In our recent Loan Watch piece we stated that, in a move that slipped under the radar, Mike Grella had returned to Leeds after his loan spell at Swindon Town.

It has now come to light that Grella requested to return to Leeds after feeling he was not been given enough games. Relegation threatened Swindon sacked manager Danny Wilson and replaced him with Paul Hart in an attempt to secure their League One future. Grella had started five of the seven games Hart has been in charge of.

On his Twitter, Grella said:

“I’ve decided to come back to leeds because under the new management I wasn’t getting games. My reason for joining Swindon was to help them…

and to also get games in…I want to say thanks to the Swindon fans for everything and know that I have a great respect for the club and…

all the people involved, I hope they stay up because they have a great group of lads and the club deserves to be up higher”

Paul Hart has hit back, claiming Swindon are “better off without” Grella, also saying “It’s amazing. It’s beyond me. We don’t need people like that.”

Having scored one goal in his seven appearances for Swindon and feeling his opportunities were limited there, it begs the question what he gains from returning to Leeds when he is clearly not a part of Simon Grayson’s plans for the rest of this season. Grella had allegedly refused to move to League Two Bradford City and had a move to Motherwell cancelled because he had already played for both Leeds and Carlisle earlier in the season.

It seems, unless he can find yet another loan move, he will spend the rest of the season in the Leeds reserves (providing he can make the team). I don’t mean to come across as if I’m not in full support of one of our players but you can’t help but think he hasn’t thought this through properly. His first team opportunities are going to be far more limited at Elland Road than they were at Swindon and it’s difficult to see what he will achieve by returning to Leeds at this stage in the season.

Though fighting a relegation battle in League One isn’t the most attractive proposal, surely it’s better for a young professional footballer to be doing that than playing in a Mickey Mouse reserve league. He had the opportunity to put in some real hard graft and try to dig Swindon out of the hole they find themselves in and become, like Davide Somma at Lincoln City last season, somewhat of a club hero. If it was simply a matter of a personality clash with Paul Hart or other Swindon staff, then his desire to leave could be understandable – if not, from certain perspectives, entirely acceptable.

Maybe he just didn’t like Swindon. Maybe he’ll force his way into the first team and be the catalyst for success in our promotion push though, with Somma and McCormack sitting restlessly on the bench, that seems somewhat doubtful.

56 Responses

  1. Tim

    I cant understand what has happened at Swindon. last year they were right up there with us, they have load of ex-LUFC players and now they are fighting relegation. you just never know, as for Mike Grella, is he god enough?

  2. Bob

    Leeds players have said he is very skilful but maybe this decision to raise the white flag shows he has neither the bite nor the fight to progress.

  3. Colin

    I guess he saw a lot of poorer players being played ahead of him and I think Hart is the sort of manager who would prefer to use his permanent players rather than loanees in a dog fight. And I can understand that.

    I don’t think there’s any point Grella being at a club where he is miserable. I think he really wanted to show himself at Motherwell, but that got blocked and his only option was Swindon. I think he’s better off at Leeds.

    Grella must have spoke to Hart and if Hart is the sort of guy that says publicly “Swindon are “better off without” Grella”, then sod him. It was a stupid move anyway. He was pushed out by Grayson.

  4. Dje

    The majority of Swindon fans I’ve seen comment about Grella leaving thought he was quite a grafter and always put in a good shift for them, more so than those permanently on the books.

    I guess being played constantly on the wing (when all you want to do is score goals to show Grayson what you are worth), and getting dropped from a team that simply refuses to win would f*** you off eventually.

    To be fair Grella did the decent thing and talked up the Swindon team and their fans and wished them the best for the future and all that. Sure, he never mentioned Hart in these accolades and from this it is easy to see that they didn’t see eye to eye on that, but you would have thought Hart was big enough to take that mildest of slights on the chin and crack on with trying to save his team from relegation (and job). Obviously not, and I’ve no doubt that Swindon will be the better without him; Hart, that is.

