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Leeds United News from The Sporting Life    Yorkshire Evening Post


October 31: A good weekend for a whole bunch of ex-Leeds players. Danny Granville and Brian Deane scored the winners for Man City and Boro respectively, and Gary McAllister netted a pen as he and Coventry's new lucky talisman Carlton Palmer (Cov are undefeated in the 6 games he's been with them on loan) were on the winning side against a Watford side that looks doomed already.

October 31: David Batty and Harry Kewell feature in the latest Carling Opta stats. Batts has made the most passes - and the most successful passes of any player so far (no surprise to those of us who've seen him dominate the midfield this year) and Harry Kewell has the most shots (and equally unsurprising, the most shots off target :-).

October 30: It's the Oz, Harry and Leeds show part 31! Soccer Australia want Harry to go Down Under to play two (non-competitive) games against Brazil. Leeds initially said he could play in one (since there will be no games in England that weekend) but DOL is apparently against releasing him for either of them. Harry wants to go, and is possibly getting a little bit peeved that his international opportunities are getting more and more restricted - but if we do well in Europe, that's probably better preparation and competition for him anyway.

October 30: Another scrappy game but another 3 points despite the best efforts of the team to throw it away towards the end. A stunning shot from Ian "he's only got a left foot" Harte when given too much time in the area made the difference. And a couple of great saves by Nige further reinforced his claim as England's number 1.

October 29: Former Leeds favorite Chris Whyte can apparently now be seen turning out for non-league Harlow Town in Essex - hope he's doing it for the fun and not because he needs the money...

October 28: Tommy Knarvik is now out of plaster and able to do some light training after his achilles op - but it won't be until early next year before he can start an on-field comeback.

October 28: The Strongbow deal has been confirmed - and they're putting up to £6 million on the table for a 3 year deal. All of this adds to DOL's cash pile, but if the players he wants just aren't available, then he's right to let it stay there - particularly since any club dealing with us will automatically double their valuation of a player knowing we've got the money.

October 28: Gary Kelly and Ian Harte are both named in the Ireland squad for their Euro 2000 play-off next month. David Batty will be suspended for the games, so we'll be looking for Kevin Keegan to have a bit of sense and pick Nigel Martyn as the England goalie (and Jon Woodgate at centreback maybe?).

October 27: With Packard-Bell's shirt sponsorship coming up for renewal at the end of the season - and new shirts due anyway with the arrival of Nike - there has been talk for some time of a new shirt sponsor being recruited. Bulmers - with their Strongbow fizzy pop - sorry, cider - are favorites to be splashed across the bellies of 20,011 people next year. Hello? Strongbow? What about Tetley for *^%$ sake? It's bad enough with breweries spending sod all advertising decent real ale and spending millions on plugging fizzy chemical brews, alcopops and nitrokeg and then saying "There doesn't appear to be a demand for real ale" without Yorkshire's premier football team advertising second-rate, mass-produced over-chemicaled apple juice. Ooh it makes me angry...

October 26: Contrasting fortunes for two recent departures from Elland Road: Clyde Wijnhard scored his 9th goal of the season as Huddersfield beat Barnsley 2-1, and Bruno Ribeiro was carried off with a leg injury as Sheffield United went down 1-0 at Wolves.

October 26: Will the lucky programme holder please step forward. If you bought a programme at the Lokomotiv game on Thursday, check the inside cover - if your programme has been stamped in the right place you could be going to Moscow on an all-expenses-paid trip to see the 2nd leg next week. It was definitely sold, but nobody has come forward yet...

October 26: The reserves beat Bolton 3-0 tonight - 2 goals from Huckerby and one from Craig Farrell. More importantly Michael Duberry came through a full 90 minutes - he must be close to returning now.

October 26: Tony Hackworth and Lee Matthews are both making good progress after a series of injuries and operations, but both won't be back in action until early next year.

October 26: Never mind the strikers (although some rumours now point at Marcellino, with Robson desperate to get Newcastle's wage bill down and bring in some money so he can spend it), we're looking at defenders! Martin Hiden has had an X-ray that reveals a cracked rib: nowt too serious and he should be back in contention by Christmas. In the short term this makes little difference, but with Lucas Radebe out for 4-6 weeks early in the New Year for the African Nations Cup, and no doubt a suspension or two kicking in, if he isn't available by then, we could be looking seriously underweight at the back. So we've now been linked with that star of thr future Colin Hendry (along with Derby, Sheff Wed and several others). I guess if you're looking for solid cover from someone who's done it all, he'd do a good job for us: John Mclelland for 1999!

