With just 12 days to go until the 2012/13 Championship season gets under way, the Leeds United squad is starting to shape up.

Neil Warnock promised significant changes from the team that faltered last season, and the clear-out attempt has been a resounding success, with big earners like Andy O’Brien cleared from the wage bill and Billy Paynter expected to complete his move to Doncaster Rovers today.

A slow start to the summer left Neil Warnock considering the exit as a lengthy takeover saga unfolded and there was no cash available for a handful of signings he had lined up. It’s been a case of sell before you can buy for the Leeds United boss, making squad building a frustrating process. The loss of Robert Snodgrass was another blow to Neil Warnock’s preparations, but with no fewer than 10 arrivals so far, there has been some positives.

The big question is, has Warnock been able to do enough? Did the arrivals come too late, and has Warnock’s side had time to gel? Will the manager be able to get the “icing on the cake” signings he stresses are of paramount importance to our chances of success this season?

All of these unknowns are reflected in supporter confidence. On social networks, fans are predicting every possible outcome for the forthcoming campaign, from a season of outright dominance and automatic finish, to a poor, forgettable season culminating in a relegation scrap.

We’ve opened a poll below for you to cast your predictions for the 2012/13 season, and, as ever, encourage you to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Where will Leeds finish 2012/13?

View Results

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  • BillyWhite

    same old story. key players lost, a lot of frees and has beens brought in and no one that really inspires confidence. think well struggle myself because there are lot of strong teams in this division

    • TSS

      I think it’s a solid enough base, just needs some flair signings. Little worried that the squad is coming together so late and there are so many changes as we all saw what happened to Leicester last season.

      • Benno

        @ BillyWhite: There’s plenty to inspire confidence – a completely reshaped back four, for example.

        @TSS: The squad isn’t ‘coming together’ that late. The overriding majority of players who line up for us on August 18 will have played together in Cornwall. If it’s a case of slotting a couple of marquee signings in with the rest, then I’m less concerned given that they should be more capable of adapting to their new surroundings.

        • Jumblatts

          and also dont forget that half of our squad was portsmouth last season, so they will know each other aswell

  • Captaincrash

    I forecast reasonably unattractive football and a scrape into the play offs. If offered now I would also take that in all honesty.

    • TSS

      Unattractive but effective is typical Warnock. If it gets us promoted, so be it.

      • Captaincrash

        There would be no complaints from me!! Mind you those cold Tuesday nights when it’s 0-0 hoofball and you lose the feeling in your feet, your fingers are too cold to use the phone etc. will be a tester.

  • Impossible to predict until the signings have concluded (in and out of club). At present hovering between lower play off places and upper mid table. If we sign a couple of the “icings on the cake” in a right winger and striker with pace and quality then we can hopefully fight for the automatics.

  • Playoffs my foot. We’re 2-3 quality, quality signings away from that – signings which I don’t believe we will ever make.

    We seriously lack creativity, but more worryingly we don’t have a set piece merchant either so I can’t see where goals are coming from. Just goes to show you how delusional a lot of our fans are.

    • Oxford White

      Fans being the optimum word, hence our glass half full attitude

    • Jumblatts

      Im sorry, but Mccormack can strike a mean freekick. Theres also Varney, and austin, who from what i have seen of them look like they have a fair shot on them aswell

  • Dje

    Any icing on the cake is a bit late in the transfer window as whichever club we bought from would have to replace them – so we’d have to pay top dollar for a right winger and a striker.

    Unless we have to wait for the 24 man Premiership squads are named to see who is an outcast?

    So I’m wondering if the loan market might be our best outlet for the icing sugar. Give a month on some Premiership bad boy will have fallen out with a megalomaniac manager and be desperate to jump ship. I’ll let Joey Barton and Craig Bellamy fight it out for that right. Literally.

    • TSS

      Any mention of the loan market sends a cold shiver down my spine nowadays.

