Leading Psychotherapist claims 'something has gone wrong' at Elland Road

06 Feb 2020 09:06 am, by Ellandback1

Good Morning. It's Thursday 6th February and here are the latest headlines from Elland Road...

Ten men Leeds knocked out of FA Youth Cup by Manchester United

Mark Jackson's U18's were knocked out of the FA Youth Cup at the hands of Manchester United at Old Trafford, but only after the Whites had gone down to 10 men. Henry Kumwenda’s sending off on the hour mark was the turning point as the reds of Manchester begun to dominate. The only goal of the game came shortly afterwards when Dillon Hoogewerf bundled the ball over the line. Many Leeds players received positive reviews, especially 17 year old Stuart McKinstry who many saw as man of the match.

Can Bamford be held to blame?

We are all aware of Patrick Bamfords shortcomings, but what do the stats say?

Most shots off target this season: Patrick Bamford (53)
Most headed shots off target this season: Patrick Bamford (23)
Most 'big chances' missed this season: Patrick Bamford (20)

I cannot remember a time that Bielsa has dropped a player, unless he was injured. Even during Bamfords barron spell of not finding the back of the net in 10 games, Bielsa still refused to allow to give Nketiah a starting position. How long will it be until Augustin gets his chance? Yes, Augustin is rusty, but the 22 year old needs minutes under his belt if he is going to shake the cobwebs off!

Is Bamford becoming a scapegoat? He's our lone man going forward, he fulfils defensive duties and he is always vastly outnumbered by opposition shirts when in the penalty box!

Why aren't other players queing up in the 12 yard box as much as opposition players do? Compare Bamfords contributions to Ben White? The on loan central defender from Brighton has made a host of mistakes in the last month, yet few would dream of criticizing him!

Leading Psychotherapist claims 'something significant has gone wrong' at Elland Road

Leading Sports Psychotherapist and TalkSport host Gary Bloom believes the mental pressures of promotion are already beginning to tell at Elland Road. Psychotherapy is defined as treatment that helps people to overcome stress, emotional and relationship problems or troublesome habits.

Does it work?

Since joining Oxford United 18 months ago, the 'boys from up the hill' (what a great nickname that is) have risen from bottom of the table to promotion hopefuls! Bloom believes there are psychological issues that are preventing Leeds from getting what their play deserves.

There’s a great saying my trainer said to me, that once is an accident, twice is a co-incidence and three times is a message. We’ve had 18 games now where the same pattern of football arises. If you’re playing 18 games of football and the same thing happens, you have 30-plus chances per game and you are only getting a strike percentage of five per cent, something significant has gone wrong.

I would say there’s a collective disbelief inside the team that this is going to be fixed. We’re doing the same thing over and over again. Something has to change. As human beings, if the same thing happens over and over again, we somehow have an innate belief it’s going to happen again.

There’s no rhyme nor reason why Leeds can’t take 10 or 15 chances in a game, but there’s an inner belief that’s not going to happen. I would be wanting to know why [Patrick] Bamford takes 20 chances to score one or two. Look at how many times he only scores when his team are winning.

A much more worrying and deep-seated issue is that every season we don’t go up, the collective will of the fans at Elland Road becomes more and more frustrated, creating a greater pressure on the team.

Unless you have individuals able to lead in difficult situations and ride out some really difficult psychological issues and unless you have someone in the club who can instruct them how to do that, why would you expect something different? The FA reckons there are four pillars of what it takes to be a great footballer. One is technical, one is how fit you are and we know Leeds is one of the fittest teams, the third is tactical, and I think we have some of the highest tactical play I’ve ever seen at Elland Road and the fourth one is psychological. We’re only playing at 75 per cent, that’s our maximum. Those psychological issues are never dealt with.

Could I solve the problems at Elland Road? I’d need a manager like I’ve got at Oxford in Karl Robinson who says get on with it,” he said. “That means being in the dressing room at 2.55pm, it means access all areas. Bielsa ain’t going to do that. He might be one of the best managers Leeds have ever had, but he has an iron grip.

View all Showing latest five comments of fifteen...

SaraM wrote on 06 Feb 2020 12:56 pm

As a psychotherapist I can tell you that it's 98% snake oil. Therapy is generally still very bound in 19th century notions of causality and biological essentialism. The human mind just ain't like that - in fact, the 'mind' isn't really a thing at all, in the objectified sense.

The word psychotherapy actually means 'attending to the soul'. Bielsa may not employ sports psychologists like the mighty Karl Robinson, but he has an innate sympathy with the soul of football, and, I believe, with the spirit of Leeds United. I don't think anything has gone 'drastically wrong' with either, we simply need to put the ball in the net.

rab_rant wrote on 06 Feb 2020 12:47 pm

Ellandback1 wrote: Next thing you'll be telling me that you don't believe in the Witches curse around Elland Road...

