Welcome to Marching on Together

23 Apr 2018 09:17am, by Shields53

It’s a while now since Leeds United have been competing at the top of European football. Since our fall from grace the money changing hands at the top of the game has become mind boggling. Whether it be £105 million for Philippe Coutinho or £198 million for Neymar the top clubs in the world operate on a different level to everyone else.

But there was a time when Leeds United were competing at the top of the European game and made some transfer deals to match. They may look pretty small when compared to the hundreds of millions floating around now but back then they were significant fees. So here are Leeds United’s five most expensive transfers.

Seth Johnson, October 2001, £7 Million

Seth Johnson’s Leeds United transfer is the fifth biggest in the club’s history. It was in 2001 that the derby county man made a switch to Leeds United in a deal that cost the club up to £7 million. At this time, the player was doing so well at Derby County and the club needed his services. However, things did not turn out so well for the man behind the biggest money move the club had ever experienced. Within the course of the 4 years he spent at Leeds United, he only made 54 appearances due to several injury spells. He only got four goals for them within this period and had to transfer back to Derby County in a free transfer.

Olivier Dacourt, May 2000, £7.2 Million

Oliver is the fourth in the list of the biggest Leeds United transfers in history. It was in 2000 that the transfer of Oliver Dacourt from Lens was completed. It was a deal that cost Leeds United £7.2million. But one good thing about this transfer is that the player did not disappoint. He became a hero upon arrival because of his fighting spirit and the ability to win the ball regularly. During his stay at Leeds United, the club got to the semifinals of the UEFA Champions League and even finished within the top four in the English Premier League. This was hugely due to his contributions. He also featured in the French national team regularly at that moment. However, in 2003, he moved to Roma on loan after he had issues with the manager, Terry Venables. The club later sealed a permanent transfer deal with Roma for Dacoutr, which was worth £5 million.

Robbie Fowler, January 2002, £11 Million

The transfer of Fowler from Liverpool to Leeds United was the 3rd most expensive transfer deal that Leeds United has ever gotten into. It cost them £11 million to bring the Liverpool shining star to the Elland Road. But he did not make the impact they sought for, since he only made 30 appearances for the team and scored just 14 goals. He started well, and helped the team to the UEFA Super Cup in his first season. However, he got injured at the inception of the second season and nursed it till the middle of the season. This and other factors made Leeds United to finish 15th that season. To raise money for the following season, a foxy casino type of gambling had to be done. It meant that some big name players had to leave Leeds United. So he had to transfer to Man City in a deal worth £3 million and a possible additional £3 million in 2003.

Robbie Keane, May 2001, £12 Million

Robbie Keane’s transfer to Leeds United is one of the biggest transfer deals the club has ever done, and he also doubles as one of the biggest name players to transfer to leads. He moved from Inter Milan to the Leeds United on loan in 2000 and performed wonders. Notching 9 goals in his first 18 games, Leeds United later went for a permanent transfer which cost them £12 million. But after his transfer deal was made permanent, he dropped in form and made no meaningful impact again. This prompted Leeds United to sell him off to Tottenham for £7 million in 2002.

Rio Ferdinand, November 2000, £18 Million

Ferdinand’s transfer to Leeds United from West Ham in 2000 is obviously the most expensive and biggest Leeds United transfer deal ever. His £18 million move was not just the biggest transfer deal for this club; it also set a British record and a world record as the costliest defender too. With his help, and the goal he scored in the quarter final, the club got to the finals of the Champions League. In 2001, he was made the skipper of the Leeds United. However, after performing well at the 2002 world cup, Manchester United came in with a bid of more than £29 million. With his transfer to Manchester United, he broke his old transfer record and set a new one. His transfer remains Leeds United most expensive deal till date.

18 Mar 2018 10:12am, by Cjay

On February 4th Leeds United sacked another manager, Thomas Christiansen was fired after a run of poor form. The fanbase was largely in favour of the sacking, the owner obliged. Despite that we were 10th place and just 7 points outside the playoffs. Having been in and around the playoffs all season fans were hopeful. A new manager, new ideas, the new manager bounce, playoffs were still on.

In came the new manager, Barnsley boss Paul Heckingbottom was the new boss. 16 games, 7 points to make up, fans were hopeful. But nagging doubts were there, Heckingbottom hadn’t had a good season, Barnsley were struggling, but for the sad death of the Barnsley owner and the new owners not wanting to create more issues it’s very possible Paul would have already been sacked. But, everyone deserves the benefit of the doubt.

8 games, 1 win, 4 defeats, 3 draws later, the Leeds season is once again over. We have dropped from 10th 7 points off the playoffs to 14th, 8 points off 10th, 12 off the playoffs. A season that started so promisingly has descended into a farce.

We have seen zero improvement, and in my opinion if anything we are worse under Heckingbottom. The days of taking apart Bristol City and Boro are distant memories, the draws that should have been wins against Fulham and Villa feel like a lifetime ago.

For 8 games we have been largely outplayed, only perking up for 15-20minute spells. Understandable to an extent against the likes of Wolves and Boro, teams with arguably better squads. But a 2-2 draw against Reading, a team without a win on a Saturday 3pm kickoff this season, a game we could have been 3-0 down before we woke up.

A 2-1 home defeat to a Sheffield Wednesday side where key first team players such as Kieran Westwood, Fernando Forestieiri, Ross Wallace, Kieran Lee, Jordan Rhodes, Joost Van Aken, Liam Palmer, Glenn Loovens and more didn’t even play at all. That simply isn’t good enough. The record of Paul Heckingbottom during his 8 game reign doesn’t make good reading; Played 8, Wins 1, Defeats 4, Draws-3, Points 6, Goals Scored 9, Goals Conceded 16, Goal Difference -7

The calls for his sacking have started, a win percentage worse than any Leeds manager apart from Darko Milanic and a style of football that is not the most pleasing on the eye. So where do we go from here? Do we sack Paul Heckingbottom and look for our 4th manager in 10 months, or do we stick with him for the rest of the season and next season, give him time like all the pundits spout?

Personally I'm in the middle, I was in the minority it seemed, I didn't want Thomas Christiansen sacked, and I definitely didn’t want Paul Heckingbottom appointed. But i feel the reason we got Paul was because we sacked TC without a plan, then we scrambled around for well, anyone. I don't want that again, so i feel Paul Heckingbottom should be given till the end of the season, then reassess.

However, that may be a temporary reprieve for the Barnsley boy. If I were Radrizzani I would say “You have till the end of the season, but i expect us to finish strong, be a maximum of 6 points off the playoffs, and have a positive goal difference". That will represent an improvement on what Thomas Christiansen had. If he is unable to achieve this then I'm afraid he has to go.

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