Leeds United: More of a family than a fan base.

On the last day of the January transfer window all eyes are normally focusing on the English footballs main players and who they are going to sign. This year the focus of every footballing fan was on Leeds United as a bizarre evening unfolded, and even at the time of writing is still unclear as to what is going on.

Leeds United’s captain Ross McCormack had been the subject of interest from a few Premier League clubs during the window after catching the eye with 21 goals in 28 league games this year. McCormack had only been made captain of Leeds during the middle of January so offers were unlikely to succeed unless they came in well over his market rate (£5 million was banded around for the Scotsman) but never the less in the early evening he put a statement out stating: “I am really happy at Leeds and look forward to staying at the club, I’m club captain and I look forward to continue playing at the club under Brian McDermott for the rest of the season.” Which seemed all well and good until around 8pm Leeds out a statement of their own, not to announce McCormack’s departure but the departure of manager Brian McDermott who was a popular figure amongst the players and fans alike. Within half an hour McCormack was on the phone to the Sky Sports News team voicing his displeasure at the dismissal.

McCormack was still a Leeds player come the end of the window and everyone thought that was that for the drama, until Saturday afternoon when Leeds announced (after their game against local rivals Huddersfield) that McDermott was still Leeds manager. It appears that a group who are in the process of a 75% takeover of Leeds United had dismissed McDermott despite the fact they don’t own the club yet. McDermott returned to his post on Monday morning and faced the media stating that he still wanted to be the clubs manager.

So with McDermott reinstalled and a buyer lined up all looks rosy for the Leeds? Well not quite the new prospective owner a mr Massimo Cellino still has to pass a Football League fit & proper persons test which may be an issue as he has 2 previous fraud convictions and is under investigation for embezzlement of a stadium his other club Cagliari were using in their nomadic search for a new home. Mr Cellino seems to have a bit of a maverick streak on him, he refuses to play on the 17th as he believes it’s bad luck, and once asked fans to turn up to a game that was supposed to be behind closed doors to get it abandoned. Will Cellinos antics go down well with the Leeds fans who are notoriously vociferous of anyone who doesn’t do the best for the club they hold so dear, In fact you could say Leeds are probably one of the best supported clubs in the country and certainly the most followed outside of the Premier League. So no I doubt they will stand for any messing about by anyone let alone someone who already has their back up before taking the reigns.

There may be some light on the horizon though as a consortium of past failed bidders for the club have come in and promised to match what Cellino has offered and would probably hold the clubs interest closer to their heart than Cellino who seems to be in it purely for the money.

As a Manchester United fan I sincerely hope Leeds get sorted out in the near future and they return to the top table of English Football sooner rather than later, if for nothing more than their fans.

As usual let us know your thoughts on Twitter & Facebook.

Ryan.

Interview – Beez

Beez is instantly recognizable to the alternative community, after being on Scuzz TV for the past few years with his Scuzz meets……….. series and Lowdown shows, his passion for rock and wrestling T shirts is clear for all to see but we caught up with him to discuss another passion of his, Arsenal FC. Beez talked us through all aspects of his love for the club from The Emirates to Wenger to being Piers Morgan’s Siamese twin in a great interview.

Us: So first up you are an Arsenal fan, who is getting the responsibility for that?

Beez: My entire family are all Gooners, my Mum, Dad & Nan. my uncle is a Millwall fan, My Aunt is married into West Ham fans, and we have a one cousin who is Spurs. We only really see him at Christmas but he gets absolutely buried by everyone, but he’s gone off to Thailand for a year so maybe he has taken the hint and got out of dodge. But basically all my family are Arsenal we are all very different people in terms of stuff we are in to, that unites us all is Arsenal.

Us: Can you remember the first time you went to Arsenal? I am assuming it was at Highbury?

Beez: New Years Day 1992 a 1-1 draw against Wimbledon. I think Fashanu put them one up and Merse scored for us. The second one was we beat Sheffield Wednesday 7 – 1, a really weird game with 20 minutes to go it was 1 -1 and we ended up winning 7 – 1! A bit more romantic than a 1 – 1 draw.

Us: When you were growing up did you ever think you could play at Highbury?

Beez: No, I am professional watcher of sport. I’ve never been particularly gifted being like 3 ft 2 so I don’t think I ever had the level of physicality to play football and I was just a bit rubbish at it! I wanted to be a commentator before I discovered heavy metal. Could you imagine this voice doing it? And the level of bias that I have trying to do football commentary wouldn’t work.

Us: Maybe you should try it for like a web episode like a North London Derby or something?

Beez: I don’t even let people watch the North London Derby with me, I watch it at home on my own, there is no way I could do a live commentary when watching every other word would be a swear word so that puts n end to football broadcasting. Although I cant be any worse that Niall Quinn, and Redknapp fuck the whole Redknapp family.

