leeds fansOnly this morning did I realise just how over-burdened by midfielders Leeds United are, which is quite bizarre when you consider how much Neil Warnock liked to bypass that area of the field completely (though that does explain why I never noticed).

By my count, Leeds United have eleven first team midfielders – Green, Austin, Varney, White, Brown, Tonge, Norris, Thompson, Hall, Dawson and Diouf.

You could argue that Diouf is a forward and White is a left-back (though I consider them to be AM and LW respectively), but then I haven’t included Sam Byram who would arguably be better utilised at RM and Ross McCormack, who spends as much time on the wing or in an attacking midfield role as he does centre-forward.

Eleven players for a position Neil Warnock didn’t seem to understand. The mind boggles.

It does give a small amount of justification to the sell-to-buy policy our new owners have forced upon Brian McDermott, especially when you consider how bad our finances are and start to ponder the cumulative wages these eleven men earn.

The Yorkshire Evening Post revealed yesterday that Steve Morison – a player Warnock signed – was earning £17,000 per week at Elland Road. Six of those listed above are also Warnock signings, so if he gave Morison an eye-watering yearly salary of £884,000, how much are the rest of his signings costing us?

Even if the club can’t attract transfer fees for some of these players, it’s clear that Brian McDermott will be looking to offload a few as he attempts to shape his Leeds United side. The question is, who goes?

Our poll allows you to vote for as many (or as few) as you like. 

Which midfielders would you release/sell?

View Results

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57 Responses

  1. henrymouni

    Good points TSS.
    Particularly when you think of Ross also wandering round midfield, but doing a good job.
    A large % have already voted for Green to go.
    I thought he was excellent before he got injured, and excellent when he got back to full fitness towards the end of the season.

    • TSS

      13% isn’t that high, but I agree, Green is underrated in my opinion.

      Surprised he isn’t more popular because he’s a tireless grafter, our fans usually appreciate that.

    • TSS

      5 years ago, he’d be a have been a crowd favourite but he’s too old now.

      Pace isn’t everything in some positions, but Brown is/was a box-to-box midfielder, his loss of pace has been very costly.

      • Jonathan Meeney

        Brown =Yes he puts his body about aiming to do the dirty bits for the team but he has a Lack of mobility, Lack of discipline, inability to retain the ball, makes poor decisions in & out of possession & lastly is taking up room on our wage bill. Non Effective = Get Rid !

  2. mrsensible

    Get rid of Brown and Norris for sure. I’d keep Tonge, he’s more than capable of playing McD’s passing game. Honestly think we only need a few pacey wingers and another striker and we’ll be ok with the squad we’ve got. It’s a shame there isn’t millions to spend but I reckon we’ll do ok with a proper manager like McDermott in charge.

  3. Craig Sweaton

    “Steve Morison-a player Warnock signed” Get over yourself, please! Like Warnock had ANY choice in that particular bum-fuck of a decision.
    Are you going to be slagging Brian Mc off next year when his freebie signings that were forced onto him don’t work out?
    Or is this your attempt at making his excuses in advance, by blaming Warnockslack of funding?
    Either way I’m sick of hearing about how Warnock fucked us up! It’s old news so for the love of Christ, please find something else to bleat about!

    • TSS

      Firstly, Warnock wanted Morison before Becchio was even brought into the equation.

      Secondly, Morison wasn’t a bad singing. Fans were overly critical of him because of the manner in which he arrived, a lot of that frustration was passed on to Morison.

      And finally – the wages Steve Morison was on is a reference point for how much Warnock was able to pay. The only one we have. It’s relevant information however you choose to interpret it.

      Defend Warnock all you like, but he signed a lot of players and spent more than Grayson ever did. 13 signings in total, 6 of them midfielders. His hoofball system wasn’t the only problem Leeds had last season, but it was certainly top 3.

      • Craig Sweaton

        Yes I’m sure he’d have been shopping in the bargain basement that is Portsmouth if he’d had funds to buy better!
        I’ll happily cede the point that he liked Morison but, alongside his 30 goal in half a season striker. ..not as a replacement.
        I can’t accept that the wages paid to morison were indicative of the wage structure. It’s more likely that the board saw the £ signs and didn’t mind paying a little more in wages, when it granted them an immediate cash boost.
        This season has the feeling of deja-vu to me, & I’m already depressed at having allowed myself to believe that this season might be different.
        I suppose if slagging Warnock gives Mac a little breathing space then go ahead, but it won’t be long before his cut-price signings are being scrutinised. :-(

      • TSS

        Trouble is, Warnock spent more than Leeds have in years and did worse. Yes, there are some mitigating circumstances, but his anti-football was one of the biggest problems.

