Gus-PoyetAs the hunt for Leeds United’s next manager gets under way, we take a look at the main contenders to succeed Neil Warnock.

Martin O’Neill 

The fans favourite according to a recent poll here on The Scratching Shed and easily the most experienced manager on the list.

Certainly has the credentials and has proven he can manage under the intense pressures found at big clubs, but he doesn’t do much to set the heart racing.

Feels a bit like Neil Warnock all over again, an appointment based on CV rather than the necessary desire and passion to succeed. He’ll certainly do the basics right, the team will be well-organised and hard to beat, and his many years in the game will give him an advantage over everyone else on this list when it comes to the transfer market.

But it just feels like he’s missing that little bit of spice we all want in our next manager. Someone who can really get the fans excited and turn attentions back towards the football.

He’s the sensible man’s choice I guess, but don’t expect much in the way of entertainment.

Brian McDermott

Young, good eye for a player and most importantly, proven at this level.

Dan from Reading FC blog The Tilehurst End makes a compelling case for McDermott, but could he cope with the pressures of this appointment? It’s the key question you have to ask of every candidate, because it’s been the undoing of so many men who came before them.

Gus Poyet

Attractive football, young, good with youth, knows the club and has proven himself to be an excellent manager during his time at Brighton.

Probably the best choice of them all, but he doesn’t have vast experience and while Brighton may be in the play-off positions at this moment in time, getting a club promoted is an entirely different thing.

I’d also be a little concerned that our fans have hyped Poyet up a little too much. He’s portrayed as something of a messiah, the only man who could possibly lead Leeds United back to the promised land. It’s a nice thought, but there’s a lot more to managing Leeds United than there is Brighton, the level of expectation at this club calls for someone who knows how to manage it. Hard to say whether Gus is that man.

David O’Leary

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.

And the rest… 

Of the other names on the bookies list, Owen Coyle does little to inspire much excitement but he could definitely “do a job” as Leeds fans like to say. Paul Lambert would be an excellent appointment if Aston Villa decide to let him go, but they do seem surprisingly intent on keeping him.

Mark Hughes or Michael Appleton simply won’t happen, the owners will be aware of fans feelings towards both and since neither of them have a CV worth considering in the first place, there’s absolutely no sense in taking a chance on them. Simply won’t happen.

As for the rest, it seems to be a list of out-of-work managers with numbers next to their names, I doubt the majority of them have even been considered, the bookies just need to keep people interested so will throw a load of random names into the mix to create discussion and remind people they can bet.

I personally think the club are waiting to see what happens with Brighton as it probably determines the availability of Gus Poyet, a man who appears to tick every box on Salem Patel’s list of desired criteria. However, the Yorkshire Evening Post are today reporting that it would take £2.5m in compensation to get Gus Poyet to Elland Road, so that may have changed things. It’s an awful lot of money for someone with limited experience.

  • alf huckham

    i would be looking to see what it would cost to prise lee clark from birmingham

    • Duval77

      Please god no, more charisma in a house brick!

  • JD

    O’Leary, O’Leary!!

  • mrbigwheels

    O’leary. Oleary…. Buy one and get loads of other potential free.

  • Mersey-White

    I’m with you on this one, Lambert from POV of giving youth a chance as well as his successive promotions at Norwich; Poyet from a POV of some flair and creative football. But the more I think of it, and after seeing the twinkle in those Irish eyes on Sky Sports News last night, O’Leary for me.

    • Paul

      I saw that twinkle too… he has to be picked up, the youth squad is our future, and it is a champion winning squad, so bring em in and develop the future, no point trying to buy it when your broke!

  • Old Goat

    Is anything really going to happen until the ownership issue is sorted? The media are actively speculating but that doesn’t mean something is going to happen – it just means that their editors have told them to put something together and by and large they’re all plagiarizing what’s been on here for weeks.
    Would any decent manager come here not knowing who his boss is going to be three months from now and how much money would be forthcoming for squad building? Unless Redfearn loses the next two or three and we are in serious relegation trouble, or unless a future takeover /majority shareholding buyout is more imminent than it appears then i can’t see this being an early decision.

