Euro 2020 Special
 

Is This the Dawn of a New Leeds United?

We witnessed a different Leeds United altogether as they pulled off the greatest upset yet in the Premier League this season. Leeds United humiliated their fierce rivals, Chelsea, as they won all three points for the first time in 20 years. Chelsea may have looked decent at some parts of the match, but it was the home side that emerged victorious. Following their emphatic win, Leeds are now emerging as the favourites to finish in the top half of the table after barely escaping relegation last season.

Some important points to note down from this fixture as the underdogs got the better of the clear favourites.

 

Jesse Marsch, the real-life Ted Lasso

Jesse Marsch’s influence over his squad is clear as day as his side could not have dreamt of a better start. The American manager arrived at the Yorkshire-based club last winter when Marco Bielsa was relieved of his duties. Many doubted the appointment of the 48-year-old who had never played English football.

However, he helped Leeds survive relegation and now the club sits third in the Premier League, over their rivals, Chelsea and Manchester United. Marsch has recruited his fellow American footballers as well as other players as a result of their rebuilding. Partly why the team looks strong is because Marsch has no language barrier with his players as opposed to Bielsa’s case. It is common knowledge that the Argentine veteran did not speak the native language of England and required a translator at all times. Perhaps the communication barrier was one of the reasons why Leeds struggled last season.

Regardless, with Jesse Marsch at the wheel, Leeds look almost unplayable and are likely to outplay their rivals and others. This scenario shares an uncanny resemblance to the American TV show Ted Lasso, where an American football (rugby) coach is appointed manager of a football (soccer) team in the club’s quest for Premier League promotion.

 

A Sorted Leader in Rodrigo Moreno

Rodrigo Moreno led the line for the Whites in Chelsea’s conquest by Leeds. The 31-year-old Spaniard scored the second goal and assisted the third as Leeds ensured a three-goal cushion for all three points. Rodrigo has a growing influence on all the players and has command over his squad. Moreover, he seems to be in sync with his gaffer Jesse Marsch, which we all know is crucial for any team to thrive.

So far, the Spaniard is the league’s leading marksman with four to his name. We can expect Marsch to rely on Rodrigo for captaincy duties and play the striker’s role for the rest of the season. This captain-manager duo is surely something to look out for. Come to think of it, Rodrigo brings out emotions like how Mark Viduka used to back in those days. Those were truly some good times.

 

A Gem in Brendon Aaronson

The young American was denied his maiden goal on his debut. However, he never gave up and scored his first against one of Leeds’ most fierce rivals. The 21-year-old forced an error out of the Chelsea keeper Edouard Mendy to capitalise, as he broke the deadlock. What should have been a simple clearance by the goalkeeper was turned into the tiebreaker.

Brendon Aaronson is one of the emerging players in the Premier League who is adapting very quickly to English football. For someone as young as him, it is exciting to see what else he is capable of.

 

Jack Harrison, crucial on the wings

Jack Harrison deserves credit for his exceptional ball-playing abilities. He is Leeds’ leading assist-maker, with three for the good. He provided the crucial pass to his captain Rodrigo to score the second goal of the match, against Chelsea. The 25-year-old, who is linked with numerous clubs amidst rumours of his Elland Road exit, continues to deliver for his side.

Harrison scored one for himself to wrap things up against Chelsea, which saw Rodrigo return the favour to his young teammate. Their linkup was a sight for sore eyes. Surely, Raphinha is not being missed at Elland Road right now.

 

Leeds United aiming for the top six?

Considering their current form, a top-six finish is well on the cards for Leeds this season. They have been amongst the highest spenders in the transfer window. Moreover, their rebuilding is showing signs of success. With rivals Chelsea subdued and Manchester United sitting in the bottom half of the table, the Leeds fans are surely sleeping peacefully.

As it stands, Leeds are amongst the favourites to finish in the top six at the end of the 2022-23 season. Who knows, they might even make it to the Champions League next season.

Also Read: Why FC Barcelona Faced Difficulties in Registering New Signings this Season?

 

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