The #LUFC Breakfast Debate (Wednesday 9th December)

Discussion in 'Leeds United' started by ellandback, Dec 9, 2020.

  1. ellandback

    ellandback Well-Known Member
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    perfect1.jpg

    Good Morning. It's Wednesday 9th December, and here are the latest headlines from Elland Road

    Bielsa not concerned by lack of depth in defence

    As Robin Koch prepares to go under the knife, which will keep the German International out of action until next Spring, Bielsa seems content to rely on players he already has at his disposal!

    Koch originally picked up the injury at Liverpool on the opening weekend of the season. Rob Price and his team have managed the injury for many weeks and Koch has been able to play 11 times in the Premier League, and three international appearances for Germany.

    Cooper's tenure at the club, along with his leadership skills will be enough for the Scottish International to to keep his starting slot his! Koch injury has coincided nicely with a return to fitness of Spanish International Llorente. The experienced 27yo endured a baptism of fire last weekend at Stamford Bridge, an appearance which will play a big part in his recovery.

    Both Kalvin Phillips and Pascal Struijk have both played centre back this season too.

    Talented youngsters, Cresswell, Casey and Drameh can all be counted upon if necessary

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    FIFA now involved in Augustin dispute

    Just when you thought the Augustin debacle was over, FIFA have got involved in the dispute between RB Leipzig and Leeds Utd over the Frenchman.

    The Bundesliga club believe they sold the former PSG hitman to the Whites in good faith. Leeds would have to part with 18m if they were to regain promotion. However, the paperwork states that Promotion would have had to take place by the end of June. Leeds will argue that the contract was void as the season had not finished by the end of June.

    After months of threats , the sport’s governing body has finally confirmed it has received a formal claim against the Elland Road outfit.

    A FIFA spokesperson told The Athletic: “FIFA can confirm that it has received a claim from RB Leipzig against Leeds United. The matter is currently still being investigated and consequently we cannot provide any further comments.”

    As neither club wanted the striker, they both provided written permission, relinquishing any claim to Augustin's registration allowing the 23yo to join French outfit Nantes.

    Last week Nantes made a statement saying Augustin would not be considered for their first team, until he got himself match fit!

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  2. ellandback

    ellandback Well-Known Member
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    Fantastic piece by Phil Hay

    Explaining Leeds’ weakness at corners and the risk Bielsa feels is worth taking

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    By Phil Hay 6h ago
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    One visit to Stamford Bridge was enough to understand why set pieces are a trick up Chelsea’s sleeve. The combination of quick movement, aerial dominance and a proficient corner-taker in Mason Mount conspires to strip away any margin of error for defences tasked with controlling them.

    Leeds United were always likely to be vulnerable to dead balls against Chelsea, because many Premier League teams are. The Londoners’ regimented organisation in those situations is clear to anyone who studies them closely and Kurt Zouma’s goal in Leeds’ 3-1 defeat on Saturday was one of four good chances thrown up for the home side by corners into the box.

    “We failed to neutralise them in this aspect,” Leeds head coach Marcelo Bielsa said. “In the end, it was an important factor.”

    Chelsea were superior in other areas of the game too — winning the midfield battle with the help of a clever performance from N’Golo Kante — but defensive set pieces have been a weakness for Bielsa at points throughout his time at Elland Road. The perception that dead balls find Leeds at their most brittle is backed up by the numbers and also by the confusion Chelsea succeeded in causing over the weekend.

    Almost 42 per cent of the 105 regular-season league goals conceded by Leeds on Bielsa’s watch have come from set pieces (although it should be recognised that 13 were penalties and largely unrelated to the way his team defend as a unit). Notably, 17 per cent of all of those goals were a direct result of corners, a total of 18 and a quarter of all the club’s 35 concessions in the Championship last season. Though Chelsea also had the class to outwit them in open play, not many sides can dominate Bielsa’s men in that fashion. An easier advantage can be gained through set-piece moves which exploit his method of marking at the back.

    As a whole, Leeds are not unduly defensively fragile under Bielsa (even though their goals-against tally in the Premier League stands at 20, with only fellow promoted sides Fulham and West Bromwich Albion conceding more). In his two-and-a-half years, they have conceded just over a goal per game but that stability is in no small part down to their control of possession and territory and a very high press when a match is in full flow. Bielsa’s mindset when it comes to defending well is that the opposition cannot score against you if they are in their own half. Quality attacking keeps Leeds tight at the back. He never prioritises height in his line-up and, as was seen when he moved Pontus Jansson out at the end of his first season in charge, he will readily take a ball-playing centre-half over an aerial aggressor. Leeds defend best by nurturing the ball, not the other way around.

