Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Chelsea’s struggle was already noticed, but another fading was not yet. Leeds United finished 9th.
Back Row: Gordon McQueen, Joe Jordan, Norman Hunter, Paul Madeley, David Stewart,
David Harvey, Allan Clarke, Eddie Gray, Paul Reaney, Terry Yorath.
Front Row: Peter Lorimer, Mick Bates, Billy Bremner, Frank Gray, Trevor Cherry, Duncan McKenzie.
The squad did not suggest mid-table performance – looked like a temporary slip, to be corrected in the next season. It was impossible to imagine anything else and there were excuses – Leeds had strong European season, efforts and attention aimed at the European Champions Cup. Besides English football was notoriously competitive and there was nothing strange top side to end relatively low. There was little to worrie about: Don Revie left in 1974 to take the English national team, but his replacement was worthy – Jimmy Armfield. At the time no attention was paid to the problem of replacing Revie – Brian Clough and Maurice Lindley were tried briefly before settling on Armfield. Something did not quite work… but it was not easy to replace a legend, so it was seen as a normal process of reajustment. Just give it a little time – with Armfield the season was shaky, but Leeds reached the European final, so it was not bad overall and surely the next year would be stronger. There was no next year – it was the beginning of a steady downfall. This was the season marking the end of great dreams and a great team.