Us: Do you get to go to many games?

Beez: I gave my season ticket up because at over £900 at the time in even the cheapest seats, although I was in one of the areas of the ground that actually had an atmosphere, I used to have a season ticket at Highbury in the clock end about 6 seats away from the away supporters. It felt lively every week. I wasn’t exactly a shrinking violet lets just say that. but then at The Emirates I was at the opposite end to the away fans and I didn’t feel I was getting as much out of it as £900 demands. Also at times it felt I was investing in the team but the club wasn’t. I live near the ground I have much more fun in the pubs near the ground that are all arsenal and all full of fans who have been priced out the game. I went with a mate to watch a North London Derby in The 12 Pins which is an amazing place to watch an Arsenal match and at half time he turned to me and said “Fuck me, its like Galatasray in here!”

Us: Who is the best player you have seen in an Arsenal?

Beez: It’s gotta be Thierry or Dennis. There was days where the other 10 players didn’t turn up yet Henry could still win you the game, there was like an 18 month period where every time he got the ball people around me stood up because they knew something would happen. But anyone that says there is no poetry in football never saw Bergkamp. It’s impossible to choose between the two. Henry had that season where he was top of the goal scoring and the assist tables, but he also did things like the back heel goal against Charlton and running through Spurs from his own penalty area. But things like Bergkamp’s goal against Newcastle you stood there look at each other like how did he do that? It’s between those two but I can’t give you a definitive answer.

Us: Highbury or The Emirates?

Beez: Not even a contest, don’t get me wrong The Emirates feels more like home now than it did but the romance of Highbury and the fact you were so close to the pitch make it Highbury.

Us: Last year was a bit up and down for Arsenal, do you feel that at times the crowd lost patience with the Wenger philosophy?

Beez: We are a split fan base at the minute. There is a vocal portion of the crowd who are against him, but I like to think that everyone wants him to succeed. Gary Neville made a brilliant point that we only spent £9 million pounds net and Wenger had kept us in the champions league for the past 10 years and what an astronomical achievement that is. But at the same time now he has got money he needs to start paying market prices. The year Eduardo broke his leg at St Andrews we had a team that we felt could compete but didn’t. Again last season when they had a more defensive minded second half of the season and the 0 – 0 against Everton stands out for me as the difference as a team that will win the league and a team who have to compete with Spurs and Everton which we are all bored of. Giroud had a decent first season but he took a lot of stick and I think that’s down to the previous run of strikers we have have had at the club and Giroud isn’t in the same bracket as van Persie, Henry, Bergkamp. Arsenal haven’t really spent the going rate for players apart from Arshavin. If we aren’t going to have a decent cup run and only be challenging for fourth frustration is going to set in. You look at Podolski playing in the center and he didn’t look like he had the fitness for it and was running around like a headless chicken, his finishing is brilliant and if you said pick a player to score a 1 on 1 in a cup final I would choose him every time but how we play he doesn’t look like the answer at center forward.

Us: Wenger’s tactic in the early part of last year with playing Walcott where he wanted to be played to get him to sign the contract then booting him back wide was genius.

Beez: I don’t think it was ever about Walcott wanting to play at center forward i think he just wanted to chance his arm at leaving and the only people who were interested were Liverpool! If someone like Chelsea had come in with a concrete offer for him I don’t think he would be an Arsenal player, anyone who watches Walcott regularly and thinks he is a center forward is off their rocker. You can tell what you are going to get out of Theo in the first 20 minutes, he is a confidence player. If he scores he will go on a run for 6 or 7 weeks but he does have barren spells. The best example I can give of Theo is if the season before van Persie had signed the contract he was offered Arsenal fans would have celebrated it like winning the world cup, when Theo signed everyone was like “yeah, ok then.” Oxlade – Chamberlain has got it, he is in the Fabregas class. For a kid to be bossing the AC Milan midfield when he is a teenager playing his first game at central midfield the kids got something.

Us: With the great end to last season and a strong showing in early pre season as well as the rumor of The Emirates now paid off where do you see Arsenal finishing?

Beez: Right now I see us challenging Spurs and Liverpool for 4th, but with a few signings and I hope it’s not Wenger making all this noise to mug us off again. If he has got all this money and just refuses to spend it or refuses to pay market rate for players then he could be in trouble. No one is going to let you live in a mansion and only pay £200 rent because that’s what you think its worth. When I pay £2.50 for a pack of Walkers at The Emirates you have to excuse me if my sympathies aren’t what they should be but Arsenal fans get charged through the nose to watch our team limp out of the FA Cup to Blackburn and look like they could give a monkeys flying piss about being there either its not good. He needs to start buying players for the now, if he spends and we are in the mix for the title till April he gets my backing, if he doesn’t spend and thinks this squad is good enough to challenge for the title which it isn’t then questions have to be asked you know? I am not an anti Wenger guy by any stretch of the imagination but the milk of human kindness only goes so far.

