Still to come...

Leeds got their first away win, and first clean sheet of the season yesterday at Vicarage Road, but without the help of in-form striker Davide Somma who had to watch on from the bench.

After scoring three times in just 110 minutes of football, a lot of Leeds fans were expecting to see Somma in the starting XI. Failing that, the very least we expected was a second half substitute appearance, but the gaffer brought on new boy Ross McCormack instead.

It’s not that I don’t think McCormack is a good signing, but having only signed for the club a couple of days previous, I have to question how much time he’s had to train with the team and whether he should have even made the bench?

I actually thought Johnson would be dropped as he’s wasteful with possession and offers very little in my opinion. This would mean Watt was pushed out-wide where he can cause nightmares for full-backs, leaving Somma and Becchio upfront?

To be fair to Larry, I understand he wanted to stick with the XI that beat Millwall and in fairness, it worked, but I just feel it can be improved upon. Hopefully he’ll be more willing to shuffle things round a bit at home, because despite some positive signs, there’s definitely room for improvement.

The big question at the minute is who will be the favoured strike-force this season? Somma is firing on all cylinders, the ever-present Luciano Becchio is in good form, Billy Paynter has yet to return from injury and Ross McCormack hasn’t come to make the numbers up!

I’ve opened a new multiple choice poll below to see who the fans think is the best strike-partnership for the 2010-11 campaign. Vote away, and as always comments are welcome.

Which midfielders would you release/sell?

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85 Responses

  1. Craig

    OK, so Somma had a dream season début against Millwall. I like him a lot and am impressed with the self belief of a guy who buys a one-way-ticket in full confidence that he won’t be going home. I really want him to be our next Beckford.

    However, starting a game is an entirely different thing to coming on against a tiring opposition and I’d like to know whether his weaknesses contributed to our defeat against Leicester. Chris Sutton was honest about the fact that there were areas of his game that Somma needed to work on and maybe Grayson is aware of this too?

    • Tim the White

      Come on Craig, you can’t blame Somma for poor defensive blunders and lack of service!

      • Craig

        I’m not blaming him because I wasn’t at the game. I’m asking others whether he went AWOL as the game wore on.

      • timm

        No he didn’t go AWOL. Our defence & midfield totally imploded for no reason other than loss of concentration.

    • Dje

      It’s a good point Craig, about not starting Somma – but it doesn’t answer why he didn’t bring him on against a tiring Watford when we were only a goal away from dropping points. Even if McCormack had scored – even got two – Somma and a lot of Leeds fans would be thinking, ‘well, he looks good, but I/Somma did the same last week against Millwall’.

      Therefore, Grayson’s decision to choose McCormack was the wrong one and sends a terrible message to Somma (and, less importantly perhaps, Grella too): “however many you score, you’ll still be kicking your heels on the bench.

      With no match now until 11th September, wouldn’t it have been better for the squad and fans to get a chance for McCormack to ‘bed-in’ with the rest of the team, rather than instantly putting noses out of joint? By the second week of September McCormack could have impressed in training, or one of them picked up a knock – either way, it’d have made the selection headache easier to call.

      • Craig


        And you have a fair point too Dje. According to Tim the White below, Grayson felt it wasn’t Somma’s type of game – something, I guess, that simply boils down to personal opinion. I guess Grayson takes the opportunity to explain his decision to his players the following week and I’m sure that Somma isn’t going to let it get him down at this stage of the season since he knows his goals have done the talking far more effectively than words are able to. I’m sure Somma will get his chance to shine and that, if he continues to score, Grayson will have something to think about.

      • TSS


        I’m not so sure. I think we’ve lured McCormack here with guarantees of first team football, which is why he played him over the in-form Somma.

        His excuse (which is on the YEP site) is absolute nonsense. McCormack is used to passing a game, which yesterday most certainly wasn’t. He’s too short to have any influence in a hoofball game (as we saw), whereas Somma has already proven himself more than capable in those conditions.

        I’m sorry, but Larry is talking out of his behind on this one. The fact he felt the need to excuse himself shows he knew he had something to explain. It was a terrible decision, and one he needs to hold his hands up to.

      • Dje

        @craig @TSS

        The more I think of it the more the decision to bring McCormack on instead of Somma, boils down to a malaise of vanity and lack of (personal) conviction on the part of Grayson.

        What’s the most McCormack was ever going to do in the Watford match? Probably not any last ditch defensive bravadoes; more likely score a goal or two. And what were we all supposed to then do – go “Wow, this guy looks really good! Well done, Larry!” We know this already. No one is questioning the decision to sign him or the fee we paid, especially not the fee we paid. Since the moment McCormack signed for us the fans have been unequivocal on welcoming the Scot as a tried and tested high-calibre player. Even Grumpy Old Man had two-thirds of a good word to say for him.

        Compared to other recent signings [mutters ‘Bessone’ under breath], Grayson got this one right. He should have left it at that and we could have all rubbed our hands about the attacking options now at our disposal come the game against Swansea.

        The only questions that have arisen from McCormack’s arrival have come regarding where this now leaves the other strikers we have on the books, what formation we might now play, and which is the best strike partnership to utilise. Unfortunately Grayson’s substitution decision has created more uncertainty than it has appeased.

      • timm

        Totally agree TSS. Somma looks a real threat to me, he’s strong, has a good touch & isn’t frightened of having a go. I’m worried that this was Grayson doing his Sgt Wilko impression & not selecting him just to knock him down a peg? I definately think SG could be like that. Somma’s a real handful & he deserves to start.

