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Showing posts from 2010
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Daily Mail 26/12/10 Leicester 2 Leeds 2: Foxes dig in to deny Championship high-flyers the points By Janine Self Simon Grayson reached for the manual of positive thinking as he tried to find an explanation for the win that got away. So the Leeds players performed well, showed character, were in full control and, naturally, are 'disappointed'. Management speak. In fact, Leeds squandered a two-goal lead in five destructive minutes, swapping a win for a draw and dropping down to third in the table as well. When boss Grayson sits down next summer to review the season, he will find Leicester filed under N for nuisance, despite the happy years he spent at the club as a player. Leeds have failed on three occasions to better their Midlands rivals even though they might have thought this would be third time lucky when former City winger Max Gradel grabbed his seventh goal of the season. Gradel left the Walkers Stadium last year and insisted in the build-up that the last thing on his
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Telegraph 25/12/10 Simon Grayson urges Leeds United players to harness club's history for return to elite There is an almost eerie sensation to being inside the Leeds United boardroom as the images of Don Revie, John Charles and Billy Bremner gaze down from the walls, embodying the only thing that could not be sold during the financial meltdown which took the club to the brink of extinction. By Mark Ogden History. Elland Road is infused with it, but as players, land, and even goldfish, were sold to keep the club afloat during the darkest days of the last decade, the history proved to be the only asset without a 'For Sale' sign attached. Ten years ago, David O’Leary’s Leeds were en route to the Champions League semi-finals before losing to Valencia. Since that high, the club have plunged to the unimaginable and unprecedented lows of administration and three years in the third tier of English football. But as Leeds prepare to face Leicester City at the Walkers Stadium on S
Yorkshire Evening Post 22/12/10 Grayson rejected Premier League job By Leon Wobschall Leeds United chairman Ken Bates has claimed that Simon Grayson turned down a Premier League job offer last year – to stick with the Whites. The United boss, who celebrates his second anniversary at charge at Elland Road tomorrow, rebuffed top-flight interest – believed to have been from Burnley – to concentrate on the task in hand of guiding his boyhood club to promotion from League One. His loyalty has been rewarded this season, with Leeds flying high in the Championship as they target a return to the top flight. Bates said: "Simon is in it for the long run. "He was approached and offered a job on a much bigger salary, in the Premiership, over a year ago and he said, 'I came to Leeds to do a job and I'm going to finish it'. If he manages in the Premiership, he wants it to be with Leeds. "We have got a good relationship. He rings me when we lose, which I know some managers d
Yorkshire Evening Post 20/12/10 Opportunity knocks now By Phil Hay Simon Grayson believes Leeds United's next four fixtures will have a crucial bearing on their prospects this season after watching his side storm into the Championship's automatic promotion places. Leeds took another huge step forward with a convincing victory over league leaders QPR on Saturday, and the club are preparing for a spell of games which Grayson expects to provide a clearer indication of his squad's potential. United's manager said he would be ready to "take stock" after Leeds' clash with Cardiff City on January 4, a game which follows their Boxing Day visit to Leicester City and home matches against Portsmouth and Middlesbrough. The win over QPR lifted Leeds into second position in the Championship, three points short of the top of the table and eight clear of seventh place. Grayson continued to ward off suggestions that promotion had become a prime target for his players but
