Posts

Showing posts from December, 2011
Yorkshire Evening Post 30/12/11 There’s no crisis here - Grayson By Phil Hay Simon Grayson denied that he and Leeds United were facing a crisis as he backed his squad to arrest their poor form over the next 72 hours. Leeds are looking to end a run of three games without a win this weekend, and Grayson claimed clashes with Barnsley and Burnley either side of New Year were an ideal opportunity to restore public confidence in his squad. United travel to Oakwell for a 1pm kick-off tomorrow before hosting Burnley at Elland Road on January 2, and the club are in need of a profitable spell having dropping out of the Championship’s play-off positions after their Boxing Day defeat to Derby County. Grayson sought to deflect talk of pressure in the wake of a 1-0 loss at Pride Park, and United’s manager has repeatedly defended his players amid a period of disappointing results and performances. But he underlined the importance of preventing greater concern developing, saying: “Whenever you lose a
Yorkshire Evening Post 29/12/11 Protests put investors off club - Bates Ken Bates has claimed that the actions of some dissenting supporters is jeopardising hopes of future investment in Leeds United, writes Leon Wobschall. The United chairman, under fire from sections of fans since the start of the season, insists that criticism is having a negative effect and putting off potential new investors. Speaking on Yorkshire Radio, Bates said: “We’re still looking for more investors and we’re talking to them on a regular basis. “But the difficulty is the difference between what they say and [what they] can do. Of course, when they see chants and banners in the papers, they often say: ‘I don’t want any of that, why should I be bothered – I don’t want to get involved’. “It’s a matter of public record that a very good, would-be investor was going to go into Everton and then said: ‘It’s not for me, I don’t want my kids to take the muck that the existing directors take, at school. So they didn’t
Image
Yorkshire Post 27/12/11 Defeat sees United Leeds drop out of play-off places By Richard Sutcliffe SIMON GRAYSON has reaffirmed Leeds United’s intent to strengthen during the January transfer window. But the United manager admits that complications including the club’s own busy schedule and the FA Cup third round means predicting just when signings will be made is nigh on impossible. Leeds fell out of the play-off places for the first time since early November yesterday when former Sheffield United striker Jamie Ward settled an entertaining contest at Derby County. Grayson still feels his side are handily placed for launching a push for the Premier League in the second half of the season but admits to wanting to bring in at least a couple of new faces. He said: “I’ve had meetings with the chairman (Ken Bates) and we have had targets identified. We will try to bring them in once the window opens. “Every chairman in the Championship wants to get promoted and a club this size needs to be
Image
Telegraph 26/12/11 Derby County 1 Leeds United 0: match report By Ian Edwards, at Pride Park Simon Grayson has retained his dignity under increasing public pressure from Ken Bates in recent weeks. The Leeds United owner’s ultimatums about the need for promotion and the consequences of failure for his manager have not been open to misinterpretation. The pressure on Grayson’s shoulders will have intensified following this latest disappointment. Whether Grayson will remain in charge long enough to bring in the possible new additions to the squad he has identified and “discussed” with Bates remains uncertain. According to Grayson, Bates is “willing to invest” and improve the squad who have been inconsistent of late, but sources close to the club have reservations about whether Grayson will be trusted to spend whatever funds are available when the former Chelsea owner releases his grip on the purse strings. “We are looking to bring in players and we have had meetings. Every chairman wants
Image
