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Uwe Rösler: Lost In A Foreign Land

A story of the former East German international Uwe Rösler as he takes the reigns of Italy's fallen giants - A.C. Milan
Started on 22 May 2015 by Jack
Latest Reply on 9 August 2015 by Jack

Pre-Season update

We spent most of this pre-season away from home, which, with the amount of new signings arriving isn't ideal as they need to get used to the Elland Road climate and atmosphere before competitive football arrives here later in August. But apart from that, pre-season was a good team gelling exercise and we were quite successful in the process - winning 3 out of the 5 games, with 1 draw and 1 loss.

Our players from the lower leagues like Morsy, Darikwa and Bentley performed very well and seemed to be comfortable against each opposition, so I'm expecting that to be consistent throughout this campaign. We didn't play any opposition within our league but played Queens Park Rangers, who are in the Premier League but could only muster a 1-0 loss to them, which was disappointing considering we need to be playing at Premier League standard to get out of this league.


Leeds United 2 - 0 Mlada Boleslav

Alex Mowatt (16)
Nick Powell (88)

Doncaster Rovers 1 - 1 Leeds United

Lewis Cook (25)
Harry Forrester (29)

Colwyn Bay 0 - 2 Leeds United

Alex Mowatt (3)
Ben Pringle (26)

Queens Park Rangers 1 - 0 Leeds United

Junior Hoilett (59)

Rochdale 0 - 1 Leeds United

Alex Mowatt (34)

Player of Pre-Season

The youngster was ever-present during pre-season. He scored 3 goals in 4 games which is an excellent turn-out for a winger/attacking-midfielder of his age. He led the team as well as the new signings and is a great example of the calibre of player we need to be promoted here. If we had a team of Alex Mowatt's we would definitely take this league to pieces.

Next month: August

Next month, hopefully we have gelled enough to get our first win against Millwall and set us up for an easy tie against League Two new-boys Mansfield Town ahead of our match-ups against promotion favourites Middlesbrough, Brighton and Watford, with a hopefully easy fixture against Bolton at the end of the month. This first month will be extremely important to setting the standard for this season.

Two in, three out at Leeds

Leeds have managed to fight off competition from many top-flight clubs and second tier rivals for Manchester United's Nick Powell.

Powell debuted for Leeds in their 2-0 win over Mlada Boleslav, in which Powell scored one goal. Some of the Elland Road faithful were annoyed that their new manager Uwe Rösler has taken a player from their most vicious rivals in the country, but after recalling the effect Gordon Strachan had since swapping Old Trafford for Elland Road in 1989, the supporters were quickly eased.

Powell will go into a very strong midfield core that contains the likes of Lewis Cook, Sam Morsy, Luke Murphy and Tommaso Bianchi. Being involved with such a group of players will definitely aid both clubs, with Powell developing alongside the youngsters at Elland Road before going back to Old Trafford a better player, after improving Leeds' league position and results.

Powell signs on loan from the Red Devils, with Leeds covering 50% of his £12,000 wages.

The next player to sign for the Whites is the unknown quantity that is Chris Speed.

The striker never managed to play a single competitive game for Crewe Alexandra in League One last season, but scored 25 goals in the under-17's and 18's teams for Crewe. This transfer seems to be the one fans of the West Yorkshire side seem to be questioning most, even though Rösler paid such a low fee for the striker.

Although, Dennis Wise - former manager of Leeds, who brought Jermaine Beckford to the club compared Speed's and Beckford's rise to prominence in the Elland Road ranks.

Dennis Wise managed Leeds between 2006 and 2008.

Wise said: "I don't question Rösler's judgement on the Chris Speed transfer whatsoever. It's what you do when you're a manager in the lower leagues.

"Jermaine Beckford was signed from Wealdstone in 2006 by me. Wealdstone were, and still are in the Ismithian Premier League in England - one of the lowest levels in English football, but he was, and still is a clinical finisher, and judging by Speed's record in the youth levels, so is he.

"Give Speed some time to develop, then judge him."

Chris Speed joins the ranks at Leeds for a fee of £40,000 and a wage of £250 per week.

Now, onto departures. Three youth academy products were sadly released earlier in the month - with centre-back Ross Killock and right-backs Lewie Coyle and Matthew Downing all leaving the club with immediate effect following many years with the club.

