Leeds United Half-Term Report: The Takeover Must Be Sorted Before We Can Talk Of Play-Offs
What's going right?
Luciano Becchio's goals have kept us top half of the table and the loan addition of Alan Tate at centre half has helped Tom Lees back to the form which got him into the England under 21's set up. El Hadj Diouf has added some nouse, Sam Byram looks destined for the Premier League soon, Green has settled in well and our league cup run has been an unexpected distraction.
Grayson's bete noire, our highly porous defence, has improved after some attention but as Watford showed is still vulnerable to passing sides who flood from midfield. Played out of position, Lee Peltier's form is a cause for concern, whilst Luke Varney has become the focus of negative attention from sections of the crowd. But what's really not gone right is the takeover of ther club by GFHC, which has been probably one of the most protracted in football history. Having frustratingly missed the August transfer window, we'll be lucky at this rate to hit the January one with the deal done.
Got the right manager?
Maybe. Sold a pup by Ken Bates when he arrived, Neil Warnock spent last season saddled with the leftovers of Simon Grayson's lop sided squad and wasn't shy about letting the world know it. Then we lost Robert Snodgrass. Having publically declared this is a short term project however when he arrived, you assume he'll be heading back to Cornwall in May, hardly an ideal situation and one which the new regime needs to address immediately.
Sam Byram, Currently holding down the right back spot ahead of club Captain Lee Peltier, the 19 year old has been a revelation after being given his chance this season. United's academy is in the process of delivering another three or four decent prospects; let's hope they aren't all bound for the promised land. Norfolk.
Who would you like to sell in January?
No-one would buy any of our surplus players, who are either long term injured (Nunez, Bromby) or rubbish (Rachubka, Connolly, Varney).
Who do you want to sign?
Expectations are already being lowered by the Chairman on the amount of activity that will take place next month, but ideally Faurlin from QPR and a left back. Warnock has already said we wants a "Top class" striker, in previous years this has meant a teenage loan player from Arsenal, I like most United fans, am waiting to see what transpires.
Best chant so far?
Bates Out. Repeat. Ad. Nauseam.
Best opposition player / team you've seen this season?
Wilfred Zaha was almost worth admission fee alone (Which at Elland Road is excruciatingly high). On the flipside his team mate Glenn Murray's a bit of a nob, isn't he?
Biggest **** of the season
The obvious answer here is our Chairman, but for me the most repellent aspect of the takeover saga has been the bandwagon jumpers who seem obsessed with seeing it fail. Here Duncan Castles, a freelance hack based in South Africa, picks up the gong for least helpful commentator.
End of season prediction:
My heart says play off tilt, my head says mid table. The results of the takeover will be decisive.