    • RL

      Very astute comments DJE – said what I was thinking but put it much better than I would have. Thank you!

  5. Irving08

    Shame about Grella – he’s got a lot of skill and can finish: he also comes across as intelligent. I’m not sure why he has not made it at Leeds – but then I never new why Bromby was out in the cold for so long, or Whyte is still on loan, or why Livermore was picked ahead of Bannan or even Bruce to face Milwall… Does Simon have deep convictions about the way the game should be played, or is he no more than a very likeable man with a good temperament and a passion for Leeds, but with an excessively pragmatic approach to the game ? To what extend does his managerial ‘style’, in other words, reflect his ‘bits and pieces’ career as a footballer ? I think he has one more season to give us the answer. I would regard sacking the over-promoted Snodin as a sign of his grasping nettles.

    • number1inyorkshire

      i like Larry but his management approach is that of one of the boys seemingly . it doesn’t work in football how can it you have 30 odd players to fit into 11 and 7 subs ,someone is gonna be pissed if i was somma for instance i would be .

      he needs to distance himself from the players and in my opinion the chairman a little too . because i feel your right a season to prove his abilities ,bates will sack him .we should have set on gus poyet when we had the chance .

      • Dje

        I’ve always had reservations about Grayson as an astute manager (less so as a good motivational coach). Unlike MIKELUFC, I usually shut-up moaning about Grayson when we go on a bit of a good run for a short while, and then start chirping up again when the wheels start to come off once more. Cowardly, true.

        Anyway, the wheels look wobbly again so I just wanted to point out to all those defending Grayson – by saying that we are ‘exceeding expectations’ and he hasn’t had a transfer kitty to spend – then just look at Millwall. They came up when we did, they have had less money than us to buy players, they have less money than us to have a large squad, they have less pulling power for loanees than us, and they have only one star-ish player in Morison. And yet they are effectively in the same position in the league as we are and have a great momentum going into the last 6 games and the playoffs ~ whereas we don’t.

        Don’t get me wrong, I hate Millwall. That’s why it is so annoying when you see them excelling when and where we are floundering. We really need to seize this opportunity as there really is no guarantee that we’ll see it come around next season.

        And good call numberoneinyorkshire regarding Poyet. The guy has taken a tiny club like Brighton, without splashing cash, to absolutely waltz through a league that we tried our hardest not to get promoted from last season. I sure as hell don’t think Poyet would be talking about happy to be in the playoffs like Snodin did today, or about exceeding expectations as Grayson was on about last week. We need ambition and ruthlessness and not just a nice guy at the helm.

        Anyway, I look forward now to having tempted fate and seeing us stuff Derby and Bristol City to kill off Millwall’s playoff dreams. MOT.

      • Colin

        We couldn’t set on Poyet because he pissed off and left us (and his mate Wise) to become No.2 for Ramos at Spurs.

        He left Leeds in our darkest time (-15 and all that) when his manager needed him.

        So his record is:

        – He left Leeds at one of their lowest ebbs
        – He was a failure at Spurs as a No.2
        – He’s got 3rd division Brighton promoted.

        You prefer Poyet to Grayson based on what he’s done in less than one season?

        I’d take Grayson every time.

      • number1inyorkshire

        hi did leave to go to spurs and who wouldn’t have done at that time ???? .but when he did our attacking football disappeared and it was clear for everyone to see .poyet a i write has just waltzed Brighton through a division which we got up from with a struggle on far less money .at that same point LEEDS ARE CURRENTLY loosing to derby leaving us a point above forest .
        with 5mins to go we can at best hope for a draw …

      • Dje

        Maybe Poyet sodded off to be no.2 at Spurs because he never got the recognition he deserved for inspiring one of our finest runs of form despite it being our darkest hour? I thought it was common knowledge that Poyet was the brains behind Leeds’s phenomenal start to the 2007-08 season whilst Wise did his shouting thing at the squad and accused members of being fifth columnists.

