By Andy Gregory
Name: Steve Dutton
Tell us a bit about yourself: I'm a 49 year old currently living in East Anglia but working in London as a Lloyds’ Broker looking after UK business development. Married with 4 kids, two of which have been indoctrinated in the ways of Leeds United, and more pets than I can shake a stick at.
How long have you supported Leeds? I’ve been a supporter of Leeds since the age of 4 attending my first game at the age of 6.
What is your favourite memory?
Winning the Championship under Howard Wilkinson against all expectation. I was a season ticket holder in those days so it meant that much more. The glory years under Revie were fantastic but THAT Leeds United team was generally considered to be the best in the country if not Europe at that time.
Favourite player past and present?
Peter Lorimer was my schoolboy hero but the whole team was something special. Present? Ross McCormack.
If you could bring one player from any era back to the club, who would it be and why?
Billy Bremner. The best general we’ve ever had and he wouldn’t tolerate the mediocre performances that we’ve grown accustomed to of late. He’d take the team by the scruff of the neck and give them a right old kick where the sun don’t shine.
Best goal scored by a Leeds player?
There’s been so many but the stand out goal for me was Allan Clarke in the FA Cup final in 1972. We’d been the bridesmaids a couple of times and the goal gave us the missing piece of domestic silverware and me bragging rights in the playground a few days later. (I won’t mention the Wolves’ result though….)
What would you say are the proudest and worse moments in Leeds’ history?
Immense pride from winning the Championship under Wilkinson, many will say that the team from the wrong side of the Pennines threw it away but we played well for most of the season and had one of the best midfields since the Revie days. The worst? The incidents in Turkey left a bitter taste and puts football into perspective. Going into administration the week after Bates told us everything was fine was
another unfortunate memory.
How would you sum this season?
A wasted opportunity.
Which player has impressed you most this season? Sam Byram, one of the few players that could look back on this season with a sense of pride.
Which player have you been least impressed with?
So many to choose from…… Pearce for his underwhelming performances after such an impressive (off the field) build up.
How would you describe our current team?
Mediocre lacking in any creativity or commitment.
What are your thoughts on our new owners GFH?
I think that they have come into Leeds United wide eyed and not entirely understanding of the fans’ expectations or the task ahead of them. Retaining Bates was a huge mistake as indeed was their courting of the Leeds’ faithful promising much and then going very quiet after the “takeover” was completed. They are clearly in it for the money and I fear that investment in the playing stock will be similar to that under Bates.
Where do you think we will finish this season?
If we achieve a better position than last season I will be surprised. Mid-table.
What is your view on Neil Warnock’s time at Leeds?
Truly awful. Brought in to get the best out of a squad that was just out of the play-off positions, he turned the team into relegation fodder. We lost more quality under his tenure and the style of play is the worse I’ve ever seen at Leeds United. His practice of slating players in public is abhorrent and unacceptable as indeed was the touting of Becchio leading up to his inevitable sale. Telling us that he’s doing a great job and that we are having a great season sums him up.
Should he remain with us until the end of the season?
Yes, only because I can’t see a manager of any real quality wanting to take this club on at the current moment in time. This is Warnock’s squad and he should have the task until the end of the season. Sacking him now just gives him the chance to say he’d have got promotion had he stayed.
Who would you like to replace him?
Gus Poyet. I can dream…… Good attacking style of play and he knows Leeds United. I wouldn’t say that Brighton have a better squad than Leeds United but he certainly gets the best out of them.
Which game are you most looking forward to this season?
On a personal level the Ipswich Town game as my brother-in-law and father-in-law are both Tractor Boys as indeed are a few of my friends. On a football basis, the last game of the season. The sooner this season ends the better.
Score prediction for the Millwall and Leicester games?
Leeds to beat Millwall 2-1, Leeds to draw with Leicester 2-2. Ever the optimist……..
What team would you put out against Millwall?
Ashdown – Byram, Peltier, Lees, Warnock – Green, Norris, Tonge, Diouf – McCormack, Morison (We’ve not got any other strikers….)
Anything else you would like to add?
The season was very much over before it began in my opinion. The club needs to invest more in the playing stock if we are truly going to get promoted again. I’d be happy to see a three year strategy that saw more youth coming through the system combined with some good experienced professionals rather than some of the journeymen that we have on board at the moment. We need a younger manager but I fear anyone of quality will steer clear of Leeds United whilst the financial uncertainties remain. GFH need to shape up or ship out. Less rhetoric more action please.
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