Leeds sack Garcia after 12 games, appoint relegation specialist Allardyce

In a dramatic change of events, Leeds United have sacked manager Javi Garcia after only 12 matches in charge. Garcia will hand over the reins of the Whites to Sam Allardyce for the remaining four Premier League matches.

The writing was on the wall for Garcia as Leeds continued their downward spiral under his tutelage. Four losses and a draw in April saw the Spaniard relieved of the managerial duties at Elland Road. It was a sad end to a promising start that saw them register three wins and a draw in his first six matches in charge.

The Knight in shining armour

With nothing ticking for the Whites and an embarrassing 23 goals conceded in April, the Leeds hierarchy decided to cut their losses short. They have replaced him with Sam Allardyce, who has been tasked to ensure Premier League security.

“Leeds United can confirm Javi Gracia will leave the club after 12 games in charge. Zigor Aranalde, Mikel Antia and Juan Solla, who joined alongside Gracia, will also leave the club.

“We thank Javi and his team for their efforts under difficult circumstances. The remaining four games of the season will be overseen by experienced head coach Sam Allardyce.

“Allardyce has managed over 500 Premier League games in a managerial career stretching 29 years and he brings a wealth of knowledge in fighting for survival, having guided a number of his previous clubs to safety.”

Allardyce did not think twice

The former Bolton, Newcastle, West Ham and England manager has been without a job since 2021 and will be Leeds’ third manager of the campaign. Allardyce admitted to being shocked at receiving the call to replace Garcia but did not think twice about taking responsibility.

“[I was] shocked, I never thought at this, at this stage of the season, there would be jobs offered.

“When the phone popped up with a name that I knew pretty well, I knew who it was straight away. So it took me about two seconds to say yes.

“Karl Robinson [joins]. And hopefully following will be another member of staff, maybe a bit more. We don’t know yet, but certainly Karl at this moment in time.”

Leeds are in a lot of trouble

With four matches remaining until the curtain is drawn on the 2022/23 Premier League campaign, Leeds sit just outside the relegation slots. They are one point ahead of 19th-placed Everton and equal in points with 18th-placed Nottingham. Leicester City are in a similar quandary.

Allardyce admitted that the task at hand is difficult and ideally, he would have liked more time to secure their passage to security. However, he is optimistic at turning the ship around and ensure Premier League action continues at Elland Road in the coming campaign.

“I’m stood here in my office overlooking the training ground, the fabulous facilities here at Leeds, excited to be involved again,” the 68-year-old commented.

“Obviously there’s a tingle that runs through your veins when you take over a football club.

“I know it’s in a lot of trouble. I’ve seen a lot of trouble before and hopefully – I could have done a little bit more time, but four games – hopefully we can make a difference and keep this fabulous club in the Premier League.”

Leeds have a tough run in the final weeks of the campaign. They take on the challenge of Manchester City, with matches against Newcastle, West Ham and Tottenham on the horizon.

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