Twitter didn’t exactly go into meltdown last night but, on the basis of one optimistic tweet from Phil Hay, the respected local journalist with his finger on the pulse of Leeds United, it did start to get decidedly warm. The gist of it was that good things were being heard about the imminent takeover of Leeds United and that good times might just be about to roll. A couple more juicily-tantalising snippets were added into what became a heady mix, with David Haigh tweeting that he couldn’t wait to be at the Barnsley match next weekend as Elland Road would be “rocking”. We heard also that Haigh is over in Austria, a country linked strongly to Red Bull who have in turn been linked strongly with Leeds United.
Now, it would be all too easy to take these morsels of information and add them up to make something totally unrealistic. Then again, the elements do seem to combine of themselves into the oft-talked about “Dare to Dream” scenario. One particularly exotic rumour that arises out of such an optimistic outlook is the possibility that one of Red Bull’s most marketable assets, Thierry Henry, might be on the point of jumping on board at Leeds United to provide the sort of boost that even a pair of Red Bull wings could hardly hope to emulate. Even at the age of 36, the French superstar could inflict massive damage in this league, even if mainly from the bench. Could there be anything in it?
On the face of it – why not? The team is in good shape at the moment; there are a couple of obvious areas where improvement is needed and all Leeds fans will be hoping to see those addressed in January. But with the current doubt over the fitness and commitment of El-Hadji Diouf, there may well be a vacancy in the squad for someone who can do something special, someone who can add a touch of class and elevate the profile of the club at the same time.
The combination of Diouf and Warnock was an unlikely one – but it happened. Let’s not forget either that Dioufy was something of a star with World Cup heroics behind him and a global profile. Thierry Henry is all this, and more – and at this stage of his career, what could be more of a challenge to him than the task of reviving a sleeping giant, a club where he would catch the imagination of the fans and raise the atmosphere that extra notch or two, giving the whole place a lift and the team new impetus? That’s a scenario well known to Leeds fans with long enough memories as the “Gordon Strachan factor”.
This week promises to be very interesting indeed. If those tweets from Hay and Haigh carry what I believe they do in between their lines, then it’s fair to say we might expect some significant news before the Barnsley game. Just how significant that news might be is anyone’s guess – but my guess is that an announcement is distinctly possible of further takeover details making that “Dare to Dream” scenario burst into reality. And what was on David Haigh’s mind when he was talking about “Elland Road rocking” on the pre-Christmas weekend when football crowds are notoriously thinned out by last-minute shopping? It does make you wonder.
Thierry Henry in a Leeds shirt? Bizarre. But how wonderful it would be, what an incredible boost. It seems too good to be true, of course – but if you’re going to dare to dream, then why not be extravagant about it? A legend like Henry in the famous white shirt – that’d be a hell of a good dream as far as I’m concerned, but could it actually happen? You just never know – it possibly could.