12.15, Saturday 13th September and the two week international break is over. The whistle will blow its shrill trilling and the ball will be in play; the game between Birmingham City and Leeds United at Birmingham City’s St Andrew’s ground will be underway. Birmingham sit in 20th place in the table with a 5 point return from their opening 5 games whilst Leeds sit 2 places above them in the Championship table with 6 points from their opening 5 games of this season. This really is one of those clichéd ‘6 pointer’ games; a win for Leeds would move us further up the table and away from the clinging mire of a ‘relegation battle’ and closer to the rosy glow of the playoff places. Looking at it with positivity, we are only 3 points from 6th place; OK there are a few teams between us and that 6th place but it’s within touching distance…just…and if you strain your eyes…a lot.

Thing is, nothing is ever simple at Elland Road and we’ll arrive in Birmingham carrying some unwanted baggage and, I promise, I won’t mention players currently being bandied around as ‘not worth wearing the shirt’ (not my view, paraphrased from friends, Facebook comments etc). Firstly, Leeds will arrive on the team bus without, in all likeliness, actually having a coach in place; I know Redfearn will most likely be in charge but I was thinking more about long-term appointment (in Cellino terms that could be anything from 70 days to [insert random number here]). Secondly, Leeds will also arrive with the threat of a League-imposed ‘transfer embargo’ hanging over them meaning that in the next ‘transfer window’ (January 1st-31st) they will not be allowed any dealings in the transfer market for failing to meet Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations during the 2013/14 Championship season and that further participation in the transfer market is dependent on improving financial management. A really useful guide to the FFP regulations can be found here. Finally, Leeds will arrive with a team bolstered by 15 signings made since the 2013/14 season ended on Saturday May 3rd this year including 3 signed in the final few days of the transfer window in Brazilian youngster Adryan, Italian youngster Dario del Fabro and the wonderfully-named Paraguyan striker Brian Guillermo Montenegro Martínez; all three yet to make an appearance in a Leeds shirt.

It is, perhaps, the signing of Adryan that Leeds fans are looking forward to the most. More on-off than a bride’s wedding dress on her honeymoon, the ‘is he, isn’t he’ saga of Adryan’s signing was finally completed on 30th August after protracted discussions between Massimo Cellino’s and Adryan’s representatives. Little is known about Adryan Oliveira Tavares other than what can be gleaned from YouTube clips and compilations and the general t’Internet. The thing is, you don’t get to play for both the Brazilian Serie A side Flamengo and the Brazilian U17 national side if you’re not much good. In his career at Flamengo he played alongside such Brazilian household names as Ronaldinho, Kleberson and Vagner-Love but it is probably his form in the 2011 Brazilian U17 team that Leeds fans will be most hoping for. In that side, he lined up with Lucas Piazon, now of Eintract Frankfurt (on loan from Chelsea) and Marquinhos, who currently plies his footballing trade for Paris St Germain; the team reaching the last 4 of the U17 World Cup in Mexico and winning the U17 Sudamericano. In the 2011 U17 World Cup, the Brazilians ended up in 4th place and Adryan himself finished as the tournament’s ‘Bronze Ball’ finishing with 5 goals including a brace in a 4-3 loss to the German U17 side in the 3rd/4th place game. In this tournament he played in an attacking role, largely behind the front two. It is in this position that it is hoped that he will show his form of old and help kick start what has been, in most Leeds fans’ eyes, a pretty lacklustre set of performances over the opening 5 games; lacklustre apart from segments of the displays against Middlesbrough and Bolton which were both hard-fought 1-0 victories.

Whatever happens from now on in; it cannot be denied that the start of the 2014/15 Championship season has been a bit of an odd one even by the standards of our club. Oh and take heart from this: last season after 5 games we were only 2 points better off than we are now and we were in the promotion playoffs on Christmas Day when we were opening our Chrimble presents.