Paul Dickov’s brief trial with MLS side Toronto ended quickly and he’ll be back at Thorp Arch training with the Whites shortly according to the official site. Oh joy!

It’s just sheer luncacy that Leeds are still considering signing Dickov when a MLS side deems him below their standard. For those that don’t have first hand experience of Major League Soccer, let me assure you that the majority of the players over there would struggle to get a place in Accrington Stanley’s first team. I went to watch one such game whilst holidaying in LA and returned thinking League One was the holy grail of footballing excellence.

I don’t want to disrespect the MLS as it’s still a relatively new league in a country that would rather watch paint dry (baseball) or a soft mans version of rugby (American Football) but it really is lightyears behind our top few divisions.

Toronto turning down Dickov is evidence for me that the bloke simply isn’t good enough. The fact that Grayson already had a personal relationship with him before he came to Elland Road leads me to suspect its a case of ‘jobs for the boys’ and at the age of 37, he’s not the kind of player any of us had in mind. Whilst those that like him will no doubt point to his ability to mix it up with the oppositions defence, the truth of the matter is, he’s just a thug who plays the kind of football Dennis Wise would cringe at.

Failure to capture Lee Barnard in the January transfer window was a major blow and has undoubtedly cost us points lately while Jermaine Beckford has been out, but this simply is not the answer. Mike Grella (someone who could make it in the MLS) deserves his chance before we start handing pensions out to footballers who don’t know when to call it a day. Failing that, the loan window opens shortly at which point there must be a whole host of strikers in the Premier League reserves who are desperate for a game who I’d much rather give a chance to than Dickov.

  • Duncan

    Simon knows………..

    • Dje

      ….. less than we once thought he did.

      [Possibly]

      I’d still like to see us make some use of and justification why we pay Kandol and Robinson’s wages week in, week out.

      • Craig

        What’s the alternative? You can’t sack players without paying them off so I guess Grayson is waiting for offers – for Robinson anyway. Kandol has been off with injury and family problems.

        • Dje

          Kandol’s lack of first-team appearances stems back long before his recent leg injury and ‘family problems’. He was only getting a sniff in the minor cups because of Becchio’s extensive period of injury, Showunmi’s tireless commitment to being utterly ineffectual for us, and the will-he-won’t-he shenanigans of the Beckford saga speculation (oh, but banging them in for fun in the reserves). I think I’d have ‘family problems’ too if you were constantly over-looked for Showunmi and the drafted-in likes of Vokes and (possibly) Dickov – I think they call it depression and lack of self-esteem. But hey-ho, the lad might still get another look and prove us all wrong (or right).

          As for Robinson, I do wonder if he is on the verge of incrementing into one of those ghastly career-stunting contractual arrangements where either he or his former club get a hefty chunk of cash owed to them if he happens to step on a football field in a Leeds United first team kit. It’s the only reason I can think of that might justify we he hasn’t at least had one run-out during our recent blip(s) and chaotic fixture backlog resulting from cup exploits. I don’t know how long he’s got left on his contract – presumably more than a year, or else they’d have opted for one of those expensive mutual consent agreements in January – but you’re more likely to get a club swoop in for him and alleviate your ailing wage bill if you actually play the guy once in a while in the first team. Otherwise, just like many of our fans, you’d have to wonder what is the issue with him and his fitness/temperament/commitment/transfer value?

          • Craig

            Some fair comments here but I think Kandol genuinely surprised Grayson with his hunger after returning from loan and he seemed to be on his way back into the frame when the injury happened. Let’s face it, which of us before Christmas would have interrupted the Beckford/Becchio partnership?

          • Craig

            Sorry – pressed submit too early… I agree that the Robinson issue is an enigma. For some reason he has always flattered to deceive in a Leeds shirt and maybe there is a contractual issue behind this.

    • Fuck all by the looks of it. I’m not happy

  • Craig

    I truly don’t know what to think about this ‘story’. I have never seen Dickov play but do recall his name appearing frequently in the list of scorers over many years so he clearly has ability – even if that is mixed with some aggression. I then wonder if some physicality might be what we need to assert ourselves in some games whilst in this league – just recently a poster commented that Grella was too lightweight/skilful for league one. Then there is Grayson’s eye for players – how many excellent signings, be it loan or permanent, has he made in the last year?

    I say give Grayson the benefit of the doubt, especially since there may be nothing more to the story than extending training facilities to an old colleague.

