I’m Backing Leeds United (To MISS OUT on Promotion) – by Rob Atkinson

Fancy a flutter?

Yesterday was just one of those bad days at the office, that curious and frustrating Leeds United mixture of dominance and fallibility that so often gifts three points to inferior yet hard and determined opponents. That’s nine defeats this season now and, as one of the commentators remarked during the match at Cardiff, United have arguably been the better side in all nine. Whatever is behind this phenomenon, it’s the kind of thing to induce the collywobbles in even the most unflappable Whites fan, along with the predictable epilogue of clueless moaners having a field day on Twatter and Farcebook. All in all, it was a day to forget, but that’s easier said than done.

And yet, after reading one particular tweet, I was inspired to take my own steps with the aim of either staving off disaster on a cosmic level, or of assuring myself a little fiscal compensation if the worst should come to the worst. In short, I had a punt at 12/1 against on Leeds United failing to go up. I’d set aside £50 so that I could be treated to a new LUFC top in sparkling Adidas for my birthday – but instead, I lumped it all on the worst case scenario, and that breaks a lifetime non-gambling record, as I’d never previously had so much as a flutter on the National.

I have to say, it’s immediately made feel better, having been in a foul mood straight after the final whistle in Wales. I had expected to be able to take defeat philosophically, thanks to the efforts of Brentford and Birmingham at Fulham and West Brom respectively. But I was gutted, given the dominant nature of our performance, to see Leeds sustain two self-inflicted and fatal wounds. It was just such a poxy way to lose, and such a poxy team and club to lose against. Anyway, whatever the pros and cons, or swings and roundabouts, I was down in the dumps until this tweet inspired me to lump on Leeds missing promotion. As I’m a perennial loser in games of chance, I’m pretty sure I’ve just made United’s elevation to the Promised Land a stone cold certainty. As a stereotypical Yorkshireman, I could never normally have imagined being so eager to lose £50, with that slight dread of winning £600. But I do feel I’ve got the bases covered now, and I’ll be happy to miss out on a new LUFC shirt, if it means being back where we belong.

I’m not trying to induce anyone to start gambling here. It’ll be a cold day in hell, or at least a dry day in Manchester, before I repeat the exercise. I’m just glad I’ve done it this once, as it’s lifted my mood considerably. And I have high expectations of an outcome worth a lot more than 600 lousy quid.

Incidentally, I should mention at this point that I’ve not felt moved to write here since my brother and fellow lifelong United fan Graham died suddenly and unexpectedly in April. I’m really not quite sure why that is; maybe beside our Gray’s death and this whole lockdown thing, football suddenly seemed pretty small beer. But it’s back now, and so am I – and this is my first chance to say thank you for all the kind and sympathetic messages I received after I wrote my brotherly tribute two months back. They were all much appreciated and greatly helpful.

Marching On Together

33 responses to “I’m Backing Leeds United (To MISS OUT on Promotion) – by Rob Atkinson

  1. Denis Tomlinson

    Cardiff City have always been a bogey side for Leeds. I can remember back in the 1950’s being drawn against them in the FA Cup third round three years on the trot and losing all three 2-1. Some things never change.


    • David Hodgkinson

      I bet £30 on losing to Bristol rovers and £30 on a draw on that famous promotion day. I can’t do it again hopefullly you’ve covered it.


    • haworthwhite

      even more spooky, Dennis was the facts that each time we lost to CC, it was at ER and in the 3rd Round.


  2. Welcome back Rob. I can see your thinking here. If you were to put money on United being promoted, that would undoubtedly be disastrous, so if you back failure they must succeed! We’re all deflated after yesterday, having all dared to imagine a ten point lead, but nothing I’ve seen makes me believe we can squander it this time. We have too many good players and we have Bielsa………Surely…………MOT


  3. Shit wingers ,can’t cross a ball. I kind of hope we have the money to bring in 2 decent experienced wingers if we get promoted.


  4. Life is LUFC

    I was wondering when this other sleeping giant would wake up.
    To be honest I was not surprised at the end result. Now they just need to concentrate and do the best they can with the remaining games. Whilst the lads are fit and they played games within the team you do need to practice with the unexpected. Come on you lads the sensible lot are all behind you.
    If you loose your bet (for all the right reasons) I’ll buy you the shirt 😎


    • Bless you, though I’d happily take the hit and consider it worthwhile MOT


      • Life is LUFC

        You have my e mail address contact me so that I can fulfil my end of the bet please.
        Blimey no more nail biting, high blood pressure and heart fails for the next two games. I wonder what it is like to watch a match in a relaxed state of mind.