Ross Killock and Matthew Downing have both found new clubs, with Killock at Macclesfield and Downing at AFC Fylde. Lewie Coyle remains a free agent.

Ross Killock finished an 11-year affiliation with the West Yorkshire side due to his release.

The next player to leave is Steve Morison. He leaves on a free transfer to his former team Millwall, who he spent time on loan two seasons ago.

Morison was heavily criticised early in the season after a long term spell out of the first team. But Neil Redfearn reinvigorated the forward, placing him in a target man type of role up front, and even sometimes out on the wing! The striker wasn't a goalscorer at all, but he set up many goals and was an integral part in last seasons campaign, gaining more plaudits than critics by the end of the season.

Morison was one of a few shining lights in last seasons campaign

But unfortunately, Uwe Rösler found the English-born Welshman surplus to requirements at Elland Road - and with the arrival of Jermaine Beckford, it put him further down the pecking order below Mirco Antenucci, Billy Sharp and Lewis Walters.

Steve Morison moves back to The Den for no fee.

The next departure isn't a permanent one, but Chris Dawson moved to strugglers Blackpool earlier in July for a full season loan, with Blackpool paying all £2000 of his weekly wages during the loan.

The youngster has found it difficult to find a place in the first-team since his rise in popularity with the coaching staff and supporters in 2011. The central midfield role at Elland Road has been held by many great occupants in the past, making it difficult for a very small man in the centre - which isn't regularly the case in the Championship.

Chris Dawson playing for the Whites last season

But the midfielder is set to be one of Leeds' brightest prospects, and a loan move cannot harm his development at all, especially to Blackpool, where he will have to adjust to the conditions at the club and overall make him a better player.

Chris Dawson moves to Blackpool on a full-season loan with Blackpool paying 100% of his £2,000 wages.

But the latest departure from Elland Road is the only one so far that has commanded an actual transfer fee. Scott Wootton has swapped Elland Road for the AMEX Stadium down south to join Brighton & Hove Albion for a fee of £425,000.

Brian McDermott signed the centre-back/right-back from Manchester United upon his arrival at Elland Road for a fee of £500,000 and appeared 20 times for the Whites that season, scoring on his debut against Doncaster Rovers in 2013. He was heavily slated by fans in his first season which led to new manager David Hockaday loaning Wootton out to Rotherham United until January - by which time Darko Milanic had gone and Neil Redfearn was in charge.

Wootton celebrating his debut goal against Doncaster Rovers early in the 2013/14 season.

Redfearn again reinvigorated Wootton like Morison, and pushed Sam Byram further upfield into right-wing, slotting Wootton into right-back and it definitely worked - the communication between the two youngsters was brilliant and fans began to like the former Man United defender, but with Tendayi Darikwa arriving from Chesterfield, it appeared Wootton had no choice but to leave and Brighton gladly took him for a reasonable fee.

Scott Wootton moves to Brighton for a fee of £425,000 and a wage of £6,000 per week.
forget the rest, nick powell will be the match winner for you next season!
Interesting signings as usual, but Powell will be amazing if he's anything like he was for me!
No1VillaFan & LLMCrumble: Powell better be the player you two make him out to be then ;)

August update

It all started as if it was all going to go all wrong - but how my opinion differed after that game at The Den. Millwall defeated us 3-1 in the opening fixture of the season and I can say myself that I just looked at the fans, already preparing for another dull season of mediocrity once again. But I knew there was still something, some light at the end of the tunnel - and there was. We had an easy, relaxed fixture against Mansfield, and it set us up to be unbeaten the rest of the month! It was great stuff from our lads. The supporters are now actually looking forward to Leeds games now, instead of it being a painful religious ritual it has been for many years.


