Author Topic: The Super(ish) Leeds United Thread  (Read 98153 times)

ONeill

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Re: The Super(ish) Leeds United Thread
« Reply #930 on: July 21, 2020, 07:34:48 AM »
Ye may have a word with Deportivo La Coruña. Dropped to third tier after some dizzy heights 15 yrs ago.
I wanna have my kicks before the whole shithouse goes up in flames.

Billys Boots

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Re: The Super(ish) Leeds United Thread
« Reply #931 on: July 21, 2020, 09:06:40 AM »
Ye may have a word with Deportivo La Coruña. Dropped to third tier after some dizzy heights 15 yrs ago.

I remember Leeds beating them over two very tight legs in a Champions League quarter final in 2001 - how things change. 
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Rufus T Firefly

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Re: The Super(ish) Leeds United Thread
« Reply #932 on: July 21, 2020, 12:21:25 PM »
The last 16 years were tough........

........We are Leeds United and we are back.

Great post, SLIGONIAN.


Rufus T Firefly

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Re: The Super(ish) Leeds United Thread
« Reply #933 on: July 21, 2020, 12:22:31 PM »
Ye may have a word with Deportivo La Coruña. Dropped to third tier after some dizzy heights 15 yrs ago.

I remember Leeds beating them over two very tight legs in a Champions League quarter final in 2001 - how things change.

Correct Billy - beat them 3-0 at home and were hanging on by our fingernails at the end of the second leg.


seafoid

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Re: The Super(ish) Leeds United Thread
« Reply #934 on: July 21, 2020, 09:46:45 PM »
This a good summmary

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/football/2020/07/17/leeds-uniteds-wilderness-years-bates-cellino-administration/


Leeds United's wilderness years: From Bates to Cellino, administration and sackings... and now the Bielsa revival
Leeds are back in the Premier League after a 16-year absence filled with problems off the pitch and near-misses on it
By
Luke Edwards
17 July 2020 • 7:45pm

 
Marcelo Bielsa (centre) is on the verge of leading Leeds out from the wilderness

Leeds United spent 16 years outside of the Premier League; a club that reached for the stars, missed, crash-landed and been paying the price ever since.
A club that became a cautionary tale and then a source of amusement for rivals, the punchline to too many jokes and a case study in under-achievement.
But now the pain is over, after West Brom slumped to a 2-1 defeat at Huddersfield.
Relegation and financial implosion
Leeds United were ambitious, too ambitious. Having qualified for the Champions League, spending big money to do so, the gamble backfired. By the time they were relegated in 2004, having borrowed money based on top-four income streams, they did not only lose Premier League status, they sold the family silver.
The best players had already been transferred to raise emergency funds - Rio Ferdinand, Jonathan Woodgate, Mark Viduka and James Milner to name a few - when the club was also forced to sell Elland Road and its Thorp Arch training ground. The debt was out of control. A death spiral had begun.
Yet, in their first season in the Championship under manager Kevin Blackwell, Leeds almost avoided the implosion that was to follow. With a new owner - the former Chelsea boss Ken Bates, who took a controlling stake for just £10 million - they reached the play-off final in 2006.
"It's going to be a tough job and the first task is to stabilise the cash flow and sort out the remaining creditors," Bates said.
"But there is light at the end of a very long tunnel. For the past year it has been a matter of firefighting - now we can start running the club again."
He might have been right if Leeds had won that play-off game, but they lost to Watford 3-0. It was a costly defeat. What followed was torturous for those who had cheered their team on in a Champions League semi-final against Valencia five years earlier.

A dejected Shaun Derry after conceding a penalty during the play-off Final at the Millennium Stadium Credit: GETTY IMAGES
Blackwell was sacked a few months into the following season after a poor start, but Leeds had no money, relying on free transfers and loans to reshape the squad. John Carver replaced him but could not arrest the decline. In came Dennis Wise and Gus Poyet, but they were just as bad. Bates had not stabilised the cash flow and with relegation to League One all but assured, Leeds entered administration in May 2007. The 10-point penalty imposed by the Football League confirmed it.
The League One Years
Put up for sale by administrators KPMG that summer, Bates was, remarkably, allowed to buy the club again, but the Football League was unimpressed and imposed another 15-point penalty before a ball had been kicked in the third tier.
It briefly brought Leeds together in defiance. Supporters were united in their sense of injustice. Wise and Poyet fuelled the victim complex. Leeds against the world, just as it has always been in club folklore.
The fans briefly relished the adventure of unusual trips to Yeovil and Leyton Orient. The club’s away following, in particular, was remarkable in that division, but it was not the short stay they envisaged. Despite the 15-point penalty, Leeds still made the play-offs, but lost to Yorkshire rivals Doncaster Rovers. Wise had already left to become Director of Football at Newcastle, Poyet joined the coaching staff at Tottenham, and they were replaced by club legend Gary McAllister.
He was, in turn, replaced by another former player, Simon Grayson, who had done a fantastic job with Blackpool in the lower leagues. He did a good one at Leeds, too. In his first season, they lost in the play-offs again, this time to old enemy Millwall in the semi-finals. Grayson, though, got the football club. He understood it, he had been a supporter long before he became manager.
In 2010, he secured promotion back to the Championship on the back of the best start to a season by a Leeds team. But they almost threw it away. A late-season wobble, which became something of a trademark in the years that followed, meant they only secured promotion on the final day as runners-up to Norwich City. It was memorable season, though, which also brought an FA Cup win over Manchester United at Old Trafford and the goals of star striker Jermaine Beckford, a sensational signing from non-league Wealdstone, made them a potent threat.

