Leeds United: Hockaday should have been given more time – Ritchie

David Hockaday.
David Hockaday.
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Ex-Whites striker Andy Ritchie has his say on all things Leeds United.

THERE will always, always be people who want to be the next manager or head coach of Leeds United, no doubt about that and applications will be flying in from everywhere – even with the situation with the way it is after Dave Hockaday’s sacking after just six games.

People will know that they might get another six games and you could be out.

But because of the sheer size of the club, there will always be those who want to be manager.

I just really do hope that whoever they do get and who comes in gets a bit more time and actually does make a fist of it.

Whoever it is, is going to have to work very, very quickly with a lot of players he might probably not really know much about because a lot of them have come from Italy.

There will be a lot of English players that managers here know about, but also a lot of ‘unknowns’ for whoever goes in.

It is certainly going to be ‘interesting,’ that is for sure.

Everyone knows the nature of the beast regarding football management these days, but you would have thought Dave would have got a little bit more time in terms of all the new players coming in and getting time to gel with them after only being at the club for seventy days.

So many players have come in already and Leeds have also lost a couple as well. It was probably a bit of a minefield for Hockaday in knowing which players he would have for which positions.

I thought he should have been given a bit more of a chance.

It can’t have been easy for him with all the players coming in. It could have been a bit of a poisoned chalice with all these players coming in at short notice and knowing what to do with them. It takes time.

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Regarding his sacking, I have got to say I am surprised a little bit, especially after what Massimo Cellino said at the weekend after the Watford game when the signs were that he was going to sack Hockaday, but changed his mind after giving it some reflection.

I thought: ‘he has been sensible’ there and did think Dave would be given a bit longer than he got, certainly another few games.

But ultimately, it has proved not to be for him.

Maybe Cellino thought the club needed more discipline, with the sendings-off; I don’t know.

But it has surprised me a bit, although while I do get surprised now and again in football, I am never shocked any more.

I think Dave walked into the job knowing what was in front of him, but couldn’t turn it down.

Yes, he will be disappointed he hasn’t got more time at Leeds United, but I also think he probably knew what happened could have been on the cards at the end of the day.

Cellino dismissed something like 36 managers in his 22 years at Cagliari and maybe the managers name is just on the door in chalk.

Obviously, amidst all this, the summer transfer window deadline is on Monday at 11pm and it could be an interesting time at Leeds.

Some say the window is a bit of nightmare, but for me in my managerial days, I never really felt it was a nightmare as I never had the funds to bring anybody in!

The one thing I do know is that you could have agents phoning you up every two minutes saying: ‘I have got this player and that player; he’s just what you want.’

It can be a pain in the backside that way.

From what we are hearing, Cellino does the business in terms of bringing the players in. You wonder whether he has dialogue with the coach/manager or just brings players in, willy-nilly.

Looking at the Bradford game in the Capital One Cup in midweek, I did think Leeds were a bit unlucky after playing so long with ten men when Luke Murphy was sent off, and taking the lead through Matt Smith’s header late on in the game at Valley Parade and just not keeping hold of it.

It made it worse because it was Bradford as they were local rivals and you wouldn’t have wanted to lose to them, although they are a good side who are doing all right in their league and who have a bit of cup pedigree as well.

Looking at the start to the season, for me, you know a bit more after ten or 12 games, when things settle down in the league and the transfer window will have shut.

A manager knows what he has at his disposal then. David needed that time, but unfortunately for his sake, he did not get it.

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