        By the date that Poyet left on 29th October 2007, Leeds had a league run of:
        played 13,
        won 11,
        drew 2
        lost 0.

        That took us from -15 points and well and truly 24th and relegation position upto a playoff position in 6th spot. Coincidentally the next match we played after he left we lost 3-1 at Carlisle.

        Without Poyet calling the shots, Wise then managed:
        6 wins,
        3 draws,
        5 losses
        … in his remaining 14 matches before he fled any management responsibility in football in favour of an office job at Newcastle. Still, not the worst run of form ever, but maybe that was Dave Bassett’s [Jesus, what were we thinking…] hard graft.

        Of course Bates would never want Poyet back – which is sort of a positive character reference in my eyes – but that only confirms that at least Poyet was/is willing to stand up to Bates. Possibly the last member of staff at Leeds to do so too.

        Sure, Poyet never did anything at Spurs as Ramos’s number 2. You could read this as demonstrating the limitations of his management skills, and that he is a Championship manager at best, or you could read it as he is his own man and not one suited to play second fiddle.

        Finally, Brighton as only the champions (barring a miracle) of League Three? That accolade is more than we have achieved since our fall from the Premiership. It’ll be interesting to see how we get on against them next season.

        But ultimately, yes there’s no chance that Poyet would ever be made manager of Leeds whilst Bates is still at the helm. Hmm, two birds / one stone.

      • ANDY GREEN

        We would only be a stepping stone for Poyet. he would rush off to Spurs just like George Graham did ,at the drop of a hat ! Suppose its tin hat time for SG as all the Leeds supporters with their head in the clouds talk **** !

  6. number1inyorkshire

    how many teams has Paul hart taken down now, had he played grella in his position he would have scored him goals at that level .poor old jonny Douglas .why did he leave leeds when he was offered a new deal to go there , the mind of a footballer eh , eh !!!! .

  7. Paul South Wales

    Tim, Swindon are where they are, because they lost two very good strikers in Paynter and Austin, who scored around 50 goals for them.

  8. trueyorxman

    Might aswell give the kid another chance now we are about to slip out of the play-offs (at last!!), along with Tom Lees, Aidy White, Nunez, Ben Parker, Adam Clayton etc. Time for a shake-up. Get Poyet back before its too late, well done to him by the way this evening, well deserved

  9. Colin

    No.1, Dje,
    If we don’t make the playoffs then sure, let’s talk about Grayson, but let’s face it, we had that game won.

    SG’s tactics worked. We then conceded 2 goals in 5 minutes. That’s not down to SG. There’s nothing Grayson can do about Livermore wanking around and letting the 1st Derby goal come.

    The players took their foot off the gas. Simple as. I’m pretty sure that SG was shouting at them to keep the ball at the time.

    Everyone thinks there’s a magic bullet – a super manager who turns things around. A lot thought Terry Venables was great after Grayson. I didn’t.

    It’s easy to knock the manager. But it’s hard to find another who is 1) available and 2) better.

    Fact is, this team isn’t great. We have some good players and we have some who aren’t very good at all. That’s the reason we’re in trouble I think.

    • Dje

      The irritating thing Colin is that for a long time I’ve felt that Grayson isn’t going to takes as far or as fast as we could go with the team we have (or should have). But does that mean we have to go through a death spiral to finally see someone else in when:

      i.) as you say, there is no guarantee who that’ll be, and with Bates at the helm I’d not be optimistic

      ii.) one of the best things about Grayson is that he has brought stability (perhaps in duration alone) and a moderate amount of success after years of nothingness.

      I know it is not the done thing to openly question the position of the manager when we are doing OK and possibly hanging in for the playoffs, and I have no doubt that Grayson will not be sacked regardless if we make the playoffs or not, but my biggest fear for a long time now has been that we don’t get promoted and Kilkenny & Johnson leave on a free, Snodgrass, Gradel and Schmeichel get picked off by Birmingham, Everton and Bolton, and we are left with a few hundred thousand pounds in transfer kitty and Grayson desperately unconvincing transfer record to take us forward. From which you can expect that Keith Southern lad from Blackpool and other old-Grayson mates to come in and look distinctly average. It just smacks of Blackwell era dross.

