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Getting Leeds out of the the Championship and establishing it as one of the most important club in the world

Discussion
http://i.imgur.com/1LV3O3i.jpg
United hire Wolf for centenary year

Marcelo Bielsa, the argetinian wizard tasked with reviving Leeds United, has decided to step down from his post as head coach with immediate effect, after just one season in charge.
After transforming the club completely last season and being in the lead for most of the Championship, Bielsa was unable to halt the downfall in form towards the end of the season, which ended dramatically with an Elland Road defeat to Derby in the play offs
The board were unable to convince Bielsa to remain for another season. His trusted staff is departing Leeds also.
In a statement released this morning, owner Andrea Radrizzani thanked Bielsa for his relentless effort and announced Leeds will ring their centenary with the appointment of a new manager in White Wolf
Eyebrows have been raised in the world of football at the appointment of the unknown 35 year old, who does not have any previous experience in club football.
It is understandable why Leeds fans feel the days of Dave Hockaday are back. Even more puzzling is the timing of this appointment as Leeds are celebrating their centenary this year.
Wolf has put pen to paper on a one year deal that sees him take charge as manager of arguably the biggest club in English football outside Premier League.
He is joined by a numerous staff team including assistant manager Joe Dunne, coaches Dennis Bergkamp, Dave Watson, Mark Sale, GK coach Abel Resino, and fitness coach Anthony Colbert. They join Antonio Abad and Benoit Delaval.
Also former captain Richard Naylor was named assistant manager to the under 23, with GK coach Pedro Alba and fitness coach Felix Ledesma joining Carlos Corberan who remains under 23 manager.
Wolf's task to get the club promoted in their centenary looks difficult. The squad depth is far from ideal. While Bielsa likes to work with a small squad, this is not advisable in the Championship. From last season Leeds have lost some very important players. Pontus Jansson, maybe the best defender in the Championship, was controversially sold to Brentford in the summer for the small fee of 4.5M. Ben White, a young and untested defender on loan from Brighton is expected to replace the swede and forge a partnership with club captain Liam Cooper.
On the right, Luke Ayling, the vice captain is injured for 2 months with no adequate cover. Berardi, the next best thing, is seen more of a liability because of his poor judgement and short temper. Dallas and Shackleton are players who can cover there.
On the other side, Barry Douglas seems to be the only capable left back. Brought from Wolves last season, the Scot never got it going at Leeds, and with his injury proneness, a capable cover is needed. Alioski, normally a winger, was used in that position by Bielsa but his poor decision taking does not recommend him as a viable solution.
Central midfield looks the strongest area for Leeds with Kalvin Phillips, Klich, Forshaw and Shackleton bringing quality and quantity to the table.
On the wings, the spanish wizard Pablo Hernandez stands out as the best player in the squad. His creativity and ability to spot a pass is second to none. Stuart Dallas, the utility man is also there to provide cover, while on the left Jack Harrison is back on loan from Man City. He is to compete for a regular spot with Helder Costa, this summer marquee signing. Brought initially on loan from Wolves, he will join next summer for a fee of 15M pounds
The offence department, where Leeds suffered last season, is another area that took a big blow. Kemar Roofe joined Anderlecht in the summer so all the pressure of goal scoring remains on Patrick Bamford. Brought from Middlesbrough last season, he had an inconsistent first season. Eddie Nketiah, on loan from Arsenal, is also there to provide fire power while Tyler Roberts is out injured for 2 months.
Bringing reinforcements does not look like an easy task. The transfer budget is 900K. A deal was negotiated between the owner and the new manager that allows the latter to use 90% from the transfer revenue for other players addition. There are some fringe players, but it will be interesting to see in what conditions they can be moved.

With no football reputation, replacing a world class manager like Bielsa and with the memory of last season's playoff defeat still in the players mind, Wolf needs to find a quick way to earn the respect of the players, restore their belief and hit the ground running.
Good luck mate! First step of getting out the Championship 'should' be straight forward enough.
Laying the foundation and Championship start

Life of a Leeds fan is never boring. After last season's roller coaster that ended dishearteningly, Bielsa stepping down from his post has open the door for an unknown manager to "live the dream". Like his predecessor, the new manager seems obsessed with details and putting things in place. He was not shy in making his mark. Victor Orta, director of football at Leeds since 2017, the man previously responsible for recruitment, transfers and contracts had his influence reduced to scouting. Is clear that Wolf is not a big admirer of Orta's work, and the deal for Pontus Jansson does not help the spaniard's case.
In terms of tactics, he has settled for a 4-2-3-1 wide, unlike Biesa who preferred a 4-1-4-1 DM wide.
https://i.imgur.com/jQsEKZP.jpg
This possession based tactic counts on a high intensity pressing to win the ball back quickly.
The staff is the best in the Championship and very well balanced
https://i.imgur.com/85xVjOf.jpg

The transfer period was eventful for Leeds. With a transfer budget of just 900K £ the strategy was clear. Sell before buying. The first casualties of the new regime were surprising for the fans. Berardi, Alioski and Douglas were sold for a combined fee of almost 20M £. O'Kane and Bouy, fringe players who were already on the transfer list were not so profitable. Less than 500K £. With 90% of the funds made available for transfers by the owner, the rebuilding started strongly. The emphasis was on youngsters. Benoit Badiashile (D C;18) from Monaco, Josha Vagnoman (D/WB RL; 18), on loan from Hamburg and Birger Meling (D/WB/M L) from Rosenborg were brought to strengthen the defense. Alena (M/AM C; 21), on loan from Barcelona and Francisco Trincao (AM RL; 19), exciting youngsters join Pietro Pellegri (ST C;18) and Mohamed Daramy ( M L, AM LC, ST C, 17) in the squad.
https://i.imgur.com/IG3Gd0o.jpg

A good pre-season answered some questions about players and capabilities. Jack Harrison and Eddie Nketiah had their loans cut short while Lewis Coyle was recalled from his loan to provide cover for RB.

