Several recent articles on this blog have attracted a gratifying level of comment, with the usual mix of intelligent insight, passionate opinion and a smattering of the frankly bizarre. These are the contributions that survived moderation, you understand – I do receive a lot of material from people who evidently hate everything about this blog and yet paradoxically cannot resist reading every syllable and then sending an abusive rant which they must know will never see the light of day. Well, it takes all sorts…
One of the more recent themes has been a small but significant number of people who would clearly be glad to see Brian McDermott replaced. This category of contributor appears disillusioned with BMac’s tactics, substitutions, recruitment policy – one irate individual even had a crack at his specs. The recent availability of Malky Mackay, following his idiotic sacking by Cardiff City despot Vincent Tan, has also clearly had an unsettling effect. Some would evidently be in favour of shipping Brian out to tempt Mackay in, which I suppose is a predictable reaction given the success the Scot enjoyed at Cardiff, before that club went mad.
This blog remains solidly behind Brian McDermott as boss, largely because the main things missing from our club over the past decade or so have been stability and continuity – some sort of consistent thread running through the shifting fabric of the club as it has experienced an era of volatility and change. The change appears likely to carry on apace, which to my mind makes an even more persuasive case for retaining the services of this one man, identifiable with the team he is building and able to demonstrate a quiet sort of passion and determination to restore Leeds United to something more nearly approaching their natural level in the game. Brian has been in the press himself in the last day or so, expressing his hope that he will be granted the time to undertake what is a massive task – and re-emphasising his own belief that he can deliver the goods, if properly backed with investment and patience. In my view, he’s the best chance we have, and I do hope that the owners – whoever they end up being – will be able to resist the “new broom sweeps clean” approach and stick with the steady hand currently at the helm.
However, it is undeniable that many do not agree with this stance, so I would like to ask a simple question with only two possible answers: Stick with Brian, or look elsewhere?
It would be all too easy to cite the case of a certain Glaswegian manager who took on the job of managing a certain club not too far from Manchester in the mid-eighties. Although he eventually carried all before him, his first few years were uncomfortable to say the least, with that giant of a club finishing in the lower half of the table for three out of the first four seasons. And yet I don’t think that case is analogous at all; the era of success eventually ushered in over on the wrong side of the Pennines had as much to do with the intimidating nature of the Glaswegian concerned as it did with his managerial ability or the time he was afforded. The fact that an Australian tycoon bought the game and gift-wrapped it for this particular club had a lot to do with it too. No, Brian’s case makes itself; he is of proven ability, he clearly wants to succeed and has a massive self-belief – and given the time and the budget, it would (in my opinion) be foolish to bet against him. He’s the type of man who can rally support and inspire loyalty – but it’s undeniable that this past few weeks have been a very sticky time for him, and this dodgy patch has solidified a body of protest against the way he is doing his job.
So please, have your say – it’s just a matter of choosing one or other of two choices. Any more detailed opinions can be submitted in the usual way – but I would ask contributors to this article to make sure that they have cast their vote in the poll below. After a week or so, we’ll see what the numbers say, take a few of the more expressive comments on board – and maybe we can then have a more detailed debate about what’s best for the future of Leeds United.
I’ve made my opinion quite clear, but it’s all about diversity of opinion, so let’s have your agreement or disagreement registered. Whatever anybody thinks, subject to the usual standards, their voice can be heard here; let’s see who feels strongly either way, without worrying too much about a party line, or what anybody else thinks. We’re all entitled to have an opinion about what’s best for the club. And – we’re all Leeds, aren’t we?