  2. Tim the White

    Sometimes I just don’t get it with Grsyson. He made a statement after the game yesterday that “he didn’t play Somma because it wasn’t his type of game”. What a load of crap Larry! Somma to me looks like he is full of goals and gets in good positions to score them and he can lead the line. Becchio works hard but he will never be a top goalscorer. There we were biting our nails and hanging on for a 1-0 and he brings on McCormack whose mind has not been on playing football all week. For me Somma should have had the shirt and deserved it.

  3. Zorro White

    I think the lad could be class. You can’t argue with 3 goals in 100 minutes. However, I met a Chesterfield supporter yesterday who informed me he was on loan there for a month and didn’t score at all. Still, even as a sub, if he’s got goals in him, play him til he stops scoring.

  4. jesmondwhite

    think it’ll be Somma and McCormack as the season develops. Somma seems to be able to hold things up like Becchio does, has a great first touch, and knows
    how to score. McCormack will provide the pace and until he picked up a knock last season was scoring for fun at this level. Paynter as the back-up option. Love Becchio but don’t think he will make the difference at this level.

  5. Gryff

    Yes, i’m in @Tim the White ‘s boat myself. I get frustrated with Grayson’s tactics & team selection sometimes. He’s a safe pair of hands to have as manager and he has undeniably done well but the match was exactly Somma’s type, especially the 2nd half when we were playing hoofball. Somma has played an entire season going route-1 and looks to be a strong and quick lad who can boss the defence about. He’s the same size as Becchio and I don’t think the argument that Becchio has to be there for unspecified ‘build-up’ play and ‘flick-ons’ can hold up: Becchio’s flick ons never find anybody and just because he’s fat doesn’t necessarily mean he can boss the defenders aerially. Yes, he has the ability to pass the ball with his first touch to a ‘more creative’ (read: ‘better’) player, but so can a few million school-boys!

    For me, I would play Somma and Becchio in a 4-4-2 for the time being. Becchio has played well until the final shots this season, while Somma knows where the goal is and is quite an unknown quantity for our opposition. The problem I see, however, is that Becchio playing as a lone-striker can leave pressure on him to score if the wingers are kept out of the game.

    Ross McCormack is a little hefty for me, so I would probably put him on an intensive training schedule and play him in the next few reserve games to get him into better shape. From there I would expect him to eventually dislodge Becchio, though not as a like-for-like replacement. I think Somma can boss the defences and so he can challenge for the long-balls as well as Becchio, though i’m not sure either he or McCormack would be comfortable playing with their backs to goal. Playing with one’s back to goal is not necessary every single game however.

    That’s my personal opinion with the strikers, but really with the amount of chances we get i’m not too bothered about how we play our strikers. For me the big problem is that Kilkenny is still finding games where he’s too lightweight to get involved, and Bradley Johnson (whose strength means he never finds this problem) wastes 90% of what he touches…

    • Arthur Graham

      ( is Bechio gonna be around though me thinks not ? ) .. having re read some of your thoughts gryff you make some very good points – i take it you were at watford ? i agree with trying this at home …when you say
      ” For me, I would play Somma and Becchio in a 4-4-2 for the time being. Becchio has played well until the final shots this season, while Somma knows where the goal is and is quite an unknown quantity for our opposition. The problem I see, however, is that Becchio playing as a lone-striker can leave pressure on him to score if the wingers are kept out of the game. ”

  6. Ash

    Somma should start for me he deserves it he is joint top goal scorer, just don’t understand grayson at sometimes maybe he has got a couple of things that he needs to work on but how can u work on it if he doesn’t play? A
    and what does it do for the guys confidence when he comes off the bench scores 2 and 1 in the cup then gets dropped? I for me he should start against Swansea

  7. les irwin

    somma will be gone in january his strikers will be a starting 2 of 3 becchio,mcormack,paynter .one of the 3 being on the bench at any one time ,then there is .sam ,watt,snodders,to weigh in with a goal or 2 also missing from that list is grella .i think he will go either on loan ,which i think would benefit him or on a perm to a league 1 side he has been at leeds long enough to be playing
    i think we will get 1or 2 more before tuesday

    • Dje


      How come you reckon Somma will be gone by January, number1inyorkshire?

      You might be right about Grayson prefering to use the other three strikers and Somma being one too many for the party, but the lad has hit it off with the fans now because of his goals. Letting him go (even on loan) would be suicide for Grayson’s time at Elland Road.

      The only way he can offload Somma – possibly on loan to a League 1 club – is to play him for a run of games in the Championship, show exactly where the lad’s supposed failings are, and win the argument that he needs to go out and improve. Simply put, I don’t think we trust Grayson telling us in his press conferences that Somma is not the complete article without being shown this.

      Or is it just me (and no doubt Mikelufc!)?

      • les irwin

        to be fair its not a new thought of mine i have said this more than once some managers just dont fancy some players .grayson doesnt fancy list includes .robbo,sheehan lubo ,grayson has said that if you earn the shirt its yours until you loose it ,well what more can somma do he scored twice against millwall now if thats not earning the shirt .where was he saturday ???? .i like somma to be fair grayson in my opinion doesnt ,it happens ,the reason why i dont think he will be here after jan is because he will feel his place lies elsewhere will he bothered where, no ,lincoln city would be a start and he would get one every week .he will be glad to play anywhere at the mo he isn,t at leeds same with grella he has been at leeds 2/3 seasons if he couldnt make L1 he has no chance in champs he needs a loan at least grayson got loans in last season instead of playing him as for becchio he may well go but for money ,because we forgot to sort his contract extension out last season he has seen his buddy move to everton and he wants some of that action ,we cant let another wander for free

  8. tim campbell

    A nice dilema to have, however I agree I would push watt out to the wing again and play 2 of the main strikers up front – heck maybe we’re missing a trick here and we should stick naylor up front lol

  9. loveleeds_white

    The thing is, Larry chose the side which he thought would get a result at a side who havn’t lost at home for ages. We won the game, his decision was vindicated.
    I think that our two groups of forwards Becchio, Somma and Paynter vs McCormack, Watt, Sam, Max and Snoddy will all have their part to play this season.