The Championship started brightly for one of the new faces at Leeds. Francisco Trincao made a dream debut scoring at Bristol. Patrick Bamford looks the most influential Leeds player this season. With 5 goals in 5 games he is the leading goalscorer in the Championship, and with an average rating of 7.84 he is currently 3rd place. Benoit Badiashile has also been closely looked at. The french central defender is making the most of one of his colleague's misery. Ben White suffered an injury in his 2nd game for the club against Forest and he will be out for 2 months
In Carabao Cup, the match against Huddersfield showed glimpses of what the new manager wants his team to look like. Going down 1-0 in the 2nd half, Leeds responded instantaneously. Shackleton leveled after 1 min, with Alena and Pablo Hernandez putting the game beyond doubt. But Pellegri got injured and he will miss 3 weeks.
https://i.imgur.com/ctI7IZu.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/Y3YSUgA.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/laIwEkd.jpg

Keeping pace with early leaders Fulham

It seems there is a smooth transition from Bielsa to Wolf. Leeds are living up to their promotion favorites tag. After the setback against Stoke continued with one of a kind match against Swansea where they had 4 goals disallowed because of offside, where at least one should have stood. The international break was not kind, Daramy and McAlmont getting injured for 4 weeks each. The first visit at Elland Road for Derby after the playoff win did not end up as Leeds fans would have hoped. Just a 1-1 draw. But Leeds were back on their winning path after a hard fought 1-0 against former favorite Ian Bowyer's squad. That path continued with very important wins against fellow promotion favorite West Brom and rivals Millwall.
And the feel good factor continued on the 12 stage of the season with a pivotal moment in the Championship. High flying Fulham lost their first match of the season while Leeds, a man up for most of the game, managed a sensational turnaround against Birmingham, coming up from 2 goals down and winning in the 88 min thank to a Shackleton goal.
https://i.imgur.com/nNCoaUK.jpg

Leeds are also still in the running of the Carabao Cup with wins against Wigan and Preston. Next opposition are rivals Barnsley.

https://i.imgur.com/dLdLTbv.jpg

Fulham are the team to watch in this quarter of the season. Ivan Cavaleiro, contrary to the form of his good friend Helder Costa, has hit the ground running and looks the hottest property in the Championship. He leads the scoring, the average rating charts and the assists charts, albeit tied for the last one.
https://i.imgur.com/ohhXQAW.jpg
Getting over the century festivities and ending the year

With the century festivities over, things were starting to look brighter for Leeds. By the 14 stage they took the lead of the Championship with a 1-0 victory against Yorkshire rivals Sheff Wed. As new leaders, they made a point against poor QPR, where Bamford managed to score 5 goals. But , as any Leeds fan knows, the Whites are known for not making things easy for themselves. November continued disastrously. Defeats against Blackburn, Luton and Reading and an injury time leveler against Middlesbrough were showing signs Leeds are not ready to put up with the pressure of being number 1. After the QPR drubbing, the adversaries came with defensive strategies. Leeds, although having more of the ball and more shots, were in need of creating more chances to score than their opponents. This issue, present last season too, was in need of fixing. Also, strategic choices made by the manager were not paying off. A more attacking style in the 2nd half to win matches were rapidly being counter by the opposition and Leeds were finishing games empty handed although being in control for most periods.
Injuries were not helping either. Benoit Badiashile, a new signing from Monaco, who took full advantage of Ben White's season start injury to establish as a first choice defender, got injured for 4 weeks in the Blackburn defeat. Tyler Roberts managed to score his 1st Wales goal, only to get injured for 5 weeks.

Results were showing a more ruthless approach was needed. No more attacking at all costs. Sometimes a point is better than trying to take all 3 and ending up with none. And the results started to come. The Terriers, the Tigers and the Bluebirds all tasted the defeat against a team who was starting to get the moral back. Carabao Cup Qtr Final brought another success against Premier League Norwich, last season's Championship winners. Although getting equalized twice, last in injury time, Leeds managed to see off the game after penalties.

And the much awaited game against Fulham, in Craven Cottage arrived. Leeds put on a fight and manage to win the draw. Fulham opened the score and were looking a bit better at times but Pellegri's equalizer shared the spoils
https://i.imgur.com/jO4TJOv.jpg
December finished strongly with another 2 wins for the Whites, Bamford starring in both, with 2 doubles which took his tally to 16 in the Championship this season
https://i.imgur.com/h4aszIo.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/OYWZYcm.jpg
January transfer window and going all the way to the final

