Leeds United supporters have been making a lot of noise in recent times after seeing their side maintain their outstanding start to the new Championship season on Tuesday night.
Marcelo Bielsa’s men went into their meeting with struggling Preston North End having won four and drawn the other three of their first seven league games, a run which propelled them to the top of the division prior to kick-off. And that is where the Whites remain as a brace from Tyler Roberts alongside a Liam Cooper header secured a routine 3-0 success for the Yorkshire giants at Elland Road, thus maintaining their unbeaten start to the campaign.
As such, there have been many delighted Leeds fans up and down the country in recent times, several of whom are daring to dream about the possibility of their side returning to the Premier League this season, such has been how good they have started the campaign.
Yet the lack of depth in certain positions of the squad, the intensity with which they are playing at present, alongside past failings in the second tier suggest that, while they have started brilliantly, they won’t win promotion this term.
Yes, it is undeniable that the Yorkshire giants have been the most impressive side in the division so far in sweeping aside the likes of Stoke City, Derby County, and more recently Preston, at the same time grinding out results at tough places such as Swansea City and Millwall.
And the way they have gone about it under Bielsa deserves huge credit given the football they have played and the intensity in which they play it – maintain that for the duration of the campaign, and a Premier League return beckons.
However, it is maintaining that level which will surely prove to be difficult for Bielsa and his team, as Leeds have twice in the last two years got into position to challenge for promotion, yet twice fallen short as the campaign wore on.
Under Garry Monk, the Whites looked certain for at least a play-off place before enduring a terrible run of form to end the season, eventually finishing seventh, while last term Thomas Christiansen’s side made a fast start, much like this season, to sit top of the table 12 months ago, only for things to go horribly wrong very quickly indeed.
And who’s to say that that won’t happen again this time round, especially when the make-up of Bielsa’s squad is very similar to last season and indeed the campaign before that – maintaining the level of performance has clearly been a problem in recent years, and could well be again.
Yes, things do appear to be different this time round under Bielsa such is the optimism of the fans and incredible level of football the Whites are producing, but Leeds have been in this position before and failed to get the job done, and as such must be wary of things going wrong once again.
And such is the intensity with which Bielsa’s side are playing at present, maintaining that over the course of a 46-game season, alongside the introduction of the FA Cup come the New Year, is going to be a very tall order indeed.
Thus, while Leeds fans are likely daring to dream about a return to the top-flight come the end of the season, there are a few factors which suggest that a return to the Premier League won’t take place for the Yorkshire giants this term.
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