Growing up, being fed with a Leeds United spoon, I was hooked on watching old VHS tapes of Leeds United back in the 70’s. Much like the generation before me, close relatives in Leeds led me to attending my first game at just 6 year old.
The excitement was there every Saturday, as the likes of Gary McCalister, Gary Speed, Rodney Wallace and Tony Yeboah made me ‘live for the weekend.’
I wish I could tell you I am still dazzled today; as some utterly dreadful footballers have stole a living down at Elland Road over the years.
The first member of the exclusive ‘worst of the worst’ club is Thomas Brolin. Wow, what a calamitious time this guy spent at Leeds United. You get the same feeling from this guy, as you would from buying a rolex and finding out it was full of sweets and squirted water. Signed from Parma in 1995, Thomas Brolin was labelled a Swedish Superstar. To say that Thomas Brolin did not adapt to English football is an understatement. He scored just four times for Leeds United, with one famously coming off his backside, as Thomas Brolin fastly became one of the worst Leeds United players in history. He is now a professional poker player.
Terry Venables, El Tel, call him what you like. He must go down as one of the worst managers Leeds United has ever had. Not helped by some of his quite bemusing signings. This brings me on to Paul Okon; to think he captained Leeds United leaves me feeling slightly dizzy and light headed.
When you have the likes of David Batty, Nigel Martyn and Olivier Dacourt not even making the bench, you begin to wonder how on earth this guy managed Barcelona. Ever tried to run on Custard? Paul Okon looked like he had every week for Leeds United. The slow and sloppy Aussie, was the first sign that things were spiralling badly at Elland Road. Thanks for giving us Paul Okon, you will never be on my Christmas card list ‘El Tel’.
Roque Junior, 48 caps and two goals for Brazil. Roque Juniour, five league appearances (24 goals conceded), sent off on his debut for Leeds United. Had we signed an imposter on loan? This guy made 44 appearances for A.C. Milan, yet he goes down as the one of the worst defenders to play for Leeds United. Headless at the best of times, this guy looked like he’d never met a football. A witty cheer surrounded the four corners of Elland Road everytime Roque Juniour did something right; it’s a good job Brazil don’t like defending.
Michael Ricketts, big, strong and could finish. Well, if you asked a Bolton Wanderers fan perhaps. After impressing with Bolton Wanderers, Michael Ricketts earned himself a £3.5million transfer to Middlesbrough.
As Middlesbrough is my neck of the woods, I can empathasise with the lack of healthy eating options, but my oh my a footballer should never let himself go like this guy did. Becoming an instant flop with Middlesbrough, at the time, recently relegated Leeds United fancied their chances with the ‘Black Pudding’ of English Football. Safe to say, his decline into obesity continued with Leeds, as did his lack of goals. Last seen coming out of a Chippy in The Wirral.
Jermaine Wright had spent plenty of time in the Championship with Ipswich Town. At the time, new to the Championship, Mr Wright became Mr Wrong, when Leeds United ‘snapped’ him up on a free transfer. It was claimed by many of the press that he had turned down Everton to join Leeds United. Either his agent was telling pork pies of Everton’s interest or his talent simply disappeared when he joined Leeds United.
A custard runner, like Paul Okon, Jermaine Wright somehow mustered 38 appearences for Leeds United, before being shipped out on loan to Millwall and Southampton. Kevin Blackwell seemed to enjoy buying overweight footballers, perhaps for better self-asteem.
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