'Need to ask questions of the coaching' - Leeds fans react after stunning blast from 21-yr-old
By Richard Parks
Leeds United fans have taken to Twitter to deliver mixed verdicts after Eoghan Stokes delivered a stunning put-down of the club’s youth-team coaching.
Stokes has revealed to the Irish Herald in a lethal parting shot at ex-club Leeds that he was tired of playing “fake football’ in England.
The 21-year-old striker, who now plys his trade back home in the League of Ireland Premier Division with Bohemians, had his contract terminated by mutual consent last month after six years at Elland Road.
Stokes made only one first team appearance against Newport County in the League Cup earlier this season and felt he had no choice but to move on.
“Over there with the U23s you are playing with kids, it’s all about development. If you win, happy days, if you lose it’s no big deal, you just put it down to development,” Stokes told the Irish Herald.
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“I knew that playing fake football in England wasn’t benefiting me in any way. You can score four goals in a game and it means nothing, the lads who are in the first team ahead of you have 200 or 300 games under their belts so they will get picked, managers over there are under such pressure to get results.”
Stokes, who notched his first senior goal for Bohs away at Limerick last week, was also critical of the chopping and changing of managers at Elland Road, which he feels hindered his development at Thorp Arch.
Some Leeds fans on social media have sympathy with the young Irishman, with one pointing out that it chimes with Paul Heckingbottom’s claim that Bailey Peacock-Farrell has stagnated in his development.
Others claim that Stokes needs to take more responsibility for his failings, pointing out that the club’s youth system has produced established Premier League and Championship players such as Lewis Cook, Sam Byram, Charlie Taylor, Ronaldo Vieira and Kalvin Phillips in recent years.
Here is a selection of their messages on Twitter:
— dean (@deancore) March 6, 2018
Have been keeping an eye on him in the League of Ireland highlights since he came home Joe, playing well for Bohs in his handful of appearances since. Took his goal well in Limerick, made a difference when he came on against Shamrock Rovers for his debut too.
— Shaun Cronin (@ShaunCronin7) March 5, 2018
Missed a penalty last week v Derry, but overall, from what I’ve seen so far, he looks a class act and will be a great signing for Bohs this season
— Eric Lalor (@ericlalor) March 5, 2018
Smacks of bitterness because he wasn’t seen to be good enough. “Fake football” didn’t do cook, byram, taylor, mowatt any harm. If you’re good enough. You’ll play.
— Alex Pedley (@PedleyAlex) March 5, 2018
Never really got a try, but we were prepared to try Habib the Duck man and Grot-bag lol
— Sam (@SamAdjeii) March 5, 2018
*this* season? It’s not gonna be down to 6 months of a new regime that lads aren’t up the standard. I’d give BPF a go, but I know some folk at York who weren’t impressed at all.
— ETHAN (@EthanFromOnline) March 6, 2018
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