The bookies didn’t have a clue what was coming today, an hour before he was announced Thomas Christiansen wasn’t even at 50/1 with the likes of Ryan Giggs. As it was his odds dropped massively and it was revealed that Leeds United had come to an agreement with the Danish coach.
Thomas Christiansen was born in Demark to a Spanish mother and Danish father. After training with Real Madrid he joined Barcelona where he trained under Johan Cruyff. In his most recent spell as a head-coach at APOEL he said that what he learned under Cruyff had stuck with him and he wanted to put it into practice as a head-coach at the club. After impressing for Barcelona B he made his debut in the Super Cup Final and then played again in the Copa del Ray against Atletico Madrid. He was called up to the Spanish national team after choosing to play for his mothers nation of birth and made two appearances, scoring one goal. He ended up at Vfl Bochum and was top scorer in the Bundesliga, before moving to Hannover.
Christiansen is 44 and took over at his first job as head-coach in Cyprus, leading AEK to two second placed finished, the highest in their history. He then got arguably the biggest job in Cyprus by joining APOEL and things went from strength to strength for the coach. He won the league in his first season (2016/2017) and also led the Cypriot side out of the group stages in the Europa League into the last 16. He left at the end of the season and was being considered for the Olyimpiacos job in Greece according to Phil Hay of the Yorkshire Evening Post. He predominantly played a 4-4-2 formation but has adapted to different situations according to fans of APOEL.
He certainly isn’t the big name Leeds fans were expecting but he was one of the first targets for Leeds United. New man Angus Kinnear has said that after the interview process Christiansen was the clear favourite for the job in their eyes. Kinnear said they think he is the man to get Leeds back to the Premier League and stay there. He was also very firm in saying that he was seen as the long-term option for the club and was here for the long haul. Christiansen is set to face the media on Monday afternoon and that won’t be a problem as his English is very good.
I am currently speaking to an APOEL fan about Christiansen and will have a fan view tomorrow.