Leeds in Crisis: Darko’s Failure is the Failure of Owner and Fans – by Rob Atkinson


Darko: hello, goodbye

Darko: hello, goodbye

A lot of Leeds fans will have woken up very happy this Sunday morning, following the shock sacking of Darko Milanic after defeat by Wolves yesterday. Perhaps they’re right to be; perhaps Neil Redfearn is indeed the Messiah and will in due course restore us to the promised land, serving up sumptuous feasts contrived of paltry loaves and fishes along the way, all washed down with copious draughts of wine produced supernaturally from water. It’s to be hoped so, for it appears that only a miracle or two will extend any Leeds United Head Coach’s tenure beyond an initial settling-in period.

Those happy Leeds fans who believe in and are confidently awaiting this miracle, though, should perhaps give their heads a shake. They should ask themselves about the wisdom of the owner in overseeing the dismissal of three hot-seat occupants in a season barely over a quarter of the way through. They should wonder about the ability of the club to attract high calibre candidates in the future, should this season’s second coming of Redders not prove to be that of a Saviour. In short, they should ask of themselves: “Is this really what we wanted?”

This blog is and has been a firm supporter of Massimo Cellino and all of his works behind the scenes at LS11 since he assumed control of Leeds United just a few months ago. Articles have been written praising his single-handed turning around of a moribund hulk, and the input he has had into the recruitment of several extremely promising signings, the potential of which we have all seen. But this blog begs leave to doubt whether Massimo’s genius extends to the recruitment and retention of a high-end coach – the kind of guy who is going to define the direction of the team and squad; the sort of achiever who can take a serial under-performer like Leeds and drag it back into the big-time.

Cellino is the man who makes the decisions; what he needs above all is the ability to back his own judgement, He needs to display some cool and some sang-froid – the propensity to avoid panic when the first signs emerge of the current plan going tits-up. It is this faith in his own judgement, this ability to control panic and suppress knee-jerk reactions, which currently appear to be missing from the Massimo make-up. That does not bode well. How many more times this season are we going to hear “I made a mistake with this guy – sorry, my friends…” – and how many more times are the fans going to sanction such boom and bust recruitment tactics?

The fans – a vociferous if not particularly large proportion of them, anyway – have to take their share of the blame for this latest farcical development. It has been alarming to see how so many of those fans, especially those highly active on social media, appear to have bought into the serial hire and fire policy that has appeared to characterise Cellino’s ownership of Cagliari and now Leeds. In many ways, Darko Milanic was onto a loser right from the start of his engagement, simply because so many supporters wanted Redfearn to get the gig, after his brief but productive interregnum. When Redfearn was overlooked, or unwilling (depending upon which version of events you believe) – the Redders supporters were disappointed and thus not disposed to give Darko much of a chance. That might be understandable – but to call (as they did) for the head of a new Head Coach a mere two or three games into the job, especially after the previous “permanent” appointment bit the dust only a few games into the season, surely smacks of the most arrant folly.

Even more worrying is the alarming possibility that Cellino is making the mistake of listening too hard to the fans in areas where the head should rule the heart. If the Italian is capable of being swayed by what might be called mob rule, then we stand a real risk of the lunatics taking over the asylum. What we can’t afford at any price is for the fans uncritically to take on board the excesses of Cellino, or for Cellino to be unduly influenced by the more extreme and hard-of-thinking section of the fans.

Redfearn cannot be exempt from criticism in this sorry mess either. To say he was coy over his wishes for the top job on a permanent basis is somewhat to understate the case. He waxed lyrical about his love for the development role, but then – when he didn’t get the head coach job – a faint tinge of sulkiness seemed to descend upon him; he was unwilling to be involved with the first team and, as far as I can see, he is open to a charge of failing to support and assist the new man. Now, it appears he will get his chance to be top dog under the Presidential shadow. Woe betide him if he fails to take it, and Leeds United must stand in very real peril of losing altogether a man in Neil Redfearn whose influence at the club has been one of the fairly few positive themes in the past year or so.

Sacking a head coach is a very serious step indeed, and we’ve now seen three such decisions taken since the last ball of last season was kicked – and still two months to go till Christmas. Who will be in charge then? Can any of us hazard a fair guess? We must hope it will be Redfearn, but who could say with any certainty – and what is being said out there in football land about the attractiveness or otherwise of the Leeds United post?

