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11 Aug 2021 12:20:54
Question, conundrum for the glass half full lads ( OP, Brighty, Axe, Clu, anyone else etc )

as I forsee potential difficulties for Leeds progress forward in the next season or 2

1) With a small squad that has NOT been strengthened this window it is difficult to see Leeds do better than last seasons 9th and not qualify for Europe)

Therefore any lack of progress this season will make it much more likely that some of our top players KP, Raph even Bamford could be susceptible to a move to a bigger club come end of this season

2) if on the other hand OP and any of our half glass banter lads are correct in their prediction that Leeds somehow exceed expectations this season and qualify for Europe

# how do Leeds cope next season with Bielsas favoured small squad for both the rigorous demands of both the EPL and European competition?

as it would be more than likely that our league form would severely suffer with the demands of both competitions on a small squad.

Agree1 Disagree0

11 Aug 2021 13:33:53

1) I believe the squad has improved. I have said it before on this site so this is not a new theory, I have always believed that a player never gives of his best in the first season after a transfer. Look at Harrison's first season. Bamford too. They hit their straps in the second season. Once they are settled and I assume their families are settled too. By my theory Llorente, Koch, Rodrigo and Raphinha should be upping their games this year.
I don't believe anyone we bought this window would have given us their top game, however soon in to the window we had bought them.

2) a European place, who is glass half full now?
I imagine that scenario would result in a similar situation as to our first season in the Premiership were we embarked on bringing a lot of new, improving talent at one time.

11 Aug 2021 13:42:54
Great points Baz and all reasons that I think we are idiots to not be adding players now. That way we can gradually add 4- 5 quality players each year / window and be ready ro push on to the next level. In 2 seasons without adding we will have a weak, shallow squad that around 4/ 5 players will be looking to hang up their boots from. UNLESS some youngsters make the grade.

11 Aug 2021 16:13:15
Alf, is your surname Risdale?

A ridiculous strategy.

11 Aug 2021 17:58:09
Baz - before responding to your questions, I might as well reiterate that it’s possible there will be further incomings this window. As I intimidated yesterday, Kinnear’s recent response re signings was not that business was definitely finished - indeed he said we stood ready to make further signings if opportunities arose - ie the players we want become available, at a sensible price. If he’d said we’re definitely wanting to make further signings, it would have invited selling clubs to raise their asking prices, or at the very least stick rigidly to their current price.

1) Even if we make no further signings, as Axe said, last year’s additions are likely to perform at a higher level this season - and Firpo is an improvement on Alioski. Additionally, the whole squad has apparently stepped up again in base level fitness this preseason. It is true that we have lost Berardi and Pablo, but they barely featured anyway, and it is expected that Drameh, Gelhardt, Greenwood and Summerville will be able to make a meaningful contribution from the bench this season, and Bielsa seems to have more confidence in Baby Shack this year - apparently came top in the bleep test, so perhaps his stamina has improved. It is of course possible that we will not finish higher or even equal last year’s position. If that is the case, Raphinha, Bamford and even KP might wish to move on. Clearly none of us want that to happen, but if it does, as with Grealish and Villa, the transfer fees received will help fund a redoubled effort to push upwards. Though they’ve lost Grealish, Villa look better equipped, with an improved balance, due to the incomings funded.

2) If, against your expectations, we do qualify for Europe, we will obviously recruit accordingly. The calibre of players we would aim to sign to enable us to compete meaningfully at that level would not have joined us this year, so there’s little point in suggesting it would have been better to have brought them in now. In any case, Bielsa would not have wanted more players sitting unhappily on the bench. The u23s listed in point 1 will be full members of the first team squad by then, as will Bate, and possibly McGurk, Miller and Cresswell - and will in part replace those who hang up their boots or are moved on, thereby helping sustain our efforts in the Prem when the established first teamers and the Euro-ready new intake are rotated out for a rest etc.

11 Aug 2021 18:22:39
Yes it never worked for Citeh or Chelski did it? Oh hang on.

11 Aug 2021 18:22:51
Personally I don’t think we have a chance of European qualification.
Unless we finish this window strongly we haven’t a chance.
All those around us have strengthened yet we haven’t even replaced the numbers that have left.
A few injuries in key positions and we may well be in trouble.
Let’s not forget a fair few of the lads out did themselves last season with zero expectations or pressure, this season there are expectations and pressure.
Yes Firpo is a step up from Gianni on paper, but will he provide the goals and assists the mad Macedonian did.
Klich looked buggered last season and again he’s had no rest this summer.
I still think a player akin to Damsgaard or Asensio would be so valuable too us, can play the 8/ 10 or either wing.
I even feel Harrison could play the 10 roll if we had cover on his wing.
Even Cornet there, cornet and Firpo down the left Harrison at 10 Dallas at 8.
But for me we still need 2-3 more additions
CDM/ / 8/ winger.

11 Aug 2021 18:24:47
BTW it wasn't Ridsdale's strategy of spending money that got us in trouble. It was the players we bought weren't good enough - this is due to poor scouting and poor recruitment ultimately - the exact same issue we have now.

11 Aug 2021 18:29:46
Our form in the last 12-18 games was top 4 form. The 1st half of the season wasn’t but the first half we had multiple players missing including Llorente, Rodrigo and raphinha was just learning the ropes due to his late arrival in the window.

It’s not necessarily my opinion that once our best players are all fit our end of season form will continue into the new season but maybe it is the opinion of bielsa and Co that our upwards in form was due to our injuries coming back and now they are fit will be our current form for the season. 🤷‍♂️

We’ve upgraded our left back so we are in a better position for 1st 11 than we was last season too. Bielsa prefers a small squad before anyone responds with “what if we get injuries” it’s the same for every team, if key players get injured the team struggle. Liverpool being a good example last season and they have a big squad with champs experience.