  • Jim

    I think you guys need to think put away your ‘heart ruling head’ and ‘twinkle in the eye’ rhetoric about O’Leary. What I remember was a man who inexplicably replaced Eddie Gray with Brian Kidd, criticised the fans with ‘light bulb’ jibes, lost the dressing room (read Radebe’s biography), signed players like Fowler when we had five strikers as it was, never made substitutions early enough despite the talent we had on the bench. inexplicably put his own interests first releasing a controversial book when we were top of the league (subsequently finishing 5th), and then, at the very end, refused to take his portion of the ‘blame’.

    No thanks.

    • Keith

      Totally agree
      In addition he then tried to get the players at Villa to go against the chairman. He was found out and that’s why he hasn’t managed an English Team because he can’t be trusted

      • pedro goldisco

        Brian Kidd was the nail in the coffin. Look where his tactics are taking Mansur City.

    • Tyler75

      I loved the O’Leary era and the attacking football that we played but I agree with you completely Jim; he might make a short-term impact but I’d worry for all the reasons you stated once the initial euphoria died down.
      No-one has mentioned Solsjkaer, if we can’t get Poyet (or Martinez) then he would be an exciting option. Top career as a player, coached the youth sides at manure and has already managed in the Champions League. Wouldn’t be phased by coming to Leeds and would attract quality players. Of the others mentioned only Owen Coyle really stands out as a good fit for what we need post-Warnock.

    • Ian

      I absolutely agree. He totally lost the plot after the first two years, and after replacing Eddie with Kidd we lost that incisive movement that previously tore the opposition apart. The release of his self serving book was the final nail in the coffin.

    • paul

      right now, we need some heart, cos the head has bee in charge for too long…

  • leg end

    Oleary please

  • JM

    Probably won’t be any of the above…..
    We couldn’t afford them….. I reckon Bates has stitched GFH up good style….

    I think we’ll go with Redfearn and Naylor as the cheap options.

  • rocknroll3103

    O’Neill and Hughes have done sod all between them except spend/waste the cash.

  • Stu

    Poyet for me. He’s young, isn’t totally without experience and has coached in the Prem. Brighton also play excellent football and of course he knows Leeds. If Brighton fail in the play-offs and Poyet tells the club he wants out I’m sure LUFC could prise him away for less than £2.5m. I must admit there would be a certain romanticism in taking O’Leary back and he might regard it as unfinished business. He’d have to get used to operating on a lot less than the extravagances of the Ridsdale days though! O’Neill’s a bit of a busted flush for me, his stock is way down on what it once was. Sunderland was also his dream job as he was a boyhood fan so where does he go from there? Not to Leeds I hope. I’d like to share your confidence about Mark Hughes when you say it “simply won’t happen”. How can you be so sure? As Warnock says our owners aren’t football people so the fact that Hughes was associated previously with a club that we regard as our rivals may hardly register on their radar. It’s happened before also – Villa took McLeish who’d managed at Birmingham.
    I do wonder sometimes why LUFC are never linked with continental managers when we have a vacancy. Why not spread the net a bit wider? None at all on the bookmakers list.

  • Hoops

    You say that coping with the pressures of the club has been the undoing of so many previous managers. Who?

    • TSS

      Warnock is the obvious case, he didn’t handle the pressures of the job well at all in my eyes. Too distracted by off-field matters and the general circus that is LUFC.

      • Hoops

        Fair enough. Suspect that he just wasn’t a brilliant manager as well. Certainly I’d say most managers prior to him were simply bad managers, as is reflected in almost none of them having jobs now. Consequently, we shouldn’t worry too much about them coping with the pressure – rather we should just appoint a genuinely talented manager, like McDermott or Poyet.

