Things we couldn't be bothered covering in detail TSS August 1, 2011 Leeds United 34 Comments As much as we try to be a one-stop site for all Leeds United news, rumours and speculation, some times there’s simply too much to cover and other issues take priority. To address that, I thought a quick weekly round-up was in order. Too skint to loan Fulham’s reserve keeper Fulham goalkeeper David Stockdale has told the BBC his proposed move to Leeds United was thwarted by “complications”. In Leeds United speak, this generally means Club X wanted more money than our loveable old chairman was willing to shell out. “For God sake Ken, stop being a tight old git” I hear you all cry! And I understand your frustrations, but do you not want some shiny new executive boxes bolted onto the East Stand? What’s that… you don’t? Erm… over to you Ken. Little Jonny Howson is the captain of the crew Simon Grayson has confirmed Jonny Howson will keep the club captaincy for the forthcoming season despite the return of Patrick Kisnorbo and the arrival of Michael Brown – two players who some Whites fans felt may be more suited. The Leeds United gaffer said homegrown hero, Jonny Howson thrived in the role of leader last season and would be continuing to serve as club captain. Howson, who is still only 23-years-old, has made over 200 appearances for The Whites – more than any other player in the side – and was the only player to play in every game for the club last season. Waxing numerical The release of the squad numbers for the 2011-12 is one of those stories impossible to add opinion to. Let’s face it, this is a list of players names with numbers beside them – not much I can do with that, is there? Project Meccano assembly continues Regular visitors to the official site will already have basked in the delighful news that the staff have moved back into the East Stand. The rest of you probably didn’t care. Regardless, here’s a couple of recent pics. Leeds United – A bad example since 1919 And finally, hundreds of you (well, two actually) have asked why The Scratching Shed made no mention of the Football Governance Report. As much as I love to stick the proverbial knife deep into Ken’s back whenever he’s hunched over and taking a pounding from lawyers/law enforcement/HMRC/The FA/The Football League or any other organisation with the power to do some damage, this report is page after page of pure tedium that I continuously lost interest in every time I picked it up. There’s a slim chance The FA may buckle to the pressure coming from Parliament and that the Inland Revenue will take a fresh look at Bates’ dodgy “buy-out(s)” but the fact of the matter is, the Sports & Culture Select Committee have no power whatsoever. All they can really do is make a public spectacle out of the whole thing and hope someone else (in this case, The FA) takes action. Your Government at their finest ladies and gents. All the report has really done then is add to global warming. I reckon it took a tree worth of paper and the best part of a new ink cartridge to print so whoever is running the Environmental Select Committee may wish to try and pressure the S&C Select Committee into offsetting the carbon emissions they’ve caused by planting a new forest… or getting someone else to do it, as is the norm with these people. Mersey Whites The Sockdale deal feel through , due to Fulham Instance that there was a 24 hour recall in the contact. Now I see that Ipswich where able to obtain a season long loan, does anyone know if there was a recall in that agreement, or was it are fine skills in negotiating that let him fall through the giant holes in our net. TSS A couple of generally reliable people beg to differ. The recall clause was an issue, but so too were wages from what I hear. He does say "complications" (plural) too, but whether that was simply a figure of speech or corroboration is open to your own interpretation. Matthew Personally I think Grayson wanted a keeper he knew he'd have for the whole Season, it reflects on his comments for Lichaj and others he's after, he seems to want people that aren't part of their host clubs plans for the upcoming season. So I would say the 24hour recall clause was a gamble the club wernt willing to take. Ben "Let’s face it, this is a list of players names with numbers beside them – not much I can do with that, is there?" Yes, but why is there no 6, 16, 17 or 18? Obviously no 6 for the new first choice left back and the rest for a few new squad players. Don't think we're done with the transfer market…… Camaac And I see they've given Grella 13 as if to say "unlucky" or was that his number last season? Craig It was his number last season. Colin Ben, he's keeping Number 17 for someone special… xD TSS I have to admit, I did worry about that myself. Mike Grella has always worn 13 as far as I know. Colin Hasn't 17 always been free since Alan Smith left? I think it might have?? TSS Nah, Matthew Spring had it at one point (circa 2005?) and I think Seb Carole wore 17 too. Colin Good knowledge. Matthew Spring, Seb Carole – that bring back memories….all bad number1inyorkshire carol and spring did indeed both wear 17 ,harsh on spring been bad memories who lost his young baby when he played for leeds ,some things are more important . its the story of transfers or lack of em not just at leeds ,aside from Leicester and Ipswich who are spending no one else is, the bubble has burst i feel for players massive wages that said we have to be competitive like or it or not our team is not as good as last season FACT . another fact is we are not the big draw any more there are teams with pedigrees in the championship the ship has gone without us . there has to be something too that is making players go elsewhere not just the money why is bates for instance ,who insists that grayson hires and fires ,taking agents out to Monaco and who is paying . there is a serious lack of ambition at leeds you can get good players without spending millions of pounds but we seem to want everything for free ,well no matter where you go free is free for a reason ,so 2 keepers and a midfielder who in real terms aint that good is our pre season there will be others