Neil Warnock has today announced which player’s he wants to retain ahead of next season as he bids to turn around the clubs fortunes following a disappointing 2011/12 season. We would all agree that this season was not good enough and changes need to be made.. No fewer than eleven players have been shown the door today as six other have been offered new contracts.
Adam Clayton is probably the biggest shock of the day. The midfielder has had a good season and has been one of our better players, he also seemed keen to extend his stay at the club but it has been reported that his wage demands of £15k a week have seen him listed instead.. Disappointing...
Billy Paynter in contrast comes as no surprise. He has made very little impact during his two seasons at the club and has struggled to get into the first team this season. The chance of a fresh start is probably what he needs.
Paul Rachubka … Say no more..
Ramon Nunez joined the club with bags of potential and high hopes. Unfortunately he has struggled in the championship and made very little impact when he has had opportunites.
Paul Connolly was one of my favourites to leave the the club, I have always thought he was a weak link in the team. It has been frustrating watching his lack of effort this season. He had chance after chance under Grayson and Warnock... and in all honesty just isn't good enough.
Andy O’Brien has had a tough season, but he is one of our highest earners and has rarely made the bench. A move will probably do him good and revive his career as well as freeing up some wages for new signings.
Below are the players joining Ben Parker and Mika Vayrynen on the list of players not being offered new contracts at the club....
Alex Bruce went from being a first team regular last season to not making the bench under Grayson this term. He has had a few opportunities under Warnock but the manager is clearly keen to move on and bring in fresh faces. To be fair Bruce is a good defender on his day, the problem is that the game after his defending could be comical. The manager wants consistency in his squad and we certainly need it at the back.
Lloyd Sam started his Leeds career brightly but failed to bring that form into this season. He has had opportunities to shine under Warnock, but has failed to make the most of them.
Maik Taylor leaving was a done deal a few months ago when he left to join Millwall on loan. Failed to make a single appearance for us.
Mikael Forssell leaving comes as no shock. A prime example of a poor Grayson signing.
Danny Webber failed to make a huge impact during his short deal at the club, he clearly has some skill but wasted more opportunities than he created.
It has also been announced that Rob Snodgrass, Aidy White, Michael Brown, Ross McCormack, Zac Thompson and Tom Lees either have been or will be offered new deals at the club.
Youth prospects Nathan and Lewis Turner, Sam Byram, Ross Killock, Simon Lenighan, Charlie Clamp and Dominic Poleon have also been offered new deals.
So that’s the clearing of the decks done with a huge amount of players told they are no longer needed at the club. Neil Warnock now needs to live up to his promise of putting together “A team that fans can be proud of”, and I honestly think he will. It promises to be a very busy summer with plenty of new arrivals at the club
Get your check book out Mr Bates….
O'Dea doesn't feature in Warnock's plans
Today it has been announced that another player’s career at Elland Road is over as Neil Warnock continues to clear the decks. The manager has confirmed that Darren O’Dea has played his last game for us and will return to his parent club Celtic, despite the player being available on a free in the summer and wanting to join us.
O’Dea seems to be quite popular among some supporters, although I along with the majority of people don’t think he is consistent enough to signed permanently. There is no doubt that overall his performances have improved under Warnock, but questions still have to be raised about his overall ability. He has been at the centre of quite a few shoddy goals conceded and bad mistakes at the back this season and has looked at best a limited and naive defender. I think if we are to make a serious push for promotion next season, we need a lot better quality and some more experience at the back.
The player appeared to have convinced Warnock that he was worthy of a permanent contract with the manager stating a few weeks ago that he was considering offering him a deal… But his latest sending off appears to have persuaded the boss to look elsewhere for next season. He was clearly unimpressed with the player after the Blackpool game describing his dismissal as “quite deserved and stupid”.
Later when asked if the players poor disciplinary record had influenced his decision to release him, Warnock said: “I don’t think it’s helped. You can’t be having people picking up stupid suspensions. It’s does nobody any good.”
So O’Dea joins Ben Parker and Mika Vayrynen on the list of casualties as Warnock aims to bring success to our club.
Meanwhile, it has been announced that Warnock will be alone in the dugout at Cardiff. His assistants Mick Jones and Ronnie Jepson will be scouting potential new recruits this weekend as the club steps up its attempts to bring in some fresh blood. Warnock is keeping his cards close to his chest, but has promised a busy summer. There will be a few more to leave us yet, and I am looking forward to seeing who will be in our squad come next season.
