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I can't see us bringing in more than one other first team player - max. And even then, that would mean moving an existing player on. In fact, there's little advantage to bringing in any more signings unless it's done this week - as pre season training means everything for an MB team. Any new signing will need to undertake 30 or so training sessions so won't be competing for a first team slot before early October. We know that, as it's been the pattern of the last three years.
Biesla is meant to be very happy with how Rodrigo and Roberts performed in preseason, so that inside forward position is already taken. Poveda has also meant to have excelled, I guess if an affordable winger like Boulaya becomes available then Costa might be upgraded. Shackleton is another who has had a blinder of a preseason. In short, there's no point buying the cream of the UKs u23 and then blocking their advancement.
A new keeper looks like being signed, and again Orta's strategy is obvious - another up and coming young gk like Klaesen would seem a likely fit. But I don't see big money being spent on a transfer.
It's quite obvious that reinforcements are going to come from the u23s, and that is now looking to be packed with quality - Caprile, Drameh, Cresswell, The 4th CB who doesn't play (Struijk or Koch), Bate (assuming that's a done deal), McGurk, Summerville, Greenwood, Gelhardt, Miller, with Allen, Dean and Hughes as subs. That's clearly the game plan.
It's a different approach to conventional wisdom, but that's what appeals to me. It's a clever approach, it's about man management, improving existing players, being fitter than everyone else. And the blueprint is already there - it's not that different to Leicester's approach.
Being realistic and as things stand we'll do well to finish anywhere between 8th and 12th.
It's fair to say that last season a lot of our players played at the top of their ability. Who of us expected Bamford to both play so well and score that many? Raphina was a revalition & a gem.
Philips made us look very solid and organised. When he plays we're so much stronger and balanced. Our results in his absence speak volume.
Bill, Dallas (what a player) , Coops and Meslier were all awesome.
The new lads found their feet, some easier and quicker than others. But on the whole they've been more than OK. Once Llorente got fit, he cemented his spot. Pascal, with so little experience proved steady when called upon.
As a unit/team we seemed to get stronger & fitter as the season went on.
Weaknesses at set pieces and overall naivety went out of our game.
Overall, in our side there were still some positions open to improvements.
The left back position (when defending) for one (even though Alioski always gave his all), the games when Philps was injured/suspended, games when Klich wasn't firing on all cylinders and when Roberts was looking out of sorts.
I'll admit Roberts improved a lot towards the end of the season, but being honest his position and the left-back position would be the easiest ones to improve on.
So, can we expect the lads to improve another 10% on what they gave us last season? Will Bamford find the net with ease again? Will Dallas again score that many, nomatter what position he plays in. That's all very possible, but realisticly, to fight for a European place we'll need to bring in a few more quality players.
I'm fully expecting us to sign at least 3 more first team players (incl. 1 replacement for Casilla), but thus far the squad has not been improved upon, even if Firpo turns out to be a firm improvement on Alioski.
I'm thinking of doin' a game-by-game season update for Leeds this time (just to show the commitments here), but I mean on you-tube!!! Like I'm gunna do a fukkin game-by-game review by just stealing all your stuff really. LOOK this is me 10 years ago....what the fk is someone like gaga gunna do??? Because this ones REAL LUV (and I'd just throw Quantum Mechanics at the cnt if I was strugglin for an answer anyway)....
'The Angel of Leeds' - teeth on it!!
Great post Smurf, I do love your optimism, all points well made.
Still think we need a bit more class in midfield to compete in the top six and we definitely need a back up for Bamford and all that he gives.
Great Post by the optimistic bu11shitter👍😉
Just add Klaesen as back up keeps....
Galan as cover at LB as he is so cheap....
Nandez as midfielder....
Cunah as competition /cover to Hattrick....
I've never seen or heard of any of these before but various journalists on NewsNow seem to rate them so they must be quality.
KK is very cheap and Galan is only circa 4m. If Orta can get Nandez and Cunha on either loans to buy or half of the money now and half next season then that will be unbelievable business....
Europe DEFINITELY beckons with this squad....
Top three for me. The reasons:
The manager. Best manager in premiership
The Form. The superb run in the second half of last season cannot be over estimated - we got better and better as the season progressed. It took the duration of the season for the new players to adapt and the the existing players to adjust to the step up in quality. It's much better to finish strongly than to start strong. This is really important.