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BBC 18/12/10 Leeds United 2 QPR 0 Gradel's brace gave Leeds a win that extends their unbeaten run to nine games By Phil Dawkes Leeds moved to second in the table after Max Gradel's brace gave them a deserved win over league leaders QPR in an entertaining game at Elland Road. The home side had the better of an open encounter and took the lead through Gradel's close-range half-volley. The winger struck again midway through the second half, capping a solo run with a good near-post finish. QPR threatened intermittently in the first half but were never allowed to assert themselves on the game. Rangers' home loss to Watford in their previous match - which halted their attempt to equal a club record of 20 games unbeaten - meant Leeds replaced them as holders of the Championships longest unbeaten run, which is now extended to nine. Neil Warnock's side remain top of the table but are now just three points clear of today's opponents and a further point ahead of Cardiff,
Yorkshire Evening Post 14/12/10 Whites exceed expectations in Grayson's first two years in charge Simon Grayson will reach his second anniversary as manager of Leeds United next week with a feeling of satisfaction after admitting that the club's progression in the past two years has exceeded his expectations. Grayson said the rise of Leeds to fourth place in the Championship on Saturday was an achievement which went beyond his initial hopes when he took control of United shortly before Christmas in 2008. The club's standing in the Football League is their highest for four-and-a-half years, equalling a position held under Kevin Blackwell during the closing stages of the 2005-06 season, but Grayson promised to push for further improvement during the second half of this term. The 41-year-old has stopped short of classing his team as clear play-off contenders, playing down their chances despite the impact of eight games without defeat on their league position, but Grayson sai
Yorkshire Evening Post 13/12/10 Burnley v Leeds United: Whites storm back to Burn the Clarets Simon Grayson spent Saturday evening in the company of a friend whose footballing allegiance lies with Burnley. "We'll be drinking Claret," he said, leaving no doubt that the pleasure of the meeting would be all his. The right to brag was already apportioned but even Grayson looked mildly bemused to be in possession of it. The outlook after 45 minutes of Saturday's game at Turf Moor was so bleak that he could have asked for no more than a second half which protected his pride. "I'm looking forward to dinner more than I was at half-time," he said. Grayson has had his share of exasperating team-talks in two years as Leeds United's manager but Saturday's verged on thankless, forced upon a coach who was in poor health last week and gradually losing his voice. Two goals down to a Burnley team who are ruthless enough at Turf Moor without the help of a long he
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Telegraph 12/12/10 Championship round-up: Leeds United captain Jonathan Howson seals fightback to defeat Burnley at Turf Moor Burnley 2 Leeds United 3 The great Leeds revival continued at Turf Moor where Jonathan Howson, nominated for England recognition, emerged captain courageous with a winning goal five minutes from the end that took his side to fourth place on the strength of an eight-match unbeaten run. Yet neither player nor club are getting carried away as a path towards a second successive promotion has opened. “It’s nice to hear comments like that, but I am not getting ahead of myself and we are not as a team either,” said Leeds-born Howson, who at 21 is one of the club’s youngest captains. His name had been put forward as an England possible by Andy O’Brien, the central defender on loan from Bolton, who was ruled out by injury from the stunning fightback at Burnley where Leeds overcame a two-goal interval deficit to emerge the only Championship top-six weekend winners. Both
Sky Sports 11/12/10 Grayson delighted with scalp Whites boss thrilled, Laws disappointed Simon Grayson was naturally delighted to see Leeds come from two goals down to beat Burley, although Brian Laws was less than impressed. The Clarets took control of the contest in the first half thanks to goals from Brain Easton and Jay Rodriguez. However, second half goals from Max Gradel, Luciano Becchio and Jonathan Howson capped a remarkable comeback at Turf Moor. Grayson was unhappy with the ease at which Burnley opened up their lead, but he could not fault Leeds' character to fight back. "We contributed to our own downfall in the first half with the mistakes we have made. We had to do the ugly side better in the second half and we knew we could be a threat still," he said. "We have players in the team that can score goals and an early goal put us on the front foot. From then on we grew from strength to strength. It's a difficult place to come and we did feel at ha
