Leeds United Message Board
As if preparing his excuses in advance for spending little (again) in the January transfer window, Ken Bates talked about Leeds needing only 23 players in its squad; two for every position plus three for goalkeeper, and that, with a squad of “28 or 29”, Leeds has too many players wasting their time and Leeds’ money.
On the face of it, looking at the list of Leeds first team players, Bates is right. Of the 28 players listed, Simon Grayson tends to play only the same 11 or 12, depending on injuries and/or results. That leaves 16 cooling their heels and feeling unhappy – okay, five will be sitting on the bench and a few others will have long-term injuries, but the others will be wondering what they are doing at the club.
Below is a list of the 28, organised in their playing positions (accepting that some play in other positions too), with a plus sign (+) for those that may have a future at the club and a minus sign (-) for those whose future at the club may be in doubt. There are 19 pluses (two are loan signings) and 9 minuses. The question is; can Leeds move the nine minuses out in January, in order to bring in four quality additions, and achieve Bates’ 23-man squad? The answer is, ‘no’. No way! Bates is pulling our chain!
Players have contracts and cannot just be ‘got rid of’. Some players may be loaned or go on ‘free’ transfers, to ease the Leeds ‘wage burden’, but shifting nine players to other clubs in January is highly unlikely.
Simon Grayson recruited most of the ‘unwanted’ players, but Bates and Harvey negotiated their contracts. Additionally, as we all suspect these players were probably not Simon’s first choices but second, third, or fourth options that fitted Bates’ and Harvey’s tight-fisted policy.
If Bates is serious about Leeds’ promotion this year (…’pants on fire!), then he will have to take a hit on surplus players, use the money he has stashed in his offshore piggy banks, and invest in the four additional players we need for his perfect 23-man squad.
(+) Andy Lonergan – first choice keeper
(-) Paul Rachubka (on loan to Tranmere)
(-) Maik Taylor – back-up GK who may go when Rachubka returns
(+) Alex Cairns – young GK showing promise
(-) Paul Connolly – may not play for Leeds again if one of players fingered by SG
(+) Zac Thompson – young defensive players showing promise
(+) Aidan White – pace to burn, wanted by EPL clubs, in ‘contract negotiations’
(-) Ben Parker – chronic injury problems
(-) Patrick Kisnorbo – injured, and may not play for Leeds again
(+) Alex Bruce – good squad player but not an SG favourite
(-) Leigh Bromby – long throw specialist, squad defensive soldier, but out of favour
(-) Andy O'Brien – does not want to play for Leeds, or SG, again
(+) Darren O'Dea (on loan from Celtic) – doing a decent CB job
(+) Tom Lees – a revelation who only got a chance due to other player injuries
(-) Mika Vayrynen – may not play for Leeds again if one of players fingered by SG
(+) Michael Brown – good but old and slow
(+) Jonathan Howson – great when played in right position
(+) Adam Clayton – frustrated by ‘hoofball’ tactics
(+) Ramon Nunez – misused match-winning wild card
(+) Lewis Turner – young player not been given a chance
(+) Andros Townsend (on loan from Spurs)
(+) Danny Pugh – good versatile left side player
(+) Robert Snodgrass – great creative player, signed by Macca, and target for EPL clubs
(+) Lloyd Sam – good enough but lacks confidence
(+) Luciano Becchio – recovering form; gets no useful supply from SG long ball tactics
(-) Mikael Forssell – not been given a chance
(+) Davide Somma – injured match-winning striker; but may only be used as a super sub at end of season
(+) Ross McCormack – top striker when given the supply to poach goals
NB: there is not adequate cover for all positions.
Ha ha, Tom, you’re right! That statement (Bates is scathing about "absentee owners" and their "stooges" who represent their clubs while remaining in their own countries and has concerns about their long-term commitment.) had me laughing too – until I threw up!
The whole article was typical Ken Bates’ megalomaniacal (I am right, everyone else is wrong) spin in defence of his money-grubbing activities.
In the next statement, (…"Clubs like Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, and Tottenham have a lot in common... none of their owners put a single penny of their own money into the club. Instead those clubs are run on commercial structures that allow them to spend what they earn, but the fans always believe that they never have enough money to invest in players."), he implies that Leeds is comparable with top EPL clubs. That delusion was even more hilarious!
Ken Bates probably wants to see football return to the times when players’ wages had a £50 cap, and supporters doffed their caps in the presence of their clubs’ beneficent owners.
Time machine for Bates!
Your right about quality needed, with the exception of Snodgrass who else can turn a game?? we lack quality. we need a Strachan type player who can get us promoted by inspiring, players and crowd etc BUT bates is unlikely to fund a qualityplayer out of favour at
a decent premier club!! whats difference between us and say WestHam??? Kevin Nolan!!! £40k per week!!!!!!!
- 2 Replies to The Wanderer
‘Dunno about West Ham, Welsh White, but here are the numbers of first team players at Premier League clubs (according to Soccerbase.com)
35 Man City
38 Man United
29 Aston Villa
30 West Brom
Only Norwich and Everton have squads as small as LUFC and only Wigan has a smaller squad.
However, as you say, it is quality, not quantity, that counts. Both cost money but the former is a better return on investment – something our wily businessman owner, Ken Bates, does not seem to get!
Welsh White: the difference between Leeds and WestHam is ( 9 points, three wins and a bag full of "Gold" to spend) They have to however come to ER as do Southampton so we are not totally out of the mix yet.
If we can persuade Keith Andrews to look beyond taking the Bates shilling then he would be the ideal signing to do the job for us. Nine goals from midfield so far, unfortunately he has a minor hamstring tear and could be persuaded by PJ to return to Ipswich on loan again from Blackburn. You haven't got another Brian Flynn hidden away down there have you?
Is Ken Bates right? Ken Bates has never been right or ever will be right for for LUFC.
Quote from Lottos post "Bates is scathing about "absentee owners" and their "stooges" who represent their clubs while remaining in their own countries and has concerns about their long term commitment."
Well Mr Bates I have news for you, we have similar concerns about a tax dodging so called owner who lives abroad and his stooge H. Interesting "the pot calling the kettle". talk about hypocrisy, enough to make you puke.
Well Andy 3 are definitely going Parker out on loan Rachubka on loan, O'Brien on a free. Would be interesting to see if Forssell gets his chance otherwise he might go as well. A few are crocked like you say, but Bates says the same old same old players expect more than what they are worth " I spoke to an agent the other week who said a player wanted to come he is on 35K a week I said would you pay part of his wages and we will pay 5K he just laughed and that was that!", I think one possibly 2 loans or freebies,Townsend looks good though so that's a bonus will we get a right back solid powerful centre half, and quality centre midfielder? Only time will tell. I tell you what Nunez has put a few pounds on he needs to be on a strict diet how the hell he got that big is beyond me!
- 1 Reply to Lottolee
Lotto, Townsend is just the player we needed to replace Gradel. The other positions you mention, RB, CB, and DMF, are essential additions if we want any hope of promotion...
Ha ha, Nunez has probably been listening to criticisms about being too small for English football and tried to beef himself up on pork pies!