Caution! Fragile defence, handle with care TSS June 16, 2011 Leeds United 19 Comments Aside from Barcelona joining a long list of clubs that have poached our youngsters just as they become eligible for a professional contract, Leeds United news is so scarce at the minute the national rags have simply decided to make it up. Today’s story, courtesy of the ever-reliable (ha) Daily Star claims Simon Grayson is preparing a swoop for former Elland Road centre back, Jonathan Woodgate. Once considered one of the world’s greatest central defenders, Woodgate has been ravaged by injuries and now finds himself almost unemployable. The Daily Star claim that Simon Grayson sees Jonathan Woodgate as the ideal partner for Patrick Kisnorbo. One can only assume that the Daily Star think Kis and Woody will get on like a house on fire and provide ideal company for one another while they lay around on injury tables. I’m not one to panic before a ball has been kicked, but if we really are pinning our defensive hopes on a partnership that is unlikely to manage a dozen combined appearances, then we really are doomed. I suspect there’ll be a few people reading this who’ve gotten all nostalgic and are romanticising over the idea of these two overcoming their injury problems to guide Leeds United to an almost flawless Championship title, but the reality is, it’s never going to happen. badras if woodgate comes i think it will be a good thing for the club especially if he can manage more than a dozen games its a risk but it will only be at the cost of is wage while tom lees gets broken in to the leeds first team. if kisnorbo has got fully fit which i think he probably will be now i cant see him been injury prone aslong as he has got to full strength. . i would only think leeds will offer a short term contract to woodgate anyway to see if they can get him over his injury’s Dave Howson If fit, the partnership would improve on last year immensely. I am sure SG will find the cover he needs for them. I don’t expect Woodgate to come anyway. More of a concern is the departing players. Kilkenny’s agent says he is keen on a move to Hull…WHY…It has to be money but if we can’t keep a hold of players of Kilkennys questionable talent what chance of attracting others, I am totally in favour of a good LUFC business model, but the chance of reaching the premiership with a team of loan players AND STAY THERE is questionable. Fingers crossed something is happening why SG recharges his batteries in the Caribean. derbyshirewhite If we’re looking to history to solve our problems I’d rather we signed Bowyer and Smudger to cover a few of the empty midfield slots. Reports of Nolan to West Ham for £50k a week suggests Ken won’t be signing a premiership player any time soon. Dje Maybe we are going to work on the basis that two broken things stitched together equals one whole thing. Does FIFA have any rulings against conjoined twins playing? Especially ones not born so. In better news … Sheffield United are interested in Paynter! And for a fee* too!! *Them paying us Dje Having just read Bates’ latest interview I seriously don’t expect any incoming transfer activity of note to happen this side of July. He went on about things ‘bubbling along’ but then added that all the players they were interested in were currently on holiday. They have agents of course, but Bates insisted that Leeds wanted to see them in person. He suggested this was to see how eager they actually are, what they are made off, whether they spoke English – but I’m more inclined to see it as a bunch of trialists,and has-beens with dubious injury problems such as Woodgate and Smith. Don’t they realise how disappointed most fans were that we didn’t bolster our squad at all over Christmas – when a push for promotion was so, so on the cards? Don’t they realise that fans are suspicious of Bates ever, ever putting his hand in his pocket (full of our cash I might add) and relying on loanees and freebies as the scaffolding goes up around Elland Road? Or that Grayson appears so spineless in a policy of kowtowing to Bates with a meek ‘make-do and mend’ and ‘we don’t need to spend money to get promoted’ policy? For the love of God, how have they turned us into one of the dullest transfer-related clubs in the land! Matt BB i’m of the opinion that we dont actually need to buy that many players now, 2 central defenders, one decent holding midfielder, and one attacking central midfielder. So given we havent done much so far this summer is less of a concern to me. We cant compete with Birmingham City or West Ham wages wise but in 2 years time when parachute money runs out that of course will change if as i suspect one of the two will still be in the championship. Good news that paynter might be moving on, always thought it was a shocking purchase. Dje To me that reads as half the team. Attacking-minded we are OK. We might replace Paynter with another striker – possibly one with pace – but that’s not a priority. Defensively though we are all at sea at the current moment. We have a keeper, one competent but aging central defender, O’Brien and one quietly competent right-back in Connolly. What we do have in defense are unknowns. • We have injury-prone or yet-to-prove-they-still-have-it-after-their-injuries: Kisnorbo, and Parker. • We have potentials-but-not-tested-at-this-levels: Thompson, Clayton, Gimpel, Lees • And we have the beginning-to-disappoint: White. Now Grayson and his coaches may see from that buff all that is required for the defensive operation of our team. In which case then I agree that we don’t need to sign anyone (which will pleas Bates, no end). But this is a huge risk. Last season we talked at and talked each other into a state of the season being about ‘conciliation’. That is a polite way of saying trial and error, be cagey with splashing the cash – and we didn’t. There is no grounds at all for that in the forthcoming season. We simply can’t get a dozen games in and find Grayson saying Gimpel is too young, Clayton needs to go out on loan, Thompson is a disappointment, Kisnorbo has lost his edge, and try to sign the ‘experience’ players he has already said we need. It would cost him his job, and rightly so. ______ It’ll be interesting to see if we swop Montgomery for Paynter. Ron Devie Maybe a tad optimistic but I believe that there will be money spent this transfer window and that no moves have happened yet because the premier league clubs are still scrapping over the top players. Bates ‘must’ know that we won’t achieve promotion with a team of loanees and freebies – and if we did we would only have one season in the premiership before clattering back down again. Now that the ownership issue is resolved this is time for investment and a serious push for automatic promotion with the nucleus of a side that will measure up in the premiership. If the likes of Kilkenny are