Is anyone else sat pinching themselves a bit here after watching yet another unbelievable game and performance? This might be sound a bold statement, but Saturday was one of THE best games I’ve seen in football for a long time. Both teams were going for it, playing some fantastic stuff, and it was fantastic to watch. I used to love playing in those conditions as well with the rain .The ball zipped about and both teams played the right way.
Man City started very fast and Leeds struggled to come to terms with that, but once they settled…wow. We were excellent. Alioski missed a great chance with a header before we had equalised, bit the overall way they turned the game from being absolutely dominated to then change things around was outstanding. It was like watching another team after half-an-hour. They stared doing the things they are used to doing.
When you first play a team like that after coming up you can be overawed, but once settled they did the basics well. We got hold of the ball, started playing the way we want to play, and it was very successful. I have to mention Kalvin Phillips again. He’s so balanced as a young player. At the moment his performances are outstanding. He’s not fazed by anything. He just gets better and better. He loves playing for Leeds, he gets it, he gets what it means because it’s his club, he gets that emotion, and it’s massive is that. He’s leading by example at the minute.
Once Coops settled he did well, alongside Koch, and Ayling’s man of the match award was fully deserved. Players like him and Dallas are such wholehearted players. They are both players who are looking to grab the opportunity to play in the Premier League by both hands. Rodrigo looked a different player in this game, and I thought he did well. Ederson made a mistake for the goal, but he also made an outstanding save. We again saw two great goalkeepers. I thought it would be a weakness for us this season, but Meslier is looking good. He reminds me a bit of Nigel Martyn. The only difference looks to be that Nigel probably talked a lot more, and that’s important because a lot of the organisation needs to come from the goalkeeper, especially when you play with a back three.
I’ll say it again, it was a brilliant game to watch, and it’s so sad the fans weren’t in the ground. Imagine if they’d have been inside Elland Road? 30-odd thousand Leeds fans feeding off the performance. Man City wouldn’t have known what had hit them. The crowd would have got us over the line. No doubt about that.
The way we are playing is so forward thinking. You saw the embrace between the two managers after the game and there was genuine warmth. It looked like the sorcerer and the apprentice. Even though Bielsa is the experienced one, I think he relished the challenge against Pep and Man City.
From City’s point of view, they need strengthening in some areas, particularly at left-back where I thought Mendy struggled and I don’t think he’s the answer. I’m sure they’ll identify that before the transfer window closes. They don’t have a lot of leaders out there, but you look at Leeds, and they have such a good rapport we each other. I got that impression when I spoke to Patrick Bamford last week and you can see it in games. They are all on the same page and know what they are doing.
It’s been great to watch so far, and it’s so refreshing to see Leeds play. Everyone is saying the same thing at the moment which is great, all the pundits and commentators. I don’t think teams have worked out how Leeds play yet – I know I haven’t myself with the way they interchange positions. We’re still a bit of an unknown, but the more results we get, the more teams will look deeper into it to try and find a weakness. We’ve dropped points against two of the best clubs in the country in Liverpool and Man City, and could have won both games. What a start.