Well, I have to say, this is a tad unexpected.
Leeds United's first choice for the head coach's job - Barnsley manager Paul Heckingbottom. Looking to get a deal done tonight. #lufc— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) February 5, 2018
Barnsley FC manager Paul Heckingbottom is now reportedly the first choice for head coach’s job at Leeds United after Thomas Christiansen was sacked last night after a dreadful run of form that saw the club take only two points since Boxing Day.
Heckingbottom does not have a sparkling record in the Championship, but he did get Barnsley promoted out of League One and is highly thought of in coaching circles because of the limited budget and resources at Barnsley. The level of pressure at Elland Road will be very different than the pressure he faced at Oakwell, with most fans and observers content to avoid relegation from the Championship given the restraints at the club.
It is a curious decision to put Heckingbottom in charge of a bigger club after a questionable record at Barnsley. He’s also on record stating about how he disliked Leeds while growing up in Barnsley, so he’s already starting on the wrong foot with fans. However, many fans have been crying out for a manager with Championship experience, so at least this hire would check that box, right?
I honestly hate this move, but I’ll be more than happy to eat my words if Heckingbottom does come in and do a good job at Elland Road. I just wonder why pulling a manager out of a local Yorkshire rival that is barely treading water in the Championship is seen as a solid choice to take over the club. If the report is true, we wish him luck.