Larry makes it three, as Paul Connolly signs in TSS June 10, 2010 Leeds United 91 Comments With Paul Connolly’s arrival from Derby County, it seems as though the often ridiculous rumour-mill, is actually delivering the goods this season. Ignoring Kasper Schmeichel who no one saw coming, both of Leeds’ summer signings so far were rumoured to be joining days before it was confirmed by the club. Of course, there’s been just as many false dawns as well, but credit where it’s due! Connolly is yet another Simon Grayson free-transfer, but one that shouldn’t be sniffed at. Connolly comes with oodles of experience having made 230 league appearances so far in his career, and at just 26-years old, he’s hardly planning for retirement. Connolly signs in The former Derby County captain will take over the troublesome right-back position, which was one of the key areas most Leeds United fans felt was in need of improvement before our return to the Championship. A statement from Connolly on Leeds United’s official website reads; “He didn’t have to sell the club – you don’t have to sell Leeds – he said he wanted me, and he seems like he will be a really good guy to work with. “I know I’m competing with other players who have played right-back, and I’m looking forward to it. “I can’t wait to express myself. I’m not going to dribble past 11 players and chip it in the top corner, but I’ll do my basics right, get in a tackle, push forward, and look to deliver good crosses.” Despite a good start to his career at Derby County, Connolly fell out of favour when Nigel Clough arrived and stripped him of his captaincy. Clough then signed two new right-backs, making it clear to Connolly that his future was elsewhere. Another poll has been opened below to see what you, the fans, think of our latest signing. I’ve done one of these for each signing so far, so that when the transfer window closes, I can create a table with the new signings on and the fans approval rating alongside. Time to go for Neil Warnock? Yes No View Results Loading ... Dje Nothing about Carlisle getting let off the hook by the FA, TSS? TSS Sorry mate, been away for two days training so just catching up. Planning to add that in the morning. Dje ‘Two days training’? Umm, in post-season – there’s goes my hunch that you were actually Andy Hughes in disguise. TSS Well, I say training. I was actually the one teaching the course (blagged into it by a director). It was probably the next closest thing to torture, so I can only apologise to those that had to sit and listen to me rabble on for two days straight! TheReaper08 Not your natural environment then TSS ? TSS No, I save my ramblings for TSS usually. I occasionally do things like that, but try and avoid it wherever possible. Two nights in a hotel in the middle of nowhere, broken up by two days of standing in a conference room boring people to death isn’t my idea of fun! Domenico Peluso Good signing. Along with Crowe we now look to have two decent/experienced right backs. Much more interested to see whom we get in at centre back and left back at the moment though. Any word on these positions yet? I have heard several different rumours but to me the signings in these positions will strongly dictate how we do next year. Michael Kraczkowski you mean, along with crowe, we now have a decent right back Matt BB i think crowe had a lot of bad luck last season with injuries, i think he can do a job in the championship if he stays in one piece. Craig Sure, Crowe had an unlucky season but I think that became our good luck. Each time I saw him last season he scared the pants off me defensively. saltburnwhite delighted with the signing connoly brings bags of championship experience and is a leader captaining both clubs he has played for , this is a much needed addition to the backline as you cant go wrong with another ‘leader’ in the team , especially with our wobbly defence towards the end of last season. other ‘free’s’ alledgedly on graysons radar are jason koumas from wigan & tommy spurr left back from sheff weds . also this rumour keeps cropping up about mataja kezman coming in on loan from PSG , really could happen it sounds far fetched but isnt getting a game and has never cut it in the top leagues however performs well for his country and could be the marquee signing leeds fans are hoping for , you know how sneaky larry is with his signings Dje I’m hoping that the lad Tom Lees gives Connolly and Crowe a good run for the right back position too. Apparently he has been playing that role for Accrington Stanley this season and it’d be good to see some future talent coming through on the right as well as left. Simon Cole I agree i hope Tom lees gets a chance to see what he can do it was good to see that Accrington stanley played him 40 odd games and that SG had him watched a few times to see how he was doing too. Paul