After escaping relegation in last season’s dramatic finale, Leeds United failed to replicate those exploits, with their rollercoaster three-year spell in the Premier League ending in anguish.
Thwarted by a seemingly uninterested owner who has prioritised other ambitions above the club’s survival, a series of managerial changes did little to turn their tumultuous campaign around.
Not even Sam Allardyce’s appointment was enough to save Leeds from despair during a brief stint at Elland Road.
However, they will be keen to quickly put aside their heartbreak as they prepare to begin life back in the Championship.
Here’s Leeds United’s 2022/23 season review.
Player of the Year: Rodrigo
Rodrigo was one of the few bright sparks in Leeds’ squad, ironically enjoying his best goalscoring return for the club during a horrific campaign.
The Spaniard racked up 13 Premier League goals to top Leeds’ goalscoring chart – eight more than second-placed Luis Sinisterra, who notched seven strikes.
Jack Harrison was also a standout performer after reaching double figures in goal contributions netting five times and setting up a further seven.
Performance of the season
Leeds did not have many victories to celebrate this season, but an improbable 3-0 success over Chelsea in August gave the Elland Road faithful something to cheer about.
However, they only flattered to deceive before embarking on a dreadful run of form that saw them fail to win their any of their subsequent eight games, picking up two points in that span (D2, L6).
The next time Leeds won a game was at the end of October when they put in a performance for the ages to thwart Liverpool at Anfield with a 2-1 victory.
Disappointment of the season
Conceding 5+ goals in consecutive games in early April told a thousand tales about how abject and bereft of quality and cutting-edge the Whites were.
It marked the start of a catastrophic end to the season, with the Whites failing to muster a win in their final nine games of the campaign (D2, L7).
Jesse Marsch’s tactics had proven unsustainable, while Javi Gracia teased the saviour figure after a mixed start to life at the Yorkshire club but ultimately flopped.
Allardyce also failed to win any of his four games in charge, but the damage was already done, and major restructuring is needed at the club if they plan for a swift return to the top flight.
What do the stats say?
After failing to reach the heights they did in the 2020/21 campaign, Leeds have finished in 19th place in the Premier League standings – five points adrift of safety.
They accumulated 31 points (W7, D10, L21) – their worst tally since they were first relegated in the 2002/03 campaign (33).
The Whites created 41 big chances (1.6 per match) and scored 48 goals (1.3 per game) – six more than they managed last term.
However, not much has improved about their appalling defensive statistics from the previous season.
Leeds boasts the worst defensive record in the league after shipping in 78 goals (2.1 per match) while mustering just five clean sheets.
The more pertinent issue that needs to be addressed is the club’s ownership amid uncertainties at the boardroom level.
Majority owner Andrea Radrizzani is seemingly uninterested in the long-term future of the Whites, with the Italian completing a deal to buy Sampdoria.
49ers Enterprise are poised to take control, but there is still the small matter of split shares with Radrizzani that needs to be resolved.
They will also need a new director of football after Victor Orta parted ways with the club last month, while the appointment of a new manager will be high on their to-do list.
Leeds need a clear strategy before making a foray into the summer transfer market, and a fresh start in the second tier could be what they need to spark a revival next term.
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