Lucky Latham of Leeds

Over the last few football seasons I’ve aimed for a five-games-minimum to watch Leeds United. This season’s minimum is over by Christmas (and mid-winter) and it has been a pleasure, with a four wins, one draw and no defeats record.

Football Political Clarity

I’ve been limiting my football blogging as I don’t want to be stereotyped as a football blogger. There are enough out there anyway, and a lot more devoted and knowledgeable on Leeds United than me.

My political-social satirical blogging, as seen in my books, are in line with the freedom of speech style of Charlie Hebdo and the European secular socialist tradition, but I know the middle-class multicultural metrosexuals try to lump any working-class critics of Islam and immigration in together as ‘far-right’.

I have travelled further right across the political spectrum, after the liberal elite ignored the grooming and rape epidemic for twenty years, but still consider myself a greenYgrey moderate in the middle.

I used to be on the far-left, and have seen that Jeremy Corbyn still goes to watch his favourite team, and that’s how I consider myself now – a normal middle-aged traditional working-class fan.

Jinxmongers Ignore Facts

The same as some on the left consider anything ‘working-class’ and football right-wing, some Leeds people who mostly seem on the right-wing, have called me a jinx, after Leeds have struggled over the last fifteen years. Some of them aren’t even Leeds fans, or they claim to be Leeds fans but never go to the games.

Like most witch-hunting, by the left or right, it ignores the facts, and blurs the real human responsibility of those at the top – in charge and making the decisions. The same people who ignore environmentalism now will probably be the same ones blaming the illnesses and diseases that pollution cause on human scapegoats like me!

I arrived in Leeds in 1995, and there were a few great seasons after that, including reaching the Champions League semi-final. The chairman at the time, Peter Ridsdale, gambled on reaching the Champions League regularly, spent heavily, and bankrupted the club. All the problems in the club have developed from that.

Hopefully, Leeds United now have a manager in Garry Monk, some quality spirited players, and the backing of support staff and supporters to claw their way back up to the upper end of the Championship and into the Premier League.

New Season Enthusiasm

Although I thought Steve Evans did a great job last year, and I was sorry to see him leave, I was enthused by the appointment of Garry Monk, who seemed a good young manager with Premier League experience.

My first game of the season was a pre-season friendly against Atalanta. A cheap game against Serie A opposition was the next big attraction to seeing how the new Leeds United team was developing. I didn’t really expect a win, and was delighted when Leeds won 2-1.


Jinxbusters Make Own Luck

For my second game, and first competitive one I had a choice between Huddersfield on the Saturday or Blackburn in midweek. Huddersfield were at the top then, and Blackburn at the bottom, plus it was cheaper for the midweek game, so I chose the latter.

My logic proved right, as Leeds lost 0-1 to Huddersfield, and on a stormy thunder and lightning night beat Blackburn 2-1 with a late winner. It was Leeds’s first home win since the Atalanta game, after losing to Birmingham and drawing with Fulham before the Huddersfield defeat, making me feel extra lucky!

I could have sown up a winning season the next game v Wigan, who were also down by the bottom, and Leeds had won their three home games since the Blackburn win. However, a late equaliser by Wigan robbed me of a hat-trick, and meant I could still have a losing season on goals difference. Still 2-0 to me with 2 to go!

Leeds beat Norwich on penalties in a thrilling League Cup tie the next home game, and I wondered if I’d missed my chance. My nerves increased in the first half of the next game I went to, with Burton putting the pressure on Leeds. However, a couple of second-half goals gave Leeds victory, and clinched a winning season for me.

Season of Change

With a winning season under my belt I went to last night’s game v Reading relaxed. However, now Leeds United were unexpectedly in the promotion play-offs positions, along with Reading, so the game really seemed to have some value for the team.

The first game v Blackburn had some value at the other end, with Leeds just above the relegation zone, but they had risen to mid-table by my next two games, where they have languished the last few seasons.

For myself, I now aimed for an unbeaten season, with my record at 3-1-0. It was another game like Blackburn and Burton really, with nothing much in it, but Leeds just having the advantage with enough extra quality on the field and a loud home support to get over the line, with a late goal clinching a 2-0 win.

So, my five game season has ended 4-1-0, and I now only rue the late Wigan equaliser for spoiling a totally winning season. However, the team is more important than me, and I just hope they can go on and clinch promotion.

I may even go to some more games, with at least three to spare before my winning season is threatened!

Available to buy or borrow on Amazon and some great big bookshops.


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