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Old 06-04-2021, 07:28 PM
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Expanding a little on my comment about whether this could / should have been the start of something for us...bear in mind that we ended the season above a Leeds team who would go on to win the league the following year. If you'd had to pick a combined XI at the time (i.e. not with the benefit of hindsight), then how many Leeds players would have got in? Certainly not Lukic over Martyn in goal, and not Chapman / Wallace over Wright and Bright up front. Dorigo at left back is an obvious one, he was a class act and somewhat ahead of his time as an attacking full-back who could whip in dangerous crosses. Wright and Bright would have thrived off his deliveries. At centre half it was a close call, we had Thorn and Young whereas they had a similarly physical pairing in Whyte and Fairclough. Mel Sterland at right-back was hardly an upgrade on John Humphrey even if he did chip in with regular goals.

Midfield was probably the most interesting area. The old schemer Strachan would be ahead of McGoldrick, but on the other flank Salako was probably seen as having greater potential than Speed at the time. In the middle, hindsight tells us that Batty and McAllister ultimately both achieved far more in the game than Thomas and Gray did. But back then Batty was still emerging and McAllister was spending his first season in the top flight at the age of 26 - the archetypal late developer. So how many of us back then would have been prepared to sacrifice Thomas and / or Gray for either of them? Probably not me I have to admit.

As for strength in depth, Leeds were not exactly blessed with squad members either. Attacking options were the veteran journeymen Shutt and Varadi (until Cantona briefly turned up), and other reserves such as Jim Beglin, Chris Kamara and Simon Grayson hardly set the pulses racing.
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