Davenport at West Ham

Simon Grayson is taking a cautious stance with the trial of former West Ham defender, Calum Davenport.

The 27-year-old has been out of the game for a year now after being the victim of  a knife attack that has left him in need of intense rehabilitation and leaves him a long way from full fitness. Davenport was reported to have lost half of his blood after the attack twelve months ago.

Admirably, the club are currently trying to help Davenport back to full fitness as his trial at Leeds United’s Thorp Arch training complex continues.

Whilst remaining cautious, Simon Grayson did concede that Davenport is the kind of top quality player Leeds United would benefit from;

“He’s had a long time out of football – 12 months out with a serious injury that’s stopping him from playing at all,

“The deal won’t be concluded in the next week or two because he’s quite a long way from being fit, but we’re trying to get him fit.

“If everything goes well then I think we’ve got a player on our hands who can get back to the level he was at with a top club like West Ham.”

You have to admire the determination of Calum Davenport in trying to get his career back on track. Hard work and determination are important attributes for any player, and few will understand them quite as well as Calum now does.

I think Simon Grayson is right to offer the lad every chance to regain full fitness, and if he does end up playing for Leeds United, the lad will understand how lucky he has been and be eager to repay the club and manager for their generosity.

I sincerely hope his fitness levels improve and he’s offered a contract with the club as he’s exactly the kind of player we need. His injury does remain a concern, but Leeds fans should remember that Lucas Radebe was once shot before he moved to Leeds, and it was our clubs help during that time in protecting his family that made the chief feel so well-loved and at home in this great city.

  • Dje

    As long as he’s not a disruptive influence on the rest of the team in training/ private lives etc, then really it is a win-win situation for both Leeds and Davenport. He should bring a bit of wisdom (at least on the field) to the boys at the back.

    … I never knew The Chief had been shot; learn something new everyday…

    • Jon

      he also sustained a pretty bad injury slipping while taking the rubbish out if I remember correctly!

  • Tim Campbell

    Davenport fully fit would be a choice acquisition for Leeds United football club. I agree TSS that hopefully our faith in helping him regain fitness would be repaid by the player remaining loyal to the club. As for the other possible signings. I think it might be worth a punt on Nunez, McCormack in the right frame of mind would be a great signing, but I would play him as an out and out goal scorer, the reason he did’nt score as many last term for Cardiff being that he was being stuck out on the wing. Gavin Rae, I’m not so sure about, his age is against him and would he give us any more in the middle of the park that we have already?

  • kennyhammer

    Just saw your piece about Calum I’m sure most hammers fans wish him well and would be pleased if he can recover and get back playing. He has been unfortunate as we loaned him out to Watford and he suffered a fractured neck in his first start there. He was premership standard and hopefully he can be again.

  • Gryff

    I’ve not seen him play since his injury but those who have seem to think he’s a shadow of the footballer he once was. Sadly, he seems in the same boat as Michael Bridges.

  • Tim the White

    The trouble is we have got the potential of Ward from Bolton (loan), Clayton from Man City (loan), McCormack and Rae from Cardiff, together with Nunez and Davenport but still to ship out Robinson, Michalik, Kandol and Sheehan and possibly Crowe and Grella out on loan and then we have Bromby who can’t get a game. On top of that we have Paynter, Snodgrass, Kisnorbo and Parker all to come back.
    Something has to give somewhere to get the wage bill back on track and we also have two or three youngsters out on loan as well.
    It looks very top heavy to me

    • Craig

      @Tim the White

      Your comments echo the following article I read this morning:

      http://clarkeonenil.co.uk/front-page/the-other-91-basket-cases/leeds-united-and-the-other-91-basket-cases-transfer-addict/?

      I’m of a similar opinion. With each player who comes in, the problem of moulding them into a unit and keeping players happy becomes more difficult. I’m getting a bit antsy.

      • Dje

        @craig @Tim the White

        I read G.O.M.’s article too; it plucked a lot of right notes. I counted that we have a first team squad of 31 now – three of which are out on loan (+Darville from the youngsters). And then there’s the potential of Ward, Nunez, Rae, and McCormack coming in soon too. That’s enough players to put out two sets of XI plus five subs for each. Too many. And for once, too many options isn’t a strength. It creates disharmony in the squad with clusters feeling (rightfully) overlooked and attempts being made to destabilize Grayson and his regime. Why court it?

        If those new boys arrive then I reckon we could well see one of our better players moving on for a transfer fee. Perhaps Ward is being lined up because Grayson knows Snodgrass is being sold when fit again? It’s already been muted that McCormack could be replacing Becchio. God forbid, but money talks…

        Maybe Rae is lined up for Kilkenny who is off to West Brom or Birmingham? And Nunez for Howson [randomly picks Everton coming in for him]?

