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Another Weekend Debate

Discussion in 'Leeds United' started by Doc, Nov 26, 2021.

  1. 2 pennth

    2 pennth Well-Known Member

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    Come on leeds your fans need you
     
    #21
  2. Doc

    Doc Well-Known Member

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    Well that was gash and I can safely say for the first time Junior Firpo looked out of his depth. Southampton was dire and this was as bad. Passing was gash and if they had taken their chances we would have been routed 5-0, we were gash. At least we can count that as 1 point gained and not 2 points lost.

    Struijk should have started at LB, Joffy should have started at 9 with Rodrigo behind him. Why was James played instead of Joffy. Harrison wasteful again, James a bit pointless again and force Tyler Roberts wasnt the worst player on the pitch. Indeed Roberts shook it up a bit and had a couple of digs which for once were on target and he was unlucky not to score. So well done Tyler you were nowhere near the worst player tonight and probably better than Raphinha too.

    Gash
     
    #22
  3. ristac

    ristac Well-Known Member
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    I think the board need to sit down with Bielsa and ask the question “are you here next season or not”. If he is sign the contract so that the players have no doubt and then look at January transfers.

    If Bielsa says no or doesn’t want to commit yet I’d be sounding out his replacement with a view to getting him in place by January 1st

    My fear is if we have any transfer budget left Bielsa will have it blown on another expensive signing who is played out of position
     
    #23
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  4. Jammy 07

    Jammy 07 Well-Known Member

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    Why don't you just hit the panic button and be done with it.

    Not sure now is the time to suddenly start giving Bielsa ultimatums when we've done nothing but back him for 3 excellent seasons.
     
    #24
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  5. Eric Le Merde

    Eric Le Merde Well-Known Member

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    Just putting this out there. We were promoted and had a really good first season in the Premier League because we played and worked as a team. Since then some players have received significant attention for their individual performances and contribution. They could, perhaps, have begun to fell that they are somehow better than the other players and so we aren't a team anymore. If this is the case I personally would sell those players who feel that their individual skills outweigh the strength of a team performance.
     
    #25
  6. Doc

    Doc Well-Known Member

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    We still have 2 winnable games coming up and 7 points from 3 is better than a kick in the nuts. On the plus side we defended pretty well and got a clean sheet (if you forget the times they should have scored)
     
    #26
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  7. Infidel

    Infidel Well-Known Member

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    Bit harsh that WJ. <laugh>
    Question….. why does Sturgeon not attend the service of Rememberence in Whitehall, I put her in the same category as that useless twat Corbyn
     
    #27
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  8. Whitejock

    Whitejock Well-Known Member

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    Were any leaders of other countries invited?

    I have no idea if she was invited, but her reason for not attending was that she was leading her own country at the Scottish Service of Remembrance.

    https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/politics/nicola-sturgeon-marks-remembrance-sunday-25455019
     
    #28
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  9. ristac

    ristac Well-Known Member
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    We need some direction, what’s the point having Bielsa signings in January if he isn’t going to be here? Phillips and Raphinha rumours all building pace, I’m sure both of them would feel more settled if they knew Bielsa was remaining. We need to add some strength in January and I feel Bielsa has lost his way a little with signings
     
    #29
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  10. Doc

    Doc Well-Known Member

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    According to Bielsa Struijk wasnt fit for 90mins and why Firpo started who was also not fit for 90. The big question for me was why Joffy didnt start because he was guaranteed to make something happen in the first half and Dan James was gash, Joffy would have been better. Maybe Roberts best game of the season as he actually impacted the game
     
    #30
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  11. Jammy 07

    Jammy 07 Well-Known Member

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    Finishing 13th in the Championship after 15 years outside of the PL is when we needed direction.

    Now we need to keep the faith <ok>
     
    #31
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  12. wakeycentraloneleeds

    wakeycentraloneleeds Well-Known Member

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    Keep on banging the drum and maybe some will hear it. I can hear it loud and clear.
     
    #32
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  13. wakeycentraloneleeds

    wakeycentraloneleeds Well-Known Member

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    Because she attends in scotland.
     
    #33
  14. wakeycentraloneleeds

    wakeycentraloneleeds Well-Known Member

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    Raphinha for one.
     
