The Game's Gone Crazier

For all the latest on the exploits of Uncle Festa, Godfather Cellino, Friar Brian, Old Big Gob, GianFredo Zola, Butterfingers Green, 'Arry the Albatross, The Grand Puppet Master, Il Duce Di Canio, Timmy Sherwood and a cast of thousands!

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Former Liverpool Manager Benny Benitez Loses His Chelsea Rag

Poor old Benny Benitez has finally lost his rag! After suffering the slings and arrows of outraged Chelsea fans since his arrival, he has had enough and turned on his accusers, cataloguing the trophies he won in the long gone days of his youth.

With righteous indignation, the Spanish heifer fighter told it exactly how it was, but forgot to mention how he turned Liverpool from a great club to mid table also-rans and how Inter Milan were quick to show him the door when he it was evident that he was following his Liverpool blue print there.

And Benny dared to take on Abrovomich too, criticising the "Interim Manager" title and using this to account for his third managerial failure on the trot.

How much longer will he last? It would be a brave man that bets on him still being in place next Monday!

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Pearson Rejects Leeds

So what has happened to discourage Adam Pearson from investing in Leeds United? Not so long ago, he was quoted as saying that we wanted to get back into football and identified Leeds as an ideal target, and with GFH Capital announcing that they were looking for investors, commentators rushed to put two and two together. But on this occasion it seems the answer they arrived at was five.

So, does Pearson not fancy the Arab bank built on sand as a partner? Or is the continued presence of Master Bates the issue? Or is the likelihood of at least one more year in the Championship putting him off?

Maybe the stay away fans are to blame.

Whatever the reason, it seems a sudden volte face following an interview in which he was reported to have said: “I will definitely get back into football. I would like to go in with a consortium with a club that has huge potential. The one that stands out is Leeds United.”

Monday, 25 February 2013

If Arsenal buy Watford's Vydra, who gets the money?

Now here's the rub. Arsenal are being linked with Vydra and, if he is sold, the question arises, who gets the money? Presumably, not Watford.

I have to be very careful here because it seems that Watford Football Club are prepared to take a litigious approach should anything vaguely contentious be said, but some people are still puzzled by the seemingly inconsistent rules which allow Watford to field so many players signed on loan, because, if I understand it correctly, loan signings from abroad count in some peculiar way as transfers. But if they are transfers, does that mean Watford would pocket the dosh in the event of Vydra being sold? Not as I understand it because Udinese still 'own' the player.

Another question arises. I am categorically not suggesting that rules would be broken, but hypothetically, if a deal was agreed for Vydra, might it not be in the theoretical interests of Udinese and the Pozzos to instruct Zola not to risk the Czech goal machine in a dead rubber game after promotion has been secured or conceded to avoid the possibility of an injury wrecking the transfer?

And if that possibility, all be it simply a hypothetical possibility, exists, does this not bring in to question the wisdom of allowing clubs owned by the same family to effectively share their playing personnel? West Ham were famously fined £6m because, in theory, IKEA could instruct the club not to play Tevez. The third party clause was never activated but West Ham were still held to be in breach of the rules.

Now we all accept that Watford are not breaking the rules as they are written but many of us are honestly puzzled by what appears to be, in the words of Holloway, a "loophole". Watford are now occupying a promotion place and it seems very unlikely that this would be the case had the club been obliged to trade in the transfer market in the same way as other clubs without the multiple club ownership of the Pozzos.

Holloway called for the rules to be looked at and others have subsequently joined the band waggon, but you have to wonder why it took so long for concerns to be expressed. Maybe, if a challenge had been made earlier, the FA might have been forced to reflect on the fairness of a rule which, seemingly, advantages one club against others.

But then, maybe the appointment of Zola was a PR master stroke? How can you object when such a thoroughly decent guy is managing the club?

I reiterate that I am not suggesting that rules have been broken. However, sometimes rule changes have to happen to secure the proverbial "level playing field" that is so highly valued in sport.

Would Leeds Consider Di Canio Now?

With PDC saying matters are in the hands of his lawyers, I'm not going to say anything too risky, but his account of his "return to the office" sounds unusual with a capital U. He didn't force entry. What a preposterous suggestion. But some damage was done during his brief visit to retrieve various personal items from his desk apparently, damage that Paolo is happy to pay for.

