Latest Cellino Lie Could Signal Late Arrivals for Leeds United   –   by Rob Atkinson

These are confusing times, even for supporters of such a very baffling football club as Leeds United. In the last few days, the owner and the manager have been singing from radically different hymn sheets, giving your average fan in the street very little chance of divining just what the hell is going on as regards squad strengthening during this transfer window.

If this is just another attempt on the part of the club to “manage fans’ expectations”, it would be disappointing – but hardly surprising. Over the past few years, the standard modus operandi for Yorkshire‘s top club has been to encourage a froth of speculation at these troublesome times of the year, continually talking up the chances of, at first, “getting our business done early” – and then, as the days pass with very little of note happening, turning to coy references to the goodies we might expect to snap up in the emergency loans market, once that bothersome window finally slams shut (sighs of relief from the purse-string holders at Elland Road).

This time around, the story has been quite familiar – names are dropped for speculation purposes and, one by one, these names find comfortable billets at other club. Some incoming business is completed (loan for a winger, loan extension for a midfield enforcer – and even a permanent deal for the boy Dave from Brentford FC), all more than offset by the departure of one of our own (Sam Byram to Eastenders) – said departure having been made inevitable by an insulting contract renewal offer for a young man of high potential who will inevitably play for England.

The new and somewhat disturbing ingredient in this January’s melange of diversion and deception is the sharp variance in the public statements of owner and manager. In the past few days, we’ve had excited positivity from Steve Evans, talk of “going in heavy” for targets unspecified, assurances that no-one is anywhere near the mark speculation-wise – all generally exciting stuff.

Il Duce Cellino, on the other hand, has come out and said that it’s now “unlikely” Leeds will be making any further signings. This is despite another worrying injury to Chris Wood, casting doubt over our already dubious striking options, and well-documented areas of concern in the squad, notably central defenders and attacking midfielders. The thing is that Cellino said something similarly negative just before Leeds moved for Toumani Diagouraga. So who do you believe?

The lesson of recent history is that the answer to that question is “not Cellino”, given his track record for broken promises and a generally dodgy relationship with the truth. This season alone, we’ve heard that he’s selling up and shipping out – a promise that has so far, sadly, failed to come to fruition – although there are fresh rumours of Mr. Parkin circling like a shark around an illegally-imported yacht. The overall effect is that, if you adopt a standard approach of disregarding or disbelieving il Presidente‘s public utterances, you’ll probably end up nearer to the truth than if you naively give him the benefit of any remaining doubt.

This blog, then, having listened to and digested both versions of the current Leeds United stance, will choose to take the glass-half-full approach, eagerly anticipating at least one further arrival before February dawns to banish the last realistic bit of excitement in yet another dreadfully frustrating, disappointing and bleak season (remember, Massimo promised “beautiful football and a season to remember). It’s all been dreadfully forgettable, yet again – another reminder that, if Cellino tells you it’s sunny, you only need to look out of the window to see the rain lashing down like stair-rods.

But the bottom line here is that Leeds United do need to add to the squad in this window – and not, as the popular fiction has gone, to keep alive faint hopes of participation in the play-offs. The reality is that we have lost a top performer in Byram, and the squad as it stands cannot absolutely guarantee safety from relegation, much less any starry-eyed notions of back-door promotion. Last season, we flirted with demotion – and the same uncomfortable scenario could still revisit us, make no mistake. There’s absolutely no point in being complacent on that score.

Besides which, the fans deserve to see better players – and better football. It’s been far too many years of mediocrity now and it’s way overdue that things started to improve around LS11. For this reason above all, and bearing in mind those nagging doubts over Championship security, let’s all hope that Mr. Evans is the one speaking the truth here – and that our less-than-entirely-believable owner is yet again indulging his passion for telling porkies.

The next four days will leave us all that bit more well-informed as to exactly who is on the up and up at Elland Road.

15 responses to “Latest Cellino Lie Could Signal Late Arrivals for Leeds United   –   by Rob Atkinson

  1. I’m get the feeling you don’t like him rob.. I may be wrong…
    Not sure what to make of it all really , can’t make my mind up if it’s all some kind of Italian ruse , his way of not showing his hand…. anyway I’ve said it before but here I go again , I’ll pass judgement in the summer when he should be digging deep and really going for a push on the premiership


    • Well as you can see, I’ve made my judgement. I’ll be surprised – albeit pleasantly so – if he does get his act together in summer. One thing’s certain, we’re not getting out of this league in an upward direction without heavy investment. I’d love to see your patience rewarded though Mr. O.