Transfer windows are always exciting, especially for fans. Transfer rumors, gossips, hopes, dreams all mix together to bring excitement and sell news.
A lot of curious eyes were on Leeds 's strategy. As already mention, Victor Orta's influence has diminished so all eyes were on the manager.
As far as tactics go, things seem to settle down to a 4-2-3-1. During November run there was an experiment made for 4-1-4-1 but it was clear to see the wingers are not valuable enough to sustain such a tactic.
Major changes were made in all departments, some unexpected. Liam Cooper, the captain and seen as the leader of the defense, was sold without too much ceremony to Brighton for £8.7M . His average rating showed Cooper to be the weakest defender. His replacement cost £3.3M and comes from Mexico. Cesar Montes, 22, a tall player with a good technique is seen by the manager as a player who can challenge for a 1st team spot. Tommie Hoban was also signed after an extensive trial period. A former international, Hoban had major issues with injuries last year but did enough to convince and is thought to be the 4th choice as central defender.
The loan of left back Josha Vagnoman was cut short. The decision was made pure financially. Still viewed as a hot prospect, the £11M optional fee was considered to high for Leeds's current finances. And with the loan monthly fee, Leeds decided is better to cut the looses. De Bock was recalled from Sunderland, only to be sold to Jeonbuk so utility man Stuart Dallas will cover for Meling on the left back.
In the midfield 2 players with experience and 1st team players last season were sold. Forshaw left for Premier League rivals Bunley while Klich, the polish international, went to Nantes in Ligue 1. Not able to hold down a regular spot and on high wages, both were seen as dispensable.
To compete for a starting spot, Alvaro Medran, a player with a fine pedigree, was brought free. A more creative player with an impressive resume naming Real Madrid and Valencia as his previous employers, is seen , at 25, as a player who still have a lot to give. He was supposed to sign for Chicago, but when the transfer failed Leeds pounce quickly to bring him to Elland Road..
None of the current wingers showed any consistency in their play during the 1st part of the season. Jack Clarke's loan was cut short on his request but he was not showing much of the form of last season. So Leeds signed 2 new wingers. Marco Pjaca, croatian international, signed from Juventus after his transfer listing and Demarai Gray, on loan from Leicester, were Wolf's choices to fix the issues.
Most interesting things happened in the forwards department. Lucas Alario, an argentinian international, transfer listed by Bayer 04, joined the club for a fee of £4.4M. As Vagnoman, Pelegri's loan was cut short on financial reason. Ryan Edmondson and Tyler Roberts were sent on loan to further develop. Rafa Mujica, was recalled from his loan and loaned out to Hull to get more acquainted to the english football. And then, in the last hours of the transfer period, the unimaginable happened. Patrick Bamford was sold to Newcastle for £13M. With 19 goals in the Championship, the most prolific goal scorer was sent to Newcastle after a reported conflict with the manager. It seems Bamford was asking for a new, better contract while Wolf was looking for more consistency from his game. The striker is well known for either scoring lots of goals in a match or being completely absent, which made Bamford dispensable in the manager's view.
A good transfer period, financially, where Leeds spent £20M and brought £83M in the process (for the whole season).

As results goes, Leeds were on fire for the first part of 2020, turning the Championship into a 2 horse race, with West Brom, Sheff Wed, Reading and Middlesbrough all loosing touch with Fulham and the Whites. Brentford turn the game from 2-0 to win 3-2 and revenge the Carabao Cup Sem Final loss. In the FA Cup, Liverpool was too much to handle for Leeds this season.
https://i.imgur.com/jWfJHhL.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/zN5Fald.jpg

Next stop is the Carabao Cup Final against Man Utd.
https://i.imgur.com/K2s0oEM.jpg
European nights are back at Elland Road next season

https://i.imgur.com/7B6ellb.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/W4gioH5.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/JztM4te.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/tgggmAG.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/Gl9m5Bt.jpg
Congrats!
My Careers:
FM15 | FM16 | FM17a | FM17b | FM19a | FM19b | FM19c
FM20I: Trip to: United States (w/ Cincinnati) https://i.imgur.com/FQLsK4I.png / II: Earth Trip https://i.imgur.com/WvSK16U.png (journeyman)
End of season and back to the Premier League

Winning the 1st trophy for Leeds since the 1992 Charity Shield vs Liverpool is surely going to put this squad in the history books for the Whites. Doing it against the biggest rival only makes it sweeter. And for a player who progressed through Leeds United's youth ranks and is Leeds-born to score the decisive penalty, what can you ask more from this fairy tale?
Leeds used this win as a catalyst for the final push. More pragmatic, only focused on winning all the points and not so much about the style, Leeds closed the gap and by the time the 2 horse race for promotion was to be decided Leeds were already on 1st place. Fulham found the 2nd part of the season tough also.
https://i.imgur.com/0j2uuSL.jpg

And Leeds made sure they are going to be in the driving seat for automatic promotion. A double from Lucas Alario put the victory beyond doubt, the late late goal from Cavaleiro being nothing more than a consolation goal.
https://i.imgur.com/GLZHrj7.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/dagtRXD.jpg
The rest of the season was more or less just a formality. Leeds won promotion back to the Premier League without too much fuss.https://i.imgur.com/jY3x7V6.jpg
Winning the Championship on the other hand was not so easy, as Leeds lost a lot of it's pace after the automatic promotion was mathematically done.
https://i.imgur.com/mT5QJZw.jpg
But in the end, that came too
https://i.imgur.com/0iqPO4F.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/lHOmCay.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/9qOJ6Xr.jpg

A lot of things happened during this period off the field too. Carlos Corberan, the U23 manager left to join Eibar as assistant manager. Although highly valued by the Leeds manager, the spaniard's contract demands were above Leeds budget. Another spaniard that announced he is leaving at the end of the season is Pablo Hernandez. He seemed unsettled at Leeds and chose to sign for Sampdoria on a free transfer.
Another piece of news that circulated during the 2nd part of the season was this:
https://i.imgur.com/CCumwuG.jpg
A good season that also shown a lot of records being broken:
https://i.imgur.com/ht1r0vu.jpg
Leeds had 3 players selected in the team of the season:
https://i.imgur.com/7WIsVmK.jpg
Congrats to the U23 team!!!
https://i.imgur.com/JbJLCnW.jpg

A good financial year too
https://i.imgur.com/e2nBZ7R.jpg

This is the season review
https://i.imgur.com/9uDFunM.jpg
As expected,
https://i.imgur.com/bQs7nPK.jpg

Awards night :
https://i.imgur.com/kkp1ZrW.jpg

in other news, this is how the Premier League ended:
https://i.imgur.com/yz6Y47D.jpg


