So goes the Simple Minds track used at the end of the highly over rated brat pack movie The Breakfast Club.

And while I could then easily segue into a quip about the Simple Minds of footballers, that would be too cheap a dig, well what do you know I’ve already done it. I digress.

The Simple Mind about whom this is dedicated is none other than our Beloved `Barn Door Missing’ Billy Paynter.

He’s scored one goal, a good one it has to be said, against Preston last season. But his tale of woe is well-known to most supporters of Leeds. Signed as our chief centre forward for the 2010-11 season he’d trumped even our beloved Beckford to the top of the scoring charts in League One, implausibly scoring 29 goals for them the preceding season.

His goal scoring record then speaks for itself, a strikers value is measured in how many he scores, as per the title of Allan Clarke’s autobiography he told us all `goals are my business’. He came way behind the likes of Becchio who made the transition from League One to Championship with ease.

If only goals were Mr Paynters business. If only he was 1% as good as Allan Clarke.

Simon Grayson’s stock has fallen with many Leeds fans since the appointment of Neil Warnock, but in a rare moment of vision he did more to damage Brighton’s play-off bid than any formation change, loan signing or tactical substitution. Paynter’s loan to Brighton – unsurprisingly unproductive – coincided with a slide down the league table that perhaps only beleaguered fictional comprehensive school Waterloo Road could compete with.

So what now? The training ground’s a-buzz, Paul Connolly has been re-animated; Darren O’Dea has purchased a Kisnorbo hat and started to defend. And Paynter seemed to be on that path too, on the bench for Warnock’s first three games, in which we didnt score, but – then didnt get on the pitch?

The YEP is telling us today that he’s turned down the chance to play for Notts County for the rest of the season, presumably so Warnock could see if he really can play. He wants to fight for his place. Well great.

You’re put in mind of Mike Grella (now at Bury) he refused (allegedly) to play on loan at Bradford; he thought he could do better, and indeed better than Beckford and Becchio, so wouldn’t go. Which attracted the ire of Simon Grayson. His fall from grace is all too visible, and he’s – by the looks of things – decided time on the bench at Brentford also isn’t acceptable to a player of his talents, opting for the bench at Bury instead.

What’s irritating to the average fan in these situations is:-

A) To the outsider it would seem a gilt edged opportunity for the player to find his goal scoring boots again, and he’d (hopefully) come back the better player

B) If it didn’t work out, we’d have some clarity as to whether he was in the squad next season

C) That might enable us to sign up a player coming in on loan for this season (which will invariably be lined up)

So in summary, Paynter not going creates inertia in the squad, and you’d have to say that our striking options are not brilliant. Forssell is clearly not up to it, Webber seems more of a winger, so if Becchio and McCormack got injured that would bring in Paynter, with a lack of match fitness and an inability to score at the moment, which a spell at Notts County might assist.

Come on Billy, Nottingham’s’ quite a nice place you know? Not as good as Leeds (naturally) but where is?

If you take your eyes slightly out of focus (isn’t that what you usually do when you play?) you can pretend you’re playing for Newcastle or West Brom. On finishing this i note that Lloyd Sam has taken the very same option with both hands. You’d argue he probably had a better stake for a first team place than Paynter, so where does that leave him now? Good luck Lloyd, it’s an opportunity to show us all what we’ve been missing.

36 Responses

  1. number1inyorkshire

    1ST THINGS 1ST Nottingham is a shit hole !!!!
    If a player is been sent out on loan at paynters age then he has no future at the club sending him .
    so if he went there and scored 28 goals in the last 10 matches he would not be in the leeds team as a starter now or ever, looks like Sam is in the same position ..
    i fear for somma too when he is back from injury and i don’t like the idea of having no backup keeper other than 2 kids .
    Who am i to question the great man and indeed i am not he knows his stuff ,it would i feel though be good for rogers to go on loan for a bit to get some game time and the feel of the game in blighty .

    • mattbb1

       @number1inyorkshire paynter is a conundrum, he seemed to have one good season in him at port vale a number of years ago, then one good season at Swindon. Quite why he has forgotten how to play is anyones guess, but i’d sooner he was off our wage bill atnd the alleged £12k a week was being spent on either other players or being saved up to raise a transfer fee. I think Rogers might be good enough for the bench already, hes at least been playing first team football regularly. Unfair on Nottingham Number1, albeit i find it Britains worst city to drive in.

