Early goal sinks Leeds

01 Mar 2021 09:05 am, by Ellandback1


Good Morning. Its Monday 1st March, and here are the latest headlines from Elland Road...


Early goal sinks Leeds

Aston Villa picked up their first away win against Leeds since December 2000 on Saturday, ending a run of six without victory at Elland Road. With Leeds midfield decimated, Bielsa partnered Roberts and an injured Klich in the middle of the park. Costa was given a chance to impress the gaffer following recent notable performances whilst Raphinha occupied the right wing. Struijk was sent on midfield defensive duties.

Anwar El Ghazi, a player well known by Marcelo Bielsa from their time at Lille got the decisive strike after just 5 minutes. Ollie Watkins whipped cross found the Dutch International in space having lost his marker (Costa). Although his first touch was terrible, he recovered and fired the ball between Meslier's legs to score the only goal of the game. Even though Leeds dominated the game with almost 70 percent possession, they were unable to find the finishing touch.

Rodrigo, Phillips, Shackleton, Forshaw and Poveda were all missing from the Leeds Utd midfield, yet the commentator was oblivious, obsessed in the fact that Dean Smith was without Grealish as mentioned on over fifteen times over the game.





Why hasn't Klich been dropped

We can cut Klich a bit of slack for his recent performances over the last couple of weeks. The 30yo Polish International has been suffering with a hip injury since the Arsenal fixture. However, his displays over recent months have been way under par, yet his name appears on the starting team sheet, week in, week out! Why hasn't Bielsa dropped him? How does this affect the rest of the squad wanting an opportunity to impress the Manager? Surely, if a player is not performing, you drop him to give a chance to someone else. Sometimes its the fairest thing to do. It gives the player time to regroup, find his confidence, and recharge his batteries!





Set pieces costing Leeds

The Whites have shipped 19 goals from set-pieces so far this season, more than any other team in the top flight. Whilst Leeds offensive play will keep them in the top flight this term, you can't help but worry that since Bielsa's arrival at Elland Road almost three years ago set pieces have always been a major contributor to leaking goals. The Argentine has worked miracles since taking the reigns in 2018, but whilst we obviously recognise his many strengths, we don't seem to identify and reinforce his weaknesses.




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CHAPELALLMAN wrote on 02 Mar 2021 09:09 pm

Byebyegeegee wrote: Tue Mar 02, 2021 6:38 pm Yes I can see that Chapel, for Bielsaball the system is everything. The problem is that some players are better than others at playing this system, not necessarily better players, just better at Bielsaball, which is why he likes to pick the same players for each game if he can, irrespective of results or form of individual players.

Unfortunately due to the number of key injuries he has not been able to follow this strategy much this season and whilst we are doing pretty well so far, it just makes you wonder where we’d be had we not had all those injuries.
Very true Byebye.

Byebyegeegee wrote on 02 Mar 2021 06:38 pm

CHAPELALLMAN wrote: Tue Mar 02, 2021 1:34 pm Byebye - I think that if one component of the system malfunctions then the whole system is prone to malfunctioning badly or even breaking down completely. I guess it's part and parcel of the concept of 'total football. ' Apparently MB was heavily influenced in his youth by the Dutch concept of ' total football. '
Yes I can see that Chapel, for Bielsaball the system is everything. The problem is that some players are better than others at playing this system, not necessarily better players, just better at Bielsaball, which is why he likes to pick the same players for each game if he can, irrespective of results or form of individual players.

Unfortunately due to the number of key injuries he has not been able to follow this strategy much this season and whilst we are doing pretty well so far, it just makes you wonder where we’d be had we not had all those injuries.

CHAPELALLMAN wrote on 02 Mar 2021 01:34 pm

Byebyegeegee wrote: Tue Mar 02, 2021 10:07 am Excellent discussion chaps (and Chapesses).

I suppose it’s true to say that there are “lies, damned lies and statistics”, as we all know they can be twisted any which way to confirm any hypothesis required.

My initial opinions are always based on the impression I form from watching a game, sometimes the stats back up my thoughts, sometimes they don’t.

The Klich debate is an interesting one in that my impression from watching the Villa game was that he didn’t play particularly well and I put that down to the absence of Phillips. Although there are statistics that apparently show no correlation between the two factors, my personal impression is that there is. I believe that it may be a sub-conscience thing on Klich’s part in that, when Phillips is not playing, he feels he needs to be slightly more defensive minded rather than, and to the detriment of, his more progressive attacking play. Then he is caught between two stools and can’t concentrate properly on his main role in the game.