11 Aug 2021 19:00:08
Thanks for the well reasoned responses lads. I certainly empathise with Alf and Me but in all honesty Clu and Axe also make compelling counter points.

11 Aug 2021 19:12:56
Alf, in the early years of this century I can hand on heart say I never bought a single player for my beloved Leeds United, so when you say "we" I am not sure who you mean?

I also believe that O'Leary didn't buy a single player either.

The guy with the purse was a bloke called Peter Risdale. You know, the one I spoke of. The one that decided to use LUFC money on those crap players you mention. So of course it was Ridsdale strategy that got us in trouble. You can't re-write history just to make a feeble point

Poor scouting. Which full international are you going to say has been a poor recruitment then?
Full German international Koch,
Full Spanish international Llorente,
Full Spanish international Rodrigo?

Or is it one of those on the cusp of international honours like Bamford, or Raphinha?

Go on, give us a clue, make me laugh with the poor recruit!

11 Aug 2021 20:30:52
Sorry Alf, it was Risdale that was completely inept and mortgaged out club for European football. He held the purse strings and did the negotiations! He should never be allowed near a football team again.
Example, Seth Johnson went to the negotiations with his agent and before they could say what they wanted, Risdale said ‘Before you say anything, we aren’t a club who will pay over the odds and the offer is £40k a week. ’ He apparently said later he was going to ask for £22k a week, that’s Risdale, and before you ask, my source is the son of the then Leeds Solicitor present, so very confident every world is accurate.

11 Aug 2021 20:51:31
Koch has been injury prone and hasn't really impressed. If we bought him as cover for KP then that was a woeful decision as he has looked terrible in that position. Llorente spends more time in the medical wing than on the pitch and is already crocked this season. Finally, we bought the wrong Rodrigo. We are now hoping a 30 year-old can adapt to a new position which is not his strength rather than spending the 30mil on De Pauk who would have been ideal for the no10 Jersey. Rodrigo sucks as a no10 - he is far better as a no9 as we saw at the end of last season but we already have Bamford there so yes that is poor recruitment and 30m that would have been better spent on a younger player who fits that position.

11 Aug 2021 20:53:00
So in your opinion Axe Ridsdale scouted the players and went and bought them? Don't be daft he listened to te advice of the scouts and the manager and trusted them to identify good players. Same setup as wehwve now with Orta and Radz. Do you really not understand how that works or are you being deliberately obtuse?

11 Aug 2021 21:19:54
In this extremely long thread did someone say it’s a good idea to buy 5 top players every year?!

11 Aug 2021 22:38:14
MG the Seth Johnson story is very well known so son often solicitor or not everyone knows that. You will be 5alking about fish tanks next. My point is that Ridsdake didn't recruit players, he was advised who to sign and he signed them. He trusted that te advice was good but it was not. Oleary good with the squad that was already there but pants at finding new talent which is why he failed everywhere else he managed. Sadly Ridsdale trusted him and spent good money on rubbish.

11 Aug 2021 23:28:29
Alf - I despair sometimes. Citeh and Chelsea are absolutely loaded so could afford to buy Euro-ready squads and pay massive wages to compensate for initial lack of European football before they earned the money to do so, or had qualified. And their managers have been happy to operate bloated squads and players have been happy to sit on the bench or not even make the squad because they were being paid loads of money. If we tried to do that we’d end up in exactly the same mess as Ridsdale left us. How on earth can you seek to exonerate Ridsdale - it was he who was responsible for the budget and the overall strategy of the Club - he could just have said NO. For example, how many other Chairmen would have agreed to so many strikers being stock-piled at the club. As MG said, he also negotiated and signed off the deals. Crucially, it was he who decided to secure a £60m loan on the basis of expected future income from the Champions League. I’m afraid it would seem to be you that either doesn’t understand how things work, or perhaps chooses to ignore inconvenient facts to help build a flawed argument.

Trying to build gradually, including identifying talented u23s and buying them before their price skyrockets, is a very sensible approach, and appropriate both for our financial position and our current manager’s preferred modus operandi. What do you want the Club to do, sack Bielsa, bring in Big Sam and throw massive wages at established football mercenaries in the hope that he can get a tune out of them?

Koch was principally bought as a second right footed CB, and he has played well for us on that position, particularly at the beginning of last season. The fact he had previously played DM and CM for Germany and at club level being an additional attraction. He actually played very well at DM v Spurs, and yes I know he has been less convincing in that position during pre-season, but to be fair no-one’s look that convincing - probably mainly due to the intensity of preseason training - which has been further stepped up this year - they may well have already done double sessions on the days when we had evening games. They will ease off on training this week, so enable the players to go full-tilt in the game on Saturday. Llorente is expected to be back shortly.

We will see Rodrigo play better at 10 this season - he had started to do so at the end of last season. Again I know he’s looked off the pace and down on quality in preseason, but as with Koch that is probably because he was knackered from the day’s training. Bielsa wanted this Rodrigo, and as said previously there is no clear evidence he wanted de Paul. The latter was in Orta’s scouting reports, so that may explain the ‘links’ - it does not mean Bielsa wanted him or that any serious enquiry was made with his club.

11 Aug 2021 23:38:24
I think even if we have a very successful season and qualify for the Europa league, the doom monger merchants who believe unless we hyper spend with money that probably isn’t there will say, if Radz had spent 100 mil and brought in 5 quality players we could of won the league. It will remind me a bit of the Bermo disputes we had a while back.
Looks like some fans just don’t trust Bielsa! because I’m sure if he was not happy with the recruiting, he wouldn’t be signing his contract.



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