Leeds United 1 Fulham 1
Well, we are finally up and running with our first point of the new campaign at the third time of asking. It is no surprise to me or I would guess most Leeds fans that it has taken a while. We can’t on the one hand keep going on about needing another centre back, an experience midfield general and Liam Bridcutt back to complete our jigsaw and on the other hand expect us to win points without those things in place. So, to some extent a point last night is a bonus.
We now have Bridcutt back and hopefully he’ll be able to pull us together in that all important role between defence and attack just as he did last November when we hauled ourselves away from the relegation zone with a string of decent results. We still need to tighten up our slack defence which once again last night was exposed a few times and of course we still need to start putting away our chances; hitting the target last night just 4 times from 15 attempts is not good enough (Although funnily enough Fulham were even worse with 3 from 21 attempts!). But all is not lost and I’m still convinced that with the few new faces expected in the coming days and with a few more weeks of work on the training pitch together we might yet make an impact on the Championship. As we saw last night, there’s not much between any of the sides in this league and if Burton can beat Wednesday there is hope for us all.
There were signs of improvement last night; I thought Kyle Bartley had his most assured game yet and the fact I didn’t really notice Liam Cooper suggests he was solid too. With Luke Ayling looking a decent right back and Charlie Taylor still with us, that back line ought to be fine you would think even though it did rock on occasion under the threat from Matt Smith and co. As an attacking force there were also times last night when it came together; we just need to maintain the momentum for longer spells. Sometime soon Kemar Roofe is going to going to grab some goals, that’s what he does, but to give him the chance we need to get him the ball. Marcus Antonsson is a live wire too and though his finishing thus far has left a bit to be desired we saw at Fleetwood that his mind work fast and surely he must have plenty of goals in him. And then there is Chris Wood…
I’m unsure what to think about Chris Wood’s “cupped ear” celebration last night. The last time I remember seeing that done in front of us in the Kop it was Ryan Giggs after we gave him all sorts of stick about his love life, during the League Cup defeat to them over the hills. As Giggs had just scored against us it was fair play to him for getting his own back. But Wood is supposed to be one of us – had he celebrated pointing both hands towards us in a sort of “that was for you guys, I’m sorry I’ve not been much good in recent games but I do care honestly” gesture, then I think most fans in the ground would have thought, “fair play lad, we’re right behind you.” As it is it looked more to me like, “f*** you lot, you know nothing,” and I hope for his sake he’s able to kick on now and prove to us he is worth his place because, whatever he thinks, his contribution thus far this season, and often last season was not good enough. Come on lad, give us those 20 goals and we’ll put up with any celebration you can muster!
Leeds U Fulham
Possession 39% 61%
Shots 15 21
On Target 4 3
Corners 9 4
Fouls 9 4