Preparing for Premier League battle and the Olympics

As a club who suffered so much because of financial irresponsibility in recent years, Leeds United are run keeping a close eye on this subject. One of the main goals of the manager is to make the Whites a financially sustainable club. That means always keeping an eye for the bargains. Being promoted to the Premier League did not change this strategy.
Leeds started early the recruiting process, even before the promotion was in the bag. Although not always easy, this is definitely one of the most entertaining process for a manager.
In the effort of having a squad able to put on a fight on domestic soil but also in Europe, Leeds turned for new recruits to free agents or transfer listed players.
Goalkeepers wise, last season Leeds counted almost exclusively on Kiko Casilla. Illan Meslier, 2nd choice goalkeeper, on a season long loan from Lorient was not kept. He had a £3.8M transfer fee inserted in the contract that was not activated at the end. After weighting several options, Leeds pick transfer listed Jack Butland from Stoke to provide competition to Kiko Casilla.
https://i.imgur.com/zquUz0G.jpg
While last season Luke Ayling and Lewie Coyle were the 2 RB, none of them are well seen. So Leeds went for Valencia's transfer listed Cristiano Piccini
https://i.imgur.com/yBqVRLy.jpg
Tall player, with good physical, mental and technical stats, Piccini is definitely a steal. He will compete for a starting shirt with Ayling, as Coyle was sold to Rennes.
In central defense, Rob Holding and Chumi are the deals managed by Leeds. Both are young defenders, with lots of potential and they came relatively cheap. Holding was on the transfer list at Arsenal while Chumi's contract at Barcelona was close to ending.
https://i.imgur.com/3Pfm0Zv.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/Qea5tc3.jpg
On the left back, a familiar face pop up on the radar. Charlie Taylor, an academy graduate, who left to play for Burnley in the Premier League a while back, but who was now on his way to the Championship with the Clarets had a £7.25M relegation release claus. So Leeds pounced.
https://i.imgur.com/QsoRXh1.jpg
A reliable full back who will provide good competition to Meling.
In the midfield, free agent Adama Traore was brought from Monaco. Seen as a player with lots of potential a few years back Traore is trying to put his carrier back on track.
https://i.imgur.com/wEdXW3H.jpg
Antother addition was Pedro Chirivella, released from Liverpool. He came after a trial period
https://i.imgur.com/FQd4tGF.jpg
On the right side of the attack the marquee signing of this transfer window was Emanuel Vignato. Bought from italian 2nd division side Chievo, Vignato is seen as one of the most attractive prospects of his generation and expectations are high.
https://i.imgur.com/hMkCtUK.jpg
He is joined on the left wing by Helder Costa, a deal put in place before Wolf's reign that has Victor Orta prints all over. The portuguese spent last season on loan at Leeds but did not impressed too much and the agreed price of £15M is seen as a great loss for Leeds.
Probably the greatest loss from last season in terms of squad was Pablo Hernandez. He chose to go to Serie A Sampdoria. The task of trying to find a suitable replacement was never going to be easy. Ironically the solution came from Sampdoria : Gonzalo Maroni
https://i.imgur.com/Ef3HpjM.jpg
At 21, the argentinian still has potential to grow and Wolf seems certain he can get the best out if him. Also he came as a free agent which is always appreciated. He will have to provide assists to newly sign John Guidetti. The swede is back in England after Alaves was relegated to the 2nd division. At 28 and with a good knowledge of the PL, Guidetti is expected to hit the ground running and in no need to of an adaptation period
https://i.imgur.com/RUjaZMv.jpg
On the going front Grot, Cibicki and Coyle were the biggest names leaving. McCalmont, Daramy, Edmondson, Mujica and Gotts were sent on loan to get more match experience.
https://i.imgur.com/zrp1zyl.jpg

On other transfer news
https://i.imgur.com/6yIQuJD.jpg

The premier League odds were released:
https://i.imgur.com/gaDMMaC.jpg
Liverpool is seen as the major title contender while Leeds is ranked 18th.

On a bit of a side quest, the Leeds manager decided to take charge of the France U23 at the Olympics in Tokyo.
https://i.imgur.com/SUysh1O.jpg
The Olympics is a special tournament football related. As a manager, you can only pick a squad of 18 players and you have to find versatile players in order to try to make it as far as possible. The schedule is tight and you have at most 3 days of rest in between matches. Also you cannot pick players who were already called for the final tournament played by the big side. So no Mbappe and no other players who, although eligible, were already called up to the France side
But Wolf managed to find the balance that brought the gold medal to Paris
https://i.imgur.com/19QXCZL.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/S1ZCSqn.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/zyN44ST.jpg

European nights are back at Elland Road

After the Olympics adventure, the focus is back on Leeds. Big season ahead, getting the chance to see the team competing on higher stages. 16 years has passed since Leeds were last in the Premier League and a lot have changed since then. But Leeds are also a changed club, committed to improving in a healthy way for long term success.
This season there will be some minor tweaks in the tactics employed :
https://i.imgur.com/mEIwr4D.jpg
Getting players like Piccini and Charlie Taylor, who are tall, strong players, capable of doing a good job both defensively and offensively, sees the system changing from wingbacks to fullbacks which means they will help more the central defenders. Also last season's quest to build up play from the goalkeeper through the center saw Leeds exposed to counterattacks in that area. In order to avoid that in the Premier League, where the pressing intensity is much higher, there is a desire of using primarily the wings to build up the play.
A very interesting duel will be against Spurs who will be lead from the side by Marcelo Bielsa, former head coach at Leeds. This also meant loosing staff, GK coaches Marcos Abad and U18 Neil Sullivan joined their former boss. And Leeds, as a developing club puts a lot on emphasis on having good staff at all age categories
https://i.imgur.com/WWCkLxY.jpg

