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These are the fifteen signings  Darkoand new coach (now ex coach), Darko Milanic that will hopefully turn around our season. Watch this space. Our official trip takes in Blackpool on November 8th. Flights are now booked. We will be staying one night, travelling early on Friday morning and back on the 19:25 flight on Saturday night. Final payments of  €135 Euro are now due Please note I will require passport details in order to print boarding cards.. Membership is open. Adults €15 Euro. Children and U16s are €7 Euro. Families €30 Euro. Committee members are in Peadars every Monday from 20:30. Final payments please by Monday Nov 3rd with necessary passport details.


Sat Nov 8th. Redfearns joy after Leeds win. LEEDS UNITED head coach Neil Redfearn hailed his side’s majestic first-half showing as the Whites claimed their first win in nine games in a 3-1 win over struggling Blackpool. Goals in a relentless attacking performance in the first half from Liam Cooper – his first for the club – Souleymane Doukara, who netted a sublime team goal, and Mirco Antenucci saw the hosts 3-0 up at the interval. Sub Nile Ranger pulled one back in a low-key first-half, but it was Leeds’ day as they claimed a vital three points. “I thought we were excellent in the first half, some of the movement and the passing was different class,” Redfearn said. “That was as good as I’ve seen them play. It could have been anything. It wasn’t just the pressure, it was good football culminating in three goals. “The second half was a damp squib, but the result was the main thing and that came off the back of a good first half. “It was a good, important win and I thought we earned it. We never gave Blackpool a chance to settle, the start was excellent and for the first 10 minutes we were like a whirlwind.” Leeds’ second and third goals arrived via some quick, one-touch passing, with Doukara’s goal – a length-of-the-field team move – a particular highlight. “We have got footballers and there is no point in us lumping it up the pitch,” Redfearn said of the attitude he is trying to impart on his players. “We have to pass it and play and the more they do that, the more they will pick results up. We scored a fantastic goal.” Blackpool may be ten points adrift of safety, but Lee Clark drew solace from a more presentable second-half following the first period when they were never at the races. The Geordie said: “When you’re three goals down at half-time, it’s hard for any players, but to give the players credit we were better in the second half. “We got them in at half-time, got them regrouped and they did things better. It was too little, too late, but we did the dirty side of the game better, we competed and didn’t allow Leeds to dictate the pace of the game. “We had allowed them to find space in behind us, getting shots and crosses in; we were having to make saves from the first minute. “My assessment is we need some consistency, know-how and to build a little run of points whether that’s draws, wins; we can’t be playing well one day and not the next. “There are lots of points there, Bolton have shown that and that’s what we need to do.”



Cooper celebrates his first league goal for United

Sat Nov 7th Leeds United 3-1 Blackpool Silvestri, Byram, Cooper, Pearce, Warnock, Cook, Mowatt, Bianchi (Tonge 70), Adryan (Austin 64), Doukara, Antenucci (Sharp 89). Unused substitutes: S Taylor, Berardi, Del Fabro, Dawson. Referee: S Attwell (Nuneaton). LEEDS UNITED secured their first win in nine matches with a barnstorming first-half performance accounting for rock-bottom Blackpool.  Three goals in an excellent first 45 minutes, including a first in United colours for defender Liam Cooper and a lovely strike from Souleymane Doukara after a flowing move spanning virtually the length of the field, helped clinch three much-needed points against the Seasiders. United, whose third goal arrived just before the interval from Mirco Antenucci, failed to kick on after the restart, with a 75th-minute goal from sub Nile Ranger making from a finale which was far more anxious than it should have been. The low-key second half will represent a concern for Neil Redfearn, but securing a much-needed victory was the main business of the day with heading into the international break with their winless streak still intact representing an unpalatable prospect. In the final analysis, Leeds claimed their first win in nine matches and while it was ultimately not the perfect afternoon that it looked likely to be at half-time, the three points was gratefully received by the majority of the 23,846 Elland Road crowd. United, vibrant from the first whistle in a relentless first half in which their attacking intent was sustained, made a mockery of their recent winless streak in impressive fashion. United head coach Neil Redfearn, pleased by much of his side’s attacking play against Charlton, if not aspects of his side’s defending, made just one change to his starting line-up in an expected move.



Doukara celebrates United’s sublime second


New dad, Antenucci celebrates Leeds 3rd goal

Captain Jason Pearce returned in the heart of the back four, with Giuseppe Bellusci sitting out the game due to a one-match ban, while Billy Sharp and Rudy Austin took their place on the bench after recovering from injuries. Ahead of the game, Redfearn implored Leeds to be brave and open up the visitors, who went into the match with a horror record of their one win in the past year on the road in all competitons. Leeds adhered to his advice to the letter in a powerhouse first half and while the Seasiders displayed plenty of evidence as to just why they look nailed on for the drop this term, it was the hosts’ excellent efforts which were worthy of the greater mention. Three goals arrived in the opening 45 minutes with the scoreline in no way flattering Leeds, who produced their best footballing show since Huddersfield Town were dissected back on September 20. Particularly down Blackpool’s left, United enjoyed a beano with the likes of Sam Byram, Adryan, Antenucci and Doukara all coming to the party, with plenty of others not far behind. United pinned Blackpool back for virtually the entire half with the tone set in the second munute when Doukara cleverly slipped in Antenucci, whose saw from a narrow angle was blocked by Joe Lewis. Generating a fair head of steam, Leeds continued their attacking assault with Blackpool palpably struggling to man the barricades. Adryan nodded a Byram crossshot wide of goal before the pressure told with United taking the lead from an unlikely source. A corner was not cleared by the Seasiders and the ball broke to Cooper, who showed instincts of a striker to tee himself up and lash home an emphatic 20-yarder past the stationary Lewis in a goal of considerable quality for a centre-back. Blackpool’s poor start was then in danger of turning into a truly wretched one with an incisive pass from Tommaso Bianchi slipping in Antenucci, whose effort flew into the side-netting when the Italian was well placed in front of goal. Blackpool’s opening had clearly been too much for Lee Clark, who made a tactical change on 17 minutes when Andre Blackman, on trial with United in the summer, made way for former Spurs and Portsmouth midfielder Jamie O’Hara, who came on for his debut. It failed to alter the pattern of proceedings with Doukara firing wide after good play from Lewis Cook and Adryan. A rare semblance of threat at the other end resulted in Byram making a telling clearance after Leeds were briefly unhinged with Andrea Orlandi firing over a dangerous cross on the right. The game soon reverted to type with the lively Doukara seeing a shot blocked before a stunning second doubled the hosts’ money on 31 minutes. A rapid counter was started by Byram and with Blackpool stranded with bodies upfield, Leeds went for the jugular. A lovely exchange in midfield resulted in Adryan surging clear and the Brazilian playmaker ran deep into Blackpool territory before providing a perceptive pass to the supporting Doukara, who calmly beat the advancing Lewis with a pinpoint finish for a team goal of the highest order. It was a moment to savour for home supporters who have endured more of the bad than good in regards to their club in recent times and soon after a chant of “There’s only one Neil Redfearn’ piped up, with it all very resemblent of the Huddersfield game. The seal on a top-notch half arrived on 42 minutes when Antenucci, whose partner had a baby in the week, got in on the goalscoring act. Telling play down the left saw Alex Mowatt set up Doukara, whose pull-back was half-cleared by Charles Dunne, with the lurking Antenucci, close to the edge of the box, composing himself before firing home past Lewis with the aid of a deflection. The half-time whistle was the cue for more applause from the home faithful who had been energised by Leeds’ performance with the hosts, given their thoroughly disappointing run passing their character and aptitude test with flying colours. With the game all but in the bag barring a spectacular implosion, the second half was all about Leeds boasting their morale and goal difference in the process, but in the event, play became scrappy with the hosts failing to hit the heights of their sublime first period.


Blackpool, for their part, showed a little more endeavour, but scant quality. A long-ranger from David Perkins which flashed wide represented a semi-dangerous moment, while at the other end, Leeds failed to recreate the rhythm of their fine opening 45 minutes. As time went on, it started to become a little disconcerting, but with Pool bringing little to the table, attacking-wise, it did not represent too much to worry. That said, it became more of an issue for Leeds – whose lost Bianchi to injury in the 70th minute, with the Italian schemer hobbling off after being hurt in a challenge – when the visitors pulled one back with fifteen minutes to go. Jacob Murphy’s corner was attacked by interval substitute Nile Ranger, with the lumbering striker, linked with Leeds in the summer, heading in unchallenged. The goal appeared to wake up Leeds, who straightaway went close to a fourth. The ball found its way to Antenucci down the left and he cut inside before firing a low shot which was spilled by Lewis, with sub Austin attempting to convert the rebound, only for the visiting rearguard to block his efforts, with both he and Seasiders defender Peter Clarke getting injured in the process. With Leeds largely losing their way in the second period, the relief was palpable when a fierce low shot from Ishmael Miller flew inches wide instead of nestling in the net. Leeds then failed to make the game safe when Doukara looked well placed to convert with the goal beckoning after being supplied by Austin, but he could not finish off with the ball spinning away and the chance gone. A good first half performance especially from the Whites in front of the travelling Louth branch.


Sat Nov 10th Cellino expects January transfer embargo – Hay YEP Leeds United remain at risk of a transfer embargo in January despite major changes to the rules governing Financial Fair Play (FFP) in the Sky Bet Championship. The Football League has agreed to introduce more flexible regulations at the start of the 2016-17 season but the governing body will enforce existing rules as planned at the turn of the year. FFP effectively came into force last season, a campaign in which Championship clubs were permitted to lose a maximum of £8million. All 24 teams are due to submit financial accounts for the 2013-14 term to the Football League by December 1 and those found to be in breach of the guidelines will be hit with a transfer embargo when the forthcoming January window opens. Leeds and their owner, Massimo Cellino, expect to receive an embargo as punishment for debts and losses built up at Elland Road by Gulf Finance House, the Bahraini bank which ran Leeds for 16 months between December 2012 and April of this year. United were losing around £1m a month when Cellino bought a majority stake in April and having signed 15 new players during the summer transfer window, he believes his hands will be tied in January. Speaking this week Cellino told the YEP: “That’s something I got from other people. It’s not my fault, it’s the balance sheet from last year. “We took on a bad situation financially and I covered that but we are facing an embargo.” The Italian is understood to be investigating whether the number of players under the age of 21 in his squad and the tally of senior professionals who have made no first-team appearances this season would give him scope to bring signings in, regardless of a Football League embargo. At a meeting in Derby on Thursday, Championship clubs agreed that the current rules on FFP – rules which limit sides to a loss of just £6m this season – would remain in place until the end of the 2015-16 campaign. The new regulations for the 2016-17 campaign will permit clubs to lose up to £15m over a three-year period without explaining how that loss is to be funded. In addition, Championship sides can make further losses up to a maximum of £39m but will be ordered to provide proof of their boards’ ability to cover the shortfall, along with financial information for the following two seasons. A Football League statement read: “The existing Championship FFP framework will remain in place for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons. Any sanctions for accounts relating to the 2013-14 season will continue to take effect as intended.” 


Mowatt scores v Charlton

Sat Nov 8th Leeds 2 (Mowatt 49, 67), CHARLTON 2 (Gudmundsson 62, 81 pen). United: Silvestri, Byram, Bellusci, Cooper, Warnock, Cook, Mowatt, Bianchi (Montenegro (90+1), Adryan (Sloth 73), Doukara, Antenucci. Subs. S Taylor, Berardi, C Taylor, Tonge, Dawson. Referee: G Salisbury. Att: 18,698. Booked: Bianchi, Bellusci (United), Buyens, Cousins (Charlton) The visit of Charlton saw Neil Redfearn take charge of his first game at Elland Road since being appointed as the club’s new head coach and he made three changes from the defeat at Cardiff. Liam Cooper replaced the suspended Jason Pearce in defence, Sam Byram came in for Gaetano Berardi at right back, while Adryan returned from injury in place of Steve Morison. Stephen Warnock took the captain’s armband in Pearce’s absence. United made an encouraging start and had the first sight of goal with just four minutes on the clock as the outstretched leg of Souleymane Doukara diverted a low, first-time cross from Tommaso Bianchi wide of Stephen Henderson’s post. Mirco Antenucci then saw his strike deflected into Henderson’s arms as the hosts mounted some early pressure on the Charlton goal. Charlton did threaten through George Tucudean, flicking Callum Harriot’s left-wing cross wide as Bob Peeters’ side began to see more of the ball without causing too much concern to the United backline during an evenly-matched opening 20 minutes. That was until the 28th minute as Warnock was forced into action on his own goalline, hacking clear to deny Charlton an opener after Johnnie Jackson’s corner was almost turned in by Andre Bikey. Alex Mowatt’s ferocious left-footed strike was deflected over from range at the opposite end, before Antenucci darted into the area and fired into the side-netting as proceedings started to open up. The Italian striker then drove forward before drilling a low effort well wide shortly before referee Graham Salisbury signalled for half-time after a goalless opening 45 minutes. United returned from the break full of intent and duly broke the deadlock on 49 minutes through Alex Mowatt’s second goal in the space of two games. After some neat interplay down the left involving Adryan and Stephen Warnock, the 19-year-old midfielder gathered the ball right on the edge of the area, brought it under control and unleashed an unstoppable left-footed strike beyond Henderson and into the top corner as Elland Road rose to its feet. Harriot blazed an effort high, wide and into the South Stand but the goal had given United a bit of momentum and an injection of confidence, with Mirco Antenucci dancing his way through the Charlton defence before skewing his effort wide. But Redfearn’s side were stunned on 62 minutes as Johann Berg Gudmundsson managed to squeeze the ball past Silvestri at his near post to draw the visitors level. United immediately looked to regain their lead, though, with Doukara and Adryan both having shots blocked in front of goal before Mowatt added a stunning second. Again from outside the area, the homegrown midfielder demonstrated pin-point accuracy and a deadly eye for goal to make it three from his last two as he curled another spectacular strike beyond the helpless Henderson. Redfearn’s men were buoyed and Antenucci twice came close to making it three, dragging a low effort into Henderson’s arms before knocking Doukara’s cross wide. But Charlton again hit back through Gudmundsson’s second of the evening on 81 minutes, this time from the penalty spot, after Giuseppe Bellusci was adjudged to have shoved his man over as a corner came in. having used all their substitutions, an injury to Rhoys Wiggins meant Charlton were forced to enter the closing stages with 10 men as the home crowd urged United forward. Byram hooked a cross towards the six-yard box and had Henderson back-pedalling to tip behind for a corner from underneath his crossbar, while Antenucci fired through a crowded area and into the Charlton keeper’s arms as the game entered five minutes of stoppage time. Brian Montenegro stepped off the bench to replace Bianchi and Lewis Cook drilled a low strike wide, but that proved to be the final meaningful action as the spoils were shared. A mistake by Silvestri and another howler by Bellusci denied United their first win in eight games. Bellusci is an accident waiting to happen and in a game Leeds were in no danger of drawing against 10 men, he conceded a needless penalty. Redfearn has a chance of using Cooper with Pearce on Saturday versus Blackpool and a spell on the bench for the ‘Warrior’ might teach him the error of his ways….or maybe not.


Cellino suspends plans to buy back ER

Tuesday November 4th. Cellino admits Elland Road purchase on hold Leeds United president Massimo Cellino has admitted that his planned purchase of Elland Road is on hold, claiming a dispute between him and former owner Gulf Finance House is making the £16m buy-back “too dangerous”. A promise to reclaim ownership of United’s stadium before the end of this month wasone of Cellino’s key promises when he took over the club in April but that target is unlikely to be met due to what he called “a problem with my partners.” The 58-year-old bought a 75 per cent stake in Leeds from GFH but allowed the Bahraini bank to retain a minority shareholding and effectively control the remaining 25 per cent. Cellino’s initial buy-out saw him take on almost £25m of debt but his deal with GFH was renegotiated in July, with the ban agreeing to waive half of that sum and delay repayment of any debt until United were promoted to the Premier League. But in an interview with the YEP, Cellino revealed that the new deal remained unsigned, despite his belief that the terms of his arrangement with GFH were in place and finalised two months ago. The Italian described the repurchase of Elland Road at a cost of £16m as a “a big risk” while debts owed to GFH were still under discussion and said he would not proceed with the buy-back until the matter was resolved. United, who sold Elland Road for £8m amid heavy financial pressure in 2004, currently lease the stadium for £1.6m a year but have the right to repurchase the ground for a set fee at any time before November 2029. Cellino had previously promised that the club would regain ownership of Elland Road before the rent and buy-back cost increased this month, but speaking tonight United’s president said: The situation is more complicated. “With my partners (GFH), I was trying to get along and do a deal with them but we didn’t get to the solution. We cannot buy the stadium before we solve that problem. “If we invest all this money without having solved the problem, it’s a big risk. We would be investing in the stadium while this situation is unstable. “I thought two months ago we found a solution. I was happy. But for the last two months I’ve been trying to fix everything and I haven’t fixed it yet. I can’t take any more of it. There’s no respect for me. “I came here to save this club, not to rush into something that could hurt the club. So not buying the stadium now is protecting the club. Because of legal issues I can’t say much more but buying the stadium today is giving a chance to someone else to hurt the club more. I cannot allow that.” GFH, which bought Leeds in December 2012 but sold the club again less than 16 months later, no longer has any influence on day-to-day operations at Elland Road and is not thought to be injecting funds, despite having two representatives – Salem Patel and Salah Nooruddin – named as directors of the club. The value of its stake in Leeds, however, would be likely to increase in value with Elland Road back under United’s control. Cellino inherited a club who were losing more than £1m a month and agreed to pay around £11m for his 75 per cent shareholding, on top of the debt owed to GFH. The former Cagliari president planned to use the fee raised from the sale of Ross McCormack to Fulham in July to help buy the ground, alongside a mortgage of £7.5m. Cellino said all applications by the club for bank loans had been turned down. In an interview with the YEP in July, Cellino claimed he had enough money to finance the buy-back regardless of his ability to borrow funds. And speaking ahead of United’s game against Charlton Athletic, Cellino said: “We can buy the stadium. We are financially strong enough to buy the stadium. “It’s not because of the price – the price is fixed and we can save nearly £2m a year in rent. It’s stupid not to buy the stadium but if I do that in the situation we’re in, it would be a big mistake. “We can still buy it in six months’ time, one month’s time, three months’ time. It doesn’t change much. But my first wish here was to buy the stadium back. Renting our stadium is embarrassing and against my mentality.” Asked if he thought United’s supporters would be disappointed by his failure to deliver the buy-back this month, Cellino said: “I’m disappointed. I’m more disappointed than them. “I don’t need to show anything to people but it would hurt us more to buy it today. It’s dangerous for the club, not dangerous for me. “We have to clean up something from the past or it’s going to be poison. Nobody else is worrying about that but I’m worrying about this club. I’ve invested a lot of money, I want to invest more, and the best investment I could do is buying the stadium. So I’m disappointed. Nobody is more disappointed than me.” In a statement, GFH Capital – the private equity arm of GFH which bought Leeds on the bank’s behalf in 2012 – denied Cellino’s claims, saying: “There is no truth to these comments. “GFHC sold the club to Massimo Cellino under specific terms which he is now trying to renegotiate. Further, he was seeking financing from GFHC to purchase the club, which GFHC was willing to consider. “However, we wanted Mr Cellino to show commitment to his obligations under the sale agreement since he has only paid part, not all, of his obligations. “Further, GFHC agreed to the sale of Ross McCormack on that basis that Mr Cellino would proceed with buying the stadium. GFHC is surprised that this has yet to happen.”


Serious mix up for Cardiff’s third goal

Sun Nov 2nd. Lowdown on Red Bull link with Leeds United – Simon Austin  Not for the first time, there’s been confusion surrounding recent events at Elland Road. As fans and players were preparing for Neil Redfearn’s bow as permanent manager at Cardiff on Saturday, a story was published on the Daily Mail website that took everyone, including me, by surprise. It claimed that owner Massimo Cellino was in talks with Red Bull about selling the club. Wow. It was bylined John Edwards, (long-standing Mail reporter) initially, before being changed to David Kent (website journalist) in the afternoon. I’m not quite sure why. I made some initial inquiries with an insider at the club and was told the story of a takeover was ‘horseshit’. Phil Hay, the excellent Yorkshire Evening Post correspondent, spoke to Cellino and was told a slight variation – that it was ‘bullshit’. Yet further inquiries revealed that Cellino HAD been involved in preliminary talks with a representative of the global drinks giant. Apparently the Italian is NOT interested in selling a club he has already put so much money and effort into (frankly I’d have been amazed if he was). But I was told he IS interested in bringing additional finance to Elland Road. This could, apparently, even involve Red Bull taking a stake in the club – potentially by buying GFH’s 25% stake (although this would obviously be the Bahraini bank’s choice) as well as some of Cellino’s shareholding. It was emphasised that talks were at a very early stage and that all of these possible outcomes were hypotheticals. The Italian does have the money to continue to bankroll the club, but has always been clear he doesn’t like ‘throwing money from the window’. He has lofty ambitions for Leeds – some of which are being thwarted at the moment – so any additional finance would come in very useful. We know that he wants to buy back Elland Road, but has found it difficult to get a mortgage to help do this. And we know that he wants to build a new training centre. I finally got a call from Cellino late last night, and he was very angry about the Mail story. This was mainly because he said he has absolutely no intention of selling the club and felt the story had undermined him in the eyes of the fans. Yet he admitted he HAS been talking to someone purporting to be a representative of Red Bull (this purporting bit was a little confusing). This could potentially lead to the global giant investing in a new training centre for the club. Cellino has never made any secret of his dislike for the current Thorp Arch training ground – too expensive, too far from his office at Elland Road and, in any case, an unlucky venue. There have also been talks about possible investment in the stadium, although Cellino was at pains to point out that he would never allow the famous ground to be renamed. He was also furious that the story of the Red Bull talks had been leaked to a newspaper. ‘Who is the mole?’ ‘Who is trying to hurt me?’ he shouted, asking the question to the heavens really. Apparently Red Bull are also averse to news of their affairs and negotiations being leaked and were unhappy when this was done during preliminary takeover talks with the club last year, before Cellino was even on the scene.

So there are serious talks going on.

That much isn’t horseshit or bullshit or any other kind of shit.

And who knows exactly where these talks will lead? Probably not even Cellino himself at this stage.

Possibly with the Austrian drinks company taking a stake in Leeds; possibly with them investing in the stadium and training ground; or possibly with nothing at all.

Whatever the case, there’s barely ever a quiet day at Leeds United.

Sat Nov 1st. Cardiff City 2-1 Leeds United Report from YP. Cardiff City denied Neil Redfearn a result on his bow as Leeds United head coach as Leeds United: Silvestri, Berardi (Byram 85), Bellusci, Pearce, Warnock, Bianchi (Sloth 76), Cook, Mowatt, Doukara, Antenucci, Morison (Dawson 69). Subs (not used): S Taylor, Cooper, Tonge, Montenegro. United’s poor record in the Welsh capital continued. Redfearn’s appointment as first-team boss was confirmed by Leeds little over an hour before kick-off but three second-half goals condemned United to a 3-1 defeat. Leeds have not won away in Cardiff since 1984 and they struggled to create chances against an organised City side. Bruno Manga and Federico Macheda gave Cardiff a commanding advantage and Alex Mowatt’s 78th-minute reply failed to inspire a fightback. Kenwyne Jones sealed the points late on to leave United without a victory in seven matches. Cardiff controlled most of the match and forced the first save through a Peter Whittingham free-kick. Jason Pearce earned his fifth booking of the season and a one-match ban by clipping Adam Le Fondre’s heels on 10 minutes but Marco Silvestri met Whittingham’s curling effort with a tidy stop. Leeds took until the 20th minute to fashion a chance of their own as Tommaso Bianchi played Stephen Warnock down the left wing with a lovely pass from midfield. he left-back picked out Steve Morison 10 yards from goal but the striker’s header sailed over the crossbar without worrying goalkeeper David Marshall. Le Fondre then nodded a Whittingham corner into the crowd from a yard out as United’s defence struggled to keep him close while Marshall got down to stop a low effort from Souleymane Doukara. iuseppe Bellusci’s timely blocked then prevented Macheda from opening the scoring on the half hour and Le Fondre wasted a good headed opportunity shortly before the end of a goalless first half. The balance of the match rarely changed and Cardiff threatened early in the second half with a volley from Whittingham cleared Silvestri’s goal but the contest eventually opened up as the hour approached. City made the breakthrough on 60 minutes when Sean Morrison met Craig Noone’s long ball with a header across goal which an unmarked Manga nodded inside Silvestri’s left-hand post. And the hosts made the game safe seven minutes last as Macheda beat Silvestri with a shot which struck the leg of Peace and looped over Silvestri. Mowatt pulled a goal back when he collected Doukara’s pass, create space for himself and beat Marshall with a fine finish, but substitute Jones killed United’s impetus on 83 minutes by rolling the ball into an empty net after Silvestri and Bellusci collided with each other. Redfearn on Leeds : “I spoke to Massimo and we talked about things going forward, which was a key point for me. “I asked if he sees me as the future and he said he does, which is great for me. “I have been here six years in total and have put in a lot of hard work. There is the caveat that I can go back to the academy if it does not work out, but I am very proud.” Of his side’s performance, he added: “It was not a dazzling performance but for an hour it was a good away performance. We limited them and we countered well. “But that period after half-time was where the damage was done. We gave ourselves a chance pulling one back, and I thought we might get something, but you cannot legislate for their third.”



Redfearn believes he will get time in the job

Sat Nov 2nd. Redfearn has figting chance – Hay YP Massimo Cellino knew little of David Hockaday and Darko Milanic when he employed them. That can’t be said of his relationship with Neil Redfearn. Phil Hay reports. Five hours in a hotel with David Hockaday. It sounds like a programme on Living TV. Those were the circumstances in which he and Massimo Cellino made their acquaintance and sized each other up. Cellino was no more familiar with Darko Milanic until they met in Leeds one Sunday night. He knew Milanic’s record but not the man, which begs the question of how the Slovenian entered the running for the head coach’s job at Leeds United. “A mate of Nicola Salerno’s,” is how someone at Elland Road described him, and that description fits. It was United’s sporting director, rather than Cellino, who sat with Milanic at his first press conference. Effusive though he was at the outset, Cellino lumped on men he had no relationship with. Their character he learned about on the job. Hockaday soon looked out of his depth and unsuited to the pressure. Milanic struck Cellino as a nervous coach who nullified teams instead of annihilating them.

It was not what he wanted and not what he paid for, even though the warnings were out there. Coaches don’t survive long under Cellino. That much is true. But the reason for the death-toll cannot be so simple as an in-built taste for sacking people. Where is the pleasure in going through the employment process ad nauseam and forking out compensation every time? Cellino must find it as tiresome and wasteful as the rest of us. Neil Redfearn might have come closer to the truth when he discussed Cellino on Thursday. “He knows what he wants,” Redfearn said. Which suggests that the trick is reading his mind.

There is undeniably a limited pool of coaches in this world who could work with Cellino. Even those who think they can don’t know how they’ll fare until the job is theirs. The long list of Cagliari bosses during Cellino’s time as president of the club tells a story of its own: a spate of former Cagliari players and countless other men who jumped into bed with Cellino for the first time.

The ex-pros he held in high esteem but the owner-player dynamic is nowhere near as intense or essential as the relationship between an owner and a coach. As a whole, many of Cellino’s choices were unprepared for the heat. “Cellino understands football,” Roberto Donadoni said after his dismissal in 2011, “but at times he can be extremely cruel.” Nobody thought to warn him.

So on a personal level, Neil Redfearn is different. Different to Hockaday and Milanic and different to so many of the names – high-profile or otherwise – who fell on Cellino’s sword in Italy. Between them, he and Cellino have been close enough to know what they are getting from this partnership. Redfearn has coached the first team to Cellino’s satisfaction and seems to have found the gumption to handle his boss. It could go wrong, they might fall out, but there should not be a situation in 32 days’ time where Cellino – or Redfearn for that matter – throws up his hands, looks to the sky and shouts ‘who the f*** is this guy?’

Redfearn has been in harm’s way since Cellino’s takeover in April. Make no mistake about that. He was asked by Cellino for guidance about the first-team squad in the summer (at a time when Brian McDermott was waiting for a settlement) and he’s worked as the manager of an academy which had its expenditure and productivity closely reviewed. Amid dismissals aplenty, never once was his job under threat.

Even on Wednesday, when he and Cellino were trying to thrash out a contract and confirm his appointment as head coach, Redfearn stood his ground and made explicit demands. Cellino has a preference for incentivised deals. Hockaday drew a modest salary but stood to earn around £500,000 if Leeds won promotion under him. There are players at Thorp Arch who command typical Championship wages but benefit from hefty goal bonuses. Cellino did not intend to hike up Redfearn’s pay but Redfearn wanted a contract which reflected his new position. And in the end, he got it.

