Leeds United: Time to stop cost cutting and switch focus to playing squad – Ritchie

Alex Mowatt.
Alex Mowatt.
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Ex-Leeds United striker Andy Ritchie answers your questions.

It’s a big squad rebuilding job at Leeds United now in time for the start of next season. But for me, they can’t think about cutting costs all the time.

If we want to get back to the Promised Land in the Premier League, then what he (Cellino) can’t just do is keep cutting costs, not on the playing staff anyway.

There’s an unbelievable amount of work on the playing side to do.

We had this with the cutbacks before in the eighties when I was there. I remember the people then who were getting cut were the people who worked at the club every day such as the cleaners and people like that. You don’t get any money back from them.

Getting the big earners off whose deals are finishing has been done. But looking at Leeds, they desperately need to sign some quality in there.

But quality doesn’t come cheap. For me, they have some good young players such as Luke Murphy and Alex Mowatt. And I still think Dominic Poleon has got half a chance as well.

They have now got to make sure they buy well and shrewdly.

Looking at Leeds’ released list, there were no real surprises and we knew who was going to go at the end of last season.

Dioufy had pretty much already gone halfway through the season anyway and wasn’t seen much at the training ground.

Obviously, Massimo Cellino was wanting the players to report in at the end of this month and now it’s the start of June.

In the close season, players need a good rest. With it being a World Cup year, it should give them a chance for another week or two to recharge their batteries. They need it as it’s been a long and hard season for the players at the club.

Cellino needs to realise that, although at the end of the day, he is the gaffer, isn’t he?

As a former player, I know how much you need the rest and also as a manager, I have seen how hard players train every day and how their energy levels are sapped throughout the season when they play two and three times a week.

With the close season, you have got to make the most of it sometimes.

Also, with everything that has gone on at Leeds last season, the players need to be allowed to get away and think: ‘bloody hell, let me just forget about it for a few weeks.’

They need to be allowed some quality time with their families and to just relax and then get on with the new chapter. Because it will be a new chapter for everyone at Leeds.

It’s totally new with a new ownership. They should have a good rest and let’s get on with it.

Plenty has been made this week about all the stuff with Yaya Toure being shown disrespect because he was not given birthday wishes by the Manchester City or a birthday cake.

I think he has made himself look an absolute idiot.

I could not believe it. If he has not had anything to do with it and it’s all his agent, then I’d sack the agent!

What a load of tosh it was. You wonder is he trying to hanker for a better contract or is he just trying to get away? I have got to say that if he is trying to get away, then who exactly is going to pay him more than Manchester City?

I do think that Toure has made himself look very silly, I’ve got to say.

I just cannot believe the whole episode. For him to feel aggrieved and disrespected because someone hasn’t shaken his hand on his birthday....Come on.

I am sorry to say that it just showed the whole way that football is going at the minute and has gone. It is totally ridiculous.

Roy Hodgson’s England are out in Portugal at a training camp acclimatising for playing in the heat and humidity of Manaus in the World Cup in Brazil and I notice the players have been playing with three layers and sweat pads and the like.

There must be something scientific about it all when you think about it.

It certainly won’t all just be done on a whim, that’s for sure.

The fitness coaches will be analysing and assessing all their statistics and sweat rates and things.

The conditions will certainly be uncomfortable for England, especially in the first game which is on the edge of the jungle and they also have two teams from South and Central America in Uruguay and Costa Rica that will be used to the heat. If any little bit in terms of preparation helps, then have a go at it and England are obviously looking at everything and I think they have got to, if they are to do well in this competition.

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