Leeds United's players must shoulder Marcelo Bielsa's responsibility for turning performances into results, insists former White
Players across Marcelo Bielsa’s team must step up and shoulder the responsibility for ensuring Leeds United’s eye-catching, dominant football earns the results it merits, according to a title-winning White.
Tony Dorigo, a First Division champion in the 1991-92 season, has watched every single Whites game since the campaign kicked off and has enjoyed the football, if not always the outcome.
What is beginning to feel like an age-old problem for Bielsa’s Leeds must be overcome if they are to improve on last season’s near-brush with promotion to the Premier League, but Dorigo insists Leeds are more than a possession-for-possession’s-sake outfit.
“If you look at the players, the style they’re playing, the ability to dominate games, it’s wonderful,” he said.
“The football is really pleasing on the eye, but it is all about the scoreline.
“I remember three or four years ago I went to Elland Road and watched Reading come to town, with Jaap Stam.
“Reading had 80 per cent possession at Elland Road, they kept the ball for fun and yet we won 2-0 – wonderful to watch but they didn’t get the end result.
“We’re quite different to that, we get into the last third really well and get into some wonderful positions on the pitch, but that’s where we’re not as good as we could be.
“That has to change.”
Dorigo is not convinced that the answer to Leeds’ goalscoring issues lies in a change of philosophy on Bielsa’s behalf, because they have been creating enough chances to win almost every game they play.
At home to Nottingham Forest, Swansea and Derby Leeds took just two points from a deserved nine, having dominated possession and forged a plethora of goalscoring opportunities that they failed to take.
“I’m not exactly sure what the manager can do about that,” said Dorigo.
“Obviously going to two up front changes a lot of things for him.
“His whole ethos is that midfield dominance, dominating play and making those chances, so taking an extra man away from that, I’m not so sure, but what you lose you might gain in other departments.
“Even so, with what’s been happening, the amount of chances, it’s up to one or two players step up and score those goals and I don’t just mean [Patrick] Bamford, I mean lots of other players, in midfield, the wide players like [Jack] Harrison.”
Whatever it is that needs to alter, whether manager-led or players simply taking the bull by the horns and assuming personal responsibility for the goals the Whites need to finish teams off, Dorigo is confident that they’re close to the finished article.
But ultimately, however minor it is, something does need to be altered.
“That’s the conundrum we’re having, we don’t seem to be quite getting what we deserve, it’s a little bit frustrating.
“We need to work that one out, if we work it out then we’re looking wonderful.
“I always feel we’re not far off but that’s a theme that’s a little bit too long in the tooth now.
“Something has to change slightly but I don’t think it’s much, we’re not miles away.
“There’s a long way to go, we’re two points off top, there’s so much to be positive about.
“We do it the Leeds way, not the easy way.”