leedsunited.com 5/12/10 REWARDS FOR ALL AT ELLAND ROAD United manager Simon Grayson said Saturday's 2-1 Elland Road win against Crystal Palace was just reward for a collective team effort on and off the pitch. The United boss paid tribute to his players, and the near 26,000 fans who turned out on a freezing day, and he also saluted the off-field efforts that ensured the visit of Palace was one of the few games to beat the big freeze. "A lot of hard work has gone in from a lot people and this is reward for that," he said. "Full credit to the ground staff and helpers who cleared the snow, to the fantastic crowd that turned out, and to the players for the belief and character they showed. It was a big effort from everyone. "When you get a game on like this you have have to try and take advantage - we didn't do that against Wycombe last season in similar circumstances, but I'm delighted we did this time. "It was a difficult game, it was hard fought, an
Yorkshire Evening Post 29/11/10 Reading v Leeds United: Whites pleased to keep it clean at last By Phil Hay Unbeaten results are more aesthetically pleasing than a spate of games without a clean sheet and Leeds United did not delight in simultaneously counting both. One half of a glaring contradiction was bound to give eventually and the mischievous smile on the face of Ian Miller as he boarded the bus home from Reading belied his awareness of the club's most unflattering attribute. "A clean sheet," teased United's coach. "Who'd have thought?" After 10 games and two months, not every member of the squad who survived the journey from hell to reach Berkshire as planned. Only because of their maligned defence was an eight-hour drive from Wetherby worthwhile. Leeds found England's motorway network impassable on Friday afternoon, an unintentional metaphor for their attitude against Reading. Their manager, Simon Grayson, has been invariably grateful to his
leedsunited.com 28/11/10 ARSENAL AWAY IN FA CUP Leeds United will play at Arsenal in the third round of the FA Cup. The tie pits Simon Grayson 's men against Arsene Wenger's Premier League challengers for our first meeting since 2004. The tie will take place on the weekend of Janaury 8/9 2011. United manager Simon Grayson is delighted with an FA Cup third round draw which has handed his players a trip to Arsenal. It will be the club's first ever trip to the Emirates and it will re-ignite an FA Cup rivalry that dates back to 1972 when we beat Arsenal in the Centenary Final. Since then, there have been numerous epic ties - including a four-game marathon in 1991 - and the current boss says it's a great draw for the club. "It's a fantastic draw," he said. "Arsenal are one of the best teams in the country and are one of the top footballing teams in Europe. "I'm sure our supporters will look forward to the game and will sell the full allocation on
Bradford Telegraph and Argus 28/11/10 Leeds United's 'Mad Max' lucky to avoid red card By John Wray Reading 0, Leeds United 0 Labelled ‘Mad Max’ by some Leeds fans, winger Max Gradel lived up to his nickname and was lucky to stay on the pitch as Simon Grayson’s men kept their first clean sheet since September in the npower Championship yesterday. Gradel said in interviews before this goalless draw that he had learned the lesson of his sending off in the final game of last season, against Bristol Rovers, when he totally lost control of his temper. This time he was extremely fortunate that the card shown by referee Fred Graham in the 42nd minute was yellow and not red. Gradel was tackled by Andy Griffin and then kicked out in anger at the Reading player while both men were on the ground. Both were cautioned. Six minutes earlier, Gradel had been his side’s hero by clearing Shane Long’s deflected shot off the line after Leeds failed to clear Jobi McAnuff’s corner. Leeds manage
Yorkshire Evening Post 26/11/10 Safety is our first target – Grayson Simon Grayson today insisted he would not give serious thought to whether Leeds United can sustain a push towards the play-offs until his team have secured Championship survival.The Whites boss claimed the majority of clubs in the division were still credible contenders for a top-six finish with 18 games played and a bottleneck of clubs behind his own in a congested league table. Leeds will meet one of them, Brian McDermott's Reading, at the Madejski Stadium tomorrow and the Elland Road club are defending a top-six position after holding on to fifth with a 1-1 draw at Norwich City last weekend. United are more than halfway towards achieving the total of points likely to be needed to protect them from relegation in May, but their manager is not ready to assess the likelihood of Leeds maintaining their current standing, despite a five-game unbeaten run and the surge in momentum behind his squad. "I'll think
