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Neil Warnock, Chris Hughton & Luciano Becchio

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Apologies if this has been posted before. Just saw this extract from Colin''s book The Gaffer: The Trials and Tribulations of a Football Manager.

It was back to the league after that and we went into the Christmas period just off the play-offs. Then we lost to Nottingham Forest and Hull City in quick succession. It wasn’t just the defeats that worried me though, suddenly our best striker and top goalscorer had stopped working. Luciano Becchio had been enjoying a terrific season, but unless you’re Barcelona that causes problems because the player, and his advisers, start thinking about a move. I soon had enough calls from people claiming to be in his camp to know his head was elsewhere. It was clear by early December he wanted to go – before the Chelsea game when he scored and kissed the badge. At that stage he wanted to go to Turkey or China. The Turks were offering to nearly treble his wages so inevitably I get a player coming to see me telling me he’s 29 and this is his big chance to make himself secure for life. I know he’s as good as telling me if I don’t let him go I might not get the best out of him in the rest of the season. But I can’t tell the local press there is a gun to my head. The players all know he wants away, the manager knows, but you can’t blacken his character in public if you are going to sell him as you’ll reduce his value – and there’s always the chance the window will shut and you’ll be left with him and will need him to want to play for you.So the fans – who love him – moan when you leave him out, and the press ask why, but you can’t say anything. It’s difficult. The issue came to a head when we lost at Barnsley in January and to my eyes Becchio never broke sweat. They were bottom of the table and Yorkshire rivals whose fans love to put one over ‘big’ Leeds. Our fans, for the first time, turned on the team, and me. I made the point of staying out on the pitch until last, and clapping the fans. I got dog’s abuse. I knew after that I had to do something about Becchio so I spoke to his agent on the Monday and told him how disappointed I was at Becchio’s attitude. In reply the agent let slip Becchio had rung him an hour before the game. I was gobsmacked, but I didn’t let on, just asked him a question that ensured he confirmed it. I then asked Becchio if his mind was on the game, he said it was, but when I pointed out he’d been on the phone to his agent an hour before kick-off he had suddenly nothing to say. He couldn’t deny it. So he had to go, but I needed to get a replacement. One player I’ve always admired, especially since a performance for Millwall against my QPR, is Steve Morison. I tried to sign him when QPR went up but Norwich beat us to him. He did well for them in their first season in the Premier League but was now on the bench most weeks. I got in touch with Chris Hughton at Norwich but he insisted he wouldn’t let Morison go until he got a replacement. He was finding that difficult. It was all over the papers that they had had bids rejected for strikers like Celtic’s Gary Hooper. Then they lost in the FA Cup to non-League Luton to top off a bad run in the league and I knew they’d be getting desperate to sign someone. I could have offered Becchio to Chris, but that would have weakened my negotiating position as it would have made it obvious I needed to shift Becchio. So I asked someone else with links to the club to throw his name in the hat. It worked. Becchio had not been on their radar but a 19-goal striker was going to keep the fans happy, and he was a lot cheaper than Hooper. We also got a cash adjustment in our favour, £ 200,000, so the new owners were happy, and after the problems with Becchio so was I.Interesting.

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I still believe that paying 200k and Morison provides us with a better deal than Warnock got, particularly given that Becchio has some genuine striking quality whereas Morison has always been predominantly a lower league lump in my eyes. Particularly when you can see that Morison has gone out on loan already as McDermott saw no use for him, much like hughton. At least with the Becchio situation Hughton brought him in (even if just to shift morison!) and will know what he is about and I reckon he will score more goals in the long run than Morison.

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Very interesting insight into the world of football, and presumably you could substitute the name "Becchio" for any footballers name that wanted awy, say for example "Holt", maybe all the Hughton bashers should take this into consideration? And dare I say it we may already be in a similar position with "Ruddy". I am not suggesting that either Ruddy or Holt would adopt such tactics, but it demonstrates how little a manager can do if a player wants away, all he can do is get the best deal possible for the club........

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I believe almost none of that.