The dismissal of your manager is not guaranteed to pay dividends anyway. Yesterday at Leeds, the football in the first half was extremely easy on the eye, and United dominated a decent Wolves outfit. Then it all went wrong, and the next thing we knew Darko had his cards. Meanwhile, in Birmingham, the City team that had seen their manager sacked in midweek surrendered abjectly at home to Bournemouth, losing 0-8. The upheaval of one managerial sacking was clearly enough to absolutely destroy that team. How will the Leeds squad react to their fourth change at the helm, and only fourteen games gone?

Let’s not run away with the idea that Leeds United’s current plight is simply down to Darko Milanic, or even a shared responsibility between that gentleman and the hapless Dave Hockaday. The problem runs deeper and the blame must be ascribed on a much wider basis. Owner, staff and fans must hold up their hands and admit failure in their distinct and vital roles. The owner needs to hold his nerve now, have faith in his (latest) chosen man and refuse to succumb to panic and outside pressures other than in the most dire circumstances.

Given continuity and some steadiness about the place, the squad is easily good enough to hold its own in this division, and that’s what it’s all about for the current season. Consolidate and build as positively as possible for a real challenge next time around. The fans, collectively, have to refrain from carping at every little setback and making childish demands for heads to roll. Supporters should support – a significant proportion of Leeds United’s fanbase, especially online, appear to be completely unaware of that.

Disappointed after the home defeat to Wolves, I only learned of the sacking of Milanic when I received a text from a Radio Aire reporter asking me for a reaction. Gobsmacked, stunned – and above all worried – aptly summed it up. I’m extremely worried about the immediate and longer-term future and I’m pessimistic about the prospects of any coherent plan being given the time and opportunity to develop. How could I be otherwise, given the events of this season so far?

Change can be good, it can be bad, it can be disastrous. It should not be embraced for its own sake, neither should it be brought about too frequently, at the first sign of trouble. Some calmness is needed now – and a bit of faith in the people who are being left to pick up the pieces of a fragmented season so far.

I remain a Cellino fan and this blog will continue to support him in his ongoing fight to get on with the job of reviving Leeds United in the face of  petulant opposition from the buffoons of the Football League. I’m actually a fan of Neil Redfearn too, though I feel he hasn’t exactly covered himself in glory during the brief reign of Darko Milanic. An examination of Neil’s four games in charge this season will reveal that he got a bit lucky on a  couple of occasions; we should have been buried alive by half time at Bournemouth and a couple of other displays lacked inspiration. If he can consistently hit the heights we attained against Huddersfield, then we’ll be cooking with gas. But there has to be some doubt that things will go that well.

Thanks to the strictures of the transfer window, the one thing that will remain a constant until the new year at least is the make-up of the squad. And I believe that there is enough quality at Elland Road for a formidable team to emerge out of the ingredients we currently have to play with. If that happens, and if the club is much more comfortably placed after Christmas, then Neil Redfearn will deservedly take plenty of credit for that. I hope it is the case – and I hope that there is less of an opportunity by then for a hostile press to pick away at the club as they inevitably will after this latest debacle. The likes of Robbie Savage and Phil Neville at the chimp end of the scale, together with Jeff Stelling, Gary Lineker and others further up towards the intellectual end, will all be queuing up to say “I told you so” in the next few days and weeks. The sad thing is, we’ve played right into their hands – and I do mean all of us.

Some people have managed completely to forget about the meaning of that “Marching on together” theme song we’re so justly proud of. Cellino, the maverick,  can be excused for not having the club’s culture ingrained in him to that extent. The fans can have no such excuse – and it is down to us now to support the club through thick and thin – and to support the team and the management, instead of hollering for change at the first sign of an ill wind. The team and the fans represent the most likely influences for calm steadiness and some much-needed continuity as we try to go forward. Let’s all remember what “support” means – and let’s get on with delivering it.

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59 responses to “Leeds in Crisis: Darko’s Failure is the Failure of Owner and Fans – by Rob Atkinson

  1. Rob Darko record was not good enough to be appointed head coach.
    Big club in small country, then average at best results in Austria.

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    • On that basis, Revie would struggle to get appointed.

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      • Do not write very often but the Revie comment is exactly right. I went to all of the Home games in Dons first season and almost all of the games where dyer to say the least. If I correctly remember he did not win one of his first 6 games. If we had the current supporters back then he would have been gone and one of the richest club seams in Football history would never have happened. I wish some of the fans who write regularly on the various blogs would at times sit back and look at themselves. In truth they are not prepared to give anyone a chance. I Remember that first Revie season in particular Saturday 11/11/61 Leeds 0-0 Leyton Orient, one of the most abysmal games you could ever wish to see, I think it is still the lowest ever league attendance 6,500 or thereabouts, Three years later yes three years 5/12/64 Man U 0-1 Leeds that night we where 3rd in the First Division having beaten the leaders. Things can change that quickly but we have to stop moaning and let MC get on with it instead of moaning at every single appointment.

