Darko Days and Long Winter Nights Graham Smeaton October 25, 2014 Leeds United 46 Comments Ah well, you had to expect it and it would come; plus you’d reckon it would be sooner rather than later. Darko Milanic has been sacked even before the first sighting of the Coca Cola truck or the hint at what tosh advertisement John Lewis were going to haunt us with this coming Christmas. 6 games, that’s all it took. 3 points from a maximum 18; that’s the stick that is used to beat Darko with. Brentford 2-0 loss. Reading 0-0 draw. Sheffield Wednesday 1-1 draw. Rotherham 2-1 loss. Norwich 1-1 draw. Wolves 2-1 loss. 6 played, 0 wins, 3 draws, 3 losses, scored 4, conceded 8. A dismal run, a dismal end result for the man Milanic. The thing is, who will really want the job? It seems that Adam Pope has concrete evidence that Redfearn is the new coach-designate as announced via his Twitter feed. The Facebook Brigade are happily slapping their backs in congratulatory flagellation and telling themselves “told you so” when attesting to the relative merits of Darko’s right to sit as the first foreign-born manager of Leeds United. Whatever your views on this, whatever your views on Cellino being the ‘saviour’ of our club and being a ‘bit of a lad’ – this rashness to chop and change will have wider ramifications. If Redfearn does get the job, he’ll be looking over his shoulder nervous of any mishap or cock-up as his job will be on the line. Mark my words, unless Neil Redfearn raises the Titanic and moors in behind the South Stand, his time is already marked. A string of bad results will surely bring about his downfall. It seems that Massimo Cellino doesnt like waiting for a ‘turn around in fortunes’ just like the man in the street doesn’t like waiting for the 08.15 train from Keighley to Skipton. That train is often late but at least it’s more reliable than Massimo Cellino’s rashness. Leeds United manager variant 2014/15 – the true poisoned chalice. TSS I take your point that firing managers with such alarming regularity is a serious issue, but when we keep hiring nobodies who fail miserably, you can’t just stick with that mistake because it looks better than firing them after 32 days. Firing Milanic isn’t the issue, Cellino hiring “watermelons” he knows nothing about is. Makes no sense to me that he invests cash in first team then takes no care over the man leading them, it’s a ludicrous approach. Graham Fully agree. Thing is with his ‘recruitment and retention policy’ what self-respecting, decent manager will take a chance. Redfearn would be a fool to sully his reputation on this job. Irving08 On the contrary, he can’t lose. Irving08 Agreed but Cellino has set himself the pretty difficult task of determining the type of Manager best able to work with the player mix -and that’s before he goes out and recruits one. I am not surprised that he is finding it hard to get right. He doesn’t seem to have anyone round him strong enough to make him reason through his decisions. How else to explain the flawed reasoning that led him away from Redfearn ? Steven Clarkson We all know Massimo’s reputation for sacking failing coaches. What does anyone expect ? Darko knew the score he will have been well compensated financially. There are still plenty of people out their who want the job. Its definitely not boring being a Leeds fan. TSS “We all know Massimo’s reputation for sacking failing coaches.” His reputation for hiring nobodies concerns me more. Every coach he fires is Cellino’s failure, he has to start hiring better, this is insanity. Ron Totally agree. I am sick to death of honeymoon periods with new coaches coming in. Milanic should thank Jason Pearce and Luke Murphy for horrendous defending and poor ball control respectively for his sacking. We looked a new team in the first half, yet in the second you’d have thought we were away from home and playing Madrid at the Bernabeu. Capitulation. It takes something extra to play for a big club in this division and sadly a few of our players are just not up for it. mrbigwheels Second half tactics were appalling. Irving08 Milanic’s appointment was the result of faulty reasoning on Redfearn and an argument, apparently advanced by Salerno, that the Italians needed a continental, footballing coach – with some experience of success – to get the best out of them. mrbigwheels Neville Brother/Bloke was correct then…. ‘total disgrace’… he inferred another nobody and Cellino seems to pick them. Cellino will ruin the Club continuing with this ‘tack’. imo. Helen LUFC I was at the match today, just behind Cellino, who incidentally was sat next to Redfearn from the off – maybe he had already sacked the coach before the game in his head? – and Cellino came across to me as totally unbalanced in his behaviour. He was gesticulating when things went wrong, fine, but then he wold whistled at a referees decision – the only one to do this in the West Stand, and was berating the ref constantly. This was after half time, when Wolves were well on top and dominating play. The equaliser came in, Cellino stormed off for twenty minutes, and the. Returned. My initial thoughts were he’d gone for a cigarette? Calm himself. He did stay until the final whistle, stayed with Redfearn until the end, walked off. I think he had sacked Milanic in that twenty minutes. I also believe, as he was constantly informing Redfearn of what was going ion in the play,,or telli grim what should be done, that he had appointed him at this time. Just a theory. Football, we were good first half, they were not warmed up. Kenny Jacket knew what to say at half time, Milanic didnt. They hammered us second half. Praise where it’s due, we weren’t awful, Wolves deserved it. Milanic must be baffled. lufcboy The ref was poor today Inchy The ref was shocking – he must support either Man U or Wolves. As soon as Murphy came on I said to my mate “we’ll lose this now” and I think it was Murphy’s poor clearance which ultimately led to their second. Incredible how we went from bossing the first half to just sitting off them and letting them play in the second. Glad Darko has gone and pray that Redfearn can carry on from his last spell, as we’re out of options managerial wise. Any sensible manager will look at what’s happened over the last 12 months and avoid us like the plague. Irving08 Funny we said the same thing when Murph came on. But Mowatt and Antenucci apart, not much impressed in our outfield play for most of the match. Bad result, but the right outcome. mrbigwheels Interesting… It was rumoured, (internally), on thursday that Darko was gone if there wasn’t a win and how many times has C sat with R before at a match?. This really takes the biscuit and enhances your ‘unbalanced in his behaviour’ vision. Redders will survive with a miracle as his 10 out of 12 exists with a slice of luck, imo. I’m sure R will achieve an improvement but it is perhaps only more ‘sticky tape’ to hold the cracks together rather than what most of us know really needs to happen. If present form continues…. the chalk and cheese match day, we will be in the bottom three by mid December. ‘Tis a bad dream Helen… . Irving08 On the one hand, it’s good that Cellino can admit his mistakes and doesn’t stubbornly persist in going down the wrong path; on the other, there don’t seem to be any checks and balances. Still, I did draw attention to the eyes. Irving08 Milanic’s that is. Irving08 Milanic looked a baffled man from the outset. Faulty reasoning got him the job. The right reasons have lost him it. He was no Brian Clough. Yorxman Go 1-0 up and think the game is won will never keep any manager in a job…clueless! Rhoobarb & Custard Darko got his tactics wrong, not just today against wolves, but for me the Rotherham result was the writing on the wall. How can Leeds be playing well and in control of the game but 2nd half look like a completely different team, it can only be Darko`s half-time talk giving negative tactics. We have lost to all the promoted teams from L1 now. We are better than our results and league position suggest. Maybe Darko was`nt given enough time to get to know who would be his consistent 1st eleven and bench, and how long should he have been given is difficult to say. If Cellino is really passionate about Leeds United and seeing us back in the PL he needs to learn if he wants a top british coach they wil need time and left to get on with the job as they see fit. I like the way our style of play has changed this season into a passing game and I would hate this to change back to hoofball. PAUL W At last the “NOBODY” has left the building and Redfern is in charge again at last, which is what practically EVERY Leeds fan wanted back in September. The unknown Milanic has to be the worst manager to ever manage Leeds and he even makes Hockaday look good, who did at least get 2 wins in his career as coach of Leeds . All of this “FANCY DAN” football is all very well, but just where, were the goals and wins during Milanic’s time in charge? and what use is “FANCY DAN” football in such a physical league like the Championship?, where most teams, apart from Leeds, all seem to play a physical and more productive style of football. Under Wilko, Leeds only got promoted to the top flight, back in 1990, by playing a direct and physical style of football and Leeds had struggled to get in the top 3, under the management of Gray and Bremner, because the over-passing and over-played, soft style of football, which is what Milanic tried to adopt. Cellino has now wasted another month, with another poor coach in charge and have all of those “HAPPY CLAPPER” fans, actually realised that Leeds are now on the edge of the relegation zone, because of this? PMH You may be right that direct football works better for championship teams. But, damning Darko based on a few games is wrong. New coach means a new team selection, new practice methods, and new game strategies. Sometimes you can get a boost with a change, but it is more likely for a team to get worse before getting better. “Instant” only works for bad coffee. Cellino thinks that hiring a manager is like buying a lottery ticket. Keep spending until you get a winner. It’s nuts. Scally Lad Darko was not the reason we’re only five points above relegation. We have lost to