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Posts Tagged ‘Jermaine Beckford’

Debut delight for Showumni

Debut delight for Showumni

Sorry for the lack of updates of late everyone. There were two people writing the site, but it seems it has now fallen solely down to myself, and I’ve been offline since the end of last season.

Anyway, with the bitter taste of Wembley still in the mouths of every Leeds fan around the world, it was important to get off to a good start and ensure we’ll be fighting for an automatic spot come May 2009. Leeds have never faired well at Wembley, and I don’t think us die-hards could bare another season in this division, or another trip to the smog.

Luckily, Gary McAllister’s lads provided us with the victory we needed, after falling 1-0 down early on. Leeds did very little to cause a threat in the first half, but came back after the break looking like a different side. New signing Showumni scored on his league debut to level the score at 1-1 before Leeds favourite Jermaine Beckford fired on to secure all three points.

A vintage second half performance as good as Leeds have given in years will have fans feeling much more optimistic about the forthcoming season, and perhaps help to wash away the bitter aftertaste of Wembley defeat.

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Jermaine BeckfordI was extremely reluctant to run with this, as I simply don’t believe much of what’s written in the Daily Mirror. However the story does seem to be gathering pace quite quickly and perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised to hear Jermaine Beckford would consider his options should Leeds fail to achieve promotion to the Championship.

Uptil now, Jermaine has shown unwavering loyalty to the Whites, which climaxed when he was asked by a reporter where his future lied, to which Jermaine replied “What shirt am I wearin’ bruv’?”

The immediate speculation, published by the Daily Mirror was that Jermaine was set to follow Dennis Wise to St. James Park. Newcastle are notorious for their lack of intelligence when it comes to the transfer market, often signing players who simply can’t live up to the overwhelming hype that Newcastle’s faithful bestow upon them. However, even for Newcastle the signing of a League One striker, albeit it a very good one, seems totally unpheasable.

Jermaine’s 24 years old at the minute. If he was Premiership quality, I have no doubts whatsoever that one of the army of scouts the Premier League clubs employ would have picked up on him by now. Having said that, Dennis Wise isn’t quite in the same league as Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger and Sam Allardyce when it comes to finding fresh unknown talent, and has made many calamitous signings in his short time as football manager. You also have to remember that in Mike Ashley, Newcastle have a chairman that simply doesn’t have a clue how the game works, so I guess anythings possible?

Personally, I wouldn’t be suprised to see Jermaine head off to a Championship club should Leeds fail to achieve promotion, but I remain sceptacle about his chances of signing for the Magpies.

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Georges BaIvory Coast international, Georges Ba who was recently on trial at Leeds has signed for Gillingham.

Whilst on trial at Leeds, speculation was that Gary McAllister was looking to strengthen his options upfront, following Leon Constantine’s loan move and the goal drought Jermaine Beckford was experiencing.

However, Jermaine Beckford found the net twice against Walsall last week, bringing an end to his drought and loan signing Dougie Freedman has continually impressed during his brief spell so far at Elland Road.

The reason behind McAllister’s decision not to sign the Ivory Coast international remains unclear, as Leeds have not issued any statement regarding him, but it would seem the partnership between Jermaine and Dougie satisfied the manager enough that he didn’t feel he needed to strengthen the squad further (a decision he may regret following yesterdays endless array of missed chances.)

Leeds also have plenty of backup in the striker department with Tresor Kandol, Anthony Elliot and youngster Tom Elliot all at McAllister’s disposal.

Gillingham are awaiting for international clearance for Georges Ba, but have so far handed the striker – who was a free agent – a contract until the end of the current season.

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Jonny HowsonA crucial six point fixture for the whites ended in a 0-0 draw following an afternoon of wasted chances from Leeds.

The final whistle was greated with mixed emotions from the two teams. Brighton were delighted they managed to earn a point at Elland Road, and their players made no effort whatsoever to hide it. Leeds’ players however weren’t in such good spirits. They knew they should have done better and were left disappointed with just one point, and a flurry of away fixtures now to come before the season draws to a close.

Leeds created chances with ease from start to finish, but the finishing just wasn’t there. Dougie Freedman saw probably the best chance of the game cleared off the line by Brighton 14 minutes in before an endless array of shots from himself, Beckford and Howson amongst others did little to trouble the Brighton keeper.

The 14th minute goal-line clearence Freedman forced was to be his best contribution of the game. Just seven minutes later Bradley Johnson’s cross fell to Freedman who this time fired wide of the post. It was an extremely good chance, and one Freedman knew he should have done better from. The rest of the game went on in a similar style with Leeds’ midfield continually creating chances for the front two, only for Becks and Freedman to be found lacking in the finishing department.

As half time approached Leeds were well and truly in the driving seat, despite Brighton managing to finally create some positive chances of their own. Jonny Howson, who it must be said gave absolutely everything he had yesterday, was just inches from opening the scoring as injury time ran out and the teams went in for the break.

The second half brought more missed chances for Leeds, and a Brighton team who were clearly gaining confidence and starting to believe they could earn more than a point at Elland Road today. 1985 was the last time Brighton won at Elland Road, but as Leeds’ nerves rose, mistakes started to be made, most notably some woeful clearences from Casper Ankergren were lucky not to have cost Leeds.

A couple of mystifying offside decisions fell in Leeds’ favour, which Brighton will undoubtedly feel annoyed about, but overall the miss of Dougie Freedman early on was indicative of a game that Leeds simply should have won.

On any other weekend Leeds’ strikers would have been scoring for fun. Tresor Kandol was brought onto the pitch late on, and also missed an absolute sitter to add to the afternoons disaster. Jonny Howson deserves special mention for the performance he gave. The youngster impressed throughout, and was extremely unlucky not to score.

