West Ham United Message Board
- ANDRExu2 ANDRExu2 Aug 9, 2011 18:08 Flag
Without its fans Leeds United would not exist. Ken Bates must know this but is too arrogant to care as his interests are not those of Leeds fans.
To be fair to Ken Bates, his wage limit policy is to maintain balance and harmony within the squad. If all players are on JSA £68.50/week everyone is equal. However, if just one player is paid more all Hell will break loose. Say Gradel’s or Snodgrass’s agents secure £2M deals for their players at other clubs (worth £74K/week) and, to retain them, Bates has to increase their wages to, say, £70/week, then every other player will want a similar deal – discontent and anarchy will follow. Obviously, for the sake of harmony, Ken will be forced to sell these potentially disruptive players and plough the profit from their sales back into the club for the development of infrastructure and capital assets – all cheques to be made payable to ‘Ken’s Back Pocket, Offshore Tax-dodgers Ltd’ ( - :
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!
- ANDRExu2 ANDRExu2 Feb 1, 2011 03:29 Flag
Faye, Hughes, Martin, Crowe, Elliot = Out 5- 1 In, Gonzalez; but if you add loans out (not all confirmed) of Bessone, White, Grella, Paynter, Bromby, and Collins, that's eleven - a whole team!
Leeds has achieved an unbeaten run with players, and an adaptable 4-3-3/4-5-1 system, that have performed (relatively) consistently for a couple of months. However, change is inevitable and Leeds must adapt to changing circumstances if it is to stay in the chase for success and possible promotion this term.
For the next few, important, matches, the critical area of Leeds’ midfield will be uncertain. The football brain of Kilkenny (on Socceroo duty) and the power of Johnson, who may go to another club, will leave Leeds vulnerable to attack.
Because of the strength of its squad, Leeds has existing replacement options – Faye, Nunez, Clayton (if recalled). It could also use strikers like McCormack, Paynter, or Somma; wingers like Sam, Watt, Snodgrass, or Gradel; or a defender like Bromby, to cover.
However, signing new players for these strategic and defensive midfield positions is, probably, Simon Grayson’s best option. Ken Bates has indicated that he will support his manager in the January transfer window. Indeed, as proof, Andy O’Brien signed; yet we, kinda, knew that would happen and it seems unlikely that Leeds will have new midfielders in place before we face Cardiff.
On the other hand, our opponents on Tuesday, Cardiff, have been faster in signing new players. Jon Parkin, ‘The Beast’, who bullied our defence in the 4-6 home game loss to Preston, could be playing upfront for Cardiff after signing for £100,000 on New Year’s Day.
The Cardiff game could be a nightmare for Simon Grayson’s team. It will threaten repeats of Leeds’ worst defeats this term. For some time, Leeds has known it has weaknesses in midfield and defence but has been slow to address them. Even if Leeds was to bring in a player like Michael Johnson to sure up its midfield, there is not enough time for him to gel with our players.
To get anything out of the game at Cardiff, Leeds will have to dig deep into the resources it has already and hope that its team spirit, work-rate, and luck will win through.
A realist, or a bookmaker, would not give Leeds good odds on getting a result against Cardiff but, hey, in football, the unlikely is possible – think Man U v Leeds last year!
- ANDRExu2 ANDRExu2 Aug 4, 2010 04:20 Flag
Last term, Snachez Watt showed more than promise, whenever he was used, which, puzzlingly, wasn't that often, he had an immediate impact. I'm guessing that team politics came into play - like senior, regular players feeling resentful about losing their places to juniour loan players.
Last term, SG was criticised for being bullied by his senior players. He was a young manager who, understandably, wanted to keep harmony in his squad (a la Beckford). It back-fired in the second half of last season and we may never know why unless books are published about it years from now. However, SG must have learned from the experience.
This term, SG is in charge. He is building a team that works for him and all positions are up for grabs. So, this term, don't expect Sanchez Watt to be a mere stand-in for Snoddy. Watt is a real talent and, if we manage to bounce back to the EPL this term, expect to see Sanchez as a serious money signing.