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      • You have the benefit of perspective sir, by virtue of your epic service in support. Good on you.

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      • Just to add Rob my first game was at Elland Road, 24/9/55 Leeds 4 – 1 Rotherham, I have added that because a certain Keith Ripley scored 3 that afternoon, I am sure you are aware of Keith as he was from my home town Normanton as I believe you are. Those where the days.

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      • Keith was slightly before my time, but I’m a student of Leeds United history – as I perforce must be given that my Dad was a regular at Elland Road from 1948. I did live a while in Normy and I know a few Leeds fans of your vintage from that fine town.

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  2. SnifferClarkesBoots

    What has been stated again and again, and makes complete sense, is to get a coach who understands the Championship. Unfortunately Darko didn’t. He came in as a newbie and given his tactics was obviously learning on the job. Unfortunately Cellino has not time for learners – then he really should have predicted this upon installing Darko.
    I would say we have a lot of new personnel learning about English football in this division – certainly a bunch of players plus Cellino himself. Whether Redfearn continues where he left off – we all hope he will – at least he understands what the task involves better than most.
    We are all impatient for Leeds to get back where they belong – competing with the best clubs. This impatience for success is what the fans and Cellino have in common. The reasons for this success might be different – for Cellino it might be vanity or he’s simply a bad loser and likes to win, but do the fans care about this?
    I certainly don’t get the impression that Cellino is here to line his pockets like previous owners. Yes, he’s a maverick and unpredictable and in many ways acts like the typical Leeds’ fan – who love to chant for a player one moment, while vilifying him the next (Morison).
    While Cellino’s driving the Leeds coach it’s guaranteed to be a bumby ride. Put on your seatbelt and enjoy or get off now.

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  3. Gordon Findlay

    If we keep this up the damned United will not even come close. .

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  4. Good article and spot on. I lay awake last night(my wife thinks I’m stupid) not believing we could ever get into this mess. I’m an old, old Revie boy and if some of these young fans are frustrated and angry, boy wait until they have been around some 40 odd years.
    If Saturdays game had ended at half time we would have been hailing the dawn of a new era and Darko would still be here. We have a good sound squad, full of talent, passion and the ability to take this club back to where it belongs, but its in transition, the blend and backbone of the team is not quite complete and it will take time but all the elements are right there. I hope Redders gets 100% control of team selection and strategy and Cellino sticks to doing what he is good at, controlling the finances and leave the football to those know the job.
    As for the fans, get behind the man and the team at every game because they deserve a lot better than this.

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  5. I posted on the yep, saying that Neil Redfearn.had refused to help with the first team and was called a sum. I am never negative about leeds United but can see things that some prefer to be blind to. Like you I was stunned when I found out about the sacking. All I want it the club to be successful. I am completely behind Neil Redfearn and hope that he is given time. MOT. A GREAT BLOG ROB TRUTHFUL. Don Revie did not have a win in first six games.

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  6. Rob, I agree with your sentiments entirely. Darko was considered the best man for the job just 32 days ago. He deserved time. I have actually been quietly confident since Hockaday went, I think this is the best squad we’ve had for years and I could see progress in our performances. In fact after the first half yesterday I turned to my son and said we are going to really tonk a team soon! Still what do I know?

    As a club we must hold some sort of record for managerial changes after only a few days, Clough, Stein (ok he left), Hockaday and Darko. Our club is crying out for stability, we need the chairman to get behind and stick by his decisions.

