I know it doesn’t speak well to my mental well-being, but I really do love the hate-fuelled vile constantly aimed at our club from all directions. It makes us unique and rather interesting.

Take this, from an Arsenal fan as an example;

Arsenal have, as we all know by now, drawn Leeds United in the third round of my favourite competition, the FA Cup. More recent Arsenal fans might not know this, but Leeds United are the embodiment of all that is ugly and wrong with soccer and parents should steer their kids away from being Leeds fans just like they steer their kids away from talking to balding old men who lurk at the edge of the playground in a windowless white van.

Such a captivating opening to his rant, right?

It’s rants like these that make me love being hated. Aside from Millwall who are universally despised for being Millwall, the Championship is a league full of boring clubs no one could care less about. If we were in the Premier League at present, would any of us be looking down at the Championship for an exciting cup tie? Would any club for that matter be looking down at the Championship for an exciting cup tie? I sincerely doubt it.

Leeds are the exception to an otherwise boring set of teams that are either yoyoing back and forth between the Premier League/League One or content with their own mediocrity, happy to make the numbers up in England’s second tier. These other teams are totally devoid of character – going to Portsmouth or Barnsley is no more or less interesting than going to Southampton or Burnley.

If Leeds have been cast as the Pantomime villain of this division, then so be it – Christ knows it needed some character.

The Arsenal fan whose rant I referred at the top of this post goes on to explain his hatred, citing the general “Dirty Leeds” nonsense we’re all used to by now. He even takes a shot at one of his own club’s legends, David O’Leary, for putting together a team that beat seven bells out of his own set of pansies.

You can read the rest of his stereotypical, wildly exaggerated rantings here (it’s amusing, if nothing else). You’ll notice a major inaccuracy in the following paragraph that speaks volumes to his research;

Leeds spent the rest of the 1980’s in the Second, gaining promotion back to the First in 1989-1990. Up until the late 1990’s, though, Leeds didn’t amount to much, and it was only after George Graham was named manager shortly after the start of the 1996 season that Leeds started to play well again.

We didn’t win the title in 1992 then? Funny how so many of us imagined that.

Summing up, the bitter Arsenal fan explains his hatred, referring to the game as “soccer” which could explain his lack of knowledge – I assume he’s American and most of them think the game was invented around the time Manchester United started winning things;

[Leeds] personify everything to me that is wrong with the game – ugly play, a massive financial overreach, and the arrogance to believe that both of those things were and are acceptable. They may be running their club in a more fiscally responsible way now – I don’t pay attention to them these days and thus have no idea – but the fact that they borrowed so heavily against a future that provided no guarantees, all the while playing a style of the game that would make your average prison basketball team blush, means that in my opinion, Leeds got and are getting what they deserve – lower division soccer.

Deserving of lower division soccer indeed. We’re also getting an FA Cup tie against Arsenal that few of us care about, but will still do all we can to maintain our “Dirty Leeds” reputation in.

For sport is nothing without characters and if the Premier League was a division full of Arsenal’s with their sleep-invoking manager and team made of lightweight pansies who spend as much time moaning as they do playing football, it’d be an extremely boring division no one would be interested in.

Once upon a time I had a great respect for Arsenal. When the team featured warriors like Patrick Viera, Tony Adams and Sol Campbell, it was hard not to look on enviously. But the modern day Arsenal is a side full of over-hyped, perpetual moaners who think they have a God-given right to be successful – a myth predicated on the basis that their squad cost relatively nothing and shows more skill than effort.

Arsenal supporters have dropped dramatically in my respect levels too. Highbury had a library-like atmosphere few people enjoyed but their fans were entirely genuine. With the Emirates however came an entirely new fan base who love nothing more than to indulge in half time prawn sandwich eating contests, and boo their players every time they lose possession or have a bad game. There’s a large percentage of glory hunters, no different from Manchester United, who demand and expect success that represent all that is wrong with modern football.

Quite how anyone can consider Leeds United fans arrogant when we have Arsenal to make us look humble is baffling, but let me add to that stereotypical attribute by theorising the real reason the above Arsenal fan hates Leeds United is the passionate, vocal fanbase we take everywhere that puts all else to shame – even when we’re losing. Perhaps it’s the enjoyment we take from following our club, despite our recent struggles and ongoing attempts to regain Premier League status they find so hard to stomach? Maybe it’s our devilishly good looks?

Or maybe it’s just the arrogance I gave you a perfect example of above? I don’t really care to be honest with you, I love being hated.

On and on…