South Wales With all these free signings i’m hoping a very good striker (Hooper) is winging his way to Leeds. So far the signings are spot on, I keep harping on about pace to accompany Paynter (who they say is devoid of any). He must keeping the money for a special summer signing. Things are going in the right direction and hopefully we’ll land a big player soon. MOT Matt BB youre optimistic arent you! Craig1919 He’s not a glamorous signing however he’s just what we need.. too often last year Crowe was found out, Connolly is well thought of on the whole, he’s solid and will offer something we don’t have… a right back that can actually tackle superhoops Absolutely. No razmataz, and this signing certainly isn’t going to make headlines – as Kisnorbo’s didn’t either. This is the sort of realistic signing we need to make to prove we’re serious about improving our squad in all areas. Also I thought he had a year remaining on his contract?? Dje They cancelled his last year so he could move on/lessen the wage bill. Apparently he had his medical at Leeds on 2nd June, so I presume this was the player who’s agent was in Spain that Bates was referring to last week. Dje *whose even Craig1919 He did but Derby let him go for free as he fell out of favour, our gain there loss in my opinion TheReaper08 The fundamental difference being if you know your onions that Paddy K prior to his knee injury had been linked to two premier league clubs, he was reputedly on the verge of joining Fulham at one satge. Craig I think Grayson’s biggest puzzle at the beginning of the season is what to do in central defence. Kis won’t be available until later in the season – how much later? – so are we going to sign a replacement (who may keep Kis out of the team if he gels) or try and make do until he returns? A big question IMO. TheReaper08 Doesn’t puzzle anyone even slightly that the only concrete offer was from Leeds ? Doesn’t concern anyone even slightly that we have been linked to this guy for weeks but nobody even felt remotely bothered to try and definitively challnge us for his signature ? Not even the Blades where he was sent off on loan last season ? Oh well you know what they say if you can’t beat em join em. Amazing signing, probably the best value signing of the summer. Great leader on and off the pitch and technically the most gifted full back outside the Prem. Craig It had occurred to me Reaper but he did play 7 games for the Blunts. Paul South Wales Again Reaper, dismissing players before they’ve even kicked a ball. Was there a plethora of clubs courting Kisnorbo when we got him? Can’t recall, or do you think he was a crap signing too? The blades sent Billy Sharpe out on loan and he wasn’t too shabby for Doncaster so don’t really know where you’re going with this whinge. TheReaper08 Oh I’m sorry Paul, I didn’t realise he had only just been beamed onto the planet, I was given the distinct impression he had kicked a ball before permitting me to make form an opinon, perhaps I have missed something. And I knew all about Paddy K’s career prior to his signing as I state above. He was cut from Leicester becsaue he was unlucky with injuries making him a risky signing but was essentially always quality player. Billy Sharp was good for Doncaster but I don’t understand your point,I am not bemoaning players going out on loan so you have lost me. Incidentally Doncaster are trying desperatly to sign Sharp, Sheffield are not trying to sign Connolly. Tell you something ? Tim Campbell A good solid signing who will be out to prove himself at the biggest club hes ever been at. Hes the right sort of age as well, might surprise a few this year Paul South Wales He’s gotta be better than Crow right? Tim Campbell More pace, and can get forward …if playing in front of our fans doesn’t inspire him – nothing will Paul South Wales Well 70% seem happy with the signing, but then there’s no pleasing some. TheReaper08 Nope, I agree. Personally I set my sights very very high so it is extroadinarily difficult to please me. Others set there sights a little lower. I never have baa’d and joined the crowd and thankfully I never will. Paul South Wales No Blackwell isn’t trying to sign Connolly, correct, but then again he’s trying to off load Sharpe, tell you something? Yes he doesn’t know what hell he’s doing! TheReaper08 Persuaded life long Leeds fan and everyone’s favourite midfield signing Nick Montgomery to stay though didn’t he. Also I’m no fan of Blackwell but Billy Sharp scored 8 goals in 38 league appearance, he has to make a decsion based on Sheffield United. It might not be a conincidence that Sharp get’s all his goals in less pressurised environments. superhoops My brothers’ housemate worked at Sheff Utd for a while, and apparently Blackwell’s style is incredibly ugly, all to do with winning free kicks in midfield and holding the ball up top