I hate to say I told you so but, I more or less told you so.
Leeds were dealt a hammer blow yesterday as it was announced that captain Liam Cooper and midfielder Jamie Shackleton would be out for up to six and four weeks respectively. Injuries to both players are obviously going to put a dent in Leeds’ plans this season, but it’s the injury to Cooper specifically that I want to talk about.
I spoke numerous times in the summer, as did a large number of fans about how the club were playing a dangerous game by going into the season with so few centre-backs, and I hoped that we’d be able to avoid a similar injury crisis to last year and get away with it.
However, we haven’t even reached the second international break of the season and we are on the verge of a crisis at Elland Road. Speaking of which, that is the one saving grace in all this, is that we lose a week to the international games, so it’s not the same as if it was over the busy Christmas or Easter schedule, but that still doesn’t excuse the fact that Marcelo Bielsa and the board played an incredibly dangerous game by not bringing in another centre-back.
This is going to be a serious challenge of Bielsa’s capabilities as manager. He has spoken before about his preference to carry a small squad, but this is going to really test that philosophy to the absolute limit. The sale of Pontus Jansson left the club incredibly short of central defenders, and with this latest injury, they now find themselves down to just two for the foreseeable future.
What about you? Do you think that the club will be able to deal with this injury to Cooper for the time being? Or do you think that we’re about to enter a rather difficult period in the season with him being on the injury table?