The Eerily Quiet Leeds United Rumour Mill TSS January 6, 2012 Leeds United 129 Comments Despite a severe injury crisis threatening to end any hope of a Leeds United play-off push, a team desperately in need of strengthening is attracting little attention from the daily rag fuelled rumour mill. Not since the days of George Graham, when Leeds United were so incredibly boring that the tabloids couldn’t bear commenting on us have their pages been so lacking in Leeds United rumour/scandal/myth. Perhaps that’s a good thing however? After all, the rumours serve only to heighten expectations which invariably leads to a massive fall when the transfer window closes and Michael Brown is as close as we’ve got to an exciting new recruit. Generally speaking of course, when we do sign players they usually come out of the blue, so maybe we should be encouraged by the absence of Leeds United rumour? I suspect there may be an alternative explanation however. All the warning signs are there that this could be another forgettable transfer window for The Whites, despite the promising start made by signing the sensational Andros Townsend on a season end loan deal. 1. The Excuses Start Early Before the window had even opened our beloved chairman was firing the warning shots, insisting that “we” wouldn’t spend recklessly and gamble on our financial security – basically a rehashed version of his summer warnings where Leeds United spent pretty much nothing. This invariably leads to questions about the pointless £7m vanity project bolted on to the East Stand and finished in a lovely cream colour. Pre-empting such a response, the chairman explained that banks won’t lend football clubs money in this economy to spend on luxuries (such as their core business – ie. a squad), but they will lend money to a man with a series of financial disasters under his belt to add value to a stadium of which no one knows the owners – prudent business there from the banks, aren’t you glad we bailed them out? “Yes Mr Bates, what can we do for you today?” “I’d like a £7m loan to build an extension onto the stadium I lease” “Hmmm… Any financial troubles in the past Mr. Bates?” “Well, in the interests of full disclosure…” unlikely, I know “…there was a small matter of an Irish savers bank that may have gone bust after I loaned all their cash to some shady businessmen… oh, and there was a couple of financial glitches when I owned Chelsea, but some Russian gangster bailed me out there… does an administration with Leeds count? Because, in my defence, I totally screwed the system there and managed to con my way back in debt free…” 2. Wage Budgets It doesn’t matter that your chairman won’t splash the cash for players when you have an ‘extremely competitive wage budget’ that your manager can do what he likes with – except we haven’t, and he most certainly cannot. A quick flick through the accounts of Championship teams should be enough to end this fallacy once and for all. In reality, Leeds’ wage budget is distinctly average – neither relegation or promotion worthy, kind of in the middle. You know, mid-tableish. There’s an old saying that ‘you get what you pay for’ and that’s generally true of football. Ken Bates isn’t lying when he says “money doesn’t guarantee success” but he’s papering over the fact it’s impossible without it. When was the last time Everton won the Premier League I ask you? No one takes the top flight title without considerable investment and the same is true of the Championship – money does not guarantee success, but spending nothing at all guarantees the Championship trophy won’t be paraded in front of your fans come May – unless of course, a team that did invest happens to be your final game of the season. Then you get to look on enviously. 3. The Convincer While we’re putting an end to fallacies, let’s address the notion that it is Grayson who picks the players and he alone who is responsible for the team we go to watch each week. I know we’re all trying to forget it ever happened, but let’s circle back to summer 2011. Remember those joyful hours spent listening to the barely coherent ramblings of our chairman blasting the likes of Keith Andrews and Lee Bowyer for being unrealistically greedy? For demanding extortionate wages impossible for Championship clubs to meet? Remember them both signing for the mighty Ipswich Town? Perhaps Keith Andrews demands were too much – I’m in no position to dispute that – but wages are relative to the division and the quality of player you’re chasing. If you want the divisions best, then you better be prepared to compete with the other teams ready to cough up. Alternatively, you could slag them off in the press and settle for Michael Brown – depends on your aspirations I suppose… This is just one example of Simon Grayson highlighting the player he wants before Shaun Harvey failed to negotiate a contract with them and Ken Bates subsequently slated them in his weekly address to the nation. So yes, Simon Grayson does pick the players, but consider this – when Shaun Harvey has failed in negotiations because Ken Bates’ budget doesn’t stretch far enough, where do you go from there? Well, you move from Keith Andrews to Lee Bowyer of course, and fail again. Somewhere in this failed search for a central midfielder was Alan Smith who decided he’d rather warm Newcastle United’s bench than take a paycut at Leeds. Further failure followed with attempts to sign Sammy Clingan and Nick Montgomery. Five (probably more) down and by this point, the rest of the Championship have snapped up most of the quality leaving Simon Grayson desperate for a central midfield and only the runt of the litter remaining. Step forward Michael Brown. Doesn’t strike you as a transfer policy that’s going to win you the league, does it? 4. B-b-but Ridsdale Of course, no transfer window would be complete without a cursory nod to our former chairman, to whom Ken Bates owes a thousand and one thankyou cards for the numerous times he’s provided a perfect scapegoat when anyone dare question the owners ambition. The excuse has worn thinner than Don Revie’s lucky suit. Two takeovers and an administration have passed since then and any remaining problems can not be attributed to him – nor can he be used as a go-to excuse every time someone dares to suggest we should be seeing some return on our investment. It’s all very black and white when the Ridsdale excuses come in to play. There’s Ridsdale’s way of spending money and Ken Bates’ way of not spending anything at all. The grey area in the middle that many a team have secured promotion from is non-existent. Don’t even bother mentioning it, you’ll be blasted for your failure to understand football finances, morons. I thought I had a handle on it once. My general understanding was that you had a total income (X) and an expenditure (Y) and that X minus Y equals Z, or available funds in this case. Turns out, I was in the right area, but I failed to mention Peter Ridsdale which, by all accounts, is the first rule of Leeds United finances. For those of you as naive as I once was, the Peter Ridsdale rule means no matter how high the ticket prices, no matter how much you make from selling your star players and no matter how many money-spinning cup ties you have, available funds become zero – because of Ridsdale, naturally. “But we do have funds, Simon Grayson spends them all on wages” I hear the posse of angry Bateswashed… I mean brainwashed… apologists scream. I refer you to point 2. swleach Exactly the correct point to make about the Grayson picks the players argument – I hate it when this is raised by the YR lot or the numpties on phone ins/forums. You don’t succeed with a squad full of 3rd/4th choices because we wouldn’t pay what the 1st/2nd choices wanted mattbb1 I’ve seen Sean St Ledger mentioned in various bilge sites as a possible centre half (hed be free) and mark marshall the `Barnet’ (bjesus) winger. What made me nearly fall off my chair in bates latest Ken-alogue was his refeence to Gradel not being adequately replaced… yes thats right the guy you sold for £2m ken, and then gave your manager £4.89 to replace, sorry but what a tw@t. TSS @mattbb1 Not to mention he did so on transfer deadline day, despite the fact Gradel had made clear his intentions to leave at the