Since replacing Thomas Christiansen as Leeds United head coach, Paul Heckingbottom has not exactly changed things around at Elland Road. Leeds have continued their freefall down the Championship table and fans appear to be losing patience with the former Barnsley boss.
But it is also fair to say, he hasn’t had the best of luck.
Heckingbottom inherited an out of form team, with a goalkeeping department of little envy. In fact, the development of Bailey Peacock-Farrell is a reason to be cheerful.
Leeds have also not had the best of luck this season. Injuries and suspensions have ravaged the defensive position throughout the campaign with January signing Laurens De Bock and Luke Ayling long-term injuries. Liam Cooper has suffered with discipline and fitness whilst Gaetano Berardi has been sent off three times this season. Matthew Pennington has impressed when playing, but injuries have impacted the Everton loanee’s season. All of this has left a forlorn looking Pontus Jansson, wishing for better times with Kyle Bartley beside him.
Heckingbottom has clearly not had it all his own way.
One clear example of this is the signing of Tyler Roberts in January. The West Brom youngster was identified as a player to improve the club’s ailing attacking options. After scoring five goals in 17 league games and impressing in League One the hope was Roberts could thrive at Elland Road.
As reported by the Yorkshire Evening Post, Leeds spent an initial £2.5 million for the player. But, as is the way with Leeds this season, it quickly turned sour. Just two weeks after signing, Roberts suffered a training ground injury. A scan showed a crack in his shin and Roberts has still not been seen in a Leeds shirt.
Considering the fact the Whites are currently fielding players such as Caleb Ekuban and Jay-Roy Grot, it is fair to say Roberts could have had an impact at Leeds this season.
But it is a perfect summation of Leeds’ fortunes since the turn of the year. The player signed to freshen up the attacking options, has still not kicked a ball in vain for the club.
Before anything else, Leeds need to hope for a change from lady luck if they are to be more successful next season.