    #34
  15. Doc

    Doc Well-Known Member

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    Some of the shine seems to have come off Marcelo Bielsa for some fans. In my view he has been brilliant, revolutionary, transformative and a wonderful human being. He has been the greatest thing to happen to this club for decades. He is seen by many people in football as a mentor, a teacher and a visionary.

    Being Marcelo isnt easy and because every move he makes is watched and dissected and then debated by some in the media, it seems many are too eager to kick him. I believe he as a person is a perfectionist. He is also a stubborn bloke who through his self belief finds it hard to accept he may be wrong on something. Think everyone is aware he is on the spectrum but thats why hes so brilliant at what he does.

    I think he has never played in as strong a league as the Premier League before. I think he assumed he could get by using the same policies and blueprints in the Prem as he has done everywhere else. I think his 18 man first team squad has been proven to be a mistake. I believe the number of serious injuries has damaged our season as we had no depth of first team players. I think he realises it but difficult to repair at this stage. I am hoping we can get 6 points from our next two games this coming week, and that should get us back on track before we go through that tough Xmas fixture list. He will hold his hand up at some stage but now isnt the time
     
    #35
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  16. ellandback

    ellandback Well-Known Member
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    Key injuries, problems down the left and no Bamford-style target: Why Leeds are struggling in attack

    please log in to view this image


    Where’s Patrick Bamford?

    The question they have been asking for weeks in Leeds was answered on Tuesday, when Leeds United teased a short social media video of Bamford and Robin Koch running through a training drill in the late autumn sunshine. Still alive then, and, to judge from the footage, almost ready to go again.

    More than two months have passed since Bamford strained ankle ligaments against Newcastle United. Even though the timeframe for recovering from an injury like his can be open-ended, everyone hoped his comeback would not take so long. But patience and the odd cryotherapy session are edging him back into the fray for the run-up to Christmas.

    His absence has become the focus of attention because the slow progress Leeds were making in the Premier League at the point when he was injured has not altered dramatically since then. The England international was the club’s established No 9 back in mid-September and nothing in the meantime has weakened his grip on a starting place, when fit, despite Joe Gelhardt filling in capably for Sunday’s 2-1 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur. A healthy Bamford starts, which has been the case for longer than Marcelo Bielsa can remember.

    Bamford is returning to a squad who have, both to the naked eye and statistically, been less of a powerhouse up front this season than they were in their first Premier League campaign a year ago. Averaging a goal a game is not what Bielsa is accustomed to and, set against a higher rate of concessions at the other end of the pitch, it makes Leeds susceptible to the results they have endured either side of Bamford’s injury.

    The 28-year-old is a very keen influence at Elland Road, the finisher in Bielsa’s pack, and the urge to see him hurry back is indicative of the fact that Bamford often equals goals. The terms of the new five-year contract he signed in August reflected Leeds’ confidence in him delivering 10 to 15 of them in a Premier League season.

    So what has happened to Bielsa’s attack?

    At a basic level, Leeds’ goals per game are down by 37 per cent this season and their expected goals calculation, excluding penalties, over 90 minutes is down by 25 per cent.

    Last season in the Premier League, they were sixth and fifth respectively in those areas of analysis, one of the division’s most dangerous teams going forward. At present, they rank 16th and 13th.

    That said, the decline in their xG number is not a wholly new phenomenon.

    This table explains how Leeds saw it sag in the second half of last term before picking up again on a run-in that saw them finish with four convincing wins in a row.

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    But is the task of remedying those numerical dips as simple as recalling a fit Bamford? Does his lengthy spell in the treatment room provide enough of an explanation for the change in Leeds’ attacking potency?

    The answer to that is both yes and no.

    Bamford played in their first five league fixtures this term and at the point where he was injured, Leeds were still to record a win. He scored just once in those games, away at Burnley in August, so it could not be said that Bielsa’s side were flying with him in it.

    But it is telling that, within Bielsa’s squad, Bamford has the highest individual expected goals number, higher even than five-goal top scorer Raphinha — this despite him missing the last seven league matches. However prolific he has been at finishing chances off, Bamford is better than anyone of the other options for the No 9 role at getting on the end of decent opportunities.

    There are also structural benefits to having Bamford in the team — his pressing, his ability to hold the ball in isolation and his habit of drifting between central areas and the wings — but it remains the case that, Raphinha aside, Leeds’ goals are most likely to come from Bamford.

