Five points from the last five home games left the Whites faithful booing their own side after an abject performance saw Leeds lose at home to Reading.

The only goal of the game came in the first couple of minutes – a brilliantly taken lob from Simon Church putting an immediate end to any hopes of a returning clean sheet for Andy Lonergan.

Whilst a great goal from a Reading point of view, Andy Lonergan probably should have done better. He seemed to get caught in two minds, initially deciding to close Church down before stopping dead and serving the lob opportunity up on a platter.

Still, there was 88 minutes left to play – Leeds would surely score, right?

Wrong. Leeds never really looked like scoring either. There was a couple of chances here and there, but the Whites looked incapable of breaking Reading down for the most part, and the visitors continued to push for another themselves leaving Leeds vulnerable to a counter-attack when they did push forwards.

Formation changed, substitutions made, Leeds still clueless. The problem was glaringly obvious – Leeds simply could not (or would not) keep the ball on the deck and allow momentum to build. Instead, Leeds did the predictable thing of hoofing the ball long to Becchio who never really looked capable of doing much with it.

It’s been a common theme this season, that whenever we try to play hoofball football we get run off the park. The setup is incredibly predictable – it’s either hit long to Becchio, or wide to Snodgrass, both of whom were marked by several Reading players throughout.

The central midfield of Clayton and Brown was one to forget, and when the substitutions were made to facilitate a change to 4-5-1 we looked even worse.

Yet for all Leeds’ faults – and there were many – I left more disappointed in the crowd than I was the players. Not that I couldn’t sympathise with them.

Elland Road has become an awful place to watch football over the last year or so. The once electrifying atmosphere has been replaced by an increasing number of empty seats, with the rest occupied by disgruntled fans too quick to jump on the players’ backs.

There’s no precise event that’s caused this shift – it’s a combination of several things, such as increased ticket prices and a heightened sense of disillusionment with the club. But the biggest atmosphere killer of all was shifting the away fans to the West Stand and charging them £36 for one of the worst views in football – they’ve voted with their feet, numbers have dwindled and there’s no longer an opposition following to exchange blows with.

To watch Leeds United play at Elland Road compared to how they play most weeks away from home, you’d have a hard time believing they were the same team. There isn’t some magical superpower embedded into our glow-in-the-dark away shirts, there’s simply a crowd behind them that the lads respond to.

Where away from home the team seems to feed off the crowd, at Elland Road, the crowd seems to feed off the team. A lethargic Leeds United performance left an atmosphere I for one, felt embarrassed to be a part of.

The Leeds fans are known for their passionate, hardcore following and love nothing more than to brag about that to opposition supporters, but we have no right to do so any more – least not at Elland Road anyway. The team need to do their part of course, but anyone in doubt that the atmosphere is equally as important need only look at the 2-0 win against Millwall where the lads were driven by an excellent crowd there to mourn the loss of a club hero.

Booing, jeering and disgruntled sighs are more akin to Arsenal than a side built upon a “keep fighting” spirit. Times aren’t great and frustrations are understandably high, but home games will continue to be problematic unless we can recapture the defiant spirit we’re famous for.

On and on…

  • gryff

    I agree, we’re too quick to get on the players’ backs and the players are too quick to hoof it to becchio.

    I don’t agree with the Grayson-out lot, but I also don’t understand why Becchio is played as a target man. He plays with his back to goal well, he is a decent poacher, but he’s not quick enough to be a beckford and he’s not tall enough to play how forssell did when in form a few years ago.

    I don’t know if it says anything about Grayson, or about how our defence look on the training ground that he’s not picked up on this after a couple of years…

  • lemon

    the time has come for a change of manager, simon grayson has done what he can do in getting us out of league 1. he hasn’t got the managerial prowess thats needed to get us any further, i think this was highlighted by the lack of business done in the transfer window, quite frankly it was a bit of a joke. i am not jumping on the bandwagon that may have been rolling but i think we need a manager that brings a bit more experience plus a bit more presence !

    • TSS

      @lemon Transfer window comes down to Bates/Harvey as we’ve said many times before. Grayson picks his player, Harvey fails to negotiate contracts with them. Bates has explained this himself numerous times before, and his “greedy players” rants on Yorkshire Radio tell you everything you know. Grayson’s hands are tied in that respect.

      • lemon

        @TSS

        yes your probably right, but this why we need a manager with a bit more about himself. grayson seems to be content with what he has got and where he is at, i question his desire sometimes.

        • Steve43

          I have followed Leeds United and have been to alot of games starting in 1969. My daughter and I had season tickets. I moved to the USA two years ago but still follow the team closely. I attended the game yesterday vs Reading and in all the years I have attended matches at Elland Road I must admit yesterday was like nothing I have ever experienced at Leeds. No atmosphere, the team did not turn up, and I was sitting behind the Leeds dugout and I have to admit if I was in the coaches box I would have expanded more energy than Grayson did. I think he has lost the team. You can see it on the players faces. It is time for change from the top down.

        • dh lufc

          @Steve43 Forrest thought that Billy Davies had taken them as far as he could and look where they are now, same team looking towards L1 again.

          Be careful what you wish for, SG is still doing ok.

          A few good results and we can be back up there, we are still in touching distance of 2nd place.

          Having said that every attack has to go through Snodgrass, we need another option on the other wing, we need to replace Gradel.

  • samuel robinson

    I completely agree. Elland rd now is a depressing place to spend an afternoon. I think there are a number of reasons but top of the list has got to be the fans dissolution with the direction of the club. Bates has got to make 2 or 3 big name signings and get us going again! I’m fed up of those dire over the hill players we get in on a free! Still marching on together but trying to keep the faith.
    Sam
    Mot

  • DubaiWhite

    I can’t say that I am surprised, if you let one (Gradel) of the only two creative players you got, you are easy to defend against. If you at the same time let quality regular first team players (Johnson, Kilkenny, Schmeichel) leave without getting new quality replacements (Lonergan the exception) then this is what you can expect.

    I honestly can’t see that this team will get us promoted, and in my view this is the reponsibility of the manager. It is not enough to claim that he do wonders with what he’s got, this I can agree with, the problem is that he seem to convince the chairman to get the funding for decent players. The main fault is with the board of directors and the chaiman, but the manager needs to convince them that there are no short-cuts to Premier League. He must insist of getting the proper funding or else tell them that he will never be able to get us promoted.

    We are now in the process of repeating the same story for the third year running; yes we got promoted two years ago, but it was hardly in style, we just made it with a scrappy performance against a bottom of the table, Bristol City.

  • samuel robinson

    I completely agree. Elland rd now is a depressing place to spend an afternoon. I think there are a number of reasons but top of the list has got to be the fans dissolution with the direction of the club. Bates has got to make 2 or 3 big name signings and get us going again! I’m fed up of those dire over the hill players we get in on a free! Still marching on together but trying to keep the faith. Sam Mot

  • Mucker

    I think you’ll find the vast majority of die-hard Leeds fans are unable to afford to go to ER on a regular basis as a result of KB’s ridiculous regime and the broader economic situation. When Leeds stop wasting money on executive boxes and insurance policies and start investing in the squad and re-purchase Thorp Arch and set fair ticket prices the atmosphere will return.

  • mucker

    I think you’ll find the vast majority of die-hard Leeds fans are unable to afford to go to ER on a regular basis as a result of KB’s ridiculous regime and the broader economic situation. When Leeds stop wasting money on executive boxes and insurance policies and start investing in the squad and re-purchase Thorp Arch and set fair ticket prices the atmosphere will return.

  • Geoff

    Regarding the crowd, or at least the size of the crowd, it’s been this way ever since Bates took over. His first season in charge saw us average just 22k, that was 7,000 down on the previous season when prices were more normal, and we actually got to the play off final that season! The following year they dropped another 1,000 as we were relegated. I bet our average attendance this season is higher than the average since Bates took over (or first got the chance to jack up prices, anyway), if it’s higher it’s not by much. But at least we aren’t getting the home crowds of 16,000, which weren’t that unusual in Bates’ early days.

    I don’t know if the prices are so high because Bates wants to somehow gentrify Elland Rd, or if it’s simply the sick policy of a very greedy man who has no regard for the club’s history or future, but you can’t expect the type of people who are happy to pay well over the odds for a season ticket/matchday ticket to generate the same kind of atmosphere as ordinary people with enough self-respect to not allow themselves to be mugged by a creature like Bates. And with new child applicants expected to find £240 for a season ticket this year, you’re not going to get the boistrous youth from Leeds United’s heartland coming through and taking the torch from those of us who used to buy our season tickets with paper round money.

    I’m just a lowly nurse, so I can’t afford to go to Elland Rd, but I still get to 10 or so away games a season. I don’t miss Elland Rd, I no longer feel I belong at Elland Road and I certainly don’t feel welcome there. But I’m lucky, I’ve been amongst some legendary ER atmosphere’s, as a kid I saw us promoted to the top flight with the 4th highest crowds in the country, but I know those days are long, long gone, and are very unlikely to return

    • Irving08

      I agree – most diehard Leeds fans have a different view of what is a just and an unjust price than does Ken Bates.