  • kes

    better off spending £2.5 million on players and getting brian mcdermott in.

  • Keith

    If GFH wait for the right manager? Is this not a very risky strategy? What if we lose the next two games( quite possible) then the panic starts to creep in and a new manager would not have the time to win sufficient points to stay up.
    McDermot is the best candidate. Get him immediately

  • gordon

    The last manager we had who instilled pride and passion et elland road was Oleary , he was made the scapegoat for Ridsdales lunacy , Id have him back,Get the young uns in , get the Leeds salute back.

  • angsta

    O’Leary for comedy value and after match comments alone.

    What’s the worst that could happen?

  • craig

    O leary yes please unfinished business

  • Keith

    Pride and Passion, what writing another book, Dammed United2!!!
    Comedy? We wouldn’t be laughing if we were relegated
    O’Leary cannot be trusted ever again

  • igiveup

    I just want Warnock to shut the f**k up! He talks to the media as though he’s some kind of legend at Leeds…he was a f**king crank. GFH are skint so it wont be Poyet, McDermott has to be favourite. If Hughes takes over then just shut the place downigi

  • Ed

    Are you joking with O’Leary? As you point out, a lot of blame has to be put on Ridsdale for the mess before but O’Leary is miles from being innnocent. Some of the stories that came out about him were quite shocking, such as negotiating a transfer himself and having got tired of negotiating, overspent massively.
    O’Neill is by far the best man we could wish for. Managers of his calibre do not come along very often. If I was in charge, he would have been appointed already. My only concern is that he doesn’t want to drop into the Championship as he sees himself at a higher level (I would agree with this!) The jobs he did with Leicester, Celtic and Villa were incredible. Sunderland was a strange one but perhaps there were other reasons behind that failing. The reaction to his sacking says a lot about the guy.
    Poyet would also be an acceptable choice, but as you mention, he has little experience and the compensation package is far too much. However, he seemed to be the person behind our climb from the bottom of league 1, Wise was just taking all the credit. He’s then gone and got Brighton promoted as clear champions, before making very good progress with them in the Championship. It’s incredible that we are even considering the possibility of them in the premiership after the position they were in when he inherited them.
    Nobody else gets the pulse racing for me and we would only be taking a sideways step.

    • TSS

      “Are you joking with O’Leary?”

      I’m not entirely sure at this stage. I’ve been so bored for the last 14 months, he’s really starting to appeal to me – if only for the sheer unpredictability of it all.

  • GR

    If we got Poyet and if he was successful – Poyet would be off to London the first time Arsenal, Spurs or Chelsea came calling – he done it before and would again

  • TheOneTrueGaffer

    Get O’Leary back. As you said, he’s got a point to prove, which means he has the ambition and will to get us back up.
    Leeds under Ridsdale was a circus, any manager would have done what O’Leary did.

  • Reason

    No mention of Uwe Rossler…. I’d have him over pretty much all of these, including O’Leary.

  • JD

    Seems ironic that Poyet has to fail with regards to this seasons achievements in order to make him eligible for an LUFC approach. I agree with all those who say he is probably the strongest candidate (thus far). McDermot – great credentials, possibly found out at Premier League level and just doesn’t do it for me… O’Leary is a fantastic wildcard – one of the greatest assets a club can have with its staff is chemistry which DOL has in abundance. Financial construction may be a major issue but imagine bums back on seats if he returns. Not so straight forward. Mark Hughes – Kiss my arse!!

  • adam

    id take o’leary back,definately.deserves to be considered as much as anybody,IF he applies!

  • Ap

    O’leary

  • spellz

    O.Leary and Poyet no thanks, new era please bring on Mc Dermott or O’Niel.

  • craig

    Trouble is weve been away from the great heights for ages now People forget. Under O leary what a team , full houses electric atmosphere great great times and back in Europe. Yes we Are Leeds And Proud….. If Mark Hughes gets in thats the end

  • markman

    I think come the end of the season there will be more to choose from.
    however,any incoming manager has to be given at least £10million for new players.
    otherwise you might as well appoint sooty.

