By Josh Grainger
Creativity is a key feature of any good footballing side. You just have to look at any successful team, for instance Barcelona or that lot from over the Pennines and at the heart of their side is a Messi or Rooney, someone who consistently creates chances which inevitably can prove to win matches. This “creative” role is very different to a goal scorer, after all Luciano Becchio was prolific in front of goal for Leeds however how many games did you leave thinking ‘Wow Becchio created a host of chances today”. Football can be a selfish game, like parts of life; someone does all the work only for someone else to steal the reward, welcome to the life of the creative one.
In Leeds’ current squad, particularly last season, the one thing Leeds really lacked was creativity, the only two who could really provide this, were El-Hadji Diouf and Ross McCormack. Diouf clearly had the quality but at the age of thirty two, the pace was evidently lacking. McCormack on the other hand seemed to have everything Diouf did, as well as energy and excitement, therefore it should come as no surprise when bids of around £2million surface for the Scot.
Leeds have made a fairly promising start to this season, at the heart of it stands the twenty six year old. Hitting the net twice in three matches, McCormack has proved his creativity isn’t his only asset as we found out a few seasons ago, when McCormack bagged himself nineteen goals, finishing as Leeds’ top scorer. In a season hampered by injury, Ross only hit the net five times last season, however made up for it finishing only behind Tom Ince in the Championship’s assists chart. It became apparent in pre-season that Leeds manager Brian McDermott saw McCormack more as an attacking midfielder rather than an out and out striker. The former Cardiff man’s ‘busy’ and ‘enthusiastic’ approach suits this role and this can be seen in McCormack’s performances so far this season.
Roughly two weeks ago, rumours surfaced that McCormack was the subject of a seven figure transfer bid from Blackpool, the club and McCormack himself were quick to shrug off the possibility of a move away, only for Middlesbrough to join the hunt. Roughly a week after the Blackpool rumour, it was announced that Tony Mowbray had placed another seven figure bid for United’s favourite. Leeds quickly rejected the bid, only for Boro to try again, only to face more rejection. In the last few days it has become apparent that Middlesbrough have made a final attempt to bring the Scottish international to the Riverside, by placing a bid believed to be around £2million.
McDermott was quick to comment on the speculation, announcing there was truth behind it, however Leeds were not wanting to sell McCormack and McCormack did not want to be sold, in fact the Yorkshire club were even looking to offer McCormack an improved contract. Rumours last night circled the internet that Leeds has given in to Middlesbrough’s efforts and that McCormack would be on his way to the North East. No comment from the club as of yet has quashed these rumours, however this morning BBC Leeds announced it was their understanding that Leeds had offered McCormack a contract extension, which included a financial improvement for the player.
Leeds are set to play Ipswich tomorrow with McCormack expected to be a part of the side. Also expected to be included in the squad is Leeds’ newest signing, former Manchester United defender Scott Wootton, the twenty one year old made the move from Lancashire to Yorkshire during the week.