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Leeds fans, it seems to me, possess a fundamentally warped view of the world.

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
edited January 2023 in General Chat
Martin Kettle in The Guardian:

For many Elland Road fans this past dreadful season, Alan Smith simply was Leeds United. It was not hard to see why. In a side full of players whose minds seemed to be anywhere except Leeds - either wondering where this place was or where they would be going next season - Smith stood out week after week for his unfailing commitment and sometimes even his skill.

That's because he was, as the fans had long recognised, not only a good player but one of us, "Leeds through and through". The club recognised it too, milking his attitude and the fans' adoration at every turn.

At the start of the season Leeds's marketing featured a mock x-ray of Smith with the club logo beating where the heart should be. Midway through the season the identification of him with the Leeds fans became even more explicit, showing the blond striker sitting in the stands with the rest of us - as committed to the cause as we were.

By the final Premiership game at Chelsea, the adulation that had surrounded him for the previous 37 games had turned abruptly into an explosion of hostility. The player whom the fans so revered had done the one thing that Leeds fanatics can never tolerate and never forgive - pulling on the red shirt of the side who for all too many Leeds fans are simply known as "the scum".

Everybody knows all about Leeds's problems but, as the season has gone on, I've become convinced that the hidden part of Leeds's problems are the people among whom I will always number myself - the fans themselves.

Leeds fans, it seems to me, possess a fundamentally warped view of the world. Of course, in one sense, all fans are like that. But the aggressive unreality of the Leeds view became something different and much more unhealthy. I suspect that Leeds United will never fully recover their composure and balance until their fans get a bit of much-needed perspective.

In the first place we need to recognise that Leeds are not a big club. Sure, we've had our great moments - though we still dwell on them far, far too much. But the great reality is that we aren't in the same league as Arsenal, Liverpool, perhaps Newcastle and above all Manchester United. Decade by decade, these have repeatedly shown themselves to be big clubs.

Leeds's achievements, with the exception of the late 60s and early 70s, are fitful by comparison. This is the third time in my life that they have been relegated; that doesn't happen to big clubs.

Much of Leeds United's current decline is down to the hubris of their earlier belief that they had the financial base, the fan base and the players to rival these true giants. But it isn't true.

Second, we need to simply abandon the obsession with Manchester United. When I began watching Leeds in the early 60s the big rivals were still Huddersfield Town. Some time in the 70s, though, Leeds fans developed a fanatical hostility complex about Manchester United. It was pretty dumb then. And it's even dumber now.

The idea that Leeds are on a par with Manchester United is plain daft. We should accept that our best players are likely to join them - as many have down the years - and not rage about it. When Manchester United play at Elland Road, which they probably won't now do for some time, we should be delighted to have the chance to watch a team as good as they normally are, not take their visit as an opportunity to indulge a culture of hatred and frustration that only demeans our club and the supporters.

Third, we desperately need to rid ourselves of the idea that passion and commitment on their own are the answer to Leeds's problems.
If Smith signs for Manchester United, we shouldn't spend our time bad-mouthing him. We should recognise that good players at an eclipsed and badly run middle-ranking club will always want to go on to bigger and better clubs.

For all his virtues, Smith also had vices. He was far too aggressive. He tried to show that athleticism could compensate for a basic lack of team organisation and skill. Above all, he was too committed. In fact he embodied a lot of the things that, for me, have taken Leeds United so far down a blind alley.
Post edited by JustV on

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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    :thumb:
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    For all his virtues, Smith also had vices. He was far too aggressive. He tried to show that athleticism could compensate for a basic lack of team organisation and skill. Above all, he was too committed. In fact he embodied a lot of the things that, for me, have taken Leeds United so far down a blind alley.

    For every goal he scored he got a booking to go with it. Saw the numbers on Football Focus but can't remember them now... :rolleyes:

    Every club has a player like Smith. Villa have Lee Hendrie. Arsenal got Keown and Parlour. Liverpool have Gerrard and (to a lesser extent) Owen.

    For me, the bottom line is that if Smith wants to make himself a concrete England squad regular he needs to be playing in the Premiership (or another top league) every week. And to do that he needs to leave Leeds.

    As pointed out on Football365:
    Why has Danny Pugh not been labelled a 'Judas' for leaving Man United for Leeds? Scum.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You beat me to it :crying:
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Why has Danny Pugh not been labelled a 'Judas' for leaving Man United for Leeds? Scum.

    He never identified himself as United fan, also we're not obsessed with the sheep, we just don't like them.
    Man United for Leeds? Scum

    What does that mean?
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    He never identified himself as United fan, also we're not obsessed with the sheep, we just don't like them.

    Not my view mate. Read it on Football365 Mediawatch and thought it madea very good point.
    What does that mean?

    A plyer is labelled a traitor for swappin Leeds for ManYoo but goin the other way is okay?

    Obviously this rivalry only works one way...
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    That is bullshit, the rivalry works both ways. It is not a player rivalry but more of a fan one. Smithy has come out as Leeds through and through and also when asked on Soccer AM one team he would never play for, guess who he said, Man U.

    It is only a small amount of Leeds fans who have labelled him a Judas. I would prefer him to go to another club but he's worked hard for us and deserves a chance of a bit of success even if it is with the Mancunian Skiprats.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Sorry but I think the whole thing is just bloody hilarious.

    I'm not convinced, yet, that Smith is the right player for United, but it was worth paying the scum £7m just to listen to their fans bleating about the "judas" :lol:

    Once again United buy one of Leeds best players... funny how few actually make the return trip isn't it? Surely that should tell the fans just how "!big" the player see Leeds...
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    £7m is a lot of season tickets.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You Reds do love to kick 'em when there down eh? :lol:

    Mind you after Smith's tears it was nice to see him recover so quickly and put pen to paper. Hope you guys draw them in a cup game, I'd wet myself laughing if he scored! ;)
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by BlackArab
    I'd wet myself
    I'd go see a doctor about that ;)
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