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Saturday, 27 October 2012

Hopes and expectations for a new era at Elland Road.

The first snow of the winter has deposited a thin white blanket over the broad acres this morning and with it a chill in the air.  When the first murmurings of a potential takeover of the mighty whites surfaced in Spring the expectations were that the deal would be done ready for the one time aristocrats of English football to splash the cash in the summer transfer window.  Now after what seems like an eternity of cavernous false hope the prospect of new owners and more importantly new money finally crossing the threshold of Elland Road is imminent.  But even at this late stage there is a certain amount of intrigue.  Why release a statement saying "we are ready to finalise the deal" and "we hope to complete soon"?  Why not just sign the deal and have done with it for God's sake?  The potential new owners have already pumped £2m into the club but not got full control?  All seems a bit strange to me.

If, as it now seems likely, the deal is completed in the next few weeks then David Haigh and GFH Capital will immediately feel the massive weight of expectations that the wider LUFC family has after 8 years of mistrust, disbelief and huge frustration with the current management regime.  What should be a huge, unified and significant force in the English Football pyramid has become a fractured, disjointed and misfiring organisation that has endured 8 years of Civil war not only between the club and it's fans but latterly even amongst the fans.  Add the Aaron Cawley effect into the mix just for good measure and you have a turbulent witches brew of discontent.  Nobody should under estimate the task of fixing that.  Once the Honeymoon period is over the forensic focus of the huge Leeds United fan base will dissect every detail of news coming out of LS11.  Just how much money will be available for NW to spend in January? How will the disenfranchised fans be re-engaged?  The dwindling crowds at the Theatre of Hope this season are a result of a significant number of previously loyal and committed fans staying away.  They've just had enough of the high prices, shabby treatment and frankly nearly a decade of less than attractive football, albeit interspersed with a few oasis's of pure joy,  that is a big, big challenge.

Of course the hope is that Cuddly Ken will disappear into the Monaco sunset and the new owners will suddenly unveil the true size of their bank account that makes Man City's backers look like a family of Aldi shoppers and we will storm the 2nd half of the season to automatic promotion and a triumphant return to the promised land of the Premier League.  I suspect the reality will be somewhat different though.  Having the resources to bring in better quality players in January will be a massive boost but it in no way guarantees success in this notoriously difficult league.  Cautious optimism should be the order of the day not rabid expectation.  After all Leeds United never do things easy, decades of following the mighty whites through thick and thin and thin and thin have taught me that.

Birmingham City are the visitors to LS11 today.  Thankfully our nemesis of recent years, Nikola Zigic, is suspended so he won't be adding to his bulging tally of goals against Leeds.  Lee Clark's team are struggling near the wrong end of the table and have only won once away from St Andrews in seven months so offer hope of a precious three points for a solid Leeds team.  If the Blues do manage a win it will be their 4th on the bounce against Leeds.................not a prospect I want to see.  NW has some interesting selection posers after two less than quality performances by his team.  The performance in midweek against Charlton was poor and I can't see the same combination of midfield players starting today.  Becchio looked very laboured up front but with the quality of service on a par with that you get at your average care home it's not surprising. The size of the crowd and the atmosphere will be closely monitored today after Tuesday's showing.  Probably around 23,000 will brave the chilly conditions and I expect to witness a comfortable 3.1 victory for the mighty whites.

Can't wait.


Travels of a Leeds Fan.

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