Please God, send me a clean sheet

Responding to some fans disappointment after a quiet January transfer window for Leeds United, Simon Grayson has admitted he was hoping things would have turned out a little differently but that he headed into the window seeking only ‘quality players’ with Premier League experience and that he wasn’t going to settle for second best.

Presumably speaking about Michael Johnson, Simon Grayson added that “I thought I was going to get a deal with a player at one stage and then his club changed their minds.” It is believed Manchester City were concerned about Johnson being thrown straight into match action after a lengthy spell on the sidelines, and decided to cancel the deal at the last moment.

True to form, Grayson left the Leeds United fans guessing by revealing he was close to landing a couple of ‘big name signings’ who may yet join the club when the emergency loan window opens in a weeks time.

25 Responses

  1. Adam P

    The 2 players were Johnson and Woodgate.

    I spoke to Glynn Snodin about it yesterday.

  2. Ilkleywhite

    Hrmm, Johnson and Woodgate would have been excellent loan signings, if Man City were worried that Johnson shouldn’t be thrown into the action, then he obviously isn’t ready for first team football, and therefore whats the point of going out on loan, Woody would have been great, but that isn’t going to happen is it?

    Really think for our first season back in the Championship we are doing really well, last nights 2-2 against Hull shows our fighting spirit, if we make the play offs that would be a fantastic achievement


  3. deano

    Whatever happens Woodgate will not be joining Spurs have an injury crisis at centre half Ledley King is due for another operation today. Younes Kaboul also requires surgery and Tom Huddlestone is also injured.Redknapp is even considering throwing Woodgate back in tonight……

  4. les irwin

    woodgate and johnson so why are we getting players in that alright do have prem league experience but are not match fit its like paddy going out on loan for what so we can have them waltz round thorp arch on crutches for 2-3 months what a load of tosh gryason is we have to conceed crap at wheeling and dealing in the loans market and transfer market

    • TSS


      You really do lose all sense of reasoning sometimes mate. Sanchez Watt, Andy O’Brien, Max Gradel and George McCartney all joined Leeds on loan under Grayson and have done extremely well for the team. He’s also brought in some impressive free signings such as Kasper Schmeichel, Lloyd Sam and Davide Somma, yet his dealings in the loan and transfer market is crap?

      Of course there’s been the odd bad signing – you find me a team that gets it right every time and I’ll leave you to moan without reply.

      His statement that he refused to bring in people to make the numbers up makes complete sense. If he brought in players just for the sake of it, then everyone would be whining about their quality 3 months down the line.

      He’s damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t because some supporters will complain regardless. At the start of the season everyone unanimously agreed the only thing that mattered was consolidation. Six months down the line and we’re in the play-offs – yet people still complain? What does he have to do to please everyone?

      How many Fede Bessone’s would it take to cheer you up? I ask, because they’re the kind of desperation buys/loans people make during the transfer window. At least we’ve learnt from that mistake.

      • les irwin

        so why bid for those two and why bid for freebies and then there is somma and sam somma arguably our best allround striker sat on the bench for many a week ,sam arguably our best player in the first few weeks of the season alright he got injured but sat warming the bench why put him back in .i dont care that he didnt bring anyone in after 28 years you get used to it but why say he wasnt bringing players in for the sake of it then try get woodgate and johnson who were not fit he might aswell name paddy on saturday .,some of us seem to think that we will go on a massive spending spree come may june ,in the 5/6 years bates has been at leeds we haven’t they are mostly freebies and lets be right we will loose some .snodgrass ,gradel ,howson ,schmeicel, killkenny? johnson and maybe even becchio are all potential outgoings
        my point in general is that our policy on signings is erratic there is no set plan we dont seem to be able to prize anyone away from teams and were trying to sign 2 unfit players there is noone in our squad asside from howson and maybe snoody who is equipped to take us up and keep us there. what if we do go up ????? we will have to start again a few quality players in now would have eased any potential promotion fears and of course the palyers who come in will be more money there is enough money coming in this season through the turnstiles and last season to be not signing players for the sake of but to be signing quality players because they are better than what we have and there are many many better than what we have 1-2 3 million quid would bring us 2-3 quality players who are not here for the sake of it but to take us forward getting them now would have been readying them for this season and if we gio up next

