By Steve Barras
I am becoming a little frustrated with the lack of Takeover/ Investment talk coming out of Elland Road. Despite all the rumours that are circulating among Leeds fans on Social Networking Sites about the supposed takeover, nothing concrete has appeared but Leeds are still buying players which brings forth more suppositions and basic guesswork.
I was taking a trip down memory lane the other day and I wondered what the team of 1991/1992 championship season were doing now? Here is what I found out.
After Lukic left Leeds in 1996 for Arsenal he made fifteen appearances over five years for their first team. He hung his boots up in 2001 and is now working as a freelance goalkeeping coach and also tours the country as an after-dinner speaker.
Day left Leeds the season following the championship triumph and signed for Carlisle United. He made sixteen appearances and retired the following season taking over the managerial reigns at Carlisle. After leading the team to a second division title and a football league trophy he subsequently fell out with his chairman and was replaced as manager. He then went on to join Alan Curbishley at Charlton Athletic and followed him to West Ham. In July 2010 he re-joined Leeds as a Chief Scout alongside Gwyn Williams but resigned in March 2012 he currently works as a co-commentator on ESPN’s coverage of the Bundesliga.
Dorigo left Leeds in 1997 and played for Torino, Derby County and Stoke City before retiring in 2001. Since retiring he has worked for various T.V and Radio stations covering Leeds’ league exploits but now works for Al-Jazeera and ESPN covering La Liga, Serie A and Internationals.
Fairclough left Leeds in 1995 and played for Bolton, Notts County and York City before retiring in 2001. He then moved to Nottingham and worked for Notts Forest as a first team coach until the departure of Billy Davies in 2011. He now works as an u16/u18 Professional Development Phase Coach at Charlton Athletic.
Kelly played for Leeds his entire career amassing four hundred and thirty appearances before he retired from the professional game in 2007. He went on to play Amateur football in his homeland signing for Drogheda Town in 2010.
After leaving Leeds in 1992 he went on to play for a whole host of clubs the most notable being Notts County and Watford. After hanging his boots up in 1997. Also notable was the fact that he was Player Manager at St Johnstone the season after leaving Leeds but didn’t become a manager after retirement; he can now be found giving stadium tours at Elland Road.
Newsome left Leeds in 1994 and went on to play for Norwich, Sheff Weds and Bolton before retiring because of injury in 2000. Newsome then briefly worked as a scout for Grimsby Town but now owns AutoMarques; a Sheffield based car sales company.
Wetherall left Leeds for fellow Yorkshire side Bradford in 1999. He retired in 2008 and spent the next few years with various roles at Bradford including Interim Manager, when he left in 2011 he left the position of Youth Team Manager to become the Head of Youth Development with The Football League.
Whyte left Leeds in 1993 and played for an incredible ten more teams before retiring with Finnish third tier club HyPS. He now attends various functions for his various ex-clubs.
Batty left Leeds in 1993 and had stints at Blackburn and Newcastle before returning to Leeds in 1998. He retired at Leeds in 2004. Since his retirement he has featured in ‘The Match’ alongside other ex-professionals at St James Park. He has also featured in several advertising campaigns for Cancer Research.
Hodge left Leeds in 1994 for Q.P.R, he also had spells with Watford and Leyton Orient before retiring in 1998. Hodge along with other ex-professionals travelled to Iran to give a week long coaching course and is now coaching Notts Forest under 14’s.
McAllister left Leeds in 1996 and had spells with Coventry and Liverpool before hanging up his boots in 2004. McAllister is currently unemployed after spells as manager at Coventry (2002-2004), Leeds (2008) and as assistant manager at Aston Villa (2010-2011).
Speed left Leeds in 1996 and had spells at four clubs including boyhood heroes Everton before retiring in 2010 at the age of forty-one. He became a coach at his last club Sheff Utd. Speed was announced as manager of Sheff Utd in August 2010 but left the club in December to become the manager of his native Wales. Speed was found at his home in Wales in November 2011, he had tragically taken his own life.
Strachan left Leeds in 1995 for Coventry and he retired two years later. He became manager of Coventry (1996-2001), Southampton (2001-2004), Celtic (2005-2009) and Middlesbrough (2009-2010) but is currently working on the BBC’s coverage of The F.A Cup.
Tinkler left Leeds in 1997 and had spells at five other clubs before retiring in 2009. He is currently employed as an Academy coach at Middlesbrough.
Cantona left Leeds for fierce rivals Man Utd in 1992 and retired in 1997. Since his retirement he has featured in many television advertisements for Nike. He focused his later career in French films making many films. He currently is Director of Soccer at New York Cosmos.
