Leeds United morning headlines as Rio Ferdinand admission made, Pablo Hernandez analyses pass
Good morning, Leeds United fans. Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, June 30.
O’Leary in Ferdinand admission
Ferdinand arrived at Elland Road in November 2000 for a then world-record fee for a defender, and he helped the club challenge both Manchester United and Arsenal in the Premier League as well as impress in the Champions League.
The financial fallout from Leeds’ lavish spending during that era is well documented, and even O’Leary was shocked at the fee the club were prepared to pay to land Ferdinand.
“We had a brilliant leader in Lucas Radebe – but he was struggling with his knee, so the club asked me for three options to recruit, all at different prices,” O’Leary told the Coaches Voice.
“I said Rio was the top one we could get, but I told them he would cost about £10m.
“I was actually quite shocked when they told me we were signing him for £18m – I might even have expressed doubts if I’d been asked about it – but they were convinced. He was already a world-class player and he proved to be an incredible signing.”
Bielsa genius hailed
Noel Whelan has hailed the half-time introduction of Pablo Hernandez in Leeds’ win over Fulham as a masterstroke from Marcelo Bielsa, and the former striker expects the Spaniard to start against Luton Town this evening.
Leeds went into the break against Fulham ahead thanks to a 10th-minute goal from Patrick Bamford, but had struggled to control the key Championship clash for much of the opening period.
That all changed after Bielsa brought on Hernandez. He helped Leeds dictate possession and was instrumental in Jack Harrison’s goal, the home side’s third of the afternoon.
“The importance of Pablo is huge to that team,” Whelan told Football Insider.
“They (Leeds) controlled the second half and you could see that he was the difference.
“I do not care what age he is, you cannot take away class and quality. He was instrumental in that second half.
“His vision is second to none and we will need that against Luton, so I expect him to play.”
Hernandez analyses ‘that’ pass
Nature or nurture? That was the question Pablo Hernandez mulled over when he was asked about his sumptuous pass for Harrison’s goal in Leeds’ win over Fulham.
You’ve almost certainly seen it by now. A pass is rolled into the 35-year-old Spaniard and he effortlessly chips the ball over the visitors defence for the Whites winger to run on to and score.
“This is difficult to learn,” Hernandez admitted when asked about the pass by Leeds Live. “This is not from the technical [element] of the pass, because 99 per cent of the players in the team can do this pass.
“It’s about thinking before you receive the ball. Sometimes the most important thing in football is the speed of the head, not the speed of your legs or the runs.
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“I try, always, to decide my pass before I receive the ball. Sometimes you have time, sometimes no.
“In this case I have a little time to look for Harrison and to look in my right to see if some opponent is close to me.
“I do the pass and it’s a good pass, but if Jack doesn’t do his run it’s another normal pass.”