By K.G Bailey
The 2012/13 league opener against Wolves was an eye opener. In a very good way.
The last time I visited Elland Road it was for the can’t be bothered, lethargic, please let the season end today 2-0 loss to Watford... This time it was a whole new ball game.
There was a different atmosphere around Elland Road, a positive one. From the first whistle you could see this starting 11 was what you would want to see from a Leeds United team.
The defence was immense. Peltier & Pearce in particular tackled like their lives depended on it. Rodolph Austin didn’t disappoint either with some crunching tackles that got the ball cleanly each time. Unlike last season’s midfielders both he & David Norris gave us a commanding presence.
I noticed walking around there was a lot of "Austin 8" shirts, he’s fast becoming a cult hero here, performances like that prove why.
Young Sam Byram is a huge plus, a product from the academy and he kept a very good winger in Matt Jarvis fairly quiet, in truth Jarvis' body language was saying "Please West Ham make another bid for me" but still Byram more than held his own.
Paddy Kenny is Paddy Kenny. You always feel like a save can be made with him in goal, very reliable unlike Lonners who for me didn’t give me any confidence when he played.
Diouf came on for the injured Paul Green and he kept the ball very well and as witnessed can take the ball past a couple of players at pace, he is someone I hope we will have signed by the Blackpool game tomorrow night.
Mentioning the injury to Paul Green, I think this is where we will be a bit stuck if we get a couple of these as the squad depth isn’t there yet, but here’s hoping we get a bit of luck there between now & January.
We do need another striker in for if Becchio or McCormack need resting. I’d even suggest giving Dom Poleon a shot if we can’t sign a quality striker as he looks like he could be another nice surprise like Sam Byram.
This was a very promising start to the season & yes, I would happily take another 45 of these 1-0's if it will get us promoted!