If you actually READ it, it is all opinion and conjecture. Becchio wanted a move in January - as was his right. There was nothing personal about it. Chris Hughton probably mentioned that he wouldn''t sell Moro until he had a replacement. The rest on that is Colin filling in the blanks.

And the whole thing is poorly written.

Very bitter excuse making from one of the biggest t**ts in English football.

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Guest
I heard Colin tell that story to Radio 5, following his departure from Leeds.It portrays the transfer as an opportunistic move by all parties involved. But one that didn''t particularly benefit either club in the end.

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if there''s sh*t to be spoken then you can gaurentee it will be by "Colin"

 

always loved the sound of his own voice, there''s no room in modern football for a manager like him. He think''s hes Brian Clough about 30 years too late!

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[quote user="Militant Canary"] Becchio wanted a move in January - as was his right. [/quote]

This is one of the things I despise about football at the moment. What right does he have to move if he has signed a contract to stay at a club for a set amount of time? He has a right to ask for a move, but he doesn''t have the right TO move unless the club agree.

Why is football the only profession in the world where a contract isn''t worth the paper its written on.

I''ve signed up for a 2 year phone deal, I don''t want it anymore, do I have the right to just leave it because I''m not happy with it any more? No. I know its not the same, but either way I was bought up to consider a contract, written or even verbal, to be binding. Not something to be torn up at the first change of the wind...

I just wish a few more teams had the money/balls to drop some players to the reserves when demanding a move, never to be heard of again. Maybe that''ll open a few other players eyes.

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Thanks OP, that is interesting. What view Hughton has/had of it we don''t know, but interesting nonetheless.As for players in general, nobody could blame them for wanting to maximise their potential - earnings or playing opportunities or both. The way some players an/or their agents go about it though does leave a lot to be desired. In particular, agitating for a move via any channel except the actual handing in a transfer request such that they can claim a loyalty bonus! Not sure if it is something I am noticing more if there is actually more of it going on. Either way, it stinks.

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[quote user="jas the barclay king"]

if there''s sh*t to be spoken then you can gaurentee it will be by "Colin"

 

always loved the sound of his own voice, there''s no room in modern football for a manager like him. He think''s hes Brian Clough about 30 years too late!

[/quote]and with 10% of the ability.

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[quote user="Militant Canary"]I believe almost none of that.

If you actually READ it, it is all opinion and conjecture. Becchio wanted a move in January - as was his right. There was nothing personal about it. Chris Hughton probably mentioned that he wouldn''t sell Moro until he had a replacement. The rest on that is Colin filling in the blanks.

And the whole thing is poorly written.

Very bitter excuse making from one of the biggest t**ts in English football.[/quote]

 

 

I am not sure why you wouldn''t. As far as the Leeds/Becchio side of the story is concerned that rests on one supposed fact, that Becchio spoke to his agent an hour before a crucial game. Now that could be a lie by Warnock, but I doubt it. Warnock would have had to have made up the whole story, including Becchio''s part in it, and that could be easily denied, by the player or the agent. And this book will have been read for libel by the publishers.As for the Norwich side of it, and us being increasingly desperate to sign a striker, that fits in with the facts. We didn''t do the deals for Becchio and Kamara until January 30 and we were still bidding for Hooper - our main target at just the £7m - on January 31.

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[quote user="Snoddys Jockstrap"]Just finished listening to the audiobook - an absolutely hilarious insight into the other side from a true legend of the game, like him or hate him.[/quote]

 

I remember Huckerby saying he had the standard "hate him" view of Warnock, but based only on the public image. Then talked to players who did have personal experience and was told Warnock was great to work for.

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[quote user="Nexus_Canary"]Makes sense and we shifted that useless lump Moro. So win for all parties
[/quote]

No one won as far as I can see, Leeds got a striker in Moro who looked badly out of form and has now been loaned to a rival to get him off the wage bill, we got a striker that hardly featured sometimes not even on the bench. Warnock ultimately lost his job and the book makes Hughton out to be someone who can be sold a player by getting someone to have a word in his ear. Cant see there were many winners unless Becchio hopefully comes good this coming season.

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I dont think it reflects bad on hoots at all.

Bechio got 19 goals in half a season, he might not have been our 1st, 2nd or 5th choice but he was in form and thats what we needed.

