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Leeds Season (so far) Ratings: Kiko Casilla

Going to do one of these, one a day, for the foreseeable future so long as work/life doesn’t get in the way.

Leeds United v Reading - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images

Won’t need to do this for the rest of the players luckily, as Leeds United seem to have a squad of nice people barring this - For the purposes of this I am going to ignore non-footballing stuff. Obviously Kiko Casilla would get a much lower rating if I included it, in fact he would get 0/10.

Kiko Casilla had a horrible end to last season so had a lot of work to do in order to earn back the trust of the fans. He earned that trust to an extent with his run of form from the start of the season until Leeds 3-3 draw against Cardiff City.

Leeds only conceded 10 goals in their opening 21 league games and the one-time Spain international was in goal for all of those games. It is fair to say that Leeds’ great performances and domination of games meant that he didn’t have to make as many saves as most goalkeepers.

However, when he was called upon before the aforementioned Cardiff match he was usually able to cope, a notable exception being his flap for Charlton Athletic’s winner in a 1-0 defeat at The Valley (although there are bigger issues with him in that game).

Throughout the season his distribution was good overall as you would expect. Although that too got worse following the Cardiff match.

However, starting with his mistake for Cardiff’s first goal in the 3-3 draw - he went on a run of form that was truly horrific. Leeds’ results took a downturn in form and almost all the points dropped could be directly attributed to Leeds bordering on not having a goalkeeper for a run of matches.

Leeds kept going a goal behind and for a long time were unable to overcome it - although the finishing was also to blame - far too often the goals Leeds conceded were the fault of Casilla. He got beat at the near post poorly, came for crosses and got nowhere near them, and against Brentford FC let a ball roll under his foot for a tap-in. Somehow, despite all this Leeds remained in the automatic promotion places.

Leeds did then win Kiko’s final three games of the season without conceding a goal and he did show an upturn in form but France youth international Illan Meslier has done well since he came in and I would expect him to keep his place WHEN (hear me FA/EFL, I said WHEN) the season gets finished.


Sheffield Wednesday (A) - Leeds’ 0-0 draw at Hillsborough against Sheffield Wednesday. Leeds struggled at times in this game and had Casilla to thank for their point as he made several good saves.


Nottingham Forest (A) - Leeds 2-0 defeat at the City Ground was Leeds worst performance of the season - and probably the only game this season that Leeds have been thoroughly second best in. Kiko Casilla was beaten at his near post by an ok (at best) effort from Sammy Ameobi. He also through a ball straight to Ben Watson which could have lead to a goal, and he dived for a ball that was never shot leaving Lewis Grabban with an almost open goal (before Grabban hit the ball at Casilla anyway). I gave him a 3/10 in the player ratings and that was probably generous.


Having had a good start to the season it is almost impressive how far Kiko Casilla fell this season. Even if we ignore him being horrific to Jonathan Leko (which we shouldn’t), he had a good go at costing Leeds promotion and he desperately needed dropping a long time before he was removed by his ban, he was saved by the seemingly unending loyalty of Marcelo Bielsa. Before the Cardiff game he would have been around the 7.5/10 mark, but he has fallen a long way and as such is being given a rating of 4.5/10.