Tag Archives: warnock

Neil Warnock won"t be missed by referees – GRAHAM POLL

Bully Warnock behaved like a spoilt kid in a supermarket… I'm glad he's gone

By
Graham Poll

PUBLISHED:

21:41 GMT, 4 April 2013

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UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 4 April 2013

Top-flight referees up and down the country will be breathing a sigh of relief at the prospect of Neil Warnock delivering on his threat to retire from management.

Warnock has been the bane of referees’ lives; almost imploding on the touchline when a throw-in went against his team and never failing to blame the official whenever his team lost.

He used to try to justify these attacks by claiming he was a qualified referee. Well, taking the exam is one thing but unless you are officiating matches regularly, you are not a referee.

Firebrand: Neil Warnock (right) protests his dismissal to Graham Poll (centre) in 2006

Firebrand: Neil Warnock (right) protests his dismissal to Graham Poll (centre) in 2006

Firebrand: Neil Warnock (right) protests his dismissal to Graham Poll (centre) in 2006

Bully: Sportsmail's Poll beileves Warnock at times behaved like a spoilt child

Bully: Sportsmail's Poll beileves Warnock at times behaved like a spoilt child

Of course, Warnock and I have
history. He was the manager at Old Trafford when his Sheffield United
side lost 1-0 to Arsenal in an FA Cup semi-final in April 2003.

According to Warnock, that defeat was
my fault, of course. I was also the referee who dismissed Warnock at
Bramall Lane in 2006 when the Blades were playing Leeds United.

Warnock should have been celebrating
his team winning promotion, which would allow him his first opportunity
to try his methods at the top level; where, of course, he has never
succeeded.

Instead, after a tackle from a Leeds
player, I heard him shout out to one of his team: ‘Next time break his
legs,’ referring to Gary Kelly.

I asked him to leave the technical
area, and he was suspended from the touchline for three games, two of
which would be his first in the Barclays Premier League.

Regular: Warnock would remonstrate with officials when things went against him. Here, as QPR manager during their match against Middlesbrough in 2010

Regular: Warnock would remonstrate with officials when things went against him. Here, as QPR manager during their match against Middlesbrough in 2010

Seriously An as Sheffield United manager after a match against Reading in 2005

Seriously An as Sheffield United manager after a match against Reading in 2005

A friend of mine is a Leeds fan and
went up to Elland Road for the game against Millwall. He and his son
could only laugh at Warnock’s antics that day.

And this is the point.
Warnock became a pitied parody of his former self — referees appeared to
allow his tantrums to go unchecked as they became less and less
effective.

The once-feared bully, who
successfully led teams to play-off glories, had become more like a badly
behaved child in a supermarket. Observers walked past shaking their
heads in disbelief at the sad spectacle.

It has become patently clear in his
later career that the aggressive and outdated approach to management
simply didn’t work in the top flight. Indeed, his powers seem to have
been on the wane for some time, with Leeds’ mid-table position only
serving to disguise the precarious position of the club from which he
has walked away.

Spoilt: Poll is glad Warnock's antics will not be a part of the game any longer

Spoilt: Poll is glad Warnock's antics will not be a part of the game any longer

Referees, fans and — most importantly — footballers just didn’t react in the same way to his smart-alec persona.

Back in April 2003 after that
semi-final defeat, Warnock came into my dressing room to have his
customary complaint; he came into referees’ rooms after virtually every
game.

He ended his tirade by stating to
fourth official Alan Wiley and me that he looked forward to retirement
as he would no longer have to put up with officials like us.

The feeling was mutual, but both of
us retired well before our sell-by date expired. I wonder if, when
reflecting on what has been a successful managerial career, Warnock will
be able to say the same.

Wilfried Zaha swears at Leeds fans over Manchester United abuse

Zaha gives Leeds fans the middle finger after abuse over transfer to Man United

By
Rik Sharma

PUBLISHED:

21:55 GMT, 9 March 2013

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UPDATED:

10:31 GMT, 10 March 2013

Manchester United's new signing Wilfried Zaha was spotted swearing at Leeds United fans on Saturday.

The Crystal Palace attacker was being berated by Leeds supporters over his transfer to their bitter rivals.

He responded by grinning and sticking up his middle finger at them.

