So we’re about 3 weeks away from the start of the 2014/15 season and the new look Leeds United is really beginning to take shape. I think we’ve all had our fair More »
So the main thing people have been saying about our team is ‘We need a midfield general’ or ‘We need a skilful midfielder’ etc. I agree with both these statements as I think that for the last few season we really have been lacking that ‘Oomph’ in midfield. We hoped Luke Murphy would fulfil one of these roles after his high cost transfer but in my opinion he has failed to impress (yet).
I’m going to list 3 players that play in England at the moment who I think would benefit the team in one or both of the aforementioned traits.
It’s going to be a summer of change once again for Leeds United. I still think we need four to six players to even think about competing for a top half finish.
We could go into a season without any natural wingers for the second consecutive year. January last year looked promising when we signed Cameron Stewart and Jimmy Kebe. Both failed miserably – Kebe is back at Crystal Palace and Stewart has joined Championship side Ipswich Town.
We also need a “replacement” for Ross McCormack after his £11 million move to Fulham.
Here are 10 players we feel who would dramatically improve the side, bringing either goals or width – both of which we need.
What’s the over-riding feeling this Leeds fan is getting from the Cellino regime? I think there were several hints last season, as soon as il Capitano entered the building. The guy doesn’t suffer fools, doesn’t like to fanny about, and has a built-in bullshit detector. In a nutshell, he’s not a man for nonsense. And that’s an ethos that seems to be shaping our club, and hopefully our new team.
So we’re about 3 weeks away from the start of the 2014/15 season and the new look Leeds United is really beginning to take shape. I think we’ve all had our fair share of skepticism, I know I certainly have. However as we roll closer and closer to the starting line I have to say that I’m also starting to see the method to The Don’s madness. It looks like the gaps in the squad being slowly filled in with new goalkeepers, new defenders and if we land Fredrico Viviani (at the time of writing this it’s still not certain) we may finally have that creativeness in midfield that we’ve been craving. Now aside from the lack of a new star striker, which I’ve heard may come in the form of French Ligue 2 ace Andy Delort, I still feel we’re missing the component that we’ve all been wanting and people know what it is already, wingers.
The last few months have been frustrating as we approached a new era, I admit that I had the hump at the end of the season, as yet another campaign fizzled out, but I feel kinda optimistic, and kind of hopeful. Looking back when Neil Warnock was appointed I thought yes, (never liked the man his teams always seemed to win against us) but I thought we had a chance of promotion. Brian McDermott did n’t come over as the most passionate of manager, but he grew on me, got Ross playing and with a bit of money I thought we would at least make the play-offs. The signings of Kebe and Stewart did n’t help!
Then nothing, no news, no players and no manager. We seemed to be a laughing-stock.
Now it has started.
We have signed 3 or 4, and more to come, the quality of which is to be decided, and looking at how our owner operates I guess if they don’t produce then there will be replacements. I don’t blame him for shopping where he knows best, and we got good money for McCormack. So positive start Mr President, would just like to see some proven quality, not lads passed their sell by date, or unproven possibles, as with most clubs we are going to need a 20 goal tally from one or more if we are to push upwards.
Dave Hockaday, still not sure how he got the job, but good luck to him, if he succeeds then we succeed. I’ve not seen many try to fail, and I think he’s going to need as much support as we can give him.
No, I’ve gone from doom and gloom, now is the time to be positive, I feel at least we have an owner with money and some knowledge, someone with passion, and the club at heart. I hope that we are competitive and if we can add a bit of quality who knows where we will be.
Yes optimism is returning, come on Leeds….
Over the past few weeks we have had some pre-season friendlies and we have another right around the corner on Tuesday. For the first two friendlies, Leeds have been concentrating on fitness and stamina so far and the team is still finding ways to win.
Last season, Leeds went through the majority of their friendlies struggling to find wins against Walsal, Ferenavarcos, FC Domzale, and FC Nurnberg. I know that these matches are “only friendlies” however, I’d like to see both sides, our “A” and “B” squads get out, put some passes together, and score. I feel like we may see a bit more class and a few more goals heading into Tuesday’s match at Mansfield Town. Head Coach Dave Hockaday has made it clear going forward; he is having the team work on getting the ball down, improving the team chemistry, and passing. He knows that the team shouldn’t have to rely on Matt Smith alone to get the ball in the back of the net as the team relied so much on Ross McCormack last season.
