I’ve had Leeds United fans finding me on Twitter and I’ve had Leeds United fans commenting on my articles recently, and I’ll admit that it’s left me red-faced – I was wrong about Leeds United.
Recently, and when I say recently I mean around Christmas time, before and after, I saw the Whites as a ship sinking towards the depths of League One, flooded by the restrictions of their inexperienced manager and playing staff who didn’t mix at all well enough to pose any sort of recovery.
As the nights draw out once again though, Neil Redfearn’s side are the form team in the Championship. Maybe a late promotion push? Let’s not go too far, but it is certainly all-change in Yorkshire.
Signs of life
The dark clouds over Elland Road have been blown away by the late winter winds and signs of life and promise are sprouting all around. Will those signs materialise into something amazing? Probably not, because this is the Championship after all.
Even though they’re experiencing the highs right now, inevitably things will go low again in the not too distant future because the division is so ridiculously topsy-turvy.
It is for this reason that I think clubs are desperate to avoid to get out of it so much, and not just because the sport’s greatest carrot – the Premier League – dangles just above it.
You get the feeling that even in League One, a club expected to win will more than likely win providing that they don’t have a particularly bad off-day. In the Premier League, one of the lower teams will also know that in most matches they will need to park the bus.
Any given Saturday
The middle ground is just not like that. Football should be no place for clichés, but in most situations it is true that in the Championship, any team can beat any other team at any given moment with a blatant disregard for logic and the form-book.
It will probably need to wait yet another season, but Leeds just need to hope that the next good run that they get will not be followed by some of the dismal displays that they have put on over the last couple of years, turn the loses into draws at least and they’ll have a good starting point.
Another good precaution to enable them to ride the Championship’s waves is to ensure that they build around the talented core of young players that they have – Alex Mowatt, Sam Byram and Lewis Cook spring closest to mind – though the Premier League sharks may well have something to say about that in the summer…
You just cannot win.