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Monday, 26 July 2010

Who can fill Beckford's shoes?

As Gary Hooper signed for Celtic this morning, any (very) slim hopes of him becoming a Leeds player were well and truly dashed. A similar story to Billy Sharp a few weeks ago, when he signed for Doncaster Rovers.

It seems to be a recurring theme with Leeds - linked to a striker, reports of a failed bid, and then he signs elsewhere. Most would claim that a lack of ambition and funding for Grayson is to blame, so how else can we fill the boots of the man who scored 85 goals for Leeds?

Those who have faith in the current regime at Leeds would argue there are still 5 weeks of the transfer window left, and this is more than enough time to bring in a replacement. Leroy Lita, Jason Roberts, Adam LeFondre and Charlie Austin are just four names being thrown around as potential suitors for Simon Grayson, but most would come with a hefty price tag - something which almost seems to rule out Leeds United these days.

So, can we look closer to home? Nobody can argue with bringing in a 29-goal striker on a free transfer, but Billy Paynter is not seen as a direct replacement for Beckford, and looks more suited to the role that Becchio already plays in the team.

Davide Somma impressed Lincoln City fans with 9 goals on loan last season, and looks to be in Grayson's first team plans this season. But the step up from League 2 to the Championship will not be easy, and our hopes shouldn't rest on him, despite looking promising in pre-season.

Mike Grella will also be looking to make an impact this season, despite being behind the mighty Paul Dickov and Tresor Kandol in the pecking order last season. Clearly a player with talent, but doesn't look to have any sort of natural finishing ability à la Beckford.

Whatever happens, there is no way that Leeds United will be able to cope without somebody shadowing Beckford's achievements over the last 3 seasons.

As it stands, Bates' blunder in not offering Beckford a new contract earlier in proceedings can only be rectified (partially) in one way - getting his chequebook out and replacing him adequately.


  1. Oh you you and TSS give it a fringing rest already...Judas has gone, now we have a front line not a single greedy geet. Becchio got 2 goals on Saturday (but you wouldn't know it looking at the blogs and forums this week), Snoddy will play further forward, Grella will get one and then get a bagfull, he has too much touch not to, Somma is stepping up as we speak, Paynter when fit will suppliment the tally. Instead of one man getting 25 and missing 75 we will have 3-4 strikers getting double figures, that is an improvement!

    If we must add another striker, either we pitch on a growing reputation like Pitmann at Bournemouth or we take a spare PL youngster but opther from that we don't need all this bloody angst!

  2. We need another central midfielder along with a striker- if we dont sign both, I fear for us next season!!

  3. Don't look out for any players based on "quality", simply look for the "i'm free" price tag. .... I fear an under achieving season from an under funded team.... The only guaranteed thing at ER is that the club will make more profit to line the pockets of our unknown owners !!!

  4. Here here Clarkeonenil!!!

  5. A welcome return Dipdees! God you're all out this week.

  6. The premier league clubs have to name their squads of 25 for the coming season soon. When they do so I feel the surplus names will be quickly on the look out for a position for the year ahead. Grayson has hinted that premier loans will fill the squad gaps.

  7. All the speculation on players has been from the papers, betfair ,tribal, et al, and personally I think they talk out of their arses. If anyone is signed it will be someone that the above mentioned will never have thought of or come to that even us. Who saw Kasper coming? Still early days, and 5 weeks is a hell of a long time in football.

  8. A midfield dynamo, that's what I want!

  9. to be honest while all the talk has been about a replacement for Beckford and while I agree a Paynter type player may not be best choice for that, we may be able to risk seeing if others can step up, after all we do have several on the books who show talent, if unproven yet, I am more worried about other areas.

    I think we are very vulnerable defensively. Kis is the only real quality there and he's missing anyway. White impresses more and more and Parker on his day. But there's little else. I don't rate the slow Naylor the poor positioning of Bromby. Nevermind cover, we'll be struggling with a first choice against a decent Championship attack. Plus we need a solid holding midfielder - a higher quality Doyle or Douglas. Someone solid there, ideally who can get forward too would release what I still think is the real talent of howson to do what he does best. It's why I thought Dacourt was one of our greatest losses a few years back. I don't think it was properly appreciated how important he was. Can't get that quality now but we need that sort of player that can free up distribution further up and enable others beyond straight strikers to score more. I think without those basics we have little chance. With strikers there is a chance that one may come through and, as has already been said parhaps spread scoring chances.

  10. the grella comment is ridiculous..

    dickov started ahead of him once.. when grella was injured..

    grella your comment about his finishing is completely wrong too. he has it in him to be a good finisher he looks like a great finisher in warm-ups. he has the technique to do it, the real problem is his overall decision making, he has had limited 1st team exposure as of yet and it shows by how confused he looks when he gets to the penalty area..

    i trust that if he went out on loan his positioning and decision making would improve no end.. then he will prove that he is a very capable finisher.

  11. Dear God some people delude themselves

    The facts are we have lost a 30 goal a season league 1 striker and we havent replaced him, so the frontline is about to start life in the championship without anyone who is proven quality at this level let alone a 20 goal a season man.

    This combined with the fact that paynter and somma are missing to start with.

    I think Becchio will adapt to this level but you are looking at him contributing 20 goals maximum.

    put your head in the sand all you want, i heard it all the year we got relegated from the premier and the championship and in league 1 when we were going to walk it again, where if it hadnt have been for beckfords goals we wouldnt have got near to automatic promotion and it still took us 3 seasons to get out of that league.

    I hope we do really well and everyone scores 15 goals and we get promoted, but for all those of you thinking its going to be us challenging the best again you are going to come back down to earth with a bang unless some very good loans come in or we make a couple of quality signings.

  12. Clarkeonenil you muppet, Beckford a Judas? This is guy who scored the winning goals last season in two of the greatest matches in our history & then gets his chance to ply his trade at the top level. Good luck to him I say. We may do alright this coming season if Becchio spends less time throwing himself to the ground when slightly touched by defenders and Grella & Somma, Paynter are given a chance but I still think the team needs a more solid, experienced spine. Otherwise the bottom half beckons

  13. I agree with the comment about our defence - looks weak to me and was getting found out at the end of last season.

    By the way, what is Dacourt doing this season...?

  14. From Feb - May our midfield at times was devoid of ideas, we could do with some experiance in the middle, a calming influence, someone who can bring on and educate Howson and Kilkenny.


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