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Thursday, 13 May 2010

Dirty Leeds Tribute to Andrew Hughes

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Signed from Norwich during the dismal Summer of 2007, I doubt many Leeds fans, myself included, knew who Andy Hughes was. To be honest, any player would have done at that point in our history. It soon became apparent that "Hughesy" suffered from the age old plague of many a professional footballer - he was too versatile.

Comfortable across midfield and at either full-back role, it was just too easy to move him to a void in the team rather than let him settle into a position and make it his own. Despite this, he has made 110 appearances for Leeds and although by his own admission he was far from the most technically gifted footballer in the clubs history, it was obvious that his 110% performances more than made up for it.

Hughes has had his critics during his 3 years at Elland Road, but name me a player who hasn't? At a club where your star, 30 goal a season striker is public enemy number one, you can consider yourself lucky not to receive death threats for conceding a corner! Despite the added pressure of pulling on the sacred white shirt, Hughes has played wherever, whenever, knowing that playing left back for the majority of a season was likely to expose him to abuse from the fans. 

Without doubt his finest moment in a Leeds shirt came at Old Trafford, in that legendary F.A. Cup win back in Januray. Tasked with keeping the likes of Rooney, Berbatov, Obertan and later Antonio Valencia and Michael Owen at bay, Hughes out-performed the Premiership stars with a display that matched the top flight surroundings. In a recent interview with The Yorkshire Evening Post, Hughes was unsure of what legacy he has created at Elland Road and whilst I can't answer that question. I can tell you that my lasting memory of a very underrated, low-key player is that of a man who saluted the Revie Stand with raw emotion and passion following our promotion last week. If I had been blessed with enough talent to play for Leeds United, I wouldn't have greeted the clubs promotion any differently. Already without a shirt before the referee had removed the whistle from his mouth, Hughes ran wildly into the on-rushing masses of supporters invading the pitch and was later seen shedding all his emotions in front of The Revie Stand.

To date Andrew Hughes has scored only one goal for Leeds United, a goal that sealed a rare victory at The New Den back in April 2008. With his contract due to expire at the end of the month, I for one feel he has done enough to earn a chance to extent his 'prolific' goal tally. Even if its just for his versatility - Andrew Hughes should be a Leeds United player next season.


The images of "Hughesy" on promotion day will long be an iconic symbol of what it means 'To be Leeds!'

If you agree or disagree, or have no idea please participate in our online poll regarding this subject (it can be found on the right-hand side of this screen).


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UPDATE: Leeds United announced this morning (14/05/10) that Andrew Hughes has been offered a new deal by the club, perhaps they checked the poll first to make sure its what the fans wanted...

Poll "Should Andrew Hughes be offered a new contract with Leeds United?"
Result: 264 votes, YES - 228 (86%), No - 29 (12%), Not sure -7 (2%)

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27 comments:

  1. Had nothing but admiration for Hughsey, the Norwich crowd got on his back more times than I can count, after Worthington last match in charge, Hughsey took no end of stick and was going to go after one bloke in the crowd. But when things started to settle he played his bloody socks at full back, defence where ever, he turned the moaners right round. I wish we had at that time another 10 like Hughes... Sad to see him go

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  2. Good blog.

    One of my favorite players this season. He really appreciates the club, the fans and wheres the shirt with pride. I would like to see him play a central midfield role, the 'micky doyle' role.. and as you say make it his own. However this seems very unlikely, especially now that leeds are back in the championship. It will be very competitive for a midfield place

    So yes we should keep him for versatiliy reasons, he will be an excellent squad player. On the other hand, I think this is wrong, because a player like hughesy, a player who will die for you on the pitch is wasted on the bench.

    Grayson has a big dilemma on his hands, and he lets him go, i think it will be so hughes can find regular football. Either way i will understand way he is or isn't with us next year.

    Thanks you Andrew Hughes for a great season. And good luck in the future. MOT

    Shaun

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  3. "far from the most technically gifted footballer in the clubs history, it was obvious that his 110% performances more than made up for it"

    There is no doubt that the guy is passionate and committed to our cause, but then so am I and I don't think that qualifies me to play for Leeds. What we have achieved, and Hughesy has played a big part in it, is fantastic. But let's not forget the countless times he was left for dead by a pacey 3rd division winger, the numerous wasted crosses that soared high over everyones head and the fact that the opposition deliberately targetted him as a weakness. Yes, he was played out of position, but he never set our midfield alight when he played in the holding role. Douglas was always a more preferable option.

