Just is

Posted by on Apr 30, 2019 in Blog | 0 comments

It is testament to Bielsa that most of us are feeling they way that we are feeling right now. It’s really difficult to describe, in truth. Sad that we missed out on automatic promotion, glad that we are in the play off positions. Bedazzled by the fantastic football we have born witness to most of the season, but baffled by recent blunders in front of goal. Beguiled by the fluid footwork in attack, bewildered by ball trapping underfoot in the box. Delirious with the defending against Derby, disillusioned by the defence against Stoke. Ecstatic with the energy and belief against Blackburn on Boxing Day, hurt and humbled against Hull before the New Year. Fevered by the frenzied fervour at the death at Villa and the floored by the fruitless frittering at Forest. Astounded by the amount of possession and passes strung together, confounded by countless chances missed. Stunned by the simplicity of the slick passing, stumped and confused by the stupid complicated step overs. We’ve been delighted by the winning run and blighted by the injury list. We’ve been thrilled by the magnificent teamwork tearing the opposition apart only to be flabbergasted and flummoxed by the refereeing decisions denying us the rewards. We have been mercilessly slaughtered by the hasbeen pundits yet slavered over by the same idiots forced to eat their own words when we turn up the heat. It just is.. This is Leeds. These are our ups and downs.

What Bielsa has done is nothing short of a miracle with basically the same players that we had this time last season. And, yes, I am going to say it, all you know it alls out there who slated Victor Orta and said that the only way Leeds United were going with Orta at the helm, was down.

Without Orta there would be no Bielsa.

And what of Bielsa? An unknown entity at the start of the season. All the trawling through old news stories by those with little else to do, so that they could tell us all what to think… that worked out well for you didn’t it? The man still remains a mystery to those outside of the Club (and those inside the Club who are too scared to speak to him).

I like him.

The thing that stands out about him, is that he doesn’t stand out. He doesn’t like the limelight. Up until the cheating that even Lance Armstrong would bow down to at the weekend, he has held his nerve. Yes the odd gesture in frustration, but most of the season he has just got on with what he is paid to do. He seems genuinely humble and knows what he is about. He is confident yet not cocky, self assured but not self obsessed. Unassuming not arrogant. You are drawn to him but he is not an attention seeker. Even at Spygate, all he did was defend himself. Yes, the powerpoint thing may have been slightly over the top, but realistically it was a stroke of genius, because it just needed saying. It would have been exactly what I would have done myself, if I were a football manager. Tell them you did it, tell them how you did it, show them how you did it and then tell them how they should be doing it. Immense!  It wasn’t spying, it was doing what all clubs have always done to get a competitive edge. The fact was,  Bielsa just did it better than anyone else did it. After all, if something is worth doing – it’s worth doing well. The guy isn’t afraid to admit to his mistakes but he is as stubborn as a mule, and sticks to what he is good at. Frustrating for some fans, but a breath of fresh air for the long suffering loyal who have seen more management styles over the last five years than Joan Rivers has had facelifts.

At the start of the season, we silenced critics by simply playing the better – if not THE best- football in the division. After Spygate, we were reviled by the same voices who had previously praised us with no hint of irony.

If we don’t get promoted, the Premiership would be the lesser league without us. There’s no doubt at all that the corrupt Football League will be rubbing their hands in glee at the thought of not losing their cash cow. What would the Premier League be left with? Monday night football clash of the titans Bournemouth v Norwich? Friday night football Sheffield Utd v Southampton. Super Sunday of Brighton v Norwich and Palace v Sheff Utd and Bournemouth v Burnley! Brilliant – well worth your £38 a month SkyTvisf**kings**t Sports package or £15 extra on your BT Sports (but then you have to put up with Ferdinand and the rest of the remoaner brigade).

As I type, we sit at the precipice of what could be a sensational end to the most gut wrenching, exhilarating, entertaining, exhausting, heart stopping season of football I have seen for many many years. It has truly been what Leeds is all about. We have had our ups and downs in this rollercoaster of a ride that this season has become.

From the disaster of a badge that the Club started with, trying to please everyone, kowtowing to the vocal minority , letting fans who haven’t bothered going to a game since the last decade have a ticket. To finally seeing the light and realising what a loyal fan is and closing the door on new season ticket holders and putting the away tickets back on the tracker. From the self proclaiming, self professed, self righteous “best fans in the world” moaning about not being able to get on the tracker and get an away ticket, and those who were going to tape their season ticket onto Billy’s statue in disgust at the Wigan result (Urban myth status now) to the (same??) ones who have no shame in sending their ticket back for the “worthless” game at Ipswich. “Fans” displaying such a lack of self awareness and dignity, who see nothing wrong with turning their backs on the Club when they are struggling but reaping the rewards when we are winning. Yes, we have our ups and downs, but the loyal will stick with us through them, the part timers will abandon us without a second thought.

