Thomas Christiansen had his work cut out from day one, but he had a few things very much on his side. The fact Andrea Radrizzani had taken over the club and bought back Elland Road was a huge boost to everyone and the anti-Cellino fans were happy, so Christiansen just had to win the first couple of games, and he wasn’t far off.
A win at Bolton, two goals from Kalvin Phillips and one from Chris Wood, a player staying at Leeds for some time to come and all seemed rosy. However things soon began to get tricky, a couple of goalless home draws followed by Chris Wood departing and things were challenging but Christiansen had no problems, taking it all in his stride. Wins at Sunderland and Forest without Chris Wood who left for Burnley had us peaking, a thumping win over Burton at home, led by Lasogga, the new German striker had fans dreaming. What began to happen next was very worrying, but we had to back him because of the start. Some horrible performances at Millwall, Sheffield Wednesday and Cardiff City were extremely concerning. There was no change in tactics, the same players were picked and the run went from bad to worse, defeat after defeat, one win at Bristol City the only light in that dark patch.
After an international break it was the big one and neither coach dare lose. Christiansen vs Monk. Christiansen won the battle and wins began to roll, the confidence was back and heading into Christmas we were looking good, a very good start to the festive period and maybe the bad run was just a phase, after all Thomas Christiansen had said that it would never happen again. Some issues were happening, he wouldn’t play highly rated Matty Klich because of an issue between the pair had meant the player would eventually be shipped out. The bad run began again and the likes of Gjanni Alioski and Kemar Roofe were putting in some horrible performances in January without the prospect of being dropped. Christiansen never left his formation of 4-2-3-1 no matter the score and the players weren’t doing him any favours. Saiz, O’Kane, Cooper and Berardi were all sent off in January, and Christiansen was powerless to stop them, his leadership skills non-existent.
Christiansen presented a power point presentation to Radrizzani and co. for his interview and it seemed to impress. He pointed out via video’s what had gone wrong in key games under Garry Monk and what he would have done to make sure that didn’t happen. I don’t know what he was playing at when his theory needed to happen, because he didn’t change anything and just kept banging his head repeatedly off the wall. By tis stage his post-match interviews were beyond belief, every game he was happy with the tem despite performances lacklustre and unacceptable and many who travelled to Hull to watch us scrape a 0-0 were all but done when they saw him tell Alioksi to slow down and waste time when coming off the pitch. The final straw was a pathetic attempt against Cardiff where he kept the same team yet again and despite every fan in the stand knowing what to expect, he seemingly didn’t. Thomas Christiansen, a nice guy but out of his depth at this level.