Leeds United promoted back to the Premier League!
17 Jul 2020 06:30 pm, by YorkshireSquare
Finally, with a hard-fought victory over Barnsley on Thursday night and West Brom only managing a draw with Huddersfield Leeds United have ended their sixteen years out of the top flight and reclaimed their rightful place in the Premier League. It’s been a long, rough journey. From David O’Leary’s brilliant young team gracing the semi-finals of the Champions League in 2001 to relegation to the Championship just three years later. Our prized assets sold, debt mounting, an implosion so spectacular the term “Doing a Leeds” was coined.
I was there at Bolton as the chant rang out “Down in a minute, we’re going down in a minute”, I was there at Chelsea for our final day in the sun just as Abramovich’s billions were starting to make their mark. I drowned my sorrows in a pub in Cardiff in 2006 after Kevin Blackwell’s team of journeymen capitulated to Watford. I sat on the steps of the Kop head in hands as the ugly scenes unfolded on the pitch after Alan Lee’s 88th minute equaliser for Ipswich all but relegated us, the cries of “You’re the Scum of Elland Road” ringing out. Administration followed to seal our fate.
Minus fifteen points, getting beaten by local ‘rivals’ Doncaster, having do endure Ken Bates, GFH and Massimo Cellino, Leeds United fans know what is like to suffer. Sixteen years in the wilderness has been a trudge but we’ve had our moments. Simon Grayson’s young team winning promotion restored some pride, they could have gone on to greater things has Ken Bates not dismantled his promising squad in front of him. A manager who understood what it was to be Leeds replaced by Neil Warnock and a series of no hopers left broken by the task at hand; Brian McDermott, Steve Evans, Darko Milanič, Dave Bloody Hockaday!
Who would have thought after tall that time, after all those names, fifteen managers and five owners, that a man from Rosario, Argentina would be the one who would get Leeds United the most? Who would feel the passion of the city and understand what it is to be Leeds like no other since Revie or Wilkinson. Marcelo Bielsa has restored pride to our city, turned a mid-table squad into a team of promotion winners who lay everything on the line for the white shirt. Two hundred and eighty-seven players have worn the shirt since our relegation from the top flight but none of them with such pride and dedication as Bielsa’s proud men.
After sixteen years and seven hundred and thirty-four games in the wilderness, Leeds United are finally back where they belong in the top tier of English football. What’s more we have done it playing with a style that has excited and enthralled in our centenary season. This was always going to be a season to celebrate our great club and its proud history, but Marcelo Bielsa has made it even more special. There have been plenty of downs over the past few years, now it’s time for Leeds fans to enjoy the ups, and my god this is an amazing up.
On on on!