It’s never easy being a Leeds fan, but let’s enjoy every minute of this
12 Jul 2020 08:32 pm, by YorkshireSquare
It never feels easy being a Leeds United fan. I wouldn’t want to be anything else; I wouldn’t want to support another team but they sure as hell get the heart pounding and the stomach churning. As if it’s not difficult enough as it is, Sky Sports and the EFL have contrived to make it an even more excruciating experience. I’m not going to lie, playing after our nearest rivals in the promotion race has shredded my nerves, I’ve become a nervous wreck come kick off!
Last Tuesday Brentford faced local rivals Charlton. Lee Bowyer’s men took an early lead. I’ll admit to having got a little excited, I know I shouldn’t have but I did. They say it’s the hope that kills you, and sure as hell Brentford pop up with two foals in the last quarter of an hour to take the points. Would Derby do us a favour at West Brom on Wednesday, absolutely not! A two-nil victory for the Baggies and the pressure firmly back on Leeds. i need to stop looking at the oppositions scores!
I hardly slept Wednesday night, Thursday was a blur but one that seemed to drag on for weeks, come 5.00pm I was a bag of nerves. The early shot saved from Roberts, the chances from Bamford and Roberts cleared off the line, I thought our opportunity had gone. As half time came the anxiety was insufferable, I expect Leeds fans across the country were losing their cool. Thankfully though it was not the same for everyone involved in Leeds United.
Cometh the hour cometh the man and up stepped Mateusz Klich, cool as you like to slot the penalty home. The goal settled the nerves and the introduction of Pablo Hernandez in he second half gave complete control of the game to Leeds as they went on to record their biggest win under Marcelo Bielsa. This was not the same bunch of players that were weighed down by the pressure of expectation last season, they were unbridled, playing with freedom answering any questions Thomas Frank had posed them two days before with style.
Friday was a joy, buzzing with energy and excitement again, dreaming of promotion, but it wasn’t to last as Brentford kicked off before us on the Saturday. Watkins scored early on, but Derby got one back before the break. False hope yet again and by full time Brentford were breathing down our necks, the gap cut to three points for the second time in a week. Fearing third place beckoning us. But West Brom slipped up, a draw, two points dropped, anything but a bad loss would see us remain top of the table on Sunday evening.
Leeds headed into Sunday’s game with a chance to put a bit of distance between themselves and West Brom and restore the six-point gap to third. But the doubts creep in again, lose and we could be third come next weekend. After all we’ve fumbled in the final few games of the season before. The first eighty-eight minutes were excruciating, Leeds had the better of the game but it looked unlikely they were going to score. A point wouldn’t be a bad thing, but it would make the last few games unbelievably tense.
Pablo Hernandez had other ideas though, our talisman, the heartbeat of our side delivered the vital goal that would seal all three points. This team are another year wiser, burned by last season they will not it slip again. The relief was clear to see; Bamford hoofing the ball a mile in the air, Harrison clenching his fists in joy, Pablo celebrating shirtless with the substitutes, joined by Illan Meslier who had run the length of the pitch to join him. I'm a bit worried about Gaetano Berardi though, if we actually get promoted I fear he might actually kill someone with his incredibly effusive celebrations!
Four points in our last three games, less if Brentford slip up, will be enough to seal promotion, seven to seal the title. Enough to put the demons of last season, hell the last fifteen years to rest. It is anxious, it is tense but we should be embracing and loving every moment of this. Marcelo Bielsa has brought joy to this club, to the city as a whole let’s relish and love every moment of these last few games, it would be a shame to watch it all from behind the sofa.