start of the window. Yeah… wonder why he didn’t get replaced Kenneth? St Ledger strikes me as lazy “journalism”. Leicester City transfer listed him four days ago and Leeds are in the midst of a defensive crisis – 2 + 2 = a solid rumour. As for the Barnet lad, I heard about him ages ago when one of our scouts was allegedly in attendance to watch him. All went quiet, then his name popped back up in January. Coincidence? Probably. morleywhite If we were to get another winger i wouldnt be looking at this marshall lad id be tryin for punchean from Southampton,excellent player reminds me of Gradel every time ive seen him play hes been a handfull,i remember him playing against us a couple of year ago for mk dons he was up against Aidy White he gave White such a hard time that day that white was taken off at half time and no where near the squad for a while after that.With him Townsend And snody on books we would hav some real strength in wide areas,defo worth a shot in my eyes a realistic signing.But first could do with a few lads at the back. Jagman What I find interesting is that we all seem to want to go and buy our way out of the Championship. Many years ago, in the days when Scholes, Giggs, Beckham and the Neville brothers were in the Man Utd under 18 team Leeds beat them in the final of the Youth Cup (I was there). Alan Hansen famously said “you can’t win anything with kids”. Man Utd kept faith in their ‘kids’ and went on and on and on and …. Leeds Utd didn’t keep faith in theirs, one or two came through but not many, and look where we are as a result. Sure we need the backbone of a good squad with some experienced players to support the youth but if we are to make long term progress then we have to ‘grow our own’ and have the balls to play them for long enough for them to gain the experience they need to compete at the highest level. Then I’m sure we will see Leeds Utd back at the top where it should be. However it could take longer than a season or two, the question is “does anyone have the patience to wait”? This includes the supporters as well as the Chairman! When Arsene Wenger bought Fabrigas and made him captain at 18 everybody said he was mad, he couldn’t possibly replace Viera – what would they say now? morleywhite The chairman surely shouldnt hav patience if you catch my drift,unless he keeps himself in shape like the 118 year old indian marathan runner. TSS @Jagman They didn’t win anything with kids, they added a lot of quality to that squad (Cantona being the big one, whose transfer just so happened to coincide with their first title) people forget because of a handful of career players that ended up becoming household names. Manchester United DID spend, and at the time, it was a decent amount of cash they invested too – this before Sky mind you, so seems pittance by today’s standards. Most good teams are built on a foundation of homegrown talent. Look at present day Spurs and the early noughties Leeds. But, without exception, they’re always added to, and it’s these quality additions that get forgotten about in the history books. Reid_er Sky Sports news linked us with Chris Birchell of LA Galaxy in their transfer round up thing. Normally skt are more reliable than other I find. It did say we were one of three clubs intested in him. What would yous think of that signing? morleywhite Dont know much about Birchell to comment,we keep getting linked with Lawrie Wilson from Stevenage which could be true has he plays right back which we need aswel as right mid. number1inyorkshire Thank god its quiet other than the normal linking leeds with everything that has ever worn a footy boot and some that haven’t Birchell from galaxy and the lad from barnet are the 2 i’ve heard in official circles . Where’s bet 365 when you want em . TSS @number1inyorkshire The Betfair blog was my favourite. I spent so much time slagging off their rumours, they eventually started responding! Dje Don’t sign Paynter on a free, don’t sign Brown on a free, don’t sign Forssell on a free (and then not use). Saved wages = Keith Andrews on loan for the season. I find it inconceivable that Grayson has absolutely no input as to how much wages we offer players. There is a dialectic relationship between total wages and money available for players coming in. Offer one player an absurd amount of wages on a free (Paynter?) means less wages for a free player or transfer+wages for another. It is like Harvey&Bates saying to Grayson, “you have a total of £38,000 per week to spend on wages this season after the last clear out. Oh, but we’ve just got Alan Smith in on £38,000 per week, so that’s your transfer kitty all spent up now. What do you mean you didn’t want to spend it all on Smith – he was on your wish list wasn’t he?” Grayson is having his hands tied in the transfer market by the current regime, true – but he aint being completely gagged. TSS @Dje The problem is Dje, the players you’re citing are also third choices we were forced into. Paynter for example came after we failed to lure Lambert or Sharp (probably others too) – the first I’m almost certain we were interested in, the second I know for a fact we made numerous attempts for, so you’re left in a desperate situation where Paynter seems like a good gamble (as did Brown). As for Forrsell – he’s a perfect example of a panic move when the club has failed in the transfer window, so thanks for that one. Moreover, if you takeaway three players from the fifth smallest squad (that’s right!) in the league, imagine how fucked we’d be now! Every squad has “filler” to contend with injury crises – we just didn’t bother buying the squad first. Dje @TSS I agree they were third choices, I disagree we were forced into anything. Every club at this level is forced to prioritize player numbers over player quality. The infill is traditionally aligned by bringing through young players. Unfortunately, in Grayson’s first year and a half he brought through none of our youth players, and the only youth he did play were loanees youngsters from other clubs. Although he did less than bring the best out of them, all the benefits of experience they got then went back to their home clubs. Grayson grumbled at the time that he wasn’t impressed with our youth players and on this we’ll never know. Give him the benefit of the doubt, but it did set back one important resource of our clubs playing abilities by at least a season or two. What Grayson did do in that year and a half was to fluff up the size of our squad with the incredibably mediocre free signings he made in the summer after we got promoted. Some have now been moved on for free or at our cost (Schmeichal aside), some are still bearing heavy on our wage bill. Was he hedging his bets that we might not stay up in the Championship? Possibly, but I’m not that convinced the rabble he brought in would have got us anywhere in League One either. I understand your blame of the regime as holding us back, TSS – and when Doncaster are openly wanting £3m for Billy Sharp, so we might be able to nab him for £2m, it’s incredibly frustrating missing out on our third choice strikers – but I still see the limitations of the second season squad that Bates&Harvey&Grayson have put together, and I can’t blame it all on wage restraints, but on sheer poor footballing judgement of a players ability and where he’d fit into our style of play. TSS @Dje The youth was shit then because the best players were nicked by Chelsea and co. who Bates sued for substantial sums which, along with the Delph money, also went missing so I’m sorry mate, but how can you blame Larry for that? There’s no benefit of the doubt necessary, we all saw what happened. Later, Bates blamed a coach who had been with us years and sacked him then he stopped selling all the kids and what do you know, they start coming through again. Coincidence? No. And as I keep saying, the mediocre players are largely because we have no budget for anything better and even when they’re available free, we won’t pay the wages – that’s not Larry’s fault, again. You need numbers, so it’s a catch 22 situation. Do you not sign anyone at all, or ensure there’s cover when the inevitable injury crisis you get each season comes along? Caught between a rock and Ken Bates. TSS @Dje The bottom line doesn’t change