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Clarkyboys Comments - Ross Back On Message

From McContract to McFourmack, it's been an up and down few weeks for Ross McCormack. Stephen has his say on the player who has divided opinion this season.

Is Ross pointing at a critic or a fan? There have been plenty of both in the last few weeks.
Is Ross pointing at a critic or a fan? There have been plenty of both in the last few weeks.
Nigel Roddis

My last piece was written just after the international break, and as we head into another it's time to reflect on a pretty successful three weeks at Elland Road. In that time we have picked up nine points from the 12 on offer, the only disappointment being the defeat at Huddersfield Town.

There has been a tactical revolution in that time, Brian McDermott settling on a system which he has worked on to bring the best out of the players available to him. To many this would not seem too revolutionary, but at Leeds United in recent times there has been far too many occasions where square pegs have been hammered into round holes. We now appear to have a manager who has grasped the principal that players need to be played in positions where they are comfortable, rather than shuffling the same 11 players around the field in a vain hope that they will eventually click into place.

Except for the Birmingham City game, it has not been entirely effective, with United being bossed at certain times in the other three matches. There have been defensive errors but at last we look effective going forward and the goals have started to flow. After wondering where chances were going to come from we have seen 12 goals in the last four games.

Seven of those have come from Ross McCormack, a figure that has polarised opinion in recent weeks. His antics when things weren't going as swimmingly were unbecoming of a player who wishes to be a hero to the crowd. His pathetic finger on the lips after scoring against Bournemouth were probably the most revolting thing I have seen at Elland Road since Sean Gregan wore the white shirt. Instead of celebrating a vital goal, I found myself berating the goalscorer for his attitude, bearing in mind he deserved a little criticism after missing a penalty earlier in the game.

In my last column I mentioned that the arrival of Dexter Blackstock would hopefully see McCormack come back to life after an insipid spell, and it appears that has been the case. The early weeks of the season were a little unsettling for him with the speculation over a possible move to Middlesbrough. He started the season superbly but perhaps egged on by those following him on Twitter, was a little too demonstrative on the field after scoring goals and his celebrations alienated as many fans as it amused.

As soon as his new contract was agreed, his form slumped and saw him termed Ross McContract, playing well to earn a new deal, and then happy to sit back and collect the money as his from deteriorated. What should be taken into account is that Ross is a "streaky" player, as liable as going six games without a goal as he is to score in six successive matches.

In a team lacking star names, McCormack is in the prime position to be the darling of the terraces. As one of the longest serving players, Ross is a link to the last Leeds team to genuinely challenge for a playoff place. His recent twitter silence is hopefully a sign of a player knuckling down to let his football do the talking. His performance at Charlton was the perfect message to supporters that he is focused again.