Davide Somma is back training with Leeds United in a bid to make a dramatic return to the club. He is even willing to go out on loan to prove his fitness after a career threatening knee injury saw him score 13 goals in 38 games. The last time he proved his worth to Leeds was when Somma had a fantastic loan at Lincoln that ensured our League survival thanks to 9 goals in 14 games with many of them absolute jaw droppers. A goal machine so exciting he should come with a government health warning and two spoonfuls of bromide for your half-time tea – and I saw Bergkamp in his prime!
thanks for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs
Leeds find themselves struggling to score this season with just 10 in 11 games earning an average of under one a game. The talented lad is more than willing to prove himself according to recent comments to BBC Sport. “If I had to go on loan to prove my fitness then that’d be fine,” he said. “My heart is in this country and I want to prove myself here. I feel like I have unfinished business.” That was the reason Simmo came back to Lincoln City.
Leeds had been more than fair to Somma, now 28, who had a season ticket in the sick-bay before his contract ran down. They had covered the operation and rehab and boss Brian McDermott even told the lad that he would have a look at him when he returned from injury. True to his word he has but Davide is still at least a month away from proving himself. Even if miracles could strike twice, Lincoln, with a budget just big enough for one loan signing, would surely see Somma as well out of our reach? Bob would be a hero is he did, a statement of ambition that would put a thousand on the gate for his debut!
Sommatime and the scoring is easy………………….
When, the then Leeds manager, Simon Grayson, leant us Davide Somma in February 2010, we Imps were given a treat. I got me poetry books out, got a banjo and a case of Southern Comfort and waxed lyrical…..Oh Somma-time and the scoring was easy, as Davide pinged a piquant peach in off the post, on his debut in the 1-1 home draw with Crewe. Dario was most ungratified. Indeed all of his goals had a jaw dropping quality about them, including a brilliant long-range brace with grace against Bournemouth that took the Cherry-picking Roman Springbok to 7 goals in 9 appearances.
His eighth was a parting shot one can never forget, set to the backdrop of the Sincil Bank scale version of the Bridge of Sighs, Impdom rose with his rising cupid plucked arrow whistled into the top corner of The Stacey West net. It was against Bury, apt given we had returned almost from the dead for another season at least. He had saved us, yes, but beauty had tamed the beast at the bank with every one of his 8 strikes worth the gate money in their own right.
Somma, by his own admission, learned plenty from Sutton, so the loan looked to be to the mutual benefit of all parties. Even Sanchez Payne and Will Hatfield looked on the way for the following season… but oh how the footballing fates can strike. Alas, although Davide bagged a brace on his debut against Millwall, his Leeds career or love affair turned tragic tryst would be limited to just 13 often fantastic goals from 38 cameo appearances in all competitions.
|FULL NAME||Davide Enrico Somma|
|DATE OF BIRTH||26 March 1985 (age 28)|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Johannesburg, South Africa|
|HEIGHT||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
|WEIGHT||12st 7lb (79.37kg)|
|PLAYING POSITION: STRIKER|
|CURRENT CLUB||Leeds United|
|SENIOR STATS (LGE & CUP)|
|2008–2009||San Jose Earthquakes||4||(0)|
|2010||Lincoln City (loan)||14||(9)|
Boro soccer schools have fed Leeds United (8 youths) Newcastle (2) and of course Middlesbrough FC’s own development side (20) with a conveyor belt of talent over the last three years alone. Its contribution to the stars of the future shows how the hot-bed of North-East talent is set to continue to form a massive part of football for years to come. It would appear the place to go talent spotting is very much down by the Riverside for Leeds and others besides.
thanks for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs.
Leeds, have an incredible youth policy of their own but this particular route cranked up in 2010 when Joshua Mazfari joined. In 2011 Jack Williams, Harley Griffiths, Tom Miller turned from red to white. Then in 2012 Jake Muthana, Ben Fletcher, Law McCabe, Riley Green and Oliver Thompson also slipped the Boro net to join Leeds own conveyor belt of talent. Not heard of them yet, you will in the next 5-6 years, when United are back in the Premiership where they belong and, by the looks of things, the business model appears sustainable this time round.