      • Dje

        True, but hopefully Warnock is better connected in the loan market than Grayson was.

  • teetreew

    we will suprise a few people l believe

  • Martin Badger Chadwick

    im quite confident over this upcoming season. yes there has been a lot of free transfers and warnock has had to balance the books which as no doubt hindered his squad building process. But lets not forget we are leeds fans. when was the last time we saw 10 incoming transfers in one season with 5 of them been a reliable back 5? the biggest complaint last season was our defense so i dont understand this pessimism in warnock signings when we have a highly capable and proven back line! yes we dont have the flair or the goal scorers but im happy to know that i can go to bed every night knowing that elland fortress road has risen once again!

  • timmoslufc

    Need more quality otherwise mid table at best !!!! Same old while Bates is still at the helm !!!!

  • Colin

    I’ll be honest, I’m getting a bit concerned now. Only 12 days until our first game and for me, this is one of the least inspiring Leeds United teams I can remember for a long time. I see Michael Brown has just signed up for another year. No team that plans for promotion should have a Michael Brown in it – he’s just not good enough. It’s a waste of money, you might as well put in one of the youth/reserve players.
    Our teams have always had a gem or two in them – Howson, Gradel, Beckford, Snodgrass – now we have none. I’m sure the team will work hard, but I can’t see anyone of the quality of the names I just mentioned.
    If it stays like this, this season could be embarrassing – i can’t see how that lineup is going to beat Blackburn. Blackpool, Bolton, Wolves, Leicester, Cardiff, Boro etc.
    And there’s only 12 days for a takeover to happen. If it doesn’t, then Ken’s still here, and that’s definitely a reason for not being positive about our prospects.

  • Henryv

    The takeover has taken so long we seem to have forgotten it.
    If/when it happens, we should have a bit of money to approach some players that the selling clubs are not happy to lose.
    Our new signings so far have all been surplus, and the Portsmouth situation has been very good for us.
    We do need an exciting winger and a fast striker (who can score the odd goal).
    We also need another centre back. At the moment we have Pearce and Lees. Paddy K is a long way off.

    • Benno

      Personally I’d like to see us bag Templeton from Hearts – the boy looks like a serious prospect and would more than compensate for the sale of Snodgrass.

      Jim Jeffries was once quoted as saying he wouldn’t let him leave for less than £15 million. Well, Jeffries isn’t there any more, and one to two million sounds a little more realistic for an SPL player in the last year of his contract!

  • Colin

    I’ll be honest, I’m getting a bit concerned now. Only 12 days until our first game and for me, this is one of the least inspiring Leeds United teams I can remember for a long time. I see Michael Brown has just signed up for another year. No team that plans for promotion should have a Michael Brown in it – he’s just not good enough. It’s a waste of money, you might as well put in one of the youth/reserve players.
    Our teams have always had a gem or two in them – Howson, Gradel, Beckford, Snodgrass – now we have none. I’m sure the team will work hard, but I can’t see anyone of the quality of the names I just mentioned.
    If it stays like this, this season could be embarrassing – i can’t see how that lineup is going to beat Blackburn. Blackpool, Bolton, Wolves, Leicester, Cardiff, Boro etc.
    And there’s only 12 days for a takeover to happen. If it doesn’t, then Ken’s still here, and that’s definitely a reason for not being positive about our prospects.

    • Jumblatts

      Theres only 12 days until the season starts. this doesnt mean that the deadline for a takeover is in 12 days, and regardless of that, we now have a back 5 (and austin) who i can see being very hard to break down this season, which is a welcome change to the last few seasons, how many times have we lost points that we should have won? I agree with what captain crash said above, it wont be pretty, but thats not warnocks style, and as long as it gets us out of this division then i dont mind

      • Colin

        How do you know the back 5 are going to be hard to break down?
        How do you know Austin will be any good?Please enlighten me…

        • TSS

          Fair point Colin.

          On paper, the defence Grayson built was solid. It had very good spells too. Before Lonergan was injured, we’d strung together a few clean sheets. Then Chubs and AOB happened.

          • Colin

            The concern I have is that these pre-season games have been like shooting fish in a barrel. It’s one thing pummelling Bodmin, but it’s another playing Wolves and Blackpool in 3 days when we start the season. None of the teams we’ve met have been a tough test for us and that includes Saturday’s game vs Shrewsbury, which will be the only game that Austin can play together with his team-mates before the Wolves match. It’s conceivable that we will go into the Wolves match with a player/s that will never have played a match with his team-mates before.
            The only one out of the back 5 & Austin, that we definitely know is capable is Tom Lees, because he’s the only one we’ve seen play competitively for Leeds. Good defences take seasons to gel, not a Cornwall pre-season. That worries me. A lot.

          • TSS

            Totally agree. Soon as the pre-season schedule was announced I was a little concerned. We always play “fish in a barrel” sides to get match fitness, but there’s generally more competitive fixtures afterwards. Cup game messed that up for us.

          • TimPM

            Must admit while I reckon we’ll probably finish in the playoffs I thought the same thing as Colin over the last few games. The thing is, the defence looks good, but we’ve often played Lees on the right, Paddy ‘Bionic Man’ K or Cranie, etc. in the defence. We’ve not actually had a chance to see the defence play against a decent side yet.

            Wasn’t at Preston but our defence doesn’t look great from the highlights, and I guess that’s the kind of lineup we might have with 1-2 injuries?

            But either way if things come together I think we’ve maybe underrated ourselves. Each of our midfielders can dominate and put it to high tempo, White looks to have found some shooting boots? And he was drawing fouls constantly from decent defenders last season, Varney if he hits form was wanted by Blackpool in the Prem once, and Warnock’s still looking for two more.

            BTW Vinnie Jones on twitter is giving his approval to Peltier & Austin so that’s good

          • Matthew

            Mostly why I’m so critical of Rachubka, his performances led to Grayson getting sacked, at least in my opinion, think we would of been a bit higher up in the table had he not been in goal, and Graysons till in the job, thats just me though.
            Had Grayson still been in the job, think we would of lost less games than we had under Warnock, you said yourself, he had the team punching well above their own weight, playoffs could of been possible.

        • Jumblatts

          i dont know that they will be hard to break down, but judging on how they have played in the past (admittedly not together) for their old clubs instills a fair amount of confidence in me. Again i know we haven’t seen them play as a unit yet, but for the majority of last season i was going into games worried that if we did get a lead that we would throw it away again. What with warnocks abrupt manner and the current defence on paper, i cant see that happening too often this season; the players would get a right rollocking if it did, wheras under grayson i can imagine him going into the dressing room and saying something like ‘its ok lads, maybe next week’ dont get me wrong i liked grayson, but he didnt seem to be the sort of manager who would lay into a player for cocking up. The Zak thompson red card last season is what im talking about with warnock, the lad got a right blasting

    • Topvallywhite

      No team going for promotion should have a brown in it ? Shame warnock never knew at the blunts

      • Colin

        Brown was in his mid 20’s then, not his mid 30’s. Either way, Sheff Utd sold Brown in 2004. They got promoted in 2006.

        • pat

          Grayson put together a far superior team going forward but we never had a good defence or we would have been in the prem, our attack with snods,howson,kilkenny,johnson, mc, bechio. gradel, clayton was brilliant and incomparible with the shit weve got now danny pugh flying past players on the wing!? norris controlling the midfield!? grayson never had the contacts and experience in the loan and transfer market that warnock has which is why hes got us probly one of the best defences in the league which will ensure no 3-7 confidence destroyers at home again. we have 1 creative player in mc [why the fuck did we sell clayton] so we will play direct footy i should think which means good wingers and strikers and i trust warnock in the transfer market for that but inless we get a good passing midfield player itl be low quality football and a mid table battle.
          i think if bates would have backed grayson last summer to keep gradel, howson and sign a few defenders wed have gone up easy, but if he doesnt back warnock a bit more its gonna be boring as shit this year.

