Massive, Defining Week Ahead for Leeds United – by Rob Atkinson

It would be difficult to overstate the importance of the next few days for Yorkshire‘s number one football club. The decisions due to be made by various parties could well dictate the shape, not only of the season ahead for Leeds United, but even of the next few years. A major change in management style and recruitment policy seems to be under consideration, with the abiding question being: and what happens if prime target Marcelo Bielsa doesn’t take the United helm?

That could of course turn out to be a question strictly for the pessimists and the more mischievous outposts of the press. While the glass-half-empty brigade on Twitter and the 95% of the media hostile to Leeds have done their best to stoke up doubt and despondency, the club itself, as well as respected journalists closer to the people in charge, exudes an air of businesslike calm. The expectation clearly exists that what initially appeared to be wishful thinking could actually happen. If it does – and we should know quite shortly now – then it could easily change the course of Leeds United history. And in a good way, too.

Interestingly, the betting markets still appear to assume that these great events will take place. And bookies have a vested interest in getting these things right. So this next week, so nearly upon us, could well be an epochal time for anyone with LUFC carved on their heart.

And if Bielsa doesn’t happen – well it’s still significant that Leeds are looking at that end of the talent market. There’s no reason to suppose that, should the volatile Argentinean decide that Elland Road is not for him, United will inevitably resort to the bargain basement outlets they’ve frequented before. The apparent change of attitude at the top of the club is at least as important as the names in circulation as possibilities as coach or new players. The intent of the club is the crucial thing, and we must presume that the nature of this intent will survive any short term disappointments.

So it’s still a case of “watch this space”, though not, you’d suspect, for too much longer. Sit back, and wait for great happenings to unfold down LS11 way. This could well be the first week of a whole new era for Leeds, maybe even one of a distinctly golden hue.

24 responses to “Massive, Defining Week Ahead for Leeds United – by Rob Atkinson

  1. Philip of Spain.

    No more to be said.!! Could this be it?


  2. Ken Jarvis

    Touch wood Rob,

    We need an experience coach to get us out of this hell-hole they all call The Championship.

    No more “who is he” at ER, that policy simply doesn’t work at Leeds United, end of story😤


    • That’s the lesson of history, hope they’ve finally learned it. I’ve been ranting on about “speculate to accumulate” for bloody years.


      • Life is LUFC

        Yourself and lots of others. I really pray and wish all of you get your dream come true. The whole of the fan base deserve it. Please, please let it happen now.


  3. Life is LUFC

    ché sera sera


  4. Reality Cheque

    I am calmness personified Rob, after all the GFH take over took far longer to finalise and that turned out fine didn’t it?

    All the signs are there that Mr Radrizzani has now realised and deduced that there are no cheap options in the serious pursuit of the mega riches of the Premier League/Champions League. It could turn out to be the centenary every Leeds United supporter could only dream of. Fingers crossed but what a monumental week may be awaiting us all.


    • I remember being in a very dark place as a Leeds fan in 1988. There seemed to be no hope; if you’d told me then that we’d be Champions of England within 4 years, I’d have had you committed on the spot. Obviously, it’s a different ball game now – but are we about to see some sort of comparable tidal change in our fortunes?


  5. Wouldn’t the club need to be above Huddersfield in the Prem to still be “Yorkshires number one club?”
    It’s time to stop living in the past and actually start earning that title again….not even top Yorkshire club in championship


    • Not at all. Leeds United, as the only Yorkshire club since WWII to bring significant success to Yorkshire, from battlefields at home and abroad, has been the county’s top club for well over half a century, and will remain so for the foreseeable future. All else is delusion, born of the chips on smaller club fans’ shoulders.


  6. Brad Twersky

    “…then it could easily change the course of Leeds United history. And in a good way, too.”

    Rob, you’re my all-time favorite LUFC writer, but I remember the glowing first post you wrote on Heckingbottom’s hire and then the one that came a few weeks ago…So, I guess it’s fun to dream, but will we be MOT this time next year, calling for the next great savior?


    • I’m a martyr to blind optimism, as any other fanatical devotee. As such, I see almost every new manager as the Saviour, and I feel I have to look at and write about them positively. Leeds being Leeds, I’m usually wrong – but I go on, undeterred. Such is the way of football and blogging – and as you say, it’s fun to dream. One day – maybe quite soon – they’ll get it right, those mandarins of Elland Road, and maybe then I’ll feel a little of my good faith has been justified.


  7. Hi Rob, I remember 1988 well, defeat in the FA Cup semi final to Coventry and a play off final defeat to Charlton having been 1-0 up with 8 minutes of extra time left, verily punctured the balloon for the following season, everyone totally depressed.
    I’m currently having the same wave of optimism that I had at the start of 1989, Strachan was here, but Sterland, Fairclough and Mr. V. Jones, all arrived in quick order,, and you’re right , then, as it appears now, the mood change came from the top. It’s a mood of, “ Enough of this, WE ARE LEEDS and we are coming back.
    As we all know the final game at Bournemouth, saw Leeds return, and the press were horrified. Well they had better get their quills sharpened, because the same mood is prevailing, not least because T.V., revenue increases significantly again for the Prem for the 2019-20 season. Mr Radrizzani is no fool.
    The stoical nature of Leeds fans deserve no less, for their 15 years attitude of “Noli illigitemi carborundum”.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. More hope than expectation Rob, but I still feel it’s unique to be a proper Leeds fan for so many reasons.
    Let’s just hope this time they get it right!


  9. Being an optimistic pessimist, which means I worry more when there is nothing to worry about, I do hope I have that rare moment to be over the moon this week.
    Like you and many others Rob I’m convinced that the penny has dropped upstairs and if Bielsa doesn’t come Radz will go for someone a bit special. I’m pessimistically optimistic.


  10. Kevin Weston

    I know fans like to speculate but we really have no say in who comes or who goes so whats the point of worrying about any of it. The best thing is that we are being linked to a higher standard of manager and players so everyone just needs to relax and see what happens.


    • It’s the nature of football support, the same reason why we refer to a foreign-owned club as “we”. As fans, we have to feel involved, to feel we have a stake in the club we adore. Totally illogical and very human.


  11. Don’t hold your breath, Rob. Although it would be bloody brilliant.


  12. Tim Campbell

    Those halcyon days of messers Ridsdale, Professor Mackenzie, Captain Birdseye, and the Corny King, seem like such distant memories now🤔


  13. I know it’s could all be speculation but the possible reasons for the delay in getting the Bielsa deal over the line make me feel very optimistic. If Biesla is studying our squad , getting assurances on finance and identifying the kind of players we need etc this seems very positive.
    It seems to fit with the kind of meticulous coach he is.
    If it happens it would mean that the club as a whole are working as one , with a plan and not just hoping that cheap buys could turn out to be another Mahrez or whoever. Sooner this than a snap decision on an ‘Allardyce’ who will cost a lot and will not necessarily know the club at all. You’re right to be optimistic Rob,I mean what’s the alternative? MOT.


  14. king sniffer

    I’m not a religious man, but must admit I’ve sent a couple of prayers up to the ether for what it’s worth!


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