'A proper joy' - What suggested Leeds United manager would bring and key factor: David Prutton

Leeds United could do with a manager with promotion on the CV from the Championship to the Premier League and leading contender Daniel Farke has that, writes DAVID PRUTTON.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

He's done that with the same club twice in different incarnations at Norwich and I think it would be a very positive move if he was to become Leeds United's next manager. Daniel got so much out of the players at his disposal at Norwich that were pulling up at trees such as Teemu Pukki and Emi Buendia.

He got so much out of the way that those two played together that they were a proper joy to watch. Let's be honest, they made light work of the Championship. The Premier League is obviously a different debate altogether but they made it look relatively straightforward to bounce between the two.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

It's been a turbulent last season and a half for Leeds fans. But if somebody gave you a relatively straightforward pass out the Championship, even though it's not necessarily one of the ginormous names of world football and I mean that with the greatest respect, but if someone says Daniel Farke comes in and gets you promoted with the minimum of fuss than that is absolutely boxed off and a tick in the right direction. That's what you want.

'A PROPER JOY': Teemu Pukki, left, under Daniel Farke, right, at Norwich City. Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images.'A PROPER JOY': Teemu Pukki, left, under Daniel Farke, right, at Norwich City. Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images.
'A PROPER JOY': Teemu Pukki, left, under Daniel Farke, right, at Norwich City. Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images.

There is sometimes a debate about being a little bit sniffy or turning the nose up at potential suitors. But I think that if Daniel Farke is the man that walks through the door then I think the job that he did at Norwich means that he would deserve the respect and the welcome that a manager of that magnitude and accomplishment could possibly be for Leeds because the first port of call is getting back in the Premier League. It has to be the priority.

Leeds is different to Norwich but I think Daniel would handle it. It would be a test but it would be a test that I am sure he would relish. Any manager worth their salt or with any given ambition would, just as Big Sam was saying. Even though there was only four weeks of the season left when he came in, it was Leeds United knocking on the door so he wouldn't turn it down.

There is a certain element of clubs of this stature that you have to be able to be good at the kind of public facing side of it, the PR side of it, the way to come across. But Leeds had the most enigmatic manager we've seen for a very long time in Marcelo Bielsa who got his points across but wasn't the kind of fire and brimstone narrator because of quite simply the language barrier - even though we all kind of knew that he knew more than he let on. That's the gist with him.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Communication I think is absolutely key and that can come in many guises, whether it's being able to get your points across in the media and getting your ideas across in the media. But the other side of it and the most important side of it is getting your ideas and your points and your philosophy across to the players for them to be able to perform.

I think Leeds fans would take wonderful performances, dominant performances and results as more important on the pitch than someone who is Churchillian in the way that he broadcasts his point in the wider media and away from a football pitch.

Take one of the most recent incumbents in Jesse Marsch who you could really tell had come from a certain background - very well educated, a man that understood the value of being able to discuss points and merits and debate points in his press conferences.

Daniel Farke is quite softly spoken but he certainly gets his points across and he can get a team operating in the Championship, winning in the Championship and more importantly getting promoted. If he comes in and does his talking on the pitch and on the training ground then that would do for Leeds fans I think.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Patrick Vieira is another contender and when he left Palace I thought that Vincent Kompany summed it up perfectly in saying that the run of fixtures that he had to work through was as tough as you are possibly going to get in the Premier League. You don't need to reiterate that to Leeds fans because they know how tough the top tier is. So to judge Patrick on how it ended at Palace is a little bit harsh and it's a management career still in its infancy.

I saw a bit of his team at New York City and they were all right, they were okay, although sometimes the MLS is a yardstick to judge players and managers and teams by. I think obviously the force of his name would be huge for Leeds. I think his management style is probably a little bit of a contrast to the way that he played football - dominant, domineering, aggressive, vocal.

Having spoken to members of his staff, I think he's a little different, a little bit more relaxed, a little bit quieter as a manager. He possibly understands the needs and the wants of the modern player perhaps is different to what he experienced as a player himself and as a captain himself which is totally understandable and you have got to respect him for that - understanding the evolutionary nature of what footballers need and want.

Given the ambitious player that he was, I'm sure an opportunity like Leeds for him to be able to prove himself or prove himself on one of the first parts of his managerial journey would be too good to turn down.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Another one in the running has been Scott Parker and he is another one with promotion on his CV. It would obviously be great to have that World Cup winning figure of Vieira as the head of your organisation. But that doesn't mean anything if you're going to plug away in the Championship and not get promoted.

Scott's done it with two separate sides and then you look at what Daniel has done so I would have it as neck and neck between those two because they've done it.

I'm not judging it on anything other than what I've seen with my own eyes and what I've seen in real time with regards to that. Patrick had a relatively longish delve in the current climate of Premier League football as a manager. Scott did a great job in the Championship and then it went slightly awry in the Premier League. The same with Daniel Farke.

But what you need now and what Leeds need is best in class for what they need for the job and the job is promotion.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Out of the three of them, for me, in relatively recent seasons in the Championship, it would be neck and neck with Farke and Parker.

If Leeds are going to go along the lines of a director of football as well and a prominent director of football then we saw what Stuart Webber did with Norwich. You have to ask can that manager work with that and Daniel has got experience of that kind of thing.

With Parker, there was a hierarchy obviously at Bournemouth and at Fulham there was Stuart Gray in alongside Scott. But these managers understand that it's not being the boss anymore, it's part of a coaching and managerial organisation.

Another strand of the debate is that Scott has done it with two separate clubs whereas Daniel did it with a tried and trusted method at one club but that doesn't depreciate what he's done because it was a phenomenal achievement.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Out of the lot, I think it's a really tough call between Scott and Daniel who would be level pegging out in front with then Patrick probably just behind. To then pick between the two would be splitting in real Championship hairs there.