Championship: The damned Leeds United

Milanic is out the door, joining Hockaday after only six matches – and Neil Redfearn, former academy coach, has taken over.Tyler Wakefield looks at the strange situation going on at Leeds United, who have sacked their second manager of the season – and it’s only October.

Leeds United have a new record for the shortest term of a manager in charge. In scenes reminiscent of the Damned United, Milanic has now gone, ‘parting ways’ with the club after just 32 days. During this time he oversaw six matches, the results being three draws and three losses. A total of three points from a possible 18. Milanic was the fourth boss Leeds have had since Massimo Cellino took ownership of the club. With his departure and with a club-record short term, it raises serious questions over the stability his ownership is offering. His track record of appointing managers needs to be highlighted at this stage as well.

Massimo Cellino tends to do things his own way, for better or worse.
Massimo Cellino tends to do things his own way, for better or worse.

Chopping and changing managers, or ‘head coaches’ as Cellino officially refers to them, will not provide the stability that Leeds United have been in desperate need of for the last ten years. With respect to the work that Cellino has put into Leeds United in terms of making Leeds more stable off the pitch in a financial sense, he needs to understand that by interfering every two months in the complete upheaval of the management structure, philosophy and football departments staff he is creating far more trouble than the debt or selling players had done in the past.

Cellino, for all the money he is pouring into the club, needs to relax in his idea of wanting Champions League nights back at Elland Road immediately. The club undoubtedly needs to rebuild, something that fans all know and have been told time and again. The trouble is Massimo is sacking managers without any chance for them to get their footballing philosophy and football departments in place. If he will go searching for another diamond in the rough for our next football boss, he needs to let his manager come in and let them pick their teams and play how they please. The other option for Cellino is to go out and spend the money on an experienced manager, one who will likely butt heads with Massimo himself over many issues, but one who has the wins on the board to go toe to toe with the man, the myth and the ego that is Cellino.

There are unconfirmed reports that Redfearn will become the permanent manager come Monday. This is the time that Massimo cannot just sack him should he not be pleased with a poor run of results. If Redfearn is to become the boss it is no doubt with the hopes that he can spark the run of form that saw him notch three wins in four before Milanic was appointed. Sacking Redfearn from the Head Coach role now is weighted with the more dangerous impact of how it would affect the youngsters coming trough the academy. We’ve been told that Byram, Mowatt, Dawson and Cook are all good players, potentially all can be great players, but there are many more plying their trade and learning their craft at Thorp Arch. To throw away Redfearn could in fact throw away the next ten years of the club.

Leeds United sit five points above above the relegation positions, although they are only seven points from a play off spot. There is time to turn it around. Everyone will be hoping whoever is next appointed in charge of the first team will be there come the end of the season. But that’s up to the owner.

Neil Redfearn has taken over from the axed Milanic, but who knows for how long.
Neil Redfearn looks likely to officially take over from the axed Milanic full time, but who knows for how long.

Tyler wrties a Leeds United blog, Ball and All, and you can check it out here.