Chapman left Leeds in 1993 and amassed appearances at six other clubs including a brief loan back to Elland Road. He retired in 1996 and is currently enjoying family life.
Shutt left Leeds in 1996 and played for six other clubs before retiring in 2005. He has since had managerial stints in non-league football with Kettering Town and Bradford Park Avenue.
Wallace left Leeds in 1998 and went on to play for Rangers, Bolton and Gillingham before retiring in 2004. He has spent time coaching at Kingstonian and Molesley but is currently coaching at Epsom and Ewell.
By K.G Bailey
A few days has passed now since the transfer of Snods to Norwich. The dust hasn’t yet settled, but is this as bad as some Leeds fans believe it is?
I think back to when our 1992 winning midfield was slowly dismantled, or in more recent times when players like Rio Ferdinand, Jon Woodgate, Lee Bowyer, Harry Kewell, O Dacourt, Mark Viduka all had to leave because of the financial position of the club. Those were hard times & really disheartening to see these players at their peak or just approaching it leave, on the cheap.
The last few years we have lost a key player per year, but we didn’t have investment (still pending) coming in & we didn’t have Neil Warnock who will know how to replace Snods.
Of course we should have added around Snods, but it was clear from his body language & interviews after his transfer to Norwich that he wanted to go & play in the premier league, a move I don’t begrudge him as he did reject it last year. I’m not downplaying Snods' talent, he was the best at Championship level, but in Warnock we have a manager who knows what to buy to get out of this league.
In his previous promotions his teams haven’t played Barca football, but they have been solid and real tough to beat which you can see he’s building right now at Elland Road & he has players who really want to play at ER & have something to prove.
If Snods had stayed would it have been right to keep someone who would have moped about? Not at all. The players here now want to do their best & want to give everything to get promoted.
Keep the faith. This WILL be a great year. MOT.
By Kim Bjerregaard
After weeks, months and even years of speculation, Robert Snodgrass called time on his Leeds spell exactly four years after Gary McAllister signed him from lowly Scottish side Livingston.
Snoddy was part of our promotion team from 2009/10 and became our best and most important player in our years in the Championship and even Stayed after we lost his buddies Beckford, Bradley Johnson, Gradel and Howson.
Norwich were sniffing about last summer and a £7-8M move seemed imminent, instead Leeds sold influential winger/forward Maxi Gradel for £2m and later local hero Morley boy Jonny Howson for about the same amount. I now wonder whether the smart thing would have been to sell Snoddy and use the £7m on extending Maxi and Jonny’s contracts? Both stated they wanted to stay, but for class players you pay a price in salary, something Ken Bates is yet to learn.
So instead we opted to wait until three weeks before our first game to lose our captain and best player, we all knew he'd leave I suspect, so why not get it over with in May and use the fee on some targets we originally had? E.g. Portsmouth player Joel Ward.
Now NW is forced to buy his "second choices" and while also being in the dark over our supposed takeover I understand if he’s getting a bit sick of things, to his credit he seems pretty confident of our chances however! But selling class players who could do a job for us in the Premier League and replacing them with 30+ year olds for that record breaking promotion is hardly the way to build for LUFC's future.
I do however understand Snoddy, I can’t see us becoming more the play- off contenders at best and he wants/ deserves football at the highest level - the loyalty seen by Revie’s team is not around anymore, especially not if you are in the second tier of English football and are gifted with a bit if talent.
By Andy Gregory
There are alot of mixed feelings regarding Leeds' preparations for this coming season, with alot of the headlines being dominated by the potential takeover of the club. Personally I've given up contemplating what could happen with the takeover that has dragged on for so long, when and if it happens we can all get excited..
The new season is approaching fast and all I'm interested in is how the squad is shaping up, and looking forward to kick- off. So far, I think Warnock is doing an excellent job in building a squad with his hands tied and after a slow start to this summer's recruitment drive, the two area's that have needed addressing most for the last few seasons finally seem to be sorted.
It's been known for a long time by the fans and anyone who plays us that our defence has been poor, even shambolic and the midfield even before Norwich bought them all has been to easily over- run too many times.
Not everyone is over the moon about some signings, but surely anyone can see that having the choice of Green, Austin, Norris and Brown is a massive improvement on having just Brown, Clayton and sometimes even Pugh in the centre of the park. The same can be said about our defence, we haven't had a settled back four in years and the prospect of having Drury, Pearce, Lees and possibly Peltier at the back to me signals a massive improvement and a solid spine to the team.
