Let’s Not Have England’s Best Interests Get in the Way of Hating Leeds United – by Rob Atkinson

Lord Bamford

I will say here and now that there is very little chance of England winning the delayed Euro ’20 tournament being held this summer. I hope I’m wrong about this, after all, I was nobbut five years old when the Three Lions actually won owt, and it’s become increasingly clear over the intervening decades that the chances of it happening again while I remain above ground to see it are slim and dwindling towards non-existent.

That’s not to say we don’t have a fine crop of players – we do. Yet that’s been equally true in the past, but we’ve always somehow contrived to fall short each and every time. I expect this depressing trend to continue from next month onward to the climax of the event on my 60th birthday.

The reason for my pessimism is best summed up thus; the football establishment in this country hates Leeds United, and that hatred is to the fore whenever decisions are being made that could perhaps reflect some credit on the Elland Road pariahs. The latest example is the frankly ridiculous choices made today regarding the England squad’s offensive depth. As ever, the claims of Patrick Bamford have been overlooked – despite the fact that he’s just enjoyed an outrageously productive Premier League season during which he has scored 17 goals, provided his share of assists, been victimised by VAR, run the gonads off some of the best defenders in the best league in the world, and has generally shown himself to be the nearest thing to Harry Kane that would potentially be available to England in the unfortunate circumstance of the boy Harry doing himself an unthinkable mischief.

I would say that, of course – I’m a Leeds United fan and I wear my yellow, white and blue blinkers accordingly. But it’s a view held outside the fold as well. One caller in to one of the football chat stations earlier today voiced the identical opinion – Bamford is the best Plan B we have should England find themselves Kaneless and bereft. And this was a Leicester City fan, doubtless still traumatised by Paddy’s world class finish at the King Power stadium a few months back, to go alongside his two assists in that 3-1 Leeds victory. But, regardless of what Bamford brings to the table, Mr. Southgate has opted to do without – a decision I feel will come back to haunt him. And I reiterate: I hope I’m wrong.

If anyone can explain to me a rationale behind the decision to exclude Paddy that doesn’t amount to bog-standard Leeds-hating, then I’d be very interested to hear it. Yes, I know our Kalvin has been selected – and I hope that he will recover from his worrying shoulder injury in time to play his part for the nation. Even so, the stirrings in the sewer end of the Press are currently to the effect that, with Rice and possibly Henderson available, Kalvin may just be superfluous. This despite the fact that the lad hasn’t put a foot wrong for England, even though he’s been used in a role far different from the one that’s allowed him to be the prime mover for Leeds. So I won’t hold my breath expecting Kalvin to enjoy England glory this summer.

On the face of it, Lord Bamford‘s exclusion from the squad defies all logic and reason and, in his place, I’d be distinctly miffed. And yet we may take some consolation from the fact that our aristocratic striker will benefit greatly from some rest over the summer, and will certainly be motivated by his exclusion to do even better for Leeds next time around.

There’s a case to be made too for Jack Harrison, who must surely have felt that he’d played himself to within an ace of England recognition. But the same problem presents itself – he’s just too Leeds. And for as long as the powers that be in the England setup continue to show a willingness to cut off their noses just to spite their smug faces, then our consistent record of failure over the past 55 years is likely to continue being extended into the forseeable future. And that’s a great shame.

Marching On Together

25 responses to “Let’s Not Have England’s Best Interests Get in the Way of Hating Leeds United – by Rob Atkinson

  1. David Lloyd

    Paddy should take the ROI option, and we should sign non-English players, no problem. Of course there was a time when Charlton, Hunter, Jones and Sniffer were regulars – those were the days, long live dirty Leeds !!


  2. kieran preston

    Don’t agree! I’ve supported Leeds for over 60 years and my take is that we are more popular at moment than in most of that period. Most of the media wax lyrical re Leeds. I think Patrick is unlucky but he probably had a few too many off days. We know who will play upfront if fit. The other players who have been chosen ahead of PB have more flexibility re where they can play! Let’s hope PB continues his form and is around for World Cup!


  3. Life is LUFC

    GS is a southerner what more can you expect from him.
    Was he wearing that mask over his eyes when out and about at the various clubs?
    All I will say is I hope he never gets any where near to being the Leeds United manager.
    That’s me finished on the subject.

    Good to hear from you. Did you get to the game?


    • I didn’t, sadly – although to be honest, I’ve regarded myself as a Jonah since we lost back to back home games and Wigan and the Wendies before we hit form in the promotion run in. I stayed away from the last few games, in a noble desire to ensure the team had its best chance – damn, I’m good 😀


  4. Leeds are probably as popular today as at anytime in our history!. Patrick has improved a lot this season, but still should have scored at least 10 more goals from easy chances, So, keep on improving Patrick & your day for England will eventually arrive.


    • I honestly think that’s true as far as rank and file fans are concerned, notably the likes of the Leicester fan I cited in the piece. But sadly, the establishment still regard us as undesirables, something that goes back almost 60 years.