  • markj222

    MON plays a longball game. Owen Coyle would be better than him, he plays posession! Would love to see Poyet the most

  • Psycho

    I think that Leeds need a fresh person to take over, with no serious history. Poyet would be the ideal man and could do well at Leeds. I don’t want to be negative, but I am going to be and others have said it time and again. Until we get stability and a genuine board with ability and some football knowledge we are not going anywhere. Just read that the new investors are looking to divest their shares when the market is right. What does all this say about GFH Bates?? A good manager would want to see change at that level before coming to Leeds! I don’t know but may be one of them will get on the same roundabout that Grayson and Warnock were on? Lots of promises, hot air, no proper support or investment and the situation changing by the day. I don’t think that we are out of the woods yet!!!

  • Tony

    O’Leary.
    Oh yes, just the thought of him coming back send a shiver down my spine. That man’s fate is linked with Leeds, and we need him.
    Now that would be an inspired choice for manager. The rest of them are a bit ‘meh’.

  • Saltburn white

    Yes thank you TSS I’ve been saying for a few years to get o,Leary back , he cannot do any worse than any other managers incoming or previously , he would be exiting and controversial and can work with kids , rather spend a few quid on o,learys wages than go for any if these other contenders with the promise of money being spent on the squad , which inevitably won’t materialise , would put bums on seats and like you say could be just what leeds need bringing us full circle with him bringing leeds back to where he left them….he wasn’t the manager that got us relegated , remember that !
    David o,Leary for me …..also send the link for this article to David haigh and Salem Patel via twitter , I shall do the same and I suggest everyone else does the same as well otherwise we will end up with overhyped under skilled mark Hughes !

  • Reiver

    What’s wrong with Poyet, we were doing well enough before until he left? O’Niell is way past his sell-by date. O’Leary? You’ve got to be joking – it doesn’t even merit a comment.

  • Reiver

    I must have gone dyslexic, I keep reading people wanting O’Leary back … they must be trolls.

    • saltburnwhite

      Oleary didnt get us relegated and he did most of his good work at leeds in the first 2 years bringing the kids through , the only thing he was bad at was spending money , but he didnt spend it , ridsdale did , great coach , great motivator , great style of football ……..could he be any worse than any previous manager or any of these prosepective managers ? Also poyet will cost leeds 2.5 million to release him from his brighton contract…cant see that happening , so who else other than O’leary?

      • Koh Samui Whites

        O,leary had nothing to do with the youth team pal.It was Wikinsons youth team.I wish people would look at facts before they post things.

  • lufc dave

    Totally agree fancy McDermot or Oleary sooner rather than later let the new man see shat he has.

  • I think Leeds need to get in a manager who plays football and doesn’t have any history with us either by being here b4 or slating us in the news, a total fresh start needed.

  • Gordon

    Dreamers .. Bluntly speaking , there is absolutely nil chance of Leeds paying 2 million pounds to anybody for anything . Forget Poyet – it’s not gonna happen . Also there’s a strong possibility Brighton could go up . M O N will have been on 1 million P .A . Minimum . Only possibility would be McDermot . Hence O’Leary coming into the equasion. There are no guarantees with any of them so I would go with OLeary . I am sure he would have learned by his mistakes and the bottom line is have we had a better manager since ? Nooooooooo !

