After yesterday’s utter capitulation against Hull City, criticism was levelled directly at Warnock, his tactics and his team selection from all angles. Whether it was Twitter or WACCOE that you visited, there were many people who were justifiably angry at how Warnock set the team up.
The reality of Warnock’s style of football, which can be accurately summed up as “long”, is that when it results in a victory, it is difficult to criticise, but when it results in a loss, all the flaws of this style become obvious to even the most lax of football watchers. There is clearly no plan B, and the only passing moves we make are on the counter or after a defensive error, on the transition. The midfield is often entirely bypassed, and creative players find themselves useless after the game has settled into a normal rhythm. Yesterday, against Hull, Leeds managed a mere 35% of possession, the sort of statistic teams have to face up to when they play against the likes of Barcelona. Is this acceptable?
On the other hand, Warnock has had to deal with limited resources this season. Would he have brought the players in that he signed had he had more money? Will January lead to a shift?
Initial signs suggest “no”. Warnock is, after all, one of many managers who spent millions on Ade Akinbiyi, choosing to spend a then club-record of £1.75m on him when he signed him for Sheffield United in 2006. In reality, Warnock has been able to spend fairly freely at every club he’s ever got promoted from the Championship.
QPR were good, they were solid, but they had a player in Taraabt who was far and away the best player in the league, who could metaphorically pick up the ball and win games singlehandedly. He was, of course, not initially brought to the club by Warnock, with previous manager Jim Magilton hailing him as a “genius”. Similarly, the player that Warnock described as the “best [he] has ever worked with”, Alejandro Faurlin, was brought to the club before his time. Warnock brought solidity to QPR, Clint Hill, Shaun Derry etc..
Is Warnock a dinosaur tactically? Has The Championship, with the money that is being thrown into it these days, moved on from a few years back? When Hull passed it near us, our players looked at the ball as if it was some sort of magical mystery. Have the likes of Roberto Martinez, Brendan Rodgers, Nigel Adkins and Roberto Di Matteo shown that with the right manager, a lower league side can achieve great success playing football that is actually enjoyable to watch? We supposedly have a bit of money, surely no less than any of these managers had when they were getting promoted. Do we want Warnock making signings or someone with a more modern style of football to implement?
Is Warnock the manager Leeds want going forward? I’m interested to hear the opinions of this site’s readers. Please comment below, email me or send me a Tweet – if I receive enough in the way of comments, I’ll synthesise opinions for an article tomorrow.
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