Leeds United Jury: United's play has morphed from brilliance to averageness in a month

Our YEP Jury have their say on Leeds United's 1-0 home defeat to Reading.

Monday, 16th October 2017, 5:58 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 2:03 am
Stuart Dallas consoles Pablo Hernandez following his late penalty miss.


As early as it is in the campaign, I was convinced before this game that by the end of it we’d know what sort of a season we’d be having.

We’d wobbled a bit away from home lately but most people, including Thomas Christiansen, were convinced we’d get back on track at Elland Road.

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Eunan O'Kane in the thick of the action against Reading.

That we didn’t has only convinced me that we are nowhere near an automatic promotion contender and we are going to have trouble enough making the top six playing like this.

I am more convinced than ever that our early season successes were about the poor quality of the opposition and not our own fluency as surely no side could morph from brilliance to averageness as quickly as we have.

This was a poor performance and it is hard to see how we can muster points from up-coming games at Bristol City and at home to the flying Blades and our old enemy Derby County.

These are worrying times at Elland Road.

Eunan O'Kane in the thick of the action against Reading.

Man of the match: Eunan O’Kane.


This was far from our finest hour. Yet again we laboured in front of a sold-out crowd and the game appeared destined to come and go with a 0-0 draw that would have been much more difficult to stomach for the away fans than for the United faithful.

The team’s passive, laissez-faire attitude was not befitting of the style of play embodied by successful Leeds teams of years gone by. Indeed, it was not even a patch on the football we were playing only a month ago.

The game wasn’t helped by a hapless set of officials who, late on, conspired to let Reading break towards the United goal despite a clear foul. As play continued, some luck brought them a great chance with Lonergan tempted out of his goal and Mo Barrow, who looked dreadful in a white shirt last year, was (naturally) there to score the only goal of the game.

There may have been a second goal if Pablo Hernandez had held his nerve, but, in keeping with the rest of the referee’s performance, it was a penalty that shouldn’t have been given in any case. Too many questions for Thomas Christiansen, not enough answers.

Man of the match: Eunan O’Kane.


Leeds slumped to their third defeat in a row after a poor performance against bottom three placed Reading – the 1-0 defeat was compounded by a late penalty miss by Pablo Hernandez.

Thomas Christainsen may think that Leeds were very unlucky to lose, but the majority of the 30,000 plus crowd saw for themselves that the early season form has totally ‘gone out of the window’ and Pontus Jansson’s after-match reaction by leaving the field at the final whistle says much about his leadership qualities.

It’s okay charging down the field, fists pumping when you win but being absent in defeat shows another side of the player fans may not like.

In a match that was very forgettable because of the lack of quality on show, it was Reading that took one of the few opportunities they created, with ex- Leeds loanee Mo Barrow getting the late winner. Leeds created a few half chances, Jansson spurning a chance from six yards and a few efforts flying over the bar before Pablo Hernandez’s feux par in dying moments of the game.

The next few weeks look like being critical to the club’s season, when the ‘chips are down’ the true character of this squad will be shown.

Take note Mr Jansson!

Man of the match: Andy Lonergan.


Jaap Stam brought his turgid style of negativity to Elland Road and did a job on Leeds United.

Adding insult to injury was the fact that Mo Barrow scored the winner – a feat that he was unable to perform when playing for Leeds.

After a turgid first half, United had a few more chances in the second period, but if you don’t take them, you don’t win. Insult was added to injury when Pablo Hernandez placed a tame penalty into the grateful hands of Vito Mannone.

Earlier Thomas Christiansen had shown courage by leaving out Felix Wiedwald and it has to be said that replacement keeper Andy Lonergan did all that was asked of him and could not be blamed for Reading’s goal.

Next up is a tough test at Bristol City and our coach will need to show tactical nous as well as courage to get back on the winning track in the west country.

Man of the match: Eunan O’Kane.


The big news before the game from coach Thomas Christiansen was Andy Lonergan replacing Felix Wiedwald in goal, a decision which was very much supported by most of the 33,000 loyal hordes in attendance.

I understand that doctors in the Reading area prescribe very few sleeping tablets, instead they are sending their patients to the Madejski Stadium for 90-minute sessions. The defensive attitude and time wasting tactics of the visitors could turn milk to cheese!

The second half saw Jay Roy Groot replace Pierre Michel Lasogga who looked like a man who had recently become a father with plenty of sleepless nights already.

Hadi Sacko also entered the fray and brought some much needed urgency to proceedings. However it was Reading that took the lead with just six minutes remaining through former United loanee Mo Barrow.

The Whites were awarded a penalty in the final moments but Pablo Hernandez summed up the afternoon perfectly with a spot kick that lacked both conviction and application.

Man of the match: Andy Lonergan.