The display against Exeter City on Saturday, followed by the one against Darlington last night showed the differences bewteen the Leeds United side with and without Jermaine Beckford.

Although the side didn’t really struggle last night and cruised into the second round without too many problems, the absence of Beckford’s goal scoring ability couldn’t have been more noticable. Mike Grella took too long infront of goal on several occasions and lacked the confidence to strike first time. Had he done so I reckon he could well have got himself on the scoresheet. Enoch Showunmi meanwhile did OK and should be congratulated for his goal but the one he sliced wide when one on one with the keeper was cringe-worthy.

Had Jermaine Beckford been playing last night I have no doubts whatsoever that the scoreline would have been much different. One player doesn’t make a team, but Jermaine Beckford makes us promotion contenders.

Simon Grayson’s continual efforts to ensure the fans that Beckford will be going nowhere do little to comfort me. His absence through injury last night left many wondering if he’d been left out to avoid getting cup-tied and the continual rumours linking him with a move to WBA or Wolves aren’t helping either.

The continued silence from Jermaine Beckford concerns me too. When you have an ego as big as he does, silence is an unusual trait, yet he’s barely said anything publically since the end of last season. What happened to the Jermaine Beckford of old? The one that asked Sky Sports “What shirt am I wearin’ bruv’?” He’s always been an outspoken character and seems to revel in the media spotlight so why no interviews?

If it is Jermaine Beckford’s desire to leave Elland Road, then faking an injury wouldn’t be too hard for him. Simon Grayson said he’d picked up a ‘knock’, which has always struck me as the strandard footballers excuse when they simply can’t be bothered playing. Anyone else would run it off, but in the world of professional footballers it seems to be a week laid in bed. It’s an hard life!

The longer the speculation continues and the more twists that add to the story the less convinced I am that Beckford will be with us on September the 1st. Even when he scored the two goals against Exeter the Leeds faithful were cynical and some accused him of ‘playing for the scouts’. The cries of ‘sign your contract for the lads’ made the Leeds fans feelings clear, they want him at Elland Road and want him to help us achieve promotion. Let’s hope he feels the same.

  • Matthew Stephenson

    If Grayson says he isn’t going, then he isn’t going. End of discussion. I’m Not worried at all.

  • simcol68

    i will give you a clue as to what will happen … ££££££ + ken bates = sold to the highest bidder …..easy to work out simples

    • Colin

      I wouldn’t be too concered. RE. Jermaine’s continued silence – he’s always been quiet. The ‘what shirt am I wearing’ quote was back in 07/08 season when Wise was in charge and he hasn’t spoken publically since. I believe he doesn’t like to speak in front of the cameras – he finds it difficult.

      As for not playing – I think the real fact is that there was no point risking Jermaine Beckford getting injured in a game against Darlington for a cup we can never win.

      Also, maybe some of those fans who were shouting ’sign your contract for the lads’, should be shouting at Shaun Harvey and Ken Bates who put him on the transfer list for not accepting a crap 3rd division contract. His agent said at the time that he’d be happy to sign a contract with Leeds if it’s at the right price. What happens? It’s blatently obvious that Leeds need Beckford so they take him off the transfer list. Now his agent can demand much higher wages and all the transfer list talk has brought him further into the spotlight and generated more interest from other clubs. So Leeds could have had him on a decent contract. Now they’re fighting with more successful clubs to secure his services for a much higher wage than he would previously settled for.

      Jermaine and his agent are well within their right to tell Leeds where to stick it. How many other players do you know of who have signed a new contract with the same club that put him on the transfer list? Remember it wasn’t Jermaine or his agent who asked to be put on the transfer list, it was forced by Leeds. Shoddy way to treat one of your best players.

  • Terry

    It could have been that SG tough that he didn’t need him against Darlington? Or he got a knock against Exeter…Beckford is outspoken and says what he thinks…He said just before the season began that he wanted to play in the Champ/Prem…Then Grayson said that he had a talk with him and he said he would stay to try and get us into the Championship…He still has a contract until the end off this season…He is a prolific goal scorer and Leeds need him badly? So why don’t they give him what he deserves a pay hike, he said that he wants to stay at Leeds…If Bates wants out of this League he as the fans do he knows more than likely we wont do it without Becks goals…SG wants him to stay if so does he have no say in the matter…Grayson is the manager and should be able to go to Bates and say I want a new contract for Beckford…End off story MOT!

