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  • ANDRExu2 ANDRExu2 Apr 24, 2011 07:31 Flag

    Happy (part 2)

    As "Messages cannot be more than 4000 characters", here is the second part of my post!

    ...At the start of the season, no one expected Leeds to do better than an upper mid-table finish in its first term back in the Championship, despite the side looking impressive during close season competitions. However, Leeds exceeded expectations and, speculatively; this may have alarmed the “owners” of Leeds. Our success in the NPC was great for the club in terms of gate receipts and added revenue. Yet when promotion became a real possibility (at Christmas); did the clandestine owners of Leeds hit the brakes?
    Without transparency, there will always be suspicion that the motives of Leeds’ anonymous owners are at odds with Leeds United’s playing interests and its return to the EPL, at least until it is expedient for the owners. For instance, that transparency about ownership will expose the actual debt liability; possible undisclosed connections with Leeds United’s former assets (e.g. Elland Road and Thorp Arch); offshore tax dodging schemes; conflicting interests in other clubs, and potential accusations of match fixing... The suspicions may be worse than the truth but they invite the question: ‘if there is nothing to hide, then why hide it?’
    Up until Christmas, more-or-less, Larry managed the team well – his ‘predictability’ was a bit of a concern but if he sees himself as following in Revie’s footsteps, and Don seldom made changes to his starting XI, Larry can be excused on this count.
    However, after Christmas, Larry’s team selections and tactics became bizarre. They were as if he had set us up to lose – think Swansea, Sheffield, Millwall, Derby, Watford etc.
    When Larry joined Leeds as its manager (albeit against the popular choice of Poyet) most fans thought Ken had made an inspired choice. Larry was no less a Leeds supporter than Leeds legend Macca but, with a positive attitude, seemed to inspire our side to success. Indeed, for a while, he did. Then the wheels came off – a couple towards the end of last season and then several more after Christmas this season.
    Why, apparently, has Larry changed from being a potentially brilliant young manager into a semblance of ‘Mike Bassett, England Manager’? Has he lost his confidence? Has he lost the dressing room? Has he run out of ideas? Alternatively, is he bending to the will of the Leeds’ owners and their dark motives?
    If a top drawer manger like Jose Mourinho can be sacked for, supposedly, not kowtowing to the will of the owner of Chelsea, what chance does Larry as a tyro manager have of mixing it with the owner(s) of Leeds!
    Anyway, back to the Good Friday Reading game… As Becchio was injured, Paynter was a natural stand-in. Last term, Paynter scored more goals that Beckford, but only as part of a strike partnership. Paynter and Somma would have made an ideal goal scoring partnership. However, as a lone striker, Paynter is about as effective as Somma. So, why did Larry not play 4-4-2? With Johnson and Livermore doubling up in midfield, his 4-5-1 system did not work. Snodgrass and Gradel played their hearts out but as most teams have had the chance to study Leeds’ play and work out how to eliminate the threats Snoddy and Max pose from wide play, their efforts were contained. Watt, when introduced, made a difference to how Reading was less able to interpret Leeds’ game. He was unlucky not to score. Bannan was the missing link and Bates only knows why Larry left him on the bench! Naylor had a good game. He organised the team well but then, with Leeds playing ten men behind the ball for most of the match, someone had to rally the troops in order to soak up the pressure and supply our strikers for the counter offensive… oh, hang on, we didn’t have ‘strikers’ (plural) we had one and he was busy defending!
    The match was entertaining but a 0-0 result in a ‘must win game’ does not make for happiness!

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    • Part One was brilliant, and as opposed to the Films Part Two was even better! Well Done Andy! Copies of Happy Parts I & II should be stuck up on the Notice Board outside Elland Road for all Fans to read and a personal copy sent to Mr Bates and Mr Grayson! What do you think?

      • 1 Reply to Easyrider2609
      • Good post Andy, and you highlight my biggest worry about the ability of SG over the past few months.
        As you point out you dont go from being seemingly in control of the team and able to get maximum points from the majority of fixtures you play, to scraping around for points at home not knowing which is your best team/formation, without there being some factors going on behind the scenes that are effecting the team or his judgement.
        I would hate to see SG hung out to dry if we fail to go up this season as i think he is a great manager for this club, but sometimes you feel that KB has put the shackles on him and he is trying to do the job with one hand tied behind his back.
        The sooner this situation with who owns the club is cleared up, and details about what the club still owes is out in the open the better as there are too many questions floating about.