LEEDS UNITED have only played three games but it looks like they could have a chance of doing something of real substance this year.
They were superb against Derby and they have a young, energetic, exciting, attacking team when they are on song.
Leeds played very well and I thought Kemar Roofe was brilliant. Both of his goals were fantastic and that header was Sheaer-esque with the leap and the hang and the way that he scored. The second goal was consummate, too.
You can read in simple black and white terms after the game against Derby that he had scored a couple of goals.
Then you look at the nitty gritty of the strikes, the way he presses and the way he operated in those opening games from the front, setting the tone.
It’s refreshing to have a striker that doesn’t stop running in front of you because that then sets you off so you can micro manage what goes on in behind. When you go to press, you know that everyone is going to go together.
Marcelo Bielsa’s biggest challenge this season will be keeping players and everyone on board and on side with regards to their game time.David Prutton
It’s still very early on and it is going to require a lot of energy and enthusiasm and desire to be that first person but he definitely has to start at present.
But having Patrick Bamford there, too, breathes healthy competition into the squad and any form of top-level sport needs healthy competition within its ranks.
That will be Marcelo Bielsa’s biggest challenge this season, keeping players and everyone on board and on side with regards to their game time.
Bielsa made eight changes for Tuesday night’s cup game against Bolton and you had players of the stature of Bamford coming in.
We know he can score goals and he was brought in to do just that. That game will have given Bielsa food for thought but I don’t think anyone will have really been banging on his door to start.
Leeds play Rotherham at Elland Road today and I think Millers chief Paul Warne will be very wary of what he has seen from United.
You get the feeling that Rotherham will have had to have thought about what Leeds are good at and how do they stop them first and foremost before they put their own imprint on the game.
It will be ‘don’t let Samu Saiz get in the little spaces in behind the midfield and defence and don’t let him keep running at our back four when they are back-pedalling’.
Warne is very thorough and he has got a refreshing realism about the way that he talks. He understands that to compete in this division his players will have to be at full tilt for every minute of every game.
So far, Leeds have caught Stoke and Derby cold and you would think there are only so many times that they can catch out teams like this.
However, Derby boss Frank Lampard said his side knew what was coming but seeing it come towards them and stopping it were two very different things.
Leeds’ fans are smiling about how well the team is doing and they are probably whispering in the corners of pubs or on a WhatsApp group saying: ‘Do you reckon this could be our season? Can you just imagine if we do a Wolves?’
They will keep doing that until there is a real test of the team.
Leeds were top after seven games last season but that was a different make-up of the team and a different personality of the team.
This one, if it can maintain what it has started and maintain the workload that Marcelo has put on them, has got one hell of a chance.
It’s just about maintaining the element of surprise with the consistency which is the thing that has cost Leeds in the last two seasons.
They could have seven games of good results and then seven games of rubbish results.
In this division, seven games can make the difference – they can be the difference between getting in the play-offs or not; they can get the league leadership the manager of the month award or get him the sack.
With Wolves last season, we were waiting for them to have that moment where it fell apart a bit and then say: ‘We thought that was going to happen. We thought there would be players who wouldn’t fancy it.’
But it didn’t happen. They got tested and they came through it with flying colours.
That’s what we are now looking at with Leeds, to see if they can do the same.