You see, what is even more amazing, is the fact that this forms only part of the Middlesbrough strategy, for it covers up to just 11 years of age with Boro still getting the lions share of the talent. It then gets even more serious as the lads progress to state-of-the-art Rockcliffe and the Academy headed by David Parnaby, a former PE teacher who now masterminds one of the games best breeding centres for talent, Steve Agnew used to be the top man on the coaching and managerial side prior to becoming assistant boss at Hull City but now Ex-Imp Jamie Clapham is charged with keeping it going.
Unlike the those first future names we gave you, this list includes players that are already household names including Boro first team captains Rhys Williams and Matthew Bates, Current internationals Adam Johnson and Stewart Downing (England), James Morrison (Scotland) as well as Australia internationals Luke Wilkshire, Brad Jones and Rhys Williams. Tony McMahon and Joe Bennett are also graduates of a system that produces more Premiership first teamers than any other. British industry take note: Middlesbrough can hold their head up high as one of Europe’s most productive Academy set-ups.
Leeds have sussed it from an early age but Lincoln could do with borrowing a few from the 18 – early development squad age group. Loans of this quality would certainly supplement an already decent looking squad for the coming season and, hopefully, should we progress up the pyramid ,youth loans would surely be seen as even more attractive for the right kind of football factory. Sunderland may have beaten Lincoln, but they saw we at least try to play the right way. Let us hope Middlesbrough feel the same because we may just need reinforcements as a tough inclement season gets going.
Wolverhampton Wanderers star Sylvan Ebanks-Blake is being targeted by Crystal Palace, Leeds United , Reading FC and Ipswich Town, making for an interesting first day for Kenny Jackett. Jackett’s pocket is rarely picked but Sylvan Ebanks-Blake is a talented but expensive free agent on June 30th so he will be unlikely to stay. With Adam Le Fondre, aka ALF, already the centre of much attention and therefore costing money The Royals and Leeds could be competing on the same side of the negotiating table over SEB.
Thanks for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs
Our dark horse for the job almost a month back Kenny Jackett is definitely the man for the revival, as his time at Millwall proved. Wolves have suffered the post Premiership free-fall that can set a club into terminal decline, but the owners have an ambitious, yet humble and modest, manager who just needed the platform and cash a club of this stature can provide. He can rebuild wisely and emulate Norwich’s back-to-back promotion feat. A shrewd move for play-maker Richie Wellens, coming to the end of his Leicester career, could get the new midfield clicking.
Jackett will need the owners to come good, given he will need to shift some of the dead wood and that will certainly cost some money on its own. Sylvan Ebanks-Blake comes into that category, at 27, any move for him is good news even though he is a free agent His 4 and a half year contract, signed in 2008, has become a burden that Jackett will certainly be able to utilise elsewhere. Indeed on previous experience he could probably get half a team.
The overtures of Palace, Middlesbrough, Leeds United, Reading FC and Ipswich Town will hardly be seen as vultures to the incoming manager, who will want horses for courses in League 1, a place where many a thoroughbred has been cut down to size. Mick McCarthy, meanwhile, is now at Ipswich and has to be a favourite. He was the former manager, who gave Sylvan his current deal, plucked him from Plymouth obscurity (plus £1.5m) and made him the goal machine he can be at Championship level. Mr McCarthy will also be able to impress that Palace and the requirements of the Premiership may not be the path he should tread. The striker got just one goal in the Premiership under him, but plundered 25 in the Championship the season before and 23 in 2007/8 split between Plymouth and Wolves.
|Full name||Sylvan Augustus Ebanks-Blake
|Date of birth||29 March 1986 (age 27)
|Place of birth||Cambridge,|
|Height/Weight||5 ft 8 in (1.73 m) 13st 2lb (83.45kg)|
|Contracted Until June 30 2013|
|Current club||Wolverhampton Wanderers|
|2005–2006||Royal Antwerp (loan)||9||(4)|
Leeds United and Nottingham Forest look set for a three-way transfer tussle along with Hull City over Reading FC striker Adam Le Fondre (formerly of Rotherham United, Rochdale FC and Stockport County). ALF will surely plunder plenty more in the Championship, after a scoring for fun in the Football League with the Millers, The Dale and the Hatters, his home-town club. United and Forest are favourites to go up next season and, even though Reading are in no rush to sell, they will surely accept a handsome return on their £350,000 investment, should a bidding war take place.
