The Leeds United rumour mill: Demerit, Hooper & Orlandi TSS June 29, 2010 Leeds United 286 Comments With the World Cup now over (as far as I’m concerned) the attention turns back to Leeds United and the latest rumours gathering pace. With the transfer window opening in less than 48 hours, Leeds United fans may soon get an idea as to whether we’ll be spending anything this summer or whether Simon Grayson’s promise of ‘more signings,’ simply means ‘more free transfers.’ Jay Demerit Demerit playing for the Yanks We start with an out of contract American, who played against England at the World Cup. Demerit is a 30-year old centre-back, who has so far won 25 caps for the USA. During the game against Algeria, Demerit received a nasty injury to his tongue. He continued to play through the pain barrier however, despite the injury requiring five stitches after the game. Demerit shows the kind of determined, ‘never say die’ attitude Leeds United fans love and would link up with fellow American, Mike Grella. Demerit was also part of the team that beat Spain 2-0 in the Confederations Cup, later being described as ‘superb’ in the Spanish press. He’s spent the last six years at Watford, where he made 182 appearances. Likelihood factor: Another free transfer in a position that unquestionably requires strengthening. If Jay Demerit is indeed interested in Leeds United, then he seems like the ideal signing to partner Patrick Kisnorbo in defence. 8/10 Gary Hooper Hoops loves Leeds? This rumour just refuses to go away. Ongoing now for the last couple of seasons, Hooper’s contract is gradually dwindling away and with it, so does the price Scunthorpe can demand. With Scunthorpe resigned to losing Hooper, it would appear the youngster favours a move to Elland Road despite bids from Middlesbrough and Blackpool. Despite being in a position to offer more money than Leeds United, it seems any move to Middlesbrough has now been ruled out after Hooper continually stalled the deal to await Leeds United’s offer. Boro have allegedly grown tired of chasing the 22-year old and moved on to other targets. The rumours claim that Hooper will be having talks with Leeds United over the next 48 hours and could be confirmed as a new signing by early next week, with a fee believed to be in the region of £1m. Likelihood factor: I’ve been rattling on about Hooper for so long now that I’m scared to get too excited. The number one target this summer as far as I’m concerned and an ideal replacement for Jermaine Beckford. Whether he’ll prefer a relegation season at Blackpool or not could be the deciding factor, but my fingers and toes are firmly crossed. 5/10 Andrea Orlandi Not the foggiest clue where this one has sprung from, so can only assume there’s some truth behind it. Orlandi is a 25-year old, Spanish winger who currently plays for Swansea. He started his career at Alaves before joining Barcelona on loan where he made 67 appearances for their B team and once appeared in their senior side. Orlandi has been at Swansea since 2007, making 49 appearances and scoring twice. I aren’t 100% on this, but it seems he’s out of contract, which would make him fit perfectly into Leeds United’s price range. Likelihood factor: Hard to say as I have no idea where the rumour originated from. It does have all the hallmarks of a Grayson signing however, given the fact that few of us will have ever heard of him, we had no idea we were chasing him and he’s (possibly) available on a free. 6.5/10 The new TSS forums are now open. Click here to visit them now and discuss all things LUFC (and some things besides!) pete DeMerit is solid for Watford, and seems more up for the challenge than Eustace… Hooper would be ideal. I’d carry him to Elland Road myself if it sealed the deal. Orlandi? Hmm…only if we can have Ferrie Bodde as well. craig I have no idea about any of these but I have to say that when I watched the England v USA game I found myself thinking that he’d fit well into our team. craig Demerit that is! Jonathan Please Hooper. Please. Can’t help but feel (touchwood) that if he was going to go to ‘Boro then that’d be signed and sealed by now, I don’t get what the hold up is. Supposedley he’s keen not to have to move house. badman Transfer window not open yet. I thought that would be quite clear by now! les irwin hooper dooper for me take him instead of sharp anyday .de merit too not sure about the other dont know him ,but i know hooper will cost money and thats where it lies for me if we are serious not about going up but competing in champs then we will have to spend too .dosh will have to be spent we have got 4 very very good frees demerit would be 5 and the other one 6 we need to buy 3 aswell quality midfielder ??? been on my preferrred list if someone can name 1 i would be happy TheReaper08 Orlandi is at a good age and interesting considering his background. Hooper is the class act and if @pete needs hand carrying him to Elland Road I am on holiday at the moment and available to assist. Not sure about DeMerit, another 30+ centre back labouring at a poor club for the last few years. Stinks a little of he’s free so let’s grab him syndrome. Would prefer a pacier mid 20 player that could have learn’t from the older guys, 3 center backs with a combined age approaching 100 doesn’t excite me. Oh and @TSS talk about cherry picking, a Spanish newspaper wrote something nice about him playing in a tournament no one cares about and he once bit his tongue and carried on playing. My dad once played the whole second half with a fractured leg and he was a midfielder, I have passed his details on to Mr Grayson. TSS @TheReaper08 Haha, fair point Reaper, but I like to look on the optimistic side of signings and I believe he could be useful. Nayls was clearly a yard off the pace last season, so it has to be an improvement. Whilst I’d also be happier with a 20-something year old with a bit of pace, it seems unlikely, so an international who is proven at Championship level will have to suffice. @pete I’m also willing to help carry Hooper. Not on holiday, but some things are much more important than work. TheReaper08 @TSS But DeMerit is slow too, ok maybe not as slow as Nayls but still. What your saying is it’s broken but let’s not totally fix it let’s just get something less broken. I got a new motor yesterday with a tank of fuel, if someone can get Hoopers number I will pick you and pete up and we can go over and get him. TSS @TheReaper08 Are we talking kidnap, or an offer of helping him move? Either way, count me in! TheReaper08 @TSS At this stage I would consider either mate, we most need an out and out striker and a quality centre back. Hooper complete’s one piece of the puzzle and I hope the suspicions are right and he signs soon. Matt BB if i was hooper i’d probably rather the bigger wages, nicer stadium at middlesbro, yes the surroundings are grim, and you’d have to live in North Yorkshire.. but I’d be going for that. The only thing i can imagine that would put doubt in his mind is whether boro will get back to the prem? They werent convinvcing last season and Leeds and or Burnley may finish up higher. Personally I just want to see us gaet Watt back on loan, and on the basis of his performances in the WOrld Cup and how much we all love him here John Terry is probably available. timm What’s wrong with North Yorkshire? craig1919 Interesting rumour currently doing the rounds is Diamansi Kamara on loan. I’d take DeMerit and I honestly believe Hooper is ours Matt BB Nothing wrong with north yorks.. But better thanwest?… Mm henry vincent lewis Demerit would be a good signing, but we still need another central defender as well. Paddy will be out for a while and he is injury prone. Pete Just read a rumour that we are looking at Lloyd Sam from Charlton. He fits the Grayson model of being free! I would like to see him in White. craig1919 Is Lloyd sam from Leeds?? I think he’s a Leeds fan? There’s loadsa names flying around including Boyd and Maclean from Posh TSS @frogman @craig1919 Yeah, I mentioned that on the forums earlier. I’m a little sceptical about it considering there’s an obvious link to Leeds, so it wouldn’t take much to put two and two together. paul oshea Hooper seems to be the general consensus in terms of the most wished for player to arrive this summer. I think his signing would give our season a real boost and demonstrate our ambition at this higher level. I’ve got a good feeling he’s on his way, after all we’ve still got the total player fund left – whatever that may be? Pete Good point about Sam being linked simply because he is from Leeds, it makes for an easy story and yet more LUFC column inches. I hope Hooper signs soon, it will make my week. TSS @frogman You and me both mate. I’ve been desperate for his signature ever since we were first linked, as I know many others are too. Number one priority this summer as far as I’m concerned. Colin Errrr, sorry but am I the only one who doesn’t rate Hooper? I’m expecting a monster backlash and bring it on, but I don’t think he’s good enough. If he was that good then someone (better than us) would have tapped him up. The fact that no-one has makes me think he’s looking for the biggest money. I’m not sure on this one. This smells of PL clubs being interested and if that falls through then Leeds could get him. I still reckon that Leeds are looking at someone from abroad. If you bring in Hooper. Great. Then I guess you start him upfront. Great. You play him with Becchio I guess. Great. Now tell me what you do with Paynter, Kandol, Grella, Somma??? 6 strikers, 2 possible players. What’s the point in buying Paynter if you won’t give him a go?? I could quite easily see us playing Grella and Becchio up front in the first game.. Paynter as sub. Dje Grayson wants rid of Kandol, and I reckon either Grella or Somma will be out on loan next season. That leaves Paynter, Becchio, and either/or Grella/Somma plus ‘mystery new boy’ (possibly Hooper, depends if Bates can get him for £1m or less, as I doubt we will or could pay £2m). As to if Hooper is the best choice as replacement for Beckford, I guess that depends on who else is in the running. ‘Mystery Foreign Striker’ sounds too much like a tom-bola prize for me. Or maybe those seven Brazilian trialists are all strikers and we’ll be free transferring it all the way afterall. superhoops Good point Colin. We should definitely not sign Hooper on the grounds that we already have the likes of Kandol and Somma at the club. With their proven Championship records, they should be more than enough to blow away most sides in the division. Get real pal or don’t contribute, wtf are you talking about. Kandol has been told to leave, Somma spent last season in League 2, that’s the highest standard he’s played. Grella hasn’t done anything for the club yet. Paynter totally unproven at Championship level. Becchio ditto. Suggest take your irrational remarks elsewhere, there’s people on here who make a lot of sense, you don’t have a clue what your talking about fella. TheReaper08 @superhoops I am with you on the main issue but your being a bit harsh to colin there, he is entitled to his opinion mate even if we both disagree with him. Colin @superhoops Thanks for your kind words “fella”. You obviously don’t get where I’m coming from. We’ve got 5 strikers already. Grayson will surely bring in a loan striker as well and I think Matt bb is right with Sanchez Watt coming back. So that makes it 6 strikers. Do you truly believe that Ken Bates is going to let Grayson go out and spend millions on a striker when he’s got 6 already? No chance. He already moans about how big the wage bill and we’ve made 4 signings already at a cost of £0. And we won’t be losing our current strikers and here’s why: Kandol – the last manager to rate him was Wise. Gary Mac/Grayson don’t. Wise left 2 and a half years ago and Kandol’s still on the books. If we haven’t sold him yet then I doubt we’re going to be able to sell him anytime soon (especially as he’s played so few games so hasn’t been able to show other teams what he’s about) Becchio – he’s staying for sure and probably first team starter. Grella – Leeds signed him up on a long term contract last year. You don’t do that unless you plan to use him. If Grayson wasn’t planning to use him this season, then he would have been either released or if you wanted to loan him out you’d give a 1 year extension. So he’s staying as well. Paynter – another long term contract, so same situation as Grella, so he’s staying. Somma – he got a 1 year extension and did well at Lincoln on loan – SG saw enough in him to extend his contract so you have to think he will make an appearance at some point this season. So if we say that the inevitable loan striker (Watt) comes in then that makes 6. And bear in mind that we may decide to just play 1 striker up front with Gradel behind. So when SG asks Ken for £2m to spend on Hooper, when he’s already got 7 attacking options for 2 possible places, what do you think he’s going to say??? franko You are right Hooper is rubbish…let him stay at glandford park,seriously all his goals were scored by pure fluke. “wink wink” superhoops that was @ Colin btw garry firth i, could someone tell me please if hooper is coming to leeds,if not i can stop dreaming of how many goals he will score for leeds.also heard a rumour snodgrass could be on his way,any truth in this. Dje Where did you hear/see that rumour, Garry? pete I doubt Snodgrass will leave, unless we get offered silly money for him. Matt bb @colin i agree i think hooper is over rated, i think our next striker will be from overseas, and probably be accompanied by the loan signing of sanchez watt. In terms of kandol grella and somma, well kandol will be sold or released, and grella and somma are fighting for fourth berth in the striking department. Dje Isn’t Somma the only forward we have at the moment with any form of pace? Not sure about how Hooper does in a 100m sprint, but we’re gonna need a pacy option somewhere. Therefore I’d send Grella out on loan, keep Somma on the bench/competition. TheReaper08 @mattbb @colin I can kind of see where your coming from but hear me out. Teams have been stung in the last few years splashing cash and taking players to too high a level before there ready/capable. As a result I am not surprised that he hasn’t moved already, that plus the fact that he has been relatively low key despite an excellent goal return. Now for my own opinion. I started watching Hooper play about Christmas 2009 just as we were being linked. Like a lot of others I admit to not