Dave Hockaday is Our Man, Let’s Give Him 100% Backing – by Rob Atkinson


It's the Massimo & Dave show

It’s the Massimo & Dave show

“We go out and we sweat blood, we’re hard-working, we are hungry and we are honest. That’s what the Leeds fans want – that goes for any league you’re in.

“So we will go out there and give everything and more for the cause and people will applaud that and they’ll be happy with that because we’re going to give them everything we’ve got.”

Dave Hockaday

At last, a giant stride forward towards preparing for the new season at Elland Road. Leeds United have a new management structure and the pivotal role of Head Coach within that structure will be filled by the experienced Dave Hockaday. That is official. Now, let’s get right behind Dave and do our job of supporting Leeds United.

It’s far too easy to sit back and carp, criticise and generally whinge about the fact that our new Head Coach is not the biggest name in football. This blog will not choose that lazy option, I will not be climbing aboard any convenient bandwagons. Mr. Hockaday has the job; he will now have to set about proving that he can do it. His first interview showed the necessary appetite and determination; he spoke of wanting to see the desire for success in players’ eyes. Now that’s a sentiment that should strike a chord with Leeds fans – as a crowd, we’ve always prized guts, desire, effort. Whether Dave Hockaday can instil these qualities in his troops is for him to demonstrate; in the meantime, the very least he deserves is the respect of us all for stepping up to the plate – and also our full support as he gets stuck into his remit.

The internet is abuzz with why-oh-why merchants each peddling their own brand of negativity or look-how-cool-I-am cynicism. What, precisely, will any of that gain for Leeds United? Even if they turn out to be right, all it gets for them is a chance to say I told you so. (And if they’re wrong, they’ll just subside into silence). We simply don’t know yet how this will turn out. But there are several good reasons why we shouldn’t slavishly join in this premature brandishing of egos. And those are equally adequate reasons why the people currently indulging themselves in an orgy of pessimism (and thoroughly enjoying it from the sound of it) might just be utterly wrong.

Consider; where did Jose Mourinho spring from into his sudden sunburst of glory and fame? He was Bobby Robson’s interpreter; not exactly a ready-made and world-class candidate for the title of “Special One”. Who did Leeds United turn to in March 1961, after the likes of Raich Carter and Frank Buckley had failed to lift the club above humdrum mediocrity? A veteran player on their own books, that’s who – a man on the point of applying to Bournemouth for his first managerial job. Bloke by the name of Don Revie. I’ll bet there were gloom and doom merchants then, shaking their heads and calling on the board to look elsewhere, look to proven experience. Good job they stuck to their guns then – isn’t it?

People say that Hockaday has failed at non-league level. Those same people might be aware that he did OK at Watford, especially in a certain play-off final at the Millennium Stadium in 2006, when the Hornets stung the Peacocks 3-0. But they ignore that, and emphasise the downside, his record at Forest Green. I’ve just been reading Harry Redknapp’s book – he did some time in non-league – and didn’t pull up too many trees. He was at Bournemouth when they fell out of the second tier in 1990 as well. But he’s done alright apart from that, ‘Arry – hasn’t he?

We just don’t know how the Hockaday appointment will pan out. What we do know is that he’d better succeed, or – according to the Cellino script – he’ll be out of the door. Cellino’s track record is a matter of public notoriety, but Hockaday is evidently up for the challenge; he has his player targets which he’s already discussed with il Duce – and he wants to hang on to McCormack. He looks clear-eyed and realistic to me, and he deserves the chance he’s been given; moreover, he deserves the backing and support to take that chance, as he intends, with both hands.

It’s time for the negativity and moaning to stop; indeed, it’s embarrassing that it’s even started before the guy’s had the chance to so much as find his desk. People are citing fans of other clubs, taking the mick. Come on – surely we’re better than that?? Surely we’re bigger and stronger than to be bothered about what fans of lesser clubs think? We Are Leeds, after all – that still means something. Let’s not lose sight of it.

