Alan Smith has outlined consistency with team selection as one of the key reasons why Leeds United have struggled in the Premier League this season.
Leeds sit 15th in the table and have collected 22 points from 21 games. It leaves them seven points above the relegation zone at this stage.
Injuries have played a big part in Leeds’ struggle, with Patrick Bamford, Kalvin Phillips and Liam Cooper amongst those currently out of the side.
That’s something that former Leeds striker, Smith, has outlined in a rare interview discussing his boyhood club with Offers Bet.
“I just think it’s the injuries to key players. Marcelo has never been a manager who likes to change his players, even if they have played 30 odd games in the year, he will still try and play the same team.
“He likes that consistency. I think that’s one thing that has been against him this season, that he’s not been able to do that. And those injuries have been to a lot of their key players, their key performers who have been injured for long periods of time, and that’s been the biggest difficulty. And the second season is always tough.”
Leeds aren’t in action until next Wednesday when they take on Aston Villa at Villa Park.
That’s swiftly followed by a trip to Everton and homes clashes with Manchester United and Tottenham.
Leeds will be hoping to recover a handful of players that missed their defeat to Newcastle United.
You don’t often hear from Smith, but he’s obviously keeping an eye on things at Elland Road.
His point is a really valid one when it comes to the consistency of team selections and how it has impacted Leeds’ form.
Marcelo Bielsa in his first couple of seasons never liked to make too many changes – think Mateusz Klich nearly playing 100 consecutive games in the Championship.
He’s not been able to do that at all this season in the Premier League and it’s been a major problem.
Once we start seeing that consistency with a spine of Meslier, Llorente, Phillips, Klich and Bamford, things will pick up again and Leeds will start building on the points they chipped away at so far.