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, 26 June 2014

Suarez Bites The Liverpool Hand That Feeds

So it seems the guy really is mad. That is the only possible explanation, unless he has a slow burning form of rabies. Maybe his victims will, in turn, start taking chunks out of opponents, proving this is a medical problem, but if not, insanity is the only plausible answer.

How else can you explain the bite, when he knew that cameras were guaranteed to capture the incident? Maybe he hoped that Chiellini would simply grin and bear it, rather than grin and bare it! But with his shirt pulled aside to show the world the imprint of Suarez's teeth, all doubt was removed. No question. No debate. Unless you are Uruguayan of course.

And we will condemn the Uruguayans for that! How very dare they close ranks behind such a beast? How very dare they claim that nothing happened? The evidence is as clear as day. That couldn't, wouldn't happen in England would it? If Suarez played for our team, we would collectively condemn him and accept that he should never be allowed to kick a football again. Because we are British and we understand fair play.

Well, that's what we would like to believe. But as I write this, there is a Scouser on the BBC claiming that Suarez has made "big strides" over the last twelve months and is a "work in progress", wondering aloud if the football authorities will have the patience to see things through. Translated, that equates to the Uruguayan claim that the incident is no big deal. So what, he bit somebody; what about the Italian elbow in the face; what the Italian knee to the head, what about all the "good work" Suarez has done over the last year to overcome his problems?

And the sad thing is that half of Liverpool will now find ways of either justifying Suarez's actions or of claiming that what he does in the World Cup has nothing to do with Liverpool FC. There are two men, you see. The one who pulls on a Liverpool shirt - who has absolutely stopped biting opponents - and the little Uruguayan animal who behaves exactly as you would expect those nasty little South Americans to behave. So what has any of this got to do with Liverpool FC then?

Well Suarez has betrayed Liverpool FC, Brendan Rogers and all those fans stupid enough to idolise him. FIFA will no doubt duck the issue today, failing to apply the world wide ban that should now be automatic, but Liverpool FC should prove to the footballing world that, in Britain, we have values and that the days of turning a blind eye to vile behaviour were buried with Jimmy Savile. Suarez has betrayed the game of football and Liverpool FC has a duty to terminate his time in the British game.

And the PFA should help. All members should be instructed to refuse to train with, play with or play against Suarez. He is foul. He is scum. We do not want him in the game. In fact we don't want him on British soil. So the British government should step in too and remove his work permit. The excuses must stop. Suarez must not return!

Monday, 23 June 2014

Good News Comes In Threes For Leeds

Well what a great few days it's been for Leeds United! To begin, the search for a new coach ended with the inspired appointment of David Hockaday; then came the news that the winding up order had been dismissed after Cellino agreed to settle the outstanding loan of close to £1million; and finally comes the announcement that Lee Peltier has, like McDermott, left the club by mutual consent. So, let's look at these three in turn.

First up David Hockaday. Wow. Now we know why it took so long to make the appointment. Cellino must have had one hell of a job on his hands persuading such a sought after man to link up with Leeds Disunited. Barcelona, Arsenal, Manchester United, Barnsley, Halifax...there's no end to the list of clubs who must have had Hockaday on their radar after his outstanding stint in charge of Forest Green Rovers. And Hockaday no doubt struck a hard bargain, demanding a say in who the club bought and sold, seeking a commitment on the size of the transfer war chest and requesting a massive salary for himself. From Revie to Hockaday, the Leeds United journey is surely complete!

Then came news of the failed winding up order, rejected because Leeds agreed to repay the loan that Cellino was hoping to welsh on. As victories go, this one was a bit lame, but at least Leeds are still in business - just!

And whilst Leeds fans would prefer to hear news of new signings, the release of Peltier is the next best thing. And now Cellino is desperately trying to get out of the Stewart deal - well the last thing he wants to do at the moment is spend money on new players!

So, it's been a great summer so far, England's exit from the World Cup excepted. And if Leeds need funds for new signings, Hockaday could always knock out a couple of paintings of homosexuals in swimming pools!

Friday, 13 June 2014

Sheffield Wednesday's Mammadov rejected Leeds before buying Owls

Oh dear, how desperate is it getting? Not so long ago, Leeds fans were convinced that oil money was going to fund a resurgence of the club, with rumours of a stinking rich Arab buying out Master Bates. Instead they got GFH Capital.

And now, hell and damnation, a real oil magnate has come along and bought - Sheffield Wednesday of all clubs! So not only are Leeds no longer the giants of English football that they once considered themselves to be, they are slipping into the third tier of Yorkshire clubs!

It was bad enough playing second fiddle to FA Cup finalists and Premiership stalwarts Hull City Tigers last season; now Leeds fans are having to come to terms with the fact that Wednesday are about to overtake them too! And with a Clough in charge at the Blunted Blades, it is probably only a matter of time before the Off Whites are looking enviously at Shafting United as well!

Bradford City have made it to a Cup Final in living memory, Miserableboro have enjoyed a stint in the Prem more recently than Leeds and with Rotherham now in the same division, Leeds could even find themselves kissing the arses of the Millers!

Managerless, groundless, training-pitch less & piss pot less! Still there's no indignity in playing second fiddle to the mighty Owls. They are, after all, a bigger club, having won more titles, more FA Cups and having won a major domestic trophy more recently than Leeds.

It's no wonder then that Mammadov rejected Leeds in favour of Wednesday.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Appointment of new Leeds United manager is imminent

So, how many days is it since Nice Guy Brian was invited to step off the Feel Good Factor Express to the Premiership, Europe, Infinity & Beyond? Eleven days and counting. If you believe the Bible, God created the heavens and the earth in six days, then sat back on the seventh and enjoyed his work over a chilled pint of Ursus, but Cellino is close to doubling that time just to name McDermott's replacement.

And it's not as if the Bald Controller's departure came out of the blue. Cellino sacked him months ago, so presumably had a replacement in mind way back then - otherwise, why create a vacuum?

So what's happened since, exactly? Has there been a falling out with Uncle Festa? Or have other targets been approached, only for them to reply, "Leeds Disunited? You must be bloody joking!"

Whatever the reason, the situation is now nothing short of farcical. Clubs are approaching targets as we speak, and players generally like to know the identity of the manager before they commit to a contract. Why would you sign for Leeds knowing that the incoming manager may not fancy you as a player?

So what is Cellino up to? Well eleven days without a new manager is eleven days without paying a new manager's salary. And eleven days without signing any new players is eleven days without having to pay the salaries of new players. And eleven days without new players is also eleven days without paying agents' fees. So, this is a pretty good way of keeping down costs, and that's the primary objective at Leeds - for the time being at least.

Of course, none of this bodes well for the approaching season. So surely the announcement of who replaces McDermott must be imminent. But then again, twelve days without paying a manager's salary is better than eleven, and thirteen days is better than twelve, and fourteen days is a nice round fortnight, and fifteen days is half a month, and sixteen...

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Leeds United Latest - Salerno's Concrete Hypothesis

Cellino's best mate Nicola Salerno must have been reading Romeo & Juliet because, as oxymora go, his description of Leeds Disunited as a 'concrete hypothesis' has to be up there with any of the Bard's best!

Mind you, we could trot out any number of Shakespeare's very best and apply them to the once mighty club. "O brawling love! O loving hate!" could be applied equally to the 'vile animals' fan base or to the dirty dirty players of the Revie era.

'Feather of lead' resonates beautifully both with the club's dreams, which time and again fail to fly, and with a whole succession of owners who arrive promising gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh and, who, instead, deliver a far baser metal, Frankenstein monsters and mire. 

There is a cast of thousands qualifying for the titles of "honourable villain" or "fiend angelical', although David Haigh and Cellino seem to be the chief contenders at present!

"Dove feathered raven" is self explanatory given the kit; "sick health" sums up all the so called rescue packages; "Serious vanity" could have been coined for a club that crawled up its own arse in 1968 and hasn't climbed out since; and "misshapen chaos of well seeming forms" could describe either the team's tactics under a succession of failed managers, or the club's accounts under a whole succession of exploitative or incompetent owners!

The future under Cellino? How about 'bright smoke" (screen)?

But the one that best sums up the entire club?

No doubt about it, "Poor living corpse, clos'd in the dead Revie's tomb!"

Cellino Breaks With Leeds United's Past

The decision to move Paul Reaney, Mick Jones, Norman Hunter, Terry Yorath and John Hendrie off the pay roll says everything about the new Cellino era at Leeds. Forget the past glories, forget the great history, forget the Revie generation and even the great man Revie himself perhaps - and count the pennies.

Leeds face a winding up order today over a paltry sum, disputing the legitimacy of the invoice submitted under the tenure of David Now I Understand The Meaning Of Sharia Law Haigh, and all we have heard from the club since the Cellino buy out is how the once mighty Whites need to cut costs and save money. God, anybody would think Master Bates was still in charge!

Except Bates respected the former greats of the club and was happy to employ them in ambassadorial roles - providing, like Lorimer, they were puppets of course.

What will be left of Leeds after Cellino has finished his financial purge one wonders? The administrative team has been decimated, the legends have been tossed to the dogs, the manager has been thrown off the derailed Feel Good Factor train, the former MD is languishing in an Arab prison fearing electrocution of his genitalia and the club may not even have a training pitch unless the rent is reduced. Still, Cellino will probably retain a personal pot to piss in.

Maybe there is a grand plan. Maybe transfer targets have been lined up at the request of a manager who has still not been appointed. Maybe Cellino understands that it is because Leeds fans live in the past that they don't understand that the world has moved on and that Leeds are now a smallish, somewhat irrelevant, busted club. Maybe.

But without its past, what has Leeds United got exactly?

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Cellino Desperate To Talk Up Price For Leeds United's Goal Machine

So, having agreed the sale of Cagliari to a consortium he now says doesn't exist, Massimo reckons he has rejected a "substantial bid" from Newcastle for McCormack because the Scot doesn't want to leave. But, strangely, Newcastle claim no bid has been made.

