Tag Archives: Uwe Rosler

Evans In, Cellino Out. Now We Must ALL Get Behind Leeds   –   by Rob Atkinson

Steve Evans arrives as Leeds United boss

It’s been quite a day, even for a football club in Leeds United that resembles a Whitehall Farce set on Fantasy Island – with a chorus of clowns and a plot straight out of the Crossroads school of dire soap operas. The first thing we heard this morning was that Uwe Rösler had been sacked. This, in retrospect, turned out to be the least surprising event of the day – after all, Rösler had received the fatal vote of confidence from Massimo Cellino not long back, so the axe had been poised to fall for some little time. 

This was no “mutual consent” contract termination, it appears. Rösler has been kicked out on the basis of undeniably poor results, but he’s unlikely to take it lying down, with a plea for support from the League Managers Association probable. We supporters can take it as read that Uwe’s course is run – and it’s unlikely many will mourn his passing, despite his laughably brief tenure. But Leeds could yet face a hefty bill to be rid of their umpteenth coach since the Mad Italian landed at Elland Road

It’s that procession of team managers in and out of the revolving door that was the problem for shocked Leeds fans this morning, rather than the loss of Rösler per se. Supporters rightly complained that the club is being made to look ridiculous – a laughing stock – as a result of Cellino’s allegro hire ’em then fire ’em recruitment policy. And then the next thing we heard was that convicted tax fraudster Cellino had lined up convicted tax fraudster Steve Evans as his next appointment. 

Immediately, the fat jokes and the dodgy geezer jokes came to the fore as football’s most put-upon fans responded with a broadside of gallows humour. Evans’ ample girth was the main target, with several terrace wits remarking upon the proximity of a McDonalds restaurant to Elland Road, and a video being shared online of our new head coach doing a celebratory touch-line waddle at Wembley, as he celebrated a playoff final goal for his then charges Rotherham.

And then, another twist. My first blog today took as its theme “Go, Cellino. In the name of God, GO”. And, lo, it has come to pass. For the time being, at least temporarily and subject to appeal, Cellino is gone – banned again by the Football League under their Owners and Directors provisions, more loosely known as the “Fit & Proper Test“. And it is this latest development that has put a new complexion on the whole troubled and rancorous day.

This morning, humiliated at the ridicule our great club was suffering under the direction of a barking Italian, the support was angry and out for blood, to judge by the mood online. Most if not all of that anger was directed at Cellino, with few if any mourning the demise of Rösler, who has won few friends with some odd decisions. So Cellino was under fire, not so much for the Rösler sacking as for what that said about his modus operandi thus far and looking ahead. But now, so it seems, Cellino will have no influence at Leeds for the foreseeable future.

This does make a difference. With Cellino out of the picture, we have a football club to support again, rather than a mad egomaniac’s plaything. It has become our function once more to support rather than to complain; to get behind the team rather than saturating the ether with negative vibes about the club. It’s vitally important that we, as a body of support, recognise the crucial difference between Cellino’s Leeds United – and a Leeds United without that overbearing, embarrassing presence about the club. 

In many ways, we have a new start in a positive sense, with a new man in charge of the team, and a new chance to go forward with a clean slate and – we should hope – all the players looking to impress Evans from day one. The removal of Cellino must surely mean an immediate improvement in Steve Evans’ prospects of being around long enough to make a difference. The supporters‘ role in that must be unswerving backing for the shirts – nothing less will do. 

What a difference a day makes. What a roller-coaster today has been. But the last case may well be better than the first, with the net effect being beneficial for Leeds United. It’s a leap of faith, but we have to believe this will be true. We must put our support behind Leeds United, the team, the manager, and we must start Marching On Together once more – now that the focus for our anger appears to have been removed, at least for the time being. 

Let’s do what we can, then, to get solidly behind the club from here on in, and see where that might take us. After all; you, me – even Steve Evans – we’re all Leeds, aren’t we?

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Just Go, Cellino. In the Name of God, Man, GO!!!   –   by Rob Atkinson

Cellino OUT

Cellino OUT

Short and bitter blog this morning as yet another manager staggers away with Cellino‘s knife in his back.

I’ve seen this coming, as many will have done – I blogged about Uwe Rösler‘s recent poison tipped “vote of confidence” from il Loco, and the doomed German himself must surely have seen the writing on the wall there and then. 

So now Rösler is gone, just the latest victim of Cellino’s frankly crazy revolving door policy. The Italian doesn’t seem to see how the serial recruitment failure reflects on him – he evidently feels he’s right and the rest of the world is wrong, with each successive coach letting him down, the poor, frustrated genius. 