knowing too much about him at that time. Watching him it was apparent he had quite a few attributes, a bit of pace (not lightning) some skills, a good strikers eye, good touch but also he contributes well by creating goals even when he is not scoring himself. My only concern is that we don’t pay too much, other than that I would be delighted with his signing. Colin @TheReapero8 I’m with you and I admit that I know very little about Hooper and I know you know you’re stuff about players so I completely take your words on Hooper. I think it’s just a case of different people and different views and in the same way that I’m not so positive on Hooper as you, I think you weren’t so convinced on Kasper Schmeichel as I was. And I hope Kasper is good because I think he’s going to have a tough job on his hands next season – I think it could be tough!! My main concern is that I just can’t see Ken splashing even £1m on a player this season. And I reckon it’ll take at least that to get Hooper. Whether the club is being tight or not is another discussion but I’m afraid that it looks like another squad built on the cheap I’m based down south and I have footy chats with West Ham, Chelsea, Arsenal and Newcastle fans (they seem to be all over the place just like us!) and the only Leeds players they knew by name were Beckford and Snodgrass. In the same way that PL supporters know them two, I want a signing for Leeds that makes me think “hmmm, yeah i know him, i like the sound of him being at Leeds.” And for me I just don’t get that warm fuzzy feeling about Hooper. What goes through my mind is that both Beckford and Hooper have been on fire last season. One played in League 1 and one played in the CCC. And it’s Beckford that’s got a gig at Everton and Hooper’s still at Scunthorpe. And there has to be a reason for that. I have to make it clear though that if we got Hooper I hope he turns out to be a goal machine for us. I think we need one! TheReaper08 @colin Agree with you on the cash front.Worries me that we won’t spend any or spend too much on one player. As for Schmeichel I thought he was a prospect but not sure about his ability to secure and excel as number 1 for a big club with the associated pressure. I stand by this but hope I am wrong. Colin @TheReapero8 I think that Schmeichel will either be absolute toilet or magnificent – we’ll have to see when he plays, because I’m 100% sure he’ll be starting, but if it doesn’t work out we always have your personal favourite Higgs to come in! craig I’m not at all sure I’m with you on the ‘names’ front Colin. That was the principle Blackwell operated with and look where it got us – a load of journeymen at the tale end of their careers looking for a last payday. A ‘name’ that is already well known has laurels to rest on and that tends to be what happens. No, the way we’ll rebuild is by picking up young players with potential and solid professionals who, together, are able to be moulded into a team that is greater than the sum of its parts. craig ‘tale end?’ I think I meant tail-end! Paul South Wales I agree with the general consensus that Kandol will be released and Somma/Grella loaned out. I think Paynter will eventually oust Becchio, as the second fiddle to our impending biggish name signing. A midfielder is as important although we’re all obsessed with replacing Beckford (who is now slowly starting to be forgotten). Colin I’ve got a thought on Grella and I’m not entirely sure that Grayson is right on this one but bear with me… He got a new long term contract, but didn’t feature in last season’s campaign. If SG thought that either Grella was shit or that Leeds would stay in League 1 then he wouldn’t have signed him up on a long term contract (and that’s the difference between him and Somma who’s on a 1 year deal). As for loan – I can’t see it at all – he wasn’t put on loan through his Leeds career and he could have let him as we had a lot of cover (albeit durge loan signings – Vokes, McSheffrey, Dickov etc.) I believe that Grella’s one of the most technically skillful players in training and I reckon SG’s going to start him. Last season, maybe his style was too technical for L1 or maybe he’d just not developed enough for the English game, but if he didn’t plan to start him this season, I can’t see why he gave him a long term contract. Because a short term contract would have been enough to keep him for a year if he was still unsure on him. I’m not sure he should start for Leeds this season, but I think SG’s actions point in that direction. Why else would you resign a young player when your in L1 at a time when it looks like we’re almost certainly going to get promoted and you don’t play him, unless you want to develop him to play in CCC the season after? Let me know if you think I’ve missed something but I can’t see any other route for Grella but first team starter?? TheReaper08 @colin The only thing you’ve missed is that in my opinion he isn’t good enough. I think SG thinks he was too technical for league 2 but will send him on loan to league 1 now we are free of it. Colin @TheReapero8 I’m inclined to agree – he’s a massive massive gamble. But…i think that he’s the only Leeds player that has got a long term contract extension during last season? SG has had to go to Ken to get that signed off. If SG turns round and doesn’t play him or loans him out, then surely Ken will say ‘why have we re-signed this guy?’ I ca’t see why Ken would have signed it off for an unproven player unless SG said he was a special player for the future. If he is, I’m not so sure. But when he was re-signed, Leeds were definites for winning the title and going up. I think that the only reason Ken would give him a long term contract is if SG said “okay, we know we’re losing Beckford but next year I want to play with a different style and Grella is the man to help us do it.” If he didn’t say that then surely Ken would have said 1 year extension and no more, a la Somma or have left the decision until the end of the season? I just don’t see this board handing out contract extensions during mid season unless there’s a reason. To be fair to Ken, he’s gone with SG on this one. I’m just thinking Kis, Howson, who really performed, didn’t get mid season improved and extended contracts, but substitute Grella did? And that does confuse me. It just makes me think that SG has plans for him. Ken wouldn’t give a long term extension to a sub (which is what Grella was) unless there’s a reason? It makes me think that there is a reason why they are keeping him and the only reason I can see is if he’s a starting player. If he was going to be a sub we could have got him on a 1 year extension. Maybe just maybe we don’t need another striker. Maybe SG has found one in Grella. The playing stats don’t add up to Grella being any good. The contract makes me think that Leeds think he’s great. If Grella doesn’t feature this season then SG has made a big mistake. Another player on a decent wage on the books that doesn’t come good. If Grella doesn’t prove his worth then SG could be in for a rollicking from Bates. I’m not sure on Grella but I think SG will play him and I’m quietly confident that he could be great. He could be Leeds’ secret weapon? I certainly hope so! TheReaper08 @colin There is no doubt he is technically gifted, the players in the current squag acknowledge that themselves. My issue with Grella is he is too lighweight and not sharp enough in the box, admittedly his chances have been limited but I need to see more than a couple of late goals against a very tired non league Kettering. Remember the Championship is not a vastly more cultured league than the one we have escaped so he still needs to toughen up. He is potentially one for the future but that learning process now needs to take place away from ER for me where he can play every week without the relentless scrutiny. It appears to have done Somma no end of good. Matt BB @thereaper08 @colin I think my main objection to Hooper is the likely cost of a player who sint necessarily proven just yet as a reliable striker, he hasnt played for a big team either, whih concerns me as well. I would be much happier to sign a sanchez watt or a roberty earnshaw with some pace, wee already have lots of goal poachers, and I think unless our midfield improves hugely thats what we need. I dont think Ken bates is going to spend more than £1M on a single player though meantime so if Scunthorpe are expecting a fee they will be disappointed. To be honest though I would agree with Ken on that one, if we’re going tpsned £2M on a player then they need to be a darn sight superior to Gary Hooper. craig @colin I’m not sure your conclusion automatically follows your argument. I think Grayson sees potential in Grella and if he’s not made the extra steps required to get him into the ‘automatic’ places before the end of his current contract he’ll then be released. It is essential that every squad includes players who look to have the potential to become a bit special. Not all of them make it (most don’t) but they must bring something to the squad whilst they’re around the place. Dje It’s a good point Colin. I wonder if Somma got a one year contract because it was what he wanted – ie. not convinced that Grayson rates him – and the club was happy to give it another year. Grella’s agent might have pushed for greater career security; besides, he was in the first team a fair bit when he was ‘rewarded’ with the three year new contract. Personally I couldn’t care who makes good next season upfront, just as long as someone does. I do think most fans expect the money to be splashed now though – as much a test of Bates and his commitment after our promotion as it is about needing to spend millions for the sake of it. To find out that Grella/Somma are fantastic Championship (and beyond) players, and far better in fact than Hooper is, who whittles away the coming season on our bench, is all fine and dandy, but if when the season gets in full-flow and should Somma and Grella look only bit-part players and we never brought in the money replacement – alla Hooper – for Beckford, then Grayson’s and Bates’s necks are on the line. So I think they’ll spend the money to save face against such an eventuality. TheReaper08 @Dje I think you are right. it takes a lot to be the main stay in the pressure cooker environment that is Leeds United. As a result I don’t think we will throw in Grella or Somma in our inaugral season back in the Championship. In my opinion look for either or both to go out on loan and potentially even one being sold or released depending on the incoming players. craig I agree too. Assuming a player like Hooper wants to come I think it is inevitable we’ll make a big signing for the reasons you suggest. Jon Maclean Isn’t Jay DeMerit the one who scored against us at wembley in the Play Off Final? When playing for whatford *Spelling intended. Dje Come on then, transfer window’s open – where’s Hooper?! [waits impatiently] Matt BB i dont think that Grella or Somma will feature heavily for us this season, and will spend most of it out on loan most likely in league one. Funnily enough of the two Somma has probably shown the greater promise, simply because hes started scoring goals, yes at league two standard, but that gives him a head start on Grella, who while he is very skilful, is perhaps better deployed as an attacking midfielder, in the role the oezil played for Germany. Bill Fox I wnat to like Grella but I just cant see him scoring enough and therefore I agree the dark horse is Somma for the bench role next to (probably Paynter) allowing Becchio and ANO the starting roles. I stll bang a drum for Sanchez Watt in a season long loan if possible-real pace/ball carrier/worked hard I thought. As for Hooper-I ain’t seen him enough to comment but if goes by weight of opinions he must be superb. Craig @captaincrash I can’t see Watt returning. He must have his sight set on a Arsenal squad and can’t have done his prospects any harm by his appearances with us last year. paulg I see that today SG is being quoted as saying that he “…. doesn’t have much cash to splash”. Looks like more frees, folks …… Dje @paulg Either that or Grayson is using the ‘interest’ in him from Leicester to lever for a bigger transfer kitty. Here’s hoping, but I don’t think the guy’s comments to the press are that tactically minded, sadly. Andrew Lets just say that DeMerit is Premier League quality, so if Leeds do somehow get him, he’ll be an instant starter and be possibly there best signing of the summer. He’s a very good player. TheReaper08 @Andrew Please please please tell me your kidding right. DeMerit the player who has languished with lowly Watford for 6 years and is now 30 is Premier League class ? Paul South Wales Like the idea of Grella as an attacking midfielder. Hope Watt doesn’t come back and hurry up Hoops; get your arse to ER. Craig I think you’ll find that some of us have been hoping Grella would be inserted into the slot behind the strikers for most of last season. I think it is his best position. Colin Has anyone got an idea on how much Howard Wilkinson spent on rebuilding when he came to Leeds? Obviously you can’t compare the transfer fees then vs now but I think it would be interesting. My other thought is that Wilko obviously built a team that not only could win the Champiosnhip (div.2) but also do well in the top league (div.1). I just don’t get the impression that this team could do a job in the PL? And the players we’ve brought in don’t strike me as players who can play at the highest level. Which makes me think that we’re just planning to tread water in the CCC for a while?? Paul C Strachan and Fairclough were Wilkos first significant signings I seem to remember, Strachan wasn’t expensive , he cost us 200 or 300k and Chris Fairclough a little bit more, maybe half a million The important thing I remember though weren’t the fees, it was the statement that the club were making, they were saying to the football world that we were ambitious, Not overspending certainly but it gave us credibility, from being a forgotten team in the Div 2 wilderness , suddenly we had a truly quality player like Strachan prepared to drop a Division to take a chance. (On good money I am sure) Other quality players followed and hey presto , pretty soon we found ourselves in the top flight and in a flash we bloody won it! I can’t remember there being a whole raft of free signings or loans , In his early time at Leeds Wilko had an eye for a good player, he tried not to overspend but he certainly knew the value of investing