The game against Crystal Palace on Monday was a kind that doesn’t tend to come around all too often, a comfortable, controlled victory.
If it hadn’t been for the fact that Raphinha seemed so hellbent on giving poor Gary Cahill nightmares, it might even have been forgettable.
Perhaps the greatest obstacle on the night ended up being the new pitch which, having been laid under difficult conditions, seemed to resemble more of an ice rink in patches as players constantly found themselves slipping.
The three points took us into the top half of the table, climbing above Arsenal ahead of our trip away to the Emirates on Sunday.
With the Palace game coming a year on from the Nottingham Forest result which was perhaps our lowest point in last season’s promotion campaign, the progress the club has made in a year’s time is staggering.
Despite being much the same side in terms of players, the team have made it clear that we have no intention of only having a brief cameo back in the top flight, we’re here to make a long term impact.
It was also a match of milestones, as Kalvin Phillips made his 200th appearance for the club.
At the end of Bielsa’s first season Phillips made a decision that very few modern footballers make and turned down Premier League opportunities to pursue his dream with Leeds, thankfully for all of us his decision has paid off. Along with his performances on the pitch, this uncommon loyalty makes him a special player in the hearts of Leeds fans.
Bamford’s 100th career goal scored on Monday put even more weight behind the growing case that he should join Phillips in Southgate’s England squad. Bamford’s improvement since we were promoted has been perhaps the most stunning of any player in the squad.
Having been an often criticised figure in his time at Leeds it’s a pleasure to see him putting the ball in the back of the net with regularity, particularly if you’ve backed him in your own fantasy team as much as he’s backed himself.
This week also saw the opening of the Covid-19 vaccination centre at Elland Road as the club collaborated with local leadership to make use of the Centenary Pavilion and help with the vaccine distribution. As the pandemic continues to interfere with both football and daily life it is reassuring to see that the club are doing everything they can to help. Leeds United Women’s defender Olivia Smart even delivered the first injection herself, being a trained nurse who knows well the strain that the pandemic has put on the NHS.
This was also a great week for the Trust as we were joined by around 65 new members from across the globe as far as Canada, Australia and India.
Adding your own voice to the Trust’s work is easy. Visit our new website at www.lufctrust.com and you can become a member for just £10 per year.
Marching on together.