“Completely Lacking Spirit and Passion”: Leeds Owner Radrizzani Issues Stern Rebuke – by Rob Atkinson


In a complete departure from his usual urbanely diplomatic stance, Leeds United owner Andrea Radrizzani has taken to Twitter and bemoaned the “lowest moment for me since I joined” in what are, for him, harshly critical terms.

Normally, Radrizzani confines himself to what amounts to a supportive and broadly positive stance, preferring to exhort the fans to greater heights of support rather than issue any direct criticism. This tweet, though, utterly abandons any such diplomacy, and instead hits hard – striking right to the heart of any football professional‘s self-image. In accusing the players of lacking spirit and passion, he is levelling about the most serious charge imaginable. Let nobody doubt the anger and frustration behind such frank and revealing words.

It may be that Andrea has been rattled by the spitting storm that threatens to engulf the club, depriving Leeds of their best attacking player Samu Saíz for maybe up to six games – if the charge is proven. That would be enough to unsettle the most sanguine of club owners but, even so, Radrizzani’s words are pointed in the extreme. Tweeted to the entire Leeds United Universe, the criticism is scathing, devastating. Anybody on the Leeds United payroll will disregard this at their extreme peril.

It looks as though the owner is a long way short of happy. To an extent, the remedy is in Radrizzani’s own hands, with most of the January transfer window remaining available to him. It’s fair to surmise that, as the owner has seen fit to be so very publicly critical, and about areas of the game that form the basis of professional pride too, then much harsher words will be spoken in private behind the scenes at Elland Road. And what might come of that – well, it’s anyone’s guess. But the gloves are off now, the owner has broken cover and the game’s afoot.

There has, as yet, been no dreaded “vote of confidence”, for which small mercy Thomas Christiansen, our likeable Head Coach, may perhaps breathe a small sigh of relief. But a warning shot has definitely been fired across the bows of the Leeds staff, both playing and coaching. Once the top man identifies a deficiency in the Spirit and Passion Department, then something most definitely has to be done. The only one of the Holy Trinity of pro qualities not identified was “commitment” and, based on the Cup showing at Newport, that was most probably an oversight on Andrea’s part.

One way or another, the mood around the club has just been amply clarified in resoundingly emphatic terms; following momentous words like that, some sort of decisive action can usually be anticipated. It should be an interesting next few weeks down LS11 way.

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38 responses to ““Completely Lacking Spirit and Passion”: Leeds Owner Radrizzani Issues Stern Rebuke – by Rob Atkinson

  1. Only one player comes out of today’s game with any credit. Berardi. One other Shaunessy performed ok. The rest were abysmal. I have said it for weeks, even when Vierra plays, our midfield is lightweight, without him its featherweight. If as looks likely we are signing a left back, why not play Berardi as the midfield anchor. He reads the game well, passes well, and only Janson tackles as hard and shows as much commitment to the cause. When a 2nd devision side controls our midfield it needs fixing and quickly.

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  2. Trouble is particularly concerning; Grot, Lasogga, Klich, Borthwick- Jackson and Cibicki none showed any particular ability either. The owner has previously backed them and told the fans to support them, I am a cynic and cannot help but feel Radrizzani’s words are there to deflect criticism. However, as you say it should be interesting few weeks, after all actions speak louder than words.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Right Peter.
      Would like to add, to be fair, Radrizzani has not provided that money from the sale of Wood and he promised to do so. Our squad is not big or good enough and we need a better striker and better midfield.we need at least 4 quality players to push us forward to try and get that top 2 spot.

      I would get those two in from Peterborough- Maddison and Marriott Guardado in place of Wood with Vieira. and McQueen at left-back .
      Then we can safely say that we have a better chance to move forward..

      Won’t cost much,about 15 Million,or we could get a couple on loan too..That 15 million will come from Wood’s sale..
      So, Radrizzani must also share some of the blame. I don;t rate Orta and hope that he won’t be with us next season. He only managed to get about 2 good players from all those he added and lost our best keeper..Radrizzani must abandon his 5 year plan and go for getting back onto the PL as soon as possible because talking abut a 5 year plan is wrong and negative when all that was needed from last season was a bit of common sense, strengthen what was left, ensure we don’t lose Wood or get an immediate replacement..they didn’t do that..they should focused on the football and players not buy back Elland Road and do all these other projects ..a total distraction when the main goal has always been, or should have been, top 2.

      6 point adrift and no real talk of adding players, that’s down to Rarizzani’s

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      • All this talk about the £15 million from the Wood sale not being spent, people forget that the sale went through right at the end of the transfer window. To panic buy at that time would have been folly. Just as to jump in now on what is available, would also be folly. NO one knows what is going on behind the scenes, so many names are bandied about as usual and there are so many armchair managers pontificating as to who we should sell and buy. Lets leave it to Mr Radrazzini and the board.

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      • Duncan Massive

        So we’re not allowed an opinion, IBA? We should just shut up and hope?

