Date:Sunday April 22 2012
I made the trip to South Wales on Saturday morning and I give you my thoughts on the player`s performances for Leeds United.
Leeds battled back to earn a point in a 1-1 draw at Cardiff City.
Whilst he made two great saves to keep Leeds in the game he does not command his goal area. No one can deny he is a great shot stopper but once again, it was his hesitancy in the Leeds goal that saw us go behind. A good keeper would have come flying off their line to claim the ball that led to their goal. Instead, his hesitancy eventually found him either getting near the ball or guarding his net and it was easy for their player to score. We need a new number one next season.
A really good and steady game for Lees. He had to move to the middle of defence following the injury to Bromby and kept the Cardiff striker force relatively quiet along with Alex Bruce.
Bruce 7 Man of the match
I thought he was our best player. Steady at the back and could not do much about the ball played over the top for their goal with Leeds playing a high line. He is out of contract in the summer and I think he may have done enough for Neil Warnock to have earned a new one.
I am gutted for the lad. Whenever he has been given a chance in the Leeds side, he has rarely let us down. He was looking solid at the centre of defence before falling when under no challenge. Looks like he will be out for over twelve months and as harsh as it may sound, we now have a player who will not play for us next season already. It has already been indicated we will have a smaller squad next season and a player who will not play for us is already eating up wages. I hope he can recover from this injury as they can take some recovering from.
He was finding himself in plenty of space down the left all afternoon but he was rarely given the ball. I have a horrible feeling we will offer him a contract. Whilst I like his commitment, I don`t think he has the pace and is often exposed when he faces a winger with a bit of pace. We need better players than Robinson next season if we want to be taken seriously.
He looked up for the game and especially in the first half, whenever he had the ball he looked capable of unlocking the Cardiff defence. He saw much less of the ball in the second half.
I was watching him closely in the first half and he was chasing shadows. He was always a yard behind the pace and nowhere near their player with the ball. He got into the game a little bit more in the second half but he was still poor. I think Warnock substituted him to not risk any chance of another red card after he stupidly picked up a yellow.
I am not a big fan of Pugh but I thought he was our best midfielder. Got around the pitch and was working hard.
He could have stood next to me in the first half as the game past him by. He got into it a little more in the second half as Leeds got into the game but he did not do enough for me.
Again, he looked bright and eager and he was the only Leeds player giving us any sort of movement. He missed a great chance with a header early on and I was disappointed to see him substituted on the hour.
One of his harder working games against two big and strong centre backs. He won almost every header he had to go for and deservedly got a goal as a reward for his hard work.
He did well when he had to come on for Bromby on the half hour. A great ball in for the goal but as with Robinson, we need better players than him next season if we want to be serious about promotion.
Webber and Nunez 1
They both came on with half hour to go and I have marked them together as they both made the same impact. Both players did little; Nunez looked laboured and never gave his teammates an option when there was plenty of space to run into. Webber summed up what he has brought to the side since he signed. He sliced a shot well wide and then put a ball out for a goal kick when he failed with an easy ball for Robinson. Nunez still has a lengthy contract whilst Webber is a free agent in the summer. I hope Warnock can get rid of both in the summer.
For us, it was an end of season, nothing to play for game whilst they needed a win to guarantee a play-off place. The game never really got going and if not for the Leeds fans, there would have been no atmosphere.
What has new grounds done to the atmosphere? Ninian Park (just over the road) used to be an intimidating atmosphere to have to go and play in. Now at their new ground (looks like all the rest), they seem to have passionless supporters who rarely made a noise all game.
Leeds were guilty of what they have been guilty of all season. The ball was usually treated as an 'hot potato.` Nobody wanted to get the ball down and control it and it was usually just hit hopefully anywhere!
When we did decide to try and play the ball around, there was little movement, no one making space and it just went sideways and backwards.
I am looking forward to seeing a side next season that are going to run themselves into the ground.
One final point must be made about the Leeds away support. Once again, we have turned out in numbers for a lunchtime kick off, with most fans having to get up in the middle of the night to make the game. Saturday was my sixteenth away game this season and win, lose or draw, I have enjoyed every one. The atmosphere is just so much better on the road and I have pickled my liver even more with some great drinking sessions travelling with the Thames Valley Whites.
Yesterday, despite the early start the fans for the final away game of the season did a lot of work. We had everything from a group of knights, Humpa-lumpas, Mexicans and pirates all in fancy dress and once again we out sang the non-existent home support.
A good touch at the end, when the players threw their shirts into the away fans. It was good to see that almost all went to young kids who were proudly showing off their prized possessions.
Let us hope that Neil Warnock can now be allowed to build a squad capable of taking us back into the Premier League next season, our away following certainly deserves more.
One more game next Saturday to have to bear at home against Leicester and then let the clear out begin.
My last away fans view of the season and I am already looking forward to next season and many great away days.
Did you go to the game on Saturday?
Do you agree with these marks or would you have marked them differently?
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Date:Sunday April 22 2012
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