Tell me what you want, what you really, really want? Matt BB April 11, 2012 Leeds United Birmingham City taught us a footballing lesson in February that spelt the end for Simon Grayson as Leeds manager. The final straw for Messrs Bates and Harvey. What was wrong? Well the obvious answer was of course that we weren’t progressing as a team. The message one would read onto both the timing of Grayson’s departure, immediately after the transfer window closed, and Shaun Harveys press release was that in their opinion Grayson wasn’t getting enough from the current squad. That they believed someone else could. Step forward man-manager extraordinaire and promotion specialist Neil Warnock. Following the script his mere presence at our home match versus Doncaster saw us overturn a 2 goal deficit and run out 3-2 winners. Sure enough after this performance the thumbscrews tightened 0-0 at Portsmouth, a narrow defeat at home to Southampton, a match we utterly dominated, and then 0-0 at Hull. So the defence was fixed right? All that was missing was for McCormack and Becchio to rediscover their confidence and start scoring again? Sure thing, at Middlesbrough we held off the playoff contenders, kept a clean sheet – and banged in 2 well made goals. Phew. But that’s as good as it’s got. Of the following 6 games we won one, drew one and lost four. And have conceded 14 goals. Grayson’s last 6 saw us lose 3, win 2, and draw one, and concede 12. Not a hell of a lot better but I know which I’d choose. Many of us thought when Redfearns tortuous tenure ended that we’d written off any chance of the play offs throwing away 6 points, and as Simon Cowell might put it “you know what?…” we were right. Warnock hasn’t made a blind bit of difference to the squad, so just what was the reason for firing our last manager? Are we now acknowledging that he was right? That we massively overachieved with a mediocre squad last year? That we sold what quality we did have, and were hoping by some miracle to go up on the cheap? Our recent poll concerning the biggest mistakes of last year saw selling our best players come top of the poll, but closely followed by us not signing any good replacements. The average fan (and 800 votes isn’t too bad for a random cross section ken before it’s dismissed) can see it – so why couldn’t the board? so how are either of those issues the manager’s fault? Neil Warnock may well yet get us promoted next season, but the signs so far are not encouraging. A dreadful set of results, and unwillingness to accept any blame, and an immediate cap in hand for transfer funds. Now before anyone thinks this is Ken Bates writing under a nom de plume, it isn’t. Why persist with players that it’s obvious aren’t going to get us anywhere? Why wait until now to try out Robbie Rogers, Ramon Nunez? Why even bother to bench Forssell, Paynter, Bruce – players you’ll probably sell in the summer? Why persist with Paul Connolly at right back after by his own admission his lack of discipline and poor performances? Why not, (as many have suggested, myself included) try out some of our youth players? And see who can cut it next season? Worst of all what the heck has happened to discipline generally? Connolly, Thomson and Brown three consecutive sendings off in three defeats. Discipline is totally the managers remit – and Pugh can count himself very very lucky too on that count. Personally when I’ve had a bad day at the office I might well call it a bad one, and leave on the stroke of 5.30, but Warnock’s telling us he’s wishing it was May already? So are we officially giving up already? How on earth do you get players to play in that scenario? Warnock’s already admitted he thinks the malaise is down to some players realising the games up, but whose fault is that – if not the managers? They might be bad players, but did Watford, Ipswich, Leicester, Cardiff give up when they went 6 points adrift? Of course not. What worries me for point one is the total lack of direction here. Are we planning for next season, or are we on some kind of masochistic joyride to torture Leeds fans everywhere? Lots of question marks on this page, and to be frank, just too many question marks generally over whats going on. Warnock expects investment, but Ken wants a smaller squad. Warnock says he’ll walk if he doesn’t get what he wants, Kens put us £5m in hock to an unnamed (ahem) creditor for corporate boxes. The signs are very ominous indeed. Now Neil Warnock is one of the smartest cookies in football, part of me is saying that this is Warnock setting out his stall, he doesn’t want to `roll the dice’ on promotion. He knows the current squad needs to be moved on en masse. Perhaps he just couldn’t be doing with the play-offs this season, rather going out on a high with a top two finish next season. That the current squad needs to be shown to the board for what they are – useless. That whats needed is not consolidation and motivation, but termination and re-construction. But this is too much supposition, I remain concerned If the boards initial briefing was to use current resources to get us promoted, the brief seems to have changed wholesale. Rebuild for next season as the current squad wasn’t good enough. If Simon Grayson was refused this in December then it strikes you his biggest error was a 7th placed finish last season, as opposed to a 15th placed survival – perverse just doesn’t cover it.. It begs the question – just what does Ken Bates actually want? And does he actually want Promotion.