  • WIll23

    I have been one who has been in the “Grayson-Out” camp for almost 2 years now, one of the founder members perhaps, ever since the start of the debacle of a run-in to the dismally limp promotion day. The signs of Grayson’s managerial deficiencies started to reveal themselves that long ago.

    Yes there have been some great performances from time to time but, by and large, a Grayson team has underwhelmed in stuttering to victories without ever achieving great heights to suggest that a decent football team was being constructed. Functional at best; generally dysfunctional most of the time.

    The playing resources have, in my opinion, been there, but there has been no master craftsman on the training pitch where the hard work is necessary to create a team. Cash and spending money on transfer fees does not bring success. Tactical nous & organisation skills do. As does bringing in the right sort of players, whether as freebies or loanees.

    After the buzz of the Millwall game, the short term inspiration has quickly dissappated into thin air and it is very difficult to see any positive end to this season. But we are 6th is the cry. Well, our current position is not reflective of where we will finish this season; mid-table ordinariness, the level of most Championship teams, is where we are at. Think Derby, Ipswich, Watford and similar others. Ordinary teams. Ordinary football.

    Yes, Bates is setting Grayson up for a fall, that is his choice, but I am sorry to say for his sake, that once May arrives, the P45 will be on Grayson’s doormat.

    Sadly, even then, it is difficult to have an optimistic thought about any new manager as long as Bates remains as owner.

    On that happy note….

    Merry Christmas!

    • TSS

      @WIll23 You lost me at the “I’ve been in the Grayson-Out camp for two years” part. This is what I was talking about above – that our fans are so negative, and so quick to criticise that we’ve lost the defiant, us against the world attitude this club was built upon.

      The fact you wanted our manager sacked during our promotion season says it all really.

  • Paddy1992

    I agree that bates is the biggest problem in our club. However Grayson has to take the blame at the moment.

    Last week at Watford our only shot on target came from a penalty. Yesterday I think we had 2? That is embarrassing. Bates did not sub our top scorer for a winger when we were chasing a goal.

    Also under Grayson good players have become bad ones seemingly due in my opinion to poor coaching and poor training. Naylor, o’brien, prutton, marques, kandol, and even howson were all better players either when they signed or before Grayson came in. Now the worrying trend seems to have hit clayton and McCormack.

    Finally the defence is a joke but if there ever has been money to spend would u trust Grayson with it? This is a man who has signed rachubka, Sam, paynter, trundle, vokes, Dickinson, and plenty more duds. His tactic of long ball is a joke and the fact after every bad result he blames the players refusing to take any blame for his own ineptitude is a disgrace.

    We are a bad side with a terrible manager shit chairman and over inflated prices. And u wonder why the atmosphere is poor?!?!

  • KohSamuiWhites

    Cheer up everyone only a few more months before Grayson finally gets the sack.Apparently Keogh works really hard in training,just a shame he doesn,t know where the goal is,a bit of a drawback for a striker,but hey in Grayson we trust lol.

  • Dje

    I’m not sure if it is just a grey day and on the back of a dire performance, but going into the transfer window and talking of incoming players as the sure fix it is alarming how few players we currently have/are using that are worth fighting to keep hold of if an offer came in for them.

    Snodgrass? Sure, keep. But who else?

    Lees and White and Clayton – but mostly as they are young and therefore have untapped potential.

    Lonergan, just because he is good enough for this league and better than we’ve had for a good while.

    But the others? Meh.

    Howson if he’d sign a new contract, otherwise we’ve only got a couple of months left from him so why turn down an offer now?

    I’d like to say McCormack and Nunez, but as we seem to have developed a playing system that doesn’t accommodate these two players, both of whom were on fire in front of goal until we did, why would we fight to keep hold of them?

    Somma? Mystery man. Never really been accommodated into the starting XI (like Nunez). An utter mystery whether his knee and pace will be the same after his kind of injury: the new Old Michael Owen? Possibly, just with a better tan. Maybe gamble and keep him afterall.

  • Dje

    Do you reckon he’ll give Grayson to the end of the season, Colin? That’s a bit charitable. I honestly think he’s two games to get something in the bag (points wise). Defeat in both and I reckon we’ll be going into the new year and the opening of the transfer window about 10th spot in the league. Would you give a man you are thinking of sacking for failing to be where you have publicly stated we ought to be (the top 2 apparently) any cash to blow in the transfer window? Might as well let Shaun Harvey pick the transfer targets … erm?!

    For the last two months – coincidently the time of the O’Brien fiasco – Bates has been distancing himself from Grayson. I actually don’t think Bates has been very impressed with Grayson’s affair and then leaving his wife and kid for some LUFC employee and I’m still not convinced that it hasn’t something to do with the O’Brien fallout either.

    • Irving08

      @Dje

      I agree on all points.

  • Dje

    Do you reckon he’ll give Grayson to the end of the season, Colin? That’s a bit charitable. I honestly think he’s two games to get something in the bag (points wise). Defeat in both and I reckon we’ll be going into the new year and the opening of the transfer window about 10th spot in the league. Would you give a man you are thinking of sacking for failing to be where you have publicly stated we ought to be (the top 2 apparently) any cash to blow in the transfer window? Might as well let Shaun Harvey pick the transfer targets … erm?!

    For the last two months – coincidently the time of the O’Brien fiasco – Bates has been distancing himself from Grayson. I actually don’t think Bates has been very impressed with Grayson’s affair and then leaving his wife and kid for some LUFC employee and I’m still not convinced that it hasn’t something to do with the O’Brien fallout either.

  • Dje

    I don’t think we’ll have many offers ~ the January window is usually a quite one as it is unless there is real money for real quality. Sadly we don;t have that much quality left. We had three crown jewels at the start of the season: but we’ve sold one already, one may well leave on a free at the end of the season (and is out for a few months anyway), and the other than God has not given up the ghost and caught the mediocre-virus that is decimating our squad.

    Sadly Brighton fans have spotted what a waste of Championship space Paynter is.

    I was a bit worried by Bates comments about us still trying to bring in a player late in the transfer window just gone, whose club told us no as he is their best chance of not getting relegated. That got me wondering who he might have been talking about. Please not Coventry’s Sammy Clingon!!

    • Dje

      *’quiet’ even.

    • Dje

      Do you know I did think that too!

      We wish.

    • TSS

      @Dje Nah, it was Clingan. 99.9% sure of that.

    • Colin

      @TSS@Dje Clingan – Really? So who would he have displaced in our Grayson magical 4-4-2 mystery tour at the start of the season? Howson or Clayton? And if you say Howson and that he’d planned for Howson behind the front man, then I don’t believe you. What was he planning to do with Becchio, McCormack, Paynter, Nunez and Somma, who were (at the time of the Clingan rumour) all fit and that would have meant 5 players fighting for 1 spot.

      And if Coventry thought that Clingan was going to keep Coventry up this season, they’re fools. Coventry had a one way ticket to League One, from Day 1 of the season. That ticket is still valid.

    • Dje

      Clayton I presume, as he was an untried quantity in the Championship at the start of the season. Having said that, if Clingan arrived tomorrow I think he’d probably get the nod over Clayton on current form.

      In sympathy with one of your earlier posts Colin, you have to ask is Clingan Premiership quality? And as he isn’t we should leave him alone and at the worst continue with what we already have.

    • TSS

      @Dje @Colin I wasn’t really passing comment on whether or not Clingan would have improved the team (although, I personally think he’s good enough and certainly better than Brown) I was just stating that the deal you’re referring to was Sammy Clingan – was obvious there was substance to that rumour because Coventry were panicking in the press with the usual hands off warnings and Leeds were remaining quiet (we tend to deny everything else).

    • mattbb1

      i can see brown being shown the door and clingan replacing him, clearly past his best. but come on a draw and a loss and the manager needs to be sacked… ridiculous. Has everyone forgotten that ken bates found 7m to buy corporate boxes? that £7m invested in the team and wages would have bought us the promotion we all want so badly, and got him £20m a season in tv rights alone.. grayson has got us from mid table league one to top 6 championship, to me that makes him a good manager, and one who a number of chairman would be prepared to back if he is ejected (which i dont think would happen until the end of the season)

    • mattbb1

      for all of those dissing clingan, from lowly coventry, look at grant holt nearing 30 and only 2 years ago playing for shrewsbury, now scoring goals in the top flight, matt phillips now at wolves formerly of wycombe. Its all about how good the player is not the team they play for.

    • Dje

      @mattbb1 Matt, with such a glass-half-full attitude you could well be our next scout. Such logic suggests any humdrum player at a humdrum club is a rough diamond waiting to be thrown transfers fees and lavish wages upon in order to get them up to their true potential.

