Written by Staff Writer, CNN
Shortly after passing a 50-1 odds to win the Premier League, the expectations for Leeds United’s final season in the English top flight have been largely tamped down after the former champions went bankrupt twice in the last 12 years.
Despite winning their league and cup double in 2004-05, Leeds will finish at the bottom of the table. Its history of relegation and financial woes has prompted the club to appoint the charismatic academy director Marcelo Bielsa as manager for the new season, although it’s fair to say he won’t be bringing his record of “magic” to a financially-challenged side.
Without being overly judgmental, one can’t help but wonder how a manager whose sole success has been at unfashionable Chilean club America de Cali, could now turn around the fortunes of a Leeds side in the top flight for the first time in 15 years. And with rising star Holger Osieck leaving the club in the winter, football experts suggest the club’s recent troubles spell trouble ahead in terms of its current cast of management.
Scoring opportunities and a new dawn
It’s a view that Bielsa certainly appears to buy into, proclaiming that he will be bringing Leeds “back to the top,” a statement reflected in his review of the new season for the club’s website.
“The work to be done here has not yet begun, nor have the efforts been put into winning matches,” Bielsa writes. “We have yet to begin the journey to the Promised Land and leave behind the painful memories of the past.”
Will Bielsa prove the man to turn things around for Leeds, or will this summer’s first-choice candidate stay put at Vancouver Whitecaps? Here’s what the country’s top pundits had to say about the new Manchester United target.