Thursday, 11 August 2011

Tensions flare at Elland Road

Is our beloved club starring once more into the abyss? What has always seemed as a good working relationship between Ken Bates and Simon Grayson is now under scrutiny from the fans and press. Frustration has been the summer mood for Leeds fans with the constant excuses for us missing out on players being; "ridiculous" wage demands, couldn't agree personal terms etc. I understand the need to remain within the budget and not to spend money we don't have however Bates is trying to dictate the price of players, in this modern day of football, supply and demand is huge! Therefore to get quality you must  be prepared to pay for it, it seems Leeds are the only club who aren't.

The latest story coming out now is that Grayson has been refused permission to sign Alex Mendy, one of the trialists that impressed during pre-season. This is a massive alarm bell, history shows when Chairmen get involved in transfers in ends miserably. We were poised to sign a "big name" striker on-loan until Christmas however negotiations broke down, Bates claimed his agent got greedy. I hope you'll forgive for referring back once again to the deal that saw fan favorite Kasper Schmeichel dpeart. Bates once again via Twitter criticised the agent for being unwilling to negotiate a new deal for the stopper, however Schmeichel came out and said he always wanted to stay at Leeds. So what is really going on at Elland Road? Is Bates taking the fans for a ride trying to get money in his pocket all the while leaving Simon Grayson to struggle by the way side of other Championship sides spending power.

The other side to the argument is that the once irresistible offer to play for Leeds is no longer that attractive. Do we have to get to terms that were no longer the club that can attract the big names? Or is it that simply the manager is not bringing in the right players, agents are greedy, were not playing well and the development of the East Stand was a must do!? Hell No.

There's something fishy going on at Elland Road and the fans, the people that make the club what it is are being kept in the dark. It is only a matter of time until the protests being and real questions start being asked. All that won't help the football. The Leeds faithful often act as a 12th man on a Saturday but one thing is clear we won't stand id-ally by while the club is run in the wrong way. We're clearly on top of the business and financial side of things, but the football (the most IMPORTANT thing) is being forgotten. A quick question before I move onto the football side of things, why have we developed the Upper East Stand when we use it maybe three times a season? Baffling...

There weren't a huge amount of positives to take from our Carling Cup 1st round victory against Bradford City. Obviously the first win of the season will be a huge boost for the players. I'll start with Ramon Nunez, a flair player, always looking to run at opponents and he's definitely got a hunger for goals. He looks a bright prospect and this season could be our super sub, he seems to have an ability to make stuff happen. Moving onto Tom Lees, I certainly didn't think I'd be writing about him today. After another poor showing from our defense Grayson turned to the youngster to replace Connolly at right-back, he gained his plaudits by delivering the perfect cross for Ross McCormack to head home the equalizer but also made some strong confident challenges. He in my mind must be in contention for starting place on Saturday against Middlesbrough.

My main piece of praise is for Man of the Match Adam Clayton, what an exciting player. As on Saturday he was once again probably our strongest player. His passing has zip and accuracy, he seems to have a combination of all the attributes our midfield trio had last year. I never once saw him stop running on Tuesday night, he fought for everything and put in some powerful challenges. He has a superb presence about him and I believe Grayson made a great decision sending him out on-loan, he's come back had a full pre-season and looks a different player. I have high hopes for Clayton and believe No.15 is perfect as he can replicate the impact that the predecessor of that number Fabien Delph had on the team.

Sadly I can't say the same about fellow midfielder Michael Brown, the 34 year old seemed like an spare part on Tuesday. He contributed nothing to the game which made Clayton and Howson work over time. Credit to him that he pulled off a full 90 minutes which many people raised questions about. On Saturday he made several silly fouls and Tuesday he couldn't make any fouls because he couldn't get to the player, he was that far off the pace. We have lacked strength and depth in midfield for a couple of seasons now, another signing is vital.

Mixed reviews have come out when long-term absentee Paddy Kisnorbo comes to the forefront. He's had a full pre-season since recovering from his horrific injury. However he still looks rusty, albeit being the best defender of a pretty poor bunch. One thing I did highlight on Tuesday was that when going to clearing the ball he seemed to go with the wrong foot on more than one occasion. He's been solid enough but what concerns me is the awkwardness of his defending.

All in all, until the power struggle between us and agents ends we're going to be stuck with the squad we've got, is it good enough to compete, although we haven't shown it in the two performances so far. It's Middlesbrough on Saturday, there's no hiding now, games coming thick and fast, sink or swim for the Leeds boys.

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