Brian McDermottWhile a day out in London is slightly more appealing than a day out in Middlesbrough, Massimo Cellino’s growing influence at Leeds United has been highlighted by his presence at the club’s last two games. Despite still waiting for the Football League to approve his drawn out takeover, Cellino’s influence at the club has increased to more than screaming excitedly into David Haigh’s ear and making hand gestures that can only be classed as ‘Very Italian’.

Despite shocking the Betfair odds by sacking Brian McDermott before even buying an official club scarf, the Italian businessman and the Leeds manager have seemingly kissed and made up from whatever differences they managed to discover during a nonsensical few days before the Huddersfield game.

As well as allowing the Leeds manager to bring in exciting youngsters Jack Butland and Connor Wickham – signings that boosted the club’s outside play-off hopes with Betair – McDermott revealed after the 1-1 draw against QPR that he and his coaching staff had been taken out for drinks and nibbles by Cellino in London before the game.

And with McDermott and Cellino appearing to now be singing from the same hymn-sheet, for the time being at least, the Leeds manager has revealed the Cellino has already begun taking a keen interest. Despite continuing fears among Leeds fans about the colourful Italian’s intentions, the fact that McDermott has been allowed to sign players of Butland and Wickham’s ability can only be classed as a positive.

“It’s fair to say that Massimo is taking a very close interest. David (Haigh) is taking a close interest on GFH’s behalf. But it’s fair to say that he (Cellino) is taking an interest – a close interest,” said McDermott.

“From Leeds United’s point of view, to sign the players we’ve signed and with the calibre of Jack and Connor, it’s got to be exciting looking forward. I’m really happy with that.”

While McDermott is still among the favourites with Betfair.com to be the next Championship manager to be fired, the signs are a little brighter for the current Leeds boss.

  • Tim

    If Brian doesn’t start picking his best players and getting substitutions right then Betfair will be on a winner! How can a manager not see what everyone else does? Kebbe and Stewart were two panic loans and have done NOTHING to enhance the team. Two into one would have gone and we could have had Gradel.
    Why on earth isn’t Byram starting every game?
    All we have heard over the last two draws from him is that we should have won both games. Well McD bloody well get your team selection right and we might have a chance.
    For me you can send Kebbe and Stewart home to watch TV and here’s an idea why don’t you join them and let someone else get on with the job you clearly can’t do.

    • Frank

      Like all the scum fans who critisize Moyes for inheriting an abysmal squad and being unable to steer a sinking ship, you are jumping the gun, you say yourself stewart and kebe were panic buys, Implying that they were bought whilst the manager was in a panic because he couldn’t not sign who he wanted. I can’t believe after all the shite Grayson had to put up with (and as much as I dislike him Warnock too), that as a broader fan base we still have zero patience for managers working under financial constraint. There is a reason Leicester and Forest and QPR and other shit nothing clubs get mega bucks owners and we don’t and unfortunately it’s us, there is something seriously wrong behind the scenes at Elland Road. It is the source of our anguish and suffering as Leeds United fans and it’s time we directed our ire towards the boardroom instead of the manager and playing staff

      • Belle

        Well said. Mind you I must be alone in wondering why the hell we have signed these 2 players given we haven’t got any money. Yes I know the Italian has funded them, but if the T/O doesn’t go through he will just be another creditor to add to our list; it’s complete madness. We should have just ambled on to the end of the season and then started looking at players so that we could make a serious attempt at promotion next season (assuming that a takeover of some sort had happened by then of course). This season was never about getting promotion, how could it be when we had been slowly dismantling our team over the past few years, whilst most of the other teams in the Championship had been doing the opposite. I have said it before, and I will say it again, the team we have this season even with the additions is not as strong as the one that got us promoted from League 1, yet fans were expecting us to get promoted to the Premiership!! Where we are now is a result of people standing by and letting Bates bleed the club dry, and by believing all the bullshit that GFH have been coming out with over the past 12 months. Frank is right, most of our fans are venting their discontent at the wrong people. The Manager and team should be getting our full backing, not be constantly slagged off by so called fans. Save that for GFH and Bates.

