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The Same, But Different (Leeds United)

We go again...
Started on 27 April 2020 by joshleedsfan
Latest Reply on 16 September 2020 by joshleedsfan
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A lot of new guys in, you should be careful with the happiness of all the members now.

Really good month with one frustrating defeat but for now you look better than previous season.
Very good start! And nice to hear McCamont is a good player for you too; he turns into a legend in most FM games I seem to play.
A good start to the season I'd say. Nacho is a good pickup as well, a player I have experience with in a save of mine. He is a player that will add some good experience to the club and be able to benefit the growth of the youngsters throughout the team.
Good to see you so far (mostly) yeeting the league, the foray into the transfer market is certainly paying dividends! This could turn into an excellent season for Leeds!
You are off to an absolute flyer! Keep it up
ScottT: Poor Scunthorpe! Their precious badge has been returned to them!

OneMoreGame: There'll be a bit of turnover, just until we get to where we need to be, which in itself presents its own challenges as you rightly pointed out

Zed: McCalmont is just fantastic. I bloody love him

TheLFCFan: Hoping he'll help us, particularly with getting up the table as I'm sure he'd love one last stab at European football

Justice: Money is a beautiful thing, right?

Griffo: It's been a good start, just need to make the most of it


SEPTEMBER 2021


RESULTS


Chelsea 2-1 Leeds United

Mason Mount pen 7
Jack Harrison 63
Gabirel Jesus 80


We had played well in August and our first real test of the season came straight after the international trip, with an away trip to Chelsea. We'd shocked them with a 4-1 win last time out at Stamford Bridge, so I at least fancied us to make life difficult for them.

But as we usually do in games like this, we made an already difficult game even harder, with just over five minutes played. Tsimikas tripped Ousmane Dembele and the ref consulted VAR. Not that it was close, it was a blatant foul and the ref pointed to the spot. Mason Mount stepped up and fired home to Steffen's left. We levelled the scoring just after the hour mark, when after a fluid passing move, Clerc broke clear on the overlap and crossed from the left and Harrison obliged with a header at the far post. They took the three points with ten to go, when Emerson's cross from the left found the head of Gabriel Jesus at the far post, a goal both of our full backs could have done a lot more about. We played well and matched Chelsea in this game, but again we gave away two sloppy goals. We need to stop doing that against sides like this.

Leeds United 2-1 Arsenal

Ebere Eze 46
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang 47
Jack Harrison 82


Just four months after taking away any mathematical chance of Arsenal winning the league, we were set to face them at Elland Road once more. They were a team that we'd battered 4-1 at home and hadn't troubled us an awful lot at their place, so again, we fancied our chances. Steffen was missing with an injury, so Casilla stepped up in his place.

After a first half which we dominated, we came flying out of the traps in the second half and were in front with not even a minute played since the restart. After a couple of phases of play where we combined aggressive high pressing with quick crisp passing, McCalmont found Eze with a through ball, who took a touch and fired it out of reach of Mike Maignan in the Arsenal goal. They pegged us back immediately, when Hector Bellerin's cross from the right was met by the head of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at the far post. We found a winning goal with eight minutes to go, when after another patient passing move, Clerc played in Harrison from the left, with Harrison burying the one-on-one.

Middlesbrough 1-2 Leeds United
Carabao Cup Third Round

George Friend 13
George Friend off 16
Marcus Tavernier o.g. 42
Kalvin Phillips 64


Last time we visited Middlesbrough at the Riverside, they were in trouble already and it was only October. You could see them going down from a mile away and now they find themselves mid-table in the Championship.

We didn't get off to a great start and were behind just after 10 minutes. Djed Spence broke down the right with little pressure and crossed it to George Friend at the far post, who headed Boro ahead. Friend was gone just a few minutes later, seeing a straight red for a two-footed tackle on Ayling. We got going once we got a man advantage and got an equaliser (perhaps with a stroke of luck) shortly before half time. Phillips sent a free kick over from the left, which fell to Marcus Tavernier who stabbed at it and poked it into his own net. The winning goal came shortly after the hour mark, when after some sustained pressure in their half, Cherki laid it off short to Phillips, who unleashed a blistering shot from 25 yards which beat the keeper. It was a deserved win as we were the better team, although I dread to think how it would have gone for us if they hadn't had that sending off as that was what it took to get us going.