with a view to getting decisions. TheReaper08 I agree, he loves a big man which is highlighted by his perserverance with the very limited Henderson. Nevertheless that’s not a good return of goals unless he was playing in defence the whole time. superhoops Montgomery was a huge failure on our part, we should have made sure with him. I don’t think that transfer money is necessarily a problem, it’s players wages that Bates has an issue with. Realistically Reaper, Connolly to play right back is not a bad signing on a free. The integral areas of the team – central midfield and up top – need quality players or we’re in serious trouble. TheReaper08 I have already gone on record and said I don’t know enough about him, I also suspect there are quite a few on here that don’t either but are proclaiming his brilliance. You won’t find any posts where I have directly stated he is no good, just questions and suspicions. It’s the lack of ambition that frustrates me which I expect to be resolved when the window opens and the cheque book comes out. Paul South Wales Less pressurised environments or with better managers who know how to play him and get the best out of him? TheReaper08 Could be the case, when he moves to another big club we will find out. The two managers to release him or loan him out are Warnock and Blackwell, neither are well known for cultured development of footballers ! Paul South Wales Anyway enough said on this subject he’s here now, let’s get behind him, and look to the next signing. Craig1919 As I said, not the most stylish but steady and solid. Good on a free, I like Grayson would prefer to spend money (if Bates puts his hand in his pocket)on acquiring a quality CB and another striker the RB position falls 4th or 5th in importance in my eyes so Connolly isn’t gonna be the best player we get he will do the job we need and has proven he can at this level, just fallen out of favour with management etc Mark R Blackwell, though I’m sure a decent bloke, was found out in the play off final vs. Watford. That’s a while ago and Shff U, though steady, have not moved on to better things. Montgomery – good luck to him. If he doesn’t want to come to Leeds, then it’s his loss. Schmeichal, Paynter & Connolly have shown desire & hunger to be at Leeds. The right attitude will get you a long way. All on frees, so good work SG. We’ve kept our powder dry for the right player/s. MacArthur – if he arrives fine, if not there’ll be others. It’s shaping up nicely. MOT TheReaper08 Hello Mark R, long time no speak. I have a hunger and desire for our club and only want the very best, do you think SG should make an early move for Reaper ? I am a very youthful 36 and had a moderately succesful career at CB. What do you think ? number1inyorkshire he might take you on loan reaper that way you will be able to carry on with your normal work as even if you are any good wont get a game TheReaper08 To be honest I’m not any good anymore, I haven’t played a competitive game in over a year. A rebuilt shoulder and a bad back put pay to me. Hang on what am I saying, I am going to start every game next year at left back…. Paul South Wales I totally agree Mark R, I think a signing that will surprise and please us all is on his way. So far so good and still all that cash (if there is any) lying idle in a big pile under a pillow in Montecarlo. Paul South Wales Remember we paid £250,000 for Bromby and he hasn’t exactly pulled up trees has he? number1inyorkshire cant say ive heard of this chap before cant be arsed to google him fair enough he is a leeds player so he is another god ,but he is another free there are merits to signing frees agreed before i get all of you telling me that ,but if money is not spent on players too it tells me we have none and thats when we should find out why .hooper for 1.5 million is what ive heard .i hope im wrong can we think that all free transfers help us to get out of champs this chap has signed for 3 years .ive just got it in my head that free transfers are that cos noone wants em no matter how hard i try not to have those thoughts . cmon tell me im wrong !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! TheReaper08 Roll on July and then we can both see how much we really have to spend. No team has traded it’s way out of the Coke league on free’s alone, even Blackpool coughed up 750k for Charlie Adam. Surely we are more ambitious than that ? Paul South Wales I’ll tell you a couple of weeks into the season. Although I think Casper is quality and he was free, so hopefully the others will prove good acquisitions. I agree if we don’t spend anything, then there’s something drastically wrong, but I think Hooper’s on his way here wishful perhaps we’ll see. MOT TheReaper08 Well let me tell you this now Paul, I would be delighted with Hooper. As TSS will confirm we have both agreed that he would be