It’s time to March On Together now. We have our man, for better or worse – and we can’t yet know which it will be. Give him a chance, get behind him, support the club and its staff on and off the pitch in the way Leeds fans are famous for – loud and proud. Let’s make Elland Road a fortress again, an intimidating cauldron of noise and passion. Forget fans of other clubs, forget bandwagon jumpers and joylessly negative bloggers. It’s time to stand up and be counted.

We Are Leeds. Now let’s all get stuck into making next season as good as it possibly can be.

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58 responses to “Dave Hockaday is Our Man, Let’s Give Him 100% Backing – by Rob Atkinson

  1. Steve Trebert

    Thanks Rob

    Like

  2. Ian Finlay

    Bang on Rob ,, got a new chant, Dave Dave,, Dave Hockaday
    We win at home and we win away,,,,,fFINGERS CROSSED,,,,,good luck too him ,,,,,MOT

    Like

  3. well the die is cast so lets get behind the fella ,, if I’m not mistaken he was at watford not only when they beat us in the play-off final but around the same time as brendon rodgers , I’m sure someone will correct me on that but if it is so then another rodgers in the making would do me just fine ,, good luck Dave

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  4. Well at least we have a coach now, I suspect he’ll have to hit the ground running at Millwall then against Boro otherwise the boo boys will be out. No honeymoon period methinks.
    Personally I think we should give him a chance, I expect Massimo to give him until Christmas then if we’re struggling he’ll be out.
    For me I think we’ll be ok so long as we dispense with Austin, bloody awful midfielder.
    MOT

    Like

  5. RoystonLUFC

    well said Rob. I’m sick of all these whingers berating him before he’s even started the job. It seems like they’re only happy when they’re miserable. You mentioned Revie but even more recently we plucked O’leary from nowhere: can you imagine what the whingers were saying about that back then?

    We gave gave BM loads of leeway before we realised he had to go. At least give this guy a chance. What’s the point in slagging him off before we’ve even kicked a ball in anger. If you’re looking for an excuse to stay away from Elland Road I’m sure you can find a better one than this. If you can’t, then just stop whinging and what other fans do: support the f****g team.

    Like

  6. Some logic in a storm of ranting! Good effort Rob.

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  7. Ok of course I will give him a chance, but it’s a bit difficult when four mates phone you up to have a laugh, I only hope I have the last laugh.

    However, with a Chairman playing manager, who spends out £28m without any due diligence, who is surprised that it costs £100k a day to run the club despite that is what the published accounts show and who pledged in his first week to buy back Elland Road, I think I will be disappointed.

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  8. will you still say that when it all go”s pear shape,and i hope it wont but im full off dread, you cant make a silk purse out off a pigs ear,,, as they say,,,,,,,,, mot we need to ….

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    • I’ve tried to make it clear that all I’m writing against is pre-judging the issue. We don’t know how it will turn out – if it does go tits up, then I shall be writing about that in the strongest possible terms. But where does whinging, before there’s anything to whinge about, actually get us??

      Like

  9. Not my first choice however, he is the first choice of the man who counts so I for one will be backing DH till such time, if it occurs, when the evidence suggests the job is beyond him.
    Very interesting that deals have already been done regarding new players according to the press conference

    Like

  10. sniffershorts

    I Did have a partly negative crack, but it was just that … pure jest, a release of pent up screwed up guts for months. I was really a little relieved at least we can move on and he can assess his squad, I think he maybe be a little more of a lads lad, Brian was a bit meek, and I am sorry the meek wont inherit the earth or the Mighty Whites….. I wish him all the best for us and his own success, as you say Rob, a coach has to cut his teeth somewhere, if he gets the changing room, he will get the lads and most importantly us…. as we all say we just want some fight and passion back, some simple passing driving football …. the Leeds way, the only way WE ARE LEEDS …. passione BIANCO

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  11. All very good points. A bit surprised but you are right Rob, let’s get behind Hockaday. One of the flaws with our thinkining on this is that we expected a big name manager. Cellino’s idea is obviously a team of very good coaches, working as a team. Pooling their knowledge, energy and resources to make the team a coherent, joined up whole! Good defence, strong, skilled midfield and a deadly attack. Can Hockaday, Gibbs, Redfearn etc. deliver this. Sure they can with the right players brought in and retained. With the right development and opportunity in the youth set up. There are many positives and it may just work. We many have a new model to go with the new setup! Cellino’s model. So let’s get behind them all and wish them
    luck!

