Posted by sean on July 31, 2005 at 5:24 pm in Leeds United with No Comments


It is exactly 1 week until Leeds United start their 2005/6 Coca Cola Championship campaign against Millwall. Do they have a chance of promotion this time around? Most definitely!

They are in a totally different position to which they were 12 months ago. They are financially stable, have spent money on good talent over the summer and are full of confidence. Anything short of a 6th place (the play offs) at the end of April will be a bad season.

So for those of you who support rival teams or just those who want to find out a little bit about what all the fuss is about, here is a mini guide to some of the players to look out for next season.

Neil Sullivan
Won the “Player of the Season” honour for 2004/5, Sullivan is quite possibly the best keeper in the Championship. Sully saved a large number of penalties (5 or 6 I think) as well as producing Premiership quality saves.
Paul Butler
The big captain, he may be getting on a bit but the former Wolves man is still a strong centre back. He plays hard and fair, a no nonsense player, any Cristiano Ronaldo wannabes should not try any fancy footwork around him as they risk ending up on their back.
Daniel Harding
Will not be receiving a warm welcome from Brighton fans. Harding saw sense this summer and moved up north to a bigger and better club with a proper stadium. A young lad with lots of potential. Harding is a defender who can also play in midfield, will be a great producer of the ball for strikers.
Sean Gregan
Received a lot of criticism after he signed last September for being unfit and slow, since then though he has grown in fitness and emerged as a strong central midfielder who can also stand his ground if thrown into defence.
Steve Stone

A football veteran. Players should watch out for him running up the wing, feeding the hungry strikers and occasionally grabbing a sneaky goal from unsuspecting defences.

Gylfi Einarsson

“We have joy, we have fun, we have Gylfi Einarsson, and the fun may it last the bastard can run fast”. Quick, strong midfielder who also has a eye for goal as Burnley found out last season.

Simon Walton

A young lad who is growing in quality. Arguably played more games than he should have last season and will probably feature a little less in this campaign as he matures in the reserves. This said, Walton will inevitably have a run of first team games in midfield where he seems organised and goal bound.

Shaun Derry

He may look like a tramp but Derry is no bum. A very stable and hard working midfielder. Bought in the second half of the previous season he made a real impact in a short space of time, just think what he can do across a whole campaign

Eddie Lewis

Who said Americans know nothing about football or “soccer”? Well, probably me somewhere on this website. Lewis may be a Yank but looks a very good quality player, signed this summer from Preston North End he should spend most of next season on the wing setting up many chances for the strikers.

David Healy

A Northern Ireland international, top scorer for his country in fact. Healy signed from Preston last season and made an immediate impact, turning Leeds from relegation fodder to a promotion challenging team. As he joined late he was not able to make a full impact on the season, especially as he was used on the wing where he is wasted. With other new signings Healy is set to take up a strikers role where we will see him score lots of goals, I guarantee it.

Rob Hulse

Spent a few months on loan with Leeds from West Brom late last season. In such a short space of time he became a firm favourite at Elland Road scoring some very impressive goals. He is now officially a Leeds players after being purchased from The Baggies. Like David Healy, Blake should make a major impact in the 2005/6 season for Leeds.

Robbie Blake

The most recent singing for Leeds from Birmingham. He only joined the Blues in January and failed to make an impact. Prior to that, Blake was at Championship rivals Burnley where he scored many goals (something like 12 in his first 4 months of lasts season!). If his performance for Leeds is anything like that of Burnley’s then he will be a “20 Goal a Season” striker.

and two players who will please the opposition if on the teamsheet

Michael Ricketts & Jermaine Wright
Both slow and sluggish players, whatever people say Ricketts has had more than enough chances, he only scored 1 goal last season – in the League Cup against Swindon Town. He must leave. Leeds manager Kevin Blackwell seems to like playing Jermaine Wright even though he is shit. He cannot pass, is slow and never where he should be when called upon. I hope both these failed signings move on asap.

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