Norwich City 2-1 Leeds United

Ebere Eze 57
Guilherme Pato 62
Guilherme Pato 78


We'd been playing some great football so far and were still running with the teams in contention for a European spot. We went to Norwich, who were down in 17th and I fancied us for it. Steffen was still injured, so Casilla continued his run in goal.

After an evenly matched first half, we slowly grew to become the better side in the early stages of the second half and got ourselves a goal in the 57th minute to show for it. We kept the ball just outside their box before Phillips found Harrison clean through on goal. Harrison's effort hit the post, but Eze was the fastest to react tou the rebound, bundling it into the empty net. Five minutes later they had an equaliser, when Harrison gave it away in his own half. Luka Ivanusec played it to Guilherme Pato, who skinned Tsimikas before firing home. They completed the comeback with just over ten to go, when Harrison gave it away in his own half again, the ball was worked to Pato, who scored from 25 yards out. It was an absolute capitulation which came from two poor mistakes. We completely lost control of the game and never looked like threatening afterwards. Really poor from us.

LEAGUE TABLE



We're still in the top seven, which as the league position gradually starts to matter more is an encouraging sign. We do seem to be making a habit of losing games we should at least be able to get a point from and that game management side of it could be something we work on going forward. Sometimes we'll have games we don't look like winning and in those situations, we shouldn't be ashamed of settling for a point. As the great Johan Cruyff once said, "if you can't win, make sure you don't lose".

PLAYER OF THE MONTH



Jack Harrison might have won this if it hadn't been for his absolute howler at Carrow Road. Ebere Eze has also bagged a couple of times this month, including coming back to haunt Arsenal again. His explosive dribbling has always given a chance, he's extremely handy in getting us from one end of the pitch to the other. Honourable mention goes to Casilla, who despite not doing anything spectacular, has been a safe and reliable pair of hands in Zack Steffen's absence.

IN OTHER NEWS


In the Carabao Cup, half of the 'big six' are out with another casualty guaranteed in the next round. Liverpool, Spurs and Chelsea all crashed out in the Third Round on penalties, against Burnley, Derby and Man Utd respectively. The Manchester derby was drawn for the next round. Luton are the lowest club still in the competition and have been drawn against Arsenal, having beaten Crawley, Millwall and Birmingham to get this far. As you can see, we're still in it and have been drawn away at Championship Wigan.

A couple of managerial changes in the Championship, that I forgot to cover in the last update, has seen Brendan Rodgers take on the Aston Villa job, whilst outgoing Charlton manager Chris Powell has been replaced by Emma Haynes, taking on her second job in the mens' game after a two-year stint at Newport. Cardiff's Ben Garner has been the first casualty of the season, he's yet to be replaced.

In the Premier League, there haven't been any sackings yet. However in the summer, Lee Bowyer left Stoke to take on the West Ham job after Sam Allardyce had retired. His job was taken by Charlton boss Chris Powell. Meanwhile at Wolves, Michael Laudrup left to manage Celta Vigo, with Fenerbahce and ex-West Brom boss Slaven Bilic taking charge at Molineux.


That's all from me for today, should be back tomorrow with October's update!
A fantastic victory against Arsenal. It's just a shame you were unable to back it up against Norwich.
That is a big victory over Arsenal, a good start!
Continuing the tradition from last season to win against the big teams and then drop points to the weaker sides, however a good month for your team!
A good month apart from that Norwich result but those will always happen. Continuing to pick up results and we will be seeing a push at Europe this season.
EUROPE IS COMING!
ScottT: Bit of a pain giving away points so easily, but that's football

Griffo: I get the impression they're sick of coming to Elland Road!

OneMoreGame: Like football's Robin Hood

TheLFCFan: Showing plenty of promise, just enjoying being up this end whilst I can

Justice: As is winter...


OCTOBER 2021


RESULTS


Leeds United 3-0 AFC Bournemouth

Kostas Tsimikas 39
Haris Seferovic 44
Alfie McCalmont 61



In the early stages of the season, we're in a similar position to what Bournemouth were in around this time last year, chasing the European spot. They fell away and whilst I'm hoping we don't suffer the same fate, as long we keep ourselves in the discussion for as long as possible, I'll be happy.

