Leeds United Boss Dennis Wise - 1st Year Review

by : Lee Betteridge

October 24th 2007 marked one year since Dennis Wise agreed to take over as Leeds United manager at Elland Road.

Its fair to say that Leeds fans were very sceptical when chairman Ken Bates brought him in. Fear and paranoia were rife amongst a battered and bruised club support who were convinced that the 'Chelsea' connection was a conspiracy to oversee the final demise of our great club.

My initial reaction to Dennis's appointment was one of cautious optimism. Whatever your opinion about Wise he has been successful where ever he has gone - as player and manager. He also has huge drive and fighting qualities which were desperately needed by a club sinking fast into the abyss.

The fact that the new manager was unable to stop our relegation did put doubts in my mind that maybe the appointment was not going to work out. However, it is clear that the situation last season was impossible from the moment Dennis walked through the door. It was bad enough in the Premiership leaking 6 goals at Portsmouth, but shipping in 5 to Luton in the Championship? The woeful dressing room situation resulting from previous boss Kevin Blackwell's reign was like a cancer. The club lurched from one crisis to another, from a mole with a leaked team sheet to a captain who asked to abandon ship.

Then followed the most horrendous summer in our or anyone elses history. It would have been so easy for Dennis to walk away on several different occasions. It was unclear, right up until the eve of the season, whether we would even have a team to support at Tranmere Rovers on the opening day. I remember going to the pre-season game at York thinking it might be our last ever game.

Therefore the blistering start the team have made this season under the most extreme circumstances is quite unbelievable. What a joy it is to be anticipating a possible win every week, after the seemingly endless torment of the last few years. Consecutive Manager of the Month awards speak volumes about the huge job Wise has already done, and continues to do.

Well done Dennis, thank you for turning our great club around in the last 12 months.