Thursday, 19 May 2011

Grayson Needs to Add some Steel

When Simon Grayson sits down to finalise his shopping list of players for next season, high on the agenda will be players who respond to muck-and-nettles matches as much as the big occasion.A quick look at the statistics shows that a few more like that in this year’s squad would certainly have clinched a play-off place and maybe even automatic promotion.It was ironic that one of champions QPR’s star players of the season was former Leeds midfielder Shaun Derry, who was the anchor in front of the Rangers’ defence, allowing the creative players room to do their stuff without having to worry what was happening behind them.
But Leeds seemed to lack a player of that character, especially for the battles against the struggling clubs who just wanted to stop them playing.In the eight games against the bottom four sides in the Championship, Leeds picked up 16 points – only three more than they managed against QPR and Norwich, who are up, and Swansea and Reading who are in the play-off final.

In fact, they lost only once to the successful clubs, while going down to relegated Preston and Sheffield United, to which you could add two defeats by Derby, one from Crystal Palace and only a single point from two matches against Barnsley, all clubs in the bottom half.

Simon Grayson is enough of the ‘old school’ to want to put that right before next season’s challenge.

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