Response: Wilfried Zaha had a message for the Leeds fans giving him stick

Response: Wilfried Zaha had a message for the Leeds fans giving him stick

Top form: Zaha again showed the star quality yesterday that earned a move to Manchester United this summer

Top form: Zaha again showed the star quality yesterday that earned a move to Manchester United this summer

Red Devils fans took to Twitter to praise their new signing, saying he was 'getting into practice'.

Whether Sir Alex Ferguson would approve of this gesture is another matter entirely.

Eyes on the ball: Zaha used his head to get past Leeds player Lee Peltier

Eyes on the ball: Zaha used his head to get past Leeds player Lee Peltier

Wing wizard: Zaha cuts inside to beat Leeds United's Stephen Warnock

Wing wizard: Zaha cuts inside to beat Leeds United's Stephen Warnock

Palace fought hard and earned a 2-2 draw with Leeds thanks to a late goal by Glenn Murray.

The Eagles frontman hit a brace – and so did Leeds' Steve Morison – as they shared the spoils at Selhurst Park.

Manchester City to sign Leeds Sam Byram

Mancini lines up 8m bid for Leeds starlet Byram to be long-term Zabaleta successor

By
Charlie Skillen

PUBLISHED:

10:39 GMT, 10 March 2013

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UPDATED:

10:39 GMT, 10 March 2013

Manchester City are set to spend 8 million on poaching Leeds' teenage sensation Sam Byram.

Energetic right-back Byram has been one of the first names on Neil Warnock's team-sheet this season despite only making his debut in August.

Mancini is revamping his squad in the summer after finding his side off the pace in the Premier League and crashing out of the Champions League at the group stage.

Tough tackler: Sam Byram, in action for Leeds yesterday, is a target for Premier League champions City

Tough tackler: Sam Byram, in action for Leeds yesterday, is a target for Premier League champions City

Looking to the future: Mancini, pictured yesterday, sees Byram as the long-term successor to Pablo Zabaleta

Looking to the future: Mancini, pictured yesterday, sees Byram as the long-term successor to Pablo Zabaleta

The Italian boss was impressed with Byram’s display in City’s 4-1 FA Cup victory over Leeds last month, and has been keeping tabs on the teenager since.

Byram is being lined-up as the long-term successor to Pablo Zabaleta, while Mancini sees former England defender Micah Richards’ future as being in the centre of defence.

Essex-born Byram has signed two new deals at Elland Road this season alone, despite interest from City and other Premier League clubs.

Young gun: Right-back Byram, 19 (right), has been ever-present for Neil Warnock's (left) Leeds side this season

Young gun: Right-back Byram, 19 (right), has been ever-present for Neil Warnock's (left) Leeds side this season

West Bromwich Albion, Stoke and Wigan are also interested in the 19-year-old, but should Leeds sell their prize asset the Premier League champions would be favourites for his signature.

Byram’s form this season has seen him touted as one of the hottest prospects outside the top flight and he can also play as a right wing-back.

Middlesbrough 1 Leeds 0: Curtis Main secures victory for Tony Mowbray"s side

Middlesbrough 1 Leeds 0: Main is Boro's hero as fans turn on Warnock

By
Colin Young

PUBLISHED:

22:31 GMT, 12 February 2013

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UPDATED:

02:03 GMT, 13 February 2013

A boy signed on a free transfer from Darlington proved to be Middlesbrough's Main man.

Curtis Main's perfectly placed header eight minutes from time gave Middlesbrough their first win in six League games and their first victory on Teesside over Leeds in 21 years.

But the 20-year-old, who scored for the second game running since recovering from injury, was sent off by petty referee Keith Stroud in the dying minutes.

Helpless: Paddy Kenny's best efforts could not prevent defeat for Leeds

Helpless: Paddy Kenny's best efforts could not prevent defeat for Leeds

Main was booked twice, for encroaching and handball, and looked as astonished as his manager.

Mowbray said: 'The ref got it wrong.
It was not deliberate handball in a million years. Curtis has amazing
qualities and yet is such a young player who hasn't been educated.

But he is potentially a special
talent. Tonight he is disappointed, frustrated, annoyed and angry but he
got us a great winner.'

Leeds fans chanted 'Warnock, time to
go' at boss Neil Warnock, who reacted with sarcastic applause. He is
refusing to quit and blamed the defeat on his strikers following Luciano
Becchio's departure to Norwich.

Ross McCormack fluffed Leeds's best
chance and Warnock said: 'We have missed three open goals in three games
and all hell breaks loose. 'Unless I run on the pitch and put the
chances in I don't know what more I can do.'