      If Clingan is so good then where are all the clubs fighting to get him to sign for them? Face it, Clingan is worse than Johnson was, and Howson and Clayton (and maybe Varyvanan?!) currently are. At best he is little better than Brown or Pugh, but as he’s hardly going to shine in the Premiership he would only be the next Bruce on our wage bill.

    • Dje

      @mattbb1 Matt, with such a glass-half-full attitude you could well be our next scout. Such logic suggests any humdrum player at a humdrum club is a rough diamond waiting to be thrown transfers fees and lavish wages upon in order to get them up to their true potential.

      If Clingan is so good then where are all the clubs fighting to get him to sign for them? Face it, Clingan is worse than Johnson was, and Howson and Clayton (and maybe Varyvanan?!) currently are. At best he is little better than Brown or Pugh, but as he’s hardly going to shine in the Premiership he would only be the next Bruce on our wage bill.

    • Dje

      @mattbb1 + I don’t get the Matt Phillips analogy. Philips was and still is an under-21 international who happened to come through Wycombe’s ranks. Premiership clubs snapping up young talent from smaller clubs is hardly any thing new.

      But yes, I would ‘gamble’ on a cheap u-21 England international coming to Leeds, just not a Clingan – as we’ve had far, far too many of them from Grayson & Co.

  • TSS

    We’re still sixth – Grayson’s going nowhere, because he’s consistently as inconsistent as the rest of the division.

    I think the divide in fans attitudes is down to whether they tend to go to mainly home or away games – those that go away tend to be pro-Grayson and moan much less, as opposed to those that stick to Elland Road and have to watch performances like that every week whilst being stifled by Bates. Understandable really – I’ve really started to dislike going to Elland Road, so why would the players feel any differently?

    As for tactics, you can see they’re trying to play to our strengths right up until the point where the crowd jeers a misplaced pass, or something goes against us – then our fragile confidence shatters and we return to hoofing it long, with no one willing to take the ball down and play it, aside from Jonny and Snoddy – both of whom get more criticism than the rest of the team combined. It’s absolute madness.

    I’m not saying the team or Grayson don’t need to sort it out, but it’s a vicious circle we’re stuck in at home wherein the players try to do as instructed, only for the fans to turn quickly, confidence to dissipate and then the problems come flooding back. Something has to give, and the fans blaming everyone but themselves isn’t helping matters.

    PS. It’s not strange for the chairman to talk to the players by the way – Bates often involves himself in contract negotiations (remember him calling Andy Hughes’ dad a fat fuck during negotiations?), and likes to stick his nose in across the board. You’re clutching at non-existent straws.

    • Dje

      @TSS I may be wrong, but in Bates’s allotted 180-odd days as a tax dodger, sorry ‘ex pat’, I bet he chooses his visits to concur with more home games than he does away ones. Failing that, I’m sure he assiduously studies the attendance levels at Elland Road and has spotted an alignment of happier home fans = more income than happier away fans does.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if he hasn’t also budgeted for us to be averaging home gates a few thousand more than we currently are. At which point, blinkered as he is, Bates will always find the cause of this disturbance in others: Grayson or the players – but it’s cheaper to replace the former, appeasing the ‘morons’ and, than it is to whitewash the whole playing squad.

    • Colin

      @TSS Andy Hughes’ Dad is not a fat fuck, but Andy O’Brien’s Dad is.

      But I’m sure that Andy Hughes appreciated you calling his Dad a fat fuck :)

      • TSS

        In my defence, they both have the same first name. lol

    • Irving08

      @TSS

      Playing to our strengths – I don’t agree, for reasons set out in another post,i whilst it is perfectly possible to be privately critical, whilst giving every player out there wholehearted support. I don’t know how Kisnorbo gets picked ahead of O’Dea for example or Becchio/McCormack ahead of Keogh, but it doesn’t stop me trying to encourage both miselections. I suspect the fans who are most pro-Grayson are those who seem to be pathologically ‘anti-Bates’. Most of us, I think, approach things with an open mind and form our judgements on the basis of by the evidence. Personally I don’t think SG can take us any further, but I would be delighted if he proved me wrong. Three years, as I have pointed out, is a long time in management at a club like Leeds, especially given the impatience of the modern fan. Finally, for me the most striking thing about our team and the crowd yesterday was the absence of black faces. Please give us your thoughts, dear Editor, on this topic.

      • TSS

        @Irving08 I love your attempt at an “us” and “them” debate. “We’re the sane ones, it’s simply the anti-Bates crowd that are wrong”. Clearly “your” crowds opinions are well thought out, and “we” are the mental ones – that’s why there’s a fan below telling us he was part of the “Grayson out” crowd the year we got promoted.

        And there was me blissfully unaware that we had crowds? I thought we all just had opinions, but were actually one in the same. But if divide and conquer is the way some Leeds fans feel they need to go to win an argument, then so be it.

        This had little to do with Bates, but since it’s him and Harvey that fail to negotiate contracts with players every transfer window then it’s fair he should be considered – even fairer still when you consider “your” crowd like to blabber on about Grayson failing in the window, even though he only identifies targets and has nothing to do with the signing process, but that wouldn’t suit your arguments so why include that bit, hey?

        What we actually have here is the perpetual moaners (you lot) vs the realistic fans (us). Those of us that appreciate Grayson is operating on limited funds, with a chairman unwilling to invest and who spends more time seeking publicity than Paris Hilton and who has constantly delivered what has been asked of him – you wanted promotion in his first full season, he got it, you wanted a mid-table finish last season, he did even better, and you wanted the play-offs this time around – where are we again?

        Little facts like that are ignored by this ridiculous anti-Grayson crowd, who are the same people who find a reason to moan about anything and everything. This is the same people who moan about Howson and realise how valuable he is only when he gets injured, the same people who booed Beckford and probably the same people who were booing yesterday – I suspect many are Bates apologists, because in him, they’ve found someone who loves to whine just as much and is equally irrational. (See I can play “us and them” too),

      • Irving08

        @TSS

        It is hard to tell if you joking or just being disingenuous – I suspect a mixture of both. My contention is simply that your antipathy to Bates tends to cloud your judgement of SG’s management. It is you – not your posters – who raised the stakes earlier this season and now it is you not us – who has the temerity to suggest that others are guilty of propagating manichean views. As for crowd behaviour, I suspect that booing – be it of Beckford, Johnson, Killkenny or anyone else who dares to suggest that their loyalty to Leeds is less than unconditional -cuts across divisions about SG’s managerial capabilities. Finally I think your complaint about atmosphere is overstated: it is true that the unjust pricing structure is squeezing out the younger, or poorer ‘casuals’, as the club tries to hone in on the more ‘respectable’ secter of its fan base (please note the quotation marks), but ultimately it’s what happens on the pitch that determines the feeling among the crowd.

      • TSS

        @Irving08 I said at the start of this season we’d make the play-offs if we kept key assets. The majority were predicting mid-table mediocrity based on Bates’ lack of investment.

        The transfers didn’t come, the ultimate key player (Max) was lost and we’re sixth – yet you still complain!

        A lot of the above was written in jest, but this club does have too man fans who need an easy scapegoat, and refuse to look at the bigger picture. It’s extremely knee-jerk to suggest Grayson should be sacked when he’s achieved above and beyond what we’ve asked of him for three consecutive seasons. Especially when people ignore the fact Harvey and Bates have continually failed to get the players he wanted. Everyone knew it’d be difficult after Bates built the East Stand and spent the summer moaning about “greedy players” yet Grayson has achieved what we asked regardless – how on earth can people complain about that?

        I’m not impressed by attempts to make people’s opinion of Grayson entirely derivative of their stance on Bates either – that’s an extremely low attempt to undermine other people’s opinion just because your own argument unravels too quickly due to Grayson’s record. I could say that all the anti-Grayson crowd are Bates apologists, but I know that to be complete nonsense – it tends to be the fans who base their opinion on the 90 minutes previous. Or those who just need something to moan about.

  • Irving08

    While not buzzing the atmosphere where I was standing was still better than the performance, which I put down to inept management more than anything else. The truth is SG continues to repeat his mistakes; it is as simple as that. All available evidence points to Becchio on;ly being effective for the team when played as a lone front man (at any rate with no-one like Beckford alongside him) in a 4-5-1 – the formation which also happens to suit best the players on our books even without Howson. Personally I would play Keogh there (but I then I would start with Keogh every time) with Macca, Snoddy and White forming a line of three behind them, then Clayton and Brown and, of course, O’Dea instead of Kisnorbo between Lees AND Pugh. But the details are less important than the principles of (a) getting the right formation for the players on the books, b) as pointed out numerous recently on this site, use pace where it hurts the oppostion most and, (c) picking players who are comfortable with the ball at their feet. Watching Grayson, MIller and Snodin debating and dithering for 10 to 15 minutes on the touchline about what to do yesterday spoke volumes. Three years managing Leeds is like 6 at most other clubs at this level and there would be no shame in Simon saying to Ken one fine day soon that he has run out of ideas about how to take the team forward.