        Again, I’ve never criticised any of the players, it was the style in which they were played I took issue with. It was negative football and made for painful viewing. And I don’t make a habit of slagging managers off either, Grayson always had my full support because no matter what the result, we properly went for it and tried to play football. That wasn’t true of Warnock. Plus his constant excuses and self-pity drove me mental.

      • Ev

        Agree you could see the difference in the players once BMC got them playing on the deck again, they are better than our league position…. Wabara, Rowe and Murthy all look like players who’d improve us so i hope we can get them….preferably not on loans

      • Craig Sweaton

        Of course he spent more….he inherited half a team. Notwithstanding we were playing in a higher league than for 3 of the 4 seasons previously, so even in terms of wages, players cost more.
        I won’t say that Warnock was blameless but you point time and again to hoofball tactics. Well I’d say that if you can’t buy a winger you’ve got to make do. He tried to use Ross to plug that gap (everyone admits he did ok), & he still got stick for it. This despite the fact that Becchio scored 30 goals!
        As for being better than our league position Ev, we weren’t. Wr had some pretty dire results under mac too!

      • TSS

        He bought Hall and never played him! Plus, McCormack (as you point out) can play on the wing, as can White and Diouf.

        But the only recognised winger he had on arrival was Snoddy, and he played him centrally! Also, he bought SIX CM’s and not a single winger. Sorry, but Warnock is to blame for having no wingers, the fact he never played Hall and moved Snoddy central suggests it was part of his master plan.

        His system made no use of the wings whatsoever, that’s why he didn’t buy any or use the players he had there.

      • Craig Sweaton

        I think we need to agree to disagree then.
        Dioufy was no good as a winger because he’s got no pace. Hall showed promise and liability in equal measure, & white……well I have no answer to that tbh.
        Back to my point though, I’m sick of hearing about Warnock and I want to hear about this season. I understand that you think it relevant but I don’t, & there were definite anti-warnock undertones that wejust ddon’t need any more imo.
        Thank you and goodnight :-)

      • TSS

        They weren’t undertones, I’m unequivocally anti-Warnock. Never have I witnessed such dire, negative and depressing football as I did last season. And I include George Graham’s brand of ‘score, then sit back and defend for an hour while the fans get their heads down’ along with both relegation seasons.

        But more than that, the one thing I simply could not abide with Warnock was the excuses and self-pity. He was so constantly negative, it was no surprise to see the team feeling sorry for themselves. Every press conference he gave I had to listen to him tell me how generous it was for him to be here, how hard it was for him being away from Cornwall, giving the impression that he was bigger than the club and we should all be grateful for his presence.

        He made my blood boil by the end. His head was never in the Leeds job, it was all about his record-breaking promotion and boosting his own ego. So yeah, I’m anti-Warnock. I wouldn’t let him near Elland Road again.

      • Craig Sweaton

        And I see his attitude and negativity as a result of his treatment by the board, & an early realisation that loads of leeds fans hated him. It’s an unwinnable argument either way because opinions are like arseholes, we’ve all got one.

      • henrymouni

        “…..like arseholes, we’ve all got one.”

        Yes, but we don’t want one managing the club!

      • henrymouni

        He started by slagging off Simon’s players, basically saying they were crap.
        He lost the dressing room in record time!
        He then promised his team would never be outfought or humiliated.
        He did not make the best of what he had.
        He left us but continued to talk about Leeds and even offered to help find a new manager.
        He was more interested in selling his new book!
        He claimed ‘credit’ for bringing GFH to the club!!
        Thank you Neil!!!!!!!!
        He mentioned Cornwall 211 times (approx).
        Long distance managers never work!!

      • JDC

        Totally correct TSS … I’d go as far as saying he should never have even been considered for the job and posted to that effect many times, before he was appointed.
        However, I do agree with Craig that he should be consigned to the re-cycle bin and listed as the worst post WW2 manager of LUFC.

