After securing promotion to the Championship (albeit the hard way) Simon Grayson has wasted no time in clearing the deadwood and lining-up some new targets.

If you’re to believe the most popular circulating rumours then Leeds are frontrunners for Ian Harte’s signature and have also offered Norwich’s Darel Russell a better contract than what his current club can come up with.

Firstly, I’m torn on Ian Harte. I always liked him whilst he was at Elland Road (despite his non-existent defensive ability) and have been massively impressed by his goal-scoring record in 09/10. His overall performance when we came up against him earlier in the year wasn’t great, but then, I never expected him to perform miracles at centre-back. It’d definitely be nice to have a natural left-footer on the wing, and his goals would be most welcome. Age is a concern, but if he can do the business then so be it.

Once again, Russell isn’t the headline making transfer I’d hoped for, but he seemed solid enough when we came up against Norwich and should be able to ply his trade in the Championship. Not a young man by any means, but for the year or two I’m hoping it’ll take to get us back to the Prem (ever the optimist) he should suffice.

Although neither of these players have been confirmed as targets by Larry, I suspect there’s an element of truth to them both. They seem to fit the criteria of Ken Bates in that they’ll only need short-term contracts, won’t cost him anything in transfer fees and are a quick and easy way to pave over the cracks. I never expected a big-spending summer, but some evidence we’re looking towards the future would be nice.

Finally, we come to the ‘released and retained‘ list published by the official site earlier this week. The best shot-stopper outside the Premier League (probably) will be leaving us. Casper Ankergren came to Leeds United and instantly won over the fans with some commendable performances and impressive saves. However, his inability to catch or kick the ball grew frustrating and his departure won’t surprise many. That said, I always liked Casper and wish him well.

Rui Marques is perhaps the most surprising released player on the list and his relationship with Simon Grayson has to be questioned. Rui and Kis formed the strongest defensive partnership of the season and looked destined to be first choice. However, an injury to Rui and the return of Naylor saw Marques cast aside and forgotten about. Despite a massive loss of ideas from Nayl’s, he retained his place whilst Rui slipped down the pecking order. Again, I wish him well and he’ll most definitely be missed.

Amongst the others leaving the club are youngsters Andrew Milne and Mike Whitwell who were both touted as potential first team material not so long ago. Simon Grayson’s decision to favour an out-of-place Andy Hughes over the talented Aidy White has often left me questioning his faith in the clubs youth structure, and it’s with that in mind I have to wonder whether that’s a big part of the reason for Milne and Whitwell’s release. Maybe I’m reading too much into it and they simply weren’t good enough? Only time will tell.

Alongside those that have been released are several players who have been instructed to find another club. Andy Robinson, Alan Sheehan, Tresor Kandol and Lubomir Michalik will all be looking for a new home as Larry trims the ‘deadwood’. I’ll always remember Tres for the great moonwalk he pulled on Soccer AM after introducing himself as “TK20 – Subs bench!” None are massive shocks, but all of them have done a service for Leeds United at some point or another and will be remembered for their efforts in trying to turn around a sinking club.

Seeing players leave the club is one of the hardest parts of following a football team. All of the above deserve thanks for their contribution to Leeds United FC over the past few years and I wish them all well. Unfortunately, in any area of life, success often has it’s victims. Football is no different.

All that transfer talk with no mention of Jermaine? A TSS first!

  • Lewis

    I’m actualy quite annoyed about michalik and casper going, michalik first season in championship he did very well, e could also be going to the works cup which if he performs strongly at could if not liked by. Grayson command a decent fee, and Casper Is a bloddy good shot stopper, if So worried Bout kicking get a defender to take goal kicks

    • carl

      Agree Lewis. I also feel the same about Robinson to some extent. He was a very good league one player and chose to stay with Leeds rather than promotion. Yes he likes his food like myself but I think we didn’t get the best out of him.
      Assuming Harte and Russell are the quality of players Leeds are hoping to replace them with I cannot see us realistically challenging for the title next year. Fortunately the teams coming down do not possess the same quality as previous years but with the right players we could actually surprise a few. Mr Bates has a big decision I think.

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  • Dje

    Unfortunately the dead wood is always stripped out before we see the new paneling arrive on the back of the van, so it unavoidably feels like one step back to potentially go two steps forward. Time will tell.

    I’m starting to lose patience with Grayson’s apparent disinterest or distain for our youth team though.

    Seriously, we have all the set-up and years of investment in these kids at Thorp Arch and when has Grayson ever drawn on it? Parker, Delph, and White were all spotted and developed by McAlistair. The conclusion here is that either the young lads are rubbish and just don’t cut it at the top level – in which case why are they always being touted as potential stars of the future, and why do they do fine against the youth teams of Premier League? Or in that odd 7-a-side thing this year in Dubai? – or Grayson just isn’t interested in drawing from them for our first team (and would presumably prefer to bring players in on loan or on a free transfer).

