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Dughall McCormick perhaps should have gone Christmas shopping according to the Elland Road faithful. Difficult to contest, but here he is telling you all about his trip to Yorkshire which failed to yield anything significant.
Random star performer
I'd say Marley Watkins edged this one although his first half had more sparkle than the second. He was in the game a lot and effort levels were high, characterised by a 60 yard defensive sprint back to thwart what would have been a very dangerous and threatening Leeds effort. "You'd never see Murphy do that!" was the telling observation from my friend on my right. True, and clearly one of the reasons why Farke had made the dropping of Murphy for Watkins his only change to the side that successfully dispatched Sheffield Wednesday a week previously.
Moment of the match
Leeds scored from the second of two dangerous free kicks. The first of those was, for me, the moment of the match. As they set up to take it, there appeared a huge and gaping gap of no-man's land between Gunn and the defensive cordon. It looked ridiculous and I remember thinking, "What are they doing?". Sure enough it resulted in a rebound off the woodwork from a pouncing Calvin Phillips.Minutes later and a similar situation arose with a similar defensive set-up and bang, we were 1-0 down as Pontus Jannson was thebeneficiary of a similarly well delivered ball whipped into that no-man's land; which leads me onto...
...After the game DF alluded to a tactical shift from zonal to man marking for this one. To be fair, he has been oft criticised for the former and so perhaps this was a reasonable tactical change to make. Was it part of the problem for the goal though? The way Norwich set up defensively for those couple of free kicks at the end of the first half looked worrying and vulnerable. All the more painful and ironic that the scorer was the very motive for Farke's change of tack. More work needed on the training ground I'd say.
Biggest positive to take
Erm... Was there one? Pritchard played well? It was a decent team effort. Most of the significant injury worries are now sorted. Not sure what more to say.
We are still lacking that final third cutting edge. And all this pretty, lateral passing and possession football is all very well but we need to be able to quickly change it up and punish teams when chances arise and this is simply not happening enough. At one point in the second half Norwich were awarded a free kick about 10 yards into the Leeds' half. Did we launch it forward ambitiously into the box in the hopes someone might get on the end of it the way we had suffered ourselves in the 41st minute? No, we passed it sideways and made nothing of another supine passing move. Frustrating.
Good stirring stuff from the travelling faithful. I, like everyone else, didn't sit down once (nor were we asked to) for the full 90.
It pains me to say but I have a sense that this match underlined our true standing in the league. I can't say that the team particularly underperformed. Everyone had reasonable games and from a tactical point of view, whilst not flawless, it was far from inept. We just weren't good enough against a team who actually do very similar things to Norwich, but just better. I think there is still scope and capacity for improvement but am beginning to think that it won't be enough to secure the top six spot that we crave.
"You should have gone Christmas shopping!" taunted the Elland Road South stand. There might have been something in that.
This time we've produced garments celebrating our rightful place as the Pride of Anglia. As always, we take no profit from these and put all the revenue back into the site and things we can all enjoy.
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A new boss, a new structure at board level and runs of great form, followed by fallow patches, Leeds United's season has mimicked our own in many ways. Andrew Lawn chats to Phil Hay from the Yorkshire Evening Post, for his take on Saturday's intriguing Championship encounter.
Norwich take on Brentford in the Leovegas Derby this Friday, the fixture being rescheduled seemingly for no particular reason other than both teams wanted a rest before Boxing Day. We face a side who've had a relatively topsy-turvy campaign, Jon Punt talked to Beesotted's Jon Restall to get the lowdown on their form, just how good Alex Pritchard can be and whether Sergi Canos is ready to spoil the Canaries' Christmas....