By Bulldog Drummond
- Arsenal v Leeds: two teams travelling in utterly different directions
- The simple trick that will take Arsenal racing up the league next season
Arsenal have the third-best home record in the league this season – here are the top clubs for home matches only. Manchester United have the same number of home points but have played two more home games than we have.
|6||West Ham United||18||9||4||5||31||24||7||31|
This means when we come to compare Arsenal at home with Leeds away ahead of tomorrow’s game we can see a distinct Arsenal advantage...
|13||Leeds United away||17||4||5||8||20||38||-18||17|
From 11 December to 10 March Leeds went on a terrible run of away games in the league
|11 Dec 2021||Chelsea v Leeds United||L||3-2|
|14 Dec 2021||Manchester City v Leeds United||L||7-0|
|16 Jan 2022||West Ham United v Leeds United||W||2-3|
|09 Feb 2022||Aston Villa v Leeds United||D||3-3|
|12 Feb 2022||Everton v Leeds United||L||3-0|
|23 Feb 2022||Liverpool v Leeds United||L||6-0|
|05 Mar 2022||Leicester City v Leeds United||L||1-0|
Not just one win in seven but also a terribly large number of goals conceded: 25 in seven games.
Since then however, they have picked up, with victories over Norwich, Wolverhampton, and Watford and draws with Southampton and Palace. So the last six games have yielded three wins, two draws and one defeat (to Man City).
But of course, these are for the most part games against lower-level teams. True, I know that as things stand Palace are 12th, and we lost to them, but Leeds have not for the most part been playing teams from the top six.
Except as it turns out in their last match where they had Manchester City at home and lost 0-4.
That result left Leeds very close to the drop zone despite their recent improvements…
With there being a six-point gap between Burnley and the club above them – Southampton – this really is the group seeking to avoid relegation, which is why Leeds will be fighting all the way in this game.
However, with 72 goals conceded in 34 games (2.12 a game) they have the worst defence in the league. Last season after 38 games the worst defence (West Bromwich) conceded 76, so this season with four games to go, we could have two teams concede even more goals.
So Leeds really have taken a tumble compared with last season – and indeed if we look at the final table for last season we can see just how much things have changed
Tottenham and Arsenal have moved up from their 7th and 8th positions, while Leeds and Everton are fighting out the last relegation position with Burnley this season. Indeed this shows why consistency of management is so helpful. If the club keeps changing managers all the time, it is as easier to slip to the bottom than it is to rise to the top.
Leeds have had no less than 27 managers this century, 16 of whom have managed more than ten games. Here is the list of the most recent collection starting with Milanic who joined in September 2014 and ending with Jesse Marsch who joined in February this year.
The point here is that in terms of win percentage Marcelo Bielsa was the second best out of that group and in fact the sixth-best manager (who has stayed for over 10 games) that Leeds have ever had in terms of win percentage.
In fact Bielsa was the most successful manager (who lasted over 10 games) ever at Leeds in terms of points per game. And they sacked him, replacing him with someone with a worse record.
It’s a funny ol’ game.
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