    If it is down to the quality of these lads then I should point out that our ‘real stars’ are endlessly being picked off at the age of 14-16 by Chelsea, Tottenham or even two-bob Everton! I dare say I can’t blame the lads for leaving – the money is better, and they certainly aren’t likely to get any LESS time in the first team as they currently are at Leeds.

    If we are to constantly lose the cream of the youth team to these Premier teams, and Grayson isn’t interested in any player below this level (which I’d argue in former years would have included Milner, Smith and Woodgate), then really why are we bothering with the expensive set-up? Are we really just a baby farm of soccer wannabes to flaunt at Abramovich and Sheik Mansour? Because let’s face it, for all the talk of us still being ‘a sleeping giant’ it’ll certainly cost us more to get young (or old) talent to come and play at Leeds than it would to develop it.

    [Rant Over]

    • LezToomey

      Not quite clear on the point of your rant? Delph moved on and Grayson has, does play and rate both Parker & white? Not sure if you have been to any of the reserve games this season, in which we retained the title by the way, but most of those players were academy players, notably Sanchez Payne/Pain (however its spelt!), who is looking like a great little midfielder, along with others who are starting to step up… but it is a big step, and they need time. The likes of Delph don’t show up every week, and it was a no brainer to play him, as proved by his instant move from league one to the Prem.

      Surely Larry is correct in getting rid of the dead wood, to be replaced by a couple of quality players which should leave enough space for the kids to prove themselves…?

      • Dje

        My point is not that Grayson has an aversion to playing youth/ young players – God we loan in enough of them – but he doesn’t seem to be one to bring the next lot through into the first team.

        – Parker has played for the first team since 2007 under Wise/Poyet, McAllister (and possibly even Blackwell?), so was established in the first team prior to Grayson.

        – White got his break in 2008 four months before Grayson arrived.

        – Delph came from nowhere under the tutelage of McAllister and was sold by Grayson (although Grayson can’t really be blamed here as it seemed inevitable that he would and should go, and just down to the money).

        So who has Grayson brought through from the lower ranks? Is the first team team to good to bring them in? Arguably yes for the first half of the season, very questionable between New Year and April when to be honest most fans were looking anywhere for a sign of something different in the starting XI, and no doubt a tear or two was shed when the loan market door finally closed shut.

        Ultimately it comes down to do the youth players cut it in the end? It is hard to tell once they are released, having never played in the first team. That we got promotion also blurs the picture to. To criticise a team gaining promotion is not the done thing for some reason, but I certainly don’t buy into the ‘In Grayson We Trust bollocks’, as this season he’s shown as many errors of judgement as he has his talents. Ironically those who defend him raise the ‘he’s a young up-and-coming manager, and just needs time’ flag. Considering the thin line with which we crossed to gain promotion (and we could easily have been here today rubbing our heads wondering how we are going to get back on parity against Huddersfield in the second-leg of the playoffs), I think it is beneficial for the club and even Grayson himself to review our player selection process over the last 18 months.

        I saw Milne and Whitwell score against York in the pre-season (not exactly Barcelona, true) and they looked promising then. Who knows, maybe a season turned them into a pair of fat cabbages and the distractions of being a ‘one for the future at Leeds United’ turned their head and they lapped up the plaudits without ever really keeping their head down and sealing that professional contract with Leeds. As is life, as are young kids.

        As to Sanchez Payne and, as someone else scouted out: the Turner brothers, Baxendale and Hatfield. I’m sure they are great players and potentially have great futures, but this is what was said of Whitwell and Milne by the club a year before, or even Hotchkiss and Scott Gardner two years ago – even the club’s website still boasts of them as their future talents! But the aged-old cynic in me starts to get dizzy with the cycle here and wonders if in 12-months time we are here again on TSS mulling over the release of Payne, Baxendale and co.

        Ultimately I hope Grayson proves me wrong, I really do.

    • Kernow

      What’s the point in bringing through young central defenders, who are clearly not going to be fully mature and physically strong enough to cut it at first team level at 18/19 and then just cutting them loose after six years in the academy? I’m sure some of us saw Milne at York where he scored on his debut, but then what? No youngsters playing in the Tin Pot Trophy that proved such a drain on first team players. Makes no sense to me.
      Why not give the young lads a year to reach maturity, farm them out on loan to gain experience – then if they don’t make the Championship grade, sell them on for a fee? Makes sense to me. Why blow money paying the wages of a has-been striker we never played and didn’t bring anything. This is one area where Grayson isn’t on the ball.