Kenny is also an excellent signing, a premiership keeper with experience of getting out of this league. He will also be good to have around the squad, he knows what to expect from Warnock and what the manager wants from the players. It must be a good for the other players to have someone who know's what it's all about and what is expected from day one.
We need a few flare players and a proven goal scorer now, but at least we have a strong foundation to build on. It is obviously a blow to lose Snodgrass, but he isn't irreplaceable. As much as he has been good for us during the last four years, in a season where we want to gain promotion, we don't need unsettled players that by the manager's own admission "Have had their head turned". We need 100% committed players focused on getting us up. Hopefully the funds from Snoddy's sale will now be used to buy the remaining few players we need
I personally feel we are in a better position with a stronger squad than we have had for quite some time and a manager that knows how to get out of this league. He is still working on bringing in "The crucial players", so lets sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. I may be wrong but I for one believe this time next season we will be looking forward to Premiership football.... MOT!
By Adam Walker
One of the few things that is predictable about Leeds United is the stuffy lethargy of the summer months. More generally, the pattern of resigned, defeatist behaviour the Club have shown in transfer window after transfer window, turning us into a pushover and laughing stock in the eyes of no-marks from East Anglia.
Typically, the last fixture ends; 'kicking on next season' is the talk of the manager's office; the players, agents, managers and tea ladies apparently render the entire sport comatose by taking a two-week holiday; the players return and pictures are taken of them hard at work on the training pitch in their psychedelic (psychopathic?) Macron gear; subsequently players with real potential are sold with a shrug of the shoulders, and dead-end journeymen are brought in to replace them, Shaun Harvey likely cooing about how he's 'maximised resources in an effective fashion to secure future income streams for the Club'.
But the current board at United cannot sustain their dying grip on those resources for much longer. For seven years, they have chopped, changed, whinged, planned, constructed, made excuses, litigated, whinged some more and, ultimately, failed to deliver progress on the football pitch. Supporters Trust Chairman Gary Cooper's suggestion that the Snodgrass sale is partly their doing is a very worrying sign indeed. How many more outward transfers can they still influence? How soon before they are willing to sign the papers which confirm their departure so Sheikh Abdulrahman and his merry men can finally be ushered in?
Aside from that easily-detected worry, though, is a deeper-seated threat. When Neil Warnock rolled into Elland Road, a giddy excitement gripped the fanbase. Gone were the apparently wishy-washy tactics of the Grayson days, and in would come solid defending and... more solid defending. The fact of the matter is that Warnock's team failed to score enough goals last season, and we regressed on Grayson's hard-fought position three points from the playoffs (incidentally, the same distance we'd reached in a season where Gradel, Johnson, Howson and Kilkenny had populated our midfield before they were snatched away). When Warnock arrived, we went from an attacking extreme to a defensive extreme. Foolishly, I suggest, because the midfield was severely weakened.
Is it being strengthed now as a matter of priority? Signings are being made there, but to me, it's a step too far to say that Rodolph Austin and Paul Green count as a strengthening. Paul Green is by all accounts the Yorkshire-born equivalent of Danny Pugh, and Austin, while he leaves Bergen with rave reviews, is still unproven in a truly competitive division and is middle-aged for a footballer. David Norris is another midfielder we have signed to bolster our midfield to give Neil Warnock more options.The common link between these players is that they're known as try-hards who can look after themselves.
I love the idea and legend of Dirty Leeds as much as anyone. You don't have to have watched the Revie side to know it's still a tradition strongly associated with the club - the persistent topping of the fouling charts by Lee Bowyer at the turn of the Millennium; the bottom and penultimate placing of Leeds in the fair play table over the last two seasons under Simon Grayson; the iconic status of Paddy Kisnorbo sporting the bloodied headband; the tackle from Michael Brown which put an end to the fragile Jacob Butterfield's season on that dreadful January day at Oakwell; Paul Connolly stating how he thrived on the atmosphere after his and Paul Robinson's 'smashing' of opposition players.
But Dirty Leeds aren't just dirty. There's more to it than that. Norman Hunter won Football Writers' Player of the Year award. Johnny Giles was a revered talent around the globe. Bowyer played in a team full of talent, with playmakers like Olivier Dacourt and Harry Kewell (spit), the wily Viduka, the cultured Harte and the pin-point tackling of Radebe. Kisnorbo played alongside Beckford, an undoubted talent when he can find his way to the ball. Brown played alongside Snodgrass - the Championship's second-top assistant last season, and Adam Clayton, a touch of class for much of the season before he was unwisely elected as the resident holding-role enforcer. Rodolph Austin could have been excellent foil for a dynamic pass-merchant like Clayton to work his magic and drive the five-man midfield forwards. And it's with Snodgrass and Clayton's exits that the threat of Warnockism once again sets off the mental alarm bells.
