Leeds United: Midfield battler fits bill for Whites - Ormsby

Leeds United legend Brendan Ormsby answers your questions.

Hi Brendan.

What do you think Simon Grayson's priority will be in the January transfer window?

Tommy Jones via email.

Maybe he will be looking to strengthen midfield with Bradley (Johnson) possibly leaving. Someone who can dig in there, which is what I've spoken about before.

I don't know what's happened to Amdy Faye, he seems to have disappeared all of a sudden as well...

Simon has got enough ball players in the midfield, but someone like a (Graham) Kavanagh at Carlisle last season with a bit of grit in there – a bit of a Robbie Savage type if you like who does the job and upsets a few people – would maybe be a main priority.

The back four seems settled now and the centre-halves seem sorted out as does the regular defence.

I know Andy Hughes played last Saturday – but to be fair to him, he usually does a good job and never lets the team down.

Obviously, with Bolton letting Andy O'Brien go, I don't really think he's got a future there and he's gone to a bigger club than he's at already! Getting him to sign permanently will probably be the other priority.

There's Luciano Becchio settled up front and with Billy Paynter, Davide Somma and Ross McCormack, I wouldn't think a striker is a priority and the forwards look like they can do the job.

Maybe the main thing in January will be getting some out.

I know Leeds have just cancelled Andy Robinson's contract and if they weren't going to use him, they might as well have got rid of him.

Simon knows he's got quite a big squad and he'll want to maybe try and trim the wage bill a bit as he may have to do that before bringing

people in.

Although with things going well at the minute, he might not want to

upset the applecart.

Even when you bring in a loan player or two, quite often they are here, there and gone – and don't give a stuff about the club and just want to put themselves in the shop window, get match fitness and do back to

their main clubs.


Hi Brendan.

Everyone goes on about the importance of coaches in the modern game. Who is the best coach you worked under?


I think I'd say Wilko (Howard Wilkinson), although strictly speaking he was my manager. But he was a very technical coach and has brought through a lot of coaching stuff that goes on in the FA these days.

As a coach, Howard, pictured left, knew everything. He did take a long time to put things across and did go around the houses, but he explained everything the right way and was very meticulous.

He never left anything to chance and did everything to the finest detail. When there were the plastic pitches and we used to play Oldham for instance, he'd take the first team and reserves over to have a practice match on a plastic pitch.

If we were playing away somewhere, he'd also make you use the same ball as the one our opponents used in training.

He'd also have our training ground pitch marked out to the same size as whoever we were playing away on the Saturday.

He never left anything to chance. If you couldn't learn from someone like Howard, it was a case of don't bother.

When I was with Billy Bremner at Donny, I also worked under Steve Beaglehole and he was a good coach, who later became manager and went onto work with Northern Ireland.



I see the pantomime season has started early at Newcastle again. We've had our crazy days at Leeds, but what happens there takes the biscuit!


I thought the decision to sack Chris Hughton was a joke – although that's football these days and I don't think the board there gives a stuff..

I don't think the board wanted him anyway when they put him in as a caretaker manager last year and there were always rumours they wanted someone else.

But you look at what Chris did, taking back up to the Premiership at the first attempt!

They have used him to that effect and then just said: 'On your bike!'

I just think they always wanted him out, simple as that. I know people

said that by coincidence, Martin Jol had resigned from Ajax and he might take over – and I did think he'd walk straight into it, but then they get Alan Pardew in!

No disrespect to Alan, but he's signed a five-and-a-half year deal. He won't be there for that long, why give him such a long contract?

Newcastle fans aren't going to be happy with him and no disrespect again, but they were waiting to see a bigger name.

Newcastle is a massive football club, no doubt about that and I'd think a few of them will be disappointed.

I know some people were knocking Alan Shearer about as a successor, but he'll never go into (full-time) management because he might lose his status and he doesn't need to and he's a legend and the fans love him.

He had his little go and is still a legend.

Back to the Hughton decision and the other thing is what must the players think?

From what I've heard, they got on well with him.

I usually don't feel sorry for managers when they go as they get a big pay-off and it's not usually long before they are back managing another football club.

But I do have sympathy with Chris for the way it's been done, in this instance. He took them back up and did a good job and this is how they reward him...


Leeds United's players celebrate Gjanni Alioski's goal against Middlesbrough.

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