Yorkshire Evening Post 19/12/11 ‘I still believe in the players’ - Grayson Simon Grayson denied that he was under growing pressure after a toothless performance from Leeds United ended in a 1-0 defeat to Reading. Leeds were booed at the final whistle as a crowd of over 23,000 vented their frustration at a tepid loss, but Grayson expressed confidence in his squad and reiterated his promise that new signings will arrive at Elland Road in the January transfer window. United’s struggle against the Royals came seven days after a forgettable outing at Watford – a display which prompted Grayson to say his side “have to play better than that” – and it occurred on an afternoon when chairman Ken Bates spelt out the challenge in front of his manager and squad. Writing in Saturday’s programme, Bates said: “The fight for promotion is getting interesting. The future is in the players’ hands. We need to avoid the customary Leeds United lapse at Christmas and the New Year and we should be there. “Sim
Image
Mail 17/12/11 Leeds 0 Reading 1: Royals on the rise thanks to Church's early strike Simon Church struck the winner in the second minute as Reading followed up last week's win over West Ham by claiming another prized scalp to close the gap on play-off rivals Leeds. Church produced a quality finish into the top corner after controlling Jobi McAnuff's pass inside the penalty area with only one minute and 53 sec onds on the clock. Leeds, without injured skipper Jonny Howson, enjoyed plenty of possession but lacked guile where it mattered and rarely opened up the visitors' solid defence. Simon Grayson's side remain in sixth place on goal difference despite a fourth home league defeat of the season, while Reading, having steadily climbed the table virtually unnoticed in recent weeks, have cut the gap on the Yorkshiremen to two points. Leeds goalkeeper Andy Lonergan returned to the starting line-up as on-loan Alex McCarthy was not allowed to play against his parent club,
Sky 17/12/11 Boss demands more from Leeds Grayson calls on United players to raise their game Simon Grayson echoed chairman Ken Bates' call to raise standards at Elland Road after Leeds went down 1-0 to Reading. Leeds keeper Andy Lonergan, back after injury, was beaten inside two minutes by Reading's Simon Church, whose two goals sank West Ham a week earlier. Chairman Bates threw down the promotion gauntlet before the game when he wrote in his programme notes: "This year is the ultimate challenge for Simon, his staff and, just as importantly, the players. "For those whose ambition is to play in the Premier League, well ... get us there! For those who are seeking a substantial pay rise, well, get us to the Premier League and we can afford it." The Yorkshiremen, though, were clearly second best, Jobi McAnuff and Kaspars Gorkss missing opportunities to increase the Royals' lead. Grayson made a triple substitution in the 65th minute, Andy Keogh, Lloyd Sam a
Image
Mail 11/12/11 Watford 1 Leeds 1: Heartache for Hornets as Snodgrass is spot on in stoppage time Robert Snodgrass scored a last-minute penalty as Leeds salvaged a draw against Watford in the npower Championship. It came as a bitter pill to swallow for Sean Dyche's Hornets, who missed a penalty of their own with just two minutes of normal time remaining. Wolves loanee Michael Kightly scored the opening goal after 28 minutes and the hosts should have put the result beyond doubt but Marvin Sordell saw his spot-kick saved by Alex McCarthy before Snodgrass showed him how it was done deep into stoppage time, netting his fourth goal in three games. Troy Deeney's early acrobatic effort hit team-mate Sordell as the hosts started much the brighter. Patrick Kisnorbo did well to nullify the threat of Kightly as the midfielder shaped to shoot moments later. The visitors' first sight of goal saw Danny Pugh lift a left-footed 20-yard effort over the bar with 10 minutes on the clock. But t
Yorkshire Evening Post 10/12/11 McCarthy penalty save the turning point - Grayson Leeds United manager Simon Grayson has tipped goalkeeper Alex McCarthy for the top after describing his 89th-minute penalty save as the turning point which allowed his side to rescue a 1-1 draw against Watford with the last kick of the game. Watford were already leading 1-0 at Vicarage Road through Michael Kightly’s strike when Marvin Sordell stepped up to take his penalty with one minute of normal time remaining, but on-loan Reading goalkeeper McCarthy tipped his effort on to the post. The former England Under-21 shot-stopper, whose loan ended on December 10, then denied Mark Yeates before Leeds were awarded a penalty with the three minutes of injury time already up. Robert Snodgrass stepped up to secure a point for the visitors. “We probably didn’t deserve the point if you look at our performance,” Grayson said. “The big turning point was the penalty save and it gave us a chance to get something out of