      So I’m really starting to despair from a season where we have excelled in league position and the number of goals scored. How utterly bizarre.

  10. Will23

    Should our goalscoring fail us next season, and the last few games are evidence that scoring goals IS becoming a problem, then it is obvious we will be in a relegation dogfight.

    Thanks SG, but we need to move on without you.

  11. trueyorxman

    @Colin. Who brought Livermore into the squad? & For what reason? Given someone like Nunez is an international (attack minded) player why wasn’t he given a chance?

    • Dje

      I’d be interested to know in what position Scunthorpe are playing Nunez, but with the formation we are currently (and not so succesfully) playing, I think it is either Nunez or Howson in that central attack minded role,in which case I think you have to start with Howson on this seasons’ form.

      But yes, starting with two loanee midfielders – Bannan and Livermore – does leave you a little vulnerable of ‘not really that tossed’ attitude from two lads who will be off in 5/7/or 8 games time. Of course, Kilkenny, Johnson and Snodgrass, perhaps even Bruce might have been champing at the bit to actually get THEIR chance of playing in the Premiership next season, but we’ll be kind and say the manager was resting these lads and making good use of his depth in squad. Mmm.

  12. Colin

    I’m not happy with the way that Johnson’s been treated. He and Kilkenny are off – they will not be at Leeds next season. They got the big F’ Off treatment that Beckford got. And I hate that.

    As for Kilkenny and Bruce – IMHO – shit. They can go and do one for all I care. Thing is, we’re littered with players who are out of contract (not wanted), so SG might as well play loanees as they’ll be just as motivated.

    Johnson is the exception. How on earth he gets dropped is beyond me.

    I’ll tell you the problem – 4-5-1.

    That works great when Gradel and Snodgrass are on fire. They’re not. Gradel scored tonight but he was poor and Snoddy is gone – he can’t last last a full season and now he’s injured.

    That leaves Becchio trying to work his tits off and burning himself out.

    Do not play Paynter, do not play Livermore, do play Bannan instead of Kilkenny, keep Howson back (not ideal) and give Becchio some help with Somma in a 4-4-2.

    It’s not a great lineup but it’s enough to beat Watford.

    • Dje


      I don’t rate Kilkenny much either, but Bruce still might offer us something once we work out how to defend as a team, at least at Championship level. But my point before the one above was that I have less faith in who would be brought in to replace Kilkenny and Bruce than Kilkenny and Bruce themselves. I still think the squad we have is more than good enough to be playing better than we are in what is quite frankly a mediocre standard league. That the three teams who have just come up from League 1 can be so high up and those that came down from the Premiership are so low suggests to me that it is all about maintaining enthusiasm, desire, squad solidarity, and above all momentum, and not especially top=rated players.

      I’d like to see that 4-4-2 formation, as at least it has ambition stamped all over it. Although I’d be tempted to try Gradel up front with Becchio in a hold-up/ target man with a little tricky running fellow alongside him sort of way. I bet we’d get lots more central free kicks on the edge of the box at the very least.

      I imagine Grayson will stick with Gradel on the wing and play Sam or Watt on the other wing in his 4-5-1. In which case a draw against Watford is on the cards, and post-match interviews with Grayson talking about ‘taking the positives’ and ‘needing to use the draw to go on an unbeaten run…’ etc etc etc.

    • Gryff

      “Bruce – IMHO shit -”
      “Johnson is the exception. How on earth he gets dropped is beyond me.”

      At a time when Naylor & Collins were making mistake after mistake, Grayson played Bruce with O’Brien and we finally found some stability at the back.

      Meanwhile, I have counted 7 points Bradley Johnson’s fouls, own-goals and lapses in concentration have cost us just from matches I’ve watched!