Under fire: The pressure continues to grow on Leeds boss Neil Warnock

Under fire: The pressure continues to grow on Leeds boss Neil Warnock

Rhys Williams should have put
Middlesbrough in front with a fourth-minute back-post volley after a
Grant Leadbitter free-kick put him clear, but Leeds started to take
control after that.

David Norris hit wide and then warmed
the palms of Jason Steele after some neat interplay between McCormack and Steve Morison, while the in-form Luke Varney also drove
away from goal after cutting in from the left.

The home side managed to steady themselves somewhat after that, but were so nearly the architects of their own downfall 28 minutes in.

Paul Green played a hopeful long ball forward that was Steele's all day long but he got his feet wrong and slipped, leaving McCormack with an open goal six yards out. The Scotland international dallied, though, and when he got a shot away, Jonathan Woodgate had recovered sufficiently to deny his former club on the line.

That proved to be Leeds' last chance of the first half and they should have been behind by the time the interval came.

Although not as clear a chance as McCormack's, Faris Haroun got clean through in injury time off Josh McEachran's defence-splitting pass, but Paddy Kenny was quickly off his line to deny him on the edge of the area.

Matchwinner: But Curtis Main was sent off minutes after scoring

Matchwinner: But Curtis Main was sent off minutes after scoring

The first half had hardly been an end-to-end affair but it was in comparison to the start of the second, which was attritional at best.

Woodgate provided the best moment, showing impressive pace and awareness to block off McCormack's run to goal, but as has often been the case in the 33-year-old's career, injury forced him off midway through the half.

Leadbitter, the game's other class act, then curled an edge-of-the-box free-kick just wide of Kenny's right-hand post and that brought about a mini period of drama with Leeds forced to defend for their lives with 17 minutes left.

Relieved: Tony Mowbray watched his side win for the first time in 2013

Relieved: Tony Mowbray watched his side win for the first time in 2013

Kenny did well to deny Leadbitter down to his right and then combined with Sam Byram to deny Williams on the follow-up, with the keeper then darting across his line to pouch a McEachran header that should have been a forgone conclusion.

Boro seemed keen to take the initiative, though, and by bringing on Miller they took it. With nine minutes left his cross hung enough for Main to put a header back across Kenny's goal and into the top right-hand corner.

He was then dismissed by Keith Stroud for a combination of dissent and kicking the ball away but, even though Steele had to deny Habib Habibou, Boro were able to hold on without him.

Tottenham players targeted by laser pen at Leeds, FA launch investigation

FA launch probe after Tottenham players and referee are targeted by laser pen at Leeds

By
Neil Moxley

PUBLISHED:

02:04 GMT, 29 January 2013

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UPDATED:

02:04 GMT, 29 January 2013

The Football Association has contacted Leeds United after Spurs' players were targeted by lasers during their FA Cup defeat at Elland Road.

Right-back Kyle Walker was one of the victims along with referee Kevin Friend as Neil Warnock's side booked themselves a fifth round trip to the Etihad to face Manchester City following their 2-1 victory.

Friend mentioned the incident to the fourth official and also in his match report and now the authorities want Leeds' view before deciding what action to take.

Laser guided: Walker was targeted while taking a corner kick

Laser guided: Walker was targeted while taking a corner kick

There is no suggestion of any sanctions at this stage. The FA want to establish the facts of the situation before deciding whether to take the matter any further.

A spokesman said: 'We are aware of what took place and have contacted Leeds to request their observations in relation to this.'

Cupset: Championship side Leeds beat high-flying Tottenham

Cupset: Championship side Leeds beat high-flying Tottenham

FA Cup fifth round draw

Leeds face daunting trip to Premier League champions City… but Chelsea face a fixture pile-up

By
Guy Aspin, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

18:23 GMT, 27 January 2013

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UPDATED:

08:18 GMT, 28 January 2013

Leeds were rewarded for their victory over Tottenham with a trip to Barclays Premier League champions Manchester City in the fifth round of the FA Cup.

Neil Warnock's men knocked out Spurs 2-1 at Elland Road to book a trip to the Etihad Stadium in the pick of the ties.

Non-league Luton, who claimed a famous 1-0 win at Norwich yesterday, missed out on a plum draw with a top Premier League side as they got Millwall at home.

