Difficult but not insurmountable task for Leeds United at Tottenham Hotspur - David Prutton
LEEDS United’s 2021 starts with today’s clash at Tottenham Hotspur which is fantastic in once again reaffirming just how far Leeds have come and what they have managed to do.
That does not take away the gravity of the task in hand but for Leeds to be going to Tottenham in a league clash is great and it’s what Leeds fans of a certain age and generation will have taken as the norm back in the day.
Leeds go into the game off the back of two very, very good results which should buoy them ahead of going to Spurs.
It’s going to be a very tough game for United as Spurs have got some very obvious threats, particularly in Harry Kane and Son Heung-min.
At times, those threats are unstoppable.
The task is not completely insurmountable but I would think it’s going to take at least three quarters of the Leeds team playing at their absolute capacity which we have seen on many occasions.
Spurs obviously have plenty of pace but so do Leeds and that’s what they are good at, showing that energy and effervescence and closing down all over the pitch.
The Whites go one v one and man for man almost all over the pitch and if they win those battles more than Spurs do, then it stands them in good stead.
Leeds looked very open at times in the defeat at Manchester United and Marcelo Bielsa then said about not changing his style and sticking to his guns and I absolutely understand that.
But within that, players have got to realise and sense danger and smell a time when perhaps protection isn’t all out attack and instead protection is staying pretty tight and not allowing the opposition chances and gaps to be able to exploit them.
You can also go back to the Manchester United game by pointing out that you have got to make sure you start well against these big sides and making sure you are in the game for as long as possible.
That’s not to say this is little old Leeds but if they can stay in the game then Leeds can do what they are good at.
And we have also seen Leeds show different ways of grinding out results over the last couple of games which shows different sides to their armoury.
This will actually be the fifth time that Marcelo Bielsa has come up against Jose Mourinho as the two met four times when Marcelo was at Athletic Bilbao when Jose was in charge of Real Madrid.
Now both of them will be absolutely licking their lips at renewing that rivalry.
The both of them are football managers of a different generation who will see all these young bucks walking on to the block.
But Jose and Marcelo are still there and still showing what they are capable of at their age which I think is phenomenal.
Anybody who can be in what is a highly demanding level of professional sport and still have that energy and that effervescence and that ability to evolve is phenomenal really, and the clash between the two of them is something to really look forward to.
I’m sure there will be a lot of mutual respect between the two of them ahead of the game.
You could question if Leeds need to have a plan to stop Kane and Son but do Leeds under Marcelo strike you as the type of team to have a specific plan to stop people?
I think it’s more done in a team way.
That’s not to say that Leeds don’t care but it’s more to do with the fact that Marcelo is feeling very happy and confident with the way that his side has been drilled.
I have no doubt that every single player will be made well aware of what each individual players’ strengths are.
You are playing against world famous footballers here.
But that doesn’t make it any easier because there is watching them and looking at them and working out ways of stopping them and then there is actually putting that into practice.
That’s where the real test comes and that’s where Leeds will learn a lot about themselves.
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Thank you Laura Collins