Runners and Riders in the post-Hockaday Stakes Graham Smeaton August 29, 2014 Leeds United 42 Comments It lasted 6 games and a mere 70 days but the reign of Coach Hockaday has finally ended; some will contest that it never really began. Many scratched their heads at the appointment of an untried and untested ‘manager’ at this level and those people are probably still scratching their head somewhat now. In a way it was a cruel appointment, leaving many Leeds United fans clinging to the hope that the appointment was going to be something of a Maverick but the stark likelihood soon emerged that it was more of a Goose that we got. Well, now, that goose is well and truly stuffed and the next course is due to be served. The question remains at the very forefront of Leeds supporter’s minds; what are the ‘front runners’ going to bring to the club? Odds quoted are from SkyBet and valid as of Friday 29th August midday Rolando Maran – Italian (preferred formation 4-3-3 offensive): current odds 11/10 Maran is currently the ‘bookies’ favourite‘ to be given the vacant ‘hot seat’ at Leeds. Over his managerial career, stretching back to managing AS Citadella and culminting in his managing Calcio Catania, he has the following %age returns: 36.4% wins, 28.5% draws and 35.2% losses. Table showing last 5 managerial positions Team Games goals p/g for goals p/g against points p/g 2013/14 Calcio Catania 13 0.85 1.77 0.54 2012/13 Calcio Catania 50 1.30 1.34 1.40 2011/12 AS Varese 1910 37 1.57 0.97 1.86 2010/11 Vincenza Calcio 52 1.02 1.17 1.38 2009/10 Vincenza Calcio 33 1.00 1.00 1.18 Óscar García – Spanish (preferred formation 4-3-3 offensive): current odds 11/1 Óscar García developed through the ranks at Barcelona and since retiring has had 2 main managerial placements: Maccabi Tel Aviv (Israel) and Brighton and Hove Albion (England). He has the following %age returns: 51.6% wins, 23.7% draws and 24.7% losses. Table showing last 2 managerial positions Team Games goals p/g for goals p/g against points p/g 2013/14 Brighton and Hove Albion 53 1.21 1.00 1.49 2012/13 Maccabi Tel Aviv 36 2.17 0.83 2.22 Steve Clarke – Scottish (preferred formation 4-2-3-1): current odds 5/2 Steve Clarke was a right back whose career started at St Mirren and whose career ended at Chelsea after 167 Premier League appearances. He holds a UEFA Pro training licence. He has the following %age returns: 31.1% wins, 23.0% draws and 45.9% losses. Table showing last managerial position Team Games goals p/g for goals p/g against points p/g 2012/13 West Brom 60 1.38 1.50 1.18 Tony Pulis – Welsh (preferred formation 4-2-3-1): current odds 18/1 Recently relieved of his duties as Crystal Palace manager, Pulis has had a managerial career taking in Bournemouth, Gillingham, Bristol City, Portsmouth, Stoke (twice), Plymouth and, ultimately, Palace themselves. He has the following %age returns: 36.7% wins, 28.1% draws and 35.2% losses. Table showing last 4 managerial positions Team Games goals p/g for goals p/g against points p/g 2012/13 Crystal Palace 28 1.04 1.04 1.46 2006/12 Stoke City 332 1.23 1.24 1.41 2005/06 Plymouth Argyle 37 0.86 0.89 1.30 2002/05 Stoke City 123 1.00 1.11 1.33 Gary Megson – English (preferred formation 4-2-3-1): current odds 20/1 Gary Megson was a defensive midfield player whose career saw him play in teams such as Everton, Nottingham Forest, Newcastle and Manchester City. He has the following %age returns: 36.2% wins, 25.7% draws and 38.1% losses. Table showing last 5 managerial positions Team Games goals p/g for goals p/g against points p/g 2011/12 Sheffield Wednesday 62 1.48 1.44 1.55 2007/09 Bolton Wanderers 99 1.08 1.45 1.09 2007/07 Leicester City 9 0.89 0.78 1.44 2004/06 Nottingham Forest 54 1.04 1.31 1.15 1999/04 West Bromwich Albion 140 1.16 1.09 1.49 Roberto di Matteo – Italian (preferred formation 4-2-3-1): current odds 25/1 Roberto di Matteo was an Italian player best known for his career in England with Chelsea after a transfer from Lazio in 1996. He has the following %age returns: 52.3% wins, 21% draws and 26.7% losses. Table showing last 4 managerial positions Team Games goals p/g for goals p/g against points p/g 2012/12 Chelsea FC 21 2.29 1.57 1.76 2011/11 Chelsea FC (interim) 21 2.24 1.24 2.19 2009/11 West Bromwich Albion 83 1.73 1.35 1.67 2008/09 Milton Keynes Dons 51 1.82 1.16 1.78 Summary Manager with highest %wins: Roberto di Matteo 52.3% Manager with games returning most %points (wins plus draws): Roberto di Matteo 73.3% Manager with lowest % wins: Steve Clarke 31.1% So, these are six of the contenders for the inaugural ‘Post-Hockaday Stakes’. Seems that Maran is currently the Bookie’s favourite with Clark in the running a close 2nd with outsiders such as Megson and di Matteo sandwiching other contenders such as Garciá and Pulis. What experience has taught me is to never bet against the possibility of Leeds United appointing a rank outsider – David Moyes at 100/1 and Paul Ince at 66/1 look decent bets if you want to flutter £1 TSS LOL, David Moyes and Paul Ince, Graham? Seriously? I can’t tell if you’re joking… Garcia or Hughton for me (or Larry back, of course), but as you say, it’s anyone’s guess who we’ll actually get. mrbigwheels Isn’t Di Matteo still getting the pay off from Chelski?. Sure I read that somewhere and ties him up. What would he cost… I wonder… because he may well be the Ultimate candidate… Graham He’s got a good record with MK Dons; worryingly with a lot of those I mentioned (3 managers) they’ve managed West Brom… Graham I just took the two longest odds on the SkyBet thing I was looking at. I’m going for Vladimir Putin myself, good at invading opponent’s territory. henrymouni Kelly brook would be my choice. That will keep the fans in a good mood, no matter how bad we are playing! tyr There’s been enough tits at Elland Rd. Graham I agree henrymouni on two fronts – at least we’d be abreast of the situation… mrbigwheels There are tits… and tits. Look on the bright side… Massimo would be very charming for starters and struggle with the dismissal… henrymouni Mrs Cellino might not be too pleased Mr B!! Mike Durkin We should go for Larry – knows the league and if he had been backed with money at the right time would have got us up……. the only time we have had a “TEAM” in the last 10 years…….. deserves another go and plus he has more experience now and knows what its like to manage Leeds …….. it would help Cellino as well who will get a load of s**t of the fans if his next appointment goes pear-shaped…………. with Larry the fans will be appeased and the new squad will have time to bed in. TSS I think compensation may rule Larry out? I’d love him back though. Tyler75 I wouldn’t be appeased. I liked Larry but he couldn’t organise anything resembling a defence. TSS Thing is, our defence hasn’t improved without him. Can’t we just write it off and return to all-out-attack? Was much more fun. Thommohawk You must be on about Simon Grayson, I’d be in agreement he would be a good option I always liked him. Defence hasn’t improved without him, attack got a lot worse and basically all cos we’ve no pace or width in the side that’s what it boils down to. Sometimes you have to go backwards to move forwards but has that ever worked at a football club ? Be it player or mananger ? djedjedje I think Johnny Giles is correct on two grounds. Firstly, no manager worth their salt will consider managing Leeds United under Cellino. Flops like Maran might, tried-and-failed managers who have lost their lustre (or just been ‘found out’) like Megson and Ince might take it through desperation – but they’d have to seriously consider how much lower their future career prospects would go after being routinely classed as ‘shit’ or ‘needing baby-sitting’ by their chairman in the press, and played in a public cat and mouse game of ‘maybe I’ll sack him, maybe I wont’, before being given their marching orders after a third of the season. There’s no career advantage to a (British-based) manager in taking the Leeds job. So why take it unless you are bad at your job and desperate, and hence no use to Leeds United? *** Secondly, Cellino should be the coach. I’d be surprised if he could muster as many points as Hockaday, but like Hockaday I’d give him a fair crack at it. Only he’d have to actually do the coaching, maybe with his kids to help with the training bibs, catering and placing out the training cones. You know, a good old Italian family-run business where they all muck in. None of this Football Manager computer game nonsense though, Mr. Cellino, the type of game where you can’t be bothered setting the players’ individual training programme – or tackle their quibbles about positional play or smooth pricked egos when the new Italian lad comes in and takes your position in changing room, let alone starting line-up – as all you really want to do