The Whites look like finally clicking at both ends of the pitch under Daniel Farke and while it took two thirds of the game to deservedly break the deadlock against Watford on Saturday, a 3-0 win was a fair result.
Notching two assists for the first two goals was Dan James, who is seemingly enjoying his role under the new manager.
How is James getting on?
James returned to Thorp Arch in the summer off the back of a loan stint with mid-table Fulham in the Premier League, coming back to a relegated Leeds side with everything changing in the squad.
He’s been in and out of the squad thus far due to an early injury, with Leeds’ attacking depth arguably their strongest area on the pitch.
However, his two assists at the weekend brought James’ tally to four for the season after setting up Luke Ayling against West Brom and Joel Piroe against Millwall – seeing him top the assist chart.
Phil Hay comments on James influence
James would have been forgiven for being one of the players that wanted to leave in the summer, given how he was shipped out on loan to Craven Cottage on deadline day last season, seemingly against his own desires to stay put at Leeds.
The Athletic’s Phil Hay has commented on the Wales international’s current situation as he looks to flourish in the Championship.
Speaking on The Square Ball podcast, he said:
“A lower division in the way that it has to help Rutter, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if there was confidence issues there because it wasn’t a great move to Fulham and the way it was handled, I know that James wasn’t particularly pleased about.
“But I think what he did on Saturday was quite often what people accuse him of not doing, yes the running was there, sprinting, the counter attacking and the threat to defences on the basis he’s so quick he’s a real handful. The end product was there on top of it and not for the first time either.”
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Dropping into the Championship was always going to help James and others like Georginio Rutter, playing in a side where attacking qualities will be much more the focus than grinding out results.
James looked poor for large portions against Watford, it has to be said, but there also has to be a mention for the fact that he is constantly creating opportunities and the effort he puts in has meant he’s ended up creating the two goals that put us in the clear.
As much as I don’t see him as a starter when everyone is fit, I’m happy for him to prove me wrong with assists like that, especially with a very good corner to Sam Byram – something that everyone else in a Leeds shirt seems incapable of doing.