Becchio: Could Love be Sweeter the Second Time Around? – by Rob Atkinson

The Luciano we Remember

The Luciano we Remember

As speculation mounts over just who the man could be that will revive the flagging fortunes of Leeds United in front of goal, one name simply refuses to go away.  Luciano Becchio of blessed memory, our very own Argentinian hit-man, a hard-working and committed striker with a Barça “B” notch on his CV – yet currently a flop at Norwich City, the deal that took him there having gone sour for both clubs.

Leeds emerged from that transaction with Steve Morison and some money. Then Morison went to purgatory in the shape of Millwall and has barely emerged since, despite a return to Elland Road – although he has lately shown some commitment and promise in a lone striker role. The Becchio money has of course long since disappeared on United’s running costs or Ross McContract’s wages – and poor Luca has spent the interim period sliding ungracefully down the pecking order of Norwich’s lengthening roster of strikers.  In his rare league appearances in the not-so-famous canary yellow, he has scored the grand total of zero goals. The form that prompted the Carrow Road lot to go after him was much more prolific as his Leeds career came to an end, but he did not take that form with him to East Anglia.

It is common knowledge that Luciano would be open to a return to Elland Road and, indeed, that he wasn’t all that keen on leaving in the first place. Dark rumours are being whispered abroad that he was forced out; that his availability was hyped-up by the men then in charge, and that poor Luca was but a pawn in the high-stakes finance game being played out in the wake of the GFH takeover. Perhaps it’s true.  So would Becchio be welcomed back to LS11?

Opinions, as ever, are divided.  Some would crawl over broken glass all the way to the wilds of Norfolk and then give the lad a piggy-back ride all the way up to Thorp Arch and pay for the privilege.  Others regard anyone who leaves as several grades down from Judas Iscariot, and would rather kiss a Man U badge than see such a traitor back in the fold.  The truth is out there somewhere, and more than likely it’s in between those two extremes.  There is always a worry about a returning hero; the late, great John Charles failed to relive the magic when he returned, and there have been other second-time flops since.  Isn’t it, perhaps, better to go for a new man, with no ex-Leeds baggage, one who will arrive with a clean slate and an eagerness to win new friends? You’d have thought so, and Signor Cellino prefers to shop elsewhere – but all of his prospects are turning up their noses at Leeds and heading off elsewhere.

Becchio’s failure to hack it in the Premier League during Norwich’s doomed survival fight (some would say that’s a harsh call given his relative lack of opportunities) will not have surprised many.  His game was always about drive and endeavour more than silky skills and fancy flicks or turns.  He would work so hard on his best days, he would go in where angels fear to tread, he would stick his head in where many might shrink from risking a boot.  On his off-days, by contrast, he could be awfully anonymous – subtract effort and commitment from his game and there was not, it seemed, a hell of a lot left.  And yet every now and then he’d produce a sublime finish, as depicted in the image above, that belonged at a much higher level.  His habit of picking on Middlesbrough endeared him to many, and the fact that the Smoggies coveted him as well as McCormack would be reason enough for many to get him back on the payroll.

As things stand, all we really have is a very persistent rumour that the Whites are looking for additional firepower, and soon at that, with the window slamming shut Monday night. Whoever we might get, I hope they’d come with a winger included, so that the whole thing might stand a better chance of working – although the club seem to be banking on Mowatt and Byram to do the wide boy stuff.

If Becchio does appear again in a Leeds United shirt over the next few days, he’ll be doing it because he’s wanted by the boss – Redders has come out and said as much, but was abruptly contradicted by the since-departed il Presidente. On the basis that the pro in the equation wants the lad, I’d cautiously welcome him back, and wish him all the very best as he seeks to resume a United career he should probably never have interrupted.

19 responses to “Becchio: Could Love be Sweeter the Second Time Around? – by Rob Atkinson

  1. Sat in the east stand on sat I felt he would have had at least 2 and we missed a becchio


  2. But isn’t it our supply lines that are the main concern?


    • I don’t think its a short fall of supply to be honest its definitely a killer finisher, if we could of kept half of our now Norwich players we might of gone up by now


    • I certainly think so Anne, though ironically there were plenty of chances against Burnley, all fluffed bar Matt Smith’s late header.