After dominating the first half, we took a deserved lead inside 40 minutes. After some patient build-up play, Phillips picked out Tsimikas on the overlap with a perfectly weighted ball, putting him through on goal. He took a touch and fired it into the far corner. Five minutes later, we doubled our advantage, when after some good link-up play down the left with Tsimikas, Eze played the ball inside to Seferovic, who lashed it into the roof of the net from the edge of the area. We wrapped it up on the hour. Geertruida snuffed out a Bournemouth attack 30 yards from his own goal and started a counter. The ball came to McTominay, who played a through ball to McCalmont putting him one-on-one, before the young midfielder slotted it home first time. It was a truly dominant performance and one in which we finally gave the thrashing that our stats indicated we would. A rare clinical afternoon.

West Ham United 0-1 Leeds United

Haris Seferovic 40
Cristiano Piccini off 67


We'd got back to winning ways against Bournemouth before the international break and now had a trip down to London, to play newcomers West Ham, who had achieved automatic promotion last season, earning an immediate return to the top flight. Zack Steffen failed a fitness test before the game, so Casilla continued to deputise for the American international.

The only goal of the game came five minutes before the break. Shackleton picked the ball up inside his own half and just ran with it. He ran all the way to the edge of the D, before laying off a beautiful through ball to Seferovic, who got one-on-one and fired home. We had a man advantage to add to the goal advantage midway through the second half, when Cristiano Piccini saw a second yellow card for a tactical foul on Seferovic. We absolutely played them off the park, passing them to death and creating some good chances. A satisfying away performance.

Leeds United 2-0 Watford

Ebere Eze 58
Ebere Eze 60



After a win at West Ham, we were faced with a game against their fellow automatic promotees in Watford, also making an immediate return to the Premier League. Steffen was back from injury and cleared to play, so he was thrown straight back into the starting XI.

We dominated the first half and started the second half in the same fashion. We finally got the goal we deserved just before the hour mark, when an inviting cross from Xadas found Eze at the far post, who headed it past Marek Rodak in the Watford goal. He doubled his and our tally just a couple of minutes later, with what can only be described as the world's best one-two. He sent a ball for Seferovic from behind the halfway line, which the Swiss striker latched onto and held it up on the byline. Seferovic played it back to Eze, who had burst towards the edge of the box, took a touch and put it into the far bottom corner. It was another pleasing dominant win. We're starting to make the winnable games look like most games from when we were in the Championship, which is a very encouraging sign.

Wigan Athletic 1-4 Leeds United
Carabao Cup Fourth Round

Joe Gelhardt 8
Carles Perez 45+1
Rayan Cherki 83
Kalvin Phillips 90+1
Kalvin Phillips 90+5


With our league form as good as it's been since we were promoted, it was time for a change of pace in the Carabao Cup. Three of the 'big six' were already out of the competition and with our luck of the draw so far, I was starting to fancy our chances.

We didn't get off to a great start and Wigan got themselves in front inside eight minutes, when Nathan Byrne got to the byline and pulled it back for Joe Gelhardt, who met it with a first time finish. For the first 20 minutes or so, it was all Wigan and we were firmly on the back foot. We grew into the game as the half wore on and got our reward for it on the stroke of half-time, when Cherki's cross from a deep position on the right was met with a header from Perez at the far post. We dominated the second half and finally took the lead just after 80 minutes. Carvalho picked up the ball from a deep position and kept running with it, skinned Lee Evans before playing a ball across to Cherki, who obliged with a finish ath the far post. We grabbed a third a few minutes later, when after some patient build-up up play, McCalmont laid it off to Phillips, who curled it home first time from the edge of the D. The Yorkshire Pirlo doubled his tally a few minutes later after another ball from McCalmont- this time fro the right touchline- found him in the same position on the edge of the D, which he battered into the top corner this time. It was a fully deserved win, but it took some good defending early on to keep us in the game so that we could grow into it and finish Wigan off. We're in the hat for the next round and starting to fancy our chances.

Leeds United 2-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers

Ebere Eze 20
Haris Seferovic 36

Ruben Neves 57


We'd got to the end of the month with three league wins from three and we were now one of only two teams in the division (us and Liverpool) with a 100% home record so far. Next to dare challenge us was Wolves, who had finished 6th and qualified for the Europa League last season, but currently found themselves treading water in 11th so far. They've looked a different side since Laudrup left in the summer and not for the better, so this felt like an opportunity for us.