      But here’s something we might agree on: Captain Howson is doing better, he’s on 2 points (and he’s gained us a bag full anyway!) ;)

  13. wjohn228

    Grayson is clearly very committed to Leeds but is he a good enough manager? One of the worst defensive records in the league and the inability to change it is primarily the responsibility of the manager/coach.

    Grayson’s emphasis on ‘great set of down to earth lads’ and about players ‘fitting in’ does not suggest a winning mentality where success is everything. A poor record in the transfer market and a lack of activity at the right time (Even Bates was trying to encourage Grayson to bring in players in the January window) is a management responsibility. The lack of a decent midfield for most of the season is also a management responsibility. I don’t see much tactical nous i.e. an ability to change tactics to win games when plan A isn’t working – or varying tactics for different opposition.

    To be fair, we are short on quallity players as well. Compared to QPR (loads of money) Leeds don’t have a Wayne Routledge (creative midfielder who can score great goals) or a Tommy Smith (premiership quality no 1; striker); a Fitz Hall (Commanding central defender) or a Paddy Kenny (a consistent, reliable goalie).

    The worrying thing about next season is the quality of the teams relegated from the Premiership; the new money at clubs like Hull, Ipswich, Leicester and Southampton?; the quality of clubs that won’t get promoted this season – Norwich? Swansea? Cardiff? Reading? Grayson won’t survive long into next season. Anyone for Nigel Adkins? Paul Lambert? Martin O’Neill? (finally) Chris Hughton? (surely Bates’ cup of tea?)

    • Gryff

      Martin O’Niell has never achieved anything in football without twice the cash the previous manager had (to my knowledge).

      I think it’d be a mistake for us to go for him. Is he likely to want to take on a shakey club in the Championship anyway?

      Couldn’t argue with any of the others tbh. Hughton especially is the kind of guy I think we need with the players we have at the club. I think he’d take the lads and shake them out of the Grayson spell and get them playing down to earth football instead of pretending they’re Arsenal!

  14. Irving08

    Excellent discussion on our manager. It gives me no pleasure to note that last night’s team selection (let alone the result), added to SG’s post-match comments (‘no-one expected us to be where we are’), confirm the negative assessment of myself and others of his managerial capabilities.

  15. oldlufc

    Good managers, motivate, organise, react tactically to situations, sign players to improve the team and have competent backroom staff. The ‘weaknesses’ at ER have been there for all to see and for the manager to rectify. Based on the past 18 months does Leeds Utd have a ‘good’ manager? Being a successful football team is not solely about spending lots of money on players. How many of the teams in the Play Off positions have spent big money? Definitely not Swansea, Norwich, Millwall, Reading et al. Leeds have White, Lees, Nunez, Clayton and others so why are they not being given a chance before loanees? If they are not good enough then they should be released. Bringing in loaness at this stage of the season is counterproductive and does nothing for the morale of those players who are dropped to make way for them. Leeds, from way back in the early Revie era, have always produced a large number of good young players but when was the last time an academy product made the breakthrough to the 1st team? It is quite clear that the current team is not good enough and no amount of chopping and changing the current ‘in-favour’ crew is going to change that. Grayson must know that his head, and his backroom staff, are on the block when his team are caving in so easily to mediocre opposition. Surely, the only person who could want the Play-Offs is Bates! From a fans perspective it will only lead to heartache and embarrassment.

  16. number1inyorkshire

    fantastic post old lufc i do i think take a little responsibility for moving this from grella to grayson .the post you write covers all the things i have been saying for months well weeks about .loans ,morale etc and the simple fact that it is too late now we have no quality ..
    we are on our way backwards at the moment,and that means dropping out of the playoffs , to be fair at the season start i would have been happy with 7th or 8th but the boat has left without us thanks to lack of ambition , and another part of the £17000 000 us as fans pay through the club being spent on improving the east stand instead of the team .

  17. Matt BB

    Leeds are performing as well as any club just promoted from league one would, I dont expect them to romp it to the top 2 – and never did. It’s easy to criticise Graysons team selections – why did he play livermore and bannan theyre loanees – so sayeth one contributor, someone else criticising his failure to rotate his squad.. basically a thankless task, and for me given the resources put at his dis[posal he has done a superb job.

