Despite a fantastic late comeback at Turf Moor on Saturday, the Leeds camp is still far from settled this season.

November began with the dramatic mental implosion of much maligned stopper Paul Rachubka and threatens to end with an acrimonious exit for Republic of Ireland veteran Andy O’Brien.

O’Brien has had a torrid season managing just two league appearances and a poor performance against former club Bradford. The 32 year old, rumoured to be one of Leeds’ top earners, told Simon Grayson before Leicester City that he would not play for the Whites again. It is thought that O’Brien has been frustrated by a lack of football.

Simon Grayson revealed on Saturday; “Andy O’Brien came to me on Friday and said that he no longer wanted to play for this football club.

“It came as a shock, especially after I have backed him publicly and privately over the last few weeks.”

Rumour has it that O’Brien is trying to fix a move to West Ham, while BBC Sport journalist Jacqui Oatley has taken to Twitter to claim that O’Brien had not refused to play for the club, but the manager, whom he regarded as “his worst ever”.

Grayson concluded: “I don’t want to say too much about the circumstances just now but we will decide internally what happens now and make a statement next week”.

It is hard to see how O’Brien can stay at Elland Road given the strength of fan opinion. It seems that O’Brien isn’t finished with Leeds, Leeds is finished with Andy O’Brien.

39 Responses

  1. Leedswhite

    Good riddance, load of rubbish anywhoo, pish off to the hammers and get our wage bill substantially reduced.

  2. OxfordWhite

    Did a job when he arrived, but passed it, off load & reduce the wage bill but please bring in a solid replacement!

  3. leedshippriest

    There have been rumours for a while surrounding Larry and O’Briens missus, which we’ve found highly entertaining.

    Truth is we will not hear anything truthful from the Leeds camp this week, it’s not the Bates way.

    At the end of the day though, we’ve lost an average player at best.

  4. James

    Comments about O Brien not being good enough are mid guided. The lad did a job when he came and could do so in the future. He had a couple of poor games whilst not fit and was cheered when subbed. He deserved better, however when he refused to play for Leeds he dropped below contempt. He should go, ideally to a club outside of our league but he must go. No working person can refuse to work and O Brien needs a reality check. I can’t see any reason to doubt Grayson’s account of events so he should go and forgotten as a Leeds player. Good player but team first.

  5. Dje

    I’m hoping this is the reason why we looked so subdued for the first 60 minutes at Burnley. After nearly two weeks off you’d have thought we’d be off to a flyer and throwing about tackles etc. None of it, we looked as if we were going through the motions (ie. to a nominal defeat) until Snodgrass popped up at the back post from nowhere.

    Until Grayson mouthed off about the O’Brien incident after the match, I was hoping the squad was a tad unsettled by Bates’ needless pressuring of the team with his remarks about us being higher than 7th. I’m still not wholly convinced there’s not some other trouble at the mill going on that we aren’t yet aware of.

    Fingers crossed it was just another off performance with a good result in the end.

  6. OzTyke

    IF AOB is fed up at no first-team action and that’s all, he should be hoofed out the door, and given a copy of Mick Bates’ YEP interview to read in the taxi home. Mick spent the best part of 13 years in the substitute fill-in role, yet did he threaten to walk out on his mates and the Don? And on a tiny fraction of what AOB is on a week. If the 15 thou is correct, he earns in three weeks what it takes me a year to earn. 55 hours a week too Andy. Have a look at yourself mate and think how lucky you’ve been. MOT

  7. WhiteDubai

    I have no problems seeing O’Brien leaving provided that O’Dea is staying. We do not have ehe depth in the squad loosing both. If AOB is not supportingthe manager and the team he should definitely go. What surprises me is that we constantly buy players (AOB) then sideline them for other loan players. I am concerned not giving more starts to our own player Becchio whilst knowing that Keogh’s loan period ends in December. Becchio is our top scorer and is now back from his injury, and we need him and his regular goals back. Keogh has done great for us but we need a Becchio full of motivation and confidence back.

