There’s no doubt that Leeds are in a good position in the Championship this season, 10th in the league with 17pts in a division where results are as consistent as Wayne Rooney’s loyalty to his employers but Simon Grayson has hit back at what he feels is unfair criticism of him and the team. And fair enough, if someone has a pop at you, chances are with human nature, you’ll react.
In the YEP article (see above), Grayson says the expectation of fans is way off the mark and that a reality check is in order: “I don’t see how people expect us to be walking clear at the top of the division.”
The thing is, we don’t. Well, I don’t and I know many others who think along the same, realistic wavelengths. We know the limitations of the squad.
Grayson is perfectly frank with the quotes, we don’t have players who will be rivalling Lionel Messi for the Ballon d’Or and he is very well aware of it, but then again, who isn’t? “I’ve got an honest bunch of players. A lot of them were playing in League One last year and some have come in on free transfers. We haven’t gone out and spent millions of pounds.”
For me though, it’s not about the fact that we have an average squad – which isn’t a criticism, that’s a whole other blog in itself; it’s the fact that while we do on the whole, have an ‘honest bunch of players’, we are seeing the same mistakes every week. This for me is the issue.
It’s not about the expectation of winning – anyone who knows me knows I’m a pessimistic bugger but while we can overlook new players taking time to fit in or a rotated team not quite rolling over opponents with the flow of Arsenal, it is far harder to see the same players keeping the shirt despite making the same mistakes week after week after week. I won’t mention names but surely there comes a time where enough is enough?
We don’t have a lot to spend, the biggest conference venue between Newcastle and Manchester didn’t get built on a the flit of a smile and wave of a wand but look at where we’ve spent the money. Leigh Bromby and Adam Clayton weren’t brought in for free but they’ve not had a look in. I’m obviously not saying they should be first on the team sheet because the club spent money on them but with Clayton, he’s not had a look in – which fair enough, may be down to issues with training etc.
Don’t get me wrong I’m happy with the position we’re in; I’d snap anyone’s hand off to be in the Championship next season (See, pessimistic) but there are times when one can’t help but feel sometimes, a different outlook is needed. Like 4-5-1 at home? It’s immensely frustrating but hell, I’m no expert, Grayson is and that’s why he’s in the job.
It’s that adage really, so long as fans pay to watch their team, they will always remind those who they pay to see just what they think of what is on offer in front of them.