Saturday, September 26, 2009 26/9/09
26 Sep 2009
United stay top with victory at MK Dons...
MK DONS 0, LEEDS UNITED 1 (Snodgrass 90)
MK Dons: Gueret, Lewington, Doumbe, McCracken, Gleeson, Wilbraham (Ibehre 78), Johnson, Gobern (Leven 45), Puncheon, Powell, Chadwick (Howell 80). Subs: Searle, Partridge, Davis, Swailes.
United: Higgs (Ankergren 62), Crowe (Michalik 9), Bromby, Kisnorbo, Hughes (Robinson 55), Snodgrass, Doyle, Howson, Johnson, Beckford, Grella. Subs: Naylor, Prutton, Kilkenny.
Referee: A D'Urso
Booked: Lewington, Gleeson, Johnson, Doumbe, Powell (MK), Snodgrass (Leeds) Sent-Off:Puncheon (MK)
Att: 16,713 (4119 Leeds)
Leeds United boss Simon Grayson made two changes from the side which performed heroically against Liverpool in midweek as attentions returned to league action.
Striker Luciano Becchio is about to become a father and was replaced by Mike Grella while Leigh Bromby returned in place of Lubo Michalik.
MK Dons was the setting for the nadir of United's season in 2008/09, but Grayson's men headed for the stadium known locally as the "Moo Camp" on the back of an unbeaten start in the league.
It was the hosts who threatened first when Aaron Wilbraham forced Shane Higgs into make an early save, but Leeds also had a couple of early efforts blocked, including a Bradley Johnson free-kick.
Worryingly, Jason Crowe pulled up inside the first seven minutes with what appeared to be a hamstring injury, but the defender still managed to make a good block to deny Jemal Johnson before being replaced by Michalik.
Bromby moved to right-back and after he got in a good challenge to halt Luke Chadwick, Wilbraham again tested Higgs with a low strike.
As they did last season, MK played with two wingers and looked to move the ball out wide quickly, and there were early suggestions that it could be a physical contest.
Both Jermaine Beckford and Robert Snodgrass went down in the box, and on 27 minutes, following a free-kick awarded to Leeds after an altercation between Dean Lewington and Snodgrass, Bradley Johnson was caught by a flailing arm.
United started to enjoy the better of possession as the half wore on, but chances were few and far between, Johnson sending one speculative shot wide after a free-kick was half-cleared.
But it was United who were defending shortly before half-time, Michalik making a good clearance to thwart Chadwick after good work by one-time Leeds loan man Johnson.
At the other end, Grella skinned David McCracken and pulled back for Snodgrass to try his luck with a shot which fizzed just wide. Paddy Kisnorbo also headed a Snodgrass free-kick over the top after Johnson was felled outside of the box.
The final word of the opening period appeared to go to Higgs, though, who got down well again to save from Jemal Johnson.
But there was still time for Jason Puncheon to see a straight red card following an horrendous challenge on Michael Doyle. Thankfully, Doyle escaped unscathed, but the immediate aftermath saw players from both sides clash as Puncheon left the field.
United also had a near miss in stoppage time when Michalik headed on to Beckford, who shot over the top from a tight angle.
And it was Leeds who started the second half on the front foot. First, Grella was denied by some good defending, then Beckford sent a shot just over the bar. On 51 minutes, Bromby headed into the side-netting, following a Snodgrass free-kick.
MK's first chance of the half came when Peter Leven got on the end of a breakaway and lifted a shot over Higgs and over the bar.
Grayson made his second change just 10 minutes into the second half when he introduced Andy Robinson, no doubt in the hope of getting in behind the MK defence.
The United bench were soon angered - along with Robinson and Grella - after a break appeared to be halted by the hand of an MK player, but referee Andy D'Urso waved play-on.
When Leeds were awarded a free-kick, Michalik had a shot on the turn blocked and when the ball was returned forward, Grella lifted a shot over the top from the tightest of angles after rounding MK goalkeeper Willy Gueret.
Shortly after the hour, Grayson made his third change of the afternoon when Casper Ankergrenreplaced Higgs in the United goal.
Ankergren's first real taste of the action was to watch a free-kick fizz over the bar, but on 70 minutes United had the ball in the net.
Jonny Howson played in Beckford with a delightful ball, but the assistant referee flagged for offside as the striker tucked the ball home.
As the minutes ticked on, both sides were enjoying spells with the ball but meaningful chances were few and far between and the game appeared to be heading for a 0-0 draw.
MK did fashion out an opening on 83 minutes when Mathias Doumbe escaped down the right, but Jabo Ibehre fired his near post cross into the side-netting.
A point of concern was a knock picked up by Beckford, reducing his mobility for the closing stages, and with MK having two players booked for delaying tactics at a free-kick, the home side appeared to be signalling their intentions.
MK's finale was summed up with two minutes left on the clock when Ibehre had the ball on the right with no one other than Johnson advancing forward to threaten.
In contrast, Grayson threw Michalik forward for Leeds at every opportunity and United looked to make the most of the four additional minutes at the end of the 90.
And so it was that in the third minute of stoppage time, Johnson whipped in a free-kick from the left and Snodgrass rose well to deliver a bullet header to secure the points.
The goal proved the cue for delirious celebrations with the Leeds players heading en mass to the dug-out for a celebratory huddle.
Times 22/9/09
David Ngog crushes Leeds hopes that past glories might be rekindled
Leeds United 0 Liverpool 1
Tony Barrett
The gulf between the clubs may be greater than ever — their time as rivals competing on an even footing having long since passed — but a match between Leeds United and Liverpool remains one of the most keenly contested in English football.
Separated by two divisions but brought together by the Carling Cup, a second-half goal by David Ngog, the Liverpool forward, was all that split the Barclays Premier League title contenders from the Coca-Cola League One hopefuls.
“It was as tough a game as we have had all season,” Jamie Carragher, the Liverpool defender, said. “It was a great performance by Leeds and they’ve been a little bit unlucky that we’ve won.”
Simon Grayson, the Leeds manager, believed that the match’s outcome was determined by two decisions made by Alan Wiley, the referee. A “goal” by Jermaine Beckford was ruled out for offside, while Wiley took no punitive action against Javier Mascherano after the Liverpool midfield player caught Beckford with a flailing arm.
Just minutes later, the Argentinian was again striking, this time at goal rather than at an opponent, and his weak shot was seized upon by Ngog for the decisive goal.
“On both, sometimes you get them and sometimes you don’t and we got neither,” Grayson said. “But I am immensely proud of my team because they have stood up and been counted. We have matched a top team and that says a lot about the problems we have caused them and we can take heart from that.”
The previous time the sides locked horns they were top-flight equals. Five years on, though, and such has been Leeds’s rapid decline from powerhouse to poorhouse that this third-round tie was arguably their biggest fixture of the season so far, hence the sold-out signs being displayed at Elland Road for days in advance.
For Liverpool, though, it was not even the most important game of the coming week, with matches against Hull City in the Premier League and Fiorentina in the Champions League being deemed more significant engagements, as evidenced by the weakened line-up fielded by Rafael Benítez, their manager.
With nine changes made from the Liverpool team that beat West Ham United on Saturday, Benítez followed his Carling Cup policy of using the competition to afford some of his fringe players the opportunity to prove that they are worthy of a more regular place in his team. Not too many of them managed that, although the Spaniard believed that Leeds were due credit for “working so hard in a fantastic atmosphere”. He will, though, have surely expected more from a team featuring seven full internationals against a side from two divisions below.
Had Beckford’s effort not been disallowed — in keeping with the partisanship that has characterised this fixture through the decades, Benítez believed the Leeds man to be offside, while Grayson thought he had been level — then Liverpool’s night could have been made even more uncomfortable.
Carragher said that he had warned “the foreign lads of what to expect” from such a fire and brimstone encounter. It could have gone either way and Leeds’s honour remains very much intact thanks to a display full of heart and endeavour that allowed them to stand toe to toe, if only for one night, with a team they once regularly shared a ring with.
Leeds United (4-4-2): S Higgs — J Crowe, P Kisnorbo, L Michalik, A Hughes (sub: N Kilkenny, 78min) — R Snodgrass, M Doyle (sub: E Showunmi, 90), J Howson, B Johnson — L Becchio (sub: M Grella, 81), J Beckford. Substitutes not used: C Ankergren, R Naylor, D Prutton, A Robinson. Booked: Crowe.
Liverpool (4-1-4-1): D Cavalieri — P Degen (sub: G Johnson, 72), J Carragher, S Kyrgiakos, A Dossena — J Mascherano — R Babel (sub: M Skrtel, 90), F Aurelio, J Spearing, A Riera — D Ngog (sub: S Gerrard, 78). Substitutes not used: J M Reina, D Plessis, A Voronin, F Torres. Booked: Kyrgiakos.
Referee: A Wiley.