Yorkshire Evening Post 25/11/10 Leeds United keen on O'Brien deal – Bates By Phil Hay Leeds United have secured the short-term future of Bolton Wanderers defender Andy O'Brien – and the club will push for a longer deal when the transfer window opens in January. United erased concern about the possibility of O'Brien returning to the Reebok Stadium after this weekend's game at Reading by negotiating to keep the influential centre-back at Elland Road until the turn of the year. O'Brien's initial month's loan was due to end on Saturday but Leeds were anxious to retain an experience player who has contributed significantly to their impressive league form during his four-week spell in West Yorkshire. An extension with Bolton until January was set to be signed today. The 31-year-old came to Leeds on October 29 with the club toiling at the end of a run of four defeats from five Championship games, but his arrival coincided with the start of a five-match unbeaten run
leedsunited.com 20/11/10 HONOURS END EVEN AT NORWICH NORWICH 1 (Barnett 65), UNITED 1 (Gradel 13) Manager Simon Grayson made one change to his starting line-up, recalling Luciano Becchio for Davide Somma for the clash with Norwich City. The hosts were expecting a record Carrow Road attendance since the stadium became all-seater and United were backed by a sell-out 2,300 fans. There was a decent atmosphere as United looked to build on an impressive away run, but it was Norwich who had the first effort on goal when Andrew Surman whipped in a free-kick and Elliott Ward headed over. Alex Bruce also made a decisive early clearance when Norwich came forward again. In reply, during a frenetic opening few minutes, both Bradley Johnson and Jonny Howson tried their luck from distance. United were looking to hit the home side on the counter and one early raid ended with Max Gradel winning a corner which was cleared. Leeds had some defending to do, but both Bruce and Andy O'Brien were lo
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New pages uploaded at mightyleeds.co.uk Leeds United in Panto When Jimmy Armfield took over an ailing Leeds side in 1974, only one thing could get them back on track: a pantomime Four Four Two feature from January 2009 - Steve Anglesey Read the full story at http://www.mightyleeds.co.uk/misc/panto74.htm Terry Hibbitt – A wayward genius Frail of build and bandy of leg, Hibbitt was no classic athlete, but he was an outstanding midfielder, playing cultured and intelligent football. He possessed a great range of passing skills and an inspired feel for the through ball Read the full story at http://www.mightyleeds.co.uk/players/hibbitt.htm Don Weston – Wing heeled wonder Weston was one of the fastest players ever to play for Leeds United, signed by Don Revie as a replacement for John Charles in 1962 and spearheading their Second Division title win in 1964 Read the full story at http://www.mightyleeds.co.uk/players/westondon.htm Plus thumbnail autobiographies of United playe
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leedsunited.com BECCHIO HAT-TRICK SINKS BRISTOL CITY UNITED 3 (Becchio 65, 69, 83), BRISTOL CITY 1 (Stead 67) United manager Simon Grayson made one change from the side which drew with Hull in midweek, striker Davide Somma replacing Luciano Becchio . Somma, who was due to join up with the South African squad after the game, was an early threat. First he put David James under pressure when in pursuit of a Neil Kilkenny pass and moments later he tested the former England goalkeeper after good work by Jonny Howson . Max Gradel was an early threat in and around the box while Bradley Johnson also had a shot deflected for a corner as Leeds started the contest firmly on the front foot. In between, City's first real raid ended with Kasper Schmeichel receiving treatment after Jon Stead looked to meet a Danny Haynes cross. James came to the visitors rescue before the half-hour when Louis Carey almost turned a Snodgrass cross into his own goal. As City returned the ball forward quickly,
