Brian McDermott is set to be named as the new manager of Leeds United and it’s a superb appointment for the club.
McDermott didn’t have to wait too long to find his next big club, as he was sacked by Reading fairly recently as the Premier League side look to try and preserve their top flight status.
That is undoubtedly a positive for Leeds United, a side that have slummed it down in League One, consolidated as a Championship team and now seem ready to go back up to the Premier League.
McDermott is a very good appointment because he knows the Championship, he knows how to get his teams playing consistently and he knows how to win that division.
If Leeds can mount a serious push for the Championship title next season, or even just the top two, they take the randomness and the lottery of the play-offs out of the equation altogether.
He plays simple football and doesn’t over complicate his tactics, which is significant for a team like Leeds where sometimes it’s been a case of trying to do too much and trying to impose to greatly over other big sides in the Championship.
McDermott’s basic style of football is based around getting the ball into the strikers as quickly as possible, whether that’s in to foot or whether the ball is played into space down the channels.
Leeds have some very quick wide men and some very young and talented full backs, so don’t be surprised if they start to play a lot wider than they did during the reign of Neil Warnock at the club.
What also works for Leeds here is that they have signed a manager with a point to prove. He may still feel that he could have kept Reading in the Premier League and he will want to take Leeds up as a message to anyone who ever doubted him.
Leeds fans should also draw some optimism from the fact that McDermott is not a naïve man or coach, as he’s unlikely to join the club unless he’s given solid assurances that he will have money available to build a side which can take Leeds up.
He doesn’t seem like the sort of boss that would commit himself to such a big project unless he was relatively certain that he would be backed when he goes to the owners and says ‘we need this, this and this’.
He also has the right sort of personality and composure to get the best from his players. He’s certainly not as vocal or aggressive as Warnock in his managerial style, which makes him more approachable and players may just have a bigger desire to play out of their skins for him.
He has a lot of work to do this summer with comings and goings bound to be high in number and potentially very exciting in terms of quality. It’ll certainly be interesting to see how it develops.
Is he the man to take Leeds back up?
image: © Chris Robertshaw