  2. John Ingham

    Hello again Rob,another super read thank you.When Mr.Cellino arrived I like so many was full of hope that at last we could look forward to a bit of success and maybe,just maybe promotion,now after so many broken promises I really don’t know what to think about him.Egomaniac,control freak and downright fibber(don’t like the word liar),how I wish he would sell up and take the other lot with him and let us have someone who just wants to run us properly.I wonder if I will live to see us back in the Premier league,after all I am 66,hahaha.Good wishes Rob,keep up the good work.


  3. Mike Durham

    Spot on Rob, it’s soul-destroying to constantly hope that each new season will spark an upturn in our fortunes, only to find that it has, almost inevitably, petered out before February! It’s also a terrifically poor league this year and another wasted opportunity I feel.
    I’d give my right arm to see us make a statement of intent and try to buy Rickie Lambert who would almost certainly turn a run of draws into wins and at least give us something to cheer! He’s not getting much game-time at WBA at the moment, what do you reckon?


  4. David Dean

    I am sick of speculating about that mad man. I am fully behind Evans – love his chat and even believe him when he speaks favourably about his President. Steve Evans hasn’t experienced what we have – we know what he is like first hand, Steve has seen him from a distance and now works for him in the best job he has ever had – he is bound to see through rose tinted specs. We should know better yet there are murmurings of hope and even giving him the benefit of the doubt. We can’t believe that he will NOT do the simple and obvious, invest in the team. Are we afraid of him, is he our God? Fear the Lord? We are in the hands of the devil. He is the false messiah! He will not take us to the promised land. He has no plan. He has no ambition. All we hope for now is a new player arriving before Monday 11pm and prolonging the run in the FA cup yet week in week out, because our players are not good enough, we are subject to watching abysmal football being played. Sometimes for half the match, sometimes for the whole match and occasionally one in six games we get lucky or they play quite well. He was 22 years at Calgiari – I only hope he gets banned and throws his toys out and spits his dummy out and goes for good. That might be the only way we can get rid – we are fast becoming dinosaurs and they are extinct.


  5. Echoes of Filthy Beard, leading us on with talk of “transfer war chests” etc.
    Hoping against hope that Parkin and friends can buy out the ENTIRE ownership not just Cellino but the leeching deadweights GFH and of course Beard.
    We have absolutely no chance of real progress under Cellino, who has a 20 year track record of keeping Cagliari’s head just above the water, bobbing up and down in the Serie A backwaters with the occasional relegation thrown in; selling any and all young, promising players, fighting loads of legal battles, firing umpteen managers etc etc.
    I haven’t seen, nor do I expect, any deviation from his modus operandi and on that basis alone I’d like to see the back of him and his entire useless Board.


  6. We will miss Byram, but he seemed intent on leaving, insult or no insult. He was fortunate to be on 12000 a week in the first place and he did not do enough over the past couple of years to justify such a salary at a Championship club. Had he wanted to stay he could have accepted the 12000 Cellino belatedly offered him. am actually more upset by Dawson going – he was the most creative player on our books. We don’t have anyone like him left at the club (Mowatt does not seem to be an unpacker of defences) while in Coyle we do seem to have a potential replacement for Byram, at any rate, at right full back.


  7. crusader knight

    everyone wanted to chip in and buy cellino out,why not have a whip round and hire a hit man


  8. Anne Davies

    I sincerely hope you are right Rob!


  9. Hi Rob, fingers crossed on the transfare front.
    Moving on to today’s game I have been waiting in for the annual Lancashire bashing from you😬 The weather forecast is good over here. No trains from scum though,if any of your readers fancy a few pints before the game I would recommend staying clear of middle brook area as the beer is crap there, better to come to horwich town centre a good starting point is the crown hotel there are 7 pubs within walking distance of that one good real ales to be had at all they also sell yorshire beer as well and some do food. Horwich centre is about 10 mins from the ground or 30 mins walk. Hope to see a few of you in crown.


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