      • Dje

         @mattbb1  @number1inyorkshire Not too much of a conundrum, Paynter can only play as one part of two squarely pegged upfront. He had Charlie Austen with him at Swindon; we don’t have a Charlie Austen.
        In which case why we signed him up is bizarre. The only defence I can think of is Grayson thought a McCormack and Paynter partnership would be better than a Becchio and Beckford one. Fair enough Austen is a tricky player in a similar way McCormack is, but whilst their tricky still has something to offer in the Championship, it was daft to think that the slow and cumbersome Paynter would get as much time on the ball and room on the pitch in the Championship as he would in League One. Austen helped him to look better than he was, and we should have seen that rather than hope he’d somehow find pace, and agility, and positioning, and reading the game, and…

      • Irving08

         Conclusion spot-on – how come some of us could see that at the time and the professionals couldn’t ? But, hey, you’re talking about a manager who aparently preferred Pugh to Keogh….  

      • Dje

        I lament how much mileage Warnock could have gotten out of Keogh!

    • Tyler75

       @number1inyorkshire I would imagine there’s a recall in Taylor’s agreement – plus I expect NW has been impressed by what he’s seen of Cairns. Somma will be fine if he gets a good pre-season behind him, I would hope that NW can see him as a diamond to be polished. Anyway we’ll probably have 4 frontline strikers in the squad for next season, assuming he doesn’t fancy Paynter or Forsell – that’s Ross, Luciano, Somma plus a back-up target man to bring in.

  2. Dje

    If they can get Paynter fit – ie. get him on a diet – and teach him how to jump for a ball then it makes sense having him as a sub replacement for Becchio. He’ll never hold it up as well as Becchio does, but if we go a gaol down and need to chase a game, he should be quite handy for any last ten minutes of a game when we have them pinned-back and under the cosh. For which, I was surprised we didn’t bring him on for the last ten minutes against Southampton. In theory, he should be a better target man than Forssell, and a bigger presence than Webber, Nunez or McCormack. 
    That said, yep, a month on loan at Notts County wouln’t have done him no harm. Nor Notts Forest either!

  3. RiktonLUFCElite

    I say when his chance comes throw him on. If he still does nothing its time to go……
    Im  getting the impression from everywhere that SG was not what we thought and seemed to have a knack of falling out with players or not getting the best out of them, If Warnock can’t get Billy firing again nobody will and i will put it down to him being a decent L1 player and just can’t cut the mustard in the Championship. He simply peaked at Swindon. I could be wrong though!

  4. Arnie

    Strange decision to let Sam go since he seemed to be in Warnock’s plans – he’d been used on the bench recently – and he also admitted he had tried to sign him in the past.
    As well as we’ve done recently, the squad still lacks quality and there is not a great deal in reserve to come on and change a game.

    • TimPM

      Possibly Aidy White is looking better on the wing than NW had hoped? It looks clear to me that forehead-man was gonna be in White’s role before he left, and Aidy’s never been a natural inside-forward?
      What’s Nunez looking like on the training ground?

      • Dje

         @TimPM Remember there’s THE Robbie Rogers back from injury! Plus Pugh could fill in as a flat-paced winger in a five man midfield, and Webber is more of a winger than a centre forward. On top of that, the clearing out of players: Taylor, Sam, Paynter (possibly), is surely just a prelude to us bringing in someone as a loanee. Matt Mills is back on the Leicester bench, so he’s not coming, and Warnock has said that he’s pleasantly surprised with what we have in defense: so we might be plucking on a pacey winger to partner White.
        [Sadly I think Nunez is a ‘wild card’ when there’s nothing to lose]

  5. TimPM

    Couldn’t fault your summary Matt!
    With Paynter I think he’s shown he can do it reasonably well in reserves against numerous levels of opposition. Why not on the pitch? Well, the problem is we can’t afford too many experiments…
    I reckon Notts County would’ve been good for him. Bang in a few goals, help Curle out, come back to a grateful NW who gives him a chance in pre-season?

  6. Tim Campbell

    What are the odds of us finally getting Nick Montgomery now Warnock is at the helm?

  7. Reid_er

    I can’t help but think you’ve answered your own question there. You said “if Becchio and McCormack were to get injured that would bring in Billy”. This could be going through Billys head as we are all left scratching ours. You gotta admit theres a strange forgiving, forgetting mood amongst fans at the moment. If Billy is ever to make something of himself at Leeds, its between now and the end of the season.