In an evenly matched first half, we took the lead on 20 minutes. Perez went on a run cutting right across the pitch from the left, played it to Eze, who then cut inside from the right, skinned Jonny and and smashed it in off the near post. A great goal. He was also involved in the second goal, breaking down the left and carving the Wolves defence open like a turkey with a ball to Seferovic, who took a touch and buried the one-on-one. They pulled one back just before the hour mark, with a quick free kick down the right from Morgan Gibbs-White which caught McCalmont napping. Ruben Neves had got to the ball ahead at him and although his first shot cannoned off McCalmont, he reacted quickest to bury the rebound from a tight angle. To paint a clearer picture of the second half, we completely lost control of the game. Our midfield went completely missing- to a point where I hooked off Phillips to make a point- but luckily so did their forwards. If they'd been capable of finishing, we'd have been dead and buried in this game. It's the first time I've felt frustrated with a winning performance. But we got the three points and continue our run as the joint best home side in the league.

LEAGUE TABLE


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There it is. We've broken into the top four after making a flying start to the season so far. You could point to the fact we've had an easier start, although we have done well in the tougher games we've been handed so far. Next month will be a real test of our credibility as European contenders, as we take on Liverpool, Man City and Leicester, with games against Spurs and Man Utd following on in December. I'm not expecting a huge number of points from those games, but if the players can keep surprising me, there's a lot of points up for grabs from teams around us. A quick glance to the bottom of the table shows a worrying sight for Brentford, who seem to be suffering from a nasty case of 'Second Season Syndrome'. They were excellent last season, so to see them struggling the way they are at the moment is puzzling. It's interesting to see Brighton up here with us as well, particularly as they were one of the so-called 'easy' teams that we've put to the sword so far.

PLAYER OF THE MONTH



Surprise of all surprises, it's that man again. Ebere Eze has been in sensational form this month, bagging three goals and two assists for us. His close control and lightning pace makes him an absolute nightmare for defenders and his talent is really starting to shine through. It's a testament to his drive and determination that after struggling to adapt to the Premier League in the early stages of last season, he appears to have come to life and really established himself as one of this club's best players. Before, it was hard to know whether to play him or Harrison on the right, but he's stepped up and duly answered that question recently. Honourable mention goes to Haris Seferovic, who after a worrying start has finally started banging them in, notching three goals this month.

IN OTHER NEWS


Always the bridesmaid, never the bride. There have been nominations left, right and centre for the league's monthly awards, but no winners at the club. Ebere Eze came third in the Player of the Month Award, behind Sadio Mane and winner Paulo Dybala. He also came second in the Goal of the Month Award for his strike against Wolves, behind a 25-yard screamer from Brentford's Mathias Jensen against Norwich. I came second in the Manager of the Month Award behind Man City's Pep Guardiola, who also had a 100% record for the month.

Bournemouth's poor start to the season has cost Eddie Howe his job, with the Bournemouth legend struggling to get his side out of the bottom three. He's yet to be replaced.

In the Championship, Kilmarnock boss Alex Dyer has taken the Cardiff job, left vacant by the sacking of Ben Garner last month. Dean Smith has lost his job at Preston, with the Lilywhites sat in the bottom three. David Moyes has made a return to Deepdale to try and turn the club's fortunes around.

In the Carabao Cup, we've been handed an away tie against Burnley. There are two 'big six' sides left, after Man Utd eliminated Man City on penalties, after a 0-0 draw in the Manchester derby. Luton's cup run was ended with a 6-2 thrashing away at Arsenal.


That's all from me for now. Next update will be soon. Won't say when as this one seemed to take forever to put out!
That's a magnificent run of form that has now put you into a very strong position! The goals are flowing nicely, with Eze performing and Haris getting in on the act regularly as of late! You'd imagine Brighton will drop off and you'll have a straight-forward run at top 4 if you can keep your form going!
A superb month for Leeds. The fixture list hasn't been too kind with a lot of tough games coming up but it will be interesting to see how you fair. It has been a magnificent start thus far.
That is one hell of a position to be in, hopefully you can maintain this form!

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