  10. tony c

    Feel Si made a big mistake yesterday in not playing Somma 3 in 2 games and not even a minute on the pitch a guy who was only signed the day before gets the nod Somma must be thinking WTF do i have to do?
    Si sould have played him and given McCormack the break we have until the Swansea game to bed in and then maybe given him a run out I hope he’s put his arm around Somma and had a chat with him I know they are professionals etc but they are also human and he must think what more can i do …. hope these things don’t upset the team spirit ….

  11. Hugh Fox

    Somma has had a dream start bt hes still not the next beckford for me. I thourght apart from his goal he was very poor against leicster. Its a great problem to have. Does this finally mean we can sell grella? also i thourght gradel played really well upfront at the end of last season bt i would prefer watt and becchio upfront, with somma paynter and mccormack on the bench

  12. paul wilde

    Im sure Somma would have come on if Bessone didnt grt injured at half-time.Somma will get his oppotunity. I beleive in SG

  13. Matt BB

    Somma has done pretty well in his games so far, but why should he get a `guaranteed’ starting place? Its up to grayson who starts, and we won. We needed to keep posession away from home, and to do that you need experienced players. Mccormack by the look of it did that when he came on and he made a real nuisance of himself.

    I think Somma has got to be happy with actually being in contention at this stage, Grella didnt even get on the bench.. As the season wears on there will be injuries, and amendments to tactics, he’ll get his chance.

  14. Arthur Graham

    Yes SG knows his stuff – the Wolves game was a great result – and it was away – so different rules

    Somma and Larry will have ‘talked’ Im sure – SG is no uncommunicative Capello

    Somma will be chuffed to be in contention this year – and itching to prove himself so wont do him any harm at all – his all round play needs work

    Paytner will be powerful and back very soon great dilemma to have upfront Id say

    McCormack has quality and we have a hatful of wingers to supply them with a 4 2 2 2 formation with wingers the Home formation ideally

    Id start with

    Connolly (Parker) Besone Caulker Collins
    Kilkenny ( other ? ) Howson
    Watt & Sam ( snodgrass) all wide
    Bechio Paytner

    (or McCormack Somma )

  15. Arthur Graham

    On reading SGs words in the YP just now on David Somma – its sensible man management from SG – he is keeping the expectation down on the player – for the fans and also for the player – Somme needs some vented brakes on him ( though he may not know it ) and so to be pitched in at Home is best .. when the feeling is right for him to do well – he can work from the bench in my opinion until hes too hot to ignore

  16. Gryff

    Getting a victory doesn’t really mean Grayson was vindicated. Our victory came about from a defender snagging a goal in a melee, and a strong defence dealing with a woeful Watford.

    When somebody’s scoring I don’t see why you would take them out of the team. Grayson says that Somma knows he has ‘more work to do’ but really, when you’re scoring regularly as a striker what more can you do?

    • timm

      I agree Gryff. It reminds me of when Cantona scored a hat-trick & when Sgt Wilko was asked about him after the game he said ‘he has to do that every week’! He just didn’t like Cantona & we all know what happened there! Im not comparing Somma to Cantona, im just picking up on the fact that some managers feel the need to put players down in interviews because they don’t like them on a personal level.

  17. Arthur Graham

    as I say its ‘horses for courses’ and away from home against a scrappy cockney side …I would have done exactly the same and rested his legs on the bench – we dont want any more injuries – he’ll be targetted now remember
    Once we got the goal – the game plan changes – thats Prof football – if we hadnt then Im sure he would have brought Somma and McCormack on to GET the goal
    But we didnt need him

      • TSS

        @Arthur Graham @craig

        I’m sorry but… What?

        This is a team that hasn’t kept a clean sheet away from home in months, and you two seriously believe the best option was to run the clock out? We got lucky thanks to Watford being as dismal as we were. It certainly wasn’t tactical prowess on anyone’s part.

      • les irwin

        we have never been able to close games out for 5/6 years do we remember BUTLER AND GREEGAN AND CO scoreing home goals and defensive errors in the mix when blackwell was in charge .it was luck on our part that graham wasn’t playing and they were as bad as us and kasper butto put it down to technical playing to play out the game seems at best not a thing a leeds side has done for five years cos we have never been good enough in defence .Our last top class defender was killgallen

  18. Mark R

    It’s all good.

    SG has improved our squad & team. 4 striker option from Becchio,Paynter, McCormack & Somma – not to mention Grella.
    McCormack looked a little shor tof match fitness at the end but he showed some quality touches and movement.Very promising.

    Wingers : Watt & Sam – creative & dynamic + Max.

    I was at the match yesterday and our midfield was woeful – Howson annonymous, Bradley struggling to make any impact, his poor touches lead to the breakdown of several promising moves.Killa made a few telling passes but contribution was not as effective as the ball was in the air a lot.

    Really need to work on our deadball situations as not creative and wasted a couple.
    We need a midfielder or 2 – this is a week area. We weren’t strong enough to impose our passing game at Watford.

