Even promoted it's all doom and gloom! TSS June 7, 2010 Leeds United 81 Comments Returning to work last month, still on a bit of a high from the promotion party (which I was still suffering from), the tireless Scum fans still managed to poke fun at Leeds United. To them, a pitch invasion for escaping the third tier was a bit ridiculous, and in truth, maybe it was? But after nearly a decade of demise, the pitch invasion and parties that followed around Leeds were inevitable. After years of frustration, heartbreak and failure, we finally had something to celebrate. And yes – we probably did go a little over the top. But the fact of the matter is, that promotion was long overdue, and we all needed something to lift our endlessly tormented souls. However ridiculous celebrating promotion to the second tier may be for a club of Leeds United’s size, I’d do it all again tomorrow. The Scum fans are welcome to laugh. After all, Leeds United are finally moving forwards again. Scum meanwhile are being knocked out of the FA Cup in the third round by third-tier teams and crippling under the weight of the Glazer inherited debts. It helps you sleep much easier at night, doesn’t it? The Scum fans are welcome to their five minutes of laughter. They know that deep down, their days of Premier League dominance are over. They know the debt which Glazer has burdened them with will eventually be too big to cope with and that multi-million pound transfers will quickly become a thing of the past. And as they slowly slip down the pecking order, Leeds United will quietly rise again. You see, the Scum fans are easy enough to torment. They have enough worries of their own and are simply trying to deflect attention by focusing on us. It’s the same “light-hearted” banter that these two teams have communicated in for years, and it isn’t going to stop simply because there’s a division or two between us. The hatred is far too strong for that! However, more and more over the last few years I’ve noticed that the Scum fans are wasting their breath. No matter how critical of Leeds United’s team, management or fans they may be, they simply can’t compete with the attitudes coming from within. We’ve developed such a defeated, cynical and pessimistic attitude, that escaping this rut is a hell of a lot harder than it should be. I say ‘developed’, but it’s hardly something that’s happened over night. No other team on earth is as critical of their players as Leeds United’s fans are. Jermaine Beckford was a prime example, but even going back to our more successful time at the top, Mark Viduka endured the same kind of nonsense. Then there’s the management. Simon Grayson moves from hero to mug at such a rapid pace, I can’t update TSS quick enough sometimes. He’s not been the only one either, David O’Leary, George Graham and even Howard Wilkinson often fell foul of the fans negativity. I’m digressing a little here, but there’s an often cited tribe in Africa called the Ashanti’s that Psychologists have used to explain what can happen when an entire community expects something of you. Basically, the Ashanti’s believe that your personality is dictated by what day of the week you are born. For example, a boy born on Monday is said to be ‘mild-mannered and peace loving’ whilst one born on Wednesday is said to be ‘violent and aggressive’. Of course, in a more developed society such as our own, we know the day of the week on which you’re born holds absolutely no relevance to your personality. However, the Ashanti’s that were born on a Wednesday did turn out to be ‘violent and aggressive’, whilst those born on a Monday were ‘mild-mannered and peace loving’. What the Ashanti’s and Psychology teaches us, is that when something is when everyone around us expects something of someone, that person will generally act accordingly. So how does this relate to Leeds United? Maybe it doesn’t, but I can’t help thinking that the negativity amongst our fans sometimes fuels failure. In the play-off final against Donny for example, there were as many fans expecting us to ‘bottle it’ as there were fans who thought we would win. When a group of players pull on that famous white shirt that holds all the memories of finals where we ‘bottled it’ and they hear the pessimistic expectations of fans, maybe they start to conform to what is “expected” of them? Maybe failure was inevitable? Conversely, you only need to look at the defiant arrogance of the Manchester United fans who believe they have a god-given right to win anything, or the kind of ‘we can beat anyone‘ spirit Jose Mourinho instils wherever he goes. You never get that kind of belief at Elland Road. There’s always an element of expected doom. We enjoy the highs, but seldom get too carried away. In truth, we always hold back a little, just in case there’s an epic fall awaiting us around the next corner. Even now, after promotion the negativity remains. The possibility that Simon Grayson has nothing to spend makes us question our chances next term. We compare ourselves to other teams, not by looking at the strength and depth of our own squad, but by suggesting how easily the oppositions star player will tear through our fragile defence. Maybe pessimism is an inherent trait of all Leeds United fans? All those failures are hard to forget, but are we partly to blame for those failures? Is our own negativity dragging the team down and stopping Leeds United’s success, or is the Gypsy curse/Ken Bates/deal Ridsdale made with the Devil to blame for it all?