a very good signing for some time. I watched the highlights of Scunny’s games every weekend last season when Hooper was playing and I think he has that little something extra I keep banging on about. Sign him and as you put it earlier even the Reaper won’t whinge. Lee I hope your right, Hooper looks to have the mobility to trouble any defender. Do you see him with Becchio or Paynter up front?? TheReaper08 Not sure Lee, if I am honest I think he could play with both but my perosnal preference is for Becchio. I must stress that my choice is based on nothing more than my personal like of Lucciano and not through anything Billy Paynter has or hasn’t done. Mark R Hi Reaper, hope all is well and sorry to hear abou the shoulder. A centre back eh .. . like LUBO … our Captain who never was ? I was a midfielder back in the day, who loved Eddie Gray & Lorimer, then Currie… who by the way I’ve seen writing on TSS . I’m sure we’d all walk a million miles to pull on the white shirt and run onto the pitch at Elland Road. Come on SG .. just pick up the phone … If Montgomery was a real fan surely at his age he would have grabbed the chance to play for us with both hands ? Never mind- probabley family commitments and a settled life at Sheff. SAfrica to win tmrw aft ? Wonder if Lucas will be on the terraces ? We should try and scout a couple more S.African players. Wasn’t there talk of international trialists at ER soon ? MOT TheReaper08 All good thanks Mark R, hope your well and ready to crack upon the D&B this weekend. Shoulder operation was about 4 years ago mate, had the whole thing rebuilt but it was never the same. Harder to keep coming back as the years roll on. I was similar to Lubo, I am a shade over 6ft 3″ and move about as quickly as he does ! Got you down as the creative midfielder, am I right ? Spraying a few passes around in your hey day I bet. Lucas is bound to be there but I don’t fancy South Africa’s chances at all I’m afraid. As for the trialists they should be turning up soon, let’s hope a couple of gems are uncovered. Dje Radebe is part of ITV’s ‘on the TV bench’ team with Adrian Chiles, Southgate, Desailly and co. Mexico to win handsomely, I reckon. Craig So if I change my screen name to QE2 will it confirm the rumour that the Queen is definitely a Leeds fan? (I would humbly suggest that Tony Currie’s Curler may be an acolyte, not the real thing!). Matt BB Connolly has been mismanaged under clough, and was a cracking right back for Plymouth Argyle, i remember at the time he was quite sought after when they signed him, he also did pretty well for sheffield united. So I say a decent signing and at 25 he has time to improve. we urgently need cover in all positions, and while its a free signing I guess I am getting used to lowering my expectations on that count. Lee Coward Keep the faith, that £2m man is just around the corner!! Plus Joe Cole seems to be on the market. Maybe the White Haired Gremlin has found some spare cash down the seat of his Bentley.. Mark R Nice one Lee. Jo Cole’s on a free as well ..and while we’re at it …Zee German Herr Ballack.. Are we seeing the death of Transfer Fees ? … Discuss …. TheReaper08 Yes I think we are. Economic pressures are such that it’s now becoming more viable to release some players due to the extortionate wages being paid. Dje Swings and roundabouts – when wages are a sensible level they’ll be more transfers with fees. When wages are absurdly high then clubs are as eager to offload dead wages as they are pay big money for transfers. I reckon we’ve only a million or two to play with, so do you spread it thin and go for average all over, or pick up the free transfers for some positions and save the pennies for others. Blowing the transfer kitty on a right back aint going to get us promoted next season, but a free and competent right back with something special upfront or a bit of a midfield maestro is more likely to get you promoted, IMHO. TheReaper08 I totally agree and I must strongly stress that provided that star signing arrives I will fully support the plan of acquiring some solid freebies beforehand. If it doesn’t then you all think I am whingeing now…. You ain’t heard nothing yet ! danny were signing leon best from barcodes next week for 1.5 million Lee B How about this for a good, cheap and realistic front-line: Luca Becchio (I think we got him for free, but can’t remember) Billy Paynter (free) Mateja Kezman (12 month loan) Darius Vassell (free – he’s currently unattached). I reckon these 4 guys, with little or no money spent (apart from wages, etc.) would do a great job in the Championship. Also, loan Grella and Somma out to decent L1 teams for 12 months to get the experience and game-time they need. Maybe in 12 months one or both will be the next Beckford (I don’t want this to be a contentious issue – all I’m saying here is that he did nothing