How On Earth Was Rudy Austin Deemed Surplus to THIS Leeds Squad??   –   by Rob Atkinson


International star Rudy Austin

There are more questions than answers, as a wise but puzzled man once said. There are mysteries and conundra aplenty, logic-defying problems of unfathomable intricacy – as well as what appear at first glance to be exercises in the bleedin’ obvious. And if Scott Wootton‘s status as “anything but a natural central defensive midfielder” falls into that last category, then it’s also true to say that Leeds United opting to dispense with the services of Rodolph Austin must count as one of the daftest decisions since Decca turned down The Beatles.

On last night’s evidence at Doncaster’s Keepmoat Stadium, it seems that Uwe Rösler‘s declared intention to implement “sensible rotation” is up against one major problem: in the absence of certain essential personnel, he has no-one of sufficient quality to turn to. And that is very much a self-inflicted wound on United’s part; in jettisoning Austin, they have left themselves one Beast short in midfield – bereft of that driving and inspirational presence that was Rudy at his thunderous best. 

No need to take my word for it. Look at the recent international between Jamaica and the highly-respected USA outfit. The tragically clubless Rudy bossed the midfield for the Reggae Boyz, running the game in a manner which we could well have done with for Leeds last night. With all due respect to Scott Wootton, when you’re reduced to deploying him in the Number 4 engine room role, then things are a bit desperate. And the blithe dismissal of Austin to seek his livelihood elsewhere is exposed as a piece of arrant lunacy. 

Sadly, it looks as though our erstwhile Beast may well be forced to slaver and snarl outside of these islands, due to the pettifogging bureaucracy that masquerades as employment policy hereabouts. Sheffield Wednesday were eager to take Austin, as they took another competent performer surprisingly deemed surplus at Leeds in Tom Lees. But the move was choked to death by miles of red tape, so it seems that the amiable but deadly Austin will be lost to the domestic game, taking with him his top-rate tax contribution to our wheezing economy. Whichever way you look at it, that’s plain daft. But not, by a million miles, anything like as daft as United’s misconceived decision to let Rudy go in the first place. 

There is even a Change.org petition, calling upon the relevant government department to stop being so damned silly, and let the Beast rampage anew in the English leagues. I’d urge you to support it – but I wish there was no necessity for this. I wish my beloved but misguided club hadn’t been so criminally wasteful and laissez-faire as to let Austin go in the summer – because he could instead have been subduing Donny’s eager but inferior troops last night. If only.

Rotation is all very well, as Rösler is doubtless finding out, but without adequate resources, rotation ceases to be a productive activity and becomes running pointlessly round in circles, à la a chicken with its head cut off. As mere humble fans, not privy to the cerebral processes behind the decisions taken in the corridors of power, we’ll just have to hope that we don’t suffer too much from the laughable notion that a Wootton can replace an Austin. But I fear there may yet be more rude awakenings ahead. 

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12 responses to “How On Earth Was Rudy Austin Deemed Surplus to THIS Leeds Squad??   –   by Rob Atkinson

  1. It was all about wages!!
    All high earners have moved on since Massimo arrived.

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  2. Hi Rob, you have a point about Austin – certainly he is better than Wooten and for me that simply means we MUST sign another CDM as soon as possible as backup for Adeyemi. BUT Austin was never good enough for a club wanting to go up to prem. Lets remember he was a poor CDM – didn’t have the discipline or football brain. His passing was average at best and though he always gave 100% that is not sufficient criteria alone for being a top Leeds player. Being good 1 game in 10 is not enough. We shouldn’t have let him go without adequate cover – but spending more money on an extended contract on him would have not been wise either imo. Also, the work permit would have still become an issue if Leeds had decided to keep him as far as I understand it. Still – hoping for a few more signings before window shuts – our 1st 11 is great IMO but we are short of cover in a number of positions including CDM. #MOT @ChatLUFC

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  3. Here’s why rob
    1. Was he guaranteed a work permit if leeds gave him a new contract?
    2. Would he have accepted less money?
    3. Was he value for that money?
    4. Was he good enough for a new contract?
    5. How many games when he played did he really impress?
    6. Isn’t he another player leeds have had who is a cut above league 1 yet short of class for the championship?
    Yes he put his heart and soul (sometimes) into games but really was he good value for money or really good enough? Defeat at Doncaster was due to many things but Austin not being there wasn’t really the cause. More importantly will Rosler get the time to develop this squad and teach them how to play? MOT

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  4. Andy Whisker

    Rob. Dont see the point of pining for a player who we couldn’t have played as he can’t work in this country and who (like Wootton) lacks the technique to play on a tight pitch like Donny’s. Very worried about the next month as we still need a CB, short term MF cover and pace out wide so we can drop Sam back to RB

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  5. Wooton was very poor and the tackle that gave the pen away was terrible suggesting he won’t offer us much defensively full stop. Also how could we possibly have let Rudy go and for some reason hung onto the one paced Doukara who just doesn’t show any passion. I can only hope that on last nights evidence of the lack of depth in our squad that last nights struggles ensure Cellino gets his cheque book out for a minimum of 2 further signings! Otherwise I think a top 10 finish will be the best we can hope for.
    On a lighter note how could our pens have been so poor when we have a German manager claiming we had prepared for pens?

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  6. patrick hogan

    Would he have got a work permit if he’d stayed with Leeds? If not we should have sold him in Jan for £300k and let it be another club’s problem.

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  7. GrenvilleHair

    Scott Wootton wearing Billy Bremner’s shirt. Is there no end to the ignominy Rob? Makes my pine for Mark ‘the finger’ Aizlewood. Alright, not quite…

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  8. Well said, Rob. Just who, exactly, do we have to rotate? The front row of fans behind the home dugout, perhaps?

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  9. Red Headed Animal

    I don’t think Austin was an effective defensive midfielder at all. He was at his best playing in a more advanced role, but I don’t think he was the answer to take us any higher than championship mid-table. The fact that the Wendies and Brighton were the only championship sides showing an interest, probably backs that up.

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  10. Radio_Bellers

    There is only one reason. Money. Rudy was on a contract that the owner thought was too expensive. I don’t know why the fans keep asking questions like this? It’s bloody obvious.

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  11. PompeyWhite

    Because hes is shite- real question is why wasnt he gone sooner. Why did it take so long to get rid of the clown. Most of his shots went for throw ins. He was a liability.

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  12. Dirty Deputy Dane

    Dear Rob. I agree. Also the substitutions came too late. Murphy was not fit for the task. With Dallas taken off there were no one to service Antenucci and Wood. Also notice how much time Rosler spent giving Byram instructions as he like Wooton, were both played out of position. You cannot call a 5 player switch a mild rotation and at the same time play players out of their natural positions. The Reading game will tell if Rosler realize the Austin mistake and recruit another holding midfielder. We also need a quality Cb and RW. Sooner or later Byram will leave and then what? MOT

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