Leeds United: Experience is vital in Whites back line - Ormsby

FRESH BLOOD: Brendan Ormsby hopes Marius Zaliukas, above, can bring much needed experience to United's defence.

FRESH BLOOD: Brendan Ormsby hopes Marius Zaliukas, above, can bring much needed experience to United's defence.

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Leeds United legend Brendan Ormsby answers your questions.

Hi Brendan, What do you think to the signing of Zaliukas, he sounds like he might provide the bit of experience we have maybe been lacking.

Over the last few years, I have spoken regularly about us not having a proper experienced central defender.

If Tom Lees had one around earlier, that experience alongside him could have brought him through quicker. When I was coming through as a kid, I had experienced centre-halves like Ken McNaught and Allan Evans looking after me at Aston Villa and that does help. They help you go through games and if you make mistakes, those types make sure you learn from them.

At the minute, we have young centre-halves, especially now we are playing in a ‘three’ there. To be honest, I don’t know much about Zaliukas; all I know is that he’s come in from Scotland. For me, I think Scottish football is Mickey Mouse stuff. It might be disrespectful to say it, but it’s not the high-class stuff like down here and we will soon find out how good he is.

The fact he has international experience and has age on his side can help though. We will have to wait and see what he’s like.

Looking at us with three centre-backs takes me back to a spell when I was at Leeds when Billy Bremner tried it with me, Jack Ashurst and Dave Rennie.

If you do play that, you have to play it all week in training to get used to it. When we did it, Billy just said: ‘this is how we are going to play’ and we had one practice match with it and were all over the place!

With two central halves, they know what they are doing in picking up two strikers between them. With three, one is spare and two are marking and when strikers switch, you’ve got to be able to pass them on, pick up or drop off.

In the middle of the three, you really need an experienced player to talk to the other two for me. He has to make sure the three of them are not crossing over each other. You pass the forward on at the right time.

It worked against Birmingham yes, but they were rubbish, let’s face it. I remember when we played three at the back at Doncaster and Billy Whitehurst was in the middle once. He thought he was Frank Beckenbauer and I remember him falling flat on his backside on the halfway line and someone took it off him and scored. But no-one would tell him off because he was Billy Whitehurst...

If you play it regularly, you can get used to it. But we have mainly young lads at the back and while I’m not saying there isn’t experience there, you have to make sure the centre forwards don’t dominate you and pull you about. You need a bit of nous with the three and you need the middle man telling the others what to do so they know where he is. The three have got to really talk together though.

Aidy’s Leeds days look to be over

Brendan, do you think Aidy White has a future at Leeds following his loan spell at Sheffield United?

My honest answer to that is no.

I still think he’s one of the best left-backs we’ve got and he’s young and still learning the game, like a lot of them are.

But Neil Warnock played him all over the place and since Brian McDermott has been here, he’s not played many games. A lot of people wonder why El-Hadji Diouf isn’t in the team and it might be that Brian just doesn’t fancy him and it could be the same with Aidy. Maybe he’s just not his type of left-back.

I have known Aidy a long time and coached him as a kid as well and like him as a player and a person and I hope he goes to Sheffield United and proves Leeds wrong for letting him go, for a start, and then maybe gets a longer contract down there.

Nigel Clough has been after him before, which is a massive bonus and boost for Aidy. All he needs to do is get his fitness up and start playing regularly.

He might still want to stay at Leeds, but it’s not the end of the world if he goes.

Luke Ayling.

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