Date:Sunday December 20 2009
Simon Grayson will celebrate a year in charge on the 23rd of December and it`s been a remarkable first year in charge with club records being broken along the way.
Ken Bates prized the life long Leeds fan away from Championship side Blackpool and the move seems to be working out as one of the best things the Chairman has done since arriving at the club.
The club are currently sat at the summit of League One, four points clear of their nearest rivals and with a game in hand having lost just one game all season in the league.
They have already reached 50 points for the season in only 21 games and they are the first side to do this since Wigan in 2002, who had played a game more.
All this as been achieved despite selling the clubs main asset Fabian Delph on the eve of the new season.
When he took over the side were sitting in mid table and very low on confidence on the back of five straight defeats, one of them came in an embarrassing FA Cup defeat at non league Histon Town.
In his first game in charge on Boxing Day his side battled to a 1-1 home draw with league leaders and eventual champions Leicester City.
A remarkable end to the season saw them finish just five points from an automatic promotion spot in fourth place, they lost just one of their last fifteen league games and that was a 93rd minute winner at champions Leicester City.
The play offs proved one step to far and the side bowed out at the semi final stage 2-1 to Millwall on aggregate.
Grayson`s statistics in his first season are quite remarkable with a 66% win rate, his side have played 57 games, they have won 38 of these and lost just eight.
Leeds greatest ever manager Don Revie had a win rate of just over 50% although it was done over a much longer period and at the highest level it goes to show the standard that Grayson has set.
Leeds are now unbeaten at home in the league since January 10th when they lost 2-0 against Carlisle United in only Grayson`s second home game in charge.
They have now gone twenty-two games unbeaten at home in the league with nineteen of these being victories.
The side have broken two long standing club records that were set during the glory days of the Revie era.
They now hold the club record for fifteen straight league home wins, beating the previous best of thirteen set by the Revie side of 1968/69.
They also won their first eight games this season in all competitions beating another record that was set by the great Revie side in 1973.
He`s also made some inspired signings at the club, Richard Naylor another lifelong Leeds fan was a catalyst in making the defence solid in the final month`s of last season.
Defender Patrick Kisnorbo has probably been the player of the season so far with outstanding performances at the back which have seen the club concede just ten goals so far this season.
Shane Higgs quickly made the keepers jersey his own and was in great form before injury in October.
Players who were already at the club and struggling to make an impression under the former boss have turned into inspired players.
One of these, Bradley Johnson has been one of our best players this season and chipped in with seven goals already from midfield. He looked to be on his way out of Elland Road last season but Grayson as managed to get the best out of the youngster.
The club have also done well in cup competitions.
The club are also now just two games away from a trip to Wembley in the Johnstone`s Paint Trophy Final.
They had a lucrative tie in the Carling Cup against Liverpool and were very unfortunate to lose 1-0 to one of the top clubs in the country.
Leeds are looking forward to a trip to Manchester United in the FA Cup in early January and I am sure the side will do Simon Grayson and the fans proud.
So a fantastic first year in charge for Grayson and fans are at last beginning to believe again and looking forward to the possibility of promotion out of League One at the third time of asking.
I wonder just where we will be this time next year?
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Date:Sunday December 20 2009
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|13. Leeds Utd||46||17||10||19||-9||61|
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