Would any club now touch him with a barge pole? The guy is a walking time bomb and his predictably brief management career at Swindon was packed full of incendiary incidents with rages against officials, rages against the Swindon board, rages against his own players and rages against the whole god damn machine. There were even allegations of racism at one point.

His record in terms of winning games is outstanding but how many clubs would be brave enough to take him on now? He was linked with Leeds last week but Adkins seems a much safer pair of hands. And Warnock seems in no hurry to leave anyway.

I was sat watching Etna erupt from my hotel bedroom window the night before last with a plume climbing a kilometre into the air and the locals told me the volcano was not a patch on Di Canio!

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Blackburn 0 Leeds United 0 Gung Ho Warnock Style

He asked for three games to change the world and promised a gung ho approach. Well, two games in, Leeds have scored twice, conceded none and picked up a decent 4 points. But is 4 points enough?

It's certainly an odd return for the promised gung ho approach. As solid at the back as Warnock after a ten egg omelet, and as goal shy up front as ever.

Today's result keeps both Blackburn and Leeds in the running for the final play off spot, courtesy of Boro's inability to beat anybody other than Leeds, but Forest's win at Charlton was ominous for both teams. Billy Davies is now putting together a nice little run with 7 points out of nine.

And then there is Brighton, winners again today, thereby widening the gap over Warnock's team to six points. That gap can be closed however so, all in all, it's been a decent day for Leeds. Win all the remaining home games and draw all the away fixtures and they will be there or there abouts come the end of the season!

Friday, 22 February 2013

Blackburn v Leeds. The Big Shoot Out For Last Play Off Place

Make no mistake, this game is huge. Warnock was cock a hoop after the Blackpool game as Leeds closed the gap on sixth placed Middlesbrough to six points, but the Smoggies are irrelevant: their form is so poor they won't finish in the top six regardless of current placings. The clubs potentially competing for the last available place are Brighton, Nottingham Forest, Blackburn and Leeds.
Of that quartet, Brighton are in the box seat, but as West Ham illustrated last season, the Seagulls have a soft underbelly and as the pressure mounts, so Poyet's boys will be found wanting. Forest under old warhorse Billy Davies will be well and truly charged up after their hammering of Huddersfield and could yet bully their way into sixth spot as style is sidelined in the name of pragmatism. But like Leeds, Forest have to learn how to win away from home if they are to mount a sustained challenge over the last third of the season.
Blackburn have the best squad but Appleton is a novice compared with Davies and Warnock, and with the distraction of the FA Cup, may struggle to keep his players focused.
Which suddenly brings Leeds into the equation. Warnock asked for three games to change the world and he won the first of them. Now comes a big test. Get a result at Blackburn - and if Brighton win, Leeds really need three points - and everybody will start to believe that a late charge could yet see the Whites into the play offs; lose and everybody will mutter about yet another false dawn and GFH Capital will face renewed pressure to jettison Warnock.
This has to be Leeds' biggest game of the season. Forget Everton, forget Spurs, forget Southampton, this is the big one. If Warnock pulls this off, he could yet earn his statue outside Elland Road!

Thursday, 21 February 2013

West Ham Bete Noir Ince Starts With Blackpool Defeat At Leeds

There's a shame. Ince, who has never been forgiven down Green Street for appearing on the pitch in a Scum shirt before any transfer fee had been agreed, opened his Blackpool account with a defeat. Of course, Warnock versus Ince is a toss up in the tosser stakes as far as Hammers are concerned, but as I posted the day before yesterday, Old Big Gob is preferable to the self anointed guvnor.

Blackpool fans should be very worried. They are not clear of the drop yet and if Ince carries on his recent record as a manager, the Tangerine Dreamers could be in Division Three before they know it. As for Ince Junior, he is now in an utterly invidious position. How can he be one be of the lads when his Dad is managing the club? Frank Lampard Junior became the focus of the fans' ire when it was alleged that nepotism was behind his regular selection and, as promising as the young Ince is, he is unlikely to ever be as good as Fat Frank.

It's a really odd appointment and West Ham fans up and down the land will now be looking for Blackpool's results, hoping they lose every game. Shame. We used to like them, despite that four goal hammering in the Cup when Moore and Best went out boozing on the eve of the game.

