‘Leeds have an advantage’ – Pundit claims Arsenal are held back by expectations

Chris Sutton has claimed that Leeds has an advantage over the likes of Arsenal and Tottenham in regards to use of their extended playing squad.

The Yorkshire club have been using a number of younger players following a number of absences in recent weeks, and their most recent victory away at West Ham was cause for extreme praise for manager Marcelo Bielsa.

Arsenal and Tottenham have had to cancel recent fixtures, and are now having to reschedule matches in order to complete their season, while Leeds recent performances have shown the duo up, but Sutton insists that it is easier for the Whites.

“Prior to Covid-19, Bielsa spent time coaching the younger age groups,” he told BBC Radio 5(via Leeds-Live).

“Going back to my days at Norwich City, you can imagine being a youth team player across the county and your first-team manager comes over and takes the sessions, how good does that make you feel.

“I think it’s interesting the way Leeds do things and the way Bielsa likes to work with a smaller squad and how he has faith in the young players.

“But you could argue he can work that way because there isn’t the expectation on Leeds to finish in a top-four place, where there is on the likes of Arsenal and Spurs.

“Leeds have an advantage in that respect. Bielsa likes to manage with a smaller squad and he wants to give younger places a chance and I think that bodes well.

“They’ve had [James] Milner, [Jonathan] Woodgate, Alan Smith, [Fabian] Delph and it’s been a real conveyor belt and Bielsa has carried that on.”

Arsenal have our own record of bringing youngsters into the first-team squad also, but the problem is that our better ones have already been blooded into our senior side, while many of our next generation have been allowed to leave on loan.

When many others are taking advantage of absences, you cannot blame us for delaying our most recent clash, especially when you take into account the official stance, that our current absences are due to Coronavirus issues, just not because of current positives, but recent ones still having an affect.

I agree with Sutton somewhat on his point though, if he means that the youngsters making their early appearances of their career have less pressure to perform due to the club’s expectations, while any of our youngsters may not be able to deal with trying to keep us in the hunt for a top four finish.

Are Leeds in a more favourable position to provide minutes for their academy players?


Tags Arsenal Christ Sutton Leeds Spurs


  1. Arsenal should be ashamed of themselves. One player out with Covid, U23;s played the night before. Just because they have had a couple of injuries and 17 players out on loan. And Leeds with 8 first team players out, 1 Senior player on the bench with the rest being made up of teenagers ( one just 15 years old) and they just get on with it. Ravaged by injuries this season and yet make no excuses. They are a credit to the club and the likes of Arsenal and Burnley are a disgrace

    1. Arsenal is less of a disgrace than your comment.
      Did you hear that Arsenal hijacked the FA to grant our request for postponement?
      The FA created a situation in which several teams are taking advantage.
      Arsenal presented no falsehood in making the request.
      So If the FA saw much reason in Arsenal’s request by granting it, why call us shameful?

  2. Managing expectations is a tricky business.
    Tottenham were top of the table after 3 games then sacked said manager ten games later. Utd sacked their manager in 7th place. Chelsea are losing points and it is possible the Champions league winner Tuchel could be sacked in the summer like Di Matteo was sacked shortly after winning the CL. Yet Leeds are praising a manager who’s team has been just above the relegation zone all season. Emery got fifth in his first season and the club greedily raised the bar demanding 4th the next season.
    So Emery was sacked because the team slipped out of the top 4 race. The club it seems lowered the bar or just became more realistic and patient. Arteta was excused two 8th placed finishes and given 150m to spend on new players. Now 5/6 is the goal with top 4 being a bonus. I set my bar at 6/7 by Xmas and 5/6 by May. When we went 0-3 everyone else predicted a terrible season while I said 5/6. Now the same changlings are now demanding top 4. I am staying with 5/6. To do this we can lose to Spurs Chelsea and Westham away and lose to Liverpool at home. We must beat Burnley Brighton Leeds Everton Brentford Leicester Wolves United at home draw at Villa and Wolves and beat Southampton Newcastle Palace Watford away . 38 more points which will get us 73 points and depending on other teams results should get us 5th and may be 4th. But if we sign Vlahovic then I allow myself the right to up grade expectations to 4th.

    1. @fairfan; Did you listen to yourself when you talk

      How can you sack a manager that finishes 5th and spend 150M on a new manager demanding 5/6
      does that make sense to you
      If that is the process I’m not part of it

  3. All teams will drop points so don’t worry….4th place is what we want but being realistic…5/6 is target…with few additions at the end of the transfer window maybe we can target 4th place……..that will be good………👍

    1. If we can manage to pull of the Dusan Vhalovic deal along with another CM then we can defo finish in the Top4 as long as everyone can stay fit. Come summer Saliba comes back and we might not be far off competing for the big trophies again.

      Thomas back for the weekend possibly all being well.

  4. Look at the table.

    We have 3 games in hand over Chelsea (9pts ahead) who host Spurs (1pt ahead, game in hand) this weekend, plus Man Utd (Level on points, we have game in hand) v West Ham (2pts ahead, we have 2g in hand).

    Come Sunday we will have 4 games in hand over Chelsea (maybe 12 pts ahead), depending on their result with spurs who we will be level on games with (maybe 1pt behind).

    Utd can go ahead of us by 3points if they beat west ham at Old Trafford, and ahead of west ham with a win too.

    If we beat Burnley we go above west ham, level on pts with Utd plus game in hand and point behind spurs with games in hand over Chelsea.

    Massive weekend for the Top4/6.

    Leeds v Newcastle be a massive game for both clubs too, Everton v Villa also. Looking forward to this weekends footy

    1. Both games Chelsea v Spurs & Utd v West Ham ending in a draw would be perfect heading in to Sundays clash.

      Tonight is a massive game v Pool at home 2ng leg semi final league Cup. Cmon the gunners

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors