Leeds - LUFC TSA: Is Middlesbrough the turning point?
UK time is: 00:12:22
Vital Login
Social Login

Choose your club

Other Sites

Network Navigation

Vital Partners

'If It's Football, It's Vital'

LUFC TSA: Is Middlesbrough the turning point?

Tim Steere writes his weekly article for Vital Leeds United and this week he looks at the transformation since the arrival of Neil Warnock.

Confidence is soaring around Elland Road and everyone associated with Leeds United again.

It is a remarkable transformation, of a club whose fans were despondent over the sale of young captain and academy product Jonny Howson; seeing a side conceding goals left right and centre, and seeing a side and a club devoid of inspiration and hope.

Now after just four matches in charge, Neil Warnock has transformed the team and the mood surrounding Leeds United.

Clean sheets against Portsmouth and Hull City were a good start, plus a heartening defeat to leaders Southampton with an inspired Kelvin Davis keeping Leeds out.

But has one result ever seen a transformation as the Middlesbrough game on Sunday?

The performance has been hailed by Phil Hay of the Yorkshire Evening Post as "some of the most complete football played by Leeds since their restoration to the Championship almost two years ago," High praise indeed from a respected journalist who has followed Leeds home and away. After watching the match myself, it`s hard to argue with that point.

Two goals scored, the first of Warnock`s reign, by opportunism, plus a defensive performance that nullified Middlesbrough completely.

Front to back the side was solid and restricted a side who are fourth in the Championship, to long-range efforts. Every player knew their position and where they had to be. Darren O`Dea had a bulldozer look about him with his Kisnorbo headband, who may as well had shouted "None shall pass" with every tackle. Paul Robinson (not that one) endeared himself with a solid performance at left back while Michael Brown once again ran into the ground for Warnock.

Ross McCormack caused all manner of problems in a free flowing attack along with White, Snodgrass and Becchio. The whole XI performed and performed professionally.

Adam Clayton summed up it up this week as to why the performance was as good as it was; 'The gaffer hasn't changed anything really, he's just got us all going in the same direction really and knowing where each other should be. Everyone knows what to do, and you do it.' The performance against Middlesbrough showed this in spades. The players knew exacted where they had to be and as a result shut out Middlesbrough completely.

West Ham come to Elland Road next and a sure fire sign of confidence in the new management is that the attendance has already gone over 30,000. It`s been a while since that has happened in the league at Leeds.

The constant pleas from Warnock to get behind the club and the players may be a tactic from above to quieten the supposed anti Bates protests and shouts, that`s open to interpretation. However, it can`t be argued that it does come from the heart of Warnock as part of a systematic change and shift of mood around the club and the ground on a match day which was described a poisonous. A win against West Ham on Saturday would do wonders for Warnock and restoring a long distanced belief that Leeds could make the play offs.

Off the pitch, Warnock has made some interesting decisions transfer wise. Maik Taylor has joined Rachubka on loan, leaving Leeds with just Alex Cairns and seemingly, according to the Arsenal official website but Leeds haven`t announced it, Sean McDermott as understudy to Lonergan. Although long-term Warnock watchers may notice that the new man at the helm at Elland Road doesn`t tend to pick keepers on the bench. So the departure of Taylor and the arrival of McDermott is purely a desperation measure if Lonergan gets injured. At least there is someone to use.

A result of this is the reintroduction onto the bench for the last three games of Billy Paynter. Scoring again in a behind closed doors game against Carlisle, Paynter is seemingly ready to go under Warnock and is newly motivated. The former Swindon striker has reportedly turned down a loan move to Notts County off the back of this. Lloyd Sam though hasn`t, he`s off until the end of the season.

Also returning against Carlisle was Robbie Rogers after the most unfortunate debut. 11 minutes into the Yorkshire derby with Doncaster, and Rogers was off with a nasty concussion. The nine minutes of injury time did lead to a Leeds winner…every cloud…

But the American was on the score sheet and along with Andy O`Brien slowly making his return after depression; the numbers are growing within the squad. But as long as this current starting eleven are performing, they will all have to wait.