    Most important, we need a solid midfield player that can take hold of the midfield in games like Burnley. We were soooooooooo lucky to win we two late goals. Continue like this and we will not win promotion.

    • CJ

      I agree that it would be great to see Becchio back in the starting line-up but anybody can see that he is still obviously unfit & looks to be carrying more than a few extra pounds. Why is this? I know he was injured at the start of the season but surely he should be nearing match-fitness by now?

  8. CJ

    Lets be honest. Does anybody think O’Brien will be missed? Clearly not!!!Facts are he has been a massive disappointment. I am certain Bates will be desperate to off-load him from our wage-bill so will happily allow O’Brien to burn his bridges at Leeds United. Who knows, West Ham may even be mug enough to pay a transfer fee? What a result that would be!

  9. airforce5

    I don’t see any value in Grayson announcing this to the media. Why release it and then say we’ll be releasing a statement? – you just have. A half cocked announcement that invites nothing but negative LUFC speculation.

  10. trueyorxman

    OB was due to get wed but his bird called it off within days of the date.
    This is a fact so maybe he just needs to get away. He had bought a house in North Yorks but hasn’t been seen there for weeks.

  11. Arthur Graham

    Grayson should go with O’Brien. He is on borrowed time. Glad to see Bates has noticed the unrest amongst an increasing amount of match attending long term fans. Its only a matter of time. The way we have played and with so many players off the boil lately, results are only going to go one way.

  12. mattbb1

    something clearly not right, I dont think there is a cantona-ash type scenario going on here with grayson and Mrs O… really!

    Its plain to see that O’Brien is fed up, hes not getting into the side, he probably thinks he should be, and he needs to be playing regularly at his age. Theres no real mystery here, Sure he should follow Kisnorbos example and earn his way back into the team, or indeed Lees who has earned his way back into the team through strong loan spells.But he hasnt, we should all take a step back here, who hasnt reached a point where they have just wanted to walk out of their job, or come to the realisation that they hate their boss? AOB has a few million pounds in the bank, he can walk away.

    Grayson needs to man up and speak to his staff member and not do him down in the press.

    Sammy Lee signed him for Bolton, not Sam Allardyce – will we sell him to West Ham? no we wont, why would we help out a rival, expect him to sign for a Barnsley or a Doncaster.

  13. number1inyorkshire

    leeds fans never took to him he was part of a massive problem last season but to be fair was unfit this when he played .

    when he was fit last game he was ok ,he obviously has thrown his dummy out and has asked to leave to west ham ,grayson said NO
    he is finished at leeds clearly but in ken and i agree with him on this he has a chairman who will let him play in the youth team before been told what he can do .he is contracted so personally i think it is time for the clubs to be stronger on players and keep him til that runs out in the reserves ..

  14. Dje

    Stop Press: “Grayson sacked; O’Brien named caretaker manager. More to follow…”

  15. Gryff

    Posted by James on November 20th, 2011, 23:58
    “He had a couple of poor games whilst not fit and was cheered when subbed. He deserved better, however when he refused to play for Leeds he dropped below contempt.”

    I agree. Kisnorbo’s struggled here and there since coming back from his injury and people have all given him plenty of time. Now he’s looking a bit better. O’Dea supposedly got concussion and half the fans want to sign him permanently. With O’Brien everything was his fault.

    Posted by number1inyorkshire on November 21st, 2011, 11:38
    “Leeds fans never took to him he was part of a massive problem last season but to be fair was unfit this when he played .”

    It was a long season. When you think back to what we had before: Schmeichel not communicating, Bruce making costly mistakes every few matches, Collins being useless, Naylor being worse than useless.
    O’Brien came in and immediately helped stem the flow of goals. We beat Scunny 4-1 in his debut and at 0-0 if I remember he saved us from a carbon copy of the Cardiff goal from the week before by tracking back and clearing the ball off the line where Collins had ball-watched.

    He did a decent job for a while and helped the team a lot. He’s struggled for form at the end of last season and start of this but he’s shown he’s got the ability.