    I think Snodgrass will easily displace either Howson,Bradley ( both need to up their game) on his return.

    Defence : Watford’s high ball and not speedy match played to Collins & Naylor’s strengths and they domminated the air.
    Kasper was good as ever.Connolly was steady, Bassone ok but lacked composure.
    However with Paddy to return, Bruce in the squad and Davenport looking at a a return to the game – we have options.

    After 4 matches , 6th in the table, 2 wins , 1 draw and one narrow defeat – things are looking very positive.


  19. Arthur Graham

    I think / hope we will see another strong central midfielder in this monday / tuesday … Id like to see a quality Prem midfielder come in to replace Bradley – who IMO is too inconsistant .. I still want Lansbury – who is strong and fast box to box with class – long shot though, but still on maybe
    and yes Steve Caulker from Spurs for Centre Half would be excellent

  20. Mike

    Well put gryff
    bBeckford didn’t do much more than score, what more do we want from striker?
    In my view Larry should have concentrated on consolidating the single lucky goal with another one and the best chance of that comes from the joint top scorer.
    From what I have read Larry could do some more work himself and get the team playing proper football, cant be beat, there’s more to the game than 3 points.

    • les irwin

      sorry mikey but no there isn’t 3 points is what you get if you score 1 or 100 ,3 points is the holy grail of matchday football the absolute maximum ,full house .top.of the shop BULLSEYE .quite simply you can’t do better

  21. Arthur Graham

    who’d be a manger with ‘expectation’ like that’
    Get behind the team and trust in Grayson … if you want performances and goals and fluent play like Millwall game every single week ( and away rom home it seems from your comments ) then thats the kind of pressure we certainly dont need laying on the squad so soon ! Its early days and a new league – we are doing very very well so far so settle in and dont expect the earth from these lads – this is what SG is trying to protect Somme from – pressure to score every game from fans comments and hopes – its a full season overview and not just game per game judgements that count from the gaffer

  22. tim campbell

    Would there be any benefit in signing up nunez? If we did I think it could be bye bye bradley!

  23. Yorkshrman

    It’s great, isn’t it? Win away at Watford, and the Manager’s STILL getting stick!! Sadly, I think we have a number of fans who just don’t like Grayson, don’t want him to do well, and will find fault whatever he does.

    Like those who a couple of weeks ago were criticising him for not bringing in enough players, and are now criticising McCormack as unnecessary …..??!!

    Let’s judge Grayson at the end of the season, or at least in January, rather than after 4 games!!

    • TSS


      To be fair, I’m usually leading the ‘In Grayson we trust’ brigade, but his lack of faith in some players (particularly youngsters) is a growing concern.

      I fail to understand what more Somma could have possibly done to earn him a first team spot? Three goals in 110 minutes, and he’s totally ignored in favour of a striker who has trained with the team once? Worse still for the Gaffer, McCormack did absolutely nothing when he came on which is why Larry is having to release statements defending his decision today. It was ludicrous, and SG must realise it.

      • Craig


        Absolutely nothing TSS? I was listening to the game on the internet and the commentator seemed to mention McCormack’s name rather frequently, together with the observation that he’d added bite to the team.

      • TSS


        Well, it escaped me and everyone else in the stadium if he did. He barely touched the ball aside from one chance he created himself (kudos on that one). Credit for his efforts, but his impact was minimal as the game wasn’t running in our favour when he came on and he isn’t big enough to win the battles in a hoofball game.

  24. John Salkeld

    Not giving an in-form striker a run out, even as a sub, and playing McCormack smacks of stupidity to me. Protect Somma from what exactly? McCormack isn’t exactly a prolific goalscorer, most of last season’s goals came from penalties.

  25. Arthur Graham

    unbelievable WE WON give the team and the signings and the manager a break – get some perspective and stop hand wringing / worrying IF we lost I could understand the frustration – chill out and look forward to Swansea when Somma and McCormack will be seen over the 90 minutes – and the Scotish international will be fit and sharp by them – hope the players dont read this – it would really piss me off – but good discussion none the less TSS

    • TSS

      @Arthur Graham

      We did win, but I think everyone’s points are valid. It could have been easier had we not played someone who has trained with the squad once (and would have had plenty of chance to gel during the break) and this can’t do Somma’s confidence a great deal of good when he’s cast aside because of an unproven new addition. The lad has worked hard and deserves to be acknowledged. That’s not to say McCormack shouldn’t be played, but he shouldn’t be selected solely because of his transfer fee and signing conditions – which I fear, is the case here.

  26. Mark R

    As I mentioned earlier, I was at the match and McCormack showed some quality touches and movement in his 15/20 minutes and defintely brought something to the team. He’s experienced and an international footballer. He’s a great addition to the squad/team and I can see him being in the starting 11 for the foreseeable future.

    Although Somma has scored 3 goals, he’s not the experience or I think quality of McCormack. Somma will get his opportunity at some stage – he’s chance to show in training that he’s worth a place.It’s more likely that Somma will be competing with Becchio/Paynter rather than McCormack.

    All the squad will get their opportunity during this long season. Players form will ebb and flow, injuries will occur, etc. The quality of the squad is the key thing and we are almost there.

    Keep the faith.