in quality. In fairness though the supporters then were pretty fedup of the dross they were watching and demanded action , they were really pissed off with paying out top whack for rubbish and demanded some senible investment. Strachan was the first of many but it certainly cheered everybody up, not a bad return for 300k , I think that would be the equivalent of about 1-2 million in todays money. Craig @paulc The key thing that Wilko demonstrated is the importance of buying the right players and galvanising them to become a formidable team. We loved what he was doing on the quiet/cheap because we recognised the wisdom and spirit of Don. TheReaper08 @colin Agree with you on these players being able to cut it in the Prem, I very seriously doubt that also. However, there is a huge difference between a team capable of getting out of the Championship and one that can compete at Prem level. I don’t think we are planning to tread water but to potentially get out of this league. After that we would then need to acquire more players capable of competing at the highest level. Colin @TheReapero8 I thought Leeds might have had a chance of getting promoted this season but the more I look at it, I think it’s more unlikely – free signings of lower division clubs or free signings of players that are either end of contract or simply not wanted by other clubs. I reckon we previously had a low end end Championship side and we’ve added more freebies. I’m getting worried now because I think we only have a few players with potential to play at the high end of the Championship – Snodgrass, Howson, Kisnorbo, Schmeichel. I’m getting concerned that this squad of players will struggle to get mid table mediocrity in the Championship. I’m not advocating that Leeds spend loads of cash but as it stands, I think this Leeds team could be easy pickings for some of our competitors. Craig @TheReaper08 Acquire players or build a team Reaper? The two are very different – ask Capello! TheReaper08 @craig We have built a team and the consensus is it isn’t good enough to achieve what we all want. In order to build a better team you need to acquire better players whether that is through attitude or ability or preferably both ! Don’t mean to be pedantic but I was merely talking about our need to get new players. Craig @TheReaper08 How about the 4 additions we already have, the one Grayson is hoping will be with us before the Slovak trip and the 7 Brazilians? Too many additions will be hard to gel together even with a good pre-season. TheReaper08 @craig The culmination of the amount of Brazilian players that have succesfully played in the English leagues plus the fact they are all released/being hawked around doesn’t exactly fill me with joy. We might get something but it can’t be relied upon. As for the signing before the Slovak trip then great but let’s see who it is first & I have already made my feelings known on the 4 signings. So far the overall result is no better than alright but if that’s it I will be unimpressed, it’s early days and I am trying to stay optimistic. Craig @TheReaper08 OK, I agree that all 7 Brazilians aren’t going to walk into the first team and maybe none will be signed. The fact is that we are looking at players (plural) who all need assessing and that takes time. It also indicates that there is money (even if just wages) to spend. Craig @TheReaper08 This is the way we found Luci, so gems do turn up. TheReaper08 @colin I think we are already a mid table side albeit perhaps lower mid. A lot will now depend on if and when we spend some cash as I admit myself I was concerned with this never ending pursuit of free players. Don’t get me wrong I am an advocate of the odd free signing but not as your entire transfer policy. The window has only been open a day and I have to keep telling myself that. We were so quick to wrap up our free signings that I think we ahve lost sight of that. Also with further talk from the manager that there are more signings must mean they will be actual money transfers, musn’t it……. Brien Collins Simon grayson was on sky sports news and said that there was only small funds available. However much we would all love to see Hooper playing for us next season we cant afford him. Bates is never going to cut the purse strings and freebies are all we are going to get. Sorry once again reaper to spout doom and gloom but it now looks like i was right. Thats not to say that you cant get a decent player for nowt, only that we look unlikely to get Hooper being as scunny want about £2 1/2 million. Guess we better hope S.Gs numbers come up saturday night. TheReaper08 @bremnersbarmyarmy No need to apologise mate, plenty on here will tell you I have had exactly the same concerns. Secretly I am hoping that this is all some master plan to lull others into thinking we won’t be spending only to sign up someone like Hooper on the quiet. Realistically I am preparing to to go mad that our entire transfer pilicy is based around trying to be first to snag the best of the freebies. Either way it’s only day two of the transfer window so I am choosing to go with my first option. Matt BB i have to say i am not surprised by this one bit, i’m a finance manager for a large business and i appreciate the realities of cashflow, and what bates is probably trying to achieve with our credit rating. I also appreciate that we should be in a position to raise effectively small credit to the tune of £2M at reasonably short notice so when you hear tyhat there isnt much available you know that Bates isnt taking promotion seriously, and that makes my blood boil. Our current squad isnt good enough to survive in the championship with any sort of comfort, and thats a fact. Never mind promotion, people constantly point to Blackpool but they did spend money, and if they can raise the cash then so should we. I know i get a bit of jip for being anti bates on this site, but i think in context I’m grateful he is still there, but dont agree sometimes with his approach. We need to be careful in this climate but I cant think of man yother businesses that get the sort of growth that leeds united do, selling out of replica kits already, huge take up of season tickets and members club, Once more really saddened. Craig @mattbb Flippin ‘eck mate, we are only 2 days into a transfer window and Grayson has been quoted as saying “”Realistically we’d like to have some else in before we go to Slovakia…It gives them that seven days away with the lads so hopefully we might have someone in by then… I’ve said all along i’m more than happy with the progress we’re making and sometimes these things take time.” Also, commenting on Lloyd Sam he said, “I saw that. The fact is we’re talking to a few clubs and a few representatives. If I can sneak a few players under the radar in I’d like to do that because that’s the way I like to do my business, but we’re actively working and seeking to do what we want to do.” Give it time.. Craig @mattbb 2+2=4 is a fact. ‘Our current squad isnt good enough to survive in the championship with any sort of comfort’ is an opinion. Matt BB yes, its an opinion, so your point being? Look, it appears that we wont spend much money, and urgently need to acquire a 20 goal a season striker, someone no t only to replace Naylor, but also Kisnorbo who wont be fully fit this season, and back up for all of those positions, that means we are in real danger. I am all for giving it time, but it infuriates me when i see us being so compromised. We need to be competing, not looking for the best free players we can. I want to balance that by saying how much io really want us to succeed, but its important that when we have our doubts they are put in their correct light as coming from those who care about the team. It’s not about knockling bates or grayson, just expressing an opinion, I of course dont want us to drop back into league one, but what do you relaisitically think would happen if our current squad plus some free agents started the season now? Craig @mattbb My point is that your ‘fact’ is debatable. Agree on Kisnorbo/Naylor but we have already signed Connolly, along with Bessone to cover for the ever-injured Parker. The fact they were free is irrelevant and doesn’t necessarily make them bad players. I agree with Reaper that we are a mid-table side at present but Grayson has said “We got into the market early for players who were out of contract or on free transfers, and then we wanted to go looking at players who are under contract at other clubs. I’d expect to have two or three more here before the season starts.” Matt BB @craig, ok i can accept that in its context, i still think we are at risk unless something happens up front and in defence. I think our midfeild doesnt need too much doing to it if those areas are plumped up. I’d assume that the rumours around russel and doyle mean one of them may end up here. By the way I have just spent the morning with a derby supporter, a season ticket holder for a lot of years, connolly was “rubbish” according to him, I pointed out that clough hasnt had the best record with a number of players, including hulse, but he was firm that connolly was surplus to requirements. I’ve heard theres a decent right back at Charlton, nowadays… Frazer something? and a good holding midfielder at Swindon… Craig @mattbb Your comments on Richardson pretty much say it all. Leeds fans were constantly citing him as a weak defensive link when he played for Leeds and yet he’s a regular for Charlton – who, let’s remember, weren’t promoted. I do think this illustrates how, in one team/system a player can be poor but with different people around him and a changed setup they may look an entirely different player. It also works the other way around of course! Craig Your avatar photo would also split fans down the middle (assuming it is Carlton Palmer and not his look-alike) – some Leeds fans would say he was the worst central defender ever to play in a Leeds team at that level. To others he was a hero. Matt BB well i hope thats the case with connolly, the derby fan i was speaking with couldnt slate him enough. Though he was plymouths bobby moore.. strong in the tackle and good going forward, paul jewell took him to derby and he generally has a good eye for a player. I know its probably crazy to suggest but to me we should think about bringing richardson home, and the other defender i’d take back is kilgallon, we should never have let him go. Matt BB apologies for my typing. Dje [Aside] Mmm, Holland v Brazil or… Murray v Nadal? Matt BB holland vs brazil, just think of all the female fans, (drools) as opposed to a game which will do nothing for your nerves, as that spanish ape pounds our paltroon with 300mph serves. pete If it was Holland v. Brazil in 11-a-side tennis, I’d watch that… Dje @pete Lol. Multi-ball chaos! Craig Or Brazilian chicks vs Brazilian chicks in beach volleyball! Dje @craig … sounds good. Dutch chicks can be the jubilant spectators. Dje @craig Surely Roque Junior was the de facto worst centre back ever to play for us in the topflight. I’d put my house on it [well, if I had one]. Matt BB top 5 worst central defenders to put on a white shirt… 1. Roque (clown stance) Jr 2. Carlton (Pob) Palmer 3. Hayden (Strewth mate that centre forwards fast) Foxe 4. Matt (not good enough for Coventry) Heath 5. Michael (Handball / wycombe legend) Duberry Craig @Dje You are probably right. pete @Dje Just in the top flight, you say? I can’t think of any worse at any level. Including Sean Gregan/Paul Butler at their absolute, oil-tanker-turning-circle worst. Matt BB yes in all honesty you could do a full on top 100 show on channel four about our sh1t defenders, I’d forgot about those two, though i thought gregan had his moments and was actually pretty good, though I always thought Butler was past his best. pete Gregan had his moments, but for me they came when he played in midfield. In defence he was not only embarrassingly bad, but he kept Kilgallon (who was our best defender at the time) out of the side too… Still not as bad as the Roque Horror Show though… Matt BB @craig yes its carlton palmer, and i think he was a plyer who almost epitomised the wilkinson era. Remember his goal against wimbledon, the same one where yeboah scored for me the best goal of his time here.. Other than that a generally appalling player for most of the time he was here and not worth the £2m we paid.. i short it was fmaine or feast with carlton. pete Carlton Palmer was our midfield ‘enforcer’ when I started going to Elland Road as an 8 year old. To me, he’s the prototype Park Ji-Sung. He’ll cover every blade of grass to get to the ball, and do that very well for 90 minutes, but once he has the ball he is totally without use. He even managed to mis-place 5 yard passes to Gary Mac… Those were the halcyon days of Palmer, Brian Deane, David White, Noel Whelan, Paul Beesley, Andy Couzens, Mark Tinkler and Andy Gray… Dje The thing about Roque Junior is that he looked like a guy who’d never played professional football before – one of those odd-bods who set-up bogus websites about their imaginary footballing achievements, and then pretend to be their own agent on the phone as they hawk their playing-part of their split-personality to any club gullible enough to believe whatever any random unknown chap wants to tell them down the phone. But then he’s got a World Cup Winners Medal too?! Mind, not sure what that says about the standard of football at World Cups. TheReaper08 @Dje It says a lot about the quality of Brazilian defenders that’s for sure, a point highlighted earlier today. pete Brazilians never did like defending though. It bores them somewhat. I just felt sick that Roque Junior was allowed to play in a position once occupied by the likes of Charles and Radebe… TheReaper08 @pete I know what you mean, fancy being picked to play in your school team in Rio and then told you are playing in defence, or even worse in goal ! Paul Gittins Some interesting comments on here. As I’ve said in another thread, I’d be more than happy with a year of mid-season mediocrity – especially as there’ll be at least 7-8 clubs who have Premiership parachute payments to splash about. Whatever your views on Bates, it’s hard for us to compete with those financial resources. As for the frees we’ve had so far, Schmeichel has to be marked at least 9 out of 10, Paynter is probably a 7, and I don’t know enough about the other two to grade them – although they have to be better than playing a centre half and a midfielder as your two full backs ….. There’s a big step up