  • Dje

    I can see the decision to omit Beckford from the squad against Darlington both ways.

    On one hand, seeing how your two reserve strikers get on against lesser opposition strikes me as a tactical risk worth taking, one that could have been offset if Becchio was needed. There was some comfort in the matter by Grayson dropping Becchio to the bench last night, rather than playing the same starting eleven that had taken on Exeter minus Beckford, as it suggests that the changes had been more considered than just Bates dictating reserved financial prudence. Coincidently, I’d be interested to know if by naming Beckford as a substitute would have cup-tied him in any future transfer move this season.

    On the other hand, if Beckford is to go, Bates and Grayson have always stressed that it will only be for the best price. Denting this price for the sake of Darlington, or the League Cup, doesn’t make sense. If Wolves really are interested in Beckford then the League Cup could be – by a very long-stretch of the imagination and a very fortuitous series of cup draws – a chance to qualify for next years Europa League [their dream for this season]. Alternatively, it might just be a competition that Wolves would prefer to use a reserve striker (ie. potentially Beckford) and rest Kevin Doyle and Chris Iwelumo for their struggle to avoid relegation from the Premiership [their reality for this season].

    The only disappointment with all this is that if Beckford doesn’t move on in the transfer windows, and sees out this season and his contract with Leeds, before moving on a free, something that Grayson and Bates say they are prepared to risk, then we might as well use him in all competitions and try to maximise his goal attributes.I guess we’ll all know one way or the other whether he’s with us or not in three weeks time, but let’s hope Leeds are still in the League Cup by then!

  • Grumpy Older Man

    Not to put too fine a point on this but Grayson has put his reputation fully on the line on Beckford and if Jermaine does leave (and I still feel its inevitable) Simon either makes it clear it was gainst his wishes or he joins the long list of culpable managers dancing to a chairmans tune.

    I’m not a great believer in relieing on one player and unfortunatily, with all the recent Grayson comments and other things it looks like that is exactily what we are doing and thus we face a possible nightmare of losing Beckford and instantly losing belief.

    Club has handled this badly IMHO.

  • Yorkshrman

    Curious as to your distinction between Saturday and last night. On Saturday, Beckford had at least six clear-cut chances, and scored two ….. last night Showunmi had three, and scored one. Seems pretty similar to me? As to Showunmi’s slice, it was indeed a bad one – but how many times last season did we see Becks miss just as badly??? And Becks is in the team week-in, week-out ….. last night was Showunmi’s first competitive game for what, 7-8 months …..? I’m not suggesting that Showunmi could be a replacement for for Beckford, but let’s at least give the guy a fair crack of the whip …..

    • MOT

      Regardless of how many chances Becks misses, he creates a lot more and scores for fun. He’s a totally different class from Showumni, although I did say I felt it could be lack of confidence on our reserve strikers part.

  • Colin

    If we lose Beckford, we can kiss goodbye any chance of getting promotion. He always seems to get that one goal that turns a potential draw into a win (as per Exeter game). At this level and with our squad, that’s vital.

    One thing still puzzles me – we still haven’t paid for a player under grayson – we keep getting free transfers and loans, despite the fact that the club has been profitable 2 years in a row and we have the Delph money and players wages have lowered due to players being released (Richardson, Douglas etc.)
    Don’t mean to be pessimistic, but take away Beckford, Snodgrass & Howson from that line-up and it looks like a very mediocre 3rd division team indeed.

    • Dje

      I don’t think we bought a player under McAllister either. I’m a little worried about our apparent lack of resources when it comes to wages too. Surely there is enough money in the piggy bank to tempt Beckford with a new contract offer.

      If we have the resources there, it is one of the few options that we have to compete with players who might otherwise head to Championship clubs. Relying on the “we are a big club” tag to attract players in League One just doesn’t cut-it anymore when you can go to other big clubs like Newcastle, West Brom and Middlesborough in the Championship and be only one good season away from playing in the Premier League [well, probably released on a free and replaced by some Wigan or Hull City cast-off, but hey-ho).

      Being overlooked by players like Hamill for Barnsley is depressing. Barnsley aren’t relying on parachute payments from former Premier League days and I doubt the Football League dividend for a low finishing Championship team is much more than Leeds got last season for ending up in the League One play-offs, so surely we should be able to compete with them on wages.

      I’m not suggesting that we return to the ludicrous money we paid players like Nicky Barmby, Seth Johnston and Robbie Fowler, but if you want the players to come and believe in those players to be good enough to get us out of League One and good enough to compete in the Championship, then why not reward them so.