  3. I’m more in the don’t go back camp to be honest, though I consider Becchio to be one of the ‘greats’ of the last however many years (it’s all relative). Imagine if he came back but didn’t score in the first 3 games or so? He’d be under so much more pressure than someone with no baggage, and I don’t see him as a long term solution. Also didn’t McCormack moreorless slag him off when he left in Jan? Plus he’ll be rusty as anything.

    Who knows maybe it’d work and be a huge shot in the arm, but I think we need to look to the future not the past, as surely this season is a punt at the play off lottery at best- teach Poleon how to look up and find a killer pass, play McCormack where he can be a poacher and get a proper winger in to give Varney and Hunt some service. Ultimately we’ll need to replace at least one of those two with someone more clinical and consistent- I just can’t see them being good enough to get us up, they’re too hit and miss, literally.

    Very hopeful about Mowatt’s prospects though, and Wootton, looking slightly longer term I think there is a lot to be positive about assuming we’re no longer a selling club!


  4. Compo's Style Guru

    Was he forced out by Colin? I’m not too sure. As I’ve said elsewhere if Becchio had stuck around until the end of the season its not unreasonable to assume he would have scored 10 more goals. Those goals may have rescued something from tight games we lost so on that point alone I don’t think he should be brought back as he jumped ship and should be left with his choice. A nagging thought though is that he could easily score 15 goals between now and May and may be scoring them for one of our rivals. Overall though I’m sure there’s better available out there.


  5. Barry hughes

    After varney missed the first of his sitters Isaid to the fella next to me where is Bechio when you need him and here we are talking about a possible return Id’e have him back


  6. dansdad1919

    Look, if you were picking the team and your final pick was at centre forward, who would you choose, Varney? OR Becchio? I bet not many would choose Reg.

    In my opinion he will improve the first team if he comes back but it’s pure speculation at the moment.



  7. firrst of all becchio has not been prem flop he started 1 game up on his own and for norwich you are on your own he did ok for us v prem teams in cups there is no gamble on bringing back atop class front man 19 goals half way mark last season yes anne supply line austin and co park players changing subject whats lees our best cb done wrong ?


  8. tony diddy

    He would know by now that his goals could have got us within a shot of the EPL last season and thqt he would have been with us should that have happened. That he wanted to leave with 18 months on his contract and Warnock about 6 shows that he didn’t even want to see out his contract with us and that his intention was to leave for the grass on the other side of the road. That didn’t work out to well for him and we were fortunate enough not to have been relegated. I’m sorry but with the above considerations left us not caring about whether we would survive the division and for that reason alone he can rot in the reserves of Norwich, as much as I loved him when he wore the shirt I find it difficult to believe that he could not have seen out the season with us and hand in a transfer request in the summer just meant his reasoning was selfish.


  9. i wonder how you will feel if he does come back and scores another 19goals?


  10. Spot on Tony Diddy. How quickly people forget. I hope he doesn’t come back. I don’t see him as a Judas at all, but I do think he was foolish to give up first team football every week at a club where he was admired by the majority in exchange for warming the bench at a no-mark premier league outfit (where I don’t suspect they will stay for very long). Let’s have a striker with a bit of a pace as well as an eye for goal – we have enough slow players in the team already.


  11. person forgetting is you forgetting he gave his all until warnock upset him id rather have becchio with no pace than varney hunt running in the wrong places


  12. When I first commented yes ,,,
    Now ,,, no….
    Hey Rob , what happened to the best seller you was writing ?


  13. I heard Masterbates and Lorimer did all they could to try and get Becchio to stay.. Not!!!


  14. Completely agree. Bring him back I think ir may be a master strike as he is experienced and championship ready.


  15. leeds oldie

    Much as i liked becchio 1st time a return would not benefit leeds at the moment with no game time at norwich he will not be match fit and morrison has now come to the fore and is showing the player he can be .
    Pace out wide is and should be the priority then with sharpe morrison attenuchi ect i think the goals will come.
    So for me no
    Thomas or ince would be better


  16. nahki wells would be the one for me with Daniel Bentley in goal


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