And an afterthought to those who were desperate for us to sign the likes of Grealish, Nugent, Forestieri, Vydra (on £70k a week) etc. I would rather be in this position, proud of what we have achieved, doing what we have done well, than to be put in the same box as the diving, cheating McGoldricks and Sharps of this world. Norwich and Sheff Utd have gone up, not thanks the brilliant football that they played, but the luck they have had with refs giving them the offside goals, refs failing to give them red cards, refs giving them far too much extra time to score the winner in or draw. The TV replays and social media montages for the Championship 2018/19 won’t be full of Canary clips or Blunts biopics, they will be of US actually PLAYING FOOTBALL. Yes, there will be the off the field antics that were blown all out of proportion just to get more airtime, but we have played some truly OUTSTANDING football this season.

At the end of the season Players Awards dinner, Pablo was awarded the Player Of The Season. How cruel it was then that I (still) blame the Wigan result on his lack of his ability to put a penalty between the sticks when it mattered. Pablo is like the little girl in the nursery rhyme, when he is good, he is very very good, when he is bad, he drags the whole team down with him. By the way, this is my blog – I don’t care what you think! He is better this season than he was last by far. He is fitter and can last most of the game out now without disappearing after 60  minutes like he used to. He is an enigma.

For me, Player Of The Season should have been awarded to Kalvin. Hands down the most complete player we have had in midfield for a long long time. It was great to see him back on form on Sunday. He has been played all over the park, covering in defence for all those horrible injuries we have suffered with, but Sunday he was allowed back to his best. This is how he was when he partnered O Kane in Christiansen’s reign. If he gets his shooting boots back in time, he may be the one who takes us up. I hope so.

He is the Yorkshire Pirlo (thanks to whoever started that). Kalvin has risen up through the ranks, a local Leeds boy, product of the Academy and showcases what we are all about. He is the epitome of what I think Leeds is and should be. On On On.

Always Leeds Always Loyal.


Kalvin with his stalker. Thanks to The Deputy for this photo


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What A Difference……

Posted by on Apr 10, 2019 in Blog | 0 comments

As the song goes, what a difference a day makes…..

Or in our case, what a difference a day/three days (since Saturday) / eight months / a year …makes.

This may take some thinking back, or in some people’s cases, pretending to think back, to what happened in the ground against Millwall that cold January day, because by then they weren’t bothering to go….

If you can remember back to our game against the EFL Family Club of the Year 2017-18 season, you will know what I mean. The game, when in traditional “non football” fashion they kicked us off the park in the 1st half and Cooper got sent off for tackling in retribution. We went 2 nil down and everyone thought all was lost. It may have been De Boek’s first game but it really did look like (pardon the pun) putting the lambs to the lions for slaughter. We came out in the second half and Lasogga looked like a man possessed. Both he and Roofe ran their little socks off and we got back to 3-2. But we couldn’t hold out with just the 10 men and they equalised with seconds of normal time to go. By this time, Lasogga looking like a man possessed… by three Christmas dinners….. had got replaced by Shaughnessy (remember him?) and we had nothing left in the cupboard. Had the South Stand not time wasted by not giving the ball back, we could have held onto a draw, but we lost it in the 93rd minute. I came out of that game wondering why we couldn’t have played like that all season.

For the first few months of this season, I knew why. We always had it in us, we just needed the right man in charge. Granted we no longer have the Pennington, Cibicki, Anita type players anymore, but the whole ethos has changed under Bielsa – and what a difference!

It has been a nail biting run in. My prediction of “Promoted in February” would have been a nailed on dead cert had we not suffered an injury crisis that made Arsene Wenger’s post Christmas Arsenal team look positively indestructible. If all our players had stayed fit, or even 50% of our players been fit, we would have been promoted 3 weeks ago. Sadly our first team haven’t actually played at full strength since August Bank Holiday weekend. But even with that, up till last Saturday we were still 3rd, and Birmingham weren’t really that good, we just never got going and we’ve been short on luck.

3rd – with massive injury issues and still people were whingeing that we aren’t good enough. Like they have been all season really. A season which has seen us play some of the most dominant football I have seen in the last 15 years.  This time last year, you would have taken someone’s arm off to be in this position, but this season – we just aren’t good enough???? Fickle fickle fickle.