        Something’s got to give, and it sure wont be Robinson, Michalik or Sheehan.

        [Looks worried]

  • l l l leeds

    Yes the big man was shot, but that was in 1991. He, and Masinga arrived in 1994, and so LUFC had nothing to do with the rehabilitation.

    It’s always worth pointing out he turned down the dirty reds (and AC Milan) to stay at the mighty whites.
    Clever bloke.

    • TSS

      Yes, but it played a big part in his decision. He was shot to stop him moving clubs, but refusing to yield to the violence, he moved to Leeds where the club helped both him and his family to settle.

  • Tim the White

    Oh, and another thing. I am pretty sure KB was talking about Hull City and Jay Simpson in his programme notes on Tuesday. At the start of the season I had Hull earmarked for financial meltdown. If they can pay the best part of one million quid a year in wages for an unproven player it may happen sooner rather than later!!

  • Ash

    I agree with tim the White with so many players on the wage bill starting to wounder if we can offer big wages to Ross with Robinson on 7 grand a week he Is a must get rid of also lubo on big wages, we really need to get rid of the dead wood who are not going to play or even be involed in the whole season, but saying that why move when they are on that much money and playing ressie football because they won’t get that money any where else, another player that am starting to lose it with is naylor, why sign Bruce and put him on the bench? Or play him in carling cup?

  • Gryff

    @Tim the White I agree about Hull. If they don’t go up this season, they’ll go into receivership. If they’re willing to outbid us on every player to the point that their future stands on a knife’s edge, I don’t think it would be wise for us to follow suit.

    We have Michalik, Robinson, Sheehan, Kisnorbo, Naylor, Crowe, Hughes, Kilkenny, Johnson, Becchio, Higgs, & Davide Somma all on their last year of contract.

    My money’s on Cardiff & Burnley to go up at the end of this season, leaving a good chance that Hull go bust at the end of the year. That is the point at which i’d like to see us spend some money on reasonably priced high quality players. We’ll probably be £25-50K p/w better off by July 2011 than we are at the moment, and with us proven as a mid-table (at least) Championship team – with the facilities & finances to improve! :)

  • Dje

    @gryff

    Personally I’d wait to see what shape Kisnorbo is in when he comes back from injury before offering him a new contract. That might sound risky, but he might well be a spent force now.

    Kilkenny and Becchio would be worth getting covered with a new contract – as both would have a part to play next season regardless of what division we are in. Besides, Celtic and Rangers would still be sniffing if we wanted to sell (for profit, not just getting someone of the wages).

    A decision needs to be taken on Somma and his contract, and quick. The lad looks like he might go ballistic on us and do a Beckford in both senses of that word – an utter goal machine, and leaving on a free at the end of the season. Take the gamble now and get Somma on a three year contract.

    Johnson. I could take it or leave it if he left on a free at the end of the season. Maybe come Christmas if we are looking like finishing in the bottom half or relegation battle then offer him a two-year extension, otherwise there’s got to be potential to improve on him for next season regardless on what division we are in.

    Michalik, Robinson, Sheehan, Naylor, Crowe, Hughes, and Higgs. Thanks for coming lads, all the best and all that.

  • Paul South Wales

    I think Becchio will be off to the SPL

  • steve underwood

    well it was only a couple of weeks ago people were saying we need more players now it looks like we are getting some people are saying we have to many for me becchio can go will not score enough goals howson has one good game in 20 for me the players comming in are better johnson needs to go poor first touch cant pass only in the team for kick outs

    • richard

      Thats what i was thinking, oh to be a manager.

    • Dje

      @banditsteve123

      All about bringing in the players for the right positions, not just more bodies any old bodies.

      Do we seriously need anymore attacking wingers/strikers? We’ve Gradel, Watt, Somma, Grella, Paynter, Snodgrass, Becchio, & Sam already, and we are now talking about adding Ward, McCormack and Nunez. Which three of these ten do we not even have room for on the match day bench? Utterly needless.

      As I said before, if you are bringing players in to replace others in positions that are already well-filled in quantity, then you have to make it an improvement in quality or youngsters coming in for retiring old hands. You can debate the merits of McCormack, Ward and Nunez (who for Grayson is apparently, “okay”, “okay” and “ok”), but who is going?

      I’d prefer to see more competition/ improvement on the midfield for Johnson, Howson and Kilkenny. Is Rae the answer? At 32?

      One day we’ll find a competent and regularly fit left-back too.

