Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Football fans are strange on many levels, some would say. I mean we're a passionate lot, but very fickle at the same time. We love teams and things, sometimes for no sensical reason, and we hate others for the same reason.

Leeds United are one of those teams that we love to hate here at AFTN (there are many, many others!!!).

Why though? Well, We don't really know. We just do!

Watching tonight's FA Cup replay against Tottenham Hotspur, it should have been a given for a fan of a lower league Club that I'd want to cheer on the underdogs. Division 1 v Premiership. It should have been a no brainer, except I still find it hard to want Leeds to do well.

Whether it's because I still don't think of them as a "smaller" Club or the fact that I love to see them suffer for their self-imposed financial stupidity that got them in the mess that they are in in the first place. It's hard to say.

I just have this dislike of them for some reason.

They have a lot of Scottish fans, a result of their Scottish player invasion that brought them so much of their success in the early 70's. I was just too young to latch on to all of this thankfully - going down the West Ham route myself instead (no one can still tell me why!).

I just remember them trying to buy success and the implosion that deservedly followed.

Have their fans been punished enough though?

You have to admire the Leeds support and take your hats off to them for standing by their side as they dropped through the Leagues and time after time have failed in the playoffs to rise back up them again. They have shown loyalty that many other Clubs that have gone into freefall would have dearly loved to see amongst their own support.

The Leeds fans at Elland Road tonight were tremendous, generating a support and noise that merited double the amount of fans that they had packed in. They really do still have a Premier League fanbase and ground.

It was inspiring I have to admit but sadly, for them, it wasn't enough to see their team go through, with Leeds deservedly falling 3-1 to Spurs in the end, despite a full hearted performance from their players.

This still looks like being Leeds season though, barring a cataclysmic collapse, and they will be that one step closer to a return to the top flight. Simon Grayson has certainly put together an exciting team to watch, with a full blooded attacking philosophy and never say die attitude (clearly shown with their 97th minute penalty equaliser against Spurs in the original cup tie).

It's still hard to want them to do well though!


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