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 London.
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 the way.
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
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
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
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 they???
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.