Opposition view: Leeds United
By Ric Turner, Thu 14 February 2013 11:15
Ahead of Sunday's F.A. Cup tie at Eastlands, Bluemoon caught up with David from The Scratching Shed to get the lowdown on the opposition...
What are your expectations for this season?
The fat lady is already singing at Elland Road, our season is over with 15 games remaining. We'd need to average 2 points per game between now and the end of the season to stand any chance of scraping the play-offs and it's just not going to happen with Neil Warnock running the show.
Are you happy with the manager?
No. I think Neil Warnock was always a bad fit for Leeds. His style of football is to hoof the ball long, totally bypassing the midfield and to then try and outmuscle the opposition. It's scrappy, tedious and worst of all, totally ineffective in 2013. It's a style of football you'd have
expected to see in the 1980's, back when people used to kick each other's heads in at every game because they couldn't stand to watch any more of it.
Who are your key players?
We have a young full-back called Sam Byram who has been the stand-out player all season. He managed to keep Aaron Lennon and Gareth Bale (they switched wings at half-time) out of the game when we played Tottenham Hotspur, and he's also very useful going forwards. He's certain to be a future England star in my opinion, he's of the same quality as other Academy graduates such as Lennon and Milner. Aside from him, Ross McCormack and El Hadji-Diouf will probably pose our biggest threat.
Were you happy with the business conducted during the transfer window?
I'd say satisfied, but I'm comparing it to 7 seasons of Ken Bates austerity so it'd probably be quite underwhelming by any other teams standards. We lost Luciano Becchio to Norwich City which was a bit of a blow, but Warnock managed to get a few of his targets in so it wasn't all bad. The biggest disappointment was that we failed to get any wingers, though they'd probably be wasted on a Neil Warnock side anyway. He'd only have the ball hoofed over their heads.
Are there any rising stars in the squad that we might not have heard of?
Aside from Sam Byram (as mentioned above), Aidy White and Tom Lees are the only other younger players Warnock plays - and they were already in the squad before he arrived. He much prefers to sign 32-year old journeymen who'll "do a job" while sending the rest of our youth talent on loan elsewhere. The only reason Sam Byram ever got a look-in was due to a pre-season injury crisis, otherwise he'd probably be winning the league for York City or Kidderminster.
Your Achilles heel?
An Achilles heel suggests a small area of weakness, Neil Warnock's anti-football extends so far beyond that.
If you could have any City player in your team who would you choose?
Yaya is obviously the correct answer, but if you can send Sergio Aguero as well then that would be just splendid.
What is your perception of City as a club?
I've always liked City. Maybe it's because we're quite similar in many ways. We've both had incredibly turbulent existences, we both hate the red half of your city, both teams always seem to do things the hard way...
I'm not entirely sure what it is, but I'd much rather see you guys winning titles than Manchester United or Chelsea.
Likely starting XI for the game, and score prediction?
Sam Byram, Tom Lees, Lee Peltier, Aidy White
Paul Green, Michael Brown, Rodolph Austin, Luke Varney
Ross McCormack, Steve Morison
About 7-0 to you guys I'd have thought. Possibly more.