One Squad Addition Leeds United Simply MUST Make in January – by Rob Atkinson

Smith 17

The much-missed Number 17

It’s been, by common consent, a fantastic summer transfer window for Leeds United, with bundles of quality signed to make the club a real force in the Championship this season. The proof of the pudding is, as they rightly say, in the eating – and the fact that many of the players signed since last season were not exactly household names pales into insignificance at the side of their stellar performances over the new campaign so far. Unknowns or not, the new lads have delivered, and United sit proudly atop The Championship. ‘Nuff said.

It might seem a little premature, then, to be looking ahead to the January window and, truth be told, it’s difficult right now to see where the squad could usefully be strengthened. However, circumstances alter cases, and there’s a lot of football to be played before the new year rolls around. It’s tolerably certain that some squad tweaks will be necessary, and this blogger is more than happy to leave such matters to Messrs. Orta and Christiansen, under the benignly watchful eye of club owner Andrea Radrizzani.

The only suggestion I would make – and I make it in the strongest possible terms – is that we must have a squad number 17. It’s absolutely necessary, in order to eradicate the last traces of Massimo Cellino from this great club, and move on into a bright future free of the Corn King’s grubby baggage. Cellino saw to it that Leeds United “retired” the number 17 three years ago, due to his silly superstition about that inoffensive number. I’m not particularly bothered about who wears number 17, but it’s imperative that the shirt be brought out of retirement and back into currency. Only then can we consider ourselves to be well and truly embarked upon the post-Cellino era.

So let’s get it done – it’d be great if somebody of true quality could be signed to fill the newly reinstated 17 shirt – perhaps a big surprise from Asia? But, whoever the new man might be, let him wear 17 with pride – and perhaps then (just to annoy Cellino and his fans a little more) hit a purple patch that will see Leeds United win this league and finally return to the top, where we all know that we belong.


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21 responses to “One Squad Addition Leeds United Simply MUST Make in January – by Rob Atkinson

  1. Why risk it, for heaven’s sake!?


  2. Robert Mynett

    I like your work Rob but don’t understand why you are so anti Cellino? After the awful Master Bates and GodForsakenHell he actually brought us back to near where we belong.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Can’t agree. He’s a crook and an embarrassment. He dragged the name of Leeds United through the mud. Read what Redders had to say. It’s not enough to bear comparison with other incompetent/crooked owners. We need and merit the very best.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Redders was not perfect, he wanted to be the manager of the club, even though he must have known he was not up to it. Football is littered with numbers twos, who could not make it as a number one. Paul Hart and Brian Kidd are two examples. It is context, Cellino is Southern Italian and it is a fair statement to say in Southern Italy that the only organised thing is crime.
        Cellino is Sardinian and having been there, I can say there are a lot like him there. It is a bit like discussing Northern Ireland, with someone from there The normal rules do not apply. If dragging Leeds United name through the mud was a crime, he is not the first person to do it.


      • Not being the first is a pretty feeble excuse and no real mitigation. Keep leaning over backwards to defend him, by all means – he’s history, after all. But don’t be surprised if you fall on your arse.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Bornawhite

    Whilst I was no fan of Cellino’s, perhaps he was necessary to get us where we are now. Under GFH we were in a perilous situation. There was not exactly a queue seeking to buy the club and as I recall the other potential buyers were consortiums who were probably looking to make a quick buck. As painful as Cellino’s tenure was, I see no reason to exorcise the memory of his time at the club. Without him at the helm Radz arrival would have been by no means certain, perhaps even unlikely. Every cloud and all that….

    Liked by 1 person

    • With respect, that’s a bit like saying that without Hitler, there’d have been no good old Dunkirk spirit.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hahaha,Right ,Perfectly said Rob.Cellino was a waste of space and time,and got us in Purgatory pardon the expression.was a false dawn that turned out to be a nightmare


    • Rob is Correct “due to his silly superstition about that inoffensive number. I’m not particularly bothered about who wears number 17”
      total Nonsense,if anything,7 and 17 is meant to be a Biblical Number.whatever people might think,superstitions beliefs like that stinks


  4. Mark Stokes

    Would prefer Shane Long


  5. I agree the number 17 shirt needs resurecting. Alan Smith (in his prime) needs cloning. Although saiz has a touch of smith about him too. Hopefully wont sell his soul to the red devils like smith did and become the third jihadi leeds martyr (1.cantona 2. Smith) Cellino did drag our name through mud and his meglomaniac adventures drove me insane, but if youre really honest with yourself rob, you still wouldve chosen him over bates and gfh?(radz excluded)


    • I’m honest enough to admit that, at first, I thought Cellino was the man to save us – I even had a selfie with him the day we beat Huddersfield 3-0 at Elland Road. But I wised up pretty quickly.


  6. Like it or not, to get where we are now, we followed a path of fate. Cellino bought and sold Leeds. Without his role in this journey, today would not exist. Agree Rob that his legacy is not much, but we survived him, we moved on and we are now where we are. Keeping #17 or not is a side issue which doesn’t amount to a hill of beans. Love your work.


  7. Paul Cranswick

    At the moment we are going great guns and I cannot really think who should fill that shirt. Maybe symbolically for the first year Radz should take it himself!
    If I could choose something to change it would be to remove that club badge and go back to the 70s logo – the smiley with the LUFC in script. Feng shui says that those closed bars in the logo are closing down our luck.


    • Robert Mynett

      I don’t think he was as bad as all that – yes he was an eccentric character and was an easy target for the masses that love to hate our club but he did a heck of a lot of work to get the club back on an even keel, start investing in the squad rather than asset stripping it and stop us haemorrhaging money. Without that work we would not have been an attractive proposition for Radz and god knows where we would be now. He also finally got rid of the leeches that were GFH. They didn’t go easily.


  8. patrick hogan

    It’s funny how legend can be attached to shirt numbers. When I was young the number referred to the position you held in the team; but some players are so good they cannot be tied down to one particular role. And for that reason, and if the rules allow, I would take it a stage further. For instance the multi talented Paul Madeley should have had a question mark on the back of his shirt instead of a number. I don’t think emojis or slogans would be appropriate but all reasonable suggestions considered Rob? Of course in my chosen parallel universe where I was an outstanding player for LUFC the back of my shirt would have borne an exclamation mark!


  9. Reality Cheque

    I think that Thomas is giving us all a lesson in positivity, self belief and common sense. Our greatest manager to-date was obsessed with superstition and honestly believed that a gypsy curse could determine the outcome of an entire season of football matches.

    I have been fascinated and inspired by Thomas’s pressers and responses to questions regarding particular teams or grounds being our bogey team and how we hadn’t won a game immediately following an international break for ages etc., Only yesterday he was told we had only won once in our last 8 visits to Millwall and his response was once again a lesson in positivity and living in the here and now.

    So, yes Rob, I heartily agree that every shred of negativity, doubt and irrational fear should be exorcised regardless of who inflicted it upon us. I am not sure what the rules stipulate but I think that the best way to exorcise the superstition of the number 17 would be for every player to wear number 17 below their name just for one game. MOT


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