Finally, after 16 years away from the top flight, Leeds United are back in the Premier League, after being promoted on Friday night.
Leeds Promoted without having to Kick a Ball
Marcelo Bielsa’s team finally did it without needing to kick a ball, thanks to West Brom’s 2-1 defeat to Huddersfield.
This also means that either a point from Sunday’s match at Derby for Leeds, or prior to that, the failure of Brentford to defeat Stoke today, will see Leeds United promoted as Champions.
There was the odd minor blip along the way for the Whites, but their promotion hasn’t really looked in doubt for some time now.
Last year’s near miss seems to have acted as an inspiration to get it right this time. Although during the minor blips, fans did seem to be panicking, believing history would repeat itself.
This is Leeds United after all, and the fans know only too well how quickly things can turn sour.
For Marcelo Bielsa, gaining promotion in his second season in charge of Leeds can be considered a major achievement.
The Argentine is an experienced campaigner, and won’t be fazed by the Premier League. In fact he will feel he belongs there, and will no doubt embrace the challenge.
Staying in the Premier League obviously won’t be easy. The level of competition is far stronger. But if Leeds want any inspiration, they need look no further than fellow Yorkshire rivals, Sheffield United.
Chris Wilder’s team proved it’s possible, and without major investment too.
Wolves have done a similar job, and have excelled in the top flight of English football.
Marching On Together
Whether Leeds as a football team will add to the Premier League, remains to be seen.
No one has a divine right to be in the Premier League, or deserves to be there just because some pundit claims they do.
But the Leeds fans are Premier League class. They will certainly add to the Premier League product – obviously, only when they’re allowed back in.
Bielsea knows this, and more than anyone, he will be desperate for fans to be back inside the ground. At what stage of the season that happens, remains to be seen.
It’s one of the oldest cliches in the book about the fans being the 12th man. But in the case of Leeds United this coming season, it could be true.
The Leeds fans would make Elland Road a very unwelcoming place for both players and fans of opposing teams. So the sooner fans are back in, the better the chances of Leeds staying up.