Objectively, Uwe Rösler is a pretty good appointment. We’ve heard of him too; which is a better start than 2/3 of the other men El Presidente has watermeloned into a position of authority. But I’ve also heard of Luke Varney so fame doesn’t necessarily indicate quality. While the German obviously deserves our full support it’s pretty easy to make a case for him struggling (through no fault of his own).
There’s an element of truth to Cellino’s watermelon adage, as much as it makes me wince to admit it. There aren’t many managers (or head coaches in this system) who are good enough to be universally brilliant in whatever role they take. Football is a strange sport and football clubs are an even more unpredictable beast; chemistry, personnel, owners, politics, history – all of these things play a part. A coach who has been good at one club may not have the same environment to replicate it; or at least that’s what I hope Massimo means.
Rösler is an okay appointment, paired with Adam Pearson’s reasurringly professional presence it actually makes me think stability isn’t as far fetched as it sounds. The problem remains, and its name is Massimo Cellino.
The Manager Eater
Short of Tony Pulis there aren’t many “instant fix” coaches in English football, especially at clubs like Leeds who have churned through players and staff alike for a miserable decade of unambitious seasons, short-terminism in the Summer window followed by another bleak season. Any moment of positivity has been disrupted by parasitic or egotistical individuals or self-destruction through lack of ambition. This isn’t a role where success will come overnight, not without enormous investment. Uwe needs time, in the same way Neil Redfearn needed time. It’s hard to believe he’ll get it, either.
Dave Hockaday didn’t need time because he shouldn’t have been near Leeds in the first place. Darko Milanic arguably deserved more time, dreadful results aside, 6 games isn’t really enough to learn the squad properly let alone impose any distinctive playing style. That’s where I hoped Redders would be different, a man practically part of the furniture at Leeds and aligned to a long-term strategic ambition for the club. Leveraging our strong academy I thought he would be given the time and materials to build Leeds 2.0.
Alas, the Sheriff of Leeds couldn’t tolerate a man who was nigh-universally loved by the fans whilst going “off-piste”. Neil did what he thought was right and when properly supported (by an absence of meddling owners and the presence a good assistant) he put us on promotion winning form. Short lived as that was once the meddling began again.
Massimo the Meddler Silenced by Pearson the Pragmatic?
Where Rösler has an advantage is in Adam Pearson. In a clear layer of abstraction between Italian lunatic and playing side, Uwe has the calming influence of a professional individual (something I believe Matt Childs was doing without fanfare during our more stable period). If this helps pull Massimo away from his ego-driven press conferences, shot-from-the-hip quips to journalists and other eccentric behaviour that hurts the club, it could prove revolutionary.
It all comes down to whether Uwe will be supported properly. His footballing mantra is one I’m keen to see at Leeds; a high-tempo pressing game with counter attacking breaks. I genuinely think this is the most scalable style you can employ at this level; any team can hurt anyone else, so you need to restrict whoever you’re playing and hurt them when transitioning from defending to attack. It’s what Scum do on weeks where they’re effective, it’s what Mourinho does (when he’s not parking the bus), it works. It’s not gung-ho, it’s a case of training elasticity into the squad, to compress in defense and soak up pressure before springing forward from the back and transitioning into an incisive attacking move.
IF he gets a good assistant and IF we recruit in the right places (both on and off the pitch), Rösler could do well here.
If. Could. These are words that augment any discussion at this club because of the eternal circus behind the scenes. But let’s not forget, McDermott, Hockaday, Milanic and Redfearn have all been undermined, under-supported and ultimately dragged through the mud. I find it hard to believe that Uwe will face a different fate.
But then Pearson is here this time, which might make all the difference. Or it’ll make none and Rösler might join the increasingly long list of familiar faces tending the proverbial garden at Elland Road.
I don’t “hate” that Redfearn was binned – though I would have kept him, as would many others – but I respect the fact that it’s not my money, if the owner wishes to change head coach for whatever reason it’s his prerogative. I don’t like the decision, but I can’t really disagree with the appointment of Rosler. What I hate is how this has been approached, it’s been another petty battle purely for the satisfaction of one man’s ego. That’s what I hate.
If Neil was deemed the wrong man to carry us forward then so be it, thank him for his hard work and we move on, heads held high and dignity in-tact. Instead Massimo publicly criticises him in the national press and appoints a successor without having the courtesy of even talking to him. That, dear readers, is why I’m struggling to see good in El Fuhrer.
It’s less what he does, but how he does it. But here we are. We’ve lost one of our own because of ego and a proverbial pissing contest. Maybe this time it’ll be different.
What’s that expression about leopards changing their spots? Hmm.