American striker Mike Grella has joined League One side Brentford on an emergency loan deal. His contract will be terminated later this week so Grella can sign a permanent deal with The Bees. 

Grella arrived at Elland Road in 2009 with great things expected of him. From day one, it was clear the American had potential, but it was potential that would never be fully realised with the Whites.

The American striker never seemed to fully grasp the English game. Leeds United not sending him out on loan sooner, instead leaving him to rot on the bench is one explanation for his unfulfilled potential.

But Grella had 42 chances to show us what he was made of and always seemed some way short of the finished product. In his two years at the club, Grella managed just 5 goals for The Whites, 4 of which came in the FA Cup against lower league opposition.

Certainly skilful, Mike Grella just didn’t seem to know when to shoot. He lacked the killer instinct top strikers have. When the crowd were screaming at the American to “hit it!”, Grella was too busy doing step-overs, or trying to work his way through a crowd of opposition players.

There’s no denying that Mike Grella’s time at Elland Road has been a disappointment to the player and club alike. Whilst not disappointed to see him leave, we still wish Mike all the best at Brentford. I genuinely hope he can develop into the player he always should have been and fire Brentford to glory.

42 Responses

  1. Matthew

    Praise the lord. I think Grayson and Bates must read Leeds forums, especially Grayson, no other explaination as to why these miracles occur.

    Billy Paynter next please Simon.

    • GMcG

      Obviously everybody is entitled to an opinion but I'm not sure how both Mathew and TSS can be so certain Grella wasn't up to it. So he made 42 appearances but how many of those were as substitute and how many minutes did he actually have to make his mark?

      Ordinarily I would presume that Grayson and the coaching staff had seen enough and made the decision to release him because they'd seen things – or not – that we hadn't. However, this is Leeds and Grayson's attitude to some new/fringe/reserve players has often been puzzling at best and downright baffling at times. Does he actually look at any players that don't figure on his 'protected' list (we all know who they were/are)?

      Nuñez is a perfect example. He clearly has great potential but he was already an international player (including having played 3 games for Honduras at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa), yet he supposedly wasn't good enough to play for us in the English second division (he appeared to have no problem shining in a struggling Scunthorpe side though).

      Were we really so over-endowed with talent when we farmed him out to Scunthorpe? The wheels were already coming off our promotion campaign so I'm sure he could have been utilised to much better effect at Elland Road.

      The same went for Davide Somma and even Adam Clayton. Do we really believe these players learned their trade and honed their skills being farmed out to lower league clubs?

      Back to Grella, from where I'm looking he was simply never trusted with a genuine opportunity. Perhaps the flashiness and over-elaboration came out in a desperate attempt to impress because he knew his face didn't fit and he was only going to get the odd ten minutes every few weeks anyway.

      Seriously, who can blame him?

      • Matthew

        I think TSS said it best.

        That said, I don't want to argue this, he was way down in the pecking order at Elland Road for a lot of reasons. He just isn't good enough for what Leeds need, and that is simply that. We are a Championship outfit not a League 1 one anymore.

        Also our attacking options are vastly superior to his playing skill.

        The likes of

        Becchio, Somma, Nunez, Gradel, Snodgrass, Keogh and McCormack are our strike force, Grella doesn't come anywhere close to the talent of any of these players, especially Becchio.

        If you're that upset about Grella leaving, go support Brentford, if you want to watch a team of quality such as Leeds, get over it.

        We've all seen him play. Well unless you're an armchair supporter, the fact is, he isn't good enough, no amount of voting my posts down will change that fact.

      • Matthew

        Also on your Nunez point.

        Nunez was an international player wanting to make a name for himself in the English football league, although everyone at Elland Road knew he had talent, he was officially loaned out to get the grips with English football, at Scunthorpe he showed his talented, banged the goals in and was rewarded with first team games at Leeds.

        Nunez showed his talent quite quickly at Leeds and as eyes for the goal, Grella has never done this, he's a Striker that simply can not score.

        I don't know about you, but when someone can't score, they're not worth their weight in the squad.

        Although he may be a good player, he isnt a championship quality player, you can't compare him to Nunez because they're 2 completely different players with different skill levels, and different situations associated with them at the club.

        Everyone, including me wish him the best, but I fully believe he is back in the kind of league that best suits his skill level.

      • GMcG

        Mathew, Keyboard Warrior, who are you, TSS's minder?

        I said right at the start that everybody is entitled to an opinion so who the hell are you to tell me I'm wrong and you're right? You say you don't want to argue the toss then proceed to write an aggressive, argumentative post. Considering I simply wondered how you could be so certain and suggested Grella had not been given a proper opportunity I really don't think you should be telling me to 'get over it', nor suggest that I piss off and support Brentford.

        As for the 'armchair supporter' jibe, I suspect I've been following this club longer than you've been alive, including several spells as a season ticket holder, home and away games long before all seater stadia and numerous visits per season when living abroad. Are my credentials good enough for you? Whether they are or not is kind of irrelevant because you are exactly the kind of tool that helps build the inaccurate perception that all Leeds fans are brainless morons.

