Let’s get this out of the way: we’re not the most forgiving bunch, are we?

We expect pretty big things from the ‘Premier League Quality™’ that Simon and the Propagandists keep banging on about, and are prone to bouts of extreme nark when they become post-loan Andy O’Brien – but we expect massive, massive things from The Youth© – whether they’re the finished article or not.

The current crop are definitely not that. They’re not far off, but they’re not that. Yep, there’s undoubtedly much potential there, and it’s all heartening in this time of angst, but this is a bunch slightly ahead of their time, stitching the gaps in a squad that we all know could and should be better – conveniently preventing the harsh gash of our crude uncompetitiveness in the marketplace being fully exposed. This is the Elastoplast Generation.

It’s not the fault of the Lees/ White/ Thompson/ Turner/ Taylor generation that they’re being thrust to higher levels of action than we, and even they themselves might have expected.

Scrap the latter. We’re probably dealing in general terms with the most bloody-minded self-believing generation ever, so if we’re honest, the lads are probably slightly disappointed they haven’t been in the Samba Nike commercial they had lined up for this stage of their life strategy.

I massively digress. What I’m trying to say is that we should back our rag-tag bunch of slightly bewildered talent who don’t seem entirely sure what their best position is yet more than we’ve backed any that have popped off the production line before. Because they bloody need it more than ever before. Suck that rant about the stray pass in, breath in through the nose, out through the mouth. It’ll be alright.

Maybe not all will prove worthy of ‘Wunderkid’ tag or Premier League child-snatching, and indeed maybe not all will even make it at Leeds and end up on the well-trodden path to Scunny, but all that’s immaterial in the now.

Our opponents this weekend are a fine model of the value of being patient with the kids. Before I get e-jumped on, I’m not saying our ambitions should be matched to Palace’s, I’m simply saying that lads like Scannell and Clyne have been kept around, nurtured, and, albeit based on my limited experience of Selhurst Park, not jumped on with ruthless abandon if the thing they try doesn’t quite come off.

They started off as Elastoplast kids too, in times of more believable financial prudence than ours, and now they can really start to believe those cocky dreams are going to be realised. John Bostock on the other hand, tempted by those tainted bright lights of the ‘big league,’ must be stewing in impotent rage across London.

But back to ours. Play all of our almost-readies in that Carling Cup fixture I say – if they’re playing kids, which they will be, there’s surely not so much really at stake that we should give them the satisfaction of fielding all our first-teamers.

Let Captain Jonny, the original and stickiest Elastoplast, lead them into battle with heads held high. They may not be O’Leary’s ‘Babies’ Mk II but it’s hard not to think that this time there’s something distinctly more ‘ours’ about the rabble.  F**k it, let’s shove Sanchez Payne in there too.

Our latest Children’s Crusade has got some big victories lurking in there somewhere – let’s show them that we’re not so knee-jerk as to blame them for their premature, forced exposure into an unforgiving world.

13 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    I’m still waiting for the mythical qualities of the mythical Elliot Kebbie to come through to our rescue. So lightening quick that he’s never been seen by the human eye to play for us, his hat-trick in the opening 30 seconds of our FA Cup giant killing against the Scum was too quick even for the TV cameras to pick-up on (although rumour has it that if you use SKY+ slow motion you can just make out a smudge (oh dear, shouldn’t mention that word) around the 23 second mark – although it could just be Fergie spittle. 
    Yes Kebbie left us for Barcelona and like all good myth endings ‘was never seen again’. But if we are entering the fray of myth-peddling (a Bates-sponsored MBA at Leeds Metropolitan University from next year (when the fee rises kick in, of course)) then surely we can hang-on to the notion that mythic Kebbie can be in two places at anyone time: Kebbie Leeds and Kebbie Barcelona. Still, bet mythic Kebbie Leeds turns out better than both halves of the Turner brothers.

  2. KaiserChief82

    Regardless of how or why we’ve got to this point, we have a crop of promising young british talent at the club, and you’re right, maybe they are simply stitching a gap. I honestly think they’re doing a great job and IF this season does turn out to be a mid table wash out (which is my fear) then lets at least be able to say the likes of Lees, White, Thompson, Turner, Clayton and even Nunez have been fully blooded and are ready and raring to go next time around.