Yorkshire Evening Post 10/11/10 Mixed night for Whites midfielder Johnson By Phil Hay Bradley Johnson might feel the need to prove his value to Leeds United with contract talks between him and his club some way from a successful conclusion. The own goal he scored at Elland Road last night was no way to sell himself. The midfielder gave Leeds the sniff of a win over Hull City with his third goal of the season but ended a lively Yorkshire derby with the unkind distinction of beating both goalkeepers. His sliced clearance on 82 minutes was the defining moment on an evening of ever-shifting momentum. United trailed for 20 minutes of the first half but had victory within their grasp in the final throes of the match, handed to them by an Andy O'Brien header. But Johnson's woeful flick from Tom Cairney's corner, carrying the ball past Kasper Schmeichel, reprieved a Hull team who were starting to flag with 10 men and precious little time to salvage a draw. City's first goalscor
leedsunited.com 9/11/10 LEVELLER DENIES UNITED DESERVED WIN UNITED 2 (Johnson 32, O'Brien 71), HULL 2 (Bostock 14, Harper 82) Leeds United manager Simon Grayson made three changes from the side which won 3-2 at Coventry on Saturday. Kasper Schmeichel returned in place of Jason Brown, Bradley Johnson came in for the injured Amdy Faye, and Alex Bruce was recalled for Neill Collins , who dropped to the bench. United fashioned out the first opening of the game and in similar fashion to the first goal at Coventry, Robert Snodgrass supplied a good delivery into the box which was scrambled clear from an advancing Jonny Howson . But it was Hull who drew first blood in the 14th minute with a powerful free-kick from Jon Bostock. The on-loan Tottenham youngster unleashed a stunning left foot strike from outside of the box leaving Schmeichel with no chance. The opening goal was the only meaningful shot of what was a tense opening period. Both sides enjoyed possession, but while Leeds show
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New pages uploaded at mightyleeds.co.uk 2009/10 Cup exploits Matches - 3/2/2010 - Leeds United 1 Tottenham Hotspur 3 It's FA Cup night at Elland Road as a memorable run continues - Jermain Defoe missed a host of golden opportunities but Leeds emerged with credit despite a hat trick from the England striker Read the full story at http://www.mightyleeds.co.uk/matches/20100203.htm Matches - 23/1/2010 - Tottenham Hotspur 2 Leeds United 2 The reward for the breathtaking third round victory at Old Trafford was a trip to another Premier League ground in the next round - Tottenham were the hosts in a game that was even more dramatic than its predecessor Read the full story at http://www.mightyleeds.co.uk/matches/20100123.htm Matches - 3/1/2010 - Manchester United 0 Leeds United 1 29 years of hurt up in a puff of smoke as League One Leeds go to the Theatre of Dreams and inflict humiliation on Sir Alex Ferguson and his Champions League winners - "We're not famo
Daily Mail 6/11/10 Coventry 2 Leeds 3: Robert Snodgrass making up for lost time Robert Snodgrass stole the show as Leeds recorded back-to-back wins with a thrilling 3-2 success at Coventry. The Scottish playmaker, regaining top form after an injury that ruled him out of the first seven weeks of the season, laid on an opener for the in-form Jonny Howson before netting a wonderful solo second. Fourth-placed Coventry hit back after the break through Lukas Jutkiewicz and, although Max Gradel's penalty was quickly cancelled out by Ben Turner's goal to set up a tense finish, Leeds held on to build on last weekend's 4-1 win at Scunthorpe. Howson scored a hat-trick that day and although he was again impressive, Snodgrass stole the show with a fine exhibition of wing play that had the Coventry defenders bedazzled all afternoon. Leeds' preparations were disrupted when goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel withdrew from the side on Friday night to be at the birth of his son, while Coventry
Yorkshire Evening Post 1/11/10 Howson hat-trick inspires Whites It is a little-known fact that Jonny Howson was an aspiring striker in his academy years. Nothing in the 22-year-old's resume speaks of a pronounced talent for scoring goals. Only when Leeds United's first team began to beckon did the club rebrand Howson as a central midfielder, the position with which he is synonymous at Elland Road and from where his goals were liable to be limited. Five-a-season is Howson's average but that diminutive total belies his uncanny sense of timing. A first career hat-trick, scored against Scunthorpe United on Saturday, was four years and 169 appearances in the making; worth the wait for a club who needed inspiration and a shot in their arm. Howson's finishing touch – a get-out clause invoked by Leeds at crucial junctures of previous seasons – came to the fore in the second half at Glanford Park, delivering three goals in 15 minutes and winning decisively a game which was less