'Sorry but' - A message for Leeds United men, 10 doubt and big new signing hope: David Prutton

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Willy Gnonto's refusal to play for the team is the biggest thing that will stick in a Leeds United fan's craw, writes DAVID PRUTTON.

But Gnonto has now been reintegrated back into the group and the potential for redemption is always there unless it's a heinous crime of a criminal nature. Whites boss Daniel Farke alluded to ‘poor advice’ in Thursday’s pre-match press conference and the badly advised line is one of the biggest cliches in professional football. It is eyes on the prize of a bigger move and more money et cetera and Premier League football dressed up as ambition.

I can put my professional football head on and say that I can understand why. But I think that there are different ways of going about it. I think that you should keep your head down until something's concrete and try not to put your head above the parapet but others will be happy for you to ruffle a few feathers to get a move going.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The only way that Gnonto will win back the affection of Leeds United fans is to come back and be as effective a player as possible. We all know the buy-in that comes from fans and players alike is that mutually beneficial relationship.

VERY SPECIAL: Pablo Hernandez who excelled in the Whites no 10 role. Photo by George Wood/Getty Images.VERY SPECIAL: Pablo Hernandez who excelled in the Whites no 10 role. Photo by George Wood/Getty Images.
VERY SPECIAL: Pablo Hernandez who excelled in the Whites no 10 role. Photo by George Wood/Getty Images.

The player plays well, the team plays well, the fans enjoy what they are watching and therein the virtual cycle goes round and round and round. In a situation such as this, this is what can happen with younger players. It's happened and the only way he rewrites this professional wrong is to come back and perform.

Everyone is human enough to make mistakes and everyone is human enough to get past it and mature enough to get past it. He might not have that undying love from Leeds United fans again but they'll soon give him the time of day if he gets on the pitch and starts scoring and creating chances.

Luis Sinisterra is also back with the group, a player whose quality Farke admitted on Thursday that Leeds needed to keep, albeit admitting that any scenario can change with a crazy late bid in the summer transfer window.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

All the Leeds United fans that I have ever spoken to are an extremely balanced knowledgeable bunch and every club is a selling club if the price is right. If someone comes in for Sinisterra or if Everton suddenly realise they are in a mess and they then offer £30m for Gnonto then it changes.

Money talks in football and we all absolutely know that. I'm not saying it's pulling the wool over fans' eyes or creating a mistake that doesn't exist as we all know that. But we all want players that are thrillers and entertainers and above all else effective.

If Gnonto and Sinisterra can be that then I'm not saying for one second that they will be the most beloved Leeds United players you have ever come across but they'll be accepted to a degree and they'll be part of a squad that needs to be moving in the right direction under Daniel.

Daniel has been absolutely right to say that if you don't want to be here then see you later. He understands football at the sharp end of teams that are successful and players that move on and managers that move on and managers that get sacked and hired. It's all part of it and we all absolutely understand it.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

It's Wizard of Oz like, we all know what goes on behind the curtain, we just don't really need to see it. That's happened with these two players.

The other side of it is that given the noise and the fuss that has been made, that far outweighs anything positive that they have done on the pitch.

Sorry but now you are back to your day job of being a professional footballer for Leeds United, employed and paid handsomely by Leeds United so get your backside on the pitch and do something.

There is now just one week left of the summer transfer window and Leeds have snapped up striker Joel Piroe from Swansea City on a four-year deal. It was very important that Leeds signed a number 9 at a time when Georginio Rutter is the only fit and available option at the moment.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

There's also Joe Gelhardt but I still think we are yet to find out what his best position is and how he is utilised best by the manager that is in charge. There's a lot of goodwill for Joe. But at some stage that potential and that goodwill has got to be turned into positive impacts on the pitch and prolonged consistent impacts on the pitch and he'll be at the top of the list of people that wants that for himself. That's a work in progress.

But Piroe understands the Championship, knows what it's like and the demands of the rigors of it so hopefully that stands him in good stead.

We have seen Tyler Adams move on as well and has been another recruit that ultimately flattered to deceive, for which the list in recent seasons is long and varied for Leeds United. But Leeds now need someone else in the middle there to be able to dominate proceedings and be forceful enough to lead a charge to the Premier League.

I've seen Southampton so far, intent on passing teams to death and I saw a Norwich side against a poor Millwall side last Sunday who looked very good; very, very good. Leicester haven't got anywhere near top gear but are perfect from a points' perspective and Leeds can't let other teams get away from them.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

I'm not saying we're in that situation just yet. But these teams are dealing with the same processes. Southampton have lost players, albeit for big fees and they could see those coming over the horizon a bit more and Leicester have tooled up in different departments.

But there can be no feeling sorry for themselves at Leeds with regards to how the season starts because once the window shuts then it's time to crack on but before then there is a massive game this weekend against a team that is absolutely flying in Ipswich Town.

There are also calls for a new no 10 at Leeds, another Pablo Hernandez maybe but Pablo was a very special player. Whether they can get someone akin to Pablo who is available I genuinely doubt. It would be great if Leeds can get a no 10 but you could go through the whole team.

If they play with wingers then what are you going to get from that and if they play with players that are tucked inside then will you get the best from the likes of Dan James et cetera? I think if these plays are available then yes but financially if it is a risk then possibly no.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

But I think Piroe will be a very good addition, especially with the way Daniel wants to play. He is a very game Championship player and we have seen that successful teams are built on stuff like that. Look no further than Viktor Gyokeres at Coventry City, He not only scored goals but what I loved watching about him was going about opposition back fours and back threes.

It was like 'I'll occupy them, I'll go toe to toe with them’ like when he and Paddy McNair were smashing seven bells out of each other at the end of the season. It was great to watch. Hopefully Piroe might offer something similar.