Yorkshire Post 22/9/09
Leeds 0 Liverpool 1: Grayson left to rue offside decision for Leeds
Leeds United manager Simon Grayson was left to rue a disallowed goal as the Whites were edged out by Liverpool 1-0 in the Carling Cup.
David Ngog scored the only goal of the third-round tie in which the Premier League club were outplayed by the League One leaders.
Manager Grayson believed the result could have been a lot different had a first-half 'goal' stood but was proud of his players' performance.
"It must have been really close," Grayson said. "It's one of those decisions that can go for you sometimes or against you.
"Obviously it's gone against us tonight and it was a big turning point in the game because I thought we were excellent and we created really good chances but sometimes you don't get them breaks.
"Our players have been fantastic, they put in a fantastic performance against a top-drawer team.
"We gave them a real test tonight and the players can be immensely proud of what they've done.
"Unfortunately we just didn't get the win we could have had."
Grayson hopes his team bounce back quickly from tonight's disappointment and continue their stunning start to the League One season.
He added: "We want to be out of this division and tonight was a highlight of what we can produce performance-wise and what we can do as a club.
"We want to get back to this level and hopefully it's an inspiration but our bread and butter remains the league."

Sunday, September 20, 2009 20/9/09
United boss delighted with pole position...
United manager Simon Grayson said going top of League One was the perfect boost for his side ahead of Tuesday's Carling Cup distraction against Liverpool.
United warmed up for the sell-out clash with Liverpool by romping to a 4-1 Elland Road win against Gillingham on Saturday.
Bradley Johnson scored twice before Jonny Howson andJermaine Beckford put the seal on United's biggest win so far this season.
And with Charlton being hit by a late equaliser at Norwich City, United moved two points clear at the top of the league.
"We're delighted to go top," said the manager.
"It's still very early days, but it's nice to be there and it's nice to be in front.
"The main thing is staying up here and maintaining the standards we have set, and hopefully staying ahead of the pack.
"Being top of the league gives us a boost going into Tuesday's game and a platform for the rest of the season.
"As I''ve said on more than one occasion already this season, I am incredibly proud of what the players are doing, but nothing is won at this stage of the season. It's where we are in May that counts.
"We faltered a bit at times on Saturday but did enough to win the game.
"We knew Gillingham had pace and would come and have a go, but Bradley got a couple of good goals in the first half - he is doing ever so well this season- and that put us in a good position."
The boss had banned any talk of the forthcoming cup clash with Liverpool, and it was only after the final whistle went on Saturday and when the players returned to Thorp Arch on Sunday morning that the chatter could start.
"They had to focus on beating Gillingham because the league is their bread and butter and they showed the right attitude on Saturday," added the manager.
"We are playing one of the best teams in the world on Tuesday but we will approach the game with a lot of confidence and belief."

Yorkshire Evening Post 20/10/09
Leeds United trounce Gillingham to go clear at top of League One
As instructed by their manager, Leeds United fixed their gaze on the job in hand as the potential distraction of Liverpool offered Gillingham no advantage at Elland Road.
A 4-1 victory over the Kent club, achieved before half-time had arrived, dealt comprehensively with the question of where United's attention was turned yesterday with a Carling Cup tie against Liverpool on the horizon.

The former European Cup holders and perennial Premier League members will arrive at Elland Road on Tuesday night for the finest third-round fixture United could have wished for, but Simon Grayson insistence before yesterday's League One match was that his players should understand the club's priorities. He was not disappointed.

Two goals scored by Bradley Johnson inside 28 minutes ensured that Gillingham's visit to Leeds passed without concern, carrying United clear of Charlton Athletic at the top of League One and extending a record which shows no sign of faltering.

