Is top 10 still a realistic target?

Last updated : 22 September 2015 By .

Following his appointment as Leeds boss in the summer, Rosler set his sights on finishing in the top 10 and he reiterated that was still the ambition following the 1-1 draw at home with his former club Brentford.

by  gareth1953 Cataract Creating Chaos 

At that time, Leeds had won just once in six Championship games and had drawn the other five. Come Tuesday, a first league defeat of the season was inflicted after a 1-0 loss to Ipswich Town at Elland Road.

It prompted Eddie Gray to claim that Leeds ‘always look likely to concede goals’ and ‘do not create enough chances to score’. In some respects, it’s a fair assessment from Gray, especially when it comes to scoring goals as Leeds have scored just seven in their opening seven games.

In Chris Wood, Leeds signed a striker in the summer who is more than capable of scoring 20 league goals if he plays a full season, but he certainly needs to be given the chances to score. Wood’s ability to score 20 goals, or even another striker’s, would push Leeds a long way towards finishing in the top 10 this season.

Regarding Gray’s suggestion that Leeds always look in danger of conceding goals, again there is an element of truth in there, although the stats show they have only conceded seven goals in their opening seven games. There was only one clean sheet– in the 0-0 draw at Reading – but also Bristol City are the only team to have scored twice against them, and that was when scoring twice in the last two minutes to snatch a 2-2 draw at Ashton Gate.

As Blue Sq pointed out in a review of the first five games of the Championship season, Leeds have shown patches of ‘exciting play’ and that is one of the key issues at present – only being able to display in patches what they may actually be capable of.

After the defeat by Ipswich, Rosler felt Leeds had shown a lack of bravery and courage in failing to break their opponents down. Again, this is something that has been shown in patches, most notably when Wood scored two minutes from time to earn a 2-1 win at Derby. But it was arguably missing when throwing away the 2-0 lead at Bristol City, and also in the inability to turn draws into a win.

But it has to be remembered that Leeds are a work in progress under Rosler, even more so after signing eight players in the summer. Rosler is also trying to play a high-pressing game and, while that has its advantages in putting opposition players under pressure, there is the danger of being exposed too high up the pitch.

Since returning to the Championship in 2010, Leeds have only finished in the top 10 once and that was in the first year back when they were seventh, three points outside the play-offs. Since then, it’s been a run of 14th, 13th and then 15th for the past two seasons, pretty much summing up where Leeds are right now.

Improving on that recent record should be within Rosler’s compass once everyone is fully tuned into how he wants them to play.

by  Auz 

With a curious run of the two home games just gone, then two away games, two home games, two away games and then two more home games, it’s going to be a crucial period for Rosler to get results to keep Leeds on track to fulfil his objective.

The departure of executive officer Adam Pearson has, like a high-pressing game can, left Rosler exposed to closer scrutiny from Massimo Cellino.

The Italian hasn’t always been one to appreciate the fine margins in football, but the way in which Leeds have started the season has demonstrated the thin dividing line between wins, draws and defeats in football.

If Rosler can start to turn three or four of those draws into wins, then a top-10 finish is within Leeds’ reach and it would be a positive step forward in the long-term quest for a Premier League return.