LeedsAllOver – an update

LeedsAllOver YouTube channel background

We’ve recently gone through a phase where we’ve updated our website. We are now powered by a new host – HostGator – and have revamped the design of our site. The navigation of our site is still the same.

We’re also building our own little e-shop which you will be able to find on shop.leedsallover.com, although it won’t work at the moment as we’re in the process of building it, so please bare with us whilst that is in progress.

We’ve also created our own YouTube channel, which you can find here. We’ll have random videos about Leeds United on there, and about football in general.

You all know we have the Twitter page: @LeedsAllOver and we’ve also got a Facebook page.

We hope you like the new look of the site, and any feedback would be greatly appreciated. You can contact us on the above sites – Facebook and Twitter, or you can email us on editor@leedsallover.com and we’ll reply as soon as possible.

Thanks,
LeedsAllOver.

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Leicester 0 – 0 Leeds

Leicester City 0 – 0 Leeds United

Heading out for the first away trip of the season is always a highlight for any Leeds fan, a day with good weather and plenty of pubs around the ground started the day off well and it would be a day that we would all learn a lot about our current team.

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Prior to the match we learnt that Rudy Austin would take the armband for the game and it was something that a few people called at the start of the season but it’s a decision that I fully support and completely agree with Brian McDermott about. Austin came in for a lot of criticism last season but I think it’s easy to forget that he played half a season right before ours even began and then all the international games in Jamaica can’t have been easy, I am expecting big thing from Austin this year being the captain he will have to step up and lead the team.

When the game began the noise coming from the away end was unbelievable and we started he game pretty well and Jason Pearce should probably have put Leeds in front inside the first 5 minutes. After this chance I don’t recall any other chances in the first half, despite the two teams playing different systems it seemed that tactically both teams cancelled each other out. McDermott started again with Hunt and Varney up front and cleverly he seemed to be playing them as far apart as possible to try create some space and stretch Leicester’s defence. It was little things like this that showed encouragement for me, we look like an organised team, with an actual plan. I think it’s worth mentioning that Austin does seem to add more protection to the back 4 for me.

The second half, again, not many chances which is I think is again another refreshing reminder of the way we are set up this season, one thing is for sure, I can’t see this team getting turned over this season. Leicester did strike the post late on from a chance that seemed to appear out of nothing. Matt Smith also went close right at the death and from the away end it looked liked we had knicked the points again but you know who denied Smith from scoring his first for the club and putting 3 more points on the board.

In summary though, I think it was a very good result, if I’m being honest I thought we would have 1 point after these first two games when the fixtures were released so I’m happy with how we have started, and McDermott’s creating something one game at a time philosophy is something that is sitting well with me and I think we all have to get behind the team and support them. We all know we are a couple of players short and so does McDermott so we will just have to be patient for the time being and hope something happens soon, now we move onto the Sheffield Wednesday game, and I hope to see you all at Elland Road again and supporting the team.

Stuart. (@StuFoo29)

Leicester City vs Leeds United Preview

After last weekend’s dramatic win over Brighton and Wednesday’s narrow 2-1 victory over Chesterfield, Leeds will be looking  to extend their winning streak to 3 at the King Power Stadium in the Televised game on Sunday.

The Opposition:

Throughout pre-season and against Middlesbrough and Bristol Rovers they have been trying out a 3-5-2 formation and I assume they will line up the same way.Presuming that they do play 3-5-2 ,this represents an opportunity for Ross McCormack to have a free role in behind the 3 central midfielders and in front of the 3 centre half’s.The formation they play is vulnerable to counter attacks as the 2 full backs,who are expected to get forward and defend, can get caught out and for this reason I think starting Dom Poleon would be a good idea as with his pace we can catch Leicester out on the break.Leicester have been fairly quiet with their only piece of business being Zoummana Bakayogo from Tranmere Rovers to date.Another one who could cause Leicester problems on the counter and I dare say but that could be Aidy White,who could be a good option coming off the bench and using his pace to exploit the gaps left by Leicester’s wing backs.The midfield battle will be fascinating as we have midfield enforcer Rudy Austin back,with Paul Green and Rudy Austin covering ground and breaking up play,Luke Murphy could be given a free role in which he can dictate the play.Ieicester’s midfield will probably consist of Danny Drinkwater,Matty James and Andy King,for me this is where Leicester are weakest and where the game can be won.Up front they do pose a threat with the duo of David Nugent and Chris wood,a once Leeds target, and against Tom Lees and Jason Pearce,Wood and Nugent could find a lot of joy on Sunday.

