Simon Grayson

Two years in charge for "Larry"

The 23rd of December 2010 marks two years of manager Simon Grayson’s reign at the club.

As the song goes, we’ve had our ups and downs in that time, just as we always do. As stressful as being a Leeds fan can be, I’d say there have definitely been more highs than lows over the last two years.

“Larry’s” Leeds career started with a difficult home match against League one leaders and eventual Champions Leicester City on Boxing Day 2008. Leicester went ahead in the first half and it looked like it could be a slow start for the new boss until substitute Robert Snodgrass fired in a late equaliser.

At the time of publishing, Grayson’s record stands at W62, D23, L26 – a win percentage of 55.86%. Now the side are currently on a nine match unbeaten run, having just beaten league leaders QPR at Elland Road and as a result sit 2nd in the league in our first season back in the Championship. It’s been a very impressive couple of years for the boss.

Obvious highlights of Simon Grayson’s time at Leeds include the FA Cup defeat of Manchester United and promotion to the Championship. The 3rd of January 2010 has gone down in history as a great day for Leeds United – not simply because we got one over on Scum but because the manner of victory was so tremendous. The story doesn’t need retelling but winning away to our most loathed rivals – positioned, at the time, two leagues above us – showed a brilliant effort by both Grayson and his staff and the players – one which Leeds fans have every right to be proud of.

This season, despite blips against the likes of Barnsley and Preston and the reshuffling of formations – in particular the defence, what has shone through is a collective spirit that has been instilled in the team. The spirit was none more evident than recently against Crystal Palace and Burnley, where Grayson’s boys came being behind to snatch all three points on both occasions.

The resilient spirit of the players and staff started to become evident at the end of the promotion season, in particular on the 8th May – the final day of the season and ultimately judgement day on whether our campaign had been a success or a failure. Having lost Max Gradel in the first half for a stupid red card and then going one behind early in the second period, goals from Jonny Howson and Jermaine Beckford ensured the win for Grayson’s team – sending the full house inside Elland Road into delirium.

Our beloved Whites had seemed almost reluctant to get promoted but, after a run of poor games that left fans biting their nails, Simon Grayson and the boys finally clinched promotion and got us out of the hellhole of League One. The rot needed to be stopped and Simon Grayson was the man to do it.

We mustn’t forget Simon Grayson’s relative youth. He is entering only his sixth year of management with just his second club. There is no doubt he is still learning as a manager but the signs are extremely promising. There have been moments when fans, myself included, have seriously questioned his judgement but that’s football – it wouldn’t be the same if we didn’t think we could do a better job sometimes.

“Larry” has shown some signs of good man management. It’s taken a while but it seems as if we’re starting to see the better side of Jonny Howson having been handed the captain’s armband by Grayson. Dropping Luciano Becchio to the bench recently saw the Argentine striker come on to grab a quickfire hat-trick – his first in English football. A similar tactic was employed when want-away striker Beckford was misfiring towards the end of the last campaign, Grayson took the bold step of dropping our top scorer to the bench prompting the star man to bounce back to form scoring vital goals and clinching promotion for us.

There can be no doubt that Simon Grayson has done a brilliant job at Leeds so far – not least for dealing admirably with our controversial and infuriating chairman – and hopefully the team will continue to learn and grow under him and be pushing at the right end of the league table come the end of the season. Grayson’s passion for the club is undeniable and fans should be excited by having such a promising, young English manager at the helm. As long as he continues to develop and progress as a manager Leeds looks set for good times under his guidance.

So here’s to “Larry”, for two fantastic years and for many more to come!

  • Matt BB

    you have to hand it to Larry, plenty of ups and downs as the song goes, but overall he has managed to actually get a team of Leeds players to consistently win games, and has managed to survive last seasons slump where many other managers would have been given the bullet by Uncle Ken.

