Leeds United: Only big-money buys will ignite a United promotion push – Whelan

Luke Murphy.
Luke Murphy.
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SATURDAY’S loss to Charlton just sums up the season really; a lot of inconsistency and poor performances against the lesser clubs, when we have raised our games against the likes of the top four and top six. It’s a difficult one to pinpoint and put your finger on.

I think sometimes the level of performances against the big teams – maybe that comes down to a mental thing, when you know you are playing against better players. But you can’t take your foot off the gas against any teams in the Championship if you have got any aspirations of being in the top six. We have seen these inconsistencies all season, especially when it comes to playing the teams that have been lingering down at the bottom. You just can’t do it. Nothing is a given in the Championship. You’ve got to go out and earn it.

I thought Luke Murphy had an excellent game before he was taken off and I think Charlie Taylor, once again, had an excellent game. He’s had an excellent season.

Chris Wood did enough as a striker but he’ll have been disappointed he didn’t get on the scoresheet. But in saying that, the game could have been a completely different story if we’d have put the chance away that Luke Murphy had. That could have been the turning point in the game.

Overall, I think we need to strengthen in the goalkeeping department and I think we definitely need to strengthen in the centre-half department, maybe even with two centre-halves to give you that strength in depth, depending on what happens with Giuseppe Bellusci and Sol Bamba over the summer. We definitely need a creative midfield player, a natural no 10, and a striker with lots of pace.

We have seen a good level of performances and displays from Stuart Dallas which is promising. On the right hand side, on the other wing, for me, I felt Jordan Botaka was given an opportunity on Saturday but I just don’t think he went out and took it. For me, anybody can roll their foot over a ball and do a little Cruyff. But I want to see somebody get past a man. I want to see you do your job which is beating players down the wing and putting quality into the box and deliveries for Chris Wood. I’m not sure how many times and how many crosses he had on Saturday but I can’t remember too many, if any. There’s no point in having a winger on if he isn’t going to do that.

I think Massimo Cellino is going to have spend some good money. And it’s proven – look at Jordan Rhodes, banging goals in. He’s a proven goalscorer and you have got to pay money for them. It’s okay looking down the lower leagues but can they cut it in the Championship? You’ve got to look at what is available in the Championship first and foremost and, yes, I think you do have to spend money. It’s proven that if you spend the money right and spend it big in certain areas then you get the dividends paid off.

You can’t just keep thinking ‘well, I’ll buy average which will get us up’ because it won’t get you up. That’s just not the way it works and there are some areas of the field where you have got to spend bigger than others.

I think we need to spend between 15 and 20 million, I’ll be honest. If you are talking about three or four quality players who are going to cost five million plus each then you have got to.

And the wage structure has to go out of the window because certain players in the world get paid more per week because they are game changers and because they make the difference. You can’t keep the structure and if you win games, none of the players will be concerned about that.

If they are getting you 25 or 30 goals a season, they are not going to complain because they will get the rewards at the end of it as well.

Steve Evans waved goodbye to the fans on Saturday and is that goodbye for good? I hope not. I still feel, even after Saturday’s result, that he has done enough to be given a crack of the whip as head coach of Leeds United. But the only person that knows anything is Massimo Cellino and he is not letting anything out of the bag is he?

We don’t know what’s happening with the spaces that need to be filled on the board. We don’t know what’s happening with Lewis Cook’s and Charlie Taylor’s contracts which should have been sorted a long time ago before now. Nobody has an idea of what is going to be happening in the summer which is shame.

It just seems like nothing is organised.