By George & Tom Chellis
In these frustrating days of boardroom mystery, there is only one thing in which all Leeds fans can be certain: we have no money. The rumour mill churns out a million new ‘imminent loan signings’ a month, only for McDermott and the owners to release a statement saying that they need to secure investment to bring some fresh blood into the team. This infuriating merry-go-round of disappointment got us thinking; what if we had all that money that we’ve wasted in the past? Such is the ironic hilarity of how bad some of our expensive signings have turned out to be, the accumulative money we would have saved would surely have us playing Champions League football by now. The @LUFC_Calypso brothers took to twitter to find out who you think was the worst. There are obvious candidates and intriguing surprises. Here are your answers:
Sweden’s answer to Johnny Vegas was undoubtedly the name that cropped up the most. After showing bags of potential for Swedish clubs Navikens IK and GIF Sundsvall, Brolin endured an inconsistent and injury-ridden spell in Italy with AC Parma. Aware of the fact that he would no longer be guaranteed first-team football with the Italian outfit, Brolin hopped on a plane for Leeds. Howard Wilkinson, who was mentioned in a previous article as an underrated LUFC manager, was the unfortunate ‘visionary’ who was able to look past the injuries, the weight issues and the inability to find the net to see the saviour to Leeds’ goal-scoring woes. He was wrong. Brolin played just 20 league games for United, scoring just 4 goals (@LUFCDATA kindly points out he cost £1.13 million per goal), and was promptly shipped out on loan to FC Zurich. Wilkinson had accused the striker of not ‘pulling his weight’ (pun intended), and LUFC fans became united in the belief that he was the worst player we have ever had.
With an average of just over 10 games per season with LUFC, Johnson is inevitably your second most popular candidate for biggest Leeds United buffoon. The highly publicized transfer fee of £7million, coupled with a reported £37,000-a-week contract, meant that Johnson had to prove his worth instantly and would have his work cut out to win over the fans. Like so many of our flops, he was hindered by constant injury problems and the ‘form’ that earned him an England call up during his time at Derby never materialized. History confirms what we all already knew: 1) the national team was in disarray if it resorted to Johnson as a solution to their problems, and 2) the financial dealings conducted by Peter Ridsdale are solely responsible for our current predicament. Ironically, as Johnson came back from injury with a point to prove to the fans, we couldn’t afford his wages and he was released at the end of the season.
A slightly less obvious choice we admit (and we must thank @LUFC97Lloyd for bringing him to our attention), but Nicholls needs to be included as we believe he is a signing that does not generate as much hatred as he deserves. Signed for £700,000 by Dennis Wise during a period when this level of money represented a significant investment in the playing squad, once again he was hampered by fitness concerns and could not play for months. Following his recovery, Nicholls was installed as captain of Leeds United, a position held by some of the most revered names in the club’s history. What followed his appointment would spell the death knell for his brief LUFC career. Nicholls was red carded in his first game as captain, missing critical Christmas period fixtures as a result, and was then dropped for his lack of commitment. He subsequently asked for a move to Luton, a decision that demonstrates a lack of ambition comparable to that of a certain Mr Bates, and he was never seen again.
As fans, we must take sadistic pleasure in the fact that a list of Leeds United flops is the longest and the most lacking in quality throughout the entire footballing community. The vast array of hopeless footballers that were tweeted to us in the last week makes very amusing viewing and we have included them for you at the end of this article. Thank you all for your suggestions, we’d advise all readers to check out the twitter pages of everyone listed below!
Brolin - @LUFCDATA, @DaveK61, @christ4d, @duncanpub, @crossgatescal, @FranTollerson,@SpanishPirate1,@Vikingbaznett, @Jamielufcsmith,@milkybar39, @philbthebear, @RedThunderChris, @weareleeds_, @LUFC_Members
Rachubka - @Nr32OnTheBack,@BakkeTheNet,@lufc_bishop, @JoeJames1996
Johnson - @LUFCDATA, @LufcColin, @philbthebear, @tommoovthornaby
Pierre Laurent - @LUFCDATA
Nicky Barmby - @duncanpub
Ken Demange - @peterfully
Neil Collins - @LeedsUnitedLiam
Carlton Palmer - @LeedsEditor
Fede Bessone - @TalkLeedsUnited, @warnermarkjames
Cyril Chapuis/Frank Strandli - @lufcstats
David Harle - @slflufcjimmy
Paul Okon - @wakeyfin
Roque Junior - @tommoovthornaby, @royllew93