A £7m (largely pointless) renovation of the East Stand, two new goalkeepers, a worryingly old central midfielder and an on-loan Celtic defender few fans have ever heard of is not the most inspiring summer you have to admit.

Factor in Ken Bates, who recently branded the “one or two individuals” that questioned his management of the club as “dissidents” before banning the BBC from press conferences for producing a documentary exploring the same dodgy management style and you start to appreciate why some fans feel a little gloomy ahead of the new season.

Banning freedom of speech is basically a hobby for Leeds United nowadays. The Guardian were banned in 2009 for questioning the ownership of the club and when the players dared to use Twitter to socialise with the fans, they were read the riot act and subsequently banned from speaking without clearing it with Shaun Harvey first, who will then decide if there is any way the club can profit from it before denying their request.

All this has led to the widespread disillusionment of fans. Between all of the above and continual stories of the Elland Road wage-cap that means Ipswich are now outbidding us for players, there’s been very little to inspire confidence.

Then of course, there’s the small matter of some bitter MP’s who have locked their powerful bureaucracy-blasting guns on the centre of Ken Bates’ forehead, demanding a joint investigation from The FA and Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs into the sheer ridiculousness of our club’s ownership.

But there is some room for optimism, surely?

Both Max Gradel and Robert Snodgrass are still at the club, Andy Lonergan appears to be a more than suitable replacement for Kasper Schmeichel and with Patrick Kisnorbo and Andy O’Brien partnered up in defence, the goals conceded column should make for much less-depressing reading than it did at the end of 2010-11.

Those ‘every cloud…’ types we all know and love could even argue that the lack of activity in the transfer market suggests a much more stable and experienced Championship side, with a better understanding than a team of newcomers like Leicester City may have.

We finished 7th last time round with a pretty similar squad, so is there really any reason why we can’t improve on that this time with a more experienced side who know where the Championship pitfalls are?

We can all speculate until we go blue in the face, but the truth is, we have no idea what’s going to happen in the coming days, weeks and months. I’m taking solace in the fact we all start on zero points, that Simon Grayson has performed miraculously well under the circumstances and that the doom and gloom was just as rife last season.

More importantly than all the above is that Leeds United thrive as underdogs. Did anyone expect us to win the title in 1992? How many of you expected to see our team of kids in the last four of Europe’s most elite competition? Let the bookies and nay’sayers write Leeds United off – they do so at their own peril.

Maybe it’s the same unrealistic enthusiasm Liverpool fans get at the start of every season when they insist ‘this is our year?’ Maybe I had one too many beers on my way home from work and it’s destroyed my ability to think rationally? Maybe I’m slowly being killed by leaking gas… But who cares?

At this moment in time, excitement is rushing through me. A new season, with new possibilities awaits and I genuinely believe this is our year. Perhaps we won’t be “going up as f**king champions” but then again, maybe we will? That’s the beauty of a new season – anything can happen.

So, before we’ve lost a couple of games and start to wonder why we signed Player A and what on earth happened to Player B in pre-season that made him forget how to kick a ball straight, let’s enjoy these last few moments of pure equality and allow ourselves to dream that maybe… just maybe… this is our year…

Marching on together!

  • mojoluafc

    Its just another typical day at Leeds, we get the ups and downs and with Kens seemingly constant senial mumblings going on on on, i just expect this LUFC circus to continue plodding along as its always done. I wonder who he can ban next???. Anyhoo, less of Ken and more about Leeds, no lower than 10th but would like to go thru the huge disappointment again of the play offs, im getting used to them now.

  • The last few paragraphs made me want to rip my shirt off and bellow marching on together off of a mountain! well not quite but it was a fantastically inspirational end to a post!

  • Matthew

    Not wanting to sound gloomy, I have us making the playoffs no problem, but we seem to eff things up towards the end of the season, we've done it for 2 seasons now, where we end up losing games against crap teams we should of won, had that not happened last season, we likely would of took 2nd place from Norwich no problem.

  • Mark

    Fantastic, if I wasn't already excited this is the finest icing on the cake, the hairs on the back of my neck have stood to applaud this article! common Leeds! MOT

  • Joshua Crewe

    We can all dream and ponder what the season is going to bring us. . . Me personally, just want to see the boys hit the ground running tomorrow night!
    But yes your all spot on, new season, new roller-coaster, lets make it another thriller!!

    MOT

  • birstallwhites

    i have a really good feeling this year that leeds will pull it off. we have brown now who is an experienced defensive midfielder…thats what we have been crying out for pompy fans only have good things to say about him . we have kisnorbo back and a new potenially half decent left back. still have snoddy and mad max! clayton and nunez have been on fire in pre-season which in good to see. i still dont agree with the kasper sale, wrong decidion for mr but i think we a actually might just make it just because we havent side many players doesn’t mean we dont have a top 6 championship team who know could go for automatic!!

    • Matthew

      We don't have the players for automatic promotion. We always slip up towards the end of the season, and randomly during the season. It makes me sad the way we could of walked this league if Bates had invested in some players to shore up our weaknesses.

      For example, we shouldnt of lost against

      Millwall Away
      Crystal Palace
      Derby
      Sheffield United

      Thats 12 points dropped against crap teams towards the end of the Season.
      Then we have the random games against crap teams during the league we foolishly lost or drew, kinda like the portsmouth game we drew 3 – 3 against, because of the own goals from us.

      With those 4 games and that one game, we'd have 85 points and 2nd place.

      Ironic how 5 mistakes of many cost us Auto promotion.

  • Walters

    As you say, we didn't expect to be champions in 1992, but we did expect to go up (as champions) in 1990…

    Time to put all the concerns to oneside now though, get the blinkers on and support our team.

    Come on Leeds!!

  • IT WILL ALL DEPEND HOW LONG BECCHIO AND SOMMA ARE OUT FOR,BECAUSE I DONT THINK PAYNTER CAN HACK IT AT THIS LEVEL!

  • Matt

    Please please please Brown and Kissa stay fit! So important… No idea what the result will be tomorrow but overall I think we'll be in the fight- probably scoring fewer but letting in a lot fewer too. Would love to see Nunez dazzle a few defenders too, reckon he can be a game changer.

  • LUFC007

    Amen

  • number1inyorkshire

    i will have half a pint of whatever you have had !!!!
    a pint is obviously too much for 1 man to drink alone !!!

  • James

    why are we spending 7 million on the east stand when we dont own the stadium?

    • Matthew

      Thats because Ken Bates is so dodgy, he makes Del Boy from Only Fools and Horses look legit.

    • lar

      because our very honest chairman owns the lot,just hope when it comes out that mr bates can vouch honesty for the last 5 years at elland road.

  • mikelufc

    You can dream and while you are at it let us in on what your smoking/drinking please

    • TSS

      Been waiting for you to bite lol

      • mikelufc

        I am sure now you are sorry you smoked that stuff tss or wish you had continued to smoke it.
        Most of our players are not as bad as the result shows so what the fukk is larry doing/saying.
        When you are not on wacky bakky you are a pretty good football analyst so take off the rose tinted glasses
        Larry has to go, just a matter of time., but please not too late to salvage the season.

  • Have just posted on our own forum much the same.

    All close season we moan, we groan, we complain, we hate (Bates).

    Then BANG, 24 hours before kick off and the We Are Leeds adrenalin kicks in.

    Everybody hates us, we don't give a fuck.

    We are Dirty Leeds and we don't give a fuck (better Dirty Leeds than that pansy team that qualify for Europe almost every fucking year under the Fair Play rules (not getting stuck in)

    We're not famous anymore, but we don't give a fuck (we know we are)

    And YES, We are going up as fucking Champions

    MoT

    • TSS

      That's the spirit! MOT!

  • leeds_lad

    What ever our league position this season, our ultimate success will be to rid ourselves of a certain grey haired old bastard who will hold this club back in favour of personal gain all the time he is here to torment us. Only then will Leeds United prosper again.

  • Timothy Wilson

    BRING IT ON MOT

  • Pele

    Remember this time last year middlesborogh were red hot favorites, who could have predicted the teams that went up they were just good teams with the odd special player we can go up this year with our squad so get behind the lads.. come on Leeds MOT.

  • Dave

    We mag not go up, but WE WILL FINISH ABOVE LEICESTER!!!!

    • Dave

      Mag?

    • Matthew

      And West Ham too. I just dont see them going back up, their last season in the Premier league was a total failure. We can do better than they did if we were back in the top league again.

      • Terry mijas white

        Service crew ,…… Leeds for life ,,,,, not for the good times

    • Colin

      "WE WILL FINISH ABOVE LEICESTER!!!!"

