SIMON RIX: Lucky Leeds United fans can give our heroes the send-off they all deserve
We got to May! The end of the season is just around the corner with that tricky April easily dealt with.
If Leeds United can deal with the last few games in style, this could conclude in a very rewarding season for the boys in white.
But what’s left to play for? Looking at the table now, we were actually safe from relegation in January, so with 50 points achieved could we allow the boys to take the foot off the gas and cruise into the summer?
A lot of the players are heading to the Euros before another punishing season starts again.
The answer is – of course not. First off, Marcelo would never allow it, and second up is the fact there’s always something to play for where Leeds United are concerned.
In the Championship, Leeds seemed to be able to attract rivalry without even trying.
All the Yorkshire teams (I once had a discussion with someone outside Elland Road about whether Middlesbrough is a derby – of course it isn’t), Millwall, Cardiff – the list was endless and ever-expanding.
I even remember us generating some needle with Reading over something Jaap Stam said.
I think all of these “big” games, as well as a dollop of gross mismanagement, were the reasons it took us so long to get back to the promised land of the Premier League
This year, having easily seen off Sheffield United and being well clear of “direct rivals” Brighton, next on the to do list has to be Villa.
Before Bielsa I didn’t mind Aston Villa. Decent enough fans, team and a good stadium, but John Terry taking the moral high ground over Marcelo changed things irrevocably, so now I think finishing above them in this first season back in the Premier League would be great and a real sign of how fast we’ve progressed.
Unbelievably, we’re finally got there. There’s only one game left without fans. We can’t go, but I’d even be grateful of the nightmare I thought I’d never miss, a Leeds to Southampton schlep on a Tuesday night courtesy of Premier League planners.
Congratulations to everyone who managed to get a ticket for the final home game next Saturday, but with great power comes great responsibility. That game is probably the last time we’ll see Pablo, Alioski and maybe some others. So I hope everyone is ready to give them an amazing send-off. That, to me, is the final piece of unfinished business.
This summer could see the beginning of the break-up of our promotion side, the players who actually got us over the line last year, and it’s really sad that we aren’t all going to be able to show them our gratitude in person.
Hopefully the club has a plan to have a pre-season friendly against Castellon. Bring back Alioski as a camera man for LUTV, get Barry Douglas to model the casual wear for the club shop – whatever it takes.
It’s nearly time to look forward again, but let’s finish this by saying goodbye to the season and its heroes in the right way.