Down the years and decades of football history, certain conventions have come to assume the status of indisputable pearls of wisdom – some positive and others less so. Just before half-time is “a good time to score”, for instance. No intelligence is available about what might be a bad time to get a goal. Or there’s the one about the crowd on the Anfield Kop being worth a goal to Liverpool (usually a dodgy penalty). Such clichés can sometimes be viewed with some scorn, but the reason they attain cliché status in the first place is usually because they have a certain ring of truth.
One of the most chilling football clichés of all is the one about “the Chairman’s vote of confidence” with its grim connotations of imminent termination. The general assumption, once one of these death-knell pronouncements has been made, is that the unhappy recipient of what is presumably intended to be interpreted as reassurance, now has nothing to look forward to but the sombre sound of his P45 hitting the doormat.
The hapless manager, then, hearing his ultimate boss telling everybody how happy he is with the job being done, reacts with neither happy smile nor that joyful serenity of spirit with which we would see all our efforts blessed. Rather, his brow is bespangled with cold beads of sweat; his Adam’s apple bobs up and down nervously, he quakes inwardly. He knows the subtext of the vote of confidence; he knows that he’s most likely a dead manager walking. All that remains, he fears, is the formality of the axe falling – and the ceremonial clearing of the desk.
Sadly for Uwe Rösler, this particular cliché is not peculiar to the English game. If it were, he could perhaps reassure himself that a German has nothing to fear from an Italian vote of confidence, or voto di fiducia, such as our Head Coach has received only today from Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino. Italians, Uwe might muse, optimistically, tend to go about these things rather more graphically; the prospect of waking up next to a horse’s severed head would perhaps be more like it. And, after all, Cellino was all Latin charm and affability as he delivered his ringing endorsement of Rösler’s stewardship. Nothing sinister there, surely.
But, as Shakespeare warned us, a man can smile, and smile, and be a villain. Rösler would not be the first Head Coach to bask in the warm glow of what sounds like approbation from Cellino, only to discover shortly afterwards the metaphorical stiletto knife jutting out from between his shoulder blades. Several Leeds coaches have been thus dispatched in the Italian’s short reign at Elland Road – and he has form for such very mixed signals going back considerably further in his maverick career.
Are Rösler’s Leeds days, then, already numbered? It’s a debatable question and, sad to say, debate is pretty much all we have – in the absence of any real reliability where the soundbites coming from United are concerned. Rösler says he picks the team with no interference from above. Perhaps he does. Who knows? Cellino says he’ll give his man time and that he likes him. He’s said similar things before. Perhaps he means it this time. Who knows? All we humble fans can do is speculate, with the lessons of history our most reliable guide.
Sometimes it must occur to Leeds fans that it might be restfully nice to support some humdrum, boring club, where nothing much ever happens. Barnsley, perhaps, or even Spurs. The roller-coaster at United is so very much of a rocky ride that it’s difficult truly to appreciate such highs as we ever get, knowing – really knowing – that there’s an inevitable plunge back into the depths to follow. That’s not good for the digestion, never mind your heart or your peace of mind. But this is the club we love and, right now, it’s not exactly in the steadiest of hands.
However this season is panning out, whatever the shortcomings of the team – or of the club’s approach to its playing staff’s contractual issues, come to that – we must surely yearn for some semblance of stability and continuity, to see us through to calmer waters. We must hope against hope that, for once, and against the notorious track record of Signor Cellino, the dread “vote of confidence” will turn out to be exactly what it says on the tin, instead of some veiled death warrant as per that hackneyed cliché. The very last thing we need right now is yet more turmoil at a club which sometimes seems to have the monopoly on it.
So, yes Massimo. Uwe is a good professional and he’s doing the best job we can expect, given financial and other restraints. We’re glad to hear you think so too. So let’s take that as read, then, shall we? Perhaps – just perhaps – you can now let the guy get on with his job, and stop feeding the press so many quotes that might be helpful to that dubious fraternity – but really don’t do our football club many favours at all. Let’s have some peace, quiet and progress – just as if we were a normal football club. After all, we appear to be stuck with you – just as you are stuck with us, the more cynical and watchful end of football’s most fanatical and stroppy supporter base.
