Is West Brom’s Graham Dorrans the Best Option for Leeds Utd? – by Rob Atkinson


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Graham Dorrans – career revival needed

West Bromwich Albion midfielder Graham Dorrans has been tipped in some quarters to be the latest loan target for Leeds United as they look to rekindle their fast-disappearing hopes of a late push for this season’s Championship play-off places.  Rumours gathered pace earlier on Saturday when Dorrans was omitted from the Albion squad to face Man U.  The Scottish international has been frozen out of match-day involvement with the Baggies lately, but his quality is undoubted, particularly at Championship level where he made Team of the Year as West Brom won promotion in 2010.  Quality is a big issue at Elland Road just now.  It was a commodity totally lacking in the calamitous reverse to an ordinary Bolton side, along with backbone, nerve, character and grit.  Those are five characteristics any successful side simply cannot do without – Leeds came up with a consistent zero in all areas.  So the addition of pedigree in the shape of a proven creative midfielder would be welcome; though some might pose the question: just why would Dorrans wish to climb aboard what would appear to be a sinking ship?

Leeds are hardly likely to be the only club at this level who might be interested in a loan deal for Dorrans.  Nottingham Forest, as usual, have been heavily linked with the midfield star.  One thing that could possibly influence any decision on the player’s part is his friendship with former United favourite Rob Snodgrass.  The two were team-mates at Livingstone prior to Leeds’ capture of Snodgrass – so we might hope that our former wing wizard would have a quiet word with Dorrans, to our advantage – though what he might actually say is anyone’s guess.

Dorrans of Scotland

Dorrans of Scotland

Dorrans was described in glowing terms by the Guardian in 2010: “Composed, creative, combative and consistent, Dorrans is easily the best all-round midfielder seen at West Brom since Bryan Robson.”  There is little doubt that such a player – if he can recapture the form that saw him so highly-rated only a short time back that Manchester City were reportedly ready to lash out £6m on him – would be a distinct asset to a United midfield notoriously lacking in creativity over the past year or so.

Whatever the current parlous state of things in general around LS11, that quality shortfall has to be addressed at some point and, in meeting United’s need, Dorrans might well be doing himself a big favour.  Elland Road is a high-profile stage upon which a player of sufficient character can re-invent himself at a level where quality will inevitably shine.  If the rumours of Leeds’ interest are true, then a deal would probably benefit all parties.  Albion currently have a depreciating asset on their hands, the player isn’t getting game time – and Leeds are just desperate for straws to clutch at right now.

Graham Dorrans might just be that straw, but Brian McDermott will be hoping it’s not the one that breaks the camel’s back.  If Dorrans, or some other similarly-skilful midfielder were to put pen to paper for United – and then have the impact of a Kebe or a Stewart – that might just be a straw too far for the hapless camels of GFH.  Any short-term loan player arriving at Elland Road right now must be aware that he probably has a longer shelf-life at the club than McDermott himself.

Quality, backbone, grit – all those qualities mentioned above are not apparent at Leeds United right now, and they are urgently needed.  But the one vital commodity the whole place is running out of faster than any other at the moment is patience.  Just how much longer can the current farce carry on without some drastic action being taken?  GFH maintain a sulkily defensive stance.  The players’ Twitter feeds are silent and ashamed.  Signor Cellino is ranting in the Sun.  Watch this space.

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24 responses to “Is West Brom’s Graham Dorrans the Best Option for Leeds Utd? – by Rob Atkinson

  1. mrbigwheels

    Perhaps after Saturday afternoon he will have shaken his head, like many of us and think of nothing else but walking away from this shambles….. ‘what is wrong at this Club?’…. are my thoughts.

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  2. I’m afraid we’re at the stage where it would be polishing a turd. By all accounts Dorrans is a good player but the seasons gone now and it’s spring so that means time to change managers again. By the way,if anyone wants a damn good laugh have a look at the lee chapmans sofa site. He doesn’t mean to be funny but it’s funny how the delusional seem to stick together. Presumably it would short circuit the national grid if these people were to receive the necessary electric shock treatment. Cellino in,Mcdermott straight out. MOT.

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  3. Strangely enough, Gary McAllister tried to buy Dorrans at the same time as he brought Snodgrass to Leeds. Ken Bates wouldn’t let him have the extra £75,000 Livingston wanted. Fact.

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    • I can believe it. This is the club that wouldn’t lash out a minimal fee on buying a relative unknown from Vancouver Whitecaps on Lorimer’s recommendation (I believe). Whatever DID happen to Peter Beardlsey??

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      • Bloody hell! I never knew that. He’s the best footballer i’ve ever seen,him and Gazza are the two greatest English players of modern times.

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      • Do you remember all those Beardsley sightings when we were strongly linked with him in summer of 1990? And Dean Saunders too. But Beardsley might just have been one of the two best players we never got, along with Diego, natch.

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      • Yeah i remember one or two rumours regarding Beardsley. What a team that would have been eh? Strach,Mac,Beardo,Batty and Chapman etc.. Aah(harp music in background). We had the funds aswell,unfortunately Wilko lost out and we had to make do with Brian Deane a few years later.