  27. Arthur Graham

    me and mark R are on the same page here …

    TSS says ”he’s cast aside because of an unproven new addition”

    its a bit dramatic / emotive to say he was cast aside – he played in the cup midweek and did ok – they train together and show weakness and form that fans dont see or hear about – its a long season and a squad effort Somma is a big lad he knows he is part of a team and will get lots of starts – SG is getting results and a classy performance V Millwall – he signed Watt and Sam and hopefully Caulker coming – great signings – to call him stupid – which some youth did on here above is so naieve – but yep each to their own opinion – keep the faith – march on together

    • David

      I think TSS’s point is that Grayson doesn’t give players a chance. Look at Grella – he’s showed promise several times, but was never given a decent run in the first team squad. And whatever happened to all the young players Leeds used to bring through? We’ve had none of that under Grayson. Somma will be “cast aside” because Grayson refuses to take a chance.

      • Dje


        Good point about the youths not coming through. May’be they aren’t there and the Academy is just one big waste of money (I wonder if the money we got for Delph and that lad who got pinched by Everton who none of us had heard of, even covers the running costs, rent and wages that go into the Academy until the next protege gets snapped up by a Premiership team). If it is a baby farm, there aint much money in it at the moment!

        I wonder if a lot of anger being felt at Somma being overlooked stems from the lack of youngsters coming through. Somma did it the hard way: he came, he got injured, he got forgotten, he went out on loan, he shined, he returned, he served his ban, and bang three goals in 110 minutes. That’s a real fairy tale footballing narrative, Roy of the Rovers stuff.

        However cynical many football fans sound (myself definitely included), I’ve always thought the romance of the game is in these silly footballing fairy tale stories that make the game something beyond corporate merchandise and something to get away from the house and misses for. Young kids coming through the Acadamy and getting described as the next big thing is a similar fairy tale that most of us like, and failing having any of these recently (or plucked from us too soon – ie. Delph) we’ve lobbed Somma in with the ‘kid’s-come-good’ narrative.

      • Arthur Graham

        yes your right dj Ed – hes touched a few fragile Leeds hearts has the lad with his story ….hes now everyones ‘have a go hero’ Roy of the Rovers …. we all want an Eric, Yeboah or Terry Connor ( if your old enough to recall Terry’s entry into the side and his goals and love affair with the Kop ( I am )
        But this I think is all the more reason to keep an eye on expectation – to protect the Player primariy and sva e’broken hearts’ in the fanbase if he doesnt live up to expectations – nice and slow

        I’d rather have a goal or 1.5 every other game average from David Somma than a hat trick every 5 months ? ( so thats roughly 20 goals a season and will be fine this year as we have ammunition to spare )

        and fragile ‘hurt’ hearts are sensitive eh ! …like the worried lot on here
        we’ve had a lot of hurt and loss at this club but we are on the way up with SG …so MOT

  28. mike chill

    Grayson can’t win can he?
    We won. He chose who played.He felt it wasn’t Sommas type of game, and he is after all the manager and one of the important decisions he has to make is……. who plays!
    We watch or listen to th matches……….Simon and his backroom staff go more into depth as they research the likely team,players that we are to play, that is why you see managers with notepads, as it’s a case of …they’ve changed this so we’ll change to this.
    The decision to play mac instead of Somma may have been as simple as…..keep him injury free for the swansea game as he’d be a target at the watford hoofball slug it out battle.
    Whatever th reason the fact remains that SG makes the decisions, that’s what he’s paid to do, after all it’s his head that’s sat on the proverbial chopping block.

  29. Radebe's lovechild

    o put it simply…..who cares?! It’s back to back wins now after a nightmare start against Derby and we looked resilient and did what we needed to do. Somma has scored 3 in 2 games but we don’t see him day in day out so leave it to Grayson. He’s the one that got us promoted and has signed some class with a limited budget this summer (except Collins – there are question marks over him still). Somma looks as though he’s a great finisher but look at the players we have at our disposal, i’d argue he’s still a long way off edging out players (that are proven) such as Becchio and McCormack, as well as pace and trickery in Sam & Watt. MOT!!!

  30. Arthur Graham

    ditto – said the same higher up the debate – about somma being targetted by teams to hit now and `SG has enough gifted players out as it is – grella isnt good enough as a forward – he doesnt score no matter how good his touch – thats the reality – Mac is a proven finisher – there is no debate really – and Somma wiil play a big part this term

  31. TheReaper08

    There would be one good reason for bringing McCormack and not Somma on and that’s if he was attempting to alter the style of play. What with McCormack being a smaller nippier footballer and there being a strong essence of hoofball in the game, it’s entirely possible that SG realised we were losing the aerial battle and decided a bit of pace was needed.

    Either way it’s not relevant because all you moaners can’t prove your point. It’s also possible that Somma could have started or been brought on and then done nothing, worse still the balance could have been all wroing and we lost the game.

    The man is paid to make decisons, anyone unhappy with promotion last year and sitting in a play off position this ? No I didn’t think so.

    • TSS


      “…anyone unhappy with promotion last year…”

      God yes! We should have had the league wrapped up and with a ribbon on top by March, but a few daft decisions almost cost us severely! I know I was preaching ‘keep calm and carry on’ back then, but that was my public service responsibilities at play. I was close to a nervous breakdown by the end of April!

      I think @David could have a point though by comparing Grella with Somma, especially since reading Larry’s comments on “taking it slow”, “not expecting too much…” yawn… etc… It’s all negative! If this was a world class manager like Mourinho, he’d be encouraging the lad to continue with his arrogance because it’s an integral part of his role.

      I might not have a couple of badges that say I can coach a football team, but I do have a degree in psychology and Larry’s comments will do no good for Somma’s confidence. The lad is bursting with it at the minute and thinks he can replicate Jermaine Beckford. The biggest difference between a quality striker and an average one is belief – Somma should be played while he has it, or it could be Mike Grella all over again.

