Leeds United struggled and ended up losing against high-flying West Ham on Monday night, and popular Whites journalist Phil Hay has highlighted what he thinks needs to be rectified.
Phil Hay highlights clear problem
Speaking in The Athletic’s discussion thread after the match, Hay said (via Give Me Sport): “A much bigger issue is why Leeds cannot get it together when they’re defending set-pieces. It’s a clear problem which hasn’t been resolved.
“There’s a variety of reasons. Firstly, Leeds are not a strong side aerially. If you look at the stats, you can see that. Secondly, man-marking runs the risk that if someone loses their man, he’s free to score with no-one available to step in. To put it bluntly, it’s a bit of a shambles.
“Without getting into the zonal vs man-marking debate, the basic problem is that Leeds lose their men too often. And when you do in a man-marking system, no-one else is going to pick them up.”
Set-pieces are a crucial part of the game, and despite Leeds converting six of them this term, it is the amount they concede which makes corners and free-kicks such a worry for the club.
If they had not conceded these goals, they would have only let in 32 and this would rank them with the joint-sixth fewest goals conceded in the division (SofaScore). If they get stronger at defending such moments in a game, then instead of battling for a top-half finish, they could be battling for a European spot.
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