Leeds United and Marcelo Bielsa making supporters believe again with Premier League success

Leeds United supporters are backing the Elland Road club to build on their impressive Premier League success.

Wednesday, 9th June 2021, 4:45 am
Leeds United players celebrate with fans at Elland Road. Pic: Getty

The Whites enjoyed a stellar debut campaign in the top flight after ending a 16-year exile from England's elite last summer.

Head coach Marcelo Bielsa guided his charges to a ninth-placed finish in the Premier League at the first time of asking and is now looking to answer questions over any dreaded second season syndrome.

Many onlookers outside of West Yorkshire have asked whether the club can back up their stunning performance in the 2020/21 campaign again next term.

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In the Yorkshire Evening Post's end of season survey among readers, 54.3 per cent of fans said they were cautiously optimistic for the future while 42.8 per cent admitted to being very optimistic about what can be achieved next year.

"I am a notoriously pessimistic man when it comes to Leeds, so it’s bizarre to find myself pretty much at ease with everything," Michael Normaton, of The Square Ball, told the YEP.

"This would obviously change entirely if Bielsa decided to leave, though nothing coming out of the club suggests that is the case. I think we’re all set for another good season.

"Looking back at the games against Wolves and Brighton it feels like there were some points we threw away last season.

"That said, I don’t see the bottom three being quite as dreadful this time around, so the points at that end of the table may end up being spread around a little more."

"Staying up again will be the officially stated aim, but anything lower than 10th will feel a touch disappointing."

Supporters were also resounding in their ambitions to see the club finish in the top half once more, with 73.7 per cent stating they believed it could be achieved.

22.6 per cent even backed Leeds to break into the top six and book a European berth under Bielsa.

"It’s no automatic step to go top eight in your second season but what is football without ambition," Svend Karlsen, of the Leeds United Supporters Club of Scandinavia, added.

"I think the top five would be extremely difficult but a good target is sixth to eighth spot. And do better in at least one of the cups."

Bielsa's squad earned plaudits for their on-pitch displays throughout the campaign.

Fans have been delighted by what they have seen in recent times and off the field the club has finally settled with owner Andrea Radrizzani after a turbulent period.

Of 43.8 per cent of respondents, the majority said the current state of play in LS11 is the proudest they have been to be a fan this century,

41 per cent said it was on par with the title-winning side of 1992 while 14.9 per cent said they were proud but still wanted more.

"We play fantastic football and have built a team around a core of likeable players and a god-like manager," Michael said.

"After years of being the most dysfunctional club in the land it feels like the owners, fan base and city are all pulling in the same direction."

Svend added: "I honestly haven’t felt as proud before as now. Yes, we have been higher up the table and playing in Europe, but now it is more than just results.

"It’s about the people representing the club and how they go about themselves on our behalf.

"From Bielsa to the players to Victor Orta and his team, and beyond. I think the keyword I’m looking for is United. Having been through it all together."

Graham Hyde, of the Leeds United Supporters Trust, said: "I defy any Leeds fan to feel anything but proud right right now. The transformation of the club in the last few years has been phenomenal.

"From mid-table Championship banality to growing global recognition and a sense of togetherness that's not been witnessed in years.

"Proud of the club, the players and the support. Throw into the mix the cultural impact in the city through the street art and the music and it's almost a civic obligation to be proud of Leeds and Leeds United right now."