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  7. Kevin Wilson

    Rob, you seem to be blaming everyone, Massimo, Redfearn and even the fans and completely absolving Milanovic of any responsibility for the current situation. You talk about ‘easy on the eye football’ in the first half yesterday ‘and then it all went wrong’ without considering why it went wrong. Why did he change the formation? why did they sit back and invite Wolves to come at them? I said at half-time lets hope we keep this up and go for a second goal and not do our usual trick of collapsing in the second half; and low and behold we did! As soon as Steve Morison almost joined us in the East Stand we could predict what was going to happen – and it did! Again we asked each other why has he told the team to change they way they were playing – as it was obvious he had a different plan. I was prepared to give Milanic a chance and I quite liked the idea of a continental coach but he was far, far too negative and not prepared to push on, take a risk and go for that all important second goal. AND we’ve seen this before that’s why we have so many draws and no win under him. I usually take defeat on the chin and if we had been beaten by a better team I would have done yesterday but Wolves were not a better team and the three points were there for the taking but because of Milanovic’s crass stupidity we lost. I’ve never been so angry as I was after losing yesterday and he had to go as he has learned nothing from His short time in England and there is no evidence that he would change.
    I DO agree with you about Cellino though. Its easy to see why he has sacked so many Managers/coaches – he may be a good judge of players but he is a very poor one of managers/coaches. Redfearn or whoever takes over now should be given the time. What I want to know is why did Cellino chose Milanovic in the first place? He says he didn’t know him so was he pushed by the dreaded agents or what? We do have a talented squad and combined with the youth we can do well, Milanovic was not getting the best out of them but Redfearn just might as he has a much more positive approach. As for Savage, Neville, Stelling etc who gives a toss what they say (I nearly said think but that would be way over the top!). Looking forward to Cardiff already! MOT

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    • I was careful not to make any judgement of Milanič – simply because it seems to me impossible to judge anyone on such short service. I know yesterday’s first half was the best football I’ve seen in ages, Huddersfield game possibly excepted. And I suspect that, had Cellino been in charge after Revie’s first six games, he’d have sacked the Don. As for the fans – my criticism is mainly of the Internet mob. And I believe it’s fully justified.

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      • Kevin Wilson

        Sorry Rob but you can’t compare Revie’s first six games with Milanovic’s. Revie was starting from scratch and he took over a very poor, struggling side of journeymen who narrowly escaped the drop to the (then) Third Division. Milanovic took over a very talented bunch who we know can play and have under achieved because of his negative tactics. The Wolves game was the latest in a (admittedly short) line of games we could and should have won. I could argue that if Revie had inherited a similar squad to Milanovic he would have achieved promotion a couple of years earlier and Cellino would have had no reason to sack him!

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      • If you can extrapolate that well, you’re wasted commenting on a football blog – you should be at CERN trying to unravel the mysteries of creation!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Kevin Wilson

        Nah! Gave that up years ago. Still waiting for them to catch up with my theories!

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  8. Cellino was right to sack Hockaday, he was right to sack Milanic….people moaning about it need to ask themselves if they would have preferred Milanic to continue ??? Most would not……….The error made by Cellino was in appointing Hockaday in the summer……….that’s when this rollercoaster was started.

    Hockaday was an idiot. Milanic is too negative and defensive and I have doubts about his ability to coach decent attacking football………rather than ” give milanic a fair go” and end up in the bottom 3 , cellino has acted quickly…….GOOD. Now let redfearn try his hand for a while and do not interfere Mr Cellino

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  9. Hi,rob,the blame for this sorry mess is solely at the feet of Massimo ,yes us fans can be fickle at times, but we pay our money & turn up week in week out always supporting lufc,..if as you say Massimos been listening to the fans, it’s a shame he didn’t listen from the start,we all new Hockaday wasn’t good enough, Darko not good enough,I hope redders can steady the ship ,but I think he’ll find it harder this time round,,,Massimo as saved this club but for the life of him he as no idea when it comes to picking a coach.

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  10. Yeah let’s get bates back cos the last ten years or so have been ace

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  11. Reality Cheque

    Mr Cellino doesn’t appear to do any research homework on his candidates for head coach and seems very happy to simply act on the advice of others. This gives him the satisfaction of appearing to be blameless when things go wrong. Mr Cellino now has a 100% failure record in his 36 attempts to recruit a coach who can match his expectations!! Just exactly what does his head coach job description look like??? There is also no room for Mr Cellino to refer to Neil as a watermelon, he knows exactly what qualities and knowledge Neil brings to the table. The buck stops with Mr Cellino if Neil accepts the position of ‘permanent’ first team head coach. Hopefully, Neil can pick up where he left off and this chaos and uncertainty can disappear as quickly as it descended upon us.
    It is only a week ago that Neil explained that his role at the Academy was a full-time job in itself, (when excusing himself for his continued absence from the dug-out on match days), so who is now going to fill the academy void??
    Good luck Neil, you deserve this opportunity, but you also deserve the full backing and very patient support of our new owner. MOT

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  12. Well said Rob, I said same last night…give Redfern till end of season whatever and however season goes. If results don’t go well over next 6/7 games and we’ve got some tough ones coming up Redfern has gotta be given time to put it right.

