Neil Warnock came to the club on the crest of a reputation wave, hyping himself up as a promotion specialist and the man to get Leeds United promoted. “You’ll never see another Leeds side like that under me” was his call after the 2-0 capitulation to Derby at the end of last season. We’ve since gone on to lose by two goals to Derby this year.
Neil Warnock came to the club extolling the virtues of “power and pace”, saying that his side would get the fans going rather than the other way around. Last night at Middlesbrough, Neil Warnock responded to fans calling for substitutions (clearly required, with Steve Morison very tired after 55 minutes) by sarcastically applauding the 2,009 Leeds fans who had dropped whatever filled their lives to travel to Middlesbrough to see his team, paying £27 for the privilege. We conceded 2 minutes later.
Neil Warnock came to the club with Robert Snodgrass on the books and said he’d build the team around him. Robert Snodgrass then went on to have 14 of the worst games he’s ever had in a Leeds shirt, completely anonymous behind Becchio, stopped from doing what he did best – crossing the ball.
Neil Warnock came to the club with Ross McCormack the top striker, one of the highest scoring in the division. He has since gone on to play Ross McCormack everywhere but as the main striker, whether on the left wing, right wing or in the hole. Over a year ago Ross McCormack scored an overhead kick. Over a year ago Ross McCormack scored a goal from over 20 yards out with his weaker left foot. Last night he didn’t have the confidence to hit the ball into an open net. Warnock has unjustly criticised it out of him.
Neil Warnock came to the club and began saying that the fans had been great to him. During two away games this season the fans have begun to chant “Warnock, time to go”. He’s then said in the post-match interview that they have a right to complain. But he’s then said “be careful what you wish for”. Neil Warnock thinks he’s bigger than Leeds United. No one is.
Neil Warnock came to the club with Luciano Becchio a fans favourite. The last true icon, Becchio is (despite departing) our top goalscorer this season. We’ve been through it all together with him, the cup runs and the promotion. Neil Warnock has spent all season having his players hoof the ball to Becchio’s head, starving him of the supply line down the wings he thrives on. Becchio still had the beginnings of what would have been his best season yet at the club. Neil Warnock singled out Luciano Becchio for the display against Barnsley, clearly unsettling a player further who was already looking to leave. Neil Warnock thinks that in that battle Leeds fans sided with him. He’s wrong.
Neil Warnock came to the club with his philosophies on football. The reality is, as much as we try to forget it, that Leeds was once on the cusp of footballing ideas. We revolutionised scouting, player recruitment and the man management of players. It was said of Eddie Gray that when he “walks on snow he doesn’t leave any footprints”. Johan Cruyff, the lynchpin of Total Voetbal said, with regards to playing Leeds, that “Leeds will make you dance”. Neil Warnock has brought his outdated playing the percentages tactics to Elland Road, ignoring the recent history of football and what actually brings success. Neil Warnock has brought dirtiness to a team that wasn’t there before, and should not be applauded for it. Michael Brown is a butcher these days, and needs to be put out to pasture. Possibly on Warnock’s farm.
Neil Warnock came to the club with a handful of young players on the books ready for improvement. He’s brought one into the side, Sam Byram, and looks to be on the verge of completely tiring him out before his first season is even over, playing him in every single match. Elsewhere he’s completely forgone Dominic Poleon, citing attitude issues, despite the impressive displays he’s put on every time he’s been given an opportunity. Chris Dawson, a youngster who looks to be one of the most exciting prospects from Thorp Arch in a while, was told to just hit the ball long by Warnock. He’s ruining our youth.
Neil Warnock came to the club with a series of journeymen clogging up the books, the likes of Andy O’Brien, Danny Pugh and Michael Brown. Warnock has got rid of them and added his own players not good enough for Leeds, the likes of Luke Varney, Michael Tonge…and Michael Brown. We’re tied to his failures for years.
Neil Warnock came to the club after Simon Grayson, who took us out of League One, got a team playing quality football and dealt with a multi-million pound cut to his playing budget by steering us to 3 points from the play-off places before ultimately being sacked. Simon Grayson is our second most successful manager of all time, with a win-rate of 57.59%. Neil Warnock, the supposed improvement, has managed Leeds United for 37 games, winning 14, losing 14 and drawing 9, with a 37.84% win rate.
Warnock, it’s time to go.
Follow Amitai Winehouse on Twitter (@awinehouse1).