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the square ball week

the square ball week


HowsonIsNow Welcomes Paul Green to Leeds (

FOOTBALLERS. Remember them? They kick a ball around while you yell at them. It’s a sweet arrangement. There’s been loads of them on the telly over the last couple of weeks during Euro 2012, visible in between the crowd shots of Eastern European girls wearing facepaint. Meanwhile, Leeds has seemed like a footballer-free zone since Jason Pearce arrived and, as he held the door open for all the footballers coming along behind him, realised there was nobody there. An awkward moment, that got even more awkward when the manager stropped off on holiday in a foul mood. Showing the kind of commitment we hope to see from him on the pitch, Pearce has stood right there with the door open ever since and now he has his reward: Neil Warnock is back, and he means business – serious business – two-for-the-price-of-nothing business. Just the way Ken has always liked it.

The arrivals of Adam Drury and Paul Green have to be taken as good signs, if only because those jokes about Leeds entering a five-a-side league next season were beginning to seem less funny and more true. Drury is a left back signed from, of all places, Norwich, for whom we’ve more usually been the feeder club in recent years – we wonder if Paul Lambert got himself into a bit of a Wilkinson/Cantona situation, as he phoned up to try and buy Snodgrass but got talked into selling Drury instead. Paul Green, meanwhile, has actually been at those selfsame European Championships in person – but unfortunately he was playing for Ireland. Knowing of the link, we perked up when we saw his solitary ten minute appearance against Spain – we quickly perked down again when Fabregas put him on his backside for Spain’s fourth, though. But Green has been a consistent performer for Doncaster and Derby over the years, and we’re told Derby wanted to keep him, so while he might not set the pulse racing he could bring some much needed steadiness to our midfield. The Scratching Shed provide pen-portraits of Drury and Green; and Howson Is Now has an actual portrait of Green nailing his colours to Redders’ mast in the classic ‘holding up a shirt’ pose that all new signings must submit to. Right In The Gary Kellys reckon these signings fit with Warnock’s M.O.: he’s not in the business of buying potential, but of buying proven players who will make an impact.

Two signings in two days made us feel more spoiled than a diplomat with a face full of Ferrero Rocher, but we’ll have to get used to more incomings if we’re to have anything like a squad come the start of the season. The Scratching Shed again deal deftly with the current speculation: Lee Peltier is one name, and Paddy Kenny is the man who won’t go away but also won’t sign, at least not yet, anyway. Talk has it that the arrival of Rob Green at QPR will mean Kenny can move; Phil Hay of the Evening Post reckons an injection of funds is required before Leeds can buy the keeper.

An injection of funds at Leeds would certainly be more welcome than continuing the never ending takeover rumouring, which is more like an injection to the eyeballs. Is anything really happening? Who knows? Well, presumably Ken Bates knows, otherwise we’re all stuffed. But he certainly isn’t saying. In the absence of news from the club, attention has focused on Leeds United Supporters’ Trust, and they were in positive form at their public meeting on Wednesday night at the Magic Sponge. We reported on their view that a takeover is still on here on LOL!, and TSS also have a round up of the night’s news. One of our favourite things of the summer, Fear & Loathing in LS11’s 110 Days of Torture, deals with the lack of takeover information the way any reasonable person would: by banging on perplexingly about Lord of the Rings. We might not understand what he’s saying, but we certainly understand how he feels.

Anthony Clavane might also sympathise with F&L’s turn from Elland Road to the epic. Clavane’s book, Promised Land, expressed his love for Leeds United in terms of art, literature and film – our review in The Square Ball can be read here. This week Promised Land starts its run in its new form, as theatre, at The Carriageworks in Leeds. We’ll be going along and will bring you a review next week, but we don’t reckon you should wait before buying your ticket. Don’t miss this interview with Anthony in the YEP, either, which with its many references to ‘Leedsness’ should be read alongside our own Mick McCann’s attempts to define the word he coined.

We’ll keep cultural to the end this week, as Howson Is Now announces its arrival in Hollywood with the Leeds United Redemption, then destroys television as we know it with the We Are Leeds Summer Update. And we don’t know who did this, but we like it: all the Leeds Glengarry Glen Ross can offer. Far be it from us to start a Hollywood consortium takeover rumour, but that’s a lot of Leeds…