Terrace wars – Should Becchio be dropped from the starting XI? TSS March 21, 2010 Leeds United 42 Comments Welcome to a new section on TSS called Terrace Wars. The big debates that go on around Elland Road will be discussed here and put to a vote in the true democratic style our country so truly loves and chairman refuses to consider. First up for debate is Luciano Becchio, a player many think should be dropped in favour of our other strikers. The usual suggested replacement is Mike Grella who has showed flashes of brilliance this season from the subs bench. His team mates rate him as the most skilful player in the side (Jermaine Beckford, Neil Kilkenny, Soccer AM team mates 2010) and many fans believe he should be given an extended run in the team to showcase his ability. Grella isn’t the only contendor though. Paul Dickov is an extremely experienced and consistent (if somewhat dirty) forward that many believe could produce more goals than Luciano Becchio even though he is close to drawing a state pension. Tresor Kandol is also back in contention and has somehow become a bit of a cult hero at Elland Road. Not so long ago he was less popular than Peter Ridsdale, but since he rediscovered his scoring boots in the reserves and while out on loan, there’s been calls to have him returned to the first team. He also does an exceptional moonwalk, which must be taken into consideration. FInally, we come to our newest candidate; Davide Somma. The inexperienced South African is working wonders at struggling Lincoln City and has managed six goals in as many appearences during his loan spell there. Some are suggesting it could be similar to when Jermaine Beckford went on loan to Scunthorpe. Of course, Luciano Becchio has his fans too. A lot of people point to his work rate as a reason he should never be dropped. Some also claim he’s as much to do with how many Beckford scores as the man himself, and that without him, Beckford would struggle. Hardly the most prolific striker, but definitely has his strengths. So, should Luci be dropped from the starting XI? Vote and comment below. Confidence in Neil Warnock? 5 - Total confidence (56%, 929 Votes) 4 - Highly confident (33%, 545 Votes) 3 - Confident (10%, 158 Votes) 2 - Low confidence (1%, 18 Votes) 1 - Extremely low confidence (0%, 2 Votes) 0 - No confidence (0%, 5 Votes) Total Voters: 1,653 Loading ... Kevin O’Connor Always been a fan of Luci and his form has picked up the past month or so. I think it’s too late in the season to make any particularly big changes to the line-up and dropping Becchio would be one of them in my opinion. Henry V Luciano is just getting his match fitness back and should get stronger with each game. He is my No1 here. If he is replaced it has to be with a good header and battler to compliment Jermaine = Tresor Kandol. In this league skill is not enough!! You have to battle for everything!! Paul Dickov should be introduced late on if required. Henry. Dje Other than giving Becchio a genuine rest once in a while, I don’t reckon he’s done anything to warrant being ‘dropped’. Perhaps bring him off earlier – after 60-65 minutes? – and throw the gauntlet down to Dickov, Grella or Kandol and say, “Here you are; half an hour, show us why you should be in the stating line up ahead of Becchio”. Grella rarely gets more than ten minutes on the pitch at the end, when we are already hoofing the ball long to desperately get an equaliser against teams we should have buried long ago. I don’t reckon it’s enough time to adequately compare and contrast the pros and cons of Becchio or ‘A.N. Other’. And if we were to play Somma, I’d prefer to see him replace McSheffrey on the wing rather than Becchio in the centre. [And I take it that it’s a typo on ‘South American’ rather than ‘South African’] TSS “[And I take it that it’s a typo on ‘South American’ rather than ‘South African’]” Ahh for christ sake (lol). That’d be less annoying had I not done it on previous posts already! Dje I reckon Somma might prefer to be considered a South American footballer rather than a South African footballer – better football lineage and all. Having said this, Becchio only ever seems South American through his name and perhaps his willingness to go to ground; although the latter must be the Italian bit of him. Grumpy Older Man *sighs and contemplates his navel* TSS Think the poll results so far show you’re in the majority! Not like you, you feeling comfortable there? Haha Peter Drop our best attacking player since the start of the year? You’re alright thanks Sensible poster Nonsense! No matter how hard he tries hes nowhere near our best attacking player as he doesnt score aywhere near enough goals! He SHOULD be dropped and replaced with