      • Gryff

        @djedjedje I agree wholly about Kisnorbo. Even world class defenders like Rio/Woodgate couldn’t hold a candle to the likes of Collins for the simple fact that Collins can play at least 30 games a season and Rio & co. will be lucky to play 10 a season for the rest of their careers.

        At a similar age, Paddy could have problems, and we all know long-term injuries can end a career. There’s no way Paddy would get offered a contract from me until he’d played 5 games against decent opposition.

        In terms of attacking players, numerically we’re rather heavy, but I think Snodgrass bottles it in the big games (and judging by Grayson’s selections i’d say he agrees), while Watt is only here for one season. In terms of strikers, if we signed McCormack we would have Paynter, Becchio, Somma, and McCormack. That’s four strikers of which one isn’t proven, the other (while useful) is missing virtually open goals and the third has only played a couple of games at this level.

        For me, McCormack wouldn’t need anybody to leave and would indeed free up Grella for a loan to prove his qualities. Nunez, I agree, is ‘okay’ ‘okay’ and ‘okay’, but at the same time he’s done reasonably in the World Cup and does seem a handy attacking midfielder. I think if Nunez came in we could probably try to offload Bradley Johnson who seems to have problems settling into playing at this level.

        We have to be ruthless at this level. Nunez & Rae would probably require others to leave, but overall I can see them all adding something to the team. The trouble is I think Grayson has been too lenient on one or two staying here who could command a fee (or at least free up wages).

    • Tim the White

      Spot on banditsteve. Becchio for me is a poor mans Kuyt. Works hard but little end result and poor first touch. Howson goes missing so much in games I wonder sometimes if he’s found a way to be invisible!
      Johnson has no pace and like Doyle last season couldn’t hit a barn door. I can’t see how any clubs below the prem will get rid of much dead wood with the loans and cast offs after the 25 man cut being available. Just watch Cardiff, Bellamy will kill them financially. Yes he wanted to go home to South Wales, but only on 90k a week – time for a very big dose of reality in the valleys!!

  • TSS

    I think the problem is that we’ve failed to get rid of the deadwood, so the wage bill must be enormous.

  • AcresLeeds

    Tim the White echoes a nasty thought that I have……Snoddy or Becchio being sold.

    So many options on the flanks now that if Ward joins as well then there is clear overload.Snoddy would command a sizeable fee as well so it’s worry.

    Becchio could be at risk to a transfer because he only has a year left on his contract and no suggestions of an extension as yet.Were not good with contracts and he may be looking at the Beckford saga so could be unsettled.

    If that were to be the case then i cannot see Bates allowing another one to go for free.

    For what it’ worth, I have a feeling that the McCormack deal won’t come off all because of his greedy agent.It’s gonna break down over terms otherwise it would have been sealed by now imo.

    Probably the same with Alex Rae – he’s 32yrs old and wants a 2yr deal which seems unlikely.

    Hope we get McCormack & keep Snoddy & Becchio.

    Not bothered about Rae – would prefer someone younger and please Simon – let’s have a quality CB – we can’t wait for Davenport.Admittedly we are heavy in numbers in that area but most of them are sh**e !!

  • Colin

    @AcresLeeds
    I’m not worried about Snodgrass. If SG doesn’t play him or got rid of him, he’d get lynched! Snodders getting injured might have been the best thing that could have happened to us Leeds fans, because it detracts from anyone putting a bid in for him before the transfer window closes.

    As for Becchio – hmmmm, he was a Gary Mac signing and SG inherited him and was the only real option that SG could use with Beckford despite his advances to McSheffrey, Vokes, Dickov etc. who I think in SG’s mind, he thought would be better than Becchio. They weren’t but I think that was bad decision making on SG’s part and also that that was the calibre of player you could get in the 3rd division. Mark my words, if they would have been half decent, he’d have played them ahead of Becchio.

    SG gave contract extensions to a number of players, but not Becchio. Then he signs Paynter, who I think is the Becchio replacement.

    I don’t think SG is Becchio’s greatest fan, hence why he’s gone in for McCormack to pay alongside Paynter.

    Somma is just a stroke of luck, that he’s turned out to be a potential gem. And to be fair, it was Chris Sutton at Lincoln who found that out because SG never did.

    IMHO, SG has his favoured 3 strikers – Paynter, Somma, McCormack

  • Hammerspammer

    Hope you boys get promoted as I always love Leeds vs hammers. Great atmosphere you area proper club with proper fans. Hope we stay up to play you .

  • Colin

    @Hammerspammer

    Hope you stay up in PL – how many players have the West Ham and Leeds academy brought through to international level!! What are the other clubs doing?

    WH need to pull their finger out and I was disappointed to hear that Carlton Cole was being booed in the last match. He’s quality in my opinion.