Leeds United: Cook’s departure partly due to uncertainty at Elland Road - Ritchie

Lewis Cook.
Lewis Cook.
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LEWIS Cook has moved to Bournemouth in the last week and I can understand why people wanted to see him play in the Premier League. But I also think that the uncertainty at Leeds United would have been a big factor in his move.

With what’s gone on with management and head coaches – Garry Monk is the seventh now under Massimo Cellino – and I would have thought that would have been a major factor. Okay, they may have been a little bit tied in what they could do to keep him, but hopefully he will get a chance to play at Bournemouth.

Had he gone to a bigger club then maybe he would have been waiting a bit of time to get a game.

But with Matt Ritchie moving he has probably got a chance of going in and playing there.

I think obviously the lure of playing in the Premier League is a massive thing but I have to say that the uncertainty around the football club and whatever has gone on in recent times has got to have been a factor in his decision as well.

We say it every time when a head coach comes in that Massimo Cellino has got to stick with him. But he doesn’t.

And unless Garry Monk is winning every game then I can’t see any other outcome.

But I think Garry has signed some good players and I think he looks as if he wants to do what he did down at Swansea.

We keep saying he has got to be given time but I just think it’s a commodity that Mr Cellino doesn’t seem to grasp the concept of.

The players that have come in are obviously players that Garry knows and that he has watched closely, so he hopefully knows what he’s going to be getting when they come into the side and come and play. They won their first friendly 2-1 at Shelbourne on Wednesday and it’s always nice to get off to a winning start.

It’s your first game, you are trying to get things right, you are trying to see how people gel and it’s nice for the players to get a win under their belts.

It breeds a bit of confidence and they have got to try and keep that going through pre-season. But obviously he doesn’t want easy games either as you can get a false sense of security.

Looking at the away friendlies, I think Peterborough is not a bad game.

They will give them a good game I think and Peterborough would be a team that Leeds would want to play against as they are not a bad side.

Shelbourne have been pretty good over in Ireland for the last few years so that was a good one. But I’m not sure about Shamrock Rovers and how they have fared.

But certainly Atalanta will be a real test at Elland Road. That should be a fantastic game and hopefully they will get a few spectators there.

They have also got Guiseley away the day before Peterborough, but I think I would have liked to have had one more game in there.

But it’s about balancing the training and the fitness and strengthening with the games and obviously he doesn’t want to burn them out. He doesn’t want them doing too much.

I think Garry knows what he’s doing and I wish him all the best. I think it’s going to be a tough season, like it always is in the Championship.

I also hear that the signing of Joel Ekstrand fell through because of doubts over his fitness. He had a bad knee injury and hasn’t played for 13 months, and I think Leeds are right. You’ve got to get longevity out of players and be sure about the medicals.

When I was at Leeds, I went down to Portsmouth and was going to sign but I had a bit of swelling on my right knee.

I trained while I was down there – I never missed any training and I went down there for four days – it’s when Alan Ball was the manager.

When they x-rayed my knee they said there was no damage but they wanted me to rest for three weeks before playing on it.

It was close to deadline day and it fell through so I came back to Leeds and I played on the Saturday for Leeds.

It’s swings and roundabouts but if he has had a bad injury like that and not played for 13 months then you’ve got to err on the side of caution really.

It’s unfortunate for the lad but I think it was probably the right decision.

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