Leeds pundit names ‘fantastic’ Prem table finish which Bielsa should relish amid struggles

Date published: Wednesday 22nd September 2021 10:04 - Jonny Whitfield

Marcelo Bielsa, Leeds manager watches on against West Brom, 23/05/2021, TEAMtalk

Danny Mills believes that Leeds should celebrate a “fantastic” season if they end up finishing 14th in the Premier League table.

The Whites changed perceptions in the top flight last season with their aggressive, front-footed playing style. Despite consequently conceding the most of any top-10 side, they did finish ninth upon their return.

Furthermore, they picked up a number of significant results along the way. They did not lose to any Big Six team at Elland Road, earning a point or more in all matches.

They also impressed away from home, scoring three times at Anfield and drawing with champions Manchester City.

However, they have yet to win in five matches this season, with their three points coming from draws. Speaking to talkSPORT (September 22, 7:45am), pundit Mills predicted a 14th-placed finish would suit boss Marcelo Bielsa.

“They’ve had a difficult start, expectations tend to get a little bit carried away because of what happened last year,” he said.

“If they finish 14th… if they’re safe with seven, eight, nine games to go, that is another fantastic season in the Premier League.

“When you look at the strength in depth that they don’t really have in that squad, the quality of players.

“The majority of that squad is a mid-table Championship side that came through with Marcelo Bielsa.”

Elsewhere in their first season back in the Premier League, Leeds beat Man City 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium.

But Mills pointed out that the bulk of their squad remains the players Bielsa had in the Championship. What’s more, teams have become wary of suffering such a defeat as City did.

Teams wary of Bielsa’s Leeds

Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa (centre) prior to kick-off during the Carabao Cup third round match at Craven Cottage

“People are not underestimating Leeds like they did last season,” Mills added.

“Last season, it was a bit like when Leicester won the league, people said, ‘It’s only Leicester, we know how they play and we can still beat them’.

“People did that with Leeds last season and I think this season, they’ll be taken a little bit more seriously because of the way they’re playing and some of the results they had.

“That’ll make it harder for them and they’ll have to adapt.”

Leeds face West Ham at Elland Road in their next Premier League fixture on Saturday.


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