Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville is the latest pundit to offer his opinion on the Leeds United hierarchy. And what he has to say is far from positive.
Neville’s comments come as Leeds’ manager search continues into another week, making it two weeks now that the Whites have been managerless.
They also follow a damaging result at the weekend which saw Leeds fall to a 1-0 defeat against relegation rivals Everton.
An exceptionally poor result – coupled with an even worse performance from the players – saw anti-board sentiment amongst the supporters reach fever pitch. Chants of ‘sack the board’ echoed from an increasingly discontented away end at Goodison Park.
Leeds now sit 19th in the table having not won in 10 Premier League matches. With both the short and long-term of the future in a state of uncertainty, an atmosphere of frustrated tension can be keenly felt amongst the Whites’ loyal fanbase.
The source of this acrimony is the “poor planning” and “arrogance” of the Leeds hierarchy, says Neville. In particular, it is chairman Andrea Radrizzani who is most at fault for fostering the present sense of ill-feeling around the club.
“Sometimes it can be poor planning, it can sometimes be a little bit of arrogance – both, probably – that you think you can sack your manager and think ‘don’t worry, we’ll get one of the ones that we want’ and all of a sudden they all turn you down or they all aren’t available, that can happen and that’s usually naivety that causes that, where you sort of get above your station and think you can just bring anyone in that you want,” Neville said on the Gary Neville Podcast.
“From Leeds’ point of view, you have to look above the players and you have to look above the current interim manager and you have to say it isn’t looking particularly great on their part at this moment in time in terms of how they’ve dealt with the sacking of a manager, you need a seamless transition to settle the changing room down and settle the fanbase down.”
“Did he not come out on Twitter three or four days after the sacking saying ‘it’s looking like we’re going to appoint someone this week’? Was it deleted, yeah? It’s never great when you have to delete a tweet is it?”
Much like fellow Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher – who offered his opinion on the Leeds board in a column for The Telegraph last week – Neville is completely right here.
The way the Yorkshire club has been managed in recent times has been nothing short of shambolic.
Being without a permanent manager effectively leaves a squad rudderless – and right now it appears as if the Whites are sailing straight into disaster. Sacking Marsch without having someone in line to quickly replace him is, being blunt, unforgivable.
To then go on Twitter and talk about “white smoke” – even if done with the best intentions – before any deal is actually struck marks a striking lack of foresight.
It was easy to support the board after they managed to recruit the now legendary Marcelo Bielsa. He gave the club a sense of direction and structure when it needed it most – and most importantly we were playing amazing football.
Now, we see a club in a limbo-state. Devoid of ideas not only off the pitch but also on it – that is, if Saturday’s display is anything to go by – Leeds’ Premier League status has never looked more precarious.