The Line up:

How I would line up
How I would line up

I am 100% sure we will continue with 4-1-2-1-2(narrow) formation for Sunday.With Stephen Warnock a doubt, I think Adam Drury will be a solid replacement at Left Back and will be preferred to Aidy White.Rudy Austin returns from suspension and I expect him to slot in centre mid alongside Luke Murphy and replace Michael Tonge in the process.Up front I think it will be all change as I don’t think Luke Varney or Noel Hunt did enough last Saturday  to keep their places for this weekend and I would play Poleon and Matt Smith because i think their attributes compliment each other well as a partneship.Dom can hurt them with his pace whilst Matt Smith can cause them all sorts of problems in the air and bring others into play.

The key battles:Rudy Austin vs Andy King

Andy King is arguably Leicester’s most creative influence and will need to be stopped in order for Leeds to get anything out of this game and who better to deal with him then returning star Rudy Austin,Rudy relishes these battles and as long as he can stay disciplined then I back him to win this.

Rudy vs Andy King could be a great battle
Rudy vs Andy King could be a great battle

Matt Smith vs Wes Morgan

The battle of the giants,If Smith who stands at 6ft6 starts on Sunday then he will come up against one of the league’s best defenders in the physical phenomenon that is Wes Morgan.If Smith can get the better of Morgan then we have a great chance of getting a positive result.

Smith vs Morgan will be an intense and physical battle
Smith vs Morgan could be an intense and physical battle

Tom Lees vs Chris Wood

Tom Lees will have to be right on his game on Sunday in order to prevent Chris Wood from opening his account for the season.The prolific striker who was a target for Leeds last January under Neil Warnock,certainly knows where the back of the net is and the powerful striker could cause Lees all sort of problems.

My prediction:

A 2-2 draw will do just fine and would represent  a valuable away point against a strong Leicester side.I also fancy Dom Poleon and Rudy Austin to get on the scoresheet.A good performance and positive result in front of the Sky cameras would cap off a great start to the season.

The Unsung Hero Of Elland Road?

A man who Giovanni Trapottoni,His Ireland manager, once described as in the ‘mould of 1966 world cup winner,Nobby Stiles’. Whilst of course these comments should be taken with a pinch of salt,it shows just how highly a very well respected manager rates him.So why isn’t he valued in the same manner by us leeds fans? Image

The former Doncaster and Derby man,who helped break Leeds hearts in the 2007 League 1 Playoff Final, feautured regularly during his 1st season at Elland Road, going on to make 32 appearances and scoring 4 goals in the process for Neil Warnock’s side. Last season, Green often played infront of Sam Byram on the right hand side of midfield and was a major influence on the 19-year old prodigy according to Byram himself.Although it was clear to all that green was not a winger and that he wasn’t comfortable playing there at times.

A conservative player,who has bundles of energy, a good deal of composure and occasionlly an eye for goal, Green is more than good enough to compete at this level. He is often not a player talked or sung about by the Elland Road faithfull despite his very consistent and honest performances.It seems now though under Brian Mcdermott that we will see Green play in his more familiar position of holding midfield and I fully expect him to flourish there as he did on Saturday against Brighton.

With his unselfish style of play and willigness to work hard and cover team mates he is the perfect fit to balance the midfield quartet of him,Austin,Murphy and McCormack and I back him to be a key part of Brian Mcderomott’s side for this season.In every succesful side you need to have ‘Mr consistent’ and Paul Green fits this tag very well. If he performs aswell as he did against Brighton on saturday then he could turn out to be one of our best players this year and then we can fully appreciate the enigma that is Paul Green and maybe come up with a song for him!!

Interview with Adam Pope

 

How excited are you at the prospect of commentating on Leeds again?

