leeds united wait for emperor cellino’s thumb to turn on hockadayBack
Massimo Cellino freely admits that he is a superstitious man, but I’ve not yet heard him say whether he believes in the power of dreams.
But this morning Dave Hockaday is relying on his president’s subconscious to keep him in a job.
When Cellino finally responded to contact in the wake of United 4–1 defeat at Watford, it was only to say that he wanted to sleep on any decision about the head coach’s future:
exchanged couple texts with Cellino. said he wanted to sleep/ was ashamed of the performance/ wants to ‘build something important’
— Simon Austin (@sport_simon) August 23, 2014
He wouldn’t talk about managerial situation tonight though, so I’m not sure
— Simon Austin (@sport_simon) August 23, 2014
Brief response from Cellino: "I’m doing nothing tonight. I’ll think tomorrow." #lufc
— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) August 23, 2014
Cellino’s desire to dream followed an evening when Leeds fans’ only desire was to know whether the rumours were true that Hockaday’s job had ended at day 66. That’s 22 days longer than the famous Brian Clough marker of 44 in charge, although Clough lasted at Leeds for six league games, as opposed to Hockaday’s four so far.
Amid the speculation, Hockaday had to do the usual round of post-match interviews; he confirmed what we all know, that his future at the club isn’t his decision; and he raised eyebrows across Yorkshire, claiming that: “I’m comfortable I’m getting more out of these players than anyone else could,” and that Leeds “worked harder than the opposition, and frustrated the hell out of a good Watford team.”
He also pointed to debutante Giuseppe Bellusci’s sending off as the turning point in the match, and defended his decision to then take off Billy Sharp and leave another debutante, Mirco Antenucci, up front on his own; until, after another goal, he brought on Dom Poleon to help him.
The exact sequence of events following the Watford defeat – well, following Bellusci’s sending off near the hour, to be precise – isn’t clear, but all the rumours have ended with the same refrain: “And Hockaday is gone.”
There have been reports that, after boarding the team coach to leave Vicarage Road, the players were called back in to the ground to talk to Hockaday; it’s generally accepted that the players will be back in training today, although that could be either a morning warm-down or an afternoon “emergency meeting.” Billy Sharp’s agent cropped up on Twitter as an unusual source of information, tweeting, “He’s gone”; although we can’t know if that was fact or opinion (‘he’s finished’).
All depends, then, on when Massimo Cellino awakes, and what his dreams have told him, and how early he wants to conduct his business today given that there’s a courtyard party at Fibre later.
According to this dream interpretation website, if Massimo has dreamed about going on a trip, making a video, an ex-boyfriend (although I’m sure an ex-girlfriend would count), high school, snorkelling, a quagmire, a cartoon, manure, a pigeon, a hose, taking a test or God, then he has dreamed about making a mistake.
Of course, Massimo could have dreamed of all the happiest times and occasions in his life, but if he happens to see the highlights of yesterday’s game before breakfast, that could decide it.
Cellino has defended Hockaday already this week, telling Simon Austin that, “He doesn’t have the players he needs to do what he wants. I would like to blame Hockaday – that would be the easy thing to do and might make me feel better – but the truth is he just doesn’t have the players at the moment.”
Two new players were added to the side against Watford, with Bellusci following Berardi’s new fashion for defenders being sent off on their debut; a deal for midfielder Casper Sloth is in the works, but it remains to be seen whether the Sloth will be handed to the Hock to train, or even Brazilian talent Adryan, still being dangled tantalisingly as the tastiest morsel of transfer speculation.
While waiting for Cellino to give the thumb up or down, you might want to watch a slightly more stable Leeds football team in action, although they didn’t look altogether stable just a few weeks ago. Leeds Ladies begin their post-United era with a home game against Stockport this afternoon, the first match since the Leeds United Foundation’s attempt to close the club down altogether when LUFC branding was withdrawn. The new identity and the new branding don’t make the phoenix club, Leeds Ladies FC, any less Leeds; neither does the venue for their home games this season, Harrogate Railway FC. Entry is £2 for adults and £1 for kids and the game starts at 2pm; the team promise to “give our all for the badge, the shirt, for the fans and for each other.” Get more info from their Facebook page here.