Leeds United had one of the best promotional seasons in the Premier League after finishing ninth in the table from the start. What was once one of the best clubs in England is slowly moving towards its past glory with a young and exciting team and under the leadership of Marcelo Bielsa, Leeds United fans should be excited ahead of the new season.
Leeds used to be a mid-table club in the Championship before Bielsa took over in 2018. They won promotion the next season and managed to finish in the first half of the Premier League the following year. If Leeds United keep up with the progress they have made lately, the next stop is naturally European football. This is how Leeds United can reach the top 6 with Marcelo Bielsa leading the way.
A TOTAL ATTACK MENTALITY
El Loco knew that Leeds had a weaker side to the role than most other clubs, so he went ahead with an unorthodox way of playing for his team. The Premier League has so many world-class forwards which is surely too much for Leeds to chew on. Rather than being afraid of conceding a goal, Bielsa decided to do everything up front to make up for his mistakes behind.
– Leeds United (@LUFC) May 24, 2021
Leeds United conceded 54 goals last season, which is the worst record among the top 10 teams in the league. However, they scored 62 goals themselves, which made it all worthwhile. Their goal difference is not as high as that of the other clubs, which can create problems for the club in the long run, but Bielsa did not mind all of that. All he wanted was to make sure Leeds stayed away from the descent and finished in a respectable place.
Regardless of the opponent they faced, Bielsa did not change his mind. They tried to keep their fair share of possession and push the players in numbers before launching a quick linking play. Leeds had one of the highest shooting creations in the league, averaging 13.79 goal attempts per 90. Bielsa loves cramming his midfield and therefore played with 7 players in midfield at times. Leeds went completely ballistic against their opponents, which is why they possibly provided the most entertaining football of all.
Any other coach would have decided to try a defensive approach this time to see if they do better at the rear, but Leeds United has El Loco in charge, who is no ordinary man. We are confident that Leeds will carry on with a similar style of football and will make it work for them in their fight for the top.
AN EXCITING SQUAD AT DISPOSAL
With Leeds United having less income compared to the other top teams, Bielsa was forced to watch out for the club’s pockets. Bielsa has been able to fill all the gaps that he has been able to find in the squad, spending as little money as possible.
Ezgjan Alioski was an important part of the club, but as they failed to reach a contract extension, the player left the club on a free transfer. The wing stance is an integral part of Bielsa’s game plan, as they add extra breadth to his attack. The wings are dominated by their side as they attempt to provide additional firepower up front.
With the departure of Alioski, Leeds have signed Junior Firpo from Barcelona, who is exactly the type of player Leeds needed. He has pace and agility that will help him push the ball forward and also track when they lose possession.
Bielsa has also managed to convince his star man, Raphinha, to stay at least one more season, commanding his right-wing position. Jack Harrison had a tremendous loan stint at Leeds last season as he finished with 8 goals and 8 assists to his name. Leeds has made their move permanent at a price of around £ 11.52, which is a great bargain.
Patrick Bamford’s 17 goals last season make him the best prolific scorer they could have asked for and Kalvin Phillips, who had a wonderful Euro 2020 campaign, has been excellent for the club. Bielsa still needs to improve his depth in midfield and is actively looking for possible additions to the club. Bielsa made many improvements to his team last summer, so he can afford to stay with the same team in his 2021/22 season.
CHILDREN’S DOGS TO ROOT
Leeds United were dubbed everyone’s “second favorite team” courtesy of their entertaining form of football. Everyone loves the underdog in the league, but another successful outing will mean they are no longer. It would be really profitable for the club, both financially and commercially, if they managed to finish in the top six. The aim of every club in the middle table is to try to reach the Europa League places and Leeds is no different, even if it is only their second season back in the top flight. Bielsa will make sure they build on the momentum and popularity they have built up in recent months and will use it in their campaign from the start.
55% – Marcelo Bielsa has won 54 of his 98 games in charge of @LUFC giving himself a 55% win ratio, the highest of any coach the club has had in its 100-year history. Messiah. pic.twitter.com/t8g7DcFrAf
– OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) July 17, 2020
It is well known that Marcelo Bielsa does not like to play and is one of the best in the field. The exponential progress made by Leeds United is due to their aggressive and experienced tactician. With the level of competition in the Premier League becoming more difficult each year, a Europa League final will be a tough bet for Leeds United. As we have all observed, Leeds United have only gotten better with time and given that they came close to reaching Europe last season, there is a good chance that they can pull it off. Marcelo Bielsa expects a strong start, but that could be difficult considering his opening games. Leeds play Manchester United on their first day of the league and a win over their historic rivals will send the message loud and clear, Leeds United is here to stay.