Warnock Takes Personal Credit for Epic Leeds Victory

He asked for three games, just three more games to change the world. And the first ended in an epic Leeds victory to stand alongside any of the great performances of the past. Who says so? Neil!

Enthusing after the game, Old Big Gob told reporters: "I couldn't pick a star tonight." How could he, when he has recruited a squad of journeymen some might ask, but still, according to Warnock, "They were all nine or 10 out of 10."

Warnock continued: "We started on the front foot and limited them to just a couple of opportunities, which would have been cruel if they'd gone in." It would have been, because then Leeds would have drawn the game and the great charge would have stumbled before it had even started! He explained, however: "Paddy [Kenny] made a couple of great saves and I couldn't see him being beaten."

Then came the killer comment: "If you brought another manager in I couldn't see him getting more out of those players than you saw tonight."

Revie? Wilkinson? Clough? Ferguson? Jose? Honestly, who are you? Leeds have Warnock!

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Mixed Bag of Results at Cardiff, Nottingham Forest and Leicester Highlights Warnock's Problem At Leeds

Give him three games, he pleaded. Three games and he will change the world!

Well last night's results highlighted Warnock's problems perfectly. It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. The poor old git must have been punching the air in delight one minute and punching his blow up effigy of Tony Fernandes the next.

Leicester lost- we're in with a chance! Forest won? By how many? Blackburn lost! But Brighton won away? Against who? Cardiff? Middlebrough drew? Is that good news or bad news? At Burnley? Is that good or bad? We can close the gap but they've stopped the rot!

The net result was that Leeds slipped a place in the table and go in to tonight's game in the bottom half of the table. A victory will see Warnock's stumblers climb again and take the gap down to sixth place to just six points - and suddenly hope will trickle through the veins of the Leeds faithful again.

It's a form of Chinese torture, a drip, drip, drip, drip of hope followed by disappointment followed by hope followed by disappointment. Warnock knows that victory tonight keeps Leeds in the jogging. It's only Blackpool. It's only Blackpool managed by Paul Ince. Win tonight and Warnock can wear his Kiss Me Quick hat proudly until the weekend at least, lose or draw and he could be pushed from the top of the Pepsi Max before the next game even kicks off.

Are Di Canio and Adkins Tangerine Dreamers tonight?

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

What have Blackpool done to deserve Paul Ince? Come on Leeds!

Oh dear. Not so long ago we loved them. The Kings' Arms, Blackpool. A bunch of beer bellied no hopers swapping the Sunday Pub League for a season in the Prem, managed by the lovable talking scarecrow Wurzle Holloway.

Now look at them! Olly has gone and taken all the club's charm with him. Instead, Blackpool have recruited the self anointed guvnor Paul Ince, a legend in his own jock strap.

It takes a lot for me to want Warnock to come out on top in a managerial head to head. Yes, I would always back him to gore Benny Benitez but the Spanish heifer fighter apart, I would wish any other manager to emerge the victor - except Ince!

Why has he been given the job? Maybe it is something to do with his son. Or maybe Blackpool fancy a big name draw for their end of the pier show. It's certainly got nothing to do with Ince's record as a manager over the last 4 to 5 years. Fans of Blackburn, Notts County and MK Dons would all happily supply a reference and it would consist of just one word: Shit.

And that one word sums him up as far as all West Ham fans are concerned too!

So, here's hoping Warnock can gloat after tonight's game. I'll write his script for him: "I didn't win 53 caps for England, and neither did I play for great clubs like West Ham United, Manchester United, Inter Milan and Liverpool, but I know how to manage a team of yard dogs better than any fancy dan gold bracelet wearing ponce from London."

Is Yorkshire Evening Post Writing Warnock's Leeds Obituary Already?

The poor bloke has asked everybody to give him three games and, after his heroic efforts this season, surely Neil Warnock deserves that.

So why has the Yapping Evening Post published his vital stats as if his tenure is already at an end?

That's not playing the Whites Man. What exactly is to be achieved from showing that Warnock has lost more games than he has won since taking charge? All that will do is stoke up the ire, agitate the already restless and add grist to the mill for those seeking to depose King Neil.

Give the man what he asked for! He told us to judge him after the window closed and now he has asked for three more games without all the moaning, hectoring and back stabbing. He's an old man for pity's sake. He deserves our sympathy and understanding. He's doing his best and he knows that nobody could have done any better.