someone who can contribute a decent amount of goals. At least then. everytime Beckford hits a rough patch therell be someone else capable of hitting the back of the net and not just running around trying! Dje I’ve no idea who our ‘best attacking player’ is – as you could spend all day arguing over what criteria constitutes measuring a successful ‘attacking player’. Having said this, I agree that goals would be one feature of it, but Becchio aint done too bad this season so far. Yes he had his dry patch after coming back from injury, but he’s got 12 so far this season already with eleven games (plus play-offs if we are unlucky) to go. Considering he has the thankless Heskey role up front – twelve goals is OK; I think Heskey has five this season for Aston Villa and has played more games than Becchio. As to your point about Beckford hitting rough patches, I’d suggest a better answer would be to go to the source of that dilemma: and rest Beckford for a game or two and bring in Kandol, or possibly shift McSheffrey up there. Matt Who do you suggest can do that in our team then? TheReaper08 We haven’t even played this week and we are having a roll up roll up poll on who should be executed from the starting line up (Incidentally I voted no). These debates seem to get earlier and earlier, at least a few weeks back it used to be post match. Ridiculous. TSS Just creating debate Reaper, keep your hair on. It’s a well-balanced discussion and the results (so far) have been heavily in favour of keeping Becchio in the starting XI. Should no player face any scrutiny in your ideal world of football following? The idea of this is to get to the bottom of the suggestions on the terraces. The Becchio/Grella thing has been a constant talking point all season, so it’s interesting to see what percentage of fans want to see a change in the starting line-up. TheReaper08 It has no foundation. What is the debate based upon ? Last game ? The season ? Should we expand it and talk about all of the poor performances we have witnessed ? Should we feed the fire of negativity further and take our desires to the terraces and inturn to the players ? After all it’s not a critical part of the season is it. For the record no I don’t believe anyone is immune from constructive discussion, I do believe however that the autopsy should start after the patient has died. Leeds United as far as I am concerned is still alive and still kicking. TSS The point you’re still missing though Reaper is that this discussion is ripe week in, week out. It’s hardly starting any fires as it was already burning brightly. The journey to every away game so far this season has featured this conversation, whether that be with friends, fellow-supporters or whoever. Maybe it’s added fuel to the fire, but opinion and debate is half the joy of football. What would we talk about in the pub otherwise? Whatever your feelings, the poll and replies have been pretty positive in my mind and should be seen as a fitting tribute to Becchio’s contribution thus far, but that doesn’t mean he should ever be immune from criticism or challenged for his position. Everyone makes mistakes and there’s always room for improvement. The best teams don’t stop improving because they’ve reached the top. Perhaps that’s been our problem this season? We reached the top and rested on our laurels. Whilst Norwich and Southampton built upon an already solid foundation, we sat back and relaxed. There’s hardly been a fight for places after all. TheReaper08 I don’t think I am missing the point, you see you just don’t get this sort of negativity on the sites of these other teams. Here’s my point, my mates are all Saints fans and after our match they spent ages telling me just how crap Beckford is. When I pointed out he got just as many goals as Rickie Lambert did over two games they proceeded to tear me to shreds,they wouldn’t hear any of it. As far as they were concerened both Lambert and Barnard were gods. Until the weekend Lambert hadn’t scored in 4 games. Do you think that would have happened the other way round ? I say not likely. TSS You get it on every football site mate, but are probably noticing it more on a Leeds site as it’s relevant to you. The Saints fans for example will strenuously defend Lambert in your presence as he’s one of them and you’re the opposition (much the same as you did with Beckford). After the Sold Trafford game, the lad who I go to games with was chatting with one of our Manure “friends” who started slagging Beckford off. Despite the fact my mate had also been slagging Becks off all season, he jumped to his defence and labelled him the new messiah. You wouldn’t believe he’d ever criticised him before to hear him them. (Incidentally, he’s