It was very emotional being welcomed back to Elland Road for the Brighton game. I felt the same nerves I had eight years ago when I did my first Utd commentary with Eddie Gray on the opening day of the campaign. The best way to describe how I feel is a huge sense of anticipation and honour to cover the club at what feels like a new dawn. It was always a goal of mine to see commentary rights return to the station. That has been very satisfying.

What was the relationship like between BBC Radio Leeds and LUFC before GFH took over?

At times it was extremely difficult because of the anti BBC stance adopted by previous owner Ken Bates. The problem it seemed was not a personal one with me or BBC Leeds but with the BBC as a whole in terms of some of the programmes he featured in.
Not being able to provide commentary was a blow and the way in which we had to cover the club was not ideal.
Without meaningful access to players and at times the manager it meant we had to be resourceful in reporting stories about Utd.
Last year was bizarre because we were in a situation where the club didn’t speak to us and the new owners were bound by confidentiality agreements. It was not easy reporting on a takeover on which no one was able to comment openly.
The new owners have now changed the atmosphere completely . GFH Capital have recognised there is value in the club reaching a potential combined audience of 1.25 million via BBC Radio Leeds and BBC Look North.

Will Radio Leeds be having any other Leeds related shows now that you have commentary back?

Our sports programming has changed over recent years and we now have a daily sports show between 6-7pm, which we did not have previously. The West Yorkshire Sport Daily show means we now have more sporting programming than ever before, and more than any other radio station in Yorkshire. United content will feature heavily in this, including studio guests from the club – Brian McDermott will hopefully be our guest for the hour soon. Now of course we have all the matches on our FM frequencies. Any further programming will have to be looked at in the future.

What was your favourite moment whilst commentating on Leeds in the past?

The 4-3 at Southampton and the win at Old Trafford. However I think my favourite is now Luke Murphy’s winner v Brighton. It was a surreal moment which capped a wonderful day. It was a just reward for all the hard work by all associated with the club and especially the supporters who voted with their feet by turning up.
As well as the matches working with Eddie Gray and Andy Ritchie has been brilliant.
Away from the action some of the most rewarding times were interviewing Eirik Bakke in his native Norway, Rui Marques on the struggle his family faced having to flee Angola and some memorable nights doing Leeds United Unplugged on the road in various pubs with live bands alongside Andy Ritchie and our sports editor Gareth Jones. Andy singing Teenage Kicks was memorable on his birthday!

Is there one game you’re most looking forward  to commentating on this season?

No particular match… other than the one which clinches promotion! I genuinely am excited about every game.
It’s always good to go to new stadiums so Brighton away will be great as I’ve not been there yet.
I do enjoy the derbies with Town because they have been great contests in recent times.
I’ve also missed the midweek fixtures massively.

What do you think Leeds’ expectations should be this year?

I’m trying to think of this season in terms of anticipation rather than expectation. These are positive times and there is a sense of something special happening. I think with a couple of signings Utd can finish in the play offs.

Do you think Aidy White could finally come good, and do you think Ryan Hall’s Leeds career is over before he’s even had a fair chance?

Ben Parker who did the game with me v Brighton reckons left back is Aidy’s best position. I like his attacking qualities more so prefer to see him further forward. I think this is the season when Aidy has to nail it and I believe he has the talent to do so.
As for Ryan I only saw him play three times last season I think. He did well as a sub at Hudds but against Birmingham in the FA Cup at Elland Road he struggled. However I did ask Brian McDermott about Hall’s future during pre season and he did not rule him out of his plans. I hope he has a chance to give it a lash. Hopefully his new born doesn’t keep him awake too much! I think most fans feel the squad has lacked width and pace.

What do you think the main areas for concern are in the Leeds squad?

I think centre back would be the one area I would concentrate on if I was pick one.

What were your initial thoughts on GFH, and have they changed over the summer?

Once I met with GFH Capital I was impressed with their ability, particularly David Haigh’s, to deal with Ken Bates. The energy required to see through the protracted negotiations should not be underestimated.
They have withstood a lot of criticism and have delivered on a lot of their aims.
I would like to hear more from them on air but I understand that they want the focus to be on the team and the manager.
The last month has shown their intentions are well thought out and it’s clear they want to be involved at close quarters now.
Overall I think they are winning hearts and minds. I think it will be interesting to see what role they take once more investors come on board.
I thought it showed a touch of class to walk around the ground and meet with fans.