So back off Yapping Post and show some respect to one of the greats of football management. Neil doesn't deserve this. Putting his record up in lights like that is unnecessarily cruel.

Three more games, just three more games, then judge him! Is that too much to ask?

Should Leeds Gamble On Di Canio?

Well he lasted 12 months longer than I predicted, but Di Canio has walked away from the Swindon job, exactly as I said he would do. There's no denying that, based on results, he has done a fabulous job, but in terms of high maintenance, he is Joan Collins, Liza Minnelli, Brian Clough, Duncan McKenzie, Eric Cantona and Jordan rolled into one. Talk about flouncing in and flouncing out again, in a little over 18 months, the Italian has thrown more hissy fits than a whole school of adolescent girls.

Dare Leeds United appoint him? Master Bates would be found dead in the Boardroom within a month. GFH Capital would flee to Syria for a quiet life. Peter Lorimer would run around in so many circles trying to stay the right side of the fiery Italian that he would explode.

And poor Paolo would look around the Leeds dressing room and wonder why he had retired. "They are all as old as me!" he would complain after the first training session. "And they are all shit!"

Replacing Warnock with Paolo would be a classic case of out of the frying pan and into the fire. But it would guarantee my continued interest in Leeds so the growing fan base of this blog will be desperate for it to happen.

Could Il Duce Di Canio lead Leeds to the promised land? Ever read The Damned United? Well Di Canio would be the sequel with nobs on. Would 43 days see him through to the end of the season?

Monday, 18 February 2013

Warnock Deserves Medal For Achievements At Leeds

Well, that's what Old Big Gob reckons anyway. His predecessor, Grayson, was sacked with Leeds sitting four places higher in the table than Warnock's old nags currently sit, but no matter; Neil is still claiming he should be honoured for his efforts over the last 12 months.

Who has he lost from Grayson's team? Becchio, but Leeds were only one place higher in the table when he departed. And Snodgrass. But Warnock has otherwise fashioned the team to his own liking.

He chose to waste money on Kenny, Pearce, Green and Peltier. There were other options, but Warnock hunted down that quartet, and added Hell Hadji, Brown, Norris, Tongue, Drury, Ashdown and Varney. I may have forgotten a few, but that's eleven players for starters. This is his team and the record book shows that his team is worse than Grayson's. And he has now added Morison, Haribo and Warnock Junior.

The fans took a long time to wake up to the fact that the Emperor has no clothes, blaming Bates, but now Warnock's todger is hanging loose and wrinkled for all to see and the howls of derision are getting louder by the game

But Warnock still wants that medal and probably still hankers after a statue. Revie? Wilkinson? Who are they? How can they compare with Warnock? In his mind at least!

Saturday, 16 February 2013

New Manager, Same Result For Nottingham Forest

At the end of the day, if your players aren't good enough, there's very little a manager can do about it. True, the odd genius comes along, a Clough or a Ferguson or a Mourinho, and then there's a tier of class acts such as Wenger below them, but the rest are much of a muchness. Give them a decent bunch of players and they will get decent results; give them a squad of yard dogs and they will struggle.

Look at the current Forest squad and who screams out? Billy Sharp should get you goals; Cohen, as an ex West Ham man, is half decent; and Lansbury keeps flattering to deceive; but the rest are nothing to write home about are they? Collins looked awful in a West Ham shirt last season, Halford is very ordinary, and so it goes on.

Forest are where Forest should be, in mid division. Given time, Billy Davies may turn them in to a decent Championship outfit, but God help them if he stays in charge should they ever get to the Premiership.

The teams at the top of the division have opened a gap for a reason - because they have better players - and Blackburn may be the team to take sixth place as, player for player, they are far stronger than Boro and the other pretenders for the last play off place.

Can Davies cajole Forest into a late charge? Maybe, but frankly unlikely.

Leeds Hopes Revived As Middlesbrough Crash and Watford and Crystal Palace Win

Well, except when they are playing against Leeds, poor old Miserableboro seem to be absolutely hopeless. Leave out that Leeds game and that's what, six defeats on the trot?

Dyer is playing for Boro, but Dyer is an albatross regardless. He wasn't in the team or on the bench when Boro won, he returns today and the Smoggies crash and, well smoke.

