Leeds United 0 Rotherham United 1: YEP jury verdict

2
Have your say

Check out the views of the YEP jury after Leeds United’s 1-0 defeat to Rotherhaam United at Elland Road.

STEPHEN CLARK

Referee Keith Stroud.

Referee Keith Stroud.

It didn’t take much to burst the bubble of optimism that surrounded Leeds United after two consecutive victories as bottom of the table Rotherham United came to Elland Road and picked up their first win under Neil Redfearn.

This was another desperately disappointing performance from the Whites against a side who had lost six of their previous seven matches and had won just nine times in 51 League games before Saturday. Yet at no time did Leeds look like winning the game. Leeds have a powder puff attack, a brittle defence and a midfield which seem totally unsure of what they are supposed to be doing.

Leeds football under Steve Evans, whilst not as dire as the hoofball suffered under Neil Warnock, seems to have no real pattern. We continually seem to be trying to force square pegs into round holes. We had Scott Wooton, a centre-back, at right-back, Gaetano Berardi, a right-back at left-back and a central midfielder, Alex Mowatt, with no pace forced to play out wide. We then also launch long balls to a centre-forward in Chris Wood – who seems averse to jumping – who is partnered with Mirco Antenucci, who seems to believe that passing the ball is not part of the game.

Leeds are a mess from top to bottom, and I genuinely fear that we are going to be embroiled in a long and painful relegation struggle. The squad is paper thin and with an owner who can’t make up his mind if he is selling or staying, is unlikely to have any further money spent on it, even it could attract any players to come to the madhouse.

It is difficult to see where a win is coming from if we can’t beat teams like Rotherham. Neil Redfearn had them well organised and they defended stoutly whenever Leeds put them under pressure. As we have seen on many occasions this season, Leeds started relatively brightly but once they failed to make the breakthrough ran out of ideas. All it took was one chance to win the game as the Whites lost shape defensively, Stuart Dallas failing to track back and Giuseppe Bellusci once again showing an alarming lack of positional awareness as he charged out of position leaving Joe Newell completely unmarked to head the winner.

Leeds were so inept that even when they brought on Jordan Botaka, the one player with genuine pace and trickery in the side, they failed to pass him the ball for five minutes. Before he could get a touch, Berardi had been assaulted by Leon Best, and whilst retaliation is not allowed, I could fully understand his reaction.

For equal punishment to be meted out to both players for that incident was as laughable as much of referee Stroud’s extremely fussy performance.

Man of the match: Liam Cooper.

KEITH INGHAM

Neil Redfearn’s Rotherham United inflicted another home defeat on Steve Evans’ Leeds United. This defeat would have hurt Evans as he spent a number of years with the Millers. This was another poor performance from Leeds.

In a very quiet start to the game only Alex Mowatt and Leon Best gave both sets of fans something to warm their hands with their efforts on goal. Leeds thought they had the first goal but Stuart Dallas was judged to be offside when he netted Chris Wood’s deflected shot. With the home side’s midfield strangely struggling the efforts on the Rotherham goal were few and far between. A poor first half.

The second half didn’t improve matters and Rotherham went into the lead after a breakaway found the Leeds’ defence in a generous mood. Newell nestled a header in the corner of Silvestri’s goal. Both teams were reduced to 10 men when Gaetano Berardi reacted to Best. Leeds, although they tried, as in a lot of the games, the end product just wasn’t good enough. A very bad defeat for the faithful to stomach.

Neil Redfearn’s drink when he got home was probably the best he’s had in a while. The man deserves credit for setting his team up so well in this game and revenge is a dish best served cold. Mr Cellino take note.

Man of the match: Nobody came out of this with much credit.

MATTHEW EVANS

It was good to see our trip to Wycombe Wanderers last week helped put to bed the theory that Leeds United make a slow return after international breaks!

The minute’s silence for last week’s horrific attacks in Paris seemed to last an eternity, it was only when someone won 12 pies that we realised the first half had been one long silence and nobody had noticed.

It was a game worthy of a Sunday morning down the park but without the passion. There was no quality on show and nobody looked like they cared. Neil Redfearn deserved his win; we are a poorer side than the one he left behind, and he was treated shabbily. I’m not sure where we go from here. A horrible performance.

Man of the match: Liam Cooper.

JAMES HARRISON

Oh dear. Everyone was so excited before the game, but we’ve all been brought down to earth again. We were poor throughout and we couldn’t string five passes together. But we still had enough chances to win the game.

Man of the match: Stuart Dallas.

DAVID WATKINS

The whole of the Jury succumbed once more to falling for it; we all assumed, maybe hoped is a better word, that the momentum was finally with us and we would push on up the Championship with a comfortable win over the Millers.

Ha! When will we learn? Over the last few seasons we have done this time after time; put a couple of decent results together, got the momentum going, then failed to beat a poor side. That we came up so short against a very poor Rotherham side, now under the guidance of former Leeds favourite Neil Redfearn, is even more hard to swallow. I left this game as depressed as I can remember; when will we ever go on a good run lasting more than a handful of games?

Man of the match: Sol Bamba for the dignified way he carried the wreath.

GARY NEWBOULD

Leeds United put in an insipid display lacking organisation and quality in front of 25,000 loyal hordes. At times the atmosphere strangely mirrored the flat performance as three valuable home points went begging once again.

Man of the match: Referee Keith Stroud – the centre of attention all afternoon.