Yesterday's league victory was their 15th in succession at Elland Road and the defeat of Gillingham was consistent with most insofar as being well deserved and rarely in doubt. Barring one early chance with which Gillingham might have opened the scoring, there were few moments when United's ship looked likely to capsize.

It has been that way throughout the season and a seventh league win has given Grayson the luxury of applying his focus to a dream of a cup tie in which Leeds have little tangible to lose with the comforting thought that the draw has not hindered his club's season. Equally, another victory added to the list will tempt him to throw his full armoury against Liverpool on Tuesday.

The major interest surrounding Grayson's line-up yesterday was whether United's boss would recall Richard Naylor to the centre of defence, but Jason Crowe's recovery from a tight hamstring made that gamble unnecessary.

Crowe remained at right-back, preventing a reshuffle of the defence which started at Southend United last week, and Naylor was not included in Leeds' squad at all, an indication of Grayson's continuing caution with respect to the fitness of his club captain. Gillingham, however, did not take long to examine the centre-backs he had turned to instead.

Simeon Jackson's weighted pass in the 10th-minute was delicate enough to feed Curtis Weston in behind United's defence and Patrick Kisnorbo worked desperately with Andrew Hughes to hustle the midfielder before he could attack Shane Higgs.

Weston's clever back-heel forced the ball across Leeds' goal and into space but a shot on the turn from Andy Barcham missed Higgs' right-hand post by a fraction.

If that minor misjudgement was crucial, the error made by Josh Gowling at the other end of the field two minutes came with greater consequences for the visitors.

Gowling turned behind a shot from Luciano Becchio which Gillingham goalkeeper Simon Royce was waiting to collect comfortably, and the resulting corner from Robert Snodgrass was hammered into the visitors' net by Johnson's header. Danny Jackman, defending the goalline, could only help the ball on its way.
The chain of events made Gillingham reassess tactics which were sensibly designed to exploit their pace on the counter-attack, a strategy encouraged by United's sublime record at Elland Road. Any optimism for their manager Mark Stimson came from the occasional difficulty that Kisnorbo and Leigh Bromby, Grayson's chosen central defenders, were having in picking up Gillingham's attacking players.

What hope that offered diminished in the 28th minute. An exchange of passes with Jermaine Beckford set Johnson clear inside Gillingham's box and the midfielder held off Barry Fuller before squeezing a shot under Royce. His second goal of the game threatened to open the floodgates.

Instead, the first half wound down quietly, bringing only a booking for Bromby after a foul on Jackson 40 yards from goal. Weston, the former Leeds player, had another chance in the last minute of the half but pulled his shot across goal from a wide but promising angle. A clinical edge, so apparent in Leeds, was missing among Stimson's players.

By the time the first minute of the second half had elapsed, his team were trailing by three goals.

Snodgrass' chip forward was flicked on by Beckford, and Jonathan Howson controlled the ball with a knee before lashing a volley past Royce, badly exposed yet again.

Almost before Royce had regained his composure, Beckford was driving a shot against his crossbar and Becchio was rising to steer a free header wide as Leeds ran riot, but Gillingham responded unexpectedly when Andy Barcham volleyed home a ricochet from Kevin Maher's free-kick.

United accepted that warning and reacted to Grayson's encouragement from the sidelines. Beckford aimed a shot across Royce after losing his marker, narrowly missing the keeper's far post, and Neil Kilkenny's arrival from the bench helped to guard a keeper in Higgs who saw few further shots in anger.

The critical moment arrived in the 78th minute when Jackson missed a free header from six yards which would have instilled tension in Leeds and then watched as United's next attack ended with Beckford tapping in the rebound after Michael Doyle's shot struck the woodwork.