Who do we believe? Well if McCormack really has turned down the chance to talk to Newcastle, then he must be totally lacking in ambition and seriously worried about his ability to translate his Championship form to the bigger stage of the Premiership. He must also have no sense of the value of money because he would surely double or treble his salary should he move to the Prem. And he only has five or six years of his career left in which to achieve financial security for his family.

So, on balance, I suspect Cellino's claims are utter bollocks. Newcastle's interest may be tepid at best and the Italian is probably trying to provoke another club - West Ham perhaps - into upping their offer. Leeds fans should note that Cellino was happy for his star striker to talk to Newcastle - if he is to be believed - so that suggests its only a matter of time before the Scot leaves. If anybody actually wants him!

Latest Cellino-Leeds Knock Back

What is it about Leeds United and take over deals? They never seem to run smoothly it seems. And now, the Leeds Effect seems to have assumed the status of an Inverse Midas Touch, as anybody who comes in to contact with the club seems to be contaminated with a new disease known as Buy Out Collapsivitis.

So, after GFH Capital's ludicrously protracted buy out of Leeds and the collapse of the the David Haigh & Andy Flowers deal, it seems that Cellino himself has been infected - for not only was his bid for the off-Whites initially blocked by the Football League's Fit and Proper Crook Committee, now his proposed sale of Cagliari has collapsed.

It seems the proposed buyer - the marvelously named Silvestrone - has not been fronting up a consortium as he claimed after all, he's simply been on a massive ego trip; or so Cellino claims. Either way, the Italian is suddenly light of something like sixty five million quid, and that can't be great news for fans of Leeds.

I reckon it's time for Newcastle and West Ham to reduce their bids for McCormack: Cellino may be happy to grab at any money on offer! 

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Newcastle Fancy Nicking Leeds United's Ross McCormack from West Ham

So, Newscastle are the latest club to be linked with Leeds United captain Ross McCormack. As a West Ham fan, I wish Newcastle well because I really don't think the guy is worth anywhere near eight million. Three yes. But not a penny more!

The big question is, why would Newcastle be interested? I mean the guy isn't French is he?

But then maybe the club aren't that interested, maybe it just Pardew who has had his fancy tickled.

Is there a Mrs McCormack?

And is she a looker?

Monday, 2 June 2014

Lallana Betrays Southampton Fans As He Eyes Tottenham Move

How sad. We all knew that the baby rats would follow Daddy Rat Pochettino out of Southampton, but it leaves a disgusting taste in the mouth when a player turned into a star by a club then betrays the fans of that club by slapping in a transfer request.

We have been through it at West Ham, and Judas Defoe will never be forgiven for slapping in a transfer request the day after we were relegated. But Lallana doesn't even have that excuse! Southampton are - for the time being - still a Premiership club and the fans have been brilliant, paying good money to back the team even when the club was in the old Third Division with a then unrecognised Lallana in the side.

The club were going to sell him anyway, so Lallana could have shown some respect to the fans by biding his time. Instead, he has kicked those who idolised him most in the bollocks and stripped Southampton fans of any pleasure they may have gained from watching him in the World Cup.

The transfer request is cruel and heartless and Lallana should be ashamed. He shouldn't be thinking of where he will be plying his trade next season anyway, he should be totally focused on helping England to win the World Cup. Just imagine for a moment the pride the fans of Southampton would have felt had Lallana, Shaw and Lambert done a Moore, Hurst and Peters; now any World Cup glory will be bitter sweet in deepest Hampshire.

Shame on you Lallana: the club may not deserve loyalty and respect after sacking Pochettino's predecessor, but the fans deserved better!

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Leicester Planning for Immediate Return to the Championship?

It probably makes sense given the squad's limitations, but it's rare for a club to come out and announce that they expect to go straight back down following promotion. But how else can you interpret the decision to sign Matty Upson?

Dear God, the guy was past it in his final season at Upton Park so unless he has found a way of reversing the ageing process, he's going to be as much use in the Prem as a eunuch with a blistered tongue at an orgy!

Slow, injury prone, uncommitted in the challenge, a poor passer and 35 years of age - it's a recipe for disaster at the highest level. Still, when you look at the rest of the Leicester squad, Matty will fit in nicely!

What price are Leicester to be relegated? It must be a good bet!

Forget Southampton, Pochettino should work with the present Spurs squad

OK, important fact number one: Spurs finished above Southampton last season. Important fact number two: Spurs finished the season stronger than Southampton. But would you believe it, with Spurs repeatedly linked with raids on Southampton's squad?

Now, why was Pochettino recruited and Timmy Sherwood sacked exactly? Presumably because Pochettino is thought to be the better manager and coach. And what do better managers and coaches do? They get more out of the players at their disposal.

OK, so how much did Spurs spend last year? That would be something in the order of £100m. And believe it or not, quality players do not become rubbish players overnight. Bad tactics, bad man management and squad disaffection can trigger underperformance, of course, but a new manager is meant to address that, isn't he?

So, let's look at that bad season. Spurs finished 6th  in the Premier League which, whilst disappointing, hardly constitutes a disastrous year. They finished above Manchester United and, apart from Everton, all the teams that finished above them might, by neutrals be expected to finish above them. In other words, that bad season would be called par on a round of golf.

And now let's look at the backdrop. People keep going on about the money spent, but that takes no account of the debilitating effect of losing Gareth Bale, arguably one of the best five players in the world. Any team would take time to adjust to losing a player of that calibre, a player who won games single handedly in the previous season. Take the games against West Ham. Back in 2012-13, Bale tore us apart in both games. At White Hart Lane he scythed through our midfield and opened up our back four with all the ease of Brad Pitt opening a woman's legs. At Upton Park he scored that wonder goal in the last minute of the match and turned the game in the last twenty minutes. Without Bale, Spurs hammered at the Allardyce defensive wall but could find no way through. So, in two games, you have the Bale effect in a nutshell. Add the six points lost to West Ham and Spurs would have finished on 75 points and in fifth place - which is more points than Bale inspired Spurs finished the previous season with! And in 2012-13, Spurs did not change managers in mid season.

Of course, players need time to settle in to a new club, especially when signed from abroad. Look at Bale himself when he joined Spurs. True he was young, but he didn't make a great impression initially did he?  Liverpool might well have jettisoned Suarez last summer, considering him more trouble than he was worth, and what a mistake that would have been! Spurs bought half a team last summer and somehow expected all the pieces of the jigsaw to fall magically into place immediately. That rarely happens.

Is Soldado a crap player? His record before joining Spurs suggests otherwise. Lamela has looked lost but a good coach should surely be able to get him back to playing to his best. Yes Spurs need to replace Defoe and need a quality left back, but those positions apart, the squad is strong and doesn't need any major overhaul. If AVB and Timmy can get the current mob to sixth place and 69 points, surely it's not asking too much to expect Pochetinno, if he is any good, to add value and turn that 69 points to, say 81. That's four extra victories! Two wins over West Ham and two other inexcusable reverses turned into maximum points. The defeat at Norwich was disgraceful and a victory at Burnley would make up for that; Spurs fans can nominate another game to make up for the other three points, though I would suggest Liverpool and Manchester City are not factored in!

So, if Pochettino is any good, he should be able to qualify for the Champions League without employing a transfer revolving door. Spurs should aim for stability now. Tell the new manager to prove himself worthy of the job by bettering AVB and Timmy. Is that really that big a challenge?

McCormack to follow McDermott out of Leeds but hopefully not to West Ham

As sure as night follows day, so the man made captain of Leeds looks certain to follow his mentor, Nice Guy Brian, out of Leeds. Recreated by McDermott into a goal poaching striker, the Scot is, unsurprisingly, unhappy at the treatment of his father figure and, like Lampard who followed 'Arry out of West Ham, wants away. Well, after topping the goal scoring charts last season, why would he want to hang around for an impending battle against relegation regardless?

Mind you, as a West Ham fan, I hope he finds a different home than Upon Park. Ross may relish the opportunity of playing in the Prem but it is questionable whether he has the ability to deliver on the top stage. Dear God, he's not even been able to establish himself as a fixture in the Scotland team.

£8 million is far too much to speculate on a guy who is now in his later twenties and who, until last season, never suggested that he was anything other than a run of the mill Championship player. Rhodes has done it consistently for much longer and looks the better bet to me.

Gold and Sullivan should check out Becchio's record at Norwich before they rush in with big bucks! The gulf between Championship and Premiership is huge - and the transition is especially hard for strikers.

Saturday, 31 May 2014

Festa, Carbone, Zola & Di Canio - The Leeds United Short List!

So it looks like four Italians are in the running to replace Nice Guy Brian. All four, like Mussolini, will be expected to get the Leeds United Feel Good Factor Sleeper Express to the Premiership, Europe, Infinity and Beyond to run on time, but do any have the credentials for success?

Well Uncle Festa knows the club and seems to have been the nominated man when Cellino first arrived. But since then, he has faded into the background with Carbone coming more to the fore. Festa has, of course, next to no management experience and no track record in the British game apart from 136 games for the Smoggies - hardly a great reference - and a further 27 starts for Pompey. Why is he amongst the favourites? Because he is a mate of Cellino's, and Sicilians like to keep it in the family. A strong candidate for appointment certainly, but utterly unqualified for the job.

So to Benito Carbone. Well he has the right first name, is Italian, is a mate of Cellino and is already at the club, so he has to be worth 50 lira of anybody's money! Like Uncle Festa, Carbone has played but never managed in England and, like Festa, his management CV is far from extensive, with appointments limited to lower division teams in Italy. He already has one sacking on his CV and does not have any of the right credentials for such a challenging job. But Cellino likes him so, even though he is a favourite amongst Sheffield Wednesday and Bradford City fans, Carbone must be considered a strong contender to be appointed.

But if Cellino wants to look further afield, there are two other Italians waiting in the wings, both with experience of playing and managing in England.