from L1 to the top half of the Champ, and a huge step from there to the Prem (just ask West Broam). To expect us to be able to sign7-8 players who are capable of bridging that combined gap in one go seems a tad unrealistic to me. Well, unless Abramovich has a richer elder brother who fancies settling in West Yorkshire ……. TheReaper08 @paulg It is unrealistic I totally agree. Build a squad now to get you out of the league your in, if your lucky a few of those players will step up the following season and be good enough. The only thing I can’t agree with is your grading of our free signings, I have reservations and will only grade when they have settled in and played a few games. Interestingly the only two that can 100% play at the level we are at now are the two you say you know the least about. Craig @TheReaper08 Can’t say fairer than that Reaper. I’m sure that’s pretty much the way Simon must be thinking – who’d be a manager eh? I think most of us would have put money on Messi to set the WC alight but now he’s going home with no goals to his name. OK, that can be put down partly to ‘the fan in the suit’ (I love that quote from today’s game) but even the most promising player sometimes just doesn’t fit in. TheReaper08 @craig I think it makes sense, the last thing we want to be doing right now is over comitting finacially to Premier League players. The nucleus of the squad is decent and we have a few that I think might be able to do a job at PL level. I am not talking about the World Cup anymore, my two bet’s (Brazil & Argies) are both out and I only bet on Argentina cos TSS kept going on about Messi. Colin @TheReapero8 I disagree – apart from Schmeichel – who in that team could do a job in the PL? Let’s face it Leeds have a 3rd division team that’s been “improved” by free signings from CCC or League 1 clubs. There’s no way that any of the Leeds players could do a job as a first team regular in the PL. Okay, maybe Snodgrass would be a sub for a Prem team. But the only player we had who anyone whether it be CCC or PL would take a chance on is Beckford. He’s gone and there’s no-one to replace him as yet. For me this team is full of 3rd division players, with a few at CCC level, but none of them near PL. If they were then they’d have been snapped up by now. I think we do need a few PL quality players to add some strength to this team. This team has no pace, no quality defenders, no out and out striker and no wingers who can cross a ball properly. If we’re expecting the likes of Bradley Johnson, Becchio, Naylor, Andrew Hughes to keep us in this league then we’re in trouble. The only reason we were promoted was because of Beckford’s goals. Without Becks’ goals we’d have been in League 1 still and we haven’t really improved the team. Now without Becks we still reckon we can go up to the next level and play well? No chance. I think we’re going to get destroyed by a lot of clubs in CCC unless we get some decent players. If SG really really thinks that team can do well (top half) in the Championship then he’s deluded. It’s the same team that struggled for so long in League 1!! But this time round without top-scorer Beckford!! I’m pretty sure that Bates doesn’t rate SG. When we had the dip, that was not good and SG didn’t have a clue how to get the club out of it. Bates knows that. Let’s face it, we were lucky, we got through it somehow. He’s waiting for him (harshly) to fail to bring in a “big” name and give him the cash – someone like Steve Coppell. I guarantee you this – if Leeds are in the bottom 5 at Xmas, then SG is a gonner. If there’s no further signings then that’s exactly where I see Leeds being. TheReaper08 @colin I am quite frankly astounded mate. How you can put forward Kasper who didn’t cut it in the PL and is only proven at L2 level (Sorry but that is fact) as our only possible prem player ? All this whilst dismissing all the others ? I would put forward that Snodgrass is possibly PL, Kisnorbo was on the verge of joining Fulham before his knee injury, Becchio plays the second striker role well and would be worth a go at least. Both Kilkenny and Howson are both time on the ball midfielders, a luxury not afforded in the lower leagues but something you do get in the Prem. As it happens I think you could be right about Kasper but only as right as I could be about the others. I also think that right now we are mid table, I can easily name plenty of sides that right now are worse than we are. With the addition of the players being hinted at (CD, CM, STR) we could even challenge for play offs. Colin @TheReapero8 Sorry Reaper, I should have said Kasper could be PL class and not that he actually is PL quality as yet. Paul Gittins @colin It’s also the same team that was a street ahead at Christmas, that beat Man U deservedly and Watford comfortably, that should have beaten Liverpool. Over the season I reckon we finished where we deserved to be …. Norwich but by some distance the best side I saw at ER last season; while our first half form flattered us, we weren’t nearly as poor a side as we sometimes looked in the second half of the season. I agree we need to replace Beckford’s goals; so lets see who SG is going to be able to bring in before we start to write off the year, eh …..??? Mike 3 good arguments there and I agree with them all…! I think Bates kept Larry on because he has the ability to just cut it without spending any money, the dearest thing to kens heart.. I do however think Colin is right and he has till Christmas to at least be in the top half. That will do ken and most fans I think at least for one season. This successive promotions idea is crap. even if it happened endless millions would have to be spent just to stay there. Craig @mikelufc There are only half a dozen managers in the whole league who are assured of a job until about Christmas – and many who may not last that long. Craig I meant all four leagues. Colin One of my big concerns is that for whatever reason, we have a massive falling off a cliff dip every season. 06 – We had it with Blackwell, got rid of him, replaced him with Wise and got relegated. 07 – Great start after -15 points, but then it fell away, Wise left 08 – Gary Mac doing well then we had Histon and everything fell apart 09 – Easily clear of the rest at Xmas, then it all went downhill and we scraped over the line in 2nd If we hadn’t got promoted, SG would have either walked or got the shove. If we have a dip as per usual but it comes before Xmas, then we’ll be in the same old poop that we were with Blackwell in 06. I hope that there’s some teams in this league that struggle right from the off, because I think we could really do with giving them a good hiding and getting ourselves some points at their expense. And also if we struggle then I reckon the Elland Road crowd will start grumbling and showing their disapproval at games. At least when we had Beckford, he took all the flak and the rest of the team were left alone. With no Becks, who will the boo-boys go for next?? Dje Is it just me, but Grayson’s words this week of maybe bringing in one or two players in are more than alarming. Many recent posts have focused on Hooper coming to replace Beckford, or not. some have argued for Somma and Grella to be given a shot. Regardless, at least there are options upfront. My concern is at the back. After Christmas, especially without Kisnorbo, our defense was abysmal. Sure, we couldn’t seem to find an actual left-back and right-back to play in their respective positions, but my worry is for the central defensive positions. To date, on the books we have: Patrick Kisnorbo – out ’til at least November and no guarantee that he’ll be the same rock he was once he comes back from injury, whenever that might be. Richard Naylor – completely past it, we all saw it last season. We he wasn’t told to look for another club God-only knows. At his age he isn’t exactly going to rediscover any pace or positioning sense. Lubomir Michalik – never looked that convincing since signing for us full-time. Grayson has declared he wants rid of him. Hardly a confidence booster for a player who clearly looks short of confidence most of the time. Leigh Bromby – I’m still not that convinced, but perhaps next season will see more consistency from him. Besides, at present, he is the only recognised, wanted and established centre back who is not past it we have. Umm, Tom Lees – young lad who did OK on loan at Accrington Stanley, although they preferred to play him as a right-back. So, there is really just Bromby at the back until Kisnorbo comes back form injury. And Grayson says he might bring in one or two more players – presumably one of which will be a striker! Promotion, play-offs, mid-table, hanging-on, or relegation battle – regardless of which one it’ll be from this list, we are surely gonna need at least two to three centre backs coming in before being able to avoid adding relegated to the list. Or is Hooper going to score 30+ goals in the league to avoid us needing to bring in a defense?! Colin @Dje Yep, 100% agree. I think we’ll get a striker, but I think it’ll probably be a loan signing. Someone mentioned Kilgallon previously – I think a Kilgallon would cost you at least £1m. I don’t think Kilgallon is all that but he’s okay and do a good job in the Championship (but nowhere near PL class). But my point is that I think Kilgallon is better than any of our options. I don’t think we have the cash to buy a decent CB and any Championship side is unlikely to let a player go to rival Leeds unless they get some serious money in return. Craig @Dje Paul Connolly? Dje @Craig To my web-browsing knowledge Connolly is a right-back – at least that’s where he always played at Derby, and the other lad from Swansea, Besonne, is a left-back/winger. It is possible that Grayson has spotted Connolly as a better central defender than a right-back, but it is a hell of a gamble going in to the new season relying on a player fending a new position at the heart of your defense. I’d still like to see a recognised central defender come in – no doubt on a free, no doubt already 30 [probably Demerit then!] – just to know that we’ll have half a chance of keeping a clean sheet next season. Any money spent – and I doubt we have the £1m or so for Kilgallon – on a more promising central defender would be a bonus. Craig @Dje Fair comment. When Connolly arrived I was overwhelmed by all kinds of demands and didn’t have the chance to research him. I agree with you on the need for a CB though and am sure Simon must have one on his shopping list. Colin And don’t Leeds have to pay out millions to previous investors as part of the administration deal if Leeds get promoted to PL before 2012? From the noises coming from SG, I reckon he’s got less than £1m to spend. I can see money being scarce for a long long time UNLESS England get the 2018 World Cup. If that happens, then I reckon you’ll suddenly see a cash strapped FSF find some serious money from under the cushions in their sofa and I’m sure Leeds City Council will join the ride and suddenly decide to ‘invest in sport for the future of the children of Yorkshire’ and buy ER back and loan it to Leeds. But remember, all that investment would be for the people of Leeds and not at all about building massive hospitality boxes and hotel complexes and making money for FSF or the council. ER would become the Wembley of the north – a monster truck hosting, music concert venue and part time football ground. I’m backing the bid TheReaper08 @colin At last half time monster trucks, I’m backing the bid ! Dje I think it is £5-6m we’d have to pay if we got promoted to the Premiership, Colin. A small fee for promotion and the riches on offer – but still a considerable dent to an imminently needed Premiership transfer kitty. After Australia pulled out of the 2018 bidding, it is realistically going to be in Europe in 2018. Three bids in Europe left in the hat: Russia, Spain/Portugal, and England (I’d love to say Britain, but it aint going to ever happen). The bookies have England as favourites and they aren’t often wrong on these things. Something’s wrong though when the saviour of Leeds United as we know/knew it is the shady-hand deals of Sepp Blatter! TheReaper08 @colin @Dje But economies of scale dictate that a club the size of Leeds would be able to make evn mor emoney off the back of a PL return as well. For instance Blackpool got promoted will see an increase in crowd size to say 14k but have no real corporate facilities, no real sponsorship draw and will probably be on Sky occasionally for novelty value etc. etc. Leeds however will be an instant attraction for corporates (and you watch the price of a box sky rocket), crowds will sell out (at least at the start), the big name shirt manufacturers and sponsors will come calling. This will more than make up for a relatively paltry £5/£6 million administration penalty we will have to pay. Brien Collins I agree with much of whats been said by you reaper my friend. Another problem as i understand it is that of the likes of kandol, sheehan , robinson who were all signed on decent (for championship and league 1) wages. Kandol seems happy to run down his contract at leeds the useless git and to end his (and indeed the others) contract by mutual agreement is going to be costly. Grayson needs rid of these fringe players that are currently mill stones round leeds’ financial neck. Bates isnt going to be willing to put his hands into his deep but superglued pockets for hooper ,mcarthur etc while these leeches are on board. If we can get rid of them on freebies (kens favourite) there may be a bit more collateral in the pot looking at things from a purely business perspective. I assume hooper will want a reasonable wage. Anyhow just thought i’d throw that in the mix? Like most of us i keep googling and searching all possible avenues (most of which are fanciful bull) more than daily in the vain hope of a sign of a signing some news to get excited about and some money being spent. Funny how all these goons on these websites all seem to have a secret source “just seen pele in yorkshire if hes not signed by tomorrow night you can chuck me off of here. You know im always right”. Yeah right! God i hate the anticipation at this time of year, to be followed by the inevitable anticlimax. Its much like friday night on the pull. You wake saturday morning see the sexy black dress draped over the chair that you remember vaguely derobing in the early hours of the morn. With a smug grin on your face and your loins stirring you stare down at the bottom of