Good Morning. It's Thursday 21st October, and here are the latest headlines from Elland Road
Roberts isn’t making a concerted impact
'Roberts isn't playing well', 'he isn't making a concerted impact' and 'Leeds don't get a lot from him'! These are the words from Leeds Utd journalist Phil Hay discussing everyone's favourite scapegoat!
Roberts isn’t playing well but I was making the point on the podcast recently that the attention on him seems to be ignoring the fact that numerous other players aren’t playing well. Granted, some of them have much more credit in the bank than Roberts but still, I do feel like we get bogged down in Roberts chat. The same with Cooper from time to time.
At the same time, Roberts isn’t making a concerted impact. That’s not in dispute. He can be quite effective in helping Leeds progress up the field but in a purely attacking sense, they don’t get a lot from him.
Do you think Tyler Roberts is playing well or is he a scapegoat? Does he offer enough creativity and end product or should we be looking more at the big money signings such as Rodrigo to deliver. Roberts can be a frustrating player, he shows moments of brilliance but more often than not he is not quick enough with his decision making for the Premier League. There is a good footballer there, can he make that final step to become a great one?
There's nothing wrong with Leeds fitness
Leeds may have appeared sluggish, especially in pre-season, but as we know perception can be deceiving. Recent data shows that Leeds have covered more ground than any other team in the top fight. Interestingly, one player who stands out in the Premiership is Jack Harrison. When distance and speed were calculated across the top flight, it was revealed that the Leeds winger would run the distance of a marathon in circa 363 minutes! In their first seven games this season, Leeds have run over 18 marathons as a team (764km).
Not only do they cover the most distance, but their anaerobic stamina (quick bursts of energy like sprints) are 21% more efficient than second place Southampton. We know there's nothing wrong with the fitness of Bielsa's squad, and reassuringly, their anaerobic levels have not dropped either. Where are Leeds going wrong this season? We can't blame it all on injuries!
Next two matches are crucial
Phil Hay believes Leeds are going to be heavily reliant on their big guns over the next few games, and has stressed the importance of not losing to Wolves or Norwich. Whilst the Canaries are in free fall, Bruno Lage's team have hit a rich vain of form with three wins in a row, including coming back from 2-0 down to win at Villa Park with three goals in the last ten minutes! According to Hay...
I do feel like they’ll be fine this season but I’m not sure there’s been a time under Bielsa when this squad were more reliant on their most key men. There was very little way of changing that game on Saturday and when you’re in a spot of bother, that’s far from ideal. They need to make something of these next two matches.