New-Look Leeds United Causing Bookies Rethink as Odds Shorten on Promotion – by Rob Atkinson


Samu Sáiz – just one factor in Leeds’ terrific start to the season

Leeds United, to the almost incredulous delight of their legions of fans, could hardly be heading into the season’s first international break in better shape. A perfect away record in the league is only slightly offset by the two goalless draws so far at home, where United have, up to now, reserved their attacking prowess for the Carabao Cup. The defence hasn’t conceded a league goal since the opening day of the season, when an injury-hit Leeds conceded from two set-pieces but still won 3-2 at Bolton. The attack, confidently predicted to be toothless in the event of a Chris Wood departure, has actually proved to have a lot of bite, more so even, since the loss of the New Zealand international. The goals have been shared around, and the ratio of strikes on goal has been very impressive when compared to last season’s more pedestrian and predictable approach.

Having opened the season as 18/1 underdogs for winning the Championship, United’s odds have most certainly shifted after such an impressive, unbeaten start to the campaign. Those pundits who predicted that the loss of last year’s Head Coach Garry Monk would see Leeds falling from grace this time around, look likely to have to eat their words, as the team under new boss Thomas Christiansen seems to have new attacking dimensions as well as a miserly defence and the newly-acquired knack of stifling their opponents’ forward play. It all adds up to a much more likely recipe for success, even given the fact that Leeds are having to assimilate so many new players. The new additions, notably Samu Sáiz, have had a considerable impact, and this can be expected to continue as players settle in and the team gels.

At this early stage of the season, such consistent and exciting performances are all the more impressive for the fact that players who were considered key personnel this time last year are either no longer at the club or, if they are still around, they’re out of favour for one reason or another. The squad appears to have strength in depth, with most departments of the team benefiting from quality cover. As the summer transfer window ticks to its close, it appears likely that some of the Wood money will be reinvested in yet more new arrivals, with the attack the main focus of attention. Leeds are strong in midfield, well-served out wide and, with the revelatory form of new skipper Liam Cooper as well as the emergence of Conor Shaughnessy, the club now seem confident that no major reinforcement is necessary in the defensive third of the team.

So, give or take a couple of extra attacking players, it seems likely that the squad is complete for now, at least until the January window opens – and who knows just how high Leeds United might be flying by then? On the evidence of the first five games in the Championship, the answer would seem to be: the sky’s the limit.

17 responses to “New-Look Leeds United Causing Bookies Rethink as Odds Shorten on Promotion – by Rob Atkinson

  1. Took em at 18/1 rob and I’m happy how things are going – as soon as AR bought the ground back etc I thought this guy means business


  2. It’s when you delve into those seven matches that you see how well we’ve done !
    7 matches,.8different scorers, of which there’s 2 hat-tricks, and a “brace” for Philips !
    Included in those 7 matches were 2 nil nils, which will be remembered for Wood being one on one with the keeper in both games !
    The “credit” must go to our new guy for our style of play !


  3. I predicted that the bookies would change their odds,to most Leeds fans,it was obvious.
    we should be among the favorite for top 2


  4. NickB(50yrsLU)

    I was even bolder on Sunday, and went into my local bookies in Herts (in Spurs/Gunners country) – something I’ve only done a handful of times previously – and asked what the odds were for a team to go unbeaten in the league all season. He asked, ‘What club ?’, and some plonker on the fruit machine behind me suggested a team that wears red. I said, ‘Leeds’, and the guy behind the counter replied, ‘LEEDS ?’. He stood aside and on the wall behind him was a very familiar yellow and blue emblem. He’s from North London – Gunners supporters – but he saw the Centenary Cup Final when he was four and was smitten by the winners. He said he’d have to make a call. After five minutes, he said it was his head office, in Leeds, and that the girl at the other end had just asked him which league ! Eventually, the price came back; I was expecting tens of thousands to one, and was ready to put a tenner on it. When he said 200:1, I was so indignant that I only put £2 on. I can only assume Leeds supporters all over the country had had the same idea sometime between 7.30 on Sat. and 3.45 on Sun. and spoiled my nice little earner that would have paid for my building project ! I’ve now got to hope that cuddly Ken remembers me in his will, after our bit of banter when I accused him of toying with loyal fans’ emotions as a cat plays with a mouse. Perhaps I should put a bet on that – if he left me a fiver, I’d be able to build another Beckingham Palace !


  5. Very happy with how things are going but I’m keeping my powder dry due to the last three owner’s because after a few years of mc madness i can’t get carried away with normality on another note are you writing for the yep nowa days MOT


  6. Reality Cheque

    Besides having; a newly appointed foreign “unknown” head coach; a coaching team comprising almost exclusively of foreigners with the exception of Dickov’s young apprentice; a host of unknown young foreign players all of whom are having to settle in a new country, culture and adapt to the merciless demands of the Championship whilst also having to “gel” and take on board TC’s tactics and philosophy…. this amazing head coach and TEAM of players have had to overcome a regularly reshuffled back 4 due to injuries from day one of the season yet have 4 clean sheets on the bounce out of 5 games.

    Having attended both nil-nil games and watched Chris Wood fluff golden chances to win both games it was very helpful to hear AR’s reasons for accepting Burnley’s offer as Chris had been determined to move to the riches, glamour, high fashion and world renowned night life of Burnley despite all AR’s efforts to keep him.

    We have progressed to another level since Wood’s departure and have so much more fluency and belief in our play with more options than Garry Monk could ever comprehend.

    Personally, I hope that Wood enjoys relative success at his new club, purely because it would ensure we received another £3 million based on his appearances for Burnley.

    As the transfer window reaches its climax I absolutely trust AR and VO to do what is right and best for our football club and look forward to TC transforming any recruits into amazing players. What he has achieved with Cooper is absolutely amazing.

    The futures White, (except when we’re playing AND WINNING away from home! MOT


  7. George Burton

    Sorry about this Rob but for some time I have had problems trying comment, ‘like’ a comment or to log on to comment. I registered (literally) years ago –
    when you were starting to write a book ;-). I think I used the name ‘Grumpy’ at the time. Any chance you can help me to re-connect? Cheers mate and thanks.

    George Burton (in Oz)


    • Well that’s received loud and clear, George, and it’s good to hear from you. Please stay in touch, it’s an open blog, no registration necessary – I only moderate to avoid inflicting the few idiots on my many valued readers and contributors 👍


  8. Mr Rearguard

    I’m not going to look at the table until 10 games in.


  9. Excellent and positive article Rob. So many good developments both on and of the pitch. The player recruitment reminds me of the Wilko days when almost all of the early signing were a sucess. Eyes were raised re Vinnie etc but he never put a foot wrong in our last promotion to the top flight campaign (nice finish against Brighton too at the Kop end if I remember correctly with a “cigar smoke” celebration as well)!


    • Ah memories – I seem to recall the cigar celebration as being at the South Stand end against Ipswich though. Of course, he might have done it more than once.


      • Chadnooky

        Ah, you could be right. I’ll have to check my video of the title season (yes I still have it and a player to play it). The thing is I was actually at the game and had a season ticket in the Kop. Age I’m afraid may have caught up with me.


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