In exchange for the money and the prestige of the post, Cellino is entitled to expect something in return. It is not solely a matter of results with him. He was complimentary about a 1-1 draw with Sheffield Wednesday last month but annoyed by the same result at Norwich, mainly because Leeds saw so little of the ball. A club like this needs standards, but standards pitched at the right level. You forget now that this season was never about promotion. Next season, Cellino promised. Yet the impulsive vibe at Elland Road makes it feel like now-or-never, which is not how even Cellino sees it. Perhaps he is wary of relegation, the one thing he cannot possibly countenance. Or perhaps he is just reactionary; a man who thinks like supporters do. Passion is easy to admire but the main players at Leeds need to occupy the middle ground. That’s where Redfearn is: a fan as a boy and head coach now.

As Andy Ritchie said yesterday, Redfearn’s success depends on more than talent. It’s reliant on trust – something Cellino and Donadoni lost – and primarily Cellino’s ability to trust in Redfearn’s integrity and intentions. To trust that coaches aren’t playing Stephen Warnock to spite him or holding back Adryan to make a mockery of his transfer policy. And to trust that everyone wants the same thing. Promotion, ultimately.

But here and now some calm, cohesion and progression would do.


Sat Nov 2nd. Repurchase of stadium – Hay YP. All quiet on the Elland Road front as the deadline set by Massimo Cellino for buying Leeds United’s stadium draws near. That deadline is his own, rather than a contractual stipulation. United have the right to repurchase their rented ground for a set fee at any time before November 2029 so the buy-back provision is not at stake in the way that it was with Thorp Arch five years ago. Cellino, nonetheless, wanted to exercise the clause this month, to free Leeds from the cost of leasing Elland Road and the increase in recent they face each year. The figures are always worth repeating: £1.6m for the lease, rising by three per cent every November. As recently as the middle October, Cellino was insistent about the need to push the repurchase through before the rent climbs again. No-one has ever revealed precisely when the lease is due to go up but Elland Road was sold by Gerald Krasner’s (left) board on November 12, 2004. That date is 11 days away, falling in the next international break.At the moment, very little is being said about the state of play. A source close to Cellino described the situation as “challenging” but intimated that Cellino still intended to pull the repurchase off. A meeting with Jacob Adler, the property developer who bought the stadium in 2004, was planned for this week with time ticking on. Cellino claimed a few months ago that he had enough money to cover the £16m buy-back fee one way or another but his preferred method of repurchasing the ground was by marrying the fee raised from Ross McCormack’s (right) sale to Fulham (£10.75m minus 15 per cent paid to Cardiff City via a sell-on clause) with a bank loan – a mortgage – of around £7.5m. As this column noted a few weeks ago, Leeds are a borrowing risk after many years of financial instability. People who work for Cellino say his ability to acquire a mortgage has been compromised further by suggestions that the Football League will attempt to ban him as owner of United on the basis of his recent tax conviction in Italy. That situation, like the repurchase of Elland Road itself, is muted at present. We await news.


At last a sensible appointment by Cellino

Fri Nov 1stt Redfearn handed 12 month deal – Phil Hay YP Leeds United have confirmed the appointment of new head coach Neil Redfearn on a 12-month rolling contract. Redfearn put pen to paper ahead of today’s match at Cardiff City, accepting a deal which gives him the option of a second year as first-team boss or a return to his job as academy manager. The 49-year-old replaces Darko Milanic and becomes Leeds’ third permanent head coach this season. Milanic was sacked after 32 days and six games in charge last weekend – just a month after Leeds dispensed with the services of David Hockaday. Redfearn took 10 points from four matches as caretaker in the interim but has now landed the post full time. The former Barnsley player has been with United since 2009 when he joined the club as Under-18s coach. He took full control of the academy two years ago following the departure of Chris Sulley. Speaking after the team’s 3-1 defeat to Cardiff on Saturday, Redfearn said: “I’m very proud, it’s the club I supported as a boy. “It’s got a lot of tradition.”

Sun 27th of Oct A stark reminder of how Cellino works – Hay Darko Milanic had his family with him at Elland Road yesterday – the first time any of them had ventured to Leeds – and they were in the vicinity when word of his sacking spread.

It was left to Nicola Salerno, Leeds United’s sporting director, to deliver the news on behalf of Massimo Cellino and it was clear in that instant why Milanic came to England without his nearest and dearest in tow. Here one day, gone the next; a club where the survival rate of head coaches is at epidemic proportions.

Football is a ruthless game and those who work in it know the risks but regardless of Milanic’s compatibility with Leeds, Cellino’s treatment of him has been horribly harsh. Milanic gave up a job at Sturm Graz to come here – bought his way out of a contract, no less – and he was hacked down in no time, on the one afternoon when his family chose to attend a game. They might never forget their experience of the hours they spent at Elland Road.

Few others will lament Milanic’s dismissal but largely because they learned nothing about him, and the little he demonstrated in 32 days did not inspire a groundswell of confidence. No wins in six, three points from 18 and perplexing spells of indecision underwhelmed the Slovenian’s audience but the clue with Milanic was in his background. Cellino could see at the start that Milanic knew nothing about United’s squad and less still about the Championship. Four weeks was no time for a proper education, however annoyed Cellino felt with his initial performance.

It seemed from the outset that Milanic was feeling his way into the job, which is not to say that better results lay ahead. In his six games as head coach he was prone to leaving his players to sweat as pressure built and unwilling to trust in the ability of his squad to take the opposition to the cleaners. Yesterday’s loss to Wolverhampton Wanderers and a previous defeat at Rotherham United found Milanic sitting on his hands with Leeds a goal up and badly in need of another. Cellino said he first decided to sack the 46-year-old after last week’s 1-1 draw at Norwich City, a game in which United held back cautiously either side of Souleymane Doukara’s equaliser.

If that was Milanic’s natural tack – and those who watched him coach in Europe said he generally swayed towards defensive tactics – then his tenure was always going to misfire. The word ‘negative’ had started to stick by full-time yesterday. If, on the other hand, he is an adventurous man at heart then he will wish on reflection that he’d released the hounds immediately. Time is no longer a commodity at Leeds. The first three months of this season have shown us that.

Impatience rules and the impatience is Cellino’s. As Milanic flies home to relative obscurity, attention turns again to United’s owner and the line between eccentricity and irresponsibility. It was reckless on Cellino’s part to install David Hockaday as head coach in June and then shoot him after six games in charge.

It is incredibly inept to have sourced a replacement who survived for the same number of games and half the number of days. Cellino is turning now to an alternative he disregarded last month, the club’s academy boss Neil Redfearn. It contradicts the evidence of the past 12 weeks to hope that he knows what he’s doing.

Three points from six games,” an irate Cellino said yesterday night as he confirmed Milanic’s exit. “That is relegation (form).” It certainly is. But the slide in that direction is not simply a by-product of the sport on the pitch, mediocre though much of it has been. The sea-changes, the meddling, the impulsiveness, the volatility; all of it has contributed to a season which cannot get going.

Every day is another drama.

Fifteen new players came to Leeds in the summer. All of them have dealt with three different coaches – Redfearn included – and three different personalities in as many months. Some who played under Hockaday were banished by Milanic. Some who played under Milanic might now be sidelined by Redfearn. Brought in from Italy, South America and Paraguay, anyone who felt far away from home to begin with doubtless will feel further away now. The scenario at Leeds is not a crisis, it’s an inevitability. And the only obvious solution is the delegation of authority and trust by the man at the top.

Cellino likes to be all things to all men, the ultimate worker. He has no chief executive and no desire for a chief executive. He sees the job of a chief executive as a duplication of his own and he prefers not to weaken his control. He spends countless hours working on complicated transfer deals – Adryan’s loan from Flamengo a prime example – but shows nothing like the same reverence towards coaches.

Players are beautiful, head coaches are not. It’s as if he thinks that footballers have skill far beyond his own but coaching he could handle. Coaching he could handle if only he didn’t have so much else to worry about.

The fact that Cellino has Redfearn to fall back on might be his saving grace. In all his time as owner of Leeds, Cellino has shown few people more respect than he has United’s academy boss. He likes Redfearn and rates him, and Redfearn, to his credit, is willing to speak his mind when he and Cellino talk. Those who know Redfearn are adamant that in his four games as caretaker, he picked the line-up he wanted to pick and dropped players as he saw fit. The squad had nothing against Milanic when the Slovenian beat the 49-year-old to the job full-time but they were largely supportive of the idea of Redfearn keeping the job. As a group, they can be trusted to play for him now.

Cellino and Redfearn sat together during yesetrday’s defeat to Wolves, a sure sign with hindsight that Milanic was on thin ice. Redfearn kept his distance from the first team during Milanic’s reign and would not have been present at Elland Road without an invitation. The crowd chanted for Redfearn as Wolves wore Leeds down and Milanic was duly fired around 6pm after a conversation between Cellino and Salerno.

These are increasingly delicate days for Cellino. His money and commitment have earned him legitimate popularity in Leeds but the next few months have the potential to get messy: a season on the edge, the repurchase of Elland Road unconfirmed, the shadow of the Football League continuing to hover and Giuseppe Bellusci facing allegations of racism. It is genuinely time for some reassuring news. As for Milanic, he leaves with the same mystique he brought with him in the first place. Who was he and what did he really have to offer long-term? How much of this was his fault? “Everyone has pressure,” Milanic said on his first day in the job. “This is not new to me.” Welcome to Leeds, Darko. And farewell.

Sunday 27th of October Marching on together -Darko Milanic equalled Don Revie’s record of no wins in his first six matches against Wolves on Saturday but he will be remembered for a couple of new records set after Nicola Salerno gave him the news that his tenure as Leeds United manager was over. With only 32 days and 6 matches in the job Milanic becomes the shortest serving permanent Leeds United manager ever. This smashed the previous record, the notorious 44 day spell that Brian Clough spent in charge of the club in 1974*. Clough managed one thing Milanic didn’t manage though, a win, and Milanic becomes the only permanent Leeds manager never to have won a game. It’s clear what cost Milanic his job, his negative style of play and more importantly results. With three draws and three defeats and a total of only three points results were certainly lacklustre, especially when compared to Neil Redfearn’s temporary spell in charge. Redfearn managed three wins and a draw, ten points, in his four games in charge. Perhaps more telling is the fact that Redfearn converted loosing positions at half time against Birmingham and Bournemouth into a draw and a win. In contrast Milanic never converted a losing position at half time into points in the second half and on two occasions, against Rotherham and Wolves, converted a winning position into a defeat. Milanic came with a reputation for a negative style of play and that was apparent in recent performances. Early matches you can forgive him for adapting to a new league but the changes in formation and style at half time against Rotherham and Wolves cost us victories. In the Championship you cannot expect to sit back for 45 minutes and hold onto a lead, its end to end stuff and the opposition will always get chances. What’s more is I don’t think we are good enough at defending to hold a one nil lead. Milanic was Leeds’ first overseas coach and it showed with his naivety to the English game, you can’t blame him for that though, the blame must lay with Cellino for the appointment. The pressure of having an owner like Cellino can also not be underestimated. With an owner who ‘eats’ managers the pressure is there from the very start to get victories and get them quickly. Perhaps Milanic’s negative style, his propensity to sit back and hold on to leads came from the pressure not to lose? We hold up Redfearn’s record for comparison but he was managing under different circumstances, less pressure. In the first half of the Birmingham game we were playing conservative football and were losing at half time. After the break we threw everything forward, Doukara and Austin changed the game and we drew, in reality we could have taken all three points. This more positive style of football was evident in Redfearn’s next two games against Huddersfield and Bournemouth. Without the pressure of the job permanently he could afford to play a more positive, adventurous style of football and we won both matches. Many will say that managers need time but what they really need is the confidence to know they can play their style of football, to be adventurous without the prospect of the sack looming over their heads. Milanic’s appointment was probably a mistake, Cellino has admitted that, and I think it is clear to most people that what we need is someone with experience of the English game and particularly the Championship. Cellino has bought some good players, we have the makings of a decent squad, but he is naïve to this league and the style and tempo of football played. He needs someone with experience to coach the team and Milanic was not that man. He has now backed Redfearn as his man, he certainly had experience of English football and he knows Leeds United inside out but if he is to achieve results similar to the last time he needs assurances that he has the backing to do his job. Clubs who constantly change their managers do not succeed, clubs with consistency and continuity do, look at Don Revie. No more chopping, no more changing, Cellino has picked his man, let’s build something here, stop tearing things down and starting again.

Sat Oct 26th. Giles tells Cellino to get out of Elland Road Former Leeds United great Johnny Giles says owner Massimo Cellino should “get out of the club” after he sacked head coach Darko Milanic on Saturday. Milanic was sacked after 32 days at the helm of the English Championship (second tier) club having failed to win any of his six games in charge. Milanic became the third managerial casualty of Cellino’s controversial six-month reign at Elland Road. Brian McDermott was dismissed in June and his replacement, the relatively unknown David Hockaday, was fired in August having lasted six games in charge. “I think the best thing he could do is get out of the club and make way for a new owner who could work in the best interests of the fans,” Giles, a crucial member of Leeds’ title-winning teams in 1969 and 1974, told BBC Radio 5 live. “It’s crazy stuff. I don’t know what he expects of the managers. There are no resources to get players in. He wants miracles, I think. “They have great support and tradition, it’s a great set-up, fans pay good money, and then this fella comes in with a few bob and he’s making a total mess of it. “There’s nobody going to stop him. He’s in charge of the place. It’s unfortunate for the fans he’s taken over. If he has a history of it, he’ll continue to do it. It’s madness, and it’s the fans who are suffering. “It’s outrageous that someone like him could come into a club – any club – and behave the way he has.” Neil Redfearn, who won three of four games as caretaker manager earlier this season, is widely reported to become the next permanent manager from Monday. Leeds reached the Champions League semi-final in 2001 but have since fallen on hard times. I like Johnny Giles, but he couldn’t even make a Shamrock Rovers go professional in the 70’s. Who els will put the money in Johhny ? Paddy Mulligan or Ray Treacy ?

Sat Oct 26th. Redfearn to take helm after sacking – Hay. Neil Redfearn will take up the reins as Leeds United’s next head coach today after another dramatic weekend at Elland Road saw the sacking of Darko Milanic. Milanic was fired by owner Massimo Cellino in the wake of a 2-1 defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday, losing his job after 32 days in charge and becoming the shortest-serving boss in United’s history.bThe Slovenian’s six games failed to yield a single win and Cellino lost patience with a man he appointed on September 23 after watching Wolves take advantage of a weak second-half performance from Leeds. Cellino moved immediately to install academy manager Redfearn as United’s new first-team boss, the third permanent head coach employed by the Italian this season. Redfearn – the club’s head of youth development since 2012 and a coach at Thorp Arch for almost six years – is yet to officially sign a contract as head coach but he will take training today as Leeds begin their preparation for Saturday’s game at Cardiff City. Redfearn previously acted as caretaker boss for four matches between David Hockaday’s dismissal in August and the appointment of Milanic less than five weeks ago. Leeds took 10 points from those games but Cellino decided against appointing Redfearn full-time, voicing concern about the damage his promotion might do to United’s academy structure. Speaking after Milanic’s dismissal, however, Cellino told the YEP: “Neil Redfearn will be head coach, 100 per cent. He’ll take training (today) and the job is his. “The players know him, they respect him and they play for him. He plays attacking football, he plays the football we want to play. And he gets results. This guy (Milanic) had a losing mentality. He never played like he wanted to win.”Milanic walked out on a two-year contract at Austrian Bundesliga club Sturm Graz to take the job at Leeds, his first experience of English football. Cellino handed him an identical deal but terminated the agreement on Saturday evening after Milanic’s six games yielded three points. Assistant boss Novica Nikcevic is also leaving United. Leeds produced their most convincing display under Milanic in the first half on Saturday, taking the lead through a Mirco Antenucci goal, but Wolves dominated after the interval and fought back to win the game through efforts from James Henry and Leon Clarke. United are 18th in the Championship, five points clear of the bottom three. Asked if he regretted overlooking Redfearn for the head coach’s job last month, Cellino said: “No because I’d heard good things about Milanic. He had a good record, he looked like a good coach. He was the coach I wanted. “But what he was doing here was not enough. The (substitutes) he put on, they didn’t work. On Saturday, how can the team play well in the first half and be so bad in the second? It’s not right. The coach, he did nothing about it.”Milanic appeared unaware of the fate awaiting him when he attended the post-match press conference. But Milanic admitted he was under pressure, saying: “I can understand that – the situation with a new head coach who has only a few points in six games. “My job is to make this team better, to improve. It’s a young team without a lot of experience, without some great players, and we have to get stability.” Hockaday’s short and bizarre tenure at Elland Road also lasted for six competitive games but Cellino was unrepentant about another rapid sacking, saying: “I always tell you that when I make a mistake, I won’t pretend it was the right decision.”I made a mistake with this guy. He is negative, he has a losing mentality. I can’t keep him just to defend my own decision. Some people said to me ‘give him one more game’ but we are going down the league. I had to do it.”

Redfearn’s recent spell as caretaker was his third temporary reign at Leeds. The ex-Barnsley midfielder secured three wins and a draw from his four games and was linked with the York City job earlier this month.

Sat Oct 26th. Leeds sack Darko Milanic. Leeds United have sacked Darko Milanic after just six games and 32 days as head coach. Owner Massimo Cellino announced that Milanic had been relieved of his duties and said academy boss Neil Redfearn would be promoted to the head coach’s job with immediate effect. In another remarkable development at Elland Road, Refearn has become Leeds’ third permanent boss this season. The 49-year-old, who took charge of United for four games as caretaker after the dismissal of David Hockaday in August, sat with Cellino during today’s 2-1 defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers at Elland Road. Wolves fought back from a first-half goal from Mirco Antenucci to earn a deserved win. The result left Milanic with three points and no victories from six matches andP Cellino has fired him little more than a month after Milanic quit his post at Sturm Graz to come to Yorkshire. Cellino told the YEP: “I have given the order to fire him. “I made a mistake with this guy. He is negative, he has a losing mentality. He has three points from six games, that is relegation (form). “Neil Redfearn will take training on Monday. He is the new head coach, 100 per cent. I slated Cellino over the Hockaday fiasco. This time he was 100% right. This guy was a disaster and never going to work. Mr Negative. Time to Give Redfearn a go and call our losses.

Sat Oct 26th Leeds 1-2 Wolves Darko Milanic’s wait for a first win as Leeds United head coach goes on after his side allowed a 1-0 lead to slip at at Elland Road.

The Slovenian appeared to be on course for his maiden victory with Wolverhampton Wanderers trailing to a goal from Mirco Antenucci at half-time but James Henry’s finish and a late strike from Leon Clarke earned the visitors three points.

Antenucci struck on 18 minutes to give United control of a game they dominated early on and Wolves were rarely allowed to look like a side who started the day in the Championship’s play-off positions.

But Milanic watched Leeds come under increasing pressure in the second half and goalkeeper Marco Silvestri was unable to stop Henry’s fierce volley in the 67th minute.

He was beaten again by Clarke five minutes from time as a spate of attacks finally told.

Steve Morison was named in United’s starting line-up for the first time in 17 months and he was involved in the first meaningful attack on 15 minutes.

A chipped pass from Jason Pearce set Morison clear on the right-hand side of Wolves’ box and his low shot drew a diving save from Carl Ikeme. Alex Mowatt met the rebound with a low effort which flew into the side-netting.

The opening goal came three minutes later, however, with Morison involved again. The striker collected Alex Mowatt’s long ball and fed it inside to Antenucci who took his time and buried a precise shot to the left of Ikeme.

Wolves struggled to muster a response and Kevin McDonald’s 25-yard effort on 24 minutes – high over Silvestri’s crossbar – was symptomatic of their frustrating start and Mowatt should have scored a second goal when he drove Morison’s cut-back straight at Ikeme from seven yards out.

Dave Edwards’ wayward volley was another fleeting opportunity for a Wolves side who were never allowed to get going, and Bianchi went closer with a glancing header at the other end.

Silvestri kept out a low shot from Henry – Wolves only consistent threat – to maintain United’s advantage at the end of the first half and it was no surprise to see Kenny Jackett make a change at the break, replacing Edwards with Clarke.

The visitors came into the game after the restart but struggled to threaten Silvestri until the hour when the keeper’s diving save repelled a goalbound header from Nouha Dicko.

Henry eventually forced an equaliser seven minutes later, reacting to a ricochet off Giuseppe Bellusci, nipped in behind Milanic’s defence and lashing a volley into the roof of Silvestri’s net.

Leeds rarely looked like regaining their advantage and Lee Evans wasted a good opportunity for Wolves in the 70th minute when he popped up in space on the edge of United’s box and sliced a poor attempt wide.

Substitute Rajiv van La Parra could have won the game for Jackett’s side but bundled the ball beyond an open goal after Henry’s cross left Silvestri exposed, but Clarke made no mistake when Matt Doherty picked him out with a cut-back inside the box with 84 minutes gone.

Leeds United: Silvestri, Berardi, Bellusci, Pearce, Warnock, Bianchi (Montenegro 88), Cook, Mowatt (Murphy 63), Adryan (Sloth 75), Antenucci, Morison. Subs (not used): S Taylor, Byram, Cooper, Tonge.

Wolverhampton Wanderers: Ikeme, Doherty, Batth, Ebanks-Landell, Rowe, McDonald, Evans, Henry, Edwards (Clarke 46), Jacobs (van La Parra 64), Dicko (Stearman 87). Subs (not used): Flatt, Golbourne, Saville, Sagbo.

Tuesday  21st of October NORWICH 1 (Martin 59), UNITED 1 (Doukara 63). United: Silvestri, Byram, Bellusci, Pearce, Berardi, Austin, Bianchi, Mowatt (Cook 62), Adryan, Antenucci, Doukara (Sloth 90+1). Subs. S Taylor, Cooper, Warnock, Sharp, Morison. Referee: M Clattenberg. Booked: Jerome, Lafferty (Norwich), Austin, Doukara (United) Att: 26,565.Report from LUFC The midweek trip to Norwich saw head coach Darko Milanic make two changes from the defeat at Rotherham as Sam Byram returned for Stephen Warnock with Gaetano Berardi switching to the left, while Adryan made his first start for the club in place of Lewis Cook. It was the hosts who were the first to threaten as captain Russell Martin headed an early corner over before Alex Tettey dragged wide from range, while Mirco Antenucci and Souleymane Doukara caused problems at the other end. Marco Silvestri was called upon for the first time after nine minutes, holding onto Jonny Howson’s low strike from inside the area after the former United man had worked an opening. Silvestri’s opposite number, John Ruddy, then got down well to his right after Steven Whittaker almost put Alex Mowatt’s corner through his own net in a lively start to the game. Cameron Jerome was unable to convert Josh Murphy’s cross from the left before Silvestri clutched onto another Tettey effort from distance as Norwich started to see more of the possession without truly testing the United backline. But a flurry of chances soon came the hosts’ way. Jerome lashed a strike over the bar following a quick break and Martin skied his half-volley after a corner had fallen into his path before Kyle Lafferty fired wide on the turn inside the area. Silvestri was in inspired form, first pushing away Nathan Redmond’s goal-bound effort before denying Lafferty with a stunning point-blank to deny Lafferty from inside the six-yard box as the United defence came under increased pressure. Milanic altered the formation slightly as Adryan and Doukara began to occupy the wide positions and his side looked to make a more positive start to the second half, but Norwich soon picked up where they left off. The United defence had managed to resist waves of pressure but the breakthrough eventually came on 59 minutes as Martin rose inside the area to head Redmond’s corner beyond Silvestri. But their lead proved to be short-lived as United broke up-field just four minutes later and Doukara sent the travelling fans into raptures, calmly slotting into Ruddy’s bottom left corner after being played through by the outside of Adryan’s boot. Jerome lashed a strike across the face of Silvestri’s goal and Michael Turner headed a corner wide before Redmond curled an effort straight into the United goalkeeper’s arms as Norwich issued a reminder of their attacking threat. Neil Adams introduced strikers Gary Hooper and Lewis Grabban, Redmond had an effort deflected behind from inside the area as the hosts looked to snatch it late on, but United saw out the four minutes of stoppage time to secure a valuable away point. Darko still awaits his first win.

Monday October 20th. It’s time for United to get on a winning role Eddie Gray LOSING 2-1 at Rotherham United on Friday night was obviously a disappointing result. You look at the Championship table now and we are five points away from the top six but five points away from the bottom three so right in mid-table. It’s probably okay at this stage though obviously you are hoping for better and it will be a lot better for the new coach, Darko Milanic, when he gets his first victory in charge of Leeds. It will be good for him and it will be good for the players when we actually get that positive result. It’s going to be a tough game tomorrow night at Norwich City although Norwich themselves lost to Fulham on Saturday and all the games in this division are tough. And you never know – we might go there and get a good result and surprise people! What you would say about the Norwich game and the Rotherham game is that people would probably expect us to go to Rotherham and get a result and maybe not get anything at Norwich. But it might work the other way. I thought we’d get a win at Rotherham, but I also thought we’d get get the points at Brentford, but I don’t think we have performed well enough to justify us being any higher in the league than we are at the moment. We’re in the position in the league that we deserve to be – and that’s why the quicker we get on a roll the better. It’s two points out of 12 now under Darko Milanic and of course he’ll be concerned. He’ll want to start building a winning sequence and you can only build confidence up in the team when you are winning games. You can be playing reasonably well and still losing games but it doesn’t do morale much good and the quicker he can get a victory under his belt the better. The play-offs are still possible of course, as we are not even at Christmas yet, but we are coming up to quite a critical period now in November and December and the last thing you want is to be falling further behind the leading pack. But if you are only four or five points away from the top six coming into the new year then you’d be quite happy if you can then go on a decent run. We’ve also got to remember that this is a new side and a new team that we have playing and you have to give Milanic a chance too. You’ve got to think of that as well and you’ve got to give the new coach a chance. He’s working with a group of players that he didn’t know and a lot of the players didn’t know each other either, never mind the coach, After tomorrow night’s trip to Norwich we’ve got Wolves coming to Elland Road on Saturday and the thing about Wolves is they are scoring goals. They have had a decent start to the campaign and they will be tough opponents. In fact, when you look at all of the teams that have come up from last year, they are all doing okay. Brentford are tenth in the table and Rotherham are level on points with us now and with the same goal difference as well. It’s a big game against Wolves and your home games are always important, anyway. If you are going to do anything then you have to win your home games and that’s a fact. It also gets the crowd behind you as well if you are winning at home, especially at Elland Road where it makes the atmosphere build up. You hope that we can get a win at Norwich and then we can be looking forward to the home game. But if we don’t get a result at Norwich then it takes on a little bit more significance as you are then thinking ‘well we have got to win this game against Wolves.’ And it won’t be an easy game. Obviously Adryan came on as a sub at Rotherham but I still don’t know much about him. Coming on as a sub is a bit different to starting games, but having said that, if the boy is good enough then he should get an opportunity. Hopefully he will progress and give us that something that we’ve been missing this season – a touch of flair in the final third of the field. Two points from twelve is a very poor return from Milanic and he hadn’t exactly the hardest games in the world to start off with.


Adryan at last saw some action

Sat Oct 18th. “It wasn’t enough “ – Darko. United head coach Darko Milanič has spoken of his disappointment after losing out to Rotherham on Friday night. United came away from the New York Stadium with a 2-1 defeat and the head coach says his team tried but in the end it wasn’t enough. “I am not happy but the team is also not happy with this situation,” said the head coach. We fought on Friday and tried to play football but it wasn’t enough. “At the beginning we did very well. We had the game under control and we had good possession. Our opponents were not dangerous, we were. “We scored our goal and in the last few minutes of the first half they put crosses into our box and used long throws well and they put us under pressure. “In the second half they started really well and put us under a lot of pressure. There was a lot of challenges in our box. This is a good style of football for them.” After leading at half time Rotherham came out and dominated proceedings in the second 45 minutes. “We knew that they would play with a lot of long passes, lots of crosses and play simple football,” said Darko. “But we made a mistake and lost the ball before their second goal. “Our midfield players didn’t have enough time to think on Friday night to play quickly. We had problems in midfield.” Although the head coach is still searching for his first win he praised the effort shown by his side. “I have to say that the players gave everything on Friday,” added the boss. “The team was 100% in the game. “At 2-1 we had some good chances and shots. Adryan was very dangerous. He made good movement inbetween the lines. “He played very well for 30 minutes and did a good job.”

