Leeds v Everton

After two wins on the bounce, I thought we were unfortunate not to take anything from the Everton game in midweek.

Everton did have the better of what was a lively first half, but I thought we were a lot better in the second and deserved a point at the very least. When you looked at their team and saw Jordan Pickford was out, you might have thought that was good news, but Robin Olsen came in and was the man of the match. That triple save he made in the second half was unbelievable and how he kept Leeds out I have no idea.

Patrick Bamford had another good game and I really do think he’s growing in stature more and more by the week. He was unfortunate not to get on the scoresheet again, but he’s winning his headers, a threat at set-pieces, and he’s showing his physical side. I said last week that he was showing more strings to his bow and the more and more I see of him, the more and more he shows what he has in his locker. It’s his first season in the Premier League, and I think we’ll see him get better and better. I know in my case, I was in my mid-20s before I really started to develop all the aspects of my own game, and that’s something that comes with experience and games played at that level.

If we were being picky, the concern about conceding from set-pieces is still there, but if you look at Liverpool, they’ve lost their last two home games – to Burnley and Brighton – after conceding from set-pieces so that shows it’s not an easy thing to address at all.

One thing that did surprise me a bit on Wednesday was listening to the commentators going on about Everton’s awful record at Elland Road in the Premier League. I only remember being on the winning side against them at once Leeds, and even then we nearly threw away a 3-0 lead with them scoring twice in the last few minutes. I also remember watching from the West Stand the last time they won here – I was injured – and saw a young Wayne Rooney score an absolute worldie of a goal in what must have been only his third or fourth game in the Premier League. Remembering that goal, it’s little surprise the career he went on to have.

Despite losing, there was a nice moment after the game when Marcelo Bielsa and Carlo Ancelotti embraced each other. It just showed again what some of the most decorated coaches and managers in the game think of Marcelo and the respect they hold him in. Nice touch on an unfortunate night I thought.

* Interesting to hear Jason Cundy’s words of wisdom on Leeds this week: “When you see them defend… it’s like a pub league!” Thanks for the input Jason, are you speaking from personal experience there?


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