One thing that always comes up when teams come to Elland Road is the "famous atmosphere." Often when you look online or during a poor performance you'll see away fans mocking it, chanting, "where's your famous atmosphere."
The thing is, the atmosphere is ever changing, and ebbs and flows with the season depending on the success of the side. Of course when you get to March and that promotion that Neil Warnock had all but promised is a distant dream, the atmosphere isn't going to quite the chest thumping, Glory, Glory Leeds United-singing atmosphere that you get in August. Instead you get the gallows humour, cheering for a team of Michael Browns after he gets in the starting line-up ahead of some kid called Ross Barkley.
The St Etienne fans proved just how absymal the atmosphere is at Old Trafford tonight. Our singing section (J Stand) were poor.— Claire Restall (@restall73) February 16, 2017
Now I'm not saying that we're the only place that has a great atmosphere, far from it. The thing that gets me though is the teams you hear these taunts coming from. Old Trafford would probably have a great atmosphere but the sound of the Stretford end is drowned out by the pretending clicking of camera phones from all the tourists taking selfies. The loudest sound I heard at The Emirates stadium last time I was there was the Leeds fans mockingly singing The Wonder of You whilst holding up cigarette lighters (and the goal-like celebrations when Martin Keown got smacked in the back of the head).
We truly have been through it all together, enjoying a few ups and and suffering a number of downs. But that being said, I still love to go to Elland Road. We truly do have that special atmosphere. Don't let the opposition fans fool you. Outside of local derbies we must be one of the most anticipated away trips of the season, unless you're Reading FC. Whether they're big or small, away fans love coming to Elland Road and that's one of the things that creates that amazing buzz around the place. You get two sets of supporters in high numbers trying to cancel each other out.
They may come and tease us that Jimmy Saville might be our father, and we may in turn remind them about the time a local had sex with a canine. As long as we stay away from certain topics (Istanbul, Munich, etc.) then it all adds to the fixtures. During the League One years you could see how much the opposition fans loved coming to Elland Road. Years after his departure they still sang "there's only one Peter Ridsdale." A chant which was quickly responded to by The Kop with "who the f*****g hell are you." Seriously though, Accrington Stanley, who are they?
I love returning from the States to Elland Road. I'm fortunate to be based in Portland with a team like the Portland Timbers so close by. Their fans create such a buzz as away fans barely travel (can you blame them, the US is huge.) When I speak to fans though they look shocked when I tell them how good it is but it's nothing compared to a Leeds game.
With the first home game of the season always providing a high turn-out, it should prove to be a noisy affair for both sides, Preston North End fans not having too far to travel for the away day. Everyone will be intrigued to see how this Leeds side will turn out, how will the new recruits will fare, is Thomas Christiansen a suit or tracksuit kind of guy and will Chris Wood pick up where he left off.
One thing is for sure, you will most definitely be able to experience our famous atmosphere.