Seriously – can we just move on now, and forget any more votes of confidence, or whatever other football clichés? Thanks, Mr. Cellino.
Dont think the corn king that daft, onwards and upwards, minus Byram , Sylvesri and belliusfloppious ! Coach will be there end of season. leeds round 10-12 th.
Really hope you’re right.
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For the benefit of my own physical and psychological health, I have been trying to avoid Massimo’s zany comedy routines of late.
I decided to focus on the players’ performances instead.
So I tuned in on Saturday night to the ‘Boro match, and Bellusci’s nightmare unfolded…
Et tu Brute?
Saturday is surely a day to restore hope and belief and keep that mad man at bay during the international break. Will Buckley should play but if he can’t steady the teams’ nerves and we lose it could be curtains the following match – league leaders Brighton are at Yelly Roared and 3 deafeats in a row will be too much for Massmanagermurderer Clownio.
We all know the capabilities of El Presidents,he doesn’t need ideas being put to him,Rob.He could wake up one morning after a rough night on the Chianti,sit down with an espresso and a good strong fag to read your article.You could have just lit the fuse,Ha Ha!!!!!
Fed up of being negative negative will only cause all and sundry to be negative …. We were better than a three goal loss at the week end and beat ourselves in reality . As we know Belusshi is a liability he and Silvestri should not be in the same team , micro has a nervous twitch for those that have noticed it’s like inspector clouseau, s boss in the pink panther films , Belusshi is like the Italian version complete fool no wonder micro twitches and flaps he makes him nervous and we even more so. But to complete blaming and courting Aggro with MC is getting on my tits , hands up who would like Bates back still worst the git frickin halal brigade and the moaners saying we are crap fek off we are not gonna get a money no object owner go and follow the scum or shifty or shell suit or the arse if you can’t take a few knocks once in a while that’s football …. You can’t be winners all the time some seem to think we are more deserving bollax , stop blaming people that don’t play on the field and suggest he is instrumental and trying to lose what a load of gypsy cursed piss that is , stand up be passionate and support your club fuck off the moaners you are beginning to sound like fatty Evans it’s only down the road Rotheram get down there and moan. I take it back about old tractor mouth last few times I have heard him speak he has been positive about us , it’s all the other buggers on sky they can fek off as well they are the worst for bias and then taking piss if we won on Sunday Boro would have been the better team, and even though they could only kick chunks out of us as they couldn’t contain our play in the second half we would still have been dirty Leeds , see even I am becoming negative on on on MOT for ever
Cheer up man, it might never happen 😉
I seem to remember with Redders there was no vote of confidence forthcoming and indeed only a lot of critical comments designed to get Redders to quit before being fired. As nasty as Don Cellino can be I think he really does mean what he says on this occasion. Here’s hoping we the fans give Rosler as much leeway as Cellino appears to be willing to give this time!
Great post Shotgun – MOT
Rossler is a ‘safety first’ manager, but the team looks better than for ages. Grayson was ‘gung ho’, great to watch, but we got some bad beatings.
A settled back four plus a bit more invention up front should see us in the top half.
Oh yes, and give Phillips a bit more game time – he looks more than useful.
It’s time for Massimo to send Uwe packing. We have not won a home match all year, the season is one-quarter gone, we were eliminated from the cup challenge in the first round, and we were clean-sheeted again at ER today. The man is a loser. Happily, the best news out of all this is that we are still mid-table and only 7 points out of sixth place. If we’re to have a chance at promotion this season, it will be under a new gaffer worthy of the Mighty Whites.
We can already say it’ll do this season to avoid the drop. Promotion, or playoffs? No chance.
Uwe needs to go. Even though we are winless this season at home, and defenders of Uwe point out that the season is only one-quarter gone and that we are still only eight points out of playoff range, a defeatist attitude that has already consigned us to try another year after this in the Championship cannot be tolerated. What must the players think??!!
That’s assuming we EARN another year in the Championship. Which is by no means a given.
All too true, Rob. At this point, the best hope I have in us not being demoted to League One under “I’ve always got an excuse” Uwe is my confidence that (maybe out of sheer luck) we eventually will win a game or two at Elland Road in 2015 or 2016 and my conviction that there are at least three sides more awful than us in this division that will be sent down.
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