Much of what went wrong at Birmingham is firmly on the pitch. All in all, I think Leeds were uncomfortable in the first-half with the system adjusted to accommodate their front 2. The major difference being Kalvin playing in the back line, this fed into problems in other areas on the pitch. Without delving into the nuances of chaos theory of what might have happened the other way, I largely feel this was the right system to play today, given the presence of Jutkiewicz and Adams.
Further, Garry Monk did well to neutralise the threat of Pablo and he is obviously advantaged by having coached many of these players during his time at Leeds. But there are still major improvements Leeds must address to remain competitive in this promotion race.
Clarke sub- This is more basic, in the early phases of the game Leeds found their best success getting in behind Birmingham’s full backs. At half-time, might it have been better to bring on a more pro-active winger like Jack Clarke to attack them head on?
Pablo dropping– This is something I have begun to notice in recent games. When Leeds start to struggle, Pablo moves to play on the half way line and dictate the play in front of him. This should be the role of a ball-playing centre back or holding midfielder like Kalvin Phillips with Pablo being an option for their distribution. This has happened in the past and I can’t help but feel Adam Forshaw may be re-introduced as he found much success doing this against Derby at home for example.
Bamford Positioning- I do doubt that Bamford will start the next game, Kemar had a run-out today and he was probably touch and go at kick off so the risk wasn’t taken. However, Leeds struggled today with Bamford not dropping deep to be an extra option to receive and link-up play in between the midfield and defensive line. During Leeds’ best spell this season, Kemar would regularly do this even if it meant that we didn’t have a striker playing on the defensive line. With the sole central striker not coming to participate in build-up play, you end up leaving Klich isolated as the only option in a fairly sizeable space on the pitch, this makes it hard for Klich to involve himself and/or drag space for others to operate as he does so well.