    • Dje

      @Irving08

      To be fair to Grayson, I think White was played defensively on acocunt of his pacer and to counter Reading’s superior pace to Pugh, Kisnorbo, and probably O’Dea too (I forget if O’Dea has any, been a while since we played him). But then to be fair, we ONLY have pace via White!

      • Irving08

        @Dje

        I suppose that was the thinking, but Kebbe wasn’t playing, and I don’t think their front men were particularly quick. Still we do have White to thank for the last ditch tackle that kept it at 0-1 before half- time. Last season only Gradel had pace and, while we shipped a lot of goals, at least with his fleetness of foot we were able to hit other teams on the break. White is the only player who can do this now…

  • arthur graham

    another totally inept performance. Im not one myself to get on the players backs. They clearly lack guidance on and off the field. We need a leader as captain and a manager who has a bit of tactical nous and is capable of taking us back to prem wherd we belong. We have stumbled along all season since our mauling at st marys and have only a couple of times shown improvement. Bates is clearly sharpening the knife and rightly so, Grayson OUT!!

  • TSS

    No, but I doubt he’s as delusional as some of our fans and expects much more with no investment. Bates has been around the block enough times to know football is a money game – and while ever he continues to whine about greedy players, and fails to secure the signatures of the players Grayson wants, he can have no grounds for complaint.

    This nonsense in the press of late is nothing more than smoke and mirrors. We’re heading towards January where the attention turns to him and he’s making his excuses early.

    When Larry gets the players he wants and Bates invests suitably, then I’ll be the first to complain – as things stand, expecting anything better than 6th under current circumstances is madness.

    • mattbb1

      @TSS dare i suggest we missed howson yesterday… is Grayson a `one trick pony?’ i’m not so sure, though it certainly looks that way sometimes, I have more faith in him however than i did in mcallister when things were going wrong. I think we all need to be patient, Grayson will soon realise that he needs to have a tinker with the formation and involve NUnez and Varynen more. I cant believe Becchio being lambasted in certain quarters either, we are our own worst enemies when we start doing this to the manager and squad. The reall Villain is Bates who needed to invest in the squad in the summer and chosse to fritter it away on coroporate boxes – back the team guys. If anyone thinks there are easy games in this division then they are stupid, and perhaps forget we arent the best team in the division, we have lots of fans but we arent the best. That would be either Birmingham, Leicester, Hull or West Ham. What do you expect?

      • TSS

        @mattbb1 We do miss Howson, and he’s another one who gets unjustifiably criticised. Problem is, it takes absence for people to realise how stupid they are, and the same will happen with Grayson – he’ll leave, Leeds will struggle and then people will finally understand how much he achieved hindered by a useless chairman and a fanbase that expect miracles.

      • TSS

        @Matthew I didn’t call anyone stupid, did I?

        Grayson has achieved everything we’ve asked of him with no cash. If you think there’s another manager out there that could achieve what he has under current circumstances, that will take on Leeds United with Bates at the helm, you’re all insane.

        At the beginning of the season there wasn’t a single fan that wasn’t happy with a play-off finish – now we’re in that position you’re moving the goalposts just because it doesn’t suit an anti-Grayson agenda. It’s madness.

      • number1inyorkshire

        @TSS matthew its not that long since we were having a heated discussion about larry and you were standing up for him have you had an epiphany .

      • number1inyorkshire

        sorry Matthew i forgot we did!!! lol

        Did i hear you say i was right !!all along !!

      • Matthew

        @number1inyorkshire

        Well yes. As said, a lot of people gave Grayson a chance because his relative newness to the manager position and that he is still learning, but as these home games are proving, people are unhappy, people and tired of this shit. I would hazzard a guess and say 80 percent of fans are unhappy in general.

    • Colin

      @TSS Grayson signed Alex Bruce at £16,000 a week and Paynter at £12,000 a week ON LONG TERM CONTRACTS. Bruce is playing in the 3rd division (at our expense) and Paynter will shortly be returning because he’s as awful for Brighton as he was for us. You want to blame Bates for paying £1.5m a year for those two pieces of dog shit? Grayson chose them, not Bates. Grayson advised his Chairman to spend £1.5m a year on those 2 players who will NEVER feature for Leeds this season…

      1) You see the ineptness of Grayson in signing them in the first place.

      2) You could also argue that Bates was an idiot for letting Grayson spend the cash on those fools.

      And I haven’t even started on the other players he brought in. Only one that was decent was Lonergan (who was awful in the last match). Many managers would dream of Grayson’s cash stash.

      Paul Lambert certainly would have. And he got Norwich promoted to the Premier League. No excuses for Grayson.

      Bates doesn’t back Grayson – don’t make me laugh – there’s 2 tools right there that are costing us £1.5m. Bates is backing Grayson and he’s making all the wrong decisions on purchases.

      Is Snodgrass on £12,000 a week? No.

      Is Howson on £12,000 a week? No.

      Was Beckford on £12,000 a week? No.

      Was Gradel on £12,000 a week? No.

      Work it out – Grayson spends his money on shit. But not for much longer.

      • Gryff

        @Colin, but you’re supposing all that on figures that fans have frankly made up. We might be right about 2-3 of the contracts but for each one we get right there’s another we get wrong.

        When Paynter was looking sh*t he was our highest paid player. When O’Brien threw a hissy fit he was rumoured to be our highest paid player. Now that Bruce is joining him in this “Nacht der langen Messer” he’s supposedly being paid more than Paynter!

        There’s something wrong with the money some of the lads are being paid for sure, but we don’t know who has been on what.

        I’m getting impatient with Grayson too, mainly because I prefer a different tactical approach to him. But half of his poor signings like Alex Bruce, Billy Paynter etc. were made when we were a newly promoted League One club. As Leeds fans we of all people should realise that fans don’t guarantee success, and Leeds weren’t on a particularly big budget until this summer – when he failed in the market. Now he’s got January to make up for it.

        Agree about Paul Lambert BTW. Compared to Roeder etc. he did a great job with Canaries – annoyingly.

      • mattbb1

        didnt grayson also sign mccormack? clayton? Somma? diss lonergan – really…, he also signed kisnorbo, gradel, nunez, Colin if you want another blackwell keep on booing grayson. as long as bates continues to not back his managers we wont move on. lambert wouldnt work for a despot like bates, delia & co leave the football management to the manager, unlike our white bearded property tycoon. If i was Howson i’d leave. our club is going nowhere, the management wont invest in it, and the fans are a nightmare. I wont forget that quote from the damned united, when the board meet Clough and he asks them what they expect of him, they answer “leeds fans dont like to lose, theyre not used to it”… we still arent.

      • mattbb1

        mccormack £300k, clayton free, somma, free, lonergan £250K, kisnorbo, free, gradel £100k (sold for £2m) nunez, free…. imagine what he could do with a few quid, sure he signed bruce, but even fergie signed djemba djemba. do you expect a flawless track record… come on guys back the team and the manager, and start shouting at the board.

      • Dje

        Those are shocking wages if true. Jesus.

      • Ludlow Leeds

        @Colin, Grayson signed Bruce and Paynter but wages would’ve been negotiated by Harvey. And if Bruce is on £16K a week I’ll eat my scarf.

      • Gryff

        @Dje Tell me about it. Gary Kelly was on about £15k p/w when we were in the Premiership – who says the board aren’t Spending? :-D

      • TSS

        How do you know Snoddy, Howson, Beckford and Gradel weren’t/aren’t on £12k a week? You don’t, you’re just making this shit up to suit an argument. Becchio for one is definitely on that amount – he signed a new contract not so long back remember.

        As for Bruce and Paynter – again, you have no idea. It’s mere conjecture to suit your own ends.

        All that is beside the point however because Grayson DOES NOT negotiate contracts. Harvey and Bates gave Bruce and Paynter their contract, and are responsible for extending the other players. You can’t use the odd bad signing to justify their failings and turn this all on Grayson – every club makes bad signings.

      • TSS

        More to the point – if Harvey and Bates had secured the players Grayson wanted in the first place, rather than telling them to fuck off elsewhere because they were greedy, half the bad signings would have been unnecessary. When we wanted Sharp or Lambert, the club failed, Grayson ended up with Paynter – a prime example.

      • TSS

        More to the point – if Harvey and Bates had secured the players Grayson wanted in the first place, rather than telling them to fuck off elsewhere because they were greedy, half the bad signings would have been unnecessary. When we wanted Sharp or Lambert, the club failed, Grayson ended up with Paynter – a prime example.

      • Dje

        @TSS I agree with your point to an extent, TSS. But if Grayson’s hands are so tied by Williams&Harvey (& of course Bates), then why doesn’t he have a public stand off with Williams & Harvey over players he doesn’t want being signed. To say outright: ‘I don’t want this player’ throws down the gauntlet to Bates: sack me and bring on the wrath of the fans to a whole new level, or give me more power and/or replace Williams and/or Harvey.

        It’d be a sacking of course, but we’ll never, never break the cronyism that is the cancer at the top of our club until Grayson (or his replacements) realise that they will not succeed playing the ‘nice guy’.