    The main area i am critical of is the coaching staff, i dont think Glynn Snodin and Ian Williams give grayson the support he needs as a young manager, and I agree with the comments made concerning our defnders going backwards after time with us.

    A player like Lees would do well to stay under Alan Knill at Bury, ditto White at Oldham, because defenders just dont thrive at Elland Road, its as if they have a 2 month shelf life of being good and then just become atorciuos, that has to be down to the coaching.

    I dont blame grayson entirely for not rotating his squad, he has had a series of unfortunate injuries and suspensions of late, Snodgrass, Sam, McCartney, McCormack, and had limited option s in central midfield, I also dont blame him entirely for the fatigue in the squad, the recent pointless firendlies are just as much to blame.

    Get off Graysons backs guys, and support the team.

    • Irving08

      It is not a question of to rotate or not to rotate – it’s one of strategy and tactics; and I like many others think this is where our managerial team has been found wanting. Also it is a non- sequitor to imply that a negative assessment of the mangement means not supporting the team: on the contrary, I think the team deserves better, and so do the fans. We are Leeds, for goodness sake, the third biggest city in England, with one of the best (if not the best) away supports in Europe, loads of footballing talent on our doorstep, and enough good players on our books to have got us out of this division this year.

    • Gryff

      I agree with you on the coaching staff Matt, and I wouldn’t get rid of Grayson for a year or two yet if he kept us in the playoffs in that time.

      That said, Leeds aren’t like a normal L1 promoted team. We’re not Doncaster, Swansea, Peterborough or Scunthorpe. We’ve got a sizeably larger income, a history of victory and we had a much better team than any of the above when we were promoted. I don’t think expectations of a return to the Premiership within the next two seasons is unrealistic, and I don’t think Grayson’s shown the potential. Just playing a squad of 15 players throughout the season and switching between two formations isn’t going to cover the flaws in the team and he hasn’t moved to cover half of them until the short-term loan market when half of the fans were pointing to the midfield in L1 let aone after promotion…

  18. oldlufc

    Having too large a squad can be as bad as having too small as quad in that the manager has too much choice and is unable to make his mind up as to what his best starting XI is. Unfortunately, chopping and changing at this time of the season is not really the answer and Leeds performances are suffering as a consequence. If SG does not know is best starting XI after 35+ games then something is obviously wrong. However, none of us really knows what goes on behind the scenes at ER, has SG really had a transfer kitty available, as often stated by Ken Bates. Has he failed to get the players he really wants through lack of finance? Yet, where he has made signings some of the transfer dealings appear to be mind-boggling, for example, why is Nunez good enough for the African Nations Cup but not Leeds 1st team, will Clayton (an England U20 international) ever be good enough if he cannot even get on the bench, at 22 years old, in a mediocre team? Why were they even given contracts? So many questions, but too few answers will ever be forthcoming from ER.

  19. James McGuirk

    Really enjoyed reading the comments about SG. Probably the best discussion I’ve read this season. And no one resorted to the “you call yourself a real fan” statement that I loathe.

    Excellent points about SG and Leeds. It covers exactly how I feel about the situation. I wouldn’t come close to wording it as well as you have

  20. Gryff

    So his record is:

    – He left Leeds at one of their lowest ebbs
    – He was a failure at Spurs as a No.2
    – He’s got 3rd division Brighton promoted.

    You prefer Poyet to Grayson based on what he’s done in less than one season?

    I’d take Grayson every time.

    ^ He left Leeds when we were perfectly safe in the third division to go to the club he spent his last three years at, and the city that he spent his last six in. Ramos failed big-time, and Poyet was not a senior part of that team unlike at Leeds where he was brought into everything by his mate (and less intelligent mate at that). He then went to Brighton and got them promoted first time of asking.

