Rivals make surprise sacking in bid to turn around form

Last updated : 28 February 2022 By C. Morris

Leeds set to make managerial change

One of Newcastle United’s rivals in the bottom half of the Premier League took a surprise step on Sunday by confirming the departure of their manager.

After four years in charge of Leeds United, Marcelo Bielsa has been relieved of his duties. Leeds were beaten 4-0 at home by Spurs on Saturday and they have taken only 1 point from their last six matches in the Premier League, which included a 1-0 defeat at home to Newcastle last month. They have conceded 17 goals in the last 4 matches alone.

Those results, combined with Newcastle’s recent resurgence has seen the Magpies move above the West Yorkshire club in the Premier League table. Eddie Howe’s side are now 2 points clear of Leeds and the Elland Road club are only 2 points clear of the relegation zone.

For any normal manager, this run of form would understandably bring huge pressure and raise questions regarding their position, but Bielsa is no normal manager and his relationship with the club was a special one. He got Leeds promoted in his second season at the club, ending a 16-year absence from the top flight and last season led them to 9th place in the Premier League. His relationship with his players, the club and the community as a whole went beyond what many managers experience, at times to seemingly mythical levels and his departure has been met with huge sadness within their fanbase.

It has been reported that Leeds are considering appointing former RB Leipzig coach Jesse Marsch. Whoever takes charge, the Leeds owners will be hoping for an upturn in results akin to what has happened at St James’ Park, with the Toon looking revitalised under Eddie Howe’s leadership. Given the reaction to the change at Elland Road however, it does seem unlikely that the change will have such a positive effect and time will tell as to whether results will improve.