    Like

  12. David Lambert

    I was going to post something, but on reflection, realised that all that needed to be said, or should I say written, had indeed been said/written. So this has turned out to be an exercise in folly. Sorry .

    Like

  13. “sweat blood” “honest””hard-working” “hungry”, all words that will ring true in the heart of any true Leeds fan. These qualities are the ones we have been sadly lacking in recent seasons. As much as I hate loosing, I hated it in the last year more than ever because we went down not to record defeats not trying. Up to now Cellino has fought on all fronts to get things things at our club; sometimes winning and sometimes loosing, but never boring and never giving up easily. So I go along with you and give the whole team my backing.

    Like

  14. Spot On Rob, He may well be exactly what we need, Mr Cellinio is no fool, so lets give him a chance. You are right to point out that the special one came from nowhere, his fellow Portuguese coach AVB came from humble beginnings, also lets remember Scunnys Physio and Arsene Wenger did not exactly have sparkling qualifications, those mentioned are proof indeed that you do not have to be a world class player, or have the greatest credentials to be a successful coach. Good Luck Hockaday.

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    • Arsene Wenger had won the French league both as a player & Manager and the J league as a manager before he was appointed. Achievements which I consider sparkling qualifications compared to being sacked by a non league club in England.
      As for AVB he has been rightly sacked from his last 2 jobs & would have been a worse appointment than Hockaday- he is bilge!.
      I understand your point & truely hope you are right & that this is a masterstroke but citing these as examples doesn’t work.

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    • True mate but did any of the above mentioned manage clubs in poor divisions on the highest budget in the league and get them relegated….? Wouldnt of thought so…

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    • Wasting lots of money on lawyers on lost causes, making promises he can’t keep and not doing due diligence before buying Leeds suggests cellino is at least a bit foolish.

      Hes not a self made man, its all inherited wealth.

      Like

  15. we all agree spraky is better than yashin , albert is better than eusabio and tottenham are in for a thrashing…… all together now…… we all agree spraky is better than yashin , albert is better than eusabio tottenham are in for a thrashing…… gelderd agro , gelderd agro hello, hello gelderd agro gelderd agro hello, hello , ah good old days :- )

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  16. let him get 5 or 6 players in give a bit a brass , if he makes them sweat their bollocks of and gets us in play off that ll do me, united !!! united !!! united !!! united !!! united!!! all together now, first of all theres the boss who s right beside us, he s the one who fills are hearts with joy, theres a red headed tiger known as billy, altogher now, AND WE PLAY ALL THE WAY FOR LEEDS UTD….. ELLAND RD IS THE ONLY PLACE FOR US .

    Like

  17. Perfectly summed up Rob and I bet you’re bang on with what some people thought when the Don was unveiled as the new manager. Personally speaking I am sick and tired of the negativity of some fans. All you’re doing is putting added pressure on the coach and team . For godsake give the bloke a chance. The real test now is getting in good pro’s who want to play and give their all. If it all goes tits up , then and only then then complain. Until then do what we’re supposed to do ! support your club or piss off over to the theatre of wet dreams and drool over a so called proper manager. Before i get slated for saying ‘well you’ll settle for anything’ . No i won’t but i won’t slate a bloke who for all you know might become the best thing we’ve had in a long time….. M.O.T – FOREVER LEEDS FOREVER LOYAL.

    Like

    • Revie was a youngish former England international.

      not a 56 year old former conference manager that’s been out of work for nearly a year

      think he should be better than Colin and wise though, at least he’s not grown up hating Leeds

      Like

  18. Rob,

    What we need to do is view this in the context of the whole not just a single appointment. So I will withhold judgement in full until I see which players we aquire.

