Spurs v Leeds

I think Luke Ayling summed it up well after the Tottenham game when he said that if someone had offered us six points from the three games in the week we’d have taken that.

Beating Burnley and West Brom (particularly in the way we did) were massively important, especially because we also kept two clean sheets in the process. I know, I harp on about clean sheets, but I’m a defender remember. It’s what we like to see.

Tottenham was always going to be the toughest of the three and in the event it panned out in exactly the same way as some of our games against the top sides have gone. With Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min we were playing against two of the best strikers in the Premier League and we got a bit found out. We pushed on as we tend to do, got caught and ended up losing 3-0.

It’s clear from what Marcelo has said that he isn’t going to vary his approach to any great extent when coming up against teams and players who can really hurt us, and given everything he has done for Leeds and what he continues to do, you can’t argue with him. He has his beliefs and principles, and they have taken the club from the wilderness of the Championship to a mid-table position in the Premier League with a template of some of the most entertaining football we’ve ever seen.

You look at the table now and, barring any disasters, I think we can already look forward to Premier League football again next season which, when you first come up, is always the biggest priority, and is a success. Some of the entertainment has been a bonus and even though we’re only halfway through the season, it’s safe to say, it’s been an amazing return to the top division for the club.

The January transfer window is now open and it will be interesting to see if Marcelo adds to his squad. January is a terrible window for clubs because prices are hiked up and agents can demand more for their players (usually because the clubs looking to do business have an urgent priority to buy) and it wouldn’t surprise me if the club take the view that they don’t feel the need to do any real business unless there are any real good deals out there.

The big thing for me now is looking towards next season and how Leeds can kick on. Like the games against Leicester and Man United, the Tottenham one was another where there is a lot of be learned for the future. Leeds will want to kick on and rightly so, and the next stage of that, will be learning from the games this season where we have come up against top players with pace and not dealt with the threat, and left ourselves too exposed at times. Tottenham was another lesson in that respect.

1 thought on “Spurs v Leeds – 2nd Jan 21”

  1. Excellent review of the game. For me i felt that we had enough of the game and some key chances to get the goal we so desperately needed. Due to the risk and reward type of football we will undoubtedly play for the remainder of the season, we will concede possession in crucial areas and almost certainly unavoidable goals.

    I would say two of the goals we could have avoided, the first being the wayward pass from young Ilan which enticed Alioski into a rash challenge albeit on the edge of the area. We shouldn’t really argue with that after he got away with the possible penalty and chalked of goal against Burnley.

    The third goal was a case of deja vu. We need to figure out a way of stopping us from conceding from corners and set play. Every team will look for their opponents weakness and this is ultimately ours. Watching the replay, Bamford could do much better and the goal could be avoided. Then look at the way the ball trickles over the line and you can’t help wonder on another day if Messlier saves that and keeps hold of the ball.

    Finally on the subject of Messlier, i have seen a lot written on social media about giving him a rest. I am a huge fan of his. I don’t rate Kiko and after watching some of the championship games from the previous season including that Semi Final against Derby, it’s not hard to see that his fellow teammates have little confidence in him. We will not be going out to get a new keeper when it’s clear we need to invest in other areas (not for the rest of this season anyways) The way Messlier has been asked to play is to suit the system and the teams philosophy. While ever Bielsa continues to insist on playing the way we do. Messlier will continue to be put under more pressure than some of the other more protected keepers in this league.

    For me, i say let’s continue to entertain and get as many points as we can. Even when we know mathematically we are safe, i just can’t see a change in the way we prepare for games and its that i am looking forward to seeing. Imagine coming up against a Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United team that no longer has to worry about relegation. We will continue to be entertaining and after some of the drab matches i have watched this season i for one can’t wait to be entertained.

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