regardless – we’re underfunded considering the level of turnover this club has. The fact we’re bordering on the play-offs again despite this is nothing short of miraculous. Dje @TSS True, Taiwo and Woods went to Chelsea. But all the other lads: Garbutt, Swann and Hutton were too young to have an impact until the last two seasons – ie. those that have Lees and White come into their own. My reasoning was not that we lost of the cream of the crop – most clubs do at lower levels, and we were always going to sell-up on Delph even if we never reinvested any of it in squad players (although it might have financed the Academy for a season or too) – but that we might have made more use of the next draft: the calibre of the Lees and Whites after the Garbutts and Delphs had gone. If we replaced them with quality then fine, but that is my argument: we brought in less than second class players. —- The benefit of the doubt remark was that it is impossible to know what might have been. The lads who left went on to not a lot, but that could be for a number of reasons. Just as the players who went on to bigger clubs have fallen on the sword or struggled through injuries. Equally, it is a rare occurrence that any former Leeds player in the last five or sox seasons have gone on to do better things elsewhere. Richardson and Derry are the only too exceptions that come to mind. _________________________ What I don’t understand with your pro-ish Grayson/anti-Bates stance, is what Grayson is accountable for in the squad we have. If he really can’t be blamed for any of the players we have, and apparently works ‘miracles’ with what little he has, then in some ways this is a godsend for a manager as much as a limitation. When things don’t go well the answer is it is Bates&Harvey’s fault, and when they do go well it is Grayson to be praised with the added cherry of working miracles with severe limitations. Not too much of a rock and hard Ken then. …although I still wouldn’t want his job for anything! TSS @Dje Grayson’s responsible for getting the best out of the players he has and we’ve never been in a league position I felt was lower than this team are capable of. Until that happens, there’s little I can fault him for. Sure, the odd substitution seems a little misjudged and there are players further down the ranks than I’d have them at times, but it’s all pretty easy to say when you’re writing with the benefit of hindsight like I, and every other fan on here does. After writing TSS for three and half years I’ve realised how incredibly reactionary we are as a fanbase. Where once I’d have probably been calling for Grayson’s head after an embarrassing defeat like Barnsley, when you’ve watched, lived and written about enough of these glitches, you realise how commonplace they are for all teams – you also realise how quick the fans are to jump on anyone’s back. You have to consider the bigger picture – the overall results relative to the resources available. There’s no fault I can find there and everything else is largely trivial. We’re just repeating the same cycle. You want more, I want more, Grayson wants more. But more costs money – we’ve all done our part, Bates hasn’t. Therein lies the problem. If he spends several million on a squad capable of automatic promotion, I’ll be the first one demanding results from Grayson. Until then, we’re achieving precisely what I expected us to. But this is the halfway stage now, and despite fans agreeing we had a mid table squad in the summer, we’ve overachieved somewhat and now it’s not enough – it’s almost like not being top of the table is unacceptable! Happens every year, regardless of league position. Even when we were top of League One, the gap should have been more. Irving08 @TSS@Dje I think TSS you underplay the playing resources Simon has had at his disposal both this season and last. I tend to agree with dje that, overall, he has not made the best use of them. Listening to Simon, carefully as I do, and pondering as we all do his team selections and tactics, I see as one of his basic problems that he is lacking a certain confidence, both of opinion (eg on 4-5-1), and of capacity to express or explain himself clearly. Obviously he has virtues:stamina; a broad back; a feeling for the club and its supporters, and a welcome honesty when he has screwed up. I am not sure if these virtues, though, are sufficient to compensate for the perceived weaknesses. We shall see. Shame to see Keogh depart, by the way: Snoddy will miss him – Macca too. TSS @Irving08@Dje No one is underplaying it, it’s all there in black and white in our accounts, as is everyone elses. Moreover, we have Bates statements that Larry has identified targets and the club have been unable to sign them due to wage demands – they’ve then gone on to player for lesser Championship clubs. How do you expect us to compete in that situation? We’re getting 3rd/4th choice players out of the bargain basement and being told it’s due to a ridiculously high wage bill (pretty much average for the division, pales in comparison to the top clubs) and an enormous squad (fourth/fifth smallest in the league). We have the resources of a mid table team at best, and we’re achieving more than that. You can’t ask for more until Bates provides more, it’s that simple. TSS @Irving08@Dje Grayson doesn’t offer them the contracts Colin, Harvey does and it’s dictated by Bates budget. Grayson is the fall-guy in this game, it’s those above that are paying over the odds for his fourth choice players after isolating the better ones. No way would we have ended up with Paynter had they offered that amount to Sharp (Grayson’s first choice for two years). It’s madness. Colin @TSS@Irving08@Dje It is madness, I agree. But irrespective of whether it was Sharp (he didn’t want to come) or someone else, the manager gets to see Billy Paynter’s contract at 3 years at £12,000 a week – that’s £2m. Either way, he should say that’s madness and stop it or if he doesn’t see that then he’s a useless manager. Whether you like it or not, Grayson DID think he was worth £12,000 a week which he why he played him game after game after game, and he played more games than he had shots on target. Awful. Meanwhile, he left McCormack & Somma on the bench and we missed out on a Playoff place. We all knew he was bad, but Grayson tried to maintain that he’d come good. He didn’t. Grayson got it wrong. And Bates is left with a bill of £2m. Dje @TSS@Irving08 Well said Colin, twas the point regarding wages and transfer kitty I was trying to say above, albeit clumsily. TSS @Irving08@Dje He doesn’t decide what they’re worth – he gives them a list in order of who he wants and there’s no way Paynter topped it. If he is on £12k a week – which I sincerely doubt considering our low wage bill, and even if he is, a lot will be appearance/goal related so nowhere near that figure anyway – then Harvey and Bates have decided that. No one else. Simon manages the team he ends up, he doesn’t do the negotiations and decide how his budgets spent – that’s the ultimate problem for me. Why is a lawyer who knows jack shit about football doing our contract negotiations in the first place? Paynter was a good gamble at 5/6k a week – which I suspect is a lot closer to what he’s realistically on than this figure people have simply invented – but he was never Grayson’s first choice. It’s OK when you miss out on one or two of your first choice players, but when your lawyer and chairman are fucking every deal up, what more do you expect? TSS @Irving08@Dje Oh and regardless of how much Paynter is taking from our budget, nothing changes the fact our wage budget relative to turnover is the second lowest in the division – and that’s only because Burnley have some Prem cash coming in that distorts the figure. Even ignoring the percentages, we have a mid-table wage budget – you get dross with a mid-table budget I’m afraid, that’s why teams are in midtable and not topping the Championship. Dje @TSS@Irving08 It frustrates me that we don’t know if this is the case 100%. I still find it hard to believe that Grayson could find so much of his financial flexibility compromised by Harvey and Bates’ ludicrous contract negotiations (unless he said “at all costs”). At the very least Harvey must have run it passed Grayson