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Will Leeds finally come good and return to the Premier League?

Wednesday 24th August 2016
The biggest club in Yorkshire, Leeds United have been lingering around the lower tiers of English football for too long considering the club's history and stature in world football. There's finally a sound managerial appointment in Garry Monk, and the club has a decent looking team-sheet. Could this be the time for God's own country's premier team to return to the Premier League?

Come to the end of the 03/04 season, Leeds found themselves nineteenth in the FA Premier League table and henceforth, out. The team failed to produce an immediate return despite being widely tipped to do so, as they finished mid-table in the 04/05 championship season. The club has failed to reclaim their place at the top-tier of English football despite fans stating: “we'll be back” for several years now. In fact, the club has since tasted the misery of the third tier having been relegated to League One.

Now, however, the club are back in a sound place and could realistically make their grand return. Garry Monk whilst relatively inexperienced (only having managed Swansea City prior), has been a remarkable appointment when compared to the clubs prior managerial figureheads. The club's head coach position has lacked stability since the departure of Simon Grayson back in 2012. This included Darko Milanič's appointment which lasted a mere thirty-two days.
The club's contemporary roster boasts an impressive roll call of players. Former England number one, Robert Green recently joined the club and adds a wealth of experience to the club's defensive abilities. Captaining the side is Ivorian international, Sol Bamba. The defender has quickly become a fan favourite due to his actions on and off the field. On the pitch, his leadership qualities energise the team and can also back it up in an attacking sense when required (he scored four goals for the club last season). He's known to be a vocal player, his tendencies to challenge the owner and unusual management of the club have gone down well with the mighty whites faithful.

Monk has also managed to reunite with three players he coached whilst working in South Wales, Kyle Bartley and Matt Grimes have both joined Leeds on loan from Swansea City. Whilst Pablo Hernández was at Swansea he's since moved to Qatari club, Al-Arabi but hasn't settled there and as a result, has reunited with Monk at Elland Road. In this league, the former Spanish international could have a field day.

The other notable member of personnel is Swedish player, Marcus Antonsson who only joined the club in June. He's an out and out striker by trade and has got some very pleasurable statistics for Leeds fans. Last season he was with Allsvenskan side, Kalmar FF and scored an awe-inspiring twenty-two goals in forty-one games. A fair achievement by anyone standards, it's hard to say whether he will replicate the same success transferring from Swedish to English football so fast, but he's already found the back of the net. He scored the opening goal for Leeds at Hillsborough as they triumphed in a 2-0 away win.
No article about Leeds United would be complete without discussing the fans. The fans of the club always tend to get a bad press, despite yes – there are few which overstep the mark, and Leeds have a considerable cluster of them, most clubs have troublemakers. If the English football media would stop talking about Pogba, they'd probably find just as many murky depths of torrid Manchester United supporters as ones they slate donning LUFC shirts. Leeds United enjoys an unwavering support and came fifth in the overall attendance table the last term above many of the promotion candidates. A sign that the followers of this club are relentless with their support for this historic club.

Leeds United seemingly have all the tools to return to the top tier and currently are unbeaten in three. They've drawn with in-form Fulham, defeated last year's playoff finalists, Sheffield Wednesday away from home and defeated Luton mid-week in the EFL cup. Morale and confidence will be high as they head to their weekend game against an inconsistent Nottingham Forest.

This surely must be it for Leeds United.
Warren Smith

A British and J.League soccer enthusiast, now local to Yokohama, Japan. A keen Arsenal supporter. Has been known to play the game every once in awhile, once likened to Xherdan Shaqiri. 


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