No Leeds United worries despite Brighton reverse and no reason to be timid against Tottenham - David Prutton
LEEDS United’s performance and result against Brighton was not what the club’s fans have got used to, not by any stretch of the imagination.
When I was working last Saturday we did Sheffield Wednesday against Forest at lunchtime and then Derby v Swansea after.
Our director at Sky Sports is a real big Leeds fan and he was watching the game whilst keeping an eye on bits and bobs and I just heard him harrumphing and tutting and just going ‘bloody hell Alioski’ and all this kind of stuff.
He was generally not happy with it all the way through so I got the sense that it wasn’t exactly the performance and the result that we have kind of got used to.
But would you be worried? No. Not given the season Leeds have had.
That isn’t me letting the players off the hook but the disappointment comes from it having felt like a game where we expected Leeds to win which is a great sign of how far they have come.
Leeds have got to make sure they put those games to bed and if it had been another stage of the season with Leeds and they were in a slightly edgier position then it might have been different.
But on the back of the fantastic April that they have had and going into today’s game against Spurs, if you are Leeds and Marcelo Bielsa and the club as a whole then you view it as a blip and give Spurs as much as you can.
Kalvin Phillips and Raphinha both missed the Brighton clash through injury and they are Leeds’ two best players.
As much as you can talk about how good the squad is and how they have progressed collectively, any team still needs its best players available and Leeds are fundamentally a better team with Kalvin and Raphinha in it.
There was footage of them both training on Friday so get them back in.
Tottenham are a team that were interested in Kalvin a couple of years ago and now he is in a settled Leeds side that are doing very well indeed.
This could be a chance for him again to show what he can do and perform the job that we know he can do.
With Raphinha, he is one of those players that genuinely gets you off your seat when you watch him.
He genuinely excites you with the way he plays a football match and he is a joy to watch.
He’s got that bit of magic that would cost a premium but the reason it costs a premium is because no one can do it and I’d get them both back into the side because it’s totally Leeds’ prerogative to finish the season as strongly as possible.
Patrick Bamford has now gone five games without scoring but we have seen Patrick in his time at Leeds deal with situations such as this and very levelheadedly as well.
He understands the ebb and flow of what a striker’s lot can be and sometimes the finger has been pointed at Patrick when you are looking at a striker that should be scoring chances.
But it’s by no means an easy feat because scoring is the hardest thing to do in football.
Sometimes you do look at the chances that could be classed as ‘easier’ than others but you have still got to have the wherewithal and ice in the veins to be able to put them away.
Sometimes games come easier and sometimes chances come easier and I always look at it collectively in that it’s the team taking responsibility for putting the ball in the right position more often than not.
That’s their responsibility as well and then Patrick’s is to handle the pressure for as when and these chances are created.
He’s on 14 goals in the Premier League and this from a striker who over the course of this time has probably had to field more than his fair share of criticism when it comes to scoring goals and taking chances because he has led the line admirably.
What you have got there is a player that really emphasizes and reflects the team ethic of what Marcelo has brought into Leeds.
Even when he has not been scoring goals, it feels like more often than not he is one of the first names on the team sheet because of what he brings to the team as a whole which is great to see.
He has got the experience now to be able to deal with these slightly smaller fallow periods and to get back scoring without it worrying him too much I think.
As for Spurs, they all seem to have cheered up a little bit since Jose Mourinho left!
Interim boss Ryan Mason is looking to become the first Tottenham manager to win their first three Premier League games and I have worked with Ryan a couple of times from a media point of view.
He is very thoughtful, articulate and very pleasant company that wants to make his way in football.
He knows that this is only a finite amount of time that he is in charge but maybe it opens the door to where he wants his career to go in the next ten or 20 years.
I am sure he will love coming up against someone like Marcelo Bielsa and Spurs have obvious threats.
But given what we have seen from Leeds, how good they have been against the big boys in April and how good they have been against good teams over the course of the season, there is nothing in this at all for them to be timid about.
Yes, you have got to be wary and respectful of the opposition but we all know how Leeds can play.
Ryan will have Chris Powell next to him as well and he is someone with a very good bit of experience who I have got a very hefty amount of time for.
But Spurs will be going into this game thinking ‘how do we beat this lot, how do we go against them and how do we bring our particular brand of intensity to go up against that?’
That’s how Leeds should approach it, don’t go into it cocky but definitely go into it confident.
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Thank you Laura Collins