every League One side that was promoted to the Championship this year. Our problems lie with the players, not the manager. We are pretending we’re not mediocre when the truth is that we are much worse than mediocre. And the dosh that could be buying some talent to put on the pitch is now going to sacked managers’ contract payoffs. Shez 87 Totally agree! This ‘team’ of ours is gonna get found out over the next couple of months…..if it hasn’t been found out already! Granted…..we have a couple of good players…..but you can’t make a silk purse out of a pigs ear,and it wouldn’t surprise me at all,that come the end of the season,we’ll be in a relegation dog fight…..there are far loads of better teams in this league than us,who are only gonna get better as the season progresses!!! Irving08 League One promotees do tend to have a lot of pre-Xmas momentum and Kenneth Jackett is a good Manager, similarly Steve Evans, albeit in a different way. So, I wouldn’t infer too much about the quality of our players from those defeats. They do however say something about the quality of the Leeds management. I do hope Redders is not a ‘nice guy'; Leeds, take away the cladding, is not a ‘nice’ place. But he looks to be the right a cultural fit…… Thommohawk We are an average team but you don’t need to be a good team to get promoted, merely consistent or have a good run. This ain’t the Premier League of yesteryear….We need a manager who gets on with these players and knows how to use them best and that man is Neil Redfearn. We stand our best chance if he’s in charge. Simple as. Proven actually up to this point….his record with us speaks for itself. PMH So let us make this crystal clear: Cellino is a fool. He is a baby who has to have his candy NOW! Truly, I have no idea if Darko is a good, bad or indifferent manager, but neither does the owner. All I know is it takes months and years to put together a winning football team, not a couple of weeks. Expect more of the same from this clown. Redfearn should keep his suitcase ready for action. marky b so darko goes because he has a losing mentality. strangely he didn’t have that 32 days ago. let’s face it Cellino picking the team half an hour before kick off doesn’t help the coach. redfearn should stay with the academy to help bring the youngsters through to the first team. There will be no surprise when the next watermelon Cellino hires gets sacked before Christmas. Cellino has so much to offer to leeds united but seems hell bent on ruining his relationship with the fans. sure he’s got money but that does not mean he’s a football manager. If he fails to purchase elland road next week he’s just as bad as bates and gfh. hire a British coach with a decent record, give him some time not six games and let him manage without interference. The thing about a Fiat 500 is that a Ferrari engine won’t fit in it. Our club is a Ferrari but needs Ferrari parts not The cheapest bits and a big hammer. MOT Alberto A waste of a month culminating in that terrible second half….. Darko had to go Thommohawk We don’t have time, we are on the clock every single week now. Every match matters and every point gained or dropped has an effect. Milanic never got started and considering the run we were on under Redfearn Darko’s winless run in 6 was pitiful. I can see Cellino’s thinking I know exactly what happened he gave a chance to a coach with a list of trophies and it just didn’t happen. Rather than giving the post to a guy already established here who knows the players and gets the best from them. That was obviously a mistake, now I’ll be surprised if Redfearn doesn’t get the job full time after 3 matches. Thommohawk It’s clear to see what Cellino is looking for, he had it in Redfearn, a coach who gets results now with this team. I love the fact that Cellino takes no prisoners, I really do. Because how many managers get stuck with for the season and it’s a slog and should have gone months and months before they did….. If Cellino made any mistake here it’s not hiring Redfearn in the first place for the job. He knows the club, knows the players, they seem to want to play for him which is the most important thing, and he knows the youngsters inside out too. It’s no coincidence we have the opposite record under Neil Redfearn than we do with Darko Milanic someone who doesn’t know the club or the players or hell even the league…. bert MC knows how to financial run a club, but is CLUELESS,CLUELESS,CLUELESS when it comes to appointing a head coach as his record shows previous 34 managers in 22 years. He should leave picking a head coach to someone else because believe me all leeds fans eventually Readfearn will hit a bad patch which may last a month or two (as all managers do) and what will Celiino going to do? sack him.mc will not change his ways Alberto 2 really poor appointments in Hock & Darko… Redders was there all along, now is the time to just let him do his stuff as he knows the players better than anyone. Thommohawk This. PMH You are right, Bert. If Leeds lose three games in a row under Redfearn, what happens then? After he goes, there is nothing left to do. This owner