2010/11: Pre-season – Leeds Utd v Wolves

Well my 2010/11 season is now underway, as I joined the 12,000+ for the preseason game against Wolves at Elland Road yesterday. Overall Leeds ran out convincing 3-1 winners against the Premier League outfit. A morale boosting victory a week before the season starts.

It’s always difficult to judge how players will take to the Championship on the evidence of one game, but here are my positives and negatives from the performance yesterday. Max Gradel worried the Wolves defence for the hour he was on the pitch and scored a stunner to put Leeds ahead. Becchio chased and harried as is his trademark and Lloyd Sam did enough to suggest that Championship defences need to watch out for him. Sam’s endeavours were rewarded with the goal to put Leeds 2-1 up in the second half. In midfield Kilkenny was the dominant player with Johnson showing steady support who scored late on with a header for the third goal. At the back Alex Bruce (on for the injured Naylor) showed excellent positional ability and put in some useful tackles and blocks. Grayson wants Leeds to get the ball on the ground and play and this was reflected with some excellent passages of passing play during the 90 minutes.

On the negative side. Schmeichel made some excellent saves during his time between the sticks yesterday, but wasn’t convincing with anything swung into the box. He had a tendency yesterday to back towards his line and was at fault in Wolves soft equaliser on the stroke of half-time. Grayson has a decision to make regarding who his first choice keeper is. A defence and team need to have a keeper they have faith in. It’s unsettling as witnessed last season to keep swapping. Bessone had a nightmare first half. He constantly got the wrong side when marking his striker, his distribution and tackling were also poor. He looked better second half when coming forward, but I would question his defensive abilities based on yesterdays outing. In midfield Jonny Howson had a very quiet game and seemed either unable or unwilling to get involved in the game. Upfront, I’d still like to see a better option that Somma who did nothing to impress for me when he came on.

Off the pitch, I was irritated to hell by the big screen and sound system. Was it me or was the volume unnecessarily loud? Perhaps it was just that with the stadium a third full the racket was more noticeable. However, before the game and at half-time, the crowd was “treated” to what seemed like a constant bombardment of adverts for the new sponsors of the various stands at Elland Road, I felt like I was listening to a tannoy in a pound shop. I realised how bad it was when my son at half time turned round to me and said, do we really have to listen to all this cheese…

Then to cap off the day on the train home, I read the programme and headed for the Chairman’s notes. For those of you unable to share in the wisdom of Mr Bates, here are the “facts/headlines” according to his latest missive:

• Wolves regained and retained their Premier League status through good management, not just spending cash.

• The away blue kit is now available – BUY, BUY, BUY, BUY!

 • August 1st – Annual Family Day. The away blue kit is now available – BUY, BUY, BUY, BUY!

• Billy’s Bar – Great Sunday Roast Lunch– BUY, BUY, BUY, BUY! • Old Conference & Exhibition Centre demolished. Centenary Pavilion being built. Will accommodate 2,500 – 3,000 (Members ONLY) on matchday.

 • Howards Way to be converted to quality restaurant with wine to match– BUY, BUY, BUY, BUY!

• LUSCOS bashed by Bates – why do numbers of international members match up?

• LUSCOS praised by Bates – they invest money in LUFC U15’s Academy.

• Other Supporters Groups criticised – where does their money go?

• Leeds Members Club grows – BUY, BUY, BUY, BUY!

Mr Bates to aisle 3 please……

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Posted August 1, 2010 by Editor in category "Football Features

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