Leeds United Must Tough It Out Against the Whole World Now – by Rob Atkinson


Nothing ever comes easily for Leeds United, that’s the lesson of history. Every single success has been hard-won, they’ve all been grim fights to the death. This season is shaping up to be no different; United have endured the most horrible last week or so, ever since the final whistle at Elland Road signalled a scrappy victory over Swansea City. Their nearest rivals have gained ground, winning games against feeble resistance, while the Whites have been kicking their heels, powerless and frustrated. And you can bet your bottom dollar that the likes of Bolton and QPR, who have capitulated so easily to Norwich and West Brom, will miraculously rediscover their missing mojo when they face Bielsa’s notorious Spygate villains Leeds.

Of course, any club can find themselves going through a bad spell, while their rivals prosper. That’s the nature of a league programme, with its ups and downs – and, generally, things do even themselves out. But few clubs have to put up with the kind of background against which this roller-coaster ride for Leeds is taking place. The Spygate furore was the ultimate example of a towering mountain being fabricated out of an insignificant molehill, with the Football League seemingly quite prepared to make utter fools of themselves in the interests of dragging the whole distraction out as far and as long as possible, all in the interests of distracting Elland Road eyes from the main focus of promotion. Certain league clubs have been complicit in this, with Bristol City‘s tax-dodging owner Stephen Landsdown sanctimoniously calling for a points deduction – and this was in a case where no rules were broken, remember. Stupid hypocrite is surely not an over the top description for that character.

What we can now expect, as the season gets to its decisive sharp end is, I’m afraid, all too easy to predict, and may be summed up as: more of the same. If you look back over the lowlights of the campaign so far, the farcical sending off of Pontus Jansson for falling over at Stoke City, for instance, you can easily envisage what’s still in store. There have been daft penalties against us right from the season’s opening day, when the award for Stoke being typical of the no-contact incidents that provoke the League’s referees to blow for a penalty against Leeds. Meanwhile, we’ve had one penalty all season. We nearly had a second, but the award was negated for an offside call subsequently shown to have been at least a yard onside.

There’s more of this to come. The bulk of fifty-fifty calls will go against us, as ever. The League does not wish to lose its prize asset if it’s possible to avoid doing so. I sincerely doubt that we’ll get another penalty, although we will have credible, stonewall claims – as has happened all season. There will be soft penalties against us – as has happened all season. Where it’s possible to send off a Leeds player, even when the decision stretches credibility, then off he will go – as has happened all season. Meanwhile, opposition defenders will get away with red card offences like denying a goalscoring opportunity – sometimes, not even a yellow will be given. This, too, has happened all season.

So it’s going to be a case of carry on hammering Leeds, but more so. Everything that can be done to keep us down will be done. It will be blatant, and sometimes even the media lapdogs will express surprise. But it will be glossed over and it will carry on. This is what we’re up against. Really, the only people that can do anything about it are the ones so proudly and defiantly wearing the shirts and badges, as they battle on to deliver the prize that so many of us, all over the world, desire so intensely. We’ll have to man up, tough it out, keep fighting. Those are the qualities this club, in its modern, global phenomenon incarnation, was built on, over the last six decades since we emerged from obscurity into worldwide prominence. And those are the qualities that will see us though now, despite the forces of League, rival clubs and media ranged against us.

Marching On Together. Let’s do this.

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29 responses to “Leeds United Must Tough It Out Against the Whole World Now – by Rob Atkinson

  1. Philip of Spain.

    Too true Blue,the Geoff Astle debacle centuries ago it seems,is just one classic example.Playing Monday night after a cup final another.Come on boys,no help coming from anyone,stuff em.!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reality Cheque

    I think it is going to boil down to believing in Bielsa’s ability to keep “finding solutions” which he has managed all season thus far despite a lean squad being significantly disrupted by long term injuries to key players.

    Its gonna get nail bitingly tense but it is certainly the most exciting and entertaining season in recent times Rob. I guess its difficult to keep the faith when we have both supported Leeds United for decades and suffered so many false dawns this millennium but we now have an amazing Head coach in Bielsa, so please keep away from that canal! ALAW

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I want promotion this season as much as any Leeds fan. If we fail I will be absolutely gutted. However, if there is one thing that will boost my spirits no end it will be knowing that Bielsa is staying with us and that the club will pull out all the stops and make sure we have a good, solid squad right from the start next season. We cannot allow everything we have achieved to be dismantled or allow the coach to be poached from us.. Our destiny is in our hands and it’s what we do that matters. We can win this so let’s get behind the lads and the club and show just what we are made of

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Where’s your sense of humour gone Rob? This all sounds a bit paranoid .

