The Leeds crowd were angry, boos rang out from the Kop and angry fists were being shaken towards the dugouts. We sang “What the f*** is going on?” and “You don’t know what you’re doing!” towards our own management as we crumbled horribly to a 1 – 4 home defeat to leave us 10th in the table having been much higher only a few weeks earlier.
The all-blue strips of the opposition were celebrating wildly in front of their own fans, enjoying the fact they were fourth in the table and looking good for a tilt at the play-offs. They’d basically muscled us off the ball throughout the game with their team of giants and we’d played like a team that was frightened of our own shadows. Within 30 hours of the end of the game our manager was sacked.
No, that isn’t a description of the events of this weekend, it was something I wrote six years ago following a humiliating 1 – 4 home defeat to the Blues of Birmingham, when a certain Nikola Zigic scored all four to more than cancel out an early Ross McCormack goal.
The manager sacked then was of course Simon Grayson. Six years on and an identical scenario played out again this weekend at a freezing Elland Road as January morphed into February. This time it was Cardiff’s Bluebirds that plunged a sword deep into our hearts to end all hope of a play-off challenge and this year it was Thomas Christiansen who would pay the price.
Today Phil Hay released the news that Paul Heckingbottom has been placed at the top of Leeds’ shortlist for their vacant managerial role.
Leeds are hoping to get the deal done this evening and are prepared to meet the Barnsley managers release clause, part of his latest deal signed last week.
Many fans will be overjoyed with the move, with Heckingbottom being a young English manager with good knowledge of the Championship.
The former Sunderland and Barnsley defender has been in charge of his former side since 2016 and lead them to a surprise ninth placed finish last season.
Heckingbottom could be a real prospect as head coach of Leeds, he’s a disciplinarian who can control a dressing room and expects the best from his players.
Although a promotion push may be looking bleaker by the game, a potential positive finish to the season and a good start in the summer could really turn it around for Leeds.
What do you think of the potential new manager? Have your say in the comments below.
By Ryan Ingham
Sometimes a change needs to be made in order to save a season.
The news that Thomas Christiansen has departed the club leaves me feeling a little downhearted but in whole, their was nothing else the club could do.
Leeds have stuttered on several occasions during this season on what can only be classed as a shock start to the season.
Poor performances since the turn of the year against Birmingham, Nottingham Forest, Burton, Ipswich and the woeful display against Cardiff yesterday sealed his fate.
The wrong tactics, the misjudged formation and in finality a squad that had lost a head coach many weeks ago. Leeds haven’t had the same vibrant energy since September.
Christiansen was not many fans favourite when he joined, but at times I was appreciative of his honest approach and his ability to get the best out of a very average side.
Leeds are now rudderless, manager-less and hopeless in 2018 as they stair even closer to a mid table finish as the weeks go on.
Bit changes are needed at the club and not just in the management. Hopefully our next appointment has the balls to stand up and be counted when it comes to recruitment.
Can anyone turn around a season of such highs and lows? We hope so.
We march on, in what direction we’ll surely tell you in the next few weeks.
By Ryan Ingham
It’s not often Leeds had the opportunity to nab top young players from other clubs in order to progress their own youth setup.
In fact, it’s been the other way around for a very long time. Leeds would produce them and Premier League teams would steam them. Well now it looks like the prey has finally become the predator.
The acquisition of Jordan Stevens from Forest Green was a major coup for Leeds, having beaten a host of Premier League sides including Everton and Southampton to his signature.
Along with Stevens, Leeds have acquired star young international defenders Aapo Halme and Pascal Struijk along with young English striker Sam Dalby.
Although many fans are wanting signings for the here and now, Leeds are building something big and an ebbing and flowing youth squad is the perfect way to continue their push for a spot at the Premier League dinner table.
Stevens, signed his first pro deal with Forest Green back in September ‘17 and has gone on to make 14 appearances for the Green Army this season, drawing plenty of potential suitors.
The talented midfielder is known for his pace and skill and can be played in the centre of the park or out wide, giving the Leeds youth coaches plenty to work with.
Leeds have signed the youngster on an 18 month deal with the option of a further deal and Stevens is expected to make his debut in todays match against Birmingham for the development squad.
What’s your opinion? Is Stevens the next player to break into the first team squad? Have your say in the comments below.
By Ryan Ingham
When approaching the window many fans and pundits had a January shopping list consisting of three key positions.
These ‘needed areas’ were highlighted as a left back, a central midfielder with Championship experience and a striker who could make a difference.
Two checks were made with Laurens De Bock and Adam Forshaw, with the later coming almost begrudgingly die to the absence of Eunan O’Kane and the injured Ronaldo Vieira. However, many fans have been impressed with the former Boro man since his arrival.
The final position needed was a striker and for a long time it looked like Leeds were not willing to invest in another forward.
However, deadline day came and Leeds took a shot at their moneyball-esque transfer committee on Baggies wonderkid Tyler Roberts.
Leeds coughed up £2.5million on the young English prospect, a fee that shows some confidence in the forward and confirms his spot in the first team for the remainder of the season.
Although this deal may not be the ‘whily experienced dynamo’ many fans expected, this deal is the business that Leeds are currently trusting in.
This season was about rebuilding a mid table team and setting them up for a challenge in the near future. The difference being that many fans expected instant success having seen our early successes in the league.
Roberts is a top English prospect who at 19 years old has spent more time in the Football League than most of our squad.
The young forward has seen somewhat successful spells at Oxford United, Shrewsbury and Walsall while making his senior debut for West Brom at 16 years of age against Liverpool in the league.
There’s no doubt that Leeds may have took a gamble but if you can look back at some of our best strikers in the past 10 years they were too. Signings like Beckford, Becchio and for a short period Tresor Kandol (15 points) all they had was some hidden and no previous accomplishments and look how they turned out.
With Roberts, Leeds have caught a gem on what could be the cheap. If they allow the player to grow in the first team instead of allowing him to join the seven strikers we have in the development squad, by the end of the season he could have surprised us all.
Trust in the youth, if you’re going to rebuild you don’t blow your money on old mercenaries look at QPR’s premiership history and tell us we’re wrong.
By Ryan Ingham