Tag Archives: Neil Warnock

Former Leeds Boss Warnock Angry With Crystal Palace Stadium Announcer

In bizarre news, former Leeds United manager Neil Warnock has fallen out with Crystal Palace’s stadium announcer over his work during the club’s clash with Newcastle United in the League Cup, as revealed at his press conference today.

Palace and Newcastle could not be separated in 90 minutes, and therefore went into extra time drawing 2-2.

As a result, they were playing when the draw for the fourth round of the competition was taking place, and the stadium announcer chose to reveal that one of the two sides would be facing Manchester City away from home as a result.

Palace ultimately lost the game, with Newcastle academy graduate Paul Dummett scoring after the north east club were reduced to ten men. This gave them a 3-2 win and passage into the next round.

Warnock, however, feels that the announcer, rather than his team, was to blame for the loss, and said that he has investigated the incident.

“I felt it was out of order,” Warnock said.

“I made an enquiry after the game because I was disappointed.”

“I think that’s why [the players] threw the last goal in, so they didn’t go to Man City away.”

The former QPR boss returned to Palace after the departure of Tony Pulis.

Does it make a difference?

Cast your mind back to this point around two seasons ago. We had come up from League One. Things were not perfect – Cardiff would come to Elland Road and win 4-0. We looked flimsy defensively, but there was a sense of hope around the club. The period before Christmas would lead to a rise up the table on the back of a long undefeated run. We looked better than we had done for years. To watch moments like our comeback against Burnley, it started to look as though we would storm the division – see the flowing movement culminating with Connolly’s cross and Becchio’s goal.

Then January came and nothing happened. Sure, we committed to the permanent signing of Andy O’Brien, but I’m sure Grayson would have ideally wanted to add to our relatively weak central midfield – after all, Howson, Johnson and Kilkenny started a majority of matches and aside from this, no backup was to be found. We had lucked our way into being promoted with two wingers that would eventually play in top leagues in various nations. Our primary striker was (and still is) vastly underrated by the fans. And yet we did not spend.

Flash forward to now. Grayson has gone and we have promotion specialist Neil Warnock in charge. Free flowing football does not exist at Elland Road. Well, except in the form of Hull. They’ve all gone. It doesn’t need to be restated, lest depression take over. Our team torn to pieces to fund…something. I’m not sure what exactly. The season began and we looked decent. The first eleven, at the very least, looked decent. Sam Byram appeared out of nowhere and has, through performance and effort and general dawgone ability, turned himself into an asset for the side.

But it’s not enough. Is the arrival of Sam Byram any different to the fluky development of Davide Somma, coincidentally loaned out to the right club and manager who taught him how to finish? Is it any different to Adam Clayton appearing out of nowhere and being the shining light of an otherwise average side in the first half of last season? Rodolph Austin has appeared and dominated, a genuine asset. Yes, he’s better than a Grayson signing like Fede Bessone was in his own position. But is Luke Varney better than Simon Grayson’s left wing recruit? He’s a third of the player Gradel was. Grayson brought in our only player left with genuine quality and deftness with the ball, Ross McCormack.

Look at Grayson’s Huddersfield thus far. There is no doubt that he has got them playing, despite the loss of their main goal threat. He managed them to a play-off final and brought them out the other side. He is at the very least, doing a ‘good job’. They will probably threaten the playoffs this season. This despite a complete rebuild to get the team playing according to his own principles. Grayson has shown time and time again that he can get a team playing and, given the right investment, challenging. Huddersfield Town will go far.

So this all brings us to the question. If Simon Grayson were still in charge of Leeds, would we be in any different a position? In reality, no. We wouldn’t have recruited Austin or Kenny, but that is the only genuine negative point I can see. Simon Grayson, were he given investment at Leeds, would have got us promoted to the Premier League. Neil Warnock will be a miracle worker if he can get this Leeds United side up the table, funded on a shoestring at best. Grayson already proved himself a miracle worker – sacked with a team 3 points off the playoffs last season. Warnock himself could not coax anything from that side. It was dross, and yet Grayson, hampered by a chairman more tight than any, still got them going.

I am not calling for Warnock’s head, nor am I saying Grayson should have stayed in charge. It made sense to take advantage of Warnock’s availability, even though it meant the loss of a young manager who I predict will go on to be a star in managerial quarters. I am simply saying that it does not matter who stands on the touchline, who coaches, who picks the team when Ken Bates is ultimately in control of the eleven players we can put on the pitch. Ultimately, Warnock will struggle unless Bates departs. Grayson and Huddersfield will probably finish above us in the league unless things change. They have a chairman who supports the manager, we have an aged ogre whose presence is ruining the club.

Ultimately, it wouldn’t have made a difference. Grayson’s departure still rankles to this day. I imagine if you ask Warnock his opinion of him, he’d probably consider him very highly. We’ve changed the man in the dugout, gone for experience and nous over youth and attacking flair, yet it won’t matter. I offer a single regret: that Simon Grayson had the poor luck to be manager of the club he loves whilst Ken Bates was chairman.