The fixture list was not kind with Leeds. They were to play Arsenal, Liverpool, Man City in the opening stages, while also managing Europe path to qualification.
The season started against Rangers, another club which like Leeds is trying to get over some dark period in their history due to financial issues. A double 1-0 showed Leeds still got what it takes to compete in Europe. Sturm Graz were next and after a very close game in Austria Leeds pulverized them on the 2nd leg. But not before debuting in the Premier League against Arsenal. Although leading for most of the game Henry's heir Aubameyang leveled the game. The 2nd game against Newcastle did not bring more success, another draw. And it continued worst with defeats against Liverpool and Aston Villa. Villa's Mayoral explosive hat trick in the 1st 20 minutes of the game does not look encouraging for the PL season. Europe is still going good though with Apol Limassol not matching the attacking threat that Leeds posses.
https://i.imgur.com/sRnI5eM.jpg
It is not the best start the club would have hoped, but with a bit of work on all levels, Leeds might have a standing fight of surviving the Premier League this season.
https://i.imgur.com/qKU3Qzu.jpg

European nights are keeping moral high in the team though and now Leeds know their next opposition
https://i.imgur.com/vn35T00.jpg
Setting into the Premier League rhythm

Leeds were looking to cope with the Premier League requirements, loosing points due to naivety and personal mistakes. Games that seemed won finish ties or were even lost. The opening fixtures were not kind either. Liverpool, Arsenal, Man City in the first 5 games were always signs of a disaster waiting to happen. Leeds had to wait 6 matches to get their first win in the Premiership. A 1-0 victory away to Bournemouth courtesy to a John Guidetti goal. But this win seem to lift the pressure from the Leeds squad as they embarked in a fantastic 15 games in a row without loosing.
https://i.imgur.com/FPqmwXP.jpg
Along the way, Bielsa's Spurs fall victim to this run
https://i.imgur.com/uHkbvWk.jpg
The month of October was the highlight of the 1st part of the season
https://i.imgur.com/4plcnEx.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/WZMOjzq.jpg

November brought a very special event in the Leeds United family. Leeds born Kalvin Phillips, who progressed through Leeds United's youth ranks, made his England debut. A moment to cherish for everybody connected to Leeds.
https://i.imgur.com/MQ5WArf.jpg

Some rumors surfaced about a possible job offer from Newcastle for the Leeds manager were quickly quashed by the manager himself who looks focused 100% on getting Leeds United back on top.
https://i.imgur.com/p9qP73G.jpg

But how can you choose to make a step back and quit the high flying Whites? Especially when you won the bragging rights against rivals Chelsea and Man Utd in their own back yards
https://i.imgur.com/CfsqGBH.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/hQCKgTQ.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/dKa01uY.jpg

Last match of 2020 brought an end to Leeds United undefeated streak of games. Poetically, it was gainst former Leeds manager Bielsa's Spurs.

The Carabao Cup was a very short affair for Leeds this season. After winning it last season, they got knocked out by Man City in the 3rd round.
In Europe, on the other hand , things are looking much brighter.
https://i.imgur.com/Z1wvg0e.jpg

New faces and there must be something wrong with the water in Leeds

Another busy January transfer window, as always, lately. High on the priorities is, as always finding the right striker. Alario and Guidetti are still not playing at the standards the manager is expecting from them. An inconsistency from both that helped Taylor Roberts sneak in the first team. A good first half season from Roberts were having a lot of people hoping the needed striker is here. Unfortunately a small conflict with the manager hindered that development. While Roberts was asking for an improved contract, the manager made it clear the form is expected to continue longer until the issue of a new contract is going to be address. Robert's camp strongly disagreed but there was no chance of changing the opinion of the manager. Robert's unhappiness showed on the field too, his performances dropping considerably, which was another argument in favor of the manager. Maroni's injuries which kept him out for about 2 months also showed another vulnerability in the squad. The AM position did not had a proper cover.
So there was a lot of business to be done in order to move the unwanted players but also to bring the adequate faces.
High on the priority list was Fedor Chalov for the striker's position
https://i.imgur.com/uMhp7Tt.jpg
A player with good physical attributes but especially mental ones, capable of making the right decisions.
Another player highly rated by the staff at Elland Road is the argentinian Lucas Robertone.
https://i.imgur.com/lVLFo2X.jpg
A creative player, good all around the areas, looks like a great competitor for the AM spot.
Matias Arezo, the uruguayan wonderkid signed in the summer is finally old enough to join. He is considered to be one of the next stars in world football. Crisitan Pavon, another argentinian, whose loan contract with LA Galaxy was up and Leeds pounce quickly to buy as Galaxy could not transfer him because they were having too many designated players.Livaja, the croatian striker, in his last 6 months with AEK, also signed for Leeds. Due to a very difficult negotiation with CSKA for main target Chalov, a decision to buy him earlier was taken.
Last day of the transfer window was hectic. Leeds Finally came to an agreement with CSKA for Chalov. Also Real's Marco Asensio joined the club in a surprise move. Asension was on the last steps of recovering from a long term injury. Transfer listed by Real, Asensio declined Leeds offer to come on a 12 months loan with an option to buy. The Whites decided in the end to buy the spaniard. Kostas Tsimikas joined the club as a new left back was needed. Birger Meling unhappiness mad him move to Yifang. He will be joined there by another 2 players Alvaro Medran and Lucas Alario. Newcastle picked up another 3 players from Leeds. Pjaca, Helder Costa and Pedro Chirivella were deemed surplus to requirements and were moved swiftly while long term servant Stuart Dallas left for Fiorentina. Seen as an utility man capable of covering many positions, Dallas was getting outdated by the growth Leeds is currently experiencing
https://i.imgur.com/C8dnq2S.jpg

Unfortunately, this last day created a lot of unrest. Only 3 players can be added on the EL list for the 2nd half of the season. Leeds went with Pavon, Robertone and Chalov. Th other 4 players took this decision quite personally and made sure their concern was vocal.