          • pat

            Any manager that gets this leeds team to the prem under a psychopathic chairman who fancys himself as some kind of kray twin and is actually just a corrupt toff senile twat, deserves to be hailed as a miracle worker.

  • Colin

    Test

    • TSS

      What are you testing? lol. You posted the last comment twice.

  • leedslunatic

    Playoffs.
    Happy with most of the signings Warnock has made, and I’m sure he’ll know how to get the best out of them. Could definitely do with sorting out Ross’s contract, and bring in one or two good quality signings soon. My only concern is that with so many new faces… will they gel quickly so we’re not playing catch-up all season.

  • mrbigwheels

    A bit of icing on the cake… with flair, this new look comment section, TSS. Well done!…… whoooooosh.

  • Deano

    Trust in Warnock to find us one wide midfielder and a pacey striker then the team will be complete, hard to beat, right up our street, for we are Leeds

  • Matthew

    Heart says going up.
    Mind says mid table unless we get a few more decent players in.

  • Matthew

    Hey TSS, noticed your tweet asking why we need Brown still. Thats simple, pair him with Austin if Harry Kewell signs for a Championship side and watch them work their magic.
    Think you’d agree that Browns wages would be good value if Brown works his magic Walt Disney style on Kewell.

    • Christian

      I’d pay top money to watch that mate ;)

  • Sunnyleeds

    Why all this negativism. Give the team a chance. The problem with us Leeds fan is that a fifth of us are more negative than one would expect to be. I understand that this is due to the passion that we have for the club, but I believe that we should be cautious on what to say at this stage. It is the opening of the season, we have a tested manager yet quite a few thing that they can see things much better than him. All the criticism at this stage is unjustified. I hope NW’s new look will perform and we end up at least in the play-off stages. Let us be a little more positive for those who have worked hard to get this team together. I am sure it has not been easy.

  • heart says play off head says mid table

  • badras

    i think we will be strong defensibly and keep the ball well this season but at the moment i can’t see where the goals are going to come from to push for any higher than the playoffs

  • Scott Leeds fan in leicester

    Why do we need a take over to buy players?? What about the £4million from sale of our last 2 captains. Bates is sucking our club dry.

  • Dr Zen

    I think anyone who has us as champions is a bit delusional. We really lack quality. You’d think Austin came from Barcelona not Brann, the way people are talking, and you’d think Pompey were a Premiership side that were docked 30 points and would have been top 6 if not. I trust Warnock to have planned out a side that will not be easy to beat, and I think that a couple of quality buys would put us into contention, but seriously, this is a tougher division than some people seem to think. Playoffs if we buy CMS and a winger, struggling to get there if we don’t. Hoping to be surprised though!

  • Colin

    So 80% think we’re going to finish in the Top 6? I hope you’re right! My original comment that I thought was realistic, got an absolute slating on the new scoring system!
    I really can’t buy into all the optimism – the team that started last season wasn’t great, but it did include Howson & Snodgrass – as yet I don’t think they’ve been adequately replaced.
    And Warnock has only ever done well where he’s had cash and/or time. He’s said himself he hasn’t got the time, and I haven’t seen the cash yet. I know he’s got 7 teams promoted, but so has Dave ‘Harry’ Bassett, and we saw a little bit of that clown when he was helping out Dennis Wise.
    To all the positive people out there (who are clicking on the minus button on my comment) I just hope you don’t start berating Warnock if the football is ugly, we get knocked out of cups, and we don’t get off to a flying start. If this team is to do well, I think it will take time for them to gel. Heck, it’s Lees, White, Pugh, Becchio & Ross and a load of new players.
    If we don’t do well against Wolves and Blackpool I hope you don’t start moaning.