Rotherham United v Leeds United

Antenucci goal wasn’t enough

Friday October 17th. Rotherham 2-1 Leeds. United: Silvestri, Berardi, Pearce, Bellusci, Warnock, Austin, Bianchi (Morison 88), Mowatt, Cook (Adryan 62), Antenucci, Doukara (Sharp 76). Subs. S Taylor, Byram, Cooper, Sloth. Referee:  K Stroud. ooked:  Frecklington, Revell, Clarke-Harris (Rotherham), Bianchi, Silvestri, Doukara, Adryan (United)Att:  11,350 (2,294 United) Report from YPThe noise all week emanated from Rotherham and when the night came it belonged to them. This was Rotherham’s occasion, the fixture Steve Evans craved, and two goals in the second half left him grinning at the end of a match which slipped through the hands of Darko Milanic. They cast Leeds United as noisy neighbours in parts of Yorkshire but the club did not live up to that reputation before last night’s derby. It was Evans who dominated the agenda, talking endlessly of stature, history, his respect for Leeds. For the best part of an hour, the enormity of it all seemed too much for his players. Leeds and Milanic kept their counsel, as Milanic likes to do, and a Mirco Antenucci goal on 30 minutes proved that silence has its virtues. A sharp goal in the midst of a sharp performance drew the steam from Evans temporarily, giving Milanic the scent of a precious first win. The Slovenian barely flinched as Antenucci’s shot flew in but he was pacing anxiously by the end, praying for a point. Victory when it materialises will feel a long time coming for United’s coach but as others said before last night’s match, Rotherham was the first of his four fixtures in charge which offered him a fair test. Swamped by three games in eight days before the international break, the chance came to think and take a breath to help smooth out some flaws. Away from home and in Evans’ back yard, Leeds handled the first half perfectly. To Milanic’s dismay, they disintegrated badly in the second. Antenucci opened the scoring on the half-hour, holding his nerve to bury a good chance, and the game was dictated until the interval by Milanic’s midfield and his choice of team. The diamond remained but the personnel changed, and the use of Lewis Cook at number 10 was Rotherham’s undoing until Evans’ side changed gear at half-time and replied with goals from Alex Revell and substitute Jonson Clarke-Harris. The second, scored on 65 minutes, was buried with virtually the forward’s first touch and was all the advantage Rotherham needed. A late appearance by Adryan, lively though it was, did not alter United’s evening. Evans had questioned beforehand whether Milanic might deal an unexpected hand by starting Adryan, the Brazilian midfielder whose debut has eluded him for a month-and-a-half. Milanic almost used his wildcard but having named Adryan in United’s original line-up, the 20-year-old was omitted without explanation from the official teamsheet. Adryan had a spring in his step when he arrived at the ground, unmissable with fluorescent green headphones around his neck. Photos showed his shirt hanging with the rest of the starting team in the dressing room, and precisely when he learned of his demotion to the bench was difficult to know. Milanic might conceivably have played a canny game with Evans. His place went to Cook, a teenager who was worth a start regardless of form or reputations around him, and for all the clamour about Adryan, the midfield which Milanic eventually settled on looked more schooled for an outbreak of blood and thunder. Cook took up the baton behind United’s striker, the position Adryan is waiting to fill. There were other tweaks too: Stephen Warnock in at left-back – proof that Massimo Cellino has not black-balled the 32-year-old – and Gaetano Berardi preferred to Sam Byram on the other side of United’s defence. In spite of that, the spine of the team remained intact as one Yorkshire derby at home to Sheffield Wednesday led into another at Rotherham. Last night’s game drew a sell-out crowd – all of those present resistant to televised coverage – and the attempts to draw blood came quickly. Rodolph Austin’s shot on six minutes struck a leg and caused Adam Collin no problem but Antenucci’s strike from the resulting corner – a low volley at the end of Alex Mowatt’s pass – was close enough for the Italian to think he should have scored. Collin would not have reached a neater finish. Rapidly, the structure of Milanic’s team fell into place nicely. Mowatt’s footwork and Austin’s drive in behind the pace and touch of Cook gave the midfield a grip of the game. Rotherham were kept at arm’s length, limited to a rising free-kick from Ryan Hall – the derided ex-Leeds player who amused the away end with a couple of mis-controls in the opening minutes – and little else until the 22nd minute. In that moment, Leeds were distracted by a head injury to Jason Peace as Rotherham came at them, and Revell’s pass squeezed Matt Derbyshire in between Berardi and Giuseppe Bellusci. Silvestri was vulnerable but dropped down to gather a weak and wasteful finish which rolled straight at him. Souleymane Doukara had caused similar problems at the other end seconds earlier, bullying Kari Arnason and scuffing a long ball across goal, and Revell tried and failed to stab home a Ben Pringle corner which caused bedlam in front of Silvestri. A break in parity was always likely to come without warning and from nowhere. There are goalscoring issues in both camps, as Evans and Milanic freely admit. Rotherham tallied nine in the league before last night and Milanic’s first three games produced a modest number of chances. But Evans’ side blinked first on the half-hour as Antenucci picked Rotherham off in a flash. Doukara received the ball at his feet inside the home half and saw gaping space in front of him, enough to advance on Evans’ defence and feed Antenucci. The striker was alone, onside and helped by all of the time he needed to draw Collin from his line and stab the ball into the far corner of the net. His capacity to be deadly is ever more obvious. Rotherham retaliated before half-time but Silvestri saw off the best of their chances by diving to reach out and claw Revell’s header wide, and the bite in United’s players carried the game to the interval. Hall – as feeble as he was in his bitter days at Leeds – did not make the second half. Rotherham thrived without him and equalised in the 57th minute having pressed United without response from the previous 12 minutes. Lee Frecklington forced his way in behind Berardi and smashed the ball at Silvestri from close range. The goalkeeper’s parry bounced down to Revell who kept his balance under pressure and hooked the rebound into an empty net. Doukara had the ball in Rotherham’s soon after but his scrambled finish was two yards offside and the balance of the game had turned conclusively. Adryan came off the bench in the 63rd minute, taking to the field at the same time as Clarke-Harris, but while the former waited for a meaningful touch, Clarke-Harris reacted to his first on 65 minutes by charging over 30 yards and lashing a shot past a helpless Silvestri. Tetchy and fraught with bookings in the closing stages, Adryan produced one stab at a point with a 20-yard hit which Collin scrambled behind and Antenucci conjured another when his effort from the edge of the box forced its way under Collin’s body but clipped a post and rolled behind. It was one of those nights. Leeds know them well.

Friday October 17th. Cellinio way no for Evans – YP STEVE EVANS has revealed that Massimo Cellino’s hands-on style of ownership at Leeds United is not for him – and admits he could never work for an owner who did not let him sign his own players. Evans’ Rotherham United side welcome Leeds in a Championship fixture for the first time in almost 10 years this evening and the Scot is grateful for the conventional working relationship he has with his own boss, Millers chairman Tony Stewart, who leaves all playing matters to him. In contrast, Evans’ Leeds counterpart Darko Milanic effectively works with the players Cellino and sporting director Nicola Salerno bring to the club and has no control on transfer policy. Ahead of Leeds’ last Championship match against Sheffield Wednesday, the Slovenian attempted to put the record straight regarding the influence of Cellino on the first-team by stating that he had full control over team affairs, stating tactics and formations were his decision. For his part, Evans – who professed respect for the way the Leeds owner has ploughed millions into the club in a bid to breathe new life into it – believes that when in comes to being the head coach, it is either Cellino’s way or the highway. He said: If you are a Dave Hockaday, Darko Milanic or whoever you are – if you take the job under Massimo, you know the rules; he picks the players, you coach the players. “My interest is the Millers and I pick the players, whether they come, whether they go and our chairman supports that. The minute he doesn’t support it, I go. “That would be the way it works here and I get fantastic support. I can’t put enough words on it. “But if you work for Massimo Cellino, you coach the players and get the results from the players he brings in or you pay with your job, that is the way it is.”Evans added: It is the foreign way of doing things and it does not make it right or wrong. “If you look at Leeds United and Massimo Cellino, where would they be if he had not have stepped in with his millions of pounds? “I know you can say he sold a player (Ross McCormack) to Fulham for £11m. “But he has had to put millions of investment into that football club and they do it in that way.“I have nothing but respect for the guy. If you put the money he has put into a football club, if that is your model, you are entitled to do it.“But there a lot of English owners, in the Championship and below – probably maybe even in the Premiership – who have a big say in the team also.”

Friday 17th of October Darko dampens expectation on Adryan – YEP Adryan’s long-awaited Leeds United debut could finally materialise in Rotherham tonight but head coach Darko Milanic has warned against excessive expectation, admitting the Brazilian midfielder is not yet ready for the full demands of the Championship. Milanic said Adryan was in his thoughts ahead of Leeds’ visit to Rotherham United and wants the 20-year-old to bring “South America, Brazil, something a little bit different” to the team but he voiced concern about placing “too much pressure” on the talented youngster. Adryan was a complex and high-profile signing in August, brought in on loan from Flamengo after Leeds owner Massimo Cellino persuaded his parent club to cancel a previous loan at Cagliari. United also negotiated a clause which will allow them to sign Adryan for around £3m at the end of this season. But the playmaker has been limited to appearances with United’s Under-21s so far and was an unused substitute during three of their Championship games, the most recent a 1-1 draw with Sheffield Wednesday before the latest international break. He was omitted from a development-squad game at Bristol City on Monday, however, and is likely to be in Milanic’s 18-man squad at the New York Stadium this evening, though Milanic did not confirm if the Brazilian would start. “I have to think about each detail,” Milanic said. “He’s trained well and like everyone else, he’s in my mind. I have to think about the 11 who start the game. “He can bring South America, Brazil to the team – something a little bit different. “But I don’t want to put too much pressure on him. I don’t want that. I think he’s not prepared to play 40 games in the Championship now, not at this moment. He needs time. “It’s another world, it is not the same as other leagues. And he is young.” Adryan, a Brazil Under-20 international, is a product of Flamengo’s youth-team system and was highly-rated in Brazilian circles three years ago. He moved on loan to Cagliari in Italy after a loss of form at Flamengo – taken to Sardinia by Cellino, the former Cagliari owner – and became one of Cellino’s prime summer transfer targets following the 58-year-old’s takeover of Leeds. The Brazilian was quoted earlier this week as saying: It’s impossible not to think about Flamengo. I have a lot of affection for the club. I am a Flamengo player so let’s see what happens in the future. Flamengo will always be in my blood.” Milanic, who is three games into his reign as head coach and looking for his first win in charge tonight, also played down the prospect of Leeds’ academy prospect Chris Dawson breaking into his squad this evening. Milanic is worried about overloading his line-up with inexperienced footballers, saying: “We talk about the academy, about young players, and there are a lot of young players like Cook in the first XI. “It’s extremely difficult to play only with young players. We have to talk about good players – getting better players, a better team.”

Tues October 14th Sharp frustrated. Billy Sharp has revealed that he has been left “frustrated” by a lack of starting opportunities at Leeds United. Since Darko Milanic took charge of the club last month, Sharp has been limited to just two appearances from the bench. However, with the international break coming to an end, the 28-year-old has expressed his determination to force his way into his manager’s plans. “I am frustrated and the manager knows that and I have got to keep doing what I do and get back in the team and keep [my place],” he told the Yorkshire Evening Post“When you are not playing, the international breaks are a bit of a welcome break and you can get the frustration out of your head and come back fresh and go again and get back in the team. “Obviously when you are playing, you want to just keep going to keep the rhythm going, but I am happy for this break just to clear my head.” Sharp has not scored since the second Championship match of the season.

Mon 13th of October. Break came at good time for Darko – Eddie Gray I think this last week will have been very beneficial to Darko Milanic. He’s had a chance to work with the players that he’s not actually seen yet and it will have given him an opportunity to see what they can do, to work on what he thinks is going to be his best XI. He’ll have been looking at all the players, assessing them on their merits and trying to work out what his best team is. So I think these two weeks will be very beneficial for him because he’ll get to know the players and know what they are capable of doing.

When you first come into a football club – especially from abroad – he wouldn’t have known any of the players. And he wouldn’t have seen much of the Championship. He might have looked at a couple of videos but that doesn’t actually give you the true merits of the player and the qualities they’ve got. This week he’ll have been working with them and it will have given him that opportunity. I think he’ll have been looking at lots of things this week – both defensively and trying to be a little bit more creative in the last third as well.

We’ve had plenty of possession of the ball in recent games without actually creating a lot and I think that’s something he’ll be looking at. We’ve got to try and create a little bit more when we get in good areas. We got in some great areas against Sheffield Wednesday and against Reading as well but we never capitalised on it and that’s got to be stepped up a bit. We’ve got to be a little bit more calculated in and around in the box. We’ll see what’s changed at Rotherham on Friday and it’s important for the coach to get a win under his belt. The sooner it comes the better and that obviously means the next game.

The first game after the break is at Rotherham and it’s a local derby as well. There’ll be a big crowd at the game so there’ll be lot of people watching it and the game’s on television so there will be a lot of people viewing it and they’ll be assessing how the club have progressed under the new coach. The quicker he can get a victory under his belt the better for everybody at the football club but it will not be an easy task – the same as it will also be a tough game at Norwich the following Tuesday.

And I think the improvement will be a gradual process. It might happen right away but I would think he’ll still be looking at certain players and trying to pick out what’s his best formation. You look at the front boys but then you look at Billy Sharp and Steve Morison coming on against Sheffield Wednesday and he’ll be looking at every avenue to try and get what he thinks is the best XI on the pitch. You might see a couple of changes but then you don’t know how things have gone in training.

Maybe he might try and boost it a little bit. He might try and improve things in the last third and play somebody else as you look at Billy Sharp and Morison who’ve not played and Adryan the Brazilian boy. I don’t know how he’s doing in training, and will Lewis Cook come back in? The young boy Chris Dawson also seems to have bounced back a little bit according to reports so he might get an opportunity but I think he will basically go with experienced players in the midfield area – particularly at Rotherham where it’s going to be like a cauldron with the atmosphere. It’s a tight ground and there’ll be a big crowd and it’s a local derby so he will probably go with the more experienced players.

But I think Adryan could be on the bench. If people are saying that Adryan is a bit too small and slight for the Championship it might be something he has to work on but if he can play it doesn’t make any difference how big he is. If you’re a player, you’re a player – that’s it and there’s plenty of great small players in and around the world. You only need to look at Raheem Sterling at Liverpool and he’s not a giant is he?  It might be tough in the Championship but if a boy can play he can play in any league and it’s easier to play in the Championship than it is to play in the Premier League!  In the Premier League you are playing against the best players and you’re lucky if you get a kick of the ball!

Mon 13th of Oct Cellino not hit by Football League rap MASSIMO CELLINO has not been charged with misconduct by the Football League – amid national reports that he will face an unprecedented charge from league bosses.  Reports have suggested that the league’s board, who met last week, were losing patience with the Cellino camp over the delay in receiving the written reasons why the United owner was found guilty by a court of evading tax duty of around £400,000 on his yacht Nelie. That conviction, which Cellino is currently appealing, led to an unsuccessful attempt by the league to block his takeover of Leeds and could yet threaten his ownership under the Owners and Directors Test. But despite speculation, Cellino has not been charged. In the event of an alleged breach of regulations, it would be heard by a FL commission. Cellino’s trial over a second Italian tax evasion charge will take place on October 22. The case – in which Cellino is accused of failing to pay around £65,000 of import duty owed on a private yacht called Lucky 23 – was adjourned earlier this month

Oct 12th. McDermott has regrets FORMER Leeds United manager Brian McDermott insists he could have been the man to transform the fortunes of the club under Massimo Cellino – if he was granted another year in charge. McDermott, who left the club at the end of May, has lifted the lid on the final months of his time in charge at Elland Road when Cellino first came to United, famously axeing him at the end of January, only to reinstate him after not having the jurisdiction to do it in the first place as he didn’t own the club. McDermott, speaking on Sky Sports’ Goals on Sunday programme, ultimately parted company with Leeds for good in the spring with him and Cellino going their separate ways. But despite their working relationship ending on a sour note, McDermott – now back in football on the scouting staff at Arsenal – says he keeps in touch with the Italian, despite the circumstances of his departure. McDermott said: “It’s fair to say when Massimo came in, he didn’t really just have a little look at it. He came in and he steamrolled the place. “I have to say, since I’ve left, I talk to him regularly. “We get on well, we talk about football and obviously if we’d have known each other a little bit better at the time or if we’d known each other at all, then it might have worked out, and I still believe to this day that if I’d have had another year at this fantastic club, it could have worked.” On his time working with Cellino at Leeds – while explaining what happened over that crazy few days at the end of January – McDermott added: “In effect he sacked me twice, so that’s pretty good…“We had a meeting and then we didn’t do particularly well in January and he sacked me before he actually owned the club on the 31st of January. I was reinstated in February. Someone phoned me. I had a phone call from someone at Leeds who I didn’t actually know and he just said I’ve been relieved of my duties, so I said ‘okay, fine’ and then it came out on Sky Sports and that was it. “Obviously, a couple of days later I went back. “The company that owned it (Leeds) was GFH, at the time, and Massimo didn’t actually own the company at the time so I went back and I was just determined to get it right, as right as I could possibly do, and it didn’t go particularly well at the back end of the season, but it stabilised again. “The last five games was won three, drew one, lost one and I thought I could really try to tie it down and maintain the job, but it wasn’t to be.” 


Bellusci celebrating with Bianchi


Milanic and Gray

Sunday Oct 5th. So How did we do ? On balance we certainly had enough chances to win the game. Westwood was the man of the match after all and that says a lot. The coach changed the team again, with Rudi Austin coming in for Lewis Cook and Berardi for Cooper. In goal, Silvestri had very little to do all afternoon. In the centre of defence Pearce gives you everything. His distribution isn’t great but he gets tight on defenders. Bellusci (The Warrior) on the other hand has terrible lapses of concentration, and takes extraordinary chances at the back. He lost the giant Nuhiu in the first half who should have scored with an easy header, and it was his fault for the goal, because a centre half should never get pulled out to a right back position. If and when he does, he has to block the cross. He didn’t. The ball was delicious to Maguire who finishd in style. But Bellusci is also an enigma. He finishes like a top class striker and he scored his second league goal of the season for the Whites. Berardi is a disaster. He is a walking red card. I don’t know what Warnock has done wrong to have lost his place. Beradi has had two early showers to date, gets skinned by quick wingers and should have received two yellows yesterday. Byram at right back was largely anonomyous and found it very diffiult to get forward. Casper Sloth was very poor and did not deserve his place ahead of Lewis Cook. His job in the ” number ten” role is to supply the strikers with ammunition. He didn’t and kept giving the ball away. Austin has a terrific engine but absoulutely nothing between the ears. His shooting can be fantastic or border on the ridiculous. I thought he had a very poor second half and was lucky to stay on the pitch. Mowatt did okay, but he needs to get involved more in the game and he isn’t a naturally wide player. His ball retention is good but again it’s square pegs in round holes. Bianchi is a terrific player but once again we are playing him out of position. I feel he would be better further forward. He rarely gives the ball away. Up front Doukara had a very poor afternoon and was extremely fortunate to stay on the pitch for 69 minutes. He contributed very little. I have been very impressed with Antenucci who not only works very hard but is an extremely intelligent striker. The right inside forward would create a lot of goals for this guy. Yesterday he found Westwood in terrific form and it was a mistake in my view to withdraw him on 80 minutes. The Coach. He has had a tough act to follow in Neil Redfearn and a lot of Leeds fans feel that the caretaket should have been left in charge. Tactically, I felt Wednesday were there for the taking yesterday. Warnock has had a very good start to the season and is a left full back. Berarddi is a right full back and so far he looks like a poor one with a huge disciplinary problem. Warnock should have started yesterday. Sloth was poor, so the mangager opted to put in Luke Murphy, the Brian McDermott one million pound signing from last season. He has proved a flop so far, and he was invisible in the sesond half. It didn’t work. The Sharp for Doukara substitution was fine, but at 1-1 there was going to be only one winner….and that was Wednesday. What was wrong with giving Adryan his chance yesterday at 1-1 to lift the crowd ? Morison for Antenucci was a very poor choice. The coach is only three games in. One bad defeat at Brentford and two draws is a poor return. Only one goal scored in three games is also poor. He now has the international break to work with the players. He needs to get off to a flier when the Championship resumes. So far the school report reads “can do a lot better”.

Sat Oct 4th. Milanic give his reaction on the Leeds diplay Leeds head coach Darko Milanic said his side turned in their best display since he took charge after fighting back to secure a 1-1 Sky Bet Championship draw against Yorkshire derby rivals Sheffield Wednesday. Leeds centre-half Giuseppe Bellusci steered home a 79th-minute equaliser to rescue a deserved point for his side after Chris Maguire’s thumping finish had given Wednesday the lead early in the second half. ilanic’s wait for his first win in charge is extended to three matches, but his side showed enough in spells to suggest a morale-boosting victory is just around the corner. Wednesday were grateful to goalkeeper Kieren Westwood, who tipped over a goalbound first-half blockbuster from Leeds midfielder Rudy Austin and made superb saves to deny lively Leeds striker Mirco Antenucci twice in the second period. “We had a good game, yes,” said Milanic, whose first game last weekend ended in a 2-0 defeat at Brentford before a goalless midweek draw against Reading. “We had a good game with a lot of energy with a lot of good play also in the last third, which is what we missed in the last game. “We had some very good actions, we played well and we had some very good opportunities, but the goalkeeper was extremly good. “After they scored it was very difficult and we lost a little bit of calm. “But after we made it 1-1 I believed that we could win the game. “We played against a team who were very quick to get behind the ball and there was not a lot of space, but we did it sometimes very well. “The players here have quality, but we have to do somethings better in the game.” Milanic refused to be drawn on whether he felt his side could mount a play-off challenge. My job is to improve the team,” he added. “I have to see the players on the field in a big game like this and they have the quality, yes. “There’s enough quality. But my job is to improve them like I said. “We’re working very hard to make a good team.” Wednesday routed Leeds 6-0 at Hillsborough the last time the two sides met in January, but Owls manager Stuart Gray said they fell below the standards they had set so far this season having lost only two of their 10 league games prior to kick-off. “That wasn’t us,” Gray said. We didn’t pass it as well as we’d passed it and our ball retention wasn’t good. Second half we tried to get more physical presence and more of a focal point up front and we got a foothold in the game and a great goal from Chris Maguire. “At the end of the day you’re not always going to get it your own way. You need to dig in and we had Kieren Westwood pulling off some fantastic saves. “But then I thought after we got in front we’d go on and win the game.”

Sat Oct 4th. Leeds 1-1 Sheff Weds Silvestri, Byram, Bellusci, Pearce, Berardi, Bianchi, Austin, Mowatt, Sloth (Murphy 46), Doukara (Sharp 69), Antenucci (Morison 80). Subs (not used): S Taylor, Cooper, Warnock, Adryan. Report from YP Darko Milanic will enter the international break still looking for his first victory as Leeds United head coach after a lively 1-1 draw with Sheffield Wednesday today.


The Warrior celebrates his second goal of the season

Giuseppe Bellusci struck 10 minutes from time to cancel out Chris Maguire’s earlier volley, leaving Milanic without a win after three games in charge at Elland Road.

United looked comfortable throughout the opening 45 minutes but their defence went missing shortly after the break as Maguire ran onto Jacques Maghoma’s cross and drilled the ball into the net.

Leeds fought for an equaliser but were contained by an excellent performance from Wednesday goalkeeper Keiren Westwood.

Westwood produced outstanding saves either side of Maguire’s goals, including a one-handed parry to keep out a rising effort from Mirco Antenucci.

Bellusci, however, snatched a deserved point with a calm and precise finish after Mowatt’s free-kick dropped to him inside the box.

The atmosphere at Elland Road did not match the levels of mayhem which Milanic grew used to during his years of involvement in the Belgrade rivalry but today’s clash was a typical English derby – close and competitive and yielding few goals.

But United’s defensive organisation was obvious from an early stage and they lacked only the killer pass to cut a shaky Wednesday’s backline to pieces.

Rodolph Austin drew a save from Westwood with a fierce drive from 30 yards, moments after Westwood advanced to turn a shot from Alex Mowatt behind.

Gaetano Berardi – recalled after suspension at left-back – mishit a good chance midway through the half after United broke quickly from their side of the halfway line but Wednesday had a couple of moments of their own.

Atdhe Nuhiu, their giant Austrian forward, made nothing of a good headed opportunity early on and Stevie May was inches away from steering a glancing header into the net at the end of the first half as Liam Palmer’s cross picked him out.

Casper Sloth struggled to make an impact behind United’s front two and he was replaced at the interval with Luke Murphy, allowing Mowatt to take on the playmaker role.

Wednesday nearly gifted Leeds a goal on 48 minutes when Glenn Loovens’ weak back-pass gave Mirco Antenucci the chance to lob Westwood but Palmer’s clearing header dealt with the ball before it could bounce into an empty net.

Westwood then denied Antenucci with a fine block, getting a foot to the striker’s finish after Souleymane Doukara played him clean through, and Wednesday made the save count with the opening goal on 52 minutes.

Jacques Maghoma swept a delivery from the left wing across the face of United’s goal and Maguire met the loose ball with a crisp volley which sailed into the corner of Marco Silvestri’s net.

Antenucci would have equalised within seconds had Westwood not reacted quickly to palm his rising hit into the crowd but May went close again on the hour, turning and striking the ball just beyond Silvestri’s far post.

Billy Sharp was thrown on for the final 20 minutes but it was Bellusci who claimed a point with a low shot which crept through a crowd of players and past a stranded Westwood


Darko “not happy with point but satisfied with point and clean sheet”

October 1st. Darko’s reaction on LUTV. Darko Milanic : “It was and the result was okay for both. I’m not happy but I’m satisfied with one point. Where we must do better is in the last third. We weren’t good in the last third. We weren’t dangerous.(Re Sharp coming on) Billy Sharp did very good. (Re Warnock not playing)It was a tactical move . I want to have stability with Cooper. Today we played much better than last Staurday. Team was more compact. (Re Sheff Weds)It will be another difficult game but different. (Re chairman)He thinks also the point is okay.”


October 1st Leeds 0-0 Reading. United: Silvestri, Byram, Bellusci, Pearce, Cooper, Cook (Murphy 58), Mowatt (Austin 66), Bianchi, Sloth, Antenucci (Sharp 82), Doukara. Subs. S Taylor, Warnock, Wootton, Morison. Referee: T Harrington. Booked: Cooper, Doukara, Bellusci (United), Att: 20,705 (302 Reading). Report from Official website. Head coach Darko Milanic made two changes for his first game in charge at Elland Road as Liam Cooper and Casper Sloth replaced Stephen Warnock and Rodolph Austin from the weekend’s defeat at Brentford.

United made a lively start with both Alex Mowatt and Mirco Antenucci driving them forward with surging runs in the early stages, but it was the visitors who had the first sight of goal as Nick Blackman forced Marco Silvestri into a fine fingertip save from range.

Michael Hector then headed the resulting corner over the bar before United’s first opening came on 10 minutes as the advancing Mowatt was invited to try his luck from 25 yards, only to see his effort sail over the bar.

Nigel Adkins’ side were enjoying their fair share of possession but United were seemingly happy to soak it up and look to hit them on the counter attack as both Sam Byram and Souleymane Doukara threatened on the break.

Clear-cut chances were proving scarce for both sides as the game approached the half-hour mark. United did look sharp going forward, though, as Antenucci was inches away from getting his outstretched leg onto Cooper’s delivery from the left.

Mowatt was then gifted an opening to shoot as he intercepted a loose ball from the Reading defence and looked to catch Adam Federici off his line, but the young midfielder was unable to find the target with his curling effort.

Giuseppe Bellusci then blazed over from a free-kick on the edge of the area as a largely uneventful opening 45 drew to a close with the scoreline goalless.

The second half started at a livelier pace with Mowatt seeing an effort deflected behind for a corner before Hector side-footed wide at the opposite end.

Oliver Norwood lashed a speculative strike way over the bar before Milanic was prompted into making his first change of the evening after 58 minutes, as Luke Murphy replaced Lewis Cook in midfield.

United were finding themselves frustrated as Reading probed for an opener, but Silvestri was on hand to deny Glenn Murray with a fine stop at the near post as the best chance of the night so far was spurned.

Austin was introduced in place of Mowatt as Milanic looked to stem the tide, but the visitors continued to push forward as Hector found the side-netting from a dangerous free-kick.

Austin, playing at the tip of a midfield diamond, fired over from a free-kick after Doukara was tripped, while Silvestri was on hand once again to push away Blackman’s low drive to his right after a quick break up-field.

Federici was then made to back-pedal but managed to recover in time after Austin had tried to lob him from the halfway line, before Billy Sharp replaced Antenucci in attack with eight minutes remaining on the clock.

Sharp was immediately involved, skipping away from two challenges before letting fly on the edge of the area and forcing Federici into a smart save to beat away United’s first shot of the night on target. Austin then dragged wide as the Kop end looked to suck a late winner into Federici’s net.

Saturday 27th of Sept The managers’ response New Leeds boss Darko Milanic admitted “I need time” after his side were brushed aside by Championship new boys Brentford. The Slovenian had taken just three training sessions with his new side before their 2-0 reverse at Griffin Park, in what he conceded was a very difficult first game in charge.


Cellino in with the fans

Goals in either half from Jota, a summer signing from Celta Vigo in Spain, and Alan McCormack secured the Bees maximum points against a Leeds outfit that had won three of their previous four under Neil Redfearn.

In contrast the Londoners were smarting after a 4-0 hammering at Middlesbrough and a 3-0 home defeat at the hands of Norwich, which saw boss Mark Warburton promise there would be a reaction.

Milanic said: It was a very difficult game. I expected a game like this against a side with very aggressive forwards. “We were not good enough in possession in the first half and were not dangerous. “We have to play with a much more offensive mentality. In the second half we did it better and had some good shots, but we weren’t good enough to score and Brentford were very dangerous on the counter-attack.” Milanic said he wanted to bring the Leeds faithful a European style side in terms of style and mentality.

