So, it’s back to square one again after Saturday.
After finally gaining that first win against Watford before the international break you hoped we could go to Southampton and build on it.
Southampton were still below us in the table and winless themselves so at the very least you’re thinking a point will be more than good enough because you don’t want to go there and lose the game.
But lose is what we did, and to be brutally honest, we never looked like taking anything from the game. The closest we came was the one chance for Dan James while being frank, Southampton created enough decent chances to have won more comfortably than the scoreline suggests.
The problems are glaringly obvious as well. We have no replacement for Kalvin Phillips, no one with the quality of Raphinha, and no one who even looks like scoring like Paddy Bamford. Without one of those, we have a problem, but when we’re without all three…
Pascal Struijk has filled in for Kalvin before without any joy and while Jack Harrison and Dan James have their moments, they don’t have the quality to unlock teams that Raphinha has. And, up front, for all he works hard, Rodrigo is simply not going to score the goals even if we do manage to create some decent chances.
Joe Geldhart came on late in the game, but he wasn’t going to influence it by that stage. I’d have liked to have seen him on earlier or even considered for a start now. The lad has done well in the 23s, he’s been banging in the goals, and IF he gets the service, who knows what could he do in the first team? He must feel like he’s earned his chance.
The fact that we didn’t have a single shot on target at Southampton sums things up for us and I felt for the fans who travelled down yesterday. They sounded fantastic as always, but after missing out on that great first season back because of the pandemic, I do feel for them so far this season. The fans must be caught in between two stools – delighted that we’re back in the Premier League after so long, but also frustration at what they’re seeing.
What yesterday’s result has done is pile on the pressure for the next two games, against Wolves at Elland Road and then down at Norwich. I say that because we need some decent points on the board by the time we get to what will be a very tough end to the year in terms of fixtures. The Arsenal cup tie in between should be used as an opportunity to give the young lads an opportunity to stake a claim. Cup runs are nice, but we’re in a position where the league is now the only thing that matters and getting that right.
Gambling isn’t a word that any of us like, but Leeds and Marcelo may have to start thinking of a roll of the dice in January in terms of squad strengthening because the depth just doesn’t seem to be there.
For what it’s worth, and as half-empty as you might think my glass is today, I don’t subscribe to the view that we could be on our way back to the Championship. I think there’s worse teams out there and we should have enough to keep above them. We just have to find a way to start showing that.
So, it’s back to square one again after Saturday.
6 thoughts on “Southampton v Leeds Review Oct21”
I have had a number of discussions both in person and online with fans since saturday and there is a such a mixed set of feelings out there. I know that that performance has to be ranked right up there as one of (if not) the worst since Bielsa has been in charge but we have to look at it for what it was. It was a game where we were missing our Main Striker, our main CDM, our first choice LB, our (arguably) world class brazilian winger and one of our international CB’s.
I have heard people say the squad is too thin and i agree, on that showing you have to agree but it’s the way Bielsa wants it. He wants the young lads getting chances rather than experienced established premier league players sat on the bench. That injury list is one that not many other clubs other than the top 4 could really cope with. Some people have said look at the City Squad, Pep can keep them all happy but can he? Look at the Sterling situation. They have the luxury of longer cup runs and european football. Which established quality premier league players are going to come to leeds without assurances that they will play, knowing full well Bielsa only utilises a small squad.
I am still in the (we will be fine) camp. We play better football than most of the bottom half of the table. We have quality in areas that will hurt teams once the team is at full strength. If we had lost that with a full strength side, this reply would have a totally different tone. I have to be positive because i invest so much both emotionally and financially supporting leeds, i can’t see the point of looking at the worse case scenario just yet. We are only 8 games into a 38 game premier league season remember.
I picked up my Arsenal tickets from a fellow fan who went to Southampton and he said he experienced a lot of discontent in the stands which resulted in isolated breakouts of fighting between ourselves. I can see why this might happen on social media because a lot of fans on those platforms are not fortunate enough to see all the games in person and react to what they see (on limited highlight reels) or hear on the radio. No one can say the lads don’t give everything, we are just coming up short time and time again so far this season.
Next up are Wolves who looked dead and buried at 2-0 while Villa were cruising, only for Wolves to snatch all three points after some shocking defending let them back in. Wolves are not the side they were and will concede goals so i reckon we could be in for a goal fest on saturday where hopefully we come out on top with what would be a huge three points.
What are you thoughts guys? Remember we are all allowed an opinion
Having watched football for 57 years on Sat i watched a team devoid of team spirit and not happy .Body language was wrong from the very start . I think something has happened to seriously affect the togetherness of the squad . I wonder if Dallases “personal issues “ are a clue to this factor in the whole team ?
This team is playing like theres a dressing room problem. There is little cohesion and no fight. They played pre bielsa championship kick and charge football which is a worry for me.
This problem in the dressing room talk baffles me. There was no such talk after the Watford game? And while other performances haven’t been great, this idea hasn’t been there.
I think it’s safe to say that talk of dressing room issues and being devoid of team spirit after saturday’s game vs Wolves looks like people jumping the gun. Yes we all know it was a poor showing and probably the worst since Bielsa took control but we aren’t giving Southampton any credit. They had a game plan and executed it perfectly against a squad of players missing 5/6 key individuals meaning we were playing players out of position to cope with the game.
I was fortunate enough to be there this saturday vs Wolves and i saw now issues with “team spirit” or dressing room unrest. I saw a team that ran themselves and their opponent into the ground to show to the fans in the ground and the millions watching or listening that Southampton was a blib and one not to be repeated.