The numbers just don't add up for Leeds United TSS July 31, 2010 Leeds United 38 Comments The legendary, Peter Lorimer In a piece written for the Yorkshire Evening Post, Leeds United legend, Peter Lorimer has shared his concerns about the depth of the current Leeds United squad. It’s a shared concern with many of the clubs fans who have also pointed to the squad size, despite seven new signings from Simon Grayson. On the official site, we’re currently listed as having three goalkeepers and eleven defenders, with Alex Bruce still to be added. We do have a couple of injuries in defence at the moment, but this would seem to be an area that’s more than adequately covered. Move on to the midfield however and it’s a different story. Since Robert Snodgrass is technically classed as a striker, Leeds United currently have just seven midfielders. More worryingly, is that this figure includes Max Gradel who is currently suspended, Andy Robinson who Simon Grayson has done his best to get rid of and Andy Hughes, who spent much of last season at left-back. The striking department doesn’t seem massively competitive either. Here we’re listed as having five, one of which is Robert Snodgrass who looks set to miss a considerable part of the season after a horror tackle in Norway, Mike Grella, who is unlikely to see the starting XI too often and Tom Elliot who is unlikely to have much of an impact since he’s on loan to Rotherham. That leaves Billy Paynter and Luciano Becchio. Obviously there’s no concerns when it comes to Becchio. He won’t be hitting 30 a season, but he’ll put a performance in every week and drive opposition defences mad. Billy Paynter should be a good addition too, but since he’s currently injured, Luci is the only regular first team striker we have available for opening day. We do have Davide Somma too, but his exclusion from the first team list on the official site is worrying. I did wonder whether it just needed updating, but since new signings such as Bessone and Collins have already found their way on, this can’t be the case. Overall, you have to agree with Peter Lorimer that the squad is looking threadbare. I know Simon Grayson is still hoping to bring a couple more in, and that loanee’s will undoubtedly be added at some point, but with opening day drawing closer, these new additions aren’t going to have much chance to gel with the squad. Our injury list at the moment isn’t doing us no favours, but this is something we should be more than prepared for as a club of our stature. Injuries will only accumulate as the season goes on, and if we’re having trouble before it’s even began, then I think Peter Lorimer’s concerns are very well-founded. yorkwhite So whats the news on Snodgrass and Paynter’s injuries? I havent seen anything anywhere. TSS @yorkwhite It’s presumption on my part with regards to Snoddy. After seeing him go down, I’d be amazed if he was in the team again before Christmas. As for Paynter, we’re still not sure as to the extent of his injury, but it does seem he’ll miss opening day – http://bit.ly/akNsgc Paul C I did read this piece by Peter Lorimer. I think most people will agree with him 100%, what surprised me is that it is he who has said it. I have seen Peter Lorimer very much as the mouthpiece of the board in recent years, usually giving full support to whatever bizarre decisions are made at board level. I just wonder if there is some disapointment from Simon Grayson being expressed here , on his behalf. Simon again, it seems like a case of 11 defensive players, try and beat them! have becc’s who can sneak a goal. Feasible, but feckin boring lol Squad is unbalanced. Paul South Wales If we don’t replace Beckford (and time is rapidly running out) I think we’re in for a long hard season. Another midfielder and quality striker and everyone would be relatively happy, but so far i’m very disappointed that Bates hasn’t showed his intent in the transfer market. It seems that staying in this league no matter what position is the ambition of Leeds this coming season. We all looked forward to see who would be brought in, and although there have been some good additions, i don’t think any of them really blew us away. The area we all knew we needed to strengthen was the front line and with a proven striker at this level. It just seems we’ll trawl the loan market this week and panic buy (well not buy as this seems to be alien to Kenneth) panic loan someone in a hurry to start the beginning of the season. I was expecting so much more!! Sean What absolute nonsense both you and Lorimer are talking? Our squad is far from threadbare! The beauty of our current squad is that we have some very versatile players, i.e .Aidan White who can play at left back and left wing, Leight Bromby who can play centre back and right back, Alex Bruce who can play centre back, right back and centre mid, then we have Gradel who did admirably as a second striker last season, Bradley johnson can also play wide left or in the centre and of course Andy Hughes who can fill in all over the pitch – I think our squad is far from threadbare! That’s not to say I don’t think we need to bring in another one or two, we definitely need another Striker and I fully expect one to arrive, either permanently or on loan before next Saturday! I’m surprised nobody has raised concerns yet about our wage bill! Sheehan, Robinson, Kandol and Michalik all amongst some of the clubs top earners, surpless to requirements and it looks as if