      • Dje

        @TSS I agree with your point to an extent, TSS. But if Grayson’s hands are so tied by Williams&Harvey (& of course Bates), then why doesn’t he have a public stand off with Williams & Harvey over players he doesn’t want being signed. To say outright: ‘I don’t want this player’ throws down the gauntlet to Bates: sack me and bring on the wrath of the fans to a whole new level, or give me more power and/or replace Williams and/or Harvey.

        It’d be a sacking of course, but we’ll never, never break the cronyism that is the cancer at the top of our club until Grayson (or his replacements) realise that they will not succeed playing the ‘nice guy’.

  • John

    You moaners need to get some perspective. Grayson is the best manager since o’ Leary and all you want to do is get rid of him to replace him with someone who will undoubtedly, by bates previous recruitment record be much worse. Maybe bates was right and most of us Leeds fans are morons

  • TSS

    I don’t think anyone said the performance was good enough, you’re taking things to extremes to prove a point (much like most of the Grayson-Out brigade).

    Grayson needs to turn this around, but what evidence is there to suggest he won’t? He didn’t send the players out to play hoofball yesterday – we conceded early, the crowd got on the players backs and confidence dissipated. It’s happened at home all season – the players don’t like playing at Elland Road, and quite honestly, I don’t blame them.

    What amuses me most is that we’ve been through this nonsense once already this season, yet everyone went quiet when Grayson turned things around and we were winning – funny how people are quicker to complain when we do wrong, than they are to praise when we do right.

    • Dje

      @TSS It’s a bit of a non-sequitor to say that it is the fans fault that the players get nervous at home and then have to play hoofball. The players are only nervous after THEIR half a dozen awful home performances that have drawn out the crowd to be listless and prepared to groan at the first misgiving.

      More important is how to end this vicious cycle ~ football’s equivalent to stagflation, and economists are still at a loss how to cure that one. But hey-ho. Yes the crowd can get the love-in going and pamper the players to make Elland Road an acceptable workplace, free from bullying (Bates aside), and it might work. But it might not; there might actually be unrest in the dressing room.

      Hoofball from defenders is them sort of doing their job in clearing their lines, and the resulting midfielders getting bypassed in the process, of whom all but Snodgrass apparently did not give a shit about this, in a ‘nowt to do with me if they keep booting it up and over’, smacks of classic ‘we’re just going through the motions here’. If you’ve lost the respect of the gaffer then why would you care that it maddens him, maybe the next guy who comes in as boss will be better and appreciate me more. Let’s see shall we… . All classic petulant football players waiting to suddenly turn into model pros the second the next management team is installed, been done a thousand times.

      As we didn’t score yesterday we never had a ‘look at us, we’re still all in it together and doing it for the gaffer’ moment, which is a great shame on two fronts, as it would have appeased my pondering on that front (and got us back in the game).

      The thing is, if Grayson has lost the dressing room, then right or wrong, it’s time for him to go, as there is no way a love-in form the fans is going to turn that around.

      Time will tell.

    • Matthew

      @TSS

      I haven’t had much if any praise for weeks, if you look at the comments I’ve made here, we barely scraped by Burnley, we were beaten by a poor Barnsley side, we were lucky to get a point from Watford and were beaten by an distinctly average championship side in Reading. Needless to say I could go on with these examples of our all round poor performance this season.

      I’ve been unhappy with Graysons tactics and style for a while now, this isn’t just brought on by our loss yesterday, I take offense to that if anything.

      Our poor run has to lay on the shoulders of the manager, if the manager can’t get the players motivated, and if he can’t get the team in the winning mindset, he has clearly failed.

      Point being, we’ve been poor for a while, the Nottingham Forest win was masking the fact we’re still poor, Nottingham forest on a whole are going down to league 1, the confidence in that team is gone. Il’d rather we didn’t get to that point.

    • Irving08

      @TSS

      I have no doubt that there is a Grayson Out brigade at Leeds, just as there is a Bates Out brigade. But I suspect the overwhelming majority of regular fans would be only too happy if a reasonable man who is ‘one of their own’, so to speak, took us to the premiership. It is just that some of us now seriously question his match strategy and player assessment. Nevertheless we continue to support the team throughout and are dismayed when other fans get on the players’ backs: though I can tell you there is nothing new in this at Leeds – older fans like me will recall the stick taken by Terry Yorath in the 1970s (even Gilesy got it when he started playing deep)…..plus ca change.

      • TSS

        @Irving08 It’s always in defeat though, isn’t it?

        Our fans are too reactionary – they know the division is unpredictable, expected us to be hit and miss and most predicted mid-table. Yet, despite this logical assessment pre-season, they’re finding grounds for complaint when we’re sixth in December? Makes no sense whatsoever.

        Fans really need to take a step back at times like this and look at the bigger picture.

        – Grayson has achieved everything that has been asked of him for three consecutive seasons

        – We lost our biggest asset (Mad Max) without replacement in the summer

        – Almost all of Grayson’s transfer targets fell through because of Harvey’s negotiations and Bates’ “greedy player” rants.

        – We started the season with an injury crisis that left us without a recognised first team striker, and questionable in defence.

        Yet despite all that, we’re sixth!

        We’re going to lose some games and look poor because we don’t have the buying power of other teams and when we lose form there’s no depth to mix things up – that’s not Grayson’s fault, that’s down to Bates’ vanity project and Harvey’s useless negotiating skills.

        Consistent inconsistency is the nature of the division. But we’re managing to keep ourselves in the mix regardless. It’s down to Bates now to cough up for the players we need – if he does and Grayson fails, then people can complain. Hell, I’ll complain. But while ever he’s achieving more than the fans asked and expected of him, hindered by this nonsensical transfer and wage structure we have, I can’t understand what more you expect?

      • number1inyorkshire

        @TSS@Irving08 Grayson will not be manager next season if we do not go to wembley in the play off final that is the absolute minimum .

        Bates has set his stall out with “we need to get up for the fans” he will sack him make no mistake and whats more i think larry knows it .

        Do not get me wrong i think the manager is being hindered by finances particularly with wages ,but that has nothing to do with tactics players etc and its only opinions on here but in my opinion i would have picked a team to do a better job than grayson did on saturday

        lonegan

        conolly, lees ,,odea pugh

        snodders ,varynen .clayton white

        mccormack keogh/forsell

      • number1inyorkshire

        @TSS@Irving08 fair play tss you are doing your bit for grayson but you have to admit alright given the players he has he still makes mistakes ,he signs players and just does not play them even loans ,well whats the point of paying the wages of a player from another club and not playing them

        he always talks up the loan market and aside from lichaj all his loans have been shite ,his permanent deals have not been much better .why take a player on an extended trial sign him on good money after deciding he is good enough an international at that then just not play him FORSELL .

        i do think that you have fallen under the ex player .leeds thing a little time will tell about grayson but time is running out for him .

        You always say fans are being reactionary well of course they are but its reaction to a long sequence of dross rather than this week remember we were shite last week too then barnsley then blackpool and other games too so its not kneejerk .

        I have some questions for you , answer if you will “when will it be acceptable to start looking at graysons position and secondly how much money and how many players do you think we need and lastly of the starting 11 saturday who would you get rid of

      • TSS

        @Chareose At least I’m not the only one that can see that.

        Wouldn’t be quite so infuriating if it wasn’t for the fact Bates has been doing this for years. He’s a master at divide and conquer and diverting attention away from his own failings – that’s why the fans were so split at Chelsea and why he went through so many managers.

      • Chareose

        @TSS@Chareose

        Yes and the point is Grayson has brought good players in but Bates is selling them just as fast. Grayson has an impossible mission to motivate dissalusioned players and fans. I honestly dont see how he can be judged in the circumstances…….

        And your right we should save the anti bates stuff for non playing time. Support the team on the pitch for 90 minutes every game, its the only weopon we have as fans to help the team DESPITE KEN BATES

      • number1inyorkshire

        course we can see that a blind man on a galloping horse can see bates blame shifting ,fact is its a collective Bates providers the finances with harvey etc then there is director of football williams .

        That said its grayson that picks the team and tactics playing ,players in wrong positions ,left footers on the right signed a player on a 3 year deal who was out a year who just isn,t up to it never mind being captain ,some one said grayson did,t send his players out to lump it saturday fair enough ,but he never stopped them either in the second half .we can not even throw the ball in properly .

        we can all go on about all sorts of stuff fact is at 4-50 ish saturday if we loose thats the only thing we are interested in. Now 1 min grayson is saying he is happy with his squad then next he is saying he needs to bring in quality well what is is

        I suppose he has to be trusted with 3-4-5 million quid to get us up thats the gamble, its a gamble for leeds and grayson if it works its rosey if it fails ,then money wasted ,grayson has a p45 thats the margin that not just leeds work to its all managers

  • Josh_C

    I’m tired of all these Grayson has reached his sell by date. . The guy is working within constraints nobody is looking at.