The coaching. Biesla improves his players year after year. Meslier, Ayling, Cooper, Phillips, Bamford and Harrison have improved in successive seasons. I expect more of the same, especially as players like Phillips have played top tier football with England over the summer.
The squad. Even if we only sign Fripo, we still have an improved first team squad compared to last year. Of those who left, only Alioski was a first team regular. The other contributions from Pablo, Berardi and Casilla really were pretty marginal and made little overall difference. Of more importance is that we retained our best assets - Raphinha, Phillips, Meslier all of who could have gotten far better deals elsewhere. There was once a time, we had to sell Vieira, Roofe and Jansson.
The u23s. Orta has assembled an awesome squad - Drameh, Cresswell, McGurk, Summerville, Miller, Allen, Gelstadt, Greenwood. They would walk into most championship teams. There's some real gems there who will make their mark this season.
The supporters. The return of fans to Elland Road is just so so important. That doesnt even need explaining.
The opposition. Most haven't particularly strengthened. Chelsea and Man City haven't signed anybody yet. The top clubs will also start the season with many of their players still having European Cup hangovers. Only Phillips is in that category at Leeds.
The recruitment. Even the most ardent of the anti-Orta brigade must recognise his successes outweighs his flops. The financial value of the squad is markedly higher than what we paid for them. Theres no reason not to expect that to continue with further shrewd additions to the u23s.
Confidence. The manager is happy with the squad. The players want to play for him and they want to play for Leeds United. We also have an owner who backs his management team. There is very little dissent or big egos at Leeds. The benefits of the smaller squad really pay off as players know they will get games. They also don't fear anybody and they never give up.
In summary, I think we will make top three, and it could be any of the top three positions. As fans, sometimes we don't see how good our team actually is and how far we have travelled. We internalize and over-think the game. But what we often fail to appreciate is that we scared the hell out of most other teams last year. Our record against the top sides was impeccable. Do I talk ********, that's up to you as readers. Am I optimistic, hell yes.
You are all so precise and cold these days, it's a real insight in to how life is within cabal-central in 2021 - fucking machine-like you have all become. You might very well be right but that squad is big enough, good enough, young enough, the manager has an absolute work-ethic........you can win the League with that set-up and any other 'realistic evaluation' simply will not lead to success. You don't think you can then you won't, how things have changed since 1992.
Cybermen by Xmas - that's one fkking prediction I have got right!!!
Good man ice
You planning a long shift in the MDT chair next season ;)
All valid points BB i grant you that, but the other PL clubs now know exactly whats coming when they are due to play Leeds. Yes we improved last year when our CB issue settled down but when teams sat back and closed the pitch we had nobody on the pitch capable of finding that killer pass. As of yet we haven't signed anyone to take on that mantel. We were superb on the break away last season and that could happen in minute 1 as easily as minute 96, but opposition managers now know how other teams frustrated us and got results from us, This season they wont be of the opinion "lets go toe to toe", this year i think you will find more and more teams closing ranks and hoping our set piece frailties re-appear.
I just hope injuries as you say and VAR are kinder to us in 21/22. and of course we bet the bloody sh1t€ out of manscum
Second season syndrome only exists if you do not improve your squad, learn from your first season and then suffer long-term injuries to a large number of key players at the same time and they running out of luck.
Last summer Blades spent close to £24miilion for Rhian Brewster who did not score any goals in 27 league appearances. He was always going to be a punt and they blew most of their budget on him particularly as they spent close to £20million for Aaron Ramsdale as well.
Then they lost Sander Berge, Jack O'Connell for the season, John Egan, Lundstram, Jack Robinson, Jagielka, Bogle etc for large periods as well as other CBs so at times, like us last season when we were conceding goals, they had no real recognised CBs which killed their 3-5-1 system.
When we got our CBs back, it was noticeable how few goals we then conceded.
2019/20 season they scored 39 and conceded 39. They also managed to win games by a goal and keep a clean sheet. Last season they scored 20 and conceded 63.
Wilder was also not allowed to spend in January to address matters and then left.
I am sure MB/VO/AR know what they have to do and who to bring in this summer for this not to happen to us and we also have a clutch of U23s who look like they may be able to step up and add to the first team squad next season, which Blades did not have. We also need to have some luck with injuries too.
Second season syndrome i'll take 12th to be honest
If we replace Pablo, sign a left back, have a backup for Bamford, and keep Raphinha, top seven.
If we successfully promote some of the U23s and get a midfielder and keep Raphinha, top half.
If we do nowt, bottom half.
4th for me
7th for me