The fans player of the decade poll

After nominations were cast on the TSS forums, Twitter page and on LUFC>Talk, we’ve whittled down the list of players that fans nominated to our final five.

A brief explanation of why each player was included is below, followed by a poll to decide the fans player of the decade;

Jermaine Beckford (2006-2010)

Love him or loathe him, Jermaine Beckford provided some of the most memorable moments of the past few years for Leeds United fans, with his winning goal against Bristol and “that” Old Trafford goal that knocked Scum out of the FA Cup amongst the best of them.

Speculation surrounding his future often overshadowed the contribution he made to Leeds United, but from 2006-10, he scored an impressive 85 goals in 141 appearances for the Whites – a feat that won’t be easily followed.

Gary Kelly (1991-2007)

Joining Leeds United in 1991, Gary Kelly had a slow start to life at Leeds United making just 3 appearances in his first two seasons. In 1993 however, things changed and Gary Kelly went on to become an ever-present figure in the Leeds United team, becoming the first player since the days of Don Revie to pass the 500 appearances mark.

The sheer longevity of Kells’ career and the commitment he showed throughout make him an obvious contender for the title.

Alan Smith (1998-2004)

Every poll has to have it’s controversial option, and Alan Smith is the obvious one here. When he committed the ultimate sin of moving to Manchester United in 2004, Leeds fans were furious and showed their disgust in shirt-burning ceremonies across the land. Since then however, a lot of people have forgiven the Rothwell born striker and choose to remember his never-say-die attitude, fearless approach and relegation tears. In a decade of ups and downs for Leeds United, Alan Smith is undoubtedly the poster boy.

Lucas Radebe (1994-2005)

“He is my hero” said Nelson Madella, in a line that is echoed by tens of thousands of Leeds United fans across the World. From the slums of Soweto to Premier League superstar, Lucas Radebe was, and remains a great ambassador for the club, his country and the sport.

Lucas spent more than a decade at Elland Road, and to this day, still keeps check on his former club. He was the Mr. Leeds United of his era and remains a firm fans favourite to this day. Few people ever make the kind of impact Lucas did on a football club, and despite his injury plagued career which limited him to just 200 league appearances, the contribution he made to the Whites both on, and off the pitch, will never be forgotten.

Jonny Howson (2006-Present)

It’s a sad reminder of how turbulent the past decade has been for this club, that the only player featured in this poll that still plays for the Whites is Jonny Howson. At just 22 years of age, Jonny already has 162 appearances and 17 goals to his name and could well be the next member of Leeds United’s exclusive 500 club.

Born in Morley, Jonny Howson adds his name to a long list of Leeds-born players that have emerged from the Thorp Arch academy, but unlike James Milner and Aaron Lennon, Jonny stuck with the club he loves and has cemented his place as a firm fans favourite. His spectacular long-range pass to Jermaine Beckford in the third round of the FA Cup, stunning goal against Bristol to help us achieve promotion and two goals in the play-off semi are memories few Leeds fans will ever forget.

The nearly men

In whittling the list of nominees down to five, there are many players that just missed out, such as Mark Viduka, Dominic Matteo, Nigel Martyn and David Batty. The final selection was based on a combination of the most commonly nominated, qualifying appearances for the club (2000-10) and overall impact of their tenure. Whilst I’m sure there are others some fans will feel should be in the poll, the final five nominees are based on the general consensus.

Please vote in the poll below, and feel free to add any comments you may have.

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  • Gryff

    Great post TSS, and great idea to have our own ‘player of the decade’!

    I’m glad to see that I agree with every one of the nominees being on the list. Having looked at them the first I decided against was Smith: he went to Scum because our board refused to accept other (lower) offers and he wrote off a very large departure fee that we owed him. But having said that, I saw him as a frequently over-egged member of the team because of his occassional flashes of skill and the fact he was born in Leeds. Next I had to think hard about Beckford & Howson.

    Both undoubtedly offered a lot to the club. Beckford’s goalscoring at the low level we found ourselves was prolific (and not to be even vaguely matched with Everton by the looks of it). Despite his miss-five-score-the-sixth trick, he scored a lot of important goals as highlighted; but then so did Howson. Howson is a lad who is still at Leeds and could have left for a higher (‘bigger’) club over the seasons but instead decided to stay with us. He’s come up trumps for us on important occassions and with a squad that’s been failing in the big matches ever since we left the Premiership, I think he’s the only player to show club-loyalty since Gary Kelly.