Us: He does seem to test the patience of the fans. Some of the things he has done at Arsenal are incredible though he basically made Henry.

Beez: Henry, van Persie, Fabregas. I feel for him he has built these players up and then had to sell them to pay for the stadium. He has a great history of buying player for peanuts and selling them for loads, just look at Adebayor. He has done wonders with a limited budget but now he has money and needs to invest in the right people. Look at someone like Reyes who helped drive us during The Invincible season he was a key player in that.

Us: Controversial one now. Obviously Spurs and Arsenal don’t get along but if Wenger turned round and raided the spurs squad who would you want?

Beez: Well we need a striker but theirs are worse than ours. The obvious choice is Bale who is nowhere near as good as they think he is. The second half of the season it didn’t matter where he got the ball you expected it to be in the back of the net and we haven’t seen that since Ronaldo left. Sandro is alright but not as good as Arteta.

Us: Lloris?

Beez: I have faith in Szczęsny, he had that spell out the team but came back good. And he seems to understand what it means to play for Arsenal. There was a game where he took out one of the Spurs players and got up and winked at the camera. I think he is going to be a world class keeper so not really Lloris.

Us: Walker?

Beez: (Laughs) No! against Sagna? And look at Carl Jenkinson he was up there last year with Szczęsny and Ramsey for most improved player. Look at the City game he ran them ragged. Compare Jenkinson to Walker and Walker would be one of the big red self destruct button signings.

Us: Vertonghen?

Beez: Vertonghen is good. I am a strong believer in strong center back partnerships. You look at Steve Bould, on his own not the greatest defender but with Adams the defence was watertight. Vertonghen came in to Spurs and made all the difference last season. Parker is a great example of a player ruined by Chelsea along with Wright-Phillips but lets be honest they made Hernan Crespo look average but I don’t like talking bout Chelsea and Man City as I don’t think it warrants any credit whatsoever.

Us: Exactly as much as people loathe Man United they have always had a core of youth team players coming though and brought young, a lot like Arsenal both sides developed team and a squad, to me us that’s football.

Beez: Exactly United have cherry picked the best young talent and had more money than us, just look at Rooney they had the funds to buy him when everyone could see he was going to be a world beater.

Us: Finally whenever we see you on TV you are always in a wrestling shirt so which wrestler would work well at Arsenal? And while you think could you imagine Paul Heyman as Arsenal manager?

Beez: He is ruthless enough! Would want someone hard to play for us, someone who enjoys kicking people and is just violent……Brock Lesnar at center midfield just going round kicking lumps out of people. I like nasty players who play for the shirt, like Keown, Dixon, Parlour, I always had a soft spot for Jens Lehmann. We have a bit of bite in the midfield now with Jack Wilshire. It’s hard to see players as one of us when they are heading out the door. One moment last year that angered me more than anything else was Robin van Persie refusing to celebrate when he scored at Old Trafford, it was hypocritical the fact that he sat on the injury table collecting £60,000 and Wenger stood by him through the alleged rape accusations as soon as he got fit an had one good season he showed us exactly how much respect he had for Arsenal by fucking off. When he scored and put his hand up I just thought what a cunt!

Us: You have to respect van Persie for what he did to Piers Morgan who is an absolute twat!

Beez: I hate van Persie so much I would take Piers Morgan over him. I cant say anything positive about Piers Morgan but van Persie is such a piece of shit I would take Piers over him. If I had to spend an entire month as a Siamese twin to either of them, and imagine spending the month as Piers Morgan’s Siamese twin? I would take Morgan. I have got a mate who did work experience at Rock Sound who is a wicked kid and seems to understand it on my level and we had a chat in the afternoon and I said “do you know what, if van Persie signs this contract and with signing Podolski we could have a real go at the title this year” then a few hours later van Persie came out and said he wasn’t signing the contract. The day he left for United my mate text me and just said “are you alright?” he told me my reply was the closest thing he had ever seen to literal venom. When van Persie left I found it hard to watch football, watching him score goals turned my stomach, he scored one goal and ran over and hugged Fergie and a felt like crying and vomiting at the same time which was a weird experience!

Beez was a great person to interview and had me in stitches for parts of the interview. We have said we will try and do another interview mid season to look back on this and to assess the season up to that point and I hope we can. As well as Scuzz TV you can catch Beez on Team Rock Radio 8 – 12 on a Saturday morning as well as read his thoughts on Twitter: @Beez_says and also in Front Magazine.

Cheers for taking the time to read this.

Ry