      Sounds a bit melodramatic after one game, but if I was Somma, I’d be looking at my options and getting out of Elland Road before he finds himself warming the spot Mike Grella used to occupy. I fear he’ll never get the amount of games he needs under Larry. History doesn’t favour him – Larry has a habit of ignoring players and sticking with his favourites and now he has more options, I suspect Somma will be the one to suffer.

      • TheReaper08

        @TSS Mike Grella isn’t that good a striker so why does everything boil down to comparisons with him. There are many good reasons why Grella doesn’t get many games up front.

        I didn’t ask if you were unhappy with the timescale, with not winning the league, with throwing away a lead. I asked if you were unhappy with promotion and are you unhappy with where we are now.

        Belief does make a difference but that manifests itself in the form of confidence with strikers. Belief certainly isn’t the main difference between let’s say Carlton Cole and Didier Drogba.

        Oh and every succesful manager has favourites. I am reasonably succesful in my job and I have favourites and all for different reasons, it’s the reason they are the favourite that should interest us.

      • TSS


        I’m in a position where people work under me too, and I admit, I have favourites. I sincerely doubt many of them favour me as it’s my job to make their lives hell for the most part, but such is life…

        All I know with Grella is that we’ve seen moments of sheer class, but without an extended run in the first team or a season on-loan elsewhere, he was never going to fulfil his potential. I honestly think Larry has ruined the lads career. I know that sounds harsh, but he’s left him on the bench to rot and that’s unfair.

        I fear Somma will go the same way too unfortunately. There’s nothing in Larry’s history that suggests he’ll bring a player through and develop him – it’s just not his style. Hope I’m wrong, but I think Somma will be wasted on Leeds as Larry won’t put enough faith in him and give him the extended run he needs.

        PS. I knew what you meant with promotion. Was winding you up (see… two can play those games :p )

      • TheReaper08

        @TSS Perhaps I haven’t seen enough of Grella, can you detail some of these moments of sheer class ? Genuine question because perhaps I haven’t seen enough of him.

        This is what I do know, he is skillful but this doesn’t always manifest itself onto the pitch where he appears a little headless, he is a little lightweight and his general positional sense isn’t brilliant. He appears to not be an out and out striker nor a good second striker.

        As for our work careers I pay them to do a job not to like me, as it happens I get on well with most and very well with a couple.

      • TSS


        You’re not far wrong, but what he lacks is the confidence to hit things quicker and he does need to assert himself a little more. Neither of which he’ll learn on the bench – hence my point.

        PS. They just pretend to like you I bet.

        PPS @superhoops Don’t encourage him! I’m happy about McCormack’s signing, but no one should make the team after one training session whether they’re proven or not.

    • superhoops

      Always the voice of reason @TheReaper08, well said.

      I’d add that personally can’t believe the talking point from the game is the non-use of Somma. If there’s a player that IS proven @ Championship level it’s McCormack.

      Also, glad to see us being careful with blips of form and the mgmt not getting carried away with a few quick goals. Everyone remember Tresor Kandol signing a 3 year contract extension after his start in the -15 season??

      • TheReaper08

        @superhoops Not sure about the voice of reason, plenty on here would disagree with you on that but thanks anyway . As it happens I agree with your comment about not getting carried away as well, either with our current successes or with the use or non use of certain players.

  32. Tim Campbell

    Going back to the Cardiff/Bellamy situation, it is not inconceivable that we too could land a ‘big’ name from the premiership before tuesday on loan. Even if we were to pay a nominal amount towards the players wage – it is in the premier league clubs interests not to have their excess players sitting around on theit arses all year. An exciting couple of days lie ahead!!

  33. Arthur Graham

    second that – any Arsenal player will do nicely – preferably Lansbury

  34. Bill Fox

    We have developing options and I see GOALS coming from the front and wide and of course from the newly prolific Naylor!

    Agree Somma can have done little more so far but I still would keep Luciano in for his physical angle and pure work rate.

    Good luck to those 3/4 who will leave I would guess in the next 48 hours.

  35. Arthur Graham

    Latest: Arsenal accept Leeds bid for Lansbury ..but ?
    google alerts are saying this this evening that Wenger has put HL in the Arsenal suad for for the season but have given him the choice to go out on loan and Arsenal have accepted bids from Leeds and Swans for Henri Lansbury – lets hope he wants first team football and wont go to the manager at Swans who he respects but comes to Elland Rd

  36. Mark R

    Hey Reaper’s things bud ?

    You’re right about the tactical side of things in yesterday’s match, McCormack was pacey and had a great touch – different again to the effecive Watt & Sam, and the 2nd half appearance of Mad Max.

    Regarding SG and bringing through youth – seems our real potential has been plundered over the last few seasons by Chelski & Spurs, and we sold Delph – who appears to have gone off the radar at Villa.

    That leaves us Howson – who is inconsistent – almost doesn’t believe in his own ability.
    Also Aidy White – he’s on the verge. That’s effectively 2 youth we managed to hold onto in the 1st team squad.

    If they’re good enough – they’ll make it – but some such as Delph are few and far between.

    Somma missed the start of the season due to suspension – and if he hadn’t – perhaps he would have played more and it would have been more difficut to leave him out of the team.He’s not got the experience of Becchio/Paynter nor McCormack in that central striker berth. He will get that experience over the season with us.

