“Are We There Yet?” How Leeds Twitter Fans Channel Their Inner Spoilt Children – by Rob Atkinson


The dumb end of the Leeds Twitter feed, in pictures

We’ve probably all had to cope with the tantrums of spoilt kids at one time or another, sometimes in particularly testing circumstances when you just need to get somewhere or accomplish something – and it has to be managed against this irritating background of immature whinging and tantrums. The car scenario is especially annoying, with the petulant classic “Are we there yet??” starting as you turn out of your street and continuing for pretty much the whole journey, as you grit your teeth and turn the radio up. Now, what could be more representative than this tiresome phenomenon, of my current major bugbear, the #LUFC hashtag on Twitter? Especially at this time of the year, when the dreaded January transfer window has these bleating inadequates giving full rein to their endless spoilt brattishness. The resemblance between a car full of screeching spoilt children and the Leeds Twitter feed in January is well nigh inescapable.

It’s embarrassing, too, for those of us who are more inclined to let those who know what they’re doing get on with their jobs. Not for us the tendency to clamour for attention from the likes of Phil Hay or Andrea Radrizzani, addressing them as “mate” or “boss” and demanding to know why United haven’t yet signed this, that or the other multi-million pound striker. There’s plenty who do, though, and – bandwagon jumping being in the nature of the dimmer end of the online Leeds support – more seem to appear with each passing day.

It must surely try the patience of the professionals concerned, just like that harassed Mum trying to drive safely as her infants squall in the back of the car. And yet there seems to be an expectation on the part of each and every clueless tweeter that their particular plea for attention and information will bear fruit – maybe in the form of “Hi, Shane of Beeston, we hadn’t thought of buying Edinson Cavani until you contacted us, but you’ll be glad to know that – because of your message – we’re right on it now. We’ll show PSG your tweet and I’m sure they’ll cave in. Marcelo says thanks.” A greater triumph of hopeless expectation over common sense you could not wish to see, and yet these eager dweebs are queuing up to make themselves look approximately that daft. Well meaning, but dim, just about sums it up.

The other sort are even worse. They don’t bother making suggestions, constructive or otherwise – they move straight on to the conspiracy theories, whereby the Financial Fair Play regulations are just a cunning cover story, so that all of the money invested by fans can go straight into the back pockets of Angus Kinnear, Victor Orta et al, prior to their abrupt disappearance in the direction of Rio de Janeiro. The problem shared by most of the Twatteratti is the apparently certain belief that they know what is going on, better than anybody else. Naturally, they feel the urge to share this superior knowledge with everybody else, repeatedly ad nauseam, until Twitter threatens to make your eyes bleed. It is not an edifying experience.

As I write, we’ve signed a new young goalkeeper, one for the future, and a promising winger from Man City who was courted by Torino of Serie A, and whose prospects of first team involvement may well be more imminent. The reaction of the Twatteratti has been predictably less than positive. The goalkeeper signing was greeted with “Oh, so we need a striker and we sign a keeper, suppose we’ll be playing him up front against Millwall, haw, haw, aren’t I droll”. There is this urgent need among these malcontents to be loved by their similarly-challenged fellow spoilt kids – the desire for lols, likes and retweets supersedes any fleeting thought of keeping their powder dry and seeing what happens.

For those of us with little choice but to trawl through all the Twitter dross in the hope of unearthing the occasional nugget of actual news, or even a Grade A believable rumour, the output of this Legion of the Thick is dispiriting indeed. I guess other clubs suffer from similarly clueless sections among their online support, but that’s quite frankly cold comfort. I’m pretty sure that, if it’s a question of degree, our petulant tendency out-numbers that of most other teams. I suppose that, in a sort of backhanded way, it’s an indicator of the mass appeal of this club. Still, it’s no wonder some call us The Damned United.

As of now, we still need that new striker to provide the competition for Patrick Bamford that any front man needs in order to keep honed the cutting edge of his game. And I’m sure it will happen, sometime in the next few days, barring some other “aren’t we clever” club doing a Swansea on us. But, even if that were to happen, I’m convinced that Leeds United will have done its best during a traditionally difficult window. For what it’s worth, there are some respected voices putting a similar opinion out there, the likes of Hay, Popey etc. So we should perhaps keep the faith, and keep on telling those spoilt kids to pipe down.

