Elland RoadI hate pre-season, everything about it annoys me.

I hate the ITK Agents spawning a never-ending list of nonsensical transfer rumours and the gullible people who repeat and help spread those works of fiction.

I hate fickle fans who take any positive as a sign that Leeds United will win the league and any negative as reason to fear relegation.

I hate people’s lack of patience nearly as much as I hate waiting.

I hate subtle hints at great news to come and I hate that I don’t hate the #lufctreasurehunt.

I hate photoshopped away shirts and YouTube clips that make pub league players look like Lionel Messi.

I hate smiley faces tweeted by Leeds United directors.

I hate soft drink manufacturers making me fear a tinpot future less credible than MK Dons existence.

More than all that though, the thing I really hate is pre-season football.

I hate that it makes me question the sense in spending one million pound on a central midfielder when the squad so blatantly lacks wingers and the club doesn’t seem to have any more cash to buy them with.

I hate the hole in the middle of the 4-4-2 diamond that’s just begging to be hoofed over.

I hate that selling Sam Byram to the highest bidder somehow makes sense to me.

I hate that the problems seem so incredibly similar, I’ll only have to edit the name in Neil Warnock’s obituary if Brian McDermott can’t pull off some kind of Venables-esque wheeling-and-dealing in the next couple of weeks.

I hate that I’m already starting to question some of McDermott’s decisions.

I hate that Michael Brown is still a Leeds United player.

I hate that I can’t list a starting XI I believe is capable of finishing in the top six from the players Brian McDermott has assembled thus far.

I hate that I can’t list a starting XI I believe is capable of finishing in the top half.

I hate that I’m a thousand miles away from Leeds (at the Benicassim festival in Spain), no competitive matches are currently being played, I’ve only had 8 hours sleep in 3 days and pre-season is still managing to annoy me.

I hate that come August 3rd, I’ll probably wish we could start pre-season all over again.

  • Kevin

    will someone please tell me are we starting this season in division two because with the team we have and the score lines pre season would suggest that we should be in division two, it looks like uncle Ken has fleeced us again selling us to this lot, or ma be it is GSK that have been fleeced, I can’t make my mind up.

    • pluckitout

      Div2?

      Hmmm with fans like you who needs enemies?

  • V1

    Bravo in one apart from been in Spain check news now twitter seeing anything happening it only friendly. There not friendly in footy I would more like teams play there second or youth team to get match fitness. I hate pre season no football match feels the same, not England ,not con fed cup ,not Sunday league. I think summer it to hot it not hot anuf going shopping with the girlfriend to full the void with footy I need a hobbie

  • Lewis

    stop slagging off michael brown ffs and get behind the team, we still have a month and a half before the window shuts and a few weeks until brighton, theres still time for us to shift the deadwood of norris, pugh, tonge etcetc (not including brown as that would make no financial sense whatsoever when in truth financials are the biggest factor at play here)

    • Ronnie blackwood

      Why he’s utter dog dirt and pinching a living at this club, probably one of the main reasons we can’t buy players without selling. Stop living in a dream world and realise we are 3 or 4 players short of a good team in this league

      • Lewis

        michael brown is one of the lowest earners at the club, it would cost more to get him off the wage bill than to keep him as a squad player/ back up / coach for the next year, would rather see tonge norris etc leave first that we could move on and free up a decent chunk on the wage bill

        • PAUL W

          Michael Brown is one of the worst players to ever play for Leeds and is only still at Leeds because Warnock played him so much last season and activated a one year contract extension. Whenever Brown plays he is a liability and cost Leeds a valuable point in the 2-1 defeat at Charlton last season. After coming on in the last 2 minutes of the Charlton game, Brown was booked after only 30 seconds on the pitch and then conceded a free kick, which Charlton scored the match winner from.
          Despite being a hugely experienced player, Michael Brown brings absolutely nothing to the Leeds team.

          • Matthew

            We need Michael Brown for when Red Bull buy us, if they introduce Multi Ball at some point, we can all cheer as Michael Brown 2 foot tackles everyone on the other team with the ball.. lol

            Okay joking aside, he’s not an awful player. Just not someone you would want to play when the team is being overrun in midfield, or if we’re up against some players with pace.
            Absolutely play him if we’re playing against a poor side, or if we’re a few goals ahead and want to see out the last 10-20 minutes.

  • Craig Sweaton

    I hate that you’ve never seen Grumpy Cat but it very obviously sums you up, as it does me! :-D :-(

  • spellz

    I must admit as an individual who likes to evaluate things thoroughly and express my own opinions and no-one elses, I hate that I have to agree with everything you said (excluding the Spain part) TSS.

  • spellz

    Pre-season form sometimes does not reflect how a team will perform in all honesty I feel we will be miles better when we are playing competitively but you also want to see a spark, I am just worried at present we have not got the pacey wingers needed to supply our clearly hungry strikers the ball.

    We need the board to dig a little deeper once again to get the missing positions covered so we can still challenge this season.