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  • Flippin-Pop-It-Bruva

    If were talking about wildcards [who have been out of the game a while] I would rather have George Graham back, he built the foundations for O’Leary, regardless of the plethora of draws that followed but on the flip side we didn’t lose much and he did sign Jimmy Floyd. I liked O’leary but was a bit prone to the ‘Theyre just babies’ comment a bit like NW ‘i couldnt fault the lads’ like a broken records of the past. both rhetorics started to really irritate me i preferred Graham’s dour responses to the media. I also watched a bbc video interviewing o’leary who said he doesnt even follow Leeds’s results, for me that’s a bit of a kick in the teeth lol Fook it lets just bring Wilko back as manager. [im getting carried away with this wildcard out of management idea. I personally would love to see Poyet here and we were fools to let him go and not sack Wise the demise. If Poyet costs 2.5 it will be money well spent, however with reports that GFH spent 22 mill on buying the club surely the ten per cent investment would only be 2.2 mill. Maths isnt my strong point lol but im sure the investment is nowhere near what us fans think should be invested : )

  • Gazlufc11

    I think Dougie Freedman should be in the mix

    • TSS

      Plays awful football. Not for me.

      • Gazlufc11

        Palace played some good stuff under him, he uses what he has at his disposal at Bolton and has reversed their fortunes. It’s pragmatism, I just want us up I don’t really care what kind of football we play.

  • white horse

    well said Jim,absolutely spot on< bringing O'Leary back is like resuscitating the dead. Well brain dead at least. This club needs to look forward not back and we need a manager with vision, tactical nous, the ability to read the game and act accordingly. If he can also use home grown talent and build a real team from Leeds then he ( whoever he is) will get my vote.

    I don't believe Mark Hughes gets anywhere near our needs – too much like Kidd.

    Poyet a strong possibility and McDermott also a good bet. The problem will be money, of course, if we do the unthinkable I can't see anyone taking us on.

  • s

    What about Brian Blessed , a great motivator , just bring the youth team through , get rid off 90% of the 1st team. Readfearn and Naylor could work under him to advise on tactics . The team needs some motivation.
    Come on Brian through yer hat in the ring !

  • Paul fox

    Hi all I would like to leave a balanced response if I may! So lets start with FACTS managers need one of 2 things to succeed 1, money to spend 2, a great desire to succeed or prove themselves ideally both! What we don’t want is a mediocre manager who simply wants to add LUFC to his CV , so the candidates ! Appleton???? Really based on what exactly ! Er not ever, mark huges ? No simply because he wouldn’t be accepted , solskjar same reason also un proven, lee Clark ? Failed to get Huddersfield up from league 1 despite spending a fortune, poyet? Maybe but il come back to him, McDermott ? Well I don’t know enough about him but ! Proven in the championship gained promotion and knows a player signed Shane long for pocket money, !! Martin o Neil previously agreed to manage Leeds just before ridsdale blew the wheels off the bus! 10 years of could do no wrong but looked like a millionaire questioning why he was in football for the past 12 months at Sunderland ! Curbishly ? Not managed for 4 years! And of course o Leary ?? Well until today I hadn’t considered him and for me it was McDermott or poyet! And if poyet costs 2 million then it rules him out for me simply because that will get us a very good player at this level! So McDermott it is? Well maybe! You see o Leary would be the fairy tale I mean so easy to point fingers and say bought this player and spent this money!! Yeah yeah well lets get our facts right! He requested players to get into the champions league and ridsdale negotiated fees and terms not o Leary the players sold almost covered purchases! He was a manager of the fans, he was a fan , he used youth when the old statesman George graham overlooked them! I actually believe it might just be the perfect partnership ! His passion to prove himself would be priceless a gamble yes! But what thought ! We deffinately don’t want some has been who has no passion for Leeds! But I dare say whoever it is will need funds because I’m telling you right now ! Jose mourhinio could not get this Leeds squad promoted!!

  • steve p

    would love to see dean saunders in the frame.did a great job at doncaster with virtually no money and is now turning wolves round..it wont happen but watch out for wolves next year

  • HeadLiner

    Poyet will walk out on Brighton in the summer so we won’t need to pay compensation. He’ll do the same to us should a top end premiership team come a calling. Best candidate for the job, unless we can get Martinez from igan. Can handle the pressure, picks good footballers and plays football with a style you’d like to watch. Worth waiting for.

