12th Nov2013

Will Leeds Keep Hold of McCormack?

by Right In The Gary Kelly's

Even as we ride the crest of the post-Charlton wave surely some of the more pragmatic amongst us must have even subconsciously asked the question “will we keep hold of Ross McCormack in January?”

Bat Crazy question? Surely McCormack’s just signed a new deal? Surely he’d want to stay – even if a suitor came knocking from the top flight? Right?

And to all intents that instinct would be right. But As Leeds United have slowly turned the corner after the international break, and indeed won four of their last six games, that old chestnut of the January transfer window will surely come to the fore once again.

It’s killed our season before; remember Howson’s departure to Norwich? Becchio’s, to erm Norwich. We could go on but wont for sanity’s sake, and of course down to the fact that we should at least try to enjoy some positivity for at least another 24 hours!

McCormack’s displays have become eye-catching to say the least. Birmingham, Yeovil and Charlton have showcased his talents as a striker possibly playing below his natural level. Ross’s detractors will point to a lackluster showing at Huddersfield but two things. 1. The entire team was dreadful that day (well except Sam Byram – and we’ll come on to him later) 2. Even Lionel Messi has an off day.

Goals are the most precious commodity in football. McCormack will indeed not be `Becchio Cheap’  in January, he has those contract years to run, but every player has his price. We’ve had to get used to that at Leeds, many many times..

Look at the foot of the Premier league, Sunderland, Crystal Palace, Stoke, Fulham.. desperate for goals, and indeed desperate to stay up. a Player like McCormack is their first stop. Clearly a battler if playing in the Championship, and clearly someone with an ambition to play in the top flight, with too many snubs from his international boss (and we’d expect more from you as an ex-white Gordon!)

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The offers will almost certainly arrive if the current rich vein of form continues, and then it becomes a question of what the player wants to do? Becchio was forthright enough, he realised at 29 this may be his only chance – he took it. Speaking purely as a Leeds supporter myself, I’d like to think Leeds could fulfil his ambitions, if not this season – then next, and that he could be the player we build our promotion charge around. Moreover, selling McCormack and hoping (as Warnock did with Morison) that a replacement might slot right in and bang in the goals is a stupid gamble to take.

My other hope is that GFH dig their heels in and ignore the £££ signs, their Q3 results will be out soon so we may well see the state of their financial health, but our new owners have maintained their `long-termist’ view, namely players will be bought and sold with this in mind, not a quick buck. It was painful for most Leeds supporters to watch Howson and Snodgrass orchestrate Nahh-ridge’s comeback against West Ham – it could have been us there… So we can but hope.

Other prized assets are becoming more attractive by the day. Alex Mowatt, Sam Byram, Dom Poleon, Tom Lees, Rudy Austin. All of these players have risen in stock, we cannot pretend they will not attract attention, and we cannot ignore the fact that those players collectively may be worth in the region of £15m-£20m.. These are numbers we cannot ignore if we need to claw our way back into the top flight. But the real question surrounds a truly sustainable approach.

Would that money realistically `ll’ be available to spend? We have bills to pay, a season ticket cash cow, bled dry for the remainder of the season, rent to pay.. loans to repay. A truly long termist approach might seek to hold on to those players (or at least most of them) and wait for expensive contracts to run-down to the end of the season lightening our load, and freeing up cash to add to the squad.

One of our most astute signings this season has yet to be completed – Luke Dowling, our soon to be Chief Scout. Not only will he seek out new faces for us to acquire, he has previous when it comes to clearing down the wage bill. We can thank Luke for David Norris, Luke Varney, Jamie Ashdown and Jason Pearce as he was in charge of player acquisition and disposal at Portsmouth.

And oh how we need him now with a bloated midfield and players who have been on the transfer list for over a season. The refreshing of our squad is vital, and has been overdue for at least three seasons now. It has hamstrung our progress, and seen us miss out on players due to our already onerous commitments.