In reply to someone’s comments earlier this week, yes, we are all entitled to an opinion. But there is a difference between just having an opinion and going off on a rant, slagging off every player under the sun ( apart from Pablo of course – he never puts a foot wrong!) and claiming that none of them are good enough to wear the shirt. There’s a difference between telling Kalvin he has put a lazy ball in and sending Ayling death threats. There’s a difference between holding your head in your hands after Roofe has missed a sitter and spending twenty minutes moaning about how sh*t Bamford is and how we should have bought a proven goal scorer like Nugent or Forestieri in January. There’s a difference between having a pop at Pablo for a corner that doesn’t get past the first man and telling Alioski that he is a cheating, diving  waster relentlessly throughout the whole game. There is a difference between staying steadfast behind the team, win, lose or draw and walking off in disgust with ten minutes to go.

No point arguing with some though eh?

What a difference a day makes. 24 hours ago, we were on our way back from the wrong side of the Pennines, hoping and dreaming that this time tonight, it would all be back in our hands. And here it is. 5 more games to go. Just hold your nerve and get behind the team. PLEASE.

On, on, on.

(the great Miss Ruth Lee Jones courtesy of google images)


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SkyTVisf**kings**t 2 – Just when you thought it was safe

Posted by on Apr 5, 2019 in Blog | 0 comments

Just when you thought the season was safe and SkyTVisf**kings**t could not possibly ruin the last few games anymore, there it is, the sickener.

For those of you who have no idea why this is such an issue, seeing as SkyTVisf**kings**t do this all the time anyway, and it’s surely just another game, I say to you – What planet are you on? There are other comments which allude to whether you were watching us when we were crap, but I won’t lower myself. I’ll just explain.

Every season there is a Player of The Year dinner. It is basically THE flagship event and most of the overseas contingent make a VERY special effort to (try) get a ticket for that game and then  go onto the Awards Dinner. It is a big thing and most people save up for it and look forward to that one shining  event. Let’s face it, in the last few seasons there hasn’t been much to celebrate, but the (dare I say it?) LOYAL supporters still go.

These loyal fans book their travel and accommodation well in advance, visitors from Ireland and Scandinavia, for example, just so they can catch a glimpse of the players and manager etc. and to celebrate surviving yet another season against all odds and the might of the football league / the FA / HMRC / UEFA / FIFA (delete as appropriate). It doesn’t come cheap either, but it’s generally a good night for all. We get to meet up with mates and have a good chin wag over a few drinks and just talk football.

So there have been discussions at Leeds United about when to stage the event. Eventually, they plumped for the Villa game, taking the gamble that if SkyTVisf**kings**t decided they want to televise it, it would probably be moved to the Friday, so the dinner could still go ahead on the Saturday. I am sure that Leeds United have made SkyTVisf**kings**t aware of this. If Leeds didn’t, it’s down to the Club not considering their loyal fans. If Leeds United did and SkyTVisf**kings**t just ignored them, then this is another reminder of the contempt that is shown to the biggest ratings draw in the Championship by the people who are effectively in charge of football in this country.

So what do we do? What CAN we do?

Basically not a lot. I would say boycott SkyTVisf**kings**t, but then what are you left with? I wouldn’t give my TV subscription money to the guy who sued the NHS for £2 million and managed to do the impossible and make GNER/LNER look super efficient by making a complete hash of trying to run a train service. Not to mention living as a tax exile, whilst spouting anti British drivel. The only thing we as fans can do is stop using things like Sky Bet, stop giving them interviews / vox pop pieces. Stop doing anything at all that we can, no facebook shares, retweets, nothing more than the basic package.

And now down to what happens next. The next few days where people will be frantically trying to rebook flights, hotels, re-jig work etc. And yes, work the next day.

It hasn’t helped that this has coincided with Leeds United changing the rules about ticket ordering because they are “listening to the fans”. Are these the same fans that couldn’t be bothered to turn up at the end of last season? Last season, where if you remember you couldn’t give away a Preston ticket and I’m not even going to mention Villa away. I doubt it. I wonder who these “fans” are that the Club are taking so much notice of. It makes you wonder if these are the same fans who were consulted about the badge last season –  because that worked out really well didn’t it?

Yeah – you’ve heard all this before and I’ll get the same old comments about being old and irrelevant again, but if I have said this once, I’ll say it again and again. We were here before you, we’re still here now and we will still be here once you have gone onto your next vanity project. The players used to respect us and value us. We cheered them on, win, lose or draw. One day I hope the Club and the players will treat us with that same respect again.

Until then, we are Always Leeds Always Loyal



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