Premier League cast-off

When rumours linking Patrick Viera to Leeds United emerged earlier this week, I was so amused by this seemingly ridiculous speculation that I offered to run around Elland Road naked should it happen.

It’s been a summer of widespread speculation with more names linked to Elland Road than I have time to list, many of them ridiculous, most of them failing to come true, which is why the Viera link was so easy to dismiss. That was however, before Crystal Palace unveiled Edgar Davids as their latest signing and Craig Bellamy joined Cardiff on a season-long loan.

The Edgar Davids news first of all falls somewhere between ridiculous and genius from Palace. Cleverly, the London club have agreed to a pay-as-you-play deal, which should keep the expenses down given that Davids has been out of the game for two years and is unlikely to be anywhere near full fitness.

The true genius of it all is that this puts Palace in the headlines, and will put a lot more bums on seats while ever he’s with them. You can’t buy better publicity for a club than an over-the-hill, semi-retired, former legend coming back for one last hurrah.

I do have to wonder whether Palace have bitten off a lot more than they can chew however. Notwithstanding the hefty wages he’ll be on when he does play which will probably see them back on the brink of financial ruin in no time, I also have to wonder what affect this will have on the other players. Footballers are notoriously attention-craving, egomaniacs that love nothing more than being in the spotlight. Not many of Palace’s players are going to draw much attention with Davids in the team, and this jealousy is likely to extend off the field too when the former Dutch international pulls in, in his £300k sports car that the rest of the team combined could ill-afford.

Whilst the motives behind Davids move to Palace are simply unexplainable, Craig Bellamy’s move to Cardiff is where things get really interesting. Bellamy will no doubt try to portray his move as a labour of love, returning to his childhood team with visions of taking them to the peak of English football.

The truth however, is that Bellamy was never going to make City’s final 25 and their manager isn’t daft enough to loan him to another Premier League Club. This left Bellamy short of options, so off to Cardiff he went – so grateful for their hospitality that he refused a wage-cut, meaning the Welsh side will be back in the red in no time as football finances continue to spiral out of control. Not one to sing from my high-horse considering Leeds’ financial implosion, but you’d have thought someone, somewhere would have taken note? Evidently not.

The Bellamy move was the first of what is likely to be a mass exodus of Premier League players when the clubs confirm their final 25 for the season. At 34, Patrick Viera is unlikely to make the final cut at Manchester City which does add some weight to the speculation linking him with a player/coaching role at Leeds. More interestingly will be the amount of players that are forced to drop a level come September the 1st. Will Simon Grayson be ready to catch the best of them, or will Leeds be left picking up the crumbs? Over to you Larry…

  • Craig

    To be honest, if I was told on Monday that 2 out of 3 of the following rumours were going to come true by the end of the week:

    Edgar Davids to Palace
    Craig Bellamy to Cardiff
    Patrick Viera to Leeds

    The Viera rumour would have been first on my list. It no longer looks as stupid as it did when I first heard it!

  • Craig

    Correction: ‘if I had been told…’

  • pete

    Part of me know thinks that, as with the other two, it’s far too far-fetched to make it up.

    By the way, on an interesting note, does anyone know who the players who have asked for injunctions are? I have my suspicions that it took one of the players a little bit less time than it legally should have done to get to the high court from his club, but you’d probably have to be a zsucker to believe him…

  • Loki

    The utter optimist inside me thinks that this is the reason Simon’s not signed anyone yet, because instead of spending money on transfer fees he’s going to loan the cast offs from the premiership instead.

    That said I’m still firmly in the camp of the team we have is the team we’re going to be stuck with until January at the very least.

    Patrick Viera to Leeds? Why not, stranger things have happened this week.

  • pete

    Oops, what a shocking typo there…of COURSE I meant to type sucker…

  • TSS

    @pete

    Gerrard is one of them, isn’t he? Thought that one was obvious?

  • pete

    @TSS

    I had the first one as Gerrard or Glen Johnson…today’s is a former Chelski man I believe.

    Not really a suprise he was caught speeding when you consider the mad dash he had to make to the high court…oh, and I’m sorry I’m not putting names to today’s player, TSS. Don’t want you getting in any trouble.

  • TSS

    @pete

    It’s cool. Me and Kenneth share the same lawyer. I’m optimistic.