    Smarterscout is a site which gives detailed analytics on players all over the world, producing a score between zero and 99, a bit like the player ratings in the FIFA video games but powered by real data and advanced analytics. This table provides an overview of how Bielsa’s squad perform in the air, compared to footballers who play the same position as them.

    As the analysis shows, Liam Cooper scores very highly as a centre-back but throughout the dressing room as a whole, Leeds are not built to win aerial duels. Their attributes are strongest in other areas and with a midfielder like Mateusz Klich, there is much more to be had from his bright interplay than his ability to negate set pieces.

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    The absence of overwhelming height — something Leeds built good form on when Jansson was partnered with fellow 6ft 4in centre-back Kyle Bartley in the 2016-17 season — is an obvious point of reference in any discussion about their management of set pieces (as the graphic confirms, Leeds are not an exceptionally strong side in the air) but there is considerably more to examine than that. Is the issue tactical? Are a high percentage of the errors individual? Or does a combination of factors expose Leeds to the marauding power of a Zouma or an Olivier Giroud?

    The first point to look at is the set-up Leeds use to defend corners (corners are the best example to analyse because Bielsa’s players do not ship regular goals from indirect free kicks or throw-ins, and penalties are less relevant again). It is well known that Bielsa goes man-for-man defensively, both in open play and from dead balls, but since the very start of his reign he has enforced some other principles at corners.

    One of his wingers or attacking midfielders will always position himself on the byline, as close as possible to the corner taker and ready to jump against the delivery. Raphinha had that job for most of the Chelsea match. This causes a distraction and a potential obstruction, although Leeds have only repelled one cross in that way all season, in October’s win at Aston Villa. It also puts Bielsa’s team in a position to counter-attack if the chance presents itself. As soon as the ball goes in, the man on the byline steps up quickly, ready to react to a turnover of possession.

    Bielsa, in keeping with his tactics as a whole, also tries to ensure that Leeds always have an extra man in their penalty area. This is usually Patrick Bamford, who occupies the ground by the near post and is almost zonal in the way that he looks to attack the dropping ball. He can be a good line of resistance and has weighed in with 11 clearances in the Premier League so far, more than Kalvin Phillips. If Bamford is off the field, his replacement centre-forward steps in. Back in Bielsa’s first year as head coach, the task fell to Kemar Roofe.

    When it comes to loading the box, a regular group of six faces are employed: Bamford, Phillips, Cooper, Luke Ayling, Robin Koch (or Diego Llorente, as it was for most of the clash at Stamford Bridge after the German’s early departure through injury) and whichever of Gjanni Alioski and Stuart Dallas is playing left-back.

    On rare occasions, Bielsa will have someone such as Jack Harrison on the goalline by the near post but he prefers to use a shield of bodies on the edge of the penalty area; for example, Harrison, Dallas and Klich in a relatively flat three. Everyone has orders on who to pick up. So, at Chelsea, Cooper took responsibility for marshalling Zouma and Koch started by tracking Giroud until Llorente replaced him after nine minutes.

    This still, from the Everton game the weekend before last, shows exactly how Leeds tend to set up:

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    Although Bamford’s presence can make a positive difference, his free role covers a small part of the grass in front of goalkeeper Illan Meslier. Elsewhere, Leeds’ man-marking has to be perfect and any lapses in concentration or collisions will leave them exposed. At the corner shown above and in the next image, Richarlison can be seen peeling away from Alioski as James Rodriguez’s corner arrives, poised to head the ball into the net. The effort was ruled out for offside but it highlights how a yard here and there (in this instance, given up by Alioski) can place Leeds in danger and with no one on hand to help, as a zonal defence might.

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    Twice in the first 10 minutes at Stamford Bridge, Giroud lost Koch and then Llorente with darting runs to the near post, something the France international does particularly skilfully. Mount made the most of his movement with corners which were perfectly on the money. In the second half, Zouma headed home unmarked after Cooper went down amid a tangle of legs (Giroud should have done likewise soon after when Llorente lost him again, but sent another corner over the crossbar).

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    Chelsea TV
    Zouma’s opportunity, aided by congestion six yards out, was similar to Virgil van Dijk’s goal for Liverpool on the first day of the season. Koch was blocked off on the penalty spot and Van Dijk stole away from him at close range (below). A fine second-half save by Meslier at Villa Park came after Ezri Konsa nipped in front of Ayling and met the ball on the volley. If Ayling could not stop Konsa, nobody else was in a position to pick up the slack. This is one of the risks Bielsa is prepared to take.

