The odds on Leeds Utd winning the Championship continue to plummet after the club appointed legendary coach Marcelo Bielsa as their new manager. The Argentinean is a mentor to elite coaches like Pep Guardiola and Mauricio Pochettino, who are full of praise for his methods. Punters feel like this statement of ambition from the Leeds Utd hierarchy is enough to propel them back up to the top flight, and they have been backing the team in their droves. Around half of all futures bets placed on the Championship have gone on Leeds since the news and the odds have shifted accordingly.

Read a review of BetOnline to get an idea of a reputable bookmaker, and then find odds on Leeds and you will see they have been drastically slashed. They started the summer at 33/1 and they have since gone all the way in to just 10/1 with some bookies to win the title this coming season. They are now just 3/1 to be promoted with many bookmakers, leaving them behind only Stoke in the betting. They are level with West Brom, Middlesbrough and Swansea in an elite group, and ahead of big clubs like Aston Villa and Derby. But can one man make that much of a difference?

Well, first it is worth noting that such a respected coach is unlikely to have agreed to move to Elland Road if he were not assured of being at the helm of an ambitious project, replete with a decent transfer budget. Chairman Andrea Radrizzani has his critics, and he has made questionable decisions since taking charge of the club, but it is hard to argue with his ambition. Even after selling Chris Wood last summer, the club still made a net spend of more than £10 million and took on a higher wage bill in a bid to thrive in the Championship. They are already being linked with exciting players this summer, and the presence of Bielsa in the dugout could help lure them in.

The Argentinean has apparently made Derby’s Matej Vydra his top transfer target this summer, and it would be a real coup if Leeds could pull it off. Vydra was the top scorer in the Championship last season, and he could provide the cutting edge the team needs in order to kick on. Bielsa said he has watched every minutes of Leeds’ 2017/18 campaign before taking the hot seat, and he identified more thrust and dynamism up front as a key priority. A new goalkeeper and a new centre-half are also seen as a important targets for the coach, and building a new spine to the team would certainly be a step in the right direction.

But when the transfer window slams shut, it will be up to Bielsa to display strong man management, tactical nous and coolness under pressure. Multiple Champions League winner Guardiola, who won Premiership Manager of the Year last season after guiding Man City to the title, called Bielsa the best coach in the world. “My admiration for Marcelo Bielsa is huge because he makes the players much, much better,” said Guardiola. “Still, I didn’t meet one guy, a former player from Marcelo Biesla who speaks no good about him. They are grateful about his influence on their careers in football. He helped me a lot with his advice. Whenever I speak with him I always feel like he wants to help me.”

That sounds extremely exciting, but before Leeds fans get too carried away, cautionary tales emerge from his former clubs. He won nothing at Lille, Lazio, Athletic Bilbao and Marseille. At Lille, his last club, Bielsa lost nine out of 15 games before departing in ignominy after a calamitous reign that saw him make several bizarre decisions, both in terms of tactics and playing staff. Making him the most highly paid manager in Leeds Utd’s history was a bold gamble, and it feels like it could go one of two ways: glory or disaster. It is understandable to see punters lumping on Leeds, but the jury is very much out. Yet it is certainly a far more exciting appointment than Paul Heckingbottom, so it is understandable to see optimism abound among the Leeds faithful this summer.

One Response

  1. mrbigwheels

    You talk and sound like a bookie.
    Where is the main man of this once great site.
    For heavens sake get a grip of a slice of positivity…….

    Reply

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