The Athletic journalist Phil Hay has suggested that Leeds United haven’t improved enough to dominate the Championship this season.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side moved up to second in the Championship with a 1-0 win against Birmingham City and still trail league leaders West Bromwich Albion by two points.
A few days after the club’s 100th anniversary, born and bred Leeds midfielder Kalvin Phillips scored the only goal of the game in the 65th minute receiving the ball from Jack Harrison and sliding it under Lee Camp.
However, it was hardly smooth sailing for the Whites who squandered multiple opportunities and showed a lot of the attacking struggles that have caused them issues this season.
Do you agree with Phil Hay's comments?
The result means Leeds’ promotion push remains well set but, speaking in a Q&A for The Athletic after the game, Hay revealed he was concerned about how much the team had evolved since last season.
He said: “If I’m being totally honest, I don’t think they’ve improved. They’re still playing at a high level and the standards last season were excellent but they haven’t taken the steps forward needed to properly dominate the league.”
The Whites came very close to ending their 15-year absence from the Premier League in the 2018/19 campaign, narrowly avoiding a top-two finish and losing to Derby County in the play-offs.
Leeds will likely be hoping to avoid the play-offs if possible but it looks to like being a tough season as it is congested at the top of the table.
The Whites face fellow high-flyers Preston North End at Deepdale on Tuesday night.
Hay is a very respected voice on Leeds, so these comments will likely be particularly concerning to many fans of the club.
You can understand where he is coming from as Bielsa’s side have been in the ascendancy in the majority of their games this season but have rarely turned that into completely dominant displays.
However, it is early days yet and it is a long, long season, so the Whites have still time to prove themselves.