      [Of course it is always easier to plan to spend other peoples money.]

      • Bill

        We have not bought a player since Killkenny, 18 months ago. will uncle Ken splash out on a new striker if Beckford goes, I dont tnink so.It just shows his ambition when we lose out to Barnsley on a signing, he wont spend a quid.

        So where is all the money from big gates,play off semi finals,play off finals,shirt sales etc.Is the money from delph’s sale buying back Thorpe Arch or is it funding uncle Kens dream of a hotel and leisure complex? not much good to a third division club,but then again he’ll fill it with exploited loyal Leeds fans.One things for sure it won’t be on players.

        • Yorkshrman

          To be fair to Bates, and IF you believe the reports (which is, after all, all any of us can go on) both Leeds and Barnsley had a fee agreed for Hamill. HE chose to go to Barnsley, claiming that it was working with Simon Davey that was the decider. Can’t really see why this is Bates’ fault …. but then for some people he’ll never do anything right, will he?

  • Terry

    We all have our own opinion’s, in my opinion if Beckford does go? We will be in this League for another season or more, there is not one player in this League that scored 32+goals? And if he decides to leave who have we got to replace him? Nobody of course there are plenty of good strikers around but will they drop down to this League, don’t think so? Bates didn’t spent a penny for any players, he must think he’s in Heaven…

  • Keith Floyd

    I agreed entirely with the comments regarding how Jermaine turns draws into wins,it is imperative he stays Ken Bates should stop procrastinating and offer Jermaine this “great contract”!
    Otherwise these draws (maybe even losses) will blunt our promotion prospects.

  • Paul South Wales

    I think everyone’s of a similar opinion, although one man doesn’t maketh a team, if he goes, who the hell is gonna score the goals? Showumni??? never in a million years. I agree it’s strange we haven’t paid for any players, and with the delph fee, if Bates doesn’t shell out out to keep Becks he deserves to stay in this poxy league, but WE DON’T and we’re not going to keep on paying top wack for tickets. It was painful watching last night, and that’s what we’ve got to look forward to week in week out if he goes. Time to stump up the contract and keep the best striker in this league, otherwise Bates will reap what he’s sowed, misery!!

    • Colin

      I didn’t realise we hadn’t bought since kilkenny. Now I was never a Grayson fan (I think we should have stuck with Macca), but how is Grayson meant to prove himself if he can’t buy anyone. I feel for Grayson. If you go as far back as Blackwell, they’ve all had to build teams from scraps – loans, free transfers. Just as well we have a training academy or we’d be even shorter on players.

      Leicester managed to bounce straight back up by having a team of good players and loan signings from the top clubs. If Leicester can attract the calibre of players to get them promoted in one season then surely Leeds can at least do that in three seasons. Was Leicester’s strategy an expensive one (for league one) – Yes. But they were streets ahead of any other team in the league.

      They did what they had to do and did it. Thing is, Leeds seem to want to do it the hard way and compete on a level playing field with the rest of the teams in this league.

  • Will

    Considering Grayson has had a consistent squad this summer the lack of performance against the Quakers is a huge cause of concern for me.

    I expected a lot more in the performance(I don’t mean goals) in terms of fluency, understanding, a high tempo, committment, running off the ball, etc.

    Let’s hope this was a one-off but the standard on display was far from acceptable even for a League One club.

  • The Herbman

    Totally agree with much of the above, for some reason we are not spending any money, so we are either paying back all the dodgy finance companies that Bates had NOTHING to do with when we went into administration, trying to buy back Thorpe Arch and ER or its going into Ken’s Chistmas hamper collection.

    In terms of team performances, then we have been awful, more of the same drivel we have had to put up with for the last 2 seasons. Beckford does at least shine in an otherwise poor team. The defence is getting stronger but midfield is so average. Bradley (is he the best we can do??), what has happened to Snodders, totally missing in the play-offs and against Darlington, Whoson? and Doyle (did he come out in the second half?).

    I see we had 2 triallist strikers against the Magpies, so they are still looking for talent up front, if Tresor could score 4 god knows how bad Newcastle were.

    We need to keep Beckford, get another decent striker, and two wide men who can go past the defenders, get to the byline and cross the bloody ball.

    There you are then, if anybody is still reading this then they must be bored by now.

    Roll on the weekend!!!!