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    LFCTV
    Opponents appear to have worked out that a scramble of bodies as a corner delivery drops is an effective way of unsettling Leeds.

    Chelsea’s tactic of lining attacking players up behind one another, forcing Leeds to mass in the middle of their box, has been seen in previous matches too. The idea is that if attackers sprinting in all directions cause confusion and knock Leeds out of their shape, it will be difficult for them to recover.

    There are occasions when Bielsa’s players try to take matters into their own hands, like in this example away to Crystal Palace a month ago. Palace’s opener, credited to Scott Dann despite the ball coming off Koch’s head last, arose from a corner floated deep towards the middle of the penalty area. The following pictures show Cooper (No 6 — the rearmost defender) realising that Koch is unlikely to beat Dann to the first header and leaving his own man (Cheikhou Kouyate) in a bid to meet the ball himself. Cooper puts some pressure on Dann but arrives too late to prevent the goal.

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    In these set-piece routines, Meslier — a very impressive Premier League debutant so far at age 20 after taking over as first-choice late in the promotion season — is largely benign. There are some goalkeepers in the top flight, such as Newcastle United’s Karl Darlow and Alphonse Areola of Fulham, who attack crosses regularly but Meslier is rarely drawn off his line and has recorded just two catches and four punches in his 11 appearances this season.

    A greater responsibility lies with the players in front of him and the tightness of Leeds’ marking. Chelsea got the first touch to seven of their eight corners on Saturday and on the basis of that imbalance, conceding goals was inevitable.

    It could be argued Leeds’ shortcomings at set pieces are very much in line with the strengths of Bielsa’s team. They are at their most confident and most alive in open play and Chelsea were the first Premier League side to fully figure out their high press and regular attempts to cut through on the flanks. Picking Leeds apart in that way is never easy but from dead balls, the chances of profiting are much higher.

    Repelling them has never been Leeds’ forte under Bielsa and the chinks in the armour are there again as he and his side attack and defend in the only way they know how.
     
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  3. FORZA LEEDS

    FORZA LEEDS Well-Known Member

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    Morning,

    Ayling can also play CB, as he did in our best performance of the season to date, 3-0 at Villa.
     
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  4. ristac

    ristac Well-Known Member
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    Morning all...

    In regards to Augustin, if we have to pay the fee then how does that work with him playing for Nantes? Does he become our player again or would it be pay the transfer fee and be exempt from paying his wages.

    Defence - We got promoted and had a budget to improve the squad. We tried for Ben White and we ended up spending money on two Internationals from Germany and Spain.

    We have to have defenders comfortable playing the ball out from the back or our system won’t work. The longer we can stay in the division the better we’ll become as we start replacing the weaker ones in the team.

    Maybe some players have reached their limits on what they can achieve, against Chelsea you have an entire back four with a combined value of maybe £30m against an attacking unit valued somewhere around £300m

    You can’t expect our players to be better than their opposite number on an individual basis, that’s why they have to buy into the Bielsa way and play as a unit
     
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  5. Doc

    Doc Well-Known Member

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    Point 1 on Big Kev, Fifa are obliged to get involved if requested by any club.
    Point 2 Leipzig have told by their lawyers that they will find it hard to win in court so have gone to Fifa
    Point 2 Fifa did not get involved in the extending contracts thing when season was extended, by them not doing that it actually helps Leeds case
    Point 4 with Big Kevs new club also not allowing him to train with the first team because of his lack of fitness, also proves the case for Leeds
    Yes Fifa could take a different view but that can only lead to European court of arbitration for sport and I fancy Leeds winning

    The facts are all in the contract and because the month of June was mentioned specifically this kills the legal case because in June we had not been promoted and was not obliged to extend his contract until the season actually ended. Nobody in their right mind would pay £20m for a defective item and there is too much medical and analysis data available from Leeds which clearly shows Big Kevs stats getting worse as weeks went on and its still the same now a year later at his new club
     
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  6. 1964white

    1964white Well-Known Member

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    Ayling best performance of the season too, so much so I gave him 10/10

    There are few individual performances I have given top marks over the last few seasons

    Pontus, Pablo & Kalvin the others I think
     
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  7. Doc

    Doc Well-Known Member

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    A couple of points on potential January transfers, I believe there will be a midfield player to enhance the team for the rest of this season. I also believe that there is a shortlist of potential players in the summer, but all depends upon the progress of some players in the 23s.