“I want to play offensive and we played with two strikers today but it’s not enough if you don’t have offensive thoughts,” he said. “That first game at Elland Road will be very important for us. With support and energy we can make it. “But I have to know individual players in the division better and I need time.” Brentford boss Mark Warburton hailed his side’s character and resolve after the Middlesbrough setback, especially given the visitors’ recent wins over Bournemouth, Bolton and derby rivals Huddersfield. “The intensity of this league is very tough and they are getting used to it,” he said. “We were always aware of the threat Leeds posed but after 10 minutes we took over and, very respectfully, we dominated. “It was a very dominant performance, with good tempo and a lot of quality. We could still have been more clinical and probably should have had more but that’s something that we will continue to work on.” We had a long chat after Middlesbrough and thought a lot about what we would do if Plan A didn’t work, and decided that if it didn’t work we would strive to do it better.”

Saturday 27th of Sept BRENTFORD 2 (Jota 45+1, McCormack 77), UNITED 0 United: Silvestri, Byram, Pearce, Bellusci, Warnock, Austin, Cook (Tonge 80), Bianchi (Murphy 85), Mowatt (Sloth 67), Doukara, Antenucci. Subs. S Taylor, Cooper, Wootton, Morison. Referee: D Whitestone Booked: Pearce (Leeds) Att: 10,886 Report from Official LUFC New head coach Darko Milanic made two changes for his first game in charge at United from the side that beat Huddersfield Town the previous Saturday. The changes saw Sam Byram come in for the suspended Gaetano Berardi and the fit-again Alex Mowatt returned to the starting line-up in place of Casper Sloth. The opening minutes of the match were played at a high tempo by both sets of players. Following plenty of end-to-end action it was United that had the first shot on target through midfielder Rudy Austin. He picked up the ball and tried his luck from distance but David Button in the Brentford goal was equal to his effort and made the save. Following Austin’s effort the home side enjoyed more possesion of the ball and dominated in terms of chances created. Alex Pritchard went close for the hosts on two separate occasions, one was saved by Marco Silvestri and the second was deflected behind harmlessly. Silvestri was called into action in the 23rd minute and the keeper was on hand to make a great double save. Alan Judge saw his free-kick from the edge of the box saved well and Silvestri was up quickly to deny Moses Odubajo’s rebounded effort. In the 28th minute the home side were handed a golden chance to take the lead from the penalty spot after a foul was given against Jason Pearce. James Tarkowski stepped up for Brentford but he smashed his spot-kick yards over the bar. Moments later United’s keeper made a further great save to prevent former Elland Road midfielder Jonathan Douglas. Douglas rose highest at the back post to head a corner goalwards but Silvestri was there to make a superb save. With half time approaching United went on the attack and Mowatt, who was on the edge of the box, struck for goal but Button made a comfortable save. Then just as it was looking like it was going to be goalless at the break Jota showed great feet in the United penalty area and smashed his effort into the roof of the net in first half added time. The early signs at the start of the second were encouraging for United as they looked more threatening in the final third. Both Pearce and Antenucci had good efforts on goal, but Button made a great save to stop a goalbound Pearce header and the United striker’s shot went over the crossbar. Just after the hour mark Brentford striker Andre Gray looked to have doubled his side’s lead after clever movement opened up a chance, only the out-stretched leg of Silvestri prevented the striker. The United keeper made another quality save to stop Gray just moments later, this time pushing his headed effort round the post. In the 78th minute a quick free-kick from the home side caught out United. Brentford full-back Alan McCormack found himself on the edge of United’s box and with no further options he struck for goal. The power of the shot took the ball past Silvestri to give Brentford a two-goal lead. In the final minutes of the game United created one chance which came from substitute Sloth. The midfielder latched onto a loose ball on the edge of the Brentford penalty area but his powerful strike went just wide of the mark.

Weds 24th. of September Cellino’s Leeds reign under renewed threat after tax evasion ruling Italian judge rules Cellino guilty of ‘Machiavellian’ tax evasion – The Guardian

Massimo Cellino’s reign as Leeds United owner is under serious threat after an Italian judge ruled he set up a “bogus corporate screen” as part of a “Machiavellian simulation” deliberately to evade paying import tax on a yacht in 2012, meaning the Football League could bar the Italian from controlling the club.

The former Cagliari owner took control of Leeds in April this year through his company Eleonora Sport after an independent QC overturned an original decision to block him buying the Championship side because there was insufficient evidence that he acted “dishonestly” when failing to pay nearly €390,000 import duty on his private boat, the Nélie.

However, the full written ruling on the case – seen by the Guardian – states that there was “no doubt as to the existence of an elusive intent on the part of [Cellino]”. Sandra Lepore, the Sardinian judge who handed Cellino a first-grade criminal conviction in March, reported in a six-page document that the businessman used a United States company called Freetime Miami LLC in order to buy the yacht and avoid paying import duty on it in Italy.

Cellino’s position as Leeds owner could therefore be in jeopardy as the Football League’s owners’ and directors’ test disqualifies individuals who “have unspent convictions for offences of dishonesty”. Commonly known as the fit and proper persons test, the League has these rules in place to prohibit individuals with unspent convictions for dishonesty offences from being directors, 30% owners or from exercising control of clubs.

The League has yet to obtain the full written reasons in the Nélie case from judge Lepore but, given it initially blocked Cellino’s original attempt to buy Leeds earlier in the year, it could move to bar him from ownership once more, even though the Italian has appealed against the original, first-grade conviction in Sardinia.

Judge Lepore rejected the argument by Cellino that his approximated €1,850,000 vessel was covered by the European Union’s temporary importation procedure when it was searched by authorities in Cagliari in 2012. That rule allows for non-EU flagged yachts used by non-EU residents to be brought into European waters for up to 18 months without being subject to customs duties or VAT.

Cellino also argued that he had been prevented from having the Nélie sailed back to the US because of technical problems, which he was in the process of having repaired. However, judge Lepore described these claims as “completely unproven”.

She wrote: “There can therefore be no doubt as to the existence of an elusive intent on the part of [Cellino], as it must be held that the evasion of the import VAT was the result of a Machiavellian simulation, put in place by the aforementioned [Cellino], in order to disguise a definitive admission [of the yacht] as a temporary admission.”

Regarding the registration of the Nélie by the Florida-based company Freetime Miami LLC, Lepore added that it “leads us to believe, beyond any reasonable doubt, that the real owner of the Nélie yacht is Massimo Cellino himself and that Freetime Miami LLC is nothing but a bogus corporate screen formed in an ad hoc manner in order to allow [him], the effective user of the asset, to bring into EU territory a means of transport as part of a temporary importation procedure, thus eluding the payment owed in import duty”.

Giovanni Cocco, Cellino’s lawyer in Italy, strongly attacked Lepore’s report: “That document is unpresentable. It is full to the brim of errors of merit and of law. It does not take into account what emerged in the trial: that is to say, that nothing implicates Cellino. I have already … lodged an appeal and have also completely demolished the [judge’s] reasoning.”

Cellino is also accused of evading import duty on assets in two other cases with hearings scheduled for next month in Cagliari. One concerns a Land Rover and the other another, smaller, yacht, named Lucky 23. He denies the charges.

Cellino has maintained his innocence throughout the Nélie case and has appealed against the original first grade conviction. Under Italian law, which allows for repeated appeals, it is not considered a definitive conviction. One issue of contention is whether Cellino is officially a resident of Cagliari or Miami.

The new Leeds head coach, Darko Milanic, was officially unveiled by the club on Wednesday but the club’s future has once again been cast in doubt. The Football League chief executive, Shaun Harvey, previously chief executive at Leeds under Ken Bates, said earlier this month that the yacht case was still a “cloud hanging over” Cellino and the League, adding: “It’s exceptionally disappointing that we haven’t actually had the judgment.”

Judge Lepore completed her report at the end of July.

Weds 24th of September. Milanic confirmed as manager – LUFC Leeds United can now announce the appointment of Darko Milanič as the new head coach after he signed a two-year contract on Tuesday.Having vacated his role at Austrian side Sturm Graz this past weekend Darko will now become head coach at Leeds United with immediate effect.


Darko Milanic – The new Leeds coach

During his time in control of the Austrian Bundesliga he led them to a fifth place finish and also competed in the Europa League.

The Slovenian enjoyed vast amounts of success at this previous role at Slovenian side Maribor where he won nine trophies in five seasons.

He was also the first man to win the Slovenian league, Slovenian Cup and Slovenian Super Cup, he achieved this feat within his first two seasons.

As well as Sturm Graz and Maribor the 46-year-old has coached at Primarje and Gorica in Slovenia.

Milanič also enjoyed success as a player and won a total of 11 trophies from his time at Partizan and Sturm Graz, the club he left to become head coach at Leeds United.

The former defender also has international caps having represented both Yugoslavia and Slovenia. He also captained the Slovenian national side at Euro 2000 which was co-hosted by Ukraine and Poland.

Darko will be joined at the club by Novica Nikčević who was his assistant at Sturm Graz.

Academy manager Neil Redfearn has been in caretaker charge of United’s first team since David Hockaday was dismissed in August and has overseen three wins and one draw.

Neil will now return to his role of Academy manager and head of coaching.

Weds September 24th The challenge now facing new boss – YEP   He landed at Manchester airport at 8pm on Monday and was on site at Thorp Arch for the start of training yesterday morning. Darko Milanic began work before his contract with Leeds United was signed, anxious to get in and get on.

If he anticipated an overflowing in-tray in his office then he must have been pleasantly surprised. Milanic has the job of all new managers or head coaches – to impose himself and his ideas on Leeds – but this is no hospital pass and certainly no crisis. The Slovenian will be planting seeds in fertile ground.

The interim period between David Hockaday’s sacking and Milanic’s appointment gave Leeds a shake and yielded 10 points – points which United should be grateful for whichever way the club’s season goes – but as important from the perspective of their new head coach was the trend of players playing their way into form.

This time last month the squad at Leeds looked as new and unfamiliar as a squad with 15 new signings would but it is safe to assume that Milanic was struck by an air of confidence and integration at Thorp Arch yesterday. A number of the club’s foreign recruits have settled in and found their niche, and the understanding between players who were here last season and others who weren’t was unmistakable in Saturday’s rout of Huddersfield. Unusually there is no argument with the line-up as it stands.

For Milanic, that is a crucial advantage. It is his prerogative to redraw the team and to rely on players who best suit his methods but he is under no immediate pressure to rip it up. Tommaso Bianchi had his best game at the weekend – fitter and more imposing in the centre of midfield than he had been previously – and Mirco Antenucci thrived like a striker with years of schooling in English football. Souleymane Doukara dealt with mixed form and an ankle injury in the opening month of the season but he is showing the traits of an able Championship forward: quick and powerful with a deadly finish and the energy to carry him through 90 minutes of hard running.

Milanic will see that some of last season’s maligned squad are fitting in comfortably too. One of Hockaday’s few tangible achievements was in discovering the better side of Stephen Warnock, one full-back helping another. Jason Pearce is in the team on merit and the same will be said of Rudy Austin for as long as he does what he did to Huddersfield. And behind it all Milanic has an excellent goalkeeper; a keeper who can go through a wet and quiet afternoon like Saturday without the hint of a lapse in concentration. Huddersfield caught Leeds on a very good day.

Where Milanic can make an immediate impact is with the signings who are yet to scratch the surface at Elland Road. Adryan was primed for his debut on Saturday but lost his chance when Gaetano Berardi lost his discipline and incurred a red card late in the second half. As a result of suspensions served by Berardi and Sam Byram, right-back is the one position which Milanic finds up in the air. Adryan would like an opportunity to open up for him behind United’s forward line but Neil Redfearn, United’s caretaker for the past four games, was wary of exposing him too quickly or too rashly without giving the Brazilian sufficient time to train, learn and fit in.

Massimo Cellino, United’s owner, expects Milanic to bring Adryan on. Milanic would doubtless like to do the same with Zan Benedicic, a compatriot of his who has been largely anonymous since joining on loan from AC Milan. Like Adryan, there is a feeling that Benedicic is behind the curve and a little off the pace but he played in Monday’s development-squad game against Millwall and offers talent in reserve. Brian Montenegro and Dario Del Fabro were also involved in that match, part of an untapped group who Milanic has inherited. Skilful management of them could provide Leeds with telling strength in depth.

As with all new coaches, the immediate changes made by Milanic will be shifts in tactics and philosophy. They might be subtle or minor but changes will come. The 46-year-old was a disciple of 4-4-2 at Maribor, a system which is increasingly outdated but nonetheless proved highly effective in Slovenia’s PrvaLiga. He wanted to break from that system at Sturm Graz and was in the process of doing so when Leeds came calling. When I arrived at Graz I had an idea,” Milanic told the Austrian media. “But because of the pressure I went for results not beautiful football.” He said he favoured “much risk, hard-pressing, fully offensive attacking football.”

His one-time reliance on 4-4-2 is unlikely to dictate his approach at Elland Road. In Leeds he will discover that he lacks the players for that formation. United have forwards who can drift out wide and Casper Sloth who floats with intent but no out-and-out wingers. Moreover, the numbers and control offered by a three-man midfield of Bianchi, Austin and Lewis Cook patently worked to the strengths of other players against Huddersfield. Milanic will like what he sees when he watches the derby back.

He might also appreciate Redfearn’s work and in the first weeks of his reign, Milanic and Cellino have a shared responsibility to find a role which satisfies and makes the most of United’s academy manager. Milanic brought a new assistant with him to England, Novica Nikcevic, but he can lean on Redfearn as he settles into his job. There is presently no-one at Thorp Arch or Elland Road who understands the squad better.

Milanic is described as an intelligent, level-headed man and a coach steeped in football. He retired as a player through injury at the relatively young age of 31 and began coaching immediately, earning his UEFA Pro Licence last year.

Low on arrogance and willing to learn, his temperament should help him in a new country and a new division – a division he will be introduced to away at Brentford on Saturday. Felix Magath never figured out the Premier League or the Championship and has gone from Fulham already. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer went from Cardiff City just as quickly. The difference with Milanic is that his job at Leeds is not beginning with a bout of firefighting. The team is shaping up, the form is there. And so for Milanic is a genuine chance

Monday September 22nd. The Sabotage Times – Paul Sherman Thanks To Cellino, Leeds Are More United Than Ever

For the first time in a long time we boast an owner, sporting director, academy chief, squad & fans who all get being Leeds and a new coach with a great track record and hair coming in, marvellous.

Crisis club Leeds United, 10 points from 12, integrate 15 new players & youth, have awesome team spirit, play great football, disgrace! The club feels great right now, everybody pulling in the same direction, not that we are getting carried away….

The Owner

Massimo Cellino has transformed Leeds United, he has dragged the club from the gutter after it was raped, pillaged and stripped bare by Bates, Harvey and GFH, he understands the club and is LUFC to the core.

Cellino is creating a dynasty which will take LUFC back to Premiership, there will be ups and downs but we will get there on his watch.

Massimo was fully embraced by the fans on Saturday and said: “I wish to make these people happy. They are really beautiful with us.”

The president’s early comment in an unguarded conversation with a fan that has since become folklore and launched a thousand t-shirts “Fans are not for sale, they have feeling and you don’t buy feeling. You can buy a b**** for one night, but you don’t buy the love, my friend.” has proved absolutely correct, the fans love what he has done with the club.

The Sporting Director Niocola Salerno was an awesome signing, the best player finder I have ever seen and how the foreign lads he brought in have integrated and “got” Leeds United is remarkable.

Many players have frozen and failed to perform for the club over the years and, without exception, Salerno’s acquisitions have played with a confidence and not been intimidated – that is remarkable.

The new foreign players have, to a man, brought something new, exciting and different to the party and most important of all, they understand what it is to be a Leeds player.

The Academy Chief/Caretaker Neil Redfearn stepped into the breach for another stint as caretaker manager after the sacking of Hock which put the poor fella and his sidekick Junior out of their misery and ended a short lived era caused by the most bizarre decision of Cellino’s tenure.

Redfearn is a great bloke, a cornerstone of the club, an honest football man with a huge talent for nurturing and developing youth. He’s had a galvanising effect on the players, gained their respect immediately, understood the best way to utilise them, made bold team selections and substitutions and won 10 points out of the 12 available while he was in charge, placing some exhilarating football in the process.

The way Redders managed to integrate young talent like Cook, Byram & Mowatt with the new foreign lads is testament to his skills as a man manager.


Leeds Must Not Hire Another Wild Card Manager


Leeds fans haven’t watched a team playing with such confidence and aplomb since the heady days of O’Leary’s babies. The squad appear to get what it is to be “Leeds” and look like they are a tight-knit group who want to play for each other, they are enjoying it and we are relishing watching.

Bellusci is a nutter, with a ricket in in him, a footballing brain, skill & passion, a great buy and a cult figure. That free kick at Bournemouth and then Saturday! Watching the goals against Huddersfield, I’ve got to say, what the hell was Bellusci doing linking with Antenucci for the second just before half time, playing like an attacking midfielder and nearly adding an exquisite chip to his growing portfolio of worldies.

Antenucci delivers great link up play, works for team & has top quality finishing ability, upgrade on the fat boy with better attitude. On Antenucci, Redfearn said “He gives you energy up front and no ball to him is a bad ball. He’s got great touch, good awareness and he can finish. Stick him in front of goal and he’ll finish chances.” He also delivers pace and constant movement.

Silvestri is simply the best keeper we had for a long time.

Warnock is having a renaissance, showing why he was capped by England and his attitude looks spot on.

Austin is playing like he got knocked out, didn’t know who he was and Redders said tell him he’s a beast midfielder. Redfearn said “Rudy Austin was terrific too and he’s a better footballer than he gets credit for. He’s got touch and awareness and he’s just starting to get going again.

Bianchi is neat, tidy, effective and accurate, a top continuity player, a very important cog in the midfield.

Doukara is a beast who runs himself into the ground, with a trick, he delivers power & pace.

Cook will play for England, only 17 – how good will he be?

Mowatt, if he can stay fit will get better and better.

Sloth is a great young talent.

Pearce is being Pearce, putting his body on the line, has learnt to pass and demonstrates great spirit and a never say die attitude.

Sam Byram will get back to his best this season and most importantly stayed through the transfer window and is committed to the club.

Cooper is a top quality signing, will play a part this season, composed on the ball, strong defensively.

Berardi is undoubtedly talented but needs to cut out the rash challenged.

Sharp will get goals but maybe off the bench, depending on the style we lay going forward.

Dawson will play a part and Walters when fit.

Charlie Taylor waiting for his chance, will get blooded this season, he is very talented and one for the future.

Even Morison wants to succeed at the club and has expressed his commitment.

We wait, salivating to see Adryan, Montenegro, Benedicic & Del Fabro all yet to feature, highly rated, exciting top young talent.

Not to mention the rest of the squad: Murphy, Tonge, Stuart Taylor, White, Hunt, Norris, Wootton, Thompson & Ajose so I won’t.

Redfearn’s comment on the squad was “Before the game I told the players ‘no one of you is better than anyone else and that means you’ve got to run for each other.’ They did that and you could see it in the performance.”

The work put in on passing, movement, awareness and working for each other has paid off big time, the players are showing passion, teamwork and togetherness, that speaks volumes for their collective attitude and character.

Fans Leeds fans are in a state of euphoria, they support the team through thick and thin, the massive global posse is ready, willing and able to follow Sheriff Cellino as he leads us into a bright future.

The Future Darko Milanič will take over a club on the up, brimming with confidence, an almost unheard of situation for a new coach.

The former Yugoslavia and Slovenia international – a centre-back who retired through injury at the age of 31 – has a UEFA Pro Licence and is said to be fluent in several languages, including English.

The fact that Milanic, who will bring his assistant, Novica Nikčević, bought himself out of his contract and describes the Leeds job as a chance of a lifetime puts him in the same mindset as the players we have recruited, committed to the cause, with a point to prove. People saying the Slovenian league is Mickey Mouse are missing a major point, winning trophies at whatever level takes skill and ability, you can only beat what’s in front of you and in every competition there are winners and losers, a winning mentality delivers a winning record, period.

In the press conference to announce his departure from Strum Graz there was a huge amount of respect, the fact they held a presser shows what they think of him and they were full of praise for him as they presented him with a one way ticket to Leeds.

Redfearn must be involved with the first team, Massimo understands his importance, he harnessed the new talent, integrated the youth, built an unbelievable team spirit and has been brave, honest & successful, he must be part of the future of the club and deserves to be taken care of.

Redders must stay involved with the first team squad and be looked after financially, it’s a good idea to bring back Naylor to help with Academy.

I tweeted last night “Describe how you feel about Leeds United right now in 3 words, mine: Proud, excited, optimistic” and every single response was positive, it’s a long time since the army of Leeds fans felt that way.

Now watch the good times roll.

Monday 22nd of September Interview with journalist who knows Darlo Milanic well

Darko Milanic is a solid coach and a top guy, but don’t expect wonders

First of all, please forgive some spelling or grammar mistakes – but English is obviously not my native languague. I’ve received so many questions about Darko Milanic via Twitter (you can find my account here), so I’ve decided to sum them up in some way.

How is Darko personally? Darko is a top man, nice guy, can listen and seems to be intelligent. Sturm’s general manager described him as a Sir and I can confirm that without a doubt. His strengths are obviously not rhetoric skills. He admitted some problems with german language, even though he lived for neaMilanicandreporterrly ten years in Austria. The communication with the team failed sometimes. I had a great interview with him a few weeks ago. We talked about a hour and after we finished he took some time to chat with me. About himself as a person he said: „I am a coach who talks to the players. I provoke them, I am ironic, friendly – but always respectfull. I’m not self-regarding, when we lose I feel shit. I am my biggest critic. But that doesn’t make me depressive. When I wake up the next day, I am ready for work again.” Journalists will soon realize, that he has no problem talking with you and accepts harsh questions. He sees it as part of his job. That’s not self-evidently in our job. Look at that van Gaal bloke. Wouldn’t want to work with him tbh. How went his spell in Graz?

When Darko arrived in June last year, the euphoria in Graz was tremendous. Sturm had massive troubles the previous years and Darko’s record with NK Maribor was impressing. He won the league a few times (what is a must in Maribor – they clearly have the biggest budget in Slovenia, because Zlatko Zahovic is doing a wonderful job) but also qualified for Europa League group stage, what is something special to Maribor. I remember they took a point from Tottenham too. In this time, they sold some players for big money (big money in slovenian terms of course) which helped the club to develope. Now they find themselves in the Champions League, what is a massive achievement. So Darko arrived in Graz, and everyone was expecting big things, probably having a go for the title in long-range. But I talked to a respected slovenian journalist at this time and he said that we better should drop our expectations. And he was right. This leads me to the next point. What can you expect from Darko? Darko is a top-man, but his football is ultra conservative. He basically never changes system and tactics – in Graz, after no succes whatsover, he tried to change just after one year, because his striker Robert Beric left the club and the flat 4-4-2 wasn’t possible with the players left. Otherwise: ALWAYS flat 4-4-2, many long balls, stable defense but no spectacular football and very inconsistent results – can’t remember a winnig streak with 3 or 4 wins in a row. And after more than one year Darko wasn’t able to solve the massive problems in central midfield. He played with two defensive midfielder and the gap between them and attack was outrageously large. A problem he multiple confirmed himself. So no fluid game most of the times. And don’t expect Darko as one of those new generation german coaches, which are highly regarded in Austria too. I mean the Klopp-thing, with pressing, aggressive and direct offensive counter-attacking football. Darko is more of an old fashiond coach, what doesn’t has to be bad. With the right players, he can get some decent results, especially versus big teams. Sturm beat magnificent Red Bull Salzburg away, but struggled against small teams, when they had to dictate the game.

In Darkos defense, you have to say: Sturm’s squad is average, the atmosphere in the club isn’t good at all – but I think it is the same thing with Leeds United? I believe Darko isn’t a bad coach or so, but he needs a good invorment and players who are fitting his system – and I’m not sure this is the case with Leeds. He had no influence on the Leeds squad. His good friend Zlatko Zahovic, who is sporting director at Maribor, said to me in an interview two weeks ago: „Even Jose Mourinho would’nt be successfull with Sturm Graz. The players are not good enough.” So I hope your players are better. But what is 100 percent sure: Darko will work his socks of. It’s the opportunity of his life and if he fails, it won’t happen again. He knows that and he said that too. So don’t worry about getting a lazy coach just sitting on big money.

But…why did Leeds appoint him then???!!11 Darkos good friend and agent is Amir Ruznic. And this guy is close to Massimo Cellino. So this is probably the reason, why Darko is Leeds-Coach now. Ruznic also shipped Zan Benedicic to Leeds too, btw.

Why is Sturm sad about Darko leaving? I’ve explained what a nice guy Darko is. But that’s not the only reason. He played 7 years for the club, won the league at this time twice and even managed to win the Champions League group stage. He is not only a nice guy, but a legend. He finished his speach on Sunday by saying: „I will remain a fan of Sturm Graz for sure.” But on the other side you have to admit: Darko was the best paid coach in Sturm’s history. They even received some money for him and his assistend coach now. So there are many people in Graz, who think a new manager is a chance for the club.

Some quotes of my last interview with Darko.

„When I arrived in Graz, I had an idea. But because of the pressure I just went for the results, not for beautiful football.” „This football, that everyone wants to see in Austria, isn’t common in big leagues. Like much risk, hard pressing, fully offensive attacking football. But in the summer we trained fast football through the middle – thats how we want to play now.” „Young player are getting their chance in professional football too eary. You think that’s positive? No! They make it too fast to the big stage and stop to develope. When I train two years in a dark cellar, I’m hungry to achieve big things. Especially in England young player getting massive contracts. But why?” I made a reference to Emmanuel Frimong, who was on trial in Graz at this time. Darko said: „He earned millions too young. If that would’ve happend to me as a boy, I would have gone crazy. Completely normal!” Which of his former players could join Leeds? Darko trusts some players. When he left Maribor, he took his best striker Rober Beric with him. Now Beric moved to Rapid Vienna, so no deal soon. Would have been logic, because his agent is also Ruznic. But probably you can expect one of Nikola Vujadinovic, Anel Hadzic, Marco Djuricin, Michael Madl or Sandi Lovric to join in the next few windows. He loves some of them, especially Madl and Djuricin. But beware – I’m just guessing.

Sunday 21st of September Milanic to be named new Leeds boss  Darko Milanic will be named as Leeds United’s new head coach tomorrow after quitting his job at Sturm Graz during an emotional press conference in Austria this afternoon.


Darko Milanic with his flight tickets to Leeds/Bradford as he jets in to be new Leeds coach

The Slovenian announced that he was leaving Graz 24 hours after handling their squad for the final time in a 1-0 win over SK Ried and he is due to fly to England tomorrow to formally sign a deal at Elland Road.

Milanic – a former Sturm Graz player – described the chance to coach Leeds as an opportunity from “another world”, saying: “Who knows when such an offer will come again?”

Leeds have been working on his appointment since he and owner Massimo Cellino met for initial talks seven days ago and his release was secured on Friday after the 46-year-old activated a clause allowing him to buy his way out of his contract at Graz.

He agreed to take charge of the Austrian Bundesliga side during their league clash with Ried yesterday but the terms of his deal with Leeds were already in place and his arrival will end United’s three-week spell without a head coach.

Milanic said: “It was not an easy decision to go. I really wanted to stay here longer. “Sturm is my club and here I experienced great times as a player and a coach. I won new friends. But then an offer came from a different league, from another world. “This is a tremendous opportunity that I had to accept simply because who knows when such an offer will come again?”

Academy manager Neil Redfearn has worked as caretaker of Leeds since the sacking of David Hockaday on August 28 and United signed off his temporary reign with a classy 3-0 victory against Huddersfield Town yesterday afternoon.

Cellino ruled Redfearn out of the running for the full-time head coach’s job last weekend but promised that the 49-year-old would retain some involvement in first-team affairs.


The emotional press conference which I watched where Milanic said his goodbyes

Milanic, however, is understood to be bringing his assistant at Graz – Serbian Novica Nikcevic – to Elland Road and Leeds are yet to comment on where Redfearn will figure in the new coaching structure.

The deal with Milanic concludes Cellino’s extended search for a new coach in which he spoke with former West Bromwich Albion boss Steve Clarke and came close to appointing Oscar Garcia, the new boss of Watford.

United’s owner also had discussions with ex-Leeds manager Simon Grayson – currently in charge of League One Preston – though the club continue to insist that Grayson was never formally offered the job.

Milanic, meanwhile, has quit his job in Austria after only one full season in charge of Graz, a term which ended in a mid-table finish.

Most of his success as a coach came during five years at Slovenian side Maribor who won nine domestic trophies with Milanic in charge. He also claimed the league title during a previous reign a ND Gorica.

The former Yugoslavia and Slovenia international – a centre-back who retired through injury at the age of 31 – has a UEFA Pro Licence and is said to be fluent in several languages, including English.

His contract at Graz ran until 2016 but included a provision allowing him to sever the deal for a fixed fee.

He will inherit a United side who moved into the top half of the table after a convincing win over Huddersfield and have improved under Redfearn’s guidance.

The club took 10 points from his four league games in charge and will travel to Brentford next Saturday for Milanic’s first game as head coach.

Sept 20th. Leeds make official approach for Milanic. Leeds have approached Sturm Graz head coach Darko Milanic in regards to the managerial vacancy at Elland Road, the Austrian club have announced.

