Leeds United: What happens when you drop Michael Brown

I suppose, Neil, that is what you get when you don’t play a 36-year-old park bench in the hub of your team. It’s been a bizarre few months in terms of selections, especially the crippling realisation that it had been decided that Michael Brown was a key player – key enough that he was supposedly rested at half time against Manchester City. At some point, however, over the last 3 days, Warnock clearly re-assessed and decided to go down another route entirely. This route worked, and it was one that surprised me, at the very least. The route was a midfield that can pass, and went against everything I’ve seen thus far from the Warnockian school.

Paul Green was important during our better run this season, immediately following the announcement of GFH Capital’s takeover. David Norris hasn’t actually done anything wrong, but has been dropped repeatedly in favour of other names from our central midfield roster. Michael Tonge has barely been seen since signing permanently for Leeds, despite providing an important foot-on-the-ball presence during his loan spell. It is no surprise that with three players able to function with the ball at their feet, Leeds provided one of their best performances of the season thus far.

What did last night show? Two things really:

  • Michael Brown, as much as he has developed into a sarcastic cult figure in recent months, is quite clearly past his prime. He’s uncomfortable with the ball and offers little to nothing in the way of creating chances for those ahead of him. Yes, sometimes give him the last 10 minutes when closing out a game to kick the opposition and stop them from scoring, but aside from that, he’s a liability, an immobile butcher in the center of the park who sees the game pass him by. It isn’t his fault, he’s just too old.
  • The 4-3-3 works and compensates for our lack of out-and-out wingers. Those three central midfielders work at home, with all of them able to offer an attacking thrust and also a bit of tackling ability. For the trickier away games Rodolph Austin should be deployed to guard the defence, but gone should be the days when a central midfield two allows only for one able passer to shuttle about alongside one of Warnock’s wrecking machines. It also allows us to field players who are traditionally strikers on either flank, such as Varney and McCormack, without it actually hindering our ability going forward.

If the lessons from last night are learned, it could lead to an improvement in displays and, therefore, results. The first step is moving Michael Brown away from the first team regulars.

Follow Amitai Winehouse on Twitter (@awinehouse1).


4 thoughts on “Leeds United: What happens when you drop Michael Brown”

  1. As I have said previously Neil Warnock has lost his way with team selection since last November. Almost every game he changes 4 or 5 players which indicates his lack of consistency regarding tactics and formation. Don’t get me wrong I like him as a person and his record as a manager speaks for itself but he has made a number of mistakes this season including persisting with Michael Brown. playing Pelts at left back, not signing a winger and not sorting out his midfield. To his credit he won’t pay over the odds for a player or pay inflated wages. The team he picked against Blackpool was not far off full strength apart from finding a place for Dioufy and perhaps Austin but Austin hasn’t been the same since returning from broken ankle. I would probably put Dioufy in for Varney but to be fair to Varney he has looked more confident over resent weeks and has deserved a place. I would not play Brown or Whitey. OK some might not agree with my view on Whitey but for me he has got pace but doesn’t read the game well. Sam Byram has overtaken him and I would name him in front of Whitey every time. Finally Neil Warnock needs to stop playing the long ball tactic from defence to target man and instaed he should encourage the team to play through the midfield and pass the ball. Quick 2 touch football with players giving the ball and moving to make themselves available to give the player with the ball options. I live in hope

  2. At last someone else has realised what I have been saying all season – Brown is a liability! I have lost count of the times I’ve watched him foul someone and then create hell if the ref books him? I often wondered just how long it would be before he got himself sent off and reduced the team to 10 men, and gave the opposition a distinct advantage?

    Okay, kicking the opposition off the ball might seem like a good idea in the final few minutes, but if it gives away a free kcik resulting in a goal – how clever is that?

    Brown should not only be moved away from the first team squad, he should be moved away from Elland Road – permanently!

  3. I would say that the owners told Warnock to remove Brown, play on the deck, or this is your last game in charge. If we can sneek in to the playoffs through a sensational run of form then other teams will be worried about playing us.

  4. Yes i think what is said above,is correct?Is Warnock @ Brown,old buddy’s,from time’s gone by?We LEEDS UNITED,can’t not put up with that?So sell Brown or give him away,if any club want’s him?

Leave a Reply