By Andrew Butterwick
This week I've got a weekend off for good behaviour from watching the excruciating torture of my beloved Leeds United stumble about in mid table championship oblivion. The majority of fans have long since accepted this season will not see a glorious return to the promised land of the Premier League and are conditioned to seeing the season out with a run of "dead rubber" games sprinkled with the odd exciting battle against teams such as Dave Jones' Wendies side. Of course Leeds being Leeds that doesn't mean the end of season will end in a whimper as new investors, or are they buyers, circle the GFH chuck wagons looking for a killing as our new owners look to solve their cash flow black hole. If that wasn't enough the saga of Warnock's potential successor becomes more convoluted than a fire insurance claim on Coronation Street as candidates appear and disappear from the bookies runners and riders list with the same frequency as a Rio Ferdinand physiotherapy appointment.
Gareth Southgate suddenly came out of the back field as a potential Leeds manager to join the hard core of Adkins, Poyet, McDermmot and even mentions of David O'Leary and Gary McAllister. Given that GFH seem to have about as much knowledge of the Football manager market as a giant centipede followers of the mighty whites will be comforted by the fact that Mr Warnock has found time in between trips to Cornwall and praising his "great bunch of lads" to advise his employers on their next appointment. I'd love to be a fly on the wall when they're drafting the job description. It would probably look a bit like this:
- Complete self belief in their own ability and the vision to see their performance as fantastic even when it's decidedly average.
- Reluctance to ask any more from the lads.
- Must live in Cornwall and refer to this in every press conference after a defeat.
- Must understand that referees and ex top goal scorers are the only reason their team fails.
Football knowledge and tactical awareness:
- Must understand the complexities of tactical substitutions. It will be an advantage if they can quote from my book, "The benefits of waiting until the 91st minute before making subs"
- Must understand the skills and types of players required to play with the ball in the air. Any mention of the words passing and on the floor will immediately disqualify the candidate.
- Selection. Any inkling or evidence of understanding of what your best team is and consistently selecting said team will be a disadvantage. Any candidate suggesting this radical approach should be avoided.
- Tactics. Must be one dimensional and based on getting the ball forward quickly and at the expense of control and finesse.
- born in Sheffield.
- Achieved at least 7 previous promotions despite having poor game win ratio in total career.
- Must have managed at least Notts County, Sheff Utd and Scarborough.
- Must be a bloody minded Yorkshireman.
I'm not sure there will be many candidates who fit those stretching criteria?
Back to the ownership issue. I do hope this can be resolved before the end of the season because I don't think I could stand yet another summer of "definite" takeover dates infesting each week of the close season only to get to the first match of next season in exactly the same position. History will look back on the Bates period at Leeds as the Dark Ages. Question is what will the next age be? Will it be Arab inspired riches or a Venky like inspired chaos? Until that is clear Planet Leeds will continue to frustrate, amuse and disappoint their uber loyal residents with the odd sprinkling of unexpected joy.
Ipswich away is next for the hardy band of away followers. The joys of a 97 hour drive and bar maids with Leeds shirts on.............oh and we might just win.