is pick the team squad, get the match under way and revel in the success. Always quick to speed on to the next match: win, lose or draw – perhaps only to pause between matches to trawl the stats of players in the Latin leagues for untried and tested under-21 players from Surinam or El Salvador, irrespective that they’re another CM player to add to the collection of the last half dozen you’ve bought this month. I’m pretty sure that Cellino wouldn’t like it much after a few weeks as manager-coach-chairman of Leeds United. Not many of us would. But at least if he fails and sacks himself, then he can hardly reappoint himself in the future (although with a guy like Cellino you imagine he could). Which might then lead us to an eventuality when Cellino has to admit – preferably in public, for Hockaday’s schadenfreude as much as anything – that he’s not a footballer, he’s not a football manager, he’s not a scout, he’s most certainly not a football coach, but only a very rich man. He should admit that he’s a rich man who has made his money in Italian agricultural production and who is now also the financial owner of a second-tier English football club – and for both of these reasons he should be proud as hell. He belittles both of these accomplishments by pretending to be something he is not. The quicker he gets it out of his system (I’d recommend getting over the ‘rock god’ whilst he’s at it: at best it’s a midlife crisis, otherwise it’s just embarrassing), the better for us all. Chris7286 I hope Massimo reads this article because he isn’t very good at selecting coaches. In fact you should try and get it to him via that twitter or something. As usual TSS with the most read worthy articles. mrbigwheels No, no …. the only way is in letter format in the post. Don’t forget to mention your poorly Mum or at least her state of health. Mr C likes letters. Chris7286 I think I missed the punch line there? Confused :-/ mrbigwheels MC was writing letters to McDermott at one time when McD went missing supposedly and was actually visiting his rather poorly Mum. Was suggesting TSS write to Cellino, etc. Graham I reckon MC was bullying Hockaday to do it. Tim Has to be Garcia for me and the stats are good. However, I would not object to Larry or GaryMac. Johnny Giles is a wanker just seeking publicity as he must be bored in Ireland. Can’t believe an ex Leeds player would say such drivel. I don’t remember any comments from him under Bates, GFH et al. This when Leeds really get going – love it MOT always. mrbigwheels Someone convince me what Steve Clarke is going to do at Leeds. Just don’t see him coping with the structure and may only barely surpass the 70 day benchmark. Garcia may understand the team blend of nationalities and play styles to bring the whole match together better in the Championship. We need a tactician and strong willpower here not someone talking the walk…. Kevin Scorah 2 things to remember before compiling a managerial wish list. Cellino won’t employ anyone who is going to cost money in terms of salary and severance pay when he sacks them in a few months time. That rules out Pulis, MacKay, hughton, Butcher etc etc. Secondly, few managers will accept a role where they haven’t got control of transfers and ultimately, the players in the squad. Due to these constraints, I see Neil Redfern as the obvious choice. He knows the current squad as well as anyone, has had success with the youth teams, is well respected at ER, is currently working under Cellino, and he wouldn’t cost any more money. However, we are going to get an unknown European, probably an up and coming Italian, or more likely, a previous manager of Cagliari whom Cellino is still on good terms with. If I was In charge, I’d be looking to take a chance on Paul Sturrock or poaching John Sheridan from Plymouth. Eddie Gray would be a huge mistake in my opinion – if only because a failure would ensure his leaving the club and would taint his reputation. djedjedje I agree about Redfearn being an excellent choice, all things considered. The only downside would be that when he inevitably gets sacked in 3 – 6 – 9 months time, then we’d lose a stalwart of consistency at our inconsistent club. At the moment being a stalwart is probably more important than who gets to sit in the manager’s dug out. As Redfearn seems happy with the U-18s or U-21s (or currently both!), and is successful with them, let him keep