Leeds United: The Whites are already being left behind rivals, warns Andy Ritchie

Mirco Antenucci

Mirco Antenucci

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MIRCO ANTENUCCI is the main name on Leeds United’s released list and age will definitely have been against him, with the club no doubt looking for a bit more longevity out of the players that they keep.

I don’t know whether his wages were high as well; that could have been an issue. But he will be wanting to basically get back to Italy, you’d feel and finish his career back home.

He is one of those players who need to play regularly to get the best out of him and he probably hasn’t done that as much as he’d have liked towards the end of his time at Leeds.

But he is someone capable of scoring a goal out of nothing on his day. I don’t like the ‘number ten’ expression, but I suppose he is that sort of player rather than an out-and-out striker you can knock the ball up to all of the time.

He needs to be floating around the edge of the box, getting shots off and be creative and I thought he was quite a good link man.

Looking at Leeds now, without Chris Wood, it leaves them without much up front and as we keep saying all the time, strikers cost money.

If you want a player to score goals regularly, you have to pay your money for them.

Obviously, there has been the news this week that Massimo Cellino and Leeds have been charged by the FA regarding breaching regulations with the sale of Ross McCormack to Fulham. The club are just never out of the headlines, are they...?

It is ridiculous and then Cellino says he regrets buying the club. It just really needs sorting out, doesn’t it?

The situation is so tough for Steve Evans. He will want to get going with planning for next season and as it stands, Leeds are losing a march on every single team in the division again. They are not in the transfer market; okay they have set out the released list now – but anybody can do that. Every team does that.

Is there the work behind the scenes which has been done and sorted in regards to getting targets in? That should be done.

It’s all about planning. Look at Brighton; the day after a big disappointment in losing in the play-offs, Chris Hughton signs a four-year deal. That’s forward planning. You can’t do anything like that at Leeds as you just don’t know what is going on.

I have been watching the play-offs this week and being an ex-Brighton player as well, I was a bit disappointed they didn’t progress against Sheffield Wednesday.

It’s one of those; they had been one of the best teams all the way through the season and then go and lose to the team who finished sixth. It often seems to happen that way..

There will be always be an argument against the play-offs when a team like Brighton finishes so far in front of sixth. But I can’t see it changing.

Although now there is this proposed shake-up of the Football League in a few yards, will it change? Will they change everything? Whatever people say about the play-offs, they are certainly exciting and the worst way to get beaten and the best to go through.

Otherwise, play-off wise, I am pleased for Barnsley as Hecky (Paul Heckingbottom) was involved when we got promotion exactly 10 years ago and I hope they do it.

Sam Winnall, who has been a target of Leeds, has been excellent for them.

England have obviously named their squads for Euro 2016 now and it is a squad full of talent and pace and I feel we can cause problems.

Although I still don’t think we will be anywhere near winning it.

You just look at the likes of Germany and Italy and even though they might have ageing squads, they know how to win tournaments. At the moment, we don’t and we can’t seem to over the line at the age-group levels too.

There’s work to be do, although we can upset people. Quarter-finals, maybe. Again...

Leeds United's home Elland Road. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe

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