    So hats off to the guy, we need more with his attitude for sure. But we also need a higher calibre of footballer now. I'd love to see Hughesy get another year as a useful squad player but if he plays 51 games next year then we won't be going up again. This might seem harsh, but we have only kept 1 clean sheet in our last 7 and a lot of goals have come from crosses that should have been cut out at source (e.g. Bristol Rovers). They are the facts I'm afraid.

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  4. If we're picking players to keep, out of gratitude, Hughes would be very well placed. His effort on the pitch put many others to shame and I'm very grateful for all his passion and desire to do well for us.
    If however we're picking players based on quality and value to the team at a higher level, then we need better. It feels disloyal not to want to keep him, but he just isn't good enough to drive us further forward.
    I also think his best game was at Old Trafford, and he has that, as well as earning promotion, to mark his time with us. I wish him success wherever he goes.

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  5. I for one have given Hughes a hard time during the season for some poor defensive performances, yes he wears his heart on his sleeve but I do think we need a better quality footballer going forward. I would like to see him get a year extension purely for his devotion and commitment to Leeds over the years. But I don't think he would feature much in the CCC for us. So should Grayson be cruel to be kind and let him go now while everyone still likes him???

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  6. Clive Sanderson13 May 2010 at 15:56

    Hughes should definitely stay at Leeds. He was a key player in our promotion and always showed his appreciation for the Leeds shirt.

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  7. Andy Hughes is a top, top man. Not, by his own admission, the most technically gifted, but not as bad as he is painted by a lot. He should certainly get another season in my opinion and I believe would do OK in the Championship. I love his committment to the cause. Love your blogs too, by the way.

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  8. Hughes played where he was needed, mostly at LB where for a right footed midfielder he was always going to look exposed against a good winger. I attended all of the home games and a few of the away ones and to my mind most of the destructive crosses came from our right where Crowe and Bromby both struggled badly defensively. I will always remember Andy Hughes with affection for his 100% commitment and willingness to run full speed for 120 mins if needed.

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  9. I agree with the last person, Jason Crowe who ius actually a right-back is much worse than Hughes who is a midfielder. If we have to choose between Hughes and Crowe, I'd choose Hughes every time. You need a versatile player in league one and the championship, the teams that go up always have a tight-knit squad of players, with one or two squad players who can play in a number of positions. I personally don't think the championship is as tricky as alot of people are making out, it is a step up from league one, but there are still some very average sides in there, which is why the likes of Leicester had no problems getting in the play off's this year. Lets release and sell some of the deadwood and bring in 5 decent premiership/champ players and we'll be fine next season!

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  10. I suppose this type of decision is why Simon is paid the salary he is.... however, if we are serious about promotion, the full back role would be one of my key priorities. Obviously they are key components of our offensive game aswell as obviously being a our last defensive line!! I think a lack of class in this position has cost us this year. I personally would let him go -- he'll be snapped up in league one and then will no doubt come back and haunt us in the cup scoring only his second goal in a 3 seasons! A top pofessional who will laways be welcome back at Leeds

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  11. he may not be paolo maldini but he is andy hughes so i hope he gest another season.

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  12. A Tommy Try Hard. There is thousands of them in football

    Hughes operates well in league one because.... it's league one

    I have seen him a few times for Leeds, and some goals or mistakes, are glaringly his doing, regardless of the effort

    Having the ability to chase the opposition around until you can retrieve the ball, is fairly useless, when all you're going to do play a high percentage ball the minute you regain possession

    This is why Hughes was slaughtered in the Championship (and rightly so), because there simply isn't enough time or room to get away with it. Percentage balls will be defended properly, and he'll be closed down faster when he has the ball. From there the percentage ball will just be a "get rid"

    It has it's uses in league one, but very few in the Championship

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  13. Previous comments about Crowe and Bromby may be true, at least in part (Crowe faded badly after some promise), but that only means Hughes is the lesser of three evils. The reality is that our defence in the 2nd half of the season was a shambles (Kisnorbo the total exception) and we need to rebuild every position at the back if we're going to do anything next year.

