There is a lot of negativity flying around at the moment regarding Leeds United so on the back of our second league win of the season i thought it was time for some positivity. Here are some things to smile about:
1 - Ross McCormack
The talented front man capped 7 times by Scotland has now scored 8 goals in only 14 starts for Leeds United including 6 in 8 games in all competitions this campaign. His confidence is growing every game and now that Becchio will soon be back alongside him I think that they can form a really good partnership. In the half an hour they have shared together on the Pitch this season, Ross has already provided Luciano with a brilliant cross for a goal. McCormack has a good footballing brain, don't get me wrong, he likes a shot and he loves scoring goals but he can also bring other people into play and create chances for them, pick out a pass and he knows how to deliver a ball. When Luciano is back to full fitness he is going to be the beneficiary of this week in, week out.
2 - The return of Becchio
Everybody's favourite Argentine was back at the weekend and it wasn't long before his name was being belted out by the Kop. Leeds have been without last seasons top goal-getter for 5 months and whilst goals still haven't really been a problem, his presence on the field has been missed greatly. Upon his arrival on to the pitch against Palace, the whole stadium lifted, the fans got a much needed boost and so did the players. It's a strange one because i think Luciano struggles a little with his English but he still has a massive influence on the team. His work ethic drives the team on and helps the boys take up their level of performance another level. Having Becchio back amongst things is another reason to stay positive.
The kids are alright
3 - Adam Clayton
At 22, it is easy to forget that Adam Clayton is still only a youngster after he has started the season in sensational form, his loan spell last season has done him the world of good and he has come back a completely different player. I didn't think he was good enough but I am happy to admit that i got it very, very wrong. He can tackle, he can pass and he can even score. It was evident on Saturday that when Clayton doesn't play, we're not the same team and the good performances against Hull, West Ham and Ipswich were down in no small part to United's latest midfield maestro. Hopefully the former Manchester City trainee will be back in contention for the visit of Bristol City at the weekend and will pick of where he left off by once again driving Leeds forward.
4 - Tom Lees
After impressing last season on loan at Bury, Lees has taken his chance at United this campaign with both hands. Despite a jittery performance against Palace at the weekend the young defender has been impressive filling in at a position which is not his first choice. I would like to see how Tom fares at centre back, his natural position as i think if given the chance there, the youngster could go from strength to strength and be a part of the furniture at Leeds for years to come.
5 - Charlie Taylor
I was seriously impressed by Taylor on Saturday after he completed his first 90 minutes in the senior team. He dealt with Palace's speedy winger with ease and the fact that he was thrown in by Grayson didn't seem to phase the 17 year old at all. Another youngster who has a bright future and could really establish himself in the side given the chance.
6 - Aidan White
It has taken White a few years to establish himself at Elland Road since making his debut as a 16 year old in 2008. However, the Republic of Ireland Under-21 international appeared to be making the left back spot his own just before his unfortunate red card at Ipswich. If i was Simon Grayson I would be tempted to keep Charlie Taylor at left back and play Aidan White on the left wing so he can show the Leeds fans what he can do there. Not only would this utilise White's pace down the left but it will also offer Charlie Taylor more of a helping hand due to White's experience at left back.
7 - Simon Grayson
Leeds United manager Simon Grayson takes a lot of criticism at times from the Elland Road faithful, some of it may be justified (his inability to improve the defence for example) but most of it isn't. Year after year we see free transfer after free transfer then loan signing after loan signing and yet since Simon has come to the club we have improved each season. He took over a League One club struggling to make the play offs and in a season and a half turned them into a Championship club. He then, at the first attempt narrowly missed out on the play offs in the Championship. Not only does he get good results though, his side more often than not, play good football (Hull, West Ham, Ipswich). I have no doubt that with the backing of the fans and a little bit of luck along the way (Crystal Palace) we CAN go one better than last season and make the play offs. At present we are only 1 point behind big spending Leicester, we held favourites West Ham to a draw on their own patch and probably deserved to win, so it's not that bad is it? A few more wins and the table will be looking very different.
8 - Andy Lonergan
When Kasper Schmeichel left under a cloud to join Leicester City early in the transfer window, things looked bleak. Leeds were linked with every has been keeper under the sun until on the 25th July, Grayson finally swooped for former Preston Keeper Andy Lonergan. After a few shaky performances against Southampton and Bradford the big shot stopper has at times kept Leeds in games including on Saturday when a few brilliant stops meant United could go on to win it. Hopefully it won't be long before Lonergan records the clean sheet that his performances have deserved. Kasper who?
General things to smile about
9 - Bragging rights over Man Utd for one more week...at least!
Since January 3rd 2010, Leeds fans everywhere have enjoyed having the bragging rights over those from over the wrong side of the Pennines and with the two sides meeting in the Carling Cup next week there is a chance we could lose those bragging rights. However we can always say that we, Leeds United were at the lowest ebb in our history but we still went to Old Trafford and turned them over as a League One club. That in itself... is still a reason to smile and who knows...we may even beat them again?
10 - We are Leeds
Still not convinced that it isn't all doom and gloom? The most important thing to remember is that we are Leeds. We have survived the minus 15 season, the relegation to League One, Relegation to the Championship, we have endured terrible managers such as Dennis Wise, terrible players such as Armando Sa because we marched on together! We have only just started our march back to where we belong after promotion to the Championship. Lets not stop now, lets stick together and get behind the team.
Marching on together!