    Ah, Gary Kelly. A strange choice for the list perhaps but then he always did his job, and did it well. Not only that, he stayed with us in the Championship until his retirement and rarely put a foot wrong. Compare that to the likes of Bakke (formerly one of my favourites in a Leeds shirt) and the amount of time Kells was doing the Leeds shirt proud and i’d found my man.

    For me, Radders has been rewarded in fans’ polls time and time again. He was a great centre-back and a great guy, but I think it’s time to recognise another ever-present player who epitomised our side-before-self motto (always playing, and never hogging the attention). Howson came close to getting my vote but i’m so confident about the lad that I think he’ll be taking any 2010-2020 player of the decade polls.

  • Lowfields

    Honestly…. this is a pretty strange list!

    Gary Kelly had lost his place to Danny Mills for much of 2000-2004, Lucas was sidelined with injury for nearly two years as Rio, Matteo and Woodgate dominated the defence, and as a striker Alan Smith can’t be placed in the same category as Viduka or Kewell – or even Michael Bridges.

    For the more recent players, Beckford never scored a goal for Leeds outside the Third Division, and Johnny Howson is still learning his trade.

    For me, it has to be Mark Viduka, who was top scorer in each of his four seasons with the club, all in the Premier League, and a consistent performer at the highest level.

    Can we have a rethink???

  • Mark R

    Of the listed men, I think for sheer consistency and contribution over 500 matches I’d vote Gary Kelly.
    That’s an incredible amount of matches.

    Lucas would have been my choice if he had played more matches, he was a great player but sadly only played around 200 matches due to injury.

    MOT

  • Tim Campbell

    I’d pick The kaiser Chief but but but but!! No Richard Naylor on the list?

  • Jack Roper

    David Batty all the way

  • Dje

    I honestly can’t remember Radebe playing for us after 2000-01, and I’m amazed that he was still at the club in 2005. Contender for player of the decade, 1991-2000? Yes; contender for player of the decade, 2001-10? No. Sorry.

    ____________

    Considering what a bizarre (read as ‘terrible’) decade it has been for the club, I can only really vote for a player who has taken us forward to where we are to-day, so it has to be Beckford for me.

    • Shez

      Radebe joined us in 1994 and even though he was plagued by injury towards the end, you can’t say that from 1998 – 2003 or so he was immense. Perhaps given our collapse post 2002 it’s hard to pick a player when we’ve had such a huge turaround of players over the last 8 years. Beckford had he still been here may well have been close, but let’s face it he isn’t player of the decade, but player of the last 3 years! Oh and as ost good players do at Leeds he’s buggered off!

      • Dje

        @Shez

        I agree, it’s a tough one to call – as there is no player who spanned the ten years that we are talking about. A better timeframe would have been player of 1995-2004 and another for 2005-10+, but there we go. Without this we’ve got a choice between the best player of a dying (or soon to be dead) club, c. 2000-2004, or the best player of a modest but rising club, c. 2006-10. IMHO, there are no stars in relegation.

  • paulg

    Beckford never scored a goal outside the third division? So three golas against Man U and Spurs, both of whom ended the season in Champ League places, don’t count, eh??!

  • Matt BB

    strange list, I’d have said our greatest achievements with our best players are goping to be in the CL. To that end though we probably think theyre a bunch of mercenaries, Bowyer, Kewell, Woodgate, Ferdinand, are probably in results terms our best players and are all still playing at a decent level.

    No Nigel Martyn or Paul Robinson? I know these are designed to create disacussion and I voted for Lucas, but he had his best form pre 2000. Best Striker of the last decade, well there we’re struggling, but probably Viduka in respect of goals scored.

  • Lowfields

    @PaulG

    Okay, I accept it was poorly phrased.

    But my point stands: Beckford never scored a league goal outside the Third Division, and every goal he scored for Leeds – whether against Manchester United or Spurs – were registered while Leeds were a Third Division club, and he a Third Division player.

    My point is that in a decade in which Leeds reached the semi-finals of two European competitions, and finished 3rd, 4th and 5th in the Premier League, our “star” player surely should be someone who helped Leeds succeed at this level, not the lowest the club ever experienced.

    In any case, Viduka was top scorer for four straight seasons… even if you don’t count the division, that’s still a greater achievement than Beckford.