  • TheReaper08

    Actually if you break it down the two that have happened so far are not so far off and the Viera rumour for me remains ridiculous, look at the facts :

    1) Edgar Davids. Out of football for best part of two years so no fee. Openly expressed his desire to return to London after his spell with Spurs. No PL team is going to sign him with 25 man squads and the fact he is past it. Palace looking for a marquee player after the new take over to generate fan interest and have been able sign him on pay-as-you-play minimising risk. If he never kicks a ball they will sell loads of extra shirts and I bet the attendance is up on last year for at least the first few games.

    2) Craig Bellamy. Lifelong Cardiff fan who considered retirement due to his disillusionment with the modern game. Man City are bonkers and will pay the lion share of costs. Cardiff are more bonkers and clearly don’t care about the financial perils choosing to gamble yet again on the PL. Man City not prepared to loan to top half rival PL team.

    3)Patrick Viera. Negative. No connection to Leeds or Yorkshire other than an occasional visit. SG stated today that the club would not be prepared to part fund very high wages for loan PL stars.
    Positive. Viera would want a high profile club and LUFC is certainly that club. Man City are bonkers and would pay a high percentage of any wages.

    Still think the Viera rumour is nuts.

    • Craig

      Welcome back Reaper.

      • Colin

        ditto

        • TheReaper08

          @craig @colin Thank’s chaps, goes without saying that I missed you during my short break.

  • pete

    @TSS

    Oh, well in that case it’s Joe Cole

  • Palacestevek

    If you want to know the affect that Davids’s signing has on other players, look no further than Neil Danns’s twitter – he is absolutely delighted to have a Davids joining the club.

  • Arthur Graham and Alex Sabella fan club

    one thing that may give this Viera rumour depth or validity is that Grayson is in regular contact with Arsenal these days and I presume Arsene Wenger – and I expect to see possibly two young players arrive ( Watt is encouraging them also ) – so young Lansbury – an excellent creative central midfielder and the young centre forward who Hull want – another friend of Watts
    … and all mentioned this past few weeks

    Wenger would reccomend Patrick Viera – think the Bobby Collins effect or for the younger fans here – the Gordan Strachan effect

    so very plausable Id say ? – so you could be stripping by next week TSS !

  • kev cressey

    I’ve heard that Elvis is up at thorpe arch this week having a trial,and Les Dawson is on the bench tomorrow !!

  • Paul Knt

    Grow a dick you bell-end, sh!t-eating crack whore

  • TheReaper08

    @Paul Knt I presume that was the upper level of your intellect ?

  • Arthur Graham and Alex Sabella fan club

    bar misogynist low life as above from this decent site – said by an xy chromosome – take action TSS

  • Arthur Graham and Alex Sabella fan club

    I see young Henri ( Angela ) Lansbury is on the bench squad for Arsenal this weekend … may mean he is making the squad after all for Wenger – OR its a shop window last 15 minutes if they are two up – after watching his play on youtube he is quite a player

  • les irwin

    thank god we are not signing people we might of ended up with davids ,no BIG signings at E R
    who do bet fair think we will get this week then ??????????????

  • Arthur Graham

    two young U21 Highbury players like Lansbury and Watt and Co and an experienced odl hand midfield player to bring them on – a player who can handle Roy Keane – I’d say Viera would be a superb signing myself – for one year – or pay as you play
    this loaning of spare Prem players – or one year contracts is the way its going to go – see Graysons article in Yorkshire Post – says it all – two or three in for next friday I hope – not optimistic about bogey Millwall with our current injury hit squad

    • Paulufc

      It is looking like the first of one of those 2-3 signings will be Nunez by the sounds of it he has done enough to get a contract

  • Mark R

    @TSS
    Prediction for tomorrow’s match.
    Mighty Leeds 2 Millwall 0
    Somma First Goal scored.

    Sorry couldn’t find a link to get my prediction in.

    MOT

  • TSS

    There’s a thread for them in the forums mate.

    • Mark R

      Ta. Got it.

  • Christopher Gee

    Just to confirm, we have finished paying Robbie Fowler’s wages have we? I thought we’d been there before and even got the T-shirt to prove it

  • Colin

    I think it’s not going to be as easy as some people think for Bellamy to just come to the Championship and automatically become a goal machine.

    Take us for example, if you think for one minute that our defence is just going to stand there and let Bellamy take pot shots at our goal, you’ve got another thing coming.

    Oh, hold on a minute, Naylor’s playing…

    Scratch that last comment.

    • jacko

      Rooney and co couldn’t break us down for 90 mins, so not a for gone conclusion that Bellamy would just tear through every team. Good player, but there are far better out there!

