Tim Sherwood earned plenty of criticism before the turn of the year for his comments on Leeds United. The ex-Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa manager claimed – as many pundits have done – that Leeds would eventually burnout towards the end of the season. Leeds fans will remember the phrase he gave – claiming they would “blow a gasket”.
Leeds immediately saw Sherwood regret his words. They ran out massive 5-2 winners over Newcastle United in front of the Amazon Prime cameras – with Jack Harrison scoring the pick of the goals late on, smashing a left-footed drive into the top corner. Rodrigo, Stuart Dallas, Patrick Bamford and Gjanni Alioski also got their names on the score sheet.
During his pundity before the high-scoring win over Steve Bruce’s side, Sherwood told Amazon Prime that: “Dare I say it, these look like they’ve blown a gasket already. They looked tired against West Ham. They’re supposed to be the fittest team in the League,” Sherwood said ahead of the 5-2 win,” back in December 2020.
But the possibility of burnout might still have been a possibility – largely because there was no pre-season last summer, and the increased quality might have made it harder for Leeds. But with nine league games to play, Marcelo Bielsa’s side in a comfortable 11th place after a 2-1 away win over Fulham – on 39 points and well clear of a relegation scrap.
Now, speaking on Optus Sport’s Analysis Show, Sherwood completely changed his tune – raving about the work ethic of Leeds and claiming that they are a “breath of fresh air”, with a graphic stating that Leeds are miles ahead compared to any other Premier League sides in terms of sprints – producing 4800, while the Premier League average is only 3600.
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“I thought they were supposed to be running out of gas at this point in the season – they look like they’re getting stronger. Fantastic performance, love Bielsa, love Leeds United. A breath of fresh air.”
Proof, then, that Leeds belong in the Premier League but not only that – we can compete with the clubs that have bigger spending power and better players purely because Marcelo Bielsa has got the best out of the likes of Luke Ayling, Liam Cooper, Kalvin Phillips, Stuart Dallas and Patrick Bamford. With the right investment this summer, European football has got to be considered.