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Leeds must recover from consecutive defeats but the bubble has by no means burst

It’s the traditional narrative – newly promoted side start with a spring in their step, produce a shock or two then get brought back down to earth.

So clearly the men from west Yorkshire read the script having suffered back-to-back 4-1 losses following a positive start.

The bubble has, evidently, burst – or has it?

Leicester and Crystal Palace, two established top flight sides, have comprehensively put Leeds away.

The Whites will point to mitigating factors – they hit the bar at 2-1 against the Foxes and a world without VAR would’ve allowed Patrick Bamford to equalise at Selhurst Park.

A bit of perspective needed perhaps, but Leeds were second best in both games so can’t begrudge either loss.

The problem Marcelo Bielsa and co have had from day one was managing expectations.

Leeds put in some impressive performances against the likes of Man City and Aston Villa

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Yes owner and chairman Andrea Radrizzani has spoken about his ambition of guiding Leeds into Europe, but make no mistake, this year’s remit is survival.

Bielsa’s principles means survival should be achieved in a more attractive way than we are used to seeing, but consolidation is consolidation.

Anyone who watched Leeds over the past two years knew there would be no compromising on the playing style.

And anyone who thought differently would’ve realised their error within the first 15 minutes of the team’s season opener at Anfield.

We got our first glimpse into how Leeds would perform against top tier opposition when they played Arsenal in the FA Cup back in January where they performed admirably, even causing some to question who was the Premier League side.

But eight games into the season and results have been mixed, there’s no doubting that, but sitting 15th with 10 points is by no means a disastrous start.

Yet there is a perception that Leeds are set to play the vast majority of teams off the park en route to a top half finish.

But the Whites have now lost consecutive games 4-1

Any game that is based on possession and playing out from the back is going to be thwart with issues and, therefore, will come unstuck every so often.

Leicester came to Elland Road and did a job on Leeds, but they play a similar style and are ultimately better at doing so with better players.

Results like that are going to happen – Bielsa will see his side ship four goals in a game several more times before the season is up, there’s no doubt about that.

But the process will always be paramount, which is why so many players from last season remain.

The team that earned an admirable draw against Manchester City featured just one summer signing while the XI that beat Aston Villa only included two new faces.

Bielsa has gone with a simple strategy that is based on winning more than they will lose, playing the same way every time.

The manner of their wins, such as the one at Villa Park, mean plaudits come flying in.

Whilst the nature of their losses, such as the one at Selhurst Park, mean the cynics can’t raise their voice quick enough.

Marcelo Bielsa will remain loyal to his principles

Leeds are not Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona reborn nor are they are they an incompetent side attempting to play a way that isn’t possible with their personnel.

I guess they’re somewhere in the middle, and that is probably where they will finish in the table – somewhere in the middle.

The absence of Kalvin Phillips remains a short-term issue whilst having the league’s joint worst defence is certainly a long-term issue.

They go hand in hand given the protection Phillips provides so getting him back to full fitness is crucial if they are to get back to winning ways.

But if you were a Leeds fan you’d be more than satisfied with what you’ve seen this year.

No promoted team comes up and has it all their own way, they have periods where they lose several games on the bounce.

The only people who think Leeds’ bubble has burst are those who set unrealistically high expectations.

Where will Leeds finish in the Premier League? Have your say here.

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