Tag Archives: Rodolph Austin

Confirmed Leeds Utd XI vs. Bournemouth: Danish International Out, Midfield Dynamo In

Leeds United have confirmed their starting line up for their clash against Bournemouth tonight in the Championship.

This fixture at Bournemouth saw Leeds fall to a humongous 4-1 loss last season, with the Yorkshire club collapsing in the face of Eddie Howe’s side.

However, Leeds have been in decent form over the last two games, winning against Bolton Wanderers and drawing away from home against Birmingham City. The televised clash against Birmingham saw the Yorkshire club come back from a one goal deficit, with Alex Mowatt scoring the equaliser.

Mowatt is not available for tonight’s game, having played through a toe injury at the weekend, and as a result, caretaker manager Neil Redfearn has been forced to rejig his side for tonight’s game.

Souleymane Doukara and Rodolph Austin both impressed after being introduced as substitutes at the weekend, and therefore it is no surprise that they are involved in tonight’s fixture.

Brazilian Adryan has an opportunity to make an impact, but will once again be limited to a place on the bench from the start.

Leeds United: Rodolph Austin, unjustly criticised?

Back in the summer, everybody was very excited about Rodolph Austin and his arrival in Leeds. In fact, by all accounts we were signing a player who seemed a bargain, one of genuine quality. Things haven’t exactly gone to plan, and the more recent reaction to Austin has been lukewarm, to say the least. I’m convinced, on the back of recent games, that this has been unfair. Austin has been the only player recently to up his game, as the rest of the team has collapsed around him.

Think back to why he became a shambling husk of what he was before – a supposed broken leg that he recovered from in about 4 weeks, rushed back without any real fitness. The game against Forest clearly showed that Rudy was not ready, he was noticeably carrying additional weight and unfit, yet he played again and again following that. Aside from the injury, Austin has gone nearly a year and a half without a pre-season now, without a holiday. I’ve previously described Austin as being like a Victorian Steam Engine experiment run amok. During the winter, his supply of coal had burnt down to the last embers.

He was allowed a rest, and he’s come back stronger. Against Huddersfield, he was the best player on the park, breaking play up and keeping hold of the ball when no one else would. Since then he hasn’t necessarily been our best performer, but he has provided solid displays, doing little wrong.

The problem for Rodolph, I feel, is that he’s our only player (aside from Sam Byram) with any real ability on the transition. This is the phase of play between attacking and defending, or vice-versa. The transition is considered imperative to modern football, and explains the importance of counter attacking to any sensible coach. With Rodolph lumbered by midfield partners unable to turn and respond quickly to a breakdown in an attack, he’s almost entirely responsible for covering when the opposition break. Similarly, when an opposition attack breaks down, Rodolph’s driving runs are often incredibly useful for carrying the ball over half way.

He does it exceptionally well, and has done over the last few games, but he needs players around him to support him. One man cannot run end-to-end alone, especially one without a break or pre-season in a long time. The next manager (McDermott, by all accounts) needs to be sensible enough to understand that a figure like Michael Brown cannot “break up play” on the counter – he’s far too slow to get anywhere near the opposition when they burst quickly into our half.

If he plays on Saturday, I expect Austin will be one of the better players on the pitch, doing nothing spectacular but still imperative to any result that comes our way. At the very least, I look forward to seeing a refreshed Austin next season, preferably with the players around him that he needs.

Follow Amitai Winehouse on Twitter (@awinehouse1).

Rodolph Austin

Opinions on Rodolph Austin

Rodolph Austin

Leeds United and Neil Warnock have confirmed interest in Rodolph Austin, and press from Norway seems to suggest that not only have Leeds got interest in the player, but negotiations with SK Brann are underway. With £200,000 already rejected, and Leeds seemingly willing to push higher in order to secure the Jamaican, it is clear that this is an important target for Warnock this summer. Whilst highlight packages of Austin have proliferated on the internet (including below), these can be deceptive, as football fans around the world have discovered. Who can forget Nacho Gonzalez’s signing for Newcastle thanks to the YouTube browsing Dennis Wise. Similarly, Filipe Da Costa looked like the real deal according to Mr. YouTube, but we all know how that worked out.