  • Paul South Wales

    Ian Harte? NO thanks he had his time at Leeds and although he’s had a decent season at Carlisle there’s no way he’s championship material. I hope we’re not going down the road of players in their thirties again. We need fresh hungry players who already play in the CCC or who can’t quite get in their premiership sides. If we don’t spend some money on such players we’re in for a rough ride come next season!

    • spanish white

      Paul South Wales
      I’m glad someone feels the same as me.

  • Paul South Wales

    Oh and Michalik was absolute cod shit, pity about Robinson though.

  • RoystonLeeds

    Hey, one thing about these youth policy comments. It’s only through injury that Ben Parker hasn’t played a full season. Larry is only going to pick the team that he thinks will win the game. And we’re promoted – remember? There’s no place for sentimentality here. Beckford and Snodgrass were not part of our youth policy.
    I get worried when people talk about tight-fisted Ken – maybe it’s because I remember loose-fisted Ridsdale. It’s worth remembering that Wilko screwed up when he started throwing money around – Lee Sharpe, Tomas Brolin, etc; similarly with O’Leary – Fowler, Johnson, (endless list…).
    I’d rather get back the hard way – no matter how long it takes – like we did with the likes of Sterland, Strachan et al. I don’t want us to become another Scumchester or Chelski.
    As far as I’m concerned, Ken Bates has rescued this club and he’s a sharp businessman, and that’s what we need; the last thing we need is another Krasner, Ridsdale, all-those-other-tossers…
    If we want to hold onto our youth players we have to be successful. And that doesn’t mean throwing money around or slagging off Ken – it means making ruthless decisions for the benefit of the club (which is how it’s always been – or should have). Even if we stay in the second division for a while, we’re still the best fans in the land and we’ll live and die for Leeds. I don’t give a toss if we never join the prawn-munchers’ echelon: we are Leeds and no-one else can ever make that claim.

    • timm

      Best thing i’ve read on here for ages RoystonLeeds. Never again must we let our club get into that situation. I hope you’ll keep posting on here mate, as there are only a tiny minority of us that subscribe to this view. I don’t mind watching players who are paid realistic wages & who weren’t paid for with borrowed money, at least it makes me feel like my season ticket money actually makes a difference. Anything above the relegation zone will do for me next season.

    • LezToomey

      Well said that man, amazing some of the nonsense that is posted on this site…. and yet i still read?

      • Chareose

        erm hate to point out but Russell isnt fit to lick Strachens boots so the amount of apparant ambition shown NOW as compared to Wilco is completely different. Wilco fostered the youth system and got lucky and he did splash the cash on strachen and Mcalister. I really dont see us finding two gems like that now…..

        • Chareose

          and apparantly Grayson would rather find old past it hasbeens…. god help us

  • number1inyorkshire

    i hope grayason doesnt buy harte cos he scored 18 goals he hasnt before and will not again ,we have all mentioned legs at some point and on here and at 32/3 will he be better than hughes to deal with championship attackers no is my answer ?? there are 1 or 2 at thorp arch but that seems to have dried up WHAT DO WE PAY GWYNNE WILLIAMS FOR ??? i would, and i know the reserves is used for match time after injuries etc leave the reserves for the thorp arch lot to get reasonable games in against semi decent opposition .just my thought i think sheehan has had a good time away from elland road would he be worth keeping the rest on the let go list are fine with me as everyone has said casper has been unlucky ,for football reasons only i would add hughes and crowe to the list .russel and monygomery will be great additions paynter and austin would be good .hooper .the keeper at coventry i hope we dont trawl other peoples let go list to replace our own bates has had an average of 25000 peoples money to spend and a cup run and jpt and delph money coming through now to spend on some players .he has to for our own sanity be seen to spend some of that otherwise what is he doing with our money he has said “if the fans want a good team they will have to pay for it” well ,we are so serve us up some players SPEND SOME OF OUR DOSH ON OUR TEAM

  • TheReaper08

    Would also like to point out that it’s silly season and we are a big club, all sorts of rubbish is going to be linked to us over the next few months as agents invent interest for there ‘client’.

    You will usually find that the linked players are out of contract and the agent needs to generate interest.

    • TSS

      Yep, very true Reaper. I always try to be cautious when discussing these rumours (which is why I started with ‘If you’re to believe…’) We’re in the unfortunate position of needing a lot of new players so the papers and agents will be having a field-day for the next few months.

      • TheReaper08

        I wasn’t knocking you TSS or your article, on the contrary I appreciate you know the score on these things.

        What do you think of this though. I think if those kids were good enough they would have been included in the first team. If Ken got wind that we were paying good money to loan players etc. when there was good young talent to play already at the club Simon would have been given his marching orders by now.