    Like

  5. Thinlizzywhite

    As I have mentioned before, Rob. I know we are vociferously disliked; attacked, criticised, loathed, despised and antagonised. But why … I really can’t say. Neither can they .. when I asked a Derby fan all he could respond with was “dirty Leeds” but had no substance with which to create an arguament to support his name calling.
    Some say we just winge but we really do stand alone … even if it’s for no good reason except the footballing world holds a deep rooted resentment at something long lost in the history of the game.
    So … it’s up to us, the lads on the pitch and the fans in the stands. We are soooooo close … hold strong and give everyone a real, tangible reason to hate us … and get promoted. MOT

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The Football League’s bias against Leeds beggars belief! It’s Regulation 3.4 states: “Each club shall behave towards each other club and The League with the utmost good faith.” Yet, for example, when six clubs fielded under-strength teams they were fined between £3,000 and £15,000. Compare those penalties to the £200,000 fine imposed on Leeds for breaking no actual rules. FFS, Russia was fined a tenth of this amount for racial abuse! Surely, there is a case in law to be brought against this corrupt governing body – The Football League, not Russia ( – ;

    Liked by 1 person

  7. We WILL MOT, we WILL get promoted, we WILL beat the Blunts and the Baggies. That is all (apart from, the football league’s corrupt)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Good article Rob. Although it’s squeaky bum time for the top 6/8, we must not underestimate the fighting power in those about to face relegation. Playing a top team or a bottom team is going to be just as difficult as we near the end of the season, obviously for different reasons.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. howard mackey

    Dont you just love it though them against us, its what makes us stand out from rest, the boys will be up for it now i am sure of it,and as for Stephen Lansdown least said.
    MOT. H.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Life is LUFC

    All going according to plan then!!
    The only fence which has not been knocked down and never will be are the fans. The fans stand by Leeds United no-matter-what is thrown at the club. The team we have playing know this and perhaps sometimes think it’s unreal, even all a dream because the fans are there week in and week out singing and cheering. All we ask is give the best you possibly can and make our dreams come true please.
    Stuff the rest of them we are Leeds.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Chris Wheeler

    Would we want it any other way Rob as we are just so conditioned to expect absolutely nothing going our way or even being treated the same as others.
    In defence of QPR they did give WBA a real game of it but again a useless ref decided the outcome of the game by failing to send Livermore off for a horror studs up tackle which was so wild he took both standing legs of his victim. Only a yellow given & rather than giving QPR the chance to push on for the win yes you guessed up pops Livermore with the 94th minute winner.
    As for Spygate as well as the ridiculous fine imposed by the EFL they’ve come up with the even more ridiculous new rule that teams can carry on spying (cue Syd James) as long as it’s not within 72 hours of kick off as apparently “that’s how we do things in England”
    Anyway sod the lot of them & fingers crossed Bielsa’s warriors deliver a Josh Warrington finale to the season to get us over the line.
    MOT 🤛

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Patrick Joseph Hogan

    On a tactical note, I can see why Bielsa prefers to work with a small squad that he thinks he can mould into his way of playing – and for the rest use promising youngsters that will have been inculcated into the same way of training and planning albeit at a lower level. He doesn’t seem to care about the ones loaned out; and neither does he require them back in a crisis. This seems to be the hallmark of a man with a plan and also the reason why he finds solutions to our perennial injury problems. It might be a method of getting us through it all and on to promotion, and if so, a wonderful way, and one I applaud. But this seems to be his way and I doubt it will change before the end of what promises to be a rollercoaster finale to this season.

    Like

  13. Ken Jarvis

    Hi Rob,

    Any news on the Norwich-Ipswich melee recently???

    The EFL have gone very quiet on that one. Oh so have the rest of the football clowns who hate Leeds United.

    Surely a point deduction or a larger fine than £200,000 is warranted in this debacle??

    Come on EFL, get your finger out & give us the outcome, preferably, before the season ENDS in early May

    Like

  14. SprakeReaneyCooperBremnerCharltonHunterLorimerClarkeJonesGilesGray

    Whilst I just have to agree with everything you say Rob, this time with Bielsa in charge I really do believe that we will overcome such adversity, and we will start next season in the Premiership. It will be despite all those who hate to see us succeed. With support like we are enjoying we cannot fail at the final hurdle. We will once again enjoy days like we did when I was a lad under Mr. Revie.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Well said Rob we all need to keep together and beat the corrupt EFL

    Like

  16. Andrew Hurd

    I’ve been Leeds since 1964,one positive I can see from this is all the worldwide publicity Leeds have had from spygate ,worth more than any 200k,only hope it doesn’t derail our promotion push MOT

    Like

  17. You’re spot on Rob,
    The biased against Leeds Utd is blatantly obvious.
    I’m not surprised to see that our rivals for promotion Norwich, Sheff Utd, WBA have all been awarded 6 penalties each in the league this season, while Leeds Utd has only had 1. There isn’t a team in the league that attacks more than Leeds with 70% of possession every game, yet we have only had one pen. It stinks. Leeds Utd are up against it every game with the corrupt officials that in my opinion have been told you give Leeds nothing. I fear the officials won’t let us achieve promotion. I’ve said all along that for Leeds Utd to gain promotion we will have to be an exceptional team like last time we achieved it with the great Howard Wilkinson’s team. If we do manage to achieve the impossible, it will be the most amazing achievement ever considering what we are up against every match.

    Like

  18. Kevin Wilson

    Please note my new email address: kevinwilson1553@gmail.com

    I would like to continue receiving Rob’s blog but it is still being sent to my old Virgin email which I will soon not have access to. Can you correct please? Thanks

    > WordPress.com

    Like

  19. The FL must really enjoy making themselves look like the idiots that they are. They’re now threatening Coventry City with expulsion from the league and not being allowed back in unless they tell the FL where they’ll be playing next season by early March. So much for looking after their members eh????

    Like

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