Millwall vs Leeds United

The Den
Sky Bet Championship

Goalscorers: Jermaine Beckford
Booked: None
Attendance: 19,384

Mansfield Town vs Leeds United

Field Mill
Capital One Cup 1st Round

Goalscorers: Max Gradel, Sol Bamba, Nick Powell
Booked: None
Attendance: 2,817

Leeds United vs Middlesbrough

Elland Road
Sky Bet Championship

Goalscorers: Sam Byram, Liam Cooper
Booked: Tendayi Darikwa, Charlie Taylor, Sam Morsy
Attendance: 26,686

Leeds United vs Brighton & Hove Albion

Elland Road
Sky Bet Championship

Goalscorers: Billy Sharp, Alex Mowatt, Max Gradel
Booked: Sol Bamba, Charlie Taylor, Sam Morsy
Attendance: 24,047

Watford vs Leeds United

Vicarage Road
Sky Bet Championship

Goalscorers: Liam Cooper
Booked: Sol Bamba
Attendance: 16,266

Leeds United vs Walsall

Elland Road
Capital One Cup 2nd Round

Goalscorers: Mirco Antenucci (2), Sol Bamba, Max Gradel (2)
Booked: Liam Cooper
Attendance: 21,160

Leeds United vs Bolton Wanderers

Elland Road
Sky Bet Championship

Goalscorers: Alex Baptiste (own goal)
Booked: Lewis Cook
Attendance: 28,609

League Table

After a poor start to a team we should have been beating, we picked ourselves up excellently to finish the first month in a play-off position - 6th place. Obviously we shouldn't judge league positions too early but our position is a great one to be in at the end of the first month of the season.


We seem set for quite an uneasy month of next. We play current league leaders Brentford, play a Yorkshire Derby against Huddersfield Town and face a cup tie against the Premier League outfit that is Newcastle United - led by struggling manager John Carver. I believe we can have a good month in September.
hope leeds united will start picking some form in the coming month

Rösler finalises last-minute deals

It was quite a busy deadline day for the Whites as the 2014 summer transfer window ended at 11 o'clock last night.

New Leeds United keeper Daniel Bentley suffered quite a bad shock in the last few hours before the deadline, as Leeds' Champions League keeper Paul Robinson headed in for talks at Elland Road over a return to the club after an 11-year absence from the West Yorkshire side - leading to Bentley's departure on loan to Leyton Orient.

Upon his arrival at the club, Rösler described Bentley as a 'magic' goalkeeper and has 'bags of potential'. However, the former East Germany international evidently believes that Bentley does not have either the ability or experience to step up to the first team plate just yet.

Bentley was signed for £925,000 in the summer - Leeds' most expensive deal

The 21-year-old signed up on a one-year loan deal at the O's with hours left on the deadline day clock, following the news that 34-year-old veteran Paul Robinson had rejoined the team he grew up at on a one-year contract worth around £150,000.

Bentley joins Gary Megson's Leyton Orient with four Leeds league appearances under his belt and looks set to take over the number 1 spot from ex-Doncaster shot-stopper Gary Woods, who has conceded 6 goals in the past 3 league games in League One, putting Orient into 23rd place in the third tier.

The Paul Robinson to Leeds rumour began early on in the transfer window as Blackburn revealed their retained and released list, which confirmed the departure of the former Spurs keeper. It was a surprise move considering how many appearances the 34-year-old made in previous seasons, but with Jason Steele arriving from Middlesbrough he would be lucky to get a game at Ewood Park.

Robinson will battle with 23-year-old prodigy Marco Silvestri for number 1 spot at Leeds

Now he looks set to battle for number 1 spot with the 23-year-old Italian star Marco Silvestri who was spotted by former Director of Football Nicola Salerno last year after some outstanding performances for Massimo Cellino's old team Cagliari on loan last season from Serie A outfit Chievo Verona.

In 1997, Robinson signed as a trainee for Leeds United and won the FA Youth Cup with the Yorkshire club, making his first team debut in October the following year. In the same month in 1999, he was representing England at Under-21 level, but was kept out of the Leeds side until Nigel Martyn was injured in October 2000.

This run in the first team saw him feature in the club's good run in the Champions League and in February 2002 he signed a new five year deal at Elland Road. Became first choice at Leeds in 2002-03 and he stepped up to the senior England team, playing as a substitute in a defeat at Upton Park at the hands of Australia.

The big man impressed when at Leeds United and even in their relegation season, he was outstanding. It was during this season that Tottenham tried to sign him before the end of the January transfer deadline and in June 2003, Aston Villa agreed a fee for the keeper.