Meanwhile, though, it’s really very difficult not to think “Roll on February”…

30 responses to ““Are We There Yet?” How Leeds Twitter Fans Channel Their Inner Spoilt Children – by Rob Atkinson

  1. gsmith8228

    Once again an uncommon ray of sanity and common sense. Bet you’re glad to have vented your spleen all the same.
    Keep up the good work


  2. Mildlyanarchic

    I endorse fully every word(almost)in this article.There are so many critics doom predicters and impatient petulent moaners illustrating their worst insecurities because we one whole point off top spot.


  3. Life is LUFC

    Tell us when we are there dad 😁


  4. Rob its a great site and you have written some truly great articles and I am probably not one to challenge your journalistic brilliance, here comes the but. But its not good to shut down debate. People should be able to voice their concerns, they need to be able to raise question of the custodians of our club, although there is very little ability to access directly the correct people, in order to raise these concerns. Concerns born out of frustration and fear of this season panning out as last.


    • Thanks for the positive words, Pa. All I’d say is that debate is one thing – I believe that’s what I’m engaging in with this and other pieces – but relentless online destructive negativity is quite another. I can see the reason for some anxiety, but I fail to understand the gleeful relish with which the Twitter pack pounce on any issue with the evident intent of nagging people who are patently un-naggable.


  5. Anne Davies

    Well Said Rob,
    Can’t agree more, but it will never stop 😊
    Kind Regards,


  6. Good post Rob, but at least those of us who’ve been round the block a bit, remember the good times. Some of the posters you refer to will see our current position as the best they’ve seen and a lot of comments I’ve seen express no more than a cry for investment, just to finally get us over the line.
    I’d far rather see people caring enough to comment, rather than a kind of apathy where it’s only the superior intellects who feel entitled to pass there opinions.
    Also,I just hope we’re looking for a first choice number 9. PB isn’t and never has been a natural finisher.


  7. You’re wrong Rob, we need to panic, panic, panic and spend, spend, spend regardless of cost and ability.
    I hear that Edgar Cani, Habib, Habibou, Alfonso Pedraza and Jimmy Kebbe are free.
    No need to scout them as I can find YouTube links


  8. Reality Cheque

    Whilst I agree overall with the sentiment expressed and the purpose intended in this article Rob I feel inclined to have a “chunter” nonetheless

    Did we actually make any enquiries about the feasibility of signing Bowen in the summer before committing 17 million pounds on Costa whose goals/assists over the last THREE seasons does not come close to Bowen’s stats and Bielsa still seemed to wait an eternity before trusting his most expensive signing a starting place. Bielsa does deserve great credit & respect for the way the players came out of the blocks after the heart breaking end to last season, with goal scoring being spread widely across our very vibrant team
    It is very disappointing that despite the writing being on the wall for Eddie & Jack well before the January window opened, that the lure of working with one of the top coaches in the world has not put Leeds in first place to sign any of their much publicised “striker” additions
    Indeed, despite now entering the business end of one of the most demanding & merciless leagues in the world & whilst still struggling (after 18 months) to convert a much more respectable percentage of the chances our consistently pacey & exciting performances deserve, we have so far signed a young 3rd/4th choice keeper and Povela, a talented young winger who has yet to make a senior appearance in his career
    So at the time of this post the majority of goal scoring responsibility remains solely on the shoulders of Patrick Bamford and rumour has it that Orta is now desperately looking for more affordable striker options abroad. Any such foreign option would have to acclimatise to the aforementioned rigours of the Championship as well as immediately settling in a new country and hitting the ground running (if Bielsa actually gives him the chance without a 6-7 week intensive aclimatisation training regime)
    Like every other long suffering Leeds United supporter I have fingers & toes crossed and check social media every 2-3 minutes in the desperate hope that a prolific, proven goal scorer has been signed. I wish we could return to the days when we were just told that Leeds had signed a player & Jim White was an unknown journalist reporting on how many Scottish 2nd Division matches had survived the latest wintry conditions North of the border
    Please forgive my impatience Rob, I am speaking from the heart not the head and I just want the cavalry to arrive before we surrender too much more ground to our rivals
    Come on Orta please take us to the Promised Land in our Centenary Season. ALAW


    • I have a chunter, we all do, there’s nowt wrong with that. What I’m talking about here goes way beyond chuntering into realms of absolutely deluded cluelessness.


