Arrogant is not a word which people generally want to be associated with. It is a word which is always levelled as a criticism with no upside. Having said that, I can understand why some opposition fans are levelling it at us at the moment.|
The Rhinos are on the crest of a wave as World Club and Superleague Champions, and odds-on favourites with the bookies to clean up the domestic honours in 2005. Tony Smith has moulded a very special team at Headingley, a side which doesn't know when it is beaten, a side who defend their line in a more dedicated fashion than they attack the oppositions, and a team which works as a team without the prima donna's of the past.
The players certainly aren't arrogant. When you get the chance to talk to them they are down to earth, realistic, even humble. They are, however, confident, a confidence bred by success on the field and a belief in both their ability and that of their team mates.
So that leaves the supporters...us.
I guess that from some of the postings on the messagboards, no names and no pack-drill (as my Dad used to say), there is a deal of arrogance around. That arrogance tends to be amongst the 'newer' supporters, those who have rarely tasted the pain of defeat, and those who probably weren't amongst the sad bunch of us that followed the side home and away through the dark days of the mid-1990's.
I'd like to think that the majority of Leeds fans are more confident than arrogant. For the first time in almost thirty years we have a side that we can feel totally proud of, a side that can compete with the best in the world, and a side who play exciting rugby and win far more than they lose. After years of suffering at the hands of Bradford, Wigan and Saints it seems incredible to me that we are now the side that others are trying to catch.
Everything in this game is cyclical...who'd have thought that Wigan would ever fall from grace after their dominance of the nineties? So Rhinos fans, be confident, be proud, but don't get arrogant. Enjoy what you've got, and keep everything crossed that we can keep it for a long time!