    But no, that’s fine. If you think Grayson has magically proven himself more than Poyet (both are extremelly inexperienced) but I’ll dig this one up for you, Colin, in five years time!

    • Colin

      You’re on thin ice. Very Thin Ice.

      Brighton have been promoted from the 3rd division. Good for them.

      Now tell me if you think that Brighton will be 6th in the Championship next season with 5 games to go?

      And I very much doubt that he’ll be at Brighton for the full season. He’ll either be sacked or bugger off again if someone throws some cash his way.

      You can dig that up next year if you like as well.

      ONE BIG QUESTION TO EVERYONE KNOCKING GRAYSON – Who the hell do you bring in to replace him??

      Go on, tell me who 1) is available and 2) who you would like?

      Look at some of the managerial turds of teams above and around us – Warnock, Dave Jones, the guy at Swansea (that good I don’t know his name), McDermott, Billy Davies, Sven (can’t afford him).

      Okay there’s Lambert as well, but he’ll get found out, mark my words.

      Anybody fancy any of them at Leeds. No chance.

      • Gryff

        Colin, now tell me if you think Brighton have the income that Leeds do, or even the squad.

        As for who I’d take as manager:
        Sam Allardyce
        Chris Coleman
        Alan Curbishley
        Iain Dowie
        Chris Hughton
        Jim Magilton
        Steve McClaren
        Glenn Roeder
        Gianfranco Zola

        And that’s just the ones without a club.

        Oh, and i’ll remind you about the Lambert comment, too ;)

      • Dje


        I’d take Hughton, Zola and add Di Matteo, but I’d leave the rest.

        I’d take Lambert too, but we’d have to pay compensation so that rules him out.

      • Colin

        Gryff, you should also mention that they have all been sacked by smaller clubs than Leeds United.

        Is it April 1st? That’s a list of major failure and much shitness.

        Steve McClaren – I hope that was a joke. Each and everyone of those managers would get destroyed by the Leeds fans.

        Try again.

      • Dje

        As was mentioned above: Hughton. Available, and he’d come. He wouldn’t be a fuss for Bates but get on with the job – just as he did at Newcastle with Ashley flapping about. To take a team in free-fall from relegation from the Premiership and to turn them around over the course of the end of the summer break to then go on and walk it in the Championship – as he did with Newcastle – tells me he could whip our lot in shape. He was doing quite handsomely with them in the Premiership too until Ashley wanted to get his new best gambling mate Pardew in at Newcastle.

        I know Strachan blew it at Middlesborough this season, but I never felt his heart was really in that post (can’t blame him really), so I’d be interested to see what he could do with Leeds (where presumably his heart would be in it). I’d take Hughton first though.

      • The Reaper 08

        I would bring in that Mourinho fella that manages in Spain somewhere.

  21. Colin

    Gryff, check the last team sheet – we had 3 players that we bought that we didn’t have in Div.3 – Schmeichel, Connolly and O’Brien. The rest are all 3rd division players or loans which anyone can get.

    01 Schmeichel
    02 Connolly
    20 Lichaj
    26 Bromby
    40 O’Brien
    07 Gradel
    08 Kilkenny
    14 Howson
    17 Livermore
    25 Bannan
    10 Becchio

    They have won the title which suggests that they have a better squad than Leeds did, which just just scraped a second place in Div.3.

    Brighton have won the league and got promoted in a better style than Leeds ever did.

    On paper, they’ve got a better team than Leeds had last season, so the 6th place comment is still valid.

    We got 86 points from 46 games last season. Brighton have 90 points from 41 games. Still want to make excuses for Gus not having a decent team??

    • Colin

      And add on top of that, Norwich and Millwall’s squads. Have they also spent big? No.

      If Leeds, Norwich and Millwall can get into the Top 8 with a predominantly 3rd division side that scored less points than Brighton have, then Brighton should be able to do the same too.

      Unless of course, that Norwich, Leeds and Millwall have decent managers.

