Big names linked as Leeds begin search for new boss

Date published: Monday 5th February 2018 8:53 - Robert McCarthy

Leeds will start their search for another new manager this morning after Thomas Christiansen was sacked on Sunday.

The 44-year-old – a wildcard choice as head coach when selected to replace Garry Monk last summer – paid the price for a seven-game winless run that saw Leeds fall out of the Championship play-off race and get knocked out of the FA Cup by League Two Newport.

The likes of Steve McClaren – present as Leeds lost 4-1 to Cardiff on Saturday – and Simon Grayson are expected to feature in any list of candidates.

Both are available and also Leeds fans, with Grayson having managed Leeds between 2008 and 2012, securing promotion from League One in the process.

Former Watford and Hull boss Marco Silva is the biggest name in the frame, though the Portuguese coach is likely to have higher aspirations than a Championship side, having previously been linked with Everton.

Gordon Strachan, Paul Heckingbottom and Frank Lampard are also in the frame – the latter being a 20/1 outsider.

Grayson’s sacking six years ago fired the starting gun on a crazy chain of comings and goings in the Leeds dugout.

Neil Warnock, Brian McDermott, David Hockaday, Darko Milanic, Neil Redfearn, Uwe Rosler, Steve Evans, Monk and Christiansen have all tried and failed to take Leeds out of the Championship since.

Christiansen, an unknown who had worked in Cyprus before he got the job, looked like he may buck the trend after his appointment, taking Leeds to the top of the table in early September.

However, a run of one win in eight put the skids on his early momentum and, despite a December revival, his latest slump has cost him his job.

Leeds’ disciplinary record is also appalling, having six players sent off this season. Mitigation for Christiansen comes in the form of a horror injury list and the fact that a number of his under-performing players were picked with the help of director of football Victor Orta.

Owner Radrizzani has opted to fire his head coach, though, with a club statement reading: “Leeds United can confirm that head coach Thomas Christiansen has left the club.

“Chairman Andrea Radrizzani and the Board of Directors would like to thank Thomas and his staff for their hard work over the past eight months.”


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