The saying in football goes ‘If you can’t win don’t lose’ but Leeds United are finding that is easier said than done.
It has been a solid start to life back in the Premier League after a 16-year absence with the Whites sat in 11th and eyeing a top 10 finish, a far cry from the angst felt by the other two promoted clubs Fulham and West Brom who are marooned in the relegation zone.
But there is room for improvement as laid bare by a startling statistic unearthed by The Athletic’s Phil Hay on his personal Twitter profile.
Leeds lost 2-0 to West Ham on Monday evening and that brought up Marcelo Bielsa’s 119th game in charge of the Whites.
As reported by Hay, just 19 of those matches have ended in a draw – during El Loco’s time in West Yorkshire, only Manchester City have recorded a lower percentage.
Indeed after losing at the London Stadium Leeds are now 18 games without a draw which is our longest run since 2006.
That begs the question – does Bielsa need to adapt his tactics and be prepared to abandoned some of his principles?
No, we don’t think so.
What separates our side to most others in the Premier League is the entertainment factor and will to win.
While we are currently battling the likes of Crystal Palace and Southampton for a mid-table finish that is not our level in the medium or long-term.
Yes these clubs have been steady top-flight clubs for a number of seasons, and a lot can be learned by their approach.
But we have bigger plans and our dreams of what amounts to success is in a different stratosphere to them.
The size and stature of our club means European football should be a regular occurrence at Elland Road in the coming years.
To rival the elite-level clubs a win-at-all-costs mentality is vital and that, in turn, breeds the success that we are craving.
The fact that Manchester City are the only team below us for draws says it all.
Pep Guardiola’s side are streaking clear at the top of the Premier League and look certainties to win their third league title in four years.
That has been possible because of their never-say-die attitude and is exactly why we are keeping faith in Bielsa and his masterplan.
With no risk of relegation, why not continue with the plan that has served us so well to this date?
It would be madness to stray away from it and that is why we have utter belief in Bielsa.
We would rather turn the losses into wins rather than settle for draws
Give it time.
In other Leeds United news, see who our Super Fans selected as their Saints and Sinners v West Ham.