  • I think Grella is one of our most promising players we have, and I don’t understand why he isn’t getting more opportunity to prove his abilities. I also look forward to seeing Kandol back as he looked impressive when he briefly came back to first team action before his injury and family issues. As for Dickov, he was always a player you’d want in your team, but whether at 37 he’s still got it, only Grayson will know hopefully. Although Simon Grayson gets it right most of the time he has made the odd error in the past. For example, he favoured Volkes over seemingly better players we already had (Grella and Kandol), and he persisted with Enoch far too long at the expense of more worthy players.

  • Arniemar

    Re: Grayson’s eye for players. He has made some good buys, but his record when it comes to loans is patchy to say the least – Dickinson, Trundle and Vokes all come to mind.
    Shame he hasn’t given Tres a few more games this year, although I accept he’s been injured. Yes he’s not the most skilful of players, but he can clearly do a job in this league and gives defences a hard time. Could have done with him on Saturday!
    Continue to be stumped by Grayson ignoring Andy Robinson, a player who always gives 100 per cent and clearly has talent. He’s obviously decided he doesn’t want him so i can only guess they had a fall-out somewhere along the line?
    As for Dickov, it’s clearly a bit of an old pals act and might just be a case of come and train with us while you find a new club. We’ve done it before with other players. It doesn’t mean we are going to sign the guy.

    • ramblinjohn

      Well you say Robinson always gives 100% but, in my experience only for the first 10 minutes. If it doesn’t work out for him he goes missing.

    • Craig

      I’m not sure I’d include Trundle as a mistake – didn’t he get injured for part of his loan period? He is, I think, still playing regularly at a higher level so he must have had something to offer if he’d managed to get a run in the side. The two mistakes you mention are fair comment – but who would’ve predicted that Vokes would have been so disappointing – he had so many people tipping him for great things. I think only two failures is a pretty good record.

  • superhoops

    All comes down to what you think of Grayson’s opinion. He stated clearly that Dickov has an “excellent attitude” and we know from the Beckford saga that Grayson isn’t going to put the player before the team – could it be that a lot of fans are approaching this situation with a bit of prejudice??

    I don’t like the idea of Dickov at Elland Road as he’s frankly a has been, but if nothing else he will be influential to someone like Mike Grella who could certainly do with gaining a diploma from the Paul Dickov Academy of How to be a Horrrible B**tard.

  • timm

    Do we know for sure that Toronto turned him down & not the other way round? I read that they had an offer on the table for him? Grayson will only sign him if he thinks he can do a job for us, even if that job is on the training ground. I’ve never thought of Dickov as a thug, just an accomplished striker who can handle himself & i repeat what i’ve said on here before, when Thierry Henry was asked which Premiership striker he’d learnt most from watching, the reply was Paul Dickov! In Larry we trust.

    • Dje

      That Thierry Henry quote is so bizarre that it just has to be believable. Although something could have been lost in translation and he might have only been referring to Dickov’s masterful technique in throwing aside any moral doubts in opting to handball once in a while.

      • Craig

        LOL!

  • Mikelufc

    Personally I am more than a bit tired of Larry and his ignoring players we have already on the books while casting his net out for players nobody wants.
    He shows lack of judgement when he insists on playing just his favourites and ignoring the likes of Robinson and Kandol and not utilising Grella more and as for getting rid of Prutts…. well words fail me. That decision will come back to haunt us.

    I am not suggesting we get rid of Larry now, but if more critisism was voiced he might just hear of it and take notice.
    At the moment all he gets to hear is how much we all trust him……
    Well the fact is that there are clearly better managers in this League such as Lambert at Norwich who is showing more ambition and it is paying off.
    Colchester too are hard on our heels waiting for us to keep slipping up.
    There is no reason to panic yet but we have to start turning things around now.

    • ramblinjohn

      “I’m not saying we get rid of Larry now but…”

      Are you on something?

      • timm

        Lambert inherited a bloody good team! Grayson inherited a lot of lower league journeymen.It seems to me that now the Beckford thing’s gone away it’s time for some people to pick on someone else, ie, Grayson! SG along with Lambert & Mark Robbins at Barnsley is one of the best young managers in the country. We can’t match Norwich for wages & they’ve kept a Championship team which was only relegated due to the inept managing of Bryan Gunn (similar to John Barnes but worse!). Let SG wheel & deal us out of this league & then watch us fly in the CCC.

