Speaking recently to Football Insider, former Leeds United striker, Noel Whelan, criticised Marcelo Bielsa’s decision not to bring Pablo Hernandez on earlier in the club’s recent defeat, as well as urging the Argentine to alter his style of play.
In Leeds’ recent 1-0 loss to Aston Villa, Patrick Bamford touched the ball just 26 times over the course of the 90 minutes – the lowest number of any of United’s starting XI in the fixture, including goalkeeper Illan Meslier – with the centre-forward also failing to have an attempt on target, as well as receiving just 10 passes from his teammates.
And, speaking recently to Football Insider, Whelan claimed that Bamford’s struggles were down to a lack of creativity in the Leeds side, before calling for Bielsa to tweak his tactics going forward.
He said: “No one really got close to Patrick Bamford, no one really linked up as well as they should do with him. Only at the back end did Pablo Hernandez come on and we had a little bit of surge, but still we couldn’t find that little bit of quality in front of goal.
“I do think it could have been prevented if you just had the wingers a little bit closer, inside the full-backs, that changes the dimension. Then you’d be working the two centre-halves up against Bamford in a different way.
“We could still be playing now and I don’t think we would have scored a goal. When they play with a low block, that’s when you need that something different. You need to find that pick of the lock and only certain players can do that. I think Pablo should have come on a little bit earlier because he’s that player who’s always had that quality about him.”
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Transfer Tavern Take
While Bamford’s struggles in the Villa game were clear for all to see, the fact that Leeds have scored 43 goals over their 26 Premier League fixtures so far this season – a figure more than six of the 10 teams above them in the league table – should not be ignored.
As such, while it could be argued that Bielsa perhaps could have made his substitutions earlier in the fixture against Villa, it would seem, in general, as if the 65-year-old’s set up of the newly-promoted side – who currently sit 11th in the Premier League standings, just nine points behind the Champions League places – has proven rather successful this season, despite Whelan’s concerns.
In other news, Phil Hay shed light on this Leeds star’s contract details – find out more here!
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