      • I am lucky because I don’t read newspapers (30 years).
        I don’t have a Facebook or any others of a similar ilk.
        Being a season fan, I do notice the discussions on here that range between optimism & pessimism, and fans I know mirror this.
        1. Pessimists feel that the transfer window is over and we won’t get promoted.
        2. Optimists say there is plenty of time to sign players, and there are plenty of points to play for.
        If we run out of players as the season comes to a critical point, and we don’t get promoted again, the Optimists become Pessimists, and it hurts them even more.
        That is when the fans unite in the reality of the situation.
        Together at last!!
        A Pessimist is someone who insulates themselves, having experienced disappointments in the past.
        They hope for the best, but expect the worst.
        Am Optimist ignores past pain, hoping this time it will be better.



      • “In a tweet, Dan Sheldon, a reporter for the Southern Daily Echo, said Southampton are in a sense of ‘bemusement” at why Leeds are continuing to chase the 23-year-old striker when they’ve been “firmly told” it won’t happen. Since signing for the Saints in summer, Adams has made just eight Premier League starts and hasn’t scored once.”

        Sounds like Swansea all over again!


    • The Hull manager today said that they would probably have to sell, or loan sell Bowen, as his contract is running out.
      He also said that they have not had any enquires about him from anyone!!


  9. andrew hinks

    the same philosophy of no investment/loans also happened with previous ‘owners’ when we WERE mid-table so when you need that extra shove financially with a quality player or two (if available & sensibly priced of course!) to get over the line when your in the best position possible would make sense to most rational, ambitious owners, seemingly not @ LUFC !

    the January window has always been known as the ‘desperation’ window as no decent player is available so it all comes back to planning/buying in the close season & NOT January!
    recent history proves this!

    with regard to FFP….. totted up our large player sales since 2016/17, they outweigh the in comings even with all orta’s @waifs & strays’ bought in @ the beginning of radz’ reign & the boot sale of the very same this last close season!

    sold off –

    (viera 7m yeah remember him now from 2018?)
    Clarkey 9, pontus 5.5, roofey 7, BPF 2.5, another up & coming goalkeeper we already had insitu i recall!!..sold off of course!


    boot sale 2019 4m plus in combined for waifs & strays & filling the barnsley ranks, there’s probably more?

    notable incomings for fees –
    roberts 2.5, forshaw 3 , Alioski 3, douglas 3 & bamford 7-10?

    & a year before woody & chaz taylor 20m combined out!

    if as Phil hay wrote today all the roofey money went on eddie’s loan fees/wages from arsenal then you see how stupid/profligate the board have been & why there’s no money apparently available?…jeez !

    obviously wages have gone up but so have seat prices/superstore costs/sales/exec boxes @ premier league prices whilst the team are filled with at best average championship players made better by Marcelo – enough to get us over the line?… i doubt but i live in hope of course!

    the revenue certainly hasn’t gone into team building that’s for sure unless we get a ‘loan now- pay later’ deal which radz/spin/orta offer only?

    get behind the lads next tuesday as unlike last season there doesnt appear to a be a Norwich or Sheff u in thgis league?

    chant paddy’s name as he comes out onto the pitch tuesday as he must be feeling it, pls dont moan & groan if he misses his first chance on the night FFS?

    c’mon LUFC we love ya’



  10. When people of the calibre of Eddie Gray are saying the atmosphere at the club is as good as he’s known it then everyone associated with the club from top to bottom needs some praise and support.
    After any defeat or even the odd draw there seems to be a witch hunt attempting to blame the owner, Orta, the manager and most of the players.
    We don’t know we are born at the moment, three years ago Cellino was in charge with the team permanently marooned in mid table and the club regularly being dragged through the mire for one reason or another. Now we have a top class manager, a team which gives 100% every time they step onto the pitch and at times some pretty decent football being played. Let the twatterati moan if they want to, these are the best times the club has had for over 15 years and I for one am enjoying it, promotion or no promotion.


  11. John Bennett

    Agree with article 100% – Any chance of the trolls signing up for a charitable “Whinge Free February” with the proceeds going towards buying suitable players when we’re in the Premiership next season?


