It’s the one you love who hurts you most

11 Jan 2020 10:04pm, by YorkshireSquare

It’s difficult supporting Leeds United, time and time again they hurt you. I’s not just a recent thing too, even at our brilliant best under Don Revie we didn’t win as many titles as we should have, didn’t lift as many cups as we could have. From lifting the title in 1992 to fighting for survival in 1993, playing Valencia in a Champions League semi-final in 2001 to relegation three years later. Capitulation in play-off finals to Watford and Doncaster, self-destruction last season with the ultimate embarrassment against Derby. Even when we did win promotion from League One we nearly messed it up.

So forgive any Leeds fans for hitting the panic button, forgive us for fearing the worst, this football club has form, it’s in our DNA. Last years heartbreak is still fresh in the mind, there for all to see in episode six of ‘Take Us Home’, reminders every time I log into my Amazon account. The parallels with last season are so clear, an amazing first half to the season, a record equalling streak of wins, top at new year. Same points, same wins, losses and draws. And here we find ourselves again, capitulating, choking. The points gap diminishing, red and white stripes sneaking up behind us, last season the Blades, this season the Bees.

The same old story as last season, reminders of those games against QPR, Wigan, Brentford all chances to secure promotion, all of them slipped through our fingers. Dominating possession and shots but not taking our chances. The pressure building, the cracks appearing, mistakes made and points lost. It’s hard not to walk away from Elland Road thinking ‘It’s happening again!’ A trip to London next, a city we haven’t won in since December 2017, that victory was against QPR but the trip there last February saw Bielsa disconsolate, head in hands crouched outside the chancing rooms. Even return to Elland Road at the end of the month gives little comfort as bogey team Millwall visit.

A winning streak of seven matches saw us top of the pile with a healthy gap of twelve points. But after squandering a three goal lead against Cardiff we’ve only won one in the last six. The fightback against Birmingham was spirited, the draw with West Brom was a good result. It felt like the reset button had been pushed, the blip was over, we could go into the new year with confidence. The first half performance against Arsenal reminded us how good we can be, the best performance of the season? But this weekend, after a loss to a bloody Garry Monk side, we find ourselves asking the same questions yet again. Fearing the same fate as last season.

This next four months are pivotal for Leeds United. We either realise the dream of fifteen years and return to the promised land of the Premier League or we have to rebuild again in the Championship next season with no Bielsa, no Phillips and with Radrizzani potentially looking to cut his losses. I don’t buy the fact that Bielsa teams ‘burn out’ but they definitely struggle in the second half of a season, we need to strengthen now or forever regret it. Sheffield United brought in five players last January, Leeds brought in just Kiko Casilla and Mateusz Bogusz. Forget FFP, it wont matter if we go up, we need strengthening, we need a proved goal scorer, we need fresh blood.

We need to act, this chance needs to be taken, it feels like now or never.