At the age of 5, I played my first game of football (née soccer) and played for the next 4 years until it was too hard with 2 parents, 2 cars to get 3 boys in 3 different places on a Saturday morning.
I resumed again playing in the late 1990s and Australia had a golden age of stars. Kewell and Viduka were the headline acts - stars in the EPL for Leeds Utd, so they naturally became my team. There was some massive highs but never quite the ultimate glory and then it all came crashing down with relegation multiple times compounded by bankruptcy and manager changes more common than Australia changing PMs.
The mighty Leeds Utd with their global following had become a laughing stock. They are the most taunted team in all of England (by a long way with 117 chants, next ‘best’ is Liverpool with 55), with opposition fans mocking them with “You used to be famous”. Well 2020 could be the year the laughing finally stops with Leeds Utd winning the championship and gaining promotion for the 2020/21 EPL season.
Round 1 match of the round: Liverpool 4 Leeds Utd 3
It will go down as one of the best opening matches to a Premier League season you will ever see with Leeds Utd taking on last years Premier League winners, Liverpool. It really was a ding dong battle. A very early penalty to Mo Salah in the 4th minute meant Liverpool took the early lead but Jack Harrison would respond 8 minutes later with an early contender for goal of the year. 1 all. Liverpool 2-1, Leeds fight back 2-2, by the 33rd minute Liverpool lead 3-2 again.
Inspired by their eccentric coach at halftime, the new boys in the big league would not lie down and levelled at 3-3 in the 67th minute. The commentators then struck with their curse after nearly tens minutes of praise for ‘this famous draw’ tragedy struck when Leeds Utd record signing, striker Rodrigo, jumped in with an unnecessary challenge in the box and Mo Salah happily accepted the hat trick opportunity from the spot to seal a winner in the 88th minute. Last years EPL champions had prevailed 4-3 but Leeds Utd had been successful in winning the hearts of their loyal fans that 2020/21 could be one of hope rather than relegation.
90 seconds to show the 7 goal thriller!
Around the league for Round 1:
Arsenal 3 Fulham 0. William proved he’s not gone to Arsenal just to retire providing 2 assists.
Crystal Palace 1 Southampton 0. Zaha proved the difference with his 13th minute goal. Be interesting if he stays or moves to a bigger club before the transfer window closes.
Newcastle 2 West Ham 0. Two clubs evenly matched on paper. David Moyes will want some early wins or could be the first manager sacked.
Leicester City 3 West Bromwich Albion 0. The same scoreline as the other promoted team Fulham, neither were as competitive as Leeds Utd even though all three have 0 points. Jamie Vardy went to 104 Premier League goals. He’s done it 43 games faster than Chelsea’s greatest striker and EPL legend Didier Drogba. Serious player Vardy and still underrated.
Everton 1 Tottenham 0. Jose Mourinho will be disappointed with the loss to start the season but Everton could have easily scored more. Everton have a strong midfield on paper (James looked outstanding) and each year fans expect big things only for them to disappoint. Could this be a top 6 year for them?
Wolves 2 Sheffield United 0. Wolves scored both goals in first 6 minutes to continue their strong form from last season.
Chelsea 3 Brighton Hove Albion 1. There is plenty of improvement in Chelsea, especially once their new signings all get fit and gel together. Kepa conceding yet another goal from outside the box is a worry. BHA did have their chances but ultimately this game will be remembered for a firecracker of a goal from Reece James.
The two Manchester teams didn’t play this round.
I’m tipping Man City and Liverpool to have a ding dong battle until the very end (like 2018/19), with the winner being the team with the least amount of injuries.
Fulham, WBA, BHA, West Ham, Aston Villa will all be in contention to go down. I’m optimistic Leeds will finish 11th-14th.