Don Revie's achievements at Leeds have often been overshadowed by the team he built's reputation for hard play. That the team was gilded with skill, stamina and glorious passages of play has been forgotten in the chants of 'Dirty Leeds' that even to this day haunt the current crop of has-beens and journeymen as they toil ineffectually away in the middle reaches of the Championship table.

But Revie was also a supremely superstitious man. Before every match he took the exact same route to the dugout. He feared ornamental elephants and - more famously - birds. He removed the club's famous old peacock from the badge and forbid any bird motifs or images from Elland Road. Before matches, the team would undergo a number of rituals - including innocuous but strange games of carpet bowls - and wore a blue suit to every game.

In 1971, his team enduring a mild slump in form and seemingly suffering from happenstance, he became convinced that the ground itself had been cursed by a gypsy. Where this belief came from is uncertain, but that year he sought the assistance of a 'witch' from Scarborough to rid the ground of its evil blessing. Tales abound that the ground was situated on a gypsy cemetery, or had been cursed when gypsies were refused entry to the city.

Whether there was ever actually a curse and whether the supposed witch helped to remove its spell, Revie's Leeds failed to win the league that year, having headed it for almost all of the season.
when you believe in things that you don't understand then you suffer.. very superstitious.


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mothbanquet wrote on 06 Feb 2020 12:29 pm

Irish Ian wrote: Thu Feb 06, 2020 10:47 am Part 2.

Bamford isn’t the only one struggling in front of goal but Wigan was 4 days after Millwall, so surely his confidence should have been supercharged. But he still looked off.

He will start tomorrow but the two wingers will need to produce more end product.

Ogy seems to have signed for WBA
Good points. Bamford, for a confidence/form striker doesn't really go on streaks even after he's bagged a couple, which sort of means he's not that sort of scorer. I'm sympathetic to the fact that he does a lot of all round play to help the team but when the rest of the team isn't scoring the buck stops with the man at the front.

Costa really needs to fine tune his aim, he's wasting so much of his great and improving build up play denting the woodwork. Harrison might fluff chances but he does get most of his shots on target at least.

I keep going back to Big Kev but I honestly believe once he's ready he'll give us much more going forward. He can battle, hold up play but has already shown he can run the channels and use both pace and power to get and stay ahead of defenders.

BGwhite wrote on 06 Feb 2020 11:16 am

If you're good enough you will succeed.. if not then you won't.
If you can't handle the heat get out of the kitchen.
No amount of psyco-analysis will make players overcome their fears or inabilities, this game is about confidence but when the results keep going against you that confidence ebbs away . Our forwards in general are just rubbish at the one thing that wins football matches... putting the ball in the net.
That is the top and bottom of it no more no less.

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faaip wrote on 06 Feb 2020 11:12 am

mothbanquet wrote: Thu Feb 06, 2020 9:51 am An interesting perspective, though I'm a bit suspicious that this psychotherapist's analysis boils down to 'this manager wins because he let's me do what I want and this one doesn't because he wouldn't let me do what I want'. It's strange because he makes good points, then subtly self-advertises, giving the whole statement the feel of a YouTube ad.

In any case while I do think some of our current issues are psychological, no amount of therapy is going to fix incorrect calls by officials or unfortuitous ball physics, all of which will grind down a player's confidence just as much as individual errors.

Bamford has lost my faith - not irrevocably, mind you - but I still trust in Bielsa's judgement at this time. Big Kev is getting minutes with the U23's which is a known prerequisite for getting up to speed and into the first team. Having one rule for one and one for another and treating Kev like a Hollywood star would only cause resentment among teammates. All our injured players have to do it too. Someone said they'd rather have an unfit JKA over a fit Bamford, well you won't be saying that if Kev goes on the pitch in these (reasonably) high stakes matches, underperforms and then you've got two misfiring strikers instead of one.

It also scares me that people have such short memories. Doesn't anyone recall that Nketiah was due to start but got injured days before? Or does that fact interfere with the whole Stubborn Bielsa narrative? Then there's the fact that while he made an initial impact, once Championship defenders got wise to Eddie he became far less effective. Time to move on from that episode and put it to rest.

Well done to the young lads. Ref favouring Scum as usual from what I understand and I'm not surprised to hear Cresswell doing so well. In Kev's first 45 his shot on goal came from a Cresswell long ball that Kev suggested he have a pop at moments before. The beginnings of a beautiful partnership perhaps? (Sorry Sara)
Cresswell should be our 23's captain in pretty short order...Superbly captained the 18's against what should have been much superior opposition