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missed opportunities

Is this a early campaign habit or will it be a caption for the season? "Missed opportunities" has been the issue so far this season and today Leeds missed a glorious opportunity to put three points up. Maybe it's about time to put aside pre-season forecasts and "expert" opinions of automatic promotion because right-now Leeds is deserving of their mid-table position.

Gary McAllister altered the anemic attack with Luciano Brecchio being paired with Jermaine Beckford up top and it was immediately productive with the brilliant Argentine striker netting his first goal thirty seconds into the match. The goal stemmed off a heads-up pass from Rui Marques who volleyed the ball over the defenders and the aggressive Luciano quickly capitalized on the error for the lead. The score stood at that level till the sixty-second minute when Paul Warne was fouled by Paul Huntington and Dean Whitestone pointed to the spot. Lloyd Owusu stepped-up to the shot and after being saved by Casper Ankergren, he calmly took the rebound and deposited it into the back of the net. With the match now draw level, Leeds came undone. Jermaine Beckford received a yellow for whining (stop complaining - play the game and no, I don't care which squad you're on, you complain too voraciously and a card is deserving) and Yeovil came close to adding the go-ahead goal. With Leeds clearly tumbling out of sorts, Gary McAllister wisely moved to long-overdue 4-3-3 by bringing in Enoch Showunmi. This formation as well as a 4-4-2 "diamond" need to be standard issue with Leeds with simple instructions to push the attack forward with pace as opposed to the plain vanilla, stuck in the mud offense we now see. Leeds attack (finally) showed up (try not to be shocked) with this formation that emphasized their strong-suit and while they didn't capitalize, it was a sign-of-life in what should be goal scoring tirade of League One. Then with four minutes left, Fabian Delph, who should be in the starting grid, was introduced and the pace was obviously too much for Yeovil. Leeds had a great opportunity lost when Luciano Becchio was racing down the flank, when a second ball was thrown on the pitch and the play called dead. The match ended in a 1-1 draw and I hope something was learned from it.

The Leeds attack again was too slow and predictable, with poor movement patterns and basically a "smash and grab" affair that went array. As I warned last week and with the Chester City Carling Cup victory, some (not all) on the pitch are not seeing attacking opportunities correctly and slowing the pace down horribly (maybe to stay at their level) and not playing team Football (hint, pass to open player, don't simply give the ball a hoof and hope for the best). This approach may have worked against a club mired at the bottom of League Two (with a negative eleven goal differential in three matches) but it will not with a confident club at this level. This club needs to understand movement, creating openings or all these well laid-out plans for the Championship League will disappear very quickly.