    Would he really think after scoring 3 goals, at a team showing real potential for a good season ahead, that he’d be better elsewhere – I don’t think so. Somma will hopefully think he’s made people sit up in less than 2 games – and take notice – management & fans alike. That’s a RESULT – and he’ll now want to prove he’s worthy of wearing the shirt on a regular basis.

    Plenty of time for things to work out.

    6th, after 4 matches !


    • TheReaper08

      @Mark R

      How are you sir ? Things are well with me but very busy at the moment which is probably why we haven’t spoken for a while.

      The problem with youngsters is the disease that the PL sides have and it’s now infecting the lower leagues, there simply isn’t the patience to bring them on these days. It’s all success now now now. As a result managers are reluctant to take a chance and firstly blood a youngster and secondly give them time to develop.

  37. les irwin

    been a good debate this one enjoyed reading the comments opinoins are football we all have em .unusually for me .as ive been away i have only seen us once against derby .millwall was the first league game at home i have missed in 8/9 years and i made my mind up i wasnt bothered about or going to league cup games anyway ,but we seemed to have settled in ok we have more points than the 2 favourits ,forest and borough and we are at the moment competitive i have us down to finish in the top half now ,not bad i still dont think that we have signed any quality though in the key positions although kasper is fantastic ,a proper keeper ,getting knocked out of the cup causes 1 or 2 problems for the likes of grella , somma, higgs i suppose as it means there are fewer games for the squad to be rotated and no jpt aswell means after the f a cup he will play his best 11 + subs thats when grella and co will get fed up its sad but hey thats football

  38. Gryff

    I do think perspective is important (going a LONG way back in the comments), and that’s why I would have supported Somma playing. It’s not that i’m against resting him, but I am against him being prolific in a short period of time, saying that scoring like Beckford ‘is asking a lot’ but being up for the challenge, and then being slapped back into line by Grayson (as @TSS mentioned, more or less) and especially in exchange for Becchio who has been missing sitters. As an attacking midfielder Becchio has done a decent job. But especially when playing without another proper striker his primary job must be to score.

    In terms of perspective, mine is that we have played a Derby side who notoriously flip-flop in the table and who shouldn’t be in the top half by the end of the season. We then played Lincoln who are useless as a measuring stick, drew with a Forest team who were and still are going through a rough patch. Yet, nevertheless, we looked like schoolboys for the first half-hour against some of the 2nd-tier level football for the first 25 minutes. Then we played Millwall. In football it’s quite well established that newly promoted teams can have early-season pushes because they are up for every game and none of the higher-reputation teams know how they play. Millwall haven’t made massive changes to their team since last season while Leeds have made some big improvements and so for me personally, I don’t see the victory against Millwall as anything more than one of the easier games of the season. Then we played Leicester and again showed very encouraging, and very discouraging signs against a team who are in bad form (like Forest) and yet imploded to give them a victory. Overall, an encouraging game. Then we played Watford – a team i’d put money on being relegated this season; in fact they’re there with PNE for me.

    So my perspective is really that we have only played two future relegation-battlers, a team suffering a hangover from last season’s promotion push, a chronically long-term underperforming Derby team, and a Forest whose manager seems more interested in publicly lambasting his board than getting results on the pitch.

    We are yet to play what I personally would call an end-of-season-top-half team in good form. So naturally I am critical if in what could turn out to be some of the easier matches this season we win through incredibly poor football. We essentially won because Naylor got lucky in getting to that ball first and Watford were so League-One standard that they couldn’t overcome a Leeds who (encouragingly) had 4 defenders playing competently for once.

    That Leeds fans are giving Larry and various ends of the team stick is a good thing for me. We’re not saying ‘Larry out’ or expecting promotion. Rather, we see weaknesses in the team and are concerned that they’re plugged. It’s rather encouraging to me that Leeds fans feel able to expect such a high standard of the team; it means that we believe our current squad can be better.

    Personally I have us down for safe mid-table this season. But I am becoming increasingly worried that if and when teams learn to lock our midfield out we’re going to still be playing Becchio match-in and match-out and possibly not even a proper striker up-front, instead relying on one of Grayson’s faves such as Gradel or Watt.

  39. Arthur Graham

    good post this one – and healthy concern expressed – agreed – but reactive at times – tharsh on grayson … this game by game analysis … by some i guess younger fans is inevitable i guess

    but its a unpredictable game and a lot of luck involved so give it 10 games to get a real feel for any player or team

    Watt is a very good player – mad max is just mad max so far …

    Lansbury IF he comes tomorrow will do more than PLUG as you say – complement and add quality

  40. Gryff

    @Arthur Graham
    True, and my aspersions on Gradel/Watt was more in terms of them being played as strikers than anything else. Both are undoubtedly important players for us.

    I hope Lansbury does come, but I think with Newcastle poking about it would be madness for him to drop a division to play for Leeds. That said, Nunez should improve the central midfield so long as he gets a fair crack of the whip.

    I’ve agreed on the 10-match thing for Bessone and it seems he’s coming to terms with the pressure of playing for Leeds (though it was noticeable he’s been twice the player when we play a conventional 4-4-2), but in terms of Somma vs Becchio and Johnson, we’ve seen the latter two play for a long time now and both have seen familiar criticisms amplified by tougher opposition. Somma may have been a flash in the pan but i’d rather see this play out than see his confidence stifled.