      • JDC

        Warnock shipped Dom Poleon out on loan and then complained about lack of pace and wingers … 24 hours or so after NW left Poleon was recalled. Why did he not give him an opportunity instead of telling us all he had an attitude problem … he brought in Hall as a winger and virtually refused to play him.
        As far as having no say in the sale of Luci Becchio … he practically drove him out of the door by the verbal attacks he made on him.

    • Nick Smith

      Bizarre comment. Written by Neil Warnock I can only assume. Of course Warnock fucked us up you silly man. He bought shit, and played shit football and slagged off the players most weeks. He was awful and anyone who thinks otherwise needs to take a look at himself

  4. pete

    Few year back fans would loved to of had these midfield players at this level.

    • Craig Sweaton

      A few years back we were in league 1 where this team would look strong though!

    • TSS

      Isn’t he going back to Wednesday? Hasn’t been mentioned in so long I’d forgot all about him. Can’t remember seeing him in pre-season training pics.

      • Pad

        Yeah Pugh’s still about and was in the training pics. As it stands he’s another body in the squad. Although, I think with Morison leaving (and discounting our youth players yet to play pro), our squad is only 22/23 members strong. So half the squad is made up of midfielders and half of them we want to ditch!

  5. Ev

    Id sell Varney, Norris, Brown , Hall, the rest give us plenty in central midfeild so its wingers we need………. Dawson and Diouf could both be creative linchpins, Thompson needs a chance to fill the defensive midfeild roll

  6. MKleeds

    Brown, Varney, Tonge and Norris for me. Brown too slow and has no discipline whatsoever. Varney, even despite the goals he scored towards the end of last term is still an awful footballer and is clear he doesn’t like Leeds.
    Yes, Tonge is a good passer, but if we can shift him and get an upgrade then I would happily get rid. Norris, I like him and he’s a hard worker but he’s not an automatic starter and he’s pretty average.
    Get Thompson on a season-long loan deal at a Championship side to see how he fares in that league.
    I think with a proper pre-season Austin will come back as a very strong player. Green will run himself into the ground for his side. McCormack is a striker. White is valuable as he can always cover for Warnock at LB. Diouf is still one of our best players creatively so we can’t let go of him.
    Hall deserves a shot in the team aswell I reckon. He still strikes me as the most confusing NW signing.
    Byram and Dawson are no brainers as they’re both cracking players with heaps of potential, maybe if he’s not going to use Dawson so much send him on loan?

  7. NottsWhite

    Brown to go but who would want him ? and thanks to Warnock he has another year on a decent wage. Hall really hasn’t been given a chance however he is not the quick winger we are looking for. Tonge’s legs have gone and although he can pass a ball he is a liability when it comes to the defensive side of the game. White does not offer enough to the squad as he is neither a defender of a winger. I would keep Varney only because of our reduced options up front, Green played well towards the end of the season when he was played in the link role between defence and midfield. Norris is fairly average however he always gives a shift and would be a useful squad player.

    • Irving08

      White offers something no-one else in our squad possesses – pace. Factually it is just wrong to say he is not a defender: the season before he left, before Warnock tried to convert him into a right winger, his stats show him to have performed at a decent level playing at left back. Moreover without him our slow central defenders would have been exposed even more than they were for lack of pace. Next season, in tandem with Warnock at left back, I predict that White will form an effective left-sided defenisve/attacking force. Even last season, I recall White being one of only two players in our team who had the skill and pace to dribble into an opponent’s penalty (eg Everton and M’boro – when he came on as sub). No, Whitey just needs to be given a proper run, and coached on how to run at a pace that allows him to deliver an effective final ball, and he will be a fine player for us. Anyway, it’s obvious that BM likes him – the Irish Under Manger 21 – so what you and I think is irrelevant. Versatile plalyers are to be cherished, not lambasted for allegedly not being one thing or another….The Don knew this.

  8. Bluesman

    We have to put our faith in BM because there is no money about. There is no point in keeping players like Brown on the books. Green has been quite good overall and deserves his place. I am not too sure about Austin. I think that he has talent, but he would struggle against good opposition. Keep the youngsters, obviously!