Of course, the 4-1 thumping at Palace should trigger more questions about Warnock and Leeds, but, in a strange trick of fate, it has actually revived flickering hopes of Leeds scraping in to the play offs. With Watford, Hull and Palace all winning, Leeds are definitely chasing down just one place now, but one place is all you need; and Boro's form is so poor that it is hard to see them finishing in the top six.

Forest and Derby could only draw at home so suddenly Leeds are back in the shake up. Win that game in hand over Boro and Warnock's boys will only be five points behind the sixth placed stumblers.

My money's on Blackburn finishing sixth but Leeds may yet have something to say about that!

Leeds Manager Warnock Threatens To Dish The Dirt In Book

It may be a coincidence or, with the sack looming, Old Big Gob may have fired a warning shot across the bows of GFH Capital and Master Bates.

Talking about the whole Tevez affair, Warnock says  "I've got things that grate on my mind more than that one. You'll have to read my book when it's out".

If there are any skeletons in the Leeds cupboard, therefore, Warnock may be issuing a warning: sack me and I will dish the dirt.

It may be a very clever tactic. Leeds are going nowhere this season, no matter who is in the manager's office, so the powers-that-be may decide to allow Warnock to go with grace - in return for not bad mouthing when he has gone.

But Warnock is going to gob off anyway isn't he? He can't help himself. Even if he likes Bates, he will still moan about him when doing so won't be in breach of his contract. Sooner or later, Warnock will blame Bates and the Board for his failure to win promotion because he will never recognise that it was down to his own personal failings.

Still, Warnock may yet go out in a blaze of glory. He has served notice to the Man City board that he is not interested in replacing Mancini at the Etihad which has, no doubt, caused huge consternation and a revision of plans. Now, if Leeds were to win, progress to the FA Cup Final and lift the trophy, who would care about missing out on promotion?

They may be building a statue of Warnock outside of Elland Road yet!

The Yorkshire Post Abandons Warnock After Leeds Defeat At Middlesbrough

It's not the best way to go into a game at the Etihad is it?

Warnock, a dead man walking since...well October in my book...has at least been propped up by the pall bearing fans, who have been carrying the corpse of the once great club for years now and so are used to shouldering a dead weight, Bates who would back anybody who didn't spend too much money, Lorimer who licks the ankles of any friend of the Chairman, and the Yorkshire Post, no doubt because Neil is always good for a page and a half of impassioned copy. The fans turned a few weeks back; Bates no longer cares as the window has closed and it is somebody else's money anyway; Lorimer is probably too busy fetching sticks for Haigh and Patel to notice that Neil is offering him a Bonio; and the local rag knows that fans are becoming bored with Warnock's illiterate rantings.

So poor Neil is now friendless. He has blamed the referees. He has blamed bad luck. He has blamed the protracted take over. He has blamed Becchio. He has blamed school boy errors by a school boy aged defender. He has blamed red cards given and red cards not shown. He has blamed transfer targets for not wanting to join Leeds and blamed rival clubs for being unwilling to give their players away for peanut shells. Give him more time and he will blame Global Warming, Romanian abattoirs, the European Union, the bankers and Gordon Brown. But how much more time does he have?

Phil Hay of the Yorkshire Post has now called for his head and pushed the case for Adkins, a man who may not be available if Leeds delay. So defeat against Man City could be Warnock's last hoo-ha.

From a personal point of view, it would be a shame to see him go but it seems as if we are now in the final throes of Mad Neil's fitful reign. Hay wants to see a dignified parting; I would much rather see blood and phlegm on the dressing rooms walls. If Neil has failed, it can't be his fault can it? So let's hope he spews the shit!

Friday, 15 February 2013

All Credit To Ex Leeds Winger Robbie Rogers

There's already been one homophobic comment left on here following Robbie Roger's announcement that he is homosexual. It's a crying shame that he felt the need to hide this for as long as he was playing and that his retirement, at the age of 25, has coincided with this revelation.

How absurd that, in the C21st, players still don't feel able to be open and honest about their sexuality. I'm not sure how good he ever was as a player, but it would be good if, after some time away from the game to get his head sorted, he felt able to return.

No jokes about this here, and any homophobic abuse left on comments will not be posted. Let's be a bit mature here!

Leeds Call Off Fans' Forum And Fuel Speculation

So the Fans' Forum has been postponed!