Thank you for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs.
Glenville Adam James le Fondre, aka ALF, has proved to be a goal machine at every level he has played at, poaching 146 goals from 360 games in all competitions. These are the kind of stats that are interesting more than just Billy Davies and Brian McDermott, managing two of the favourites to go up next season, with newly promoted Hull City also sniffing around. ALF got 14 last season in all competitions and was signed by Mr McDermott along with Matt Mills, now at Bolton, who is another target. McDermott knows the Royals inside out, after being unjustly sacked last February, so he will be doubly keen to plunder the side he built.
Le Fondre is the diminutive fox in the box. He started just 14 games last term, coming from the bench in the other 23 games, but still managed to notch 12 Premiership and 2 FA Cup goals. He got 4 braces, against Everton, Crawley, Newcastle and Chelsea, the latter two coming as a 69th and 65th minute substitute respectively. In 2011/12 he bagged 4 goals in 5 for the Millers, scored on his Reading debut against Doncaster (again as a sub), before finishing on 16 for the season from 22 starts (15 sub). ALF destroyed League 2 with 27 goals for the Millers in 2010/11 and 30 in 2009/10. The season before saw 20 for Rochdale, with 16 the season before that.
As an Imp fan, he was a killer, a constant thorn in our side, yet beyond our reach on a four figure a week wage. He had the tricks of the trade alright, but his first touch, poaching instincts and ability to take it in his stride, or get a clean shot off, was obvious. An all-round awesome predator, he nearly always scored against us, ALF looked destined to play higher and, despite not being the fastest or strongest of adversaries, he has already attracted £200,000 in officially undisclosed transfer fees courtesy of the Dale and The Millers. He can lay on a goal or two but a true striker has to have a selfishness, it makes them what they are, goals after all are the stock-in-trade. It was of no surprise to see him instantly click despite a two league jump, when the Millers sold him to Reading.
The chances are he will finally net the 7 figure fee his talent deserves. But this is a small price to pay for someone, who, if he starts every game as he should, has the pedigree to get the 20 odd-goals that would prove to be the Edge for Leeds or Forest. Then of course there is the not to small a matter of the mega money the Premiership will guarantee.
Former Nottingham Forest and Macclesfield Town left-back Tony Diagne is hopefully mulling over a deal to join Lincoln City. The lad who almost made a move to Leeds United and Blackburn Rovers last season, before Macclesfield turned down a loan deal with Bury, would be a landmark signing and get season ticket sales rolling. Poetic justice perhaps in a week that saw The Lincoln City Ladies up sticks to Notts County. So could Simmo get one of the Lace City’s forgotten crown jewels to join the Imps? Sincil Salivates, for the pride of Impdom can yet be restored?
Thank you for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs
Tony returned to home-town club Aubervilliers, after being released by Forest, having grown through the ranks under John Pemberton. JP had been instrumental in a conveyor-belt of talent at The City Ground for the best part of a decade. Gary then talked him into giving English football a second chance, with a move to the Silkmen half way through the 2011/12 season. Tony, a set-piece specialist, repaid the faith by getting his first goal against Hereford just a week in. He has pace and a tenacious nature, that just does not accept defeat. This was recognised with Gary extending his Silkmen stay from the end of the 2010/11 season to 2011/12.
Despite Macc selling the family silver and relegation, there were enquiries from Leeds United and Blackburn, before Bury (League 1) also had a loan bid turned down by new Macc boss King. This faith paid dividends, particularly against DiCanio’s Swindon in November. Tony got two, one a forty-yard hay-maker of a free-kick.
His secret loan deal along with hero Nat Brown took everyone by surprise and played a big part in halting in-form Woking in their tracks, as the gallant Imps came from behind to snatch a point. In 7 action packed appearances Tony was fantastic for us last season until injury curtailed his involvement. His brilliant brace at Braintree and all-round contribution was a major factor in keeping us up.