for a final nod. Without this input Grayson has no way of saying knowing how many players he will end up with, or if they will be in the priority of positions required. Bates’s moan the other week that we have ended up with eight strikers and this must be remedied immediately should, in that case, be read as a gnashing of the teeth at Harvey (and himself), whereas we all know it was a barb at Grayson. Colin @TSS@Irving08@Dje TSS – you can’t tell me that the £12,000 for Paynter is wrong and then tell me that we have a mid table wage budget,. Either we know the wages or we don’t and we don’t. The numbers are all distorted. weneedamanager @TSS@Irving08@Dje Doesn’t matter how thin you slice it or make excuses, Larry Grayson is totally inept anywhere above the third division and has no idea how to get us promoted so dont get too thick with him as he is definitely a goner by seasons end at the latest. jed_shed “Two administrations have passed since then.” Can anyone remind me when the first of the two admins was. Can’t quite remember it. TSS @jed_shed Sorry, that’s my error. Will amend – was going for two takeovers and an administration. My point is, the debt has been wiped clean (by Bates’ own admission) jed_shed @TSS Fair do’s. Just I was getting this “two admins” line from a spurs fan a few weeks back. Was begining to wonder if he was right after all. TSS @jed_shed It gets confused because of Krasner being an insolvency expert I think. We basically did have two admins with the fire sale that resulted in no remaining squad. freetouse Darren O’Dea partners St.Leger for Ireland and they do okay. On the scratching shed you previously asked for a chant for Snoddy. Here’s mine: Robert Snodgrass, He’s Fucking Class! He leaves defenders on their arse, He’ll score from a free, He’ll make a great pass, That Robert Snodgrass, HES FUCKING CLASS! Hope you like it, Ger in Dublin. MOT TSS @freetouse That’s much better than the current one. Whitemafia Great article, relevant points, Bates has had long enough to sort things out. He runs the club in exactly the manner it has manifested into, an average mid table plodding club, an ideal feeder club for more ambitious teams prepared to invest in good players they can actually buy. Bates has tried to live off the great name of LUFC, and pick up players on the cheap, hoping they would walk to sign for us, just to pull on the famous white shirt. But throughout his stewardship our fame has lost it’s shine. He does not see players as an investment, more of a liability, he is a property man, doesn’t like Leeds/football, never has done. But the big draw for him, is that most football clubs are sat on a lump of real estate. He says that banks will invest in building work and not players, well I have been in property for ten years, and I don’t know ANY bank that would lend millions to use on a leasehold property, not under any circumstances. time must be catching up on you Ken, didn’t you tell us the stadium is rented? Keep your excellent work up TSS, the sooner he sells us, the quicker we can recover. Craig A spanner in the workd TSS: Bowyer and Andrews have done wonders for Ipswich haven’t they? TSS Does Ipswich’s performance figure into this in anyway though? Can you honestly say Leeds wouldn’t have been a better team with Andrews or Bowyer instead of Brown. Expecting two players to completely change the fortunes of Ipswich is like expecting Snoddy and Howson to do everything at Leeds – it’s a team game, but individual quality does matter. The more you have, the better the overall result. leeds60 You are so right Leeds have the 3 smallest squad in the league and 13 teams in league one have bigger squads includind Stevenage and Yeovil we are crying out for a Keith Andrews not only as a player goalscorer and captain and a central defender and a right back morleywhite Well all i can say fellow Leeds fans is Bates and Grayson have really come up trumps with our latest big signing it just shows the ambition we must now have,this is defo a signing to get all the numbers flooding back in to the gates at elland road. championship watch out 40 year old MAIK TAYLOR AS ARRIVED! All is forgiven Master bates the promised land here we come. Colin There’s only one aim this season – get promoted. Do you want to know how to do that? Easy. You just need 2 players. Get ready. Here’s how. What do we have already? 2 PL quality players – Howson & Snodgrass and some okay players – Clayton, Lonergan, White, Lees, Becchio, McCormack. The rest are a load of old tut. Grayson is tactically inept – is it a 4-4-2, a 4-3-3 a 4-5-1? I don’t know and neither does Grayson. All I do know is that he is passionate and can get some amazing results (think the last match, think FA Cup) from time to time. Our defence (even before it was decimated) was awful. The only way Leeds can win promotion is to go full throttle, every game, and go for goals. When Leeds have had to get a result, they invariably get it. When it’s just another boring league game, the team seem to sit back. Let’s face it, our defence will not get better so forget about it. Just attack attack attack. That brings me onto the 2 players that WILL get Leeds promotion… Alan Smith & Jermaine Beckford. With a bit of strategic work, LUFC can get those players on loan. neither are wanted by their parent clubs. Both want to play and have an affinity with Leeds United. I’m sure that TSS is ready to jump on me and say that Smith and Beckford aren’t good players. And that view might be right. BUT, and here’s my point, apart from a handful of players in the Championship (and I include Howson & Snodgrass), the other 95% of players in the Championship aren’t very good either. We don’t need good players, we need passion, and goals. Hence, my call for Smith & Beckford. We all know what Beckford can do, and with Jermaine, we’d see a new Becchio. Becchio himself said that the player he would most like to play up front with was Beckford. Now, Alan Smith. Did anyone read the article by Shaun Custis in The Sun today? It was a come and get me plea. He talks of how he rouses the Newcastle team in the dressing room. How he’s ready to give 100% on the pitch AND he’s happy to play in the Championship. We all know Grayson wants him – he spoke to him in the Summer and Bates himself spoke to NUFC directly. If you want a fighter, a 100% effort day in day out man, if you want an inspirational talker on the pitch, and someone who takes the pressure off the other players, then you want Alan Smith. TSS I have nothing against Alan Smith. And lay off the defence, the Lonergan/McCarthy, Lees, O’Dea combination has been solid – it’s just suffering from Ben Parker syndrome, that’s all. Colin @TSS Ha ha. The only thing solid about our defence was Paul Connolly, and Simon’s man management skills have messed that up. Maybe we can play an unwanted CB (Bruce) at RB) or CB Lees at RB or Youth midfielder Zac Thompson at RB against Arsenal? Alternatively, we could play an adequately good RB (Connolly) at RB? That’s too much common sense for Grayson though. TSS You been watching the same team? Lonergan recorded back-to-back clean sheets before injury, then McCarthy came in and got 3 in 4. It was only through injury that it all went pear shaped. Short minds. Anyway, nothing against Smith as I said, or Beckford, but Becks would improve the team – Smith wouldn’t. Well, he would, but for that kind of outlay we can do much better. Won’t happen. Irving08 @TSS For the short time they were playing together, Lees and O’Dea were forrming a promising central defensive partnership, arguably the best we have had at Elland Road for a couple of seasons. It was disrupted by a combination of injury, suspension and weak management (or, if you prefer it, misplaced faith in Paddy K). Connolly was passable, in my view; but, as with O’Brien, he seems to have got up the manager’s nose (he’s a confident fellow, so it is not hard to imagine the scenario). I cannot agree with you about AS: though I share your view on Beckford – a more lethal striker than Macca – whose all-round game has come on a lot since he left us. As far as recruits go, the rule should be ‘Better Fewer But Better’ (with due acknowleemrtn to V.I.Lenin). Colin @TSS TSS. Lonergan is not recording clean sheets now though is