Marching on: Leeds will now play Manchester City after beating Tottenham

Marching on: Leeds will now play Manchester City after beating Tottenham

Oldham, the npower League One side
who stunned Liverpool 3-2 this afternoon, were handed their Merseyside
rivals Everton at home in the next round.

Manchester United were drawn to face
Reading at Old Trafford, while Arsenal also got a home tie, against
Championship outfit Blackburn.

Chelsea, should they see off
Brentford in a replay after the two sides drew 2-2 at Griffin Park
today, can look forward to a trip to Middlesbrough.

However, the Blues could face some serious fixture congestion if they progress. The replay at Stamford Bridge has been provisionally arranged for the Saturday February 16 – the fifth round weekend.

Busy times ahead: Chelsea, and Fernando Torres, will face a fixture pile-up as a result of only getting a draw at Brentford yesterday

Busy times ahead: Chelsea, and Fernando Torres, will face a fixture pile-up as a result of only getting a draw at Brentford yesterday

CHELSEA'S BUSY FEBRUARY

Jan 30 Reading (A) PL
Feb 2 Newcastle (A) PL
Feb 5-6 Internationals
Feb 9 Wigan (H) PL
Feb 14 Sparta Prague (A) EL
Feb 16-17 Brentford (H) FAC
Feb 21 Sparta Prague (H) EL
Feb 24 Man City (A)
Feb 26-27 poss Middlesbrough (A) FAC
Mar 2 West Brom (H) PL

This is necessary because Chelsea have a Barclays Premier League match at Reading this Wednesday, will lose a number of players to international duty next week and then have home and away legs in the Europa League with Sparta Prague the following two midweeks.

It is then necessary to play Chelsea or Brentford's fifth round trip to Middlesbrough in midweek to catch up, meaning a very long journey for London-based fans for a night match.

A possible replay in that tie, should Chelsea get that far, would trigger a fixture pile-up, especially as they get through in the Europa League.

Upset: Luton sparked wild celebrations when they beat Norwich on Saturday

Upset: Luton sparked wild celebrations when they beat Norwich on Saturday

QPR's conquerors MK Dons were drawn at home to Barnsley, while Wigan will travel to Huddersfield or Leicester.

The ties will be played on the weekend of February 16.

FA Cup draw (Ties to be played weekend Feb 16)

Huddersfield/Leicester v Wigan

MK Dons v Barnsley

Oldham v Everton

Luton v Millwall

Arsenal v Blackburn

Man City v Leeds

Man Utd v Reading

M'brough v Brentford/Chelsea

Barnsley 2 Leeds 0 – match report: Chris Dagnall scores twice

Barnsley 2 Leeds 0: Dagnall double provides dream end to nightmare week

By
Wayne Gardiner, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

17:57 GMT, 12 January 2013

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UPDATED:

17:57 GMT, 12 January 2013

Barnsley's week to forget ended on a high as Chris Dagnall's brace earned the managerless Tykes a 2-0 derby win over Leeds.

Both Terry Butcher and Sean O'Driscoll have turned the vacant job down in the last seven days, but the man currently holding the fort, Dave Flitcroft, is making a more than fair case for getting it himself.

This was his second win in succession and his side deserved to score more than the two given to them by Dagnall's first league goals of the season and his first since the opening day.

In fact, it was the 38-year-old Flitcroft and not 64-year-old Neil Warnock in the opposition dugout who appeared the shrewder boss. Midway through the second half, in the midst of a third defeat in a row at Oakwell, the Leeds fans sang 'Warnock, time to go'.

Brace: Dagnall celebrates with caretaker manager Flitcroft

Brace: Dagnall celebrates with caretaker manager Flitcroft

MATCH FACTS

Barnsley: Steele, Stones, Cranie, McNulty, Kennedy, O'Brien (Mellis 33), Dawson, Perkins, Golbourne, Dagnall (Noble-Lazarus 90), Harewood, Mellis (Rose 88).

Subs Not Used: Alnwick, Hassell, Foster, Etuhu.

Goals: Dagnall 63 pen, 66.

Leeds: Kenny, Byram, Pearce, Tate, Peltier, Barkley, Austin, Norris (McCormack 46), Tonge, Becchio, Diouf (Green 51).

Subs Not Used: Ashdown, Lees, Varney, White, Somma.

Booked: Becchio.

Att: 13,999

Ref: Craig Pawson (South Yorkshire).