Enticer Simpson has always rated the 22 year and signed him from French club CM Aubervilliers in 2011 as well as bringing him to the Imps on loan last season. Tony is convalescing in France at the moment, following that nasty ankle gash, but should return in the next couple of weeks. Sincil Salivates, for the pride of Impdom can yet be restored……
|FULL NAME||Anthony Diagne
|DATE OF BIRTH||7 September 1990 (age 22)
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Aubergenville, France
|PLAYING POSITION||Left back/Def Mid|
|CURRENT CLUB||Macclesfield Town|
|Appearances and goals include League, FAC, LC and FT|
STMI sends a get well soon to Davide Somma, who looks to have played his last ever game for Leeds United. Since damaging his cruciate knee ligament in the 2011 pre-season, his knee has never been quite right. After 18 months out he has managed a creditable 13 goals in 14 starts, but was forced off again against Burnley in mid-week. An operation will mean this season is a write-off with United likely to let his contract run down at the end of this season. Another quickie for Leeds fans… a very recently departed ex-Manager could be part of a consortium that may be taking over at Plymouth Argyle – he could be the new Director of Football!
please sign our BSP 3 up 3 down petition here and thanks for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs
When, the then Leeds manager, Simon Grayson, leant us Davide Somma in February 2010, we Imps were given a treat. I got me poetry books out, got a banjo and a case of Southern Comfort and waxed lyrical…..Oh Somma-time and the scoring was easy, as Davide pinged a piquant peach in off the post, on his debut in the 1-1 home draw with Crewe. Dario was most ungratified. Indeed all of his goals had a jaw dropping quality about them, including a long-range brace with grace against Bournemouth, that took the Cherry-pickin Roman Springbok to 7 goals in 9 appearances. His eighth was a parting shot one can never forget, set to the backdrop of the Sincil Bank scale version of the Bridge of Sighs, Impdom rose with his rising cupid arrow into the top corner of The Stacey West net. It was against Bury, to kept us up for another season at least, as beauty tamed the beast.
Somma, by his own admission, learned plenty from Sutton, so the loan looked to be to the mutual benefit of all parties. Even Sanchez Payne and Will Hatfield looked on the way for the following season… but oh how the footballing fates can strike. We are perhaps preaching to the converted, should Davide still be reading things from the realms of Impdom. Alas, although he bagged a brace on his debut against Millwall, his Leeds career or love affair turned tragic tryst would be limited to a few fantastic goals and cameo appearances.
|Full name||Davide Enrico Somma
|Date of birth||26 March 1985 (age 28)
|Place of birth||Johannesburg, South Africa|
|Height||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
|Weight||12st 7lb (79.37kg)|
|Playing position: Striker|
|Current club||Leeds United|
|Senior Stats (Lge & Cup)|
|2008–2009||San Jose Earthquakes||4||(0)|
|2010||Lincoln City (loan)||14||(9)|
Leeds have joined, Sheffield United, Huddersfield Town, Crystal Palace, QPR, Plymouth, Notts County, Oldham et al in dispensing with the services of Neil Warnock with 6 games to go. Mark Hughes and Martin O’Neil may be the favourite to take over but Leeds have been quick to replace Warnock with Neil Redfearn who played 100 League games as a midfielder for The Imps between 1984 and 1986 scoring 13 goals
Rumours suggest that Redfearn may be in charge until the end of the season. The Reserve Team and Development Squad Manager has been caretaker manager before, taking over from Simon Grayson in 2012. During his February stint United won 2 and lost two of his 4 games. Many managers would be delighted with a 50% success rate.
|Leeds United||18 February 2012||1 April 2013||63||23||15||25||36.51|
|Total Matches Managed||1,308||528||369||411||40.37|
Here is a biopic of Neil Redfearn.
|Full name||Neil David Redfearn|
|Date of birth||20 June 1965 (age 47)|
|Place of birth||Dewsbury|
|Height||5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
(Development Squad Manager / reserve team manager)
|Senior career (League)|
|2006–2007||Bradford Park Avenue||n/a||(n/a)|
|2007||Stocksbridge Park Steels||n/a||(n/a)|
|2001||Halifax Town (caretaker)|
|2002||Halifax Town (caretaker)|
|2008||York City (caretaker)|
|2012||Leeds United (caretaker)|
Tony Diagne, a Leeds United and Blackburn Rovers Rovers target last season, caught the eye of the posse of scouts in the stands, with a championship class brace for the Imps against Braintree on Tuesday night. The former Nottingham Forest left-back in on loan from Macclesfield put in a match-winning performance as the ten-man Imps thumped the hosts 3-0. Gary Simpson also rates the 22 year old highly, having previously signed him from French club CM Aubervilliers in 2011, whilst at Macc. Indeed the lad almost made a move to Bury on loan in the Autumn.