In the BBC's Leeds United - The Glory Years, probably the video which was responsible for drawing many younger fans' attention further than just the contemporary Leeds side and into the truly rich history of our club, John Motson hails 'Leeds United's footballing A,B, C: Arrogance, Belligerence, and Confidence'. Neil Warnock will provide the first two, there's no doubting that, but a tripod without its third leg cannot stand.
The departure of Snodgrass and Clayton and their respective replacements - Varney, and Green/Norris - does not represent progress. Unless this essential void of creative talent and true potential is filled, the class of the Leeds fanbase will not have been truly rewarded in kind with class on the pitch. It doesn't need to be spelt out how Leeds fans will react if they feel they've been fleeced. Another season of mediocre, defensive drudgery will simply not do. The playoffs are the minimum expectation of one of Europe's great all-time clubs, and rightly so. And they can only be achieved with a proper balance between defence and attack - a balance which must be present in the core of midfield, the beating heart of any good football team. This is how the final rung of that footballing ladder - Confidence - will be scaled.
Announce the new owners and their statements of intent, sign at least three genuinely talented players who can drive Leeds to promotion and beyond, and listen to the fans' proposals via the excellent representatives we have at LUST. Three simple steps which would truly enrichen the Club if they decided to act. The choice is theirs.
By Mark Rasdall
Norwich City may have the nickname of Canaries but they're cuckoos really. They have built a nest in the eaves of the once mighty Elland Road stadium and displaced two of our best players of recent times: Jonny Howson and now Robert Snodgrass.
Norwich will hope to nurture those players to bigger and brighter things while the cobwebs hang and the dust settles yet again on what might have been at Leeds United.
I saw Jonny's first ever league goal at Carrow Road and witnessed some fantastic strikes from Robert - those at the Cities of Bristol and Coventry stand out particularly. It would have been great to keep them and Max Gradel and Adam Clayton in a midfield that once competed so well for us in the Championship.
What we must not forget, though, is that football remains a team game and the coaching and tactical nous of Neil Warnock and his team should not be rubbished until it has failed. Neither Robert nor Jonny felt they had the time to see through the experiment - whether under new owners or not - and that is entirely their choice. Most professional footballers will never have the passion for their clubs that we ordinary fans share.
We must also not forget that each of these players were forgettable during long periods of lots of games. Robert often looked unfit to me or merely exhausted for much of the time. I was minded of Tony Currie, years ago, who, had he run much more slowly would have stopped completely. Of course we remember Tony's amazing talent before he chose to leave and we must do the same with Robert now.
We have to march on and, no, I can't see where this team re-building is heading either at the moment; however, let's hope we will bypass Norfolk altogether, like so much of the rest of the country does.
By Keith Ingham
With the imminent arrival of both 'Chuck' Norris and 'Battleship' Austin it has to be asked if the players brought in will adequately replace the club's captain who joined Leeds United old boys, formally known as Norwich City.
Of the players signed I see promise in Kenny, Pearce, Green and Austin but the rest are really squad bolsters and no more. If I were Colin the loss of a game changer could be the last straw unless the cash from his (Snodgrass) sale is ALL made available for the headline signing we really need.
Beckford for me is the one most Leeds fans are hoping comes in, a proven goalscorer in his days at the club and somebody who clearly understands the fans wishes of challenging for the Premier League. If his services can be acquired then the loss of another star player might be forgotten but not forgiven as in my opinion you keep your best players and build around them.
One thing I cannot see is Leeds attracting 30,000+ with the squad Colin has assembled for the 2012/13 season so far.
By Keith Ingham
Well we knew it was on the cards so it's not really a surprise when the offer was accepted. I for one never expected Leeds to be lining up in the 2012/13 season with Snodgrass but I think the way the supposed takeover has been handled has not helped Colin try to persuade him to extend his contract or stay till Christmas, when the manager said if the club weren't challenging for Promotion he would himself find him a top flight team for Snods to sign for.
I applaud the manager for his efforts but you can't keep a player who without doubt has had his head turned by other players leaving (Howson, Johnson, Beckford and Max) and failed promises in the last eighteen months.
The blame for players leaving is left at the door of the elderly man who has ruined our club because he allowed players contracts to run down without offering deals to keep them. In football players will come and go but the name on the back of the shirt should never overshadow the badge on the front.
We wish Robert all the best and thank him for four years of service.