I've given a few hours of thought on how to post this commentary and to be honest, I'm still not quite sure how to piece this together tactfully. First off, Leeds defeated Chester City 5-2 in the first round of Carling Cup on the strength of three goals from Jermaine Beckford. And while some might be ready to strike up the band and start the parade, the match left me very unsettled and barely able to squeeze out a passing grade.
Respectfully, Chester City is a club going through a very difficult period. This past weekend they started the campaign off by being completely thrashed 6-0 from the newly promoted Dagenham & Redbridge. There is no way to get around a 6-0 demolition and the club is facing an uphill battle to respectability. Going into the match I was expecting many common errors of a derailed club and the first half performance certainly validated it. However before this turns into a review of Chester City, let me also state that their manager Simon Davies, did a superb job at half and were the better club in the final forty-five minutes.
From the Leeds perspective, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but I'm not going to get to excited about beating a club that looks like headed for Conference. As we all know, Leeds has been touted as the odds-on favourite to win the League title, however if they are going to make a serious run at promotion there are a lot of areas that need to be cleaned-up fast. It's possible I should temper my commentary, as it is only one match but I have to say that numerous players seemed over-confident and primed to get knocked down a peg or two. Once again, with respect to Chester City, against a better club, the result would have been tremendously different and a Championship club would have made a meal of this. Should they draw a Premier League club in the next round, if they were to play with the same lack of discipline, it would be very humbling experience for the club.
First and foremost, I'm almost positive we still play this on a pitch and not a playground where its "me" against "everyone else". The announcing crew for the match started to even make jokes of how open Luciano Becchio was and yet his teammates could never make the wise decision to pass to him for the easy score. His rich Boca Juniors pedigree showed as he moved correctly to the open spot time after time only to see countless opportunities to score disappear because of the lack of offensive discipline and vision. As I have said in the past because of his early training he understands the inner workings of movement on the pitch at an entirely different level and needs to be used to utmost ability. However more importantly, the general undisciplined approach to passing and tactical knowledge will cost dearly and while Gary McAllister might have been smiling after the match, I can assure you, that in-private he will have a great deal to say to the squad. In the midfield Fabian Delph continues to impress and as I have said on numerous occasions, he is ready to be in the starting grid. However it should also be noted a upper tier club would be very wise to be calling Leeds and find out just how firm they really are with their "no-one for sale" comments. As it relates to Robert Snodgrass beyond his obvious brilliance on the pitch, I'm actually annoyed that SPL clubs weren't lining-up to sign this young talent. Not yet twenty-one, he is showing all the makings of a big-time talent in only his second match for Leeds. Defensively it was a sloppy, lethargic match across the back line and I'm hopeful Paul Telfer was saved for the upcoming league match because of this.
Its time to shore up these weaknesses and playing winning Football.