This week's View From The Town End comes via Leeds fan Johnny who runs our fellow SB Nation site Through It All Together.
How would you sum up your season so far?
Pretty typical? Well, typical-for-Leeds at least. We're going to finish in the middle of the Championship table, as we have for several years now. And the focus of the season has been off the pitch, as it has also been for several years now. The Uwe Rosler era at Leeds didn't exactly last long (12 games), and the Steve Evans era has been full of ups and downs... and times when you were sure Cellino would sack him too. The #TimeToGoMassimo crowd has probably been the focal point of the season for me, and they have a little something planned this Saturday, so we'll see what that's like.
On the pitch though, it's been about what we'd expect, maddening spells of play where they can't seem to score at all followed by glimpses of the talent we think we have in the young academy products. Lewis Cook, Alex Mowatt, Charlie Taylor... if we can keep them around, I think they've all shown signs this year that Leeds United's future is bright.
Your off-pitch shenanigans show little signs of fading away, how is Mr Cellino viewed by the fans right now?
He's the most divisive owner in my experience following sports. Ha. Surely Leeds have had worse, though some would argue even that point, but really, check out the #TimeToGoMassimo group. I think they sum up the majority of the fan opinion on Cellino. His kids have been in trouble for insulting people online, he's seemingly always in legal trouble himself, the Lucy Ward thing is a mess right now, and he's not exactly brought the team stability or a rise to the Premier League as he has promised... in fact, many would say it's gotten worse during his tenure. I think the tipping point this season was the Sam Byram sale in January (and not bringing in anyone of note)... it really gave the fanbase a chance to focus their long-felt anger on one man, and Cellino was the easy choice.
All that said, it's not good feelings for Cellino at Elland Road.
We've heard Brian McDermott speak fondly of his time at Leeds recently, how do the fans remember him?
I actually just started covering the blog in December (though a long-time fan), so I decided to punt this question to one of our staff members who has a certain fondness for McDermott, Matt Robinson. Take it away, Matt:
"I think I'm in the majority in saying I still think very highly of Brian McDermott. He had us in a very good league position for a while and then the Cellino walls came crashing down. My favorite memory of him was during our pre-season tour in Slovenia, a 300 strong crowd chanted something to the affect of 'Brian, buy us a round, Brian, Brian, buy us a round' and after the final whistle he walked over to the crowd and gave a fan some money to get the beers in. I would take him back in a heart beat. Classy Manager."
Which Leeds player should we worry about on Saturday?
Stuart Dallas? Dallas put in two beautiful goals on Tuesday night against Birmingham City at St. Andrew's, and while they were only his 3rd and 4th of the campaign, we hope they were a sign of things to come for the Northern Irishman. At the very least, he's finding some offensive stride, so while I don't think he'll find another goal, he's going to give you trouble. Chris Wood is back up top as well, drawing in defenders and making room for the likes of Dallas, Lewis Cook, and Mirco Antenucci.
Any Reading player that's impressed you over the years?
I don't know about "over the years," but I'm an American (living in North Carolina), so I'm a big Danny Williams fan. He has had a decent season for you, right? Though I guess his little dust up Tuesday with Paul McShane probably didn't ensure his long term stay there. We'll see I guess, but we'll take him at Leeds if you don't want him this summer.
I think Leeds keeps rolling actually, and being back at Elland Road won't hurt a side hoping to finish in the top ten. 2-1's my prediction, with goals from Cook and Antenucci.
Finally, any advice for Reading fans making the trip?
Again, I'm going to throw this question to Matt, who has been to more games this season than I have, haha. "Watch the pre-match protests and thank your lucky stars that your club is run properly. Oh, and try and make some noise; opposition fans have been too quiet at Elland Road recently." I'd also add you should be thankful this is a "Category C" match, other away fans haven't been thrilled to pay £37 to watch crap. Enjoy the historic Elland Road for me, and stop by The Old Peacock for me too. Jealous of all of you.