    Some dodgy signings though both on loan and the odd permanent `blunder’ too, but i guess nobodys perfect, and the likes of Kandol, Showunmi, Robbo, Michalik were not his doing.

    Do I think we’ll be in the premiership next season? well I think that the fact I’m even asking myself that is testament to us having a good manager, well done Larry!

  • LezToomey

    the best blog i have seen on here, well done. a bit of positivity for a change, although not been here for a while so maybe you’ve turned over a new leaf? ill be back….

  • TheReaper08

    @LezToomey You must be thinking of @TSS ( ;) ), don’t worry he will be along again in a while.

    • TSS

      @LezToomey

      I’m struggling to see where I’ve been particularly downbeat? Yeah, I take the odd swipe at Bates and am not Bradley Johnson’s biggest fan but that’s matter of opinion (the point of a blog) and the majority of what I write (and what you seem to criticise) is written in jest.

      Football is supposed to be a mix of emotions. We can’t be upbeat all the time, we try to reflect the general mood of the supporters – however downbeat that may sometimes be.

      For the record however, we’ve never once offered anything but unanimous support for Simon Grayson – even when the results weren’t going too well and people were on here calling for his head.

      From now on, we’ll try to cover only good news. Instead of discussing the latest player to submit a transfer request – we will instead, report on the new blades our groundsmen have attached to their lawnmowers.

      *The final paragraph was written entirely in jest

  • Ramblinjohn

    Obviously I hope we go up but I hope the fans remember if we finish 7th or worse that it will still probably have been a great first season back. But another decent centre back in January plus O’Brien might do the trick. MOT

  • LSD&2Es

    A Great 2 years and he looks more like The Don with each one that passes. Long may it continue…..MOT Larry!!

  • Mark R

    Well done SG.
    A new Leeds, a new direction, a positive new chapter in the story of our great club. SG’s learnt from mistakes and come back stronger. He’s faced a number of difficult challenges over these past 2 years and come through, in a steady manner.

    Keep it up Simon.

    Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to all contributers to this forum & of course TSS.

    MOT

  • Craig

    The last two years have been fantastic. Well done Ken Bates for keeping an eye on what was going on at Blackpool and spotting Simon Grayson’s potential. Simon has been a revelation and I’m delighted that his belief in what he is building is such that he could resist the megabucks offered him last year by that PL club.

    Some say ‘its better when you’ve put money on it’. I say ‘it’s been more meaningful sharing it with my friends on TSS’.

  • Tim Campbell

    Well done larry. leeds through and through. I had my doubts along the way but you overcame them. See in another blog Steve Morrison of Millwall is being linked with us in January transfer window – DO WE NEED ANOTHER STRIKER?

  • Anthony Lewis

    Best thing about Larry is that he is so calm and collected under pressure. He never gets despondent when we lose, or carried away when we win and this attitude sinks in to the team which is why we always battle so hard and never get arrogant. He has changed our mentality and spent wisely (with the money he has got). Very good two years, let’s keep it up Larry! MOT!

  • Nasty Jim

    Top job done by larry and his staff – got us up last season when it looked like we had donald ducked it and turned things round when we got done 4-0 by bardiff.
    A few decent signings in the january transfer window and who knows where we may finish this season…..MOT!

  • Bill

    Have said before that this season has been so enjoyable due to the spirit shown on and off the field by players and fans alike. SG has to take huge credit for what he has brought to the club.

    Come on Simon, greatness awaits.

  • West Stand Rebel

    SG has done a great job but why oh why do we continue to be blighted with our chairman’s mismangement of the club. According to the Official website there are only 1600 tickets left for the Pompey game still 5 days away and yet the East Stand upper is shut. Pompey fans have even been turned away if you believe their websites. Surely this is a post Christmas potential bonaza for the club to sell out or nearly so. That man never ceases to amaze me and he calls Blatter an idiot!

  • richard

    Its been an eventful couple of years, as have the years following relegation from the Prem, but heres to more eventful years and another promotion. :)