Here are some things we learned during the Leeds United victory over Hull City earlier this week.
1. Build the chances and the goals will come
Tyler Roberts scored a wonderful goal against Hull City. And while you can’t rely on scoring to come from outside the box on a consistent basis, the goals will come with Bielsa’s system.
There is an American movie about corn and Iowa and baseball, and I don’t know how popular it was in the UK, but there was a famous saying in that movie that has leeched into the popular lexicon of American speech. “Build it and he will come” is said to a daft farmer who plows under his crops to build a baseball field in the middle of nowhere, former legends of baseball suddenly come to life to play baseball, and in the end it’s all about family.
Anyway, much like building a baseball field in a cornfield in Iowa will (somehow) bring the dead back to life in the movie, if Leeds keep getting good shots and chances on net, eventually the goals will come, even if they sometimes are the spectacular rather than the mundane.
2. The injury list is starting to get worrying
Bielsa on injuries: "We have more absences than we thought. I always think that on average, four players would be missing for each game. Now we are above this average. But I have a lot of (respect) for the academy and they are covering the absences of experienced players."— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) October 4, 2018
Barry Douglas is the latest player to go down with injury, meaning that Leeds are missing about four expected first team players right now. Stuart Dallas might get a run at left back in Douglas’ place or Tom Pearce could get recalled after he impressed in limited time at the end of last season.
I would like to see Pearce because I think he provides the same kind of play as Douglas, if not as skilled. Pearce can provide width and can get forward, although the defensive side of his game isn’t quite as advanced as you would like.
3. We’ll start to see more of the famous 3-3-1-3 as the season progresses
Leeds had switched back to three at the back before those subs. Klich playing at 10 now in a 3-3-1-3. Dallas wide right. #lufc— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) October 2, 2018
Leeds shifted in and out of the 3-3-1-3 to the 4-1-4-1 against Hull, with Kalvin Phillips shifting back into a back three when Hull went with two strikers up top and back to four man backline against a lone striker or when Hull sat back. More teams are starting to try and put some pressure on the Leeds backline, and I would expect Brentford to do the same, especially with either Dallas or Pearce playing at left back. As long as the team can adjust, Leeds should be fine, but it will put some more pressure on Matuesz Klich to keep up his high level of form.