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Leeds United News from The Sporting Life    Yorkshire Evening Post


April 29: Jon Woodgate is a doubt and David Hopkin is almost certainly out of Saturday's visit to West Ham. Lucas Radebe will hopefully return unscathed from South Africa's 1-1 draw with Denmark.

April 29: Lee Bowyer was fined £750 for reaching 11 bookings this season but escaped a ban from the FA Disciplinary Committee.

April 29: David Batty turned out for England in the 1-1 draw against Hungary last night. Not a great performance but after his injury-enforced absence, a welcome sight.

April 29: Robert Molenaar has had a third operation on his knee as he battles back to full fitness. Not great news...

April 29: It's my birthday today. I know that's not exactly Leeds-related news but what the heck...

April 28: Alan Smith could be set to follow in DOL's footsteps and sign a five-year contract with the club. He said: "I think he wants us to sign for that length of time as well, so it will be a pleasure to do so."

April 28: David Robertson could make his first start for a year tonight as a depleted reserves squad crosses the Pennines to face Manchester United.

April 26: Worrying transfer rumours emerge from the general gossip at the ManU game. Lee Bowyer - who has expressed his admiration for Judas Graham - could be making a return to London to join the slimy bung-taker at White Hart Lane.

April 26: Nigel Martyn was the only Leeds player voted into the PFA Premiership 11, and Harry Kewell was 3rd in the poll for the PFA Young Player of the Year. Since the voting for this competition takes place sometime in January, it's not that surprising that Alan Smith or Lee Bowyer didn't place higher since both have performed best this year. But that doesn't explain how a player whose inability to stay on his feet and whose hairstyle is probably as much responsible for his fame as his football, and who had not scored a Premiership goal until a couple of weeks ago can win the main award.

April 25: A fantastic first half performance by Leeds and a solid display in the second earned us a point against Manchester United. Alan Smith wasted a couple of good chances, and Jonathon Woodgate was carried off with a knee injury before Dwight Yorke saved us from the worst possible finish by blasting a shot over the bar from six yards out in the last seconds of the game.

April 25: David O'Leary has finally signed his contract. He's signed up for 5 years - which should prove just the encouragement needed to get the same long-term commitment from the young players that we have brought through and need to keep.

April 23: Well that's one less moral dilemma for us to worry about: UEFA have confirmed that there will not be a 4th Champions League place for England if ManU win the cup this year. So now all we need to worry about is beating them on Sunday and deciding whether our long-term dislike of ManU is greater than our burning sense of injustice from the 1975 European Cup Final.

April 22: A new away shirt is on the cards, mainly light blue with a dark blue hoop and sounding more like a night cricket pyjama top than a footy shirt. We'll see if it can match the infamous Green and Blue Stripey Shirt for popularity and style.

April 22: Idle transfer gossip part 988. Juventus' alleged £10 million bid for Harry Kewell has been rejected according to the usual dodgy source. Harry looks like he'll be staying with us for some time, but will be getting a not inconsiderable pay rise for his efforts.

April 22: Jon Woodgate has been called into the full England squad for next week's game in Hungary. He joins Nigel Martyn, and David Batty in the England line-up - and having seen both of Batty's comeback games, I can't for the life of me understand why he's in there and Lee Bowyer isn't.

April 22: JFH and Hoppo are both making progress in their attempts to be fit for Sunday. Jimmy is probably more likely to be fit than Hoppo, but we'll keep our fingers crossed for both of them.

April 22: Tony Hackworth and Clyde Wijnhard both bagged a pair for the reserves as they beat Preston 4-0 last night. It's a timely reminder for DOL that Clyde is still there, and although he's not made the most of his first team chances he could still be a contender.

April 21: David O'Leary is today quoted as saying that Jimmy will be sold "over my dead body". Watch out for those grassy knolls, David. Jimmy's contract lasts for 2 more seasons, so there shouldn't be any pressure on us to sell and cash in now before he takes a Bosman, but we want to make sure he doesn't turn into another van Hoojidonk.

April 20: Jamie Redknapp was apparently spotted at Elland Road yesterday. Maybe he was just trying to get a ticket for the big game on Sunday or maybe....

April 20: JFH and David Hopkin will both be struggling to be fit for the game on Sunday. It would be a huge blow if Jimmy's tweaked hamstring keeps him out of the side, but it would also give Alan Smith and Harry Kewell a fantastic chance to demonstrate just what they can do on their own.

April 19: Lee Bowyer will face an FA disciplinary panel after picking up his 11th booking of the season on Saturday, but it seems likely that he'll only receive a one match ban and miss the West Ham game.

April 18: More details seem to be emerging on the Korsten saga. It seems that - although we did agree to pay him what he wanted in the end - he was insulted by the crap deal we tried to foist on him in the first place. It wouldn't be the first time that the managerial (which is not necessarily referring to DOL) side of the club had screwed up a promising situation for us. Meanwhile DOL has still not signed a contract and will be looking for some commitment from the board before he does. It's been nice knowing you David....

April 17: Truly abysmal refereeing and a disjointed performance from a very patchy Leeds side leaves us with two more dropped points against relegation candidates Charlton. They battled well (too well in Richard Rufus' case - the one thing the ref did seem to get right) and looked a lot more committed to the cause.

April 17: Transfer rumours in the comics: Harry Kewell will be going to Juve to replace Zinedine Zidane who apparently wants away. Meanwhile, Arsenal and Spurs are the latest clubs to be linked with Willem Korsten's last-minute change of heart.

April 17: Three Leeds players - Alan Smith, Lee Bowyer and Harry Kewell - are among the six players nominated for the PFA Young Player of the Year award.

April 14: Willem Korsten has turned down a permanent move to Leeds, despite the club agreeing to his personal terms. So we give him a shop window, nurse him through a couple of injuries and offer him what he wants in cash terms, plus the chance to play in Europe next season. The ungrateful little sod should get his arse back to Holland now and wait for the call from whichever underhanded agent and club have got to him: no libellous accusations here yet, but expect to see some shortly as the truth comes out.

April 14: So farewell then, Big Bob? Robert Molenaar will now be out until at least Christmas after re-rupturing a tendon. After this setback, it must be questioned whether he'll make it back into top flight football: age and time are against him, and with Woody, Lucas and the hopefully fit soon Martin Hiden available, it's uncertain whether he'd find a place in the starting line-up.

April 14: David Robertson played his first game for the reserves after coming back from a knee injury as they went down 3-2 at Anfield last night.

April 13: Getting it out of all proportion department, volume 18. The FA today threatened to behead David O'Leary unless he submitted to a public flogging over his remark that he'd had a hundred quid on Man U to win the title at the start of the season. With the renowned generosity of British bookmakers, he'd probably have been better putting it in the bank.

April 13: In case you hadn't noticed, Michael Owen got injured last night. What the press managed to avoid mentioning is that Alfi Haaland also picked up a knock in training, Gunnar Halle went off with a knee injury and Harry Kewell had a dead leg when he came off with one minute to go. Hopefully they'll all be back for Saturday.

April 13: "Beesley clears a Sharpe shot off the line" - not a Leeds practice match, but a 1-1 draw between Port Vale and Bradford. Jamie Forrester got yet another goal for Scunthorpe, and Derek Lilley set one up for Bury (not that it did much good as they lost 2-5 to Sunderland).

April 12: Two abysmal refereeing decisions saw David Hopkin and David Batty booked for innocuous challenges as Leeds had the better of a scrappy 0-0 draw with Liverpool. Batts was otherwise anonymous, Owen picked up a hamstring strain early on, and JFH had the best two chances of the game, but neither side really deserved the full 3 points. That's the end of the winning streak, but we're still unbeaten, and now go to Charlton on Saturday looking to restart the run.

April 12: Lucas Radebe is back unhurt from South Africa's defeat in the Gabon, but Willem Korsten is unlikely to have recovered from his ankle injury for tonight's game.

April 10: Two current Leeds players scored today even though Leeds weren't playing. Lee Sharpe bagged another as Bradford keep up their promotion challenge, and Derek Lilley also managed to grab a goal for Bury.

April 08: Tommy Knarvik with two, and Clyde Wijnhard with one could not prevent the reserves from losing at home to Villa last night. More importantly, David Batty came through the full 90 minutes with no apparent problems.

April 08: Stephen McPhail scored in last night's 2-0 win for the Republic of Ireland against Saudi Arabia in the World Championships in Nigeria.

April 07: Rumours reach Penguin Towers about impending activity this summer. JFH, with one year left on his contract, is refusing to sign an extension and has slapped in ridiculous demands. The only way they could be satisified is by him picking up a wodge of transfer fee. And who's this knocking on the door? Step forward Aston Villa and Newcastle United: £8-10 million should be enought to bag a 20-goals-a-season player. Meanwhile DOL has identified 3 or 4 players, rumoured to be a right back (the fear is that Gary Kelly might not regain fitness), a right-sided midfielder and - surprise surprise - a forward.

April 07: Leeds will take up the option to purchase Willem Korsten. The Dutch player who joined Leeds on loan from Vitesse Arnhem will cost a total of about £1.5 million, and his signing - and his impressive performances in the short time he has been on the pitch for Leeds - must put the future of Lard Lad Bruno Ribeiro in doubt.

April 06: Lee Matthews is continuing to suffer with a long-term ankle injury and will go to Lilleshall to see if they can help him with his rehabilitation.

April 06: David Batty is likely to play for the reserves tomorrow night, and might be fit enough to be in contention for the game against Liverpool next week.

April 04: Stephen McPhail and Paul Donnelly start for the Republic of Ireland's Under-21 squad as they go down 1-0 to Mexico in the World Championship in Nigeria.

April 03: Lee Sharpe scores for Bradford as they win well to reinforce their push for promotion to the Premier League.

April 03: A scrappy but ultimately easy win over Forest gives Leeds 7 league wins in a row - equalling the record set by Don Revie's Championship-winning team of 1973-74. Carlton Palmer got himself sent off at the end just to make Leeds fans' day complete.

April 02: David O'Leary is awarded the Carling Manager of the Month award after scoring 4 wins out of 4 games in March.

April 01: Once again South Africa demonstrate to Australia how to have a healthy and mutually beneficial relationship with league clubs: Lucas Radebe will be available for the Liverpool game after all. SA are arranging for him to fly back directly after their African Nations Cup game against Gabon and will let him miss their friendly against Jamaica.

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