Looks like Marcelo Bielsa defied my wishes again, but it’s OK, I’m used to it by now.
I expected there were going to be changes for the game against Salford on Tuesday night, even before Bielsa gave it away in his press conference.
Whilst I did get it right that Eddie Nketiah would get a start, (by the way good finish, I always did have faith in you), I was slightly surprised to see that Kiko Casilla maintained his place between the sticks. I spoke before the game how I thought the game was a good chance to give Illan Meslier a runout and was disappointed to see that he didn’t even make the bench.
Casilla was at his usual, let’s just say, ‘erratic’ best last night, causing concern amongst a few of the supporters, but at the end of the day, he kept a clean sheet so I can’t exactly fault him or say things could have gone better at the back.
However, I do think that it’s quite alarming that Bielsa looks set to use Casilla as his goalkeeper in all competitions this season, meaning that Meslier is hardly going to get a chance with the first team during his one-year loan spell.
Which sort of makes the whole thing redundant. As I said yesterday, we’ve only got him for a limited amount of time, so we need to see him utilised as much as we can for as long as we can and it is imperative that you give him the opportunity to prove himself with the rest of the team.
However, if his time is going to be spent either sat on the bench or playing with the U23’s, then there isn’t much point in him being around. If he can’t even get a game against a League Two side who only just got promoted, then when is he ever going to get one?
If you have him, you may as well use him, but having him sitting on the bench, or in the case last night, not even on the bench is detrimental to his development.