Health service glasses, gigolos and brasses, round or skinny bottoms. Take your mum to Paris, lighting up a chalice, Wee Willie Harris... I’ve always loved that song. Ian Dury had so many reasons to be cheerful back in 1979, and with the glory of hindsight, so did Leeds United. A slight after the golden age, United finished a very respectable 5th in Division One in the season of 1978/79 with some big names like Eddie Gray, Peter Lorimer and Trevor Cherry still pulling on the white shirt. What we would give for that now.
If Ian Dury were a Leeds United fan, he would be more likely these days to write a song entitled "Reasons to be Un-Cheerful' and it would have many parts... it would probably be a full album. Alas, Ian Dury is not a Leeds United fan, and he is writing no such song.
I am a Leeds United fan however, and I believe writing a song listing our reasons to be "un-cheerful" would be far too easy. With Doukara’s insatiable hunger and the mistreating of Lucy Ward, there is enough purely from this week to pen said song. Instead of doing this, I am going to list a few of the reasons why we should be cheerful. Three reasons why we should be cheerful to be precise. Ready?
1... 2... 3...
The best reason to be cheerful as a Leeds United fan at the moment has to be Lewis Cook. The Yorkshire born midfield maestro has been one of the main highlights again for us this season. From his thunderous strike against Fulham in February to his England under-19’s call up, Cook has been consistent and classy in his central midfield role. There was much speculation about Lewis Cook in January, as I am sure there will be in the summer. Fuel will be added to the fire I’m sure by this…..
An award once won by Fabien Delph, Lewis Cook has been rightly recognised for his constant high performances for club and country. If we do make a promotion push in the coming years, and we manage to hang onto Lewis Cook while doing so, there is no doubt he will go down as one of our greatest players in decades.
Leading on from Lewis Cook, we also have a number of other young players who are only going to get better as time goes on. Academy graduates such as Charlie Taylor (22), Alex Mowatt (21) and Lewie Coyle (20) lead the list, but players such as Chris Wood (24) Liam Cooper (24) and Stuart Dallas (24) are impressive too. In seasons past, there has always been talk of starting from scratch in the summer, season after season. Well this time, there really is no need. This season, Leeds have not been good enough, we all know this. There are several players who get picked, week in week out, who are just not good enough. But who would argue that we do not have a good number of players who have the potential to be in a play-off push team? We just need 3 or 4, maybe more, players to add to them. But players like the ones just mentioned are players we need to be building on, players for the future, and the reason why this summer, Leeds are in a better position that they have been in the last few.
Best league finish in 3 years?
Okay, maybe (definitely) I’m clutching at straws with this one, but Leeds currently sit in our customary 15th position in the table, on 51 points, with 5 games remaining. Last season, we came in 15th, with 56; the season before 15th, with 57. So, of the remaining 15 points on offer, we have a very good chance of finishing in the best league position, with the best points tally of Massimo Cellino’s tenure of owner. And who can argue that progress in the league table isn’t something to be cheerful about?
Alright, alright, even I hated myself for writing that last sentence. Of course, as Leeds fans we should expect much more, and settling for an improvement of a few points (if we get them) is nothing special. But we need to be honest here: compared to most other Championship clubs, playoff pushing clubs at least, we have not invested, we have no consistency and we are unstable. Therefore, maybe we should take comfort in the little things... like the fact we aren’t moving backwards.
So there we have it, my top 3 reasons why it’s not currently all doom and gloom at Leeds United. On top of this, after a solid 3 points at Birmingham on Tuesday, we should be the happiest fans in the country... maybe... alright probably not. But it was a good win, can't deny that.
And, if you’re still not a happy Leeds fan, remember this: the season is over in a few weeks and then we can concentrate on England in the Euros. Yay.