The Yorkshire outfit are yet to replace Dave Hockaday – sacked in August after delivering only one Sky Bet Championship victory during his 70-day tenure – but Slovenian tactician Milanic has been asked to take the job.


Milanic looks odds on to be Leeds next coach but he has a tough win ratio to follow In Redfearn

Shortly before Sturm Graz beat SV Ried 1-0 in the Austrian Bundesliga on Saturday, a statement published on their official Facebook page read: “Darko Milanic has received an offer from Leeds. “Sturm have also been presented with a request from England. But now we concentrate fully on the game. We will say more tomorrow.”

Should Milanic, 46, fly to Leeds in the coming days and subsequently agree to work under the club’s ambitious Italian owner Massimo Cellino, his first game in charge would be next Saturday’s trip to Brentford.

The 11th-placed Whites are unbeaten under the supervision of caretaker manager Neil Redfearn, who oversaw a 3-0 home victory over Huddersfield on Saturday and who is likely to be closely consulted by Milanic on first-team team matters during the early weeks.

As a player, Milanic captained Slovenia at Euro 2000 and, upon turning to management, guided Maribor to four Slovenian league titles and three Slovenian Cup wins.

He joined Sturm Graz on a three-year contract in June 2013, guiding the Styrian club to fifth-placed finish in 2013-14.

Die Schwoazn currently lie seventh in the Bundesliga table.

Speaking during the match against Ried, Sturm general manager Gerhard Goldbrich told “Milanic has a tremendous opportunity in England. We do not want to punish him.”

Sat Sept 20th. Whites can make play offs Neil Redfearn sees no reason why Leeds cannot finish in the Championship play-off places after taking 10 points out of 12 during his spell as caretaker head coach.

Redfearn’s name was repeatedly chanted during the 3-0 West Yorkshire derby victory over Huddersfield, but he looks set to make way for Sturm Graz boss Darko Milanic if the Slovenian’s talks with owner Massimo Cellino prove conclusive.

Goals by Rudi Austin, Mirco Antenucci and Souleymane Doukara gave Leeds the bragging rights over Town, although the victory was soured by the 73rd-minute dismissal of right-back Gaetano Berardi, who collected a second yellow card and his second sending-off of the season.

Yet Redfearn did not let that dampen his mood, and said: “This squad can threaten the top six. I’ve told the players the sky is the limit. We were excellent from first whistle to last.“Antenucci has been outstanding in our last two games. He has such energy and awareness and his finishing was great. He did really well to keep the ball down when it came to him off the bar from Guiseppe Bellusci’s shot. “Rudi Austin has power and pace. He is excelling because the football we are playing suits his game.”

Should Milanic arrive at Elland Road, Redfearn is expected to resume his duties as academy manager, although initially he is likely to be closely consulted on first-team matters. However, the caretaker coach insisted he was none the wiser about events. “I had a 20-minute chat with Massimo beforehand but it was all about the game,” he said. “Whatever happens will happen. I have enjoyed myself and done myself no harm. The club is in a better position than it was.”

Huddersfield manager Chris Powell is still awaiting his first win since replacing Mark Robins and he knows the Terriers need to show much more sharpness in front of goal and cut out errors. To complete Town’s misery, substitute Jon Stead shot over the bar with only Leeds goalkeeper Marco Silvestri to beat six minutes from the end.

“There is no question of them lacking heart,” said Powell. “That will never happen with one of my sides. “But I need to iron out the basic mistakes we are making and perhaps bring in a couple of new faces. “There is work I can do with this squad, which needs freshening up a bit. I was happy with certain aspects of our play but we didn’t take our chances. Basic errors are proving costly and the second goal was a real killer.”


Doukara fires home his second in two games


Antenucci continues his rich vein of form – two in two


Austin celebrates Leeds first

Sept 20th. Leeds 3-0 Huddersfield Town . Leeds United: Silvestri, Berardi, Bellusci, Pearce, Warnock, Austin (Tonge 90), Cook, Bianchi, Sloth (Byram 73), Doukara (Morison 85), Antenucci. Subs (not used): S Taylor, Cooper, Adryan, Sharp Report from YP. United’s academy manager is set to make way for Darko Milanic in the next 24 hours with Sturm Graz boss Milanic on the verge of becoming Leeds’ next head coach.

Milanic should arrive in England tomorrow to sign a contract and take control of a side who have won three games out of four under Redfearn’s command.

A screaming Rudy Austin strike and a Mirco Antenucci finish just before half-time set Leeds up for a victory in today’s derby at Elland Road.

The two sides sparred cautiously during the opening stages but Austin brought the game to life with a blistering strike on 20 minutes.

The midfielder picked up the rebound after Joel Lynch drove a careless clearance against the legs of Antenucci and smashed a shot from a difficult angle straight past goalkeeper Alex Smithies.

An ordinary Huddersfield side laboured throughout the first half and produced nothing better than half-chances for Nahki Wells and Harry Bunn, both of which flew wide.

And Leeds went further ahead in injury-time as defender Giuseppe Bellusci led a counter attack from the edge of his own box and attempted to finish it off with a fine chip which smashed against the face of the bar.

Antenucci was alive to the rebound and buried it with an awkward finished which flew in off the frame of the goal.

Huddersfield made a stronger start to the second half and Bellusci’s intervention prevented Wells from steering home a low cut-back but Leeds were denied a penalty when Antenucci’s strike seemed to hit the arm of Mark Hudson.

Doukara eventually put United out of sight on 70 minutes when he took a clever pass from Austin, cut inside his marker and lashed a low effort beyond the reach of Smithies to round off a fine performance.

The afternoon was soured slightly by a late red card for Gaetano Berardi, however, after his foul on Bunn drew a second booking and his second dismissal of the season.

Sat 20th of September. Milanic to be named new boss within 48 hours LEEDS UNITED expect to name Darko Milanic as their new head coach in the next 48 hours after the Slovenian negotiated a deal to sever his contract with Austrian club Sturm Graz. Milanic, 46, has secured his release from Graz and is due to travel to England tomorrow (Sept 21) to finalise terms with United owner Massimo Cellino. The Slovenian was lined up for the job at Leeds at the start of this week and he will assume control at Elland Road after taking charge of Graz for the final time against SV Josko Ried this evening. (Sept 20) Milanic is understood to have exercised a clause allowing him to buy his way out of a three-year deal with Graz and he should put pen to paper on a contract at Leeds over the weekend. Leeds have been without a head coach since sacking David Hockaday on August 28 and Milanic came into the reckoning after Cellino failed to lure Oscar Garcia to the club at the start of the international break.

Academy manager Neil Redfearn will take charge of today’s Yorkshire derby against Huddersfield Town – his fourth game in charge – before making way for Milanic to assume control of the senior squad early next week. Milanic has been head coach of Sturm Graz for the past year, enduring a mixed run of results which saw the club finish in a mid-table position in the Austrian Bundesliga last season.

He previously enjoyed a highly successful spell in charge of Slovenian side Maribor, winning nine domestic trophies during five seasons as boss.

Weds 17th of September. Milanic playes down offer of Leeds job DARKO MILANIC has played down talk of him becoming Leeds United’s next head coach, saying he is yet to receive an offer from the Elland Road club. Milanic, who coaches Sturm Graz in the Austrian Bundesliga, has emerged as the leading candidate for the job at Leeds after speaking with United owner Massimo Cellino. The two men are understood to have discussed the vacancy on Sunday, though Sturm Graz say they have had no official contact from Leeds and Milanic claimed today that he was “focused 100 per cent” on his current position. In football there are always rumors,” Milanic told Sturm Graz’s official website. “But to me there is no offer from another club. I’m focused 100 per cent on the job at SK Sturm.” A club statement added: “To bring clarity to the matter, there (has been) no contact between the clubs.” Milanic is under contract until 2016 and only a year into a job he took on at Sturm Graz last summer. Leeds would be required to pay compensation to bring him to England. The 46-year-old – an ex Yugoslavia and Slovenia international – moved to Austria after a successful five-year spell in charge of Slovenian side Maribor, a period in which he won nine domestic trophies.

Cellino wants Milanic to replace David Hockaday,who was sacked as United head coach last month after only six games in charge. The Italian made a move for Oscar Garcia before the recent international break but saw Garcia opt for the head coach’s job at Watford. Alex Sabella, the man who led Argentina into this year’s World Cup and played for Leeds in the 1980s, is believed to have expressed a firm interest in the job at Elland Road but is unlikely to come into the reckoning unless Cellino’s bid to land Milanic fails.

AFC Bournemouth v Leeds United

Leeds celebrate their first away win of the season


Doukara celebrates his first away goal of the season

Weds Sep 17th. Redfearn – “We showed mental toughness” Caretaker head coach Neil Redfearn praised his United side after Tuesday night’s result at Bournemouth and insists they showed mental toughness. United were 1-0 down at the break but they rallied in the second half to put in a superb display to come out 3-1 winners over the south coast side. “It was an excellent performance,” said the caretaker boss. It was a great away performance. “Scoring three goals away from home always takes some doing, especially at Bournemouth. “I didn’t really see it coming after the first half, I thought Bournemouth were excellent during the first half-an-hour. “They play 4-4-2 and they get the ball into wide areas and their wingers get balls into the box. They are bright and are inventive from set-plays. “We were hanging on, we were at full tilt to stay with them. In the end I think that is what got us the result. “The fact is that we had the mental toughness to tough it out when it was 1-0 and it wasn’t so good for us. I thought that the lads applied themselves really well for the full 90 minutes.” United’s goalscorers on the evening were Souleymane Doukara, Giuseppe Bellusci and Mirco Antennuci and Redfearn reserved praise for all three. “It was a well timed run for Souleymane,” said Redfearn. “He kept his composure and he knew where he wanted to it. His execution was different class to be fair to him. “Giuseppe showed great technique to get the ball up and over the wall like he did to put it in the top corner. He is a tough cookie and he doesn’t give up, he is a warrior and a battler. He plays a little bit closer to the edge but there are a lot of top players like that. “I thought Mirco was our best player on Tuesday night. I thought his work rate and endeavour were excellent. I thought they all played well but he has got touch and awareness and I think he is underrated.” It is clear to see that Neil has faith in the ability the United squad possesses. “The good thing is this mental toughness that is developing,” added Redfearn. They are doing it as a team. “Even when they are down in games they know they can get back into it and that is a great trait to have. I still believe the process will be two steps forward and one step back but they are having a right go. “They are trying to play and they are playing some good stuff. There are two types of bravery, one to throw your body in the way and secondly to be brave to play on the ball. They are doing both.” Redfearn is now unbeaten in three caretaker matches in charge and he says he loving working with the United squad. “I feel comfortable in the role,” stated the caretaker head coach. “I love working with players and the lads have responded. “I want them to play and I want them to have the ball. I want them to shown people how good they are as footballers because they are. “I’m part of that process and it is great.”


Bellusci celebrates his screamer in front of the Leeds fans


Doukara slots home the equaliser


Antenucci scores the first of hopefully many Leeds goals – He works tirelessly up front, a really good player


The Italian deservedly milks the applause

Tuesday 16th of September Bournemouth 1-3 Leeds United. Leeds United: Silvestri, Berardi, Bellusci, Pearce, Warnock (Cooper 76), Cook, Austin, Bianchi, Doukara, Sharp (Bryam 76), Antenucci. Unused substitutes: S Taylor, Wootton, Tonge, Sloth, Adryan. Booked: Bellusci Goal: Surnam (6) B’mouth Doukara (67), Bellusci (81), Antenucci (90) Andrew Surman’s sixth minute strike wasn’t enough as AFC Bournemouth were beaten 3-1 by Leeds United in the Sky Bet Championship. Finishing with a well-placed effort, it was Surman’s first strike for the club since December 2005. It appeared the Cherries would go on to extend their lead, but just one goal separated the two sides up until the hour mark. Although they created few chances, Leeds were still in the game and pulled themselves level in the 67th minute through Souleymaine Doukara. The home side pushed for another goal, only to find themselves restricted to a number of long range shots. However, it was the Whites who got the winner, with defender Guiseppe Bellusci stepping up to score a stunning free-kick in the final ten minutes. Marco Antenucci then added a third for Leeds, finishing off a last minute counter attack in clinical fashion. Just as they did in the corresponding fixture last season, the Cherries started at a frantic pace and both Ryan Fraser and Steve Cook went close early on. In the end, it took just six minutes for them to open the scoring through Surman. The ball broke for the returning midfielder on the edge of the area and he converted in style with a fantastic left-footed finish. They certainly weren’t letting up and Matt Ritchie saw two efforts saved, including a fine stop at full-stretch to tip the ball behind for a corner. A speculative and wayward drive from Leeds midfielder Tommaso Bianchi was about as good as it got for the visitors in the first half. Although there were less clear chances, the second period had a more frenetic feel. Ritchie appeared to have a good claim for a foul on the edge of the box.
However, referee Andy D’Urso waved played on and the Cherries held on to their lead until the 65th minute. Doukara got free of his marker and managed to squeeze his strike just beyond the reach of Lee Camp in front of the travelling fans. Billy Sharp had a chance moments later in a similar position, but saw the ball roll wide and behind for a goal kick. Having seen Harry Arter and Ritchie try their luck unsuccessfully from distance, Bellusci completed the turn around with an inch perfect free-kick in the dying moments. Yann Kermorgant had a header saved in a late rally, which also saw Adam Smith and Brett Pitman come off the bench. However, Antenucci held his nerve after going one-on-one with Camp in the final minute to make it 3-1. Phil Hay tweet : Redfearn’s highest praise was saved for Silvestri. Said he kept Leeds in it a 1-0 because a second goal might have have killed the game. Redfearn’s verdict – “murdered” for half an hour, brilliant for the last half hour. Exactly right. Redfearn thinks he’ll be handing Leeds on in a “far better state” than he found them. Says he’s just happy to be in the thick of things. This was a very good win, the first on the road. Good to see Doukara and Antenucci get goals. Strikers live on goals for confidence and they should take this into the Huddersfield game.

Tuesday 16th of September Cellino no time for agents United president Massimo Cellino has insisted that he won’t be influenced by agents as the search continues to appoint a new head coach at the club. The president has been inundated with applications for the vacant role but he says the appointment will be Massimo Cellino gallerymade on Leeds United’s terms. “There are many people in football being mentioned to me and the club,” said the president. “But I can say that we will not be influenced by agents. “We have people that we want to speak to about the head coach position but this will not be done through agents. “Leeds United is a big club and there are many people who want to be the head coach, but we have to make the right decision for Leeds United. “We are working hard to make the right choice.” Neil Redfearn has been in caretaker charge of the first team since the dismissal of David Hockaday last month, and will be present in the dugout at Bournemouth on Tuesday evening. We’ve wasted plent of time by appointing one clown. Get this appointment right Cellino, because the guy will have his work cut out with some of the poor signings you have made. There are also some very good players there and some others with huge potential.

Tuesday 16th of September. Milanic to be new boss ? According to The Sun, Massimo Cellino is chasing Slovenian coach Darko Milanic, current coach of Sturm Graz in the Austrian Bundesliga. (See his profle below) The Sun also broke The Hockaday story, so there could be some merit in it. This is what Phil Hay tweeted : I understand that Cellino and Milanic spoke on Sunday night. Deal isn’t done but he’s the coach Cellino wants. #lufc Obviously Sturm Graz have said they’ve had no approach from Leeds so there’s work to be done but Milanic seems to be the one.

Darko Milanič (born 18 December 1967 – age 46) is a football head coach and retired Slovenian football defender. He is the current manager of Austrian Bundesliga side Sturm Graz. He formerly managed Slovenian side Maribor where he won nine trophies as manager. As a player he represented both Yugoslavia and Slovenia at international level. Club career:


Darko Milanic being tipped to be the new Leeds coach

Born in Izola, Milanič began his football career with local side Izola. At 17 he was signed by Partizan, where he became a notable defender. After the 1992–93 season he moved to the Austrian side Sturm Graz. He played there successfully for eight years and won several trophies.

International career

During his spell at Partizan he earned five caps for Yugoslavia.[1] He also earned 42 caps for Slovenia, was the captain of the national team and represented his country at the Euro 2000 championship.

Coaching career

After his football career, he turned into coaching. He started his coaching career at his hometown club MNK Izola. After that, he was a coach of Primorje and an assistant coach in SK Sturm Graz.


During the 2007-8 season he was appointed head coach of Gorica, where he helped guide them to a 3rd place finish in the Slovenian PrvaLiga, they were however knocked out of the UEFA Cup after losing over 2 legs to FK Rabotnički.


On 1 June 2008 he was appointed as the head coach of Maribor, with Zlatko Zahovič the Sporting Director and Ante Šimundža was Milanič’ Assistant Head Coach.[2] Where he won the Slovenian PrvaLiga Championship during his first year during the 2008-9 season. In May 2010, Maribor won the Slovenian Cup. After winnning this trophy, Darko Milanič became the first coach that have won all three domestic trophies in Slovenian club football, having won the Slovenian League and the Slovenian Supercup before that.[3] He has achieved that in only two seasons.

At the beginning of the 2012–13 season, Maribor played in their fourth successive Supercup final. The match was played on 8 July 2012 at the Ljudski vrt stadium. Unlike in the previous two seasons, when the club finished as the runners-up, they managed to win it this time, beating their “eternal rivals” Olimpija 2–1.[4] This was their second Supercup title.

In 2012, he was selected as the Slovenian manager of the year, winning the league, cup and supercup.[5]

Milanič led Maribor to the group stages of the 2012–13 UEFA Europa League as one of the losers in the play-off round of the 2012–13 UEFA Champions League, where they were eliminated by Dinamo Zagreb.[6][7] This was the second season in a row, in which Maribor qualified to the Europa League main stages. They managed to get four points this time,[8] defeating Panathinaikos[9] and drawing with Tottenham Hotspur,[10] both at home. Maribor confirmed their 11th league title on 11 May 2013, when they defeated their eternal rivals Olimpija Ljubljana 2–1.[11] They again defeated Celje in the 2013 Cup Final, securing their fourth Double in the history.[12]

Sturm Graz

On 4 June 2013, he became Head Coach of SK Sturm Graz in the Austrian Bundesliga. One of his first signings was Striker Robert Berić who he signed from former club NK Maribor. Sturm Graz were knocked out of the Europa League after losing 1-0 on aggregate in the 2nd Qualifying round to Breiðablik UBK.[13]He led his side to a 5th place finish during his first season during the 2013/14 season.



Total titles: 11


Yugoslav First League:

Winner (1): 1986–87

Runner-up (2): 1987–88, 1991–92

Austrian Bundesliga:

Winner (2): 1997–98, 1998-99

Runner-up (3): 1994–95, 1995–96, 1999–00


Yugoslav Cup:

Winner (2): 1988–89, 1991–92

Austrian Cup:

Winner (3): 1996, 1997, 1999

Runner-up (1): 1998

Austrian Supercup:

Winner (3): 1996, 1998, 1999

Runner-up (1): 1997

Note: Milanič has won all of his titles playing for Partizan (Yugoslavia) and Sturm Graz (Austria).


Total titles: 9


Slovenian Championships:

Winner (4): 2008–09, 2010–11, 2011–12, 2012–13

Runner-up (1): 2009–10


Slovenian Cup:

Winner (3): 2009–10, 2011–12, 2012–13

Runner-up (1): 2010–11

Slovenian Supercup:

Winner (2): 2009, 2012

Runner-up (2): 2010, 2011

Note: To date, Milanič has won all of his coaching titles as the manager of Maribor (Slovenia).

Mon Sept 15th. Cellino rules out Redfearn for job. Massimo Cellino last night ruled out the possibility of naming Neil Redfearn as Leeds United’s next head coach, saying he would do “too much damage” by removing Redfearn from the club’s academy. United’s owner will give Redfearn responsibility for tomorrow’s league game at Bournemouth and could leave him in charge for Saturday’s Yorkshire derby with Huddersfield Town but the 49-year-old no longer appears to be in contention to succeed David Hockaday.


Redfearn ruled out of Leeds job by Cellino

Redfearn – Leeds’ academy manager and their caretaker boss for the past two matches – was an outside contender for the head coach’s job following Hockaday’s sacking on August 28 but he came into the frame after approaches by Cellino to Steve Clarke and Oscar Garcia came to nothing. Redfearn’s first game as caretaker ended in a 1-0 win over Bolton Wanderers and a second-half goal from Alex Mowatt earned Leeds a 1-1 draw at Birmingham City on Saturday.

Cellino said Redfearn was an “outstanding coach, a guy who knows how good teams should play” but voiced concern about the implications of ending Redfearn’s successful reign as academy boss. The Italian confirmed that he was in the process of pursuing another candidate, someone he described as a “foreign coach, an international coach”, but said he would look for United’s new head coach to give Redfearn some involvement in first-team affairs.

The former Barnsley midfielder occupied the dual role of development-squad manager and first-team coach during Brian McDermott’s 13-month reign at Elland Road. He resumed his role at the academy full-time after McDermott’s dismissal in May. “Neil’s very busy with the academy and I need him in that job,” Cellino said. “He’s an outstanding coach, a guy who knows how good teams should play, but it would do too much damage to the academy if he stays as (head) coach. “He’ll be coach at Bournemouth, 100 per cent, and maybe on Saturday as well. But I’ve got ideas about what I’ll do. I’m thinking about a foreign coach, an international coach who I can work with. We need to meet and talk but I think he could be good for us.”

Cellino spent the recent international break in Miami, returning in time to watch the second half of Saturday’s match at St Andrews, and he said the fortnight had given him space to consider his options for replacing Hockaday. The 58-year-old spoke with Clarke immediately after sacking Hockaday but was not convinced that the former West Bromwich Albion boss wanted the job at Elland Road. He then missed out on Garcia after Watford stepped in to name the Spaniard as their new head coach two weeks ago.

Leeds have received numerous applications for the head coach’s position, including expressions of interest from ex-Norwich City manager Chris Hughton and former Middlesbrough and Celtic boss Tony Mowbray. “It needs to be the right man,” Cellino said, “but I want Neil (Redfearn) to be involved with the first team in some way. He knows the young players, the players like him and they respect him. I respect him. The academy is his responsibility but I want it to be a team of coaches. He’s shown that he knows what he’s doing but I can’t take him away from the academy completely.”

On Cellino’s decision, Redfearn said: “It is nothing to me either way. I am happy working for the club. “Obviously, Massimo understands how things work as regards setting managers and coaches on. He knows all that side of it and I trust in what he does and his decisions. “I am sure he has got the club’s best interests at heart and I have got a healthy respect for him and he respects me, that’s obvious. “It’s not about one person, it is about Leeds United Football Club. That is the most important thing. Whichever way we go, is the way we go.”

Whoever is handed the coaching role is likely to work closely with Redfearn, whose sterling work has opened the door for an increasing number of young players to be elevated to first-team level, with the 49-year-old instrumental in the development of the likes of Lewis Cook and Alex Mowatt. Cellino has spoken of United’s new head coach giving Redfearn increased involvement and it is something he would relish.

He added: “Last year, I didn’t get involved with the first team with Brian and Nigel and I was just really with the development squad. If it means a little bit more of a closer link with the first team and coaching with the first team, then great. “Obviously, we have signed a lot of young players as well from overseas. So that group is a really important one. “If we are going to get this group in and around the first team squad, it is important they are looked after and it works closely with the first team.”



Brum go 1-0 up with another mistake from Bellusci

Sat 13th of Sept. Birmingham 1-1 Leeds United  Leeds United: Silvestri, Berardi, Pearce, Bellusci, Warnock, Cook, Mowatt, Bianchi, Sloth (Austin 63), Sharp (Doukara 63), Antenucci. Subs (not used): S Taylor, Wootton, Cooper, Tonge, Adryan. Referee: S Duncan. Booked: Thomas, Gray (Birmingham). Att: 15,266 (Leeds 2,654). Report from YP Alex Mowatt’s second-half goal earned Leeds United a late draw at St Andrews. The United midfielder stroked home a chance 14 minutes from time to give the club their first point away from home this season and avert a disappointing defeat. Leeds trailed for much of the game after Wesley Thomas’ 37th-minute strike took advantage of poor defending from Giuseppe Bellusci but Mowatt’s reply made the most of heavy pressure from United. The result left Leeds unbeaten in two games since owner Massimo Cellino sacked former head coach David Hockaday and installed academy boss Neil Redfearn as caretaker on August 28.


Mowatt worked hard after being overlooked by Hockday and took his goal well

Redfearn made only one change to the team who beat Bolton Wanderers before the international break, replacing Scott Wootton with Gaetano Berardi at right-back, but Leeds failed to get into the first half.

A low-key contest produced few chances but Birmingham had the better of them, with Brek Shea testing Marco Silvestri from long range early on and Clayton Donaldson curling a low finish wide.


A delay at St Andrews as they have to mend United’s nets

Giuseppe Bellusci was lucky not to turn the ball into his own net when his flicked header from Darren Randolph’s long clearance carried inches beyond Silvestri’s goal and a wayward effort from Mirco Antenucci at the other end was United’s only meaningful effort on goal before the break.

City eventually snatched the lead on 37 minutes when Bellusci was punished for failing to track Thomas’ run, leaving the striker to control Shea’s pass and stroke the ball past an exposed Silvestri.

Redfearn chose not to change his team at half-time and his they almost fell further behind as Shea dinked a back-header wide and Donaldson lashed a shot into the side netting from a tight angle.

But United came into the game as the hour approached and Alex Mowatt’s left-footed strike brought a diving save from Darren Randolph, and they dominated much of the second period without testing City’s keeper regularly.

Substitute Demarai Gray came close to a second goal for Birmingham but saw his 70th-minute attempt beaten away by Silvestri but Mowatt claimed a point 14 minutes from time when he pounced on a poor clearance, stepped away from his marker and slipped the ball coolly to Randolph’s left. City came closest to forcing a winner during an unexpectedly frantic finish when substitute Demarai Gray skipped away from United’s defence, fired a shot through Silvestri but saw Jason Pearce recover to clear the ball from under his crossbar. A game of two halves with United poor in the first, looking unbalanced and tactically naïve, but much better in the second. The system doesn’t suit Blily Sharp with no width leaving the hitman living on scraps. After the introduction of Doukara and Austin Leeds looked a different preposition. Brum will rue their penalty that wasn’t awarded but Leeds should have had one before that. when Bianchi was assaulted in the box. A point was probably a fair result but most Championship grounds we go to will be tougher than St Andrews and it must be slightly ominous that we gained only a point  from a team who had a shocking home record last season. Giuseppi Bellusci so far has cost us a defeat at Watford and a goal at Birmingham, definitely not showing why spent £1.6M on him. He will collect more cards than most of us at Christmas. Liam Cooper will be justifiably disappointed if he doesn’t get the nod alongside Pearce at Bournemouth. At right full, Berardi is functional but Byram gives us so much more including penetrating runs into the opposition half and more pace. His three match suspension has now been served.  In Lewis Cook we have a real find, a player who can ghost past a player in midfield and has a real eye for a pass. However, we are a long way from the finished article and Cellino’s farting around with Hockday and dithery approach to finding a replacement is not helping our cause one iota. I can’t fault Redfearn  who has filled in admirably thus far but he is not the answer. A lot of work still to be done.

Saturday 13th of September. The League risks much by turfing out Cellino – Hay Dr Sandra Lepore holds the cards, whoever she is and wherever she is. The rest is hot air until she dictates whether Massimo Cellino and the Football League are going back to court.


Cellino will receive no favours from Shaun Hrvey

If Lepore concludes that Cellino’s failure to pay import duty on a private yacht was an oversight, a misunderstanding or a genuine mistake then the Football League will leave him be. Or at any rate back off until another court case gives it cause to surround him again. He should know by now that nothing he does will slip below the governing body’s radar.

Were Cellino ever to forget that, Shaun Harvey’s comments in Manchester on Tuesday are in black-and-white for him to read. There were two ways of looking at the chief executive of the Football League hypothesising about a situation in which Leeds United’s majority shareholder is barred from owning the club – his organisation’s view, which is that Harvey was simply repeating well-established facts, and the view of the club who saw his remarks as “disruptive” – but it served a purpose: reminding Cellino and everyone else that analysis of Lepore’s pending judgement is high on the Football League’s ‘to do’ list.

The League hasn’t let it slip, as if the League ever would, but the delay in releasing a written verdict on Cellino’s conviction for tax evasion caused others to forget; to forget that the League tried and failed to use the case to block his takeover and to forget that Cellino’s successful appeal relied on a judgement which hasn’t appeared and could undermine him yet.

He’s been five months in the job at Elland Road and the club has changed beyond recognition. In countless respects, there is no going back.

They say that Cellino rarely speaks about Lepore’s absent judgement (expected in June but still not published). He has ideas about what he will do if the Sardinian judge classes his offence as dishonest and the Football League bars him from owning United but the club don’t intend to cross that bridge until they have to. Nor will Cellino roll over and die. His legal team were in contact with the Football League after Harvey aired his thoughts and Leeds believe the governing body will stray into “uncharted territory” by trying to enforce a sale of the Italian’s shares.

