By Keith Ingham
I remember the first time I heard the name David Hockaday being mentioned as the possible replacement for Brian McDermott. When I looked on the Wikipedia site it gave details of his career as a right back at several lower league teams and some of the posts he had held in coaching roles at Watford and Southampton. His only managerial role was at Forest Green Rovers and that ended badly. He got the sack.
Surely this man wasn't going to take the seat of one of the most expectant teams in football, in June we found out he was and the outburst of negativity in his appointment was never seen on social media. Imagine if Twitter has been going when Clough replaced the late great Don Revie another appointment that was made by the club against public opinion. Clough at least had a league championship winning team in his last job.
The owner Massimo Cellino had always said he'd do it his way and the press conference to announce the appointment of Hockaday and Lurch, sorry Lewis was more a PA vessel for Cellino as both Hock and Lewis sat nervously through it, occasionally smiling at the cameras and looking like children who had been lost at a supermarket. This is Massimo's way and to be certain we better get used to it. Captain of the ship and all that.
It started ok, in fact positive pre season but come the competitive games a lot of holes were shown in Hockaday's team. Beaten at Millwall, Watford and Bradford in the Capital One cup on their travels and a defeat at home to Brighton, the only two wins were Accrington Stanley in the cup and a late win versus Middlesborough. It may to outsiders seem that six games and seventy days is not a fair time to give anybody time to assess how they are doing, especially when the new players coming in have been picked by the President not by him.
I think the main thing against him was his lack of experience in one of the most competitive leagues in world football. There is no doubt in my mind that Cellino will have to relinquish control of the transfers into the club if he has any chance of recruiting a manager with that experience. I cannot see anybody in the English league that would allow the kind of control he had over Hockaday.
This season we really hoped that a move in the right direction could be achieved but it seems the club although financially on a better footing since GFH, the headlines are still dominated by off field events. Mr Massimo Cellino I urge you to engage fans in your choice of the next inhabitant of one of the hardest jobs in football. Let's all hope the choice of the President is a far better one that has just left.
Lastly, the most sorry thing about all this is that Hockaday will now be mentioned in articles on Leeds United managers. Whatever we say he is now in the list that contains legends like Don Revie, Billy Bremner and Howard Wilkinson and can look back at his track suit top and say I did that.
Over to you Massimo.
On On On