for years and then suddenly matured into a potent striker – maybe they’ll mature in the same way). Thoughts anyone? Dje Vassell is 30, overweight and never really hit any form in Turkey. I take him on as one of Grayson’s Trialist XI over the summer and give him his opportunity but really I think we need to be looking to the future rather than ex-England has-beens. I don’t know why Kezman keeps coming up. Sure he’s available but I doubt our wage structure could accommodate his ego and self-inflated worth, and I certainly wouldn’t break the bank for him either. Again, he’s 30+ already – so he isn’t one for the future and on 12 month loan you’d have to question how committed he’s going to be when it doesn’t go his way. Just like any trialist coming in over the summer, Grella and Somma deserve a fair crack at it. Karl im sorry but the only thing i agree with lately is letting grella and somma go out on loan 4 a few months in L1, i see kezman as unrealistic, vassell has not cropped up and im thinking some1s playing football manager too much! we havent spent a penny yet which is a little worrying to me, wer adding competition but not alot of moves that have improved our 1st team, at this moment in time do u really see a side that struggled in the second half of the season in L1 as a team improved 4 the championship? Im not slatin any1 just wanted to get my views across and want reactions after all i hope im proved wrong Craig Reminder – the reason we haven’t spent a penny is because the transfer window is still closed. Mark R Well spotted Craig. Paul South Wales If Paynter hadn’t have turned up I would have loved to have seen Kevin Phillips gave it one last go, still worth a hatful of goals i reckon Paul South Wales I would agree Karl if the season was starting next week, but i think there will be three or four additional players brought in over the next month or so, or that’s what i’m hoping for anyway. Craig And TSS – ‘oodles’ – a sadly underemployed word well slipped in. Class! Mikelufc This disturbs me a little… “The 26 year old said that he had heard about Leeds being interested as well as a host of other clubs, but Leeds were the only club to give him a ‘concrete offer` So nobody else wanted him enough to make an offer but we give him 3 years!! My faith in Larry’s judgement has not yet improved. Craig Come on Mike… give some credit where it is due. OK, so Grayson didn’t get everything right last season – or maybe he was confronted with situations, like Beckford putting in a transfer request at the worst possible moment, that it took him some time to deal with – but he did turn it around and he has made some great signings. In this respect alone Grayson has done far better than some of his predecessors. Another way of looking at the left back situation is that other clubs may be happy with what they have and looking to strengthen elsewhere? We have had a number of posts from people who have seen Connolly play and reckon he’s a solid signing. Only time will tell but it seems like Grayson will never convince you whatever he does. Cut him some slack and begin your 66th year with a half-full glass. Craig Of course, I meant ‘right-back’! Mikelufc Oh! and I agree with Paul SW Kevin Phillips would have really got me excited but I can guess why Larry would not even consider him. Craig And why’s that? Mikelufc Well for starters everybody knows kevin nobody had ever heard of larry before he came here he is too big for larry to cope with. My glass is always full Craig but apart from Sch eichel Larry has done nothing yet to lift my confidence in him. Fortunately Schmei hel was free otherwise……… Mikelufc And when we look at other clubs left backs,sorry right backs…it seems sheff u were happy to take Connolly on loan but not prepared to offer a contract Time will tell and I will be delighted to be proved an idiot. Being pessimistic means you are never dissappointed! Dje The Yorkshire Post said that Sheffield United were after signing Connolly too. Not much of a victory true, and I’d have preferred them to win his one and us the one over Montgomery – but hey-ho. For anyone not sure if they ever saw Connolly play, he played against us in 2008-09 in the League Cup when we lost at Derby 2-1. They raced into an early two goal lead and we looked all lost, then somehow got back into it and put them on the rack for the rest of the game (but still lost). Connolly set up one of their goals and deflected a Becchio shot over the bar. That was also the season that Derby got to the League Cup semi-finals and played twice against Man Utd. The first leg saw Derby edging a 1-0 home victory, but in the second leg Man Utd looked to be walking away with it until a late flurry by Derby brought it back to 4-2 and had Derby one goal away from going through to the final on away goals (but they didn’t). Connolly played in both legs