The well-known song around the Championship is actually the truth. “Leeds, Leeds are falling apart again”. It’s very hard to argue that to be honest, the club have gone from top with Wolves and Cardiff chasing to mid-table by the end of January, but is there still hope or was the sacking of Thomas Christiansen the sign that Andrea Radrizzani knows the season is all but over.
The defeat at home to Cardiff City was rightfully the end for Thomas Christiansen. His Leeds United career had peaked in September and gone downhill since, the odd stop off, look back up before heading down that hill again couldn’t paper over the cracks. Leeds fans have called for stability for many years but most were in agreement that he had to go, how a team can collapse like we did twice in one season I’m not so sure, but it felt like Elland Road had become an unhappy place again under Christiansen and it was more for the away fans than home fans. He lost the dressing room and Andrea Radrizzani didn’t hold back when he was sacked, pointing out all of his weaknesses that had ultimately cost him his job at Leeds United.
The sacking was late on when you analyse it, Radrizzani had wanted to sack him over Christmas and after the defeat to Newport County and he really should have, but he held off after advice from Victor Orta but more defeats, shocking performances and red cards meant he was on borrowed time. The appointment of Paul Heckingbottom was quick and targeted but is Andrea Radrizzani already planning for next season? Heckingbottom is a head-coach who will build things up, develop young and existing players and improve the team through hard work from himself on the training ground. He took over at Barnsley with the club on a good run and he pushed that on, taking them up but what really attracted Leeds to the Barnsley boy was that he is a coach, and not a manager.
We are well off the play-off positions and Heckingbottom has taken over at a horrible time. The players are low in confidence and we are in the middle of a run that sees us face all of the in-form sides in the division. We are also missing the likes of Samu Saiz and Gaetano Berardi which isn’t ideal by any means. On top of that we have no way of playing, no formation or style that actually works and some of the players are letting the side down every week, and we have nobody to step in and take their place because the players not in the side have already been dropped for the same reasons. An interview from the Yorkshire Evening Post may give us a clue today, with Heckingbottom saying that he will promote youth players and play them if he feels they are good enough, maybe it was a warning to some of the senior players that they need to get themselves out of their slump or lose their place.