Tag Archives: Leeds fans

Leeds United Fans Savouring the Unfamiliar Taste of Optimism – by Rob Atkinson

Andrea

After the owner from Hell – is Andrea Radrizzani Heaven-sent?

The usual pre-season mood around Leeds United over the past few years has been an unlovely mixture of frustration and pessimism, both usually to be justified by subsequent events. Squad investment, the close-season preoccupation of the serious promotion contenders, was noticeable only by its relative absence down at Elland Road. Pre-season programmes were put together hurriedly if at all, the club more often than not being engaged in the search for another doomed occupant of the United managerial hot-seat. The fans looked on aghast, as the recipe for mediocrity was written anew each season before their horrified eyes. It was depressing, it was annoying – it was getting properly boring.

How things have changed since the recent shift of power at the helm of this famous old football club. The new owner, Andrea Radrizzani, seems able and determined to engage with the supporters, impishly keeping us in the loop as he sets about a recruitment spree the like of which we’ve not seen since the second millennium was brand new. All of a sudden, after the thin gruel of recent years, we’re being fed a solid diet of proper signings, players for whom a fee has been demanded, players we’ve had to compete for against other clubs of equal or even higher rank, players of pedigree who should be able to handle the pressure that comes with the famous white United shirt. It’s all most novel and unaccustomed but, by gum, it makes a very welcome change.

Now, Twitter is abuzz with incredulous Leeds fans rapidly running out of fingers to tally up the roster of new additions. The mood is bordering upon happy hysteria all over the vast world of Leeds United social media, fans are getting ecstatically greedy, wanting more presents from Santa Andrea before they’ve even unwrapped the latest quality playmaker with a distant but enthralling Real Madrid connection. It’s heady stuff. Not all United fans are easily pleased, of course. Many, having watched on breathless as the attacking options have multiplied, are urging Radrizzani to make the case for the defence. But you sense that the Italian has it in hand; his responses are urbanely tantalising, but the intent and ambition behind those responses are palpable.

Here is a guy who has no intention of pulling the wool over our eyes, nor yet of leading us up the garden path. His promises have been terse, almost – but then swiftly fulfilled. To say that it’s been refreshing is hopelessly inadequate; single-handedly, Radrizzani has galvanised a massive body of support, with the effect of a powerful stimulant running through the veins of a formerly moribund subject. The followers of sleeping giant Leeds United have been administered a welcome shot in the arm; eyes are sparkling and sinews are stiffened for the challenge ahead. The general mood after so many seasons of “meh” is a decidedly positive “bring it on”.

Stern tests await in the remainder of the pre-season programme and, of course, in the campaign itself. More recruitment is necessary in the defensive third, especially in the likely and regrettable absence of Kyle Bartley, sadly confined to barracks in Swansea. Matthew Pennington‘s season-long loan arrival from Everton won’t be the end of that process, as at least one more experienced head will be required. But you have the feeling in any case that all areas of the club are relishing those tests, ready for the challenge, welcoming the task ahead. The attitude and morale of the whole place is radically different from the gloominess of other pre-seasons, and the old Leeds United fighting spirit seems to be reasserting itself. And not before time, with a historic moment fast approaching.

In two years time, Leeds United FC celebrates its centenary, a watershed in the existence of any football club. Where will we be in the game, when those three numerals tick over? I know what I wish for this great club, and I’m sure thousands upon thousands feel the same way. Let’s celebrate that centenary where we belong, marching on together in the top flight. That fervent hope might just have become a lot nearer being realised.

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Marching On Together: Please Support This Fast-Growing Leeds United Blog – by Rob Atkinson

Unrivalled support

Unrivalled support

Life, Leeds United, the Universe & Everything is growing rapidly. Back in September of last year, just before it was included on the News Now platform, the blog had received a total of only 13,000 hits in a little under nine months.  It was growing, but very slowly.  Now, that figure stands on the brink of the 900,000 mark. Sometime in May, if not before, somebody will register the one millionth hit. There are 1,182 WordPress followers, with an additional 2,891 following by email.  And it’ll be onwards and upwards from here.

I’m determined to see this blog continue to grow and thrive. Other projects will spring from it, notably a book about the varied fortunes of Leeds United between the Championship success of 1974 and that of 1992 – a “Full Circle” period that includes the thinly-chronicled second division years of the 1980s.  I believe that I provide a valuable service in trying to keep Leeds United fans – and others – around the world informed and amused.  Many are the comments I have had saying that this blog has cheered things up when the situation around Elland Road has seemed bleak.  It’s heart-warming and fulfilling to get feedback like that; it inspires me, as it would any writer, to carry on trying to provide what readers want.  I’m passionate about Leeds United Football Club, and I don’t hold back from communicating this in my blogs – which I try to keep coming at the rate of roughly one per day (sometimes more) where other commitments allow.

Every little helps

Every little helps

To do any and all of this, I need your help. I need individuals to read and share the blog so that those numbers continue to climb – this is so important. I also need small donors, people willing to click the PayPal button on the top right of each page, and give even a quid or two – or maybe commit to a quid or so a month – because it all helps. Many of you have been kind enough to do this already, for which I am humbly grateful – and as those people know, I always write to express that gratitude. Those who have donated £10 or more will receive a complimentary copy of the Full Circle book when it is published.

To put the value and helpfulness of small donations into context: if everybody who ever clicked on an article on this site had donated as much as 10p a time, I’d have been able to fund publication of my book under my own steam by now.  Every little counts – and there are a lot of you out there, with more joining every day.  Please help, if you can.

But as well as straightforward donations and increased readership and following, I also need people who are prepared to get more heavily involved – those who are willing and able to place adverts, sponsor sections of the blog – or even the whole thing. I would ask anybody interested in this to visit the Contacts section – and drop me a line. Again it helps the blog – and with hits running to an average of 25,000 a week and rising, it should be of benefit to you and your business, too.  And I know that there are some extremely enterprising and successful people out there, following this and other blogs – well, you’d be extremely welcome on board here.  But hurry – if Signor Cellino nips in first for a full site sponsorship, I can hardly say no!  And I believe he does have a few bob to spare…

This blog is going places.  I really believe that. It’s just a matter of time – and of how much support and encouragement I can hope to receive from my valued readers and fellow Leeds United fans. So, please help if you can – become a Friend of the Blog. Join in and get on board, and let’s make a big success.  Respond to the articles, join in the debates that ensue.  There are exciting times ahead – Leeds United may be about to turn a corner, so let’s all go forward and succeed together.  I’m actually thinking of instituting a Friends of the Blog list – and I’m open to any other suggestions for helping Life, Leeds United, the Universe & Everything keep on growing and thriving.

Last, but not least – to my small but dedicated band of trolls, the ones who write in so often and so passionately – but for my eyes alone (as their input hardly ever sees the light of day) – do not worry; none of this is aimed at you! You just continue to entertain me and make me laugh, if you will; I require nothing more from you.  You certainly help with the blog’s readership figures – but my request for actual help and support is aimed at true Leeds United fans and friends and followers of the blog.  Thanks, though –  I’m glad we could clear that up…

Ciao – Siamo Leeds.  Marciando Avanti Insieme