In recent seasons, Leeds United have been labeled as bottlers. This comes around due to the side squandering multiple great opportunities at being promoted back to the Premier League, after being relegated more than 15 years ago.
There is no doubt, that Leeds is one of the biggest clubs in England and if not the world. The club has bundles of history, as well as an outstanding group of supporters, which follow them around the country.
Leeds’ greatest opportunity of promotion would have to be the 2018/19 season. The entire club was re-energised by the arrival of the world-class manager, Marcelo Bielsa. The team suddenly turned into a well-oiled machine and by Christmas, Leeds topped the Championship.
Once Christmas passed, Leeds slowly began to dip in the form. As February began, they came to face second-placed Norwich. However, for Leeds, this ended in a 1-3 defeat.
As the season came to an end Leeds had fallen out of the automatic places and finished third, meaning they had to go through the play-offs. Frank Lampard’s Derby County side was the team to face Leeds over two legs.
Leeds came on top in the first leg at Pride Park with a 1-0 victory, although the script wasn’t fully written for Leeds as they fell apart at Elland Road in the second. Derby came out winners with an entertaining 4-2 victory, meaning Leeds would face yet another season in the Championship.
Looking from the outside the easiest way to criticise Leeds is the players simply not being good enough, although the investment in the squad in recent times has been poor. The current board of club haven’t shown any interest to properly invest, and have been heavily relying on loan signings.
The current Leeds side is lacking severe depth in this show in their latest defeat away against QPR, 1-0. Despite the loss being controversial, the performance was poor and lackluster. As mentioned, the depth of the squad has played a part this season – the bench at QPR showed this.
The average age on the Leeds United bench was below 23, which indicates the shear youth and inexperience the squad does have. Due to the Championship being an extremely demanding league, squad depth is key in order to have success and Leeds simply does not have this.
Leeds’ current first team is hailed as brilliant although two major elements of the team are indeed loanees: Ben White & Jack Harrison. These two players are hugely important to how Leeds play. Central defender White is comfortable and assured on the ball, whilst winger Harrison possesses great trickery and pace.
All in all, Leeds’ mental state hasn’t been up to par meaning they have failed in chances of promotion in recent times. The running of the club is also simply not good enough in terms of transfers and finances and a club with the reputation of Leeds simply deserves better.