        • Dje

          I’m not sure it’s really a case of picking on Larry. As you say, he is a young manager so it is still to be expected that he’s got to learn as he goes and meet new challenges when they arise.

          Limitations on the wage bill and in the transfer market are out of his hands, but it would be nice to see him use the squad a bit more rather than jumping for loanee and free transfers every time we have a minor blip or injury to key personal.

          And his post-match readings of some of our poorest performances do seem a little erratic to say the least. But then that might just be the disadvantage of the view from the dug out.

          Having said this, I reckon we’ll win comfortably tonight and there is a reasonable chance that in three games time there could be a considerable points difference between us and Charlton and Colchester. That should quell the nerves a little a silence the doubting (least for a while).

          I am less confident about us ‘flying’ in the CCC, mind – but one step and at a time.

          • timm

            Regarding my ‘watch us fly in the CCC’ comment, i’m just trying to build up a bit of enthusiasm. The fact is i’ve become so disillusioned with the Premiership & the ridiculous wages being paid by clubs which are on the brink of going out of business, i’d be more than happy to spend a few years in the CCC.There’s some very good teams in there.

    • Craig

      Are you Grumpy Old Man in disguise?

      • Grumpy Older Man

        No he is not, my position is we stick with Grayson come what may and no point having another manager until the day Bates departs this mortel coil….However that is not the same as the sickly IGWT crap!

  • Ian McShane

    Jason Roberts’ name has also been thrown into the Leeds Utd hat,now he could really do a job for us I think.I remember watching Paul Dickov many times in the past and thought he was a consummate player,although that was “in the past”,well at least 2 years ago.
    What we really need is the mustard crunchers from carrion crow to drop points,with us Of course picking up points,it’s all academic.
    M.O.T.!

  • Mikelufc

    Are you just rambling again John?

    What I said was
    “I am not suggesting we get rid of Larry now, but if more critisism was voiced he might just hear of it and take notice.”

    Dont shorten it and take it out of context.

    • ramblinjohn

      Fair enough, but is it even worth raising it with the word “now” at the end? I’m sure Grayson has a lot to learn but he would, I’m sure, know what the problems were at the walsall game without hearing a dickiebird from the crowd. I think for once it’s the players that really are to blame mainly – and they deserved the good booing they got on Tuesday. It might sound too simple but I think they need to relax a bit, beleive in themselves and THINK a bit more – Gradel especially

      Always ramblin

  • Choppers

    Paul Dickov is going to happen I think, but its the wrong thing for this club.

    We do not need to mix it up by throwing a thug into the box. We play best with the ball at feet.

    Also when White came on at Orient, he got his head down and started running the ball into the box. I know Larry is taking it easy with the lad, but I would like to see him have a go on the wing tonight, against some old tired legs. Maybe start white on the left and bring Gradel on. Of course this is if Beckford isn’t playing

    I thought we were excellent at Orient. All the while everyone could sense they would score if we didn’t and then the inevitable happened. Until then we defended well so I dont think the defence needs to be changed.

    Maybe Doyle and Kilkenny in the middle again.

    • Craig

      Yes… I would love to see White played from the start to see what he can bring to the party.

  • Couldn’t agree with you more TSS. Time to show a bit more faith in people like Grella or look for decent loan signings. Dickov *sigh* – what’s the point!? I do question the loss of Prutton, he seems to be doing ok at Colchester

    • Craig

      But Colchester have a smaller squad… Prutton would probably do OK for us too but you can only play 11 players at any one time and Grayson, rightly or wrongly, believes he has half a dozen players in his squad who are BETTER than Prutton.

    • Craig

      I meant ‘half-a-dozen midfielders’.

  • Mikelufc

    Simon Grayson is still hopeful that Leeds will be able to sign experienced striker Paul Dickov before the end of the season – despite FIFA blocking the move.

    Currently players can represent a maximum of two clubs in one season in the same country and the 37-year-old has already played for Championship sides Leicester and Derby.

    Dickov trained with the Yorkshire side last week and will return for a second time later this week after a short spell on trial with MLS side Toronto FC in their training camp in Florida.

    Leeds boss Simon Grayson said: “We are trying to investigate a way round it. I won’t say it will definitely happen but he looked fit and lively in training. He has gone to America and will have a look but he will be back with us on Wednesday or Thursday. We can then see where we are with FIFA and UEFA.”