  • Shez

    It’s a difficult list to make, considering the humongous turnover of players over the last 8 years since about 2002/2003 (including huge amount crap loans, remember all the French loans we had under Peter Reid!) , 2 relegations, financial implosion, administration etc etc. Nigel Martyn absolutely has to be on the list, as does Dom Matteo. If we are talking overall player of decade, it’s a hard decade to attribute one player. Also would have to forget off-field misdemeanours? Bowyer was superb for us but left on a sour note and had the trial (in which during that time on the field he was immense). Same with Kewell, what a way to leave. So they’d be off the list I would have thought.

    Very hard to narrow to 5, Viduka should be on there too. So you’ve missed Martyn, Matteo and Viduka. Agree with Beckford being on and Howson. Kelly although he served a long time doesn’t particularly stand out, but I guess should be on there. Alan Smith, well I’m not I’d have had him on there even if he’d not gone to Scum.

    Radebe, Martyn, Matteo, Viduka, Howson, Beckford, Kelly for me woudl be narrowed to Martyn, Matteo, Radebe, Beckford, Howson

    Winner: Radebe

  • Dje

    @Lowfields

    The only thing we actually successfully fulfilled in the 2000-10 decade was promotion from League 3. Other than that, aside from the relegations which we excelled at, we were only ever ‘also rans’. Sure we ‘qualified’ for some European trophies, and made it to the league play-offs, but we never won any of them.

    If we were still qualifying for the Champions League now, and did so throughout the last decade, then we could argue that we are still going forwards and building up to one season winning it. But we got well and truly burnt through ‘living the dream’, and those memories – happy memories at the time – went up in the smoke.

    Kewell, Ferdinand, Viduka, and co. – whether culpable or not – are all part of the flames, Beckford, Howson, Ankergren, Hughes an co. are part of the more-modest phoenix arising. Even if it aint as sturdy and as well-crafted as the old one that burnt down, the current phoenix is the star. Largely because it is the only one we’ve got.

  • Lowfields

    @Dje

    “Beckford, Howson, Ankergren, Hughes an co. are part of the more-modest phoenix arising.”

    But that’s not the criteria. We’re being asked to name “player of the decade”, not the “player who has helped us to where we are at the end of it”. We have to judge the players (in this arbitrary timeframe) on how good they were and what they did on the pitch in the colours of Leeds United. What happened to the club after they left isn’t the point.

    Surely the players helping us to compete with Man Utd, Arsenal, Milan and Barca have to be considered “better” or “more important” than those scoring against Exeter in the third tier. Frankly, the “achievement” of getting out of the lowest level we’ve ever played in is pretty feeble when compared to beating the reigning Serie A champions in their own stadium…

    As for Lucas, as big a legend as he is, he played less than 100 games in the decade just past… he might get in my all-time Leeds XI, but that’s for what he did between 1996-2000, not afterwards.

  • timm

    I had to have a quick look at my calender to make sure it wasn’t the 1st of April when i saw Johnny Howson on there! This is a very strange list. I’ve just screwed up my virtual voting card & thrown it in the virtual bin! Lloyd Sam all the way for me, Leeds born & just gives everything for his hometown club!!!

  • Dje

    @lowfields

    Alas there is no criteria. ‘Player of the decade’ is as loose a definition that TSS could come up with to stir arguments amongst folk on a Tuesday lunchtime.

    The player who helped us get out of our lowest ebb (Beckford) is as valid a reason to be a ‘player of the decade’ as one who was the most skillful and highly regarded (which usually means over-rated) at the time that we were were at our highest ‘peak’ (that rascal Kewell).

    You could argue that we could not have won promotion last season without Beckford, but can the same be argued regarding Kewell or Viduka? The spin at the time of our most dazzling exploits in the Champions League was O’Leary rambling on about ‘not expecting too much from ‘his lads’. “They’re only babies” was what he always kept droning on about. Regardless, the stress was that we did well in the Champion’s League because of the team performance when the XI mostly young lads gave their all and punched above their weight. WE had no Maradona’s who could single-handedly win the tournament, so it harder to pickout form them any who was THE player of our highest level of football in the period 2000-10.

    Admittedly Beckford is no Maradona, he was no one-man team, he relied heavily on others to provide for him, but his goalscoring abilities were immense and, IMHO, without him and left to the likes of Becchio, Showunmi, “Red Card” Kandol, McSheffrey, Grella, and / or that Dickinson lad we would not have scored enough goals to go up.

