Our YEP Jury have their say on Leeds United’s 3-0 defeat at QPR.
Any optimism that Leeds United fans had that this season was going to be different had it ripped away from them in a chastening 90 minutes in west London as QPR inflicted a defeat that left us looking up at the Championship from the foot of the – albeit ridiculously early – table.
It took just four minutes for the wind to be taken out of United’s sails as Robert Green did a fine impersonation of the man he had replaced, Marco Silvestri, as he flapped at a looping ball from a corner and allowed the ball to be bundled into the net by a combination of Nedum Onuoha and Sol Bamba.
Leeds had already been under pressure in those opening minutes and were lucky to be only a goal down at the break.
They looked shaky at the back, the midfield was non-existent and, on the rare occasions that Chris Wood did get the ball, he instantly gave it back to QPR, showing a complete inability to hold the ball up.
The second half was a little better, but a rash challenge by Ronaldo Vieira gave QPR a penalty which Chery tucked away.
The QPR midfielder was the stand-out player on the day and had worked Green on a couple of occasions prior to his goal.
Working the goalkeeper was something Leeds failed to do all afternoon, and, given it was Alex “giftusagoal” Smithies between the sticks for QPR, that was the worst failing on an afternoon that had many.
The ability of Marcus Antonsson to get into goalscoring positions and the running of Hadi Sacko are small crumbs of comfort to take.
Both players probably deserve a start at Fleetwood Town in the League Cup on Wednesday night.
Man of the match: Seriously?? Possibly Lewie Coyle.
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If a famous brand of lager did starts to the 2016/17 season it wouldn’t have been what the 3,000 travelling Leeds United supporters witnessed yesterday.
Shockingly bad in defence and, especially in the first half, bereft of any ideas of how to get near the QPR goal never mind make their ex-Huddersfield Town keeper earn his wages.
We’ve seen many a ‘false dawn’ so I’ll keep my criticism minimal but I hope that this is not repeated many times because, if it is, the players he picked will not earn their new coach an extended stay.
The performances of Green, Berardi, Bartley, Bamba and want-away Charlie Taylor (he played like he wasn’t interested, so in the best interests of the club it may be best to let him leave), if you can call them that, left a lot to be desired from senior professionals. Not good enough and it has to change and change fast.
Take nothing away from a very workmanlike QPR who were excellent throughout. Only once did they drop their guard. The only Leeds man to come out with credit was Hadi Sacko, who at least gave the full-back something to worry about.
The last time Leeds were beaten so heavily was the 1989/90 season but, of course at the end of that season we went up. On this evidence though a struggle at the other end of table awaits.
Man of the match: Hadi Sacko (at least he had a go).
I always felt Leeds were a few pieces short of a full jigsaw going into this game so defeat to a decent QPR was no surprise.
The manner though is disappointing; it had all the hallmarks of last season. Names have changed but the problems remain; a goalkeeping mistake, a porous defence, a midfield lacking direction, and a failure to put chances away. The scoreline flattered QPR but until we get those additional pieces – a commanding centre-back and someone to drive us on in midfield in particular – we are living on the edge.
The one player I felt had a good game was Ronaldo Vieira who oozed class apart from his clumsy challenge for their penalty. Too many of the rest were mediocre at best.
Man of the match: Ronaldo Vieira.
The start of a new football season is all about a new start, fresh hope and optimism.
That optimism lasted just over three minutes on Sunday lunchtime as that was the length of time it took the Whites to concede a goal as a result of poor marking and a hesitant keeper, all too familiar traits from the last few seasons.
A penalty for the hosts made it two-nil and an injury time goal rounded off a thoroughly miserable afternoon for 3,000 loyal hordes and despite two late chances for Antonsson it was a game of poor chances and poor defending from United which doesn’t bode well for the season.
Let’s hope far better is to come.
Man of the match: Kemar Roofe.
United looked exactly like a side that had just completed an inadequate and hastily arranged pre-season after appointing yet another new manager and losing its best young talent.
QPR were fitter, faster, stronger and, most unforgivably, way more interested in winning the game. The feeble United players largely avoided a furious away end at the final whistle and Garry Monk’s defensive post match interviews gave another cause for alarm on a depressing day out in the capital. Few of the debutants covered themselves in glory but Kyle Bartley at least looked like an upgrade on Bellusci and was the best of our bad bunch. In Olympic parlance – a false start.
Man of the match: Kyle Bartley.