he? In the same way that people blamed Schmeichel, people are blaming Lonergan for the awful mess they have to put up with in defence in front of them. Lonergan is a good goalkeeper IMHO. Premier League class? Not a chance. Not knocking him, he’s done well, and I’m happy with him. But secretly (shhh!) I’d prefer McCarthy, but never mind. TSS Didn’t I just say that was because of an injured defence – one only he has had to cope with since he returned v Reading. He’s a goalkeeper not a superhero. With a first team defence in front of him, he’s done the job (as did McCarthy). No one can contend with the injury crisis we’ve had, you’re mad to think otherwise. As for not being Premier League class, he’s better than half the keepers in that division – that’s why a Prem club bid for him. Have we seriously reached a state of contempt for Lonergan already? Christ, even I thought we’d make it ’til March, but I suppose he was the only remaining player fans hadn’t torn apart so stands to reason it’s his turn. Take it like a man Lonners, you’ll be the next Nigel Martyn again next week – even he had his critics. Colin @TSS Not knocking ‘Lonners’, I think he’s good. Just prefer an England U21 who is 6ft something enormous and a real talent. And who was this PL team that wanted Lonners? As a No.2 GK I presume? Believe me, he is the last player I want to get injured. Urrrgh, that thought sends a shiver up the spine. The fact we’ve signed a 40 year old until the end of the season just in case Lonners gets injured pretty much sends a message as to Grayson’s signing capabilities. Rachubka was wrong, very wrong. Grayson was wrong, very wrong. TSS Everton were the club we beat to him – he’d have been in first team contention there I’m sure, as would be the case at a few Prem clubs. He’s no top four player, granted, but he’d be a quality buy for most of the bottom half. I’d love to see McCarthy here permanently too. He was something else and I’d bet money on him becoming England’s number one – but even he needed our sturdy defence, and we only have one combination of those which is rarely fit. Maik Taylor I have no problem with, goalkeepers can play much longer than outfield players. I see him as the equivalent to a 33 year old midfielder, and considering how good he was, that’s not a bad thing. Acceptable backup. As for Rachubka – no one could have foreseen a total mental breakdown, Grayson isn’t psychic. Give Larry money and he buys quality – Bruce, Lonners, Gradel, McCormack. When you’re forced to settle for frees, you’re going to be a lot more hit and miss. There’s a reason they’re free after all. morleywhite Connolly good you must be pissed pal Irving08 @TSS McCormack may have certain qualities, but he is a ‘problem’ none the less, not least because he is not as good as he seems to think he is. Personally I cannot call a striker who lacks pace and usually requires more than one touch to bring the ball under control ‘quality’. There are a sufficent number of ‘frees’ in the big football world for it to be far less ‘hit’ and ‘miss’ than you say; besides, even the frees he has bought seem not to benefit from his management. Dje Sounds good. Until the last couple of matches Smith has been on the Newcastle bench and only coming on for five minutes here or there. Whilst at the start of the season Pardew wanted Smith gone to clear the wage bill, the ‘Hour Of Smith’ has arrived. The guy keeping Smith out, Tiote, who has been class all season, has just left for the African Nations for up to the next two months. That’s the best two months for Smith to be a Newcastle player in the last 18 months or so, least best time to leave for Leeds. — As for Beckford. It’d be good, but Leicester only recently paid £3m for him and I bet he is on better wages than we could afford. Apparently they’re after Sharp for £3m. In which case they’ll be after recuperating as much of that with Beckford. We aint going to spend £3m in total, let alone on one player. And if we did, I’d choose Sharp. number1inyorkshire take beckford today never mind tomorrow .smith can stay put for me NorthEastLoiner Alan Smith? He left us for Man U and that’s a divorce in an never to be reconciled way. Colin @NorthEastLoiner Yawn. Smith was told by Peter Lorimer that Leeds didn’t want him and the only team they would accept an offer from was Man Utd, because they would provide LUFC with £7m in cash. He was told that his sale would help save the club. A player that cries on the pitch when Leeds got relegated and the ONLY Leeds player that didn’t take his fee that he was owed by the club (£1m) doesn’t strike me as a bad guy. And as an additional note, O’Leary was the only other LUFC person to waive the fee they were owed also. The rest took it, and we went into administration. Man United was Alan Smith’s only option. LUFC told him in no uncertain terms that he would never play for Leeds again. Who were the bad guys? Our Krasner led board or Alan Smith? NorthEastLoiner Even so I can’t forgive!! Matthew @NorthEastLoiner He didn’t leave us for Man United, he was sold to Man United, regardless of how he actually felt about the matter, he had no choice. NorthEastLoiner Everyone has a choice! I still think he had options but he chose the easy one and the lucrative one Matthew @NorthEastLoiner More like the club needed the money. Why do you think some former players who were sold during our troubled period want to come back/are playing for us now, see Danny Pugh/Andy Keogh(Okay he isn’t playing anymore) but some were just a victim of circumstance. NorthEastLoiner If he’d turned down Man U he’d have got offers from other clubs and left, probably would have been better for him career wise too Matthew @NorthEastLoiner Already been explained above. We needed the cash, only 1 club came in with the cash upfront. Says it all. NorthEastLoiner The club needed cash but short termism is never a good policy and it just delayed the inevitable. He had a choice as to whether to go there or not and he went. I know players have to move on at times but a Leeds player born and brought up in the city going to the enemy is a betrayal that I will never forgive. Chareose @NorthEastLoiner and if the club ignored you and small minority of ignorant leeds fans by signing Smith you and the rest would be cheering him on after a few storming performances….. Smith OWES YOU or any other Leeds fan nothing, he was incredibly committed to LEEDS united as a player, he was PAID to do a job and he did it above and beyond what was expected. And as a player he showed more loyalty to leeds at its most dire moment than any player of that era. So he joined our arch enemy relectantly after being pushed and after waving his own fees in favour of leeds united……. good luck to the lad, thats what i thought at the time TSS @Chareose@NorthEastLoiner Don’t disagree with any of that, my problem is that he isn’t that good and for such a substantial amount of cash we could do much better. Chareose @TSS@NorthEastLoiner it would depend on the cash yes but i disagree about his quality, i watched him play for newcastle in the championship and he was outstanding……far better than our current central midfeilders Chareose @TSS@NorthEastLoiner and either way its far more logical to splash the cash on young up and coming talent ……as if thats ever going to happen. You know when you suspect something bad will happen, you moan about it and then when your right and it happens you feel shocked and saddened…….thats how i feel now during this transfer window…… like you said we hear the excuses, the chit chat about spending money is bad and clubs will go bust….. and we sign loan players and thats after all the promises over the gradel money the schmeichal money etc………….we all said that this was going on but it still knocks you back when it becomes proven beyond all doubt that we are just being blatently used to put money into someones pocket. TSS @Chareose@NorthEastLoiner Not so sure he was that good in Championship, think that could have been the highlights reel. I know a lot of Looney Toons and Smith really divided opinion – there were as many saying he simply ran and around and fouled a lot as there were praising him. NorthEastLoiner Just a thought if we’re looking at ex players but Kilgallon’s unsettled at Sunderland and