Special bond could give Leeds the edge

08 Feb 2024 09:22 am, by Ellandback1

Good Morning. It's Thursday 8th February, and here are the latest headlines from Elland Road...

Special bond could give Leeds the edge

The Leeds players have undoubtedly developed a special bond this season, which could give them the edge over Southampton and Ipswich, come May! Their body language, hunger, enthusiasm and all round mentality is obviously far stronger than that of last season. It's difficult to be positive when you're fighting for your lives at the wrong end of the table, but Leeds have developed a closeness, reminiscent of the Bielsa days.

Quite simply, Farke's men aren't just winning, but they're having fun in the process, something which is far less evident from their direct competition. They are playing as a team, and for each other. Their delight at winning is genuine, not just a relief at getting the job done. This connection could be the difference between a play off place and automatic promotion.

Photo credit https://depositphotos.com/

1970 FA Cup final - Mk2

ITV4 will be in attendance when Leeds visit Stamford Bridge later this month (Wednesday 28th February), following Chelsea's unlikely demolition of Aston Villa in the fourth Round reply of the FA Cup last night. Blues supremo Mauricio Pochettino has been under all kinds of pressure this season. His side currently sit 11th in the top flight, 15 points away from the top four. Having lost 4-2 at home against Wolves at the weekend, his tenure looks bleak, even if he wins a stay of execution for his sides Cup exploits.

Leeds fought it out (literally) with Chelsea in the 1970 FA Cup final. Jackie Charlton and Mick Jones had given the Whites the lead twice, but Dave Sexton's men came back to earn a replay, the first FA Cup final to do so since 1912. Chelsea went on to win the replay 2-1.

Bamford recalls death threats

Speaking with comedian Joe Wilkinson on his 'My Mate’s A Footballer' podcast, Patrick Bamford spoke of the abuse he received last season, after glaring misses on the pitch, developed into death threats. The 30yo recalls being confronted outside his own home by vigilante (so called) fans, leading to the club to put security in place around his home. Paddy was even less safe online. Trolls had threatened to stab his dog and push his infant daughter down the stairs. This led to him disabling his twitter account, and trips to his psychologist.

The situation Leeds were in was pretty diabolical one, we looked like we were going down which eventually we did. I was on Twitter, not actively Tweeting – until about mid-March. The abuse got so bad, threatening, even my little girl. In the end I came off Twitter and deactivated the account. I spoke to David [psychologist] and he said just to ignore it, and gave me coping ways. We played Newcastle at home, I missed a penalty but ironically played well – Big Sam said shame about the penalty but that’s what I need from you.

I was in the car after the game, crazy traffic and Michaela [partner] rang me. She said there’s people outside the house. I said, ‘what do you mean?’. They were parked outside and hadn’t moved. As I’ve come up, I’ve rang and said get Dad to walk down now. Two cars blocked the entrance to my drive. Put my window down, they put their windows up and stared at me. The gate opened as Dad had opened it, and they drove off. It was a culmination of the last few weeks – I took the flak for it, rightly or wrongly. The way they expressed it was crazy. Michaela didn’t feel safe in her own home.

I rang David afterwards and he said, ‘how do you feel’. I said, ‘I feel like I want to kill someone’. I’m angry, that someone has come to the house. The club put security on the house for the whole night. David gave me coping mechanisms to shut out the noise.

Photo credit https://depositphotos.com/

View all Showing latest 5 comments of 26...

Kennyb41 wrote on 09 Feb 2024 08:19 am

marie67 wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2024 11:16 pm I don't think it's a coincidence that leeds have gone on a good run since Gruev has come in at midfield and Ampadu is doing fine at centre back and adds some creativity from there so i'm all for the status quo.
He's quite obviously doing a lot more than just picking the team Marie.

There's the background noise he inherited anorl, and if the 49ers are as thorough before hiring someone as is made out, then in interviewing him they and him would've gone through all that needs sorting out, and had confidence he's the man to sift through it all.

I say leave him to it, it's the best way to go forward.