prospering at that at least. Surprisingly, when Redfearn was replaced as the temporary manager of the first team by Bates, Bates let him return to his backroom role. I’m not sure kneejerk Cellino would be as willing. On the by, I wonder if Cellino now reckons getting rid of Naylor and Bromby was such a great idea! TSS Redders ruled himself out. Wants to stay as Academy Head. Phil Benson To be fair, a couple of incomings were reportedly influenced by Hockaday – Billy Sharp and one other that escapes me at the moment. So Cellino does listen to an extent, I think. TSS Ajose was the other. henrymouni To a very small degree Phil. We are expecting two more this weekend, which are both Massimo’s. There must be 10 or more players that Massimo has brought in that The Hock has never heard of. Hopefully some of them will improve the team, but it is an odd way to work. Graham To be fair Cellino brought in ‘The Hock’ and 1000s of Leeds fans hadn’t heard of him… henrymouni We all know him now Graham! Matthew Academy head is probably the safest job for him, at least he could ride out the Cellino era there if he continues to be a pinnacle of excellence. Cellino will value him enough to keep around. leeds lunatic Has to be Grayson. Leeds through and through, loves the club, loved by the fans. Wouldn’t take much to pry him from PNE. He knows what it’s like to work with his hands tied. Last time around Bates consistenly sold his best players, maybe this time he can be successful under a guy who has the clubs best interest at heart. If nothing else id imagine he’d get us playing attractive attacking football, although maybe defense might still be an issue… Anyway, worth a punt. Kevin Scorah Put yourself in Larry’s shoes…. Would you come back to ER under Cellino? Matthew I can’t see it happening. Cellino being controlling aside, as the manager of PNE he will want to get them promoted, he was so close to doing it last season. If he’s successful, I bet he gives the championship a go with PNE. tyr Cellino won’t pay the compensation for Grayson. henrymouni Assuming we get a higher quality coach, he will insist on choosing his own key players. The Hock was ridiculed by Cellino, when he suggested some names. He told him to f….. off. Cellino may know Italian players, but the new coach would want senior players of proven ability in our League. He won’t fancy our squad very much as it is, djedjedje You don’t think it’s more than a coincidence that he’s got rid of his coach and got in a temporary coach (Redfearn) with only four or so days left before the transfer window shuts, Henry? If he’d sacked Redfearn after Watford, and got in a new guy a couple of days ago, then the new guy would have had chance to ask about wingers or whether we really need another striker, or Adryan. From Cellino’s point of view, why bother with that possible headache when you can play the benevolent clown and say that you’re giving Hockaday another chance (against Bradford). The new guy’s instructions will no doubt be: “You’ve got a massive squad of X players; there’s more than enough there for you to create a team out of it. Go get on with it”. It’s a long way until the next transfer window opens, long enough to bluff off any requests from the next guy. Kevin Scorah I believe we have enough quality in our squad for a half decent manager/coach to work with. I for one would love to know how McDermott would have finished up had there not been the off field shenanigans. We obviously will never know. But…. We often see new managers work wonders with existing squads who have been performing badly. A new formation, implementation of tactics, new training methods. Pulis at Palace was a great example. I’m not saying Pulis is the answer, but I do believe a decent manager/coach could have our current lot pushing for the top 6. Matthew Hate to state the obvious but the problem with getting someone with experience at this level is that they will want some say on the team and transfers. MC will have to chill a bit and let someone do their job for anyone of genuine quality to come here. But knowing our luck we’ll end up with Hock 2.0. Dr Zen It will very likely be Maran. Some of these names, you have to be kidding. I suppose Maran’s about Megson level though and will likely have the same amount of success you’d expect from Megson, ie none. tyr Cellino: Don’t expect big-name boss Helen LUFC Put Cellino in charge, job done.