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  4. We are a car crash.

    These humiliations, Rochdale, Wendies and now this cannot continue.

    Heads must roll.

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  5. David Smith

    Rob – whether it be Dorrans, Rodwell or any midfielder who can actually pass a ball to a fellow teammate in open play; it is as you say debatable whether they would consider joining our shambles of a club at present ! As I have said before, I remain in the ‘McDermott camp’, but I just cannot understand the logic of playing a fatigued and out of form Austin yesterday, when McDermott had the ideal excuse to rest the lad, perhaps in preparation for Tuesdays game against Reading and play Mowatt ? Am I missing something here?

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  6. joe wicklow

    would one more player whatever the quality make a difference?we have a decent squad who are not playing with any vigour/ steel/passion/hunger players who are doing their best to get manager sacked? i live in co wicklow and can see this from here so what is the problem?well always have you to read look forward to your blog always ROB

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  7. Mirfieldwhite

    Ross Barclay and andros Townsend proved that loan signings aren’t the answer. Both on their way to the World Cup the season after neither made an impression at leeds. Yesterday’s result wasn’t a surprise to the fans who go home and away , we have been awful all season. I know your a McDermott fan rob but he continues to make bad selections , Peltier over Byram is Unfathomable , and is unable to motivate a pretty decent squad. We won’t sack him as Gfh can’t afford but if someone gave you £50m to have one go at turning the club round would you stick with Brian. ?

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    • But loan signings do work at some clubs – it appears to be a peculiarly Leeds problem whereby they flop at Elland Road. Is something missing from the mix – some motivation and inspiration, perhaps?

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  8. Leeds are currently very weak in midfield and Dorrans would be very welcome, but will he melt under pressure, like far too many of the current Leeds players?
    It would appear that mentally strong players are pretty rare to come by these days, particularly when they are needed at a huge club like Leeds, where there is constant pressure.
    I am totally baffled by Kebe’s poor performances, because when he was at Reading, he was a clinical goal scorer that was bustling, skilful, powerful and pacey, but at Leeds he has had no confidence since he first pulled the white shirt on.
    McDermott said after the Bolton thrashing that he has always been looking for mentally strong players to play for Leeds, because of the pressure, so why has he not been signing them?

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  9. David,Austin was the least of our worries yesterday and for most of the season. There are a good few more in the queue for the exit door before Austin i can tell you. What you get from him is effort every game,he’s not afraid to shoot or put his foot in and you can’t say that about every current Leeds player. You’re perfectly entitled to your opinion and i don’t know if you were there yesterday but it was a horror show. How anyone can defend a man who continually makes the same mistakes every game is a mystery. First time ever that i’ve left before the final whistle and i won’t be going on tuesday either. This craving for stability only serves to perpetuate incompetence.

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    • oldcomrade

      Its not just me then Mick, through some of the most abysmal performances by a Leeds team ive ever seen ive managed to stick it out to the bitter end, but yesterday i just couldnt manage it and left with twenty minutes to go, and i wont be making the 80 mile round trip on Tuesday night. When they get beat trying you can handle that but when they chuck the towel in like they did on Saturday, unforgivable

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  10. I left after the fourth goal went in on Saturday and thats the first time I have ever left before the final whistle. What happened on Saturday as happened too many times in the last three seasons and quite frankly I am sick to death of it. I’m afraid Rob that loaning out Dorrans now would be completely pointless – “like pissing in the wind”. Our season effectively ended on Saturday and now we will be paying the wages of Butland, Kebe and Wickham without Leeds gaining any benefit from that arrangement. Like MirfieldWhite rightly points out – BMD seems to have completely lost the plot at times. He brought in wingers but didn’t play Smith up front to feed off the crosses and then he has played the hapless Peltier before Byram. Jason Pearce is the one player in our team who has 100% commitment to the cause mentality and he didn’t play on Saturday which speaks volumes for me.

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  11. Are you saying you want McDermott sacked now? I wish you’d explain what else he can do.

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  12. I’ll say it if you like, he had six of his signings in the side on Saturday, and two on the bench ? . It’s not a soap opera cast, although you might think so to watch how we perform ,so put this charm offensive to one side, this club needs a major revolution in how it runs things. Forget all the legends and their views because they all pee in the same pot, while our supporters travel the length of the nation, taking time off from ordinary paid jobs, and have to put up with crap football and drivel from has beens. Sorry, but the legends of this club are in the stands.

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  13. No doubt he’d do better than McDermott but he has no managerial experience.

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  14. Im fully behind BMCD always have been, but I do think the persistence of picking Kebe and Stewart just because we have them on loan is going to be his downfall, I cannot understand why he picks these two or Wooton who is just fucking useless. Dorrans would make a difference, Id like to see Norwood or Hammill at Leeds, sadly it will never happen.

    A win tomorrow night and there will still be hope, we have to take advantage of our home ganes. Im staying optimistic, but my patience is wearing thin, and to lose 11 goals against Wednesday and Bolton is inexcuseable. Afternoon Rob

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