YEP Jury: Familiar failings come home to roost as Leeds United miss huge opportunity

Our fans’ panel have their say on Leeds United’s 2-1 defeat to Wigan Athletic and look ahead to tomorrow’s crucial game at Brentford.

By Mark Absolon
Sunday, 21st April 2019, 10:39 am
Updated Sunday, 21st April 2019, 10:44 am
Kemar Roofe shows his emotion after missing a chance against Wigan.
Kemar Roofe shows his emotion after missing a chance against Wigan.

ANDY RHODES

I don’t really have the words to sum Friday’s game up. For 90 minutes Leeds battered the 10 men of Wigan who boasted the worst away record in the EFL and somehow still lost.

Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa reacts during the game against Wigan Athletic.

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If automatic promotion is lost everyone will point the finger at this game and the performance of the players. They seemed to forget the very basics of the game of football.

The passing was off, they overplayed in the box and crosses weren’t beating the first man. Pablo Hernandez never recovered from missing his penalty and the substitutions didn’t work.

Kemar Roofe looked lost in attacking midfield and him and Patrick Bamford often stepped in each other’s toes. Nothing went right at the most crucial of times.

Unlike Wigan, Brentford won’t sit deep today and that might play into United’s hands. Their 4-3-3 might also allow Kalvin Phillips to return to his best. Pontus Jansson and Gaetano Berardi will need to regroup to contain Neal Maupay and Ollie Watkins.

Patrick Bamford shows his frustration after the final whistle against Wigan Athletic.

Three points have never been more vital this season.

Man of the match: Patrick Bamford (ony for his goal).

DAVID WATKINS

Well no-one saw that coming; not least the YEP jurors! We knew Wigan wouldn’t just lay down but Leeds have only themselves to blame for this catastrophe.

I’ve heard folk complaining either that the team had no desire or that we played poorly. I’d disagree with the first assertion and would qualify the second. Over the course of the game we were mostly in control and amassed 36 goal attempts and 15 corners. We played 10 men for 76 minutes and were awarded a penalty. With all that going for us we should have won.

We wasted another penalty but, worse, we wasted far too many chances; finding the target 10 times from 36 efforts is appalling; too often the ball flew high or wide. We were also woeful at crossing, with dozens going far too long or hitting the first man. It was not a performance that lacked desire, it just lacked finesse. Wigan, by contrast, were clinical in the extreme.

Brentford looked more difficult on paper than Wigan but we now have to get something at Griffin Park.

All is not lost but the pendulum of expectation has swung back towards Sheffield.

Man of the match: Luke Ayling.

MATTHEW EVANS

When is a Good Friday not a Good Friday? When Leeds United miss a penalty against 10-man Wigan, score anyway and then lose 2-1.

There’s a peculiar tendency this season to criticise every United performance that doesn’t end in a win. The team has taken endless fury in the hours and days following the game but if Paul Heckingbottom’s Leeds had played like this last season we would have thought a miracle had occurred. Nevertheless, it’s absolutely true that we weren’t good enough to bury Wigan. We’ve seen what happens when big, organised teams get something to hold onto and we handed exactly that to them with some suspect defending either side of half-time.

We need to pick ourselves up and concentrate on the points at Griffin Park. Of course, we now need Sheffield United to drop points or goals but we can’t control any of that. Hull haven’t lost at home since before Christmas and United haven’t won at Brentford since 1950. We all know which record we want to see broken tomorrow.

Man of the match: Luke Ayling.

KEITH INGHAM

Oh my goodness!

I couldn’t even start to contemplate writing this straight after the gut-wrenching 2-1 defeat to 10-man, yes, 10-man Wigan. If this season is to be another glorious failure it’s games like Wigan, Birmingham twice and QPR that supporters will point their fingers at, as to the reason for the failure.

One thing it did remind me of is back in the 1989/90 season when at a crucial stage of the season Barnsley, struggling for points, came to Elland Road and beat Leeds 2-1. That season ended in success,

I’m wondering if this one will too, but I don’t see the characters in this team that the promotion-winning team had amongst it.

At the end of the game the statistics showed Leeds had over 70 per cent of possession, 38 shots with 10 on target, but only one goal to show from their efforts.

That to me is key to why, at this crucial time of the season we are struggling, when we should be flying like the plane that circled Elland Road pre-game.

It’s hard to understand that a team with a man advantage, at 1-0 up (it should have been 2-0 but Pablo Hernandez missed a penalty) let a team that had won only once away from home come back into the game, then let them take the lead and more importantly take the three points.

Too many players had days they would rather forget. The defence, midfield and attack were woefully short of what you would expect from a team so close to promotion.

My three-year-old grandson could have delivered a better cross than two of the players playing on the left-hand side of the team. They were atrocious!

I will be labelled as negative, but nothing at all on Friday showed me that this team has the resolve to actually go on and win their remaining three games.

Brentford, Villa and Ipswich to go and if you look at the table, Sheffield United’s goal difference could well be the deciding factor and that is the way Leeds could miss out, even if they manage to win their last three games.

The idiots that threw coins from the South Stand only made the day even darker and the club will suffer because of their actions.

All in all a pretty bad day on a sunny Good Friday.

Tomorrow, Leeds once again will kick-off after Sheffield United, so the advantage could well be in the Blades’ hands. A response from Leeds players is definitely needed and what’s more important, a few goals too.

Man of the match: Nobody stood out and many let themselves down.

MIKE GILL

As expected, there were no freebies available from the Blades on Good Friday. Forest tried their hardest but it wasn’t to be.

The ‘if’ philosophy serves no purpose anyway and it brings to mind the words of Howard Wilkinson who remarked that if his Auntie had a part of the male anatomy then she would have been his Uncle!

None of the ‘ifs’ predicted a win for relegation battlers Wigan but that’s what happened and the promotion pendulum swung again, leaving the Whites in third place.

It had started well enough with Cedri Kipre conceding a penalty and getting sent off.

Pablo Hernandez stepped up and whacked the ball against the right hand post. Never mind, a minute later Bamford gave Leeds the lead and everyone looked forward to the prospect of improving the goal difference. Instead, United threw it away with Gavin Massey scoring an equaliser to close the first half. On 62 minutes he added a second and despite their best efforts Leeds could not find a response.

On to Brentford and hopefully a bounce back.

Man of the match: Not applicable.

SHAUN SMITH

The game started under a banner bearing the words ‘Bielsa is God’ flown by a light aircraft. The afternoon ended driving past a group of Christians gathered around three crucifixes on Holbeck Rec.

I’m not sure what Bielsa, a Catholic, thought of playing on Good Friday with a kick-off at the third hour. I suspect he wished the game didn’t happen at all. At 1-0 up against 10 men, Leeds went for a hatful. Every fan in the stadium wanted to address the goal difference.

Disaster ensued.

Man of the match: Not applicable.