On the day that the new Leeds United owner, Massimo Cellino, announced the arrival of their new Coach, Dave Hockaday, you would expect the fans across the world to be rejoicing in the news, but social network media outlets have erupted with a barrage of bitterness and blatant disbelief at the choice Cellino has made.
The 56 year old, who left Forest Green Rovers last year by mutual consent, which always seems to be “football speak” for being sacked, takes up the new role of Head Coach, with Junior Lewis as his second hand man. But who is he? And who is his new assistant? That is what the fans want to know. Where is their experience? The answer lies in the lower leagues and non-league sides between them.
When Cellino took over this year and promised to get Leeds United back into the Premier League by the end of the 2015-16 season, everyone assumed that someone of name and experience would come in and take over as Coach, especially when Cellino assured the fans that the new man would be British. Names like McAllister were mentioned and aired openly as possible men to take the role on. At least, thought the fans, there will be someone tried and tested in football management.
So as Cellino makes this new move, he does so with confidence in the assurance that his promises will be fulfilled. But the fans do not on the whole, believe him. The type of comments on their Faceboook page today, ranged from sheer disbelief, through some that cannot be printed, to ones that said that to berate Hockaday on day one is wrong. “Let’s get behind the new man and see what he has got” was a statement seldom seen.
So what are the chances of this new signing working?
On comment on one of the Leeds United Facebook pages today suggested that over the last eleven years, a succession of well known and famous managers had failed to lift the club back to the Premier League. And with that, the suggestion that followed was to get behind Hockaday and march on together, rather than show a lack of harmony at the grass roots.
Whether Hockaday will be successful will depend upon several things; the amount of freedom that Massimo Cellino gives him to choose the players and make them play the game he knows and loves. If there is adverse interruption and interference, then it is unlikely that success will follow. If the new owner fails to bring new players of calibre in, then again, there is likely to be a lack of success. If there is a failure to bring players through the academy, then again problems will be faced.
But what needs to happen is that Dave Hockaday is now allowed to get those players, whoever they are [and whoever comes in over the summer] working together as a single unit, working for each other and working for the success of the club. The new Coach may not have much top flight experience but one has to begin somewhere and perhaps, Leeds will be the same for Hockaday that Swansea was for a certain Liverpool manager, who went on to great success in the face of adverse fan base comments at the beginning.
If the Leeds fans are indeed, marching on together as one, then they should get right behind Dave Hockaday, trust that what is going to happen will be good and get behind their team. With the fans behind them, and we all know how loyal they are, Leeds United can do absolutely anything, as has been shown in the last five decades.