When it was announced at the end of last season that Garry Monk had resigned from his post as manager of Leeds United, many felt a sense a shock, disappointment and feeling of same old, same old.
Monk had just guided Leeds to their best finish in the Championship since 2010 and despite a late season collapse at the end of last season, it felt as if a project was brewing down at Elland Road. He left Leeds for Championship rivals Middlesbrough, as he feels that they have a better chance of promotion to the Premiership this season.
After a thorough and extensive search which lasted 3 weeks, the Whites appointed former Apoel Nicosia manager Thomas Christiansen. Christiansen, 44, was largely unknown to the Leeds fan base and was an appointment that no one saw coming.
7 games into the season, the feeling around Elland Road is as positive as it has ever been since relegation from the Premier league in 2004. United sit top of the table with 5 wins and 2 draws and boast the most prolific attack in the league, as well as the joint best defensive record. Compared to this time last season, Leeds had taken just 7 points from their first 7 games. It is the best start of any new Leeds manager in its history and it is also the first time Leeds have been top of the Championship in its current format. (@LUFCDATA)
One major difference which has the Leeds fans purring is the style of football so far being put on show. In Leeds’ 5-0 thrashing of Burton Albion, Leeds had 30 shots at goal to Burton’s one. Where as in last seasons 2-0 victory over the same opposition, Leeds had just 12 shots compared to Burton’s 22.
So far this season, Leeds are far more progressive with and without the ball. This style suits players like Kalvin Phillips, Pablo Hernandez and new addition Samu Saiz down to the ground. Under Monk United were much more passive in their defending and attacking build up was much slower.
Although it is early days in the Christiansen era, there is a firm belief amongst the fans at Leeds that the good days are just over the horizon. Could this be the year that Leeds finally return to the promised land?