Jermaine Beckford provided Leeds fans with a memorable moment against their old rivals Credit: GETTY IMAGES
A missed opportunity
Leeds still did not have much money and despite promotion, fans were restless. The team had momentum and a popular manager, but the loss of Beckford, on a free transfer to Everton, was galling. Beckford scored 71 goals in just 126 appearances, but Leeds had become a club for stronger, richer ones to feed off. It stung.
Despite the departure of his best player, Grayson managed the following season superbly. He had a strong team, a powerful midfield pairing of Neil Kilkenny and Bradley Johnson combined with an attack of Robert Snodgrass, Jonny Howson, Max Gradel and Luciano Becchio. They also had a young Kasper Schmeichel in goal. The fact six of those seven went on to play in the Premier League, but not with Leeds, tells the story of a club that could not hold on to its best players.
Grayson got them in the promotion hunt, but Bates refused to let him spend any money in the January window, most notably on Ipswich centre-half Gareth McAuley, with the manager arguing he needed an experienced head because of a season-ending injury to Paddy Kisnorbo.

Simon Grayson managed Leeds from 2008 to 2012 Credit: Action Images / Paul Currie Livepic
Bates said he was too old and too expensive at £400,000. McAuley moved to West Brom that summer and spent the next seven years in the Premier League and played for Northern Ireland at Euro 2016. Leeds finished 7th.
Bates was already a divisive figure, but that refusal to invest tipped many fans over the edge. When some protested, Bates described them as “morons”.
“I got on well with him [Bates],” said Grayson, looking back on his time at Elland Road. “But you did feel as well like you’re let down because you wanted to move forward. I just don’t think the club had the money to do it. And did they have the ambition to do it? Probably not.
“They’d seen what the club had gone through financially and didn’t want to go through that. But the odd little gamble... I wasn’t wanting millions on players. Half a million on this, that and the other would have helped us go along the line.”
Championship purgatory
Grayson could not repeat the trick and a poor start, confounded by the loss of key players, led to the sack. In came Neil Warnock in February 2012. A prominent Sheffield United fan, Warnock was a controversial choice, but his reign is largely forgotten amid the wreckage of what came after.
With his team hovering in mid-table, more worried about relegation than promotion much of the time, the club was sold to GFH Capital in November. Turmoil in the boardroom followed and Leeds fell into decline once more.
Brian McDermott replaced Warnock, but he could not turn the trawler around. Like all who preceded and followed him, McDermott spoke well, had big plans, but failed.
“Whatever has gone, has gone and now we’re building something else,” he told The Telegraph in 2014. “The history of a football club is important. You respect the past, but you also have to focus on trying to build something new that means we can be successful again.
“We want to write our own history, not constantly hark back to what other people did. No club has fallen harder than Leeds and the reverberations are still being felt.”
McDermott was “sacked” by new owner Massimo Cellino just 13 days after this interview was published, the first in a series of volatile decisions by the Italian.
McDermott stayed on, a dead man walking, as despite being informed he was being replaced, Cellino had acted prematurely and did not yet have control of the club. When Cellino did finally take control a month later, McDermott remained but the team’s form over the course of the second half of the 2013/14 campaign was dreadful. The team dropped out of the play-off places and into relegation trouble, before a late rally saved them. McDermott resigned that summer.
It was the start of a storm. Cellino was colourful, combative and controversial. His first managerial appointment was the unheralded Dave Hockaday, the former Forest Green Rovers manager impressing the Italian during the interview stage.
Appointed in June, to much head scratching, his contract was terminated on August 24 after a League Cup defeat to League One Bradford City. He won one game and spent just 70 days in the job. Unlike Brian Clough, he did not make Leeds regret their decision and the former Blackpool and Swindon Town player is currently the Head of Men’s Football South Gloucestershire and Shroud College.
Cellino had initially failed the fit-and-proper-person’s test for owners, but launched a legal challenge and won on appeal. Darko Milanic was named as Hockaday’s replacement, but left the following month and was replaced by caretaker manager Neil Redfearn.
Relegation, not promotion, looked more likely as Cellino was forced to stop taking day-to-day control of the club when the Football League unearthed documents showing he had a conviction for tax fraud in Italy. The ban lasted from December 2014 to April 2015, with a furious Cellino claiming he would not return in February, only to do so when the ban ended.

