24 Feb 2015 12:56pm, by Shields53
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24 Feb 2015 08:41am, by theleedsmango
We've been on a run of extremely good form. Not many people have noticed it, and it's barely excited even the most avid of Leeds fans. We have gotten so used to being the best, that 5 wins in 6 barely bats an eyelid from the optimistic fan base. Joking aside, weeks seem like years in the Leeds universe, as there appears to be an ever flowing stream of drama, both ups and downs, and it seems like years since we last had a good run. I thought I'd take a brief look at our last 'runs' and look at what followed them...
In 13/14 a run of form began for McDermott's side with a 4-0 thumping of Birmingham City. There was a slight blip against local rivals Huddersfield who marginally beat us at the Johns Smith Stadium 3-2. We would then go on to win the next three games against Yeovil, Charlton and Middlesbrough. It was very much the Ross McCormack show as he would score 8 goals in the run of five games. In fact it was a joy for the neutral as 20 goals in 5 games meant there was always goals in a Leeds game. 4 wins out of 5 games, high in the table, things were looking good. Playoffs were reachable.
In vast contrast with the 2013/14 run, the latest run has seen only 8 goals in total in 5 games. For years it has seemed Leeds can't defend but will outscore their opponent. The latest run has seen 3 clean sheets in a row, which was never witnessed in the 2013/14 season (Leeds kept two consecutive clean sheets twice), has ruined that theory that there is always goals in a Leeds match. A Leeds game has historically been a welcome fixture on an over 2.5 goals accumulator. With three clean sheets in a row, are we starting to lose those tags?
Etched in the memory of many Leeds fan's minds, we'd collapse after that run. Flying high in the table, some poor decisions and background turmoil would see us pick up only 5 wins in the next 25 games, free-falling down the table like a stalled helicopter frantically trying to get the rotors spinning again.
Going further back, the 2012/13 season. Following a poor run where we picked up just 3 points in 7 games (all coming from draws) we would finally pick up a 2-1 win against Crystal Palace. We'd go on to beat Leicester, Ipswich and local rivals Huddersfield. A temporary defeat to Derby was the momentary blip that year, and again the run of form would end with a win over Middlesbrough.
As with last season, the 2013/14 season run was filled with goals. The run of form seen 19 goals in 6 games. Becchio was the main man attacking outlet with 6 goals; Green, Norris and Tonge all contributing too. It was similar to last season, and in fact Grayson's team before that we would outscore the opponents. Going a goal down, as we did with Middlesbrough and Huddersfield, was never a concern as we knew we had goals in the side.
Following the decent run of Warnock's team in the 12/13 season, we would pick up just 4 wins in the next 18. Interestingly enough, we'd also see the last time we had three clean sheets in a row, including wins against Blackpool and Millwall, and a goal-less draw against Blackburn.
Grayson's run would see us undefeated in 7 games; picking up an impressive 17 points in 21, very early on in the season. As was trademark with Grayson's team, it was again, goals galore. 25 goals were witnessed in the 7 games. The gameplan, as with the next two seasons, was to outscore the opponent. McCormack would pick up 6 of the goals, with some contribution from Pugh, Keogh, O'Dea, Lees, Clayton, and Becchio.
Our second season in the Championship started off promising. We kept two consecutive clean sheets three times in the 11/12 season. We didn't hit bad form until the end of the season when we struggled to win games.
The big difference with this season's currently ongoing run of form and previous seasons (all under different managers) seems to be goals. So far there has been only 9 goals in the run of six games, with 7 of them coming from us. We now look defensively sound, and perhaps we have had to sacrifice some of our attacking legacy for that. Would we argue that we weren't the best side years ago but possessed a clinical attacking style that helped us win?
Grayson, Warnock and McDermott all suffered badly after their good runs and ultimately, as Leeds fell down the table, we dropped off. Our current manager, Redfearn, stood in temporarily between each managerial change, with varying degrees of success. And it's now Redfearn who is the latest to mould the team into a team which has put together a great run of form: albeit in different fashion to his predecessors.
Without getting carried away with our recent, and welcome, form, nor without getting negative about the historical stats; the question remains. Can we keep this run going?!
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