The 2016/17 season might be a season for some Leeds fans to forget but it could be a season of success for others. Although it is not mathematically impossible at this stage, the reality is that Leeds have missed out on the playoffs.
The only way they can make the playoffs is if Fulham loses and they better their goal difference; the gap stands at 14. Highly unlikely you would anticipate.
However, it should be seen as a success this season. It has been a torrid time for the Elland Road faithful over the past few years, and finally, you can see some improvements at the club.
Improving on last year’s 13th-place finish is a tremendous achievement for all involved. The fact that owner Massimo Cellino has finally sold his final 50% to Andrea Radrizzani is big news for a club who need to find consistency.
Consistency is a key word for Leeds United, and it has not always been evident due to the rate at which they sack managers.
But this season Garry Monk has been steadily in charge. He is a young manager with a lot of passion and hunger for the game whilst always wanting to better himself as he progresses in his career.
He has a better win percentage than the previous five managers (48.1%) and has 25 wins under his belt in just 48 games. The past five managers have 95 games and just 29 wins between them.
The run into the final few games has been disastrous for Leeds, as you would have placed them easily in the playoffs, especially after the 2-0 win against Brighton & Hove Albion in March.
However, they have only managed to pick up a mere 5 points from a possible 21 this April; not the form you expected to see. The Championship does favour the brave and Fulham have certainly been the more spirited side; picking up form and results along the way. Leeds need to improve on this season’s final run next season.
Having been absent from the top flight since 2004, they actually came close in 2006 reaching the playoff final before losing out to Watford amid some financial trouble.
The financial trouble was a contributing factor to why they were relegated to League One; only managing to return to the Championship in 2010.
Considering they have been in the division for seven years, the stay has not been that long, but it will feel like an eternity for the fans who want to return to where they believe they belong.
The key to succeeding next season is keeping hold of key players. The first player they have to keep hold of is New Zealand striker Chris Wood.
He has finished the club’s top goalscorer for the past two seasons and looks odds-on favourite to finish the top goal scorer in the entire league, unless of course, Tammy Abraham decides to have a rout of his own on the final day. It could be difficult to keep hold of the former Leicester City man, but Leeds have to resist the temptation of the offers.
As earlier stated, Leeds have lacked consistency for years but next season is a perfect chance to build on what they have already achieved.
A manager who wants more, a team who want prove they have the credentials to play in the Premier League and now an owner who will not sack managers at the drop of a hat (hopefully!). The fans have to keep the faith and they will go into the following season as one of the favourites to win promotion if they keep Garry Monk.