Continental touch guiding Leeds' latest new era - Interview
Thursday, 7th Dec 2017 20:18 by Clive Whittingham
Another new owner, another new manager, another long losing run, but Leeds' fan Jimmy Mahoney from the Nowt for Second blog says this time it's different at Elland Road.
You’ve been cursed with some terrible owners down the years, is the new fella another false dawn or is it really going to be different this time?
JM: I genuinely believe the new ownership will be the foundation for future success at Leeds. Since Andrea Radrizzani gained full ownership of the club, we have seen a big swing for the better within the football club. For a long time, we have had a divide between the club and the fans and Radrizzani has made sure that the divide has disappeared. All fans want to feel connected to their club and with the implementation of the The Supporters Advisory Board and involvement of the Leeds United Supporters’ Trust within the club we are finally seeing the club United again.
What did you make of the managerial appointment when it was made, and how do you think he’s done so far?
JM: Like most Leeds fans, I knew nothing about Thomas Christiansen and I was a little nervous that the club had once again employed a head coach who lacked the knowledge to be a success in a demanding league like the Championship. However, overall, I have been impressed with his tactical philosophy, he has added a creative edge to Leeds which we have lacked in recent seasons. We did go through a difficult patch, with eight defeats in ten games through October and November, but I think Christiansen was allowed the time to adapt our game and I think that once again we look solid heading into a busy Christmas schedule.
Stand out players and weak links in the side?
JM: The creative edge that I mentioned earlier has stemmed from the signings of Saiz and Aloiski. Saiz especially has shown his quality and, in my opinion, is the bargain of the season at £3m. Although my stand out players has been Kalvin Phillips, Phillips comes under a lot of scrutiny within the Leeds fanbase, a lot of which is unfounded. This season especially he has developed into a top central midfielder and has played an integral part through the season. Our main weakness is between the sticks, we brought in two new goalkeepers in Felix Wiedwald and Andy Lonergan both men have struggled for consistency and this could be our downfall going forward.
Assuming you’ve mentioned Saiz and Alioski above, does the diving/histrionics/screaming at referees etc detract from their attraction at all?
JM: I think there is a European element to Saiz and Alioski’s game which means we see them use the physical side of the Championship to their advantage. To be fair, they both may go down easy but there is always contact and most players go down under minimal contact in the modern game. I don’t like to see players waving imaginary cards in the referee’s face but, as a Leeds fan, I feel opposition players are given more grace than they should be when they commit an infringement against our creative players.
How do you see the rest of the season panning out?
JM: I think a top six finish is achievable. I don’t see us getting anywhere near the automatic places but we have the quality within the squad to challenge for a playoff place. The Championship is a demanding league but, if we have a strong December and get the recruitment right in January, we should be in the fight for top six come May.
Links >>> Our reciprocal answers for Jimmy's site
The Twitter @JM_LUFC
Pictures – Action Images
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