Football

Leeds United should regret ditching Neil Warnock

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You never really know what you're ever going to get with Leeds United, it's been that way for some time. Background power struggles and a revolving door of playing and coaching staff are partly to blame. So if you look back at who has come and gone, who should have been the one to stay?

Surely it has to be Neil Warnock. 

The current Crystal Palace boss deserved far more time than he eventually received at Elland Road.

Unlucky

I think he probably has to be one of the most unlucky managers in England. He has proved time and time again that he can work wonders, at Championship level especially, but constantly finds him hamstrung by new owners.

He may not bring a Barca style of play, but his teams have a habit of getting the job done. For Leeds United, that is exactly what they need. 

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Forget the exciting, showcase and silky football; a club like Leeds need to get back to where they belong by getting the basics right. Tight defence, rigid midfield and goal scorers; perhaps that is where they are going wrong at the moment.

Players like Adryan, and some of the other foreign imports, are a little easier on the eyes of the Yorkshire fans, but a quick glance at the league table will tell you that it clearly isn't working.

Current regime

That isn't to say the current troubles are down to Neil Redfearn, however. The caretaker-cum-manager hasn't exactly had much time to implement his own ideas. There's every chance that he can bring success to the club.

However, Redfearn doesn't have a proven track record that matches that of Warnock.

Anti-Warnock fans will point out that he had time at Leeds and led them closer to League One than the Premier League. Was he given a fair crack of the whip, though? - He certainly didn't disgrace himself.

For one, he had his two best players, Robert Snodgrass and Luciano Becchio, taken from him and wasn't given a huge amount of money from owners, GFH, to rebuild the tired squad. As a result, a number of his budget buys were criticised. 

Nowadays

What if he were back in charge now though? Money still isn't awash at Elland Road, and there's no scope to spend given their transfer ban anyway, but once all is resolved, there is likely to be some money around.

Young players like Lewis Cook, Alex Mowatt and Sam Byram; their value continues to inflate. The nature of the game suggests that they will be difficult to keep hold off, though a huge sum can be demanded.

So in that instance, with money at his disposal and current owner Massimo Cellino saying he wants a long term manager, Warnock could work his magic.  

His last departure wasn't exactly acrimonious either. The 66-year-old graciously stepped aside when it became clear Leeds were not going to challenge for the play-offs. 

Genius

The way I see it, Warnock has improved every club he has been at recently. Sheffield United got to the Premier League, and were unfairly relegated. He also got the Blades to within touching distance of winning the FA Cup.

In a difficult first spell at Crystal Palace, again ruined by a change of ownership, he kept the club afloat and introduced to the team young players like Victor Moses and Nathaniel Clyne, who would go on to save the club. He's also bought a bit of stability this season, in his second spell, after stepping into the breach following the shocking departure of Tony Pulis.

In between all that, he had the nightmare of having to guide QPR under the comical ownership of Flavio Briatore and Bernie Ecclestone. And, when removed with the Rs safe in the top flight, results went on the slide.

Warnock has proved time and time again what he can do in the lower leagues; he's had seven promotions. Of all those who have come and gone from Leeds United in the last few years - Neil Warnock is probably the one who has been missed the most. 

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Topics:
Leeds United
Championship
Neil Warnock
Football

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