Tag Archives: leeds

Leeds United: Warnock – the happy memories

By Nadav Winehouse
Let’s face it, the last 13 months have not been fun for Leeds fans. Well, the last 94 years have not been fun, but that’s not the topic for today’s article. 13 months ago, I was sprawled across the floor of a Kibbutz in Northern Israel, stealing WiFi from a another member of Kibbutz Beit Haemek in the hope that Ken Bates had replaced Neil Redfearn with someone with an ounce of competence. When the sluggish internet connection finally loaded WACCOE, the members seemed in a state of euphoria, Neil Warnock had been pictured with Ken Bates and Shaun Harvey outside a café in Monaco. I, for one, also shared the glee that they were experiencing, delighted about the fact that ‘Mr. Promotion’ himself was joining Leeds. Unfortunately, we all know how the 13 months that have followed turned out. The majority has been spent with depressing hoof-ball, increasingly tedious interviews and Michael Brown. Despite these factors, there have been a handful of enjoyable moments during Warnock’s reign of terror as manager of Leeds United.

Good Friday 2012 saw Leeds go to the Madjeski Stadium and face eventual champions Reading. The match not only saw Reading put a hand on the Championship but saw Leeds’s transformation into a Neil Warnock side. The innocent Zac Thompson suddenly had his mind hijacked by his midfield partner Michael Brown, and the only instruction was “destroy!”. He was sent off for a needless challenge 13 minutes into the match. Challenges akin to this were committed later on in the match by Danny Pugh, Paul Robinson and Michael Brown, with Brown not only breaking Jem Karacan’s leg, but also leaving a nasty hole within his sock – Don Goodman was disgusted. It was hilarious watching the fans within the flatpack, IKEA stadium watch on, ashen-faced as 1960’s style tackles flew in. Although in the end we lost, this match will go down as typifying Neil Warnock’s brand of football.

Leeds United’s rightful position is by the likes of Spurs and Everton. To my bemusement, we somehow managed to beat the two of them under Neil Warnock. Not only did we beat Everton, we beat them with the worst possible Leeds midfield imaginable, Aidy White playing on the right-wing in this match, a man whose only characteristic to suit this position is his pace, lacking all of the required technical ability to perform adequately in this role. The only man who thinks that Aidy White is a Right Winger is Neil Warnock. The other wing was occupied by Michael Tonge, who has the polar opposite characteristics to Aidy White, half-decent technically and provides some creativity, yet the speed of a 50-year-old man and no left foot. I’m still baffled how the central midfield of Rodolph Austin and Michael Brown managed to cope with the presence of Marouane Fellaini. Spurs was a similar encounter to this, Mourinho’s prodigy was tactically outclassed by a man whose strategical acumen is that of a 1960s . The two results were achievements, but the destructions at the hands of Chelsea and Man City that followed these results weren’t.

We can look at these three games and try to forget the other myriad horrors of Neil Warnock’s time as Leeds manager. I don’t think it’ll be possible, the post-traumatic stress of Michael Brown traipsing around our midfield, ‘Sharon and the kids’, and hoof-ball will be causing nightmares for years to come.

Follow Nadav Winehouse on Twitter (@nadavwinehouse1).

Leeds United: An Open Letter to GFH Capital 2

To whom it may concern,

You may remember me from my last letter, where I said you were doing alright, but you could be doing a lot better. You (you being GFH Capital or whichever PR company you’ve hired this week) have done some other things since, and they’ve mainly been alright, with a handful less than alright, and a couple that are better than alright. A summation of your time in charge of Leeds in one word: alright.

On that note, let me put forward what I think you should do next: sell the club. No ifs, no buts, no selling tiny cuts. Today’s sale of 10% to IIB is hopefully not the beginning of a continual sale of tiny percentages to a great swathe of purchasers, because it will create a club that, in the future, grinds to a halt as people without the knowledge play at being football club owners. As much as it seems a way to bring funds in, it will ultimately result in a club being run in a shambolic fashion. Too many cooks and all that.

