YEP fans’ jury: Leeds United will have to axe old habits in order to cut Forest down to size

Man-of-the-match contender, Pablo Hernandez. PIC: John Walton/PA Wire
Man-of-the-match contender, Pablo Hernandez. PIC: John Walton/PA Wire
0
Have your say

The Yorkshire Evening Post’s Leeds United fans’ jury was just as surprised as most that the Whites lost 2-0 to visitors Hull City on Saturday.

But all expect lessons to have been learned and, if coach Marcelo Bielsa can rev up his stretched squad, then Nottingham Forest will feel the back lash on New Year’s Day.

Man-of-the-match contender, Adam Forshaw. PIC: Gareth Williams/AHPIX.com

Man-of-the-match contender, Adam Forshaw. PIC: Gareth Williams/AHPIX.com

Here are the jurors’ thoughts. What do you think?

ANDY RHODES

I think it’s safe to say not many of us were expecting that as Leeds’ best run in over a decade came to an end against Hull.

On the whole, Leeds weren’t poor but Hull ‘had their number’ from the start and executed their game plan perfectly.

Man-of-the-match contender, Kalvin Phillips. PIC: Clint Hughes/PA Wire

Man-of-the-match contender, Kalvin Phillips. PIC: Clint Hughes/PA Wire

In truth, Leeds played right into their hands with the Tigers’ wingers breaking at pace at every opportunity.

Jarrod Bowen showed exactly why he’s rated so highly, while Kamil Grosicki was a constant threat on the other wing.

United will undoubtably learn the lessons of that style and come out fighting at Nottingham Forest tomorrow where they’ll have to be sharper in front of goal to win.

On Saturday the passing wasn’t as crisp and the willingness to shoot from distance wasn’t there but, after 25 Championship games, Leeds have only lost four and we would’ve all taken that in August.

It’s said that it’s usually December when the wheels come off for Leeds.

Let’s just hope they’re in the pits.

Man of the match: Pablo Hernandez.

DAVID WATKINS

Leeds under Marcelo Bielsa have banished many demons already in what is still only a few months together but against Hull we saw glimpses of ‘old Leeds’ as we failed, for the ninth consecutive season, to win our final game of the year.

Old Leeds also had a habit of producing a surprise defeat just when everything looked to be going well. A home game against the Tigers, even Tigers in decent form, shouldn’t have proved as difficult as it was, with Leeds having seven consecutive wins behind them and Hull being without Elphick and Irvine.

In fact, the match stats show we did pretty much everything we have done in those last seven games and yet this time that little piece of good fortune or Pablo Hernandez magic was missing while, at the other end, Hull were able to profit from a couple of slack moments in the Leeds defence.

All is not lost! We will go again at the City Ground on Tuesday and Bielsa has already promised us a reaction and positive result.

One thing to watch, though, if ‘new Leeds’ do have a weakness then it is quite clearly the willingness to offer the gift of a soft goal every now and again.

Man of the match: Pablo Hernandez.

MATTHEW EVANS

After the euphoria of late 3-2 wins either side of Christmas, the visit of Hull City proved to be a step too far for this depleted United side.

The starting XI was unchanged and so was much of the performance – we still managed to dominate Hull in all of Marcelo Bielsa’s favourite statistics except the one that matters most.

It brought to mind one of Nigel Adkins’ previous visits to Elland Road, a 1-0 win for Southampton against Neil Warnock’s Leeds United six years ago, where we did everything but score and the away goalkeeper had a stormer.

Our effort can’t be faulted and we had the chances to get something out of the game.

But we appeared leggy and it’s hard to see how our head coach can freshen things up significantly for Tuesday’s trip to Forest.

Tyler Roberts was a lively substitute and he could be a good bet to start at the City Ground.

Pablo Hernandez looked tired but gets my vote for man of the match with an age-defying display of determination.

Man of the match: Pablo Hernandez.

SHAUN SMITH

Life , as John Lennon wisley said, is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.

Leeds we’re looking to go 1-0 up but they in fact went 1-0 down, the ball falling for Hull in the box in the way it was refusing to drop for Leeds.

The second goal came from a series of misfortunes for Leeds – the ball dropping kindly where it had refused to be so kind to the Whites. What could go wrong did go wrong for the home team – what might go right for the visitors, did so.

United’s curse of failing to score first came back to bite them on the same bottom that had won by the seat of its pants in the two previous games.

Frustrating rather than catastrophic and, in truth, Leeds were ‘old-manned’ in a style one is susceptible to in the English Championship.

Hull were honest and will progress pleasantly in the league rather than taking it by storm. Leeds are eager to win and, in doing so, lose the occasional game.

The old year ends with a whimper; the new year must start with a bang.

Man of the match: Adam Forshaw.

MIKE GILL

All good things eventually come to an end and so it was with Leeds United’s excellent winning run.

They lost to a Hull side that defended better and was faster on the break, although the match stats still stacked up in United’s favour rather than City’s. And the Tigers’ Jarrod Bowen has been rumoured to be one of United’s targets in the January window.

If there is any truth in this rumour, then he has increased his value. He scored a goal in each half and looked more dangerous than anything United had to offer.

Any hopes that United had about staging another fight back were dashed by their opponents who were the better team all round on the day. The Whites remain top of the pile thanks to the fact that Norwich City also lost to Derby County and third-place West Bromwich Albion drew, thereby limiting the damage caused by this setback.

It is important that the Whites pick themselves up and start another hot streak just like they did after their last defeat.

Man of the match: Kalvin Phillips.

KEITH INGHAM

Leeds’ impressive run of seven consecutive wins ended with a surprising 2-0 defeat by Hull City at Elland Road.

They remain top of the Championship by three points, owing to Norwich losing 4-3 to Derby County at Carrow Road.

Marcelo Bielsa kept faith with the XI that started against Blackburn; Tyler Roberts back on the bench. Unfortunately, Lady Luck failed to smile on Leeds this time (but you can’t rely on luck!) and Leeds will have to pick up tired bodies to go again at Nottingham Forest on New Year’s Day.

I’d like to see Jack Clarke start and Kalvin Phillips back in the midfield for the game.

Clarke was introduced in place of the disappointing Jack Harrison in an effort to get back level but it was Hull who doubled their lead when, after a brilliant block by Bailey Peacock-Farrell from a close-range effort from Toral, the ball fell to Jarrod Bowen who scored his second easily.

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year and, hopefully, 2019 will be the one all our dreams come true!

Early in the game, Hull threatened when Bowen hit one across Leeds’ bows. Leeds responded with an effort from Pablo Hernandez that was blocked on the Hull line by Kingsley.

Hull took the lead in the 25th minute when Bowen took advantage of a mistake by Phillips and swept the ball past Peacock-Farrell. Hernandez was once again in the action but saw his effort go just wide before the break.

Later in the game, two-down Leeds were once again denied by a Hull defender who headed Luke Ayling’s headed effort away from the goaline.

Leeds substitute Roberts was also denied a certain goal by Keane who scrambled the Leeds’ striker’s goal-bound effort away from danger.

Man of the match: Pablo Hernandez.