GFH-C: A Fortnight to Lay the Foundations for a Successful 2013/14 Season

For the first time since early October, the international break has afforded the supporters of Championship clubs a respite from an unrelenting league programme. For Leeds fans, UEFA’s scheduling almost feels like a noble act of mercy, offering the prospect of at least one weekend, not sullied by another unremarkable Leeds performance. However, for GFH-C it should represent a lot more, a Godsend no less, if they are serious in their intentions to make the club a force, come August.

If something positive was to be salvaged from the wreckage of yesterday’s miserable defeat, it was that even Neil Warnock was moved to accept publicly, that the loss dealt a “fatal blow” to the club’s play-off aspirations. With such statement, Warnock has essentially admitted that not only our season, but his own managerial career is over. In the press conference afterwards, he spoke more about the task of finding his successor than anything that happened on the pitch:

We have talked about my successor with the owners because they know I will not be here if we are not in the Premier League. If we do not have a chance of getting in the play-offs, I will step aside.”

He was then quick to assert though that just because the season was dead, his tenure at the club wasn’t necessarily over just yet…

“But that does not mean I will definitely go before the end of the season…I want them to get the best manager they can get to replace me and some of them might not be available until the summer.”

In other words, Warnock will remain for however long he is told that his services are required. The question is, should GFH-C be telling him now, in no uncertain terms, that this is no longer the case?

The fact is, Warnock appears to consider himself an integral part of the appointment process, his own self-generated hyperbole, positing him as a prudent guardian of the Leeds managerial post until a new man arrives on board, but in reality, is his continued presence now more of hindrance?

No reason to remain?

No reason to remain?

GFH-C find themselves in a unique situation where they’ve been afforded a fortnight to make decisive steps towards laying the foundations for a new season, almost two months before the current one ends. They even have the blessing of the current incumbent of the manager’s post to do so. The season is now dead, the time is indisputably right…decisive actions have been taken in recent days to remedy the prickly issue of ticket prices, now the owners need to prove their mettle when dealing with on the pitch issues and resolve, or at least address as far as they possibly can, the managerial issue.

From the forums, twitter and phone-ins, Nigel Adkins appears to remain both the logical and most popular choice, and if recent reports are to be believed, is now free to take on his next managerial role. In a perfect world and if GFH-C are able to offer the resources necessary to entice him, then his appointment this week would transform the mood around the club at a stroke.

However, should such a swift appointment not be possible – and it’s quite conceivable that the owners aren’t able to confirm a new man until the much touted “imminent” investment is secured – that should not be justification enough for the retention of Warnock. The way in which the appointment process has been spoken about does suggest supporters may still be in for a wait, and thus the need for a man to fill the void in between, but why not entrust that job to Richard Naylor?

Interim manager?

Interim manager?

The temporary promotion of Naylor makes sense on a number of levels; firstly, having done such a fine job with the youth side and with the emphasis over the final 8 games leaning now towards the longer term, then who better than Naylor to decide which of those eye-catching youngsters are ready to be blooded in the first XI? Furthermore, with the pressure off and their boss overseeing matters, it’s unlikely that Chris Dawson, Lewis Walters and the like could be offered a more comfortable passage into Championship football.

In addition, if for arguments sake, it is a Nigel Adkins or Brian McDermott type of manager being lined up, would their well established footballing philosophies not dovetail rather better with what Naylor’s clearly been preaching, as opposed to the direct idealism of our departing boss? On the basis of his work so far, it seems reasonable to expect that Naylor will be a long term fixture in the club’s coaching make up, so such an opportunity could also be invaluable for his long term development, as well as help him to establish a firm relationship with the incoming top man

It is of course also feasible that Adkins, McDermott, Freedman, Di Canio even, are all ‘pie in the sky‘ options, that hopes of investment are just that and GFH-C will be scrimping around for the next man to inherit the Elland Road ‘hot seat‘; if that is the case, then a decision to allow Naylor to demonstrate his abilities would make even more sense.

Opportunity knocks...

Opportunity knocks…

Finally and begrudgingly by his own admittance, Neil Warnock’s time is up at Leeds and so surely it makes little sense to me to retain him any longer? Even if over the course of this next fortnight, Messrs. Haigh and Patel still can’t realistically aspire to be stood, flanking their first managerial appointment while he holds a Leeds scarf above his head, smiling into the glare of a thousand flashbulbs, that’s not to say that other positive decisions cannot be made in the interim.

GFH-C may still, rightly or wrongly, place great importance on Neil Warnock’s input as they work towards installing a new successor, but if so, an advisor is all he should be from this point. In the dug out it’s high time for a fresh face and a more progressive mind frame and if it isn’t immediately possible to have that from a new man, then let us at least allow Richard Naylor to start on the groundwork for him.


8 responses to “GFH-C: A Fortnight to Lay the Foundations for a Successful 2013/14 Season

  1. Obviously a friend of Richard Naylor then? He’s no where near sitting in that dugout and has a long way to earn his stripes first. The process needs to be done properly and not a bit of this and a bit of that along the way.

  2. Investment / new ownership is the first priority once that is in place get someone in who can install a philosophy into the club. Watch the crowds and passion return if we get it right on the pitch MOT

  3. It would be great to know that gfh have their fingers on the pulse of popular opinion and are aware of the groundswell on all Leeds blogs and forums. That way they can act within the next fortnight and rid the club of Warnock,Harvey and Lorimer. Then make it a condition that all honourary presidents attend all home games and give that twat a seat in the Revie stand.

  4. Whilst we have had a dire form of late, any manager with zero funds forced to sell his top striker is going to struggle at any club. NW has done a truely remarkable job, I think without his guidance we would be talking not about our failure to be promoted, but our last ten struggle to survive. I personally would give NW a new season with some backing.

    • At last someone without Rose tinted glasses, without Warnock we’d of been looking at Lge1 next season, Bates destroyed Larry as a Mgr! Considering the Abuse and Constraints + Lies No End from El’Commandantè, Warnock has performed nothing short of a miracle! Yes there’s been problems with rummaging through the bargain basements & Pound Shops of the football world-Which Mgr wouldn’t have the same issues? All That before El’Commandantè Bates continued his Pocket lining System of Selling off The Crown Jewels! So all in all when Nobody Else would touch Leeds with a Shitty Stick! He helped steady a stinking Ship! Would’ve loved to see what he could’ve done with some serious Dosh! However for now I can’t wait for his book to come out! Wonder what hates thinks bout that, after all he bought Larrys silence with promises of legal threats! Sounds like he’s had no such luck with Warnock! Sounds like the Truth might just come out after all!? I Wonder how many Warnock haters will then said up and smell the coffee? M.O.T. just let the next mgr have some passion, ( Gus, Zola, DiCanio, Freedman, Strachan or Moyle’s) Moyle’s would be my favourite as he’s proven he can do it on a shoe string unafraid to encompass the youth system! Anyhow dream on eh?! Lol

    • You ate deluded. His players are his choice and both him and jones are responsible for becchio going. Patel even said he didn’t want becchio to go. Furthermore, gfh gave him money to but Kenny Pearce tongue diouf etc so he’s had money
      If you seriously believe warnocks done a great job them you’re as barking mad as him and both need sectioning

    • What are on about forced to sell his top striker??? He wanted Morrison and got rid of becchio because he were greedy and wanted more than 20k in the championship which is bollocks. If he used his subs when they are needed and players in there positions we would be in a better league position now than 10th. Warnock has had problems to deal with ie bates, but has had and spent more money than Grayson could of dreamt of having.

  5. Warnock who I personally wanted to come in as the manager has sadly shown that he does not have what it takes in the modern football world. The days of dogs of war football getting you there are long gone and you MUST be able to play football. Fans are realistic that we can no longer compete with the mega rich owners who are now taking over some of the clubs but we do want a team who play actually play football with a pride in the shirt and dont just boot it chase it and kick folk Leeds are better than that. Lets get in a manager with some pride passion and who wants to play football I dont think Adkins is that man and do not want to see southgate.

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