October 25: Transfer denials from the weekend: we're not after John Hartson or Dimitri Loskov of Lokomotiv. Hartson is still quite young - but whether his style of play would be appropriate for Leeds is questionable (if he could consistently produce his best, he'd be great but consistency is the problem). And Alex Ferguson's experiences with signings from the former Soviet Union have probably done enough to put most managers off signing anyone from there. It's bad enough having the fans and press on your back without adding the Russian Mafia (errr I mean Legitimate Businessmen of course)..

October 24: David Hopkin has made it clear to Craig Brown that he's not happy playing at wing-back for the international team. He feels that it doesn't make him look good when he's playing out of position and worries that he'll make a mistake because he's not used to playing at right-back. Brown is hoping to persuade him to continue, and assistant Alex Miller has spoken to Hopkin on the phone.

October 24: A topsy-turvy day at Goodison. After being behind three times, Leeds came on strong to equalise through Bridges, Kewell and Bridges again. Then Jon Woodgate got a good header from a corner and Leeds were 4-3 up and the Everton fans started leaving early. Then just a couple of seconds into injury time, David Weir rose above the crowd and headed the ball in to equalise and bring the 10-match winning streak to an end. Despite that late comeback, Walter Smith has whinged at length about a challenge by Lucas Radebe on Don Hutchison that some refs (presumably those who hadn't seen him make contact with the ball) would have dished out a red card for. Some people are never happy...

October 23: No major injury worries for the game at Goodison tomorrow though Lee Bowyer and Ian Harte are still not really fully fit after injury/operation. Dermot Gallagher refs, and with Everton unbeaten at home this season it will be a tough one. At least we're going into the game still top of the league - cheers Spurs!

October 23: Another goal today for Clyde Wijnhard who is proving a big success at Huddersfield. It does really show what the difference is between the Premier League and Division One - and maybe Bruno Ribeiro will have similar success.

October 22: The typically generous bookmaking fraternity have cut Leeds' odds to win the UEFA Cup to 10-1. That's with the away leg in Moscow plus the Champions' League drop-outs still to consider. Maybe I'll have a flutter at that price. Not.

October 22: Bruno Ribeiro hopes to end his first-team exile with a move to Sheffield United for £500,000. Yet another GG player hits the road - he might have made something of himself, but never really impressed after his return from injury and his failure to shed the pounds last season can't have helped. Well, that's the wage bill heading down a little: Salva Ballesta of Racing Santander is the latest player to be mooted as the one to put it back up. The 22-year-old Spanish striker has attracted interest from several clubs and could be available for £6 million. On the negative side, his agent is the same money-grabbing fat cat who represents JFH, so maybe we should steer well clear.

October 22: 1:20 a.m. and I've just got back from a pretty good performance at Elland Road. Not great. Certainly helped by lenient/blind refereeing (though they got some favours too), but two superb goals from Lee Bowyer, 2 brilliant saves in a minute by Nigel Martyn and a masterful performance from David Batty in the middle of the park. Ten wins in a row, a 4-1 lead to take away in Europe, and only one more day of work before the weekend. Perfect! A full report will appear tonight, but now it's bedtime...

October 21: DOL seems to be getting a bit tetchy in his old age. First he had his customary blast at the format of the UEFA Cup and the way that the "Champions'" League failures get to drop in. Then he laid into some of the ER fans for getting on his back over bringing off Michael Bridges and having unrealistic expectations (if you ever want to know what it's like when we really get on someone's back then I suggest you speak to Wilko, David). Finally he angrily defended Alan Smith who was slated by some of the few-words-plenty-pictures papers for failing to turn up to Saturday's post-match press conference. Maybe he's been reading Fergie's book and is trying to position himself more in the miserable git school of management....

October 21: Danny Granville today completed his move to Manchester City for £1 million. That's a six hundred grand loss on what we paid, but he was never going to get a game ahead of Ian Harte, so good luck to him.

