Leeds United started the season incredibly well and for most of the early part of the season, Bielsa’s side blew most of their opponents away with their superb brand of attacking football.
United had started the season with a brilliant 10-game unbeaten run until they lost to Garry Monk’s Birmingham City side. Since then the Yorkshire side has struggled to regain their early season form. Over their last three games, Leeds have only beaten Hull City 1-0, while drawing to Sheffield Wednesday and Brentford.
In their most recent game, Leeds’ consistent defender Luke Ayling was sent off and will as a result, miss the club’s next game against Blackburn Rovers after the international break. Following the game, one of our writers went onto Twitter to find that Leeds fans were relieved to see that the defender will miss the next game and are happy to see Gaetano Berardi potentially come back in.
Although Leeds have struggled in recent weeks, Ayling has been an ever-present in the side and it would seem harsh to criticise the reliable defender. The former Arsenal academy man has played 12 games in the league and has, with the exception of the Brentford game, been performing at a high level.
His best play going forward has suited Bielsa’s attacking centric style of play perfectly. Although Berardi is a great player, in the early part of the season, Bielsa decided to play the fan favourite in the middle of defence and in truth, that’s where his future lies in the Argentinian’s side.
Ayling is only going to miss one game and when he returns, he will probably be inserted back into the team and continue his solid form this season. Ayling’s recent performances haven’t been the root cause of Leeds’ stagnation. Losing Kemar Roofe and Pablo Hernandez up front has greatly reduced the team’s attacking play. With those two back, Leeds should return to form.
Ayling has been superb so far this season, and Leeds fans are being a bit too quick to criticise the defender after such a solid start to the season.
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