How has Garry Monk turned things around at Leeds United?
They haven’t finished in the top-half of the Championship since their return to the division back in the 2010-11 campaign, and a poor start this time out suggested it would be yet another year of under-achievement for one of the biggest names in English football.
However, Garry Monk is slowly, but surely, turning things around at Elland Road.
His Leeds side have won five of their last six games in all competitions, putting them just four points off the play-off places.
Considering 11 players arrived at the Yorkshire outfit in the summer, Monk’s men were always going to need time to settle.
And that’s exactly what they have done as we head into the second international break of the season. In fact, this is the best start to a campaign Leeds have had for four years.
Much of the reason for their impressive form of late is down to the performances of striker Chris Wood, who already has seven goals to his name in all competitions this year. If he can maintain that level for a full season, there’s every chance this could be Leeds’ best finish in the second tier for a long time.
Monk has also created a healthy blend of experience and youth, with no less than six players aged 23 or under featuring at least seven times in the league so far.
And Luke Ayling, Kyle Bartley, Pontus Jansson and former England goalkeeper Rob Green have all slotted nicely into Leeds’ defensive unit which has kept four clean sheets already this season in all competitions. Keeping hold of Charlie Taylor may also prove to be a decisive factor in the Whites’ campaign.
However, if they are to push on and force our traders to cut their odds of 16/1 for what would be a remarkable promotion to the Premier League, they’ll have to start finding the net more often.
Though they’re managing to see games out at the moment, they haven’t won by more than two goals since November last year. And a worrying stat for fans is that nine of their 13 league wins since the turn of the year have only been by a margin of one.
The flip side of that is that they are winning games though, and supporters won’t care all that much for margins so long as their points tally continues to rise.
Granted, a lot could happen between now and May. But, in a club which has seen a staggering 13 permanent managers come and go since the turn of the millennium, there could finally be some stability in place at Leeds United under Garry Monk.
Up next in the league for one of the form teams of the table is a trip to Derby County, and there’s certainly some value in the 4/1 for the visitors to nick all three points.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing