Former Leeds star Andy Ritchie has his say on all things United
THE Leeds United players obviously had their short meetings with Massimo Cellino on Monday before going back on their holidays and it does all seem a little bit strange.
I think Cellino is going to be unorthodox and people are going to have to go with the fact that he wants to do things his way.
He’s obviously working hard behind the scenes to sort out the club as there are a lot of things that I don’t think he envisaged. But fundamentally, he must also concentrate on the football, which he has to get right. Because in doing that, it will fuel things getting better behind the scenes and more healthy as well.
Some players reportedly had to change or cancel their holiday plans to attend the meeting and that was maybe not one of the best things to have done (by Cellino).
I think it might have been better, especially if there were one or two flying in – and there was talk of one coming in from Dubai – to have made a few exceptions.
If the majority weren’t away, then fine. But if some had been away, it should have been better for him to say something like: ‘Well, I’ll see you next week’ or something to get it done.
Sometimes, a bit of give and take is what it’s all about. But maybe he just wanted to put his marker down and say: ‘I am doing it my way.’
I notice there has been some renewed speculation about Ross McCormack this week.
He has shown his loyalty to the club and the previous manager and we will have to wait and see what happens there now.
If someone comes in with big money, you just don’t know. I know Cellino will be saying all the right things about Leeds not wanting to sell and this, that and the other. But money talks as well.
If a big club comes in with a bit of money, it might ease things and make the club better and sometimes it can be very, very hard to turn that down.
Obviously, it’s about Brian McDermott’s successor now and there will be no shortage of applicants.
Looking at it, I do think that Leeds need somebody who knows the Championship and football over here and who has a deep knowledge of players in England.
I think bringing someone over from Italy who doesn’t know the league might not be the best idea.
Everyone says the Championship is one the toughest to get out of – and also one of the easiest to get out the other way because of the quality and closeness of the teams in there.
Having a wealth of experience in Italy is different to the depth of experience needed in England. You have to be very careful when appointing people on that.
There will be plenty of people with Leeds connections who will want the job, such as Bobby Davison. As for the surprise contender in the betting in Dave Hockaday, I think I remember playing against him, but in terms of his management and coaching career, he’s been under the radar a little bit.
I read that he worked with Aidy Boothroyd at Watford and having played with Aidy myself and knowing him and having done my full coaching badges with him, I think that anyone who has worked with Aidy will be conscientious and leave no stone unturned.
Leeds just desperately need to get the right person, don’t they?
The other name at the top of the betting is Gianluca Festa and I don’t know much about his coaching credentials, I’ve got to be honest.
As for Brian’s departure, I think it was inevitable after what happened at the end of the season when there didn’t seem to be any contact and there was supposed to be a meeting and it never happened.
I feel sorry for Brian, I really do, because he was very loyal and I think he’d have been a great manager for the club.
Some people say ‘right manager, wrong time.’ But when is going to be the right time at Leeds? At the moment, that looks a long way away.
Right from the off with Cellino, the writing was on the wall for Brian after he got ‘sacked’ and then reinstated in that bizarre episode at the end of January and the start of February.
Brian will definitely come back somewhere else definitely, that’s my view. Although he probably does need a decent rest after what has happened at Leeds.
Mentally he will have been drained by everything that has gone on this year.
Personally, I believe he was right for the job when he came and I will wish him all the very best when he comes back.
I do feel that he will be a success wherever he goes in the future.