David Hockaday has been fired by Leeds United, the club has now confirmed.

After just 70 days and four league games in charge, Hockaday will depart Elland Road and be remembered as probably the most bizarre appointment in the club’s history.

Hockaday’s only previous experience of the top job came at Forest Green Rovers where he failed miserably with the Conference side leading them to the brink of relegation in two of his three seasons, avoiding it once on nothing more than a technicality.

His dismissal will bolster cries for someone of a higher calibre to be handed the reigns, for Leeds United is a club like few others. As the only representation of England’s third largest city in professional football, Leeds possess a fanbase which stretches to all corners of the globe, the interest generated by which is both a blessing and a curse.

For Massimo Cellino, it was probably the main reason he wanted to own Leeds United in the first place, but as owner, he must now recognise that the person he hires to lead this club will be under more pressure and scrutiny than anything he witnessed at Cagliari.

And to deal with that, it takes a big character. Call him the ‘head coach’ or ‘manager’ or whatever you like, he’s still the focal point of media and fan attention, the person who’ll be expected to answer for results both good and bad, the man required to pick his players up when they’re taking criticism from every corner of the globe, while simultaneously dealing with concerns of the fans and trying to stave off the inevitable mental breakdown being called ‘tactically inept’ by fat, middle-aged blokes in replica shirts leads to.

There’s an understandable learning curve for Massimo, most of which is a simple case of scaling-up on what he did at Cagliari. In terms of the man leading the first team, we need to scale-up dramatically and find someone who can control what is otherwise a destructive and self-consuming beast in Leeds United Football Club.

Reacting to the mistakes of pre-season when we lost to Millwall on opening day, Massimo showed he’d learnt quickly and understood what needed to be done. In reacting to what was unquestionably a mistake hiring David Hockaday, the Leeds United owner now needs to find someone who the players, fans and media believe can take the club forward – because at Leeds United, that’s often half the battle.

So long Hock. We’ll always have that glorious first half v Accrington.

42 Responses

  1. djedjedje

    I’m thinking Neil Redfearn is the only member of staff left at LUFC now (and as in all the staff, not just the coaching staff!)

  2. djedjedje

    £5 says the next coach will be someone we’ve also never heard of.

    Or worse, O’Leary.

    • TSS

      Just me who’d happily welcome O’Leary back? It’s that Irish charm and twinkle in his eyes, I miss him so much…

      • djedjedje

        Yeah but it’d never work: Cellino’s ego would get ruffled every time O’Leary cooed about ‘HIS babies’. ;)

      • Chareose

        and have eddie grey back as his assistant ??? By the way do those two hold a grudge with each other or are they mates these days ?

      • TSS

        There was rumours, but I honestly have no idea. I mentally filed it alongside Cantona sleeping with Chapman’s missus rumour for what it’s worth.

      • Matthew

        At this point, anyone with experience enough to halt our serious decline should be considered. With Hock now gone, more than anything we need to start picking up points.

  3. Tyler75

    There is a god after all – to be honest I’d take antbody who even rersembles a coach after The Hock, but ideally ? Garcia wouldn’t be a bad shout, as would Zola or Gary Mac but my personal choice would be Steve Clarke – chances are though it will be an Italian coach he knows and I’ll be absolutely fine with that. MOT

  4. PAUL W

    Neil Redfern would always have been a better choice for Leeds coach, than Hockaday and that other “nobody” coach from Reading.
    I really do hope that Cellino makes the right decision and brings in a proper manager, who knows the Championship and not another “nobody”, who will last for just 6 games.
    Cellino has to now realise that his way is not the right way, by having a coach instead of a manager, which has now put Leeds into a season of catch-up and struggling against relegation.

    • Chareose

      looks like Maran who atleast knows half our Italian players from his time at Catania

  5. Stonemonkey

    We could do a lot worse than Eddie Gray. His record with bringing young players through is second to non. He should have remained manager the last time he was placed in temporary charge. Instead we brought in a loser. MOT

    • ROSCO

      Eddie Gray???? approaching his 70’s been out of the game for almost 30 years…yeah sounds a perfect fit u muppet

  6. lufcboy

    Thank fuck for that – but it just means that we will have another Italian in the shape of the Coach. There are still some good English/British Coaches/Managers who don’t have a job at the moment.

  7. Helen LUFC

    Cellino is making a right mess of LUFC. First fires McDermott, reinstates him, only to sack him again. Does the same to Hockaday, can’t make his mind up, decides to sack him, leaves the coach in limbo…sacks him. What an idiot we have as a club owner. No manager in their right minds would want to work with Cellino. It will be the usual Italian appointment as coach next. Then another when he’s fired him. Cellino might surprise everyone and appoint a female manager!

