You’d struggle to find a Leeds United supporter who is unhappy with the job that manager Daniel Farke has done in West Yorkshire since taking the reins in the summer, with optimism at the club currently at a high after three consecutive league wins.
Farke took the Elland Road top job under exceptionally difficult circumstances, with several key players either on the verge of – or having already completed – season-long loan exits. This state of flux existed at boardroom level as well, with a takeover of the club by an American consortium spearheaded by 49ers Enterprises still to be ratified by the EFL.
Despite this sense of uncertainty surrounding Leeds’ both short and long-term future, the feeling persists amongst the Whites’ fanbase that Farke has handled all that has been thrown at him with a combination of professionalism and shrewd management.
And, with Leeds having recorded three back-to-back wins across their last few fixtures, Farke’s tactical nous seems to now be translating onto the pitch and – even more importantly – into positive results.
Whilst it is far too soon in the gruelling Championship season to declare promotion into the Premier League anything approaching guaranteed there is no denying that Farke’s side sit in a promising position in 3rd, with the focus now being on closing the distance between the division’s runaway sides, Ipswich Town and Leicester City.
With this in mind, Sutton has made the claim that Farke will see the Whites promoted this term, and that the Elland Road faithful may even have found the next Marcelo Bielsa in appointing the German.
“In terms of Leeds fans wanting an attacking brand of football, he certainly ticks that box,” Sutton told The Monday Night Club on BBC 5 Live Sport.
“I think he has had so much to deal with, there has been a big overturn of players, and of course I suppose his biggest issue is that all Leeds fans are wanting to find the next Bielsa.
“But I think he’ll get them up this season, I really do. Just because of his knowledge of the Championship, his nous, his know-how and the way he sets his teams up. So I think Leeds have done well to appoint him.”
It may be too soon to compare Farke with Bielsa given the latter’s enduring legacy at the club, but there is no doubt that were Farke to lead the Whites to an immediate return to the top-flight this season he would write his name in the club’s lengthy history books.
The attention for now, however, should be on tomorrow evening’s fixture with league strugglers Stoke – with another three points for Leeds being crucial to putting further pressure on the sides currently occupying the league’s automatic promotion spots above them.