      No we won't

  • @JacobnBensDad

    Great rallying call to arms!

  • Lorralorimer

    But if we go up, Bates will sell and we just might get someone who cares about this club.

  • A truly inspiring article. After reading that, I am so excited, I could shit. I know we all hate bates, but in my book I would rather have him running the club with a tight purse, than the likes of Ridsdale, McKenzie or Krasner. I would be nice to think that Bates is creating an attractive package for a sale to someone who we can respect.

  • number1inyorkshire

    2 nil down there is nothing to say that there is even a glimmer of anything special coming from leeds .lacking in all departments and second best in all departments (that's only because there is 2 teams ) for all you people who think that we are going up after 45 mins let me tell you we are not or the playoffs .someone change my mind

  • Will23

    It does not matter how much fans engage in blind faith cheerleading, or inspiring words, it is clear SG is on his way out…it is just a question of in which month before Christmas does Bates wield the axe.

    As I’ve said before, SG is nothing more than a clone of Blackwell, not a top flight manager in the making.

    Message to Bates – do NOT give SG any money!

    • number1inyorkshire

      sorry will but grayson will keep his job cos he puts up with bates he will keep his job unless there is a real possibility we will go down and after that ????? ,look he should never have been given the job ,he did f all with Blackpool he cant even put 2 words together in a press conference .GET RID

  • number1inyorkshire

    cmon tss open the post mortem debate

  • Chareose

    on the basis of this performance we are more likely to go down im afraid

  • David Wetherall

    Ive just sat through the biggest pile of shite here at St Marys. We were totally inept and out of our depth. Not one of lonergans kicks reached one of our players. Only kisnorbo did any defending. Im sorry without decent players coming in in defence and midfield we are going down. We had a better side last season, Fact!! I detest Bates for what hes doing to our club and the way he has crushed our hopes.

    • number1inyorkshire

      waiting for tss to start a proper chat about today so don't want to say much here but .any one who thinks that our side is better than last season did not watch that game ,say what you like but Johnson and killa are both better than what we had today my player of the match for us was Clayton ???????.it says everything when our star signing was taken off he was garbage and will spend more time being suspended than playing .

      what an inept display of association football .

      if he grayson and the rest of the hierarchy at leeds including bates think we are better they are deluded ..

      1st task tomorrow get rid of the backroom staff who offer nothing keeping coach ,snoding ,Williams ,assistant manager ??? thats the 1st job .bring in Mervin day who works for us anyway and perm 1 from 10 as assistant ,then we might move forward .glynn snodin sits there like he has spent all his time on the coach munching pies and were did .cmon tss open the debate proper let the battle begin

      • Just spoke to Dave now, he's not a happy Leeds fan. He said today was almost as bad as Preston and Barnsley last season. On his way back from Southampton now so don't think he'll be updating site tonight.

        • I did tell him he'd regret this post. Didn't want to upset him any further by reminding him of bthat though

  • jay

    A truly awful/gutless performance.

  • lar

    totally agree..and if they find any flaws in his dealings of leeds over the last few season…you know what there going to do.

  • Will23

    The awful realisation is that there is no team being built under SG, merely a collection of individuals who are mostly decent players, but with SG’s magic they turn into tripe.

    O’Brien offered a truly shocking performance that bordered on feckless ineptness for a professional.

    Compare Adkins comments with the muppet SG – intelligent clarity versus cliched clueless emptiness.

  • Irving08

    It gives me no pleasure to say that we will finish closer to the bottom this season than the top, first, because with the departure of Johnson and KIlkenny (particularly the former) our midfield will be weaker, and second because most of the better teams appear to have been better players in the transfer/free market than us. A final factor will be the lower level of performance from out best players as the rot really sets in. In my view, the owner has miscalculated, by investing in corporate facilities, ahead of the team (in whatever form, while the management and coaching staff appear not to have what it takes to succeed at this level, not least the personalities to attract good players and motivate them. Ideally a new management team would be brought in, but only a string of demoralising 3-0 thrashings would persuade the manager to fall on his sword – though Grayson's inherent decency must be counterbalanced by resentment at having his hands tied by excessively strict budget constraints. Perhaps the Chairman can persuade Grayson that he deserves better help and advice than he appears to get from his backroom staff…….