Thank you for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs
On 26 minutes a neat one-two between Turnbull and Sheridan found Diagne, who on the overlap, smashed a sweet unstoppable half-volley that arrowed into the top left from all of 30 yards. A glorious effort to settle the relegation nerves on a beech of a pitch that looked as if it had played host to a Normandy landing. But the Gallic va va voom continued as our cultured full-back served up again on 74. From a good 25-yards, just beyond the D, he thumped a fireball of a free-kick that whistled by a motionless McDonald, who could do little but look on in awe. Mmmm a brace with grace as Impdom sounded the charge to make it three with a bullet header from Bank beast Boyce.
Tony did leave the field early with what appeared to be a knock on Tuesday but with performances like this, could the Imps plans to make a move in the summer stall, or will we bag what looks to be a gem of a left-back?
|Full name||Anthony Diagne
|Date of birth||7 September 1990 (age 22)
|Place of birth||Aubergenville, France
|Playing position||Left back/Def Mid|
|Current club||Macclesfield Town|
|Appearances and goals include BSP, FAC, LC and FAT|
Despite the sale of 4 Portsmouth players to Leeds United alone, including the Norris deal and Nottingham Forest’s interest in defender Greg Halford , proud Pompeys’ position could not be worse, even if Leeds are trying to save them as gallows humour here from the Scratching Shed illustrates. Even ex-Imp Ashley Westwood is still waiting for the League to rubberstamp his role as assistant manager, with Michael Appleton remaining hopeful that he will be working with his new first-team coach some time over the rainbow…..
Leeds fees 2012/13
|Jason Pearce||£500,000||Adam Clayton||£800,000|
|Adam Drury||Free||Andy Lonergan||£250,000|
Many Imps empathise with Pompey and Westwood despite some rivalry, with both praying that there will be a job to go to at all. Earlier today, the administrators described things as critical. listing seven, no six players now Norris has moved from the liability to the assets column of the beancounters spreadsheet; who have to leave if the club is to avoid liquidation on August 10th. On the plus side Huseklepp and Lawrence may have takers but Ben Haim, Kanu and Kitson are digging in with the agents still building the trenches. Ben Haim is just a quarter of a million short of joint administrator Bryan Jackso signing of the deal. Kanu, it is hoped will listen to the dulcit tones of ex-boss Harry Redknapp, for he is demanding £3 million to settle his claim.
Ashley Westwood has negotiated his release from Lincoln and you can bet those terms were far more in tune with world of the poor fans – loyal, loud and proud (they do sing up – Fratton Park is an experience – go) – who are living the true hell. The fear that your club is two weeks away from going down is not nice, but then nor is the 400k budget we got this season after we got a £325-£500k bail out last year. The trouble is the football creditors rule is a pain and even though the Pompey players are not struggling to feed their families, they like the bankers, do not have any sentiment for the institutions we fans value so much.
There is always hope however, because there is always a business when you have the mass brand loyalty of Portsmouth. Good business is clearly where you find it for a former Pompey administrator Andrew Androniko who has crossed the house so to speak and is now representing Ben Haim. Bless him and he has Ben Haim within £250,000 of reaching an agreement.
Portsmouth’s administrators say they have until 10 August to get rid of their six senior playersor reach agreements with them over wages, that the club is heading for liquidation, citing a “critical” condition. But in reality this is a club in crisis versus player needs cup final. The new owners crealy want to cut eight figures off of the bill. As the Liquidators put it
“If the remaining high-cost players do not compromise on their wages or agree to move then we won’t be able to complete the sale of the club and it will close down. It is as simple as that.
“Whilst we sympathise with the players and acknowledge that they are not to blame for the club’s predicament, they do have the power to keep the club going.
“What is certain is that if the club does go into liquidation they are unlikely to receive anything at all. If, however, they agree to leave or conclude compromise settlements then the club has a future.”