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    • I Meant Guardado instead of Phillips not Wood..using Wood’s money of course

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  3. John Measures

    I’m a bit ambivalent about Christiansen. He doesn’t seem to be able to fire the players up, but he didn’t choose who was signed – Orta did. He also doesn’t appear to make good substitutions or change his tactics mid-game. That said, we are in the top six (for now).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Inch perfect Mr measures. It wouldn’t bother me one bit now if Christianson left and if Saiz did indeed spit at a Newport player then he can bugger off too. Lower league clubs must pray to get Leeds in the cup as its a shoe-in to the next round. A total lack of respect to the greatest cup competition in the world from Christianson. We aren’t going up either. Strachan or ranieri please.

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      • Leeds Bjorn

        That’s the whole point Mick , disrespecting the competition and the travelling fans with the team he put out and the display these Muppets put on .

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  4. AR has brought in most of these players that he’s now moaning about,1.5 decent players out of all the summer deals is not good enough . VO must leave,its clear that the players he has chosen are not right for leeds,they have no passion,they fall over at the slightest touch expecting free kicks,cheap Europian sh+t that are over rated and over paid.AR can certainly expect more games like today if he doesn’t step up ,buy strong players with quality passion and loyalty to our cause.you cannot polish a dog turd.buy right,pay more,get promoted.Any idiot can work that one out,concentrate on buying players now not next years,my message to AR is this, stop dreaming about the PL when you refuse to stump up the cash to get there.are you MC in disguise?.

    /

    /

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Getting defeat from the jaws of victory is not a talent but an illness that struck us down last season under monk. Beginning to feel like Groundhog Day again.

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  6. David Lloyd

    Total embarrassment this afternoon. If the manager thinks he’s got a first team squad of 20 he’s living in cuckoo land – far too many not worthy of the shirt. I shudder when I look at the top 10 teams in the championships Unless we sign a new keeper, left back, centre back and someone to score goals we have no chance sadly. I’ve been a supporter for 65 years and I thought at long last we had someone to take the club forward. I know it’s early days, but buying youngsters for the future will not get us out of the championship.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Quite simple as I see it, we have a squad of fourteen, sacko, Philips, grot, lassogga klich I could go on, simply not good enough, beradi maybe lonergan came out OK spend some money on above average players or we’ll fall at the last hurdle again, if we go up we need at least a hundred million to compete in the Premier league otherwise we’ll be up an down like Sunderland

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    • And another thing, if saiz gets found guilty of spitting he needs to go, we don’t want that at our club we’re not scumchester united we are leeds

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      • Drastic – cutting off our nose to spite our face. I’m not convinced by this yet, Saiz was beside himself with anger and pointing at a third party.

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  8. Been saying it all season we need at least 4 quality players with Championship experience not all this dross Orta has signed. TC says we have enough strikers what planet is he on Lasogga, Grot, Roofe, Ekuban none of these are capable of scoring 20 goals a season or even scoring. We need a left back, quality midfield player like Charlie Adam. Pay peanuts and you know what you get. Wake up Radriazzani before it’s too late should have invested the money instead of buying Elland Road priority all wrong. We’ve had 14 years of this crap it has to change. This current squad finish in the top 6 not a chance while Orta signs players of such poor standard no wonder he got the sack from Middleborough.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Time for David O’Leary to come back

    Liked by 1 person

    • You could be right..I wouldn’t mind him at Leeds right now.how about Gordon Strachan? but while we still have Orta, we won’t get a good manager ..
      First thing is to abandon the 5 year plan and focus on improving what we have and appoint a top manager. Radrizzani must understand, there are no short-cuts in getting Leeds back into the PL…you get what you pay for

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    • Duncan Massive

      I so hope that’s irony…

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    • Mr Rearguard

      David O’Leary? Have you taken leave of your senses? Are you quite mad? Next you’ll be asking for another tropical fish tank to go into the Chairmans office.

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  10. Philip of Spain.

    Funny,just said that earlier!!

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  11. Reality Cheque

    Sadly Rob, we are now a football club which boasts a world wide scouting system but appears willing to disregard scouting talent on our home shores. The argument always appears to be that British players cost too much but Harrods and Fortnum and Mason do not purchase their stock from car boot sale bartering. If we are not prepared to match the quality of our rivals then we are going nowhere. The downside of recruiting “cheaper” foreign players is that they have never had the opportunity to demonstrate their skill levels in the toughest, most unforgiving second tier in the world. First and foremost, as young men, they also have to acclimatise to moving to a new country, new culture, new climate and much higher expectations.
    Victor Orta appears much more interested in the U23’s and development squad than providing experienced reinforcements to the “here and now” squad whose weaknesses are blatantly obvious to any Leeds United supporter with an ounce of knowledge of the British game. AR’s clear target is the play-offs, but surely that is with the hope of making a serious challenge for promotion by way of the play-offs, (or are we going to field development squad players in the play offs just to widen their experience of the British game for future reference!!!)?
    The club only sold one thousand half season tickets in December which is the clearest indication that Leeds United supporters are not completely convinced that AR intends to finance the necessary level of team strengthening this January in order to make us more capable of competing with our main rivals.
    Looking at our fixtures in February and March Rob, it appears that we are likely to nosedive out of the play-offs once again due to our apparent lack of willingness to compete at a proper level in the transfer market. ALAW

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  12. Kevin michael Murphy

    What a disgrace losing to Newport.