        • Irving08

          I doubt very much if many fans were expecting promotion this season. All some of us are doing is posing questions about certain aspects of team selection and performance. This does not mean either that we are advocating a change of Manager. Yet questions about the team are, by implication, judgements of a sort on BM;s managment. Even when allowance is made for factors outside his control – such as the ownership issue – the questions still stand (I am less inclined to make alowances for lack of funds). Moreover asking them is not inconsistent with giving full backing to the team on the field of play, spiced when needed with cajoling and ribaldry. Some will wish vocally to back the Manager; personally I find singing for any manager – let alone Brian – a bit bizarre, but if it adds to the gaiety of a Saturday afternoon, who am I to object ?

      • Tim

        Financial constraint means you pick the best of what you have. Byram is the best player to come through at Leeds in years so why is he constantly sidelined when he gives playing time to Kebbe and Stewart?
        We all support the team but just question the selection and substitutions when games are there to be won.

        • Frank

          Well that prompts questions we as fans can’t possibly answer, is Byram still carrying the hip injury? Is his attitude at training poor? Is his attitude in general poor? Does McDermott worry that too many games will burn him out and make him prone to injury? He was basically ever present last year under Warnock and he’s struggled this year with a hip injury, nobody is doubting his potential or ability, but there are factors at play that we just aren’t privy to. Given that mowatts been tested when I felt he could play id say that McDermott doesn’t want to overuse them, they’re both still young with years to go. I’m at a loss to why kebe still manages to stay on the pitch tho, he’s my new hate figure

          • Frank

            **rested not tested sorry

          • Tim

            I agree on Mowatt as he has had plenty of game time but bringing on Sam in injury time on Saturday was an insult to the lad. He has had virtually no game time this season. Even Warnock recognized his class! If he is on the bench then he must be fit. If we don’t play him we will lose a gem of a player AND he is a game changer. How long will McD persist with these two so called wingers?

          • Frank

            Like I said there’s questions we can’t know the answers to. And yes kebe should’ve been shelved after the boro game, I can’t stand lazy players, but stop it Tim you’re talking me around and I liked my opinion ever so much haha

    • Irving08

      Not playing Byram is indeed a mystery. Anyone who saw his break-out from defence to create our third goal (was it number 3 ?) against Huddersfield would be mystified. A player who can turn defence into attack in that manner would be one of the first names on most Manager’s team sheets, but not on Brian’s. Can anyone explain his omission ? Is he a bit injured ?

    • Harry

      Bryam should have replaced Kebbe at half time not in the 92nd minute. Can’t remember Kebbe beating a man or getting a decent ball into the box but he played 90mins. I can’t help feeling BMcD threw 2pts away here, he seemed happy to settle for a result that is absolutely no good to us. At this rate he’s going to earn the sack.

  • NottsWhite

    Brian seems totally blind to the inept performances of Stewart, Kebe, Lees and Austin. It could be argued that the squad doesn’t have the quality to replace them however Brian has not tried. Leeds fans tend to be forgiving when the team is seen as giving all for the cause however performances have been poor, players should be held accountable however when the manager continues with the same players and tactics then the buck stops with him

  • Tim

    What’s this? The ‘Betfair Scratching Shed’?

  • stockwhite

    Forest a sh*t nothing club ? Kebeb your new hate figure ? come on frank you need to do a couple of things, learn some 70’s football history, and despite how crap Kebe seems, aim your so called ire at a manager who plays him, not the bloke who clearly isn’t match fit, but then most supporters knew that . Hate figure, dear dear

    • Frank

      Ok maybe not Forest but it doesn’t make my point about the behind the scenes issues at Elland Road any less valid. As for Kebe the wonderful thing about hate is it is defined purely by a persons own opinions, so whilst you may sympathize with him for his lack of match fitness and he may very well be lacking match fitness, that doesn’t account for his laziness and the lack of interest that he’s shown in tracking back, chasing down a ball, passing to fucking feet! I can understand his touch being poor having not played much. I can understand him not being able to track back, but he doesn’t appear to make even the slightest bloody effort and that is what draws my ire, I have never been even a remotely gifted player, I think it’d be a miracle to be considered even mediocre by pub league standards, but I always ran myself to the ground regardless of who I played for, and being a shite player there is nothing worse than seeing someone talented who can coast by on their talent and not put in the gritty side of the game. And that my friend is the start of my list of reasons as to why kebe is becoming my hate figure

      • spellz

        100% agree about Kebe lazy and wasting any shred of talent he has by not putting in a shift.