Robinson celebrating scoring against Swindon in extra-time

Robinson wanted to stay and try to keep Leeds up, with the club's perilous financial situation meaning they were keen to do the deal, it was not possible to conclude a satisfactory outcome. Robbo wanted to sign for Spurs, but be loaned back to Leeds for the rest of the season, but United already had their quota of loan players, so the deal failed.

However, with Leeds failing to beat the drop (despite Robinson heading an equalising goal in added time for Leeds against Swindon Town in the Carling Cup), Tottenham made a swift approach for the giant goalkeeper. And now, a decade on since his move to London, the 6'4" giant finds himself back at where it all began - at Elland Road.

Rösler's 'Plan A': 4-3-3

Uwe Rösler has gone on record as saying that he already has the core nucleus of a good side and that he is hoping to drill his tactical thoughts into his players' heads. With this stated principle in mind, we at Sky Sports have taken a look at what Rösler’s ‘Plan A’ might look like with what he has made available to himself at Leeds United at the moment.

Byram has been an integral part of Leeds' team since his introduction in 2012/13 season

Rösler’s has already gone on record as saying that he prefers the 4-3-3 as his ‘go-to formation’ as he prefers to have high-intensity play pressing opponents high up the park. With this firmly in mind, the following is simply what he could put out on the park at the moment. We suppose we had better start defending myself before the shots are fired. Firstly, Sam Byram has shown that he is a very good right-sided midfield player for Leeds this season but he is also a better right back than Tendayi Darikwa who performed admirably there last season for Chesterfield. In a 4-3-3 he [Byram] would be ideal to bring those quick, marauding skills down the right flank in keeping with Rösler’s philosophy.

Keeping with the right-side of the field, and bearing in mind Leeds have a few natural wingers, we have installed new signing Max Gradel as the right-sided attacker. After watching clips after clips of Gradel, we noticed he has all the skills to be a Championship Raheem Sterling but also many weaker areas meaning that he’ll not reach that plateau. Gradel is quick, skillful, can turn defenders for pace (especially in the Championship) and can finish well. One of his major faults is that he ‘goes missing’ a lot and often drops too deep to try get things started. However, with Byram behind him, hopefully he wouldn’t need to drop as far back.

Gaetano Berardi has settled into Championship life admirably quick

Switching to the left side of the field, yes, we haven't picked Charlie Taylor, because we feel that although Taylor is a great player, Gaetano Berardi is a much better defender, or at least showed himself to be as the 2014/15 Championship season wound to an end. Saying that, Taylor and Berardi would be equally interchangeable here at left back. Alex Mowatt in the advanced left attacking position is almost a no-brainer really. He ended the season with nine goals, has a boomstick of a left foot and I think he’d really benefit from playing higher up the pitch, in the redzone so-to-speak, in a more attack-focused Leeds United lineup. But with Ben Pringle coming into the team this season - that position is also very interchangeable.

The centre of the field though, that’s where Leeds fared badly under the flawed 4-4-2 Diamond imposed for the 2014 component of the 2014/15 season; they simply didn’t have the players to fulfill the roles required. They were bereft of bodies in the centre of the park, often over-run and with a central defensive pairing constantly under attack as midfield was swamped. The 4-2-3-1 formation that was used for most of 2015 solved that to a degree insomuch as the losses weren’t catastrophic. The 4-3-3 will solve some of those defensive frailties in that is provides a three-man screen in front of the centre of defence.

Luke Murphy's form was reignited by suspended assistant manager Steve Thompson last season

Two players realistically pick themselves in Luke Murphy and Lewis Cook; Cook having a fantastic season until injury cut it short and Murphy was like Lazarus rising when the formation was changed at the start of 2015. New signings Nick Powell and Sam Morsy also add another dimension to the Leeds team, they have fitted into the squad unbelievably well since arriving at Elland Road this window just gone. Morsy hands you a defensive outlook to the side, whereas Powell gives you a more attacking style of play in the centre of midfield - a brilliant combination to have in any league.

All that is left is the back of the park and up top, central defence and the main striker role. In regard to the main striker, the focal point of the attack, then you can only go for Jermaine Beckford out of the current strikers on the books. Antenucci was the top scorer last season, and Billy Sharp did a great job whenever called upon, but Beckford's return to Elland Road has not only reignited their relationship to the fans, but he offers you something Leeds didn't have last season - pace and power up front.