Relentless is the only word to describe it.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Yorkshire Evening Post 12/9/09
Spot on Shane saves United
By Phil Hay
Roots Hall maintained its tight grip on Leeds United on an evening which reminded the club of the resistance League One is capable of mustering.
A fixture mooted as the most difficult of their season to date lived up to that billing as Leeds' flawless record of eight straight wins ended in predictable surroundings. Two-and-a-half years and three matches after their first visit to Southend, the club are still awaiting their first victory there.
How soon they will return to Roots Hall in the future is a matter of opinion after a draw which took Leeds one point clear at the top of League One last night, comfortably in control of their season and their long-term prospects.
Since their descent into League One in 2007, Leeds have been beaten on both of their appearances in Southend, a record that was spoken about repeatedly before last night's match. That United survived the concession of a second-half penalty – saved brilliantly by Shane Higgs – was an additional reason for manager Simon Grayson to feel content, if not entirely satisfied, with the goalless scoreline.
Higgs' one-handed save in the 65th-minute was the memorable moment of an otherwise uninspired match, bristling with energy but missing the fluent passing that Leeds have profited from this season and Southend are capable of at their best. The goalkeeper threw himself to his left to repel a shot from Lee Barnard which hardly invited Higgs to stop it but failed to find its way inside Higgs' left-hand post. For the previous 64 minutes, Leeds could not have been accused of hovering on the verge of defeat but it took their keeper's splendid reaction to safeguard them from that disappointment.
Grayson travelled south with an optimistic outlook on Thursday and he was given enough reassurance about Jermaine Beckford's hamstring strain to involve him from the start.
Injuries predominantly affecting his hamstrings prevented Beckford from playing in nine league games last season, and Grayson had no incentive for risking him with a perfect month behind his squad. Nevertheless, his inclusion at a stadium where Leeds have previously done no better than tread water provided additional security for the club's unblemished record, even though his influence was limited.
Defensively, Patrick Kisnorbo relegated Lubomir Michalik to a place among Grayson's substitutes, but damage to an Achilles tendon rendered Rui Marques unavailable. Leigh Bromby was the beneficiary, remaining in United's line-up to form a central partnership with Kisnorbo which represented the third pairing employed by Grayson in as many fixtures, and the depth of Leeds' resources was a telling contrast to those in the hands of Southend's manager, Steve Tilson.
It was something of a surprise before kick-off to learn that the hosts had mustered enough players to select seven reserves, two more than they were able to name against Leyton Orient last week. Tilson's job defines the cliché of managing on a shoestring.
It has been that way for as long as Tilson can remember but his many constraints have never been a barrier to a competitive team. Leeds were taught that by their previous experience of Roots Hall and Grayson's reluctance to invite another poor result was shown by his aggressive tactics, as positive as ever.
A goal after seven minutes, which Bromby should have supplied, was the ideal scenario in Grayson's mind, and the defender's skewed shot over the crossbar was a case of missing a chance which seemed easier to score.
Robert Snodgrass and Bradley Johnson were left to roam on either wing, fed regularly by the vision of the players behind them, and Southend were badly stretched in the 19th minute when Jonathan Howson picked out Snodgrass with a sublime pass from inside his own half.
The Scot toyed with Johnny Herd before directing a cross towards Beckford, whose shot deflected wide. The hosts had no more of an answer when Bromby's searching throw gave Beckford another chance to shoot three minutes later, and United's creativity was not often reciprocated. Lee Barnard, Southend's prolific striker, cut an isolated figure up front.
Adam Barrett was the only player to seriously threaten Higgs before the half-hour passed with a header which United's keeper allowed to drop onto the roof of his net, but the scramble created by Simon Francis' free-kick in the 33rd minute served notice of Southend's durability.
The set-piece was allowed to drop into United's box, requiring Higgs to block a sliding shot from Jean-Francois Christophe at the base of a post.
Francis Laurent tested Higgs again with a shot from the edge of the box which the keeper parried capably on his goalline, and the opening preceded the one instance before half-time when Grayson was asked to hold his breath.
United's defence was cut open by Franck Moussa's run down the left wing, and his cross was flicked on by Barnard, unmarked at the near post. The deflection gave Anthony Grant an open goal to nudge the ball into but his improvised shot arced over the bar. Had Grant chosen to head the ball rather than throw a leg at it, the opening goal would have fallen to Southend in the last minute of the half.
There was little in the way of vintage football for Grayson to commend at the interval, but parity after 45 minutes was progress compared to prior visits to Roots Hall.
A feature of all three matches had been United's failure to carry their clean sheet into the second half.
It was, however, Southend who began to create the greater flashes of danger around Higgs, including a goalbound shot from Moussa which hit Bromby and deflected wide in the 51st minute, and the concession of a penalty after 65 minutes was Grayson's worst nightmare
Bromby was penalised for leaning on Lee Barnard inside the box, a fair decision by referee Paul Taylor, but Barnard's well-placed penalty was clawed away from goal by Higgs, using every inch of his reach to divert the ball away from goal.
United attempted to exploit that escape but could not crack Southend's defence. Beckford's first real chance was ended by his delay in shooting and Barrett's sliding tackle, and he was denied by a superb parry from Mildenhall when the ball fell to him two yards from goal in the 86th minute. Similarly, Mike Grella's wayward header from a Johnson corner was an expensive waste.