    • Steve ls6

      He only re hired that baled twat because our less educated fan base threatened to kick his head in. Mcdonnut should have gone at that very moment. Then this farce of hockatwat would never happen. And I’m sorry, but if people of the caliber of warnock wanted to work at qpr and the Blackburn/Birmingham owners. We will easily get a a manager. At least he has learned he made a mistake. I bet the next manager will be alot better. He has already come out and said he wants a British coach with more experience. .

    • Jimmy

      Enough of this sitting on the fence Helen, time you said what you really feel!

  8. spellz

    I think Eddie gray does deserve a shot but I doubt it as he would relish being the manager but I don’t know if he would be happy being Cellinos bitch as with alot of managers so it does narrow down and limit the list dramatically, who’s your money on people?

    I think maybe Oscar Garcia as he appropiately just left Tel Aviv.

    M.O.T AA

  9. Ron

    Gary Kelly gets my vote. Tons of good English managers about, but I can’t see them wanting to be subordinate to Cellino. Like a few on here, I suspect it’s an Italian nobody incoming. Half the squad now speak Italian, so perhaps Hock yelling at them in English was futile and lead to his downfall.

    • tyr

      Gary Kelly? We’ve just got rid of an inexperienced coach and you want to bring in another one.

      • Ron

        Good luck hoping for an experienced manager under Massimo Cellino. He wants a Yes man and he will find another. At least my nomination is Leeds through and through.

      • tyr

        Your vote is for someone even less qualified than a non league coach?

        Massimo Cellino would be an idiot to employ even more inexperienced coaches then sack them weeks later then pay out more severance pay which could be spent on getting this team promoted and not relegated by employing the right man for the job. (yes we know his sacking record at Calgary was crazy, but this is Leeds)

        If Massimo Cellino has ‘hopefully’ learnt anything from coming here it will be that the Italian way is not the right way in the English leagues and the reason he bought the club in the first place was to make it successful and I believe it can be successful again by employing quality and stepping back and letting them do their job.

        Hockaday was a cheap option, well I say cheap it works out at 90k for the ‘shift’ he put in. (or thereabouts) add that to McDermotts pay off and so on with other non entities he could employ – not such a cheap option at all.

  10. tyr

    Rolando Maran is the rumour going around betting sites.
    Oscar Garcia rumoured too, along with the usual suspects.

  11. Chapel A

    Grayson for me. Understands the culture of the club, capable of building an exciting attacking team and, having worked under Bates, would have the necessary backbone to work with Cellino. Experienced in this league and would be highly motivated to succeed second time round.

  12. blue monday

    Mr Hockaday has shown great restraint, diginity and dare I say a much greater degree of professionalism than many of our so called fans this past few weeks. Why MC appointed him only he knows. Everyone could see that it was a bigger job than he could handle. I haven’t a clue who will fill the job. But I hope that Mr Hockaday comes back into football in some form and finds success.

    • Matthew

      Although I was alarmed at his appointment, I initially wanted him to succeed. However when our form took a nose dive on the already questionable form last season, he simply had to go. Win lose or draw, playing like that week in week out would only get us relegated.

  13. Gazza

    So it seems we are glad to see the back of the Hock. So who should take charge of our beloved Leeds. If MC has the balls and the money to employ Tony Pulis my opinion of the Italian being a total NOB may begin to change. Come on Tony you can make us great again ;)

  14. Gazza

    Second thoughts worry me….of course he is a total NOB so who will want to work with the egotistical txat!

  15. Jimmy

    Kay sara sara, what ever will be, will be!
    It’s a happy day, lets enjoy the match on Saturday and hopefully let MC redeem himself and get it right this time!
    Optimism rising again!

    That said, l don’t gloat at anyone getting the boot, MC made a damned bad decision for the worst of reasons and DH is paying the price for that!

  16. mrbigwheels

    Cellino won’t have a clue who Steve Clarke or Tony Pulis are, I’m sure.
    Like most of us he’ll be scratching his head. (shed).
    Will the Hock return?
    Don’t laugh…. this has been a re-occuring habit of MC.
    We’ve only seen the McD story.

    Escaping moths and all that stuff is not an event Cellino likes to happen.
    But…. you never know, he may surprise us all and get a Prem man in?.

    Garcia should be in Mr C’s top two list…. for me.

  17. 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.

  18. pmh

    ProbleM! No serious candidate with any self-respect is going to take a temporary position as Leeds Coach working for a lunatic.


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