Perspective required after Millwall defeat
07 Oct 2019 10:46am, by YorkshireSquare
Defeat to Millwall over the weekend saw Leeds United slide to fifth in the Championship, their lowest league position ever under Marcelo Bielsa. It’s been a tough season so far, teams are playing an anti-football to curb our dominance and we have not been clinical enough up front. There is no doubt the red card and penalty changed the game massively and both were horrendous decisions, but we did nothing to help ourselves in that first half. We gifted the ball away in our own half, wingers running the ball out of play and giving silly free kicks away around the box. All the things you don't do when you are down to ten men.
But the response was there second half, we looked like the team with more men on the pitch and the early goal gave hope. We may not have pushed on for the win but there is no need to panic just yet, certainly room for concern but not yet panic. We have always done rubbish at Millwall so no change there, it is the other matches we need to focus on. For some reason teams become bogey sides, in the 80s and 90s we seem to always struggle against Oldham and Barnsley and for whatever reason it seemed like no matter how these teams were performing the rest of the year they put in their best performance against us.
A couple of weeks ago the whole attention seemed to be on our home form whilst the away form was brilliant and people were saying we found it easier playing away. A couple of lethargic away performances where we have created very little and it shows that the knee jerk reactions were based on too small a sample size. We have only really had two poor performances this season, Charlton and Millwall yet how different it might have been yesterday if we had VAR. At Charlton might it have been different if the ball hadn't rebounded into the net of a Charlton player who knew nothing about it?
We also need not forget the West Brom performance too. We showed a backbone in that game and also did it under a lot of pressure having previously squandered points at Elland Road. Maybe this time the international break has come at a good time for us. A couple of injured players might be fit for our next game and players such as Roberts and Ayling can have a couple of weeks to really get back up to full fitness. Hopefully Berardi's red is overturned or we can have Ayling partner White with Dallas back in at right back so there is only the one change to the previously settled defence.
Some fans seem to expect us to win every single game and win them comfortably too. Yet the same fans will lay into all the players after a defeat claiming they aren't good enough - yet still expect those players to win every game with ease. It’s fair to say we are not far ahead of any other teams ability wise. We have several starting players that would probably just get on the bench at some of our rival clubs. But we have a team that under the guidance of Bielsa is far exceeding the level it should.
Last year Derby had three players that are now all playing, and doing well, in the Premiership and yet we outclassed them due to Bielsa in three out of four matches. We have our deficiencies but we have to learn to accept those and stop expecting to win every single match. We are still, after all, doing better than Norwich were this time last season. It does look like this season will be a rollercoaster ride and not the smooth sailing it should have been but let's strap ourselves in and let the torture continue! No one said winning promotion was going to be easy.