Tag Archives: Chris Dawson

Why Mini Maestro Deserves Leeds Chance Tonight Against Charlton

Amitai Winehouse (@awinehouse1)

The appointment of Neil Redfearn as head coach at Elland Road guarantees the fact that the already well worn route between the academy and the first team will become even easier to traverse.

Redfearn has become something of an expert in developing young stars blessed with incredible technical ability, with the likes of Lewis Cook, Alex Mowatt and Sam Byram already imposing themselves on the first team and demonstrating their ability as players.

The hottest prospect in recent years has, however, failed to integrate into the first team due to a series of unfortunate circumstances.

The majority of Leeds fans have heard the name Chris Dawson for a long period of time, but many will have only been granted one real opportunity to watch him play, against Derby County under Neil Warnock.

During that game, thrown in from the start, Dawson was bullied but showed flashes of brilliance.

Since then, however, a series of injuries have limited his ability to impose himself on the first team, and it has looked as though Dawson would fall by the wayside.

However, he appeared again on Saturday, coming on against Cardiff.

His involvement paid dividends, with Leeds offering far more going forward than with Steve Morison on the pitch.

Dawson was effective in the attacking midfield role, carving out opportunities for himself and other players in the side.

His dash past a Cardiff defender symbolised what it is he can do on the pitch.

For those who follow the Under-21s, however, it is unsurprising that Dawson has developed even further.

Despite being small, he has an ability to drive forward on the pitch and play important passes.

Former teammate Paul Connolly called him the “Yorkshire Messi” on Twitter after the game.

It’s an oft used comparison, and while Dawson will likely never be that standard of player, it shows the extent to which those who have trained with him were impressed by him.

Adryan was unavailable for the game at the weekend, and it is still not guaranteed that he will be fit tonight – if this is the case, Dawson has to be used in the place of Morison.

He fits the system better, as having someone in the hole allows Mirco Antenucci and Souleymane Doukara to play up front rather than out wide as they did on Saturday.

He can also link well with Lewis Cook and Alex Mowatt, both of whom he has played with at youth level before.

It would therefore not be a surprise to see Redfearn turn to another youth charge to get the result tonight.

Leeds United: Why the Under-18s gave me hope for the future

After watching tonight’s youth cup tie against Liverpool, I thought that it was a travesty we hadn’t won. That’s the extent to which this generation of youngsters inspires hope.

Last nights display was impressive for a number of reasons, some of which I will endeavour to list below:

A) They’re being taught correctly – The tactics were ideal and ludicrously modern in comparison to the style the first team plays, playing a progressive possession based 4-3-3 system. There was nothing more symbolic of this than the usage of split centre backs when distributing the ball out from the goalkeeper, the sort of advanced, attacking play that the likes of Bielsa and Barça have extolled in recent years. It is excellent that these ideas are being coached into our youngsters.

B) Chris Dawson looks like he’s going to be a hell of a player – The Welsh Under-21 player reminded me (obviously to a lesser extent, but at an impressive skill level nonetheless) of a tiny Rooney, coming deep and picking the ball up but remaining a huge threat in the attacking third. Dawson was all over the pitch and controlled everything. I am very very excited to see him as a part of Leeds’s future.

C) It wasn’t just Dawson – Alex Mowatt, the captain, looked excellent in the centre of the park, the sort of solid midfielder Leeds have often cried out for in recent years. Alongside his solidity came passing ability however, and he also looks like he could be a real gem of a player. Others impressed, even Lewis Walters, who despite only playing for under half an hour (having to leave thanks to injury after a nasty tackle) looked a good modern centre forward. Lewis Cook also took his goal excellently. It was very clear why this team had previously gone 12 undefeated in all competitions.

D) They deserved to win against Liverpool’s cherry-picked continental youngsters – The difference could be seen in Liverpool’s use of a swede as a second half substitute. Leeds were far and away the better team on the night, valuing the Lobanovskyian collective whilst allowing individuals to shine. It was ultimately just two moments of individual running that put Liverpool ahead, and their third was very clearly offside, so isn’t worth talking about.

All in all, a display that should whet the whistle of any Leeds fan looking to the future.

Follow Amitai Winehouse on Twitter (@awinehouse1).