    However from where I sit today in isolation I view this appointment as a joke (as do ALL of my season ticket holding mates).

    The guys you mentioned Revie & Mourinho were both young bucks with lots to prove just starting out. This guy is 56 years old & has achieved precisely zip (being 1one of a no. of coaches at Watford & beating failwell isn’t icing on a cv). Our club is a real pressure cooker, as you point out everyones cup final I see no evidence in his history to suggest he can cope with that.

    Bitterly dissapointed personally but iv’e already paid for my season ticket (first day they came out) and will still be going & always will.

    My last word on it, I don’t think it will work but he is now ours so I will give him every chance to suceed & support him in everything he does becuase if he fails we fail.

    Like

  19. hes just paving the way for carbone, softening us up for his real choice. wouldn’t be surprised to see the squad ripped apart under hockaday with key plays sold, he should be called lee majors (the fall guy) not head coach, that’s right celino isn’t daft

    Like

  20. Cellino and Carboni are the managers Hockaday the fitness coach, no problem with an unknown, Arsene Wenger who they once said.just hope we play some good football i’ll be there can’t be worse than last season

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  21. Couldn’t have put it better myself.
    If Hockaday gets Cellino’s full support, a bit of time, some stability running through the club and a half decent squad to work with he’s got a chance. Bigger names than Hockaday have failed to deliver after all so why the obsession with another ‘name’? If he is to struggle at all it will be with the players and the fans. Players can be convinced on the training ground no doubt. Just the fans to contend with really. If he has a first season like Rodgers at Liverpool (promising signs but not much else) then I fear he’ll be hounded out. But look at Liverpool one season on. I’m not comparing the two coaches, merely making the point that to expect instant results after a decade of mismanagement and under-achievement, forcing another coach out of the door too quickly will push us one step closer to being the club no-one will take on.
    In Massimo I trust. Haven’t got a choice! But better than the previous shower.

    Like

  22. I’d like to endorse Bluesman’s comments. Much has been made of the Ferrari analogy but many fans seem to think the answer is to deliver it to The main dealer with a blank cheque, to replace all parts with new ones. Very expensive and who’s to say that, underneath it’s not still a rust bucket. Cellino feels he’s found an old fashioned craftsman who, with the rest of his team will strip the whole thing down and restore it from the ground up. If they are in fact capable we’ll have a car to be proud of at the end of the process.

    Like

    • ellamforengland

      Something like the car in Back To The Future maybe. Yeh, thats the way forward, or is it backwards…. oh god. I don’t. ” Mardy. We’ve only got two seasons to get back to 2002!! After the England game I’m really starting to loose it. Sorry.

      Like

  23. Where does whinging get us? Nowhere…agreed. Where has Hockledoodledoo succeeded? Nowhere. ..agreed..Watford was aidys team he cant get serious credit for that one. Cellinos only employed him cos hes cheap and can sack him easily when all goes tits up without any fuss especially after the mcdermott sacking not sacking compensation saga bull. This stinks of lack of confidence in employing a skilled coach..a younger coach for the future. .I mean Hock Hogan wont be running round the training pitch much longer anyway will he? Its true moaning gets you nowhere but we can still let the owner know WE ARE LEEDS AND WE AINT AVIN IT!!!!!!!!! WE HAVE HAD ENOUGH YEARS OF BEING RUN ON THE CHEAP AND ROBBED !!!!!!!!!!!

    Like

  24. This Leeds coach job is like being one of them saddam husien lookalikes. He’s just there to take the bullet for cellino.

    Not going to boo him or anything, feel a bit sorry for him really.