      • timm

        Look at Sol Campbell at Notts Co, he looked dreadful & then he went to Arsenal & looked top quality. Bellamy will need a good pair of shin pads in the Championship. I wish we could get Bowyer on a 2 year deal, he’d be the talisman we need..

  • Bill Fox

    Is Scott Sinclair still at Chelski and is he over 21??…mmmmmmm….

  • spanish white

    I
    agree with Timm,love Bowyer back.Permanently

  • spanish white

    Sorry for spellng(drunk)

  • Chareose

    the problem with Leeds taking on loan players is that its great to have talented kids playing for you but should they do well for you, there parent club or some other club with money will take them off your hands at the end of the loan…… its a false economy andvery frustrating

  • Raph

    Can jackie charlton still play?! No, that was silly sorry. Think viera would be good signing (ideally pay as play as someone suggested)

  • pete

    I think the words we’re looking for are ‘bugger’ and ‘that’.

    Naylor. Own Goal.

    • Colin

      @pete It’s getting beyond the pail now – is Alex Bruce that poor that he can’t get selected ahead of Naylor?

  • Colin

    Roll up Roll up and enjoy the Circus!!

    Richard Naylor has just beat the opposition to head a perfect goal into the net, that gives the goalkeeper no chance!!

    That’s right, you guesses it, into his own net past Kasper.

    Clown. The Leeds fans gave a sarcastic cheer when it went in.

  • pete

    It’s ok, because Lloyd Sam has equalised.

  • pete

    @colin He looks like a good player to me, bags of experience, more pace than Naylor (not too hard, admittedly) and happy to stick a foot in.

    Maybe Naylor has some incriminating photos? If he was a family pet, we’d have done the kindest thing for him and taken him for the big needle surely…

  • pete

    By the look of text commentary, Millwall don’t have the first clue how to deal with Lloyd Sam.

    I’m very happy I put him in my Championship Fantasy Team at about 11 this morning…

  • pete

    OK, so Forde and the woodwork are keeping this game level…

    C’mon Leeds! Howson and Collins have hit the post, we can do this lot!

  • Colin

    @pete
    you know it’s on 5live?? yes?

  • pete

    I’m at work…can’t get 5 live :(

  • pete

    Daviiiiiiiiiide……

    SOMMA!!!!

  • Colin

    From the commentary, worthy mentions are Sam sounds excellent again, Howson playing really well, Kasper solid and confident and Watt showing some real class touches – he impressed the commentators a lot.

  • pete

    Sam injured? Hope it’s not serious…

  • Colin

    Blimey! Somma gets another. Amazing ball from Howson. Somma on the ball, Becchio screaming for it. Somma, nice and selfish – i’m having this and smashes it into the net.

  • TheReaper08

    @colin On the presumption that SG is considering another striker before the window shuts and the continued form of Somma, where do you think this leaves Grella ? Do you think he will now get the chance to develop out on loan or does this spell the end ?

    • Colin

      @TheReapero8
      Hmmmmph, i really don’t know. I don’t think anyone would buy Grella because no-one knows what he can do because he hasn’t had games to show his worth.

      So I guess he has to go on loan. That said, with all the PL 25 man stuff going on, would a Championship team take him on loan? I’m not sure they would.

      I’m not sure he’ll go for another striker.

      I think Grella is well down the pecking order.

      On Leeds – I think it’s looking surprisingly good. I’m certainly surprised. SG seems to have a plan and it’s working. The team certainly looks like it has team spirit. My only concern is that as always I think we’ll lose form at some point, but that doesn’t look like its coming anytime soon.

  • Colin

    One thing I would say is that I think Howson is getting better and better and better.

    He’s got the captaincy nailed either this or next season. And I reckon he’ll keep it for as long as he wants to stay at Elland Road.

    Seriously underestimated in my opinion.

  • TheReaper08

    @colin I could see him joining a L1 team on a season long deal, I think it would do him the world of good as it would toughen him up considerably and give him that opportunity to shine.

    Leeds are looking good, what I like about any manager and that includes SG is one who isn’t afraid to make changes. SG has made substitutions & changed formation and won the game, much kudos to him.

    You see Everton are starting Beckford today ? Saha dropped to the bench having not scored since Feb they just said on Sky. Having got the oportunity I hope he get’s one for me.

    • Colin

      @TheReapero8

      bloody hell reaper – just checked – becks is the front striker with cahill playing off him I guess

      Wow. He needs to get some goals now and cement his starting place. Come on Jermaine!!

  • Matt BB

    For me as long as Grella scores goals its not too important what league he’s in, be that league 2, which saw Somma coached by Chris Sutton, or maybe even at Oldham with Dickov?

