The day Leeds United ripped out my heart and threw it on the floor

30 Jan 2020 03:30 pm, by YorkshireSquare

Lowly Wigan, twenty-second in the Championship, nearly thirty points behind Leeds United, this Saturday afternoons game should be easy. But it was the game against Wigan in April last year when Leeds United ripped out my heart and threw it on the floor. It was a nervy start to the game but things were going our way, Wigan down to 10 men and a penalty for Leeds. An excruciating miss from our talisman Pablo but Lord Bamford settled the nerves to put Leeds in front. Then the wheels fell off. Wigan hit us on the break scoring twice from their only two shots on target. We never looked comfortable on the ball and despite 36 shots we couldn’t get past the bus parked in Wigan’s penalty area.

It was gutting, the worst I’ve felt as a Leeds fan. So much worse than relegation against Bolton or Ipswich, worse than play-off defeat to Watford or Doncaster because there had been hope. Yes, we were still level on point with Sheffield United but it felt like we had blown it, the performance more so than the result felt like we had capitulated in the worst possible way, choked at the last minute. The Monday loss to Brentford didn’t hurt as much, I felt numb, I almost expected us to lose after Sheffield United had thumped Hull. There was still a modicum of hope of course but it played out much the same as the Friday, more possession, more shots but caught out on the break twice again. Pablo looked heartbroken at full time.

The end of last season, the losses to Wigan and Derby hurt so much because there was hope and hope is something which had been in short supply at Elland Road for the previous nine years. Andrea Radrizzani has made mistakes but he seems to learn from them, to see him, Angus Kinnear and Victor Orta jumping around like lunatics when we score you get the feeling they get Leeds, they really care. Bielsa has been a revelation, as much philosopher as coach he has made us appreciate what is most important, the football, and some of the football played the past two seasons has been an absolute joy.

Rather than dwell on the misery of last season Bielsa and the team have turned that heart-break into a desire to get the job done this season. Bielsa has transformed this team, who am I to underestimate them. Sure, we have had our wobble but if Tuesday night taught me anything it’s not to give up. Off the back of that amazing comeback victory against Millwall we need to push on, beat Wigan and finally put the hurt of last season behind us.

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MOTBUCK wrote on 31 Jan 2020 01:00 pm

Watched it from the Wigan section as only place I could get a ticket. Totally freakish game ...... if we played it 1000 times we would have one 999 times. Sometimes you just can't do anything about it ....

1964white wrote on 30 Jan 2020 06:16 pm

The worst I've felt since May 1975.

Walked out of ER absolutely stunned. I knew there & then that was the end of our promotion challenge especially with a pointless trip to Griffin Park next up.

Never fancied us in the play-offs, yes LUFC gave us false hopes however in their own inimitable style they blew it big-time :(

rab_rant wrote on 30 Jan 2020 04:36 pm

I remember Reece ruling the midfield and thinking that boy has got lungs of leather. He just ran and ran... and I thought if only Leeds could nab him for our squad he would be a brilliant addition.

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Cjay wrote on 30 Jan 2020 04:20 pm

That Wigan game was the day i think a lot of us knew we wouldn't get promoted.

Many said it on the matchday thread i think.

It was the day i decided the players werent mentally strong enough imo (know some dont agree).

Hopefully a year wiser and a year stronger. :)

mothbanquet wrote on 30 Jan 2020 03:41 pm