Euro 2020 Special

Reviewing Documentary ‘Take Us Home – Leeds United’ Season 2

After the first season of ‘Take Us Home: Leeds United saw the club coming excruciatingly close to sealing a Premier League promotion in Marcelo Bielsa’s very first attempt, the makers kicked-off the second season with the only positive element discerned from Leeds United’s 2018-19 season – belief.

The streets, pubs and houses in Leeds had not brimmed with such hope in the last 16 years as was the case in 2019. Marcelo Bielsa’s gameplay, ethics and integrity had won over the community and everyone – from players to the staff and fans – could now see a light at the end of the tunnel.

Directors Lee Hicken and Giuseppe De Luca have impressively moulded the on-pitch and off-pitch sentiments in a manner that guides the first episode through the summer transfer window as Leeds United revamp their squad through painful departures.

However, the storytelling does not stretch with technicalities in order to keep the neutral viewers hooked, and the players are thrown straightway into sunny Australia for their pre-season tour as they reacquaint themselves with Marcelo Bielsa’s strict regime.

While Bielsa’s sophisticated tactics needed polishing in the 2018-19 season, Leeds United players were now executing it to near perfection as the Peacocks started the season with a five-match unbeaten streak. Overlooking the few fumbles here and there, Leeds United spend most of their season atop the Championship table with a run of five to seven games becoming a regular feature.

This consistency is unfamiliar to the Leeds United fans, who have seen their club reeling in the second tier for 16 long years now. Hence, every draw or a loss is met with instant pessimism by the supporters.

Popular Leeds United supporter Russell Crowe continues to narrate the second season as well, and his scarred, gladiator-like voice texture reminds the viewers of the subdued but ever-existing fear embedded in every Leeds United fan.

The Bielsa-ball, which had smoothened all its edges by now, was just snowballing into an unstoppable cannon when disaster struck in early March. After Leeds United’s 2-0 win over Huddersfield Town on March 7, the world went into a lockdown owing to the coronavirus pandemic.

Over the past one and half decade, Leeds United fans had experienced every kind of misfortune that could possibly stop their beloved club from getting a promotion. Hence, they were not surprised when reports emerged of the football season getting cancelled altogether.

“It’s the most ‘Leeds’ thing that could happen to Leeds United,” a fan says.

The overhead shots of Elland Road, surrounded by empty streets, is frequently used at dusk to poignantly portray the void that football fills in the life in Leeds. More important than their Premier League dream, the game is akin to God in Leeds – a way of life that people cannot do without if taken away.

Though football returns to England after a three-month forced COVID-19 break, the pandemic has robbed the club of their most important element now – the fans. Known to be having one of the most passionate and vociferous fan bases across world football, the new normal was difficult to adapt for the players and they resumed their season with a 0-2 defeat to Cardiff City.

However, Leeds’ solid start to the season had taken them way ahead of the most other clubs and they soon found their confidence back to win eight of their next nine matches and get promoted in the top-tier for the first time since the 2003-04 season.

A heart-warming scene in the second episode shows the players failing to resist themselves from rushing out to greet the fans, who gathered outside Elland Road as Leeds break into celebrations.

Interestingly, this is also the only moment when the viewers encounter an ecstatic Marcelo Bielsa embracing fan-favourite Kalvin Phillips. The Argentine mastermind has, otherwise, been limited to dugout and training ground appearances throughout the series.

The third episode of ‘Take Us Home: Leeds United’ Season 2 releases on September 25 and fans would expect the focus to turn more on the gaffer who has already created headlines in the Premier League.

Watch it here.




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