        • TSS

          Not sure but I’m leaning towards the managers approach rather than a seismic shift in our ability to produce youngsters. Some managers have the bottle to play the kids (O’Leary, McAllister) whilst others don’t, and I’m afraid Larry seems to be of the latter (as it stands).

          Admittedly, I don’t see enough of the youth team to really pass judgement on quality, but I’m reasonably well-informed from those that do and they tell me we’re still producing quality youngsters, but they aren’t getting the breaks.

          It certainly seems that in terms of results, the youth team is as successful as it’s always been, so to not utilise it seems madness? This season for example. Larry has played out-of-place players at left-back rather than give one of the kids a run and brought in past-it has-been’s like Dickov or below-par players like Capaldi rather than give Grella/Somma/White et al a run.

          You have to conclude it’s Grayson rather than the efforts at Thorp Arch surely?

          • LezToomey

            Seriously, you think that Macalister was “brave’ to play Delph or even Parker? brave? are you sure… The best specialist left back at the club and a player that this year played for a prem team in Europe… yep well done Macca, really brave that. genius, how did he spot such talent?

          • Pete

            Gary Mac was brave enough to give Aidy White his bow and brave enough to give Delph a chance – nobody doubted the talent, but until he was on the pitch, we didn’t know what his temprament would be like. We were fortunate that he took to the first team instantly and was usually the best player on the park.

  • Jordy P

    Hey TSS, Firstly I’d like to say this blog/site/post is amazing, very up to date and with a very rounded opinion, no biast nonsense and the rest of it! I was just wondering has anyone heard anything at all about the likely hood of us signing a certain Mr Gary Hooper and/or Mr Billy Sharp??? I haven’t read or heard anything for a while and tbh with a Beckford exit looking likely Im worried were not going to fill the hole. I agree the defence needs sorting (however Kisnorbo should hack it easily at the championship and possible premiership level when hes back)but should’nt filling our impending striking hole be first for Serg. Grayson? Just wondering what you or anyone else may have heard, thanks :)

    • TSS

      Hi Jordy, cheers for the comments.

      I’ve been rattling on about Gary Hooper for so long now, I reckon I’ve started to bore most of the regulars, but he must be considered a priority. His age is ideal, his ability unquestionable and he admitted he’d come to Leeds when previously linked. An ideal replacement for Beckford in my opinion.

      • yorkslufc

        gary hooper is PERFECT FOR LEEDS never mind the expense buy him now and montgomery

      • Jordy P

        I agree, massively. Im a huge Beckford fan in terms of the whole is he isnt he argument with commitment, ability and so on so forth and I do feel personally the team would miss him if not the goals, So like you say Hooper is a dream signing if we decided to splash the cash. Regarding the Harte thing Im of split decision too, I mean a defender who can score is surely a big bonus never mind him being an ex-player. But his age is a concern. Who knows, only time will tell I guess unfortunatly

      • TheReaper08

        I’m not bored. Sign him up, sign him up, sign him up……

        • TSS

          Well in that case; I don’t think the expense would be as much as some think. He only has a year left on his contract, and if he wants to leave and Leeds is where he wants to play, Scunthorpe will be in an unfortunate position.

          • Jordy P

            I hope your right tbh Im preying on the following rumours being reality; Sharp, Hooper, Morgan (Sheff Utd), Montgomery, Ward (Sheff Utd), Schimichael (although wages sound a bit difficult with him)and then perhaps Harte if not for the fact he is a left-footer but at least someone who still possesses a deadly freekick most of the time.

          • Pete

            Hooper, Sharp, Montgomery must be top priority.

            Alex Bruce might not be a bad shout, yes his dad was captain of Scumchester for a while but he looked decent at Leicester…

            Joe Lewis for goalkeeper, no point going for that kid from Arsenal because he’s their future number 1 and we shouldn’t rely on loans.

            Andy King makes Leicester tick, he might cost a bit but he’s easily premiership class, no doubt about it…worth a go maybe?

            Michael Brown from Pompey would be available on the cheap, but his wages would be high. Would certainly add some bite to the midfield, and he can get goals too.

  • Side Before Self

    I remember having a conversation before the bristol game about who we’d let go when we got promoted, and larry’s list isn’t too far away from what we’d come up with. Casper was a surprise as he’s a decent keeper to have as back up. Only thing i can think as a reason is larry’s hunting for a new number one stopper. Am saddened about marques coz i liked the fella but i felt it was coming, coz larry had no faith in him. As far as our youth policy goes from what ive heard Milne wasnt much cop at darlington and the other youth players didnt perform very well in the reserves from what i saw. Neil thompson has faith in some of the youth players, the turner brothers, payne, baxendale and hatfield feature regularly for the reserves and am sure when they start to shine larry will phase them into the first team

    • TSS

      Hope you’re right SBS, but I remember when we got relegated we all pointed to the youth as our saviours. The longer it they linger in the reserves without a shot at the first team, the more concerned I’ll become.