The re-shape has begun at Elland Road as Neil Warnock prepares to build a promotion chasing squad, it’s no secret that alot of the signings made by his predecessor (Simon Grayson) just aren’t good enough and the majority of us agree that big changes are needed.
Today it has been announced that Ben Parker and Mika Vayrynen have had their contracts terminated at the club. With their current deals due to run out at the end of the season it is clear that Warnock doesn’t want to waste any time and is keen to get cracking, having already confirmed previously that he is close to signing his first summer recruit.
I’ve got to admit that I feel sorry for Parker, a lad from the academy who had a bright future ahead of him, and made an impressive start to his career with us. He has had no luck at all and had so many injuries and so much surgery to try and get right, but time for him has just run out at Elland Road. The fact that he was our longest serving player yet only made 54 appearances (9 as a sub) speaks volumes.
Vayrynen has had similar luck this season, signing on a free in the summer, an experienced international player with a good reputation. He was also known for being very injury prone, and unfortunately that is the only side of him we have seen.
To be fare, these two players been released isn’t a massive shock, we have a large squad with not many good enough to come into the first team and perform. It now remains to be seen who will survive the clearout and mix it with the players that are to be brought in.
Billy Paynter has also come out in the press today stating his desire to remain at Leeds for a third season, following his two goals at the weekend against Peterborough – his first at Elland Road. Warnock though has refused though to rule out the possibility of him leaving.
It is now down to the rest of the squad to prove their worth to the team as Neil Warnock will take no prisoners in his quest to get us back to where we belong, he wants to build a team fit for promotion next season... And I for one can’t wait.
Good luck for the future Ben and Mika.... MOT!
It's fare to say we have had a mixed bag of results recently, with fantastic performances against the likes of Southampton, Middlesbrough and West Ham, followed by one of the most shocking and unexpected results I have ever seen against Nottingham Forest.
It has to be said that the overall performance and effort shown by the players since Warnock's arrival can't be faulted, but the Forest game once again highlighted the weaknesses we still possess in our squad. The manager has now challenged the team to earn their place in next seasons squad, also indicating that he is planning to overhaul the squad during the summer in order to challenge for promotion in his first full season in charge.
Here are my views on who I think will be with us next year and who will be shown the door:
Andy Lonergan: Lonners has generally been good for us this season and has kept us in alot of games, although his command of his area and distribution are sometimes questionable. I think he will be with us next season, but he will have more competition for a place in the team.
Maik Taylor: Has been sent out on loan for the remainder of the season when his contract then expires.. erm.. thanks for the memories
Paul Rachubka: Can't see there been any chance at all of him been with us next season.
Alex Cairns: Looks to have a bright future ahead of him, think he will still be around.
Paul Connolly: In my opinion he just isn't good enough, we need a solid right back to replace him next season.
Paddy Kisnorbo: It's a real shame how this season has turned out for Paddy, just coming back from all that time out and getting sidelined again.. In all honesty he looked to be struggling when he played this season, I'd like him to make a comeback for us, but not sure if he will get another chance with us now.
Alex Bruce: Can't decide with Bruce, maybe good enough to be a squad player.
Andy O'Brien: It doesn't seem like O'Brien has much of a future with us, hasn't had a look in at all under Warnock and is also one of our top earners... I can see him moving on.
Tom Lees: The future of Leeds, and tipped by Warnock to become a top defender.. He will be part of our team for a long time to come (hopefully).
Leigh Bromby: He's a useful player to have in the squad and is well known by the manager, I think he will still be part of our plans
Darren O'Dea: Even though Warnock has brought out the best in O'Dea in recent games, I can't see he has done enough earn a permanent move to Elland Road.
Paul Robinson: He has certainly added some much needed experience to our back line, if he plays more like he did against Boro and West Ham and less like he did against Forest then he might just earn himself a deal with us.
Ben Parker: He has been unlucky over the years and I just can't see him staying with us beyond this season when his contract expires.
Charlie Taylor: Another youngster with a bright future, he will still be with us. (I can remember his debut against Palace at the start of the season and he was impressive.)
Aidan White: Hopefully his contract situation will be sorted out so he can remain with us next season. Would be a shame to lose an academy product just as they are making a mark on the first team.
