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Thursday, 11 August 2011

Another one bites the dust...............yet another "nearly" signing

The first week of the season draws to a close with a game against our Teeside rivals, Middlesbrough, at the Theatre of Hope.  As ever on Planet Leeds there have been plenty of topics and issues to keep the extended LUFC family engaged this week. The woeful defeat at impressive Southampton fanned the flames of the "what happened to the team strengthening this summer" debate in all its forms.  We seem to have been near to signing players numerous times only for the deal to fall through at the last minute.  Capt Birdseye gave an indication on Monday why the latest target, a big name centre forward on loan, never got to see the delights of Graveley's Fish n Chip shop on Elland Road.

 "His club agreed to let him join on loan until Christmas, the player said he wanted to come and then his agent got busy".
"He intervened and said no, what he wanted to do was to try and get his club to pay the player off, because he was in the last year of his contract and sign for us for a year. We said we’re signing him so he can play on Tuesday night and if he doesn’t turn up on Tuesday with his boots then he can forget it."

Such a charming negotiation style our Chairman has don't you think? I mean with three of our four strikers locked in the treatment room and a suitable replacement keen to come to Leeds you would have thought that there would have been a modicum of humility in the tone of the dialogue given that if Ross McCormack had picked up an injury against Bradford or indeed in training this week Ethel the Tea Lady would have started up front against Boro. Now I am all for cutting our cloth to what we can afford but that is just plain daft.  So I suppose we'll hear the same old story from Lord Larry that we've "got a couple of targets lined up who should join us early next week" after Ethel breaks her leg scoring the winner on Saturday!  Now please forgive me if you are reading this and thinking I've gone stark raving mad because we've just signed a decent left back, Centre half, Centre midfield and Centre forward ready for the Boro match as this was written on Thursday evening. By the way I think there's more chance of us signing Jesus Christ and the 12 disciples than that happening.

So I suspect Lord Larry won't have any new faces in the squad for Saturday and we will be left wondering if Parker, AOB and Connolly will all pay the price for poor performances on Tuesday.  If they do with the exception of Tom Lees, who looks a real prospect, the choices for the replacements are not great.  Will he try O'Dea at centre half or will he give Bromby another chance?  Or maybe Bruce will bounce back into contention?   Doesn't inspire thoughts of a clean sheet does it? The frustration is that whoever seems to populate the back four places they all suffer from the same disease, an inability to either communicate, defend as a unit, mark effectively or keep a clean sheet.  That would suggest to me it's the coaching that is at fault and whoever Lord Larry delegates that task to needs to be shown the door. In front of the back four the protection was not great against Southampton and whilst Clayton has shown some promise Michael Brown has disappointed in both games this week. 

With a defence still leaking goals we need to be knocking in three a game to compensate.  At least with Snoddy, Max, Nunez, Howson, Clayton and Sam all contending for midfield starting spots we should be able to rely on goals coming from the 5 man midfield. Snoddy did show better form for Scotland and scored the winner so he should be on a high at least. So all in all things are not looking too positive at LS11 at the moment.  Still early days in the season though and if we can limp along until we get Becchio and Somma back on the pitch there might be light at the end of the tunnel.  Until then I think it's a strategy of plan for the worst and hope for the best.

At least on Saturday we are back to Elland Road and we're kicking off at 3pm.  Is it too much to ask for a truly inspiring performance from the mighty whites to banish all this early season negativity?  Time will tell.
Can't wait.

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