Bamba has played way above this level for Leeds since his initial loan move in January

At the back, well that just leaves Liam Cooper and Sol Bamba as the central defensive pair seeing as they saw most of the game time towards the end of last season together. The Scot and the Ivorian have connected amazingly well since Bamba arrived in January on loan and returned permanently this summer. Both are just what you need at this level - a bit of rough and tumble at the back to limitate the pacey strikers in the league.

It's been another excellent month down here at Elland Road as we soared to four wins out of five games. We beat the hardest team on the fixture sheet this month in Newcastle United at St. James' Park. Goals from Alex Mowatt and Jermaine Beckford - once linked to the Magpies sealed a 2-0 win against the Geordies. In other fixtures, we faced tough challenges like AFC Bournemouth and a Yorkshire Derby against Huddersfield Town which we beat, but a loss against Brentford in the last game of the month stumbled our progress a bit.


Birmingham City vs Leeds United

St. Andrews
Sky Bet Championship

Goalscorers: Lewis Cook, Sol Bamba
Booked: Tendayi Darikwa, Sol Bamba, Charlie Taylor
Attendance: 13,479

AFC Bournemouth vs Leeds United

Dean Court
Sky Bet Championship

Goalscorers: Billy Sharp (3), Alex Mowatt (2)
Booked: Max Gradel
Attendance: 11,823

Leeds United vs Huddersfield Town

Elland Road
Sky Bet Championship

Goalscorers: Max Gradel (2), Billy Sharp, Martyn Woolford (own goal)
Booked: Sam Morsy
Attendance: 37,444

Newcastle United vs Leeds United

St. James' Park
Capital One Cup 3rd Round

Goalscorers: Alex Mowatt, Jermaine Beckford
Booked: Sol Bamba, Liam Cooper
Attendance: 48,437

Brentford FC vs Leeds United

Griffin Park
Sky Bet Championship

Goalscorers: Alex Mowatt
Booked: Sam Byram
Attendance: 8,655

League Table

At the end of this month, we find ourselves in a very healthy 3rd place, with a game in hand on the majority of the league going into October. We have accumulated 19 points out of a possible 27 after losses to Millwall and now Brentford. But we look set to hopefully continue this great run of recent wins into many months.


The obvious fixture that stands out among this list is the one at the end of the month - Arsenal, at Elland Road on a Wednesday night. How perfect. We also have TWO Yorkshire Derbies coming up, the first against Sheffield Wednesday, the fixture after - Rotherham United. I'm expecting the Sheffield Wednesday game to be a sell-out and I'm hoping we'll use the home advantage to lead us to win against the Owls. We face a tough task in Norwich City as well, who are one of the favourites to finish near the top by the end of the season.
A truly fantastic start to the season! Next month won't be easy but I reckon you'll pull something out of the bag.
Great start! If only something happened like this in real life...
Mohanned Ashraf: I hope so too :)

Justice: It'll be tough, but I'm not doubting myself ;) Thanks! :)

gingey2: We can only dream my friend :))

Thank you all for following the story thus far - keep posted for more updates! :)

Eight youngsters depart Leeds

It's been a tense month for Leeds United's youngsters in the development and youth teams as the club have temporarily let go eight youths on loan to lower league opposition.

The most high-profile names out of the eight are definitely Kalvin Phillips, Chris Speed and Eoghan Stokes.

We'll start with the first departure - 17-year-old Bailey Peacock-Farrell, who has moved to Vanarama Conference North side Chorley Town on a three-month loan deal until the end of January. The youngster will have to battle against 27-year-old ex-Bolton keeper Sam Ashton for the number 1 spot at Victory Park.

Eoghan Stokes moves to AFC Wimbledon for a month

The next player is fellow 17-year-old Thomas Lyman who follows Peacock-Farrell in the effect that he goes down to the Vanarama Conference North, but joining Boston United instead. Lyman scored on his Boston debut against Gloucester City in a 1-1 draw at Boston's York Street stadia.

Jake Skelton was the next to leave the club as he joined Northern Premier League Premier Division side Blyth Spartans on loan for just one month. Skelton won a place in Leeds' 2013/14 pre-season training camp under Brian McDermott, which caused a rise in interest in the centre-back, but the 18-year-old hasn't kicked on in terms of development since then.