    Grella is probably a technically good player (as US players often are) but is physically lightweight, and not ruthless enough. I suspect some of this can be retireved though, and I think we’ll have a good player in our ranks. I happen to think he is more of an attacking midfielder though than a striker.

    • Mark R

      Good post Matt – on the money.

      MOT

      • Matt BB

        @Mark R Cheers mate, I do rate Grella, but’d love to see him get that chance, he seemed more highly regarded than Somma in the US with a number of MLS teams in for him at the time we signed him. Definitely need to get him that time out on loan.

  • timm

    I think we’ve seen the reason SG wasn’t throwing £2.5 million at Scunthorpe today? Somma really looks the part. We need to stick with 4-4-2 now we’ve got 2 strikers available. Grella definately needs to go out on loan. Naylor shocking first half but improvement in 2nd. Howson was magnificent today, i think the 2 players who look like they’re struggling to make the leap from L1 to Championship are Naylor & Johnson. Paddy, Snodgrass & Paynter still to come in so things are looking good. I thought it was a cracking game. Sanchez Watt, shades of Vieira?

    • timm

      Oh & welcome back Reaper. You missed the mother of all arguments on the thread about Celtic being after Becchio between me & a Celtic fan who doesn’t like Becchio & Beckford!

      • TheReaper08

        @timm Thanks mate, it’s good to be back. What a great day today was as well where everything seem to click, even Naylor scored !

        I trust you sent our Hoop supporting friend packing with some cold hard facts.

        • timm

          Yes, he had to resort to name calling in the end! So a job well done me thinks! Absolutely cracking game today, particularly pleasing when you consider the players we’re missing.

          • TheReaper08

            @timm It’s difficult to see where those players are going to fit in right now if performances remain as good as today. I mean today we took off a left back for Somma, is anybody advocating we play 3 at the back and if not who’s place does he take in the next game ?

            It’s nice problems to have but some difficult decisions will need to be taken in the next few weeks.

  • Colin

    Leeds in 9th. Leicester, Forest, Portsmouth still struggling near the bottom.

    This league is so open. Watford and Swansea next for us in league. Hmmm, thinking of 6 points anyone?

    • TheReaper08

      @colin I am trying not get carried away, satisified with currently being 9th and looking upwards.

      I won’t go as far as to say 6 points but think we have a very good chance of increasing our points total.

  • Chareose

    the weakness is johnson…..

  • Matt BB

    @Chareose I think for me the jury’s out on Johnson, its a case of inconsistency, when he’s good, he is very effective, physically strong, plenty of pace, but when he’s bad.. maybe he needs some benchtime! being left out of the side tends to rev him up.

    But I think it highlights the fact that although looking at the squad now youd think, attacking midfielders.. got plenty of those, that one or two injuries mean changing the shape of the team (which didnt work) so theres some wisdon in looking at options like Nunez, Lansbury, and ideally a holding midfielder.

    By the way.. when is Bruce going to get a shot?

  • KN

    What a great first touch from Somma to set himself up for his second! Howson’s ball crossfield remind anyone of that famous one against Scum? Great result against a ‘Bogey Team’ Great confidence boost for the lads, just up to Simon to keep that momentum going for as long as possible. By all accounts it sounds like we played some great football….looking forward to the match report!

  • Chareose

    what concerns me is we will ride a crest of euphoria on the backs of players like Watt and then fucking lose him at the end of the season…….

    On Naylor yes i agree Bruce should be given a shot but i do feel bad for the Captain. He is a leeds fan and gives his all for his team and so shouldnt be scorned….. Us fans are so fickle…and yet we demand loyalty from our players ???? Where is our loyalty to a great servent of Leeds ??

    On Johnson….again im sorry for the lad but i just think he and bessone are the weak spots in the team

  • TheReaper08

    @Chareose I hear what your saying but I think we should concentrate on where we are before we worry about next season, let’s just enjoy the players we have now and hope for a succesful season.

    I agree on Naylor and loyalty to players although I am one of the people calling for him to be dropped. I don’t want him bombed out of the club but I see him more as the role Neville played as captain of Manure, very few games but a dressing room influence.

    As for Bessone and Johnson my early impressions are that Johnson could be the weaker link.

  • Chareose

    Yes your right on Watt but it just frustrates me…..

    As for Naylor, i guess its because; if i was playing for Leeds as a leeds fan id be suicidal at a loss of form and im sure Naylor will be feeling that too so I dont like all this slagging off. Yes he needs replacing but lets show him some respect please….