    My point is that the criteria for what constitutes ‘a player of the decade’ can be more than just the level they played at, the WAG they bagged, the wages they commanded.

    ________

    I entirely agree about your point regarding Radebe

  • Lowfields

    @Dje

    I certainly think Beckford should be in the list… whenever we do haul ourselves back to the Premiership, his contribution will rightly be looked back on as hugely important in starting the process – like Alan Peacock’s goals in 1964.

    But if, for instance, we get relegated this year (God forbid), does your opinion of Beckford suddenly change? Would you see his achievements, like those of Viduka, Kewell and Bowyer, through a different historical filter? And wouldn’t that be unfair…?

    In 30 years time, I personally think Beckford will be seen as a limited lower-league goalscorer, like John McCole or Bobby Davison, and not a genuine great like certain members of the O’Leary team.

    Anyway, you made another very good point… should Leeds United decades go from the 5s? 1955-64, 65-74, 75-84, 85-94, 95-04, 05-14…..? They follow our “eras” way more accurately…

  • Dje

    @Lowfields

    Good point about if we get relegated will Beckford be seen in different light. Possibly, in the case of Howson it would most certainly be his undoing in the ‘competition’, but then it might add to Beckford’s ‘player credentials’ also, because it’d show that we were at a loss without him. This might ring a little hypocritical after everything I’ve just said about Viduka and Kewell and co – but I’d argue that all of the O’Leary/ Venables/ Reid players are guilty (with the exception of Ferdinand and possibly Robbie Keane) of never going on to play as well or as regularly as they did for Leeds, despite them all having years ‘left in their legs’.

    From this they are all associated with their ‘best days’ being with the demise of Leeds and it is hard to say that they were bigger than the club (even if some of them acted as if they were). I remember Viduka acting angrily to suggestions that he didn’t care if Leeds got relegated because he would walk into another club and get a similar wage. Viduka responded – and simultaneously contradicting himself by showing he was putting his ego before the club – that no player wants to be associated with a team that is relegated from any division, “it is a glaring blemish on their footballing CV” is what he said (in less articulated words).

    Therefore there is a poetic schadenfreude in which when Leeds United fell, so to did the ex-players in their future careers elsewhere. This has to take a ‘shine’ of how much of a star they may have been when at Leeds, no? Or just adds to the needless waste of it all, perhaps.

    Regarding Beckford, it might not workout with Everton, but you imagine that he’ll come up trumps at some bottom-end Premiership / top-end Championship team if not, and so will be still playing on-parr or slightly above the standard of Leeds for a season or two.

    Oddly I see Beckford as similar to Lee Chapman – who was ever-present and prolific and yet we all seem to overlook and talk about the Greats of the late 60s and the early 70s or the Viduka’s, Smith’s, and Kewell’s. Which is odd, because Chapman and co actually won things and became a dominant force for a good run of years. May’be that is it though, those years fit in with the half decade timeframe of 1985-1995 rather than the neat decades of 1990-2000, 2000-10 etc. I’m rambling now…

  • Lowfields

    @Dje

    That whole Venables/Reid period was vile… even Batty’s reputation as “Leeds through and through” took a bit of a hammering when he refused a paycut and urged others to follow suit. It’s also one of the reasons we all seem to have forgotten how good Olivier Dacourt was.

    When you look at it, we got relegated with a squad that included Viduka, Smith, Robinson, Matteo, Harte, Bakke, Milner and Pennant… which makes you realise how diseased ER must have been at the time. In fact, it might actually help Viduka’s stake in the competition as he proved he could score in great Leeds teams – vs Anderlecht, Real Madrid, Liverpool – and in bad ones when we battled relegation – vs Charlton, Arsenal, Wolves. Anyway, he’s not on the list, so it’s academic.

    Agree about Chapman, although I actually think Rod Wallace gets even less credit… he scored goals in 1991/92, 1993/94 (17, all in the league) and again in 1997/98 when he and Jimmy combined brilliantly, but we only ever talk about his goal vs Spurs, not his contribution to three different Leeds sides under two managers.

    • Dje

      @Lowfields

      I think that’s why Radebe is winning and will win the vote – he’s the only one who isn’t ‘tainted’ by the shambolic end to a great team. Smith wouldn’t have been ‘tainted’ either as his heart was always in it, but then he went off to Scum etcetc. Therefore I see Radebe winning by default rather than anything particular he did between 2000-10. I reckon Ferdinand played more games for us than Radebe in those years, and no one would even think of him as our best player; which seems both natural and odd.