    • TSS

      You should register (or login with Twitter) it creates a profile for you (like you see clicking my name) that stacks up your score. That way we can see how hated you are overall! Haha.

      • I see TSS. Done. Here goes. These count as Tesco Clubcard points right?
        Also, why does my comment which was more recent than the one at the top, appear lower? Is it not based on when the original comment was posted?

        • TSS

          It is at the top on mine? Maybe the votes weight comments? I’ll look into it.

          • Ah that’s it. Thanks TSS.

  • Sell before you buy? Bates hasencouraged the leaving of our best players for years but the money has gone on his vanity projects and ‘offshore investments’. Why should this now change?

  • WestcountryWhite

    What NW knows (and SG obviously doesn’t) is that successful championship campaigns are built on consistency. Last season we beat Forest 4-0 away then got done 7-3 at ER. That says it all.

    The current squad might not have the class to do a Newcastle, but we’re also not going to ship hatfuls against teams like Blackpool and Barnsley.
    That back 5 (6 including austin) is good enough for the prem. And between Ross, Beccs, Somma, Aidy, Rogers, Nunez, Poleon and Varney, we’ve already got enough options going forward to get the goals to one-nil our way into the play-offs.
    It might not be pretty. But if you want pretty go support Arsenal. We are Leeds. And if NW can get Beckford and Boyd/Templeton then the top two is definitely on.
    New season… c’mon boys! MOT

    • Jumblatts

      Hear hear!

    • Tare

      We do need promotion; class players ala HW mould. leaders on the pitch, playing their trade at least 7/10 and keep the ship steady. We all have a bad day in the workplace now and then but to learn from mistakes and get some new blood power in veins that is the ultimate learning process. Last season, I will try to forget that too much passengers, mavericks were there etc. when there was really three window of opportunity to get to the top six at least. What I am really looking this collective like any Big teams has had when winning something, if one good example from Spain Worlc Cup 1982 when Brazil was the best of the lot with Socrates, Zico at helm but faced this Paolo Rossi’s team of winners, so there is always possibility here in what ever level we are playing. Tare

  • TimPM

    Believe Austin takes the odd free kick? Might be wrong there though?

    • Jumblatts

      even so, i think ross will be our main set piece maestro next season, providing we can keep hold of him

  • Jumblatts

    You said it yourself: bates is sucking the club dry

  • LUFCFAN1919

    The current team, when you look at it, is OK. Nothing special but pretty solid. What it needs is a bit of flair. A pacey, skilful unpredictable winger like Gradel would be great and a proven striker to provide competition for McCormack & Becchio up front. Or, if McCormack leaves, a quality striker that can score 20 goals a season. Hope this happens and then I think it’s done!
    Team for next year?
    GK: Kenny RB: Peltier CB: Pearce CB: Lees LB: Drury
    RM: ???? CM: Austin CM: Green/Norris LM: White
    ST: Becchio ST: McCormack/???

    Personally I’d try to sign Nicky Maynard as the striker (We’ve been linked with him) and George Boyd or Templeton as right winger! (Again, we’ve been linked with them)

  • LUFCFAN1919

    This is the person who posted about the flair winger & proven striker BTW

    Although Robbie Rogers could fill the right wing spot and Somma could be cover if funds weren’t there I guess but they are there.

  • beckham76

    More than happy with our first team, much better than last season over all… weve not struggled to score goals as we have the same front 2….weve struggled to defend goals.. and we have a new defence… so thats a plus.. better manager.. plus…
    yes we lost snodgrass but he didnt want to be there so keeping him couldve caused more damage… would like another wideman.. but lets face facts warnocks team play thru the middle anyway so its not end of the world.. think this team can get us to january in the top 6.. and then hopefully the take over wouldve gone thru and we can add the icing on the cake for the 2nd half of the season..

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