The needless takes this morning have been nothing short of pointless. Automatic promotion has made it’s leap out the window but the Play-Offs are still very much a possibility. Defeatism from here helps nobody. You can wait 4 weeks to talk about whatever big changes do or don’t need to happen for next year. But for now:
Two (Three) Team Changes
Simply, Phillips in for Forshaw. Roofe in for Bamford. The team performance has dropped with these two out the squad. It’s unclear if Roofe is fully-fit but his attacking presence has outweighed Bamford all season and Leeds have been wasteful with Bamford at number 9. To be harsh, he has simply cost us a significant number of points. Roofe is the man for the Play-Offs. Phillips going off at half-time against Wigan was a strange one. Leeds lost that game at the end of the first half, there was a lapse in concentration and Wigan’s admittedly very impressive wide players took full advantage. The chances he creates would have offered a much better solution, yesterday and friday, but we shall see what Bielsa decides to go with in due course. Not to mention defensively, where Kalvin has excelled all year. The amount of goals we’ve conceded with players stepping out and opposition attackers finding free space in behind has been genuinely laughable. Slack.
With Alioski out, Dallas starts left-back. This has forced Bielsa’s hand somewhat, but I think the instruction needs to be to the wingers now (who we presume will be Harrison and Pablo). (This instruction is primarily for Harrison as Pablo does tend to seek out a route inside more often that not), stop attempting have-a-go crosses. Leeds don’t have the presence in the box to attack them properly. Roberts and Roofe have both shown they are more than capable of playing in tighter spaces, and they need to be fed more to their feet in the box. Championship level centre-backs are physical, not technical, they are programmed to head and hoof.
By and large, the problem has been finishing chances. No tactical change can sort this out. The onus is now on Leeds to find themselves again, the team that routinely played teams off the park is still very much there. The team that walked out against West Brom at home would absolutely walk the play-offs