Insipid Leeds Unlikely to Change Despite Transfer Window

Let’s be honest, of late, Leeds United haven’t been the best to watch in the Championship. Since the Huddersfield game, the only match I can think that we played some half decent stuff was Middlesbrough, but even that was a game we could have quite easily have lost. First of all, I’m not complaining, quite frankly I’d rather see us pick up points than playing ‘pretty’ football and falling short but there’s no hiding from the fact that if you’re not playing well and losing consistently, questions will be raised. At the moment Leeds are on the borderline.

I think everyone is in agreement that Leeds are crying out for a creative player and that is probably true. Snodgrass has never really been replaced, Jerome Thomas was the closest we got and now he’s left, I highly doubt he’ll be coming back again this season. You may argue that we brought in Diouf, who has been a very good signing, but he’s nowhere near as direct as Snodgrass, he made things happen, he got you excited.

So, Warnock, GFH, what are you waiting for, go find us another Snoddy!? The truth is it’s not that simple. All those expecting mass business in January are going to be disappointed because it’s simply not possible. Clubs are only likely to let go of players they have been trying to get rid of all summer or will sell if they get a very generous offer. Use Chris Wood for an example, there were murmurs that Warnock was interested in the In-form striker but that he couldn’t compete with Leicester City’s financial muscle, which left a few fans worried. However, Leicester City has one of the best paid squads in the league, where players like Paul Konchesky are earning around 30 grand per week! Leeds’ top earners are unlikely to be on a salary much more than 15 grand a week. It is likely that Chris Wood will be at the top end of that scale now after bagging so many goals for Millwall and that simply put, is a lot of money for Championship players.

Whilst we are likely to be able to pay better wages now it’s important to respect the players you already have, quality has to be paid for but not for an inflated January price! In fairness to Warnock, I can’t see him paying over the valuation of any player, I also have no doubts that he’s trying to improve the squad, my only doubts is if anyone he brings in will actually improve us much.

For me, our two best creative players are Ross McCormack and El-Hadji Diouf, who are both front men. The last few games, Warnock has tried to play them both in the same team as Becchio, a bold move but one which has yet to pay off. Leeds have still looked unimaginative and have struggled to get there foot on the ball and create a real host of chances but it’s hardly surprising. Ross is a striker, he scores goals, it’s a bonus that he’s technically a great player and he needs to be given chances too, not being pressured to create them all the time.

Creativity must come from your midfielders, its ok Ross and Diouf dropping off and looking for the ball, in fact that’s great but sometimes they have to be in the box and they need service along with Becchio. That is why wingers are so important, not only do the stretch the play but if they can put real quality into the box then 9 times out of 10 I would back one of them three to work the goalkeeper at least.

Again, going back to my last point, these players are not going to be easy to find. The beauty of Snodgrass and Max Gradel is not only their forward play but there work rate, they had a defensive game to compliment, granted it wasn’t the best but they were a dream for a left and right back to play behind. They are special players, both worth much more than what they were sold for which makes them harder to replace.

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Over the last couple of years Leeds fans have been blessed with an exciting, attacking team but those players have left, now we’re all hustle and work rate and it’s not going to be easy to find the players to go back to the attacking flair we once had. If Leeds want to improve the team then they will have to spend money, probably more than what they would like. I think Michael Tonge will come back, along with an attacking player with a bit of pace, anything else will probably be an unexpected bonus. All you fans that are expecting a deadline day, multi-million, Robinho-esque signing, better re-evaluate as I don’t think we’ll see the true spending potential of GFH until the summer.

[info]Reporter – Daniel Howard[/info]

  • fringo

    GFH need to show their spending power now, before they lose any more fans. Still waiting for them to show their credentials. Won’t wait beyond January!

    • Right In The Gary Kelly’s

      Would you be happy for us to do a Man City, Chelsea or even QPR and throw millions away or do it steadily and build for the future of Leeds United?.I know which one we would go for

      • Belly

        Be champions of Europe? Or current Premiership Champions, or even just in the Premier ( albeit struggling). No. Playing the worst football I can remember seeing at Elland Road, not knowing who actually owns us, and hoping we sign Tonge (what a treat) that’s where I’d rather be any day!

  • Alan Anderson

    The work rate of Leeds is not good enough. They don’t chase, they don’t pressurise, they don’t move as a team. Huge spaces in the middle of the park. We defend too deep. I feel we think because we scored a goal that that is it. We didn’t put enough effort in at Forest until we were 4 – 1 down. We have to work harder, stop this long ball and start to play football. Support each other, look for the ball , find the spaces, shout more, motivate each other. We have it in us but we need to up our game.

    • Right In The Gary Kelly’s

      We should get you on the coaching team Alan.. We need that passion shown in the dressing room

  • LeedsHipPriest

    Bates ripped the heart out of Leeds United, and to date GFH have done little to suggest they will reverse that trend, albeit very early days.

    We can only hope this is because they don’t want to back a short term manager in Warnock, and are planning for the summer

    • Right In The Gary Kelly’s

      Having met the owners i can assure you they are looking to bring in big changes. I think we all need to show patients right now. Would you rather us get promoted this season far from the finished article only to bounce staright back down. Or build for the short term and be in a position to sustain EPL status?

      • jepo

        Yes I would rather us be promoted this season, finished article or not! There`s lots of money to be had in the EPL this year which we could spend on better quality players! Do you really want another season in the abyss that is the Championship, competing with yet more ex-premiership clubs with parachute payments? You say you have met the new owners, do not be fooled by personalities, I am sure even Bates is charming in person! Building long term is laudable but at this stage is not a preferred option, we will have even less paying fans left and therefore no sustainable income. if you wants a model for success then two words…. Swansea City …nowhere near the fanbase (no offence intended) a ground with just over 20,000 capacity (and new at that!), but becoming an established EPL team, Leeds deserves better. Patients are in hospitals by the way, sorry to be a pedant,


      • Irving08

        When we go up, we need to stay there.

        We have been through too much to go up, only to come down the next season (or the one after). Besides most of the parachute money would be spent on sustaining players on Premiership salaries. We would not be able to hold on to our younger talent either. Result = ageing team of overpaid ‘sub-standard’ players.

        ‘No, ‘yo-yoing’ is a non-starter.

        Personally I feel the Eddie Gray way circa 1983-5 is the way to go. Leeds fans will flock to see a young, vibrant side, containing some of their own……..But what do we do with the Drury’s and Norris’ ?

  • jepo

    Can anyone tell me the difference since GFH `took over` ? Bates still Chairman, no new money to spend, no ground or Thorpe Arch ownership, our best players (the ones that are left) ready to be cherrypicked, and no sign of any signings of any quality, all I see is yet more `lifelong` Leeds fans in the boardroom smiling inanely….. Bates OUT!!! He`s still there folks!!!

  • http://Orange Manic

    None of it is looking good and I still blame Bates and Harvey. Why they are still here is beyond me? They have ruined this once great club and are disenfranchising the fan base week by week. I am not convinced they will ever get the fans back. Too much hurt, too many untruths, too much deception, too little care for Leeds and no relationship with the fans! Bad news, bad marque, deteriorating brand.

    • Right In The Gary Kelly’s

      The owners have already demonstrated they are keen to win the lost fan base back. Look at the social media work they have done. For along time the fans have called for a stronger social media presence which was non existent until GFH came in . The half season ticket scheme is another example of that.

      • pattayarag

        The half season tickets has nothing to do with reengaging the fans and everything to do with getting the fans to part with their money. Re social media, it’s being used as another marketing tool. How’s that an improvement?

  • DBW

    The social media presence is very much welcomed, & the half season ticket scheme.
    But that isn’t going to make much difference this season to be honest i reckon.
    Fans have voted with their feet & probably won’t come back till a proper statement of intent has been shown by GFH.
    The football is not worth the top dollar we pay at ER.
    If we do get promoted & that’s a big ” If ” then we will have done well to do so.
    I think NW has realized the game is changing & cannot really adapt his methods & tactics to the way the game is developing (Guessing due to retirement soon & giving it one last try even if it costs us.)
    GFH need to pull NW to aside & find out if his plans have changed?.
    Or if he is still intending to retire at the end of season?.
    We need a Vision. A direction. A leader in the Manager of LUFC this i do not see in NW.
    Especially if he is leaving end of season,
    We are not in crisis at the moment, position in the table wise,
    Though it does feel like we are not to far away from one at all times to me, because we haven’t progressed at all this season so far.
    In the end, we need to see GFH do some positive business for us this window, or the consequences, ” i don’t even want to think about “.


    • pattayarag

      There are at least 6 teams in the Championship playing quality football, (e.g. Hull, Brighton), and all would have a chance of surviving in the EPL with investment that follows promotion. Leeds are playing a style that puts them in the QPR class and out-classed is what we’d be in the EPL. Rumours that Warnock was looking at Derry, (36) and Clint Hill (34) is scary and smacks of Warnock wanting the record for promotions not caring what happens beyond that.

      The real problem is Bates has sold the nucleus of a young Leeds team over the last few years and deprived us of any chance of doing a Swansea/Norwich/Southampton..

      It’s reassuring to note from the comments on here that a good number of fans are suspicious of the sale to GFH and rightly so.

      • Irving08

        Cardiff, Leicester, Palace, Middlesborough, Hull, Brighton, Watford, Derby, Blackburn – these are all sides who played better than us at Elland Road this season. And what do they have in common ? – young and quick, passing players in midfield and, in some cases, a wide man, with pace and control……

        I agree.

  • on and on

    6000 fans gone ?????????how many sat not long left on my season ticket and now looking at which games not to attend away and thats after 25 years. NOT looking very good

  • dh17

    I don’t think anyone can blame the owners yet they’ve not even been here a month! It’s the first football club they’ve ran too, buying back Thorpe Arch and ER will take time. This window is down to who Warnock wants, i’m positive they’ll back him it’s about finding the players that are realistic targets, no point throwing cash at any average player for the sake of it, clubs don’t want to sell quality players to their rivals and certainly not on the cheap. If we are still spending shrapnal in the summer and Becchio, Byram, McCormack ect leave, then it’s time to be concerned but for now, we should give them time. Despite our indifferent season we’re only 2 points off the play offs, that’s a huge plus!

    • josh

      Wood was a player that Warnock wanted and he didn’t get the backing from GFH and he’s a great upcoming player and went to Leicester for a realistic price of 1.25 million. And we apparently couldn’t compete with that

  • philip mcgee

    warnock is a dinosaur the game has moved on from hoofing the ball up and missing out the midfield,it seems all he wants is a team of battlers with no creativity and your not going to get the fans back with the rubbish which is being served up at the moment

  • Irving08

    The situation is difficult; but all roads lead to Warnock. It makes little sense to spend money on players now if he is not going to be here next season. Yet, on the evidence to date, one would not be inclined to spend much, under any circumstances, with him in charge. The suspicion must be that he is a spent force. Yet now is not the best time to part company with him (or him with us). It is in the best interests of the club that he serve out the season and then depart. This should not affect the performance of the players, for whom his departure provides an additional incentive now to play to the best of their ability. The more difficult question is the incentive for the Manager. Both we and he need to feel that he is being given a realistic shot to reach a play off place. And the best way to do this is to give him what he thinks we need subject to the proviso that it does not harm any of our vital interests. Both financially and on the playing field this means retaining our younger and less formed talent for the next Manager. If this means that any player over 25 or 26 is potentially for sale now, so be it. This is the kind of tough decision owners have to make. Leeds fans will back an owner or owners who know what they want and how to get it provided it brings long-term success on the football field. .

  • Irving08

    Though it is implict in my next sentence, I should have added, ‘and the fans’, after ‘Manager’ on line 7.