Never Trust A Smurf In Sheeps’ Clothing Matt BB February 23, 2012 Leeds United 19 Comments Bates feels 10 years younger… and he’s calling the tune again… The change in atmosphere around our great club has been palpable over the last week. LUST have opted not to protest ahead of the Southampton game. Ken’s personally giving away shirts to children, and will for a small fee be pictured kissing babies of season ticket holders. Probably. The last part of course is perhaps something of an embellishment of the truth by myself. Not even the departure of Andros Townsend and Fabian Delph could dampen our enthusiasm – Now Neil Warnock’s manager what could possibly go wrong? You’d have to go back to pre-Majestyk incident Leeds United to find such levels of general positivity as TSS pointed out earlier in the week. But are we all getting ahead of ourselves? Neil Warnock is no miracle worker, positive he may be, and probably a more experienced motivator and disciplinarian than Larry ever was, but the squad remains strikingly similar as I sit here on Thursday afternoon, to the one on Saturday. Despite noises being made about a recruit by the weekend, 24 hours to go and not a sniff…? One can’t help wondering if Kens just `trousered’ (to use his colourful turn of phrase) the Townsend and Delph wage money.. Early days but I think we’d have every right to be sceptical. The ticket prices remain too high, the issue of ownership of our club and lack of inward serious investment remain, and ostensibly all that has changed is the manager. Now it could be that Neil Warnock’s appointment is a sufficient statement of our intent to get promoted to satisfy we `morons’ but I wonder if it is a rather populist statement? And not based on good grounding. The limitations that Warnock faces in terms of drafting in new players remain, we are constrained by the rules of the emergency loan market, and that works of course both ways. Moving on a grumpy Townsend was probably not too much of an ask – but Paynter, Connolly, Vayrynen – who’s going to touch them? I found LUST’s statement concerning Warnock’s appointment interesting insofar as it pretty much says – credit where its due and they will welcome positive change from the board when it takes place, but in some respects had they not – then it would have been easy for Ken to label them `sickpots’ never happy with anything he does, and opposed to progress – their position was effectively made for them, like so many Rodents a-following the piper – Ken is calling the tune. And we all have little choice but to turn our `frowns upside down’ and follow. Ken has pulled off a PR masterstroke, and if Warnock himself is to be believed a financial one, as he’s taken a pay cut and waived his contractual rights to take the job. He’s also managed to save even more money by all accounts with Grayson waiving part of his settlement to join Huddersfield. Smurf Hats off to Ken Bates, he has cost us 6 points at a critical time with the rudderless HMS Redfearn limping into port against Doncaster, sold our best players from last season, seen his gates crash by over 3,000 per home game, sacked our best young manager for nearly 20 years, and has even this week presided over us losing loanees? In the wake of all of this the attention has remained firmly focused on the Warnock appointment and platitude after platitude has swamped the official website “When Ken Met Neil part One…” “The sequel”… and so it goes on and on and on.. Bates feels 10 Years younger apparently too. I think my heads about to explode.. Now I’ll temper what is becoming a disjointed rant and say that I welcome Warnock’s appointment, and I really want him to do well, but the structural and commercial problems that beset Leeds United are still there. Getting into the play offs is also a tough call, this too is all down to Bates’ failure to back his last manager fully (and that includes moving out unsuitable players) which led to, an unplanned sacking, an inadequate deputy and 6 points lost. In summary we’re worse off than we were. We’d sunk so low that beating the worst team in the league was seen as some sort of turning point. Now I’m expecting a note from TSS (David) suggesting I post this on Clarke One Nil, who have risen from the crypt of late, but i think in the interests of balance we need to be very very wary of Bates’ motives here. He has actually done very little indeed, and as a master manipulator has managed to come out smelling of roses. One can only hope that he really has had a road to Damascus type moment and realised that he can’t get by without the fans support, and this is step one on his long march. I really hope it is, but my current emotional state is similar to my 19-year-old self, trying to trust my then errant girlfriend – the heart says yes – the head says no! I found myself on the Leeds Website Superstore hovering over `buy now’ this week, a present for my son but I quickly came to my senses – my internal message – Does A Lucas The Kop Cat ever really change his spots?