Leeds United: Big-name departures inevitable at this level – Gray

Leeds United head coach David Hockaday chats to Ross McCormack with assistant Junior Lewis, left.
Leeds United head coach David Hockaday chats to Ross McCormack with assistant Junior Lewis, left.
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Leeds legend Eddie Gray has his say on all things United

WE’LL just have to wait and see what happens with Ross McCormack at Leeds.

If Ross has told the club that he wants to go – and it might just be paper talk – you just have to wait and see what kind of offer there is. There’s that saying in football that every player has his price but the president seems to have turned down substantial bids for him so far.

It’s a difficult situation, and I don’t know if the rumours about Ross wanting out are true. But if Ross has told the president that he wants to move on, if the president gets a price that he thinks is fair value, then he could move on. It would be disappointing if he left because Ross has been the talisman in the last couple of seasons and last season especially.

But it’s no secret that the club are losing an awful lot of money and something has to be done to stop that haemorrhaging. It doesn’t make any difference how wealthy you are or how rich you are, you don’t just walk into a business and throw money at it and lose it and keep losing money. You want success and the only way you can get success in football now is to get in the Premier League, whatever way you do that. If it’s in selling one player to get three or four in then you just don’t know. It should be every player’s ambition to play in the Premier League and Ross will look at his own situation and think ‘if I have got an opportunity then I am not getting any younger.’ And there’s no guarantee for Ross that we are going up next season because there are a lot of clubs coming down from the Premier League that are wealthy and they will be spending money. It’s a difficult one and for the supporters it’s disappointing especially when you look at the last few years and the players that have left the club – Snodgrass, Gradel, Becchio and Jonny Howson. But that’s the situation we’re in. We’re not a Premier League club and if we lose players to clubs that are in a higher division then sometimes you’ve got to grin and bear it until you get back up there with them.

The players were back to pre-season training on Thursday under the new coach but I’ve not had any dealings with Dave Hockaday yet. I’ve not met him at all and I’ll probably not have any dealings with the new coach until the start of the new season with LUTV if everything goes as we hope.

But the players go off to Italy today and pre-season is always important for players getting to know each other. And I just hope the first team coach gets the players he wants in before the season starts and before we kick-off against Middlesbrough.

We need players all over the pitch. Defensively last season we conceded too many goals and we didn’t create or score enough goals from the midfield area. And if McCormack goes you are going to have to find somebody who puts the ball in the back of the net. I don’t think it would be such an important issue if you started with McCormack and Matt Smith up front. But if Ross goes than obviously you are going to be looking at who is going to supply the 30-odd goals that he scored last season?

Away from matters at Leeds, I thought four months was quite a severe ban for Luis Suarez. Obviously there is something wrong with him and what he did was absolutely stupid. But I’ve seen a couple of tackles in the World Cup that are worse than what Suarez did in terms of hurting people and they’ll just get a three-match ban. What Suarez is doing is stupid and he has got a reputation for doing things like biting people. But there are players that have a reputation for going over the ball week-in, week-out which then damages people’s careers for the rest of their lives. Gordon Strachan summed it perfectly when he said there aren’t any morals in the game as if you ask yourself the question ‘would another club take Suarez’ the answer is of course they would.

That’s football and if you said to the Leeds United fans, ‘Suarez is playing for us next year in the Championship’ they would say ‘bloody hell get him here.’

Either way, I saw the new Leeds kit the other day and let’s hope everyone is right saying it’s a return to the glory days.

We’ll wait and see but the new coach has come in and I wish him all the best. I hope he can take the club where others have failed recently.

Regardless of his past, it’s what he does in the future for Leeds United Football Club that’s most important.

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