Leeds United have finally returned to The Premier League, thanks to the tutelage of Marcelo Bielsa, the leadership of captain Liam Cooper, and a favour from our close rivals Huddersfield Town.
Town’s 2-1 victory against West Brom secured a top-two finish for The Whites after United’s 1-0 victory over Barnsley the night before.
In a crazy season, which included a huge break before the final nine matches, Marcelo Bielsa and the Leeds United players defied the story of last season, and went on an incredible run in the fifteen matches before the night when promotion was officially secured.
In the run of matches following a disappointing defeat to Nottingham Forest, The Whites lost one match, drew one, and conceded three goals. An incredible run-in proved how much stronger the players had become following last season’s collapse, as Leeds now head to Derby at the weekend as they look to secure the league title as well as revenge for last season.
In what has been a landmark season at Elland Road, The Whites turned 100 years old, gained promotion, hit a club record number of points, and a club record of wins in the second tier. Meanwhile, Marcelo Bielsa becomes a legend at Leeds, not only for his achievements but for his character, loyalty, passion and commitment to the football club, as I’m sure many fans see him as the man who brought the spark back to Leeds United.
Leeds United’s players have been massively improved by Marcelo Bielsa and his coaching staff. Captain Liam Cooper, once known as ‘League One Liam’, is now regarded as a figure of leadership and a representation of the fans as he led out his boyhood club.
Meanwhile, martial artist and red card merchant Gaetano Berardi is now another beloved member of the squad. His passion, fight and outright craziness also represented the fans on the pitch, while his performances this season have been excellent.
Kalvin Phillips was once an average midfielder who had a tendency for a poor tackle as the coaches that had him tried to figure out where he could fit into a sub-par team. Bielsa arrived, and put Phillips in the number four slot straight away, and had him become the poster boy of the new Leeds United of The Bielsa Era. Now, ‘The Yorkshire Pirlo’ is the most valuable player in the Leeds squad.
The whole squad deserve huge credit. Patrick Bamford has had a hot and cold season in a sense. Scoring crucial goals and playing a big role in the team, but not scoring as many goals as he could have. But regardless, his goals played a crucial part this season as the team’s top scorer. Pablo Hernandez did what Pablo Hernandez does: he provides the magic that makes Leeds tick. His goal against Swansea epitomised that.
Ben White had massive shoes to fill as Pontus Jansson signed for Brentford, and boy did he exceed expectations. His ball playing ability along with his brilliant defensive play makes him an incredible asset at such a young age for whatever club has him. I think I speak for all Leeds fans when I say that we would love to see him back at Leeds next season.
Alioski deserves massive credit, particularly for his performances post lockdown, scoring and assisting crucial goalsand performing excellently during the run-in. Stuart Dallas is many people’s pick for player of the season. Adjusting to full-back and central midfield while performing brilliantly all season. He’s levelled up massively this season and deserves huge plaudits too.
Don’t worry, I wont go through the whole squad, but the names of Luke Ayling, Eddie Nketiah, Jack Harrison, Helder Costa, Mateusz Klich and Illian Meslier have to be mentioned. For their performances, their improvement, their goals and their part to play amongst the entire squad who have been exceptional,
A huge credit must of course go to the board and coaching staff. Bielsa’s genius and hard work, which is replicated by his coaching staff, brought the Leeds United we want to see. Beautiful football, passionate people and most of all: winners.
Winners inspired by players of old, some of which we lost before and during the run-in. Norman Hunter, Trevor Cherry and Jack Charlton have been immortalised by their achievements at the club, and that promotion was for them, for every Leeds fan who didn’t get to see this day, and of course, Toby Nye.
Andrea Radrizzani’s time at the club was the beginning of the club’s climb to promotion. Buying back the stadium, building a new training ground, achieving category one status for the academy and the ultimate goal of promotion. All decisions made by Radrizzani, Victor Orta and Angus Kinnear, wrong or right, were made with the best of intentions, and they have now delivered.
Enjoy your night and stay safe. Vamos Leeds Carajo