You get a picture of Cellino and Harvey as sworn enemies but the reality is rather different. The two men have been in regular contact since Cellino bought Leeds in April. Harvey spoke on the club’s behalf during their recent court case against West Yorkshire Police and, as United’s former chief executive, he has answered questions from Cellino about the proposed repurchase of Elland Road. As recently as last month he attended at a meeting between Cellino and Ken Bates at which Cellino began resolving the legal dispute stemming from Bates’ sacking as club president. All of this occurred with the approval of the Football League.

Harvey and his board will say that the case against Cellino – assuming Lepore gives them one – isn’t personal; that rules are rules. But its rules on owners and directors were weakened by Cellino’s appeal against the first attempt to block his takeover. That legal challenge proved that the Owners and Directors Test is flimsy and inconsistent – open to interpretation and vulnerable to the technicalities of foreign legal systems. It is probably true that a UK conviction for tax evasion would have wrecked Cellino’s buy-out but English football is flooded with owners from abroad. Even if the Football League believes in its principles, the regulations are not without grey areas. They also failed to prevent the shambles Cellino inherited at Leeds.

The spirit of the Owners and Directors Test is not in dispute. There is tacit agreement across the game that leaving clubs in the hands of unscrupulous individuals is a bad idea. Criminal convictions point to a lack of scruples and as such, seem as good a way as any of weeding the chancers out. But not every chancer has a court record or a prison number. Gulf Finance House had neither.

It is easy to be clever after the event but it would be fascinating to read the business plan which GFH submitted to the Football League before it bought Leeds in 2012 – specifically the section in which the bank detailed its plan to load the club with debt and sell it on for a profit within months. That was GFH’s strategy, whatever story it spun to the League. So when the League talks about safeguarding clubs, its focus on Elland Road is coming one takeover too late.

And when it comes to it, instructing Cellino to sell up and clear off would be a difficult order to enforce. Carson Yeung was jailed in March but he still has shares in Birmingham City. City remain in the hands of the company Yeung used to buy them in the first place. If Cellino is told to sell, who does he sell to? Is the Football League aware of prospective buyers who will invest in shares at the market rate, take on the liabilities Cellino took on, accept the way he has restructured Leeds and – the bottom line – run the club properly?

There was talk of interest from a Malaysian consortium in March – a group who some in Cellino’s camp think Harvey pointed in GFH’s direction while Cellino’s takeover was pending – but Leeds don’t need interested consortiums. They’d need a cast-iron buyer for a distressed seller whose interest in funding day-to-day operations would diminish rapidly. That was the scenario when GFH pulled up the drawbridge and waited to sell Leeds to Cellino. The fall-out was extraordinary, a stain on the club and the sport.

Cellino’s situation is unique and unprecedented insofar as the League sanctioned his takeover knowing full well that it might find itself trying to disqualify him again within a matter of months. Had he lost his appeal, Cellino would never have been seen again but he is here and in place, the owner of a very fragile club. Unless the Football League has a better alternative, it risks much by fighting him.

There are other ways of monitoring Cellino’s ownership: through HMRC, through audited annual accounts, through the restrictions of Financial Fair Play. One of GFH’s legacies will be an FFP transfer embargo in January, a fact which itself asks questions of the approval process. No matter Lepore’s verdict, the priority at Leeds should be good governance. Turfing Cellino out a few months after approving his takeover is a strange definition of that.


Speaking of Ken Bates, the fight over his dismissal as Leeds United president has been settled out of court.

The club’s former owner says an agreement was reached between him and Massimo Cellino last week and now needs only an official court stamp.

“We’re back on kissy-kissy terms,” Bates said.

“We look forward to working very closely with Leeds United.”

‘We’ would appear to be Radio Yorkshire, the station launched by Bates earlier this year. The 82-year-old did not say what the terms of his settlement were, though he did claim the deal was essentially the same as one he discussed with United in March.

Bates said he and ex-Leeds managing director David Haigh, left, drew up a settlement before Gulf Finance House sold the club to Cellino but accused Hisham Alrayes, GFH’s chief executive, of “refusing to honour it”.

The agreement – “mostly what I proposed,” according to Bates – was subsequently accepted in principle by Cellino at the beginning of last month.

The expectation is that the resolution will see Radio Yorkshire acquire matchday commentary rights for United’s first-team fixtures, perhaps for as long as the next five or six years.

Before GFH sacked Bates as president in July 2013, he tried and failed to buy LUTV – United’s in-house television station – the club’s official website and the now defunct Yorkshire Radio for a fee of £2m. Bates believed a sale was in the offing but GFH backed out of talks and awarded matchday commentary rights to BBC Radio Leeds before the 2013-14 season. The BBC’s deal runs to 2016 but the corporation never demands exclusive contracts from football clubs.

Full details of the agreement between Bates, right, and Cellino should become clear soon. In the meantime, Bates claims Leeds are facing a bill of around £500,000 from their own lawyers. “I hope Massimo has the right to set it off so that GFH pays it,” Bates said.


Another year and another book from Gary Edwards, the prolific Leeds United author who set the ball rolling with Paint it White in 2004.

Fanatical!: Ever Present Since 1968 charts a 46-year journey in which Edwards says he has attended every single one of United’s games (or almost every one). That record puts him on a par with Leeds United Supporters Club stalwart Phil Beeton who took in his 2,000th consecutive league fixture away to Bournemouth last season.

Only one game got away from Edwards – a friendly against Real Madrid in Toronto 1981 which he missed after his flight from Spain was grounded by industrial action. There’s enough in his notebook for multiple editions – including an evening in the Slovakian town of Ruzomberok when this reporter’s laptop blew up a pub.

Fanatical! is published by Pitch Publishing and co-written by Andy Starmore, another regular United scribe.

Thurs 11th of September. Cellino delay findings slammed – Phil Hay Leeds owner Massimo Cellino will be forced to sell his controlling stake in the club if an Italian judge rules that his recent tax evasion conviction was an act of “dishonesty”. Football League chief executive Shaun Harvey said the long wait for the full written judgment on Cellino’s conviction for failing to pay tax on his yacht was “a cloud still hanging over the Football League and the club and Mr Cellino himself”. Cellino was found guilty of tax evasion in March but following an appeal was allowed to complete his takeover at Elland Road because the Italian court had not confirmed whether it felt the offence had been a “dishonest act”. The Italian judge in the initial case will confirm this in her full written report, which had been expected in June.The League had no option but to allow Cellino to complete his takeover in April, but Harvey, former chief executive at Leeds, said the Italian could yet fail its owners’ and directors’ test.

“It’s exceptionally disappointing that we haven’t actually had the judgment, if only to draw a line under the whole scenario so that everyone knows where they are,” Harvey told the Guardian.It’s a cloud still hanging over the Football League and the club and Mr Cellino himself. “The actual single arbiter in the matter (the Football League) made it very clear that when the written reasons are issued as part of the judicial process, if it is clear in there that the act was one of dishonesty, which is the test that we apply, then at that stage he would fail the owners’ and directors’ test and as such wouldn’t be able to be a director of the football club or exert any control. “He is under an obligation to divest himself of his shares at that stage. “From our perspective he then fails the owners’ and directors’ test and at that stage the provisions are in the rules that he has to divest himself of his interests. “We’d obviously give the club a reasonable period of time to organise its affairs because you wouldn’t want to put the future of the club at risk immediately that you had a decision. “It’s a matter the Football League board would have to consider at that particular time.” The publication of the Italian judgment has been repeatedly delayed and Harvey added: “We are constantly monitoring it. “We have been asked to be kept informed. Our influence over the judicial system in Italy is somewhat limited. “We have Italian lawyers monitoring it for us and we’ve been told it will come out when it comes out. That’s how the Italian judicial system has been described to us.”

Thursday September 11th Lorimer on Redfearn and search for new coach Like a lot of the club’s supporters, I thought the international break would be a prime opportunity for Leeds United to find a new head coach. But if it’s a quick decision versus the right decision then I’d take the right decision every time. No doubt it would have satisfied the fans to see someone in place before our game at Birmingham City but an appointment in this two-week period wasn’t essential.

We’re in safe hands with Neil Redfearn and the win over Bolton Wanderers last month showed that he’s capable of managing the first team, even if that’s only for a short while. I’m not saying that he shouldn’t be a candidate for the head coach’s job but if it goes to someone else then I think we’re well-covered in the meantime. Neil got his tactics right against Bolton and I thought his team selection was basically spot-on too. It took a bit of courage to play Lewis Cook and Alex Mowatt from the start but our midfield was more lively and mobile with those two in the team. Even though Neil knows them lads well, selecting Cook and Mowatt was a gamble on an afternoon when we really needed three points. You can read a couple of things into that. For starters, Neil obviously has the confidence to pick a team for his own reasons and employ his own tactics. Quite often with caretakers you find that they just send out the same players in the same old system but it was clear to see that under David Hockaday, the strategy wasn’t working. Also, it couldn’t be said on the basis of the line-up against Bolton that Massimo Cellino is picking the team.

As far as I could tell, Neil made his own choices and was free to get on with the job. People have this image of Cellino interfering all the time, spending his days at Thorp Arch calling the shots, but that’s really not fair. As much as he dictates the transfers and negotiates the deals, all he wants is a coach who sorts the team and produces results, plain and simple. We certainly need a boss who’s going to do just that.

Last month wasn’t great and we were maybe slightly fortunate to come out of it with six points. Given the turmoil with Hockaday and the performances in general, I personally saw that tally as a bit of a bonus. August could have been far better but to be fair, it could easily have been worse. In the next eight to 10 games our season will go one way or the other. It always happens at this time of year. Nothing is ever settled early on but this is normally when you dig in for a shot at the play-offs or a relegation fight. Our fixture list in August was tough but in no way will September be any simpler. We’re heading into two back-to-back away games against Birmingham and Bournemouth and after that it’s a Yorkshire derby at home to Huddersfield. Go further down the line and you find matches against Reading, Norwich, Wolves and Cardiff. They say there are no easy games in the Championship and that’s definitely true this season. It’s vital that other clubs start saying the same about us.

Having come this far without a new head coach, I reckon it makes a lot of sense to give Neil Redfearn the games away at Birmingham and Bournemouth – and maybe even the clash at Huddersfield too. He’s taken the training for the past fortnight and he’s as well-placed as anyone to look after the matches coming up. In many respects, a run of tough games is a pretty good way of proving your credentials and I wouldn’t put it past Neil making the job his own. There’s a big difference between coaching junior players and coaching experienced professionals and he’d be the first to admit that. The egos, the temperaments and the pressures are much more intense at senior level. But if you look at the success of the academy and the way the talent keeps coming though, it’s very obvious that Neil knows his football.

He’s also got the experience of previous spells as a caretaker and remembering how they went, I’m sure he’ll have learned lessons and picked up experience along the way. That’s not to say he’s right for the job or that he wants it but I’ll be interested to find out.

Friday 9th of September Adryan plays his first game for Leeds Ipswich were the visitors to Thorp Arch on Monday afternoon to face United’s Under-21 side. Ipswich were 3-2 winners in a highly entertaining game that saw new signing Adryan wear the white of Leeds United for the first time… Leeds United caretaker-Adryancloseup AdryanWhite Adryanwhiteskillmanager Neil Redfearn is delighted with Adryan’s performance in his first game for the club on Monday.One of the major talking points at Leeds United at the moment is the arrival of Brazilian ‘wonderkid’ Adryan. The 20-year-old attacking midfielder has joined the Championship club on a season-long loan deal from Brazilian outfit Flamengo. The youngster is believed to be a very promising talent and is expected to slot into the Leeds first team rightaway. Adryan played his first game for Leeds on Monday, starting for the Under-21s against Ipswich Town at Thorp Arch. The Brazilian looked very promising, agile and full of creativity, and was heavily involved in Leeds’s play in the initial stages of the contest. The corners taken by the Flamengo-owned youngster looked good, and so did his link-up play with Chris Dawson and Tyler Denton. Adryan was taken off with just over 10 minutes of normal time remaining as Leeds went on to lose the match 3-2, but the club’s caretaker-manager Neil Redfearn was delighted with his new signing’s display. Adryan has got great feet – he got out of tight situations four or five times unbelievably’, he told BBC Radio Leeds. ‘When they got him trapped, there was a change of feet and change of pace, and he left people for dead‘He is a lovely kid. He is a smashing kid, he just wants to play football, and I think he is going to be a real asset if we can get him on the ball and in between the lines’.Adryan is expected to be part of the Leeds first team that will take on Birmingham City away from home in the Championship on Saturday. The Brazilian may not start the encounter, but he could be crucial in coming off the bench at St Andrew’s Stadium.

Tuesday 9th of September Leeds “head coach” job still wide open MASSIMO CELLINO admitted today that the hunt for a new head coach at Leeds United remained wide open, saying he was yet to identify “anyone better” than caretaker boss Neil Redfearn. Cellino will leave Redfearn in charge of United squad’s for Saturday’s visit to Birmingham City and potentially their game at Bournemouth next Tuesday after failing to secure a quick replacement for the sacked David Hockaday. Leeds have been without a head coach since Cellino dispensed with Hockaday and his assistant, Junior Lewis, almost a fortnight ago.

United’s owner initially targeted ex-Brighton boss Oscar Garcia but saw Watford step in to appoint the Spaniard as their new head coach, and the search for Hockaday’s successor has slowed with Cellino away in the USA.

The Italian is expected to return to England on Thursday and renew his focus on the vacancy at Elland Road but Redfearn is preparing for United’s visit to Birmingham and is in line for an extended run in his temporary role. Leeds’ academy manager handled the club’s 1-0 win over Bolton Wanderers prior to the international break and is in his third spell as caretaker at Elland Road.

Cellino said: “He’s doing his duty like he always has. I trust him and his loyalty to the club. “He deserves respect for his work and at this moment I can’t see anyone better than him to look after the team.”

Leeds have received numerous applications for the head coach’s job – including firm expressions of interest from Tony Mowbray and Chris Hughton – but Cellino is still to establish another preferred option having settled on Garcia as his first choice in the days after Hockaday’s departure.

Ex-Leeds and Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler was linked with the post this afternoon, though it is understood that he has not submitted a formal application.

Hughton, who has been out of work since his exit from Norwich City last season, indicated his interest in an interview with the BBC, saying: “There are lots of challenges out there and Leeds United is very much a challenge. I’m very keen to get back in at the right club.”

United are approaching a run of three Championship matches in eight days with a Yorkshire derby at home to Huddersfield Town following their trips to Birmingham and Bournemouth.

Redfearn said on Friday that he would work as caretaker for as long as Cellino asked him to, and the pair have spoken regularly since Cellino’s departure to America at the start of last week. Redfearn said: Birmingham will come round quickly and I’ll prepare the team properly for that game. They need to be set up and organised so that one way or another we go there in the best possible shape. “If I take that game then they’ll know exactly what I expect from them. I’ll be prepared for it and they will too. If someone else comes in before then, the new man has a team who are ready to go. That way it’s win-win. “I’m not involved in (the search for a new coach) and Massimo’s going to take as much time as he needs. I’ll take care of everything for as long as he needs me to. He knows I’m happy to help”.

Sunday 7th of September Cellino Confirms No Leeds Coach Appointment Imminent Massimo Cellino has confirmed to Adam Pope of BBC Radio Leeds that there is no appointment for the new head coach of Leeds United on the immediate horizon.Cellino suggested that the appointment would not be forthcoming when he said that Neil Redfearn would be dealing with preparing the side for the Birmingham City match. Redfearn, who is in caretaker charge of the club, won his only game so far, beating Bolton 1-0. Despite this, there has been consistent fluctuations in the betting for the new head coach at the Elland Road club, and there have been suggestions today that Steve Clarke was on the cusp of being put in charge of the side. This, however, has turned out not to be true, and in fact, the extensive interest in the role seems to be hindering Cellino’s decision making. A spate of applicants has seemingly slowed down the choice, with Oscar Garcia, his preferred coach, having joined Watford. Cellino dispensed with David Hockaday’s services after only a few months in charge.

Sunday 7th of September. McCormack claims he was “hung out to dry” be Cellino Fulham new boy Ross McCormack has accused former club Leeds of hanging him out to dry following his big money summer transfer to west London. The Scottish international scored 28 goals for Leeds last season, so it was no surprise to see him make a big money move away from Elland Road. But McCormack has revealed he had little say in the transfer and claims he was forced out by Leeds’ fiery Italian owner Massimo Cellino. He told The Sun: When Leeds went back for pre-season training, I went in that day and was told not to train by the club because they were talking to Fulham. “They didn’t want me getting injured with the size of the fee. It was important to the club that they didn’t miss out. “I felt it was pretty nasty in the end. It was never going to be, ‘Thanks for last season, thanks for the help you gave the club’. “Cellino named his price and he got it. Was I hung out to dry? In my opinion, yes.”

Sunday 7th of September All change Birmingham New Street – remember to take unwanted baggage – The Scratching Shed (Graham Smeaton) 12.15, Saturday 13th September and the two week international break is over. The whistle will blow its shrill trilling and the ball will be in play; the game between Birmingham City and Leeds United at Birmingham City’s St Andrew’s ground will be underway. Birmingham sit in 20th place in the table with a 5 point return from their opening 5 games whilst Leeds sit 2 places above them in the Championship table with 6 points from their opening 5 games of this season. This really is one of those clichéd ‘6 pointer’ games; a win for Leeds would move us further up the table and away from the clinging mire of a ‘relegation battle’ and closer to the rosy glow of the playoff places. Looking at it with positivity, we are only 3 points from 6th place; OK there are a few teams between us and that 6th place but it’s within touching distance…just…and if you strain your eyes…a lot.

Thing is, nothing is ever simple at Elland Road and we’ll arrive in Birmingham carrying some unwanted baggage and, I promise, I won’t mention players currently being bandied around as ‘not worth wearing the shirt’ (not my view, paraphrased from friends, Facebook comments etc). Firstly, Leeds will arrive on the team bus without, in all likeliness, actually having a coach in place; I know Redfearn will most likely be in charge but I was thinking more about long-term appointment (in Cellino terms that could be anything from 70 days to [insert random number here]). Secondly, Leeds will also arrive with the threat of a League-imposed ‘transfer embargo’ hanging over them meaning that in the next ‘transfer window’ (January 1st-31st) they will not be allowed any dealings in the transfer market for failing to meet Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations during the 2013/14 Championship season and that further participation in the transfer market is dependent on improving financial management. A really useful guide to the FFP regulations can be found here. Finally, Leeds will arrive with a team bolstered by 15 signings made since the 2013/14 season ended on Saturday May 3rd this year including 3 signed in the final few days of the transfer window in Brazilian youngster Adryan, Italian youngster Dario del Fabro and the wonderfully-named Paraguyan striker Brian Guillermo Montenegro Martínez; all three yet to make an appearance in a Leeds shirt.

It is, perhaps, the signing of Adryan that Leeds fans are looking forward to the most. More on-off than a bride’s wedding dress on her honeymoon, the ‘is he, isn’t he’ saga of Adryan’s signing was finally completed on 30th August after protracted discussions between Massimo Cellino’s and Adryan’s representatives. Little is known about Adryan Oliveira Tavares other than what can be gleaned from YouTube clips and compilations and the general t’Internet. The thing is, you don’t get to play for both the Brazilian Serie A side Flamengo and the Brazilian U17 national side if you’re not much good. In his career at Flamengo he played alongside such Brazilian household names as Ronaldinho, Kleberson and Vagner-Love but it is probably his form in the 2011 Brazilian U17 team that Leeds fans will be most hoping for. In that side, he lined up with Lucas Piazon, now of Eintract Frankfurt (on loan from Chelsea) and Marquinhos, who currently plies his footballing trade for Paris St Germain; the team reaching the last 4 of the U17 World Cup in Mexico and winning the U17 Sudamericano. In the 2011 U17 World Cup, the Brazilians ended up in 4th place and Adryan himself finished as the tournament’s ‘Bronze Ball’ finishing with 5 goals including a brace in a 4-3 loss to the German U17 side in the 3rd/4th place game. In this tournament he played in an attacking role, largely behind the front two. It is in this position that it is hoped that he will show his form of old and help kick start what has been, in most Leeds fans’ eyes, a pretty lacklustre set of performances over the opening 5 games; lacklustre apart from segments of the displays against Middlesbrough and Bolton which were both hard-fought 1-0 victories.

Whatever happens from now on in; it cannot be denied that the start of the 2014/15 Championship season has been a bit of an odd one even by the standards of our club. Oh and take heart from this: last season after 5 games we were only 2 points better off than we are now and we were in the promotion playoffs on Christmas Day when we were opening our Chrimble presents.

Sat 6th of September Cellino buys now plans for tomorrow – Hay Not a lot of people know this … but Massimo Cellino has a morbid superstition surrounding cellino_webthe number seventeen. Phil Hay reports. Fifteen signings and almost an unlucky 17 for Massimo Cellino. He’d have taken Federico Viviani if the Roma midfielder had jumped on his offer and he’d have taken Leonardo Pavoletti if the ducks had formed a line in the hour before 11pm on Monday. Cellino has a morbid superstition about the number 17 (something to do with Roman numerals) so the arrival at that tally might have tempted him to seek out the left-back he never quite bought. This, for Leeds United, was a transfer window without limits; a window in which Cellino was always open to one more.

No club in the Championship out-signed Leeds. Quality supersedes quantity in this division but United have the numbers. Their senior squad has 34 players in it and only four or five of those could be reasonably described as junior professionals with no stake in this season. They own six centre-backs and nine strikers – nine after selling Matt Smith and Dominic Poleon minutes before FIFA’s transfer deadline.

Smith was listed for sale towards the end of last month but even in a squad as overloaded as United’s, he was not flogged in a cut-and-run deal. Oldham’s interest in Poleon was live for a while and the terms of his transfer changed several times on Monday. The 20-year-old expected to sign a new contract and leave on loan. To his surprise, Cellino eventually traded him for £100,000 and a 25 per cent sell-on clause.Transferroundup

Fulham’s bid for Smith was a late scramble too and up in the air until they and Leeds settled on a fee of £800,000 shortly after 9pm. Smith had been in London for some time, aware that Leeds were likely to sell him but conscious of the fact that his medical and contract negotiations would be up against the clock. He signed in the end and so did Poleon but Leeds were only interested in selling on their terms. They’d sooner have kept both players than lose them in a firesale.

There is something mildly amusing about the idea of keeping 11 forwards happy. Even with nine, United’s next head coach will have deep resources to work with. Given the shambles at Elland Road when Cellino first bought the club and his comments about a wage bill which had grown to almost £20m, the influx this summer was a change of tune. Cellino did not plan to go so far when the transfer window began but his recruitment became an open-ended process, right up to the moment when Pavoletti’s move from Sassuolo went cold.

Cellino’s motivation at the end of last season was self-explanatory. With certain exceptions, he didn’t rate the squad he inherited from Gulf Finance House. He wanted changes from front to back and initially promised seven or eight signings. The first five came in and Cellino predicted six more at least. Eight players were signed after the defeat to Millwall on August 9 and three arrived in the last two days of the window.

Leeds were once known as a club who made hard work of dragging deals over the line. Last week, Cellino looked more like an owner who couldn’t drag himself away from the market. But in truth he was an owner with a sharp eye on the implications of Financial Fair Play. This season is the first in which the Football League’s rules on FFP will result in actual punishment and Cellino is convinced that the debts and losses amassed while GFH controlled Leeds will result in a transfer embargo at Elland Road in January.

In April, when the Italian bought a 75 per cent stake in United, the club were estimated to be losing more than £1m a month. The share purchase agreement between Cellino and GFH recorded long-term debt at £13.5m and short-term debt at £10.5m (much of which has since been wiped out by a fresh deal between them). Monthly seven-figure deficits go far beyond the limit set by the Football League for annual losses at Championship clubs. They also go beyond the sum that Cellino is allowed to cover with his own money. The cash from Ross McCormack’s sale to Fulham fell outside the accounting period.

In the 2013-14 season, clubs were permitted to lose a maximum of £8m. Of that £8m, no more than £5m was allowed to come from owners or shareholders. Certain costs such as the repurchase of a stadium or training ground or investment in community schemes are exempt from the calculations but none of that will help to bring Leeds below the threshold. Nor are they likely to be the only Championship side who breach the rules.

The Football League expects all 24 clubs to file their accounts for the 2013-14 season by December 1. A decision on which of them are to be punished will be made later that month. “Clubs that fail to comply will be subject to a transfer embargo,” the governing body states. “This embargo will come in to force ahead of the subsequent transfer window beginning on January 1, 2015.”

It goes some way to explaining why teenager Dario Del Fabro appeared from nowhere to become centre-back number six at Leeds on Sunday. It also explains why Pavoletti, another striker, was the club’s sole target on deadline day. If any of this looks like stockpiling then it paints the picture of a window in which United bought today and prepared for tomorrow. The numbers are needed.

Redfearn’s first-team coach appointment could work but Leeds must be wary of under-estimating his current role

Massimo Cellino’s high opinion of Neil Redfearn is not a matter of convenience, despite the fact that the head coach’s job at Leeds United needs filling.

The Italian is famously hard to please but his frustration has never extended as far as Redfearn. That much is shown by Redfearn’s survival. The cull of coaches from Brian McDermott to Leigh Bromby has been sustained and severe but United’s academy manager is liked by his boss.

There is more trust between them than there ever was between Cellino and Benito Carbone, the man who made a brief pretence of taking over youth development at Thorp Arch.

Redfearn’s long association with Leeds and his productive work in the club’s academy was always likely to make him a candidate for head coach if Cellino’s search did not end quickly. Cellino effectively ruled him out of the running last weekend but at the time he thought he was on the verge of nailing down Oscar Garcia. The ex-Brighton boss had become first choice and was intimating that he’d like to come.

Twenty-four hours later, Watford parted company with Beppe Sannino and got their hands on Garcia first. Cellino, who had left England for America, was flanked and forced to reconsider. As a result, Redfearn remains as caretaker and Cellino is thinking seriously about the option of promoting from within.

After three spells in temporary charge (four if you count him stepping into the breach with Nigel Gibbs when Cellino ‘sacked’ Brian McDermott in January), you suspect that it is now or never for Redfearn. He has been at Elland Road for almost six years and done enough work with senior players to know if he is ready for the step up.

Should the offer come from Cellino, Redfearn will surely take it. That’s how football works. But when you hear him speak it is patently obvious that his heart is in the academy. It’s what he does, it’s what he knows and for several years it’s been the one project that has done United credit.

There are risks inherent in detaching Redfearn from it. Promoting him to the job of head coach would fill one crucial vacancy by creating another and if Cellino is serious about youth development his choice of a new academy manager would be every bit as crucial as his choice of head coach. Richard Naylor, the former Under-18s boss, had two years at Thorp Arch and experienced the introduction of the Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP), making him a potential successor to Redfearn. But he like others was sacked in July.

Redfearn as Leeds’ head coach could certainly work. With a strong, respected and well-connected assistant, it wouldn’t be the punt that the Hockaday-Lewis partnership was.

But there are so many options out there, some of whom would meet United’s requirements and prevent upheaval within their academy. Redfearn is capable of doing a job. Leeds should be careful of under-estimating the one he already does.


Friday 5th of Sept Phil hay tweet Tony Mowbray and Paul Hart are among the people who’ve applied for the #lufc job. Was told last night that Chris Hughton has too. This is on top of Ian Culverhouse, former Villa assistant manager.

Friday 5th of September Poleon’s fury at being let go DOMINIC Poleon has accused Leeds United of reneging on an offer of a new contract just days before a transfer to Oldham Athletic which left him “confused and disappointed.”Poleon said he had expected to sign an extended deal last weekend and then join Oldham on a season-long loan but his career at Elland Road ended abruptly before Monday’s transfer deadline with a £100,000 move to Boundary Park. The striker, 20, parted company with Leeds late on Monday night, agreeing a two-year deal with Oldham in the final hour of FIFA’s summer transfer window. He quit United – the club where he turned professional in 2010 – after 37 first-team appearances and described the switch to Oldham as a “great opportunity for regular football.” But he admitted that his permanent departure from Leeds had come as shock, claiming the terms of a new deal negotiated between him and Leeds were lowered without explanation over the weekend. Poleon said he feared that club owner Massimo Cellino would try to isolate him from if he remained at Elland Road without signing the contract and revealed that he submitted a transfer request on Monday afternoon in an attempt to secure a temporary transfer to Oldham. “It’s hard to explain how it came to this because I wasn’t supposed to go,” Poleon said. “I’d agreed a new contract with the club and as far as I was concerned it was sorted last Friday. The plan was to sign it and then join Oldham on loan for the season. “Over the weekend I got a call to tell me that Cellino was taking the contract away from me. I don’t know why. I’d agreed one thing but was being offered another and it was basically the case that if I didn’t sign it, I wouldn’t be going on loan to Oldham. “My view was that I’d stick with the contract I already had and go to Oldham on loan anyway because all I wanted to do was play – and that’s what the club wanted too. But it was clear by Monday lunchtime that nothing was happening so I put in a transfer request to try and get things moving. Leeds rejected the request and it seemed to me that I was going to be kept here and not involved. I won’t lie – I thought I’d be made to do nothing for a year. But then late on I got another call saying Oldham had bid for me and I was getting sold. By then I thought it was best to go.” Poleon had a year left on his contract at Elland Road and was used in all but one of United’s competitive fixtures last month. Leeds signed five forwards in the transfer window, however, and prepared initially to send him to Boundary Park on a temporary basis. Striker Matt Smith, who joined Fulham from Leeds on Monday evening, said United had complied a list of six players who they were willing to sell before the transfer deadline but Poleon insisted his name wasn’t on it. “As far as I know, I’ve never done anything to upset Cellino,” Poleon said. “I’ve got no arguments with the club and I’m sad to leave because Leeds are the club where I grew up. I can’t believe the way this transfer manifested itself. “I’m confused about what went on and I’m disappointed. If I’d annoyed Cellino then fine but we had a contract agreed last week. I was told that he liked me, that he rated me and that he thought I had talent but it’s hard to take that seriously now. How can he think a lot of me and then act like he did? It doesn’t make sense. “I owe a lot of thanks to a lot of people at Leeds and it’s really sad to have left. But Oldham have been very good to me and it’s a great opportunity for regular football.” Poleon is expected to make his debut for Oldham at home to Fleetwood Town tomorrow, a game against the club who are second in League Two. “Slowly but surely you’ve got to move on,” Poleon said. “You can’t dwell on things, no matter how you feel about them. This is a new chapter for me and I’m proud to have had my time at Leeds.” Of course we are only getting one side of events here. But on the evidence to date from other people who have been let go at Leeds this is not unusual from Cellino. It is not a particularly nice side of his nature and does our club a disservice. In the long term it causes harm with  potential future employees. Football is a goldfish bowl and Cellino will find that whether it’s finding a manager he craves or a footballer he desires, word gets out how contracts are dishonoured and maybe just maybe these things are the deciding factors why a Garcia decides on a small London club like Watford instead of a huge sleeping giant like Leeds United. Either way, Poleon should have been treated better.