        If you are capable of reading my post correctly you'll see that I didn't compare Grella to Nuñez nor any other player – I highlighted the treatment he and several other players have been given. It seems that your attitude is to blindly accept everything the Club does and turn on anyone that is capable of thinking for themselves.

        Maybe you've got carried away after one good performance at West Ham but Bates is not the Messiah and Grayson is a manager who at this moment in time often fails to convince tactically or motivationally. Between the two of them they've signed (usually on loan or for free) some complete no-hopers and given them extended runs in the first team. On that basis alone Grella merited more minutes on the pitch than he got.

        As oldschoolbaby comments below, it is possible to be ruthless and demonstrate some grace – maybe you could learn a thing or two.

      • Matthew

        No need to get so emotional and upset.

        I thought you wanted to discuss this, which is why I responded to you. If I knew you were going to act like a prick and insult me like that I wouldn't of bothered.

        I'm not one for repeating myself online, I didn't want to type out essentially every point TSS made, as I agreed with him, so I just refered you to his comments above to save time if anything.

        I suggest you grow up and learn not to attack people that disagree with you, I regret speanding the time answering someone like you now, as clearly you're not worth the time nor effort.

        I have no idea where you got the *Keyboard Warrior definition from* I guess you don't understand what the word means, as you fit the title more than I, and getting your internet friends/yourself to vote my comments down due to sheer ignorance says it all.

      • mattbb1

        from one matthew to another, poor show mate, calling GmcG a Prick just because he doesnt agree with you?

      • Matthew

        No, I called him a prick because his post came accross as insulting. I admit I'm not one for insulting others over the internet, just the way he was acting. Of course if he can't let it go, he is more than welcome to complain in person at the Crystal Palace game.

      • Matthew

        Also I see his internet friends have been voting my comments down, no worrys there, if it helps make some of you sleep better at night who am I to stop you, I don't personally find anything wrong with my views of Leeds United, the players, and the situations they are in.

        Anyway this is all I'm going to see on this subject, I'm sorry if I offended the Mike Grella fanbase(Had no idea one existed before today). And naturally I'm sorry if I offended any internet friends of the guy, I'm entitled to my opinions just as he is.

        Not one to clutter TSS's website, I'll leave it like that. But come on guys, don't vote every post I make down on other topics, I've made some perfectly valid opinions, and silently voting my comments down is just pathetic.

      • Ash

        Im sorry but I dont get what you mean in regards to sending players out on loan…the way we've sent players away to learn further in a first team environment has been brilliant in my opinion and can be shown through our track record; Beckford, Somma and now Nunez, Clayton and Lees. Another shining example is Jack Wilshere! After gaining a genuine run of games they returned to their parent clubs invigorated and on a roll I personally think this has been great management from Larry in that respect. It makes it almost lower risk. This said when they become continually farmed out on loan then perhaps its best they leave all together a la Grella good decision.

      • Matthew

        Sorry was I not clear?

        Nunez went out on loan to get to grips with English football, it was nothing to do with him lacking in talent. I was mostly speaking about him and no one else in the team when answering the person above.

        Anyway speaking about your loan point for other players, it wouldn't of worked with Grella, he just isn't good enough at this level compared to our more established players.

        Hell Becchio is coming back soon, either McCormack or Keogh will be dropped come the end of September if all goes well and he becomes matchfit again.

        I guess with my endless typos, my point could of been more difficult to see to some, sorry about that.

      • He_mase

        Disagree about Somma and Clayton. They both came back from loan a lot better than when they went away. Last season everyone thought Clayton was awful, he had two successful loan stints where he got games and look how improved he is.
        Somma was put under the management of Chris Sutton, a excellent striker, and he came back on fire. Going out on loan was good for these players and it is starting to look the same for Nunez.

  2. ErniW

    Lets hope Bessone , Bruce and Paynter follow suit pretty quickly as its no point having a squad full of pro's who are not going to play. Having said that the YEP is tipping that Paynter will be back on the bench tomorrow along with O'Brien and Connolly. Anyone who went to Doncaster will be amazed by that as both were breathtakingly poor. O'Brien has been going downhill for a year but I cant think whats happened to Connolly.

  3. @Bradleylomas

    I really liked Grella, i thought he has massive potential and seemed like a decent bloke too. Wish him all the best off at Brentford!

  4. Matthew

    Fact is, Grella isn'tr a championship quality Striker, like Paynter, if we want to push for promotion we can't have mediocre players drawing a wage when we could speand that money bringing in a dozen players of better quality like Lichaj for example.

    Good intentions will only get us so far, if we want to go up, we need to be ruthless.

  5. oldschoolbaby

    It is possible to be ruthless and demonstrate some grace

    I never felt he was giving anything less than 100% and wish him all the very best.

  6. Duval

    Good luck mike with your career, always gave 100% and showed the odd glimpses of class, just not as good as the other strikers we’ve got so best to let him go.

  7. COL

    Best wishes to Grella. I'll alway look on Grella as a wasted talent. It's in everybody's interest that he moves on to pastures new. I'm sure he will prove to be a good signing for Brentford.

