By Keith Ingham
It seems as though I've been doing blogs on weallloveleeds for a while now, some might even say I should stop but I won't, as long as there's a site and a story I'll do my best to inform, invite debate and give my views on it. So this season I'm trying something different, each month I'll be doing my look on the month just past. So here's my look on what has happened since the end of the season.
We knew that as soon as Massimo Cellino arrived this would be a roller coaster that might take us anywhere, he's that type of man. Never before has Leeds 11 seen the likes of him in the boardroom. He is enigmatic and never does an interview without raising a point that should be discussed. In his last he said the club was virtually debt free after Bates and twelve months of carnage done by Haigh, Patel and the rest. I'd love to see the figures with a accountant as I think Cellino still talks a good game but only time and the clubs accounts will show if this is true.
He also said that the money we acquired for our number 44 would be spent before November on getting the ground back from whoever owns it, with a separate amount, rumoured to be fifteen million pounds put aside for this transfer window but as I write only five players have arrived, two keepers Silvestri and Taylor and Bianchi, Doukara and Berardi the outfield ones. The main problem I see still is who within the squad will get the goals. Smith, Morison and Poleon are the only fit strikers and one of those seems uninterested with playing for the club. The main priority must be a recognised goalscorer and those cost. Whether Cellino is prepared to pay a large amount for one is still to be seen, if his Calgari days are to go by I doubt he will and that would be his second mistake, his first in my opinion was appointing Hockaday.
I've tried as hard as possible to like or even understand our new coach David Hockaday but alas I can't. The early signs were a little positive with the group coming back from Italy in a upbeat mood, this has changed since arrival back in Leeds. The squad I remind everybody has lost quite a few players due to players leaving at the end of their contracts. Paul Green to Rotherham and Luke Varney making his loan move permanent at Blackburn, just two who are finding pastures new away from Elland Road. Paddy Kenny has also been 'frozen' out of the squad, due to him having either the wrong birthday number or the simple fact he returned pre-season overweight.
This left Hockaday with the bulk of last seasons team to select teams from for the games versus Guiseley, Mansfield and Chesterfield. In these games none have filled the supporters watching with a lot of hope for the season. A win, a miserable performance and a lucky draw is pretty poor even if these games are 'run outs'. The players selected seem out of sorts and the problem of conceding sloppy goals is still there. You would think that the first priority of a coach would be to stop this and build from the back. Yes he can only work with what he has but surely it's not that hard to teach a player to mark a man in a game.
His interviews after have also raised more than a few eyebrows, as he sees the squad well on course for the first fixture versus Millwall. He said that the team picked versus Chesterfield was about the best he could select at the moment but only one of the signings bought this summer started, the others came on as second half substitutes. He comes across as somebody who is making it up as he goes along and I'm still wondering if his assistant has got a voice. There seems a growing unease of the 'coach' and his methods seem very non league, I'm not knocking people who operate in this league but the Championship is a world away from that standard of coaching.
Nobody who has seen the team play can be confident as it stands, we seem short of a centre back, one or even two wingers and somebody to be a playmaker in midfield. I've already mentioned the need for a proven goalscorer. I'm concerned without these recruits the season could be a long one. I just don't think the current squad is good enough to even better the last two seasons league place and could indeed struggle.
The fans are waiting Mr Cellino please don't be another that let's them down.
See you next month
On On On.