Prospect Frank Mulhern in action for Leeds' youth squad

Chris Speed followed Skelton out of Thorp Arch, but joined former Leeds manager Simon Grayson at Deepdale. Grayson has always looked for links to his old club when recruiting players. Players like Neil Kilkenny, Jermaine Beckford and Paul Huntington have featured in many of Grayson's teams in the past and Chris Speed has now joined him at Preston North End until next month.

Kingsmeadow is Irish striker Eoghan Stokes' new destination as he arrives to play out a month at AFC Wimbledon in League Two, with the option to extend the deal if it is successful. Stokes has been held in high regard by academy staff at Thorp Arch over many years, praised for his technical skills along with his work ethic. Leeds would love to have an Eoghan Stokes who has reached full potential, and his move to Wimbledon may aid his development.

Kalvin Phillips leaves for Sheffield United

Kalvin Phillips is one of the deals that has confused Leeds fans as many hoped the 18-year-old will have an impact on the Whites' season under Uwe Rösler following heaps of praise from Neil Redfearn and repaying him by some excellent performances, even scoring on his home debut at Elland Road against Cardiff City. Phillips joins Nigel Clough's Sheffield United for a month, however it's likely Clough will extend his stay at Bramall Lane.

The final two departures from the club are Frank Mulhern and Luke Parkin. Mulhern looks set to have a bright future at Leeds, or at least in football after some impressive striking displays in Leeds' youth teams. He leaves for League Two's Plymouth Argyle for one month. Parkin is exactly the same case, just that he leaves for Vanarama Conference side Southport.

Another good month from us has seen us play some wonderful football, moving us up into 2nd place. The month started poorly with a 2-1 defeat in front of our own fans at Elland Road against Steve Clarke's Reading side. A Yakubu and Simon Cox duo handed their side all three points. This was shortly followed by our first Yorkshire Derby of the season, where we destroyed South Yorkshire rivals Sheffield Wednesday 3-0 at Elland Road, with Jermaine Beckford, Alex Mowatt and Wednesday's Glenn Loovens getting on the scoresheet for us. We were unfortunately beaten in extra-time by Londoners Arsenal in our last game of October.


Leeds United vs Reading FC

Elland Road
Sky Bet Championship

Goalscorers: Jermaine Beckford
Booked: Max Gradel
Attendance: 27,713

Leeds United vs Sheffield Wednesday

Elland Road
Sky Bet Championship

Goalscorers: Glenn Loovens (own goal), Jermaine Beckford, Alex Mowatt
Booked: Lewis Cook, Jermaine Beckford
Attendance: 39,300

Rotherham United vs Leeds United

New York Stadium
Sky Bet Championship

Goalscorers: Alex Mowatt
Booked: Tendayi Darikwa, Sol Bamba, Gaetano Berardi, Giuseppe Bellusci
Sent off: Gaetano Berardi
Attendance: 11,178

Norwich City vs Leeds United

Carrow Road
Sky Bet Championship

Goalscorers: None
Booked: Liam Cooper, Charlie Taylor
Attendance: 26,253

Leeds United vs Wolverhampton Wanderers

Elland Road
Sky Bet Championship

Goalscorers: Max Gradel (2)
Booked: Tendayi Darikwa, Sol Bamba
Attendance: 28,251

Leeds United vs Arsenal FC

Elland Road
Capital One Cup 4th Round

Goalscorers: Max Gradel, Nick Powell
Booked: Liam Cooper, Max Gradel
Sent off: Sol Bamba, Liam Cooper
Attendance: 39,533

League Table

After this month we've dug deep and find ourselves in 2nd place - a whole three points behind league leaders Brentford, my old team now led by Mark Warburton. Wigan - another of my old sides had a shocking downturn in form this month after topping it last month, with a draw with Wolves and two losses to Brentford and Derby succumbing them down into 4th place, just one point away from us.


Next month we have a more relaxed month, as we play Charlton (22nd), Blackpool (24th), Blackburn (10th) and Derby (9th). So realistically, we should really be worrying about Cardiff City in our first game of the month, with no Capital One Cup left we can focus more on beating these kind of teams.

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