    Grayson added: “He is a player I like – he has played for me before and I want competition for places.
    Oh! Really? Since when Larry?

    • Dje

      You can only play for two clubs in one season in the same country – why? Seriously, who makes these rules up! Only in football would you find such nonsense. Can you imagine it happening in the ‘real world’.

      “I’m sorry Sammy, but we’ve had to give up our home and we’re going to go and live with Nan for a while.”

      “How come, Mummy?”

      “Well, Daddy was an accountant but he got promised this great opportunity for this firm but shortly after joining them there were lots of lay-offs after a contract didn’t get renewed. It was a case of ‘last in, first out’ so Daddy got the boot. He would have been fine and just got another job, only the rules are that you can only work for two English accountancy firms in the same year. So he’s washing cars for cash in Tesco’s car park for the next few months and we just couldn’t pay the mortgage”.

      “Argh, poor Daddy”.

      “Yes, poor Daddy. Oh well, nevermind, at least our Toyota sparkles these days.”

      • Craig

        That’s when it isn’t accelerating wildly and refusing to apply the brakes!

  • stevenlufc

    Maybe he’ll have the same effect that Dougie Freedman had a couple of seasons ago, giving us a bit extra going into the last furlong of the season.

    • Dje

      Call me a cynic, but I really can’t see FIFA moving the goalposts of their own absurd rulings for the likes of us.

      • timm

        Don’t be too sure about that. Yeovil signed Arron Davies this season when he’d already played for Forest & Brighton

        • Dje

          I’ll temporarily swallow my cynicism then. I reckon they’ll have to change the rules soon anyway, what with Portsmouth (and no doubt others to follow) on the verge of going bust. It’d seem harsh to hold it against 20+ players for having played already this season for one club considering it(‘ll) no longer exist.

          On another note, has anyone heard anything recently about that rumour (*cough* legally blocked newspaper article) that was knocking about a month or so ago about Norwich being £30m in debt? …. No smoke without fire, rada rada rada.

          • Craig

            Norwich sent a strongly worded solicitor’s letter to the newspaper demanding a retraction + apology or a law suit.

    • timm

      Exactly!! I don’t think Grayson’s the type to give a job to someone just because he’s an old mate.I think our lovely chairman might have something to say about that?

  • Matt bb

    For me dickov is a disastrous waste of time and money for leeds, lee hughes well i could understand, but we already have mcsheffrey, beckford, becchio and snodgrass, not forgetting kandol if between them they cant score goals something is amiss. We have a bizarre fascination with past their sell by date players, and it hardly ever works, except dougie freedman, think alan thompson, tore andre flo… Dickov isnt 1% as good as they were. For gods sake SG, If there is money in the pot for loan signings get a right back, and a midfield general.

  • Matt bb

    By the way i dont rate grella he needs to go on loan before he gets a run in the first team, he is skillful, but then a lot of young kids can be, grit matters as well.

  • TheReaper08

    Oh dear TSS I normally respect your posts but some of the above is total drivel, I refer in particular to your opinons on American sports and in particular the MLS. I am a very regular visitor to the US and I can only presume you watched a game some time ago. The crowds and quality have increased/improved significantly,so much in fact that one of there very own (Donovan)can slip unnoticed into the Prem and with a positive effect.

    Also as I have said numerous times before there is nothing whatsoever we could have done to sign Barnard, like it or not I know this to be fact. He is not exactly pulling up tree’s at the Saints either as so often happens with players which thrive in a smaller less pressurised environment.

    Lastly and I want to make this clear signing Dickov is desperate at best,however he turned down Toronto previously and only went back out there due to a change in management. There is nothing this time to say he hasn’t just turned them down again.

  • TheReaper08

    Also Grella was retained by Toronto but he chose to try his luck abroad,he is completely untested in the MLS having only played at college level.

  • Colin

    If Leeds do sign Dickov then it smacks of desparation and I think it makes SG look quite poor.
    I’m pretty sure (even if he signed on a pay per game deal) he’d be getting paid more than Grella. What sort of sign does that send out to the Leeds players??
    The problems are shown by so much chopping and changing. I hate to say it, but this smells a little bit like the last few months of Dennis Wise’s reign, when things also started to slip.

