Date:Sunday September 16 2012
I made the trip to Cardiff City on Saturday and give my player ratings for the game in the 2-1 defeat.
He had little to do in the first half as both sides cancelled each other out. In the second half, he made a string of good saves to keep Leeds in the game. He could do little with either goal.
The defence generally looked solid and Peltier worked well with Byram on the right hand side in the first half. He will be disappointed to have missed the target with his header late in the game.
He looked solid in the centre of defence all afternoon and he got his head to most balls that came into the middle.
Whilst his general defending wasn`t bad, he got on the wrong side of the striker on a couple of occasions and he was made to pay for one of them when Nicky Maynard made the most of a coming together to win a penalty.
He looks like being one of those players who does not win many plaudits but just goes about his business. He was not troubled in the first half and it is a blow if he is also joining the ever-increasing injury list.
He started on the wing in the first half and reverted to left back in the second half after the withdrawal of Drury. When attacking, he still doesn`t get his head up when he crosses the halfway line. I was hoping his couple of goals in pre-season would help his confidence in the final third but it doesn`t seem to have done.
Austin 8 Man of the match
After the long trek across the Atlantic this week, Austin showed no sign of being tired. Once again, he was strong in the tackle and led the Leeds midfield. A superb strike to get Leeds back into the game and his overall performance in both halves gets him the man of the match just ahead of Kenny.
He looked a little rusty, as to be expected but he kept going although he looked tired as the second half wore on. With so many injuries, he will probably have to start against Hull in midweek. I just hope he has got it in him after hardly playing in the past few seasons.
A steady game from the Leeds youngster, who linked up well with Peltier in the first half. He won a lot of headers as well for Leeds. He seemed to disappear in the game after being the victim of a crude challenge from Tommy Smith in the first half.
I cannot really score him as he lasted five minutes. He was making a good strong surging run into the Cardiff defence when suffering his injury. I hope he isn`t out for too long, as we had zero creativity in the final third without him.
Decisions were going against him early on and like usual when this happens he disappears in games. He hardly won a header all afternoon and never carried a threat for Leeds.
I thought he would be a good signing for Leeds when he arrived in the summer but so far, he has been a major disappointment. Apart from winning headers, he does little else for the side. He was taken off late on and he could actually be another carrying a knock. He was limping heavily after winning a header in the penalty area. I hope Warnock starts with either Diouf or Poleon on Tuesday night.
He came on for Drury at half time and did little to make an impression on the game.
He replaced Varney with seven minutes remaining but never got involved in the game.
A disappointing and frustrating defeat for so many reasons. In my opinion the referee had a shocker and looked woefully out of his depth. The first half was so stop start with a number of niggly free kicks.
Quite how Jordan Mutch wasn`t booked for a challenge on Peltier and then Smith only received a yellow card for a crude challenge on Byram. Both players could have quite easily have seen red. To make matters worse, Austin is then booked for a nothing challenge.
Both free kick and penalty decisions looked harsh but Cardiff seemed aware that the referee was easy. Like Warnock said after the game, we are a little na´ve to these sorts of decisions, whilst Cardiff players used their experience to win the decisions.
The injury to McCormack is a massive blow. We already lack a spark in the final third and he is the one player who usually gives us something. Neil Warnock and every Leeds fan can see we need something in the final third but we are not going to get those sorts of players whilst Bates is still at the club. I cannot see him allowing Warnock to add to his squad either by bringing in another loan player.
Cardiff have brought in a lot of players this summer and spent heavily but they look nothing special but when you can bring on players like Craig Bellamy and Aron Gunnarsson from the bench, which is where the big difference is between us and other clubs.
We are so close to having a side with a decent chance of at least the play offs. We are just lacking a couple of game changing players but they are not going to arrive as on our wage budget, Warnock will never be allowed to bring them in. As it stands, we are a mid-table side. We are not going to get turned over easily by anybody but we lack the spark to beat the sides near the top. It is going to be another frustrating season. Can Warnock already see this and will he stick around knowing he isn`t going to get his eighth promotion at Leeds unless Bates spends cash, and that just isn`t going to happen.
A last mention as always goes to the fans. As always on the away trips, they sung loud and proud for 90 minutes and another excellent following in what is always a frustrating bubble trip to Cardiff.
A great moment in the first half when both sets of supporters stood to sing the name of Gary Speed.
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Date:Sunday September 16 2012
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