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  13. Couldn’t agree more Rob. I was in the car still driving home when I heard the news. As bad as the second half was, the first was paradoxically good. Carlo was getting something right.
    After nearly crashing the car I could only think “what now? Where the he’ll do we go from here and who the he’ll would want us?
    I believe Redfearn will do the job but more seriously, I’m bloody praying he will because God help us if he doesn’t.
    We are at the centre of the looking glass and it’s the whole sporting world that is gazing at us. We don’t have room to manoeuvre any more and Cellino must understand that whilst his money has saved the club his actions could just as easily destroy it.
    I wait with crossed fingers …I look to my football as relief from a stressful job. I support Leeds … therein lies another paradox!

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  14. AllWhiteNow

    Bucket-loads of common-sense in this blog Rob – the serial coach sacker of Cagliari clearly can’t change his habits even now that he has traded in the Fiat 500 and is now the owner of a Ferrari. Coaches? They are simply watermelons.
    Maybe, just maybe, Redders is the right man in the right place to kick-start both his career and meld this talented squad into a fully functioning championship side capable of being consistent enough to challenge for promotion. It might happen…. It might not. But for god’s sake let’s give him until the end of the season to see what he can do [unless, of course, we are in danger of sliiping back to L1, in which case we’ll see yet another watermelon].
    Hey-ho, it would be nice just to be a football club for a change instead of the latest soap-opera….
    MOT

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  15. lets face it, blaming the fans gets you nowhere. I’m from bradford, and I know some very loyal leeds fans who’ve lived in bradford their whole lives and would be quite offended at that.

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  16. What I dont get is all the experts coming out of the woodwork over cellino. Where were they with the last 4 owners of the club? Seems theres an old boys network thats quite happy for vampires like bates to bleed the club dry as long as they are British.

    That said cellino has his drawbacks too and is in no way the perfect owner. But compared to evil bastards that used the club as their own personal piggy bank like bates, Harvey, Richmond, krasner, morris, levi, gfh etc.. well no contest.

    Wish he had had to do a deal with that farnham group, might have tempered him somewhat with farnham, verity & radebe on the board.

    I fear he’s going to do a deal with bates, the old git has been circling around ER like a wolf of late. Hope I’m wrong.

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  17. David Dean

    Very interesting and well written once again, Rob. Interesting comments also from the readers. Many differing viewpoints and many with some relevance. My view is as follows:
    When Cellino bought the club he had many things to do in all sorts of areas – he had to reduce the losses and get rid of the dead wood both on and off the field. He had to rebuild the squad and fight the football league to keep the club he had bought. There was a lot going on for him. He has moved here with his family, his commitment cannot be challenged. He sacked McD – or did he? We all loved Brian but he failed because he was in an impossible position with GFH. He was the manager but Cellino wanted a coach not a manager – a point that even you seem to overlook. Cellino runs the show – he told us when he came in. I believe that Brian was not able to take on the new position of head coach and to work under Cellino who would be signing all the players with Solerno. This was not an acceptable way of doing things for Brian and after branding Brian’s team as the “shitest he has ever seen in his life” I don’t think Mass put too much into persuading McD to stay on. They agreed to part, on good terms, and Brian did him a favour and gave him a nice discount on the payoff which was admirable. Cellino was more interested in signing the players he wanted than appointing a coach. The coach was not important, just someone to train the players and get them fit. The consequence of this was that McCormack wanted out when the Hock was appointed. The Hock was not a mistake. Cellino did not know what to do, he had very few options. Nobody of any reputation would take the job under the conditions Cellino demanded. He had few choices and didn’t know what to do. He needed a coach and didn’t want to pay much so he went for a very cheap option. The important thing was for the squad to be assembled and trained pre-season and and to be fit. He let the Hock get on with it and sacked him when he failed with results not being good enough.
    In stepped Redders who surprised us all. Yes they were lucky at Birmingham but he was successful in that game with the changes he made. They were being overrun by Bournmouth and as you say could have been well beaten and again his tactical changes brought about a great improvement. Two excellent home wins to add and Redders surprised us all including Cellino and I am certain himself as well with 3 wins and a draw from 4 matches. He loved the academy and wasn’t keen to leave it knowing he couldn’t do both jobs. Cellino wanted to be sensible and not make a mistake of taking him out of the academy and then sacking him a few months later and so he didn’t push for Redders to take the job. If Redders would have said he wanted it then I am sure he would have appointed him full time. Redders said he would do whatever Mass wanted. Again I don’t think Mass knew what to do for the best, he couldn’t decide and I think they both knew when he opted for Darko that Redders was on the back burner for the time when Darko would be sacked. I thought that at the time and I think they knew it too. Mass wanted Redders involved with Darko and I was very disappointed he wasn’t. I thought Redders wanted to give Darko space but your suggestion that Redders went into a bit of a sulk may not be 100 miles away from the truth and yes I believe he did regret that if Darko was successful his chance will have passed him by. Redders tasted it, liked it and wanted more. The swiftness of this appointment shows that Redders was delighted to take it full time and so was Cellino. It is a no brainer. His involvement with the academy and his relationship with the young players, his vast experience in the game and knowing our club inside out makes this a great appointment. Darko signed his death warrant at 3.45 yesterday. The manner of the defeat was down to Darko. Redders is ready – he has served his apprenticeship and if he had not been in the back burner waiting for the job Mass would have given Darko a lot longer. Redders would have moved on to another club before long, Massimo has acted at the right time. No mistakes, a great squad and a good chance of moving forward slowly but surely together. Thanks Rob for an excellent article and for stimulating our brains and thanks to the interesting comments from your readers. I feel sure this appointment will really galvanize the whole club and supporters. #mot #icwt.