slagging him off again now back amongst the Leeds fans) Debates part and parcel of the game. Every fan wants their team to succeed and will always indentify areas for improvement, just like the manager should too. Look at Scum for example. No matter how many titles they win, my Scum supporting “friends” always have their eye on the next big player. The next man who can improve the team, the one who should be given a chance and as Leeds fans, we’ll always do the same. Personally, I don’t see this as negative towards Becchio at all. I think competition for places is a healthy part of any team. If I’m underperforming at work I know all too well my position would become less secure and that’s what drives me on to deliver the results I do. Chareose valid – points both but as ive said before, your being critical ON A WEBSITE. As much as i beleive in freedom of speech you have to remember that this stuff gets onto the terraces and back to the players. We all do want to get promoted dont we ?? or are we all so inlove with our own misery ? Craig Sorry Reaper but, pretty much for the first time ever, I don’t agree with you. I’m a great fan of Becchio who always gives his all and I think is responsible for his fair share of Beckford’s goals. I’ve been to matches where Beckford had an off-day and Becchio scored the only goal and was delighted to see him get reward for his effort. I don’t see an open discussion on the merits of Becchio/Grella as an ‘autopsy’ in any shape or form – more a discussion on what steps to take for the team to go on to new strengths. Phil If we are dropping attacking options get McSheffery out. His sauntering forward from the halfway line with the ball at his feet when he has the freedom of the park is infuriating, as is his refusal to try to take his man on. Other than scoring a sliced cross at home and going down well for the pen at Tranmere what has he contributed? To top his game off he cannot be bothered coming back to help the left back, he just lets the opposing rightback run past him and double up. The only reason I can think for continuing playing him is we are making a massive contribution towards his wage and Simon is feeling the pressure from above to keep him involved. Bradley Johnson offers so much more to the team. Paul South Wales Good point by Dje. Stick with Becchio, but if ineffective bring him off earlier and give Kandol or another a good half hour to stake their claim for a starting birth. Becchio has after all scored a few lately and deserves to partner Beckford from the off. It may seem ludicrous to some including Larry but Beckford could be brought off occassionally when he’s having a mare. MOT. Kev G Kandol and Grella are injured! Colin TSS – love the site, but sorry this is a stupid debate. Don’t know why you posted it? SG has always said his favourite striking partnership is Beckford and Becchio. Becchio does all the hard stuff and let’s Beckford get on with his goals. Becchio will always start every game as long as he’s fit. Grella and Somma can’t compare to Becchio so I don’t know why you’re putting this out as a debate? SG chooses the team. SG chooses Becchio every time. End of. No debate. TSS Think you’re missing the concept mate. I aren’t saying I’m for or against either scenario. I was putting myself on the fence and putting a continued debate amongst fans, to the fans. My actual opinion on the matter is much the same as the majority. I feel Becchio offers a lot to the team, although must admit his lack of goals has never impressed me. I’d agree with the points raised that Grella, Tres and even Somma should be allowed more first team time (half hour or so) to make their mark and prove they’re worthy of replacing. It’s alright saying Becchio is better than the rest, but what are you basing that on? Faith? It certainly can’t be a like for like comparison, because the lack of squad rotation (most notably in the cup games) has never given us any. My one main worry about Becchio is that he’s become some kind of untouchable cult hero. His work rate – as impressive as it maybe – is often used to defend his weaknesses (ie. lack of goals, lack of arial ability, poor control at times). Leeds fans have a tendancy to favour the underdog, which is seldom a good thing. Becchio becomes the hero, Beckford is hated, yet the latter gets the results. But of course, the latter couldn’t do it without the former (alledgedly) It’s all subjective of course, but that’s the point. We have no real evidence to make accurate comparisons because the others have never had a chance – even when the obvious cup games presented Simon with one. TheReaper08 I do believe that throughout this season we haven’t made anywhere near enough