    Striker - Sam Greenwood/ Joe Gelhardt
    AM - Joe Gelhardt/Shackelton/Gotts/Summerville
    DM - Nohan Kenneh
    CB - Casey/Dramah/Cresswell/
    RB - Dramah/Hosannah
    LB - Leif Davies/ Niall Huggins
     
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  8. Irishshako

    Irishshako Well-Known Member

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    Sorry if this is old news. We are live on BBC1 v Crawley in the cup...<party>
     
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  9. Emu

    Emu Well-Known Member

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    Afternoon @Doc .

    How is Summerville getting on? I thought he might even push Poveda out when he signed. Not heard much on the lad.
     
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  10. Emu

    Emu Well-Known Member

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    Cheers Shako. Didn't know that.
     
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  11. Irishshako

    Irishshako Well-Known Member

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    I've too much time on my hands:grin:
     
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  12. ellandback

    ellandback Well-Known Member
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    Llorente is out for 3 weeks - Bielsa
     
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  13. ellandback

    ellandback Well-Known Member
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    Struik it is then....
     
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  14. Irishshako

    Irishshako Well-Known Member

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    Feck off..<laugh>
     
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  15. ellandback

    ellandback Well-Known Member
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    Marcelo Bielsa names his Leeds United team to face West Ham on Friday night as Diego Llorente joins Robin Koch on the sideline
    Marcelo Bielsa has removed any doubt about his team selection for Leeds United's game against West Ham on Friday night by naming it two days before.
    STARTING PLACE - Rodrigo will return to the Leeds United line-up on Friday when they welcome West Ham to Elland Road. Pic: Getty
    Diego Llorente suffered a new muscle injury against Chelsea and sits out, along with fellow centre-half Robin Koch who had surgery yesterday and could miss around three months.


    Bielsa has responded to the injury situation in the centre of his defence by simply moving Luke Ayling into the middle to partner Liam Cooper, with Stuart Dallas at right-back and Gjanni Alioski at left-back.

    Record signing Rodrigo comes back into the starting XI to take the number 10 role

    Bielsa revealed his side after first suggesting either Ayling or Kalvin Phillips could play in the heart of the defence. He was asked if he wanted to keep West Ham guessing, but responded with the exact line-up he had planned.

    "Rodrigo Moreno is going to come in for Llorente and the 11 will be Meslier, Dallas, Ayling, Cooper, Alioski, Phillips, Klich, Moreno, Raphinha, Harrison, Bamford," he said.

    Llorente came back from a groin injury to make his Leeds debut off the bench at Chelsea on Saturday but appeared to pull up when tracking back in injury time to try and prevent Christian Pulisic scoring the hosts' third goal.

    "He has a muscular problem," said Bielsa.

    "We won't be able to count on him for at least two weeks but we will have to see how long it takes to cure. Perhaps it may last longer depending on his evolution - for sure at least two or three weeks we won't be able to count on him."

    With the January transfer window looming, another manager might be tempted to bolster his defensive options but Bielsa is content with what he has at the club already and revealed that Gaetano Berardi should have completed his rehabilitation from knee surgery by February.

    "[Koch's] surgery went well, the length of his absence depends on the evolution but he's likely to be out for around three months," said the Whites head coach.

    "Of course it's a shame to miss him for such a long period but during a season it's normal for injuries like this to happen to a team.


    "In the game against Aston Villa Ayling played a very good game at centre-half and in the game against Liverpool Pascal [Struijk] played as a centre-back and had a very good game. In the Championship Phillips also played there and adapted to this role. We're not thinking of the possibility of bringing another centre-back into the team. Apart from that we also expect to count on Berardi from February."

    Both Pablo Hernandez and Jamie Shackleton are available for selection after muscle problems, although neither are in peak condition Bielsa added.

    "Shackleton and Pablo whilst they don't have the rhythm we would like, they are healthy and available."
     
    #15
  16. ellandback

    ellandback Well-Known Member
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  17. Irishshako

    Irishshako Well-Known Member

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    FFS <doh>
     
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  18. ellandback

    ellandback Well-Known Member
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    Starting XI released


    Meslier
    Dallas
    Ayling
    Cooper
    Alioski
    Phillips
    Klich
    Raphinha
    Harrison
    Rodrigo
    Bamford
     
    #18
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  19. ellandback

    ellandback Well-Known Member
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    I cant believe he's given Rodrigo a start
     
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  20. Irishshako

    Irishshako Well-Known Member

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    I just got off the phone to him Elland. I told him that our resident 606 experts were questioning his team selections. I think he must have listened.:grin:
     
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