The debate about how the club should be approaching this transfer window is raging on, it will until the end of the window, and start-up around February again. Everyone has, and is very much entitled to their opinion, but one things that keeps being mentioned is patience. “Have patience, Leeds fans are so inpatient”. There aren’t many clubs that would have crumbled like ours and still have the fan base despite not having much success in 14 years. Patience is something we have come to live with.
Did we choose to be this patient? No we didn’t, we were thrust into turmoil and a downward spiral we couldn’t predict under Peter Ridsdale at no fault of our own, and yet 14 years later we are still here, with the same amount of passion and pride, the same amount of enthusiasm and the same amount of expectancy in terms of certain areas. We obviously can’t spend like some football clubs, far from it and that certainly isn’t the fault of the current owner Andrea Radrizzani, far from it. In fact, it wasn’t the fault of any of the owners since we were relegated and crashed, but the thing is, we didn’t burn. Now we are fighting to reclaim our position in the Premier League, and for only the third time we actually have a chance, but this is where people begin to disagree.
We are a few players off really having a go this season, it would seem anyway. The links to Chris Martin at Derby tell us something we didn’t really want to hear. Forget the player in question because some rate him and others don’t. Should we honestly be questioned for being disappointed at why we can’t afford a player on loan from a side who aren’t a million miles ahead of us in the league? For me that’s a valid question that needs to be asked, yes there is a structure and yes we need to have a plan but we are in arguably the worst standard league this tier has seen for many years, we are within touching distance of the play-offs if we have a good second half to the season and it doesn’t feel (yet) like we are showing some serious ambition in this window to chase that chance and give it the best go we can.
Andrea Radrizzani bought back the stadium and personally that was a huge thing for me, and for many fans. I like the idea that he is upgrading us behind the scenes and making us a better club off the pitch but it shouldn’t come at the expense of upgrading on the pitch. Are we a better team than we were last season? Break it down. Rob Green, Kyle Bartley and Chris Wood would get back into this team with ease, Charlie Taylor fully motivated would as well. Liam Bridcutt may even get in at this stage but that’s debatable. If you took all of the new signings and tried to fit them into last seasons team Samu Saiz would get in, but apart from that you are looking at Gjanni Alioksi who comes and goes and that’s about it. It’s not negative because you have the opinion we aren’t as good a team, we still support the players, go to games, but it’s hard to argue that the team has improved much if any.
If it takes 10 years, 20 years, 100 years to get back to the Premier League I still believe Leeds fans would be the same, show the same passion and expectancy as we do now but it won’t take that long. We dared to dream last season and we flopped. Luke Ayling got it bang on when he said the squad wasn’t used enough last year and it cost us, and this season is going the same way. We put in the back-up players in the FA Cup at Newport and got beat, the same as we did at Sutton last season. Some of them aren’t good enough and that is worrying. Andrea Radrizzani made a statement at the end of the Chris Wood saga when he said “fans can rest assured” ALL of the Chris Wood money would be re-invested in the squad. Since then we have spent around £4 million on players for the first-team. Those players have a combined goal tally of 5, all scored by Pierre-Michel Lasogga.
Opinion makes the world of football a rough and tough but wonderful place. If you didn’t have opinion you wouldn’t have the same passion about the game. Debates and discussion, disagreements all come from a subjective angle. Leeds fans aren’t inpatient, we would have disappeared into the wilderness many years ago but we haven’t. We are passionate, we want the best for this football club and we expect the best because it’s our club and a club we strive to make the best we possibly can. Asking for the owner to spend some money in the window isn’t ridiculous, short-sited or ignorant, it’s just what we expect and want. Fans spend their hard earned money on all things Leeds United, often without a second thought, I certainly do, it’s how I and many others are built. I’m not the owner, but we want the owner to succeed no matter our opinion on this window. Leeds fans expect more than Championship football, and it just so happens we have a good chance of success if we get this window right.