      I’d forgotten about Milner. Perhaps not quite the finished article with Leeds, but he’s got to be up there in the ‘Best Player That Leeds Produced, 2000-10′ competition (another one for TSS!).

      Rod Wallace too – yep a forgot man. Really they were happy days!

  • Kernow

    My first point would be you simply can’t put guys who plied their trade in the third tier like Beckford or Howson in with the guys who qualified and had a dam good run in the Champions League.

    Second point is thank God Mark Viduka isn’t on the list. At times he could be untouchable, sublime, but I think we forget his surly, sulky performances where he’d disappear for a whole game. Drove me mad. Could have been a legend if he’d have had even half the application of Smith.

    Strange list, but it’s been a strange era!

    • Gryff

      @Kernow for me a player of the decade has to be whoever has given the most to the club in that period. If Leeds are playing in the BSP and we get Richard Brodie in who scores 30 and gets us promoted, I think he’s doing more than players like Kewell and Viduka at the time when their underperformance, unprofessionalism and ego seriously damaged the team.

      Does anybody else remember November 8th 2003? We lost 6-0 to Portsmouth because our players decided they didn’t like their current manager. I’d never felt so betrayed in my life. For me, the managers may have underperformed in those years but players like Kewell, Viduka and Robinson completely undid their previous successes when their egos effectively consigned us to the Championship. The players did well in the Champions League – on some of the biggest paychecks in the League at the time. They did what was expected of them at our level and nothing more. When they ceased playing to the best of their ability they became even less worthy of accolades than the likes of Bessone or Naylor who at least try their hardest for the club.

  • Lowfields

    It’s close: Ferdinand played 73 total games for Leeds in just under two seasons – November 2000 to May 2002 – scoring three goals. Lucas played 95 games.

    It’s funny which periods you enjoy as a fan: I loved the late-Graham-early-O’Leary period perhaps more than the CL season, because there was no pressure to succeed. The team was playing fluid football, scoring goals, and we were all free from expectation – the Newcastle 4-1, the Derby 5-0, etc. It was fun. I also loved the Hulse-Healy-Derry days – talent and attitude!

    I’m enjoying this season for the same reason;. I don’t want us to get promoted; I just want us play some decent stuff, unearth a couple of new heroes and not go into every game petrified of not winning it – which we have been doing ever since the winter of 2006/07.

    As for your other list, I enjoyed watching Lennon more than Milner – who I think is chronically overrated. But I might even opt for Fabian Delph, who lit up many a dire League One scrap…. hope he pulls through at Villa. Always had a soft spot for Kilgallon, too….

  • JonTheBassist

    Exactly. Its so hard to name one player of the decade, when in that decade we went from champions league semi finalists – to relegation – to another relegation and then a promotion! What a rollercoaster! We’ve basically had around 4 or 5 completely different squads in only 10 years. I couldnt even be bothered trying to count all the managers and caretaker managers aver the last 10 years – but its a lot!
    So a poll like this will always be controversial to some fans. I would have definately included Nigel Martyn in the top five contenders though…he was voted as the number one goalkeeper to have ever represented Leeds a few years back, remember?

  • Charlie Big Potatoes

    Tough one based solely on the last 10 Years and bearing in mind the huge turn over of players.

    Based on the time frame and the list of names you’d really have to pick Beckford by default, prehaps a case for Smith. 1990-2000 would certainly be intreasting though.

    But for me with out question there can be only one choice…Julian Joachim!

  • Lowfields

    @JonTheBassist

    Jermanie Wright, surely…?

  • Martin

    Hi, I´m a big leedsfan from Argentina, I write in “Spanish Leeds” blog. I vote for Gary Kelly. I love that player and his commitment with the white shirt, the only one hi use in there profesional career, and play whit us in the Championship. The fall in Leage One, was too much for him, and quite football, after 500 games in Leeds
    (Sorry for my poor English)

    • TSS

      Hi Martin, no need for apologies – your English is better than some of our regulars! (you know who you are ha)

      Didn’t realise there was a Spanish Leeds blog, but always nice to see people flying the White flag high across the World (and not in a French way). I remember being contacted by a Chinese or Japanese (I forget) fan a while back, asking if he could translate the match reviews for their supporters site, so I know only too well that this is a global club with an impressive fan base.

