Premier League

The Fall And Rise And Rise of Leeds United

If you think your team has had a tough time over the past few seasons spare a thought for the many Leeds fans who have endured one of the most spectacular falls from grace ever witnessed.

They went from living the dream of watching their team playing Champions League football to the nightmare of seeing their side languishing in League One via a massive financial meltdown in a very short space of time. Leeds fans must have found it hard to watch the massive amount of talent the club were forced to sell off including many promising young players such as Aaron Lennon and James Milner.

Leeds’ demise should serve as a severe warning to other clubs about the risks of taking massive financial gambles as it shows what can happen if your club is subjected to a combination of bad luck and bad decision making from the chairman and board. It also proves a point reiterated by the likes of Newcastle that no club is too big to go down given the right set of unfortunate circumstances.

Never liking to do things the easy way Leeds secured promotion back to the Championship in a dramatic last game of the season in which they looked doomed to be heading to the playoffs yet again until their talismanic striker Jermaine Beckford managed to turn the game around for them and finally lift them out of the doldrums of League One.

It will be interesting to see how their current squad will fare heading into the Championship having lost their top scorer from last season. Pre-season friendlies have been promising with the exception of a 4-0 defeat to Bury and one indication of the teams potential comes from their 3-1 victory over Premiership side Wolves.

Another indication that Leeds are deserved of their progression out of League One came when they met their long time nemesis Manchester United in the FA Cup last season. The Leeds fans unwavering hatred of Manchester United was beginning to look like a waste of energy considering that the clubs were at opposite ends of the football leagues, but the enmity was reignited once again as Leeds secured a heroic and historic victory over Manchester United.

On this occasion Simon Grayson’s did a great job of resembling the former giants that they once were when they were able to match a poor performing Manchester United side in terms of the quality of football they were playing and managed to beat them thanks to a sublime finish from Jermaine Beckford.

Simon Grayson has high hopes for Leeds this season and the height of his ambition is clear when he made the following bullish statement that Leeds “are not in the Championship to make up the numbers,” and that “We are in it for promotion. That is our aim”.

Leeds are a team who belong in the Premiership and their fans will be hoping they don’t have to wait too much longer for the glory days return once again, but is promotion in their first season back in the Championship  a little too much to ask?

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