When Leeds were stuttering under Warnock we saw our best players leave. Under McDermott Leeds are playing better football and have the potential to go one better and get into the top six, so those players will be more attractive still.

So the questions abound.. Will McDermott sanction the sale of some of the family silver, in the hope that he can purchase enough quality to get us into the top six? Or will he stick to his guns, and go for promotion with what he has – and hope for some more backing from GFH?

To paraphrase Oscar Wilde –  We can resist anything but Temptation..

Reporter – Matthew Brown-Bolton

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02nd Apr2013

Warnock – A look back at an ‘Unsuccessful’ Tenure

by Right In The Gary Kelly's

A much happier time for Colin

Following our first article this morning highlighting that Neil Warnock has thrown in the towel at Elland Road. We now take a look back at the past 14 months of his tenure at Leeds United.

It started on 18th February 2012, in a home game against Doncaster Rovers. Our new manager, Neil Warnock, wasn’t even supposed to be involved that day, having only been appointed the day before. Yet seeing another inept 45 minutes from the Whites, he couldn’t resist nipping down at half time and having a word. The result? A 3-2 win, courtesy of a screamer from Adam Clayton and an injury time 20 yarder from Luciano Becchio. More on those two later!

Fast forward 14 months, and just what has Neil Warnock achieved in his time as Leeds United Manager? In truth, very little. We forgave him the results for the remainder of the 2011/12 season, as he repeatedly reminded us it “wasn’t his team”. Hell, we even forgave a 7-3 home defeat at the hands of Nottingham Forest, as he promised us that we would never see a performance like that again from a Leeds side managed by him. He failed in his original brief – to get more out of the squad of players that Simon Grayson had assembled, but that was OK, because we had his “New season, New Start” promise to look forward to…

If results like the Forest game didn’t set the alarm bells ringing, maybe his transfer dealings should have. I mentioned Adam Clayton. Not the finished article by any means, but a young, developing midfielder who was thriving on the responsibility of playing for Leeds. With his first full season completed, he would have improved and developed further. But not under Warnock. Transfer listed and sold, because we were told Warnock had a superior player lined up for the cash he could get for Clayton. He never did say who it was. Rodolph Austin? David Norris? Paul Green? All Ok midfielders, but are they better than Clayton? Do they have his potential? Defensively, we released Alex Bruce, and paid nearly half a million for Jason Pearce. Alex Bruce plays every week for Hull, who currently sit in an automatic play off spot. Jason Pearce? Did you see the Derby game earlier? Enough said. Warnock could do nothing about the sale of Robert Snodgrass, but he assured us it would be OK. He’d landed his replacement, someone he’d tried to sign “5 or 6 times”. Was it George Boyd, or maybe Adam Hammill? No, it was Luke Varney. To round off a summer of countless incomings and outgoings, we paid £800k for Lee Peltier, and immediately discovered a right back in the youth team who was better than him. Not one to admit he’d made a mistake, Warnock promptly made him captain!

So we went into the season with a squad full of what I would call “7 out of 10” players. You know the type; they work hard week in, week out, and what they might lack in inspiration, they try to make up for with perspiration. Every team needs 8 or 9 of them. But every team also needs 2 or 3 “9 out of 10 players”. The Robert Snodgrass’s. The Max Gradel’s. The players who can win you games on their own, even if they might have a stinker the week after. Under Warnock, Leeds had none of these players. Granted, the 7 month takeover didn’t help him here. But he had chances – Ross Barkley, a midfielder who had the ability to be head and shoulders above everyone else was signed, played out of position, and then sent back early because Warnock couldn’t guarantee him a game. WTF!

Then we come onto Luciano Becchio. A player who in 4 years previous had never once uttered a word about wanting to leave Leeds. Yet suddenly his “head wasn’t right” and Warnock wanted him gone. I don’t blame Luciano for going. The fact that without his goals we’d probably be already relegated seemed to completely escape Warnock.

