Any Leeds fans getting carried away by the appointment of Brian McDermott might like to reflect on the final league position of Reading this season. The Premiership is, of course, a huge step up from the Championship, but Southampton and West Ham managed to survive, where-as the Team that Brian Built is heading straight back down. Champions last season, barely in the running this.
12 months ago, Reading came to Upton Park and murdered West Ham. At that stage, the team were high on adrenaline, their impossible run of victories - with one blip excepted - carrying on from week to week to week. McDermott was surfing a Tsunami and whatever team stood in Reading's path were flattened - West Ham included. Yesterday was different.
Apart from a ten minute spell in the first half and the first 20 minutes of the second, Reading were a shadow of the team that crushed all in their path from November 2011 to May 2012. In fact, they looked pretty much like the Reading team that stuttered and stumbled their way through the first quarter of last season.
The guy who made the difference yesterday was Le Fondre - Reading's player of the season and a guy who both McDermott and Adkins seemed reluctant to start. West Ham fans were enraged at times last season by Allardyce's insistence of playing 4-3-3 / 4-5-1 rather than 4-4-2, and, at Leeds, McDermott seems to be gripped by the same obsession.
The introduction of Le Fondre yesterday saw Reading revert to a good old fashioned 4-4-2, and suddenly West Ham were stretched right across the back four, with centre backs obliged to pick up a man each and so unavailable to cover the full backs. 2-0 became 2-2 in no time at all, and Reading looked favourites to win the game until their absurdly high line allowed Nolan - hardly a Ferrari - to race through one on one on young keeper McCarthy.
And the relevance to Leeds? Well, the Elland Road faithful should consider the following:
1. McDermott's success at Reading was short lived. The team won promotion on the back of an adrenaline pumped run the like of which comes along once in a blue moon. Repeating that is not impossible but is frankly unlikely.
2. The Reading team built by Nice Guy Brian isn't that good. Even if he does inspire a promotion charge next season, you have to fear for Leeds should they make it to the Prem.
3. McDermott is now a disciple of 4-3-3 and appears a rigid adherent to the latest fashion in footballing formations. The trouble is, 4-3-3 only works if you have the right personnel and, McCormack and Hell Hadji apart, Leeds don't have the personnel. Who plays down the middle and scores the goals? Morison aint up to it and Reg Varney, fitness drive or otherwise, would be like a number 37 bus in a Grand Prix.
4. The selection of McCarthy yesterday by Adkins indicates a conservative streak in Nice Guy Brian. The boy was badly at fault for West Ham's first goal but he is meant to be one of the best keepers in the country - and he pulled off one hell of a save to stop Nolan scoring. So why was McDermott reluctant to use him? Most Leeds fans are of the opinion that kids need to be given a chance to blossom - with young Poleon a prime example - but is McDermott the man to bring through young talent, or like the Warnock, will he favour a safety first policy?