Friday evening’s victory for Leeds United over Aston Villa again probably proved a few doubters wrong about our style of play and the inevitable fitness questions the media cannot drop, despite us regularly seeing matches out.
Completely on top in the game, there were wobbly moments, but to a man the squad that finished the game put a total shift in for manager Marcelo Bielsa once again, and with Patrick Bamford’s hat-trick, we lifted ourselves onto ten points and with the weekend round of fixtures over, we sit pretty in sixth place and six games in, few would’ve put money on us being above the likes of Wolverhampton Wanderers, Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City and (said with a wry smile) Manchester United.
I have no doubts we won’t finish the year this high, but 2020/21 was never about that, it was simply about reminding the league what they had been missing and reestablishing ourselves for the years ahead – and so far we are more than doing that.
With plenty of players showing what they can do at this level, Bamford understandably stood out after Friday’s match and even BBC pundit Garth Crooks has been won over the striker.
Selecting him, along with Luke Ayling, in his latest Team of the Week, Crooks said:
“I saw this lad play when he was a scholar at Chelsea and thought he was an exceptional finisher but couldn’t play. I was fascinated with his moves to various clubs and followed his progress but never thought he was good enough for the Premier League. What I’ve seen so far this season from him only increased my curiosity. His hat-trick against Aston Villa on Friday won my respect and admiration. Goals two and three were top-class finishes but his willingness to work for the team has left me mesmerised. I have deliberately resisted selecting Bamford for my Team of the Week because I wasn’t sure about him. I am now.”