Thurs Sept 4th  We need a new boss, new style and new players for St Andrews – Lorimer The truth about David Hockaday is that the jury gave its verdict on him long before he even got the head coach’s job at Leeds United. When the day of his appointment finally came, you could tell that the supporters were mystified by the choice. Our fans aren’t daft and you can’t kid them. They’ve watched loads of football over the years and they have expectations with regards to things like the head coach’s job. Hockaday didn’t fit the bill in terms of experience or profile and realistically he was always fighting a losing battle at Elland Road. It would have taken sensational form to persuade everyone that he was a hidden gem – and in the circumstances those results weren’t going to come, or not quickly enough to help him out. I feel a bit sorry for him because 70 days is a short time to be in the job but if I’m honest about his period in charge, I didn’t see a great deal to convince me that he was going to be a huge success.

The biggest concern for me was the tactics and I go back to comments I made after the 2-0 defeat to Brighton last month. Brighton’s style of play has been telegraphed to the whole world for the past three years. They play the ball out from the back and their attitude is such that there’s massive pressure on the goalkeeper not to punt the ball long. It’s pass, pass, pass and sometimes to their detriment. On that night we sat back and conceded so much ground and possession. Brighton’s left wing-back was unmarked for most of the first half and they pretty much ran the show. Fair enough we were better in the second half but the damage was already done. It’s the sort of performance that rings alarm bells and waves red flags.

Bradford City caused me real concern, too. That tie was weighted against us by two diabolical tackles from Luke Murphy but I couldn’t understand what was going on in the last six or seven minutes. Against the run of play, we got a goal through Matt Smith and got our noses in front. You could see from the stands that several of our players were running out of steam after fighting on for so long with 10 players, and the goal was the cue for changes. If I’d been Hockaday, I’d have thrown on defensive substitutes immediately – partly to slow the game down but also to make Bradford think that they’d be up against it in trying to get an equaliser. Instead, the team stayed as they were and Bradford scored two goals quickly. The substitutions came far too late. Murphy’s red card at Valley Parade was also part of another problem. Last month, our discipline was awful. You can argue the toss about which of the sendings-off were fair and which were harsh but four red cards in a few weeks is not a great record. Murphy’s red card in particular was absolutely ridiculous and it left me with the feeling that the whole project wasn’t holding together.

In Hockaday’s defence, you could argue that the job of head coach at Leeds is a very tough job for anyone. To be more accurate, I think we need the right sort of person to make it work. By that I obviously mean we need a very talented coach but I also think it’s essential that the next man has experience of working in a dressing room with a range of nationalities – and with a group of players who can’t necessarily speak great English. I remember reading an interview with Alan Pardew where he talked about the large French contingent at Newcastle. There were so many French players, all of them speaking French, that the English lads began to wonder whether they were being spoken about or joked about. It created an uncomfortable atmosphere, perhaps unintentionally. It takes a certain type of coach to deal with that and there’s no doubt at all that the dressing room at Leeds will require some management. I’m not suggesting we’ve got problems in it or anything like that but there are lots of lads at Leeds who are in England for the first time and need help to find their feet and settle down.

It’s a fairly uncertain time for everyone just now and if Massimo Cellino intends to have a new head coach in place by the time we go to Birmingham City next weekend, that would definitely be a good thing. Last weekend’s win over Bolton Wanderers got us back on track, ending a pretty difficult month with a decent result. But it’s still the case that we need to kick on and get this season properly started and I’d like to see us hit the ground running at St Andrews – with a new boss, a new style, new players and a new level of confidence. There’s nobody like The Lash to stick the boot in when somebody is down. At least some of us had the decency to say it all along. Go back on this forum’s history of his comments and he paints over the criticism.

Weds 3rd of September Redfearn in pole position Neil Redfearn is the new bookmakers favourite to land the vacant managers job at Elland Road. The 49-year-old is currently has a combined role at the Yorkshire club, as he is the academy manager and Reserve Team/Development manager. BBC Leeds reporter Adam Pope has spoken with Cellino today and tweeted @APOPEY , the following comments from his chat with the Italian who sacked David Hockaday last week.:


Redfearn may find himself getting the job until the end of the season but that would be indecisive leadership from Cellino in my view

#lufc Cellino has just added:”For the moment it’s the best thing to do.” Seems clear he is inundated with requests for the role & needs time

#lufc  just to add that Cellino has not confirmed if this will be permanent situation with Redfearn or just for the interim period.

Cellino added: “I think it’s best to keep going with a #lufc man like now, that knows football & makes the team play in a beautiful way.”

#lufc Massimo Cellino backs Neil Redfearn: “I’ve decided to leave the team to Neil. At the moment too many coaches call me & I’m confused.”


Casper Sloth who made his debut against Bolton last weekend at Elland Road

Weds 9th of September. Sloth happy to be with Leeds New United midfielder Casper Sloth has spoken for the first time since joining the club and says that he is excited to be here. The Danish international was one of 15 signings United made during the summer transfer window and he says he wanted to be part of the project happening at the club. I’m settling in very well and I’m excited to be here. It’s been a good first week and I’m very satisfied,” said Casper. “The move was very quick but I didn’t expect to start on Saturday. It was obviously nice to play at Elland Road and we got a win so that was brilliant. “I knew Leeds were interested and I knew the history of the club. I wanted to be part of the project here. “We have brought a lot of new players in and it is really interesting to me. So I’m really satisfied to be here.” The midfielder’s move to England was an easy one to make as the Dane says that every footballer wants to play in the English game. “In Denmark you see a lot of Premier League football, not so much in the Championship,” explained Sloth. “But every footballer wants to play in England, it is a massive footballing country. “When I heard that Leeds were interested in me I spoke to people here and thought that it would be a good fit. “The players here are nice guys and they have taken good care of me so it hasn’t been a problem.” Casper made his United debut on Saturday against Bolton Wanderers at Elland Road and with a win under his belt he is now hoping that the team can grow and improve together. “It was a very nice experience,” said the Denmark international. “Elland Road is fantastic stadium. “I am already looking forward to play there again. The crowd was very good and when I was substituted they seemed satisfied and that was a great experience for me. “I’m a box to box player. I like to get on the ball and set the tempo and set my teammates up. I also like to shoot on goal. I like the position as a number 10. “Hopefully now we can develop as a team and as individuals. It was nice to get a win in my first game but we will grow.”

Weds 3rd of September Cooper and Sannio linked with Leeds job SWINDON Town manager Mark Cooper – son of Leeds legend Terry – is figuring prominently in the betting to succeed David Hockaday as United’s head coach, but it is understood no contact has been made by Leeds.  Speaking about the link, Cooper, 45, said: “Listen, it’s always flattering to be associated with jobs and especially Leeds with the family history. “But I’ve got a big job on here. I’ve started a project, it’s going the right way and I’m thoroughly enjoying myself.” Current caretaker-manager Neil Redfearn is rated among the favourites along with ex-Watford head coach Giuseppe Sannino. The Italian is understood to be eager to stay in England despite surprisingly resigning at Vicarage Road on Sunday. The 57-year-old has spoken about his affection with English football and also spoke glowingly about compatriot Cellino’s achievements at Cagliari after Watford beat Leeds 3-0 at Vicarage Road in April – in the United owner’s first game in charge of the club. Speaking at the time, Sannino said: “Yes I know him because he is president of Cagliari – from when my clubs Siena and Palermo played Cagliari. “I am very happy for him because he is the kind of person that did a great job at Cagliari. “He is now the boss of a club with a great history like Leeds and, in my opinion, he joined English football because he believes he can do a good job here.” Rolando Maran, who has a wealth of managerial experience in Italy, having managed Cittadella, Brescia, Bari, Triestina, Vicenza, Varese and Catania, is another strongly linked with Leeds.

Weds 3rd of September Pavoletti was to have been the 11th hour and 16th signing The Chief executive of Serie A side Sassuolo has told the Italian media that Leeds United were in the hunt for their forward Leonardo Pavoletti but they couldn’t make a deal before the transfer window shut on Monday. The 25 year old was linked with a move to Elland road throughout the summer. Speaking to TMW Nereo Bonato revealed that a number of clubs were interested in the player but it was only Leeds that wanted to take him on a permanent basis. There were sides from Italy such as Palermo and Cesena that were showing an interest in Pavoletti yet they didn’t want to sign him outright because they would rather take him on a season long loan.  Bonato said that they made it clear to the clubs interested in the Italy what they wanted from the deal and that they are fine that he has remained with the Sassuolo. “The Leeds wanted to take him outright, Cesena and Palermo wanted him on loan. We have always been clear, but in the end it was to be and that’s okay,” Said Bonato regarding the transfer speculation surrounding Pavoletti. Leeds had a busy time in the recent transfer window with much of their recruitment coming from Italian football. New owner Massimo Cellino adopted a policy in bringing in players from Serie A and Serie B. During the summer Leeds brought in several players from Italy and even in the last few days brought in Brazilian Adryan who played under Cellino last season at Cagliari. It seems they just missed out on Pavoletti but with him not finding a new club there  is still a possibility in trying again when the window reopens in the New Year.

Tues Sep 2nd. Whites never had a busier window  Leeds United have never had a busier transfer window. Even in the summer of 2007 when insolvency stripped the club to the bone, the recruitment of players was nowhere near as sweeping as Massimo Cellino’s. Cellino promised Leeds a new team and a new squad and United have both. Fifteen signings exceeded his own estimate of how far he would go in repairing a dressing room he used to speak about with dismay and expletives. “It will be different next year,” the 58-year-old said during his first interview with the YEP. And different it is. FIFA’s deadline passed at 11pm last night and Cellino will feel that his first transfer window at Elland Road gave him much of what he was looking for. By the middle of last week, Adryan – the Brazilian signed on loan from Flamengo – was the one remaining target he cared about. He wanted Dario Del Fabro, the teenager from Cagliari, and he wanted Nacional striker Brian Montenegro but Adryan was the golden ticket; his must-have transfer as August ticked away. In the 24 hours before yesterday’s deadline, Cellino’s priority was a new head coach. It is indicative of his style of ownership that Adryan, Del Fabro and Montenegro arrived at a time when Leeds were without a first-team boss. It is also true that other deals – Marco Silvestri, Tommaso Bianchi, Souleymane Doukara – were set in motion before David Hockaday began his fleeting reign as head coach in June. They complain at Elland Road about the legacy of players left behind by Neil Warnock and Brian McDermott, and a small part of the summer was devoted to backing out of McDermott’s offer of a three-year contract to Cameron Stewart, but this is Cellino’s squad and his to answer for. He answered for a defeat at Millwall on the first day of the season by completing a further eight transfers. Back when FIFA’s window first opened, the Italian’s biggest worry aside from the state of United’s finances was the shocking state of their defence. In the four months it took him to buy Leeds from Gulf Finance House, he saw six goals conceded to Sheffield Wednesday, five at home to Bolton Wanderers, four against both Reading and Bournemouth and three at Watford on the evening after his takeover went through. Cellino rated Sam Byram but wanted Gaetano Berardi to provide a second option at right-back. His opinion of Paddy Kenny was low from the outset – influenced by the view of others at Thorp Arch – and the purchase of Silvestri from Chievo was as much a priority at the start of the summer as Adryan became at the end of it. But the barrage occured at centre-back as Leeds threw money at Giuseppe Bellusci, Liam Cooper and latterly Del Fabro. Leeds paid Catania £1.6m for Bellusci, their most expensive buy in a decade. Cooper’s move from Chesterfield cost £600,000. The net spend at Elland Road has been skewed by the £10.75m sale of Ross McCormack to Fulham – 15 per cent of which went to Cardiff City through a wise and profitable sell-on clause – but United’s investment in players and their commitment to future payments is substantial. Every one of the loans negotiated by Cellino was arranged for the season with an option to sign the players permanently. Adryan will cost £3m if Leeds want to keep him next season, and the proposed signing of Frederik Sorensen from Juventus – one of several deals which collapsed at the death – would have set the club back £400,000 in a loan fee alone. Casper Sloth, from Aarhus, came in at £600,000. The failed discussions with Sorensen were typical of the way Cellino approached his targets. He always looked for unerring commitment he got from Silvestri, Bianchi and others. Two attempts by Sorensen’s agent to alter the terms of his contract when Leeds thought an agreement was already in place angered Cellino and saw Sorensen fly him to Turin hours before the season began. Federico Viviani’s on-off move from Roma took a similar course: complicated, delayed and ultimately unsuccessful. Viviani’s agent blamed absent paperwork but later said that Viviani had wanted to joined Latina anyway. Cellino accused the 22-year-old of lacking “the balls to come here.” Plenty of United’s laundry was washed and aired in public. Cellino, nonetheless, showed a pragmatic side when pressure came to bear on him. Having broken off talks with Bellusci in July, refusing the defender’s wage demands and calling him “spoiled”, he went back to his agent after losing patience with Sorensen. Officially, Cooper’s transfer was off after Chesterfield refused to accept an offer of £475,000 but Leeds kept the channels of communication open for a fortnight and eventually increased their valuation. In certain periods, United’s owner was caught between two stools; loathe to allow clubs or players to take liberties with him but mindful of the risk of an underwhelming window. Asked about Adryan last week, Cellino said he would “do what it takes to sign him.” Leeds were 21st in the Championship with three points from 12 at the time. Failure in the transfer market was not a great option. To that end, cash was showered on forwards and strikers in an attempt to compensate for McCormack’s sale. Cellino never classed McCormack as a 30-goal player but he believed that the Scotland international would have been worth 15 this season. Among the other strikers he had in mid-July, Cellino was not so sure. Billy Sharp and Mirco Antenucci were brought in for immediate impact. Montenegro offers a bit of insurance. In that area of the squad, Leeds have been stockpiling to an unprecedented degree. It is easy to forget that when Cellino first bought United, they were losing £1m a month and the wage bill was giving him sleepless nights. United’s midfield was the only part of the team that Cellino declined to overhaul. He saw Viviani as a suitable, deep-lying playmaker but did not find an alternative to him, despite looking at Slovenian Jasmin Kurtic and Grosseto’s Marco Crimi. He liked the idea that Lewis Cook, Leeds’ exceptional 17-year-old, might grow into that role quickly. Casper Sloth and Zan Benedicic are a similar sort of attacking midfielder and out-and-out wingers never seemed to be on the agenda. But Montenegro can operate out wide and Antenucci too. Hockaday’s odd claim that wingers no longer have role in modern football might not have been true but he was right in one respect: an astute formation and a balanced line-up could still give United width. Hockaday, to his cost, never found it. And Leeds in general are still a club without devastating pace. His first window over, a left-back goes down as one of the few specific assets Cellino failed to land. He accepted a few weeks ago that sourcing a good-enough option and a club willing to trade would be difficult, and the sprightly form of Stephen Warnock made him question if a replacement was needed anyway. One of the lessons learned by United’s president this summer was that his squad cannot be a foreign legion. It needs English blood and English nous, at least in small doses. And after so many transfers, it need to settle down and integrate. A concerted attack on the transfer window was always inevitable in Cellino’s eyes. The second and bigger part of his plan involves putting the pieces together. That job starts here.

Tues Sept 2nd. Garcia to be named new Watford boss. LEEDS UNITED head coach target Oscar Garcia is to be named as the new manager at Watford later today. The former Brighton head coach had been at the centre of a tug-of-war between the Hornets and Leeds for his services after leaving his job as coach of Maccabi Tel Aviv last week. arcia’s representatives had been in contact with Leeds president Massimo Cellino, but had also held discussions with Watford’s Italian owners, the Pozzo family and he has now chosen the Hertfordshire outfit ahead of Leeds, with the Hornets expected to name the Spainard as their next boss today following Sunday’s resignation of Guiseppe Sannino.The club have reached an agreement with the 41-year-old to take over and it will be formally announced later today. Watford had been speaking to three candidates, but Garcia was their number one option and they have not only beaten off competition from Leeds, but also a Spanish club to secure his services. Garcia will be flying to England around midday and will meet club officials early this afternoon and is expected to meet with the Watford squad later today. A number of names remain in the forefront of the betting to take over at Leeds, including former West Brom head coach Steve Clarke, although he is expected to take his time before embarking on his next move in management. Another candidate whose odds came tumbling down in the odds to take over at Leeds at the weekend, former Whites boss SImon Grayson, is not thought to be high on the list of candidates who Cellino has short-listed to be handed the Elland Road post following the axing of David Hockaday. Sannino could himself become a candidate for the vacancy in the aftermath of his departure from Watford. The 57-year-old, who coached Watford for just nine months, is believed to be looking to remain in English football. Cellino is spending time in America this week and was absent from Elland Road as FIFA’s summer transfer deadline came and went at 11pm last night.

Tuesday Sep 2nd. PR own goal by Leeds. The transfer deadline passed at 11 last night, with Leeds completing 1 more signing and letting two go. Montenegro, as expected signed, whilst forwards Matt Smith and Dominc Poleon left-as had been reported earlier in the day. All in all it was a successful transfer window for Leeds-15 new players means it’s a completely new look squad. However, Leeds been Leeds, the club still managed to score another PR own goal. Tweeting at around 9.30, the official Leeds twitter account suggested people not to go to bed as there was more business to come (shortly after announcing Dakoura had signed a permanent deal-thus freeing up a loan spot). Two more tweets followed about Poleon and Smith leaving, then with every Leeds fan on twitter speculating who we would get, came a tweet at 11 saying that all the business was done!! It would be fair to say that it didn’t go down well!! Still-this must go down as our best window for a long, long time-just need a manager now to pull them all together..

Sep 2nd. Matt Smith Tweet to Leeds fans. (1/2) From the bottom of my heart, a huge thank you to everyone at @LUFC for the incredible support you’ve given me over the past 14 months. 2/2) Would like to wish you all the best for the future. I’m taking with me some truly amazing memories & experiences.

Mon Sept 1st. Poleon joins Latics. Youngster Dominic Poleon has ended his association with Leeds United by joining League One Oldham Athletic. The 20-year-old striker, who emerged from United’s academy, signed a two-year contract at Boundary Park ahead of the transfer deadline. Oldham have paid an undisclosed fee for a player who turned professional with Leeds in 2010. Poleon made six competitive starts for United’s first team and scored four goals but his involvement was likely to be limited this season by the arrival of several new strikers at Elland Road. United’s deal will Oldham includes a 25 per cent sell-on clause


Matt Smith hoping to rekindle his 40 plus league goal partnership with McCormack at Fulham

Monday 1st. Smith joins Fulham Football Club has this evening confirmed the signing of Matt Smith from Leeds United on a three-year deal, with an option of a further 12 months. The deal will see the player at the Club until at least the summer of 2017. The 25-year-old striker formed a formidable pairing with Ross McCormack at Leeds United last season, with Smith scoring 13 goals in 43 appearances. The players are now reunited in SW6. Matt Smith arrived at Elland Road in June 2013 from Oldham Athletic. He set up an injury time winner on his Leeds debut in a 2-1 opening day victory against Brighton & Hove Albion. He will wear the number nine shirt for the Whites. it is thought that the fe id 500K.

Other deals  Dominic Poleon has signed for Oldham Athletic on a two year deal with a 25% sell on clause. It is thought to be for 300K fee, and Rotherham had a coup by nailing Luciano Becchio on a season long loan from Norwich. Leeds were offered the player but weren’t interested.

Sept 1 Doukara becomes permanent signing Leeds striker Souleymane Doukara has turned his loan switch into a permanent deal. The 22-year-old initially moved to Elland Road in July on loan from Italian Serie B side Catania but has now put pen to paper on a three-year deal.  Doukara has made three appearances for Leeds and scored two goals, both against Accrington in the first round of the Capital One Cup, but he is currently sidelined after rupturing his ankle ligaments against Middlesbrough on August 16. Meanwhile, striker Dominic Poleon has joined Oldham on a two-year deal for an undisclosed fee.


Most of the new arrivals

Mon 1st of  of September. Fifteen in  The summer transfer window slammed shut at 11pm on Monday evening and brought to an end a busy period for United. United have signed a total of 15 new players which includes 11 permanent signings and four that have joined on loan, with the option to make the moves permanent following successful spells. The club’s first signing of the summer was experienced goalkeeper Stuart Taylor. The keeper signed a one-year deal with the club and travelled to Italy with the squad for pre-season training. While in Santa Cristina the club made three further signings which included United’s new number one Marco Silvesrtri, midfielder Tommaso Bianchi and Souleymane Doukara. Doukara initially joined the club on loan but on transfer deadline day the powerful striker signed a permanent three-year agreement. Next to join the club was defender Gaetano Berardi who signed a two-year contract after joining from Serie A side Sampdoria. AC Milan youngster Zan Benedicic then joined on loan on August 4 and made his United debut in the Capital One Cup against Accrington Stanley on August 12. Following the promising AC Milan youngster was Peterborough United forward Nicky Ajose. Nicky joined just days before the season got underway at Millwall on August 9 and he went straight into the starting line-up for the campaign’s opening match. On the evening of United’s Capital One Cup match with Acrrington Stanley the eighth signing of the window was announced with Giuseppe Bellusci arriving on loan. The defender made his debut at Watford and later in August he committed his future to the club and signed permanent terms. Wednesday August 13 saw United complete a double swoop by completing the signings of Billy Sharp from Southampton and Liam Cooper from Chesterfield. The British duo went straight into the starting line-up for the visit of Middlesbrough and Sharp made a dream debut by netting the winning goal. The signings kept on coming and on August 20 United announced their eleventh arrival of the summer. Striker Mirco Antenucci signed a two-year deal after arriving from Italian side Ternana. Just five days later Danish international Casper Sloth made his United move and signed a three year deal following his arrival from AGF Aarhus for an undisclosed fee. The midfielder made an impressive debut against Bolton Wanderers on August 30. On the day of the Bolton home victory United made a further move into the transfer market and signed Brazilian Under-20 international Adryan. The highly promising forward has initially signed on loan for the season, as has Dario Del Fabro who joined on loan on Sunday. On transfer deadline day United made one signing when Brain Montenegro joined initially on loan from Nacional Asunción. United had hoped to make a further signing before the 11pm cut off on deadline day but unfortunately a move never came to fruition. This could be something that the club revisit when the loan market reopens

Complete round-up of Leeds United’s summer transfers

The loan signings of Dario Del Fabro from Cagliari and Brian Montenegro from Nacional takes Leeds United’s total arrivals to fifteen for the summer of 2014.

Leeds United arrivals, Summer 2014

Player Position Age From Fee
Casper Sloth CM 22 AGF 600,000
Mirco Antenucci FW 29 Ternana 500,000
Giuseppe Bellusci CB 24 Catania 1,600,000
Nicky Ajose FW 22 Peterborough 150,000
Stuart Taylor GK 33 Reading 0
Tomasso Bianchi CM 25 Sassuolo 0
Zan Benedicic CM 18 Milan Loan
Gaetano Berardi RB 25 Sampdoria 500,000
Souleymane Doukara FW 22 Catania 500,000
Billy Sharp FW 28 Southampton 600,000
Liam Cooper CB 23 Chesterfield 600,000
Marco Silvestri GK 23 Chievo 400,000
Adryan AM/FW 19 Flamengo Loan
Dario Del Fabro CB 19 Cagliari Loan
Brian Montenegro FW/WNG 21 Nacional Loan
23.5 (avg.) 5,450,000

All figures are estimates based on press reports/best guesses and the total doesn’t include any fees paid for loan signings, which would arguably add an extra £1-2m.

Leeds United departures, Summer 2014

Player Position Age To Fee
Ross McCormack FW 27 Fulham 11,000,000
Paul Green CM 31 Rotherham 0
Jamie Ashdown GK 33 Crawley Town 0
Luke Varney FW 31 Blackburn 0
Lee Peltier RB 27 Huddersfield 0
Adam Drury LB 35 0
El-Hadji Diouf FW 33 0
Michael Brown CM 37 Port Vale 0
Danny Pugh LM 31 Coventry 0
Marius Zaliukas CB 30 Rangers 0
Tom Lees CB 23 Sheff Weds 0
Paddy Kenny GK 36 0
Nathan Turner CM 21 Bradford PA 0
Lewis Turner RB 21 Harrogate 0
Gboly Ariyibi RM 19 Chesterfield 0
Simon LenighanMatt SmithDomnic Poleon CMCFCF 192620 HarrowgateFulhamOldham 0500,000300,000 + 25% sell on
28.4 (avg.) 11,800,000


Janeiro and debuted for their senior side in July 2012. In January of this year the promising young Brazilian joined Cagliari on an 18-month loan deal. But a thigh injury limited his appearances at the Italian side. Adryan’s time at Cagliari has now been cut short and the 20-year-old will become United’s 13th signing of the summer. Due to the timing of his arrival at Elland Road Adryan was not be available to play in the club’s Sky Bet Championship match with Bolton on Saturday.

Mon Sept 1st. Brian Montenegro’s season-long loan to Leeds United from Nacional confirmed. #lufc


Hopefully Montenegro (another forward, although he can play out wide apparently) will have more success at Leeds tan he did at West Ham

Mon September 1st. Kurtic turns down United for FiorentinaSassuolo midfielder Jasmin Kurtic claims he turned down a move to Leeds United in favour of joining Fiorentina on loan. The 25-year-old, who signed from Palermo in 2013, is reported to have been a long-term target for Fiorentina but Leeds were also said to be keen on securing his services. Kurtic, a Slovenia international, spent the second half of last season on loan at Serie A rivals Torino and has now moved to Florence with a view to a permanent deal. “Leeds United really wanted me but I couldn’t say no to Fiorentina,” he told Ekipa 24. “I know it will be hard to get in the first 11 but I’m ready to work hard. I cannot hide my joy after signing with Fiorentina.” Sassuolo sporting director Nereo Bonato told “Until a few hours ago we were waiting for a practical move by Fiorentina, who have always shown an interest but never made the decisive step. “Now he has arrived. We came to an agreement, we do not have the exact figures yet but there we are.” Leeds have already added 14 new faces to their squad this summer, including eight from Italian football

Mon Sept 1st. Smith to Fulham ? Leeds United are in talks with Fulham over a deal to sell striker Matt Smith, the YEP understands. Fulham have approached United about the 25-year-old forward just two weeks after Smith signed a new three-year contract at Elland Road. Smith committed his future to Leeds on the back of a bid for him from Millwall but Leeds have signed a number of new strikers and Smith has started only one league game this season. A source has told the YEP that the likelihood of Smith moving to Craven Cottage is “50-50″ following discussions this morning. A transfer to London would reunite Smith with ex-Leeds captain Ross McCormack who joined Fulham in a £10.75m deal in July.

