No More Dexter Blackstock for Leeds; Who Next? – by Rob Atkinson


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Dexter makes his mark for Leeds

Dexter Blackstock has apparently been ruled out for the season by a knee injury, which is particularly hard luck on the lad himself, but also obviously for Leeds United.  Dex wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea in the white shirt, but as was said in commentary for the Watford game, he did bring something to the team that we hadn’t got before, in terms of work off the ball and his movement, opening up options for others to profit rather than necessarily being a taker of chances himself – although I’m sure that would have come.

But hey-ho, he’s gone back to Forest and there’s no use crying over spilt milk.  The one thing we know for sure about poor old Blackstock is that he’s not an option for the rest of this season – so he therefore disappears from our radar altogether, and we must look forward – and it appears that we may do so whilst jingling a few shekels in our pocket.

The most likely addition to our forward line in January remains, in my opinion, one Señor Becchio.  He’s been here and done it before, and at this level too.  He’d be absolutely champing at the bit and determined to make an impact – I’m sure he’d be effective for Leeds United as the campaign enters its decisive phase.  I emphasise my own opinion here as it seems certain Leeds fans would see Bates ensconced in his old office at Elland Road before they’d accept Luciano back.  This absolutely baffles me – Becchio is a known quantity, he’s familiar with the club and the demands of playing in front of a demanding and somewhat truculent crowd – why on earth wouldn’t we give him a shot, if it really was an option?

Still, what do Brian McDermott OR I know?  I’m just glad that we appear to be of the same opinion, even if we’re wrong.  But what do others think?  I wrote an article a while back saying that the acquisition of Becchio and Gradel in January would guarantee us promotion; I still feel that’s most probably right, too.  But it’s not as if I’d be averse to Ince from Blackpool plus Doyle from Wolves, either – as long as the budget is there, post TOMA III.  What options would anyone else advance or deeply desire?  I’m seeking your views, ladies and gentlemen – please chip in with them below.

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25 responses to “No More Dexter Blackstock for Leeds; Who Next? – by Rob Atkinson

  1. Becchio will get goals at this level. us fans are fickle but we would forget the past if he got his scoring boots on. Give him a chance to redeem himself…

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  2. We shouldn’t give him a shot because he will cost too much. He is now 29. He isn’t going to say “Please may I come back on my old contract which finishes at end of next season and pays about £12-15,000 a week.” He’s going to want the 25 grand a week he gets at Norwich and for the deal to last until he’s 32.

    Also, in what way is Becchio like Blackstock? It’ll be long balls and crosses from – who, exactly? McDermott has discovered an obsession with not playing Byram, so Pugh is our main winger. And of course we’ll need to get Ross to drop back, go wide, etc, so he will score less.

    So Becchio would be a perfect fit, wouldn’t he?

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    • Fair enough John, that’s your take on Becchio – but who WOULD you have?

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      • Ah, no idea. I fear those who say we’ll need to get someone from abroad in are right. Always a gamble, but more likely to be affordable. Now if only we had a decent scouting network in eastern Europe, for example…

        I think we have to remember that we have an unbalanced squad and too much cash going out this year, and that if we win promotion it’ll be because we nicked it. We’re lucky to be where we are and I think that, even if Ross stays fully fit, we’ll probably be no more than 10th when xmas/NY games are over. ‘Top’ players in this division won’t want to join us.

        Another Blackstock, a winger and a late run is the best we can hope for.

        Or for the manager to try 4-4-2, with Smith and Ross up front and the wings to be occupied by some combination of White, Byram and Pugh. But that isn’t going to happen. He has a thing about not playing Byram (don’t bother telling me Peltier is better, or that it’s a man-in-possession thing – White did well and was dropped, Smith did well and was dropped.)

        It all comes down to hoping for continued improvement, principally at the back (progress is now visible, thanks to Zaliukas) and luck with injuries and waiting for 1 or 2 (no more) expensive signings in the summer).

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      • Finely-reasoned and well-argued, if I may say so. I like the cut of your jib, mate.

