Last night was bitterly disappointing for us all. I was hoping to see more than I did from Leeds, especially at Elland Road for the first time this season as well.
I know Marcelo made 11 changes, and for any team making that amount it is always difficult. There were some young players who got opportunities but the experienced players who came in didn’t do enough to merit a result. It was all a bit lacklustre I thought.
The new boy Rodrigo seemed to struggle. He cost £27m and that seems a lot of money for a player who hasn’t score a lot of goals. Last season he scored seven in 34 appearances for Valencia and he’s not going to get you 20 goals a season. His best return was 19 a couple of seasons ago. Given that he hasn’t been the most prolific goal scorer on a regular basis, he’s going to have to get up and running quickly and make an impact. I would expect Patrick Bamford to be the first-choice striker again, but if you’re signing a player for £27m, he has to be a player who you want in the team and is playing every week. You don’t pay that money to sit him on the bench. What worries me is that if Patrick doesn’t score, you have to wonder where the goals are going to come from.
Poveda was the one for me who showed a few glimpses last night. He has a good attitude and tried to make things happen, while a lot of the others struggled to show anything really.
It’s still difficult with no fans mind. One of the attractions for Rodrigo will have been the Leeds fans and a bouncing Elland Road, and it’s difficult when you don’t have that and come up against a lower league side who have just come down want to show something. It was also difficult with all the changes to show any continuity from Liverpool at the weekend.
Hull made it difficult – the striker Malik Wilks who is ex-Leeds – caused too many problems. He was physically stronger than the Leeds centre-backs, and they struggled against his strength and pace. That’ll be something they need to adapt to quickly. You look at your more experienced players like Casillas, Roberts, Douglas and you want more from them. Obviously Alioski got his goal and we all know what he what he brings, but you need more consistency. It was a great finish but is he reliable enough to play every week?
I think there are concerns defensively, but in fairness to the four of them from last night they’ve probably never played together before as a unit, and they won’t have a lot of experience.
It begs the question…Did we blood too many young players or was it a game where Bielsa wasn’t overly concerned with and would rather concentrate on staying in the Premier League? That said, he didn’t look happy afterwards and he’ll know it’s all about standards, and if we want to do well in the Premier League we have to be better.
What is clear from last night is that we’re definitely missing a few experienced players around the place, and hopefully that will change over the next few weeks because that experience will be vital this season.