It’s never easy being Leeds.
Whether you liked Ken Bates or not, if you’re a fan who goes to matches regularly, you’ll know the pain, often the humiliation and the pure frustration which pours out of every sinew when you see Leeds lose. Or even when you see them win the hard way.
While there are tiny glimmers which have shone through in what has largely been a forgettable season so far, on the whole, it has been a massive waiting game. Waiting for signings, waiting for the takeover, waiting for more signings in the emergency loan window, waiting for the takeover, waiting for more signings and finally, waiting for Neil Warnock to leave.
Except, it’s like waiting for a watched to boil, it never does and Warnock is just not the man to walk away; especially now the fans have completely turned against him, it’d look like he was admitting he was wrong. With his contract running out in summer and no sign of an extension, Warnock is just not the type of man who will walk. The problem for the fans is, with the renewed speculation over another takeover, the new owners won’t be rushing to their private jets to get over to the UK to give Warnock his P45. So long as there’s speculation and potential for new investment, the owners will simply not want to spend valuable time and money sacking Warnock, getting in a replacement and then potentially having to sign more players, on loan at least. Everything will cost money. Money the owners simply don’t have.
So where does that leave us fans, the mere mortals of Elland Road?
Nowhere really, just like our season. The fact is, the results aren’t good enough, the football certainly isn’t and when you’re losing to one of the most out-of-form sides in the league, being sarcastically applauded by Warnock when the fans ask for a change hardly makes for a pre-Valentines Day love-in.
The thing is though, we knew Warnock before he came. We saw him on TV all the time, we thought, ‘What a t***!’ but is was in spite of that loathing that we, largely, needed him at Leeds United. The appointment was the right one at the time but we probably hoped Warnock would manage our expectations a whole lot better than he has done. Mitigating circumstances aside – of which there are many, his attitude has changed markedly from when he joined to what it is now. We can loathe him with every ounce of menace and bile within us but the fact is, Warnock probably loves that. He may talk absolutely rubbish in his post-match interviews but you can almost see that smug, self-righteous smirk which is utterly engrained in him, shining through. He never liked Leeds, he made plenty of derogatory remarks to the point; mind you, he did the same of El-Hadji Diouf and we know how that turned out.
The season, barring a miracle is long gone but there is little doubt we will have to suffer Warnock just that little bit longer. But hey, at least we can look forward to new owners and a new manager by the time August rolls in! A likely story, but it’s the hope that kills you.