opportunity of rotating players in the squad. The debate of who the best front two are or who can play best together can’t be resolved as we have seen too little of our squad players. I believe there are plus points to all of our forwards (even the much maligned Dickov) if used at certain times and in certain situations. TSS Not sure on Dickov as I hate the bloke passionately, but definitely agree with the rest. timm I hate Liam Gallagher passionately but that doesn’t alter the fact that Definately Maybe is one of the greatest debut albums of all time! Just because you don’t like Dickov it doesn’t alter the fact that he’s had an impressive career. Sgt Wilko got rid of Cantona because he didn’t like him on a personal level & we all know what happened there! Most footballers are big headed greedy arseholes, so we shouldn’t worry about whether or not we like them on a personal level, just whether or not they do the business while they’re playing for us. TSS I’d have to disagree on Definitely Maybe being one of the best albums ever, although will admit it was good. For all it’s merit though, it was hardly ground-breaking or lyrically superior to anyone else. The music wasn’t anything special either. Before I get into an argument I’ve had a million times about how over-rated Oasis are/were, I’ll move back to LUFC. I agree Dickov could theoretically bring something to the team, I just don’t believe he will at his age. My problems with him being at Leeds don’t stem from the contempt I hold for the man, but for the lack of forward thinking the move represented. Bringing in 38-year-old journeymen strikers because he’s a mate is not the kind of signing I’ll ever support. timm Please note i said one of the greatest ‘DEBUT’ albums, everything after was rubbish.It’s very important for me to get that straight as i’m in no way a Oasis fan! Lewis g somma i believe should be sent out on loan again next season (providing were in championship) to a league 1 club, let him gain experience a tier ar a time, next year give grella a go, also kandol is the only one that could replace becchio like for like and has a formed partnership in place, grella would replace the beckford role if im being honest, but with grella the supporting striker would likely get more goals, so instead of a 30-15 ratio youd have probably an even two 20 goals a season strikers. Colin TSS – when I defended Becchio you said “It’s alright saying Becchio is better than the rest, but what are you basing that on? Faith?” You then said in response to someone supporting Dickov: “Not sure on Dickov as I hate the bloke passionately” TSS – what do you base that on? Faith? Come on. We’re 2nd in the league and you’re pushing a debate on beating up our own first team players?!? First Beckford gets the stick, then Casper gets it, then McSheffrey gets it and then Howson gets it. Now Becchio. Now I love Snodgrass but he’s been as ineffectual as Becchio in the last few games. Are you going to have a go at Snoddders as well?? Why does no stick come the way of Naylor, Johnson, Crowe, Hughes, Doyle, Bromby?? As an example, Naylor’s been crap for about 2 months, yet never a bad word said about him. Yet you choose to pick on a guy who has scored 10 goals for Leeds this season and is second top scorer. It’s seriously not fair. TSS I base my Dickov opinion on passionately hating the bloke as I said before. I’m willing to support him in a Leeds shirt mind, but that’ll never change my belief he’s past it and Simon signed him because he’s.a mate Henry V I think the tension is getting to us all!! It is just a poll and debate to while away the hours before the big name! We will not be picking the team, or giving the team talk – thank goodness!! We like Luciano because he gives 100% like Ian Baird!! Simon will decide who plays. Changing the team has been our biggest problem. It has unsettled us I think. Let us hope for a good result Monday night!! Henry. Ralph Again – during this debat e we had a couple saying beckford should be dropped. This really does my head in. Beckford i by far the best striker in the club at the very least. Its time the beckford haters realised that. Hes our top scorer – he proved he could score against the so called big boys. He shouldbe on the pitch 90 minutes every game – it only takes a second to score. Thankfully SG agrees with me also. And the Bechio debate – I think he is probably the 2nd best striker a the club and probably is a good pairing with beckford.Should probably take Bechio off with 20 mins to go if we are not winnning in most games. As for tomorrow. Sooooo important to win. however if we lose or draw it will not be much different than last week with 1 less game to go. Thankfully even Norwich are