Image
BBC 10/12/11 Watford 1 - 1 Leeds Robert Snodgrass scored an injury-time penalty as Leeds salvaged a draw against Watford in the Championship. It was cruel for the hosts as they had missed a penalty of their own with just two minutes of normal time remaining. Michael Kightly, on loan from Wolves, scored the opener after 28 minutes, Marvin Sordell had his penalty chance after being fouled by Patrick Kisnorbo, but Alex McCarthy saved, and Snodgrass made Watford pay by equalising after Nyron Nosworthy fouled Mika Vayrynen. Watford started the game much better than Leeds and were rewarded when Kightly got the better of Kisnorbo and unleashed a superb, angled effort from the edge of the area past McCarthy, who was playing his final game of a loan spell from Reading. Leeds struggled to find their rhythm, although Snodgrass was presented with a great chance to level the scores before half-time but chipped over the bar. It took a brilliant piece of defending from Nosworthy to deny Luciano
Image
Mail 3/12/11 This is for you, Speedo: Brave widow visits Elland Road shrine By John Helm They came in their thousands, still incredulous at the passing of a footballer whose popularity transcended even his deeds as a player. Gary Speed has gone at the age of 42 and left behind him a wife, two sons, a multitude of memories and mystery as to how it could have happened. The build-up to Leeds’ game against Millwall was a true celebration of a young life which promised so much more. Fans of the former Wales midfielder and manager clapped until their hands were sore. There were similar scenes around the Premier League, too, with Tottenham’s Wales star Gareth Bale removing his boot after scoring at another of Speed’s old clubs, Bolton, to reveal the message: ‘RIP Gary Speed’. At Elland Road, Speed’s widow, Louise, left the ground just before half-time to inspect the massed tributes around Billy Bremner’s statue with other family members. They spent about 15 minutes looking at the scarves, s
Image
Yorkshire Evening Post 3/12/11 Grayson targets promotion after emotional win Leeds manager Simon Grayson today said the biggest tribute the club could pay Gary Speed would be to win promotion this season to the Barclays Premier League. The Whites clinched their first home league win in five attempts thanks to a brilliant double from Robert Snodgrass in the space of two second-half minutes in a 2-0 win over Millwall. Snodgrass curled home a 25-yard free-kick just after the hour-mark and then threw himself at Lloyd Sam’s cross two minutes later to head home the second. It was the second time in as many matches that the memory of Speed, found dead at his home in Cheshire last Sunday, had served to inspire Leeds. Speed’s father Roger, wife Louise and sons Edward and Thomas were in attendance as Elland Road paid its final tribute to one of the club’s favourite sons. Grayson, whose side won 4-0 at Nottingham Forest on Tuesday night, said after another emotional day: “This week’s been diffi
Image
BBC 3/12/11 Leeds 2 - 0 Millwall By Peter Scrivener Robert Snodgrass scored both Leeds goals against Millwall as Elland Road paid a moving tribute to former player Gary Speed, who died last Sunday. Speed played in United's title-winning side in 1992 and team-mates Gary McAllister, Gordon Strachan and David Batty laid a wreath before kick-off. Snodgrass curled in a 25-yard free-kick and headed in a Lloyd Sam cross as United ran out comfortable winners. Darius Henderson came closest for the Lions, but his header was well saved. A video montage of Speed's goals preceded the game and Leeds fans chanted his name for 11 minutes, from the 11th minute, in recognition of his shirt number as they had done during their midweek 4-0 win at Nottingham Forest. Gary Speed was an absolute first-class person and an absolute privilege to work with. He was someone dedicated to making the best of what he had. I tried to sign him when I came to Leeds United, but Bolton nicked him. Former Leeds
Image
