The atmosphere last night was out of this world. People often discuss the Elland Road atmosphere before and after games, both Leeds fans and fans of other clubs. Leeds struggled for 20k against Blackburn for that same fixture last season, last night we had 31k and it was a night to leave you breathless at the final whistle.
Birmingham didn’t bring many fans, no clubs have this season. In all honesty I think Newport may have brought both the most and the loudest fans so far and that is down to a few things. Ticket prices, fans won’t pay £37 to see their club play and I do agree it’s too much, but I also think many clubs fleece us with ticket prices because they know we will sell-out the away end whether its £10 or £40 we are paying. The other reason is that this is just the nature of some of the clubs at this level, the fan base isn’t great with some although I did expect Birmingham to bring more than what they did, they have Harry Redknapp at the helm and have spent some big money on the squad.
When the ball dropped to the feet of Samu Saiz yesterday the place went off, it really did. Bodies, limbs everywhere as the home fans celebrated what had been a wonderful performance and season so far in that goal. The pressure was building on the pitch, the high pressing from the Leeds players forcing defenders and the goalkeeper to clear the ball into touch, each time greeted with a roar from the top of the west, to the top of the east stands. I sit in the south stand and when the goal went in I was nearly taken off my feet, every goal celebrated with such joy and enthusiasm, a joy to behold after the sinking feeling towards the end of last season. The fact that people believe we are on to something special in the long run is also felt both in and outside of the ground.
The east stand upper wasn’t full last night but it wasn’t a million miles off. There wasn’t a seat left anywhere else and the fans, both young and old are returning to the ground with the hype and feel good feeling around Leeds United spreading by the day under the new owner and management. The win on Saturday also left me leaving Elland Road with a feeling that there isn’t many grounds who will experience what we do every week in this country, the passion and pride now not just in the stands but on the pitch at Elland Road, something that we all know hasn’t always been the case with Leeds United sides in recent years. Long may this continue, and roll on next Saturday and another chance to fill Elland Road and have the place rocking.