Lots of Leeds United fans have been slamming Liam Cooper on social media for his performance in Sunday’s 5-4 win over Birmingham City.
Cooper opened the league affair at St. Andrew’s alongside centre-back partners Ben White and Luke Ayling, as boss Marcelo Bielsa handed the 28-year-old his third-straight start since returning from a calf strain.
The blow had sidelined Cooper for our wins over Huddersfield Town, Hull City and the 3-3 draw with Cardiff, having already missed four games earlier in the campaign through a knock and a groin problem.
Some Whites fans have now questioned whether or not Cooper has shaken off his ‘League One Liam’ nickname, as our captain showed no signs of deserving a place in the side on Sunday as we let slip the lead on three occasions.
Cooper struggled when Birmingham sought to pile on the pressure and he was called upon to defend Kiko Casilla’s net, with his only real saving grace being his greater ability in the air.
Two-time Scotland international Cooper won 56% of his nine aerial duels at the weekend, whereas White won 43% of his seven and Ayling failed to win either of his two attempted contests, per WhoScored data.
Only Birmingham’s Lukas Jutkiewicz and Harlee Dean (7) won more aerial duels in total than Cooper (5), who held a joint-lead for United with midfielder Kalvin Phillips.
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Cooper also took possession with each of his two attempted tackles and penned six clearances, but could only complete 36 of his 56 passes and both of his attempted tackles came prior to Birmingham’s first goal of the day.
The £5.4million-rated centre-half lost two of his four ground duels and lost possession 20 times, as well as committing two fouls and failed to block a single shot at Birmingham, too, per Sofa Score statistics.
Here are some of the messages shared on Cooper’s performance against Birmingham…
This defence looks like a shade of its former self Cooper and Ayling playing like 2016 versions!
Look shakey nervous and like they don’t wanna be there
— Mark Ramm (@LufcRammy) December 29, 2019
Just out of interest…when did Cooper shake off that nickname of league 1 Liam? Always has at least one major error a game
— Richard Gell (@Gelly_LUFC) December 29, 2019
Am I the only one who is still not convinced with cooper? #lufc
— Nick Aaron Riseley (@Nick_Riseley) December 29, 2019
We look awful when teams press high on us. Cooper/Ayling are awful with ball at their feet under pressure and no matter what ppl say, some of them look shattered. Still time for momentum to swing hopefully. #lufc
— Lee Charleton (@LeeCharleton) December 29, 2019
Really wish Liam Cooper would stop giving stupid free kicks away!
— Mikey Lufc Woody (@1988Woody) December 29, 2019
Alioski and Cooper down our left side had a nightmare today, didn’t deal with anything. But 3 points it is #lufc
— Craig Smith (@craggsy82) December 29, 2019
Get off kikos back. He’s been excellent and saved us in games this season he’s had a bad game. But Cooper has been awful for a few games running. No one can play 100% all the time. Kiko still the best keeper in the league. #lufc
— Andy (@_G_Loken) December 29, 2019
Casilla and Cooper being Casilla Cooper. No matter how well they play, they have got big mistakes in them. Fear they will cost #lufc again
— Johnny F (@JF_LUFCmod) December 29, 2019
Cooper isn’t even close to premier league quality in regards to a center back.
— MG (@TheMichaelGale) December 29, 2019
We need serious work on the defence, it has been shocking for three games in a row. Can’t hide the fact that Cooper coming back had lead to the defence performance dropping and goals being scored against us at an alarming rate.
— Richard M. (@RikMM65) December 29, 2019
In other Leeds United news, a second club have entered the race to land a 5 ft 6 Whites man in January.