This morning’s transfer news regarding Leeds United involves Roma’s 22-year-old midfielder – Federico Viviani. Nicola Salerno has confirmed that Leeds are in talks with Roma over the player and the player himself would be interested in a move to Elland Road. If Viviani was to move he would become the fifth player to sign from the Italian leagues, following Marco Silvestri, Tommaso Bianchi, Souleymane Doukara and Gaetano Berardi (see http://leedsallover.com/leeds-new-boys/ for more information on the other signings).
Leeds United’s new boys.
Since returning from our 2 week training camp in Italy, we have seen 4 new faces come into the club. What do we know about them? Well, second choice goalkeeper Stuart Taylor is probably the most well-known of the 4 and then he’s been joined by fellow ‘keeper Marco Silvestri, midfielder Tommaso Bianchi and striker Souleymane Doukara.
Leeds look set to complete another signing from the Italian leagues. Berardi is a Right-back who currently plays in Serie A for Sampdoria but has found first team opportunities limited. Berardi has been at Thorp Arch today and the deal is all but completed. Here he is pictured with Terry George, a friend of Massimo Cellino’s, he was with them both at a restaurant in Leeds. It’s a difficult signing to make your mind up on, on one side we’ve got Sam Byram and a bit of cover in that position so why would we need another player there? Yet on the other hand Byram didn’t have his best season last year and there’s a possibility he may be playing further forward this year. Berardi can also cover at Left-back and at 25 should really be in the prime of his career. Once the signing is confirmed, I hope Cellino and Salerno move onto more attacking targets as we really lack some firepower at the moment. Width is also required, we yet again have no wingers at the club after Cameron Stewart’s deal was cancelled and Kebe went back to Crystal Palace, only to be sent on-loan to Millwall. Massimo Cellino has said in an interview that there will be 5-6 more signings before the season starts, so hopefully it’ll be an interesting few weeks.
Everything is cool when you’re part of a team*
And is it even better when that team is LUFC?
Cellino has made some big decisions, and even bigger promises. So far, he’s delivered an incredible amount in the few months he’s officially been our Glorious Leader (without wanting to get all North Korean dictator-y, although Kim Jong-un did lead his country to many Glorious Victories in the World Cup, so there might be something in that), we’re debt-free, we’re on the way to getting the stadium back… and we have a whole host of swanky new players to either make or break us.
But how do we ensure that all this new talent ‘gets it’? And I mean understands LEEDS and our mindset, for all our foibles and quirks, not ‘gets it’ as in a horse’s head in the bed when they miss a couple of kicks. Come on, everybody’s thought it.
They may be impervious defenders or score more than 29 goals a season, but if they just don’t have that Leeds mentality, can they actually work together and bring the club back to what it should be?
Cellino seems to ‘get it’. He appears to have the right sort of mix of shrewd business sense, PR/marketing genius, colourful language, and a bit of naughtiness to mix it up a bit. Pint, anyone? So is he – and The Hock – going to be able to mould the team into something we all know as Leeds, or do we change our mentality to fit with their style? New broom sweeps clean and we all start from fresh? Perhaps, but I hope not. And who should contribute most to the shaping of the team? The Glorious Leader Chairman? Coach? Fans? How much influence do the supporters actually have in the development of the club and team, and should it matter? Of course it should. I would hope that the powers that be have the sense to LISTEN to the supporters, and not just try and turn the team into a winning machine (nice as that would be) with no personality, regardless of how their fans feel about it.
Despite the bad rep that often precedes Leeds in all our adventures, football or otherwise, it would be a huge shame if the team was all perfect and squeaky clean, we NEED a bit of naughtiness in there. I don’t think we’d BE Leeds without it. I’m not saying they should get all Vinnie on us and run about with guns (ALLEGEDLY!!), but I – and I imagine the rest of the fanship out there – have my fingers crossed that they can pull it out of the bag and do us proud. And maybe stick a plastic horse’s head in the bag too, you know, just to keep the players on their toes.
*Yeh, you all pretend like you don’t know….admit it, you sang along in your head