Leeds United haven’t bottled it yet, we still have a chance
22 Apr 2019 08:10pm, by YorkshireSquare
But now that we've been first and second for a large part of the season, the collective expectation has risen to the point where we're now talking about how we have bottled it. Bielsa has worked miracles with the players, this is the same squad, bar a couple, who finished 15th last year and couldn't buy a win in the second half of last season. The fact remains that several of them have over-achieved in terms of their natural ability, a few have under-achieved through injury, lack of form whatever and it is that lack of quality that contributes to the lack of consistency, not mental strength or bottle.
It would be disappointing to only end up in the play-offs, but all the current negativity following our recent run is unfounded. We’ve had a terrible weekend but, it’s not over yet. Win our next two games and we could still go up automatically. We have to rely on others faltering but it's not over. Failing that there is still the play-offs. Yes, it's a lottery, but that is the same for everyone. This is the Championship, the toughest and most competitive league in Europe where every team is capable of beating each other on a given day. There's no evidence to suggest we couldn't or wouldn't win them. We have had a bad couple of results and spirits are low but we have bounced back before to achieve some great results and some good runs of results.
Should we not get up, we'll be stronger next season for the experience. Bielsa will know just how tough this league is and where we need to strengthen. The players he keeps will be a season wiser with Bielsa-ball, the players coming in will be ones he has chosen and the young players coming through will all know what is needed to step up to the first team and will also be fluent in Bielsa-ball. Yes, this is predicated on the club taking up the option on Marcelo Bielsa and backing him but, given what he has done and the fact that the terms of his contract are out there for all of us to see, do you really think Andrea Radrizzani will just let him walk away? There would be a huge backlash against him if he did.
We are in many ways somewhat ahead of schedule in terms of the project, a project Bielsa has fully bought into, and likewise the club have bought into Bielsa’s ways. Surely he will want to finish what he started? But only on his terms. Even if he did walk away, the club is in a much better position than it was before he came in. We have a particular style of football played from the first team right down the youth levels. We have an Under 23s team beating all comers and in Carlos Corberán surely a successor in waiting for Bielsa.
For anyone who has supported the club for any length of time this will have been one of the most enjoyable seasons in recent memory, no matter the outcome. The club has been getting headlines for all the right reasons (bar Spygate, but that was a storm in a teacup!). There has been some truly glorious football played and feeling like this side can get something from every game has been a nice change. It hasn't been this good since the Champions League days, not everyone will agree, but that's fair enough, football is all about opinions.
It feels raw right now, not only the fact we have let automatic promotion slip away but the way we have done it with the last couple of performances. But it’s not over yet, we still have a chance to win promotion. We steel ourselves to go again, we’ve not bottled it yet.
Content by lufc1304 from the Bottled It thread on our message boards.