With that in mind, I’ve tasked myself with getting the ‘lo-down’ (which is what I believe the kids are saying these days) on Rodolph Austin from those who know him best. We’ve got information from a journalist from Bergen, who is working on the Rodolph Austin transfer story for Bergensavisen. We’ve also got a report from a man who has seen pretty much every game Austin has played for Bergen, Asbørn Perry Sve. Svend Karlsen, Leeds fan, Norwegian and editor of Leeds United ‘Peacock News’ of the Scandinavian Supports club. Synthesized below are these opinions.

Asbjørn Perry Sve has had the opportunity to watch Rodolph since August of 2008, after a mooted move to Stoke failed due to a lack of international clearance. Sve has seen essentially every game Austin has played for Brann Bergen, as a season ticket holder and by viewing away games on television.  In a description that will delight Leeds fans, and goes a long way to explaining why Warnock is such a fan, Sve refers to Austin’s “never say die attitude”. He’s also seen as the “bone-breaking kind of midfielder any opposition hates to play against” by Svend Karlsen, who has seen him in action many times as a man who follows the Tippeligaen closely and has reported on teams for years. Rune Ulvik, journalist for Bergensavisen, says that Austin is “feared by his opponents”. This, to be honest, sounds like the sort of player we have been missing to run the midfield for a while now, something Svend refers to with the belief that he “commands the midfield”. Sve similarly suggests that this is the case, as although he is “no talker”, he “leads by example”.

Asbjørn says that whilst, at first, he had a “problem of timing” tackles, the club have since worked on his game and he’s improved immensely in this regard. Given that our other option currently is Michael Brown as a tough-tackling defensive midfielder, Austin seems to be a step up, given he now combines his desire with an ability to not merely focus upon the shins and knees. In fact, Sve refers to Austin’s tackles as being “immense”. Ulvik refers to him now being a “very strong tackler”.

In terms of the technical aspects of his game, both Svend and Asbjørn have referred to Austin’s “fantastic crosses”. All three of the people we contacted believe that Austin possesses pace, with Svend particularly pointing out that Rodolph Austin “is quicker than the average midfield-anchor tends to be”. Furthermore, Sve puts focus on his ability in front of goal, referring to him as having a shot in the “Hasselbaink class”, and also points out that he is the club’s regular penalty taker. In 2011, when he was voted the best player in the Tippeligaen, he scored seven goals in 25 appearances (each team plays 30 games a season, there is no injury worry). Clearly this is no slouch in front of goal, in statistic and opinion.

There is also already a Leeds connection in place. Sve talks about how Austin has played alongside both Eirik Bakke and Gylfi Einarsson, in fact displacing Bakke from the center of midfield. Bakke could only find a place up front when competing with Austin. Hopefully these two ex-Leeds names have told Austin about all the positives that surround playing for our club.

When asked about the disparity in quality between the two leagues, both Asbjørn Sve and Rune Ulvik point out that there is a difference. It is clear to both that not just any player can make the step across with ease. However, Ulvik reckons Austin is “well above average”, and he thinks he will “do just fine”. He’s also been called, officially, the best player in the league before, so clearly this is not just a player of normal standards.

As to why this move is being allowed to take place, Austin has let his contract run down, and at this point, he could agree a move for free that would take place six months from now. Svend is also of the belief that Brann are keen to buy back Eirik Huseklepp from Portsmouth. Brann therefore need to generate cash to achieve this (they are no longer heavily backed by private investors as they were when Austin came to the club). Svend’s sources suggest that SK Brann are ready to sell at about £350,000, and that Leeds will likely come back with a further offer having heard this asking price. “If Leeds pass the £300,000 mark,” said Svend, “I think they have a deal”.

The only real fear now is that someone will beat us to the deal. Clearly with so many sources, biased and not, in favour of him as a player, he is a worthwhile signing at £350,000 and with years of football ahead of him. Warnock also rates him heavily, so professionals are in agreement about Austin. Leeds fans have already taken to him based on the video footage, with #rodolphaustinfacts a common hashtag on twitter. A signing worth making I feel.

Follow Amitai Winehouse on Twitter (@awinehouse1).

Credit and great thanks goes to Asbjørn Perry Sve (@perrysve), Svend Karlsen (@svendleeds) and Rune Ulvik (@runeu) for their help in researching this article, and providing much of the content.

Video footage: