According to reports and discussions on social media, the general consensus of opinion is that Leeds United head coach Paul Heckingbottom is living on borrowed time at Elland Road.
Over the last few days a veritable raft of other names have been put forward as ‘favourites’ or ‘linked with’ the Elland Road hotseat currently held by the former Barnsley boss.
Reports started to emerge that the Whites had made contact with Venezia for Filipo Inzaghi, club owner Andrea Radrizzani being an admirer of his fellow Italian. Then there were stories that started circulating that Premier League winning Claudio Ranieri was supposedly linked to the club.
This continued yesterday when Michael Laudrup was released from his position at Al Rayaan. Suddenly the Leeds United Fan 2+2=5 Machine™ was in full flow. This adding machine of madness has continued with another name, Ruben de la Barrera, thrown into the mix.
For those not in the know, de la Barrera is currently the manager of Cultural Leonesa – a club linked to Leeds United through a partnership with the Aspire Academy in Qatar and Ivan Bravo, who sits on the board at Elland Road.
This link, which bookmakers Paddy Power say has odds of 15/2 of happening, is something that is explored by an unofficial fan account for Cultural Leonesa on Twitter:
So apparently Rubén De la Barrera is a candidate to be the next #LUFC manager (at least for the bookies). He is not going to continue here in León and he recently said that "he's an Aspire man" (his contract with them expires next summer). In my opinion, it's not going to happen.
— Cultural y Deportiva Leonesa English (@CyDLeonesa_en) May 29, 2018
News from this tweet can be seen in both a positive and negative light. The attributed quote “he’s an Aspire man” is enough to send a shiver down the spine of Leeds fans reading it – given that Cultural Leonesa were struggling against relegation for much of their LaLiga2 campaign. Yet, this can be balanced out against the opinion of the final sentence that it is a deal that is not likely to happen.
Yet, the very thought of it doesn’t fill these Leeds United fans with much hope:
Ruben De La Barrera odds have dropped. Manager of Leonosa. This cannot happen #lufc
— J a c k k (@Jack_Webb95) May 29, 2018
#LUFC only me that thinks if Heck goes we will end up with Ruben De La Barrera
— Gareth Wardle (@Gareth_wardle) May 29, 2018
Twitter will shut down if we announce Ruben De La Barrera. #lufc
— Stephen Foster (@stephenfoster81) May 28, 2018
Rubén de la Barrera the closest match. Surely bullshitting at this stage.
— 🙂 (@Max_LUFC) May 28, 2018
However, this tweet from Spanish sports journalist Marco Antonio Sande (below) gives Leeds United fans a little more assurance that an imminent appointment of Barrera to Leeds United is not about to happen:
El coruñés Rubén de la Barrera, candidato firme a segundo entrenador de la @RealSociedad.
— Marco Antonio Sande (@MarcoASande) May 29, 2018
Here Sande says that Spaniard Barrera is, instead of heading to England to be Leeds United’s next manager, a “firm candidate” to become the second-in-command at Real Sociedad.
Spanish appointment would be Leeds hitting a crash Barrera
In fairness, that final option of Ruben de la Barrera staying in Spain with Real Sociedad is probably the best option when it comes to any possible replacement for Paul Heckingbottom at Leeds United.
Fans are already critical of Heckingbottom’s appointment as not working due to him not having enough football kudos and clout. Fans would be livid should another relative no-name appointment be made in de la Barrera. Fans, like is mentioned above, would break Twitter with their retributive vitriol.
Leeds United had a season that went from promising to disappointing in little over the blink of an eye as 2017 turned into 2018. Appointing Paul Heckingbottom saw the former Tykes boss win just four of his 16 games in charge – a return not good enough to satisfy Leeds fans.
If Heckingbottom is to be given the ‘Spanish Archer’, it is certain that they won’t appreciate him being replaced by current Cultural Leonesa incumbent Ruben de la Barrera.