making noises he’d welcome the chance to go out on loan. A better bet than some, that’s if we don’t get Cahill from under Chelsea’s nose, I sure Bates would love that!!!!!! Dje @NorthEastLoiner I think Kilgallon WAS unsettled at Sunderland under an under-performing Bruce. I’d have thought he’ll be out to impress O’Neill. Matthew Only problem I see there is, if we offer Smith 15k a week, and another Championship team offers 20k, or another team in general offers more, he will likely go to the highest bidder, he says money is no issue but if given the choice he would go for the highest bidder, like anyone really. Colin @Dje@NorthEastLoiner Kilgallon was as shit as Sean Gregan and Paul Butler who he also played with under Blackwell. What an absolute pile of poop they were. Remember that season and the one after? Am I the only sane person that would rather set fire to my face than see Kilgallon back? Crickey, what next – a love-in for Frazer Richardson? Dje @NorthEastLoiner Kilgallon had more promise than Gregan and Butler put together. He had a cracking season for the Blades, better than he ever played for us. Another player we never got the best out of. But, I for one have no desire to bring him back on current form or ex-Leeds connections. Just saying. As to Richardson. Always looked like a square peg in a round hole for us. Having said that, he’s currently with a team higher placed than us, on course for automatic promotion, and seven assists so far this season. Again, that’s better than we ever got out of him. Can you spot the pattern forming? oldschoolbaby Whilst we desperately need someone with the drive and aggression of Alan Smith, (assuming he could convince the medics of his ongoing ability toplay week in week out ) any objective assessment has to conclude defensive frailties have to be addressed first Carlos Cuellar is available from Villa. Although it`s not the highest standard of football he was very impressive when playing for Rangers Dje To be fair, Smith would, I presume being coming as a defensive midfielder, and not a striker! — Cueller was phenomenal for Rangers and in Europe a few seasons back. If you could guarantee that form I’d definitely take him. TSS @Dje Scottish football though – incredibly hard to judge quality of players from there. Same is true of Europe sometimes too, look at Roque Junior (go-to example for you there) Dje @TSS True. And his form at Aston Villa has not been quite as in keeping. Still, he looked like Rio Ferdinand on a good day when keeping Barcelona at bay a few years back. If they haven’t moved him on by the end of the transfer window then a loan until the end of the season would be an excellent move, IMHO. TSS @Dje Can’t hurt anything I guess – though I’m sure there’ll be complaints when he turns out to be shit. Dje @TSS More likely he’ll come on loan. Look solid as a rock. Be offered a full-time contract and turn into O’Brien 2.0. Matthew Well said Dje, disagree with your comment that Southampton will get auto promotion, they’re on a dreadful run at the moment, and their away form is appauling, they’re looking at playoffs at this rate. I think their away form will continue, and they will lose a few more home games this season, they have 3 teams behind them within 3 points of them, and they will buckle under the pressure. Dje Form is on your side, Matthew. But they, unlike us, might just have a Chairman who realises that to seize the moment and splash the cash could get them back on track. number1inyorkshire @Dje@NorthEastLoiner killgallon is playing quite well now for sunderland and his new manager oneill i think he has played every game since he arrived number1inyorkshire WE DO NOT NEED NOR WANT ALAN SMITH BACK AT LEEDS I THANK YOU Dje @number1inyorkshire I disagree, but it depends on how much he’d cost. Chareose @Dje@number1inyorkshire Even considering his lack of playing time recently and injuries hed still piss all over the likes of Brown and varynen….. number1inyorkshire @Dje i would welcome him as a player 1stly if he was gonna play every match 90 mins alright injuries can not be foreseen but . 2nd if he was gonna come in as an equal and not some demi god swanking round the place like the returning messiah . 3rd if he fit into the wage structure and banks were not broken to accommodate him thats not likely with bates ,but that could un settle the rest . he is better than what we have in many ways but i see it as an unlikely return based on wages and his willingness to want to play in the prem . surely he would be good enough for a prem side if not then he is no better than what we have in real terms a championship player ,one though on shed loads of money Chareose @number1inyorkshire@Dje it is unlikely mainly because of the Bates scenario,,,,,,,,……….. For me with a better more ambitious chairman and subsequent better atmosphere at Elland Road Leeds would have been in the driving seat to sign any of Woodgate, Smith, Bowyer, Hargreaves last summer …..if they wanted to ofcourse Would you sign for Ken Bates knowing the club had ZERO ambition and was run on a non existent budget ??? number1inyorkshire @Chareose@Dje to be fair charose all the players you mention on your list would break the bank of all championship clubs ,bowyer would have signed but went for the nearer home option due to his kids . i would have had owen hargreaves bad luck with injuries but he would be a fantastic championship player . i just feel smith would be unsettling in general and i don’t know what he has to offer Chareose @number1inyorkshire@Dje Perhaps but under the right circumstances my gut says we could have signed a couple of them……… number1inyorkshire @Chareose@Dje its ok at the likes of chelsea ,man city .etc when everyone is on varying degrees of stupid amounts of money . But new players coming into a team with players, that has had to put up with a wage structure for ages and players in that team and some now not in who have left because of the said wage structure,that have had to negotiate within it .would it unsettle the current players if you have 2 on 60k a week and the rest on 10k . 60 k in wages per week would keep our better players if we used it to top up their wages e:g 5 k extra to white ,howson ,lees thats 12 of our better players tied to new deals or that would get us 3/4 quality new players in this division rather than 1 alan smith . Smithy was a legend in his time at leeds for me too ,but he left to further his career and it brought money to the club when we needed it . he got injured badly unluckily but his time on the pitch since then has been poor he is a championship player now but if we have any thoughts about going up how could we sign him ,on loan ok ,but not permanently because we would be stuck with a player not good enough in prem ,not playing on big wages . we have championship players. we could have 2/3 young players from prem teams on 15k a week for the price of 1 smithy and they would stay and be good enough if we got up , i rest my case for the defence number1inyorkshire @Chareose@Dje worst thing that has happened in recent times regarding players and it winds me up even now is that we do not have sean derry . he is still doing a job in the prem and getting many plaudits for it , he regards his time at leeds as his favourite and would come back tomorow in the right circumstances i now rest number1inyorkshire @Chareose@Dje worst thing that has happened in recent times regarding players and it winds me up even now is that we do not have sean derry . he is still doing a job in the prem and getting many plaudits for it , he regards his time at leeds as his favourite and would come back tomorow in the right circumstances i now rest Dje @number1inyorkshire@NorthEastLoiner Played the last 1.5 matches. But that was two wins against Man City and Wigan, so fair enough. I’ve nothing against Kilgallon, and as said above, I think he’ll be more interested in impressing at Sunderland than with us. number1inyorkshire i would rather have cuellar to smith Chareose Ken Bates : “Welcome to my Cash cow Andros, happy to be here ?” Andros Townsend : ” Really happy to be here, Leeds are a great club sir” Ken Bates : ” Excellent but just remember why your here lad ok” Andros Townsend: ” To get the club promoted !!” Ken Bates: ” no you