but desperados now as the season rumbles nearer . as for HMRC ,the FA and various others they will investigate leeds it is obvious and they should Bates is a crook and those who think otherwise are as bad, he has clearly lied we all know it on oath too ,that doesn't make him fit and proper .we were named several times in that report . beating Newcastle on Sunday is no reflection on the season coming, a finish somewhere between 15-8th is on the cards may i suggest with a different manager to the one that starts on the bench against the saints on Saturday Colin I didn't know about the baby – you're right,some things are more important. I agree that the team isn't particularly strong – I think we will still get goals but last season, we got lots and lots of goals and that hides a myriad of weaknesses (similar to Watford, who were goaltastic with Danny Graham but i expect to struggle this year), but with Becchio & Somma out, I think our goal tally will drop. Gareth I don’t think there’s a lack of ambition at all, it takes time to build great things. We can’t expecct to waltz our way back into the premier league after just two seasons in the championship. As long as we hold onto key players and bring in a reliable and experienced defender or two we will be there or thereabouts where we were last season. Lonegran is a great signing. Suggesting that we need a new manager is bordering on the rediculous look where we’ve come from, I don’t know what you’re expecting but some fans need a reality check! Colin Problem is that we are definitely missing out on players who Simon identified as key to building a Champ winning team. We've missed out on Stockdale, Bowyer and now Andrews (all to ipswich) and we've missed out on Woodgate, Michael Johnson & it doesn't look like Simon will be able to get Sammy Clingan from coventry. That's 6 players he has actively pursued and he hasn't got. That raises 2 big questions for Grayson – 1) Why are all these players choosing other teams over mighty Leeds? 2) Who the hell are we going to get instead? TSS Every player you've mentioned is Bates' fault though. It's him who introduced the wage cap. Paul South Wales I totally agree, i'd say at the moment we're about the same strength. Becchio is not out long term, and we have goals in us in a few areas. Our defence is better, and with one/two more clever signings will be there. Still think we need another good midfeilder, but overall it's not as bad as some think. The problem with spending millions is who would displaced? Because for big pricetags they would need to play every week, and we have a decent starting eleven. I think we'll see another two/three in by the weekend and then we'll give anyone a game (except Swansea, and they're gone now), so onwards and upwards MOT. mattbb so keith andrews thinks Ipswich are a better bet than Leeds? god help us, same for Bowyer and Stockdale, that sort of thing is simply embarassing for us as a club and damages our reputation. Kepp on scraping that barrel simon! pabs1983 Bowyer spoke with Leeds but wanted to stay in London, thats why he went to the Mighty Ipswich. On another note, I think we should have a cheeky punt at Joey Barton… no he's available for free banditsteve123 Will people stop moaning the first 11 is better than last season clayton and brown are much better than killa and johnson same as the keeper better than kasper,ok left back needs sorting,dont forget when beckford went everybody was worried were the goals would come from but we coped,lets try to be posetive i still think we have a good squad.Hands up who thought QPR had the best team last year,they had a small squad,wat you have to do is pull together,i can see leicester having big problems with all the players they have lufcnutt QPR never had a small squad mate…..trust me they had cover all over and keept getting players in all season… Neil64 Nobody can argue that the squad isn`t as strong as last season and we are short of quality players in key areas. Grayson was unable to bring them in last January to keep hold of a play off place and he has been unable to do so since the end of last season. There is a clear problem with player recruitment and Graysons record in this area is average at best. We really have to accept that the mighty Leeds are now a "big" club in fanbase only and that Bates has decided that his way forward is through the loan market because financially, as it is now, we are a top half Championship team who need to get lucky. That is the reality. It hurts doesnt it? banditsteve123 Sorry neil64 i dont agree i still think when becchio is fit that we still have one of the best attacks the midfield is also more solid and if paddy can keep fit we look strong,now yes we still need maybe three more players left back midfield,having clayton nunez and lees back looks like 3 new players,and i think we will sign mendy maybe osborn to Neil64 If Clayton, Nunez, Lees, Brown, Mendy,Parker, White come good, if McCormack and Paynter get there shooting boots on, if Sam can raise his game and Beccio have another great season , if Grayson pulls a rabbit out of the hat and recruits quality then all will be well. There is a lot of "ifs" there banditsteve. Will support the team whoever Simon puts out but just trying to be realistic. You never no, England might win the world cup. MOT. mattbb its our defence that continues to worry me. Signing Keith Andrews is just another slightly younger version of Brown. We despearately need a good left back to challenge Parker, and an attacking right back. We have plenty of cover in theory, but for me Lees didnt look ready for championship football on Sunday, he seemed too keen to get up the pitch, and not ken enough to get back and break up attacks. He was nowhere to be seen for 2-2. I think people are probably right when they big up our attack, we already knew that, but we need more in terms of defence, and that will enable our generally attacking midfield the freedomt they need. We dont have enough pace in our centre backs. banditsteve123 I still think brown clayton together with howson is good yes we need a left back and cover in midfield i also think bruce could play in midfield dont know why he has never been trid there for leeds lufcboy Thought that Grella was transfer listed and has no future at Leeds – Why give him a squad number? normangunston something i don't quite get about the keith andrews thing. His agent said “There have been seven or eight of the top Championship clubs interested… he’s found the club where he’s comfortable and feels he can develop again.” This suggests to me that Leeds had agreed a deal that Rovers were happy with, and it'd got to the point where we were talking direct to the agent. Would they have been discussing appearance fees? Was that the stumbling block? The agent is spinning it as a footballing decision but I think we all know how much we can trust agents… mattbb no point speculating, like so many of these we'll just never know. Though from a pure footballing perspective, Leeds are surely a better bet in terms of furthering your career than Ipswich? my guess, beacuase as said theyll never tell us the truth, is that its just down to $$$$$. Its just disgusting that Bates is so parsimonious when it comes to the squad but will happily p1ss away £7m on corporate boxes. I sat in the west stand on Sunday, which in short is a disgrace, shabby, dirty and an embarassment, how on earth can bates spend that money on the east stand and leave the rest of the ground to rot where the normal working class fan will sit, it makes the blood boil, and the wallet wither. lufcboy – Grella and Bessone have got a squad number because we're erm… cant think of the word – thats it – desperate. Some rumours I've spotted suggest that we should sign Joey Barton, and quite frankly I agree – it would mark at least one person in the team who'd stand up to Bates. BTW – and again going into the realms of gossip but sure I saw Tom Soares sat in the west stand on Sunday – right next to the tunnel? LostMango Do people remember the team we had last season? It was a below average team with some high quality players – mainly Becchio, Howson, Snodgrass, Gradel and possibly Somma. None of whom we have lost. Lonegran in for Kasper? Really good deal. Kasper was only a great talent by name. He was too young to be put under pressure with Leeds and their shockingly bad defence. He will be good in years to come, and if we were a big team in the prem, holding on to him as a 2nd choice keeper would have been a good option. It will be interesting to see how he copes in overspending Liecester where the pressure is to go up, or else… O'Brien and Kisnorbo beats any pairings available last year. Hopefully we get Lichaj in and I can see our defence being twice as strong (half as many conceded) as last year. Kilkenny and Johnson out, is getting rid of two average players. Brads, when in on form, good score crackers and use his strength in the midfield, but his form was inconsistent, and we needed someone more reliable than that given the poor defence. Brown can achieve this, allowing Howson to go up and attack, which from what i've seen and read of preseason matches is working well. Clayton also looks to be a great back up player. So our attack hasn't changed drastically (bar injuries) and our defence has improved as well as the midfield…and we're saying its worse than last season? hmmmm. These comments are coming from the same 'fans' who questioned Graysons investment at the start of last season; stating that we would struggle to avoid relegation. It would be nice to splash out and aim for promotion this year; take the gamble. But Leicester, Ipswich and West Ham are already doing that. Blackpool and Birmingham are also wanting to go up or face having to make more cuts. Theres only room for three of those teams to fulfil their requirement of promotion, not objective of promotion. Thats a lot of pressure, and throw together teams like Leicester and Man City take a while to gel despite the individual talent. Leeds don't have the financial pressure, and will hopefully still score for fun like they did last season. TSS You've just summarised what I've been saying all summer mate. Unfortunately, it's the same every year and few listen. They seem to enjoy being gloomy. mattbb I know there are reasons to be optimistic, but i cant help thinking about the massive lost opportunities, all spent on that stupid custard coloured white elephant called the east stand… surely it would have been wise to even conservatviely back Grayson this summer, rather than the current dearth of incoming players.. Martin I mostly agree, but i still think Bradders was a key player last season. And i Also are worry about Becchio and Somma injuries. We need at least one LB (Lichaj maybe) one more CB, an another Defensive Midfield and maybe a CF on loan(i think Paynter isnt good enough) LostMango @TSS – The biggest fan base in the championship (and beating most of the Prem's) comes with its ups and downs it seems; overly passionate fans results in superb crowd support but also overly critical fans…what manager could do a better job than the keyboard supporters who have unlimited funding and aren't bound by the silly financial requirements that ultimately occur in the real world. @Martin – We definately need an LB, no question. In terms of CB, you're probably right too, the chances of both Kisnorbo and O'Brien making it through half a season without injury is unlikely. I hear Lees may be a good back up. But I don't think we are required to pull in high quality here. Someone who can work with Kisnorbo or O'Brien and provide the same cover is required. In my opinion, we don't need someone better than these two…it would be nice but you'd be looking at a few million. The team has Grella, McCormack and Paynter to cover up front whilst Becchio and Somma are out. Plus I reckon Nunez could play really well up front, paired with McCormack or Paynter. Bringing in another striker on loan would only be feasible if its a 1-2 month loan cover for Becchio and not to be a starting player all season. Grayson needs to find the best in Paynter and McCormack, which I do believe have a lot to offer. If they don't Grayson should know this and bringing in another forward would mean he would need to accept his mistakes and get rid of these two guys.