Lee Sobot looks at five things we learned about Leeds United from Sunday’s goalless draw at Reading...
Kalvin Phillips is ready for the first team
Uwe Rosler had expressed reservations about starting Phillips in the aftermath of Thursday’s Capital One Cup loss at Doncaster Rovers, but he needn’t have worried. At just 19 years of age, the midfielder looked a natural at Reading, belying his years, and United now seemingly have a ‘fab five’ of homegrown youngsters in Phillips plus Lewis Cook, Charlie Taylor, Alex Mowatt and Sam Byram.
Leeds are not the same without Lewis Cook
As another compliment to another teenage star, United’s midfield lacked a certain pizazz without 18-year-old Cook who served the first match of a three game ban. Cook has only ever scored once for the Whites and that goal came at Doncaster on Thursday but there’s no denying he adds some sort of creative spark with his energy and passing. Leeds must now cope with Bristol City away on Wednesday and Sheffield Wednesday at home on Saturday without him.
Leeds are still lacking a creative edge
With or without Cook, Leeds could definitely do with a sprinkling of magic to create chances for Chris Wood upfront. The Whites weren’t helped by Sam Byram having a below par afternoon and it is hoped the current squad have enough creativity to click, after all, the team made endless chances in the season opener against Burnley. But either way a new attacking option would not go amiss - even if that meant starting two upfront or a no 10 type just behind the sole striker.
Liam Cooper could be first-choice centre-back
To some, the omission of Giuseppe Bellusci at centre-back was a surprise after the Italian’s decent performance at Doncaster. But Cooper put in a fine display in his place at Reading and was many people’s idea of man of the match. No manager likes changing a defence after a clean sheet and Bellusci has a battle on to win back his place. Either way, for the first time in ages, United look solid at the back and hard to beat.
Uwe Rosler seems a pretty good laugh
United’s head coach has already won the hearts of most of those that have met him - but he took things up another notch with two quotes in particular at the weekend. His advice to his players to never take the club’s amazing following for granted will have gone down a treat with fans. His line about the Whites players coping with a demanding schedule by having to “live like monks with no sex or alcohol” will have just made everyone laugh. Rosler seems a top guy and everybody will be desperately hoping he succeeds.