• Dan Smith

LEEDS UNITED FANS REACT TO SOUTHAMPTON LOSS: And what’s gone wrong this season?

It’s not exactly been an easy start to the season for Leeds but are there genuine reasons to be concerned?

To some Leeds fans, this season might have come as a bit of a shock having seen the performances from last season.

Additionally, Leeds have never started a season this slow in their time under Bielsa but instead have normally set the pace for the rest to follow.

Last season, Leeds started the season with a defeat away to then reigning champions Liverpool and although they lost, people really took interest after Leeds scored three times during the match.

This season didn’t start so well though as Leeds fans were handed the flashbacks of a heavy defeat to bitter rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford.

The following game saw Leeds finally welcome back fans into the Premier League for the first time in 17 years in a moment which some may not have even experienced before.

After falling behind to Everton twice, Leeds were able to claw back a 2-2 draw with star man Raphinha proving his capabilities once again against the Toffies.

Looking at Everton’s performances recently, this proved to be a good point for the Whites, but things are not looking so positive now following yet another poor result to Southampton.

Now sitting 17th in the table, some Leeds fans are starting to show some frustration.

A Leeds fan on Twitter simply said: “RECRUITMENT!”

Another said: “There is no defending that performance, woeful, uninterested, lethargic, well played Southampton”.

Unfortunately, they do have a point as well because the game against Southampton was the first time Marcelo Bielsa’s men have been outrun during a match.

Leeds also ended the game with just three shots on goal with one shot on target all game, one might have thought that they were down to ten men.

We are now eight games into Leeds’ season, and they have only managed to pick up one win and that was against a poor Watford side.

What are the problems at Leeds then?

Well to put it simply, they just haven’t clicked yet.

The main problem for Leeds is that they are unable to get the basics right and it is letting them down week in week out.

Simple five-yard passes are being given away cheaply because Leeds are obsessed with their identity of football and that they maintain their high intensity reputation.

This leads to a lot of rushed passes resulting in giving away possession far too often in areas of real danger.

An example of this is when Leeds often give the ball away in the midfield due to the lack of press resistant midfielders within the team.

This then means that many teams can overrun the Leeds midfield and dominate without having to really do much, as was shown in the opening game of the season with Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba.

The on-field problems aren’t the only things affecting Leeds though, there always seems to be a problem with at least one important member of the squad, with Leeds rarely being able to field a fully fit match day squad.

The big downfall against Southampton was the absence of the main man Kalvin Phillips as well as Patrick Bamford, Luke Ayling, Raphinha and Junior Firpo.

These are the consequences of a small squad and for anyone saying that Leeds had a chance of pushing for Europe after last season, this is exactly why at the moment they can’t reach that level and never will unless they invest in some depth.

The positives Leeds fans can look at though, is that to remain in this division you only need to be better than three other teams, which realistically they are.

Overall, I think some calm is needed but this will not be a season anything like the last for the Whites.