What are your thoughts on the ideas they have tried to implement to re-engage the fans?

A better pricing policy was a sure-fire winner. I particularly like the efforts to meet with the Supporters Club and the Trust . The ideas GFH Capital to make the club more visible in the city are welcome. They understood that dispensing with the Bates regime would be the best way to bring fans back. To have 33000 at the opening game says it all really.

And finally, is there an update on the investment and do you think it could happen before the end of the transfer window?

No further news at time of writing about the investment which includes the repurchase of Elland Road. I understand that it was not designed to encourage ticket sales ahead of the Brighton game!

We would like to thank Adam for taking the time to have this interview with us.

Leeds 2- 1 Brighton

Leeds United 2 – 1 Brighton & Hove Albion

Opening day of the season, probably my favorite day of the year and it certainly didn’t disappoint this season. Arriving at Elland Road felt different, the atmosphere around the ground was positive and for the first time in a long time it felt like the Leeds United that I grew up supporting, everyone was there for the football and not to protest and the whole crowd were pulling together and there to simply support the team.

Taking my seat inside the ground it was refreshing to see the place so full and the atmosphere building up to kick off was electric, the weather was nice and it felt good to be back. That first Marching On Together of the season is something you think about for weeks but yesterday was the best I’ve heard for years and once again the song had meaning.

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With the game kicking off it was quite easy to see that we had completely changed our approach to the game, it will probably take some getting used too because every time the ball went back to Tom Lees or Jason Pearce I was expecting a long punt up the ground, instead they were taking a touch and knocking it out to the full backs. I think it will take a while for the team to get completely used to this style of play and be completely fluid with it, at times it was easy to see that Brighton have adopted this system for a few years as they zipped the ball around well. Leeds went 1 down after just 13 minutes when Brighton put together a nice passing move and Leonardo Ulloa fired a shot past Paddy Kenny. Brian McDermott has since said the goal was a yard offside but having not seen it on TV, I’ll have to take it his word for it. Re starting the game the crowd were instantly behind the team again and trying to intimidate the Brighton players. Leeds reacted brilliantly, and were level on 19 minutes after a decent move was finished with a smart low finish from Ross McCormack.

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A few noticeable things from last season was the work of Paul Green was becoming more obvious to everyone rather than a small section of the ground, he worked himself into the ground yesterday and battled well in the midfield. Michael Tonge was much more involved and effective in this new system and looked every bit a championship player yesterday.

The start of the second half Brighton tried to take control of the games early on but Leeds battled well and stopped their attempt for dominance and soon started carving out a few chances for themselves. Before the end of the game Paddy Kenny made an absolute top draw double save which kept Leeds alive and in the game.

Leeds missed a chance to take the lead after substitute Dom Poleon made Kuszczak make a decent save and the rebound fell out to Paul Green who took a touch and then fired over a decent chance to win the game. Paddy Kenny was again called upon to make a great save to keep Leeds in the game and all set for an opening day point, as people started making their way out of Elland Road, Leeds had one more attack which saw debutant Matt Smith knock the ball down his fellow debutant Luke Murphy take the ball into the box and steer the ball past the Brighton ‘keeper to send Elland Road absolutely wild and give us a vital opening day 3 points against a good Brighton team.

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Leeds looked good yesterday, I was impressed with the way we battled and worked and players who didn’t have the best of games with the ball worked extremely hard off the ball, and that, I think, is what we all want to see, we can’t expect every player to play well in every game, but we can expect them to try their best and work hard and hopefully McDermott has installed this into every player and we see much more desire this season. Luke Murphy looked good yesterday, always looking for a pass and not afraid to have a go from distance. He reminds me a bit of Jonny Howson with his technical ability but has a much bigger presence in the midfield and will do the graft and battle to win the ball back. Ross was decent and his team play and tracking back was brilliant. Paddy Kenny for me has to be credited with getting us those 3 points, without a good goalkeeper then Brighton would have won the game at the death. Kenny looks in better shape this year and I’m hoping that he can be much more consistent this season and show us all what a top ‘keeper he can be.

