It takes a brave man to predict the Championship in any given season.
The English second division is amongst the most unpredictable leagues in the world. Just last season we saw a team who’d finished 14th in the season prior lose arguably their two best players and then subsequently win the league title.
Stan Collymore has taken the plunge though, and he has named the teams he expects to be promoted in the 2019/20 season.
The former Liverpool player stated that he expects Leeds United to go up, but his reasoning for tipping up the Whites is seemingly all wrong.
“Fulham and Leeds are my tips for gaining automatic promotion to Prem from the Championship this season,” he writes in his Sunday People column this week (Via LeedsLive).
“I pick Fulham because of their be squad and Leeds because Marcelo Bielsa will make sure they bounce back from the disappointment they faced the end of the last campaign.”
Collymore may well be right in backing the Yorkshire outfit for promotion, they finished third last season, and they largely have the same squad that performed so well last season. However, the former England man’s reasoning for picking Leeds is a bit off.
The 48-year-old is making out as if Bielsa is great at overcoming adversity and bouncing back from disappointments, but a deeper look at his career shows that the opposite is the case.
Firstly, the Argentine rarely spends enough time at a club to experience stumbling blocks and overcome them as he has a tendency to leave teams after short periods, leaving Marseille after just one season, Lazio after a couple of days and Lille after a few months. However, when he has had to pick his team up after disappointments it hasn’t gone too well.
The foundations were there for the Argentine to build on that and clinch some silverware for the Basque outfit, but the next season they faltered and finished 12th which resulted in Bielsa not having his contract extended.
Collymore is wrong to believe Bielsa is this great motivator who can bounce back from disappointments and achieve his goals. Although he is a highly regarded manager his trophy cabinet isn’t stacked, and he has had a serious problem in getting his teams over the line.
If Leeds go up this year it will be one of the finest achievements in Bielsa’s career so far and they have a great chance of getting it done, but finding this type of success is by no means the status quo for the Argentine, and Collymore has tipped them for the wrong reasons.