David Prutton: New Leeds United boss must speak ‘the fans’ language’

David Prutton
David Prutton
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FROM ENGLISH to Spanish to Italian, managers and coaches of varying backgrounds and nationalities continue to be linked with Leeds United’s vacant post.

But former Whites midfielder David Prutton says above all else, United’s new man must speak the same ‘football language’ as the club’s devoted fans.

Exeter City boss Paul Tisdale.

Exeter City boss Paul Tisdale.

United are continuing the hunt for Garry Monk’s successor – 12 days after the 38-year-old former Swansea City boss resigned as head coach.

The former United boss continues to be linked strongly with the vacant managerial position at Middlesbrough – but Prutton feels it vital that Monk’s example and style of last season’s success is followed.

While questions continue to be asked as to why he resigned, Prutton knows Monk’s role in uniting the Whites with their loyal fan base last season can not be doubted.

Leeds won 14 of their 23 Championship fixtures at Elland Road last term – losing just five – for the seventh-best home record in the league.

And Prutton feels that above all else, United’s new head coach or manager must be certain to work in harmony with the club’s fans.

Prutton reasoned: “I think to be manager at somewhere like Leeds, I’m not saying it is about charisma or anything like that, but it’s important that you can speak the same language as the fans and get on board with the fans.

“And I don’t mean speak physically the same language but in terms of the football.

“That’s what Garry seemed to do, he seemed to get everyone on board and he seemed to be able to bring everybody together.

“That – I would be very intrigued to see someone like Aitor Karanka handle.

“He’s been with a huge club with Real Madrid and a big club, if you like, in Boro, but this would be a different beast altogether.”

Former Middlesbrough boss Karanka was the first name linked strongly with the post given that Leeds were already on their way to recruiting Middlesbrough’s former head of recruitment Victor Orta as their new director of football.

But the YEP then learned that Karanka was not a name United were currently looking at, with former Swansea City boss Michael Laudrup and Preston North End manager Simon Grayson another two names not currently in the running. Monk’s former assistant Pep Clotet was made favourite for the role on Friday but the YEP understands that the Spaniard is unlikely to be offered the post.

Leeds have not confirmed the identity of any of their targets but former Leicester City boss Claudio Ranieri and former Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew are challenging Clotet for favouritism.

Prutton reasoned: “Can you see Alan Pardew? I think in his mind, which is thoroughly understandable, I think he sees himself as a Premier League manager. I’m not saying that dropping down to the Championship with Leeds would be seen as too much of a backwards step, but it is outside of the Premier League.

“The carrot that you would dangle in front of someone like Pardew’s face would be to make them think ‘wow, imagine if I did finally get Leeds up after them being in the doldrums for so long’.

“And I think Claudio Ranieri is a bit of a leap of faith.

“The more you hear about how it went at Leicester, that was very much a collaborative effort with regard to right players at the right time and the right coaching staff doing a lot of the right things and the right time.

“I am sure that Leeds fans would embrace him and it would be a hell of a job to take on.”

Searching for rather less obvious candidates, Prutton reasoned: “I’m trying to think lower down the list with regards to maybe someone a bit younger and a bit left field and what people have done.

“I hear very good things about Paul Tisdale.

“He works in a structure, he has got a lot of control at the club that he is at and, while I know he has done that at Exeter City, if you are looking for someone young and hungry and from a coaching standard of a very high calibre ...”