Zola would be a popular choice because Zola is, well, lovable. As a manager he is pretty crap, of course, but why should that stand in the way of his appointment. He has managed in the Prem, turning Curbishley's mid table West Ham team into a rag bag relegation fighting mess in less than two seasons. And he has also managed in the Championship, taking Udinese Calcio to the brink of the Prem in his first season in charge before the ruote came off big time in his second season at the helm. It seems that, like Nice Guy Brian, Zola is good when the Feel Good Factor is high, but when things start to go wrong, he is utterly clueless. On that basis, he is the very worst man to take over at Leeds Disunited but he is Italian and is desperate for a job, so he can't be ruled out!

Which brings us to Il Duce Di Canio. Now here is a man made for Leeds - he would love to manage a team known as the Whites! And with his fascist salutes, he would have instant appeal for the "force" - as McDermott termed Leeds fans, or the "vile animals" if you prefer Dave Jones' description! Of course, his track record is less than perfect. Yes he guided Swindon to promotion and kept Sunderland up in his first season in charge, but his insane antics made his continued employment impossible. A Brian Clough with knobs on, the unstable Di Canio would be a marvellous appointment for Dirty Dirty Leeds. He's Italian, he's unemployed, he's passionate - so who knows? He would be the perfect last nail in the Leeds Disunited coffin!

McDermott & Cellino speak with Forked Tongues as Brian leaves Leeds

Well, the parting statements reek of a pay off and a gagging order don't they? Now we know why it has taken so long for Cellino to force out McDermott, lawyers have been in smokeless rooms negotiating the divorce settlement.

For Cellino there were obviously three key objectives:

1) Getting rid of a man he clearly feels was no more than a nodding dog for the previous regime - and with GFH Capital still maintaining a 25% stake in the club, his retention was dangerous.

2) Keeping to an absolute minimum the pay off to purge himself of McDermott.

3) Bringing the fans with him. He saw how the fans rallied around McDermott the last time he sacked him, and the last thing he needs at the moment is for the fans to turn against him personally. So the need for "mutuality".

For McDermott there were two key issues:

1) A pay off.

2) Leaving with a degree of dignity.

So, a "mutual" parting of the ways has been agreed, but the world and his dog know that McDermott was pushed out. Cellino's lawyers will have briefed the Italian on the Constructive Dismissal laws in the UK and cited the example of Curbishley and West Ham and McDermott would have had a hot line open to the legal eagles at the Manager's Association.

But let's not allow Nice Guy Brian to paint himself in pure white here.

First and foremost, he failed as a manager of Leeds United. True he faced difficulties during his reign, but what's new at Leeds? Old Big Gob Warnock had to deal with Bates and GFH Capital in much the same way as McDermott had to deal with GFH Capital and Cellino, and Warnock did a better job: Leeds were in 12th when Warnock resigned and finished that season in 13th; and this season, McDermott's team ended the campaign in 15th. And remember, Warnock's plans were disrupted by the sale of Snakeinthegrass and his leading goal scorer, whereas McDermott was allowed to keep McCormack and Byram and allowed to buy Murphy and Smith into the bargain.

Meanwhile, McDermott has claimed that, first and foremost, he had the best interests of the club and its wonderful fans in mind; but that is pure cobblers: it was obvious to everybody that he was a lame duck manager after the initial dismissal and his decision to return and remain, even into the close season, suggests that he has been acting on legal advice, positioning himself perfectly to maximise the financial payoff from Cellino, with a complete disregard for what is actually best for the club. The fans want a successful team, and McDermott's protracted departure has done nothing to help that cause. Now player defections may follow, further weakening an already weak squad.

Don't expect any revelations from McDermott anytime soon - a gag would have been agreed as part of the deal. So Leeds fans will have to swallow the bullshit, knowing that club and former manager are in fact treating them with contempt, striking deals with a complete disregard for what the fans themselves want. But hey, what's new?

For Master Bates read Godfather Cellino!

Meanwhile, LUST strangely don't seem to have been consulted!

Friday, 30 May 2014

Leeds United Supporters' Trust New Survey Questions

1. Do you believe LUST are partially culpable for the current mess because of their promotion of the takeover of the club by Gulf Finance House Capital?

2. Do you think an organisation formed to protest against Ken Bates should now shut the fcuk up?

3. Would you donate a pen to help LUST to sign its own winding up order?

4. Do you find the self congratulatory posturing of LUST both obnoxious and tiresome?

5. Do you think Cellino gives a flying fcuk what LUST's orifices think and say?

6. With less than 1600 people responding to the latest survey, do you think LUST have simply highlighted their total irrelevance by publishing the results?

7. Would you donate a KFC Family Bucket to shut up LUST Chairman Gary Cooper for good?

8. Do you believe anything would be different at Leeds had LUST never been formed?

The results of the poll are just in. There has been no independent verification because this is a tin pot survey that nobody gives a damn about anyway!

Are Leeds set to become a feeder club for yo yo West Bromwich Albion?

Boing, boing! With Norwich back where they belong and so no longer in a position to feed, carrion style, off the rotting carcass of Leeds United, West Brom look likely to swoop in as the latest opportunist vultures, reaching deep inside the cadaver  and tearing out the juiciest bits - with an offer of £3m mooted for future England right back Sam Byram.

Last summer, all the talk was of a £10m bid from Manchester City for the rising star, but after an injury ravaged season and an unconvincing campaign when he was fit to play, Byram's price has plummeted. True, Leeds may stand out for a higher price but there doesn't appear to be a queue for Byram's services, and that was always the problem when Norwich came knocking. So, with Cellino desperate for cash, we can probably expect the hammer to go down on the first bid.

"Going once, going twice, come on ladies and gentleman, this is a good lot, cheap at twice the price. £3million, no advances on that? For the final time! Sold to the Midlands vultures who finished one place above the relegation places last season!"

Who will be left at Southampton after Liverpool, Spurs and Manchester United feeding frenzy?

Poor Southampton, after four remarkable years, the club finds itself like a bleeding sailor bobbing up and down in shark infested waters. The bigger boys have smelt the blood and are moving in for the kill.

Of course, this was always going to happen as soon as Pochettino jumped ship, but whilst the defections of Lallana and Shaw were predictable, the decision to part with Lambert for the paltry sum of four and half million quid signals a depressing summer indeed for Saints fans. The guy is a talisman and so much of what Southampton have achieved has been based on his footballing brain and tenacity. For me, he is the best striker of his type since Teddy Sheringham and it is criminal that he was allowed to spend so long in the lower reaches of the league.

Where now for Southampton exactly? Saints fans took issue when I said that the club was getting its just deserts following the sacking of the man who guided them to the Prem. All sorts of excuses were given - it was a different chairman, the fans didn't want it to happen - but none of that washes. Having been to university in Southampton I counted the club as my third team - after West Ham and Yeovil (where I lived from the age of five) - but my affection for the club evaporated with that cruel and disrespectful dismissal.

I don't want the Saints to go down the tubes completely, but a return to the Championship would, I feel, be a fitting punishment for replacing a loyal servant with an opportunist rat like Pochettino.

Player Strike Looming at Leeds?

Things are going from bad to worse at Elland Road. With players called back early from their holiday for training and no training ground to train on, there's now suggestions that they won't get paid at the end of this month. Meanwhile, Nice Guy Brian has been called before the Godfather on Monday, and we all know that he will wake up in the morning with a horse's head in his bed!

The PFA are on alert and the players are said to be "furious" about events. Well, there's only one place that this is leading, and that's a mass exit of anybody of caliber and the possibility of a player strike, supported by the PFA.

And if wages are not paid and Cellino finds himself at odds with the players' union, what hope has he got of signing new recruits and returning the club to health? The Football League will be watching the situation very closely, and with Cellino facing another trial for tax evasion, the Fit & Proper Crook test may raise its head again - although I'm not sure if it can be applied retrospectively.

Put yourself for a moment in McCormack's shoes. McDermott reinvented him as a player last season, building his confidence and making him team captain - and the Scot rewarded his manager, the club and the fans with a truly brilliant season, shining like a diamond in the stew of mediocrity around him. Now the man who revived his fading career faces the sack. What would you do in that situation, especially if your wages are not paid when you return from your holiday?

If Byram goes, it will be at a cut price after a tepid season. If Mowatt goes it will be at a cut price because he has proved nothing yet. If McCormack goes, it will be for a decent sum, but that money will almost certainly be used to service debt rather than buy a replacement.

What a mess!

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Southampton Get Just Deserts As Pochettino Defects To Spurs

So, how fitting is that? Less than two years in to the "project", Pochettino has jumped ship and left Southampton in the lurch. And doesn't your heart bleed for a club that stabbed Nigel Adkins in the back after he guided them from the old third division to the Premiership with back to back promotions? What goes around comes around it seems.

Mind you, Pochettino couldn't have found a more appropriate home could he? Talk about a rat setting up home with a viper! Tell me, whose team finished higher in the table, Timmy Sherwood's or Mauricio Pochettino's? But despite a fantastic win percentage, Timmy was unceremoniously dumped just as this blog predicted (not hard I know) on the day he was appointed.

So the bookmakers can now offer a Special Bet. Who will dump who first, Levy or Pochettino? And how long will this marriage last? Until October, February, next May or might the Argentinian break all records by making it into a second season?

There's only one thing that's certain here, this won't last. Just ask AVB, Timmy, 'Arry and Oneday Ramos!

And meanwhile, with Daddy Rat jumping the sinking Saints ship, watch how quickly all the baby rats follow. Well, why should they show any loyalty to a club that sacked the man who turned them into Premiership players exactly?

Southampton relegated and Pochettino sacked by the end of February might be an interesting double!

All time great close to joining Newcastle but never considered other English clubs

It's not every day of your life that you get to meet one of your heroes and one of the greatest players ever to grace the game, so today was nearly as special as the day I met Bobby Moore. And like Moore, Hagi proved to be a modest, affable man, full of charm, good manners and consideration.

The conversation was enlightening on a number of levels, not least when I asked if he had ever considered playing in England. Hagi smiled and said, "I had the chance to join Newcastle when Kevin Keegan was manager and the deal nearly happened. But it was not to be." There was no comment about West Ham, Leeds or Spurs!