On the face of it, a goalless draw at Roots Hall was a feather in Southend's cap, achieved against a team who are presently unbeatable. On the evidence of previous matches in the heart of Essex, Leeds can look at their past record and see last night's draw as progress, the only thing Grayson craves.

IFFHS 10/9/09
Europe's Club of the Century
For some years now, the IFFHS has been asked by clubs, sports journalists and fans to determine the clubs of the century for the individual continents but on a realistic basis without imaginary values and subjective influences. The rankings published so far have been based on the number of the titles won or placings or marathon tables in competitions and which reveal an advertage of the own (national) clubs. Because the Club World Ranking (by IFFHS) has been determined monthly only since January 1991, it cannot be used as the basis for determining the club of the century. The IFFHS has decided these continental clubs of the century (1901-2000 each) and the with it including continental rankings of century to determine exclusively on the base of individual match results of the continental club competitions. The national competitions are merely a prerequisite to qualify for the continental club competitions. Intercontinental club competitions were not taken into consideration.
The Mitropa Cup, played from 1927-1940, was the precusor of the Eurpean Cup competitions. The Mitropa Cup was dominated by the professional teams from Hungary, Austria and the Czechoslovakia as well as from Italy (with always more South Americans players). The teams from Yugoslavia, Romania and the Switzerland were involved as well. But the top clubs from Germany, France and Spain did not accept invitations to participate in Mitropa Cup or because they were forbidden to take part by their own respective national football associations. In any case, these clubs had had little chance against the professionals. And in Great Britain there was a policy of isolation from the wider world of football from 1920 onwards. So, a club like Arsenal FC of London could not have the opportunity to demonstrate its strength in a competition. After World War II and until the start of the European Cup competitions (1955), the Mitropa Cup was played only once (with only four teams). It had lost its importance and therefore is not taken into consideration. The Copa Latina, played from 1949-1957 annually of the champions (or a top team) from France, Italy, Portugal and Spain, can be looked at and rated analogous.
The European Champions Cup became the European Champions League and the Fairs Cup became the UEFA Cup. TheEuropean Cup Winners Cup was played for the last time in 1999 but the European Super Cup was not played from the start of the European Cup competitions, and, later, was not played annually. For all these competitions only the individual results of the quarter-finals to the finals were taken into consideration (because of regional arrangement of matches in the first rounds and also to largely to exclude luck), and classified according to a corresponding number of points. The score of the European Super Cup was between the two top competitions. In the three seasons (1992-1994) – in which directly before the champions final was played a group phase - only 50 % of the yield of points were taken into consideration from all these group matches. That was necessary, so as not to favour those clubs involved during these three seasons.
Looking at the ranking over the decades shows up some interesting detials. Ferencváros TC Budapest led the European ranking for 1950, ahead of AC Sparta Prague, SK Slavia Prague, Juventus FC of Turin, First Vienna, FK Austria Wien, SK Rapid Vienna, Újpest Dózsa, FC Internazionale of Milan and Bologna. Thereafter Real Madrid catapulted to the top and by 1970 led, ahead of FC Barcelona, "Inter", Ferencváros TC Budapest, Benfica, Milan AC, Manchester United FC, AC Sparta Prague, Juventus of Turin and Újpesti Dózsa.
Real Madrid had extended its lead up to 1980 and the "Reds" from Liverpool, Ajax and Bayern were three new clubs who achieved a place among the "Top 10": Real Madrid CF was ahead of FC Barcelona, Milan AC, FC Internazionale Milano, Ferencváros TC Budapest, Juventus FC Torino, AFC Ajax of Amsterdam, Sport Lisboa e Benfica, Liverpool FC and FC Bayern München. Also 1990 was lead the European ranking again of two Spanish clubs, while "Juve", Liverpool, and Munich had improved their positions but with only RSC Anderlecht reached the "Top 10", replacing the Ferencváros Torna Club. 1990 saw Real Madrid with a gigantic lead of 136 points over "Barça".
The last decade of the 20th century saw "Juve", "Barça", Ajax and Bayern gain the most points of all the European clubs, while Liverpool, Anderlecht and Benfica achieved the fewest points. Last not least, no new club managed a place among the "Top 10", the only changes were among the clubs swapping positions in places 2 to 9. The "Royals" from Madrid took the honours with an unexpectedly large lead to become "Europe's Club of the Century". "Juve", "Barça", Milan and Bayern follow and are placed ahead of "Inter". Amsterdam and Brussels are represented among the "Top 10" while "ManU" is only in the 11th place. The latest "All-Time Club World Ranking" (1991-2008) shows how dominant Manchester United was in the new millennium, and as large was Real‘s lead ahead of "Barça" in 1990, as well the upturn of two teams from London - Arsenal & Chelsea - in the last years.
European Champions Cup &Champions League:- 8 points for a win- 4 points for a draw- 0 points for a defeat- (In the group phase directly before the final (1992-1994) were halved the achieved number of points (8-4-0) at all involved teams.)
Fairs Cup & UEFA Cup:- 6 points for a win- 3 points for a draw- 0 points for a defeat
European Cup Winners‘ Cup:- 5 points for a win- 2,5 points for a draw- 0 points for a defeat
Mitropa Cup:- 4 points for a win- 2 points for a draw- 0 points for a defeat
Copa Latina:- 4 points for a win- 2 points for a draw- 0 points for a defeat
European Super Cup:- 6,5 points for a win- 3,25 points for a draw- 0 points for a defeat

Europe's Club of the Century
(Top 200)

1. Real Madrid CF España 563,50
2. Juventus FC Torino Italia 466,00
3. FC Barcelona España 458,00
4. Milan AC Italia 399,75
5. FC Bayern München Deutschland 399,00
6. FC Internazionale Milano Italia 362,00
7. AFC Ajax Amsterdam Nederland 332,75
8. Liverpool FC England 300,25
9. Sport Lisboa e Benfica Portugal 299,00
10. RSC Anderlecht Belgique 231,00
11. Manchester United FC England 220,00
12. Club Atlético de Madrid España 196,00
13. Ferencvárosi TC Budapest Magyarország 190,00
14. Leeds United AFC England 154,50
15. AC Sparta Praha Česká Republika 149,50
16. FC Dinamo Kyiv Ukraina 144,50
17. AS Roma Italia 141,50
18. Hamburger SV Deutschland 140,50
19. VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach Deutschland 136,50
20. Tottenham Hotspur FC England 136,00
21. Glasgow Celtic FC Scotland 134,00
22. SK Ra id Wien Österreich 127,00
23. BV Borussia Dortmund Deutschland 124,75
24. Glasgow Rangers FC Scotland 124,50
25. Újpest FC Magyarország 124,00
26. 1. FC Köln Deutschland 118,50
27. Feyenoord Rotterdam Nederland 116,50
FK Crvena zvezda Beograd Srbija 116,50
29. FC do Porto Portugal 115,00
30. Valencia CF España 114,50
31. Arsenal FC London England 110,25
32. IFK Göteborg Sverige 107,50
33. AC Fiorentina Firenze Italia 107,00
Olympique de Marseille France 107,00
35. Chelsea FC London England 100,50
36. FK Austria Wien Österreich 97,50
37. Real Zaragoza CD España 96,75
38. AC Parma Italia 95,50
39. Nottingham Forest FC England 87,25
40. Club Brugge KV Belgique 83,00
41. PSV Eindhoven Nederland 81,50
42. SK Slavia Praha Česká Republika 76,50
43. Birmingham City FC England 75,00
44. Eintracht Frankfurt Deutschland 74,50
45. FC Steaua Bucureşti România 72,50
46. AS de Monaco France 72,00
47. Sporting Clube de Portugal Lisboa Portugal 68,00
48. SV Werder Bremen Deutschland 67,25
49. FC Spartak Moscow Russia 65,50
Paris Saint-Germain FC France 65,50
51. Sampdoria UC Genova Italia 64,25
52. FC Girondins de Bordeaux France 64,00
53. Bologna Calcio Italia 63,00
54. SS Lazio Roma Italia 62,50
55. NK Dinamo Zagreb Hrvatska 60,00
Stade de Reims France 60,00
57. Panathinaikos AO Athens Greece 59,00
58. First Vienna FC 1894 Österreich 58,00
MTK Hungária FC Budapest Magyarország 58,00
60. CSKA Sofia Bulgaria 57,00
Galatasaray SK İstanbul Türkiye 57,00
62. R Standard Club de Liége Belgique 54,50
63. Dundee United FC Scotland 49,00
64. AC Torino Italia 48,50
65. FC Schalke 04 Deutschland 48,00
66. VfB Stuttgart Deutschland 47,50
67. NK Hajduk Split Hrvatska 46,50
68. KV Mechelen Belgique 45,50
69. West Ham United FC England 45,00
70. Aston Villa England 44,50
71. FK Dukla Praha Česká Republika 43,50
72. Hibernian FC Edinburgh Scotland 42,00
TSV Bayer Leverkusen Deutschland 42,00
74. SSC Napoli Italia 41,50
75. Ipswich Town FC England 41,00
SG Dynamo Dresden Deutschland 41,00
77. KP Legia Warszawa Polska 40,50
78. Aberdeen FC Scotland 40,25
79. AS St. Étienne France 40,00
FC Dinamo Moscow Russia 40,00
FC Twente Enschede Nederland 40,00
82. Dundee FC Scotland 39,00
83. FC de Nantes France 36,00
FC Spartak Trnava Slovensko 36,00
OFK Beograd Srbija 36,00
86. FC Carl-Zeiss Jena Deutschland 34,00
87. Newcastle United FC England 33,00
88. Everton FC England 30,50
FC Admira / WackerWien Österreich 30,50
90. 1. FC Lokomotive Leipzig Deutschland 29,50
91. FC Genoa 1893 Italia 29,00
92. BFC Dynamo Berlin Deutschland 28,50
Wolverhampton Wanderers FC England 28,50
94. 1. FC Magdeburg Deutschland 27,50
Malmö FF Sverige 27,50
Manchester City FC England 27,50
ŠK Slovan Bratislava Slovensko 27,50
98. FC Dinamo Bucureşti România 27,00
RCD Espanyol Barcelona España 27,00
100. KS Górnik Zabrze Polska 25,50
101. FC Dinamo Tbilisi Georgia 25,00
102. Athletic Club de Bilbao España 24,00
BSC Young Boys Bern Schweiz 24,00
Budapesti Vasas SC Magyarország 24,00
FK Partizan Beograd Srbija 24,00
RFC Liége Belgique 24,00
107. Olympique Lyonnais France 23,50
108. 1. FC Nürnberg Deutschland 23,00
109. FC Lokomotiv Moscow Russia 22,50
110. AZ 67 Alkmaar Nederland 21,00
FK Željezničar Sarajevo Bosnia-Herzegovina 21,00
Vitória FC Setúbal Portugal 21,00
113. TSV München 1860 Deutschland 20,50
114. Cardiff City AFC Wales 20,00
115. Brøndby IF Danmark 19,00
116. FC Zürich Schweiz 18,50
117. Cagliari Calcio Italia 18,00
FC Fehérvár Szekesfehevar Magyarország 18,00
FC Rapid Bucureşti România 18,00
HŠK Gradanski Zagreb Hrvatska 18,00
Real Sociedad de Futbol San España 18,00
122. AJ Auxerroise France 17,50
123. FC Győr ETO Magyarország 17,00
FC Torpedo Moscow Russia/Soviet Union 17,00
FC Wacker Tirol Innsbruck Österreich 17,00
126. Dunfermline Athletic FC Fife Scotland 16,00
FCT Universitatea Craiova România 16,00
PFK Levski Sofia Bulgaria 16,00
129. 1. FC Kaiserslautern Deutschland 15,00
Grasshopper-Club Zürich Schweiz 15,00
Karlsruher SC Deutschland 15,00
Real Club Deportivo Mallorca España 15,00
Vicenza Calcio Italia 15,00
134. FC Vorwärts Berlin Deutschland 13,00
R Antwerp FC Belgique 13,00
136. Düsseldorfer TuSV Fortuna Deutschland 12,50
137. CD Tenerife España 12,00
Derby County FC England 12,00
FC Sochaux-Montbeliard France 12,00
FK Radnicki Niš Srbija 12,00
KS Widzew Łódż Polska 12,00
Lausanne-Sports Schweiz 12,00
OGC de Nice France 12,00
SV Austria Salzburg Österreich 12,00
Wiener Athletiksport-Club Österreich 12,00
146. Burnley FC England 11,00
FK Vojvodina Novi Sad Srbija 11,00
Ruch Chorzów Polska 11,00
149. Atalanta Bergamasca Calcio Italia 10,50
150. FC Banik Ostrava Česká Republika 10,00
FC Slavia Sofia Bulgaria 10,00
K Racing Club Genk Belgique 10,00
Servette FC Genève Schweiz 10,00
154. FC Dinamo Minsk Belarus 9,50
155. AEK Athens Greece 9,00
CU Bohemians 1905 Praha Česká Republika 9,00
Kilmarnock FC Scotland 9,00
KSV Waregem Belgique 9,00
Racing Club de Lens France 9,00
Union R St. Gilloise Belgique 9,00
Xamax Neuchâtel FC Schweiz 9,00
162. Braunschweiger TSV Eintracht Deutschland 8,00
FC Ararat Yerevan Armenia 8,00
FC Basel Schweiz 8,00
FC Dnipr Dnipropetrovsk Ukraina 8,00
FC Erzgebirge Aue Deutschland 8,00
SK Viktoria Žižkow Česká Republika 8,00
Sparta Rotterdam Nederland 8,00
Wiener Sport-Club Österreich 8,00
Wisła Kraków Polska 8,00
171. FSV Zwickau Deutschland 7,50
Real Club Deportivo de La Coruña España 7,50
SK Beveren-Waas Belgique 7,50
174. Racing Club de Strasbourg France 7,00
175. PAE Olympiakos SFP Pireas Greece 6,50
176. Lille Olympique Sporting Club France 6,00
1. FC Brno Česká Republika 6,00
FC Petrolul Ploieşti România 6,00
FK Velež Mostar Bosnia-Herzegovina 6,00
Heart of Midlothian FC Edinburgh Scotland 6,00
Hertha BSC Berlin Deutschland 6,00
Real Club Celta de Vigo España 6,00
SC Lokeren Belgique 6,00
Sheffield Wednesday FC England 6,00
185. FC Den Haag Nederland 5,00
Fenerbahçe SK İstanbul Türkiye 5,00
KFC Bayer Uerdingen 05 Deutschland 5,00
MŠK Žilina Slovensko 5,00
Real Valladolid Deportivo España 5,00
Roda JC Kerkrade Nederland 5,00
Southampton FC England 5,00
192. CSKA Moscow Russia 4,00
DWS Amsterdam Nederland 4,00
FC Hradec Králové Česká Republika 4,00
FC Lahti Suomi 4,00
Linfield AFC Northern Ireland 4,00
NK Hajduk Split Hrvatska 4,00
Rosenborg BK Trondheim Norge 4,00
Sevilla CF España 4,00
SK Kladno Česká Republika 4,00
SK Slavija Sarajevo Bosnia-Herzegovina 4,00
SK Židenice Česká Republika 4,00
Venus Bucureşti România 4,00

Daily Mail 7/9/09
Leeds 2 Stockport 0: Simon Grayson calls for new heroes to see off poachers

Statistics alone will not exorcise the ghosts that lurk around every corner of Elland Road: in the photographs on the wall of Billy's Bar and Howard's Way and in the suites named after legends Peter Lorimer, Jack Charlton, Paul Reaney and Billy Bremner.
But it is a start. And manager Simon Grayson knows that if he is to take this club back where it belongs, he has to start somewhere.
A win over Stockport seems little cause for wild celebration. However, the history books will show that a 14th straight League victory at home and a 100 per cent start to the season from eight games in all competitions, means Grayson's side have surpassed Don Revie's great teams of 1969 and 1973.
The stats fail to point out that Grayson achieved it in League One rather than the top flight of English football, like Revie, and some will be quick to belittle his achievement.
Others like Lorimer, who played in both of those teams under Revie, could not care less. 'Certain people will argue that the records are not comparable but personally I think that opinion is absolute nonsense,' said Lorimer.
'What Leeds have achieved is every bit as creditable as what we were doing 40 years ago. I'm as happy as anyone that two of the records that I helped to set have fallen. That Simon Grayson's players have surpassed both is quite remarkable.'
For Grayson, the only statistic that matters will be promotion back to the Championship and while he is only too aware of the club's glorious past, he is challenging his players to look forward, not back.
He said: 'My solution is basically: be the new generation of Leeds United heroes. Be the ones that break records and have your photos in the corridors.
'This club has got a fantastic fan base and you can be household names for years to come if you achieve anything. When you break records, like we have done, then be proud of it because the club is steeped in tradition. You can't take away from what the players have done.'
Leeds are built on a budget these days. Saturday's line-up included players signed from Northampton, Cheltenham and Livingston.
Young American Mike Grella, whose first goal for the club put Leeds ahead before Lubomir Michalik added a controversial second, was making his full League debut.
There was only one Academy product on show, but in young Jonny Howson Leeds have a player with genuine poise and presence at the heart of their midfield.
Leeds banked an initial £6million from Aston Villa for Fabian Delph last month but there are other youngsters coming off a conveyor belt that once produced Alan Smith, Harry Kewell, James Milnerand Aaron Lennon.
Ben Parker has played 46 times for the first team, another defender Aidan White - called up for England Under 19s last week - has made nine appearances and striker Tom Elliott remains the only schoolboy to play for the senior side when he made his debut in February 2007.
Tom Lees, currently on loan at Accrington Stanley, and Josh Falkingham have also been on the fringes of the first-team squad, and there are more to come if a 4-1 win for Leeds Under 16s against Manchester United's boys on Saturday is anything to go by.
Chairman Ken Bates will no doubt argue that Grayson would have more young talent at his disposal if the Premier League clubs he accused of 'trading young players like horsemeat' in Sportsmail had not poached them from under his nose.
Grayson sees it as his job to ensure Leeds are big enough to make sure it doesn't happen again. 'Definitely,' he said. 'We've got a major attraction at this club. Today we got 20-odd thousand for a game against Stockport in League One at a ground that is capable of being sold out every week if we get to the next level.
'The aim is to get out of the division and everything else takes care of itself. We can attract players if we're in a higher division and keeping hold of them would be a lot easier as well.'

Daily Mail 7/9/09
Everton could pay Leeds up to £1.5million for Luke Garbutt after tribunal backs Ken Bates

Last updated at 11:19 AM on 08th September 2009
Everton will have to pay up to £1.5million for untried 16-year old Luke Garbutt after being stunned by the findings into his recent move from Leeds United.
Everton have confirmed that they will have to pay an initial fee of £600,000 after the tribunal held on Monday came to the decision on compensation for the England Youth international.
The fee could rise to over £1.5m due to various add-ons including appearances, honours and international caps. Everton are believed to have initially offered £200,000 for the former Leeds academy product.
Both clubs agreed that a figure would be set by a tribunal of the Professional Football Negotiating and Consultative Committee (PFCC), which is made up of representatives from the Football League, Premier League, PFA and Football Association.
The hearing, which took place at the Premier League's offices in London on Monday, declared that Everton should pay an initial £600,000, which could rise by an additional £750,000 depending on appearances.
There will be a further additional payment of £200,000 if the player makes a senior international appearance, while Leeds would also receive 20 per cent of any profit should Garbutt be sold on.
The Harrogate-born left-back is currently part of Everton's under-18 set-up and has England Under 17 honours as well as reserve team experience for the Toffees already this season.
Everton's academy manager Ray Hall said: 'This is very much a transfer for the future for Everton. It's not an uncommon move to make - many Premier League clubs invest in young talent with a view to nurturing and developing them.
'We are all delighted to have Luke at the club. He is an excellent prospect and he will be allowed to mature and learn his trade with our academy staff and players.
'I know the manager (David Moyes) will be keeping an eye on his progress, as he does with all our boys, and if he looks ready to make the next step up then he may get his chance. We have shown as a club on a regular basis that we are prepared to give youngsters an opportunity at Everton.'
A statement from the PFCC explained: 'In setting this compensation fee, the PFCC took into account the costs of training and development, the player's age and playing record.
Leaving home: Garbutt departed Elland Road, Leeds United's famous old ground
'Also the length of time he was registered with his former club, the terms offered by both clubs, the status of the two clubs, previous committee decisions and the interest shown by other clubs in acquiring the registration of the player.'
Leeds chief executive Shaun Harvey has called on the game's authorities to "mount a combined review of the registration system".
Leeds will receive compensation for Garbutt who opted to sign his first professional contract with Everton in the summer instead of Leeds, where he had spent eight years in their academy.
But Harvey said: "The compensation package payable is significant, but not high enough to prevent future clubs from making a signing in similar circumstances.
"If we had have had an option we would have chosen to keep the player. We feelwe were deprived of the opportunity to develop the player to his full potential."
Harvey added: "We now appeal to the football authorities to mount a combined review of the registration system in place domestically to provide further financial assurances for clubs who lose players to predator clubs.
"Compensation awards, we feel, are no longer a sufficient deterrent and perhaps now is the time to start considering points deductions.
"We need to arrive at a system whereby in any transfer there is a willing buyer, willing seller and willing player. Until we reach that position there will always be a dissatisfied party."

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Yorkshire Post 1/9/09
Boyhood fan Bromby can go 'home' to play big part for Leeds United
By Ian Appleyard
SHEFFIELD United have completed the sale of defender Leigh Bromby to Leeds United with manager Kevin Blackwell admitting that it would have been wrong to stand in his way.
Dewsbury-born Bromby, a boyhood Leeds supporter, was frustrated by his lack of opportunities with the Blades after returning for a second spell at Bramall Lane, initially on loan, eight months ago.
"Unless it was going to be to the detriment of this football club, I would not deny anyone an opportunity to speak to Leeds United," said Blackwell. "Leigh has found it hard to break into the side because of Matt Kilgallon and Chris Morgan and was getting frustrated."
Leeds manager Simon Grayson, who is paying around £300,000 to acquire the 29-year-old, said: "We're delighted to get things agreed with Leigh.
"He has good experience in the Championship and he will become a valuable member of our squad."
With centre-backs Patrick Kisnorbo and Rui Marques both away on international duty, Bromby is likely to make his debut against Stockport County at Elland Road.

