Tag Archives: Leeds United

Eric Lichaj needs to succeed at Leeds

Elland Road (picured) is one of England's most storied stadiums, and Lichaj will be able to get more first team playing time at Leeds United in the second half of the season rather than sitting out at Aston Villa. Leeds United is one of England's most stories clubs. (Courtesy Auz Flickr)

By Kevin Koczwara

Eric Lichaj found himself in a tough situation at Aston Villa this year. The 22-year-old American defender began making his way into the first team and establishing himself as a young defender to watch in the English Premier League early in the season.

Lichaj started fighting for a spot on the first team because of inconsistent play from Luke Young, Ciaran Clark, and Stephen Warnock. Then Gerard Houllier took the vacant position as the club’s long-term manager and replacement for Martin O’Neil. Houllier brought in Kyle Walker from Tottenham on loan to play right back for Villa, making Lichaj a surplus to requirements. The American has been given a way to get back on track, a chance to catapult his carrier back on the fast track, with a loan move to Leeds United for the second half of this season.

The move to Leeds for Lichaj could be a real boost for his young career, even if he isn’t getting playing time in the Premier League. The American is getting a chance to play for a club fighting back from some hard times in the Championship.

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Upsets make Cup competitions worth it

By Ryan Fleming

It felt good. Really good. No, I’m not talking about an evening walk with someone far more attractive than I should be spending time with. Nor am I referring to getting a nonexistent raise or finding a real full-time job. What I’m gloating about is the FA Cup – all domestic cups for that matter.

Back in the good ol’ days Leeds United used to be the cream of the crop. Not just in England, but the world. Nowadays they are seemingly trapped in England’s Championship, continuing to fight, scratch and claw their way back up to supremacy, or at least a chance at it. This year could be the year that Leeds reach promotion to the EPL, currently fifth, good enough for the promotion playoff.

But now, unlike back in the 1970’s when things were simpler. Honestly, Leeds will never reach the glory or come close to the glory of their past. That goes for teams like Queen’s Park Rangers, Celtic, Rangers, Ajax, Benfica or even the basically unheard of Clubb Brugge (yes, they made it to a final). These are now the days of Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester United and Bayern Munich. This is not implying that these teams weren’t dominate before – they were – but now they stand above the rest even more.

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A fool's guide to an unpredictable weekend across Europe (except for Spain)

By Jonathan Gold

Manchester United’s completely unpredictable 1-0 win over Liverpool – sorry Kevin – and Spurs’ similarly shocking triumph over mighty Charlton were FA Cup fixtures reminding us of how dire the competition can be, but there were a couple of real surprises this weekend in the oldest cup tournament in the world.

Arsenal 1 – 1 Leeds United

While it’s not, you know, outside the realm of possibility for Arsenal to be stumped by lower-level opposition who outwork it and close down aggressively, the Gunners have been on a roll of late, after an important win over Chelsea and a disappointing draw with Manchester City that they nonetheless dominated utterly. However, Leeds led for much of the second half and were denied the win only by a very late penalty from Fabregas.

Manchester City 2 – 2 Leicester City

Anytime the lower-league club pulls it out over a top-flight competitor – particularly one whose team cost approximately 963 times more than the opposition – it’s fun to watch. And, somewhat surprisingly for a game involving Manchester City, it actually was a good one to watch, as Leicester leapt on City’s pallid defense, scoring in the first minute and pulling level again midway through the second half. For a team full of wildly expensive defenders and defensive midfielders, City really was shocking at the back and could easily have lost.

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Giants Stumble in Europe

Daniel Agger is finally healthy. His addition to the Liverpool defense will surely be a lift because right now it is struggling to keep opponents from scoring. (Courtesy Wikicommons.

Daniel Agger is finally healthy. His addition to the Liverpool defense will surely be a lift because right now it is struggling to keep opponents from scoring. (Courtesy Wikicommons.

By Kevin Koczwara

Liverpool Lose in Florence

It is a staggering scoreline: Liverpool 0-2 Fiorentina.

Rafa Benetiz cannot explain it. Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard cannot understand or defend it. As for the defense, they have looked like Babe in the Big City all year long–they have one clean sheet, a 5-0 win against the struggling attack of Stoke. And they can’t explain their struggles.

Liverpool went into the match confident, and Fiorentina had had a few “sleepless nights” after seeing the Reds put up six easy goals against Hull in the weekend. But none of it mattered on the pitch on Tuesday as Fiorentina scored two goals in less than 10 minutes, putting the visiting Reds on their backs like a hapless turtle.

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