‘Injury-gate’, ‘The Suspect Six’…whatever you want to call those six players at Leeds United, well they could have pushed the issue of meritocratic selection to the fore at Leeds United. Their actions, misguided, ill-timed, treasonous, understandable…whatever your viewpoint, might actually work a little in the favour of the Whites.
How? How, I can hear the clamorous roar from all around me. Just bear with me.
As the ‘are they/aren’t they’ debate takes ever more twists with allegations from the father of one of the players (see below),
#lufc (trans) Claudio Silvestri : "A part of Marco also Antenucci is really injured the other have done, for what I know, a stupid protest."
— Adam Pope (@apopey) April 20, 2015
then surely this is the time to switch things around a little…isn’t it?
People who know me will tell you I harp on about things to the nth degree. I have stock phrases too, apparently. One that I am wholly aware of is the phrase “we know enough about…[insert phrase here]” and I use this all the time when writing about football. I’ll use it again here; we know enough about the players we have bloodied in the first team, we know their inherent strengths and, equally, their deficient weaknesses. We’ve seen them in the shining light of glory, the waning light of disappointment and the gloominess of despair. Up at Elland Road we have seen all of the above in a ‘weird-even-by-our-standards’ season that has swung to highs just as easily as it has lurched to lows.
But what of the shirt-printer’s nightmare? What of Brian Guillermo Montenegro Martínez, the exotically-named Paraguayan with the same first name as my neighbour? What of him, say some. He didn’t cut it at West Ham when they had him, what will he do for us? Well, let’s have a look at what we know about him.
He’s been an almost ever present for the U21 Development squad. He’s got his head down and hasn’t moaned. He’s put a shift in when asked. He’s sat on the first team bench when asked. He’s gone back to the U21s and played for them. He’s a grafter; a worker not a shirker. Oh and he’s done something else too.
He’s scored 12 goals for the U21 squad, yes 12 goals including a hat-trick today in a 4-1 thumping of local rivals Huddersfield Town.
Why start with Billy Sharp, we know what he can do. Why not let Brian Blackmountain start? Two games left, in the midst of a five-game losing rut and with an in-form striker…what is there to lose? Nothing, there’s nothing to lose.
Thing is, there might be something to gain. The free-scoring Paraguayan could well be another of those little gems that Leeds are accustomed to unearthing. Thing is, you never know until you dip your toes in just what the water’s like.