      • Craig


        Shit mate, I’m out of breath just trying to read your posts! Do you not have punctuation or a return key on your phone/keyboard? ;)


        No1 is going to get you black-listed by NewsNow if you don’t step in :)

      • TSS


        Firstly, me, yourself and the comma button really need to sit down and have a chat. ;-)

        Basing your entire argument on Michael Johnson and Jonathan Woodgate flaws it completely. Johnson was all set to sign until Citeh pulled the plug at the last second (and would have been a quality addition to any squad) and Woodgate faced similar circumstances so was never going to happen.

        If we’re going to stick Lloyd Sam in the team, which of our high-scoring wingers with excellent assist records would you like to remove? Snodgrass or the on-fire Gradel?

        Same with Somma, do we remove one of the League’s top goalscorer’s to accommodate another who doesn’t suit the 4-5-1 system anywhere near as well?

        You seem to want to pick holes where there is none, so I feel I’m probably debating a lost cause. Your original argument was based on Simon Grayson’s transfer record, which I put into a more balanced perspective, so you’ve now moved on to his team selection?

        We’re sixth in the table. It might be time you started celebrating the things he does right rather than picking flaws for the sake of it. It may help reduce your blood pressure a little.

      • les irwin

        fuck the comma button if you want proper gramma you can have it
        you have had plenty to say on ken bates have you changed your mind on him too (comma) i will sit down and talk with you any time on all things leeds and punctuation (full stop) (capital letter) have you not in a post later mentioned about gradel not being consistent (comma)and sam being better (full stop) (capital letter) i have not based my argument on woodgate etc in case you seem to be getting mixed up as i think you are (comma) i am basing it on our transfer dealings since the great ken bates rescued our club from extinction (comma )and how many players leeds united have bought (full stop )
        (new paragragh) (capital letter) the squad and the team grayson picks refelects our transfer policy in general(comma) we are doing well (comma)but how many quality players do we have that are ours( comma ) and how many will be able to step up to the premier league (full stop) (capital letter )asside from maybe howson and snodders (slang abbreviation) not any (comma) oh sorry (exclamation mark ) kasper why didn’t we sign premier league players (question mark) (full stop ) we got frees and loans when was the last time we went and took a player from another team (comma) just like they will from us when we don’t go up and drop out of the play offs (comma ) then we will see how many come on here and bemoan our lack of transfer activity and the lack of real quality in the squad (full stop ) (capital letter ) i moan about the lack of transfers and loans you moan and others about other things (FULL STOP ) (capital letter) trust me i will do my best to read with intrest however i will no longer post as i feel my english isn’t upto it (comma )and my opinions are obviously not agreeable with what you want people to be like I:e agreeing with you (full stop ) (capital letter ) hope the punctuiation was good enough for yourself and craig but just so i don’t have to reply to him too (comma ) tell him to go and fuck himself (capital letters ) from me (comma) laugh out loud (no abbreviation )

      • TSS

        Relax @number1inyorkshire. Grammar isn’t something that really bothers me, but the odd full stop and comma would help make your comments much easier to read for the rest of us.

        “have you not in a post later mentioned about gradel not being consistent (comma)and sam being better”

        Yes, but you’ve taken it out of context entirely. What I said was that Max is on fire at the minute, but generally bounces between the absolutely brilliant and infuriatingly greedy. While ever he’s consistent, he deserves his place.

        “i am basing it on our transfer dealings since the great ken bates rescued our club from extinction”

        No one is disputing Ken Bates has a firm grasp of the purse strings, but Grayson doesn’t seem to be complaining or struggling without funds, so you can only assume Bates has backed him where needs be. Anything else is just hearsay and conjecture.

