Leeds United fell to their first defeat last night in a horrendous home loss to Preston North End.
The Whites were knocked out of cup by a side who has struggled to gain any form this season. Why did we lose? Our team wasn’t good enough.
New head coach Marcelo Bielsa has made it clear than there is only Plan A and he has continued to use the same squad when possible during the star of the season to reinforce his agenda; only seeing glimpses of his squad when making substitutions to relieve tired legs.
When these players come in like Bamford, Baker, Roberts, Shackleton and Harrison; you can see that the ‘Bielsa Ball’ is still in effect and that the players are able to adapt to those tactics.
However, in Tuesdays loss they were not. Eight changes were made to the team that dominated Norwich and the likes of Roberts, Pearce, Dallas et al were given the chance to impress. Long story short; they didn’t.
Defensive frailties remain and a lack of other options on the wing or some dynamism that doesn’t include the likes of Saiz, Alioski and Hernandez loom over the club more than the stench of Peter Ridsdale, who showed his horrid face at the ground yesterday.
Deadline day is soon approaching and if Leeds are to continuing with the form they have set the league alight with; the club should reconsider making moves before the wait for January causes a giant detriment to the team.
A defensive backup is needed should the likes of Jansson, Berardi or Cooper be injured or suspended. Yes, Ayling and Phillips can okay there, but they’re needed heavily in their own respective positions for the style we play and Shaughnessy showed that he’s got a lot of learning to do to challenge for a spot.
Along with an improvement in defence; Leeds should look towards at stacking player who can slot into the Saiz livewire show when called upon.
The Championship is a long and congested fixture list and if we want to keep getting the same productivity from the Spaniard; he needs someone to share the work.
A player talented enough to play central or on either wing would allow Leeds to use the likes of Alioski, Harrison and Hernandez to fill that void or take the place himself.
Football is a squad game and if Leeds want to continue pressing teams to death; they better make sure they have enough bodies come September 1st.
By Ryan Ingham