nobody can afford / wants them, even on Free Transfers! This is worrying and it must be holding us back with signings. We need to be careful and make sure we aren’t saddled with these leeches sitting on their big-fat contracts offered under previous regimes, they know they wont be getting a better or equal deal elsewhere! White to the core Bremnersbarmyarmy raised the issue of the wage bill and 4 said players being high earners as have i on more than one occasion. kev cressey Think it’s obvious that the board would like Leeds to stay in the championship for 2 or 3 years,to be honest if we did get promoted this year Bates would have to spend 20 million to even keep us alive which he hasn’t got so lets start being realistic we will never be a top 4 premier league side ever again. yorkwhite If we made it back to the prem the T.V. money alone would cover the 20 Million. As for being top 4 why not? Manure are broke, Liverpool are broke you just dont know what might happen. I remember the nine long years we were in div2 in the eighties the thought of us being champions again seemed a million miles away. But the wheel turns and you just dont know, be positive MOT. Lloyd Grayson’s waiting for a loan or two to become available, maybe? thomas we need a goal scorer Peter the Horsforth White We all seem to have differing views! Goes to show it’s impossible to predict what will happen so looks like another rollercoaster ride for long suffering Leeds fans. Paul South Wales – I reckon Uncle Ken HAS shown his intent in the transfer market – spend as little as poss. Like some others I also think a load of loans will come soon from prem sides & then maybe we can see what we’ve got richard I wouldnt say we`re thread bare but i would like to see an out and out striker along with a holding midfielder. We still have a few in the squad that we cant shift, Lubo, Sheehan and Pieman. Hopefully these can be loaned out to ease the wage bill. TSS @mojoluafc I’m liking the new avatar. I can’t see why we can’t get some use out of “Pieman” if he’s going to be staying anyway? It’s clear we need some weight in midfield, and he seems like the obvious choice? Gryff I put the Leeds team down on paper for the first time in the pre-season yesterday to try to see exactly where we were. I reckon exactly the same on Robinson: i’d prefer to offload Robinson’s wages but as he’s going nowhere we might as well try to get some of the fat off of him and use him. He’s skillful going forwards but just lacks a bit defending – not the end of the world for a 3rd-choice winger. I think our left-defence is looking shakey: Bessone & White (and White could be more of a left-winger). Some players can’t play properly after 2-3 months out and Parker’s been out for a year so we can’t trust him to step up. Our right-defence is similar. We have a host of centre-backs who can ‘step-in’ but stepping in won’t get us anywhere near promotion. In midfield I actually think we look alright. Kilkenny, Johnson, Howson and Sam can all playmake from the centre. Gradel, Sam, Robinson (if he gets the weight off) and Howson can all play well on the right wing, and Snodgrass and Johnson can play well on the left. In the centre we have Kilkenny, Howson and Johnson to playmake. The problem there is a holding-midfielder who specialises in the role. Upfront, we’ve got two strikers who are good enough. Grella and Somma haven’t proven themselves. So I come up with the same as everyone else: first priority is a midfield-general, second is a third, good striker. Then if we have the luxury, a left-wingback and maybe a right-wingback. Shez Agree 110% with Lorimer…for once he’s actually talking sense as opposed to his usual pro-Bates speil. We will finish mid table at best with the current squad. See Yorkshire Post article 2010/2011 season prediction – couldn’t agree with them more, it’s the perfect summary of our season prediction based on signings so far. They said we’ll struggle without an a top striker replacement following Beckford’s departure, plus weak central midfield without a proper hard man ball winner. Shez I reckon 11th or 12th finish at the moment with our current squad. Not being negative just realistic. There’s at least 10 teams ahead of us in terms of quality. Dje Not sure which is more worrying – being threadbare or having a lack of quality players in our current squad. I reckon Bates and Grayson will see how we get on to Christmas. If all that talk of League One being not the same style as Championship football turns out to be true, then we might do surprisingly well after all (ie. stuffed by Bury but all over FK Brann (and hopefully Wolves too in a few hours)). If it doesn;t and we are struggling then come Christmas we might see the wallet come out or the loanees coming in. I wonder if it’ll be Grayson spending it though? richard A bit of both and im also seeing if i can reply to the right people. TSS Yes – It should add your comment below the last reply richard @TSS im just testing the @ reply thingy. TSS Ahh right, it works a bit like Twitter in that it creates a link to the mentioned users profile. You can also see mentions of you in your own profile by going to the @mentions tab. Now I’ve written @mojoluafc this comment should appear there. Herbert Sommas number 27!! Side Before Self It’s not just somma who’s been omitted from th OS. Messers Lees, Hatfield and Darville are also missing which with there names added and am sure at least one more signing