Eight new faces in Neil Warnock's starting line-up this lunch time at Elland Road as he rang in the changes for a push for The Premiership. He is hoping for his eighth career promotion before he retires.
In the last 10 seasons Leeds United have seen eight different goalkeepers start at Elland Road on opening day, and the new man between the posts is Paddy Kenny who followed Warnock from Sheffield United to Queens Park Rangers and is now back in God's Own Country-Yorkshire.
Twenty four thousand fans showed up to see the All Whites face the Old Gold and Black from Molinuex in The Black Country. As a little boy I remember waiting outside the players entrance at Bloomfield Road to get the autograph of then Wolves and England captain Billy Wright. They were a famous club under manager Stan Cullis and played the first televised friendlies v Soviet and Hungarian clubs on grainy, tiny black & white TV sets before the advent of The European Cup.
After a second demotion from the Premiership in recent seasons, new Wolves boss is Stale Solbakken. The Norwegian won 5 titles at FCK-Kobenhavn in the Danish League and must solve a serious defensive problem that let in too many soft goals last season.
To a Leeds fans choir of MARCHING ON TOGETHER, the home team started at a sprint. The only goal of the match came in the 17th minute, when a long punt upfield from Kenny found Ross McCormack who sent in the perfect cross to Luciano Becchio. The 28 year old Argentinian from Cordoba dived to head past goalkeeper Carl Ikeme. McCormack signed a new three year deal yesterday and scored for Scotland v Australia at Easter Road, home of Hibernian(Hibs), on Wednesday, and celebrated his 25th birthday TODAY. Some week!! .
It looked as if the floodgates would open but it was not to be. United dominated the match although the visitors gave their 1,500 fans in the John Charles West Stand some hope after the break and some exciting near misses. El Hadje Diouf the 31 year old Senegalese front man caused havock in the Leeds defence in February when he played at Elland Road for Doncaster Rovers. Following their relegation to League One he signed on non-contract terms for Leeds a week ago.
Previously called 'A Sewer Rat' by Warnock, they have obviously solved their differences and made up. He came on as a substitute after 45 minutes and his skillful runs caused Wolves many problems and is a new fan favourite. Another new signing, Lee Peltier from Leicester City is the new club captain and defensive stalwart, replacing previous skipper Robert Snodgrass who left for Norwich City in the off season.
Next match for the All Whites is at Bloomfield Road, Blackpool on Tuesday. www.leedsunited.com