Why Leeds should not keep Mirco Antenucci

By Ben Clarke

Leeds United’s man of the hour is out of contract at the end of the season and has yet to open talks with the Whites despite having scored four goals in his last three games and the clubs leading goal scorer this season.

The Italian has scored nine goals this campaign after his brace against Bolton in United’s last home game, which was his first goal since November. The bearded forward was also Leeds’ top scorer last season with ten and there is no doubt in his ability to finish but Antenucci has struggled to get a regular run of games in his two seasons at the club, with only Darko Milinic and Neil Redfearn (to begin with) giving him the chance he needs.

This brings into question his ability to adapt to different formations. Antenucci’s best form has come when Leeds have played two up top and he has struggled to get into the side when the Whites have used one striker as a focal point. This role is more suited to big money signing Chris Wood, who Uwe Rosler said would have to play all of Leeds’ games, such is his importance to the one striker formation. Even in Redfearn’s best spell this time last year, he opted to play Steve Morrison in that role, who is now in League 1 with Millwall.

So should Leeds United keep a striker who has shown promise but struggles to get into the side? Davide Somma found himself in a similar situation under Simon Grayson but still managed 11 goals with most of his appearances coming off the bench and if Steve Evans is still here next season this is a role he may see Antenucci playing.

Sadly this is not something I can see happening as Mirco Antenucci plays well when he’s in the side and things are going his way but he seems to lose heart when his opportunities are limited or he is asked to play a different role. In addition the birth of his second daughter may tempt him to move back to his homeland, where there appears to be plenty of interest for the former Ternana forward.

If Leeds United are to make a proper move for promotion Chris Wood should be the benchmark for the forward line that has struggled to score anywhere needs the amount to challenge the top six.

However, that said if owner Massimo Cellino will not invest the required amount in the summer on proven Championship quality then Leeds United may need Mirco Antenucci’s services as his goals will leave a hole in a weak pool of forwards if he is not adequately replaced.

Leicester City scrape past improved Newcastle


Leicester City extended their lead at the top of the Premier League to five points with a narrow 1-0 victory over relegation candidates Newcastle United.
These two sides are eighteen places apart in the league table, but it was only Shinji Okazaki’s stunning acrobatic effort midway through the first half that separated them on the pitch.
It gave Claudio Ranieri’s men a ninth home league win of the season and keeps their incredible title challenge alive.
Newcastle were much improved under new manager Rafa Benitez and had the better of the early exchanges – Ayoze Perez and then Jack Colback both squandering half chances in the opening five minutes.
It didn’t take long for the Foxes to build up a head of steam and it was they who struck the first blow inside the 25th minute.
After Newcastle failed to clear a Riyad Mahrez freekick, Marc Albrighton managed to find Jamie Vardy at the back post. It was his header that found Okazaki in all sorts of space. The Japanese forward’s quick thinking saw him produce an audacious bicycle kick from ten yards out, which flew past Rob Elliot and into the bottom left-hand corner of the goal.
Things could have gone from bad to worse for the Magpies only two minutes later. After some sloppy defensive play, Steven Taylor backed off Albrighton, who curled a shot narrowly wide from 20 yards.
Newcastle bounced back well and showed some defensive discipline which has been lacking in recent times under Steve McClaren.
Ayoze Perez had their first shot on target on the stroke of half-time, but his speculative effort was no problem for Kasper Schemeichel in the Leicester City goal.
It was Perez who again troubled the Leicester defence ten minutes into the second half with his deflected strike rippling the side netting 55 minutes in.
The league leaders struggled to create any meaningful chances as the visitors continued to have the better of the game.
Despite their pressure, Newcastle struggled to test the opposition keeper. Substitute Siem De Jong wasted their best chance, mishitting a half volley after good work from Wijnaldum.
The fact the home side had to waste time to squeak past Newcastle will be little consolation to Benitez, who will have seen enough from his new team tonight to suggest they can end a run of six derby defeats against bitter rivals Sunderland at the weekend.

Surprising political views revealed at European debate event


‘A surprising number’ of students, staff and members of the public came together yesterday to share their opinions on the significance of the upcoming EU referendum, the implications of a potential Brexit and the future of European integration.

The Great British European Debate yesterday was organised by De Montfort University’s Jean Monnet Centre and the DMU Policy Commission.

The event was held as a part of the Festival of Ideas, which was set up to engage students, members of staff and the general public and to act as a showcase for work completed across the whole university campus.

Head of the department of politics Alasdair Blair, who chaired the event said: “The fact that so many people from the local area attended is in my opinion, a sign of significance of the issues the country is currently facing.europe map

“I was also surprised to discover that the general trend was that the majority of people present were very much pro-European.”

The session was also attended by a range of DMU academics and important figures in the local area, including mayors of Leicester and the surrounding counties and allowed everyone present to air their frustrations and to gain further understanding on the upcoming referendum.

Mr Blair continued: “The event was highly successful in the sense that over 100 people, including students and members of the public attended and this was very rewarding for everyone involved in it’s organisation.”

The event was also a part of 100 ideas for Europe, which was set up last year by staff on the university’s Policy Commission and was created to set out 100 ideas to change Leicester and make a difference to both local and wider communities across the country.

If you have any questions regarding this event or would like any further information, please contact Alasdair Blair on 0116 257 7209 or send an email to ablair@dmu.ac.uk.

De Montfort Pool Team fall in the Eight-ball Championships


Pool-playing students from De Montfort University put in a great debut performance at the BUCS-UPC Eight-ball Pool Championships, held in Great Yarmouth

At the largest University pool tournament of the year, the team were defeated in the last twenty-four round 6-3 by the 3rd seeds Plymouth 1st.

The debutants finished 2nd in their group featuring University of East Anglia 2nd, Roehampton 1st, University College London 2nd & Birmingham 3rd.

Louis Hatton captained the team of five, with teammates Thomas Aspinall, Samuel Ryding, Stuart Kehoe and Daniel Koster.

Samuel Ryding appreciated the chance given to him by the university, and feels it really helped see where his game could be improved.

“It helped me identify the areas of my game which I need to work on to improve.”

Ryding also believes that the competitiveness helped. He said “To be a part of it [the tournament] in a competitive sense was amazing. It has got me excited about playing more competitively.”

Leaving the EU could leave the University and International students in the unknown


By Simon Sansome

International students face an uncertain future because of the imminent EU referendum on leaving or staying in the EU.

It is uncertain whether they will be able to have the same freedom to study at DMU, if there is a no vote on June 23, according to Jim Green, DMU Regional Manager for Europe.

Mr Green added: “In common with many other sectors, employers, organisations and individuals, we are currently waiting for the outcome of the referendum to see what the future will bring.”

The government has not drawn up any plans, rules or regulations if the UK leave the EU for international students from the EU and it appears that no one knows the impact it will have on the 1000 plus students already studying at DMU.

He said: “We have over 1000 students from the EU currently enrolled at De Montfort University and we value every one for the benefits they bring to our community.

“There are a number of questions to be asked, including the future of tuition fees and loan eligibility, whether the UK will continue to be a part of the Erasmus+ student and staff mobility programme, and what the arrangements will be for current or new students.”

Kerri Stevenson, 1st year Journalism at DMU said: “Leicester is a multi cultural city and international students play a vital part of the culture. DMU would have less diversity, which would be a shame for the city and university.”