October 20: The reserves drew 3-3 last night with goals from Mark Jackson, Craig Farrell and Alan Cawley. Michael Duberry managed to play for the full 90 minutes, and - showing how far from favour they are - there were also full appearances for Bruno Ribeiro and Alan Maybury.

October 19: A Leeds reserves team - comprising mainly of the youth team or the terminally out of favour will play at Everton tonight. Since anyone who's anyone at Leeds will be hoping to get into the huge UEFA squad, it's unlikely that any of the main squad players will be risked, although United may use it as a chance for Michael Duberry to complete his climb back to full fitness.

October 19: Leeds and Man City have agreed a fee of £1 million for Danny Granville - it's just down to personal terms being sorted. In other left-back news, Ian Harte has made a quick recovery from his op and could be fit to resume his place on Thursday night.

October 18: You've got to be kidding department: JFH may have bagged a couple of goals for bottom-of-the-league Atletico in recent weeks, but he's not settled in there and rumours around Madrid link him with a return to Leeds for £5 million. Whether that's what his weekly wage demand would be or what they expect as a transfer fee is not clear. Either way, he'd need a thick skin and a whole bagful of goals before most Leeds fans would give him the time of day.

October 18: Rune Lange has indicated that he would not be willing to come over to England for a trial before signing for a Premiership club. One of Norway's brightest prospects and top scorers, he feels he's done all he needs to attract a team who would be willing to give him a run without being forced to play practice or reserve matches over here.

October 18: Leeds are apparently showing some interest in young Carlisle full-back Peter Clark. Liverpool, Manchester City and Charlton are also interested (which - let's face it - is not that flattering to the youngster), but with Ian Harte out and other defensive cover short (essentially Alfi Haaland for right back and centre back until Duberry, Hiden, Molenaar and Harte are fit) he might just fit in.

October 18: Leeds will play Blyth Spartans on November 14 to mark the centenary of the North-East club. The game has been put back from November 13 to avoid a clash with the England-Scotland play-off.

October 17: Leeds' game against Leicester in the Worthington Cup will now take place on Tuesday November 30, live on Sky.

October 16: In today's Guardian, David Batty talks about life at Leeds and being the old man of the squad. He reckons - quite rightly in my opinion - that the Championship winners of 1992 would struggle to stay in the top flight today. Fitness and skill levels have improved, the quality - and tenacity - of the imports has increased and with the money from Sky, the last seven years has radically changed the face of British football.

October 16: Leeds' UEFA Cup opponents Lokomotiv Moscow went down to Spartak Moscow and effectively conceded the Russian Championship today. Let's hope they're a bit downhearted for Thursday night...

October 16: A not totally deserved win against a Wednesday side that came for a draw. Two good poacher's goals to Smiffy and multo brownie points to Darren Huckerby who made all the difference when he came on. Full marks too to Batts for some superb midfield passing and to Nigel Martyn for a couple of saves that show he should be England's Number 1.

October 15: The reserves - including a nearly fit Michael Duberry - went down 0-1 to Sheffield Wednesday last night - hopefully not a precursor for Saturday!

October 14: DOL's impressions of Lokomotiv (5-1 winners and in the middle of a 17-game unbeaten streak) will probably be slightly better than what they though of us when they turned up to watch last night. Hopefully Lee Bowyer will be back to fitness by then, and we shouldn't risk him on Saturday if there are any doubts.

October 14: Leeds have been installed as 6-1 second favourites for the Worthington Cup behind Villa and Arsenal - we probably would be favourites but for the slightly harder path facing Leeds on the way to the final.

October 13: Sad Statto Fact: Gary Kelly is the only Leeds player who appeared tonight who was in the team when Leeds last beat Blackburn on the way to the Coca-Cola Cup Final in 1995-96.

October 13: Leeds will be beaming back the game from Everton next weekend with tickets priced at £6.

October 13: A real late show from Leeds tonight as they managed to miss some good chances - Harry Kewell hitting the post, missing and having a shot saved when through - but Danny Mills rifled a free kick in the final minute of normal time and a slight deflection left it in the back of the net. 1-0 and Leicester in the next time.

October 13: Transfer speculation now points us in the direction of the Brazilian Jardel, currently playing in Portugal. Plenty of goals behind him, £15 million required: is it worth it?

October 12: UEFA have fined Leeds for showing a foul on Harry Kewell on the video screen during the 2nd leg against Partizan. Apparently we're only allowed to use it to show 'positive' aspects of the game....

October 12: Barnsley are renewing their interest in - the once again injured - David Robertson. He had a trial spell there but chose not to stay due to injury. With Ian Harte injured, this could be his chance to make an impression on the main squad, but it looks like a sore groin will mean that we'll have a non- specialist in the left-back slot tomorrow.

October 12: Bruno Ribeiro's possible move away from Leeds might be edging back to a more active status. Sheffield United are reported to be interested for about half a million, or he could return to his native Portugal. It would be a shame to see him go, because with a bit more application and fitness he might have made the grade as a reasonable squad player - but if he wants first team football he'd be hard pushed to get a regular place at any Premiership club.

October 11: Lee Bowyer limped out of England's U-21 game on Friday and is now doubtful for Wednesday night's game against Blackburn in the Worthington Cup.

October 10: Matthew Jones made his full international debut for Wales, coming on for the last 12 minutes of their 0-2 defeat by Switzerland.

October 10: Nigel Martyn kept a clean sheet for the 2nd 45 minutes of England's friendly with Denmark. David Batty will be suspended for the 2 play-off games, so was omitted - but why Keegan called up Paul Ince is a mystery.

October 08: For all the stattos out there, each of the club link pages now contain lists of the top ten Leeds players and goalscorers against that club - check it out against your team now!

October 07: Five Leeds players appeared in tonight's England U-21 game at Valley Parade. Paul Robinson, Danny Mills, Lee Bowyer, Alan Smith and Michael Bridges all played a significant part as Wilko's team beat Denmark 4-1. Michael Bridges set up two of the goals, and two of England's four were scored by Alan Smith and Lee Bowyer.

October 07: Leeds' lack of cover at left-back (with Danny Granville loaned to Man City) will be seriously exposed over the next 2-3 games: Ian Harte is taking longer than expected to recover from his op and will miss the Blackburn and Sheff Wed games, and possible the first leg of the UEFA Cup against Lokomotiv Moscow and the away game at Everton too. Gary Kelly could drop in there with Danny Mills at right back, but this really does serve to show just how brittle we are as a squad.

October 06: Leeds officials flew out to Moscow today to cast an eye over the Lokomotiv team and stadium. We've been allocated 1000 tickets - but if you're planning to go, make sure you've got a visa and diptheria injection first!

October 06: Robert Molenaar's long struggle back from injury has suffered a setback as he damaged his Achilles tendon. He's still on for a comeback early next year.

October 05: Stephen McPhail started his comeback from injury last night, playing for the reserves as they went down 0-1 against Villa.

October 04: David Hopkin played in Scotland's 1-0 win over Bosnia at Ibrox tonight. The win sees them through to the play-offs for Euro 2000, and the fact that Hoppo picked up a booking and will miss the final match against Lithuania on Saturday is probably a good thing - it means he'll be free for the play-offs!

October 04: Jonathon Woodgate won't be joining the England squad for this week's training session as he will be undergoing treatment for a back injury.

October 04: Ian Harte underwent a minor knee op today but hopes to be fit in time to face Blackburn in the Worthington Cup next week. Meanwhile, Lucas Radebe isn't that seriously injured - he was forced to go off against Watford yesterday but the 2 week break will give him a decent rest.

October 04: Leeds shareholders voted in favour of the BSkyB share purchase at today's EGM.

October 03: Top of the league! Thanks to Chelsea's destruction of Man U and today's deserved victory, Leeds are back on top of the Premier League one year after DOL took over from GG. Ha! Stick that in your back pocket in a brown envelope George!

October 02: Peter Ridsdale and DOL are reported to have patched up their differences over Ridsdale's comments in Thursday's programme. PR said that Leeds should be looking to win silverware and succeed in Europe, while DOL's "they're just kids" line is what the manager wants the world - and the players - to believe.

October 02: Leeds are being linked with a move for Chris Sutton in the weekend papers. He's not yet made a major impact at Chelsea and might be available - but it's unlikely Leeds will land him for the £5 million they've bid.

October 01: Lokomotiv Moscow will provide our opposition in the next round of the UEFA Cup. We'll play the first leg at home on October 21, with the away leg in Moscow on November 4. Tickets will be on sale shortly - again priced at £12 full price and £6 for concessions.

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