is like the worst type of fan. Win one and they are all world beaters, lose one and the whole team should be fired. The task is NOT to win a couple of games but to build the club to make it ready for the Premiership. A win or two is neither here nor there. You would think an Italian would know that Rome wasn’t built in a day! henrymouni The big advantage of Redders is that he knows the players, and the players know and respect him. The squad is lacking in physical strength in midfield, and height in defence. Darko has had to work with players he does not know, and did not pick. We fell away in the second half in many games because the players are young and inexperienced. Darko’s tactics were to take the game to the opposition for 90 minutes, but we could only manage 45. The diamond may be a girl’s best friend, but it does not work for us. The lack of width allows the oppositions full backs to rampage. I would persevere with Morison and Antenucci, and play Doukara out wide. Sam Byram should be our No1 right-back. Tonge or Zac Thompson are better on the ball than Murphy. Redders must have his chance with the first team or he will leave anyway, sooner or later. Good luck Redders! oldschoolbaby A 32 day assessment is rather unfair but, putting the boot in, Darko seemed to lack the necessary swagger or pugnacity. He could be forgiven for looking a bit bewildered but it`s still not a good look. Pulling out the positives his short tenure has reinforced NR`s reputation and authority. The massive plus for me is that our, rather ponderous, pre-season has now concluded. NR is supremely well qualified to dictate a preferred XI and formation to suit. There is definite ability at the club in desperate need of harness and direction. Let`s hope the stars align. MOT Irving08 Yes, Redfearn is now in a very strong position. By not appointing Redders the first time, Cellino – I suggest – has to stick with this Manager. Had Redders not been up to snuff, Cellino would have been able to appoint a new man, without doing possibly irreparable damage to his credibility. He would have been praised instead for at least giving NR a chance while the latter could have returned to the Academy. Barring disaster, Redders is virtually unsackable. I could see Cellino walking away from the club, if this gambit does not work. He does not have Bates-type impregnability. LUFC is now in a hairy place. So, come on Redders, don’t flinch, use your power to do what YOU think fit. PMH “Redders is virtually unsackable.” Really? You are completely mistaken, and the evidence of that is your obviously false assumption that Cellino will follow rules of logic. If he did it might be the first time in his life as a club owner. He has fired dozens of managers, and just by chance a few of them must have been quite competent. Redders is in a relatively good position, but that just means it will take four consecutive defeats, not three, to get him the sack. Irving08 It is a question of legitimacy. My belief is that Cellino will not hang around if he loses the fans – to be sympatico is too much part of him for that. And I think he would lose us if he had to change Managers again this season. For my part, I am prepared to indulge him with my support. He has brought a refreshing warmth, sincerity and flair to the club. But this will count for nothing absent success on the field. My point is that four consecutive defeats could see the end, not just of Redders, but of Cellino too. That’s what I meant by saying we are now in a ‘hairy place’. henrymouni The problem is that Massimo wants promotion this season Irv. Otherwise he could take a longer term view, and show a bit more patience. Massimo acts a bit like a fan who reacts to each game in isolation. Redders has a very poor track record as the No1, in the past, and has not had anything like the success of Brian McD or Darko. He must get full support, and patience. It is the team who are at fault, not coaches. The 2nd half collapse is no fault of Darko’s. It was inexperience and no real leader on there pitch to pick the team up. Irving08 He will have to be patient now, Henri, whether he likes it or not. mrbigwheels Where is ‘Browny’ when you need him?… He’d have saved Darkos midfield. Kevin Scorah Ive supported Leeds for 40 years, and as we all know there have been many things sent to test us in this time. Personally, I have never felt more disillusioned with the club than I do now. Strange as it my seem, being treated as morons by Bates was easier than being toyed with by Cellino. At least being raped by Bates we knew where we were. With this clown we are just a laughing stock. i fear for Redders. A good man who will be culled before the end of January. PMH Frying pan or fire? My marginal preference is for the obvious idiot rather than the sneaky sleaze merchant. To each his own. leeeeeeds Personally would try a 3-5-2 with Byram and Warnock as wingbacks to protect back 3 (Cooper/ Pearce/ Bellusci). Sharp and Antenucci up front with Adryan behind them, Cook on left and Bianchi on right of midfield. Bring off Sloth, Austin to run at tired defence and Mowatt for passing awareness.