The John Horgan column: It's great to Leeds back in the Premier League

The John Horgan column: It's great to Leeds back in the Premier League
Leeds United players and staff celebrate promotion back to the Premier League. Picture: PA

IT’S taken 16 long and impatient years but Leeds United are back in the top-flight of English football.

The club that produced some pf the greatest players ever to grace the game across the water are finally in from the cold after many false dawns.

Being a Manchester United supporter, one along thousands of others, never had any great love for them and in the ‘70s the rivalry between both clubs was intense and much more than that, it bordered on pure hatred for one and other.

But their return to the Premier League will be good for the game, a big club with a huge fan base over there and it will be a surprise if they will not be able to consolidate themselves again and build towards becoming a force in English football again.

Too many clubs that are elevated to the top-flight and more often than not quite a few of them are back to where they came from.

Not a whole pile is known about the Leeds boss, Marcelo Bielsa and the fact that he does not speak publicly in English does not help.

But those who do know acknowledge that he is a master tactician and will be the right man to cement the club’s place away from the muddy waters of being stuck in a relegation battle.

Leeds do not have the calibre of player now that they had under Don Revie, the likes of Paul Reaney, Paul Madeley, Billy Bremner, John Giles, Peter Lorimer, Allan Clarke and so many others.

And they are going to have to be very astute in whatever transfer dealings they will be involved in over the coming months when trying to embellish the squad.

Leeds were once a great club that fell on hard times but they were one of many with equally huge support bases.

Others like Sheffield Wednesday, Derby County, Sunderland, Middlesbrough and so on are still mired outside where the big money can be generated.

Leeds have finally made their escape now, their supporters have endured terrible heartache but it’s only fair to say that they are now back to where they belong.

I spoke to a Manchester United supporter over the weekend and asked them what he thought of Leeds being back.

His answer, an easy six points for us next season.

One certainly would not go along with that because of all the teams that Leeds will face on their return, they will be fired up more against Man Utd than all the others.

As Leeds were hailing the achievement of Bielsa in getting back into the big time, Huddersfield were sacking their boss Danny Cowley.

When he took over at Leeds Road, Huddersfield were in a bad way, a lot nearer the drop zone than the top but himself and his brother managed to turn the ship around.

Last Thursday night they defeated high flying West Brom, easing all fears of being relegated and accumulating 51 points.

Their reward, should we be surprised with what goes on in that league, was the sack.

That decision was truly mind-boggling but that’s the Championship for you.

Equally mind-boggling was the sacking of Nigel Pearson at Watford.

When he took the job in midseason, Watford were nine points adrift at the bottom of the Premier At the time of his sacking last Sunday they were outside the bottom three with a very decent chance of survival.

They may yet go down but even if they do, Pearson did a remarkable job in putting them in the position to avoid that drop.

Those type of sackings at Huddersfield and Watford are another illustration of what goes in football now, chairmen out of their depth believing that they can be Man Utd, Man City or Liverpool whilst knowing very little about the basics of the game.

Anyway, to end this week and the outcome of the two FA Cup semi-finals.

Firstly, Arsenal and Chelsea were deserving winners over the two Manchester clubs.

United were terrible against Chelsea. David de Gea’s howlers didn’t help matters at all and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer must make a decision soon on whether or not he recalls Dean Henderson from Sheffield United.

De Gea is a top-notch keeper, once the best in the world but he’s making far too many basic errors these days and he needs pressure to be applied on him as far as remaining as Utd’s number one is concerned.

Having Henderson breathing down his neck might just be what’s needed.

Arsenal may be languishing well outside the top four in the Premiership but one believes that Mikel Arteta will do the job in time at the Emirates and sooner rather than later they will be a force again.

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