LUFC: Ten things we’ve learnt this week #6 TSS October 22, 2010 Leeds United 45 Comments #01 – No surprises in player of decade poll There were no real surprises in The Scratching Shed’s player of the decade poll as Lucas Radebe won with 61% of the vote. In second place was Gary Kelly with 14% who just pipped Jermaine Beckford into third place (13%). #02 – Leeds United cost Strachan his job Gordon Strachan’s reign as Middlesbrough boss was ended by his former club, as Leeds United hammered the final nail into the Scot’s coffin with an easy 2-1 win at the Riverside. #03 – Delusional Boro fans receive wake-up call Several posts on popular Middlesbrough fan site, ComeonBoro.com were met with complete derision by myself and many other Leeds United fans as the Teesiders claimed an intense rivalry was set to be renewed. Another week, another imagined rivalry it may have been, but it was hard to resist an opportunity to reply. Similar replies were found on Leeds United forums and blogs across the internet, forcing Boro fans to realise that we care about them just as little as the Geordies and the Mackam’s do. #04 – Leicester City stun Leeds Sitting 22nd in the Championship before kick-off, it was hard to foresee the comprehensive victory that would follow for Sven Goren Eriksson’s men who looked like the home team as they sent the Leeds players dizzy with a passing game that wasn’t dissimilar to Arsenal’s. The result was a 2-1 home defeat as the 2010-11 ups and downs continue for Leeds United. #05 – Leeds fans quickly lose perspective Despite the general consensus agreeing that mid-table would be a good finish in pre-season, not all Leeds United fans are happy with the 10th spot we currently reside in. After defeat at home to Leicester City, the Whites fans showed all the emotional consistency of a pregnant woman by quickly turning the inquest onto Simon Grayson, with some suggesting that his days are numbered. #06 – Blame it on the Grayson As the pointed fingers moved from individual players to the manager, the Leeds United fans did remind us here at The Scratching Shed of a Simon Grayson confidence level poll we ran back in early May. Back then, the confidence fans had in Grayson was 73%, despite an inconsistent run of form that saw us clinging on to automatic promotion by the skin of our teeth. That earlier poll provides us with the ideal comparison figure to run the exact same poll a few months later and see how things have changed. Early indications don’t look good for the Gaffer. #07 – Kasper the friendly keeper It seems that our superb Danish keeper shares more than just a name with the popular friendly ghost – he also possesses the ability to disappear without trace! Since injuring his foot a few weeks back, Leeds United have said very little about the fate of our number one stopper leaving fans with little else to do but speculate. Here at TSS HQ, we have it on good authority that Kasper is in Daneland undergoing an urgent medical procedure that will replace the matter he’s been using to stop the ball from simply passing straight through him. We wish him well… #08 – Dom Matteo banned from Elland Road Pure speculation on my part, but after suggesting Ken Bates needs to (wait for it)… (deep breathe if you’re reading this Ken)… (brace yourself) … “spend money on players!” It can only be a matter of time before Santa’s evil twin bans the scorer of a great San Siro goal from Elland Road. We’ll miss you Dom, but you should have learned from the Guardian’s mistakes that the freedom of speech is strictly forbade at Leeds United. #09 – How the other half live This week, I took MG from Clarke One Nil up on the offer to write a piece on Life After Bates for the dark-side… I mean, other side… Whilst there, I couldn’t pass-up the opportunity to snoop around C.O.N HQ to see how the other half live and what I can reveal is that it’s an extremely sinister and dark dungeon type-world, where moderators work tirelessly to the beat of an old battle drum. Failure to co-operate with the one known as ‘Grumpy Older Man’ results in a relentless whipping from demon-like creatures referred to only as ‘minions.’ Throughout my stay, I was subjected to an oppressive heat that seemed to be coming from the earth’s core. The heat was so intense that I began to hallucinate. At one point, I swear I saw Jermaine Beckford and Mark Viduka chained to a wheel that turned thousands of rusted cogs and powered a machine labelled ‘Project X’. I’m joking of course (honest). Those hallucinations did seem incredibly real mind you…? #10 – Wayne Rooney is a moron Finally this week, we learnt that Wayne Rooney is an absolute moron as he decided to remain at Old Trafford and sink with the rest of the ship. We wish them haste in their endeavour. Dje I still disagree with the link being made between our position in the league and those who have questioned Grayson’s tactics / selection / man-management skills / and or suitability about LUFC’s manager job. I think a lot of criticism has been long standing and therefore irrespective of our current or final league position. If that makes any sense. stotty Yes it makes sense. What to me doesn’t make sense is Grayson’s latest comments today about ‘not having a magic wand’ and being ‘loyal’ to the players we had in League One. This is Leeds United and we do have expectations beyond other clubs aspirations. I don’t expect a magic wand but I do expect a manager to prepare his team so we don’t get outplayed at home or ship more goals than a pub side. Grayson is there to manage success not be loyal to players who can’t hack it in a better league. He had every chance in the summer to get his team in good order and a number of his signings and loans are underwelming to me. I still remember how Beckford just stuttered us over the line last season. There will not be a better chance for promotion than this season and excuses about we have only just been promoted are nonsense. Grayson should start delivering with his tactics, coaching and selection. Dje I have to say that the Rooney thing is utterly bizarre – even by footballing standards. Does he really think that he can just waltz back into the changing room and sign autographs for Scum fans after all this? Cloud cuckoo land, and I think he’s been wrongly advised by his agent here. Not that I care much: I don’t do England and the Scum are the Scum. TSS @djedjedje Are you kidding? Scum fans are as fickle as they come. They’ll excuse his money-grabbing antics within the hour, twist it to make out that everything was the fault of the Glazers and hail him as a hero for highlighting real concerns about the clubs future under the yanks. stotty It was all about the money and Stretford’s cut. Let’s hope Stoke give them a battering this weekend! TheReaper08 @TSS Twisting it to make is someone else’s fault, sounds familiar. Poor results, poor management, poor performances from players, must be Ken’s fault. TSS @TheReaper08 Poor results – Not really? A couple of bad defeats, granted, but nothing less than expected. Poor management – In Grayson we trust! The man is a God. Poor performances from players – Meh, can’t win ‘em all. We have seen some utter dross this year, but some of the players are out of their depth in this league. If only there was a man who held the power to provide funds for the manager to add some quality to his squad… TheReaper08 @TSS That wasn’t my summary by the way that was just some of the drivel I have read recently. And like someone said yesterday, let’s look at the value we have got from the signings we have made and the wages we have paid out first before looking for more. TSS @TheReaper08 I agree, the squad is top-heavy and clearing a few players wouldn’t hurt. However, I don’t buy his defence that spending no money on transfers is levelled by the amount he spends on wages, especially when we keep missing out on the better players because he won’t meet their demands. His obsession with conference centres, bars and restaurants adds little to his excuse either. It’s not so much the lack of transfer funds that bothers me, it’s more the BS he feeds us to excuse it. When fans see nothing but building work week after week and read about restaurants on the OS, they’re going to put two and two together and figure out where the funds are. If he was straight enough to say that any investment in the squad was being kept to a minimal while he improved the facilities, I’d accept that – I wouldn’t like it, but I’d accept the business sense. TheReaper08 @TSS Not meeting wage demands is again hear say I’m afraid. We are amongst the highest payers in the league and some of the players we have signed would contradict that rumour. Bates MO has always been the same, he doesn’t invest out of his own pocket but attempts to build an empire (conference, hotels etc.) that can then sustain the football side. I don’t need him to tell me that and nor should you. Yesterday you said that the romatic idea of local business men owning the club wouldn’t work due to the politics and Ridsdale factor and I agree. You also suggested that a rich sheik who would just buy everyone and everything and neglect the traditions of the club might not be the the way either. Well I have a solution for you. A hard nosed business man that isn’t in love with the club but does need it to succeed. Someone who whilst in charge might mean that someyoung players still get a go and players that local people can relate to. Someone who will develop the infrastructure so that the dark days of admin are avoided as the club and business model is sustainable. TSS @TheReaper08 If said person could stop lying through his teeth, show a little respect to the fans and stop trying to paint himself as some kind of saviour to Leeds United then I could just about rest comfortably. As for not knowing whether or not he’ll meet the demands of top players – he’s admitted it himself when he’s said he couldn’t meet the wage demands of players that have gone to much shitter clubs (see programme notes circa 2005-2010) so that’s hardly conjecture on my part. Dje @TSS That makes them sound more delusional than fickle to me. But, hell, if it helps them implode then that is all fine with me. Matt BB rooney, hoor loving wage hoor, how poetic.. i wonder how many million it took him to realise his principles needed to change! Dje I’m still surprised Fergie didn’t get rid of Rooney. He must be getting too old for it (which is when we will really see ManU in freefall, IMHO). Mike @TSS I heard Larry got a call from Kenneth saying he would like to see how Somma fared out on the wing, what could poor old larrio do? Bastard should leave the team picking and tactics to the manager, thats what I think TheReaper08 @djedjedje Unfortunately I think he has been quite clever. Firstly it has highlighted the team needs investment indirectly heaping pressure on the owners. Secondly he knows if a sale progressed he would likely receive as much of the transfer fee as he did with Ronaldo’s sale which was just about nothing. Matt BB theres a reason the best players command a transfer fee ken… we have a mix of freebies and bargain bin efforts so what can we expect! i’m with the blame ken crew on this, and tss your comments on shaun harvey as next chairman on CON are spot on.. kens apprentice, god preserve us. TSS @mattbb I do like that my attempts to get people abbreviating Clarke One Nil (CON) is paying off! MG hates that haha Matt BB anything to wind up the oppo! TheReaper08 @mattbb What have the folowing players got in common : Joe Cole, Brad Friedel, Sol Campbell, Steve McManaman, Gary Mcallister, Michael Ballack and I am getting bored now so I will end with somone topical, our very own Paddy K. Matt BB theyre all good but not top class? Dje @mattbb I was just thinking actually the complete opposite regarding our team. The best players we have were cheap or free: Schmeichal (free) Somma (trial and free) Snodgrass (£200k and worth every penny) Becchio (trial and free) Howson (homegrown and free) Parker (homegrown and free) White (homegrown and free) Kisnorbo (free) And some of the worst or unwanted cost us money: Collins (up to £5-600k) Michalik (undisclosed, but quite a bit) Andy Hughes (undisclosed) Leigh Bromby (undisclosed) A selective choice it is true, especially as some of our worst players came on free transfers too – but it sort of shows that freebies aren’t always ‘bargain basement’ rubbish. TheReaper08 @djedjedje You were doing so well but I can’t have Andy hughes on any negative list, other than that good post. Matt BB oh yes andy hughes… money well spent! fair play though hes a rock next to bessone TSS @TheReaper08 @mattbb I don’t think Leigh Bromby is a bad player either, he’s just barely had a chance to prove himself. When he has played, he’s looked stronger than others. Matt BB true@djedjedje we do have a tendency to spend unwisely when unce ken gives him his 20p weekly transfer fee… but michalik was a wise (dennis wise) investment…my problems our seeming frenzy to grab free agents seemingly as opposed to a better players who’d cost a fee. until we compete we wont get out of npc and logically then only when bates goes therefore its him preventing success! @reaper08 yes some good frees but wasnt mcmanaman alongside fat ronaldo and zidane. they cost cash. frees ok but as an exception not as a rule? steve underwood On the rooney point it looks to me asks for a transfere until scum offer him the money he wants,he was never going to leave them.Now ive often wonderd why nobody has looked to take us over big club big crowds but i for one would hate us to become the next man city and have the heart ripped out of us,kb is more interested in 2018 world cup bid than building united up so it looks like we will have 50000 seater stadium thats half full at best great bars etc substanderd team oh well M O T steve underwood Just got the news that portsmouth look like going bust tonight hope rooney and all the other players on 200 grand a week sleep well tonight Dje Wow. Portsmouth going bust came out of the blue (excuse the pun). Thought they had cleared out most of their problems. Fine point about Rooney and Co. and their wages, @banditsteve123 Bill Fox Yep,previous owner has done the dirty on Pompey according to R5. Not sure it means the end but clearly a huge knock for them. Mixed views to be honest. Gryff @TSS I have to agree with @djedjedje because a lot of fans haven’t rated Grayson for quite a while. I’m saying the same i’ve ever said about Grayson just like many who are piping up now. That we’re tenth place means nothing to the argument tbh. That our recent form (rather than season form) is dropping off means that it would be foolish and ridiculous to ignore the inconsistency in the team which turn it from playing like a top-6 contender in some matches to a relegation scrapper in others. Especially after last season the team finally found a run of consistency: as the latter rather than the former. Howard Bartle Sad night for Pompey fans and we think we have something to moan about ! makes you think ! WIll S SG says we ought to be happy. Well, yes if the season finished tomorrow and we were 10th, that is true – I’d be celebrating like it was a promotion such is the importance I attach to remaining in this division. SG has missed the point though thinking fans are unhappy because we are not in the top 5. SG, we are unhappy because we are very concerned with poor performances – losing too easily now, as we have done on 3 occassions already, is highly disturbing when the team is only winning games by the odd goal (and unconvincingly other than versus Millwall). We all agree it is a tough division, with better teams & players, but that does not mean we should be an easy touch. This is SG’s team to build, but the pieces he is using seem not to fit together as a cohesive unit – YET. In League One, we had better class of players compared to most, yet we still struggled over the line, indicating something was amiss. Now the competition is tougher, and the squads evenly matched, so what puts teams apart is how well the XI function as a unit in attack and defence. We are scoring, yes, but as a unit we are inconsistent and what looks like a good 10th place now could very soon by a rather twitchy 19th. We do not look solid enough to maintain 10th. We all want SG to succeed, but we remain to be convinced he can do a job at this level. Hard work is no subsititute for ability but it does go a long way. There is no question SG is working hard, is totally dedicated, and a good man and I salute him for his effort. I wish him well. Now we just want some bulldog spirit and if we are to lose then lets give teams a hell of fight in the process. There is no shame in losing like this. We need to show we are tough f***ers not limp-wristed puppy dogs! Now let’s kick some Cardiff ass back to Wales with their tails on the ground, and not knowing what day of the week it is. MOT WIll S YEP: “Simon Grayson has mounted a passionate defence..” Passion and defence – yep, that’s what we need – on the pitch! Of course there are other connotations to the YEP opening line, but this is a family blog! trueyorxman Rooney at one end of the football scale, Pompey at t’otha. Let’s be happy with our ‘mid-table mediocrity’ lot eh kids Matt BB well look at portsmouth, in came a megabucks owner 5 years ago, spent like a drunk lottery winner, and in summary he’s now demanding his pound of flesh back and that threatens the clubs very existence. Lets hope if theres a replacement for ken that theyre in possession of a conscience unlike that french pillock gaydamak. les irwin was it just me but was grayson having a bit of a go at us the long suffering paying fan and at bates ,reading his comments on sky i think what he was basically saying was “.what do you lot expect we are new here and by the way i had no money to spend ” howson also has had a go at us the fans saying “we don’t care what the fans think as long as the management are happy .are these the same fans who are fantastic .who deserved better after the preston and barnsley games ,who turn out in there numbers in all weathers .the best fans there are etc etc etc .what we have learned this week is that although the team does go out to win ,why wouldnt they ,they dont like it when they get stick and they don’t give a s@*T what we think and not just at leeds but all clubs ,bates has no real intrest in the football side its a means to an end for him ,a chelski style villiage but with a twist ,that twist being holbeck he never spent money at chelsea it was others laterly harding who spent on the team grayson also by his own admission has “stuck by the players that got us promoted ” or if you were to,look at it from my point of view, stuck by the players who nearly struggled to get us out of league 1 and did so just having conceeded a massive lead on the last day ,many of which were not that good in that league les irwin sean harvey has atrack record of taking teams into admin he did it here at leeds and at bradford if bates does expire ,harvey will take over but only because .mrs bates cant claim to own the shares as bates has sworn an affadavit he has no connection to any share holders ,so harvey will run it for her , waht can is ay about bates except i like a good funeral White to the core Surely the point regarding our league position is, apart from QPR all the teams are not streets ahead of us (in skill level or personal). The step up in competition is not that great if at all. A league full of below average performers! Surely to god taking this into consideration we should be having a better season. Talk about looking a gift horse in the mouth. If we had invested a bit more in better players than the mostly clots we brought in and got rid of clots like kilkenny, hoofer johnson, naylor, hughes, etc. We could very easily have been in the top 3. We may not get another year where the general competition is so poor. Depends who comes down and up! The bottom line is all things considered we had a great opportunity this season and we are pissing it up the wall with poor signings, poor players kept, lack of investment (it wouldnt have took mega millions), and generally poor management (grayson and boardroom). Yes im afraid the jury is still very much out on grayson. Dont be surprised come new year when gus poyet is manager, its only a matter of time. Tim Wilsom #11 we’re still famous, two consecutive games on the telly over here is unheard of. 5 this season already, brilliant. les irwin if pompey go bust how will that affect the league .will 3 or 2 come down or will 2 0r 3 go up or will they just let an extra 1 come up from league 1 and leave the rest meaning only the bottom 2 get relegated from champs does anyone get that ????? it will be sad for pompey if they go bust but it might just be the eye opener the rest of fottball needs Dje I would speculate that two would go down instead of three, and they would take the disappearance of Portsmouth as a team already relegated and therefore gone down. Three to come up as usual. I think for a while the FA have been happy for smaller leagues in the professional pyramid set-up, so I doubt they will add an extra promotion place to the Conference as way of ‘making up the numbers’ in the professional league system for next season. Not that it is that important in relation to the plight of Portsmouth or this stage of the campaign – but I imagine we will ‘catch up’ a few points and maybe places on those above us in the league too, as we haven’t played Portsmouth as yet. The other teams who have and got points from results against Portsmouth will lose these points. And teams that have played Portsmouth have gained more points than those they dropped! Old Billy White I’d hate to see Pompey go bust. I still remember how close we came to going bust. No matter how bad we play, or how often we lose, it far better than having no club to support. As always the people who’ll suffer will be the fans, for many of them Pompey is the most important thing in their lives, a pity that it isn’t a higher priority for the owners they’ve had. Do these people know or care how much this will hurt people. Sorry, being stupid! TheReaper08 @Old Billy White Great comment and I whole heartedly support what you are saying. When a community loses it’s club it loses part of it’s identity. I hope someone can step in and do something here. TSS @TheReaper08 @Old Billy White Administrators seem confident Pompey will pull through. I think the creditor is just trying to get the best deal, but he’ll take a little of something rather than nothing at all. Hope they survive too – it’s a horrible feeling for any club to be in such a position and no ones fans deserve it.