Warnock: The highs and lows of his time with Leeds United Guest March 21, 2013 Leeds United 15 Comments 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. Attendances falling 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. Takeover chaos 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. WarnockOut When were these “highs?” I must have fallen asleep during the hoofball and missed them. Jimmy the red Bates should walk as well president next year fucking joke Andy Perks Lowest point for me was the abject loss at Barnsley, a truly woeful performance. And to find out that the only ray of light from that day, Ross Barkley, was to be returned to Everton as Warnock couldn’t guarantee him a game, made me realise that Warnock as manager was not going to work. Lee B NW has stated that under his guidance LUFC now has a better team than it has had for years. I’m struggling to see how that is true. Under SG we couldn’t defend for shit, but we could always go up the other end and score goals to make up for those we concede at the back. Frustrating, but terribly entertaining and exciting. Under NW we can now defend (although this new found ability has come quite late), but we’ve lost the ability to score goals. Just as frustrating, but with little-to-no entertainment. We’ve gone from Brazil to Greece in 12 months! From “exciting but can’t defend” to “looking to score with the only chance we get in the game”. It’s no wonder we’ve gone from late goal specialists to late conceding specialists. And what gain have we had from this upheaval? Same number of points, same place in the table. At least KB has gone, but that’s hardly NW’s doing is it? NottsWhite Positives – Removing the numerous deadwood that had accumulated under Grayson. Working with little or no budget to re-build a squad, good cup runs. Negatives – Stumbled across his best line up after 7 months and then continuing to pick the same side even though it was obvious the midefield was spent, inability to influence a game with timely substitutions, tactics that Wimbledon would have been proud of, wasting the little transfer budget in January on players not good enough for the first team The biggest frustration with NW is his inability to engage his brain before opening his mouth – “Icing on the cake signings”, blaming everyone apart from himself for abject performances, claiming that we required an additional striker and a winger in the January window and being incapable of delivering either, telling us that we still require a winger but making little or no effort to secure him. The cause of these issues may have been out of Warnock’s control but giving false hope to fans is unacceptable Craig Sweaton He was probably given the same false hope himself. No wonder he’s pissed off! He couldn’t even get funding for a loanee until Decemberso I think people have expected too much. He was bummed by uncle ken and hung out to dry as a scapegoat. He should have walked with dignity in September when it was obvious he’d been screwed. spellz Personally I think if we had Warnock next season we would win the championship, all the behind the scenes drama that went on this season caused poor management from the top of the club to the bottom. I believe a fresh start to the following season for this experienced, clearly driven by results, proven track record manager surely will get us promoted. The thing with us Leeds fans is we want it to happen too quickly, every good team needs a good manager to have a couple of years to organise and push a team in the right direction i.e – someone like David Moyes who has put together a great squad and they are a consistent unit as the manager has been there longer than most of the players therefore they probably hang on to every word he says, unlike us where our new players are always playing under new management we have no longevity in our squad which leads to us play like everyones just met each other (which realistically is the case) having just exited the Bates saga mid-season imo I think it is time for a fresh start at the beginning of next season yet I just can’t help thinking no-one else can come along with a better record of promotion than the current gaffer himself. Notfamousanymore Sorry mate but if you believe that you should have a lie down. Warnock has been a major part – not the only part – of this seasons failure. He is a dinosaur, with tactics which simply don’t work any more. Plus he is disengaged. He is not good for us. I don’t want mindless knee jerk and I agree that continuity is a good thing, but he was not a good appointment, and he should go. Matthew I agree. Name me a manager in recent years that has made a public spectacle of him leaving his club, name one, name anyone even that has repeatedly turned his managerial tenure into a I’M LEAVING SOON event. I bet you can’t. Because no manager worth his salt would be announcing every fucking day he’s quitting at the end of the season and will step down if replaced. Proves he doesn’t give a shit. spellz I don’t need a lie down at all, Neil Warnock as much as I have been annoyed at the football we have played this season under him is part of a bigger problem which is no consistency in our club, how do you expect us to mountain a challenge for a place in the premier league if we keep changing staff, players season in and season out, its