    Either way, Dickov won’t help the fact that the problem is the defence (and not Casper). Naylor, to be frank, is currently dreadful and has been for a few games. And why you drop Howson, who okay has his good and bad games but he always puts in a shift. It’s madness. SG drops Doyle, Howson, subs Snodgrass, but keeps Bradley Johnson who is also in really poor form.

    I reckon all this is backed up by tonight’s Walsall defeat at home. Walsall previously won 1 game in 10.

    http://www.disappointed.com

    • TheReaper08

      Well said Colin although as I said the other day Naylor can’t be criticised as he is a life long Leeds fan so is therfore immune from flak. Try directing your disappointment at Lowry, he is not from Leeds and as far as I can tell has never expressed his unbridled love for the club.

      Tonight regardless of performance or if the goal was or wasn’t was a disgrace, end of.

    • Craig

      Oh how I love sites like this – one person praises a manager for sticking with a winning formation even though not every player in that team will play a blinder every week and another is so quick to shout for players to be dropped after a bad game in favour of another who may have blasted a few goals in a reserve game the previous week or be a promising product of the academy.

      It seems to me that our gut responses are all too often blind to facts the manager knows and we don’t – some players thrive on confidence, others will be busting a gut on the training field to improve an aspect of their game and the manager judges that they aren’t far from translating that effort into an improved performance. Then there’s the need to give a new player a run in order for him to become accustomed to the strengths and weaknesses of his teamates and the patterns the team is used to playing. We are also unaware of players that may have dropped a hint to the manager that they are tiring etc. etc.

      Oh how easy it is to be a football manager!

    • Craig

      And don’t forget that wages in football don’t reflect talent but the number of times a player has managed to secure a pay rise in the past – whether due to a new contract or a club move. Thanks to Jimmy Hill clubs are not able to play a player what they feel he is worth unless that player is willing to take a wage cut or another club pays part of his salary.

  • Colin

    Cheers Reaper. But I don’t mind, I’ll take the flak for criticising Naylor. We’ve had a lot of Leeds through and through lads (remember Alan Smith??), but I reckon being Leeds is all about the level of determination you have and having the skill to back it up. Snodgrass, Howson, Andy Hughes, Kisnorbo like Radebe, Matteo, Kelly, Strachan, Bowyer. That’s Leeds. It doesn’t matter where you’re born.

    Naylor just isn’t cutting the mustard and I think it’s a soft touch giving him the armband, because he’s Leeds blah blah blah. He’s really Mr.Ipswich Town 1995–2009, 324 appearances, 38 goals. And he was released by them because he wasn’t good enough.

    Leeds is Naylor’s last pay day.

    I can understand a Leeds lad like Howson getting the armband, but I don’t accept any sentimentality towards a bloke who spent his best years (14 of them) at Ipswich (with a few loan spells).

    For me, I’d make Snodgrass the Leeds captain.

    He’s not a patch on Lucas Radebe, a real Leeds man, even though he was from South Africa.

    Richard Naylor is 33 in a couple of weeks time, is slow, and just an old fashioned defenfer who likes to get stuck in and tackle hard. A quality defender he is not. And I fear he will only get weaker. Yet he’s the Leeds captain. If Leeds do get promoted to CCC, I’d seriously doubt he’d get a game.

    • ramblinjohn

      Need a bit of balance with Naylor here. He was pretty good when he came but remember we had a joke defence under Macca so he wasnt quite as good as was sometimes made out. Now he’s been crocked for a while and maybe he wont get back to where he was – Kis has been fantastic but we need a loanee in with some rep to play with him – and Kis might struggle with fitness anyway

      • Craig

        Maybe that’s why we had some trialist defenders in the reserve squad last week. What happened to Rui?

  • Colin

    Just to claify, when I said “He’s not a patch on Lucas Radebe” I meant Naylor, not Snodgrass.

  • timm

    Tonight was a total disgrace! Beckford nowhere near match fit, Naylor a disgrace, Johnson thinking all he has to do is turn up & Mcsheffrey just dreadful. The next 6 weeks will tell us a lot about this team & our manager. My big worry is that Grayson’s lost his way a bit & doesn’t know his best 11. Any team coming to Elland Rd & working hard is going to get something & that’s just not acceptable.

  • David N.I.

