All Leeds Aren't We: It's Leeds United against the world

Poet and Leeds United fan Matt Abbott on the reality check that has been the season so far.

Saturday, 25th September 2021, 4:45 am
Patrick Bamford provided the highlight of Leeds United's defeat by Liverpool at Elland Road.

Let’s face it. We’d all expected to be in a slightly better position by this stage. To at least have a league win under our belts if nothing else. But at the same time, it’s far too soon for crisis mode. Last season’s opener - the swashbuckling 4-3 defeat at Anfield - felt hyper-surreal. And it set the tone for the season: old foes, empty stadiums, and iconic performances.

This season has already been a bit of a reality check. A depleted defence, a tough run of fixtures, and everybody slightly off the pace. But we’ve had poor runs under Bielsa before and we know that once it clicks, we’ll be a formidable side. And what’s even more encouraging is the knowledge that Cresswell, Gelhardt and Summerville are teetering on the edge of our starting XI.

James is rapidly acquainting himself. And whilst the odd frustration still lingers, it still feels as though we’re right on the brink of a convincing victory.

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At times, there’s been a strange atmosphere inside the stadiums this season. It feels like some fans around the country are going for shock factor with offensive chanting and so on. Almost treating it like an organised Twitter meet-up. And then some are acting as though they’ve never been away. Like they haven’t ached for the matchday experience from the very depths of their core - pined for watery pints and shuttle bus queues.

But the highlight for me so far was the tail end of the Liverpool game. Hear me out – I’ve not totally lost it. We were 3-0 down, we’d had 10 men for most of the second half, and we’d been utterly outclassed. And yet Elland Road felt like a cauldron. After Bamford’s audacious attempt to lob Alisson from the halfway line, our tails were up, and we were at peace with the situation.

This is just it you see. It’s Leeds United against the world. Always has been, always will be. None of this “second team” nonsense - we’ll battle to where we need to be and upset folks along the way.

We’re not here to make friends. We’re here to make history.

We’ve potentially got so many key players missing for West Ham’s visit that it’s an entirely free hit.

And October’s fixtures are far more palatable than the ones we’ve already played.

So, let’s roll our sleeves up, sing our hearts out, and show the world why we’re a club like no other.

On a final note, I’ve been pleasantly surprised to hear the overwhelming majority of fans inside Elland Road applauding when the players take the knee.

I know it’s still divisive, but it feels like we’re definitely turning the tide.