Date:Sunday October 3 2010
With ten games gone in the Championship and now a two week break due to internationals it`s a good time to assess the start made by Leeds United.
Most fans were looking at a season of consolidation after last season`s promotion, but after a good first month in the division, expectations were raised, only for a very indifferent September that had fans scratching their heads by the end of the month.
In the first ten games, Leeds have won four, drawn two and lost four and are currently in tenth place with fourteen points.
Leeds lost their opening day fixture for the first time in twenty-one years when Derby came to Elland Road and went away with a 2-1 win.
After twenty minutes of the second game of the season at Nottingham Forest, the side were 1-0 down and under a barrage of pressure, which probably had most fans thinking they were going to be on the wrong end of a battering and a very long season.
Leeds slowly got into the game and Lloyd Sam equalised shortly before half time, after that there was only ever one side looking the likely winners with Leeds dominating but unable to find a winner.
In the next game, Leeds put in one of their best league performance for quite a few seasons when they came from behind to beat 'bogey team` Millwall 3-1 at Elland Road.
That win set Leeds off and running in the division and they made it three wins in a row with a 1-0 win at Watford followed by a 2-1 home win over Swansea City.
After five games, Leeds were sat in the play off positions and with nobody really looking like they were going to walk away with the division, fans were suddenly thinking about back to back promotions.
Leeds soon came back down to earth as they started the first of three Yorkshire derbies in a row with an away game at Barnsley.
Almost 7,000 Leeds fans made the short trip to Oakwell and after just four minutes they were celebrating a Johnny Howson goal to give them the lead.
Unfortunately, this was to be the highlight of the game as the Leeds midfield and defence went missing and ended up on the wrong end of a 5-2 score line.
Leeds then made the trip to Doncaster and with Grayson making a number of changes the side battled to a 0-0 draw.
Leeds looked the better side in the second half and Somma saw his effort ruled out for offside (correct decision) late in the game.
Sheffield United were next up for Leeds at Elland Road and in a very hard fought game, a solitary goal from Bradley Johnson late on earned Leeds all three points.
With struggling Preston next up, Leeds fans were confident of another three points and the possibility of ending the evening in second place.
With the side 4-1 in front and still in the first half the signs looked good for another three points.
Jon Parkin pulled one back for the visitors before half time and the warning signs were there but unfortunately nobody in the Leeds camp took notice.
Five unanswered second half goals from Preston gave the score line an embarrassing look as it finished 6-4. It was also the first time in the club`s history that they had conceded six goals in a home game.
Last time out Leeds travelled to Ipswich and found themselves behind once again. Despite not looking like scoring all afternoon, they managed to get back on level terms thanks to Robert Snodgrass. Then Alex Bruce then got himself sent off and within minutes they were behind again and another disappointing afternoon as it finished 2-1.
Therefore, after ten games its very difficult to see just where we will be come the end of the season.
The loss of key personnel came as a huge body blow to Leeds when the team was going well.
The injury to the already influential keeper, Kasper Schmeichel was a huge blow and with no decent cover at right back for the injured Paul Connolly the defence as been exposed.
It`s not been helped by a powder puff midfield that still don`t seem able to put in a decent tackle and the calls for a strong tackling midfielder still seem to be the call that every Leeds fan is crying out for in the team.
The two-week break couldn`t have come at a better time and hopefully by the time Leeds travel to Middlesbrough in their next game a few of the injured players may have returned to the first team set up.
I still think this division is wide open and with only Queens Park Rangers showing any kind of consistency, any side that can put three or four wins together can quickly shoot up the table.
October looks another difficult month and it`s not started great with the defeat to Ipswich but in a division that is so inconsistent so who knows what will happen.
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Date:Sunday October 3 2010
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|11. MK Dons||5||2||1||2||1||7|
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