Leeds United - Andy Ritchie: Whites are seriously light at centre-half

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LEEDS United must think that they will be fine without former club captain Sol Bamba who has left.

It seems a bit strange, but until we really know what the ins and outs are of why he has gone we can’t really comment on that.

But I would think it is leaving yourself a little bit thin at centre-back.

It does seem very tight, especially if they get a couple of injuries which is not unheard of.

You only have to look at some of the Premiership sides that have struggled there when they have had injuries and they are supposed to have big squads.

It’s a little bit risky.

Stereotypically you probably need four centre-backs and you would be looking at four and maybe somebody who could fill in like, maybe, a full-back who could play at centre-back.

We’ve seen it at Hull at the minute where you have got Jake Livermore playing as a centre-back and he’s a centre-midfield player so you’ve got a few things to look at.

But the thing about Sol Bamba, for me, is how he has sort of dropped down the pecking order so quickly.

I don’t know what’s happened there and that’s the baffling thing for me. He was captain.

Some managers then have club captains and actual on-the-pitch captains which is a bit alien to me.

I would always pick the same person because if they are good off the pitch, they should be good on the pitch and vice-versa.

I would always just have one really and then maybe a vice-captain, somebody where you knew if he was injured you’d need to give the vice-captain the armband.

It just seems a bit strange – Sol’s sort of fall from grace if you like.

If it is personal reasons then hopefully it’s nothing too serious but it does leave them thin and I would think they would be hopefully looking to bring somebody in on a free.

That’s the only way they can do it now and there must be people around because there’s so many players that have been released.

We’ve seen it so many times and it’s just gone up and up and up, year on year.

There must be somebody around that maybe Garry Monk has his eye on, I would have thought.

Or maybe he thinks that he’s fine with three recognised centre-backs and maybe somebody else sticking in there.

Leeds only signed one player on deadline day but sometimes it’s very difficult.

You have your targets and you have got to do your best to get them and you don’t know how long it’s been going on.

You’ll probably never get to know but it could have been going on for a couple of months or whatever and it’s not happened.

But then you think you need maybe two or three targets to go at and you don’t just have one because if you don’t get that one you are knackered.

They signed Eunan O’Kane from Bournemouth and I don’t know much about him.

But they are awash with midfield players now and if we are talking about going with three centre-backs then you are not giving yourself much option if you are going with just three recognised forwards as well.

You might be leaving yourself a bit thin there if you get an injury.

With Souleymane Doukara, probably one in four or one in five games you will get a good performance out if him.

He is very inconsistent but he has got every attribute to be a really good centre-forward.

Marcus Antonsson looks quite lively. He looks as though he has got a bit of a buzz about him and he will take time to get into the Championship coming from where he has come from.

And then you have got Chris Wood who has sometimes played upfront on his own which I think is a little bit unfair to him.

Leeds are fourth bottom and I just think they have got to get some consistency into their game.

And probably still Garry Monk hasn’t got in his head what he thinks his best team is.

He’s had very little time to get to know them and pre-season was very short for him because he came in late.

I feel a bit sorry for him really because he is probably still thinking is this my best side or is that my best side?

And notoriously, as we know, they don’t get a lot of time to sort that out and find out at Leeds.

He’s got to work very quickly and work out what his best side is and get some points on the board.

Next Saturday’s home clash with Huddersfield Town is a massive game.

It’s always a massive game anyway because it’s a derby game but with them absolutely beasting it at the minute, it makes it doubly important for Leeds.

They have got to try and get some points.

Because it’s a derby game, I don’t think you can say ‘Huddersfield are going to win this’.

If somebody didn’t know about the tradition between the two clubs and the proximity and just looked at the fixtures purely on where they are in the league and had no knowledge about the Championship and the two teams, they would say it’s a banker for Huddersfield.

But I just don’t see that because of the game that it is.

I’ve been involved in it on the managerial side of Huddersfield and there’s a lot more to that game than just where they are in the league tables.

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