      • Jonhboy

        Hey, don’t forget all our decent youths jumped ship when we got relegated.
        Woods, rose, taiwo, garbett, delph, hird.
        Add howson, Parker and White to that list and there a basis of a very good league one team.
        No youth system can afford to shed so many.
        On White and Parker, both have had their chances, just very injury prone. White will come good when he gets over the cramp problem. Grayson has no fear about playing youngsters when they are good enough. Eg, lowrey, gradel, howson, White, delph, Parker, watt.

        I think our next set of decent youths are not quite ready yet, and when they are, they’ll get their chance.

        • Kernow

          Not all the decent players did jump ship, but our present youth policy doesn’t encourage good players to stay. If we don’t blood youngsters in cup games and get a few on the bench, then they’ll move on. You have to remember most of these lads have been with the club since they were twelve, support Leeds and would fight to wear the shirt. Those are the players you want to keep and nurture – they’ll reward you with 110%

          • Jonhboy

            Gotta disagree there. Most of them were offered professional contracts and turned them down for the lure of premier money. None of them are in the first team where they have gone. They were tapped up mate, we seem to forget we were a 3rd division side, very diffiult to hold on to decent youths. Now we’re up a division we have a chance. We migh even be able to cream some ourselvs from league one, coz grayson will know which players have the future protential.
            If we start blooding too many youngsters now we could go back down, noone wants that, thing consolidation is a priority now

          • timm

            No such thing as 110% when players get their heads turned. You talk about us letting these young lads go as if we’re still a top flight club, when the reality is that we were a 3rd tier club & we never had a chance of keeping those lads when Chelsea, Spurs & Everton came sniffing. At least Bates took the big boys on & made sure we got a fair price for these kids. It certainly looks like Tom Taiwo was a good bit of business.

  • yorkslufc

    we need to if this sleeping giant has any chance of waking up stop pissing about with 30 odds and go get players who are playing at agood level who are at good age let us take some players from teams that are goona be our rivals its been an exit door only of decent players over the last several years with only one or two coming in to the club in terms of what people call “BIG CLUB ” we should be getting players from decent clubs not players noone else wants .change the fax number for agents and make your own mind up who we want and go buy them

    • Bitesyerlegs

      Billy Painter from Swindon?? as a replacement for Jermaine!!
      Watch this space if Swindon do not make it thro the play-offs

      • yorkslufc

        lets have em both paynter and austin they ran us ragged twice tehy would be perfick

      • TheReaper08

        The locals here (in Swindon) tell me it’s a done deal for Paynter, regardless of division they are in he will be joining us.

        I don’t believe done deals until they are done deals, if you get my drift.

        • TSS

          Well, I hope they know something we don’t as he’d be a very welcome addition. I’m with you though – hard to believe anything until it’s signed and sealed.

        • yorkslufc

          we can all speculate its the first ive heard of him being mentioned but as a double act they are up there both together him and austin £500.000 for both

  • yorkslufc

    just wanted to say also how sad it was for that young lad at swansea to die age 22 im sure his family get sympathy from all at leeds

  • Matt bb

    Harte? Didnt rate him in the pl, paynter, outperforming at league one level, and not a patch on beckford, charlie austin definitely worth a shout.

  • raph

    Jordy P, that’s the first i’ve heard about Casper Schmeical (or however you spell it :) ) My family are Notts County fans too so could be interesting personally. Anyone else heard about Schmeical coming possibly?

    • i read that Casper Schemeichel will be joining Bayern München

  • I was on the burnley site and they are really worried bout losing their keeper brian jensen, in spite of relegation he performed superbly according to all reports. Larry get him quick his contracts nearly up

    • yorkslufc

      he is more accident prone than james who has been mentioned at some point on here ,we dont want or neeed either ,schmeichel would be good he is not a bad keeper apparently he is on mega bucks at county and they do need to off load some i suupose we all have a wish list i dont care who we get as such as long as it is not someone who has been released cos he is no good .the best players are under contract or most of em its time to spend wansnt becchio the last person we actually spent money on

      loks like beckford is going any where from newcastle to italy via everton and villa ???

  • There is so much mystery about what we have or have’nt got to spend. I’ll be the first to admit that i pray we never return to the ridsdale days of overspend, but we got to way that up with paying the right sort of money for decent quality; if we assume that our club is an attractive prospect to many players then we should’nt have any problem of having our pick of the cream of the crop – do i honestly think thats gonna happen? NO!!!!

