Yesterday evening, Leeds United (LUFC) were leading 4-1 at Derby with only 20 minutes of the match remaining. Unashamedly armchair supporting from the comfort of my home, I misguidedly still countenanced the possibility of LUFC leaving the east Midlands pointless.
Bearing in mind that score-line, along with LUFC coach Marcelo Bielsa’s team’s sheer dominance in the first 70 minutes, mine was a ludicrous notion. Sadly, though, when you’ve lived through decades of a dysfunctional relationship inflicting untold mental torture, scars run deep. Consequently, these irrational thoughts oft run amok.
My pessimistic thoughts driven by deeply ingrained cynicism born from those aforementioned scars. A legacy from a predominantly torrid recent history for the West Yorkshire club’s fans. A time when their much loved beau constantly disappointed them with a series of false dawns.
Despite fifteen years of re-assurances to stick with the relationship as things will get better, those times never manifested with any real longevity.
Sure there were times of cordiality, even amour; re-igniting memories of why you fell in love in the first place. However, with divorce not an option, the past decade or so have left little option other than cohabiting as amicably as possible.
The only plus side, unthinkable annulment of the liaison meant no squabbling about who got the cd’s and kids….… Although, some may argue the kids left for pastures new regardless. Their new domains the smaller provincial towns of Norwich, Burnley and Bournemouth. Another fractious point of contention for long-suffering fans.
Unable to tangibly change anything for the better, the more erudite amongst LUFC supporters relied on the other party acknowledging their shortfalls and responding accordingly. Sadly, however, until recently they seemed reticent to invest in making that relationship flourish.
Although, in the club’s defence, they were never going to placate the less enlightened fans. Negative individuals whose ill-thought out social media postings and protests reached astounding levels of vitriol, ignorance and divisiveness…… As the good book suggests “There’s none so blind as those who will not see.”
Whisper it very quietly, though, there’s a renowned Argentinian counsellor in town, intent of unifying this sporadically fractious liaison. A quietly spoken gent with the attention to detail, experience and expertise to bring harmony where there’s been so much discord.
Whisper it even more quietly, with support from his well-meaning cohorts, player’s and the club’s Italian owner those capricious followers may, in the clubs centenary year, yet witness Premier League football again.
Of course, there’s only been two games played (and won) so far and this may be just another false dawn. Another blip before the status quo of disenchantment returns, and Frankie Coaching Badge takes to Twitter, sharing his ill-thought out opinions on our beautiful, but dysfunctional, game.
It’s far too early to gauge if Leeds United have any hope of ‘being in the mix’ for a promotion place. It has to be said, though, for the first time in over fifteen years it feels there’s a spark about the side that may eventually light the blue touch paper of aspirational fulfilment.
Who knows, in a few months we may be such an accomplished side that I may start feeling ‘game over’ when we’re 4-1 up with only 20 minutes of the game remaining.
In their anthem ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ the band Queen sang the lyrics:-
“Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me…….. For me, for me”
With apologies to the Queen lad’s, today I felt moved to update that small section of the song to:-
“Bielsa’s club is a devil of a side called Leeds…… Called Leeds, called Leeds”
Cue Brian May’s guitar riff…….. Was that thud the sound of me jumping back on the bandwagon?!