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE LATEST CHAMPIONSHIP TABLE, FIXTURES AND RESULTS

There was no obvious sign of the
turbulence to have affected Barnsley this week throughout as they
started well and carried it on until the end.

They tested Paddy Kenny after just 80
seconds when Jim O'Brien's deflected effort sent the goalkeeper flying
away to his left, while Stephen Dawson had legitimate claims for a
penalty turned down when he appeared to be felled by Luciano Becchio.

O'Brien then shot over and Dawson was
denied by Kenny as the Tykes mounted some pressure which nearly
culminated in a goal as Marlon Harewood, almost in slow motion, drifted
in from the left and cracked a shot against the foot of Kenny's
right-hand post.

Flitcroft's anguish at his side's
near misses was evident and his mood did not improve as Jim McNulty's
header was cleared on the line by Rodolph Austin.

Quick: Dagnall struck twice in three minutes to see off Leeds

Quick: Dagnall struck twice in three minutes to see off Leeds

Even the loss of O'Brien to a
nasty-looking injury following a collision with Lee Peltier did not
affect the home side, with Dagnall twice going close at the end of a
first half that was completely one-sided.

Leeds' first effort on 48 minutes
drew ironic cheers from their fans as debutant Ross Barkley dragged a
25-yarder just wide, with the Everton teenager then going closer as he
spun onto Becchio's knockdown and crashed a shot against the bar from
six yards.

United's presence as an attacking
force was a fleeting one, though, and as the clock ticked into the 63rd
minute, Barnsley got the goal they deserved.

Happy: Caretaker boss Flitcroft salutes the fans at Oakwell

Happy: Caretaker boss Flitcroft salutes the fans at Oakwell

Dagnall ran at Sam Byram and turned
inside out on the right-hand side of the area. Byram kicked him and once
Dagnall had wrestled the ball from Dawson and Harewood he sent Kenny
the wrong way.

Even 1-0 was harsh on Barnsley and
they put that right just three minutes later, with Byram again given a
torrid time by Dagnall. The former Rochdale striker stripped down his
inside after Harewood's touch and duly put a shot across Kenny into the
bottom corner.

Barkley offered Leeds' best response
with a cute curling effort which went just over but it was Barnsley's
day and they would have ended it with a third goal had Harewood shown
better accuracy after sprinting past Jason Pearce.

Hull 2 Leeds 0 – match report

Hull 2 Leeds 0: Quickfire double from Evans and Meyler sends Warnock's Whites packing

PUBLISHED:

14:27 GMT, 29 December 2012

|

UPDATED:

14:40 GMT, 29 December 2012

Premier League hopefuls Hull overcame their problems in front of goal to see off a woeful Leeds side at the KC Stadium.

Steve Bruce's men are in the thick of the promotion race and cemented themselves in second place heading in to 2013 with this win, eventually brought about by goals from Corry Evans and David Meyler.

Prior to Evans' 52nd-minute opener it had looked as though the one thing to have blighted Hull this season – a dismal lack of goals – would haunt them again, but once the seal was broken they did not look back.

Job done: David Meyler scored Hull's second to put the game beyond doubt

Job done: David Meyler scored Hull's second to put the game beyond doubt

MATCH FACTS

Hull City: Jakupovic, Chester, Hobbs, Evans, Koren (Proschwitz 76), Faye, Aluko (Simpson 89), Elmohamady (Rosenior 82), Quinn, Meyler, Brady

Subs not used: Amos, McShane, Cairney, Olofinjana

Goals: Evans 52, Meyler 55

Booked: Brady

Leeds United: Kenny, Lees, Pearce, Tate, Green, White, Brown, Norris (Austin 68), /12/29/article-2254528-16AE8D59000005DC-931_468x344.jpg” width=”468″ height=”344″ alt=”Hard fought: Sone Aluko tries to hold off Leeds United's Jason Pearce ” class=”blkBorder” />

Hard fought: Sone Aluko tries to hold off Leeds United's Jason Pearce

With no possession to speak of, Leeds
reverted to unsavoury methods of staying in the game, with Aidy White
and McCormack booked for late challenges and Michael Brown shown a
yellow card for refusing to step off the field while he received
treatment.

The pattern of the match continued
into the second half, Aluko drilling just wide after cutting in, with
Paddy Kenny then doing well to get down and deny Meyler after Brown's
error had set Hull free.

