Leeds fan Tom Day fields questions about tomorrow’s match, Leeds’ recent history and the state of things in Yorkshire this season
Tom Day is a Leeds fan who traces his roots as a United supporter back to the mid-nineties.
Even though he’s always lived in London, he started supporting Leeds as a boy.
At around the age of five or six, Tom adored Eric Cantona, and thought himself a Man United fan, but his dad and his Yorkshire roots soon saw to that, and he became a Leeds fan.
Tom seeing Yeboah’s goals against Liverpool and Wimbledon was the catalyst, and from there he got his first all-white kit and that was that…
Tell us a little bit about last season, how do you think you fared?
Last season was especially disappointing for me, as until Christmas I thought we were genuine play off contenders, then we had several runs of horrific losses and I thought relegation was on the cards.
The game that sticks in my mind the most was actually Watford away, where we didn’t look like we could string three passes together when we had the ball and looked completely off the pace without it.
Even though it wasn’t a success in terms of league position, I thought loaning Butland and Wickham showed good ambition, and would be happy with more young loanees of that calibre this season.
Ross McCormack’s big money move to Fulham is the biggest transfer story to come out of Leeds for some time. To what extent do you think you will miss him?
The McCormack deal is somewhat bittersweet as he was a genuine star for us in an ultimately disappointing season, and has been a wonderful player for the club in recent years.
However, £11m is an exorbitant amount of money for a Championship player, and Billy Sharp could prove to be an adequate replacement at a fraction of the price.
Reading an article that Massimo Cellino is using the cash from the McCormack deal to buy back Elland Road is a nice touch, as it’s somewhat embarrassing for a club of Leeds’ history to not own our own ground.
Speaking of Cellini, what’s your take on the takeover? Do you think his ownership is a largely positive influence on the club? The stuff about unlucky numbers and colours and Paddy Kenny’s departure is a bit bizarre, isn’t it?
When Massimo Cellino was first linked with the club I was immediately concerned. This was a point when Vincent Tan was a very public laughing stock, and therefore so were Cardiff by association. I did’t want that for my club.
When the phantom sacking of McDermott happened in January I felt my worst fears were confirmed and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that our season took a massive nosedive from floating around the playoffs to flirting with relegation.
When Cellino failed the Owners’ and Directors’ test I was somewhat relieved as I felt that the media circus surrounding the club had only been a nuisance up to that point.
After he won his appeal I started taking more of an interest, and what he was saying in terms of sorting out problems at the club naturally struck a chord with me after a miserable 10 years. Whether or not it was spiel or genuine remains to be seen.
I like some of the strides we’ve taken. As far as his quirks with numbers and colours are concerned, the club will have to take them in it’s stride, so long as it’s not damaging in the long term, or becomes completely outlandish.
I’m glad purple is the issue, we changed to the all-white kit for a reason and it’s as much a part of the club identity as anything else, there would be a revolution if that went.
If it transpires that Paddy Kenny left because of the issues of his birthday then we could be well on the road to becoming a laughing stock, if it’s an issue with fitness it becomes a different matter, but it’s still a worry for a number of fans.
You’ve made quite a few signings so far this summer, which of them is the pick of the bunch? Or is that a little bit difficult to predict given a number of the signings’ relative inexperience in English football? (Watford fans have been there!)
Of the new signings, the only one I’ve seen anything of previously is Billy Sharp. He has always impressed me as a natural goalscorer, so I’m excited to see how he fares with us.
I do worry about the possibility of a language barrier between the players, and with the bulk of the new signings coming from Italy I hope this is an issue that Cellino has considered.
However, if they integrate well into the set up, I hope they can be remembered as the crop of signings that turn the fortunes of the club around.
As far as inexperience in English conditions, we can only hope they are quick to adapt, as it is different – weather, surfaces etc. – but they’ll be used to physicality, as I’ve never seen an Italian defender hold back!
How do you think your new boss David Hockaday will do in the long-term?
Hockaday’s appointment took me aback somewhat. I know he’s been at a lot of big clubs on the coaching staff, but having only managed Forest Green, and the manner in which he left the club, is a cause for concern for a number of fans.
It’s too early to tell if he’s doing a good job or not, but having worked under Martin Allen at a number of clubs I hope he can bring some of ‘Mad Dog’ with him in terms of fight and charisma!
What are your expectations for the season ahead?
This season I’m not going to get too far ahead of myself. I know the owner says he thinks we’ll be in the Premiership in the next two years or so, but as Watford fans know, it’s hard to get promoted with a brand new first team, regardless of how good the players are.
I will happy with anything in the top half, and if we’re in with a shout of the playoffs I’ll be absolutely over the moon.
What’s your score prediction for tomorrow?
I’ll be content with a draw on Saturday, but maybe better if Sharp can get decent service.
Watford were far better than us last season and having watched Daniel Tozser in the past, he might be one of the most complete footballers I’ve seen in the Championship, so I hope Leeds have a plan to keep him quiet. If not, even a draw might be out of reach.
We’d like to thank Tom Day for his help previewing tomorrow’s fixture.