After George Graham left, the board did their level best not to
appoint another Arsenal man. Martin O'Neill and several others were
mentioned, but all the while the caretaker manager at Elland Road
was bringing in youngsters from the Youth Team, changing tactics
and setting out to play open and exciting football. The board
eventually woke up and realised what was going on, and when they
finally went to persuade O'Leary to sign, he clearly had the upper
hand in the negotiations.
A vastly experienced player, he spent most of his career at the
centre of Arsenal's defence, before coming up to Leeds for a
handful of games in 1993-94. He stayed on, coaching the defence and
then acting as George Graham's assistant - taking many of the
training sessions while the manager spent more time down in
By the end of the 1998-99 season, O'Leary's side had made it up
to 4th place and qualified for Europe. The following year he went
one place better in the League - lining up the chance of a place in
the Champions League - and making it through to the semi-final of
the UEFA Cup despite the best efforts of UEFA to disrupt the club's
games and ensure they had the most difficult draw at every step of
2000-2001 will bring O'Leary a fresh set of challenges as he
seeks to build on the excellent start he has made to his managerial
career and put together a squad of players capable of winning
trophies at the top level.
After taking Leeds to the UEFA semi-finals in 2000 and the
Champions League semi-finals in 2001, much was expected of his side
in 2001-02. However the hangover from the Bowyer/Woodgate trial,
the ill-timed publication of his book after the trial and his
continued public sniping at the players finally took its toll. A
lacklustre end to the season saw the side fall from top of the
league in January to just scraping into 5th place and UEFA Cup
qualification by the end of the season it seemed that there was
great disaffection within the team, and just before he was due to
leave on holiday he was told that he no longer had a job.
Mick Byrne says: I think that he got very lucky when he took
over, now he has been found out. Tactically he has not got a clue,
blaming injuries is okay but this begs the question - is there
something in the way the players are trained? Are the players
looking for a way out? Discipline - he has to take the blame for
the players' antics on the pitch. I think also that he has lost the
respect of the players after the book and they are right. We fans
spend a lot of money to follow them everywhere and we deserve more
passion and commitment than what we are seeing now. We are like a
relegation team. Does Do'l ever hear of using more than 1 sub in a
game. Lastly what happened to bringing players from the reserves or
youth team or are they not good enough?
Gail says: I may not be a Leeds United Fan but my partner has
been for years. Even though I follow another Premiership Club I
think that David O'Leary's commitment is 100%. Because of my
partner I have watched Leeds United for the last 7 years and never
has a team of youngsters fought so well!!! Your team went to the
Champions League Semi-Final but were Manchester United still
around???? The answer is no!! You are so lucky to have a manager
like that. So watch out in three years time, you may see him at Old
Trafford. Relegation NO WAY!!!
Peter Moore says: Dare I suggest he plays the following team in
4-4-2 formation. Robinson, Mills, Woodgate, Ferdinand, Johnson,
Dacourt, Matteo, Batty, Kewell, Smith and Fowler.
Darren says: When David signed as manager I was delighted; he
seemed to have a talent to bring the best out in players. This is
proved as only great managers have gone on to prove that youngsters
can mix with the best. I am now a bit tired with the same old
excuse, injury and suspension problems. At certain times during
this season we have only had one or two key players missing and all
of a sudden we are plagued with injury. David has had his chance,
vast quantities of money and for what. If he clears out some
players and buys some new at the end of the season he better get it
right, I can only see this as his last chance. Peter is not going
to continue to put his head on the chopping block for a manager who
can be replaced just like all the rest.
Dave Clark says: e seems to have lost it. My team would be
almost Peter Moore's: Bowyer for Batty. Sell some of the others off
: Viduka, Duberry, Hay, Radebe, Wilcox, maybe MacPhail &
Maybury, Martyn (cash in while we can & give Robinson a run),
make some space for Gray's youth team (the well can't have dried up
completely)& improve the dodgy financial situation. Buy? Only
the very, very best. Keeping Bridges, Keane, Matteo, Kelly, Bakke,
Batty doesn't exactly leave them too thin on the ground. If he
needs anyone in a crisis he can buy someone in. If Bowyer is going
he should have stumped up the 6 mill for that Croation he wanted.
We'd make on the Bowyer sale so why worry? Because he had a panic
attack or something 2 years ago. The book, the 'injury crises'
(mostly fringe players) contrast with the good start. And 4th and
5th place and early exits from Europe, after all that money and
talent aren't really good enough. I'm surprised he didn't do a
Dalglish this summer. Top site.
Geoff says: So what does everyone think of Mr O'Leary now? When
he was sacked we were 5th in league...... now 14th & losing it
fast. Venables is NOT the man for Leeds United. Give him time?.. We
had a far more successful team when he took charge & he's
ruined it. Ridsdale has proved himself to be two-faced and the
sooner he go's and takes Venables with him the better. Give DO'L
2million compensation ..... and his job back.
Alan Bruce says: o'leary did an adequate job. but the players
have no respect for him ! terry has implemented a system that does
not work, give the job to eddy gray!!they can't get any worse, can
Scott says: shame about the book, we could have been contenders
and all we got was a one way ticket to nowheresville.
a fan says: Leeds United should bring back David as manager
cause he is gorgeous.
Dilip says: The board made the biggest mistake at sacking David.
When he got sacked the team went down hill.If he wasn't
sacked,then, Leeds would have been in a better position then they
are now. He is the right man as manager!!
Martin says: Leeds have been regreting the decision to sack
david because look at where they are now!!!!
John Barry says: Let face facts,if leeds united hadnt sacked d
oleary would they be bottom of the league now facing almost certain
relegation,i think not.