On the other hand, everyone and their mother seems to be aware of this supposed takeover by Parkin and Pearson, with Phil Hay noting that that is seemingly not off the table after today’s announcement. Rather than selling segments off piecemeal, just give the whole megazord to the adults who have kindly come over to the kid’s table and put down the food you’ve been waiting for. It’ll save a lot of problems later.

The reality is that you’ve got a lot of good ideas, and these ideas are all an improvement on what went on during the previous regime. No one in their right mind would call for a return to the days of yore, where a tyrannical dictator sat on the throne, refusing to speak to anybody who couldn’t produce 47 individual charters that decreed them worthy of his presence. The reality is, however, that ideas are not money. Hell, I’d love ideas to be money, who wouldn’t? But they aren’t, and having the best intentions in the world doesn’t mean you can carry them out. We’d rather, as a group of fans, not see more mystery men buy pieces of the club in order to fund your ideas – by all accounts there are people out there who have both ideas and money. By all accounts they’ve been swimming around the good ship Leeds United for years, and it’s time to let them come aboard.

A few months back, shortly after I wrote the first letter to you lot, I sat with El-Hadji Diouf for about half an hour, and he said something very clever that I’ve been wanting to share for a while. He said that when he came, he could hear people singing “you Chelsea bastard, get out of our club”. Diouf was under no doubts about what the future of Leeds United needed. “For eight years, Leeds fans have been waiting for a Messiah”. I have thought about what he said often, and agree wholeheartedly that it is true. This Messiah is not necessarily a sheik or a billionaire, but merely one with the club at heart and the power to take us back where we belong. History is littered with false prophets GFH, and we’re on the cusp of a celebration of a man who claimed to be a messiah, whichever way you fall on your belief in that. You are not the coming of the Messiah we have waited years for, it is time to take the opportunity to leave.

Thanks,

Amitai Winehouse

 

P.S. Sell the club.

Follow Amitai Winehouse on Twitter (@awinehouse1).

Leeds United: No more heroes

By Dominic Smith

After wiping away my post-Becchio tears, I set about writing an article about the incoming Steve
Morison, a man Neil Warnock reliably informed me would soon be a ‘legend’ at Elland Road. Maybe
he and Ross McCormack could be the striking partnership we’ve lacked in recent years. I’d write
about the modern day Chapman and Wallace.

But I couldn’t.

It’s not that Morison isn’t a good player. He’s a good Championship striker who proved himself
at Millwall, with a goal-scoring record of better than 1 in 3 during his time there. He sporadically
impressed in the Premier League, and he fulfilled the criteria of a Leeds signing in that he always
seemed to score against us. The image of him leaving Paddy Kisnorbo in a crumpled heap on his way
to putting Millwall one-up at Elland Road in 2010 is burned indelibly on my mind.

He’s a perfectly decent player. He has history against Leeds. He should raise sufficient passion to
write a profile, or to summon my feelings about his move to the club.

But he didn’t.

I didn’t have that problem with Becchio. Even though he had quite obvious faults, no pace,
the turning circle of an oil tanker and a Carlton Palmer like first touch, he inspired a deep and
unswerving affection. If anyone I knew criticised him or called him limited, I would leap to his
defence. He’s just a goal-scorer, I would claim.

But this isn’t just about one goal-scoring hero being replaced by another goal-scoring non-entity. It’s
part of a trend at the club, principally introduced under Warnock, to replace modern Leeds heroes
(Becchio, Snodgrass, Howson) with Championship also-rans. However much he improves, I cannot
see the likes of David Norris inspiring a song from the Kop.

I feel no great attachment to any of the current squad. Sam Byram is promising, but each excellent
performance of his fuels a worry that he’ll be plucked by a Premier League side in the summer.
Ross McCormack produces occasional flutters, but his long barren streaks in front of goal frustrate.
The asset stripping Bates reign has produced a greater effect than just an average playing squad.
The Leeds United of 2013 are a group of players to which the fans have no great affinity with
whatsoever.

We won’t get to the Premier League with this side. They are competent, a mid-table Championship
side. But it’s not their limitations which are the problem. It’s that they’re not ours. Only when we get
the next Becchio, the next flawed genius, will we be back.

Follow Dominic Smith on Twitter (@DomoTheBold).