Asked why Romanian players, apart from his brother in law Popescu, had never cut it in the English game, Hagi replied, "You have to have a real desire to play in England. You have to have a big heart, a hunger, a passion." The implication was that the likes of Dumitrescu, Raducioiu, Rat and Chiriches were / are lacking in that department but he was too polite to be specific.

Pressed on who is the better player, Ronaldo or Messi, the former maestro replied, "Both are great players, both are making history. Ronaldo has great power, athleticism and skill, but for me Messi is the player I prefer. He has more skill, he plays more for the team. I also like the way he conducts himself off the football field." (Of course the Spanish tax man might disagree there!)

When asked who was the greatest player ever, he was reluctant to name anybody replying, "That is a question of opinion. I have a saying, the greatest player is the player who wins the most trophies. That is what counts at the end of a career, not what people say about you. For me, I admired most Pele and Maradona and it was a great honour to be compared to Maradona - the player, not the man off the pitch! I also learnt so much from Cruyff and from the coaches at Ajax where I studied the academy. At Ajax they teach you to think about the game, to play the game in your head, to see the whole pitch and that is what I try to teach at my academy in Constanta."

He explained what made him special as a footballer: "It is all about speed, not speed across the ground but speed of thought. The best players think quicker. They see things quicker. And it is all about fight. You have to play with passion, with heart, with desire. When you lose it has to make you unhappy and that is the time to analyse, to work out why you did not win. But you fight when on the pitch, not off it."

And which is the best league in the world? "At the moment Spain. England is second." And on playing for both Real Madrid and Barcelona? "It was easier because Brescia came in between. Moving from one to the other would not have been so easy." And his views on the England national team? "I like the England team very much because I never lost to them!"

A great day meeting a great man. And Newcastle missed out on one hell of a player as this link will confirm:

Monday, 26 May 2014

Former Leeds United Immortal Must Be Turning In His Grave

So it's 25 years since Don Revie's death and 37 years since he walked out on England, selling his soul to the oil rich United Arab Emirates and his story to the Daily Mail. Its also 34 years since he took control of footballing giants Al Nasr and exactly thirty years since accepting the position as manager of Al-Ahly - not quite Real Madrid or Barcelona, or Manchester United or even West Ham United for that matter, but outside of Leeds, Revie was, of course, as welcome as a dose of syphilis in European football after he had betrayed his own nation and its football fans.

But even Revie, a man without a conscience if ever there was one, would be appalled by the on-going chaos at Leeds Disunited. Next season will see the once mighty Whites rubbing shoulders with Rotherham, Bournemouth, Brentford and Wigan (who were a non League club when Leeds were winning titles). The club doesn't own its own ground and, if Cellino has his way, will soon be training in the local park, using jumpers as goal posts no doubt.

Of course the Heads Up Their Arses brigade still talk as if the Leeds Disunited of 2014 is the same club as the Leeds United of the Revie era, but that's as daft as thinking that Chelsea under Abramovich are the same as Sexton's heroes who dumped Revie's boys on their arses in that epic FA Cup Final replay, or that Unreal City are the same Manchester City that pipped Manchester United, Liverpool & Leeds to the title in 1968. The game moves on.

But sadly, the new Leeds, formed after administration, are stuck in Groundhog Day, unable to break free of the chains of debt tying the club to the second tier of English Football. GFH Capital thought they could turn a fast buck when Master Bates wanted out, but the Arab Bank Built on Sand quickly became the Arab Bank Sunk in Quicksand. Now Cellino has arrived and has been shocked by the way the club is haemorrhaging money. Forget team building, Cellino is desperately trying to tie a tourniquet in the hope of stopping the sick parrot nailed to its Championship perch from pushing up the daisies on the disused Thorp Arch training ground!

So 25 years after the Don's death, and with a  real  Sardinian Don now owning the club, Leeds and Revie are as close to being reunited as at any time since the man who betrayed his own country walked out on the club that he fleetingly made great. Because if the Cellino era ends in abject failure, God knows where the club will turn to next. You can't fool all of the people all of the time.

Still, spare a thought for the fans of Al Nasr and Al-Ahly today, 25 years after the Don's death they must be feeling the hurt!

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Time for the book to be thrown at QPR to be fair to all the other Championship clubs

Full marks to former West Ham cult figure Bobby Zamora. He may be old. He may be crocked. But he's still got it, evidently. One shot on target all game, and Zamora scored it. Memories of that win at Highbury during West Ham's great escape anybody? And, of course, Butterfingers Green and Inadequate O'Neil were both playing for the Hula Hoops too, with the mighty Ravel on the bench. And 'Arry the Albatross masterminded it all and there's rumours that he now plans to bring Rio and Joe Cole to the Bush! With QPR looking for a new ground, perhaps they should check out Upton Park after our move to the Olympic Stadium!

But that's for the future. In the here and now, action must be taken against QPR for cheating their way to promotion. Financial Fair Play? UEFA have hammered Manchester City and now the Football League must follow the example, demanding immediate and full disclosure of the operating losses for the 2013-14 season and imposing massive fines to punish Fernandes, thereby ensuring that no team dares to follow the QPR model into the future.

Indeed financial penalties aren't enough. If the game really wants to put its house in order, then QPR shouldn't be allowed to take their place in the Premiership. Look at the calls for West Ham to be relegated over the Tevez affair - and that was one player! QPR have won promotion with a squad of players that they cannot afford and have flagrantly and knowingly broken rules that other teams have respected. There should have been a transfer embargo last summer but 'Arry was allowed to bring in Austin, Phillips and a host of others, even though everybody knew the club were not going to comply with the financial rules.

So, for the good of the game, action must be taken and taken quickly. The only fair punishment would see QPR financially crippled for next season, guaranteeing an immediate return to where they belong - in the Championship!

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Time for McDermott to wave goodbye to Leeds

With QPR securing the final promotion place and Leeds fans reflecting on yet another season of turmoil and disappointment, it's surely high time for manager McDermott to quit and tell Cellino he will see him in court.

God knows why both men are still playing silly buggers. McDermott may want to stay - he really may be a masochist - but everybody knows his days are numbered; and Cellino may be trying to avoid paying his manager off, but he clearly does not understand the law relating to constructive dismissal.

As far as the courts are concerned, McDermott is bullet proof, whilst Cellino's prints are all over an arsenal of smoking machine guns. Dear God, he has already sacked McDermott once, and since reinstating the loveable underachiever, he has done absolutely nothing to make amends. There's been public criticism, communication by email rather than telephone, absurd insistence on an early return to training, talk of closing the training ground and now the Italian has said he is too busy to be bothered with signing new players - despite offloading the Less Than Magnificent Seven this week on free transfers.

How, exactly, is McDermott expected to manage in these circumstances? He has no authority in the dressing room now and with Cellino ushering employees out of the door quicker than the Italian army retreats from the battlefield, there isn't much of a club left to speak of either. And meanwhile, Carbone is hanging around on the touchline like a vulture waiting for a carrion feeding frenzy.

Come on Brian, find your pride, talk to a lawyer and get the hell out of this nest of vipers - a massive compensation pay-out is guaranteed! And then, with the only decent person at the club gone, those of us who detest Leeds can get back to doing what we love doing most: delighting in the continuing demise of what was all too fleetingly a biggish club.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

It's Massimo to the rescue at Leeds United!

With the Andrew Flowers consortium dead headed, the only hope for Leeds now is Massimo Cellino. The fans don't want him, the manager doesn't want him and the Football League would probably like to hire a Sicilian hit-man to be rid of him, but with GFH Capital intent on selling, the Italian now appears to be the only hope. And if he doesn't pass the Fit and Proper Crook test, administration appears the most likely outcome.

So Leeds fans had better buckle up for the Massimo ride. It will be bumpy for sure and McDermott will be jettisoned at the first opportunity, but a roller coaster ride has to be better than a slow boat to administration surely?

Massimo has money and a pool of Italian players who could be drafted on to the present squad - and that has to make him a better bet than the Bahrain Bank Built on Sand or either of the home grown consortiums, both of which are big on best wishes and small on financial commitment. At the end of the day, it all comes down to "Show me the money!"; and who cares if it is dirty?

Mind you, things now have to move on apace because that winding up petition is a worry.

With Leeds "supporters" like Andrew Flowers, who needs vile animals eh?

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Leeds United playing in the last chance saloon

Another day, another mess. With Flowers issuing his winding up petition, GFH Capital have pledged to employ lawyers to "vigorously" contest it. This is whilst Managing Director David Haigh, an employee of GFH Capital, continues to front up a consortium to take over the club with Flowers.

Now some argue that Flowers is just trying to delay Massimo's takeover, but it's a bloody weird way of endearing himself to the present owners and to the fans. First off, the defence of the petition will not come cheap - and Leeds haven't got money to chuck around at the moment - and secondly it will trigger feeding time in the debtors zoo. Now anybody and everybody who is owed money will ask for his share, for fear of finding himself so far down the queue that there won't be any left by the time the piss pot itself is broken up and shared out.

Suddenly Massimo takes on the status of a White Knight, because if his deal doesn't go through, Leeds look to be in deep shit. Should he fail the Fit and Proper Crook test, he will surely issue a winding up petition too to recover his £1.5m loan, and then the wolves really will be tearing at the corpse.

And what about Together Leeds? Well they may now spy an opportunity to buy Leeds on the cheap. Let the club go into administration, take the 15 point deduction and then, like Bates, set about building the club from the ground up.

But talking of Bates, isn't this exactly the scenario he said his strategy was designed to avoid? Wasn't the White Pig sailing through relatively becalmed waters when he was in charge? And are any of the current chancers any better than him?

Who knows, he might fancy a little flutter if the club is available in the Pound Shop again!

