David Prutton: Radrizzani faces a big summer to steady ship at Leeds United
LEEDS owner Andrea Radrizzani has questioned his players' commitment, passion and spirit this week but I think statements like that have got to be kept in-house to be honest.
The united front – if you excuse the pun – that has to be shown is absolutely paramount and the things that Andrea has been questioning are things that footballers would not really want to be called into question.
You can have bad games and you can have games where things are not going for you but the actual fundamentals of commitment, passion and spirit, they are all part of what should be in a footballer’s make up.
If Andrea feels that way then first and foremost it is something that needs to be addressed because Andrea is well within his rights to say what he thinks, but I don’t think it helps.
It’s pretty obvious that this season has completely drifted and as much as Andrea wants to question that side of it, the other side of it is to give the manager going into next season a squad that is going to be competitive within the top six which I don’t think it is at this moment in time.
Andrea has done a lot of good things for Leeds in a short space of time, not least putting in money.
He has sorted the ownership of the ground out which was pretty stellar and he held his hands up over the appointment of Thomas Christiansen. He is fully entitled to say what he thinks.
We understand that owners and people in the hierarchy get slated these days if things are not going well and there is a wall of silence. But Leeds have got to be seen to be together too.
Leeds will now come up against a team who are way out of form in Sheffield Wednesday and if they can get a victory it would be a nice morale boost from a Yorkshire derby which could take them on to somewhere else. But the bigger picture needs to be sorted out.
You can question the players that are wearing the shirt at this moment in time but you have got no other choice now. With the window shut, you can’t suddenly go out and buy another team. But on the flip side of it you have got to look at squad depth and squad quality and if this is where the kernel of frustration grows from for Andrea then he and director of football Victor Orta have got to address that in the summer.
If first and foremost you are not sure about the character of a player then go for a different player and if you don’t think you have got a lot of characters, then get characters in.
Get leaders in that know how to lead and know the division.
They might be a little bit older but they might have that nous about them in the Championship.
When things go wrong you should close ranks and say ‘what makes them better than us and why are they doing that? Why have they got that?’
You take bits of that and then you harness it with the fanbase and the club and the atmosphere on a Saturday which should be an ‘us against them attitude’ that really gives you something to hold on to.
And then you arm the manager with the right weaponry to be able to compete in the top six.
You can’t underestimate what needs doing to get a team competitive in the Championship and up into the Premier League. Yes, you could get lucky and bring in a striker that gets you 25 goals which changes the dynamic of the team. But you need good solid ball playing midfielders and defenders that really do organise and take responsibility.
The chopping and changing that we have seen due to form, fitness and suspension means that as an XI there hasn’t been that real consistency.
Leeds have brought in a load of players in this past season through Victor Orta.
But the finer details of that are the most important part.
You are casting your net far and you could say ‘right, if we get 25 players in, if four of them do well then do we make that a good return?’ Probably not, no.
And why not get that pot of money and spend it on three or four players that maybe have 200 or 300 appearances at Championship level or higher that have got promotions under their belt.
Why not do that? Why are Leeds not attracting players of that calibre.
Why not? Because it must boil down to money.
It’s not the training ground because that is amazing and it’s not the ground which is fantastic and it’s definitely not the fanbase which is superb.
And it’s not the head coach because Paul Heckingbottom is very, very good.
He just needs to be able to prove himself in this position and he needs to be given the best opportunity to prove himself at Leeds.