  • Mark Burgess

    I seem to remember Eddie Gray bought back Peter Lorimer from the Vancouver Whitecaps when he was Leeds manager – eddie trod a fine line between a youth policy and an OAP policy. This business with Harte reminds me of that. I agree with Royston about managers throwing money around. Let’s be fair Howard only screwed up once and that was selling Eric Cantona!

    • TSS

      Pretty epic screw-up mind!

      • Ramblinjohn

        sold batts too didnt he?

  • Colin

    I don’t think Harte is coming. I guess it’s just a made up rumour. I reckon it’ll be Parker at LB next season, maybe interchanged with Aidy White or possibly Aidy playing Left Wing. UNLESS….
    Ian Harte comes back under a player/coaching role – i guess he maybe interested in getting into coaching/management and might fancy becoming something like a defensive coach.

    One thing I do think we need of some sort of Director of Football – whether that is meant to be Gwyn Williams, i don’t know. I get the feeling that SG is a straight out manager. When it comes to development, player acquisition, I’m not entirely sure he’s got what MacAllister had, who really took a keen eye on development, especially shown through his work with Delph.

    • Colin

      I think if you look at the CCC and lower end Prem, there are potentially some massive players available at bargain prices. But there’s also a huge amount of footballing turds out there as well.

      Dodge the turds and find a few gems and you could revolutionize that Leeds team.

      Not sure many people are going to like what I’m about to say but here goes. I actually think Dennis Wise as Director of Football at Newcastle did a good job. He brought in some good players.

      I think Leeds have the money for the right players. Can Grayson convince Ken to pay out for players with his record of some dodgy loan signings? I’m not so sure. But IF you had someone that Ken trusts like Dennis, I reckon he would trust his judgement. If a Director of Football could find the CCC equivalent of the gem that we found in Snodgrass (100% down to MacAllister) then that person would be worth their weight in gold.

      And could you see Ken splashing out a £1m a year contract to Dennis?

      I could. Hmmmmm.

      • Dje

        Or you could just McAllister in that role?

        Not sure Tadcaster Albion would let him go without wanting compensation mind, so that could put Bates off!

        • Colin

          I’m pretty sure I could raid my penny jar and pay off Tadcaster Albion :)

          • Charlie Big Potatoes

            …with change left for a bag of chips!

  • Having looked at the players about to go out of contract could I make one other slightly surprising choice and that would be Grant McCann from Scunny. I’ve seen him play for Northern Ireland, hes not frightened to get stuck in, takes a mean free kick and yeah one of a rare breed a genuine left side midfielder – a good one for the championship

    • Colin

      I think we should look at some of the Premier teams and try and bring some of their players in.

      Sure we can’t afford Prem wages but we could do this:

      Say you want Jimmy Bullard. Hull City for some insane reason signed him on £40,000 a year. Hull City will go into admin before next season so they’ll start on -10 points so that’s one of the incentives to lure Bullard. Hull will need to let players go. So Leeds go in and say “we’ll take Bullard off you, but we’ll pay him £15,000 a week for a year long loan.” Hull will have to pay the remainder but we’ll get a Prem player for £15k.

      Which is exactly what others did to us in the past and it’s payback for Barmby, which we gave them on a free just to get him off the books and I think we may have paid some of his Hull wages as well.

      Is it a dirty trick? Yes. But did others do that to us – yes they did. And as we all know, there’s no dirtier bastard than Ken Bates.

      I think that’s the financial model that we should follow. And if you get a player on a deal like that and he turns out to be rubbish then at worst you can hand him back at the end of the season.

      Voila! Premier League players at Leeds.

      • i would love bullard in a leeds shirt,but can i be greedy and have that magical brazilian as well lol

  • Paul South Wales

    Nice idea re: Bullard, but i think he’s far from finished in the premiership and will be snapped up by another prem team, thought there are plenty of good players who can’t quite make the first teams, so i’m looking forward to a busy summer of dealing, i just hope they’re the right type of deals!

  • Just been reading up on Russell. It appears he used to play right-back as well as midfield so Maybe Graysons looking for another versatile Bromby/Hughes/Johnson type player who can switch position during a game if required. Whatever the reason (if this rumour is in deed true)he’s not the exciting signing we’ve been hoping for.

    I don’t think there is any truth in the Harte rumour. I remember a couple of months ago he was saying how he would love to return to Leeds, I’m thinking this may be his agent stirring up interest. A friend of mine supports Carlisle (poor guy) and he says they are divided in opinion of Harte, weighing up his goals scored against those he’s at fault for. In recent seasons he’s trained with us and not been signed up, plus he had an unsuccessful spell at Blackpool in the Championship (possibly under Grayson, can’t quite remember).

