By Andrew Butterwick
Expectations that Leeds United would take the transfer market by storm with the backing of their new owners have been quickly dashed as the transfer window reaches the half way stage. The signing of
Michael Tonge is solid rather than spectacular and yesterday's loan signing of Everton's under-21 starlet Ross Barkley has created a ripple of optimism amongst Leeds fans weary of a diet of over expectations in recent transfer windows. Barkley comes with good references and if he lives up to his perceived potential he will buck the trend of recent Premier League loanee disappointments to beat the path to Elland Road....... Livermore, Bannan, Townsend, Thomas etc. Just the memory of those flops sends a shiver down my spine.
There is a familiarity about the transfer window that worries a lot of fans though. We have tried to sign 8
or 9 players but without success according to NW. The spirit of the Prince of Darkness lurking in the shadows of Leeds Utd, Shaun Harvey, is still alive and well as we fail to get deals over the line. Mmmmm I think we've been here before. To be fair January is not a good time to pick up quality players. The ones that are any good are already tied up and the ones that are available tend to be damaged goods. Still the rabidly expectant mighty whites fans will be looking for a signal from this month's dealings that we have at last got some cash to splash. If not the joke that we have bagged the only poor Arab owners in the world will gather pace. With a demanding schedule of games in February
looming including games against Cardiff, Wolves, Posh, Blackpool and Blackburn in the League and the cup replay against Brum mixed in NW will certainly be judged by the fortunes of those games. Of course if we beat Brum we will also have another cup game to fit in against Spurs. If we put a run together we will be well and truly in the play off mix if not we will facing another anti climax to the end of the season. Time for Mr Warnock to earn his money me thinks?
Of course before that we have the small matter of a local derby with the Dingles of Barnsley. As we know our record against the South Yorkshire Reds is woeful at Oakwell. In the last three games there we have shipped an embarrassing twelve goals with the last two games definitely entered into the Leeds United Hall of Shame. This year will be different though. Barnsley are bottom of the league, they have just sold their best striker and are currently managerless after the sacking of Hill. So what could possibly go wrong? Well on Planet Leeds quite a lot in my experience. I don't think it will this time though. If Barkley can give us a bit of creativity and a different out ball to supplement Diouf I think
Leeds will stroll to a comfortable 3.1 win. Now that would be a nice feeling to inspire the 5,000 travelling fans on their trip back up the M1?
So fasten your seat belts we are about to ride the early year roller coaster that so often disappoints the die hard Leeds fans. Will we stay on the ride until May? Will Warnock work his promotion magic? Will the new owners provide a magic Carpet ride to the premier league? The next few weeks will tell.