Two things are able to be said with almost absolute degrees of certainty about Leeds United fans: they aren’t happy with last season, they are growing increasingly unhappy with Paul Heckingbottom.
The former, the gripes about the season are entirely justified – Leeds going from sparkling early pacesetters to distraught finishers in a campaign that limped over the finishing line and mid-table mediocrity.
The Heckingbottom conundrum is one that also deserves to be revisited also. The Yorkshireman was brought in by Andrea Radrizzani, a £500,000 compensation being paid to Barnsley for his services. Heckingbottom was tasked with arresting Leeds’ slide and turning around their fortunes.
That didn’t prove to be the case, the former Barnsley boss only winning four of his 16 games in charge as United settled uncomfortably in mid-table. Fans weren’t happy about this and dissension has already started to creep in. Fans across social media are settling in to the mindset that Heckingbottom isn’t the man to take the Whites forward.
Foreign coaches have been linked with taking over at Elland Road, usurping Heckingbottom from the hotseat. It started with rumours from Italy that the Whites had approached Venezia for Filipo Inzaghi and this then morphed into interest for Claudio Ranieri.
However, after news that he’d been released from his contract with Al Rayyan, Dane Michael Laudrup was suddenly thrust into the limelight for the Leeds United job.
Five things Michael Laudrup for Leeds United fans
1. Laudrup played for some of the biggest clubs in Europe including Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid. He also turned out for Lazio, Juventus, Ajax and Viissel Kobe in Japan’s J-League. This all came after he started his career at Kjöbenhavns BK before a move to Bröndby at the start of 1982.
2. His playing career consisted of 545 games, games where he scored 119 goals and provided 11 assists. The majority of his games (228) were in Spain’s La Liga competition where he scored 51 times for Barcelona and Real Madrid.
3. Internationally he turned out 104 times for Denmark scoring 37 goals. He featured in two World Cup campaigns for the Danes – in 1986 and 1998.
4. Away from playing he has managed at the following clubs: Bröndby, Getafe, Spartak Moscow, Mallorca, Swansea, Al Duhail and Al Rayyan. He will be most known by Leeds United fans for his time managing Swansea in the Premier League, lasting 599 days at the Welsh club. He managed them for 84 games and ended his time there with 29 wins, 24 draws and 31 losses.
5. In his last management spell at Al Rayyan, Laudrup had 25 wins, 11 draws and 13 losses in his 49 games in charge. He averaged 1.76 points per match and each game showed an average of 2.04 goals scored and 1.61 goals conceded from his favoured 4-3-1-2 formation.