His latest vendettas seem to be against any Leeds player whom he perceives to have let him down, providing he didn’t sign them. So Ross McCormack gets a rollicking for missing an open goal against Boro. Tom Lees gets ripped to pieces for a mistimed, not malicious, challenge that earns a red card. Yet Kenny, Peltier, Varney, Brown and Pearce can get away with being resoundingly awful on occasions, safe in the knowledge that they’ll remain criticism free, and picked again next week.

As this is a retrospective, I suppose I should discuss the highlights of Warnock’s reign. Everton in the League Cup, and Spurs in the FA Cup. That’s it if I’m honest. Our league performances have been so woeful that there is still a genuine chance we could be pulled into a relegation fight. We’ve won 3 games away from home all season. Against Bristol City, Peterborough and Huddersfield. Who are, guess what? The bottom 3 teams in the division tonight. Thanks Neil.

He should have gone weeks ago. Probably after the Man City game, maybe even as far back as the annual Barnsley debacle. Yet GFHC made it difficult for themselves by publicly lauding him when they gained power. So much so that in Warnock’s deluded mind he was bigger than everything – he would go when HE wanted, HE would choose his successor, and it was HIS promotion that he was so devastated to be missing out on.

Neil Warnock walked  away from Leeds United yesterday  believing that none of it is his fault. Believing no doubt, that he’s “done a brilliant job”, and that no-one else could have coped with the circumstances he had to work in. He’s probably on the phone to Shaun Harvey right now saying “give my old mate Martin O’Neill a call” or “see if you can get hold of Keith Curle…”. Deluded to the end, the final straw against Derby wasn’t his fault, it was the officials.

Neil Warnock – not so much one last hurrah, more like 14 months of mind numbing tedium. Thank you, but we’ll find our own successor!

What do you  think to Neil Warnock’s time in charge of LUFC?

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Reporter - Ian Wylie

15th Nov2011


by Right In The Gary Kelly's

Reports have emerged this week that Jonny Howson is on the verge of signing a new deal with the club. Great news, no one doubts the lad has talent. But does this seal his future tenure as captain of the club? In the week Bates urges Grayson & Co to do some soul-searching; I thought I’d give this subject some pondering myself…


16th Sep2011


by Right In The Gary Kelly's


Leeds United host Bristol City at Elland Road this weekend. The game sees the return of former white Neil Kilkenny who will be out to make an impression for The Robins…


06th Sep2011


by Right In The Gary Kelly's

This weeks why Leeds United is my club comes from Timothy Hodge. Tim writes for the number one source of Anti Bates propaganda around, The Scratching ShedHere is why Leeds United is his Club…


26th Aug2011


by Right In The Gary Kelly's

A reviving Leeds United head to Portman Road to face Ipswich Town this weekend. Ipswich will look to bounce back from the Seven -One drubbing in their last game. Leeds are heading into the game, hoping to pick up all three points for the first time since 2001 at Portman Road.


14th Aug2011


by Right In The Gary Kelly's

Leeds United host Hull City at Elland Road this Tuesday night. This game is important for the Whites as they’ll be looking to avoid another early defeat in the league.We share you our thoughts, And have our first away fans view of the season..


21st Feb2011


by Right In The Gary Kelly's



No canary pie for the whites this weekend, but a goal a game man saves the day and keeps the clubs push for promotion on track.


09th Feb2011

Howson for England

by Right In The Gary Kelly's

We take a look at our latest member of the Leeds squad to represent the three lions of England and how he has become part of the Illustrious list of former players to represent the U21s.


20th Jan2011

Que Sera, Sera Whatever Will Be, Will Be

by Right In The Gary Kelly's

After 180 minutes of an energetic F.A Cup tie Mike Dean blew the final whistle to what was  just one of those special nights at Elland Road. As the players left the pitch all of the 35,000 Leeds fans rang out our chorus of “we are Leeds and we are proud of it” and proud we should be.