    Outside tip is Kenny Jackett.

  • Rich

    Rather O’Leary than the And the rest.. section, and lets face it, they are the most likely prospects since I doubt we can afford O’Neill or Poyet. If they appoint Southgate, Hughes or Coyle we may as well just call it a day for the foreseeable future.

    That leaves just McDermott who I wouldnt object to

  • Stu

    I know I keep saying this but for me it’s Martinez. If Wigan go down I presume wean would stay loyal but a larger crowd and potential could make him look this way. If they stay up then it would be nigh on impossible but what’s the harm in trying. There is mention of spending any release clause funds for Poyet on players (presuming there are funds) but for me the best use of any money is a great manager with an assurance he’s going nowhere for a minimum of four years. Someone like Martinez could then sell any dead wood for a can of lucozade and try to bring in some quality on the cheap (something he excels at). Stabilise the club, get then playing his football, then slowly move on. Longevity and patience and he’d have leeds up in the prem.

  • Hey – new to this discussion but… It strikes me that we’re missing two things at LUFC – defence and defence. We’ve had plenty of good strikers and even after selling most, we still score goals then throw away too many good positions. IF, no WHEN we get back into the Premiership we’ll get slaughtered if we can’t defend. Look at the Swans defensive record the season they got promoted and compare that to Reading or QPR. It’s boring to say it, but you can’t lose a game if the other side doesn’t score! On that basis O’Neill’s the sensible choice and McD the next, and both know abut passion. O’Leary’s the risk and it would be fun and may just work. Thank goodness Loudmouth’s gone!

  • Mighty white

    The only thing that would do leeds any good is god. Even he couldn’t save us lol marching on together

  • joe W

    If Brighton don’t get promoted and Poyet wants to come to Leeds, what’s to say the man won’t eschew some of his compensation and resign? He’s clearly got a long career in the game and Leeds is a massive step up, with some exciting prospects coming through. Sure we aren’t in the best shape right at this moment, but to be fair to Poyet he planned on playing the long game at Brighton and he’d do the same with us. He also knows a lot of people in the game, and has pulled off some real transfer coups on players like Vicente, who at the time was still starting for Valencia. For me, I would pay 2 million for Poyet. He’s worth it.

    The charge of a manager being unproven is for me, a load of bollocks. For all there are some who are still negative about him, Leeds’ best manager of the past few years was Simon Grayson, a man who came to us from Blackpool and had never achieved automatic promotion there or anywhere else. Warnock is for me, the archetypal example of a ‘proven’ manager, and a safe bet like Martin O’neill is not what we need. Ask yourselves, if the club had been looking for a proven manager in the mid sixties, and hadn’t taken a risk, where would we be now?

  • Jon W

    Leeds need to look at what they are doing behind the scenes before getting a new manager. They need an influx of money not hot air. The team needs a complete rebuild during the summer. They need to keep the players they buy and learn to say no to Norwich. I would rather another season in the championship getting the right players and coaching staff along with utilizing the great youth scheme we have. Keeping it all together and then march on to the premier league in 2015/2016 season. We have waited a long time to get back where we belong but it has to be right. I would rather wait a little longer and succeed than rush the job and drop straight back down again. As for a manager, Poyet s*** on us last time he was here…… do we want that again. O’Niel……. snubbed us before. Mc Dermott, Lambert, Hughes, Southgate, Coyle. None of them for me. It needs someone who can develop over next season then push for the promotion. O’Leary or Martinez.

  • Fitzofly

    Petition to appoint David O’Leary as the next Leeds United Manager. For those fans that are interested in progressing with Youth and good football. http://www.change.org/petitions/to-the-owners-of-leeds-united-gfh-capital-please-appoint-david-o-leary-as-the-next-manager-of-leeds-united

  • sg90

    Uwe Rosler or Karl Robinson, for a young up-coming manager who plays good football. O’Leary or McDermott from the free options.