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    • Excellent exposition of your take on things. I could wish for a loan of your faintly rose-tinted specs – but I also applaud your optimism and I fervently hope that you’re spot on looking back AND forward. MOT

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      • David Dean

        Yes so do I Rob. What a great bunch of players though. Mowett, Cook, Adryan and Dawson to come in, with Sivestri in goal, two warriors in central defence, Sam Byrom and some decent strike options – and strength in depth and Redders in charge. Best supporters in the world and our beloved Massimo. Don’t thinks you need any rose tinted specs. Woohee!!!

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  18. I think you’ve all got the Redfearn angle wrong. I think he knew exactly what he was doing by declining the offer to sit in the dugout. The “needs the time to concentrate on the U21’s” excuse doesn’t wash. Do they play their games same day/night as the first team? No, I think he knew early doors Milanic wasn’t up to the task, didn’t want to be associated with a dead man walking and has been biding his time IMO.

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  19. I do feel sorry for darko but after 10+ years of sub standard ownership and substandard football and signings im glad that that big mas ent putting up with it no more just hope redders hits the ground running because if he dont then think we will be in the shit big time because big mas is drinking in the last chance salon in more ways than one thanks for a another good read rob was looking forward to ya post as soon as the news broke MOT

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  20. The circus will go on and on and on , mot

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  21. “The fans – a vociferous if not particularly large proportion of them, anyway – have to take their share of the blame for this latest farcical development. ”

    WRONG ROB!

    Those fans could not believe it when the Hock was appointed and were just as shocked when Darko was appointed, neither of them had a chance in hell of ever managing a club with the stature of Leeds United.

    Both good men in their own way, but not right for Leeds.

    Those fans said it when those people were selected to manage and those same fans will tell you that Redders was the obvious choice then and is the obvious choice now.

    Its not about ‘Big names’ its about people who understand Leeds United.

    I will back Redders to the hilt. I feel it in my veins that he is the right guy to manage us.

    win lose or draw he deserves the chance.

    Cellino is beginning to realize what Leeds United are and what they need, and he has been man enough to say ‘I was wrong’.

    He acknowledges the error and has corrected it.

    I thank him for that, and I think he will take Leeds back to where they belong.

    M.O.T.

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    • We all have a part to play. Supporters support – or at least refrain from acting against the interests of their club. SOME Leeds fans – particularly the Twatteratti variety – have let the club down with constant negativity, ludicrous demands for sacking the manager just a few weeks in and general failure to support. That’s my firm opinion.

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      • I agree to a point Rob, I was shocked by the Hock appointment, but wanted him to succeed even though it looked impossible, I knew nothing of Darko either and again hoped Massimo knew something the supporters did not. What we saw was awful and that’s what we said.

        One thing we know for sure though Rob, is that the supporters WILL be behind Redders. He may or may not bring the success Leeds fans crave, but he gives us credible hope at least.

        And anyway, if it all goes wrong coaching the first team, I know the fans would still want him to stay at the club with the youth squads. His talents in bringing on the young players have been demonstrated for all to see.

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      • I’ve heard Redders is trying to do a deal with Cellino whereby he has some protection in terms of reverting to his former role if/when he’s dispensed with as Head Coach. That makes sense but might be difficult to enforce in practice. All any of us can do at this point is to keep our fingers firmly crossed.