And he's earning a lot more grace from me if things do happen to go wrong for a few games, than he will from the goonsquad that see nothing, and appreciate nothing.

BlackHillsPaul wrote on 08 Feb 2024 11:16 pm

John in Louisiana wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2024 3:56 pm Very upset to hear about all that Paddy has had to deal with. Did not realize it had gotten that bad.

All he's ever done is give his best effort every minute he's been on the pitch. He may not be the best player we've ever had, but he's a far, far cry from the worst. Bielsa and Farke both think very highly of him; that should be good enough for us. His determination, hustle, and willingness to do all the things that don't show up in the scoresheet have been remarkable. He's also the fourteenth-leading scorer in club history, ahead of such luminaries as Lee Bowyer, Eddie Gray, and Gary Speed (none of whom were strikers, granted).

The fact that he's willing to stay after all that abuse speaks volumes about his dedication to the club. I'm a fan.
Well stated John!!

We've all been frustrated by his injuries. But when healthy he has been a good player for us. And right now he is a better fit than Piroe. We need a striker willing to stay high and keep defenders honest. Do the dirty work. And that is a strength of PB. And he'll score a goal about every third game. Which is good enough for us in the Champ.

marie67 wrote on 08 Feb 2024 11:16 pm

Kennyb41 wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2024 1:02 pm "With the line-up, if you re-wound to the start of the season and somebody had told you the back four would be [Junior] Firpo, [Ethan] Ampadu, [Joe] Rodon and Archie Gray, you'd be thinking 'something's gone badly wrong', but it's working."

BBC Radio Leeds' Adam Pope said: "Is there case to say now that Ampadu is second-choice defender? He has been so good and the stuff he can do from that position - like the ball he played to Bamford in particular - it is really destructive to the opposition. It gets Leeds out of all sorts, he plays that ball as a midfielder in that part of his game, but defensively his interception qualities and reading of the game is superb.

"That also frees up a midfield role as we saw with Archie Gray moving in there for the last five minutes or so [against Bristol City], if [Sam] Byram moves back into right-back and Firpo claims his kingdom at left-back for any length of time, then it might make sense that Ampadu stays there because at the moment you don't want to shake him and Rodon away from each other."

Rix added: "My reading would be, when we're playing a team like Bristol City, playing Ampadu in defence it gives us something else going forward and we don't necessarily need his defensive qualities. Whereas when we play Southampton or Leicester, having a specialist in that position is probably required, but we'll see what Daniel Farke does because he always likes to surprise us."
I don't think it's a coincidence that leeds have gone on a good run since Gruev has come in at midfield and Ampadu is doing fine at centre back and adds some creativity from there so i'm all for the status quo.

60sUnited wrote on 08 Feb 2024 06:57 pm

I was lucky enough to be at that final as a young 17 year old with me Dad. After a long train journey, stood up all the way to King's Cross we eventually arrived at Wembley (my first visit ).....I was really looking forward to seeing the pitch manicured and all the squares as it usually was cut back then but what a disappointment....it looked like a beach with bits of grass here and there !! I was gutted and equally gutted to end up 2-2 in a game we should won comfortably !!

Kennyb41 wrote on 08 Feb 2024 06:45 pm

John in Louisiana wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2024 4:06 pm That 1970 Cup final is the reason I'm a Leeds fan to this day.

The town I grew up in in Connecticut had no American football, so we all played football instead. The coach of the team at the University of Connecticut, Joe Morrone, had created an outstanding youth football program and one of the things he did for us was to arrange a closed circuit broadcast of the game in our junior high school auditorium. I fell in love with Leeds, Bremner in particular, on that day and have loved the team ever since.

Side note: A couple of years later I played on a team with Coach Morrone's son and we won an age-group national title. Because of that, we won the opportunity to play a Scottish national all-star team that was touring the US. We were able to hold our own against that team (although we lost both games by identical 2-1 scores). Got the opportunity to talk to some of their players; they loved Bremner even more than I did (imagine that).
Good tale John i like it, always fascinates me how fans came to follow LUFC.

I just don't know why.