Monday Sep 1st New coach to be named within 24 hours – Phil Hay YP Leeds United could decide on a new head coach in the next 24 hours after a weekend of intense activity at Elland Road. Owner Massimo Cellino has spent the past two days considering candidates for the job and is looking to appoint a replacement for David Hockaday before he travels to the USA this week. The Italian, who is understood to have a clear first-choice in mind, has spoken to former West Bromwich Albion coach Steve Clarke, and yesterday afternoon saw a run of bets on Preston North End boss Simon Grayson returning to a club he managed between 2009 and 2012. It is understood that United have been made aware of Grayson’s interest in the vacancy but Cellino is in touch with other options and is thought to prefer a specific alternative to the 44-year-old. rayson, who began his playing career at Leeds, took charge of 169 competitive matches as United’s manager and ended the club’s three-year stay in League One with automatic promotion in 2010. He has been in charge of Preston since February of last year and took the Lancashire side to the League One play-offs last season. Clarke, in contrast, is out of work after being sacked as West Brom’s head coach in December. Contact with him was made within hours of Cellino dismissing Hockaday on Thursday after just 70 days in the job. Clarke was said to have been receptive to United’s initial approach but sources close to him are indicating he is unlikely to rush into accepting the post at Elland Road. The former Chelsea and Liverpool assistant is likely to be a leading candidate for the job at Fulham if Fulham decide to end Felix McGath’s troubled reign at Craven Cottage. Ex-Brighton head coach Oscar Garcia, meanwhile, is being viewed as a viable possibility after he quit his post as Maccabi Tel Aviv coach last week due to the political instability in Israel. Garcia took Brighton to the Championship play-offs in May but left the Amex Stadium in the wake of Albion’s failure to win promotion amid suggestions that he was unhappy with the budget on offer to him. Hockaday’s sacking left United academy manager Neil Redfearn in control of the first-team squad for Saturday’s clash with Bolton, a game which Leeds won 1-0, but the former Barnsley striker is highly unlikely to be offered the full-time post. In a message to Leeds’ supporters on Saturday, Cellino admitted to a “mistake” in naming little-known Hockaday as head coach in June but warned that his replacement might not be a “big name”. “I will select a head coach that I believe can help the club and the supporters must realise that it may not be a ‘big name’,” Cellino said.It will be a coach who I believe is best-placed to succeed at Leeds United. I may make other mistakes but if I do, I will be big enough to own up to them like I have with David and Junior (Lewis, Hockaday’s assistant).” Cellino, who lived in Miami before he bought Leeds and moved to Yorkshire this summer, is due to fly to America for a short period after the FIFA transfer window closes at 11pm tonight.


Garcia – The man who Cellino favours – He took Brighton to the play offs. He is a continental coach. He understands Italian. But would he work for Cellino ?

Óscar García Junyent (born 26 April 1973), simply known as Óscar, is a Spanish retired footballer. As a player he was a versatile offensive option, able to play as an attacking midfielder or a second striker. He played most of his 14-year professional career with Barcelona, with relative impact, appearing for four other clubs. Currently he’s unemployed, after resigning from Israeli club Maccabi Tel Aviv F.C..[1] In La Liga Óscar amassed totals of 169 games and 31 goals over the course of 12 seasons, also representing Espanyol (four seasons), Albacete, Lleida and Valencia (one apiece Playing career[edit]

Born in Sabadell, Barcelona, Catalonia, Óscar made his professional debut with FC Barcelona, his local team. Between 1992 and 1994 he played in five La Liga matches for Barça who were champions each year and, after a loan at fellow top division Albacete Balompié, he returned and was often used (with good results) in a variety of offensive roles: during the 1995–96 season he scored 10 league goals, the most in the squad, even though he only started 11 of his 28 appearances;[2] Barcelona came out empty in silverware, however. With his role gradually diminishing, Óscar joined Valencia CF for one season, finishing off with Barça neighbours RCD Espanyol (teaming up again with brother Roger, for three seasons) and UE Lleida and retiring in June 2005 at the age of 32. On 7 January 2001, whilst playing for the second club against CD Numancia, he was taken to hospital after swallowing his tongue;[3] in the following summer, he nearly signed for West Ham United, but an eventual deal fell through after a one week’s trial and he returned to Espanyol,[4] with whom he never scored more than one goal per season, during four years. For Spain, Óscar appeared for the nation at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, netting twice for the eventual quarterfinalists.

Coaching career[edit]

In late 2009 Óscar joined former Barcelona coach Johan Cruyff‘s coaching staff in the Catalonia national team, as the Dutch had just been appointed.[5] On 22 May 2012 he had his first head coach appointment, signing a two-year contract with Israeli team Maccabi Tel Aviv FC.[6] Exactly one year later, after leading the club to the national championship after a ten-year drought,[7] he resigned from his post, citing personal reasons.[8] On 26 June 2013, Óscar was unveiled as the new head coach of Football League Championship club Brighton & Hove Albion.[9] His first win came on 17 August, 1–0 at Birmingham City.[10] On 12 May 2014, following Brighton’s play off semi-final defeat to Derby County, García’s offer of resignation was accepted by the club’s board. The Seagulls had finished sixth in the league table.[11]

On June 2nd 2014 he signed a two year contract with Maccabi Tel Aviv FC, but left the club[12] on August 26th due to the political tension.

Honours Player[edit] Club[edit]

Barcelona UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup: 1996–97

UEFA Super Cup: 1992, 1997

La Liga: 1992–93, 1993–94, 1997–98, 1998–99

Copa del Rey: 1996–97, 1997–98

Supercopa de España: 1992, 1996

Valencia Supercopa de España: 1999


Spain U-21 UEFA European Under-21 Championship: Runner-up 1996;[13] Third-place 1994

Manager[edit] Maccabi Tel Aviv Israeli Premier League: 2012–13


De Fabro – 19 year old looks to be one for the future

Sunday Aug 31st. 2014. Del Fabro becomes signing number 14 Leeds United can now confirm the loan signing of Dario Del Fabro from Cagliari, subject to international clearance. The 19-year-old defender will join United for the 2014/15 season and the move includes the option to make the signing permanent should the spell be successful. Del Fabro is a centre-back that has plenty of international experience at youth level, following appearances for the Italian Under-15s Juventus FC v Cagliari Calcio - TIM Cup through to being a current Under-19. The defender also scored his first international goal in 2013. The promising young defender is United’s 14th signing of the summer. Who is is Dario Del Fabro ? (Born 24 March 1995) (aged 19 and is a central defender) is an Italian footballer who plays for English Championship club Leeds United on loan from Serie A side Cagliari. He plays as central defender. He is a current Italy under-19s international. Born in Alghero. Del Fabro started his career at Cagliari after being spotted by the head of the academy Gianfranco Matteoli. He made his debut in the Coppa Italia on 5 November 2012 against Delfino Pescara 1936. He played the full 90 minutes. He made his Serie A league debut on 21 December 2012 against Juventus. He came on for Marco Sau in the 67th minute. On 3 August 2014, Del Fabro joined Serie B side Pescara on a season-long loan. The move was later terminated so that he could join Leeds United instead.[1] On 31 August, he signed for former Cagliari owner Massimo Cellino at Leeds United on a season-long loan with the option of a permanent move.[2] In 2010, Del Fabro was capped by Italy under-16s where he captained the side, before graduating in 2011 to Italy under-17, and then on to Italy under-18s in 2012. In 2013, Del Fabro made his debut for Italy under-19s and scored his first goal in the Azzuri shirt. He is 6 Feet 0 Inches 2012– Cagliari 6 (0)

Sun 31st of Aug. Grayson in the frame – Football League World  Simon Grayson is the new bookmakers favourite to be the new Leeds United manager. Grayson is the favourite for the Leeds job. The 44-year-old currently manages Sky Bet League One side Preston North End, however he has now emerged as the favourite to land the top job at Leeds United.. Leeds’ Italian owner Massimo Cellino sacked Dave Hockaday last week, after only six games in charge of the Yorkshire club. Cellino is now on the hunt for a new manager to take the helm at Elland Road, and Grayson is among others touted for the job.Former West Bromwich Albion manager Steve Clarke is interested in the job, as reported on Football League World yesterday. I would love it to be the case but I can’t see it happening. Phil Hay tweeted that he is very interested in returning to Elland Road but is well down in Cellino’s list, and that’s the only list that counts. Hay also tweeted that “Clarke and Cellino have spoken but it’s not clear if Clarke is his first choice. Lot’s going on in the background”. “One person not to discount is Oscar Garcia (formerly Brighton) who Cellino is said to be keen on but is said to be in talks with Watford”.

Sat Aug 30th. Del Fabro next for Whites after Adryan arrival Leeds United have tonight confirmed the signing of Brazilian midfielder Adryan – and are now on the verge of adding Italian defender Dario Del Fabro to their squad. Adryan’s season-long loan from Flamengo was announced shortly after today’s 1-0 win over Bolton and a deal to bring Del Fabro to Leeds looks set to be finalised tomorrow afternoon. Del Fabro, 19, is an Italian Under-19 international who has been at Cagliari – the club formerly owned by United president Massimo Cellino – for the past two seasons. Leeds appear have reached an agreement to take the young centre-back on loan for the rest of the 2014-15 term, and the transfer will give the Elland Road club an option to sign him on a permanent basis next summer. United are also in the process of putting the finishing touches to the transfer of forward Brian Montenegro from Nacional in Paraguay and expect to confirm his arrival on loan before the FIFA transfer window closes at 11pm on Monday night. Adryan, meanwhile, has become Leeds’ 13th summer signing after a patient pursuit of the Brazil Under-20 international. The 20-year-old was six months into an 18-month loan at Cagliari but Cellino convinced Cagliari to send him back to Flamengo early and allow Adryan to come to England. Adryan is awaiting international clearance but will be available to make his Leeds debut when United travel to Birmingham City after the international break. Like all of the loan deals agreed by Cellino this summer, United have the right to buy Adryan for a fee of around £3m at the end of the season.


Adryan – The next Zico ? Like so many Brazilians before him. Leeds need his number 10 role skills now.

Sat Aug 30th. United confirm signing of Brazilian starlet Adryan United can now confirm the loan signing of Adryan Oliveira Tavares from Brazilian side Flemengo, subject to international clearance. The deal to bring Adryan to Elland Road also includes the option to make his move permanent should he have a successful loan spell with the club. The 20-year-old is a current Brazil Under-20 international and has been involved in the national set-up since Under-15 level. The young attacking midfielder came through the youth ranks at Flemengo in Rio de Janeiro and debuted for their senior side in July 2012. In January of this year the promising young Brazilian joined Cagliari on an 18-month loan deal. But a thigh injury limited his appearances at the Italian side. Adryan’s time at Cagliari has now been cut short and the 20-year-old will become United’s 13th signing of the summer. Due to the timing of his arrival at Elland Road Adryan was not be available to play in the club’s Sky Bet Championship match with Bolton on Saturday.

leeds stephen warnock celebrates hIs goal

Warnock celebrates his goal but his shot was a cross


Antenucci lead the line well


Cooke – Leeds best outfield player

Sat Aug 30th. UNITED 1 (Warnock 17), BOLTON 0. United: Silvestri, Wootton, Pearce, Bellusci, Warnock (C Taylor 55), Cook, Mowatt, Bianchi, Sloth (Benedicic 78), Sharp, Antenucci. Subs. S Taylor, Cooper, Dawson, Tonge, Smith. Booked: Wootton, Pearce (Leeds). Att: 21,901 Report LUFC website Following the departure of David Hockaday on Thursday it was Neil Redfearn that was in caretaker charge of the United first team on Saturday for the visit of Bolton Wanderers. Redfearn made a number of changes to his side and gave Alex Mowatt his first appearance of the season. Also, Lewis Cook was named from the start and there was home debuts for Giuseppe Bellusci and Mirco Antenucci. And, Danish international Casper Sloth made his United debut. United started the game well and played the more adventurous football. There was very little in the way of chances during the opening 10 minutes but United were playing bright and penetrating football. The midfield foursome of Tommaso Bianchi, Mowatt, Cook and Sloth controlled the game during the opening quarter-hour. But, against the run of play in the 12th minute, the away side had the meaningful opportunity of the match. Joe Mason was played through on goal with a killer through-ball but Marco Silvestri made a great save and tipped his strike onto his crossbar. Following Mason’s effort United regained control of the game and were rewarded in the 17th minute when Stephen Warnock struck. The full-back was played through high up the pitch and his low drive beat Adam Bogdan and sweetly nestled in the back of the net. United’s opener was just rewards for a bright start to the match and after the goal the away side didn’t really caused United’s back line too many problems. With five minutes of the half remaining the game sparked into life with a flurry of opportunities. Cook, who had an outstanding first 45 minutes, pulled the strings for United’s attack on 40 minutes when Mowatt collected the ball on the edge of the box but his strike was just too high. Then, once again against the run of play, Mason showed pace and determination to break forward, but his shot was straight into the grateful hands of Silvestri. The former Cardiff City striker had a further chance but the interval but Silvestri once again thwarted the forward. Billy Sharp also threatened before the break when he showed great movement to open up the space to shoot but his effort went over the crossbar. Both sides came out unchanged from half-time and Bolton were the first to threaten early on in the second half as Craig Davies was unable to find the target. United were then forced into their first change of the afternoon on 55 minutes as the goalscorer, Warnock, limped off to be replaced by Charlie Taylor after coming off worse in a strong challenge with Hayden White. Bolton continued to press in search of an equaliser and Silvestri was forced into action once again as he kept out Jay Spearing’s strike from range before thwarting Mason on the rebound. United were having to defend in numbers to stem the tide as Dougie Freedman urged his men forward, but Cook’s pin-point ball over the top for Sharp almost created an opening, only for Sharp’s slightly heavy touch to take the ball into Bodgan’s arms. Redfearn’s side were standing firm as Silvestri was once again alert to keep out Lee Chung-yong’s 20-yard strike before the following corner was scrambled clear. United were still looking a threat on the break and they almost caught Bolton out with a swift counter-attack, only for Bianchi’s low cross to be cut out inside the area. Mason then fired over from range before Silvestri was equal to a Neil Danns free-kick. United debutant Sloth left the field to a standing ovation as he made way for Zan Benedicic with 12 minutes remaining, while Jermaine Beckford also received a similar reception from the Elland Road crowd as he replaced Davies for the visitors. A tense final 10 minutes remained and both sides took turn to have efforts on goal. Beckford, who had saluted the home fans just moments earlier, lashed a strike wide after skipping past two United defenders, while Antenucci’s movement was continuing to cause Bolton problems and his curling effort just evaded Bodgan’s far post. Five minutes of stoppage time were added on and a frantic finale ensued as Bolton threw everyone forward in search of a dramatic late equaliser. Former Liverpool midfielder Jay Spearing fired wide from outside the box before Silvestri clutched onto a searching Liam Feeney cross. Bolton’s golden opportunity to leave West Yorkshire with a point fell to Beckford inside the area but, yet again, Silvestri was on hand to preserve his clean sheet with a superb reflex save to keep out the striker’s downward header before pouncing on the loose ball. A final attack saw Bolton send Bogdan forward for a free-kick but the United defence held tight to secure a much-needed three points ahead the international break. Neil Redfearn talking to Eddie Gray after the game “I thought Lewis Cook was the best player on the pitch by a mile (bar the goalkeeper). He has a half a yard of pace also which takes him past players. He is such a level headed kid too. We had energy up front. It don’t half make a difference.(Re the top job) I’ve not really put it in my head. I said I’d look after it for him. These kids are just the tip of the iceberg I’m a servant of the club. I remember you (Eddie Gray) putting young lads out, John Sheridan and the like,  and players like that. If they’re good enough they’re old enough”. Dougie Freedman : We’re scratching our heads as to how we didn’t win the game. “They’ve had one moment and one mistake has cost us a goal. “We rallied and gave it a real good go after that. The statistics will show you that we were the better side and created a number of opportunities, but unfortunately we couldn’t get the goal. “Our finishing in the final third should have been better today. “We saw Leeds throwing everything into defending their goal, and I feel that was maybe the difference today. “We’ve been very close in games and have been playing well. “Today’s game shows you that if we stop making mistakes at the back, we’ve got a group of players going forward that will create enough to win games. “After the international break, we’ve now got to be looking to win two or three games on the bounce. “I understand the frustration and I’m frustrated too. But, I see enough out there to know that we’ll soon turn the corner.”


Cellino says a little prayer

Cellino : “Don’t expect big name boss” Leeds president Massimo Cellino has told the club’s fans not to expect a “big name” replacement for sacked head coach David Hockaday. Cellino fired Hockaday and his assistant Junior Lewis on Thursday following Leeds’ Capital One Cup exit at the hands of local rivals Bradford. The 58-year-old Italian has confirmed he gave the pair a stay of execution as he initially wanted to sack them after last weekend’s defeat at Watford. Academy manager Neil Redfearn will take charge for Saturday’s home game against Bolton. “The decision I made had to be the best one for Leeds United and recent performances and results meant I had no option but to change things,” Cellino said in a written statement. “As I said in the club’s media statement on Thursday evening I made the wrong decision last week to retain the services of the head coach and his assistant.”It is true that I seriously thought about ending their contracts after the defeat at Watford but I wanted to be fair and give them one more chance. After the cup game at Bradford I knew that I had to act and I did. “We have to face our mistakes when we make them and I have done that. “I want what is best for Leeds United and while I’m at the club I will always do my best. “I will also select a new head coach that I believe can help the club and the supporters must realise it may not be a ‘big name’. “It will be a coach who I believe is best placed to succeed at Leeds United. “I may make other mistakes but if I do I will be big enough to own up to them like I have with David and Junior. “But I promise that I will always have Leeds United at heart and will do my very best to make the club successful no matter how long it takes. “We have to realise though that it will be a hard job to get the club back to where we want it to be, but together we will do that. “Now, let us join together and support the team and Neil Redfearn.” Cellino, known in Italy as the “manager eater”, sacked 36 coaches during his 20-year spell as Cagliari owner. He attempted to sack former Leeds manager Brian McDermott during his takeover process at Elland Road in January before the pair parted company at the end of May. Hockaday, 56, a shock appointment by the Italian on June 19 and who listed Forest Green as his only previous managerial experience, lost four of his six games in charge of Leeds. Former West Brom manager Steve Clarke is understood to be interested in succeeding Hockaday. The 51-year-old former Chelsea and Liverpool defender is keen to get back into management after being sacked by West Brom in December last year


Will Clarke become new coach ?

Sat 30th of August. Coach Clarke is interested in Leeds United job Steve Clarke is interested in becoming Leeds United’s next head coach, the YEP understands. The former West Bromwich Albion boss – a leading candidate to replace David Hockaday – is emerging as an increasingly attractive option for Massimo Cellino as the United owner looks to appoint Hockaday’s replacement before the end of the international break. Clarke and Leeds are believed to have had initial dialogue since Hockaday’s sacking on Thursday and the 51-year-old is looking for a return to coaching nine months after leaving his job at the Hawthorns. He was considered for the manager’s post at Crystal Palace last week – a job which eventually went to ex-Leeds boss Neil Warnock – but sources close to Clarke say he is open to the idea of working in the Championship and operating alongside Cellino. The former Liverpool and Chelsea assistant would come at a far higher cost than Hockaday and would insist on the appointment of Kevin Keen as his number two having used Keen as part of his backroom team during 18 months in charge of West Brom. Cellino has indicated that he wants another British coach – or a coach who has worked at a high level of the English game – to take over at Elland Road, despite the failure of his experiment with Hockaday. The Italian plucked Hockaday from obscurity in June, naming him as Brian McDermott’s successor a week before the start of pre-season, but Hockaday survived for just 70 days and six competitive games before losing his job after Wednesday’s League Cup defeat to Bradford City. Neil Redfearn, United’s academy manager, has been given caretaker charge of the first-team squad for the third time in two-and-a-half years but he is not thought to be in the running for the permanent post. Leeds have a two-week break after today’s clash with Bolton Wanderers and Cellino will push to finalise the selection of a new head coach before their Championship season resumes away at Birmingham City on September 13. In an outspoken attack on Cellino, former United midfielder Johnny Giles warned on Thursday that the club would struggle to attract proven coaches due to the 58-year-old’s influence and methods. Speaking to Irish radio station Newstalk, Giles said: “I don’t think anybody would be a good choice. This fella (Cellino) is a headbanger. “I think he only employed that coach (Hockaday) so he was a frontman – so he could pick the team and bring the players in that he wanted. I think Hockaday had no say in it whatsoever and anybody that goes to Leeds would be mad to take the job. “I’d say that any of the managers who are worth their salt wouldn’t touch that job. What the fella should do is make himself manager and do the job because that’s what he’s trying to do anyway.” Cellino is due to travel to the USA for a few days after the summer transfer window closes on Monday night. Leeds are in the process of tying up the signings of Flamengo midfielder Adryan and Nacional striker Brian Montenegro, both of whom are set to join United on season-long loans with a view to permanent moves next summer.

Sat 30th of August Cellino would have Hock back one day Leeds owner Massimo Cellino insists he would like to have sacked boss Dave Hockaday back at Elland Road one day. The former Forest Green boss was the shock choice to replace Brian McDermott in the Leeds hot-seat in the summer.However the 56-year-old lasted just six games in charge of the Championship club, departing after the 2-1 League Cup defeat by West Yorkshire rivals Bradford on Wednesday. “In the future, when I have a stronger team, I would like him to come back to Leeds.” Cellino, who had intended to sack Hockaday after the 4-1 defeat by Watford the game before but gave him a stay of execution, told The Sun: “I felt sorry for him and had to give him tranquillity. “After the game on Wednesday, I found him in real trouble. It was hell for him. He was under big pressure. I had to do something. “He is a very nice man – probably too nice. “In the future, when I have a stronger team, I would like him to come back to Leeds.” He admitted the environment was not right at Elland Road for Hockaday at present, adding: “I don’t think it was a fair chance for Hockaday. “He needed an environment that was ready to protect him. The team isn’t strong enough, the whole culture isn’t right. “It’s easier to coach Real Madrid than Leeds at the moment.”

Sat August 30th. A raft of changes but same old Leeds United – Phil Hay. Chief football writer Phil Hay looks at five key things we’ve learned about Leeds United in the first month of the new skybet championship season. English football won’t change Cellino. He says he needs to learn about the game in this country – and also the players – but the Cagliari mindset is ingrained in Cellino. Five months at Leeds United have made no difference to his traits or his methods. In Sardinia they recognise him as the same man who ran Cagliari for 22 years: the tub-thumping, the unpredictability, the outright dominance of everything. Cellino proved on Thursday that his penchant for sacking coaches is neither mythical nor exaggerated. The top job at Elland Road will always be precarious while he pays the salary. His preferences can be matched with those seen at Cagliari too – an inexpensive coach who knows his place and holds no great profile; signings taken from Italy and South America, two markets United sporting director Nicola Salerno knows well. The transfers themselves have a familiar feel. In Italy, Cellino developed a habit of signing players on loan while negotiating the terms of a permanent move further down the line. Adryan joined Cagliari on those terms in January. Whether it makes complicated deals possible or simply delays full payment until a later date, Cellino likes that arrangement. In England he merely needs to avoid breaching the Football League’s rules on loans. Beyond his business practices, he has shown himself to be outspoken in a way which makes Ken Bates look like a diplomat. Cellino’s experience of life in the English media bubble hasn’t deterred him from confessing to a plan to sack David Hockaday before it came to pass, or from singling out individual players for “s**t mistakes” and “f*** ups”. He will criticise tactics and he will influence the football. He’ll do what he wants when he wants. At an executive-free club, there is no-one to keep him in line except Cellino himself. “I have to control my ego,” he said on Sunday. If you like his style, you’ll enjoy much more of it. If you don’t, it’s best to accept that Cellino is set in his ways – and hope that those ways work. With no public support, David Hockaday was always doomed. Managers usually meet their end after a loss of patience on the terraces. The crowd did not chase Simon Grayson out of Leeds but when his time came he went without protest. Neil Warnock’s star dipped after seven or eight months, at which point abuse of him became rife. And Brian McDermott got the silent treatment – a swathe of supporters who declined to butcher him but were nonetheless disillusioned with so much that happened last season. However harsh their dismissals were, all three were flavour-of-the-month of a while. With Hockaday, the vitriol towards him was almost unprecedented in terms of the time it took to spew out. There were chants against him at Watford last Saturday and again at Bradford on Wednesday. He lost the hardcore before he even started. Coaching Leeds is difficult enough when the going is good. The job is worse than impossible when a head coach is abandoned after three leagues games. You felt for Hockaday, you really did, but the combination of laboured performances and an awkward atmosphere posed a very stark question – how could it ever work? Even Dennis Wise got a few weeks of peace. A lack of pace is United’s biggest weakness. Players with exceptional skill stand out in the Championship but one thing that separates a strong side from a weak side is pace at the front end of a team. Watford have it and so do Brighton. Even Millwall got a bit of change out of Martyn Woolford and Magaye Gueye. The phrase ‘one-paced’ has been used to describe Leeds this season and it’s a fair analysis of the line-ups fielded by Hockaday. There was no issue with their effort or their fitness and there is no need for Leeds to have the best 11 players in the league, but pace creates a threat and pace gives you width. As ex-professionals say, possession is one thing. Positive possession is another. Cellino loves a striker. Twelve signings so far in this window and 14 if Adryan and the geographically-named Brian Montenegro (real name Brian Guillermo Montenegro Martinez) join Leeds before 11pm on Monday. The breakdown of the transfers is as follows: two goalkeepers, three defenders, four midfielders and five forwards. The spread of goals at Leeds was poor last season and the sale of Ross McCormack threatened to make it worse but United have packed their forward line like no other area of their team. Added to a squad that already contained Steve Morison, Matt Smith, Noel Hunt and Dominic Poleon, the club have no fewer than nine forwards available – and 10 when Lewis Walters returns from knee surgery. Time for a few of them to go. The Championship is going to be as ridiculous as ever. Fulham bottom. All perfect records gone after three games. The first managerial sacking on the opening weekend and Nottingham Forest top of the league despite a bit of in-fighting. Chelsea are 7/5 to win the Premier League. No club in the Championship are shorter than 13/2 for the title. You really can’t make it up.


Former Baggies boss appeals to United owner Cellino but not before he tries to offer the job to former Leeds coach Gibbs

For now, the plan at Elland Road is to go British again. The failure of David Hockaday’s time as Leeds United head coach has not dissuaded Massimo Cellino from looking for a domestic replacement – or not yet, anyway

Cellino is understood to like Steve Clarke and thinks the former West Bromwich Albion manager would tick a lot of boxes. He would also command a far bigger salary, be less subservient than Hockaday and look for Kevin Keen to work as his assistant too. But in considering Clarke, United’s owner is in the right ballpark.

He also admires Gianfranco Zola and is said to see the Italian as something close to the perfect option. Zola is not British but all of his experience as a coach was gained in the English leagues. He played for Cellino at Cagliari and was an integral member of the squad who won promotion to Serie A in 2004 but their relationship broke down some time ago and Zola’s agent made it clear during the summer that a job at Leeds – and employment under Cellino – was not for him.

There are options aplenty for Cellino and the hunt for Hockaday’s successor is an open field in which most bets are off. The process is likely to pick up next week once the club enter the first international break of the season. It would help Leeds if their search for a new head coach was targeted and orderly; but to judge by a remarkable occurrence last weekend, you have to wonder.

In the hours after United’s defeat at Watford, Hockaday was as good as sacked – even though Cellino later changed his mind and delayed the dismissal for another five days.

On Saturday night, the YEP understands that Cellino phoned Nigel Gibbs, of all people, to ask him to take up the job as head coach full-time.

Gibbs, left, was assistant manager at Leeds from April 2013 onwards and someone Cellino rated. Last month Gibbs resigned from his job and began legal proceedings against the club, claiming constructive dismissal after a summer in which he was effectively left without a specified role.

In a statement issued shortly after his departure, Gibbs said: “I have terminated my employment with Leeds United in response to the way I have been treated by the club, which amounts to a breach of contract. “I have put the matter in the hands of my legal advisors and in those circumstances it is inappropriate for me to make any further comment.”

Cellino, right, responded by saying that Gibbs wanted to the leave Elland Road but had asked for too much money to settle his contract. He also accused Gibbs of refusing to work for Hockaday. Despite the conflict, the two men spoke at length on Saturday but Gibbs appears to have rejected the invitation to return. Cellino then decided to sit tight and leave Hockaday in charge for one more game, away to Bradford City. Gibbs was unavailable for comment and the legal case between him and Leeds continues.

Friday August 29th. Now, Massimo, the Hock is gone so time for you learn from your mistake I’m not going to say I told you so, but the dogs in the street knew that Dave Hockaday was going to be a disaster for Leeds United.  I wrote back on May 30th : ” Surely Cellino is taking the piss here. No way can he be serious re these press leaks about Dave Hockaday and the Leeds job ” Sadly he was serious.  Unfortunately Massimo Cellino gave him no chance either with his drip feed of signings, some of which will never be good enough to adorn the shirt of Leeds United. The only good thing is that Cellino has acted now. He knows he fucked up, and there is two weeks now to get the right candidate in to manage our club, not his club but our club. If he wants to sign the players, Johnny Giles is correct, let him coach the team and manage it himself. He knows fuck all about Championship football and if he proceeds down this route Leeds United will be in League One next season. Unless the correct candidate is chosen, let manage the team and have a huge input into the players he wants to arrive into the football club Leeds United are going absolutely nowhere except down the tubes. We all know that Tony Pullis if backed would get us out of this division in a heartbeat. We equally all know that Tony Pullis would never work for Cellino in a million years. So who in their right minds would or will ? The Hockaday experiment has failed miserably.  If Cellino hasn’t learned that by now he is no better than GFH or Bates, just a hands on control freak version of the two combined in one. Who we buy in the next few days but ultimately who we choose as coach/manager will determine where this football club is going. If it’s another yes man Elland Road will be getting crowds of 10,000 before Christmas, and witnessing League One football next year. So Massimo, pull in your ego and let the new manager manage and you can do everything else ! Comprende ? Ciao.