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.