Cellino is no good for Leeds United. He’s made the club into a joke, just by his insane running of it, and leaving aside his shady activities on the fringes of criminality. Leeds under Cellino is not a fair test of any football man’s ability. Anyone agreeing to take over now must surely find his professional credibility stretched to breaking point. What will the rest of football think of anyone prepared to put his reputation on the line for a clown like our nutjob President? It’s a nightmare we just can’t seem to wake up from.

From what we hear, it may well be Steve Evans, late of Rotherham, next. And who knows after that – all we do know is it won’t take long. Evans will feel the love from Cellino for a spell, then he’ll be harangued in the press, then he’ll be gone. It’s not the way to run a football club – but it IS the way that a liar, an incompetent, a conman like Cellino conducts himself.  

This blog will now devote itself heart and soul, in its own small way, to hounding Cellino out of Leeds. He’s poison, the kind of walking disaster who will see us back down among the dead men. He has to go. The sooner, the better, for all concerned. I hope and believe other small voices will be raised in the cause of chasing this joker out of our club. 

Go, Cellino. Go now, if not sooner. In the name of God, man, GO!!!

Cellino’s Promised “Beautiful Season” Turning Ugly for Leeds   –   by Rob Atkinson

cellino no

“The fans are going to enjoy next season so much, it will be a beautiful season, I promise to them.” – Massimo Cellino, April 2015

It’s been quite a week for holding people to account over promises recklessly made and then casually broken. On Thursday, ex-Tory voter Michelle Dorrell became an instant media star on the BBC’s Question Time, by castigating a shocked and speechless government minister over blatant lies told and cast-iron pledges tossed aside. The hapless Amber Rudd, incumbent Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change in Cameron’s team of no talent, simply did not know where to put herself, under a withering barrage of anger and contempt from a voter who felt, with absolute justification, that she’d been conned, betrayed, abandoned. It is possible to speculate that Ms. Rudd, whose face told a tale of deep shame and helpless bewilderment, might not, perhaps, be the best card player out there. Which is unfortunate for that lady as, in her position as a professional liar, she really does need that unflinching poker face.

Compare and contrast the useless Amber Rudd with our very own master of spin and deception, Signor Massimo Cellino. It’s a bit like putting Clogiron Rovers of the Council Parks League next to European giants such as Barcelona or AC Milan. The mighty gulf is best illustrated by the fact that both these public figures lie and dissimulate – but whereas the Tory Minister looked as guilty and crestfallen as an Oxford undergraduate photographed with his wedding tackle in a dead pig’s mouth, our Massimo peddles his many fictions with a countenance as smoothly untroubled as a placid lake on a still, hot day.

Perhaps that inscrutable countenance is the key to Cellino’s undoubted success in many arenas over the span of a long, controversial and eccentric career. But there is a limit to what even such a convoluted operator as Big Mass can get away with. He is on record, as we can see above, as recently as April just gone, speaking in honeyed tones of the “beautiful season” we Leeds United fans could look forward to in 2015/16. It was a solemn and unconditional promise he made to us – a promise now being spectacularly broken as this misbegotten, shapeless, aimless, depressing campaign gets uglier by the week.

Massimo has previous form in his relatively short time at Leeds for making statements amounting to promises, which he has then patently failed to deliver. He said he’d pop down the ATM and sort out the wherewithal to buy back Elland Road upon taking control of the club; many months on, it hasn’t happened (though we’re assured the process is ongoing. Perhaps the pesky cash machine ate his card?). The timescale for promotion keeps getting pushed back, too. Just as Annie the Orphan sang about tomorrow always being a day away, so our prospects of Premier League Football seem to be holding a steady distance of two years into the future, no matter how much time passes in the real world. And Cellino speaks with misty-eyed affection about each successive coach he employs one minute and then, in the next breath, he’s picking a fight with them preparatory to inserting the trusty old stiletto blade between their vulnerable back ribs. It’s all initial promise, moving through bitter disillusion and ending in bleak disappointment.

But the thing about all these lies, as they mount up into an embarrassingly big and obvious heap, is that they tend to detract somewhat from any chap’s credibility. And credibility – the very currency of the successful sporting head honcho – is now a commodity of which Cellino, poker face notwithstanding, is rapidly running uncomfortably short.

