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16 Nov 2023 00:23:19
I'm afraid op I would have to agree with baz on this . Olearys team did not under achieve. They did very well and if it wasn't for a ref playing until Barcelona scored we would have done even better .
I think the time was soured by the court case and the financial situation.
Yes they spent money but that doesn't mean success. The original team a lot of young players mixed with a lot of unknown talent performed way above what we expected.
But what should be acknowledged is leeds did well. We should not be saying this is better than another time. But all the times leeds do well should be celebrated.

Agree1 Disagree0

16 Nov 2023 01:20:10
Very well said Ben ; entirely logical and rational ?.

16 Nov 2023 06:38:31
My point is Ben that the Leeds players definitely over achieved with the inexperienced and naive O’Leary, what would we achieved with an experienced manager who may or may not if guided Leeds to that very unexpected semi final if the CL but certainly would have kept the players disciplined and guided those players to a more stable future, instead of O’Leary’s naive boom and bust into oblivion.

16 Nov 2023 10:02:14
Baz Gold ? you say? It's more like comedy palladium.

16 Nov 2023 11:00:27
Op if " ifs and buts were beer and nuts"
A more experienced or older manager might not have clicked with the players. We will never know.
It ended badly but when oleary asked for a player it was not his fault if we could not afford it.
And the all the acrimonious stuff at the end was in my opinion at the end.
There was no going back once the money had gone.
I for one loved that time wilko to oleary. It was my time 18 into my 20s. European nights at ER beating big teams.
Those times under oleary were brilliant and no fluke.
Yes he could have done things differently but he didn't. You can say that about every manager.
But it happened and we enjoyed it while it lasted.

16 Nov 2023 12:05:54
George indeed ?☺️

Ben such a refreshing well measured wholly accurate post . completely concur on all points!

16 Nov 2023 13:27:11
Fair point Ben, if we all enjoyed it, which presumably most of us did, but did we enjoy being out of the Premiership for 16 years. ?
I for one would have gladly swapped those CL moments for a more pragmatic approach from an experienced manager to have had a stable future in the Premiership.
I know it’s all in the past now and nothing can change that but I’m still not buying O’Leary as one of Leeds United greatest managers, a lucky opportunist at best
I liked O’Leary, thought he came over very well with the fans but he was no more than a rookie manger who was lucky to be in the right place at the right time.

It’s my opinion and I’m sticking with it. As for for Baz and George you can stick your mocking comments and emoji’s where the sun don’t shine.
What makes you both football experts?!

16 Nov 2023 14:46:57
Bottom line : a more " pragmatic approach" in BOARDROOM SPENDING was needed . NOT overspending!

As Ben so rightly states regarding Leeds coaches and eras . truly loved the brilliant Wilko ( 2ND ) ? to brilliant Oleary ( 3RD) times, wonderful exciting football ? Euro nights ?, scoring goals aplenty ?⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️.

16 Nov 2023 16:05:18
Op the manager had nothing to do with the clown show Ridsdale and the board were doing behind the scenes. The 16 years in the wilderness happened because from day one leeds were not being run properly. Way before the champions league run we were in financial difficulties.
I think the chasing of the champions league place was just the final nail.
Like rads and the appointment of Jesse et al. I think we were on a downward spiral.
Saying oleary is somehow complicit in us going down is like a leicester fan blaming ranieri for their demise.
Our demotion and time in the lower tiers was the Ridsdale and the boards doing.

16 Nov 2023 17:22:53
I agree OP.
Like I said before, some great excitement, some nice football, but DoL was not the orchestrator of that. He was very lucky, and was found out later in his very abruptly short “career”.

16 Nov 2023 17:40:28
Superbly stated Wise Ben ?.

16 Nov 2023 19:43:53
Sorry Ben but 100% disagree with you.
The indiscipline that was allowed or was not being controlled by O’Leary eventually destroyed our season in 2001/ 02 totally due to his inexperience and naivety.

I think it was that 3rd round FA cup game against Cardiff that seemed to to show that O’Leary was not able to control his players.
That game was a disaster with Smith’s elbow and subsequent red card.
Then after that we only picked up 1 point in three games. The game that we lost 2-0 to Chelsea when he didn’t start Kewell and Dacourt, they were both fit.
Indiscipline was getting out of control with red and yellow cards being dished out to the likes of Mills, Bowyer and Viduka in subsequent games.
For me O’Leary had a decent run but when things were starting to fall apart he was incapable and too inexperienced to pull his players in line.
Those players were good enough to get us qualified for the Champions League again which was an absolute imperative to keep the clubs finances above water but O’Leary failed.

