If you were a fan of the Premier League in the 90s or early 00s then you would remember a time when Leeds United were actually a pretty competitive club. They even made the UEFA Champions League semi-finals in 2000-01. Leeds, who Harry Kewell and Mark Viduka once called home, haven’t played in the Premier League since 2004 but there is something changing at Elland Road.
If you haven’t paid much attention to the Championship this season you might only know that Chris Wood left the club to join Burnley before the window closed. But if you have a quick look at the ladder you will see that Leeds are on top with 17 points after five wins and two draws from their opening seven fixtures. They have also scored 14 goals and conceded just two, which is slightly better than Chelsea at the time of writing this, although the Blues have played three games less.
They are a handful of games in, anything can happen from here, so why are you telling me this? We hear you, but we also hear the Leeds United faithful. If you’re a fan of Leeds, we know you’re out there, you will be glad to know that this is the most points they have won after seven matches in England’s top two leagues since the 2001-02 season where they also won 17 points.
In the 2007-08 season they had 21 points, and after the 2009-10 season they had 19 points but that was both when they dropped down to League One.
This impressive start has come from some unlikely avenues as well. For instance, young midfielder Kalvin Phillips has taken the vacant spot of Chris Wood on his own shoulders and has led the way with three goals thus far, while Samuel Saiz, Stuart Dallas, Kemar Roofe, and Pierre-Michel Lassoga all have two goals.
However, perhaps their biggest success comes from new signing, Felix Wiedwald, who joined the club from German outfit, Werder Bremen. The shot-stopper has kept six consecutive clean sheets since conceding twice on the opening matchday to Bolton Wanderers. That is better than the majority of the Premier League’s custodians, in fact David De Gea, Jonas Lossl and Heurelho Gomes are leading the top tier of England with three, so it might be worth comparing this again after seven games.
Anyway, back to Leeds, who are in quite unfamiliar territory two months into a season. That is scary and exciting, however there is a long way still to go and it can be a daunting thought, especially if injures and suspensions interfere, or other sides begin to up their game. Despite this, we can only judge on what has been achieved so far, and it is very impressive at this stage for Leeds United, who are arguably the team to beat.
In the previous three seasons where Leeds United have recorded the same number of points after seven matches during the Premier League era, they have finished fifth (2001-02 and 2007-08), and second (2009-10) which was the last time they earned themselves a promotion. Is this finally the season we see Leeds United return to England’s top flight football or will it just be another season full of heartbreak and despair?
— Leeds United (@LUFC) September 12, 2017