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Football News: Current Thoughts On Leeds United

Current Thoughts On Leeds United
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Firstly, I would like to say how much I have been entertained by the football provided this season by Leeds United and feel proud to say that we were a force this season in the Championship. Unfortunately, last night was extremely disappointing, not in that we lost but in the way were the masters of our own downfall. Too many players did not raise their game to the required standards (particularly in the second half) and given the support that was on offer last night I find that criminal. Only Dallas and Shackleton IMO can truly hold their heads up high.

Whilst Hernandez legs had gone 6 games ago, I can forgive him for giving his all over the season. I cannot excuse Berardi for again succumbing to the red mist, Cooper and Casilla for letting the occasion get to them. My greatest derision however is reserved for Bamford. I have been an advocate for a player who I believe has talent but has struggled this season with injury, however last night I witnessed a sulky low energy/ effort from a player who owes this a club a performance. Lack of effort I will not excuse.

An autopsy of the season. I have enjoyed Bielsa's style of play but need to question some of his decision making;
In game management - Gung ho style is exciting to watch but sometimes a more pragmatic approach is what is called for. Last night, when down to 10 men, we continued to play the same way and left ourselves open time and time again. I remember back to the Forest game away when with 10 men and 2-1 up we continued to push for a third instead of trying to hold what we had got.
Squad size - Bielsa likes to keep a small squad which gives them faith that they are believed in by their manager and reduces the bad feeling with players who are not playing (in a larger squad) .

I have previously pointed out that faith was being put into a number of players who had poor injuries records prior to Bielsa's training regime being put in place. Jansson, Cooper, Roofe, Forshaw, Roberts, Berardi, Ayling, Hernandez, Dallas are players who have not given us a full season whilst at the club, coupled with Douglas (who I believe has not been fit all season) , Bamford (freak training injury) and Brown (signed whilst injured) have put ridiculous pressure on our limited resources.

No club in the Championship would be able to sustain a challenge with the amount of injures that we have had and it is a miracle we managed to come so close. I agree that it is not possible to account for all these injury problems but recent history suggested that we have injury prone players and were putting them through a more rigorous training regime and style of play, injuries were inevitable.

Squad rotation - Linked to the previous point, there has been little squad rotation which has led to key players i. e. Hernandez being burnt out for the last six games of the season, whilst players such as Shackleton have been under used.
January transfer window - To lose Saiz, Baker and only bring in a keeper was a massive mistake. I am not saying that Saiz and Baker were the answer but we needed the personnel. Whether this was Bielsa choosing or Radz limited budget still supported our downfall.

Spygate - Unfortunately it did have an affect on the squad and probably Bielsa. I love the fact he is a principled man but neither the footballing authorities, referees nor opposition are going to do us any favours therefore we are not obliged to name our team 3 days before a game in order to "make amends". No law was broken, we had nothing to be guilty about.
I do not believe that I have covered all the issues of this season.

Written by NottsWhite May 16 2019 16:02:20


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