    This piece will touch on Raphinha a little later but the Brazilian’s tally of five goals against an xG of 1.9 shows how far he has gone above and beyond in trying to drag Leeds forward. It is no surprise to see that Raphinha is a player who can make something out of nothing, but he is unlikely to continue scoring at that rate from similar chances.

    Aside from Bamford, analysis of Leeds’ attacking play shows some telling trends and contrasts with last season.

    One of the most apparent is down the left-hand side, where they have previously been very productive. For all that finishing under Bielsa has never been exactly deadly, Leeds have produced some astonishing numbers during his three and a half years as head coach.

    One fixture during his 2018-19 debut season — arguably the campaign when his squad were at their most adventurous — produced 45 crosses and 36 efforts on goal, albeit it ended in only a 1-0 win. Many of their performances speak of sheer unadulterated ambition.

    On their left flank, however, Leeds’ output has dropped significantly (see the graphic below).

    Regular chance creation from that area of the pitch last season has not been replicated to date in this one, and while the image of chances created in 2020-21 covers all 38 games, it is still apparent that in their 12 outings so far in 2021-22, penetration there is diminished.

    Jack Harrison looked reinvigorated at Spurs, hitting the gaps, going past the full-back in front of him and setting up Leeds’ goal for Dan James, but it is no secret that he has struggled for form since August and Bielsa touched on that himself a few weeks ago. Sunday, by a distance, was the winger’s best display of the season.

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    In Harrison’s defence, the left side of Bielsa’s team has experienced significant disruption in the past six months.

    Gjanni Alioski, a full-back Harrison had linked well with, left the club in the summer and his replacement, Junior Firpo, has been prevented from properly settling in by a combination of form, illness and injury. Bielsa recently turned to Pascal Struijk to fill in on the left side of his defence, to good effect, but the image above gives a vivid impression of Leeds failing to deliver in the same way.

    Looking at where chances created on Leeds’ left fall to other players, Harrison and others may be missing Bamford as a target in the box.

    A similar development can be seen down the right.

    Again, Bielsa has been forced into multiple changes on that flank, largely owing to injury. Luke Ayling, his regular right-back, has not played since the night Bamford was injured and Bielsa has alternated between Stuart Dallas and Jamie Shackleton to plug the gap. On Sunday, Diego Llorente had a go out there and took responsibility for harrying Son Heung-min. Leeds had good balance for 45 minutes, and were more of a handful down both flanks.

    What Ayling gives Bielsa at his best, though, is an overlapping style and a firm contribution to chance creation.

    Ayling was not in peak form before his knee injury but Shackleton, for instance, has an expected assists calculation of 0.1, showing how difficult he finds it to attack from right-back in a way that opens up defences. Bielsa gets more from Dallas in that respect but no right-back is more suited to Bielsa’s tactics than Ayling, and the past 18 months have also made a stronger case for keeping Dallas in the centre of midfield.

    Our next graphic shows where Bamford’s chances tend to fall to him, and how the ball often reaches him.

    At a glance, it is obvious that a huge amount of service arrives from the wings, rather than via passes through the middle, and much of it directly into the penalty area.

    Bamford might not be a truly prolific goalscorer but as our chart reveals, Leeds know how to find him at relatively close range and he knows where to look for the deliveries that are coming his way. A striker receiving possession in these positions is a big threat to the opposition and more likely to keep them on the back foot.

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    The picture is not the same for the other forwards in Bielsa’s squad.

    More of the efforts on goal come from longer distances and it is not as easy for Leeds to pick them out inside the opposition area. Leeds’ expected goals per shot ratio was the 11th highest in the Premier League last season but at a current tally of 0.08, they rank last in the league. That swing indicates efforts are increasingly coming from further out, with a lower percentage chance of finding the net.

    Raphinha (told you he’d be back) is relevant here because comparisons between his first year at Leeds and the first few months of this second season show he has switched from predominantly creating chances to shooting more himself — 3.8 efforts per 90 as opposed to 2.6 in 2020-21. This might be a response to the decrease in Leeds’ attacking threat, a desire to make something happen, and it goes some way to explaining why he is the team’s current top scorer.

    It is not that Raphinha’s creative touch has vanished but he is pushing himself on both fronts, striving to help Bielsa’s side force the issue.