        Don’t get me wrong, no one hates Bates more than I do, but Simon Grayson is probably more cautious than most with money having seen the epic fall of Leeds United and not wanting to be responsible for leading them into a similar demise – he is a fan first and foremost after all. It’s as much his club as it is ours.

        As for the rest of your argument that seems to follow the tedious ‘lack of ambition’ statements I’ve responded to a million and one times, it’s extremely harsh of you not to consider our team capable of playing in the Premier League. Sure, there will be changes, but there always is after promotion. I seem to remember you had similar concerns about the team when we got promoted from League One and also decided our lack of spending suggested a ‘lack of ambition’. Oh yee of little faith…

  5. kev

    i agree, don’t see how an injured Woodgate and an overweight johnson would bring any benefit to the team,i thought we were realy poor first half last night and we could do with shaking it up abit if we want to stay in the playoff places,think could do with giving Nunez a game he’s had no chance to impress what so ever !

  6. Dubwhite

    We need something to happen as there is just the worry that we are starting to become slightly predictable. We can’t afford to bring people in that need time to regain fitness, we are playing in a highly competitive league we need players who will hit the ground running. I expect SG’s loan signings will be out of left field a bit but as mentioned above he gets it right more times than not. MOT

  7. Arthur graham Currie curler

    totally agree about Nunez- he seems to have that touch of flair – and why he hasnt been blooded yet i just dont know

    City’s Johnson may be two weeks from fitness still and so the timing is better for all sides to wait a fortnight to bring him in ? – he’ll be training and using man city facilities until ready to come to leeds – he is a leeds fan – say no more – get him in – sign him up In summer full time and hes a future captain of the side i say if he can recapture the form he had a few years ago

    Woody – was a great player for a while once – but-hes not fit enough is he ? and will break down again sadly for him i think if he plays again at any level

    I see Darren Pratley bagged a brace last night – we should have gone after him with good money

  8. Dje


    With the amount we continue to score, I don’t think we are getting predictable. Unless you meant that it is a safe bet that we will concede?!

  9. songster23

    The problem with Nunez is that he is forever flying back and forth to play in international matches. I think Grayson doesnt want to start him because he likes the idea of having a settled starting 11 and Nunez never seems to be available for 2-3 games in a row before he disappears again. That said I think he has the flair to do a good job and would love to see more of him on the pitch in a leeds shirt cos at the moment we seem to be paying for a player who is on a different continent half the time

  10. kevin

    We needs a good center forward with a bit of pace, somma & bechio are good players but lack that bit of pace and that spark sometimes needed to win a game. like what QPR have with Taarabt i think freddy Sears would be a good addtion on loan, now west ham have Keano on board till the end of the season.

  11. trueyorxman

    What’s the panic, why is everyone so keen to rejoin the circus that is the Premier League, its duller than ever. Fulham, Birmingham, West Brom, Wigan, Bolton, Blackpool, Wolves, Stoke, Blackburn, I can’t wait to pay £40 to watch that lot…and as for Woody & Michael Johnson, f**k off, has-beens both of ‘em

  12. Colin

    We need to bring in players and we haven’t got them in the January transfer window, so we will need to get them in the summer. I think the January transfer window was an opportunity missed and this is why – you never know when we’ll be in such a good position to get promoted again. Yesterday was a perfect example – stupid defensive errors meant that we were always on the back foot. Our attacking game is second to none. But out defensive game is poor and this happens time after time. Why? 1 of 2 reasons – the defence/defensive midfielders aren’t good enough or the coaching isn’t good enough.

    I understand @TSS ‘s agreement with Grayson on not bringing players in for the sake of it, but I think @TSS has more patience than me. SG is like a broken record – it was the same last season – ‘I’m not bringing players in just for the sake of it’. He didn’t strengthen then and we nearly threw promotion away. By January, the players were fried and SG didn’t see it. For me it means that he either can’t find the good players or he can’t afford them. It isn’t that they’re not available.