the king size bed to see a pair of size 10 feet and muscley calfs peeping out at you. SCREAM!! Yes transfer window/silly season is not all its cracked up to be. P.s i wasnt speaking from experience. Craig @bremnersbarmyarmy Thanks for that window into your inner world – I am delighted to discover its isn’t your experience but you dragged it up from somewhere – Uugh! Personally, I think the speculation is one of the high-water marks of the season. It is far easier dealing with fantasy let-downs than the real thing. Mike I agree with all you just said Craig superhoops Boyd to ‘boro – does this leave the door open for Hooper to come our way?? Was encouraged listening to SG interview in which he said money will be spent if it’s going to improve the squad. Craig And Billy Sharp has gone to Donny. We obviously didn’t want him since ‘we get every player we go for’. superhoops Actually I take that back – Billy Sharp has just gone to Donny for Â£1.1 mil, that means one of four things: 1) We are outbid by Donny and don’t have those sorts of funds; 2) The player, as a lifelong Sheff Utd fan, has rejected a move to Leeds; 3) We lost interest as we are close to signing another striker; 4) We were never interested in Sharp, it was pure media speculation. Craig @superhoops Outbid by Donny… surely not Dje Yep, Billy Sharp has just gone to Doncaster Rovers for £1.1m. Likewise, could be a sign that Leeds has their man [lined up]. Dje @craig Beat me to it! superhoops @craig It’s getting to the point now where I#m taking banter from colleagues for Bates’s bizarre assertions. We simply don’t get every player we go after, Nick Montgomery?? Craig @superhoops Nick Montgomery??? Who’s he? Does he play football? I think you’ll find its Rugby League and that his wikipedia is being erased/updated as we speak. If there ever was a footballer by that name Leeds would never stoop that low. Dje Bates is always one for taking himself up. We shouldn’t be surprised that he talks his talk up too. Deconstructionists could have a field day with his tongue-wagging contradictions. Possibly in the extracts of the fragments of the footnotes to his press conference when he said “We always get the players we go after” it was written in small print: ‘Mr Bates actually means: we always get the players we get.’ Henry V Simon said he was thinking about whether to bring Mr Collins back at centre-half. Names like Sharp, Montgomery and Hooper, to mention a few of the many, have been linked by the media. Not by Simon! Our interest in these players may be just lies? We may not have ‘bid’ for any of them. We know we will be disappointed when the dusts settles. Twas ever thus!! Craig Sh@* – just seen the “Leeds seal Mackay deal” link on NewsNow – I thought we’d tempted Malky MacKay from playing-retirement to shore up our defence! Dje @craig Last time I looked, that Mackay story was still Number 2 on the NewsNow ‘most popular’ list – so you probably weren’t the only one panicking. What with Henry V’s reference to Grayson considering a ‘Mr Collins’ for central defense – John Collins, we might wonder?!? We could slowly be working our way towards a Scotland Masters XI. Who needs Kris Boyd when you can have a wheezing Ally McCoist upfront? Besides, Strachan can be our player-manager. Craig @Dje Looks like we turned to Gary MacAllister 2 years too early! TheReaper08 This might be a bit controversial but Donny can have Billy Sharp. My first choice is Gary Hooper and as long as we gert him all is well. Hooper is taller, younger and has a more progressive profile. Sharp has had is opportunity at his boyhood club and did nothing of note. Hooper hasn’t had his opportunity on the big stage yet and when he does I for one think he will do very well. superhoops @TheReaper08 completely agree with you. Hooper has got to be the target, he’s without doubt a better player than Sharp. Now it comes down to whether we have the money. TheReaper08 @superhoops It’s the money that concerns me as well, especially as if we don’t get Hooper now there doesn’t appear to be a decent Plan B. Craig @TheReaper How come we are so convinced that Hooper is Plan A? Dje What worries me about the the Hooper transfer saga is that I don’t reckon we actually have £2.5m to spend on him. Beyond this I don’t think that Bates would be willing to spend much over what Doncaster have just paid for Billy Sharp – who most would agree is a lesser prospect than Hooper. I imagine Bates will relish the prospect of playing hardball with Scunthorpe and see if we can unsettle Hooper through speculation about ‘dream moves’ to Leeds etc and try and pick him up for give-or-take one million. A tried and tested formula in football transfers, of course. The only problem is there are, on all accounts other clubs interested in Hooper. Sure Middlesborough have just filled their striker position (and wage bill) with Kris Boyd but Lennon at Celtic personally watched Hooper twice at the end of last season and has just had a right good clear out at Celtic Park of both players and their wage bill. Although Rangers finances are all over the shop, they’ll be after a cheap fix for Boyd too. Beyond that there’s the rumours of Wolves and Wigan monitoring Hooper. So any cheap-trick offer of around £1m for him is going to have Scunthorpe hawking Hooper to Celtic, Wigan, Wolves and any others for say £1.5m and a higher level (not necessary standard) of football and wages than we would offer him. So the best way to get Hooper is to offer Scunthorpe the sort of money they are after, and the sort of money that Wolves and Wigan and Celtic wouldn’t risk on a player untested in the top league of England/Scotland. I reckon that’d be about £2m, and we just aren’t going to offer Scunthorpe that amount of money sadly. So, what about this Plan B then? TheReaper08 @Dje Although Scunny have dismissed the idea I think there might be a deal with player(s) going in the opposite direction. superhoops @dje @TheReaper08 I don’t think that going North of the border as a young player has anywhere near the pull that it used to, I think most nPC players would view it as a step down, not a particularly ambitious move. 2.5 mil for Hooper is overinflated I think, and I would hope that the Sharp transfer would illustrate this – we would ultimately be saying Hooper is double and more the player Sharp is, which is not the case. I wonder if you’re right Reaper – I coul dsee a deal happening invlolving players going the other way. Scunny admit to being a development club, so I wouldn’t be suprised if we say one of our younger players go in their direction, or perhaps even Grella? But in reponse to earlier posts, we do know that we are interested as afact, as the Scunny chaiman told the press we’ve made an enquiry. Matt BB I think we’d be mad to let Grella go anywhere other than on loan, he and Somma fall into thte category of players to develop, Leeds have done that before (Andy Keogh, Nick Montgomery) and regretted it. I think as I say in my post below that Bates is being selective in the players we `want’ my view is that we most likely did `want’ Sharp and have been outplayed by Doncaster. Dje Tis possible I guess, Reaper. The problem is poorer teams are usually more savvy with dealing players coming in on exchange as they really need to know that they are getting the goods or else they’re really in trouble. And have we really got the goods in Kandol, Sheehan, Robinson Michalik? I think they are trying to rebuild their midfield after Grant McCann and Matt Sparrow left. I’m not sure who Atkins would want from us to replace them. Andy Robinson is the only one with Championship experience but being unfit, over-weight and spectacularly out of form (we presume) it would be a hard sell to the Scunthorpe fans for Hooper. Sure there’s Kandol, who Atkins is supposed to have been interested in before – and someone whose size at least offers them something different. He has had 13 games with Charlton in the Championship too (when they got relegated) – I think he scored a few and got sent off as many times. You’d have to ask about his temperament though and, as we know, the liability he can be. Their left-back Marcus Williams also exited this summer too. But beyond Sheehan we are hardly over endowed with fit-and-ready left backs to swap. They might be interested in Sheehan, who has been OK for Swindon last season. I don’t think he has any real Championship pedigree though. Beyond that there is good old unwanted Michalik who played a fair bit for us in the Championship (when we got relegated) and I wouldn’t rule out Grayson being interested in offloading Naylor and Crowe (and if the offer was right Bromby too). I could see other players Grayson might consider too: Johnson, possibly even Kilkenny if he doesn’t fit in with the team restructuring (which would be an error), and Somma. Not that any of these would necessarily go, nor Atkins actually want/need. Ultimately, our spares and repairs don’t look too promising, sadly. Matt BB i think thats a fair point, we also dont have many good young players we could move out at the moment. If you’re dealing with even a lower level championship club why would they want a player like kandol or Robinson who basically havent played for 12 months? Sheehan on the other hand has quite a good resume with the work hes done at Swindon – but why arent they signing him…? I keep seeing comments about his attitude, he might be a good left back but if his personality is not positive then as a manager you want to move those players on. TheReaper08 Swindon aren’t signing him because he did ‘reasonable work’ not reasonable good work’, suitable difference but they don’t consider him to add value and went for a Stockport defender instead, say’s it all really. TheReaper08 Was supposed to be subtle not suitable….. Henry V I would be surprised if Hooper is part of plan ‘A’ Craig. Simon loves all the confusion and red herrings before he springs his surprise and brings in somebody really crap!! Just kidding (I hope). Simon has had his ‘list’ a long time now and the transfer window is open, so there is no reason why he cannot bring Hooper in now if that is his plan. However, we have no reason/evidence to think we are interested in him, apart from the papers. We do need another 4 Championship standard players to boost our squad, but may settle for 2, and then wait and see how we go. I would love to see Sanchez Watt return. He is class. Not seen Hooper play, but you all have got me excited about him anyways!!! But nobody cares what we think, so we are in their hands!!! Matt BB How embarassing, out foxed by Doncaster Rovers in the transfer market. It’s easy for Bates to come out with cack like “if we want a player we will get him” So does Simon want Cristiano Ronaldo at Leeds? Of course he does – do we have the money? no, so we erm… dont want him, and we then dont want any platyer who costs too much. Its easy to win arguments and fights when you pick them, what concerns me is how compettitive we are really? If Montgomery, Sharp, Eustace and co dont rate us then I think it might be down to their own judgement to an extent but by another token arent we falling into our usual trap of being so arrogant as a club that players must be `insane’ if they dont want to play for us? and that this alone is all thats needed to ensure the best players come to us? I cant think of many businesses where the best staff dont command the best wages, and that you dont attract people by having a good working environment, benefits and so forth. If I was 24 years old and had two roles in front of me one for £200K per annum and another for £100K I know which I’d go for, so why would it be different for a football player. I think (and I’ve said it before) that our arrogance as a football club is our biggest obstacle, and our unreasonable expectations, and this is a practical example of this at work. Its brilliant if you can persuade a kasper schmeicel or a kisnorbo to come along for free, but to be honest youd really have to be mad to turn down bigger money. I finally wonder about the `hand of blackwell’ he has successfully managed to turn almost `givens’ like monty – a leeds trainee and leeds supporting player, and sharp into non-events, mark my words if you had a current boss who had worked for a prospective new employer youd go to them first and say “whats it like at leeds? what is the chairman like?” that will have had an influence – surely. I happen to think that we will end up going for Hulse, i have it on reasonably good authority that he will not command a very high fee from Derby, and is looking to move. TheReaper08 Sorry mattbb but there is absolutely no indication that we were even remotely interested in Sharp, which depending on the full outcome of the transfer window I am grateful for. As for Hulse it’s reasonably common knowledge that he is available for little money, it has something to do with the powers at Derby being skint and publicly hawking the player around to anyone that will listen. I actually didn’t mind him first time round but not for me and I doubt very much if we are even considering it. SG’s pattern is to play a ‘grafter’ striker alongside a nippier more dynamic player which rules him out. For me Hooper wants to join but we don’t want to pay £2.5 million. Look for this to run towards the end of the window when we sign him for half that tops. Then wait for the arrows to be hurled in our direction from the powers at Scunthorpe on how we manipulated the player, left them with no choice etc. etc. Classic Bates. Dje @Reaper And you don’t think Bates will be a bit rusty with this tactic? Seriously, I can’t remember the last time we got a player ‘on the cheap’ – beyond free transfers that is. TheReaper08 @Dje No I don’t think so. We aren’t talking about cheap anyway I think we are talking about realistic market value. Scunny want £2.5 million and that’s there right, but is he worth that, no. I believe he wants to join us plus he only has one year left on his contract. The longer this drags with the player wanting to move somewhere the lower his value will become. In January he will be worth less and can sign a pre contract with whoever he wants and walk for free at the end of the season. My guess is Scunny were hoping to catch one of the ex-PL teams coming down with pockets of cash and one of them would cough up, they didn’t allow for a players desire to move to a club that won’t pay what there asking. Dje @Reaper I appreciate the theory, and why pay £2.5m of money we (probably don’t have) if you can get the player in a months time for £1-1.5m. The problem remains that I don’t think Bates will (or possibly even can) pay £1.5m and I’d be surprised if he paid a flat £1m. As I said before, we don’t really have the sort of surplus players that would interest an wily club such as Scunthorpe – and if they were after Robinson, Kandol, or Michalik then we’d have to supplement these players wages to such an extent (at least £3k a week for each of them) that we would in effect be paying upwards to £1.25m even if we got Hooper for say £1m. But do we have £1.25m in the finances to do this? I doubt it, as we still need to pay the wages of around three more first team players when we bring them in (and that’d be if they were more freebies). But the teams that would have players that would genuinely interest Scunthorpe in an exchange are Wigan, Wolves, Celtic and the teams just relegated from the Premiership. These teams could afford to supplement their wages, or failing that loan out some of their youngsters. Even Derby, money difficulties aside, have Rob Hulse as a genuine counter-weight to a deal. A different player to Hooper and the wrong end of his career, yes – but a creditable goal scorer in the Championship. I just think if we play the hardball game that you reckon Bates wants to for Hooper on the cheap in early August (and I am sure he does, as there is a possible bargain in it for him), then it is us who are more likely to end up the mugs rather than Scunthorpe who are more canny than we are. And early August is a bit late for Plan B. TheReaper08 @Dje Why such a surprise, last time we were in the championship we spent amounts between £500k and £1.1 miilion. Bates might be tight but even he appreciates you have to invest some capital to progress. Whatever happens one of us is likely to be right, no offence but I really hope it’s me ! Craig Free transfers are pretty cheap Dje. Craig @Dje You need to take into account the fact that Hooper doesn’t have to go to a club of Scunthorpe’s choosing. Its the Beckford scenario all over again but this time we may be on the upside. I’m not counting chickens though. Dje @Craig. Well hopefully Hooper wants to come to Leeds and Scunthorpe take a hit on it because of it. But I’ve never seen him say ‘he wants to come to Leeds’ – players rarely do, unless the are tapped up, instead just give the wishy-washy ‘I’m flattered to be connected with a club such as …’. The only thing I can see going for us over other teams (aside form Derby) is that we are near enough to where he currently lives so he wouldn’t have to move – which I saw somewhere was something that he had said was important (although this might just be a wee bit of spin on ‘I’m currently happy at Scunthorpe United’, who knows). Beyond this the other teams I have mentioned offer him the same or higher standard of football (and whilst I agree Celtic and Scotland might not be the standard it once was, it does offer practically automatic European football year out for the top two same old teams); and I imagine the same or better wages. As Hooper has never played for a ‘big team’ we don’t have the edge over Wigan of offering him the cauldron atmosphere of Elland Road every other week to look forward to. Celtic are hardly a small club atmosphere, and Wolves and detestable as they are, Derby, are still going to feel more lively and a step-up from Glanford Park. Anyway I’m starting to sound shrill and obsessed about it, rather than just pessimistic about the eventual outcome. Here’s hoping all the same! Craig @mattbb Some sound stuff here but who said we wanted Sharp? I don’t think he’d get into our first team so what’s the point – we already have strikers that are equal to him on the bench. TheReaper08 @craig Totally agree mate. Matt BB i really dont think we do have strikers equal to him? has Becchio got a track record above league one? so that leaves Grella, Kandol, Somma. If we werent after Sharp I would be very surprised, I’ll admit I cant prove that. I would be worried if we were trying to get hooper on the cheap, cuase i don think that will work. Sharps got a good degree of pace, and is player in the beckford mould I think. Hulse being moved on is nothing to do with the finances at derby by the way, but I am bound to secrecy. and come on – i dont usually stick my neck out on these things! Craig OK, so Becchio hasn’t got a track record in League One – why’s that then? Because he’s only played for one team in England and that is Leeds United. I’ll ask you a similar question: what do you think is so great about Billy Sharp’s record in League One? I really don’t think Grayson would be interested in Hulse at whatever price. Matt BB Didnt Sharp score 53 goals for Scunthorpe in league one? thats more than Becchio in his three years with us (36 i believe?). Hes then scored 15 goals at Doncaster last season in the championship. So I think that makes him more prolific doesnt it? Why wouldnt Grayson be interested in Hulse? Hes got a proven scoring record in the championship, he’s cheap, and he wants to go back to Leeds. Craig It is true that Sharp played for Scunthorpe but they were in League One when he did so. I’ll give you his record at Doncaster though. Becchio has only been with us for two years and gives something different to the team – if he’d not been around Beckford wouldn’t have scored a lot of his goals. I agree that we need another striker but don’t think Sharp fitted that bill. Matt BB to be fair i had forgotten about Billy paynter, we have him now so we’ll be ok then in the championship.. pete Why wouldn’t we want Sharp? Scored at around the same rate as Beckford in L1 and proved he can step up to CCC level and hit 15+ league goals. Cheaper than Hooper (transfer listed after all) too… @craig well, his L1 record is IMO superior to Beckford’s…yes, Keogh (and Beckford, it must be said) did the hard work for him, but he always did his job very well…which was scoring hatfuls of goals. @mattbb Luciano Becchio and Billy Sharp are Chalk and Cheese – one does the hard work and geats a reasonable level of goals, the other scores truckloads of goals but seems to do not a huge amount else. Craig @pete Well I hope the reason we don’t want Sharp is because someone even sharper is lined up (boom boom). Craig …and my mum used to tell me not to want what I can’t have… TheReaper08 @pete But what did he do when the pressure was on ? It’s ok scoring goals when nobody is really noticing you and you are knocking around the lower leagues. When Sharp’s boyhhood club made a move for him, arguably a dream move but with the added presseure of playing for a reasonable sized club competing at the other end of the league what did he achieve ? Pete He did get Healy’d at the blunts though…played a lot of time on the wing, despite vastly inferior strikers playing through the middle. Makes sense when you see who the respective managers are for each I guess… But point taken, stats don’t tell us when the pressure was most on, watching the player does. In 09/10 Beckford bucked his own personal trend of going missing when it mattered, and scored at Old Trafford and White Hart Lane against premier-league standard defences when the whole country was watching, as well as scoring the most important goal of the season to get Leeds promoted when the onus was on him. The more I think of it, the more I think this season toughened Beckford up and made him ready for a higher level… TheReaper08 @pete I think so as well. I would not be at all surprised if he does well for Everton. I hope he does and in turn stuff’s it to all those that chastised him whilst he was banging in the goals. Matt BB @craig your mum and ken bates would get on judging by that! Craig @mattbb Sadly, you are probably right. I saw the similarity as soon as I hit the ‘submit’ button. TheReaper08 @mattbb @craig Can you imagine Ken saying that to SG in a meeting, now Simon don’t go wanting what you can’t have ! Brilliant. Craig @TheReaper08 Yes, and that way Ken can also claim that we don’t miss out on any player Grayson wants as well. With my mum it was a power-play. The similarities with Ken are scary. Matt BB @thereaper08 @craig yes i can imagine it.. “Ken, here’s my list of targe…” “whoah whoah whoah Larry, here’s your list of targets – and a nice `round’ number for your transfer fees, and dont get above yourself..” “Billy who? Billy Wright – now there was a player… he’s 70 yes, but he is out of contract..” Dje Neil Collins on board? Dje Sky Sports have a fair to good record on our transfers. I thought he did OK when he came last season. Never over-impressed but he did have to work with Naylor and out-of-position left and right backs – so greater stability should let him shine. Another presumably free transfer – which will annoy some – but we really need steady-hands and heads in central defence a.s.a.p. So I’d welcome it to be true. TheReaper08 @Dje I don’t mind free transfers as long as they take us forward. As I didn’t get to see too many games last season (and none at the end) I will defer judgement to my esteemed TSS comrades who watched the lad in action, any good chaps ? P.S I agree it can’t be easy working alongside full backs that aren’t full backs and an oil tanker called Naylor. les irwin collins did alright and would be another good free although if grayson is to get his wish and sign players to take on pre season tour he will have to get his finger out .i think we have enough now defensively and he needs a couple in midfield and another 1 or 2 strikers les irwin WHERE IS THE ELUSIVE TSS SEEMS TO ME HE IS LETTING WORK GET IN THE WAY OF A GOOD D EBATE les irwin DEBATE SOORRY TheReaper08 @number1inyorkshire He is Spain having a break, was on briefly last night but probably won’t be about for a few days. TheReaper08 That’s in Spain of course…….. les irwin LOL Dje Geovanni is the latest rumour. Not sure his heart is really in it, mind. Possibly a troublemaker too – or was that just a rational reaction to Phil Brown? Craig @Dje Yes, I read that this morning. I’ve not heard much about him since the Premiership had passed me by in previous years and I refuse to pay a penny to Sky. Anyone seen him play? Is he any good? Craig I’ve just answered my own question via wikipedia. He looks tasty if potentially disruptive and is a midfielder who scores goals. Would probably be dominant at this level if he was up for it. Wages may be an issue though. TheReaper08 @Dje @craig He’s not for me, one moment brilliant the next nothing. High wages plus the chance of him being disruptive. Too many risks. Brien Collins Gudmorn to all. Neil Collins signing today having passed his medical. Of course on a freebie. A player not deemed good enough for PNE. It gets worse. On my way home this morning listening to local radio they said Hooper is in talks with Boro, who are rumoured to have had an offer in region of £1.5- £1.75 million +add ons accepted by Scunny. They expect to have it wrapped up by weekend. So thats pissed on my firework as was/ am hoping to see Hooper in the white of leeds this season. Begs the question who are we going to end up with goddam it. Im off to kip you never know there we might have signed messi and kaka and not just plain cacka! TheReaper08 @bremnersbarmyarmy It’s in the Mail today (only consolation being that paper is garbage) that Celtic are trying to derail the Middlesbrough deal for Hooper, all for around the £2.5 million mark. Very disappointed of that is the case, with Leeds for not competing and a little bit in the player if he chooses to play pub football in Scotland next season. Brien Collins I understand the player doesnt want to uproot home and move, with boro (or leeds ((hopeful)) within comuting distance they seem favorites. Radio reckon Hooper fancies his chances of playing prem footy in a years time with Boro and also Steve Gibbo has said that he will strengthen the squad and spend what needs to be spent. There being the difference a chairman that realises you have to spend a bit of cash occasionally. Also success on field +a good playing squad breeds excitement among the fans = increased gates = more cash = transfer fee soon paid for. Surely we must have more spending POTENTIAL than the likes of donny and the likes. I dont want a season of mediocrity or a relegation battle but that could be the reality without a proven goal scorer. :o(( Henry V Reality hitting home!! When the Chairman and manger say they do not want to disclose the amount we have to spend (don’t want clubs to hike up their prices) we naturally assumed it was more than 20p!! When Simon said “you do not have to spend millions in the Championship to do well”, we thought we had SOME millions to spend. A natural assumption I’ll grant you. As fans we are always optimistic and hoping that the players in the Championship will be kinder to us and let us play. The fact is that, in the Championship, the players are faster and stronger and more skillful than the teams we struggled against in Div 3!! We may start of well but it is a long season!!! Brien Collins Its hard to argue against that. So on that note im going to where leeds are premiership champions and have the best squad of players in the world. An alternative reality commonly refered to as sleep! Matt BB No surprise is it? as much as Hooper might want to come to Leeds we wont pay a transfer fee, so why on earth would scunthorpe accept our, well.. bid of £0 for a player with over 12 months left on his contract. We can all argue that playing for Celtic of Middlesbro isnt as good as playing for Leeds, and we might be right, but until we get an owner who buys back elland road and can throw a few quid into the pot for transfer fees then we’ll be stuck in medicority. What really ground my gears last night was seeing Millwall putting a £1M bid in for Charlie Austin. @thereaper08 what do you make of that! we arent competing. Neil Collins for me was a decent centre half some pace, a decent passer and worked well with Bromby, so I imagine he will be our first choice centrehalf with most likely Bromby, and i wonder what shappening with Naylor. I really cant understand why on earth we arent scanningover the the squads of crystal palace, portsmouth and cardiff who are in financial difficulty, i read last night that we are possibly taking geovanni on trial from Hull? TheReaper08 @mattbb Until we are confirmed as interested in a player, have a bid rejected or a player rejects us (I know Ken reckons that never happens) then I make absolutely nothing of it. None of these players have signed for anyone yet, the only one that has is Sharp. According to sources we have just