    On the other hand, who knows, maybe in a few games time we’ll have picked up points and the new generation of youth might surprise us all, either way, MOT


  3. Pabs1983

    Last season we were told by Bates that our youth policy hadn’t been up to scratch and that we weren’t producing talent, and that followed with the sacking of the Development coaches.

    With that in mind, how come 12 months later we are bringing through Lees, Taylor, Turner and  Payne, if our policy was that bad. These lads have been at the club for years, so our policy can’t have been that bad.

  4. LeedsForLife

    Nice piece. Well said.

    Don’t forget, too, that many of the great Leeds side of the 60s & 70s were homegrown. In 62, Norman Hunter, Paul Reaney and Rod Johnson made their debuts in the same 2nd Div game. Although that team benefitted from some key signings (Giles and Collins), it was mainly made of Leeds youth players who had been thrown into the 2nd Div fray very young. How much did that magnificent team cost? Not very damned much!

  5. Anonymous

    Have to say, for all the talk of youth, and especially as White is suspended tomorrow, I really really thought we’d have sown up Danny Pugh coming back on loan by now. At 28, with a few years experience in the Premiership he is tried and tested to step in at left-back. For the love of God can;t we just pay the going rate of decent wages for a decent player rather than try and get hem on the cheap and then in a fluster when they choose to go elsewhere! Broken records. 

    If we haven’t brought Pugh in then are we going to play O’Dea at left-back and ship in O’Brien at centre-back alongside Kisnorbo? Because we looked far weaker when we switched to this after White got sent off versus Ipswich. Again (again!), broken records.

      • Anonymous

        Hopefully I’m not mistaken but Grayson is talking about filling Gradel’s absent sparkly boots on left-wing rather than White at left-back. Not sure about Taylor but I’ve never heard or seen anything in Nunez to suggest he is a left-back. To be honest, neither is Nunez a left-winger, but more of an attacking midfielder-cum-forward.

        Grayson is a fool if he thinks that Nunez and Taylor are the answer to missing Gradel for this season. Are £2.5m rated 20+ goal a season midfielders so easy to find in our squad that one has rarely had a chance on the pitch (Nunez), the other never (Taylor). Sure, they might turn out gems, in which case what a free bargain we had all along, but if they aren’t and we don’t bring someone in before dropping more points then Grayson will be gone long before the new left-winger is brought in by his replacement. 

        For us as fans it is barely bearable and frustrating if we fail to pick up points in our next three games, for Grayson it could be the difference in being in employment and not. Time for the guy to get real and show more ambition, IMHO. 

  6. Tim Campbell

    Looks like Phil Hay from the YEP will be collecting his P45 very shortly. A very forthright article on much of what has gone wrong at elland road over the past few months. Aw well phil mate I wish you all the best for the future

      • Tim Campbell

        Agreed pal, theres been too much propaganda spouted through those pages which basically was bates mouthpiece; at last phil has let down his balls and said enough. Mr Chairman will not be amused

  7. Jimmy one eye

    Agree with giving them a run out against scum, see how they step up. Regardless of who we are playing its still only the carling cup, with a very tough game away at Brighton to follow which is far more important. We dont have the squad depth for these cup distractions.

  8. Shakamoto Airways

    Grayson will do exactly what he’s done before, he’ll play the full first team. And that’s the right thing to do. Last time Lord Ferg had Rooney & Berbatov up front. Ferguson has a dilemma – he has Benfica and Chelsea before the Leeds game, then a game against Stoke 3 days later.

    The last thing you want to do is play Leeds Youth against Man United because they will get destroyed. 

    Either way:

    – we haven’t got the depth to play the youth
    – the youth ain’t that good
    – we didn’t play the youth against Bradford or Doncaster
    – Man United will put out a strong side
    – we beat them with a full strength team last time out

    The last thing Man United need is a game at Elland Road. You have to go for it.

    Grayson will think we can win it. And I agree. We can.

  9. Anonymous

    2 youths played today lees&Taylor ,Taylor being played in place of another youth  .there is the dilemma play em they make a mark ,we loose em i can see lees playing at the top level maybe in the centre for an everton defenders are different to strikers in the fact they have nothing to prove in the scoring stakes
    if they are good enough they are old enough


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