A look at some things we learned about Leeds United after last weekend’s 1-1 draw with Forest. Leeds have been scoring goals, but seem to be giving up set piece goals with alarming regularity.
Also, Stuart Dallas isn’t a defender and a look at how the rest of the league is handling Kemar Roofe’s controversial goal.
1. Apparently no other team has ever benefited from the referee missing a call
The reaction from Nottingham Forest fans, as well as fans from other teams, reached peak absurdity with a reported online petition to take away the draw from Leeds.
Seriously, what is wrong with these people.
Players dive for penalties all the time (Hi Ollie Watkins!) and sometimes players are even mauled in the box and no penalties are given, so why should a missed handball be any different? A human ref is part of the game.
Of course, since Leeds hasn’t had a penalty in over 50 games, it’s because the EFL loves us, duh.
Need to sort out this set piece defending. 3 goals in 2 games ain't good. Need to be miles better Leeds— Leedslad (@Leedslad15) October 27, 2018
2. Leeds cannot defend set pieces
Kemar Roofe brought up the fact that Leeds keep giving up goals on set pieces and said it was something that they probably needed to work on. You don’t say.
In the last game, Stuart Dallas was marking a player in the box, and that’s a problem. It wasn’t the only problem and the problems didn’t start with him being in the lineup, but it’s a microcosm of the problems defending from set-pieces. The team wasn’t great at them last year either, and it’s not from a lack of Jansson, as the team has looked bad even with the big Swede in the lineup.
Something’s gotta give soon, cause this is no way to go through a season, giving up bad goals from set-pieces at this rate.
Bielsa: “The only chance @NFFC had was their goal … We attacked all game. @LUFC had 10 chances that we didn’t score and it’s difficult for me to accept we were lucky (because we scored one controversial goal).” https://t.co/qzZbwlm5YV— Tom Marshall (@mexicoworldcup) October 29, 2018
3. Don’t worry, Leeds will always score at least one goal
Leeds will score goals. It’s what Marcelo Bielsa teams do. In 17 league games this season, Leeds has only failed to score once, and that was the 0-0 draw against Middlesbrough earlier this season. Leeds also failed to score in the League Cup match against Preston, but whatever, no one cares about the FizzyEnergyDrink Cup.
Leeds will attack and will score goals, even if they give up a goal. It would have been nice to see the team score a winner, but with most teams trying to time-waste and generally shithouse the match once they go up, it becomes pretty difficult to score more than once, but this team will almost always get at least one goal.
11 - Kemar Roofe has had a hand in 11 goals in his last 14 Championship games for Leeds United (8 goals, 3 assists). Crafty. pic.twitter.com/fciV4Ra6zV— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 27, 2018
4. Kemar Roofe has a nose for goal
Roofe has been great at sniffing out chances and putting the ball in the back of the net. It seems sort of silly now to assume that Roofe wouldn’t be able to play as a striker in the Championship, as both Garry Monk and Thomas Christiansen seemed to prefer to exile Roofe to the wing. Of course, when given the chance to lead the line last season, Roofe was able to score goals, but once Pierre-Michel Lasogga returned to the lineup, both Christiansen and Paul Heckingbottom seemed to prefer the German instead.
Roofe has held his place at the starting striker, despite the big-money purchase of Patrick Bamford from Middlesbrough, and it has paid off dividends so far. Roofe isn’t the biggest or the quickest player on the pitch, but he can poach goals and he works his socks off, and sometimes that’s all you need.
I'm really enjoying the football under Bielsa but I still don't understand starting players in a position they aren't accustomed to, Stuart Dallas is not a left back or Defender, if you had Tom Pearce start, I dare say that lad wouldn't of won the header for the forest goal!— Royce Dunston (@roycedun) October 28, 2018
5. Stuart Dallas is really, really not a fullback
The “Stuart Dallas at fullback” experiment has gone on long enough. Bielsa has forgotten more about football than almost everyone else, so it still boggles the mind why he’s still using a player who isn’t good at crossing the ball and not a natural defender at fullback. Dallas will work hard, but he’s best when coming down the left wing and cutting back for a shot or pass with his right foot. Why he gets into the team over Tom Pearce doesn’t make a lot of sense.
Dallas was “defending” the Forest player who got the header from the corner kick, and having an actual defender in the box in that situation would have been better. Hopefully with Barry Douglas fit, Dallas will never lineup at left-back again, but with Luke Ayling out for awhile and Gaetano Berardi injured as well, Dallas may be used as a right-back, which is sort of depressing.