A successful season for Leeds United?

27 May 2019 10:43 pm, by YorkshireSquare


How you decide to judge whether 2018/2019 was a successful season for Leeds United or not depends entirely on what perspective you choose judge it from. Predictions and aims will have varied between fans at the start of the season, ambitious fans would have said play-offs, most were probably predicting mid table again. Finishing in the play-offs at the start of the season would have been considered a success but having led for a lot of the way can you truly say we had a successful campaign? Lets look at the positives and negatives…


The positives…

We started the season by appointing a world-renowned manager in Marcelo Bielsa who was clearly humbled and honoured to be at the club. Bielsa attracted great media interest to Leeds United both in England and around the world. We played a brand of football that you usually only see in the top leagues with top players.



We saw improvement in many of our players, many of whom frankly didn't seem to have it in them in previous seasons; Ayling, Phillips, Klich, Roofe, Cooper to name a few. Plenty of potential future stars were given a chance in the first team; Clarke, Shackleton, Halme, Roberts and Davis the highlights. Out Under 23s, playing the same system as the first team, saw a lot of success with more young players ready to break through.

We achieved our highest points total in nearly 29 years. We achieved our highest league position since we won promotion from League 1 under Simon Grayson. The fanbase was united again and reconnected with the club in a way which has not been seen for many years. Leeds for better or worse were genuine box office. Plenty of positives to be had however…

The negatives…

As with seasons gone before we allowed a January window to pass us by without significantly strengthening the team. Despite signing a world renowned manager we didn’t back him with investment in new players. It seems that despite insisting lessons had been learned the clubs recruitment policy won’t change, we will have to sell this summer before bringing in new players.



We were top at Christmas and became only the 2nd team in Championship history not go up automatically having been in that position. With four games to go we were third, still with a chance at automatic promotion, playing the worst away side in the league at Elland Road and we lost. We had the chances to kill off the playoff semi-final in both the first and second legs, we failed and paid for it.

And finally and most depressingly through spygate, our fall from the top of the league and our semi-final capitulation we are a laughing stock again. There hasn’t been this much Leeds United bashing for a while, opposition fans are revelling in our failure and to be honest, who can blame them? It was a great season that turned into an incredibly painful and frustrating one.

The conclusion…

There is no doubting that failure to achieve promotion either automatically or via the play-offs is extremely disappointing given our position at Christmas. But we must judge the season on our expectations at the start. We improved our league position by ten places, we improved our style of play, we improved the ability of all the players, we improved our youth set-up. So a successful season? Yes, and most fans have loved it despite the climax. The icing on the cake would have been getting promoted, but at least we now have a great big delicious cake to eat instead of the soggy biscuit that we were left to eat last summer.

Whether this season is judged as a success in the future will depend on its legacy though. This was always a two-year project and we got closer than we expected this season. The foundations have been laid to push on next season. A philosophy and style of play has been instilled at all levels of the blub, our players have improved across the board and we have an exciting crop of youngsters coming through. This isn't the beginning of the end, it's the end of the beginning.


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