Aluko then turned Pearce inside out
and flashed a cross-cum-shot across goal which Koren should have turned
in, but the latter was more effective with 52 minutes gone as he laid on
Evans' goal.

His neat reverse pass put the Northern
Ireland international in down the right-hand side of the box and,
without a moment of hesitation he rammed a low drive across Kenny and
into the bottom corner.

It was no more than Hull deserved, in
fact another couple of goals would have been justified, and one arrived
three minutes later as Meyler, due to return to Sunderland tomorrow,
rose to head in Robbie Brady's corner at the near post.

Only the theatrics of Kenny from Brady
and Koren's wasteful follow-up denied Hull a third, with other near
misses coming and going as both sides happily saw the game through to
its conclusion.

Kevin Kilbane column: time for Shay Given to get in the Villa team

12 goals in two games shows it's time for my old mate Shay to take back the gloves at Villa

|

UPDATED:

21:05 GMT, 28 December 2012

Aston Villa conceded 12 goals in two games over Christmas.

It’s time for Paul Lambert to play Shay Given.

Shay Given should be Villa’s No 1, and he should come back to play for the Republic of Ireland and fight Keiren Westwood for the right to play for his country again.

It has been a difficult 2012 for my old Ireland team-mate who struggled with injuries, and by his own admission didn’t match his own high standards in the Euro 2012 finals, probably because he wasn’t fully fit.

Time for a change: Kevin Kilbane (left) thinks it's time for his old Republic of Ireland team-mate Shay Given (centre) to return to action for Aston Villa

Time for a change: Kevin Kilbane (left) thinks it's time for his old Republic of Ireland team-mate Shay Given (centre) to return to action for Aston Villa

He then gave up playing for Ireland, with the backing of new manager Paul Lambert, to concentrate on his Villa career, only to lose his place to Brad Guzan.

Shay is fully fit now, and still hungry to play.

Brad Guzan is not in his league as a keeper and it is time the Villa boss realised it and brought Shay’s brilliance, determination and experience back to his team.

He needs him.

Number two: Villa boss Paul Lambert (right) has preferred Brad Guzan this season, with Given only making two appearances in the Premier League, right at the start of the season

Number two: Villa boss Paul Lambert (right) has preferred Brad Guzan this season, with Given only making two appearances in the Premier League

Lambert did a good job at Norwich City and he deserved the chance to make a step up in his career and manage a bigger club with a history like Villa’s.

But it was always going to be difficult taking over a squad which has been constructed by three managers in a short space of time.

International return: Kilbane would also like to see Given make a return to the national side

Kilbane would also like to see Given make a return to the national side

He has turned to youth and Shay is not the only experienced player who is out of the team.

Darren Bent, Stephen Warnock and Alan Hutton are all out of favour and I can’t help thinking there must be an agenda.

They are all high earners and can presumably leave the club.

But the horrific 8-0 defeat at Chelsea, which could easily have been 11 or 12, exposed the lack of experience in the Villa team.

It is easy for younger players when things are going well and they are winning and playing with confidence.

Lambert, and his young players, need help from lads who have been there before and can take defeats and setbacks.

After a 4-0 defeat like the one suffered at home to Tottenham just days later, older players would normally go round and speak to the younger players on a personal level and try to help them cope.

Realistically no manager can talk to a player on a personal level in the dressing room straight after a game and he needs the old-heads to deal with any issues.

That’s hard when the team is so young. Who can they turn to That’s where a man like Shay Given comes into his own.

He performed brilliantly for Ireland for more than a decade and earned his 100 caps with world class performances.

We lost count of the number of crucial saves or moments of magic he pulled off to keep us in games, and win them like he did against Iran to get us to the World Cup.

Added to that he was an important character in the dressing room. He had 50 caps by his mid-20s and over time found his voice which comes with experience and respect for the things he did between the sticks.

New blood: Sunderland's Kieren Westwood is the current Republic of Ireland no. 1 but hasn't made a league appearance this season

New blood: Sunderland's Kieren Westwood is the current Republic of Ireland no. 1 but hasn't made a league appearance this season

Now I have heard Shay babbling some awful rubbish in dressing rooms and team meetings over the years, but you always listen to him.

And when he shouts during a game, he sort of screeches – it’s the most ear-splitting noise you will hear – but if you hear it, it doesn’t half make you alert.