We were a very good team that had the potential to challenge Man U and Arsenal, I don’t think Wenger or Sir Alex would had tolerated for one moment the indiscipline of the players in that second part of the season.

The reason why I feel so strongly about this period was that it was a potential pivotal moment in our clubs history, and if it had been managed correctly it could have been a sensational period for our club. I don’t blame O’Leary for the demise, I blame Ridsdale entirely for choosing O’Leary.
This wasn’t a moment in time where we thought it was a nice sunny day out by reaching the CL semi then say, oh well back to the Championship we go where we deserve to be.
That team we had was probably the best team we’ve ever had, sadly we had a manager who was not capable of managing them correctly.

16 Nov 2023 23:12:53
2001/ 02 season from my perspective

1) The TOP 3 squads of Man U Liverpool and Arsenal considerably better, stronger and more balanced than Leeds United

2) a) Leeds United again had far too many injuries and injury prone players . even worse than in previous seasons

b) Leeds United again weak at fullbacks, light in midfield especially creative midfield

c ) Leeds United conceded far too many goals

3) Leeds crucially lost BOTH head 2 heads with 4th place Newcastle .

Leeds 3 vs Newcastle 4 December 2001
Newcastle 3 vs Leeds 1 January 2002

The Leeds team that played Newcastle in January

Mills ?
Duberry ?
Matteo ?
Kelly ?
Johnson ?

Fraser Richardson

Sorry but anybody thinking that this Leeds United squad, / team was equipped to seriously win let alone challenge for EPL title against 3 stronger clubs especially given its injuries over 38 games. needs to give their head a wobble.

16 Nov 2023 23:18:41
And OP re your alleged indiscipline angle

I don't recall Viduka and Bowyer being sent off in that season ?. which matches.?

I have checked the stats no sign at all of either of them having been sent off in 2001/ 02 season

You do realise that having a few players sent off each season happens to most teams.

17 Nov 2023 04:34:12
The best "misfitting" team we ever had.

17 Nov 2023 06:01:34
Make fun if you want George, childish responses are about your level. No point in continuing this debate if you can’t add an intelligent adult response.
I’m done.

17 Nov 2023 06:30:49
Last post says it all OP. Well said. I think we’ve all got used to that level now, and just scroll on past.

17 Nov 2023 06:53:31
Put your glasses on Baz, I wrote red and yellow cards, it wasn’t just the cards it was the general focus of the players at this particular period. That was O’Leary’s job to get his players focused again after that Cardiff game, before the rot would set in, which it did. I also said that team could potentially take on the top teams had we had the better manager over time. We didn’t have enough quality through the reserves, but that could have been built upon.
It was a wasted opportunity that could have been done better with sterner discipline and pragmatism. The bigger picture was lost with O’Leary.

17 Nov 2023 07:16:38
. and/ or OP more likely you now realise that some or most of what you say is factually inaccurate!


I think this topic has now been thoroughly debated ; we don't agree on it OP and that's more than ok .

I do fully agree with Ben on this topic and am increasingly impressed by Ben's wise posts.

17 Nov 2023 08:02:50
You can think what you want Baz, we very rarely share each other’s opinions anyhow and why should we, but you are a great source of entertainment for me ?.

17 Nov 2023 09:05:44
Op I remember too the match against Cardiff. I remember saying at the time that the players were looking shocked by what was going on . In fact one or two looked scared as Sam hammam paraded around the pitch whipping the crowd up.
I felt it was really unsafe that day and I don't think as the game went on the players wanted to be there.
I have often said that was the beginning of the end for that team.
In my opinion whoever had the job of managing leeds at that time would of failed. Look at the state of man u now!
Just getting an experienced manager has not helped them because the rest of the club is in turmoil.
Leeds at that time were in turmoil behind the scenes.
I think at that time you could have got any manager in the world (not that we had any money to) and the outcome would have been the same.

17 Nov 2023 10:29:12
I agree with you in principle Ben but my point is that O’Leary shouldn’t have been given the job from the beginning. But you’re right it is all if’s and but’s and we will never know if it would have made any difference in the end.
It’s no different to saying should have Radz sacked Bielsa for Marsch, now there’s another debate for this boring international period to keep us busy. !



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