Telegraph 29/11/11 Leeds United inspired by memory of Gary Speed to overcome Nottingham Forest Leeds United won, Gary Speed 11. These were the salient facts as the City Ground, and Leeds fans in particular, paid a fitting tribute to the Wales manager whose death at the weekend has provoked such grief and mourning in the game. By David McVay, at the City Ground Despite playing for Newcastle, Bolton and Everton at the highest level, Leeds was Speed’s first club and spiritual home. Leeds supporters may have their detractors but they honoured one of their own in the East Midlands with passion and good grace as their side obliged by romping to a conclusive victory over a wretched Nottingham Forest. Yet, if it was a night of high emotion for those on the terraces, there were similar feelings in the Leeds dressing room where manager Simon Grayson dedicated this win to his former team mate. “I was proud of my players and the supporters,” said Grayson, who signed as a schoolboy for the west Y
BBC 29/11/11 Nott'm Forest 0 - 4 Leeds Leeds paid the best possible tribute to former number 11 Gary Speed with an emphatic win over Nottingham Forest on an emotional night at the City Ground. Applause before the match for Speed, who died at the weekend, was followed by 11 minutes of chants from the 11th minute by Leeds fans. Robert Snodgrass put the visitors ahead and Jonny Howson smashed a second. Luciano Becchio's header and Adam Clayton's finish sealed the win before Andy Reid was sent off for Forest. Leeds manager Simon Grayson, who forged a friendship with Speed after they signed schoolboy forms with Leeds on the same day when they were 14, had asked his players to win the game in Speed's memory and they did not disappoint. They bossed the game from start to finish, to the backdrop of constant chants from the away support about their former midfielder. It was apt that Leeds's first goal came almost exactly at the end of the United fans' 11 minutes of
Yorkshire Evening Post 28/11/11 Honest Grayson holds hands up Simon Grayson held his hands up to an unimpressive performance after Leeds United’s Yorkshire derby with Barnsley ended in a 2-1 defeat. Grayson blamed a lack of spark and invention for United’s failure to record a third straight Championship victory at Elland Road on Saturday. The United manager said his side had missed an opportunity to consolidate valuable away wins over Leicester City and Burnley and admitted Barnsley deserved three points from a low-key contest. Leeds were forced to fight a two-goal deficit after Ricardo Vaz Te and Craig Davies scored in the first half, and Grayson’s players fell short despite Ross McCormack pulling them back into the game with an impressive free-kick on 54 minutes. Grayson had attempted to heighten his team’s attacking threat by recalling Luciano Becchio for his first league start of the season but United mustered only six attempts on Barnsley’s goal and did not look like claiming an
Image
Telegraph 27/11/11 Gary Speed found dead: Wales manager was a fine footballer, good manager and a wonderful man A light has gone out in football and the sport suddenly seems a far darker place. A fine footballer, good manager and wonderful man, Gary Speed has gone, leaving behind a grieving family, a sport in mourning and countless friends shivering with a feeling of utter desolation. By Henry Winter Speed gave so much to the game and he had so much more to give. It’s such a waste, such a tragedy. When news broke of his death on Sunday, a wave of despair swept through the sport he served so well. Speed was so well-liked. He played the game the right way: with commitment, with honesty and with a sense of adventure. Those seeking Speed’s legacy need only look around. It’s there in the photographs on the walls of Elland Road, pictures that capture for eternity the image of him and his Leeds United celebrating the 1992 title. For Leeds United fans, and all who love attractive football, m
Yorkshire Evening Post 27/11/11 Wife found body of Leeds United legend Gary Speed The wife of Leeds United legend Gary Speed found him hanged at their home, an inquest was told today. The 42-year-old father-of-two was found dead at his Cheshire home on Sunday morning. Detective Inspector Peter Lawless, of Cheshire Police, told Cheshire coroner Nicholas Rheinberg that Speed’s body was found by his wife Louise just before 7am. He said there appeared to be no suspicious circumstances and a post mortem examination found Speed’s death was caused by hanging. Mr Rheinberg said: “I adjourn this inquest until January 30, 2012. The inquest will be heard in Warrington and will commence at 2pm.” There was a huge media presence at the inquest in Warrington but members of Speed’s family did not attend. The coroner asked the media to “respect the privacy” of Speed’s family. Earlier today Welsh Assembly Members observed a minute’s silence in the Senedd, Cardiff Bay, while flags continue to fly at ha