The Mangle: When Only Doom Will Do Gary October 5, 2011 The Mangle 26 Comments Damn – why’d we have to go and look like a vaguely convincing defensive unit? Clean sheet? Pah. Don’t they know it’s only going to strengthen ‘Mr Chairman’s position? Tw*ts, the lot of ‘em. Absolute bloody sell-outs. There’s a tiny, raspy voice inside me that I’m doing my very best to beat down. It rants and raves and postures – but only when LUFC do something competent. It doesn’t want to celebrate improvement, three points, in fact any of the incentives offered to a rational supporter. I’m just about winning in my fight against this irrational little nark within – but I can’t help wondering if, at a time when many of us are disgruntled with the overarching regime at Elland Road, others are also finding any signs of progress made on the pitch a little emotionally confusing? No? Well, I’m going to continue anyway. This sort of internal cheering against my club has happened on a lesser scale before. The national media’s not very well masked distaste for the club and their related love of a good transfer link of our players to A.N. Other Premier League poacher has meant I’ve occasionally had vague hopes for our latest ‘starlet’ to throw a few diabolical performances into the mix to get them off the scent, while outwardly screaming “go on Fabian, skin the f***er.” But what’s going on now is a more long-term, slow-burning affair, given the old crone staunchly refuses to sell up/ give up/ kick the bucket (delete to taste) and appears to go to more and more elaborate lengths to alienate as time crawls on. It’s now very hard, at least personally, not to see us succeed, have a brief period of elation, then have joy replaced by the image of a smug bearded tax-evader on a yacht pointing at himself in one of the cabin’s 360-degree mirrored surfaces, going “no you’re the bestest ever Chairman in the universe ever – oh stop it, you great cad – no you are, Kenneth, you really really are – well, I suppose, now you put it like that…” I know that comes across like it was a dialogue with between Ken’s ego and super-ego, but it’s supposed to represent Ben Fry on speakerphone. Anyway, this season is probably not going to be one of unmitigated doom. It’s quite likely to be not one covered in glory either, but I strongly suspect it’s going to be a hell of a lot closer to the latter. We may not have strengthened massively, but as goal-crazy and entertaining as it definitely is, the Championship’s general standard is at best inconsistent, at worst, a bit crap – meaning we can still do damage on more days than not. With this in mind, there’s going to be many more of those thoughts of Ken preening as Ross slams in another to be gritted through this season. Presumably only some targeted brain surgery to remove all the residual memory and recognition of Bates will allow a goal celebration to be entirely pure again – at least until he’s replaced by someone better at the helm. Since Satan’s sons tend to live long, prosperous and healthy lives, there may be some wait for this, like. Given the investment in the club we make in various ways, it’s highly unlikely that we could ever get to such a point of Bates distaste that we’re proactively wishing disaster to befall the lads. It’s thankfully more likely to appear as a saboteur afterthought. Whatever machinations are going on in the background, wanting your team to be hopeless to prove a point against an enemy within is, well, a hopeless place to be – and such an absurdist position would be a perversion of your moronic mind that Ken would very likely enjoy, or at very least take sole credit for. And as many would testify, credit’s not something you’d want him anywhere near.