Fresh from a royal hammering of West Bromwich Albion, the YEP’s mailbox is paying tribute to the best Leeds United performance in 15 years, the Duracell Bunny that is Gjanni Alioski and pondering the involvement of Izzy Brown. Oh, and there’s a good debate about the merit of capping season tickets:
Friday I’m in Love
Friday night was incredible: the individuals, the intensity, the finishing, the pressing, the creativity and most of all the atmosphere. I don’t think there’s any hyperbole in saying that was our best performance since relegation in 2004, if not further back.
We restricted a West Brom team with a high-quality attack to one shot on target and even that was a speculative long-range effort. I don’t like to jump on the bandwagon after one good result and it’s far too early to celebrate with 11 games to go but the intensity Leeds showed suggested that the players had some new motivation not present in previous games.
I certainly think the Norwich game played a factor in this performance, with the players feeling like they owed the fans a performance after the deflated output that night. The early goal set a precedent for a comprehensive annihilation similar to the Norwich clash but this time Leeds got it and used it to their full advantage.
Man of the match was so hard to pick, which is a further testament to such a superb performance, and the challenge now is to see if we can continue to play anywhere near that level.
We can’t overlook the fact that the promotion race has weighed heavily in previous weeks and if Friday was a flash in the pan, brilliant as it was, it won’t be enough if we drop back to the mediocre levels of the past month. Hopefully, though, we can use this to kickstart a run of form similar to the one we had before Christmas. If we do, we should all be smiling come May.
We need to talk about Gjanni
I want to talk about Alioski. As mentioned elsewhere in various columns and podcasts, he splits opinion including my own. Is he a left-back? Is he a winger? Is he a mix between the two? All I know is he’s running like he’s had 20 Red Bulls before kick-off and is quickly redeeming himself for last season’s questionable performances.
It goes to show what changing managers from Paul Heckingbottom to Marcelo Bielsa can do for a player. Keep it up Gjanni. Work on the celebrations, though.
Izzy ready to fire?
On Izzy Brown, I’ve seen it said that Bielsa’s not a fan. Could that be due to his more relaxed style? Bielsa has stated that he sees him as a number 10 but right now, Roberts has got that position. He was class against West Brom but I still don't feel he's a natural 10. Given the loyalty Bielsa’s shown his players this year, though, it's hard to see him replacing Roberts.
Does the cap fit?
Putting a cap on season tickets is a bizarre decision for me. A season ticket is essentially a guarantee of 'investment' (if you want to call it that) and attendance. Surely it's best to get the maximum amount of that up front from Leeds United’s perspective, just in case the season doesn't quite go to plan?
I don't think people should ever be prevented from purchasing a season ticket and securing the savings they offer. What’s needed is a system in place whereby people can inform the club in an official manner that they’re unable to attend so the club can then return that seat to general sale and it isn't left empty.
In that scenario, the people informing the club should be refunded 50 per cent of the cost of one game at the value of their season ticket. This is a much better scenario than seats being left unused. Sure, people sometimes offer their season tickets to others when they’re unable to attend but I think during this stage of the club's existence, when they’re experiencing a resurgence and wave of positivity, rekindling the fragmented fanbase and enticing the new generation is infinitely more important.
Besides, if the club were to be promoted, gate revenue is peanuts in the Premier League compared to TV money so it's better to make the games as easily accessible as possible. The technology utilised by the San Francisco 49ers as mentioned in a previous YEP podcast may prove helpful in bringing this system to fruition.
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