    I think we’re in need of seven players.
    1 Goalkeeper
    1 Centre-Back
    1 Right-back
    2 midfielders
    2 Strikers

    I’d be very happy with Montgomery and Sharp for a start!

    • Matt BB

      really hope that the Harte rumour is a non starter his legs had gone when we got relegated from the premier league. As with so many of Graysons signings you tend to see the names mentioned meaning very luittle, he will randomly pick a player you have no idea he was interested in.

      I happen to think that McSheffrey would be a good replacement for Beckford, but we need so many other players to compete in the championship, a midfield general, two ball playing centre halves, we could go on and on.

      I wonder if we acted too quickly in getting shut of Michalik, I think his style was better suited to the championship, but i suppose thats water under the bridge. I’d certainly like to see some of the youth have an opportunity to impress next season, i think we have a couple who have done pretty well last season. Hatfield is a name I keep reading. We also seem to have kept Lees the lad who went to Accrington Stanley.

      • timm

        I agree Matt, i think a good player can sometimes look poor when he’s surrounded by inferior players & i definately rate Mcsheffrey.You only have to look at Sol Campbell looking lost at Notts County & then looking world class at Arsenal against top notch opposition. Another case of this is Steven Crainey, he used to make some fantastic passes for us, but because his teammates weren’t clever enough to get on the end of them it made him look poor. But look at him now!, he’s never looked back since joining Blackpool.

        • Matt BB

          McSheffrey is a free agent too, and for someone who has a record of 20 goals> a season for coventry and birmingham in the championship lets forget about him as a left winger and get him signed and play him as a centre forward. I agree on Crainey too, much lambasted and a great full back.

          • I don’t think the striking department of the team is gonna be a problem for grayson, there are a number of options he could try, as you say McSheffrey as an out and out striker, Gradel also adapted well to that role but i still see him as an explosive winger, don’t write Somma or Gradel out of the equation i still think one or both of them cud be real threats when given a proper run out, and of course the other options include the much talked about Hooper, Paynter, Bernard; or someone as i have mentioned previously is out of contract this summer Kris Boyd from Glasgow Rangers

          • timm

            Boyd’s a difficult one for me Tim. Im a season ticket holder at Leeds & i also get to Ibrox as often as possible, I love Boyd to bits but if im totally honest, the standard of football in the SPl is the worst it’s been for years. If you think back to how Miller failed to make an impression at Derby & how the Celtic lads are looking pretty ordinary at Boro, then i wouldn’t be too confident. But then if you look at Charlie Adam scoring for fun at Blackpool, you’d feel sure that KB could do the business? Who’d be a manager eh?!

          • Pete

            Kris Boyd is an out-and-out predator though, he’d score goals at any level.

            Crap if you want an all-round striker mind, but I can’t think of many better at putting chances away. 20+ championship goals easily I’d say.

  • Like you say tim i see boyd as a cracking championship player and an ok premiership player, but whether his sights would be set higher than with us is open to debate.I would’nt mind charlie adam jumping ship as well if blackpool don’t get promoted – we would be getting back to very successful periods when scots played a major part in our success, Bremner, Lorimer, Harvey. McAllister, Strachan to name but a few

    • Pete

      Just checked out Boyd’s goalscoring stats;

      7 goals in 16 games for Scotland. Very impressive – Kenny Miller’s ratio is 11 goals in 46 games by comparison.

      101 goals in 144 games for Rangers – absolutely astonishing.

      • We might have to push the boat out for wages Pete, but the thought of boyd and hooper, or paynter up front would undoubtedly reap rich rewards in the goal scoring stakes, and has me drooling at the thought. Montgomery in midfield would be a decent call too; if someone has Simons mobile phone number please drop him a text – C’MON LEEDS LETS STATE OUR INTENTIONS THIS YEAR WITH A FEW BIG SIGNINGS

        • Colin

          Or we could sign an even better striker and he’s on a free as well!!

          JERMAINE BECKFORD, last 3 seasons – 138 appearances, 85 goals.

          I saw him score against Man Utd at Old Trafford. I’ve heard he’s quite good :)

        • Colin

          No matter how good Kris Boyd is or isn’t, I very much doubt a Scotsman playing for Rangers and scoring that many goals is going to jack that in and leave for a newly promoted CCC side, even if it is Leeds.

          • Colin we both know beckford is away, but i will admit i will be forever grateful for THAT goal it shut a load of manc supporters up real quickly in the hospital i work!! His last performance and goal against bristol rovers was just as important but in a totally different way. I’ve always backed grayson but i will be watching very closely to see who he brings in..like i said earlier this is a chance for leeds to set out our intentions.

        • Pete

          Boyd & Becchio would suit me just fine tbh Tim, Boyd needs a partner to do the donkey work for him but he’ll put the goals away no problem.

