David O’Leary? David Oh No! – Leeds United Should Avoid Appointing The Arsenal Legend As Manager
According to reports, Leeds United’s colourful owner Andrea Radrizzani has offered their former manager David O’Leary the invitation to attend some of their upcoming matches as his guest, thus giving him the chance to get involved with the club once again.
O’Leary has revealed publicly that the owner has offered him the chance to attend Elland Road to see the current crop of players in action in the Championship and unsurprisingly it’s a chance he appears to want to take.
The former Irish international defender has said that he was “looking forward to taking in a few games” and in terms of critiquing his own spell in charge of the club, has said he “must have done OK” given that he was in the role for five years back in their Premier League days.
Leeds United’s fans will indeed have some good memories of O’Leary’s time in charge at the turn of the century when the former Arsenal man led the side all the way to the Champions League semi-finals. He managed a Leeds side containing the likes of Mark Viduka, Harry Kewell, Rio Ferdinand, Jonathan Woodgate and Lee Bowyer back then and certainly had a complimentary impression of his own skills.
O’Leary’s own view of his success may differ from the rest of the football world since he has never been given the chance to manage such talent ever again.
A look back at the big picture regarding that particular Leeds era shows you that they got as far as they did on the pitch due to the extreme talent at their disposal – something some would argue could have been managed better and something they ultimately couldn’t afford hence the financial crash and eventual relegation of the club.
His time as manager ended in despair as he had a three-year spell as manager at Aston Villa where he was unsuccessful, leading to him being out of club management ever since.
It’s a little too early to call David O’Leary a football dinosaur but we have seen with many other coaches coming back into the game after long spells out only for them to realise that things have changed too much for them to cope with.
A long time ago I wrote an article about managers I thought were motivators rather than coaches, something which ultimately led to them not achieving their true end goals, a list containing Terry Venables, Kevin Keegan, Peter Reid, Harry Redknapp and Neil Lennon and you could put O’Leary in there too.
He has the confidence in himself to take any job and take on any personalities in the dressing room, but does that make him a great tactical coach? I’d say definitely not.