    As for money – there is money – has it been spent wisely? Probably not. McCormack was expensive and he’s not being used. Bessone was a disaster. Paynter – for me, out of his depth, he’s a 3rd division player.

    I’m not saying that Grayson has made bad signings/bad loans etc. I think he has done well, but he hasn’t done great. It’s been hit and miss.

  13. ilkleywhite

    Well I for one can’t wait until we are back in the premier league, so what if we play Stoke, Wigan, West Brom, and uncle tom cobley and all?

    We are on track, and it would be great to get promo this season, if not, so be it, we would have settled for that at the start of the season, after what we have all been through this last few years, its good to be even thinking about getting to the premiership, yes we have signed players on loan, and then permanent deals (or not) have followed, the pain this club has been through has been a harsh lesson for everyone, I really think we were 5 minutes from extinction, there was no Arab Shiek on the horizon, we were in the pit drowning, and somehow or other we pulled ourselves out, now we have a team capable of getting promotion, yes, if we went up, some players would have to leave, but we could also attract good players, I think the likes of Howson, and Snoddy would excel in the premiership, Bechio would cause any defence a problem, lets see how we go, but to be where we are, after all the crap we have endured over the years is in my opinion fantastic


  14. Dje

    I think talk of consolidation is all a bit passé.

    We are sixth in a very competitive league. A two wins away from an automatic promotion place, one loss away from dropping out of the playoff positions. We have a good squad (although every squad can always be improved upon) with apparent unity, we have a good morale, optimistic fans who turn out en masse, and – as far as we know – a chairman who is not eager to sell our best players.

    That all sounds pretty good to me, and I don’t think we could hope for much better realistically this time next year if we were still only in this league. It will likely to be as close, with as many open games that could go either way. We would want to be there or there about.

    I ask you what would make us genuinely believe that this time next year we should be in the position that QPR currently holds – top of the table, playing well, and a few points clear.

    Those consolidationists among us might argue that we go from here to there with strength. Marching On Together, onwards and upwards. It is a good narrative, I like the optimism. But we are only human, and we like to have our blips as much as anyone else. No, we should only reason that we would be there or there about this time next season too. Anything else, without grounds for genuine improvement is just optimism.

    So what else will take us that little bit higher next season? Ah, investment. A few new faces, a touch of quality here and there. I imagine Grayson is drawing up his list of players coming to the end of their contract this summer already. They might make the difference, we might even offer them the wages they would expect from a ‘big club’ when signing on a free. If last summer’s transfer are to go by, then we will need a new and super-improved policy for this, and Bates to dig deeper ~ or just to dig at all. That might do it. It didn’t happen last summer, it didn’t happen this January, but marching on together… It might happen.

    What about the doom-and-gloom merchants? We don’t get promoted this season. But we were consolidating afterall. Only Premiership clubs fancy consolidating themselves, and offer a splash of cash for Schmeichel, Snodgrass, Howson and Somma, maybe Becchio too. We might hang on to one or two, but you know Bates, you know he’ll take the cash.

    Johnson and Kilkenny fancy their chances elsewhere too. Wigan feel generous enough to offer them silly money for them to sign on a free.

    So: Johnson gone, Kilkenny gone. Howson sold. We have no central midfield. We now have to buy (re: bring in new players on a free, or loan).

    But Grayson has a mixed transfer signing record ~ the good (Watt, Gradel, Sam), the bad (Bessone, McSheffrey, Vokes), the indifferent (Collins, Paynter, Dickov (I am being kind)), and Bates has rarely, if ever, ‘properly’ backed Grayson with a transfer kitty. The complete absence of a central midfield would bring some action, but the question is could Grayson get it right, and get it very right for the automatic promotion positions, and get it very very right, to have a squad fully firing, unified and dynamic from the start of the season in August? Hmm, in Grayson We Desperately Hope.