Follow Amitai Winehouse on Twitter (@awinehouse1).

Is this the end of the Bates era?

Something’s in the air. Is it excitement or disappointment? With Leeds United, the two things often come in abundance. Last year, excitement gave way to misanthropy. People walked towards Elland Road knowing mediocrity was on the cards.

Something is amiss. People can’t figure out what is going on. Tweeters are tweeting. Forumers are foruming.

Is Ken Bates finally fucking off?

You dream about it. You thought the day would never come. Suddenly rumours abound, running at you, knocking you over like excited dogs. They leave turds of misinformation lying around the place. Occasionally you step into one of them, complain about it, then realise that these dogs have been eating gold bars on the sly, and you’re riding this turd train to a well informed future.

What am I trying to say? We have finally reached the point, as a fan base, that there are so many rumours about Bates leaving, about him selling up, that you feel something is amiss. The situation has got progressively weirder at Elland Road as well.

The summer began all hunky-dory. Warnock was being backed. The defence was being shored up. Jason Pearce, an actual prospect with an actual future ahead of him, had agreed to join Leeds United. He’d been given an actual contract. Leeds United, heaven forbid, had paid actual cash-money for him to join. We were harvesting the corpse of another club that had collapsed for any useful organs. It was exciting.

Then we stalled. Joel Ward, who two weeks ago was someone Leeds fans were unconvinced by, has become the messiah. His un-signing has become the non-symbol for all of the things that have already gone anti-right this summer. Ipswich may beat us once again to another player. What is it about players that Leeds have or want to have that make them desire East Anglia so? Are they curious about the former homeland of the Iceni? Are they intending to do master’s degrees at Cambridge? Have we been approaching too many intellectual players? These are all questions I ask myself whilst shuffling around town, screaming at passers-by and dealing with those damn government spies who want to harvest my brain facts.

So why has this occurred? Word emanating from the club, filtering through relatively official channels such as the Yorkshire Evening Post, suggest that we can’t, at this moment in time, drum up the £400,000 required to bring him in. Warnock wants him, and there are rumours that he might leave if this situation is not dealt with upon return from his holidays.

Then there’s the Snodgrass issue. He’s come out this week and outright pointed out that he had promises broken last summer. He’s not going to sign his contract unless he can see a future at the club. This, interestingly enough, has been met with acceptance from Peter Lorimer. Something seems awry there.

Finally, and most interestingly enough, was the news that Ken Bates is taking the summer off from being interviewed on Yorkshire Radio. This is incredibly bizarre, as, to put it simply, a significant reason why Bates purchased Leeds United and continued to own us, was that he loved being in the public eye. Former chairman Ken Bates was not interesting to the national media. With Leeds, he once again found a reason to be talked about, and where better to be talked about than his own in-house media setup? Why would he suddenly give that up? There’s no precedent. Last summer his interviews were one of very few constant updates from the club.

There are several ways to interpret this. The first, and the one I like to jump to in order that I don’t get all giddy, is that Bates is avoiding the spotlight in order to avoid further legal issues. Is it just a response to the court case that has pulled even more money out of the club?

Secondly, we could be heading to another financial combustion. This may come as a surprise, but I’m not the biggest fan of the Bates regime. Even so, I like to think Ken would not be delusional enough to constantly talk about the firm financial footing we are on whilst simultaneously battling an oncoming financial storm. Hey, there may be a surprise in store. I like to think this is unlikely.

Thirdly, and finally, we could be on the cusp of a honest, truthful, real, actual, factual, natural, understandable, takeover. In my guise as a fake writer about football, I jaunt around town in a trilby with a card saying ‘press’ stuck in it. I keep an ear to the ground for any undercurrents of information. I’ve heard relatively concrete rumours that Ken Bates may be on his way out. The internet, simultaneously, has heard the same. I’m even withholding some information that I feel doesn’t need to be proliferated, on the basis that the rumours one can find seem enough to speculate upon. They (and whoever they are, they love their metaphors) often say that there is no smoke without fire. I like to think this is true, but I’m avoiding raising my hopes too highly on the off-chance that I get burned.

Why else may this be true? Well, we could be avoiding spending money as some baffling method of saving money before Bates sells up. “Why would I spend my own penny on players when some Johnny Foreigner will come in and spend it instead?” I imagine Ken saying, whilst sat atop a throne made up of the disappointments Leeds fans have felt over the last seven years. But the point stands. Similarly, why would Lorimer speak so positively about meeting Snodgrass’s expectations. He’s usually responsible for ensuring we all understand that signing players is a luxury that successful football clubs don’t require.

To sum it all up, what is going on at Elland Road? It’s difficult to say. I may look back on this article as a foolish statement years from now, when we’re plying our trade in the Home Counties division 3, having relocated under the control of Mecha-Bates, but I think his time is almost up at Elland Road. Finally.

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