Categorized | Sport

A new start (again)

Neil Redfearn

A win! A win! Finally, after thirty nine long, agonising days and another change of managers, Leeds United have finally ended their seemingly interminable winless run. Forget the fact that it was against the worst team in the league who are already ten points off safety, at this point I am willing to take a win against the Farsley under twelves’ team, and I’m not even exaggerating!

Fair sacking?

But of course the big talking point that still remains amongst Leeds fans is whether Cellino was right to drop the axe on Darko Milanic’s reign (and I use the term lightly) or whether old papa Massimo could have at least spared him a few more games. To me, what Cellino cannot seem to grasp is that sometimes, just sometimes, when things are not going great for a new manager at a football club, the best thing to do is organise a meeting and discuss what exactly is going wrong and what needs to be changed until both parties come to an agreement. In fact, isn’t that how all chairmen and managers handle these kinds of situations in the real world? However, something tells me that calling the manager a “loser” and then giving him his marching orders is not the best way to handle it. But hey, I’m no football chairman, so I could be wrong.

But for me, Darko Milanic’s set up did have some real promise. At times I think we did show some excellent defensive organisation and were showing some good flare and passing movement going forward. This ultimately was a system that needed to be given time to develop and become ingrained into the players’ minds as the inconsistency with keeping up this style of play in a single match and the basic sloppy errors were really showing. Had Cellino waited until after the January transfer window and let Darko make some new signings, things maybe could have been different.

Much needed break

Last weekend, of course saw another international break for the Euro 2016 qualifiers which really could not have come at a better time for Leeds. With our last game being a win and hardly any international players in our set up, Redders now has two long, uninterrupted weeks to revive the ruptured Leeds United machine. He is also lucky in the fact that Cellino has stated his intent to keep Neil Redfearn as head coach of the club on a long term basis, giving him the time and space to “put together all the ethics and my ethos on the team” as he put it. As we know, Redfearn is a local lad from Dewsbury and has been a Leeds fan his whole life, which can (hopefully) give our players that extra grit and passion that we have so far been missing since the departure of players like Johnny Howson and Andy Hughes, whose passion and commitment to the club was visible for all to see. What the players now need to do is develop the tough, give them nothing characteristics that have heavily shaped our success over the years. We need to be a confident, no nonsense team, as this at least make us hard to beat and ensure the opposition has to work hard to beat us rather than simply waiting for us to make mistakes and then pouncing, as was happening with Darko Milanic.

Our next game sees us away from home against Blackburn Rovers, who haven’t lost since September but are by no means the form team in the Championship. A win here is vital as it would surely put us back on track, having already played four of the top six teams. This Championship season is most open one that I can remember, so three points on Saturday can open up a whole host of possibilities for the rest of the season.

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