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Swansea's sacking of Laudrup is sheer madness

Well we have seen some mad sackings down the years, but the dismissal of Michael Laudrup has to rank as one of the craziest of all time. What's his crime exactly? Winning a domestic cup and so saddling the club with a campaign in the Your Ropey League? Or doing so well after taking the reins from Brendan Rodgers that sitting twelfth in the Premiership at the beginning of February isn't good enough?

Dear God, surely some context is needed! Yes Swansea are on a bad run and they were truly dire at Upton Park, even after Carroll had been dismissed, but most Swansea fans would have given their right arms to be in twelfth place at this stage of the campaign when the season kicked off back in August.

Yes the margins are desperately tight, with Stoke leap frogging up to eleventh for eighteenth on the back of one home win, but that cuts both ways. Swansea are two points above the drop zone after an away game; that could easily be back up to five after Swansea host Cardiff on Saturday. And five points is a decent buffer!

I would gladly have Laudrup at West Ham. He has a great eye for a player and encourages his team to play the game in the right way - and one day he will manage a top, top team. The Swansea board have over reacted and hit the panic button and personally I hope they get what they now deserve - relegation!

Flowers shows the extent of his love for Leeds United and the fans

It goes from bad to worse! With Massimo looking more and more likely to pass the Fit & Proper Crook test, news has now broken of a winding up order for non payment of debt, issued by Andrew Flowers no less. You know, that guy who is trying to block Cellino's bid because it's not in the best interests of the club. Interesting. So how exactly does an application to wind up the club help exactly?

This is, of course, the same Andrew Flowers who is heading up a consortium with David Haigh, the Managing Director appointed by present owners GFH Capital who is presumably the very man responsible for not repaying the loan and the 7% interest! With consortium partners like that, the future would look very interesting indeed should Sport Capita wrestle control of the club away from Massimo!

What a bloody mess. Poor Leeds fans don't know which way to turn. In the Reds corner is a former director of the hated Manchester United; in the blue corner, an Italian fraudster; and in the Whites corner, an employee of GFH Capital and a guy seeking to enforce payment of a debt by threatening to force the club into administration.

Talk about Hobson's choice!

Lawyers circling Leeds United and Football League like hungry vultures

Here we go, read all the latest today and you find the first mention of legal action, with Flowers preparing a case against the Football League should they approve Massimo as a fit and proper crook to take over a football club, on the basis that his convictions for fraud are "spent". And that's surely only the start.

Massimo clearly felt a deal had been struck at the end of last week, otherwise he wouldn't have been so stupid as to sack McDermott surely? The assurances must, therefore, have been pretty damn categorical, so should GFH Capital try to wriggle off the hook now, it would be amazing if a legal action didn't follow. We are now hearing that contracts were not exchanged, but Massimo would appear to have a pretty strong case given the public statement made by GFH Capital on the Official Site on Saturday which read:

"Following recent media reports and speculation, GFH Capital would like to confirm that it has agreed to sell a 75 per cent stake in the club to Eleonora Sport Ltd, a company owned by the Cellino family who have many years experience in football and who plan to invest substantially in the club including the re acquisition of Elland Road. Eleonora will be working on completing the required Football League approval."

Indeed, it would be no surprise if a legal challenge to any conversation between GFH Capital and Together Leeds & Sports Capita were to be issued sometime today. The waters have, of course, been muddied by the dual role of Haigh as Managing Director of Leeds United AFC and frontman for the Sports Capita bid. He is hardly neutral, and of course he is also an employee of GFH Capital into the bargain. Should Massimo miss out, there seems to be plenty of scope here for a legal challenge.

And then there's the matter of the Fit and Proper Person Test because should Massimo fail here, he can also allege bias because of the position of former Leeds C.E.O. Shaun Harvey at the Football League.

The last thing the club needs is a legal dispute over ownership as this could result in absolute turmoil and total inertia. How can you sign contracts if nobody knows who owns the club? But it's looking more and more likely that this is heading for the courts one way or another, because when the legal vultures spot a bleeding corpse, they circle and wait for the opportunity to feed their full.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Latest crazy twist in Leeds take over soap opera

So now the shark has been bitten, with Cellino's legal representative marched off the premises by David Haigh, who just happens to be heading up a rival bid to buy the club. Whether or not that was with the authorisation of the present owners, GFH Capital, is unclear but what does that matter? Perhaps anything Cellino can do, Haigh can do better!

Leeds fans are now pinning their hopes on a combined Pearson - Haigh bid, or to put it another way, a Together Leeds Sports Capita bid. Of course, Haigh, in his role as an employee of GFH Capital, dismissed a bid from Pearson's group as "derisory" not so long ago, so this is hardly a marriage made in heaven, but beggars can't be choosers, and what is happening at Leeds beggars belief!

One thing seems certain, if this marriage of consortiums goes ahead, there will be no massive injection of funds into the club. Sports Capita couldn't stump up the necessary funds to buy the club less than a month ago, and 75% of the entire business was being sold to Cellino on Friday for two thirds of what Moyeschester United paid for Matta. And meanwhile, Pearson was rumoured to have offered half that figure when trying to cash in on GFH Capital's financial miscalculations when they bought a financial drain thinking they were buying a gold mine.

The club is haemorrhaging cash and credibility by the day and with all the consortiums bidding so late, any expenditure in the January window has been conveniently avoided - just as I predicted one week into January when I blogged that somebody should buy Flowers a diary. Of course, Pearson and Haigh will make all the right noises about wanting what is best for the club, but if this is true, they would have got their fingers out and completed a deal before the window slammed shut. But that would have been expensive wouldn't it?

And ironically, that's where Cellino might be the better option, because should his bid succeed, Leeds might suddenly be bolstered, Watford style, by an influx of loan signings - albeit the rules on this have been tightened since the Pozzos exploited a ridiculous loop hole last season.

But let's assume for a moment that Haigh and Pearson prevail, then surely the broth will be in danger of being ruined by so many cooks as Flowers, Haigh, Pearson & his band of merry Yorkshiremen, Patel, Noruddychance et all do battle to exert ultimate control.

The plot thickens like the thighs and waistband of the average Yorkshire lass. McDermott is back in the engine room but God knows where the train is heading. Tomorrow will probably bring another twist, and should Leeds lose at Yeovil on Saturday, the wolves could turn on each other and start ripping the club apart.

And who is that smiling from ear to ear? Revenge is sweet for Master Bates who may be tempted to send pens to all the members of LUST who campaigned so hard to get him out of the club, inviting them to explain exactly how Leeds United has benefitted from the GFH Capital take over.

Leeds United "doesn’t belong to anyone but the fans" claims McDermott as he stands up to Cellino and GFH Capital

Well had he been standing in an election, it would have been the perfect speech. McDermott has done everything he can to make his sacking impossible by allying himself absolutely with the "class act"  that support the club - and effectively saying to whoever owns the shares of the business, 'Sack me if you dare'!

Short term, it's a bloody clever move, but there's one major flaw in the McDermott Self Preservation Strategy, and that's the fickle nature of the "class act" fans on whose total support he now depends. The 'vile animals' element were getting restless before Cellino didn't sack him, and if results don't pick up quickly, the self same mob that demanded McDermott's reinstatement on Saturday will quickly turn their backs on him and demand his removal.

Just imagine if Yeovil were to beat Leeds on Saturday, a result that would be comparable to Colchester's victory over Revie's team when you consider the Somerset side's average gate and limited resources. Suddenly fans will start wondering why Leeds can score five when McDermott isn't in charge of the team, yet they can't buy a win when he is at the helm. Because Gibbs can say as often as he likes that it was McDermott's team that beat Huddersfield, but McDermott wasn't in the dressing room to deliver the half time speech that turned the game around was he?

So actually, Cellino now holds the aces in the longer game. If results are good, then great, his investment grows in value; but if results are poor, the very fans on whom McDermott depends will be calling for his head, enabling Cellino to use McDermott's own words to justify his dismissal - 'the fans want you out and according to you, the fans own the club!'

It was always going to be a Cup Final for Yeovil on Saturday; now it promises to be a Cup Final for Brian McDermott too!

Anxious times for QPR as Leicester pull 10 points clear and Nottingham Forest and Derby County edge closer

Oh dear. A 3-3 draw at home to Burnley can't be called a disastrous result, but the gap that Leicester have now opened over QPR is very worrying indeed. Nine wins on the bounce mean that the Foxes already have one paw in the Premiership, and 'Arry will have to work a minor miracle to hunt them down. All of which means that the Hula Hoops are now probably playing for only one automatic promotion place.

In fact, Rangers' position is remarkably similar to West Ham's a couple of season's back, where for a long time Allardyce's men and Southampton seemed to have the two top spots there for the taking - and then along came Reading on an amazing charge to take the title and force West Ham into the playoffs. And for Reading this season, read either Nottingham Forest or Derby.

Forest look a very decent team indeed - except when they play Yeovil. And even after a stuttering performance against the Glovers, they still scored three times and came away with maximum points. In contrast to QPR, who leaked three against a declining Burnley side. Redknapp was receiving praise for his deadline day wheeler dealing but, despite his goal, it will be a bloody stupid question if Maiga proves to be the long term answer, although Doyle will probably prove a better investment.

The big worry, of course, is Financial Fair Play if QPR do miss out on promotion. As we move in to the nitty gritty part of the season, the tension will inevitably increase, and the pressure on QPR will be immense. It really will be a case of shit or bust, and that pressure will be pretty near to unbearable should 'Arry's men find themselves in the play off lottery.

Meanwhile, Derby and Forest can just get on with the job of playing. Yes promotion is the target, but it isn't essential this season - indeed, arguably, both teams might benefit from another season of team development in the lower tier, as Leicester seem to be proving this season.

Aside from who will finish in the top two, three of the playoff places appear to be close to resolved as, with the gap opened, one of QPR, Derby, Forest and Burnley would have to suffer a terrible collapse in form to miss out. But the sixth place is looking interesting, and should Wigan or Reading finally claim that place, they will prove no pushovers for the team finishing in third place.

Worrying times indeed for Fernandez - especially with a game away to Derby next week!

Have Leeds stumbled on the perfect managerial blue print?

