Sunday, October 2, 2022

Another Defeat For Leeds United: What Is Happening At Elland Road And What Next?

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Diptanil Roy
Diptanil used to be a columnist of The 4th Official. Knows German and not afraid to use it on you.

Garry Monk’s shocking decision to leave Leeds United at the end of last season by resigning from his job, brought into picture a certain Thomas Christiansen. Christiansen guided Apoel Nicosia of Cyprus to the last 16 of the Europa League and to the Cypriot first division title last season before taking over at Leeds United.

Appointed by Italian owner Andrea Radrizzani himself, Christiansen took the hot seat in Leeds United with the board hoping to see the positive effect of having a foreign manager, in a manner somewhat similar to what David Wagner or Marco Silva has had at Huddersfield and Hull City.

Leeds United got off to a flying start to their new season. Fast flowing football that was easy on the eye and a defence that since the opening game at Bolton had conceded three goals in eight games meant that Leeds could not have hoped for a better start. The Leeds machine, however, began to show signs of crack as the league progressed and they now stand sixth in the table after four disappointing defeats in twelve games.

What is even worse is the fact that three of those defeats have come in quick succession. Although Garry Monk’s team did not fare much better at this point last season, Monk was always careful enough to avoid more than two straight defeats in a row, something Christiansen is guilty of right now. It would now be a mammoth task for him to lift the morale of a team who have collected a total of zero points from a possible nine.

Doubts are clouding over the club and the atmosphere at Leeds is gloomy. Several postmortem reports of the club’s defeats have speculated about the various aspects that the club needs to get right. Here are some of the existing problems the club needs to solve.

Change In Goal

Andy Lonergan’s debut was bright enough in terms of the goalkeeping reflexes to justify ousting Felix Wiedwald and his saves from Mo Barrow and Sone Aluko might guarantee him a place in the next match as well. Although for Christiansen it does not end here, his style of play demands a sweeper-keeper, a department Lonergan is found wanting in.

Christiansen needs to sort out his goalkeeping dilemma and come January, he might need to find a keeper with basic keeping abilities and naturally talented with the ball on his feet.

Shaky Defence

Leeds United star player Pontus Jansson has not been playing his best game recently. The Swedish centre-back is Leeds’ best player in terms of quality and naturally, the team’s performance depends a lot in his ability to marshal the backline effectively. Jansson has been in a poor run of form and unless he recovers his game quickly, the entire Leeds United defence looks like a ship without a rudder.

Bright Start Is A History Now

Leeds United had a fiery start and talks of them challenging for the Championship began to spread. After 12 games, they now stand sixth in the table on 20 points, six points adrift of the league leaders Wolverhampton Wanderers. Things are looking more and more like last season and talks of a promotion back to the Premier League is fast fading. The fast start, however, did show that they are capable of challenging for the Championship title and they need to buckle up and live up to their potential soon.

Leeds United’s long, proud history makes them a club known universally. It would be great for not only them but for English football should they return to the Premier League next season. Christiansen still is the best man to lead them forward and hopefully, a few tweaks in the little problems that are occurring leading to such unnecessary defeats can be reverse-engineered.

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