moron, your here to make me money, your here to encourage those nieve mugs that we call fans to part with their cash and pay my sky high exorbitant ticket prices!!!” Ken Bates : ” Your here to keep my cash machine running and to shut that moaner Larry Grayson up” Gazzalew For a bit of light relief, interview with the irrepressibly rancorous Ken Bates in the Mirror and other papers tomorrow. Includes Leeds chairman’s views on punishments for sides who field weakened teams in Cup, Grayson, and cheapening of England caps Ollie Holt – The Mirror Guess we’ll be playing a full strength side on Monday? Colin To all the Alan Smith haters, can I ask you this question: How is Alan Smith rubbish, yet Danny Pugh signed up on a 2 year contract is okay? Exactly what has Danny Pugh done to prove he’s a decent player? Unwanted by Stoke. Played 20 games in the last 2 seasons on loan, yet Alan Smith is rubbish? How many England caps has Danny Pugh won? Has Danny Pugh played (more than 1 game) for Manchester United? Has Danny Pugh played for Newcastle United? Has Danny Pugh played in a Champions League Semi-Final? Hmmm. Alan Smith has. He’s twice the player Danny Pugh is, yet I don’t hear any moaning about us signing that useless tool on a long term contract. If anyone thinks that Danny Pugh is a better footballer than Alan Smith then they don’t know what football is all about. mattbb1 Colin, perhaps youre missing the point here… Ronaldo is a better player than Danny Pugh as well, he also wont take a paycut to join Leeds. Alan Smith is interested in, well Alan Smith, hes a Leeds fan thats for sure, but he sees his earning power and career as more important than that. I’m also going to suggest to you that Danny Pugh was good enough for Stoke to have in their Europa League Squad, and played a big part in getting them promoted from the CCC, its because he is a solid professional and a team player, not a big time charlie, hes a decent footballer at this level and a passable one in the PL, i think calling him a tool is rather `unfortunate’ hes a decent guy who actually wants to play for us, so get behind the guy instead of shouting him down, hes more f**king use to us than Alan Smith. I’d have loved Smith to come back this Summer, but reality hurts doesnt it – he just doesnt give two short sh1ts about playing for his `beloved club’. Chareose @mattbb1 if he doesnt give a shit then good for him, i dont really blame him, would you give a damn about playing for leeds united if you had worked your nuts on the pitch for the club you loved, got pushed out the door for money, waved your own fees in favour of leeds and then treated like shit and called a judas by the fans……………i think youd be a tad hurt and pissed off number1inyorkshire @Chareose@mattbb1 he could have stayed had he really wanted to he had a deal ,contract it works both ways ,it was perfect for leeds ,it was perfect for smith .i never saw him kicking and screaming as he went over the pennines . Chareose @number1inyorkshire@mattbb1 i dont think you saw anything at all did you, unless you were his agent…… all we do know is he was committed on the pitch (model professional) and waved his transfer fees in favour of leeds united. Thats enough for me thanks number1inyorkshire @Chareose@mattbb1 but didn’t sign in the summer when he could have because of wages ,i was there on the pitch after smiths last game against ,Charlton ,he knew as he paraded on the shoulders of the adoring masses he was off . Just interesting for me too is that noone else took him either on loan or signed him in August ,wonder why ?? we were just starting to agree chareose lol ,ahh well thats football cheers pal Chareose @number1inyorkshire@mattbb1 can you really blame anyone for not signing with Leeds under the current ownership and club direction ? mattbb1 i’m sure he probably has some justification, but its moot, he doesnt want to play for us, so can we all stop tlaking about him?….. its getting alittle boring. and it wont happen. I’d rather we had a decent scouting network and had unearthed a decent midfielder or were raving about a good youth team player we were bringing through, not going on and on and on and on about alan smith. number1inyorkshire its not about hating it is about football and its about the fact that Danny pugh actually signed into a wage structure he clearly knows about. When smith found out about that structure he ran to warm the bench at geordie rovers wmc . if it was not about money and wanted to play for his beloved club and get back to kissing the badge he would have ,he would be here right now in a leeds shirt . So the fact pugh signed and smith didn’t for me makes him a far better person to have around . and sadly SMITH falls into the category of being from Leeds ,supports leeds ,kissed a badge once or twice he is a legend . for me right now 1 danny pugh is worth 2 alan smiths simply because he is right now a leeds player . mattbb1 spot on number1 i think we need more danny pughs, andy hughes (i know hes gone) and richard naylor (i know hes gone too) namely those who care than someone who might end up in a spat over wages like O’Brien or SMith - Colin @mattbb1 My issue with Danny Pugh, is not the player himself but the regime of poor contractual signings under Grayson. He’s on a 2 and half year deal. Let’s say we get promoted this season. Danny Pugh then becomes a player who we all know is not good enough for the PL (otherwise he’d still be there) and we have a 30 year old on our books for another 2 years who won’t get a game. And although a Champ team may come in for him, they won’t match his wages which will be big – otherwise he would have stayed on Stoke’s books and picked up his money. I know why we’ve signed him up – because in the short term, it’s cheaper to pay him his new permanent wage than his loan wages from Stoke. But in the long term it will hurt us. Because we’ll be paying for yet another player who doesn’t feature in the team. The smart thing to do would have been to continue to loan him until the end of the season and then if we’re still in the Championship, then negotiate a deal (which he should be desperate to sign as he’s a free agent and there’s no £500,000 fee which we paid) or if we’re in the PL, say thanks but no thanks and buy a PL quality player. If we get promoted to the PL, then we will never play the likes of Bromby, Bruce, Kis, O’Dea, Connolly again. By buying Pugh – we’re just adding to that number of okayish players at this level who will never step up to the PL level and become a wage burden that costs the club millions each year. Keeping Pugh on loan made sense, but paying £500,000 for him on a 2 and a half year contract is madness. I would have used the £500,000 on the loan wages for the rest of the season and then if Grayson was still interested, he could have signed him on a free anyway at the end of the season. mattbb1 Smith had his chance in the summer and elected to earn a few more weeks of his recession busting salary (or should that be recession causing..) We want committed players at Leeds, not a mercenary like SMith, I’ve sat in the pro Smith camp for long enough, and seen him snub us too many times. He’ll end up somewhere like QPR or Leicester, and good luck to him but I have lost interest in him, there are plenty of other younger, technically better players, a good number of whom want to come and play for us. Chareose Ken Bates Interview with Ben Fry ; PAY AS YOU PLAY Ben Fry : Good evening Chairman, id like to discuss the knew sceme you have implemented starting with the Arsenal game, ” Pay as you play”, could you explain how it works ? Ken Bates : Well basicly we have two problems, lack of players due to injuries despite having what is the largest squad on the planet and a need for more income. So we have created a scheme whereby our fans can PAY to PLAY for their beloved Leeds United! We started it against Arsenal. Ben Fry : Yes, Burt Postlethwaite a 76 year old leeds fan and pensioner started the game at centre back partnering Tom Lees ? Ken Bates : Correct Burt payed the pensioners discount price of £500 and got his dream to play in a Leeds shirt against Thierry Henry ! Sadly he only lasted ten minutes or so before we had to pull him off Ben Fry: Wasnt he carried off and rushed to hospital