Showing posts from May, 2008
Yorkshire Evening Post 29/5/08 Kenton out as United regroup By Phil Hay Darren Kenton has followed Alan Thompson out of Elland Road as Leeds United begin a rebuilding process which could see as many as 10 players leave the club this summer. The experienced defender has been released by Leeds after reaching the end of his short-term deal, and other fringe players will be allowed to exit the club following United's unsuccessful attempt to reach the Championship. Leeds have confirmed their retained list and offered new one-year contracts to goalkeeper David Lucas and young striker Tomi Ameobi, but Kenton will not be kept on by manager Gary McAllister. The 29-year-old full-back arrived at Elland Road in January, initially on loan from Leicester City, and United made the agreement permanent shortly before the end of the transfer window. Kenton made a total of 12 league appearances for Leeds, his last against Huddersfield Town at the Galpharm Stadium on April 15, and his departure – alon

No surprise - we are fated to lose, after all - 25/5/08

Rick Broadbent in Beijing It was surely fate that Kaiser Chiefs played their homecoming gig at Elland Road the night before Leeds played Wembley. In the past, Leeds has not done bands. The musical benchmark was always the Wedding Present, an angsty group of moderately ugly men in black. They sang songs about girlfriend trouble because they were from Leeds and so they could not get girlfriends. But this was to be a musical and football bonanza, the rebirth of the culturally deprived. It was fate that the amps on Saturday night were emblazoned with LUFC and the first song was Everything Is Average Nowadays. The second was Every Day I Love You Less And Less. This was sporting history set to jangly guitar music. You’ll have noticed that everyone’s been harping on about fate this week, blurring the boundaries between genius, serendipity and John Terry’s inability to stand up. And, let’s face it, if fate really had much to do with football, I would not have been in Beijing yesterday and I wo

McAllister urges revitalised Leeds to finish the job - Independent 24/5/08

By James Mariner A season which began with them 15 points adrift at the bottom of League One, following their controversial points deduction, could end in a remarkable triumph for Leeds United tomorrow. The League One side climbed from there into the top three, then slipped back after Gus Poyet, the assistant manager, left for Spurs and manager Dennis Wise, headed to Newcastle. Gary McAllister came in and boldly changed the playing style. After a stutter as the team adapted, Leeds recovered in time to reach the play-offs and now stand 90 minutes from a return to the Championship. Leeds are favourites but fans will warily recall the 2006 Championship play-off final which ended in defeat to Watford, followed by relegation the next season to League One. Now, as in 2006, Leeds finished fifth in the regular season and their opponents third. McAllister is hoping for a different outcome this time. "I'm proud of taking the team to Wembley, but the proudest moment will be if we get the
BBC 21/5/08 Robinson agrees to Leeds switch Midfielder Andy Robinson is to leave League One champions Swansea City for Leeds United on a free transfer. Robinson, 28, wanted to wait until after Leeds' play-off final against Doncaster on Sunday before deciding whether to stay with the Swans or go. But a Swansea statement said: "The club felt it was an unrealistic request and imposed a deadline of yesterday for Andy to make his mind up. "This he did, subsequently deciding to move on." The Liverpudlian joined Swansea in the summer of 2003 on a free transfer after being released by Tranmere. He came close to leaving two years ago when contract talks then stalled and bids came in from Southend and Cardiff. But he eventually agreed a new two-year deal which runs out next month - and Leeds have said that he has agreed to join them once his Swans contract expires. The Swans confirmed the latest round of contract talks started last October and had hoped to agree terms before t

Marques signs new deal - Yorkshire Evening Post 20/5/08

By Phil Hay Rui Marques has agreed a new two-year contract at Elland Road after positive talks with Leeds United last week. Discussions over an extended deal for the Angolan defender were suspended at the start of April but after a number of minor details were ratified Marques today ended speculation over his future by opting to remain at Elland Road for another two years.The 30-year-old's existing one-year deal had been due to expire at the end of this season but negotiations aimed at reaching a new deal stalled on April 8 with Leeds blaming "differences in valuation" for their decision to withdraw from talks. Marques' wage demands were believed to have contributed to the deadlock, but the parties were also at odds over the length of the contract being offered to the centre-back. His initial request was for a three-year contract, taking him up to the age of 33, but Marques has now agreed to the 24-month extension with the club he joined in 2005. Fresh talks between L
Yorkshire Evening Post 19/5/08 United must heed semi final lessons says Freedman By Phil Hay With three play-off finals lodged in his memory bank already, Dougie Freedman does not need instructing on the unforgiving nature of the game awaiting Leeds United at Wembley on Sunday. A beaten finalist in 1996 but subsequently victorious on two occasions with Crystal Palace, Freedman might be tempted to say that second chances come to those who are prepared to wait long enough. But in London this weekend, the 33-year-old knows the danger of expecting the reprieve offered to Leeds by the return leg of last week's semi-final against Carlisle United. Of all the lessons taken from a scintillating two-legged tie - settled on Thursday in dramatic circumstances - the most valuable may be the warning of what will happen if the form and confidence of Gary McAllister's players deserts them against Doncaster Rovers at Wembley. United's performance at Brunton Park on Thursday amounted to thei
Yorkshire Evening Post 16/5/08 Leeds United boss McAllister's show of faith reaps rewards Carlisle United 0 Leeds United 2 (Leeds United win 3-2 on aggregate) On the residential road to Brunton Park, a lone flag flying from a first-floor window displayed the banner: Be just and fear not. The standard had been raised in support of Carlisle United, but the message of inspiration passed them by. Justice was served on the most fearless team in Cumbria last night. Eleven white knights swept into the county yesterday and left behind a state of desolation worthy of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. When the cavalry ride again, their blood-stained banner will fly at the only stage befitting of a squad who have long since abandoned the concept of surrendering alive. Wembley called to Leeds United last night and the reply that came was resounding in its conviction. Four days ago their cause seemed lost, but United have resisted the compulsion to go quietly into the night. This, instead, m
Independent 16/5/08 Carlisle United 0 Leeds United 2 (Leeds win 3-2 on agg): Local hero Howson sends Leeds on trip to Wembley By Michael Walker Leeds United may well have bottomed out. There remains a play-off final at Wembley against either Doncaster Rovers or Southend United on Sunday week, but Leeds head to London with a sense of renewal. Inspired by 34-year-old Dougie Freedman, on loan from Crystal Palace, Leeds sealed their progress in dramatic style when hometown teenager Jonathan Howson drilled in his second of the evening 17 seconds into injury-time. An added 30 minutes had seemed inevitable after Bradley Johnson clipped a post in the 77th minute and Kieren Westwood made a sprawling save from the evergreen Freedman. But there was one last attack and when Howson collected the ball 20 yards out, he was given time and space by a tired Carlisle and found the bottom corner with a left-foot shot. Monday night's 2-1 defeat at Elland Road had been overturned and there was pandemoni
Times 16/5/08 Howson double gives Leeds shot at swift return to Championship Carlisle 0 Leeds 2 (Leeds win 3-2 on aggregate) Jason Mellor Late goals, most of them in their favour, have been littered throughout Leeds United’s season, so it was little surprise that they booked their progress to the Coca-Cola League One play-offs final courtesy of a decisive goal in injury time. Jonathan Howson, who had wiped out their first-leg arrears with an early strike, doubled his tally in the 91st minute. The teenager capped a memorable performance by beating Keiren Westwood, the goalkeeper, with a low left-foot shot from the edge of the area. It gave Carlisle, who had been running on empty for the last ten minutes of the match, no time to mount a riposte. As so often during the nine-month campaign, Leeds finished the stronger side, and Bradley Johnson, the stand-in left back, gave notice of their intentions to avoid extra time, when he rose well to meet a Neil Kilkenny corner, only to see his effo