before the derby game makes a squad of 30 plus, which I think is adaquate, numbers wise. Add that to the fact that a lot of our players are versatile. Johnson as a LB, Hughes/bromby/Lees as a RB, Bruce as a DM, White as a LM, Snodgrass/Gradel/Sam as RM/LM, Somma as a RM, Grella as a AM, Gradel as a CF and our squad of 30 can look like 40. My problem is quality not quantity. We need another striker and a recognized CM/DM. I fully expect to see those filled by loans as I don’t think uncle Ken will spend any more but if we can get the likes of Watt, Ranger, Simpson or Landsbury to come on loan I think we’ll have the quality in both first team and with cover richard @Dje A bit of both methinks. Clive I think we should utillise Somma, Grella and Robinson, i was always pleased to see robbo come on, he cant of lost his ability and Somma i think will suprise alot of people Tim Wilsom Sommas missing from the site has baffled me for weeks, but I’m with Clive, I’d use Robbo, always liked his style. The Snodgrass injury is a real pisser,and the vagueness regarding Paynter is a little worrying. Strikers like Becks are few and far between, would I like one? Yes. But I don’t think the squad’s that bad honestly. I’ll be glad to be reading match reports . paul wilde Can someone please confirm we are on the box next Saturday for the Derby game. BBC1 I think Ta paul TSS We are Paul, yeah. Kicks off at 5-15pm Shez What live games do we have for certain so far? It’s Derby home on BBC Forest away on sky. Any others? richard Only those 2 so far. http://www.wheresthematch.com/Football/Leeds-United.asp Ramblinjohn We definitely need another striker and wide midfielder but I also think we need a step up in quality at centre half – if it’s to be bruce and naylor or bruce and bromby this season i think we might ship a few…naylor has definitely had it, bromby is ok but may struggle in the championship…and we’ve idea what kisnorbo will be like if and when he gets fit…obviously he’s our best defender but who knows? White to the core What we need and what old grey beard will provide are two destinctly opposite things im afraid. We should have signed Hooper when we had the chance and a decent (non journeyman) central midfielder. Remember whoever we bring in now on ‘permanent’ deals we are likely to be stuck with for at least a couple of years. So bringing in mediocrity will only lead to a couple of seasons of the same. Just look at the players we are trying to be rid of. Three of them we have been trying to get shot of for the past two summers. So it doesnt bode well! TSS Annoyingly enough, Hooper scored for Celtic today Chareose Kev Cressey ; The key to leeds ever breaking into the top 4 again is YOUTH DEVELOPMENT, its what got us up there every time over the last 15 years. Unless you have a billionare owner then you need a supurbcrop of kids to come through…. For that we still need a new owner who is ambitous enough to see this as our only viable route White to the core An investment in both youth and playing staff is the key. Bates prefers to sell our young talent. Max. I don’t believe that squad page is actually maintained by people within the club, as opposed to some contracting company that maintains it as best it can. Having said that, it has been updated with the new squad numbers (except Bruce – what number did he play today by the way?), and Kandol has been removed. Somma has for some reason been left off the shirt list, though he did play today. When Snodgrass was originally signed he was signed as a forward; when White was promoted and played he was definitely a left back – these days he tends to come on in midfield (and I think he is more of a midfielder). Similarly Hughes was signed as a midfielder but has tended to play in defence. I think in all cases they’ve been put on the site in their original positions and not moved. Taking out the 3 remaining notWantedOnVoyage players, reassigning Hughes, White and Snodgrass to wherre they typically play, adding back in Somma and not counting those youth players who are likely to be on loan for much of the season (Elliot, Lees, Darville, Hatfield), leaves 3 goalkeepers, 10 defenders (including Bruce), 6 midfielders and 4 strikers. Under the new registration system we are I think allowed 25 players under 21 at the start of the year in which the season commences. White is (like the four youth players) under 21, so the list, excluding White, including Robinson, Sheehan and Michalik, also including Bruce and assuming Somma should be in it, currently adds up to precisely 25. So it’s going to be difficult to sign more players until a little bit of room has been made for them. Interesting bit of trivia – Alan Martin was exactly 21 on 1 Jan this year, which was the cut-off date for the upcoming season – I have no idea whether he counts as “under 21″ on this basis, I assume not. AcresLeeds 2 more signings are a must in my eyes – deffo need a quality marksman to boost the forward line and supply the goals that Beckford has guaranteed us over the past few seasons.Injuries are a concern and Paynter once fit again will have it all to prove – is he a one season wonder and can he make the step us ? (let’s hope so ).Also need a proven combative midfielder to provide the middle part of the spine because I rather suspect Bruce will be too busy in defence to be helping out there.Fill those two positions and sprinkle in a few quality loans as trhe season progresses and I will be a happy man.