  • henrymouni

    I think BM is being careful with Sam, who has had to play with injections, so we have to trust that he knows what is best.
    I would ‘rest’ Jimmy Kebe, and play him in the reserves until gets fitter and more positive in his play.
    I would switch Stewart to the right wing – his best position .
    He is running down the left, then trying to turn onto his right foot to cross the ball.
    Our midfield has always been our main problem, and we need a leader in this area asap.
    It shows what a difference a couple of quality players makes to the team.
    Hats off to Mr Cellino, who has show more guts and commitment to the team, than anyone in recent times.
    With such support Brian can do the business.

    • Irving08

      I would send Kebe back to Reading, Henri. Then Stewart can be given a fair chance on the right. Re: midfield, I also agree – Austin must be gently benched. Celino – yes, a real coup for Leeds ! Brian may be able to do the business with Celli providing the fuel. We may even get Salvo’s (my local Leeds caff), to do the Pavilion catering: Sicily meets Sardinia – great combo.

      • Matthew

        Irving, Kebe is a Palace player dude. And considering how awful he is, it makes me laugh that Palace are paying him an absurdly high wage. Palace are being robbed lol.
        He’s 1/4 the player Snoddy is and is likely on more money.

        • Irving08

          Brian would therefore be doing Palace a favour too !

  • stockwhite

    Frank save the hate for more appropriate causes . I get you about how you and I would have ran ourselves into the ground for a pub team, let alone LUFC. By the look of your pic, you far more recently than me. But as leeds fans we neeed
    Frank, I get what you say about how you and I would run ourselves into the ground for a pub side, let alone LUFC, and according to your pic, you more recent than me. I do feel that’s because you and me love one club, per sempre. You should reserve your hate for better purposes, that’s those who hate us. We get too spiteful on our team players who are there to do a job, we sing sarcy songs about unpopular players, not very productive really. Just a thought

    • Frank

      I get your point, it’s not like I’m sat in my room cutting the eyes out of Kebe posters and spitting at the tv when he comes on screen. Hate figure just rolled off the tongue better than person who I greatly dislike because he’s a lazy unmotivated oxygen thief who’s wasting god given talent. As for directing hate towards those who hate us, I don’t encounter many people who actually proper hate leeds in sunny melbourne. Infact I’m the only leeds fan I know, everyone else is a mixture of scum, scouse and gooner. Which makes it hard to direct hate towards scum when they out number you by considerable odds. However I will choose my terminology abit better next time

  • stockwhite

    please excuse the repetition

  • stockwhite

    Fair do’s Frank .Melbourne eh ? So let me get this right, younger than me, better tan than me, better access to open air drinking than me . No I’m not a bitter man at all lol.

    • Frank

      Hahahaha, they’re the pros, let us weigh the cons, only get to elland road once every 2 or 3 years, 2 reconstructed knees so I can’t play football anymore and higher risk of melanoma because I’m Irish and burn like a cheap steak. Although the beer selection here is quite extensive and amazing so it does help ease the pain :p

  • PMH

    Calmer waters no longer – more of a maelstrom really The Guardian is reporting that Cellino is now accused of tax evasion for a big yacht. If found guilty he will NOT meet the very low standard of the Football League, so it is said. Too bad our knight in shining armour is a white collar criminal.

    • henrymouni

      I did not think tax evasion was a crime in Italy.
      It never did Harry Redknapp any harm!
      Or Ken Dodd.

    • mrbigwheels

      It’s surely old news we knew in the Guardian report.
      The real news though is Cellino will be innocent of that charge on March 13th when the FL meet to make a decision on his F and P to take Leeds over but they, (the FL), are going to bend their own rules and impose a delay to await the Italian court decision….. Wouldn’t happen to others… surely.

      Why in heavens is Shaun (five months in the job, I was loyal but am still bitter), Harvey doing any where near this F and P case. Please don’t anyone tell me he’s not involved or will be non influential in this matter…

      .

      • PMH

        Of course they have to “bend” their rules or they will find they have approved of a convicted, possibly jailed, criminal running the most prestigious club in the Championship.

    • Clueless

      Too bad our “Manager” can’t manage!…. & to think he was nearly out the door.