On a wet Tuesday night at Elland Road, Leeds United sent their fans home warm and happy with a hard fought victory over a stubborn Birmingham City side 2-0, managed by Harry Redknapp.
This time a year ago there were 19,000 fans in attendance, last night almost 32,000 AND with new enthusiasm and support The Whites have sold over 20,000 season tickets. Last season only 14,000 season tickets sold, so a BIG increase. New managing Director Angus Kinnear, who spent a decade at Arsenal and three years at West Ham United arrived in June and sees a positive future. He wants to make Elland Road and the LUFC brand a catalyst for a growing Elland Road business and sports area, and not just on match days.
Thoughts are about redveloping the aging John Charles West stand to match the newer East Stand, which, when it was built was Europe's biggest catilever stand, until Old Trafford built a bigger one.
United are undefeated after 7 league matches and have not had a goal against since the opening day win at Bolton Wanderers 3-2. City were definitely a handful and despite their lowly league position of third from bottom, had some positive moments and with a bit of luck can climb up the table. Wolves are 7-2 favourites to win the league and get promoted but Danish born Spanish manager Thomas Christiansen has other ideas. Previous league leaders Cardiff City went crashing down at Deepdale to Preston North End,, and drop to second place, followed by Sheffield United.
Last season Chris Wood was the only major goalscorer. Now he has gone to the Premiership and Burnley we find that seven different players have hit the back of the net. Samuel Saitz has now scored six and the Spaniard opened the scoring in the 17th minute when excellent Blues goalkeeper David Stockdale parried a shot from Lasongga and Seitz was there with a point blank easy score. On loan Pierre-Michael Lasogga from Hamburg scored a brace against Burton Abion on Saturday and is just one of Christiansen's choices up front.
It was almost 1-1 on half time after Maxine Colin's header had beaten goalie Felix Wiedwald until Luke Ayling came from out of nowhere to clear off the line. Wiedwald was on the programme cover and was signed from Werder Bremen.
It was a back and forth second half until 80th minute substitute Stuart Dallas, a Northern Ireland international, got the second goal after 2 minutes of added time. Getting to and from Elland Road is very easy as Leeds is the Motorway City and the crossroads of East-West M62 and North-South M1. Double decker special buses from 100 yds outside the East Stand whisk you to Leeds City centre in just over 7 minutes for £1.00 and the same to Elland Road, though with match traffic at least twice as long.
United travel to Millwall on Saturday, always a difficult match, and then away at Turf Moor next Tuesday for a not very importand league cup tie compared with league position, with Ipswich Town the next visitors a week on Saturday.
MARCHING ON TOGETHER... LEEDS, LEEDS, LEEDS.