It’s been a week since a single tweet from the ex-Bradford City hairmodel sent our fanbase into it’s usual opposing trenches, a single solitary sentence full of ellipsis wishing a good morning to all his followers and stating that he was at Linate airport heading to Leeds. Rumourmongers jumped on it to tell all & sundry that he was our new head coach while the rumoursnipers came out in force to tell everyone that he’s just flying over for a charity event.

I’ll admit, I was in the latter camp, (but silently, I’ve learnt picking a side when it comes to LUFC rumours leads to being wrong 50% of the time) until Phil Hay tweeted that the truth according to Cellino was somewhere in between.

The truth according to Cellino however, can sometimes be a distortion of the actual truth; starting back with his first interaction with the British press on these shores towards the end of January regarding LUFC when he informed them he was simply a good friend of GFH’s and stated “We are talking, checking the numbers, but I’m not a buyer, if anything, an adviser to the buyers.” It’s now known he was first shown round Thorp Arch in October with manager-in-waiting Gianluca Festa in tow.

Following the fan’s reaction to Fiasco Friday, Cellino attempted to quell the storm with a statement to the press, “Festa was not here to coach the club, just to make the translation with the players, Festa has never run a club before. I have never had him coach a team in Italy before, so why would I want him to coach a major club like Leeds?” but the truth is, before Massimo made this statement and Festa disappeared into the ether; the ex-Boro defender had picked a team to play against Huddersfield before the set-up was reverted back to the one McDermott had set out prior to being fired the night before.

Cellino has, as usual – for someone who once stated, “I don’t talk with television or radio” – spoke out on the matter asserting that Carbone “wants to be a coach in England so he came to me and we spoke about him coming here, coaching the Under-21s. I have known him since he was a boy” and that, “Benito will help me to rebuild the academy, to make it good, to make it better.” While also leaping to calm the rumours that McDermott was on his way out of the club, “the coach is my last problem here. There are much bigger problems.”

Feel free to call me a bitter cynic, but to my sceptical mind and based on the amount of Cellino’s statements which turn out to be true, that reads as goodbye Brian, hello Benny.

Carbone’s record as a head coach speaks for itself in his qualifications for running a team of Leeds’ stature and Premier League ambitions. His first foray into first-team management was stepping up from being the U-19’s Manager at Pavia of the old Serie C to lead them out of the relegation zone with 3 wins & 2 draws out of 8 matches. He then jumped ship to the bright lights of Varese in Serie B – a team the season before in the play-offs – and managing them to 1 win and 3 draws in 8, scoring a grand total of 2 goals on the way while also getting knocked out of the Coppa Italia in the 2nd Round to a Serie C team, before being fired after 2 months with Varese propping up the table.

Following on from being fired he was appointed head coach of the recently-promoted-to Serie C2 side Vallée d’Aoste where he lasted his longest time in management, notching up six months experience at a team who went on to get relegated at the end of the season with 35 points from 34 games.

Many times over this season, the question has been asked of whether McDermott has enough about him to be in charge of Leeds United, or whether we are indeed too big for him. My questioning of Carbone is much the same, is it a possibility that our first team is going to be coached by a man with less than 50 games under his managerial cap? To put it into perspective, the most fans Benito Carbone has managed a team in front of is less than half the capacity of Elland Road’s Kop, a paltry 3,379.

I’m not against the idea of a coach who has no experience in England leading our players from the dugout on a Saturday afternoon, Uwe Rosler & Mauricio Pochettino are shining examples that it can work out – but those oft mentioned coaches managed at the top-level in their respective countries for years, 6 in Rosler’s case, 3 in Pochettino’s. Frankly, in my view, appointing Carbone as leader of our first team would be nothing short of ridiculous.

But maybe I’m wrong, maybe Benny is coming in just as a youth coach and we have a world’s first of Cellino telling the whole truth to the press?

– Written by @LardyWhite.

Is Benito Carbone McDermott's successor-in-waiting?

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