    Altogether now “we’re shite and we know we are”. This has been coming i’ll say it again actually being a good player[s] and thinking you are a good player[s]is not the same thing. Larry had his chance when the window was open and failed. Bad decision against us or not we should not have to worry about that, no disrespect but this should have been a safe three points. We are not going up if we fall into the play offs. Shame on our players die for the shirt or FECK OFF or win get paid draw get half loose get feck all pay, bet we start winning a few.

    David N.I.

    • Colin

      David, don’t be bitter that SG didn’t sign you. We all know that if you’d have signed we really healy could have done with your goals.

      • David N.I.

        What are you on about Colin??? As for we healy could be doing with him, not a chance worse than what we allhealy have by a country mile. We are in diffs and if you can’t see it GOD help us, wonder would he sign as he’s about the right age.

        David N.I.

        • Craig

          I think you missed the joke David. The clue is in the ‘really healy’.

          • David N.I.

            Craig read my answer, think I got it ok.

          • Craig

            As I read it, Colin was suggesting that YOU are David Healy (David N.I)

  • Mikelufc

    It is easy to blame the players for not performing but what do all the players have in common?
    The manager, The training staff and the dressing room.
    The buck stops with Simon Grayson.
    The fact that he is even considering Dickov is proof that he is desperate.

    This here is just a bit of fun but it does make you wonder if this is not a bit like our present training sessions

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBRVATRMFuY

    • Craig

      Brilliant video… but it hardly illustrates your point – and, to be frank, your point is pants. The buck may stop with Grayson, in that it is he who gets the sack if things go totally pear-shaped, but the manager can’t kick every ball on the pitch or whisper into every player’s ear for every second of the game.

      It is clear from the way Grayson re-organises after half time and the way he uses substitutions that he has a plan in his head for each game and is not tactically naive. It is also clear from his post-match reactions that, whilst he isn’t a manager who risks losing his players’ respect by rubbishing them in public, whenever there is a poor performance on the pitch it is because the players fell below the standards he requires and he can tell you what their failings were.

      This doesn’t make me a blind IGWT-merchant as GOM might suggest but I have noticed over the last year that Grayson is an intelligent manager who, whilst still learning his trade, is probably the brightest hope we have had since Wilko. He may have much learning still to do but I am confident that he has what it takes to be a great manager – whether he does or not only time will tell but he does need time.

  • Mikelufc

    What you say may be true about Larry being a great manager in the future but he has a deal to learn first.
    He needs to stop playing favourites and shutting out other perfectly good players for whatever reason he has.
    He needs to remember the impact DOL made when he decided to play the youth that the previous manager had ignored.
    What has Kandol done wrong? What did Prutton do wrong, what has Robinson done wrong…………
    It may be coincidence but we were on a winning streak with Howson skipper and Naylor injured.
    Finally,It is the managers job to prepare the team in every way and when the entire team dont turn up I can see only 1 reason.
    Larry did not do his job well and it is time he started looking at himself and his decisions, he is the only person who can change things.

    • TheReaper08

      Kando rather petulantly got himself sent off having forced his way back into the first team. Since then he has had injury and personal issues to contend with.

      Prutton did nothing wrong,he was a model pro and just wanted to play, for whatever reason SG didn’tplay him so he reluctantly left. A mistake in most of our opinions.

      Robinson is believed to be a bit of a bad egg. It is rumoured that he is the player SG was referring to when he said ‘some players here would rather go shopping on a Saturday than play football’. He has had opportunities to go on loan but would rather play with the ressies and pocket what is believed to be one ofthe higher salary’s at ER.

      • TheReaper08

        Apologies on the above,the keys on my laptop are knackered so I am often missing letters and spaces, it should of course be ‘Kandol’ & ‘didn’t play him’.

    • Craig

      OK, consider the counter arguments. How many knowledgeable football pundits favour squad rotation as a tactic? It simply demoralises players, confuses players (footballers are hardly known for their intelligence) and leads to chaos.

      DOL blooded a number of new players who were on the fringe of the squad. That was then and this is now – I may think White and Grella are worth more of a chance but we don’t have the talent waiting to come into the squad in the numbers O’Leary knew were there – and as Assistant Manager he had time to get to see the youth regularly and assess them before taking over from George Graham. DOL took a calculated risk and it came off. The way of getting out of this division is not by playing youngsters, who may well be talented but are probably not hardened enough to muscle our way out of this division.