    • Colin

      @Chareose
      I understand what your saying, but using the Leeds fan defence also could be Naylor’s downfall.

      The manager is also a Leeds fan and he’s got to be disappointed that he’s seeing his captain make mistake after mistake, dropping at least one clanger a game.

      And when the fans start cheering a Naylor OG, then SG has to act sooner rather than later.

      Let’s say Naylor’s on £6k a week. I’ve no sympathy or respect for him getting £312,000 and playing like that. No-one deserves a free ride. And if you or I performed like he has at our places of work, we’d probably be let go.

  • Chareose

    im NOT suggesting he should be playing im saying he should be treated with respect and left with some dignity…. quite frankly football fans can be callous assholes when things arnt going right !

  • Colin

    @Chareose – i know what you mean – ie. Somma scores 2 goals and i saw on the forums that he’s been tipped to be the next Tony Yeboah.

    But I think if you think someone’s great, or equally if you think they’re shit, then you should be allowed to say that.

    You had a pop at Bessone and Bradley Johnson – saying they’re the weak spots. I disagree, but you’re free and quite right to make that point because that’s what you think.

    I’ve had a pop at Naylor consistently (last season and this) because he’s been poor since he came back from injury last season and he’s only got slower. I don’t think anyone’s been really disrespectful to Naylor on this board. I know this for free, compared to some of the vitriol thrown at Beckford last season, Naylor’s getting an easy ride.

    Re. Bradley Johnson – he’s always been the same during his time at Leeds – he can look great one minute and awful the next. Let’s stick with him, he deserves some respect. :)

  • Rish

    Anyone remember the TV show The Mole? I’m almost convinced that Naylor is taking that show too literally.

  • Matt BB

    @colin @chareose I havent really got too involved in discussions around Naylor because he’s someone I really feel for as a player and I dont think fans getting on his case is the right thing to do. I’m also not for `putting him out of his misery’ Naylor loves Leeds and to be knocked by them once was hard enough when he was a kid, he doesnt deserve to be railroaded out now for that matter and has been a big part in our recent upturn in fortunes.

    All players have lapses in concentration and confidence is key in addressing that. When you lose pace as you get older you rely more and more on your experience and positional play, it isnt helped by the fact that Naylor is surrounded most of the time by younger players who also have lapses, and on Saturday he was again covering the left backs error – morison shouldbnt have been allowed to put that cross in.

    Lets go easy on him. I dont see him as a liability He is a ntural leader and we dont have any others out there.

  • timm

    Totally agree Matt. If a player loses form, it’s for SG to deal with as he sees fit. We have every right to come on these sites & give constructive criticism just as we have every right to do that when we’re at ER watching the game.The trouble with our club is that we have too many ‘fans’ who like to start with the ironic cheers & boos towards one of their own. Do any of these people actually think that humiliating a player will help him? We all remember the ‘your not fit to wear the shirt ‘ bollocks last season which was directed at the best striker we’ve had in years! Well he certainly shut them up in the last game! As you rightly said Matt, that cross should never have been allowed to come in on saturday, Bessone should have put it in row Z. It should also be said that Naylor had a good 2nd half. I personally would like to see Naylor dropped & be given time to get his form /confidence back, but ironic cheers & boos towards the player can only make the situation worse. As i’ve said before on here, we’re up there with West Ham for the amount of fickle arseholes we’ve got following our club!

  • Matt BB

    @timm one thing you cant question withy Naylor is his committment, and thats when criticism really does hurt, he is a toughnut though so hopefully he will use it to spur him on. Abusing our players is the job of opposition fans.

    I know we’ll never invite players into the stands for group hug if we’re 2-0 down at home and they’re playing like idiots, but I dont see many players out there now who arent giving it 100%.

    Having said that I am worrying about our left back position and hoping parker gets back soon, or that Bessone realises he has some tackling and pressing to do.

    I think Naylor probably does need some time out, and maybe thats a case of him coaching the kids for a while, he’s the best captain we’ve had for years.

  • Mark R

    @Matt

    The Naylor og was really unlucky as the ball appeared to come ‘out of the sun’ , and as Tim & you both rightly point out – Bessone should have cleared in the first place. After this Naylor appeared steady – making an excellent low defensive header in the 2nd half out of our box.

    Naylor’s commitment is unquestionable, and he was a rock until his injury problems – which he is returning from.

    Only SG can make a really informed decision about who plays.

    At the end of the day Naylor was part of a great team performance – a big improvement on the opening Derby fixture.

    MOT