenge. However, Scunthorpe and Sheffield United are gone and with them two trying local derbies.

    Preston, an obstacle last term, has also gone.

    QPR, Norwich, and either Swansea or Reading, will be gone. In their place will be Blackpool, Birmingham, and West Ham.

    Blackpool will probably lose Charlie Adam, who more-or-less ran the Seasiders’ show, and without him, I cannot see Blackpool bouncing back.

    Birmingham, if they retain Alex McLeish as manager, should be right up there even if they lose a handful of their class acts - Johnson etc.

    West Ham, with £100M debts, will have to ‘sell, sell, and sell’ and their season will be unpredictable.

    IMO, the teams for us to watch out for next term are Swansea and/or Reading, Birmingham, Cardiff (minus Bothroyd, possibly Bellamy, and their manager), and Forest.

    If we sign the right players, to fill the gaping weaknesses in defence and midfield that let us down last term… If we retain key players and develop our latent talent… If we rotate the squad, so we always have energy on the pitch… If we use systems that we know will work from the wisdom that comes after a season in this league; then promotion in 2012 is achievable – if we want it!

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    • Once only once did I ever make a bet on Leeds United acheiving something, and that was the FA Cup back in the seventies when we played Sunderland! The statue of limitations (40 years), is still in place! A weeks wages (DM 50,00) I bet back then, was in Iserlohn, Sauerland, West Germany at the time! It would take a whole to make me place another bet, feeling as I did then and for a long, long time afterwards that I, me personally had put the "Hoodoo" on the team! Gotta think about it for a while?

    • Swansea gone, Reading remain - I think we can live with that outcome.

    • If we sign the right players, to fill the gaping weaknesses in defence and midfield that let us down last term… If we retain key players and develop our latent talent… If we rotate the squad, so we always have energy on the pitch… If we use systems that we know will work from the wisdom that comes after a season in this league; then promotion in 2012 is achievable – if we want it! Andy you just mentioned ALL the things we SHOULD have done this season! DO YOU honestly think any of what you mention will actually happen?

    • Good post Andy. After the massive dissapointment of last season a lot of us were saying that we missed a golden opportunity to go up, as next season would be much harder. But when you look at it in depth and assess the quality of the clubs coming down, and the ones coming up against teams already in this league, then there is not too much for us to be worried about.

      I think Brighton and Southampton could prove to be surprise packages just like ourselves and Norwich last season, especially if the 2 managers are given funds to strengthen their squads.

      Blackpool will struggle as it looks like Adams will go, and also Vaughan who was an unsung hero for them is moving on. They will also lose a number of players who are out of contract so for me it will be a season of rebuilding for the tangerines, but a nice trip out to the seaside for us. What are the odds that our game against Blackpool away is on a Tuesday night?

      West Ham will have the clearance sale banners hanging outside the ground and a mass exodus is likely to get rid of all the high earners and bring down their wage bill, so a lot will depend on who they bring in as manager and what he gets out of the players he has left.

      Birmingham will IMO be the best placed team from the 3 that have come down to go straight back up, but a lot depends on who they can manage to keep hold of, but their manager has been here before and knows how to get out of this league.

      I think that Reading will win the playoff final, so we will have (if im right) Swansea, Forest, and Cardiff as teams who finished above us last season. The pressure on Cardiff and Forest will be so intense that anyting less than a very good start to the season could see them falter and lose ground early on, and with Cardiff not having Boothroyd, and maybe Bellamy they might struggle as there cant be much money left at the club to invest in a new strikeforce, especially after putting a lot of their eggs into one basket last season in the push for promotion.

      Swansea if they dont go up will be a major force along with Boro, Hull and the Foxes who under Sven should be pushing for a top 6 spot with the financial backing he has.

      But there is nothing to suggest that Leeds can not improve on last seasons 7th place, especially if some of the names being banded about sign for the club, and as you mention Andy if SG gets his tactics and squad rotation right.

      • 1 Reply to Jez
      • But there is nothing to suggest that Leeds can not improve on last seasons 7th place, especially if some of the names being banded about sign for the club, and as you mention Andy if SG gets his tactics and squad rotation right. IF, If, If! If Bates was an honest man and the purse strings were opened and the communication with the Fans improved and SG got to grips with his team selections and, and, and! If I won the Lottery and had married Cher back when I had crush then I wouldn`t be writing this post now would I?

    • Yeah and think of all those category C games err I mean B games oh damn they will all be Cat A games!!!!!! I can't wait to see the fixtures and how they are categorised all who come down will be A and I bet Brighton because of the Gus factor will be A. I think it will be a long hard season :( Westham Birmingham Millwall Boro Cardiff just to name a few will be tough fixtures so whoever goes up will be a deserving team...