It’s no coincidence that Aston Villa have had a good run in the Capital One Cup and reached the semi-finals.

Shay has played and it’s time Paul Lambert got his best keeper back in the side and used his experience in the Barclays Premier League.

He has been one of the best the world’s toughest league has seen, and he can reach those heights again.

Which is why he should also come back into the Ireland squad. He has actually played more games than Keiren Westwood who has been unfortunate to lose his place to Simon Mignolet at Sunderland but is realistically not going to oust the impressive Belgian unless he gets injured.

And a lack of experience behind him means Martin O’Neill is unlikely to let the new Ireland number go.

Experience: Kilbane (top row, third from left) and Given (bottom row, right) each earned more than 100 caps at international level

Experience: Kilbane (top row, third from left) and Given (bottom row, right) each earned more than 100 caps at international level

He has played more games for Ireland than Sunderland this season and that has to be a concern with the vital qualifiers against Austria and Sweden coming up in March.

Keiren might not like the idea, but competition from a keeper like Shay could only help him while he is not playing.

Even if Shay is not playing regularly by then, Giovanni Trapattoni should consider recalling him, just to have him around at an important time.

It comes down to experience again. And it’s time Shay’s was put to proper use for club and country.

The future looks grim…

If I was a Liverpool fan I would be very worried about the future of Luis Suarez.

Without him at Stoke City the other night, Liverpool had virtually nothing.

I don’t know if Daniel Sturridge is the answer, but I’ve always liked him and he can certainly help ease the burden on Suarez who worked himself into the ground at the Britannia Stadium.

Worry: Kilbane would be worried about losing Luis Suarez (front) if he was a Liverpool fan

Worry: Kilbane would be worried about losing Luis Suarez (front) if he was a Liverpool fan

But there were just signs that he was getting frustrated with the limitations of the individuals who are supposed to be helping him and creating chances, and perhaps with Liverpool’s standing in the Premier League at the moment.

He is a world class striker in a pretty average team and if a Champions League team from anywhere in Europe comes in with a silly bid, Liverpool might still have the power to turn it down, but you wonder if Suarez’s head would be turned by any interest.

Brendan Rodgers claimed before Christmas his team were still in Champions League contention but on Wednesday’s evidence they are a long way off.

Sadly Suarez looks like he is starting to realise his only chance of immediate Champions League action might be away from Anfield.

The Good and The Bad

Thumbs up

Jon Walters

I don’t think I have seen work-rate like Jon’s against Liverpool. He did everything at a sprint and mad life hell for the Liverpool defenders.

He got two great goals and his interaction with Kenwyne Jones was outstanding.

He’s the same with Peter Crouch and has a reading of their knockdowns and flick-ons which reminds me of Kevin Phillips and Niall Quinn at Sunderland.

All good news for Ireland.

Form: Jon Walters' form can only be a good thing for his country - the Stoke striker scored two against Liverpool on Boxing Day

Form: Jon Walters' form can only be a good thing for his country – the Stoke striker scored two against Liverpool on Boxing Day

Thumbs down

Stats

I said on BBC Radio 5 live at Stoke that I felt they dominated Liverpool and deserved their win.

Then I was reliably informed on Twitter that the stats showed Liverpool had something like 60 per cent possession compared to Stoke’s 40.

That’s all very well but unless you’re going to create any chances, stats are a waste of time.

Leeds target Southampton striker Rickie Lambert

Leeds ready to splash the cash on Southampton striker Lambert

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UPDATED:

23:20 GMT, 22 December 2012

Rickie Lambert is the surprise name on Neil Warnock's wishlist for Leeds following the club's takeover by Dubai-based group GFH.

Warnock hopes to sign six players in January after GFH completed a reported 17million purchase from Ken Bates on Friday.

Target: Southampton striker Rickie Lambert

Target: Southampton striker Rickie Lambert

Signing strikers is Warnock's priority, with Southampton's Lambert and Brighton's Craig Mackail-Smith lined up as targets.

Lambert, 30, started the season on the Southampton bench but has scored six Premier League goals this season. However, he may be allowed to leave if the club sign other players.

Lambert has scored more than a goal every two games for Southampton and got his first chance to play in the Premier League this season after years in the lower reaches with Blackpool, Macclesfield, Stockport, Bristol Rovers and Rochdale.

However, the ambitions of Leeds may tempt him.

Mackail-Smith would cost Warnock around 1.5m.