Leeds United 3 - West Bromwich Albion 1
||Sunday 23rd May 2021
||Casilla, Ayling, Cooper, Berardi (Struijk, 69), Dallas, Phillips, Alioski, Dios Belloli, Hernández (Roberts, 70), Harrison, Moreno (Bamford, 45)|
Unused subs: Meslier, Poveda-Ocampo, Davis, Shackleton, Jenkins, Casey
, Furlong , Ajayi , Bartley , O'Shea (Robson-Kanu, 60 ), Townsend , Phillips , Gallagher , Yokuslu , Maitland-Niles (Grant, 81 ), Robinson (Diagne, 60 )|
Unused subs: Button, Diangana, Peltier, Gardner-Hickman, Taylor, Iroegbunam
Manager: Sam Allardyce
||Moreno (17), Phillips (42), Bamford (79 pen); Robson-Kanu (90)
||8,000 Home Fans
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||Ratings submitted so far: 11
The sun sets on the most disappointing season in memory - an air of pointlessness to it where we’ve fundamentally ended up no better than when we started, with no manager in place and the likely sale of our best player.
The lineup wasn’t a big surprise - I suspect a Pereira fee has already been agreed and is already baked in to financial planning for next season. Slightly surprising though that we effectively played 5-5-0 with often Gallagher the furthest forward.
Inevitably this meant Leeds had a lot of possession but I’m going to slightly controversially say that I thought over the 90 minutes we defended in open play quite well, created the better situations and chances but were undone by conceding criminally bad goals again. I also thought the referee was terrible.
The first was woeful from a set play very similar to West Ham and Liverpool goals. The person on the front post has to be reliable and clear it BUT if not, in the 6 yard box at head height without needing a leap others should be covering and the keeper should be on his toes ready to punch it clear.
The second was an SJ blunder and I genuinely think we should add distance shots to crosses as his weak points. It happens too often.
The third was another crazy handball, this time by Yokuslu but similar to the Furlong one a few games ago. No need and possibly just down to mental and physical fatigue.
Despite these clangers we had some better chances than Leeds but Bartley missed a header, Phillips and Diagne didn’t wallop it low and hard quickly enough, Gallagher slipped over when running onto one begging to be hit and Maitland-Niles cocked up simple passes or elected to shoot himself when he could’ve played Diagne in for a sitter. Not terrible for a team without its best player.
In an ideal world a manager will be appointed by Friday and we can get cracking. I do think even with losing Pereira and Johnstone and thankfully expiring Grosicki, Austin, Gibbs, Ivanovic we have a strong squad. Centre midfield and a striker are the positions we must focus on.
- SJ - 5 Saves were at him, some poor kicks and at fault for the goal. 7 for the season, I’ll never be convinced but he’s pulled off some great saves.
- Furlong- 6 Decent game, worked hard. 6 for the season, I think he’s got better with experience and could make it at this level next time.
- Ajayi - 7 Defended quite well in the main. 6 for the season. Older than you think and although a bargain he’s had a steep learning curve.
- Bartley- 7 Also defended quite well and I’d give him a 7 for the season. Will need to be upgraded if we get promotion again. Is a better leader and captain than he is footballer - has given it everything.
- O’Shea - 6 Did okay enough but was leggy. 6 for the season, showed plenty of heart.
- Townsend - 7 Another very good showing against a great player. 7 for the season, great to tie him down with a contract. I’ve taken to calling him the GOAT such has he improved.
- Yokuslu- 6 For 60 minutes or so he was the best player on the pitch but I think he ran at of gas trying to match Leeds’ intensity. 7 for the season, hell of a player there for someone.
- Phillips - 7 Another solid game and created things. 6 for the season but once Allardyce got him fit he became one of our most consistent players. Strong on left or right.
- Mainland-Niles - 5 Too sloppy. 5 for the season, I don’t think he’s a player for this level - no goals or assists? A disappointment.
- Gallagher- 6 Had a go and was unlucky he got little from the red. 6 for the season as he’s done okay- I’d try and get him back.
- Robinson- 5 Some good moments but didn’t look after the ball well enough. 6 for the season, has probably been under-used.
- HRK - 6 Did hold it up when he came on and his effort earned the goal. 6 for the season - you know what you get, scored some goals and played with a broken arm when he could’ve walked off. Give him a year as a bench option.
- Diagne - 6 Caused problems but should’ve scored. Will be massive for us next season and looks like he still has it. 4 for the season. Sadly a write-off.
- Grant - 5 Did little, looks lost. 3 for the season, looks well off it.
And for the season the other notable contributors.
- Pereira - 8 Is way too gifted for the championship. Only hope he goes gracefully, amicably and for 30 million plus.
- Ivanovic - 3 A terrible decision all round. Can’t believe are mmm our due diligence.
- Hegazi - No score but shouldn’t have been sold how he was. Allardyce would’ve loved him and might have been worth 5 or 6 more points.
- Gibbs - 3 Some notable performances early on, his body basically crumbled under the demands and then when he did play he looked fragile and fearing an injury. Shame - quality wise the best left back of my lifetime.
- Livermore and Sawyers - 4 For the season. I think they can both do a job next season but they ultimately couldn’t do it at this level.
- Diagne - 5 Nearly came off but couldn’t finish well enough. A useful player there, would hit 25 in the championship.
- Snodgrass - 4 Has quality but leggy and injured. Will be a useful option next season.
Others contributed little so I don’t think I can mark them.