  • Rob H

    I am a level headed, bordering on optimistic Leeds fan but I have to say, if we don’t get two wingers in who are capable at this level we will finish in mid table again and it’s not worth getting excited about the new season. Fingers crossed that gets sorted then….. I am also disappointed a million was spent on a central midfielder when it should have been used for this elusive winger. I like the idea of Hughes though, let’s give him time. As it stands I don’t believe the new season is anything to get excited about, however, the small tweaks and changes the new board are making are pleasing me and I think we will build over the next 4/5 years to be challenging. It will take that long but when we finally get success we will be sustainable.

    • JDC

      If BMcD manages to sign a quality CB and then plays with a back three with Byram and White as wing backs in a four man midfield and includes Poleon up front we should have pace to burn.

  • henrymouni

    I hate the fact that my fears are being realised.

    I hate seeing Brian so low and dispirited, with GFH and the lack of support.

    I hate that our line up at Walsall was more Warnock than Brian M.

    The defence was sadly just the same and played they way they usually do.

    I hate that this is possibly the worst pre-season signings effort for many a year.

    One good signing, and two lads with potential, who have not played in the Championship yet.

    The 5 or 6 signings seem to be optimistic right now.

    Murphy was a PR red herring, and the million pounds will no doubt be paid, in bits.

    Feel a bit flat just now.

    Seeing Walsall giving us the run-around, was all too familiar.

  • Irving08

    I hate the fact that, in Byram and White, we have two players that can play wide, get past people with relative ease and, in differing degrees, are able to provide a good enough final ball, yet people keep banging on about wingers who, with a few noble and notable exceptions, invariably flatter to deceive (think Carl Harris to Ryan Hall), and overall rarely earn their keep. I hate the fact that our Manager, due to Byram’s injury, is unable yet to unveil, our secret weapon, the Bryam-White combo. And, incidentally, I hate the fact that the football season starts so early.

    • boggedmaffus

      Been thinking the same myself. Bring back wingbacks!

  • Matthew

    I can say with absolute certainty that this team is the same team performance wise as last season. But, we’re not at full strength, and with Byram, Diouf and Austins addition to the side, I think we’l do a little better this season.

    We do however need a few additions, 2-3 at most. A few good players can transform a mediocre side into a playoff capable side.

    On the bright side, many teams in this league are shit, and in a lot of occasions, the best team does not always win and simply the team that scores the most wins the game, if we can outscore other teams, and defend well enough, we’l be okay.(Easier said than done though..)

  • Lee Stephenson

    Dawkins wept. I can understand TSS’ reckoning that mid table is looks likely at the moment. Our squad was shit last year upon selling Snoddy (Becchio nail in the coffin), signings made by Colin didn’t pay off and BMcD has so far signed just one first teamer in Murphy. Smith could be decent given time, Hunt will be squad and sub at best. We need 5-6 MORE (and many players to leave) for a promotion push and required are not unknowns and freebies. Wages for these players don’t exist, never mind the fees. Let’s settle for mid-table at the start, knowing the tough job BMcD has to sort out the club and hope we play attractive winning fooball that steadily builds up morale leading to the usual over expectation and fantasy promotion place. BMcD has to be given at least 2 years, hopefully 3 to turn things around.
    Selling Byram is counter to everything I want the BMcD regime to stand for. Don’t give the fuckers an excuse to sell. A little bit more invested in the squad GFH? PLEASE?

  • henrymouni

    We have brought 3 players in.
    2 were free transfers.

    We have ‘got rid of’ from the squad/wage bill:-

    Paul Connolly

    Davide Somma

    Steve Morison

    Patrick Kisnorbo

    Leigh Bromby

    Sanchez Payne

    Paul Rachubka

    Habib Habibou

    Surely we are in credit to bring people in??

    • Matthew

      With those players gone, that’s at least 3 million off the wage bill…

      Imagining for a moment we have no injurys/suspension, the only thing I would add to this side in all honesty is just a Winger or 2..

      No use fucking about the Strikers we have further, if anything a Winger or 2 that can deliver the ball to the feet of the strikers would be the only thing we’d need to complete the puzzle.

      It wouldn’t be an automatic promotion capable side but it would provide a good challenge in the playoffs, and could win lol

      • Irving08

        Hmm I think we need a proper goalscorer. Neither Hunt or Smith fall into this category. McCormack can’t score all the goals, particularly if he’s deployed in a ‘hole’. Becchio kept us is in contention due to his opportunism. That’s what we need, a striker who doesn’t need it put on a plate for him. Looking to wingers or whoever to solve our goals’ problem is
        evading the real issue. We need to buy back Becchio !

        • Matthew

          Indeed we do need a proper goalscorer but if we’re on limited money I think 2 wingers, or a decent winger at most would help us along immensely, even the shittiest Strikers would bang a few in with proper service from the wings.

  • Chareose

    Yes good idea lets sell Byram when its so evidently clear that hes our best player …….. then atleast we can be middle table with style….. 2 weeks is too late to find the players who would replace him. Best to get webara and move Byram into midfeild ! If diouf plays too things will start to seem better and it will just be squad depth thats the problem

    • Matthew

      Our problem is that we’re lacking key players in positions badly needed. I think McDermott would get something from this side that would make a lot of fans happy if he’s backed enough to get those key pieces to complete the LUFC puzzle.