    Like

  25. joe wicklow

    was disappointed that gary mac did not get the job dh right out the blue but we are leeds the the team is whats importent eshould be given every chance by us he deserves that
    great article ROB

    Like

    • Dont get me wrong I’ve bought my ticket, I will still be down the south stand every week for more torture, and I ain’t going to boo the guy. It’s cellino I’m disappointed with. But I’ve got mixed feelings there, he’s better than gfh, bates and the krasner lot, but he brings new problems, mainly his ego, which reminds me of ridsdale, but at least hes got some cash (enough to get us up possibly, but not enough to get us where we truly belong)

      Like

  26. Bitesyerlegs74

    WELL SAID ROB. LOVE UR BLOG. LETS GET BEHIND OUR CLUB. IF HOCKADAY DOESNT DO HIS JOB, CELLINO WILL BIN HIM, END OF. AND FOR ALL U MOANERS OUT THERE CAN U PLEASE LIST THE ACHIEVEMENTS OF REVIE, WILKINSON AND O’LEARY BEFORE THEY CAME TO LEEDS?

    Like

    • Well revie was an England international
      Wilkinson was probably simmilar to hockaday playing wise, bit he’d managed the wendys pretty well before us.
      O’leary was a quality defender for arsenal and Ireland, who’d learn’t under George graham as our assistant manager.

      Hockaday is by far our lowest profile “manager”, although he’s really there as someone with the badges so cellino can manage.

      Like

  27. mark benson

    Just one thought rob. If he’s the best man for the job who the hell were the other candidates? Think beeston cars should invest in an armoured car for Mr. Cellino if things go wrong.

    Like

  28. Bang on mate. Best fans in the world? Doesn’t seem that way just now with all the disgusting negativity being churned out on ‘social media’

    Two points. To the lad who was upset because his mates took the mick – we were complete toilet last season and still finished top dogs in Yorkshire. Why do you care what they think?

    Secondly, this appointment says everything about MC. He is his own man and doesn’t give a damn what anyone else thinks. He is one of us – ‘we’re Leeds United, and we don’t give a f@ck’

    Apparently the new Head Coach likes a bit of passing football. Add that to a few feisty kids and good fitness & work ethic and you never know. I’m renewing my membership.

    Like

  29. Ropey Wyla

    Very well said Rob, time for Leeds United supporters to support Leeds United. MOT

    Like

  30. David Smith

    Rob – good uplifting blog and yes of course we all need to get behind our new ‘head coach’! I thought he came over very well on LUTV and certainly needs to be given every chance – let’s just hope he has some new recruits to work with. Never too sure what to make of the foreign news websites, but it can only be further good news if Mr Cellino’s chief scout & negotiator Nicola Salerno has in fact turned down a contract with Palermo!

    Like

  31. Rob, yet again you voice my exact feelings. I really don’t know what these so called Leeds ‘fans’ get out of being so negative. All these “I’m not renewing my season ticket now” brigade – jeez, words fail me. Either you support Leeds or you don’t. Come on!

    Like

  32. TonyYeboah

    His part with Watford was largely insignificant. He also had the biggest budget & biggest wage bill in conference with Forest Green who played dire football under him and barely managed to stay up, he didn’t cut the mustard to be considered for the Swindon job.

    You’re 5-1 to go down – those odds are fantastic in light of his appointment

    Like

  33. Well said Rob, I’m also right behind Hockaday and with Gibbs, Redfern and Carbone also involved, it appears to be a co-operative of coaches that might get the best out of the under-performing Leeds players.
    All we need now is for Cellino to sign 6 or 7 new players as soon as possible, to bed into the team during the pre-season and hopefully then Leeds can have a decent start to the new season, with a settled team
    Let’s just see how the first 10 games of the new season pan out and take the situation from there.

    Like

  34. Football is more about having decent players with a good motivator behind the scenes- Harry Rednapp says the same. Get some decent players and you’ll always give yourself a chance. I could manage bastard Man city and Chelsea- Some decent coaches working with the players through the week, a couple of Churchillian speeches before the game and you’ll be fine. How can Wenger be seen as a tactical master one week and then for most of the season before last he was ment to be on his way out- out dated views on the game, washed up? Manager bollocks- it’s man management that’s key to how a team plays these days- give the lad a chance, he might surprise you. NUFC.

