March on Cancer

The scene is well and truly set for the weekend.

Everton started out with a win against Southampton and we, ahem, were on the wrong end of heavy scoreline across the Pennines in Stretford.

As I said straight after that game, there can be no negativity hangover going into the first home game of the season. Yes, we got beat 5-1 and it wasn’t how anyone envisaged starting the new campaign, but it’s done. In the past.

This week at Thorp Arch, Marcelo will have been pouring over the video and the stats from that game and looking at how we can improve. To all the laymen like me, we got mugged in midfield time and time again, but it’s never as cut and dried as that and he will have gone through everything with a fine-tooth comb.

The inclusion of Kalvin Phillips would obviously give everyone a huge lift and would give our midfield more solidity. Kalvin proved himself as one of the best talents in this country with his performances during the Euros and any team is better with him in it than having him watching from the bench.

It goes without saying that defensively we have to improve on that performance, and the potential return of Phillips could lead to changes being made at the back too with Robin Koch maybe in contention to play deeper after his sitting role last weekend.

It’s like I said after the game, one swallow doesn’t make a summer, but what is important is that we are able to take something positive from the Everton game on Saturday. A win is obviously the biggest thing, but simply getting a point on the board would be a starting point.

Let’s not kid ourselves, we had a fantastic first season back and the second one is always harder.

Junior Firpo is the big summer signing and it’ll be interesting to see how he settles in, and Jack Harrison’s move was made permanent at a sizeable cost, but the other incomings have all been players for the future which is a big part of Victor Orta’s recruitment strategy. Meslier was signed as ‘one for the future’ and look how he has turned out.

Whether we need to add more ready-made quality for this second season remains to be seen, but the fact is, that if you just want to open the tin and pour out a Premier League quality player you have to pay big bucks for it, and Leeds will have to be shrewd in any business they do. We all know what happens when you gamble or over-stretch. We’ve been there, got the t-shirt, and endured the pain.

There’s still a few weeks before the transfer window closes and things will become a bit clearer about where we are with the squad over the next couple of games.

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