      The Reaper has commented on the three players you mention. Looking at the teamsheet I can’t think who I’d leave out to put any of these three in. OK a player may have a bad game and you might argue in hindsight that Kandol, Prutton or Robinson would have done better but how can you be sure? Grayson sees them all train.

    • Craig

      As for the entire team not turning up, there are two teams in every game and sometimes an opposing manager’s tactics come off. As I read it we battered Orient but missed Becks up front and Walsall won by a dodgy goal.

    • ramblinjohn

      Your point about Kandol doesn’t fit the facts Mike – he’s been injured, had “family” trouble and was given a chance by Grayson and got hisself bloody match ban. What was wrong with Prutton? Nothing, he was just a nice lad who was a pretty average player to be honest. As for Robinson, I never saw him play well in a Leeds shirt for more than 10 minutes in a row. Whatever you think about Grayson, every team he’s picked for the last 5 games should have won their games easily – what have they got in common? Not Larry – they’re working hard but not smart.

  • Joe Black

    Since the beginning of 2010, by my calculations, we have won 6 points out of a possible 21 in League 1. During the same period we have played 5 cup ties, FA & JPT going full belt in these competitions to gain some glory with more or less the same players playing regularly in the League & Cups. This has been gone over before but it seems to me that Grayson must be to blame to a certain extent in not giving priority to getting promotion and thus giving more first team players a rest during the cup ties. In this sense he has surely showed himself to be either naive or a would be cup glory headline grabber.
    If you compare the period before the OT win it was so good that a case could almost be made for our not needing any additions to the squad in January, until Grayson got his priorities wrong!

    • Craig

      Isn’t hindsight a wonderful thing? Which of us would truly have been delighted with a second team getting battered at Old Trafford? Leeds fans want it all and Grayson is no different to the rest of us.

    • ramblinjohn

      That’s a really crap argument Joe – sorry! The Man U result should have done wonders for the players and getting stuffed certainly wouldn’t’ve

  • MikeLufc

    Still Rambling John!
    It is not a crap argument at all.
    Grayson stated that promoyion was paramount.
    Yet still fields his best team instead of resting the key players.
    Will you be happy to still be in Leagues 1 able to say we beat Manure??
    I would prefer we had been stuffed and still be 6 points clear.

    • Joe Black

      I’ll go along with that MikeLufc.It seems Ramblinjohn would rather we get stuffed by Exeter, Swindon or walsall which has surely done wonders for the players!

    • Craig

      That argument is all very well if it is a straightforward and predictable trade-off – players who win a game at Old Trafford will automatically lose the next game. But it isn’t. In fact, it should work the other way around. The buzz from that game should rub off to the next league match having tasted a bit of the big time.

      What’s more, both the Man U and Spurs games were Saturday matches and instead of other fixtures, not in addition to them. If they were both Tuesday night matches your argument might stand up to scrutiny.

      • Joe Black

        But the buzz didn’t work and don’t forget the League matches missed bacause they were playing in the Cup on Saturdays have to be made up and they become the Tuesday night matches. Just look at the fixture congestion we have had so far in 2010 and we still have games to make up.

        • Craig

          Fair point – but you are moving the goal posts. At the point we hit our bad patch those matches were still in the future – so at that stage we were not playing more matches than anyone else. My point still stands that winning against Man U does not automatically result in losses against Exeter etc.

  • MikeLufc

    I think your point about getting a buzz following the Manure match is valid, It should work that way.
    But the realpoint is that as many of our top players should have been resting to concentrate what is REALLY important, League games and promotion.
    Even winning the FA cup is not anywhere as good as getting out of this shitty League.
    Larry might understand that at the end of the season of he is looking for a job.

    • ramblinjohn

      Well I can see what you’re saying in one sense but, as far as I can see, all the key midfielders have been rested at one time or another and he hasn’t been able to rest defenders cos of injury. Up front we lack a convincing partner for beckford when Becchio has had injury problems, making it even harder to leave Becks out when he’s more or less fit. Where I do think you’re right is that we should have put the kids out for the JPT – a complete waste of time. But maybe it’s not so much tiredness as just not thinking smart in the final third – we still create plenty of chances but it’s the final ball – that’s not tiredness that’s just being thick

      • Craig

        Exactly. A squad the size of ours should easily be able to compete in the League and at least one cup – for goodness sake, we have been doing it for years! The question is WHICH cup should we have placed most of our attention on? The JPT would have given the fringe players a great opportunity to play for a place in the first team.