Yorkshire Evening Post 31/8/09
Whites roll up their sleeves for victory
By Phil Hay
Colchester 1 Leeds United 2
One of Colchester's recognised traits is inhabitants who know how to look after themselves.
Joe Dunne, caretaker of the army town's football club, describes Colchester as a place "built on fighting spirit", insinuating that any Colchester United team should naturally follow suit.
In a match of seven yellow cards and an underlying mood of friction, his players were scarcely found wanting on that front, but he is not the first coach to discover that spirit alone is a meagre weapon with which to attack Simon Grayson's Leeds United.
On occasions last season, Leeds were justifiably viewed as a softer touch among the more ambitious clubs in League One, but that accusation is no longer levelled at Elland Road, at least by anyone with first-hand experience of the squad that Grayson has constructed.
Colchester did not go so far as to pick a fight on Saturday but they made plain their intention to examine what Dunne might have perceived to be a weakness in Leeds, an inability to outwit opposition who give as good as they get.
Unlike Tranmere Rovers, whose attempt at expansive football at Elland Road last weekend was suicidal, Colchester made a contest of United's visit to Essex. But if that was a moral victory of sorts, it was as much as Grayson afforded his counterpart at the end of another game which whispered the promise that Leeds will be let loose from League One in May.
Winning ugly is a difficult skill to explain but Saturday's victory came fairly close to defining that talent.
As a performance, United were lacking the cohesion exhibited against Tranmere and missing the flair responsible for their most conclusive victory of the season. The winning goal relied as much on shambolic defending as it did on the instinct of Jermaine Beckford, who settled the match in the 64th minute. And for all that, Grayson can be nothing short of delighted.
United's defeat of Colchester was scruffy, but League One as a whole is a scruffy division. If their opposition thus far – Colchester, Tranmere, Walsall, Wycombe Wanderers and Exeter City – have had one constant, it is a prevalence of elbow grease and a lack of gold-plating. Grayson has the rare distinction of being able to see both qualities within his squad.
More difficult fixtures await – though it is likely that Colchester will forego relatively few points at the Community Stadium – and United's game at home to Charlton Athletic on October 3 already looks significant in the context of the championship and automatic promotion.
But with five league victories and seven in total behind them at the end of August, Leeds have fully exploited what some observers might have described as a favourable month.
The club's form is on a par with the finest start ever produced by a United squad, far back in 1973 when the Don Revie era was drawing to a close and 15 points taken from five games is progress that Leeds should consider invaluable, if not priceless.
Statistically, the club have covered enough ground to lie a sixth of the way towards promotion, though their manager for now would rather not see it in those terms.
When Leeds are in full flow, the team controlled by Grayson does not differ drastically to that managed by his predecessor, Gary McAllister. Both have been capable of inspiring consummate performances on their day.
Where Grayson has succeeded is in teaching his players to smash their way through the belligerent obstacle presented by a club like Colchester, one who will not go quietly. Many managers have argued that it is entirely possible for a team to play their way out of League One; on the evidence of United's last two seasons, the value of unflattering victories is significantly higher.
Beckford's goal epitomised Saturday's game, coming while confusion and disorganisation took hold of Colchester's defence with slightly more than an hour played.
The striker saw his chance when a bouncing free-kick aimed into the box by Andrew Hughes dropped in front of him and his natural reaction was to prod the ball into the net. Beckford’s fifth goal of what is shaping into another season of reliability was a strike that Colchester could not reply to.
Dunne’s players had possessed the conviction to fight back from one concession, levelling Bradley Johnson’s opening goal with a Kevin Lisbie penalty, but the speed of Beckford’s riposte regained United’s initiative as swiftly as it was lost.
The only threat to Leeds in the last half-hour was the unpredictability that comes with the closing minutes of a game as tight and edgy as that at the Community Stadium and Grayson’s elated reaction at full-time was an admission that the result had been in the balance through four minutes of injury time.
Such tension was almost unimaginable in a first half which had a fractious edge and suffered because of it.
The performance of referee David Phillips and his linesman did little to soothe the atmosphere and three bookings in the space of a minute in the run-up to half-time – each one for confrontations involving Beckford, Johnson and former United defender Alan Maybury – was an admission of the mild discord between the teams.
It was also down to Phillips’ assistant, Michael McCoy, that United did not carry a 1-0 lead into the interval. McCoy correctly flagged for offside when Beckford rolled Jonathan Howson’s pass into the net in the seventh minute, but his judgment erred when the striker struck again eight minutes later, apparently legitimately.
Luciano Becchio’s gentle touch played Beckford in behind Colchester’s defence and McCoy’s decision to disallow the goal was dubious in real time and patently wrong when reviewed later. An early goal might have encouraged the more open contest which eventually developed in the second half.
Shane Higgs, United’s goalkeeper, produced the only save made in the first half, beating David Fox’s 20-yard shot to the left of his goal, but the second half was only 60 seconds old when Johnson scored.
Phillips had changed his shirt at the interval, wearing green as he left the pitch and re-appearing from the tunnel in blue, but his contentious performance remained unaltered.
The Sussex official sided with Snodgrass when the Scot tangled with Magnus Okuonghae on the far left-hand side of Colchester’s box and Snodgrass’ curling free-kick reached an unmarked Johnson six yards from goal. The midfielder applied the finishing touch, nodding home a header he could not have missed.
Higgs was powerless to protect United’s lead after Lisbie danced around Rui Marques and teased the Angolan defender into clipping his heels. Lisbie’s 56th-minute penalty, driven high to Higgs’ left, was beautifully placed.
Colchester sensed an upset, but they reckoned without Beckford and without the bloody-mindedness of Leeds, typified by Patrick Kisnorbo throwing himself in front of Anthony Wordsworth’s injury-time shot on the edge of United’s box.
At this rate, the club’s first defeat will come over dead bodies.