As for someone having a word with hoots, well that cold have been a scout or agent which is surely how most deals come out anyway? Get real.

Whats of more concern is that bechio seems mardy, and if come january this year if hes played a handful of cup games and epl subs appearences i can see him stamping his feet and wanting out again.

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So, if this does suggest that Becchio was a panic buy, or a way of getting rid of a want-away striker for an acceptable compromise - where does this leave Becchio?

With every other striker having been cleared out, is Hughton looking to shift Becchio too for perhaps around the 3m mark (the rumoured value of Morison/Becchio).

Becchio didnt seem to have a place in Hughtons squad last season and was certainly behind Holt in the pecking order.

Wouldnt be surprised to see him offloaded as well. Sure a Championship club would be interested?

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Say what you like about Colin, I think he''s pure box office. I''d rather see him interviewed than Mark Hughes or Steve Bruce. Those two just make me want to stab my eyes out with a fork. So boring.

 

I''d categorise Colin along with Balotelli. Both total pr!cks, but let''s face it we''d all read their autobiographies over Brian McDermott or Michael Carrick. A couple of ''mehs'' if I ever I saw them.

 

As for the Becchio deal. I''d say we got the better end of the deal as Becchio is an upgrade on Morison. I have a feeling we''ll see a lot more of our Argentinian next season.

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Ok, here is the Becchio side of things as far as the LUFC fanbase know it.Great player for LUFC, never caused a problem and he will not be a trouble maker, cult hero with the fanbase.Having now experienced Warnock, we understand how he works. He is very good at playing his little press games, but slowly the truth unravels. LUFC played the worst football I''ve ever seen under Warnock. He has his favourite players, he signed, and never criticises them in public. Certian other players, Becchio and Lees, were repeatedly singled out. Becchio amazingly scored 19 goals (some were penalties) with almost zero service from out wide. He is a great finisher when in the box, with both head and feet and knows exactly where to go to score. He single handedly kept us from relegation last year, as we would almost certainly have gone down without those goals. Outside the box, Becchio needs to keep it simple. He cannot dribble and his first touch in not too good, but then my memories are diminished with constant hoofs from the back he was suppoed to make something of.Anyhow, so Warnock starts a press campaign. starting slowly with his assistant manager stating the big clubs will be in for Becchio in the January transfer window. Pretty clear Warnock wants him out. Becchio understandably wasn''t happy with the style of play or manager mutterings, but didn''t look to instigate. Anyhow this builds by the week until Leeds get outplayed horribly by Barnsley. This is a signifiacnt fixture for us as Grayson also left his post following a horrow show there. Leeds had been lifeless in the previous away fixture at Hull and it was the fourth away defeat in a row where we had hardly had a shot on goal or competed. The fanbase had finally sussed Warnock and wanted him out but the new owners were afraid as Warnock talks the talk and they knew nothing about football.Canny Warnock diverts the pressure and blames Becchio and his attitude. He initiates the exchange deal claiming Morison will go down as a  legend. I''ve seen Morison before. He is garbage with a woeful lower league technique and Becchio was my favourite player. Not the best player but he did the business and gave a shit. From day one it was clear Morison didn''t. He made no effort at all and was dreadful, despite his obvious lack of fitness. Brian McDermott dropped him and has now loaned him out. Once again we are lumbered with a high wage earner (reputedly £17K a week) who we simply don''t want and no-one else can afford.Yes, Norwich got the better deal. Becchio will natuarlly be frustrated and I suspect he is not Premiership class, but he is a good guy with the right attitude. By the way, the word is out he is available for a season long loan to Championship clubs, so expect some movement.MOT

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frogusmaximus

Re: Neil Warnock, Chris Hughton & Luciano Becchio

But if we loan Becchio out we''ll need three new strikers to support RvW in the squad! That requirement I suspect will be somewhat demanding. Or we go with none up front if RvW is out of form, injured or suspended.