Danny Pugh: He will probably stay with us and is a useful squad player.
Michael Brown: A few months ago I would have said he will be going, but Warnock knows what he is all about and has certainly brought the best out in him. I reckon we'll get another season from this veteren midfielder.
Lloyd Sam: Sent out on loan to get some games, can see him moving on in the summer.
Adam Clayton: Will be with us next season, and will only get better under Warnock and once we get some more midfielders so he can be rested when needed.
Ramon Nunez: Nunez is a tough one to call, he has a long contract but has failed to make an impression in the championship.. will probably end up going out on loan next season.
Robbie Rogers: Rogers will get the opportunity to show what he can do next season.
Mika Vayrynen: He hasn't done anything during his time with us to show he deserves a place in the team, think he will be gone.
Zac Thompson: He should still be in and around the squad next year, and has shown some promise.
Robert Snodgrass: It is essential that we keep hold of our star man and captain, the thought of losing him is unbearable... If anyone can keep hold of him it's Warnock.
Danny Webber: Signed by Warnock until the end of the season, and has looked quite useful when he has come on. Can see him extending his contract for another season.
Luciano Becchio: He is an important player and at the centre of everything with Warnocks style of play.. He will still be with us.
Ross McCormack: Ross has been good for us this season and is working hard in his new position, I can't see him going anywhere.
Mikael Forssell: He has failed to show any of the quality we have all seen from him in the past, has been a poor signing and I would have thought he'll be moving on.
Billy Paynter: To be fare this league just seems a bit too much of a step up for Billy, think he will probably move on in the summer.
Davide Somma: He has been so unlucky this season, but has been told he has a future at the club by the manager. Will hopefully see more of him next season.
So there's my view of who will stay and who will go. Please add your comments and let us know if you agree or if you would keep/ get rid of certain players... MOT!
What a difference a few weeks can make. The appointment of Neil Warnock has no doubt given us renewed hope, fresh belief and something to smile about again... Some of us even daring to dream of a late push for promotion this season.
For once it seems like Uncle Ken has done right by us and backed up his claims that he wants promotion by bringing in a "proven" manager in this league. There is no doubt that Warnock will not be Bates' puppet and I would have thought he's been assured that he will have some funds to bring in some fresh blood. Especially if his first interview on LUTV was anything to go by, with him stating clearly "There will be times when I will have to tell him (bates) what is best for the club, and he will have to listen."
I must admit I have never been Neil Warnock's biggest fan, and if you would have told me even last season he would now be our manager.. Well I think you can guess what your response would have been. Alot has happened since then though, we have had at best a poor season... A poor and very frustrating season that has seen some of the most appalling and lacklustre performances I have ever witnessed. Once the news broke of Grayson's departure and the likely candidates were touted around the media.. There is no doubt that Warnock was certainly the most qualified man for the job, and I quite fancied him to come in and sort our team out and give them a winning mentality... Like many other Leeds fans though, I didn't think there was a realistic chance of us getting him and expected the chairman to go for someone not even linked with the job, a yes man - or my worst nightmare - Billy 'job done' Davies.
So for once I'll say fare play to Mr Bates for making possibly his best decision during his time at Leeds. If the Doncaster game is anything to go by, when Warnock's intervention helped us come back and win the game 3-2. Then he might just be the right man for us. If he can influence that sort of turnaround even though he was really a spectator in that game, then what's he going to do from the dugout.
The one thing that annoyed me about Grayson's tenure at Leeds was how he always spoke of the pressure of Leeds playing at Elland Road... That to me is crazy and one of the reason's the team performed better in away games, as they actually started to believe that. So instead of Elland Road being a fortress and somewhere teams have always dreaded coming to...Our players were more fearful of playing in front of us than the opposition.
Yes he's ex- Sheffield, and yes he's slated us in the past. But the last man to deliver us the title was ex Sheffield Wednesday manager and now our legend Howard Wilkinson. If anyone can instil a never say die attitude and winning mentality it is him. So why not let the past be in the past, get behind our new manager and the team and make Elland Road a fortress once more.
One of his recent quotes has absolutely delighted me, and it's the one thing we have all been crying out for, for quite a while now... And that is what I will leave you with.
Warnock: “The main thing I can tell the fans is they can come to games knowing the players wearing the Leeds shirt will be willing to run through brick walls for 90 minutes.
