By Keith Ingham
Everybody who has read my blogs of late will find it not a surprise that doubts are still in my mind about the merits of our first team 'coach' David Hockaday and his assistant Junior Lewis. The pre-season so far has given glimpses of the man that was surprisingly given the job by Massimo Cellino, or the 'President' as David calls him. Probably in private it's more like 'Sir' as we all know who's calling the shots in Leeds 11.
First, even myself was slightly pleased that everybody within the squad would be given a chance to prove themselves to the new regime and the 'feel good' factor was mentioned by the BBC's Leeds United commentator Adam Pope, Noel Hunt, Steve Morison and David Norris some of the players mentioned by fans in Italy as improving their chances of first team action with improved attitudes to training. We even beat a 'team' 16-0 during our stay in Italy and a Leeds 'Golds' beat Leeds 'Whites' 3-1, Morison among the goals in both games. The game played amongst the squad because the opposition failed to turn up at the fixture.
Most apart from somebody rumoured to be within the inner sanctums who kept letting little bits of 'gossip' find it's way on to Twitter seemed to be swaying into the Hockaday's way of thinking but two less than impressive friendly games against Guiseley and Mansfield Town, the later being a 2-0 defeat raised more than a few eyebrows. Yes, before it's said they are games that are meant to establish fitness first but anybody present must be concerned the lazy way Morison gifted them their first goal with a pass back from nearly the halfway line that Hearn seized on and was brought down by Silvestri to give a penalty away. It was nearly as bad for their second when Lees jumped under a ball to gift Hearn his second. It was a poor performance without doubt, even if it was a friendly.
The concerning thing for me was not just the performance and lack of effort put in by the players for just short of a thousand fans who paid good money to see them, it was the post match interview when Hockaday said it was Leeds who were the more positive team in the game and apart from 'individual' errors that cost us the goals, he was pleased with the side and they "we're on the right lines" as the season approached. From the reports I've read I'm not the only one that was concerned with his remarks to YEP journalist Phil Hay. I think even Mr Hay was surprised with them too.
It's a massive season in front of this once mighty club and some positive movement is a must as three seasons of mediocrity have tested even the most loyal of fans. It's a very expensive pleasure following Leeds United, indeed football in general and with people's pockets already stretched, another anonymous start to 2014/15 could show itself at the size of the club crowds.
This watcher from the North East corner of Elland Road, although excited as I always am coming up to August have grave reservations about the ability of Hockaday and Lewis to turn Leeds into anything close to resemble a team that can end more than a few poor seasons.
On On On.