Leeds United have made another managerial change in an attempt to save their season. Sam Allardyce has been hired to lead the club in their final four matches of the current campaign. Previously, the Whites fired Jesse Marsch in February and appointed Michael Skubala on an interim basis. After two weeks, the club then signed Javi Gracia to take over at the helm. However, the Spaniard’s time with Leeds didn’t exactly go as planned.
Gracia, formally of Watford, Valencia and many others, only picked up three victories in a dozen matches with Leeds. All three of these wins came against clubs in the bottom seven of the Premier League table. Gracia’s final match in charge was a demoralizing 4-1 defeat to Bournemouth on Sunday. The Whites are currently 17th in the top-flight table, only out of the drop zone on goal differential.
‘Big Sam’ Allardyce faces difficult test with Leeds
Allardyce will now try to keep Leeds in the Premier League. The West Yorkshire team previously gained promotion to the top flight ahead of the 2020/21 season. It was their first campaign in the Premier League since 2003/04. After finishing an impressive ninth in their return to the league, Leeds have struggled. They narrowly avoided relegation last year after finishing 17th in the standings.
If Allardyce’s task wasn’t already difficult enough, Leeds has a brutal fixture list to finish out the season. The Whites next face reigning Premier League champions Manchester City on Saturday. They then face Newcastle, West Ham, and Tottenham Hotspur to finish off their schedule.
The English manager certainly has plenty of experience though. Allardyce previously managed 11 different clubs since 1994. This includes a Premier League background with Bolton, Newcastle, West Ham, Sunderland, Crystal Palace, and Everton.
Club director of football also departs
Leeds will be looking for a new director of football, as well. Victor Orta has left the role after six years with the club. Orta was previously responsible for hiring former club coaches Marcelo Bielsa and the aforementioned Marsch. The Spaniard departs Leeds after butting heads with the team’s board regarding Gracia’s position at the club.
PHOTO: IMAGO / PA Images
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