It’s been 13 months since he took over from Simon Grayson, and most of us weren’t too sure about his appointment. In that respect, nothing’s changed, but with our play-off hopes virtually non-existent, Neil Warnock has said he’s willing to leave at the end of the season as soon as it’s mathematically impossible for Leeds to go up and is discussing his successor.
During his time at Elland Road, Warnock has had a few bright moments, but there have been plenty of reasons to consider his appointment a monumental failure. He had a great record of winning promotion with the likes of Sheffield United, but it’s out of the question here. Now that he’s going, we’ll look back on his ups and downs.
Cup upsets galore
We might have been disappointing in the league, but when it didn’t matter so much against Premier League opposition, we performed. Our wins against Everton in the League Cup and the 2-1 victory against Tottenham in the FA Cup were both memorable, not least because Luke Varney actually scored in the latter!
Byram: the next Gary Kelly?
At the start of this season, Warnock decided to give young Sam Byram a chance. Having to cover for the ineptitude of the rest of our defence, he has excelled as a full-back and is probably going to get sold in the summer for a few million to help pay for the renovated East Stand.
Ticket prices upwards of £35 didn’t help, but under Warnock, the crowds got smaller and smaller. The fact that we have performed abjectly at times has contributed to that.
Losing to Huddersfield
This was the nail in the coffin of our unlikely promotion challenge, but losing to an out-of-form Huddersfield is unforgiveable. Losing leads late on against Leicester and Crystal Palace weren’t useful either.
Defence? What defence?
Under Grayson, we struggled to defend. The same goes for Warnock’s side, even though he came to us with a reputation for organising solid teams and getting the most out of limited players.
We all wanted Bates out, but the drawn-out takeover saga didn’t help Warnock to get better players in. This meant we were stuck with the likes of Michael Brown and resigned to mid-table obscurity or even flirting with relegation. The new owners appear to have no money and therefore no ambition, which has contributed to the current malaise.
Things could have been better for Warnock, and he hasn’t had too much luck since he joined us. The fact that he was harshly sacked by QPR, who are actually now fighting for their own lives in the Premier League and are 1/8 to be relegated with Ladbrokes, might still be on his mind, and he had higher hopes for us, but it hasn’t worked out.