after suffering a hernia and mild stroke ? Ken Bates: yes that was unfortunate but atleast he will always have those happy memories Ben Fry : Hes dead, the hospital reported him as dead at 6am this morning Ken Bates : Oh….well atleast he acheived his dream and went out in style Chareose Ben Fry : What happened with his leg ? Ken Bates : Haha ! Well when Burt tried to tackle Robin Van percy and well hes got a prosthetic leg, its robotic…anyway it came off in the challange and thats when Burt got carried off on a stretcher Ben Fry : But his leg remained on the pitch ? Ken Bates : Yes it carried on hopping all over the pitch ! Well the thing was we couldnt substitute Burt because the referee said that Burts leg constituted a player and since we couldnt get the damn leg to come over to the touchline we couldnt bring a sub on…. Ben Fry : I think the leg was last seen heading up the motorway northbound Ken Bates : Yes half way to bloody scotland by now. Anyway the scheme looks to work, Larrys happy because hes got bodies to put on the pitch and we dont have to pay anything for the privalage, we arent made of money you know Chareose continued 2 Ben Fry : I beleive congratulations are in order…. on the new purchase ? Ken Bates : Oh yes…haha i bought my new gold plated super yacht on saturday…… 3.5 million pounds Ben Fry : isnt that the Gradel and schmeichal money ? Ken Bates : Ben….. ive warned you before dont you dare start getting cheeky with me or you are going to get punished……talking of which isnt it time for your weekly rectal examination ? Ben Fry : erm…please no, its still sore from last time ! Ken Bates : cmon what do you say ??? (Produces a large tub of K Y Jelly and rubber gloves) Ben Fry : Eye eye Captain Birdseye assuming the emergency evacuation possition Captain Birdseye : Let me get me fish fingers out, i know you like them ….. number1inyorkshire @Chareose was pulling him off after 10 mins part of the 500 or was that an extra .no wonder he died it wasn’t through playing for his beloved leeds it was “being pulled off” that did for him . morleywhite Vedran Corluca on his way out of spurs on a season long loan West ham are looking at him he would fit the bill for Leeds plays right and center back. Spurs would prob hav to pay 90% of wages thats the prob lol. Tim Campbell One thing that really irks me is that our scouting network seems non-existant. Aside from snoddy and clayton we have brought in no-one of real quality in recent years. Surely theres some guys out there, whether it be in the lower leagues, Scotland, Ireland, Wales or even Scandanavia (a place that still holds a great support for us), that would be ready for the step up, ready to give their right arm and bust a gut to play for us. Its players like this we need, not the clapped out old has beens that are just looking to run out their careers at our club mattbb1 have to agree there, i’d hardly call vayrynen a brilliant find at 30, where are the 21 year old senegalese and bosnian youth players we used to find when george graham was in charge?! Tim Campbell @mattbb1 The way forward nowadays seems to be either loanees, or freebies. Admitedly the guy Townsend had a good debut for us the other day, but lets face it hes never going to sign for us on a permanent basis. We need to get back to the 60’s and 70’s when the club was built up from the grass roots, and players that were brought in were commited to leeds utd through and through. I would rather have a blood and thunder player from the lower leagues who is going to get stuck in rather than guys who’s legs are going and are heading for the knackers yard number1inyorkshire @mattbb1 is it not MERVYN DAY who is charge of that nowadays with Gwynne williams . Tim Campbell @number1inyorkshire@mattbb1 Well maybe Bates could take some of that money from his flea-ridden mattress and invest in a proper scouting system – its not rocket science; unless we have the guys out there attending matches and have their ears to the ground we aint gonna get any decent players in Dje @number1inyorkshire@Tim Campbell That’s a lot of pressure to be putting on the young lad in the heart of a shaky defense. There’s a case to be made for him to feature on the subs bench – especially in the cup (Monday, anyone?), but then equally there’s the case for under-exposing to outside interest until you have the lad signed-up on a professional career. Put all your gems on display and you may well be mugged. Remember, we have signed Zac Thompson, Clayton, Nunez, Somma, and Becchio on the quite in recent years. So we aren’t all that at sea. Tim Campbell @Dje@number1inyorkshire Alas Dje out of all the players you’ve mentioned either they have been injured, considered back-up players, too inexperienced, or apart from clayton who i made allowances for eariler have gone off the boil. So much for having a strong squad Dje @Tim Campbell@number1inyorkshire Agreed we don’t currently do ‘squad’. You can’t legislate for injuries – unless the argument is that the better the scouting network, the more likely they are to find players with injury proness or just bad luck? If Somma hadn’t been injured he’d be a regular squad player, Becchio too – only more productive than he’s been to-date. Thompson was brought for ‘potential’ and hopefully that potential is about to blossom, just as Clayton did in the first dozen games. He needs resting, but as you say – so much for having a strong squad! No scouting network in the world is going to be able to go out and find untapped talent at a youth level and slot them immediately into the starting XI of a professional side. So on those grounds Thompson and Clayton have been astute talent spotting, IMHO. Nunez remains the oddbod and I simply can’t defend not using him more. A bit slight perhaps? OK, but then so was Howson. Besides, it hardly stops Nunez excelling at international level. Possibly Vayrayan too was a bit of good scouting – although personally I’ve not seen anything from him to suggest a contract beyond the end of this season, for which no loss. number1inyorkshire @Dje@Tim Campbell dont think myself clayton was really scouted other than he had a couple of good games against us when he played for carlisle ,he could actually have come in earlier instead of going on loan . had we had a better pre season in the recruitment department i don’t think clayton would be playing now i think personally it was more luck than magement Irving08 @Tim Campbell Precisely – SG chose to go for seasoned pro’s; it ws not a constrained choice. He could have looked ‘outside the box’, so to speak. Tim Campbell @Irving08 irving you and I, and every other fan know who these seasoned pro’s are. It might take a little more spade work; but I believe there are a lot more Robert Snodgrasses out there ready to be discovered mattbb1 just read koumas is on trial with us and poised to sign? does the rumour have legs? this was naturally on a bilge site but also on wikipedia. Dje @mattbb1 He’d be on a free so fully believable. I’m a bit worried that he’s already 32, but his work rate has always been good. Passion too. I’m presuming he’d be offering the infill and competition with Howson as the attacking midfielder, with an option to also play tricky-but-not-so-fast-these-days winger. TSS @mattbb1 Well, if it was on a site that anyone in the world can freely edit then it must be true. (rolls-eyes) I have heard the rumour mind, and it does sound somewhat feasible. number1inyorkshire was just reading bates on sky sports web .Talking about grayson and his job been safe ,and that there is a transfer kitty which grayson has the keys to .And then the back hand ,he will live and die by his transfers so he has to get it right Tim Campbell @number1inyorkshire Forgive my cynical view, but what I think Bates would refer to as a transfer war chest, is less of a chest and more of a matchbox lol TSS @Tim Campbell@number1inyorkshire Cynical/realistic – same thing in this instance. Leedsmad1973 I know for a fact that in the summer Leeds offered Nick Montgomery LESS than he would be earning with Sheff United in League 1. He told them where to stick it, and also said that the attitude of the Leeds United staff dealing with the transfer was nothing short of arrogant. No wonder we cant attract decent players to our club.