Much like Spinal Tap drummers, the Leeds United captain’s armband is a poisoned chalice. Where the poison is that someone will lure you away to play at a higher level or for a team with actual prospects. Many fans cynically suggested that once Ross became captain he would be subject to transfer bids (something we didn’t consider viable when Rudy was given the armband, though).
Some might say it’s because Ross was the league’s leading scorer despite being in a terrible team, others will attribute it to the magic effect of the armband. But like Johnny Howson and Robert Snodgrass before him, is Ross about to head for pastures new?
Transfer bids coming in…
Word is that an unnamed (but presumably Canary iconed) Championship club has submitted a £5m bid for Ross. Let’s park the ridiculous valuation and consider the notion of Ross leaving for another Championship team. Why, when there will undoubtably be Premiership teams coming in for him, would he leave for (who I assume is) Norwich? I’m told it isn’t Cardiff who bid for him and who else would be up for more whites-poaching? Hell, they’d probably even offer us Becchio back as part of the deal.
Derby have expressed an interest in signing him and there’s still the uncertainty over whether Newcastle actually bid or not. The reality is, over the next 2 months there WILL be concrete bids for the captain.
No man is bigger than the club
True. But before we start ravenously quoting legends of old, let’s consider that Ross was all we had last year. A glum season of few joys made bearable by Ross’ unstoppable tirade of goals. A player who was visibly frustrated at the lack of quality in the team (with subtle flick-ons and movement unmatched by anyone else) yet managed to single handedly carry us forwards.
Credit goes to Matt Smith too, but while I adore the friendly giant’s contribution to the season and his wonderful attitude, he’s not a ~30 goal per year striker. Nor is Noel Hunt (although 1 would be nice, Noel), nor is Steve “my parents cannot spell Morrison” Morison. Dominic Poleon does need more game time, but probably needs loaning to league one for a proper run in the team.
So let’s consider that Ross is an enormous component of Leeds. Selling him (for any value) would be a disaster.
But I wouldn’t begrudge him leaving
How can I criticise a player who has given everything he can to the club, yet not had his ambition matched by our sequence of apathetic and corrupt owners. Massimo’s “2 year plan” is as reliable a statement as any piece of advice you can get from a toilet wall; not that I doubt the man, but he seems to have a habit of living day to day and saying whatever he wants. Ross will be nearly 30 at the conclusion of this “plan”, which is quite late in his career to then have a first go at the Premiership.
Give us one more season, Ross. Let Massimo show us his vision and see if he’s actually building a team capable of promotion because I can’t think of anyone else I’d rather have wearing that armband when we get promoted.