Compared to a film, the history of Leeds United will be filled with drama. Leeds United’s journey in English football is worth remembering. But for most supporters from England, they will enjoy the days when Leeds no longer appears in the highest competition.
Dirty Leeds. Once they were called in the 1970s to 1980s. Hard hits, high tackles, and hard elbows are typical of the games of Billy Bremner and friends. Combined with the individual abilities of the players as well as the tactics of manager Don Revie.
The combination of a captivating and cruel game bringing up by Leeds also created a good performance in the international arena. They were noted to have won the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup twice.
For others, it might be Dirty Leeds, but for them, it was Super Leeds. They incarnated as one of the famous teams throughout England. The boys in the cities of the Yorkshire region, such as Huddersfield, Bradford, and Hull had more support for Leeds than local teams.
Although the fragrance of the Leeds title deserves a thumbs up, still, they were a team that deserved the fall.
They were known to have loyal fans but it could turn out terrible when what was expected did not go as they planned. They would be willing to travel long distances to support their favorite team. However, as if no matter what happens on the field, victory will always be a definite answer from the absurd scorn of the fans’ opponents.
Leeds’ arrogance was almost hated by all the people of England. Except for their fans, a group of people who love football would be ready to join in to beat the bad guys in the form of Leeds.
Again, except for the fans themselves, no one wanted to remember manager Howard Wilkinson’s miraculous journey of bringing the club to the First Division in 1990 and winning it in two seasons later.
Leeds was once a big team. For football fans in the early 90s towards the beginning of the millennium, they would certainly be familiar with Leeds United.
Leeds was a club that has a very good tradition, always being at the top of the league and even always championed to win the competition he participated in. Leeds was also one of the eternal rivals of Manchester United besides Liverpool.
The match in which Leeds met with Manchester always brought admiration to anyone who watched.
Founded in 1919, Leeds became an association of people who love football. There was not much hope. At that time, they only wanted to play football with the people who at least understood how to score goals.
If it became an achievement, then the name Yorkshire would be more famous not only for its beautiful cultural sites.
Headquartered at Elland Road, Leeds United succeeded in becoming a football giant in England and Europe in the 70s. Under the tutelage of legendary coach of Leeds United, Don Revie, they were able to win the first division title in the English league which is now known as the Premier League.
In the 1964/65 and 1965/66 seasons, they appeared as runners-up, until finally in the 1968/69 season they were able to become the champion which continued in the 1973/74 season.
Leeds were not only playing well at their land. In European football, Leeds showed its fangs. They were once recorded as successfully broke through the semi-finals of the Winners Cup and became the runner-up in the 1972/73 season.
There is even a statue of Don Revie, who was the brain of the “cruel” Leeds on the field. His statue became one of the 50 great figures of football of all time.
After the departure of Don Revie, Leeds had experienced ups and downs. His former assistant, Brian Clough, who was appointed as a tactical interpreter at the time was not genius enough to bring Leeds to stay at the highest level.
They began to be familiar with defeat, until finally on the 44th day of his tenure, Clough was officially replaced by Armfield.
Under the coach of Armfied, Leeds showed significant development. In the 1974/75 season with motorbike team legend Billy Bremner, Leeds almost won the European Cup. But sadly they had to settle for being runners-up after being knocked down by German giants Bayern Munchen through a very fierce match.
Management that was not satisfied with Armfield’s performance then replaced him with Jack Stein. However, not even in two months, Stein resigned because he preferred to take a job as Scotland coach.
Stein’s resignation made Jimmy Adamson step forward as the next coach. But Adamson also made his resignation which then brought up the name Allan Clark.
In the era of Clark’s leadership, Leeds had to swallow the bitter pill because they had to be willing to be relegated to the second caste. Clark was sacked and replaced by former colleague Eddie Gray, with very high expectations of returning to the path of the English first division at the time.
After continuing the tradition of changing coaches, Leeds arrived in an era of Howard Wilkinson. He was able to restore the glory of the club in the late 80s to early 90s.
The first step from Wilkinson to restore the glory of the club was to bring Gordon Strachan from Manchester United. This legendary Scottish midfielder was able to show his class, along with Wilkinson and his team-mates, Leeds finally managed to return to England’s highest caste in the 1989/90 season.
It was not easy for Leeds to restore its title of a giant team. Everyone looked at the eyes of the team based at Elland Road when they were promoted to the First Division, or what we now know as the Premier League.
But they managed to immediately end its inaugural season in fourth place in the standings and qualify for the English League Cup semifinals. The trend was perfected with the championship title the following season.
Wilkinson’s step in bringing Strachan proved effective. He became a general in Leeds midfield. His quartet with Gary McAllister, David Batty, and Gary Speed had everything needed to win the trophy, namely speed, intelligence, experience, creativity, strength, and compactness.
If Strachan is the brain of the game and the source of maturity, Speed and McAllister become a young spirit that completes through speed and sharpness. As for Batty, who became a balancer as a butcher.
Lee Chapman and Rod Wallace were the frontline robbers. Both attackers proved productive with notch 74 goals.
At that time, short passes became the mainstay of the Leeds play pattern. That is the key to the success of Leeds by Wilkinson and also by a large managing director named Bill Fotherby.
Winning the league just two seasons after the promotion was a special achievement. Only Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest has a better record.
With high spirits armed with achievements in the previous season, Leeds ambition to carve a better achievement. But what is expected is far from reality, they are again inconsistent, lucky they can escape the pit of degradation hell.
In this case, they are destroyed by themselves. The arrogance and the bad behavior of the supporters who were successfully suppressed for several years returned to emerge after Wilkinson was fired in 1996.
The 1996/97 season they had to go back to swallow the bitter pill, when his team was beaten by eternal rivals Manchester United with 4 goals without reply. Leeds also had to accept the bitter truth and end the competition in 13th place in the final standings.
As the final winner of the First Division, Leeds is one of the 22 first teams in the Premier League. Leeds briefly reached the semi-finals of the 2000/01 Champions League. But their finances are chaotic following spending that exceeds the limit.
A lot of money is spent on hiring players and coaches. Especially when they failed to qualify for the 2002/03 Champions League, they were only able to occupy the fifth position of the final standings.
At the end of the 2003/04 season, Leeds were finally relegated to the Football League Championship, after they finished 19th in the Premier League.
That’s the end of the Leeds trip. Until now, they have not been able to show spurs, even if they only fill the television screen in the highest competition.
The bankruptcy of Leeds in 2007 seemed to have drowned our memories in an era where the club once became the king of Britain.
Leeds are still struggling at the second level of the English football hierarchy.
But now, under the control of Marcelo Bielsa, Leeds are starting to show signs of returning. The fragrance of Yorkshire’s white rose began to smell.
Genius coach Pep Guardiola did not even hesitate to admit that he was looking forward to the presence of Leeds in the hands of Bielsa. Pep admired the coach.
Pep claimed to be fond of Leeds United because of the presence of Marcelo Bielsa. He hoped The Peacock could be promoted to the Premier League next season. Leeds United was transformed into an entertaining team since the arrival of Bielsa. The Argentine coach immediately succeeded in applying the philosophy of attacking him in the Yorkshire club.
“We (managers in big clubs) win because we are in top clubs with star players. But every player who works with Bielsa becomes a better player and the teams also get better, ”
“That’s why he is a special manager and a special person. I am a supporter of Leeds and hopefully, they can be in the Premier League. It will be good for the Premier League, ”
“I admire him because he coached Argentina and was in big clubs, and he had the humility to train in the Championship to a historic team like Leeds, trying to bring them back to the Premier League. I expect the best for him,” said Guardiola (via Onefootball).