leaving to play for Hull then he must have been told that Leeds are holding out for much better quality replacements who have premier league experience – ditto Johnson. I also believe that Grayson wants the chance to prove he can spend wisely and not just be left to manage on the scraps. There is a plan dictating the renaissance of Leeds Utd and this is the time within that plan to start putting serious investment into the playing side. Gryff As Mr Redknapp said when he was considering whether or not to offer Woody a proper new deal, it would be a gamble but one that could well pay off for any top premiership club. I’d not pin my hopes on him, but with the likes of O’Brien & Kisnorbo already in the team we’ve effectively got a new good quality defender in Paddy. Dje From Woodgate’s point of view Leeds would not be a bad option: • EVERYONE will doubt his fitness. Premiership football is not guaranteed. Around 26,000 at Elland Road is. • He’s from up here. • There is a bit on unfinished business / poetics of finishing where you began. • He knows that Leeds United have a good physio set-up, as he’s likely to live in it. BUT we don’t pay top wages. trueyorxman Our frail defence would be better served with a decent midfield in front of it. One that doesn’t give the ball away cheaply, as Killa & Johnson were prone to do. Maybe we could swap Killa for Bullard (they are on similar wages are they not!!). Hopefully McLeish wont like the look of Eric Lichaj, so we get him at least on a season long loan. Add Zenden to the squad and I think we’d have a tasty side. Montgomery turned us down 12 months ago so why would we want him now, mind you if it meant Paynter going the other way…! reiver All this talk of Woodgate and Smith, surely it’s just idle speculation? I hope so anyway – we don’t need a couple of crocks that would necessitate bringing in loan players again. I don’t have much confidence in Grayson’s ability to build a good squad, or spend money wisely – not that he’ll be given any. If we start off next season how we finished the last two he could be out by Christmas. timm He needs a box to box midfielder to drive the team on next season, & there’s only one player for me. Lee Bowyer would be the difference for us. I just wish the’d pay the money to attract a top player sparkx it has been nearly six weeks since our last game of last season and so, to a certain extent I do not blame anyone for being a little restless both in terms of the lack of transfer activity and fears for the forthcomimg season as a result and also because we need something to fill our football void. I do enjoy reading all the opinions, conjecture, hypothetical arguments and a large proportion of slagging off the current owners and management however, let’s not forget who we are. WE ARE LEEDS and I firmly believe our current trajectory us upwards. We are and always will be destined for greatness and with that grandioseness there will be falls of seismic proportions, as we have experienced in the last ten years. I firmly believe that scum will also see something similar in my lifetime. Think of scum without Fergie and Fergie time (can’t be too far away), think of them with a few managerial appointments that don’t live up to expectations with an ageing team and an ownership with debt issues? it will happen! however, I digress my point is… last year we brought into the club a number of signings… some which were successful (a certain dane) some a risk which didn’t quite pay off (a certain decorative forward) but cast you’re mind back… at the time we recruited at the right level for a newly promoted team to the championship… I remember being optimistic as to our prospects off the back of the squad that was assembled.. I do not see this season any differently… frustrated that that big marque signing or any signing has yet to be made, YES but I would prefer to judge our squad at the beginning of August…. we are a big club but there is increased competition for quality players for the forthcoming season and a lot of tricky negotiations and a little bit of luck will need to go on in the background… so far I’m feeling a little trust building up with the current incumbent management and I’m almost trusting they’ll appoint similarly appropriate playing staff… time will tell of course… do you know what…? I wouldn’t mind building a youthful team, giving our youngsters a chance, missing out on promotion for a couple of seasons but developing a team to win the championship that is young and gifted enough to do ourselves justice in the pl?! remember? how we did it before? with the odd quality ole timer ala strachan…? Smith and Woodgate… if only and in different circumstances… they may or may not light up the Ch next year… but one thing is for certain they’re not our future but they definitely are our past… stelufc123 I really can not believe what I am hearing here, people slagging off SG are you lot for real he has got us promoted when it looked like we would b stuck there 4 ever, Yeh he’s made some mistakes but he got us into 7th place and with not the greatest squad, as for Alan smith I would love to see him back he allways gives 100 % when he plays and he his Leeds through n through I don’t want to see woodgate back at ER 2 be honest it would b a waste off time, I think we will get some good players in also nunez will be a regular next season and trust me when I say this he’s a class act, also bates was seen talking to Patrick viera last week ,you never kno Haha David Simmons reports are suggesting that Ian Harte is being linked with a move?? steve underwood Not sure woodgate is the answer,but would take smith back.If you look at the current squad i dont think it needs alot of tinkering,if lees is as good as i heard then him and paddy or obrien that could work,plus we have clayton who looked good at mk dons then you have parker nunez also looks like there maybe one or two younger players comming through then the squad looks good to me.Dont forget throwing millions on transfers and wages dosent allways work just ask middlesboro last season Irving08 Sorry Steve, we need some serious work on our squad in what will be a much stronger Championship. Left back (not Parker – who is not up to it), at least one midfielder and a centre back, plus a decent goalie to push Schmeichel, are the minimum we need to compete just for a play-off place. Oh, and a new coach….. Irving08 Bowyer is the only one of our former players who would adequately replace the combined forces of Johnson and Killkenny – and, remember, had the manager played these two with Howson all season we would have gone up, our leaky defence notwithstanding. There are no good holding midfielders around outside of the Den, for those who crave one. Bowyer (in his mature years) is the nearest thing to one we could in principle sign – that is, if Ken sponsors him from his own funds.