Ex Leeds United man slams 'ridiculous' Steven Gerrard view in boss hunt and Daniel Farke worry

David Prutton believes there should be a clear frontrunner in Leeds United’s manager hunt but that any of a mooted quintet would be good for the Whites.
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Leeds have confirmed that an agreement has been reached for the sale of the club to 49ers Enterprises but the Whites remain without a manager ahead of the club’s return to Championship football. A report from The Athletic at the weekend revealed that the 49ers were very keen on former Leicester City boss Brenden Rodgers but that Carlos Corberan, Daniel Farke, Steven Gerrard and Scott Parker were also all under discussion.

There are obvious natural doubts about whether Rodgers would take on a Championship role but ex-Whites midfielder Prutton believes the former Foxes boss should definitely be United’s first choice. Prutton, though, believes any of the other four candidates would be well suited to the role and launched a strong defence of both Farke and Gerrard to any fans questioning their credentials.

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Running the rule over the reported leading managerial candidates, Prutton told the YEP: “You have got Carlos who had his team one game away from the Premier League, you've got Daniel Farke who has done it, you've got Scott Parker that has done it, you've got Brendan obviously managing where he is at and you've got Steven and with his number two Gary McAllister that knows Leeds like the back of his hand. So I think all of them. I would definitely put Brenden as the frontrunner to all of those but all of them have got things that I think would massively attract them to Leeds United, absolutely.

TOP CHOICE: Brenden Rodgers, in the eyes of David Prutton. Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images.TOP CHOICE: Brenden Rodgers, in the eyes of David Prutton. Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images.
TOP CHOICE: Brenden Rodgers, in the eyes of David Prutton. Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images.

"Whether you look at wanting a boss that is a Premier League boss or whether you want to look at a boss that gets you out of the Championship, depends on how practical or pragmatic you think you are. They need a boss to get them out of the Championship, not take 16 years doing it and there are ones that are proven there.

"Steven has won things in Scotland with Rangers and then it was a slightly different time on the curve for him with Aston Villa. I think the fact that we're talking about some very, very good managers is very, very positive and it should be for Leeds.

"As Big Sam said, Leeds in the Premier League is some proposition. Leeds in the Championship is just as big a proposition for me and if you get it right, as Marcelo did, there'll be murals on the wall for people like that. Brenden seems that front runner but out of the rest of them and having seen their football teams and spent time with them, that is a very very strong group of contenders I think."

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West Brom boss Corberan is the only one of the aforementioned quintet in work and title-winning former Rangers boss Gerrard has been out of management since being sacked by Aston Villa last October. Prutton, though, says it would be “ridiculous” to judge Gerrard solely on his tenure at Villa Park.

"You can look at what happened in Scotland and how we went about it and the fact that between Celtic and Rangers there's only those two that have won it for a generation,” said Prutton. "You look at Celtic getting their fifth treble in about seven years or something, I understand all that. But he can operate as a big football club. I've played against Rangers, it's ginormous, absolutely ginormous.

"Leeds is massive and there are similarities there with dealing with expectation. The Championship is a brutal league with people coming every couple of days wanting to take that scalp so that's what he's got to manage.

"And he's also been a big game player. There's parts of what's happened at Villa where the jury is still out. But is that where we are now? He didn't do so well at Villa so that's him done? Ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous.

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"When you look at the longevity that's needed for a manager and his career, it's almost like you're not allowed to come up short. I hesitate to use the word failure. Unai Emery came in and did a great job, he got laughed out at Arsenal, that's the way you have got to look at it.

"Leeds United is a wonderful job for any type of manager that gets the chance. But let's not kid ourselves that these managers would just have to fall over themselves as they've got to wear the football club up as well.

"Are these people that are owning now, are they going to spend money? Are they going to get a hold of the people that are there? Are they going to be able to get rid of the people they don't want? These are things that a manager has got to weigh up as well."

A report on Sunday claimed that Gerrard had been offered the job as head coach of Saudi outfit Al Ettifaq whilst Celtic have reportedly been in talks with Farke about the possibility of the German replacing Ange Postecoglou in the Bhoys hotseat.

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Farke was sacked by Bundesliga club Borussia Monchengladbach at the start of this month but Prutton can recall just how impressive his Norwich City side were in twice sealing promotion to the Premier League as Championship champions, fuelled by the brilliance of star duo Emi Buendia and Teemu Pukki.

Farke’s record in the Premier League is rather less impressive but Prutton says that first and foremost his former side need someone to take them onwards and upwards out of the second tier.

"Emi and Teemu were the big parts of what Norwich did,” said Pruton. “But they strolled to it and had it done and dusted. If people say his record in the Premier League is terrible, so is Leeds' of late. They stayed up by the skin of their teeth and then got relegated so their record is terrible.

"It's funny how people kind of dismiss the achievement of getting out of the Championship. It's a slightly different chat, and it's obviously not one that's going to go into any form or debate with the next manager but people are dismissive of Steve Bruce getting teams out of the Championship but he does it routinely and he has done it routinely.

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"If you get a manager in Farke who has done it twice, yes there's that alchemy that comes with the right club, the right person, the right players, the right ownership and the right fan base at the right time."They were brilliant under him. They did less than tread water in the Premier League, I get that but for 18 months Leeds have been stinking the top tier out so if you get a proven Championship winner that wants to come then you've got to at least give him the respect that that deserves because that is no mean feat getting a team out of the Championship.

"The majority of goals were Emi Buendia playing it into Teemu Pukki and they were a joy to watch, an absolute joy to watch, like when you saw what Pablo was like with regards to the strikers that he played with, very similar to that, very easy on the eye.

"But then again, what do they want? Winning football or nice football? I'm not saying it's got to be attritional and brutal. But if when it comes to that first weekend in May or the second weekend in May it says Leeds back in the Premier League, without sounding too much of a cynic, will anybody really care how they did it?"