“There won’t be anyone putting a Leeds shirt on giving less than 100 per cent for 90 minutes under me, I can promise everyone that.”
That will do for me... MOT!
This game could be make or break for Grayson's Leeds career as we have to see an improved performance from recent dismal and pathetic performances we have witnessed recently. Most Leeds fans could accept a loss if the team worked hard and were well beaten, but in recent games there appears to have been no desire and drive from the players... which is unacceptable.
It will also be interesting to see who plays following the manager's post match interview against Barnsley, when he stated that some of the players in that game had played there last game for Leeds after that showing.
I have seen alot of people questioning Grayson's tactics recently and the fact that when things aren't going our way we don't appear to have a 'plan b' and our subs are always like for like and quite predictable. I have never been anti-Grayson but in all honesty I myself am starting to question certain things. Now is the time when Grayson will show how good (or bad) a manager he is, he has to turn around these poor performances, get the best out of his players and get some points on the board.
One of our problems at the moment is our inabilty to score, which is a first under Grayson - in previous seasons no matter how bad a defence has been, I have always been confident we can out-score any team. One thing that I heard Eddie Gray say after the Burnley game was quite interesting, he said that other than Aidy White every player in the team that day was a "Grayson signing", so he could blame no-one else for that performance, they are his players.
We have one new addition to the team for the Burnley game in Andros Townsend, hopefully he can add a bit of spark to the team and have more of an impact than last season's loanees when we brought in Livermore and Bannan who had little impact in our games.
I really do hope Grayson is able to turn things around, as he seems to genuinely seems to care about the club.. But if things don't start to improve soon the inevitable is bound to happen...
Here's hoping for a much improved performance to give us something to smile about again... MOT!
I like every other football fan am genuinely shocked and gutted by the sad sad news of Gary Speed's passing. He was an absolute Leeds legend and a true professional who always gave his all. He will be sadly missed my many and my thoughts go out to his family in this sad time. I hope Leeds United answer the call from there fans to do something within the club to remember and celebrate the life of a fantastic player and man... MOT!! and Rest In Peace Gary Speed!
So it has come out that Andy O'Brien refused to play for us on Saturday against Burnley and that he no longer wishes to play for our club? There have been a number of reasons being touted about.... A fall out with Grayson?... Due to the stick he has had from fans?.... Because he hasn't been first choice?
I personally think it is too much of a coincidence that his refusal to play for us came just a matter of days after West Ham's reported interest in him. He's had his head turned and is trying to force a move away from the club. This must have been a real kick in the teeth for Simon Grayson who has backed him so publicly recently. He deserved to be dropped at the beginning of the season, as his performances were terrible... He was lucky to get another run in the first team and has blown it!
We should just get shut of him, he has no loyalty, refuses to do the job he gets paid for, and surely him being around at the moment can't be having a positive effect on his team mates and morale in general. I don't actually think we will miss him that much.... We have an outstanding young defender in Tom Lees, who looks a class above the rest and I must say I am suprised that it seems O'Brien would have been preferred if he was willing to play against Burnley. Lees has to be in the team along with Paddy Kisnorbo, who is also getting back to his best with some commanding displays in recent games.... Those two should be our first choice, a really good blend of youth and experience, Lees can only benefit from playing alongside a player like Paddy.
We then have Darren O'Dea on loan for the season, who is steady enough, he can do a job for us and is worth a place on the bench. We then also have Bromby and Bruce waiting in the wings, when Bromby plays, he always looks quite solid and never makes any major mistakes (unlike OB), not sure what the situation with Bruce is. My point being we are hardly lightweight in O'Brien's position, so the sooner the man gets out of our club the better... We don't need him...
Finally onto the Burnley game.... Well it wasn't pretty for much of the game, but we dug in, kept working and managed to get the result we needed. To not play anywhere near our best and still come away with three points can only be a good thing, Mccarthy deserves alot of praise for the result, as he kept us in the game when we looked like conceding a handful of goals. Lloyd Sam loked lively and played well throughout and now surely deserves a good run in the team. I also thought Nunez did well when he came on, clearing up a few loose balls and making some decent passes to help drive the team on... and of course Snoddy who was quiet at times but came up with what we needed in the last 13 minutes of the game.. and it was nice to see how much it meant to him to score those goals in front of the travelling support, he is the sort of player we want at our club!
