Leeds United are back
16 years of hurt.
In the 2000/2001 season, Leeds United won the hearts of every football fan.
Young, exciting, vibrant. A team of gems knitted together in the romantic Yorkshire setting and David O'Leary guiding them all the way to the Champions League semi-final.
Exactly three years to the very day that they took on Valencia in the final four, Leeds were relegated by Bolton and a decade and a half passed of utter despair. They missed out in a play-off final, they dropped to League One. They missed out in play-offs, they rose again. But, for 15 years they were devoid of hope. Until Marcelo Bielsa arrived.
For the last two seasons, the Argentine and his team have won back the admiration that Leeds are so used to. A brand of attacking, high-energy football has marked them out as the best team in the Championship and, finally, they've taken the step back into the big time.
Bielsa, touted as the best coach in world football and inspiring the like of Pep Guardiola and Pochettino, has Leeds set up in a 4-3-3 that transforms into a shape that he can make the most of his 'spare man' philosophy. The full backs push forward - as you'll have seen Pep's teams do - and the midfielder minds the house. But rather than play with a 3-4-3, Bielsa unleashes Pablo Hernandez in what is a rock 'n' roll 3-3-1-3 shape that overwhelms the opposition.
The good times are back at Elland Road and, under the guidance of Bielsa, they look like they are here to stay.
They're back, baby.