The Warnock revolution is in full swing now for a man who based on his after match interview against Middlesbrough was clearly loving life at Leeds, and so far, the squad seem to be loving it too.

We`ll see if the 30,000 plus crowd at Elland Road on Saturday will be singing to the same hymn sheet as Warnock. A win against the Hammers would do it I reckon.

Middlesbrough may have been a turning point performance wise, West Ham at the weekend will show if there`s a turning point throughout the whole club.

Join The Vital Debate

Vital Leeds are the proud sponsors of the Thames Valley Whites Regional Supporters club

The fastest growing Leeds United supporters club in the South of England, with over 200 members since its formation in April 2009, travel to all games home and away.

The branch has pick up points at Basingstoke, Reading, Didcot, Abingdon, Oxford, Bicester and Banbury and will consider other pick up points on request.

Vital Leeds offers everything that a Leeds United supporter could wish for. If you can think of something and suggest it, we`ll put it on the website!

With news and views, along with a forum, polls and article comments, everything you need in a fans site is right here!

You can even win prizes, by posting articles comments, posting on the message forum and voting on the polls.

Vital is also 100% interactive. Not only can you have your say on the articles and the forum but you can also suggest an article or a poll so you can air your views.

So why not join Vital today?

It's easy to register here and enjoy getting involved

Message Board

To visit the message board, click here.

Get involved

This website is your website and we are looking for people to help run the site. Do you go to most of the games and have an opinion? Why not write a match report? Perhaps you are a budding journalist or even just someone who is very opinionated? Well why not join our team? If this interests you please contact Vital Leeds .

Bookmark and Share

Vital Leeds is now available on both facebook and twitter, so if you are that way inclined and more importantly understand all this new fangled dangled stuff, feel free to watch us, poke us or whatever else you are meant to do there!

Vital Leeds on: facebook

Vital Leeds on: twitter

Join Vital Leeds

It's easy to REGISTER HERE, simply click the link and enjoy getting involved!

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: Dazza71 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday March 16 2012

Time: 10:00AM


Have Your Say

Log in...
with your social network     OR     with your Vital account

Recent Leeds Articles

LUFC On This Day - November 30th (Monday November 30 2015)

LUFC Leeds Fan View v QPR (Sunday November 29 2015)

LUFC Evans - Byram talks this week (Sunday November 29 2015)

Leeds Beaten At Loftus Road (Sunday November 29 2015)

LUFC On This Day - November 29th (Sunday November 29 2015)

Archived Leeds Articles

List All Vital Leeds Articles
Have your say
Click here to suggest an article
Click here to suggest a poll
ScoopDragon Publishing Entire League Network of Sites

Vital Members League (view all)

1. dazza71 208
2. Tiny T 154
3. deslondon 73
4. erni 72
5. King Billy 57
6. SimonTVW 40
7. Oyper 31
8. bago 19
9. ultraleeds 15
10. Spanky White 13

League Table (view table)

Team P W D L GD Pts
14. Blackburn 18 4 9 5 1 21
15. Wolves 18 5 6 7 -1 21
16. Forest 18 5 5 8 -3 20
17. Leeds Utd 18 4 7 7 -5 19
18. Preston 18 3 9 6 -3 18
19. MK Dons 18 4 4 10 -9 16
20. Bristol City 18 3 7 8 -12 16

Leeds Fixtures (view all)

Breaking League News

5 big decisions Clarke is facing ahead of Thursdays game
» Reading : 30/11/2015 22:20:01
Karanka warns of danger
» Middlesbrough : 30/11/2015 21:43:00
Boro have no fear
» Middlesbrough : 30/11/2015 21:39:01
Vital MotM v. Hull City - Jacob Butterfield
» Derby County : 30/11/2015 21:39:00
» Brentford : 30/11/2015 21:35:00

Current Site Poll (view all polls)

Where do Leeds most need to strengthen in the January window?
Suggested By:  
Goal 4%
Defence 11%
Midfield 13%
Attack 72%