End of Season Review: Leeds United's Report Card From the 2017/18 Campaign

It's certainly been a tale of two halves for Leeds this season. However, the overriding feeling amongst the Elland Road faithful will be one of disappointment. 


Boss Paul Heckingbottom has been in charge of the club since February, and he'll have a massive job to do in his first transfer window, if he's to get the Whites competing for a place in the Premier League next season. 


Here's United's 2017/18 report card.

1. League Performance

Leeds signed off the season with a 2-0 win against QPR. It was just their fourth win in 2018 but they still finished managed to finish 13th in the table. 


Thomas Christiansen's side blitzed through the first half of the campaign and finished the Christmas period in 5th place. However, the Dane was then sacked in February after a dismal seven-match winless run. 


Paul Heckingbottom left struggling Barnsley to take up the vacant role, but he was unable to stop the rot, and Leeds finished in the bottom half of the table with a total of just four wins in 2018.   

2. Domestic Cup Performance

Leeds progressed to the round of 16 of the Carabao Cup, where they were knocked out by Premier League side Leicester City at the King Power Stadium. In the earlier rounds, they had thrashed League Two sides Port Vale and Newport County, and beaten Burnley on penalties in the round of 32. 


The FA Cup, on the other hand, was a massive disappointment. Leeds were again drawn against League Two side Newport in the third round of the competition, but this time the Welsh club ran out deserved 2-1 winners thanks to Shawn McCoulsky's last-minute header. 

3. Best Player

Samu Saiz, a summer signing from Spanish club SD Huesca, was Leeds' best player up until the turn of the year. In January, the 27-year-old was caught spitting at a Newport player in the Whites' FA Cup third round tie and was consequently handed a six-game ban. Saiz returned to action in late February but - like many players - hasn't been able to replicate his pre-Christmas form. 


Pablo Hernandez, on the other hand, has been one of the few consistent performers at Elland Road this season. With seven goals and eight assists, the 32-year-old has been the one to provide the creative spark in the Whites' pedestrian midfield.


He was due to depart in the summer, but signed a new two-year deal with the club in April. 

4. Worst Player

Felix Wiedwald arrived from Bundesliga side Werder Bremen last summer, but the German stopper could depart this summer having endured a torrid debut season with the Whites. 


The 28-year-old has made a number of costly individual errors throughout the campaign. Paul Heckingbottom's patience finally ran out at the start of March, and Wiedwald was replaced in goal by 21-year-old Bailey Peacock-Farrell, who has impressed between the sticks. 

5. The Manager

Paul Heckingbottom took over from Thomas Christiansen in February after Leeds had failed to win any of their games in 2018. Since then, results have hardly improved and performances have slightly regressed. Leeds finished 13th in the table with a total of just four wins in the second half of the season. 


The players need to take the brunt of the blame, however. Ultimately, they proved between August and December that they are capable of performing to a high level. Of course, players will tire and especially in the Championship, which is a physically gruelling league, but professionals should be capable of competing beyond 23 games into a season. 

6. Overall Grade

Leeds were one of the favourites for promotion prior to the start of the season, and the Whites seemed to be proving why up until December. Thereafter, the deflating performances and woeful results have left owner Andrea Radrizzani with a massive headache ahead of the upcoming summer transfer window. 


Radrizzani did invest last summer, but if they are to compete for a place in the Premier League, the squad will need another - more expensive - shakeup this summer.


Overall, the season has to be seen as a failure. 


Grade: D