    His determination is translating into displays that shadow those of many of the players around him, an irrepressible livewire in a team who, until the past few weeks, have lacked their usual spark.

    The only two players to appear for at least 500 minutes in the Premier League this season producing more shots per 90 than Raphinha are Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah and Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo — though it should be pointed out that his xG of 1.9 is lower than all of the names in this list below, indicating that his attempts on goal can be of lower quality.

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    The first 45 minutes at Tottenham reminded everyone that Leeds do not need Raphinha or Bamford to play well. They should simply be better again for having them available.

    That part of the game also raised hopes that Harrison is pushing through his dip and coming out the other side of it. He carried the ball more than 300 yards on Sunday, the second-best total on the pitch, and received 49 passes over the course of the game. A busy and industrious Harrison on the left flank has been a pillar in this team for the duration of Bielsa’s tenure, key to the strategy.

    All of the issues going forward would be helped by a stronger flow of confidence and latterly there has been evidence of it returning, individually and collectively.

    Form and disruption to Bielsa’s starting line-up are no doubt playing a part in the attacking downturn and, as Ayling said in an interview with The Athletic last week, it is possible that opposition teams are more tuned into Leeds’ style of play this season too.

    But there is no disguising the evidence which shows that they have regressed in an area where they have always been so strong — and no denying that it will take more than Bamford’s return for Leeds to hit full tilt.

    Reaching their old level is likely to be the difference between normal service resuming and the second half of their Premier League campaign testing everyone’s nerves.
     
    #36
  17. Emu

    Emu Well-Known Member

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    Bielsa has worked wonders. He is a great human being and a great coach. He gets Leeds and we get him. He's not beyond criticism but I feel we take alot of his stuff for granted now.

    The one criticism that I agree with is his reluctance to have a bigger squad at this level. We've suffered injuries and don't have the quality to replace them.

    However if we look at the last two games he got it spot on against Spurs and forced them to change tactics. He didn't have the quality on the bench to respond. Yesterday he got it wrong initially but changed it at half time and we were better 2nd half.

    I still wouldn't swap him for anyone else in the world. I think, like with Wilkinson, that we might just see the results of Bielsa in a few years time probably after he leaves when some of these kids become first team starters.
     
    #37
  18. Doc

    Doc Well-Known Member

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    Everyone talks up Raphinha and without doubt he a potential worldy but even he was pretty bad yesterday:


    RAPHINHA – 6.3/10
    Raphinha was brought back into the side but had an evening to forget. The influential winger was the Whites’ worst-rated performer with a rating of 6.3/10.
    He lost the ball a whopping 21 times, was second-best in eight of his 15 duels and completed just one of his five attempted dribbles.
    The Brazil winger also failed to register a shot on goal or complete a key pass, with nothing clicking for Leeds on the south coast


    JUNIOR FIRPO – 6.6/10
    Firpo was another man who was brought back in by Bielsa, but he had a torrid evening and was replaced at the interval. Booked early on, the Spaniard failed to cope with Tariq Lamptey, losing six of his 12 duels and committing four fouls.
    The left-back gave the ball away eight times in 45 minutes and failed to make a key pass going forward prior to his early withdrawal.

    JACK HARRISON – 6.6/10
    In front of Firpo was Harrison, who kept his place in the side following the defeat to Tottenham last time out but struggled. He lost eight of his 11 duels, gave the ball away on 19 occasions and made just one key pass all evening. Harrison also failed to complete any of his crosses and didn’t register a shot on goal, making it an evening to forget for the left-hand side.
     
    #38
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  19. ristac

    ristac Well-Known Member
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    How on earth did Firpo get a rating of 6.6? Did they have the strictly come dancing judges doing the score?

    Several times on Sky, the commentary team picked up on the fact that Raphinha was being double marked, he always had two men on him yesterday. If you get a chance to watch it back do so and just watch every time Raphinha was involved, it was very well disciplined by Brighton. This then annoys you more that two men on him means there is a space somewhere else on the field that we failed to exploit. BTW I agree he played poor but he had more of an excuse than the other two mentioned <ok>
     
    #39
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  20. ristac

    ristac Well-Known Member
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    Joffy - Bielsa obviously doesn’t trust him ahead of Roberts and even James is now ahead of him and with Bamford back in training I think we need to loan Joffy out in January but loan him to a club who intends on playing him.
     
    #40

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