Leeds United got back to winning ways with a well-earned 2-1 victory over Bristol City on Tuesday, and with the win, they have pulled themselves out of a potentially-dangerous rut that was beginning to form.
A win against the team sitting 20th in the League may not seem important, but it’s the type of game Leeds need to be getting results out of. The win leaves us fifth in the table and we still have a chance at automatic promotion... but there can be no more slip ups.
A big reason to stay hopeful is my first of three talking points...
Talking Point #1: Chris Wood is doing what we all need him to do: scoring goals like it’s going out of fashion.
What a bloody man. What. A. Bloody. Man. There were doubters, there were disbelievers, there were naysayers. And then there was Garry Monk: the man who believed, the man who never gave up on the big Kiwi.
Leeds United has been built on great strikers down the years... John Charles, Alan ‘Sniffer’ Clarke, Lee Chapman, Tony Yeboah, Mark Viduka, Jermaine Beckford, Ross McCormack and now Chris Wood. He is proving that £3 million pounds was a steal and he’s doing it by firing Leeds goal by f***ing goal back to the Promised Land.
All he needed was a bit of belief, someone to believe in him. Garry Monk did that and now Wood is repaying it in the only currency that Leeds United need. 22 goals in all competitions and it’s only February. He’ll bag 35 and we’ll be home come the end of the season. The goal on Tuesday was brilliant in it’s simplicity. Quick free kick and bang 1-0. Long may he continue.
Talking Point #2: On his day, Pablo Hernandez is head and shoulders above anyone else in the Championship. We need more of those days.
For the first 45 minutes of the Bristol game, Pablo did everything but score. He created, he assisted, he was nigh untouchable. But he didn’t score.
Then the 46th minute came and he did. The little Spanish wizard is the best player, technically, in the entire Championship by a mile. He glides along the pitch... but he’s too damn inconsistent. He needs to play like he did on Tuesday every week, every game, every minute and he’ll be immortalized by the Elland Road faithful.
When things aren’t going well, the head drops or he won’t track a run or whatever it may be, but if Monk can pull it out of him that he produces the magic when we turn to that little genius I’ll let him away with everything else. Without him and the chances he creates, Leeds wouldn’t be where they are. Although they wouldn’t be where they are without one other man either....
Talking Point #3: Lay the f*ck off Rob Green. He’s done more good than bad for Leeds United.
Rob Green gets a bad rep from fans for making mistakes at important moments.
I’ve done it in the past, but we wouldn’t be where we are without him.
He made some incredible saves against City and he’s done it plenty of times this season. We make keepers the scapegoats far too often. Look at Kasper Schmeichel. We made him a scapegoat, then he won the Premier League. Green has made some serious errors this season, but he’s also saved our bacon on more than one occasion so it’s time to stop talking about replacements and trust that the old man can get us where we need to be.
His heart’s clearly in it too: just check out his Twitter account.
Barring injury, Chris Wood is going to score over 30 goals this season, Pablo is a creative genius, and we need to cut Rob Green some slack. This Leeds team have a great chance of going up. They went through a blip in form as every team does, at the beginning of the month, but with 14 games left there is still the chance, however slim, of automatic promotion, and finishing in the top 6 looks likely regardless.
Hang in folks, it’s going to be a fun ride. MOT.