This summer Leeds United keept largely the same squad and the same manager. The idea was that we would improve and make up the little gap that we need to to achieve automatic promotion. Ignoring the fact our form after Christmas last season was mid table, do we look a better side now then last season?
We've scored less goals (quite a lot less) but also conceded less then at this point last season and have exactly the same points total but have lost more games. The bottom line is that because of the way we have gone this season, minimum first team signings, we are relying on improvement from the same squad as last season.
The same squad that was top at Christmas, but also the same squad that collapsed in the way it did. Personally I think that any improvement will be minimal as I don't think this squad can be better then last season. Most of the squad played at their absolute limits last season and if anything I worry they may regress. Marcelo Bielsa even said himself that it would be very hard for the players who were here last season to repeat last seasons standards.
Phil Hay discussed this and he doesn't think we have improved enough, standards are still high but its not enough to dominate the league in the way we threatened to at times last season. Defensively more solid but the biggest worry is these second half issues, last season we got stronger as the game went on, this season we seem to get weaker. We have conceded almost all of our goals in the last 15 minutes. All sense of composure and plan has gone missing a few times this season in the second half; West Brom and Birmingham for example.
So have we improved? If so, will it be enough to bridge the automatic gap?
If not why not? Whats going wrong in the 2nd half?
Will we ever have a nice comfortable win ever again?
We are unquestionably better defensively. Ben White is a revelation, Kiko seems to have settled into his game, Dallas has been in the form of his life at right back, Cooper and Berardi have been solid. Alioski looks like becoming one of our main attacking outlets. Apart from the second half against Birmingham, we have been denying teams attacking chances around the box.
The attacking edge has gone, but it's possible to see reasons for this, and potential solutions; Costa and Nketiah getting game time and finding their feet, maybe Roberts settling in as a no 10. Even Bamford can't be out of form forever.
I think I saw a stats thing that showed every player has improved in key areas, so that ought to translate into results at some point.
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Defensively yes mainly due to Ben White & Stuart Dallas. Kiko is a better keeper too
If so, will it be enough to bridge the automatic gap?
Lack of goals are a major concern
So far to achieve points we've relied on :
4 goals from our full-backs
2 own goals
2 late goals from our kid sub Eddie
We need a lot of luck without injuries to key players which has already occurred six weeks into our season
If not why not?
Failure will be due to a threadbare squad
Injuries/suspensions.....lose White & Phillips would kill off any promotion hopes
No prolific striker
Not enough goals from our midfielders
January window will no doubt be a damp squib
Whats going wrong in the 2nd half?
Under pressure due to all the missed chances in the first 60/70 minutes
Will we ever have a nice comfortable win ever again?
Yes but it will be a rarity
We certainly look a more solid team defensively, but not as frightening, we’ll be in the mix for the autos, but should be further ahead than that. Can Ben white and Phillips play 46 games? I’d there came a day when we miss the two of them I think we would be a lot weaker, the two most important players in the squad, hopefully Pablo can put himself back into that bracket again. Surely it’s only a matter of time before we see the Costa that terrorised the championship before, we are so close to being that team that walks the league
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Mainly because four of our "signings" have no place on the system or will just warm the bench.
Costa not a good fit
Clarke nuff said
Eddie not a good fit yet.
The loan keeper will just de a bench warmer unless Kiko gets a ban or is injured
Harrison a few green shoots this last few weeks but still way off where he needs to be creatively.
Klich not as creative but he plays better with Pablo around imo
Roberts finding his way back but still not the playmaker MB wants. He never will be. He is a centre forward being ruined by this system.
Bamford in front of goal.
Players playing out if position means two things, they wont improve their primary skills enough and they will be more mistake prone. We need excellence at best we have competence.
Dallas as CM
Berra as CM
Douglas should have a choke chain on him once he crosses the halfway line.
Attacking set pieces.
Coop as captain.
MB announcing the team too early.
Not enough goals in the team, which cant change without a personal change.
Our energy our high pressing is so hard to cope with.We defend as a team too, much better than last season.
Kiko looks more sold.
Dallas as RB or WB
Forshaw as CM.
I think all our games will go the same way right through the season.
Lots of chances
Plenty of 1-0s going either way meaning we probably make top 6.
'I am quite clear in my mind that one has to feel sincere love for those he leads, and if he doesn't feel it naturally, then he must learn how to feel it' Marcelo Bielsa
'Would he kill his granny to win a match?' Bobby Collins