    Bates – yes he may of ‘saved’ the club but lacking in funds to improve / holding onto key players we will struggle, you can’t tell me Grayson wanted to see Beckford-Johnson-Gradle leave?!?!? It also can’t help that we all find it easy to disagree with bates.

    ER- smaller crowds will equal a less intimidating place for the opposition to visit, the fans who do pay horrendous prices will be frustrated more easily creating a painful circle for the lads on the pitch!!

    The Championship – this for me is a big kicker, we are in a league which has twists and turns every week. Bug clubs, big ego’s, prestigeious history and we must accept we are not that champions league club anymore. Anyone can beat anyone on the day. Who had donny down to beat Leicester this weekend?!? The saints are faltering, Brighton have gone tits up. boro & hammers are going steady, that’s what we should be looking to do, being steady, consistent, and galvanising the games as and when required.

    Injuries – again another kicker, we had a good period, Lonergan had a string of cracking games breaks his thumb, we got a couple suspect results. Howson has been a rock as usual, he is out, and already 2 dodgey results. Again showing he is a influential cog in the team and Clayton is the same.
    Clayton brown?! No thanks. Howson Clayton? Everyday of the week!

    So forget Grayson out. Our luck is not in at the minute, we need to get behind the team, hope we get funds and 1 or 2 players in to make that little difference and push on with season!

    People ask my why Leeds, I say it’s a passion that’s grown within me, I can’t nor would I want to remove it. You should all try to adopt that or take a step back and think why?!

    MOT, but still feel free to call me deranged and pick away at it. Ha

  • Jonathan Lufc Kelly

    except when you look at the teams around us, almost the whole league is as inconsistent as us, and the reason we are still in the playoff spots.

  • SAWhite

    I now live in Australia, so don’t get to see Leeds play except on Sky or the weekly highlight which we find on the net…. but I don’t get why people are against Grayson…. the team that played on the weekend including the 3 subs who came on cost about a Mill ?? lack of investment, lack of quality so lack of quality play each week….. better players play better more often….

  • The Scratching Shed

    I don’t enjoy going to Elland Road that much at all any more, and I think that’s a feeling shared by the vast majority. It’s lost it’s magic – losing the away fans was the final nail in the coffin.

  • Andrew Rosindale

    yeah dom im a seasonticketholder i said a few swear words n booo at end and stewards lookd at me like i was a killer.NO I PAY NEARLY 700 POUND A SEASON N DEMAND A GOOD PERFORMANCE.sick of coming away from my 2nd home pissed off

  • Steve Oates

    it’s a hell of a lot of money and I can understand frustration but it’s never really helpful to get on the players backs … the regular away fans spend a lot too .. but seem to do things like conga in the aisles when the team are being crap .. just as a celebration of being Leeds fans … or am I remembering pre Bates days?

  • Neil Bell

    have you thought that playing well away might just be because the support is electric, second to none, and gets the team up for it more? need more of the same at home games.

  • Ron_Galea

    I must say this is one of the few sites that is not calling for Grayson’s scalp, and have been for some time. I like Simon Grayson as a person and I think he wants the best for Leeds, BUT, you can’t have a team playing so poorly at home – not in a stadium as big as ER. We appear to have the only imposing home ground where away teams love playing????……..Playing Brown and Pugh is a very negative and defensive play when you’re at home. Surely we start with Sam or Varynen to have a go at Reading. Either way, the regular commentary and pressure being applied from Ken cannot be music to SG’s ears. If we lose our way into January, I’m tipping Larry is a goner.

  • trueyorxman

    Bates had the cheek in his program notes to slag off Royal Mail as he said they had taken a month to deliver an item he’d been sent that had cost a fortune to post. Kettle, pot, grimy arse spring to mind u Chelsea b******d!

  • number1inyorkshire

    The atmosphere is generated by whats going on ,on the pitch simple as crap on there crap atmosphere.

    there was no getting on the players back saturday other than moaning when absolutely simple passes went wrong ,lumping the ball forward and a totally unacceptable performance people are paying £36 to watch that ,it is unacceptable .Booing in my opinion is acceptable unless the players are gonna meet some fans after the game it is the only course of action the fans have ,they need to accept it and crack on

    Leeds were never gonna win saturday with that staring 11 ,the game was over after 2 mins ,becchio and mccormack will never be able to play together and since mmccormack is top scorer by a mile he has to start with keogh or forsell ,why did he sign him forsell that is ..

    Varynen is better than brown play him

    Grayson has 6 weeks left 2 of december 4 of january to turn it round and keep his job .

    we need quality players not for the bench for the starting 11 ,tactics need to change ,team performance needs to change ,results need to change

    Its make or break this transfer window for the manager and leeds in general .too often lately at this time we have missed the boat .

    attendances will only turn around with results that will only turn around with better quality players it is as simple as that .

    Bates has issued a warning to grayson he will sack him if we do not get to at least the playoffs ,bates is interested in gate receipts they are falling with results .

    I am not saying sack grayson but unless he turns it round his days are numbered and people who do not think that calls for his head are growing are blinkered in the extreme .

    Bates need to take responsibility too ,because wages which he sets are clearly too low we have and are missing out on quality players due to lack of finances .

    History tells us that leeds are followed well by a good support up and down the country but that goes up when we are winning its the same everywhere .

    just thought i would say that moving the away fans has removed some of the atmosphere too what a mistake there needs to be some banter ,there will be none in the prawn sandwich paddock

  • JEAN CLAUDE

    Colin

    do you think grayson would have signed bruce or paynter if he had proper money to spend?? of course he wouldnt, anyway youve spent most your time cheering paynter on. and number1inyorkshire the atmosphere in the 80s was great and we were crap week in week out so your point is garbage. difference is the kop if filled with a load of numpties these days who cant sing for toffee, same goes for that waccoe lot cant even get the chant their named after right. BATES OUT

    • Irving08

      Jean Claude – he could have signed Charlie Austin whom many of us were recommending at the time (he has 8 goals already this season despite missing a few games thoruhg injury). He and not Paynter was the logical replacement for Beckford since in Becchio we already had the big man up front (whether anyone needs a big man upfront is another strory for another debate). But talent spotting seems not to be our collective leadership’s strong point.

  • saltzby

    number 1 in yorkshire I agree with every single point you made. LLoyd Sam is dismal and I groaned when he made an appearance on Saturday Michael Brown is not good enough either.How we are still in a play off spot beggars belief. I am just so dissapointed with the displays. I do not blame Grayson at the moment but we need some quality signings The beilef among the players is supposed to be great but I can tell you on the terraces it is not. That begs the question are the players living in cloud cuckoo land cos the fans are sick of this cr*p.

  • Tyler75

    Becchio and McCormack start up front together in a week when they’ve been linked to moves away from the club. Coincidence ? Probably but in a 442, the proven partnership this season is Keogh/McCormack and Becchio in a 4-5-1. Yesterday we got neither nor did we get a different option with Forsell. Howson has been sorely missed in the last 2 games, not least for his leadership by example on the pitch. No idea why Varynen isn’t playing, in his brief cameos he looks what he is i.e. an experienced international player, which Brown, clearly isn’t.

    I don’t get the argument that its up to the players to inspire the crowd – where does that come from ? Isn’t that the opposite definition of the term ‘supporter’ ? We’ve been much, much worse than we are now but the support and atmosphere at ER rarely wavered. So what’s changed ? The blame lays at the feet of one man, Mr Ken Bates, who has single-handedly undermined the relationship between the supporters and the club, irrespective of what happens on the field. Enough is enough Ken, either put the club up for sale or give Simon the resources he needs to compete properly at the top end of this Division – if you don’t trust him with your money, have the courage of your convictions and get somebody in who you do trust.

    • number1inyorkshire

      @Tyler75 when we were singing at the end of a five nil drubbing to Blackpool ,

      it was almost an ironic fingers up to the Blackpool fans and result ,what else was there to sing about its like going o a funeral and singing things can only get better .

      The natives are restless at E R and rightly so and all that Eddie Grey bollocks about expectation and pressure from the crowd being a factor is garbage ..

      Leeds fans are fantastic we have and do turn up in our numbers up and down the country it was freezing saturday and those 11 did nothing at all to warm it up .

      Alright it works both ways but we pay to see them not the other way round the onus has to be on them it is supposed to be entertaining and it is down to them to get the crowd going .

  • Dje

    That’s shocking if true. If Paynter and Bruce were put on three year deals at those rates that is just shy of £5m wasted on them.

    Williams & Harvey would have made themselves a killing as derivative bankers for RBS with that sought of reckless speculation of other people’s funds.

  • TSS

    Wouldn’t be that far off average for this division IF true. But Grayson doesn’t decide how much they’re paid – Bates and Harvey do. For all we know (and it’s highly likely) Bruce could have been 3rd or 4th choice and the player Grayson had to settle for when our useless negotiating team had pissed off the rest of the candidates.

    • Dje

      @TSS No way is £16,000 average for the Championship (unless you are just trying to rile up those Barnsley fans once more?!).