Conspiracy theorists will have a field day! Was that Master Bates on the grassy knoll? Or his pet poodle Peter Lorimer in a white Fiat Uno? The Fans' Forum may have been postponed for the reason given - a family bereavement suffered by Haigh - but surely Patel could have appeared without his fellow member of the board?

Now new take over rumours will gather pace and the whole city will be whispering of a Warnock sacking.

Is something afoot?

A drum! A drum! Something wicked this way comes!

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Are Leeds About To Do Another Watford As Warnock Repeats Pledge?

Anybody remember what happened the last time Warnock promised a gung-ho approach to a game? Zola does! Watford came to town and helped themselves to six goals!

But Old Big Gob was at it again after Leeds slipped still further adrift in the sack race for the last play off place. According to Neil, Leeds have "got to try and win our next three or four games and go gung-ho."

Last time, of course, it ended up more Gok Wan than Gung Ho, but Warnock has never been one to learn from previous mistakes.

He was back talking of the "glass half empty" mentality at Leeds again and calling for a "glass half full" approach. What he doesn't seem to understand is that half full or half empty isn't good enough, it has to be four fifths full to count! It is sixth place or nowhere!

So now Neil pledges to "try and win" the next three or four games. It's an interesting approach. Perhaps he should have adopted it in the last three games, then the need might not now be so great!

Meanwhile, Warnock seems to have been watching a different season unfold from the rest of us. According to him, "You can only do your best as a manager and I think we’ve had a good season". Well if this is a good season, you have to wonder why his predecessor was shown the door last season with the team three places higher in the table!

He does have a novel solution to the problem, however, saying, " Unless I actually run on the pitch and put the chances in, I don’t know what I can do." That's a great way to build the confidence of recently signed Welsh Goal Machine Morison isn't it? Maybe, just maybe, it might have been better to retain the proven scorer Becchio instead?

Still, the talented young Barkley is on his way back to Everton as Warnock can't fit him into the team with the likes of Brown in the squad, so there's still hope of a late Leeds charge! Hold on to your Kiss Me Quick Hats for the Blackpool game, here comes Neil Warnock with his Gok Wan, sorry Gung Ho, Leeds United makeover! And never mind that Glass Half Empty approach, Leeds will have a Stadium Half Full attitude instead!

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Time for Leeds to call time on Warnock's tenure?

Warnock said to judge him after the window closed. Well it is now two defeats and one draw. One point from nine and Leeds are just about as far off a play off place as they have been all season.

Eleventh in the table. Eight points behind Middlesbrough. The same number of points ahead of third from bottom Barnsley. If that doesn't scream out mid table obscurity with just 15 games to go, what does?

And the facts become more damning. Middlesbrough hadn't won a league game in 2013 and came into the match on the back of five straight defeats. But they were good enough to beat Leeds.

Wolves haven't won in five. But Leeds still couldn't beat them.

And apart from a penalty, Leeds have only scored once in 270 minutes of football. And that comes after the sale of leading scorer Becchio.

What will be achieved by leaving Warnock in the job until the end of the season? Bring in a new man, and it may act as a fillip. Bring in a new man and he will have a chance of assessing the squad ahead of the next transfer window. Bring in a new man and this overpowering sense of a club drifting in the doldrums will at least be challenged.

Surely it is time for action?

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Are QPR about to do a Leeds United?

£20.5m for Samba and Remy, plus a wage bill of over £3,600,000 for the pair before they are shipped out in the summer. Quite frankly, it is madness.

The club already had a problem moving on players on absurdly inflated salaries thanks to Mark Hughes' spending splurge, so what did it do, it compounded the problem!

Who will want Wright-Phillips? Or Zamora, who faces an 8 month lay off if Redknapp is to be believed. Or Park? Or Granero? Or £50k per week for Butterfingers Green?

And who will pay £20.5m for Samba and Remy? Sure, Newcastle were prepared to stump up the transfer fee, but they baulked at the wage demands. They have since sourced a cheaper option and will not entertain Remy's wage demands in the summer any more than when desperate for a saviour in February. And who else wants him? There wasn't a queue of clubs was there? That's why he signed for QPR.

As for Samba, he is worth £6m tops in the present market and no English club will pay him £100k per week. Fernandes has been mugged by 'Arry and QPR face a nightmare when relegation is finally confirmed.