      But if Poyet is so amazing, then he should easily match it, especially since they’ve perfomed better than Norwich, Leeds or Millwall ever did in the 3rd Division.

    • Dje

      Unfortunately @Colin you might also mention the players that Grayson HAS brought in since we got promoted from Division Three and yet WEREN’T in the starting XI for our latest failing in Division Two:

      Paynter (suspended, but let’s face it – he wouldn’t have been)

      I’d be surprised if Brighton will be able to afford to bring in eight new established players in total. I’d be even more surprised if Poyet then went on not to use them or loan them out to other teams in the division.

      • Colin

        Dje – You make a fair point, but I’m trying to tell my biased side of the argument, so I missed that bit out


  22. Tim Wilsom

    When Jose wins his cup this year he’ll be ready to move to new pastures, maybe he’ll come pro bono

  23. Gryff

    Oh ofc, sorry Colin. I forgot that two years as Sir Alex Ferguson’s assistant manager; getting Middlesborough (a mid table club) to the FA Cup Semi Final in his first year, and leading them to win the League Cup in his second, and bringing them into Europe and the top7 of English football (not to mention another FA Cup Semi Final) over the space of five years; bringing FC Twente from a similar position to Tottenham in England to 2nd in his first season, the final of the Dutch Cup, and steered Twente into the Euro knockouts for the first time in three decades, then sweeping to victory in the Eriedivisie in his second year in charge.

    Not much of a record compared to Grayson. What was I thinking?!

    I just honestly can’t fathom how ridiculous you must feel putting Grayson above one of the most successful current English managers.

    • Colin

      Gryff, sorry I missed this post. We’ll have to agree to disagree on this. I just don’t rate McClaren. Ask a Middlesborough fan if they would take this ‘successful English manager’ back.

      As for the Brighton stats – I don’t get it. The challenge in the lower leagues, isn’t being able to get players, it’s being able to afford their wages and I’m pretty sure Brighton have spent big. They’ve got money behind them. They didn’t win their new 22,000 seater stadium in a raffle.

      Brighton have got some money. They’ve spent it and they’ve got promoted. Well done to them. Here comes the challenge – Now let’s see their profit and loss account and see how much they’ve made and whether it’s sustainable in the long term.

      Here’s a stat – Brighton’s average crowd is 7,200. And their current stadium can hold almost 9,000. So if they double their fanbase overnight, their new stadium will still be a third empty.

      Good luck to Brighton, but I think they’ll find it tough next season.

  24. Gryff

    Kishishev – Free Transfer – 35 – FC Litex
    Painter – Free Transfer – 23 – Swansea
    Battipiedi – Free Transfer – 19 – Agronomia
    Braz – Free Transfer – 23 – Agronomia
    Sparrow – Free Transfer – 26 – Scunthorpe
    Poke – Free Transfer – 24 – Southampton
    Bridcutt – Free Transfer – 21 – Chelsea
    Sandaza – Free Transfer – 25 – Dundee
    Noone – £316,800 – 22 – Plymouth
    Greer – £264,000 – 29 – Swindon
    Kazenga Lua Lua – Free Transfer – 19 – Newcastle
    LuaLua then released a few months later.
    Overall Transfer Income: Negative £154,000

    Last of the big spenders, Poyet. Every change he made to a hopelessly mid-table team bar one signing was paid for by a sale.

    Frankly, the results of a team which spent less in the market in League One than Leeds did, does not show a better team since the management of the players is equally as important.

    In case you have forgotten, Colin, Leeds were buckets of points ahead in League One in the New Year before the dodgy players bottled it and almost threw away promotion altogether.

  25. tom (brighton fan)

    read all your comments about our god gus poyet do belive you did miss a trick not securing his services but i think grayson is a good manager sometimes you have to remember where you were and troubles you were in as were we it must be harder for leeds fans to take for the succsess you have had in the past but you are a good club play good football and a good club is better than no club at all in 1997 we were 18 minites from becoming a non leauge club things change i defenitley think leeds are on the up so keep the faith and good luck


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