  5. Who would you take out of the squad for Bamford?


  6. Reality Cheque

    Spot on as usual Rob & glad to be able to read another of your articles which sadly,have been too few & far between during our amazing Premier League season
    Marcelo Bielsa, who has just been crowned Manager of the Season on the BBC’s MOTD site with 37% of votes & earned the glowing plaudits of his fellow managers throughout the season, believed that Lord Bamford deserved to play virtually every minute of every game for Leeds yet Mr Southgate didn’t think that Bamford deserved to even make England’s 3rd team in his 33 man squad!

    Patrick’s very impressive finishing & stats were able to prove all his pre-season doubters wrong & make several anti-Leeds pundits eat their words but not persuade Mr Southgate to make the “no brainer” right choice. I therefore share your pessimism of England’s chances this summer (unless our very own Yorkshire Pirlo is nominated to take every free kick from just outside the 18 yard box)


  7. Gordon Baxendale

    Hi, Rob, let’s hope that players do well for England, Patrick must be gutted but let’s hope he has a good and relaxing summer to recharge his batteries f
    or what is going to be a wonderful 21/22 season.
    On a lighter note I will fulfi my 75th anniversary of support in January and hope to make the journey across the M62 to see MY team


  8. andrew hinks

    hi rob
    let’s be clear here…. who the hell is southgate anyway apart from another archetypal ‘yes man’ & what has he ever achieved to get the role apart from wearing a silly waistcoat & choosing to play in the easy part of the last world cup draw to play mickey mouse teams whilst all the top guns knocked themselves out & when we played a half decent team in Croatia even then the clown couldn’t get the team thru!

    whenever kalvin has gone off with England he returns ‘southgated’ & marcelo has to re-bielsafy him to get rid of the clueless ‘coaching’ from the buffoon!

    if I was paddy I’d not fret as if playing the likes of san Marino ,Albania et al is international football…my arse!
    two defensive midfielders against Denmark recently (kalvin & rice!) …what’s that about??

    seeing the idiot dotted around the english empty stadia , he must be laughing himself silly to be in the role as a complete numpty just like that ‘wally with the brolly’ McClaren!

    let ollie ‘I love diving’ Watkins go as the sly, snidy, dean ‘smith the myth’ & lets all fall down & time waste tactics ( see GREALISH- MY LIFE ON THE FLOOR -THE MOVIE!)… probably you need a ‘mop hair’ style paddy & need to lay on the floor more to get picked or a deep sun-tan if you get my meaning?

    agendas eh!!

    have a good holiday paddy & thanks for all your brill work, assists & goals this season!

    your playing under the best international coach in Marcelo & a better standard IMO?

    like Rodrigo, you are both class acts, a great pre- season & a fab holiday deservedly earned!!

    what a season!

    the ‘munik’ love in has started this week on BT SPORT & SKY, your reward for failing in the CL…… go & have a go at the Europa league as we must have our ‘Salford Yanks’ in a euro final!

    no mention that they shouldn’t even be in the competition by BT or Sky tho’ of course not…what a joke!

    glad your getting healthy rob!

    Kent White since 1969


  9. Bielsa was without ANY doubt at all, the manager of the season & Patrick is a VERY hard working player for our team, but a clinical finisher he is not, ( YET). But for sure Rob, if Leeds had gone with the Super league 6 idea, we would have been the only club of the ( 7) to be demoted 2 leagues! & fined out of existence!.


  10. Rob, stop moaning. It would be a good thing if no Leeds players were disgraced by being involved in this England squad. England, the first country to vote for an authoritarian nationalist government since Germany, Italy and Spain in the last century, has made itself a pariah on the world stage – particularly getting ‘nil points’ in Europe. In 1966, celebrating the England World Cup win was a delight – despite being of Irish extract and seeing ‘no dogs, no Irish’ signs everywhere at the time. 56 years later it would be hoped that racist attitudes in England had changed. They haven’t, as Brexit proved. Now, whatever team England plays against gets my support. And knowing that England is in the hands of Gareth Southgate, probably the worst club manager on record, is just the icing on the cake.


  11. Mr Rearguard

    Why would anyone want to play for Southgate? What is he exactly? A YES man who likes to wear silly little waistcoats and a stupid pointless mask up to his eyeballs. Shame Roy Keane didn’t castrate him all them years ago.


  12. andrew hinks

    joy oh joy & justice done by Mr unai Emery & those wonderful yellow submarines!….. deservedly & rightly being rewarded with their CL spot for next season as qualified & won the competition against admittedly a smaller club in Salford!

    please keep ole in the job muniks- he’ll go far that fella!

    hope that helped your healing process rob!!

    MOT & ALAW

    from the many Kent Whites


  13. king sniffer

    Very well delivered Rob, and I wholeheartedly agree. His statistics justify inclusion by themselves, without witnessing the unbelievable energy he shows right across the pitch. On that basis, he would count as 2 players in comparison to the others taken. However, had he gone the slightest mistake would have been jumped on from high, and character assassination would have been rife; not that this would have affected him as proven this season.
    So, Lord B, enjoy a good and well earned rest, and come back stronger than ever to prove the decision an injustice. MOT


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