Dirty Leeds. The fans of the West Yorkshire club revel in the hard nature of their side – a nature hearkening back to the halcyon 70s and the Revie era.
So much do the fans revel in the fact that they are pretty much hated by every other side in football that it is no longer an insult. It is a badge of honour, something that sets them apart from others and drives them closer to each other.
Being ‘Dirty Leeds’ gives Leeds United fans that sense of self-identity whereby pride comes from coming together as the self-proclaimed ‘Vile Animals.’ They have their own salute, the ‘Leeds United salute’ of right arm bent at the elbow and clenched fist bouncing against their heart.
They aren’t thugs, but Leeds United fans do like to see their players committed in all that they do. In the current squad, players like Gaetano Berardi and Pontus Jansson are, amongst others, lauded for ‘bring Leeds’ – getting what it means. As wrong as it was by the letter of the game’s laws, some Leeds United fans weren’t over-critical of Berardi’s headbutt on Bristol City’s Matty Taylor.
According to Gary Johnson, the Robins manager, Berardi’s headbutt broke Taylor’s nose – a nose which underwent a Lazarus-style recovery before the next game. Still, Leeds fans were quick to look for inroads to defend Berardi – a man they consider as one of their own.
Then there’s Olypique Marseille’s Patrice Evra and his stranding kick to a fan’s head before the Europa League tie against Vitoria Guimaraes.
Patrice Evra’s Kung fu kick is better with music 🕺 I LOVE THIS GAME 😂 pic.twitter.com/vLGX6PaVCH
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOE_UK) November 2, 2017
As events on a football field go, that there is hard to beat. It resulted in Evra receiving his marching orders BEFORE the game had even kicked off.
Evra is now suspended by his club, subject also to a UEFA punishment, and his former Manchester United and France team-mate Mikael Silvestre has said that he [Evra] has “no future” at current club Marseille.
That sentiment is what no doubt drove Leeds United fans to Twitter after the incident and pointed the club in the direction of the former France international.
Evra does a Berardi and Leeds fans comment on Twitter
— ben scho (@BenSchofield_) November 3, 2017
— Martin Kelly (@kels9lufc) November 3, 2017
Someone ask Evra what he's doing tomorrow and tell him to bring his boots #lufc
— JT (@lufc_) November 3, 2017
— 👨🦰The Adventures of Tin-Tin & Murphy🐕 (@karltrinity1873) November 3, 2017
— Neil Quinn (@neilquinn50) November 3, 2017
(Would be a good signing 😋) #LUFC
— Hernán Cresswell (@88danielbruce) November 3, 2017
Think there’s more than a sense of tongue-in-cheek about this last tweet.
Patrice Evra has been spotted at Thorpe Arch this evening 👀 #lufc
— Zach👑 (@SupremeJansson) November 3, 2017
In all seriousness, and as many Leeds United fans have pointed out, the chances of Evra coming to Leeds are about as slim as my chances of having Rihanna rock up at my front door to ask me whether I fancy joining her for a bhuna at the curry house down the road.
Wishful thinking springs to mind, especially as the Frenchman is likely to receive more than a hefty ban from the footballing authorities.