Friday 6 August 2010

Leeds Un ited and the Upcoming Season

So the season begins. Derby tomorrow, Forest next weekend. That one’s going to raise problems as my partner’s a Forest supporter. It’s good to see Leeds in the Championship, heading back towards the place they belong, according to many pundits.
However, wonderful as the victory over ManU was, it’s putting ridiculous expectations on any team to say they belong in the Premier, as if it stood as a God-given right. All things being equal, Leeds should finish mid-table this coming season – as long as they gel properly as a squad and tighten up the defence. Expecting more than that would be ridiculous, and very dangerous.
Say the completely unexpected happens and Leeds end up winning promotion again. Much jubilation and drinking of alcohol to celebrate. But once the hangovers have passed comes the knowledge that Leeds don’t have the men, or the money, to compete. While money might be a source of much grumbling and grunting among Leeds fans, possibly with reason, it’s simply a fact. Go up to the Premier in the next two years and we’ll be straight back down again – and it’ll be a bumpy, humiliating ride.
This next season should be one of regrouping of starting out a small fishes in a bigger pool and growing. Mid-table this season? Great? Close to the playoffs the season after? Very good. Then, and only then might Leeds be ready for something bigger and better. But it’s not our due. Like all the others, we have to earn it. It the financial bubble bursts around those teams that are global brands, which is quite possible, things will improve, and the playing field will become more level. Hope for that to happen, because it will become a real sport. Until then, I’ll have satisfied with Leeds in the Championship, which looks like the most competitive and equal league, anyway.

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