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Leeds should have been promoted under Grayson the same year you went up. We played a 4231 formation with Becchio up top and Snoddy, Howson and Gradel in support. Sadly the defensive lynchpin at the base of that attack was Andy O''Brien, who basically had a breakdown in his personal life and couldn''t hold it together. Add to that Bates'' foolishness at not investing at any time during his reign and we missed the opportunity unlike yourselves, and have now lost all 4 players.My point of this tale as far as Norwich goes, and considering the above comment, is Howson plays wonderfully as a an AM/CF.

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frogus, I''ve often wondered what happened in the Championship when you had such a great midfield.

 

When player as an attacking midfielder, which has not happened too much so far, Howson can sometimes look real class. I''m hoping that this is the season he emerges as a real star.

 

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[quote user="frogusmaximus"]Ok, here is the Becchio side of things as far as the LUFC fanbase know it.Great player for LUFC, never caused a problem and he will not be a trouble maker, cult hero with the fanbase.Having now experienced Warnock, we understand how he works. He is very good at playing his little press games, but slowly the truth unravels. LUFC played the worst football I''ve ever seen under Warnock. He has his favourite players, he signed, and never criticises them in public. Certian other players, Becchio and Lees, were repeatedly singled out. Becchio amazingly scored 19 goals (some were penalties) with almost zero service from out wide. He is a great finisher when in the box, with both head and feet and knows exactly where to go to score. He single handedly kept us from relegation last year, as we would almost certainly have gone down without those goals. Outside the box, Becchio needs to keep it simple. He cannot dribble and his first touch in not too good, but then my memories are diminished with constant hoofs from the back he was suppoed to make something of.Anyhow, so Warnock starts a press campaign. starting slowly with his assistant manager stating the big clubs will be in for Becchio in the January transfer window. Pretty clear Warnock wants him out. Becchio understandably wasn''t happy with the style of play or manager mutterings, but didn''t look to instigate. Anyhow this builds by the week until Leeds get outplayed horribly by Barnsley. This is a signifiacnt fixture for us as Grayson also left his post following a horrow show there. Leeds had been lifeless in the previous away fixture at Hull and it was the fourth away defeat in a row where we had hardly had a shot on goal or competed. The fanbase had finally sussed Warnock and wanted him out but the new owners were afraid as Warnock talks the talk and they knew nothing about football.Canny Warnock diverts the pressure and blames Becchio and his attitude. He initiates the exchange deal claiming Morison will go down as a  legend. I''ve seen Morison before. He is garbage with a woeful lower league technique and Becchio was my favourite player. Not the best player but he did the business and gave a shit. From day one it was clear Morison didn''t. He made no effort at all and was dreadful, despite his obvious lack of fitness. Brian McDermott dropped him and has now loaned him out. Once again we are lumbered with a high wage earner (reputedly £17K a week) who we simply don''t want and no-one else can afford.Yes, Norwich got the better deal. Becchio will natuarlly be frustrated and I suspect he is not Premiership class, but he is a good guy with the right attitude. By the way, the word is out he is available for a season long loan to Championship clubs, so expect some movement.MOT[/quote]

Thanks very much for that insight. Find it interesting how you have described Moro. Did well in terms of goals in the first half of our first season but then never really looked interested after that. You wont have to search very hard on this board to find the majority opinion on Moro''s work ethic. People with good intentions tried to defend him and say it was just his playing style, like Berbatov, but it always appeared to me that he had the wrong attitude - interesting how quickly Leeds fans have also noticed this

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Ignoring Bates and his complete lack of investment in players diuring the last 6 years (we had the best wage to turnover ratio) whilst he bled the club dry, there were three main issues.1. Woeful defensive frailty, especially at set pieces. Kisnorbo and Naylor led us out of league one but both were injured. The former had been almost perfect at that level and was never the same player again after missing the whole season. Grayson brought in O''Brien on big money. Fantastic on loan, he simply lost it mentally (fiance troubles we heard).2. Left back - had been a problem position for more years than you care to remember and never adressed.3. Holding midfield - Leeds had Bradley Johnson (BJ) and Kilkenny who were just bloody awful. When we played with two central midfielders we were simply overrun by every team and couldn''t find a partnership that worked, so we used Howson in front of them. Kilkenny was a sideways passer (a playmaker who flattered to deceive - now enjoying his big money contract at relegated Bristol City) who couldn''t run and covered little ground. BJ was a headless chicken, blazing shots over the bar and with both an awful passing accuracy and pass selection.The thing BJ had was commitment, physical strength and an aerial threat. He needed to be told to give a simple pass, to recognise his strengths and weakneness. He was the most criticised player in the team at the time as he''d win the ball and then give it away with a misplaced pass. He''d dribble when he should have passed and passed when he should have dribbled. Very few were sad when his contract ran out - he was going to be a squad player but wanted a salary on a par with Howson - and all of us have been amazed at how his reputation has developed. I''m assuming he learnt his lesson, though be interested to hear your opinions. 

