Leeds: Sign Gradel + Striker & Sing "That Chelsea B******, He's Out Of Our Club"

Bates might have opened offices across the road and we might be working at a loss, but McDermott is shaping the best squad for a decade and a playoff place should be the expectation...
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Bates might have opened offices across the road and we might be working at a loss, but McDermott is shaping the best squad for a decade and a playoff place should be the expectation...

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What’s going right?  - Many more things than this time last year. Brian McDermott may not have realised the size of the task when he took over in April, but the weight of expectation attached to the club is now very clear to him. That said, he's in the process of creating a vastly superior side to any of his predecessors since United were relegated a decade ago. There are few star names, but a young side are now tucked in nicely in or around the play off places. Off the pitch with a second takeover in 12 months imminent, most people connected with Leeds now believe the club is finally starting to regain some momentum after almost a decade of criminal neglect in the board room.

What’s not? Leeds are losing money – present owners GFHC have been subsidising its operating expenses ever since they were handed the keys to Elland Road and found the trading position was far less positive than they might have believed previously. With Football Fair Play in the horizon, it seems that some further thinking is required to maximise the benefit it should bring to a “Big” club with a high turnover. Oh, and Elland Road itself is still owned by a shell company in the British Virgin Islands. Totally coincidentally, Ken Bates once tried to develop property in the British Virgin Islands, before local people stopped him. Odd, that.

Got the right manager? Yes. I have to admit I was sceptical at first given that McDermott had spent more or less his entire managerial career at one club, but in fact that lack of baggage which usually comes with the likes of perennial guns-for-hire like Billy Davies has been his biggest strength. Calm, professional but highly appreciative of the fans, he's an authority figure who has enormous affection and respect already in Leeds 11.

Star player?  Ross McCormack. After starting like a house on fire, perversely the award of a extended and improved contract seemed to have affected the diminutive Scot's form, until he burst into life again in October. His goal scoring feats are even more impressive when you consider he's often pressed into service in wide positions, teeing up the likes of Matt Smith.

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Who would you like to sell in January? There's no one really worth a damn much outside of the first team, but it would be nice to release the likes of David Norris and Michael Brown. Possibly Aidy White if Sheffield United's sheikhs actually have any money, or even less likely, Steve Morison.

Who do you want to sign? At Leeds we seem to be obsessed with bringing back former players like Luciano Becchio. We desperately need width though and the smart money seems to be on the return of Max Gradel from St.Etienne. We also need cover at keeper and a further striker following Dexter Blackstock's unfortunate injury.

Best chant so far? “That Chelsea B*stard, he's out of our club”.

Best opposition player/team you’ve seen?  I'd go with Burnley, despite them being managed by the king of the cliché Sean Dyche.

Biggest **** of the season so far? Ken Bates. Ken Bates and Ken Bates. Not content which launching yet another writ against the club after they sacked him, the bitter old man has now hired offices directly opposite the ground, with the (Apparent) intention to open a replacement for the execrable Yorkshire Radio. Weird, and not in a funny way.

Funniest Moment of the season so far? A fan diving into a freezing cold pond after the away game in Doncaster. You had to be there. (I wasn't, but you can see the whole thing on video).

End of season prediction? Very hard to say. With reinforcements in January, a play off place is more than feasible.