      Thanks for voting and commenting anyway.

      MOT!

  • JonTheBassist

    Joachim, Wright…it would actually be a lot easier to name the top 5 worst players of the last decade. haha:)

    • Charlie Big Potatoes

      Pole for the worst player of the decade nominees are…

      Seth “Dingle” Johnson
      Michael “I Got” Ricketts
      Paul “Pylon” Okon
      Danny Couldnt-get-a-job-in-walmart-eri
      Jermaine “Not so” Wright
      Julian “Clary” Joachim
      Nick “the ghost of Christmas past!” Barmby
      Roque “and a hard place” Junior
      Raul “Juliet” Bravo

      This pole would certainly be wide open though! (Suspect TSS did something similar not so long ago mind)

      Roque Junior for me, arguably the worst defender of his generation! (He played for AC Milan????!!!!)

      Apologies for digressing…

  • trueyorxman

    @martin from argentina. You have hit the nail on the head (I hope that translates across the Atlantic!!) when describing Gary Kellys ‘commitment’. For that reason alone he should be named Player of the decade who else recently comes anywhere near 500+ apperances for the ‘Might Whites’. I think it’s quite sad how when people talk about greats/legends at Elland Road Kellys name hardly ever gets a mention. Time to give the lad some long overdue credit.

  • Martin

    @trueyorxman: yes is translate the same in this side of the Atlantic: we say: “dar en el clavo”. I. think like you about Gary Kelly, Radebe was a good & carismatic player and we love them too, but Kelly was also very good player and the only 500+ after the “Revie era”. if you want, take a look in “Spanish Leeds” blogspot, http://spanishleeds.blogspot.com/
    Thank you!
    @TSS: Thank for your Answer, you are invited to visit the “Spanish Leeds” blog at http://spanishleeds.blogspot.com/
    Thank you!
    MOT!

  • TSS

    @Martin

    Good stuff. Google’s translated version won’t help the English readers a great deal, but luckily my Spanish isn’t too bad so I was able to read without getting too lost in translation! MOT!

  • Martin

    @TSS Thank you for visit the blog! Google’s translations won´t help anybody… jaja!!
    I dream to see a match at Elland Road…
    MOT!

  • Rish

    Not sure how you can justify Howson’s inclusion outside of being a big fan of the club and playing a lot of games out of defaut. His contributions to these games aren’t great enough to warrant a spot on the poll. Someone like Eddie Lewis is more deserving.

    • TheReaper08

      @Rish I was right with you then, that was right up until the bit about Eddie Lewis…….

      • TSS

        @Rish @TheReaper08

        He’s a bit of a strange one is Jonny, because the three moments mentioned above alone, are amongst my fondest LUFC memories for the last four years. He clearly loves the club too, which always works in a players favour, and got a lot of nominations from fans.

        Personally, I went for Kells because he was always one of my favourites and a solid defender for sixteen years of service. Whilst Lucas was undoubtedly the better player, and is a hero to everyone, I didn’t feel he played enough for my vote. That said, there’s a lot more to be being player of the decade than simply matches played, such as influence and memories.

        • TheReaper08

          @TSS That’s the beauty of these polls, they are personal and subjective.

          Personally I find the concept of voting for someone because ‘they love the club’ a ridiculous one and wouldn’t get my vote. Personally I like achievements or more importantly winning things. As we can’t lay claim to either over the decade the closest I can come to is the runner up side of last year. When looking at that team I then have to think of who’s removal from that side probably would have cost us promotion, reluctantly I voted for Beckford on that criteria alone.

          • TSS

            @TheReaper08

            I think I’ve always preferred consistency in players, which is why I rated Kells so highly. Pretty much always a 7-8/10 for every match he played. I’d argue that Jonny is a similar player – whilst he doesn’t always set the stage alight, I can’t recall a single match where I’d have rated him less than 6. For the most part, he’s a safe 6-7, but also capable of memorable 10 performances too like Sold Trafford, Bristol and the play-off semis.

            The players that irritate me in the current team are generally those that fail to produce consistent performances, like Killa who is transparent in games where we’re on the back-foot (controversial, I know) and Bradley Johnson who you forget is in the team, right up until the point he hits the ball 90 yards over the goal. I’d have another two Jonny Howson clones in place of them any day.

