Leeds United and the Road Ahead

05 Mar 2020 11:03 pm, by YorkshireSquare

Leeds United fans have remained apprehensive heading into the 2019/2020 season Championship run in. And who can blame them? After last season’s heartbreak, they’re easily forgiven for their outcries.

The rise and re-found fame of Leeds United can only be because of one man, the infamous Marcelo Bielsa. The famous Argentinian entered the Yorkshire side with a reputation as one of the best but negative light shined towards his temperament. The crazy coach referred as “El Loco” has brought a new fan base and style of play to Leeds United which has put the club in a position to take on the Premier League once again.

After dominating the first half of the 18/19 season and then crashing in form after the Christmas break, Leeds missed the opportunity on automatic promotion and had to settle for a playoff position. It didn’t turn out as expected; now here we are in 2020 with a similar table position, a successful pre-Christmas run and a nervy bunch of fans alike.

Stuart Dallas & Pablo Hernandez after suffering defeat to Derby in 2018/2019 Championship Playoffs.

Life could be considerably easier for Leeds if they possessed a trustworthy striker. For a 90 minute game, you can watch Leeds play a dominant game with constant attacking without a goal in-sight. Patrick Bamford has the fingers pointing towards him but with just 12 goals to his name, fans seem to be waiting for somebody to step-up. January signing Jean Augustin won’t get his opportunity until he’s up to speed with the rest of Bielsa’s squad, as instructed by the boss himself.

Is Marcelo Bielsa too stubborn for his own good? Rumours suggest the stubborn attitude of Bielsa with his team selections and tactics could be the downfall for Leeds. I guess we’ll always find something to critic no matter how good a job is done but, with Bielsa’s strict mentality, the longer results become a problem, the longer everybody will wonder if the bosses approach needs to change at times.

The near future fixture list for Leeds will gift them with a handful of must-win situations. Leeds have an easy schedule ahead against a few select teams; said fixtures are must-win situations for the West Yorkshire side.

Huddersfield (H) – 7th March
Former Premier League side Huddersfield not only suffered a terrible final season in the EPL but now they’re three points above the relegation zone. They’re joint fifth in most losses this season and have conceded 56 goals.

Leeds will face them for the second time this season and should be more than confident after winning the reverse fixture away from home (0-2). Back at Elland Road, Bielsa and the boys should be brimming with confidence with all the favours in their back pocket.

A crucial three points to be taken from a weakened Huddersfield side, as tougher fixture may cause Leeds to drop some points, said fixture will be imperative to bring home the win.

Luton Town (H) – 21st March
Possibly the easiest fixture within the next month for Leeds will be against bottom-placed Luton Town. The struggles continue for Luton as they continue breaking table records for all the wrong reasons. They’re the highest conceding team with 71 goals and have lost the most games all season. They aren’t far behind Barnsley but currently need six points to even take themselves out of the relegation zone.

Recent form has certainly picked up for Luton and they’ll be fighting for position just as much as Leeds, the problem is, they lost the reverse fixture at home and will face a Leeds team unwilling to drop any points.

Stoke City (H) – 10th April
Stoke has the second-worst away form in the entire division and sits just one point adrift of the relegation zone. It’s been an awful campaign for Stoke even though they somehow managed to defeat Leeds at home. Currently, they’ve lost seven of their previous ten away days, which will no doubt increase before the fixture at hand.

Leeds will have revenge on their mind and with the home pitch advantage, should be looking to secure another easy three points in such crucial times of the season.

The Inbetweeners
Clubs situated in Leeds schedule between the “easier” fixtures above will be Fulham, Cardiff and Blackburn, certainly the tougher games on paper but only time will tell. Leeds United have yet again another great chance of promotion this season, and with the expertise of Marcelo Bielsa at the helm, should be kicking it about in the Premier League before no time.