Leeds’ style of play has seen a notable improvement under McAllister. They create chances, pass the ball well, and are much better to watch, but the results still seem to be escaping us. Leeds will now visit Doncaster on Tuesday for a game Gary McAllister has admitted Leeds must now win.

Final Score: Leeds United 0 Brighton 0
Attendance: 22,575

SuperLeeds.com man of the match – Jonny Howson.

I’ve gone for Jonny Howson as this weeks man of the match as the youngster gave absolutely everything he had yesterday for Leeds, and was extremely unlucky not to be rewarded with a goal. Jonny has established him as a first team regular under McAllister and his game seems to have improved every week. The future looks bright for Jonny, and I sincerely hope he spends it with Leeds United.

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Jermaine BeckfordTwo goals from Jermaine Beckford helped get Leeds United’s promotion dreams back on track as they cruised to victory against fellow promotion chasing Walsall.

Walsall started the game with five in midfield, and a lone striker, perhaps hoping to dominate the match by controlling the centre, but it was Leeds who started brightly and should have been one up early on when Freedman put Beckford through on goal, only for him to narrowly fire wide.

Beckford soon made up for the miss though after Kilkenny broke free and played the ball forward to Beckford who took the pass neatly in his stride, rounded the Walsall keeper and slotted home from a difficult angle on the 29th minute.

The Leeds team had improved significantly following the recent bad run of form, and looked to be in complete control as they headed in for half time 1-0 up.

However, Walsall came out after the break looking much livelier and earnt a free-kick on the edge of the area. The resulting shot was fired narrowly over, before Mooney missed a complete sitter minutes later. The goal was at his mercy, but the lone Walsall front-man somehow hit his shot over the bar as a relieved Gary McAllister looked on.

Leeds dug deep and survived Walsall’s brief onslaught, before getting back into there stride. Alan Sheehan’s 30-yard free-kick and Bradley Johnson’s header forced two good saves from the Walsall keeper.  

Leeds kept Walsall’s defence busy as they carried on attacking, in search of the second goal which would ultimately seal the crucial three points, and with ten minutes left, Jermaine Beckford and Kilkenny linked once more to send Walsall home with nothing. Beckford’s pace saw him ease past the Walsall defence to score his 19th of the season, before heading off to celebrate with the fans in the North-East corner – myself included.

A much improved Leeds United controlled the majority of the game, attacked throughout and completely deserved the 2-0 victory. Jonathan Douglas also made his return following three months sidelined with injury. The Republic of Ireland international played the final 10 minutes of the game, replacing Johnson, and Tresor Kandol was brought on for Dougie Freedman who received a standing ovation from the Leeds faithful.

Final score: Leeds United (Beckford 29, 80) 2 Walsall 0
Attendance: 19,095

SuperLeeds.com man of the match – Jermaine Beckford

I was tempted to go for Dougie Freedman as this weeks man of the match, but decided to go for Jermaine to make up for my earlier post questioning whether or not the striker deserved a first team place. He’s well and truly silenced the critics and it’s great to have him scoring again.

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Anthony EldingAnthony Elding has told the Yorkshire Evening Post that he hopes to have “planted a seed” in Gary McAllister’s mind ahead of Saturdays must win six-pointer at home to Walsall.

The stiker who joined Leeds from Stockport at the end of January is in good form, coming off the bench to net a consolation goal against Cheltenham last week, before netting twice against Sheffield Wednesday in a reserve fixture on Tuesday.

Elding – a childhood Leeds United fan – thinks McAllister thought he may be a little overwhelmed by his arrival at Elland Road and this has perhaps hindered his chances of making the starting line up so far “I feel he (McAllister) thought I was in awe of the club at the start, which I was – it’s fair to be said. But I’ve settled down a lot more now. I’m sure if I’m given a run over the course of the season, I’ll get some goals.”

With Jermaine Beckford unable to find the back of the net lately, the timing couldn’t be better for Elding. Jermaine still sits on top of the League Ones goal scorers, but has found the back of the net only once -from a penalty – in the last twelve fixtures. McAllister hasn’t been afraid to axe regulars in recent weeks either, with Tresor Kandol and Frazer Richardson finding themselves dropped after poor performances.

Meanwhile, Jonathan Douglas has said he’s delighted to be back in the mix after being sidelined with an injury for the past three month. He played the entire 90 minutes of Leeds’ reserve fixture on Tuesday, and now aims to play a part in the team as Leeds chase promotion to the Championship.

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Jermaine BeckfordIt’s a rare occurrence that any football fan will argue a case for dropping the leagues top goal scorer, but in Jermaine Beckford, Leeds United have an extremely out-of-form goal lacking striker, that seems to be keeping his place in the starting line up solely on his exploits earlier this season.

Jermaine Beckford still sits at the top of League One’s goal scoring chart, but has failed to deliver the amount of goals he was earlier in the season for the last couple of months and seems absolutely lost in front of goal lately.

I’m not sure Gary McAllister is confident enough to make such an high profile change to the starting line up yet, but if Beckford’s form continues he really has to start looking at other options.

Dougie Freedman has already made a huge impact at Elland Road, scoring twice away last week to earn a point in a thrilling 3-3 draw – although a stronger defence would have seen Leeds easily claim all three – whilst fellow newcomer Anthony Elding scored a late consolation goal after coming on as a sub against Cheltenham, followed by two goals for the reserves on Tuesday.

We also have youngster Tom Elliot waiting in the wings who has continually impressed throughout the season at reserve level and may well be ready to take the step up.

Tresor Kandol’s dismal form and hapless finishing has already paved the way for Dougie Freedman to try and seal his first team place, but will Jermaine Beckford be the next scalp? If he doesn’t start coming up with goods soon, you would suspect so.

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