24 Nov 2015 07:05pm, by Shields53
After a slow start to the season, Leeds United are slowly improving and have started to climb up the Championship table. The Whites have lost just two of their last six matches and now sit 16th in the division. Bizarrely, they are just nine points behind Birmingham, who are sixth and occupy that coveted final playoff position.
If Leeds are to be considered a potential play-off punt and to feature in the postseason, they must continue to improve and need to maintain their current run of form – defeat to Rotherham excepted. Here are four crucial upcoming fixtures that could define the remainder of Leeds’ season.
Queens Park Rangers vs LEEDS
After losing 1-0 at home to Rotherham in their most recent fixture, Leeds will be chomping at the bit to get back on the winning trail. Steve Evans was extremely disappointed with their performance against his former side and Leeds fans will be expecting a much improved display against a QPR side that has failed to inspire confidence at Loftus Road this season.
Rangers were one of the leading candidates to earn promotion back to the top flight prior to the beginning of the campaign but have slipped to 15th in the table – just one point above Leeds. With the incentive to climb up to 12th in the division, Leeds will be eager to respond in the best way possible and pick up the victory in west London.
Charlton Athletic vs LEEDS
At the time of writing, Charlton are struggling. They have won just four matches so far this season and are dangerously close to the relegation zone. Although they have won their last two matches, they are there for the taking and Leeds will need to put together a solid unbeaten run on the road if they are to climb up the Championship table.
If the Whites are deadly serious about securing a playoff spot, these are the matches that they will need to win. Charlton have struggled for goals this campaign and Leeds may be able to exploit their leaky defence with an organised performance. Evans’ men have a good away record this season and that should continue against Charlton.
LEEDS vs Preston
Yet another must-win. Preston have performed admirably so far but as the festive season approaches, they may struggle to cope with the added demands of the Championship campaign. In terms of league position, both sides are lingering in the lower half of the division but Leeds definitely have more potential to climb up the table.
Leeds will be eager to produce an impressive performance in front of their home fans, especially as this is their final home game before Christmas. If Evans’ side perform at their very best, they are more than capable of winning this match but must be wary of Preston’s talented attacking unit.
Nottingham Forest vs LEEDS
Providing there are no Christmas/Boxing Day hangovers, Leeds will feel quietly confident about this clash. Forest are perhaps the Championship’s most inconsistent side and while that means it is difficult to predict how they will perform, Leeds will believe that they are there for the taking if they perform well and remain solid defensively.
Over the years, Forest have been widely regarded as one of the Championship’s best attacking teams. However, they have lost a number of their key players over the last couple of seasons to injury and departure and are no longer a dominant force in the division. If Evans sets his team up in the right way, they will be difficult to beat and could nick yet another away victory.
17 Nov 2015 10:20pm, by Shields53
Ten years ago Marching on Together ran a poll in conjunction with WACCOE, Leeds Chat and We Are Leeds of to find out the 100 Greatest Leeds Players Ever according to the fans. Ten years on we ask are there any players from the past decade that would make your top 100? Do Jermaine Beckford’s goal scoring antics, especially at Old Trafford, mean he warrants a place in the list? With the passing of time would any more of the Wilko team break into the top 10? Would Harry Kewell drop out of the top 20 all together for signing for Galatasaray?
You can check out the full 100 Greatest Leeds Players Ever here but below are the top 10 as voted for back in 2005;
10) Nigel Martyn (1996-2003)
Martyn became the country's first £1 million goalkeeper when joining Crystal Palace from Bristol Rovers in 1989, having made over 100 appearances for the West Country club. Leeds paid £2.25 million for him in the summer of 1996, then a record for a goalkeeper. He had a superb first season for the Whites as part of George Graham's Leeds revolution. His form continued to be a model of consistency and he was an ever-present between 1999 and 2002. He helped United to third place in the Premiership, a place in the Champions League and the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup. Replaced by Paul Robinson as first team keeper in 2002, he joined Everton in 2003 for a nominal fee. Played 273 games and was Leeds Player of the Year in 1997.
9) Jack Charlton (1952-1973)
"The Giraffe" of Revie's Leeds team and one of the most talented and respected centre halves in footballing history. Big Jack spent his entire footballing career at Leeds, making an astounding 733 appearances over 21 years and scoring 96 goals. His height was used to great advantage at Leeds corner kicks and his surprisingly agile defensive ability kept out even the greatest strikers of his day. He earned the first of his 35 England caps at the age of 30 and was an important part of the 1966 World Cup winning team. Jack retired from playing in 1973 and had mixed fortunes as a manager at several clubs, but his best known managerial success was with The Republic of Ireland.
8) Allan Clarke (1969-1978)
Christened "Sniffer" by the Leeds fan for his uncanny ability to look for and score goals out of nothing, he arrived at Leeds from Leicester, costing a record £165,000. He more than repaid Leeds by scoring 151 goals in 364 appearances for the Whites, including the goals that won Leeds the 1972 F.A. Cup and the Fairs Cup. In fact only Lorimer and Charles have scored more than "Sniffer" for Leeds. His attacking partnership with Jones and Lorimer is legendary and he was capped 19 times for England. Sold to Barnsley in 1978 he saw out his last footballing seasons as their player/manager, before returning in 1980 to unsuccessfully take the manager's job, at Leeds, seeing them relegated.
7) Johnny Giles (1963-1975)
Revie's midfield general and penalty expert, his sometimes telepathic footballing double act with King Billy was a joy to watch. He was signed from Manchester United in 1963, and under the Don's guidance, became one of the truly great midfield players of that era. In 12 seasons wearing the No.10 shirt at Leeds, he scored 115 goals in 525 matches. In his career as a player, he won 59 caps and scored 5 times for Ireland. After leaving Leeds, he coached in the USA and Canada and later coached W.B.A. and Shamrock Rovers, before managing Ireland in the late 70's.
6) Norman Hunter (1961-1976)
A hard but skilful left half, nicknamed "Bites Yer Legs", he daunted opposition players at home and across Europe, with his bone crunching tackling. Despite playing second fiddle to the favoured Bobby Moore, he was still capped 28 times for England. In his 15 years at Leeds, he made 724 appearances, scoring 21 goals before moving on to Bristol City in 1976 and later, to Barnsley. He ended his professional football career managing Rotherham and later coaching at Leeds and a spell as match commentator for Radio Leeds.
Click here to see players 5-1 in our top 100 Greatest Leeds Players Ever…
More stories from Marching on Together...