Leeds

The Football League Should be Apologising to Leeds Utd, Not Investigating Them – by Rob Atkinson

By Rob Atkinson Football League board – time to say “sorry” to Leeds United Any balanced view of this season’s Championship competition will naturally focus on its most prominent, most talked about, most successful and most controversial club and coach – namely Leeds United and Marcelo Bielsa. And that view, if it really is sufficiently balanced, will be that both club and coach are by far more sinned against than sinning. The Football League, instead of announcing yet another investigation into their biggest attraction, following the latest ridiculously overhyped storm in a teacup, should instead be issuing a grovelling apology to the players, staff and fans of Leeds United – because the Whites have ascended to and maintained their position at the top of the table with what is effectively a millstone around their collective neck. Consider the evidence. Against a background of a disastrous injury list which has blighted most of the season so far, the League has consistently acted, via their supposedly neutral on-field arbiters, to make life far more difficult than that heavy casualty count alone would have achieved. As if it’s not enough for United to be labouring under the burden of the loss of so many key players, they …read more

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Leeds

Pontus Jansson tweets apology – fans and Liam Cooper having none of it

By Graham Smeaton It was a strange game today for Leeds United fans to stomach was the game against Stoke City. The 2-1 defeat aside, there was much more to be gloomy about. The Whites were definitely off colour, more peaky and less blinders to shamefully rob from a TV series name. In truth, Leeds were never out of the trap, never mind under starter’s orders. Despite a huge slab of the possession, despite more accurate passing, and despite more urgent probing, that polished performance vs Derby just wasn’t there. What was there was error after error, mistake after mistake with each one piling up on the previous. Bad marking and decision-making caused the first goal. Those mistakes and errors kept on coming, committed by all and sundry throughout the Leeds United team. Frustrated, the Leeds players began to impetuously challenge the referee’s decisions. One such vigorous challenge saw the popular Pontus Jansson receive a yellow card. It was that split-second decision that came back to haunt him later in the second-half. The above video of a Jansson stumble was deemed enough to warrant a second yellow and subsequent marching orders, Leeds being reduced to 10 men. At that point, it was only 1-0 to Stoke, but it …read more

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Leeds

Leeds United still having fingers pointed at them – Norwich latest

By Graham Smeaton Before Leeds United swept aside Derby County a week last Friday, the Spygate rumours began to circulate. Slightly ahead of kick-off, Marcelo Bielsa confirmed that the man asked to move on from Derby’s training ground was not only a Leeds employee but was sent by the Argentinian himself. Bielsa also admitted that he’d spied on every opponent this season. Cue the outrage and media dissection to the nth degree. It’s been bubbling for over a week now, and the furore shows few signs of abating. Eleven Championship clubs have added their names to a letter sent to the EFL asking for full disclosure and something to be done about the incidents admitted by Marcelo Bielsa. It is thought that Bristol City are one of those 11 clubs, with their owner Steve Landsdown calling for the Whites to suffer a points deduction as a suitable penalty. Now the Daily Mail add Leeds’ fellow promotion hopefuls Norwich City are said to be one of the other 10 signatories, with Blackburn and Middlesbrough also thought to have added their dissenting voice. They say that ”Sportsmail understands that Norwich City have been one of the driving forces behind the letter, ” which will add extra spice to …read more

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Leeds endure tough day as Stoke spring surprise and 11 clubs complain over spies

By Press Association Stoke produced a stirring performance to claim their first win under Nathan Jones as Leeds ended a difficult week with a third defeat in four Championship games. In the build-up to kick-off at the bet365 Stadium, the English Football League revealed 11 clubs had officially complained about Leeds spying on opposition teams. Related: Martin O’Neill’s Nottingham Forest return ruined by Bristol City’s Diédhiou Continue reading… …read more

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Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola: In other countries everyone spies

By Jamie Jackson • Manager says he still respects Leeds’s Marcelo Bielsa• Guardiola considering buying new left-back in summer Pep Guardiola has said his Bayern Munich team were spied on but that he would never resort to such tactics in England, as the fallout from the Marcelo Bielsa affair continued. Bielsa has admitted to spying on every team Leeds United have played this season. Guardiola said it had done nothing to damage his respect for the Argentinian and that spying was common in Spain, where he managed Barcelona. Related: Manchester City to sign 18-year-old Ante Palaversa from Hajduk Split for £7m Continue reading… …read more

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Leeds

With his ‘spygate’ PowerPoint, Marcelo Bielsa has enhanced his legend | Jonathan Wilson

By Jonathan Wilson The Leeds manager has an almost pathological honesty and there are few people in football so ready to admit fault as him Marcelo Bielsa’s first job in coaching was at the city university in Buenos Aires. He hadn’t made it as a player, too slow to make more than four appearances in central defence for Newell’s Old Boys. He had floated about the lower leagues for a while, studying agronomy and physical education. A university side was an obvious stepping-stone to greater things, but Bielsa didn’t treat it as such. Rather he watched 3,000 players before selecting his squad of 20. The 63-year-old has always been meticulous. When he was given a job in youth development at Newell’s, he wondered whether clubs were missing out on players from the interior, so got a map of Argentina, divided it into 70 sections and arranged a trial in each. Because he didn’t like flying, he ended up driving more than 5,000 miles in his Fiat 147 to see the results, establishing a theme that would become familiar of human fallibility, often his own, banging up against his plans and principles. Related: Leeds’ spying should be treated as a form of entertainment, not cheating …read more

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