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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Leeds United - a look back and a glance forward

Last season was a success , no matter what all the moaning Leeds fans think we very comfortably stayed in the Championship which correct me if I am wrong was the aim at the start of last season .
Yes we flirted with the Play-offs for the majority of the season and it is a little disappointing to have finished 7th at the end of it all but realistically each and everyone of us knows that if we had by some miracle won the Play-offs and gone up to the supposed "Promised Land" our transfer strategy for the summer would in my opinion not been very different from what it is currently , that being mainly free transfers from clubs in the same division as us.

And there in lies the problem it would appear that Mr Chairman doesn't back Simon Grayson in the transfer market and to some degree i have to actually agree with Mr Chairman on this lets look at some of the players over the last few season we have signed for cash or given high wages to as free transfers

Leigh Bromby - 250k ; some including me would say this transfer was a successful one , but he has hardly been a  first team regular these past two seasons

Max Gradel - 250k ; A undeniable success story at Leeds who this season has become one of our most important players 

Gary McSheffrey - Loan ; although this was a loan deal we still somehow managed to end up paying him something along the lines of 10k a week to basically piss about on the left wing and try his hardest to not get involved

Neill Collins - Loan followed by a 500k Deal ; a unmitigated disaster , anyone who remembers the Gillingham game from the tail end of the 2009 - 2010 season will agree that Neil wasn't of the required quality to be a League One centre back , yet for some unknown reason Grayson decided to part with 500k of his transfer budget to bring in Neill !

Alex Bruce - 300k ; A solid if unspectacular centre back who played his best game in a Leeds shirt for me on his debut away at Doncaster Rovers then became a regular in the back four until a unfortunate mix up with a certain Neill Collins resulted in Cardiff taking advantage to score in a 4-0 thrashing at Elland Road , hardly used after that and likely to be shipped out this summer if internet rumours are anything to go by.

Ross McCormack - 300k to 1 million depending on reports ; Ross came in with very high expectaions on his shoulders as a season before he had netted a very respectable 23 goals in all comps for Cardiff , Yet in his fleeting appearances for us at the start of the season it appeared Grayson couldn't figure out what his best position was with Ross making appearances at Left wing , Right wing , In the hole and as a lone striker , he seems to finally found a way to play with McCormack in the team that gets the best out of him with 2 goals in his final 2 games of the season , all be it one down to a massive deflection against QPR.

Adam Clayton - Undisclosed ; we are yet to see Adam play more than 5 mins of a game for leeds to my knowledge so this one is still a wait and see i guess

George McCartney - Loan ; we have had trouble at left back since the days of Ian Harte and George came to us with a decent premiership record behind him and a 7 million pound transfer fee a few years back obviously had people at Sunderland thinking he was a quality left back , but for us he has consistently been the weak link in a very weak defence and we were paying a good portion of his reported 40k p/w wages .

Now don't get me wrong I fully back Simon Grayson as the manager of Leeds United , I just think he may need a little help in spotting potential transfer targets maybe from a director of football or a stronger scouting team, it is clear to us all that we need a hard bastard in the centre of our midfield and although he has tried to bring one in look at Amdy Faye / Michael Doyle for proof of that , for whatever reason they haven't worked out but its something that is our major issue this pre-season , along with a few more creative midfielders seeing as it now looks as though both Kilkenny and Johnson will be on there way out of the club we look very short on players for the middle of the park .

The players are out there Simon lets hope you can find them in time

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