For those of you who never did O level Latin, viribus unitis means with united forces or with all ones might. Thanks to a bit of opportunistic photography at a half term stadium tour by a certain former Branch Secretary, this is what appears on the changing room walls at Leeds United.

Now you could be forgiven thinking that this has always been there, after all, we are Leeds United, but given it is emblazoned on a poster of our current team ( Wood, O Kane and Ayling), somehow I think not. Coincidentally, it was also the name of Emperor Franz Joseph I’s favourite Dreadnought Class battleship which was commissioned in 1911. Despite spurious attempts to link the Austro-Hungarian ruler to anyone in the current squad or management team, I can only conclude that this is mere coincidence.

So what is the relevance of this?

To me (and as usual PLEASE read The Disclaimer), this sums up where we are and what we are. United. Finally.

Today, pre match in the pub, there was a palpable air of uncertainty. For the first time in ages, it was brought up that we may be getting our 25% return on our season tickets, and it wouldn’t be a bad thing. Come on! Its not even March yet! There are still 12 games to go, that’s a quarter of a season, everything to play for. It’s not as if the teams above us are runaway leaders. As it stands right now, we are 9 points off 2nd place, 3 games basically. The only game this season where I can honestly put my hand on my heart and say that we were outplayed throughout the whole 90 minutes was QPR, the first game of the season. Oh yes, and Sutton, f***ing disgrace, yes I am still very annoyed…… But in the league, QPR,  7 months ago, when Garry with two Rs was just finding his feet, and yes, people were already calling for his head.

Look where we are now. Remember this?

After the first few games, this was all people could talk about and the main discussion was how Mr Cellino was planning on getting out of paying this, as there was clearly no way we would ever achieve this and he would probably do a runner and leg it before he had to pay up anyway. There’s no point denying it, you all thought it, and yes, there are probably some who still think it now. Unfortunately if you follow the link, the watermarked poster boys are Lewis Cook and Alex Mowatt…oops!

So back to today. Everywhere you go (not just the Golden Lion pub), you hear how Cellino’s lack of spending in the transfer window has let us down. How we are never going to amount to anything with all these loan players. How we should have got Nugent or Fletcher and jumped at the chance of signing Rhodes. I am sick of hearing how much we need a proper striker and how much the midfield is lacking.

Today the team exemplified the word united. A sterling team effort by all. We do not play attractive football, but today, like we were doing in October and November, the result was ground out. Wood poked in his goal after his first controlling touch from a beautiful Beradi cross and even I couldn’t knock Green’s save from that “penalty”, which realistically was 6 of one and half a dozen of the other. Beradi, who has been playing out of position since Charlie Taylor got injured, has been outstanding. He is clearly a right back, but he has slotted in so well, and unlike Sacko today, clearly can use his right and his left foot equally. O Kane, another unsung hero also put in an excellent shift. As for The Duke, when he has a good game, he does have a good game. I still think Bridcutt is playing too deep and gave the ball away a bit too much for my liking, but where the gaps appeared, someone came in to fill in, and again, Luke Ayling had another class effort in defence and going forward, apart from that poor clearance which he should have left, which led to the corner from which they got the penalty.

Come On Leeds!

ps thanks to former Branch Secretary for the photo

viribus unitis