Watching Leeds regress last season was a painful experience for all connected to the Elland Road club, especially as it seemed like the Whites had stabilized after a more than a few turbulent years.
Like many of the players, Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani had a season to forget as well with his management of the Yorkshire club raising a few eyebrows and, ultimately, resigning Leeds to a season of failure.
Managerial changes have become synonymous with Leeds United over the years and picked up to full steam during the Massimo Cellino era. When Andrea Radrizzani walked through the doors of Elland Road, there was a collective sigh of relief from the support base as, finally, there was a man in charge who had a level head on his shoulders.
Last season showed that Radrizzani was trigger happy when it came to giving a manager the bullet and there will be more than a few that can sympathize with the sacking of Thomas Christiansen. The treatment of Christiansen didn’t reflect Radrizzani in a good light and, even if it was arguably time to move on, Leeds fans will demand it is done the proper way.
Some of last season's events may have got a few questioning the logic and motives of the Italian owner. An ill-advised trip to Myanmar at the end of the season wouldn't have done anything to quell any growing concerns. However, this looks more like a case of teething issues and learning the lie of the land rather than a sinister man who doesn’t have the team or the city's best interests at heart.
Radrizzani’s only real fault is that he may care too much and wants to make an impact overnight rather than invest in the long term. That may not even be a fault and the fact that he cares means he’s going to get it right sooner or later given how much energy he is putting into the club.
Appointing Marcelo Bielsa speaks volumes and will give Leeds fans the world over hope that the torment of first division football may indeed have an expiry date after all.
Promotion from the Championship is undoubtedly the remit for the Argentine manager and, even if the official line from the club is that there won’t be a huge transfer budget, it’s clear that, in fact, Leeds are gearing up for the biggest promotion push since relegation from the Premier League. Derby are said to be weighing up a £12m offer for Matej Vydra from Leeds, which shows how determined the club are this season.
Achieving promotion from the Championship is about as hard as it gets in football but, since Bielsa has come in, Leeds have been backed more than ever to do it. Bielsa’s first game in charge will be a full-blooded affair with Stoke City coming to Elland Road on the fifth of August. Football betting predictions on Betfair have Leeds as favourites to win their opening day clash at odds of 6/4. With the Sky cameras in attendance, it promises to be a fiery clash on a late summers evening.
Andrea Radrizzani may be learning but he’s doing it quickly and looks like a man who has a genuine goal to see Leeds promoted. What’s even more comforting (and some would even go as far as to say exciting), is that the 42-year-old Italian gets Leeds and understands the legacy he would have if he were to be the man in charge when promotion finally came.
Leeds aren't dealing with a rogue or stingy owner in Andrea Radrizzani. There may be the odd minor falling out as the Italian makes a few mistakes learning the ropes but, at the end of the day, he is making those mistakes because, at the time of doing them, he believed that he was acting in Leeds' best interests. It looks like there is money in the coffers, none other than Marcelo Bielsa is at the helm and it appears that a few big players are on their way to West Yorkshire; it’s time to get excited.
Do you think Leeds could be all set to make it right this season? Have your say in the comments below.
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