Abraham Lincoln said, with typical wisdom: “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time“. Massimo Cellino, though markedly less sage, appears to have been quite successful in fooling lots of people for the longest time. But there is a limit – and now, after the latest home defeat to Brighton, the rumblings of discontent are being felt around Elland Road, one time football fortress, now reduced to the flimsiest house of cards. Some of the fans remain defiantly faithful, holding that Cellino is the real deal, simply by virtue of not being Ken Bates. It’s a camp where I once upon a time raised this blog’s standard – but not any more. There have been too many lies, too many rash, undelivered promises. A good proportion of the fans now appear to have seen through Massimo’s affable facade, and they have detected the charlatan that lies beneath – and keeps on and on lying. It’s a harsh verdict on the face of it, but it’s one amply supported by the available evidence.

Football owners are not, in the nature of these things, the most accountable people in the sport. The ones held to account tend to be the coaches, the visible face of a failing football club’s operation, the men charged with making inadequate resources do the job of competing with better-financed, more realistically-run operations. These men carry the can for the owner’s inadequacies, craziness, parsimony and tendency to be economical with the truth. It’s a thankless task, as Uwe Rosler – with his ominous recent vote of confidence/final warning – may soon find out. But the fans don’t have to accept that the coach is where the buck stops and where the blame resides. Not any more than the courts in Italy or elsewhere have to accept a man’s repeated insistence on his innocence – as more and more charges of tax evasion and other vices pile up.

One way or the other, whether it’s the courts or the fans who finally suss him out, surely even Massimo Cellino cannot continue with his steadfast avoidance of the truth, his plausible blandishments and promises – not in the long term. Not when he’s also taking unpopular decisions such as limiting away tickets on the back of a spat with Sky TV. Not when he appears stubbornly determined to lose Sam Byram for peanuts, having publicly hung the lad out to dry, unable to defend his corner. Not when he’s back in the public gaze since Adam Pearson‘s much-lamented departure, making more crazy statements and more rash promises – most of which, you can well believe, will end up as hollow and worthless as his promise of April last.

A beautiful season? With successive defeats, a winless run at Elland Road stretching back to March and a headlong downward spiral in what is not exactly a vintage Championship league table, it’s not beautiful at all. It’s an ugly pig of a season, a Luke Chadwick or a Gideon Osborne of a season, even a Katie Hopkins of a season. Any common or garden fan can certainly see that, it’s as obvious as weather through a window. And, little by little, the more we keep getting told that everything in the garden is rosy, when we can absolutely see the weeds and the brambles choking the place to death – surely even the die-hard Cellino supporters must be beginning to wonder exactly where Leeds United are heading next, under his bizarre and deceitful direction.

Bottom line, ladies, gentlemen and fellow Whites? We should have listened to Johnny Giles.

Leeds Coach Rosler Receives the Dreaded Vote of Confidence   –   by Rob Atkinson

 
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.

Leeds Wizard Botaka In At the Riverside Deep End?   –   by Rob Atkinson

New Leeds United man Jordan Botaka: debut today?

The same ground and the same fixture that saw the introduction to English football of Middlesbrough‘s Brazilian star Juninho could today witness the debut of another mercurial talent. Almost twenty years after the Boro star made his bow, heralding a new era on Teesside, Leeds United‘s exciting new signing Jordan Botaka might just be about to unleash his own brand of magic on the Championship – in the most challenging of circumstances. 

Two decades back, Juninho stepped out against Leeds to introduce himself to an adoring Riverside Stadium. This lunchtime, Congo international Botaka is in line for a first United appearance, backed by the Whites’ travelling army and scrutinised by the critical eye of Sky Sports live coverage. The key to the tricky wide man’s first outing is the mindset of off-colour prodigy Sam Byram, United’s defender-turned-winger, who is currently the subject of much speculation and debate – not to mention the withering attack launched on him this week by Leeds’s outspoken owner Massimo Cellino.

Byram, such a hot prospect only two years ago, has reportedly turned down a new deal at Elland Road. His form over the last eighteen months has been patchy as he’s made a troubled comeback from injury. Now it would appear that his heart and soul may be elsewhere as transfer speculation has him linked with some of England’s major clubs, as well as Sunderland. In circumstances like that, his inclusion against a rampant Boro would be a risky business for United coach Uwe Rösler. It’ll have to be all hands at the pumps for Leeds at the Riverside today, just to avoid being swamped. 

And yet this has been traditionally a happy hunting ground for United since that memorable occasion of Juninho’s first game in England. A one-all draw on that occasion was distinctly respectable, but in the intervening period there have been rich pickings here for the Yorkshire giants. Only last season, the Whites turned up, struck early through Alex Mowatt, and held on grimly in the face of a Smoggies onslaught to depart triumphant. 