  • dixie

    what about olivier dacourt ,what a player.

  • Colin

    It’s rigged. Radebe’s got 400 votes already?!? His best mate Nelson must keep logging in and voting. In addition, Radebe brings out a book just before TSS does a Player of the Decade competition. Coincidence? Not likely.

    I’m expecting Radebe to be on the One Show soon trying to blag more votes :)

    Radebe will win, but he was so injury prone, getting 200 games from 11 seasons isn’t a good return for any club and remember also that Leeds were very loyal to him to keep him on and paying his wages through his non playing days. IMHO, he wasn’t as good as Rio, Woodgate or Matteo in their good days and stood out as being one of Leeds’ better players when the rest weren’t all that great.

    Only one winner for me…JONNY HOWSON

  • Bill Fox

    Great thread. Really think Howson will develop into a top player but for the decade about to pass….not really. Warts an’ all, must be Beckford. Gave us that day of pride back in the snows of January and got the country realising we were on the way back and led us on that day v Bristol Rovers with real passion. His goals got us up more than anyone/anything else. Actually feel for him a bit at Everton right now.

  • Colin

    Dear Jonny Howson knockers @Rish @TheReaper08 and others,

    Name me a player that Leeds have had, or could have got, who had the flexibility or even would have been willing to put in a shift as:

    a right winger
    a defensive midfielder
    an attacking midfielder

    He’s been dropped while other inferior players have kept their place. He’s been captain, then dropped for Clown Naylor, then put back as captain, then dropped again.

    And never ever moaned about it.

    I can’t think of another player who has or would do the above. For that I think he’d deserves some serious credit.

  • Colin

    @TSS
    thanks for posting the links to some great video moments – it brings back great memories!

    • TSS

      @Colin

      You’re very welcome mate. Enjoyed looking through them myself – all except the “relegation tears” one which is like a car-crash in super slow motion. Watching it just makes you wonder how we ever thought the ridiculous spending was sustainable. Hindsights a bitch.

      PS. Re Howson, you do realise you’re going to start @TheReaper08 off on another Andy Hughes campaign, don’t you? You have to admit, Hughesy has always given everything, no matter how ridiculously positioned he may be.

      • Colin

        @TSS
        i know i know, Reaper’s going to be on my back. Andy Hughes has always given everything and i like that a lot but he ain’t going to add anything to get us promoted. If it did, we’d be promoted a long time time ago.

        David Prutton was also a fighter and look what Leeds did to him!

        • TheReaper08

          @colin @TSS Sir Andrew Hughes played over 50 games last season in different competitions and in at least 3 different positions. Do we believe he added nothing to our promotion last year ?

          I would argue with his limited ability he gave far far more than Johnny (I am rated 6 every week and once in a blue moon produce a piece of magic) Howson.

  • Gryff

    @TSS Hughsey has indeed been an asset to the club. He made mistakes in being out of position last season but when one match he was left-back, then next match he was right-back as a natural centre-mid I think that’s a good effort!

  • Ron

    What a sad decade it has been when Jermaine Beckford has pipped Mark Viduka for the top 5. Jesus, Viduka had more ability than our whole current squad combined. Let’s not dwell on the dark years of late.

  • Lowfields

    There are some slightly odd arguments going around… Howson is a lovely chap, committed squad member and might develop into a decent player. But his main asset is promise. He’s basically Stephen McPhail. If he’s not a first-choice, head-and-shoulders-above-the-rest player in Div 3, then how can he be considered player of a decade in which we beat Lazio in Rome, eliminated AC Milan from the Champions league and finished in the top 5 of the Premiership five times.

    Also, in the 1980s, the only thing we did was get promoted at the end of if, but does mean John Hendrie was a better winger than Arthur Graham? Of course not…

    Mark Viduka, Rio Ferdinand, Alan Smith, Harry Kewell, Lee Bowyer, Ian Harte and Jonathan Woodgate were great players who enabled Leeds to take on the best teams in England and then Europe… to choose outside of these guys is to pretend that getting out of division 3 is somehow comparable with reaching the last four of the most prestigious domestic competition in world football.

    It isn’t.

  • Lowfields

    Sorry…. top 5 of the Premiership three times. Apologies.

  • Tim Wilsom

    Of the five listed it’s G Kelly. But agree with above, that’s a strange list and begs the question. Where’s fn Batty :)

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