Pre-season week at the BST • The square ball
The pre-season friendlies are where the excitement fades, it’s the last kick in the teeth of 2021. Stunned by the return of football, even if he hasn’t come home? Yeah, don’t be. If your favorite team wins every game, it’s fun, but it’s only the preseason so it doesn’t matter. Our favorite team Leeds United have only won one game or so, and while it’s preseason and it doesn’t matter, it’s not as fun as all of them. earn them.
Historically, this is reflected in dating. Marcelo Bielsa’s astonishing home debut as Leeds United manager was a 3-1 loss of league self-esteem in the form of Stoke City, to a packed house who returned home exhilarated. But the first game he coached at Elland Road came a week before, when 11,499 frowned in a 1-0 scrape past Las Palmas that left no clue of the joy and chaos to come. . Unless you count Bielsa bringing Lewis Baker and then picking him up.
Crowds are different when streaming and social media are involved, this is where the whole concept of a meaningless friend turns to dust. Whether it’s just a kick, whether it’s just fitness and practice, are warnings that keep people from seeing many games. But it’s easy when paying for a streaming friendly to forget all that common sense, while watching Leeds get bounced back by Ajax, 4-0. Sometimes too much information is a bad thing, and sometimes it feels like we know too much about what’s going on in preseason friendlies. Just print the score somewhere and don’t show me how badly we are playing!
But then I flipped through the archives of past pre-seasons and wish I had known more about some of these weird games, when weird things happened when only a few were there to see them. Folklore is folklore, and you get a better myth class from a game that hardly anyone remembers. David Batty once said that the whole point of a friendly game for him is that you can do whatever you want. This applies to storytelling and storytelling.
This is our introduction to the preseason week here at Square Ball. Over the next week or so we’re going to be posting a bunch of stories about Leeds United’s past pre-seasons, scoring exploits, touring videos, trialists and transfers that underscore what a weird space of pre -season busy. in football in general, and at Leeds United in particular, one of football’s strangest clubs.
We are starting now. Here’s how the first preseason unfolded under proto-Bielsa Major Frank Buckley in 1948 with extreme heat and a Don Revie cameo. So here is the story of Rodrigo Beckham, a Brazilian trials rider who is too good looking for his first name but not for Peter Reid. And it’s about Ian Harte and Bruno Ribeiro doing amazing things together in Sweden, and a historic urinal. We’ll be adding more over the next few days, including all the Makita Tournament fun you could want. I hope you will enjoy it! â—‰
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