By Andy Baggott
February 15 2012
Leeds’ season is lurching from one disaster to another. With all sorts of off field problems, the team is now playing as poorly as they have for a long time.There has been growing resentment to Chairman Ken Bates in recent weeks. He has never won over a large percentage of the fans, but, what was quietly bubbling under the surface for a long, long time, has risen to the top and beginning to explode, as demonstrations step up.
Let’s deal with the football first – Leeds were poor – no, that’s not fair….awful. This is against a Coventry side who were at the foot of the table and relegation favourites. Two penalties for Gary McSheffrey won them the game – Ross McCormacks goal sandwiched in the middle, failed to win any points. Leeds lacked ideas, flair and confidence, and there are too many people not stepping up to the plate. It’s never nice to target individuals, but is Adam Clayton reproducing his early season form? Is Luciano Becchio ANYWHERE near the player he was last season? Does his body language look to care? Is Danny Pugh worth the £500K we reportedly paid? I could go on through the team - with the possible exceptions of Aidy White, Tom Lees, Snoddy and McCormack, who actually look like they want to make a difference..
Next is the caretaker manager – Neil Redfearn. He has the backing of the players clearly – which should be a positive. However, the last two performances haven’t offered us anything new – there doesn’t seem to be a spark which a new manager can sometimes find. It’s the same old players in the same old formation, playing the same old football. A manager needs to be in now – none of this ‘let’s give him a few games’ rubbish…The play offs are already looking a step too far, and a Mick McCarthy or Neil Warnock type needs to be in now – and giving some of the players a massive kick in the whatsits. The club needs a strong leader – someone who will sort this bunch of players out. There is undoubted talent in there, make no mistake. McCormack, Snodgrass, White, Clayton, Lonergan and Lees have all got quality. If players like Becchio can rediscover their form, it’s the nucleus of a good team – but a new manager and coaching staff is needed urgently to get them playing…
Finally, there’s the Chairman and the board. There are the obvious Bates out calls – not actually possible without someone to take over, but that shows the level of the fans frustrations. At the very least, the Chairman needs to realise the feelings of the fans – and understand why. He would do well to read the Leeds United Supporters Trusts statement which is a starting point. There needs to be some transparency. No one is expecting a return to the Ridsdale era of spending, especially in the current climate of clubs struggling (something that Bates is sure to point to) – however, some investment in the team would be a start – and if not, explain why not. Where has the money from Howson, Gradel etc gone? If we had to sell them to keep the club afloat, tell us why? A huge fanbase and big ticket prices should surely dictate that we have more money than most in this division?
He also needs to sort the management fiasco out and sharpish – and get the right man – not the cheapest option.
The club is not quite in crisis – but it’s teetering on the edge – the ship is rudderless with no direction. The Chairman, board, manager and players are not doing what the fans want – nowhere near, and the whole lot of them need to up there game….or get out….