Going back to January, Leeds started the year as they finished the last one. With a defeat at the hands of West Brom in the FA Cup. Luckily the Premier League was another story and after the Southampton game, Leeds were on 1st place
https://i.imgur.com/GH54dGC.jpg
The pressure of 1st place was not easy to take and the next game against Watford was a real battle won by the new face Marco Livaja.
https://i.imgur.com/IoJydce.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/tzzouFK.jpg
Newcastle put a dent in Leeds aspirations, but once the transfer window closed, the squad got really focused on the job ahead. February was another strong month for the Whites, with victories against Arsenal, Man Utd and Brighton, and also with european qualification against Standard. Arsenal match was especially electric with defender Cristiano Piccini bringing all 3 points in the 90+3 minute
Chalov was starting to show signs of his potential and Man Utd's defense was unable to cope with the russian.
https://i.imgur.com/KvfLZDK.jpg

March brought Bielsa back to Elland Road for the 2nd Round of EL. Erick Gutierrez goal put Spurs in the driving seat for the qualification. But it was not to be for Bielsa's men as Leeds overturn the 1st leg deficit in London. The game was not without drama,. Leeds opened the account, thanks to a Cristiano Piccini goal but Harry Kane leveled 4 minutes later. After another 4 minutes Butland denied Kane's penalty and allowed Leeds to build on and get the winner thanks to a Shackleton goal.
https://i.imgur.com/JSIGMmp.jpg
In between Spurs games, Chelsea got pulverized and Lampard's career as Chelsea's manager ended
https://i.imgur.com/YfygLRW.jpg

Leeds were impressing of the field too, with some good numbers in the financial report
https://i.imgur.com/WHgX53w.jpg

April brought one of the matches that will be looked back at as one of the turning point in this new century of Leeds United.
Schalke was the next opponent in EL Qtr Final. Although high flying in Premier League, Leeds was not prepared for what happened on the Veltins Arena.
A 3-0, with Schalke playing with 10 men from the 51st min after Stefan Lainer was sent off for 2 yellow cards.
https://i.imgur.com/mn0wT12.jpg
And when all chances seemed over and the fans were turning their attention back to the Premier League, Leeds responded brutally and merciless in the 2nd leg. They showed once again the most dangerous opponent is the one that has got nothing to loose. Only needing 47 min to put the qualification back in the bag
https://i.imgur.com/HCR1slg.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/KwKnJCm.jpg

Chelsea was next, in the semi final and this time the Blues came to town with a new manager in the person of Zinedine Zidane. And they made the best of the unknown factor, leaving Elland Road with a 1-1 draw.
https://i.imgur.com/5yy7UbC.jpg

May was here and Leeds was battling on 2 fronts, the Premier League and EL
Domestically, Leeds was 4 points in front of 2nd place Man Utd and it was clear is going to be a 2 horse race to the finish between this 2 fierce rivals. In Europe the 2nd leg semifinal against Chelsea was all that was separating Leeds from the chance to play for european silverware for the 1st time since 1975. But this intense season was leaving marks on the players fatigue level. One of the most important players, Kalvin Phillips was already out for the season with an injury sustained during a training. Kostas Tsimikas, the greek defender brought in January to replace the outgoing Meling, who made such a promising start to his Leeds career was out since the end of February and was not expected to return before 4 month.
But the challenge was there and Leeds were determined not to bulge under pressure.
First trip was to Anfield were Liverpool showed no mercy and won 3-0. Man Utd was 1 point behind after this stage. Next stop was Molineux, where Leeds needed a 90+5 goal from Vignato to level a game they played in 10 man since the 63 min, after Ayling got sent off for 2 yellow cards. At this point, Man Utd was top of the Premier League, 1 point in front of Leeds.
Leeds managed to overcome the Premier League disappointment and made the final push in EL, beating Chelsea 2-0 oat Stamford Bridge thanks to a Gonzalo Maroni hopeful looking shot and a bizarre fashion shot from Chalov.
And the drama was not over. After beating Leeds 3-0 at the beginning of May, Liverpool traveled to Old Trafford to apply the same treatment to their fierce rivals. And indeed they did, thanks to a 90+4 goal from Trent Alexander Arnold, that after Man Utd missed a penalty in the 16 min.
https://i.imgur.com/fHFd5xw.jpg

And Leeds capitalize quickly with a 2-0 against Bournemouth. Going in the last game of the Premier League, Leeds were holding a 2 points advantage over Man Utd.
And the last game was an away trip to Manchester Stadium where United's neighbours and rivals City were to be involve.
Leeds started strong and Charlie Taylor was opening the score after 5 min after a set piece. John Stones leveled from another set piece with a thumping header. Another set piece was needed for the next goal. This time Benoit Badiashile scored in the 45 min with a mighty header to raise the hopes again for Leeds. At half time Leeds was 2-1 up while on the other match Newcastle and Man Utd were level 0-0 after Schar missed a penalty in the 41 min
https://i.imgur.com/yZqrDGL.jpg
Leeds managed to close the game in the 2nd half thanks to an extraordinary defensive display by Benoit Badiashile.
https://i.imgur.com/NAIL8mJ.jpg
Unbelievable, newly promoted Leeds took the Premier League by storm and managed to win it in the last day of the season after a terrific performance by french defender Benoit Badiashile who not only managed to score the winning goal but also maintained a 100% ratio of tackles won during the match
https://i.imgur.com/6ptpxle.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/1oLdtiT.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/URPN98c.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/uHf13Ok.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/81zGGKc.jpg

This success was also replicated by the development teams, a testament of the good, healthy work the new staff is doing at all levels.
https://i.imgur.com/Zp1COXr.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/bo344pD.jpg

Leeds had 7 players in the named in Team of the Year
https://i.imgur.com/gR5xr0t.jpg

The club can be proud of the work off the field too,
https://i.imgur.com/3NE7UbN.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/dgpgQdf.jpg