Simples. Let McDermott oversee training and pick the team, then hand control over to Gibbs on match day. It worked brilliantly on Saturday so why shouldn't it work again?

In a strange way, all this chaos may have kick started a promotion charge for Leeds. Things appeared to be falling apart in the run up to McDermott's sacking and the new signings were struggling to bed down and have an impact. In fact, the situation was so desperate that the Bald Controller reverted to Old Big Gob's players. The manager seemed to have run out of ideas and Leeds were going nowhere fast.

But Cellino then threw a hand-grenade into the dressing room, and the anger at McDermott's dismissal was palpable. That second half performance showed what this team can do when they are fired up, and with Yeovil up next, there is a real opportunity to record back to back wins and begin a second push for the playoffs.

Somehow, McDermott has to exploit the sense of injustice without allowing the uncertainty surrounding the club's ownership to get to the players. The message should be, "Fcuk the Board, Fcuk Cellino, Fcuk all the bullshit, let's go out there and do it for the fans!"

The Bald Controller must now blow the whistle and order everybody on board the Leeds United McFeel Angry Raging Express to the Premiership, Europe, Infinity and Beyond!

Mussolini got the trains to run on time, perhaps Cellino will have the same effect!

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Sherwood should end the humiliation and walk out on Spurs now!

Poor Timmy. It seems as if the briefing against him has started already. The red tops are running stories today about Van Gaal joining after the World Cup, and there are suggestions that Levy is unhappy with Sherwood's "abrasive" style and his team selection.

None of this is a surprise, of course. Timmy and a few blinkered Spurs fans seem to be the only ones who can't see what is going on. With Spurs on the shoulder of Liverpool as we enter the final lap of the season, it was nothing short of incredible that Tottenham banked rather than spent money in the transfer window, with the decision not to replace Defoe bordering on the criminally incompetent.

Yes Adebayor is playing well at the moment, but how long will that last? The guy is moody and prone to idling when things go against him. Thus far, he has responded well to lippy Timmy, but that's because he was rotting in the stiffs until AVB was shown the door. But sooner or later, Sherwood will say something that Emmanuel does not like, and then all the commitment currently in his play will evaporate.

And meanwhile, asides from the penalty spot, Soldado looks as deadly in front of goal as Carlton Cole!

And Timmy's option? Young Kane.

As I blogged yesterday, this is not a squad capable of challenging for a top four finish and campaigning in the Your Ropey League - and Levy knows that. So the only explanation for Tottenham's inactivity in the window is that Sherwood is a caretaker with no access to the bank vault.

And the articles this morning confirm that. How else can you explain Van Gaal's comments when pressed on the matter of Tottenham? He as good as confirms that he is on his way when he says:

"Am I still in contact with Spurs? There will come a moment that I can talk about that. Look at my CV. I have won a trophy every season during my club career. I am a winner and craving a trophy. This is why I am sick of being a national coach. I only see the players eight times a year. I am not enjoying the job of national coach at all. After the World Cup I want to coach a big club again and win trophies. Otherwise I will retire."

Now his arrival will probably be very good news for Spurs fans, but where does this leave Timmy? Capoue has already slated him in the French media and claimed that the "English" don't understand European players. This should have triggered the Frenchman's exit in the January window - £8.5m was on offer - but Van Gaal probably rates him and has his own shortlist of players to be brought in this summer - including his preferred strikers.

So Timmy Time is ticking down and the poor sod is just minding the baby until Levy demotes him or shows him the door. What hope has the poor sod got if things start to go badly? The players will know what's going on. Bloody hell, you wouldn't put it past Levy to have a word with Capoue and say, "Just hang on in their son, Van Gaal rates you even though this clown doesn't".

It is all so undignified and if Timmy has any pride he should storm into Levy's office and tell him where to shove the caretaker's mop and broom!

Latest amazing twist on McDermott's sacking at Leeds

Well we all thought Cellino was behind the sacking of Friar Brian, a reasonable assumption given he told the press that he had no other choice other than to remove the Bald Controller because he had done everything possible to get himself the sack. But no, we were all wrong. Cellino, apparently, was only removing him because GFH Capital wanted him out!

Too incredible to believe? Not if you live in Cellino's world! Because that is his latest madcap claim as he tries to cover his arse and, no doubt, avoid legal action. Just how brazen is this guy? In a complete volte face, he now claims "GFH are still running Leeds United. They did not want Brian as manager but didn’t have the courage to sack him."

Wow. So now the joint owners of the club are at one another's throats, hurling allegations at each other! I bet the Bahrain Bank Built on Sand are chuffed to bits at this slur - being an investment bank, a suggestion that they lack the courage of their convictions is pretty bloody damaging. How long before the owners currently running the club are suing the guy who, if all goes to plan, will soon be running the club, one wonders?

How Master Bates must be loving this!

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Leeds United exemplify football’s culture of amorality, duplicity and incompetence.

Don't blame me for the headline, it wasn't written by me, but by The Independent, not generally known as a scurrilous rag! The article by Michael Calvin is quite a read as he lays into GFH Capital, Bates, Haigh, Cellino and Shaun Harvey - everybody indeed except Friar Brian who, on the basis of this article, should be canonised sometime soon. Saint Brian, the patron saint of gross injustice or of the Feel Good Factor perhaps.

If the headline taken from the article isn't tasty enough, try "If a man of Cellino’s character and reputation can pass the League’s so-called Owners and Directors Test, its 96 sections, countless  sub-clauses and 10 reasons for disqualification are not worth the paper on which they are written."

Or how about, "Let’s call it the Curse of Ridsdale’s Goldfish. The myth of a club which trades on their former prominence was exposed by the wasteland which confronted McDermott when he arrived late last April with a supposedly strategic brief to rebuild Leeds from the bottom up over three years."?

Mind you, this bit is spot on too: "Management has always been a charnel house, and had McDermott been sacked after punishing defeats by Rochdale and Sheffield Wednesday, the football world would have shrugged and moved on. But the callous and cowardly nature of his dismissal, enacted without the knowledge of existing board members, demands scrutiny."

And I love this bit: "Rarely has regime change been so shameless and shambolic. McDermott’s human touches, such as allowing staff to bring children into offices during school holidays, will be much missed. A climate of fear and confusion has returned."

I like the cut of this Calvin's jib! He even dismisses the thumping of Huddersfield as "a suitably perverse 5-1 win."

Earlier this week I predicted that Cellino would turn Leeds into a comedy horror show, but I didn't expect it to happen overnight! There's even a dispute over who picked the team, with Gibbs claiming it was McDermott and suggestions elsewhere that Uncle Festa made a couple of changes.

What a mess. Marching on Together? The club is tearing itself apart!

Sherwood's Tottenham Hotspur Come Up Short at Hull City

How much did Soldado cost? What is Adebayor being paid in wages? And between them, they couldn't muster a single goal at Hull City, with Tottenham rescued from embarrassing defeat by a Paulinho goal.

And what is the only alternative to penalty king Soldado and the moody Adebayor? That would be young Kane, a promising but very raw talent. Now you are not telling me that this is a squad equipped to challenge for a top four spot and press on in the Your Ropey League!

But according to Timmy, he didn't need any new players in January, despite agreeing to allow Defoe to move to Canada. Really?

So what happens if Soldado and Adebayor get injured exactly, or with his place in the team now almost guaranteed, Adebayor chooses to idle. Surely Tottenham needed at least one more striker during this window, especially if Timmy persists with two up top?

Look at the facts rather than what Timmy claims and surely it is obvious that Levy wasn't willing to trust his caretaker with a transfer budget. Long's goal today showed that you don't have to spend megabucks to pick up a decent understudy, although with Soldado virtually goal less other than from the penalty spot, it may not be an understudy that's needed.

Despite Moyeschester United's on going struggles, Spurs slipped further behind in the race for the Champions League today and it's not difficult to see why: compare Tottenham's 31 goals scored in 24 games with fourth placed Liverpool's 57 from 23 and it's amazing that the points gap is as narrow as it is!

No need for new signings? Pull the other one Timmy!

Leeds 5 Huddersfield 1 - Decision to sack the unsacked McDermott vindicated?

Football's a funny old game isn't it? With Leeds fans up in arms about Crookillino taking over the club and showing their support for sacked boss Brian McDermott both before and during the game with Huddersfield, one vital detail seems to have passed unnoticed: Cardiff bid somewhere between £4m and £6m for McCormack yesterday, and the offer was turned down.

Now, would GFH Capital have turned that bid down? They grabbed less than 50% of that for Becchio and accepted the hopeless Morison as part of the deal this time last season, so its probably pretty safe to say no. In fact, quite a few Leeds fans might have said yes to that kind of money!

But with Crookillino promising to pump money into the club, Cardiff were told to take a running jump. And with McCormack smashing home another three goals today, that is looking a pretty good decision at the moment.

McCormack will, of course, come out and say something like, "That was for Brian" but it's a bit late for the Leeds players to be playing for Nice Guy Brian now - unless, in the mad mad world of Leeds United, the decision to dismiss McDermott is overturned.

What's even stranger is that this was a return to the McDermott blue print. Whereas the last two teams were packed with Warnock's yard dogs, today's team featured Mowatt, Murphy, Kebe and Stewart. Did McDermott pick the team before he was sacked? Probably.

But he wasn't in the dressing room at half time was he? And it was presumably what was said in the break that turned a faltering performance into a rampant runaway victory.

So a new era has started with a 5-1 win and those in the McDermott lobby now have a few awkward questions to answer - and victory at bottom of the table Yeovil next week wouldn't make it any easier for them to defend their man. McDermott staked everything on the Feel Good Factor, but there was no Feel Good Factor inside Elland Road at kick off, and look what happened! Maybe angering these players is the way forward!

Unfortunately for Leeds, today's result hasn't really done a lot for the club's chances of being in the Prem next season, courtesy of wins for Blackburn, Ipswich and Reading. The gap to the playoffs is still eight points and Leeds are still only in tenth place in the table. But then that is the McDermott legacy after 9 months in control - 9 months of standing still given Leeds were still in the hunt - just - at this stage of last season with Warnock in charge.