    Maybe i’m just too old-fashioned for this 4-3-3/4-5-1 malarky? :)

    • Arthur Graham

      looks like its only us left on here … and im off to bed – to wake up i hope to some news of the Arsenal kid travelling for a medical – and kipping at Watts diggs before signing on Tuesday morning ! here is hoping
      Johnson seems a bit out of his depth doesnt he so far in this league – but i dont want to judge the lad -strong we know but a bit headless at times and a bad error at Leicester game – Lansbury has a footbal brain and touch – I like the two wingers and two centre forwards – look for ward to Snodgrass being back – Watt and Sam can fight for the other wing role – and watt can also play inside right / left

      good squad we are building – with OPTIONS

      good night Gryff I suspect I am a similar age to you old man and we old uns need our beauty sleep !! LOL

  41. Stu H

    Why do I have to select two? I’ve said before on here,that questions like that are far too simplistic.There as times when 442 will be the best formation,but equally as many times when we need to go 451/433.Therefore I could not say what is our best attack.
    Our best ‘1’ is becchio,best 2 are becchio and McCormack (probably) and best 3 becchio,watt and Sam…pick the shape first,then fit the form players in after that…

  42. Arthur Graham

    chill Stu its late now – and we have ben here all evening LOL

    TSS started a prety dynamic and long and diverse blog on here with that simplistic question – kept me up for a few hours anyway – now Im excited about Lansbury – hope its not another Carrot – and they will offer him good enough wages to get him and Big Steve Caulker

  43. Arthur Graham

    ps thats the wrong way round …you pick the shape to fir the players you have available and depenent on the oppositions shape … vital in this league – so the team is not predictable and easily read in advance by the oppositions tactical spys – keep em guessing and to do that SG needs variants and options and hence a larger more adaptable and intelligant breed of footballer this season – he has signed several and we have several injured and hopefully two or three coming in this next 36 hours

  44. Craig

    @Djedjedje @TSS

    I wasn’t able to post for most of yesterday so maybe I can be forgiven for resurrecting the Somma thread.

    Somma’s going nowhere – Grayson said as much before the season began. He was referring to another loan period but that has to include being sold, at least for now, since his contract is so short that he’s worth practically nothing and, thinking in pure finance terms (as Bates will be doing) it is therefore not worth selling him.

    It was Chris Sutton who first said that Somma has weaknesses he needs to address – and that was at at L2 level. And that is hardly a surprise – the guy has come from South Africa via the USA and wasn’t used to our style of play. The only surprise is that, after a poor start on loan to Chesterfield, he started banging in goals for fun at Lincoln and now for us and he’s clearly got a future. Somma has bags of natural talent, self-confidence and arrogance to go with it.

    Maybe he should be given a run of games to prove himself but it is a big risk in our first season in L1. If he’s given his chance too early and he fluffs it the team risks getting dragged into a losing mentality just as we are getting used to a new division and it may then prove to be Somma’s one and only opportunity to shine. If, on the other hand, he’s given the chance to learn from other pros in the squad and takes his chances when they come it can only benefit the guy in the long run. I think Grayson is playing the long game and I’m prepared to trust him.


    haha, I really can’t belive you lot slaggin’ of Grayson.
    He obviously didn’t play Somma for a reason and wanted to give his new boy a go, its also obvious alot of you don’t go to the games because of your knowledge of just how good Grayson is, I’d certainly trust him with super Leeds than I would trust myself or any of you, his reading of the game is top notch just as he’s shown time and time again by changing a game when we go down and we end up getting the result.
    Leeds have had a brilliant start to the season and Somma will get his chance again so why are you all moaning, it really does annoy me.
    We will play probably more than 50games this season and you lot are picking at one that we WON.

    • Arthur Graham

      NO, not ‘you lot’ … some of this lot – not me

      I spent an hour on here last night defending the Watford game plan – Somma and Larry

    • TSS


      No one said we didn’t have faith in Grayson! (I was criticised last season for starting an ‘In Grayson we trust (#IGWT) trend on Twitter). What we said was, it was a stupid decision and one he should hold his hands up to. No one should be in the team when they’ve trained with the squad once, and you can jazz his decision up however you like, but it wasn’t a good one.

      Just because we like Grayson doesn’t mean he doesn’t make mistakes. He’s a young manager that’s still learning and this is to be expected. No one should be immune from criticism or we’ll end up with another case of Luciano Becchio defenders that can’t accept he does have bad games.

      As for not going to games, I go to them all and this is a comment that really grates on me. Defending your opinion by saying you go to more games than someone else makes you sound like a Scum fan. I have a season ticket in the Kop, and amongst the regulars I sit near (the majority of whom are ST holders too), none of us agree on anything! Some of them think Larry is an absolute fool and still haven’t forgiven him for losing Beckford. What I’m trying to say is that going to a lot of games doesn’t make your opinion more valid than anyone else’s.


  46. Cooke

    Just read through this lively ‘debate’. I think to criticise SG for our first 3 points away this season is silly really. No-one mentioned that if he had brought on Somma instead of McCormack then that may have pssd off McCormack. Also SG may have thought that in the long run – having McCormack come on to make his debut just after signing him would be good for his confidence – which would probably have been low. We all agree (I think) that McCormack probably has more potential than Somma to be a threat at this level so SG probably did the right thing.

    I think Somma will get his chance. As many have said we dont see trining week in week out.

    It sounds to me like we clearly need to sort out our midfield and I think SG is trying to strengthen.

    In any case – 2W, 1D, 1L is not too bad start – and I think we would all agree our squad now is better than last season. SG certainly deserves the benefit of the doubt for now.

    On On On.

  47. Howey

    Im with SimonGraysonsBarmy army!

    We’ve had a great start, why complain? Dont fix what isnt broken!


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