When a husband changes his habits, you know shaves a little bit more often or buys shirts that veer away from either plain or checked then alarm bells start ringing in his wife's head. When he starts to floss, suspicion mounts even more. But when he begins to start dabbing on the latest fragrance from the Hai Karate range then he'd better hope he remembered to hide the sharp knives or his wife will have more than a menacing gleam in her eyes.
You see, old habits are hard to change and, if they do, it usually rouses suspicion.
In a round-the-houses kind of way, that brings me to my point.
Leeds have been polishing the diamond all year from September to the end of December and making it ever-so-less shiny after every single game. The powers-that-be didn't change it, even when it was obvious it was all going pear-shaped. Let's put it this way, if it'd been a bloke's relationship going down the pan as badly as that, his best mate would have shoved a pint of lager in his hand, a conciliatory arm around his shoulder and uttered something akin to "Look mate, it really is time you thought of moving on, it's no good for either of you, it's just not working." Maybe someone did, but still Redfearn and Co plodded on and kept dulling the diamond until it ended up darker than obsidian.
Then, epiphany. A change, an actual change was made.
The much-maligned '4-1-2-1-2 Diamond' was put to bed. New personnel were brought in from the benches and out was rolled Mr Redfearn's version of the new Hai Karate, the fresher-smelling '4-2-3-1 Double Six'. Now that didn't even get me thinking what was going on? I mean it was hardly seismic in what was happening. It was an FA Cup 3rd round tie, we were on a rotten run, we were expecting to compete but likely run out losers against a Premier League team. It was hardly a 'shirt-changing-get-wife-worried' moment; more of a "Oh I'll roll mt sleeves up for a change" decision. A good performance using this new brand of 'footballing aftershave' and all us Leeds fans went home thinking 'Do you know what, that worked; imagine what it would have been like if our first XI had played it?" Coach Redfearn vowed to stick with it in the Championship game against Bolton and true to his word he did just that.
Then he dropped the bombshell; no leading scorer in Antenucci, check. No creative meninho prodigio in Brazilian wunderkind Adryan, check. Lone striker up-front in Morison, more of a target man, check. Normal right back pushed up into a right midfielder in Byram, check! Now I was smelling a rat.
And that's when I became a little suspicious, well more than a little suspicious really.
I'd just written on here stating that 'Becchio isn't the man for us', too static, not quick enough, speed and turning circle of an ocean-going oil tanker etc etc etc. I've written elsewhere that Leeds are supposedly interested in gaining the signature of Italian Leonardo Pavoletti who was at the Wigan game at Elland Road. I mean, is it likely that the 'system change' has been done to test out the players who could well be providing for one of/both of these loan players supposedly riding in to town?
Actually, maybe it's just me being overly suspicious; I mean things are never that devious or underhand at Elland Road...are they?
Still, I'd be hiding the sharp, stabby implements just in case.