Monday, 30 July 2012

Billy to Blackpool rumours circulate, whilst Warnock expects no one in by Wednesday

Neil Warnock has been talking to the press about the futures of Billy and Ross, whilst stating his desire to bring Martin Cranie in after his trial with the club ended. Billy ‘Barndoor’ Paynter seems to be attracting interest from a couple of clubs with Doncaster Rovers and Blackpool leading the race (If you can call it that) to sign the striker. Rumours are that Blackpool are offering 500k for Billy which has shocked Leeds fans everywhere, as we all thought we would probably end up paying something similar to get rid of him. It’s fair to say Paynter never looked like he was going to make it at Leeds and no doubt he’ll end up being another player that goes on to flourish elsewhere and will no doubt score against us in the future, just like every other ex player.

As for Ross we need to keep him, with rumours that we may be exchanging him with Craig Mackail-Smith populated social networking sites, I argued why keep constantly getting rid of your best players. Smith would be a good acquisition but not at the expense of losing Ross. If I were to choose one I would go with Ross every time. He was one of the leading lights for us last season and even the season before when he wasn’t hitting the back of the net, supporters could see he had good technical ability and it was just a matter of time until the goals would flourish.

Warnock was quoted as saying ‘There have been a couple of clubs ask about buying him, but we don’t want to sell him unless there is a player exchange’. This caused many fans to think that Warnock was resigned to losing Ross as well as Snodgrass, I could be wrong but my theory is that, the comment was aimed at Huddersfield. Rumours have been around for a long time suggesting that Grayson was weighing up a move for his former striker and I believe that Warnock was basically saying ‘you can have Ross if we can have Rhodes’. Now I don’t think for one minute we would get or that Huddersfield would let us have Rhodes without a large sum of money going the other way. But I think it was Warnock’s way of warding off interest from our West Yorkshire neighbours.

Martin Cranie seems to have done enough to impress Neil during his trial with the club, ‘he’s a steady player and what I’d call a squad player’ Warnock said ‘where it goes from here really depends on what Martin’s looking for and what we can afford to offer him’. Personally I think that Cranie would be a good addition to the squad. With the seemingly impending departure of Andy O’Brien, the release of Alex Bruce and the fragility of Kisnorbo, we are lacking in depth in that area. The former Coventry man would offer steady cover for Pearce and Lees.

After Sky Sports confirmed a bid for Peltier and rumours of a bid for Beckford in the offing, fans are hoping for some new acquisitions this week, however Warnock doesn’t expect any new signings before our friendly against Sandefjord on Wednesday. ‘I wouldn’t have thought have thought any of my targets will come in before then, although you never say never with us’. That’s right Neil anything can happen when it comes to Leeds.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

McCormack double sees off Torquay as Cornish pasties and Bahrain banks become the subject of choice for Leeds fans

On a day when 31 year old David Norris’ transfer to the club was confirmed and the takeover rumours took an unprecedented turn, with Adam Pope’s tweets about a Bahrain bank, advised by a sheik, becoming the new frontrunners for the ownership of the club. Leeds took on Torquay at Plainmoor in their final pre season friendly of the south west tour.

An attendance of 3,925 witnessed Leeds 2-1 victory with 2,050 of them being Leeds fans. Chants about Cornish pasties at Warnock’s house had fans in stitches, whilst there were calls for Beckford’s return home after rumours of a bid for him were gathering pace on Twitter. All this created a lively atmosphere within the ground and those fans were rewarded when Ross McCormack opened the scoring in the seventh minute with a well hit strike from distance, whilst he scored his and Leeds’ second on the 11th minute with a superb free kick. Ross subsequently kissed the badge leading many on Twitter to say he would be the next one on his way to Norwich. Torquay however did get one back in the 79th minute with a headed goal, that Jason Pearce would maybe argue shouldn’t have been allowed after he seemed to be fouled as the ball was whipped in, nevertheless the goal stood. As Leeds understandably tired towards the end, after three games in five days, Torquay threatened more. But their attacks came to nothing and in the end it was another good run out for the lads and another victory to take it up to three in three for pre season.

Once again our fans were fantastic and the number of fans we take to away games continues to astound onlookers, whilst Warnock once again praised our supporters ‘Look at the fans. What can you say about them? I don’t think the new lads knew what had hit them, it even took me by surprise’. Our fans will no doubt have a massive part to play this season, as always, but I hope we can make Elland Road a fortress once again this season. If Warnock can acquire these ‘marquee’ signings he has talked about then I think the fans will once again flock to the ground and make Elland Road the intimidating fortress it once was. With the Snodgrass money, should he be allowed to use it, I think he could sign Peltier and maybe Templeton or Boyd. Whilst he has denied being interested in Templeton I think he could be a good replacement for Snodgrass as he seems to be a tricky winger with something Snodgrass didn’t possess, and that’s pace.

As for the takeover, everyone seems to know as much as everybody else, absolutely nothing. Adam Pope’s tweets were apparently denied by the YEP’s source, so who knows what’s going on. I along with everyone else I can imagine cannot wait until it’s finally confirmed on the official site. It seems to have been dragging on forever now, but understandably due diligence with Bates books would take anyone a substantial amount of time. Let’s just hope these road blocks are navigated as soon as possible, which will allow Warnock to acquire his ‘icing on the cake’ and complete a squad that will hopefully challenge for promotion.