Date:Sunday July 29 2012
Vital Leeds will be returning with its usual fans view in the coming season, when a supporter will give his assessment of how the team played.
Vital Leeds contributor and season ticket holder Tiny T usually gives the view from games at Elland Road whilst the away games usually fall on my shoulders as I am at the vast majority of away games.
On Friday, I made the trip to Torquay to see the new look Leeds United for the first time this pre-season and I give my views on how I see the new players settling in as well as how those Warnock inherited last season are doing.
It is very hard to mark the players out of ten, as is normally done as pre-season games are usually played at a sedate pace with no risks being taken.
He was signed from Portsmouth earlier in the week and he has had his chance to stake a claim with Paddy Kenny struggling with injury.
He looks a good all round goalkeeper and he certainly gives us two good options for the number one jersey. Ashdown made one great save in the first half low down to his left and he couldn`t do much about the goal scored by Torquay late in the game.
He played the first half at right back before moving into the centre in the second half.
I like Lees but I really think we need someone will plenty of experience to partner Pearce in the centre of defence. Lees would be great to call upon when required.
His last chance to prove to Warnock that he is worth a contract. Cranie played alongside Pearce at the centre of defence. He certainly isn`t quiet and you could see him shouting and pointing at his fellow defenders and midfield. He was worryingly beaten far too easily at one stage in the first half, with the Torquay forward waltzing past him.
He looks like he will certainly help sort out what has been a woeful defence for the past few seasons. Big and strong who also looks commanding in defence.
He has been around for a very long time but he was one of the signings who I have to admit I knew little about when we signed him. I have obviously seen him a number of times against Leeds but the fact I knew little about him probably meant he was having decent games. I liked what I saw on Friday. He was good on the ball, did well in defence and he got forward to help out the Leeds attack. He also looks like he has a decent left foot that will create a number of chances with crosses this season.
He looked rusty on Friday night. Maybe after a lack of pre-season at Portsmouth means he is just behind the rest of the squad with his fitness. I do like what I see though. He looks decent going forward, in the air and he does not shirk his defensive duties.
Both Green and Brown dominated the centre of the park and I can see him becoming a huge favourite with the fans. I can see him coming close to scoring double figures this season as he gets into good positions in the final third. He did miss a great chance to score on Friday when he screwed wide when he was in a great position.
With the game being played at a slow pace, it suited Brown. With Green, Austin and Norris also fighting for a place in the centre of midfield it is going to be very interesting to see what Warnock does. Brown will always give his all when called upon by Warnock. The centre of midfield is certainly an area where we have no worries.
I have to be honest; I think he is wasted wide on the right. I don`t think he has the guile of Snodgrass to cut inside players. If he is to play further forward and not at left back, then play him on his natural side.
Those that had seen him so far in pre-season had said he didn`t look interested. He was certainly interested at Torquay and they were two very well taken goals. It seems the jury is out with many fans with McCormack. I hope we can hold onto him.
I thought he struggled to get into the game. I have to be honest, he is the one signing I have been disappointed with this summer. I think we already have enough squad players similar to Gray. I hope he proves me wrong.
A half time substitute and he was quickly into the thick of things. Heard many good things about him from those that have seen him so far this pre-season. He certainly looks like one for the future in an area that desperately needs strengthening this summer. There was an incident near the end of the game when he went into a 50/50 with a Torquay player and the ball came off worst. Leeds fans always like to see that sort of commitment. He did take one of the worst throw ins I have ever seen with the ball almost going into the stand rather than on the pitch.
He looks raw and he certainly does not lack in confidence. He brought a spark to a dour second half and he has all the skills. He could be a great player to call upon with twenty minutes remaining with the opposition defence tiring. He could be the one from the academy to step into the first team this season.
He sat in midfield and did ok. I was watching him in the warm up and wondering how he felt on the bench with kids. I really cannot see him getting a sniff of first team football this season. I still cannot believe we wasted cash on him last season.
Thompson & Rogers
Both came on for the final ten minutes and never really got into the game.
I have to say, I had a fantastic few days down in Torquay. As soon as you got to Torquay, all you could see were Leeds fans. Walking through the town, they were everywhere. The Green Ginger pub had an upstairs balcony that was decorated in Leeds flags. I ended up in the London Inn and at £1.99 a pint, it turned out to be a cheap day. The sun was shining; Leeds fans were in good voice and great spirit. I cannot wait for the new season.
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Date:Sunday July 29 2012
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