  8. Colin

    I don’t think that Paynter wanted to go to Notts County, because I reckon he doubts his ability to be able to score for County. Scoring a goal here or there in Reserves, is very different to playing a hard 90 minutes in League One.
    He had 10 games at Brighton and to be honest did absolutely nothing and he was dispatched quick sharp back to Leeds.
    He was bought to be the replacement for Beckford, he’s Leeds’ Number 9 (Colin smacks his head). He either couldn’t or wouldn’t run or jump higher than 1 inch for Leeds United. He was a free transfer and got a massive pay deal.
    I reckon Paynter won’t be here next season, like a lot of other players, so he’ll need to get another club, so what’s the point of actually having to work for a living if you pick up your fat salary, and don’t want to humiliate yourself by dropping down a league and not performing.
    Lloyd Sam is probably trying to prove a point and show his skill to prospective new teams. Paynter doesn’t want to take the risk of moving and showing himself up.

    • mattbb1

      i think a move would be best for paynter, and he’ll no doubt do alright, but for his sake at league one level. His best move would have been to stay at Swindon where he clearly fitted in with their style. I’m not sure hes scared of being found out at Notts County, I think he genuinely believes he can do a job at Leeds, but I think thats Billy Paynter vs his manager, the chairman, the fans and probably most of the other strikers. I can understand grayson signing him on paper, but i have to admit to some disappointment that we didnt spend £1m on Billy Sharp or gary hooper, i’m confident that would have seen us get the additional 7-8 points that would have cemented a play off place. The fee being spent would have been repaid in play off tv money at the very least.

    • Tom

      @Colin Any footballer who doesn’t believe in his own ability shouldn’t be playing. I genuinely think, he reckons he’s good enough to get back in and if he puts the effort in fair play. I think it’s a bit harsh to say he wouldn’t ‘run or jump and inch off ground’, i think he won his fair share in the air, put himself about and run until he couldn’t anymore, you could tell how much it meant to him when he scored and unfortunately he got injured shortly after that.

      • Colin

        @Tom I think we’ll have to agree to disagree. If Paynter thinks he’s good enough to get back into that squad, then he’s deluded. No chance. Danny Webber who hasn’t had a club this season before us, plays ahead of him. When we got him he was fat, out of shape and out of form. Nothing’s changed. He’s not good enough for Leeds and he wasn’t good enough for Brighton either.
        He’s in the latter stages of his second year of his contract at Leeds, he’s scored 1 goal.
        If he’s ‘good enough’ then I’m a banana.

    • Tyler75

      My Brighton supporting mate told me that Paynter’s stats were 1 shot on target in 10 games ! They literally could not believe how bad he was. There was no expectation that he would go on mazy, Messi-like runs, but  they though as an absolute minimum he would win the odd  header or at least hold the ball up !   

  9. wyla

    if we keep playing as we have been since NW’s arrival, i can’t see paynter getting on the pitch, which is a just as well for us but i do feel sorry for him and I’m pretty sure he would prefer to be in the team and scoring rather than just picking up his dollar. Unfortunately just not good enough for Leeds, another fine signing by poor, hard done by SG

  10. China white

    Am I deluded or did Billy Paynter hardly ever get a start under Grayson. I seem to recall he was getting on for 20 mins a game and less more often than not. I’m not alluding to him being a closet Ronaldo, however both he and McCormack never got much of a go under Grayson.

    We all know how McCormack went from zero to hero once he was getting regular games. Maybe, just maybe Paynter could show us something if was given a chance

      • China

          As anyone can see apart from a few games late in the season he didnt get much of a run . I wonder if the author bothered checking the stats before writing this article. One thing about Grayson was that when we conceeded a goal in the last quarter of the game he aways threw on the subs. Paynter inevitably got sent out to save the day and inevitably didnt manage to.
        Easy to rubbish this Billy on his record but he never had it easy either. I guess hes never going to make the grade for us now but I dont think he’s worthy of a cheap shot article given how he was managed.

