Leeds Downfall GFXGOAL

The rise and fall of Leeds United: How Marcelo Bielsa's great entertainers crumbled towards Premier League relegation

On Sunday, just short of 40,000 supporters packed into Elland Road more in hope than expectation. Final home games of the season are meant to be cause for celebration, but for Leeds United, their fixture against Tottenham was more like a wake, albeit a particularly boisterous and, towards the end, angry one.

Only a win would have given Leeds any chance of avoiding relegation on the last day of the Premier League campaign, and even then that might not have been enough. In the end, they barely put up any kind of fight, conceding inside the first three minutes of each half as Spurs ran out 4-1 victors.

Winning is something that does not come easy to this Leeds team. They end the season on a nine-game winless run, tasting victory just three times in 24 league outings since the World Cup. Their final points total of 31 is their worst since 1947.

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That Leeds find themselves in this position, returning to the Championship after three years back in the top-flight, is a tale of missed opportunities and awful decision-making. The club is without a permanent manager, a director of football, and has a squad that is far worse (but more expensive) than the one they began their Premier League journey with back in 2020.

Back then, Marcelo Bielsa managed to build a team that was the envy of many. Playing fast, free-flowing football, they emerged as the great entertainers of the English game, and secured a ninth-placed finish upon their return to the promised land with a points tally of 59. Only once - Ipswich Town in 2001 - has that been bettered by a newly-promoted side in the era of a 20-team Premier League.

The talk ahead of the following campaign was of pushing for European qualification, but Leeds were barely out of the bottom half of the table since. So where has it all gone wrong, and who is to blame?