          Hooper would just put the icing on the cake, him and Boyd are potentially a premier league standard strike force.

  • ramblinjohn

    Not many people here talking about defenders – I think we need at least three!!

    • TheReaper08

      I will talk defenders with you ramblinjohn, I presume you mean a right back, a left back and a centre back ?

      • I’ll throw in a few out of contracters, Jay DeMerit – Watford…Chris Riggot – Middlesboro…Youl Mawene – Preston…Tommy Spur – Sheff Wednesday (born in leeds!!)

        • TheReaper08

          Not too fussed about any of them Tim, I would still like us to buy a player or two rather than get everything out of the freebie bin.

          • Aye reaper i confess i prefer the grub out marks and spencers compared to lidl’s lol But who’s gonna pay for our shopping trip to marks and sparks i’m wondering…If all the leeds fans threw £20 quid into a very big bucket we might just do it

          • TheReaper08

            I know I am probably dreaming. Got my £20 here though if you can point me in the direction of that bucket……

  • We just have to convince about another 50,000 likeminded leeds supporters reaper..should’nt be too difficult!! haha

  • Colin

    Tim – re. Beckford – you’re probably right – I’d say 90% that he’s going but the longer this goes on without any agreement with another club, I’d drop it by 1% each day.

    Surely his agent would want a team sorted out sooner rather than later before other players become available.

    It’s just that I remember seeing the odds that said it was a done deal on him going to Newcastle and I just didn’t see it happening. I should have put a bet on him staying at Leeds.

    A 3rd division team turned down £1.8m for a player with 6 months on his contract. That’s football madness but it worked. Leeds convinced him to take himself off the transfer list. That’s unheard of.

    I don’t know what it is or why it is because it makes no sense but someone at Leeds (probably SG) has some sort of hold over Beckford.

    That makes no sense and Beckford staying seems to make no sense, but because it all makes no sense, then I think that there maybe an opportunity that Beckford might stay. Just because that makes no sense.

    The other thing that sways me slightly is that money is no option. If you turn down £1.8m for a player with 6 months left, and a like for like replacement will cost you £3,4, or maybe 5 million, then you can offer him massive wages and you’re still financially up in the grand scheme of things.

    All I’m saying is that I’m not 100% sure that he is leaving.

    • I really hope you are right with that colin, i still think beckford would be a handful in the championship. Two further point, firstly assuming beckford is moving to some premiership club, he will more than likely be a bit part player, more often warming the bench than not. Fair play to the lad if he thinks otherwise, its up to him to get his head down and prove himself to his new manager. Secondly, if he does stay with us, I still believe we need another top notch striker up there; we struggled too often and relied too much on beckford alone, teams realised this and were marking him out of the game.

  • Charlie Big Potatoes

    I think we need the following for next years expedition in the CC:-

    GK x1
    Shame about Casper – Moving forward though, it would be nice to invest in someone young for the long term.
    DC x2
    Naylor is past it and given that Grayson shit canned most the others (deservedly in my view) we need two proven operators at CC level who don’t need Paddy to hold their hand.
    LB x1
    Parker is too injury prone to rely on full time – Need cover (White perhaps? But I’m not convinced at LB and Grayson obviously isn’t)
    RB x1
    Crowe is gash lets be honest! I’ll pack his nap sack myself. We haven’t had a reliable / regularly fit RB in donkeys! We have had Donkey’s mind.
    DCM x1
    Doyle is ok (although wholly anonymous at times) would be nice to have some height & presence In the centre! Our scouting policy doesn’t seem to extend past middle earth!?
    ACM x1
    Less of a priority for me – think Kilkenny / Howson can cope at CC Level (Not so sure on Johnson though)
    LW x1
    Haven’t got one and haven’t had one in years!!!! (White could be a long term solution but think we need someone of CC quality for next season and ideally of a left footed persuasion)
    STR x1
    WHEN Beckford goes we need a proven CC goal scorer obviously (Would like Somma and Grella would be given a chance to stake their claim though)

    I’d like to think we’d invest some decent money in at least four of these positions (Within reason of course), as opposed to our recent policy of scouring the dole office for the best of what’s left.

    We certainly won’t get away with playoffs on the cheap let alone auto as last year. The team definitely needs investment, at least in view anyway.

  • Pete

    Apparently Szczesny is a done deal on a season-long loan…would have preferred a permanent transfer for another keeper but can’t complain at this kid’s ability and potential. Hopefully we’ll get Sanchez Watt for the full season too, then we can forget loans after that.

    Interesting that Donny Rovers have had a bid of 650k turned down for Billy Sharp…I reckon Kenneth has written out a cheque already for 800k and told the piggies to tell nobody, in exchange for us not going for Morgan.