Good Morning, it's Thursday 7th December, and here are the latest headlines from Elland Road...
7,337 Leeds fans expected at Blackburn
Leeds will be roared on by almost seven and a half thousand fans on Saturday lunchtime, for the visit of Blackburn Rovers, according to official sources. In recent times, the Riversiders have always been generous when it comes to away ticket allocations. They average just over 15,000 for home gates, but have capacity for twice that. With almost three times as many away fans expected than normal, Lancashire Police moved the fixture to a lunchtime kick off.
Unfortunately, Blackburn and Leeds couldn't agree on a reciprocal pricing deal, meaning fans from both clubs will pay full price for their tickets. This didn't stop the Whites from selling out their 7337 allocation, out as soon as they went on sale.
Firpo recalls devastated dressing room following Bielsa exit
Junior Firpo has claimed that his Leeds teammates would rather have been relegated with Marcelo Bielsa at the helm, than remain in the top flight under another Manager. When the Argentine received his marching orders at the end of February 2022, it hit the dressing room hard. Even though the team had found themselves on the wrong end of a series of bad results, it came as a shock to everyone when the Elland Road board relieved him of his duties. Firpo recalls a devastated dressing room with players crying uncontrollably. They had not just lost their coach, but their confidant, mentor, and most of all, their friend.
He [Bielsa] was a little crazy, as his nickname says, but for the better. He was very obsessive with detail. Until you gave a good pass it wasn’t worth it. And you could repeat it 50 times. It doesn’t matter that you scored the goal, but since the ball didn’t move well with the correct rotation that he thought, it wasn’t done well.
It was one of the hardest coaching farewells I have ever experienced. All the players who had been with him for several years were crying in the dressing room. It was like when you know that something is going to sink, but you’d rather it sink with it, than save it with someone else, it was that feeling. We were miraculously saved in the last game, the fans were singing his name. It was a very hard decision for the club.
Increasingly likely that Firpo will depart in January
Transfer insider Dean Jones has claimed it is increasingly likely that Junior Firpo will leave Elland Road next month. The 27 year old, a £13m signing (with a 20% sell on fee) from Barcelona two and a half years ago, has been blighted by poor performance and a series of injuries. Former club Real Betis are said to be keen on taking him back, but much will depend on whether Leeds can find a suitable replacement.
Currently, Sam Byram occupies the role. Although capable, he is not considered a game changer, and has a history of injury problems himself. With Dallas unlikely to feature this season, Leeds may be forced to invest in a new No 3, unless Djed Spence can operate as an inverted left-back.