  9. Ev

    Ive reconsidered… Perhaps we are being harsh on Varney? He scored goals and did a job for us to be fair

    • TSS

      I spoke with the author of it last year. I wouldn’t say careless (no more so than most investment banks anyway), but a few years back they were in a much stronger financial position than they are today because the global financial crisis hit them hard.

      The trouble GFH had was that they were invested almost exclusively in property and when the recession hit, property prices took a dive, thus lowering the value of their assets considerably, which in turn, destroyed their bottom line.

      The author points to the recession as the cause of their fall quite early on “by the end of 2008 there were almost no investment sectors worldwide that had not experienced dramatic value declines”

      The thing with investment banks is that a lot of them don’t hold much in the way of actual cash, because every time an investment matures (reaches the stage where you sell), they pump it back into another investment aiming to make more money..This is obviously risky, because if it goes wrong, you have no cash to cover the losses, but that’s the nature of the game it seems. When it talks about them being a $12bn business before the recession hit, this is the figure they’d reached by reinvesting their clients money over and over in various projects, so they seem to have been very successful (thought there’s no telling what figure they started with, so that’s a bit of a guess). But then the recession came and wiped billions off their value, a blow which has been difficult to recover from.

      There’s been some other questions raised about their practices, but investment banking – especially in the Middle East – is like the Wild West it seems. Ethics seem to be an hindrance to most bankers… lol

    • Matthew

      Not about not having a pot to piss in, rather them using what pot they do have to keep us above water.

  10. Between the lines

    How can you vote for Hall Dawson & Thompson, they all have potential and haven’t really been given a chance

  11. ponte white

    who would actually want em,poor to barely average. i,d keep dawson white and diouf. there,l be no quality replacements come in mcd shafted by gf bates. depressingly familiar scenario.

  12. Emsley

    Who the fuck voted for dawson you stupid crack heads! thong, brown and norris look to be one their way, hopefully.

  13. spellz

    Well I voted for three Norris Brown and Varney, guess what they were the top three at least the fans know what dead wood needs chopping, lets hope we can see them go and free up the wage bill somewhat so we can aim to bring in at least one quality winger.

  14. KB

    Do you think the loss of the casino bid is to blame for the lack of funds available i.e the 3 million would have come from the approval of that bid

    • TSS

      No, I think GFH were more confident of getting investment in, but the state of the club’s finances won’t be helping matters. The loan Bates left behind, relatively poor season ticket sales at a reduced price – our income this year could end up being lower than last (and that was bad, we lost money).

  15. jon

    Its more money to rid Brown because he’s just sign a new deal hows that go to happen when we no money .other clubs must be laughing at us owners with no money, we are like Blackburn but with no chickens . Come on sort it out come Leeeeedssss

    • henrymouni

      Blackburns owners put a lot of money into the club, but they did not have a good manager.
      They kept a lot of their Prem’ players and added a good few more.
      Still they struggled.

  16. leeds oldie

    leeds oldie please you lot get real bm has been conned leeds fans hav bin conned by the man who is laughing all the way to his tax free haven KB you cant get good players with no money so who the hell is going to buy our over priced oldies brown tonge and green

  17. Matthew

    Keep Diouf, absolute class player. He’s not a miracle worker but was like a beacon of light when we were playing shit in some games, when he came off the bench. Want to see more of him starting next season.

  18. mick

    brown has had his best days and should go now, like someone said “5 years ago he would be crowd fave, white, well i thought 3 or 4 year ago he could be awesome, but sadly not. norris aint up to much, yes puts a shift in but that shift dont seem to produce much. just read that lee bowyer looking to get back in game at championship level, would love him back , would give fans a buzz even if he could only start half the games.

  19. caseyrybac

    Brown must go, he is well past it for a few seasons now, pugh has no place in the team so must go, norris is ok but he can go as green is better, white can go because he is not a reguler in the team + we could get a good fee for him, sorry aidy if we didnt need the cash i would keep. varney and hall could be good players coming off the bench so i would keep along with the others, but if we were to lose tonge/austin/hall/varney i dont think id be to worried as long as we got good replacements, as for the comment about bowyer he is 36 i believe and finished at this level.

    • mick

      he might well be finished, but he states he can still do a job at this level,so i dont know, would love to find out , imagine the buzz it would give us, it could only be a good thing for the club.


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