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  13. Alan Anderson

    Apart from Beradi I don’t think anyone of the others would have got into the Newport team today let alone the Leeds team. Our new owner is dead right to voice his thoughts today. Nobody but nobody seems to give a dam. I’ve been saying since last season that there is not one iota of passion or fire in any of those players (and I use that word players loosely) out there today. If their wages were stopped for inadequate performance they would move a lot faster to the office than they did out there that pitch. They have made our team a laughing stock. Shame on you all.

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  14. Life is LUFC

    OH dear.
    Given what has been said above I think I will leave it there.

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  15. Ups and Downs

    Some short memories commenting on here..i`d wager quite a few haven`t been through the turnstiles for a long time too.
    You don`t like been in the play off positions,not good enough ?
    You don`t like us owning the ground saving a couple of million a year in rent ?
    You don`t like us snapping up young talent and building up the academy,which had been left too rot ?
    You don`t like stable management ?
    You don`t like debts paid ?
    You don`t like it because there`s no court cases ?
    You don`t like endless sackings ?
    You don`t like planning for the future ?

    No some of our hardcore armchair supporters want it all now,they demand it,the mess left for our owner and his staff was enormous..things take time..but some of our `fans` ( and i use that word loosely ) have Sky and listen on the Radio think it entitles them to knock the players,the club,the management at every chance they get to bleat and cry..it`s embarrassing reading the comments from some of these people who never put a penny into the club,telling real fans what should be done.
    Personally speaking..i am happy where we are in the league..happy how the clubs been run..and there is 30,000 paying fans who feel the same..so we had a bad result..it happens..get over it.

    MARCHING ON TOGETHER ??

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    • Every fan is entitled to a say and, if you’re happy, it appears the owner is not.

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      • Ups and Downs

        No Rob,i am not happy about today`s result,but i also realise there will be many more days like today,and have been many days like it in the past.Will it stop me paying a small fortune to watch it ? NO..and it won`t stop you,because it`s in the blood ( the very same blood that gets boiled by certain armchair superfans from lands far away,that never go to games,but seem to pipe up on every b***dy forum going,moaning and groaning,never happy )
        Nothing personal towards you at all..in fact if i spot you at church,i will nod..toucha de breat..and hell i may even buy you a pint mate .M.O.T.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I was just saying in this piece that the owner appears to share the concerns of some of the fans, enough to depart from his usual straight bat approach. I think that’s significant and that it might mean there’s a policy review going on. But all views are welcome here, as long as they’re not abusive or obvious wind ups. Oh, and mine’s Coors Light 😊 🍻

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    • Leeds Bjorn

      Of course we should buy into your first paragraph, but when a team goes out and plays like we did against Newport it’s going to invite adverse comments from fans , we all have our opinions and are free to air them .
      You made be right about armchair fans and of course that’s their prerogative,

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    • Paul Pearson

      Couldn’t agree more, anyone who disagrees with buying back ER needs some fresh air. As for Wood, we did replace him, Lasogga. OK he’s turned out to be quite crap and at £50K a week which thank god we don’t pay all of he should bloody well hang his head in shame but who knew ? on paper he should be ripping up the chamionship, if the board knew then what they know now they probably wouldn’t have gone any where near him.
      At the end of the day, to my mind at least, the book stops with TC. I’v lost faith in him and i’m sure many others have too, if you ask me he needs to grow some balls and start using them, the players need a good bollocking and right now he strikes me as too much of a wet towel to administer one.

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  16. Rob, the post from ups and downs makes a good point. Yes we are all entitled to an opinion but that doesn’t make them right all of the time. We are delighted that we own Elland Road now but there are posts suggesting we should concentrate on the players, I doubt the two are linked given different funding mechanisms. We do need to have patience and continue to be supportive. I would never make nine changes in any team, less than half the team should be changed at one time to at least retain some cohesion, that is very much at Chritiansen’s door. I think he has got caught up in the usual Premership hype and way of doing things which is less likely to work with us. I am more worried about our general lack of control in games and how that impacts on attack. Let’s keep the belief.

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    • Yes, there are many and conflicting opinions, so clearly they can’t all be right. But that doesn’t make them any the less valid and it’s important to reflect all shades of opinion, so we’re all aware of differing points of view.

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  17. Look no futher than victor he brought this crap to our door and proved interactively that the players he brought in are at least inadequate he should go and go now with the crap he brought victor out now

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  18. China White

    I recall Saiz was accused of Spitting when we played Port Vale. Hmmmm..

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  19. The book stops squarely with Victor Orta, he’s responsible for bringing (sub standard) players to our club. Lasogga was not wanted at Hamburg to such a degree that they were prepared to pay most of his wages to get him off their books – their fans warned us so why did we take him?
    I have a friend who lives in Holland who is a Ajax and Leeds fan, when we signed Grot he said “Why? I’ve seen him play and he’s rubbish!”
    Speak to any ‘Boro fan and they will tell you that they are better off without Orta. Perhaps AR is beginning to take the same view or is this ‘hit and hope’ transfer policy the future for our club?

    Like

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