    • number1inyorkshire

      i never said he didn’t do ok i like him actually HE WAS PART OF A PROBLEM it did get better when he arrived but over all i think leeds fans expected more from a premier league player but when the other 3 are crap and the keeper i don’t think the leeds fans ever took to him really though because of expectations .this season he came back too early and wasn’t fit when he played ,but was great against Leicester and would have got better with games ,he has been swayed by west ham and their position ,well we were top at chrimbo last year so ????

  16. Mightywhite83

    Had the ability???

    Aob was ok if the ball was just lumped forward he would win headers all day long but is this not bread and butter stuff for a centre half, when the ball was on the floor he struggled massively slicing clearances, poor passes, constantly putting the back 4 under pressure, I would pick odea,lees,kisnorbo, bromby before him may e even Bruce so I think he’s quite lucky to be given another chance at all. Yes we kept a clean sheet against Leicester but let’s not kid ourselves Leicester were. Very poor and never put him under any pressure at all. I think wats happened here is that he over performed the 1st few month he was with us to win a contract once he had done he felt safe and his performances got worse and worse as season went on.

    On wat we should do with him, no point keeping him in reserves wats the point when he’s one of if not the highest earner at the club, get him off the wage bill and get someone in who actually wants to play for the club, quite personally I don’t care where he goes cos let’s be honest would you be worried about playing against him??

  17. Tyler 75

    Can’t see he wants to leave because of lack of football. He got back in the side at Leicester, yet said he didn’t want to play. He obviously kept his place for Saturday but again said he didn’t want to play ! Must be more to it. We’re overloaded with CB’s – any money saved on his salary should go to loaning a quality right-back. Connolly’s ok going forward but a decent winger gives him nightmares.

    • Gryff

      I think Grayson said he had told him he didn’t want to play when picked against Leicester. Grayson convinced him, but he’s refused to play against Burnley so Grayson’s not too happy.

      He hasn’t actually said O’Brien’s finished at Leeds though (which a few national papers’ headlines suggested)

  18. Dje

    I am thoroughly enjoying reading on other sites how many people are saying O’Brien is utter rubbish YET the last thing we should do is sell him to West Ham as they are a rival, and presumably going to prosper from the transfer?!

    Regardless: whatever West Ham were going to pay towards O’Brien’s wages if he joined them on loan, after Grayson’s needless outburst I imagine Allardyce has just halved what he has offered. Whilst not curtseying to invite a ‘Publicity Pete 2.0′, you have to say we could really, really do with a media advisor before our manager and chairman open their mouths in public. They’d pay their way in saving all the transfer income we needlessly have been throwing away in the last couple of years through loose tak.

    • mattbb1

      theres another school of thought though, given what happened over the summer. All of a sudden AOB is sold to West Ham in January for an undisclosed fee, and the boo boys are saying we are a selling club, and Bates and Grayson are incompetent.

      Sure thing Grayson shouldnt have come out and said he wont play for the club again, but surely a players alleged misconduct needs to be highlighted? O’Brien doesnt have a record of this type of behaviour, and i cant think of many examples where a player in their 30’s decides to move even further away from their home and family, so something definitely not right.

      That said when have our PR guys ever got it right, nothing too wrong with the truth.

      • Dje

        Fair enough about your first point, Mattbb1 – one man’s selling club disaster is another’s clearing the books of expensive and often deadwood.

        As to nothing wrong with the truth, well we’ve only had a half truth at best. O’Brien has dignifiedly kept his silence and Grayson has only flashed his knickers and no one is quite sure what they saw. Leeds sites are rife with rumours, mostly unflattering to both Grayson and O’Brien and entirely distracting from what has been a good result from a bad performance.

        It reminds me of that nonsense episode with Wise accusing the nameless of being a mole in the squad. It just divides the squad – and it will have, as I’m sure the previous model-pro O’Brien was a popular lad in the squad – and completely undermines the manager’s ability to manage without being reckless. Remember, we were relegated to League One three months after the mole incident in 2007.

  19. number1inyorkshire

    grayson HAS said O’Brien will not play for leeds again whilst he is there ..

    its all a bit odd one minute he is the pin up boy of leeds united retail modelling the kit next he wants to go to west ham .

    well my answer will be sorry OB but you signed a contract ,unlucky .
    i don’t want to go to work tomorrow either my boss is an ass what happens i am unemployed .sadly footballers are the only people who are pretty much unsackable ,let him rot in the reserves

    • mattbb1

      if you choose to resign though you can? you may not have the money that AOB does, but doesnt he deserve the right to choose where he works?

      • number1inyorkshire

        he chose when he signed his contract and for whatever length it is for ??..
        i employ people around 50 at its peak and when they leave they have to give a notice period written into their contract up to 3 months that doesn’t apply to the students ,summer staff etc but managers and team leaders .
        contracts are their in football its the way it is in that job he is part of it so thats the norm for the job he does signed on the dotted line …………..

  20. Colin

    The reason there hasn’t been an official statement from Leeds yet because Ken is probably coming over to sort this shit out. Remember, AOB did a contract deal with his Dad and Ken. No agent involved. I’m not entirely sure that Ken will side wholly with his manager. O’Dea out for the next match. I wouldn’t be overly surprised if AOB is in the squad for the next game.

  21. Dewi Powell

    I’m not one of the anti-footballer brigade but if the idiot is refusing to play then lets refuse to pay. It works both ways.

  22. bats

    If you read the interview with OB in the YEP, you cant help but suspect that he has lost all respect for his manager. I think not only for the way he himself has been treated, but also the way Rabchubka, Bruce and Brown have been treated. It may not be anything to do with what grayson has said in the press, but instead, the fact that he has failed to instill any confidence in his players outside of the first 11.

    Obrien talks about players being afraid to make mistakes. In any profession, if you think your going to be criticized and ostricised from the team on the first mistake you make, it creates an extreme level of pressure.

    • Ron

      Defenders should be scared to make mistakes, unlike attackers who need a freer reign. Grayson is rotating his squad (finally), but OB can have very little to complain about given his dreadful start to the season. One solid game against a lacklustre Leicester is hardly grounds for anyone to get excited. Obviously we don’t know the full story, but I’d very much doubt Grayson would go public on this unless OB really screwed up. Let’s hope we never hear Rachubka’s name again (indefensible)and Brown is on old legs and behind Clayton and the Finn.

      • Gryff

        I agree with you Ron, but that said O’Brien has only made 3 league appearances and 1 cup appearance out of a possible 19(?) starts. He’s only been on the bench twice apart from those 4 appearances.

        Not as if he’s had a chance to prove he’s in form or out of form. He had 2 bad matches where the rest of the team (including midfield and strikers) played poorly too, 1 solid match when the rest were in form, and that’s it.

      • Gryff

        Also I’m thinking having a 21st century sized squad (about 20-25?) doesn’t really fit with the old-style way Grayson plays the same XI for a month at a time with only the odd bench-spot changing.

        Just a thought

  23. mattbb1

    when there is a climate of fear in any workplace it is not good for morale or results. The huge pressure on Leeds only adds to that.None of us really knows what goes on in the dressing room at Leeds, but its clear to me that we are prone to makiing an inordinater amount of seruious mistakes, and thats even from players you just wouldnt expect it from.

    While wwe have to rein in our own expectations of an upper mid table squad, we also need to work out how to ensure our players dont end up like O’Brien, despondent, and feeling like he has no other option thatn to walk away. Were talking about a fan here so this makes it all the more bizarre, he has to be earning good wages.

    This happens from time to time in all wlaks of life and the Tevez affair shows that no matter how much money you earn you can still get p*ssed off with your employer and leave. Who among us hasnt seen a well paid boss at our employer flounce off, you can when you have lots of money so this is to be expected, most of us will sit there and take it because we cant afford to do anything different.

    There needs to be an element of trust and respect in all relationships in the workplace, Was it right for Grayson to haul Obrien off against Bradford and not play him for weeks? why did he feel he had no chance of coming back? What about Rachubka, Brown and the other stiffs, most squad players have a rough time at Leeds, something has to improve.


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