splashed 600k on Collins, our first money signing. I have seen/read nothing that tells me he will be the last. Matt BB no to their credit they do tend to do their business on the quiet, and theres every chance that the £1M player we are hoping for comes in, if we get them for nothing then brillant.. but theres not many like that around. Craig @TheReaper08 Where did you read £600k Reaper? Matt BB mediocrity – thats where we’ll be stuck sorry. Dje Scott Sinclair for £1.1m now. I’m sure some of these journalists just have a tombola in their office, and pluck out random ‘transfer gossip’ for the fun of it. I hope the editor at least makes them were silly party hats and has a few cheap party-poppers to hand. Dje Jesus, I can’t even spell now – ‘were’ = ‘wear’. Plus the link. TheReaper08 @Dje Exactly mate, as I said above nothing has actually happened yet apart from Sharp to Donny. The rumour mills are running at full tilt and Leeds are an easy target for agents/press. People are getting far to emotional about stuff that hasn’t happened yet. Dje I’d have thought that Middlesborough would have to clear out some of their deadwood upfront before securing Hooper. I’ve just checked their squad and they already have ten strikers on their books: Scott McDonald Leroy Lita Mido Jeremie Aliadiere Marvin Emnes Chris Killen Lee Miller Jonathan Franks Cameron Park Kris Boyd So it might not all be over for us & Hooper just yet. Give a week or two at least! Henry V I think if we can keep at this low, sad level, whoever we buy will seem really good. Expect nothing and you won’t be disappointed!! I am still upbeat and looking forward to next season but I know we will be up against it. Simon and Ken have a ‘suck it and see’ policy and if we are struggling we will bring more free or ‘unwanted’ players in. The pattern is familiar to us. We were in this position before Wilko came and we had inexperienced managers who were “happy to be here”. We had no money, but Leslie Silver and Bill Fotherby decided they would get an experienced manager. They knew that they would have to provide enough funds to attract this manager. They borrowed it, thinking it would be money well spent. It was. Wilko came on that basis, and …. well you know the rest. I think Simon could do really well if he had funds available. Wilko did not have a lot but he used it well and was allowed to buy as HE saw fit. Henry. Dje Collins just signed for us. I really, really hope we got him on a free. Dje Doh!!! “….undisclosed fee” We are, categorically, absolute muppets. Matt BB @Dje i think Collins put in some good performances last season, a bit surprised we have paid an undisclosed fee but I cant imagine it will have been more than £100K as Preston just wanted him out. They’ve signed some decent defenders this summer (i believe its all about backing the manager?) so they needed him off the payroll. Like Connolly though I think we have to take a view that perhaps Simon Grayson perhaps is seeing something in these players that others arent, he signed a lot of players at Blackpool that were surplus to requirement elsewhere and who went on to be pretty good – remember Stephen Crainey.. TheReaper08 @Dje @mattbb As I put above the figure is reported to be £500k – £600k. Whilst I never like to comment on a player I haven’t seen I am a little disheartened by the unanamous feeling from Preston that they are best rid. Dje @mattbb I don’t have any problems with us signing Collins. He was ‘OK’ for us in most of the nine games he played for us last season and seemed to appease our self-destructive ways, and I’ve been calling out before for us to sign more centre backs, so he really ticks many boxes (without over-exciting). My problem is the fee, and our increasingly ineptness in the transfer market… I saw it mentioned that the fee was likely to be nearer £500k. Regardless, why do you pay anything to a club whose manager has public stated that he doesn’t want the player and sees him as surplus but is still a big drain on the wages (which would have been a fair bit as they bought him for about a £1m). If someone was interested in Kandol, Robinson or Michalik you’d bite their hand off to take them for free to clear the wages they are on. You wouldn’t expect to quibble about a fee for them too – Christ if they were worthy of a fee we would play them and not hawk them constantly as available for loans and being transfer listed. You essentially let the other club take them on for a free and you save on not having to pay the player off to terminate their contract and leave by ‘mutual consent’ which is always an expensive game. Ferguson must be laughing his head off at us. Matt BB @Dje i agree we often saeem to come off as planks in the transfer market, and collins looks like someone they wanted rid of, I hope theyre wrong, its in the ferguson genes to sign a couple of duds every summer. Bill Fox The official website has the signing announced with a photo of Collins losing out on a header with the Gillingham 3 – Leeds 1 score in the background. Top effort that one !! Matt BB @Dje I dont think anyone’s truly happy with our bargain basement approach at the moment, but we shouldnt be surprised its been like this for quite some time, in short since Bates came in. The last time he spent serious wadge was on Healy, Blake and Cresswell and that was parachute funds. I think if any monies change hands its going to be undisclosed, imagine what it would do to the club and player if it came out that the fee was £3K for example? I really cant see us paying £500K for a player no one wants, i think preston have just spent £500K on Carl Dickinson.. maybe thats where that figure arose? The truth of the matter is that we need another central defender due to Kisnorbo and Naylors injury record, a holding midfielder, and attacking midfielder, and a striker. I imagine if any fees are going to be spent and i doubt we will spend much now. That this’ll be for a striker and were probably saving our money for that. The trialists may well provide a route to fill some of those positions, but theyll be free too. Its painful when you remember only four seasons ago that we did spend money in the championship, and youd hope we would be doing the same now, but it appears that isnt going to happen. superhoops Well, now we’ve got Collins…quite rate him personally, not a bad signing. We defo need another one to cover Kisnorbo until he’s back – suspect we’ll pick something out in the loan market. AND we’ve spent money…. Dje @mattbb Sorry Matt, I didn’t convey my point very well – I’m actually all for our free transfer policy – I think it makes sense that we pick up certain players and fill positions on free transfers or players who have their contracts terminated by mutual consent so that we can sign them for free. But I only support it for the fact that either we have zero transfer budget this summer – in which case we are already in the shit and let’s all hope Grayson can work the free magic – or we are saving the transfer funds for certain players or positions. I’d be happy to spend money on a central defender – but would prefer a striker – my complaint is that owing to the nature of Collins being utterly unwanted by Preston he is not one of the players we should be using up our transfer pennies on if we can/could have got him for free. If we couldn’t have got him for free then I’d prefer us to have gone for Demerit – who is more experienced and no slower than Collins. The transfer fee we have just needlessly wasted (IMHO) on Collins could then have been closely treasured by Bates before being used for a striker/midfielder/another central defender. That Preston have signed Carl Dickinson from Stoke for £450,000 only infuriates me more. Dickinson is the only decent left-back we have had in years who was consistent, young and not injury prone. That we couldn’t afford him or tempt him from Premiership Stoke seemed only natural. But now we have helped Ferguson buy Dickinson by clearing his wage bill and possibly giving him the entire transfer fee from the deal we have just done for Collins. If we had got Collins on a free we could have picked up Dickinson too and only be a tad worse off on the wage bill. That would be how a sensible club would have gone about it. As I said, Ferguson must be laughing his head off at us. The £500k for Collins was from The Daily Mail – not a source or paper I’d ever want to be associated with, but it would have made as much sense to have talked about him joining us for nowt owing to how much Ferguson had publicly stated he wanted rid of Collins. Considering the calibre of central defenders changing hands in the Championship, £500k is not cheap by any standard so it would be a very poor judgement of a journalist to pluck that figure out of the air and put their reputation on the line for ridicule unless they knew something close to the original transfer source. I hope I’m wrong, but considering it looks like we are unable to even compete for Hooper down to a lack of money – i hope you can appreciate how infuriating it is if we spend money that a more professionally-run club could have avoided needing to pay. Matt BB @Dje Yes I agree what little money we have should be spent where its needed, perhaps that makes the preston board a bit more experienced than us.. we should have gone for dickinson at left back, but in theory we have cover there? Parker, White and Bessone? I find the whole thing very soul destroying to be honest, one free followed by another for players that in most instances their own club dont want, and yes the signing of collins as solid as he may be is not really the stuff of dreams? Theres some way to go though isnt there? I keep saying to myself.. We still need to get Watt back to support our strikers for instance, and I’ve seen some rumours about Scott Sinclair – who i thought was a midfielder, but seems to be a striker! We need that support up front. Grayson appears to be a better judge of defenders than strikers, so maybe he got it right with collins. Dje @mattbb Oh I agree Dickinson would be one too many left-backs now. I think Grayson is starting to see White as a left of midfield player, but having brought Bessone in it would seem indulgent splashing out for another left-back. I’m sure it happens all the time when managers bring a player in for a position, only to find out that a week or two later one of their preferred choices for that position comes available. C’est la vie, and I think Bessone looks a solid prospect for Championship level. Demerit wouldn’t be my preference either for a centre-back – but he is/was available for free. I think Grayson will go for a solid centre back on loan and out of favour from a Premiership team. I can’t say I know much about Scott Sinclair either – one of those youngsters who had their hopes of a career swallowed up by the behemoth beast of Chelsea F.C. Only to surface and raise a eyebrows a few years later that they still play the game. From Wikipedia he looks like he is more of a winger/Gradel/Snodgrass/Watts type. TheReaper08 @mattbb Always have faith mate, it’s still early days and anything can happen. Matt BB I cant see us signing DeMerit referring back to the original list of possibles in our defence, I think Graysonsacuely aware of the fact that he already has Kisnorbo at 30 and Naylor at now 32 in central defence, Demerit would only increase that average age. If we do sign someone its going to be a yopungster at centre half. Perhaps from a solid league two club? TheReaper08 @mattbb I think a lot will depend on SG’s thoughts on Naylor, if he hasn’t spotted what we all saw then there will be no more defensive signings. Like me I am sure you hope he has noticed Naylor’s decline and we may well pick up another player at the back. henry vincent lewis I am glad we got Mr Collins as he pulled us together last season when those around him were losing it!! I doubt we paid anywhere near £500,000 but whatever we paid it was worth it. I noticed that Preston tried to get Mawene to sign a new contract but he refused. Now he would be a good free. He was always Preston’s best player when I have watched them. Henry. Matt BB @thereaper08 Yes I think Naylor had an up and down season some games he was very good and some very bad, overall he isnt a player with a good deal of pace, a decent captain though so thats probably what wins him his place. I dont think Grayson will be too quick to dispense with him, look at what happened with Frazer Richardson his club captain, on the bench for most of the season and then let go. I think if he sees a player declining he acts on it. I do wonder though whether Naylors experience in the championship will see him staying for a little while longer. pete @henryv good call on Mawene, always seems to have so much time on the ball at Championship level yet can certainly defend too… pete Interesting how Southampton have gone for Frazer…for 450k too. Quite a bit for a League 1 player… TheReaper08 @pete Lot of money but then they have it to spend. Apparently they haven’t got a right back at the moment so he is an improvement on that. Watch this space for a Winter Pardew sacking if the Saints aren’t running away with the league come Christmas. Matt BB @pete and remember that even if theyd have had their points deduction repealed they would still have struggled to get in the playoffs.. The only thing that galls me is that here we are signing a no nonsense right back in paul connolly when for me we should never have sold Richardson to Charlton – I am assunming it was to do with his wages and bates not being prepared to continue to pay them.. look at what we had last season, Crowe and Hughes, neither of tham really good enough, certainly not an improvement on Richardson. I think Southampton kind of support Bates’ argument for free transfers, they spent a lot last season and didnt really get moving till the end of the season. TheReaper08 @mattbb Considering they stopped playing when they realised they couldn’t make the play offs they didn’t do too bad. They would have finished above Swindon and Huddersfield with the deduction back, to be fair that’s not that bad. Paul Gittins How Frazer got into the L1 team of the year last season is beyond me. One of those players who seemed to give 100%, but made me nervous every time he had the ball – especially in his own half! Paul Gittins @mattbb As above, I was quite happy to see Frazer go. For years amongst those I sit with we’d wondered why he never got a run in the first team …. then he got in the first team – at L1 level – and we understood why …..! Unfortunately Crowe was no improvement …. Matt BB @paulg Well i think you probably know my views on Richardson, i tend to blame the fact on the cr@ppy centre backs he often got pulled out of position to defend. He was though a player who split the fans you either rated hinm or you didnt. He was excellent for Charlton last year and i bet we’ll see him in the league one team of the year for southampton next yeat. Crowe was no better and probably worse in many regards, though we now have Paul Connolly as our most likely first choice right back, we all know in our heart of hearts though that andy hughes will end up making the spot his own! TheReaper08 @mattbb You know how much I like Hughes but if Connolly can’t keep him out of the full back spot I will be very very disappointed. Matt BB you know the score, though we get a decent right back, after 2 games theyre injured, and…. Taxi for Mr Hughes – Elland Road? les irwin on the preston blogs etc they seem to agree that in us signing coliins they got the best deal ,that said he wasnt there that long and how many palyers have we had that were rubbish for us and went on to be fantastic for others DENNIS IRWIN rings a bell .i thought he did alright for us and obviously their current manager didnt sign him so i think collins will be alright .however teams are signing million pound players in our division or at least trying to doncaster with sharpe,swindon with austin and others now we have good frees but i said it before and i will again grayson is hell bent on frees and loans THAT WILL NOT GET US OUT OF THIS LEAGUE its like he is playing championship manager on xbox .with the money going through the gate we should be spending money mow on some quality ,quality costs money and in my opinion there should be 5 million to spend on players 3/4 good quality ones starting with a passing midfielder and a 20 goal a season strilker we are full at the back hughesy has no chance and naylor will struggle so thats dead money paying for them it looks like lubo is going nowhere too at the moment i know its early in the transfer window but it seems to me the early bird gets the worm the none spending footy club gets the dross Mike As much as I would be happy with a top 10 finish and a cup run this season, I dont really see how the new players that have come in improve the squad to any significant degree. We should not be buying Preston rejects nor players from league 1 (however many goals they scored). This season we will come up against 7 or 8 teams where half the team is Prem standard and that will be the differance. If anything we seem to have an enourmous squad, but unfortunatley that will not win you promotion. On a positive note just looking at the fixture list makes it all seem much better. Marching On Colin Neill Collins – okay i guess. Giovanni – hmmm, I like the sound of that rumour. We could do with some creativity and flair. And he’s on a free!! Paul Gittins Hate to think what Geovanni’s weekly wage would be …. suspect that’s why Hull have let him go? All the comments about Hull since Adam Pearson returned suggest that, financially, it’s a complete basket case …. Dje Geovanni doesn’t strike me as a Grayson kind of guy and a potential prima donna who’s is more at home sulking than mucking in. He could be a troublemaker in the dressing room too. I’d stay clear and be content to never know what finesse he never brought to our club. Betfair reckon Hooper is coming our way for £3m plus a 20% future sell-on premium. Those figures strike me as absolutely ridiculous but let’s hope it doesn’t denigrate the validity of the actual rumour! TheReaper08 Betfair rumour site reporting that Leeds only need to overcame the finer points on a 20% sell on clause before Hooper signs for Leeds, I do hope that’s true….. superhoops @TheReaper08 yeah quite hopeful of that actually. Bookies tend to be in the know about these things. Craig @superhoops Either that or hundreds of Leeds fans are placing hopeful bets! Dje If we’d offered them £3m for a player they wanted £2.5m they should rightly get stuffed over the 20%. I still think those figures are out of the tombola – but I’m feeling oddly more confident to-day that we’ll get hooper than yesterday. I’m hoping that Celtic do get Robbie Keane on loan afterall – and that blows any room for any more forwards/wages. pete As do I…if that’s true, then that’s the best we could hope for. Sod the price, if he scores 20 this season for us nobody will care how many he got. henry vincent lewis IF! We are supposed to be trying to sign Andy Keogh from Wolves!! Will this spending spree (real or imagined) ever end? Will this spending spree ever begin?? Craig @henryv LoL! Colin It’s the same website that said Hooper to Leeds also says Sinclair for Leeds. It’s just a way to get Leeds fans (of which there many) onto a betting website. If you look at the comments from users under the Sinclair story, you’ll even see the administrator posing the question ‘it would be interesting to see what Leeds fans think will happen next season, blah, blah blah” Sorry to be negative but this is just a ruse – even they say it’s a “rumour”. We know what the Leeds board are like – i can’t see anyway that Leeds would spend £3m on a player and for me what really kills this rumour completely is that Scunny want a 20% sell on clause as well as £3m – there is no chance that Ken will let them have £3m and 20% sell on. Why? Because if Hooper turned out to be overrated, then fans would soon forget that they were so keen to sign Hooper at the start of the season and blame Ken for buying a £3m turd. TheReaper08 @colin I agree but it’s strange that we are selective about what ‘rumours’ we choose to believe. We get ‘outbid’ for Sharp (total rumour) and everyone is burning effergies of Bates in disgust. We are finalising a deal for Hooper and it can’t possibly be true. Go figure….. Craig @TheReaper08 It has always been the same Reaper. People see what they already believe is true in every word and event, sometimes even when all the ‘facts’ signal the opposite! timm Some things will never change! henry vincent lewis SHOW ME THE MONEY!! Show me the money!! Ken would not pay £3 million for Lionel Messi! Craig @henryv Neither would I after seeing him play in the World Cup! Craig COME BACK TSS – this has to be the longest thread ever and we need a new debating point! Matt BB Just seen that we’ve confirmed tyhat Micky Doyle isnt coming to join us permanently, and that Richard Naylor isnt going on tour to Slovakia. I wonder whether or not the latter will be playing a big part in our forthcoming season, the official line being that this is down to the hamstring injury contracted in May, looks like we may be seeing a lot more of Leigh Bromby in defence! Not so sure if I’m too upset about not getting Doyle back, i thought he did a good job last season, just as long as there’s a replacement.. Dje Is anyone else making the connection between TSS getting a sponsorship deal for The Scratching Shed with npower and his impromptu extensive summer holiday!?!! henry vincent lewis Lloyd Sam!!! Signed!! Something true to reflect on!! Mitch Good signing on a free. Was really promising a few years back, hopefully he will find that again. Holding midfielder still to come and I think that is the middle of the park covered! Bill Fox Lloyd Sam = a calmer, more polished Gradel?? Matt BB pleased with that, i actually think wwe’ll end up seeing gradel played as a striker now. Plenty of internet volume around us signing hooper and keogh from wolves. I think Keogh would be an excellent signing, and I’d probably be happier with him than Hooper. Colin @mattbb that would be a bit embarrasing – we let Keogh go in 2005!! TheReaper08 @mattbb Are you kidding mate ? His goal ratio is very slightly better than big Enoch Showunmi, perhaps we should get him, Paul Dickov and maybe Brian Deane could do with a run out. No wonder Beckford left, it would appear there is no appreciation for scoring goals in Leeds. TheReaper08 @mattbb You are aware that you said Hooper was overrated previously. That’s Gary Hooper 2 years younger than Keogh and has already scored over 20 more goals than him. In fact the same Gary Hooper that has scored one more goal just for Scunny since July 08 than Keogh has scored in his entire footballing career. The world’s gone mad. pete Why not have Keogh and Hooper? Keogh is more a creator, Hooper more a goalscorer. They’d gel very well IMO. If we can afford both, that is… Craig @pete Are we looking to field one team or three? Mitch Hooper and Keogh would be one hell of a statement! Can’t see it, but would be happy with either. Still room for a good loanee as well, probably in the form of Watt. TheReaper08 @Mitch The statemnet being we are a complete joke…. Dje I think there’s more chance and better value in taking Keogh on loan. McCarthy clearly doesn’t think he is up to it in his current form, and Keogh’s goalscoring confidence had taken a battering from dreadful seasons at Wolves. Matt BB I dont think we’ll get many more strikers, bear in mind we have Becchio and Paynter on our books, plus Grella and Somma, admittedly the latter two likely to go out on loan, for that reason alone and given I reckon Watt will be coming back it’ll be only one more. Craig @mattbb On what do you base the prediction that Watt will be coming back? I’ve not heard or seen any indication of it. Surely it is a fixation that he’d rather come back to ER than take a pop at becoming part of AFC’s regular squad. Colin Can I just make a prediction right now – I think Grella will be a regular first team starter by Xmas. I know I’m probably in the minority but hey ho! TheReaper08 @colin I will have an imaginary £10 with you that he isn’t….. Dje @colin Regular striker or attacking midfielder? Colin @Dje aww come on – I’m trying to keep my options open! I could see us playing 1 up front with either 1 or 2 others supporting. I could see him in those supporting roles. Dje @colin That could be a good call then, and I agree that we have quit an abundance of forward minded midfield/attackers who aren’t quite strikers: Snodgrass, Gradel, Grella, Somma (from what little I’ve seen of him). That’d leave Paynter and whoever else we eventually bring in as out and out goal poaching strikers and Becchio as support play for holding the ball up and feeding in our attacking midfield. We clearly aren’t going to be the speedy counter attacking team (that you need for the Premiership) but I think we’re heading more to a strategy of a more possession-based attacking/passing style. It promises a more seductive style of football, but whether we’ll be able to keep possession and pass it effectively remains to be seen. Still, there’s hope at least! Dje Anyone know which wing Lloyd Sam plays on/ is better on? The Charlton Athletic website says he can play on either wing, but I was wondering if he was more likely to play on the left or right for us? Mitch Agree on Grella not being an out an out forward. Not sure how much first team action he is going to get, but certianly wouldn’t want to get rid of him as he certainly has potential. A quality holding midfielder is the most important signing I feel and I think this will be the big name signing for the summer. Colin I reckon Grella would be great supporting an out and out old fashioned striker – someone big and strong who roughs up the opposition defence in a sort of Sheringham way to a Shearer. I guess similar to how Smith was with Viduka. In that scenario, Grella could pick up the scraps and set up the big man and also pass to the wingers to allow them to cross it in. Only problem – we don’t have a big man, unless we try and groom Becchio or Paynter into that role. @Dje – great shout on us not being speedy and developing a passing game. Completely agree. I guess the passing game will take time to come good, but I think that’s the way to play if we ever get to the PL. Craig How do you groom a small player to become a larger one? Are we talking ‘big’ hairstyles? Or maybe it could be Becchio on Paynter’s shoulders covered by a huge shirt! TheReaper08 @colin You may have to let this Grella infactuation go one day, I mean God forbid he doesn’t actually cut it. Whatever will you do henry vincent lewis Simon said today that we have plenty of strikers at the club! I hope he was saying that to throw everybody off the scent. We need quality not quantity. None of them are ‘Championship’ strIkers. He has tried to recruit free Championship players in other positions. He must do the same in the most critical position of goalscorer. It is all very frustrating and disappointing. Twas ever thus!!!!! Colin @TheReapero8 I think SG has got his team. He’s going to play 4-3-3. I don’t think we will sign another striker. If we do then it will be a loan and a reserve. He’s got his GK – Schmeichel He’s got enough options for a flat back four in defence. In midfield it will be Howson, Snodgrass and one other. Up front, I think he’ll play Paynter together with Grella, and one other. It’s a dangerous setup but if it comes off then I think the goals could come flooding in. As I’ve said before you do not sign Grella on a long term contract unless you plan to use him in the first team. I don’t believe that SG has any intention of bringing in another striker. Hmmmm. TheReaper08 @colin That’s a very attack minded formation, I like it but I am not sure SG will adopt it if I am honest. I have to say that I will hope that Hooper signs right until the last day of the window or he signs for someone else ! As for Grella I agree he is a propsect and that is why he was offered a deal, however the football graveyards are full of ‘prospects’. Right now however I would have him behind Somma who has at least proven he can score goals in England, albeit at a low level. henry vincent lewis I have a sneaking feeling he will sign a striker. Keogh on loan more likely than Hooper for money maybe!!! It is funny how quiet it has gone with Hooper and other clubs. I cannot see him playing Grella with Becchio and Paynter. I think it will be either or. We will need a strong midfield to survive. Jon I was reading somewhere that Hooper is nearly a done deal and that they are just trying to work out the sell on clause – I can’t remember where I read it though but have a nasty suspicion it was the Mail!! Dje I’m surprised that Grayson has been so vocal today about unequivocally keeping Naylor as captain – fit or not, playing or not. Does Grayson really still see Naylor as part of our starting XI without fitness, pace, youth or positional awareness? Worrying.