and did well in the first against Gibson but looked at sea against Nani (which isn’t the greatest slur in the world for a Championship-based player). TheReaper08 yes the post said they were looking to offer Connolly a contract but the player himself stated the only concrete offer he had was from Leeds. It is no secret we were chasing the player as it’s been very well documented, if the Blades were that interested they would have done soemthing. Hunter’s Boots. There seems to be an overwhelming surge of disappointment we have not or will not spend this summer. Bates was correct not to splash to much cash in L1, the squad had gone barely defeated in SG’s first year of tenure at the helm. We were paying on average three times the wages of the other teams in L1 to get us promoted. Now, thankfully, we are not having to off-load a lot of L1 level players that cost us money. The CCC is a different proposition. Remember Bates paid a £million each for Blake, Healy, and Hulse (and one other I can’t remember)whilst in the CCC,at a time of fighting £millions in debt. If the CCC playoff game is supposedly worth £ninety million as quoted, then I can see the board releasing two or three £million without a problem, that’s sound business. As for freebies, if there were any chance of Koumas and Phillips on a free no one would complain we should have paid for them would they? SG will surprise a few yet! lufc.me.uk Quite Right Hunter’s Boots. We should have no reason to feel let down or down hearted about our 3 free transfers, all three of them are already a superb bargain, and once that window opens, that is when we should see what were really made of in the transfer market. But so far we got what looks to be three great signings without coffing up a penny for them. I for one think that is a great start and have bags of faith in SG and KB to eventually put Leeds back where we belong. number1inyorkshire there are some good frees about based on what many have said clubs having to balance the books a little better so not all frees are bad infact i think 2 of ours are great and i dont know owt about connelly ????????????? .but putting that asside we need to also test the water trying to prize some players away from clubs so if they want to come and when the proper transfer window opens we will see what happens . look i honestly do think we should be spending aswell as free transfers roll on july i honestly think as a whole there should be between 4/5 million to spend that should get us some decent players added to the three we already have .6/7 in total Walshy Nick Montgomery did want to join Leeds. However, after to meetings with Grayson, Leeds offered him significantly less than he was already earning at Sheff Utd. QPR offered him much more but his wife, Josie, didn’t fancy the move South. He re-signed for Sheff Utd on a slightly improved deal. He later admitted that he was slightly nervous about playing for Leeds, the club he has always supported, in case he failed to live up to expectations. ash Am very excited to see who else we sign, 1st choice for me is hooper but don’t see why we couldn’t get sharp aswell sell dead wood players kandol, robinson, sheenan, lubo, surely we can attract players! We do need a left back aswell! Hopfully larry will spend cash! mikelufc There is no such thing as a freebie. The fact that they are drawing good wages means that the available cash from a budget is lower by that amount which limits what can be paid for any other players “free” or otherwise. Is Connelly significantly better than Crowe to justify a 3 year contract? I would have offered him better money and a 1 year contract to prove himself, if he didn’t want it then the Leeds lure was not enough. My worry is that we will not have enough in the pot to secure what we really need which is a proven goalscorer. I am not sure Paynter is that, he was one half of a team that clicked, the other half being Austin. Will he click with Becchio? y worry is that the pot will not be full enough to afford a proven pete On a side note, did anyone else see Carlton Palmer on tv last night? I remember watching him ‘grace’ Elland Road…how that man won 18 England caps is beyond me. Does anyone else remember him coming back with Southampton, having a shocker (to a backdrop of ‘theres a rapist on the pitch’, I might add…) and getting sent off, leaving 38,000+ of us howling with laughter in between waving him goodbye? TSS Yeah, that was one of the most spectaculor falls from grace I’ve ever seen. Forgot about that to be honest with you! Pingback: Tweets that mention The Scratching Shed | Blog | Larry makes it three, as Paul Connolly signs in -- Topsy.com() mark i think paynter should be given a chance with grella in pre season ,as i think grella is fast and quick with the ball at his feet which might allow paynter more space with his finishing .