  8. Andy Flynn

    Fact is that Grella pissed Grayson off by not going out on loan and not seizing his chance. Nunez and Somma did and proved their worth

  9. RoystonLUFC

    Grrr! I know this is a football forum, not an English literature forum but certain things really grate on my nerves: "I wouldn't of bothered " and "it wouldn't of worked with "
    It should read "…I wouldn't HAVE bothered…" and "…it wouldn't HAVE worked with…" It's a verb,not a preposition, FFS.
    I know that that's nothing to do with the relative merits of Grella but we northeners don't want to descend to the knuckle-dragging levels of our cockney (probably Manure-supporting) neanderthals, do we?
    I wud of wroten more but my two keyboards are spinning like a kaleidoscope at this moment. Here's to a hangover or two…

    • TSS

      LOL. Thought that was aimed at me to start with.

      It's people writing as they speak – I do it all the time without realising.

    • YorkshiremanInDublin

      The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain ;-) I'm just editing my final draft of an overview of the collected works of Fyodor Dostoevsky and will post it on the forum momentarily. Or'reyt ahh kid ;-) Mate, fine grammar is no substute for genuine passion…and I work as an English teacher (seriously).

  10. JPMack

    Matthew, please could you stop acting like an arse. Although I may not agree with all of the points that GMcG has made I think that everyone is entitled to their opinion. Trying to sarcastically pointscore against him just makes you look stupid. Before you try to use your GCSE English against me & suggest I'm not a true Leeds fan (that's me doing an impression of you :) ) my first match at Elland Road was nearly 30 years ago & we beat Carlisle 2-1

  11. YorkshiremanInDublin

    Few handbags going on here gentlemen, feel like doing my Harry Enfield Scousers impression, 'Ahright, calm down calm down' ;-) Perhaps we should just try to remember that what Unites us all on here is a shared passion and love for the finest team in Yorkshire if not the universe and move on. Didn't mean that to sound/read patronising in any way, just playing peacemaker is all…nice to be nice and all that. Anyway, back to the footy…Grella out Forssell in is my prediction. I would like to see Paynter go but I think he's just too difficult to shift…the way he's been performing we won't be able to sell him and no Championship club would take him on loan and pay his 12 grand wages. League one with Leeds still paying the vast bulk of his wages would be the only option and I don't think that's gonna happen. Whatever happened to Roque Santa Cruz anyway, ha ha ;-)

  12. Chareose

    For me I suspect Grella will be a success, I feel Grayson didnt give him the support and backing he needed to break through……….hey ho these things happen in football, Good luck toMike, he seems a good lad and I wish him the best

  13. mattbb1

    I think Grella will end up playing in the hole behind the strikers for Brentford, and I think he'll do well. HEs got good ball control, but with Leeds' wealth of attacking talent he was just never going to get his chance. The downside for Grella was when he sulked his way out of his Swindon loan, I thought thats when he surrendered his shirt for Nunez and Somma to scrap over. WIsh him well, and a lost opportunity.

    I dont rate paynter and always thought he was a dreadful signing from the day one, but I wonder if he might benefit from a loan spell? we've got Becchio back soon, Keogh, McCormack, Nunez, Gradel, Snodgrass we wouldnt miss him.

  14. LeamingtonLeeds

    To be Honest i think Grella will be success over at Brentford and it won't be too long before championship clubs become interested in him. Look at Keogh, we thought he had nothing and shipped him off for a measley 50k, i bet he's loving returning to the club which let him go to prove a point! Best of luck to Mike.

    • Bubionwhite

      Correction Leamington, Kevin Blackwell thought Keogh had nothing, but when did his judgement count for anything … and add my best wishes to Mike please.

  15. lufcboy

    Liked Grella – never bad-mouthed the club despite his treatment by Grayson – Wish Mike all the best.

  16. He_mase

    Good luck to Mike in all his future endeavours. As already said he was not bad for Leeds but never quite good enough. Hope he realises his potential for Brentford. MOT.

  17. des

    All because a couple of our players said on the crossbar challenge program that grella was our most skillful player.
    He got more than enough chances and compare him to someone like ramon who comes in and scores goals straight away.
    Good luck mike but if only you were half as good as you think you are then you would be brilliant.

  18. eagle

    This is probably the best chance for Mike to get some playing time. It was obvious that Leeds had no place for him and as a young player he needs to play and not rot on the bench and/or in the reserves. I hope he gets he grabs his opportunity at Brentford. That said, I would say if this doesn't work out, he should come home. There's no guarantee he would start in MLS either, but just the same, a lot of guys have come home and made the most of their opportunities this season.

  19. Dave Hart

    Never got a chance! I remember Beckford and Kilkeny saying he was the most skillful player at Elland Rd on Soccer Saturday

  20. Liam Crowther

    He went because he acted a total knob at swindon on loan n grayson said straight away that hd wants him out

  21. John Fickling

    Showed some skill but in 40-odd games did he justify a run in the team?! Somma worked hard and took his chance – much like Nunez has – but grella always looked like a fringe player. Will do ok in the lower leagues but he’s not a championship player

  22. Ben Rosamond

    Turned the cup tie at home to Kettering … hugely skilful. Too slight for the top flight? Good luck to him.


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