Having said that I think it’s not just Klich’s performance that is affected by Phillips’s absence the system as a whole is compromised, so to sum up we need Phillips back and raring to go as soon as possible.
Byebye - I think that if one component of the system malfunctions then the whole system is prone to malfunctioning badly or even breaking down completely. I guess it's part and parcel of the concept of 'total football. ' Apparently MB was heavily influenced in his youth by the Dutch concept of ' total football. '

Byebyegeegee wrote on 02 Mar 2021 10:07 am

Excellent discussion chaps (and Chapesses).

I suppose it’s true to say that there are “lies, damned lies and statistics”, as we all know they can be twisted any which way to confirm any hypothesis required.

My initial opinions are always based on the impression I form from watching a game, sometimes the stats back up my thoughts, sometimes they don’t.

The Klich debate is an interesting one in that my impression from watching the Villa game was that he didn’t play particularly well and I put that down to the absence of Phillips. Although there are statistics that apparently show no correlation between the two factors, my personal impression is that there is. I believe that it may be a sub-conscience thing on Klich’s part in that, when Phillips is not playing, he feels he needs to be slightly more defensive minded rather than, and to the detriment of, his more progressive attacking play. Then he is caught between two stools and can’t concentrate properly on his main role in the game.

Having said that I think it’s not just Klich’s performance that is affected by Phillips’s absence the system as a whole is compromised, so to sum up we need Phillips back and raring to go as soon as possible.

CHAPELALLMAN wrote on 02 Mar 2021 09:53 am

mothbanquet wrote: Mon Mar 01, 2021 5:48 pm For all those who think stats are meaningless - They're not, they're precise accumulations of data showing effectiveness in clear quantifiable values. In the vast majority of cases they tell us exactly what is happening on the pitch.

For all those who think stats tell the whole story - They don't, there are many factors at play affecting those numbers and there are some areas of play that either don't have statistical values or cannot have statistical values.

With that in mind, we have match ratings to reflect a player's effectiveness that again, in most cases, accurately reflects what we see. I've spent a few quiet minutes (okay, more than a few) surfing whoscored.com to dig out some of these ratings. Mainly I wanted to see if Phillips's absence has a direct effect on Klich's form.

Now, the range of games I've picked isn't season-wide, I didn't have the time, but it's a decent sample size I think. But first of all here's a look at the current form table for our squad, consisting only of players who have had first team starts this season. I think this includes cup games so make of that what you will:

Image

Klich seems to rank pretty low. However, as we will see, it's not because he he's not capable of higher ratings. I don't buy the injury idea because if he's not fit to play or if it's dangerous to play then he won't be cleared to play, it's as simple as that. Is it because when he has an off-day he really has an off day? Or is it really that he contributes something that can't be displayed as a stat? How then can his performance be measured? What rating would you give him and why?

Looking at Klich's form specifically, I've taken it as far back as the first Wolves game and broken it down between ratings with and without Phillips in the squad - these are full games without Phillips.

Image

I was actually surprised to find there seems to be no direct effect Phillips has on Klich's game. It seems that no matter in what capacity Bielsa deploys him, Klich has good games, average games and poor games. I could see no pattern so I'm going to shelve that theory.

Now, let's put aside Klich for a moment and look at the ratings of a player I think we can all agree has had an immediate impact and plays consistently well:

Raphinha
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Now, it's evident that for some reason or another Klich isn't able to consistently be his usual dominant self. I can't see the club forcing him to play while injured, risking himself in the process. I also can't logically accept that he has been playing well, it's just been by some indefinable metric that fools us into thinking he's playing below par when he isn't.

His skill ceiling has been proven, rightly, in games such as Liverpool. But he hasn't been performing at that level for every or even most of his games. Players like Raphinha can perform consistently at a high, so why not Klich? I'm not questioning his ability, I'm questioning what is stopping him from doing this week in, week out. That's what separates the great players from the best. Is Klich capable of doing that in your eyes?
I think the answer is simple. Why aren't the Crawley players all PL performers given that they beat us 3-0 ? How could second division players beat Revie's greats to win the 1973 FA Cup? How could the 116th ranked tennis player knock out Federer in the second round at Wimbledon ? The fact is that sports people sometimes play out of their skins and way exceed their normal level of performance for short periods of time - especially when up against the best in their particular sport. It's no coincidence that Klich's ceiling this season was against the champions in the first match of the season.

Stakhovsky isn't considered to have been a top tennis player for a simple reason - he couldn't sustain that level of performance he achieved against Federer during that particular match consistently throughout his career.