Massimo Cellino played a hands-on role at the club Credit: GETTY IMAGES
It was a huge distraction and although Redfearn avoided a disastrous return to League One, his relationship with Cellino was never a good one and he was replaced by Uwe Rosler in the summer of 2015, who in turn was removed shortly after for Steve Evans.
These years were perhaps the hardest of all to endure. The club was chaotic, the fan-base disillusioned and divided. But amid all the melodrama, Cellino was doing something for the long-term benefit of the club, stripping staff numbers back from 700 to just over 200. It was painful cost-cutting but he was getting ready to sell. Many were furious at the time, but there was one more near miss in store.
When Garry Monk arrived in June 2016, he was an exciting young manager who had done well in his first job at Swansea. Leeds were impressive too, particularly with New Zealand international Chris Wood up front.
Only Newcastle United could boast a better centre-forward in the Championship in Andy Carroll and for much of the campaign, Leeds kept the pressure on the Magpies and Brighton at the top of the table.

Another takeover was perhaps a distraction, Cellino selling a 50 per cent stake to Andrea Radrizzani in January. Having been in the play-off places for the majority of the campaign, Leeds fell apart, winning just one of their last eight games to slip out of the top six. It was another agonising collapse, with some accusing Monk, who was only on a one-year rolling contract, of losing his appetite for the job as he had already decided to move to Middlesbrough, which he did later that summer.
Rejuvenation and to the brink of promotion
Radrizzani, who took a 100 per cent stake in the summer of 2017, has not been the perfect owner for Leeds, but he has been ambitious, bold, and, after a difficult start, has been the only one during the wilderness years who has backed up his words with deeds.
He has made mistakes and his first season was not a successful one. His first manager, Thomas Christiansen, lasted a few months, replaced by Barnsley boss Paul Heckingbottom, who never managed to convince a sceptical fan base he was the right man. He lasted four months.
Radrizzani, though, was unperturbed. Having initially arrived with a five-year plan to get back into the Premier League, he switched to a three-year one. He invested heavily and, in June 2018, struck the jackpot, luring the esteemed and celebrated Marcelo Bielsa to Elland Road.

Marcelo Bielsa completely transformed Leeds' style on the pitch Credit: PA
He gambled and, this time, Leeds appear to have won. The consequences of missing out on promotion this season were likely to have been catastrophic given the size of the wage bill compared to turnover, but we do not have to consider that now. Radrizzani has not only built a strong team, he has also bought the stadium and the training ground again. The plans for the future are impressive.
There was more suffering last season, when Leeds were the best team in the league for two thirds of the campaign, only to look exhausted and nervous in the spring as the weight of history and a gruelling Championship became too much to carry. The defeat to Derby County in the play-off semi-finals could have been the end of this team, instead it was the start.
“When we returned for pre-season training, I expected there to be problems,” Pablo Hernandez told Telegraph Sport back in November. “I thought the players would return with their heads down, thinking about the negatives, but it was not like this at all.
“I was so proud, from the first day we came with a lot of energy, with a lot of belief. We knew we had lost a big chance, but we wanted to make sure we had another one this year. There was nobody feeling sorry for themselves, I realised then that this season would be a good one. Why if we had one good season could we not have another?”
History is about to be made, but the rest will not be forgotten. Leeds are back where they belong, but they will always remember how long it took to get there.
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Rufus T Firefly

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Re: The Super(ish) Leeds United Thread
« Reply #935 on: July 23, 2020, 08:41:42 AM »
Cruised to a 4-0 victory over Charlton last night at Elland Road to end the season on a magnificent 93 points, which is ten points clear of West Brom in second place. Any future analysis of the league table will not reflect how stressful the whole campaign was.

Leeds played in their last two games like a team with no pressure whatsoever, which contrasts so much with the end of last season, when all the games had so much riding on them, and the team folded under the weight. 

It's strange, because I was perusing the table from our last promotion to the top flight in 1989/90 and I note that we only won the league on goal difference over Sheffield United and yet my memory was that we cruised it!!

Very interesting to now see the transfer speculation, with Cavani mentioned ( :o) and if Fulham don't get promoted, Mitrovic also being talked about. I've also seen us linked with Kieffer Moore of Wigan. Interesting times ahead!! 