    Like

  35. it dos’nt matter who is coach, Cellino is going to call the shots and thank god for that or we would be in administration with useless MCD loosing games and loosing money and loosing players

    Like

  36. Eh up Rob always love reading your blog, were you Churchill in a previous life, lol MOT

    Like

  37. Nw was proven bmc was proven and did nothing so can’t see how dh can do worse then the last pair as they say live in hope and die in disappointment will judge him as the season unfolds all the best dave hope you succeed we’re bigger names have failed MOT

    Like

  38. I really can’t agree here Rob.

    This is a difficult division where experience is needed and this guy doesn’t have any.

    Cellino shown his lack of any experience in English football by thinking this will work out.

    You can try and convince yourself otherwise but unless we sign some quality players in the next few weeks we are at risk of going backwards which after the 2nd half of last season doesn’t bear thinking about.Just can’t see those players wanting to come to play for Hockaday unless they are getting paid a lot of money but can’t see that happening either!

    Sorry to be so depressing but I am being objective and when we needed a Wilko we got a Carver.

    Like

  39. Sorry Rob, this is not the most erudite of answers, but I think you are talking bollox. Cellino has taken the cheap option, it shows no ambition, and sends a poor message to fans and players. When Revie was appointed he at least had a history of tactical nous (the Revie plan) and was a respected international.

    I hope I’m wrong, but I think this is disastrous. We have an egomaniac in charge of the club. I fear for the club I love

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  40. colin durno

    All these so called fans expecting MC to spend more of his dwindling (inherited or self made fortune ) on high profile players /coaches on high wages are suffering from (man city ) syndrome. FFS get real this club as been raped and pillaged for over a decade MC has seen the possibilities of LUFC with it’s fan base and history to rise again with his financial help . This of course will not happen in 2/3 seasons MC is building slowly toward a strong assault on the premiership then and only then will he consider selling HIS club (for a profit ) thats the time to worry.

    Like

    • Are we really so skint we can’t afford someone like Gary mcallister?

      Most sensible fans weren’t expecting martinez or whoever

      Like

  41. Mike Durham

    Correct me if I’m wrong Rob but I’m sure I read somewhere that the rent on ER has already been paid until November.
    Every blog I read has fans banging on about MC renaging on his promises to buy the ground back when it would be financial folly to do so before November ; I just wondered if you could give me your interpretation of this mate?

    Like

  42. Totally agree with you Rob, there is so much negativity on YEP especially. I can understand after ten years of stuttering around the championship and Ieague one and false promises . Dave Hockaday can improve on last season by getting the players fit so they can last ninety minutes. Five new signings and some youth given a chance would hopefully see us start moving forward. By the way the rent for WE is paid up until November. MOT

    Like

  43. David Dean

    Agree 100% re getting behind the Hock. We have to, no choice – it is Cellino’s call. We have faith in Cellino to lead us to the promised land. Let’s just hope we are not in the wilderness for another 32 years. Massimoses will be 100 then, God willing.
    Not whinging or complaining but Gibbs was apparently first choice and the compensation of 500k made this a ‘no deal’ yet Cellino paid BMc £750k compensation to walk the plank. At the press conference it really did sound like Cellino didn’t know why he picked the Hock. They met, talked for a few hours and I can just imagine that Cellino liked him and knows he has great experience in the lower leagues and thought – put him on the short list and we will see. He was finally appointed and if it goes tits up ie we have a poor start to the season then he will be gone. Yes 100% support for him but without moaning and criticising it is good to be realistic albeit not negative. In hindsight might it have been a better option all round re stability to keep McD on for a few months? This does not look like like a sensible choice. What will the players think – can’t see Ross staying under these circumstances. I fear that Cellino is on a huge learning curve. He is clearly out of his depth but his deep pockets will rescue the situation and when he gets the experience of British football under his belt Cellino will take us to the promised land – that is why he is here and that is why I have bought my first season ticket since O’Leary was sacked. I am excited to see what will happen and I am convinced Cellino will not allow the shit served up last season so whatever happens we will see better football and we have an owner we love and have faith in. Long live Massimo!

    Like

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