    • Morning John.
      “when we are in the Premiership next season”?
      On what do you base that certainty?


  12. Leeds have spent the last 15 years in the hinterlands because of colossal financial screw ups. The fact is none of the doom mongers know the FFP position at Leeds (nor me as it happens).
    We could I suppose take a huge gamble like Wolves , Bournemouth , Cardiff , Fulham , Villa etc and exceed the limits in the hope of promotion and thereby escape the points deductions etc.
    But Leeds being Leeds I think we all know how this would pan out.
    Or maybe sell our own ground back to ourselves or pretend our sponsors have lumped us a huge wedge when , really it is just our owners financially doping us.
    We are where we are which, the last time I looked is second , four points ahead of a team that pipped us for a play off place that got promoted and blew a huge wedge destroying their squad and came straight back down.
    Wow! Such memories.
    I am confident we will get the players we want but that won’t guarantee anything. Blowing a wad and staying down will guarantee disaster. Surely most fans recognise that.MOT as ever.


    • The FL seems to be more balanced since Shaun left, with his pockets full of money.
      I hope that clubs who stick to the rules will be applauded.
      Clubs who don’t, like Derby, Brummie’, Sheffield Wednesday and Villa get punished.
      There may be more?
      Looking at Leeds, we said goodbye to 31 Leeds players before the season started and brought in £30 million.
      We have spent very little, then and now.
      We/Victor have been wasteful with the little we have spent,
      and I hope we can get out of the Costa purchase!!
      This ‘deal’ was crazy having seen him play, and we could have got Bowen for that money?
      Our income from all sources, outstrips our rivals by millions of pounds, and we now have a great deal with Adidas!
      With all of the above, you would think we would have one to spend.
      This window is another head scratcher.
      Bringing in players with no experience of the Championship is no good for this season.
      Our pursuit of Adams has been ‘Grizzly’ and almost stupid, but there is still time – so I am told!! LOL!!



  13. Life is LUFC

    If Twatterati is to believed some fans are still moaning and whinging because the signings made are not the names they wanted.
    Last week Orta should be on another planet, today he is the bees knees.
    Radz was a scrooge today he is good lad.
    Kinnear could not be relied on to keep his word, today he has done what he said he would.
    If I had that lot of whingers in a car I would drive as near to the cliff edge as possible get out and shove it over. Then shout after it, “now shut up nagging you are there” or words to that effect.
    No matter what some may say, at least a couple of players have come in who say they want to be at Leeds and from reputation they come with good words said by those that should know. Thank you Leeds for doing the best possible with the resources available to you. We will all find out together what happens in May. MOT


    • I’ve had a bee in my bonnet about these eejits lately, as some may have noticed. Unbelievably, a few of them are still at it, moaning about Bamford’s gesture after he scored the winner. I despair of some of these pond life, I really do.


      • I was confident Patrick would score today.
        He could go on a run now.
        This must boost the confidence in the team.
        Against Millwall, of all teams, this was special.
        It did not disguise the weakness’s in our defence under pressure, if we don’t go at it from the kick off!
        It is disappointing that we have not brought in a quality defender, and goalkeeper, but we must soldier on!!



  14. I’m quite optimistic for this millwall game and even more optimistic regarding Augistin. I’ve got a good feeling about him. This poveda looks very special too. We might be on for automatic promotion after all.


    • I first saw this at half time and thought, bloody hell, Mick. But you turned out to be quite the prophet 🙂


      • I’m very pleased for Bamford too,I hope those goals will gee him up for the remainder of the season. Hernandez was superb and so were Harrison and Costa in the 2nd half. Still shaky in defence but as long as we score more than the opposition that’ll do.


  15. andrew hinks

    well done LUFC against the ’12 men’ of millwall & so pleased for paddy B as the lads came out second half like men possessed!!
    im the biggest pessimist about LUFC after all these years of corrupt, greedy owners & i hope i’m truly wrong about radz/spin/orta?

    now we need to get the win on Saturday & move on to the two biggies away which could be the defining two games as to whether we finish top two or not?

    no matter what we ALL get behind the lads now ‘KEEP FIGHTING’



    Kent white since 1969 amongst many others!


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