What would be really funny, of course, would be for McDermott to come back and for Leeds to lose at Yeovil next week. Stranger things have happened at Elland Road!

Sherwood denied key to Tottenham Hotspur transfer war chest

Timmy is putting a brave face on things, but the failure of Spurs to buy anybody in the window tells you everything you need to know about the probable length of his tenure. I posted yesterday that Timmy Time ticked down several heartbeats as Manchester City completed their 11-1 aggregate win over Spurs; well his departure in the summer was all but announced when the key to the vault was kept hidden from him throughout the month of January.

In fact, Tottenham's squad has actually been weakened, with Defoe heading off to the footballing Mecca that is Toronto and Holtby joining the footballing bingo hall that is Fulham.

Timmy, of course, maintains that he didn't want anybody and even suggests that had players been forced upon him, he would have refused to pick them. You can hear him even now. "Messi? He aint a forward as such and he aint a midfielder either. Wouldn't get in my team. No way. Ronaldo? He aint a centre forward as such and he aint an out and out winger either is he? Real Madrid can keep him."

So Timmy has set his stall out. He wants defenders what defend, forwards what attack, wingers what cross and midfielders what do a bit of everfink except keep goal. So, jumpers on the ground for goal posts guys, let's pick sides, no offside for now, and off we go!

Managing a football team in the C21st aint rocket science; just ask Timmy!

Shame on Leeds. New era begins disgracefully.

Well, welcome to the new Cellino era! Even before he has his foot officially through the door, he's sacked his first manager - the affable, thoroughly decent, honest, dedicated, hard working Brian McDermott; and replaced him, for the time being, with Uncle Festa.

And on what basis? Because McDermott is not a lap dog and refused to fetch the stick when Cellino threw it! Leeds fans hated the overbearing style of Bates, well believe you me, they haven't seen anything yet!

Remember, Cellino hasn't even been ratified and sanctioned as the new owner but the only reason he has given for McDermott's dismissal is that he refused to follow unacceptable orders and had the audacity to speak to the press. Well, he probably breached his contract when he did that but look at the level of provocation. He knew he was on the way out as soon as the sale of Reg Varney was cancelled. How could he manage a player he so obviously wanted to sell?

And on what basis has Festa been appointed? He's a mate of Cellino's! Has he guided a team to promotion from the Championship? No.  So what are his qualifications exactly? Assistant manager at Cagliari for two seasons and head coach at Lumezzani - and in case you have never heard of them, Lumezzani are the Italian equivalent of Port Vale! Just perfect.

So the man who has sacked 36 managers has started as he means to go on. McDermott has gone already and Festa will follow within the next 9 months - because he's a consiglieri not a son of the Sicilian Godfather.

It's going to be a rocky ride on the Leeds United Feel Good Factor Sleeper Express to the Premiership, Europe, Infinity and Beyond from here on in.

And poor Brian? Not so long ago he could walk on water, now he sleeps with the fishes!

Friday, 31 January 2014

McCormack to leave Leeds before the window closes?

It aint over till the fat keeper sings, and  Podgy Kenny is only gargling as we speak. Leeds rejected West Ham's £3.5m bid for Ross McCormack earlier this week, but there was still a chance that the takeover might be salvaged at that point. Now, GFH Capital may look differently at any offer they receive for the Scot.

West Ham are looking elsewhere, of course, with a whole host of players being linked to the club as Sullivan & Gold try desperately to secure Premiership survival. But West Ham are not the only potential bidders. Leicester and QPR may think that a proven Championship player would be a good investment ahead of their last lap sprint for the Prem. And meanwhile, Norwich City could yet decide to add to their Leeds Foreign Legion.

And McCormack may now fancy a move away following the farcical collapse of the takeover. He knows now that Leeds are going nowhere this season, and with another period of uncertainty probable, he may well consider it unwise to hang around.

Once again, Leeds fans will watch the close of the window with a sense of trepidation rather than excitement: Becchio buggered off last year; and McCormack could yet follow him!

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Is Levy quietly relieved after Manchester City's thumping of Tottenham Hotspur?

Things were getting just a little bit awkward at White Hart Lane following the desperate appointment of Timmy Sherwood. The game plan was surely for Sherwood to squeak Spurs into a Champions League place, or into the Your Ropey League, but to leave sufficient question marks over his leadership qualities for Levy to feel justified in replacing him with a big name from abroad after the World Cup.

But bloody Timmy wouldn't play ball. True his start was a little bit shaky, not least because of that Capital One Fan Cup exit to West Ham, but then the team went on a roll, and victory at Old Trafford had Spurs fans ejaculating over their breakfast kippers.

Spurs suddenly climbed the table, and with Moyeschester United disintegrating before Ferguson's scowling eyes, hope suddenly sprang eternal. Timmy was actually leading Tottenham to the Promised Land. Great for the short term, but a bloody nuisance with major team rebuilding scheduled for the summer. Fair enough to entrust a lost cause to Timmy, but to let him spend upward of £50m in the summer, well that would be frankly ridiculous!

But with Manchester City completing an 11-1 aggregate win over Spurs in the League, Levy now has his excuse for shunting Sherwood on in the summer.  Cue the "Done a great job but when we found ourselves up against the best, Tim was found a little wanting in the tactical department" speech ahead of a certain Dutch man being ushered around the Spurs managerial revolving door.

So Timmy Time ticked down several heart beats as Manchester City smashed home five goals. True Spurs were reduced to 10 men, but that didn't help AVB did it? And Timmy won't command the huge pay off that his over rated predecessor benefitted from. It's sad, but Timmy is simply keeping the manager's seat warm; and sadder still that the poor sod doesn't seem to realise it!

Manchester United Director Linked with Bid for Leeds United

You couldn't write it could you? With Haigh's proposed takeover collapsing because his employers GFH Capital have reneged on an agreement, and Cellino circling like a burglar hoping to creep in through a fanlight window inadvertently left open, Manchester United director Mike Farnan is now said to be heading up a consortium interested in buying Leeds. Talk about a marriage made in hell for Leeds fans!

Perhaps Mahmoud Ahmadinejad should stand in the next Israeli elections or Ed Balls should offer his services to Cameron as a replacement for Gorgie Porgie Osborne! Just imagine, a Manchester United director owning Leeds United!

But Leeds fans shouldn't over react. This may be a way forward. Given this lead by Farnan, the Mancs might buy the club lock, stock and sawn off barrels, and turn Leeds into a nursery team. Like that, Leeds fans could expect to see some great young talent playing at Elland Road even if the club never makes it back to the Prem!

And that has to be a better bet than Cellino who is rumoured to want to close the Academy!

Marching on Together with Manchester United has a certain ring about it, don't you think?

Cellino would turn Leeds United into a comedy horror show

So Cellino wanted to put Uncle Festa in the dugout for the Ipswich game, and that's before he has bought a stake in the club. That should tell Leeds fans all they need to know about the guy. How long before the rest of the Addams family join the club? Still, the namesake of Uncle Fester, the man with the deranged smile, has at least written an appropriately named book - "Silent Death"!

McDermott has answered my blog from yesterday, giving assurances that he would never walk out on the fans and LUST have joined the love in, giving the Bald Controller a vote of confidence; for what worth that is!  But Friar Brian knows his days will be numbered if Cellino takes control of the club - this guy sacks managers like Mike Gatting eats pies, and he clearly doesn't rate McDermott given he was so anxious to put his own man in the dug out even ahead of buying a stake in the club.

McDermott has already talked about unacceptable interference, and there really is no point in him hanging around if he is nothing more than a figure head waiting to be chopped off. Like the Pozzos at Watford, Cellino will want to flood the club with Italians; and ability and merit will count for nothing. It's all down to Family Business you see, Addams Family business for as long as Uncle Fester is involved.

Of course, before he can take control, the dodgy Italian has to pass the fit and proper person test, and given he has been done for fraud twice, that won't be a forgone conclusion. So a messy period of uncertainly seems almost certain, and that can only be bad news for McDermott and his team.

But for the bloggers it will great fun. When will Pugsley and Wednesday graduate from the youth team? What about Pubert, Thing, Cousin Itt and Lurch?

Personally I can't wait!

All aboard the Leeds United Ghost Train to the Premiership, Europe, Infinity & Beyond!

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Will McDermott resign his position as manager of Leeds?

Leeds fans must be wondering when the club will next win a game. True, a share of the points with Ipswich is not a disastrous result but all the pre Christmas optimism has now evaporated and it looks like being an unremarkable season of mid table obscurity. Automatic promotion is now an impossible dream, and with the play off pack 8 points ahead, hopes of squeaking into the Premiership via the back door are fading fast too. Even Warnock's team offered a more sustained challenge than this!

Mind you, Warnock's team was on show against Ipswich as McDermott reverted to Old Big Gob's yard dogs once again in his increasingly desperate search for a winning formula - and it still needed a penalty to avoid a home defeat!

So where does the Bald Controller go from here exactly? If he has any sense, he will head for the exit door before he is pushed through it. The promised takeover looks dead in the water, and the Feel Good Factor Sleeper Express to the Premiership, Europe, Infinity and Beyond has been renamed the Fiasco Express. All aboard for a round trip to nowhere! Except maybe administration!

Or worse still, Cellino could take charge. And then McDermott would know his number was up for sure! But at least he would receive a payoff when sacked I suppose!

It is an undignified mess once again and Leeds fans must be close to despair.

Friday, 24 January 2014

West Ham & Leeds fans united in hoping McCormack deal isn't done!

Times may be desperate, but they surely can't be THAT desperate!

OK we have bought some shit down the years, but buying Ross McCormack would really take the biscuit - providing Benni McCarthy didn't eat those left behind by cookie magnet Eggert Magnusson and the barrel has been kept hidden from Allardyce.

True the Scot has banged in a few goals in the Championship but how many players are capable of making the step up? And he's no spring chicken is he?

