Ex-Leeds United striker Andy Ritchie answers your questions.
In football, real competition in a team is always good – that’s my opinion. It never does anyone any harm.
Looking at it, I wouldn’t say Paddy Kenny has really done anything particularly wrong for me this season and he is a good, steady goalkeeper at this level and has been for a lot of years.
But I do think if you pushed Paddy and asked him the question if he would want genuine competition, then I think he’d say yes.
Everyone would, you need competition in a squad and a healthy and successful squad always thrives on good competition.
It can bring out the best in you as a player and push you on and as a player, you need to be pushed.
When you get serious competition and knuckle down and don’t feel sorry for yourself and get on with it, that’s what it’s all about.
Sometimes when you don’t have that level of competition, your performances can sometimes drop off and a touch of complacency can slip into your game if you are not careful and it’s good to be kept on your toes.
As a pro, if someone comes in, right in your position, you just have to work out what you need to do in your own head and say ‘he is not going to get in, in front of me’.
It happens to every player during their careers; you have to deal with it.
That’s what a good dressing room is all about; some guy who is sat next to you can be your best mate, but if he plays in your position, you have to say: ‘Well, you are not going to get in the side in front of me.’
That’s the way it’s got to be, players and managers expect that.
I have not seen every Leeds United game throughout the course of this season, but in the main from what I have seen, Paddy has been decent, although there’s obviously been a couple of goals that went in that some have had a go at him for.
But it will be the same with nearly every keeper, let’s be honest about it.
Overall, looking at his seasons before, you can’t really fault with him.
As a goalkeeper, Paddy is the last line of defence and when people come through against you one on one, it’s invariably a goal.
All keepers have to deal with that and be strong characters because of it and Paddy has shown over the years he is made of the right stuff and I am sure he has dealt with plenty of things during the course of his career, which has been a good one.
Here’s one for you Andy, who is the best player you played with during your time at Leeds?
That’s definitely a tough one to answer.
John Sheridan was a great player and a real classy midfielder. Although he was only a young player at the time, he had something about him and you could always see the potential in him and he was a really good passer of the ball and was also great at set-pieces and composed on the ball. You could see Shez would have a top career and he did.
Of the players who were there at the time when I first came through at Leeds and looking back at it nostalgically, I’d probably say Eddie Gray, inset, was the best.
He was player-manager when I started at Leeds in the early eighties and was just awesome; he was better than all of us. He hadn’t lost anything, apart from maybe not being as quick as he used to be when he was younger.
But in terms of ability, there was just nobody who could touch him. When you have his level of skill, you never lose it – a truly great player I’ve got to say.