Leeds United: Warnock, it’s time to go

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).



11 thoughts on “Leeds United: Warnock, it’s time to go”

  1. Brown is an easy target, as was Varney (lately given a fans reprieve). The bottom line is: both players work like hell for a side which is forced to play some form of desperate cloudball by a manager who is, at best, horrifically outdated; at worst, drawing a considerable paycheck in return for bringing to its knees the club he has regularly admitted his hatred of. I don’t honestly believe that the latter is remotely true, but is it any wonder that the accusation has been suggested, considering our dramatic slide from flair-based, attacking football to the appalling mockery of the beautiful game we are now forced to endure?

  2. He has had 12 months and the team he has built is worse than the one we had before. Warnock is not good enough and we need to cut our losses and get rid of him. If he had any dignity he would go and leave the caretaker in charge until we get a decent manager in the job. If I was the new owner I would get my own man in so why are the wasting there time with Warnock. Shows how useless they are as well, but then they are investors (money makers) and we all know what bankers are like!!

  3. A beautifully written piece. Not really an opinion to be argued with, just simple facts. Neil Warnock must go. I’d prefer him to go now, just so I don’t have to endure any more of the terrible football and the cringeworthy comments from NW after games.

  4. They didn’t teach you much at the Guardian did they? I’ve never read such utter garbage. There is so much wrong with what you’re saying that I don’t know where to start.

  5. I’ve decided to go through your article step by step in the hope that you understand that you’re on another planet and get real.

    Steve Morison needs to stay on to get match fit, we didn’t concede because he was on the pitch.

    Robert Snodgrass is not an out and out wide man whose game is all about putting crosses in. He’s played very well for us behind the striker in the past.

    Ross McCormack was ignored for a season by Grayson who preferred Billy Paynter, mainly because of a miss against Middlesbrough that was worse than last night’s. Warnock has regularly used him as a striker, but he’s played him deeper because he’s a clever player who can go past people. Warnock was more ruing the miss rather than criticising McCormack, but top players should be putting those chances away. And how can he have criticised the ability to score out of him when you’re talking about criticism for the chance that he missed! In any case, if McCormack’s confidence is so fragile that he can’t take criticism without going to pieces then he shouldn’t be a professional footballer!

    Warnock isn’t bigger than Leeds, but he’s bigger than the idiots who are calling for him to go. You really do need to be careful what you wish for when we had a manager as bad as Grayson for three years!

    You say that Becchio is our top scorer despite departing. He only left the other week! And how has he been starved of supply when he’s scored 19 goals! Becchio was already on his way, that’s why Warnock criticised him.

    I’m just going to gloss over that nonsense about Johan Cruyff, Eddie Gray and Warnock’s farm.

    On one hand you’re criticising Warnock for playing Byram too much, on the other you’re saying he’s not playing others enough. So what should he do keep changing the team with three youngsters in and out all the time? And Byram doesn’t look tired to me, he’s probably been our player of the season.

    Playing an 18 year old over a 25 year old you’ve just signed for 800 grand doesn’t sound like damaging youth to me. It would have been easy for Warnock to play Peltier at right back, but he couldn’t ignore Byram’s quality. Grayson didn’t give a single youth player a debut in two and a half years, and we even had the JPT to play them in.

    Varney has started to show form, Tonge did well earlier in the season and Michael Brown was signed, then ignored, by Grayson. Brown was signed on a 1 year deal on reduced terms and I don’t think any of the others have over two years. There’s certainly no one on a 4 year deal like Grayson gave to Nunez and Bromby.

    Grayson had Premier League quality and could only get Leeds up on the last day of the season, then couldn’t even get in the play offs. Norwich finished ahead of us by over 10 points in back to back seasons, now they have half the team we had to improve them for the Premier League!

    We certainly didn’t play quality football under Grayson. We lost 4 games in a row without scoring in League 1! We played some good football on occasion due to the quality of the players we had, but Grayson tried to stop them playing at every opportunity. We only started to do well in the Championship when he stumbled upon a formation that worked in desperation to turn around a game at Scunthorpe!

    When was there a multi-million pound cut to the playing budget? For there to be a cut then there had to be one there in the first place! Grayson inherited quality, then wasted money on rubbish centre halves and 20 goalkeepers!

    Win percentage doesn’t make you the second most successful manager of all time. Anyone could have got a win percentage like that managing the squad we had in League 1.

    Warnock has had to start from scratch, you can’t improve on Premier League quality in one season with a limited budget.

    Warnock, it’s time to stay and prove people wrong.

    1. you are pulling the chain aren’t you? Please tell us your rant was nothing but a tongue in cheek piece. If you are being serious, you must be the only Leeds supporter left who still wants Warnock to carry on. And, where did you get the idea that Grayson had Premier League players at his disposal?? The man won us promotion & almost got us in the play-offs at the first try. His win/lose ratio is far superior to Warnock’s. Grayson is young, hungry & has more ideas in his small toe than Warnock has in his entire body,,,and don’t start on the number of promotions Warnock has achieved – he’s also got clubs relegated & the clubs he got promoted were poxy teams….Leeds are the biggest club he’s ever managed & he’s screwing it up. and let’s not forget all this was achieved over 30 years as a manager – Grayson has had far fewer years yet has achieved a fair bit. I suggest you go support some other team if you still want Warnock to drag us into a relegation battle.

  6. All well and good, and a decent analysis, but don’t muck it all up by referring to Grayson. A manager who needed his team to score two just to give them a fighting chance of a draw.

    I suppose that in reality the games in which we were hammered were better to watch than in Warnock’s reign, but Grayson, like our current manager, isn’t good enough.

    Our standards really have dropped if Grayson is seen as some sort of shining light.

  7. I get the idea that Grayson had Premier League players because the players he had are now playing in the Premier League!

    It’s one thing not to like Warnock and criticise him, but the writer of this article seems to have an irrational hatred and is making up things and twisting things in an attempt to make him look bad. And when you go on to talk up Grayson so much it just looks as if you’re in love with him and hate Warnock for not being him.

  8. Why talk Grayson up so much then?

    You’re not talking about Warnock not being the improvement you thought he would be, you’re running him down for doing a terrible job.

    But you’ve hit the nail on the head. No one had any expectations of Grayson so they didn’t mind so much that he fell short. Everyone expected promotion out of Warnock which is why there’s a massive overreaction to him.

    We’re nearly 10 years out of the top flight and everyone is frustrated, but it comes down to the quality of the players. You can’t expect Warnock to do better than Grayson when he doesn’t have Snodgrass, Howson, Gradel etc. If he’d had the 10/11 team I’m pretty sure we’d have won the league.

    Warnock has had to start again and you can’t build a successful team in one summer, especially at a club like Leeds with a limited budget.

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