It doesn't take a high wattage bulb to shine in the darkness, and in the current Leeds team, a Lions Midget Gem would shine like the Koh-I-Noor. Good God, when you are compared with the likes of Podgy Kenny, Warnock Junior, Reg Varney, Shit Brown and Hell Hadji, you'd have to have two prosphetic left legs and be right footed not to stand out from the crowd.

If we are really interested in him then it can only be because we are planning for next season in the Championship. McCormack has Ted MacDougall and Derek Hales stamped all over him, a decent player in the lower divisions but hopelessly out of his depth in the top tier.

And as hard up as Leeds are, they won't sell him for what he is worth which is somewhere between £1.5m and £2m.

Leave well alone for God's sake - just look at what Becchio has "achieved" at Norwich!

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Leeds United Star On The Undateables!

Ray and two other Undateables
How appropriate! With GFH Capital struggling to find a suitor, and the fans falling out of love with the Messiah McDermott, it was deliciously hilarious to see the club featuring so prominently on Channel Four's The Undateables tonight.

You had to love Ray and his date, especially when the life long Leeds fan displayed utter dismay as the second love of his life started chanting "Barnsley! Barnsley!" mid way through the game, not appreciating that she was cheering on the wrong team. Classic stuff!

And to rub salt into Ray's wounds, the mighty Whites lost the game 2-1 at home to the terrible Tykes!

Was it wrong to laugh? If so, it was wrong to carry the clip on TV, because poor Ray's face summed up the last 20 years of hurt endured by Leeds fans - he simply could not believe that his date was cheering on Barnsley!

The programme is still on and I hope, upon hope, that Ray has found lasting happiness with the woman of his dreams because, God knows, supporting Leeds is a big enough cross to carry through life!

The McDermott Revolution is over at Leeds

Oh dear, talk about hitting the panic button! After arriving like a breath of fresh air, Friar Brian has apparently lost his nerve and against Leicester turned the clock backwards, wafting in the stench of Warnock with a vengeance - and we are not just talking about the inclusion of Shit Brown.

Apart from Brown, a whole host of Warnock's foot soldiers either started or were introduced from the sub's bench. Podgy Kenny, young Byram, old Warnock Junior, Useless Lees, Pearced as a newt, Ruddy Austin, McCormack, Reg Varney, Hell Hadji and Peltier - that's 12 Warnock men in total who featured. No Smith, of course, he was suspended, but also no Wootten, no Mowatt, no Poleon, no Murphy, no Zaliukas, no Complete Hunt; in fact the only kids or newbies that featured were the two loanees. The Leeds Board must be wondering why they shelled out all that money - no wonder GFH Capital said enough is enough!

And whilst it is true Leeds showed more fight than at Rochdale and Sheffield Wednesday, you would expect a reaction of sorts wouldn't you? And if you want "fight" then Warnock players can generally be relied upon for that; but if you want class, well it's going to be more 'under class' than aristocracy with Warnock's bruisers isn't it?

And so it proved. Warnock's Warriors huffed and puffed but failed to blow the Leicester house down, and then Leicester delivered the almost inevitable sucker punch late in the game. Mind you, it's one hell of a sucker punch when you lose to a Nugent goal - who has all the finesse of a Trabant! And from a pass by O.A.P. Phillips no less. Ouch!

So where does McDermott go from here? He claimed Warnock had left a poor squad behind, but in time of need, he turned to Warnock's men, which makes him look just a little bit silly - or absolutely desperate!

Meanwhile, Old Big Gob will be offering advice from beneath his replanted Banyan tree in Cornwall and smiling broadly at Friar Brian's team selection. "Crap squad?", he might well ask, "Well if I signed crap, what does that say about the players McDermott has brought in, given my lads are better?"

Revolution, what revolution? one might  well ask!

Would Bates be a better bet for Leeds than GFH Capital?

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. At West Ham we know all about false dawns and botched take-overs, but Leeds United seem to have got it all down to a fine art and cornered the bloody market! With the Sport Capital deal looking less likely by the day, the nightmare of Leeds remaining in the ownership of the Bahrain Bank Built on Sand becomes not just a possibility but a probability. And if Carling did Arab Owners, they certainly wouldn't do this bunch of hard up misers!

The news that GFH Capital blocked the move for Barnes is nothing short of terrifying. Friar Brian has climbed squarely into the Haigh and Hunt boat, and if it sinks, he's going to be deep in the Swanee without a life jacket. All aboard the Leeds United McFeelgood Factor Sleeper Express to the Premiership Europe, Infinity and Beyond my arse!  The bridge is down, and poor McDermott is driving the train full steam ahead into potential oblivion.

If the  Sport Capital take-over collapses, what course is open to Nice Guy Brian other than to resign? All along he has talked about team work, of pulling together in the same direction, of working for a Board that was giving him marvelous backing.  Now that argument won't wash. Now even the most blinkered Leeds fans must accept that the Bahrain based bank are a cancer in the club and poor McDermott must recognize that he received more support from the Reading board on the day before he was sacked than this lot are going to give him in a century of Ramadans. They are in it for the money and they don't have the money to provide the impetus that Leeds United need to move forward.

Still Cellino is in the wings I suppose, you know the guy who lacked the financial muscle and credibility to outbid the Dildo Brothers when they bought West Ham. And if that comes to nothing, there's always Master Bates. I'm sure he would like nothing better than to take back ownership of the club!

Are Manchester United following Liverpool into oblivion?

Dear God, not content with surrendering the title, Moyes' Mancs have now contrived to exit the Capital One Fan Cup at the hands of Blunderland - and over two legs at that!

So, it is official. Manchester United's domination of the English game has passed into history, just like Liverpool's. This weekend's results drove the final nail into both team's title pretentions and there's no way back for either of them in the title race now.

But there the comparison ends. Liverpool look as if they are on the way back, and Rome wasn't built in a day. Brendan Rodgers has done a superb job this season and if a Champions League place can be secured this season, and if Suarez decides to stick around and dive to ground, then the renaissance may be completed some time over the next two years.

However, a crisis is unfolding at Old Trafford. The defeat at Chelsea will simply confirm for many that Mourinho, not Moyes, should have succeeded Ferguson, and the Chosen One, as opposed to the Special One now faces a huge mountain to climb if he is going to restore credibility.

One glance at the table tells you how bad the situation is. Tottenham sit in fifth, six points ahead of the floundering Mancs, and Tottenham sacked AVB because of a poor first half of the season. If it's not good enough for Tottenham, why the hell is it good enough for Manchester United? True, results have improved under Timmy, but that just adds grist to the mill for those wanting Moyes to take an early exit. And meanwhile, Everton, under Moyes' replacement, are also ahead of his jack-knifed juggernauts, rubbing acid into the already red raw wounds.

And it's not as if a quick fix presents itself. Ferguson left behind an imbalanced squad, with key players ageing. Scholes was never replaced, Rio in his prime was better than any of the centre backs presently in the squad, and Giggs has gone over the top at long, long last. True RVP has been sorely missed, but since when have Manchester United been dependent on one player?

Meanwhile, the shadow of Ferguson spreads itself over the Old Trafford pitch as the former manager shakes his head in disbelief in the stand. Fans are calling for his return, but the only way forward is probably for him to be asked to stay away from the ground. But you can't do that to a god can you?

Moyes has won precisely nothing in the game and the Manchester United super stars know that. When he switches on the hair-dryer, players who have achieved far more in the game than he has simply shrug their shoulders and think, "Like you know anything about winning!"

Comparisons have been made with Ferguson's slow start at Old Trafford, but Ferguson took on a sleeping giant and awoke it from it's slumbers; Moyes is taking on a team that is drifting in to a coma!

And if qualification for the Champions League is missed, the crisis will simply deepen. RVP back to Arsenal anybody; or to Manchester City? And Rooney to Chelsea? And let's be honest, Januzaj apart, none of the others will have a queue of top teams wanting to sign them, will they?

Now, let's see how committed the Glaziers are, shall we? One big signing will not be enough; for Moyes to be a winner he will need five, or six, or seven or...

Saturday, 18 January 2014

McDermott resorts to Warnock's men but Leeds still lose

Oh dear, talk about hitting the panic button! After arriving like a breath of fresh air, Friar Brian has apparently lost his nerve and today turned the clock backwards, wafting in the stench of Warnock with a vengeance - and we are not just talking about the inclusion of Shit Brown.

Apart from Brown, a whole host of Warnock's foot soldiers either started or were introduced from the sub's bench. Podgy Kenny, young Byram, old Warnock Junior, Useless Lees, Pearce, Ruddy Austin, McCormack, Reg Varney, Hell Hadji and Peltier - that's 12 Warnock men in total who featured. No Smith, of course, he was suspended, but also no Wootten, no Mowatt, no Poleon, no Murphy, no Zaliukas, no Complete Hunt; in fact the only kids or newbies that featured were the two loanees. The Leeds Board must be wondering why they shelled out all that money!

And whilst it is true Leeds showed more fight than at Rochdale and Sheffield Wednesday, you would expect a reaction of sorts wouldn't you? And if you want "fight" then Warnock players can generally be relied upon for that; but if you want class, well it's going to be more 'under class' than aristocracy with Warnock's bruisers isn't it?

And so it proved. Warnock's Warriors huffed and puffed but failed to blow the Leicester house down, and then Leicester delivered the almost inevitable sucker punch late in the game. Mind you, it's one hell of a sucker punch when you lose to a Nugent goal - who has all the finesse of a Trabant! And from a pass by O.A.P. Phillips no less. Ouch!

So where does McDermott go from here? He claimed Warnock had left a poor squad behind, but in time of need, he turned to Warnock's men, which makes him look just a little bit silly - or absolutely desperate!

Meanwhile, Old Big Gob will be offering advice from beneath his replanted Banyan tree in Cornwall and smiling broadly at today's team selection. "Crap squad?", he might well ask, "Well if I signed crap, what does that say about the players McDermott has brought in given my lads are better than his?"