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  22. There are now two options, Cellino takes on the job of head coach and shows us all how it should be done.
    Cellino appoints a head coach who knows the English game, and lets him get on with it without interference.

    If you think Cellino is actually acting on what we, the fans, are saying, think again. There are two sides to Massimo Cellino, the public “I’m a fan” side and the “I’m in charge, I know best” side. The public side listens, the I know best side doesn’t.

    Comparing Football from the 1960’s to Football in 2014, the only thing they have in common, there’s 11 players on each side and they kick a round ball.

    Leeds United since 1963(age 4)

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  23. SnifferClarkesBoots

    It was a ludicrous idea to expect Redders to babysit Darko in the dugout after managing the previous four games so successfully.
    I believe Cellino (as most were echoing at the time) felt – was persuaded – that Redders was indispensable to the academy so opted to look elsewhere.
    I was surprised when Cellino didn’t offer the job to Redders given he is quick to applaud and reward success and (visibly) show himself to be part of it. Don’t say it too loud but under Redders it was certainly a ‘purple’ patch in our season to date.
    Well hopefully we will be witnessing Cellino back in the stands soon, cheering goals, scoffing hot dogs and photobombing selfies.

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  24. Unless Neil Redfern has another instant, unbeaten run, I can see this whole madness of Cellino sacking coaches after a few games, continuing for the rest of this horrible, horrible season.
    Any coach coming to Leeds needs at least six months as coach, but six games is a complete joke, but what do you expect when two inexperienced “NOBODY” coaches were given the Leeds job?
    All the Leeds fans want is a recognised coach, who knows the Championship and the English game and someone like Gary McAllister, would be a good idea to work alongside Redfern, but I doubt weather Cellino would be more patient than for six games.
    It is totally wrong for Cellino to think that this inconsistent Leeds team, can win every game, seeing as Leeds have really struggled to put unbeaten runs together for last ten years.
    The most concerning thing though, is that if Leeds are relegated, because of Cellino’s mistakes, I can see some of those new European Leeds players bankrupting the football club, with their two and three year contracts.

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  25. Andy (Rotherham)

    I am as disappointed with recent results as every Leeds fan, but I am also so sad with Cellino once again running our club through the mud.
    I met Darko before the game at Rotherham and he came across as a gentleman, but you could see the fear in his eyes – ask yourself, is this really surprising given the massive shadow cast by the owner.
    Clearly, Darko made a big mistake at half time v Wolves, but surely someone should have pulled him to one side and had a quiet word with him, offered him some support and given him more time – perhaps then Darko could feel relaxed and we would see the real person and not just someone in fear of his every move.
    I love Leeds and admire Cellino for the efforts he puts into the club, but his crass management style makes me very bitter.
    Darko was brought over from Austria, (after paying off his own contract), he had no knowledge of the English game, whilst half of the team he inherited are also new to these shores, yet he was given no time at all to make his influence count.
    The worst for me however is our lack of class. The official website does not even offer our thanks or any good luck for his future – this is a great club, but now entirely withou any class or basic decency.
    I find it all very embarrassing and it disgusts me with the way that we have treated this man

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  26. Andy (Rotherham)

    I should have added to my previous comment, that it is not only the club that has acted disgracefully in my view.
    I cannot believe the negativity which was used almost from day one by the likes of Adam Pope during his Radio Leeds interviews.
    Don’t get me wrong here, I thing the coverage on this station is good, and Popey is clearly passionate about Leeds United, but his interviews seemed littered with negative comments, continually asking if he thought he may be sacked and thus just heaping pressure on a man who had only just arrived in the country.
    Is it any wonder that he acted negatively on the pitch when his every move was scrutinised and attacked so much ?.

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  27. Neil Roche

    Too many so-called supporters are too quick to get on players’ backs. Having said all that you so eloquently have, it’s the best team to support – always something interesting going on. But, oh for a short (at least) period of consolation. My main worry is lack of physical presence, especially in mid-field. The continuous beating up the young players are getting can’t do them any good in the long run.

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    • I think in the long run is where they WILL see the benefit of this toughening up process. It’s the here and now that’s the problem and I agree the team could do with someone in the enforcer role.

      Like

  28. leeds oldie

    Good article in general i agree i saw my first game when the great john charles scored against Hull city ive seen and been everywhere with the revie boys as well the difference between then and now is then football came first and not money revie had a great chairman who left the team to build and grow with him
    Revie had ideas beyond the time he new how to play and get out of then division2 Cellino,s appointments are 2nd rate at best but with redfern they have a potentionaly a great manager he knows this countrys ethos he knows the league and he knows leeds
    As regards the accadamy why not bring back naylor or brown to run that and the pair to oversee all levels of the club so when a player is brought into the 1st team he will just slot into that roll
    Good Luck redders you are going to need it

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  29. 2 dreadful calls by MC in appointing Hockaday and Darko and another in not sticking with Redfearn who clearly had the players playing for him and knows the club inside out.

    I wish him every success and have a gut feeling he is the right coach to turn this squad into a team

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  30. I do hope it works out for Redears but some times you have to be carful of what you wish for. M O T

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  31. Interesting article Rob- Ive been given the matter a bit of thought the last few days and I thought you would write something very much along the lines you have. I think this Massimo character has lost it- lost it COMPLETELY. Evidence would suggest that you have a man in charge now who is basically a meglomaniac- not the sharp brained, well considered, business minded man that we all thought he was. No one can blame the fans for buying into his initial philosophy for the club- from the out side it looked like you had a man at the helm who was going to get someone in who knew what they were doing and he was going to provide them with the financial backing- albeit a carefully constructed one, the fat would be trimmed, a good core of players would be retained and players would be carefully sought who would add value and quality to the current first team. The problem is, he seems to have built this whole philosophy on nothing more solid than sand- you can’t have three different managers in in three months and expect the fans and perhaps more important, the players, to have any belief in the way the club is being run. Players will all tell you that despite what is going on at board level within the club it has no impact on the team but this is clearly not true, especially when you take into consideration the amount of managers they are working under, each with their own ideas on how the game should be played and the players they want to carry these ideas out- The current squad must not know whether they are coming or going. Players are by and large simple creatures-they need to know what their role is in the team, they need to know what system they will be playing, they need to know who their leader is- once these are removed players generally become confused- why? because they don’t know who will be leading them next week, what formation they will be playing and who their leader will be. After considering this, my opinion is that Cellino is a quick fix man- by that I mean he wants/expects the man he puts in charge to be able to change EVERYTHING in a very short space of time. Does he not know that football in general and Leeds in particular will not work this way. There are deep rooted reasons for your decline and these can’t be sorted out in a few short months. It looks like he’s seen the riches the Premiership has to offer and he’s lost sight of the bigger picture here. He thinks he can do a Mike Ashley on the cheap but doesn’t look like he has neither the time nor the patience to see this through. Fans will put up with a lot of Shite if they can see evidence of improvement and an understanding of what those at the top are trying to implement. Sorry lads/ and lasses- but all I see here is a man who makes nothing but knee jerk reactions- a man who clearly has no long term structure or plan in place-a man who thinks he can turn a situation around very quickly and make the big money in the process by doing so- I hope Readfurn has a clause in his contract allowing him to return to helping the youth teams out if/when Cellino inevitably gives him his cards as he looks to be doing a decent job. For me Leeds need an EXPERIENCED manager in, someone with 10 years management under their belts at the very least- a seen it done it type of man who has had to put up with Narccistic owners and their crazy ideas on how football teams should be managed. The problem is not many managers are attracted by the prospect of working with a ticking time bomb of an owner- irrespective of how big the club is. Cellino is tarnishing the credibility of the club in my eyes- you simply can’t run a club like this and expect any degree of success- it just doesn’t work this way. If someone can tell him “it just doesn’t work this way” and phrase it in Italian I think they ought to and quickly- Over to you Rob.

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  32. Just as an epilogue to this- I actually only read your title and the first paragraph of the article as I didn’t want to be overly influenced by your views Rob- you obviously know a hell of a lot more on Leeds than I do/ or want to to be honest ,lol but i wanted to give a outsiders view on this and how it looks to supporters of “other” clubs. To be honest all things considered it looks like he would be a good owner if he could only keep his “neb” (nose) out- he’s like that bugger from Hull but at least that bugger from Hull looks like he lets Bruce get on with it. If I was him I would ring up wee Gordon and ask him/ get him if at all possible- and ask him advice on who he should bring in- he’s clearly taking advice from all the wrong people either that or he’s picking men who he can control completely and we all know how these sort of managers prosper when they’ve got one hand tied behind their back. If he can do this and just focus on the business side then you would be o.k but I don’t think he is able to do this unfortunately. Worrying times for Leeds United. NUFC

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    • I’m certainly worried, but the bulk of the support are delighted now that Redders has the job. I hope he gets the chance and the freedom to get on with it his way, but I have me doubts. If this goes pear-shaped, God alone knows what Plan D will be….

      Like

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