Leeds United: There’s no stability for the players – Ritchie

Lewis Cook.
Lewis Cook.
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WITH all this uncertainty about the manager again at Leeds United, I have got to say that it does the players no good and does not help them at all.

It only adds uncertainly. Their agents will be phoning and telling the players: ‘What the hell is going on?’ and be in their ears all the time – and also saying: ‘you need to get out of the place’ because there’s no stability to produce your best form.

You could be playing for Steve Evans one week and someone else the next week.

That’s what agents will be saying and if I was an agent, I would be saying that as well.

In all workplaces, if you have got someone as a manager who comes into your office week-in, week-out, you know what you are going get off him – whether it is good and bad.

If it is bad, that’s unfortunate, but at least you know where you stand and what you are doing and you know it is uniform in terms of what you are asked to produce. At the moment, it seems that every six to eight weeks or whatever it is, the (Leeds) players could be asked to do something totally different by someone else.

It’s a case of someone else possibly coming in and getting nailed down – and then two or three weeks later, the club could be thinking of doing something different again!

You need to have clarity and stability and that is just not what Leeds are about at the minute – and haven’t been since Massimo Cellino took over.

Can you seriously think that Lewis Cook’s agent will be sitting down with him every week and saying: ‘You have got to stay here, pal.’

I know what he will be saying to him.

Lewis is a young player making his way in the game and he needs somebody (head coach) to stick with him, so he knows what they want from him.

He doesn’t need, at this stage of his career, head coaches chopping and changing and different people saying: ‘I want you to do it this way’ when the next week, someone could be saying something totally different.

After the Huddersfield result, Leeds now have to get another bad result out of their system after the recent Brighton loss – they just have to do it again.

But that kind of thing is happening too much.

For me, it showed that they need new blood or players that you know what you are going to get out of.

They seemed so disjointed for a couple of the Huddersfield goals.

They looked like that they needed a massive leader at the pitch, although you would have thought Sol Bamba would have been that player.

It seems to be that when Leeds have a meltdown on the pitch that it is quite a big one.

Lewis was rested and started the game on the bench and there is a case for resting young players at times and maybe Steve saw the signs.

If a young player is looking as though he would be having a bit of a struggle, it is down to your man-management and experience as a coach to detect that happening.

Obviously, there’s no Premier League or Championship games this Easter, which is a bit strange – although maybe some people will be quite happy at being able to save some money over Easter.

Although there’s plenty of football to go and watch down the leagues if you wish and in non-league to boost their coffers.

There are also international friendlies and a lot of club players are away on international duty anyway.

For some clubs without international players, it might be a good little break anyway, while for those with internationals, they might be missing a number of players away on international duty.

There’s pros and cons with all these international breaks. I know managers will worry particularly about players going to far-flung places and their recovery time coming back.

The passing of Johan Cruyff this week was very sad news for the footballing world.

He is one of the most exciting players I have ever watched, although I did not see him play live in the flesh.

He was an absolutely unbelievable footballing talent and a revolutionary in how he played and the way he was.

Everyone has also said he was a total gentleman and not a ‘big-time Charlie’ with everything for the team.

And that’s the way it should be – right now, there’s too many big-time Charlie’s in the game now, although I won’t name them.

Johan dedicated his life to football. I saw an interview with Arie Haan and he said that Johan lived for football and ate football and has taken football with him.

The only positive thing at the moment is being able to watch his skills that he produced on television. Football is giving Johan a bit of pomp and circumstance following his passing, with the game in Holland on Thursday night being a prime example with a minute’s silence before the game and on 14 minutes – the number he used to wear – there was a minutes applause.

You could see how the Dutch felt about it. He was a wonderful player.