One of the most fertile sources of inspiration for this Leeds United blog has let me down badly today. The quite wonderful in every way Vital Leeds has this endearing habit of publishing on a daily basis the notable United events for that date down the years. It’s thrown up a crop of birthdays recently – Norman Bites Yer Legs, Paul Madeley, Sergeant Wilko, Johnny Giles – which has allowed this blog to pay its own tribute to the celebrating stars concerned. To my shame, I missed out on Paul “Speedy” Reaney, who must have had this year’s big day when my back was turned. But I’ll catch you next time Paul, you legend, with your back pocket famously occupied throughout the sixties by a well-shackled George Best. I only wish such a worthy anniversary had coincided with today.
For today, my normally reliable fount of historical LUFC events is a dry hole. There’s some stuff in there alright, but really it’s not the sort you want to dig up. Frequently, the Vital Leeds retrospective will lay before me a nice, juicy away win, or a fondly-remembered tonking of some bitter rival to relive with lip-smacking relish. Or maybe a European adventure; a trip I was on myself, perchance, to one of the continental Superpowers like Milan or Barça or Real Madrid. Or perhaps simply some point of controversy that absolutely begs to be regurgitated and chewed on all over again, just as succulent and tangy the second time around and semi-digested to boot.
But not today. Today, the normally sparkling cornucopia of all things Leeds has become a barren gulch, offering nothing, nada, bupkis, zilch, zip. Some dusty draws and a few unpalatable defeats, and that’s it. No birthdays, or other points of interest. Well, ta very much. Ver non semper viret, and all that, as I know from my own experience – but I do hope the spring is flourishing tomorrow. I’ve come to rely on it. At this rate, I’ll be forced to fall back on some gratuitous Man U bashing, or maybe have a pop at those malodorous troglodytes from Bermondsey with their guttural tribal chants and dubious ancestry.
The situation is exacerbated by the fact that it’s another pesky international break, coming just when we don’t need it too as our beloved Leeds lads have at last managed to find some form. They supplied the bullets for Rossco to drill four lethal holes in Charlton Athletic’s rearguard last weekend, the first time a United player had scored four league goals away from home since Tom Jennings did it in the late twenties. That outstanding performance was worth waiting for – but now a two week hiatus threatens to break our train of thought, so to speak. We can but hope that the Whites are still bang at it when the Smoggies roll into town a week on Saturday. That’s rather too far away to think about just now – first we have to worry about our bevy of international stars (alright then, mainly Ross and Rudy) and their chances of avoiding injury on the world stage. Fingers crossed there.
So there’s not really a hell of a lot to write about today, neither of a historically-significant nature nor any currently burning issues as we’re match-less for another eight days. It might as well be the cricket season for all there is to chew the fat about – on which note I’m reminded that the Ashes Series down under is just around the corner. But still, it’s by far preferable to have something Leeds-oriented to write about – and if I hadn’t already managed to fill a blog of respectable length, I might very well try a bit harder to do just that. Maybe tomorrow will bring me more in the way of inspiration, as I turn once more to Vital Leeds and check what’s been happening to our great club on November 16th down the years.
Failing that – the 16th is my Mum’s birthday, so I could write to her instead. Something always turns up.