Good Morning. It's Tuesday 19th October, and here are the latest headlines from Elland Road...
Touts scamming Leeds fans out of thousands
Whilst thousands of Leeds fans jammed the ticket lines yesterday, desperate to get their hands on seats for the Leicester game, most were left bitterly disappointed! The majority had waited patiently on the phone for a considerable amount of time, only to receive the inevitable news that every ticket had been snapped up.
Imagine my surprise when searching online to find that ticket touts had dozens of available seats on offer, as long as you are prepared to pay up to six times their face value. A ticket at Elland Road can cost between £29 to £47 depending on the view (and opposition), but a quick search on football tout sites showed seats for the Leicester game (which only went on sale yesterday) for up to £300 per ticket, or £1,200 for a family of four, or £13 per minute!
The Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 makes it a criminal offence, yet touts have found ways to bend the laws. One way is to sell a novelty item, say a scarf at a hugely inflated price, with a free ticket. The Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006 and later the Ticket Touting (Designation of Football Matches) Order 2007 goes some way to stopping this! What should happen to Leeds fans caught selling tickets to these parasites?
Leeds to turn attention to Chelsea's forgotten midfielder
Multiple sources this morning claim that Leeds are eyeing up a return for Chelsea and former England midfielder Ross Barkley. The 27 year old spent a month on loan at Elland Road in 2013, but has only managed 36 minutes of first-team football under Thomas Tuchel this term, and is surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge. Leeds face stiff competition for the former toffee, with a host of top flight clubs, including Newcastle rumoured to be interested in his signature. Is Barkley the right kind of player for Leeds. Would his lack of game time hinder his fitness levels
Hay lays into Leeds team
Leeds Utd journalist Phil Hay has laid into the Leeds Utd team for their woeful performance on the South Coast at the weekend. Speaking on The Athletic's website, the former Chief football writer for the YEP labelled the fixture 'eminently winnable' and described Leeds as having 'no interplay, no dominance and no swagger'.
In a first half as inept as any Bielsa has sat through, Raphinha was missed at St Mary’s. Phillips and Bamford were too, saying something about how essential Leeds’ most prominent faces feel at present. There was no interplay, no dominance, no swagger at all and — unusually for Bielsa’s Leeds — no chances worth talking about. Expected goals sat a fraction above zero at half-time. There was no answer to Southampton’s high press either, a tactic which can be costly against Leeds. Press high and teams take the chance of Bielsa’s cutting through them. But when Leeds fail to do so as comprehensively as they did on Saturday, the pitch is yours.
The concern for Bielsa is that whether or not he expected to win at Southampton - an eminently winnable fixture - he would have expected Leeds to be competitive and to make Southampton look more like a team without a league win to their name. There was a reversal of last weekend at Elland Road, where Leeds found their voice and Watford lost theirs. The picture in front of Bielsa is one of players climbing the mountainside, looking for the form and the flair they once oozed. Temporarily or otherwise, something is missing and has been from the start.