Telegraph 15/5/08 Jonathan Howson steers Leeds to Wembley By Peter Gardner Carlisle United (0) 0 Leeds United (1) 2Agg: 2-3 Two goals from Jonathan Howson sent Leeds United to Wembley for the League One play-off final where they will meet either Doncaster Rovers or Southend who play tonight. Gary McAllister's side splendidly overturned a one-goal deficit from the opening leg and Howson levelled the scores on aggregate to give Leeds the start they were looking for after just 10 minutes. Then, as at Elland Road on Monday, Leeds struck decisively in the last minute with Howson driving in the second. Dougie Freedman, whose goal in injury time in the first-leg had halved Carlisle's two-goal advantage, was hugely instrumental in helping to wipe out the deficit when he delivered hard and low from the left, enabling Howson to strike from close range as Leeds began the more positive side. Carlisle had opened briskly, Peter Murphy shooting over after a neat build-up. Home claims for a pe
Yorkshire Post 15/5/08 Match report: Leeds United clinch place at Wembley By Richard Sutcliffe Carlisle United 0 Leeds United 2. Leeds won 3-2 on agg Two goals from Jonny Howson sent Leeds United into the League One play-off final after a 2-0 win at Carlisle United. THE resilience of Leeds United in this most testing of seasons again shone through last night as Jonny Howson booked the club's first trip to Wembley in 12 years. The midfielder struck the two most important goals of his blossoming career to send United through to the League One play-off final and cap an amazing fightback.Trailing by two goals deep into stoppage time at the end of the first leg at Elland Road on Monday night, United had seemed dead and buried only for a lifeline to come via Dougie Freedman's last-gasp strike. It meant the tie was still alive going into the return at Brunton Park but, even so, against a side boasting the best home record in the division, Leeds were still given little hope of battling
Yorkshire Evening Post 10/5/08 Leeds United's Huntington can stand the heat By Phil Hay Gary McAllister has offered a firm vote of confidence to Paul Huntington as the Leeds United defender prepares to renew hostilities with Carlisle United. Huntington was the subject of controversy during Carlisle's visit to Elland Road last month after gesturing repeatedly towards the Cumbrian club's fans, but McAllister has no concerns over his ability to cope with the intensity of the forthcoming League One play-off semi-final between the two clubs. The former Newcastle United trainee – a £200,000 signing last summer – has been one of the most successful stories of McAllister's short tenure, establishing himself as a regular partner for Lubomir Michalik in the centre of Leeds' defence. His consistent and outstanding form was responsible for relegating Rui Marques to the substitutes bench at Elland Road, but Huntington was forced to make a public apology over his behaviour during
Guardian 7/5/08 A simple reason behind the defeat of Leeds' appeal The club had agreed not to seek legal redress over their 15-point penalty. Then they did regardless. • David Conn • The Guardian, • Wednesday May 7 2008 • Article history Ken Bates' futile call for Lord Mawhinney, the Football League chairman, to resign after last week's decision over Leeds United's 15-point deduction somewhat deflected attention from the prime reason why Leeds resoundingly lost: the club had given a signed, written agreement that they would not mount a legal challenge, then went back on their word. Last February Leeds did issue high court proceedings against the League, which were referred to arbitration under Football Association rules. The three-man arbitration panel found that when Leeds emerged from a £35m insolvency last summer Bates agreed to the League's imposition of a 15-point penalty, which was in fact lenient because Leeds could have been expelled or relegated to League T
Yorkshire Evening Post 3/5/08 Kandol seals United fightback By Phil Hay Leeds United 2 Gillingham 1 Yesterday's match at Elland Road was Leeds United's dead rubber but there is a difference between meaningless games and games without meaning. Gary McAllister's selection policy let slip the significance he apportioned to Gillingham's visit to Elland Road, and the League One table dictated that Leeds had nothing to lose this weekend.But with the teams in the play-offs present and correct, United's manager has cause to believe that his players have gained from a victory over Gillingham which appeared, on the face of it, inconsequential. But for Tresor Kandol's 89th-minute goal – the decisive moment at Elland Road yesterday – Leeds would have been paired in the semi-finals with Doncaster Rovers, unquestionably the most dangerous of opposition on offer to them. Instead, and as a direct result of Kandol's effort, United will begin their path to Wembley against Car
Yorkshire Evening Post 2/5/08 Deficit stands but Bates makes his point By Phil Hay The claim by Ken Bates that defeat in his battle with the Football League was not the same as foregoing the war is clearly a matter of opinion, but it was not altogether the cry of a sore loser. To all intents and purposes Bates was beaten yesterday, out-flanked on the issue of most immediate significance to him and his club's supporters. Vague the Football League's reasoning for a 15-point penalty may have been, and warped its appeal process most certainly was, but the success of Leeds United's case was bound to be judged on the recovery of some or all of their deducted points. Defeat is not a sensation that will sit well with Bates, a man who backs himself to fight his way out of any corner, but the conclusive ruling published by the arbitration panel yesterday served to enhance the importance of a problem thrown up and highlighted by United's suffering. As a direct result of the hit ta