Leeds United get back to playing in chaotic week

With October living up to its reputation as sacking month at Leeds United it is all change yet again with Uwe Rosler out and Steve Evans in.
Steve Evans.Steve Evans.
Steve Evans.

The end certainly came swift for head coach Rosler as he was shown the exit door just two weeks after owner Massimo Cellino was singing his praises, but as the Italian has shown before, one bad run and you are out of the club.

There is no doubt that Leeds have endured a tricky spell with three straight defeats and a club record 11 games since they last won at home, but despite the last of those losses last Saturday there was little sign of a crisis.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

In fact, the Whites were unlucky not to pick up a point when down to 10 men for the last 11 minutes after losing defender Liam Cooper to injury with three substitutions having already been made.

They let in the winning goal in this late spell and while another defeat was disappointing, they were playing current Sky Bet Championship leaders, Brighton and even their manager, Chris Hughton, thought Leeds’ display had been worthy of a draw.

Many supporters were beginning to question Rosler’s selections – picking Scott Wootton at right-back over Sam Byram last Saturday was a strange one – but his departure has been criticised more with the lack of stability at the club being put forward as one of the factors in the team’s lack of progress.

The timing of the change does not appear to be great with United one game into a period of six matches in 22 days and little time therefore for new man Evans to get his feet under the table - indeed he has already had the task of putting a team together for tonight’s trip to Fulham.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

But the timing may be explained by the news that came through on Monday night that Cellino had been banned from running the club again.

While he intends to appeal against the Football League’s decision perhaps he did not want to be powerless to make a change if United’s poor run continued in his absence.

Unless successful with his appeal, the Italian looks set to be disqualified from running Leeds United until June as a punishment for his conviction for tax evasion in Italy in June.

The 59-year-old was found guilty by a court in Cagliari of failing to pay 40,000 Euros owed in tax on a Range Rover he imported to Italy from the United States.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

In light of his latest ban the Leeds United Supporters’ Trust has urged Cellino to consider selling his controlling stake in the club.

A trust statement read: “The trust believes Leeds supporters have suffered enough over the years and therefore asks that Massimo Cellino brings clarity and honesty to any public statements on the immediate future and considers the supporters’ need for a stable club at all times in how he deals with this latest ban.

“If, and the case grows daily, it is in the best interests of Leeds United supporters, he and GFH should sell, we call on them both to do so with efficiency.”

Amid all the chaos, United have the little matter of their next league game at Fulham tonight with another away game at Bolton on Saturday.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

New boss Evans is a 4-4-2 man and may switch to this with the team he has inherited, picking Mirco Antenucci to play up alongside Chris Wood up front.

He has two from three to pick from on the wings, but faces tricky decisions in which midfielders to go with if there are only to be two and who plays in defence.

Charlie Taylor is expected to miss out again with his virus infection, but Cooper is not as badly injured as first feared and has a chance of making it. Otherwise it will come down to two from three from Sam Byram, Giuseppe Bellusci and Scott Wootton - who worked with Evans when on loan at Rotherham - with Sol Bamba and Gaetano Berardi keeping their places.