      Apparently £4,059 a week is average for the Championship, and nearer the level Paynter and Bruce should have been put on:

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2055140/Premier-League-wages-FIVE-times-Championship.html

      [Can’t believe I am actually quoting the Daily Mail. I feel so dirty]

      • TSS

        @Dje These surveys are wildly inaccurate because they take into account reserve and youth team players and are opt-in for all pros.

        According to that, the average Premier League wage is 22k – where? At Wigan?

        We’re talking about the upper echelons of the Championship here that you all expect Leeds to compete with. If we were in the Prem, would you expect Leeds to be competing with Manchester United if our average wage was £22k?

        Likewise, we both know that the kind of players Leeds, and the other big teams want and need, don’t play for £4k a week, so I’m not entirely sure what you were trying to prove with that?

      • TSS

        @Dje Oh, and if the data is compiled by published accounts it’s even more misleading.

        Most teams will have about 50 players on the books, many of them youngsters and reserves that are paid pennies (relative to the first XI at least). The data is compiled by taking the wages figure in published accounts and dividing it by number of registered players, thus giving you an average salary.

        Accurate, but still misleading because the wages we (football fans) talk about are the first team. More importantly, we talk about the big players, – Snoddy, Howson, Becchio etc… – players who command a much bigger fee than Alex Cairns and Nathan Turner for example. But for every Snoddy, there’s 5-6 Alex Cairns, all of whom are professional footballers in their own right, but all of whom earn considerably less than Snoddy – thus diluting the figure.

      • Dje

        @TSS It was conducted by the PFA, asking professional football players (I amy be wrong but scholars aren’t members of the PFA) about their basic salary prior to bonuses and image rights etc. Granted, it’d have been more use to have only taken on board the wages of first team players, but Championship clubs are far more likely to use their young players in their first team squad than Premiership ones do. Besides, for all we know, those figures may well be for the median average rather than the mean average, which would knock out your top wage players as much as your kids, reflecting the salary commanded by a player in the first team squad (albeit something neither Bruce nor Paynter currently are).

        That PFA survey was for 2009-10, and with the annual increase of Premiership wages at 10% would make current average Premeirship squad players on £27,000 per week prior to their various bonus and image rights. On reflection I’d say that is above what I’d expect an average squad player to be on for their basic wage at least a dozen or so of the Premiership clubs – making me more convinced that they are using a median average and excluding the top handful of high earners at each club.

        As to our wage structure in the Championship, how many times have we heard about greedy players wanting to come but the wages aren’t here form Bates, and towed the line doggedly by Grayson? I’m sure we pay more than Barnsley, but considerably less than ten or so teams in this division. That makes us average in my eyes. Coincidently, our records show that we spent £12.3m on all wages in 2008/9. That’s including Williams and Harveys £150,000 and £100,000 respectively; Grayson, his coaching staff, the physios, the groundsmen, the maintaninace, the security; the admin staff at Elland Road, more security, all those matchday chinese students serving piss beer and bovril-derivatives, the stewards; the staff in the shop; and then we get to our playing squad, form the kiddies all the way up to whatever Beckford was on in those days. That’s not much money really, and the site I found it on had a Wycombe fan saying their total wage bill was about the same.

        Sure, we are in the Championship now, and our wage structure should have expanded accordingly. Having said, we didn’t know how long we’d be in and I’m sure as hell they would not be offering Paynter and Bruce contracts that were not sustainable had we been relegated back to to League One last season. They’d get their ‘bonus’ wages for coming on frees, OK, but £16,000 per week?! Not a chance should they be on anything near that.

      • TSS

        @Dje Firstly, the £16,000 a week for Alex Bruce just doesn’t ring true to me. There’s no way he’d be considering a permanent move to League One if he was earning that much at Elland Road. Pure fabrication from people trying to justify an agenda I suspect that’s been given credibility by TSB picking up on it.

        That said, I still maintain that £16k is average for the big players in this division – the kind we all want to see wearing all white.

        “I’m sure we pay more than Barnsley, but considerably less than ten or so teams in this division. That makes us average in my eyes. “

        Indeed, so then we should – realistically speaking – be sat in mid-table. So what grounds do people have to complain about sixth exactly? There’s no point complaining about Grayson because we haven’t got the players our ticket fees should command – that’s entirely down to Bates and Harvey I’m afraid. Grayson is achieving above and beyond what could be expected of any manager operating on a mid-table budget, who can’t get the players he wants because the chairman is too busy wasting funds on pointless vanity projects and our head negotiator is a buffoon.

      • Dje

        @TSS I don’t think Bruce, or Paynter are on £16,000 a week either – but mostly because if they are (and Williams and Harvey are cretinous to do so) then we are really going to be going no-where soon, being lumbered with the dead wages of dead weights we wont be using.

        I agree about the Bates&Williams&Harvey trio as the main problem, more so than the squad or Grayson’s abilities, and the headache of trying to get promotion for a chairman who demands promotion without paying for it, but I’m just not sure in your reading of this set-up what exactly Grayson IS accountable for? If he doesn’t pick the transfers, if he doesn’t pick the players offered new contracts, if his hands are tied whenever we lose but are shaken whenever we win, how can we judge the man to be good or bad at his job? I’m sure you’d say good, TSS, as we are 6th and therefore exceeding minimum expectations, but those who are saying he is doing bad (personally I prefer ‘should be playing better, regardless of league position’) are so because the belief is that he is not getting enough out the players we have and the tactics available to us. The latter is utterly irrespective to his hands being tied, and all to do with the clay work of the team already in his hands, there and ready to be used.

        We are sixth, and praise be, but that is with some shambolic performances that have led to clear points dropped, and propped up on occasion with lucky wins and draws. Personally, I’d live without the points form the lucky wins and draws if only Grayson could avoid us have the shambolic and soul-sapping performances. If that left us in the mid-table obscurity that the Chairman has financed then so be it: only then, in my eyes, have we achieved the best we can from all current resources available and Grayson leaves no questions left to be asked about his stewardship.

      • Irving08

        @TSS@Dje

        It is not sensible to base a probability like position in a league table on mean average salaries because there is no one-to- one correlation at this level between the quality of a footballer and the salary he receives – it does not take into account, for example, young players like Lees and White who are on peanuts no doubt but have come through the ranks. And – this is purely subjective – when I hear managers like the Reading boss (to name but one), come on the TV and talk intelligently and interestingly about the game I sometimes find myself thinking, why can’t our manager be like this ?

      • Dje

        @Irving08@TSS

        I’d be interested to know what the results of the long-term correlation between average wage levels and final league positions are. Without that I don’t dispute your criticism, Irving08. Although, your point about youth being cheap and often hit above their pay is valid to an extent, but I’d guess that we have been one of the least adept at using our (cheap) youth players in our starting eleven. This year we have one regular (Lees) and another who on current form and tactics seems regualr (White). Last season we occasionally played White, occasionally played Lees. Two seasons before we got some mileage out of Delph. But we haven’t been a very efficient exploiter of youth for a good half dozen years at least.

        I notice our current crop of U-18s/U-21s are starting to get a bit of press coverage on the LUFC site: Poleon, the Turners, Cairns seems OK, and then there’s the hot prospect of Gimple too. It’ll be interesting to see if we start bringing them through now Grayson has threatened six or so of our first team to be dropped and moved on out.

      • TSS

        @Dje@Irving08 I’m not saying Grayson shouldn’t be held accountable when we perform badly, but the things people complain about and attribute to Grayson are beyond his control. Numerous people on this thread alone have blamed Grayson’s failings in the transfer market – that he didn’t get in some pace, or adequately strengthen the side. But people ignore the fact he couldn’t because he doesn’t do the negotiations.

        We’re in sixth which is more than anyone could have hoped for given that we don’t have the depth to mix things up when we hit a bad patch of form. Players don’t perform every week unfortunately, not for any team, and the big sides get through these patches by rotating their team – we don’t have that luxury because Bates won’t pay for it.

        What you’re left with is a decent enough first team that hasn’t got the depth to sustain a title challenge. The play-offs therefore are the best we can hope for, and exactly what we’re on course to achieve.

        It’s frustrating to see the team perform badly, and Grayson has to fix that. But this knee-jerk “sack everyone” attitude we’ve adopted in the last twelve months that is used as standard response to a defeat is ludicrous.

        Bates hasn’t paid for a top two team. The investment is sorely lacking, so the best we can hope for is a play-off finish. Why take shots at the only man I know who is willing to work for Bates and is capable of achieving that goal?

        You have two choices really – you can either get over it, and save yourself the stress of all this moaning. Or you can aim your complaints in the right direction and try and force the issue of no investment. Either way, Bates has funded a mid-table side – people need to start appreciating the fact we’re overachieving and be thankful for it.

  • The Scratching Shed

    Totally agree with Neil. The home crowd is on the players backs within minutes of kick off with jeers and sighs. I’ve likened it to Arsenal several times because that’s the closest comparison I can think of. It’s embarrassing.

