'Useless' - Leeds United exit theory does not wash and final 'debacle' warning: David Prutton

Leeds United quite simply have to bounce back from last weekend's second-half display and 5-1 defeat against Crystal Palace.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

That's the only way that Javi Gracia's side can possibly turn it into a positive. Obviously Palace scored just before the break but Leeds then just got comprehensively dismantled in the second half. It was the two-pronged assault of Palace being very good and Leeds just not doing the fundamentals - checking runners, getting close to people on the ball from crosses, picking people up in the box, reacting to mistakes and the rub of the green.

Everything that you could possibly point the finger at - they were nowhere at it in the second half at all. There had been euphoria leading up to the game after the results before it but I don't know whether it's one step forward, two steps back because fundamentally as long as Leeds are outside of the bottom three it's okay.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

But there were so many fundamentals wrong with that result and performance and everything to do with it that Javi Gracia would be forgiven for getting mildly frustrated with the work that they've done so far not being on show. The game showed what Palace are capable of and also that it was a gross underperformance as a collective when they were completely toiling under Patrick Vieira for that long.

DISMANTLED: Leeds United concede for a fifth time in last weekend's hosting of Crystal Palace as Jordan Ayew completes a brace.  Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images.DISMANTLED: Leeds United concede for a fifth time in last weekend's hosting of Crystal Palace as Jordan Ayew completes a brace.  Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images.
DISMANTLED: Leeds United concede for a fifth time in last weekend's hosting of Crystal Palace as Jordan Ayew completes a brace. Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images.

But we said beforehand that it was about being able to take the points away from the teams in and around you and Palace were very much in that regard. Nottingham Forest as well. I would be concerned if Leeds didn't bounce back and learn their lessons of fundamentals. They just weren't there at all.

Palace are a good team, and if you get decent game time out of Michael Olise and Eberechi Eze over the course of a season then you are going to do pretty well. But sometimes things just click and for Leeds it was unfortunate that on that Sunday that's exactly what happened, coupled with a poor home performance.

Plenty of fans left for the exit early and that reflected what they had seen. It also reflects the vibe of what they felt on the pitch. Sometimes you can see a team three goals down but the stands are packed because there's an expectancy and a reaction.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

But I think those fans knew what was on the cards and you look at that fifth goal when the ball landed at the feet of Jordan Ayew who finished really well. But reactively, Palace were first to it I see on Twitter all the time about people saying people are not real fans if you don't stay until the end of the game and all that type of stuff.

But I think if you've paid a hefty dollar for what your ticket is and the team has been absolutely awful then you leave when you want to leave. If you've spent your hard earned money and you've not seen the fundamentals there of a shift being put in then get yourself out of there and go and do something better because on that day, in the second half, Leeds were useless.

Leeds' relegation rivals Everton, Leicester City and Southampton all got beat on Saturday and from a Leeds perspective you would hope those teams are just stuttering too much. Forest are another team that are having a proper wobble at the wrong time.

But it was always a tough shout for Leicester against Manchester City and you can't come away from the possibility of what Dean Smith might bring to them. I think it's going to be a bit of both really now between the end of the season.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Obviously Leeds have got to take care of their own business but there will also be times when they are relying on what goes on elsewhere. I've definitely seen three worst teams. But then if you looked at the second half last week you'd say that Leeds must be one of the ones that are getting a hiding most weekends in the Premier League.

I'm relatively confident right now that Leeds will stay up because of where they find themselves in 16th place. But any more debacles like the second half last Sunday and they're going to be in serious trouble.

Tonight's visit of Liverpool is next and Jurgen Klopp was very feisty in his pre-match press conference and not happy with the fingers being pointed or necessarily the narrative of what's been put out for his side. They'll be fired up to hell going into this one. As much as it's a game against a team down the wrong end of the table, Liverpool's aspirations are way above where they find themselves this season given the fact that they are eighth.

I was reading about their Champions League revenue and it's been astonishingly big so if they miss out on it then that's a difficult season next season because you're thinking about rebuilding and getting close to Arsenal, Manchester City or even maybe Newcastle and Man United.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

If you are then missing out on the Champions League, can you recruit the type of players that takes you on to the next level? That's another bone of contention for Jurgen to deal with and it's not just three points in the Premier League but three points towards what they want next season which is more than enough motivation for Liverpool and the manager.

If Liverpool play to the best of their capabilities then it's a devastating team that should rip Leeds apart. But Leeds can be competitive on their day if they do the fundamentals and don't switch off like they did last weekend.

If you get ripped apart by Palace playing well then you can get trounced by Liverpool. But a lot of these players have played Liverpool before and we have seen Leeds match Liverpool before. We also saw the glorious scenes under Jesse Marsch in October's 2-1 win at Anfield so it's well within Leeds' abilities to beat them.

It's just a case of having the mettle to deal with what the pressure is. If you are Leeds fan turning out in force tonight then you want to see both the mettle and the passion and also the technical ability and a team performance that hopefully eradicates and rights the wrongs of last Sunday.