Date:Thursday April 12 2012
Tim Steere writes his weekly article for Vital Leeds and this week he looks at what might happen if Robert Snodgrass decides to stay with the club.
After a third successive defeat and equalling the worst home form in a season since 1946/7 season with ten defeats, Leeds have slumped to 14th place.
Play offs are gone, hopes for the future fading fast.
What is the future now?
Neil Warnock has made no qualms about the need for a mass change at the club, he is man determined, a man possessed to win that 8th promotion and to end his career on a high.
From day one he said he did not believe Leeds would make the play offs. He is right. Despite the initial good performances in the early stages, the form has plummeted.
With many players contracts up soon, the future of the club and its bid to reach the premier league all rests on this upcoming summer period.
The main player that Warnock is targeting to keep is current captain Robert Snodgrass.
The Scottish winger has been offered a deal, which would make him the highest paid player at the club. Warnock has tasked him with leading the club to the top flight next year and if they don`t make it, he`ll make sure he gets there by letting him go next summer.
A bold statement, but what do you expect with Mr Warnock.
Every time I have heard Snodgrass speak, he does so with real passion and love for the club. He is honest, extremely open in comparison to most players who give the stereotypical soundbyte when they are interviewed.
The love of a club is one thing, but for a player like Snodgrass, the ambition must match.
Jonny Howson loved the club; he supported the team all his life and played for the club from an early age. But with the premiership calling in Norwich City, he said this was his guarantee of playing Premiership football next season and possibly seasons to come. He gave the impression the belief in how it was being run and funded, did not show ambition.
Now playing regularly for Norwich alongside, ironically, Bradley Johnson, Snodgrass must be watching and thinking about his future.
If Snodgrass can stay, it may encourage others. Aidy White, Ross McCormack and Adam Clayton are all going to be offered new deals soon.
Three more vital players coveted by premier league sides, or sides with the ambition to get there.
If their captain elects to stay, who is possibly the best player at the club, it would show Leeds fans how serious the club is about getting to the Premier League.
The support that Warnock gets in the summer is crucial as well. No doubt he will raise money for some transfers with the number of players he plans to move on. There`ll be no sympathies. If he doesn`t want you, you`re gone.
The current bad spell Leeds are in means the club could finish in the bottom half. After a 7th placed finish last year, United were looking to kick on, but have only gone backwards in recent months. The dismal home form and 17 defeats overall this season is a testament to that.
Next up is Darren Ferguson`s Peterborough, who I`m sure will get a great reception at Elland Road on Saturday…no really…
In 17th place, their away record is one of the worst in the league. Three away wins all season, only the bottom three have worse. Their last away win came in on Boxing Day, but the cynical Leeds fans will say; lucky for them they are playing Leeds at home then!
Perhaps unsurprisingly, daddy is lending Darren Ferguson the use of the Carrington training ground at Manchester United for his side for two days.
They will also be staying in the same hotel they stayed in for their play-off final against Huddersfield Town at Old Trafford.
An omen maybe, but posh hotels and training grounds don`t guarantee success. Leeds have a posh training ground and will soon have a hotel it seems and look at how well they are doing at the moment.
As for Leeds, Michael Brown joins Zac Thompson on the sidelines after his red card against Derby, but at least Adam Clayton will return after his two match suspension.
I wouldn`t be surprised to see major changes against Peterborough and a few faces that haven`t started much, if at all, this season.
Warnock has nothing to lose, he may as well showcase some young players and untried players to try and show players like Snodgrass, who he is so desperate to keep, that the club has a good squad and future.
A good win against Peterborough will help with the use of some of these players; it may convince the big guns to stay on. But the summer period is the crucial time, and that relies on promises from above being fulfilled and money being spent. If it does not happen, Snodgrass will not stay, and even at a push, neither will Warnock.
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Date:Thursday April 12 2012
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