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  • number1inyorkshire

    to be fair to paynter and leeds he was a goal scorer equal to beckford and leeds took a punt it was for me worth it but so far it has gone wrong will he come back and play a part i guess not but we do not know ,is he playing at Brighton ,

    Reading took a punt on a player we should have had a punt on Adam Lefondre and he is doing ok

  • number1inyorkshire

    thats exactly a good reason to be 1st because everyone else is shite what more of an incentive is there

  • number1inyorkshire

    @TSS thatsexactly the reason to be top cos everyone else is shite this team as it is will not finish in a playoff place .if we sttle for 6th we are giving in we want top

  • Andrew Rosindale

    yeah but away support also sits in kop and south stand at home so whys it not same has away the electric

  • Steve Colbert

    We miss Gradel more than we realise

  • number1inyorkshire

    seems to me that there are various figures being banded about players wages when noone really knows the true figures.seems to me though that every other manager seems to always mention how much money leeds have to spend in a jealous kind of fashion .so who do we believe

    is our actual squad of 1st team decent money earners that big

    there is 28 on our squad list for saturdays game of which 4 are loans

    5 including white will be on minimum wage 4/5 others including howson , parker ,lees will be on a good wage but not shed loads .and taylor is on a short deal which i guess will not be much

    how many players do we need and who is surplus OBRIEN for 1

    and how much is the full budget

    • TSS

      @number1inyorkshire Which managers are these exactly? I recall A (singular) manager talking enviously about Simon Grayson’s budget ahead of a match. This was a manager of a relegation candidate team who has absolutely no idea what SG has to spend. Seems you’ve fallen into the same trap of speculating and simply making things up – unless you have proof of other managers “talking enviously” of course?

      • Matthew

        @TSS

        I agree TSS, I missed his point there. Only the Barnsley manager has openly said he thinks Leeds have way more money lol. That said If we’re needing a manager, Gus Poyet has less money than us confirmed to work with, seems the logical choice if we’re needing a replacement.

      • number1inyorkshire

        @TSS barnsley manager is the one that has said it recently in public but its always the case that the inference of big spending leeds and big crowds etc and well you know it ,if anything keith hills comments were taken out of context .

        All managers look on enviously at what leeds and their pulling power is allegedly and how much allegedly the budget is.

        fact is you ,i or no one else knows what our budget is at leeds or anywhere else but if you had a poll of other managers i bet leeds would come in the top 3 of percieved big spenders ,

        just in reply to yourself and charose course bates is shifting the blame game to Grayson i know that we all do but sadly for grayson he is not in a position sadly to sack bates .

        going back to finances you say that bates is holding back wages well who is to say that we have money for them ,oh i know we have big crowds paying loads of money for tickets home and away which equals big wages .well that the same as everyone else including other managers ,i bet aside from 1 or 2 every other manger would trade places with grayson 1or 2 might get a chance soon

        • Matthew

          @number1inyorkshire

          We don’t really have much pulling power in the transfer market though, we can easily get some decent loanees, but when it comes to paying their wages we let ourselves down. That said we only seem to get the attention of former players who didn’t want to leave the club to begin with.

          This isn’t so much a blame game for Bates though, if a manager isn’t performing and has lost the dressing room/is losing the dressing room, he has to go. His comments lately suggest he’s losing the dressing room, his you have to work for your money, improve, poor performances, no answers besides we’l get new people in if you don’t perform.

  • number1inyorkshire

    i did indeed you know i hope and wish grayson can turn us round but i honestly do think he can not it gives me no pleasure to say it but we need some one to get us playing .i know we are 6th but i watch a lot of teams in our division and even teams below us seem to pay better than us

    • number1inyorkshire

      maybe we could do with just a change of backroom staff but not davies ,thats another point we are not gonna go into admin at least i think plenty will .

      nigel adkins for me or poyet some one who wants to play footy and score goals.

      when was the last time we were entertained at leeds we are not being entertained .just watching palace v brum palace have just scored but even at 0-0 it was better than we get

  • WIll23

    TSS, I detect that even you realise it is no longer credible to maintain the support of SG, though outwardly some humanity in you is perhaps the reason to retain a front of support on the site. Misplaced loyalty to a losing hand however is never beneficial.

    Personally, I do not think it is difficult to detect whether your club has a decent manager in charge. I just came to the conclusion….that Grayson is not the manager to take the club seriously forward, in a manner akin to Wilkinson, for example, …long, long ago. We do not have a manager who stands heads and shoulders above the average, as decent a man as he may (or may not be). He is probably good enough to make a career out of the game, but not good enough for our club right now. Similar to Blackwell. It’s not the end of the world for him to leave. The club is bigger than him.

    But, I despair that Bates will ever pick the right man for the job and yes, we may even go further backwards with a new man in charge such is Bates’ “peculiar” character and nature. Bates needs to take a long hard look at himself, as does Harvey, to realise they need to change their approach to the development of the playing side of our club. But I am not surprised they have no confidence in opening the wallet for SG whose transfer record has proven to be just sort of terrible on the law of averages.

    It is not just how the team is disorganised on the pitch that damns SG and his staff, but his transfer record most of all. He has not been able to construct anything other than an ordinary team, which in three years, is a poor show.

    Blackpool fans reached the same conclusion on SG, and fortunately for them, along came a saviour in Bates to take SG off their hands. I see no similar white knight to rescue us from SG other than the Bates axe which he is sharpening with each passing week.

    • TSS

      @WIll23 You detect nothing of the sort mate, if I thought there was someone better out there then I’d say so – I’ve never been afraid to admit fault in the past.

      Grayson has achieved everything asked of him and is currently in sixth when you lot were expecting a year of mid-table mediocrity thanks to Bates’ lack of investment – yet you still find reason to moan.

      If you’re naive enough to think there is someone better out there, who would put up with Bates, work for pittance and can guide us to promotion without any investment, then that’s fine – but who exactly?

      • WIll23

        @TSS@WIll23 Bates is certainly the fly in the ointment, not from an investment perspective, but simply due to his poor track record with managerial appointments on average.

        The “pittance” aspect of the argument has long since being buried re: what funds Grayson has had to work with. What is hugely apparent is how he has managed those resources (by way of his own choices).

        As for the “but we are 6th”, that position is, as near as damn it, middle of the table give or take a couple of defeats over Xmas.

        Crucially, it’s not where we are now, but where we are heading that is the question that most fans have now answered. Thankfully.

        The direction this squad is moving based on Grayons’s transfer record, lack of tactical nous, inability to stand by the players he has bought (an endless list), inability to bring the best out of players, are more than enough reasons to be pessimistic over his long term prospects and to question his abilities. No one has a right to succeed or to be retained in a job out of charity or pity.

        And, I would certainly be interested in the arguments for maintaining Grayson as manager?

        I briefly looked at how Norwich played tonight: Lambert knows how to get the best out of his players week in week out for the past two years with barely a lapse. He’s built a team that plays with consistent purpose, belief and tactical nous. I wish Grayson could deliver even some of that, but the evidence is he can’t. Time for a change.

  • number1inyorkshire

    tell you what if staff members at Bates broadcasting knew my wage i would be asking questions as to why ,my guess is he is like the rest of us guessing

  • mattbb1

    just read that we have signed Robbie Rodgers, apparently a tricky winger, from columbus crew, hopefully more Somma than Grella.. that says to me that Bates wont be sacking Grayson anytime soon, and quite right, for gods sake guys do get off grayson and the teams collective backs, you cant pay peanuts for a squad and then expect it to waltz all the way to the PL. If we finish 4th this season with the lack of investment we have had it will be a miracle.

    • Matthew

      @mattbb1

      You fail to understand much of the criticism aimed at Grayson and the team is justified. If you have watched the team at Elland Road you’d see a lot of the points people are making, unfortunatly armchair fans are quick to leap to the defense of someone/a team they’ve barely seen play, for obvious reasons. Thus why I don’t take much notice of opinions of Leeds fans from outside the country, mostly as they speak shit most of the time.

      • Gryff

        TBF I barely see anybody defending Grayson. But those I do see tend to be those who go to away matches – where the performances tend to be completely different.

        And I bet they’d say the same about lads who only attend ER.

        • HampshireWhite

          @Gryff Simon Grayson averages 1.75 points per game in his three years – 2 points a game is automatic promotion every time! He’s done that on one of the smallest budgets in the championship. That’s an outstanding record in anyone’s book! Too many white’s fans are still living in the days when we were a major player in the premiership – we haven’t got the resources for those sort of players any more, but our current squad gets judged against those standards. With our current squad we’ve been there or thereabouts in the championship for a season and a half. A couple of good signings in the January window can push us into the premier league. We’re one point worse off than Norwich were this time last season.

  • mattbb1

    by the wayy TSS – is the offer of submitting an article still open to all? i may have a go!

    • TSS

      @mattbb1 Yeah, there’s a link at the top of the page mate – it’s a permanent feature.

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