There’s no easy way to describe the love/hate relationship most people have with Leeds – apart from acknowledging that everyone knows they’re one of the biggest clubs in England, and that their partisan fanbase, when safe to do so, belongs in the top tier.
On top of that, Marcelo Bielsa’s touchline antics deserve the extra coverage they’d get in the Premier League. And more to the man, Bielsa has turned the masses away from trauma-induced apostasy and back to believing in a divine figure.
Oh, and Barnsley also play competitive football in England’s second tier. Which is nice for them. Big ups to the.. *checks notes*… Tykes? Colliers?
This is a new Leeds United – one that has discipline, and above all else, one that’s learned from the past.
Instead of exposing their fans to the back and forth drama of needing to score five times to a win a game during the run-in, Bielsa has changed their approach.
Now, that’s not to say they’ve managed to alleviate the stressors; merely that they’ve adopted a strategy that requires fewer goals while maintaining supporters’ anxiety levels. Have you seen the Swansea game from last weekend? Case and point.
They’ve kept eight clean sheets in their last 11 games. In the Championship of all places. It’s an outrageous run of form that should see them crowned champions at season’s end. And you’d have to think a win over their county rivals at Elland Road would be a stunning way to cap it off.
It’s funny. I recently tweeted that Patrick Bamford is the most inconsistent footballer on this planet, and because of that, I’m actually inclined to back him here given his recent run of form.
Bamford’s runs of form don’t exactly resemble your standard runs of form – they dip in and out. All you have to do is check if he was any use in the previous game, and if the answer is no, he’ll probably score twice in the next fixture just to spite your criticism. That level of pettiness is something I can get behind.
Look, whatever works for you, mate.
You know that after nearly two decades away from the Premier League that you’re not getting anything other than a completely stressful experience when you’re on the cusp of a return, don’t you?
It’ll come good in the end – don’t worry. But I am very keen on the price of this, all told.
Leeds v Barnsley tipping summary
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