      • You’re a star and a greatly valued Friend of the Blog, so I couldn’t possibly do that, though I think it’s wonderful that you remembered the kind comment you made. I do feel that part of my bargain with the football gods was that I was trading the dosh for promotion – it’s not a bet I’d wish to wriggle out of, so I think it’s important that the shirt should be lost to the bookies. But thanks and thanks again for your incredible offer – MOT


  5. Iain Alcorn

    If ever United had a “bogey team” it has always been Cardiff.
    I remember in my early days of supporting, we drew Cardiff 3 years running in the F A cup we lost each game 2,1 look back through the records of our matches with them, and l think you will find more similar score lines, inthe early days it was Peter Mcparland who was our nemisis, today, it is getting to be Jnr Hoilett. I know the Championship is a terrible lrague for shock results, but, on paper, we have a rar easier run in than West Brom. Unfortunately our fan support is absent, making our home games less intimidating to the opposition.
    Keep faith.


  6. Normally I’d wish you good luck on your punt Rob but I’m sure you’ll understand if I don’t mind the bookies making a bob or two out of you!
    Condolences on your loss. Good to have you back.


  7. John Bennett

    Not only are Cardiff a bogey team but this was an away match versus a playoff hopeful so never easy. Bottom line is we had 9 match weeks to go – we have now ticked one off and still got 7 point buffer. We will improve. Keep the faith! MOT


  8. carl collins

    8 more games to go….Stay positive we are not going to be relegated this season….stay safe MOT


  9. Scott Willox

    Great post mate, interesting😁. We will get there.
    Condolences on your loss. MOT


  10. Rob, it’s good to see you back. “The art of losing isn’t hard to master…” and all that Elizabeth Bishop, heartfelt ‘One Art’ sentiment that I appreciate you have been going through. But what about the art of winning? Do you think for Leeds to achieve promotion the team needs to sacrifice style for goals by, say, going 4-4-2? If every team in our next eight games plays like Cardiff I can’t see us scoring enough, if any, goals to get promoted. But I wouldn’t bet on it.


    • I’m convinced we’re going up now because of certain fundamental universal laws that preclude me from ever, EVER winning a bet. So relax and enjoy the ride my friend, for WE are going UP!!


  11. So sorry to hear of your loss Rob. Come on Leeds! Do it for Norman, Trevor, Graham – and the many, many thousands so desperate for success. Norwich, Villa and silly cow Brady’s West Ham down – Leeds and whoever up. MOT


  12. Sorry for your loss Rob. I won’t be following your betting idea though…it’s tempting fate mate😱👍


  13. king sniffer

    Great to see you back Rob. I feel so much better now you’ve done that!
    One thing that I noticed, and Noel Whelan also mentioned; we did not have a recognised centre forward on the bench. Such a shame about the injury to Big Kev but it is an issue. I suppose if Pablo is back on Saturday, then Tyler Roberts can fill that role but it is still a concern. Anyway, here’s to potentially one of the best £50’s ever spent! MOT


    • It’s £50 I’d be ecstatic to kiss goodbye to mate, which would doubtless have my old Dad spinning in his grave if we hadn’t had him cremated! MOT


  14. Glad you’re back Rob after the difficult time you’ve had. Like you I am cursed when I comes to gambling so with that in mind I’m considering backing Bamford to miss a hatrick of chances v Fulham should Bielsa seem him worthy of a place in the squad. I never thought I’d see a player make me miss Enoch Showunmi and Thomas Brolin but Bamford has done it. Tyler up front on Saturday for crying out loud.


  15. Hey,does anyone have any theories as to what’s been going on under the cover of this “Scamdemic” for the past 12 weeks or so? This flu/common cold thing was downgraded from a High Consequence Infectious Disease on 19th March but you wouldn’t have seen it on tv or in a paper. So far the Royal family have disappeared never to return and some famous Hollywood actors and actresses have also disappeared never to return. There will be some kind of financial reset soon without a doubt but theres more to this than meets the eye. I personally believe that Donald Trump is going to be the greatest president ever. I thought I’d talk about something else as the Cardiff game has been done to death.


  16. Is anyone sticking a few quid on mitrovic to score at any time tomorrow? We need to jinx him too. Also stick a few quid on another wave of the bogus virus for 20th October in USA Red States and around the world. Its all part of “Agenda 21”.


  17. Crimson Avenger

    So, here we are on the brink of a collapse only ever likely to happen to Leeds United. A loss to bottom club Barnsley inevitable. 0-1. Draw against Derby. Must win against Charlton. Panic. Can’t score, miss host of chances. Should never have used up our quota of goals against Stoke. West Brom inevitably win against Huddersfield. Terriers happy as it redeems the Doggers season, cos it prevents Leeds going up, etc. etc, Play offs. Guess what happens then. Wish I’d put £50 on us not going up, too.


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