    Alternatively there is ‘youth’ coming through of course. The enigma that is Elliott Kebbie. Rightly or wrongly, Grayson has been criticised at times for his apparent lack of faith in youth. Besides, would this be the best time to go with youth? Could you bank on them to take you to the top of Championship this time next season? Hmm.

    Carpe diem.

  15. Colin

    I just love @djedjedje ‘s summary above – it’s spot on.
    and if I read @number1inyorkshire ‘s comments correctly then some of the stick he’s got is very very harsh.

    As I see it, the facts are clear – this Leeds side is overperforming. It’s not as good as it’s league position suggests. Leeds can make the signings when they want – Schmeichel was an inspired purchase. But that’s not enough and the investment should have been made before now. And I’ll tell you why – season 2012/13 in the Championship could be an absolute unmitigated disaster unless Leeds get promoted this season. Why?

    Because if we don’t have the money now, then we don’t have the money next season, but others do.

    Think Everton, Villa, Newcastle – they do have money and they will snap up the likes of Howson, Snodgrass and Schmeichel. They’ll be on the last year of their contracts, and that’s not enough to keep them. They should on 3 year contracts right now.

    Kilkenny, Johnson and Higgs will walk on a free. McCartney will be back at Sunderland. Watt back at Arsenal.

    I’d hazard a guess that someone would want Somma or Gradel and take a gamble.

    That could leave Leeds in the 2012 season, in the CCC with Paynter, McCormack, Becchio, Grella, Sam, O’Brien, Bromby, Bruce, Connoly, Parker, Aidy White and Gonzales.

    That’s not a team, that’s a disaster. That’s the same type of shit that Dennis Wise inherited. And I guarantee that Grayson wouldn’t hang around and wait for the crisis to happen.

    Bates has to act fast and get some key players signed up fast and that means Howson, Snodders, Schmeichel and yes Bradley Johnson and Kilkenny (unless SG thinks he can get someone better and the transfer window proves that he can’t). Otherwise Leeds don’t even have a team next season.

    And yes it will cost a shitload, but the consequences could be devastating if we don’t do it.

    • les irwin

      thanks colin , iam sure iam only saying what others are saying not as much round the houses as djedjedje but pretty much the same . simple fact is that bates wants someone to invest so they can spend on the team whilst he spends on the hotels . bates is not a football fan he is into buildings just like chelsea , it was harding and others that strenghthened the team there .
      what else can grayson do than either leave or manage the team he loves with freebies and loans , no brainer . if we don’t go up then we will be loosing players and by the looks of it 1 or 2 for free , teams have gone up better equipped than leeds would do and came back down , what is happening to all that money going through the turnstyles not this year , but last and pretty much every season since we went down , and since bates took over . it sems to me that we have done really ,really well but there is no plan to take us forward now ,that the powers that be don’t think we can go up or have not brought any quality in to help us do so .
      everyone says that ,cardiff ,swansea ,qpr etc have been building for years ,they have .2 or 3 players ,quality ones each season ,the point is they started somewhere ,my point is that leeds have to start somewhere it could and should have been now .
      please mike lufc don’t agree with me i’ve had lods of stick since you did . LOL

  16. Gryff

    We definitely have a problem this Summer if we don’t have some of our players re-signed. If we go in the free-market again we’re only going to get the equivalent of Bessone, Dickov & Sam (as dje alluded to). Problem is that if our signings are at that level, our almost wholly new central midfield is going to consist of one great signing, Jonny Howson, and a couple of complete failures.

    It would have been safer to sign somebody permanently in the January window to take the pressure off in July, as well as to form a partnership with Howson & the wingers. As it is, we probably save money doing it Grayson/Bates’ way, but unless we seriously think we can sign these emergency loans in the Summer, it’s a false economy because we’re banking on lads coming in in July/August and knowing the current squad well enough to gel into a CCC contender over the space of a month.


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