Gelhardt saves the day
25 Oct 2021 08:04 am, by Ellandback1
Good Morning. It's Monday 25th October, and here are the latest headlines from Elland Road…
Gelhardt saves the day
Leeds came from behind to grab a share of the spoils, during a tense encounter at Elland Road on Saturday. It was a far more spirited performance from the Whites, a display that showed the World, that West Yorkshire's finest were not just going to buckle, and let nature take its course.
Leeds went behind on ten minutes. Semado was attacking down the right wing. He skipped past the despairing challenge from Harrison, and rolled the ball to Jimenez on the edge of the box. The veteran Mexican International took a touch before taking aim. His effort was thwarted by a combination of blocks from Shackleton, Struijk and Llorente, yet the ball bobbled kindly in front of Hwang Hee-Chan. The South Korean International, on loan from German outfit Leipzig grabbed his fourth goal in as many games. Meslier had no chance!
To their credit, Leeds dominated both possession, and efforts at goal, but only shared the same number of shots on target (4). As the clock ticked by, it looked increasingly likely that Bruno Lage's team would seal another smash and grab against Bielsa's boys; but the 36,000 screaming home fans weren't ready to give up on their team.
With fifteen minutes remaining, Bielsa finally conceded to popular demand and bought Gelhardt on. His instant arrival turned the game firmly in Leeds favour. They finally had a square peg in a square hole, and Jolly was keen to show the Leeds faithful what they had been missing this season. Being in the right place at the right time isn't luck as the 19yo proved during his fifteen minute cameo appearance. He forced a finger tip save from Sa, with another worthy effort going just wide.
Deep into injury time, the hosts were finally rewarded for their hard work. Gelhardt picked the ball up 40 yards from goal, and carved the visitors wide open. His surging run into the Wolves penalty area was only interrupted when sent sprawling following a mistimed challenge by a Wolves defender. The referee had no option but to point to the Penalty spot, from which Rodrigo duly converted.
The last-gasp equaliser felt more like a win, but football is rarely fair. The Whites will need to continue to show not just passion, but a gritty resolve to stop the rot, and claw their way to safety.
Should Bielsa be beyond reproach
It would be fair to say that Tyler Roberts receives more than his fair share of criticism, but how much of it is actually justified? The 22yo was a January signing nearly four years ago, during which time he has made 87 appearances and has netted eight times. The majority of his displays have come from the bench, which can make it difficult to play catch up and make an impact on the game, which is where the problem magnifies.
His half-time arrival sparked moans and groans from social media, as we saw the Welsh International once again going through the motions. Is he a bad player - No, he's more than competent, but there's no end product! He isn't the right player to bring on from a losing position, yet we see these almost robotic substitution's week in week out.
Nobody can criticise what Bielsa has achieved during his three-year reign. Even at the ripe old age of 66, the Argentine continuous to be rated a legendary coach by his peers; this being the case, why is his Managerial decisions so questionable? It's well documented that he will only play one way, insists on a skeleton squad, will play square pegs in round holes and makes very questionable substitutions. Whilst we got away with it in our first season back in the top flight, opposing Managers have found a way to counter his tactics.
Is Bielsa the right man to guide Leeds away from the drop zone, or is it time to change? Why is it that so many feel the Argentine is beyond reproach?
Equaliser - A shot in the arm for Rodrigo
Rodrigo's injury time equaliser from twelve yards should be a 'shot in the arm' for Rodrigo. Leeds 30m record signing finally found the back of the net after fluffing his lines in his previous eight appearances. Though the striker isn't recognised as being a goalscorer, the hope is, he will rediscover his finishing touch that was so instrumental during the final third of last season. According to Phil Hay…
It should be. Just what was needed and if that doesn’t give Rodrigo a shot in the arm, nothing will. I’ve never seen Elland Road celebrate a result in October like that. A big moment.
The Leeds journalist went on to compliment the 36,000 fans roaring Leeds on!
I know Elland Road has to change and expand but I’ll miss the 36,000 capacity bear pit. I can’t be bothered getting into the ‘one ground is better than another’ debate but ER is so unlike a lot of other stadiums. So raw and so intense. Malice at the Palace.