About twenty minutes into the game on Tuesday night, I had had it. Nothing was going right for Leeds United at that point: Fulham's Tom Cairney put a shot into the back of the net past a statue of Marco Silvestri in the 17th minute, and the Leeds players all looked as dejected as their fanbase.
The official attendance of 17,103 was a joke, as more stands than ever looked empty, and after exiting the FA Cup on Saturday on an own goal, and with our ownership situation being a gutter-crawling soap opera, no one could blame the fans who stayed home. Besides, they had top-notch squads like Arsenal and Barcelona (#tearsofsadness) to watch on their televisions at home, why would they continue giving Cellino money to run their club into the ground?
Seriously, the depression was real.
And then Lewis Cook came along. If you missed the game, it's available in its entirety at the bottom of this post, because Fulham knows how to treat its fanbase and doesn't charge them ridiculous amounts for delayed video like LUTV.... Also if you missed the game, you've probably heard about Cook's goal, because it was simply amazing, otherworldly, and exactly what this fanbase needed.
Here it is. You're welcome.
Now, the team would continue on to play adequately in the second half and play Fulham to a 1-1 draw, earning a single point at home against the 18th place Championship squad... but that's not the takeaway here. When you've already given up on promotion, and you're knocked out of the FA Cup, you have to look for signs of "hope for the future." When Sam Byram signed with West Ham in January, our biggest "hope for the future" left Elland Road for greener pastures. When Lewis Cook scored that goal, he immediately took Sam Byram's place atop the "hope for the future" pedestal.
Watch it again, please.
Yeah, I posted it twice. Worth it.
Lewis Cook wasn't the only young Lew that had an amazing game either. Lewie Coyle started at right back for the notorious and defeated Scott Wootten, and he played like he belonged, maybe even in the Premier League. Thank goodness he didn't turn in that performance before the transfer window. With Fulham boasting a Premier League quality attack in Dembele and McCormack, the defense (missing both Wootten and Bellusci from the usual starting XI) was hardworking and reliable. Sol Bamba had a miraculous save on a McCormack header in the 14th minute, and Fulham wasn't able to find the back of the net again after the 17th.
I don't know what else to say about that game. We're looking for silver linings now at this point in the 2015-16 season, as long as we don't find ourselves near that relegation cellar door. Lewis Cook's wonderstrike provided us with hope for the future and something to truly be excited about. Now if Cellino would just sign him up... Cook, Mowatt, Coyle, and Peacock-Farrell... let's get it done Massimo.
If you missed the game, again, it's here in it's entirety thanks to Fulham FC. The 14th minute Bamba save, the 17th minute goal for Fulham, and the 38th minute goal for Leeds are worth watching in context for sure. Vote in the poll, leave some comments, and as always, thanks for reading. #MOT