This article is part of Football FanCast’s The Chalkboard series, which provides a tactical insight into teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
How Leeds approach the 2019/20 season will be interesting to see.
The Whites head into the new campaign with the intention of going one better than they did last term, something midfielder Adam Forshaw revealed this week.
Marcelo Bielsa’s men fell desperately short in the playoffs, being seen off by Derby but whether they have the capabilities to improve on that remains to be seen.
Yet, in order to that, they may have to spring a surprise or two.
Leeds didn’t change things up too much under Bielsa in his first season.
They started the term alternating between a 4-1-4-1 formation and a 4-2-3-1 system, one which initially paid off as they got off to a red-hot start in the Championship, going unbeaten in their first eight games.
Indeed they retained their good form throughout the majority of the first half of the season but arguably as other teams became more familiar with their style, they looked far less convincing. That was evident particularly in the play-offs against Derby, although individual errors also played a part.
Only this week, Tony Dorigo laid claims that because Bielsa’s methods and system weren’t new, the team will get better. He told Yorkshire Evening Post:
“Last year it was all brand new, a bit of a shock to the system.
“It wouldn’t have been this time round and I think, just because of that, the team will improve.”
However, in doing so he’s rather inadvertently hinted at a major problem at Leeds. The fact that their players will be more familiar is obviously a positive but it’ll also play into their opposition who will now know what to expect.
With that in mind, it may be wise for the Whites to change things up in some games and cause somewhat of a surprise with their tactics, particularly if the going gets tough as it did at the end of the last campaign.
After all, the amount of variety Leeds have in attacking midfield and the options out wide dictates that Bielsa should be open to being more flexible.
Ahead of what is likely to be another fiercely contest campaign, small details like this could prove key.