not being consistant right now. Its a very poor league – and I cant wait to get out of it. Fingers crossed we stutter over the finish line soon. On On On Mark Refardt I really do not want to think about this game as it will be our auto promomotion decider. Is it on TV over there? I just hope that Milwall lose the plot, get a player sent off…. Most of all though, lets score first and within the first 10 minutes and then screw the bastards down. Craig It has been picked up on frequently that the rest of the squad consider Grella to be the most skilful player in the squad and I want to muse on what that really means in the context of a football match in division 3. I used to play 5-a-side football once a week with friends. We decided to pack up organising the match once a group of far more ‘skilful’ lads turned up and pretty much took over. Essentially they were show-offs, always trying the spectacular when the intelligent ball would have been much more effective and blasting trick shots over the fence when a tap-in would have scored. I’m not suggesting that this experience necessarily reflects on Grella at all but I am wondering whether Grayson sees him as a player to use (when fit) when the opposition is tiring until he develops a more rounded game – which he may well be working on in training. I also think he may well be a player who suits a higher division far better once he has matured. Ben Brannan Without Becchio, Beckford cant score. He is lazy and needs someone to do the work for him, so dropping Becchio would effectively stop most of our goals. Becchio isn’t a goal scorer but we need him just as much as we need beckford. They are both equal in there use for the team. I think leave Becchio in the team, drop Beckford, start Grella then maybe someone else doing abit of work on behalf of Becchio he would start to score more goals either way, tonight is a massive match and we need 3points, if we loose Millwall would only be 3points behind us and there next game is Stockport, when ours is Norwich :/ COME ON LEEDS!! Roger the Dodger Not really sure where the call to drop becchio has come from last season he earned rave reviews scoring 19 goals in 56 apps this season he has 12 from 37 hes averaging 1 in 3 in his time here tresor kandol averages 1 in 4, dickov about one in ten since he rejoined man city, even in his pomp at city he was a 1 in 5 man i think grella should have been given more of a look in but it should have been for beckford when he was drawing a blank just recently, the brentford game would have been an ideal time, giving beckford a rest and grella chance so if becchio had been playing badly i could understand your view but hes getting back to fitness, his goal average is pretty much the same and his work rate and strength would be sorely missed in my opinion, plus without his goals recently we would probably be in the play offs not the right time to make a change in my opionion Roger the Dodger Ralph no player should be immune from being dropped we all know beckford is the best striker we also know he has some pretty bad habits the question re beckford relates to what he brings if he doesnt score and if you are honest you will say not very much in most games, although he is heavily marked, we also need to consider that he is likely to be leaving next summer and we need to size up possible replacements such as grella to see if they are going to be good enough Craig It could be said that the fact he is tightly marked is a kind of contribution in itself – holes are left for others to exploit. Roger the Dodger agreed Matt BB the real issue here is our fixture being delayed until Monday. If it hadnt we wouldnt start these sorts of debates off.Lets be honest there are positives and negtives to these debates. It gives us an opportunity to discuss players who arent getting a chance, and yes some players who perhaps need a break. For my part I voted yes, because I think Becchio is an excellent player who has just come back from injury, and seems to have dropped away in the last couple of games. I think we have other options to use, but need to see how he works as an impact substitute, either this or drop him a little deeper than recently so we have someone to aim the ball at whilst beckford picks up the ball from midifled a little better. I would like to see players like Mcsheffrey, Grella and kandol used more in the striking roles, i think we are too predicatble in attack. Cut off Snodgrass and there is no link to midfield, thats how I would play it as a manager. Beckford doesnt fight for the ball, becchio is left alone too often. I believe either my suiggestion about changing it round a little or better still introducing a third striker is the way.