'Arry, of course, is propagating the myth that QPR will survive but the failure to beat Norwich was an arrow through the heart, and the thumping at Swansea a hammer blow to the head. The club is on its knees, neck above the chopping block, and the axe is sharpened and raised.

But the big question is what will follow. The gRRRs keep talking about Mittal but he has no sentimental ties to the club and, as a hard nosed businessman, will take a view when relegation strikes. It's better to take a smaller loss now rather than a bigger loss into the future.

And Fernandes? He has burnt his fingers badly. He seemed to believe that if he chucked enough money at a problem, he would solve it. Well, Leeds United found to their cost that if you overstretch yourself, nightmarish years follow; and Leeds, as their fans will confirm, are a far bigger club than QPR.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Leeds Drinking In Last Chance Saloon In Middlesbrough

It could have been the perfect day. It should have been the perfect day. Watford and Crystal Palace had shared the points. Leicester lost at Peterborough, Hull lost at Brighton, Burnley at Bolton, Nottingham Forest at Bristol City, Millwall at Blackpool and Middlesbrough, incredibly, at home to Barnsley. And Leeds were winning with the game moving into injury time. Then disaster.

How a victory would have changed the table! Leeds would now be in eighth, just three points behind the faltering Miserableboro. Instead, despite having an England left back in the team, they couldn't hold on to a lead against the team sitting fourth from bottom and without a win now in five. That equaliser was more expensive than the Cardiff winner. Campbell's goal only cost Leeds a point, Batth's header shaved off two and kicked Leeds cruelly in the solar plexus just as they looked set to capitalise on the failings of others. So Leeds remain in eleventh, and desperate for a result at the Riverside. Win and Warnock's boys move on to the shoulder of Middlesboro; lose and the gap widens to an ominous eight points.

And more worrying still, Blackburn are emerging now as genuine candidates. If they win at Brighton and Leeds lose, they will open up a buffer; but then if Brighton emerge as victors in that one, they could be six points ahead of the Whites. That's the trouble with the situation Leeds find themselves in. They have to win and keep winning, and rely on results of others.

Warnock voiced his frustration after the game, and amazingly didn't blame the officials. Well he couldn't after Leeds were given a penalty and Peltier put one in his own net could he? Instead, poor old Neil blamed Old Father Time, moaning that he hasn't many days left in the game, unlike players like Kenny and Brown who apparently can play for many years yet.

Warnock complained: "The frustration for me is that we have just played Cardiff City and Wolves and we should have had six points and I have got one out of both games. I want to get into the play-offs and I am disappointed that we are not in the play-offs and games are running out. I want to go up. I think I am more frustrated than anybody. It is all right for the players; they are all young and they can play for years to come."

That sounded like Old Big Gob is close to resignation: not his position, but to missing out on promotion this year. One point from the last six following the closing of the window. Warnock told us to judge him after the window and if Leeds lose at Boro, the jury won't have to stay out for very long will they?

Leeds simply have to win at Middlesbrough. Boro look crap at the moment so that isn't as big an ask as the table suggests. It's time for Morison and Warnock Junior to deliver. Leeds can still do it. With any luck Dyer will start for the Smoggies as two games, two defeats suggest he remains a footballing Jonah!

Leeds United: New Investment Or Desperate Exit Strategy?

Well it could be great news, or it could be terrible news, but it looks as if GFH Capital are looking to offload some or all of their controlling stake in Leeds United.

This could be the perfect poke in the eye for Master Bates, of course. Just imagine if the Arabs shifted the club on at a considerable profit so soon after prising it from the bearded miser's miserable clutches! Leeds fans would love that, just love it! The trouble is, Bates is a wily old bugger so, unlike West Ham with Rio, will have almost certainly inserted a sell on clause.

Of course, GFH Capital may have been the middle men for a mystery Middle Eastern buyer, somebody hiding behind the seven veils of the hard up bank before dancing in a couple of months later to reveal all. This might be the oil billionaire the Leeds fans originally dreamed of! Who knows, Leeds may be bidding for Ronaldo and Messi before we know it!

Alternatively, GFH Capital might have over stretched themselves. This may be the first stage in a desperate exit strategy. They could be on their uppers for all we know. And if they have to sell at a loss, heaven only knows who might step in to buy the club at a knock down price? Ken Bates anybody?