Tuesday, May 04, 2004

The Rise and Fall of Leeds United

Back in 2001, as I was just beginning to really follow English soccer, Leeds came to my attention by making a run through to the semi-finals of that season's Champions League. Compared to the big budget star-laden teams from Man United, Real Madrid, or Bayern Munich, Leeds seemed like a real team success story. A situation where the group of players playing as a whole was more important than any one player. So I took the team as my own and they became my favorite team in the Premiership - I even have the jersey and scarf to prove it. Last weekend, after a 4-1 loss at Bolton, Leeds are headed for relegation a mere three years after that magical Champions League run. BBC Online has a good interactive timeline of what went wrong for the team that, in 1992, won the top league crown in England. It's an object lesson in overreaching and unintended consequences. See you in the Nationwide next season, lads.

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