Good Morning. It's Friday 15th January, and here are the latest headlines from Elland Road...
Bielsa leaps to Casilla's defence
Marcelo Bielsa leapt to the defence of Kiko Casilla at the Brighton pre press conference yesterday. The 34yo shot stopper has been subject to much abuse since completing his eight game ban for allegedly racially abusing Jonathan Leko during a league match at Charlton in September 2019, where Casilla apparently called Leko a n*****.
I use the word apparently as the Spaniard was convicted on the balance of probability. No Court in this land would or could have found Casilla guilty as the British judicial system works on facts! Since coming back from suspension, some of the former Real Madrid's performances have been questionable to say the least; none more so than his performances between the sticks against lowly Crawley Town last weekend. However, yesterday Bielsa was quick to point out what an important part of the squad Casilla has been.
No, I fully trust in Kiko. And I will do the utmost possible to help him. I think the treatment Kiko has suffered ignores the fact he is a player who played 40 games for Real Madrid. Apart from whether his performances were good or bad, we forget all the things he has done to get the team promoted.
People also don't consider how he's being treated publicly given the situation he had to go through when he was suspended for eight games and what he went through. I believe in him, his team-mates believe in him and we are close to him because we value him as a person and as a footballer.
We accept what people think of him in different parts of the media and the people, but we know his past and we know his conditions and we care about him a lot as a human being.
If someone says Caprile should be in goal ahead of Casilla they ignore Casilla’s whole career,” he said. “And everything Casilla has suffered since the eight-game ban until now. “The same treatment that was given to Casilla is similar to the same treatment the questions that have implied meaning.
A player that’s serious, that has trained, that is experienced like Casilla. A player like Casilla, who has had 40 games for Real Madrid, one of the biggest clubs in the world, and whether he can be replaced by someone who has never had one minute in the first team. What this question is looking for is to merely humiliate Casilla, because it really has nothing to do with Caprile, but of course, this is part of football.
One day, [Illan] Meslier, who is 20-years-old, gives a bad pass and it results in a goal and whether it was a good idea to replace this 20-year-old and put an experienced player in like Casilla, and in the next day the question is if a 19-year-old who hasn't had any minutes is going to be in goal because I might have lost confidence in Casilla.
Leeds eye up Rams duo as Derby face Administration.
Dark times lay ahead at Pride Park. The Championship club is hemorrhaging money, lie 22nd place in the Championship and have not paid players or staff their December packets. Short of selling their ground, and re-buying it again at a far inflated pri............ hang on, they've tried that already; their backs are firmly against the wall.
Their saving grace could be Derventio Holdings, a company owned by Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Neheyan, part of the ruling family of the emirate of Abu Dhabi. They have a family net worth of 150 billion. His cousin is Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, is the owner of Manchester City. Al Neheyan has been strongly linked to a takeover at Pride Park, but as of yet, no monies have changed hands.
This has led interest from several Premiership clubs including to potentially snap up the likes of Louie Sibley and Jason Knight at a fraction of their value.