By Kieran Cobley
Leeds United fans must have been hopeful of ending the clubs 14 season streak of not playing Premier League football at the start of this season.
The Yorkshire club went into this season as one of the bookies favourites for promotion, and there were even murmurings of topping the table near the start of the season, with the club taking 11 points from a possible 15 in their first five league games.
However, with only one game left of the season the club now sit in 14th place, having only taken eight points in their last 11 games, and the fact they are now the subject of public scrutiny following an announcement that the club is set to play two pre-season friendlies in Myanmar before the start of the 2018/2019 season, a country which has being accused of ethnic cleansing and various other human rights abuses in recent months, fans are asking, where did it all go wrong for the club?
Thomas Christianson started the season as Leeds boss but was sacked in February, following seven games without a win and an embarrassing exit of the FA cup after defeat to League Two club Newport County.
Part of Christianson’s job included player recruitment, and fans often criticised the clubs policy on recruiting clubs, with one fan commenting “we went for the cheap option signing unknowns for peanuts who the club were hoping were diamonds in the rough and it hasn’t worked”.
poor recruitment you get what you pay for we went for the cheap option signing unknowns for peanuts who the club were hoping were diamonds in the rough and it hasn't worked.
— Craig (@lufcCraig) April 30, 2018
In a ltjournalism Twitter poll, fans have suggested that Christianson’s replacement, Paul Heckingbottom, may have been a factor in the club’s misfortunes, with just over a quarter of fans who voted in a twitter poll suggesting his appointment was a factor in the team’s dreadful season.
— Kieran Cobley (@Cobleyreporting) April 30, 2018
Heckingbottom was appointed only a week after signing a new contract with Barnsley, where in his last 17 games, he only lead the Tykes to one win, as well as only winning 37 games from 105 in his time as both interim manager and full manager roll.
Player performances have also been criticised by fans, with fans criticising how players have reacted to pressure as well as players discipline, with one fan commenting on twitter: “if teams got stuck into us, we either lost our discipline or folded like a pack of cards”.
Millwall away when they bullied us of the pitch and everyone realised we where mentally soft if teams got stuck into us we either lost our discipline or folded like a pack of cards #lufc
— Jamescunni (@jamescunni) April 30, 2018
Discipline issues had plagued the club for a while and it is believed the club’s disciplinary record may have been a contributing factor in Christianson’s sacking, with 105 booking points all season, with only Sunderland and Preston North End having worse records with 107 and 110
booking points respectively, according to transfermarkt.com.
The Elland Road faithful were also “treated” to a new club badge, which was quickly scrapped after a petition that was set up to get rid of the new badge gained 40,000 signatures.
After a myriad of failures, United fans will be hoping and praying that they can go marching on together back into the Premier league for the first time since 2004, if the club can learn from this seasons failures.