The start to the Thomas Christiansen era at Leeds United went very well, but recently the wheels look like they are falling off. Leeds have not turned into a bad team overnight, but for whatever reason, they have not been getting the results they were at the start of the season. Many fans are looking towards the management team – are they good enough to cut it at Championship level? Perhaps the good start came as a result of Leeds shocking a few teams, but now the league has settled down, they have simply been worked out by their opposition?
Despite sitting at the top of the Championship earlier this season, Leeds United are now in tenth position, having lost seven of their last nine games. That recent run is in stark contrast to their start to the season, in which they went seven games unbeaten with five victories and two draws during that period.
The only one big change in personnel was the loss of Chris Wood, who left the club after playing three games and signed for Premier League outfit Burnley. However, the problems we have seen at Leeds in recent weeks go a lot deeper than a lack of goals because Wood has left the club.
The most likely explanation for the slide in form at Leeds is simply that they have been found out by their opposition. At the start of the season, no one really knew what to expect from Leeds, with a new manager in charge and many new players, but now we all know what to expect. Thomas Christiansen likes to play football and his style is very pleasing on the eye. However, it also has many flaws, and perhaps the rough playing field of the Championship is not the place to trial this type of play.
When the system works, Leeds look brilliant and at times we saw them at their magical best, with a return to the Premier League looking very much like a possibility. However, at their worst, they have been found out and clubs can counter their style, as Sheffield United did to brilliant effect in their 2-1 victory at Elland Road.
After showing so much promise, the latest Championship betting now has Leeds at 14/1 for promotion, showing just how far they have fallen in recent weeks. The international break has come at the right time for them, and they need to regroup and look at their style of play during the break, in the hope of coming back stronger when they next play.
Leeds return to action with three tough games in November, where they play two top teams in Middlesbrough and Wolves and a local derby against Barnsley. Those three games will be a tough test of character for Leeds, and we will see what they are made of and any changes they have made during their time off. Their season is not yet over like some fans would have you believe, but it is time for Leeds to show us that they can adapt to the Championship style of football.