Leeds United: In-form Whites must keep a lid on expectations '“ Ritchie
LEEDS United's home clash with Newcastle United in a couple of weeks has already sold out so Mr Cellino will be pleased won't he?
He’ll be the first one to be pleased! But I think there’s an expectation at Leeds brewing a little bit with the recent results and obviously everybody wants to see Newcastle because they are flying high.
They have got a manager there that they didn’t probably think they were going to get or keep but they have done, and the game with Leeds is a game that has got a lot of interest now.
Leeds and Newcastle are two giants of football so there’s a big call for it and I think now the Leeds fans have been given a little bit of belief.
In terms of the sizes of clubs in the Championship, Leeds and Newcastle are right at the top. They are both in the wrong division and since their relegation Newcastle have gone about it in the right way.
They are not happy about it, obviously, but they have taken a long look at it and said, right, it’s happened, and they have done their best to keep the manager there and pulled out all the stops to keep him.
I think that was the right thing to do because they want to bounce back straight away and at the moment it’s looking like they are going to do that.
I know it’s a long season but you’ve got to look at the way they are playing and they have obviously still got the parachute payment so if they feel they are a little bit insufficient in areas then they can always strengthen in January.
Leeds have obviously been out of the top echelon for quite some time. They have always wanted to push back up but it’s not quite happened yet. But let’s hope Garry Monk is the man that maybe might do that. It might be a little bit too early yet but Garry will just be very pleased with the progress at the moment.
They are playing a bit more as a team now and they are a bit more resilient at the back with Pontus Jansson and Kyle Bartley who are looking like a very strong partnership.
But my only concern would be that if one of those two got injured, they haven’t really got anybody to step back in and I think Garry will be saying to the owner, listen, in January I need to bring a centre-half in I think and maybe a striker too. Those are your big positions. I think they are okay in midfield but they could do with somebody else up front.
Marcus Antonsson is feeling his way though I have been quite impressed with him. He looks sharp but it’s about making that transition from Scandinavian football to the Championship which is a big one. And if Chris Wood gets injured then you could be struggling. If I am asked if Leeds could go up this year, you can’t say that it won’t happen because you never know in football. I am personally thinking it might be a little bit too soon and these two next games that they have got come against two of the best teams in the league. And I wouldn’t have any knee jerk reactions if it was the worst case scenario and they didn’t get any points from them.
I don’t think that will happen but if it did then I wouldn’t want a negative reaction from anybody, let alone the owner or the fans. With the recent form, I think everybody’s expectations have been built maybe a little bit beyond what Garry’s expectation is. If you really asked him and pinned him down then he might say let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves. It would be great for Leeds to get something out of these two games and if they could get four points out of it that would be fantastic. But I think Garry might be saying this will give us a little bit of a gauge of where we are.
Garry is only contracted at Leeds until the end of the season and if this was anywhere else I might be a little bit concerned about it.
But handing out longer term contracts is not something that I think the owner does. I don’t think it will happen and I think it will be the same as usual and if he does well he might get rewarded with a roll over and that might be the way it might go.
But if he does well then Premier League teams are going to be looking at him and the owner has got to think about that. He could risk losing him.