A special mention to Alfie McCalmont, who spent the season on loan to QPR in the Championship and managed to scoop the best rookie award
https://i.imgur.com/erlHSZt.jpg

Having ended this unbelievable season on such a high morale, Leeds went on to win the EL too. Lucas Robertone was just unplayable and they seem to have learn their lesson after Schalke.
https://i.imgur.com/VaqNVVw.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/0qxrrHs.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/FOzSBSl.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/nSMZqXt.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/rgnQjmd.jpg

The Awards night
https://i.imgur.com/YecaV5Q.jpg
and the season review
https://i.imgur.com/NfGftD5.jpg

Some finances news
https://i.imgur.com/tzl3Rgi.jpg
and a new record
https://i.imgur.com/XWFjhAk.jpg
Also proud to have one of our own player winning international recognition
https://i.imgur.com/eyWjw1u.jpg
Transfer Window

Last season's unexpected success did not changed the vision of the club towards long term success. The goal for this season is still establishing Leeds United as a Premier League club.There are no talks of being involved in the relegation battle but in the same time nobody is expecting to defend the Premier League crown.
Squad related, Leeds is still trying to find the right balance.in terms of quality and quantity. Last season's european run, especially towards the end, showed how crucial it is to have quality in numbers across all compartments. Kalvin Phillips injury in back April asked a lot of questions of the central midfield. Although rich in numbers, none of the central midfielders were up to the task of replacing Phillips and moving Robertone, and AM, in a more deeper role was the winning move. A move with devastating effect especially in the EL Final against Leipzig.
As always, since the manager has taken responsibility of this area, transfers were put in place quite early. As club captain and long term serving Luke Ayling had his contract up at the end of the season, it became clearer that he will be released. A lot of fitness issues and also the red card against Wolves did not help his case for a new contract. But Leeds needed to replace and the answer was found in Italy. Giovanni Di Lorenzo, playing for Napoli, a player that looks similar with Cristiano Piccini who had an excellent 1st season with Leeds and who Leeds hope to have the same impact.
https://i.imgur.com/SooXLll.jpg
For central defense, Leeds convinced Daniele Ruggani to sign on a free transfer. A player who did not manage to find his place at Juventus, was eager tp start a new adventure
https://i.imgur.com/5JIVkLR.jpg
As Kostas Tsimikas was still out because of a horrific injury happened in February, Leeds decided to move for Theo Hernandez
https://i.imgur.com/oeKT4Ve.jpg
The marquee signing of this season was made in midfield. Transfer listed by Bayer04, Kai Haverts was convinced to join the high flying Leeds. Leeds did not hide their delight of having one of the most coveted midfielder in the game playing his trade at Eland Road
https://i.imgur.com/MEY8zPa.jpg
Leeds also moved in midfield for a Barcelona prospect who was running out his contract Ilaix Moriba
https://i.imgur.com/WJ8TXv1.jpg
In attack, Leeds continue in their search for the perfect striker. While Chalov is showing lots of potential, Leeds does not have a proper cover for him. This season 2 players transfer listed by their club were brought on loan with an option to buy inserted in their contracts: Edouard, who lost his place at Man City, falling behind Aguero, Haaland and Lautaro Martinez and Origi from Liverpool.

In the leaving department, Cesar Montes was sold to Fulham. Signing Rugani meant one of the central defenders have to leave and the mexican was deemed surplus to requirements. Marco Livaja, the croatian who's Leeds adventure started brightly winning the game against Watford and keeping them on 1st place, but continued horrible after his disappointment at being left out of the EL list burst out, was sold to Borro. Tyler Roberts, another striker who let his unhappiness get the best out of him was sold to Crystal Palace, while surplus to requirements players John Guidetti and Adama Traore left for West Brom respective Jeonbuk.
https://i.imgur.com/6iVOOa5.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/MiWRbOw.jpg
Leeds still got it

After a good north american preseason tour, Leeds made their official debut of the new season against Spurs in the Community Shield. The game was over almost after it started. Juan Foyth got himself red carded in the 8th minute and Chalov score twice before the break to bring the first trophy of the season to Elland Road.
https://i.imgur.com/vvsV8ji.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/yErYKbk.jpg

Ten days later they, they won the 2nd one against Champions League winners Man City, with Fedor Chalov again proving decisive
https://i.imgur.com/IhW4kFc.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/fE6Mehm.jpg

Leeds were drawn in a tough group in the Champions League
https://i.imgur.com/GFQMghR.jpg

Other news
https://i.imgur.com/AJ03XP7.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/q7nXBff.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/zoxBjuw.jpg


Leeds started the new Premier League campaign brightly, showing no signs of slowing down from last season. By October they were 1st place
https://i.imgur.com/huAA3DU.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/i8R3i32.jpg

The Champions League was a completely different affair. Leeds were no match for Porto and Valencia and the hope of qualification now are hanging by a shred. The 2 games against Inter were considered finals and loosing any point meant for sure exit. The 1st game was one thanks to 2 goals score in the last 5 minutes of the game, thanks to Charlie Taylor and Edouard efforts.
At the beginning of November standings in the Premier League were looking like this
https://i.imgur.com/DlmuoxO.jpg
A vert packed month, who was dealt superbly by the Whites. First a win against Inter, away, which still keeps them with chances of qualification. It was followed by one great spectacle on Old Trafford against fierce rivals and 2nd place Man Utd
https://i.imgur.com/y1ZH1Wb.jpg
followed by a win against their rivals City
https://i.imgur.com/R5vfWRt.jpg
and a precious win against Porto, in the UCL, coming back from 1-0 down
https://i.imgur.com/mH97COc.jpg

Unfortunately December was a bit slower but Leeds did manage to qualify from UCL after winning against Valencia and sending them to EL, a small payback for 2001
https://i.imgur.com/NwJTHb5.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/j6wMVKE.jpg

January transfer window

A more quiet transfer window for Leeds fans than what we have seen lately from Leeds. Edouard and Origi got their loans cut short as they were not giving enough satisfaction for the financial side to make sense. Leeds decided to adopt a different strategy in providing cover for Fedor Chalov, who was firing all cylinders. They recalled from loan Ryan Edmondson and Matias Arezo. They were showing good form and it makes more sense financially to give this youngsters a chance than keep well payed players on loan who were not giving satisfaction. Leeds had already signed Andrea Belotti on a free as he was on the last 6 months of his contract with Torino but he was only joining in the summer. Charlie Taylor was having a bad season and all the motivation techniques tried by the manager with him backfired, alienating him. Now, with Tsimikas back at full fitness, Taylor was sold to Crystal Palace. another defender who did not manage to raise his game was Chumi. He was sold to Championship side Watford. Another player who was having issues replicating a decent form on a regular basis was Mateusz Bogusz. He was sent on loan to Hannover96.
By late January, signs were clear the young guns Arezo and Edmondson were not up to the challenge. So Leeds moved, sending Edmondson back on loan with Huddersfield, and bringing Abel Ruiz, from Barcelona, on loan for 12 months. Unfortunately, despite hard negotiations, an optional fee was not added in the loan. Leeds also decided to pay £26M to bring Belotti 6 months earlier to Elland Road, while also moving to cover Chumi's departure by bringing another spaniard, Jorge Mere from Koln. They also to cash in on Gonzalo Maroni who left in Mexic to America after being denied a new contract by Leeds.
https://i.imgur.com/AVjvlY5.jpg
Trophies galore, keep it up!
My Careers:
FM15 | FM16 | FM17a | FM17b | FM19a | FM19b | FM19c
FM20I: Trip to: United States (w/ Cincinnati) https://i.imgur.com/FQLsK4I.png / II: Earth Trip https://i.imgur.com/WvSK16U.png (journeyman)
When winning feels like loosing

January brought defeats in the FA and Carabao Cup for Leeds which meant focus switched on defending the Premier League and putting a good show in the Champions League.
By the end of February Leeds were on 1st place in the Premier League
https://i.imgur.com/V6taiEu.jpg
important part of this run were the shot on target ratio and also the conversation rate were Leeds were top of the PL. Great credit goes to Chalov who was taking apart opponents defenses without major issues.
https://i.imgur.com/ZeuhYUy.jpg
He was having as much fun in Europe, with Napoli and Borussia Dortmund defenses not able to cope with his finishing abilities.
PL competition is not an easy competition to win. There are a lot of strong teams and the ambition and the drama are always present
https://i.imgur.com/TUToxrv.jpg
But Leeds seems to have the PL key to winning against the teams involved in the title race
https://i.imgur.com/1hZ7Pz4.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/qEG5oi9.jpg
By April Leeds were still going strong
https://i.imgur.com/U2HvDqx.jpg
and everything was looking perfect for the Whites.
A win against rivals Chelsea in between the double vs PSG that got Leeds in the final of the CL and the door of performance was open.
https://i.imgur.com/0GmFjC5.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/xuwv5WG.jpg
This semifinal against PSG would mean the only goals Belotti scored for the Whites
Leeds was in need of a single point from the last 2 games to defend their PL title. What happened next was hard to believe. After firing all cylinders during most of the season, the Whites forgot how to play football it seems. First, West Ham, a team that ended relegated from the PL, took Elland Road by storm and won 3-1. And in the last game, with everything still there to win, Leeds, with a shambolic display, got defeated 4-0 on Turf Moor, former White Chris Wood scoring a hattrick and providing an assist. Luckily, on Stamford Bridge Zidane's team won 2-0 against Man City and sent the title back to Elland Road. What a disappointment! Having such a good season only to choke at the end and have to thank Chelsea for bringing the title for the Whites.
https://i.imgur.com/LJQrniF.jpg
Anyway, congrats to the U23 team
https://i.imgur.com/witE4j8.jpg
Some financial news, posted here to show the importance of running the club in a sustainable mode.
https://i.imgur.com/aWA3eS0.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/bjtQFlx.jpg

The PL awards showed recognition to an incredible season made by the russian striker
https://i.imgur.com/ez5wHkC.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/zl8L0zB.jpg
but not only
https://i.imgur.com/Qm09ZnI.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/BuWsfW4.jpg

But the season was not over.
The CL final was still there to play and a familiar face was there to greet the Whites.
https://i.imgur.com/UYgt114.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/ovXsQVL.jpg
The Final started in favor of Leeds 2 days before the actual match. Probably the most important player for Liverpool got injured and will play no part in the spectacle.
https://i.imgur.com/1vv7l6p.jpg
The match was not a spectacle at all. A goal that needed confirmation from the technology scored in the 109 minute after a total fluke by Allison, Liverpool keeper that ended up being MOM, regardless.
https://i.imgur.com/GvqHCMY.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/Ms1M3xN.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/V7jGkPw.jpg

The Awards night showed like this
https://i.imgur.com/38LAfsG.jpg
Season review:
https://i.imgur.com/Z0uhY2h.jpg
Financially Leeds had a good season too
https://i.imgur.com/iKGVh8b.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/3F5r270.jpg

Here are some records players broke during this season
https://i.imgur.com/e4ApNZt.jpg

Congratulations to Fedor Chalov for picking Europe Top Marksman Award
https://i.imgur.com/3BesbCG.jpg

And i will end this season with a question, as i am still waiting on this one, at the end of the 2023 season. Did this happened to any of you? Is this a bug or a feature?
https://i.imgur.com/8oCEYDg.jpg



Hey guys, i am not at all happy with the way this career evolved so i decided to stop it. I am starting a new one, i will start posting updates soon. MOT
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