Onwards and upwards now then, it was great to see a full house yesterday and great to see lots of families there and bringing the next generation through, see you all at the Sheffield Wednesday game then.

Leeds v Brighton – preview

Competitive football is back at Elland Road once again as Leeds host Brighton. I for one can’t wait for the season to begin, much has happened off the field for the Whites, and we’ve got three new signings to introduce to the home faithful.

The opposition
Our last competitive game at Elland Road was against Brighton, but much has changed since that 2-1 defeat.

Oscar Garcia has been appointed as their new manager after Gus Poyet left in the summer. A man who’s played for Barcelona and coached their youth team. I can’t imagine their philosophy being much different from the one Poyet instilled when he took over. I think they will line up in a 4-3-3 formation – trying to keep possession and work the opposition when they’ve got the ball; and then pressing high from the front when they haven’t got it.

The line-up
With Rodolph Austin suspended and Sam Byram injured, Brian McDermott has a bit of a selection headache ahead of the season opener. Austin’s suspension was a dubious decision against the same opposition. Despite the clubs appeal, the FA still believe, for some reason, it was the correct decision. His “push” on Ashley Barnes infuriated McDermott, who isn’t happy one of his star players is missing from an important game.

Byram, on the other hand, has been injured since the back end of last season. Something we all thought wouldn’t take him long to recover from has become quite serious. Many fans are even having suspicions that the reason he hasn’t been playing is because he’s about to leave, but somehow I don’t think that’s true.

Anyhow, we’ve got to attempt to beat the South coast team without two star players, but with a brilliant crowd of over 30,000 roaring the team on maybe we could pull off something of a shock, I do consider us underdogs to be honest, as I’m in no doubt that Brighton’s squad is better than ours on paper.

The way our 4-2-3-1 went against Nuremberg – although we’re not going to face many teams with as strong of a team as them – I’m hoping we don’t attempt to utilise that again.

I feel Brian will continue with the 4-1-2-1-2 narrow diamond, with Paul Green operating as a holding midfielder. Luke Murphy alongside Michael Tonge, although I’d rather see Alex Mowatt given a chance; and Ross McCormack fielding a role just behind the two forwards. Luke Varney and Noel Hunt would be my preferred choice and despite Varney’s undoubted aerial ability McDermott may choose to use the much taller Matt Smith – I can’t see him losing too many battles in the air.

What about the defence? I’m expecting Lee Peltier to start at right-back, although Brian was impressed with Zac Thompson’s performance against Shelbourne. No offence to them but the teams in the Championship are of a much higher standard. Thompson was effectively playing as a wing-back and was rarely troubled defensively, whereas Brighton’s wingers will have plenty of chances to get at our full-backs.

Tom Lees will start at centre-half, but who will McDermott field alongside him? One of our writers tweeted about the possibility of using Stephen Warnock in a central position, why not, I’d feel more confident with him there than Jason Pearce. Then Adam Drury would get his chance at left-back, he impressed me when he was played last season and if he can stay injury-free I don’t see why he can’t have a part to play.

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How I think we’ll line up.

The fans
As I said before, it looks like we’ve sold well over 30,000 ahead of this game. It will be our biggest opening day attendance since the 1-0 win against Derby back in 2004. Times are definitely changing!

Fair play to GFH for lowering ticket prices, although there’s no doubt their sacking of Bates has had a part to play. My prediction of 25-26,000 is definitely wrong, and hopefully the fans can be the “twelfth man”. We’ve got to use this to our advantage, get us on their side early on and be the team that controls the tempo of the game.

Prediction
I honestly can’t see us winning, mind you I’m normally the pessimist when it comes to Leeds.

It’ll be nice to see Luke Murphy in a competitive game, and if he and Paul Green can dominate that midfield department then we’ve definitely got a chance.

The defence will have to be solid as well as we know Brighton will create plenty of chances.

With a new manager in charge, who knows how Brighton will turn up and perform? I’ll go for a 2-1 Leeds win, Brighton scoring early on but us scoring two second half goals to secure an opening day victory and give us something to build on.