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[quote user="frogusmaximus"]Ignoring Bates and his complete lack of investment in players diuring the last 6 years (we had the best wage to turnover ratio) whilst he bled the club dry, there were three main issues.1. Woeful defensive frailty, especially at set pieces. Kisnorbo and Naylor led us out of league one but both were injured. The former had been almost perfect at that level and was never the same player again after missing the whole season. Grayson brought in O''Brien on big money. Fantastic on loan, he simply lost it mentally (fiance troubles we heard).2. Left back - had been a problem position for more years than you care to remember and never adressed.3. Holding midfield - Leeds had Bradley Johnson (BJ) and Kilkenny who were just bloody awful. When we played with two central midfielders we were simply overrun by every team and couldn''t find a partnership that worked, so we used Howson in front of them. Kilkenny was a sideways passer (a playmaker who flattered to deceive - now enjoying his big money contract at relegated Bristol City) who couldn''t run and covered little ground. BJ was a headless chicken, blazing shots over the bar and with both an awful passing accuracy and pass selection.The thing BJ had was commitment, physical strength and an aerial threat. He needed to be told to give a simple pass, to recognise his strengths and weakneness. He was the most criticised player in the team at the time as he''d win the ball and then give it away with a misplaced pass. He''d dribble when he should have passed and passed when he should have dribbled. Very few were sad when his contract ran out - he was going to be a squad player but wanted a salary on a par with Howson - and all of us have been amazed at how his reputation has developed. I''m assuming he learnt his lesson, though be interested to hear your opinions.  [/quote]

For me? Nope. Your description of him is exactly how I would describe his performances over the last 2 seasons. He doesnt appear to have developed at all really.

You get what you get with BJ. Some fans felt he should be player of the season, only missing one game and all, and yes, he always put in great commitment. But his shooting is still woeful. Full of power but never ever anywhere near on target, and his choice to shoot is always a frustrating one. Cant pass generally, and works much better when he can win the ball and lay it off to a playmaker like Hoolahan or Fox. For me he is still a headless chicken, bit like Darel Russell.

I have nothing against BJ, I just think it is misguided to hail him as one of our reasons for success last season. yes he played to the best of his abilities, but for me, it was mainly the limitations of central midfield (of which he formed 50%) that held us back so much last season. BJ, for me, is the main player we should be looking to upgrade upon this season. We need a central midfielder who can do everything. We need a single player who can destroy like BJ, pass like Fox, move like (Jagger) Tettey, invent like Hoolahan, shoot like Butterfield and with the class of Howson. All our midfielders have their qualities, but lack so fundamentally in others. You almost need to play all of them to get the components you need for midfield, whereas a Gerrard has all these abilities in one player.

Im not for a second saying a Gerrard is not a very special player, but this type of all rounder is where we should be looking as a priority in my opinion. Before we got rid of all the strikers (making new strikers the main priority) central midfield was the place we needed better players most in my opinion.

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Wow TGMD - you don''t want for much! ;)

BJ does the simple things well now. Breaks up play, passes to a yellow shirt. After that, I agree his game needs improving, but when you have a Howson/Hoolahan to pass to and create, then he''s doing alright by me, and can fit in our current team.

There is nothing wrong in looking to upgrade either on what we have btw.

I am NOT saying BJ is the next Paul Scholes (Scholes can shoot for a start!) but he did used to do a similar (upgraded) job for Man U. There are not too many Paul Scholes/Steven Gerrards around as we know.

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