Leeds United: Thorp Arch situation shouldn’t be too disrupting for the players – Ritchie

Massimo Cellino.
Massimo Cellino.
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Fomer Leeds star Andy Ritchie has his say on United

OBVIOUSLY, it has been in the news that the training ground at Thorp Arch is to close over the summer months and it does all seem a bit strange.

I can’t see how they would make that big a saving on the gas and electricity and on rent. Although I don’t really know the full story in terms of what they are paying and what they aren’t.

As for the players and how it will affect them, the ones who like to keep fit can do that where they like really.

They will have somewhere where they can do a bit of running and stuff like that. Some of them might even be able to go to their local clubs near to where they live if they have to.

For me, it also seems a bit of a strange one regarding the players who are out of contract and waiting for answers as nothing really seems to have been done about that either.

Clubs usually want to get that out of the way and I think there are going to be a lot of other things that need to done there as well, which we have spoken about before.

Massimo Cellino obviously has to sort the club out. But you also really do need to sort out what is happening with the players.

A lot of players will be on holiday and usually the players do get a feeling of what is going to be happening with them.

In terms of the Championship, the attentions are now focused on the play-offs as it’s that time of the season when it’s all sorted out.

It’s QPR versus Derby in the play-off final and while some have said it is a game Rangers can’t afford to lose due to finances, I listened to their chairman Tony Fernandes the other day and he was saying they have the infrastructure in place if they don’t go up in the final.

They know what they are aiming for; if they go up, great and they have pledged to embrace it and go forward.

If it doesn’t happen, then they still know where they want to be and what they are doing.

I was actually a little bit surprised that QPR got through as I thought that Wigan might do it and get over the line just have pipped them.

But QPR played really well in their second leg. At their home ground, I thought they were brilliant. As for Wigan, they will have to live to fight another day.

Looking at it, I think it will be a really open game. If I put my hat on it, I would go with Derby.

They are such a well balanced side, but with attacking threats. I don’t think they will change and they will set up exactly the same and go and have a go at QPR. If I had to put my neck on the line, I’d say Derby; I’ve just a feeling.

Obviously, Steve McClaren and Harry Redknapp will know each other from their time at QPR. I would say McClaren is a coach and manager, while Harry is a ‘managing manager’ who has his coaches there such as Joe Jordan, who I know very well.

As for the Premier League, it’s done and dusted. The final was built up and Sky had to do that to create interest. But I thought once Man City had won at Everton, that was the hardest game.

After they did that, I thought they would easily win it at home. That was an advantage as their home form has been the best in the Premier League for quite some time.

They are a different proposition at home and so attacking and hard to play against and get at.

“They pen you in and the full-backs push on and often they play two at the back. So them winning it was a done deal in the end for me.

As for Liverpool. I know everyone will point to them letting that 3-0 lead slip at Crystal Palace. But I would say the real game where they lost it was the one against Chelsea as they didn’t have to win that game.

They could have sat there and said: ‘Alright, we will get a point – that will do us.’ They should have told Chelsea to break them down, instead of going gung-ho. I think that was the game that lost it.

Okay, Brendan Rodgers would never have expected to lose that 3-0 lead at Palace, but as an outsider looking in, tactically did Liverpool need to win that game at home?

You always knew Chelsea will sit in and soak it up, even though Jose Mourinho does moan when teams do that against his sides.

They are the masters at doing that as they have shown many times.

Ipswich manager Mick McCarthy at Elland Road on Saturday. Picture by Simon Hulme

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