When the Leeds players slumped to the ground after the second half collapse in the second leg of the playoff semi final against Derby County at Elland Road. One player became the focus of many fans frustrations, the ‘keyboard warriors’ particularly. His name was Patrick Bamford.
The ‘posh lad’ Leeds signed from Middlesborough for seven million pounds was seen by many as giving a lacklustre performance in the game and many pointed at the fact that if Kemar Roofe the only goalscorer in the first leg at Pride Park had played the result may have been very different.
Patrick had a tough start to his Leeds career, he missed much of it through injury and also didn’t get a full pre season under Marcelo Bielsa. If Kemar Roofe was fit he would play, which left Bamford on the sidelines for periods. He (Bamford) still managed to score ten goals and two assists in twenty four appearances during the 2018/19 season.
With a full preseason under his belt and with Kemar Roofe transferred to Anderlect the likeable striker set about scoring sixteen goals and four assists in forty five Championship appearances for United in the title winning side.
He could and really should have got to the magical figure of twenty but in some games, luck just wasn’t on his side or he just lacked the composure at the final moment. Whatever his failings were he was still Leeds top scorer for 2019/20.
Marcelo Bielsa steadfastly stood by his number nine despite bringing in on loan Eddie Nketiah from Arsenal. Despite a the young striker getting goals either as a starter in Carabao Cup games against Salford City, Stoke City and impressing and scoring when introduced as a substitute.
The joy and embrace of Pat by Bielsa when Bamford scored a goal in training and at the celebrations after Huddersfield Town had beaten West Brom to guarantee Leeds promotion was clear for all to see.
With United promoted, once again doubts were raised that the striker could do it at a higher level. Once again Mr Bamford stook two large fingers at those who questioned his ability to put the ball into the onion bag.
So far he’s netted against Liverpool, Fulham, Sheffield United and became a Hat-trick Bamford with all three goals against Aston Villa at Villa Park.
He was also involved in one of the biggest debates in the season so far when his goal at Crystal Palace was ruled out by VAR. His crime was to point to where he wanted the ball playing by Mat Klich, his outstretched arm was judged offside despite many in the game saying that this system currently being used is bloody ridiculous!
Bamford wasn’t downhearted and scored Leeds’ goal in the 4-1 defeat at Selhurst Park.
The striker has even been watched by England manager Gareth Southgate but as yet has not been picked for the England international squad. All Pat can do is continue to do what he’s doing... scoring goals.
Well done Bambinho; you’ve answered a lot of questions and proved many people wrong.
By Keith Ingham