A win today would be in the face of similarly daunting odds. Boro are on a roll, win after win making them stand-out performers in the depressed environment of football’s far north-east. Middlesbrough will be confident of beating a Leeds side conceivably unsettled by Cellino’s latest outburst – and this alone could make the case for the benching of Byram. Gaetano Berardi is doing a fine job at right-back, and Botaka could be the wing presence United have needed to bring out the very best of Chris Wood. The case for change is compelling – and if form is the deciding factor, Byram could hardly complain about being “rested”.

Twenty years back, Junino made his mark, but Leeds were the happier side as they salvaged a draw. Today could be the start of another player’s story as Jordan Botaka waits on the wing – and another draw would be another highly worthy result. 

Leeds United “Reach Agreement” With Sunderland for Winger Buckley   –   by Rob Atkinson

  
Sources close to both clubs are indicating that Leeds United and Sunderland have agreed a deal for the transfer of former Brighton winger Will Buckley to Elland Road. If true, the signing would represent success for United Head Coach Uwe Rosler, who has made no secret of the fact that he has considered his squad short of vital width. 

The talk is that this transfer is at an advanced stage, with the deal being agreed between the clubs, leaving it down to United to sort out personal terms with Buckley. 

There may well be an update on this story in the next couple of days and possibly as early as tomorrow. 

Leeds Priced Out of Beckford Move After Manc Woman Steals Him to Advertise Online   –   by Rob Atkinson

 

Young Uwe helpless to prevent Manc female S.Lapper from stealing his Beckford

Life, Leeds United, the Universe & Everything can confirm that Leeds United had been in advanced talks to sign former hero Jermaine Beckford – until the 32 year old striker was ruthlessly stolen from under the nose of the United representative, who was helpless to prevent gorgeous, pouting Stretford beauty Ms. S. Lapper from walking off with Preston North End‘s Wembley hero. 

Sources close to the ex-Leeds, Everton, Leicester and Bolton forward quote him as saying “It all happened so fast. One minute I was celebrating a Wembley hat-trick, the next I’m up on Gumtree.com for fifteen hundred quid. It’s well bewildering, man.” Ms. Lapper, meanwhile, was keen to dismiss the whole thing as a misunderstanding, despite photographic evidence of her snatching Beckford from the grasp of the Leeds man, tentatively identified as Master Uwe Rösler (8).

The evidence against Ms. Lapper also included an online advert for the sale of Beckford, originating in Stretford, near Manchester. The advert has since been removed, and the situation regarding Beckford remains unclear. Ms. Lapper is remaining uncharacteristically tight-lipped and was a lot less available than usual last night. For the Rösler family, young Uwe’s grandad is promising to seek retribution on the un-named Stretford culprit who allegedly put Beckford up for sale. “I haf done my share off damage zere before,” nodded the former Luftwaffe man meaningfully. “If necessary, I shall be making one more flight over zis so-called Old Trafford, und showing zem vot I can still do. Let us just simply say – it vill be ein bombshell I am dropping.”

Leeds United confirmed to us that Beckford had been a target, but that they would be looking elsewhere now. “Fifteen hundred is a little steep, my friend,” confided an anonymous source. “I’ve had a tip-off that Billy Paynter is ours for half that price, on eBay, with free postage…”

Ms S. Lapper is 38DD. 

Mad Massimo Cellino Broadly Hints at Rosler Sacking   –   by Rob Atkinson

Uwe Rosler: proud family history

In line with the current policy at Elland Road, owner Massimo Cellino has dropped a broad hint that new Leeds United head coach Uwe Rosler is to be sacked. Mr. Cellino has described Rosler as “a bit German for my liking”; the comments came in the hour immediately prior to confirmation that Rosler had been appointed.

Mr. Cellino is thought to be working hard on the details of the next three head coaches’ contracts. “I work hard for Leeds,” he insisted. “I never stop, my friend”. The aim at Leeds seems to be to have enough coaches lined up to cover team affairs until June, when Cellino’s next ban is expected.

Rosler is tipped to settle in at Elland Road and organise his office today, then spend tomorrow discussing transfer policy with Cellino while pleading for more time to make an impact in the job – and reminding Leeds fans that his grandad did, after all, bomb Old Trafford; before finally clearing his desk and shipping out on Friday. His replacement could be in post as early as next week. And out by the following weekend.

Massimo Cellino, 94, is beyond a joke.