Since his appearance on Sky Sports last night, David O’Leary has been a major talking point amongst fans with many now seeing him as a viable candidate for the Leeds United manager’s job.
Below is an extract from our ‘main contenders’ post published earlier today in which I tried to weigh up the pros and cons from an admittedly “why the hell not?” point of view;
I don’t know if he’s actually a contender, but a part of me REALLY wants David O’Leary. It’s probably heart ruling head, but there’s a real sense of adventure to such an appointment, a name who would really put the focus back on football at Elland Road.
It would all be a bit of circus initially as the press cast their predictions on the O’Leary project part 2 and fans clamber back to Elland Road curious to see the effect the fallen Irishman has, but could he really orchestrate a fairytale ending to Leeds United On Trial?
It’s impossible to say, but while his doubters exaggerate faults and his plaudits ignore that he has some, there’s little balance to be found when you dare to utter his name. For me, it’s worth remembering that O’Leary’s biggest crime as Leeds United boss was finishing 4th in the Premier League.
Many of his other perceived failings should be attributed to Peter Ridsdale and his merry band of financial geniuses that made up the Living The Dream boardroom we had back then. O’Leary may have asked for every player Ridsdale brought in, but it was Ridsdale offering clubs twice their asking price and giving players ludicrous contracts, well above what any of them were expecting.
At Aston Villa, O’Leary couldn’t repeat the success he had at Leeds, but the first two seasons weren’t bad at all. He’s been out of the game a little too long, his eye for a player is hit and miss (isn’t every managers?) and he’s never managed in the Championship. But on the plus side, he’s excellent with youth players, can handle the pressures of the Leeds United job, plays good football and has a point to prove.
It could go spectacularly wrong, but what if it doesn’t? After 14 months of unbearable tedium with Neil Warnock at the helm, at least it’d be entertaining. And it’d be one hell of a footballing redemption if he could pull it off, a real story for the ages.
While several other strong candidates were covered, it was David O’Leary’s name that drew the most comments leaving me curious as to how widespread the support for his reappointment would be.
With that in mind, our latest poll asks just that – would you be in favour of David O’Leary as the next Leeds United manager?