It's not healthy for Leeds to feel that the early rounds are inevitable, that lower league clubs are unbeatable.
It should be a big deal when Leeds come to town.
When the football year begins with a humdrum defeat in line with the form book and the transfer market, it's a reminder that this is the Premier League in 2021, where attention wanders easily from the pitch to the timeline.
Last night's Premier League results are an embarrassment for the greatest league in the world: three 1-0s and a 0-0. Except the Leeds game. Even accounting for Burnley's sinkhole opposition, there have been 21 goals in the Peacocks' four festive matches. And what goals!
Terry Venables' task, in his first few weeks as Leeds United manager, was trying to make Leeds United make sense.