Leeds United have officially sacked Paul Heckingbottom. The head coach leaves Elland Road with a dismal record of four wins, four draws, and eight losses in 16 games in charge of Leeds.
There have been rumours swirling about a possible replacement in the press for some time now, and this comes as absolutely no shock to the Leeds faithful, as Heckingbottom had been seen on borrowed time given poor run of form that the team suffered under him.
| Leeds United can confirm that Paul Heckingbottom has left his role as Head Coach— Leeds United (@LUFC) June 1, 2018
Heckingbottom was a strange appointment after former head coach Thomas Christiansen was sacked in early February. Heckingbottom left Barnsley FC, who were in their own dire run of form. Barnsley ended up being relegated at the end of the 2017-18 season.
One of the reasons that was cited when Heckingbottom was hired was his outstanding record with bringing through young players such as Alfie Mawson, who left for Swansea City, Sam Winnall, who left for Sheffield Wednesday, Conor Hourihane James Bree, who both left for Aston Villa. These players departed during the 2016-17 season, with Hourihane, Bree, and Winnall all left during the January transfer window. Barnsley had an impressive record before his best players left, as they were only a few points off the play-off race.
However, at Leeds his record of bringing through young players left much to be desired. Heckingbottom only seemed to play young players when forced to by injury and even played Everton loanee Matthew Pennington and Hamburger SV loanee Pierre-Michel Lasogga in the last few matches of the season over young players, knowing full well that the loans to both players would not be extended.
While it’s true that this is yet another sacking of a manager at Leeds, if the only argument for keeping a manager is that it would be bad to sack another manager, that’s not good enough. Leeds spent most of the second half of the season rooted at the bottom of the form table, and winning only four matches out of 16, no matter what the circumstances were, isn’t good enough.
Good luck Hecky.