We have a few tough games coming up now, Barnsley, Forest, and Millwall... We can beat anyone though, and I'm sure we will get some good results in the coming weeks and push for automatic promotion..... MOT!!
So, Mr Bates has again come out in the media to criticise somebody within the club. In recent times he has had a go at players before they left the club i.e. Johnson, Kilkenny and Schmeichel. He has also criticised the clubs supporters, infamously calling us 'morons'.
It seems now that his latest target is the team and more notably Simon Grayson. Today he has come out and stated clearly that 7th in the league is not good enough, our performances have not been good enough and we have given results away rather than the opposition earning the win.
I don't know if it's just me, but upon reading his statements it seems like he is publicly putting pressure on Grayson to get better results as in his words we should be in a 'loftier position with a higher points tally'.
It does seem quite rich from a man that has failed to invest very much in the team to bring in the quality and show more ambition to get the club promoted, as well as been unwilling to negotiate above anything but his terms with current players in the team.
This latest rant does imply that he will not be willing to put up with recent performances much longer. Which makes me wonder if Grayson has had the backing of him at all this season? After just missing out on a play off position last season (quite an achievement in our first season back in this league), you would have expected that we would have built on what we had. Instead, we lost some of our better performers and have only been able to bring in free transfers and loans to replace them... Andy Lonergan being the exception. We have been extremely fortunate that some of our younger players already at the club have stepped up this season, otherwise it could have been a very different season.
I do think it is very unfair and unhelpful of Bates to come out publicly and undermine everything that the manager, coaching staff and players are trying to acheive with seemingly limited resources. Personally I think we are doing ok in what is a very tough league, and Grayson is doing a very good job with what he has at his disposal.
We know only too well what happens when a chairman tries to cover his own back by putting pressure on the manager. I remember a certain Mr Ridsdale sacking O'Leary when we were 6th in the league... And we all know how that turned out with a succession of poor appointments to follow and the rest is history....
Bates needs to get back in his box, stop mouthing off in the media as often as he does and back our manager who has got us this far and clearly loves the club. If he feels so strongly about us finishing higher than last season and trying to gain promotion.... Then why not INVEST IN THE TEAM and stop bad mouthing the players, management, and fans at every opportunity...... MOT!!!
A hard earned and much needed 3 points were earned yesterday at the King Power Stadium. Leeds had a point to prove after a poor display against Blackpool and bounced back as we always do.
First of all it has to be said that Clayton's strike was absolutely amazing, a joy to watch... But one of the most pleasing and maybe suprising things was our display at the back. Our two centre backs in particular were very impressive.
Both Andy O'Brien and Paddy Kisnorbo have had a lot of stick this season, but it has to be said that they both looked extremely solid yesterday and put in a good shift, with their experience shining through as they limited Leicester and broke up just about every attack.
The question is now, will that leave Grayson with a dilemma? Can you drop two players that performed so well?
For me Tom Lees has to be in the team, he has been fantastic so far this season, particularly when he moved over to his natural position. So that leaves Darren O'Dea, who has been reasonably solid, although some of his clearances, positioning and passing have been questionable. To be honest, a fully fit Kisnorbo that is getting back to his best, in my opinion should start in front of him every time.
Howson is still playing below his usual standard, there are lots of possible scenarios as to why that may be... Some people say its because his head is elsewhere and is after a move, some that he isn't playing in his favoured position. But the problem is, when you have a captain that is not vocal and his qualities are supposed to be that he leads by example (which he certainly isn't at the moment), what is he actually bringing to the team currently?
I have always been a fan of Howson, but I have to admit that his recent form is worrying, and maybe it would be better for the team to give someone else a game, Vayrynen and Brown are waiting in the wings and must be wondering what it will take to get a chance. I would also like Sam to get more of a chance, who's pace and skill always seems to cause problems to the opposition when he does come on.
We can now look forward to our next game, away to Burnley and think we should be able to come away with another three points. For those of you that don't know, the game is due to be screened live on BBC on Sat 19th Nov, 12.45 kick off.
Please feel free to comment on this blog, cheers... MOT!!!
Editor of the site, life long Leeds fan and regular to games. Always has an opinion on everything to do with the club, and not frightened to express it. Love Leeds through ups and downs... MOT!!!!!