Billys Boots

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Re: The Super(ish) Leeds United Thread
« Reply #936 on: July 23, 2020, 09:14:20 AM »
Interesting to see that Barnsley played out of their skins again last night and won at Griffin Park, after beating Forest at the weekend, and avoiding the drop - that seemed very unlikely a month ago, and emphasises that their excellent performance at Elland Road was not a fluke. 
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Rufus T Firefly

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Re: The Super(ish) Leeds United Thread
« Reply #937 on: July 23, 2020, 09:29:59 AM »
Interesting to see that Barnsley played out of their skins again last night and won at Griffin Park, after beating Forest at the weekend, and avoiding the drop - that seemed very unlikely a month ago, and emphasises that their excellent performance at Elland Road was not a fluke.

Was glad to see it Billy. They so deserved something from their visit to us. Was surprised at Brentford's late collapse. They seemed unbeatable until such time as their fate was in their own hands and then the pressure seemed to tell. Would love to see the Bees go up through the play-offs. 


Mourne Rover

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Re: The Super(ish) Leeds United Thread
« Reply #938 on: July 23, 2020, 10:30:01 AM »
Rufus will recall that, the last time we were promoted to the top league, we won it two seasons later. Not even the most optimistic Leeds fan would be expecting a repeat performance, but the scale of the club and the support base out there means that, with proper recruitment, a mid table finish is a reasonable target for 2021. Keeping White would give us an enormous boost, but we are still going to need another central defender, central midfielder and striker anyway. If we get the right players, and of course Bielsa stays, it is quite a prospect. Knowing Leeds, there will still be a few twists along the way.

SLIGONIAN

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Re: The Super(ish) Leeds United Thread
« Reply #939 on: July 24, 2020, 06:18:23 PM »
I agree Mourne Rover, I remember Leeds finished 4th the last time we got promoted then won it. Depends how we do on transfers. Top 10 finish is possible if we keep Ben white and add to that especially a striker will be the target.

For me as you say Leeds getting promoted is different than other teams in that the revenue generated gives us a better chance of pushing on.

Leicester got promoted and the next season 2014/15 they had to go on a crazy run to stay up (winning 7 of the last 9 after only winning 4 of 29) then in 2015/16 won the league. Football is crazy so I am optimisitc. The aura of Bielsa looms large and 8 less games will suit us massively. I know we finished this season strong but no guarntees it would of been the same without the break. Cautiously very Optimistic just saying :o

But I remember being back in College in 01 and I did a powerpoint presentation on Leeds for my communications subject with predictions and needless to say I was way off on Leeds future which my mates remind me of a lot lol. 
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shark

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Re: The Super(ish) Leeds United Thread
« Reply #940 on: July 24, 2020, 07:08:57 PM »
Regarding Ben White. Given his potential, why would Brighton even contemplate selling him right now? Likelihood is he will only get more valuable. I suspect they are more likely to let Shane Duffy leave, leaving them with Dunk, Webster and White.

Rufus T Firefly

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Re: The Super(ish) Leeds United Thread
« Reply #941 on: July 25, 2020, 08:23:29 AM »
Regarding Ben White. Given his potential, why would Brighton even contemplate selling him right now? Likelihood is he will only get more valuable. I suspect they are more likely to let Shane Duffy leave, leaving them with Dunk, Webster and White.

I think that's fair comment. What I would say though is that he has never played Premier League football, so it might be argued that he has still to prove himself at that level and now - when his market value is very high - might possibly be the right time to cash in.


Rufus T Firefly

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Re: The Super(ish) Leeds United Thread
« Reply #942 on: August 17, 2020, 12:32:58 PM »
I see that a move for Ben White is looking increasingly unlikely, with Liverpool, Man United and Spurs all interested which will push the fee towards £50 million. The BBC mentioning reports that we might be in for Freiburg's defender Robin Koch.

We are also being linked with central defender Lucas Martinez Quarta of River Plate and Argentinian wonder kid Thiago Almada of Velez Sarsfield who is reported to be desperate to play under Bielsa.

Transfers confirmed are Joe Gelhardt from Wigan and Cody Drameh from Fulham and Jack Harrison has had a third year on loan confirmed.


rodney trotter

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Re: The Super(ish) Leeds United Thread
« Reply #943 on: August 25, 2020, 04:08:26 PM »
Kalvin Phillips named in the England Squad.

Jack Grealish yet to be called up, 4 years after declaring for England.

tyroneman

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Re: The Super(ish) Leeds United Thread
« Reply #944 on: August 25, 2020, 05:32:55 PM »
Kalvin Phillips named in the England Squad.

Jack Grealish yet to be called up, 4 years after declaring for England.

Could Grealish revert back to Ireland so?