always leaving a feeling of despondency amongst the team. Do you realise since David O’Leary and sgt wilko himself, simon Grayson has been our longest serving manager under him and we gained a promotion and beat Man Utd at Old Trafford to send them crashing out in the 3rd round and built a strong championship team in the process (half of which are now at norwich) or playing in top flight footy somewhere else right now and just missed out on a very unlucky playoff place, I know you feel NW doesn’t give 2 f**ks about us but I am sure he was like us fans was pissed off at the constant dragging on of the takeover of our club and was not able from the start to create a good enough team and the takeover imo was pubically scrutinised for way too long and caused a big feeling of unsettlement especially as our players are mostly all new since the start of this campaign , he is not our downfall and never was he is proven to get teams promoted especially from this division, full stop. We are our own worst enemy and only now I feel like we once again have a structure in place only by next season for a new manager to come in and there is already talk of new investors, once again we don’t know where were heading it is always seems to be the unknown. I mean what next? Di Canio takes over his job and we make a champions league place by 2015 please. Notfamousanymore warnock was almost a fixed term appointment. He bleats in the press about wanting to go home to Cornwall and watch his kids play football. I don’t know whether he was pissed off or not, but he gets paid to be successful, and we – one way or another – pay him. His win ratio is the worst since PL relegation and admin under Eddie Gray and Peter Reid. Worse than Venables. Worse than Blackwell. He disrespects his players in the media – Becchio being a particular and inexplicable scapegoat – which I detest. It’s unprofessional and stupid. His recruitment policy of ‘players I’ve wanted to sign for a long time’ – Drury, Tate, Barclay – is bizarre. His style of football I personally find completely unappealing, and if long ball, stuff it in the mixer, worked once, it tends not to work nowadays. Even Stoke, who are really good at it, are struggling this year (and the supporters are rebelling about it). And our last 10 games where Warnock has ‘finally got he team I wanted’ and ‘pushing for the playoffs’ has yielded how many points? Ten. Thats relegation form. spellz Fair enough NFA you make some valid points, we dont share the same opinion but we both have one nevertheless, I agree it has not been the best year under his management I would be the first to agree with you there, as for some of his comments like the family in Cornwall I understand is annoying to hear. He only came here for one season to get us promoted and by his own admission from the start thought it would be his last task in football management I feel though he was fcuked over from the beginning and never really got the capital support in Janurary from our new board as promised either to help push the promotion properly I mean our signings were mediocre to say the least when he realised after Huddersfield that we would need a miracle he then belted out his cornwall comment which i also felt was unnecessary. I do feel with his credentials if he was to take a 3 year contract and we had stability in the board with the will to invest in us, we would book our place in the premiership and even I don’t like the man that much, I just feel there is such a greater picture to be looking at, which in short is the mis-management of Leeds United FC behind the scenes, after all our fans have been deserting the gates way before NW arrived. Notfamousanymore Yes fair enough Spellz; and your last point about Board stability, a sensible medium term plan, and a manager who can actually build rather than try to cobble a team together in a rush, is key. It would lead to success. Its frustrating. I dont think Di Canio would work – it might be fun, but he’s too flaky. I do like Jackett at Millwall – he did a good job at Swansea before, and under the circumstances above, I think might be an astute and reasonably stable appointment for us. MOT – and thanks for the debate! spellz I agree I think Jackett has done well and see him as a good appointment especially as he said recently that a club of our stature should be in top flight football. When the name Di Canio first came about I was like noooooooooo definitely not him but now adkins has gone reading, the list of those remaining is not exactly appetising and I think Di Canio might just be the fiery italian that will think wtf are these guys playing rugby? and actually give them a right kick up their arse after all put aside this facism thing he is quite an iconic player and the age of our players means the majority of them would have grown up to watch a lot of his footy and might well have a level of respect for him for being the player he is and might not want to do him wrong on the pitch either for fear of what the madcap italian might do in the changing rooms at half time lol. Whatever happens I just hope our beloved club finds some stability and we M.O.T towards the promised land and I also thank you N.F.A for the debate, good day sir. Matthew Highs: The height of the ball when playing hoofball. Lows: His negative tactics used throughout the season.