  • Mac the White

    2 weeks ago it was doom and gloom. Then we made signings. Got back with Radio Leeds and everyone cheered up. Nothings happened for 2 weeks and you’re all doom and gloom again. Trust the owners. Trust the manager and get behind the team. Its you lot that I hate

    • Dr Zen

      Yah, because trusting the owners has proven to be a great idea over the years :rolleyes:

      • Mac the White

        You know, if you get bitten by one dog it doesn’t mean every dog will bite you!!!

        • henrymouni

          No -but you are always on your guard, just in case.

          Once bitten twice shy!

          DON’T TOUCH MY BONE!

          • Mac the White

            If that’s uncle Kens arm bone then no wonder he couldn’t write any cheques lol

  • henrymouni

    There is only so much a manager can do!
    NW got rid of Simon’s ‘poor’ players, and brought in his own, even poorer players.
    But at least the resultant failure was all his.

  • Tyler75

    I seem to remember we had a really positive pre-season last year and look where that got us ! I also seem to recollect that Brian Mac was saying the same things about shipping players out before bringing new ones in, then went out and spent £1m on Murphy. If we’re trying to get the price down for Mills or for Bolton to pay a higher % of his wages in a season-loan, seems like a good tactic to me. I can understand people banging on about getting wingers in but Mills (or someone like him) is more important as I suspect it will enable Brian to go with three at the back and Byram and White (or Warnock) pushed into a 5 man midfield. That said, we are obviously overstocked with midfielders and need to move out Brown, Pugh, Norris and possibly Tonge.

  • markman

    TSS

    Nver mind. the full moon will soon be overe

  • Gavlar

    I love this article. But I hate that I’m not enjoying Benicasim also. Bring on the new season and less Hate.

  • Nick

    I can’t help thinking that any real interest in players we wish to move on will be last minute deals in August as other clubs miss out on their targets, meaning it will be to late this year. It’s beyond frustrating that we’ve got so much rubbish on the 10 grand mark, it means effectively that the squad we have at this moment won’t be changing. Very sad, I just want to find bargain wingers like Shoddy and Gradel again.

  • PMH

    New manager, new team and we all expect instant gratification. The group of players is Championship level, but we won’t know if they are play-off level Championship for maybe a month. Expect some inconsistent form until the true mettle of the team emerges. A great start would be nice but it is where we end up that matters. Hopefully there is more money available so the manager can patch up the weaknesses as they emerge.

  • LUFC-Srbski

    Let’s look at the positives.

    1. Matt Smith has potential. Gave Everton / Liverpool in run around in FA cup. Could be a handful to most Championship sides. I say could.

    2. Dominic Poleon – looking in fine form. Clearly has bags of pace and an eye for goal. Personally, I think Warnock biggest failure was not giving the lad a chance and sending him out on loan.

    3.Luke Murphy – clearly talented player. Actually is creative. When was the last time we had a creative central midfielder. Howson but he wasn’t exactly a creative midfielder.

    A lot of dead wood gone. Paul Connolly, Steve Morison, Patrick Kisnorbo, Leigh Bromby, Paul Rachubka, Habib Habibou etc.

    Negatives:

    – Shame about Somma
    – We are DESPERATE

  • boggedmaffus

    If we don’t sign a winger or two, I’d go with Kenny, Warnock, Lees, Pearce, Peltier, Byram, Austin, Tonge, Murphy, McCormack, Poleon, Smith.

    3 centre-halves with overlapping wingbacks ’90s style, and a classic “fast bloke/big bloke” centre-forward pairing.

    • lufc_rick

      And a twelfth man to give us that little bit of an advantage. ;)

  • Downunder Al

    I hate watching Man Utd come to my country & play in front of 88,000 people & I hate watching Liverpool play infront of 95,000 just 4 days later. Liverpool charged $15 for 25,000 just to watch training. Meanwhile the whites languish…. How depressing

  • Matthew

    Genuine question.

    How do we get promoted in 2 years like David Haigh wants, with the squad that we have? That’s like asking someone to swim around the artic circle naked. It can’t be done without additional investment.

    • henrymouni

      His 2 year timescale seems to suggest that we will have to struggle on with what we have in the short term?
      How he thinks we will get a packed Elland Road with this squad is amazing.
      I cannot see ANY improvement from last season.
      Stevenage deserved at least a draw, and missed a lot of chances.
      My worry is that Brian is getting very tetchy and despondent, in his recent interviews, and may be feeling betrayed by GFH?
      He is our only hope.

      • Matthew

        I was thinking more along the lines of him either being deluded, or not having a clue about football. I’m not saying our squad is awful but to be capable of promotion in 2 years, without any doubt. You’d need to put money into this squad to strengthen, we have a few areas of weakness.

        I’m not one to be negative but jesus christ. Reality check time, we won’t get an automatic promotion place with this squad lol.
        I’m just concerned that they may try and force out a decent manager after 2 years because he couldn’t achieve a miracle on par with Jesus parting the red sea with what little he had to work with.

  • Peeyabbs

    Watching today’s game makes me wonder why we haven’t bought any

    decent defenders, really painful to see the display today