  11. China white

    Am I deluded or did Billy Paynter hardly ever get a start under Grayson. I seem to recall he was getting on for 20 mins a game and less more often than not. I’m not alluding to him being a closet Ronaldo, however both he and McCormack never got much of a go under Grayson. We all know how McCormack went from zero to hero once he was getting regular games. Maybe, just maybe Paynter could show us something if was given a chance

  12. Peter T

    Not surprised to see Sam go does not break sweat very often 
    Gifted but not the work ethic for NW 
    as his contract is up it is the last we have seen of Sam
    A Grayson signing who was free to ensure we had a squad to stay in CCC but never really cut it
    You will not be missed
    Pity he did not take Paynter with him
    expect NW pi$$ed off about that so do think Paynter will be  anywhere near the match day squad

  13. GMcG

    I’ve got some sympathy for Paynter because I don’t seem to remember him getting much game time either. I can’t help thinking that 18 substitute appearances of 10 minutes each is not quite the same opportunity as 2 full games.
    I know that not every squad member can start every game but equally not every substitute becomes known as ‘supersub’ and coming into a game late when it is already won – or more likely we were getting a hiding – is not an ideal showcase for any player. Having said all that, weren’t a huge of number of his 29 goals for Swindon from the penalty spot? I think Larry was bewitched because he banged so many in against us.
    Either way I can’t see him getting back in so what’s the news on Somma?
    PS. Note to TSS. I’ve been trying out Opera as a browser because Firefox seems to be getting a bit fat and bloated (bit like Billy!?), but it’s not a success – no ‘reply’ button and clicking the ‘post comment as’ button doesn’t seem to have any effect. Maybe it’s not a concern with it being a bit of a minority choice as a browser but worth knowing for you or your developers.

    • TimPM

      Just glanced at the stats and about 15 from open play, 7 from pennos?
      So he was a decent scorer, but Becchio go the same with a bad injury…

    • TimPM

      BTW on the browser thing I’d imagine Opera’s doing something with java? On my phone I think I had the same when it’s browser blocked certain things from loading.

  14. Tom

    Am i the only Leeds fan that has noticed that Becchio’s first touch is offensive to football? Or am i seeing things? Paynter might not put himself into defenders and win headers like Becchio but i think his first touch and ability to hold the ball up are easily on a par.

    • Dje

      Nope, sorry I almost entirely disagree. From what I remember, Paynter’s touch was truly dreadful and would make O’Dea look like an accomplished ‘footballer’ footballer. 
      True, Becchio was a touch rusty earlier this season, but you have to bare in mind that he does that odd crouching thing when backing into a defender. His ‘first touch’ looks heavy because he makes sure he edges the ball a few feet immediately in front of him. If he isn’t held back or tripped by the defender then he’s guaranteed to be the first to the ball, not the defender marking him. More times than not he is then fouled, or flops to the floor as if he is. The diving is a major asset, but also pretty dam annoying.
      I wish Becchio would improve his short passing though. On a number of occasions his little passes to McCormack were dreadfully under-hit when he should have been putting McCormack clean through. Ironically his goal against Middlesbrough is a good example, as he looked to have under-hit before their defender fella fluffed it and allowed McCormack in to square it to Becchio and an empty goal. Or was that all part of the masterplan?!

      • Colin

         @Dje I agree. Becchio is always going to be under pressure and I’m pretty sure that most defenders are told to smash him. Watch West Ham, I bet Becchio gets battered, but he’ll give as good as he gets.
        As for the genuine fouls on Luchiano, I reckon he gets about 50% of the decisions his way, the other 50% go to the defender. As for the dives (yes he does), I reckon he gets about 50% of the decisions his way. I think it all equals itself out.
        If the reference is to his first touch in space, then okay it’s not great, but he’s very left footed and he may suffer from the same affliction that Beckford had – give him too much time to think about it and he may fluff it. He needs to be instinctive. That said, at this level I don’t think there are many who have great first touches. I think there are a lot of PL strikers that suffer the same problem.
        End of the day, there’s not much we can do about it. He’s our big man up front and we’ve got what we’ve got. We can’t change it now.

    • number1inyorkshire

      Becchios first touch is pretty poor as his running ,he is like Douglas Barder when it comes to running, its like his knees don’t work as a joint ,so no Tom there is 2 of us now who have noticed it there will be others ,lurking in the shadows

  15. number1inyorkshire

    seems we were all wrong and it was warnock who stopped Paynter going out to county til after weekend ..
    They , county are lining up a move for him and forsell .says their manager Curle ..
    They say it could be done before tuesday if warnock agrees to the deal ,it will be a deal until the end of the season ..


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.