With Stephen Warnock taking over squad motivation, one is reminded of the opening of a famous story...
Leeds United were dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The
register of the club's burial was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker,
and the chief mourner. Bates signed it. And Bates's name was good upon
'Change, for anything he chose to put his hand to. Old Leeds were as dead as a
Warnock knew Leeds were dead? Of course he did. How could it be otherwise?
Warnock and Bates were partners for I don't know how many years. Warnock was Bates's
sole executor, his sole administrator, his sole assign, his sole residuary
legatee, his sole friend, and sole mourner. And even Warnock was not so
dreadfully cut up by the sad event of the passing of Bates as owner, but that he was an excellent man of business
on the very day of the proprietor's "passing", and solemnised it with an undoubted bargain, Hell Hadji Diouff.
The mention of Bates's passing brings me back to the point I started from.
There is no doubt that Leeds were dead. This must be distinctly understood, or
nothing wonderful can come of the story I am going to relate. If we were not
perfectly convinced that Don Revie died before the season began, there would
be nothing more remarkable in his taking a stroll at night, in an easterly wind,
upon the pitch at Elland Road, than there would be in any other middle-aged gentleman
rashly turning out after dark in a breezy spot -- say Saint Paul's Churchyard
for instance -- literally to astonish his son's weak mind.
And talking of sons, Stephen Warnock would never paint out Neil Warnock's name. There it would remain, years
afterwards, above the manager's door: Neil Warnock. The management team in time was known as
Warnock and Warnock. Sometimes people new to the business would call Stephen Neil,
and sometimes Stephen, but he would answer to both names. It was all the same to him.
Oh! But he was a crude hand at the tactical grindstone, old Neil Warnock! A belligerent,
whining, complaining, truculent, cheating, covetous old school manager! Crude and outdated as
flint, from which no steel had ever struck out generous fire; gobby, and
out-spoken, and desperate as a hard up fifty year old whore. The cold within him froze his old
features, nipped his pointed nose, shrivelled his cheek, stiffened his gait;
made his eyes red, his thin lips blue; and spoke out shrewdly in his grating
voice. A frosty rime was on his head, and on his eyebrows, and his wiry chin. He
carried his own underachievement always about with him; he iced his office in the
dog-days; and didn't thaw it one degree at Christmas.
Nobody ever stopped him in the street to say, with gladsome looks, ``My dear Warnock, how are you. When will you come to see me.'' No beggars implored him to
bestow a trifle, no children asked him what was the score, no man or woman ever
once in all his life inquired the way to such and such a place as total football. Even
the Championship's dogs appeared to know him; and when they saw him coming on, would
tug their owners into doorways and up courts; and then would wag their tails as
though they said, ``No eye at all is better than an evil eye, dark master! ''
But what did Warnock care! It was the very thing he liked. To edge his way
along in the Championship, warning all human sympathy to keep its