With the move to my new site, comes the opportunity to introduce some new voices, alternative opinions and fresh perspectives on all things Leeds United, and doubtless to many peoples’ mind, a raising of the bar in terms of content.
First on board, I’m delighted to say is Lauren; a Kop season ticket holder with a predilection for accentuating the positive. Typically she’s chosen to begin with a piece offering hope for a better future and signals a rallying call for every Leeds fan to get on board…
What a week it has been….the takeover has been completed, two new loan signings on board with only hours to go and three points at home against a team at the top of the league. If Carlsberg did weeks I’m sure this would be one of them. I was originally going to write about the amount of excuses we, the fans, have had to put up with, with regard to the fall in the league we were experiencing. In mind of the recent developments though, it’s very difficult to write a negative piece about a team we love the most.
On the previous Sunday, having just suffered another loss at the hands of Millwall and still having to endure memories of the shameful 6-1 defeat at home to Watford, I was feeling deflated, wondering just how many defeats we would have to experience before we could feel positive about Leeds United again. I was never one of the fans that chanted ‘Bates Out’ at the games even though it was what I wanted. I personally didn’t think that helped the team on the pitch; negativity from the fans can’t help Warnock push the team to a win. However it was plain to see the fans had had enough.
It felt like the takeover would never happen, Bates holding on to the keys until well after his beloved Chelsea had visited. And then the wonderful news came through text at approximately 10.45 on Wednesday morning, it read ‘TOMA OVER’. I didn’t believe what I’d just read. Seven months after the TOMA saga began it was finally over, albeit the resolution was slightly tainted by the fact that Bates would remain linked with the club as Club President after this season. Times are about to change. Immediately my timeline on Twitter began with positive tweets; which players could we get in 24 hours before the emergency loan window closed; who we could lure in the January window. Positive banter between the fans started, discussions over who we could afford.
No assurances have been given by GFHC for January but they started to redeem themselves by giving Warnock the money to bring in Alan Tate and Jerome Thomas. I’ll admit I wasn’t sure what to expect. Swansea and West Brom fans sang the praises of both players respectively, with Shane Long even saying Thomas was the most skilful player at West Brom on Soccer AM. But the fact we had got two players in who seemed to have a lot of respect from their home clubs felt great.
Naively I thought the crowds at Elland Road would immediately increase. The 20,964 supporters that attended the game were in good spirits. Positivity rang round Elland Road, the new owners sat front row in the box standing out with their white Leeds scarfs. We started confidently; we looked like the team the fans hoped to see all season. Tate held the back four strong commanding them to form a formidable wall in front of Kenny, Byram was a shining star for another game and Thomas was given the man of the match. It was refreshing to see the ball being played rather than ‘hoofed’ up field at every opportunity. Seeing the new owners celebrate on the big screen when Becchio’s goal went only helped to sweeten the day. It’s nice to see the owners showing some passion towards the team.
Hopefully Haigh and Patel will keep hold of those players that will get some attention come January, players which under Bates would be straight out of the door, players like Byram and Lees. I’m confident that within the next month, if performances go our way, the crowds will return. I’m not saying that fans will return because we’re winning, I think the fans staying away will be willing to pay to see their team playing well; to see the team playing with passion in the white shirt and hopefully getting the full backing of the new owners.
I’m looking forward to seeing what the rest of this season will bring with the takeover hopefully affording Warnock the opportunity to show what he can really do with backing. It would have been interesting to see what Grayson could do, seeing as he is doing so well at Huddersfield but this isn’t the time to look at the past. I hope to see the crowds start to come back, to see Elland Road become the fortress that it once was.
We are still not quite the team we could be, but come January Warnock may be able to buy some players in that can make us that unstoppable outfit. The league isn’t lost yet as long as we don’t fall into the Christmas ‘blip’ that we are so used to, instead we could leapfrog some of the teams that do fall foul to the seasonal period. Now is a time to stay with the team, support them home and away; no more excuses, no more Bates. Just unite behind the team we all want to see take Leeds United back where they belong.
Follow Lauren on twitter.