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      • Thanks! There may yet be a streak of madness in me though – we’d need a winger, but I actually believe we could sneak into the top 2. Even without one I think we could make 5th or 6th. We’ve got a good manager and about 15-16 good players (for this level). Just pray for luck with injuries… Alzheimers, clearly…

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  3. I agree with you Rob, Becchio will be busting to get the shackles off,he would be fresh from getting splinters from the Leeds reserves bench (Norwich) and a loan deal to the end off the season would be the ideal scenario. The problem is there’s not a massive choice out there in January,is Billy Sharp,whose loan at Reading expires in January a possibility ? Mad Max would just be the icing on the cake.

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  4. john palmer

    of course becchio would be agood move, we have seen it 1st time .gradel and ince are no chance.fryatt,waghorn,baldock,sharp all quality but i think smith will be a star given time.hoolahan,clayton or ,hammil for austin would get us up

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  5. David Cliff

    I think the club has moved on so much since the depression and stagnation of the Bates years we now have a manager that looks to progression rather than over the hill journeymen favored by Warnock,so I would have thought that Becchio would at best be a loan till the end of season,I may be wrong {it has been known before}.

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  6. Rob, you’ve done it again . . .
    The link attached to BMcD in your article is to the manager of the Rhinos.

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  7. I dont think Becchio is what we need to be honest, hes quite similar in style to Smith and Smith will bag double figures this season easily ( hes on 6)… The whole point of getting Blackstock was his mobility….. So personally I think if we get a striker it will be someone with Pace……

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  8. Rubber Brick

    You can’t argue with Beccs goal scoring record for us, however, I would seriously worry about altering our style to accommadate him. Beccs thrived on the ‘hoof-ball’ diet we had under Warnock/Grayson. I would give him a chance though (loan) together with Billy Sharpe. I have seen shouts for Beckford, again a relic of our hoof-ball history but he certainly knows where the net is around the six yard box and of course pace to burn. Throw in Max and any one of those forwards would deliver. The key then is Mad Max, even barn door Billy would score from his service.

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  9. To fit with BMcD’s current playing system, my first choices would be:-
    Tommy Rowe for LWB / LM / LW … can tackle, has pace, has the ability to beat defenders.
    Nahki Wells … can lead the line, has pace and knows where the back of the net is. If not, I’d be happy enough with Luci Becchio but only on loan to the end of the season and thereafter, it would depend on where we play next year. Icing on the cake … Mad Max Gradel.

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  10. crusader knight

    i would rather have someone new who is hungry for success and wants it with leeds,not an ex white who is easily tempted away for extra cash

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  11. I just don’t see how getting a striker off the bench for the second half of the season makes sense. He isn’t going to have improved at Norwich, he will have declined and won’t be match fit for a good month at least. Their is no certainty he would return to his prolific ways and would encourage long ball which we all hate. I think Smith can do a job for us next season, as well as Morrison finding a bit of form at Millwall. Backed up by Hunt and Poleon, I would rather see proper money spent on a premier league quality winger like Adomah. He can chip in with the goals (7 so far this season for lowly Middlesbrough), and would really be sticking it to them after their pathetic offers for McCormack! I would eat my words completely though if Ross was to get injured or leave, not that he would, so I do see your point!

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  12. crusader knight

    if we get all our ex players back that a lot of fans are calling for,do we then change our club name to norwich city

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  13. john palmer

    since when did grayson play hoof ball /? THERE WOULD BE NO NEED TO CHANGE STYLE WE ARE HARDLY PLAYING LIKE BARCELONA BECCHIO&mccormack would be better than beccs and beckford

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  14. glosterwhite

    Hi Rob, I reckon Brian could be caught between a rock and a hard place. He stated he would not buy if it didn’t improve the team and there isn’t much quality out there at the moment, but if he doesn’t spend the alleged millions on offer he could be slaughtered by a large section of the support who have waited forever for this opportunity.

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  15. Nahki Wells and Max Gradel for me then we can really look forward to promotion

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