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  14. Andy Hughes is the biggest cunt ever to pull a Norwich shirt on and in my opinion should have retired a long time ago for being a disgrace to his so called profession.

    People mention is workrate. Of course he has to do a lot of running because he always gives the fucking ball away.

    Heard various reports that he's a bit of a cunt as a person as well.

    Brandonio
    WotB

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  15. Possibly one of the worst footballers I have ever seen play for Norwich City in my many years of supporting them.

    For a player that is so limited, of course he has to have workrate to make up for his 50p shaped feet, and a complete lack of tactical awareness.

    Of his sixty odd games for Norwich I can count on the fingers of one hand where he had a decent game.

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  16. Hughsey is a legend and as a season ticket holder who went to all the matches including Old Trafford, where he had maybe his best ever match, I have to say a player with his commitment has earned the right to have a chance at the next level with leeds united.

    Andy, MOT.

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  17. ignore Brandonio, he's a utter cock that was dropped on his head at birth, his idea of a good footballer is Jason Lee, though that could be more to do with jealousy over the hair.

    AHWFB for us, technically a bit shit but he never hid, and at a time when our whole team was shit it was that refusal to hide that really did for him.

    stick to wanking over Pete Doherty Brandy.

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  18. Norwich fan here.
    However good Andy Hughes intentions were at Norwich, however much of a nice guy he was,
    he was the worst player i have EVER seen don the yellow and green shirt. And Ive seen some bad players!
    When you guys came and bought him for 200k (under half what we paid!) we thought our bithdays and christmas's had come at once!
    A good lad, but shocking footballer. You keep him in the championship and you'll be in trouble!

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  19. seeing andy hughes carried aloft by dozens of leeds fans moments after the final whistle is a memory that will stay with me for years,you could see what promotion meant to him.so often a scapegoat for the teams failings he always rolls up his sleeves and without sulking or moaning gets on with whats asked of him.i for one hope he stays.IAN SEASON TICKET HOLDER.

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  20. Andy Hughes was part of a team that got us promoted and gave 110% in every match he played in. Yes, not the most gifted but certainly not the worst to pull on the shirt. Period.

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  21. Canary Ed

    Andy Hughes will play wherever you ask him to and has the heart of a lion. That can't be doubted. I remember a game against Leicester where we had an injury to our left back 5 minutes into the game. Hughes went their and arguably had his best game ever for us.

    However the reason their is some anomosity towards Hughes is that ultimately that was not what he was bought to do. We spent £500,000 on what we thought was a combative midfielder. However he is severely limited in terms of ability. In particular his distribution was absolutely shocking. The signing embodied many of the reasons why we struggled after getting relegated from the Premier League.

    If Leeds are to prosper next season I am afraid Hughes should only be regarded as a squad player at best next year.

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  22. To blame Andy Hughes for the fact that Norwich's scouting network didn't do their job is a little harsh.

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  23. Hughesy is an all round 'good egg'...he gives 100% all the time; despite the fact that he's not the most gifted of players....he does a job that's what he does....without fail he goes to the crowd in appreciation after EVERY MATCH; win, lose or draw. Not many players do that.

    He wants to play for Leeds and that's the sort of player we want. Just look at him celebrating last weekend!!

    Delighted he's been offered a new contract and I wish him all success for the Championship.

    Mark Warburton (Saddleworth, Oldham)

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  24. I'm glad he's been offered a deal. You guys can now see it in the championship, instead of just assuming other clubs fans are deluded

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  25. I think there's one thing that we can all agree While Hughesy's ability may be debateable his commitment and effort for Leeds United cannot be. I will always remember being at that millwall away game when he scored and the crowd sang Hughesy do us a dance and he started dancing round! I do think he will feature less at a higher level though but happy to have him round the squad as a fringe player hes worked as hard as any other Leeds player this year for it!

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  26. Some people have said that Hughesies best game was at OT. Probably true........and the best part was the spell in the 2nd half when he showed extraordinary skill and composure to head 3 consecutive diagonal balls back to the keeper (even laughing about it!)

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